Steve McKenna And The Home Advantage Team

This is YOUR Team in 2018.

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. 

Erika Pereira


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 – The SubURBANite 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.

Happy Holidays! From Our Team to Yours!

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!

Steve McKenna & The Home Advantage Team

Steve McKenna & The Home Advantage Team


The Home Advantage Team Featured in The Patch as Part of Small Business Saturday

In case you missed it, Steve McKenna & The Home Advantage Team were featured in the Arlington Patch as part of an ongoing series focusing on small business owners in the city.

See what Steve has to say about some of the best things about Arlington, what he sees as the biggest struggle, and where he sees Arlington in the future.

For the full article, click here.

*Note: our Small Business Saturday promotion is still happening! Hop over to our Facebook page and leave your name in the comment section of the Charlie Brown Christmas post and we'll leave two free tickets for you at the Regent

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.

New Look... Same Great Team!

The Home Advantage Team

In case you missed it, Steve McKenna & The Home Advantage Team have a new look, some fresh color, and a new logo to reflect our personal, hands-on approach to real estate.

But you might find yourself wondering: Why, Steve? You’re already the #1 team in Arlington, why bother?

Good question. And one we thought some of you might have, so we’re going to tell you the story of our mission. 

Our Story: The Home Advantage Team.

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 a well-oiled team that has evolved to list and sell more homes than any other team in Arlington.

Such an evolution requires some freshening up. Could you imagine if Steve used a profile picture from 1985? We can’t either. 

Steve McKenna: The Early Years in Real Estate


So we got together and brainstormed. 

The Home Advantage Team brainstorming session.

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.

The Home Advantage Team: Sometimes you just have to LOL.

We revised. And then we went for lunch because it was noon and we were hungry.

The Home Advantage Team: Lunch Break.

Many, many, (many) emails and iterations later, we have a collective visual for who we are, and what we represent.


The Home Advantage Team: Logo

The hands in the shape of a home. We really wanted to show that we care for our clients, and beyond that, we are truly protectors of their best interests – whether it’s buying, selling, downsizing redesigning, or building. The hands in the shape of a home convey just that. Which naturally led us to…


The Home Advantage Team: Tag Line.

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.


The Home Advantage Team: Design Colors.

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.


The Home Advantage Team: Selfie Pic.

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

The Home Advantage Team: Team Pic.

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). 

The Home Advantage Team: Just Sold postcard.

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.

*Design development and branding direction credit go to Anjehlina Marsh.

**Team photo credits go to Kristen Chalmers Photography.


Relax. It's Summer. We've Got you Covered.

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.

Photo by Monkey Business


Three Truths and a Lie - Annie Kelly

Just when you think you know someone...

You may THINK we’re just a real estate team, but there’s more to us than meets the eye.

In case you missed it, we called out Mike Pallotta and Tracy Wallace on their three truths and a lie, and now we're going to see if Annie Kelly can dupe us into believing hers.

Can you guess the lie?

I am Annie Kelly and …


… I kissed the Blarney Stone.

… I met my husband in London, England.

… I am a six-time Bocci champion.

… I have been white water kayaking and hiking in the Alps.

Ponder that over your coffee, make your best guess, and head over to Three Truths and a Lie for the answer!

Spotlight: Arlington Homes of the Week!

New listings are popping up like peonies and the Arlington real estate market is looking strong for buyers and sellers. We have three NEW listings this weekend:

  • Is a great home with lots of updates in a fantastic neighborhood on your list? Look no further than 87 Stowecroft!
  • Looking for a little more space outside the city, but still want that easy commute? Check out 35 Rockmont!
  • Want one of the best locations in Arlington for an active lifestyle? 30 Hamilton will make you stand up and sing!

Check the open house schedules below, beginning tomorrow and going through Sunday!

87 Stowecroft Road, Arlington

Open House:

Friday, June 16th, 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Saturday, June 17th, 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

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.

Listed: $679,000

What’s Nearby: Arlington Center shops and restaurants, public transportation, Alewife Station, Harvard Square, Lechmere, Bishop School.


35 Rockmont Road, Arlington

Open House:

Friday, June 9th, 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Saturday, June 18th, 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

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.

Listed: $599,000

What’s Nearby: Minuteman Bikeway, Mystic Lakes, Arlington Center shops & restaurants, close to the Bishop School and Arlington High.


30 Hamilton Road, U: 104, Arlington

  Friday, June 16th, 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Saturday, June 17th, 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

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.

Listed: $459,000

What’s Nearby: East Arlington and Arlington Center shops and restaurants, Spy Pond, public transportation, Mass Ave., Route 2, Minuteman Bikeway, Alewife Station.


Three Truths and a Lie - Mike Pallotta

Just when you think you know someone. You may THINK we’re just a real estate team, but there’s more to us than meets the eye.

Did you know one of us was a nightclub bouncer, one of us owned a ’68 Camaro, and one of us is a 6-time bocce champion?

You probably know this classic get-to-know-you icebreaker can reveal surprises about people you’ve known for years. Check out our ‘Three Truths and a Lie’ and you might be surprised by what you learn about The Home Advantage Team.

We’re going to kick it off with the new guy (in case you haven’t heard, we have a new addition to the Home Advantage Team – Mike Pallotta!). If the name sounds familiar, he is our own Mitzi’s son (not a lie). And truth be told, he is a great addition to the team.

Can you guess the lie?

I am Mike Pallotta and I …. Three Truths and a Lie

… am a certified Rescue SCUBA diver.

… lived in Bermuda for 3 months.

… am allergic to bees.

… used to have a scorpion as a pet.

Mull it over, make your best guess, and head over to Three Truths and a Lie for the answer!



Find, and be Found, With the #1 Real Estate Team Around


It can be a tough market for home buyers in the Greater Boston area. Inventory has been low and homes are selling fast. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a home out there just right for you.

When you have the #1 team real estate team that works around the clock for you, you won’t miss a new listing and we’ve got your back when it comes to tough negotiations. Our experience is broad and our knowledge is deep when it comes to identifying homes that match up to our client’s needs. And we’ll stick with you until the keys are in your hand.


It is a seller’s market, but that doesn’t take the stress out of selling a home (we do). When it comes to selling your home, you want the world to know so you can sell fast and for the best price possible. We make your home stand out, with marketing that spans from hyper-local ads to a broad reach across social media. Our understanding of the available pool of buyers, along with years of experience handling the negotiations and transactions that come along with one of the biggest sales of your life.

From preparing your home to sell, tactical marketing, negotiations, and closing, we handle the entire home selling process so you don’t have to.

Whether you are in the market to FIND a home, or list your home to be FOUND, turn to Steve McKenna & The Home Advantage Team FIRST for all of your real estate needs.

Find and Be Found, with Steve McKenna & The Home Advantage Team


Spotlight: Lexington Home of the Week!

What a difference a week makes! Don’t break out those flip flops just yet – winter is not quite done with us. But there is no flip flopping on this house! It is surely going to warm you up with its charm and fantastic renovations!

March real estate is roaring in like a lion with this home!

14 Chase Ave., Lexington

Open House:

Friday, March 3rd, 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Saturday, March 4th, 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Your opportunity to live in Lexington is knocking! Open the door to this beautiful bungalow and be blown away by its gleaming hardwood floors, beamed ceilings, fireplace and detailed woodwork. This 1938-built home has all the updates and renovations you need - central A/C, master suite, high-efficiency appliances, fully insulated, and a new roof. The kitchen, is new, clean and bright with a great layout and a wonderful mudroom to hang your hat. The flexible floor plan boasts a first-floor bedroom or office/den, a 2nd-floor master suite with walk-in closet and private bath, plus two additional bedrooms and a guest bath. The lower level is a wonderful space for family room, teen/guest suite, with an over-sized walk in shower perfect for family and pets. Tucked in a quiet under-the-radar neighborhood yet just a short distance from Mass. Ave., Trader Joe’s, Starbucks, Minuteman Bikeway, Sunderland Woods and the fantastic Lexington schools, this is where your good luck meets a great opportunity! Click here for the full listing.

Listed: $1,079,000

What’s Nearby: Lexington Center and Arlington Heights shops and restaurants, Trader Joe’s, Starbucks, Sunderland Woods, public transportation, Mass. Ave., Minuteman Bikeway.