Evelyn Doane - William Raveis Real Estate - Cape Cod

Posted by Evelyn Doane on 6/23/2019

In this day and age, thereís no reason to have to worry about forgetting to pay your bills on time. Thereís also no reason to have to write a check or even log into a website each month to pay your bills.

Using a combination of digital tools, itís possible to fully automate your bill-paying process so that you can spend less of your free time trying to remember your passwords and entering debit card numbers and more time doing the things that make you happy.

Benefits of auto-pay

There are plenty of reasons to automate your household bills. More free time and less time stressing about money are two of them. But, did you know that automation can also be a great way to help you boost your credit score?

Late payments on mortgages, student loans, utilities, internet, and cable bills can all negatively affect your credit score. By setting up auto-pay, you can make sure you make your payments on-time, helping to build your credit.

Another huge benefit of bill automation is that you can actually earn money and other rewards by making on-time payments.

For example, setting up your bills and utilities to charge to a credit card with cash back rewards can help you earn money by paying your bills. The one caveat is that you need to make sure you pay off your credit card balance in full each month. How do you do that? With auto-pay!

Where to automate

As I mentioned before, many monthly bills can be charged to a credit card which you can use to earn rewards. However, you wonít be able to use a credit card for all of your bills. Mortgage payments, student loans, auto loans, and oftentimes utility companies will require a checking or savings account with a routing number.

In these cases, itís still possible to set up auto-pay through either the companyís website, or through your bankís bill-pay feature.

Need help with a list of things you could be automating? Consider setting up auto-pay or bill-pay for these services:

  • Cable

  • Internet

  • Cell phone

  • Electricity

  • Entertainment (Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Spotify, etc.)

  • Rent

  • Mortgage

  • Student Loans

  • Insurance

Automation of the future

So, weíve covered some of the most common ways to automate your home expenses. However, recent technologies are making it even easier to run your home and keep up with the bills.

One new innovation is Amazonís Dash button. This service enables you to just tap a button on your smartphone or tablet whenever you need to order new pantry items for the home. Alternatively, you can subscribe for common household goods like cleaning productions, paper towels, and dish soap so that you never run out. And, with Amazon Prime, you donít have to worry about shipping costs.

Between home automation and auto-pay, you should be able to make your home significantly easier to manage and reduce the amount of stress related to paying the bills.

Posted by Evelyn Doane on 6/16/2019

Early attempts at dressing where you arrived in a striped top and polka-dot bottoms may not have earned your rewards when you were little. In fact, it may have put you off mixing patterns at all. After all, playing it safe with solids and neutrals is much less intimidating. But in your home, all that seamlessness leaves you somewhat uninspired. Here are simple, and less angst-causing ways to mix it up in your home.

Throw pillows:

Add life to the party with one stripe and one floral or geometric in similar or coordinating colors. If you want a display bolder look, use contrasting colors such as a bright red stripe with a chartreuse green geometric against your gray sofa. Or pick one large print and one small print in the same or reverse colors. Then, add a third pattern such as a stripe or plaid to pull it all together.

Change up the fabrics and textures too. Put a crisp black canvas or duck weave with a soft green and blue velour print. Or mix a paisley pattern with stripes or blocks. The variety draws the eye to multiple places and can even camouflage a dated sofa or chair.


Mix up your carpet styles too. If you have a traditional carpet pattern in the living room, liven it up with an overlapping sea-grass weave in high traffic areas. Place florals and paisleys within eyesight of each other or put a bold stripe in the entry to the living area.


Mix up those plaid plush blankets with a lovely vintage granny-square crocheted afghan or hang a hand-made quilt over the arm of a pattered high-back chair. 

Vintage pieces:

Experiment with mixing different wood colors and textures too. Place a Victorian table in a dark wood next to a mid-century arm or slipper chair with light legs. Lean a decorative brass screen against the fireplace next to a glass urn from a completely different era. Stack re-discovered suitcases as a side table and set a modern lamp with a mod-print shade on top.

The thing about mixing stripes and patterns or delicate prints with geometrics is that is the balance can come from either the design or the piece. So, a large cushion in a subtle pattern next to a smaller one with a bold stripe works because neither one outdoes the other. The key is to pick things you like, then balance them with other items that share a color or feature or are their direct opposite on the color wheel.

Categories: color   design tips   home decor  

Posted by Evelyn Doane on 6/11/2019

Are you ready to roll up your sleeves and dig into some springtime sprucing up?† Winter takes a toll on homes, and if youíre figuring out what to put on your to-do list, weíve got you covered.† Hereís key advice for getting things shaped up in time for cookouts.

Gather your tools

Spring means dusting off your toolbox and grabbing your gloves since weather is typically perfect for home maintenance.† If youíre snagging time on weekends and evenings for projects, tool selection can be surprisingly important. For instance, a quality hammer is carefully weighted and offers a good grip, helping to avoid accidents and keeping you more comfortable while working.† When making selections, you can read reviews from a trusted source likeTool Review Lab. †

If you have projects beyond your skill level, or lack of time to squeeze them in, you might need a handyman to step in.† Ahandymancan perform odd jobs which require some skill but no special licensing, like pressure washing your house, minor plumbing repairs, or brush removal.

Inspect for damage

As humans hibernate, landscapes often suffer at Old Man Winterís hands.† Take a walk around your house and note signs of trouble, like tree damage or sticks poking out of your gutters.† Even if you cleaned them in the fall, gutters often refill with seeds, leaves, and other debris, so plan to give them a goodcleaning.† Once clean and dry, you can make any necessarygutter repairs, such as caulking leaky seams or patching holes.† While youíre at it, check yourrooffor damage, like curled or missing shingles. †

Clear the clutter

While youíre outside, think about doing some decluttering.† Do you have lawn furniture that has seen better days? And through the years, kids outgrow things like swing sets, trampolines, and other outdoor toys.† Pare down, and rehome what you can. If you have larger items you just need hauled away, there are professionals in the area who can perform this service.† The average cost to Chatham homeowners who need junk or waste removed is typically between$120 - $480, depending on whatís being removed.

Edit your indoor space

Sometimes itís surprising how cluttered things get inside our homes while weíre in hibernation mode.† We often collect a surprising amount of ďstuffĒ through the chilly months, with holidays and indoor activities being our focus.† If itís time to do some decluttering, pick aquick methodand begin pulling your excess belongings.† Think about how often you use certain items and what could berecycled, sold for spending money, or donated to charity, and notesome charitieswill arrange pickup. †

Deal with dust

Going through your home, youíll likely notice clutter isnít the only thing you collected while hibernating.† If youíre seeing excessivedust, Oransi explains itís because air quality is reduced during winter.† Weíre cooped up and running the furnace all the time, which dries things out and leads to more dust floating around.† That dust settles into all sorts of materials, like carpet, upholstery, and clothing. Give your carpets adeep cleaning, vacuumupholstery, and pull your wardrobe out of the closet to wipe down the shelves.† When youíre all done, if you havenít done so recently, give your air filters a refresher.† Youíll be breathing cleaner air throughout your home, and your HVAC system will thank you when outdoor temperatures rise.

Bring the outdoors in

Opening curtains to greenery and sunshine is a much-anticipated rite of spring for many homeowners.† First youíll want to give windows a thorough cleaning so you can really enjoy the view. Good Housekeeping suggestswindow cleaningon a cloudy, dry day so you can best avoid streaks.† Also, with summer breezes on the way, you might need to exchange storm windows for screens.† Sometimes homeowners discover tears and holes in window screens, but you canrepairthem easily to keep the bugs out while letting fresh air in.

Springtime brings with it plenty of maintenance tasks for homeowners.† Gather your best tools, check your property over carefully, and dig in.† Itíll be cookout season soon, and youíll be ready!

Ray Flynn |DiyGuys.net

Tags: Untagged  
Categories: Uncategorized  

Posted by Evelyn Doane on 6/9/2019

Have you ever wondered what makes some houseís curbside appeal look so great and otherse2e more of a ďwhat were they thinkingĒ?

No one plans to be the latter. This can make choosing a paint color for your homeís exterior quite the daunting task. Afterall, itís not exactly a quick project you can repaint if the color isnít quite what you thought it should be.

Use these general guidelines to pick the perfect color for your homeís exterior.

You want to pick a color that goes well with your homeís surroundings. These are the things you donít plan on changing anytime soon like the roof, stonework, the driveway, and pathways.

Itís important to understanding if the undertones of these elements is warm or cool as this can help inform your color decision. Warm colors would be browns, beige, and brick while cool colors would be blacks grays and blues.

Whichever the main undertone is for the surroundings choose the opposite tone for the color of your home. This will help your home feel like a natural placement without completely blending into its surroundings.

Another factor to take into consideration is to know your homeís architectural style and the colors typically used in that style and era. Sticking at least somewhat close to these color schemes when you choose your own shades will prevent your home from feeling ďoffĒ.

Once you have these two factors determined itís time to do some research. Drive through your neighborhood and those that have homes which catch your eye. You can also take to Pinterest and pin images of homes that catch your eye to make an inspiration board. Take notes on those that are your favorites, have a similar style to your home or have a color you particularly like.

When it comes to choosing your color youíll want to pick two or three colors. One for the siding, one for the trim and a third if you are looking to repaint doors or shutters.

Typically the trim work color contrasts with your main color. Think of the traditional white trimming that pops against most popular home colors. You could also select a lighter shade of your siding color for a monologous color palette that creates a serene peaceful feel.

Pick a good quality paint that will withstand time and weather. Painting exterior is a lot of work and making the investment means not having to touch up as often. It is also wise to pick a brand that offers sampler options for you to ďtry onĒ the paint color. Try just a few colors on your home as a swatch test to see how they look in different lighting your house receives throughout the day.

Posted by Evelyn Doane on 6/2/2019

Ever wondered what the market value of your home is? Or what the market value would look like for your dream home? If youíve done a quick Google search youíve probably come across at least a handful of websites offering tools to help you determine the value you on your own. But the numbers these tools put out should always be taken with a grain of salt. Calculating a homeís value is a complex calculation taking more than just hard data into account. And thatís where your real estate agent comes in with the information you need to know that an online tool couldnít possibly obtain.

The first thing you should know is that the market value is not a number set in stone. Itís also not a number that is reached from purely quantitative data. This is because market value is what buyers are willing to pay for a home and there are so many qualitative factors that go into this decision. Factors a computer canít find or determine on its own and that usually require someone local who has extensive knowledge of the area.

Someone like a real estate agent! An agent is well versed in selling homes in the area and connections to the community. Agents also have access to a database that stores information from all the local home sales to use as a jumping off point when calculating the home value.

So this isnít a hard and fast rule that necessarily goes by the book. While homes that have sold with similar features as yours are part of the equation they arenít the whole picture.  So yes, the number of bed and baths in your home, amenities, recent updates, the overall condition of the home, location, and age of the house will all be carefully considered this is just a piece of the bigger picture.

Factors such as current market conditions,  how many other houses are on the market, and the various reasons why nearby homes have sold are a few factors that can make an impact on your home value. Afterall, you donít want to underprice your home based off of other homes that have sold at a lower price point to attract buyers fast or overprice for your neighborhood based on what you feel your home is worth.

Lenders want to ensure the home is selling at or above the market value so getting the price right will ensure a smoother buying process for potential buyers. However, if a property is on the market for longer than 30 days, which happens often to those that are overpriced, buyers start to wonder why. They may avoid your home as a possibility. In this scenario, sellers often have to significantly drop pricing, often below market price, to attract potential buyers.

Real estate agents are truly the best source for all of this information. They can perform what is called a competitive market analysis (or CMA). We have access to resources third-party websites and DIY-appraising just canít access.

Categories: home value   appraisal   market value