Peter DiRusso | Newton Real Estate, Natick Real Estate, Framingham Real Estate


Do your mornings go like this? You get out of bed, find your way to the bathroom and watch the sink water slowly rise as you wash your face and brush your teeth. After you turn the water off, it takes a long time for the water to go down the bathroom sink drain that it steals valuable moments from your day.

Pay attention to these plumbing problems

Plumbing problems show up in the bathroom, kitchen and basement. Because plumbing problems start slowly, it's tempting to over look them until they become a major issue. By that time, your bathroom, kitchen or basement sinks and tubs might be:

  • Leaking - Puddles may form each time you run bath or sink water. You may also notice leaks in pipes. If pipes have developed holes, the pipes will have to be replaced.
  • Running water - Despite how much you tighten faucets, water continues to drip in tubs and sinks. Not only could this cause puddles to form and water to potentially drip off counter edges, it raises your water bill.
  • Noises - Let your sump pump start to go and you may hear grinding noises. A dying sump pump can also cause the motor to make a light humming sound. Over time, the pump could stop working altogether.
  • Cold water - Let your water heater break down and you may have to turn the temperature up just to get warm water to come out of the shower or tub. After awhile, only cold or cool water may come out of the faucet.
  • Reemerging water - Reemerging or resurfacing water happens when you flush the toilet and some or all of the waste pushes back up.
  • Over flowing water - More signs that your septic tank may be failing include water over flowing when you flush the toilet or run water in the sink.
  • Moisture - Mildew, mold and cool, moist air are additional signs that there may be plumbing problems at your house. Although you can clean and get a humidifier, contact a plumber if signs of plumbing problems persist.

Stay at least two steps ahead of major plumbing problems

Unlike some other housing issues, plumbing problems can be sneaky. Plumbing problems can start off slowly, then suddenly build to a seemingly unmanageable crescendo. If that happens, it could cost several hundred dollars to fix the problems. That or plumbing problems could resurface every three to four months, again costing you hundreds of dollars a year.

Although it might not be possible to prevent all plumbing problems, it is possible to reduce the numbers of times that your plumbing needs fixing. It starts with honesty. When you notice that water is taking longer to go down the drain in the morning while you wash your face and brush your teeth, take steps to unclog pipes. If the problem reoccurs, reach out to a licensed plumber. It could save you headaches and money down the road.


A lot changes when you move into a new home. For the first few weeks you’ll most likely be focused on getting everything arranged and put away in their proper locations. You’ll be adjusting to your new work commute, meeting the neighbors, finding out where to shop, and so on.

It’s easy to forget about updating your budget during the first couple of months in your new home. However, if you want to be mindful of your spending and gauge the true cost of living in your new home, it’s essential to start tracking expenses and creating your budget as soon as possible.

In this article, we’re going to show you how to make a new budget for your new home so that you can start accurately planning your long term finances. That way, you and your family can rest assured that you aren’t living above your means in your new home and can stop stressing about spending.

Cost of living changes

When most of us move we think about the change of our mortgage payments, property taxes, and home insurance. However, there are several smaller changes that will occur in your day-to-day spending habits that you might not think to update in your budget.

First off, make a note of how much you’re spending on transportation (whether it’s train fare or gas for your car) in your new home and adjust this on your budget. This is hard to predict before you move since you can’t be sure of the traffic patterns until your first trip to the office.

Next, make a list of your monthly services, including utilities. We’re talking about internet, cable, trash and recycling, heating and electricity, and so on. At the end of the first month, add each of those to your budget and decide if you want to spend less on any of them.

One surprise expense that many people have when they move is the cost of internet. Your old plan at your former residence might not cut it if you move to an area with different coverage.

Furnishing your new home

Even if you’re moving with most of your furniture and appliances, there will likely still be expenses that you’ll need to plan for in your new home.

It might be tempting to make all of these purchases at once so that you can feel like your move is “complete.” However, the best course of action is to include these items into your monthly budget so that you are prepared for emergency expenses.

Decide which items you need the most in your new home, and prioritize purchasing those on the first month. You’ll likely realize after just the first couple of nights in your new house which items you need now and which can wait.

Budgeting apps and tools

Everyone has their own preferred method of record-keeping. Some people keep their budget in a notebook or planner, whereas others like to use an app that they can access on their phone or laptop.

There are dedicated budgeting apps and web applications that link to your bank account and tell you how much left you can spend that month and if there is an issue with your budget. Several such apps are available for free in both Android and Apple app stores.

For a simpler budget, you can simply use the spreadsheet application of your choice (Excel, Numbers, and Google Sheets are all sufficient).

Regardless of what tool you use, make sure you check in on your budget frequently to ensure you’re sticking to it and making adjustments as needed.


Fall might arguably be everyone’s favorite season—regardless of where you live. In New England, the weather becomes full of days with unpredictable forecasts of warm and cool days with crisp breezes, the more frequent rain showers and the leaves turning to beautiful hues of red, purple,orange, and yellow. It’s a scene that no New Englander ever takes for granted.And with the new season comes new décor. Check out these tips and tricks for fun and creative ways to decorate your home with for fall with pumpkins.

Paint: Paint is an easy go-to when you want to do something different with your pumpkins. You can go simple by painting all one color or you can grab some stencils and try out a floral look. These simple designs would be a nice idea to compliment your other fall decorations.

Glitter: Whether you want to go all out and coat your entire pumpkin in glitter, create designs from stencils with glitter or make a simple polka dot covered pumpkin, you can never go wrong with glitter—and there’s never too much of it either.

Cut outs/Craft Materials: There are a multitude of craft materials and cutouts that can be used in creative ways with pumpkins. Turn your pumpkin into an owl with some googley eyes and some brown and tan craft paper or go simple and create a jack-o-lantern without all the mess.

Stack ‘Em: For a unique approach to decorating pumpkins,considering stacking them. You could turn your pumpkins into a snowman (if you are eager for the holidays), an owl, or even create a message with a letter or short phrase on each pumpkin.

Permanent Marker: Use permanent market to create decorative designs or write words/phrases. Darker colors work best on orange pumpkins. You might be able to get away with a few lighter colors on the white pumpkins. You can use stencils or go with the free hand—if you’re risky.

Washi Tape: Washi tape is all the craze in the creative world. It comes in so many colors and designs. It’s a great addition to almost any DIY project. Use the tape as is or cut into cute designs or little dots fora polka dot pumpkin.

Most of these ideas are simple and can be completed in just a couple of hours. And they are great for families, friends, or a day of DIYing with yourself. You can get all the items described above at your local craft store and be sure to be on the lookout for coupons to make this project even less expensive.

So now that you’ve decorated your home for fall with your creative pumpkin crafting, go on and get out there and enjoy the season. There’s plenty of apple picking, pumpkin picking, fall festivals, and family time to be enjoying.


One of the most useful skills to have as a beginner chef is to know how to use herbs and spices to compliment the flavor of your food. In today's supermarkets most food comes pre-seasoned. Unfortunately that often means going overboard on salt or overpowering the natural flavors of the food. One way to avoid this is to buy fresh food and spice it up yourself. Knowing which herbs and spices and how much to use can be difficult. But this beginner's guide will tell you everything you need to know about how to include various herbs and spices into your meals.

Why spice it yourself?

If you can buy a frozen stir-fry--spices included--at the grocery store why even bother learning how to use herbs and spices properly? As mentioned earlier, those pre-seasoned foods probably amount to added salt and sugar into your meals. This will tantalize your tastebuds, but it's also not so great for you health-wise. Seasoning yourself allows you to take control of the food you consume. Using your own herbs and spices will also help you discover new flavor combinations, allowing you to make more meals with fewer items. If you take advantage of buying certain items in bulk--like rice and beans--you will be amazed at how many meals you can pull off with just a few variations in the spices you use. Oftentimes people will buy pre-made "spice packets" at the grocery store for making various meals (Swedish meatballs, sloppy joes, taco seasoning, etc). While these are handy, if you take a look at the ingredients on the back you might find you already have most of these herbs and spices in your cabinet, minus all of the un-pronounceable additives.

Herbs, spices, and their uses

Basil. Basil is a staple for many sauces. Pair it with meals that include tomatoes and soft, mild cheeses (mozzarella, for example). Fresh basil leaves are miles above the dried ones in terms of taste and texture. Fresh basil is a must for pizza, pesto, and pasta and you'll want to use a good amount. Buying fresh basil can be expensive, but growing it yourself is not. A well-maintained basil plant on a sunny windowsill will provide plenty of leaves. Pairings: parsley, oregano, garlic, lemongrass Cayenne pepper. If you like your spices spicy, cayenne pepper will be your new best friend. No need to douse all of your food in hot sauce to get your fix of spicy foods. Adding hot pepper powder is a great way to compliment certain dishes. Add cayenne to chicken, beef, or fish and also vegetable medleys like zucchini, corn, and bell peppers. Pairings: lemon zest, paprika, cinnamon, cumin Ginger. Many people avoid ginger unless it's in candy or herbal tea to help them get over a cold. You might not even notice, for example, that ginger is in many of your favorite Asian dishes. Ginger also works with dishes involving beef, chicken and fish, and pairs well with sweet potato, carrots, and nuts. Pairings: garlic, mint, chilli  Garlic. Just like with basil, having fresh garlic on hand always pays off. Fortunately, garlic has quite a long shelf life. It's more difficult to find a dish that wouldn't be improved by adding garlic, but it works especially well in tomato sauces, beef, beans, chicken, and potatoes. Pairings: basil, parsley, ginger, oregano, dill, turmeric

Homeowner’s insurance allows you to have financial protection if your home or the contents of your home have been damaged. If you or your family member are held legally responsible for injuries that have occurred on your property, you are also protected. Insurance is generally required by most mortgage lenders in order to secure a loan. 


There are many different types of insurance policies that you can use to cover your home. You can get anything ranging from a basic insurance policy that just covers your home overall or you can go for broader protection for your home. The types of coverage that you can get will vary from state to state.


Natural Disasters


Most insurance policies will cover damage caused by fire, wind, lightning, theft, or vandalism. Floods and earthquakes typically require additional coverage, so if you live in an area that is susceptible to these issues, then you should inquire about additional coverage. 


The Standard Policy


Most insurance policies include certain basic coverages like dwelling coverage which is the allowance for you to either repair or rebuild your home. This includes the electrical systems, the plumbing systems, and the HVAC systems. You need enough coverage for your home in order to rebuild in the event that such an event would cause a need for it. Your insurance agent can help you to find a comfortable number that will allow you enough coverage for rebuilding.


Standard coverage also may include “other structures” which can include fences, garages, cottages, and sheds. You’ll also be covered for your personal property which includes clothing, furniture, and electronics that may be damaged in your home due to theft or disaster. 


Loss Of Use Coverage


This type of coverage will pay for your living expenses if you need to move out of your home while it’s being rebuilt or restored. This would allow you to find alternative arrangements when you need it most, so it’s an important aspect of home insurance coverage. 


Liability Coverage


This coverage is one of the most important aspects of purchasing home insurance. Having liability will help to protect your assets and cover defense costs in the event that you have been held liable for causing and injury to other people or property. 

Additional Coverage Options


There are many different types of additional coverages that you can add to your homeowners insurance policy to help you get the right umbrella of coverage for you.




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