Home Renovation Tips

351marbledalerd-29Here are a couple of things to look out for when you are renovating your home, whether it be to obtain maximum value on the re-sale or for your own enjoyment.


The Lowest Bidder is not always the best, or worst: When selecting a contractor you want to get a few references within your sphere of influence and have each of them give an estimate of the work needed. Remember, the lowest bidder is not always the way to go, you do not want contractors who are using cheaper materials renovating your home, there is something to be said for paying a premium on better quality work and materials to put into your brand new kitchen and or bathroom.


Think it through: You have to understand that if you would like to completely renovate an entire portion of your home, or add an addition, you have to think over the many factors that come with this project. For instance, when renovating your kitchen, you have to consider that changing the countertop to granite countertops, getting brand new custom cabinetry, and stainless steel appliances are not the only elements to the project, there are potential plumbing issues that will arise if you need to add a new fixture, how will this new kitchen match up with your current flooring? should you change the flooring as well? how will this new kitchen match up with your current paint job and our wallpaper and or molding. You really need to think of the big picture and understand that there may be more to it then just changing the countertop.


Measurements: Make sure that all measurements are taken well and that all fixtures are reflective of adequate space as to where they are going to be placed, nothing is worse then having to return your new refrigerator or stainless steel stove.


Timing: you want to time your renovation when the financially it makes the most sense and also when you have enough spare time, summertime is always a good time for parents, the holidays can be a hectic time therefore many people choose not to do major projects over the holidays.


Paint: Make sure you choose the right paint to reflect what the room’s energy should be. semigloss paint has more of a flat look for smaller rooms, while the high gloss may give a more grand and open feeling for the rooms that deserve the most attention. Neutral colors are always a safe way to go.

The little things: Some people lose sight of the things that they do not see often that may be important to the life and comfort of the home such as the insulation, the electrical system, or the windows. These things are often ignored, and although they are not at the top of the list, they should be budgeted correctly, as having an adequate heating/cooling system, proper insulation, and updated electrical wiring is important to the life of the home and will save you time and money if cared for.






Tips for First Time Homebuyers

Here are some common obstacles that first time homebuyers face and some questions they may want to answer themselves before house hunting:


What property type best suits my needs?

Every buyer has different needs, some commuters who use the metro-north to leave Crestwood station to Grand Central aren’t concerned about parking, while parking for others is of absolute necessity.


Do I want a home that is move-in-ready or am I willing to look at fixer uppers?

Most first time homebuyers need to see a few homes before they answer this question and be honest with themselves about whether or not they are willing to do work to the home and invest the time. Many new home improvement shows on HGTV have people in the mindset that making total renovations to a home is an easy task, but are you really up for the challenge?


What are your financing options and/or budget?

If your loan officer tells you that they can pre-approve you up to 500,000, ask yourself if you really want to spend the max amount that you can afford. If you can find a home that is 400,000 that is discounted because it needs some work done, is that something you are willing to take on?

Choose the right agent.

Real Estate agents are hyperlocal business people, meaning you want to find one that specializes in the neighborhood you are shopping in, if there is any issue with the area you are searching in such as flooding or high levels of radon, an truly knowledgeable agent will be able to tell you the in’s and out’s of the neighborhood, both negative and positive. An agent can also help you determine the value of the home and make sure you are not overpaying for it. Be careful of choosing the listing agent of the property you are interested in, the listing agent is contractually obligated to represent the seller and cannot always work in your best interest.


What are the things that you must have in your new home?

Do you need to be close to the metro north? Do you need a finished basement and a two car garage? Do you need an oversized yard? If you find yourself not finding the things that are necessity in your new home you may want to consider either looking at homes that are priced higher that do have these amenities or figuring out which of these amenities is most important and that you can live without.


Preparing Your Home For Sale

One of the most common questions I am asked by sellers is “what do I do to get my home ready to go on the market”?

There are a couple of factors that will effect my answer to this question, the first being, what is your budget?

The second factor is, will the current market conditions in your neighborhood warrant a good return on your money?

Taking those two line items into account is important information before putting any money into the home, many people say to themselves “well, a buyer will just come in and change everything around anyway”, while that may be true, there is also a psychological influence on the buyer that helps them make a buying decision when the house has undergone at least some basic modifications and/or renovations.

In our current market in the Town of Eastchester, in which there is high demand for move-in ready homes, it does make complete sense to prepare your home for sale and invest into your home.

Although there are basic guidelines we provide to sellers in getting the home ready and they are as follows:

  1. De-Clutter- Our professional in house stager John Mendes with Ready-Set-Done based in Mamaroneck states that “if its smaller than a basketball, it should be put away as though your ready to move”, this includes small items such as family photo’s, book’s, magnets on the refrigerator and other small knick-knacks should be stored away. This will allow a purchaser to envision themselves living in your home.
  2. Deep Clean- Thoroughly clean all vent’s, electrical outlets, baseboard, molding, wall scuff’s and the WINDOWS, you really want to make sure that the windows are clean and you allow light to come into the home.
  3. Curb Appeal- The first impression of the home is no doubt important, so you may want to get the landscaper over to your home to neatly trim your front yard or hedges, plant some florals and put some arrangements by the front door, and paint the front door with a neutral tone high gloss.
  4. Remove Odors- You may not even be aware of the smoke smells or pet odors in your home, though guests will be. Its important to get a neutral odor eliminator that is not too dominant in your home, smells can really turn off buyers!
  5. Paint- Paint, paint, paint. A fresh coat of paint can really make a home look more updated, be careful and use neutral tones and nothing too vibrant that may turn off buyers.

As stated before, if your wondering whether or not to renovate your kitchen and or/ bathroom’s, that’s more of a question that reflects upon your market conditions and is location specific. If yours looking for a professional stager, John Mendes can be reached at 914-588-1429 or for a free consultation you can reach out to the Francis Morris Real Estate Group at 914-500-9194.

Team Transform Fitness Transforms Tuckahoe

If you notice people running around Columbus avenue in Tuckahoe with dumbbells or medicine balls there is a good chance it is team members at Transform Fitness, a popular new gym that has some really interesting and out-of-the-form techniques that have people flocking to the gym.

You have a good amount of options at Transform, if you’d like to use as your average gym you can do so and come and hit the treadmill and lift some weights. If not, you can get a full body workout in at 545 in the morning or later in the evening. You also have the option to take their yoga classes on Tuesday’s which I’m a big fan of.

Now about the workout, I had Frankie as a trainer in both the classes I took in the evening, and I was a bit apprehensive because I am typically a person whom just goes to the gym and does my own thing, but I wanted to see what the rave was about taking classes at Transform, so I reluctantly followed my girlfriend their to take a class.

I loved it, I think there is something that takes place when you exercise as a group that allows you me to hit limits that I personally would not have if I were not competing against those around me and inspired by the group energy.

Definitely recommend this place, one for the energy in the gym and secondly for the fair pricing. Definitely think Transform Fitness has come to town to stay.



Eastchester Historical Society and the “Hauntings on The Hudson an Investigative Journey”

The Eastchester Historical Society had an get together on Friday October 14th, the occasion?


Vincent Daquino was the special guest whom told the story of “Hauntings of the Hudson River Valley, an Investigative Journey”, based on a book he wrote. This took place down at the Marble Schoolhouse at 388 California Road in Eastchester.


Vincent Daquino is a local Westchester Resident and former teacher in the Pelham School District who has authored children’s books such as Kiss the Candy Days Good-Bye.


To learn more about local events in the town of Eastchester, go to



Westchester County 3rd Quarter Housing report 2016


The rental market in Westchester County has climbed as rents become more and more inflated each quarter. The job market has become more healthy as unemployment is low, and the average median income has increased nation-wide.


Due to these market conditions, the demand for housing has become very strong throughout Westchester County, especially in neighborhoods directly outside of the city such as Eastchester, Tuckahoe, Bronxville, Pelham, Scarsdale, New Rochelle, and White Plains. There are a couple of market indicators that have caused this strong demand for housing, whether young millennials are looking for move in ready homes or some families are down sizing.

The single family median sales priced decreased in Westchester County by 1.2 percent to 668,500, a decline in the median price I typical during the third quarter because their are typically a larger amount of pending home sales ready to close for year end.

Overall, a pent up demand and low interest rates for homebuyers are most likely going to continue the trend of home prices increasing year over year throughout the county.


For the full report, please click below:



Courtesy of HGMLS.village-of-bronxville-4-of-4




St. Padre Pio Festival Tuckahoe

tuckahoe-1-of-3The end of September Padre Pio festival had some special guests at the live concert at Depot Square featured Taylor Dane.

The event was kicked off by the Knights of Columbus John Keogh Council carrying the statue of Padre Pio into Depot Square accompanied by local politicians such as Fred Salanitro, and local clergy such as Father Anthony Sorji.

The event is takes place annually in the Town of Eastchester.



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