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May
23

Summer Outdoor Entertaining - Homeowners - Laffey Real Estate

As we approach the warmest time of the year, adjust your outdoor space to match the summer. Your outdoor space is more valuable during summer, and you need to get it ready in anticipation of entertaining your friends and family. Hosting a festive outdoor party filled with fun and laughter involves more than moving your indoor party to your patio. Our real estate agents recommend these tips to get your outdoor space ready for summer entertaining.

  1. Up the Ambience by Adding Outdoor Lighting
    Most outdoor events begin in the evening and transition into the night. Therefore, it's important to have adequate lighting. Create some ambiance by adding outdoor lighting like garden stake lights to light up pathways. Backyard uplighting or pool lighting will light up the night and add a beautiful aesthetic. You can choose to add the tiki torches, a summer classic, or the battery-operated candles. Light some citronella candles around the seating area to keep bugs away.

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April
18

Home Equity - Homeowners - Laffey Real Estate

At Laffey Real Estate, our real estate agents want to help you make informed decisions about homeownership. One of the biggest ones is whether to tap into your home's equity.

Equity is the value that builds up over time as you pay off more of your mortgage. Every cent you pay on the principal, the initial mortgage amount, becomes equity. On the other hand, money that pays for loan interest provides no benefit to the homeowner; it is pure profit for the mortgage lender.

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April
4

Update a Galley Kitchen - Laffey Real Estate

A galley kitchen can seem small and dark if not utilized properly. In reality, it's actually one of the most functional designs for a kitchen since everything you need while you cook is at most a few steps away, if not right in arm's reach. How, then, to make this design look more welcoming? The difference is all in the details, as our real estate agents will show you.

  • Clear the Way
    Having a lot of stuff in the way as you traverse the kitchen will make it feel more cramped. Avoid a lot of clutter, such as too many rugs, and for reaching upper cabinets, invest in footstools that will fold up and stow neatly out of the way. If you have a bar, make sure that bar stools can tuck neatly under it when not in use. Galley kitchens look best without a lot of visual interruptions.

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March
28

DIY Day Projects - Homeowners - Laffey Real Estate

While whole-house renovations make your house more attractive to buyers, they are expensive and will eat into your profits. Fortunately, there are DIY upgrades that can boost your home's value. DIY Day is the perfect time to try your hand at these projects recommended by our real estate agents.

  1. Repaint Your Walls
    Walls in a lived-in home often have visible stains, scuffs, or writing in households with children. A fresh coat of paint hides these imperfections, refreshes your home, and makes it more impressive to buyers. Additionally, painting is reasonably cheap, and you can quickly repaint your walls over the weekend.

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February
21

Kitchen Pantry Tips - Laffey Real Estate

For many families, the kitchen is the most important room in the house. That's why it's imperative to prioritize the kitchen when purchasing a home and choose one that suits your family's needs and lifestyle. Inform our real estate agents what you're looking for in a kitchen and which features are non-negotiable, so they can find you houses that are up to your standards.

One of the key features you should consider is storage and workspace; there's no such thing as too much kitchen storage space. Even when you have enough space, your kitchen pantry can quickly become overrun with all the canned goods, cereal boxes, and miscellaneous cooking ingredients that tend to pile up.

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February
14

Family Baking Month - Laffey Real Estate

Mmmmm, what smells better than something in the oven? Our real estate agents will assure you that many potential buyers have been attracted by the aroma of freshly baked cookies in the kitchen. Why not enjoy that same sensation while spending some quality time with your loved ones to celebrate National Bake for Family Fun Month? Here are a few tasty treats that everyone can enjoy:

  • Red Hot Baked Apples
    Not only are they quick and easy, but these delectable desserts offer a healthy, gluten-free alternative to traditional baked goods.

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January
11

Houseplant Help - Homeowners - Laffey Real Estate

Do you laugh when people tell you it's National Houseplant Appreciation Day because you're a notorious plant killer? If, like most of us, you enjoy the beauty houseplants bring to a home but have a brown thumb, have no fear. Our real estate agents have some nearly bullet-proof suggestions that will let you join the ranks of houseplant aficionados whose homes proudly display elegant living decor. Your first step will be assessing the light levels in the spaces where you want to place your plants. 

  •  Albuca Spiralis
    This unique sun lover will be an instant conversation piece when given a prominent position in a window. Its deep green tendrils spiral wildly, like curling ribbon on a package. A healthy plant will welcome spring with stalks of yellow-green flowers that give off a pleasant vanilla-like scent. But harvest the blossoms, or your plant will lose its signature curls. The leaves will also tell you whether your plant is over or underwatered. If they start turning yellow, slow down on the watering. If they droop and the tips turn brown, your plant is thirsty. Be sure to select a pot with good drainage.

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July
12

Ceiling Fans - Homeowners - Laffey Real Estate

When you're decorating your new home, it can seem like there are so many style choices and decorating rules to follow. One choice that everyone seems to have an opinion about is ceiling fans. Even though some people feel they're outdated, ceiling fans do serve an important function, and our real estate agents can affirm that plenty of buyers and homeowners appreciate having them. There are plenty of on-trend designs and updated finishes available so ceiling fans can look great in any style of home. 

Benefits of ceiling fans

If you don't have ceiling fans, here's why you might want to add them, even if you're selling soon. And if you already have them, you may want to update them rather than removing them completely. 

  • All-year temperature control. In warm weather, run the fan to circulate the air and create a breeze to cool down the room. In cold weather, when the heat is on, running the fan in reverse helps push the warmer air down, making the room temperature more comfortable and allowing the heating system to operate more efficiently. They're also a great addition in places like Long Island, where you'll get a few unseasonably warm days before you really want to switch on the air conditioner for the season. It's much easier just to switch on a fan for a few hours.

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May
24

Sun Mapping Before Planting - Laffey Real Estate

Our real estate agents can tell you that no matter how green-thumbed you are, the success of your garden still depends on a higher power. Before you design your garden, buy seeds, or get into the weeds with a new vegetable patch or flower bed, it's important to consult one of the top arbiters of horticultural success: the sun. Just like choosing plants for your climate zone, you also have to pick the right spot for your garden. This means determining how much sun exposure your garden will get, especially in areas where tall buildings and trees cast shifting patterns of shade. The method you'll use to choose the best area for your plants is called sun mapping.

Why Map Sun Exposure in Your Garden?

Solar energy is fuel for plants, but this doesn't mean that all plants require the same amount of sun exposure. Some plants need full sun, which means 6-8 hours of direct sunlight a day. Plants labeled as part sun and part shade require 3-6 of sunlight each day, while those labeled as shade need 3 hours or less of sunlight a day.  A sun map can give a clear picture of where and when the sun hits throughout the day. This can help you plan the landscape around your home and determine the best area for certain crops. Tracking sun exposure and shade patterns on clear days during different months of the growing season will give you a guideline for planting a healthy garden.

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April
12

Front Yard Spring Makeover - Laffey Real Estate

Is it time for a spring makeover for your front yard? It is the "face" of your home, and to passersby, it is an indication of what the inside of your home looks like. An unkempt yard gives the impression of a home that is just as messy and disordered, while a well-maintained one builds the expectation of an orderly, tidy home.

Along with spring cleaning your home, consider doing a spring makeover for your front yard. The weather is perfect for it, and so are the bright, uplifting plants and flowers that come with the season. The following guide will take you through how to do your makeover:

  • Take stock of what you need
    When you get started, you want to keep going without stopping to get supplies. You can do that by taking stock of what you need and getting everything before starting. Start from one corner of your yard and work toward the other, working from the top down. Start with the exterior walls of the front of your house and decide what you would like to do here: Would you like to plant climbing plants or vines, and would you like them to be flowered or not? Perhaps the exterior walls could do with a fresh coat of paint.

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March
8

Spring Cleaning Supply List - Homeowners - Laffey Real Estate

With spring right around the corner, now is the perfect time to prepare for spring cleaning. Spring is a fantastic time to tend to all those projects you've been meaning to do, and our real estate agents know a sparkling house is more appealing to potential buyers. 

Nothing is worse than settling in for a few hours of cleaning, only to discover you don't have everything you need for the job. Here are some items to add to your cleaning supply list to ensure you're prepared for any mess you encounter. 

  1. A Vacuum with an Extension Wand and Attachments
    A vacuum cleaner is a must-have for any cleaning job. Before you start wiping things down, use your vacuum cleaner to remove dirt, dust, and grime. Remember, when dirt gets wet, it makes mud, which can make it even more cumbersome to clean your home. Vacuum as much of it away to expedite your cleaning. If possible, select a vacuum cleaner with an extension wand and a few attachments. A round horsehair attachment is a versatile option that works well on multiple surfaces: upholstered furniture, baseboards, and hard floors. A roller-head attachment is a great addition if you have pets that shed a lot; it will help remove hair from your furniture, bedding, and rugs.

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February
1

Fill Your House With Music in 2021 - Laffey Real Estate

Music may not make the world go round, but it sure does round out your world. Whether you're working from home or resting after a long day at the office, setting your home up for sound is a great way to enjoy the day. Day in and day out, our real estate agents will tell you that an increasing number of homes in the area incorporate systems that make it easy to enjoy music while taking a bath, working in the kitchen, or relaxing on the patio. 

  • Create a Foundation You Can Build Upon
    Smart home systems create a solid foundation that you can use to create a connection between your favorite music in every room in the house. Google and Amazon are the leaders in smart home systems that allow you to connect every speaker in your home through one centralized system. You can install these devices in every room and set your system to operate these speakers individually or as part of a whole-home group.

    At the heart of your home, make sure that you install solid and reliable WiFi. The stronger the signal, the better. If you plan to connect other smart home devices to your system, make sure your system has enough bandwidth to support all of your devices; otherwise, you can end up with a less than desirable sound quality and reliability.

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January
25

Smart Home in 2021 - Laffey Real Estate

Want to upgrade your home in 2021? Whether you're thinking about buying, selling, or staying put, adding some smart home features is a great idea! Our real estate agents are always talking to potential buyers who are interested in homes with smart upgrades, making this an excellent investment. It's also easy to get started! Follow these simple tips and you'll have your upgrades done in no time. 

  1. Consider Your Unique Needs
    The right smart home upgrades for you will depend on your unique needs, lifestyle, and personal preferences. For example, if you work from home, a smart doorbell might be a great idea. This will allow you to see who's at the door so you can decide whether to open it or not. On the other hand, if you spend most of your days away from home, then devices like smart locks, a smart garage door opener, and a programmable thermostat might earn top spots on your wish list.

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December
29

Kitchen Lighting - Homeownership - Laffey Real Estate

Ask any of our real estate agents, and they'll tell you the kitchen is one of the most important rooms in your home. If you want to enhance your kitchen space, adding some under-cabinet lighting is one of the best ways to do it. This easy and relatively inexpensive project can completely transform your kitchen! Here are a few tips to help you get started.

  • Evaluate Your Space
    Before you begin your lighting project, you need to get a feel for how much space you have under your cabinets. You'll also want to consider the type of lighting you'll use and the location of your workspace. Make sure you think everything through and take careful measurements. Armed with this information, you can start planning out your project.

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December
21

Family Holiday Crafts - Long Island - Laffey Real Estate

The holiday season has always represented a time to connect with family and friends, celebrate annual traditions, and reflect on the year that has been. While we've had an unusual year that has changed how we interact with loved ones, you can still enjoy all the season has to offer – even if you're staying home all day. Our real estate agents have gathered some of the best Christmas activities that will keep your kids entertained and help you create lasting memories.

  • Design a Winter Wreath
    As you set your table with festive decorations, deck out your tree with beautiful ornaments, and place a garland on your holiday mantel, don't forget your front door. A festive wreath can elevate your entrance and it's very easy to make. Take the kids outside for a quick winter walk to collect pine cones, evergreen branches, or leaves. You can also rely on store-bought items to make your stylish seasonal wreath.

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December
14

Holiday Home Safety - Laffey Real Estate

Seems we hardly get a break these days, trying to stay a step ahead and maintain safety in our homes, on the job, or traveling around. While we can't control everything, we can take measures to ensure our homes are relatively safe during the frantic holiday season. So as you go about your holiday preparations, take some time to consolidate your safety procedures. Be sure to ask our real estate agents in the Long Island area for more advice on how to keep your home safe in the coming weeks.

  1. Traveling
    Going away for the holidays? Makes sure you ask a friend to check on your home every day, taking in the mail and receiving packages. You can also go an extra step to ensure home security by installing a camera at the front door so you can monitor what's happening in real-time. In addition, install timers so that lights come on and go off as if you were at home. Don't have lights blazing inside and outside all night long. That's a signal to burglars that no one's home.

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November
23

Home in Retirement - Laffey Real Estate

At Laffey Real Estate, our real estate agents have helped thousands of clients make the right real estate moves to support their retirement lifestyle. For many, that means downsizing to a smaller, more manageable home.

But if you already own your home, deciding what to do next is a little bit more complicated.

For decades, people have used their homes as a durable vessel to create financial value. About 75% of the average America's wealth is stored as equity value in the home. Selling a home may empower you with a substantial infusion of cash, but it is not the right move for everybody.

Current homeowners can generate income with their home or even access equity without selling. So, how do you know whether you should sell or stay? Keep these factors in mind as you plan your decision.

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September
14

Cleaning Services - Long Island - Laffey Real Estate

Need some motivation for deep cleaning? According to Psychology Today, household clutter causes stress, lack of focus, and poor quality of sleep.

Sept. 17 is designated as Professional House Cleaners Day, and our real estate agents suggest getting a helping hand from these great Nassau County cleaning services.

  • Tri-County Carpet Cleaning - 55 Hawk Lane, Levittown, NY 11756
    Dirty carpets look and smell bad, but cleaning them yourself is such a hassle. Tri-County Carpet Cleaning earns high marks from clients for their quality service and reasonable prices. Staff members use eco-friendly, pet-safe products with a pleasant hint of citrus aroma. Have a leaky basement? Tri-County specializes in flood damage restoration. While the company is headquartered near Levittown homes for sale, as the name implies, they serve an extensive part of the NY area. Hours are 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

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August
31

Houseplants - Homeowners - Laffey Real Estate

Adding plants to a room is a fantastic way to add color and express the decor scheme. They make a room feel more welcoming and can be a relatively low-maintenance focal point for any room. Our real estate agents appreciate it when they see that each decor element in a home has been chosen with care. If your family includes pets, you'll want to make sure that the plants you choose will be as kind to them as you are. Some plants can pose a serious risk to animals, and you'll want to be cautious when shopping at your local nursery. 

  • Consider The Lilies 
    Calla lilies are striking and graceful in appearance but can be toxic to animals and humans. These are normally grown outdoors, but you may receive an arrangement, including lilies. If you grow them outside, keep them well away from pets and children. If you receive a bouquet or wreath, including lilies, keep it out of reach until it's time to dispose of it.

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August
24

Outdoor Kitchen Tips - Luxury Living - Laffey Real Estate

Pools, spas, and meticulously manicured lawns are lovely but few backyard amenities are as exceptional as an outdoor kitchen. An outdoor kitchen is a staple of luxury living. Whether it's poolside, atop a patio, or used to create the transitional indoor-outdoor space that so many homeowners desire, the outdoor kitchen is a fantastic feature. Unfortunately, it's also one of the easiest luxe renovations to botch.

When you're transforming your outdoor space with luxurious upgrades, it's important to make sure your investment is protected before, during, and after the project is completed. Our real estate agents have identified five of the most common mistakes homeowners make when installing an outdoor kitchen and how you can avoid them.

  1. Mistake: Not Planning the Project Professionally
    Solution: Hire A Consultant

    How do you turn the outdoor kitchen of your dreams into a reality? You're going to need some help. Even if you plan on completing most aspects of the project yourself, you should still consult a team of professionals before you begin. This project will involve the installation of ventilation, electrical, gas, and water lines, all of which aren't elements an amateur should attempt to handle alone. Bringing in a professional consultant to help you detail the logistics of your vision will help you avoid mistakes.

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August
19

Laffey Real Estate, a leading residential real estate broker on Long Island, launched their Virtual Showing Platform in early April to much acclaim.  The demand for virtual viewings is still strong.  Visit Laffey.com/OpenHouse page to participate.  Interested buyers can find homes to preview every Wednesday from noon to 1:00 pm via Facebook Premier and Laffey.com. 

This is simple and safe home showings.  Go to Laffey.com/OpenHouse page.  Choose the property.  Click on the Facebook Live button under the listing address.  The open houses are scheduled in advance so the date and time is shown on the listing page as well.  Visitors will be notified when they are registered and will receive a notification that their Virtual Open House is beginning.  It is easy to explore open houses from a desktop, laptop and smart device.   

The market is very robust.  Nationwide, there was a 20.7 percent increase in existing-home sales — which includes single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops — between May and June of this year, according to the National Association of Realtors. 

On Long Island, the number of pending sales spiked by 60.6% in Nassau County and by 55.6% in Suffolk last month, compared with a year earlier, OneKey MLS, the multiple listing service that includes Long Island, reported Thursday.

Prices increased in both counties. In Nassau, closed sale prices ticked up 1.1% annually, to a median $551,250, and pending sale prices rose by 6.4%, to a median $580,000. Suffolk County median closed sale prices jumped by 5.8% to $439,000 and pending sale prices rose by 8.4% to $450,000, the listing service reported.

In July 2020, the median list price of single family homes in Queens County, NY was $750K, and media sale price was $650,000; condos median list price was $638,000 and media sold was $530,000. Homes in Queens County, NY sold for 3.5% below asking price on average in July 2020

Combined with record-low interest rates and high rents, City dwellers are adding another element to the frenzied pace of available home buyers. The average interest rate was 2.96% last week, down 0.64 percentage points from a year ago, mortgage giant Freddie Mac reported Thursday.

"This method of engaging our customers have proven fruitful for everyone", explained Donnamarie Chaimanis, President Laffey Real Estate.  "With Zoom, WhatsApp, Google Meets live streaming and showing appointments, the overwhelming number of buyers coming to our website requesting virtual showings and meetings has been awe-inspiring." 

Since mid-April, during the height of the pandemic and beyond, Laffey Real Estate débuted more than 500 Virtual Open Houses reaching thousands of potential buyers across Laffey.com, Agent Websites and Facebook. 

August
12

Who Are Long Island's Top Realtors?

Laffey Real Estate's James Gavin!!!

Long Island Press recently named Manhasset's own James Gavin to the 2020 Top Realtors of Long Island.  We are proud to recognize James Gavin, a Licensed Real Estate Salesperson, as a true professional in the Residential Real Estate industry.  He is a Luxury Home Marketing Expert with a very successful and impressive portfolio of representing notable and distinct North Shore homes.   

Gavin's accolades include being named "Rookie of the Year" at his Manhasset firm in 2015, earning the title of "Rising Star Residential Agent Of The Year" by Long Island Business News in 2017, and being named to Zillow's Best of the Best list in 2019. He sells homes all along the North Shore Corridor from Great Neck to Cutchogue with a specialty in the Manhasset-Port Washington-Sands Point Markets. 

To preview his historic legacy transactions and read more about his beginnings, visit his website Jamesgavin.laffey.com.  A lifelong resident of the North Shore, Jim resides with his wife and daughters in Manhasset.  

Laffey Real Estate congratulates all of the recipients named to the 2020 Long Island Press Top Realtors List. 

 

 

July
27

AC Maintenance - Homeownership - Laffey Real Estate

As temperatures get hotter, the demands on your home's air conditioner are greater. To keep your air conditioning unit functioning well for as long as possible, it pays to have it regularly maintained and serviced as soon as possible when you notice any issues.

Our real estate agents suggest keeping an eye out for the following issues that indicate your air conditioner needs to be serviced:

  • Your air isn't cool enough
    When your air conditioner isn't blowing cool air or it isn't cool enough, that's a definite sign of a problem. It could be caused by several issues, such as a compressor that isn't cooling the air correctly, a shortage of freon, or a duct problem that pulls air from the outside or the attic rather than from the compressor.

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July
21

Laffey Real Estate is proud to be featured in the July 2020 Delta Media Group's industry publication, Real Estate Marketing and Technology Magazine, titled In A Town Full of Apples, Be the Orange. How Long Island's Laffey Real Estate Stands Out from the Competition

An orange you might say?  Well, frankly, yes!  In terms of standing out, the metaphor works.  Laffey Real Estate has made it their mission to be unique in both brand and business model.  

if this pandemic has taught us anything, as a brokerage and as a society, it is that we have to learn to adapt.  And, adapt quickly!  Once the senior management team realized that the world as they knew it was coming to a screeching halt, they jumped in and, using Delta's Virtual Business Platform, began the training program that gave agents the tools to keep focused and help buyers and sellers once the world reset.

Laffey Real Estate is proud of the team that orchestrated the single most daunting responsibility in recent memory.  How could they maintain a safe environment for the agents and employees while keeping the doors open for the clients and customers?  Embracing the virtual platform was the answer.  Using Facebook Premiere, Zoom, Google Meet and a great technology partner, the months following the shutdown were certainly difficult but the Laffey Real Estate agents didn't miss out on being able to 'get in front of' their sellers and work with buyers and renters alike.

Kudos Team Laffey!  

 

Read the full article here -->  In a Town Full of Apples...

July
20

Grow an Herb Garden - Owning a Home - Laffey Real Estate

Tired of buying fresh herbs at the supermarket and after snipping a few leaves, you find them withered in the fridge, unusable? What if you had your very own herb garden, where you could pinch off just as much as you needed and no more, leaving the plant to grow on and keep producing? If you've thought about an herb garden but weren't sure how to get started, take heart. Many herbs are easy-peasy to grow. 

While you can grow herbs handily indoors in a sunny window or with a grow lamp, you can also create garden magic with herbs outdoors. Your herbs will be more profuse with plenty of sunlight and fresh air, so it's worth a try. What's more, if you take some care to ensure it's well designed and lovely to look at, your herb garden can be a selling point when you put your Long Island home on the market. Just ask our real estate agents about this and other tips for selling your home.

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May
18

Home WiFi Tips - Laffey Real Estate

Working from home has become the new normal for so many people in these uncertain times, and making the transition can be a big adjustment. You may not have had to worry much about your home WiFi network when it was used for browsing, streaming, or gaming, but working from home makes strong WiFi performance a necessity. Our real estate agents have had to adapt along with everyone else, with virtual open houses and videoconferencing becoming the norm in our industry. So let's take a look at some tips to get the most out of your home WiFi, to make the work from home transition as smooth as possible.

  • Is Your WiFi Network in Need of an Upgrade?
    There are a wide variety of tech tools available to improve your WiFi network, and while the cost is rarely prohibitive it can add up quickly. So it's worth considering whether your home network truly needs an upgrade, especially if you've purchased new WiFi equipment relatively recently. If you do need an upgrade, then it's important to decide whether you need to improve speed, coverage, reliability, or all of the above. Once you know exactly what you need to fix, it's easier to find the right tools for the job.

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