Sherry Bourque - RE/MAX Main Street Associates



Posted by Sherry Bourque on 8/20/2017

Home renovations can be painful, inconvenient and noisy at best. This is because major home renovations generally aren't quick. In fact, the path to an upgraded home is multi-faceted.

There's the planning stage, which is the time to share your vision as to how you want your home to look after all of the noisy construction work is finished. Share your vision clearly and you'll be fascinated with the blueprints that designers and engineers create.

Getting to more home renovation enjoyment

Following the planning stage come pricing, team building and material gathering. Then, the upgrades begin. Renovate an entire room and you'll see and hear walls being knocked out. Dust and debris could fly and splatter, covering your floors and blanketed furniture.

A few days of this and you could start to regret the fact that you decided to widen a room, add new cabinets and counters to your kitchen or replace the flooring, tiles and shelves in your bathroom. Following are five options that could take the pain out of a home renovation:

  • Get clear about the specific project that you're going to undertake. Avoid turning one home renovation into four major upgrades. Definitely schedule a time for when the construction work will be performed. For example, you might want to steer clear of scheduling construction early in the morning.
  • Research what's involved in the home renovation. Find out how much time and money are generally needed to finish the work. You could even check out online videos to get a closer look at the upgrade process,including the background noise that comes with the work.
  • Set a budget and stick to it. This should be relatively easy if you pick a specific home renovation that you're going to perform and stick to that one renovation. You can always go back months later and pay for another upgrade. Also, price shop to get the best deal. By avoiding debt, you'll have one less thing to concern yourself with as your house is being improved upon.
  • Work with experienced, licensed contractors or interior designers. These professionals might charge a little more, but they could keep you from having to pay to repair shoddy work that less experienced professionals do.
  • Consider staying in a part of your house that's furthest from where the construction is being performed. It might also be a good idea to stay at a hotel or a relative's while your house is being renovated.

Home renovations don't have to be hard and painful

It can take the best construction crew weeks to finish major upgrades at your house. This can make staying at your house while it's being renovated aggravating. As a matter of fact, it's the hallmark home renovation noise, clutter and disorganization that keep some homeowners from making major changes to their house.

Fortunately,there are steps that you can take to make home construction less painful. Familiarizing yourself with activities that are involved the specific home renovations that you are getting is important. The better you understand and prepare for scheduled upgrades, the less aggravating the path to an improved house can be.




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Posted by Sherry Bourque on 8/13/2017

One of the challenges that individuals and couples face when buying a house is finding the money to put toward their mortgage down payment. Since you'll work with a lender to cover the balance of your mortgage, taking on another loan to cover your mortgage down payment may not be what you want to do.

Build your mortgage down payment early

The sooner you decide to buy a house, the sooner you can start cutting back on spending and increasing your savings. This single move keeps you from taking on unnecessary debt. It also teaches you better money management skills.

Expenses that you could trim or cut out altogether to improve your savings include clothes, tickets to live entertainment events like concerts and stage plays and jewelry. Money spent on eating out at sit down restaurants, out-of-town trips and electronics are other expenses that you could cut and invest in your savings.

In addition to cutting back on spending, following are more ways to find more for your mortgage down payment. Use three or more of the steps to make it easier for you to build $10,000 or more in savings.

Open separate bank account - Start a bank account that you use solely to invest in your mortgage down payment. This bank account should not be attached to a debit or credit card. Use the account strictly to deposit money for your down payment into.

Pay off accounts that require you to pay interest - Examples of these accounts are credit cards, computers and furniture accounts that attach interest to your payments. Definitely, pay off high interest accounts as soon as possible. You could make payments 10 or more days before they are due to reduce the amount of interest you pay on the accounts. Similar to how American Express works, try to pay off your total credit card balances within 30 or 31 days. Some credit card companies charge higher rates if you keep balances on a card for two years or longer.

Invest in certificates of deposit (CDs)- If you have an IRA or 401(k), consider working with your financial advisor to purchase CDs. You'll get a bigger return on CDs if interest rates increase.

Contact state housing agencies - You may be able to get financial assistance from state housing agencies. This help may come in the form of grants or loans. To avoid taking on debt, opt for the grant path.

Sell products and items - Raise money for your mortgage down payment by selling clothes, shoes and household items that you don't use. Online resellers are just one avenue that you could use to raise money by selling items.

Freelance or take on contract work -The freelance community is growing. All you need is a computer and a skill to start earning money as a contractor. Jobs you could take on as a freelancer include web designer, writer, virtual assistant, life coach or consultant. You could also find money for your mortgage down payment through gigs with taxi and transportation companies.

Despite your current financial situation, you can grow your savings. You can find money to put toward your mortgage down payment. To successfully save your mortgage down payment, you need to focus. You need to track your monthly expenses. If you're striving to become financially disciplined, you may need to track how much you spend on a weekly basis.




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Posted by Sherry Bourque on 8/6/2017

Neighborhood changes lead the list of reasons why people sell their house. Changes to your neighborhood come in the form of new residents, businesses constructing more buildings near where you live and rising property taxes. School closings and openings, highways going up minutes from your home and harsher weather conditions also cause neighborhoods to change.

Fall in love with your community all over again

You could move every time a major change happens upon your community. That's an expensive way to deal with or try to avoid change. You could also find at least five things to love about your community. That starts by learning more about your neighborhood.

As much as you think you know your community, there is a lot that you're missing. Three day trips is all it takes to stumble upon historic landmarks, restaurants,parks and entertainment venues that you hadn't seen before. Getting out and exploring your community is just one way that you can learn to love wherever you live. To gain a greater appreciation for your community:

Attend one community social event a quarter. You might have to attend events on the outskirts of the community you live in.But, get out and enjoy festivals, cultural events, outdoor concerts, fashion shows, arts shows and local sporting events.

Join local networking groups. Don't wait until you're looking for a job to join local networks. Examples of network groups are book clubs, hiking clubs, movie review clubs and science clubs. You can find networking groups in newspapers, local magazines, online and at libraries and bookstores.

Volunteer with local organizations. Join mentoring, coaching and other charitable organizations. Become actively involved in these organizations. Don't just sign up. Attend meetings and get to know other volunteers.

Research the history of your community.Visit the local library and ask the reference librarian to tell you about lectures and seminars that are held at the library to educate residents about the neighborhoods they live in. Search reference books at the library, taking in pictures, maps and historic facts. See how your community has changed since it was founded. Get tidbits on early residents. Become curious about your community instead of thinking that there's absolutely nothing more that you can earn about the place you call "home".

Make new friends. While attending volunteer, networking and other local events, introduce yourself. Be safe. You don't have to tell people where you live. But, you can start talking with people. This includes speaking with your neighbors when you see them.

A strong community doesn't come together magically. It takes dedication, commitment and the desire to connect with other people. Steps that you take to love your community could introduce you to new people, business opportunities and local events and festivals that you've been missing. These steps could also introduce you to opportunities to get involved in local public policies and social offerings,two things that influence whether or not a community thrives.




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Posted by Sherry Bourque on 7/30/2017

One of the biggest hurdles in becoming a homeowner is that of saving for a down payment. In todayís world, itís hard for anyone to save sizable amounts of money due to the extreme cost of living in most areas. With less income and higher expenses, many people have less of an opportunity to save money.


Saving Isnít Impossible


Many homebuyers are first-time homebuyers. While many simply dream of owning a home, others work to make it happen. Saving money is a goal. Once you save the money, you have made a real accomplishment. Youíll have a huge reward waiting for you once you reach your goal. How can you save effectively? Thereís a few simple steps that will allow you to start saving for a down payment on a home. Remember that no matter how slow you go, every step is one step closer to hitting your goals. 


Get A Savings Account


Preferably, the savings account that you open should be dedicated to your house expenses. Most of the time, your bank will allow you to set up automatic transfers from your checking account. See how much you can afford to save and set up these transfers. Each time you get a paycheck from work, have a certain amount put right into the savings account. Youíll be saving without even thinking about it.


Be Budget Friendly


Budgeting sounds complicated, but really, itís quite simple. First, put your monthly gross income on a spreadsheet. Then subtract things like taxes and fees that come out of your paycheck. Next, subtract all of your necessary monthly costs. These can include student loan debt, car loans, rent, and how much money you spend on food and entertainment. There's so many little things that we spend our money on everyday, you may be surprised to see how much youíre spending and what youíre spending it on. Some categories are important and others are not.       


See Where You Can Cut Costs


After you have made a concrete budget, see where you can cut some costs. If you need to cut out going to dinner and the movies, then do that. Thereís bound to be something that you can cut out of your budget thatís not a necessity that can help you to save some cash. The sacrifice will be worth it in the end!       


Indulge For Your House


Every time that you get a small bonus, a gift, or a tax refund, put it away. It can be tempting to want to go buy a brand new TV or spend your money on entertainment, but saving that money for your house fund will be a lot more rewarding. 

The bottom line is that it wonít be a huge task saving your money for a down payment once you put your mind to it. Happy saving!





Posted by Sherry Bourque on 7/23/2017

Many parts of the country suffer droughts from time to time. When there are water restrictions and less of a water supply available to you, how can you keep a green lawn and happy plants? You may have to make some sacrifices, but thereís some tricks to wait out the tough conditions. While you wait for the rain, thereís steps that you can take to help your plants and trees survive a drought. Hereís some tips for surviving a drought: Cut Back On Fertilizing When itís dry, the salt in fertilizers actually dehydrates the roots of plants. Also, since fertilizers stimulate growth, your plants will require more water. Itís recommended that you stop fertilizing when thereís a drought or dry spell. Adjust Your Lawn Mower Keep your grass at an optimal height. This is usually between 2 and 4 inches, depending upon the kind of turf grass that you have. This will help the grass to preserve moisture. Water when youíre able to early in the day. Water From Overhead When you water your plants, water them from overhead rather than under the leaves into the soil. This way, water will continue dripping off of the leaves for some time throughout the day. Water Early In The Day You want to be sure that when you do water your plants or grass that you water early in the day. When temperatures are lower, the plants will take more time to dry, helping them to preserve water for a longer period of time. Itís better for the plants if the foliage dries before nightfall. Try Drip Irrigation Drip irrigation tubing hoses water much more efficiently than overhead sprinklers when it comes to gardens that are planted in rows or blocks. These irrigation hoses water slowly and evenly. This method is incredibly economical. It eliminates the waste of water. Donít Use Cold Water Just like humans, plants donít like cold showers either. If you have seedlings, they could actually die from ďshock,Ē especially if there isnít enough soil to absorb the water. Never water plants with ice cold water. Stick to tepid water when you irrigate your plants. Check Items That You Have Transplanted Youíll need to check your transplanted items daily, especially during a dry spell. If itís hot and thereís a wind, it will be even more important to check your plants. These conditions cause the water that you do use with your plants to absorb more quickly. Be sure you water the plants that you have moved evenly and consistently so that they can survive a drought. Itís important to conserve water as much as you can. During drought conditions, remember that water is precious. These tips should help you to keep your lawn and garden as fresh as possible without wasting water.




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