Sign up to get new listings emailed daily! JOIN SIGN IN
Mary Alice Ruppert
REALTOR®, ABR, AHWD, CRB, ePro, GRI, SFR
Licensed Associate Broker
Facebook Icon Twitter Icon LinkedIn Icon YouTube Icon Pinterest Icon Instagram Icon Yelp Icon Blog Icon Realtor.com Icon Zillow Icon 

Articles Tagged "For owners"

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
April
25

5 Tips for Finally Organizing Your Garage

Garage Organization - Homeowners - Coach Realtors

Spring is here, and that means it's time to break out the dust mops, clear away the cobwebs, and most importantly, get your garage organized. Of all the spring cleaning chores you will tackle, our REALTORS® know that cleaning the garage is one of the most challenging because it's typically the least organized space. Fortunately, with a little planning and a touch of elbow grease, you can use the following tips to finally get it organized!

  1. Make a Plan, Stan
    Start by determining where you want to put everything. Bicycles, gardening gear, sports equipment, tools, etc. should be well organized by category and zone. You will want to determine how much of each category you need space for, and determine the best way to maximize the use of your garage space by dedicating sufficient space for each required zone.

  2. Tackle it in Stages
    You don't have to do it all at once. Dividing it into stages can make the task less daunting. When we show Nassau County homes for sale we can always tell which homeowners took the time to clean out the garage in stages and do the job right. For example:
    ​​​​​​​
    • Clean out the clutter
    • Organize items into their appropriate categories.
    • Clean the freed spaces of dust, debris, cobwebs, etc.
    • Install storage systems (i.e. pegboard, shelving, cabinets, etc.)
    • Put things in their proper place

  3. Detach Yourself and Declutter
    Do you really need to keep it? Is it something you've used once and never again? Is it something you've never used and may never need? One of the biggest problems with garage cleanouts is that garages become a storage closet for all the things we think we'll need, and all the things our heartstrings won't let us let go of. The reality is that most of the things in your garage can go and you will never miss them. If it's old, damaged, broken, outdated, or a specialty item you are not likely to use again, then get rid of it. Sell it on eBay, put it on Craigslist, or simply donate it to Goodwill. 

  4. Invest in Quality Storage Solutions
    We show many Suffolk County homes for sale, and we can't stress enough just how important it is to invest in high-quality storage solutions. Not only do these look better during a showing, but they add real value to the home. Homebuyers love to see well-organized cabinets, shelves, pegboards, etc. It helps keep the space cleaner and more open, but more importantly, it shows that the homeowner cared about details and thus the rest of the home is also likely to be well taken care of. Organizing systems made of steel, wood, and other durable materials are well worth the investment in this regard.

  5. Don't Be Afraid to Look Up
    Overhead storage systems are fantastic inclusions during any garage organization project. They are ideal for holiday decor, seasonal sports equipment, and other items you rarely use. Installing ceiling systems can free up the rest of the garage and give you enough space for a workbench, additional car, etc. 

We're happy to give you more ideas on ways you can organize your garage this spring. Contact us and we will be happy to tell you about some of the features and systems we see installed in homes throughout the area. 

March
21

New Puppy? How to Get Your Home Ready

Prepare a Home for a Puppy - Coach Realtors

Getting a new puppy is exciting for everyone in the family, but it's also a big responsibility everyone needs to tackle. To celebrate National Puppy Day on March 23rd, let's talk about how to puppy-proof your house from your newest addition to the family! Here are a few tips from our REALTORS® for keeping your puppy safe and your home chaos-free.

  • Keep your trash secured. Trash is one of the number one puppy magnets in your house. Not only does it smell good (to your pup), but it's like a huge toy box full of things to explore and smell and eat! Trash cans that tuck away into drawers are popular in Nassau County homes for sale, but if you don't have one, you can invest in a heavy-duty trash can with a lid. Smaller trash cans with lids and foot pedals can also be purchased for bathrooms and bedrooms.

  • Tape up or cover up your cords. Cords are perfect for chewing, or at least so thinks a teething puppy! You can prevent your pup from a dangerous situation by making electrical cords inaccessible. While it's not possible to put most cords out of your puppy's reach, you can cover them with heavy-duty cord protectors or tape them to the baseboards.

  • Store drugs and chemicals out of reach. Unless you have small children (the two-legged variety) and still have child locks installed on the cupboard doors, your best bet for keeping your pup safe is to store medications and dangerous chemicals up high. Utilize upper cupboards and medicine cabinets, even if it's something you'd normally keep under the sink. Don't keep hazardous drugs and chemicals on top of countertops, even if that seems high enough to keep out of the puppy's reach, as bottles can get knocked over and roll onto the floor where the puppy would have access.

  • Keep things off the floor and out of reach. It's time to start training everyone in the house not to keep anything on the floor, as anything within the puppy's reach could quickly be carried off or chewed up. This includes shoes, laundry, and even kids' toys. Many Suffolk County homes for sale have plenty of cupboards and closet space for organizing things that shouldn't be on the floor, but be sure to discuss with your children how important it is to put things away properly after using them.

  • Use baby gates to limit movement. It's difficult to puppy-proof the entire house, but fortunately, you can utilize baby gates to keep the pup confined to a safe area when you're too busy or distracted to supervise. For instance, if the kids' bedrooms aren't puppy-proofed, a baby gate on the stairs can keep pup downstairs with you during the day. A puppy playpen is also great for keeping the pup on hard floor for easy cleanup or to keep him away from hazards elsewhere in the room.

  • Provide plenty of toys. Puppies have a legitimate need to chew as their adult teeth come in, so providing dedicated dog toys can protect your possessions from damage by giving your pup something he's allowed to chew. If you catch him chewing something he shouldn't be, firmly tell him "no," and then give him one of his own toys to chew on instead.

Like with raising kids, puppies need lots of space to burn off excess energy. Has your little family outgrown your current home? Contact us today to start searching for your (and your pup's) dream home.

March
7

Follow These Steps for a Beautiful Butterfly Garden

Creating a Butterfly Garden - Coach Realtors

Planting a butterfly garden has many rewards. Chief among them, of course, are visitations by these extravagantly beautiful fluttering insects that all of us, from children and upwards, delight in. But there's also the enjoyment you'll feel at creating an attractively landscaped garden with interesting plants and eye-catching colors and foliage.

Perhaps the biggest reward, however, is that you'll be helping butterflies in the area of Nassau county homes for sale and Suffolk County homes for sale by way of countering some of the hardships that are besetting these fascinating insects nationwide: principally, loss of habitat.

What to Plant in Your Butterfly Garden

Before launching your butterfly garden, visit some local nurseries and talk to a staff member knowledgeable in local butterflies and their needs. You might also go to a local public butterfly garden such as Floral Park Centennial Garden, where an expert can advise you on local plants for your garden.

When you visit a nursery, you'll see a wide variety of plants labeled "butterfly attractor" or "butterfly plant." Many of these plants, such as members of the Buddleia genus, are great butterfly-attracting plants. The problem with some of them is that they are non-native and have become invasive since being introduced to the United States. So if at all possible, concentrate on acquiring native plants. These are plants that butterflies from this region evolved with and find most nourishing.

Then, there's the matter of choosing pollen-bearing plants for energy and planting other species for caterpillar food. Flowers are, of course, the main source of nectar, which helps migratory butterflies such as monarchs make their way to warmer climates in the winter. But the flowering nectar plants will be different from the plants you plant for caterpillar food. The latter are plants that will attract the butterfly when seeking to lay eggs. Once the eggs hatch, the caterpillars eat the leaves, then turn into a chrysalis and, eventually, a butterfly. Both types of plants are recommended for creating a well-balanced butterfly garden.

Of course, the plants you choose will also depend on the conditions in your yard. Choose a sunny, open spot (dappled shade in part of the garden is OK) for best results. Among the plants you might try:

  • Sweet Pepperbush (also called Summersweet, or Clethra alnifolia)
  • Virginia Sweetspire (Itea virginica)
  • Buttonbush (Cephalanthis occidentalis)
  • New Jersey Tea (Ceanothus americanus)
  • Blazing Star (Liatris)
  • Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)
  • Giant Hyssop (Agastache)
  • Joe-Pye Weed (Eutrochium)
  • Milkweed (Asclepias)

A word about milkweed: there are several milkweed species, but it's best if you plant those native to our area. Milkweed is an important plant for migratory monarch butterflies in particular, whose decline has been partially attributed to destruction of milkweed in fields and due to development.

Some non-native plants that are butterfly attractors and do well in our area are alyssum, lantana, petunias, and zinnias.

You can plant such herbs as parsley and dill and fennel and sage for caterpillar food.

Vary your plantings, including annuals and perennials, as well as bushes, shrubs, and vines. Butterflies and caterpillars need protection from predators, such as birds. Yes, we love birds, but they do eat insects, so give your butterflies a break by planting your garden near a bush or tree where they can shelter. A shallow pan with damp gravel or rocks will be helpful to provide moisture and minerals. 

Need tips on what sells when improving your property? Our REALTORS® can help. Contact us today. 

February
21

Home Hacks: Who Knew Vinegar Could Do All This?

Cleaning with Vinegar - Home Maintenance - Coach Realtors

If you're ready to give your home a thorough cleaning, our REALTORS® suggest you start with a bottle of distilled white vinegar. It's an affordable, natural cleaner that easily cuts through grime, bacteria, and mildew, and it's perfectly safe to use on a variety of household surfaces throughout your home.

  • Make Your Kitchen Sparkle
    Your kitchen is a busy place. In addition to a buildup of grease, grime, and bacteria on appliances and surfaces, your kitchen may have lingering odors from your stove, refrigerator, dishwasher, disposal, and trash cans. Cleaning your dirty kitchen with white vinegar is easy and fast with these cleaning tips.
    • Stove and OvenVinegar's acidity cuts right through grease and grime. Mix ½ vinegar and ½ water in a spray bottle, spray your stovetop and the inside of your oven and let the mixture sit for 10 minutes, then remove with soapy water.

    • MicrowaveClean your microwave by placing ½ cup vinegar and ½ cup water in a glass bowl. Heat the liquid for 2-3 minutes until it boils, then wipe away food spatters.

    • RefrigeratorThrow out the toxic chemical cleaners around food. Use equal parts vinegar and water on a dampened cloth to clean your refrigerator shelves, racks, and crisper drawers.

    • Dishwasher Vinegar dissolves food debris and mineral deposits. Pour 1 cup of vinegar on the dishwasher floor (beneath the racks), then run the dishwasher through one cycle while empty.

    • DisposalPour vinegar onto a small scrub brush. Sprinkle baking soda on the brush and into the disposal, then scrub to remove built-up grime and stinky odors.

    • Trash CansBefore adding a new trash bag, spritz the can and lid with a vinegar and water mixture, then wipe clean. This routine will get rid of smelly trash can odors for good.

You can even clean stainless steel and enamel pots and pans with equal parts vinegar and water. Pour the mixture in, bring it to a boil, and old stains will disappear.

  • Disinfect Your Bathroom
    When cleaning your bathroom, full-strength vinegar or slightly diluted vinegar will eliminate bacteria around toilets, tub and shower drains, and fixtures.
    • ToiletsPour 1 cup vinegar in the bowl and let sit overnight. The next morning, sprinkle the toilet bowl with baking soda or Borax powder, scrub the bowl, then flush.

    • Tub and Shower DrainsTo kill bacteria, pour ½ cup distilled white vinegar down the drain and let sit for several hours. Pour hot water down the drain and clean the area with soapy water.

    • Showerheads and FaucetsIf you have sediment buildup on showerheads and faucets, pour white vinegar into a plastic bag, then secure the bag to showerheads and faucets with a twist-tie or rubber band. Ensure the vinegar covers the fixture opening and leave the bag on overnight.
  • Refresh Your Floors and Rugs
    Vinegar provides a natural, chemical-free solution that removes dirt, grime, and pet odors from floors and rugs.
    • Wood and Tile Floors – Add ½ cup vinegar to 1 gallon of water to clean wood, laminated, and ceramic tile floors. Vinegar should be avoided on natural stone floors and countertops due to high acidity, which will etch into the stone. 

    • Rugs and Carpets – To remove unpleasant pet odors from rugs and carpets, mix ½ cup vinegar to 1 gallon of water, spray the rug/carpet, then sprinkle it with baking soda. Let it dry overnight, then vacuum.

If you're looking for Nassau County homes for sale or Suffolk County homes for sale, contact us to help you find the perfect fit.

February
14

Don't Let Home Emergencies Take You by Surprise

Be Prepared for Home Emergencies - Coach Realtors

Owning a home means taking care of minor problems before they become major difficulties. When you buy a new home, however, getting to know everything about it can lead to a few surprises. Our REALTORS® offer the following tips to help you handle some of the more common emergencies you may find yourself dealing with.

  • Know Where Your Shut-off Valves
    When you find a home you like out of the many Nassau County homes for sale, one of the first things you will want to do is find shut-off valves. These will include the main shut-off valve for water, as well as the gas line if your home has one. If the home is all-electric, know where the fuse box is located. In many situations, especially with broken pipes, knowing where the main shut-off valve is the best way to stop the water so damage will be kept to a minimum.

  • Keep a List of Professional Technicians/Contractors Close at Hand
    Every agent has a list of professional technicians or contractors to repair the different features in your home. When you're thinking of buying one of these Suffolk County homes for sale, ask your agent for repair techs and contractors they recommend. Having a plumber, roofer, electrician, and an HVAC repairman on speed dial is the best way to get repairs underway before too much damage can be done.

  • Make Sure to Keep a Well-Stocked Tool Box
    Many people prefer not to work on the things in their homes. Some, however, love to tinker around and are quite capable of making small repairs on their own. Always have a fully stocked toolbox on hand with a hammer, mallet, screwdrivers, pliers, and any other useful tool you can think of. They will come in handy if you ever have to put something together or try to make a few quick repairs until a professional can make it out to your home.

  • Teach Your Family Safety First
    Whenever you move, the first thing you should do is talk to your family about safety. Discuss the best exit routes from various areas of the house and designate a safe space to meet outside your home. Have a list of phone numbers ready if they would ever have to call a technician or repairman. Always teach your family safety first.

  • Know When to Call for Help
    There are times when emergencies take place that are simply outside of our capabilities to fix. Know when to call for help. Usually, a quick glance will tell you whether or not you should even attempt the job. Calling in a repairman isn't admitting defeat. It's simply deferring the job to someone who has had more training.

When you are ready to find the house of your dreams, call the realty agency that will always put you and your family first. Contact us so we can get the process started!

January
31

Get Help in the Kitchen with These Small Appliances

Small Appliance Kitchen Updates - Coach Realtors

Who doesn't love gadgets? From the electric can opener to the microwave oven, we've been obsessed with small appliances for decades. With so many options to choose from, we can easily overwhelm the storage space in our kitchens. To maximize the space in cabinets and on counters, our REALTORS® suggest selecting appliances that do double duty. Here are their top picks:

  • Multicooker
    Hands down, this gem beats all the competition for versatility. Far from that sickly avocado-green crockpot that used to reside in the little cabinet above grandma's refrigerator, this appliance allows you to brown meat, cook quickly with pressure, slow-cook while you're at work, cook perfect rice, ferment cheeses and yogurt, and even hard-boil eggs. If the most sophisticated model is a little more expensive than a less adaptable version, consider the number of appliances it will replace. Be sure to retain the recipe book that will likely come in the package for ideas you may not even have considered.

  • Immersion blender
    Perfect for entertaining, this handy tool allows you to go from yuletide eggnog to summer margaritas without that bulky blender taking up counter space for the six months in between. It's perfect for quick healthy smoothies for breakfast on the go. Most regular blenders don't incorporate enough air to whip cream or beat egg whites. The immersion blender will make that process quick and easy with a fraction of the cleanup efforts. Add a simple attachment, and it will even chop herbs. It's happy hiding in a drawer instead of taking up the corner of the counter. You can even get a cordless model!

  • Toaster oven/air fryer combination
    You can make your toast for breakfast, heat up last night's pizza for lunch, and roast a chicken with vegetables all in this unique oven without heating up the house like a conventional oven. It's also much friendlier to your energy bill. It's perfect for cooking meals for one or two people and can serve as additional cooking space for large gatherings. You can enjoy air-fried foods in a fraction of the time and with a fraction of the calories. Healthier fried snacks? Who wouldn't appreciate that?

  • Indoor grill
    Imagine grilled meat and veggies on a cold New York Sunday afternoon. You might be too engrossed in that football game to appreciate the delicious grill marks on your panini, but you'll definitely taste the difference. Switch between a griddle for eggs and pancakes to a grill for greasy meats. From full breakfasts to steaks or pork chops for dinner, the indoor grill can handle it all, and without creating a pile of dirty pots and pans. Its relatively small size makes it easy to store.

  • Stand mixer
    Bulkier than some of our other options, the stand mixer can be excused for its size because it's such an important asset for anyone who bakes. A high-end model will have a generous array of attachments designed to process specific foods, from a dough hook for kneading heavy bread doughs to a wire whip meant for high air incorporation. Some models include pasta makers and meat grinders. An added bonus is that it will likely be available in a variety of colors to compliment the kitchen decor, letting it grace the countertop beautifully.

Whether you are considering one of the lovely Nassau County homes for sale or one of the Suffolk County homes for sale, these appliances will all be welcome additions to the perfect kitchen. Contact us when you're ready to find the perfect place to install these and other handy new devices. 

January
17

Homeowners: How to Store Holiday Decorations

Holiday Decoration Storage - Coach Realtors

Putting up your Christmas tree and lights was fun, but the fun stops, and stress kicks in when it's time to take them down. Storing holiday decorations can easily go from full-blown fun to frustrating. However, Our REALTORS® have compiled five simple and practical tips to help you correctly store your holiday decorations.

  • Buy an Ornament Chest for Your Christmas Ornaments
    An ornament chest is the best way to store your Christmas tree decorations and ornaments since it contains several layers that allow you to categorize each item. These layers offer easy access to the ornaments when needed.

    Before putting your decorations in, consider placing a cloth on the chest to prevent the movement of the ornaments. You can also use padding or tissue paper to prevent the decorations from brushing against the chest surface and scratching.


  • Get a Box for Artificial Christmas Trees
    If you bought your artificial Christmas tree during the holidays, the highest chances are that the tree came packed in a box. Since the box is already a correct fit for your tree, you can use it to store the tree.

    When packing the tree, you will be using opposite steps as you did when unpacking it. Bundle up each branch and ensure the tree remains straight as you pack it in. Alternatively, you can use ceiling hooks to hang your tree in the garage.


  • Storing Ceramic Houses and Figurines
    Undoubtedly festive ceramic houses and figurines add a gorgeous display during the holidays. However, they can be challenging to pack. Similar to ornaments, they are fragile and are sometimes attached to lights. Therefore, packing them needs you to pay attention to detail to avoid damage or breakage.

    Ceramic houses, figurines, and other glass ornaments should be handled and stored as fragile items. Get bubble wraps, carefully wrap them in, and keep them in a box. Seal the box tightly and if possible, remember to label it as fragile and store the box on other bulky boxes.


  • Ensure Your Lights Are Tangle Free
    Christmas lights can be hard to store since they are long and contain little garlands. No matter how carefully you roll them up, they will end up tangled. When storing them, you should ensure they are tangle-free to prevent interfering with the wiring or making ends. You can use delivery boxes to keep your lights.

    Cut your box or cardboard into rectangular shapes. Hang the rectangular pieces and wind your lights around the craps. Otherwise, you can use water bottles as storage for beaded garlands. You can also try using a pill organizer to store any spare light bulbs you have.


  • Storing Wrapping Paper and Other Supplies
    Did you know that those garment bags you use to store wreaths can have a different use? Use a garment bag to hang up your wrapping paper and other supplies. Besides making them easy to access, they will remain dust-free during the year. 

    When it comes to storing supplies like ribbons and tapes, you can use a shoebox to keep everything organized and in one location. A shoe box makes it easy to color organize ribbons and notice when the tape supply runs low. 

Ready to own your home in Long Island? Go through Nassau County homes for sale and Suffolk County homes for sale to find an ideal home for you. Contact us once you do and get started with the buying process. 

December
27

Winter Is the Perfect Time for These Home Improvement Projects

Winter Home Improvement Projects - Coach Realtors

You may think that once the snow begins to fall, it's too late to start on home improvements, but our REALTORS® would advise you otherwise. You may not be able to do much outdoors, but inside is another story. In fact, if the work you need requires a contractor, you may be able to find one offering lower rates as available jobs dwindle. Whether you have just purchased your home or are getting the house ready for sale in the spring, several projects will make you more comfortable now and increase your profits later. 

  • Insulating the Attic
    You may not even need to hire a contractor to make your home more comfortable, decrease energy costs and get a great return on your investment. The ROI comes in at a whopping 116.9 percent. Add to that a tax credit of up to $500. If you thought this project was too pricy, you might be surprised that it could cost under $400 to purchase and install. With numbers like that, you are looking at a project that literally pays for itself.

  • Update the Thermostat
    This is a project that works for any budget. Prices for programmable thermostats range anywhere from $30 to $300 but will save you from $10 to $20 a month. There are plenty of options available, some even offering remote control. You can reduce energy consumption when no one is home and adjust the temperature to your comfort level so that you walk into pre-programmed comfort. A seasoned do-it-yourselfer may be able to install one, but most homeowners will need the services of an electrician. The good news is that the cost will be minimal as the process takes minutes to complete. 

  • Stop Air Leaks
    You can reduce the cost of heating and cooling your home by simply sealing air leaks with caulking or weatherstripping. For just a few dollars, you can eliminate most drafts. You'll want to caulk spaces around doors and window frames, paying attention to pipes and vents as well. Add or update the weather stripping to seal moveable components such as sliding glass doors and windows. This project takes a little time but doesn't require particular skills or experience. For less than $30, you can dramatically affect the comfort and energy efficiency of your home.

  • Repaint the Interior
    If you are selling soon, this is a great time to inspect the walls and fill in any dings or holes. Choose white or another neutral color that will work with any color scheme, so potential buyers can readily picture their own belongings in the house. You may find this easier if you declutter the rooms first, putting collections and other personal items you are not using in storage. This will give you a good jump start on your own move, too. The size of the house and the quality of paint will dictate the cost, but on average, you can paint for under $500 and make the home look larger and cleaner to potential buyers.

  • Give Doors a Facelift
    What's the first thing a buyer will see when entering the house? Inside and out, doors take a beating. Fingerprints and scuff marks make them look old and tired. A fresh coat of paint, new hardware, or even just cleaning up aging brass can make the entire home look more inviting. This cost-effective project will cost between $30 and $200.

If you're thinking of adding your house to the Nassau County homes for sale or Suffolk County homes for sale, contact us for more ways to boost your profits.

November
15

Creative Ways to Add Storage in the Living Room

Living Room Storage - Coach Realtors

Whether you live in a large country estate or a chic city condo, adequate storage is a necessity. Most homeowners feel they never have enough storage regardless of their home's size. With help from our REALTORS®, you can discover some creative storage solutions for your home.

Your living room serves as an entryway into your home and a gathering area for entertaining. While many Nassau County homes for sale feature large, inviting living rooms, they may lack sufficient storage space for your needs. Take a look at easy ways to add storage to your living room.

  • Invest in an Entertainment Center
    Entertainment centers are useful in living rooms because they can serve multiple purposes. As well as housing your TV, streaming boxes, and remotes, they provide valuable storage space. Entertainment centers are a great place to display books and magazines, decorative items, artwork, framed family photos, and special keepsakes that add interest to your living room.

  • Install Built-In Bookshelves
    If you're an avid reader with an extensive collection of books, built-in bookshelves are a perfect storage solution. Leather-bound books and colorful book jackets add interesting colors and textures to any room. However, built-in bookshelves are not just for books. They're also ideal for displaying beautiful pottery and china, hand-blown glassware, antique accessories, paintings and drawings, and family mementos that brighten your day.

  • Use Seating with Built-In Storage
    Buying a sofa with built-in storage drawers or benches and ottomans with hidden storage compartments can double your living room's storage capacity. Benches and ottomans with hidden compartments are great for extra seating when you have parties and large gatherings. They also provide quick and easy storage for throw pillows, blankets, and accessories that need to be put away when you want to declutter your living room.

  • Turn Window Seats into Storage Areas
    Many older Suffolk County homes for sale have unique features like sitting nooks and window seats built below large windows. If you're lucky enough to have a built-in window bench, the space underneath the seating can be used for storage. You can add drawers or turn the seating top into a flip-top bench to access the space beneath. If the walls at each end of the seat are deep enough, they can be outfitted with built-in shelves to hold books, photos, accessories, and reading lamps.

  • Re-Purpose Old Storage Items
    If you're looking for a way to increase storage and add a nostalgic flair to your living room, look for old items you can re-purpose to fit your design style. Instead of a new modern entertainment center, find an antique hutch with a large storage compartment behind doors and built-in shelving. Instead of a mundane coffee table that lacks style, look for a vintage wooden or leather truck that can serve as your coffee table with added storage below. 

  • Stock Up on Baskets and Storage Bins
    You can find a wide variety of affordable baskets and storage bins in different sizes and finishes to help with your storage needs. Wicker baskets, colorful woven or fabric baskets, and galvanized bins are great for storing small items and hiding clutter. They're ideal for smaller living rooms since they easily fit on bookshelves and on or under coffee tables and end tables. Whether storing extra throw pillows or toys for kids and pets, baskets and bins make great inexpensive storage solutions.

If you're interested in buying or selling a home in the New York area, contact us for information on available homes and prices that fit your lifestyle. 

October
25

Bathroom Remodel: How to Choose the Right Bathtub

Choosing a Bathtub - Remodeling Tips - Coach Realtors

Soaking in a warm, relaxing bath is something everyone looks forward to after a long day. When showing properties, our REALTORS® are always asked about bathroom upgrades with spa-like features seen in many of these Nassau County homes for sale and Suffolk County homes for sale.

If you're considering a bathroom remodel, you have many bathtub styles to choose from for your space. Before you make your final selection, consider the size of your bathroom, your personal needs, and the finished look you want to achieve.

  • Drop-In Tubs
    Drop-in tubs are the most common type found in homes. The tub shell is fitted inside a framed enclosure that may be surrounded by sheetrock walls or tiles. With drop-in rectangular tubs, three sides are sealed in and one long side is open so you can step into the tub.

    Undermount drop-in tubs are installed where the top of the tub sits at floor level creating a very modern bathroom. Most drop-in tubs are made of porcelain, acrylic, or fiberglass, the least expensive options.

  • Corner Tubs
    Corner tubs are similar to drop-ins, but they're much larger and wider. Their large, square proportions make them great for dual bathing. To accommodate the size and shape, you need a large corner area in your bathroom for installation. If you have an area near a large window, this may be the perfect place for a relaxing bath while enjoying a beautiful view of the garden.

  • Freestanding Tubs
    Freestanding tubs feature solid bases or cradles and sculpted bathing bowls. They come in many shapes including rectangular, square, oval, and round. One advantage of freestanding tubs is they can sit anywhere in the bathroom and don't have to be connected to walls for stability. However, you need a larger bathroom because the tub will take up open floor space. Freestanding tubs are most popular in porcelain and acrylic, but they also come in copper, stainless steel, and colors for a higher price.

  • Clawfoot Tubs
    Although clawfoot tubs made out of cast iron date back to the Victorian era, they are still very popular with homeowners today. Their freestanding style, oval shape, and brass or chrome claw feet create a reminiscent eclectic style that works in both traditional and contemporary homes. Most clawfoot tubs are especially deep, so they're perfect for those long bubble bath soaks.
  • Special Features
    Most bathtub manufacturers offer a variety of options for special features, especially for their top-of-the-line products. If you want ultimate relaxation and health benefits, you don't have to look far for a lot of great options:

    • Whirlpool Jets – By choosing a tub with whirlpool jets, you can relax in water with various heat settings, foot massage jets, multi-speed bubbles, and silent motor technology.

    • Chromatherapy – Whether you prefer peaceful pink or soothing blue, chromatherapy includes underwater LED lights that change color to suit your mood.

    • Music – With resonant speaker panels that attach to the tub and send sound through the water, you can relax to your favorite playlist while soaking.

    • Digital Controls – A built-in digital touchpad lets you easily control water temperature, jet direction, water color, and your favorite tunes.

If you're planning to buy or sell a home, contact us for information and real estate advice from our professionals.

September
27

Homeowners: Try These Pest-Proofing Measures

Pest-Proofing Measures for Homeowners - Coach Realtors

Your home is your castle. When it's invaded by an uninvited pest that won't leave, our REALTORS® understand how frustrating that can be and how much of a disruption it can cause. Many pests are difficult to dislodge, and since changing the locks isn't an option, we strongly recommend taking preventative measures that will work.

Whether you buy Nassau County homes for sale or Suffolk County homes for saleone of the first things you want to consider is pest control. The more effort you put into keeping pests out, the less effort you'll need to spend kicking them out down the road.

  • Start by sealing any holes or cracks in the siding or masonry. Pay close attention to door jams and window frames where small cracks can form as the foundation settles. If you discover any cracks, apply the appropriate caulk, weatherstripping, or sealant to the surface. This will have the added advantage of improving the energy envelope around your home.

  • It's also advisable to clean up your attic, garage, and crawlspace. These three areas are breeding grounds for ants, mosquitos, flies, mice, and other pests. The cleaner these three spaces, the less attractive they are for uninvited houseguests with wings or fur.

  • Make sure to clean up the kitchen and pantry. It's best to secure food in airtight containers to help minimize the odors that can attract pests. You'll also want to make sure to keep these areas free of crumbs and other food debris that pests can munch on as they scout new places to move into.

  • Skip the pet door and making sure Fido is regularly groomed. Pet doors create easy access for mice, roaches, raccoons, and other pests; removing the door denies them a potential point of entry. And, while you're removing the pet door, be sure to securely install the bug screen on the windows and patio doors. This will help keep bugs of all shapes and sizes from moving in. 

  • Stay on top of your landscaping. Keep trees properly trimmed, mow the grass, and ensure that piles of leaves and other yard waste don't grow into small mountains. Left unattended, these piles will rot and attract all manner of pests that can easily multiply and move in when you're not looking.

  • Speed up the process. Once you remove the breeding grounds and food sources, it can take a while for pests to disappear. Place traps and poison for them to nibble on, but be sure to put these traps and substances in locations where pets and children can't access them.

  • Hire an exterminator. If you've tried all these pest-proofing measures, and the rats, mice, flies, and other pests still haven't taken the hint, hire the professionals to deliver a permanent eviction notice. Exterminators are highly effective at eliminating pests. But remember: If you don't solve the infestation's root cause(s), you can expect the pests to return in the future.

Are you looking for a new home? We can help. Contact usand we'll do our best to give you the information you need.

September
13

Enjoy the Convenience of This Smart Home Tech

Smart Home Tech - Coach Realtors

These days, many of us are busy and pressed for time. When we do finally get the chance to be home and relax with family, we don't want to be burdened by chores and extra housework. Thankfully, the latest smart home technology is helping to address this issue. Our REALTORS® recommend considering the following devices to help simplify your at-home routine.

  • Smart Speakers
    Adding a smart speaker to your living room or great room can make it so much easier to listen to the music and podcasts you love. When you're getting ready to do the dishes or tackle that email inbox, you can simply talk to the speaker and tell it what to play. Or, you can scroll through options via the speaker-coordinated app on your smartphone. You won't have to worry about losing the remote or getting up to adjust the volume.

  • Smart Light Bulbs
    Isn't it annoying to be all settled in on your couch, and then realize you need to get up and adjust the lights? Smart light bulbs can fix this dilemma. You can use voice commands to turn the lights on and off or to dim the lights. Some smart light bulbs even light up different colors on command! Switching to smart light bulbs can save money on energy, too, since you're more likely to actually turn the lights off when you don't need them. 

  • Smart Vacuums
    Robot vacuums have been around for a while, but more recently, smart vacuums have become an even more convenient way to keep your home clean. The vacuum will keep humming along and cleaning your carpet, regardless of whether or not you're home. It will send you a message on your smartphone if it gets stuck, if it finishes cleaning, or if it needs any other input from you. There are even smart vacuums made specifically for people with pets and those with hard floors.

  • Pet Cameras
    When you're gone for long periods during the day, you might worry about your pet. Having to run home every few hours and check on them can become a burden. But a pet camera can allow you to check in on them from the convenience of your smartphone. Some smart pet cameras even let you talk to your pet remotely. This can help you calm your pet down during a storm or make them feel less lonely while you're away.

  • Smart Coffee Maker
    Do you ever wish you could wake up to coffee, already made in your own kitchen? Maybe you could even sleep a little longer if you didn't have to spend 10 minutes making coffee every morning. A smart coffee maker can solve all of these problems. You can program it to make coffee for you at a certain time of day. If you're at work and know you'll want another cup as soon as you get home, you can use your smartphone app to tell the coffee maker to get working. Imagine how much you'll save on visits to the coffee shop!

  • Smart TV
    The latest smart TVs let you change channels, turn up the volume, pause the show, and more — all with your voice. Of course, you can use an app on your phone for control, too, if that's what you prefer.  Your TV experience will be that much more relaxing.

What do you think of these smart home innovations for your Long Island home? If you're looking for Nassau County homes for sale or Suffolk county homes for sale, our agents can help. Contact us to learn more about our services.

July
12

Homeowners: Pet Fire Safety Planning

Pet Safety Planning - Homeowners - Coach Realtors

As pet owners, the last thing we want to think about is our furry family members getting hurt in a fire. Sadly, over half a million pets are affected by house fires each year, and over 1,000 of those house fire incidents are started by pets. Having a pet fire safety plan is an invaluable and essential way to save your home and your pet. July 15th is National Pet Fire Safety Day, and our REALTORS® have put together these tips to inspire you to develop a fire safety plan that includes your pets.

Preventing Your Pet from Starting a Fire

  • Extinguish Open Flames
    Never leave pets unattended around open flames on candles and fireplaces. Candles are great for a relaxed evening, but with a curious furry pal or a wagging tail, they can be quite the danger. You may want to switch to a battery-operated flameless candle to save your pet and property from needless harm. If your pet loves to cozy up near the fireplace, consider an enclosed gas fireplace or pet gate to ensure they keep a safe distance.


  • Remove Stove Knob
    A stove or cooktop is a major cause of fires started by pets. A curious pet who climbs around the kitchen can hit a stove knob, turning up a flame or turning on the gas. Be sure to remove knobs or use knob covers before leaving the house. Secure young or untrained pets in crates or behind baby gates to keep them away from potential hazards when you're away from home.


  • Secure Electrical Cords
    Electrical cords can be tempting to a playful kitty or pup. And sometimes, pets think that the cords are chew toys. Of course, your best bet would be training them to stay away, but securing the wires and cords will ensure they'll have no chance of sparking a fire or electrocuting your pet. Use ties to bundle cords or enclose them in a conduit. Also, dispose of or repair damaged cords.

Prepare in Case of Fire

  • Upgrade Your Smoke Detectors
    While it's obviously important to ensure your home has functional smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, you may want to think about using monitored smoke detectors for pet fire safety. These devices are connected to a monitoring center. In a situation where a fire breaks out when you're not at home, emergency responders would be alerted and dispatched immediately to rescue your furry companion.


  • Make an Emergency Plan
    If a fire starts, you may have as little as two minutes to evacuate your home. As such, it's important to create and practice a fire evacuation plan with your pet. Identify all the exits for your escape route, place one family member in charge of the pets, and have leashes and pet emergency items stored near an exit. Run a scenario where you find your pet and get them out of the house and also practice exit open access drills. This will help them get used to coming outside when their name is called out.


  • ID Your Pet
    It's important to microchip your pet or get them a collar with an ID tag. Proper and updated information can help ensure your pet is found and returned home safely if they flee because of the noise and danger of house fire.


  • Keep Your Pet Near an Exit
    You may enjoy giving your pet a free run of the house, but keeping them in a designated area close to the exit provides a better chance of getting out in case of fire. You can achieve this by crating your pet or creating a space in the foyer. If you don't crate, you need to know where your pet likes to nap or hide when stressed or scared.


  • Get Pet Fire Safety Stickers
    Place pet fire stickers on the front and back windows of your home. These will let the firefighters know how many and what kind of pets are in the house.

If you're looking at Nassau County homes for sale or Suffolk County homes for sale, we understand that you'll be making your pet part of the home-buying process. Our REALTORS® love animals and can help you find a home that's perfect for all family members, including four-legged ones. Contact us today to learn more.

May
3

How to Find the Perfect Paint Color the First Time

Getting Paint Right the First Time - Coach Realtors

Giving your home's interior a fresh coat of paint is a quick, affordable way to update design style, even when you have a limited budget. Our REALTORS® know that new paint can quickly transform a drab, outdated room into a room with spectacular ambiance and style that appeals to homebuyers.

Choosing the right paint color is essential for a well-designed space, but it can be a difficult task. With thousands of colors that range from pale neutrals to bright bold hues, finding the perfect paint color is often a frustrating and costly experience that leads to repainting. To get it right the first time, interior design pros recommend these important design tips.

  • Don't Start With the Paint
    Choosing your paint color first may seem like an easy way to get things started, but it's not a good idea unless your room is completely empty. Most people have existing furnishings and accessories they plan to keep, so paint must coordinate with existing items. Unless you're starting with an empty house, it's much easier to choose a paint color that complements your existing décor, rather than choosing new décor that works with your paint color.

  • Work With Testers
    Working with testers helps you choose the right color the first time, so you don't waste time and money on repainting. Most paint brands now have small test cans of paint available for only a few bucks. You can paint tester strips directly on the wall or on separate pieces of poster board that can be moved around the room. Whichever method you choose, leave the test areas up for a week to see how colors change at different times of day and in different light.

  • Consider Undertones
    All paints have undertones that reflect different tints and shades, depending on how they are mixed. White paint comes in at least 100 different shades with undertones of yellow, orange, red, green, blue, and violet. A white paint with red undertones may appear pink on the wall, while green undertones may give white paint a hint of mint or lime. Dark colors may also have undertones that impact light and density.

  • Consider the Light
    When choosing a paint color, it's essential to consider the amount of natural light the room gets during the day. If your room has several windows for sunlight, dark bold colors will be easier to live with, because the natural light will make them feel a little softer. If your room has no windows or minimal sunlight, you must rely on interior lighting, which can change paint colors due to incandescent, fluorescent, or halogen light bulbs.

  • Choose the Right Finish
    Paint finish is important because any sheen in the paint will accent flaws in the wall. When choosing a paint color, make sure you get the right finish for areas you are painting:
    • Flat Paint – Matte finishes are good for walls and ceilings because they have no sheen at all. They are recommended for stucco and textured walls and ceilings with uneven surfaces where paint colors can look distorted due to a build-up of paint.

    • Enamel Paint – These come in flat, eggshell, satin, semi-gloss, and high-gloss finishes. Eggshell and satin finishes have a little sheen, while semi-gloss and high-gloss finishes have a lot. While sheen helps with cleaning, it also reflects light and highlights flaws.

If you're looking for Nassau County homes for sale or Suffolk County homes for sale, we can help you find your dream home. Contact us for opportunities in those areas.

April
12

Don't Hire a Contractor Until You Ask These Questions

Ask These Contractor Questions - Remodeling - Coach Realtors

You've probably heard this before, but a contractor can make or break your remodeling or home addition project. Finding the right contractor will determine the timeliness and quality of work, and the amount of financial and emotional stress you'll have to deal with. Before paying thousands of dollars for the job, you'll want to carefully screen potential contractors and make sure they know what they're doing. Our REALTORS® have collated a list of questions to ask before you hire a contractor.

  • How Long Have You Been Working in This Town?
    When hiring a contractor, you want to know how much experience they have and how long they've been working in your local area. A contractor who has been around the block for a few years is more likely to have a proven track record. They're a safer bet than a contractor planning to commute to your home from 50 miles away.


  • Are You a Licensed Contractor?
    Licensing is an important element in the construction industry. A licensed contractor will have extensive knowledge about local building laws, follow proper safety guidelines, and complete your work on time. If you hire an unlicensed contractor, they may disappear after doing half the work, and you'll be on your own when it comes to resolving the issue. And it's not just important to have a license; you want to make sure it's applicable to the types of project you're looking to have completed.


  • Are You Insured?
    In response to this question, you want to hear that the contractor has general liability insurance and workers' compensation insurance. The last thing you need is to pay for repairs when a worker hits a water line and floods your house or pay for the medical expenses of a worker who got injured while working on your property. Ask to see a copy of the contractor's insurance policy to ascertain that they have insurance, and it's enough to cover your home if things go sour.


  • How Long Will the Remodeling Take?
    An experienced contractor should give you a projected timeline for the completion of the project. But it's also worth noting that construction isn't always cut and dry. Behind existing walls or floors might be hidden damage or problems that call for additional work. Ask your contractor about the possibility of delays and how necessary changes to the timeline will be addressed.


  • Would You Itemize Your Bid?
    There are so many things to keep track of during a remodel. Some contractors will give you a bottom-line quote for your project, but this will leave you in the dark about payment breakdown for each aspect of the job. You'll stay saner and more secure if you're given an itemized bid that shows the cost for all elements of the job. Also, make sure you discuss the payment terms before the work begins. Do not pay a large sum of money upfront.


  • Got References?
    Speaking to past clients and gathering their input is one of the best ways to find out about a contractor's work. Call and ask questions about the contractor's quality of work, adherence to budget and timeline, ease of communication, willingness to fix projects after the project is completed, and how they keep the work area clean.


  • Who Will be Doing the Work?
    Ideally, the contractor should handle the entire project with just their own crew. You'll want to know if the same team will be working on your home each day and whether the contractor works with subcontractors. Find out if they've had their background checked and covered by the contractor's workers' comp and liability insurance. Don't forget to ask about site-management and the point of contact between you and the company.

This is not an all-encompassing list, but it will help you get the conversation started. Remodeling your home or building an addition can make your home a more enjoyable place to live. And if you decide to add your home to the pool of Nassau County homes for sale or Suffolk homes for sale, the right improvements can really separate your home in the market. Contact us today to learn more.

March
1

Kitchen Makeover: These Trends Are Making Waves

Kitchen Makeover - Home Improvement - Coach Realtors

The kitchen is the heart of the home, and sometimes it's good to give in to your heart's desires. Remodeling your kitchen is a tried and tested way to breathe fresh life into your home. It's a project that our REALTORS® guarantee will go a long way toward enhancing your comfort and adding to your home's resale value. As you consider all the options, be certain to note the following kitchen trends for 2021.

  • Marble Beats Granite
    Granite was the go-to stone of the '90s and the start of the new millennium. However, as tastes have evolved, marble has emerged as the trendiest stone for kitchens and bathrooms. Heavily veined marble is the epitome of luxury and will give a durable finish to your counters, backsplashes, and more.

  • Wood is Back in Style
    Wood is undergoing a revival, and while cherry and oak have held the title of most popular in the past, modern homes are opting for the inclusion of subtle-grained ash and other lighter woods. When choosing wood, choose one with a well-defined grain and light finish that will add an airy, sophisticated ambiance to your remodeled kitchen.

  • Enjoy the Lush Luxury of Dark Walls
    Dark-colored walls create a sharp contrast against light-grained woods and white marble countertops. Black or brown paint, or dark-colored tiles, can create a luxurious backdrop for family gatherings and everyday living.

  • Islands Emerge From the Floor
    If you have a larger kitchen, islands are fabulous to create a focal point for gatherings in the kitchen. If you have a large kitchen, double islands are a feature worth exploring. However, be careful not to try and put an island or a double island in a small kitchen as this can make the room feel closed in and cluttered.

  • The Jetson's Meet the Jones'
    The inclusion of technology in the kitchen is sure to be a hit with the whole family. Installing smart screens, smart appliances, and other smart home technology will make it easier to listen to your favorite music while you cook, pull up recipes, and even manage your pantry and shopping lists.

  • Storage Takes Center Stage
    Storage space is always at a premium in the kitchen. That will never change. What has changed is that many older kitchens have plenty of wasted space that is now being converted into usable storage for appliances, spices, foodstuffs, linens, etc. In fact, you will see many Nassau County homes for sale where interior designers have found some creative ways to add shelves and cabinets to the kitchen to open the space up while providing ample storage in the process.

  • Pantry Space is at a Premium
    One thing the pandemic has done is change the way we shop. Many families have prioritized having a ready supply of food on hand "just in case." Of course, more food requires more space, which is why you will see plenty of Suffolk County homes for sale where the owners have converted closets and other spaces into walk-in pantries. Not only does this create ample space for storage, but it also makes it easier to organize your foodstuffs.

We invite you to contact us to learn more about the kitchen trends we recommend our clients incorporate in their properties. It is our pleasure to answer your questions and help you find the best kitchen design team to create the kitchen of your dreams. 

February
15

How to Make Music the Center of Your Home This Year

Make Music the Center of Your Home - Coach Realtors

When it comes to setting the mood, our REALTORS® know that good lighting, good friends, and good music are the best ways to enjoy your new home. Whether you are hosting a party or relaxing after a long day at work, installing a solid sound system will go a long way toward making your home more comfortable. The more music, the merrier, and the following are some steps you can take to enjoy great sound throughout your home.

  • Get Ready to Rock the 21st Century!
    Whether you enjoy classical, jazz, country, or modern rock, the best sound systems are built around modern home automation. Upgrading the wiring and WiFi in your home will allow you to enjoy the security and comfort home automation systems offer. Whether you choose a wired or wireless sound system, you will want to establish a central hub to control each speaker. It would be best if you chose a hub that works with all the devices you want to utilize, including the lighting, security, audio, systems you want to install.

  • Choose Your Speakers Carefully
    Different rooms have different acoustic properties. One speaker might work great in a large living room with vaulted ceilings, but it will be overpowering in a smaller room such as a bedroom or bathroom. Thus, choose speakers built for the size of the room. Not only will they fit in better with the decor, but they will also sound better as your favorite tunes waft through the space.

    A variety of manufacturers offer a solid range of speakers that you can add to every room in your home. While many home automation recommendations suggest purchasing speakers from the same manufacturer, that's not necessary. What's more important is making sure that each speaker is compatible with your primary home automation system.

  • Create a Steady Stream of Music
    A variety of streaming services have massive libraries of music you can stream into every room in your house. For a nominal fee, you can enjoy the benefit of having a vast array of music at your disposal without having to fill wall upon wall with CDs. 

    Of course, you are likely to have some old CDs or MP3s lurking about. Compiling these and uploading them into a streaming service can make it easy to access these without ever having to touch a CD player. 

    And, if you're a music purist, there's no doubt you have an old vinyl collection you love to show off to your friends. When it comes to vinyl, better is always best. Don't skip on purchasing a high-quality record player. Choosing one with a carbon fiber tonearm, heavy plinth, and steel or acrylic platter will give you the best sound. A high-quality record player will cost you about twice as much as a low-end option, but it's worth every penny for the sound quality you will enjoy.

There are some amazing Nassau County homes for sale and Suffolk County homes for sale that are wired for incredible sound. We encourage you to contact us to learn more about these fabulous properties and the many amenities they have to offer.  

February
1

Ready for a Pet? How to Determine the Best One for Your Home

Best Pet for Your Home - Coach Realtors

Pet ownership has mushroomed over the last year, as many homeowners working remotely or overseeing school-age children's online studies acquire pets for an enriched home experience. Single people in particular may find a pet takes the place of some of the lost social life that sheltering in place has required. At the same time, couples and families discover that a pet may strengthen the bonds between them.

If you're looking at Nassau County homes for sale or Suffolk County homes for sale, and you have a pet or are looking to acquire one, you may want to talk to our REALTORS® about their recommendations for homes that will fit the requirements of your pet.

Following are some things to think about before you launch into pet ownership.

The Best Pet for You

  1. Dogs
    Dogs are generally regarded as the most popular pet choice. They are great companions, and their need for exercise will keep you moving. But do your research if you don't know much about dogs. Some have more rigorous exercise needs than others, and some will need a backyard to run around in. (Do not plan to leave your dog in the backyard for long periods alone — that's a prescription for excessive barking that will annoy your neighbors.) If you're satisfied with a small dog, you won't need to worry much about space. If you have children, be sure to check out the temperament of the dog and how well it does around small people. Canines, depending on the breed, can live from 10-12 years (large breeds), and 15-18 years (small breeds). Make sure you're up to that commitment.

  2. Cats
    Cats are compact animals that fit well in apartments, condos, townhomes, or spacious homes. You may choose between long-haired and short-haired breeds. The long-haired breeds will need brushing to avoid matting. Cats are generally fine being left alone all day, but even they need companionship at times. Cats can live on average from 12-18 years. Again, don't acquire one unless you're in it for the long haul. 

  3. Birds
    Birds are nice companion animals, but some have stronger social needs than others. Canaries, for instance, are generally fine in a cage alone. Parrots don't generally like being left alone for long periods; if you have to be away all day, you might consider getting two. Finches like to be paired, as do love birds. Regardless of the species you get, be aware there will be a mess that needs to be cleaned frequently to keep the bird in good health. They will throw seed on the floor, and you'll need to change the cage liners and clean the perches frequently. The cages should be large enough so the birds can move about. Canaries in particular need room to fly around.

  4. All the Rest
    It's wise to do your research about the needs of all these types of creatures. For instance, hamsters are nocturnal and need low light and quiet in the day so they can rest properly. Make sure that you can provide your pet with as much room as you can, feed it a veterinarian-recommended food, as well as offer chances for stimulation through toys and play. 

Our real estate agents can advise you about choosing homes that meet your pets' needs and yours. Contact us today.

January
11

How to Make Your Home Smarter in 2021

Smarter Home in 2021 - Coach Realtors

They say you shouldn't work hard; you should work smarter. We believe it's a suggestion that equally applies to daily life. When you are ready to work less and live smarter, our REALTORS® recommend giving your home a smart upgrade. Installing smart home systems is a smart way to start the new year off on the right foot. If you're wondering how to start and what to look for, the following tips and suggestions will help you take the first steps to a more convenient lifestyle.

Consider the Features and Functions

Do you want to listen to the radio, control the thermostat, or enhance your home security? Smart home systems can perform these functions, and much more. Some of the most popular smart home functions we see in Nassau County homes for sale include:

  • Smart Home Assistants
  • Smart Speakers
  • Smart Home Security Systems
  • Smart Thermostats
  • Smart Lighting
  • Smart Doorbells & Door Locks
  • Smart Vacuum Cleaners

Getting started requires first identifying the level of convenience, comfort, and security you want to enjoy. Smart home technology can help you trim your monthly utility bills and reduce your environmental footprint. They can make it easier to entertain guests and enjoy "downtime." They can improve your home security and give you total control over your home even when you're thousands of miles away.

Set a Budget & Choose a Brand

Always buy quality when purchasing a smart home system. Further, choose brands with a solid track record of growth and innovation. This will help ensure the system you choose will still be serviceable in the future. 

Remember, smart home technology is an investment. When you invest in high-quality smart thermostats and home security systems, you're investing in both comfort and safety. Moreover, smart home systems will enhance your home's curb appeal. When you decide to put it on the market, these systems can give you an advantage over a competing property.

Finally, make sure to choose devices that are compatible with one another. This helps maximize the convenience and functionality you can enjoy. It also eliminates the need to learn multiple controls.

Install What You can and Hire the Best for the Rest

Many smart home systems are ready to use right out of the box. However, more advanced systems require customized installation and set up. Thus, you should set up the devices you can (i.e., Amazon or Google speakers) and hire a professional to install and program your Nest thermostat, Nexx garage door opener, home security system, etc. When hiring a contractor to perform these services, make sure that they have specific experience with your system.

Start Small Before You Buy it All

Most homeowners we encounter when showing Suffolk County homes for sale start with one or two systems before adding more smart devices to their home. Most start with speakers and smart lighting as these are easy to install and can help familiarize the family with the best ways to integrate smart home technology into daily life. Once everyone is comfortable, gradually introduce additional systems. 

We recommend staying up-to-date with smart home technology. It's a rapidly evolving field, and the features and functions are rapidly expanding. If you can dream it, you can bet it's on the horizon.

Are you in the market for a new home where you can live smarter and more comfortably in 2021? Contact us, and we will be happy to show you some of the properties we have available. It is our pleasure to help you and your family find the perfect home for a fabulous future.

November
9

5 Tips to Make a Splash in Your Kitchen

Update Kitchen Backsplash - Coach Realtors

Whether you're fully remodeling your kitchen or just giving it a bit of a facelift, choosing the right backsplash is one of the most important decisions in the design process. When showing homes, our real estate agents find that a kitchen's backsplash can have a make-it-or-break-it effect. It might not be a large space we're talking about, but it puts the finishing touches on your new look and ties everything together.

Here are five tips to help you pick the right backsplash for your kitchen.

  1. Try Before You Buy
    How materials and paint colors look in the store, under harsh fluorescent lighting, is one thing; how they'll look in your home is quite another. Never commit to anything before taking samples home with you. Prop the backsplash samples up against your existing backsplash, along with other samples you are considering, and just live with them for a few days. Notice how they look as the lighting in your kitchen changes throughout the day, and how they coordinate with other samples such as paint chips.

  2. Be Practical
    It's natural to want your kitchen to look the best your money can buy, but don't forget to be practical, too. Make choices that will help you stay within budget and also think about your purchases as an investment. What materials will wear the best over time, stay in fashion the longest, be the easiest to clean, and require the least maintenance? For example, some tile is very porous and may be difficult to clean, especially over the stove where grease from cooking is likely to find all the nooks and crannies. And marble, while very attractive, will need to be sealed with special chemicals once a year to maintain its look long term.

  3. Coordinate, Don't Match
    Your backsplash may be an extension of your countertops, but don't make the common mistake of trying to match the two perfectly to one another. Matching makes them blend together, rather than drawing the eye, the way you want to do. Instead, look for something that coordinates with your countertops and other design elements of your kitchen, but stands out a little from the rest.

  4. Choose a Great Grout
    Don't underestimate the importance of grout! Grout does more than just fill the spaces between the tile. A well-chosen grout sets the tile off, showing it to its best advantage. A quality grout is important for a long-lasting quality renovation, of course, but the color of your grout and how well it coordinates with the tile is also important.

  5. Make a Splash
    Most kitchen updates are fairly straightforward. There's not a lot you can do with a kitchen, other than picking out countertops and cabinet colors. Your backsplash is your chance to make a statement! It's a small space, so you can afford to take some risks, especially over the sink and stove, two important focal points in most kitchens. Spring for the better tile or do something a little different, like turning square tile on the diagonal.

The Importance of Kitchen Updates

Most real estate agents agree that the kitchen is one of the top areas of the home to invest in. It's the heart of every home, and everyone loves one that is attractive and well-appointed. If you're interested in listing your house among other Nassau County homes for sale or Suffolk County homes for sale, we can help! Contact us today to start the process.

August
17

Elevate Cooking at Home with an Herb Garden

Grow and Herb Garden - Homeowners - Coach Realtors

Did you know gardening is a great way to relieve stress? This is one of the reasons why it's becoming extremely popular. In fact, many potential homebuyers tell our REALTORS® that a yard large enough for a garden is one of the features they really want in their new home. 

If you're not ready to plant a large backyard garden just yet, consider starting with a simple herb garden. You can easily grow herbs either outdoors or indoors in pots. If you've been considering buying a new home, starting a container garden is a great idea. This way, you can start now and take it with you when you move. 

To get your herb garden started, follow these simple tips.

Choose the Perfect Location

The most important part of starting an herb garden is choosing the right location. Most herbs do well in an area that gets full sun. Before you plant your herbs, watch the area for a few days to ensure that it gets at least 4hours of full sun each day.

If you're going to plant your herbs outdoors, make sure you leave enough distance between the plants so they have room to grow. Generally, you'll need 1 to 4 feet of space between each plant depending on the type of herb you're growing.

For a container garden, you'll want to choose large pots and place them in a warm spot that gets at least 4 hours of full sun each day. A deck, patio, or a corner of your yard are all great options, as long as they get enough sun. 

Prepare the Soil

If you're planting your herbs in the yard, you'll want to remove the grass, turn the soil, and use a large garden fork to loosen it up. This is an important step because loose dirt is better able to drain water and will make it easier for the plant's roots to grow. You should also consider adding compost to the soil. This will help with water drainage and act as a fertilizer. 

To start your container garden, you'll need a high-quality potting soil and fertilizer. Once you've added both to the pot, simply add some water until the soil feels moist and you're ready to plant your herbs. 

Choose Your Herbs

The last step is to choose which herbs you want to grow. Think about the types of foods you enjoy cooking and the herbs that will compliment them the best. 

Some of the best herbs for beginner gardeners include:

  • Sage
  • Parsley
  • Oregano
  • Mint
  • Corriander
  • Basil
  • Chives

Make sure you choose plants that look strong and healthy. Then simply plant them in the dirt and wait for them to grow. 

Water and Maintain

You'll want to keep an eye on your herb garden and water it whenever the dirt a few inches below the plant feels dry. Make sure you actually check the soil before you water because over-watering can cause the plants to rot.

When the plants grow to about 6 to 8 inches, you can start to harvest them. Don't cut more than 1/3 of the branches and try to cut them close to a leaf intersection. This will help the plant grow back faster. 

It's a Great Time to Make a Move! 

Are you thinking about buying or selling a home? Now is a great time to make a move! There are many beautiful Suffolk County homes for sale and amazing properties in other nearby areas. We would love to show you around and help you find the perfect home. Contact us today to get started. 

July
27

How to Turn Your Basement Into the Ultimate Rec Room

Ultimate Rec Room - Homeowners - Coach Realtors

Our REALTORS® have seen many home trends come and go over the years, but one thing that always appeals to prospective buyers and new homeowners is extra space for leisure activities.

Having a recreation space in the basement is an excellent option for kids and adults alike. Recreational activities help banish stress, promote relaxation, allow for some quality family time, and help keep the kids busy. Not only will your family enjoy using it, but it can increase the value of your home. If you have unfinished or unused space in your basement, here are some ideas to make the most of it.

  • Declutter first
    Always start here. You'll get a better idea of the size and be able to envision the possibilities. If you're currently using it for storage, you may have to relocate some of those items.

  • Decide how to use the space
    If you have a large space, you can divide the space, either visually or physically, for multiple uses. Depending on what you want to do, the size or shape of the space, positioning of pipes, HVAC vents or equipment, and access to electrical outlets or water may be considerations, so it pays to have a plan first. Here are a few popular ideas that families enjoy.

    • TV and living area
    • Home theater
    • Gaming area
    • Traditional rec room activities like a pool table, foosball, ping pong, air hockey, or even a retro arcade game.
    • Children's activity area
    • Reading nook
  • Consider your family's activities and style
    Since you'll want a space the whole family will enjoy, you may want to get everyone's input. You'll also want everyone to feel comfortable in the space. Here are some considerations you may find useful for a family area.

    • Add a child-sized table and chairs or an upholstered chair
    • When storing children's items make sure they can reach them easily.
    • If you'll be spending lots of time there, add a half bathroom for convenience.
  • Repaint
    Light or bright colors on the walls are best since basements are short on natural light. A different color or a painted stripe can serve to visually divide the space for multiple uses.

  • Update or add flooring
    Many basements simply have a concrete floor and some older homes may even have flooring tiles that contain asbestos and would need to be professionally removed. Adding flooring will help keep the area warmer in the winter too. Make sure whatever you choose is suitable for the below-grade installation. You could use different flooring to visually divide the space as well.

  • Make sure there's enough space to move around
    It's especially important for traditional gaming tables like a pool table or if you plan to do VR gaming. Depending on the length of the cues, pool tables will need a minimum of 4-1/2 feet clearance on all sides. VR games require at least enough room to stretch out and move your arms and legs in all directions without hitting anyone else or knocking anything over (usually around 5-6 feet). For other uses, just make sure your family members can move through the area easily.

Coach Realtors can help with your home search in Nassau County, Suffolk County, and the surrounding areas. Contact us today to get started finding the right home for your family.

July
20

New Homeowners: Furniture Shopping on Long Island

Furniture Stores - Long Island - Coach Realtors

Whether you're buying a new home you need to completely furnish or would like to replace some of your current pieces, you'll find many unique furniture shops around Nassau County homes for sale and Suffolk County homes for sale.

Our REALTORS® suggest stopping by the following shops in Nassau and Suffolk counties:

  • Timbre & Rye - 800 E. Jericho Turnpike, Huntington, NY 11797
    Timbre & Rye specializes in modern, rustic, and industrial furniture, with each piece contributing to your home's overall aesthetic. You'll find many pieces for your living room, dining room, bedroom, and home office and can look for inspiration in the store's online idea book or visit the shop, which is located near Huntington homes for sale. Whether you're in the market for large pieces such as a sofa or accent pieces such as an ottoman or chest, you'll find a wide variety of unique furniture at Timbre & Rye.

  • France & Son - 916 Old Country Rd., Garden City, NY 11530
    Providing good design in the pieces you need has been the mission of France & Son, located near Garden City homes for sale, since its founding. It aims to bring luxury goods to your home to create an amazing interior that elevates your style while adding function. The store has its own line of furniture that's inspired by the classic designs of modernism to offer its interpretation of iconic pieces of the 20th century. You'll also find furniture products by other companies — including Four Hands and ED by Ellen Degeneres — at France & Son.

  • Dinette & Lighting Plaza - 6227 Jericho Turnpike, Commack, NY 11725
    Since 1983, Dinette & Lighting Plaza has offered high-quality products for the home. The shop, located just around the corner from Commack homes for sale, can also custom-make tables, chairs, and cabinets in any size, color, and design you'd like. The furniture is considered to be heirloom pieces you'll be able to pass down to your children someday. In fact, if you have an issue with a piece from Dinette & Lighting Plaza, you're welcome to bring it back so the shop can fix the issue.

  • Leonardo Furniture - 500 Sunrise Highway, Rockville Center, NY 11570
    Since 1988, Leonardo Furniture has offered a wide selection of furniture and accessories near Rockville Centre homes for sale. You'll be able to choose from over 30,000 square feet of products for your bedrooms, dining room, living room, and kids' rooms. Product names to look for include Ashley, Vaughan-Bassett, American Drew, and more. Sales are frequent, so look for these opportunities to save when you're shopping.

  • Laura's Home and Patio, 2027 Jericho Turnpike, East Northport, NY 11731
    When you're decorating your new home, don't neglect your outdoor furniture and decor. Laura's Home and Patio, located near East Northport homes for sale, has a large selection of products available to enhance your outdoor living space, including dining tables, deep seating, and lounge options. You can also let store personnel customize a collection to suit your style and needs and choose from finishing touches such as fire pits.

Contact us for more information about the furniture shops and other stores that help make Nassau and Suffolk counties a special place to work, play, shop, and live! 

June
22

Where You Should Put Your Remodeling Dollars?

Remodeling ROI - Sell a Home - Coach Realtors

Everyone wants to live in a beautiful home. Warm weather means that most homeowners are making their way into the home improvement stores and dialing up contractors for those special projects around the house. Whether you plan to spend a little or a lot, our REALTORS® want you to get the most for your investment. Some remodeling projects are worth their weight in gold, while others will return pennies on the dollar. It's important to know which is which before you make your plans.

Golden Opportunities

You'll never get every penny you spend on remodeling back when you put the home on the market. However, the following will give you between 60-70% return. Where these investments are most valuable is in the foot traffic they'll generate from the listing.

  • Update the Kitchen. The kitchen is the heart and hearth of the home. It's a place to gather and relax, to entertain and enjoy the company of family and friends. Thus, it should be comfortable, open, and updated to reflect modern design tastes. Farm sinks, plenty of storage, and stainless steel will go a long way toward attracting the attention of prospective buyers.

  • Give the Master Bedroom a Facelift. The master bedroom is a retreat from work, family, and all the pressures on the other side of the door. Repainting and redecorating can give the bedroom a comfortable, relaxing ambiance.
         
  • Polish the Bathroom. No one wants to take a bath in a dingy, dark, cramped bathroom. updating your bathroom with new tile, updated fixtures, comfortable lighting, and a fresh coat of paint is an investment in your comfort and the home's appeal to prospective buyers.

  • Trim up the Landscape. Landscaping is often overlooked, but the fact is it's the first thing prospective buyers notice. Make sure that your grass is green, your trees are trimmed, and the flower beds look their best. If you don't have a green thumb, hire a professional landscaper to design an easy-to-maintain yard that blends into the neighborhood.

Money Pits to Avoid

  • Swimming Pools and Hot Tubs. These flashy amenities are fun. However, they're expensive to install and costly to maintain. Further, most people don't use them as much as they think they will. Most sellers only recoup a fraction of the installation costs when they sell their home.

  • Special-Purpose Rooms. It's great to have a nursery for your kids, a woodworking room for hobbies, and other special-purpose rooms. However, prospective buyers whose needs/interests don't match yours won't be willing to spend a premium for it; in fact, they'll likely ask for a price reduction so they can renovate it for their own special interests.

  • More Garage Space. Unless you have none or extremely limited garage space, most people are content with a one or two-car garage. At most, you'll get 60% of your investment back when you sell the home.

The Final Rule of Thumb

Whether you plan to spend $1,000 or $50,000 on renovations, one thing every homeowner needs to keep an eye on is the value of real estate in the area. There is no limit to how much you can spend, but there is a limit on what buyers will pay. One of the first things they'll look at is home values in the neighborhood. If your home is $100,000 more than a comparable home for sale down the street, they'll get the contract.

Contact us for more information about remodeling projects we recommend to our clients. It's our pleasure to help you choose upgrades and features that will stand out in the market. 

June
15

Homeowners: Safely Enjoy a Backyard Fire Pit

Backyard Fire Pit - Homeowners - Coach Realtors

Our REALTORS® are seeing more homeowners enjoy the benefits of a backyard fire pit.  Gathering around a warm fire with your family is an excellent way to spend an evening. When using a fire pit, safety should always be your priority. 

Backyard Fire Pit Safety

Whether you already own a fire pit or getting ready to install one, precautionary measures are necessary for your safety.  

  • Permanent or Portable: When installing a fire pit, you must choose the best option for your backyard. You can easily customize a permanent fire pit to match the rest of your landscape theme. Installing a permanent fire pit ensures you are following all the safety measures with each use. Generally, steel or cast iron, a portable fire pit, is convenient for moving from one location to another. The downside is continuously checking your surroundings to ensure a proper area for using the fire pit.

  • Location: Place the fire pit at least 10 feet away from your home, any other buildings, fencing, and your neighbor's yard. For the best safety measure, consider placing your fire pit 25 feet from any structures. Also, do not place the fire pit under your covered porch, awning, or tree branches.

  • Patio Blocks: When positioning your fire pit, surround the area with patio blocks, concrete, or other non-flammable surfaces for extra protection. Keep the fire pit away from any type of wooden deck or porch.

  • Clear the Area: When setting up your fire pit, clear the surrounding area of any vegetation, branches, or other flammable materials. Consider packing stones or dirt around the fi pit to contain the fire.

  • Dig Down: When digging out the area for your fire pit, go down at least six inches and two feet across. Following these guidelines will help keep the fire and embers in a centralized location. If you do not dig down, the fire could quickly jump over the outer edge and create damage.

  • Position Chairs:  Keep your chairs or benches back away from the fire pit. You want enough legroom to quickly get up and move about without getting too close to the fire.

  • Watch Children and Pets: When sitting around the fire pit, always watch your children and pets. Do not leave them unsupervised by the fire. Following the 3 feet, away rule is always a good measure.

  • Be a Weather Watcher: The weather can change quickly. Know the direction of the wind before you light the fire. Keep your smartphone around to check any weather updates.

  • Fire Prevention: From the change in weather to a hot burning flame, keeping the fire under control is essential. Prepare for emergencies every time you light a fire. Keep a bucket of water on hand, invest in a fire extinguisher, or purchase a fire blanket to cover the entire pit immediately.

  • Extinguish Your Fire: Before heading indoors for the night, make sure the fire is completely out. Use a bucket of water, spray with the garden hose, or cover with dirt.

Roasting marshmallows or cooking hot dogs, fire pits provide hours of fun for you and your family. When you follow all the safety guidelines, you don't need to worry about the flames getting away from you. If you are looking for Nassau County homes for sale or Suffolk County homes for sale with a large backyard for a fire pit, contact us.

May
26

Long Island: Create a Time Capsule With Your Family

Family Time Capsule - Coach Realtors

Has your family run out of words for Scrabble? Maybe you've binged everything in your Netflix queue. Our REALTORS® understand the difficulty of finding new and entertaining ways to pass the time at your home on Long Island.

Creating a time capsule is an absorbing and rewarding activity that pays dividends now and later. Use these helpful suggestions to start a creative project involving the whole family.

  1. Make It Personal
    Traditional time capsules tend to focus on historical context, with documents and artifacts that objectively depict events of the time. While such items can certainly be part of your time capsule, the primary purpose is to relate each family member's personal experience during the COVID-19 quarantine.

  2. Limit Technology
    It's tempting to use the convenience of flash drives, DVDs, and other digital storage. While improvements in technology are largely a good thing, they come so quickly that storage forms can be outdated by the time you're ready to open the capsule. Stick to hard copies of photos and writings wherever possible.

  3. Document Your Surroundings
    Our world has temporarily shrunk to include only our immediate surroundings, which is your home, and what you can see from the windows. Draw a diagram of your neighborhood or print a picture off Google Maps. Add as much as you can about who lives where and what your interaction is with them. Also include detailed photos of your home, both exterior and interior.

  4. Make Lists
    There's a reason "listicles" are so popular in online media. They're easy to read while still imparting a lot of information. Stay-at-home provides almost an endless selection of topics to build lists around. Possible choices include TV shows and movies you've watched, games you've played, new recipes you've tried, and books you've read.

  5. Include Meaningful Mementos
    Newspapers and magazines are great inclusions to give a global perspective of events, but be sure to include items that are relevant to you and your family. Consider options such as a toilet paper roll (empty, of course), face mask, wrappers from favorite snack foods, and locks of hair from each family member (including pets!).

  6. H Is for Homework 
    Homeschooling has become the rule instead of the exception. Include copies of reports, math problems, spelling quizzes, and other examples of schoolwork your kids have done so they can recognize their accomplishments. 

  7. Say It in a Letter
    Are you or your kids unsure where to start? Writing thoughts down in the form of a letter makes it easier to maintain a casual, conversational tone. Address the letter to a friend, another family member, or your future self.

  8. Look Ahead
    What do you see happening one year, five years, or 10 years down the road? Have each family member write down their predictions for the future. Everybody can have fun giving their imaginations free rein, and you can look forward to finding out whether any of the dreams become reality.

  9. Set an Opening Date
    Think carefully about when you plan to open the time capsule. A certain amount of distance, at least 10 years, makes the opening more meaningful. You may want to coordinate the opening with a milestone birthday, anniversary, or other significant family occasion.

Do your future plans include a new home? Contact us at Coach Realtors for up-to-the-minute information on Nassau County homes for sale and Suffolk County homes for sale.

May
18

How to Make Your Home a Sanctuary

Create a Sanctuary - Homeowners - Coach Realtors

While a vacation or retreat are excellent ways to de-stress and reconnect with your family, sometimes it's not possible to get away. Ensure that your time at home is at pleasant as possible by turning your home into a sanctuary. Our REALTORS® also find that peaceful properties are attractive to potential homebuyers. Check out a few simple tricks to make your home your own personal sanctuary.

  1. Use Music to Add Ambiance
    Add ambiance to your home in minutes with music. A catchy tune can quickly lift your mood or give you a surge of energy. Make it as convenient as possible to turn your music on and off by using your home assistant to control your playlist.

  2. Create a Nook for Your Hobbies
    Your home should feel like a safe haven after a stressful day. Carving out a chunk of time for one of your hobbies is a fantastic way to relax and recharge. However, don't waste time gathering supplies and finding a clear spot at your kitchen table.

    Instead, set up a permanent nook to enjoy your hobby. Use a spare corner or closet to set up a desk if your hobby involves crafting or writing, or position a cozy chair and storage basket close to a window if you like to knit or read. Or, if you need a little more space for woodworking or painting, set up a studio in your basement or garage.

  3. Remove Items That Don't Enrich Your Life 
    If your home feels stressful and you can't figure out why, start by getting rid of all your clutter and any items that don't enrich your life. Decluttering may feel overwhelming if you have a lot of overflowing spaces. Break the decluttering process into sections and start with one room or category of items (like clothing or paperwork) at a time. 

    Trash anything you don't use, that you don't wear, or that you just don't enjoy seeing. Make sure that every remaining item has a home, and see that your family understands where items are supposed to go.

  4. Get Rid of Stressful Reminders
    In many households, it's common to stick a bill or appointment reminder to your fridge or display board so you don't forget about it. However, seeing these items every time you walk into the room will make the space feel like anything but a sanctuary.

    File these items away in your planner or household binder. Replace them with photos or charming magnets that make you happy.

  5. Embrace Natural Light
    Give any room a quick pick-me-up by bathing it in natural light. Open the blinds or drapes and move any furniture that is blocking the light. The room will instantly feel more peaceful.

  6. Give Your Home a Signature Scent
    A pleasant spot has to have a delightful scent. Use candles, essential oils, or a diffuser to give your home a scent that welcomes you the moment you step through the door. When you smell that signature scent, this signals that you've arrived at your sanctuary. 

Concerned that your home isn't right for your needs? Contact us to explore other properties!

May
11

Get a Jump on Summer Home Maintenance

Summer Home Maintenance - Coach Realtors

Practicing social distancing presents the perfect opportunity for a clean and happy home by tackling home maintenance projects. While prepping your home for summer can be tedious, our REALTORS® know that it helps you take back control of your home and give yourself the chance to beat the heat.

Check these summer home maintenance to-dos off your list to keep your home in prime working condition.

  • Wash Windows and Screens
    One obvious sign of a neglected home is dirty and ripped screens and windows. Start by vacuuming window screens that have dust and a small amount of dirt. You want to use a vacuum with a soft brush attachment. Then scrub each one with some dish soap and brush to remove lingering debris. You can then set them outside to dry before putting them back in place. Then, get some type of window cleaning solution to tackle the window from the inside out. Clean windows can make a huge difference with the amount of light that passes through them.
  • Freshen up Your Home's Exterior
    Your home's exterior should shine in summer. So, walk around your home to see if there are any signs of rot or damage from the winter – those spots should be repaired first. If your home's paint needs a refresh, you can do that on a day when you have nice weather. Brighten up the shutter and replace any weathering siding to maintain the best summer curb appeal.
  • Focus on Your Garden
    Summer is also a great time to boost curb appeal. That includes tackling things such as mulching to create a clean and crisp appearance, keep weeds out of your gardens, and lock in moisture to help your plants thrive through the hot summer months. If you haven't already, get a few flowers to decorate the front of your home. Remove any dead plants, mow your lawn, and trim shrubs, bushes, and trees, ensuring they are kept away from your home AC unit and roof. And don't forget to test your irrigation systems at the beginning of the season for any cracks or worn-out sections.
  • Prep the Deck and Porch
    Summer is a great time for hanging out on the deck or porch and watching the world go by. Now is time to get your porch ready by cleaning the floor, front door, windows, and windowsill. Use a long-handled duster to remove cobwebs from high corners, light fixtures, and ceiling. Examine your deck to make sure there is no structural damage and hammer any nails that are loose. If needed, sand and reseal the surface. If you have deck or porch furniture, wipe it down and wash the cushions.
  • Clean Your Grill
    Make sure your grill is ready for backyard barbecues by deep-cleaning it. If you have a charcoal grill, empty it and wipe away any residue or dust. With hot water, soap, and a scrub brush, clean both the outside and inside of the grill and let it dry before use. For a gas grill, turn the heat up and let it cook for about 30 minutes. Allow it to cool and use a brush to clean the grates and interior. Wash the exterior with a sponger dipped in warm, soapy water.

  • Inspect Cooling Units
    The summer heat means it's time to prep your cooling units for their busiest time of the year. You may want to let a pro handle your HVAC unit to make sure everything works properly all season long, but you can remove, clean, or replace filters to boost performance and cut energy bills. Use a damp rag to clean all ceiling and house fans, including vents.
  • Check Safety Devices
    Smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, and any home timers should be checked at least once a month. Test the detectors by pressing the test button and replace old batteries to make sure they are in working order. Also, check the expiration date on fire extinguishers and replace them if needed.

Ready to put your home on the market among Nassau County homes for sale or Suffolk County homes for sale? Our team would be happy to help get your home sold quickly and for the right price. Contact us today to speak to an agent.

May
4

What's That Noise? Help for First-Time Homeowners

House Noises and Solutions - Coach Realtors

Creaks, groans, bumps in the night. Houses make all kinds of strange sounds, some of which can be downright unnerving if you're a first-time homeowner. 

Our REALTORS® have heard them all. Some really are "the house settling," just like your parents always told you. Some are common (but often irritating) noises that you can get rid of with little more than a few turns of a wrench. But a few household noises might represent a serious issue that needs professional attention.

  • Whistling Windows
    Few household sounds are more unsettling than the wind whistling through leaky windows at night. Luckily, this is generally an easy problem to fix. Just use caulk or weather stripping to seal up the gaps around leaky windows. You'll put an end to the ghostly whining, and probably make your home a bit more energy-efficient in the process.

  • Running Water
    It's normal to hear running water in your pipes when someone runs the shower, flushes the toilet, or turns on a water-using appliance like the dishwasher or washing machine. But you should never hear water running if nobody's using anything. If you do, turn off the main water valve and see if the sound stops. If it does, you have a leak somewhere.

  • Scratching in the Walls
    This is one you don't want to ignore. If you hear a sound inside your walls or roof that sounds like scratching or scurrying, there's a very good chance you have one or more uninvited guests. Mice, rats, squirrels, and raccoons are often to blame. If you suspect a pest problem, it's best to call an animal control expert before it gets worse. They're not just annoying; they can chew through insulation, siding and even electrical wires.

  • Banging Pipes
    Chances are you've been in a house with a steam radiator that makes those incessant banging and clanging sounds when the heat turns on. As frustrating as those noises are, they're usually easy to fix. Banging in your radiator is usually caused by the water not draining properly, in which case you can fix the problem by putting wooden shims under one side to level it out.

  • Water Heater Sounds
    The strange sounds that sometimes come from an old water heater (usually described as bubbling, popping or crackling) are usually the result of sediment buildup. A lot of sediment can accumulate in water heaters over time, and you may hear it bubbling or cracking when the cycle starts. This sound isn't a death sentence for your water heater, but it often means it's nearing the end of its lifespan. Ideally, the best way to prevent this sediment buildup is to drain and flush the tank a couple of times a year.

  • Mysterious Hissing Sounds
    Hissing sounds could have many possible sources, but a gas leak is one possible cause. It can be hard to pinpoint the exact source of a mysterious hissing sound, especially if it's coming from a hard-to-reach place, so it's usually best to err on the side of caution and contact a professional.

  • Furnace Noises
    Furnaces all have their quirks, but if yours starts making a new and persistent sound, it's usually best to contact an HVAC professional. Squeaking, squealing, banging, popping, clanking, and whistling could all indicate potential issues, and it's always best to nip problems in the bud before they become more serious. Furnaces are expensive to replace, and it's wise to have it serviced every six months or so to keep it healthy and avoid potentially costly repairs. 

Contact us today to learn more about the ins and outs of homeownership. We can help you find the right place to call home among the many Nassau County homes for sale and Suffolk County homes for sale on Long Island.

April
27

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. 

April
13

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!

March
30

Office Space: 5 Places Around the House to Add Workspace

Home Office Space - Coach Realtors

Need a space for a home office but aren't sure where it should go? If you've got a spare room, then it's a no brainer. But if all your rooms already have a function, it may be a little trickier. Your office location may also hinge on whether you're working remotely and need a place to work fulltime, or you just need a place to pay bills.

Regardless of where you decide to set up, creating a dedicated office space can be fun. And as our REALTORS® around Long Island will tell you, it can also be a selling point that will make your home a stand out among other Nassau County homes for sale or Suffolk County homes for sale. Here are five possibilities for your home office.

Choosing a Home Office Space

  1. Spare room. That spare room where you're stowing your unused stuff is the most obvious choice for your home office. Even if you've got a bed and chest of drawers in there for guests, you can still make room for a desk, some shelves, and a file cabinet. With today's computer equipment being so compact, you probably won't need that much space, but arrange things so you're not cramped. Get rid of stored items so it feels more like a serious workspace.

    Think light and airy when decorating. The days of dark wood and dim lighting are done. Choose simple, contemporary furniture with modern lines in grays, shades of white and black, but liven things up with a splash of color from pillows, a painting or framed photograph, or bold-colored drapes. Make your space comfortable so it's not like a prison and you dread going there.

  2. Garage, basement or attic. If your garage, basement or attic is unfinished, consider renovating it for office space. You'll need drywall and insulation, carpeting or rugs over concrete floors, and some kind of heating — maybe a ductless mini-split, which can heat and cool and doesn't require ductwork. Just make sure it's warm and cozy, or you won't want to work there. Section your garage space off from tools and car with partitions.

  3. Outdoor office. Manufactured sheds and outdoor buildings are being used these days for myriad purposes, including offices and studios, and can be finished out so that they're warm and habitable with ceramic heaters or mini-splits. Think carefully about windows and lighting if you have one of these built. 

    Another desirable feature about an outdoor office is you can close the door for privacy, or invite clients to come inside — which can be awkward inside your home.

  4. Dining room table. This isn't the optimal choice but if space is at a premium, it may be your only choice. Use the dining room table or a kitchen counter for your laptop, and move your filing cabinet into a storage space or closet when you're not using it. It's really not advisable to work in a bedroom or any room where you usually relax, as you'll be drawn to think about finishing your work rather than sleeping or chilling out.

  5. Closet. You may be blessed with a huge walk-in closet that you don't need for clothing and shoes. It can be ideal for a small office, with a work table, filing cabinet and even shelves and pegboard. Keep it neat and simple; paint the facing wall a calming color such as coral, light blue, or mint.

Our agents have other hints for creating an office space in your new or renovated Suffolk or Nassau County home for sale. Contact us today. 

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 7:56:21 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. --

Privacy Policy / DMCA Notice / ADA Accessibility

Agency License Information: https://www.coachrealtors.com New York State Real Estate Broker Principal Office Licenses Numbers: 109920686, 109920688, 109920690


Login to My Homefinder

Login to My Homefinder