Peter Beauchemin - LAER Realty Partners/Beauchemin & Assoc.

Posted by Peter Beauchemin on 3/18/2018

Whether you’ve just bought a home or you’re hoping to spruce up your current house, redecorating can be a great way to make a home feel new and exciting. However, when it comes to the actual decorating and design, many homeowners are at a loss.

Sure, you could hire an interior decorator to help you out, but oftentimes that expense doesn’t fit into the average homeowner’s budget, especially if you just spend thousands closing on a new home.

Fortunately, there are many free sources of inspiration available that will help you identify the right style for your home at the right price for your budget.

In today’s article, we’re going to give you some tips on where to find interior decor inspiration so you can get started on restyling your home.

Grab an app or two

Searching for redecorating tips doesn’t have to be a full-time job. You can browse ideas when you’re on the train to work, relaxing in bed at night, or waiting for an appointment at the doctor’s office just by downloading a few select apps on your phone.

Two of the most common apps for home decorating are Pinterest and Instagram. However, you’ll need to give those apps some information to make sure you’re getting the right images in your feed.

On Pinterest, add “home decor” “interior design” and “home decor ideas” to your interests so that you’ll see those images and articles first in your feed.

For Instagram, you’ll have to follow accounts that post what you’re looking for, then Instagram will recommend similar accounts.

Here are a few common interior design accounts to get started with:

Take an online course

There’s more to interior decorating than just finding some furniture you like, making sure it will fit in your living room, and buying it. Design principles of color, texture, and form all work together to create the full experience of a home’s interior.

While people study for years to develop techniques of design, you can learn the basics relatively quickly. If you’re interested in learning something new and updating the design of your home, you could take an online course in interior design.

Howcast has a great series of free videos called Interior Design Basics that will provide you with a good overview. Then, if you want to continue learning, check out one of SkillShare’s many interior design courses.

Take a trip to the library

When it comes to seeing the best examples of interior decoration or finding detailed information on design techniques, nothing can beat your local library. Most libraries also have subscriptions to common magazines like Better Homes and Gardens, Elle Decor, and HGTV Magazine.

If your library doesn’t have many options, you can often request items for free through their interlibrary loans system. They’ll send you books and magazines from surrounding towns and give you a notification when they’ve arrived.

Posted by Peter Beauchemin on 3/11/2018

With rent prices shooting soaring across the country, many young Americans who were previously happy renting while they saved for a home are now turning to other options.

One common solution is a starter home. If you want to keep your monthly mortgage prices low while being able to build equity and slowly save for your “forever home.” a starter home can be a great option for first-time buyers.

When does it make sense to buy a starter home?

Buying a home means mortgage payments, home maintenance and repairs, and closing costs. However, they can also be a great introduction to the responsibilities of homeownership.

Better yet, starter homes allow you to build equity that can be used toward the down payment of your next home, something that first-time buyers often struggle with. This could help you secure a lower interest rate and avoid costly private mortgage insurance (PMI).

Sounds great, right? But when shouldn’t you buy a starter home?

It might not make sense to buy a starter home if you don’t plan on living in it at least 3-4 years. You might find that the cost of renting is less than that of your mortgage payments and closing costs if you don’t live in the home long enough to reap the rewards.

It also might not be a good idea if your family is going to outgrow a small home in the next few years for the same reasons mentioned above. That makes it all the more important to discuss your long term plans with your spouse before considering a home.

Things to look for in a starter home

1. Resale value

One of the most important aspects of your starter home should be the ability to resell it in the future. Now, there is an endless number of factors that go into the marketability of a home. Key factors include the condition of the home and keeping it well-maintained, as well as the location of the home. Buying a starter home in an area that will attract young professionals down the road is typically a good investment.

2. Small size = low price

It probably goes without saying, but finding a home with a low price, at the expense of square-footage, is most often a smart choice when it comes to starter homes.

Small homes are cheaper to buy, cheaper to heat, and cheaper to maintain. However, since housing prices are trending upward, you’ll likely still see a positive return on your investment in ~5 years time when you’re hoping to buy again.

3. Reasonable home improvements

If you can spare the time, buying a starter home that needs some work can be an excellent investment. It can be more difficult later on when you have a large family to care for and less time to focus on making improvements.

Tags: first home   starter home  
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Posted by Peter Beauchemin on 3/4/2018

If you’re trying to get ready to buy a home, one of the biggest tasks that you’ll need to take on is that of saving for a down payment. The down payment will need to be a significant amount of money. If you put it in the right place, it will have the ability to gain some interest. Most importantly, you don’t want to have access to the money so that you can spend it freely. 

What’s Your Time Frame?

When you start saving money, you’ll need to know what your time frame is to better discern one of the best places to keep your down payment money. You can put your money in a CD or money market account, but the money will need to stay put for anywhere between 1-2 years. In the case of down payment money, the amount of interest that you gain isn’t as important as having access to the money when you need it. 

Research Your Options

Do your research in order to find the best deals. You may be able to gain a bit of interest  on a 3-month CD if you’re short on time. If you have a bit more room for growth and will continue to compound the money, search online for higher yield savings accounts that will allow you to continue contributing money over time. You can even consider putting portions of your money in different places with different time frames and interest rates. This way, some of your money will have a chance to grow, yet you’ll still have access to it. 

Know The Home Buying Process

When you get pre-approved for a loan, the mortgage company will go through your entire financial history past and present. You’ll need to show all of your bank accounts and their balances along with pay stubs. The mortgage company will also delve into your debt and calculate what is called your debt-to-income ratio. Before you even get to the stage of pre-approval, you’ll want to make sure all of your significant debt is paid off. 

Once you get to the closing table to buy your dream home, your check for all of the closing costs including the down payment will need to be present. This is why you need to make sure that your money isn’t tied up when you reach the point of purchasing a home. Generally, a bank check will need to be issued for the entire cost of closing less the deposits that you have already made on the home.                          

Make a plan for your saving the down payment and you’ll be well on your way to securing your dream home!

Posted by Peter Beauchemin on 2/25/2018

One of the most difficult decisions to make when refinishing a room is how much of a current trend to inspire your choices. Jumping in with two feet can be fun and certainly create a wow factor. However, trends can also quickly become outdated and if you’ve invested a lot of time and money into a particular one you will also have to spend a lot of time and money to change it.

Luckily, this isn’t an all or nothing situation. So whether your current obsession is mid-century modern or shabby chic you can satisfy your style preference without making a top to bottom change in a few months or years.

To start, keep bigger items like the wall color, flooring, and furniture neutral in both style and color. What I mean by this is to choose furniture that is inspired by or similar, but simpler, to a more trendy piece. And neutral doesn’t have to mean beige. Blacks, grays, blues, browns, whites, and creams with just a hint of the desired hue are perfect multitaskers that transcend both trends and time.

For example, if you want pink for a blush-toned creme or for green a sage infused blue. If you’re craving color black and white create the perfect canvas for colorful accessories to really pop and make a statement. Navy and charcoal are neutral but underutilized colors that allow you to give a little push style boundaries.

Bring in those pops of color with accents. Wall art, decor, throw pillows, curtains and bedding are perfect ways to do just that. Incorporate your favorite new colors and patterns throughout the room for a consistent look and not as if you haphazardly placed pieces as an afterthought.

The best part of using these details to infuse your trend of choice is that they enable you to go as bold or subtle as you like. Curtains or a comforter in a bright color or a bold print capture the eye immediately. Throw pillows and wall art, on the other hand, make for a room filled with personality.

It’s always fun to incorporate trends when we are decorating. It gives the room your unique brand of personality and brings the space to life. Cleverly choosing your larger items to remain understated to allow your trendy pieces take the spotlight is the perfect way to join in while also staying flexible if you tire of it or want to change things up down the road.

You’ll also be making a more budget-friendly project by choosing neutral tones for your investment pieces. They will be able to carry over decades to come while transcending, for the most part, the many trends it is sure to outlive.     

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Posted by Peter Beauchemin on 2/18/2018

Not everyone has a green thumb, but everyone can learn to be a good gardener. You should understand some basics about gardening in order to expand your skill set. With a little knowledge, you’ll have the art of gardening down in no time!

Know Your Soil

Take a good look at your soil. How good your garden is has a lot to do with the soil. For soil to be healthy it needs plenty of water, air, and nutrients. You can test your soil with a kit that will give you some good analysis of how your soil is doing. 

To improve your soil, you can do a few things including adding organic materials like compost, old leaves, or peat moss. These can help to improve the health of any kind of soil.

Know The Types Of Soil

  • Clay
  • Sand
  • Silt
  • Succulent mix
  • Premium mix
  • All purpose mix

Prep The Garden

Prepping the garden is one of the most important things that you’ll do. You shouldn’t work with soil when it’s wet, only when it’s damp or dry. 

Always plan your garden first before you plant. Know the size and the number of plants that you need. Match the plants based on the growing conditions that they will need. It’s especially important to consider the amount of sun and shade that’s needed for each plant.

When you start shopping for plants, make sure that you pick plants that have buds and aren’t already flowering. You should also check the roots of the plants that your buying for smoothness and moistness. This will help your garden to be more lush and full. Always buy plants that will thrive in the climate you live in. You can find guides online or talk to experts at your local nursery.

Know Your Plant Types

If you know the types of plants that exist, you’ll know what types of plants are best suited for your garden. 


These plants live for one growing season. They are either flowering or foliage only. 


These bring shape, colors, textures, and wonderful scents to your garden year after year.


These can be planted in the colder months in order to bloom in the spring. 

Climbers and Vines

These types of plants grow vertically and either have foliage or flowers. They can be either annual or perennial.


Flowering or evergreen type shrubs make great accents or hedges to be used for privacy.

The most important thing to remember about gardening is that every plant needs to be properly watered and nourished in order to grow. Continue to fertilize and care for the soil throughout the life of your plants to help them thrive. It’s easy to turn your thumb green once you have the right knowledge!

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