RE/MAX Advantage I



Posted by Mark Consolmagno Michelle Curran Team on 8/5/2020

Photo by Rades via Shutterstock

Not everything you’ve heard over the years about home improvements actually “improves” your return on investment. In fact, there are some myths that continue to crop up that surprise homeowners when they price their homes to sell them on the market. Learning the difference between a change you make for your family to enjoy versus an improvement that raises your home’s value can be a painful lesson if you wait until requesting a market evaluation from your real estate agent.

  • Every renovation adds value to the home. Splitting a large master bedroom to create a guest room or add a bathroom to your home might increase your asking price, but that doesn’t mean an underwriting evaluation determines it the same way. And while combining two smaller rooms into one or removing a wall could increase the room’s usefulness, on paper, the decrease in bedrooms might lower the valuation amount. If improving livability for your family is the goal, do what works best for you. But, if you’re renovating so that you can sell for a higher price, talk to a home valuation expert, such as a licensed appraiser, to see what really gives you a return for your home.
  • Completing the project yourself saves money. This myth only holds true if you’re a qualified contractor. Sometimes, in an effort to save money, you end up spending more to correct errors you didn’t know not to make. Hiring qualified professionals nearly always pays off as compared to doing it yourself.
  • Pools add sales value. Many homeowners believe that installing a hot tub or pool makes their home more attractive. While in some locations this indeed is true, if your home is located in a climate with variable seasons, a pool requiring maintenance can be off-putting to many buyers. Putting in a pool should be for the sake of those living in the home. When it comes time to sell, your experienced real estate agent can help you market it with a pool even if that’s not a big seller in your location.
  • Improvements should be trendy. Despite what you see on television, not all design trends improve your bottom line. Trading out your bathroom door for a barn door might satisfy your need to update your home, but not all buyers appreciate the lack of privacy a barn door offers. And, while shiplap might be popular when promoted by a well-known designer, homebuyers often prefer less textured walls on which to make their own mark.

The bottom line is that to improve your bottom line, stick with upgrades to appliances, a new roof, replacing that garage door and upgrading the landscaping. Your real estate professional can clue you in on which improvements increase the price and which promote a speedier sale. When you’re ready to sell, ask for a market evaluation on your house.




Tags: home improvement   DIY   roi  
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Posted by Mark Consolmagno Michelle Curran Team on 7/29/2020

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Image by Autri Taheri from Unsplash

Keeping dogs well-groomed is an important part of helping them stay healthy and happy. The amount of grooming your dogs need depends on certain factors, such as the kind of coat they have or whether or not they tend to roll around in dirt or mud. The following grooming tips can help you keep your pups looking and feeling their best.

Brush Your Dogs Regularly

Dogs can end up with tangles or matted fur when it’s not brushed often enough. Brushing also helps distribute oils through their coat, which keeps their fur looking shiny rather than dull. Plan on brushing your dogs every couple of days or more often if they’re shedding. The kind of brush to use depends on their coat:

  • Long coats: For dogs with longer fur, a slicker brush can get rid of mats, and an undercoat rake can eliminate dead hair near the skin. 
  • Short coats: For dogs with short fur, pinhead or slicker brushes remove mats, and bristle brushes remove dirt and dead hair. 
  • Rough coats: For dogs with rougher or wiry coats, slicker brushes eliminate mats, while stripping combs help prevent tangles from forming.
  • Smooth coats: For dogs with smoother coats, rubber brushes pull dirt and debris up from the skin, and bristle brushes help remove it. 

Give an Occasional Bath

Dogs don’t need baths as often as people do. In fact, bathing them too often can dry their skin and remove natural oils that keep their coat shiny. You can bathe your dogs every few months or whenever they’re muddy or dirty after playing outside. You should use a shampoo made for dogs, since shampoos for people are too rough on their skin. Before bathing, brush your dogs to remove dead hair and mats. 

Keep Nails Trimmed

Long nails make it harder and more uncomfortable for dogs to walk around. They can also get caught on rugs or furniture and tear off. Dog nails should be trimmed when they’re long enough to reach the floor while they walk around. You can use scissors style or guillotine style trimmers, depending on how thick the nails are. Scissors style trimmers tend to work better on thick nails and dewclaws, while guillotine style trimmers work better on thinner nails. 

For light nails, stop trimming before reaching the pink area, known as the quick. For dark nails, stop trimming when you see a pinkish or grayish color inside the nail. Keep a styptic pencil with you in case you do cut into the quick accidentally and bleeding occurs. This pencil, which contains silver nitrate, helps stop bleeding form occurring. 




Tags: Dog Lovers   pets   Maintenance  
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Posted by Mark Consolmagno Michelle Curran Team on 7/22/2020

Photo by Seksak Kerdkanno via Pixabay

Diffusing aromas in your home is a great way to settle in, relax and enjoy a fresh, clean scent that calms the nerves.

How Do We Know Aromatherapy Works?

Research gives us the scoop. Take lavender, for example. Research shows lavender

  • Eases nervousness much better than a placebo.
  • Raises people's scientifically measured mood scores and lowers distress, when accompanied in aromatherapy by rosemary and tea tree oils.
  • Eases restlessness, poor sleep, and other sleep problems.
  • Enhances "general well-being and quality of life." 

When it comes down to the science, aromatherapy passes the smell test.

Uplifting Scents

You aren't limited to lavender. Many plants and their oils create a mood-enhancing home environment.

Pick up some eucalyptus branches and enjoy their stimulating scents in your bathroom or home office.

Or mix and match, creating your signature scent, with a blend of essential oils:

  • For a natural energy boost, diffuse peppermint and rosemary essential oils, accompanied by a citrus element, like bergamot orange.
  • For a gentle uplift, diffuse lavender with lemongrass.

Experiment and enjoy the process.

Tea Leaves, Revisited

If you happen to enjoy tea, you have a ready-made way to subtly scent your home year-round.

Did you know tea aromatherapy is a thing in Japan? Japanese tea leaf warmers are called chakouro. The idea is to ease stress and sharpen mental focus, while creating an ahhh home environment.

Aromatherapy oil warmers work just fine for putting tea leaves instead of the oil in the shallow saucer on top of the warmer. As they warm and their scent is diffused, your leaves will gently roast. After many hours, this creates a remainder of rich, brewable leaves, called hojicha in Japan.

Tea itself is aromatherapeutic. Green tea, jasmine, or sencha are all delightful. Sencha tea, with its rich, yellow hue, is gaining many western adherents, with good reason. Enjoy it hot or iced, garnished with a lemon wedge and a fresh sprig of mint. The scent is deeply satisfying.

Experiment with fragrance. Enjoy the adventure. And come home to a sanctuary every day.




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Posted by Mark Consolmagno Michelle Curran Team on 7/8/2020

Image by Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay

There are many responsibilities that come with homeownership. One important aspect to monitor and maintain is your plumbing system. With any system that is used daily, problems will arise from time to time. The earlier issues are identified, the quicker and simpler they can be to resolve. Here are a few signs to watch for that might indicate a larger problem with your home's plumbing.

A Drop in Water Pressure

One of the first signs that might indicate something is wrong with the house's plumbing is a drop in water pressure. As a homeowner, you're likely used to a certain amount of water pressure coming from sinks, bathtubs, and showerheads. If the water suddenly flows with a reduced amount of force, you may have a build-up of sediment or mineral deposits within the faucets or spigots. They will need to be cleaned or replaced to regain the pressure you expect. However, low water pressure could also be an indicator that there is a blockage or break in the pipes. If that is the case, you'll most likely need to contact a plumbing professional.

A Rise in the Water Bill

Another common sign that the plumbing system in the home need maintenance is that the water bill has gone up dramatically. Watch your water bill for any spikes in use that don't align with your regular routine or expected per gallon increases where you live. There may be corrosion or a leak within the system that is causing the spike and potentially damaging other parts of the home at the same time.

The Toilet Keeps Filling Endlessly

If the toilet seems to fill endlessly it is likely that a component within the toilet itself has failed. The mechanism within the toilet that allows for flushing and filling is usually something that can be replaced without professional intervention. However, if replacing the moving parts inside the tank does not resolve the running toilet, there may be sediment or leaks that are creating issues with the expected water flow.




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Posted by Mark Consolmagno Michelle Curran Team on 7/1/2020

With few exceptions, a backyard shed is a resource that's going to provide you with an array of benefits for as long as you own your home.

If you're in the house-hunting mode, right now, a storage shed is a desirable feature that is usually worth including on your wish list. While many sheds are purely functional in nature, some can be used to dramatically enhance the landscaping and aesthetic appeal of your property.

In many cases, new homeowners don't realize how much they need a shed until after they've settled into a house that doesn't have one. When your tools, equipment, and supplies are easily accessible, your gardening, yardwork, and maintenance tasks will become much more convenient and less of a chore. Having an enclosed, protective structure to easily store your rakes, shovels, and hedge trimmers will also decrease the likelihood that they'll be left out in the yard and subjected to the elements of nature.

Although sheds are useful to any property owner who does their own mowing, raking, and snow removal, some homeowners find them indispensable.

  • Gardeners: Whether you cultivate vegetables, flowers, or other plants on your property, you'll need a convenient and dry place to store everything from tools and fencing material to seedlings, gardening soil, fertilizer, peat moss, clay pots, and statues. A well-organized shed can also help you keep track of when supplies are low and need to be replenished.
  • Swimming pool owners: When you consider the daily and weekly tasks that are involved in maintaining a swimming pool, it makes sense to have a dedicated space for safely storing and organizing equipment, pool chemicals, extra patio furniture, and even floatation devices. If you leave these items outside they tend to get dirty, damaged, or even stolen. Securing and storing pool chemicals away from children and pets is also a major safety consideration.
  • Most other property owners: As long as you have grass that needs to be mowed regularly, bushes that require trimming, and deciduous trees that shed their leaves in the fall, yard maintenance is an inescapable aspect of home ownership. For those who live in snow-prone areas of the country, keeping shovels, bags of rock salt, and possibly a snow blower on hand are often considered necessary elements of winter survival. While some people try to cram all those items into their garage, having a separate storage building on the premises can make life a lot more organized and less cluttered.
Whether you assemble your storage shed or have it custom-built by a carpenter, you'll probably find it to be one of the most useful features of your property. Assuming your available yard space and budget can accommodate a decent-quality storage shed, the probability is high that you'll be putting it to productive use for many years to come!




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Mark Consolmagno Michelle Curran Team
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