William Raveis Real Estate and Home Services

Posted by Deborah Schilling on 1/11/2018


We’re not taught much about homeownership when we’re young. Like paying bills and taxes, it’s something we’re all expected to pick up along the way. But with something as important and expensive as buying a home, there should be a guide to help first time homeowners determine if they’re ready to enter the real estate market.

Today, we’re going to attempt to provide you with that guide. We’ll offer some of the prerequisites to homeownership to help you determine if you’re ready to buy your first home.

A rite of passage 

Buying a house is a significant moment in anyone’s life. It’s often a precursor to starting a career, a family, and settling in a part of the country you will likely call home for a large portion of your life.

It’s also overwhelming.

There’s much to prepare for before buying your first home. You’ll be calculating a lot of expenses, thinking about jobs and schools, and learning new things about home maintenance. Here are some things to think about before buying your first home.

Can I afford it?

The most obvious question first time buyers ask themselves is whether they can afford a home. What many don’t ask, however, is if they can afford all of the unexpected expenses that come with homeownership.

Everyone knows they’ll be making mortgage payments. But to decide if you can really afford a home you’ll have to make a detailed budget. Here are some other expenses to consider:

  • Mortgage closing costs

  • Property tax

  • Home insurance

  • Maintenance and repairs

  • Home improvement

  • All utilities

  • Moving costs

Do I plan on staying in the area?

When you buy a home, you’re not just committing yourself to the house itself, but also to the area you live in. Typically, it only makes sense to buy a home if you’re planning on staying in it for a number of years (usually five or more). Ask yourself the following questions to determine if you can truly commit yourself to your area.

  • Could my career lead me to transferring to another location?

  • Could my spouse’s career lead them to transferring?

  • If children are in the present/future, is the local school district what I’m looking for in terms of education for my child?

  • Will I want to move live to family?

  • Will I have to move soon to care for aging parents?

  • Do I like the weather and culture in the area?

Is my income stable?

Owning a home is much easier when you have a stable income or two stable incomes between you and your significant other. It help you get preapproved for a mortgage and help you rest easy knowing that you can keep up with the bills each month to maintain or build your credit.

Stability doesn’t just mean feeling comfortable that your company won’t get closed down or that you’ll be dismissed from your job. It also means that there are frequent openings in your field of work in the area you choose to live. So, when planning to buy a home, make sure you factor in the potential travel distance to cities or places you could potentially work.

Am I prepared to put in extra work?

If you currently rent an apartment, you’re most likely not responsible for maintenance outside of basic cleaning. Owning a home is a different story. You’ll be taking care of the house inside and out. That means learning basic maintenance and buying the tools for the job.

It also means mowing the lawn, cleaning the gutters, shoveling snow off of the roof, and other menial tasks that you’ll need to make time for.

Posted by Deborah Schilling on 1/4/2018


If you intend to buy or sell a home, it's never too early to start planning ahead for moving day. By doing so, you can find a great moving company that will make it simple for you to take all of your belongings from Point A to Point B.

Ultimately, there are several best practices that individuals should consider before they hire a moving company, and these practices include:

1. Conduct an In-Depth Search

Dozens of moving companies may be available in your city or town, and all of these businesses claim to be the best. As such, differentiating one moving company from another sometimes can be difficult.

To kick off a search for a moving company, it often pays to reach out to family members, friends and neighbors for support. These individuals likely have moved at some point in their lives and may be able to provide moving company recommendations.

When in doubt, don't hesitate to search for moving companies online as well. A simple online search for moving companies likely will reveal a wide range of results. However, as you check out each company's website and client reviews, you should have no trouble narrowing your search.

2. Ask for Client Referrals

It never hurts to ask a moving company for client referrals. That way, you can gain firsthand insights into what it is like to work with a particular moving company.

To obtain client referrals, call a moving company directly. If the company has a proven reputation, it likely can provide client referrals instantly. Conversely, if a moving company has delivered lackluster results to date, it may struggle to provide client referrals.

In addition, ask a moving company's past customers about their experiences with the business. Find out why these customers chose a particular moving company, how the moving company handled various moving day challenges and whether these customers would use the same company in the future. This will enable you to gain the comprehensive insights you need to make an informed decision.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

Local real estate agents are well-connected in their respective cities and towns. Thus, if you contact a real estate agent today, you can simplify your search for the right moving company.

A real estate agent is happy to provide expert recommendations about moving companies in your area. Plus, if you need help finding a moving company on short notice, a real estate agent will go above and beyond the call of duty to assist you.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent is available to support homebuyers and home sellers alike. This housing market professional understands the challenges associated with buying and selling a house and will assist homebuyers and home sellers in any way possible. In fact, a real estate agent will help a property buyer or seller get ready to enter the housing market, prep for moving day and much more.

Take the guesswork out of finding the right moving company – use the aforementioned best practices, and you're sure to find a terrific moving company.

Tags: moving tips  
Categories: Uncategorized  

Posted by Deborah Schilling on 12/28/2017


There are few things more frustrating than finding out that the plants you’ve been tending to all summer have been overrun with insects and aren’t producing any fruit. Perhaps even worse is when you find a trail leading into your pantry where your food has been compromised by a tiny army of ants.

Keeping the pests out of your home and garden is a difficult task made even harder if you want to do it without using harsh chemicals and pesticides. However, there are ways you can effectively keep your food safe. In this article, we’ll show you how.

Protecting your garden from pests

The most important tool you have at your disposal when it comes to protecting your lawn, flowers, and garden from pests is your own vigilance.

In the garden, take note of the condition of your plants’ leaves. Look on the underside of them for small, yellow or brown dots. These are often insect eggs that will soon hatch and result in your plants being devoured before they can produce crops.

As a last-ditch effort to keep the bugs away, you can try spraying your plants with a homemade insecticidal soap spray. These sprays are usually 95% water and then a small amount of  pure castile soap or vinegar. Be sure not to use too much or this can harm your plants or soil.

Whether you live in the city, the suburbs, or in the country, there are likely to be some furry creatures who see your garden as a food source. One way to keep many away is by framing the garden with a simple metal wire fence.

If it’s flowers you’re worried about, try planting them in mulch and keeping the leaves dry when possible. This will avoid excess moisture which can cause plant-killing diseases. Using a watering can rather than a hose will help you target the base of the plant and keep the leaves dry.

Keeping the bugs outside

Regardless out whether your home is old or new, you’ll likely someday find yourself with an insect problem. Some are lured in by warmth in the cold seasons, others are seeking a food source.

Let’s begin on the exterior of your home. Check for cracks in your foundation and along doors and windows and seal these cracks up. Next, if there’s a space under your door, install an aluminum door threshold if there is a gap between your door and the floor. While you’re there, make sure the weather stripping on your door is in good condition.

Next, make sure all of the screens in your doors, windows, and other ventilation areas are in good condition. Even the tiniest tear can be enough to let in flies and other insects. 

The final step in keeping the bugs out of your home is to remove what’s luring them there in the first place. Store your food in airtight storage containers within your cabinets. Not only will this keep bugs away, but it can also make organizing food easier, especially things you might not use often, like flour or a large bag of sugar.

Categories: Uncategorized  

Posted by Deborah Schilling on 12/21/2017


Clutter can be overwhelming, particularly for a home seller who wants to generate plenty of interest in his or her residence. However, there are many quick, easy ways to declutter your house, including:

1. Organize All of Your Belongings.

Although you may have accumulated many items over the years, a step-by-step approach will enable you to organize all of your belongings and declutter your residence at the same time.

To get organized, take a close look at all of the items in your home. Then, sort through these items and differentiate your must-have items from the non-essential ones. This will enable you to declutter your house with ease.

Remember, if you devote the necessary time and resources to organize your belongings now, you can clean up your living space. And as a result, you may be able to make your home an attractive option to a wide range of homebuyers and boost your chances of a quick sale.

2. Add Storage.

If you choose to keep a broad assortment of items in your home, you may want to pick up storage bins. That way, you can place various items in storage bins, label the bins accordingly and store the bins in an attic or basement to minimize clutter.

Furthermore, decorative storage options are available for those who want to declutter without sacrificing their distinct sense of style. For example, chests and dressers make it simple to store clothing and accessories and may help enhance your living space's décor. Also, file cabinets ensure you can store your documents with ease.

Don't forget about garage storage cabinets, either. These cabinets can make a world of difference for home sellers who have assorted tools scattered throughout a garage. In addition, garage storage cabinets often are portable, which means you can bring these cabinets with you after you sell your house.

3. Get Rid of Junk.

Junk can be problematic, but one individual's junk is another's treasure, and it may be simple to find many people to take junk off of your hands.

If you have a large collection of non-essential items that look great and work properly, you may want to consider hosting a yard sale. By doing so, you can declutter your residence and earn extra cash by selling assorted non-essential items.

You may be able to donate non-essential items to local charities as well. And in some instances, you could receive a tax deduction for your charitable donations.

When it comes to decluttering your residence, there is no need to clean up your house alone. Thankfully, your real estate agent can offer guidance and tips to help you take the guesswork out of decluttering. This real estate professional will make it easy for you revamp your house, and as such, help you optimize the value of your residence.

Spend some time decluttering your home – you'll be happy you did. With hard work and attention to detail, you can declutter your residence and bolster its appearance .

Posted by Deborah Schilling on 12/14/2017


Home sellers rejoice! The housing market moves rapidly, which means home sellers who allocate the necessary time and resources to enhance their residences should have no trouble stirring up plenty of interest in their properties as soon as they become available.Ultimately, navigating the fast-paced housing market can be simple for home sellers – here are three tips to ensure that you can do just that.

1. Focus on Your House's Curb Appeal

For home sellers, it is paramount for your house to make a positive first impression. Otherwise, homebuyers may shy away from your residence if it fails to garner their attention.Fortunately, it can be quick and easy to revamp your home's exterior and boost your property's curb appeal.A home seller who mows the front lawn and cleans his or her home's siding can bolster the property's curb appeal instantly. Also, don't forget to clear off walkways and remove leaves and weeds from your lawn to further enhance your home's curb appeal.

2. Price Your Home Competitively

A homebuyer may not even have to set up a home showing to be turned off by your property. In fact, a home seller who sets a high asking price for his or her residence risks alienating potential homebuyers immediately. Conversely, if you set the right asking price from the get-go, you may receive many great offers on your residence when it hits the housing market.Assess the prices of comparable houses in your area to determine a "competitive" asking price for your residence. By doing so, you'll be able to establish fair market value for your house and improve your chances of a quick home sale.Don't forget to be flexible with your asking price as well. And don't forget, if a homebuyer submits an offer that falls below your initial expectations, you can always counter this proposal.

3. Work with a Fast-Paced Real Estate Agent

To succeed in today's fast-paced housing market, you need a real estate agent who understands what it takes to list a property and maximize its value at any time. Thus, hiring an experienced real estate agent ensures that you can generate significant interest in a fast-paced housing market.An experienced real estate agent will be able to promote your residence to the right homebuyers consistently. This real estate professional will go the extra mile to ensure that you can add your property to the housing market and get the best results possible. Furthermore, your real estate agent will address any of your concerns and questions and ensure that you receive the support you deserve throughout the home selling process.Listing a home in a fast-paced real estate market may seem difficult, particularly for first-time home sellers. But with an experience real estate agent at your disposal, you can overcome any housing market hurdles. This real estate professional will simplify the process of listing your residence, and ultimately, help you optimize your home's value.Take advantage of the aforementioned home selling tips, and you can minimize the guesswork associated with selling your home in a fast-paced real estate market.

Deborah Schilling