The Home Advantage Team

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!



Mike Pallotta Joins Arlington's #1 Real Estate Team

Please join us in welcoming Mike Pallotta to Steve McKenna & The Home Advantage Team! Mike is a REALTOR® who brings a hardworking attitude and new insights to the Arlington real estate market.

Many Millennials and young working professionals are ready to make the move out of Boston, Cambridge or Somerville to a place with a little more space and room to grow for families. Arlington and nearby towns are often high on the list. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Millennials have surpassed Baby Boomers as the nation’s largest living generation.

Even with a persistent, lower-than-normal housing inventory where many real estate teams are shrinking, Steve McKenna & The Home Advantage Team continue to evolve and grow to accommodate client needs and a changing real estate market. Mike has the professionalism and dedication to client service that is necessary in this business, and as a Millennial himself, he brings another level of insight and expertise to the team.

Mike is a graduate of Roger Williams with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. His experience includes a prestigious internship at the Boston Aquarium, a research assistant for the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences, as well as an assistant at KAP Energy Group where he oversaw bids and proposals for clients, and communicated environments services to prospective clients.

Please join us in welcoming Mike to the team. If you are interested in contacting Mike for your real estate needs, he can be reached via email at, or by phone, 617-968-1431. Or, connect with Mike on social media: Facebook, Twitter.

Visit us at:

Thank You For Attending The Arlington Home Show!

What an amazing day! From start to finish, The Arlington Home Show presented the best in real estate, renovation, home improvement and financing ideas and advice. The crowds were steady and came with questions, our vendors were prepared with thorough answers.

We’d like to thank EVERYONE who participated and made this one-of-a-kind local event a huge success! Here are some pics you might have missed from yesterday.

If you attended the show, let us know what you thought in the comments, or send us a note at We are always up for ideas and suggestions for next year!


The Envelope, Please.

Steve McKenna & The Home Advantage Team were honored to have received a number of awards from Real Living Real Estate in 2016, including:

While we are grateful to have received this recognition, it also brought to mind a Jerry Seinfeld speech about awards, “…it’s just that, awards are stupid. Every real estate office has some framed five diamond president’s award thing by the desk, every hotel check-in has some gold circle service thing….”

Well, it’s true. While we are honored and grateful to have earned these awards from Real Living because it’s a validation that we’re doing a good job, like Jerry, we don’t come to work every day in hopes of having a ‘platinum jubilee bowling trophy on our desk.’

Our greatest reward does not come with a trophy. We do what we do because we love what we do – helping our clients buy and sell their homes as smoothly as possibly, and for the best price possible.

Home Advantage Team 2015 Year in Review

2015 was very busy for Steve McKenna & Home Advantage Team, despite historically low inventory levels in the Greater Boston area. Steve continues to maintain his position as the #1 REALTOR® in Arlington, with the most homes sold by any other REALTOR® or real estate team in town.

In addition to helping our clients buy and sell homes, we worked to continually educate and inform potential home buyers and sellers with market updates and seminars, in addition to giving back to the community in which we work and live. We also work to educate ourselves and keep up-to-date on the latest accredidations. The sales team recieved their ABR (Accredidated Buyer's Representative) and SRS (Seller Representative Specialist) designations this year as well.

We are already planning for next year and we’re looking forward to a busy and eventful 2016. If the New Year has you wondering about your own real estate needs, just give us a ring and we would be happy to help (781-645-0505). Or, if you are interested in upcoming 2016 events, contact us to be added to our mailing list:

Here is a quick overview of the activities Steve McKenna & The Home Advantage Team either organized or participated in this year.


February 13th -$2,500 donation to the Arlington Heating Assistance Program. This contribution was made to help ease the burden of heating costs on our neighbors.

Steve McKenna donates to Arlington Fuel Assistance

April 18th – Arlington Spring Home Expo. A free event at the Whittemore Robbins House to address home buying and selling questions - from the most complex real estate sales to moving fundamentals.

Arlington Spring Home Expo

June 9th – Free Lunch & Seminar: Planning for Your Future (SPRING). This informative seminar had experts on hand to give insight on everything about downsizing and planning for your future.

Downsizing Seminar, Planning for Your Future

August 31st – Market Updates. A handy update on market conditions in Arlington and Medford to keep you up-to-date on the latest and ever-changing real estate.

Arlington and Medford Market Updates

September 12th – Arlington Town Day. The Team was out in full force – giving away free water, prizes and plenty of real estate advice.

The Home Advantage Team at Arlington Town Day 2015

October 6th – Free Lunch & Seminar Planning for Your Future (FALL). This seminar covered all the variables that come into play when downsizing – selling your current home, buying a home to fit your current and future needs, estate planning, tax implications, and financial strategies.

October 16th – Tailgate Open House at Appleton Farms. What’s better than football and real estate? We invited everyone to a Sunday Funday at Appleton Farms in Arlington. It was fantastic tailgate open house with lots of food, fun and raffles.

October 23rd – $2,500 donation to The Children’s Room. We are proud supporters of the Children's Room in Arlington. This is truly an amazing resource for children, families and the community.

November 17th – $2,500 donation to Arlington Eats. When school is not in session, Arlington Eats makes sure kids don’t go hungry. This is a wonderful volunteer organization dedicated to community food assistance.

December 5th – 2nd Annual Santa Paws Event at Thorndike Field Dog Park. Santa Paws has proved to be a success for the Arlington community. A record number of people showed up to have their pet’s picture taken with Santa, and more than $500 was raised to benefit the park.


December 9th – Hosted a client appreciation and holiday party at Flora with more than 150 guests in attendance.

December 12th – Complimentary tickets to the Ben Rudnick & Friends Holiday Show. Steve McKenna & The Home Advantage Team purchased a number of tickets for the Ben Rudnick Holiday concert for clients and friends.

December 14th – $2,500 donation to both Food Link and Operation Success. We were so moved by the heartfelt notes that people sent us about their charities of choice that we couldn’t select just one. Which is why we chose TWO.

2015 – Once again, Arlington Massachuestts’ #1 REALTOR® and #1 Real Estate Team!

Q&A With Boston Agent Magazine

Recently, Steve had the opportunity shed some light on the person behind the REALTOR®. In this Q&A with Boston Agent Magazine, he clues us in on his background (the Allston streets), how to be successful in this industry (be sincere), and how to distinguish oneself from the rest of the pack (be positive and have stellar support - personally and professionally).

See what makes Steve tick and why he remains the #1 REALTOR® in Arlington every year since 1991.

Agent Snapshot: Steve McKenna, Realtor, Bowes Real Estate, Arlington


Local Holiday Gifting

Tis better to give than to get, tis better to 'do' than to have.

Looking for something fun and different to get that special someone who has everything this season?

How about a furniture refinishing class at Sand and Petal Co. in West Medford?

Owner Stephanie McWethy runs her furniture refinishing classes from her barn-studio. Our very own Annie Kelly created this masterpiece during a fun and relaxing class recently.

Learning a skill and trying something new is truly a gift that keeps on giving!

#ShopLocal #MedfordMa


Detecting Your Smoke Alarm IQ

  1. How often should you change the batteries in your smoke detectors?Smoke alarm
  2. Should your detectors detect smoke or heat?
  3. Where should they be placed?
  4. How many carbon monoxide detectors should you have?
  5. Where should they be?

Knowing the answers to these questions not only boosts your smoke and carbon monoxide detector IQ, it could save your life.

According to a recent investigation by Good Morning America,

"When people buy smoke alarms, they may not know that there are two types on the market: the ionization alarm, which is generally faster to detect blazing fires, and photoelectric, which is generally quicker to detect smoldering fires. Ninety percent of homes have only ionization alarms, and they may not be providing all the protection people need."

Think about going to the beach - you want a sunscreen that protects from both UVA and UVB rays because both are harmful in different ways. The same idea applies to smoke detectors - you need both the ionization to detect heat, and photoelectric to detect smoke in order to ensure maximum protection.

Arlington has its own set of regulations regarding smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

Regulations require only photoelectric smoke alarms within 20 feet of a kitchen or bathroom containing a tub or shower.  For locations outside this 20' limit, dual detection must be installed (both photoelectric and ionization) through either a single device or dual device.

Carbon monoxide detectors must be on every level, and specifically in any room connected or adjacent to a garage.

The Home Advantage Team accompanies the Fire Department Inspector for an inspection prior to every closing, and you cannot close on your home without the certificate.

We take the installation and maintenance of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors seriously - not because it's our job, but because it's important to the safety of our friends and clients.

If you're smart, you will, too.

Veteran Real Estate Professional, Annie Kelly, Joins Arlington's #1 Real Estate Team

Please join us in welcoming REALTOR®Annie Kelly to the Home Advantage Team! We are very excited to have Annie's expertise in the Medford and Winchester real estate markets. Her added local knowledge and real estate experience will allow us to better serve clients in these areas.

Read the announcement below for details!


 Veteran Real Estate Professional, Annie Kelly, Joins Arlington's #1 Real Estate Team

Local real estate expert of Winchester and Medford markets expands team's focus

July 23, 2013 (Arlington, Mass.) -  Steve McKenna & The Home Advantage Team of BOWES Real Estate, Real Living, is pleased to announce that Annie Kelly has joined the #1 real estate team of Arlington and Medford. 

Annie has been an active REALTOR®in Winchester for more than 10 years and brings an extensive amount of experience, knowledge and professionalism to the team.  Residing in West Medford for the past 24 years, Annie has been an involved member of the community - she was a member of the PTO at St. Raphael's School, a past Executive Secretary for the Medford Boat Club and a volunteer with the Medford Historical society.


"The Home Advantage team has experienced a steady increase in real estate transactions across the Medford market," said Steve McKenna, Broker at BOWES Real Estate, Real Living. "We know this community well, and we want to accommodate an increasing demand. Expanding our team to include someone who is well respected within the community and knows the ins and outs of the local real estate market helps us to better serve our clients."


Annie will be joining Steve McKenna & The Home Advantage Team which includes, Erika Pereira, Mitzi Pallotta, Pam McLaughlin, Julia Whitney and Beth Romvos.  Steve consistently hires only the best and the brightest, and each team member brings unique expertise to help clients buy and sell homes faster and for a better price. The addition of Annie will allow for a more concentrated focus on Winchester and Medford, supported by Annie's extensive knowledge of these communities.

The complexity of real estate is increasing, and what's true for the national market isn't always true for the local market. The best advantage a home buyer or home seller can have is a real estate team with extensive local market knowledge. Steve has been associated with BOWES Real Estate for 27 years and his team has been the #1 team in Arlington and Medford for more than 20 years.  He has been listed as one of the Top Power Brokers in Boston Magazine and The Top 20 Agents.

Steve & The Home Advantage Team are extremely excited to welcome Annie as she brings a high level of energy and a wealth of information and knowledge about the Medford and Winchester real estate markets. 




5 Things to Better-Know-a-Real Estate Team

If you're familiar with Stephen Colbert's 'Better-Know-a-District' from the Colbert Report on Comedy Central, then you know of the spoof-like (or are they?) interviews he conducts with state representatives.


We thought we'd put our own spin on the 'better-know-a-something' idea and put our team in the spotlight. You know The Home Advantage Team: Steve, Erika, Mitzi, Donna, Pam, and Carolyn. But do you really knowus? 
The people on The Home Advantage Team are your neighbors, teammates, PTO partners, charity supporters, and golf buddies. Whether you know it or not, you've probably seen us at Starbucks, Trader Joe's, the Minuteman Bikeway, cheering on the Spy Ponders, or having dinner at Flora.
Every week or so, we'll post a few things about one member of the team, so the next time you're waiting in line at Dag'syou can say, "Hey, I didn't know you preferred mustard over mayo on your turkey sandwich! I do too!" Or, whatever.
But enough about us, let's talk about us.
To kick it off this week, we have Steve. Steve is known for being the consummate professional, cool under pressure, and always willing to go the extra mile for clients. But did you know he'll also go the extra mile down Mass. Ave. for a double-dipped chocolate chip cookie from Lakota?
5 Things About STEVE MCKENNA You Never Thought You'd Want to Know (But Do Now)
1.      I love chocolate
2.      I've never drank coffee
3.      I've never drank liquor (a personal choice - not a religious one!)
4.      My wife and I have a cat named Lizzie
5.      I love to play golf (when I can)