Gary Vrotsos Team
Gary J. Vrotsos: 617-901-7117 | [email protected]
Gary S. Vrotsos: 781-838-1445 | [email protected]


Posted by Gary Vrotsos Team on 2/20/2019

Nothing ruins a great view like a greasy hand print right in the middle of the window. No matter the time of year it is, you can always benefit from brightly clean windows. They allow in more natural light and can transform a dull room into a bright living space. Planning for this at the right time is important. You don't want to clean your windows while they are in direct sunlight or the cleaning suds will dry while you're working, just making them worse. You can either do a full day's worth of windows by starting on the South and West facing sides in the morning, then moving to the North and East facing sides in the afternoon. You can clean on an overcast day but be careful, or your hard work will just get washed away in the rain.

Filling Your Tool Bucket

Window washing techniques aren't too tricky, but they do require the right tools. If you start without them, you'll stress yourself all the way through the process.

  • Soft Bristle Brush: Think of the same kind of brush you use on non-stick pans or glasses in your kitchen, but make sure itís a clean one, not the actual one from the kitchen, so you donít spread kitchen grease around the windows. For best results, get one with a built-in soap dispenser and an extendable handle so those high window edges are always within reach and you donít have to carry around a bucket of soapy water. Use the brush to get grime and stains off the window without wearing out your arms in the process.
  • Lightly Soapy Cleaner: Stay away from all the combined sprayer cleaners. Instead, go for a kitchen cleaner that is meant to cut through stains and grease. Your best choice will be one that cleans well but doesnít get too sudsy. Test it in your brush to determine how much water to combine with it for exactly the right consistency.
  • Hose with sprayer: An adjustable sprayer nozzle attachment for your garden hose can make getting the rest of the outdoor grime off the windows even easier. Once you've loosened it up with your brush, simply spray the residue off with your hose. Be careful not to spray too vigorously because you can accidentally loosen the seals around your windows.
  • Squeegee: A good squeegee is necessary to prevent all your previous work from going to waste. When used properly, a squeegee gets all that beaded water off your windows, so it can't dry in streaks and ruin all your hard work. It also means the windows are almost completely dry for the last step and won't get those round rubbing streaks either. If you have wide picture windows, look for a wide squeegee to cut down on the number of vertical stripes required. Lastly, look for one with an extendable handle like your bristle brush so that you can always start and the very top of each window.
  • Chamois Cloths: For that last little bit of drying and polishing, don't use any old cloth. Get yourself a proper chamois to prevent streaking. If it is in your budget, you can get a natural chamois made of sheep leather, but don't rule out the synthetics. There are some fantastic synthetic chamois fabrics out there for any budget.
  • Simple Soft Cloth: After youíve dried the window, youíll need a simple soft cloth for the window sill. Use this cloth to pick up any remaining dirt or water from the cleaning process.

Donít Forget the Screens

No matter how clean the windows, you still can't see through them if you have dirty screens. Since you had to take them off anyway, now is the perfect time to clean them as well. Using the same soapy cleaner and a bristle brush, gently brush both sides of the screen to remove dirt, dust, and grime. Then spray them off with your garden hose and sprayer attachment. Be careful only to use a medium pressure sprayer option, since you don't want to tear the screen away from the edges.

Got your home looking its greatest? Call your real estate professional and schedule that open house!




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Gary Vrotsos Team on 2/13/2019

When buying a new house, youíre not just buying a roof to keep over your head. Youíre buying a home to build your life in. To create a refuge from the outside world, to create memories within, and to grow your family in.

A home is a reflection of who you are, the things you fill your life with and your values. And this is true for the neighborhood your home resides in as well. Whether you are a young family or planning to start one in the near future choosing the perfect neighborhood for your lifestyle will bring you years of good memories to come.

The perfect place to start when choosing a neighborhood is by asking your agent! So many factors go into selecting a home and we know the importance of the various factors you need to consider for settling a young family. We can choose houses for showing that fit your unique family needs as it grows.

When scouting out local neighborhoods visit their community center and library. Both will be able to provide you with a list of local groups and activities that are available. Youíll most likely be able to find a local paper or newsletter here as well to get a feel the neighborhoodís culture and community involvement.

Most couples start by researching the schools in the neighborhoods on their list. Things to consider are budget and the available extracurricular activities that are available. Itís easy to focus on preschools and kindergartens when searching but remember to look at the middle and high schools as well.

Search for meetups for parent groups that meet regularly to have play dates. This is also a great way to find and meet locals to ask them questions about their experiences with the community. Reach out to the group organizer with a friendly message and they will be more than likely happy to answer and all of your questions.

Take a drive around the area to get a lay of the land. Are there nearby playgrounds and parks you could walk or take a short drive to? Visiting at different times of the day can give you an idea of the neighborhoods general routine. Are there lots of young children getting on the bus in the morning or teenagers riding their bikes around in the afternoons?

Youíll also want to carefully consider costs of homes in that neighborhood and if they fit your budget. If youíre planning a family youíll want to have an idea of future costs while creating this budget so you donít find yourself strapped between your mortgage and childcare.

Planning your familyís future is an exciting time and choosing the neighborhood youíll raise your children in is pivotal. As your family grows over the years their needs will change too. The perfect neighborhood is the one that will have a positive environment for your child whether theyíre 18 months or 17 years old.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Gary Vrotsos Team on 2/6/2019

Youíve closed on your new house, moved all your boxes, and started planning how to arrange your furniture. Your family canít wait to settle in and regain a sense of normalcy after the chaos of moving. But before you get back to your normal routine be sure to add these tasks for new homeowners to your to do list. Each takes just an hour of your time and will help you to stay on top of maintenance as well as familiarize yourself with your new domain.

Start by finding out where your main water shutoff valve is located. This is not something you want to have to find when you are in an emergency. In colder climates, itís most likely to be found in your basement and if you are in a warmer climate you should find it outside. If you keep a binder for home updates add a note of the location within.

Make sure your attic insulation is the correct depth. You want at least 6 inches and even more in northern states. Ensuring that your insulation is the correct depth will help you to save money throughout the year on heating and cooling costs. If youíre attic doesnít have the correct depth or is damaged be sure to have it replaced as soon as possible. Oftentimes you can get incentives for improving your insulation and thus creating a more energy efficient home.

Check the temperature of your hot water heater and be sure it is set at 120 degrees tops. If you have an older model add a hot water heater blanket to help retain heat. If you find that your heater leaks you want to replace it immediately. A small leak can quickly lead to a major one, flood your home and cause serious damage. Again, be sure to keep note of the month and year you replaced your heater or which year your current model is.

Replace air filters right away so that you will know when theyíve last been replaced. Add monthly reminders to your calendar to stay on top of this quick maintenance task. You can make this task even easier by buying them in bulk. If you love to be organized label them for each month so you know exactly when youíll next need to replace them.

Change all of the locks on your home. This is simple enough to do on your own and is an easy proactive safety measure for your family. While one hopes there are no lingering keys out in the world of your home, you canít be sure of who may have a spare key.  

Take note of any cracks in your basement. If you find any mark their length with a piece of masking tape and mark with the current date. Watch closely to see if the crack spreads beyond the mark. If you find that the cracks are lengthening be sure to get them taken care of by a professional. This is a serious repair you donít want to wait on.

Buying a new home is an exciting time. Especially after youíve closed on the house, can begin to move in and start settling into your routine. Before you get too comfortable be sure to add a few tasks to your to do list. Familiarizing yourself with your new home right away will help you stay on top of maintenance and have peace of mind.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Gary Vrotsos Team on 1/30/2019

You likely aspire to sell your house as quickly as possible. However, you may not need to set a deadline for selling your residence to achieve your desired result. In fact, there are lots of things you can do to speed up the home selling journey, including:

1. Boost Your House's Curb Appeal

A home that boasts amazing curb appeal may draw buyers' attention as soon as it becomes available. Lucky for you, it may be easy to bolster your house's curb appeal in no time at all.

To improve your home's curb appeal, you may want to complete assorted home exterior upgrades. Mowing the grass and eliminating weeds, for example, could make your front lawn stand out to buyers. Or, if you have cracked or damaged home siding, you can always devote time and energy to repair it.

Of course, if you need help with home exterior enhancements, you can reach out to home improvement professionals. If you have home improvement pros at your side, you can accelerate the process of upgrading your house's curb appeal.

2. Establish a Competitive Initial Asking Price

The initial asking price of your home should account for the age and condition of your residence, along with the current state of the real estate market. That way, you can set a price for your home that falls in line with buyers' expectations.

Generally, it helps to conduct an appraisal before you list your residence. An appraisal report is based on a wide range of factors, including the prices of comparable homes in your city or town. Therefore, if you perform an appraisal, you could receive a property valuation that helps you determine how to price your home competitively.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

As a home seller, it never hurts to receive expert support as you navigate the property selling journey. Fortunately, real estate agents are available nationwide, and these housing market professionals can offer great insights into what it takes to quickly sell a house.

A real estate agent first will learn about you and what you hope to accomplish. Next, a real estate agent will develop a plan designed to help you achieve your home selling goals. You and your real estate agent then will put this plan into action and adjust it as needed. Perhaps best of all, if you receive an offer to purchase your home, a real estate agent can help you decide whether to accept, reject or counter this proposal.

Furthermore, a real estate agent can help you bolster your home's curb appeal, establish the optimal initial asking price for your home and much more. And if you have any concerns during the house selling journey, a real estate agent is ready to respond to them right away.

For those who want to speed up the home selling journey, it helps to prepare. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can list your home, ensure it generates significant interest from buyers and move quickly to finalize a house sale.





Posted by Gary Vrotsos Team on 1/23/2019

Finding someplace to live can come with a long list of must-haves for each person contributing to the decision. The types of bathroom space can be a deal breaker for otherwise wonderful properties. The number of people utilizing those bathrooms and each personís daily schedule necessitates the requirement of the bathroom space. 

What is out there

Searching and checking off all the must-haves takes time and a lot of communication. Most places have at least one full bath that has a tub and shower or a combination of both. Older homes may not have a dedicated master bathroom, but instead, have what is called an en-suite bathroom. This arrangement means there are at least two entry points one from the master and the other from a hallway. The layout can separate the tub and shower from the rest of the space so more than one person can utilize the facilities at one time. This plan may not be quite as convenient to a household that tends to have similar schedules. Or messy people that leave things lying around in the bathroom, which makes for a combative living arrangement. In those cases, a dedicated master bathroom might be your answer.

Master bath

Having a separate bathroom off a bedroom can feel like an oasis from the pressures of your day. Often, they boast extra amenities like a full-size soaking tub or a walk-in tile shower or both. A master bathroom can give you efficiency during the morning and evening routines since you don't have to share the space with the entire household. Options can include double sinks, a water closet (toilet in a separate room with a door), connecting to a walk-in closet and radiant flooring to keep your toes warm on cold mornings. Master bathrooms don't have to be super luxe to feel like a separate private space. They are a good idea if you need to get away without leaving home.

Jack and Jill

Another bathroom layout that not often seen in newer homes is the Jack and Jill bath. This design consists of a full bath between two bedrooms. This layout may have a door separating the shower/tub from the rest of the bathroom, too, allowing more than one person to use the bathroom at the same time similar to the en-suite layout. All the above-mentioned bathroom layouts need consideration when you are looking for a new living space.

Contact your realtor for more information on the options for bathroom layouts in your area.




Tags: bathroom   design   homebuyers  
Categories: Uncategorized