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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 […]

Home Guru:  'Feng Shui’ed' Anew, Not Without Some Trepidation

Home Guru: ‘Feng Shui’ed’ Anew, Not Without Some Trepidation

By Bill Primavera – After a year of great upheaval in my personal and professional domains, having moved to a new residence and expanded space in my office building, I was feeling off kilter. I was a little uncomfortable in my own skin, not sleeping well and working in a tangle of misplaced folders, temporary filing […]

Home Guru: Keeping the Biters at Bay: Creative Tips for Defeating Mosquitos

Home Guru: Keeping the Biters at Bay: Creative Tips for Defeating Mosquitos

By Bill Primavera Now is the time of year when you can enjoy evening meals outside, either on your patio or pool side. I enjoyed that for years before my recent move to a fifth-floor condo, where I don’t have to worry about pool upkeep anymore.  Maybe it’s the one and only thing I miss […]

Home Guru: Stunning Information About Exercising Fire Safety at Home

Home Guru: Stunning Information About Exercising Fire Safety at Home

By Bill Primavera Soon after I moved into my new residence at Trump Park in Yorktown, a neighbor named Dan Potter introduced himself to me as a retired New York City fireman. He said that he had read my column about Fireman Joe who instructed school children about fire safety in the home. Potter told […]

Home Guru: The Element of Time in Planning Anything Inside or Out

Home Guru: The Element of Time in Planning Anything Inside or Out

By Bill Primavera Whenever I see a model home, I marvel at how a professional designer can throw together a beautiful living space with so many creative ideas so quickly. Some peoples’ minds are just wired that way, but mine is not. In fact, the one college course I dropped mid-term was interior design. While […]

Home Guru: Nature Versus Lazy Bone (and Rickety Bone) Gardeners

Home Guru: Nature Versus Lazy Bone (and Rickety Bone) Gardeners

By Bill Primavera Most every spring I write a piece about simplifying garden chores to achieve maximum effect in design and color with minimum effort in terms of planting, weeding and especially bending and kneeling. This is critical for us folk who are “getting better” each year, as they say now about active, mature adults. […]

Home Guru: Against the Tide - The Argument for Clutter

Home Guru: Against the Tide – The Argument for Clutter

By Bill Primavera – My wife and I frequently comment about how barren those new multimillion-dollar condos in Manhattan look when we see those ads with only a sofa, a coffee table and maybe a sideboard in the living room. God forbid you walk around in your underwear in that room, put your feet up and […]

Home Guru: The Home Guru’s Roundup of Home Improvement Providers

Home Guru: The Home Guru’s Roundup of Home Improvement Providers

By Bill Primavera – There’s always the possibility that we’re taking a chance when we hire a home improvement contractor for the first time whether the job is big or small. When I moved to the suburbs and it was time for me to find a contractor, it was for a big job: to take a […]

Home Guru: Living With Other Noisemakers: Liking or Lumping it

Home Guru: Living With Other Noisemakers: Liking or Lumping it

By Bill Primavera – Lately I’ve been made aware that I’m probably a noisy person. Not to myself so much, but maybe to others. More and more, if I’m watching TV in one room and my wife is in another, she’ll say mine is too loud. Just the other day, when I had driven into my […]

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 […]