Maureen Giuliano - Classified Realty Group

Classified Realty Group

Posted by Maureen Giuliano on 3/16/2018

When you are ready to buy a house, it pays to plan ahead to conduct a successful house search. That way, you can quickly and effortlessly navigate the real estate market and make your homeownership dream come true in no time at all.

Ultimately, you don't need to be a real estate expert to navigate the housing market like a pro. To better understand what it takes to complete a successful house search, let's take a look at three tips to ensure you can seamlessly go from homebuyer to homeowner.

1. Create Homebuying Criteria

If you plan to purchase a house in the foreseeable future, it helps to establish homebuying criteria. By doing so, you can enter the real estate market with a plan.

Think about where you want to reside. For example, if your goal is to live in the same small town as your family members and friends, you may want to hone your house search to properties in this town. Or, if you want to own a house that is close to your office in the city, you may want to pursue residences in or around the city itself.

Consider what differentiates your dream house from an ordinary home too. Thus, if you want to own a home that boasts an in-ground pool, dazzling garden or other distinct features, you should include these criteria in your homebuying strategy.

2. Get Pre-Approved for Home Financing

Lenders can help you get pre-approved for a mortgage prior to launching a home search. Then, you can establish a budget for the homebuying journey.

There is no shortage of mortgage options available, regardless of your credit score, income and outstanding debt. If you meet with banks and credit unions, you can learn about different mortgage options and select a mortgage that is sure to serve you well.

Of course, when you meet with lenders, don't hesitate to ask questions. Lenders employ friendly, knowledgeable mortgage specialists, and these professionals are happy to help you make an informed mortgage selection.

3. Hire a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent can help you simplify your home search. In fact, with a real estate agent at your side, you can boost the likelihood of finding a terrific house at a budget-friendly price.

Generally, a real estate agent understands what it takes to pursue a home in any city or town, at any time. If you employ a real estate agent, you can get the help you need to accelerate your quest for your dream residence.

A real estate agent usually learns about a homebuyer's goals and maps out a homebuying plan. He or she sets up home showings and keeps a homebuyer up to date about new residences that fit a buyer's criteria. And if a homebuyer wants to submit an offer to purchase a residence, a real estate agent will help this buyer craft a competitive proposal.

Ready to buy a house? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can streamline your search for your ideal residence.

Posted by Maureen Giuliano on 3/9/2018

While the dishwasher is a fantastic invention and present in just about every home across the US, there’s certain guidelines that should be followed in order to protect your machine and to protect your stuff. Certain things in your kitchen should definitely keep to the sink to be washed. As a reminder, below is a list of things that should never be placed in the dishwasher and taken special care of. 


Wood items should never be placed in the dishwasher. The detergent in the machine can scratch the wood, causing major damage to any of the pieces including spoons, bowls and other wooden utensils. The heat from the dryer in the dishwasher can also cause the wood to crack, which is a safety hazard to you and your family. 

Instead of throwing your wooden kitchen materials into the machine, mix equal parts of vinegar and warm water to wipe down the bowls, plates, cutting boards and utensils. Then rinse and dry off well.

Cast Iron

Cast iron should never go into the dishwasher. First, you spent so much time seasoning your pans and do not want to undo all the great flavor that has been created. You should never use soap on a cast iron pan. To properly clean one of these pans, simply use a little baking soda. Don’t forget to rinse, dry and season again with salt! 

Aluminum Cookware

You should use caution if you put aluminum cookware of any kind in the dishwasher. Technically, some of these pans are in fact “dishwasher safe,” however, the machine can wreak havoc on your pans. The machine can remove some of the shine of your pans and cause them to appear dull.         

Copper, Silver And Other Precious Metals

Many people have specialty silverware and serving pieces for special occasions. You may even have copper cookware. You can’t put any of these in the dishwasher, we’re sorry to say! After your next dinner party, you’ll have to spend some time at the sink washing your best utensils. The dishwasher can cause metals to dull. More seriously, it can hurt the finish of these pans and utensils, possibly causing contamination to your food while it’s cooking or being served. Silver especially will tarnish in the dishwasher, causing you the need for a more complicated cleaning process.            

Nonstick Cookware

You should think twice before you put nonstick cookware in your dishwasher. Some are dishwasher safe, and some are not. Even if these pans are denoted as dishwasher safe, you should be careful. Always check for damage to the pans if you place them in the dishwasher. Nonstick cookware can peel, getting particles in your food, which is unsafe.      

There are other items that you should think twice about before you put them into the dishwasher: 

  • Plastics
  • Kitchen knives
  • Fine China
  • Painted plates
  • Crystal
  • Other specialty items like vases

Enjoy your dishwasher for convenience, but remember to use it wisely! 

Posted by Maureen Giuliano on 3/2/2018

When you buy a home, you may wonder what the benefits of having your own realtor to represent you are. If you’re a first-time homebuyer, you probably will have a lot of questions. If you’re a second-time homebuyer you may still have a lot of questions! Buying a home can be a long, tedious process. It’s very helpful to know that you have a knowledgable realtor by your side to represent you and help you through the home buying process. If you’re looking to buy a home in a tough market, hiring your own realtor to represent you as a buyer is especially important. 

First, you should consider interviewing some prospective buyers agents in your area. Maybe you can get recommendations from friends and family as well. Learn what you can expect from a top realtor who will represent you as a buyer. 

Honesty Is The Best Policy

Your agent should be completely honest with you. While they can’t tell you what you personally want in a home, they should give you every last disclosure. No agent should put a home value or their own commission above their clients. This means that there’s strict documentation that realtors must follow including a code of ethics and standards for practice. A realtor must uphold these promises.  

Judging honesty in a realtor can be difficult. An honest real estate agent will help you through the home search process, for example. This is a good place to start. If the realtor points out some of the potential issues that you may have as a buyer in a home, you can see that honesty is one of their main policies.

Good Communicator

A realtor should be in frequent communication with you. Even if your home search isn’t active, they will check in, and see where you’re at in the process and if your needs have changed. 

Your realtor should alert you if offers have been made on properties that you’re interested in as well. Your buyer’s agent should reply to texts, e-mails, or calls within a short time frame of receiving them. Having a realtor that’s on top of things for you is important when it comes to buying a home since, without their help and information, the perfect home could slip through the cracks for you.                  

Knowledge Of Rules, Regulations, And Best Practices

Your buyer’s agent should have extensive knowledge of the real estate rules and regulations that are within your state. Each state has different practices when it comes to buying a home. Hiring a buyer’s agent is especially helpful if you are unfamiliar with a state or city. Your agent will be well-informed on all of your responsibilities as a buyer, as well as how and when you should complete these tasks and signings throughout the entire home buying process.

Posted by Maureen Giuliano on 2/23/2018

Home automation is a budding industry. From tiny buttons to order more laundry detergent, all the way up to fully-integrated home security systems that you can run from your smartphone at work, home automation has never been more comprehensive.

Deciding which, if any, home automation systems are right for you can be difficult. As new technologies are constantly being manufactured, you’ll want to buy a product that will last. It isn’t uncommon for a product in a new industry to become obsolete just a year after purchase.

In this article, we’ll help you understand the latest home automation tech and give you some advice on which ones are likely to remain useful in the coming years.

The Amazon Dash

Amazon Dash buttons are a simple but genius idea. It’s a button that you can fix to your washing machine, or the inside of your pantry cabinet. The buttons are available for a number of common household items that you won’t want to run out. Things like trash bags, dish soap, laundry detergent, coffee, bottled water, and more.

The Dash connects to your wifi and the battery can last up to 1,000 presses so you won’t have to worry about recharging. The other benefit is that you can customize which product the button orders. So if your cat only likes a specific flavor of Meow Mix, they’ve got you covered.

One downfall of the Dash button is that its function can easily be replaced by a home assistant like the Amazon Echo or the Google Home. However, if you don’t care for all of the added features of a home assistant, the Dash buttons might be a good option for you.

Home Assistants

The latest devices in home automation are assistants like the Amazon Echo and Google Home. Since these products are new and undergoing rapid innovations, it’s likely that we’ll see several models from different manufacturers in coming years. It’s rumored that Apple is also entering the fray with their own home assistant device.

Home assistants generally come in the shape of a small speaker that you can place in your living room. They are voice activated and will begin listening if you say the magic words (“OK Google” or “Alexa” in the case of the Alexa-powered Amazon Echo).

These products can set alarms, control lights, order products, search the internet, give you directions, play music, read the news, and more.

Smart home security

Security systems have come a long way in the last few years. When you once had to approach your security keypad to set alarms, you can now do it right from your smartphone.

Also new to these devices is the full integrated of other electronic systems in your home. You can control the thermostat, lights, door locks, and more right from an app on your phone.

There are several designs on the market which has made them less expensive and more accessible to the average consumer. That also means there are several online reviews comparing the different systems which make it easier to do your research to find the best system for you.

If you don’t want a full system, there are other smart security products that you can buy à la carte. These include smart locks that you can unlock with your phone, or by using a security PIN.

Posted by Maureen Giuliano on 2/16/2018

Sharing living expenses with your partner or roommates can be a difficult and confusing issue for many.

 Life would be made much easier if there was just one bill to pay on your home that includes everything.

 Recently there have been attempts to bring such a suction into fruition. Many homeowners and renters have turned to apps that help them split expenses, or have signed up for mortgage agreements that cover stray expenses like property tax and private mortgage insurance.

 In this article, we're going to give you a few tips on splitting the bills in your home to make things easier for you, your spouse, and your roommates.

Who pays what?

Many young couples are often left wondering who should pay which bill, especially when you share so many services.

However, there's a big difference between sharing a Netflix account and sharing a car. One solution is to use the bills that report to credit agencies for whoever needs help building their credit score.

Putting credit cards under the person with the lowest score’s name can help them build credit even if they're simply listed as an “authorized user” which means you can take advantage of good interest rates and build credit at the same time.

Paying the mortgage

It can quickly become tiresome having to write two different checks each month for your mortgage or rent. To solve this problem, you can either alternate payments (you pay a full month’s rent or mortgage one month and your spouse pays the following month), or you can choose to pay bi-weekly, which will help you pay off your mortgage sooner.

The best apps to use

If you live with your spouse, you likely aren’t overly concerned with splitting all of your expenses 50/50. Chances are whoever has the higher income will foot the bill for the larger expenses.

However, if you have roommates there’s a bigger chance you’ll want things to be split evenly between you and the other members of the household. That’s where apps come in handy.

First, sit down with your roommates and go over all expenses. Write down each bill that you share: rent, heat, electricity, cable, internet, gas, insurance, and so on.

Then, decide who is responsible for making the payment on those bills. Even if you decide to split them all evenly, one person will have to be responsible for sending out the check each month.

Once you’ve determined which bills you have and who is going to pay them, it’s time to find out how you’re all going to contribute.

One way is to open up a shared account. Doing so can be messy, however, if you’re using that account for multiple bills. Some banks and services also charge a portion of the transfer, so you’ll each be losing money each month, and the amount depends on how many bills you have.

Some apps and services you can use to split bills and transfer money include Splitwise, Mint, PayPal, and Chase’s QuickPay. The benefit of apps that don’t transfer money is that they are often free and don’t collect transfer fees. So, if you’re comfortable with handling money by hand, you could save in the long run.

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