Behind The Transformation — 56 Brookbridge Road

From the distressed to the daring, every property contains a great deal of potential.  Believe us — small changes make a huge difference when it comes time to sell. Did you know? Average real estate agents will dramatically discount a house based on poor appearance because they, like many buyers, can’t see the transformation possibilities underneath the clutter and outdated decor.

Luckily, our Erica Covelle was born with a gift of making things look fantastic. It’s what she loves most about her job selling real estate, and it’s this talent (and experience as a professional interior designer) that sets her apart from all other agents. She transforms “what it is” to “what it can be,” building equity and setting the scene to achieve top dollar numbers! Intrigued? Buckle up — we’re taking you “Behind the Transformation” at 56 Brookbridge Road in Stoneham.

Here’s how the home looked before our renovations and staging:

56 Brookbridge fit the definition of “lived in,” but loved. An elderly brother and sister lived in this home for many years. They inherited this home from their parents and had been the single owners of this well-cared for home for years. But when the brother fell ill, the sister couldn’t live alone in this big home by herself. The time had come to sell.

The sad reality here is that people think they can take advantage of the elderly, and oftentimes — they succeed.  Neighbors came around offering this family an extremely low price. One even offered as low as $200,000 for a home that we priced at $600,000! We make it our practice to treat every home and family as we would our own. We abide by the golden rule: do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Erica procured the listing and set forth on a journey to transform this home and bring it from 1970 to 2018. Here’s just a snippet of how we transformed this home:

Kitchen

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  1. Removed dated countertop and backsplash with new and stylish current trends.
  2. Updated the flooring to open up a more neutral space with fresh hardwood flooring.
  3. Replaced the backsplash with a monochromatic tile to widen the space.
  4. Updated center light to act as a focal point of the room.
  5. Changed cabinet knobs to add a golden contemporary finish.

Here are some standout before and after shots from other areas of the home:

Living Room

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Goodbye, blue carpet! Hello hardwood and chic modern decor.

Basement

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A deep clean was in order. Underneath? Untapped space!

Bathroom

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From drab to fab — freshly painted and staged with a new vanity top and hardware.

Master Bedroom

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With brighter furniture, less clutter and a modern feel, this space really opened up.

Home Exterior

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From average home to luxury single family, we pulled off a major transformation.

In the end, we sold this home for more than $600,000! We transformed what was a shabby single-family to a thriving residence for any stylish buyer. With COVELLE & COHEN by her side, this seller MADE MONEY — and avoided potentially leaving $200,000 on the table.

Selling your home? It’s clichéd but it’s true — you never get a second chance to make a first impression! Don’t leave money on the table. COVELLE & COHEN GREATER BOSTON REAL ESTATE helps clients sell two times faster for an average of 1.4 percent more. At an average sale price of $600,000, that’s $24,000 more! Call us today to hear more about our top agents offering an exclusive white glove service: covellecohen.com/contact-us  


5 Kitchen and Bath Trends Dominating 2018

If you’re thinking of making improvements to your home, a kitchen or bath remodel is a surefire investment to increase your home’s value. Why? Because buyers are most interested in seeing updated, beautiful kitchens and baths! And in a hot housing market like Greater Boston, a kitchen or bath remodel often returns more than 100 percent of the cost.

Of course, getting started can be overwhelming. First, know what’s out, what’s in, and what’s likely to stay! Read on for the top trends dominating 2018, followed by tips and tricks to maximize your money:

1. Countertops

Stone countertops are in. In fact, they’re the top item to splurge on because everyone loves a clean kitchen.
Photo: @finding__lovely

Stone countertops are in. In fact, they’re the top item to splurge on because everyone loves a clean kitchen. High-end developers and luxury homeowners go for Calacatta, a bright white marble with thick veins that range in color from gold to brown to beige to dark gray. It’s a gorgeous historic favorite sure to stay in style.

Tip: Love this look but not the price tag? Engineered quartz is eclipsing granite as the most popular material for countertops, according to Houzz. Quartz is cheaper but more durable than marble — perfect for wear and tear in a family kitchen.

2. High-End Appliances

Without a doubt, new appliances reel in buyers in Greater Boston’s hot housing market.
Photo: @marieflaniganinteriors

Without a doubt, new appliances reel in buyers in Greater Boston’s hot housing market. Who doesn’t want an induction stove, a warming drawer, a smart refrigerator, or a wine cooler? If you personally enjoy cooking and entertaining, high-end appliances are worth the splurge. Enjoy your chef-inspired kitchen now, and profit when it’s time to sell!

Tip: Be savvy. Keep in mind the best time to buy appliances. After a new release, you can often find the previous year’s high-end model for a fraction of the price!

3. Darker Tones for Cabinets

 Darker colors returned to 2018 kitchens this year — think navy, hunter green, walnut, and slate gray.
Photo: @neptunehomeofficial

While white kitchens will always be popular, designers are moving away from minimalist toward realist design. Darker colors returned to kitchens this year — think navy, hunter green, walnut, and slate gray. Many designers are even opting for two-tone cabinets, where the upper cabinets are light and the bottom cabinets are dark.

Tip: Cabinets are not the place to pour thousands of dollars. Save that budget for tile flooring, backsplashes, counters, or appliances. Why? Because those updates help sell the house! It’s more likely that in nine years, the trendy cabinets you chose will look dated, and you’ll regret over-spending.

4. Wall Coverings

Wallpaper is back, and it’s not your mother’s ‘80s florals!
Photo: @deeelms

Wallpaper is back, and it’s not your mother’s ‘80s florals! Wallpaper is a fairly inexpensive way to freshen up any powder room with an accent wall. Designer wallpaper ranges from geometric and art deco to bright and large-scale florals to even an “ombre” effect!

Tip: Want to go bold? Go for it! Wall coverings are a place to express yourself, and they’re an easy fix when selling your home. We’d recommend Chasing Paper, a beautiful, well-designed removable(!) wallpaper that will stick to nearly any surface.

5. Metal Fixtures

Metal fixtures are the simplest way to give your bathroom and kitchens a luxury look.
Photo: @kerrykirkphoto

Metal fixtures are the simplest way to give your bathroom and kitchens a luxury look. Faucets, lighting fixtures, mirrors, and frames all look incredible in nickel and brass against bright white. This year, we’re loving the matte black that’s trending!  

Tip: Fixtures are an easy way to stay on trend at minimal expense. For tubs, toilets, and bathroom sinks, stay classic with pure white! It will never look outdated.

COVELLE & COHEN Greater Boston Real Estate provides cutting edge strategies that offer a proven road map to suit any real estate needs. Contact us here or call 857.529.SOLD (7653).

Holiday Gift Guide for Homeowners

The stockings are hung, the lights are strewn, and there’s magic in the air… There really is no better time than the holidays to let family and friends know just how much they’re loved. Here’s our gift guide for homeowners — our top picks from local sellers that any homeowner in your life is sure to enjoy!

1. City Maps by JHill Design

A personalized map from JHill Design is the perfect gift for a new homeowner
Photo: @jhilldesign

A personalized map from JHill will forever remind the recipient of the place they were on a special day in their lives. These maps are one-of-a-kind gifts, perfect for newlyweds, a graduate, or new homeowners to hang on their wall. At Covelle & Cohen, we love gifting JHill’s Boston-area maps to clients! | @jhilldesign


2. Anything from Twelve Chairs in the South End

Decor from Twelve Chairs in Boston's South End
Photo: @twelvechairsboston

If you want that unique item that will really catch your guests’ eyes, look no further than Twelve Chairs, a home furnishings shop and interior design studio located in the historic South End neighborhood. There, you’re sure to find unique, vintage-inspired decor inspired by subtle details, enduring character, and custom craftsmanship. We love Twelve Chairs’ area rugs, bedding, end tables, and of course.. CHAIRS. | @twelvechairsboston


3. Plants from Niche Urban Garden Supply in Cambridge and Boston

Pretty curated plants from Niche Urban Garden Supply
Photo: @nicheboston

You can never have enough plants! For the plant parents in your life, Niche Urban Garden Supply has gifts galore. At this boutique plant shop located Cambridge & Boston, pick up a decorative potted plant in a contemporary container to add a little green to any living space. | @nicheboston


4. Lighting Fixtures or Clocks from Design Within Reach on Mass Ave in Cambridge

At Design Within Reach on Mass Ave in Cambridge, find wares from world-renowned designers
Photo: @designwithinreach

Design Within Reach gives people to the best in authentic modern design. At the Cambridge store, find luxe modern living home accessories from the likes of world-renowned designers such as Michael Anastassiades, Tom Dixon Studio, Muuto, and Philippe Starck. Sleek fixtures like these can transform any home from outdated to chic. | @designwithinreach


5. Wine from The Urban Grape in the South End

Find the perfect gift for your holiday party host at The Urban Grape in Boston
Photo: @urbangrape

Most of us could use a drink this holiday season…. Look no further than The Urban Grape, Boston’s award-winning wine, craft beer, and spirits store in the South End. Shop the holiday party selection here. | @urbangrape 


6. Art Print By Noat in Somerville

Noat’s minimal, modernist designs will tie together any room.
Photo: @designwithinreach

Noat’s minimal, modernist designs will tie together any room. Bonus: we think they’re quite calming to look at. Buy the art print here. Noat is the new project of Somerville-based brand design team, Oat. | @noatpaper


7. Walnut Bar Cart by The Cottage in Concord

Gorgeous bar cart from The Cottage in Concord
Photo: @bostondesignguide

Why walk all the way to the fridge or kitchen for refills? This gorgeous dark walnut bar cart from The Cottage in Concord fits perfectly with every holiday party. Give the gift of pretty and practical indulging this holiday. Protip from Boston Design Guide: dress it up with simple glassware and a festive wreath! | @the_cottage_concord_ma


8. Anything from HausWitch Home + Healing in Salem

Head to HausWitch in Salem to rebalance your home's energy with crystals and spell kits
Photo: @hauswitch

For the witch in your life! At HausWitch, find everything you need to bring good vibes home. We love the HausWarming Spell Kit for a Cozy Home… with clove scented candles and cinnamon incense. Buy it here, along with other crystals and spells made with love and reiki. | @hauswitch


9. Peterman’s Boards and Bowls

Every wooden bowl or accessory from Spencer Peterman has its own story
Photo: @petermansboardsandbowls

Every wooden bowl or accessory from Spencer Peterman has its own story. Peterman seeks out locally fallen trees like maple, cherry or black walnut. He upcycles otherwise discarded, decomposing wood to create strikingly unique, hand turned bowls. His crafts are the perfect statement piece for any kitchen counter of coffee table, sure to spark a conversation. Bonus: you can find these bowls at the Boston Public Market! | @petermansboardsandbowls

30 Luxury Home Design Trends And Features Adorning 2017

Originally posted over on Inman

What high-end homebuyers seek, and sellers should consider…

Key Takeaways:

  • Luxury buyers look for anything but cookie-cutter, while convenience, style and recreation opportunities make the top of their wish list.
  • A ranch-style featuring a designer kitchen, blended living space and mixed-metal trimmings — such a house would embody 2017 luxury, so long as it was also decked out in smart home technology.
  • That’s according to twin brothers Jonathan and Drew Scott, co-founders of Scott Brothers Entertainment and Scott Living.
  • The duo and HGTV hosts — real estate agent (Drew) and fixer-upper transformer (Jonathan) — launched their first book this year, New York Times’ best-seller Dream Home: The Property Brothers’ Ultimate Guide To Finding & Fixing Your Perfect House, along with a luxury home project in Las Vegas: Dream Homes by Scott Living.
  • The project offers well-to-do buyers the chance to snag a new build from their portfolio of customizable original designs.
  • What do the brothers have to say about this year’s biggest luxury design trends, features and homebuyer requests? Which investments add value, and where should the top 1 percent of sellers refrain from splurging?

Read More

Sell Your Home Fast: 21 Staging Tips

Originally posted on Houzz

If you are planning to put your house on the market, it goes without saying that you are hoping to sell your home as quickly as possible and get your asking price. Set the stage for success with these 21 tips for styling and upgrading your home, and see results — fast.

Traditional Exterior by Case Design/Remodeling, Inc.
Case Design/Remodeling, Inc.

1. Boost curb appeal. This is something you always hear, and with very good reason. Many people thinking of touring your home will do a quick drive-by first, often deciding on the spot if it is even worth a look inside. Make sure your home is ready to lure in onlookers with these tips:

  • Power wash siding and walkways (How to Wash Your House)
  • Hang easy-to-read house numbers
  • Plant blooming flowers and fresh greenery
  • Mow lawn, and reseed or add fresh sod as needed
  • Wash front windows
  • Repaint or stain the porch floor as needed

Read More