Claire Rainville, Broker Associate, REMAX


The gym. It’s a place few people enjoy despite the flocks of people lining up to sign up each passing New Year. Exercise is seen as an embarrassing activity to many as most of us aren’t taught how to properly use gym equipment. Equipment that looks more like torture devices than a machine that will help you become stronger and healthier. Enter the home gym. Not only is no one around to watch you attempt your first shaky round of pushups  but also it’s a place we already feel naturally at ease. Keep reading to find out how you can skip gym fees and create a gym in the comfort of your own home. Make space. A space that allows you enough privacy from the rest of your family to focus on yourself for a while. When choosing your space, consider a room that has a door you can close, contains lots of light, room to hang a full-length mirror to watch your form from, and room to roll out a mat to work on. If you have a room you can dedicate solely to your home gym paint it a color that inspires you. This could be anything from a calming blue to an energizing orange. A good music speaker to blast some tunes is another great feature to add to your home gym to help to inspire. Know your budget and goals. Don’t be afraid to start with small investments if you are just jumping back into an exercise routine. If your goal is to create a more healthy, active lifestyle you won’t need fancy, expensive equipment to get there. A set of dumbbells and some resistance bands paired with exercises that rely on body weight are enough to get you started and at a low cost to boot. Extras for experts. As your strength builds and your routine evolves you may start to look to add more variety to your weekly workouts. Some further investments to consider for your home gym could be a stability ball, kettle bell, suspension system, jump rope and /or foam roller. All of these items can add more interest to your routine without costing you an arm and a leg. Make a plan. This tip doesn’t quite relate to setting up a home gym but, bear with me. Creating a plan for which days you will exercise and what exercises you will be doing will set you and your home gym up for success. Don’t go through all the effort of setting up space for your home gym to have it go unused. Instead, schedule times into your week that you will use your home gym. Think of these time slots as mandatory appointments just like a doctor’s visit or business meeting. Don’t let the intimidation of the gym prevent you from developing a regular workout routine. By setting up a home gym you can get fit and healthy in the privacy of your own home and at a cheaper cost than the average gym membership. Just don’t forget to schedule time slots throughout your week where you make the most of your new home gym!

Ready to buy a home? Ultimately, you'll want to prepare for the homebuying process. By doing so, you can avoid many costly mistakes.

Believe it or not, it is easy to make mistakes as you browse the housing market. Some of the expensive mistakes that homebuyers frequently make include:

1. Overspending on a Residence

No one should be forced to overspend on a home. Unfortunately, if you fail to study the real estate market, you risk paying too much to acquire your dream house.

Remember, an informed homebuyer will be better equipped to optimize the value of his or her real estate investment than others. And if you understand the costs of properties in your area, you can avoid the temptation to overspend.

Explore the real estate market closely and assess the prices of similar houses. By doing so, you can understand the price range of homes that fall within your budget and plan accordingly.

Also, work with an experienced real estate agent. This real estate professional will help you determine how much you can spend on a home and can provide you with details about properties that match your budget.

2. Failure to Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

After you find your dream home, you'll need to figure out how to pay for it. And if you struggle to obtain a mortgage before you start your home search, you might miss out on the opportunity to purchase your dream residence.

Meeting with banks and credit unions prior to checking out properties is ideal. This will allow you to obtain a mortgage and search for houses that fit your price range.

Moreover, getting pre-approved for a mortgage may help you stand out in the eyes of a home seller, as he or she won't have to wait for you to secure financing to finalize a purchase agreement.

3. Lack of Realistic Expectations

As a homebuyer, it is important to understand that every house has its pros and cons. But if you fail to establish realistic expectations for the homebuying process, it may be impossible for you to find the right property at the right price.

Separating your homebuying wants from your homebuying needs is vital. If you determine exactly what you'd like to find in your dream home before you explore the real estate market, you can narrow your search and streamline the process of acquiring the perfect residence.

Furthermore, hiring a real estate agent can make a world of difference for homebuyers. Your real estate agent can keep you up to date about new homes as they become available, set up home showings and help you submit offers on residences. This real estate professional also can offer homebuying recommendations, ensuring that you can minimize the risk of homebuying mistakes.

With a real estate agent at your side, you can accelerate the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner. Collaborate with a real estate agent today, and you should have no trouble securing your ideal residence.


If rain arrives on moving day, there is no need to panic. In fact, there are many quick, easy ways to protect your belongings against rain and ensure that these items can reach your new home without delay.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you protect your belongings during a rainy moving day.

1. Park the Moving Truck Close to Your Home

Ideally, you'll want to limit the distance between the moving truck and your house. This will enable you to prevent large amounts of rain from drenching your personal belongings.

You also should try to keep your home's walkways clear on moving day. Because if you're forced to deal with lots of walkway clutter, and lots of rain, it may be tough to carry your belongings from your home to your moving truck.

2. Lay Towels or Blankets Down in Your Home

Let's face it – a rainy moving day likely will cause you and your entire moving day team to walk in and out of your home with wet, muddy shoes. Fortunately, if you lay down towels or blankets in advance, you can reduce the risk of making your floors messy on moving day.

Remember, when it comes to moving, it is always better to err on the side of cause. If you have plenty of towels and blankets at your disposal, you should have no trouble keeping your home's floors clean as you move your belongings into a moving truck.

Don't forget to have extra towels available for your moving team too. That way, all members of your moving team can dry themselves off as needed.

3. Cover Your Furniture

Excess rain can quickly cause substantial damage to chairs, couches and other furniture. Thus, you'll want to cover these items before you move them from your house to your moving truck.

In most instances, covering furniture with moving pads and bubble wrap will help protect your furniture against water damage. Also, you should always ensure that there are no leaks inside of your moving truck to further reduce the risk of property damage due to rain.

If you're uncomfortable moving all of your belongings in the rain, it may be better to postpone your moving day. This will enable you to let the rainy weather pass and resume your move when improved weather conditions arrive.

Furthermore, if you need extra help on moving day, you may want to hire a professional moving company. This business employs friendly, professionally trained moving specialists who know how to move items in any weather, at any time.

Of course, if you need help finding a moving company, you can always contact a real estate agent for assistance. In addition to helping you buy or sell a residence, a real estate agent can help you get in touch with the top moving companies in your area.

Take the guesswork out of a rainy moving day – use the aforementioned tips, and you can streamline the process of transporting your belongings to your new house.


You've added your home to the real estate market, and the offers are already beginning to arrive from interested homebuyers. However, you're still a long way from finalizing the sale of your home, and there likely will be many hurdles that you'll need to overcome before you complete the home selling journey. Stress is common for many home sellers, regardless of whether you're selling your home in a buyers' market or a sellers' market. Fortunately, we're here to help you minimize stress as you move closer to finalizing the sale of your residence. Here are three tips to ensure you can limit stress as you sell your home: 1. Plan Ahead. What will happen if a homebuyer decides to back out of a deal after a home inspection? Or, how will you respond if a homebuyer asks you to complete home repairs? Plan ahead, and you'll be ready to deal with a wide range of scenarios that could arise during the home selling journey. The home selling journey is rarely, if ever, a clear-cut path. But home sellers who dedicate time and resources to plan for a variety of scenarios will be able to respond quickly and effectively in tough situations. Also, planning ahead may improve your chances of remaining calm, cool and collected under duress. And ultimately, you'll be better equipped to minimize stress throughout each stage of the home selling journey. 2. Give Yourself Plenty of Breaks. The home selling journey may move fast, but don't forget to take some time for yourself. By doing so, you'll be able to focus on what's important – your personal well-being and happiness. For instance, spending a day at the beach with friends, enjoying a mini-vacation or even going for a short walk around the block enables you to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the home selling process. Even spending an hour a day relaxing can deliver long-lasting benefits for a home seller. Remember, any time you devote to yourself will help you minimize stress and improve your chances of maintaining a positive outlook. 3. Work with a Top-Rated Real Estate Agent. Who says you need to deal with the stress of selling your home on your own? Instead, work with a top-rated real estate agent, and you'll be better equipped to stay calm throughout the home selling process. Your real estate agent should be able to put things in perspective as you progress along the home selling journey. As such, you'll want to find a top-rated real estate agent to ensure you can receive support from a qualified professional as you sell your residence. A skilled, talented real estate agent will be able to handle tough negotiations with a homebuyer and ensure you're able to get the best price for your home. Plus, this professional will provide you with a trusted resource and will respond to any of your concerns and questions. Don't let stress get the best of you as you sell your home – use these tips, and you'll be able to remain confident and relaxed throughout the home selling journey.

Understanding how much your home is worth is important for a number of reasons. For one, when you go to sell your home, you’ll have an idea of how much equity that you’re working with. You may need to either refinance your home, take out a loan, or line of credit. Knowing the current market value of your home can give you a good idea of your finances and what to expect. Many people believe that their home is worth more than it actually is. In reality, your home is only worth what people will actually pay for the property in a certain time frame. 


Some websites offer basic ideas of how much your home is worth. You can also use the Internet to search for comparable properties and see what has been sold, how much it has been sold for, and how much other homes that are similar to yours in the neighborhood are worth. You’ll need to be sure that the comparing properties include the same types of features as your own home in order to get a good estimate. 


Consult A Realtor


Experienced realtors in your area are great resources for helping you to determine your property’s value. Many agencies offer free market value analyses, which can help you to see where your home would fall in the current real estate market. Realtors don’t get paid unless your home sells. They can use their many resources to work with you on the sale of your home and help you to price it appropriately.


Hire An Appraiser


If you want to dig a bit deeper in the pricing of your home, you’ll need to shell out a bit of cash. You could hire a certified appraiser who will dig deep into your property to determine the value. Once you find a buyer, another appraisal will happen on the property. The buyer pays for this. If you really want a good idea of how much your home is worth, hiring an appraiser beforehand is key. Keep in mind that appraisers may come up with slightly different estimates for the same home.      


Know The Key Things That Affect Home Value


There are a few big factors that influence just how much your property is worth. While you may love your big kitchen, it goes a lot further than that. Factors that contribute to how much your property is worth include:


  • The amount of land that you have
  • The neighborhood your home is in
  • The schools your home is near
  • How many square feet your property is
  • The condition of your home
  • Any updates that have been made to the home
  • The types of appliances you have
  • Has the home ever been foreclosed on? 
  • Is your home energy efficient?


Based on all of this information, you’ll be able to get a good idea of what your home is worth. Beware of things that can cause a major financial setback on your home’s value like an urgent need for roof replacement, dated windows, or an unknown crack in the foundation. Getting an idea of what your home is worth is a great way to keep on top of your own assets whether you’re prepared to sell or just curious about numbers.