Monthly Archives: June 2013

Being in the mortgage business for over 17 years, the first question asked of me is what can I afford to buy?  I then answer their question with a question.  What do you want to afford?  The customer looks at me and says you’re the professional.  I ask, “Do you have a budget, do you know what all your bills are and what projected bills will be?”  How are you tracking this information?

It is sad to say but not many people prepare a household budget.  I believe the reason for this is because people don’t want to know or see what they spend their money on.  By putting it down on a spread sheet it makes you accountable for what you are doing with your money.

So back to your mortgage:  how can you make a decision on what you can spend on a home if you have no idea what you spend now!

So how do you start?  Just do it!  On a spread sheet start inputting bills as they come in and as you spend money.  Just by doing this one action you will find that you end up saving 25% more than you did prior to this.  Just being aware will make you not buy that extra coffee, candy bar, or shirt.

Below is a link to a great article to help start a budget.

Below is a link for free budget planning software.

So with this useful information, you can now determine where your money is going, how much can you save, and what you can afford for a mortgage and the cost of the home.

Now that you have this valuable information, it’s time to sit down with your qualified mortgage professional to see what you can pay for a house.

About the author: Fred DaMore is a Mortgage Specialist at Ross Mortgage. You can contact him at


Farmers market season is here!June has arrived and that means the opening of the outdoor Farmers’ Markets in Massachusetts. Farmers’ Markets are a great way to shop for fresh produce and have a fun experience along the way.

In addition to the farmers who sell their fruits and vegetables, there are many other food vendors at the various markets. Enjoy exploring the booths of fish and lobster, natural beef, eggs,  locally made cheeses, breads and pastries, jams and jellies, honey,  wine and organic fresh juices. Some of the specialty vendors include flowers, handcrafted jewelry, homemade soaps and lotions, crafts, and candles.

Ideas for Shopping at Farmers’ Markets:

  1. Arrive with your own reusable bags or boxes. Most vendors will have bags, but bringing your own is better for the environment.
  2. Bring an ice filled cooler if you plan on buying meat, seafood, or other perishable items.
  3. Talk to the farmers about what is in season now, and what will be arriving soon.
  4. Use cash in small bills and coins. Cash is the easiest currency for the farmers and vendors.
  5. Make it a family outing. Your kids might enjoy a fruit or vegetable they’ve selected themselves!

For a complete list of tips go to

Following are details of some of the Farmers’ Markets located in the 128/93 belt. For a list and interactive map of other Massachusetts Farmers’ Markets go to

Arlington – Massachusetts Avenue & Pleasant Street, Russell Common Parking Lot
Wednesdays  –  2:00 pm to 6:30 pm
June 12 to October 30

Melrose – Bowden Park at West Emerson Street, Cedar Park & Vinton Street
Thursdays  –  1:00 pm to 7:00 pm
June 13 to October 26  (closed July 4)

Wakefield – Hall Park on North Avenue, adjacent to the Veterans ballfield and parking lot on Lake Quannapowitt
Saturdays  – 9:00 am to 1:00 pm
June 22 to October 19

Wilmington – 140 Middlesex Avenue, Swain Green across from the Town Common
Sundays   –  10:30 am to 1:30 pm
June 16 to September 29  (closed July 7)

Winchester – Town Common between Laraway Road, Church Street, and Waterfield Road
Saturdays  –  9:30 am to 1:30 pm
June 8 to October 26

Woburn – 41 Wyman Street, Spence Farm
Sundays  –  10:00 am to 2:00 pm
June 23 to October 20

Whenever you go, know that you are supporting our local farmers and vendors, and enjoying yourself at the same time.

About the author: Gale Spadafora is a Realtor with RE/MAX Legacy in Woburn MA. She works with buyers and sellers in neighborhoods north of Boston. Visit her on her website at