Tom Ruble - EXIT New Options Real Estate



Posted by Tom Ruble on 1/18/2019

Buying a retirement home is a big decision. And doing so before you retire is a smart decision. However, youíre also in a completely different place than you will be when youíre retired or as you age. You donít know what the future holds. Itís easy to take our mobility for granted until we lost it. There are a few things you should look for in a home to plan for the future and whatever it may hold.

Many empty-nesters look to downsize when buying their next home. And this very well might be the perfect option for you. But first, consider how often and how many guests you may want to have over at a time. Will you host holiday dinners or want to have room for grandchildren to stay for the night? If you have a large family or one that is growing many couples find they want the room to host dinners or have a pull-out couch.

Youíll also want to plan ahead for the future when choosing the size and layout of your new home. Even if you downsize itís wise to put wide hallways and a single floor plan on your wishlist as you house hunt. If either of you has mobility limitations in the future youíll be glad to have such an accessible home.

The lower your monthly payments on your new mortgage, the better. But more ideally youíll want to consider homes in a price range that allow you to pay in full. Again, keeping retirement in mind keeping bills to a minimum so that either one of you can cover all costs on one sole income could save you from hardship down the line. Retirement is very different from what it used to be, often many people find themselves needing to take on part-time work to get by. Keeping expenses well below your monthly income can help to ensure you can spend your retirement years enjoying life in the way you want to.

In general, when planning retirement itís best to live below your means. Not only do you want to account for inflation costs but also for any unexpected large expenses that could crop up such as home repairs, emergency care, or car maintenance. Having an idea of what your future budget will be as well as your current one will help you make the best decisions for the years ahead now.

Buying a retirement home can save you money in the long run on bills like heating and electric. However, house hunting for the perfect home entails a lot more decisions that many couples realize. Remember to plan for your life both now and later when putting together your must have features for your new home.





Posted by Tom Ruble on 1/11/2019

In a not-so-distant future, American homeowners may not have to worry about blackouts any longer. Teslaís giant battery recently powered up Australiaís grid after a power outage in just milliseconds. And, with new, green technologies, constantly being pursued, it could be within reach to say goodbye to blackouts once and for all.

However, weíre not quite there yet. And, if you live in the colder areas of the country, youíre also at the beginning of the worst season for snow and ice that can wreak havoc on power lines.

So, to help get you prepared, Iíve written this list of things you can do to start preparing yourself, your family, and your home for your next power outage.

Read on for the list.

1. Emergency supplies list

Itís vital to have the supplies on hand before a power outage hits so that you donít have to be wandering around your home in the dark fishing for things you might not even have.

To avoid this, itís a good idea to keep a supplies bag packed and tucked away somewhere safe. Itís also important that your family knows where this bag is located in case youíre away when the power goes out.

Now, letís make your list:

  • Flashlights and batteries - Two quality flashlights with batteries should be on everyoneís emergency list. Make sure your batteries were recently bought and that they are of high quality that wonít run out of juice in just a few minutes. Also, consider including a wind-up flashlight that doesnít require batteries for use in case you forget to replace your old batteries.

  • Radio - Most of us keep our cell phones charged up, but weíve all been guilty of letting them get too low on charge. In these situations, itís good to have a battery-powered radio to listen to the news.

  • Power bank - Speaking of cell phones and their poor battery life, consider buying a power bank and keeping an extra charging cord in your bag. Make a note to charge up your power bank every few weeks to ensure it will be charged when you need it most.

  • Cash - If the blackout effects more than just your neighborhood, many storesí ATM and credit card machines may be down. Itís a good idea to have a stash of cash for emergencies.

  • Optional: generator - while you donít need to buy a generator for your average power outage, it can help if you live in an area that experiences them frequently.

2. Familiarize yourself with your home

Find out where the shutoff valves for water are, learn the layout of your circuit breaker, and learn how to use the manual release on your garage door.

If you have an electric stove, consider purchasing and learning how to use a small propane grill for emergencies.

3. Best practices during a blackout

If you have children, make sure they know what to do if the power goes out when youíre not home. Especially during the winter months, it gets dark out early enough that many parents havenít even arrived home from work yet. So, be sure your kids know not to start lighting candles in dangerous places and keeping the refrigerator open for extended periods.

Finally, itís a good idea to turn off power strips and unplug appliances that were turned on when the power went out. This can stop surges from damaging your appliances and save you money.




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Posted by Tom Ruble on 1/4/2019

When we decorate and organize our homes, few of us give more than a passing thought to the way our choices will affect our mood and behavior in our home. Most of us simply organize and decorate based on what we like on a whim.

There are, however, entire fields of study devoted to the way our environment affects us (environmental psychology), and ways we can engineer and design our environments to change our moods and behaviors.

If youíve ever visited a big city like New York you will likely have noticed an example of this firsthand in city parks.

When you sit down on a park bench, youíll likely find that it isnít the most comfortable place to sit. Thereís more than just a tight budget at play here. Many engineers who plan parks use the idea of ďunpleasant design.Ē They create benches with the intention of dissuading people from lying down  the benches by making them curved or putting arm rests in the middle of them.

In the same way that a city park can be designed to affect your behavior, your home can as well. In this article, weíll give you some tips on how you can better arrange and decorate your home to have a positive impact on both your mood and behavior.

Organize to your advantage

Many of us think of our homes as the opposite of work--itís a place we relax after a long day. However, there are a number of chores and tasks youíll complete at home that can be optimally engineered to save you time.

One simple example is to think about the placement of the items you use in the kitchen. Is your trash can far from the countertop, requiring you to constantly walk away to toss out scraps?

A good way to find out the needless extra work youíre doing around the house is to take note of how you go about your daily routine. This will give you insight into areas where you might better use your time.

Declutter for productivity

Whether you work from home frequently or you just need a quiet place to do taxes or pay bills, a home office can be a good way to avoid distraction. That is, until you fill your home office with distractions.

When organizing your office, think about the content of it. For most people, a decluttered minimalist environment is most conducive to work. Leave out the television, keep your cell phone at bay, and donít cover your desk in papers that youíll constantly be rearranging.

Similarly, your computer needs to be tailored to productivity as well. We all know how tempting it is to head over to Facebook or Reddit when we should be focusing on work. A good way to help break this habit is to utilize a time tracking app that lets you know when itís time for a break. Alternatively, you can use an extension or add-on for your browser that blocks sites like Facebook during the time you specify.

Colors matter more than you think

Each room in your home serves a different purpose. The kitchen is a place of activity and conversation, the bedroom is one of relaxation, and the home office one of focus.

Studies have shown that there is a correlation between the colors and brightness of the room we are in and our moods.

So, when youíre decorating a room in your home, think about the type of colors that fit how you would like to feel in that room.




Tags: home decor   home design  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Tom Ruble on 12/28/2018

Magazine styled homes are gorgeous but theyíre not quite practical. Especially when youíve got little ones running about. But that doesnít mean you canít still have a stylish home. Iíve got a few tricks for you to today to integrate kid-friendly decor with a grown up touch. 

When house shopping keep those with open floor plans at the top of your list. Open floor plans help your family to stay social and connected with each other. Itís also a whole lot easier to keep your eye on your little ones in the living room while youíre making dinner. Additionally, an eat-in kitchen creates a welcoming atmosphere for older kids to hang out around after school while eating snacks or working on homework.

When it comes to furnishing your new home opt for furniture that doubles as storage to tuck away toys. This helps to keep a tidy home while maintaining a welcoming room for children to pull out a few toys and spend time with the family. If you choose to have wall to wall carpeting be sure to choose one designed to withstand heavy traffic. Alternatively, for a statement rug using an outdoor carpet inside adds visual interest and makes for easy cleaning.

Furnishings in heavy duty fabrics like microfiber, acrylics or distressed leather can withstand messes and frequent cleaning. For existing furniture, slip covers are another way to protect sofas while being able to easily wash messes from kiddos and pets. Round shaped tables eliminate sharp corners and the bumps and bruises they create.

It may be tempting to choose dark colors to hide inevitable messes and stains however itís best to opt for mid-tone colors to keep a bright, welcoming room. Add pops of color with pillow covers in lighter colors. Pillow covers are ideal since not only can they easily be swapped out to give a room a fresh new look but they can also easily be cleaned by throwing them in the wash.

Install shelves that allow books to be propped up with their covers viewable. Children will be more likely to grab them to read and they will also double as an evolving art display in your home. Another great way to add child-friendly art is to frame the paintings and drawings your children bring home. Youíll have a unique one of a kind piece to rival Pollock and Rothko.

A guest bedroom with one or two bunk beds will make your home the sleepover favorite among your childís friends. Youíll maximize space and provide a much more comfortable sleeping space than a sleeping bag on the floor. Storing snacks in baskets and see through jars out in the open makes it easy for kids to grab and go throughout the day. Youíll have peace of mind visitors arenít going hungry while creating a welcoming, homey space for all.

When decorating most put their own taste and style first. However, when raising a family the difference between a house and a home is that everyone living under its roof feels at comfortable in its space. Creating a family friendly home doesnít mean sacrificing style but it does mean a few tweaks that bring everyone closer together.  




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Tom Ruble on 12/21/2018

If you're planning on making the transition from apartment renter to homeowner in the near future, you can be sure that the experience will be both exciting and challenging!

While some first-time home buyers are fairly well prepared for the changes that accompany homeownership, others encounter a myriad of unexpected expenses, neighbor problems, and household emergencies. Keeping surprises to a minimum and knowing how to handle difficulties when they come up are two strategies for keeping your life on an even keel in your new home.

When taking your initial plunge into homeownership, here are a few things to keep in mind to avoid problems and get the most from your new home.

Budgeting for expenses: When you're a renter or living with your parents, three things you generally don't have to concern yourself with are home repairs, appliance replacement, and yard maintenance costs. The longer list of homeowner expenses that could take a bite out of your paycheck or bank account includes furnace and AC services, chimney cleaning, snow removal, landscaping, exterminator services, plumbing leaks, and lighting installation. Many first-time home buyers also need to buy items like a lawn mower, clothes washer and dryer, and furniture. Although you can delay or spread out some of these expenses, they do need to be considered when creating a household budget.

Privacy is a factor: Depending on the proximity of houses, the openness of your yard, and the extent to which you want to get to know your neighbors, you might find yourself wanting to have some fencing installed or privacy hedges planted. Ideally, these are alterations you'd want to have done shortly after you move in -- if not before. That way, next door neighbors will have less of a tendency to take it personally when you erect barriers between you and them. And speaking of privacy, curtains and blinds are often a priority that needs to be taken care of immediately. While some homes for sale may include window treatments, there's a good chance your home decorating shopping list may include curtains!

Neighbor relations matter: If you happen to have neighbors who are easy going, relatively quiet, and likable, then consider yourself very fortunate! Being a good neighbor is, of course, a two-way street, so try to keep your noise level down to a "dull roar" and be the kind of neighbor you'd like them to be! That's no guarantee, of course, that everyone's going to get along famously and be the best of friends, but mutual respect and showing a modicum of friendliness to neighbors does help establish a cordial neighborhood atmosphere.

By creating a realistic household budget, being neighborly, and factoring in your need for privacy, you can begin setting the stage for a satisfying and fulfilling homeowner experience.







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