You can pay your landlord's mortgage, or you can pay your own and get the tax breaks that come with it, contribute to your own net worth, and have that sense of pride of owning your own place.
While the benefits of homeownership look good on paper, the reality is that it can be hard to know how and when to get started. If you think you might be ready to take the first step towards buying a home, contact us.
Erika Pereira of BOWES Real Estate Real Living in Arlington, MA was awarded the highest level of service achievement in the real estate industry, Quality Service Certified® Platinum. The award is in recognition of earning 100% client service satisfaction in 2017, as measured by Leading Research Corporation (LRC).
Quality Service Certified (QSC) status is the only award in the real estate industry based on independently validated, measurable service results. Clients of QSC agents receive a customer satisfaction survey at the end of each transaction. The surveys are administered and the results are compiled by LRC.
Client feedback from the surveys becomes part of the agent’s credentials. An overall satisfaction rating is displayed on the consumer website (www.RatedAgent.com) where buyers and sellers have the ability to select a real estate professional based upon each agent’s validated record of service satisfaction.
“Nothing is more important to a prospective client in selecting a professional than the service results achieved with past clients,” says Larry D. Romito, President and CEO of QSC. He adds, “Consumers have greater confidence in service reliability, results and satisfaction with a Quality Service Certified real estate professional because they know that the agent’s service record has been validated by an independent third party. 100% service satisfaction record like Erika Pereira has achieved is just awesome.”
About Quality Service Certification, Inc. (QSC)
Quality Service Certification, Inc., based in San Juan Capistrano, California, is recognized as the real estate industry’s earliest advocate and the leading provider of independently administered customer satisfaction surveys. With nearly a 20 year history and over one million post-closing surveys sent, QSC’s unique “closed” survey process ensures that consumers access legitimate reviews from actual home sellers and buyers reports on past customer satisfaction. QSC is the only source for objective and validated agent ratings designed to help consumers make informed choices in selecting real estate professionals. For more information contact QSC at 888-547-4772.
Come to the Arlington Home Show to have your real estate questions answered (and stay for the great gifts and giveaways)!
Everyone wants to know that their contractor or designer is vetted, trusted and can accomplish the task at hand. We've done the work for you, and we have an amazing array of talented contractors, landscape designers, professional stagers and organizers, lenders, movers and more lined up for the Arlington Home Show -- ready to answer your questions, give you suggestions and address your real estate needs - for FREE!
Here are a few of the vendors we having lined up with more on the way....
The real estate idea that started 30 years ago has turned into one of the best real estate teams in Greater Boston, and the #1 team in Arlington -- from Steve and his real estate dream, to Steve and his real estate team.
We might be real estate agents and support, but we’re also volunteers, parents, local consumers, business partners, and enjoyers of all things Arlington and beyond.
Bet you didn’t know we had so much in common!
And there’s more to us than transactions, negotiations and open houses - just take a look and see the people behind the For Sale Signs...
Steve McKenna – The Master. Steve’s insight is as close as you’ll get to a crystal ball in real estate. He has been with Bowes Real Estate since 1986 and has represented thousands of sellers and buyers throughout his career. Steve lives in Arlington with his wife Heidi and has been the #1 agent here for more than 25 years. If he is not working, which is rare, you’ll find him on the golf course reading the fairways just like he does the real estate business – with patience, persistence, dedication and drive.
Erika Pereira – The Cambridge Girl. Street smarts meets real estate savvy – with this winning combo, you definitely want Erika on your side. Erika lives in Cambridge and knows all the hottest places to eat and drink (and she can navigate local neighborhoods and the real estate market without getting lost). She has over 20 years of real estate experience and has worked with Steve since 2005. She is loyal to her clients and passionate about protecting them through the entire home buying/selling process.
Annie Kelly – The Soccer Mom. She’s got kickin’ real estate skills and can juggle it all. No one can multi-task and negotiate like a mom of four kids. Annie’s got the inside scoop on local schools, best neighborhoods, sports programs and places to shop or meet up with friends. She lives in West Medford with her husband Mike and family, and has been a real estate agent for more than 14 years. Annie knows that family is at the heart of a home, and she puts her heart into helping each and every one of her clients.
Tracy Wallace – TheSubURBANite. Whether she’s strolling the streets with her pug Miles, or dropping in to one of her favorite Arlington spots, Tracy ‘gets’ the urban/suburban lifestyle that so many people desire. As a former Bostonian, she’s been there done that, moved here, loved that. Tracy lives in Arlington with her husband, David, and raised their daughter who is an alumni of the Hardy School, Ottoson Middle and Arlington High. Tracy has been through the process of building a new home from the bottom up, knows the beauty of the multi-family home and appreciates Arlington’s walkable streets.
Mike Pallotta – The Rising Star. Mike is a native of Arlington and the newest member of the team. He brings a fresh perspective and understands the needs of young working professionals, and millennial home buyers and sellers. Let’s just say, he’s really good at SnapChat. Mike is a graduate of Roger William University, has his B.S in biology, and had a prestigious internship at the New England Aquarium. Mike has already made a mark in the real estate community, and his skills can find you Nemo and your new home.
The Support Team
Mitzi Pallotta – The Commander. As the Lead Transaction Coordinator for the team for 12 years, Mitzi ensures every process is seamless and well-executed – and does it with a smile. She facilitates the transaction paperwork and coordinates every step. Communication is the key to a successful sale, and Mitzi makes sure everyone has their marching orders, with a skip in her step. The Pallotta family has a strong community presence, raising money for charities and helpings local organizations. Mitzi is as committed to helping our clients as she is her community.
Kristen McKenna – The Master Marketer. As the Marketing Coordinator for the team since 2014, Kristen’s goal is to get maximum exposure for your home. Kristen’s creativity sets your home apart and ensures all the marketing bases are covered and accounted for. She is meticulous, she is organized, she is thorough – she is Steve’s niece after all. Kristen has a B.S in Marketing from Johnson & Wales University, and is also involved in her community through her advocacy for animals and the environment.
Donna Agostino – Six Degrees of Donna. Everyone in town knows someone who knows Donna. Donna has worked with Steve for 15 years as a Property Coordinator. If you’re a seller, she coordinates and meets our cleaner, stager and photographer to prep your home for sale. If you’re a buyer, Donna meets, greets and coordinates the access to your new home with inspectors, contractors and your family. Donna is the team’s calm, cool, coordinator, and her pleasant personality and kindness will put your mind at ease.
Carolyn MacNeill – The Word Girl. Carolyn is the Social Media and Marketing Manager with more than 20 years of experience in these fields. She writes the words that make the whole world sing the praises of your home, and ensures the social media world knows it, too. Not only is she part of the team, she was a client first. Carolyn works from home and lives with her husband, their two children, and her two trusted cat-sultants. Word up.
Everyone needs to take a break now and again, even the hardest working real estate team in Arlington! So we took a lovely afternoon off and headed out the history Publick House in Sturbridge to look back at 2017, look ahead to 2018, enjoy a delicious lunch and of course, some holiday shenanigans.
Thank you for your continued business and support and remember we are here for all of your real estate needs. We wish you a Happy New Year, and all the best in 2018 and beyond!
Will you do anything special or have any special promotions on Small Biz Saturday? As a real estate team (and a small business ourselves), we support our local Arlington businesses and organizations in a number of ways. We are a proud sponsor of the Regent Theater, and for Small Business Saturday we will be hosting a Facebook promotion. Anyone who likes our page on SMB will get 2 tickets to The Boston Children's Theater production of "A Charlie Brown Christmas" at the Regent on December 9 at 1 p.m. We have a limited supply, so will be on a first come first serve basis.
When did the business open? Steve has been associated with Bowes Real Estate, Real Living for nearly 30 years and Bowes Real Estate has been a part of the community for over 70 years
What made you decide to go into this type of business? And why here? Steve is originally from Allston and believes that being sincere and honest are the key to success in any industry. But real estate in particular is a business where a positive attitude and strong work ethic goes far. Steve lives and works in Arlington, has a deep understanding of home values, neighborhood dynamics, schools and all the critical factors that come into play when making important real estate decisions.
What do you like best about it? Arlington is a town unlike any other, and its mix of social and cultural capital have made it one of the most sought-after suburbs in Greater Boston. As a densely populated town that enjoys many benefits of being close to Boston and public transportation, it also has a thriving business community of its own that makes it vibrant place to live and work. Young working professionals move here from the city because it's more affordable yet still has that urban feel. Families move here because of the good schools and kid-friendly amenities. Downsizers move here because of the vibrant arts scene. As we like to say, come for the city-like vibe, stay for the family-like atmosphere.
Biggest struggle? Right now inventory a big struggle. There are so many buyers who want to live in Arlington, but there are a limited number of homes available on the market. This isn't unique to Arlington, in general, housing availability in Greater Boston is relatively low. So if you live in Arlington and are thinking of selling, this is a great time. Buyers on the other hand need to be savvy about the real estate process so they are prepared when something does become available that suits their needs.
What do you see for the future? I think Arlington will continue to grow and evolve, but its identity which has diversity and culture at its core will always be there. We have so many smart, talented people in town with great ideas and a vision to make the community a strong one – both now and in the future.
Politics and business - how does it affect yours? It doesn't, really. Buying or selling a home is such a personal endeavor. It does not really cross the realm into politics – unless you're talking interest rates. But even so, it generally stays under the political radar.
Good question. And one we thought some of you might have, so we’re going to tell you the story of our mission.
Once upon a time, a long, long, time ago (say, about 30 years), it was just Steve and his real estate dream. After a lot of working, networking, weekend open houses and many sold signs later, Steve created a successful business that required him to hire people so he could focus on providing the best possible client service.
Along came Erika to help with buyers and developers, Mitzi, to help with transaction coordination, additional agents Annie, Tracy, and Mike, Kristen for marketing, Donna for property coordination, and Carolyn for content and social media development.
Today, the business is not the one person show of 30 years ago,but awell-oiled teamthat has evolved to list and sell more homes than any other team in Arlington.
We talked about where the team has been, where it is now, and where we want it to go in the future. We drafted. We designed. We laughed.
We revised. And then we went for lunch because it was noon and we were hungry.
Many, many, (many) emails and iterations later, we have a collectivevisualfor who we are, and what we represent.
The hands in the shape of a home. We really wanted to show that we care for our clients, and beyond that, we aretrulyprotectors of their best interests – whether it’s buying, selling, downsizing redesigning, or building. The hands in the shape of a homeconvey just that. Which naturally led us to…
Your Home is in Our Hands. Quite literally. We take the aggravation, stress, thousands of tasks and to-do’s that go along with buying or selling a home and we handle it all.
Our main color is a navy blue (#21455 if you’re a design nerd like us) and it represents us in the truest sense: trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence. The green (#BDCC74 ) is tied to safety, freshness, and energy.
Our true colors, shining through.
Yes, we have a standard team picture (see below): five standing in back, four sitting in front – say cheese! But we’re just not a standard team. We’re more dynamic than that. We like to work hard and have fun. The selfie pic is us. Sure, you’ll see the traditional team pic in some of our materials, but the selfie says, ‘The Home Advantage Team.’
Speaking of ‘The Home Advantage Team,’ we all know there’s no ‘I’ in ‘Team’, you’ll also notice ‘Steve McKenna’ is not part of the official logo name. Whaaaaattt???
Back up the bus.
Fear not, friends and clients. Steve isn’t going anywhere. He is still the master of all things real estate, and still our fearless leader. But back to one of the reasons why we have gone through this exercise - to emphasize the team.
We are always surprised when people don’t realize that whether you’re listing or just looking, you get the whole team - and all of the support staff - as part of the deal. All of that expertise, knowledge, and know-how, at no extra cost.
So that's where we are – full circle (also part of our theme, by the way).
Personal, professional service has been the foundation of our business for more than 30 years – and will continue now, and in the future.
We hope you like it.
Many thanks to our design and photography partners who helped us through this process.
Who wants to think about moving when it’s a beautiful beach day? This summer especially, you have to take advantage of the sunny warm days when you can.
So go! We insist.
When you have Steve McKenna and The Home Advantage Team for your real estate needs, you’re not just working with one real estate agent. You have a talented staff of professionals searching for homes on your behalf, processing the paperwork, facilitating negotiations, researching neighborhoods, promoting your home - so you can dip your toes in the ocean or get a quick nine holes in before lunch.
We cover a broad market in the Greater Boston area, and we cater to the specific needs of our buyers and sellers – from Millennials to Boomers and everyone in between.
So go out and enjoy some local summer fun - check out Reservoir Beach in Arlington, Medford Boat Club, Walden Pond in Concord, Charles River in Watertown, or just relax in that hammock that's been calling your name since June.
Summer is fleeting, but we’re not.
As the #1 REALTOR® and #1 real estate team in Arlington Massachusetts for 30 years, we’ve got your real estate needs covered.
Lovely open concept Cape situated on a dead end street a short distance to the Bishop School, playground, and easy access to public transportation. Leave your car in the attached garage and hop on the bus to Alewife Station, Harvard Sq, or Lechmere. There’s much to love about this location & home including the many recent updates: new roof and gutters (2016), newer hot water heater (2015), newer windows (2012), freshly painted walls and refinished hardwood floors. The main level has an updated kitchen with granite counters and opens to the large dining room which creates an easy flow throughout the space. Kick back and relax in the living room with the gas fireplace or in the updated three-season porch overlooking the fenced in backyard. A first floor bedroom and full bath complete the main level. Upstairs has three good sized bedrooms and ½ bath. The partially finished basement awaits all your HGTV inspirations. This home is not to be missed! (MLS #72182675) Click here for the full listing.
What’s Nearby: Arlington Center shops and restaurants, public transportation, Alewife Station, Harvard Square, Lechmere, Bishop School.
A Cape that you will love to come home to! Looking for a little more space outside the city, but still want that easy commute? This well-cared for 2 bed, 1 bath home is a picture perfect starter home or condo alternative. The landscaped walkway w/ pavers, slate and stone make a welcoming first impression. The 1st floor has a nice entryway, circular flow, with an eat-in kitchen, dining room, & living room w/ fireplace. There are hardwood floors throughout, French doors, & plenty of natural sunlight makes it feel warm and cozy. Enjoy the screened-in back porch on warm summer nights, admire your large backyard, mature trees – and stay protected from the bugs! Upstairs has two good-sized bedrooms both with built-in dresser cabinets, full bath, linen closet and storage. All of this and easy access to public transportation, the Minuteman Bikeway, Mystic Lakes, Arlington Center shops & restaurants, close to the Bishop School and Arlington High. Kick off summer by making this home yours! (MLS# 72182687) Click here for the full listing.
What’s Nearby: Minuteman Bikeway, Mystic Lakes, Arlington Center shops & restaurants, close to the Bishop School and Arlington High.
Talk about Location! Location! Location! Look out the slider at Spy Pond-think sunsets, swans, & spectacular views. Hop on the Minuteman Bikeway to Arlington Center or East Arlington shops and restaurants. Walk or bike to Alewife Station in minutes! This 2 bed, 1 bath condo has a tastefully updated kitchen with stainless steel appliances, granite counters and lots of cabinet space. The open concept allows for beautiful views of peaceful Spy Pond from the main living areas. Sliders open to a private deck which is great for sipping morning coffee or evening cocktails. There is nothing to do but enjoy the summer breeze. With in-building laundry, 1 parking space, and some additional storage this is a must see! A true Arlington gem – close to everything yet you have biking, kayaking, and natural beauty at your fingertips. Don’t miss this chance for easy, maintenance-free living where you can accommodate an active life-style and still enjoy all the benefits of homeownership in Arlington! (MLS# 72182715) Click here for the full listing.
What’s Nearby: East Arlington and Arlington Center shops and restaurants, Spy Pond, public transportation, Mass Ave., Route 2, Minuteman Bikeway, Alewife Station.