Team Zabar-Shulkin | Swampscott Real Estate, Nahant Real Estate, Salem Real Estate


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Diffusing aromas in your home is a great way to settle in, relax and enjoy a fresh, clean scent that calms the nerves.

How Do We Know Aromatherapy Works?

Research gives us the scoop. Take lavender, for example. Research shows lavender

  • Eases nervousness much better than a placebo.
  • Raises people's scientifically measured mood scores and lowers distress, when accompanied in aromatherapy by rosemary and tea tree oils.
  • Eases restlessness, poor sleep, and other sleep problems.
  • Enhances "general well-being and quality of life." 

When it comes down to the science, aromatherapy passes the smell test.

Uplifting Scents

You aren't limited to lavender. Many plants and their oils create a mood-enhancing home environment.

Pick up some eucalyptus branches and enjoy their stimulating scents in your bathroom or home office.

Or mix and match, creating your signature scent, with a blend of essential oils:

  • For a natural energy boost, diffuse peppermint and rosemary essential oils, accompanied by a citrus element, like bergamot orange.
  • For a gentle uplift, diffuse lavender with lemongrass.

Experiment and enjoy the process.

Tea Leaves, Revisited

If you happen to enjoy tea, you have a ready-made way to subtly scent your home year-round.

Did you know tea aromatherapy is a thing in Japan? Japanese tea leaf warmers are called chakouro. The idea is to ease stress and sharpen mental focus, while creating an ahhh home environment.

Aromatherapy oil warmers work just fine for putting tea leaves instead of the oil in the shallow saucer on top of the warmer. As they warm and their scent is diffused, your leaves will gently roast. After many hours, this creates a remainder of rich, brewable leaves, called hojicha in Japan.

Tea itself is aromatherapeutic. Green tea, jasmine, or sencha are all delightful. Sencha tea, with its rich, yellow hue, is gaining many western adherents, with good reason. Enjoy it hot or iced, garnished with a lemon wedge and a fresh sprig of mint. The scent is deeply satisfying.

Experiment with fragrance. Enjoy the adventure. And come home to a sanctuary every day.


Photo by SpeedKingz via Shutterstock

Living green is the goal of many young homebuyers. Once in their new home, they want to take steps toward improving their home’s efficiency. The first step to improving your home’s energy efficiency is to choose the right house.

Solar panels and LED light fixtures aside, the most efficient form of housing is an attached home. When your house nestles between the walls of adjoining homes, you share their heating and cooling through ambient temperature exchange. When a home sits above another home, their heat rises in the winter to warm that home. If it’s below another home, it’s cooled by the temperature set by the neighbor above. When energy efficiency remains a high priority for your home location, choose a condominium, townhome or duplex to improve your heating and cooling properties.

Improving an Existing Home

If you own a typical single-family, detached home, you’ll find a lot of wasted space being heated and cooled. But address these areas, and you’ll see a marked improvement in your energy consumption and costs:

  • Pile on the insulation. Many homes have expansive attics with high roofs above the ceiling joists. The deeper the insulation, the more your winter warmth stays in your home to keep you cozy. But along with adding insulation to your attic, improve its airflow so that summer heat escapes to the outdoors, helping your cooled air circulate.
  • Smarten up the windows. Older homes often have single-paned windows, and even those with double panes leak or have broken seals. Replace windows with thermal dual or triple-paned options to see an immediate improvement to those drafty winters and summers where you’re forced to keep the blinds closed. Along with thermal panes, look for smart windows. Buy windows coated with a substance called vanadium oxide (VO2) that adjusts to the temperature to either reflect or let pass infrared light to keep your home warmer or cooler.
  • Monitor your HVAC with a smart thermostat. Smart thermostats adjust your home’s temperature based on learning when you’re at home and when you’re away. Some can also detect the humidity and adjust the temperature to compensate.
  • Install automatic blinds. Adjustable powered window coverings open and close automatically throughout the day to offset outdoor temperatures.

Try These Simple Things Today

While they won’t make a drastic different, you will see an improvement in your energy bills.

  • Change incandescent bulbs for LEDs throughout the home.
  • Turn the thermostat up two or three degrees in the summer and down two or three degrees in the winter.
  • Lower your water heater to 120°F.

If your goal is to purchase an energy-efficient home, let your real estate agent know. That way, you won’t waste energy looking at ones that don’t fit your desire to leave a lighter footprint.


The number of showings a seller needs to host varies. In some instances, a buyer may submit an offer to purchase a house following an initial showing. Or, in other cases, a seller may host dozens of showings without receiving any offers to purchase his or her house.

Ultimately, there are lots of things that a seller can do to boost the likelihood that a home showing leads to an offer to purchase his or her residence, such as:

1. Perform Home Upgrades

A faulty light in your kitchen or chipped paint on your bathroom's wall may be problematic. But if you perform home upgrades, you can complete myriad house repairs. Perhaps most important, you can address various home problems before they otherwise slow down the house selling journey.

Oftentimes, it helps to take a room-by-room approach to identify home problems. If you make a list of house issues, you can address these problems over the course of several days or weeks. Then, when your house is ready, you can add it to the real estate market and host showings.

2. Clean Your House

A neat, tidy house is sure to make a great first impression on buyers. If you devote time and resources to clean each room in your house, you could make it easy for buyers to fall in love with your residence.

Of course, if you need help with home cleaning, you can always reach out to professionals for assistance. If you employ home cleaning professionals, you can upgrade your residence's appearance in no time at all.

3. Eliminate Clutter

Antiques, paintings and other decorations may help you transform a house into a home. However, you should remove these items before you host a house showing. Because if assorted personal belongings are scattered across your residence, it may be tough for buyers to envision what life could be like if they purchase your house.

If you have lots of personal belongings, you can rent a storage unit where you can keep these items safe until your residence sells. Or, if you have excess items, you can sell these items or give them to family members or friends.

Lastly, as you get set to list your residence, you may want to hire a real estate agent. This housing market professional will offer tips and recommendations to help you get your residence show-ready.

A real estate agent understands how to promote a residence to the right groups of buyers. He or she will schedule showings on your behalf and provide feedback after buyers view your residence. Plus, if a showing results in an offer to purchase your residence, a real estate agent can offer suggestions about whether to accept, reject or counter this proposal.

If you prepare for a home showing, you could accelerate the house selling journey. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can get ready for any showing, as well as make your home an attractive option to buyers.


When you’re searching for a place to live if you have kids, or even if you’re planning on having kids in the future, the neighborhood you choose is of concern. When you’re single, it’s easy to fill your desire for the city. You live near bars, clubs, conveniences, and more. Once you start thinking with a family in mind, your ideas shift. 


So, if you’re looking for a neighborhood with children in mind, where do you start? Read on to discover the top priorities of a kid-friendly property search. 


The Schools


Most parents put a lot of consideration into where their children will go to school. Many resources allow you to research different school districts. You can also visit schools in person, or talk to other parents and see their opinion of the local schools for specific neighborhoods. 


The Safety Of The Area


Whether you have kids or not, you want to know that the area you’re going to live in is safe. Before you select a neighborhood to live in, you’ll want to research the crime rates in the area. You might assume that individual cities and towns have better crime rates than others, but you may be surprised. Ask your local real estate agent for more information on local crime rates and how to research them. 


Sense Of Community


If you are moving with kids or planning on having a family anytime soon, you’ll want to have a supportive community surrounding you. Having a community means that there are other families around with children. This way, it will be easier for you to build a network of other moms who are in the same stage as you. Some things to consider are:


Are there sidewalks in the neighborhood?

Is there a lot of traffic in the area?

Are there places for kids to play nearby? 

Do you see families out for a walk together?


Answering these questions will give you an idea of how family-friendly your neighborhood will be. Sidewalks make the area accessible for kids to go and hang out with their friends safely. Parks and playground are not only a great place to play for kids but a great place to meet other parents. If a neighborhood has the things that you want for your family, chances are, many other families in the area feel the same way. 


Choosing a neighborhood can be difficult, but with a little research and groundwork, you’ll be able to select an excellent place for your family to live.   



Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Investing in real estate can be quite lucrative, but only with one caveat. In order to make your real estate investments successful, you must keep location in mind. Yes, it may sound cliche, but the location is still a critical consideration when purchasing real estate because it has a direct impact on how well the property does as an investment. Here's how to use location to your advantage when buying investments.

Consider Your Target Demographic

First, consider the target tenant for your investment. Then, consider what that person needs in a home. For instance, if you're buying an investment that's going to appeal to millennials, consider what they want. These adults are typically in their careers and have children or are planning to have them soon, so they likely want to live close to employers and schools. Sometimes access to public transportation is important for this demographic too.

Understand That Schools Are Key

Next, consider where the good schools are located in your area. Schools may not appeal to all of your potential tenants, but they are important in the overall value of the home. Being in a top-rated school district or near top-rated schools makes a home more valuable in general. Don't forget to consider plans for future schools or school upgrades, because investments should be long-term in nature.

Check Out Local Amenities

Is the home near shopping and dining options? Will the residents have easy access to a grocery store? Does it have parks or recreational opportunities nearby? Most of the time, tenants or buyers want these important amenities within a five or ten-minute drive of their house. If you can find an investment conveniently located near local amenities, it will be more valuable than one far from them, particularly if you're going to use it as a rental.

Dig into Neighborhood Safety

While your real estate agent is ethically bound not to talk to you about the safety of the neighborhood, you have many tools you can use to investigate the area. If you notice that an area is high in criminal activity, it's probably not the right one for your consideration as an investment. People want to live and work in safe communities, so researching this aspect will help you choose a solid investment.

Check Public Transportation

If your city has a good public transit system, consider investments with easy access to this. Not all cities do, but this can be a major perk if yours is equipped with one. People who can use public transit can leave their cars at home, and this can help them save money. For some, this is a feature that they look for when choosing a home to rent or buy.

Investing in real estate requires the right strategic planning. To make sure you are ready, research location well. Finding a great property in a great location will help you find investment success.




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