The Home Advantage Team

Ring in the New!

The New Year is a great time for a fresh start. Maybe you want to lose five pounds, get organized or save more money (these were the top three resolutions for 2012, btw). Maybe you're with the 45% of Americans who make resolutions, the 38% who absolutely never make resolutions, or the 8% who are successful in achieving your resolutions (I'm 100% impressed if that's you).

The Home Advantage Team keeps practical, tactical resolutions. Besides our #1 resolution to provide the best possible real estate service to sellers and buyers, we're also ringing in a new Website.

We've been transitioning content over so by now you've probably seen the clean lines, easy navigation, mobile-friendly layout and visually pleasing site. What, no? Well then, go take a look! We're still in the process of pulling in more detailed features so be sure to check back in.

In the meantime, best wishes from our team to yours for a happy, healthy and safe 2014!


*image via: NVTOfficeClips


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    The Home Advantage Team Pet-Match-up Challenge

    People love their pets. A lot.

    Sixty-two percent of U.S. households have a pet, according to the American Pet Products Association, and owners spent a whopping $56 billion on their pets last year. Studies suggest that pet owners tend to exercise more and stress less than non-owners (we also think people who own pets sell more homes, but that's a study for another day).

    The Home Advantage Team loves their pets, too. And since they say you can tell a lot about a person by the type of pet they have, we challenge you to see if you can match The HAT human to their furry or finned counterpart! (counterpet?).

    Be sure to leave your guesses in the comments section - we'll reveal the results at a later date!

    A                                                                1






    B                                                                   2


    C                                                         3







    D                                                   4





    E                                                   5






    F                                                                  6






    G                                                              7






    H                                                 8



    It's Time... To Get in the Market

    There are plenty of reasons why you might have put off selling your home - the weather, maybe the weather (perhaps the weather?), too busy, too much of hassle, unsure of where to move next... you name it.

    But we're here to tell you that it's time - time to get in the market. For every reason you might hesitate, we have five for why now is an amazing time to sell your home. Interest rates are low, there are many eager buyers, there is less competition from other sellers, home values remain strong... we could go on and on.

    Not to mention we have a professional, experienced team who will work around the clock for you. We handle the entire home selling process - soup to nuts. Selling your home efficiently, quickly, with terms that meet your needs, and with as little stress as possible is what we do best.

    Our team is your advantage.

    Call Steve McKenna and the Home Advantage Team today for a free and confidential custom market analysis of your home.

    It's time.

    Have you picked up your copy of Boston Magazine yet? Check out our ad in the latest issue!






    The Word on the Street

    Actually, it's not the word on the street. It's the words on the Arlington Streets. Words like: professional, fun, knowledgeable, accommodating, go-to...

    Tracy Wallace has been with The Home Advantage Team less than one year and already she's knocking it out of the park. We know Tracy has what it takes to be a top REALTOR® in Arlington, and so do her clients.

    Here's what a few had to say - in their own words.

    Jane, Massachusetts Ave. in Arlington

    Tracy responded to my initial request for information very quickly. That quick response was followed by quick responses to every one of my questions throughout the transaction. Tracy not only acted like a professional but she was also fun to be with. That combination does not always exist. I would recommend Tracy to anyone who is looking for real estate in the Arlington area.

    Steve and Kalina, Appleton Street in Arlington

    Tracy was great! Unfailingly pleasant, helpful, accommodating, and knowledgeable about the property and the market. Now that the deal is done, she continues to be a warm and friendly presence around town and a go-to person when we need advice or have local questions.

    Micah and Amanda, Glenburn Ave. in Arlington

    We were first time-time home buyers, and given how daunting the process seemed-- and how important making the right decision was-- we were looking for a partner with a deep knowledge of the market and who worked on our behalf to find the right home.   Tracy was exceptional to work with while she guided us to our dream home, and made the closing process as smooth as possible.



    What Separates the Best From the Rest

    Being a REALTOR® is not rocket science, nor is it brain surgery.

    When you're sick, you want the best doctor, from the best hospital, with the best reputation. You want someone who has book smarts - went to medical school and has all the appropriate accreditations. And you want someone with street smarts - experience in the field and knows how communicate the best options for your situation.

    Being a REALTOR® is easy. Being a great REALTOR® is what separates the best from the rest.

    Annie Kelly has that unique mix of credibility, integrity, smarts, and people-skills. She has the book-smart background and street-smart experience that delivers results with a personalized approach for each and every client.

    But don't take our word for it. See what Annie's clients have to say about her job well done.

    Steve, Seller on 3 Johnson Ave. in Medford

    From my initial meetings with Steve McKenna and Annie Kelly, to closing on the sale of my home in West Medford, I was greatly impressed by the market knowledge, expertise and professionalism of The Home Advantage Team. They are well-connected and know the neighborhood well. What's more, they are sincere, genuine and incredibly hard-working. As my primary contact, I particularly appreciated Annie's astute judgment, attentive follow-through, and thoughtfulness in helping guide the process smoothly from preliminary steps to a successful conclusion.

    Mike & Melanie, Sellers on 33 Oakland Road in Melrose

    I wanted to thank Steve McKenna and Annie Kelly of The Home Advantage Team. They were with us every step of the way selling our home, offering expert advice and in the end getting us top results. I completely trusted and committed to their process. They brought in a professional stager, who gave me a lot of work, but I did it! Annie held a broker event at our home the Thursday prior to the open house. After our open house weekend we received 11 offers!

    All their staging suggestions really paid off. Steve and Annie helped us sift through the offers and guided us with their knowledge and experience.   I remember being disappointed in the original list price but I decided to trust their process and in the end we sold for 16% over asking. I couldn't have been more pleased with our results, their advice and everything they did to get us to a smooth close. I would highly recommend Steve and Annie! Thanks for everything!

    excellence concept


    Photo via: Nenov BrothersDollarPhotoClub

    We Know Something You Don't Know

    You don't know what you don't know. And sometimes you think you know, until you find out you don't. And you know that's not good.

    We work with clients from all walks of life with all types of backgrounds and expertise. They know lots of stuff we don't know, and we would never try to do what they do. For example, we wouldn't walk into a classroom and begin teaching high school math, or start making trades like a portfolio manager, or perform surgery like a surgeon from MGH. We KNOW we don't know these things - and that's OK.

    Knowledge is power and it's important to have a baseline understanding of certain things -- like basic math skills, how to save your money, and when to apply a Band-aid with Neosporin. However there is a point when it's best to leave certain things to the experts (AP calculus, currency hedging, heart surgery).

    Same goes for real estate. It is worthwhile to have an understanding of the real estate market and what it takes to buy and sell a home. You should know things like, your FICO score, closing costs and contingencies. But the complexity of real estate transactions is increasing. Changing regulations and fluctuating markets have made real estate logistically challenging, and what you don't know can leave you powerless to the implications (legal, financial, emotional).

    We've been buying and selling homes for clients in Arlington for more than 25 years. We would never claim to know everything, but we sure know a lot about negotiating, pricing, location, value, timing - you name it - when it comes to real estate.

    We know something you don't know. If you are thinking of buying or selling a home, the knowledge of The Home Advantage Team is your advantage in a competitive and ever-changing real estate market.

    "Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don't," - Bill Nye (The Science Guy)



    Image via:, Dollar Photo Club




    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 LOGO:

    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.


    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.

    What a Great Day at The 2018 Arlington Home Show!

    What a great day at The 2018 Arlington Home Show!

    This year’s event was even bigger and better than last year, and we’d like to thank everyone who came out to participate.

    Special thanks to Jeff Oliver from Oliver Enterprise for the Touch-a-Truck portion of the event – it was a huge hit!

    No one could resist the free ice-cream (especially Steve),

    and the free shredding services proved that everyone is in spring cleaning mode - out with the old!

    We enjoyed speaking with everyone who came through - we had many thoughtful questions and there was an enthusiasm that made it a truly enjoyable event for all.

    Finally, we’d like to thank ALL of the vendors who put great effort into providing participants with their expert insight and free giveaways.

    Please feel free to contact us with any questions or feedback regarding the event.

    In the meantime, we will be posting more event photos, plus winners of the raffles will be announced 

    so be sure to check back soon!

    Ring in the New!

    tech <p>The New Year is a great time for a fresh start. Maybe you want to lose five pounds, get organized or save more money (<a href="">these were the top three resolutions for 2012, btw</a>). Maybe you're with the 45% of Americans who make resolutions, the 38% who absolutely never make resolutions, or the 8% who are successful in achieving your resolutions (I'm 100% impressed if that's you).</p> <p>The Home Advantage Team keeps practical, tactical resolutions. Besides our #1 resolution to provide the best possible real estate service to sellers and buyers, <a href=""><b>we're also ringing in a new Website</b></a>.</p> <p>We've been transitioning content over so by now you've probably seen the clean lines, easy navigation, mobile-friendly layout and visually pleasing site. What, no? Well then, <b><a href="">go take a look</a></b>! We're still in the process of pulling in more detailed features so be sure to check back in.</p> <p>In the meantime, best wishes from our team to yours for a happy, healthy and safe 2014!</p> <p><img alt="NewYear" class="size-medium wp-image-1026 aligncenter featured" height="300" src="" width="231"></p> <p>*image via: <a href="">NVTOfficeClips</a></p>


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