Caroline Bianchi - RE/MAX Acclaim Worcester County | Oxford MA Real Estate


Eco-friendly properties are becoming increasingly popular. There are lots of people who are willing to invest in eco-friendly houses. Eco-friendly homes are a great option if you are purchasing a new home or you want to move into another piece of property.

Green properties have advantages that are far more than traditional homes. If you are unaware about the gains of investing in an eco-friendly estate, here are three good reasons to invest:

Eco-friendly properties last longer

Do you know that green homes last longer than the conventional home? The main reason for this is that eco-friendly building materials are more durable. For instance, green homes can withstand the impact of wind more than traditional houses. The steel beam is an eco-friendly material that gives the home a solid frame. You will be interested to hear that the steel beam is much stronger than wood. Also, a steel beam is better protected from termites or rot.

It is worth noting that the majority of the eco-friendly construction materials are treated to last long. Every element of the home must be used maximally to minimize waste. 

Eco-friendly properties are more valuable

Green living is most times associated with modern conveniences as well as luxury living. For example, you can harness the power of the sun and rain efficiently through the photovoltaic solar power and rainwater harvesting. There is no need to depend on the grip alone for electricity when we can quickly generate electricity through these eco-friendly processes. When you consider the benefits mentioned above, a green home is more advantageous than the traditional home. 

In addition to that, green homes are also temperature controlled all the year round, which increases the property value substantially.

Eco-friendly properties are cheaper to run

The costs of running an eco-friendly home are considerably less than that of a traditional house. Other merits of eco-friendly properties are their convenience and benefits to the environment. You save a substantial amount of money when you stay in an eco-friendly home. Some features that protect your money in a greenhouse includes Hydronics Radiant cooling and heating, LEDs, Photovoltaic solar electricity and many others.

Visit your closest home hardware store to learn more about eco-friendly features to save you money


BPO stands for ‘broker price opinion.' It is associated with short sales and foreclosures. BPO involves a process that is almost the same as real estate appraisal but not as complicated. Banks and companies usually hire the services of a real estate broker to prepare an opinion of value for a particular real estate. The representative of the broker, who is a real estate agent, will compare a least three similar properties and arrives at a range of values, and then make some adjustments — the overall analysis results is an opinion of the market value. 

A BPO may be controversial if the agent preparing it is not experienced enough especially when it comes to appraisal techniques. Also, BPO costs less than a full-blown appraisal. 

Types of BPOs 

There are two standard types of BPO: interior and a drive-by. The interior BPO has to do with assessing and taking pictures of the home interiors while a drive-by BPO involves the exterior of the home. In some cases, the agent may not inspect the home exterior personally and may depend on the pictures of the home's exterior posted on an MLS website. Also, the drive-by BPO does not involve the inspection of the home interior. 

Who Needs a BPO? 

In most cases, a financial institution orders a broker price opinion and not an individual. Below are some of the uses of BPO. A Broker price opinion is used to settle the estate of a homeowner that has passed away. It will help you decide if a foreclosure or a short sale is ideal considering the value as compared to the debt amount. It also offers a more recent value amount whenever you choose to sell mortgages on the secondary market. BPO helps homeowners to determine the amount of equity in their homes to see if they qualify for exemption from private mortgage insurance requirements. 

Why Banks Order BPOs

The two reasons why banks order BPOs are as follows:

- They order a BPO for a house in foreclosure that is about to REO homes of bank inventory

- Banks also order a BPO for a short sale 

Banks might request a BPO from two different real estate companies to get an estimate for a range of values. This method helps the bank to avoid the inaccurate BPO values by dishonest agents.


You’ve finalized the paperwork moved the last box and may have even kicked up your feet to relax. It’s time to celebrate owning your very own home. Homeownership is a major milestone after all and you deserve to bask in the pride of this accomplishment by throwing a housewarming party. Share your new home and kickoff memories to come with your favorite people.

Start planning by tallying the number of guests on your list that will comfortably, and safely, fit into the amount of space your home has. You also want to keep your budget in mind as you finalize the number of guests for your party.

The best time to throw a housewarming party is two to three weeks after you’ve moved and have begun to settle in. Most of your boxes are probably unpacked by this point and you have an idea of how you’d like everything to be set up.

Send out invites two weeks ahead of time to give everyone enough time to arrange their schedules plan for your party. This is also a good time to begin planning food and drinks. You’ll want to create a cohesive spread of food or if your party is at a mealtime plan a full dinner. Make calls to get pricing for any catering you may want to have done or start gathering recipes.

You’ll want to have every room of your home ready for showing the day of the party as guests will want to see the full house. Do your best to make each room presentable and try to have everything unpacked and put away. Have a playlist of music to play for the party and buy some fresh cut flowers to put a finishing touch to each room.

Have your home ready for the influx of guests by stocking your bathroom with plenty of toilet paper, several fresh hand towels and a full bottle of hand soap. Have a place ready for guests to leave coats, bags, and shoes.

On the day of the party, try to greet every guest as they arrive. Offer them a drink, show them where refreshments are available and give directions to the bathroom. Offer tours of your home throughout the day/night in small groups so everyone has a chance to get the full viewing.

Signify the party is wrapping up by offering dessert and coffee. Thank all of your guests for coming as they depart. It is always a nice touch to send thank you notes to guests, especially to those who brought housewarming gifts.

Owning a home is a major accomplishment and one that should be celebrated! Housewarmings are a fun way to gather friends and family together and enjoy the fruits of your labor.


If you love entertaining and hosting dinner guests, you probably take the time to create beautiful meals with paired cocktails to complete your menu. For those who entertain frequently, shopping for cocktail supplies can add time and a bit of hassle to arranging your meal. You have to go to several different stores to find the right liquor and mixers. Instead, designing and stocking up your home bar can help you be prepared for your guests at any time and make those last-minute invites hassle free. It can also add interest and appeal to your kitchen, dining room or living room space. So, what do you need to create a sophisticated bar set up for your home?

The first step to ensuring you can create delicious cocktails anytime is to have the right tools. Visit your local restaurant or bar supply store and find yourself one or two standard shakers along with a couple of strainers. Pick up a bar spoon and a jigger or two for perfectly mixed cocktails every time — for those new to mixology a jigger is a measuring tool used to portion out your liquor and mixers for balanced drinks. For beautiful garnishing purchase a twist peeler bar knife and a small paring knife. If you'd like to be able to make your own fresh mixers, definitely invest in a small juicer. Finally, top off your shopping trip with glassware. Think about the number of people you typically have over and purchase a combination of glasses to support your entertaining habits. A set of martini glasses, highball or Collins glasses and rocks glasses should do the trick. Tip—for sophisticated rocks drinks invest in a couple of rock ball molds you can use to prepare large ice spheres. Bonus Tip—you can look up cocktail recipes online, but a great bar bible is an excellent addition to your home bar. Find one at your bar supply shop or bookstore.

Now that you have your tools you are ready to build your liquor selection. You can build out your bar over time, so don’t worry about getting twenty bottles of liquor all at once or emptying your bank account to get all the top-shelf brands. There are tasty and affordable options for all liquors. Think about the cocktails you typically like to create, or simply invest in the supplies to make a few of the classics. Find a bourbon you prefer for making an old-fashioned and sweet vermouth for manhattans. Purchase your favorite gin and vodka for martinis, bloody mary's and simple mixed drinks, along with dry vermouth. Have a silver tequila on hand for margaritas, and finally, round out your selection with a white rum and a dark rum for mojitos or a dark and stormy. 

The last things you need to build beautiful cocktails are your mixers and garnish. Though you will have to purchase your fresh, perishable items like oranges, limes, and mint closer to your dinner date, there are some items you can have on hand and some simple syrups you can prepare earlier in the week to save time on the day. You can purchase a jar of Luxardo cherries that will keep for a long time, and martini olives (and juice) will also stay fresh for a good while when refrigerated. Many pre-made bloody mary mixes also have an extended fridge life. Your basic simple-syrup lasts in your fridge for a long time and is made quite easily with hot water and sugar. If you plan to pair a specific cocktail with your meal, you can prepare additional mixers a two to four days ahead. Juice fresh lime for margaritas, combine lemon and lime for sour mix or create a mint simple-syrup for mojitos. Remember you don’t want to make huge amounts of mixers that won’t keep. To save on costs only prepare the mixers you need for the cocktail or cocktails you’re making that week and base your amounts on the number of people you expect to entertain. 

You now have all the essentials to maintain your home bar and keep yourself prepared for entertaining anytime. If you’re new to making cocktails or are trying a new one for the first time, remember to practice ahead of your dinner to ensure you have the right combination of ingredients. Practice your lemon twists and orange peels for gorgeous garnishing, and you're ready to go! 

If entertaining is a fundamental part of your lifestyle, let your real estate agent know. They can help you find a home with the best kitchen and dining space for your dinners and parties and maybe even something with a beautiful built-in bar.


Make your new house an even more welcoming place to come home to by designing a fragrant flower garden. Fill your garden with these beautiful blooms and reap the aromatic rewards.

If you aren’t exactly known for your green thumb don’t think you can’t have a beautiful flower garden too! Most of these blooms are also incredibly easy to grow and require little maintenance over time.  

Sweet alyssum - Not only is the sweet alyssum beautifully fragrant, it’s also a pretty hardy plant that can tolerate both heat and drought. It is also a self-sowing plant so it will come back year after year with minimal effort on your behalf. While it grows low to the ground it’s potent sweet scent won’t go unnoticed.

Rose - The rose needs no introduction. While this bloom precedes its fragrant reputation it, unfortunately, has one misconception - that they are difficult to grow. If you have an area in your garden that receives around 6 hours of sunlight you should find little difficulty getting this coveted blossoms to grow.

Phlox - Phlox grow in small bundles of flowers, much like the sweet alyssum. There are actually three varieties to be aware of when choosing your seeds. There are border phlox, mounding phlox and woodland varieties. No matter the variety this bloom boasts a sweet almost honey-like smell you will adore.  

Butterfly bush - This shrub grows long draping cone-shaped bundles of flowers. It comes in shades of white, pink and purple. If you are looking to attract butterflies opt for a lavender-pink variety. It should be noted that this bush is considered an invasive species and can be problematic in areas with more mild climates.

Flowering crabapple - Crabapples comes in many varieties and can fit any garden’s aesthetic needs. You can find traditional round shaped trees as well as ones with draping branches much like a weeping willow. For the most fragrant blooms, you’ll want the single blossom variety.

Peony - Peonies are a stunning, showy bloom much like the rose. The lovely, fresh scent peonies throw off is well worth the 2-3 year wait for a newly planted bush to establish itself. And good news - they don’t require much fussing over throughout that time. Aside from adequate sun and plenty of root space to soak up nutrients this bush is pretty low maintenance.  

These six blooms will be sure to up the aroma ante in your flower garden. Not only can they be grouped up together but they can also be grouped with other stunning blooms whose fragrance is lacking for a well-rounded showstopper of a garden. Peonies can be put in the same garden design as roses to complement one another's showy blooms. While sweet alyssum and phlox can be added to just about any design due to their low-spreading nature.




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