Ben Esposito - RE/MAX Real Estate Center



Posted by Ben Esposito on 4/14/2019

You probably have a lot of baking soda lying around your kitchen, waiting for the next time you want to bake. But did you realize that baking soda can be very useful for carrying out multipurpose cleaning tasks around the house? Find out more below.

  1. Sprinkle baking soda into your sweaty sneakers to get rid of that terrible odor. And if it’s your fridge that’s smelly, it works perfectly as well. Just leave an uncovered box of baking soda in the refrigerator overnight.
  2. Your child decided to be Michael Angelo and paint the Sistine Chapel on your walls in crayon? Not to worry, wash lightly with a damp washcloth sprinkled with baking soda.
  3. You want to clean out the sordid remains of your culinary experiments gone wrong from your glass stovetop and leave no evidence behind? Simple. Add a mixture of baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and dish soap. Let it sit still for about five minutes, add a little water and wipe it all down. There, as good as new. Dirty bathtub and greasy kitchen tiles? Repeat the same process and watch it sparkle again.
  4. Want to get rid of pet stink oozing out of your kitty's bed? Again—baking soda to the rescue. Sprinkle the places you want to deodorize with some baking soda, and vacuum after about 20 minutes.
  5. Is your kitchen or bathroom drain getting clogged up by dirt? Speed the pipes up by pouring about 1 cup of baking soda down it, add another cup of vinegar. Cover with a wet washcloth for about 10 minutes and then pour a kettle of hot water down the drain. Voila! The freeway is clear of traffic again.
  6. Do you have urine and sweat stains on your mattress? Sprinkle lots of baking soda over the entire mattress, leave for about 5 minutes and then vacuum it up. All the odor just went up in smoke. Use a mixture of hydrogen peroxide, dish soap, and baking soda to get rid of the stains from body fluids.
  7. Baking soda also works perfectly well in cleaning out dishwashers. Just add lots of baking soda onto a damp sponge and wipe down the edges of your dishwasher to remove grease and food residue. It's straightforward to do. Can you think of any other cleaning uses of baking soda? No? Ask your neighbors at the next block party; you just might learn something new. 

Give your home that sparkling shine for your next open house with just a bit of baking soda and elbow grease!





Posted by Ben Esposito on 4/7/2019

There is no set amount that a homeowner should spend on a smart house device. In fact, depending on the smart gadgets you purchase, you may wind up spending only a few dollars, or hundreds, on these devices. But if you understand how to shop for smart home gadgets, you may be better equipped than other property owners to find high-quality and budget-friendly smart devices for your residence.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you get the most out of your smart home device spending.

1. Choose Only the Smart Home Devices You Need

Although there are many smart home devices available, it is paramount to select only the ones you need for your house. That way, you can keep your smart home device spending in check. Plus, you can avoid the risk of buying smart home gadgets you ultimately won't need.

As you try to sort between smart device wants from needs, consider your day-to-day activities. For instance, if you require energy-efficient and economical lighting for your house, you may want to invest in smart light bulbs. Or, if you are concerned about security, a smart home security system may be an ideal investment.

2. Shop Online and at Brick-and-Mortar Retailers

Smart home devices are available both online and at brick-and-mortar stores. If you shop for smart house gadgets from a variety of retailers, you may find some that offer the optimal combination of affordability, convenience, and quality.

Don't hesitate to ask questions as you shop for smart home devices either. Remember, your goal as a homeowner is to find smart gadgets that can serve you well for an extended period of time. If you ask questions about smart home devices, you can gain the insights you need to make informed purchase decisions.

3. Consider Pre-Owned Smart Home Devices

Smart home device models are constantly evolving, and multiple generations of different gadgets may be available. Keep in mind, however, that an old smart home device model may suit you perfectly at a fraction of the cost of a new version.

Sometimes, you may find pre-owned smart home devices that work great and won't break your budget. If you search smart home device listings on Craigslist and other online marketplaces, for instance, you may find lots of terrific pre-owned smart house gadgets. If you browse these gadgets closely, you may discover a pre-owned smart home device that corresponds to your budget.

For those who want to buy a smart home device, it often helps to remain flexible, too. If you are open to shopping for smart house gadgets from a wide range of manufacturers, you may quickly find a smart home device that is both expertly constructed and affordable.

Ready to purchase one or more smart home devices? Take advantage of the tips above to shop for smart house gadgets, and find devices that fall in line with your finances.





Posted by Ben Esposito on 3/31/2019

Home showing preparation is key for any homebuyer. In fact, if you know how to get ready for a home showing, you may be better equipped than other buyers to assess a house and determine whether to move forward with an offer to purchase.

Ultimately, there are many ways that a homebuyer can prepare to attend a home showing, and these include:

1. Create a List of Questions

A home listing provides plenty of information, but it also may leave many unanswered questions about a house. Fortunately, if you craft a list of questions about a home prior to a showing, you can gain comprehensive home insights during this showing.

There is no such thing as a "bad" question to ask about a house during a showing. Remember, a home purchase is one of the biggest transactions that you may complete in your lifetime. And if you prepare a list of questions before a showing, you can take an informed approach to this showing and gain the insights you need to determine whether a house is right for you.

2. Perform Plenty of Housing Market Research

The housing market constantly fluctuates, and a real estate sector that favors homebuyers one day may favor home sellers the next. Thus, it generally is a good idea to study the housing sector closely to determine whether you're operating in a buyer's or seller's market.

In a buyer's market, there is no shortage of high-quality residences available. And if you attend a home showing in a buyer's market, you may be able to take your time to decide how to proceed with a residence.

Comparatively, in a seller's market, there is an abundance of homebuyers and a limited number of top-notch residences. This means you likely will need to act quickly if you want to acquire a deluxe residence following a showing in a seller's market.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

The housing market can be complex for both experienced and first-time homebuyers. Luckily, real estate agents are available who can offer expert guidance at a home showing and ensure you can achieve the best results during your home search.

A real estate agent understands what it takes to acquire a home in any housing market. As such, he or she will help you plan ahead for a home showing and guarantee you can obtain in-depth home insights during this event.

Let's not forget about the assistance that a real estate agent can provide throughout the homebuying journey, either. A real estate agent can help you find houses in your preferred cities and towns and submit offers on residences. Plus, a real estate agent is happy to respond to any of your homebuying concerns and questions.

Take the guesswork out of attending a home showing – consult with a real estate agent today, and you can get the support you need to discover your dream house in no time at all.




Tags: Buying a home   showing  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Ben Esposito on 3/24/2019

Many homes, new and old, do not have a ton of storage. More modern open floor plan spaces leave a great blank canvas for you to work with, but require you to bring in your own shelving, hutch, dressers, etc. If you're looking for additional storage options in your home and are either working with a smaller space, or desire to keep your area open and free of heavy furniture, consider what vertical storage solutions might work for your home.

Shelving

Take a look at your space and think about what shelving additions might help you. Installing a shelf up high around the ceiling of a room might give you great space for displaying home décor and knick-knacks without cluttering up coffee tables and nightstands. A narrow floor-to-ceiling bookshelf creates a ton of space in an office or living room without taking away your floor space.

Built-in Furniture Storage

When purchasing new furniture pieces for your home look for opportunities to use these pieces as storage solutions. A bed with drawers underneath or built-in headboard shelving and coffee tables with shelves, drawers or hidden compartments are easy to find in different styles and prices. Hollow ottomans are wonderful for housing blankets and other linens. Try office solutions with desks that mount on the wall and have built-in drawers and shelving. 

Hooks

Hooks are affordable, easy to install and can be used in a variety of places throughout your home to create storage. If you are dealing with a small closet or don't have a coat closet in your entryway, you can install hooks on the back of your closet or bedroom door. Try installing hooks or a combination shelf with hooks piece in your entryway or your bedroom for coats and purses. Small hooks placed on a wall or attached to a decorative board can replace the need for a vanity or large jewelry armoire. Use a combination of hooks and nails to hang all your tools and reduce space (and cost) used by a large toolbox.

Not all solutions are beautiful and fit seamlessly with your décor, but if you're in a pinch, there are some quick and affordable things you can do. Hang a plastic shoe-rack on your closet or bedroom door. Hang towel and bath-robe hooks on the back of your bathroom door. Install basic wire racks and drawers in your laundry room, above your machines, to use the vertical space instead of using floor bins and baskets. Whatever your space there is an upright storage solution for you, from pre-fab pieces you can buy to DIY solutions you can put together next weekend. 

 If you're starting your home search and built-in storage is a feature you'd like, speak with your real estate professional before you start house hunting. Work together to find a home with the features you desire, or to find a space that allows for seemingly built-in storage solutions to add before you move in.





Posted by Ben Esposito on 3/17/2019

Illness or an accident may strike a family member at any time. Or, they may require surgery or other care. And when they need in-home care during recovery, you may find yourself woefully unprepared.

Prepare your home

Caring for an invalid or person recovering from an illness reveals many areas in a house that do not work well with wheelchairs, walkers, or crutches. These include stairs, narrow doorways, and halls without rails. Turning radius requirements for wheelchairs notably, sadly are lacking in most homes.

Additionally, most baths and shower enclosures do not have grab bars, and something as simple as a faucet may be too complicated to manipulate if your family member's illness causes weakness or lack of feeling.

If your parents are aging and ill, or if you have a child or teen with ambulatory limitations, here are a few suggestions of things to do to make your home invalid-friendly and reduce some of the stress:

  • Replace door and cabinet knobs with levers. A lever-style handle is operable with just one hand giving a gentle push.
  • Add grab bars to any place where water might make it slippery, including inside and outside of bath and shower enclosures, and near the toilet.
  • Switch out knob-style faucets for lever-style.
  • Add railings to outdoor steps, and any interior steps, even if only one or two stairs.
  • If possible, replace all interior room doors with 36-inch doors, the best width to accommodate wheelchairs and walkers.
  • Add rails to long hallways.
  • Make sure seating for meals is at wheelchair height if necessary.
  • Keep clutter and extra furniture out of the way to remove hazards and barriers.

Prepare yourself

No matter how ill your family member is, you are of no help to them if you don't take care of yourself. Arrange for periodic relief. Sometimes you only need a breather, and other times you may need to get away for a couple of hours. Reach out to other family members or to friends or hire a care-giving service for those times you need to get away to refresh yourself. You can not give to your loved one if you have nothing to offer.

Prepare your family

Children in the home need preparation, information, and instructions regarding the ill family member. A child that used to run directly into grandma's arms might be confused about what to do when grandma uses a walker or wheelchair. Of, if Uncle Charles typically gets down on the floor to play with them, but has a broken leg and can't do that right now, your children may not understand. Preparing your children for what to expect in a gentle and non-fearful way helps them adjust to any temporary inconvenience your love one is subject to during recovery. 

If you expect to care for a loved one in the future, make plans to include ADA compliant options as part of your homebuyer checklist.




Categories: Uncategorized