Posts Tagged ‘brooklyn home’

Practical Summer Home Maintenance Tips To Complete Before Fall

Saturday, July 30th, 2022

Woman doing summer home maintenance tips.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure couldn’t be more true when it comes to home maintenance tips. Unfortunately, summer seems to be flying by quickly, and before you know it, we will be inundated with pumpkin-spiced everything!

When you spend the time handling home maintenance properly, you can save money on expensive repairs and extend the longevity of appliances and essential components of your home. 

Regular home maintenance may not prevent things from happening to your home, but it allows you to evaluate and plan for necessary replacement costs in advance. An emergency may cost you a lot for repairs, and your homeowner’s insurance coverage may not include it. To learn more about homeowners’ insurance coverage, you can read this previous blog post.

While the weather remains warm, it is an optimal time to do some outside evaluation of your home. 

Let’s look at some home maintenance tips to address on the outside of your home:

Gutters

A properly functioning gutter system should allow water to flow correctly and exit the downspouts, ideally 5 feet away from the home. Visually inspect the system for signs of wear, damage, or leakage. An easy way to check without standing out in a rain shower is to spray water on the roof and watch how it flows from the house. A blockage may need attention if you witness an overflow in any of the gutters. If you are considering adding gutter guards, now is an excellent time for installation before the leaves begin to fall. Even with gutter guards, mud and debris can build up in the gutters causing issues over time. Recommendations are that gutters be cleaned twice a year, even with gutter guards installed. This article describes the different types of gutter guards and how to clean gutters.

Roof

As a homeowner, you should visually inspect your roof periodically. A pair of binoculars will allow you to look closely at the roof for missing or loose shingles and potential flashing or ridge vent issues. You can also check your roof from the inside in your attic. Look for signs of moisture, discoloration, or mold. These are indicators that there may be water penetration through the roof that a professional roofer should address. While in the attic, check the insulation to see if it is adequate.

Paint

Check your exterior paint to determine if it is time for a fresh coat. Paint can help protect your home from winter leaks. Peeling and chipping paint expose wood elements to wrought. It is essential to paint exterior surfaces when the heat and humidity are lower. The beginning or end of summer is usually a better time to tackle exterior painting for proper coverage and curing. Spending the extra time to prepare the surfaces properly will help extend the life of your painted surfaces. Professionals estimate that a well-painted exterior surface should be good for up to 10 years.

Windows

Check window caulking to ensure they are correctly sealed. While checking the windows, a thorough cleaning is in order. The recommended method is to clean frames first where dirt accumulates. Then, remove the screens, and rinse and dry them. Clean the window and replace the screens when finished.

Decks

Inspecting your deck annually is a good safety habit to adopt. It is crucial if you have an elevated deck. The first thing to check for is mold, mildew, screw pops, and loose boards. Next, check where the deck meets the house for a solid connection. Also, check that handrails and railings are firmly secured. Finally, thoroughly clean the deck frequently. A proper seal will help to extend the life of your deck. Sprinkle water onto your deck; if it beads up, the seal coat is good; if it doesn’t, it is time to reseal it.

Grill

Deep clean your grill at least once per season by cleaning grates of any debris and burned grease. Another good practice is to turn burners on high and let them run with the lid closed to burn off any built-up grease periodically throughout the summer.

Mold

Check your home’s siding for any mold growth throughout the summer. It is more likely to occur in home areas that receive little sunshine. Clean the area with a mold solution or diluted chlorine. Be sure to test for colorfastness before washing with any mold-killing solution.

Gardens

Maintain plants to prevent overgrowth near air conditioners and sidewalks.  Periodic weeding is needed to maintain the appearance and keep plants healthy. 

These home maintenance tips will help to protect your home from unwanted emergency repairs and keep your home looking good. 

There are also areas of the interior of your home to maintain during the summer months. 

Refrigerators

In the summer, refrigerators may need more energy to cool. Keep the coils clean by vacuuming or gently wiping dust away. Check door gaskets for cracks or tears and wash with soap and water. Remember to replace the water and ice filters if you have them.

Sink Disposals

Sink disposals can become smelly and clogged. Ways of cleaning out your kitchen disposal vary from ice cubes to borax. Find the method you prefer, and be sure to clean the disposal to eliminate odors periodically.

Range Hood

The filter of your range hood or over the stove microwave vent needs cleaning to remove built-up grease and grime. You can soak the filter or run it through your dishwasher. Once removed, you can also gently clean the fan blades inside.

Dryer Vents

Keeping dryer vents clean will prevent fires. In addition, a clogged dryer vent can also damage your dryer. A proper ventilation system should include an exterior vent following building codes. You can hire a professional cleaner to do the job thoroughly. Depending on how long or hard it is to reach the vents, you may be able to do it yourself.

Bathroom Fans

Your bathroom fan removes moisture from the bathroom and keeps it from recirculating in your HVAC system. However, it can become clogged with dust and dirt because it draws moisture. Turn off the power to the fan, remove the cover to clean, and gently clean the blades inside.

Ceiling Fans

The blades of a ceiling fan collect dirt and dust. Therefore, periodically clean the fan blades. Keeping fan blades clean is especially important if you or a family member suffer from allergies or asthma. There are many products on the market that make this project easy. 

HVAC Filters

Checking your filters monthly is a good practice. Recommendations are to replace filters annually to optimize your system. Dirty filters can damage your unit or make it work harder, increasing your utility usage.

It is hard to think about interior home maintenance tips in the summer when we want to be outside enjoying ourselves. You may want to save these for a rainy day, but making the time to handle these tasks will pay off in the long run.

An excellent general home maintenance tip is to keep a checklist of the items you need to do for the season. Then, you can refer to this list and check off the tasks as you complete them. Of course, you will need to refine your checklist yearly.

Contact me, Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate, if you are considering buying or selling a home. As a Brooklyn real estate agent with over 30 years of experience, I help many home buyers and sellers through the entire process. Reach me by phone at (718) 253-9500 ext. 1901 or by email at [email protected]
Charles D'Allesandro

Real Estate Appraisal: What A Brooklyn Buyer And Seller Need To Know

Friday, April 15th, 2022

Home appraiser

The buyer and seller need to know about a real estate appraisal in any home sale.

The buyer will have the real estate appraisal completed as part of their mortgage. The responsibility for paying for the appraisal is part of the buyer’s mortgage costs. Determining value is a key factor in the buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage.

The seller will need to provide access to their property to complete the appraisal. Most sales agreements with a mortgage contingency will be subject to a real estate appraisal. The appraiser will justify the sales price through their assessment process for the buyer and seller.

The property’s fair market value must come in at or above the sales price. A lender will not loan money for the mortgage without a satisfactory appraisal. The buyer and seller will need to revisit their negotiation if the value is below the sales price.

The Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) are the standards an appraiser must follow.

What is an appraisal?

Real estate appraisal or property valuation determines the property’s value based on the highest and best use of the real property (which basically translates into determining the property’s fair market value). 

A buyer and seller can request an appraisal for different reasons:

  1. Transfer of ownership of real property.
  2. Establish a basis for the exchange or reorganization for investors.
  3. Provide a mortgage underwriter a value of the security for a mortgage loan.
  4. Estimate value for tax or other legal purposes.
  5. Determine gift or inheritance taxes.
  6. Estimate the value of real property in an estate.

The person who performs this real estate appraisal is the real estate appraiser.

The value as determined by real estate appraisal is the fair market value. 

The real estate appraiser may use various methods to calculate value. However, a systematic approach will determine the fair market value.

  1. The sales comparison approach is commonly used to determine value based on recent sales of comparable properties in the local real estate market.
  2. An alternative method, the cost approach, would estimate the cost of rebuilding, minus an estimate for depreciation, plus the land value.
  3. The income capitalization approach can determine the net earning power the property will support for investment properties.

The appraiser will collect data on the market area, the subject property, and comparable properties. Once assembled, the appraiser must analyze the data collected. Supply and demand is a factor that helps to understand the competitive position of the property in the current market.

The appraiser will calculate the property’s fair market value from this analysis. A written appraisal report will show the methods used to determine the value and the information used in the analysis. Finally, the appraiser certifies that the report will be completed in an unbiased, objective manner.

Timing

There is no need for the seller to have a real estate appraisal completed before putting their home on the market unless there is an extenuating circumstance. The lender is the most interested party in the appraisal more than any other party in the sale. In fact, a lender is not likely to accept an appraisal done outside their network.

The lender will order the appraisal after the buyer applies for their mortgage. The appraiser will schedule a time with the seller to visit and examine the property based on their availability. 

Once they visit the home, the appraiser will begin the preparation of their appraisal report. It may take several days or weeks for the appraiser to deliver the information to the lender.

Sales Contract

One of the indications of value an appraiser considers is the contract between two unrelated parties, the buyer and seller, for the sale and purchase of the home. Thus, a copy of the executed sales agreement will be provided to the appraiser by the mortgage company.

Comparable Sales

In general, when you are selling your primary residence, the person buying it will make it his primary residence, too. However, if the buyer obtains a mortgage, the lender will require an evaluation of similar houses sold in the same neighborhood to prove the fair market value. The appraiser will generally find homes within a ½ mile radius of the subject property that has sold in the past six months. 

A real estate agent may choose to provide sales comps they used to determine the offering price to the appraiser, but the appraiser cannot just automatically use them in their appraisal. As an unbiased party to the sale, they must determine the comparability to the subject property.

What can a seller do to prepare for the appraiser’s visit?

If you’ve let your hair down, get your home back into “show” condition before the appraiser comes.

Everything you know about preparing your home for sale, well-mulched flower beds, minor repairs addressed, lack of fingerprints, lack of clutter, and all the rest apply.

The age of the home and the “effective age” are needed in the Uniform Residential Appraisal Report form under the “General Description.” Therefore, how well your home appears affects the number under “effective age.

The Uniform Appraisal Report requires information about materials (and their condition) used for floors, walls, trim and finishing elements, bathroom floors and wainscots, and interior doors. For this reason, appraisers train themselves to notice these detail. Provide a good impression by dusting, polishing, and eliminating scratches and fingerprints.

The Report also asks about kitchen equipment (refrigerator, range and oven, disposal, dishwasher, fan and hood, microwave, and washer and dryer). Be sure all appliances are clean and operating well.

Amenities such as fireplaces, patios, decks, porches, fences, and sheds will be included in the report. If an appraiser is going to take note of these things, they should be swept, cleaned, and in good condition. Also, clean out the gutters. If it rains on the day of your appraisal, you want your house to handle the rainwater well.

Here is an example of a  “comments” section of an appraisal: “The subject is well maintained, and no physical, functional, or external inadequacies are noted. Marketability is enhanced by hardwood flooring throughout most of the home, an updated kitchen, fresh interior and exterior paint, transom windows, built-ins, a front porch, a rear patio, large storage shed, and 4 fireplaces, etc.” An appraiser will evaluate your home carefully.

The importance of preparing your property before the listing is not only for potential buyers but also for the appraisal process. Be sure to keep your home free of clutter as best you can until the appraiser has visited.

An experienced real estate agent can help you price a property correctly before listing it for sale. They should use a similar method as the appraiser using the sales comparison approach. Understanding the appraisal process should help you understand why real estate agents place so much importance on pricing the house correctly.

Contact me, Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate. As a Brooklyn real estate agent with over 30 years of experience, I can help you prepare your home for potential buyers and the real estate appraisal. Reach me by phone at (718) 253-9500 ext. 1901 or by email at [email protected]
Charles D'Allesandro

Enjoy The Comfort Of Home By Preparing For The Winter Chill

Saturday, January 15th, 2022
Comfort of home - dog on chair in front of fireplace

Enjoying the comfort of home on a cold winter’s day can either be a relaxing experience, or a nightmare. Whether you are a fan of winter weather, or not, preparing your home for the winter chill is necessary to avoid those nightmare feelings. 

Preventative maintenance is a smart practice when you own a home. Spending the time to prepare for colder weather will not only help you save money, but it will provide peace of mind. 

You can even improve the resale value of your home by adding energy-efficient features. As a result, you can save money and ensure your family is safe and healthy.

Items will need to be addressed both inside and outside your home. I recommend you start outside before we are in the deepest, coldest part of winter.

Areas to evaluate outside include:

Roof

Inspect your roof for any broken, damaged, or missing shingles and flashing. Be sure there are no leaves or branches accumulating on the roof. Don’t forget to check inside your attic for evidence of water leakage that will indicate a roof issue.

Chimney

Not only do you want your chimney cleaned, but you also want to have the exterior inspected. Leaky flashing or a deteriorating crown or cap can allow water into your chimney, damaging your home. Obstructions in the chimney can occur from debris or critters that allow harmful vapors into the home. 

Gutters

While you are focused on the roof of your home, be sure to check your gutters. Before the first freeze, clean any debris and leaves from the gutters. A backed-up gutter will freeze over and cause damage to not only your roof and siding but also your home’s interior. In addition, the weight of the ice inside the gutter along with icicles can also cause damage to them.

Trees

Take a good look at the trees in your yard to determine if they need trimming so they are not hanging over your house, driveway, or fence. Branches quickly ice over in a storm. They can then snap and cause damage to your home, cars, and fences. Branches can also fall on power lines causing outages or fires.

Outdoor pipes and water features

Winterize outdoor pipes to prevent them from freezing and bursting. In addition, outdoor spigots, sprinkler systems, ponds, pools, and other outdoor lines need attention to prevent damage. Also, you need to know the location of your emergency water shut-off valve if you have a leak.

Outdoor Plants

Some of your outdoor plants may need some special attention to make it through the cold winter. First, check the types of plants in your yard to determine what they need to survive the colder temperatures. Some types of plants may need wrapping, covered, or mulched. If you want to save potted plants, you should bring them indoors before temperatures dip below 45 degrees Fahrenheit.

Sidewalks

For your safety, the safety of your family, delivery drivers, or guests, keep your sidewalks clear of ice and snow. Check with your municipality for snow removal requirements. For example, some municipalities dictate that owners or tenants are responsible for cleaning the exterior walks and possibly even fire hydrants. Depending on when the snow stops falling, these requirements may also be time-sensitive. Failure to meet these requirements may be finable.

Driveways

Keeping your driveways clear of snow and ice is also a necessity. Parking in a driveway with accumulated snow is not only a personal safety issue, but it can damage your vehicle as well. As you expose the underside of your car to moisture, it can cause rusting. When the snow melts and refreezes, you can also have issues with safety. The melting and freezing snow can damage the driveway widening cracks as the ice expands.

Now that the outside has been taken care of, you can move inside to handle some additional items to ensure you and your household members remain comfortable throughout the winter.

Smoke & CO Detectors

You should check your smoke & CO detectors every six months and replace the battery. Many find the daylight savings time change an excellent time to schedule this task. However, if you do not have that as a regular maintenance item for your home, be sure to check them now. Carbon monoxide is tasteless and odorless but can be deadly. Also, check the municipality requirements for smoke & CO detectors and the placement required throughout the home. 

Fireplace

We discussed having the chimney inspected on the outside of the home. You also want to have the fireplace inspected from the inside. Wood burning fireplaces and gas fireplaces can both pose issues to personal safety, and you should have them both checked. If you are using a wood-burning fireplace, be sure the wood is dried correctly and appropriate for burning in a fireplace. Creosote build-up in your chimney is the cause of many house fires.

Window & Doors

You can lose a lot of your heat through poorly insulated windows and doors. According to the energy.gov website, it is possible to lose 25%-30% of residential heating and cooling through windows. Some solutions to improve energy efficiency include caulking or weatherstripping around window seals and door frames, insulated window coverings, or allowing sunlight in during the day then covering windows at night.

Heating System

Maintaining a comfortable temperature is crucial to the comfort of home. A poorly maintained heating system can cost you more money to heat your home as well. Having an annual inspection of your heating system will prevent surprises from occurring in the dead of winter. Carbon monoxide can be emitted from gas furnaces. Proper maintenance of your furnace can avert this danger.

Programmable Thermostat

A programmable thermostat can help save heating costs. Programming the thermostat to lower while you are not at home or sleeping will prevent you from heating your home when you are not there or snuggled under blankets sleeping. You can set the temperature to rise before you arrive home or wake in the morning.

Boot Station

Creating a designated place for everyone to take off their wet shoes and boots as they enter the home will save you from having to clean up snow and ice melt from your floors. The deicing materials brought in on shoes can damage the flooring. Create a simple spot with a boot tray or rug to place boots and shoes.

Your winterization would not be complete without gathering supplies you should have on hand. Some items to consider having on hand include:

Snow Shovel

Snow shovels come in many styles. Be sure your snow shovel is sturdy and in good repair before the first snowfall. The prices and materials of snow shovels vary greatly. Be sure to choose one that is easy for you to use and gets the job done!

Ice Melter

There are many types of ice melting products on the market. Choose one that will not damage your sidewalks and driveway. If you have pets, you may also consider a pet-friendly product that does not irritate your pet’s paws when they walk on it.

Ice Scraper

If you own a car, you need to have an ice scraper and snow brush in the car during the winter. You need to remove the snow and ice from your vehicle for the safety of yourself and others.

Flashlights

If you have a power outage, you will need some light. Although our cell phones have flashlights built into them, you will use up a lot of the battery using that as your light source. So buy some emergency flashlights and batteries to have on hand. 

Back-up Cell Battery

An external power bank is a good idea to have ready. If power outages due to storms are widespread, it can take some time to restore the power. You can keep your cell phone and other electronics charged with a power bank.

Water

Having a supply of water on hand is a good idea. You may need water for drinking, cooking, and even flushing toilets.

Pantry Items

Having some easy-to-prepare pantry items can be a lifesaver. For example, you can eat canned foods such as tuna, vegetables, and fruit without cooking. Other things you may want to have on hand include peanut butter, crackers, cereal, juices, and granola. 

Maintaining the comfort of home is well worth the effort to complete preventative maintenance. Not only will you save yourself the stress of dealing with an emergency, but you will also save yourself money by not paying for expensive emergency repairs. 

You may be dreaming of warmer weather. Now that your home is ready for winter, you can start thinking about your outdoor space for spring and summer. Check out this previous blog post to spark your ideas.

Contact me, Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate. As a Brooklyn real estate agent with over 30 years of experience, I like to help my clients with helpful tips and accumulated knowledge. I can be reached by phone at (718) 253-9500 ext. 1901 or by email at [email protected]

Charles D'Allesandro

Can You Create A Stress-Free Kitchen Update On A Budget?

Tuesday, November 30th, 2021

Man working on a kitchen update on a budget.

Many Brooklyn homeowners consider making a kitchen update on a budget. Thinking through the entire process before you begin the work can help create a stress-free experience for you.

The first step is to develop your budget and stick to it. Ask yourself these questions:

  1. How much do I want to spend?
  2. How long do I plan on staying in this home?
  3. What finishes are typical for this neighborhood?

These are essential questions to consider when you are working through your planning process. Don’t spend more than you can afford. The time you plan to live in this home will help you determine how much to spend and what types of finishes you want. If you are only staying in the house for a couple of years, you do not want to over-improve the kitchen by adding finishes that are not typical for the neighborhood. You may not get a return if the finishes are too upscale, or you may take longer to sell if they are lower than typical.

You will find that it is easy to go over budget when you remodel a kitchen. Thorough planning and budgeting will help you avoid the stress of overspending. It is a good idea to budget for any contingencies. Unforeseen expenses often occur.

Next, you will want to gather ideas.

You can gather some incredible ideas through internet searches, Pinterest, and visiting local building supply stores. Estimate the cost of each element you are considering. See if there are less expensive alternatives that will give you the same look. In a budget breakdown, HGTV suggests the percentage of your budget you should spend on:

  • Cabinets – 35%
  • Labor – 20%
  • Appliances – 20%
  • Windows – 10%
  • Fixtures – 5%
  • Fittings – 3%
  • Other – 7%

Keep these guidelines in mind as you make decisions on the design and materials of your kitchen update on a budget.

Before you set everything in motion, consider these points.

DIY or Contractor

With the popularity of home improvement shows, it may be tempting to do it yourself. However, if you are not skilled, you should budget for a professional contractor. Finding a reliable contractor requires some research. The best place to start is with family and friends who may have previously finished a kitchen update. Check references, and try to visit a job they recently completed. If the contractor has a good reputation, you may need to wait to get on their calendar. However, it is often a worthwhile wait.

Space and Layout

If your budget is tight, you may not be able to add additional space to your kitchen or change the layout. Adding space to a kitchen may require tearing down a wall which can be costly. If the change in layout requires relocating plumbing or electrical, you will need to account for extra in your budget.

Schedule

When you want to start the project may be determined by when you need the project complete. If you want it finished by a particular date, you will need to work backward to calculate the best time to start the project. If you plan on hosting any significant events at your home, proper planning can eliminate the stress of meeting deadlines.

Ventilation

Proper ventilation in a kitchen serves several purposes. First and foremost is your comfort. A ventilation system will keep your kitchen from getting too hot. It will also help you to eliminate cooking odors that permeate the home. Ventilation helps keep your smoke detectors from being set off by smoke and steam. Pay careful attention to how you can achieve good ventilation in your kitchen using an exhaust fan such as a hood.

Temporary Kitchen

While your kitchen is under construction, you may need to set up a temporary kitchen to prepare quick meals and snacks. Your time estimate may determine how extensive a setup you need. Going out to eat or getting take out for a few days may not be a problem, but you may want to be able to cook some simple meals as your timeframe extends. 

When you plan a kitchen update on a budget, you want to be sure to incorporate ideas that will help your home sell.

If you are not planning on moving right away, you can enjoy selections that may not necessarily appeal to a broad range of homebuyers. However, if you think there is even a remote possibility of moving within 2 – 3 years, I would recommend selections with a broad range of popularity. Check out other homes in your neighborhood that have recently sold, and take a good look at the kitchens. What sorts of finishes seem to be ordinary?

Some simple ideas that are appealing to a broad range of people are:

Kitchen Island

It may be a wise investment if you have the space for an island, especially with seating. The additional counter space is appealing, along with the extra seating. In addition, the ability to have family or guests sit in the kitchen while you are preparing meals keeps you involved in the interactions and creates some great memories.

Open Shelving

The use of open shelving is helpful to create a sense of space in a kitchen. As a result, this modern touch has become popular.

Pull Out Shelves

Cabinets and pantries that have pull-out shelves are appealing because it creates more efficient use of the space. It is also convenient to pull out the shelf to locate what you need, especially deep and lower cabinets. Corner cabinets with shelves that open out also make great use of that lost corner space.

Lighting

The use of different types of lighting can make an immense difference in the feel of the kitchen. Overhead, recessed, chandelier, task, and under-cabinet options illuminate an area differently and have specific purposes. Planning for a good mix of lighting will help make food preparation and eating meals more pleasurable.

Faucets

Like lighting, there are so many options for kitchen faucets. The price ranges vary drastically. Think of the function of your kitchen and your needs. You may not need a touchless faucet, but having a sprayer may be a necessity.

Coffee bar

Many people enjoy having a designated coffee or beverage bar in their kitchen—a space to house all the equipment and supplies you will need to prepare your favorite drink. Depending on your kitchen, a separate sink may also be an added touch you want to consider.

Appliances

You may not have the budget for top-of-the-line appliances, but updating with the best in your budget is a good idea. A home buyer would be concerned that older appliances will break or waste too much energy. Shop around to find the best deal within your budget.

Paint

A fresh coat of paint does wonders. But, again, if you are considering selling shortly, avoid bold or specific color palates with limited appeal. Neutral tones appeal to a wide range of people. 

Floors

If your floors are damaged or dated material, you should consider an update. If you have a tile floor, simply regrouting can make the floor look fresh. There are many affordable options in flooring. Research to find the best solution for your lifestyle and budget.

Cabinets

Your budget will determine whether you can replace the old cabinets with new ones. If you do not have a budget for new cabinets and your current cabinets need repairing, you can consider painting, stripping, and refinishing the wood or refacing. Using bright white paint can hide outdated cabinets and create a more modern feel. But, again, the solution for you will depend on your budget.

Average estimates for kitchen remodels include:

Low = $5,000 to $15,000

Medium = $15,000 to $30,000

High = $30,000 or more

With good planning and smart shopping, you can accomplish a stress-free kitchen update on a budget.

Caution – be careful not to over-improve for your neighborhood. For more tips, you can read my previous blog post.

Contact me, Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate. As a Brooklyn real estate agent with over 30 years of experience, I know what types of updates work to help sell a home quickly. I can be reached by phone at (718) 253-9500 ext. 1901 or by email at [email protected]

Charles D'Allesandro

10 Ways to Prevent a Fall in Your Brooklyn Home

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

Prevent a fall in your Brooklyn home

Prevent a fall in your Brooklyn home

The number of serious and fatal injuries caused by falls is rising in America.

The New York Times reported in November, 2014:

“The number of people over 65 who died after a fall reached nearly 24,000 in 2012, almost double the number 10 years earlier, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

“More than 200,000 Americans over 65 dies after falls in the decade from 2002 to 2012. Falls are the leading cause of injury-related death in that age group.”

“And more than 2.4 million people over 65 were treated in emergency departments for injuries from falls in 2012 alone, an increase of 50 percent over a decade.”

You may not see your need to do anything to prevent a fall in your Brooklyn home until after you have fallen, but a bad fall will certainly make you wish you had! A fall can seriously impact your health and independence, but they are not an unavoidable part of growing older. They can be prevented!

Here are 10 ways to prevent a fall in your Brooklyn home:

  1. Exercise – Exercise strengthens your legs and improves balance, making a fall in your Brooklyn home much less likely.
  2. Be aware of side effects – Side effects such as drowsiness or dizziness caused by medicines and combinations of medicines will make a fall in your Brooklyn home more likely. Talk about possible side effects of your medicines with your doctor or pharmacist.
  3. Get your eyes checked every year – Wearing glasses or contacts with the right prescription and seeing clearly will prevent a fall in your Brooklyn home.
  4. Identify potential home hazards – Tripping hazards, (papers, books, clothes, shoes, rugs), clutter and poor lighting should be identified and removed or changed to prevent a fall in your Brooklyn home.
  5. Install handrails and lights on your staircases in your Brooklyn home.
  6. Install grab bars, too. Put them inside and next to your tub or shower and next to the toilet.
  7. Use non-slip mats in the tub and shower.
  8. Avoid the need for a step stool. Keep items you use most often within easy reach in your Brooklyn home.
  9. Use bright lighting – You need brighter lights in your Brooklyn home in order to see well as you grow older.
  10. Wear shoes – Going barefoot or wearing slippers will prevent a fall in your Brooklyn home.

Stay safe, secure and independent while growing older. Prevent a fall in your Brooklyn home before you fall.

I can help you find the perfect home with all or almost all of the 10 ways to prevent a fall in your Brooklyn home. Give Charles D’Alessandro Your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate, a call at (718) 253-9600 ext 206 or email me at [email protected]. Let’s start looking today!

Resources:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/11/03/health/bracing-for-the-falls-of-an-aging-nation.html?emc=edit_na_20141102&_r=0http://www.cdc.gov/Features/OlderAmericans/

Your Kitchen – the Focal Point of Your Brooklyn Home

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

Your kitchen - the focal point of your Brooklyn home

Your kitchen – the focal point of your Brooklyn home

By Charles D’Alessandro | Leave a Comment

Take a look at your kitchen. Is it dated? Are you looking to sell your Brooklyn home? If your kitchen is “way out there”, you may have a hard time selling.

Your kitchen is the focal point of your Brooklyn home. Buyers today are looking for a home with a kitchen that is easy to use, easy to clean and easy to look at. If your kitchen is dated, you many need to invest in a kitchen remodel. Even a minor remodel can recoup most of the cost when you sell. Just remember, consider what will appeal to a future homebuyer. Ultimately, the work you put into a remodel is work you are doing for yourself, but at some point, somebody else will live in the house. Don’t remodel in a way you may regret later. Don’t do something so edgy that you  end up asking yourself, “What on earth was I thinking?”

Here are the top 10 kitchen trends:

1. Chef’s stoves – Even if the buyer doesn’t cook, they want the stove look cool.

2. Eco-friendly features – Appliances and materials in the kitchen are important to a buyer.

3. Granite and quartz countertops – Granite tops the list.

4. Tile backsplashes – Most buyers prefer tile over marble, stone slab or other materials.

5. Floors – Hardwood flooring is hands-down the top choice for flooring.

6. Stainless steel – Well over half of homebuyers today want stainless steel appliances in their kitchens.

7. Islands – Islands aren’t really a must, but they are popular with homebuyers.

8. Transitional style – This is a style combination of traditional and contemporary styles.

9. White cabinets – Almost 75 percent of homebuyers want white or off white cabinets.

10. Gray color schemes – Shades of gray in the kitchen go well with white cabinets.

Kitchen updates are number one for adding value to your Brooklyn home.  Need more ideas for adding value to your home? Subscribe to Brooklyn Real Estate Blog today.

Look no further for a real estate agent with your best interest at heart. 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] when you need to sell your home.

Resource: http://rismedia.com/2013-11-16/10-top-kitchen-remodeling-trends/2/

Bathroom Updates Add Value to Your Brooklyn Home

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

By Charles D’Alessandro | Leave a Comment

When buying or selling a home, a kitchen is the number one place a potential buyer will focus their attention, and you as the seller should, too. Since bathrooms come in at a close second, let’s take a look at how bathroom updates add value to your Brooklyn home.  Learn what your bathroom’s key measurements are along with the sizes of common fixtures and begin discovering the many advantages compact spaces offer. Your bathrooms will turn into inspired occasions to fashion beautiful and useful rooms that will increase the value of your home.

Steven Corley Randel, ArchitectClick the link or image above to view photos of the following bathroom update ideas.

Add pedestal, floating or braced sinks to make your small space feel larger.

Extend the vanity countertop over the toilet tank. Will the fixtures fit comfortably under an extended countertop? The tank needs to be low enough, and you must be able to remove the lid without difficulty.

Store bathroom items efficiently and comfortably in a custom-designed medicine cabinet that stretches over the vanity and over the toilet. A tall, narrow strip of lighting could be built into the cabinet. A light fixture placed on each side of mirror would be ideal to provide even lighting while getting ready for the day.

Line up all bathroom fixtures on a single wall. This cost-effective layout saves on the cost of plumbing installation and allows hot water to be distributed efficiently, especially when the wall with the fixtures is near or directly above the water heater in the basement.

Install a clear glass shower door to create a larger feel to the compact space of a bathroom.

If you prefer a shower only, install a glass wall with a curb that is 3 to 4 inches high, 4 to 6 inches wide. Or define the shower area by a glass wall and shower floor that is flush with the bathroom floor for a sleek and very updated look.

Install a ready-made medicine cabinet and build trim around it. Add small shelves to store personal items in baskets that will fit in or on the small shelves to maintain a clean and organized look.

Mount towel bars or hooks between 36 and 42 inches above the floor, 48 or 50 inches if you are taller or use extra-large bath towels/sheets. The top of the mirror should align with the top of the tile in the shower which should align with top of the window if your bathroom space has a window.

A clear space of 24 inches in front of a toilet is required by current U.S. codes. Be sure to allow for this dimension – more than the minimum if possible is even better. In older homes it is not uncommon to come across arrangements that don’t meet minimum standards. But if you are renovating, make sure you have ample space provided for the measurements of the toilet. If you choose an elongated toilet over a standard-size toilet, another 2 to 3 inches will need to be allowed for the extra length of this choice.

In extremely tight spaces, place the sink at the end of the tub with the toilet next to the tub. Nooks added above the toilet will provide storage. Everything will need to be waterproofed in this compact layout. The use of mosaic tile outside of the shower to keep everything waterproof is a good idea in tight baths and will add subtle contrast, too.

For your compact space you may need to consider installing an oval-shaped sink and cabinet tucked into a hollowed niche in a wall. The toilet could be placed next to the shower, still providing enough space to get in and out of the glass doors of the shower.

As you can see, the beautiful possibilities to make the most of your bathroom spaces and add value to your Brooklyn home are almost limitless.

Want more ideas on how bathroom updates add value to your Brooklyn home?  Subscribe to Brooklyn Real Estate Blog for more home improvement tips.

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].

Resource: http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/26567086?utm_source=Houzz&utm_campaign=u517&utm_medium=email&utm_c

Considering Selling Your Brooklyn Home? Get the Scoop on the 3.8 Percent Real Estate Tax in the Healthcare Bill

Monday, September 17th, 2012

If you’re considering selling your Brooklyn home, you may have heard rumors that there is a new tax going into effect in January, 2013. Here’s the rundown on what the tax really is – and isn’t.

The new tax is called the ‘‘Unearned Income Medicare Contribution.” It is a 3.8 percent tax on the net investment income of high-income taxpayers. The tax will apply to those with an adjusted gross income of more than $200,000 ($250,000 for joint filers), with no indexing for inflation.

The Good News

Odds are that you will never pay this tax.

Why You Most Likely Won’t Pay the New Tax

The tax will apply to capital gains, not sale proceeds. Because of the current exclusion of gains on home sales — up to $500,000 (joint) or $250,000 (single) on a primary residence — the vast majority of home sellers will not be required to pay this tax.

 Here’s an example: A couple with an adjusted gross income of more than $250,000 (which qualifies them for the tax — more than 90% of households make less than that) decide to sell their house. They purchased their Brooklyn home long, long ago for $50,000. They sell the house, miraculously, for $549,000. Because that profit of $499,000 is under the $500,000 profit exclusion amount allowed for couples, they owe no tax.

The Bottom Line

There are plenty of other taxes that are worth getting upset about; this isn’t one of them.

If you’re Considering Selling Your Brooklyn Home on selling a Brooklyn home, I can help. Give me a call Charles D’Alessandro Your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate a call at 718/253-9600 ext 206 or email me at [email protected].

 

 

How to Catch a Brooklyn Home Buyer’s Eye

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

How to Catch a Brooklyn Home Buyer

In this economy, every leg up on other sellers will help your home sell faster and at the price you want.  If you’re not getting the offers you want on your Brooklyn home, here are nine ideas to get things moving in the right direction:

Get an appraisal.  Knowing what a professional appraiser thinks your home is worth gives owners a reality check. It also helps you determine the best price for your home.

  1. Get a home inspection before listing your home.  Find out the hidden problems with your Brooklyn home and correct them in advance. If you get your home inspected and find problems but elect not to repair them, be sure to include the problems on the property condition disclosure form.
  2. Consider offering a home warranty.  Everyone likes a security blanket and a home warranty gives buyers an assurance that if something goes wrong with major appliances, plumbing or electrical systems, they will not have to spend a lot of money to get it fixed.
  3. Pay for lawn care through the summer.  This lets the buyer know you’ve thought of everything, and it’s one less worry for them when moving.  Taking care of the pool cleaning tab is another incentive you may want to consider including.
  4. Pay the HOA dues. If you’re in a homeowner’s association (HOA), pay the new buyer’s fees for the first year.
  5. Pay all or part of the buyer’s closing costs. This can be deducted at closing from the proceeds of the sale.
  6. Pay the buyer’s property taxes for a year. You may already have paid a portion or all of it anyway.
  7. Offer to leave furnishings. If you have a couch that perfectly fits an unusually shaped living space, offer to include it in the sale of the home.
  8. Have some flexibility on the price.  Being willing to negotiate on the price shows a buyer you are willing to work with them.

If you’re looking for a real estate agent who can get your Brooklyn home sold at a good price, give me a call today call Charles D’Alessandro Your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate a call at 718/253-9600 ext 206 or email me at [email protected].

Buying a Brooklyn Home From a Motivated Seller

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

When you see “motivated seller” in real estate listings, does that mean the sellers are desperate to sell their Brooklyn home and are open to negotiation?  Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Do not assume it means you’re going to get the home at a bargain price.

When you see “motivated seller” in real estate listings, it could mean a wide variety of things including:

  1. The seller is willing to accept a lower price or give some concessions.
  2. The Brooklyn home could be near foreclosure.
  3. The sellers want to see an offer before canceling the listing.
  4. It’s a marketing strategy. (In other words, it means nothing.)

Here are some tips on how to deal with motivated sellers:

  1. Decide if you really want to buy the Brooklyn home. Don’t buy it just because you think you might get it at a greatly reduced price.
  2. Have your agent ask the listing agent why the seller is so motivated to sell. If there is no realistic reason, you could be wasting your time.
  3. Consider giving a low-ball offer to see how the seller responds.  If the seller does not give a counter offer, you have your answer.  If they give a reasonable counter offer, they’re obviously willing to negotiate.
  4. Wait for a price reduction.  Most listing agents will ask the sellers to reduce their price when the property hasn’t gotten any offers or sold in the expected time frame.
  5. Ask if other offers have been made. If yes, find out why they were rejected, and try to overcome the seller’s objections.

Owning a home is the American Dream. Figuring out if it’s the right time for you to buy, and which property is best for you to purchase, is something only you can decide.

When you’re ready to find your American Dream home, I’d love to help. Call me at Charles D’Alessandro of Fillmore Real Estate at (718) 253-9600 ext 206 or email me at [email protected]..