RE/MAX Advantage I



Posted by Mark Consolmagno Michelle Curran Team on 2/13/2019

Many house hunters are so focused on finding the ideal house, yard, and neighborhood, that they sometimes sacrifice one of their main objectives: a short commute to work.

At first, a long drive to the office may seem like a small price to pay for finding your ideal house, but your outlook might change when the tedium of commuter gridlock becomes a daily burden.

Fortunately, there are ways to ease the stress of being stuck in rush-hour traffic twice a day.

Car pooling: By sharing driving responsibilities with one or two other people, you can reduce the overall stress of your trip to the office. You can also save money on gas, highway tolls, and parking fees. Assuming you find carpooling companions whose company you enjoy, time will pass a lot faster. Then, of course, there's the advantage of less wear and tear on your car. Although carpooling may not be as idyllic as living 15 or 20 minutes from work, it can be an effective way to ease the burden of back-and-forth driving.

Telecommuting: As technology advances and more and more people are adapting to it, the option of working from home is becoming increasingly popular. When you consider the many options there are for document sharing and communicating remotely, you may have a strong case for proposing a work-from-home arrangement with your employer. Even though it may be necessary to meet face-to-face with coworkers, colleagues, and clients a few days a week, the ability to split your work time between home and office can save you time, money, and aggravation. As long as you can maintain your productivity working from home, it may turn out to be a life-changing arrangement! Granted, it doesn't work for everyone, but it may be well worth looking into -- at least on a part-time basis.

Public Transportation: If you happen to live close to a train station, then public transportation might be the perfect solution to an otherwise long, tedious drive into the city. Instead of concentrating on road signs and traffic conditions, you can read a book, listen to your favorite music, or prepare for a meeting or presentation. You can also check your email, get a head start on your work day, or even sneak in a few minutes of sleep or meditation.

While the best option for many people is to buy a home that's within 30 minutes of their job or business, that may be difficult to accomplish for couples working in different locations. Long commutes can infringe on important aspects of your life, though, including family time, relaxation time, and being able to get things done around the house. Not having enough time to "recharge your battery," every day, can eventually take its toll on your health, your relationships, and your outlook on life. If finding a house close to work is not panning out, then alternatives like telecommuting, carpooling, and public transportation may be, at least, a partial solution.





Posted by Mark Consolmagno Michelle Curran Team on 2/6/2019

If you're on the fence about whether to reject or accept an offer to purchase, it is important to remember that a third option is available: submitting a counter-offer.

Ultimately, deciding to submit a counter-offer can be a tough choice for first-time and experienced house sellers alike. But we're here to teach you about the benefits of counter-offers and ensure you feel confident to submit a counter-proposal as needed.

Let's take a look at three tips to help you decide when to submit a counter-offer.

1. Assess Your Residence

Although the initial asking price for your house is not set in stone, you likely have expectations about how much you should receive for your home. But if a homebuyer submits an offer to purchase that falls below your expectations, you should assess your residence to help you make the best-possible decision.

Try to take an objective view of your home – you'll be glad you did. For instance, if you discover your home is one of many similar properties available in a buyer's market, you may want to accept an offer to purchase, even if it falls below your expectations. On the other hand, if you feel that your home is in great condition and you receive an offer to purchase that is short of your initial asking price, you may want to counter the proposal or reject it altogether.

2. Review the Housing Market

Housing market data can help any home seller make informed decisions throughout the property selling journey. There is plenty of housing market data at your disposal, and you should not hesitate to use it, especially when you analyze an offer to purchase.

Oftentimes, it helps to look at the prices of recently sold residences, the prices of available residences in your area that are similar to your own and other pertinent housing market data. With this information, you can gain deep insights into the housing market. Then, you can determine whether an offer to purchase falls in line with the current state of the real estate sector.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

There is no need to review an offer to purchase on your own. Fortunately, if you hire a real estate agent, you can get the help you need to perform an in-depth analysis of any offer to purchase.

A real estate agent is a house selling expert who will allocate the necessary time and resources to help you review an offer to purchase. He or she can provide a recommendation about whether to counter a homebuying proposal and explain the reasons for this recommendation as well. Plus, if you ever have concerns or questions about an offer to purchase, a real estate agent is happy to address them.

Should you counter an offer to purchase? The answer depends on the home seller, the real estate market and other factors. And if you use the aforementioned tips, you can perform a full evaluation of an offer to purchase and proceed accordingly.





Posted by Mark Consolmagno Michelle Curran Team on 1/30/2019

It's moving day. With all paper's signed and keys in hand, movers unload furniture and boxes into your new digs. But nothing seems to fit. Move just one thing, and everything is out of place. Your old furniture seems bulky—or dwarfed. 

It’s Just. Not. Right. Busting the budget to buy new furniture is out of the question, so what do you do?

Clear the slate

If the weather allows, or your garage is available, move everything out of the room. Once the floor is empty, draw out a rough floor plan with a half-inch to one-foot scale or use an online floorplan option—many online furniture retailers offer floorplan tools on their websites. Measure every wall, window, and doorway, twice!

Cut rectangles or circles the to represent furniture. Use the exact same scale you used for the floor plan. If you're using an online tool, choose sample furniture as close to the size and shape of yours available. Then, arrange and rearrange the most important or largest pieces until they fit.

Try unusual options

If the sofa always sits against the wall under the windows, try moving it into the room so that the back creates a walkway. Place loveseats opposite rather than at right angles to the sofa and place a coffee table between them. When the predominant piece is the entertainment center, consider if it fits at an angle. Group furniture for watching television separately from a conversation area or study area. Anchoring larger pieces on an area rug rather than against a wall gives a room depth and dimension.

Wait to hang art

Once you've placed the larger pieces. Live with them in place for a few days before you add wall art and décor. Lean larger artwork against first one wall and then another to see how light plays off the surface. Change up how you've always done it. Perhaps a painting that formerly hung in your family room could go in a bedroom instead. Group smaller framed art together to create dramatic visual appeal.

Move smaller pieces around

After a few days with decorative tables, bookcases, or lamps in one location, try moving them to a new position to see if it works better. If something feels congested or cramped, move it—or remove it. Conversely, when your new space feels empty, consider what might fill that gap. Avoid adding furniture just to take up space. You might find a stack of floor pillows, or a minor adjustment in location works better.

Buy to fit

When you’re sure of the spaces left over, save up to buy just the thing that both fits your area and provides you joy. After all, you'll be in your new home for several years, so you have plenty of time to fill the space with items you love. 

If you’re completely frustrated with making your furniture fit, consider hiring a professional decorator or organizer. With a fresh eye, what you already have might just be all you need.





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 Doesn’t Have To Be Ugly


It’s much easier to stay organized if you don’t 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 don’t 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, you’re 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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Mark Consolmagno Michelle Curran Team
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