Thomas Murphy - Pine Shores Real Estate



Posted by Thomas Murphy on 1/17/2016

In the course of a lifetime people encounter many money milestones. It can be difficult at times to know what to do with our money when we go through significant changes in life. Here are some of the major money milestones people encounter: Marriage: According to TheKnot.com, Americans spend an average of $27,000 on a wedding. So vow not to start off your marriage in debt. Curb spending on the big day by cutting expenses where possible. Buying a Home: Experts recommend saving for a 20% down payment for a home. Make sure to shop for a home loan and plan to spend no more than 30% of your taxable income on housing. Starting a Family: The average cost of raising a child is $235,000, not including college. Plan your household costs to increase 10 to 20% with the addition of a baby. Getting a Divorce: Divorce is expensive. Build a team of professionals who are knowledgeable about the implications of divorce, you will need a lawyer, accountant and financial advisor. Retirement: 56% of Americans ages 18 to 34 aren't saving for retirement. Take advantage of your employer’s 401(k) or other sponsored retirement plan. A good plan is to save five percent of your income.  





Posted by Thomas Murphy on 12/14/2015

Everyone knows about coupons for everyday products we buy but did you know there are ways to save at places like the home improvement store, clothing stores and restaurants? Beyond the sales and promotions that these places have from time to time, there are websites that have extra savings waiting for you! Many of the couponing websites have daily or weekly emails you can subscribe to that have links of the best deals on the web. From coupons to restaurants, to online offers at places like Shutterfly, there is always something waiting for you to save on. Two great emails with valuable resources are the ones from www.couponmom.com and www.coupondivas.com. Check them out! There are variety of websites out there that can help you save on the web. www.slickdeals.net has any item you can imagine for some great prices; www.nomorerack.com has everything from clothing to jewelry to home furnishings, all at insane prices; and www.shopathome.com has coupon codes you can use for online shopping to save just like you had a coupon in store. One of the best ways to get emails full of savings is to sign up with your favorite store's website. You will not only be notified with the latest sale, but you will get exclusive coupon savings. Even some places, like Target, have weekly texts with coupons you can use on a variety of items, as well as coupons you can print from their website. Finally, using your reward points from those credits cards can help cut down on costs as well. Since most awards you get get with your points take tens of thousands of points, why not redeem your points for a gift card instead? They usually start out at 2,000 points and can help you cut the cost of that new sweater or Saturday night date night. Paying full price on purchases is not a necessity. No matter that your favorite store is, or how you like to shop, with all the options out there to save, what are you waiting for?!




Categories: Money Saving Tips  


Posted by Thomas Murphy on 12/13/2015

More and more homeowners are choosing to stay in their homes and remodel. Homeowners who stay in their homes will eventually sell their home so it is important to make sure to choose a remodeling project that will get a good return on investment. Homeowners will also want to make sure to choose the right project for their living situation. The following are some helpful hints and a guide to the values of home remodeling projects. First, you will want to ask yourself a few questions before you begin: What is your budget? What is the reason behind the project? Are you looking for more space? Updates? Are you trying to improve your quality of life? Is the goal to create more value in your home? If you are looking to get the most resale value from your remodeling project, Remodeling Magazine has published a survey on how much some projects can increase the value of your home. Here are just a few popular projects and their values: Garage Addition 63.7% increase Home Office Remodel 43.6% increase Roofing Replacement 62.9% increase Window Replacement (vinyl) 71.2% increase For a full list of projects and how much you can expect to recoup you can read the Remodeling Cost Value Report by Remodeling Magazine.    





Posted by Thomas Murphy on 10/18/2015

Everyone wants a deal especially when purchasing a big ticket item like a house. In order to get a good deal you have to be a great negotiator. If you are on the hunt for a housing bargain you need to be prepared and sharpen your negotiation skills. Here are some tips to get you on your way to buying success: Do Your Homework: Gather information about the property. Find out about recent repairs and improvements or renovations. Review the seller disclosure statement look for details, such as the age of the roof and systems in the home. Know the Market: Find out what other homes are selling for in your price range. Ask your real estate agent to do a comparative market analysis on the home you are interested in. The comparative market analysis will compare the home to homes that have recently sold and homes that are currently on the market. Be Prepared: Before you start shopping for a home get your credit in order.The higher your credit score, the better the chance you'll get a good deal on a home loan. Once you have your credit in order start the mortgage process and get pre-approved. If you are pre-approved the seller will see you are a well-qualified buyer. Be Reasonable: It is easy to let emotions get in the way. View the purchase as a business transaction. Approach the situation objectively, and don't take the negotiations personally. Negotiate: Start off your negotiation on the right foot,  don't low-ball the seller with an insulting figure. This can immediately kill the transaction. Negotiation is a two way street. In most negotiations both parties compromise. Be Smart: Stick within your budget and don't let emotion take over when you are negotiating. Know what price you're comfortable with and stick to it. This way you will be sure to buy a home that you can afford.  





Posted by Thomas Murphy on 5/24/2015

Did you know the average family spends over $1600 a year on utility bills alone?   Here are some simple steps you can take to not only save energy but also put some money back in your pocket.

    Put your thermostat to work
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recommends setting your air conditioner at 74 degrees and your furnace at 68 degrees. Investing in a programmable thermostat is a good idea. Set the thermostat to be warmer or colder when you are not home. Reduce the difference in temperature between the inside and the outside of the home to help save energy and money.
    Invest in energy-efficient appliances
You may notice now that washers, dryers, refrigerators, freezers, dishwashers, air conditioners, and computers now come with Energy Star labels which mean they are energy efficient.  Energy Star appliances will save you money over older appliances.
    Unplug
Computers, stereos, toasters, and other appliances draw energy even when they are turned off. A large LCD or plasma TV consumes about 400 watts of energy when in use and 4 watts when not in use.  Using a surge protector will help reduce energy costs. Plug your appliances into a surge protector and turn off the protector when appliances are not in use.
    Seal it up
A well-insulated house is a way to save money on heat and cooling costs. First, start by adding insulation to the attic floor. Next, make sure to fill in any holes in exterior walls especially where pipes come in and around windows and doors. Lastly, wrap hot water pipes with insulation.
    Slow the flow
Install low-flow fixtures to conserve water on your shower, faucets and toilets. Also remember to repair leaky faucets and toilets and turn off the water when brushing your teeth and scrubbing dishes.