Emil Uliano - Great Island Realty



Posted by Emil Uliano on 10/16/2020

Photo by Dominika Roseclay via Pexels

Giving your space a much-needed makeover doesn't have to take a lot of time or money. Whether you want to recreate the space for a party, prepare for a sale, or simply make an old room look new, here's a solution for you. Use these tips to completely transform your room in just a day.

Update the Paint

Real estate agents often say that nothing makes potential buyers drunk quicker than a fresh coat of paint. It's intoxicating the way new paint provides an instant makeover to any space. Not only does it scream newness, it also keeps your walls protected from moisture and can improve the air quality of your home. So, if you want to redo a room or an entire house, grab the paint brush and get busy.

Focus on Decorative Storage Spaces

There's no rule that storage shelves must be used for storage. Instead, use them as a decorative centerpiece by establishing a theme or motif and carrying that through with well-chosen colors, textures, and accent pieces. Have a lot of clutter that needs a home? Consider decorative woven baskets to keep magazines, accessories, toys, and more tucked away while looking naturally beautiful.

Purchase Rugs

In the time it takes to place a rug, you can have a completely new atmosphere in any indoor or outdoor space. Rugs allow you to bring texture, color, or patterns into a room without overwhelming it. They can also serve as a focal point when placed correctly, or as a backdrop when something more subtle is preferred.

Switch Out the Pillows

Similar to rugs, pillows can really make a room pop at a fairly inexpensive price point. Mix textures and patterns to create a depth and layering effect on beds, benches, and couches. To create a palette that stuns, consider adding splashes of texture with feathered pillows, tassels, or ribbing. You also may want to choose bold colors combined with neutrals to add dimension to an otherwise flat area.

Power Wash Outdoors

A complete update of a deck or driveway can be accomplished easily with a thorough power wash. Doing so can make a home feel brand new. If time allows, consider restaining any wood panels and adding furniture to a deck, or replacing worn down rockery along a driveway.

Replace the Lighting

How you physically feel in a space often comes down to the lighting. Update your space with a dramatic lighting fixture or simplify and unify a room by choosing a neutral fixture. Effective design is about pairing lighting levels with the tasks being completed in that space. Think of a brightly lit kitchen island instead of a lamp in your reading space.

If you'd like more home decorating tips or want help with an upcoming move, feel free to reach out!




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Emil Uliano on 10/9/2020

Image by Kirk Fisher from Pixabay

Buying a home in a neighborhood with a Home Owner’s Association (HOA) works well for some families, while others find the HOA to be burdensome or intrusive. Learning more about what an HOA is, how it works and what to expect can help you determine if your next home should be in a neighborhood with a homeowner’s association.

What Is a Homeowners Association?

When builders or developers create planned communities with ameneties, they often also create a homeowners association to help manage the shared areas of the property when the building is complete. The homeowner’s association has some powers over the people who live in the neighborhood and is also responsible for maintaining the look and integrity of the community. Anyone owning a home in the community must also pay HOA fees for the services rendered. Dues can be paid monthly quarterly or annually and are determined by the association itself and its bylaws.

If you buy a home in a neighborhood with an HOA it is important to discover what rules are in place and what expectations the HOA has of residents. Some are far more involved and assertive than others, with rules for trashcan placement, yard maintenance and even parking. You should know what amenities you’ll have access to when you join the community and how your fees will be spent.

Since HOA fees are an added expense, they’ll also be considered when you apply for a mortgage, so be sure to factor them in when you work out what you can afford.

Benefits of Living in a Homeowner’s Association Community

Communities that have an HOA in place are generally well maintained; the HOA is responsible for caring for public areas, landscaping, sidewalks and some roadways. You won’t have to worry about living in a messy or unsightly neighborhood when an HOA is in place.

A pool you don’t have to care for, tennis courts to use on demand and even a clubhouse for parties and get togethers are big draws for some homeowners, if these things matter to you, you’ll enjoy this type of community.

A community with an active and healthy HOA will likely have groups and social gatherings. In some HOA groups, clubs, celebrations and welcomes for new members are scheduled throughout the year. If you want a close knit, involved community, then the right type of HOA may serve your needs well.

Drawbacks of Living in a Homeowner’s Association Community

The biggest drawback of living in an HOA community is having to cope with rules that you don’t agree with or that put a burden on your family.

For many homeowners, the HOA determines what colors a home can be, how often the lawn should be mowed and even what holiday decorations are acceptable. If you prefer making these decisions for yourself, you may not enjoy an HOA neighborhood.

You may not be able to make some improvements to your home; your HOA will determine if you can create an addition, add a fence (and will specify what kind of fence you can have) or even rent out your property. Homeowners who might want to expand their home, renovate or even have kids or get a dog may find that the rules for fencing and building are too stringent.

In some cases, an HOA has the power to levy annual fees or costs for construction projects and bill homeowners for the work. In some communities, this can run into the thousands of dollars per home. You should be aware of this possibility and determine if the HOA has to power to charge members for capital improvements before you buy.

Is an HOA Community Right for You? 

If amenities and low care public areas matter to you and you don’t have plans for ambitious renovations or home changes, then an HOA neighborhood could suit your needs. If you generally dislike having rules imposed on things you own or feel uncomfortable having to request permission to make changes, the HOA may be more of a burden.

Review the rules and bylaws of any HOA you are considering buying into to be sure you fully understand what to expect before you make a purchase. You’ll be able to enjoy the neighborhood without any unwelcome surprises or costs when you know what to expect.




Tags: Buying a Home   buyer tips   HOA  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Emil Uliano on 10/2/2020

Photo by fauxels from Pexels

It sounds like it should make things easier -- selling your home to a friend or family member should be a breeze for both parties -- but in reality, a home sale can disrupt your relationship if you don't go about it the right way. With the exception of parent to child transfers (and even some of those have issues) real estate transactions with family can go horribly wrong. Thankfully, there are ways to prevent strife and ensure that both parties get what they need from the process and that the relationship stays intact or even improves. Here's what to know when you sell your home to a friend or family member. 

Don't Attempt to DIY your Home Sale

For Sale by Owner transactions are already tricky, but if you try to navigate not only the purchase price, conditions and transfer of ownership on your own, you could end up in a family feud that lasts long after the sale is done. Working with an agent ensures you have an objective third party and that everything runs as smoothly as possible. While they won't be your referee or babysitter, these skilled negotiators can make sure everyone walks away happy, with the relationship intact. 

Get Objective Opinions

Use fair market value to determine the houses selling price, and be willing to make concessions. When you have an objective agent help determine the right price, you can be sure it is fair to both parties and that everyone's needs are met. Simply trying to work it out on your own can result in  sale that leads to resentment and trouble later, if the home ends up being worth less (or more) than you expected. A professional appraisal done by someone who is a stranger to all involved can help set the right price. 

Hire an Inspector

With an eye for home conditions and the ability to detect even minor issues, this valuable team member is even more important during a friendly real estate transaction. You won't have to rely on your own knowledge or on your family member to let you know what needs work. Your inspection report will reveal everything you should know to strike the right bargain -- and let you know what you are getting into. Going into the transaction fully informed prevents unhappy, relationship-damaging discoveries later. 

Work with an Agent for a Trouble Free Sale

Of all the ideas above, insulating yourself by working with an agent will help you the most. This ensures that any conflict can be absorbed by a third party and that questions can be answered objectively. Whether you both use the same agent or you each have your own, that objectivity can go a long way towards ensuring a successful transaction that delights both sides of the table. Get in touch today to discover how easy selling your home to someone you already know can be and for help navigating this sometimes tricky process. 




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Emil Uliano on 9/25/2020

If you want to buy your dream house, you'll likely need to submit a competitive offer from the get-go. That way, you can boost the likelihood of receiving a "Yes" from a home seller and proceed along the homebuying journey.

Putting together a competitive homebuying proposal can be simple. Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you prepare a competitive offer to acquire your ideal residence.

1. Look at Your Homebuying Budget

Entering the real estate market with a budget in hand generally is beneficial. This budget will enable you to narrow your house search to residences that fall within a certain price range. Plus, your budget can help you define exactly how much you can offer to acquire a residence.

When it comes to mapping out a homebuying budget, you should meet with several lenders. These financial experts can help you get pre-approved for a mortgage. And with a mortgage in hand, you'll know exactly how much you can spend on a house.

2. Review Housing Market Data

Housing market data can make or break a homebuying proposal. If you assess real estate market data closely, you can uncover a variety of patterns and trends. Then, you can use this information to craft a competitive offer that accounts for the present real estate market's conditions.

Of course, it helps to evaluate the age and condition of a house as well. Learning about all aspects of a house will help you determine whether to submit an offer at, above or below a seller's initial asking price for his or her residence.

The more information that you obtain about a residence and the current housing market's conditions, the better off you will be. Because if you take a data-driven approach to buying a residence, you can define a competitive offer for any home, in any housing market and at any time.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is a difference-maker, particularly for a homebuyer who is uncertain about what differentiates a competitive home offer from a "lowball" proposal. In fact, a real estate agent will go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that you can acquire a great house at the lowest-possible price.

Typically, a real estate agent will provide you with a wealth of housing market insights. He or she also is happy to teach you about the real estate market and respond to any of your homebuying concerns or questions.

A real estate agent can offer recommendations about how much you should offer to pay for a house too. He or she will provide honest, unbiased homebuying suggestions to help guide you in the right direction throughout the homebuying cycle.

If you want to purchase your dream house as quickly as possible, there is no reason to delay any further. Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can prepare a competitive offer to purchase your dream residence.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Emil Uliano on 9/18/2020

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

You don’t have to worry about putting on a pot of coffee after dinner when you use these recipes. Make coffee part of your dessert for a delicious treat with just a touch of caffeine.

Coffee & Whipped Cream Brownies

A bit of instant coffee and some heavy whipping cream can spruce up regular brownies. Give this recipe a try for creamy brownies with a caffeine kick. To make this, you’ll need to gather the following ingredients:

  • 3 oz chopped unsweetened chocolate
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1 tsp instant coffee
  • 3 tbsps heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tbsps softened butter
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • Start making this tasty brownie recipe by melting the unsweetened chocolate and butter in the microwave. Stir the chocolate and butter, and let this mixture cool a little. Beat eggs, vanilla and sugar in a small bowl, then add the chocolate mixture. Add flour and baking soda to the mixture, then stir. Grease an 8-inch baking pan, and add the brownie mix. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes at 350 degrees, then remove the pan from the oven and let it cool.

    To make the coffee and cream layer, add the coffee to the heavy whipping cream. Let the coffee dissolve, then add the butter and confectioners’ sugar. Beat this mixture until it’s light, then spread it over the brownies. Place the brownies in the fridge until the coffee and cream layer sets.

    To make glaze for your brownies, cook the chocolate chips and heavy whipping cream in a small pot on low heat. Let the melted chocolate mix cool, then spread it over the coffee and cream layer on the brownies. Let the glaze set for about 30 minutes before cutting and serving the brownies.

    Coffee Ice Cream Cheesecake Pie

    When you can’t decide between ice cream and cheesecake, combine both with this simple recipe. All you need to make it are the following ingredients:

  • 2 8-oz packages of softened cream cheese
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 pint of softened coffee ice cream
  • 1 pre-packaged graham cracker pie crust
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • To make this recipe, beat the softened cream cheese with an electric mixer until it’s smooth. Add the milk, vanilla and sugar to the cream cheese, then beat until it’s creamy. Add the softened ice cream to this mix, then beat until it has a smooth texture. Add this ice cream and cream cheese mix to the graham cracker pie crust, then place in the freezer for up to 4 hours. Once the pie is firm, it will be ready to eat. Melt the chocolate chips in a saucepan on the stove or in the microwave, then pour the chocolate mix onto the pie before serving.




    Tags: dessert   Cooking   meal planning  
    Categories: Uncategorized