Ron Ouellette
RE/MAX Advantage I | 508-847-7111 |

Posted by Ron Ouellette on 11/16/2017

When you buy a home, you suddenly realize that your wallet and bank account become quickly drained with all of the expenses involved. If you want to save money when you own a home, youíll need to find ways to cut down on your spending. This takes some creativity and some budgeting. The good news is that you donít have to sacrifice everything in order to live in the home you want. There are many ways that you can trim your budget and you probably never even thought of them.  

The Grocery Store

We all need to eat, so you definitely canít eliminate food from your budget! You can get your grocery bill down significantly with some careful planning. 

One of the biggest problems that people have, when they head to the grocery store, is that they simply shop without a plan. Make a list of what you need to buy. There are certain things that just about everyone needs every grocery trip like milk, bread, and eggs. If you go into the store with a list, youíll have a plan that you can stick to. Know what youíre going to cook and what everyone will eat throughout the week. If you bring coupons along on a grocery trip, try not to bring anything that you donít have use for. Youíll overspend if you buy just based on coupons. After you start your new system, you can have a clear budget that will become a habit over the course of time.

Donít Pay For What You Donít Use

Are you paying for things like a landline telephone or cable? Do you actually use these services? Cutting the cords can save you a lot of expenses. Also, youíre truly wasting money if youíre paying for something that you donít use. Thereís also some cheaper alternatives available when it comes to these types of services. 

Do More Yourself

While you may have relied on the luxury of a cleaning service or a landscaping service, you can cut these things out of your budget. Itís fairly simple to clean up after yourself, just set some standards with your family in order to keep the house up. As far as landscaping, you can probably do some of the mowing and raking on your own. You can still keep these services, but perhaps you want to save the maid for an every other month deep cleaning of your home. 

Other Places To Cut Expenses

Depending upon your lifestyle and needs, there are probably a few other places that you can save in your budget. These include:

  • Seeing where you can save on insurance policies
  • Finding alternatives for pet care and child care
  • Cutting back on your commuting costs by carpooling or using public transport

When you take a good look at your budget, youíll see that there are plenty of ways that you can start saving, yet still live in the home of your dreams and keep your lifestyle.

Categories: Uncategorized  

Posted by Ron Ouellette on 11/9/2017

Furniture could help you to love your house that much more even if furniture isn't the first thing that you thought about when you bought your house. Awesome landscaping might actually be what attracted you to the house that you just bought. But, it's not outside where you're likely to spend most of your time.

Quick ways to furnish your home without sinking into debt

Most of your time at home may well be spent indoors. Get the wrong furniture and you could hate your house. Spend too much money on furniture and you might love the decor but feel sick each time you think about the price. These tips may keep you from spending too much while you furnish your entire home:

  • Buy major furniture pieces for prominent rooms
  • Focus on furnishing your living room and bedroom first
  • Next, furnish rooms that see lots of use but not as much as the living room and bedroom
  • Save finished basements and finished attics for last when furnishing your home
  • Choose durable, year round outdoor furniture when buying seating pieces for your front porch and back yard patio
  • Go for simple to keep your room spacious and open
  • Measure room spaces that you plan to put certain furniture pieces in. Don't guess as to whether or not a chair, sofa, bed or table will fit into a part of your house. Also, make sure that furniture will fit through your front door.
  • Consider waiting until after you buy large,expensive furniture pieces before you fill your house with paintings, ceramics and other art pieces

Take your time choosing the right furniture

Admittedly, a great yard, flowers in bloom and grass green and luscious, give nearly any property a value boost. But, it's the furniture that you choose that is going to help determine how comfortable you are when you're at home. Furniture that you place in your house will impact how much you actually like your house.

Old, worn furniture could cause you to regret a house, making it tough to separate the actual house from its interior design. Stylish, modern or futuristic furniture can help to make you feel in tune with popular trends and cultural changes that are on the cusp of happening.

The right furniture also provides your guests with enough space to sit or recline at your place without feeling cramped. If you've ever had guests sit on the floor because you ran out of chairs or didn't have a large enough sofa, you know how important furniture size is.

In addition to thinking about size and style, when selected furniture think about the size of your home. If you shove furniture into corners or tight spaces, you could damage chair and sofa arms. You could also chip expensive wood at the edges of end tables. Be smart when choosing home furnishings and you could fill your home with traditional or trendy furniture that you'll love, furniture that will hold up for years.

Categories: Uncategorized  

Posted by Ron Ouellette on 11/2/2017

Moving is stressful at the best of times. But when youíre moving across the country rather than across town, it adds to the number of preparations youíll need to make.

In this article, weíll give you some tips on how to best prepare for your long-distance move, whether itís across the state, across the country, or to another country altogether.

Packing and moving

One of the biggest concerns youíll have during a long distance move is the condition of your belongings.

If youíre using a moving company, youíll want to make sure you trust them to handle your belongings with care. To ensure that theyíre responsible movers, read over their reviews online. Itís also a good idea to review their contracts and to make sure you have enough insurance to cover any costly damages or losses. Speaking of moving companies, be sure to shop around to find out which one offers the best prices and delivery windows.

When it comes to packing your items, air on the side of caution and start boxing items well in advance of your move. Not only is it a good idea to label your boxes by room, but you should put your name and contact information on your boxes if theyíre being shipped by a large moving company.

Remember that not everything needs to be in boxes. Soft items like clothing and towels can easily be packed in trash bags, suitcases, and duffel bags. Youíll be able to squeeze in more items and theyíll take up less space in the moving truck.

When filling the moving truck, be sure your fragile items arenít the top box on a stack of boxes. Similarly, you donít want fragile belongings underneath too many heavy boxes. Your movers likely have their own way of securing boxes, so be sure to indicate to them which boxes are the most fragile with labels.

Downsize your belongings

The month leading up to your move is a good time to sell or donate items you no longer use. It could save you space on the moving truck, and you could earn a few extra dollars before your big move.

Larger items should be your top priority. Bicycles, lawnmowers, and other big items that youíve been thinking of replacing can be sold now and you can buy new ones at your future home. However, donít discount the weight and size of things like DVD and book collections. Many people lug around bookcases from house to house and hardly ever touch the books on them. Furthermore, technology like Kindle and Netflix are making owning physical copies of your media less of a necessity.

Before you start packing the rest of your items into moving boxes, make sure you set aside a ďsurvival kitĒ filled with your daily use items. Things like cell phone chargers, glasses and contacts, and sanitary items should be in your vehicle or carry on, not in the moving truck.

Saving money

Moving is expensive, but there are a number of ways you can squeeze some savings out of the experience. First, take advantage of free boxes from local stores and restaurants. Then, ask for friends and family to help you pack rather than hiring professionals, offer them lunch in exchange for their help.

When it comes to getting to your new home, donít rule out flying as being the most expensive option. Hotels, gas, and eating out add up quickly if youíre making a road trip out of your move.

Finally, see if your move is tax-deductible. If youíre relocating for work, thereís a chance some of your moving expenses will be. If so, be sure to keep all of your receipts along the way.

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Posted by Ron Ouellette on 10/26/2017

If your child isn't sleeping through the night, you're probably missing out on sleep too. Part of a baby's sleeplessness is to be expected. Rare is the infant who sleeps through the night starting from the day that you bring him home from the hospital. Part of the trouble could be due to the fact that your infant's sleeping and living environment has changed, shifting from your warm womb to a crib.

Find out if your house is keeping your newborn up at night

Uncomfortable effects and lack of support in your newborn's bedroom could be other reasons why your infant is struggling to sleep through the night. To find what's keeping your baby  up at night and how to soothe your child:

  • Pay attention to how much light is streaming through your infant's bedroom window
  • Let your infant sleep on her own instead of in bed with you
  • Don't let your infant sleep too much during the day
  • Stimulate your infant's brain with colors and wonder during the day
  • Check to see if your baby's mattress is too hard or too soft
  • Spend a night in your child's room to see if there's too much noise entering the room. Don't assume that your newborn's room is quiet or free of light blasts.
  • Stay away from feeding your child too much before you put your child to bed for the night
  • Make sure that you are relaxed, as your child could pick up your energy and stress
  • Envelope your child in love, warmth, care and acceptance
  • Don't over indulge your child
  • Give your child a warm bath before you put him to bed
  • Try playing low, soothing music if your child continues to struggle to get and or remain asleep
  • Consider rocking your child to sleep a few times and note if your child sleeps better when you rock her to sleep
  • Use a child alarm, so you'll know if your infant is awake. This may encourage you to sleep at night without worrying that something might be keeping your baby awake.
  • Make an appointment with your pediatrician if your child continues to struggle to get and stay asleep to rule out that nothing else is going on with your child

Help your newborn get accustomed to living in a new place

It's no secret that it takes infants time to get accustomed to sleeping through the night. Some babies confuse day with night, sleeping more during the daytime than at night. But, that doesn't mean that you cannot teach your newborn how to sleep three or more hours at a time before they wake up at night.

Another thing that you could do to help your newborn sleep through the night is to ensure that your infant's bedroom is suitable for a good night of sleep. Even a small amount of simmering light, outside noise and stress could make it hard for your newborn to fall and stay asleep.

In fact, many of the same experiences that keep you up at night, may keep your baby from sleeping. Avoid assuming that just because everything looks right in your child's bedroom that the room encourages restful sleep. You might have to sleep in your infant's bedroom once to measure how restful the room is. But, it's worth it. This one night could alert you to actions you need to take so that both you and your baby can get the rest that you need.

Categories: Uncategorized  

Posted by Ron Ouellette on 10/19/2017

When youíre shopping for a home, thereís so much to consider. Between the questions of what neighborhood you should live in and what style house you like, you need to think of the most important thing: finances. When you think that youíre financially ready to buy a home, you often will get the notion that itís a good time to just start shopping. Thereís several steps that you must take first before you start shopping for a home. One of the first steps you should consider taking before you make the leap into home ownership is to get preapproved. While buyers still tend to skip the preapproval process, doing this can help you immensely throughout the home buying process. While it may seem an insignificant and kind of boring step, getting preapproved is important for your finances. It may even help you to land in a home that you love faster. Itís actually detrimental to make an offer without a preapproval, because some lenders wonít accept an offer without one. Many realtors verify and require that offers come along with the stamp of preapproval. What Does Getting Preapproved Involve? You may have heard of a prequalification. This is much different from being preapproved. Prequalification involves buyer provided information, just to get a sense of how much they can spend on a home. Preapproval involves credit scores, bank statements, tax returns and more. This process states exactly how much lenders will be willing to give to the borrower. All of the documents needed for preapproval are the same exact documents needed for a mortgage. This helps you as the borrower prepare ahead of time as well. These are some of the kinds of documents that youíll need for preapproval: Pay stubs W-2s from the previous year Federal tax returns from the past two years Two Months of Bank Statements from all of your accounts A credit report While a preapproval is only one step in the long process of buying a home, it speeds up the later steps of securing a mortgage. The process also helps buyers face their financial reality. Donít put off the important process because you fear that you wonít be approved for the amount that you need. Itís also common for buyers to assume that because someone they know has been approved for a certain amount of money that they will be able to get that same loan amount as well. This isnít always the case and another great reason to get preapproved. Errors On Credit Reports Often, there are errors on credit reports. Thatís why you need to check them often. If you have some errors on your credit report, getting preapproved is a great way to check if there are any errors and give you time to fix them before you apply for a mortgage.

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