RE/MAX Advantage I



Posted by Mark Consolmagno Michelle Curran Team on 4/10/2019

These days, sitting behind the TV or computer screen, playing video games and watching movies is the order of the day for kids. Encouraging them to keep in touch with nature is a good idea. When they get their hands dirty, there are valuable life skills, you as a parent can teach them. Gardening is not just a means to produce foods. It can create a bonding time between parents and kids. It can be the ideal time to broaden their knowledge of science and the origin of food.

Some valuable life lessons your kids will learn from gardening are:

1. Responsibility

When you teach your kids to be responsible, it prepares them for all that life has to offer. With gardening, you can teach young ones the importance of responsibilities. They get to accept a task or project and see it to fruition. They not only take pride in their accomplishment, but they also grow up to become responsible adults.

2. Creativity

Gardening can also help bring out the genius in your kid. They get to exercise their creativity and do something new. Whatever their task in the garden – selecting plant, staking, watering, planting or learning as plants grow, the garden provides the perfect spot to build and develop.

3. Health and Fitness

Doing something fun like gardening in the outdoor is plain fun and exciting. Hence, you need to encourage your kids to get their hands dirty. The bending, carrying, walking up and down are all forms of exercise. With this, they get to grow healthy while developing their physical and sensory faculties.

4. Nutrition

Eating healthy, food that you grow yourself, is way more nutritious than buying it from the grocery store. With locally produced foods, you enjoy all the vitamins and other essential nutrients in the produce. Hence, you enjoy a healthy and balanced meal. Growing your vegetables is better than depending on processed foods that are laden with chemicals and already lost nutrients. Home-grown sorts of foods are healthy for kids. They will even learn to make much wiser food choices in the future.

5. A Perfect Opportunity to Discover

The garden is like an outdoor classroom where your kids can learn practical and real-life lessons. In here, you can teach your kids about nature, nutrition, weather, the importance of water and sun to plants, etc. Many kids also believe the grocery store is the source of food. A garden is a perfect spot to change this misconception.

Imagine how better off your kids will be if they spend time in the garden. Plant a yard today and instill valuable life lessons in your kids.




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Posted by Mark Consolmagno Michelle Curran Team on 4/3/2019

Especially if you’re starting in a room from scratch, it can be hard to figure out where you should place everything in a room. Your bedroom can be one of the most challenging rooms of the house to decorate. If you break down the room into small pieces, you can create a bedroom that’s right for you. Bedrooms need to hold more than just a bed. In today’s world, a bedroom can become a very multipurpose room.  


Think Of The Components Of The Room


Bedrooms tend to be more of a multi-functional in a home due to the shifting nature of families. You do everything in there from sleep to watch television to get dressed in the mornings and evenings. This means that you’ll need some or all of the following in your bedroom:


  • Storage for clothing
  • A comfy bed
  • A media Center  
  • A chair
  • Home office supplies
  • Bookshelf
  • Television stand

Whatever purpose that your bedroom has to serve is what you’ll need in the room. This all depends upon the size of your home. You’ll have to arrange the room accordingly after these parameters are set. Your bedroom should feel personal; a place of self expression and comfort. Your bedroom is the place where you can display little pieces of your life. These should include personal photos, antiques, and all of your favorite things. This helps to make your bedroom your own. It will become a peaceful sanctuary that you love.  

  

Focus On Function


If your bedroom is well-lit and well arranged, the room undoubtedly will be more comfortable. The easier it is for you to find things and use the room the way it needs to be, the more comfortable you’ll be. While your bedroom should look nice, it’s yours to use. Your bedroom is the room of the house that should provide the most comfort for you. 


Get Creative


When it comes to the way that you arrange your bedroom, you can get as creative as you want. If you’re short on space, don’t hesitate to push the bed against a window. If you’re tired of the same old same in the bedroom, shuffle the furniture around. If you ensure that you have adequate lighting and seating in the room, you can do anything with it!


Don’t Multipurpose The Room If You Don’t Have To


Although it’s nice to have access to everything in one room, bedrooms work best when they are singularly purposed. You’ll sleep better and get more rest if you keep things like computers and televisions out of the bedroom. You can easily arrange a bedroom when you keep your own desires at the heart of the design.




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Posted by Mark Consolmagno Michelle Curran Team on 3/27/2019

With rent prices soaring in many areas of the U.S., renters are starting to consider whether now is the right time to start saving for a down payment on a home.

Depending on where you live and what your timeline is for buying a house, you might be wondering the same thing.

So, in today’s post, we’re going to talk about how to break down your rental costs to determine whether it makes more sense to buy a home rather than continue renting.

Add up your rental costs

There are any number of costs associated with renting depending on your lease agreement. Some renters are required to pay their own heating and utilities, while others have several bonuses thrown into the cost of their rent, such as internet, gym memberships and more.

So, take a minute to write down each of your rental expenses. To get you started, here’s a list of some of the most common costs for renters:

  • Monthly rent

  • Electric bills

  • Heating bills

  • Trash removal

  • Renter’s insurance

  • Parking fees

Now that you know how much you put toward renting each month, it’s time to take a look at what it could cost you to own a home.

Homeowner expenses

The key thing to remember about buying a home is that your costs can vary widely based on the size of your home, where it’s located, and a number of other factors. However, you can often find area averages online.

If you’re considering a starter home (which you should!), then you’ll want to look at houses in your area that are on the lower end of the market.

To get an idea of what your mortgage payments and monthly interest will be, you can use a free tool like Bankrate.

Now, let’s make a list of your homeowner expenses:

  • Mortgage payment

  • Home insurance

  • Trash removal

  • Utilities

  • Heating and AC costs (plan for higher costs than renting due to more space)

  • Electricity

  • Property taxes (divided by 12)

  • Mortgage insurance (if you don’t have a 20% down payment saved)

Cost-benefit analysis of owning a home vs renting

Now that you know the general costs, you’re getting close to knowing whether it would be cheaper or more expensive to buy a home than rent.

However, that isn’t the full picture. When you own a home, you’re responsible for maintenance and upkeep. That means you should budget around $250 per month toward maintenance. Even if you don’t use that amount each month, there’s a good chance you’ll have to make a repair or upgrade, or even hire a professional to come and fix something on your home.

The final piece of the picture involves home equity. When you own a home, most of the money you pay each month to your lender will come back to you in the form of equity. As a renter, your money goes to your landlord and will never be seen or heard from again.

So, if you’ve added up your lists, accounted for maintenance costs, and still have enough left over to live comfortably each month by buying a home, you can most likely bet on buying as being a better option.

If not, it might pay off to rent for another year or two while you save up for a down payment so you can get the lowest interest rate and avoid PMI.




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Posted by Mark Consolmagno Michelle Curran Team on 3/20/2019

There are lots of grills in the market, different in every way, with options, add-ons that might even confuse you, leaving you wondering what you want. There are many kinds of grills to buy and how to get the best grill for you.

  1. Is It Coming Assembled? Check to know how much assembly you may need to do. It might seem like a no-big-deal on the surface, but when you indulge in such an activity, you get to understand how technical and exhausting putting together a grill can be. Do you have the time? Do you have the expertise and tools? To be on a safer side, look at the product and its description or better yet, ask a sales associate to prevent surprises.
  2. Does It Have Any Warranty? If your grill develops a fault after you've bought it due to no error of yours, what are your options? Most manufacturers have a standard warranty that doesn't span beyond a year. To have peace of mind, get one that has an extensive warranty. Mistakes most buyers make is to carry a product home, not minding whether it has a warranty or not. In the end, they end up regretful.
  3. How Much Cooking Power? Here is another factor to consider when buying a grill. Will you be using it once a week? Five times a week throughout the year? Will you be grilling every single day? If you entertain many guests all at once, then output should be put into consideration. The more BTUs that a grill’s burner has, the more heat it produces, and the faster you get things done.
  4. What About Mobility? If you need to move your grill often, you need to get the best grill that’s up for the job. Get a heavy-duty wheel with lockable casters; they can dabble into potholes and still come out fine. Don't go for those grills that come with weak wheels. A broken wheel makes it hard to move your unit around. 
  5. Materials Used in Manufacturing. Materials used in the manufacturing of a grill gives you an idea about its durability. If you want a grilling product that will last for a decade, maybe even more, then consider getting the stainless steel grill. It is better due to its ability to withstand the harsh elements or environment. If you want one that will serve you for two years or maybe more, the iron cast grill might be what you need. 

The above are the significant things to consider when buying a grill. There are other factors to consider as well, like the cost, ease of cleaning, comfort, parts, etc. if you’re yet to order for a grill, go and do it now! Speak to a sales representative at the hardware store also for more information.





Posted by Mark Consolmagno Michelle Curran Team on 3/13/2019

The word “sincere” comes from the Latin prefix sine meaning “without” and the cerae meaning “wax.” In ancient times, when marble had cracks or chips, nefarious craftsmen would fill the crack with wax to hide the damage, making the stonework “insincere.”

With the proliferation of marble countertops in the décor of the past several years, many homeowners do not realize that marble is prone to scratches and other damage. Since marble is rather expensive to replace, knowing how to cover or rid yourself of a minor scratch is imperative. 

Cleaning marble

First, remove all dirt and grime from the surface. Use a gentle cleaner or soapy water, or a marble-specific cleaner and a soft cloth. Do not use harsh or caustic chemicals. Even so-called natural cleaners often contain acid products such as citric juices and can etch the surface. You’ll want to use a neutral pH product.

Preparing surfaces

Don rubber gloves and safety goggles. Using very fine steel wool, gently rub the scratched area to smooth out the edges of your scratch. Be very careful not to rub too deeply. Lightly etch the area around the damage. Then, clean the area again to remove any metal filings.

Apply marble polish to a soft cloth and carefully rub it into the scratch and over all the etched surface. Buff it gently onto the surface. An electric hand buffer works well for larger sections, but be sure to use a very soft attachment on the buffer.

Review the damaged surface to determine if the sheen matches the marble around it. If not, complete the polishing and buffing two to three more times until it reaches your preferred level.

Carefully wash the area with distilled water so as not to allow hard-water deposits to mar the stone further. Pat the area dry with a cotton or microfiber towel and let it dry completely.

Deeper scratches, chips, and other surface imperfections necessitate heavy-duty grinding, honing, and polishing equipment and specialized compounds. Sometimes, specific damage needs diamond grit polishing to replenish the factory finish to your countertop. Extremely worn or damaged marble countertops require the efforts of a professional stone restorer.

If you’re considering replacing your countertops and kitchen surfaces with marble, consult a professional marble cutter and installer to achieve exceptional results.




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Mark Consolmagno Michelle Curran Team
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