RE/MAX Advantage I



Posted by Mark Consolmagno Michelle Curran Team on 9/18/2019

Home values continue to rise. Many people use their home equity in order to get a bit more financial security. The home equity line of credit can have many different benefits for you. From home improvement projects to a much-needed vacation, you can get the funds that you need for whatever you wish. Turn to your home equity with some careful thought, however. You could end up owing more than your home is worth, which defeats the purpose of tapping into your home equity to begin with. 


Make Your Decision Smart


Your home equity can be a good thing to tap in to if you’re not planning on spending like crazy. Maybe you just want a little extra cash on hand for emergencies. You’ll be prepared for anything unexpected. This could be a smarter decision than just blowing a bunch of money on a vacation, for example. 


Some smart things that you can use your home equity for include:


  • Home renovations
  • Emergency funds
  • College education funds
  • Cash advance


These ideas are investments that can help you to achieve other goals. You should be sure that you’re able to pay the money back. These projects or financial endeavors are much more suited to smart spending than just randomly spending money, buying a car, or other things that will put you in serious debt.


Home Equity Fluctuates


As the market changes, the amount of home equity that you’ll have to tap into does as well. The state of the housing market can actually dictate to you how much money you’ll be able to get. If the market isn’t good, you could end up in the negative financially, so do your research. 


How To Get Your Home Equity


There are a few ways that you can draw from your home’s equity. The first rule that you should understand is that you cannot borrow more than 80% of what your home is worth. Take a full remortgage your home, giving you the full 80% amount that your home is worth in order to take a lump sum. Alternatively, you can take a cash-out refinance where you set the amount of money you’d like to take out of your home’s equity as you refinance the home. You can also take out what’s called a “home equity line of credit,” which allows you to use the amount of your home’s worth as a credit card of sorts. You borrow money as you need it.     


The biggest issue with refinancing is that of planning. It’s important to know why you’re refinancing and what you’re planning on doing with the money. Used wisely, home equity can really be a great financial tool.





Posted by Mark Consolmagno Michelle Curran Team on 9/11/2019

So many great features that make up many clients’ dream homes can actually be a hindrance in selling a home down the road. While certain features in a home may be attractive to you, remember that all buyers are not looking for the same thing. Beware of the following perks and how they can affect your plans to sell a home in the future.


Schools Nearby


While having schools close in the neighborhood is a plus, not everyone sees it that way. A nearby school is fantastic if there are young children in the family, however, if a buyer doesn’t have young children, living near a school could be seen as a hinderance. Not only will there be an excess of foot traffic in the area, but there will be a lot of traffic, in general, each school day as buses and cars head to and from the school. The extra noise factor from the school may also turn off some buyers. 


Being In The Heart Of The City Or Town


Some people love to be in the heart of the action. A bustling neighborhood with tons of shops and restaurants and constant activity can be the life that you or someone you know is looking for. If you buy a home on one of these main stretches, but, it could be a hard sell should you decide to move. These property locations are targeting a specific kind of buyer and it could be hard to find them. Unless you live in a strictly urban area, you may want to think twice about the property location. Not only could it be a hard sell later, but you as an owner may get sick of the constant action very quickly. 


A Swimming Pool


If you live in a place where the weather is always warm and a pool is a requirement, then putting a pool in your home makes sense. In more variable temperature regions, a pool is not always the best idea. Pools require a lot of maintenance and can be a significant investment. Think of how much of the year a pool is actually usable in your area. The biggest issue with swimming pools is that while they are a luxury, they really don’t add value to the home. In some cases, a pool can end up detracting value and interest from a property. 


A Big Yard


While a large backyard can be attractive, not every homeowner wants to care for such a large amount of space. These large yards can take a significant investment of both time and money to maintain. A large yard attracts a certain type of buyer. Not that you can restructure property lines, but know that bigger isn't always better when it comes to a home’s outdoor space.      





Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Mark Consolmagno Michelle Curran Team on 9/4/2019

If there is one project you will be thankful for taking on before a move it’s a giant declutter session. Or even sessions. It doesn’t matter how many it takes you, getting rid of the stuff that just sits around taking up space and collecting dust feels liberating.

Because stuff is more than just stuff. Everything comes with a reason or attachment that is keeping us from letting go. Even your cell phone from 2012 that you’ve been planning to recycle responsibly for years.

Sometimes the “junk” we collect in drawers and boxes has a lot more to say about us than the more sentimental items like holey t-shirts and ticket stubs.

But don’t worry we won’t go there. Instead, here are four different tactics for getting the clutter out before moving day. Because less stuff means fewer boxes, less to carry and less unpacking.

Let’s start with the most extreme, what would you do if you had to start over from scratch? If you couldn’t take anything with you what would you need to run out and replace ASAP? What are the non-negotiables that make your life yours?

Alternatively, schedule small bursts throughout the next few weeks where you tackle decluttering room by room. Breaking down a total declutter into smaller projects makes it easier to wrap our brains around. I’d recommend tackling one room per weekend.

If you’re finding that breaking up your declutter room by room is too overwhelming, here’s a different technique. Plan a few days a week where you set a timer for just an hour or two to go through one junk drawer/closet/bookshelf at a time. This works because it puts an immediate end in sight that you can quite literally count down to.

Struggling with what to keep and what to toss?

Consider how often do you actually use the item in question. If it’s of sentimental value how often do you pull it out to reminisce? Did you think to yourself “Wow! I totally forgot about this”? What value does this item add to your day to day to life? If the answer is rarely to never, it’s time to let go.

Sort items into the classic four box system. Create four boxes or piles: keep, donate, pack away, toss. And then, once everything is sorted, take action! Actually, donate those items. Toss out your collections of dead pens and old cell phones.  

Or box everything up, bring it with you to the new place and toss or donate anything you haven’t unpacked within a month. With the exception of seasonal items, of course. The downside here is that you’re still going to have to pack it all up and move. But it’s a less extreme version of imagining you are starting over from scratch. 




Tags: moving tips   moving   declutter  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Mark Consolmagno Michelle Curran Team on 8/28/2019

Life can be hectic at times. Families are always on the go with after-school activities, birthday parties on the weekend, and work. With all of this to juggle, having to plan for dinner for seven days a week can feel like you’re adding another depleting task. There are ways to get ahead of the week and not let it get a hold of you. Here are some simple tips for putting into practice.

To get organized in your meal planning, start by writing out your meals for the week. Having a written meal plan for the whole week will help you create a complete grocery list. Getting all your groceries at once means not having to go back and forth to the store to pick up something you forgot. Plus, this allows you to think creatively about what your meals will be depending on your schedule for that week. 

When planning a meal, the ingredients are the most critical part of the process. Going to the grocery store is the last thing most people want to do on a weekday. Start by designating a day out of the week that you will commit to going grocery shopping. The weekends may work better for some more than others. 

If you don’t have the time or energy to deal with the grocery stores, there are online resources that can assist you in that area. Amazon has partnered with Whole Foods for online food delivery service. If you have Amazon Prime, you will receive exclusive deals and savings. You can find these savings and sales through the Amazon app and the Whole Foods app. Another online food shopping service to use is Fresh Direct. If you live in the Northeast, this is a helpful source. Fresh Direct has a minimum order delivery of $30 and a flat delivery fee depending on where you live. 

Finally, after you’ve done all the shopping, start by preparing your meals. You can cook all the meals on the same day or prep the ingredients for the upcoming days. If your family is not big on eating leftovers, cook the first couple of meals for the next couple of days. Then, season or prepare for the rest of the meals for the remainder of the week. If you’ve got kids, have them assist you in food prepping and make it a weekly family affair. 

By preparing ahead of time for your meals, you will make healthier choices and make room for things that are important to you. Check out some of the sites listed in the article to see how you can make meal planning a part of your weekly routine.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Mark Consolmagno Michelle Curran Team on 8/21/2019

If you’re looking to make your home smell nice, but aren’t sure about using chemical air fresheners for your home, you can turn to the natural odors that nature provides. Below, you’ll find some of the best natural air fresheners and how to use them to make your home smell fresh and clean. 


Lemon And Rosemary


Who knew that one of the best natural air fresheners was right in your kitchen? All you need is a mason jar, vanilla extract, rosemary, water, and lemon. Mix together and leave in the jar for a fanatic smell. 


Lilac Room Spray


You can leave your home smelling like springtime the whole year through. Just combine water, vodka, and lilac oil in a container with a sprayer. This compound is the ultimate room refresher.


Natural Carpet Freshener


You can freshen your carpets quickly and naturally by combining baking soda, dried rosemary, and lavender right on your carpets. Just let the mixture sit on rugs for about 15-20 minutes, then vacuum it up and voila, you’ll have quite a fresh smelling room. 


Natural Refills For Plug-In Air Fresheners


You don’t need to throw away empty plug-in the wall air fresheners. You can reuse the glass container. You can use your favorite essential oils and water, place back in the jar, and keep your rooms smelling fresh and clean.


Fall Into A Season


If you’re not a fan of burning candles, you can combine cinnamon oil, orange oil, and water. Boil it together, and your home will smell like a fresh fall day. 


Stove-Top Potpurris


There isn’t really any one particular scent that you have to use in your potpourris. Just look for recipes that intrigue you. Your home will smell like a new world when you combine sweet and spicy smells to make a long-lasting scent out of potpourri.


Make Your Own Diffuser


To make your own reed diffuser, all you need is a small glass container, rattan reeds, alcohol, almond oil, and your favorite essential oil. Some examples would be lemon oil or lavender oil. It all depends on what room you’re using the diffuser in and what effect you hope to have. The reeds soak in the scent, giving it off to the entire room. 


As with many kinds of cleaning around your home, you don’t need fancy cleaning products or air fresheners. Things that you probably already have in your home can work as great cleaners, deodorizers, and odor neutralizers. Give these natural air fresheners a try and see if they make a difference in your home.          









Mark Consolmagno Michelle Curran Team
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