Lynn D'Avolio
J. Barrett & Company | 801-597-2857 | lynn1@soldbylynn.com


Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 4/23/2019

Life can be hectic at times. Families are always on the go with after-school activities, birthday parties on the weekend, and work. With all of this to juggle, having to plan for dinner for seven days a week can feel like youíre adding another depleting task. There are ways to get ahead of the week and not let it get a hold of you. Here are some simple tips for putting into practice.

To get organized in your meal planning, start by writing out your meals for the week. Having a written meal plan for the whole week will help you create a complete grocery list. Getting all your groceries at once means not having to go back and forth to the store to pick up something you forgot. Plus, this allows you to think creatively about what your meals will be depending on your schedule for that week. 

When planning a meal, the ingredients are the most critical part of the process. Going to the grocery store is the last thing most people want to do on a weekday. Start by designating a day out of the week that you will commit to going grocery shopping. The weekends may work better for some more than others. 

If you donít have the time or energy to deal with the grocery stores, there are online resources that can assist you in that area. Amazon has partnered with Whole Foods for online food delivery service. If you have Amazon Prime, you will receive exclusive deals and savings. You can find these savings and sales through the Amazon app and the Whole Foods app. Another online food shopping service to use is Fresh Direct. If you live in the Northeast, this is a helpful source. Fresh Direct has a minimum order delivery of $30 and a flat delivery fee depending on where you live. 

Finally, after youíve done all the shopping, start by preparing your meals. You can cook all the meals on the same day or prep the ingredients for the upcoming days. If your family is not big on eating leftovers, cook the first couple of meals for the next couple of days. Then, season or prepare for the rest of the meals for the remainder of the week. If youíve got kids, have them assist you in food prepping and make it a weekly family affair. 

By preparing ahead of time for your meals, you will make healthier choices and make room for things that are important to you. Check out some of the sites listed in the article to see how you can make meal planning a part of your weekly routine.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 4/16/2019

Everyone loves to admire those homes with excellent curb appeal as they drive into a street. When you want to sell a home, curb appeal is one factor that plays a significant role in attracting a buyer. If the curb appeal is excellent, then attracted buyers are inclined to see what is inside the home. 

Curb appeal also has other roles to play in a home. If you are not listing or selling, then curb appeal is equally important to have a beautiful exterior you can be proud of and that makes your neighborhood attractive to other buyers. Here are some easy ways you might accomplish curb appeal for your home.

Paint the front door

Sometimes, adding a splash of color to the exterior is a simple step. Paint the front door with a bold or bright color that guarantees it stands out and is impossible to ignore. Also, make sure that the color you pick, matches the rest of the house. This way everything looks creatively beautiful and organized.

Invest in the landscape

The landscaping around your home defeats your efforts to achieve good curb appeal if not taken care of. Invest in some fully-grown trees, and pretty plants or shrubs. These contribute to a green landscape that makes any home look unique, eco-friendly, and homey. 

Don't forget the roof

When making efforts to achieve curb appeal, you may let the things at your eye level carry you away. It's easy to forget the roof, but that is a mistake you want to avoid. Check the roof of the home for any repairs, replacements, cleaning, or maintenance needed. The roof matters more than you know, so be sure to keep it in good condition.

Landscape lighting

Outdoor lighting ósometimes referred to as landscape lightingóinvolves light fixtures that highlight your landscaping are suitable for outdoor use. Landscape lighting serves as security, a source of illumination, and a great curb appeal in the evenings. 

Colorful plants

You can improve the exterior appearance of your home by planting a few cheerful plants. Avoid artificial flowers because they scream fake, and do more damage than good. However, make certain that the plants you choose can grow favorably for a few months. Having dead plants outside the home will do nothing good for curb appeal.

Try these easy tips to enhance your home's curb appeal and receive compliments from the neighbors or make a quick sale. For more curb appeal techniques, talk to your real estate professional.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 4/9/2019

The rent vs buy dilemma is something that Americans have been facing for decades. Both options have their benefits, and itís really a matter of timing and preferences when it comes to choosing which is best for you.

However, there are a lot of things to consider before making this decision. So, in todayís post weíre going to break down some of the benefits of renting an apartment and of buying a home. That way you can make your decision with a clearer picture of what each situation looks like.

One thing to note first, however, is that it isnít always as simple as buy vs rent. Some living situations draw on the pros of each type of living. For example, living in a condo might be a good option for people who want the privacy and independence of owning their own home, but who also donít have the time or desire to keep up with maintenance.

So, as we compare buying and renting, keep in mind that the features of each are not mutually exclusive.

Renting an apartment

Most people who are living on their own for the first time start off renting. For younger people just out of school, renting offers the first taste of independence without the prerequisites of homeownership.

When you rent your first apartment, youíll learn the skills associated with budgeting for your monthly expenses, making your rent payments on time, and will start learning some of the skills that it takes to run a household.

In terms of monthly costs, apartments can vary greatly. Depending on where you live (and how luxurious the apartment is) you could end up having rent and utility payments that are much lower or much higher than mortgage payments for a house.

However, apartment leases often come with the benefit of utilities, trash removal, and other expenses built in. They also typically require the landlord to maintain the apartment and the land it sits on.

Live in the northern part of the country and hate shoveling snow? Make sure your lease specifies that your landlord will provide snow removal.

One technique that many renters take is to find an apartment that is small and affordable while they save up for a home. In this case, itís worth living with fewer amenities if your end goal is saving for a down payment.

But, what if you want to own a home someday but havenít quite decided where you want to settle down? Maybe your work keeps you moving from place to place or youíve always wanted to move away to somewhere new.

Renting is typically a better option for those who arenít quite sure what their plans are for the next coming years. They can have a stable place to live while they figure things out and plan their next move.

Buying a home

Once youíve rented a home for a while, you might become increasingly aware that you want more space and more control over your home.

Youíre also likely noticing how much money you spend on rent each month that is essentially a net loss.

When you buy a home, your mortgage payments might be going to the bank, but someday the money youíve paid toward that home will be yours in the form of equity. You can then use this as a down payment for another home.

This financial benefit cannot be understated. Since house values dependably increase over time, owning a home is a great investment toward your future.

So, those are the main pros and cons of renting vs buying a home. Think about your circumstances and determine which one makes the most sense for you right now. Then, start planning for the future.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 4/2/2019

If youíre in the market to buy a home, you have a lot of options. Do you want to buy a fixer-upper? Should you get a home close to the city or nestled in the suburbs? How much can you spend on a home to get the amount of space youíll need for you and your family. There are so many variables that exist in the decision to buy a house.


One thing that many buyers want but arenít sure of is the concept of a ďmove-in-readyĒ home. Sometimes, move-in-ready means that a home is brand spanking new. There should be no work in the house that needs to be done because everything is installed new during construction. As soon as construction is completed, you should be able to move right into the home. 


Other homes that are deemed ready to move right in are those that are relatively new and have very little work to do. If a home has a roof thatís caving in, itís not move-in-ready. If a home needs paint, itís a sure bet that you can move right in. You may just need a bit of elbow grease in some of these situations. Itís your job to let your real estate agent know what you are looking for and what your budget is. Read on to discover the benefits of buying a move-in-ready home. 


You Can Enjoy It ASAP


It takes a lot of work and a lot of cash up front to buy a home. You want to enjoy the fruits of your labor sooner rather than later. If you buy a home that needs little to no work, youíll be able to enjoy it sooner. Thereís no waiting period to move in when you buy a house thatís in excellent condition. You can just start living.


New Upgrades


If you buy a home that you can move right into, you will often get things that are trending at the moment. The best of appliances, technology, and security are just some of the benefits that youíll be able to enjoy when you buy a home that doesnít need a lot of work. 


Good Location


Many times, youíll find move-in-ready homes in great locations. These homes will also give you a great resale value once you head to sell the house in the future.


Motivated Sellers


Whether you buy a brand new home or a home that has been upgraded, these sellers are often very motivated. Builders want to get paid for the work they have done. Sellers of upgraded homes wish to get their homes off of their hands and get a return on their investment.


Finding a move-in-ready home may take some time, but the benefits are definitely worth it.          




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 3/26/2019

Generally speaking, taking a family vacation can "recharge your battery," give you a new lease on life, and enable you to get back to work with a renewed sense of purpose. That's the ideal scenario when everything falls into place. However, if you're one of those families that are always looking for a new place to explore every year, then your vacation experiences may become more hit or miss.

While a little research can often go a long way, online brochures and articles tend to put a positive spin on what may or may not be an ideal vacation destination. Even customer reviews can give you a false impression of the desirability of a tourism spot. Just because a couple people had an especially good or bad experience in a particular tourist town, does not mean you're going to encounter similar types of service, weather, prices, crowds, or ambiance.

Online reviews, tourism information, and vacation blogs can provide you with helpful insights into the desirability of a vacation spot, but every time you try a new resort, vacation rental, or tourist attraction, you're gambling on whether or not you and your family will like it.

Since time away from work and vacation budgets are usually limited, it makes sense to do everything possible to increase the odds of planning and having a great vacation! Visiting the places you're considering staying at before you make reservations there is one method of choosing a location you'll probably love. Sometimes recommendations from close friends or relatives can provide you with some solid vacation ideas. While anonymous online reviews and blog posts can lead you down the wrong path, recommendations from a trusted friend or family member have much more credibility.

One method of ensuring a higher level of quality control over your accommodations, amenities, and -- to some degree -- your meals is to buy a vacation home. If you can find an affordable cabin, beach house, or ski chalet in a location you like, then you'll always know what you're getting in terms of living space, ambiance, environment, and local attractions. You can prepare a certain percentage of your meals at your vacation home, which can control your food expenses and make going out to dinner more special.

Another advantage of returning to the same vacation spot (and home), year after year, is that you become familiar with the best places and times to enjoy restaurants, golf courses, beaches, ski slopes, hiking trails, nightclubs, or whatever you enjoy doing on vacation. When you find the ideal "home away from home" to spend weekends, vacations from work, and school breaks, you'll always know exactly what you're getting and will have a higher degree of control over your environment and your overall vacation experience. One final advantage of owning a vacation home is that you can defray your mortgage payments and maintenance costs by generating rental income during the times you're not using the house.