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


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.

 




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Posted by Ron Ouellette on 5/25/2017

Having lived in several†tiny apartments, I†know firsthand the struggle of having a cluttered bedroom. The bedroom†is the room of your home you'll probably spend the most time in. You sleep there, get dressed†there, and it's where you go to unwind before bed. It also houses some large furniture items: your bed, your clothing storage, and maybe even a desk or television.†However, there are ways to declutter your bedroom to make it feel more minimal, open, and spacious. In this article, we'll go over some of the ways you can arrange, paint, and decorate your bedroom to create space and build a more open and comfortable environment.

1. Colors are important

Interior decorators will tell you all about the need for light colors to make a room feel spacious. We naturally associate darkness with closed spaces--a shady patch of wood, a dark cave--whereas bright spaces tend to be much more spacious--a sprawling field or open body of water. To emulate this openness indoors, decorate your home like you would find in a field. Keep the darker colors lower to the ground like the dirt and grass in a field, and the lighter colors up higher on the walls and ceiling, like the sky above.

2. Mirrors make a difference

Most people know about the mirror trick to adding space in a room. However, the location and size of the mirror also matter. One tiny mirror in the corner of a room won't make much of a difference. However, grouping mirrors together, especially vertically from floor to ceiling, will make the bed room appear much larger, plus you'll be able to use the mirrors while getting dressed in the morning.

3. Use storage furniture

A bed frame, desk, or ottoman with storage space will allow you to keep objects out of sight and help declutter the room. For best results, use furniture items that are light in color or paint them a slightly different shade of the color of your walls.

4. Modular furniture

Modular furniture is minimal and can be built to fit your needs. With modular furniture you won't ever have more drawers in your dresser than you need. If you want a desk in your bedroom, you can buy a fold-up wall mounted desk that helps clear up room when not in use.

5.†Store inside, not on top

Bedrooms tend to accumulate a lot of clutter. Before I got rid of my bedside table it was usually covered with any range of items--keys, water bottle, opened mail, pens, etc. However, now that I store everything in a bedroom drawer, I don't have to worry about those items being visible and making the room feel cluttered.

6. Ditch the big bed

Mattresses and bed frames have come a long way in recent years when it comes to minimalism. Since your bed is probably the largest item in your bedroom, it is the most important item to change if you really want to make the room more spacious. The obvious solution is to buy a smaller sized bed. However, if that isn't an option there are also many slim mattresses and bed frames with a sleek, minimalist look.





Posted by Ron Ouellette on 5/18/2017

Buying a home should be simple. Unfortunately, purchasing a residence can become complicated quickly, especially if you fail to consider the immediate and long-term costs associated with a house.

Ultimately, there are many hidden expenses that a homebuyer needs to consider before he or she purchases a house, including:

1. Utilities

Heating and cooling costs, water fees, electricity expenses and other utility bills may prove to be overwhelming if you're not careful. Fortunately, if you learn about various utility costs now, you may be better equipped to keep your utility bills in check at your new residence.

Ask your real estate agent for information about a home seller's utility bills. By doing so, you can get a better idea about how much your utilities may cost if you decide to purchase a particular residence.

Also, if you plan ahead for your utility bills, you can budget accordingly. Keep in mind that utilities are essential in any home. As such, you'll need to account for these costs in addition to your monthly mortgage payments, regardless of the home you buy.

2. Commuting

If you're moving to a new city or town, you'll want to consider how your move may impact your daily commute to work, school or any other locations that you visit regularly.

Consider a home's proximity to highways. If you move to a house that is located near a major highway, you may encounter heavy traffic at various points throughout the day, resulting in a lengthy commute.

Also, find out whether public transportation is available near your new home. In some instances, you may be able to take advantage of buses, trains and other public transportation options to get where you need to go without delay.

3. Home Upgrades

Although a home may appear to be a dream come true, there are problems beneath a house's exterior that could bubble to the surface after you complete your purchase. Thus, you may want to put aside money for home upgrades that may be necessary in the near future.

For example, an older home may require a new hot water heater and furnace soon. And if you start saving for a new hot water heater and furnace today, you may be able to replace them before it's too late.

A home inspector can help you identify home problems. This professional will conduct an in-depth review of a residence and provide honest feedback about any problems that could escalate quickly.

After a home inspection, you can always ask the home seller to perform the necessary repairs, or you can walk away from a home offer. On the other hand, you can keep your current home offer, move forward with your home purchase and complete the upgrades on your own.

When it comes to planning ahead for hidden home expenses, a real estate agent can point you in the right direction. Your real estate agent is happy to respond to your homebuying concerns and questions and will do everything possible to ensure you are fully satisfied with any residence you purchase.




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Posted by Ron Ouellette on 5/11/2017

Good sleep is one of life's sweetest treats. If you've ever gone without sleep or struggled to get and stay asleep, you know how valuable the nightly ritual is.Go one week without enough sleep and you may become irritable, short tempered and confused. That's right. Lack of sleep can cause you to feel disoriented. It can also cause you to be forgetful and depressed.

How you could get hotel quality sleep right at home

If you're a parent raising young children, you might head to a hotel just so you can enjoy a good night of sleep. Spending a night in a hotel treats you to first class service. To get a hot meal, all you have to do is pick up the telephone and call the onsite restaurant. As soon as you enter your hotel room, rose petals sprinkled atop the mattress welcome you. Hotel drapes are heavy, keeping out street lights.

But, a night in a hotel cost. It's not free which is why you want to learn how to sleep better right at home. Lowering the noise in your bedroom is a must if you want better sleep at home. Don't believe it?

Keep your television turned down low on a night when you are particularly sleepy. Although you may sleep, don't be surprised if you wake midway into the night, simply because of the noise emitting from the television. Turn the television off and you just might sleep deeply through the entire night.

Another reason why sleeping with the television on can keep you from enjoying better sleep at home is because of the light coming off the television. To keep light from streaming into your bedroom and waking you or preventing you from drifting into deep sleep, turn your television off before or soon after you get in bed.

Other things that you can do to get better sleep at home

Also, close your bedroom window drapes or blinds. Turn lights in other parts of your house off. If you have a bedroom en-suite and keep a light on in the bathroom, pull the bathroom door near closed before you go to bed.

The path to better sleep at home also requires you to avoid drinking liquids several hours before you go to bed. Drinking too much before you head to bed could cause your bladder to feel, forcing you awoke and to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Definitely steer clear of caffeine rich beverages before you go to bed. This includes coffee, soda and caffeine rich diet drinks.

Pay attention to how your body responds to consuming sugar. If sugary foods make you feel jittery, stay away from these treats as your bedtime approaches. Should you have young children, let them burn off energy during the day.

This could increase the chances that your children will sleep good at night, giving you a chance to sleep deeper. Wearing a fitness watch that tracks your sleep is a great way to find out how well you actually sleep at night. Pay attention to your patterns on nights that you sleep the lightest and the deepest. Consider adjusting your patterns so you can sleep more deeply.




Tags: bedroom   better sleep  
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