Mark Carmien - Maple and Main Realty, LLC



Posted by Mark Carmien on 7/11/2020

Photo by Seksak Kerdkanno via Pixabay

Diffusing aromas in your home is a great way to settle in, relax and enjoy a fresh, clean scent that calms the nerves.

How Do We Know Aromatherapy Works?

Research gives us the scoop. Take lavender, for example. Research shows lavender

  • Eases nervousness much better than a placebo.
  • Raises people's scientifically measured mood scores and lowers distress, when accompanied in aromatherapy by rosemary and tea tree oils.
  • Eases restlessness, poor sleep, and other sleep problems.
  • Enhances "general well-being and quality of life." 

When it comes down to the science, aromatherapy passes the smell test.

Uplifting Scents

You aren't limited to lavender. Many plants and their oils create a mood-enhancing home environment.

Pick up some eucalyptus branches and enjoy their stimulating scents in your bathroom or home office.

Or mix and match, creating your signature scent, with a blend of essential oils:

  • For a natural energy boost, diffuse peppermint and rosemary essential oils, accompanied by a citrus element, like bergamot orange.
  • For a gentle uplift, diffuse lavender with lemongrass.

Experiment and enjoy the process.

Tea Leaves, Revisited

If you happen to enjoy tea, you have a ready-made way to subtly scent your home year-round.

Did you know tea aromatherapy is a thing in Japan? Japanese tea leaf warmers are called chakouro. The idea is to ease stress and sharpen mental focus, while creating an ahhh home environment.

Aromatherapy oil warmers work just fine for putting tea leaves instead of the oil in the shallow saucer on top of the warmer. As they warm and their scent is diffused, your leaves will gently roast. After many hours, this creates a remainder of rich, brewable leaves, called hojicha in Japan.

Tea itself is aromatherapeutic. Green tea, jasmine, or sencha are all delightful. Sencha tea, with its rich, yellow hue, is gaining many western adherents, with good reason. Enjoy it hot or iced, garnished with a lemon wedge and a fresh sprig of mint. The scent is deeply satisfying.

Experiment with fragrance. Enjoy the adventure. And come home to a sanctuary every day.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Mark Carmien on 7/4/2020

Photo by Javani LLC via Shutterstock

Before you ever place your home on the market, start working on curb appeal. What’s curb appeal? It’s the first thing that makes people want to take a second look when they drive by. If they’re house shopping or just dreaming for the future, a home with curb appeal will bring them back once it has a “For Sale” sign in the yard.

Where Do You Start?

  • Fix the small stuff: The crooked shutter, sagging fence, loose bricks in the walkway or cracks in the stucco trigger the subconscious to wonder what else is wrong. Start your curb appeal efforts by making sure the basics are in top shape.
  • Water the lawn and keep it mowed. Trim the edges too. Rake up leaves and branches, and bag them for removal. Even if your landscaping is simple, if it’s well-kept it catches the eye.
  • Weed the flowerbeds and along the fences. Prune the overgrown bushes and trees too. Sweep away spider webs and debris from corners and gutters.
  • Wash down the exterior surfaces of the house and wash the windows, so they sparkle.

Now that you’ve completed the basics, move on to the more intricate — and costly — items. These include painting the front door a bold, brilliant hue, and while you’re at it, paint the house trim. Even if you can’t paint the entire house, freshening the door and window trim gives your house the “cared for” feeling that buyers want.

Change out the bulbs in the carriage lights and keep them brightly lit. Do the same with the porch lights. As the seasons change, homebuyers may be seeing your home in the early evening, so illuminate pathways with solar lights or place lights at the base of trees, bushes or architectural details of your home.

If your gutters sag, call out a service technician and get them realigned or repaired. Do the same with the downspouts. If they are dented or smashed on the ends, replace them, so they don’t detract from your home.

If you have time to replant your flower beds, add seasonal blooming flowers or colorful foliage to attract the eye. Even if you can’t replant your beds, set out pots of colorful flowers in the front of your home.

If the front of your home has a long driveway or walkway, consider concrete acid stain to give it a beautiful, new surface. And, if the door at the end of that driveway is dented, droopy or bulges, get it replaced. The R.O.I. is worth it.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Mark Carmien on 6/30/2020

This Single-Family in Northampton, MA recently sold for $573,000. This Contemporary,Antique,Farmhouse style home was sold by Mark Carmien - Maple and Main Realty, LLC.


46 Olive Street, Northampton, MA 01060

Single-Family

$599,000
Price
$573,000
Sale Price

11
Rooms
4
Beds
2
Baths
1861 Antique Farm House meets Contemporary Classic. History notes the this was a Women ran Tobacco Rolling business in the 1800s. Walk downtown, Smith College, Bike Path, Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. Very close to The Meadows and Oxbow Lake. Open-space Cook's Kitchen design. The two-floor Master Suite could have In-law potential or your own business with it's separate entrance. Drenched in Sunlight. Large fenced back yard professionally landscaped with hot-tub spa. Many new updates to this home that add to the opulence. Filled with personality from the French doors, wood beams, to the moldings and built-ins. A truly new kind of classic.

Similar Properties





Categories: Sold Homes  


Posted by Mark Carmien on 6/27/2020

Photo by Jafar Mansuri on Unsplash

To resurface or replace? That's the question. Consider replacing if:

  • They have significant water or humidity damage.
  • They're poorly constructed and/or falling apart.
  • The design frustrates. You could do better starting over.
  • The style can't be easily updated, for example, floral moldings.
  • The cost to refinish is more than new cabinets. It can be.
  • Otherwise, you may want to refinish what you have to make your cabinets.

    How to Replace Cabinets

    Replacing cabinets rarely involves building them yourself. Most kitchen remodeling professionals don't even do that. You can purchase pre-made cabinets. They'll fit in most kitchen. But don't forget to measure.

    Start by evaluating how the cabinets are attached. Most cabinets simply unscrew from the wall for clean removal. You can now hang new ones in their place. But remember, if you need to stain or finish, always do that and let them dry before hanging. It will just be easier when they're on the floor or a work table.

    If it's just the hardware you don't like, consider replacing it instead of the whole cabinet. That's generally a small job that just needs a screwdriver and new handles.

    How to Give Cabinets a New Look

    A coat of paint or stain can work wonders. But know that refinishing actually takes a lot longer than hanging new. Plan for three to eight weekends of work and a semi-functional kitchen during that time. The more cabinets, the longer it will take. Let's get started

  • Choose your resurfacing medium. Polyurethane, varnish, paint, lacquer, shellac, penetrating oil or vinyl are all excellent choices. Purchase this, a stripping agent, clothes and brushes and your local home supply.
  • Ventilate. Open some windows and turn on your stove vent to keep the smells from overpowering you. Safety first.
  • Clean the surfaces. They may have collected years of grease, dust and hand oil.
  • Protect your kitchen by laying down plastic 
  • Remove the hardware and soak it in soapy water. Scrub it, if needed. But a good soak should do most of the work.
  • Strip & refinish the cabinets according to the instructions on the finish you choose. If you're getting creative with alternating colors or finishes, you may want to remove the doors and lay painter tape to create crisp contrasts between shade. 
  • Once dry, replace your glistening hardware. And you're done. 
  • *Pro tip* Some woods soak up oils like a sponge, so you might need multiple coats to achieve the desired look. That's one reason the job takes multiple weekends since each layer must dry.





    Posted by Mark Carmien on 6/20/2020

    Ready to buy a home? You'll likely need a mortgage to ensure you can afford your dream residence. Lucky for you, many banks and credit unions are happy to help you discover a mortgage that suits you perfectly.

    Ultimately, meeting with a mortgage lender may seem stressful at first. But this meeting can serve as a valuable learning opportunity, one that allows you to select a mortgage that is easy to understand and matches your budget.

    When you meet with a mortgage lender, here are three of the questions to ask so you can gain the insights you need to make an informed decision:

    1. What mortgage options are available?

    Most lenders offer a broad range of mortgage options. By doing so, these lenders can help you choose a mortgage that meets or exceeds your expectations.

    Fixed-rate mortgages represent some of the most popular options for homebuyers, and perhaps it is easy to understand why. These mortgages lock-in an interest rate for a set period of time and ensure your mortgage payments will stay the same throughout the duration of your mortgage.

    Meanwhile, adjustable-rate mortgages may prove to be great choices for many homebuyers as well. These mortgages may feature a lower initial interest rate that rises after several years. However, with an adjustable-rate mortgage, you'll know when your mortgage's interest rate will increase and can plan accordingly.

    2. Do I need to get pre-approved for a mortgage?

    Pre-approval for a mortgage usually is an excellent idea, and for good reason.

    If you get pre-approved for a mortgage, you may be able to enter the homebuying market with a budget in mind. That way, you can pursue houses that fall within a set price range and avoid the risk of overspending on a home.

    On the other hand, you don't need to be pre-approved for a mortgage to submit an offer on a home. But with a mortgage in hand, you may be able to gain an advantage over the competition, one that might even lead a home seller to select your offer over others.

    3. How long will a mortgage last?

    Many mortgages last 15- or 30-years – it all depends on the type of mortgage that you select.

    A lender can explain the length associated with various mortgage options and highlight the pros and cons associated with these mortgages.

    Moreover, you should ask a lender if there are any prepayment penalties if you pay off your mortgage early. This may help you determine whether a particular mortgage is right for you.

    When it comes to finding a lender, don't forget to meet with several banks and credit unions. This will allow you to discover a lender that offers a mortgage with a low interest rate. Plus, it enables you to find a lender that makes you feel comfortable.

    If you need assistance in your search for the right lender, be sure to reach out to a real estate agent. This housing market professional can provide details about local lenders and ensure you can accelerate your push to acquire your dream residence.