Christine Sosa - RE/MAX On The River



Posted by Christine Sosa on 1/22/2018

If budgeting isnít your thing, youíll be glad to discover that itís quite simple. Thereís a way to categorize your spending and save money easily. If you learn the rule, it will become so automatic that you wonít even think about it. If youíre saving money for a home, this practice will be essential. Break your budget down into three categories: 


  • Living expenses
  • Financial goals
  • Personal spending


Half of your budget should go towards living expenses. This number includes all of the essentials like rent or mortgage, utilities, groceries, commute costs, and insurances. 


20 percent of your income should go towards other financial goals like savings, investments, or paying down debt. Credit card bills, student loans, and other bills would fall under this category. This category is also where youíd save for your down payment, closing costs, and other expenses. This percentage can be adjustable depending on how much debt you have or how much you need to save for retirement. 


The remaining 30 percent of your income can go towards personal spending. This category includes everything that you use your money for but isnít a necessity. This percentage is also flexible. If your lifestyle doesnít require you to use all 30 percent each month, you can indeed save more money.


A Clear Plan 


These categories simplify your budget. Even if you make some adjustments to the numbers, the outline truly makes budgeting easy even for the most scatterbrained among us. It allows you to see where your money goes clearly. It also works no matter what kind of living situation you have.


The great thing about this budgeting plan is that you have some future needs built into it. Many times, when we budget, we think of our immediate needs and our shorter term goals. Saving for any occasion can never happen too early. You are able to not only focus on your current goals and the future.   



Steps


First, determine your monthly income. This number is how much money you take home after taxes. From here, youíll be able to split your money into categories by percentages. If your income fluctuates frequently, youíll need to take an average of your monthly income to determine your numbers. 


Next, you should take a look at your spending habits. These include everything from your morning latte to your monthly rent payment. From here you can make adjustments. Perhaps you need to look for a less expensive apartment. Maybe you need to cut down your weekly pizza to a bi-monthly purchase. Whatever you see in your finances, a simple percentage rule gives you the tools you need to become a saver and be well on your way to the purchase of your first home.     





Tags: saving money   budgeting  
Categories: Buying a Home   budgeting  


Posted by Christine Sosa on 1/15/2018

You want to buy a house, but you know that you need to save as much money as possible for a down payment. Although you've tried to save money in the past, your best efforts have failed to help you collect the funds that you'll need to make a down payment on your dream residence.

Let's face it Ė saving for a home can be difficult. Fortunately, we're here to offer creative ways to help you get the money that you'll need to make your homeownership dream come true.

Now, let's take a look at three creative ways to save for a down payment on a house.

1. Start a Friendly Competition

Competition often brings out the best in homebuyers. Much in the same vein, you and your friends may be able to compete against one another to see who can save the most money for a down payment on a home.

If you and your friends intend to buy a home together or separately, a friendly competition can make a world of difference in getting the required funds for a down payment. In fact, you can even award the winner of this competition with an "Ultimate Saver" trophy or other fun prizes.

Ultimately, a friendly competition is a great way to have fun with friends and save money for a down payment on a house at the same time. Regardless of who wins the competition, you'll notice that your down payment savings will increase, moving you one step closer to acquiring your ideal residence.

2. Use a Rewards System

Saving for a down payment on a home may seem like a long, arduous process. However, if you build rewards into your day-to-day savings efforts, you can earn incentives as you reach various milestones.

For instance, you may want to reward yourself with a special dinner every time that you reach a savings milestone. Or, you can always celebrate hitting a savings milestone with a trip to the dog park with your puppy.

3. Trim the Fat from Your Budget

It sometimes can be tough to remove cable TV, takeout meals and other excess items from your budget. But if you consider the long-term benefits of these short-term sacrifices, you may be better equipped than ever before to save significant funds for a down payment on a home.

Look closely at your daily, weekly and monthly budgets. Then, you can determine which budget items are essential and which are not and trim the fat from your budget accordingly. This will allow you to speed up the process of saving for a down payment on a house and ensure that you can achieve your homeownership dream faster than ever before.

Lastly, as you prepare to explore available homes, don't hesitate to reach out to a real estate agent for extra help. By hiring a real estate agent, you can get the assistance that you need to discover a great house that falls within your price range.





Posted by Christine Sosa on 1/8/2018

Life amongst the trees can be beneficial. You get plenty of shade, ample privacy, and can use some of the wood for heating, cooking, or camp fires with the kids. However, living in the woods can also present a few challenges that many arenít prepared for when purchasing a home in a heavily wooded area.

In this article, weíre going to give you some advice on how to survive and thrive on a heavily wooded plot of land so that you can make the most of the trees youíll grow to love.

Branch management

While all of those trees in your yard may be beautiful, they can be dangerous to you, your home, and your vehicles if youíre not careful. Storms, especially in colder climates where ice is likely to form, can bring down large branches and cause a lot of damage.

They can also be a minor annoyance when you have to move branches before you back out of your driveway in the morning.

The best way to avoid potential danger is to take inventory of the branches that are within striking distance of your home, garage, vehicles, and driveway. Healthy branches on younger trees might not pose a hazard. But, if you notice dying or large, heavy branches that could fall somewhere dangerous, it might be better to remove them now than pay for the damage they cause later.

This brings us to one of the most important tools you can have living in the woods: a chainsaw.

Since you have a wooded property, itís most likely best to buy a gas-powered or battery-powered chainsaw to avoid having to use several extension cords throughout the woods.

When it comes to the high sitting branches, you can buy a pole saw in the $150 range that will handle small branches.

One of the benefits of cleaning out some trees is that you get free fuel for your fireplace (if you have one). However, youíll need a dry place to season your wood before you burn it. Ideally, wait at least a year for your wood to dry out before using it in your wood stove.

Embracing nature -- the good and the bad

To get the most out of your tree-covered yard, youíll have to learn to accept some of the things that come with it. If youíre the type of person who picks up every stick on their lawn, youíll come to realize that itís best just to pick them up before you mow.

When it comes to mosquitos and other insects, youíll learn the times when they come out to feed and learn to avoid exposure at those times. However, when you live in the woods, bugs and critters are a part of life. So, it helps to learn about them. You might find that the spiders you hate help keep your home free of other undesirable insects.

When you get fed up with the sticks you have to pick up and the insects you have to avoid, just remember that you have privacy from passersby, that itís more calm and quiet from the trees blocking the sounds of the road, and that the shade will give you a cool place to sit outside and save you some on your air conditioning bill in the summer.




Tags: Trees   woods   wooded lot  
Categories: woods   wooded lot   trees  


Posted by Christine Sosa on 1/1/2018

When you're a new homeowner, it's hard to refrain from walking down the aisle of Bed Bath & Beyond and dumping everything you see into your cart. Initially, when making a shopping list for your new home it will seem like you need everything††and you need it†now.†It doesn't always make sense, however, to go on shopping sprees and starting several different renovation projects at once in your new home. Whether you need to be conservative with your money or you want to take your time and furnish†one room of your house at a time, creating a household spending budget can be an invaluable tool. In this article, we'll cover how to make your own personalized household budget that you and your family or housemates can use to keep yourselves accountable when it comes to making your new house uniquely your own.

Set priorities

Moving into a new home†can be sort of like camping out for the first few nights. Many of the basic things you take for granted might not be unpacked †or set up yet. Other items you might still need to purchase. This is a good reminder of which items matter the most when moving into a home. When you prepare to make your budget, think about the items on your list that are the most vital to your daily life. This may be different for each person. If you're an avid yoga practitioner but your yoga mat got ruined in the move, buying a new one might be higher up on your list of priorities than the average person who occasionally stretches. The best way to find out what items are high up on your list is to go through a few days in your new home and write down everything you need, then arrange it in order of importance. From there, we can start setting your budget.

Budgeting tools

Depending on how comfortable you are with technology, you have several options when it comes to ways of keeping a budget. In your Appstore you'll find a plethora of free budgeting apps that all fit a specific need. One of the most popular, Mint, connects securely with your bank account and lets you set up several budgets. It will track your income and spending and categorize your purchases automatically (groceries, gas, bills, etc.). You can set a "household" budget in Mint and make sure all your home purchases go into that category. If you're more inclined to using a spreadsheet, you can use Google Sheets, or a program like Excel to create your budget. The benefit of using Google Sheets is that it is easily shared and synced with others, allowing you to collaborate on the budget together. Your final option is to use a good old fashion hand-written budget. If you don't want it to be forgotten, you could hang it on the refrigerator or write†it on a whiteboard hung somewhere highly visible in your house.

Commitment

The hardest part of budgeting is committing to it. You and your housemates will need to work together to make sure you keep track of your purchases and take the time to plan out your budget, be it weekly or monthly. The best way to do this is to set a reminder in your calendar†for a budget planning day once per month with your housemates. Decide what needs to be purchased and who will be buying it. Once you've made a habit of keeping your household budget, you'll be on your way to†completing your home in a way that makes sense for you financially.




Tags: budgeting   apps   home   house   tips   budget   advice   appstore  
Categories: Home   tips   apps   budgeting   budget   house   advice   appstore  


Posted by Christine Sosa on 12/20/2017

This great little half house, 2 bedroom, with it's own private yard and deck is located within close proximity to downtown, water front, sea wall, beaches, and all major transportation. The first floor consists of living room, dining room, and fully applianced kitchen. Pet friendly allowing small pets to walk right outside to fenced yard and spacious deck for your quiet enjoyment and entertaining with friends. Kayak in the beautiful and serene Merrimack River, swim at Plum Island's beautiful beaches and explore the exciting downtown of Newburyport. Off street parking across the street at the Brown school during snow emergencies. Laundry and storage space in basement.

More Info on this Property | New Listing Alerts