Thanksgiving weekend I sat down to compile my checklist for winter’s arrival. Those of us who own Cambridge real estate or property in Arlington, Belmont and Somerville and the rest of the Greater Boston communities, know that it’s best to be prepared for what Mother Nature throws our way.
Here’s what was on my list as a reminder of the things you should be considering.
- Tune-up snow blower and buy fresh gasoline.
- Replace broken shovel(s)
- Purchase 30 lbs of ice melt
- Wrap shrubs in burlap
- Put out winter doormat
- Get out the boot tray
- Get chimney inspected and cleaned
- Purchase firewood
- Clean gutters
- Decorate house exterior for holidays before first snow
I could not forget my mobile office that sits in the driveway. This was also on my list:
- Winterize the car and get new winter wiper blades
- Get out the windshield ice scraper and snow brush
- Stock up on windshield washer fluid
- Put the jumper cables in the car
- Put a blanket, shovel and other emergency supplies in the trunk
If you own Cambrige MA condo in a small complex, make sure all the owners are on the same page regarding the responsibilities of snow shoveling and de-icing sidewalks and driveways. The Cambridge Municipal Code requires all property owners to remove all snow from all sidewalks next to their property or business within 12 hours. Also, make note of parking restrictions in Cambridge MA that go into effect after a storm.
For more suggestions about living in Cambridge during the winter, visit http://www.cambridgema.gov
And make the best of the next 4 months!
Debby Heffernan, Principal
Thinking of selling your property, download our free Smarter Seller Kit for the info you need for a successful transaction.
Like many communities in the Metro Boston Area, Belmont, MA has taken a bit of a hit from the ongoing recession. The question for real estate owners, and for those looking to buy real estate in any community is how well any city or town is adjusting to the downturn and how quickly they will rebound. The capability and flexibility of a community to maintain vibrancy and a multitude of services directly impacts the value of its real estate.
Many small businesses have closed in Belmont, MA and the town administrators are working to create new opportunities. Traffic and pedestrian adjustments to Trapelo Road and Belmont Center, new liquor licenses, tax incentives and more are bringing in new businesses at a slow but steady rate.
Construction of a new elementary school is
evidence that Belmont's famed emphasis on quality education is still a priority. The new Wellington School construction is slated for finish in 2011 and will certainly be a favorite among families looking to buy a home in Belmont.
When you are looking to buy in any community, you will certainly see the signs of recession. The important thing to keep in mind is looking for signs of recovery. There are communities that will rebound more quickly than others. And, while we cannot have a crystal ball to the future, it is those communities that are most likely to help you preserve your home's value. So, if you are looking to buy a home in Belmont MA or any of the Boston Metro West areas, keep an eye toward progress. Call the town hall and ask about new businesses, construction, school programs and the like. Read the local paper, visit the town website etc. Even though you may not be involved with each aspect of the community, you may benefit or suffer from their success when it comes to the value of your real estate.
For more information about local communities visit Community Info at Avenue3re.com
Be sure to download our Better Buyer Kit as well.
Prepared by Karen Lilley, Principal, Avenue 3 Real Estate
During late Spring and Summer months, curb appeal comes naturally to many homes. When autumn turns to winter and the sun sets earlier in the day, it becomes more difficult to create that inviting exterior look that grabs buyers from the curb.
But the good news is you can still create striking winter curb appeal without expensive and/or complicated exterior changes. It just requires a little creativity.
- Seasonal sparkle: Transform window boxes, fountains and bird baths with twigs, red berries or holiday greens. All inexpensive, quick and very pretty.
- Backyards, decks: Shovel your backyard sitting areas and deck and leave your grill uncovered so buyers can evision themselves using the space.
- Front door: make your front door the focal point with a large neutral wreath. Also, place medium to large colorful planters filled with evergreens beside the front door.
- Photo display: show buyers what the outside of the home looks like during other seasons by displaying photos in frames or use a digital photo frame with a slide show of images. If your home has a garden make a list of what is planted where.
- Clear Path: if the ground is covered in snow shovel the driveway and sidewalks and keep the home's patio and decks as clear as possible so buyers can get a sense of their true size.
- Lighting: One week after daylight savings and we have noticed Belmont homes for sale may only have one or two rooms with the lights on and no exterior lights on. It is very likely now that buyers will be viewing your home after sunset. Keep light fixtures clean and use the maximum wattage allowed. Put the lights on and take a drive by your own home.
For more winter curb appeal ideas contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Enjoy the upcoming season....
Judy Conley, Principal
Thinking of selling your property? Download our free Smarter Seller Kit.
A new first time buyer program is available in Cambridge MA and Arlington MA and, frankly, every community in the Greater Boston Area. If you are buying real estate in any of these communities you are able to avail yourself of this new incentive program without any special qualifications or paper work.
The new incentive program is...insert drum roll here.... the reduced interest rate. What? You say you have heard that one before? Well, hold on one minute, this is serious (and far more beneficial than the first time buyer incentive that sent everyone scurrying to purchase property in the Spring).
Interest rates had been hovering at 6.25%. For a $350,000. mortage with a thirty year term, your payments would be $2155./month.
Interest rates are now as low as 3.875%!!!! These are "historic lows". For the same mortgage amount and term, your payments are $1645./month.
That is a savings of $509/month or $6110./year - for every year you own!
Math is not my thing, but even I can see that with reduced prices, and these rates it really is a great time to buy an Arlington MA single family, a Cambridge MA condo, a Medford MA multi family or whatever suits your needs.
To see what is currently available in the market visit www.avenue3re.com. Or, prepare yourself to buy with our Better Buyer Kit.
Prepared by Karen Lilley, Principal, Avenue 3 Real Estate
Surveys are interesting, sometimes they're pretty accurate and sometimes depending on so many factors, they're just generalities. I came across this one last Thursday from Realtor Daily News updates on the Realtor.org site and I wondered how you, the consumer, would respond to the findings. I couldn’t find any particulars on this survey ( how many people were surveyed, what part of the country, etc.? ) so I decided to present it to you just as it was written, here it is:
5 Traits of Today's Home Buyers:
A survey by American Lives, a consumer research firm in California, conducted a study for the trade magazine Builder to answer that question. Here are their conclusions:
They are young. Most are under 45. Half said they had annual household incomes of $75,000 or less. Two-thirds are married.
They are frugal. They consistently told surveyors they were eager to live a simple lifestyle.
They are concerned about their financial future. About 70 percent said the economy is “not so good” with 27 percent saying it was getting worse and 27 percent saying it was getting better, and two-thirds saying it would get better in a year. Some 55 percent said they were concerned that they might lose their jobs.
They see themselves as energy efficient but not necessarily “green.” About 32 percent said they’d pay extra for energy-efficient features but only 16 percent said they’d pay extra for recycled or renewable construction materials.
Neighborhood is important. Ninety-five percent said they thought the community was as important as the home itself. Seventy-nine percent wanted the most square footage they could afford, but 69 percent said they’d consider a smaller home in the right neighborhood.
Source: Inman News, Mary Umberger (10/27/2010)
As a Realtor in the Boston/ Metro West area, I feel confident on commenting on the “Neighborhood is important” statement. I do think the folks who have decided to enter the market today are looking at the where more than the property itself. Communte plays a big part of this shift because most people purchasing have to consider the driving distance or the availability of public transportation. Being close to their child’s DayCare or preferred school, family etc. also are priorities.
The other traits? Age, Living Simple Lives, Concern for Financial Future and Being Somewhat Green….I suppose we all fall into one or two of these categories at one time or another. I'm just not convinced that you can wrap it all up so neatly and call it a profile.
What do you think? Do any of these findings apply to you? Can you relate?
I would love to hear your response!
Lois Ardito, principal
Take a look at our Better Buyer Kit for info on the buying process.