Deb Evans ABR,CSG - ERA Key Realty Services



Posted by Deb Evans ABR,CSG on 8/20/2019

If youíre looking to save more energy and money around your home, perhaps one of the first places that you should look is your plugs. Take a look around your rooms and see what outlets are being used. If every outlet is full of plugs, you may have some adjustments to make. 


There are so many things in our homes that require plugs including TVís, microwaves, toasters, clocks, refrigerators, phone chargers, and more. 


Anything that is always plugged in actually adds to your electric bill whether youíre using it or not. This is known as phantom power usage. Even when a device isnít turned on, itís still using energy.


You donít want to go around your home and unplug everything, only to plug it back in when you need to use it. Use this handy guide to discover what you should unplug and what you can leave plugged in your home in order to save some energy and some money. 


What To Unplug


Small Appliances


Large appliances in your kitchen would be impractical to constantly plug in and unplug. Smaller appliances, however, are much easier to manage. These include toasters, coffee makers, food processors, and microwaves. The small digital clocks on many of these devices, for example, are constantly using energy. Do you really need the function? If you donít need to know the time, you should just unplug it and save your home some energy usage. 


Chargers


We need to charge just about all of our devices including laptops, iPads, phones, and even electric toothbrushes. these items donít need to be plugged in all the time. Once a device is charged fully, be sure to unplug it. Itís only wasting energy otherwise!  


Computers


Unplug your computer each and every night. Screen savers and sleep modes donít actually save much power from being used while your computer is plugged in. Itís a good idea to keep your computer unplugged for safety reasons as well. A strike of lighting hitting, for example, can cause your entire system to fry.


Keep These Items Plugged In


There are certain items that you can leave plugged in at your home without worry. These items include:


  • Power strips
  • Nondigital items
  • Items without clock or LCD displays




Power strips are particularly useful for items like entertainment centers and computer setups. Flipping the switch to the off position on the power strip helps to stop the phantom power usage. The convenient thing is that you wonít need to plug and unplug everything in individually, and youíll still save power. 


Saving energy and money is easy when you have the right strategies put in place.





Posted by Deb Evans ABR,CSG on 8/15/2019

This Single-Family in Douglas, MA recently sold for $459,900. This Colonial style home was sold by Deb Evans ABR,CSG - ERA Key Realty Services.


136 Perry St, Douglas, MA 01516

Single-Family

$469,900
Price
$459,900
Sale Price

10
Rooms
4
Beds
3/1
Full/Half Baths
~ Set off road for privacy this meticulously maintained home offers a unique floor plan for all family/extended family needs ~ Possible In-law or Teen Suite ~ This 4-5 bedroom, 3 full & 1 half bath home has hardwoods throughout ~ Family room w/fireplace leads to spacious fully equipped kitchen with an abundance of cabinets, stove w/two ovens, breakfast bar & granite counters ~ Spacious dining & living rooms for added entertaining space ~ Large master bedroom with walk-in closet & en-suite plus three other bedrooms & full bath ~ Finished bonus area above over-sized two car garage with 2nd family room/sitting room, full bath & office with easy access to 1st & 2nd floors ~ If more room is needed there is always the heated finished walkout basement ideal for Media room ~ New heated salt water in-ground pool added last summer ~ New roof 2012 w/30 yr. warranty ~ Blissful Meadows Golf Course .5 miles ~ Easy commute to Worc.,R.I. & Ct. Minutes to Rtes 146 & 395

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Categories: Sold Homes  


Posted by Deb Evans ABR,CSG on 8/13/2019

The age-old problem of trying to stretch your household budget is a challenge nearly everyone grapples with at one time or another. If you're confounded by the fact that your paycheck(s) seem to disappear within days of depositing them, it may be time to examine your spending habits.

Creating a written budget is often an eye-opening experience, especially if you haven't taken the time to do that recently -- or ever! Itemizing all your monthly and periodic expenses can not only help you realize where the money's going, but it can also give you a greater feeling of control over your life. As an added bonus, reviewing your household budget a couple times a year will also increase your awareness of your debts, your income, and your spending habits. Once you know how tight your budget is and whether you need to reduce expenses or increase income, you'll be in a stronger position to effectively manage your family's finances.

  • Creating a budget: Whether you prefer to use spreadsheets, software, or just a simple income-versus-expenses chart, setting up a budget will help put you in the driver's seat of your cash flow situation. While there are many distinctions between running a business and managing a household, there are probably more similarities than differences!
  • Identifying "money leaks": If your family's budget seems tighter than you'd like it to be, one possible reason is that you're spending more than you need to on some expenses. The perfect examples are homeowners' and automobile insurance. You've probably seen and heard countless ads for well-known insurance companies that say they can save you hundreds of dollars a year on your insurance policies. If you've been dismissing those claims as mere hype, consider the possibility that you may actually be paying more on your insurance premiums than necessary. It may be worth your while to have your insurance agent review your policy with you to make sure you're getting all the coverage you need and the discounts to which your entitled. The best way to remove any doubt is to get two or three quotes from other reputable insurance companies. You can often do this through email or online, so you shouldn't have to go to time-consuming office appointments just to get a few insurance quotes. To compare "apples to apples," make sure to use identical coverage amounts and deductibles for each estimate your seeking; hopefully the agents you deal with will remind you of that. It's also possible to save hundreds more dollars a year by contacting your cable TV company, Internet service provider, and cell phone service (It might be one company) to discuss ways your bill can be lowered. The first step would be to examine your latest invoice and determine whether you're paying for services you don't use or need. If you see charges that are excessive or confusing, don't hesitant to get on the phone and have those issues clarified. If inconsistent utility bills are a problem, then switching over to a monthly budget plan will make your expenses more predictable and manageable.
While there are many strategies for reducing your expenses and regaining control of your household budget, information and a healthy sense of skepticism can often be your most valuable resources.





Posted by Deb Evans ABR,CSG on 8/6/2019

There are so many factors that go into finding and securing the financing to buy a home.   While lenders require quite a bit of information for you to get a loan, you still need to be aware of your own financial picture. Even if youíre pre-approved for a certain amount of money to buy a home, you still need to dig into your finances a bit deeper than a lender would. The bottom line is that you can't rely solely on a lender to tell you how much you can afford for a monthly payment on a home. Even if youíre approved to borrow the maximum amount of money for your finances to buy a home, it doesnít mean that you actually should use that amount. There are so many other real world things that you need to consider outside of the basic numbers that are plugged into a mortgage formula.   


Run Your Own Numbers


Itís important to sit down and do your own budget when youíre getting ready to buy a home. You have plenty of monthly expenses including student loan debt, car payments, utility bills, and more. Donít forget that you need to eat too! Think about what your lifestyle is like. How much do you spend on food? Do you go out to the movies often or spend a regular amount of cash on clothing? Even if you plan to make adjustments to these habits when buying a home, youíll want to think honestly about all of your needs and spending habits before signing on to buy a home. 


Now, youíll know what your true monthly costs are. Be sure to include things like home insurance, property taxes, monthly utilities, and any other personal monthly expenses in this budget. If you plan to put down a lower amount on the home, youíll also need to include additional insurance costs like private mortgage insurance (PMI).


The magic number that you should remember when it comes to housing costs is 30%. This is the percentage of your monthly income that you should plan to spend on housing. Realistically, this could make your budget tight so this is often thought of as a maximum percentage. By law, a lender canít approve a mortgage that would take up more than 35% of your monthly income. Some lenders have even stricter requirements such as not allowing a borrower to have a mortgage that would be more than 28% of monthly income. This is where the debt-to-income ratio comes into play.


As you can see, itís important to take an earnest look at your finances to avoid larger money issues when you buy a home.  





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Posted by Deb Evans ABR,CSG on 7/30/2019

If you have hired a realtor to help you sell your home, you have already taken care of a good amount of the job that needs to be done to get the home sold at the right price. There is one important thing that you need to tend to as a seller- thatís getting your home ready to be shown. Once the home is on the market, your realtor will work with you to schedule open houses and times for the home to be shown privately. Whether you only have a few hours or a day or two to prepare for a home showing, there are a few certain areas that you need to tend to in order to help your home appear clean and tidy to impress buyers. 


Sweep Up


It doesnít take very long to sweep down your hardwood and tile floors. After you do this, run over the floors with a mop to remove any stains that may be present on the floor. 


The Dust Rag Is Your Friend


If you have time, you can do a deep clean of your home. It also doesnít take a long time to go over the surfaces of your home with a duster. Getting up the dust will not only make your home smell fresher, but it will appear cleaner as well. 


Make The Beds


Your mother told you for years that you need to make your bed in the mornings. She was right. Beds that have been made look much more presentable and homey than rooms with bedding strewn around. If your bedding is looking less than inviting and you have some time before your showing, you may want to pick up some new bedding. The small details are so important when it comes to selling your home, and making the home look inviting is one of them.       


Clear The Clutter Out


Whether itís piles of clothes on the floor, dirty dishes in the sink, or papers on the counters, clean it up! While you want to give prospective home buyers an idea of what itís like to live in a place, the home doesnít need to look ďlived in.Ē Try and get rid of the personal traces that you leave behind as you prepare to sell your home. As a bonus, you should also make sure the trash is empty and fresh. 


Vacuum The Rugs


Running a vacuum over your rugs can really help to freshen the home. If you have pets, this will help remove the odor that animals leave behind. It will also provide a fresh surface for anyone who is touring your home to walk on. 


Turn On The Lights


When you leave the house for a showing or open house, definitely make sure that all of the shades are open and the lights are on. A bright home is an inviting home.      


 




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