Sharing living expenses with your partner or roommates can be a difficult and confusing issue for many.

 Life would be made much easier if there was just one bill to pay on your home that includes everything.

 Recently there have been attempts to bring such a suction into fruition. Many homeowners and renters have turned to apps that help them split expenses, or have signed up for mortgage agreements that cover stray expenses like property tax and private mortgage insurance.

 In this article, we're going to give you a few tips on splitting the bills in your home to make things easier for you, your spouse, and your roommates.

Who pays what?

Many young couples are often left wondering who should pay which bill, especially when you share so many services.>

However, there's a big difference between sharing a Netflix account and sharing a car. One solution is to use the bills that report to credit agencies for whoever needs help building their credit score.

Putting credit cards under the person with the lowest score’s name can help them build credit even if they're simply listed as an “authorized user” which means you can take advantage of good interest rates and build credit at the same time.

Paying the mortgage

It can quickly become tiresome having to write two different checks each month for your mortgage or rent. To solve this problem, you can either alternate payments (you pay a full month’s rent or mortgage one month and your spouse pays the following month), or you can choose to pay bi-weekly, which will help you pay off your mortgage sooner.

The best apps to use

If you live with your spouse, you likely aren’t overly concerned with splitting all of your expenses 50/50. Chances are whoever has the higher income will foot the bill for the larger expenses.

However, if you have roommates there’s a bigger chance you’ll want things to be split evenly between you and the other members of the household. That’s where apps come in handy.

First, sit down with your roommates and go over all expenses. Write down each bill that you share: rent, heat, electricity, cable, internet, gas, insurance, and so on.

Then, decide who is responsible for making the payment on those bills. Even if you decide to split them all evenly, one person will have to be responsible for sending out the check each month.

Once you’ve determined which bills you have and who is going to pay them, it’s time to find out how you’re all going to contribute.

One way is to open up a shared account. Doing so can be messy, however, if you’re using that account for multiple bills. Some banks and services also charge a portion of the transfer, so you’ll each be losing money each month, and the amount depends on how many bills you have.

Some apps and services you can use to split bills and transfer money include Splitwise, Mint, PayPal, and Chase’s QuickPay. The benefit of apps that don’t transfer money is that they are often free and don’t collect transfer fees. So, if you’re comfortable with handling money by hand, you could save in the long run.



 Photo by Connoman via Pixabay

Sometimes you look at many homes and can’t find the perfect luxury home. When that happens, you might have to get a home that meets every requirement except the one – and then add that feature yourself. Many luxury homes have plenty of room to add additional buildings and water features. When purchasing a luxury home that doesn’t have everything, make sure you have plenty of land to add what you need or that the house is situated on the property so that you can add onto it.

The Perfect Floor Plan

You found a house with the perfect floor plan in the perfect location and with plenty of property – but the house doesn’t have a spa area or a pool. Since the market is hot, it’s a good idea to put an offer on the house, but what if you don’t want it if you can’t fit a pool where you want it? When you submit the offer, make it contingent upon an engineer approving the pool and spa location and zoning allowing the pool. If the engineer approves of the location and zoning allows you to build a pool, you can continue with the purchase. If not, you’ll be able to withdraw your offer without any ramifications.

Pool and Spa Landscaping

Before you add the pool, decide on whether you want a hot tub, and if the hot tub will be contained within the same decking as the pool. If so, the pool builder will be able to add the hot tub in before the company builds the decking. This is especially important if you have an in-ground pool with concrete decking around the pool.

If you want to add a steam room that is outside of the house, make sure there is room for it – don’t think of it as an afterthought, especially if the backyard is on the small side. Planning the location of all three pool and spa features is key to an area you’ll enjoy for many years to come.

If you want everything in a heated room, you could add on to the house or you could build a separate building that holds the pool, steam room and hot tub. Benefit of having a separate building including keeping it locked without having a fence and keeping the humidity from the steam and water out of your house.

Fencing and Privacy

Most cities and counties require you to fence the pool in for safety reasons. Make sure you know what zoning in your area requires for a safety fence. Hot tubs, unless covered and locked, usually have to have a fence around them to prevent children from getting in and drowning.

If you don’t like the idea of a high fence, put the lowest fence allowed by zoning around the area, then plant shrubs and trees along the fence for more privacy. Taller shrubs and trees still block your view, but will make you feel like you are in the middle of the woods if you choose the right plants. Put the plants inside the fence so that children cannot climb them from the outside.



65 Independence Lane, Ashland, MA 01721

Single-Family

$849,000
Price

12
Rooms
4
Beds
3/1
Full/Half Baths
This gorgeous colonial in desirable Independence Lane neighborhood re-defines the phrase "better than new". The proud original owners have updated, upgraded and added enhancements over the last 6 yrs to make this a true dream home. Kitchen features custom made white cabinetry, marble tops, subway tile, Thermador 48" stove, DW, frig. The kitchen flows seamlessly to the spacious family room with gas FP, custom built-ins & desk as well as to a sun room overlooking fenced back yard, heated pool & hot tub, two patios, & Azek deck. Elegant paint scheme, updated powder room, and refinished HW floors round out the main level. The Master Bedroom suite has a cozy sitting area, large walk-in, & remodeled bath with large tiled shower with glass surround & a soaking tub. The family bath has also seen a modern make over. Other updates include 2018 heating & AC, new slider, new front door, portico,granite steps & walkway, permanent back up generator, new pool liner, etc! 5 min to Train & rts 9/90
Open House
Saturday
February 08 at 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM
More Open Houses
Cannot make the Open Houses?
Location: 65 Independence Lane, Ashland, MA 01721    Get Directions





65 Independence Lane, Ashland, MA 01721

Single-Family

$849,000
Price

12
Rooms
4
Beds
3/1
Full/Half Baths
This gorgeous colonial in desirable Independence Lane neighborhood re-defines the phrase "better than new". The proud original owners have updated, upgraded and added enhancements over the last 6 yrs to make this a true dream home. Kitchen features custom made white cabinetry, marble tops, subway tile, Thermador 48" stove, DW, frig. The kitchen flows seamlessly to the spacious family room with gas FP, custom built-ins & desk as well as to a sun room overlooking fenced back yard, heated pool & hot tub, two patios, & Azek deck. Elegant paint scheme, updated powder room, and refinished HW floors round out the main level. The Master Bedroom suite has a cozy sitting area, large walk-in, & remodeled bath with large tiled shower with glass surround & a soaking tub. The family bath has also seen a modern make over. Other updates include 2018 heating & AC, new slider, new front door, portico,granite steps & walkway, permanent back up generator, new pool liner, etc! 5 min to Train & rts 9/90
Open House
Saturday
February 08 at 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM
More Open Houses
Cannot make the Open Houses?
Location: 65 Independence Lane, Ashland, MA 01721    Get Directions





65 Independence Lane, Ashland, MA 01721

Single-Family

$849,000
Price

12
Rooms
4
Beds
3/1
Full/Half Baths
This gorgeous colonial in desirable Independence Lane neighborhood re-defines the phrase "better than new". The proud original owners have updated, upgraded and added enhancements over the last 6 yrs to make this a true dream home. Kitchen features custom made white cabinetry, marble tops, subway tile, Thermador 48" stove, DW, frig. The kitchen flows seamlessly to the spacious family room with gas FP, custom built-ins & desk as well as to a sun room overlooking fenced back yard, heated pool & hot tub, two patios, & Azek deck. Elegant paint scheme, updated powder room, and refinished HW floors round out the main level. The Master Bedroom suite has a cozy sitting area, large walk-in, & remodeled bath with large tiled shower with glass surround & a soaking tub. The family bath has also seen a modern make over. Other updates include 2018 heating & AC, new slider, new front door, portico,granite steps & walkway, permanent back up generator, new pool liner, etc! 5 min to Train & rts 9/90
Open House
Saturday
February 08 at 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM
More Open Houses
Cannot make the Open Houses?
Location: 65 Independence Lane, Ashland, MA 01721    Get Directions






Loading