Thomas Murphy - Pine Shores Real Estate



Posted by Thomas Murphy on 6/16/2019

A smart home device may prove to be a great pick-up, regardless of the size or location of your house. Yet finding an affordable smart house gadget sometimes can be difficult. Fortunately, there are lots of things you can do to acquire economical smart home devices, such as:

1. Conduct an In-Depth Search for Budget-Friendly Smart Home Devices

A diligent shopper will have no trouble finding smart home devices that fall in line with their finances. In fact, they may be better equipped than other shoppers to quickly acquire high-quality, and cost-effective, smart house gadgets.

Of course, it often helps to check out smart home devices multiple manufacturers. This will allow you to weigh the pros and cons of different smart home gadgets. Plus, you can boost the likelihood of finding a smart home device that delivers a great combination of affordability and dependability.

2. Search for Smart Home Devices at Online and Brick-and-Mortar Retailers

Online retailers like Amazon sell a broad array of smart home gadgets – everything from smart light bulbs to smart robot vacuums. If you search for smart house devices online, you may find terrific gadgets at low prices.

Furthermore, brick-and-mortar retailers are available in cities and towns nationwide. These retailers hire friendly, knowledgeable sales representatives who can teach you everything you need to know about different smart home gadgets. Such as getting the assistance you need to find the right smart home device based on your budgetary and personal needs.

3. Keep an Eye Out for Deals

As new smart home device models become available, previous models may be offered at discounted rates. Thus, if you watch out for new smart home device releases, you may find the prices of past models will be lowered accordingly.

In addition, smart home device prices may be reduced in conjunction with various holiday promotions. If a retailer wants to boost its Christmas sales, for example, it may offer discounts on a wide range of smart house gadgets.

4. Purchase a Pre-Owned Smart Home Device

A pre-owned smart home device may work just as well as a brand-new model. At the same time, a pre-owned smart house gadget may be available at a fraction of the cost of a new model.

If you shop for pre-owned smart home devices, proceed with caution. Whenever possible, you should test a pre-owned smart home device before you buy it. Conversely, if you purchase a pre-owned smart house gadget from an online retailer, ensure that you can return the device if it does not work properly upon arrival.

Clearly, there are many things that you can do to purchase smart house devices without exceeding your budget. As you check out the smart home devices at your disposal, use the aforementioned tips. By doing so, you can find and buy affordable smart home devices that may serve you well for an extended period of time.




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Posted by Thomas Murphy on 6/9/2019

In real estate terminology, you may hear about various ratios and where you need to fall within the ratio to qualify for the home you want. A ratio simply expresses a relationship between two values: they compare two things, so a student/teacher ratio might be shown as 18:1, or one teacher for every 18 students. Different ratios apply to residential home buyers, investors, sellers, and lenders, but here are a few that might apply to you.

Loan-to-value or LTV

A comparison between the amount of a mortgage loan and either the home’s purchase price (for new buyers) or its appraised value (in a refinance) is its loan-to-value ratio. Lower LTVs typically qualify a buyer or homeowner a lower interest rate because there is less risk of default to the lender. So, a conforming mortgage with 20 percent down often garners a lower rate than an FHA loan with only five percent down.

Higher LTVs place more risk on the lender so if the market drops, the home could be “upside-down” or worth less than the amount of the mortgage.

Debt-to-income ratio or DTI

More important to home buyers is the debt-to-income ratio. Also called a debt-service ratio, it expresses how much money the borrower makes monthly compared to the monthly ongoing debt payments and obligations. A lender uses this figure to determine how high a mortgage payment you can handle. The first number is your income (gross) from your job, plus any other income that can be counted such as child support or a trust disbursement that you can use to make your mortgage payment plus taxes and insurance, and if applicable, association dues.

The second number uses the same calculation as the first plus any long-term debt such as a vehicle or school loan and consumer debt. This amount is the percentage of your income used to pay housing and long-term debt. So, a ratio of 30:37 (also written 30/37) means you spend 30 percent of all your income on housing with no more than seven percent obligated to debt service. That leaves you with 63 percent of your income for food, auto insurance, medical bills, clothing, and other expenses. Qualifying ratios adjust over time, but the Federal Housing Administration lists the qualifying ratio and the formula to determine it to qualify for an FHA loan.

Price-to-income ratio

Your DTI comes from your personal debts and income, and the LTV comes from a specific home's value, but the price-to-income ratio expresses the affordability of housing in a given locale. Most often, it is the ratio of the median home price to the median household disposable income. This ratio helps you determine if the home you want to buy is overpriced (it will be hard to sell) or under-priced (super good deal) for its geographical location. Lenders use this ratio as one additional factor in determining risk for that specific home.

To learn where your ratios fall and to determine if an area is right for your household budget, let your local real estate professional guide you.





Posted by Thomas Murphy on 6/2/2019

Using the following simple steps, you can transform your home into a safer, healthier living space through the use of environmentally conscious household products. A ‘green’ makeover of a home can improve your family’s quality of life while reducing your carbon footprint. 

Wooden Furniture

Furniture made out of wood or other natural materials is a safer and sturdier alternative to non-renewable plastic. Insist on sustainably-harvested woods, finished in paints, oils or varnishes that are earth-conscious. This ensures all the processes are healthier for your home and the environment.

Eco-friendly lighting

Replace incandescent bulbs with LED energy-saving lights, and you’ll have you’re your bit to curb the amounts of carbon dioxide and heat emissions in the atmosphere. You will also have given Mother Earth a lot less waste to deal with as LED bulbs last much longer. Though they are pretty costly, their longevity makes them much more cost effective in the long run. 

Windows that save energy

Who wouldn’t like ample sunshine and sizable openings for better fresh air circulation? You can achieve this by installing energy-saving windows (yes, they are a thing). Then sit back and watch them transform your home into a bright, eco-friendly space. Windows made out of fiberglass, vinyl or wood are your best ‘green’ bets, with window designs such as awnings, picture windows, double-hung windows, and casement windows being the most energy-efficient. 

Decorative Plants

Decorate your interior and exterior with charming plant varieties such as chrysanthemum, snake plant, dracaena, Aloe Vera, bamboo palms, and peace lilies. 

Wool-stuffed organic materials

Think about switching out the current carpets, mattresses, pillows, bedding, along with other similar furniture with products made from wool-stuffed organic materials. These products protect against bed and dust mites that cause asthma and allergies. 

Ecologically friendly wall paint

When painting walls, pay attention to the paint’s contents, before being overawed by its aesthetic effect. Materials and chemicals contained in some paints, otherwise known as VOCs or volatile organic compounds can cause headaches, nausea, and dizziness. Insist on natural paints created from plant oils along with various other extracts that contain little to no VOCs.

Roofs featuring solar panels

Solar panels do not create waste or emissions and are therefore expected on any ‘green’ home. They instead create reusable and clean energy without combustion or excavation. Another home ‘greening’ solution includes geothermal energy products and wind turbines, which are cost-effective in the long run through advantageous subsidies and tax credits.

Find out more about the benefits of green building from the EPA. If you want your next home to be green, make sure your realtor knows just how off-the-grid you are looking.





Posted by Thomas Murphy on 5/26/2019

The exterior of your home makes its first impression. It gives outsiders an idea of what is inside. If you are looking to sell your house or you just want your home to look more attractive, then there are many ways that you can make your home look more beautiful without spending too much money.

Flowers and greens

You can make your home more beautiful by adding some fresh flowers and greenery to your home front. Going all out for a garden isn’t totally necessary. A few planters and window boxes can do the trick. Combine standing planters with hanging ones to get a good façade of plants on your home. 

Maintain your lawn

The front lawn is a huge factor that affects a home’s look. Mow the lawn once the grasses are long, rake off the leaves and weeds to maintain a nice, even look. Install a sprinkler to keep it well watered and avoid brown spots from developing. Once if you tend to forget to water your lawn, buy an automated lawn sprinkler, set once and done.

Front door pizzazz

Instead of your front door blending in with the rest of the outdoor look, you can make it pop with a DIY paint job. Use bold, bright colors that enhance your home's exterior color. Don't be shy about your color choice. You can also accentuate your door with a hanging plant, a custom knocker, and fancy door numbers. Sprucing up your front door makes your home stand out on a lane. Check with your homeowners' association to be sure there's no rule against your plan too.

Mailbox Makeover

With less than $150, you can have a lovely mailbox in front of your home. Not only is this easy to do, but the difference is also always clear and attractive. Depending on the kind of mailbox you prefer, either standing or attached to a wall, there are many options to choose from online that will make your home more attractive. You can even get a themed mailbox of your favorite book or movie.

Clean gutters

Take some time to clean your roof gutters regularly. Clearing the gutters involves removing piles of debris that get accumulated over time. Scrub them till they all look shiny again. The effect that clean gutters give your home has to be seen to be appreciated.

Power Wash

Power washing is the equivalent of giving your home a bath! Call a professional power washing company to wash years of dust and grime off your wall sidings, porch, driveway, and garage door. 

Improving your home’s curb appeal can be achieved in a single day if you plan it well. The best part is that the overall effect is worth more than the time and money you will spend. For more ways to improve your home’s look, speak to a home decorator in your area for more ideas.




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Posted by Thomas Murphy on 5/19/2019

Are you thinking about buying a townhouse or condominium? There are some notable differences between a townhouse and a condo that you must know before choosing. Understanding them will enable you to decide on the one to go for, whether a condominium or a townhouse. 

Townhouse 

A townhouse is a tenant-owned conjoined unit. They are structured architecturally like row houses where owners share one or more walls. 

Condominium 

A condominium is also known as a condo. It is a building or collection of buildings in which individuals own different units instead of a landlord. 

Having defined a condominium and a townhouse, let’s take a look at some factors you need to take into consideration when selecting one between the two. Here are the differences between a condo and a townhouse. 

Ownership

When it comes to ownership, condo owners own the unit’s interior only. All other areas of the building belong to the Homeowners Association (HOA). On the other hand, most townhouse owners own both the interior and the exteriors of their units. The exterior includes the lawn and driveway. 

Architecture 

Architecturally, condominiums are versatile. They come in diverse styles. Condo may be part of a cul-de-sac of cottages or part of a high-rise. Townhomes exist in rows; therefore, tenants usually share at least a wall. Townhouses can have two or more stories. 

Community

Condominiums have a focus on communal living facilities like a pool, golf course, clubhouse, and other similar amenities. Some townhouses feature the same kind of amenities as condominiums while others do not. 

Size

Condos come in diverse sizes and styles, and they are generally smaller when compared with townhouses. Townhouses are usually much more substantial than condos.

Maintenance Fees 

Condo owners pay a maintenance fee that is higher than of townhouses. The charges go towards repairing the exterior and community space. Townhouse owners pay an owner maintenance fee monthly. 

Privacy

Condominium could be an apartment-style unit or individual private homes depending on the styles while townhomes share at least one wall with adjacent units. Townhouse does not have units below or above them. 

Home Insurance 

Rates For condominium owners, home insurance rates are lower owners insured the interior of their units only. Insurance rates may be higher in townhouses because the insurance must cover both the interior and exterior of the units.

Choosing which is right for you between a condo and townhouse depends on your family, budget and long-term plans. Contact your realtor today to discuss what option suits you best and how to prepare for it.




Tags: Real estate   Condo   townhouse  
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