Executive Realty
Joe DeChristofaro

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Buying your first home is a major milestone in your life’s journey, signaling a commitment to financial responsibility and a big-picture view of building a personal legacy.

Nonetheless, despite the generally “good” implications of buying a home, the fact remains that signing away your life’s savings on a down payment can be a scary proposition for the underprepared. After all, as a homeowner, you become financially and logistically responsible for all repairs and maintenance, with poorly designed homes being a significant burden on your time and pocketbook.
Therefore, when choosing a home for the first time, there are a number of important questions to ask your realtor to ensure that you are making a sound investment.

What Materials Were Used for Framing?

The framing is ostensibly the “skeleton” of a home. Framing has a direct impact on everything from how your home is able to withstand adverse weather conditions to your ability to undertake future renovations on your property.

As such, the quality of the framing is directly correlated to the quality of the home. Common framing materials, such as wood framing, do provide some benefits to a home, but come with a host of issues that will lead to elevated costs of homeownership, including:

-Porous sheathing, like plywood or oriented strand board, that readily absorbs moisture, leading to mold and rot
-Suboptimal thermal mass that can make your home susceptible to mirroring the exterior temperature, increasing HVAC use in summer and winter
-High susceptibility to fire and termite damage

When asking about a home’s framing, really take interest in properties that use innovative concrete solutions--specifically insulated concrete forms. Concrete has become an extremely popular framing material for rebuilding neighborhoods decimated by natural disasters, as its solid, one-piece design provides elite weather barriers and resistance to high-impact damage, making it a premier choice for limiting repair, maintenance, and utility costs for homeowners.

What Renovations Have Been Made to the Kitchen?

While the freedom of not having to answer to a landlord is undoubtedly a major advantage of homeownership, the general investment aspect is arguably at the top of the list of reasons to buy for the first time. With this in mind, you want to choose a property that is likely to appreciate in resale value should the need to move arise.

Trendy kitchens are one of the primary factors that can help a house capture a premium price come resale time, with the following features being desirable to prospective buyers:

-Bright, open areas that provide a sense of community between the kitchen and the home’s living spaces
-Durable, nonporous surfaces to aid in cleanup and reduce future maintenance costs, with colors of quartz countertops or white solid surface materials to match the bright ambiance being the preference
-Any “green” features, such as energy-efficient appliances, luxury vinyl plank flooring, low-flow modifications to the sink, and built-in water filters

Does the House Have Aging in Place Features?

Aging in place features refer to those aspects of a home that provide comfort and functionality to residents who are advancing in age. With the well-publicized move of the Baby Boom cohort transitioning to retirement in large numbers, owning a home that is well-equipped for aging in place could set your property apart in years to come.

While there is a vast array of features that could assist aging in place, some that offer the most straightforward functionality include:

-Shower seats and removable shower heads to increase comfort and reduce the risk of slipping while cleaning
-Handrails, or other more customizable options, in the kitchen and bathroom to aid in crouching and rising
-Industrial plumbing fixtures such as shallow sinks to limit the amount of bending and reaching required when doing the dishes and/or preparing meals

Matt Lee is the owner of the Innovative Building Materials blog and a content writer for the building materials industry. He is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that save money, improve energy efficiency, and increase property value.

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Executive Realty
1 Richmond Square
Providence, RI 02906

What my clients are saying  

Without reservation and to the highest degree, I whole heartedly recommend Joe as a realtor. As a seller, I entered the process a bit weary (having previously encountered realtors who were willing to tell me anything I wanted to hear when I was a buyer years ago). In refreshing contrast, Joe is honest, ethical, patient, and transparent. He is a wealth of knowledge and will advocate for you as his client. There were many roadblocks that arose during the sale of my condo, which Joe was able to expertly navigate.


~ Elisabeth E - Downtown Providence

It was my first time buying a house/condo and Joe was beyond helpful in finding the perfect place for me. Once I did, he advised me on what to offer and I trusted his judgement completely. I would use Joe’s services again in a heartbeat.


~ John B - West Warwick

About a month a go I reached out to Joe as our first step in finding a home. He immediately set us up with an MLS account that sent us listings that were tailored for exactly what we wanted. He was friendly and extremely accommodating. He encouraged us to look at as many homes as we wanted. He was incredibly knowledgeable, researched all the neighborhoods and was detailed oriented in comparing homes. What I appreciated the most was that he never pressured us to rush into buying anything and was able to guide us when it came to putting offers negotiating for the best price. In the end, we found our perfect home faster than expected and under Joe’s advice we were able to put in an offer that was accepted at $30,000 less than the asking price. With his help and great references, we were even able to close on the house in just over 2 weeks! We couldn’t be happier with the house we bought, the money we saved and everything our realtor Joe did for us to make it all happen. Thank you Joe!!!


~ Katherine & Tyler W - North Providence

Joe was incredibly helpful and resourceful when helping me purchase my new home. He went above and beyond to make sure I found the right place at the right price and made sure every detail was to the highest standard. Additionally, Joe is very professional and truly looks out for his clients.


~ Ella C - East Side of Providence

Joe has been amazing!. We felt we really had somebody working with and for us. He is the best real state agent!. Particularly working with him from the distance. He made easy every step for us without making us feel stressed through the process. I would recommend him in a heartbeat!


~ Marta C - East Side of Providence

I have recently had the best experience with Executive Realty and cannot be more impressed with Joe’s knowledge, enthusiasm, professionalism and dedication. He found the perfect condo in Providence for my daughter and provided us with the most amazing contacts from banks to movers to contractors. Without Joe’s amazing efforts, we would still be searching instead of being ready to move in this week. My friends find it amazing that we visited the condo on November 11 and closed on December 12! In fact, what’s even more amazing is that Joe has followed up with us over the past week to make sure everything is going smoothly with my daughter’s move, our contractor, and the condo unit in general. Executive Realty is on the top of my list and I would be happy to recommend Joe to anyone. Having a realtor who knows his stuff and cares about his clients really matters, and that is why I took the time to acknowledge Joe and his business :)


~ Lynne R - Downtown Providence

Joe was extremely attentive and provided an excellent level of service. A true professional, Joe's experience and vast knowledge of the market shined when handling both of our transactions (selling and buying). I would highly recommend Joe to others for their real estate needs.


~ Bob & Joy S - Cranston, RI

I would highly recommend Joe DeChristofaro as a realtor. I worked with Joe for several years as I wanted to purchase a home in a specific area. Joe was very patient and accommodating while we searched for the perfect home. Joe gave great recommendations and even helped point out potential issues with the houses we viewed. I had a great experience with Joe and I would recommend him to anyone purchasing or selling a home.


~ Dave P - Warwick

Joe is just excellent. His expertise in the field is exceptional and he walked me through the process of buying my first home, step by step. He is extremely humble and disarming, making him a very approachable person and so easy to work with. I never hesitated to call or email and he was readily available. I would recommend him without any hesitation to friends and family.


~ Bianca C - Downtown Providence

Joe is an amazing realtor and person! He is knowledgeable, honest and ethical. He helped us from the beginning to find the house we wanted. Even after we bought to house, he still keet in contact with us to make sure everything was okay. And he gave us incredible tips about being a homeowner and a landlord...


~ Tiffany & Efe K - West Warwick

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