Tracey Fiorelli
Janice Mitchell Real Estate, Inc | 508-509-8162 | [email protected]


Posted by Tracey Fiorelli on 1/14/2016

Does your house need a new look? Do you think changing the look will take too much time or money? Using small changes can often have a big effect. Here are some low-effort and low-cost ideas that can quickly transform your space: 1. Switch out lampshades and/or finials or change a chandelier 2. Reframe or rearrange artwork 3. Have favorite photos printed on canvas and hang them front and center 4. Swap throws and/or pillows 5. Change a rug or pull it up to expose hardwood or tile floors 6. Take out "high-hat" light in living room for a more ambient atmosphere 7. Give your bookcase a makeover 8. Clear the clutter 9. Switch out bar stools 10. Change drawer knobs and/or cabinet handles 11. Put new towels and/or mats in the bathroom 12. Add a hanging pot holder in the kitchen 13. Sew a fabric band to bottom of shower curtain 14. Change the draperies 15. Add flowers or plants 16. Add accessories like vases, sculptures, candles or photos 17. Lean your artwork rather than hanging it for a way to easily move it later 18. Change slipcovers 19. Use sisal rugs, which are inexpensive and in style 20. Put a decorative plate or bowl in the corners of kitchen counters (where tile meets wall) to increase flow and tie a space together




Categories: Help Around the House  


Posted by Tracey Fiorelli on 1/7/2016

There is nothing worse in a home than a wet basement. Not only can it deter potential home buyers it can also present health problems, and permanent damage to your home. Tackling the problem of a damp or wet basement is no easy task. Here are some ideas to getting and keeping your basement dry. Find the source The source of the problem could be a water leak or high humidity. Both can lead to mold, mildew, or other biological growth. They can even lead to rot, structural damage, premature paint failure, and a variety of health problems. Check for water seepage. Look for leaks in the foundation, or small gaps around windows or doors. Water can also come from inside your house from a leaking water pipe, toilet, shower or bathtub. Indoor humidity is often caused by normal activities of everyday living, such as showering, cooking, and drying clothes. Damp basements are usually caused by moisture migrating through a concrete foundation. Other common causes are condensation on cold concrete walls and floors during humid months. Stop water leaks Standing water on the floor after a heavy rain is usually the result of a leaky foundation. Make sure all rain gutters are cleared and downspout runoff away from the foundation. The ground around the house should slope down and away from the foundation. If necessary, re-grade around the house. If you have a sump pump, make sure it is working properly. Water stains on the ceiling or wall under or near a bathroom could be a leak from a water pipe, toilet, bathtub or shower. This will require a plumber to repair the leak. Water damage or mold should be handled by a contractor who specializes in mold remediation and water damage repairs. Reducing indoor humidity Dirt floors in the basement should be covered completely with plastic to slow down water vapor coming through the soil. Install ventilation fans in kitchens and baths to control moisture. Make sure they are venting directly outside. Clothes dryer should be vented directly to the outside. Consult the Consumer Products Safety Commission additional safety tips for dryer vents . Check the heating and cooling system to make sure it is sized and operating properly to remove humidity. Have all duct air leaks sealed. Use a dehumidifier in the basement can reduce condensation. A dry basement will not only lead to a healthier home it will lead to a more profitable sale when the time comes.





Posted by Tracey Fiorelli on 12/31/2015

You have made the decision to put your home up for sale. Before you stick the sign in the yard there are a few things you will want to do. Buyers can be picky and the competition can be stiff. So now is the time to do all the little repairs you've always meant to do but never had the time for. Here are just a few of the basic repairs you will want to conquer before the first prospective buyer walks through the door: 1.Tackle the Entrance This is the first thing people see when they come to your home. Paint the front door and trim surrounding the door. Repair sagging screen doors and replace any missing or corroded hinge screws and tighten the rest. 2. Spruce up the Perimeter Walk the perimeter of your home, clear away dead plants, clip blossoms, and clear away leaves and other yard waste. 3. Recheck the roof Any problem that has the word roof in it scares a buyer away immediately. Replace missing shingles and fix hanging gutters.  Remove any moss growing on the roof as this shows signs of neglect. 4. Clear and caulk gutters. Clear all the debris out of the gutters and recaulk the gutter end caps. 5. Patch nail holes and repaint. Patch up nail holes in the walls of your home. Use a lightweight putty to fill the holes and paint the repaired spots. 6. Clean the Grout Deep clean tile grout with bleach.  Regrout tiles where needed and recaulk cracks between sinks, tubs, toilets, counters and floors. This will give your tile a whole new look. 7. Stop Dripping Faucets Fix leaky faucets before the buyer notices them.  You may need to call in a plumber to do this task. Before you do that you can shut off the water supply and check for moisture on the wall around the valves and on the floor of the sink cabinet. Many hardware stores carry faucet rebuild kits that contain the 6 to 12 parts most likely to fail, including the metal ball, O rings, springs and gaskets.    





Posted by Tracey Fiorelli on 12/10/2015

It is the time of year when we start to use the fireplace. A crackling fire is the picture of a cozy home but it can also be a home hazard. Keeping an eye on a few key items inside and out will make sure your wood-burning fireplace is safe and ready to go for the burning season.   Here is a checklist of things to look for on the outside of your fireplace:

  • A chimney cap; this keeps out rain, animals away and helps prevents hot embers from landing on the roof.
  • Bird’s nest or any type of debris buildup on the cap.
  • Tree limbs that hang above or near the chimney.
  • Crumbling and/or missing mortar and bricks.
  • A chimney that rises at least 2 feet above where it exits the roof.
  • A flue liner that is visible above the chimney crown.
  • The chimney is plumb and not leaning to one side or the other.
  • Roof flashing that is tight against the chimney.
Here is a checklist for the inside of your fireplace:
  • A flue damper that opens, closes, and seals properly.
  • Daylight can be seen through the flue, no combustible material such as animal nests or other foreign objects in the flue.
  • There are no cracked bricks or missing mortar in the fireplace surround, hearth, and firebox.
  • No moisture can be seen inside the firebox, which could mean a faulty cap.
If you spot any problems always call a licensed chimney professional or mason to remedy the problem. There is no hard and fast rule on how often to clean your fireplace but you will need to keep a keen eye to determine if it is time for a cleaning. Use your fireplace poker to scrape away some of the creosote from the fireplace lining. If the creosote buildup is is 1/8 of an inch, or more you should schedule a cleaning.




Tags: Fireplace Safety  
Categories: Help Around the House  


Posted by Tracey Fiorelli on 11/26/2015

Clutter often takes many years to accumulate and will take some time to eliminate. Just remember that de-cluttering is an ongoing lifestyle not a finite project. Many people feel overwhelmed and fear just the thought of de-cluttering the home. It doesn’t have to be that excruciating, there are actually some creative ways to get started. Getting started can be the hardest part. You have to begin your war against clutter one draw or cabinet at a time. Just pick one area of the house and focus on that. It is best to start a de-cluttering session by designating one hour a day to it. If that still seems over whelming for you, start with five minutes a day. You will be surprised what you can accomplish in the clutter war in just five minutes. Remember that any type of progress is better than none. The important thing is to make sure to stick with it each day, or even every other day. Avoid planning an all day de-cluttering session that involves your whole house, as you will never get around to it. Donate or dispose of items you no longer have any use for. Look at items that you feel an attachment to and ask yourself the following three questions: Do I love it? Will I have a need for it again within 3 months? Will I miss it if I throw it away? If you answered no to the questions then you can safely dispose of the item. If you answered a definite yes to these questions, take those items and put them into an organizational bin. Once the bin is full place it in an out of way place in your home and revisit it in about 6 months. If you were able to go that long without needing anything from the bin, chances are it is time to donate or dispose of the items. Don’t forget charitable donations to the Salvation Army and Goodwill, etc. are tax deductible. Probably one of the best ways to let your junk go is to watch an episode of Hoarders on television.