Christine Sosa - RE/MAX On The River



Posted by Christine Sosa on 1/1/2018

When you're a new homeowner, it's hard to refrain from walking down the aisle of Bed Bath & Beyond and dumping everything you see into your cart. Initially, when making a shopping list for your new home it will seem like you need everything  and you need it now. It doesn't always make sense, however, to go on shopping sprees and starting several different renovation projects at once in your new home. Whether you need to be conservative with your money or you want to take your time and furnish one room of your house at a time, creating a household spending budget can be an invaluable tool. In this article, we'll cover how to make your own personalized household budget that you and your family or housemates can use to keep yourselves accountable when it comes to making your new house uniquely your own.

Set priorities

Moving into a new home can be sort of like camping out for the first few nights. Many of the basic things you take for granted might not be unpacked  or set up yet. Other items you might still need to purchase. This is a good reminder of which items matter the most when moving into a home. When you prepare to make your budget, think about the items on your list that are the most vital to your daily life. This may be different for each person. If you're an avid yoga practitioner but your yoga mat got ruined in the move, buying a new one might be higher up on your list of priorities than the average person who occasionally stretches. The best way to find out what items are high up on your list is to go through a few days in your new home and write down everything you need, then arrange it in order of importance. From there, we can start setting your budget.

Budgeting tools

Depending on how comfortable you are with technology, you have several options when it comes to ways of keeping a budget. In your Appstore you'll find a plethora of free budgeting apps that all fit a specific need. One of the most popular, Mint, connects securely with your bank account and lets you set up several budgets. It will track your income and spending and categorize your purchases automatically (groceries, gas, bills, etc.). You can set a "household" budget in Mint and make sure all your home purchases go into that category. If you're more inclined to using a spreadsheet, you can use Google Sheets, or a program like Excel to create your budget. The benefit of using Google Sheets is that it is easily shared and synced with others, allowing you to collaborate on the budget together. Your final option is to use a good old fashion hand-written budget. If you don't want it to be forgotten, you could hang it on the refrigerator or write it on a whiteboard hung somewhere highly visible in your house.

Commitment

The hardest part of budgeting is committing to it. You and your housemates will need to work together to make sure you keep track of your purchases and take the time to plan out your budget, be it weekly or monthly. The best way to do this is to set a reminder in your calendar for a budget planning day once per month with your housemates. Decide what needs to be purchased and who will be buying it. Once you've made a habit of keeping your household budget, you'll be on your way to completing your home in a way that makes sense for you financially.




Tags: budgeting   apps   home   house   tips   budget   advice   appstore  
Categories: Home   tips   apps   budgeting   budget   house   advice   appstore  


Posted by Christine Sosa on 7/3/2017

In an age of endless distractions, it can be hard to keep ourselves (and our families) accountable when it comes to doing chores and keeping the house clean. However, the digital age has also brought us an endless number of tools to fight the urge of being lazy and scrolling through our Instagram feeds for hours at a time. In the iPhone app store there are hundreds of productivity apps designed to help you accomplish things throughout the day. The realm of cleaning and chores is no exception. Browsing through those apps, however, can be just as daunting as the chores they're helping us do. So, we've built a list of the top eight most useful iPhone apps for cleaning and chores around the house. (Many of these apps are also available on Android as well.)

1. Chorma

Do you have a full house but it seems like you're the only one doing household chores? Chorma will help you change that. It's designed for family, couples, roommates, and anyone else who is in need of dividing up chores. You'll be able to sync between devices and earn rewards as you complete chores. This incentivizes cleaning (if having a clean house just isn't that big of a deal to you).

2. Tody

I have no problem doing chores. I just always do them days too late. If that sounds like you, then Tody is for you. This app allows you to set the frequency that certain chores need to be completed. There will be small reminders in the app letting you know if and how many days you are overdue for cleaning the toilet. This really adds on the guilt factor if you're the type who needs a bit of extra persuasion to get some cleaning done.

3.  Unfilth Your Habitat

Calling your cleaning tasks "chores" can sometimes make you feel a bit childish when trying to get some cleaning done. Unfilth Your Habitat is definitely not for kids. This is made obvious by the name of the app, which has been censored here to read un"filth" rather than the other "f" word. This app will motivate you with guilt and shame, but will reward you for completing your tasks.

4.  EpicWin

If you like playing video games, specifically role playing games (RPGs), EpicWin is the productivity app for you. The app is an RPG/to-do list where your epic adventures are your chores.

5. BrightNest

BrightNest is the all-inclusive homemaking app. It has cleaning tips, home decor advice, and a personal schedule for helping you spruce up your house.

6. SimplyUs

SimplyUs is the app for busy couples that helps them stay productive together. The app lets you share your calendars (Google, Yahoo, etc.), to do lists, and more.

7. Sortly

If you plan on moving in the near future or if you're a collector of any kind, Sortly will help you catalogue and keep track of your entire home inventory. It helps you print labels for moving boxes, tells you how many boxes you need, and much more.

8. The Fridge App

The Fridge app is an electronic version of the sticky notes you would put in your home for your family. It can sync between your whole family and will give them updates on any new posts or changes that are made.





Posted by Christine Sosa on 3/20/2017

Smart home technology is an innovative trend in residential home construction. Innovative advances in technology are forever changing the way we live our lives and build our homes. Smart home technologies once available only in the most luxurious of homes and requiring specialized expertise to design, install, program, and set up, can now be found at all price levels of new home construction. Is the growing rate of burglaries and home invasions a concern? Do you want to be able to anonymously look in on the nanny or see what your teenagers are up to when you are away? Homeowners, due to growing security concerns, are embracing the many new or enhanced safety and security features that smart home automation systems can achieve. Busy professionals are expressing safety and security concerns for aging parents and young children. Smart home technology can relieve concerns with state-of-the-art remote monitoring equipment and technologies. Energy efficiency is another motivating factor behind the increase in smart home technology. The home construction industry is embracing the energy efficiency trend and incorporating home automation systems to meet the ever-growing demand for energy efficiency and reduction of home heating and cooling bills. Convenience and ease of operation drive the technology marketplace with new gizmos and gadgets appearing weekly. Did you fail to turn down the air conditioning when you left for work? No worries. With a touch of an app, you can turn up the heat, turn down the temperature, arm the alarm system, start the slow cooker, water the lawn, or turn on exterior lighting. From a laptop, tablet or smartphone, today’s homeowners can control security systems, lighting, HVAC, entertainment equipment and so much more. The latest innovations in smart home technology can include tank less water heaters, geothermal features, and solar power. Green innovations include the use of recycled materials, advanced framing techniques, tree conservation, and infill projects. When “smart home” owners closely monitor energy and water consumption, they save money. Green Is Good Builders and home buyers are realizing that today’s green technology can give a return on investment must faster than in the past; the concern of additional upfront costs overshadowed by long-term savings from efficiency. Imagine! With a smart home, you are only limited by your imagination. If there is a function in your home that operates electronically, your electrician or technology consultant, working with your builder, can incorporate it into your smart home design. Not only does incorporating green building materials and techniques save money, but it also results in better quality construction practices that result in structures that often hold their value better. We all want to do our part to protect the planet. Green building techniques and technologies make homeowners feel good about minimizing their impact on the environment.