Ron Ouellette
RE/MAX Advantage I | 508-847-7111 | [email protected]


Posted by Ron Ouellette on 1/16/2020

There's nothing more satisfying than knowing exactly what you want and taking the necessary steps to get it!

Whether you're searching for the right job, your soul mate, or the home of your dreams, being clear about the results you want can help pave the way for success.

When it comes to house hunting, there are several ways to increase your chances of finding a wonderful home that meets all your criteria. By being organized, focused, and goal oriented, you'd be amazed at what you can accomplish!

Create a priority list: While a certain amount of flexibility is crucial when you're in the market for a new house, there are some things that are essential to your happiness and wellbeing. Those would be considered "must haves" or non-negotiable items.

Unless you already know exactly what you want, a priority list can help you sort out the countless options, features, and expenses you'll be weighing as you explore available listings in your price range. Your priority list can include everything from architectural style and backyard space to number of bathrooms and kitchen layout. There are literally dozens of things to consider, such as the character of the neighborhood, amount of storage space inside and outside the house, and commuting distance. Many house hunters also have a strong preference for features like working fireplaces, screened in porches, and first-floor laundry rooms. If privacy is among your top priorities, you'll want to pay extra close attention to factors like distance between houses, fencing, trees, and hedges.

Choose the right real estate agent: Although most real estate agents are knowledgeable, resourceful, and easy to work with, you don't necessarily want to sign on with the first one you meet. By talking to two or three, you can choose the one who instills the most confidence in you. Ideally, he or she should have ample experience as a buyers' agent and be familiar with the specific neighborhoods in which you're interested. It's also important that you feel comfortable with them and that you can cultivate a smooth working relationship. If you have any misgivings about their accessibility, communication style, or responsiveness, then they might not be the ideal match for your needs.

Although personal recommendations from friends and family is often the best way to find a top-notch real estate agent, online reviews can provide you with helpful insights into an agent's professionalism, personality, and track record. Most agents would also be more than happy to provide you with references of recent and current clients to contact.

While real estate professionals enter the profession for a variety of reasons, most agents genuinely enjoy working with people and get a lot of satisfaction from helping them find the house of their dreams.





Posted by Ron Ouellette on 1/9/2020

There is a science to selling your home at the best price and within the shortest period of time, but it's not always an exact science!

Although you can't control market conditions, seasonal fluctuations, or the condition of your neighbors' property, you are still in the driver's seat when it comes to pricing, curb appeal, and the interior condition of your home.

Assuming there's no legal snags or major "red flags" about the condition or appearance or your home, the selling price you set may make the difference between a fast sale and house that lingers on the market for months on end. Many house hunters and (all) real estate agents are quite savvy about property values and real estate prices. If the selling price of your home is based on emotional factors or the amount of money you need to get back in order to purchase your next house, then there's a good chance you'll be pricing yourself out of the market. That's where your real estate agent comes in. They will help you set a realistic asking price that will favorably position it to similar properties in your neighborhood and community.

While everyone wants to get the maximum return on their real estate investment, there's usually a limited amount of "wiggle room" between the appraised value of your home and the amount of money a potential buyer would be willing to pay for it. Since it may be difficult for you, as a homeowner, to be objective when determining a realistic price for your home, it's often beneficial to have a comparative market analysis done by a real estate agent or professional appraiser.

Another reason for consulting with professionals involves the need to be objective about home improvements. Some home sellers have a difficult time accepting the fact that their asking price can't always reflect the full cost of recent home improvements. Home additions, updates, and recent remodeling work can have a positive impact on your home's asking price, but it's usually not a dollar-for-dollar return on investment.

If you're preparing to put your house on the market in the near future, it pays to do a little online research, have your property professionally appraised, and/or work with a real estate agent who will do a comparative analysis of your home's value. Other things you can do to increase the likelihood of getting your home sold quickly include a thorough top-to-bottom cleaning, applying a fresh coat of paint where needed, and "staging" your home to appeal to the widest variety of potential buyers. While that might include making some major changes to your home's décor, its landscaping, or even furniture arrangement, the rewards of a speedy sale often justify the effort and short-term inconvenience of getting your home ready for the close scrutiny of house hunters, home inspectors, and buyers' agents!





Posted by Ron Ouellette on 1/2/2020


 Photo by Connoman via Pixabay

Sometimes you look at many homes and can’t find the perfect luxury home. When that happens, you might have to get a home that meets every requirement except the one – and then add that feature yourself. Many luxury homes have plenty of room to add additional buildings and water features. When purchasing a luxury home that doesn’t have everything, make sure you have plenty of land to add what you need or that the house is situated on the property so that you can add onto it.

The Perfect Floor Plan

You found a house with the perfect floor plan in the perfect location and with plenty of property – but the house doesn’t have a spa area or a pool. Since the market is hot, it’s a good idea to put an offer on the house, but what if you don’t want it if you can’t fit a pool where you want it? When you submit the offer, make it contingent upon an engineer approving the pool and spa location and zoning allowing the pool. If the engineer approves of the location and zoning allows you to build a pool, you can continue with the purchase. If not, you’ll be able to withdraw your offer without any ramifications.

Pool and Spa Landscaping

Before you add the pool, decide on whether you want a hot tub, and if the hot tub will be contained within the same decking as the pool. If so, the pool builder will be able to add the hot tub in before the company builds the decking. This is especially important if you have an in-ground pool with concrete decking around the pool.

If you want to add a steam room that is outside of the house, make sure there is room for it – don’t think of it as an afterthought, especially if the backyard is on the small side. Planning the location of all three pool and spa features is key to an area you’ll enjoy for many years to come.

If you want everything in a heated room, you could add on to the house or you could build a separate building that holds the pool, steam room and hot tub. Benefit of having a separate building including keeping it locked without having a fence and keeping the humidity from the steam and water out of your house.

Fencing and Privacy

Most cities and counties require you to fence the pool in for safety reasons. Make sure you know what zoning in your area requires for a safety fence. Hot tubs, unless covered and locked, usually have to have a fence around them to prevent children from getting in and drowning.

If you don’t like the idea of a high fence, put the lowest fence allowed by zoning around the area, then plant shrubs and trees along the fence for more privacy. Taller shrubs and trees still block your view, but will make you feel like you are in the middle of the woods if you choose the right plants. Put the plants inside the fence so that children cannot climb them from the outside.





Posted by Ron Ouellette on 12/26/2019

You may have heard the term “escrow” in your experience with real estate. You might know it’s an account, but what exactly does it do for you as a buyer? An escrow account is what your lender uses to make payments on things like property taxes, insurance, and more. The lender collects your monthly mortgage payment, and part of that cash goes into an escrow account. 


This type of account is an excellent option for homeowners because your bills relating to being a homeowner will all be paid without you having to do anything. It makes budgeting a breeze because there aren’t any complicated calculations involved. Every month, your lender collects 1/12 of the estimated tax bill and insurance cost for the home. The rest of your mortgage payment covers the principal and interest on the loan of the house.


Are Escrow Accounts Mandatory?


You’ll find that most lenders require you to have an escrow account. The purpose of the account is to keep the home safe as collateral for the loan. The bank has an interest in the proper insurance behind the property. The taxes also need to be paid on time in order to keep the property in good standing. If the taxes aren’t paid, a tax lien will be placed against the house. 


Everything In One Place


You’ll receive an annual statement from your lender that will show you how much money was collected and placed in your escrow account. Escrow payments often change because insurance premiums and taxes tend to change quite frequently. The amount being put into escrow may change a few times throughout the year. The lender keeps track of all this for you, saving you some time. 


Bills That Need To Be Paid


Whether you have an escrow account or not the bills that are included must be paid one way or another. It’s a good idea to speak with your lender before you buy a home to find out that bank’s procedures around these insurance and tax payments. Property tax and home insurance are items that you’ll need to budget for regardless of how your lender does things. An escrow account can be much more convenient for many buyers. 


Escrow is just another one of the many essential terms that you’ll come across as a homebuyer. Knowing the advantages and purpose of the account helps you to be informed as you dive into the home buying process. 





Tags: Buying a home   Mortgage  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Ron Ouellette on 12/19/2019

Image by Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay

If you're like many busy gardeners, your garden shed isn't as organized as it could be. Perhaps you've been telling yourself for quite some time that you're going to get around to giving it an organizational makeover but run short on inspiration whenever you try to brainstorm a game plan. You've probably got items in and around your home that can easily be repurposed as containers for various garden supplies in your garden shed. Following are just five suggestions and how they can be used. 

Milk Crates

Milk crates make excellent all-purpose containers for a variety of items. Because they're stackable and easily labeled, you can easily customize them to meet your individual needs and preferences. They're good for keeping bottles and boxes of garden chemicals organized. Simply stack them in a corner or along a wall with the labels facing outward.

Bushel Baskets

If you buy fruit in bulk from a local orchard, you probably have a few stray bushel baskets hanging around waiting to be used for something. They're ideal for storing loose potting soil. For instance, when you're cleaning up your hanging baskets, window boxes and other containers after the season is over, you can easily empty the potting soil into bushel baskets so you can use it again in the spring. 

Toy Chests

Have your children outgrown their toy chests? If so, you can use them in your garden shed to store a variety of things. They're good for keeping garden sweaters and gloves handy, and they can also be used as dry storage for seeds. You can even keep a few snacks in them to keep them safe from rodents or bugs. 

Flower Pots and Planters

Keeping a few empty flower pots that you no longer use on hand provides an ideal catch-all place for any stray items that you aren't quite sure what to do with. Think small items such as plant tags, half-full seed packets and even the occasional garden glove that doesn't seem to have a mate can all find temporary homes in an empty flower.

Bookshelves 

If a recent or current home remodeling project leaves you with some stray bookshelves, consider installing them in your garden shed. They're excellent places for storing all sorts of items from boxes or fertilizer to a few gardening books and magazines. Placing one of them as high as possible helps keep dangerous garden chemicals, such as weed killer, out of the reach of curious young minds and hands. 

You'd be surprised at how many ordinary household items can be repurposed for storage in your garden shed. Perhaps the best thing about it is that the creative aspect makes it a fun adventure rather than just another home maintenance chore. 




Tags: gardening   storage   organization  
Categories: Uncategorized