Daryl Lippman - William Raveis Real Estate and Home Services - Wellesley MA



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Condominiums can be an excellent option for first-time homebuyers. With lower upfront costs and great perks, a condo can definitely outshine a traditional detached home in many respects. However, even for new buyers a condo might not be the best choice. Here we will go over the main pros & cons of purchasing a condo as a new buyer.

Pros

No Yardwork - Condo buildings or communities always have a homeowners’ association that manages the day-to-day administration and care of the property. The homeowners’ association handles all the maintenance and upkeep of public spaces and utilities like parking, walkways, fencing and landscaping. Some condos have beautifully manicured gardens, lawns or other outdoor features and the residents don’t have to lift a finger to maintain it. If you’re somebody who’s dreamed of home ownership but dreaded the idea of taking care of your own yard, a condo can be a very convenient option.

Built-In Amenities - Living in a condo typically grants you access to several amenities and services provided only to residents. These amenities can include spas, fitness centers, swimming pools, sports courts and shared event space where you can host large groups. While you’ll have to pay a fee in order to access and help management maintain these facilities, you’ll have access to them at your convenience. If you’ve been trying to fit regular exercise into a busy schedule or want to play a sport with your family or roommates, this is a huge quality of life bonus over a detached single family home.

Cons

No Yard - The benefit of perfectly cared for landscaping comes the disadvantage of not having your own yard. Many condos have outdoor spaces, but those spaces are usually covered balconies or patios. Even condo units on the ground level of larger communities rarely have their own land to work with, which can be a real downside for people who like to garden. In a condo you won’t have as much room to work with for things like growing flowers, veggies or trees. Also, because of homeowner association rules, even if you have any gardening space, it will probably be subject to regulation. If you want a yard all to yourself and the freedom to care for it on your own, a condo might not be the best choice.

No Exterior Design Control - While you have the freedom to customize the inside of your condo, you can’t do anything to the outside of the building. This means no major renovations, repainting, changing windows or other customizations that would affect the exterior of your home. If you want to have freedom to change your home’s outside appearance or if you want a specific architectural design, a condo will unfortunately not fulfill this need.

Every condo community is different, so it’s important to weigh your options with those details in mind. A condo might be the perfect choice for a brand new homebuyer but not a good fit for others. Take some time to consider your priorities and preferences and you’ll figure out the best choice for your situation.


A home bar is one thing that most adults should have in their homes. Even if you’re not a drinker yourself, you should have something on hand to offer guests when they come over for an evening of food and conversation. You’ll need the right setup, the right tools, and the right recipes handy to have the perfect home bar. Whether you have a bar already or are looking to build your own, we have all the tips that you’ll need as a rookie bartender.  


The Essentials


You’ll need quite a few essentials in your home bar including but not limited to:


  • Glasses
  • Bitters
  • Bar tools
  • Recipe books
  • Spirits
  • Mixers
  • Garnishes

Find The Right Surface To Transform Into A Bar


You can easily transform any table, sideboard, or cart into a bar. If the vessel that you’re using has a drawer, that’s even better. You can keep all of your bottles, glasses, decanters, and openers in one convenient place. It’s not bad if you can’t fit all of your supplies in one place. Less used items can be stored in the pantry. 


You can even use a simple bookshelf to store all of your bar supplies. Transform any bookcase from “boring bookshelf” to home bar in no time. You can arrange the shelving by category, giving each shelf a purpose. You can keep spirits on one shelf, glasses on another shelf, tools on another, and recipe books on another shelf. 


Does Your Home Have An Actual Bar Built-In?


Many homes actually have bars built in, but people rarely use them because they feel inexperienced in using the bar tools of the trade. Whether you have a full wet bar or a simpler dry bar, keep all of the essentials there. You’ll need:


  • Bar towel
  • Trash can
  •  Glasses
  • Decanter
  • Bar spoon
  • Strainer
  • Shaker
  • Access to ice
  • Juice
  • Sodas
  • Juicer
  • Limes
  • Lemons
  • Jigger
  • Simple Syrup
  • Old fashioned glass
  • Peeler
  • Mesh strainer

Location Of The Bar


If you’re setting up a brand new bar, there’s a variety of places that you can put the bar. If you have space in the kitchen, you can add it to a corner right there. Other great places for your bar could be a den or a man cave. Wherever you’ll spend time hanging out with company is a good place to keep your bar. If you have children, you might even consider getting a locking cabinet system for your liquor. You don’t want little hands getting into what they’re not supposed to.  


Setting up your own home bar is something to be proud of. It will be quite the conversation piece when guests come over. You’ll be able to discuss your collection of liquors and see if friends have any recommendations as to what you might add to your selection of liquors. A home bar is an entertaining essential.



Image by Zandria Ross from Pixabay

There are many benefits of keeping houseplants in your bedroom. Improved sleep, cleaner air and aesthetic appeal are just a few reasons many swear by bedroom greenery. However, if your bedroom doesn’t get a lot of sunlight during the day, you might feel like this option won’t work for you. Luckily there are many indoor plants that thrive in the shade, allowing you to keep your space as dark and restful as you want, no matter where your windows are.

Here are some of the best houseplant options for low-light bedrooms:

Spider Plant

Spider plants frequently top the lists of “hard to kill” houseplants and one reason why is that they require little light. Spider plants are great for hanging baskets or pedestals because of their long curly leaves. They also produce “babies” from long stems that hang off of the main plant, which adds even more volume and visual interest for your bedroom aesthetic. As a bonus, it’s non-toxic to pets, but should still be kept away from curious cats who might want to play with or chew on the dangling leaves.

Calathea

A colorful and low-maintenance option for a dark bedroom is the bushy calathea. These plants have large multi-colored leaves and can grow up to 3 feet tall even with very little light. They grow slowly, but you can often find mature plants available for purchase if you want to start big. They look great on tables or shelves and are totally pet-safe.

ZZ Plant

ZZ plants are favorite choices for office buildings and commercial spaces because they can live happily under fluorescent lights. ZZs are also great if you want something easy to care for, as they tolerate sporadic watering with ease. The ZZ plant’s leaves are a deep, glossy green and would make a great addition to a low-light bedroom. However, they are unfortunately toxic to both animals and humans, so be careful if you have pets or small children.

Money Tree

Money trees are an excellent choice if you want a larger tree-like plant for your bedroom. They thrive in medium indirect light, but also do well under fluorescents if your room is lacking in sunshine. They have slender, braided trunks and bright green leaves. Money trees are considered good luck by many, but will look beautiful in your bedroom no matter what. Money trees are pet-safe, but require some pruning if you want to keep them a certain size.

Bromeliads

Bromeliads are tropical plants which might make them an unexpected recommendation for a low-light bedroom. However, these plants thrive in the shade and can even live happily under fluorescent light alone. The key to a healthy bromeliad is humidity, however, so misting regularly is key. If you’d rather not keep a humidifier in the bedroom, this plant might do better in a bathroom where it can enjoy the ambient moisture and steam regardless of light. No matter where you put it, you can rest easy knowing bromeliads are completely pet-safe.

These are just a few houseplant options you can keep in bedrooms without a lot of light. Research the different water and humidity requirements and toxicity to insure it’s the best choice for your living space.



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If you are just beginning your own crafting adventure, then you will want to stock your craft closet with a few basic supplies. When you have the right tools and instruments at your disposal, you can easily take on any craft project that inspires you.

These are the craft supplies that any beginner should have:

Several Pairs of Scissors

Scissors are the one tool that you need for almost any type of craft project. While you are likely to have at least one pair of scissors lying around the house somewhere, it's important to remember that the basic pair of scissors that you have in your kitchen may not cut it for some of those intricate projects you want to do. It is best to purchase at least several pairs of crafting scissors in different sizes. Larger scissors are often best for larger projects while smaller scissors are ideal for crafts that require delicate cuts.

Paint Brushes of Various Sizes and Styles

Painting is a medium that is used in many crafts from woodworking and miniatures to sculpture and canvas creations. If you plan to become a serious crafter, then you are going to need a lot of paint brushes. Different paint brushes will accomplish different techniques, so it's important to purchase brushes of various sizes and styles. With a solid paint brush supply on hand, you can feel confident knowing that you will be ready to begin any craft that inspires you.

The 3 P's: Pens, Pencils and Paints

Coloring is one of the most basic crafting concepts, and you will want to have all types of coloring supplies available so that you can bring your beautiful creations to life. Colored pens and pencils are perfect for drawing, calligraphy and scrapbooking. Paints can be used most obviously for painting but also for ceramics, pottery and more. In addition to buying your favorite colors and shades you also will want to consider vibrant, pastel and primary hues, as this allows you to shade as needed and add depth when possible to any project.

Cardstock of All Colors

As you begin to stock your beginner craft supply closet, you will want to start picking up cardstock of all sizes and colors. You will find that you have use for sturdy and thick cardstock as well as lightweight cardstock that can easily be folded or bent as needed for particular projects. When you have a stockpile of cardstock at your disposal you never have to worry about having the right piece of paper for the next step in your project.

Bottles and Sticks of Glue

Glue quite literally holds most crafts together, and you will be surprised by the various types of glue that can be found down any crafting aisle at the store. Some of the most common types of glue that you will want to have on hand include all-purpose glue, tacky glue, felt glue and glue sticks for hot glue guns.

These basic supplies will help you get started with nearly any type of crafting project. If you are an adult who is looking to get into the crafting craze then it will be worth it to invest in these products and utensils.


New technologies are constantly being produced that are designed to make our lives easier. Technology around the home is no different.

America recently underwent a boom in residential solar power, a trend that doesn’t look like it will be slowing down anytime soon. And, big tech companies like Google and Amazon are trying to nudge their way into the smart home technology sector with devices like the Amazon Echo and Google Home.

Many of these tools and technologies are great for convenience around the house. Amazon Dash buttons let you reorder common household goods like paper towels and laundry detergent with the touch of a button in your pantry when you run low.

However, some forward-thinking homeowners are looking towards home improvements that can increase the resale value of their home by making it more desirable to potential buyers.

In today’s post, we’re talking about the latest tech that homeowners are buying to give their home an edge over the competitors in the real estate market.

Read on to find out which technologies can make a difference and which ones will soon be obsolete.

Smart home technology

Our phones have gradually become all-encompassing devices that help us organize our lives, and smart home tech companies hope to do the same thing with your home.

There is no shortage of competition for access to your home in the form of remotely controlled lighting, sprinklers, HVAC, and more.

And, while some state of the art systems might attract potential buyers, it’s important to remember that smart home tech is a fledgling industry.

That means that the tech is constantly evolving and might not be relevant or useful to potential buyers when it comes time to sell your home. (It would be like trying to sell an iPhone that is 4 generations too old for anyone to want it anymore.)

Home security

While home security technology is still rapidly changing, there is a benefit to having a system installed that can help woo potential buyers who are concerned about the safety of their family.

Aside from safety, this tech can also be just plain convenient and time-saving. Smart door locks can sync with your smartphone to unlock when you arrive at your home and lock when you leave, shaving a few seconds off of your daily routine.

Solar panels

One benefit of installing solar panels on your roof is that you can then show potential buyers physical evidence of the amount of money they can save each month on their utility bills.

However, it should be noted that there are some exciting new residential solar solutions coming to the market in the near future--one example being Tesla’s solar roof that looks almost exactly like a regular roof but generates electricity for your home.

So, when considering new technology for your home to boost its resale value on the market, remember that technologies are still changing. Keep your timeline for sale in mind, and try to avoid tech that will be obsolete before you plan on putting your home for sale.




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