Larry Costa REALTORģ
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Posted by Larry Costa REALTOR® on 7/13/2018

Your kitchen is an often used room and can become cluttered very quickly. There are plenty of strategies that you can use to keep the room in order. Below, youíll find tips that will help you to keep your kitchen decluttered and your supplies organized once and for all! 


Make Space For Storage


This sounds like an obvious need in any room of the house, but the kitchen is a place where you need ample storage. There are a few ways to do this. Outside of your cabinets, you can install freestanding storage units, like shelving or extra cabinets. Even an armoire can help you to have a space to beautifully display your dishes. 


Under your sink, you can keep your most frequently used items like soap, sponges, and detergent in easy to access solutions. Either install a small turntable, or simple get bins that can be labeled and pulled out as needed. This will keep everything you need together neat and tidy. It will be difficult to actually disorganize this space once you have completed this small task. 


Coffee Time


What would a kitchen be without coffee? If you brew a cup of joe every morning, youíll want easy access to coffee supplies. Dedicate a space next to the coffeemaker where youíll keep the coffee, mugs, beans, and other supplies. You can even keep your travel mugs near this space within reach when youíre running out the door. If thereís little room on the counter, hang hooks on the wall to keep coffee mugs and travel mugs out of the way.


Tackle The Trash And Recycling


Thereís nothing worse than having trash and recycling all over your kitchen. Keep these items concealed in dedicated cabinets. The perfect place for the trash and the recycling is next to the sink since thatís the most convenient location for the trash to be in. 


The recycling will follow the same pattern as it needs to be rinsed out and ready to go outside in the bins.  


Keep The Family Organized


A kitchen is a great place for you to have a center of communication for your family. This is where a bulletin board can be placed with important documents. A calendar listing all of the familyís activities and appointments can be hung for everyoneís reference. This area make use of a small space that would otherwise be wasted in your kitchen. It also serves a dual purpose in keeping the family organized.


Small changes can make a big difference in the kitchen when it comes to clutter, storage, and organization. Once you get started, keeping the clutter at bay can be very easy.




Tags: orgainze   kitchen  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Larry Costa REALTOR® on 7/6/2018

As a homebuyer, you likely want to do everything you can to ensure you can seamlessly navigate the property buying journey. Yet problems may arise that hamper your homebuying aspirations. Lucky for you, we're here to help you analyze the property buying journey and ensure you can avoid complications along the way.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to ensure you can minimize the risk of problems as you search for your dream residence.

1. Learn About the Homebuying Journey

There is nothing quite like buying a home. As such, you'll want to do whatever you can to prepare for the property buying journey to ensure you can limit the risk of encountering potential pitfalls.

Oftentimes, it helps to review housing market data related to residences in your preferred cities and towns. This information can help you assess the prices of available houses in your area and find out how long residences typically stay available before they sell. Plus, this housing market data may help you differentiate a buyer's market from a seller's market.

You also should establish realistic homebuying expectations before you enter the real estate market. In some instances, homebuyers require many weeks or months to find the perfect residence. But if you set realistic expectations for the homebuying journey, you may be better equipped than ever before to overcome myriad property buying challenges.

2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

A mortgage is essential for most homebuyers. If you secure a mortgage before you start your home search, you'll know precisely how much you can spend on a residence. Then, you can narrow your home search accordingly.

It generally won't take long to get pre-approved for a mortgage, either. If you meet with local banks and credit unions, you can review your mortgage options and select a mortgage that complements your finances.

3. Hire a Real Estate Agent

There is no telling what may happen as you pursue your dream residence. However, if you have a real estate agent at your side, you'll be able to prepare for any homebuying challenges that might come your way.

A real estate agent is a homebuying expert who is happy to teach you about all aspects of the housing market. He or she will help you craft a homebuying strategy, as well as respond to your homebuying concerns and questions. Furthermore, a real estate agent will maintain constant communication with you to ensure you can get the homebuying support you need, exactly when you need it.

For homebuyers who want to minimize complications, hiring a real estate agent is crucial. This housing market professional will set up home showings, help you analyze properties and enable you to submit a competitive offer to purchase your dream home. And as your home closing day approaches, a real estate agent will do whatever it takes to help you quickly finalize your house purchase.

Ready to buy a home? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can streamline the property buying cycle.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Larry Costa REALTOR® on 6/29/2018

If youíre thinking about buying your first home, itís good to be close to a city that has all of the amenities and characteristics that you want out of life. However, recent economic growth and an increasing wealth divide has made some cities and their suburbs expensive and overcrowded.

Fortunately, there are several cities and metropolitan areas across the U.S. that are currently experiencing both job growth and a cultural rejuvenation. In this article, weíll cover the top 10 up and coming cities to move to.

 1. Colorado Springs, CO

An hour drive from Denver and two hours to the mountains, Colorado Springs is a rising alternative to the Denver Metropolitan area. It is home to several high ranking colleges and the unemployment rate is low. Best of all, Colorado Springs is a highly affordable place to live.

2. Portland, ME

Portland is a small coastal city but is packed with restaurants and the arts. Itís proximity to the ocean and affordability make Portland a great place to move to. Thereís also a thriving do-it-yourself scene, an emphasis on green living and repurposing old infrastructure.

3. Indianapolis, IN

Indianapolis combines affordable living with in-demand amenities like shopping, professional sports teams, and highly sought colleges. Itís also home to the biggest sporting event in the country, the Indianapolis 500 auto race.

4. Nashville, TN

Nashville and its surrounding suburbs are experiencing growth and demand for their rich musical culture and history as well as their affordability and short commute times. Residents of Nashville often rank it as being a great place to live, and if you trust anyone it should be the people who are there 365 days a year.

5. Grand Rapids, MI

Grand Rapids has the industry and infrastructure of a large metropolitan area but maintains the affable nature of a small, midwestern town. Grand Rapids is known for its large public waterway on the Grand River as well as its close proximity to Lake Michigan.

6. Houston, TX

Just an hourís drive to great beaches on the Gulf of Mexico, Houston boasts a beautiful skyline and a rich cultural heritage, especially when it comes to food. Houston is also the home to several national companies and homes in the area are relatively affordable since Houston wasnít largely affected by the housing crisis.

7. Raleigh, NC

The Raleigh metropolitan area is home to several competitive research universities and the population is booming with nearly 80 people migrating to Raleigh each day. Affordable housing and a stable but increasing job market make the Raleigh metropolitan area a highly desirable place to live.

8. San Jose, CA

Silicon Valley shows no signs of slowing as major companies like Google, Apple, and Facebook, continue to expand. One problem residents of the area will face is growing real estate prices and a shortage of housing, but living in both a technological and a natural paradise might be worth it for the right people.

9. Sarasota, FL

Beautiful beaches and year-round warm weather attract retirees to Florida each year. But Sarasota also offers a large and growing job market in healthcare, tourism, and hospitality.

10. Salt Lake City, UT

Salt Lake City is within driving distance of several national parks, holds close proximity to mountains, and is nearby Utahís Great Salt Lake, the largest salt lake in the Western Hemisphere. Salt Lake City has a growing job market, a low unemployment rate (2.8%), and low average commute times.




Tags: Real Estate   moving   cities  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Larry Costa REALTOR® on 6/22/2018

If you're in the market for a new home, one of the first things you need to determine is how much of a monthly mortgage payment you can comfortably afford. A loan officer or mortgage broker can help you figure that out, based on your income, debts, and other information.

One thing they probably won't include in the equation is the cost of home maintenance and other essential services, like garbage collection.

Ultimately, it's up to the homeowner to build in enough "breathing room" in their budget to cover unexpected expenses. Although you can't predict exactly what those expenses will be or how much they'll cost, it's virtually guaranteed that they're going to occur. Whether you're planning to buy a new house or a mid-century dwelling, here's the short list of typical homeowner expenses that could crop up. While all these items may not apply directly to your situation, many of them eventually will.

  • Plumbing repairs: Leaky pipes, clogged drains, and broken plumbing fixtures are common problems in most homes. You may also need a plumber to fix or install a garbage disposal, repair or replace a hot water heater, or hook up a new refrigerator to your water supply.
  • HVAC services: When you combine the cost of semi-annual routine service calls and unexpected emergency repairs, the cost of maintaining your heating and cooling systems can really take a bite out of your household budget!
  • Appliance repair: The typical family depends on at least a half a dozen major appliances to prepare meals and keep their clothes and dishes clean. When one or more of those appliances break down, chaos can ensue! In many cases, it's more cost-effective and practical to call a repair service than buy a new appliance.
  • Exterminator services: Regardless of whether you live in the city or the country, unexpected and unwelcome insects, rodents, and other miscellaneous varmints can show up in your home and yard. Sometimes it's even necessary to call a wildlife control specialist to remove skunks, raccoons, and other intruders!
  • Electrical repairs and upgrades: Although electrical repairs are occasionally needed for safety reasons, most calls to electricians are more routine in nature. However, when light switches, electrical outlets, and ceiling lights stop working, it can be a huge inconvenience for you and your family. In some cases, you might even be desperate enough to pay extra for emergency electrical service on weekends!
  • Miscellaneous expenses: Garage door repairs, fireplace cleaning, swimming pool maintenance, deck repairs, rain gutter cleaning, professional carpet cleaning, landscaping, fence repair, home siding repair, and wet basement problems are a few of the many expenses that may require you to dip into your savings or household budget.
If you happen to be a first-time homeowner, you may also need to shell out hundreds (or thousands) of dollars for items like a lawn mower, yard maintenance tools, snow blower, vacuum cleaner, furniture, and interior painting supplies. While home ownership, decorating, and yard maintenance can give you a feeling of satisfaction and pride of ownership, it's necessary to earmark a sufficient amount of money to pay for those sometimes unexpected costs!





Posted by Larry Costa REALTOR® on 6/15/2018

When youíre searching for a place to live if you have kids, or even if youíre planning on having kids in the future, the neighborhood you choose is of concern. When youíre single, itís easy to fill your desire for the city. You live near bars, clubs, conveniences, and more. Once you start thinking with a family in mind, your ideas shift. 


So, if youíre looking for a neighborhood with children in mind, where do you start? Read on to discover the top priorities of a kid-friendly property search. 


The Schools


Most parents put a lot of consideration into where their children will go to school. Many resources allow you to research different school districts. You can also visit schools in person, or talk to other parents and see their opinion of the local schools for specific neighborhoods. 


The Safety Of The Area


Whether you have kids or not, you want to know that the area youíre going to live in is safe. Before you select a neighborhood to live in, youíll want to research the crime rates in the area. You might assume that individual cities and towns have better crime rates than others, but you may be surprised. Ask your local real estate agent for more information on local crime rates and how to research them. 


Sense Of Community


If you are moving with kids or planning on having a family anytime soon, youíll want to have a supportive community surrounding you. Having a community means that there are other families around with children. This way, it will be easier for you to build a network of other moms who are in the same stage as you. Some things to consider are:


Are there sidewalks in the neighborhood?

Is there a lot of traffic in the area?

Are there places for kids to play nearby? 

Do you see families out for a walk together?


Answering these questions will give you an idea of how family-friendly your neighborhood will be. Sidewalks make the area accessible for kids to go and hang out with their friends safely. Parks and playground are not only a great place to play for kids but a great place to meet other parents. If a neighborhood has the things that you want for your family, chances are, many other families in the area feel the same way. 


Choosing a neighborhood can be difficult, but with a little research and groundwork, youíll be able to select an excellent place for your family to live.