Just last week, when I declared to no one in particular that “mulch is king”, after it miraculously made our tired front yard look great, that ‘s when it hit me. I'm always thinking "curb appeal". I realized that we're on the other end of homeownership now looking at our home as a perspective buyer might look at a single home and no longer thinking about changing things around here to suit us.
We don’t have any plans to put our house on the market anytime soon, but I think we’ve run the course of what we can afford to do here to maximize it’s value. I'm pretty familiar with the things that make a home attractive to perspective buyers, as I've been a Realtor forever. I know the things we can deliver on and what we can’t. For instance, we can’t change our location (although I think living in Arlington MA is pretty nice). We can't change the street we live on, the lot size or the interior square footage of our house. It is what it is. But, there are some things we can do regularly without breaking the bank.
We can keep everything as up-to-date as possible and repair things as needed. We can replace old pipes in the basement gradually and make sure the line to the street is in good order. We can have the heating system serviced each year and repair the electrical outlets as needed. We can keep our eye on exterior wood rot and have someone come out and check for carpenter ants and termites….just in case. We can keep the interior looking freshly painted and start living with less stuff in our not so large rooms and of course, we can mulch. Every home looks great with mulch in the garden beds. I particularly love the Black Forest mulch, our plantings just pop against its darkness.
I just want to be ready, that’s all, when I finally convince my husband to move to a condo in Boston or a townhouse in Cambridge. I don’t know exactly when that's going to happen so I'm getting prepared. What about you? Are you trying to keep things in order as you go along or would you rather just do what needs to be done when you decide you're ready to put your home on the market?
I was asked this question today by a friend " what are the 3 things you liked best about some of the properties you've listed and sold though out the years?" I immediately began to think back about a front door here, a deck and patio there, a master bedroom with huge walk-in closets a in condo last year and then to the present and this post!
Somerville MA continues to be a most desirable place to call home. From April 1 to present, Somerville pending sales total 74 (7 single family, 47 condos and 20 multi-families)—pretty impressive numbers. These numbers, however, are not surprising to those folks who reside in the city that received the 2009 All American City Award!
Fortunately, things have changed over the years, making it easier for folks choosing to go car-less to do so in towns surrounding Boston, including Arlington. The town boasts increased public transportation, town bike ways and improved access to needed daily services, making a car more a convenience than a necessity.
Although Arlington residents voted against extending the Red Line to the town center back in the 1970s, "the T" remains an option, especially for East Arlington residents within walking distance. The 67 and 79 bus routes connect more distant residents to Alewife and the Red Line, providing quick access to Cambridge and Boston. The 77 bus follows the Red Line route above ground for access to shops, etc. en route. And cyclists, remember the Minuteman Bicycle Trail runs right through Arlington to Alewife.
Zipcar, the popular car sharing service, offers three locations in Arlington for those times when a car is a necessity.
If you do have a car, the town's overnight parking restrictions make a driveway and/or garage a must. BUT - this means that an Arlington MA condo, single family home or multi-family home with limited (or no) offstreet parking is often priced more favorably. For example, a condominium in East Arlington offering only one parking space and/or possible tandem parking will generally be offered for less than a comparable one with with parking. In short, prospective homebuyers open to the possibility of going car-less (or moving to a one-car household) can find their dollars go further in Arlington!
So that's something to think about when you're looking through real estate listings from now on. Limited parking might be the opportunity you've been waiting for, not a deal breaker!
And here's a complete list of current listings in Arlington: Avenue 3 Property Search
I’m ready to pack it up and move into a condo in a Boston location today. I’m blaming my unhappiness with our current living situation on the miserable winter we had which resulted in many hours of shoveling, car relocation and feeling house bound, etc. etc. so now I dream of city living. I want to just walk out of my building with no responsibility, food shop one bag at a time, sip coffee at the local Starbucks, know the vendors at the hardware store and chat it up with the local restaurant owners.
Yesterday I was cruising the aisles of the local "Christmas Tree Shop" in Somerville, MA. My shopping cart came to a complete halt when I found this delectable package of giant marshmallows! Our Kidlets love to toast marshmallows over a blazing fire in or fireplace ( with us closely hovering) but soon (at least I hope) it will become too warm for this fun pastime. After a few more fires, it will be time for us to clean out the fireplace and get it ready for next Fall.