RE/MAX 440
Mary Mastroeni
Mary Mastroeni
731 W Skippack Pike
Blue Bell  PA 19422
PH: 610-277-2900
O: 215-643-3200
C: 610-213-4878
F: 267-354-6212 
Welcome Home from RE/MAX 440!

Mary's Blog

Painting Kids' Rooms: Tips and Tricks to Get It Right

July 27, 2012 6:00 pm

Looking to set up a nursery or revamp the color of your tweens bedroom? Painting is an easy and cost-effective way to create just the right atmosphere. But knowing how to get started can feel overwhelming. These tips will help you choose the best type and color of paint, while keeping the process quick and stress-free.

Sheen Savvy -Sheen determines how shiny your paint looks when it's dry. Choosing the right sheen adds the perfect finishing touch on a room, and it can make a big difference when it comes to cleaning up.

Semi-Gloss - Brings a soft shine to the room without being overpowering. It's good for kids' rooms because it's durable and easy to clean. You can wipe off crayon and pencil marks with common non-abrasive cleaners.

Eggshell/Satin - Has a smooth finish with a subtle sheen, and is washable and scrubbable.
Flat - A beautiful matte coating with no shine. It is ideal for low-traffic areas and hides minor dents or nicks best.

Choosing Colors

For many DIYers, choosing paint colors can be a tricky and time-intensive process. There are so many options and many people worry about making a big color mistake.

Get inspired - Look through magazines, websites such as Pinterest®, an online pinboard, and even at friends' homes to get some ideas.

Try them out - Once you've narrowed down your color choices, try out your top picks to see how they will look in the room with your specific lighting conditions.

Painting Tips

• Consider using a combination paint and primer -- it can save you time and money by eliminating the need to use two painting products.
• Work from the ceiling down to the baseboards. Do one entire wall or area at a time.
• Use wide masking tape to mask off areas you don't want to paint, such as window panes or trim.
• Use a roller to paint in blocks of roughly 4 x 4 feet. Paint adjacent blocks before each previous block dries to help blend the edges.
• Paint molding and woodwork with a brush, in the direction of the wood grain. Use short strokes to coat the surface, then use longer, smoother strokes for an even and finished surface.
• Make sure the room is well ventilated as you paint.
• Pick a paint that dries quickly and has low odor, so your child can move into the newly painted space sooner.



Tips to Recognize Teen Depression: Eagle Ranch Academy

July 27, 2012 6:00 pm

Every parent wants to be a support system for their child. Keeping an eye out for signs of depression is one way you can be there for your teen. Below are several tips for recognizing if your child may be suffering from depression.

Tip 1: If a teen becomes overly quiet and withdrawn from others, tending to spend most of their time in their room away from family and friends, this could be a definite sign of depression. Typically, depressed teens do not wish to communicate with others and would rather avoid any type of social situation.

Tip 2: Dropping grades in school could also be another sign of teen depression. A student that usually gets A’s or B’s, and is currently getting more C’s and D grades could be suffering from depression, as is sometimes seen when parents decide to send their children to a teen treatment center.

Tip 3: Quick or dramatic changes in mannerisms, dress, actions, and friend crowd could also be a sign of depression. Observe a teen closely to see how their behavior and friend crowd has changed.

Tip 4: During the winter months, if changes in teen behavior occur, this could be a sign of seasonal depression. Treatment for this depression may be different than others, but the symptoms for seasonal depression are the same, but with symptoms only occurring during certain seasons, and disappearing in others.

Tip 5: Is a teen prone to listening to music on their iPod or multimedia device with their headphones in and their volume up to full blast for long periods of time? This could be another sign of teen depression. Typically, a teen that does this regularly is trying to isolate themselves from the real world by tuning out everything but their music. It is not so much what music they are listening to as it is the fact that they are choosing loud volumes and isolating themselves.

Source: Eagle Ranch Academy


Word of the Day

July 27, 2012 6:00 pm

Origination fee. A charge by the lender for granting and processing a new mortgage loan.


Q: Are There Standard Ways to Determine How Much a Home Is Worth?

July 27, 2012 6:00 pm

A: Yes. A comparative market analysis and an appraisal are the two most common and reliable ways to determine a home's value.

Your real estate agent can provide a comparative market analysis, an informal estimate of value based on the recent selling price of similar neighborhood properties. Reviewing comparable homes that have sold within the past year along with the listing, or asking, price on current homes for sale should prevent you from overpricing your home or underestimating its value.

A certified appraiser can provide an appraisal of a home. After visiting the home to check such things as the number of rooms, improvements, size and square footage, construction quality, and the condition of the neighborhood, the appraiser then reviews recent comparable sales to determine the estimated value of the home.

You also can check recent sales in public records, through private firms, and on the Internet to help you determine a home’s potential worth.


Best of The 2012 Idea House – Part 2

July 26, 2012 5:58 pm

Sure, maybe zombie-lovers are flocking to Senoi, Ga., to check out filming of the hit cable series The Walking Dead. But there are also some great ideas to bring your place back from the dead in Senoia, home of the Southern Living 2012 Idea House - a historic 1830 circa farmhouse

In this segment we’ll look at the second half of our Top-10 list of Ballard Designs' hand-picked accessories that are breathing new life into the 2012 Idea House.

6. The Calissse 4-Light Pendant is a classic choice to use over a table, in an entry hall or stairwell. The tiered top and clear glass panes recall the romantic candle lit lantern fixtures of the 19th century. A hinged glass panel door allows easy change of bulbs. Priced at $250.

7. Or how about a Julian Apothecary Lamp? This light is designed in the style of traditional pharmacy lamps, the stem telescope, so you can set it to the perfect height. A pivoting shade and adjustable neck helps focus light exactly where you need it. Priced at $99.

8. Available in 18 different finishes, Ballard’s Louis XVI Armoire stands almost 7 feet tall and offers the storage of an additional closet. This armoire is crafted in Italy with fluted side rails, medallion accents and bulb feet. Paneled doors conceal three adjustable shelves and floating back panels, so you can also use it as a media center. Priced at $1799.

9. To compliment your Louis XVI Armoire, go for the matching dresser, also available in 18 finishes. This single Dresser has nicely turned legs crowned in carved rosettes. Beaded drawers with antique brass ring pulls feature protective dust panels and hand painted Italian paper drawer liners. Priced at $1099.

10. Fill Ballard's versatile Seagrass Hurricane with colorful stones, seasonal balls or submerged blooms. With its grand scale and natural texture, the Southern Living Seagrass Hurricane makes an instant statement, inside or out. Add candles or simple stems to create a memorable centerpiece for any occasion. Priced between $45 and $75.

Want to check out more 2012 Idea House accessories and furnishings? Visit And to learn about visiting the Senoia area and the 2012 Idea House through December 23, visit


Protect Your Car from Theft as Temperatures Rise

July 26, 2012 5:58 pm

The warm sunshine of summer brings with it more than just trips to the beach - it also brings an increase in auto theft and auto theft-related crimes, according to H.E.A.T. (Help Eliminate Auto Thefts), Michigan's statewide vehicle theft prevention program.

According to the FBI, July marks the start of the high season for car theft. In 2010, a car was stolen every 42.8 seconds for a total of 737,000 car thefts resulting in $4.5 billion in losses for American car owners.
"While you're out enjoying the summer sunshine, thieves are out looking for unsuspecting victims," saysTerri Miller, director of H.E.A.T. "Don't make yourself an easy target because you forgot to roll up your windows or left your keys in the car while cooling it down. Michigan drivers need to be educated, aware, and take an active role in protecting themselves and their property."

H.E.A.T. provides Michigan drivers with the following tips for keeping cars and belongings safe throughout the warm weather months:
• Lock It Up – Always lock your car when leaving it, and remember to set alarms or other anti-theft devices every time you get out. Close windows tightly, and don't forget the sunroof or convertible top. You can also add a second layer of protection to your vehicle by using a steering wheel locking device, a steering column protector or an alarm with a visible indicator.
• Watch Those Wheels – Invest in locking lug nuts and park in your garage whenever possible. Thieves target easy-to-steal tires and rims.
• Out of Sight, Out of Mind – Keep all personal belongings, including GPS systems, MP3 players, cellphones and other valuables, out of sight.
• Give and Go – No car is worth your life. If approached by a carjacker, give up your car. Most carjackings involve a weapon, so give them your keys and get away from the scene quickly.
• Keep Watch and Report Crime – Help keep your neighborhood safe by writing down descriptions, license plate numbers and other helpful information. Report any suspicious activity. If you know anything about auto theft, chop shops, carjacking or insurance fraud, report it day or night to your local police department.

Source: H.E.A.T.


How Safe Is Your Child's Playground?

July 26, 2012 5:58 pm

Thousands of children are treated for injuries related to playground equipment each year. The numbers are alarming and parents should pay attention.

Statistics from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) show the following results for kids 3-16 years in the U.S in 2011:

• Approximately 104,157 were treated for injuries from swing sets
• More than 8,800 from seesaws or teeterboards
• Approximately 80,668 from slides and sliding boards.
"In addition to falls and other types of injuries, a playground's surface, design and maintenance also are major factors contributing to mishaps on the playground," says orthopaedic surgeon and AAOS spokesperson Dr. John Gaffney, DO. "For example, knowing what types of playground surfaces to avoid, or being aware of potential injuries that happen from common practices like going down the slide with a child in your lap are great places to start."

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) recommends the following safety tips:

Tips for Parents:
• Avoid playgrounds that have concrete, asphalt, hard-packed dirt, or grass. Recommended surfaces include shock-absorbing unitary materials like rubber mats or loose fill such as double-shredded bark mulch, engineered wood fibers, sand, and fine or medium gravel of suitable depth.
• Steer children to age-appropriate playground equipment.
• Check to see that there is enough space for kids to easily get off the slide or merry-go-round. Don't let children crowd exit areas.
• Try the handgrips on monkey bars and other climbing devices to verify they are shaped and sized for easy grasp.
• Swing seats should be made of plastic or rubber. Avoid metal or wood.
• Avoid any equipment that has openings that could entrap a child's head.
• Be sure you can clearly see your children on the playground.

Tips for kids:
• Play on dry equipment.
• Hold on to handrails and climb all stairs or steps slowly.
• Slide one person at a time, sitting down and facing forward, and move away from the slide as soon as they reach the ground.
• Be careful crossing in front of moving swings or teeter-totters.
• Remove drawstrings and hoods from clothing that could catch on equipment.
• Use care in the sun. In hot weather, equipment exposed to direct sunlight can burn skin.
• Wear proper footwear — no bare feet.



Word of the Day

July 26, 2012 5:58 pm

Open listing. Listing that gives a broker a nonexclusive right to find a buyer; the owner can still find a buyer himself and avoid a commission.


Q: What Is the Most Common Type of Contract for Listing Properties?

July 26, 2012 5:58 pm

A: The exclusive right to sell. It gives the real estate broker the exclusive right to sell your home during the term of the listing. If a sale occurs – even if you sell the home yourself – the broker gets a commission. The broker may share the listing with other brokers on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) to get the widest possible exposure for your home. If you request that the property not be listed on a multiple basis, only the broker named in the contract and his or her sales agents can market and show it.


Best of the 2012 Idea House – Part 1

July 25, 2012 5:58 pm

I look forward to each July when Southern Living unveils its annual Idea House - and this July was no different. Just a tad southwest of Atlanta is quaint and rural Senoi, Ga., home of the Southern Living 2012 Idea House.

Again this year, my friends at Ballard Designs teamed up with Southern Living to furnish and decorate this historic farmhouse renovation. So in the next couple of segments we’ll take a peek at the Top 10 Ballard accessories or furnishings that are helping to breathe new life into this 1830s-era home.

Here are the first five:

1. Braided Jute Rug - a bit dressier than traditional jutes, Ballard’s jute collection for the Idea House is extra thick and feels surprisingly soft, even on bare feet. Hand-woven of golden 100 percent jute and finished with thick, hand knotted 3" fringe, the rugs offer slip resistant latex backing for added durability - and start at about $39.

2. Take Ballard's Hand Made leather hanging mirror wherever you need it. A popular decorative piece that recalls the work of designer Jacques Adnet for Parisian design house Hermes in the 1950s, this simple round mirror is wrapped in rich chestnut leather and hangs from a leather strap secured by three metal belt buckles, imitating the sleek look of equestrian hardware. Priced at $449.

3. The Idea House’s Rutland Counter Stool embodies pure, simple design with a sculptural look that works with any décor. Perfect for perching indoors or out, the gently curved back is just the right height and comfortable shape, and features a powder coat that resists rust and moisture. Priced at $139.

4. The Niles Double Coat Rack has similar appeal to the Rutland stools. Load up the double hanging rails with guests' coats during the holidays and off–season clothing the rest of the year. Two lattice shelves hold boots, hats and bags. Priced at $179.

5. The comfortable, tufted burlap seat gives the rustic industrial look a touch of sophistication. A cushioned seat lifts off for storing extra bedding, magazines or towels. Crafted of weathered wood slats hand tied with wire and stenciled on each side, the bench also features cutout handles for easy carrying. Priced at $349.

Want to check out more 2012 Idea House accessories and furnishings? Check out the next installment or visit And to learn about visiting the Senoia area and the 2012 Idea House through December 23, visit