RE/MAX Advantage I



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

So many great features that make up many clientsí 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 doesnít 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 donít 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 homeís outdoor space.      





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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 itís a giant declutter session. Or even sessions. It doesnít 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 youíve been planning to recycle responsibly for years.

Sometimes the ďjunkĒ 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 donít worry we wonít 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.

Letís start with the most extreme, what would you do if you had to start over from scratch? If you couldnít 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. Iíd recommend tackling one room per weekend.

If youíre finding that breaking up your declutter room by room is too overwhelming, hereís 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 itís of sentimental value how often do you pull it out to reminisce? Did you think to yourself ďWow! I totally forgot about thisĒ? What value does this item add to your day to day to life? If the answer is rarely to never, itís 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 havenít unpacked within a month. With the exception of seasonal items, of course. The downside here is that youíre still going to have to pack it all up and move. But itís a less extreme version of imagining you are starting over from scratch. 




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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 youíre 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 donít 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 youíve 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 youíve 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.




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

If youíre looking to make your home smell nice, but arenít sure about using chemical air fresheners for your home, you can turn to the natural odors that nature provides. Below, youíll 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, youíll have quite a fresh smelling room. 


Natural Refills For Plug-In Air Fresheners


You donít 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 youíre 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 isnít 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 youíre 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 donít 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.          







Posted by Mark Consolmagno Michelle Curran Team on 8/14/2019

Face it; you probably don't think about your laundry room until you're in there doing ten loads of clothes after vacation. Even then, it might seem like a minor inconvenience to have to step over piles of sorted clothes to get to the washer and dryer. Then, with the load done, you carry the basket of clean laundry to the family room to fold because there's no floor space to stand and do it there.

Most people think of the kitchen and bath when considering a remodel. But a well-appointed laundry room can add value to your home and make your life easier to boot!

When asked what items a laundry room remodel needs, here are some top contenders:

  • Folding station: as simple as a flat surface above the appliances and as exotic as an exclusive island just for folding clothes.
  • Sink for soaking stains and hand washing: it is surprising how many laundry rooms do not have sinks. That means hand-washing and stain removal often take place in the kitchen or a bathroom.
  • Room to sort clothing: no one wants stacks of dirty clothes on the kitchen floor when the nice new neighbor decides to come to visit. And if you get interrupted before completing your washing, where do they go?
  • Hanging racks for drip-drying, flat racks for sweaters, and rods for putting clothes on hangers: many clothes require special care. With no place to hang them or a flat frame to dry them on, many homeowners end up taking special-care items to the dry cleaners, costing extra time and money.
  • Room for the ironing board: because many laundry rooms have no space keep an ironing board, so consider a hanger made to hold it and the iron on the back of the door. If youíre remodeling though, a built-in ironing board cabinet is a nice feature to add.
  • Extra outlets for the iron or steamer: even when there is room for the ironing board or a steamer, the original design often neglected to add additional outlets, making your reach behind the washer or dryer to plug it in. Add plenty of outlets to your remodel, with the appropriate wiring and breakers.
  • Built-in cubbies and hooks for coats if doubling as the mudroom: many laundry rooms are an alcove off the mudroom, or even in the hallway leading from the back door or garage. If possible, separate the mudroom area by adding in cubbies for boots, shoes, hats, and gloves, and hooks for jackets.
  • Cabinets to store laundry powders and other cleaning products: Steam from your washer and dryer can cause powdered soaps to harden and spray cans to rust. And all those bottles and boxes are unsightly on top of the appliances. A cabinet above the machines for storage lets your room appear organized and protects your products from moisture.
  • Light and bright space: since you spend a lot of time there, make the area as bright as possible. If a window isn't available, consider a tubular skylight and recessed lighting.

Make your laundry room a place you wonít mind being! For other ideas on ways to increase your homeís value, consult your local real estate professional.







Mark Consolmagno Michelle Curran Team
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