Posted by Peggy Farber on 9/27/2017

Owning a home is expensive. Aside from your mortgage, you also have to pay for insurance, utilities, property taxes... the list goes on.

It may seem like there are few ways to cut back on the expenses of owning a home. However, one of the most effective things you can do to save money as a homeowner is to do your own maintenance. The cost of home repairs can add up, especially if you live in an older home or in an area where services like plumbers and electricians arenít accessible or affordable.

With a little research and some hard work, however, maintaining your home can be a source of pride and of saving yourself money.

In this article, weíll cover the basic home maintenance and home improvement knowledge that will save you money, and point you in the direction of some resources that will help you attain those skills.

Maintenance is key

To increase the longevity of appliances like refrigerators, washers and dryers, youíll need to perform some mundane tasks regularly. That includes cleaning filters, fans, and going online to order new ones when necessary. In the same way that failing to change your oil filter will result in a much more expensive issue, so will failing to properly maintain your appliances.

In a world where companies are making it increasingly difficult for consumers to repair their own devices, itís more important than ever to learn the basic skills needed to make simple repairs.

What you should do before repairing anything

There are some precautions you should take before repairing or maintaining things like appliances. First, always be sure the item is turned off and unplugged before working with its components.

Next, refer to the manual first, but if that fails, search for tutorials online such as on YouTube for your particular model. Always keep in mind that sometimes warranties are void if you attempt repairs yourself,  so make sure the repair youíre attempting is easy enough so that you donít risk losing your warranty.

The right tools for the job

It might be tempting to go down to The Home Depot and fill a cart with power tools when you buy your first home. Remember, however, that certain tools are more useful than others. Find out which tools youíll be using most often. Odds are theyíre simple, inexpensive hand tools that will fit in a small toolbox. Some power tools, such as a cordless drill, will probably be worth the investment as long as you take care of the batteries.

Donít throw out good materials

Ample storage space is a problem many homeowners face. But if you can spare the space, hold onto materials from previous projects that might come in handy. Some examples include:

  • Paint. You donít want to have to go back to the store and mix a new can of paint just for a touch-up.

  • Nails and screws that come with your purchases. Sometimes the screws are designed specifically for whatever youíre building. Save your backups so you donít have to buy a new bag if one is lost.

  • Wood. Having extra wood around can come in handy for any number of home improvement projects.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Peggy Farber on 9/22/2017


175 Cemetery Road , Brewster, MA 02631

Brewster (village)

Single-Family

$2,250,000
Price

8
Total Rooms
4
Beds
3/2
Full/Half Baths
Spectacular Seaside Beach House with bay views and private bay beach. Classic styling features an open floor plan, a fabulously beautiful kitchen with Sub-Zero fridge,Wolf 6 burner gas range granite and quartz counter tops. The center island is great for seating. 4 bedrooms, 3 full and 2 half baths, 2 car garage with large unfinished bonus room above. First and second floor master bedrooms, 18x12 screened porch, pantry, laundry room, gas fireplace. Second floor great room with wet bar and fantastic second floor deck looking out to Cape Cod Bay. Located in the prestigious Setuckett Club of Brewster Park (with tennis courts and supervised summer programs). Take a left at the hedge and you are at the sandy bay beach. Room for a pool. Life is short..Buy the Beach House and enjoy!
Open House
Sunday
September 24 at 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Your very own home by the sea! Bucolic bay view, sandy association beach in the coveted Setuckett Club neighorhood. Brand new, open floor plan, wood floors throughout, fantastic kitche! So much more!
Cannot make the Open Houses?
Location: 175 Cemetery Road , Brewster, MA 02631    Get Directions






Categories: Open House  


Posted by Peggy Farber on 9/22/2017


404 Harwich Road , Brewster, MA 02631

Brewster (village)

Single-Family

$1,100,000
Price

10
Total Rooms
5
Beds
4
Baths
A Hydrangea lined long, sweeping drive is your introduction to this very versatile property. Landscaped with both understated simplicity and maximum beauty against a backdrop of green level lawn, rock walls, raised garden beds set atop a sea of shells. The artist in you will adore and appreciate the custom studio! (Or a variety of other uses.) A sweet garden shed sits just to the side of the fire pit, a great gathering spot on a still summer night or a crisp fall evening. An outdoor shower is strategically placed between the studio and the one bedroom ''cottage'' which is attached. The home itself is in meticulous condition with open kitchen/dining/living room. Ceiling fans and wood floors throughout. Fab covered veranda for dining al fresco complete with fans & lighting. Coming furnished
Open House
Sunday
September 24 at 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Please drop by and visit what could very well turn out to be your future home! Great location with convenient access to a lot of different places; private; just a wonderful for family gatherings!
Cannot make the Open Houses?
Location: 404 Harwich Road , Brewster, MA 02631    Get Directions

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Categories: Open House  


Posted by Peggy Farber on 9/20/2017

The bathroom can quickly become one of the most neglected rooms of the house. Sure, we need to clean it often. We certainly use it often enough! We probably never think to update the bathroom in small ways. Thereís many quick things that we can do in the room that allow us to refresh the room without a total overhaul. 


Add A New Mirror


Adding a new mirror not only will brighten the room, it could make a small bathroom appear larger. A new medicine chest with a mirror attached is also a great option that helps you to stay organized and keep medicines and other essentials hidden from plain sight. Adding lighting to a mirror is another bonus that will add some function and a new element to your room. Place a mirror strategically for a room that looks larger.    


Add Some Fresh Paint

A fresh coat of paint in a room can work wonders. You can update the color of the space and completely transform it by adding new matching shower curtains and accessories. 


Make Sure Your Cabinets Are Functional


Itís not practical to have storage in your bathroom that you canít use. If you have things stored in the bathroom, be sure that you can actually get to all of the items. If you need to install pull-out shelves or baskets for easier access, do so. If your bathroom looks nice, but isnít very easy for you to use or find anything, itís not working for you.


Update The Tile


While this sounds like quite a project, installing tile isnít too hard of a DIY. You can buy types of tile that basically are a no-brainer to install. With the right measurements, there wonít be a ton of cutting tile and filling in the cracks. The most difficult part of this project could actually be removing the old tile. 


Change The Light Fixture


Just this one simple change can actually make your bathroom look like a whole different room. Choose a light fixture that will have a dramatic effect on the room and match the desired style.


Replace The Countertop


Bathroom countertops donít get quite as much attention as kitchen countertops do. The truth is that changing the area of the bathroom countertop, along with anything else you choose to do, can really have an impact on the room. You donít need to find an expensive material. Just pick something that will go with the room and that you love. 


Refinish Cabinets


Any cabinets that you may have in your bathroom could be refinished to breathe life into the room. Itís fairly simple to refinish cabinets that arenít in tough shape. All youíll need is some sandpaper and fresh stain for the wood. If the style permits, you could even repaint your cabinets for a new appearance.





Posted by Peggy Farber on 9/13/2017

 

Two thirds of American homeowners are somewhere in the process of paying off a mortgage. It may seem like common sense that everyone should try to pay off their mortgage sooner rather than later. However, there are circumstances when it benefits a homeowner more to hold onto their mortgage longer.


In this article, weíll offer some tips on paying off your mortgage, when you should refinance, and offer some tools that will help you along the long road to debt-free homeownership. If youíre a homeowner and find yourself asking these questions, read on.

I can afford to pay more each month on my mortgage, but should I?

In many cases, paying off your home as quickly as possible saves you money in the long run. A shorter loan term means less interest applied to your loan which could save you thousands of dollars in accrued interest.


What many people donít think about is whether that money could be better spent elsewhere. If your mortgage interest rate isnít too high, you might be better off allocating that extra income toward investments or retirement funds where they could earn you more in the long run.


This technique is typically most beneficial for younger homeowners. In your 20s and 30s you stand the most to gain from long-term investments, especially tax-benefitted retirement funds. Ultimately youíll have to do the math, which is tricky because circumstances change; markets vary, our income goes up and down, etc. However, a good starting place is to determine whether you could earn more in retirement and investments than you could by paying off your mortgage sooner and therefore saving on interest. 

Iíve owned my home for a few years now, should I refinance?

Refinancing is a term that has become ubiquitous for homeowners. There are a few important things to understand about refinancing. First, lowering your monthly payments is not always ideal if it means youíll end up paying more interest in the long run. Ideally, refinancing your mortgage will help you pay the least amount in total.

One way this can be accomplished is by refinancing to a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage which often darry slightly lower interest rates. This option is designed for people who have improved their credit and increased their income since signing their first mortgage.

Math isnít my strong suit. How can I figure out my finances?

If all of the numbers and percentages associated with mortgages and refinancing seems overwhelming--youíre not alone. Fortunately, there are mortgage and refinancing calculators that will give you a good idea of where you stand if you decide to increase your payments or to attempt to refinance your loan. Here are some great tools:
  • Use this mortgage calculator for determining how much you would save by making extra payments.

  • This refinance calculator will help you understand the potential benefits of refinancing your mortgage.

  • To determine how much you could earn through investments (rather than paying more toward your mortgage) use this helpful tool.

  • You might be able to increase your savings by creating a better budget for yourself. This website will help you make a detailed budget and hold yourself accountable each month.






Tags: Mortgage   home   refinancing   finance  
Categories: Uncategorized