John Colby

Posted by John Colby on 10/15/2017

If you are thinking of buying your first home, youíre thinking of making the single biggest purchase of your entire lifetime. Real estate is complex. From getting finances in order to understanding the entire process to securing the home you love, thereís so much that youíll need to know when it comes to buying your first home. 

What Is A Down Payment?

A down payment is a one-time cash payment that youíll provide at the closing table when you buy a home. How much your down payment is will have an effect on how much your monthly mortgage payment will be. It will also affect your initial home equity value. 

Should You Keep Renting?

First, youíll need to think of a savings goal and a timeline. The general rule is that if you own a home for at least 5 years, you have gotten your ďmoneyís worthĒ out of the closing costs and the fees you paid at the time you purchased your home. If you donít think youíll stay in a home for at least 5 years before making another move, you may want to consider renting until you know where you want to settle. 

What Can You Afford? 

Youíll need to calculate just how much home you can afford. Look at potential monthly mortgage payments plus taxes, fees, insurance, utilities and other monthly expenses that you have.

In dual-income households, itís nice if the living expenses can be covered just by one personís paycheck. Once you have an idea of your budget, you can price out homes that will meet your needs and be in your price range. 

Why You Should Save More

The best practice in buying a home is to put 20% down on the house. With this sizable down payment, it will be easier to get approved for a mortgage. Youíll also avoid needing PMI (private mortgage insurance.) This is an additional cost for people who put down less than a 20% down payment. This can cost you a lot of money each month, so itís best to save as much as you can for that initial down payment. 

Donít be discouraged. You can still buy a home with a lower percentage of a down payment, but youíll have to pay for the PMI and include the additional expense in your budget. The Federal Housing Administration has many different options available that allow you to put a smaller down payment on a home, so do your homework.  

How To Save 


Once you get an idea of about how much youíll spend on your home, you need to take action and start saving. There are many ways that you can save automatically without even thinking about it. You can choose a fixed amount or percentage of your paycheck and save it automatically into the house fund. Save as much as you can so youíll be able to make your home purchase more quickly. You may even want to consider putting your money into a money market account for a higher return on your savings once you reach a certain goal. 

Donít Forget To Save Your Bonuses

Whether you have received a gift or a sizable Christmas bonus, make sure that you put that money away towards your home purchase. Every little bit helps. While we may have an inclination to want to spend the money on more immediate things, youíll be happy that you saved your money when you head to purchase your house! 

Use Your IRA

The IRS allows a tax benefit for first time home buyers. You can take out up to $10,000 out of your IRA or Roth IRA for a first time home purchase. Your Roth IRA account must be at least 5 years old in order for you to do this. Distributions from this account are tax-free, but youíll need to pay tax if you withdraw form a traditional IRA. You should discuss any withdrawals that you do make with your financial advisor and your tax advisor. This could be an opportunity for you to build your wealth in a new way, so make an informed decision. 

Happy saving and happy house hunting!

Posted by John Colby on 10/8/2017

Food sources like vegetable gardens and fruit trees can invite ants inside your home. Shrubs and non-fruit bearing trees are other food sources that ants feast on. Plant them too close to your home and you may find ants in one or more of your rooms.Openings in the outer exterior of your home, walls and windows are other reasons why you may have ants in your house.?

Ants ares mall, giving them easy access to indoor shelter. Once they breed, they become a small army, crawling over or into near anything in sight. Fortunately, there are natural ways to rid of ants. You donít have to be an environmentalist to opt to take this route.

Getting Rid of House Ants

Similar to mold, ants love moisture. If youíre ready to see this small marching army go without causing harm to the insects, try:

  • Wiping counters down after running water or preparing a meal. Do this in the kitchen, bathroom and each room where you have a water source.
  • Placing grits where ants are breeding. Try this once and see if it doesnít reduce the numbers of ants that you have. Why grits? They dehydrate ants.
  • Mixing pepper or cinnamon with water. Make sure that you add a strong dose of pepper or cinnamon.
  • Spraying the mixture in areas where ants nest. Continue spraying for several days.
  • Clean out your gutters, as clogged gutters keep moisture on your home.
  • Sprinkle cayenne pepper in areas where you spot ants.

What You Can Do To Keep Ants Away

  • Leaving food out is a good way to attract ants. Wrap breads with a tie. Keep fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator,especially after you slice the food. If your garbage pail doesnít have a top on it, keep the top of garbage bags sealed, and empty your garbage one or more times a week. It also helps to spray the inside of your garbage pail with an insect repellant before you line it with a new bag. Spot any food droppings on pail? Wash it off with white vinegar and water.
  • Clean well. Again, wipe counters down. Sweep and vacuum up crumbs. If you have young children, consider cleaning the floor area near where they eat once a day.
  • Keep areas dry.
  • Save food in a sealed bag in the refrigerator.
  • Spot where ants are entering your home and seal these areas
  • Use an environmentally safe bug repellant
  • Contact an exterminator if the above actions donít rid your home of all ants. Ask the exterminator where the ants are entering your home and requests additional preventive actions that you can take.

Let them get inside your home and you may not see one good thing about ants. But, work that ants do helps nature. They strengthen the soil, help rid the earth of organic waste and they reduce the numbers of other pests. Take one or more of the above steps and you may find ants leaving your home and returning to the great outdoors.

Tags: house ants   house pests  
Categories: Uncategorized  

Posted by John Colby on 10/2/2017

Especially if youíre starting in a room from scratch, it can be hard to figure out where you should place everything in a room. Your bedroom can be one of the most challenging rooms of the house to decorate. If you break down the room into small pieces, you can create a bedroom thatís right for you. Bedrooms need to hold more than just a bed. In todayís world, a bedroom can become a very multipurpose room.  

Think Of The Components Of The Room

Bedrooms tend to be more of a multi-functional in a home due to the shifting nature of families. You do everything in there from sleep to watch television to get dressed in the mornings and evenings. This means that youíll need some or all of the following in your bedroom:

  • Storage for clothing
  • A comfy bed
  • A media Center  
  • A chair
  • Home office supplies
  • Bookshelf
  • Television stand

Whatever purpose that your bedroom has to serve is what youíll need in the room. This all depends upon the size of your home. Youíll have to arrange the room accordingly after these parameters are set. Your bedroom should feel personal; a place of self expression and comfort. Your bedroom is the place where you can display little pieces of your life. These should include personal photos, antiques, and all of your favorite things. This helps to make your bedroom your own. It will become a peaceful sanctuary that you love.  


Focus On Function

If your bedroom is well-lit and well arranged, the room undoubtedly will be more comfortable. The easier it is for you to find things and use the room the way it needs to be, the more comfortable youíll be. While your bedroom should look nice, itís yours to use. Your bedroom is the room of the house that should provide the most comfort for you. 

Get Creative

When it comes to the way that you arrange your bedroom, you can get as creative as you want. If youíre short on space, donít hesitate to push the bed against a window. If youíre tired of the same old same in the bedroom, shuffle the furniture around. If you ensure that you have adequate lighting and seating in the room, you can do anything with it!

Donít Multipurpose The Room If You Donít Have To

Although itís nice to have access to everything in one room, bedrooms work best when they are singularly purposed. Youíll sleep better and get more rest if you keep things like computers and televisions out of the bedroom. You can easily arrange a bedroom when you keep your own desires at the heart of the design.

Categories: Uncategorized  

Posted by John Colby on 9/29/2017

37 South Main St, New Salem, MA 01355



Full/Half Baths
Price reduced on this Ideal Location on the New Salem Common w/ over 2 Acres just 20 minutes to the 5 College Area in the Easterly foothills of Western Massachusetts ! This Second Empire Mansard Designed home was built in 1871 at the outset of this Fabulous Design Era ! To say this home is Unique is an Understatement ! Tastefully & Uniquely Refurbished this home is Elegant and Practical at the same time. A quintessential example of the Highest Quality Construction Stylings having been used to insure the discerning Buyers sustainable livability in today's lifestyle. Having 4 bedrooms plus a separate 2 bedroom wing w/full bath this home will make a Wonderful Family Compound or perhaps a Bed and Breakfast that an owner can be proud of with no apologies to anyone ! A Spectacular Observation deck w/Commanding Views overlooks Quabbin and is just a short walk to the Great Reservoir serving greater Boston ! Lots of Local Flavor & History Click on Documents to see Floorplans !
Open House
No scheduled Open Houses

Categories: Price Change  

Posted by John Colby on 9/24/2017

Moving into a new house is a doorway to new opportunities, experiences and friendships.Depending on the size and layout of your house, you'll gain more space and style. You'll also gain a jam packed schedule, miles of driving and sore muscles. On the flip side, you could let professional movers take care of the heavy lifting.

Pros you get when you hire professional movers

The chance to avoid heavy lifting that's inherit in a house move aside, working with professional movers is not all upswing. Balance the pros and cons of paying professional movers to take you from your current to your new home. To get started, consider:

Experience counts - You may have moved two to three times on your own, struggling with friends to get a sofa or widescreen television up a flight of steps. Professional movers have helped relocate individuals and families dozens or more times. If it takes you eight hours to move a three bedroom house, professional movers might complete the job in less than three hours.

House moving supplies - Professional movers keep supplies on hand. You won't have to pay for protective covers, tape or dollies.

Forget the driving - Relocate to another city or state and you may not have to drive. To get professional movers to drive for you, include transportation in the contract that you sign with movers. Expect to pay for transportation services by the mile. Only work with movers who insure your household goods. If your employer is picking up these costs, this is a huge energy saver.

Cons associated with professional movers

Don't just focus on the pros. Consider the following cons of working with professional movers to decide if hiring an experienced team is the best option.

Price - Professional movers can be pricey. For long distance moves, you'll generally pay for insurance, mileage and the actual moving services. Some movers encourage you to leave a tip.Companies like UHaul list area movers that may or may not offer you a discount.

You're not completely in charge - Although you get to set move start and end times, should movers run late on a previous job, they might not show up at your home on time. You also may not be able to tell movers which furniture pieces to load onto the moving truck first.

Boxes - Depending on the home moving company that you hire, you could be responsible for getting your own moving boxes. If you do get home moving boxes from professional movers, it could cost you $1 or more per box.

You may still have to pack and unpack -If you pack and unpack yourself, you'll save money even if you work with movers.

A house move"to do" list can get long quickly. Hiring professional movers could shift half of the moving responsibilities from you to contractors. Just make sure that you understand moving company rules. Also, communicate clear start and end dates and times. Above all, get references and only enter into agreements with professional movers you can trust.

Categories: Uncategorized