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Mary Alice Ruppert
Licensed Associate Broker
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Date Archives: April 2020

Live, Love, Long Island Blog Home

Buy a home | 24 Posts
Homeownership | 25 Posts
Long Island, NY | 55 Posts
Nassau County | 1 Posts
Relocating | 1 Posts
Sell a home | 18 Posts
Uncategorized | 1 Posts

Sellers: Which Landscaping Trends to Try—And What to Skip

Landscaping Trends - Coach Realtors

Now is a great time to start planning your landscaping projects. As you ponder the plethora of options you can add to your landscape, the following are some that our REALTORS®  recommend and some that you should leave for someone else's lawn. 

Trends to Follow

  • Trend #1 - Kept It Low-Maintenance
    21st-century life is moving faster and faster. With more to do, that means less time to take care of the landscape. If there's one overarching trend, low-maintenance is the bedrock you want to build your landscape upon. Think simple, classy, and minimal maintenance with your decorative elements, plants, grass, etc.

  • Trend #2 - What Was Inside, Is Now Outside, too
    Outdoor living areas are growing in popularity. Outdoor sitting areas complete with fully automated surround sound audio and video systems are ideal for entertaining. Better still, upgrade the backyard grill to a backyard kitchen outfitted with refrigerators, sinks, cutting tables, and everything you need to host a backyard bash that will have the neighbors begging for an invite. 

  • Trend #3 - Lay Porcelain Tile
    Concrete, wood, and other outdoor building elements tend to suffer the effects of weather as time passes. Porcelain flooring does not. It is resilient and designed to last. Most importantly, it won't absorb moisture (thus, it won't expand and crack), plus it's highly resistant to scratches and damage, so it will look new for many years to come.

  • Trend #4 - Light It Up
    Homeowners want to enjoy their landscape long after the sun goes down for the day. The right combination of downlight, bullet, garden, well, and wash light can create a stunning ambiance for you to enjoy. When you get the mix just right, you'll see just how fast the lights attract interested buyers to your door. 

  • Trend #5 - Xeriscaping is Still in Vogue
    Xeriscaping is geared toward creating the most eco-friendly landscape possible. Its primary purpose is to minimize water consumption. As a bonus, it also reduces maintenance. While there's typically plenty of moisture in New York, it never hurts to shave a few more dollars off the water bill.

  • Trend #6 - Climb the Walls with Your Garden
    Vertical gardening is ideal for small landscapes where space is at a premium. However, it's also popular in larger landscapes because it frees up space for more substantial patios, outdoor seating areas, swimming pools, etc. A well-positioned vertical garden can also create privacy or be used to create an aromatic backdrop when filled with herbs and spices. 

Things to Skip

  • #1 - Don't Make It Too Eclectic
    Ornate designs look great in photographs, but not so much in real-life. When in doubt, opt for simple elegance rather than a creative pattern that may not match the home.

  • #2 - Don't Mismatch the Front and Backyard
    What you have upfront for the neighbors to see, should match what you have in the back for your enjoyment. Make sure the front yard and backyard have a cohesive design and layout.

  • #3 - Planting Any Tree
    The right trees add value to a property; the wrong trees do just the opposite. Pick low-maintenance, hearty growth trees that do well in New York's climate as opposed to exotic species that may wither and die. 

Contact us for more information about the landscaping ideas we recommend to clients preparing to settle into their new home or preparing to sell their current home soon. It's our pleasure to answer your questions and tell you more about what we see in Nassau County and Suffolk County homes for sale. 


Prep Your Home for a Virtual Tour

Virtual Tour - Home Prep - Coach Realtors

In-person interactions and onsite tours are a huge part of the process of buying and selling homes. But in the era of the coronavirus, it's about staying home and taking preventative measures for decreasing the risk of the virus. It's not clear how long the social distancing mandates will stay in place, but so much like all interactions in this time, home selling and buying is moving online.

If you're selling your home this spring, you can rely on virtual tours to show the house to all of your potential buyers at once without them having to be physically present. Our REALTORS® have experience in staging virtual tours and can give you tips to get your home ready to create that oh-so-important first impression.

Virtual Tours for Real Estate

A virtual tour is an interactive tool that gives a 360° image of the interior and exterior of a building. It's created by stitching together a sequence of 360 photos to form a completely immersive visual experience for viewers. 

A virtual tour can also take place via a video chat app such as Google Duo, Zoom, or WhatsApp. In this scenario, the interested buyer requests a tour time online, and the agent uses the buyer's preferred app to show the home in real time.

Virtual Tour Preparedness Checklist

Keep in mind that a virtual tour will be similar to a live open house, but a camera can capture more than the eye can see. Make sure that the entire area is prepped ahead of the day you plan on recording the tour.


  • Spruce up your garden and lawn. Trim dead limbs and shrubbery around the home if necessary and remove empty planters
  • Mow the lawn and weed the garden. Make sure the entryway and driveway are free of clutter
  • Remove cars from the driveway and park them away from the property
  • Place trash cans, hockey nets, bikes, toys, boats, basketball poles, trailers, garden tools and supplies, and other distractions out of sight
  • Sweep walkways and pick up sticks, leaves, and branches
  • Make sure your yard and patio neat and straighten up any outdoor furniture and items
  • Clean pool area and remove all hoses

Living/Common Areas

  • Clean the rooms from top to bottom
  • Remove personal items, family photos, and religious artifacts
  • Open shades and blinds and make sure they are equally angled open
  • Move excess furniture out of rooms and re-arrange remaining furniture to make the room appear larger
  • Make sure the house is spotless by removing clutter, vacuuming the carpet, cleaning countertops, tidying up shelves, moping hard floors, and cleaning windows
  • Put away toys, pet bowls, beds, etc.


  • Clear off the kitchen counter
  • Stow small appliances and everyday items like toasters, kitchen utensils, soaps, cleaning items, dish towels, sponges, etc.
  • Empty the garbage can
  • Put away draining rack
  • Clear the sink of dishes
  • Store food in cabinets
  • Remove magnets and other items from the refrigerator door
  • Organize items on open shelves


  • Ensure the bathroom is clean- mirrors, floors, counters, toilet, and all surfaces
  • Ensure toilet seat is down
  • Remove floor mats
  • Remove all items from shower and tub
  • Clear counters of toiletries and store away essential items used daily
  • Hang fresh towels neatly


  • Make all beds
  • Keep end tables and all surfaces free of clutter
  • Arrange decorative pillows
  • Replace linens with modern, clean, crisp linens
  • Put away shoes and clothing

Putting in the extra effort to prepare and stage your house for a virtual tour will produce better images and hopefully create a faster sale. Consider working with the team at Coach Realtors to ensure that the tour shows off your home in its finest characteristics. Contact us to get started.


7 Deep Cleaning Chores You Never Have Time to Do

Deep Cleaning Tips - Coach Realtors

With everyone spending more time at home, we're all looking for productive ways to use our time. Many of our REALTORS® are using their extra time to tackle those deep cleaning chores that they never seem to have time to get to. Here are a few of their best tips.

  1. Freshen Up Your Bed
    You probably wash your sheets regularly, but when was the last time you cleaned your bed? Start by stripping off all the bedding and laundering it. This includes comforters, duvet covers, bed skirts, shams, and pillows.

    Using an extra spin cycle can help lower your drying times. Hang synthetic items outdoors and dry the rest in the dryer on low. Adding a few tennis balls to the dryer will help keep pillows from clumping. If thick comforters are too large for your home washing machine, you may need to make a trip to the laundromat.

    Next, spread a thin layer of baking soda over your mattress. Let it sit for about two hours, and then vacuum it off. This will help get rid of any odor-causing bacteria. Now is also a good time to flip the mattress. 
  1. Polish the Kitchen Cabinets
    Wipe the dust off any exposed cabinet tops first. Then, clean and polish your cabinet doors using wood cleaner (for wood cabinets) or warm water mixed with a drop of dish soap (for painted or laminate cabinets). Also clean the door pulls so they're grime-free and shiny. 
  1. Clean Ceiling Fans and AC Vents
    Your AC vents and ceiling fans collect an amazing amount of dust. Start by pulling off the vent covers and wash them in warm soapy water. Then, turn to your ceiling fans.

    A flexible static duster or specialized ceiling fan brush will make this job much easier. If you don't have one handy, use a pillowcase to remove the majority of the dust from each blade then finish cleaning them with a damp cloth. 
  1. Refresh Trash Cans and Cleaning Tools
    People rarely think about cleaning their trash cans and cleaning tools, but they're probably some of the dirtiest things in your home. Use a solution of bleach and warm water to clean and sanitize your trash cans, recycle bins, and wastebaskets.

    Also wash reusable mop heads in the washing machine. Soak non-removable ones in hot water and detergent for at least 15 minutes then hang them up to dry. Do the same with your brooms, dustpans, and scrub brushes. Throw away any used sponges and replace them with new ones.  
  1. Clean Windows and Window Treatments
    Clean your windows inside and out. Also clean the window sill and window tracks. Make sure to remove any gunk that has built up in the corners of the window frames.

    Take down any drapes and wash them or put them in the dryer for a few minutes to fluff them up. Wipe down the rods and rings and then hang them back up. Save yourself the hassle of taking down blinds. Instead, simply vacuum them with a brush attachment. If they're very dirty, wipe them down with a vinegar and water solution. 
  1. Deep Clean Your Kitchen Appliances
    Wipe down the fridge, stove, microwave, and dishwasher from top to bottom. Remove everything from the fridge and defrost the freezer. Use the vacuum to clean out the refrigerator coils and vent.  
  1. Clean the Floors and Floorboards
    Lastly, clean all of your floors and dust the floorboards. Start by vacuuming the floorboards to remove dust, then wipe them down with a solution of warm water, dish soap, and vinegar. When it's time to clean your floors, take the time to learn the best cleaning methods for each flooring type. You may also want to consider having your carpets and area rugs professionally cleaned. 

Were you thinking about buying or selling a home this year? There's no need to wait! We're using online resources and virtual tours to help our clients meet their real estate goals. Contact us today to learn more!


Long Island: Pay a Virtual Visit to These Libraries

Online Library Resources - Long Island - Coach Realtors

With businesses and public facilities shut down all across the state, many people are looking for new ways to entertain themselves from home. Thanks to the incredible online resources offered by our local libraries, we all have plenty of options!

All of the libraries around Nassau and Suffolk counties are currently allowing residents to apply for a digital library card so you can access their digital materials from your home even if you're not already a member. Take a look at some of the other special services that are currently available.

  • Floral Park Public Library: 17 Caroline Place Floral Park, NY 11001
    The Floral Park Public Library, near these Floral Park homes for sale, has an impressive catalog of digital books and materials available to anyone who has a library card. While you're on the library's website, make sure to scroll through the home page where you'll find links to all kinds of digital resources. This includes a link to the Teen BookCloud website designed especially for teens in grades 7 through 12, a  "Kidz Bop Dance-Along Video," and more. Follow their Facebook page where you'll find online storytimes, virtual Family Trivia Night and more! 
  • Garden City Public Library: 60 7th St. Garden City, NY 11530
    Located not far from some of the best Garden City homes for sale, the Garden City Public Library has a great selection of ebooks, audiobooks, digital magazines, and resources like live tutoring, test prep, and language courses. The library also hopes to launch more links to virtual programming in the coming days. Keep an eye on their website and Facebook page so you can stay on top of their latest announcements. 
  • Rockville Centre Public Library: 221 N. Village Ave. Rockville Centre, NY 11570
    If you've been thinking about moving into one of the beautiful Rockville Centre homes for sale, you'll want to familiarize yourself with the Rockville Centre Public Library. Browse their collection of ebooks, audiobooks, streaming video, digital magazines, and resources including live tutoring. They're also offering a variety of virtual programs including children's Storytime Circle, "Music for Aardvarks," and a Mother/Daughter Book Discussion that's appropriate for fifth through seventh graders. Follow their Facebook page for more information and updates.  
  • Port Washington Public Library: 1 Library Drive, Port Washington, NY 11050
    Port Washington Public Library has many options for digital downloads and streaming, including music, video, and comic books. Through their website, you can also access online courses, learn languages, download interactive animated talking storybooks for kids, and more! This great library is just one of the reasons why Port Washington homes for sale are so popular. Check out their list of upcoming events like virtual storytime, family yoga, book clubs, and more. You can keep up with all of their events and updates by following their Facebook page.  
  • Huntington Public Library: 338 Main St. Huntington, NY 11743
    Once you apply for your temporary library card, you'll have access to all of Huntington Public Library's ebooks, digital magazines, streaming movies and music, and more. You can also access right through the library's website. Children will enjoy the huge array of educational resources, including Brainfuse, Sesame Street ebooks, National Geographic Kids, and more! When the library opens back up, we suggest stopping in and taking a look around. It's near some best Huntington homes for sale, so it will be easy to visit when you're in the area. 

Times have certainly changed, but at Coach Realtors, we're still helping people buy and sell their homes! We're offering virtual open houses and making other accommodations to maintain safe social distancing during the entire process. Don't put your dreams on hold! Contact us today to discuss your goals and get started. 

Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. All properties are subject to prior sale, change or withdrawal. Neither listing broker(s) or information provider(s) shall be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, misprints and shall be held totally harmless. Listing(s) information is provided for consumers personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Information on this site was last updated 05/18/2022. The listing information on this page last changed on 05/18/2022. The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange program of OneKey MLS (last updated Wed 05/18/2022 6:25:36 PM EST). Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Coach Realtors may be marked with the Internet Data Exchange logo and detailed information about those properties will include the name of the listing broker(s) when required by the MLS. All rights reserved. --

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