I have always had a passion for houses and for home improvement. Before becoming a licensed Realtor, I bought and renovated several homes, increasing their value by doing various updates to each one. Some were extensive, others simple.  Being a home owner requires paying attention to the biggest purchase of your life.  Maintenance is a must.  Hopefully you will find some inspiration in the projects I have under taken as well as some my tips to maximize your homes value if you are selling or thinking about selling your current home.  Enjoy!


The kitchen is the heart of the home, but for many who made their first purchase the kitchen may be one area that needs updating. A kitchen remodel can be costly and you made need time to build up equity or to set aside funds for the project. In the meantime, there are some easy fixes to spruce up the kitchen and make it a livable and like-able! For those selling thinking about selling their homes with an out dated kitchen, these ideas are great to do before putting your home on the market.
Many older homes have the outdated wood cabinets from the 50's and 60's. A quick way to brighten them up is to paint them. If you decide to do this here are some helpful hints. 
First remove all the hardware and cabinet doors. (label them accordingly so you know where they go. Lightly sand and then prime all exterior surfaces (and interior if you are motivated!) Then pick the color of your choice using a Kitchen and Bath paint. I recommend a light neutral color- white or cream are the best to lighten up a kitchen. Either re install the hold hardware or update with newer versions. 
Like many older homes, the formica choices of the 50 and 60's were interesting. The yellows and oranges are probably what most people want in their kitchens today! So in case you are wondering- YES you can paint formica. In fact they now have paint exclusively for this. To prep the formica, lightly sand and prime. Again, I recommend a nice neutral tone- colors in the grayish spectrum work best. I also recommend using a satin poly after the paint has dried to give an extra layer of protection. I have used this technique in a few of my homes and it has held up well until I was able to undertake the big remodel. Good Luck!


For most people, buying a home is the biggest purchase of their life. The home buying process can be stressful at times and financially overwhelming. However, once all the papers are signed and the keys are yours, the real work begins. Some are fortunate to have bought or built a brand new home. But for most of us, our first home was one that needed work, cosmetic or otherwise. A home is a purchase that requires attention and maintenance. If things are left not repaired they can easily turn into larger problems over a time. For example a simple water leak under a sink over time can work its way through floor boards, dry wall etc. Not to mention the possibility of mold forming which can further add to the costs of repair. . Over the years I have renovated and bought and sold several homes. I have been a licensed Realtor in the State of CT and now currently in VA. I have helped my clients maximize their profits of the homes they are selling as well as given tips and pointers to new buyers on homes they have just purchased to increase the value and equity in their new purchase. I have discovered that there are simple things once can do to improve the value of ones home as well as keeping the overall property in good repair under ones stewardship. So this blog is for the buyers of all types as well as for homeowners who are thinking about putting their home on the market. 
Thanks! Marc

May 18, 2020

Yes! Paint is the number one and easiest thing you can do to improve your homes curb appeal as well as overall marketability. Some people may tell you when you put your home on the market, that painting is not necessary- that the new buyers will most likely paint anyway. I disagree with this thought process. A fresh coat of neutral paint can make things brighter and cleaner. Buyers these days want move in ready. If you have bright or dark colors on your walls, repainting with a light neutral color will attract more buyers and make your house stand out. Remember when you put your home on the market, it transforms from your home to a piece of real estate for sale. The more you can make it attractive to potential new home owners, the quicker you will sell and move on to your next property. 

Marc Civitarese - Realtor - Virginia -Blue Ridge Fine Properties   
                                         by Shannon Harrington
 Home About Portfoliostudio inventoryUS Galleries ServicesExhibitionsReviewsresume Contact Me