John Colby
Colby Realty | 978-249-5871 | [email protected]


Posted by John Colby on 12/25/2016

Buying a home is one of the largest commitments you will make in your life. It's also one of the best. Being a homeowner comes with a sense of independence that renting simply can't match. You can do with your home whatever you like, making it the place you love to go home to at the end of the day. Knowing when you're ready to buy a home is a complicated issue. But it's also a learning process that everyone is new to at some time in their lives. Sure, buying a home can be anxiety-inducing. But you don't need to add any more nerves to the process because you feel uninformed. In this article, we'll lay out a basic checklist that will help you determine when and whether you're ready to buy a home so that you can worry less about your credentials and focus more on finding the right home.

The checklist

  • Finances. We hate to put it first, but the reality is your finances are one of the main things that determines your preparedness for becoming a homeowner. Unlike renting, there's a lot more that goes into the home financing process than just your income. Banks will want to see your credit score to ensure you have a history of paying your bills on time. They'll also use your credit information to see how much debt you have and if you'll be able to take on homeowner's expenses on top of that. Another financial impact for buying a house is to determine if you can afford a downpayment. It's one thing to see that you can cover your bills with your income, but unless you have enough money saved for the downpayment (and any emergency expenses that may come up) you should wait a while and save before hopping into the market.
  • What are your longterm plans? Many people are excited at the thought of home ownership to the extent that they forget their life circumstances. If you have a job that might cause you to relocate in the next 5-7 years you might want to consider renting rather than buying. Depending on factors like the price of the home, cost of living in your area, and how long you plan on living in your new home, it may be cheaper to buy or rent in the long run. There are calculators available online that will tell you which option is probably more cost-effective for you. As a general rule, however, if you plan on living in a new home for under 5-7 years, it might be cheaper to rent.
  • Do you have the time and patience to be a homeowner? Owning a home means you can't call on the landlord to fix your leaks anymore. Similarly, you probably won't be able to depend on someone else to shovel snow or mow the lawn for you. It takes work to be a homeowner, and if your job has you away from home for long periods of time or working very long hours, renting might not be appropriate at this time.
  • Plan for new expenses. If you can comfortably pay rent and you find out your home loan payments will be comparable, you should know that there will likely be new expenses to consider as well. Home insurance, property taxes, and expenses for things like sewer, plumbing and electrical repairs all should be taken into consideration. Additionally, you will likely have new utility bills, including electricity, water, oil, cable, and others depending on the home.




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Posted by John Colby on 8/7/2016

Having the perfect beach day starts at home— especially if you are taking kids along. Even if you are just going for the day, there is some preplanning that needs to take place. Take a look at the tips below to make sure you have the most successful beach day trip.

  1. Make a checklist: Write out everything that you need to take with you and as your packing it into your beach bag or cooler, check it off of your list. This way you will ensure that you won’t forget anything. This might include things like cash, sunscreen, sunglasses, towels, beach chairs, water, snacks, a change of clothes, etc.
  2. Choose a beach: If you live in New England, it’s likely that you have multiple beaches to choose from. And you might be looking for a different beach experience than the one you always go to. Maybe you usually take your day trip to a popular beach, but you know that it is going to be crowded and full of life. But this time you’re looking for a quieter day, so you might want to visit a private or town beach that doesn’t have a boardwalk and hundreds of people around.
  3. Pack the night before: Along with packing from your checklist, it’s best to pack everything up the night before. And if you are ambitious, pack the car the night before as well (everything but the drinks and refrigerated food).
  4. Set a plan for the day: Make sure all parties involved know how the day will pan out. Do you plan on leaving town at 7am or 9am? Do you plan on packing a lunch or grabbing something at the boardwalk? Do you plan on staying at the beach until 2pm or 5pm? These are all very important things to consider beforehand and to include everyone in on the decision.
Hope that these tips help you hit the road sooner and without a worry— except for where you’re going to set up at the beach.




Tags: planning   family fun   family   checklist  
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