Ben Esposito - RE/MAX Real Estate Center



Posted by Ben Esposito on 1/12/2020

Photo by Karolina Grabowska via Pixabay

House plants can add color and texture to your home and allow you to bring a touch of nature indoors, but some can also help improve the air quality in your home. According to a study from NASA, choosing one of these plants allows you to enjoy the added beauty and breathe easier at home, too.

5 Plants that Improve Indoor Air Quality

Plants improve indoor air quality by removing or neutralizing chemicals that may be present in the air. Building materials, cleaning products, home furnishings and other items can all release fumes into the home; even if you don’t smell them, you are breathing them in. The following plants are top air purifiers and neutralize a surprising amount of these harmful substances.

  • Boston Fern: Fast growing and easy to care for, this textural beauty is also one of the top air purifiers; Boston Fern removes more formaldehyde from the air than any other plant studied. Formaldehyde can appear in upholstery foam, paints, rugs and more.
  • Rubber Plants: These potent air cleansers also make wonderful plants for rooms without direct sunlight. If you’re having a tough time finding sunny spots for plants, choose a rubber plant – they can’t bear direct sun, instead preferring the cool comfort of a dimmer room.
  • English Ivy: Cultivate this easy care plant if you want to improve your home’s air quality, but don’t have the world’s greenest thumb. Ivy grows quickly and climbs, making it ideal for training to a frame or topiary – it also won’t mind if you forget to water it for a day or more.
  • Peace Lily: While most of the potent air purifiers are pure greenery, peace lily has striking white flowers that can help accent your home. This delicate looking purifier is a favorite for bridal bouquets and decorations, and is surprisingly robust for growing in the home, too. Peace lilies do require some attention, but if you are willing to water daily, it could make an elegant and striking air purifier for your home. Skip this one if you have curious pets, though; the leaves can cause stomach upset if eaten.
  • Spider Plant: This hearty variety also reproduces swiftly; the babies can be potted and create even more natural purifying power for your home. Spider plants are pet safe, easy to care for and add both color and texture to their décor, making them a natural choice for any home.

Choosing a few plants from the list can help you breathe easy and feel more comfortable at home. Incorporating these easy care plants into your home décor will help have a more natural, greener environment in more ways than one.





Posted by Ben Esposito on 1/5/2020

Photo by Zbysiu Rodak on Unsplash

Antiques can bring a unique feel and vibe to almost any decor. But what happens when your antique piece doesn't exactly work in the room it was designed for? If that is the case, it may be time to upcycle it for use in a different room. Below you will find out how to turn your one-of-a-kind antique dresser into a unique vanity for your bathroom. Please note, if at any time you feel this project is a little more than DIY, contact a professional to help you through it.

1. Purchase the Sink

You will need to find a sink that can fit within the measurements of the top of your dresser. When measuring, always be sure to measure the actual with of the base of the cabinet or dresser, not the overhang. The sink will be deep enough to pass this point, and most overhangs will be at least an inch or more.

2. Trace & Cut the Sink Hole

After removing the top drawer from the dresser, trace the template that came with the sink onto the top of the dresser with a permanent marker to give you a guide for cutting. Next, use a jigsaw to follow the lines, and cut the piece of wood. Once done, check to make sure that your sink fits, and remove more if needed to accommodate.

3. Finish the Dresser

Once you know that the sink fits, remove it, and sand down the cut area until it is smooth. Then, finish the dresser using your favorite stain or paint. After the paint or stain has dried, add a protective clear coat as this area will be affected by water. 

4. Affix the Sink to the Dresser

After your dresser is completely dry, you will need to apply some clear caulking around the rim. Then place the sink on top and press down firmly. You should not need to add any caulking after placing, but make sure you can see the seal all around it. 

5. Cut the Back to Accommodate Plumbing & Connect Your Pipes

Determine where the plumbing pipes will need to be attached to the dresser, and cut a hole to allow them to pass through. Next, connect all of your plumbing, making sure to use plumbers tape when connecting to reduce the risk of leaks. 

6. Secure the Dresser to the Wall

You will want to make sure that your new vanity is tightly affixed to the wall by more than just the plumbing. Once flush against the wall, secure the dresser to the wall-in studs.

By following the few simple tips above, you can convert your favorite antique dresser or cabinet into a fully functional vanity. This can make a great option for those looking for more vanity drawers or storage in their bathroom. 




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Posted by Ben Esposito on 12/29/2019

Image by Rvector from Shutterstock

What is natural ventilation? It's utilizing wind with the "chimney effect" to draw warm air out of the home and replacing it with cooler air from outside. As the wind blows against your home, it forces air into open windows on one side of the house while a vacuum effect draws the air out of the windows on the other side. The vacuum effect relies on convection. As cool fresh air is pulled into the home it absorbs heat from the room, the warm air rises and exits through rooftop vents or skylights on the upper floors. As the warm air moves out of the space, cooler fresh air is pulled in behind it. When mechanized to operate by a thermostat, natural ventilation systems modulate the temperature in your home efficiently. Countless benefits come with natural ventilation. Here are a few:

Low utility bills

One of the primary advantages of using a natural ventilation system is the decrease in your energy bills. Natural ventilation and hybrid ventilation consume much less energy (or no energy at all) compare to these mechanical systems. To save more on energy consumption, perhaps going for a natural hybrid ventilation system that cuts down on your energy use would be best.

Efficiency 

Natural ventilation systems have a low energy consumption level. This makes them the best choice when looking to increase efficiency in a building or home. You can save up to 70 percent of your emissions, much more than the traditional mechanical ventilation.

Maintenance

The overall cost of maintaining HVAC ventilation is high, compared to natural ventilation systems. Natural systems generally come with fewer, more affordable parts.

Space saving

A natural ventilation system takes very little space, especially as compared to an automated system. If you don’t want bulky components, a natural system is the better option.

Natural ventilation systems work best in areas where the days are warm and the nights are cool. If you live in an area that is very humid or where day and night temperatures are similar, natural ventilation systems are less effective.





Posted by Ben Esposito on 12/22/2019

If you recently bought or sold a house, you may have only a short amount of time to pack up your belongings and get your family ready for moving day. As such, you'll need to tell your children about your upcoming move to ensure they can prepare accordingly.

Ultimately, informing your kids about your move can be difficult, especially for families that have lived in a particular city or town for many years. Lucky for you, we're here to help you minimize the stress commonly associated with telling your kids about moving day.

Here are three tips to ensure you can stay calm, cool and composed when you inform your kids about your decision to relocate.

1. Speak with Your Kids As Soon As Possible

The longer that you wait to tell your kids about your move, the tougher it will become to break the news to them. Thus, as soon as you decide to purchase or sell a home, you should tell your kids.

Remember, the sooner you speak with your children, the sooner they can start planning for the future. You also can discuss any moving concerns with your kids and ensure they can receive your full emotional support as moving day approaches.

2. Plan Ahead for Your Family Discussion

In most instances, kids will have lots of questions about your decision to move. As a parent, it is your responsibility to dedicate the necessary time and resources to respond to all of your kids' queries.

Consider your children's perspective before you inform your kids about your decision to buy or sell a house – you'll be glad you did. If you plan ahead for a discussion with your kids, you may be able to anticipate potential questions and be ready to provide thoughtful responses.

3. Be Honest

No parent has all the answers, all the time. And if you face children's questions about your move and are uncertain about how to respond to them, you should not hesitate to speak from the heart.

It may be impossible to have answers to all of your kids' questions about an upcoming move. However, if you're honest with your children, you can provide them with plenty of support throughout the moving cycle.

When it comes to discussing an upcoming move with kids, both parents and their children may get emotional. Fortunately, parents and children can work together to support one another and ensure all family members can reap the benefits of a successful transition to a new address.

Lastly, if you need extra help as you get ready to discuss an upcoming move with your kids, you can always consult with a real estate agent. In addition to helping you navigate the homebuying or home selling process, a real estate agent can provide honest, unbiased recommendations about the best ways to inform your children about your decision to buy or sell a residence.

Use the aforementioned tips, and you can take the guesswork out of telling your kids about your upcoming move.




Tags: moving tips   kids  
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Posted by Ben Esposito on 12/15/2019

Selling a home should be a fast, easy process. However, challenges may arise that prevent you from quickly selling your house and maximizing your property sale earnings. And if you fail to plan ahead for the home selling journey, these challenges may get the best of you.

Ultimately, there are several things you need to know before you list your residence, such as:

1. The housing market fluctuates constantly.

The housing market in your city or town may change frequently. Fortunately, if you allocate time and resources to analyze the local housing sector, you can determine if a buyer's or seller's market is currently in place and prepare accordingly.

In a buyer's market, there may be an abundance of quality houses that sell within weeks or months of their initial listing dates. Comparatively, in a seller's market, there may be a shortage of first-rate residences, and the best houses generally will sell shortly after they are listed.

To determine if a buyer's or seller's market is in effect, you should find out how quickly houses are selling in your city or town. You also should assess how your house stacks up against comparable residences that are currently available. With this housing market data in hand, you may be better equipped than ever before to succeed during the home selling journey, regardless of the current real estate sector's conditions.

2. Your home's curb appeal may have far-flung effects on your property selling experience.

How your home looks to buyers may dictate your house selling success. For instance, if your residence boasts amazing curb appeal, it may generate lots of interest from prospective buyers. On the other hand, if your house fails to impress buyers when they see it for the first time, your residence may linger on the real estate market for an extended period of time.

For a home seller, it often is beneficial to upgrade a residence's curb appeal. Because if you mow the lawn, trim the hedges and perform other home exterior upgrades, you could differentiate your residence from other available houses. As such, you could stir up significant interest in your home.

3. Working with a real estate agent may help you speed up the house selling journey.

A real estate agent is crucial for a home seller, as this housing market professional can offer expert insights into the property selling journey. If you need help establishing a competitive initial asking price for your residence, for example, a real estate agent is ready to assist you. Or, if you want to sell your home as quickly as possible, a real estate agent can help you do just that.

As you get set to list your residence, you should plan ahead. If you start preparing for the house selling journey today, you could enter the real estate market as a property selling expert. As a result, you could reap the benefits of a quick, profitable house selling experience.




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