Tom Lee Realtor® ABR CRS GRI LTG SRES | Medford MA Real Estate, Malden MA Real Estate


Baking soda is something that most of us have in our homes. We use it for cooking, but have you ever thought that you can use it for cleaning as well? Baking soda is actually a fantastic thing to clean with. It deodorizes and is non-toxic, so it’s safe for kids, pregnant women, and pets. Below, you’ll find some of the household chores that you can complete using baking soda.


Scrub Down The oven


Since ovens can become really dirty, really fast, you need something that can take on the grease. Baking soda is great for this purpose. Make a paste using baking soda and water or vinegar. Let the paste sit in the oven for up to 24 hours. Then wipe the mixture down with a sponge or cloth. You can heat the oven after you do this initial cleaning to help you loosen any additional grease, grime, or food particles. Let the oven cool and wipe it down again. 


Keep Drains Clear


If you notice that your drains are a bit slow, you may want to avoid harsh chemicals and start with the baking soda right in your kitchen. Pour some baking soda into your drain. Then, run some warmed vinegar down the drain immediately afterwards. After you let that mixture go to work for about 10 minutes, you should flush the drain with boiling water. This won’t work on already clogged drains, but it’s great for maintenance on your drains that may be a bit slow. 


Keep Your Fridge Fresh


Your fridge can become a breeding ground for germs, crumbs, and spills. All you need to clean the  refrigerator up is a simple solution made up of baking soda and dish soap. The soap will help to cut any grease that has built up in the appliance, and the baking soda acts as an abrasive to get the gunk up. Just create a paste and apply it in the refrigerator. Then wipe down the shelves with warm water and a sponge. You can even disinfect your sponge in the microwave after you do this. Just place the sponge in the microwave for 2 minutes and you have a sponge that’s like new! 


Freshen Your Washing Machine


Baking soda helps to deodorize things. To deodorize your washer, just pour half a cup of baking soda into the detergent dispenser of the washing machine. Run a cycle through with hot water. Your clothes will be cleaner than they have been in months! Make sure you do this to your washer about once per month to keep it smelling fresh and deter those funky odors from building up in your laundry room. The only thing that should be smelling funky in there are dirty socks!


Smart home devices are becoming increasingly popular among U.S. property owners. Yet deciding which smart house gadgets – if any – are right for you may prove to be difficult. Fortunately, there are several things that you can do to determine if a smart home device is a must-have, such as:

1. Consider a Smart Home Device's Purpose

A smart home device that works well for one homeowner might fail to meet the needs of another property owner. If you assess a smart home device's purpose closely, you can determine if a particular gadget matches your expectations.

For example, if you are searching for a quick, easy way to keep your home's floors dirt- and debris-free, a smart robot vacuum may be ideal. This vacuum will take the guesswork out of cleaning your house's floors. Best of all, this device will allow you to speed up the process of vacuuming your house.

On the other hand, if you are on the lookout for energy-efficient lighting, smart light bulbs could provide viable investments. These light bulbs are simple to install throughout a house. Furthermore, smart light bulbs will continue to perform for an extended period of time.

2. Evaluate Your Finances

Your budget may dictate your smart home device investments. If you analyze your finances, you can establish smart home device priorities. Then, you can gradually integrate smart home devices into your residence.

It usually is a good idea to take a slow, steady approach to smart home device purchases. If you try to do too much at once, you risk spending beyond your means to acquire and install smart home devices across your residence.

3. Shop Around

There is no shortage of state-of-the-art smart home devices available at both online and brick-and-mortar retailers. Thus, if you conduct an in-depth search for smart house gadgets, you may find quality devices that won't force you to exceed your budget.

Of course, if you shop around for smart home devices, you can differentiate between average gadgets and best-in-class ones. You also can use online tools and resources to learn about different smart home devices and select gadgets that will perform consistently.

4. Keep Things Simple

Investing in smart home devices should be a fun, exciting experience – not a stressful one. If you feel overwhelmed as you search for smart home gadgets, take a step back and review your options. This may help you alleviate your worries and re-start your search for smart house gadgets with a fresh perspective.

Lastly, it sometimes helps to collaborate with family members and friends as you shop for smart home devices. Family members and friends can help you weigh the pros and cons associated with smart house gadgets. With the support of family members and friends, you could boost the likelihood of making an informed smart home device purchase.

Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you could pick up a wide range of smart home devices that will help you transform your ordinary house into a spectacular residence.


How a home seller engages buyers is key. If a seller allocates the necessary time and resources to connect with buyers, he or she can boost the likelihood of enjoying a successful property selling experience.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you engage buyers and speed up the house selling journey.

1. Create an Effective Home Listing

An effective home listing can make a world of difference for any seller, at any time. Because if you can provide buyers with plenty of details about your home in your listing, you could make it easy for buyers to understand your house's full potential.

Typically, it is a good idea to write a clear, concise and simple-to-understand home listing. You should include accurate information about your home in your listing, and you should avoid stretching the truth.

You also may want to incorporate high-resolution images of your home into your listing. That way, homebuyers will know what to expect when they view your house in-person.

2. Upgrade Your Home's Curb Appeal

If your house boasts amazing curb appeal, buyers may be instantly attracted to your residence. And as a result, you may receive many buyer requests to view your house as soon as your residence becomes available.

To improve your house's curb appeal, you should mow the lawn, trim the hedges and perform other lawn care tasks. In addition, you should fix any cracked or chipped home siding.

You may want to hire lawn care and home improvement professionals, too. With these professionals at your side, you can quickly bolster your house's curb appeal.

3. Remover Clutter

If your home is filled with antiques, paintings and various knick-knacks, you may want to remove these items for the time being. In fact, if you have a clutter-free residence, buyers may fall in love with your house as soon as they walk through the front door.

Oftentimes, it helps to rent a storage unit before you list your home. If you have a storage unit, you can keep assorted personal belongings safe while you try to sell your house.

For those who want to eliminate excess items, you can list these items online or host a yard sale. You may want to consider donating any unwanted items to a charity or giving them to family members or friends as well.

Lastly, as you get set to add your house to the real estate market, it may be beneficial to hire a real estate agent. This housing market professional knows what it takes to engage buyers. Thus, if you are searching for help as you craft a home listing, a real estate agent is happy to assist you. On the other hand, if you have any concerns or questions as you navigate the home selling journey, a real estate agent can instantly respond to them.

Engage buyers throughout the home selling journey – use the aforementioned tips, and you could reap the benefits of a fast, profitable house selling experience.


Let's face it – a first-time home seller may encounter many problems as he or she tries to navigate the home selling journey. Lucky for you, we're here to help you streamline the process of listing your residence and ensuring you can maximize your house's value.

Now, let's take a look at three common challenges that first-time home sellers might face:

1. You don't know what your home is worth.

What you paid for your house several years ago is unlikely to match your home's value today. Fortunately, a property appraisal can help you gain the insights you need to better understand your house's current value.

During a property appraisal, a home inspector will evaluate your residence from top to bottom. Then, this inspector will provide you with a report that highlights your house's strengths and weaknesses so you can plan potential home improvement projects accordingly.

When it comes to figuring out what your home is worth, don't forget to assess the prices of homes that are currently available too. With this housing market data in hand, you can find out how your residence stacks up against comparable houses.

2. You don't know how to enhance your residence's interior and exterior.

Consider the homebuyer's perspective as you examine your house's interior and exterior – you'll be glad you did. This will enable you to think about the best ways to enhance your house and ensure it will dazzle homebuyers consistently.

Remember, your home only gets one chance to make a positive first impression on property buyers. And if you allocate the necessary time to mow the front lawn, trim the hedges and remove dust and debris from walkways, you may be able to boost your house's chances of generating substantial interest from property buyers.

Don't forget to declutter your home's interior, either. By doing so, you can make it simple for property buyers to envision what life would be like if they purchase your residence.

3. You have no idea what it takes to add your house to the real estate market.

Adding a house to the real estate market should be simple, but myriad problems may arise that prevent you from listing your residence and getting the best price for it. However, if you work with a real estate agent, you can avoid any potential pitfalls throughout the home selling journey.

A real estate agent understands the ins and outs of selling a house. As such, he or she can serve as an expert guide through each stage of the home selling cycle.

Typically, a real estate agent will set up home showings and open houses, market your house to potential homebuyers and negotiate with property buyers on your behalf. This housing market professional also will be happy to respond to your home selling concerns and queries at any time.

For first-time home sellers, there's no need to panic. Use these tips, and you should have no trouble getting the optimal results during the home selling journey.


Is a two-car garage a luxury or an essential feature of a home? While it may not always be a top priority for first-time buyers, many seasoned homeowners consider it a "must have" item. In a lot of cases, it all boils down to expectations and what people have grown accustomed to.

Climate also plays a key role in how important a two-car garage is to you and your family. However, even if your winters are mild and your snowfall amounts are slim to nil, there are other weather conditions that a garage can shield you (and your cars) from.

Being able to park your vehicles in a protected, enclosed area is especially welcome when you have an armful of groceries, inclement weather outside, small children in tow, or an elderly parent to care for. Once you start adding up the advantages of having a two-car garage, it makes you wonder how you ever got along without one!

  • Crime deterrent: No matter where you live, if your cars are parked in your driveway or on the street overnight, they're going to be much more vulnerable to vandalism, car theft, and break-ins. From a personal safety standpoint, it can also be safer to drive into your garage, close the automatic door behind you, and go directly into your house. Even if you live in a low-crime neighborhood, safety habits are a good thing to cultivate, especially if you sometimes arrive home late at night.
  • Valuable storage space: As you acquire more possessions and your family grows, storage space becomes more of a precious commodity. In addition to protecting your vehicles from the elements, spacious garages are also great for housing lawn mowers, bicycles, barbecue grills, golf clubs, yard maintenance equipment, spare tires, gardening supplies, firewood, tools, and lawn chairs. If you don't have a backyard shed, then garage storage space is indispensable.
  • Protection From The Elements: Besides wind and rain and dark of night, other elements your cars don't need to be subjected to include the hot, baking sun, bird droppings, and air pollution. And speaking of the hot, baking sun: Keeping your cars in a cool, shady place during the hot summer months can help spare you the discomfort of having to sit down in a sweltering vehicle! For those who live in chillier climates, garages can make your morning commute just a little less bone chilling!
  • Privacy: There are a lot of benefits to being sociable with your neighbors, but it's also nice to be able to pick and choose when those social interactions takes place! Parking in your garage can provide you with an extra measure of privacy when you don't have the time (or inclination) to stop and chat.
Whether or not a 2-car garage is a "must-have" for your next home depends on your climate, your neighborhood, and what you've grown accustomed to. For some people, a one-car garage may suit their needs just fine -- especially if they only own one vehicle and have all their yard maintenance taken care of by an HOA.



Loading