Lisa Bradley - Re/Max Vision



Posted by Lisa Bradley on 1/15/2019

Moving into a new house takes a lot of time and a lot of money. It can take months to feel like you’re truly “moved in” once you’ve finally gotten the keys to your new home. As a result, many people rush to purchase and set up their houses as quickly as possible.

If--like most people--you’re on a budget, it isn’t always realistic to expect your home to be completely furnished set up in just a couple of weeks. That’s why it’s important to have a plan of your priorities when moving into a new home.

In this article, we’re going to talk about some of the “need now” and “it can wait” items for your home. In creating this list for your home you can make your move a smoother process and help yourself feel at home sooner without having to spend every waking hour (and every cent of your bank account) furnishing your new home immediately.

Read on for a list of the items you need at move-in, the things you should prioritize within the first weeks, and those that can wait.

What you need now

If you’re moving from an apartment or a former house, chances are you have a lot of the items you’ll need to get started in your new home. These are essentials like mops, vacuum cleaners, and your kitchen and bathroom essentials.

Next, you’ll want to determine the things that will make your life in your new home easier. We’re talking daily-use items that you might need for your morning routine. If you’re the type of person who frequently loses keys, it might be a good idea to prioritise a key hook. If you struggle to put on makeup in a dimly lit bathroom, installing new lights should be at the top of your list.

Setting your priorities for the first month

A good way to budget furnishing your new home is to give yourself a specific number of items to buy in the first month, then the second, and so on. Get together with your family, or significant other if applicable, and together determine what’s most important.

It may be that energy efficient windows need to be prioritized over new curtains and blinds. Or, you could have to find a paint color that matches your living room set before repainting your bedroom. Regardless, be sure to budget all of your purchases so that you feel comfortable and ready to take on the first month in your new home.

What can wait

There are a number of items in most homes that are purely cosmetic or decorative. However, the cost of all of the decorations in your home can add up. If you’re planning on starting from scratch with decorations, it’s a good idea to hold off until you have the essentials. This is a good opportunity for you to find the right paint colors and decorations that match your furniture and appliances.

Now that you have a three lists for your home, you should be prepared to furnish it at a pace that works for you.





Posted by Lisa Bradley on 1/8/2019

 If you're in the process of searching for the ideal home for you and your family, there are many things to think about and evaluate.

While factors like the quality of neighborhoods and school districts may top your list, another important feature worth prioritizing is convenience. Since life is already complicated enough, it makes sense to simplify your daily routines whenever possible! The perfect time to set the stage for a simpler, easier lifestyle is when you're shopping for your next home. Here are a few thoughts to keep in mind when looking for ways to help make life easier

Short commutes: When you consider all the advantages of living close to your job or business, the benefits are undeniable! A relatively short daily commute not only helps you manage your stress level, but it also enables you to spend more time with your family... and less time dealing with rush hour traffic! A shorter commute can also save you money on gasoline, wear and tear on your car, and highway tolls.

A first-floor laundry: Unless you find ways to streamline and simplify your weekly laundry tasks, it quickly becomes a burdensome chore! Having to carry loads of laundry up and down basement stairs can definitely be tiring -- both physically and mentally. (It can be even more unpleasant if you buy a house with an unfinished basement.) The solution, of course, is to tell your real estate agent that you'd strongly prefer a home with first floor (or even second-floor) laundry hookups. Persuading your family to cooperate with organizing and sorting their own laundry items is also a good goal, but is easier said than done!

Two-car garage with remote control: After a hectic day at the office (or wherever you happen to work), there's nothing like the convenience of an automatic garage door and a spacious, private parking area waiting for you at home. In addition to the convenience, it's nice knowing your cars will be much more secure in an enclosed garage. It's also a great way to stay dry and warm when unpleasant weather is around.

Proximity to stores: The ideal location for your next home is close to grocery stores, pharmacies, and other services you and your family use on a regular basis. As is the case with job commuting distances, if you can live within a half an hour of places you need to drive to frequently, it makes day-to-day life much easier. While few neighborhoods are "a stone's throw" from everywhere you'll want to go, being close to supermarkets and other essential conveniences can save you time and provide you with a quick solution to having no milk, bread, or dinner food in the house!

So if you are getting ready to buy, or currently in the market, connect with your agent on the essentials you would like in your new home today.





Posted by Lisa Bradley on 1/1/2019

Paying off a mortgage early is a dream of many homeowners. By making larger payments on your home loan, you can cut years off of your loan term and save thousands of dollars in interest payments that you can use toward savings or investments. But in an economy that has seen decades of wage stagnation and increasing costs of living, it can often seem like an unattainable goal.

With some planning and initiative, however, there are ways to pay off your home loan before your term limit.

In today’s post, we’re going to talk about three of the ways you can start paying off your mortgage early to avoid high interest payments and save yourself money along the way.

1. Refinance your mortgage

If you’re considering making larger payments on your mortgage, it might make sense to look at refinancing options. Most Americans take out 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages.

If you can afford to significantly increase your mortgage payments each month, you could refinance to a 15-year mortgage. This will save you on the number of interest payments you’ll have to make over the years. But, it will also help you secure a lower interest rate since shorter term mortgages typically come with lower interest rates.

This option isn’t for everyone. First, refinancing comes with fees you’ll have to pay for upfront. You’ll have to apply for refinancing, get an appraisal of your home, and wait for the decision to be made.

But, you’ll also have to ensure that you can keep up with your higher monthly payments. If your income is variable or undependable, it might not be the safest option to refinance to a shorter term mortgage.

2. Make extra payments

An option that entails less risk than refinancing is to simply increase your monthly payments. If you recently got a raise or are just reallocating funds to try and tackle your mortgage, this is an excellent option.

Depending on your mortgage lender, you may be able to simple increase your auto-pay amounts each month, streamlining the process. Otherwise, it’s possible to set up bill-pay with most banks to automatically transfer funds to your lender.

3. Bi-weekly payments or one extra payment per year

Making bi-weekly instead of monthly payments is an option that many homeowners use to pay off their mortgages early. Bi-weekly payments work by paying half of your monthly payment once every two weeks.

The vast majority of homeowners make 12 monthly payments per year. But by switching to 26 bi-weekly payments, you can effectively make 13 full monthly payments in a year without seeing too much of a difference in your daily budget.

This doesn’t seem like much savings in the short term, but let’s take a look at how much you could save over the term of a 30-year mortgage.

On a 30-year fixed mortgage of $200,000 with a 4.03 annual interest rate, you would make a monthly payment of $958.00 and a bi-weekly payment of $479.

Over 30 years of an extra monthly payment, you could save nearly $20,000 on the total interest amount and pay off your mortgage almost 5 years early.




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Posted by Lisa Bradley on 12/25/2018

When you’re searching for a home to buy, you’ll probably attend many different open houses. The open house is meant to help you get a feel for different properties. While you can’t get to know all the ins and outs of a home in a short time, you can get an understanding of some of the best things (and not so great things) about a property. Below, you’ll find some of the biggest warning signs that a property may not be all that it appears to be. 


There’s A Lot Of Odor Masking Elements In Place


When you walk into an open house, you may get the smell of freshly baked cookies or a lovely candle. While these are great marketing techniques, they also can be a tactic to hide things. Perhaps there are some offensive odors in the house from mold, leaks, smoke, or mildew. You may not be prepared to deal with these kinds of problems once you move into a home. 


You Notice Glaring Issues


While the home inspection will reveal many problems that may be invisible to the casual observer, you should still be on the lookout for issues on the surface of the home during the open house. These issues can include cracks in the ceiling or walls, cracks in the floor, or even squeaky floor boards. If you happen to see patchy walls in the home, that could indicate that repairs have been made several times. Be alert for these potential problems.


Does The Home Look Well-Kept?


When you pull up in front of the home is the lawn trim? Does the home appear clean? While everyone would hope that a homeowner would clean up their property before an open house, small and big things like this can indicate a bigger problem. If the home is not cared for on the surface, how many other underlying maintenance issues are there in the home? Neglected regular maintenance can cause larger problems of all kinds in a home.


Strange Cosmetic Fixes


A freshly painted wall could be suspect of a big problem. Under the paint could be mold, cracks, or other issues. Some homeowners do put fresh paint on their walls before selling in order to give the home a neutral feel. However, you should be on the lookout for other signs of problems in the home.          


Channel Your Inner Detective


While you don’t need to dig as deep into a home as a home inspector does, you should be on the lookout as you scan a home for the potential livability for you. Things like glaring cracks in the ceiling, or a strong odor of cigarette smoke could be signs of future problems living in the home. The open house is your time to find a home that fits you and your life, so make the most of the opportunity.  




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Posted by Lisa Bradley on 12/18/2018

If you’re moving into a new place and own little to no furniture, you may wonder what’s really essential to purchase as you furnish each room. Read on to discover what you really should be looking for when you head out furniture shopping. 


Side Tables 


These tables are incredibly useful in the home. Whether it’s in the living room, the bedroom, the bathroom, or a family room, you’re going to need these tables. They come in different shapes and sizes and are used for placing beverages on, storing small items in, or showing off pictures and decorative pieces. The most important aspect of side tables is symmetry. Make sure that each table is slightly taller than the sofa arm and that they are the same height. It really helps to buy matching side tables and not purchase them as individual pieces.


A Love Seat


Loveseats are much more versatile than sofas because they can fit more places. Loveseats can exist on their own, or be a part of a bigger picture furniture set up. You can place a love seat just about anywhere in your home from the bedroom to the living room, to a dining room. It provides cozy, comfortable seating that’s out of the ordinary from the rest of the room’s features. 


Flexible Seating Chairs


These chairs are also referred to as “occasional chairs.” They bring an unexpected piece into any room. Use them in your entryway, dining room, office, bedroom, or breakfast nook. The only requirement in these chairs‘ design that you should look for is that they are easy to move and lightweight. 


Armless Chairs


These chairs also referred to as “slipper chairs,” are versatile and easy to sit in. They’re great for everyone from children right on through to the elderly. You can use one of these chairs in just about any room from the living room to the dining room to the bedroom. The smaller size you get one of these chairs in, the more versatile it will be in your home.


A Dresser


A dresser can be used in more than just your bedroom to store clothes in. These incredibly useful pieces have a place throughout your home in every room from the bedroom to the dining room, the living room, or the bathroom. The reason bureaus are so versatile is that they provide a type of “hidden” storage in style. Often, the dresser appears as if it were a part of the room, to begin with. You can use more than one bureau and use them for multiple purposes.                










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