Real estate is a balancing act, if you put too much money into your home when you are getting ready to sell you may not recoup the costs, but do too little and you may have to settle for a lower price. Here are some upgrades that will get you the most bang for your buck. 


Class up the Kitchen 

The kitchen is the most important room in the house, but don't spend thousands redoing it. You want to update, not renovate. Repair leaky faucets, light fixtures, anything with a knob or handle, and cosmetics things like a burn mark on the counter. You will spend less and reap the benefits of a polished well cared for kitchen. 


Beautify the Bathroom

The bathroom is another high focus area for potential buyers. Just like in the kitchen, update…

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Whether you start your day at a coffee shop, fueling up for the day or need that midafternoon boost to make it through the day, coffee shops hold an important role in any neighborhood. They add a sense of community! Not only does coffee shop culture allow small businesses to be supported by their communities, it also gives people a communal space where they can find consistency, comfort, coziness,  conversation, snacks, music, literature, sometimes local arts acts, and of course great coffee! Good coffee shops tend to be a community hub for local art and culture. In this way, independent coffee shops become a reflection of their community and those who they serve. The character of the coffee shop mirrors that of the community and caters to the need of…

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Well, let's name some pitfalls that can occur in the home-buying process. 

 Waiting for a better deal.

There is an emphasis on getting a good deal when it comes to buying real estate, or anything for that matter! But, what is a good deal? You should aim to pay within a ballpark of prices based on comparable listings in the market. If you are anywhere within that ballpark, then consider yourself successful. To wait until you can find a steal may be unrealistic and leave you waiting for a long time. If you love a home enough, it’s not about getting the best deal. Rather, it’s about paying a price that you’re comfortable with for a place that you love! When you win the bid, you won’t even remember those extra thousands that you may have paid when…

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During the late 1800’s, Staten Island began its life as a borough of New York City with a heavy and almost sole purpose in agriculture. Through the decline of farming on the Staten Island, the borough transitioned into the suburban borough. To date, the borough offers suburban life with New York City lines, distinguishing itself from the other NYC boroughs. Whether it was through farmer life or suburban life, Staten Island has always had its family-oriented neighborhoods, many of which remain between the North and South shore. 


Looking for something to do with the kids? Staten Island has got it! Whether you’re interested in educational fun, all day activities, or just a good ole playgroup, Staten Island has the essentials to fit any kiddie’s dream…

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It's that time of year again, where family and friends come out into the night (and day) to celebrate one of America's most popular, and exciting holidays! Thankfully, our beloved borough is no exception when it comes to showing off our Halloween spirit! 

Offering events that cater to individuals and families of all ages and sizes, there's always plenty of activities available to give us good reason to don our best spooky outfits and go prowling into the night. Make sure to check out some of these popular options this year! 



Staten Island Zoo "Spooktacular" 


One of the most frequented events, the event hosted by the borough's only zoo ends up selling out every single year! Due to take place on October 13th and 14th of this year,…

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New York City historically has been a hub for U.S. manufacturing. Many renowned companies like Procter & Gamble, William Wrigley’s Company, Bethlehem Steel Corporation, The S.S. White Dental Factory (which was the largest manufacturer of dental products in the world), Constanz Brewery, and many others have housed factories in Staten Island. These factories were responsible for the production of beer, milk, steel, some of the country’s favorite gum (Juicy Fruit and Wrigley’s Spearmint), and various other products. In this regard, Staten Island has played an integral part in the industrial revolution of the United States. 

Staten Island’s unique geographic characteristics have also made it a prime location for U.S. military bases like Fort Wadsworth and…

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Many of you read a few months ago about the historic 41 Million dollar Staten Island shopping center deal know as South Shore Commons - sold by yours truly and the amazing commercial team at Casandra Properties.  While it was another milestone achievement in the Staten Island real estate market, and typically the closing represents the end of the transaction – at Casandra Properties it was the beginning. Now more than ever, the customers come first when talking about Staten Island retail space.  


A time for innovation


After the closing, we sat with ownership to create a comprehensive marketing plan.  We felt it was critical to look at co-tenancy synergies, traffic flow, customer experience, and the Holy Grail of retail – customer…

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What does it mean to “be in escrow?” 

We hear buyer and sellers often use this phrase and in context, we know that this means the process of buying/selling a home is almost done, but what does it really mean?

In real estate, escrow companies are non-interested third parties that hold funds from both parties until all agreements of a contract have been fully executed. Ever wonder how a seller actually gets paid when selling their real property? Escrow! Financers of the purchase of real estate, whether it’s a lender or cash purchaser, deposit that money into an escrow account where the money is securely held from both parties until the transaction is complete. So, the buyer hands the money to Escrow, who keeps it safe, until both parties have…

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Closing costs consist of costs that have been incurred throughout the home buying process. These fees vary from inspection fees, to loan origination fees. Depending on where you live, the type of home loan you have, and your lender, these fees vary greatly. Per Zillow, here are some fees that you will see associated with the purchase of your home. 

Application Fee: Cost to apply for a loan. In some cases, this includes costs associated with a credit check and verification. 

Appraisal: Cost to get home appraised to confirm the fair market value and is close to the listing price.

Attorney Fee: All associated attorney’s fees to review legal documents and agreements in the transaction.

Closing Fee or Escrow Fee: Cost associated with the use of an…

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Spruce it up!  

When gearing up to put your place on the market, it is important that you spruce the place up a bit. Touch up your landscaping, clean up the exterior of your home, make repairs, and clean out/organize your closets. These few improvements will enhance your home’s curb appeal and boost potential buyer’s first impressions of your home. Messy closets give off the impression that there isn't enough storage in your home. Even if that is the case, you don’t want to give off that impression! A clean fresh exterior and landscaping makes it easier for a potential buyer to see themselves in your home. 



When approaching listing, you should start to separate yourself from your home. Very soon (hopefully) the home will…

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