Lynn D'Avolio
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage | 801-597-2857 | lynn1@soldbylynn.com


Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 12/9/2014

Holiday hosting can be fun but it can also wreak havoc on your bank account. Some studies have shown that holiday revelers plan to spend an average of $1,100 on food, gifts, and entertainment during the season. There are ways to scale back the costs of holiday entertaining without losing any of the cheer: • Have a plan – Decide what events you will be hosting and attending. Once you have figured this out make a list of exactly what you will need to provide. To get an idea of how much things will cost look through your old bank statements to get a rough figure on how much you spent in the past. • Create a budget – Create a budget for what you can realistically afford and don't forget to include incidentals like host/hostess gifts. If you're hosting the holiday party this year, understanding the true cost of things will help you decide whether to throw a smaller intimate dinner party or a big soiree. • Be creative in cutting costs – Hosting doesn't have to break the bank, consider having a potluck dinner. If you are a guest and searching for a gift to bring the host, consider making a gift or bringing an inexpensive addition to the party table. • Start saving now – Every bit counts so if you don't have a lot of money to save, start small, and it will add up. Check the store flyers for deals and coupons and don't forget to use your grocery store savings cards.





Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 9/30/2014

Saving money when you have a family can be difficult. There are so many everyday expenses that make it hard to start saving for college, retirement and other looming expenses. Here are some ways to start planning for your family's financial future: Start a college fund: College may seem far away but it is a huge expense that can creep up on you. Start saving now, the sooner the better. Even as little as $100 a month will add up. Open a 529 college savings plan to use specifically for college expenses. Buy life insurance: Life insurance gives your family a peace of mind. and the ability to afford the expense of final care and burial.  The death benefit will provide financial security for those family members who are left behind. Have a will: When a person dies without a will, the state decides who gets what, without regard to the deceased wishes or their heirs' needs. Creating a will that spells out one's wishes protects their family's financial future.





Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 8/5/2014

Who doesn't love a bargain? You can negotiate a deal for just about anything. Here is how to try your hand at bargain hunting at flea markets, yard sales, junk stores, antique malls, and thrift stores. Some helpful tips on how to haggle: Dress the part. If you are looking for a deal don't flaunt your designer handbag and shoes. You want the seller to believe you when you say you’re only willing or able to pay less. Be friendly. A smile and kind hello can go a long way when asking for a discount. Ask for the discount. You can't get what you don't ask for. Make a fair offer. If you offer too little you can insult the seller and they will be less willing to offer you a deal. Start your offer at a little more than half the asking price and expect to meet somewhere in the middle. Inspect the merchandise. If the item has a flaw nicely point it out to the seller. Make a group offer. Gather a group of items and offer one price for all of them together. This benefits the seller and they are typically more willing to make a deal. Pay in cash. Always buy in cash, sellers love cash (who doesn't). You may even want to take the money out of your wallet to show the seller you are serious.  




Categories: Money Saving Tips  


Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 6/24/2014

Kitchens sell houses. So having a great looking kitchen is important if you are thinking of putting your home on the market or maybe you just need a fresh new look. Cabinets are one of the biggest expenses in a kitchen remodel but with a little elbow grease and creativity, you can update your kitchen cabinets without going through the hassle of an entire remodel. Here are some tips on how to make your kitchen look like new with a cabinet facelift. Give the wood a Good Cleaning You will be surprised what a good scrubbing can do. Heat, water, grease and food residue all take a serious toll on your cabinets.

  • If you choose to remove the doors, label or number them so you'll put them back in the right place.
  • Make sure to test any kind of cleaner before using it on the entire cabinet. Cleaners with large amounts of alcohol may cause the wood to dry and crack.
  • Clean and Update the Hardware Hardware gets greasy and grimy so make sure to clean those too.
  • Soak the hardware in a soapy-water solution for 30 minutes.
  • Scrub lightly with a soft brush and rinse.
  • Let dry and apply the proper polish.
  • You may decide instead to replace the hardware. In choosing the finish for your hardware, think about what style will look best in your home. Add Some Detail Add some detail to drab cabinets with moulding. Applying a contrasting finish or color is a quick and inexpensive way to change the look of your cabinets. Stripping and Refinishing If after cleaning your cabinets still need some help, you may decide to refinish or paint them
  • Make sure to remove all the cabinet doors and number them.
  • Liquid strippers work best, but be sure to use the gel or semi-paste types.
  • Place doors on a vertical surface. The finish won't drip as much.
  • Let the stripping agent do the work and start with an inconspicuous area.
  • Patch any conspicuous holes, scratches and nicks with wood filler. When dry, sand lightly to smooth out the patch. Before painting, sand lightly and prime.
  • Before painting remember that the wood expands and contracts with the seasons, which will cause the paint bead to separate and expose unpainted wood. So with a little hard work you can have a whole new look to your kitchen in no time.





  • Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 6/3/2014

    Paying off your mortgage early and having no bills sounds like a no brainer. The answer however is not so simple. The answer really is; it depends. First you need to ask yourself a few questions. 1. Have you capitalized your employer’s match to your retirement savings? If the answer is no and you are not contributing the maximum than you are throwing away free money. You may want to consider putting your money here before paying down your mortgage. 2. Do you have other debt other than your mortgage? Pay off high interest credit card debit first. It makes no sense to pay off a lower interest loan and carry high interest debt. 3. Do you have an emergency fund? Experts suggest at least a three month supply of living expenses. Some even go as much as twenty four months of living expenses after the turn in the economy and job market. It makes more sense to have money set aside for a sudden loss of income before you pay off your mortgage. 4. Do you owe more than your house is worth? If you are upside down you are more susceptible to foreclosure. Ask yourself how much how much you enjoy living there. Would you be willing to buy it again for more than it is worth now? 5. Do you have life, health and disability insurance? If you are the main source of income in your household what would happen if you were no longer able to make the payments? Putting safety nets in place first is a wise idea. 6. Do you believe you can get better return investing elsewhere? Paying off your mortgage is an investment decision. Ask how does paying off my mortgage stack up with other investment options? 7. Are you thinking of retiring and want to live with the worry of a payment? The thought of living on a fixed income can be scary. Paying off your mortgage may give you peace of mind. There is no right or wrong answer to this question. It really comes down to what is most important to you. Sometimes, the answer is not based just on dollars and sense and more on what works for you, your life, your family situation and just plain old personal preference.