Steve McKenna Marks 30 Year Anniversary in Real Estate

It's a different world out there than it was 30 years ago. The Internet was in its infancy, we held Hands Across America, which is good because That's What Friends Are For, there was Game 6 and the Super Bowl Shuffle (yikes to both), and we conducted our daily lives without Google, Amazon, Facebook or Instagram - or an iPhone to access them all while waiting in line for a Cabbage Patch Kid.

Times sure have changed, but there are some things that have remained steadfast and reliable.

Steve McKenna of Bowes Real Estate is celebrating 30 years in the real estate business. Not many people can say they've been in the same career, at the same company, in the same town for 30 years. Especially in an industry as fickle and unpredictable as real estate.

But it didn't happen by chance and it didn't happen by luck. A lifelong career in real estate takes work, reinvention, determination and love for what you do.

There is no other REALTOR® in Arlington who has helped more people buy or sell a home. That is a lot of lives touched, dreams realized, and peace of mind provided.

In 2016 we are kicking off a celebration of the work and contributions Steve has had in the industry and the community.

We'll take a walk down memory lane, and look ahead at what's to come. 30 years of gaining experience, building networks, establishing relationships, growing a team and fine-tuning the real estate experience to accommodate the unique needs of each and every client is worth celebrating.

Stay tuned for some 1986 flashbacks, maybe a few embarrassing photos, and a look at what it takes to be a successful REALTOR® for 30 years and counting...

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!

In The News

In case you missed it last week, Steve was busy fielding questions about different real estate topics from Zillow Real Estate and U.S. News & World Report.

In the Zillow article, How Does Your Vehicle Impact Your Business, Steve talks about how his vehicle is an extension of his office. He also chooses a vehicle based on the level of comfort and amenities it provides clients.

U.S. News & World Report Real Estate covers 4 Things You Should Know Before Your First Buyer-Agent Meeting, and Steve discusses the importance of understanding the timing, process and flexibility as buyers begin their search for a home.

If you haven’t seen them, check them out. And just as Steve doesn’t mind giving his two cents, we don’t mind hearing yours.

Give us your feedback and let us know what you think!

Today's Real Estate Forecast: Arlington & Medford Market Updates

Just as a summer day can go from dark and stormy to bright and sunny in no-time, the variables in real estate that affect the value of your home can also wax and wane. Inventory, interest rates, the economy and, of course, timing can be as unpredictable as the weather.

Now more than ever it is important to prepare for a changing forecast in real estate

Right now prices are strong and market conditions are favorable for sellers - inventory is low and homes are selling fast. But like the weather it won't last forever, and you could end up missing the opportunity to sell your home in these conditions.

The first step in deciding whether selling is the right move for you is to understand what your home is worth in the current market. Then, armed with information and guided by a professional real estate team, you can map out a plan of selling that won't leave you caught in the rain (or with a sunburn).

In case you missed the previous posts with the Arlington and Medford market reports, below are The Home Advantage Team (HAT) reports of home sales for the past three years in Arlington and Medford. But these prices below do not depict the value of your home. 

To understand these changes in home values, and what this means for the value of your home specifically, call Steve McKenna & The Home Advantage Team today for a FREE and CONFIDENTIAL market analysis (, 781-645-0505).


Arlington MA Real Estate Market Update

Arlington Spring Home Expo a Success!

Thanks to all of those who came out to the Arlington Spring Home Expo! This was the first event of its kind and it was a huge success! And by success we mean a fantastic turnout of people who came curious, asked great questions and left more informed, educated, and excited about their real estate possibilities.

Thank you again to our sponsors and business partners: Allyson Kreycik of Guaranteed Rate, Cindy Kelley of From Clutter-to-Clean and Gentle Giant Movers.

See all of the pictures from the event here!

If you were not able to make it to the event, please contact us and we would be happy to answer any questions you might have about buying or selling your home.

Stairs_signs Busyroom FamilySteps

Choosing a Local Real Estate Team

Buying or selling a home can be one of the biggest, sometimes most overwhelming, endeavors you will take on. But it doesn't have to be the headache that many assume it to be.

We've talked about some warning signs when working with real estate professionals (beware the 'Yes' REALTOR®). And we've shared feedback direct from clients about the characteristics they value, as well as what separates the best from the rest.

With the right help, buying or selling a home can be a smooth, successful and rewarding experience. Choosing a local real estate team to get you there is the first step, and these important concepts will get you started: CHOICE. LOCAL. TEAM.


CHOICE. Choice is a beautiful thing. It means that you're not stuck, and that you have options. But choice also means you have to do your homework. When it comes to finding someone to represent your real estate needs, you want to choose someone with the skill set and expertise to get the job done.

Not only that, but you want to feel good about your choice. A real estate professional might be good at what they do, but if they come across as abrasive, distracted or not in tune to your specific needs, then it might be time to look elsewhere.

LOCAL. We can't emphasize this enough. Sure there is a proliferation of information about neighborhoods, schools, demographics and real estate data for any given town. But fact of the matter is, that information is just the tip of the iceberg.

Theoretically, any real estate agent from Sudbury, Weymouth or Peabody could come in and help you buy or sell an Arlington or Medford home. But the nuances of knowing a town include critical things like having good connections to partners and vendors you can trust (think handyman, contractor, cleaning person, etc.) and a deep understanding of the pool of buyers that's out there.

TEAM. Real estate is a 24/7 job. There are no weekends. It is challenging enough for one person to manage the ins and outs of a real estate transaction, much less one person handling all of that as a side gig. A real estate team with experience, skills and knowledge (buying, selling, marketing, transactions, negotiating, scheduling, follow-up) ensures that the burden of buying or selling a home falls squarely on their shoulders - not yours.



Photo via: yurolaitsalbert, DollarPhotoClub

Not Your Typical Top 20 (#'s 7, 8, 9)

We're not your typical real estate team, and this isn't your typical list! In case you missed it, check out our previous posts (1-6) of the top things to do in Arlington and see if you agree! Now here's #7, #8 and #9 for this week...

#ArlingtonMA #Top20

#7 Get Cultured

Whether you're on a first date or taking a client out to close a deal, knowing how to select a good wine ups your cultural cache. Refine your taste buds with complimentary wine and beer tastings at Menotomy Beer & Wine on Fridays and Saturday's from 4 p.m. -7 p.m.


image via: WikimediaCommons 

#8 Get Smart

"Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school." - Albert Einstein. Never stop learning! Take an adult education class at Arlington Community Education or Arlington Center for the Arts and learn something new.


image via: WikimediaCommons


#9 Get Lit

Go to the Robbins Library and brush up on your lit(erature). Or just read a newspaper or magazine in the beautiful Reading Room (no one needs to know you're there to read the latest People!). The Reading Room features a fireplace, marble mosaic floor, antique oak wall, marble columns and gold leaf accentuated arches and ceiling.


image via: Rachel James


YourHomeForSale Stats n' Facts

The numbers are in, and it was another successful year for BOWES Real Estate, Real Living, and The Home Advantage Team. According to BOWES, 2012 was its best year ever since being founded in 1945. That's an impressive stat given the ups and downs of the past 67+ years.

Steve McKenna and The Home Advantage team contributed to that success by posting the highest transaction rate of any other real estate agent in town. With 84 closed transactions this year, the next closest agent came in at less than half, with 34 closed transactions.

  2012 Arlington Closed Transactions*



Data Source:  Multiple Listing Service, *Agent(s) Closed Transactions For Arlington Only

So how do we do it? By maximizing the strengths of each individual on The Home Advantage Team we are able to provide a greater depth and breadth of experience for clients throughout the home buying and selling experience. There is no 'passing off' to a lesser qualified agent because each member fills a specific role in the process.

With more people on hand to address any number of concerns, we can ensure that you will receive the time and attention you deserve. In addition to our team, we have developed a wide range relationships and networks, so you get a slice of expertise from any number of reputable vendors and resources around town.

It's just as we've always said to potential clients, it doesn't cost more to use the number one real estate team, but it could cost you more if you don't.

Like Us on Facebook! :P

Let's be honest. How annoying are those four words? Particularly when you have no connection to the page/organization that is requesting your Like.


Because of this, we are especially grateful when people 'Like' our page. We know you're busy, we know you've got a Facebook feed full of friends and information coming at you from all angles. So to all of our recent Facebook Fans (and you know who you are), we really appreciate your 'Like.' 

"Before Facebook, you had to 'like' things with your feelings" via @mattkoff.

The thing about Liking YourHomeForSale on Facebook is that there's no catch. We give free advice, helpful insight, community information, all with a good amount of snark and humor just for fun - and we really try not to be annoying.


So maybe, if you like us like us, you'll tell your friends or share our stories - it's kind of like passing a note in class, except much easier, and you won't end up in detention. 


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)