Pierre C. Rumpf | Manchester-by-the-Sea Real Estate, Effex Real Estate, Beverly Real Estate


The wide variety you can find at the bargain dollar stores may be a treasure hunt or a total waste of your money. When it comes to choosing those items that are worth a quick trip to the store; experience is a good teacher. You could also ask your friends who shop at dollar stores what they have found to be of value. Pinterest and blogs often have dollar store ideas that will save you time and money also. 

Crafters Control Yourselves

To have a list when you arrive at the store can help cut down on the possible sticker shock when you check out and realize you put more than you intended in your cart. If you are making a craft project have the complete list of materials needed with the items you want to purchase from the dollar store highlighted in some way. This way if you run across something that isn’t highlighted, but the store happens to carry, you can grab it and save yourself an extra trip later. Items like glue sticks, poster board, markers, glitter, foam wreaths, silk flowers, and ribbon can all be great buys at the dollar store. 

Gift Baskets Galore

When you have those occasions that require a gift and a card the dollar store is a definite win-win place to shop. The teacher appreciation basket that you want to put together, but not spend the whole nest egg on, can be made with fun items from several departments within the store. For example, a small organizer bin filled with travel size facial tissue, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, and pain reliever. You could add some tea bags of assorted flavors, mixed nuts, and a chocolate treat. Put this is in a large cello bag found and tie it up with a ribbon and as a final touch a thank you/appreciation card on the front. 

Frugal First Aid Kit

Putting together a first aid kit for your home or that care package for the young adult moving out on their own can be done within a short time frame. The dollar store carries first aid items in smaller packaging so you can put everything in a small container. Grab a bowl that has a snap-tight lid or a zipper pouch like a pencil box or bag. Fill the box or bag with band-aids, allergy relief, antacids, nail clippers, vinyl gloves, paper tape, and gauze. You may even find some items not mentioned that are useful additions to a life preparedness kit. 

Go check out one of your local dollar stores this week and see what you can find of value.


Your 401K is a great resource of investing for retirement. Many people use their 401k’s as a part of their overall investment strategies, pulling money out of it when it’s needed. When you’re ready to buy a house, you may think that pulling money out of your 401k for a down payment is a good idea. But think again. 


Although you should always speak with a financial professional about your money matters, the bottom line is that is probably not the best idea to use your 401k to supply money for a downpayment on a home. 


First, your 401k funds are pre-tax dollars. That means that you haven’t paid any taxes on these funds. Your employer will often match the amount of money that you put into your 401k, as an incentive to help you save money for your future. You need to keep your 401k for a certain amount of time before any funds in the 401k become available to you without having to pay any kind of penalty. If you decide to take on the penalty, you can often face a cut to your employer’s match programs as well. This is why you must make this decision wisely. 


The Penalties


Anyone under the age of 59.5 pays a penalty of 10 percent to take the money out of the fund. In addition, you’ll now need to pay taxes on this money, because it becomes a part of your adjusted gross income. 


Alternative Actions


If you are looking to invest in a property, there may be other options for you rather than pulling money out of your 401k. While some plans allow you to borrow money from it. However, if your only option to get money to invest in a property is to pull money from your retirement account, it may not be the best time to invest in property for you. 


Keep It Separate


If you’re younger (say in your 30’s or 40’s) your best option is to have a completely separate account that is used to save for a downpayment and other expenses that you’ll incur when you buy a home. In this sense you aren’t spreading yourself too thin as far as investments go. You should compartmentalize your money. Buying a home is a large investment in itself. Home equity can also be a good source of a nest egg in later years when you need it. However, even if a property will be an income property, it’s never smart to take from one investment account to provide for another unless you’re shifting your focus. You don’t want to reach retirement, only to see that your funds have been depleted and you can’t retire as expected.


When selecting an area rug, several factors will go into determining the size, shape, material, and even the thickness you want. Just like buying a home, it is all about location, location, location. Ask yourself these questions:

- Where will you use the rug?

- How much traffic does that room get?

- Must it hold up to wet shoes and outdoor debris?

- Will there be food in the room?

- Are pets likely to sleep on the rug?

- Will your children play on the rug?

- Do you like to sit or lie down on the rug?

Location

If your rug is in a formal living room, a hand-tufted silk or wool rug might work, but if the carpet graces your family room, where the kids and pets will play on it, nylon or viscose are more durable fabrics. Also, some family members might find the wool in a rug scratchy on bare legs and arms.

High traffic areas such as an entry or hallway, or a busy family room might benefit from sisal or jute if no one wants to sit on them. Moreover, either sisal or jute under a table where crumbs can filter between the spaces in the weave is probably not useful.

Size and shape

In the case of rugs, size matters and bigger is better. If a rug is too small, it chops up your design. The perfect size can pull everything together into a cozy space. When sizing up your carpet needs, consider the room’s orientation. If the room is a rectangle, but you want your sitting area to be a square with a walkway behind the sofa, opt for a square rug. In breakfast nooks, use a round or octagonal rug under a round or octagonal table. Use square under a pub table too. If your dinette is oblong or oval, a rectangular rug is best.

- In the dining room, choose a rug size with at least two or three feet beyond each side of the table to allow for pulling out chairs. Most formal dining tables need a rug that is eight feet wide or wider to accommodate the larger chairs.

- In your living room, leave at least a one-foot space between the edge of the rug and the walls. Your carpet should be large enough that at least the front feet of your main furniture pieces can rest on the rug.

Pile or thickness

When determining the thickness or pile, consider whether a piece of furniture will fit entirely on the rug or be partially off it. If the pile leaves the front feet higher than the back, seating might feel awkward. 

If you need help deciding which rug will best fit in your new home, talk to a design specialist at a local carpet store.


If you recently bought or sold or home, it may be only a matter of time before you need to move into a new residence.

The stress of getting ready for moving day can be overwhelming, particularly for those who have lots of items to pack but only a limited amount of time to do so.

Lucky for you, we're here to ensure you can enjoy a seamless moving day.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you prepare for moving day.

1. Begin Packing Up Your Belongings ASAP

Start packing today, and you'll be able to get your belongings ready for moving day. /p>

Categorizing your moving boxes usually is a great idea. For example, placing kitchen items together may make it easier for you to unpack all of your kitchen belongings at once when you arrive at your new address.

Don't forget to declutter while you pack as well. If you find there are items that you no longer need, you may be able to sell them or donate them to charity before moving day arrives.

In addition, if you need a moving truck to transport your belongings from one location to the next, you should make reservations as soon as you can. The longer you wait to book a moving truck, the less likely it becomes that one will be available for your upcoming move.

2. Cancel Your TV, Internet and Phone Services

As moving day approaches, it can be easy to forget to cancel various services at your present home. However, if you contact your TV, internet and phone services providers today, you won't have to worry about canceling these services on moving day.

In many instances, you may be able to transfer your TV, internet and phone services to your new address. Your services providers will be able to provide full details about all of your options so you can plan accordingly.

Reach out to your utilities providers and other services providers to inform them about your upcoming move too. You also should fill out a change of address form with the United States Postal Service to ensure your mail goes to your new address after moving day.

3. Conduct a Final Walk-Through of Your Current Residence

Before you leave your current location, be sure to complete a final walk-through of your residence. This will allow you to locate any missing items and bring them with you to your new address.

Getting ready for moving day often requires hard work and patience. And if you need extra assistance along the way, your real estate agent may be able to lend a helping hand.

Your real estate agent is a housing market expert who understands exactly what it takes to buy or sell a residence. He or she is happy to provide support at each stage of the homebuying or home selling cycle and ensure you can quickly and effortlessly move from one home to another.

Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you should have no trouble prepping for moving day.


No two houses are exactly the same. Much in the same vein, there is no one-size-fits-all solution to ensure a home seller can get the best price for his or her residence. However, there are several things that a seller can do to boost the likelihood of enjoying a profitable house selling experience, such as:

1. Improve Your Home's Curb Appeal

Upgrade your house's curb appeal before you list your residence – you will be happy you did. Because if your home boasts an awe-inspiring exterior, your residence could stir up lots of interest from buyers as soon as it becomes available.

It generally won't take long for a seller to upgrade his or her home's curb appeal. For example, mowing the lawn, trimming the hedges and performing other lawn care tasks enables a seller to quickly improve his or her residence's curb appeal. In some instances, repairing cracked or damaged home siding may be necessary, too.

If you require additional assistance with home exterior upgrades or repairs, contractors are available in cities and towns nationwide. These professionals can take the guesswork out of home exterior improvement projects and help you bolster your residence's curb appeal in no time at all.

2. Eliminate Clutter

If your home is filled with a large collection of antiques, artwork and various personal belongings, you may want to put these items in storage. That way, you can show off the true size of your residence's interior to potential buyers – something that may lead to a quick house sale.

Of course, if you want to get rid of assorted clutter, you can always host a yard sale or list items online. You may be able to give your unwanted items to family members or friends or donate them to charity as well.

As you remove clutter from your home, it also may be beneficial to clean each room of your residence. Then, your home's interior can capture buyers' attention for all the right reasons.

3. Hire a Real Estate Agent

If you want to get the best price for your home, it typically is a good idea to hire a real estate agent. This housing market expert can offer tips and recommendations to help you enhance your residence's interior and exterior before you list your home. Plus, a real estate agent will help you identify and address home selling hurdles.

Furthermore, a real estate agent allocates time and resources to educate a seller about the house selling journey. And if you ever have concerns or questions about selling your house, a real estate agent can address them right away.

For individuals who want to maximize their home sale earnings, it helps to know what to expect after you list your residence. By using the aforementioned tips, a seller can prepare his or her residence for the housing market. And as a result, this individual may be better equipped than ever before to get the best price for his or her home.




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