Framingham MA Real Estate | Judy B Leerer, Realty Executives Boston West


One of the best benefits of finally owning your own home is the ability to easily have friends and family over for both small get-togethers and large celebrations. And what gathering is complete without cocktails to kick off the event?

Step One: The Cart

Don’t be afraid to get creative and “hack” a cart of your own creation. There are many stylish bar cart options available both brand new and found in antique shops. However, a bar cart can easily be made from any sort of cart of your choosing or even not be a cart at all! Bookshelves and credenzas make for great bar cart alternatives.

The goal is to find something that fits your style, preferences and, of course, your cocktail collection. Consider if you’d like a built-in rack to hold liquor bottles or a drawer to store utensils. What you want for sure is a surface area large enough to work from and, if there are shelves, enough space to allow for bottle heights.

Step Two: Stock Up

If you don’t have one already, you’ll want to start building up a collection. Aim to have a bottle of each “go-to” type to cater to your guest’s variety of preferences. You’ll want to have a bottle each of vodka, whiskey, gin, tequila, rum, and brandy.

Opt for at least mid-shelf options. It’s okay to pick up small to medium sized bottles at first. Over time your collection will evolve and take on a “life” of its own where you’ll know what types, brands, and sizes to get to keep it well stocked. But to begin it’s wise to start small.

Step Three: The Fixings

Your next stop should be to pick up at least a few of the classic mixers: cranberry juice, coke, ginger ale/beer, and soda water. Others to consider are tomato, pineapple, and orange juice.

As your collection grows and evolves to become more complex you’ll probably want to consider cordials, syrups, bitters, and liqueurs. Simple syrup and aromatic bitters are perfect additions to a beginner collection.

Step Four: Tools of the Trade

Of course, you’ll need tools to craft your cocktails with. When getting started it’s very easy to find a kit with all the necessities. You’ll want to make sure you have a bottle opener, corkscrew, mixer, shaker, cocktail strainer, jigger, bar spoon, napkins and straws. Other handy tools to have are an ice bucket, muddler, and juicer.

If you’d like to keep a minimal cart cocktail tumblers will get the job done for most cocktails. However. If you’d like to have a full array you’ll need:

  • High ball (10 to 14 fl oz)

  • Low ball (4 to 10 fl oz)

  • White wine

  • Red wine

  • Martini

  • Shot glasses

Step Five: Putting It Together

The trick to making your bar cart (or really any grouping of items) look carefully curated and appealing is to follow a couple of design rules.

  1. Group like-items together. So liquor bottles are in one grouping, and glasses in another. Decorative trays add to the aesthetic while also maintaining order.

  2. Place short items towards the front and tall to the back. This creates uniformity and a tidy display. It also ensures nothing gets hidden or lost in the process if you have a large collection.

The rest is about creating a unique-to-you display. It’s common to display a painting behind or above the cart and add a vase of flowers or lamp. When purchasing items for your cart keep your home decor in mind. Does a sleek set bar tools create a similar aesthetic? Or perhaps an eclectic mix found at flea markets and specialty shops. If your area has local distilleries picking up bottles from these brands creates a truly unique display.


If you've ever experienced the frustration of paying more than necessary for home repairs, remodeling, or upgrades, you're not alone! Most of us have done it at one time or another, and it's not a pleasant feeling!

The good news is that if you make up your mind to do a little research, ask questions, request a free quote, and get two or three estimates, then you probably won't have to repeat the same mistake. Unless it's a dire emergency, it's always better to take your time in choosing a contractor or repair technician for a home project.

While it may be a little more time consuming to get recommendations, compare prices, and talk to several contractors, it's well worth it -- both in terms of monetary savings and peace of mind. Since the typical homeowner incurs many expenses, every year, to maintain their plumbing, electricity, roof, floors, HVAC system, landscaping, appliances, and much more, the amount of money you can save from comparing estimates and researching contractors can really add up!

The ideal scenario for hiring a home contractor is to get a recommendation from a trusted friend, family member, or neighbor. That doesn't necessarily guarantee that you'll be getting the best value for your dollar, but it's a darn good starting point! Online reviews of contractors can also be helpful, but sometimes they lack the detail and credibility that's essential to a meaningful recommendation. No review is complete unless it says whether the customer would hire the contractor again and if they (the customer) would recommend them to family and friends.

Since no one's perfect, it's also helpful to know what the contractor could have done better. A lot of times people will say something like, "I was satisfied with the end result, but the project took a lot longer than expected and the contractor always showed up late." Asking questions, comparing prices, and asking for references are among the ways to increase the likelihood that you'll be satisfied with the contractor you choose and the quality of work they provide.

Depending on the scope of the project and its estimated cost, you may also want to check whether the contractors you're considering are accredited with the Better Business Bureau and if anyone has filed a complaint against them. Being accredited does not mean that the BBB endorses the business, but it does indicate that the business does meet certain standards and that they have agreed to make a good faith effort to resolve consumer complaints. In order to be accredited by the BBB, businesses need to submit an application, meet accreditation standards, and pay a fee. To keep their designation, they must maintain at least a "B" rating with the Bureau and continue to comply with its standards of professionalism, honesty, and customer responsiveness.


If security in your home is a concern, you can consider stepping things up a bit with steel entry doors. While you may think of steel doors as something that you’d find in an industrial type building, they’re not just for businesses anymore. Many homeowners are turning to steel entry doors in order to capitalize on their many benefits. 


You’d be surprised that many new construction homes can be found with steel entry doors, and the prices aren't bad. A basic door will run somewhere between $100-$150. You’ll still need to buy the installation hardware for the doors, but these prices are fairly reasonable. 


Benefits Of Steel Doors


There are many benefits to steel entry doors. The first of these perks is that they are incredibly secure. Break-ins generally occur either on lower level windows or through a front door. Thieves have a slim chance of getting into a steel door that has been properly installed. 

The next benefit of steel doors is that they’re very durable. Steel is known to be quite a weather resistant material. These doors are also energy efficient and help you to keep the cost of your utility bills down. 


Fire Resistant


Be careful when choosing your steel doors. Not all steel doors are fire resistant. A fire-resistant door can block high levels of heat and flames for about 20 minutes. You can check on your specific door of choice for how extensive the flame retardant material is and how long it will last. 


Maintenance 


Steel doors don’t require much maintenance. Because of their resistance to rust, cracking, and bending, these doors will last longer and keep your home looking sharp for longer periods of time. Steel doors are especially favorable if you live in an environment with high amounts of precipitation and humidity. The moisture won’t affect the condition of the door. If the doors happen to need any repairs, know that steel doors are just as easy to repair as a standard wooden door is. Your steel door will rarely require a replacement. 


Painting


When you think of a steel door, you may picture a cold, metal door that’s quite unwelcoming. This couldn’t be further from the truth! You’re able to paint these doors any color that you’d like. First, you’ll need to remove all of the hardware from the door. Then, you’ll need to sand and prime the door. Next, you can move into the painting phase. You can use many different methods to paint a steel door including brushing, rolling, or spraying the door.


Let's face it – most homebuyers have limited time and resources at their disposal. As such, it is crucial for buyers to do everything possible to optimize their time and resources throughout the property buying journey. Because if a buyer maximizes his or her time and resources, this individual can boost the likelihood of enjoying a successful homebuying experience.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help a homebuyer get the most out of his or her time and resources.

1. Craft a Homebuying Strategy

If you know you want to buy a home, you should develop a property buying strategy. That way, you can map out the steps you'll need to take to find and acquire your dream residence.

A typical homebuying strategy should account for your budget, timeline and other property buying factors. If you analyze these factors, you could streamline your quest to discover your ideal house.

2. Narrow Your Home Search

You plan to buy a house as soon as possible, but you still have no idea where you want to reside. Fortunately, if you hone your house search to a few cities and towns, you may be able to quickly and effortlessly find a great home in an area you can enjoy for years to come.

As you get ready to start a home search, consider your long-term plans. For instance, if your ultimate goal is to work in a big city, you may want to focus on houses in or near major metros. Or, if you want to raise a family, you may want to search for residences near outstanding schools and parks.

In addition, perform lots of research into various cities and towns. If you conduct plenty of research, you can find out whether certain areas match or exceed your expectations and tailor your house search accordingly.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is a property buying expert who understands what it takes to find a terrific residence at a budget-friendly price. Thus, if you hire a real estate agent today, you can get the help you need to reap the benefits of a seamless home search.

Oftentimes, a real estate agent will meet with you, learn about your property buying goals and craft a personalized homebuying strategy. He or she also will respond to your homebuying concerns and questions throughout the property buying journey. By doing so, a real estate agent ensures you can receive expert support as you try to find your dream house.

A real estate agent will make it simple to search for houses that fall within your budget and correspond to your homebuying criteria too. Plus, if you want homebuying recommendations or suggestions, a real estate agent is happy to provide them.

Want to enjoy a fast, successful homebuying experience? Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you should have no trouble making the most of your time and resources as you search for your ideal house.


Ready to enter the real estate market for the first time? As a first-time homebuyer, you may encounter many challenges as you kick off your search for the perfect house. However, property buyers who understand these challenges will be better equipped than others to overcome such difficulties quickly and effortlessly.

Now, let's take a look at three common challenges that first-time homebuyers may face:

1. You don't know what to look for in a house.

You know you want to own a house, but how do you define your "dream" residence? Ultimately, you'll want to consider what you'd like to find in your perfect house so you can map out your real estate search accordingly.

Creating a checklist of things you'd like to have in your dream home usually represents a great starting point for first-time homebuyers. This checklist should include both "must-haves" and "wants" and can help you narrow your search for the ideal residence.

2. You aren't sure how much money you have available to purchase a home.

How much can you spend to acquire a residence? Without a budget, you may struggle to begin your real estate search.

Lucky for you, many banks and credit unions make it simple to get pre-approved for a mortgage.

Set up meetings with a few lenders in your city or town – you'll be glad you did. These lenders can help you assess your current financial situation, outline all of your mortgage options and ensure you can gain pre-approval for a mortgage.

With a mortgage in hand, you may be better equipped than other homebuyers to secure your ideal residence. This mortgage will help you determine exactly how much you can spend on a home. Plus, getting pre-approved for a mortgage can help you avoid the temptation to spend beyond your financial means to acquire your dream house.

3. You don't know what it takes to go from homebuyer to homeowner.

The homebuying process can be long and complicated, especially if you have no idea about what to expect from it. Fortunately, real estate agents are available to help you take the guesswork out of going from homebuyer to homeowner.

A real estate agent is a housing market professional who is happy to share his or her insights with you. He or she will respond to your homebuying concerns and queries and teach you about all stages of the homebuying cycle.

Furthermore, a real estate agent will set up home showings, keep you up to date about new houses as they become available and negotiate with property sellers on your behalf. This housing market professional will even go above and beyond the call of duty to guarantee you can purchase a home that you'll be able to enjoy for years to come.

When it comes to buying a home for the first time, there is no need to navigate the homebuying journey alone. Instead, collaborate with a real estate agent, and you can accelerate the process of acquiring a top-notch house at a budget-friendly price.




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