Claire Rainville, Broker Associate, REMAX


If you intend to sell your house, you may want to let your family know about your decision. In fact, there are many reasons why you should consult with family members before you add your house to the real estate market. These reasons include:

1. You can address any concerns or questions.

Family members may have concerns or questions about your decision to sell your home. Fortunately, you can address their concerns and questions before you list your residence.

Remember, family members care about your well-being. If you involve them in the home selling process, you may be able to avoid potential conflicts down the line. Perhaps best of all, if you share your decision to sell your residence with family members, you can help them get on board with your decision.

2. You can plan ahead for the home selling journey.

The home selling journey may prove to be long and difficult, particularly for an individual who initially tries to work alone. Luckily, family members can offer lots of assistance as you get ready to sell your house.

If you inform family members about your decision to sell your home, they can help you prep for all aspects of the property selling journey. For example, family members can help you clean your residence and ensure that it looks great both inside and outside. As a result, telling your family members about your decision to sell your house may enable you to speed up the process of selling your house.

3. You can receive home selling guidance and support.

Family members are ready to help you in any way they can. Thus, if family members sold houses in the past, they may be able to share their house selling experiences with you. And as such, you can learn from their past experience so you are better equipped than ever before to streamline the home selling journey.

Lastly, as you prepare to enter the housing market, you may want to collaborate with a real estate agent. This housing market professional is happy to help you break the news about your decision to sell your home to family members. Also, he or she will provide comprehensive support as you navigate each stage of the house selling process.

Typically, a real estate agent will craft a personalized home selling strategy based on you, your home and your house selling goals. He or she next will set up property showings and open house events to promote your residence to prospective buyers. If a buyer submits an offer to purchase your house, a real estate agent will help you review this proposal so you can determine whether to approve, reject or counter it.

For home sellers who want to enjoy a fast, profitable house selling experience, it often is beneficial to hire a real estate agent. If you have a real estate agent at your side, you can quickly stir up interest in your home and boost the likelihood of maximizing your property sale earnings.


You honestly may not get the chance to deep clean your home very often. When you do clean your house, there are a few places that are harboring many germs that are easily overlooked. Below, you’ll find some of the dirtiest areas in your home that need to be scrubbed well.


Handles And Knobs In The Kitchen


You’re handling everything in the kitchen from dirty dishes to raw meat. After touching these items, you’re grabbing drawers, refrigerator door handles, oven doors, and more. All of the bacteria that is on your hands is transferred to these items. You should scrub these areas down on a weekly basis with a simple vinegar and water solution.


Your Computer And Accessories


If you’re like most people, you spend a lot of time at your computer. You eat drink, talk on the phone, and everything else right in front of your computer. It’s a good idea to rid the bacteria that are collected all over your computer and accessories. You can detach the attachments from your computer a dab them with a mild soapy water solution, or just wipe them down with a pre-moistened anti-bacterial cloth. 


The Toothbrush Holder


You use your toothbrush to clean your teeth, but do you ever clean the place where it sits? You can quickly place your toothbrush holder in the dishwasher once a week, or sterilize it with hot water and soap. As a bonus, you should clean your toothbrushes by boiling them in water for a few minutes. 


The Handrails And Doorknobs 


Everyone uses the railings on the stairways, but it’s a good bet that no one cleans them very often. You can use a simple hot water and vinegar solution to scrub railings and doorknobs down. Wipe them dry, and they’ll be as good as new with less germs. 


The Light Switches


As you go in and out of rooms, you probably don’t think of cleaning off the light switch panel. Germs are easily spread there as people go in and out, turning a light on just to wash their hands. Vinegar and hot water will do the trick here as well. Just wipe switches down with a cloth soaked in the solution and pat dry. 


The Sinks


While you may wipe down around your sink often, the faucet and surrounding areas may need a little love. Faucet handles should be scrubbed on a daily basis with hot soapy water. As a bonus, if you want to make your sink shine, create a paste with vinegar and baking soda. Once you scrub it on the faucet, rinse off for a fantastic shine.     



         


Saving enough funds for the down payment on your home can be an obstacle for everyone. With general living costs and accumulated debt (Student Loans!), many young couples and professionals don't believe they'll ever save enough to move from being renters to buyers. There are steps you can take to put aside the funds you need for your down payment, but you’ll need to consider your priorities and a serious commitment to your spending and saving strategy.

Take a look at the median house prices in the area you want to buy and set a realistic budget for the price of your new home based on your current income and means. If the average home price is around $275k, then with a standard loan you’ll need about $55,000 for your down payment.

First, open a separate savings account, or designate one of your accounts for the money you’ll put aside. If you can separate your funds from the checking and savings accounts you access on a regular basis, then you'll help yourself refrain from using your down payment savings for other purchases, maintenance, or emergencies that arise.

Second, analyze your spending habits and create a realistic budget based on your current income to help you make strategic spending cuts. There are many free apps, spreadsheet templates, and useful blogs to help you set up and manage your budget. Inquire with your local bank to learn if they offer financial advisory services or can set you up with a partner to help you review your budget—many credit unions provide these services free with membership. Check what your financial institution offers and take advantage of free wisdom!

  • Review your memberships and subscriptions. Can you consolidate your streaming services, cancel NFL channels after football season, or join a more affordable gym? 
  • Instead of going out to eat or to the movies for date-night, set a limited budget for entertainment and take a few extra minutes to discover the many free activities your city has to offer. While making these significant changes, it is essential to allow yourself to continue to have fun times and relieve some of the pressure you're adding to your life—finding more affordable activities and restaurants can help you spread the fun money a little further and still put significant funds aside for your down payment.
  • Curb your unnecessary purchases. For some, this is one of the most difficult changes to make. From little convenience store purchases to emotional retail shopping, you’ll have to monitor your habits to catch yourself before you make purchases you don’t need. If you need the energy drink every morning, take the time to stock up when they’re on sale. Find a coffee shop that offers deals or a punch card (at least!). And if you can’t cut all the retail shopping, try limiting yourself to resale stores or clearance outlets to curb spending. 

 There are many ways to save for your future home. Work with your real estate professional to determine what your loan and down payment requirements might be. Then, get started on your savings plan!


For better or for worse, the kitchen is the most fragrant area of the house. It’s where we cook and store our food, but it’s also where we throw away our garbage.

 In this winter months, people do most of their cooking indoors, which can lead to an increase in grease splatter. In the summer, the high temperatures in the kitchen can cause garbage to smell and fruit to become overripe more quickly.

 Regardless of the time of year, we can all use some help when it comes to reducing kitchen odors. In this article, we’ll give you some advice on how to do just that.

 Read on for tips on eliminating odors in your kitchen.

Air quality

The odors in your kitchen, both the good and the bad, come in the form of tiny particles floating in the air. So, it follows that one of the ways to remove lingering odors would be to remove them from the air in your kitchen.

One way to do this is with the use of an air purifier. These appliances come in a number of different sizes and can vary in price from under $100 to several hundreds of dollars. Depending on the size and layout of your home, you’ll want to search for a purifier that can safely handle the number of square feet that you’ll need to purify.

One benefit of using an air purifier is that it can also help you remove dust and other allergies from the air while removing unpleasant odors. However, keep in mind that most air purifiers run 24/7, so expect a few extra dollars added to your electric bill each month.

Cooking surfaces

One of the most common causes of kitchen odors are the surfaces of your counters, oven, and appliances. There are a few ways to handle this problem, but the best solution is to take preemptive measures.

When cooking items with grease, oil or butter, use a splatter screen. This will help you keep most of the grease inside the pan and off your surfaces where they will later emit a smell.

It’s important to frequently wipe down surfaces in your kitchen and clean them with a degreaser. If you don’t have kitchen tile or some other form of easy to clean surface around your cooking surfaces, consider installing one.

Dishes and garbage

We get it, after working all day, cooking dinner, and finally sitting down to relax no one wants to clean dishes. However, leaving dishes in the sink is one of the leading causes of kitchen odors. This is also true for people who don’t run their dishwasher frequently.

Speaking of dishwashers, be sure to check the drain at the bottom for debris, which can cause your dishwasher to smell badly.

When it comes to garbage, it’s often better to have a small garbage can that you empty more frequently than a larger one that will start to smell. Try to find a smaller can that has a cover, and consider scented bags to help mask any odors that do find their way out of the garbage can.


If you like the outdoors, fresh air, and exercise, it might be well worth your while to look for a house near a public park.

Some communities also offer bike paths, walking trails, and town swimming pools, all of which can provide an endless source of recreation for you and your family.

Like any desirable feature of a neighborhood or community, some parks are better than others. While access to a nice park may not be uppermost in your mind when house hunting, here are some solid reasons for including it on your wish list:

  • Exercise benefits: Many of the larger parks offer extensive walking trails, public tennis courts, and paddle boat rentals. Parks can also provide space for jogging, roller blading, bicycling, and Frisbee tossing. For families with younger children, a nearby playground can be a priceless resource for keeping the kids physically active and entertained. It can also be a convenient location for play dates, birthday parties, and picnics.
  • Stress relief: Whether it's related to work, finances, or family issues, just about everyone experiences stress at one time or another. Having easy access to a peaceful place to walk, read a book, or fly a kite with the kids can provide a welcome distraction to the trials and tribulations of everyday life. When you need a change of scenery or a chance to commune with nature, a short jaunt to your neighborhood park can provide the ideal environment for relaxing and unwinding.
  • Convenient meeting location: If you're considering hosting a family picnic, but your yard won't accommodate everyone on your guest list, reserving a pavilion at a local park can be the perfect solution. Public parks can also be conducive to volleyball matches, badminton tournaments, and football games. A park can often be a nice setting for events like family reunions, club meetings, and graduation parties.
  • Easy access to special events: Most parks offer special events to local residents, ranging from free concerts to farmers' markets. Living just a short walk from a festival site, music event, or theatrical performance can enhance your enjoyment of a chosen neighborhood. Whether you're a fan of Shakespeare in the Park or flower shows and food festivals, living near a public park can provide you and your family with fun cultural events and weekend entertainment.
If you're currently in the process of house hunting or are considering relocating in the near future, one feature to include on your wish list might be proximity to entertainment, culture, and recreational facilities. When those resources are far away or inconveniently located, it's all too easy to dismiss the idea and settle for a humdrum day at home. However, when you have entertainment options that are literally around the corner, there's no excuse for not taking advantage of them -- especially when they're free!