Posted by Marie Presti on 7/8/2018

Appliances have a certain lifespan of use, and then, unfortunately, they tend to break down one way or another. Depending on the age of the appliance and the amount of the repair cost, you should make an informed decision as to what will be a good for your finances and your home.


So, when the fridge stops producing cold or the dryer stops drying things, you may go into panic mode and try to either buy a new appliance or call a repair person. Before you make a snap judgment, you should take a step back. It’s important to ask the question: 


Is it worth getting this repaired?


If you are able to get an estimate of how much the repairs will cost, this will give you a good place to start. This is the fastest way for you to get the answers that you need. If the life of the appliance is going to only be a few years, you may be better off investing your money in a new appliance. The cost of a repair can run somewhere around 20-30 percent of the cost of replacing the appliance completely.


Understand The Life Expectancy Of Each Appliance


Some appliances are meant to last for a decade, others will last for a shorter period of time. As a general rule of thumb, if your appliance is over 7 years old and breaks down, you should probably replace it rather than repair it. It will be a better investment in the long run. Some typical lifespans for appliances are:


  • Dishwasher 9 years
  • Freezer 13 years
  • Range 15 years
  • Dryer 13 years
  • Washing Machine 10 years


Before you replace your broken appliance, there are a few things you should understand. First, sometimes, it really isn’t broken. A plug could be loose or a circuit could have tripped. You would hate to spend the money on a new appliance rather than deal with a simple problem. Troubleshoot the problem yourself by taking a peek at the owner’s manual first.              


Pricing Appliances 


Once you have repair estimates, you should find out how much it will be to replace your appliance completely with a similar model. Make sure that you factor in things like the removal of the old appliance, the taxes, and the installation. By running the numbers, you’ll know if you can afford a new appliance or not compared to the repair costs. 


New Features


If you have been dreaming of a refrigerator with an ice maker, it may be a good decision for you to spring for a new model. If you love the features you have, you’ll want to either price similar units or do the repairs. Really, your budget and needs very much dictate your decision for new appliances. Consider the options and make the repair or replacement call based on your needs.




Tags: appliances  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Marie Presti on 7/1/2018

Need to relocate from one address to another? In all likelihood, you'll need to pack a variety of small kitchen appliances before moving day arrives. Luckily, we're here to teach you what it takes to safely and effectively pack up your microwave, toaster and other small kitchen appliances.

Now, let's take a look at three best practices for packing small kitchen appliances.

1. Clean and Disassemble Your Appliances

Before you start packing, spend some time cleaning your small kitchen appliances. This will ensure your appliances are neat and tidy prior to storing them in assorted moving boxes.

Unplug a kitchen appliance prior to cleaning. Then, allocate the necessary time and resources to wipe down your appliance's interior and exterior. After you clean your kitchen appliances, make sure they are completely dry before you pack them.

In addition, remove any loose parts from your small kitchen appliances. This will allow you to secure all associated appliance components in moving boxes.

2. Choose an Appropriate Moving Box

If possible, use a small kitchen appliance's original box for moving day. The appliance will fit perfectly in this box, thereby reducing the risk of damage while your appliance is in transit.

For those who failed to save the original boxes for their appliances, there is no need to worry. You can purchase moving boxes in a wide range of sizes, ensuring you can find a moving box that will hold any small kitchen appliance.

In most instances, small and medium-sized moving boxes are ideal for myriad kitchen appliances. Use plenty of packing or sealing tape on the bottom of these moving boxes to ensure the boxes won't fall apart. Also, prepare these moving boxes with packing paper to further protect your small kitchen appliances.

3. Wrap Your Appliances in Bubble Wrap or Packing Paper

When it comes to small kitchen appliances, it always is better to err on the side of caution. Therefore, you should wrap each of these appliances in bubble wrap or packing paper and secure it with packing tape. This will help you minimize the risk that the appliance will get damaged during your move.

If you need extra help with moving small kitchen appliances or other items, it never hurts to reach out to a professional moving company for assistance, either. This moving company will learn about your moving needs and help you plan accordingly.

Lastly, if you require assistance with buying or selling a house, it pays to collaborate with a real estate agent. This housing market professional can help you enjoy a fast, seamless homebuying or home selling journey. Furthermore, if you are uncertain about the best ways to prepare for moving day, a real estate agent can offer expert recommendations.

Take the guesswork out of packing your small kitchen appliances – use the aforementioned best practices, and you should have no trouble getting your small kitchen appliances packed up and ready to go for moving day.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Marie Presti on 6/24/2018

Renting is a short-term solution to finding a place to live. It can be a good way to move into a new area and live inexpensively for a short period of time. But financially, renting doesn’t make much sense as a long-term plan.

Owning a home is a valuable asset--one that is likely to rise in value over time due to inflation and increasing land value. When you pay rent each month, your only return on investment is that you have a place to live. With home ownership, however, your mortgage payments go toward something you can sell later on.

Deciding if you’re ready to buy a house is not an easy task. Not only do you need to ensure that you’re financially prepared for homeownership, you also need to determine if it makes sense for your personal and professional life.

In this article, we’ll talk about some of the ways you can tell if it’s a good time to take the plunge into the housing market or if you should keep renting.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Aside from being a question you’ll likely be asked at a job interview, this is also something you should ask yourself before considering buying a home. When you buy, you’re making a down payment, paying closing costs, and devoting a lot of time and energy into the process.

Initially, it typically costs more to buy than to rent. But, over time, you’ll likely end up paying less for your mortgage payments than you would for a 1-bedroom apartment. Furthermore, those costs go towards an important financial asset.

A big question you should ask yourself when deciding whether to rent or buy is how long you plan on staying in your next dwelling. Typically, if you plan on living there for over five years, it could be a good idea to buy.

To find out which makes more sense for you, try out this useful Rent vs Buy calculator.

What type of lifestyle do you want to have?

Owning a home means caring for a home. If you want to focus on your career or education, you might not have time or funds to pour into maintaining a home. It’s important to remember that home maintenance isn’t just a matter of mowing the lawn every other week. You’ll also have to be prepared to spend on hiring professionals for issues like plumbing and electricity.

Calculating whether it makes more sense to buy a home or rent an apartment can be difficult because there are a number of variables when it comes to buying a house. Closing costs, down-payment, property taxes, HOA fees, should all be figured into your calculations. On top of that, you’ll need to consider the state of the housing market, whether you can get a good interest rate, and what type of mortgage you can receive.

If you want to live in a large home and you want to do it sooner rather than later, you might want to rent and save for a longer period of time.

However, if you’re happy in a small house and don’t need lots of storage space and bedrooms, taking a small mortgage can be a good investment.

That’s a lot of variables to consider, but fortunately this calculator from the New York Times makes it easy to plug in your numbers.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Marie Presti on 6/17/2018

If you’re finding that your finances are a bit tighter these days, you might need to adjust your budget a bit. Have you ever thought about alternatives in helping you to pay your mortgage? There’s a few things that you might be able to do in your home to save a few bucks and be more comfortable with your budget and finances. 


Share The Space


This might sound crazy, but it works for many people. If you’re willing to share your living space with others, it could help you to make a dent in your mortgage. This works especially well if you have a home with a separate entrance like an in-law apartment or something similar. 


Make Adjustments To Your Expenses


There are many different costs that come along with owning a home. If you reduce some of these expenses, you’ll be able to cut your overall spending. You don’t need to completely adjust your entire way of living to do this. Some ideas:


  • Cut the cord on cable and install streaming devices
  • Go on a family cell phone plan
  • Skip the gym membership
  • Use public transportation
  • Cook at home instead of eating out
  • Use coupons


Put Tax Refunds To Good Use


If you normally get a tax refund, you can apply that money to your mortgage instead of using it to buy something else. You could also adjust your withholdings. This would allow you to get a bit more money in your paycheck each week. You’ll get less of a refund during tax time, but the extra money may help you to pay down bills throughout the year. 


Pay More Towards The Principal 


To make the most of your hard-earned savings, use your money wisely and pay down the mortgage faster. Just be sure that there’s no penalty for a prepayment of the loan. You can either make an extra loan payment each month or you can pay a bit over what you owe on the mortgage each month. If you pay the mortgage faster, you’ll save potentially thousands of dollars in interest over the life of the loan. You’ll need to check with your mortgage company to see what their process is for paying more towards the principal of the loan. Keep in mind that the first few years‘ worth of your mortgage payments will be going towards interest unless you specify extra payments to go elsewhere.


Whether you’d like a little more of a financial cushion or are just looking to get rid of all those pesky monthly bills, it’s never a bad idea to focus on paying your mortgage down as quickly as possible.




Tags: mortgage   finances  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Marie Presti on 6/10/2018

What do buying a house, opening a credit card, and getting approved for an auto loan have in common? They all depend on your credit score.

Building credit is a multifaceted undertaking. In a way, this is a good thing--you wouldn’t want lenders to base their opinions solely on one aspect of your financial history. The downside is that understanding just what makes up your credit score can be difficult.

To complicate matters further, there isn’t one standard method for scoring your credit, and different credit bureaus each use their own criteria.

In this article, we’re going to talk about some of the factors the major credit bureaus use to calculate your credit, and give you some ways you can boost your credit.

But first, let’s talk about some of the implications of having a good credit score.

Why credit matters

Typical credit scores range anywhere from 250 to 850. The three main reporting agencies (Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian). Most lenders use a combination of those scores that is reported by FICO.

Most credit reports will rank your category from “bad” to “excellent.” Here’s an example of what a credit ranking might look like:

  • Excellent: 750+

  • Good: 700 - 749

  • Fair: 650 - 659

  • Poor: 550 - 649

  • Bad: -550

U.S. legislation makes it possible for Americans to receive a free report of their credit score and to challenge and correct the score if it contains inaccuracies.

If you’re thinking about buying a house, opening a new line of credit, or taking out a loan of some kind, then the provider will likely run your credit score. Those providers are going to want to see a return on their investment, so they’ll charge interest.

If you have a high credit score, it tells the lenders that you are a low-risk investment, and therefore they can offer you a lower interest rate, saving you money in the long run.

Components of a credit score

There are five main factors that credit bureaus take into consideration when formulating your credit score. Not all of the factors are treated equally. Your ability to pay your bills on time, for example, is considered to be more important than the types of bills you have. Here’s a breakdown of the five components that make up a credit score:

  • 35% - Bill and loan payments

  • 30% - Current total amount of debt

  • 15% - Amount of time you’ve had credit (since you took out your first loan or opened your first credit card)

  • 10% - Types of credit (cards, loans, etc.)

  • 10 % - New credit inquiries

Quick tips for building credit

It takes time to build credit and improve your score. So, if you’re hoping to buy a home within the next few years, now is the time to start working on your credit. Here are some best practices for building credit:

  • Set up autopay for your bills to avoid late payments. Even if the service doesn’t offer autopay, you can likely set up recurring payments through your bank.

  • Settle outstanding debt. Avoiding debt that you can’t pay off will only hurt you more in the long run. Call your creditor and see if they offer debt relief programs. More likely than not they’d rather work with you to ensure they receive some repayment rather than none at all.

  • Start budgeting the right way. New budgeting software like Mint and “You Need a Budget” are easy to use and link up with your accounts. They’ll help you monitor your spending and start paying off debt.

  • Don’t open new lines of credit close to when you want to take out a loan. New credit inquiries can briefly lower your credit, especially if you make more than one. Viewing your free credit reports doesn’t count as an inquiry, so feel free to do that as often as needed to check your progress.

  • Get credit for bills you’re already paying. You can report your monthly rent payments, switch bills into your name that you contribute to, or take out a credit builder loan. All three will help you build rent without changing your spending habits.