Ron Ouellette
RE/MAX Advantage I | 508-847-7111 | rono@remax.net


Posted by Ron Ouellette on 6/22/2017

Even though most people would consider family safety to be a top priority, few have gone to the trouble of actually printing out or creating a home safety checklist. It's really not that much trouble, though, because the information you need is readily available on the Internet, at your local library, and through your insurance agent. With so many different aspects of home safety to be aware of, a detailed, categorized list can help you focus your attention on what needs to be checked, cleaned, replaced, fixed, or upgraded. A Word About Landlines vs Cell Phones The widespread use of cellphones has caused an increasing number of home owners to cancel their landline telephone service. While this may seem like a smart way to save money and reduce telemarketing calls, it also raises some safety issues. In an emergency, for example, the last thing you want to be doing is frantically searching for a misplaced cellphone. Another issue to think about is the fact that mobile phones often need to be recharged on a daily basis -- sometimes at the most inopportune times. Although cellphones are an indispensable part of most people's lives, they're far from infallible. For this reason, maintaining your landline is an idea worth considering. Telephone companies may offer a budget-friendly service plan that could provide you with an emergency backup, in case your cell phones failed or couldn't be found. Organizing Your Safety Checklist There are a lot of different categories of home safety to keep in mind, so printing out a comprehensive list is an invaluable first step. Customizing the list to the needs of your household would logically come next. For example, a home with young children or elderly relatives will need age-specific safeguards to avoid accidents, injuries, and trips to the Emergency Room. Everyone's home safety checklist will vary, depending on the age of their home and its occupants. Here's a short list of some of the important items you'll want to include or seriously consider.

  • Install smoke detectors in strategic locations, and test the batteries several times a year (if not monthly). Your kitchen and bedroom areas are among the key spots in which smoke detectors need to be placed.
  • Carbon monoxide detectors are also a vital part of any home safety plan.
  • A working fire extinguisher should be available in the kitchen, as well as any other room in your home where a potential fire hazard exists. It's also a good idea to take a couple minutes to read the instructions and give members of the family a crash course on correct fire extinguisher operation.
  • Reduce the chance of chimney fires by having your fireplace and chimney professionally cleaned every couple of years. The frequency depends on several factors, including how often you use your fireplace and what type of wood you burn.
  • Miscellaneous home safety reminders: Other aspects of your plan may include burglar proofing your home, identifying and correcting potential electrical hazards, and reducing risks related to tripping, falling, and slipping.
Doing a home safety assessment is comparable to a New Year's resolution. You go into it with the best of intentions, but you don't always follow through. When it comes to keeping your home environment safe and secure for your family, however, it's never too soon to get started.





Posted by Ron Ouellette on 6/15/2017

There is a multitude of ways to increase your homeís value. And there are multiple reasons why one would want to increase their homeís value. You donít have to be selling or thinking about selling to want to update your home. You may just want to update for the sake of updating. Take a look at the tips below for a few of the best renovations and updates to bring the most value to your home.

  1. Kitchen: Depending on the age of your kitchen, an entire remodel will bring the most value. Updated kitchens can sell the home itself. Itís the number one update homebuyers are looking for. Updating the cabinets, counters, appliances, and floor are all key bigger updates. Updating the paint and adding a backsplash will add style and again value. Small updates are a necessity including the faucet and lighting. For quicker and less expensive updates shop at discount stores and repurpose cabinets, if possible.
  1. Bathroom(s): Bathrooms are another important update for increasing your homeís value. They endure a lot of wear and tear with use multiple times a day. Small updates such as light fixtures and faucet(s) are short money for good value. A complete update will bring the most value but will dependent on the amount of space available. Adding a serene and luxurious feel to the master bathroom will be a great benefit to the value. Even making other bathrooms in the home more modern and spa like will greatly increase the value.
  1. Front Yard: The front yard is the first thing that anyone sees of your home. And your front yard can distinguish you from other homes in the neighborhood. Adding a fresh coat of paint or stain to your porch and stairs, adding flowers and new mulch, and keeping your grass green and luscious can greatly add to the curb appeal of your home and ultimately the value.
  1. Popcorn Ceilings & Wood Paneling: Completely removing popcorn ceilings and/or wood paneling will add tremendous value to a home. Both features are extremely outdated and unappealing. Removing those will give your home a more modern look and feel. If looking to sell, this update will make your home much more appealing to buyers. Having to update those two things will seem very daunting to a homebuyer that is looking for a modern home.
  1. Paint: Remove that wallpaper and add a fresh, bright paint of coat to any room that could use it. Wallpaper often times makes rooms look dated and can peel and tear, especially in bathrooms. Even if you do not have any wallpaper, a fresh coat of paint is a simple and inexpensive way of updating a room and making it look new and modern.
Remember to keep in mind the market value of your home and surrounding homes. There comes a point where you will start to lose money in home improvements rather than reaping the rewards. Itís important to consult professionals before beginning any large renovations such as a kitchen or bathrooms. They can help you assess what will bring the most value to your home and get you the best bang for your buck.





Posted by Ron Ouellette on 6/13/2017

Most desirable HARMONY ESTATES! One owner, young, meticulous, 4 bdrm, 2.5 bath classic colonial w/attached oversize 2 car garage, workshop, storage.. FHA heat and central AC. Spacious, flowing, traditional floor plan. Well designed kitchen w/tile floors, ctr island, granite counters, detailed tile backsplash,quality stainless appliances.. Abundance of cabinets with easy access "pull-out" shelving. 1st floor half bath & laundry. Inviting living rm, marble fireplace, cathedral ceiling, Formal dining room gleaming hardwood floors. Welcoming bright, open foyer. Center hall staircase leading to spacious 2nd floor master bdrm suite, 3 additional large bdrms & 2 full baths. Master bath has oversize whirlpool jacuzzi tub, separate shower stall, linen closet, beautiful tile floors & corian vanity. Huge walk-in closet & additional closet storage. MBdrm convenient master control for all lights in house. Quality finished walkout lower level for office, exercise, play..

More Info on this Property | New Listing Alerts





Posted by Ron Ouellette on 6/8/2017

An office move, new military assignment or desire to be closer to an aging parent are a few reasons why buying an out of state house makes sense. Wanting to initiate personal change is another reason why you may want to buy a house in another state. A faraway house move positions you to make new friends, discover new job opportunities and advance your education at better schools.

Before you buy a house in another state

There are many benefits to be gained from moving into a house in another state. Yet, there are also challenges to buying a house in another state. To start, it won't be as easy to house shop in the other state. Distance alone will make it harder to keep going out and visiting open houses. Distance will also make it harder to accompany your realtor on trips to private home viewings.

The latter point proves to be yet another reason why you need to pay special attention to who you choose to be your realtor. When buying an out of state house make sure that you confirm that the realtor has an active license.

Ask for realtor referrals from people you know who currently live in the state that you want to buy a new house in. Speak with two or more actively licensed realtors, asking about their commissions, how long they have been buying and selling houses in the area and where they most want to live in the state. Other steps to take before you buy a house in another state include:

  • Visit the area two to three times before you buy a house. Devote two trips to house shopping.
  • During one of the visits to the new area, checkout shopping centers, entertainment spots, restaurants, community facilities and schools.
  • Ask someone you know who is well versed in the area to show you around. This is an excellent way to see the city. You'll learn about major roadways and hot spots, places you might miss if you tried to learn the area on your own.
  • Talk with people who are currently living where you want to buy a house.
  • Consider renting a house or an apartment for three to six months, until you find a permanent home that meets your family's wants.
  • Rank neighborhoods in the area on housing costs, property taxes, schools, income and sales taxes, community services, walking scores, businesses and entertainment.

Don't let buying a house out of state stop you from a job relocation, moving closer to family or moving to an area that puts you closer to the experiences that you want to enjoy. Get a reliable, licensed realtor who knows the state that you want to buy a house in and you could reduce the challenges related to the move. Researching the area where you want to move also helps, even making you feel as if you know the new place better than you would if you waited until you moved to start exploring the town.




Tags: buying a house   houses  
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Posted by Ron Ouellette on 6/1/2017

Many homeowners have a difficult relationship with their homeowners association. On the one hand, the HOA helps your community stay safe, clean, and makes it a desirable place to live which improves the property value of your home. But, on the other hand, homeowners associations can be a problem if you want to make a change to your property that they disagree with.

 In this article, weíll talk about some common issues that homeowners face in their dealings with homeowners associations and give you tips on how to handle them so that youíll have the best possible outcome.

 Study the rules carefully

It may seem like a nuisance, but your best defense when dealing with the homeowners association is to understand whatís expected of you. Not only will it help you stay on good terms with the HOA, but it will also make it easier to understand what your options are.

Itís a good idea to understand these rules and bylaws before you ever move into the neighborhood, but itís never too late to learn them. It might help you later on down the road should you want to paint your house or build a new structure in your yard.

Introduce yourself to the members

Itís best to get off on the right foot with the other members of your homeowners association. You donít want your first meeting to be a complaint against you, nor do you want to introduce yourself to someone only to make a complaint against someone else.

It will also give you a chance to ask questions about the community and to get an understanding of how easy or difficult it is to deal with the regulations of the homeowners association.

Donít assume ill-will

If you find that a complaint has been raised against you, donít act immediately. Take some time to compose your response and be sure to acknowledge the complaint. Odds are that the other members of the HOA arenít there just to give you a hard time.

Choose your battles

There are some things worth fighting for when it comes to your home. However, you donít want to be repeatedly challenging the HOA on small issues. Stick to the rules on the things that arenít hugely important, that way other members wonít come to expect issues from you.

Follow protocol

When youíre required to get permission from the board before making a change to your property, be sure you follow the steps laid out in your agreement. Doing so will avoid any unnecessary conflict.

Pay all dues and fines on time

Even if you are in the middle of a disagreement with the HOA, itís better to continue paying your dues and fines that to leave them outstanding. If you donít pay, you risk further penalty, including fees.

Plan ahead if you want to change the rules

If youíre dissatisfied with some or man of the rules of the homeowners association, odds are youíre not alone. First, start by talking with other neighborhood members. If they have similar views on the rules in question, you can bring them up collectively at the next meeting.

Your second option would be to run for the board and try to enact the changes yourself. However, you should never seek a position out of spite or anger. Only volunteer your time and effort if you want to lend a hand in your community and make life better for all of the inhabitants.

 




Categories: Uncategorized