Ben Esposito - RE/MAX Real Estate Center

Posted by Ben Esposito on 2/17/2019

Anyone who’s ever been in an outdated house or hotel room can tell you that the way we decorate can have an effect on our mood. Certain colors, lack of lighting, and cluttered rooms are all things that, whether we realize it or not, can have a negative effect on our mood and productivity.

These concepts aren’t recent realizations. In ancient China and India, concepts of architecture and decorating have been teaching proper design techniques for thousands of years. Today, these schools of thought are often lumped into the field of environmental psychology.

In today’s post, I’m going to talk about a few design techniques that will help you and your houseguests feel more welcome in your home and create a tone that matches your desires, whether that’s relaxed or energized.

The effects of color

With a quick Google search, you’ll find hundreds of articles discussing the psychological effects of colors. What many fail to mention is the way these effects are based on things like the culture and time period we grow up in.

However, you may find that guests to your home will feel more comfortable in light, neutral- colored rooms than they will in a room that’s painted bold colors.

On a room-by-room basis, there tend to be certain colors that Americans associate with the “right” colors for the occasion.

However, this is often influenced by the architectural style of the house more than an internalized idea about specific colors.

How much is too much?

It’s easy to accumulate home decor and find your walls and surface becoming a little too cluttered. However, bare walls and sparsely decorated rooms can feel a bit too sterile and unlivable. Is there a balance between the two?

Oftentimes the best solution is to follow one simple decorating principle:

Rather than using several small items to decorate a room, choose just a few larger items. This will prevent the room from appearing cluttered but still give it a sense of character.

Taking advantage of the full area of a room

So far, we’ve been talking about how colors and decor can make a room feel more spacious and welcoming. But, even if you have a small room, you can still often achieve this effect.

One solution is to add brighter lighting to the room. Increasing the light makes to room feel more open. And, if possible, natural lighting is the best option, as it can reduce any feelings of claustrophobia.

If better lighting or windows aren’t an option, many homeowners turn to mirrors to make a room feel larger. Larger, wall-hanging mirrors are an excellent way to give the illusion of spaciousness in a small room.

Using the psychology behind these three decorating principles, you’ll be able to make you and your houseguests feel more at ease within your home.

Posted by Ben Esposito on 2/10/2019

You're selling your home, and you know you need to perk up its curb appeal, but you're low on free time and funds. There are a few simple, and affordable projects you can take on to step up your curb game and increase your chances of a sale. Attracting buyers to your home is a necessary part of your sale, so take a minute to hammer out some quick upgrades to give your home the best first impression.

Just a little paint—not a lot.Freshly painted shutters and a new coat on the front and side doors of your home can add a striking vibrancy that your potential buyers can see from the street. Visit your local hardware or paint store and talk with a professional about the best paint to cover your wood or vinyl fixtures. When selecting a color consider the best hues to pleasantly contrast or compliment your home’s exterior colors and any natural stone or brick accents. Before you start, clean off all dirt and grime from your door and shutter surfaces, tape off or remove any hardware possible, then get to painting! In just a few hours and a couple of cans of paint, you can accomplish a huge visual change.

Tighten up your existing landscaping. Take an upcoming weekend day and spend a little time manicuring your yard. Give your trees and bushes some attention, rake up the leaves and remove any dead plants. Mow and trim your lawn all the way to the curb. If there are any empty lots or uncared for median spaces near your home maybe take an extra minute and clean up the appeal around your house as well. With an additional day or another weekend, if you have time before your open house, extend your landscaping to cleaning up your driveway. Sweep the drive thoroughly and consider renting a pressure washer to remove any unsightly oil stains. Finally, get up to those gutters. Clean and well-maintained gutters are a good sign to your buyers that you care for your home and have taken the time to maintain it and keep it in good condition for future inhabitants.

Add even more life with planters and flowers. With a small investment, you can add even more color and appeal to your home with a few planters, pots, and hanging baskets. Find plants and containers that complement the design of your home and add both brightness and hominess to your street view.

Lighting and more lighting. Make it easy for your buyers to see your home and attract them to your door with enhanced lighting. Many home buyers drive past homes they see listed online before they come to the open house. Frequently this is after work and during a dusky or dark time of day. Make your window shoppers want to return for the open house with cleaned up lighting. Clean up or replace your porch light, add a new bright bulb and talk to your local hardware store about the best options for adding lighting to your drive and walkways.

As you get ready for your open house, work with your real estate professional to design the best and most cost-effective ways to step up your curb appeal.

Categories: Uncategorized  

Posted by Ben Esposito on 2/3/2019

The infamous phrase - "the dress makes the man" translates to "the curb appeal makes the home" in the real estate world. Face it, the curb appeal of a house is the first thing home buyers see when they step into the property. And studies show that it takes a home buyer eight seconds in a property to make a decision. With that time-frame in mind, it is safe to conclude that most home buyers make their decisions from the exterior of the house. Therefore, investing in your home's curb appeal doesn't just increase your chances of attracting more buyers but also bolsters your chances of closing the deal.

However, curb appeal is not designed exclusively to sell a house. You could give your home a facelift to enjoy the beauty and admiration from your neighbors. The exterior of your home certainly deserves just as much attention as you pay to the interior, so here's a list of curb appeal ideas that fit perfectly into any budget.

  1. Design the Exterior with Flowering Plants. It will amaze you how little efforts like planting hundreds of flowering plants can boost the appeal of your home. They spread a unique touch of beauty as they blossom in their different colors. Homebuyers cannot resist the natural beauty of well-placed plants.
  2. Upgrade Old Hardware. As insignificant as you may think such things are, hardware plays a role or two in boosting the appeal of your home. A dingy mailbox, cheap door knockers, tarnished handles, or grubby peephole sends a negative message to potential buyers. Try replacing old hardware before listing your home.
  3. Pay Attention to Colors. Color is a crucial part of your curb appeal. The exterior of your home should reflect the interior aesthetic taste. Pay attention to the colors while remodeling the outside. The color of the door could either invite them in or chase them off.
  4. Make your House Number Unique. People tend to ignore their house numbers while giving their exterior a facelift. Each house number is unique, and it is one of the first things people see as they pass by or walk onto your property. Give it the unique touch it deserves. Design it to reflect your aesthetic taste.
  5. Upgrade Lighting Fixtures. The lighting fixtures of a house wield power to make or mar the curb appeal. Which is why it is advisable to include lighting fixtures in your remodeling plan. Like jewelry, give your home a dramatic touch with the right accessories.
  6. Add a Finishing Touch of Weather-Resistant Artwork. Nothing adds more appeal than weather-resistant artwork. Sculptures, birdbaths, and wind chimes will fit perfectly into any home décor.

If you're concerned about adding the most value to your curb appeal, talk with a property specialist in your neighborhood.

Posted by Ben Esposito on 1/27/2019

If you recently bought or sold your home, moving day may be rapidly approaching. Fortunately, you still have time to pick up must-have supplies so you can get ready for moving day.

Now, let's take a look at three items that you should purchase prior to your upcoming move.

1. Moving Boxes

In all likelihood, you have a wide range of personal belongings that you need to pack. If you have lots of moving boxes at your disposal, you should have no trouble securing your personal belongings so you can transport them to your new address.

Home improvement and moving equipment companies often sell moving boxes in many sizes. You also may want to consider visiting a local grocery or convenience store to find moving boxes; in some instances, a grocery or convenience store may be willing to provide you with its empty food and beverage boxes free of charge.

2. Packing Supplies

In addition to moving boxes, you'll need supplies to ensure that you can pack your personal belongings safely. With packing supplies in hand, you can guarantee that your personal belongings are protected as they go from Point A to Point B.

Must-have packing supplies include bubble wrap, packaging tape, markers and labels. If you pick up these supplies today, you can move one step closer to finalizing your moving day preparations.

3. Snacks and Beverages

Oftentimes, moving day can be hectic, even for those who allocate significant time and resources to prepare for the big day. As such, it sometimes is easy to forget to eat and stay hydrated as you try to bring all of your personal belongings to your new address.

For those who want to do everything possible to prep for moving day, it generally is a good idea to pick up snacks and beverages. Granola bars, trail mix and other portable snacks are ideal for moving day. Meanwhile, purchasing bottled water and other beverages is beneficial too.

If you need extra help with moving day preparations, you may want to consult with a professional moving company as well. A moving company goes above and beyond the call of duty to help individuals map out all aspects of the moving day process.

A moving company employs friendly, knowledgeable moving experts who can guide you through your move. Plus, the company can offer packing guidance, moving services and other support to ensure that you can seamlessly relocate to your new address.

Lastly, for those who will need to move soon, it may be beneficial to hire a real estate agent. This housing market professional can help you buy or sell a house in any city or town, at any time. Furthermore, a real estate agent is available to provide support at each stage of the homebuying or home selling journey. And if you are uncertain about how to proceed along the homebuying or home selling journey, a real estate agent is happy to provide plenty of assistance.

Tags: moving tips   moving  
Categories: Uncategorized  

Posted by Ben Esposito on 1/20/2019

OK, so moved into your new home, got the right insurance, the new lawn mower, unpacked all the boxes and then just went back to your life. That was everything. Right? Wrong. If you didn't create or update an emergency plan for your home and family, you could be putting everyone in danger. It is critical to be prepared well in advance for any disaster to keep your family as safe as possible. Preparedness sounds like a no-brainer, but even though the news is always full of fires, storms, tornadoes, and hurricanes, the majority of families don't have a plan for where to go or what to do if an emergency strikes. 

Know Your Risks

Each area has different disaster risks. The internet is your best friend here. Look up your area to find out what is most likely to happen. If your area is at risk for natural disasters like tornadoes or hurricanes, your community likely has resources available for you. Get on the right mailing lists, websites, social media profiles, and texting lists, so you always know what's going on in your area. If you don't already get the WEAs (wireless emergency updates) from the national weather service on your phone, check with your wireless provider to make sure your phone is compatible and get those turned on ASAP. For more information, check out NOAA Weather Radio online. Download a variety of weather apps with alert systems from your phone or desktop app store.

Find the Right Shelter

It's important to understand what disasters require evacuation to a safer area, and which you can wait out in your home. Each different disaster has a different method to keep your family safe, and your community should prepare in case evacuation measures are necessary. Check with your local government for emergency services and locations. If you have kids, make sure to check with their schools and get familiar with their emergency response plans as well. That way, no matter what happens, you know your kids will be safe.

  • Hurricanes – First, secure the fridge and freezer: plan for the power to go out, so turn them all the way down to as cold a setting as possible and secure them shut to keep your food cold for as long as you can. Since you won't want to open it, if possible, get some dry, shelf-stable food to get you through the storm. Make sure you disable as many appliances as possible to keep them from shorting out due to power fluctuations or water damage. Lastly, close up your hurricane shutters and board any windows without them to keep them from shattering in the wind. Depending on its severity and the security of your home, you may be able to wait out the storm in place. Watch for evacuation notices though, and when told to leave, do it. Your family's safety is more important than staying in your home.
  • Thunderstorms and Tornadoes – If at all possible, make sure you have access to underground shelters. If you have a basement or cellar at home or work, this will be your best bet. Even walkout basements are safer than upper floors, so long as you stay well away from the windows and doors and keep near the walls braced all around by the ground outside. If an underground space isn’t available, stick to interior rooms like closets and bathrooms. Your best choices will have sturdy walls and no windows. If a tornado is in your immediate vicinity, huddle down in a bathtub and away from any glass or possible falling objects
  • Earthquakes – These disasters tend to have the least warning. If you live in an earthquake danger area, its best to prepare your house from the outset. Make sure that any hanging decorations or items are earthquake safe and secure. You don't want them falling and injuring your family or getting damaged. Appliances should also be secured to prevent them from pulling away from walls and floors or tipping over when the ground moves. Get familiar with the safest spots in your home — the sturdiest interior walls or spaces under furniture where you can brace during the event. Also know what areas of your home to avoid, specifically around hanging objects, light fixtures, windows or mirrors. In a pinch, you can brace in an interior door frame to keep yourself safe, but it is better to have a more protected space. For the best results, immediately drop to your knees when the earthquake strikes then move to your most secure area while protecting your head and neck. Once you get situated, continue bracing and protecting your head and neck until the earthquake stops.
  • Flooding – Floods can happen with minimal warning, and the water level can increase much faster than you can plan for. Don't risk it. The moment your area is under a flood warning, get to higher ground. Whether that's finding a hill outside, or just moving to the second floor of your home, don't ignore these warnings. If its late at night, grab the kids and go upstairs for a storm slumber party. That will keep your kids calm and safe at once.
  • Fire – If there is any sign of a fire in your home, get out and stay out. Plan for a variety of ways to exit your home depending on where the flame is greatest. If you have a second, or perhaps a third story, make sure that all working upper windows are armed with fire ladders so you can get out without using the stairs. Don't be left without a way out. Plan a meeting place nearby, but at a safe distance, so your family can re-convene after exiting the home, just in case you all go different directions. Make sure your kids are aware of what to do and practice with a home fire drill just like they do at school. Once your family is outside, call 911 and follow the directions of your emergency service providers.

Evacuation Prep

City or town-wide evacuations can be panic-ridden and chaotic. The evacuation itself is dangerous because those who are unprepared are more scared and unsure what to do. Keep both you and your family calm and safe throughout the process by being prepared ahead of time. Have an emergency kit with a change of extra fuel, clothes, water, some candles, and food in your garage or car if you can. That way your family is ready at a moment's notice. Learn the evacuation procedures of your community, so you know how they will direct you in case of emergency. Always make sure to follow evacuation orders as quickly and calmly as possible. Evacuation is a last choice, so stalling because you "don't think its necessary" puts your family in danger and over-taxes emergency personnel. If there were any other options, your community would avoid the evacuation order.

Make sure to ask your real estate professional what disasters are frequent in your area before buying your home.