Blog :: 08-2015

Tuesday Tip - How to Cool Off Without Air Conditioning

Summer is starting to wind down, but that doesn't mean all of the sweltering days are behind us for the year.  Today's Tuesday Tip offers 10 Hacks for Living Without AC, and it comes to us from AOL Real Estate.  Summer in the city can be tough without the reprieve of air conditioning, but hopefully these tips will help you stay cool!

For more tips on city living, and for general real estate information, feel free to reach out to our experts at 617-236-0353 or through our website at www.thecharlesrealty.com.

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Tuesday Tip - How to Organize Your Garage to Add Value to Your Home

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Today's Tuesday Tip features guest blogger, Stephanie Hanson, from Garage Storage Pros of MASS, who shares insight into how to best organize your garage if you're looking to add value to your home.  Here's what she has to say:

"When you hear the words, "Add value to your home," what do you think of? Maybe your mind wanders toward finishing a basement, replacing carpet for hardwood, or even adding landscaping. A lesser-known way to add value to your home is through having an organized garage.

It's true! Having a system in place for garage organization can make your home more desirable, and worth more. It could mean that someone is willing to pay the extra $5,000 you are asking for your home. In fact, Freshome named it one of the fifteen best ways to increase the value of your home. So let's roll up our sleeves and get started.

First, you're going to want to clear out the clutter in your garage. That means getting rid of the stuff you don't need or use anymore. Some people find this step overwhelming. If that's you, consider hiring a professional garage organizer to help streamline the process. If you're someone who feels bad about getting rid of perfectly good items that you just don't seem to use anymore, just donate! Many people will appreciate putting your item to good use.

Next, it's time for planning. Once every item is out of your garage, and you've discarded any unused items, you can decide on a garage layout that would be most beneficial. If you're planning on living in the home for a few more years, ask yourself what purposes your garage serves. Is it a catch-all? A workshop? A long-term storage facility, or a place you park your car? All these questions will tell you what types of materials you'll want to organize your garage with.

Most people consider cabinets and shelving, equal. That's not the case! Each piece of storage equipment is designed to solve a specific storage problem. Shelving is great for frequently used items, because they can be accessed quickly. Cabinets are great for items that are hazardous, or unsafe or children, because they aren't as easy to access. Overhead storage is ideal for long-term storage items because it keeps them up, and out of the way.

If you're getting ready to sell your home and are just looking to add the most bang for your buck, go for cabinets and flooring to add a sleek, professional look to your garage. Epoxy floor coatings are great because they can hide dirt, cracks, and stains on your concrete. Premium cabinets that match your epoxy flooring will tie the room together give you tons of storage space.

If you're in the market to sell, or just want to make your home a little nicer, consider how updating your garage will help."

Garage Storage Pros of MASS is a garage storage and organization company for homeowners in the Cambridge area. Visit their website here, for more information.

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Tuesday Tip - Preparing for a September 1st Move In

Awhile back, we wrote a post outlining 5 Things to Consider when Shopping for a Rental.  Since the heavy rental season is upon us - and September 1st, the biggest rental move in date of the year is quickly approaching, we thought the timing would be perfect for another post about rentals - specifically a checklist for your September 1st move in (keep in mind that September 1st is a Tuesday this year, so the weekend leading up to that will be busy as well).  Of course there's the obvious: pack, call about utilities, etc., but there are some other tasks that should definitely be checked off the list sooner rather than later.  Here they are, in order of time sensitivity:

-Secure a U-Haul: There are more than 36,000 students at Boston-based colleges and universities who are renting apartments in Boston neighborhoods.  This number alone makes for a serious crowd of Sept. 1st movers, but throw in the additional renters in and around the city and you've got a number that's staggering.  If you need help moving, be it a truck or a moving service, book it now!  Call your local U-Haul, bribe your friends, whatever it takes to make sure you're not alone, strapping a mattress to the top of your Smart Car on 9/1.  If all the U-Hauls in the city are already taken, look for one outside the city in the suburbs.  Also, check to see if you'll need a parking permit for the moving truck, or if the moving company you're using will secure parking signs from the city.

-Elevator / Loading dock reservations: Will you need access to your new building's elevator or loading dock on 9/1?  Chances are, other people will to0, so make sure that you reserve your time if required by the building.

-Parking permit:  Will you need a residential sticker in order to park in your new neighborbood?  Better to get it taken care of now so you don't have to deal with a parking ticket on top of all the other stresses that come along with moving day.  Visit http://www.cityofboston.gov/parking/residentparking/ for more information about applying for a residential parking pass.

-Doors and window measurements: Don't want to saw the legs off your new dining room table?  Better measure the doors and take a look at stairwells to make sure all of your furniture will fit.  In particularly tight situations, some folks will even use cranes to get furniture through windows, so if you'll need a crane, it's better to know that sooner rather than later.  Also, don't forget to measure windows - blinds and window treatments will offer much needed privacy while living in the city.

-Hire cleaners: Your new place should be relatively clean when you move in, but the previous tenant might not have the same standards for cleanliness so it's always a good idea to hire a cleaner to make your new home feel fresh and inviting.  If possible, book them for early in the morning so they can be in and out before you start your move.

-Key collection: Check with your rental agent for key collection.  When you pick them up, make sure your unit keys also include your mailbox keys.

-Check to see if your building management company charges a move in or move out fee.

-Trash/Recycling schedules: Moving generates a lot of trash, so it's definitely good to know which days of the week your trash and recycling are picked up.  Here's a link to the trash schedule, http://www.cityofboston.gov/publicworks/wastereduction/collection.asp.

And since September 1st always seems to be one of the hottest days of the Summer, make sure you have plenty of refreshments for you and your friends!

Fore more tips on preparing for moving day, and for general information about renting in Boston, contact our experts at http://www.thecharlesrealty.com.

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