Annemarie Torcivia - RE/MAX  Trinity



Posted by Annemarie Torcivia on 10/16/2017

Many hopeful homebuyers seek to save money by buying a fixer-upper and doing most of the renovations themselves. This is a proven method for those who have a knack for home improvement and aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty.

However, estimating the cost of a remodel can be difficult. There are many costs you may not be aware of, and others that are easy to go over budget on.

In this article, we’re going to talk about the cost of an average remodel, and some lesser-known costs that you might be forgetting to factor into your budget.

Average remodeling costs

As you might guess, the cost of a remodel can vary greatly. Things like the size of the home, the number of rooms you’re remodeling, and the type of repairs you’ll be making all factor into the equation.

Some repairs can be quite costly. Septic system replacements can cost several thousands of dollars depending on the type of system you need. And, if you’re buying an old home, you’ll need to look out for expensive fixes like asbestos removal and foundation damage.

According to one report, most Americans spent between $17,000 and $61,000 on their remodel, with the average renovation cost being around $37,000.

If you’re hiring a contractor for the bulk of your remodel, expect them to charge between 10% and 15% of the total cost.

Lesser known costs of a home renovation

Remodeling a home isn’t as simple as looking up a contractor and telling them to give you the bill once it’s finished, and that’s probably a good thing because odds are you would be shocked by the cost.

First, you’ll pay a contractor to do a walkthrough and estimate costs. Next, you’ll need to get any permits that are required for your renovations.

If you plan on doing the renovations yourself, there are a few costs you’ll need to consider. First, understand that you likely won’t be able to take advantage of all of the discounts that contractors can, meaning your building materials may be more expensive than expected. Similarly, the cost of tools for the project adds up quickly. And, when you make mistakes--we all do, we’re only human--you’ll be paying for it out of pocket.

Knowing your long term goals

An important consideration for a remodel is to look toward the future. Do you want to sell your home within the next few years? If so, you might consider going with less expensive materials--such as generic kitchen cabinets rather than custom-built--to save money while still increasing the value of the home.

However, if you plan on being in this home for decades or more, it may be worth the extra money now to make sure you are happy with your home for years to come.

Remodeling a home can be a memorable and rewarding endeavor. You get the chance to take a house that you see potential in and make it truly your own. Now that you know the costs, you’ll be better prepared for planning your home renovation.




Tags: Remodel   renovations   budget  
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Posted by Annemarie Torcivia on 10/11/2017

Rare to market in Mount Vernon Condominiums in one of the hottest zip codes. Large open floor plan with 2 good size bedrooms. Master bedroom features private bath and walk in closet. Balcony off living room . Central air. Updated eat in kitchen. New insulated windows. Laundry on each floor. 1 car assigned garage parking. Storage unit on first floor. Most convenient location to commuter rail, downtown Melrose and other public transportation. Well established condo association. Must see ! Open house on Sunday 10/15 11:30 - 1:00.

More Info on this Property | New Listing Alerts




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Posted by Annemarie Torcivia on 10/9/2017

When you drive through a new housing development does it seem like all of the homes are enormous compared to when you were growing up? You're not alone. In fact, over the last 40 years, average home sizes have increased by over 1,000 square feet. In other words, you could fit an entire small house inside of the amount homes have grown in size.

Why do Americans love huge houses?

It's counter-intuitive that home sizes should keep growing larger. Bigger houses mean higher prices, more maintenance, and more expensive utilities. To understand why, we need look no further than the automobile industry. In spite of the fact that larger vehicles cost more to buy, use more gas, and do more harm to the environment, people still buy bigger and bigger trucks and SUVs. There are a few reasons why. One is that they can afford to (or they can at least afford the payments). Another reason is cultural. For the most part, bigger meant better in American culture--until recently. Recently, many Americans have begun saying they would prefer smaller sized houses. That desire hasn't entirely caught up to the people building the homes, however. And even as simple living trends and the "tiny house" phenomenon gain traction, building contractors still stand the most to gain from large houses and the people with the money to build houses continue to build big to stay aligned with the other homes in their neighborhood. There are other obstacles in place for people who want a smaller house. Some counties around the U.S. now enforce minimum square footage requirements to uphold the building standards of the area. So, people hoping to move to a particular suburban area but don't want a huge house might be out of luck.

How big of a home do I need?

There are a lot of things to consider if you're buying a home. Size and cost often go hand-in-hand, but even if you can afford a larger home, do you really need the space? Here are some questions to ask yourself to determine how large of a house you really need:
  • Do I or will I have a family? Kids need space. They need bedrooms and places to play. The size of your family is going to be a huge factor in choosing the size of your home.
  • Do I need all this stuff? Many people use their homes like storage containers. Think about the last time you moved and what you brought with you. Now determine how often you used the things you brought. Odds are you have a lot of items just sitting around taking up space that you don't really need.
  • Do I have hobbies that take up a lot of space? Woodworking, working on cars, playing drums... these are all examples of hobbies that call for some leg room.
  • Am I a dog person? Just like kids, pets tend to take up some room. Larger dogs and energetic dogs require more room, both outside and inside the house.
  • Do I have time to keep up with the maintenance? Bigger houses means more windows to clean, more toilets to scrub, more grass to mow... you get the idea. You might find that you'd rather have a beautiful and well-kept small home than a hard-to-maintain huge one.





Posted by Annemarie Torcivia on 10/2/2017

Essential oils are catching on as a natural way to spruce up your home. However, many people are unaware of the full array of uses for essential oils in the household.

In this article, we’ll cover some of those uses that you may not have heard of, and give you some tips on which essential oils are the best to use.

What are essential oils?

Essential oils are the result of distilling large amounts of herbs, spices, or other plant-based materials. There are dozens of essential oils commercially available and they all emit strong aromas that can be used in multiple ways.

When buying oils, it’s important to check the labels to make sure you are buying 100% pure essential oils. Many companies dilute their oils in a carrier oil such as olive oil, coconut oil, or almond oil. While this isn’t inherently bad, it does probably mean you’re getting less for your dollar due to being diluted.

Aside from smelling nice, essential oils are often used for aromatherapy and other medicinal uses. However, be aware that they are not intended as a treatment for any medical condition.

Similarly, some oils might cause an allergic reaction in some individuals. So, be careful when spraying them in the air or using them on your skin if you think you might be allergic to a certain oil.

Which oils are best for use around the home?

There are dozens or even hundreds of essential oils that have various scents and uses. However, some are more pleasant and suitable for the home than others.

The main essentials that serve a number of uses around the home are:

  • Lavender

  • Lemon

  • Tea Tree

  • Peppermint

  • Pine

  • Lemongrass

  • Patchouli

  • Bergamot

  • Eucalyptus

  • Tangerine

There are various kits available online that include some or all of the oils listed above, or you can buy them individually from retailers.

Household uses for essential oils

There are many uses for essential oils around the home. They include:

  • Used as an air freshener with an oil diffuser. These diffusers humidify the air while diffusing the oil into the room, resulting in a pleasant aroma.

  • Mixed with water or alcohol to make a fabric spray. You can find several formulas for creating a fabric spray. However, the easiest way to quickly freshen up the sofa or carpet is to mix 10% oil to 90% water or ethanol and put the mixture into a spray bottle.

  • As a natural cleaning product. Lemon, lime, lavender, and peppermint all make great additions to a homemade cleaning solution. Diluted with water and vinegar, many essential oils can be used to freshen up a countertop or scrub a sink.

  • Spruce up your clean laundry/linen. You can put a couple of drops of lavender onto a damp washcloth and put this in your dryer with your clothes to give them a nice fragrance. This works particularly well if you use unscented laundry detergent. However, be sure not to go overboard--essential oils are strong and some can cause skin irritation.

  • Refrigerator deodorant. The best way to get rid of the smell of a refrigerator is to give it a thorough cleaning. But afterward, help keep it smelling clean longer by putting several drops of lemongrass into a small bowl with baking soda. Stir the baking soda on occasion to release the lemongrass fragrance.




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Posted by Annemarie Torcivia on 9/25/2017

Nature lovers hail from a range of backgrounds. They are corporate executives, stewardesses, short order cooks, entertainers and scientists. And those are just a few roles that nature lovers fill. Despite their diverse job roles and personalities,there is one thing that nature lovers has in common.

Just what do nature lovers want?

It's their deep appreciation for earth. All of the excitement of vibrant city life,ongoing activities like live theater, professional sports games, modern and classic art shows and five star restaurants can't pull some nature lovers away from the great outdoors.

Real estate agents who understand how strong the pull of nature is for these insightful people can save themselves long hours. Instead of focusing on interior house amenities, square footage amounts and how many shopping and entertainment centers are near houses that they show nature lovers, real estate agents can start looking for properties that are replete with amazing natural landscapes.

Here are types of outdoor environments that nature lovers gravitate toward. Some environments are better suited for people who love water, while other environments work better with people who value rugged terrains. Perfect places to find great homes for nature lovers include:

  • Ocean and lake shore fronts that are away from tourists hot spots
  • Houses near historic natural parks, places that are bike and hiking friendly
  • Dessert homes that are situated on five or more acres of open land
  • Ranch houses at the corner of large farms
  • Mountain range areas that are near ski ranges (some nature lovers have a fondness for cold weather and winter sports like skiing and ice skating, while other nature lovers prefer warmer weather environments)
  • Boat houses that make it easy for homeowners to unhook their houses from land and head out to sea
  • Locations that are an echo away from wildlife(the Great Smoky Mountains, Alaska and the Rocky Mountains are examples of these great housing spots)

Focus on home exteriors when house hunting for nature lovers

When searching for a home for nature lovers, the right house will be wide off the mark if it's located in the wrong area. Nearby mountain ranges, ocean shores, fields of tall, stately trees and miles of open land help nature lovers to feel grounded.

Finding out which nature elements these house hunters feel most connected to reveals to real estate agents where they need to focus. It lets realtors know if they need to look for homes that are within walking distance of forests or waterways. It lets realtors know if they need to find houses for nature lovers that are moments from hiking trails, scenic bike routes or wild life parks.

For balance,go for houses that are within driving distance of shopping centers, grocery stores and restaurants. Nature lovers appreciate connecting with other people as much as they love being around animals and out in the richness of earth. The happier nature lovers feel while they sit on their patio or porch, the greater a real estate agent's chance may be of securing a home sell with these eclectic people.




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