Cindy Gleichauf - RE/MAX Real Estate Center



Posted by Cindy Gleichauf on 8/20/2017

Buy a house before you're ready and you could get stuck with a mortgage that chips away at your savings. The fact is that unless you're a professional house flipper, it could take you weeks, perhaps months, to sell your house.

Knowing whether you're ready to buy a home or not is a major life decision. The effects of your decision could last years. Do yourself a favor and think about the below readiness signs before you sign a mortgage.

It's important to buy a house at the right time

The average American mortgage exceeds $170,000. That's a lot of debt to take on if you're not ready. Assess your finances before you look for a house. Add up your food,clothing, entertainment, student loans, travel and credit card expenses. Also,add in how much the house you would like to live in cost, including mortgage interest payments.

Because you'll be paying on your mortgage for years, wait until you've been at your job for longer than a year to buy a house. That doesn't guarantee job security, but it can give you time to gain visibility and a strong, positive reputation where you work. Make sure that you have a dependable income before you take on a mortgage.

Give yourself time to improve your credit score. A good credit score can get you lower fixed mortgage interest rates. Avoid getting pulled into low adjustable rate mortgages, as the amount of interest that you pay on these mortgages may rise over time, making it harder for you to meet your mortgage obligations.

Think about house repairs that you may need to make. Buy a brand new house and five or more years could pass before a pipe, wire or floor needs repair. Buy an older house and you could start repairing leaks, floors and window panes a year or less after you move in. If you know how to lay floor tiles, repair holes in walls and unclog pipes, you might be more ready to take on a mortgage than you think.

Your personality and personal tastes play a role

Consider where you're moving to. If you're a leader, you might be able to form community groups and improve an entire neighborhood that had been struggling with safety and beautification issues. Your personality plays a role in how satisfying you will find home ownership. After all, regardless of where you move, you're going to have to interact and relate with others.

Regarding relationships and personality, ask yourself if you're more comfortable living in a single home or an apartment. For example, if your adult children recently left home, you might adjust to the change better if you rent a townhouse or an apartment for one to two years before you buy a house.

Take the stress out of buying a home. Wait to start house shopping until your personal,work and financial situations permit. It's also good to wait to co-sign a mortgage with a partner until after you have been in the relationship for awhile. But, this doesn't mean that you have to rent an apartment. Until you're ready, as a safeguard, you could purchase a home under a rent-to-own agreement.




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Posted by Cindy Gleichauf on 8/13/2017

A home bar is one thing that most adults should have in their homes. Even if you’re not a drinker yourself, you should have something on hand to offer guests when they come over for an evening of food and conversation. You’ll need the right setup, the right tools, and the right recipes handy to have the perfect home bar. Whether you have a bar already or are looking to build your own, we have all the tips that you’ll need as a rookie bartender.  


The Essentials


You’ll need quite a few essentials in your home bar including but not limited to:


  • Glasses
  • Bitters
  • Bar tools
  • Recipe books
  • Spirits
  • Mixers
  • Garnishes

Find The Right Surface To Transform Into A Bar


You can easily transform any table, sideboard, or cart into a bar. If the vessel that you’re using has a drawer, that’s even better. You can keep all of your bottles, glasses, decanters, and openers in one convenient place. It’s not bad if you can’t fit all of your supplies in one place. Less used items can be stored in the pantry. 


You can even use a simple bookshelf to store all of your bar supplies. Transform any bookcase from “boring bookshelf” to home bar in no time. You can arrange the shelving by category, giving each shelf a purpose. You can keep spirits on one shelf, glasses on another shelf, tools on another, and recipe books on another shelf. 


Does Your Home Have An Actual Bar Built-In?


Many homes actually have bars built in, but people rarely use them because they feel inexperienced in using the bar tools of the trade. Whether you have a full wet bar or a simpler dry bar, keep all of the essentials there. You’ll need:


  • Bar towel
  • Trash can
  •  Glasses
  • Decanter
  • Bar spoon
  • Strainer
  • Shaker
  • Access to ice
  • Juice
  • Sodas
  • Juicer
  • Limes
  • Lemons
  • Jigger
  • Simple Syrup
  • Old fashioned glass
  • Peeler
  • Mesh strainer

Location Of The Bar


If you’re setting up a brand new bar, there’s a variety of places that you can put the bar. If you have space in the kitchen, you can add it to a corner right there. Other great places for your bar could be a den or a man cave. Wherever you’ll spend time hanging out with company is a good place to keep your bar. If you have children, you might even consider getting a locking cabinet system for your liquor. You don’t want little hands getting into what they’re not supposed to.  


Setting up your own home bar is something to be proud of. It will be quite the conversation piece when guests come over. You’ll be able to discuss your collection of liquors and see if friends have any recommendations as to what you might add to your selection of liquors. A home bar is an entertaining essential.





Posted by Cindy Gleichauf on 8/6/2017

If you're not one of those people who "seizes the moment" when you have the chance to save money, it might pay to establish some new bargain-hunting habits. When you adopt the mindset of a frugal shopper, you'll become more effective at stretching your household budget and having more money left over after paying the bills. One costly mistake a lot of people make is to wait until they urgently need something before buying it. Under those conditions, the pressure is on and your choices for saving money are usually limited. If your priorities include saving money, getting the best deal, or stocking up for future needs, then buying things when they're on sale is often the way to make your funds go farther. Here are a few examples of opportunities that can pass you by if you don't take advantage of them while you can:

  • Going out of business sales: There are a lot of reasons a store might be closing its doors, but in many cases that closure could mean substantial savings for you and your family. If the manager's objective is to liquidate as much of the store's inventory as possible, then you could easily negotiate incredible bargains. Although a store's signs and ads might be more promotional than factual ("Everything must go! No reasonable offer refused!"), if they're selling things you need or anticipate needing, it's probably worth stopping by and checking out the sale.
  • End of season sales: When a season or major holiday comes to an end, you may not be in the mood to buy a discounted snow-blower, lawn mower, or Christmas decorations. However, if you can afford it and you know it's something you're going to need next year, it may make sense to buy it now and enjoy the savings later.
  • Scratch and dent sales: Consumer products like household appliances can be quite expensive if you don't look for sales, compare prices, and take advantage of money-saving opportunities. If a retailer is willing to reduce the price of an appliance, a furniture set, or a piece of home office equipment because of a cosmetic flaw or some other minor issue that won't affect it's performance or quality, you might be able to get an exceptionally good deal on the item. Sometimes asking a store manager if they have any unadvertised discounts or distressed merchandise can result in unexpected savings.
  • Surplus merchandise, overstocks, clearance sales, and closeouts: Theoretically, you should be able to save a bundle of money when you shop at stores advertising clearance sales and surplus inventory. Although results may vary depending on the nature of the sale, it often pays to keep an eye out for clearance or surplus inventory sales when hunting for good bargains.
Saving money begins with a certain frame of mind and a strong desire to stretch your household budget. It just takes a little determination, research, and advance planning to ferret out an assortment of worthwhile sales, discounts, and money-saving opportunities.




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Posted by Cindy Gleichauf on 7/30/2017

Moving into a new house takes a lot of time and a lot of money. It can take months to feel like you’re truly “moved in” once you’ve finally gotten the keys to your new home. As a result, many people rush to purchase and set up their houses as quickly as possible.

If--like most people--you’re on a budget, it isn’t always realistic to expect your home to be completely furnished set up in just a couple of weeks. That’s why it’s important to have a plan of your priorities when moving into a new home.

In this article, we’re going to talk about some of the “need now” and “it can wait” items for your home. In creating this list for your home you can make your move a smoother process and help yourself feel at home sooner without having to spend every waking hour (and every cent of your bank account) furnishing your new home immediately.

Read on for a list of the items you need at move-in, the things you should prioritize within the first weeks, and those that can wait.

What you need now

If you’re moving from an apartment or a former house, chances are you have a lot of the items you’ll need to get started in your new home. These are essentials like mops, vacuum cleaners, and your kitchen and bathroom essentials.

Next, you’ll want to determine the things that will make your life in your new home easier. We’re talking daily-use items that you might need for your morning routine. If you’re the type of person who frequently loses keys, it might be a good idea to prioritise a key hook. If you struggle to put on makeup in a dimly lit bathroom, installing new lights should be at the top of your list.

Setting your priorities for the first month

A good way to budget furnishing your new home is to give yourself a specific number of items to buy in the first month, then the second, and so on. Get together with your family, or significant other if applicable, and together determine what’s most important.

It may be that energy efficient windows need to be prioritized over new curtains and blinds. Or, you could have to find a paint color that matches your living room set before repainting your bedroom. Regardless, be sure to budget all of your purchases so that you feel comfortable and ready to take on the first month in your new home.

What can wait

There are a number of items in most homes that are purely cosmetic or decorative. However, the cost of all of the decorations in your home can add up. If you’re planning on starting from scratch with decorations, it’s a good idea to hold off until you have the essentials. This is a good opportunity for you to find the right paint colors and decorations that match your furniture and appliances.

Now that you have a three lists for your home, you should be prepared to furnish it at a pace that works for you.





Posted by Cindy Gleichauf on 7/23/2017

When a loved one needs a bit more help to get around the house, whether they have simple physical limitations or rely on the use of a wheelchair, you’re going to need to make some major changes both inside and outside the home. You may be overwhelmed with the idea that you need to overhaul your entire home in order to make suitable accommodations. The good news is that you can boost safety around the property and make your home easier for you or loved ones to get around without huge renovation projects that will take months at a time. Below, you’ll find some of the most important projects that will need to be completed in order to make a home handicap accessible as well as safe and healthy.


Check The Doorways


If wheelchair use is part of the accommodation, you’ll need to check the width of the doorways. Some doorways may need to be modified in order for wheelchairs to move freely about the home. Widening doorways can cost anywhere between $500-$1,000 to complete depending on where the throughway is in the home. 


Adjust The Showers


The safest way to make a shower handicap accessible to is make it a walk in tub or a wheelchair accessible tub. Depending upon the extent of the accommodations that are needed, you can go a cheaper route and install a bench seat in an existing shower. Hand rails can also be added to the tub for extra safety.


Think Of The Entire Bathroom


The simple addition of grab bars can make a big difference in the safety of a bathroom. Make sure that the bars are installed in easy to reach places. Also any supplies that are needed in the bathroom like soaps, shampoos, and toothpaste should be easy to reach. A toilet riser can also be considered to help people who have issues bending down in order to make the toilet easier to use. 


Don’t Forget The Kitchen     


The kitchen should be a place where accommodations for handicap individuals are definitely present. First, all supplies should be easy to reach. Next, appliances should be adjusted accordingly. Grab bars should also be installed in the kitchen to make safety a priority and accessibility easy.


Install Ramps


Whether or not a disabled person uses a wheelchair, installing a ramp can make a huge difference in the home for a disabled individual. Converting stairways to ramps actually isn’t as expensive as you might think it would be, with costs starting at just $100 for a basic ramp. Custom ramps can run a bit more expensive- as much as $1,000. These make it easier for disabled people to get in and out of the home or around the inside of the home with ease. The total cost can vary based on the size of the ramp and the type of materials being used.


Mind The Floors


To make a home handicap accessible, thick carpets should be removed. Any types of flooring that make it hard to maneuver a wheelchair or walker should be modified.




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Cindy Gleichauf