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Home Guru: Reflections on a Day of Cleaning Up the Neighborhood of Litter

Home Guru: Reflections on a Day of Cleaning Up the Neighborhood of Litter

By Bill Primavera – A few years ago, I wrote a piece about litter and how it relates to the real estate industry. I was inspired because I had just been asked to cancel a showing appointment when a couple had done an advance drive-by of the house and found that it was in a neighborhood […]

Home Guru: Believe it or Not, the Connection Between Pianos and Real Estate

Home Guru: Believe it or Not, the Connection Between Pianos and Real Estate

By Bill Primavera – Either the piano is about to become as extinct as the dodo bird from American homes or, much like Mark Twain, its untimely death has been greatly exaggerated.  It depends on what you read and who you believe. Within the past few weeks, there’s been  good and bad news about the piano […]

Bill Primavera

Home Guru: The Making of a Master Craftsman – Is It Learned or Innate?

By Bill Primavera One of the favorite pieces my wife and I retrieved from our antiques shop when we closed it some years ago was a Sheraton-style (but not original) settee that is delicately made with three harp-like splats in the back. We’ve always had it in our central hall as though guests might linger […]

Home Guru: When Man Made Rules Over Mother Nature Underfoot

Home Guru: When Man Made Rules Over Mother Nature Underfoot

By Bill Primavera When it was time to replace the surface of our kitchen floor and we had to decide which material to choose, we found that it was as though there had been an explosion of options since the last time we had visited a flooring store more than 15 years ago. The new […]

Home Guru:  No Telling What You’ll Learn From Home Improvement Suppliers

Home Guru: No Telling What You’ll Learn From Home Improvement Suppliers

By Bill Primavera One of life’s greatest pleasures for me since I assumed the moniker of The Home Guru more than a dozen years ago has been the great talents and personalities I’ve encountered among the suppliers who service our many needs around the house, both inside and out. As for me, a self-professed klutz […]

Bill Primavera

Home Guru: Filtering Natural Light at Home to Create or Fit Your Mood

By Bill Primavera You might expect that a column about window shades and blinds would be somewhat ordinary and, honestly, when I set out with the assignment, that’s what I thought I’d deliver to you. Bu, that’s before I got to know Anthony Viverito, owner of Niles Floors & Blinds in Mohegan Lake, a virtual […]

Home Guru: The Saga of Why I Didn’t Take a Bath in 50 Years

Home Guru: The Saga of Why I Didn’t Take a Bath in 50 Years

By Bill Primavera This morning I took my first bath in 50 years, and it wasn’t for the purpose of getting myself clean but rather to clean the air tub, which hadn’t been used since I purchased my new condo three months ago. I’m one of those people who opted for showers instead of baths […]

Home Guru: Qualifying for a Mortgage: What Next, Blood and Urine Samples?

Home Guru: Qualifying for a Mortgage: What Next, Blood and Urine Samples?

By Bill Primavera With the purchase of four homes under my belt, I’ve applied for that many traditional mortgages. There have been many more times when I’ve taken mortgages to either lower my interest rate or tackle major renovations or new business ventures. I’ve lost count of how many times, but never have I been […]

Home Guru: My Personal and Frightening Story of Living With Toxic Mold

Home Guru: My Personal and Frightening Story of Living With Toxic Mold

By Bill Primavera More than a dozen years ago, Ed McMahon, the famous pitch man and announcer for Johnny Carson, brought to the public’s attention the health problems that can result from living with toxic mold in the home. After a long legal battle, McMahon was awarded $7.2 million from several companies who were negligent […]

Home Guru: Itching for My First ‘Project’ in Years, and Opting for Quick and Easy

Home Guru: Itching for My First ‘Project’ in Years, and Opting for Quick and Easy

By Bill Primavera When I was younger and forced by the lack of money to be a do-it-yourselfer around the house and in the garden, I dreamed of the day when I could employ others to do all that sweaty labor to maintain and upgrade everything that needed to be done. That day came a […]

Home Guru: Getting Locked Out, Locked Up, and Locked In

Home Guru: Getting Locked Out, Locked Up, and Locked In

By Bill Primavera With my recent move, I learned that hanging on to keys and identifying which key is for which lock is important. I needed to call my local Locksmith-on-Wheels in Yorktown Heights, owned by Eugene and Carl Camia, to open two locked file cabinets with long lost keys. There was also an unexpected […]

Home Guru: Musings on Bathroom Oddities, Manners and Etiquette

Home Guru: Musings on Bathroom Oddities, Manners and Etiquette

By Bill Primavera The bathroom. While it may not be the room you spend the most time in, it’s probably the room you visit most times during the course of the day. If you’re in my age group, you may visit it more frequently than when you were younger. I’ve been thinking a lot about […]

Home Guru: What's the Most Popular Home Project? Beats Me!

Home Guru: What’s the Most Popular Home Project? Beats Me!

By Bill Primavera In my many years as both a homeowner and homestyles journalist, I have observed that home repair and improvement projects tend to fall into three categories: the ones you need to do, the ones you want to do and the ones you do solely to increase the value of your home. The […]

Home Guru: Using Your Home Walls to Create an Art Gallery

Home Guru: Using Your Home Walls to Create an Art Gallery

By Bill Primavera As I recall the walls of my childhood home, a simple row house in Philadelphia, I see only the large obligatory parlor mirror over the sofa and one brightly colored watercolor of gladioli dated 1940 by my Aunt Helen, a self-taught artist, that I still display in an honored place. In college, […]

Home Guru: Wall-to-Wall is Trending Back, and its Grey, Grey, Grey

Home Guru: Wall-to-Wall is Trending Back, and its Grey, Grey, Grey

By Bill Primavera More than 25 years ago, my friend John Carr was the first person I knew who built his own home. He was also the first who taught me that installing hardwood floors cost pretty much the same as installing subflooring and wall-to-wall carpeting. Naturally, I thought, who would ever want carpeting when […]

Home Guru: Beauty of Cut Flowers as Part of Décor Lifts Spirits

Home Guru: Beauty of Cut Flowers as Part of Décor Lifts Spirits

By Bill Primavera Ever since our first year of marriage, there’s always been something special to my wife and me about adding fresh cut flowers to our home decorating scheme. To this day, mostly every week when I stop off at A&P to pick up my copy of The Examiner, I look for the special […]

Home Guru: Predictions on the Real Estate Market and Trends for 2015

Home Guru: Predictions on the Real Estate Market and Trends for 2015

By Bill Primavera Each New Year’s I gaze into my crystal ball (I really have one, but let’s be real here) to predict what will happen in terms of real estate market conditions and trends for the year ahead. I do it quite jauntily for two reasons. For one thing, I cheat and look at […]

Home Guru: Keeping Christmas Traditions or Bust!

Home Guru: Keeping Christmas Traditions or Bust!

By Bill Primavera Christmas has always been an important holiday to my wife Margaret and me. Never did we think, that after so many years of being ensconced in the same house where year after year we decorated our tree in the same living room in the same corner with the same decorations, that we […]

Home Guru: If Today is Moving Day, Just Shoot Me Now

Home Guru: If Today is Moving Day, Just Shoot Me Now

By Bill Primavera After the death of a loved one and divorce, moving is the third greatest stress producer in life. Certainly by this age, I should be able to recognize diversionary tactics when applied to myself, but I failed completely on the morning that our movers were scheduled to arrive. There I was at […]

Home Guru: Why the Holidays Can Be the Best Time To Be a Homeowner

Home Guru: Why the Holidays Can Be the Best Time To Be a Homeowner

By Bill Primavera As a homeowner, that magic time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is my favorite time of year. Others may prefer spring when the garden is awakening and we may be spending most of our time outside, or mid or late summer when the flower and vegetable gardens are in full bloom, […]

Home Guru: Downsizing, Meet the Incredible Shrinking Man (and Woman)

Home Guru: Downsizing, Meet the Incredible Shrinking Man (and Woman)

By Bill Primavera Eventually most homeowners get to that stage in life when, after they’ve raised their families in a large home, full of stuff and memories, they find they have more space and more things than they need and decide it’s time to downsize. It’s finally happened to my wife Margaret and me. When […]

Home Guru: Caulk Now to Keep the Drafts Away this Winter

Home Guru: Caulk Now to Keep the Drafts Away this Winter

By Bill Primavera Isn’t it funny how we each perceive situations differently depending on our circumstances? One of the ways I ease out from a hectic schedule is to watch classic movies on TCM or view reruns of only a very few favorite television series on Netflix. My absolute favorite is “Breaking Bad.” Remember the […]

Home Guru: Reminisces About the Past Dozen Years

Home Guru: Reminisces About the Past Dozen Years

By Bill Primavera Welcome to the 300th article written by The Home Guru for The Examiner over a six-year period. Actually, the Guru gestated more than a dozen years ago for another publication as a way to promote the start-up business of a fledgling real estate agent. It was the tragedy of 9/11 that prompted […]

Home Guru: When Your Leaves Start Falling, Don’t Bag ‘Em, Shred ‘Em!

Home Guru: When Your Leaves Start Falling, Don’t Bag ‘Em, Shred ‘Em!

By Bill Primavera Around this time of year, I start to see large paper bags filled with leaves parked by the roadside. I usually say to myself, what a waste! I just can’t understand why anyone would part with this rich resource in the life cycle of plant life. I love fallen leaves of red, […]

Home Guru: Retirees Scaling Back and Moving On

Home Guru: Retirees Scaling Back and Moving On

By Bill Primavera Like many people at my stage of life, I’m planning projects for not just one house but for two, as I prepare to move from an oversized house to a brand new smaller one, a beautiful new condo with many nice amenities. I’m organizing what needs to be done with my current […]

Home Guru: Be Glad That Real Estate isn’t as Sexy Anymore

Home Guru: Be Glad That Real Estate isn’t as Sexy Anymore

By Bill Primavera Real estate isn’t as sexy as it once was, and it probably won’t be for a long time to come, according to the pros. Why would I relate real estate to sex, you might ask? Well, you know the game of association, right? I’ve been thinking about Donald Trump lately, someone who’s […]

Home Guru: Fixtures, Getting Weird About What Stays and What Goes

Home Guru: Fixtures, Getting Weird About What Stays and What Goes

By Bill Primavera Buyers and sellers who seem perfectly nice and normal throughout the sales transaction can suddenly lose their cool when the seller asks at the last minute that a modest chandelier over a kitchen table be excluded among the fixtures included in the sale. “Oh no, you don’t,” the buyer might say, “it […]

Home Guru: What if We Don’t Like What Neighbors Put on Their Properties?

Home Guru: What if We Don’t Like What Neighbors Put on Their Properties?

By Bill Primavera When I had the great pleasure of taking on this gig as The Home Guru, I suggested to the publisher that I make my columns personal in approach. After all, a column devoted to real estate and home maintenance could be quite dry and, honestly, unless we’re all HGTV addicts, exploring such […]

Home Guru: When Homes Came in a Big Box From Sears, Ready to Assemble

Home Guru: When Homes Came in a Big Box From Sears, Ready to Assemble

By Bill Primavera When I received a call from a 92-year-old gentlemen telling me that he had read every one of my articles since I started writing as The Home Guru, I was quite flattered. And, when he told me that he wouldn’t consider having anyone else sell the house that he had lived in […]

Bill Primavera

Home Guru: A Herald of Angels Behind Housing ‘Freedom’ for the Disabled

By Bill Primavera My friend Dave Goldberg, the plumbing and heating supplier in upper Westchester who retired from his own business, called me last week to tell me that he had joined the board of Freedom Gardens in Mohegan Lake and asked if I might visit. He didn’t have to tell me what it was […]