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Posted by Paul W. Cutler on 7/16/2017

If you're moving homes, odds are you have a lot on your mind. You're trying to keep track of all your boxes, making sure the moving truck arrives at both locations on time, and focusing on getting all of your belongings to your new home in one piece. In all of this chaos, it's easy to overlook basic safety precautions. If you have a moving day coming up, read these important safety tips to make sure you and your belongings arrive safely.

Packing boxes

  • Practice good lifting technique. It has long been taught that you should "lift with your knees" when picking up heavy objects. However, if you look at the people who lift things for a living, professional weightlifters, you'll notice that they use a combination of muscles.Before lifting, test the weight of the object to see if it's feasible for you to move alone. Then make sure you can get a good grip on the box. When lifting, be sure to keep your chest facing the object and avoid twisting your back. Lift from a squatting position relying mostly on your leg muscles.It's also a good practice to stretch and warm up your back before lifting to avoid injuries.
  • Pack properly. To ensure the safety of you and your possessions during the move, be sure to use boxes that are the correct size and pack them fully. Empty space in boxes can cause them to crush one another and tip over in the moving truck, harming you or your fragile belongings.Double up on tape on the bottom of your boxes and tape a "plus" sign so that the box is reinforced fully. This will stop heavy objects from falling out of the bottom of the box and breaking, and from hurting your feet.

On the road

  • Stack smart, not higher. When stacking boxes, always put the heavier boxes on the bottom. Don't stack them too high or too close to the door of the truck. Think of stacking boxes as playing a game of Tetris--an organized stack will have much better stability than a disorganized one.
  • Test drive the route. Driving in an unfamiliar place is difficult enough without having to do it towing all of your most valued possessions. Travel the route beforehand to get a feel for the roads and for safe places to stop for gas or food.

In your new home

Once you arrive at your new home it's easy to let your guard down and start dreaming about relaxing on the sofa in your empty living room. However, you should ensure the safety of you and your belongings first.
  • Don't leave things unattended. Even if your neighborhood is a safe place you should still keep track of where your boxes are outside at all times.
  • Unpack the truck safely. If you can't reach a box, use a step ladder to get it down. If boxes are too heavy to move, use a dolly.
  • Clear the path. It's easy to lose track of objects and trip over a box in the hallway when carrying your bed frame in. Make sure you and your helpers keep the paths clear while moving.




Tags: Real Estate   safety tips   home   house   moving   moving day   safety   tips   advice  
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Posted by Paul W. Cutler on 3/26/2017

Many first time home buyers think of the age of a home like a time bomb. With age comes costly repairs and renovations that are often avoided (or at least prolonged) if you buy a newer home. While it is true that older homes are prone to needing more upgrades, they also have many advantages over newer homes. What you don't often hear is that if an old home is maintained properly, it can be as good if not better than living in a newly built one. Old homes often come with perks that are forgotten or ignored in the buying process. In this article, we'll go over some of the best reasons to own an old home, and some of the things to look for when house hunting.

1. With age comes wisdom

Old homes are filled with history. From the people who built and lived in the home, down to the tiny architectural details, these houses will shed light upon what life was once like in your neighborhood. For those eager to learn about the history and culture of their neighborhood, it has never been easier to access historical data from internet archives or your local library. Aside from being historically significant, old homes are also aesthetically interesting. Depending on the architectural style and location of your home, it could have been built using any number of materials and techniques. Today, mass production has made home-building much more streamlined and efficient. Unfortunately, that has come at the cost of some originality in style.

2. Cost

In many instances, old homes are cheaper to buy than new ones. One reason is that sellers assume that buyers will have to pour money into the home to keep it updated and adjust the asking price. Another is simply that your average homebuyer values new homes over old ones. If you enjoy older homes, that gives you a financial advantage. For those homebuyers interested in do-it-yourself repairs and upgrades, buying a "fixer upper" is a great way to save money. However, be aware that some repairs should be better left to the professionals, especially when dealing with hazardous materials like lead paint and asbestos.

3. Location

America is a young country. So the oldest homes tend to be built in centralized and urban areas. That often means easy access to things like grocery stores, schools and highways. Aside from being convenient, old neighborhoods also tend to have developed communities and landscapes. The streets are probably lined with aged trees that provide plenty of shade, and there's a greater likelihood of having nearby parks or ponds.

4. Prime land picks

Older homes tend to have the best plots of land because, well... they got the first pick. As a home buyer, this could be a huge if you're looking for a larger backyard or one with great natural features like aged trees and natural bodies of water.   When you're out hunting for new homes, don't look past the older homes. You might find that they have many benefits that are great for you and your family.  




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Posted by Paul W. Cutler on 2/12/2017

When you drive through a new housing development does it seem like all of the homes are enormous compared to when you were growing up? You're not alone. In fact, over the last 40 years, average home sizes have increased by over 1,000 square feet. In other words, you could fit an entire small house inside of the amount homes have grown in size.

Why do Americans love huge houses?

It's counter-intuitive that home sizes should keep growing larger. Bigger houses mean higher prices, more maintenance, and more expensive utilities. To understand why, we need look no further than the automobile industry. In spite of the fact that larger vehicles cost more to buy, use more gas, and do more harm to the environment, people still buy bigger and bigger trucks and SUVs. There are a few reasons why. One is that they can afford to (or they can at least afford the payments). Another reason is cultural. For the most part, bigger meant better in American culture--until recently. Recently, many Americans have begun saying they would prefer smaller sized houses. That desire hasn't entirely caught up to the people building the homes, however. And even as simple living trends and the "tiny house" phenomenon gain traction, building contractors still stand the most to gain from large houses and the people with the money to build houses continue to build big to stay aligned with the other homes in their neighborhood. There are other obstacles in place for people who want a smaller house. Some counties around the U.S. now enforce minimum square footage requirements to uphold the building standards of the area. So, people hoping to move to a particular suburban area but don't want a huge house might be out of luck.

How big of a home do I need?

There are a lot of things to consider if you're buying a home. Size and cost often go hand-in-hand, but even if you can afford a larger home, do you really need the space? Here are some questions to ask yourself to determine how large of a house you really need:
  • Do I or will I have a family? Kids need space. They need bedrooms and places to play. The size of your family is going to be a huge factor in choosing the size of your home.
  • Do I need all this stuff? Many people use their homes like storage containers. Think about the last time you moved and what you brought with you. Now determine how often you used the things you brought. Odds are you have a lot of items just sitting around taking up space that you don't really need.
  • Do I have hobbies that take up a lot of space? Woodworking, working on cars, playing drums... these are all examples of hobbies that call for some leg room.
  • Am I a dog person? Just like kids, pets tend to take up some room. Larger dogs and energetic dogs require more room, both outside and inside the house.
  • Do I have time to keep up with the maintenance? Bigger houses means more windows to clean, more toilets to scrub, more grass to mow... you get the idea. You might find that you'd rather have a beautiful and well-kept small home than a hard-to-maintain huge one.







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