Real Estate

Ask Toni & Maria – Real Estate Column #18

Maria DiTullio (left) and Toni Gilardi

“Ask Toni & Maria” is a real estate column written by Toni Gilardi and Maria DiTullio from Elite Boston Landmark Realty. Have them answer your questions in an upcoming column by emailing

Hi Toni and Maria,
I’m going to be renovating the kitchen and bathroom in my 2 bed, 700 sq ft condo. In terms of resale value, are there any features/amenities/details you’d recommend or not recommend?

Hello Amy,
Thanks for writing in this week. Depending on your budget, we recommend stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops. If your cabinets are old you may want to upgrade the hardware at minimum. Unfortunately, once you start you may need to go all the way… sinks/faucet/backsplash/tile. If you only have one bathroom we do not recommend a pedestal sink, you will need the extra storage of a vanity. Stick to neutral colors, you can always add spice by accessorizing. Most importantly, never put the wine rack over the refrigerator, the heat will spoil the Vino! Have fun.

Hi Toni and Maria,
My name is Angela, but call me horrified! I recently moved back to the North End after being away for years. Wow, has the neighborhood changed. Mostly for the best, except for the trash and noise issues. I understand a noise ordinance has been put in place. I hope it is enough. However, the TRASH and debris….. OMG. I have lived in many different cities in the US and have never seen such a mess. Doesn’t the City help it’s most popular neighborhood? You would think it is in the best interest of the City to make sure the North End is spotless. You both have been around for a long time, any suggestions?

Hello Horrified Angela,
We too are at our wits end. As Real Estate Agents, we instruct all our tenants to put their trash out the mornings of pick up; Mon. , Wed. and Fri. Unfortunately, the sad truth is the City allows residents to put their trash out the night before starting at 6 p.m. This, to say the least, is a huge mistake. Trash should NEVER be on a City Street overnight. Residents have to climb over trash bags to get into their buildings. The City should start there and revoke permission to dump trash overnight.

We do have Street cleaning which doesn’t seem to help. Crews should be out every day with hand brooms and not just on Hanover Street. The trash blows down every street. Over-flowing barrels are not maintained by the City as they should be, not to mention few and far between. The North End generates the highest tax revenue for this City. We should get a little extra attention. If they can keep Disney World clean then the City of Boston can keep one square mile free from debris.

Residents can help by making efforts to secure their garbage in black bags and tie them tight. We sincerely hope the City of Boston is ready for the September 1st move-in debacle coming next weekend.

We are running low on questions and would love to hear from you! Send in your real estate questions to: Also, check out our website at or call 617-227-1000 or 617 523-5400.