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Home Guru: The Allure of Red However or Wherever Used

Home Guru: The Allure of Red However or Wherever Used

By Bill Primavera – It never occurred to me as a 16-year-old that I was making a strong statement. Given the first opportunity to decorate my own room, I chose a really bright red for the walls. My mother waited until I was in my thirties to finally tell me that she always knew I was […]

Home Guru: Watch Out for Gaps in Your Insurance Coverage

Home Guru: Watch Out for Gaps in Your Insurance Coverage

By Bill Primavera Now that we’re mostly dug out of the recent snowstorm, I find myself remembering a friend whose home was damaged due to freezing conditions. That difficult event was made worse for her because her agent had neglected to give her proper coverage, selling her a condominium policy when she actually lived in […]

Home Guru: The Home Guru’s 2016 Real Estate Forecast

Home Guru: The Home Guru’s 2016 Real Estate Forecast

By Bill Primavera – As we settle into 2016, it’s time for The Home Guru to report on the closing of the fourth quarter of the housing market in 2015 and take a look into his crystal ball and see how experts say it might behave in the months ahead. Just in are the results of […]

Home Guru: A Clutter of Information about Clutter

Home Guru: A Clutter of Information about Clutter

By Bill Primavera – It makes sense that we would be reminded at the beginning of the year, when we’re all fortified with New Year’s resolutions, to resolve to get around to decluttering. It seems that everywhere I look I’m finding helpful hints of how to do that. I have only occasionally dipped into the world of […]

Home Guru: The Top 10 List of New Year’s Resolutions for Your Home

Home Guru: The Top 10 List of New Year’s Resolutions for Your Home

By Bill Primavera  The National Association of Realtors has an advisory service called House Logic which dispenses all kinds of useful information. Very cleverly, it kicked off 2016 by issuing the top New Year’s resolutions for the home that normally would be associated with personal resolve.  Paraphrased, I share them here. Lose weight (cut energy […]

Home Guru: More Living with Less Space, Possible with Convertible Furniture

Home Guru: More Living with Less Space, Possible with Convertible Furniture

By Bill Primavera  In the early days of our marriage, my wife and I lived in a small New York City studio apartment, and we had to make the most of what space we had. Some of our neighbors opened up floor space by sleeping on Murphy beds that folded up vertically into the wall. […]

Home Guru: Be Careful, the Holidays are When Accidents Happen Most

Home Guru: Be Careful, the Holidays are When Accidents Happen Most

By Bill Primavera During the holiday season when there is more festive activity around the house, there is also more risk of accidents that can cause harm to ourselves and damage our homes than at any other time of year. I was reminded of this just the other evening when my wife Margaret and I […]

Home Guru: The Front Door Front and Center

Home Guru: The Front Door Front and Center

By Bill Primavera As I observe holiday wreaths dotting the front doors of homes, I am reminded that I’ve written about how important the condition of the front door is when it comes to the sale of a home. I thought about that recently when I opened a couple of doors for showings where the […]

Home Guru: Buying Holiday Gifts for the Smart Home

Home Guru: Buying Holiday Gifts for the Smart Home

By Bill Primavera – Come holiday time, my wife Margaret and I have always engaged in a practice I suspect many homeowners share: in addition to buying gifts for each other, we also buy gifts “for the home.” Over the years these have ranged from practical choices, such as new appliances, to objets d’art found during […]

Home Guru: Preparing for Winter, Whether Staying at Home or Going Away

Home Guru: Preparing for Winter, Whether Staying at Home or Going Away

By Bill Primavera – Every year, just as wintry weather arrives, I receive a call or email from the first supplier I ever used when moving to Westchester, Dave Goldberg of Dave Goldberg Plumbing and Heating, making sure that I remind readers to prepare for the frigid months ahead. This year, he expanded his email with […]

Home Guru: A Master Cabinet Maker Helps Define a Room

Home Guru: A Master Cabinet Maker Helps Define a Room

By Bill Primavera – Normally built-ins are utilized to transform dead zones into functional space, such as under stairs or windows, or between fireplaces and corners, but with our most recent project, there were a couple of other objectives to achieve besides organization, storage and display. Because my wife and I would be moving from a […]

Home Guru: Winter is the Time to Bring the Outdoors Inside

Home Guru: Winter is the Time to Bring the Outdoors Inside

By Bill Primavera – I’ll confess that I’ve always been a country boy at heart, having been reared in the Tidewater area of Virginia, where as a boy, I spent most of my time outside and barefoot at that. So, it was a real transition for me when I went to college and lived in a […]

Home Guru: The Full Range of Coffee Tables, Both Simple and Diverse

Home Guru: The Full Range of Coffee Tables, Both Simple and Diverse

By Bill Primavera – The classic sitcom “Seinfeld” may rival Shakespeare for the number of neologisms it has given us – “low talker,” “regifting” and “anti-dentite” among them – and it has also brought us the holiday Festivus and the career of The Original Soupman. But there is still one area of the Seinfeld universe that […]

Home Guru: A Random List of Homeowner To-Do’s for Winter

Home Guru: A Random List of Homeowner To-Do’s for Winter

By Bill Primavera – Each fall throughout the years I have given various tips for preparing for the long, cold winter ahead, and among them, here are some that are top of mind. For the lawn, rather than gathering leaves and lawn clippings in bags, cut the leaves while dry with your lawnmower into dime-sized pieces. […]

Home Guru: Report: Real Estate Market Robust in Westchester, Putnam

Home Guru: Report: Real Estate Market Robust in Westchester, Putnam

By Bill Primavera During the last quarter of the year, any prospective homebuyer can tell you that it hasn’t been a sure thing that you can get the house you’ve set your cap on. In today’s market, if a house is priced right and is in good condition, it doesn’t last long on the market. […]

Home Guru: There Are Ways to Create the Illusion of Bigger Space

Home Guru: There Are Ways to Create the Illusion of Bigger Space

By Bill Primavera Who says bigger is better? Well, all of us do, it seems, when it comes to living larger and wanting more space, especially if we happen to be downsizing but don’t want to be fully aware of it. There are countless ideas in decorating magazines, on HGTV and the Internet about how […]

Home Guru: About the Kitchen Pantry: The Most Practical Room in the House

Home Guru: About the Kitchen Pantry: The Most Practical Room in the House

By Bill Primavera As I opened the door to my kitchen pantry to grab a quick snack, the thought occurred to me that I’ve lived in homes and apartments that didn’t feature a pantry and wondered how I managed without one. As a kid, I distinctly remember how happy my mother was when she and […]

Home Guru: The Appealing Features of the Arts and Crafts Style House

Home Guru: The Appealing Features of the Arts and Crafts Style House

By Bill Primavera For a politician, Westchester County Legislator John Testa said he’s too sentimental about most things, particularly his hometown of Peekskill where he was born and raised and particularly his Arts and Crafts home, which has been in his family since 1940. “I am the fourth generation of my family here in town,” […]

Home Guru: Are Woman Treated Differently by Home Contractors?

Home Guru: Are Woman Treated Differently by Home Contractors?

By Bill Primavera – When it came time for my friend Abby to have a tankless water heater installed, she got the distinct feeling that it made a difference that she was a woman when dealing with both the manufacturer and the installer. “I felt that I was being treated differently in both cases because I […]

Home Guru:  The Chandelier’s History: Basic Function to Decorative Beauty

Home Guru: The Chandelier’s History: Basic Function to Decorative Beauty

By Bill Primavera – One big question mark remains in the decoration of the great room of our new home and it doesn’t seem likely to be answered anytime soon. That is the choice of chandelier to be hung in our dining area. For the first time in our long marriage of agreeing over most things […]

Home Guru: Seller’s ‘Train Hard, Fight Easy’ Approach to Listing a Home

Home Guru: Seller’s ‘Train Hard, Fight Easy’ Approach to Listing a Home

By Bill Primavera – Anna Maroselli could write the definitive book or teach a master class on preparing a home for sale. While normally it is a matter of a month or two from the time a seller and realtor engage in the process of listing a home, there was a gestation of more than two […]

Home Guru:  The Trick of Emotional Detachment from a Home When Selling

Home Guru: The Trick of Emotional Detachment from a Home When Selling

By Bill Primavera Do more people than not get attached to their homes to the point where they suffer a sense of loss when it’s time to move on? It’s a question I’ve been pondering lately and one that once again I’m facing myself. My home is on the market for the second time in […]

Home Guru: What’s Trending in Exterior House Colors? Certainly Not White!

Home Guru: What’s Trending in Exterior House Colors? Certainly Not White!

By Bill Primavera  The caller was interested in an historic Sears-Roebuck Catalogue house I had listed in North White Plains, but he wanted to make sure that it was not “purple” as he said it appeared to him online. “If it’s purple, I’m not interested,” he said, “because to me, purple means ‘death!’” “It’s a […]

Home Guru: The ‘Why’ of a Project Like Crown Molding as Much as the ‘How’

Home Guru: The ‘Why’ of a Project Like Crown Molding as Much as the ‘How’

By Bill Primavera – When I sat down with my lawyer, Dan Tota, in Yorktown Heights, it was to discuss his project of installing crown molding in his home. But after we talked for a while, I was as interested in the “why” of his project as the “how.” “After working all day in a high […]

Home Guru: What it Means When We Get Interested in Historic Homes

Home Guru: What it Means When We Get Interested in Historic Homes

By Bill Primavera – When I received the e-mail from Vicki Jimpson-Fludd, a real estate agent with Better Homes & Gardens Rand in Briarcliff Manor, to have my historic house listing in Ossining join a group of other historic houses in Westchester and Putnam counties for a joint open house tour, I thought it was an […]

Home Guru: All Sorts of Things Can Hang from the Ceiling, But Carefully Please

Home Guru: All Sorts of Things Can Hang from the Ceiling, But Carefully Please

As told to me, it was a LMAO kind of story that may get lost in translation when cleaned up, but I’m assured first hand it’s true. A woman who owned a condo was in bed for the very first time with a new boyfriend when suddenly the ceiling fan light disengaged from its mooring […]

Home Guru: Brick By Brick - The Easiest Way to Build a Patio From Scratch

Home Guru: Brick By Brick – The Easiest Way to Build a Patio From Scratch

By Bill Primavera – When we moved to Westchester in the early 1970s, our home had a curious architectural twist: the front and the back were switched, as is frequently the case with 18th century farmhouses. At some point, the previous owners opted for privacy over curb appeal and hid the grand front porch and expansive […]

Home Guru:  The Surprising Health Debate of Carpeting vs. Hard Floors

Home Guru: The Surprising Health Debate of Carpeting vs. Hard Floors

By Bill Primvavera – For years, from a style perspective, we’ve preferred the clean sleek look of hardwood floors over wall-to-wall carpeting, especially since we figured out that the costs were comparable. From a health consideration, we’ve had the perception in the media that hard surface flooring holds advantages over carpeting for allergy and asthma sufferers. […]

Home Guru: How I Added Pizzazz to My Home With Custom Lighting

Home Guru: How I Added Pizzazz to My Home With Custom Lighting

By Bill Primavera – When I was in college, I appeared in a play called “The Madwoman of Chaillot” by Jean Giraudoux with the actress Linda Lavin, who would later go on to achieve fame as “Alice” on television. Most stunning about that production, as I recall, were the amazing effects achieved by its lighting director, […]

The Home Guru:  Vines Can Hide a Multitude of Sins . . . Or Take Over

The Home Guru: Vines Can Hide a Multitude of Sins . . . Or Take Over

By Bill Primavera – When my family moved to the south when I was eight years old, I was amazed with some of the colloquialisms I heard that were so foreign to my ear transplanted from South Philadelphia. Like one from our next-door neighbor Ethel who liked to say how much she loved her husband even […]