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New Year's Resolution: Tips on Saving for a New Home

by The Pilgrim Team

New Year’s Resolution: Tips on Saving for a New Home

 

It’s that time of year again, where you can reflect on everything that you have encountered throughout the past 365 days. Ask yourself, what worked? What didn’t work? And most importantly, what is your New Year’s Resolution going to be for 2018? For many, buying your first home is the first thing that comes to mind. In this article, Professional Realty Associates will provide you with helpful hints on saving up for that resolution.

 

Set & stick to a monthly budget:

If you haven’t already done so, we highly recommend sitting down and constructing a realistic monthly budget. By doing so, you may become more aware of your own “personal flow” of income, which can be helpful in knowing how much you can potentially, and realistically save. Calculate approximately how much you spend each month, and then sift through all of your expenditures to find the ones that are expendable, and more importantly the ones that are necessary. After doing so, cross reference your total monthly income with your total NECESSARY expenditures. The difference between the two is your gross income. Set a fixed percent of your gross income to savings - while there isn’t a fixed percent that needs to be followed, a higher percent will result in a shorter time frame to save up for a down payment on your home, which we will discuss later. The rest of the money can be used at your disposal!

 

Example

Total monthly income = $2,000

Total necessary expenditures= $1,000

Gross Income = $1,000 ($2,000-$1,000)

Fixed percent (50%) of Gross income to savings = $500 ($1,000 x .50) 

 

Calculate how much you need to save for a down payment:

Once interested in purchasing a home, it would be beneficial to sit down and to discuss your options with a Home Financing lender. During the meeting, find a monthly payment that you could comfortably pay each month. You can then calculate the down payment required to purchase the home. This will be your target amount to save up for. 

 

Create a separate savings account:

Often times, it is easy for most people to hoard all of their money into one account. Seeing multiple zeroes in your account provides a sense of security, but can also welcome unwise spending habits. Opening a new savings account will not only allow you to hold yourself accountable for the growth of the account, but also provide you with higher interest rates as opposed to your standard checking account. And who doesn’t like free money? Am I right? 

 

Save 100% of windfalls:

Windfalls can be categorized as an unexpected profit or gain. Examples of windfalls include tax refunds, gifts, year-end bonuses, etc. The idea here, is to stash away windfalls into your private savings account and act like you never had possession of it. This will slash down your down payment goal in a matter of no time.

 

Set a realistic time frame:

You need to be honest with yourself in terms of how long it will take you to save up for the down payment. Set a realistic time frame, and hold yourself accountable. Stick to the plan!

 

Cut yourself some slack:

Don’t punish yourself. It is not uncommon to feel frustrated or under stress while saving for a house. However, if you feel like every single day is a battle, then it may be wise to expand your time frame on buying a house and save in smaller amounts.

 

By setting forth a plan in which you utilize a few of these helpful tips, you will be one step closer to making this year your best one yet! Just remember, if you are in need of assistance, results matter with Professional Realty Associates & Pilgrim Team!

Keeping Your Home Safe During The Holidays

by The Pilgrim Team

 

During this joyous time of the year where everything seems merry and bright, many people across the globe travel to see their beloved family members for the holidays. Here are some helpful tips on how to keep your home safe during the holidays from your local York, Pennsylvania real estate team, Professional Realty Associates.


1. Install a monitored security system.

The most practical and effective solution is to install your own personal home security system. By doing so, you are able to monitor your home from miles away. Depending on the security system, you can also receive notifications and updates through your phone if any suspicious activity takes place.


2. Communicate with a trusted family member or neighbor.

If you are going out of town for the holiday season, be sure to get in touch with a trusted family member or neighbor to frequently check-up on your home. Entrust this individual with a few chores, if willing, while you are away. Have them safeguard your mail, yard, and precious gifts you have received over the holidays. In order to follow local ordinances, you’ll also want to have the same individuals clear your sidewalks surrounding your home of any snow that may have accumulated over your time away. This will be beneficial as it will also deter burglars and any other unwanted trespassers.

 

3. Unplug your Christmas lights. 

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, December is the deadliest month for electrical fires. In order to ensure the safety of you, your family, neighbors, and your home be sure to inspect your Christmas lights for any frayed cords that may have developed over the last couple of months. For a complete guide on Christmas lights, read more here.

 

4. Purchase a freshly cut tree.

Try to buy a freshly cut pine tree - not only because they are more beautiful and green, but because they tend to hold more water, which will prevent ignition.

 

5. Check your smoke detectors.

Change the batteries in your smoke detectors annually to be prepared for any accidents that may occur. This will allow you to enjoy your travels worry-free!

 

6. Never connect more than one extension cord together.

This is a common mistake by many. By connecting multiple extension cords together you run the risk of causing a short power failure, which can lead to fires and meltdowns.

 

7. Watch what you post on social media.

Another tactic to prevent break-ins is to monitor the posts you put up on your personal social media pages. Stray away from posting anything that may indicate you will be traveling during the holiday season.


8. Be leery of door-to-door donation seekers.

Around the holidays it is not uncommon to receive unexpected knocks on your door from individuals who are asking for donations for different charitable causes. By all means, it is the giving season. However, be cautious as it could be a sham to acquire money from you or gather intel on when the best time would be to break into your home. Be wary, and do not give out any information or money without verifying their credentials.


By following these tips from Professional Realty Associates, you can enjoy the holidays knowing your home is safe and sound!

Holiday Tips from Professional Realty Associates: Complete Guide on Christmas Lights

 

As the song goes “There’s no place like home for the holidays”. If you’re a new homeowner, still in search of your dream home, or just looking to add a little extra pizazz, look no further! Here are some basic tips from Professional Realty Associates on how to decorate the exterior of your home for this holiday season:

 

Safety Tips:

Before we get started, it is wise to have proper equipment in order to protect the safety of both you and your home.

  • First, plug in your Christmas lights to make sure they work before hanging them. (Don’t pull a Clark Griswold.)
  • Use a stable ladder.
  • NEVER use nails or any other metallic objects to hang Christmas Lights. Instead, use insulated holders.
  • Stay clear of power lines.

 

Organization Tips:

To ensure a smooth and painless process, have a plan going into the project.

  • Account for the supplies you have.
  • Buy the supplies you need.
  • Have plenty of extension cords on hand.
  • Before assembling, take all of the lights out of the packaging and lay them out across the lawn for inspection.
  • Untangle any snags or knots in the chords.

 

Before making your decision as to how to decorate your home, it is important to ask yourself these questions first:

  • What theme am I going for?
  • Which style best suits me and my home?
  • What power bulb do I need?
  • Which can I afford?

 

Types of Christmas Lights:

  • LED (Light-emitting diode) Lights- An Ideal Real Estate Investment that will continue giving for years to come. A more expensive, but eco-friendlier option that comes in magnificent variations.
  • Incandescent Lights- A classic, less expensive style in comparison to LED lights. Not as much variation, but will certainly give your home the touch of Christmas it is missing!
  • Icicle Lights- Provides a snowy, magical, whimsical look that is a great addition to winter wonderland style themes.
  • Animated Lights- A great eye-catching and unique feature to add to your holiday display. You will certainly have one of the flashiest houses in the Neighborhood.
  • Net Lights- Series of lights woven together to promote light unity. Great for decorating bushes, shrubs, or other structures.

 

2017 Christmas Decorating Trends:

In order to solidify your dominance in this year’s Neighborhood contest, adding a few of these hot new Christmas light trends will almost guarantee that your house will take home the gold this year!

  • Spotlights & projections
  • Add timers and animations to light display
  • Lighted holiday spirit marquees (Illuminated phrases such as “Joy” or “Merry Christmas” that can be hung on a roof or siding)
  • Animated lawn ornaments
  • Music player
  • Pathways created with yard lights

 

By following these instructions, you will be able to instill a winter wonderland in your own front yard this year. If you’re still in search of that perfect place to call home, please contact Professional Realty Associates in York, PA for your real estate needs. Happy holidays to all, and to all a good night! 

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Photo of The Pilgrim Team Real Estate
The Pilgrim Team
Professional Realty Associates
2002 S Queen St, Suite 3
York PA 17403
Office: 717-757-5955
717-755-2683
Fax: 717-757-2887