Larry Costa REALTOR®
CENTURY 21 Classic Gold | 508-272-8028 | larry@larrycosta.com


Posted by Larry Costa REALTOR® on 3/29/2019

The car, entryway, stairs, hallways, bedrooms, closets and cupboards—wherever you look, there it is. Clutter! You dream of life minus the piles, boxes, and bags of stuff. Onto the internet, you go to find that magic formula, the perfect system to tame that clutter chaos. Once in place, you believe your life will be one smooth ride. Four hours later, you have tons of information and pictures of neat ideas, and you are; overwhelmed. Mentally throwing in the towel, you move on with your day and wish the clutter would sort and organize itself.

Reality Bites

Well, welcome to the real world with your glorious clutter. Don’t despair. You CAN tame the piles of papers, clothing, bags and other items. You will need to break it down into smaller bits and pieces. Everyone loves a dramatic overhaul that, through time-lapse camera work, happens almost instantly. In reality, changing the clutter habits that created the chaos takes time and strategy. Start in a couple of areas that irritate you the most. 

Start small

Pick one or two places clutter accumulates to start the decluttering adventure. For example, place a basket near the entryway to catch the keys as people enter. It will eliminate the jumble of keys in other places around the house and also the frantic looking for keys as you try to leave the house. Another idea is placing a small trash bin where people come in from outside so any trash they have, such as fast food wrappers, cups or junk mail, can go straight into the garbage. No system will succeed if you don’t have the cooperation of those who contribute to the clutter. Have a brief discussion with the other household members about the desire for a more organized and tidier environment. Enlist their help in finding ideas that can reduce clutter. When you involve them, they are more likely to find changing their habits easier.

Real life rhythms

Only keep systems and routines that work over the long run. Remember to keep it simple and low or no maintenance. The goal is to create order and increase enjoyment of your space. Consider the whole household and how you all function on a daily level. Each person has individual habits, and a household its own rhythm. Each system you implement must fit your household rhythm. So, think of the big picture when putting your anti-clutter routines together. As the new systems begin to become habit make sure to celebrate your efforts to tame the clutter chaos. Make sure to check out ideas for clutter reduction when you browse through your next open house.





Posted by Larry Costa REALTOR® on 10/27/2017

Buying furniture is a big investment in time and money. If you’re trying to match the style and color scheme of your home perfectly, it can be difficult to find something that’s the right fit. 

This is a task made more difficult when many large furniture stores carry largely similar items that don’t veer too far from the current trends.

If you want to buy unique furniture that meets your specific style it can seem like there are few options. However, there are many online stores where you can find just that, and so so by supporting small retailers and craftsmen.

In this article, we’re going to give you some advice on finding furniture that will make your home stand out. Read on for a list of how to find handmade and uncommon furniture for your home.

Buying local

One way to find unique furniture and support local craftsmen at the same time is to search for furniture makers in your area. Oftentimes a Google search will help you local nearby shops. However, you can also use websites like Craigslist to narrow your search down to your area.

If you’re having trouble finding people who make or refurbish furniture in your area, try searching for local businesses on websites like Yelp or Yellow Pages.  

Scavenge and refurbish

One way to guarantee that your furniture will be unique is to buy antique or discarded items and then pay a craftsman to refurbish and alter the item. This is particularly common with sofas and chairs.

Upholstering is an art form that requires a good idea, both for restoration and customization. Oftentimes you can find inexpensive, but well-worn, furniture at thrift stores, flea markets, yard sales, and on Craigslist at very cheap prices.

Sometimes it’s just a matter of sanding, staining, or painting old furniture to give them a new life in your living room or kitchen. What’s more, when you take on a DIY project to refurbish a piece of furniture it will have added meaning and value to you, and you could discover a new hobby that you’re interested in along the way.

Online stores

There are a number of online retailers who sell handmade or refurbished furniture. One of the most popular web stores right now is Etsy. On Etsy, you can find craftsmen and refurbishers’ work who you appreciate and follow them to see what they have in stock.

Before Etsy, Ebay was the leading place to buy handmade and refurbished items online. To this day, Ebay still has a wide selection of items. Since many items on Ebay are auctioned, you also have the potential of winning a bid at a low price.

A third option would be to seek out the hundreds of small furniture shops online. A benefit or seeking out the manufacturer directly is that you get a chance to learn about the product and ask about customization.

Those are just some of the ways to find unique, handmade furniture for your home. Remember to be patient and to ask questions while furniture shopping to make sure you find the perfect fit for your room.





Posted by Larry Costa REALTOR® on 2/17/2017

Fireplaces can serve as a focal point in a room, provide a source of heat and add to the comfort of your home. They can also help you to save on energy costs. There’s so many different kinds of fireplaces that you can either install or find in a home. If you’re shopping for a home, you may want a home with a built-in fireplace. You don’t necessarily need one to get all of the benefits that a fireplace can provide. There’s different types of fireplaces that are made to suit the many different needs of homeowners. Here, we’ll show you some different kinds of fireplaces along with their pros and cons. 


Wood Fireplaces 


The most commonly thought of fireplace is the wood-burning fireplace. This will be built-in to your home, or you can install them in your home to use as a heat source. You may even install a wood stove in the upstairs part of your home and another in the downstairs in order to keep an even heat throughout the home. In some homes, however, just one wood stove is enough to heat the entire house! 


This type of fireplace requires maintaining from time-to-time including cleaning the chimney. You’ll also need to clean out ash from the inside of the fireplace. The material that’s being burned- wood, needs to be stored somewhere. Rain and inclement weather can cause a problem, as you’ll need to dry the wood some before it can be burned effectively. You’ll need a screen to protect you and your family from the ash and embers that may be blown around form the inside of the fireplace while it’s burning wood. These fireplaces are advantageous for a classic look and feel but can often be a pain to clean.   


Gas Fireplaces 


If your home is fitted with a gas fireplace, you’re lucky because these types of fireplaces are cleaner and provide a more even heat source. Gas fireplaces, true to their name, burn gas instead of wood. A vented gas fireplace will look very similar to that of a wood- burning fireplace. There is a firebox present in the chimney that allows for ventilation with these types of heating sources. You can use a variety of things to give the appearance that you are “burning” them in a gas fireplace. This includes beads that will bring flames up and ceramic logs that appear just like the logs that would be present in a wood-burning fireplace. You can even easily convert a gas burning fireplace to a wood burning one. This is, if you seem miss cleaning up all of the ash that they create!   


Direct Vent Fireplaces


These fireplaces don’t require a chimney. They draw in outside air and feed off a gas line that’s attached through the wall. The flame of these fireplaces is secured behind a piece of glass. The big advantage to these kinds of fireplaces is that they emit a large amount of heat and don’t lose much heat in the process, since there’s no chimney to lose air through.  


Faux Fireplaces

If you choose, there’s a variety of options that you have in getting a fireplace that doesn’t actually create a flame at all. These fireplaces are typically run on electricity and give the same effect of a fireplace but are much easier to install anywhere in your home. Consider these if you really would like a fireplace without the hassle!