Dino Rossi
RE/MAX Preferred Properties | 617-312-3910 | [email protected]


Posted by Dino Rossi on 1/19/2020

Photo by Lauren Fleischmann on Unsplash

Whether you need to hang bath towels in the bathroom or hand towels in the kitchen, a towel rack is an awesome thing to have around. And it is even better if made custom to suit your tastes and elevate the look of your home. For even more brownie points, you can make the towel rack yourself — and all it takes is some old picture frames and a little bit of elbow grease. Ready to start this fun project? Follow these seven easy steps.

1. Gather Your Tools & Materials

To create your custom towel rack, you will need:

  • 7 Old picture frames in various sizes
  • 1/2-inch screws
  • Drill
  • Screwdriver
  • Wood filler
  • Plastic wall anchors
  • Paint and brushes
  • 220-grit sandpaper
  • Old newspaper
  • Hanger
  • 2. Mock Up Your Design

    Working on the ground, mock up the design for your picture frame towel rack. Start with the largest frame in the center, as that will be used to secure the completed towel rack to the wall. You should have the frames overlap enough that you can secure each one together using two screws.

    3. Screw the Frames Together

    After finalizing your custom design, use your drill to create pilot holes for your screws. Then, screw the frames together, one by one, being careful to avoid cracking the wood. Cover the tops of the screws with wood filler, creating a seamless surface.

    4. Sand & Paint the Frames

    With the frames assembled, sand down the exterior surfaces to scuff up the finish. This will help the paint stick to the surface. Then, put down newspaper and place your frames on top. Use your paintbrushes to apply a new coat of paint in your desired color. Allow the initial coat to dry for four hours, then repeat. Allow the second coat to fully dry overnight, though 24 hours is better.

    5. Add a Hanger to the Back

    Unless your central picture frame already has a hanger, you will need to add one to the back to create a solid mounting point. If your towel rack is a bit on the large side, consider using two mounting points to give it enough strength when the extra weight of the towels are added.  

    6. Mount the Rack on the Wall

    Put the towel rack against the wall to find your preferred installation point. Remember to account for the length of the towels when they are folded over the bottom edges of the frames. Then, drill a hole, or two if you have dual hangers, in the wall, big enough for the plastic anchor.

    Use the handle of your screwdriver to tap the plastic anchor into the holes you just made. Then, add a screw to each plastic anchor and secure them almost all the way down with your screwdriver. With those in place, you can then hang the towel rack from the screws in the wall.

    7. Add Towels & Enjoy

    After securing your towel rack to the wall, you just hang your towels to complete this project. You can then go about your business, secure in the knowledge that you always have a towel close at hand when you need one.




    Categories: Uncategorized  


    Posted by Dino Rossi on 1/12/2020

    Image by TeroVesalainen from Pixabay

    Is your workspace feeling a little blah lately?  The new year is just the right time to make a change!  Make it part of your New Year's resolution to create a cheery, bright, and welcoming workspace by upcycling your old, dingy file cabinet into this blackboard-sided, pretty yet utilitarian piece of office furniture!

    You'll Need:

    • A filing cabinet or cabinets
      You probably have a filing cabinet sitting in your office or garage already and if not, you can easily source one from a thrift store or used office supply warehouse.  If you do buy your file cabinet(s) used, be sure to check them carefully for rust and make sure you can easily open and close each drawer before making your purchase.
    • Spraypaint and spray sealant
      Choose a cheery color several shades more intense than your wall or carpet color. 
    • Blackboard paint
      Blackboard paint is the best thing since sliced bread.  It may seem like an expensive buy, but you won't use it all on this project unless you're working with multiple filing cabinets, and you'll find yourself wanting to use it all over your house: it's addictive!
    • Tools to remove your hardware
      You will need a screwdriver to remove the drawer handles and locks from your file cabinet.
    • Sandpaper
      You'll need fine-grained sandpaper for this project.  An electric sander would come in very handy!
    • Primer and/or Sealant
      You'll need to use a basic primer to ensure that your paint stays put!
    • Garbage bags and painter's tape
      If you don't have a dropcloth, several large black garbage bags taped together with masking tape do just fine!
    • Spongy applicators for blackboard paint (or a small roller)

    Steps:

    1. First, remove all your hardware: the drawer handles, locks, and so on.
    2. Sand your filing cabinet.  Your goal isn't necessarily to remove the paint, but to create a rasp to which your primer can adhere, and to remove any peeling paint or flakes of rust.
    3. Remove the drawers and lay them out on your dropcloth.  Next, use a spray primer to create a tacky surface to which your paint can adhere.  Make sure you spray everywhere you'll paint, including your fittings if you plan to paint these.  Some blackboard paint doesn't require a primer; read the instructions on your paint to find out.  
      Note: Spray the back of the cabinet as well as the front; you never know which way it will face in the future! 
    4. Wait the prescribed amount of time for the primer to dry.
    5. Next, paint the left, right, and back of the cabinet and the space between the drawers with blackboard paint using your roller.  Continue applying coats until the look satisfies. 
    6. Using painter's tape, wrap a garbage bag 'cape' just beneath the top of the cabinet so only the top is exposed.  Then, spray the top of the cabinet with your spraypaint.  Then do the same with the drawers.  
      Note: Slower is better: do several light coats instead of trying to apply a great deal of spraypaint at once.  Check out this great article for ultimate spraypainting tips!
    7. You may choose to apply spraypaint to the hardware, keep it plain, or paint it with blackboard paint as well.  If you choose to spraypaint your hardware, be sure you've primed it thoroughly, first.
    8. Keeping the 'cape' in place, spray a sealant over your spraypaint.  Do not spray the sealant over your blackboard paint.
    9. Once the cabinet is completely dry, re-attach your hardware and place the drawers back inside the cabinet.

    Now you have a beautiful, bright, blackboard-sided filing cabinet!  The blackboard paint along the edges of each drawer allows you to label the contents with chalk markers and easily erase them if you rearrange your filing system.  You can put to-do lists or draw your calendar on the sides.

    Some Additional Ideas for this Project:

    • Do the entire filing cabinet in blackboard paint!
    • Apply stick-on decals before applying a sealant over your paint.
    • Mod Podge over textured paper, wallpaper, contact paper, old maps or newsprint to the front of your drawers rather than spraypainting them.  Apply a sealant as usual when you're done.
    • Use painter's tape to create amazing patterns on your drawers or on the top of your cabinet.
    • Edge the top and bottom of the drawers -- or the top of the cabinet -- with washi tape.  Use Mod Podge and sealant to ensure it doesn't peel up over time.




    Categories: Uncategorized  


    Posted by Dino Rossi on 1/5/2020

    If you intend to list your residence, you'll need to think about how you'll price your residence. However, what you initially paid for your home is unlikely to match its value today. And if you set an initial asking price that is too high, you risk alienating potential homebuyers.

    Lucky for you, we're here to help you determine the ideal initial asking price for your residence to increase the likelihood of a fast home sale.

    Now, let's take a look at three quick, easy ways to establish a competitive price for your house.

    1. Look at Housing Market Data

    Housing market data is easy to find and can show you how your residence stacks up against recently sold homes in your area.

    Evaluate the prices of recently sold local residences that are comparable to your own. With this housing market data in hand, you can better understand pricing trends for houses in your city or town.

    In addition, don't forget to check out the prices of available houses in your region. This housing market data will help you understand the current state of the real estate market.

    2. Conduct a Home Appraisal

    A home appraisal is valuable because it allows you to receive a property valuation from a home expert. When the appraisal is complete, you may be able to prioritize various home improvement projects as well.

    During a home appraisal, a property expert will examine your home's interior and exterior. This property expert also will assess the prices of recently sold and available homes in your area, including the prices of residences in your neighborhood. Following the appraisal, you'll receive a property valuation.

    If a property valuation falls below your initial expectations, there is no need to worry. Remember, you can always perform assorted home maintenance and upgrades to boost your house's value.

    3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

    Work with a real estate agent throughout the home selling process Ė you'll be glad you did. A real estate agent will go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that you can get the best price for your residence, regardless of the housing market's conditions.

    A real estate agent first will learn about you, your home and your home selling goals. Next, this housing market professional will list your residence, promote it to large groups of homebuyers and host home showings and open house events. If a homebuyer submits an offer on your residence, your real estate agent will help you analyze the proposal and determine whether to accept, reject or counter it.

    Furthermore, a real estate agent is happy to respond to any home selling questions. This housing market professional knows exactly what it takes to sell a residence, and as such, is ready to respond to your home selling queries at all times.

    Get the best price for your home Ė use the aforementioned tips, and you can price your house appropriately.





    Posted by Dino Rossi on 12/29/2019

    Buying your first home is a big decision; one that involves a lengthy process of saving money, building credit, and planning the next phase of your life. However, owning a home comes with one major payoff: home equity.

    Simply put, home equity is the amount of your home that youíve paid off. However, it does get more complicated when we bring in factors like the market value of your home and how it shifts over the years.

    In this article, weíll discuss home equity and what it means for you as a homeowner. This way, youíll have a better idea of what to expect when you finally make that last payment on your home or when you decide to sell.

    Home equity and market value

    As I mentioned earlier, home equity is more than just the amount youíve paid toward your mortgage. Like most markets, the housing market shifts over time.

    Most homes slowly increase in value over time. In the real estate world, this increase in value is called appreciation.

    However, that doesnít mean that your home is simply going to increase in value indefinitely until you decide to sell. As you will find out (if you havenít yet already), owning a home can be expensive. Houses age and require upgrades. If you fail to keep up with the maintenance of your home, its value can diminish.

    How to build equity

    The most important thing you can do to build equity is to make on-time payments to your mortgage. Making extra mortgage payments will help you build equity even faster.

    One method of paying extra on your mortgage that many people are adopting is to make bi-weekly payments. Twenty-six bi-weekly payments comes out to 13 full payments per year, the equivalent of making one full extra monthly payment.

    The second method of building equity is something that you have less control over: appreciation. However, if you stick to a maintenance schedule for your home and keep it in good repair, youíll most likely benefit from appreciation over the lifespan of your mortgage.

    What can I use home equity for?

    The most common way to use home equity is as a down payment or full payment on your next home. First-time buyers who donít have a 20% down payment saved often buy a starter home and then later upgrade as their family grows and their needs change. In the years that they own their first home, they build enough equity to make a full down payment on their second home, avoiding fees like mortgage insurance.

    Many homeowners planning on retiring in the near future use their equity toward their retirement home, often turning a profit in the process. If you plan on downgrading for retirement and have fully paid off your mortgage, you can often use your equity to pay for your next home in cash.





    Posted by Dino Rossi on 12/22/2019

    Photo by Halfpoint via Shutterstock

    When it comes to conserving energy, homeowners wanting to go green often spare no expense. Here are a few ways to upgrade your home without lightening your wallet.

    Smart Thermostat

    A powerful method to control your power use while saving money on your air conditioning bills in the summer and heating bills each winter is by installing a smart thermostat. Utilizing a system that monitors the indoor and outdoor humidity and temperatures to adjust your system keeps your home on an even keel and your bills steady. Choose one with multiple sensors so that you donít end up with hot spots or cold rooms around your home. You can adjust your thermostat manually, but the best way to make it smart is to connect it to a smartphone or voice-controlled device.

    Motion Sensing Dimmers

    You try your best, but thereís always one room where it seems the lights get left on more often than youíd like. The challenge is, itís the same room thatís often empty most of the day, so no one even notices the lights burning. To combat this issue, replace the standard light switch with a sensing dimmer switch. That way, if someoneís in the room, the light turns on, but when thereís no one moving around, off it goes. And, when daylight comes in the windows, the sensor knows to keep the light off.

    If youíre retrofitting an older home, replace pull-chain lights in basements and utility rooms with a motion-sensing light so that you never have to stumble around waving your arms in front of you trying to grab the string to the pull-chain.

    Adjustable LEDs

    On the subject of lights, Take it up (or down) a notch with a 3-way LED. The equivalent of a 60-watt bulb can adjust from soft, warm light to bright, daylight with built-in wireless technology at the sound of your voice when connected to your smartphone or smart home.

    If youíre looking for ways to make your home appeal to a more energy-conscious set of buyers, try utilizing these inexpensive, smart home technologies.




    Categories: Uncategorized