Ben Esposito - RE/MAX Real Estate Center



Posted by Ben Esposito on 5/12/2019

A bustling household can wreak havoc on the peace of mind of a natural introvert. Finding a getaway place inside your home to rest and rejuvenate so that you can return to your busy family life refreshed might seem impossible in your home. But carving out a quiet place might be easier than you think.

Make your bath a private retreat

A shared family bathroom might not seem very spa-like, but a few inexpensive additions can get you some private time in a restful atmosphere. If you have an en-suite, it’s even better.

  • You’ll need to prepare in advance, so spend a day cleaning your bathroom and clearing out the cabinets. Remove anything old or unused. Consolidate what remains into items used every day versus items used once-in-awhile. Move the less used items into cabinets or a hall closet to free up counter and tub space.
  • Use inexpensive caddies to hold everyday items. Divide these by family member if possible so that after each person starts or ends their day, all products return to the caddy for storage under the sink.
  • Set a basket beside the tub to hold hair products and body wash. Keeping these items out of the bathtub makes getting into spa-mode easier.
  • Create a basket with your favorite relaxation candles, bath bomb, bath pillow, hair wrap, and fluffy robe. When you need your private time, announce to the family that the bathroom is off limits. Grab a glass of wine, then set out your candle, fill the tub and slip away.

Reading Nook

Sometimes you need personal space to hide in plain sight. Create a reading nook for yourself in whatever alcove you can find. This nook might be an awkward corner of the living room or family room—you know, that place no one likes to sit because it doesn't have a clear view of the TV. Move a chair into that space and deliberately turn it away from the television. Add a side table and lamp. You've got your space, and you can ignore the rest of the world while you lose yourself in a book.

Unused dining room

Modern families often don't find time to use the formal dining room. This designated area often falls prey to renovations and open concept floor plans. If your home still has one, however, and even if you still use it, you can turn it into your private oasis. 

  • Extend the chandelier on a longer chain so that you can “move” the center of the room. Push the table toward one side and even consider using a bench along the back. This setup will give you more space to carve out your private space.
  • Place a chaise near a window or add a cushion to a deep windowsill to create a seating area just for you.

Since your family only uses the area occasionally, you’ll have it to yourself most of the time.

If your home truly doesn't lend itself to carving out that quiet place, talk to your real estate professional about your special needs and start scoping out a better layout.




Tags: family   bathroom   privacy   space  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Ben Esposito on 5/5/2019

Everyone wants to own a home of their own at some point in their lives. There is only one first home, and you don't get a second chance. Well, you get a second or third if you want, but that first experience can have a significant effect on how you feel about homeownership. So, here a just a few common sense tips. Unfortunately, common sense isn't always common.

First, slow down. There is no rush to buy that home. When you hurry, you put pressure on yourself to get it done, and you overlook things that can cost you time and money down the line. Sometimes family puts pressure on you to buy your first home so that you can start having babies and they don't want their babies living in a little apartment. Again remember, you are the one who has to live there and the one that has to pay for it. So all those people putting pressure to buy really should not have that kind of influence unless they commit to the full responsibility of the homeownership.

Second, be realistic about the cost. You commonly hear that it is cheaper to own than to rent, and depending on the point of view that can be true. Most people are saying that based on just principle and interest. But have you ever driven through a nice neighborhood and some houses are really kept looking nice, and then there are those houses that the yard is a mess? The grass is not green, flowers and maybe even trees are dying — the actual physical house kind of looks a little run down. You think "this is your home, why are you not taking care of it?" Well, there is a thing that as renters you never have to deal with, and it is called upkeep. Also, utilities like water can get expensive.In a lot of cases, the homeowners bought as much as they could afford in payments without having anything extra. So now they do not have the money for the excess water to water the grass or buy new plants or clean the shutters or fix a window. Take time to understand what your budget is currently. Could you right now—outside of your rent—put an extra twenty to thirty percent of your income into a savings account and have it not affect your food budget? If you can START. RIGHT. NOW. Remember you do have to have a down payment too, so if you don't have it in hand, you have to start saving for it.

Third, look at homes. Do not engage a realtor yet! They have one job, and it is to sell you a house. Right now you are not to that point, so do not put that pressure on yourself. Start driving around neighborhoods and start observing different things about them. Start getting into the habit of seeing the little details of each home. Go online Friday night and find the OPEN HOUSES that are going to take place on Saturday and Sunday. Determine which ones you would like to see. Look at ones that are way out of your price range, ones in your price range, and then do not miss the ones that are way below your price range. Remember it is better to be way below your budget than at the very top end. As you go through each of these homes, do not just wander through. Take your time to look at the details. Not only the cool aspects but the little things that show that might be wrong, a link in a sink, marks in the walls and doors. These opens houses not only help you figure out what you do or do not want, but they also help you not to miss things when you are ready to buy and find the house that you would like to purchase. There is nothing worse than buying a home and after you moved in you start seeing things that are an issue that you do not remember being there before you purchased.

It is all about the details and since you have never purchased a home before you need practice paying attention to the details so you will be the best buyer you can be when you have your downpayment ready.

One last note, when you visit these open houses, the realtor usually wants a contact number for follow-up. If you are not ready for that pressure, let them know you're just in the preliminary stages of looking. A home could be the biggest purchase of your life, so go into it relaxed and prepared.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Ben Esposito on 4/28/2019

Relocating to a new city, and moving into a new home you bought at the same time, can be a complicated process. From hiring a real estate agent and buying a new house, to planning your move, the to-do list is growing. To make that move a smooth and successful one you need a guide and some helpful tips.

Here are the tips you need to stay afloat and make sure your move is a success.

1. Check your financial muscle 

In any situation, your finance is the power, and your budget is the overall determinant of your level of expenses. To succeed in your quest to relocate and purchase a house, you must know what you can afford, and then you make your budget. 

Start by checking how much money you need to buy a house first in a new city and the amount that will take care of your relocation expenses. Then, you find out the cost of packing supplies and moving services. A full service moving company offers their services at a premium if you are moving from one state to another.

You need to check your savings and monthly income to know how much you can spend buying a new home. Apart from paying your monthly mortgage fees and down payment, other costs you must offset are homeowner’s insurance, realtor’s fee, utilities, property tax, and closing costs.

2. Try out renting first

If you are relocating to a city you’re entirely unfamiliar with, try renting a place in that area first. When you rent a house, you will have the opportunity to try out the new neighborhood to know if it is what you want. If you have tested it and are satisfied with the area, then proceed to buy a home there. When you’re ready, you can accomplish with the help of a realtor.

3. Pay the city a visit

Although you can learn a lot about the town online, a physical visit and on-the-spot assessment of the new city is crucial. Those assessments will help you get to know the various neighborhoods in that area and give you the opportunity to meet with the realtor.

4. Check the city’s transportation options, the commute, and the general safety

Make sure you research the city’s transportation options from buses, taxis, to subways and ensure they are what you need. Living very close to your place of work has many benefits, but if you prefer long commutes, there is no problem. Safety is the number one factor influencing your relocation to a new place; you wouldn’t want to live in a crime-ridden area. 

5. Hire a trusted realtor

Look for a realtor that fits your needs. Your realtor should have a thorough knowledge of the various housing markets in different neighborhoods and should be able to guide you to buy your new home. It is better to meet a reputable real estate agent before you move. 

Ready to Move?

Relocating to a new house should not be a difficult task if you prepare yourself and engage the services of trusted moving service to help. Are you ready to move? Check out long distance movers in both your new city and your current one.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Ben Esposito on 4/21/2019

The world today is experiencing high amounts of pollution and energy usage that stresses the environment. But being environmentally conscious helps to reduce the number of greenhouse gases that your home produces. Here is how to reduce your home's carbon footprint:

Hire a professional to carry out an energy audit of your home. 

This stage of the energy audit will allow you to know your house better and give you the necessary facts you need to make a decision. In this way, you will identify precisely the weak points of your home. The auditor will then propose several options to you according to your budget. 

Improve the insulation of the walls, roof, and floor of your home

Generally, the first thing to do to save energy is to prevent heat from escaping. For this, you must identify all the points where you lose cooling and try to repair or improve the insulation. 

Change your windows

Ten to 15% of the heat escapes through the windows. You have to choose your windows and install new ones with double or triple panes depending on your home. The objective is to avoid unnecessary expenses from energy being wasted.

Think about the ventilation of your home

A well-ventilated home will conserve temperature all through the day and reduce the amount of work that air conditioners do. This also reduces your energy bills and keeps the air on your own home circulating without becoming stale.

Opt for natural materials

A truly green home uses materials that have little impact on the environment and indoor air quality. These are usually natural materials (straw wood, stone, etc.). Consider using bio-based insulation – made from renewable plant or animal raw materials (wood wool, hemp wool ...). In terms of finishes, use natural paints or coatings for better indoor air quality.

For heating, have renewable energy products installed in your home

Solar heating, wood heating and heat pumps (geothermal, aerothermal), existing equipment ecological heating are efficient and reliable. The idea is to recover energy naturally present in the air, the sun, the soil or our forests to limit the use of fossil fuels. And so reduce our emissions of greenhouse gases.

Recycle waste

Don't throw away your home waste without checking for items that could be reused or recycled. Start a local recycling program in your home and do your best to make sure that the volume of waste reduces. Plastic bottles can also be re-used for other useful purposes.

Many contractors are upgrading properties to improve their green ratings, talk to your real estate agent about finding a green contractor in your area.





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!