Caroline Bianchi - RE/MAX Acclaim



Posted by Caroline Bianchi on 3/23/2018

The American home is rapidly changing. New technologies like rooftop solar and smart home security systems are quickly becoming the norm in neighborhoods across the country.

If you’re thinking of taking on some new home improvement projects, it’s a good idea to be forward-thinking and choose projects that will be sought after into the future.

In this article, we’ll talk about some trending home improvements you can make that will help bring your home into the future.

Automation

Smart home technologies make life easier, and they’re not going out of style anytime soon. Being able to lock and unlock doors, adjust the temperature, and turn off lights all from an app on your phone has never been easier. If you plan on selling your home in the coming years, having these perks could be a selling point for potential buyers.

Green energy

When it comes to energy prices, you can count on them continuing to rise. As a result, many homeowners have installed money-saving features like rooftop solar, connecting to off-site green energy grids (such as solar or wind), and utilizing less expensive heating alternatives like pellet stoves.

Energy-efficient appliances are another up-and-coming trend that buyers are likely to be looking for. They tend to come with the latest technologies and styles, but also save money in the process.

You don’t have to take on a big project to make your home greener. You can also perform small tasks like replacing all of your light bulbs with newer, energy-efficient bulbs.

These projects will attract two types of buyers: those who are environmentally-minded, and those who are looking to save on utilities.

In-duct purifiers

As people become more concerned with the effects of pollution on the human body, many homeowners will see air purifiers as a necessity. An in-duct purifier requires little maintenance and improves air quality throughout your entire house.

Temperature-controlled shower head

You would think that in this time of amazing scientific and technological advancements that we would be able to get into the shower without fiddling with the controls for ten minutes. With a temperature controlled, digital display shower head, you can set the temperature and let the faucet do the work for you.

This one will save you time in the shower, help you avoid getting scorched, and will pique the interest of potential future buyers.

Materials that last

Home advancements haven’t just been made in the area of electronics. New building materials have made some objects last much longer than they did just a few years ago.

New roofing materials have exponentially increased the lifespan of roofs. New metal roofs can be made to look like traditional shingled or tiled roofs. Similarly, there are currently roofs being developed that have hidden solar panels built-in. Those too will be available in different traditional styles.

Aside from roofs, siding and decks are also being made with materials that last much longer than was previously possible. Having a durable house is something that any potential homebuyer would want to see.





Posted by Caroline Bianchi on 8/18/2017

If you're planning on selling your home in the coming years, now is the perfect time to start making home improvements that will increase the value and demand of your home once it's on the market. Increasing the market value of your home, however, isn't just a matter of replacing old appliances or dressing up rooms to look more luxurious. Follow these five expert tips on how to increase your home value without wasting time or money on projects that won't pay off.

Paint everything

One basic improvement that will almost always pay off is a fresh coat of paint in each room of your home. It isn't a very costly improvement, and it can both clean up and modernize rooms that are in need of an update. Remember that your walls make up the majority of what buyers see when they walk through your home. The wall paint makes up the big picture that all of the small details of your home fit in, therefore your paint colors should be chosen to fit the style of the home and the time that we live in. Avoid colors that are too dark or too blindingly white. If you're at a loss for which colors you want to use, try out a free color palette creator online to experiment with different schemes.

Door replacement

As a new home buyer approaches your home for the first time their eyes are going to be locked on the door. Take advantage of good first impressions with a quality door. One that compliments the exterior color of your home will do wonders to improve the overall appearance of your home. Aside from their aesthetic value, doors also provide insulation and security. Choose a door that is EnergyStar certified to keep the heat in, but also make sure it has top rate locking mechanisms so the next family to live in your home feels safe.

Increase storage space

Storage capacity is highly sought after in the house market. No one wants to drive to a storage container just to get their belongings. Having all of your property in one place makes things less complicated. Increasing storage space can seem difficult or impossible, but there are a few tricks that will help convince potential home buyers that they won't run out of room. Here are four of our favorites:
  • Install storage beds in the bedrooms
  • Buy a kitchen table with a storage cabinet
  • Put a bench in the mudroom that has storage inside
  • Install cabinets in your garage or shed to take advantage of unused vertical space

Kitchen and bathroom makeover

Two rooms in your home that will attract the most attention are the kitchen and bathroom(s). The kitchen has endless opportunity for upgrades. Installing a new sink, cabinets, and a hanging pot rack can all give your kitchen a modern makeover. In the bathroom, surface level upgrades like a new toilet seat and shower curtain and bathroom mirror go a long way. Upgrading an old bathtub, shower head, and toilet are also great ways to increase the value of the room. Keep in mind energy efficiency when purchasing any of these items. Know the neighborhood Determining which home improvements will most increase the value of your home is dependent on many factors, including the neighborhood you live in. It is possible to "over-improve" your home to the point where it looks too luxurious next to your neighbors' homes. Ask the experts--real estate agents and contractors--for advice about improving homes in your neighborhood.





Posted by Caroline Bianchi on 1/6/2017

Old New England homes are rich in history and character. The style of many modern houses in the region is heavily influenced by English colonial homes of the early 1700s. It was in colonial times when lead pigment was first used. By the 1920s lead paint usage was at its peak. The paint was strong, it covered a lot of surface area, and it made vibrant colors, all very appealing to home homeowners at the time. The health hazards of lead paint are many. Although, unlike other home hazards like fire or carbon monoxide, they reveal themselves slowly over many years, making them especially dangerous for children. According to WebMD, high levels of lead paint exposure can cause the following:

  • Damage to the brain and nervous system
  • Kidney damage
  • Behavior and learning problems, such as hyperactivity
  • Slowed growth
  • Poor muscle coordination
  • Hearing problems
  • Headaches
  • Bone marrow problems
Scary stuff, right? But don't panic... Here's what you need to know about detecting and eliminating lead paint in your home. If your house was built before 1978, there's a chance it has lead paint. It was in 1978 that the federal government banned the consumer use of lead paints. Since usage reached its peak in the 1920s, the older your house the higher the likelihood of it having lead paint. This puts old New England homes at greater risk. To test for lead paint you should seek out a licensed inspector. Most state websites have resources for locating an inspector near you (mass.gov for example). Inspection can cost anywhere from $150-$400 and will depend on the size of your home, rates in your area, and other factors. Once tested, you will be given options and a risk assessment and can then decide how you'd like to proceed. Some ill-advised homeowners take the situation into their own hands, scraping paint and mopping up the dust. This is exactly what NOT to do. Dispersing all of those lead particles into the air will contaminate your home and yard, seeping into the ground outside. Many people share anecdotal stories about removing lead paint themselves, insisting, "I did it myself and I'm still alive." It's important to remember, however, that those who are truly at risk are the children who will grow up in that house facing longterm exposure to lead. Young children are particularly vulnerable to lead poisoning for three reasons:
  1. Toddlers tend to put objects into their mouths such as paint chips or other objects that may have traces of lead. This causes a high level of lead absorption
  2. Children's bodies are developing rapidly and absorb lead faster than adults
  3. They can spend decades in a home, developing the symptoms listed above that can then become chronic, lifelong illnesses
To completely remove the lead from your home you'll need to seek out a lead abatement contractor. View the Lead Safe List for your area to find contractors and receive quotes. If you have attempted to remove lead yourself, or performed recent renovations that may have dispersed lead paint and are worried that your children may have been exposed you should bring them to their pediatrician. Testing for high levels of lead can be detected by a simple blood test.