The Home Advantage Team

Join Us for the 2018 Arlington Home Stroll!

Looking to buy a house in Arlington? This is the time to get in the market - and this is the event to attend!

Do you have questions? (How do I buy? Can I buy & sell at the same time? How can I finance a home?) We have the answers.

Join us for a sneak preview and “stroll” through Arlington with Steve McKenna & The Home Advantage team, including:

  • Single Families
  • Condominiums
  • Multi-Families, AND
  • 18+ New Construction Homes

We will take you on a tour of these fantastic homes, the neighborhoods, and we'll answer all your questions.

Contact us today to reserve your spot: 781-645-0505,

*This is an event for non-real estate professionals.*

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.


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.