Ben Esposito - RE/MAX Real Estate Center



Posted by Ben Esposito on 10/6/2019

Most Americans dream of owning their own home. The size of that pictured house is often spacious. As the housing market gets tighter, the prices of homes go up. The bigger the home you wish to buy, the larger the price tag. Keep in mind that the bigger the house you buy is, the more everything else will cost. That means you have to look deep into your budget and far beyond the list price of a home to understand what you have to work with financially. Some things that a more prominent home might bring are:


Higher utility bills due to more space that you have to heat and cool

Increased property tax

Higher insurance premiums

More expensive repairs

More expensive renovations

Bigger yard to landscape


These are all additional costs that you should consider before you take the plunge to buy a larger home. The longer you live in the house, the more these expenses can add up. Many things like flooring, carpet, concrete, and roofing materials are priced by the square foot. While living large can be a great decision, the additional expenses can really add up.  


If You Have Kids, Reconsider


Raising children is expensive. While you may want your child to have a large room and a lot of amenities right inside their home, there are so many other things that kids need. Consider your child’s hobbies. How much of your budget do you devote to those? Do your kids hope to attend college? How much extra money in your budget do you have for vacations and other activities that you may want to do as a family? Buying a bigger house could mean that you have less money in your budget for these things. Understand all the ways that you need to stretch your money before you have your eyes set on a larger home. 


Consider The Rest Of Your Needs


A more massive home means a more substantial monthly mortgage payment. That leaves less for you to save for things like retirement, rainy day funds, and other financial goals. Don’t let the fact that you have your eyes set on a big house shadow the rest of your life and your needs. A large part of buying a home is planning ahead. It will be a smart decision all around for you and your family to buy a home that’s affordable.            


Buying a larger home fulfills a dream for many homebuyers, but don’t let that idea become a singular goal.       





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Posted by Ben Esposito on 9/29/2019

If you have a beautiful lawn, it is also right to assume that you have your own lawn mower. This tool is essential for people who always want to make sure that their lawn is well taken care of. The same goes for your mower, but the question is to keep in excellent condition all summer long. 

Use fresh gasoline

The higher the octane, the better as it affects engine performance. Always use a clean funnel to fill the mower's gas tank to avoid injecting debris along with the fuel. Use certified plastic gas tanks as they won't rust and will last almost forever. Try to stay away from the five-gallon tanks as they contain much more gas than a 30-day supply. Gas any older than 30 days can adversely affect engine performance due to moisture buildup and octane degradation. 

Oil change

You should change the mower's oil every 50 hours of use, at least. Verify the owner's manual for the correct type to use and follow specific guidelines of the manufacturer. This should be easy enough provided you didn't throw away the manual. 

Spark plugs

Replace the spark plug every second oil change. Again, look to your owner's manual for specifications. Depending on the extent of the lawn you cut, this should be done every two years or more often if you have a large lot. 

Air filter

Get in the habit of Checking the air filter. A clogged, dirty air filter can lead to engine degradation and poor performance. Clean or replace the air filter every season or when judged necessary. 

Clean the mower's under deck area

Debris accumulates quickly under there and can cause havoc on the blade and engine. Always disconnect the spark plug before getting your hands near the edge or the under deck of your mower. Remove any loose debris that has accumulated under there and use a scraper on the tougher, encrusted spots. 

Lawn mower blades

Keeping your mower blades sharp will ensure a Clean cut of grass and a healthier mower engine as it needs to work a lot less to get the job done. You can do the sharpening yourself, using a file but remember to remove the blade first. Never sharpen a blade that is still attached to the mower. If you decide to do it yourself, remember that it must remain balanced after sharpening. An unevenly balanced blade will not cut properly and can reduce engine performance and longevity.

If you're unsure of how best to care for your lawn mower properly, have a professional do it or buy a new one, they tend to be quite affordable. Also, speak to a landscape contractor on the best ways to manage your lawn.




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Posted by Ben Esposito on 9/22/2019

Design is a way of life, a point of view. It involves a complex mixture of visual communication: talent, creative ability, manual skill, and technical knowledge. Beauty and economics, technology, and psychology are intrinsically related to the process. Great design is in total harmony, and there is no truer designer than Nature – if you look at a branch or a leaf, it's perfectly complex and beautiful. Successful designs are not the achievement of perfection, but the minimization and accommodation of imperfection.

Commercial Building Design Tips

Nature's design is the gold standard against which our built environments should be measured. On its own, nature has a finely tuned balance, but problems occur for both people and the environment when introducing synthetic or human-made materials. The essential balance is lost. Ecological, sustainable building means not just sustaining our ecosystems, but human health as well. Mind, body, and soul are affected in myriad ways by a home. And it is clear that the once finely-tuned relationship between humankind and nature is out of balance.

A construction project has specific purposes in mind. This purpose is why the plan and design of a residential and commercial buildings is substantially different. What are the commercial building design considerations? Let's explore some of them here:

Productivity: An organized working environment is dependent on the exterior and interior design of the building. This balance must be kept in mind while creating the layout. For example, an office with adequate natural lighting, proper acoustic, adequate ventilation, temperature control, and separate working space creates the right setting. Pay attention to the flow: when employees must push past each other to complete a task, or dance around each other to reach equipment, your flow is inefficient. A commercial design professional knows how to create for productive movement.

Cost-effectiveness: These structures need to be cost-effective, i.e., the building performance requires optimization. To have quality long-term operations and less maintenance work it is necessary to opt for the best possible design now. That means utilizing sustainable building materials, cutting edge environmental controls, and energy-efficient power supplies. 

Safety and Security: Preparation for the worst is always a wise idea. Design entrances in such a way that they are safe from any external disturbance; choose methods to screen individuals and packages entering the building; install blast resistance and perimeter barriers; select fire-resistant materials for commercial interior design. 

It is quite a tough task to create a design with all these specifications in mind. This difficulty is the reason you need to opt for a professional to design your commercial space.




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Posted by Ben Esposito on 9/15/2019

For many buyers, a basement is an added bonus. While it does not figure into the living space by most calculations, a basement may expand square-footage, improve storage, extend living space, and be that final trump card in the homebuying process. Or, it could be the worst possible nightmare. If you hope to buy or build a home with a basement, here are some things to think about—both positive and negative.

Types of basements

  • Cellar – a cellar is an old-fashioned word for an unfinished hole underneath a home’s foundation that may, or may not, be lined with concrete block, or concrete walls. In ancient houses, the cellar might be lined with hard-packed earth. Many times, cellars were used to store root vegetables and so earned the nickname “root cellar.” The underground temperature remains relatively constant throughout the year, so colder than outdoors in summer, but above freezing in winter, making it an ideal food storage place. After the advent of canning, added shelves created space for jars of canned goods and preserves.
  • Partial – a partial basement is a foundational basement (part of the home’s foundation) that is under only a portion of the house. Sometimes partial basements are used because there is an impediment to a full basement such as an underground boulder or other obstruction to digging a full basement. Other times it is an added feature so that mechanical items reside there, leaving space in the living floors for more storage and open planning.
  • Full – a full basement is one that is the complete foundation for a home. Full basements often have window wells (a window set below ground level with an enclosed “well” on the outside to hold the earth in place) for light, but not for egress. In a full basement, because of the lack of exit doors or windows, bedrooms are not up to code.
  • Walk-out – a walk-out basement typically sits into the side of a slope so that a portion of the basement is entirely in the earth and a part of the basement has exterior egress (i.e., you can walk out the door). Rooms with windows or doors on the walk-out side may be used as bedrooms.
  • Living height – some basements are not full height (less than 8 feet tall) and so typically are for storage and mechanical/plumbing items only. A living-height basement has a full 8-foot or higher ceiling and is suitable for finishing as living space.
  • Unfinished – in new-builds, basements typically are not finished, and it is up to the homebuyer to frame in rooms and add walls, floors, and ceilings. An unfinished, living-height basement is the perfect blank slate for creating a man-cave, media or game room, or a crafting area. Often in older homes, laundry facilities sat in the basement as well.
  • Finished – a finished basement means that the exterior walls have drywall or another wall finish, the floor joists for the floor above are covered by ceiling material (drywall, insulated ceiling panels, etc.), the concrete floor has tile, carpet, or other flooring and the area has ventilation (HVAC) lights and power outlets. If your basement is already finished, all you have to do is set it up the way you like.

Basements can be a blessing or a curse. If your basement needs some TLC, seek a professional basement contractor with experience on waterproofing and extending the HVAC to handle the extra space.




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Posted by Ben Esposito on 9/8/2019

To clean a kitchen cabinet, the type of cabinet you have in your kitchen matters. For general kitchen cabinet cleaning, the following cleaning materials are essential:

  1. Water and detergent
  2. All-purpose cleaner
  3. Vinegar and water
  4. Non-abrasive All-Purpose Cleaner
  5. Baking soda and water

Painted Cabinets

Oil-based painted cabinets are durable and easy to clean. You can use any of the above-listed cleaning materials for this type of finish. There is no concern about damaging the finish, hence; all you need to do is scrub hard to rid it of the dirt and food items. Use water and baking soda if your painted kitchen cabinets have stubborn stains. 

You, however, should be careful if your painted cabinet comes with a water-based latex style of paint. Baking soda, for instance, might scratch off the surface. Instead of this, consider warm water and be sure to be gentle while scrubbing. 

Metal Cabinets

The easiest of the cabinets to clean are the metal type. You can use any of the above means to clean a metal cabinet, except a baking soda. Be careful not overuse water to prevent the obvious – rusting!

Wood Cabinets

An oil-soap wood cleaner is the best cleaning material to use for a wooden cabinet. You can get this at the local grocery or hardware store. Also, with everyday kitchen materials, you can also clean your wooden cupboards easily.

  • Detergent: Any grease or oil laundry detergent and water works well on wood cabinets. Just mix two cups of water alongside every cup of soap. Be sure not to over wet the wood because it can affect the finish. It is also important to wipe it down with a damp and separate cloth.
  • Vinegar: Without any liquid based detergent, you can use water and vinegar as a good alternative. With vinegar, you can get rid of sticky films as a result of dirty hands.
  • Baking Soda: When you have stubborn stains, baking soda is the best to get rid of it. Mix baking soda with water to have a paste, with a wet cloth wipe it cloth

Conclusion

Since a kitchen cabinet is like the workbench in a kitchen, it sees a lot of bacteria, oil, dirt, and grease. That is why it needs frequent and regular cleaning. With routine cleaning, you save more on cleaning services and also ensure you have healthy cooking all year round. If you are having trouble cleaning your kitchen, call in a professional cleaning service to help you get it into shape.




Tags: cleaning tips   how to   kitchen  
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