RE/MAX Advantage I



Posted by Mark Consolmagno Michelle Curran Team on 1/23/2019

There are plenty of ways to make your home more organized. Whether you have a large house or some problems with cramped spaces, your home has plenty of room to give. The key is that you just need to know how to use it. Read on for some tips on how to make the most of the space your home has to offer. 


Make Everything Easy To Find


The more accessible the things in your home are, the easier it will be to stay organized. If you have kids, this accessibility will be even more critical. Make sure that the items everyone uses daily have a place. Toy boxes, dressers for clothes, and places for coats and shoes are crucial for smooth organization. 


Find The Right Storage Container


You need to make sure that you have the right containers for the right things. Without these tools, organization becomes increasingly difficult. Shop around and do some research before you decide on exactly what you want to use to store things in. 


Organization Doesnít Have To Be Ugly


Itís much easier to stay organized if you donít mind looking at your home. The whole reason you want to stay organized is that the less chaos there is, the less stressed you feel. Organizers donít need to be cold and regimented. Make sure that any organizing units match your color scheme and themes. 


Electronics Get In The Way


All of the gadgets we have these days can overtake our homes. Cords, phones, chargers, video game systems, and more can really take up space in a home. Anything that you frequently use should be in open top containers, so everything can be easily spotted. Anything that you use less often can be hidden behind closed doors or in a drawer. 


Think By Function


The easiest way to organize anything is to think about the functionality of items. If you make coffee every morning, for example, you may want to keep a coffee corner. You can keep coffee in the cabinet along with sugar or other essentials. In the drawer below where the coffee pot is placed on the counter, you can keep filters, stirrers, and more coffee essentials. If things are functional and flowing in your home, youíre getting close to organization nirvana!  


Declutter Often


If you have a daily routine to put things back where they came from, clutter will never overtake you! Simple things can help you to stay ahead of a big mess. Some idea for your routine can include:


Straightening furniture

Clearing countertops

Throwing away junk mail

Putting away shoes


All of these quick tasks can make a big difference on a daily basis over time! 




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Posted by Mark Consolmagno Michelle Curran Team on 1/16/2019

Ready to sell your house? Ultimately, you should conduct a home appraisal before you add your residence to the housing market, and for good reason.

A home appraisal enables you to better understand what your home is worth. Plus, an expert home appraiser will be able to offer comprehensive insights into your house's strengths and weaknesses so you can prioritize assorted home improvement projects accordingly.

Preparing your home for an appraisal may prove to be exceedingly valuable. If you allocate time and resources to get your house ready for an appraisal, you can increase your chances of getting favorable results during the appraisal itself.

What does it take to prep your house for an appraisal? Here are three tips to ensure you can do just that.

1. Consider a Home Appraiser's Perspective.

A home appraiser has an eye for detail, one that helps this professional understand whether a house is a viable long-term investment. Meanwhile, a home seller who steps into a property appraiser's shoes may be better equipped than others to enhance his or her residence.

For example, a home seller should evaluate a house's interior and exterior prior to an appraisal. And if you notice chipped paint on a home's walls, cracked shingles on a home's exterior or other cosmetic issues, you should address these problems immediately.

Even minor cosmetic issues can negatively affect a home's value. However, a home seller who goes above and beyond the call of duty to correct these problems may be able to improve his or her house's appearance before a home appraisal.

2. Conduct Plenty of Housing Market Research.

How does your residence stack up against the competition? Learn about the local housing market, and you can find out what you'll need to do to differentiate your residence from similar properties.

An home seller should learn about the prices of recently sold residences as well as homes that are currently available. That way, you can set realistic expectations for your home appraisal.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent.

A home appraisal can be a stressful experience, especially for a first-time home seller. Lucky for you, real estate agents are available to help you streamline the home appraisal process.

Typically, a real estate agent will guide you along the home selling process. He or she can connect you with qualified home appraisers in your area and ensure you can find a home appraiser who will provide honest, unbiased feedback about your residence.

A real estate agent also will help you maximize the value of your house. This housing market professional will ensure you can set a fair price for your residence and market your home to the right groups of homebuyers. He or she will even set up home showings and open houses and negotiate with homebuyers on your behalf to further simplify the home selling process.

When it comes to getting a home appraisal, there is no need to worry. Use the aforementioned tips, and you can plan ahead for a home appraisal.




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Posted by Mark Consolmagno Michelle Curran Team on 1/9/2019

Buying a home with an in-law suite provides many families with peace of mind for years to come. Whether or not your parents donít get around as well as they used to or youíre planning ahead for the years ahead, youíll always be a stone's throw away from them. And while this isnít a topic most like to think or plan for, it's never one youíll wish you were less informed on.

When shopping around for homes with an in-law suite look for those that are a single story and open floor plan. Come crutches, walker or wheelchair this layout guarantees its inhabitants full access to every room. No chairlift required.

Some things that are especially beneficial when youíre feeling the effects of age are helpful to those at any age. 

Consider these home upgrades first:

Switch out all door knobs for handles. The twisting action of a doorknob is hard and sometimes even impossible for arthritic hands. But it also makes for easier access to any room if youíre hands are full with a laundry basket, groceries or toddler.

A grab bar should be installed in every bathtub. Everyone is susceptible to the slippery surface of the tub. However, as we age our balance and coordination begins to become compromised. A horizontal bar along the length of the tub can multitask as a grab bar and place to keep shampoo bottles and facecloths. This placement is also more subtle than a bunch of horizontal and vertically placed bars.

Another feature every home should have? A motion-sense light outside. Our eyes are no more immune to age than the rest of our body. This makes getting around in the dark much more difficult. Coupled with balance could cause a very severe accident. If your new home doesnít already have a motion sense lamp this is one upgrade that is best made ASAP.

Once you have the basics in place consider these upgrades your loved ones will really appreciate:

A hand-held shower head with the option of a waist height wall mount. For when movement is limited and especially for those who need to sit while bathing.

A built-in shower bench. This upgrade is really just a nice touch especially compared to the white metal chairs that feel more like an afterthought.

Textured flooring. Tile can get slippery especially when wet. Installing textured flooring can help avoid that infamous ďhelp Iíve fallen and I canít get upĒ scene from playing out.

Railing along the stairs; ideally along both sides. Stairs can be a dangerous place for anyone especially if we are in a hurry or not paying attention. Having a railing to hold on to will help your loved ones keep their balance.





Posted by Mark Consolmagno Michelle Curran Team on 1/2/2019

If you like the outdoors, fresh air, and exercise, it might be well worth your while to look for a house near a public park.

Some communities also offer bike paths, walking trails, and town swimming pools, all of which can provide an endless source of recreation for you and your family.

Like any desirable feature of a neighborhood or community, some parks are better than others. While access to a nice park may not be uppermost in your mind when house hunting, here are some solid reasons for including it on your wish list:

  • Exercise benefits: Many of the larger parks offer extensive walking trails, public tennis courts, and paddle boat rentals. Parks can also provide space for jogging, roller blading, bicycling, and Frisbee tossing. For families with younger children, a nearby playground can be a priceless resource for keeping the kids physically active and entertained. It can also be a convenient location for play dates, birthday parties, and picnics.
  • Stress relief: Whether it's related to work, finances, or family issues, just about everyone experiences stress at one time or another. Having easy access to a peaceful place to walk, read a book, or fly a kite with the kids can provide a welcome distraction to the trials and tribulations of everyday life. When you need a change of scenery or a chance to commune with nature, a short jaunt to your neighborhood park can provide the ideal environment for relaxing and unwinding.
  • Convenient meeting location: If you're considering hosting a family picnic, but your yard won't accommodate everyone on your guest list, reserving a pavilion at a local park can be the perfect solution. Public parks can also be conducive to volleyball matches, badminton tournaments, and football games. A park can often be a nice setting for events like family reunions, club meetings, and graduation parties.
  • Easy access to special events: Most parks offer special events to local residents, ranging from free concerts to farmers' markets. Living just a short walk from a festival site, music event, or theatrical performance can enhance your enjoyment of a chosen neighborhood. Whether you're a fan of Shakespeare in the Park or flower shows and food festivals, living near a public park can provide you and your family with fun cultural events and weekend entertainment.
If you're currently in the process of house hunting or are considering relocating in the near future, one feature to include on your wish list might be proximity to entertainment, culture, and recreational facilities. When those resources are far away or inconveniently located, it's all too easy to dismiss the idea and settle for a humdrum day at home. However, when you have entertainment options that are literally around the corner, there's no excuse for not taking advantage of them -- especially when they're free!





Posted by Mark Consolmagno Michelle Curran Team on 12/26/2018

Becoming a home owner for the first time is an exciting milestone for Millennials! Going from renting an apartment to owning your own property represents a big transition from dependency to independence.

For many people, it even symbolizes making the leap from childhood to adulthood. Once you're a homeowner and a property taxpayer, there's often a newfound feeling of being more established and successful.

While home ownership may bestow upon you a boost in status, the added responsibility of paying for your own repairs, maintenance, and upkeep can take an unexpected toll on your budget. With a little extra planning, however, you can avoid many of the pitfalls of home ownership.

Looking at the Big Picture

Here's a misconception that sometimes creates a financial strain for first-time homeowners: "If we can afford to pay $1800 in rent, every month, then we should be able to afford monthly mortgage payments in that same amount!" While that premise may sound logical, there are a few crucial "missing pieces" from that equation -- pieces which could throw your household budget out of kilter!

In addition to the costs associated with purchasing real estate, such as a down payment and closing costs, there's also the matter of home repairs and property maintenance. Depending on where you decide to live, there could be other fees to absorb, too, including garbage collection, yard waste removal, and water usage. Other expenses that first-time homeowners may overlook include the cost of buying a lawnmower, a snow blower, yard maintenance supplies, tools, and furniture. That's why creating a detailed estimated budget, based on your income, debts, and anticipated expenses can help you determine whether you're truly ready to take the plunge into homeownership.

Enlisting Professional Help

A mortgage broker or bank loan officer can provide you with assistance in calculating your financial readiness for purchasing a home. A good real estate agent can also offer insights and guidance into the process of finding, buying, and owning a house you can comfortably afford. They should be able to provide you with vital information about school taxes, property taxes, average utility bills, homeowner association fees (if any), and any issues revealed in the seller's disclosure form.

One way to avoid -- or at least be prepared for -- costs that often accompany home ownership is to have a qualified property inspector take a close look at the condition of everything in the house from the basement and attic to major appliances and structural features. They can generally tell you whether there are any concerns about mechanical systems, water in the basement, foundation damage, issues with property drainage, the electrical system, potential plumbing problems, and dozens of other vital checkpoints

Whether you're a first-time house hunter or a seasoned homeowner, it pays to understand, anticipate, and budget for the many costs of being a property owner. While owning your own home can be a rewarding and satisfying experience, a guiding principle to keep in mind as you consider available homes on the market is "caveat emptor" (Let the buyer beware)!




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Mark Consolmagno Michelle Curran Team
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