Top tips for increasing your home’s value from your local Real Estate experts

Thinking of doing a home renovation? Or perhaps putting your house on the market?

Then you should know what sells your house best!

The housing market is not slowing down and all signs point to a seller’s market. Your home won’t sell itself, so pay close attention to our expert tips on how to prepare your house for the market and how to increase the value of your home.

Learn to improve the value of your home based on your budget with our top cost-efficient tips. We put these tips together in order to help you improve the look and feel of your home.

Curb Appeal Increases your home's value
Curb Appeal Increases your home’s value


First impressions are everything. The way your house looks from the street – attractively landscaped and well maintained – can add thousands to its value. For a few hundred dollars, hire a lawn service company to trim your lawn and shape your hedges.

well landscaped outdoor area increases your living square footage
Well landscaped outdoor area increases your living square footage


Creating a comfortable and beautiful place to sit down and relax will increase a home’s livable square footage and look more appealing to prospective buyers when you decide to sell.

Outdoor living spaces allow you to get more use out of your property. Full outdoor living rooms, well-placed seating areas, outdoor dining areas and outdoor kitchens are all remodeling projects that can increase your home’s value.

Bathroom updates are always a good idea
Bathroom updates are always a good idea


Beautify your bathroom; updates in this room are always a good idea. People like to feel relaxed, like they are in a spa. Focus on your faucets, countertops, vanity, lighting fixtures and the tile floor. Upgrade your bath area. And remember to keep it clean!

Visual space affects the value
Visual space affects the value


Make the interior of your home shine from the moment someone walks through the door. Cleanliness counts.

One of the simplest, most cost-effective improvements of all is paint. Freshly painted rooms look clean and updated – that spells value.

Clear the clutter and remove everything that could turn the buyers away. If the potential buyer will see a mess in any of the areas in your home, they will conclude that you don’t take care of your property.

Visual space is important. If your house looks pristine and clutter free it will make a great first impression. The key is to make each room in your house feel larger.

For maximizing your home’s value, kitchen updates are key
For maximizing your home’s value, kitchen updates are key


The room that has the biggest impact on a homebuyer is undoubtedly your kitchen. For maximizing your home’s value, kitchen updates are key. Consider painting or refinishing your kitchen cabinets, installing a new tile backsplash, switching out your old appliances to new ones, adding an island, replacing the flooring and changing your lighting. A new and updated kitchen will surely grab the buyer’s attention.

Repair it and forget it
Repair it and forget it


Deteriorating roofs, termite infestation or outdated plumbing or electrical systems – you can’t fix it if you don’t know it’s broken. Hire an inspector to check out the areas of your home that you don’t normally see. They may discover hidden problems that could negatively impact your home’s value. Buyers want assurance that basic systems in your home are in working order and won’t need to be replaced or repaired in the near future, issues that will most likely be addressed in the home inspection.

Repair it and forget it!


Invite a realtor to tour your house. Spend an hour with a pro by requesting a consultation with your local real estate professional. After the tour they can give you lots of ideas for needed improvements. Even small suggested improvements, such as paint colors or furniture placement, can go a long way toward improving the look of your home. A good professional should also have a great network of local experts they can recommend for certain home improvement projects.



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Learn the Art of Archery at Victory Archers

Photo Credits Dmitriy Mirochnik

Shooting with a bow and arrow is very exciting indeed, but when was the last time you’ve done that? Can’t remember? Not to worry, introducing Victory Archers – the only indoor archery club in Staten Island.

Its story takes us back to 1973 when a group of several people with one common love for hunting created a members-only club in one of Staten Island’s local bars. At that particular point in time, according to the laws of New York State, if you wanted to carry a pistol you had to belong to a club. And so, the club was born. Its members passionately discussed tips and tricks and practiced technique on regular basis. However, as the New York laws with regards to the purchase, possession and carrying of handguns were changing and becoming stricter, the club slowly evolved into a hunting archery club.

Today, the club’s main focus is on the art of archery, consisting of both, members that hunt and others that teach. Walking into the space one can easily be tricked into thinking that this sport is easy, seeing how effortlessly the archers showcase their skills. Don’t be fooled, it takes years of practice before you are skilled enough to hit a target perfectly. “It’s all about hand-eye coordination, steadiness and practice. It’s more of a mental game. You have to release the arrow automatically. Once you start questioning and second guessing yourself, that’s when you mess up” explains Joe Strcich, the treasurer of the Victory Archers.

Interesting fact – archery sport is considered to be an extremely safe sport, it is almost unheard of for a person to injure themselves or others around them. Unless, of course the person is the target or you are someone like Dick Cheney.

The members of the Victory Archers are dedicated to promoting and growing awareness of the sport in our community. Part of the club’s charter calls for community involvement. The members actively expose people to archery through complimentary classes and local competitions. With the club’s help, twice a year, the Parks Department at the Willowbrooks park hold Archers Basics event, where  park rangers and Victory Archers’ instructors teach children and adults the proper way to draw a bow and shoot an arrow. Victory Archers’ members schedule regular social events and travel to many local as well as professional competitions, such as NFAA Mid-Atlantic Indoor Championships, throughout the year.

The recent mass phenomenon, “Hunger Games”, consumed the nation and helped spark the enthusiasm for archery once again. Every teenage girl is fascinated with the leading character, Katniss Everdeen, and her exceptional archery skills. The movie has boosted the sports popularity, and we think it’s definitely a good thing. More girls than ever are taking archery lessons and building up their self-esteem. Getting involved in sports is important for any one looking to improve their health, lifestyle and fitness.

“We love and enjoy what we do” says Joe, so don’t be surprised to see the instructors go overtime with you even when your lesson is over. Archery is truly captivating in every sense.

If you’d like to learn more about the membership or archery classes at Victory Archers Club please visit their site.

1st Annual NARI-HIC Home Remodeling Show

NARI-HIC-Remodeling Show

Over the weekend we attended the NARI-HIC Home Remodeling Show staged at the center court in the Staten Island Mall. The two-day home improvement show featured an extensive number of licensed local contractors. The mission of NARI-HIC organization is to provide the homeowner with quality workmanship, professionalism and customer satisfaction.

“It is impossible to imagine New York without the contributions of the contractors who make our great city go,” said New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “That is why we are proud to applaud the Staten Island HIC for its hard work and advocacy, and together, we look forward to contractors and their clients alike benefitting from this terrific showcase.”

Members of the Home Improvement Contractors of Staten Island Inc. are pledged to observe honesty, integrity and responsibility when conducting business. For a full list of contractors please visit

Atmosphere Essentials – The Art of Natural Skin

If you haven’t been introduced yet to Atmosphere Essentials, allow me to be the first to do so. This cozy haven for all that smells delicious has become a neighborhood gem. From the moment you walk into this picturesque cottage you are surrounded by a relaxing, delightful atmosphere. The salon is run by a knowledgeable Antonio Sciortino, who provides personal attention and treats you like a good old friend. Though Atmosphere Essentials’ focus is mainly on body and skin care, one can also indulge in custom designed perfumes, candles and baby care products; in addition beauty and hair care services are featured in a modest but comfortable salon.

Antonio is an expert in natural skin products, but not too many know that his journey into beauty world began with his grandmother. In the early 1950’s, in Italy, Antonio’s grandmother began producing soaps, hair shampoos and lotions, using all natural products, to help cope with the tough post-war times. Inspired by the healthy living concept and armed with original family formulas, Antonio decided to reflect back to nature with the Atmosphere Essentials skin care line. The all-organic products in the store are produced in a private on-site laboratory used for research and development.

Here’ a list of products I had the pleasure of testing:

Volcanic (olive oil and processed volcanic rock based) soap exfoliates your skin and leaves you with a little healthy glow.

Mint (olive oil and peppermint tea) soap has a refreshing peppermint smell that enhances your bathing experience.

Grape Seed Exfoliating Shower Gel provides a gentle micro scrub while Grape Seed Body Lotion nourishes the body with natural oils.

The soy candle is one of my favorite products, made with 100% soy wax and essential oils.

And last but not least, the custom designed fragrances. We all like perfumes, but it’s even more fun to create your very own signature scent. Try it and make it personal!

Big thank you to Dmitry M for the photos.

Kmart on Richmond Ave – Going Out of Business

The slow economic recovery is continuing to affect not only the small businesses, but the big retail chains as well. Recently, the decision has been made to shut down a Kmart store located on Richmond Ave. Everything in the store is currently on sale.

“Kmart will close for business in January. We encourage our shoppers to continue shopping with us at another nearby Kmart location on Hylan Blvd” said one of the employees.

The rumors are that Target will be opening their second store on Staten Island in Kmart’s retail space.

In the mean time, get a great deal on all Halloween costumes (50% off the ticket price) or start your holiday shopping early.