5 Steps to Ease the Stress of the Sale of Your Home

October 15th, 2017

Ease the stressSince you’re convinced that the fall is a good time sell, here are some often overlooked steps to take to ease the stress of the sale of your home. Staging is one of them. Here are another five that will help you sail through the sale.

Ease the Stress of the Sale of Your Home

  1. Make a list of improvements you’ve made and any issues you’ve experienced while living in your home

Highlight and disclose improvements you’ve made in addition to any issues you may have experienced while living in your home, especially if you’ve owned your home for a while. For example, chimney fires, water damage, a flooded basement, or the addition of a French drain system, too.

  1. Be aware of how your listing appears online

Get online and Google your address. Why? Because almost all buyers search online for homes these days. And you need to be aware of how your listing looks on the Internet. For example, not all of your recent home improvements show up on Google Maps’ street view. You need to flag each one of those updates that aren’t showing up.

And what does the site give as an estimated value for your home? It may be very different from the asking price you’ve put on your home. Sometimes tax records have the wrong information about the number of bedrooms or bathrooms in your home. Not to worry. Just be aware and get it fixed. It’s easy to do.

  1. Take a look at your home from the curb

What do you see? Cosmetic repairs, even minor ones, can cost you the sale if they’re not taken care of. First impressions are that important and can make all the difference when it comes to a sale. When your home is well-kept, it gives a good first impression. It shows you take great pride in your home. The buyer sees the care you have taken and translates that into less energy and cost for themselves as they prepare to move in.

  1. Clean every nook and cranny

Potential buyers look everywhere! They look inside drawers, cabinets, closets, even the dishwasher and washing machine. Potential buyers judge how clean everything is as part of that first impression mentioned in step three. Spending the time and money needed to deep-clean your home will come back to you ten-fold.

  1. Let your agent know which items aren’t to be included in the sale

From custom window treatments to appliances, if they’re not included in the sale, tell your agent. Unless specifically excluded in the contract, the law says that anything bolted to the wall or ceiling goes to the buyer. If you want to take your flat-screen TV, chandelier, or custom pot rack, play it safe. Pack it, replace it, or label it as soon as you list your home on the market. Don’t let buyers bank on owning the items and be disappointed when they move in. Read Fixture Feuds for a little insight on potentially bad situations.

As I like to say, look at your house through the eyes of a buyer. Would you want to buy your house? What needs to be repaired or updated? Fix clean, update, and get the clutter you see outta there before you list your home. Selling a home is stressful, but you can ease the stress with these five simple steps.

Charles D’Alessandro is a great agent who will help ease the stress of selling your home. With over 30 years of real estate experience in the Brooklyn area, he knows just what to do to prepare your home for sale. Contact Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate, at (718) 253-9700 ext. 206 or click here for suggestions and tips on how to prepare your Brooklyn home for sale now.


Charles D’Alessandro

Your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate

718-253-9600 ext. 206

[email protected]


Is Now a Good Time to be Selling Your Home?

September 30th, 2017
Good time to be selling your home

Many homeowners believe that the fall and winter are not a good time to be selling your home. This simply isn’t true. Find out why now is a good time!

Are you trying to determine whether or not now is a good time to be selling your home? Maybe you’re wondering if it would be wise to wait until spring? After all, a lot of folks claim spring is when the real estate season is at its peak, right? Many of the reasons listed in 10 Reasons Why House Hunting in the Fall is a Wise Move carry over into why selling your home in the fall is wise, too. Here are six that will encourage you not to wait and go for it now.

6 Reasons Why Now is a Good Time to be Selling Your Home

1. Homes are Bought and Sold Year-round

Most homes are listed and sold when the real estate season is at its peak in the spring and summer. For this reason, many homeowners believe that the fall and winter are not a good time to be selling your home. This simply isn’t true. Because life constantly brings major changes that require downsizing or relocating, homes are bought and sold year-round.

2. There is Less Competition for Buyers

Less competition is a good thing! And it’s a great reason to sell your home now instead of waiting to sell it in the spring. When there are fewer buyers, the competition for properties lowers. When there are fewer homes for sale, there are fewer for buyers to look through. Less competition increases the likelihood of buyers walking through your home, you receiving an offer, and you getting the maximum amount of money for your home, too.

3. Mortgage Rates Are Low

When mortgage rates are low, buyers are able to purchase homes that cost more. Even a slight increase in mortgage rates can push a monthly mortgage payment beyond what a buyer can afford. Also, when mortgage rates increase, sellers are usually faced with lowering their asking price in order to sell their home. Waiting to list your home in the spring runs the risk of mortgage rate increases during the fall and winter. This means less demand for your home which means less money for you. Don’t wait until spring. Take advantage of lower mortgage rates by selling your home now.

4. There are Fewer Real Estate Transactions

When the real estate season is at its peak in the spring, there will be more real estate transactions taking place. During the fall and winter season, when there are fewer real estate transactions, mortgage lenders have fewer loans, attorneys have fewer closings, and home inspectors have fewer inspections. Fewer real estate transactions mean quicker loan transactions and closings for everyone and less stress for you!

5. You get to Stage your Home for the Holiday Season

This may not seem like a great reason for selling your home now, but for some buyers, it really could be. Many know that staging a home sells a home. It certainly helps more than it ever hinders! The reason for staging a home is to help potential buyers envision themselves living in the home. Some buyers can’t envision themselves in any place staged or not. But others can be sold on a home because it smells warm, inviting, and homey. Staging a home with just a little seasonal décor can go a long way with some potential buyers, and you get to enjoy the seasonal festivities a little as well.

6. Real Estate Agents are Even More Willing to Go the Extra Mile

Since real estate agents are busiest in the spring and summer, it makes sense that they are not as busy in the fall and winter. And because they have more time on their hands, they have more time to devote to helping you list, sell, and close your home quickly.

Charles D’Alessandro knows now is a good time to be selling your home. He is always up for the challenge of adapting to the slower real estate season and marketing his listings to reflect this for you. Contact Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate, at (718) 253-9700 ext. 206 or click here for suggestions and tips on selling your Brooklyn home now.


Charles D’Alessandro

Your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate

718-253-9600 ext. 206

[email protected]


When is the Best Time to Tackle Fall Home Maintenance?

September 15th, 2017
Fall home maintenance

The ideal time to prepare your home for winter is now before the cold weather arrives. Here are a dozen fall home maintenance tasks to help you get prepared in time.

September is here! For most of us, this means the end of the dog days of summer, the wearing of warm sweaters, and pumpkin spice everything! Temperatures are starting to cool off here in Brooklyn and our thoughts are turning to warm hues, the raking of leaves, and bright orange pumpkins. But before the leaves begin to fall, I encourage you to look further ahead to the cold weather that always follows autumn. Tackle fall home maintenance now and prepare your home for another cold Brooklyn winter hits.

A Dozen Fall Home Maintenance Tasks to Complete Now

Take these next two weekends to complete the following fall home maintenance tasks around your Brooklyn home. Why? It could save you from costly repairs down the road when it’s really cold outside.

  1. Clean out gutters

When leaves fall and rainy, snowy days become more frequent, it’s best to have your gutters clean and in working order. Gutters should be free of debris and clogs before winter arrives. Ideally, the best time to clean out gutters is right after the trees lose their leaves. And since we’re on the subject of gutters, have you considered installing downspout extensions? This would be a great time to install those!

  1. Clean and repair siding

Over the summer months, the siding of your Brooklyn home can get pretty dirty, grimy, and even moldy. Get a power washer and remove all that nasty stuff. And check for damage. Look for cracking, rotting, and warping that needs to be repaired before winter sets in. Inspect the caulking, too. Has it shrunk or cracked over time? If so, replace it.

  1. Check door and window seals

Before the weather turns cold, make sure windows and doors seal tightly and find the places where air may leak. You want your warm air staying inside and winter’s cold air staying outside. Where there are leaks, there is loss of energy. Use caulk or weather stripping to seal any leaks you find.

By the way, if you have double- or triple-pane windows that are frequently foggy, you probably have a failed seal.

  1. Inspect your HVAC

Before you turn on the heat, hire a quality HVAC professional to inspect your HVAC system. Don’t wait until it’s cold outside. HVAC specialists are busy when it’s hot and when it’s cold, and they are usually booked far in advance. Call them now and schedule a tuneup for your HVAC system. They will check the thermostat, blower motor, and heat exchanger to make sure they are working properly. They will also fix loose electrical connections and gas connections.

  1. Clean the chimney

If your home has a functional fireplace, clean the chimney before the temperatures fall. Soot builds up in your chimney and puts you at risk of a chimney fire. Clogged chimneys also increase the risk of carbon monoxide in the home. Be safe. Don’t enjoy a cozy fire until after the chimney has been cleaned.

  1. Check for cracks and loose paver material in walkways

Cracks and loose paver material in walkways and entryway areas should be fixed before icy weather causes an accident. Small cracks can be fixed with epoxy and don’t take long to fix. Serious cracking will require a professional.

  1. Repair leaky faucets

Repair leaky faucets in the kitchen, bathrooms, and utility room. It costs considerably less to fix leaky pipes now rather than later. A broken pipe in the winter is costly to repair and can cause a lot of property damage.

  1. Service the yard equipment

The best time to service your lawn mower and trimmer is in the fall before you put it to rest during the winter. Dirty components and old oil are harmful to your summer yard equipment. Change the oil, air and gas filters, and install new blades if needed. Don’t drain the gas tank completely though. Fill the tank with a mix of premium gasoline without ethanol and a gas preservative just before you put it in storage.

  1. Store garden hoses and turn off outdoor spigots

A hard freeze can cause hoses to burst and outdoor pipes to freeze. You won’t be using any of these things this winter, so insulate each spigot and detach and store the garden hoses. A headache avoided.

  1. Check all outdoor cords

All outdoor extension cords should be checked for potentially dangerous nicks or frays. Nicked or frayed cords should be thrown away. Extension cords in good condition should be neatly stored in the garage or basement.

  1. Clean the range hood filter

Now here’s a super easy fall home maintenance task! Just throw your range hood filter in the dishwasher. When the dishwasher stops, the filter will be as good as new.

  1. Check the toilets

To find out whether or not your toilets leak, put some food coloring in the toilet tanks. If the water in the toilet bowls changes color without flushing, your toilets are leaking. New flappers or seals will put an end to this money problem.

Want even more fall home maintenance tasks and tips? Call Charles D’Alessandro Your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate at (718) 253-9600 ext. 206 or email [email protected] for more great home maintenance information as well as answers to your questions about buying or selling your home in Brooklyn this fall!


Charles D’Alessandro

Your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate

718-253-9600 ext. 206

[email protected]


How to Avoid Mistakes for a Successful Remodel

August 30th, 2017
Successful remodel

Learn from homeowners who have “Been there. Done that” for a successful remodel of your own Brooklyn home.

More often than not, sellers will decide against selling their home to stay put and remodel. But there’s so much to take into consideration to make your remodel a successful endeavor. If you’ve decided to remodel your Brooklyn home, here are a few pointers to consider before you begin.

8 Steps to a Successful Remodel

Since you don’t know what you don’t know, it pays to “pick the brains” of experienced homeowners who have “Been there. Done that.” You can learn from their mistakes to keep from making your own.

  1. Remodel in an Off-Season

Try to schedule your remodel during a time that is less hectic for contractors. Contractors are super swamped and stressed during the summer months. Plus, remodeling in an offseason could save you money!

  1. Budget First

Know your budget before you begin. The possibilities are endless until you budget your remodel. Marble countertop is a must-have for your kitchen, that is until you discover the cost. And better to discover that marble is $2,000 over budget before you begin than when you’re past the design phase. Do yourself a huge favor. Before finalizing the design set a budget.

  1. Finalize Your Design

An honest-to-goodness successful remodel won’t happen if you don’t finalize the design after you set a budget. It just won’t. In addition to the stress it causes, vacillating on choices once construction is under way will put you weeks behind schedule. Once your design is finalized and construction has begun, don’t over analyze and change your mind. Be good to yourself and stick to your choices.

  1. Order Materials Ahead of Time

If what you need isn’t on hand when you need it, all the scheduling you’ve done will have been done in vain. Once you’ve finalized the design, order everything necessary for a successful remodel. When the materials are on site, schedule your remodel with your contractor. Then you and your contractor won’t get hung up with delays because that free-standing bath tub didn’t arrive on time for installation.

  1. Organize Your Stuff

A successful remodel includes a strategy for all your stuff that needs a new place during construction. This strategy includes allotting time to organize and move it all, too. “A place for everything and everything in its place” will prevent the mayhem caused when you can’t find anything.

  1. Get Permits

Save yourself the hassle of months of inspections and repairs. Call your local building department and get permits. Permits ensure a successful remodel. They catch faulty outlets and improper plumbing installation and make sure your remodel is to code.

Inspections are essential and take time, so don’t forget to budget time in your remodeling timeline for them.

By the way, keeping tabs on permit deadlines and booking appointments with historical review boards don’t have to be yours to do. Skip the homeowner self-work affidavit and let your general contractor handle approvals and permits. It’ll cost you a little for the added time your contractor will spend doing this, but it will remove some stress out of the remodel for you.

  1. Test Your Materials

Every paint, tile, and wood material you purchase should be given a test run before the contractor starts the remodel. Long before the start date, paint a whole cabinet door so you can get a better idea of what all the cabinets will look like in the color you picked. And cover a few canvases (which are larger than 3×3) with the paint colors you chose. Leave them in the room they are to go in for a few days. Then if you find you don’t like one or more of the colors, you’ll have time to get a different hue.

  1. Budget More Time Than Needed for Every Step

Sometimes delays are a good thing. For example, if you start falling behind schedule due to an unexpected surprise, you may be tempted to hurry. And the old saying, “Haste makes waste,” comes into play. When you hurry through remodeling steps instead of giving yourself ample time to do them correctly, you will end up with regrets and re-dos. This will cost you more time and more money. When you budget more time than needed for every step, what’s the worst that could happen? You could finish your successful remodel early!

Want to increase the value of your home with a successful remodel? Need more ideas on how to add value to your Brooklyn home with the best possible ROI? Give Charles D’Alessandro Your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate a call at (718) 253-9600 ext. 206 or email [email protected].


Charles D’Alessandro

Your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate

718-253-9600 ext. 206

[email protected]

 


5 Ideas that Make Your Bedroom the Place You Want to Be

August 15th, 2017
Place you want to be

Headed off to college? Use these 5 tips to make your dorm room a place you want to be. It’s easy!

Fall is in the air. Hot temperatures are cooling down. Kids are going back to school or headed for college, and families are preparing their schedules for another school year. For some of you, attending college is a brand new adventure, and you may feel a bit intimidated about leaving home. Try these simple ideas to make your dorm room feel a bit like home. Not headed anywhere for an education? You can use these simple ideas to make your bedroom the place you want to be anyway.

How to Turn Your College Dorm Room or Bedroom into the Place You Want to Be

Dorm room living doesn’t have to be cramped, messy, and smelly, a place you do not want to be. With some thoughtful planning, your space away from home can feel roomy, neat, and smell like home, a place you do want to be.

These five ideas will get your space an A+:

  1. Quality Sheets

Make a good night’s sleep your top priority. Don’t be afraid to spend some money on quality sheets. Sleep is paramount in or out of college, and quality sheets provide the comfort necessary for a good night’s sleep. If you’re trying to turn your dorm room into a great place to reside, 1,000-thread-count sheets are a bit much. Soft jersey, flannel, or pre-washed cotton sheet sets are comfortable and low-maintenance, a more economical choice.

  1. Perfect Pillows

Start the year off right and invest in a quality sleeping pillow. A quality pillow is just as important in getting a good night’s sleep as quality sheets are. A crummy pillow means poor-quality rest. And that won’t help you function well in class. Shop for a sleeping pillow that provides you with softness and support. And while you’re at it, buy an ultra-firm decorative pillow. You’ll need it to prop you up in bed when studying, watching TV, or face-timing friends and family back home.

  1. A Touch of Class

Every dorm room or bedroom can use a little class. Cozy faux fur throws, fluffy fur pillows, and plush furry stools are on-trend. They add texture, warmth, and style to any space, big or small. And all it takes is one furry piece.

  1. Accessories

In addition to a faux fur piece, accessories add a personal touch to a dorm room or bedroom. Throw cushions, art, and plants bring style, joy, and life into your room day after day. Select easy-to-care-for plants that cleanse indoor air like aloe, and plants that help you sleep.

  1. Lights

The lighting in dorm rooms isn’t always the best at illuminating your space well. Good lighting can make your room a place you want to be. Poor lighting can cause eye strain and make you tired unnecessarily. Purchase a lamp or two that provide style and personality in addition to providing lots of light. Brooklyn real estate, you want an agent who cares about your family’s needs. Charles D’Alessandro. Call your Brooklyn real estate professional today at 718-253-9600

When it comes to Brooklyn real estate, you want an agent who cares about you and your family’s needs. With over 30 years of real estate experience, Charles D’Alessandro can help you make your Brooklyn home a place you want to be. Call him today at 718-253-9600 ext 206 or email him at [email protected]


Charles D’Alessandro

Your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate

718-253-9600 ext 206

[email protected]


Can You See the Warning Signs of Dementia?

July 30th, 2017
Warning signs of dementia

Early detection matters! Talk with your doctor right away if you think you are seeing the warning signs of dementia.

My mom lives alone now. While we were visiting her the other day, she told us she had forgotten where she put her keys and locked herself out of her house. Then, while we were making dinner, I noticed she was having trouble following a recipe for a dish we make every time we get together. My husband helps her with her bills. On our way home from Mom’s house, he mentioned that she hasn’t been keeping track of her monthly bills very well at all. We’re wondering if these are typical age-related changes or early warning signs of dementia.

Dementia Statistics

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia. Sixty to eighty percent of dementia cases are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

  • Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States
  • Every 66 seconds someone develops the disease
  • One in three seniors dies with Alzheimer’s or another dementia
  • Since the year 2000, deaths from heart disease have decreased by 14% while deaths from Alzheimer’s disease have increased by 89%
  • It kills more than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined

This year there are an estimated 5.5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s dementia.

  • Ten percent of people age 65 and older have Alzheimer’s dementia.
  • Almost two-thirds of Americans with Alzheimer’s are women.
  • African-Americans are about twice as likely to have Alzheimer’s or other dementias as older whites.
  • Hispanics are about one and one-half times as likely to have Alzheimer’s or other dementias as older whites.

And the onset of Alzheimer’s disease is growing fast. Because the number of people age 65 and older in the United States is growing, the number of new cases of Alzheimer’s and other dementias is projected to soar. Today, every 66 seconds someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s dementia. But by mid-century, this is expected to increase to someone developing the disease every 33 seconds.

What are the Warning Signs of Dementia?

Alzheimer’s is a brain disease that causes a slow decline in memory, thinking and reasoning skills so memory loss that disrupts daily life may be the first warning sign. There are ten warning signs and symptoms to look for and be aware of. Since everyone is different, individuals may experience one or more of these signs in different degrees. If you think you’re seeing any of them in a loved one or in yourself, visit your doctor right away.

  1. Memory loss disrupts daily life

Memory loss is the most common sign of Alzheimer’s.

  • Forgetting recently learned information, important dates or events
  • Asking for the same information over and over
  • Needing to rely on reminder notes or electronic devices or family members for things they used to handle on their own

Forgetting names or appointments, but remembering them later is not a warning sign.

  1. Planning or solving problems is challenging

Working with numbers or developing and following a plan may be challenging with Alzheimer’s. Following a familiar recipe or keeping track of monthly bills is difficult now when it didn’t use to be. Making occasional errors when balancing a checkbook is an age-related change and not one of the warning signs of dementia.

  1. Familiar tasks at home, work or leisure are difficult to complete

This warning sign is somewhat similar to number 2. But people with Alzheimer’s often find it hard to complete daily tasks such as driving to a familiar location, managing a budget at work or remembering the rules of a favorite game. Needing help to use the settings on a cell phone or recording a program on the TV is not a warning sign.

  1. Dates, seasons and the passing of time are confusing

Someone who suffers from Alzheimer’s may have trouble understanding something if it isn’t happening right then. They can forget where they are or how they got there. An age-related change is getting confused about which day of the week it is but figuring it out later.

  1. Reading, judging distance, and determining color or contrast is difficult

Vision problems are a sign of Alzheimer’s for some people and may cause problems with driving. Vision problems caused by cataracts, for example, are age-related, not a warning sign for Alzheimer’s.

  1. Following or joining a conversation is troublesome

Someone with Alzheimer’s may stop in the middle of a conversation and have no idea how to continue. They may also repeat themselves and struggle with finding the right word. For example, they may call a watch a hand-clock. Many of us have trouble finding the right word sometimes, but if these symptoms happen often, it could be a warning sign of Alzheimer’s.

  1. Misplacing things and being unable to retrace steps

Putting things in unusual places is common for someone who has Alzheimer’s. They may accuse others of stealing when they lose something and cannot retrace their steps to find it again. If this happens more frequently over time, check with your doctor for the possibility of Alzheimer’s. Again, everyone loses things from time to time, but since they are able to retrace their steps to find them, they aren’t displaying one of the warning signs of dementia.

  1. Poor judgment and a lack of self-care is a regular occurrence

Those who have Alzheimer’s are less attentive to proper grooming and cleanliness. They may show poor judgment with money by giving large sums to telemarketers or falling prey to scams. Making a bad decision every once in a while is an age-related change, but when this happens repeatedly, it could be a warning sign.

  1. Avoiding social activities

When someone has Alzheimer’s, they may withdraw from hobbies, social activities, work projects or sports. Because they are having trouble keeping up with their favorite team or remembering how to actually do a favorite hobby, they may avoid being social. With age-related changes, we grow weary of work, family, and social obligations at times. But if we withdraw for a short time, we’re usually ready to socialize once again. Taking a break from obligations for a short time is not a warning sign.

  1. Changing moods and personalities

When a loved one with Alzheimer’s is out of their comfort zone, they can become confused, suspicious, depressed, fearful, anxious, or easily upset. As we age, we develop routines and enjoy our specific ways of doing things. When a routine is disrupted, we can become irritated, but this doesn’t mean we have Alzheimer’s.

If You Notice Warning Signs

Early detection matters! If you notice any of the warning signs mentioned above in yourself or someone you know and love, schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible. Early detection allows you to:

  • Get the most benefit from the treatments available for Alzheimer’s patients
  • Explore treatments that provide relief of symptoms
  • Help you maintain your independence longer
  • Increase your chances of participating in drug trials that help advance research

Be Prepared for the Changes Alzheimer’s Brings

We need to be more proactive, make ourselves aware of the warning signs of dementia, and pay attention. Don’t brush it aside when your loved one tells you they lost their car keys or locked themselves out of their house. Dementia is progressive and our seniors need us. What if your loved one lives alone or in another state? It is best to know and understand what dementia is and what the warning signs of dementia are before your loved one is clearly in trouble.

Charles’ family like so many others has been affected by this terrible disease, and it is very difficult on all dealing with loved ones who have Alzheimer’s. The book “The 36-Hour Day” will help with understanding and dealing with this disease. If you think you may be seeing the warning signs of dementia, talk with an elder care lawyer, attorney, or broker about dementia and how you can help your loved one if and when dementia strikes.


Charles D’Alessandro

Your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate

718-253-9600 ext 206

[email protected]


Now is the Time to Buy a New Home

July 15th, 2017
Buy a new home

Summer is the time to buy a new home in Brooklyn, and here are 6 great reasons to buy one now.

When it’s summertime, there’s more sunshine, hotter temperatures, and a lot more homes for sale in Brooklyn. That’s because home buying and selling increases in the spring and summer. But that’s only one reason why you should buy a new home now. Here are a few more very valid reasons to encourage you to buy a new home this summer.

More Reasons to Buy a New Home this Summer

  1. More homes on the market mean more choices and options for you, the buyer

There are more homes for sale in the summer, so there are lots more with favorable options to choose from. It’s more likely you’ll be able to buy a new home with the floor plan you’ve been dreaming of in the perfect neighborhood. And when there are more homes for sale you can confidently negotiate on the price knowing that if you must walk away, there will be another home for sale to consider purchasing, too. That’s a great feeling!

  1. Summer weather makes it easier to envision what it will be like to live in your new home

In addition to longer days, trees, bushes, and flowers in full bloom, the neighborhood is more active. Not only will you be able to see the new yard’s potential, you’ll get a better feel for the community and your new neighbors. Summer brings adults and kids out and about.

While appreciating the positives of a new place, pay attention to what lurks beyond them. Take notice of neighborhood eyesores, giant cell phone towers, foundation issues, peeling roof tiles, and problems that might be blocked by foliage.

Don’t forget to check how well the air conditioning works, open windows to see how well they work or if they will even open at all. Feel free to turn faucets inside and outside on and off to see how they work. Yes, checking these things is the job of a home inspector, but it never hurts to give yourself a little peace of mind by checking them yourself.

  1. Kids are not in school and can share their opinion

When school is out for the summer, your kids are usually more available to approve of or offer their worthy opinions on a new home. Plus, moving into a new place while the kids are out of school is easier on them.

Also, sellers who have school-aged children will be motivated to sell and get settled before their kids start a new school year. They could be more open to negotiating on the price of their home.

  1. It’s not the season that determines the asking price

Some believe that homes sell for higher asking prices in the summer than they do in the winter. But this just isn’t true. What determines a home’s asking price is the number of similar homes for sale in an area, interest rates, and the job market, no matter the season. What does the data on properties in your area say? Are the homes listed for sale or those that have just sold comparable to your property? Ask Charles D’Alessandro for area comps.

  1. If you must sell your home to buy a new home, the whole process is easier

The transition from selling to owning is usually easier in a busier market when you must sell the home you own to buy a new one. You won’t get strapped with two mortgages at the same time either.

If You Agree You Should Buy a New Home in Brooklyn Now …

Since you and your family deserve the best in Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island, give Charles D’Alessandro a call today. He cares about your decision to buy a new home in Brooklyn. It’s one of the most important decisions you’ll make in your lifetime. Call your Brooklyn real estate professional, Charles D’Alessandro at 718-253-9600 ext 206 or email him at [email protected]


How You Can Avoid a Mess with Your Movers

June 30th, 2017
Movers

Use these tips to hire reputable, licensed, and experienced movers and avoid a stressful mess for your next move.

Moving is stressful, and buying and/or selling your home means moving. Is it possible to rid yourself of some of that stress by hiring professional movers? Yes and no. Believe it or not, there are pretty sad stories of lost, stolen, and broken belongings and surprise added charges told by those who hired professional movers. Avoid becoming the next moving horror story. Protect yourself and your belongings and make your move less stressful with a few moving tips.

9 Tips to Avoid the Stress Movers can Cause and Help Your Move Go Smoothly

  1. Research Movers Thoroughly

If you decide to hire movers, start early and take all the time needed to research moving companies thoroughly. Movers can steal, lose or recklessly damage belongings. Ask for references. Check reviews and the Better Business Bureau for ratings. If you’ll do your homework to make sure a moving company is reputable, licensed, and experienced, you’ll hire some great movers confidently. And just in case something should go awry, purchase insurance for your belongings.

  1. Book Movers In Advance

Moving companies get busy during the summer, just like real estate agents do. Start researching movers early, find one you can hire with confidence, and get on their schedule.

  1. Assess Your Belongings Honestly

Before you get a quote, assess your belongings with honesty. Your already high bill will only get higher if you end up moving more than originally discussed with your movers. Or worse, the truck they think will fit all your belongings won’t be big enough. Side note: If you downsize your belongings after receiving a quote, you could wind up paying more than necessary.

Find out whether or not the moving companies allow you to pay by the foot and what this entails. Paying by the foot means you pay only for the space you end up using, but you may have to share space with another customer.

  1. Ask About Labeling

Professional packers aren’t pros at labeling, so ask what their policy for labeling your boxes is. It’s quite common for movers not to label boxes, so make it your job to label each box as it’s packed. Label your boxes with your last name as well.

Here’s an idea our family used for our recent move. We created a moving legend (just an inexpensive notebook from Walmart) with tabs marked A, B, C, D, … (one letter for each room in the house which were color-coded to match the moving labels we purchased from Amazon). For example, we decided the A tab would be designated for everything packed from the kitchen, colored the A tab in the legend yellow, marked A1 in the moving legend in the A section, and listed all items packed in that box behind A1. (A1: measuring cups, measuring spoons, baking spatulas, cookie cutters, hand mixer, …) Then we marked that box with an A1 on three sides and slapped a yellow Kitchen label on two or three sides.

On moving day we put a yellow Kitchen label on the wall or door jam of the kitchen in our new home. All those who helped us unload the truck knew that all boxes with a yellow kitchen label were to go in the kitchen.

  1. Avoid Long-Carry Fees

Ever hear of “long-carry fees”? If your movers are unable to park the moving truck close to your home, they’ll tack long-carry fees onto your bill. Save yourself this added fee and the added time it will take to get the truck unloaded by blocking out close parking in advance. Park your cars in the spaces closest to the homes (old and new), use cones and signs, and talk with your neighbors to make sure the truck can be parked as close as possible on the day of the move.

  1. Measure Openings at the New Place

Measure the doorways and stairwells of your new home before moving day. Why? If movers are unable to get bulky furniture through openings at the new place, you’ll be forced to leave that furniture behind. You could ask for hoisting services, but that’ll cost you a pretty penny.

  1. Let the Movers Position the Big Stuff

Let the movers put the big stuff into position before they drive away at the end of moving day. Rugs and heavy items you can’t easily manage on your own should be put into position by the movers. Everything else can wait. Station yourself in your new home before the movers arrive to decide where you want the big stuff to go (and place those handy dandy moving labels on the door jams). Then be available to provide direction and answer the movers’ questions about your belongings.

  1. Read the Fine Print Carefully

At the end of the day you’ve moved into your new home, you’ll be “slightly” tired and ready for a long rest. This is the time the movers will ask you to sign off on the inventory sheet and your bill. Don’t give in to your exhaustion and just sign whatever the movers put in your hand without reading the fine print. Take the time to read everything before you sign anything.

  • Double check that everything that went into the truck actually arrived.
  • Carefully look over the bill and make sure there are no extra charges.
  • If you shared space with another customer, look inside the truck for belongings that may have been missed before it pulls away. Look closely for tiny items such as drawer knobs and shelf brackets, too.
  1. Locate the “Last-On, First-Off” Boxes

    You’ll appreciate this tip as soon as the movers drive away. Pack boxes labeled “Last On First Off” with bedding, pillows, pajamas, towels and washrags, toiletries, toilet paper, tissues, and cleaning and pet supplies. You get the picture, right? Then after the movers drive off, locate these boxes and prepare for a good night’s sleep! You will have earned it.

Hiring movers is stressful because moving is stressful, plain and simple. But there are things you can to do to keep your move from turning into a horror story. Minimize the stress. Do your research early, and hire a moving company that is reputable, licensed, and experienced. Need some referrals? Contact Charles D’Alessandro at (718) 253-9600 ext. 206 or email [email protected]. With over 30 years of real estate experience in Brooklyn, Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate knows about good movers.


How to Increase the Value of Your Home with Landscaping

June 15th, 2017
Increase the value of your home

Landscaping, big or small, will increase the value of your home in Brooklyn.

You’ve heard the talk about the power of curb appeal. It isn’t just some urban myth that we real estate agents peddle. It’s a real thing, a powerful thing. And when you add landscaping to your Brooklyn property, you boost its curb appeal and increase the value of your home. Whether you spend a great deal of time in the yard of your Brooklyn home or not, landscaping is worth your time and investment. It beats out all indoor projects when it comes to increasing the value of your home! This is because any money you invest in landscaping is likely to pay you back a lot more than you invest.

How to Increase the Value of Your Home in Brooklyn

You may be wondering how you can increase the value of your home in Brooklyn with landscaping when the front and back yards have very limited space. Here are a few low-maintenance landscaping ideas to consider:

  • Add a front patio and a back patio if you don’t already have one. If you choose bluestone pavers, the only maintenance needed is an occasional sweep with a broom.
  • Plant perennials in a small planting bed in the front corner of your front patio. Russian sage, autumn sedum, blue carpet juniper and lavender are low-maintenance, fragrant choices.
  • Hang window boxes from your windows and grow Boston ivy along one side of the front steps.
  • In the back, plant a garden at the very end of the patio. If it gets full sun, a smoketree shrub would be a great addition. Shrubs and drought-tolerant junipers, such as blue carpet juniper, and Hollywood juniper add some color and don’t require a lot of care.
  • Ground cover and a nice layer of mulch are wonderful things. They keep weeds at bay and help retain moisture, plus they look good! Ajuga and pine-bark mulch are good choices to consider.
  • Hakonechloa grass next to the back wall of your house beneath the stairs is striking!
  • Find a good shade tree (about 15 feet tall) to plant in back. The Japanese zelkova is a good shade tree. It’s a favorite that can be found all over New York City.
  • Place a large planter with a pieris planted in it near the sidewall of your patio.
  • A long, built-in cedar bench with a spring-loaded lid is a practical addition that will increase the value of your home. Use it to store and easily access cushions and other patio gear.
  • If you’re interested in a more native landscape for your property, visit plantnative.org.

Add some outdoor furniture and a fire pit, and/or the relaxing sound of water, and you’ll have the best room in the house outside.

Small Landscaping Pays Off

Landscaping investments don’t have to cost a fortune. The return on landscaping can bring four times a small investment of $400 to $500. Research proves that landscaping adds valuable curb appeal to homes, big or small, and it adds to the value of your immediately. It also adds value over time as your trees and plants grow bigger and more beautiful. Decorating trends come and go, but landscaping endures.

It’s very special to have outdoor space in Brooklyn. With a little planning and a few well-chosen landscaping ideas, you will increase the value of your home. Enjoy your home now or enjoy the return on investment when it’s time to sell your Brooklyn home.

Not sure how much landscaping to invest in? Maybe you’re wondering which landscaping investments would be best to start with. Call Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn real estate professional, today at (718) 253-9600 ext 206 or email him at [email protected] He knows Brooklyn, and he knows which landscaping investments will increase the value of your home.


How to Use Social Media to Sell a Home

May 30th, 2017
Use social media

Selling a home takes a lot of work. Use social media with a great real estate agent like Charles D’Alessandro to help you sell your home!

Social media is controversial. It can be bad, but it isn’t all bad. In fact, social media does more good than bad. Yes, there are some who are addicted to social media. Others find it to be nothing more than an annoying distraction or a way to keep them from being productive. But a lot of good things can be bad for us especially when they’re done in excess, like eating healthful foods, sleeping, recreating, and even exercising, right? So, let’s talk about how to use social media for good purposes, and how to use it for the valuable tool that it is. It is good for plenty of things, like:

Using social media is the best way to reach a large group of people. And when used with a targeted keyword strategy combined with a great content strategy, you can even sell a home!

6 Steps to Use Social Media to Sell a Home

These lessons may seem difficult to grasp and do. I won’t smoke screen you. It will take a little bit of effort, but it is possible to sell your home using social media. This is how:

Step 1: Target Specific Keywords

Determine the words that will be commonly used by potential buyers in the search phrases they use when searching for real estate in Brooklyn. All of the content about your home being used online needs to be created with potential buyers in mind. Think like they think. Search like they will search. Use specific keywords.

Step 2: Create a Microsite on WordPress

I know. What’s a microsite, Charles? It is a website that helps you tell your unique story about your home for sale. It also serves as a platform for search engine optimization (SEO) and lead conversion. That means internet search engines will search for those keywords we discussed in Step 1 and will lead potential buyers to your home for sale on the internet. Other than flexibility and being widely used, there are three reasons why WordPress is definitely recommended for a microsite.

  1. It allows you to create a professional-looking website quickly
  2. It’s SEO-friendly
  3. It supports images and videos of your home, documents and social media widgets

Step 3: Build Campaigns for Every Major Social Media Platform and Service

This means use Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and YouTube to make the masses aware of your Brooklyn home for sale. Blog about your home in Brooklyn. Create a Twitter account, Facebook page, Google+ page and a YouTube channel. There are Flickr, Picasa and Posterous accounts that you can use for your house, too. Creating multiple sources of photo, video and written content ensures your house will show up in any kind of search and on just about any website or service. Devote enough time to each social media source to make sure each one ranks No. 1 for your keywords in Google.

Step 4: Make it Personal

Typically sellers and buyers are discouraged from contacting each other in person. This prevents interactions that could hinder closing on the home. But because of the distance between people, social media allows personal interaction in regards to highlighting your home’s best features. What personal stories do you have to share about your home on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and your WordPress blog? Share what you love about your Brooklyn home, inside and out! Everything shared from your point of view will make it become a home in a buyer’s eyes.

Step 5: Share Often and Be Consistent

Eighty percent of the success of social media is being consistent. Post about your home for sale regularly and consistently. This builds interest and followers over time. It also keeps you at the top in searches for your keywords.

Step 6: Don’t Use Social Media to Sell Your Home Alone

You might be tempted to use social media without hiring a real estate agent. But there’s one good reason why you shouldn’t do this alone. Social media is a time-consuming endeavor. Your real estate agent can effectively create compelling content on multiple platforms for you.

There’s no doubt about the work it takes to sell a home. If you choose to use social media to sell your home, you’ll be choosing to take on a lot of work. Just don’t do it alone. Hire Charles D’Alessandro. He will orchestrate the entire process from list to close and help you close a deal on your home successfully. You won’t find anyone who cares more about the sale of your Brooklyn home than Charles D’Alessandro. Call him, your Brooklyn real estate professional, today at (718) 253-9600 ext 206 or email him at [email protected]