Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Lexington Among America's Best Places To Raise A Family: Study

ICYMI-LEXINGTON, MA – Lexington ranks among the 25 best places nationwide to raise a family, and is the top place in Massachusetts, according to Niche.com. Just in time for Father's Day, the website took a look at the best places to raise a family in states across the country.

Lexington was ranked No. 20 in the United States. In Massachusetts, Middlesex and Norfolk counties dominated the top 100. Lexington and Sudbury took the top two spots, followed by Sharon, the Southborough village of Cordaville and Weston.

In the national rankings, Devon, Pennsylvania earned top honors for the second straight year. Lexington was the sole Massachusetts community to crack the top 25.
The lists were created using information about public schools, crime rates, cost of living and family friendly amenities. Data was pulled from the U.S. Census, FBI, BLS, CDC and other sources, according to Niche.


Lexington received an overall A+ grade, earning high marks in public schools, crime and safety, diversity and being good for families. See how Niche broke it down here.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Cary Memorial Library Summer Reading Program



Build A Better World @ Cary Library
Kids Age 0 - entering Grade 5


June 15 - August 26, 2017. There is still time to Register!
(last day to claim prizes is September 10, 2017)
Build A Better World is sponsored by The Friends of Cary Memorial Library, the Massachusetts Library System, the Boston Bruins, and the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners.
This summer, Cary Library is offering a new way to track your child’s summer reading! Using the Beanstack online software, you can track your entire family’s reading under one account.

GETTING STARTED
1.       Go to carylibrary.beanstack.org
2.       Scroll down the page and click on the “Register an Individual or Family” button.
3.       Create an account. This will be the primary account. Multiple readers may be registered within this account so each child’s reading can be tracked separately.
4.       The program will ask if you wish to register another adult. Click no.
5.       The program will ask if you wish to register a child. Click yes! Enter the child’s information.
6.       Repeat steps 4 & 5 for each child.

REGISTERING FOR THE READING PROGRAM (S)
1.       Go to carylibrary.beanstack.org
2.       Scroll down and click on “Sign in Here.”
3.       Sign in
4.       In the upper left corner of the page you’ll see which account you are currently viewing. To change to a different reader, click “Switch Readers.”
5.       Choose the reader you wish to register.
6.       You will see a list of programs your child may be eligible for. Choose the appropriate program (s) and click the “Register” button. If you are not interested in participating in one or more of the offered programs, click “Not Interested.”
7.       Repeat for any additional children.

LOGGING READING
1.       Sign into your account at carylibrary.beanstack.org
3.       In the upper left corner of the page you’ll see which account you are currently viewing. To change to a different reader, click “Switch Readers.”
5.       You will see the program (s) in which the child is registered.
6.       Click “Return to Program”
7.       Click “The Log” in the menu bar along the top of the page
8.       Click “Log Reading and Activities”
9.       Choose “minutes” or “activities” and fill in the requested information (Depending on which program your child is participating in, you may see only one option)
10.   If you are logging reading or activities for multiple children, you can easily switch between readers’ accounts by clicking on the drop down menu at the top of the logging page and selecting a different reader. By selecting “All Readers” you can log minutes, events, etc., to all of your readers at once.

EARNING BADGES
Children earn badges when they achieve goals or complete tasks in the reading programs. When earned, badges will appear on their account. Badges that have not yet been earned may appear grayed out.

EARNING AND REDEEMING PRIZES
When a prize is earned, you will be notified both within the program, and by email. Come in to the library to redeem your prize!

For more detailed information about each program please visit the Cary Memorial Website



Monday, July 10, 2017

Why You Should Switch To Homeownership in Lexington, MA

Homeownership in Lexington, MA is a smart investment!
If you are currently a renter in the Lexington MA real estate market, this summer may be the ideal time for you to switch to homeownership! If you agree, contact me, your Lexington MA real estate agent. I would love to guide you through the home-buying process and answer all of your questions along the way. Investing in a home purchase is big! Use a reliable, experienced agent to help you.

If you’re wondering why you should switch to homeownership, let’s take a minute to discuss the state of the rental market right now. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that the portion of income used for financial obligations such as rent, the biggest one of all, has hit a high not seen since the 1980s.

Rental prices have increased 18 percent over the last five years! Rental rate increases have been outpacing inflation for decades, and median rent has doubled in the past 20 years.

Common wisdom states that housing costs should be no more than 30 percent of one’s income. However, for anyone working a minimum wage job, they’d have to work 80 hours per week in Massachusetts in order to pull that off! Many renters pay more than 30 percent of their income on rent.

There’s no end in sight either, for rental rate increases. Rates have increased every month of 2017 so far. The national rent index has already increased more in 2017 than it did in 2016.

Meanwhile, the cost of buying a home is, on average, significantly less than the cost of renting! Home prices are rising, but mortgage rates are still historically low, making homeownership the more affordable option for many. On average, Americans spend 29.2 percent of their income on rent. In comparison, Americans only spend 15.8 percent of their income on a mortgage!

That is why, in Trulia’s latest Rent vs. Buy Report, homeownership is now 33.1 percent cheaper than renting in the U.S., on average. Mortgage rates would have to increase by 9.1 percent in order for renting to be the better financial option. Rates haven’t been that night since 1995.

If you’d like to buy a Lexington MA home, don’t wait! Take advantage of low mortgage rates and apply for for a pre-approval today. When ready to begin your home-buying process in the Lexington MA real estate market, contact me! As a Lexington MA real estate agent, I look forward to helping you!

Theresa D'Antuono

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Wilson Farm July Events


Adult Farm Tour
July 13th • 6:30pm • FREE
Join Jim Wilson for an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at Wilson Farm. On select Thursday evenings throughout the summer, you'll have the chance to learn about our growing practices, the crops we harvest, and lots more!
Our Farm Tours are free of charge, but registration is required. Please call us at 781-862-3900 to reserve your spot!


Wednesday, July 19th • 6pm • $125 per person • RSVP Required 
Dinner in the Field is back! Wilson Farm Executive and French Master Chef Raymond Ost has another extravagant dinner menu planned to tantalize your tastebuds as you take in the sunset at the farm. RSVP by calling 781-862-3900 now!

Dinner In the Field Menu
  • Appetizer Fresh Heirloom Tomato Gaspacho Martini & Stuffed Avocado with a Pesto Shrimp Salad & Spicy Rouille
  • Entree: Roasted Peking Duck Chartreuse, Sautéed Baby Kale, Fresh Figs and Foie Gras Sauce
  • Main Course: Baked Crottin de Chavignol with Fresh Herbs and Bacon, Endive, Micro Green Salad with a Lemon Tarragon Vinaigrette
  • Dessert: A Pastry Symphony



Children Farm Tour
July 27th • 10am & 3pm
Children ages 5 and up
Wilson Farm invites kids aged 5 and up to join us for a free, behind-the-scenes tour of the farm! Kids get an inside peek into how it all works, from the fields to the greenhouses and back to the animal barn, it's an hour of fun and discovery! RSVP is Required • Spots fill up fast!
Call our office now at 781-862-3900 to RSVP

Adult Farm Tour
July 27th • 6:30pm • FREE
Join Jim Wilson for an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at Wilson Farm. On select Thursday evenings throughout the summer, you'll have the chance to learn about our growing practices, the crops we harvest, and lots more!
Our Farm Tours are free of charge, but registration is required. Please call us at 781-862-3900 to reserve your spot!

For More information on upcoming events please visit Wilson Farm Website




Wednesday, June 28, 2017

10 Strangest Questions Buyers Have Ever Asked About a House

Long before Lexington home buyers decide a certain place must be theirs, it behooves them to ask a lot of questions. For example: "How's the neighborhood?" or "How old is that water heater, anyway?" Ask away! Such queries help you pare down your options, so don't be bashful; real estate agents have heard them all.

However, the adage "There's no such thing as a stupid question" isn't always true. As proof, just check out this list of the strangest questions real estate agents have ever heard about a house from realtor.com. Cue the “Twilight Zone” music—things are about to get very, very weird.

1. 'How do you keep alligators from coming up into the toilet?'
Michael Lyons, a real estate broker with Lyons Realty Group in Hollywood, FL, has certainly heard his share of concerns about alligators lurking in yards, ponds, and swimming pools. But sneaking into the house? Through a toilet? That left him stumped.
"I couldn't answer that question seriously," he said. "So I made up some weird solution. I told them, 'pour vinegar down the toilet once a month, they hate it.'"
This seemed to appease the buyers, who ended up purchasing the house. No word on whether or not the vinegar trick worked.

2. 'Do any swingers live in the neighborhood?'
While home buyers often have questions about the neighbors, this one was a first for Kate Julian, a real estate agent with City Chic Real Estate, in Washington, DC.
"They said they were swingers and that's something they were looking for," she said.
Unsure what to say, she countered with, "drive around the neighborhood and see." After all, aren't swingers very friendly?

3. 'Does the car in the driveway come with the house?'
Chike Uzoka, a real estate agent with Weichert in Newark, NJ, has heard of buyers asking whether many things "come with the house," from chandeliers and furniture to appliances and pool equipment. But a car?
The only way he could answer such a question was with sarcasm: “If the attorney doesn't catch it in attorney review, then yes it does!”

4. 'Is anyone buried in the backyard?'
Larry Prigal, a real estate agent with Re/Max in Gaithersburg, MD, had no reason to believe the house he was selling had any corpses stashed 6 feet under. "So I joked, 'I’m not aware of anyone buried here, but you can dig it up after you’ve settled on the property.'”
Who knows? Maybe the buyers were worried about our next point...

5. 'Are there any ghosts in the house?'
When Chris Dossman, a real estate agent with Century 21 in Indianapolis, holds open houses at older homes, it's not uncommon to hear creaks or creepy noises. That prompts a superstitious few to pop the ghost question.
"I usually respond jokingly at first that there are ghosts but that they're friendly, but then immediately follow with ‘just kidding,’ because people can be really weird about those things,” Dossman said. "Cellars and basements can be especially freaky, even to me."
Nonetheless, a haunted house is, in fact, a selling point for some home buyers. Go figure.

6. 'I really like this house, but I need to pray about it. Is that OK?'
Kimberly Sands, a real estate broker with Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage, in Wilmington, NC, said she gets this question (or some variation of it) a fair amount, so she wasn’t alarmed, at first.
“I thought the would-be buyer would go home and pray about it and then decide, so I said 'sure.'" That's when things got weird.
"All of the sudden she drops to her knees and starts flailing her arms and yelling at the top of her lungs: ‘Dear Jesus, please send me a sign, Jesus, a sign that I should buy this house!’ Meanwhile, I slowly started inching toward the door planning a hasty escape. I ended up waiting outside on the curb for her to come out for about 15 minutes. When she came out, she was cool, composed, and had her answer: no."

7. 'Do you think the homeowner would give me the house without a down payment?'



Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Lexington Bicentennial Summer Concert Series



During the summer, the LBB gives a free concert each Tuesday night from Tuesday June 27th through Tuesday August 22nd. (However, note that there is no concert on July 4th.)
The concerts take place at the Levi Burnell Bandstand, which is in Hastings Park at the corner of Worthen Road and Old Mass Avenue. Many people bring blankets, lawn chairs, picnic lunches, and games and enjoy a relaxing summer evening of music.

Children are welcome, although parents are asked to please keep children from playing near the bandstand during the concert, out of respect for the musicians and the audience. Children (of all ages) will be invited to march around the bandstand during the last piece of each half of the concert.
All concerts begin at 7:15pm. You can check whether a concert has been cancelled (e.g., because of inclement weather) by calling 781-698-4647 after 4:30pm on the day of the concert.

Concert Programs
Visit: www.Lexibiband.org for more information


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

5 Things to Prepare your Lexington Home for Summer

1. Give Your Air Conditioner a Checkup
Now’s the time to make sure your air conditioning is in perfect working order. If you test your HVAC system today and find out it’s not functioning properly, you need time to come up with a solution before the weather gets unbearable.

First, replace your air filter to make sure the whole system runs smoothly. Clear any debris on or around your vents or exhausts, and clean off any dirt from the main unit outside. From there, test the unit itself to make sure it’s doing its job. 

If your unit isn’t working properly or efficiently, it might be time to call in a professional. They’ll test the unit itself and test your air ducts for any potential leaks.

If you don’t already have a programmable thermostat, now might be a good time to bite the bullet and invest in one. You may also consider a smart thermostat, that does the thinking (and programming) for you to save energy and keep you comfortable. Depending on how often you use your air conditioning in summer, you can cut your electric bill quite a bit. If your AC unit is more than 15-20 years old, you might consider replacing it with a more energy-efficient unit.

If you’re installing a window AC for the first time, it’s probably easiest and safest to call in a professional. If you want to DIY, the instructions will vary depending on the unit and what kind of window you’re working with. Generally, though, you’ll have to install extensions around the unit, fasten it down with brackets and with the upper window pane, then fasten the extensions and seal the unit.

2. Test for Ventilation Leaks
Your air conditioner is functioning efficiently—great! If you have leaks in your Lexington home, though, it doesn’t really matter, because that perfectly cooled air is slowly leaking out. You can call in a professional, but it’s simple enough to conduct your own home energy audit first.
First, look for actual leaks: drafts in your windows and doors. If you do find any leaks, you can seal them up with caulk and weather stripping.

If you’ve never checked the attic or basement insulation in your Lexington home, it may have compacted over the years, which means it’s not covering everything it should. Check your insulation for leaks and gaps. Former Look around pipes and ductwork, specifically, and fill those areas using expanding foam. You should also make sure the attic floor is insulated without blocking vents.

3. Set Up a Barrier for Bugs
Summer weather seems to bring out the bugs!
First, make sure everything is properly sealed. And if you checked for leaks, you’ve already done this. Check the caulking around your windows and doors, then fix any drafts or gaps with new weather stripping and caulking. Spray your outdoor perimeter with a pesticide, along with baseboards, sinks, windows, and doors.

Read all the applicable warnings on the pesticide and make sure your pets don’t get into it. There are also many DIY bug repellents out there.

4. Change Your Ceiling Fan Direction
Yes, your ceiling fan is designed to rotate differently depending on the season. In winter months, it should rotate clockwise to help distribute heat that’s risen. In the summer, though, you should run your fan counter-clockwise at higher speeds to get a breeze going.

Check to see which direction the fans in your home are moving, and, if necessary, hit the small black switch near the base to change directions.

5. Prevent Water Damage
Summer weather isn’t just hot and sticky. It can also be stormy and, sometimes, dangerous. Check your basement for cracks and leaks. Build up dirt or place grates outside your house to direct water away from the foundation. If the dirt you currently have has settled around your house, water will start running toward your house. As a general rule, a grate of one-inch-per-foot will ensure proper water runoff.

Again, make sure your windows and doors are properly sealed and caulked, too. You should also test your gutters. Turn on your garden hose and place it inside the gutter so water begins to run. Then, walk around your home’s perimeter and check the gutter. Look for water coming out of any places it shouldn’t. You should also check your gutters for dips or sags where water might pool near your house.

Inspect your roof to ensure it’s in good working order (remove any debris and leaves while you’re up there).
  • Cracked caulk or rust spots on flashing.
  • Shingles that are buckling, curling, or blistering.
  • Missing or broken shingles.
  • Cracked and worn rubber boots around vent pipes.
  • Missing or damaged chimney cap...
  • Masses of moss and lichen, which could signal the roof is decaying underneath. Black algae stains are just cosmetic.


You can check your indoor ceiling for early signs of leaking, too. You might notice dark water stains or peeling paint. If you do find a leak, you want to call in a professional as soon as possible, especially if you live in an area that gets hit hard with summer rain.

Now is the time to make a few changes around your Lexington home to prepare for the extreme weather. With a few tweaks and inspections, it’s easy enough to make sure you’re in good shape by the time summer arrives.



Thursday, June 8, 2017

Stay Peaceful at Your Lexington, MA Home during Renovation

Are you giving your Lexington, MA home a major overhaul this summer? There’s no better time to give your home the renovation it needs than the present! However, any renovation is going to turn a portion of your home into dust and chaos for a time. As your Lexington real estate agent, allow me to share some tips on how to stay peaceful even during a home renovation.

You can’t renovate your entire Lexington, MA home at the same time, because there would just be too many things happening at once, and you’d have nowhere to spend your time. So, imagining that you’re only remodeling one or two rooms at a time, here are some tips to help you keep calm:
  • Designate a space for your belongings. If you’re renovating your kitchen, you’ll need somewhere to go with your pots and pans, Tupperware, dishes and so on. If you’re renovating your master bedroom, you’ll need somewhere to go with your clothes. Designate a place in your home for these belongings, such as a basement, garage, spare bedroom or a pod that you rent. Add a shelving unit and fill it with clear, organized containers.
  • Turn other spaces in your home into a retreat. If a few of your home spaces are torn up disaster zones, turn other spaces into zen retreats. Give your bedroom, kitchen, living room or office a mini makeover so that you feel rested and rejuvenated when you spend time in those rooms. Fill them with items that you love, and consider adding plants or an essential oil diffuser to keep you calm.
  • Escape to the outdoors. Maybe before you even begin your Lexington home renovation, turn your backyard into an outdoor retreat. Add some furnishings to your patio or deck, create a picnic spot in a shaded area of your yard, hang a swing or hammock, or turn a shed into a peaceful family fort!
For more ideas on how to stay calm during a home renovation, check out the tips in this HouseLogic article. Have you been there, done that? Share your own tips for staying sane during a renovation by leaving a comment below!

Good luck with your summer upgrades, and when ready to accomplish your Lexington MA real estate market goals, contact me. I am your Lexington real estate agent, here and ready to help you buy or sell real estate all summer long!

Theresa D'Antuono

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

LEF Global Party!



Free Family Global Party!

Friday, June 9
4:00 - 7:30p.m.
Hayden Lower Field
Featuring multicultural crafts, live music and ice cream!
Kids of all ages will enjoy the afternoon featuring origami from the LHS Origami Club, face painting, balloon animals, live music from Ethan Rossiter and the Jamberries, dancing and more! 

Global Party! for Parents
Saturday, June 10
7:00 - 11:30p.m.
Hayden Lower Field
Featuring cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, auctions, raffles, music and dancing!
The evening will begin with a "red carpet" photo experience and feature performances by Lexington's talented student musical groups. The event will also include an auction of exciting items and event tickets, followed by dancing to the music of Lexington's own David Moore and the Butler Frogs!  


 Q&A for Friday, June 9:
Will there be food available on June 9?
A. We plan to have ice cream available for everyone as a sweet summer treat.

Is the event for June 9 on rain or shine?
A. Yes! We have a tent and activities will be sheltered in the event of rain, but we are hoping for sun!

Is the event on Friday, June 9 a fundraiser?
A. Friday is all about families and fun, and it's FREE! We will have raffle items and families may choose to purchase raffle tickets on-site.

Q&A for Saturday, June 10:
Are there limited tickets for this event?
A. Not at this time!

Is there an age limit for the Global Party on Saturday?
A. Saturday's event is for adults only. Some high school students will be guests as musical performers and as Student Ambassadors to LEF at the beginning of the evening.

Is the event for June 10 on rain or shine?
A. Yes! We have a tent and activities will be sheltered in the event of rain, but we are hoping for sun!
I want to purchase a "table" for friends, where do I do that?

A. We would love for you to bring friends! This year, we plan to have bistro tables and group lounge-type seating and refreshments will be available throughout the evening. If you would like to secure a bistro table for a group, please view the sponsorship options here »
I'd like to  purchase a ticket for a LPS teacher or staff member to attend, where do I do that?

A. Wonderful! There is a check box on the registration page to make a donation for a staff/teacher ticket.
What is the attire recommendation?

A. The Under the Tent and Stars Planning Team suggests "nice party" attire for socializing and dancing!
What are the beverage options?

A. Attendees may choose from wine, beer, water, tea and sodas. We recommend purchasing pre-paid drink tickets in advance, click here 



Monday, May 29, 2017

Lexington Farmers Market Opens for the Season

OPENING DAY for the LFM’s thirteenth season:
Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Think spring!!

We are happily full for the 2017 season, and no longer taking new applications for farmers and vendors.  If you are interested in getting in touch about providing entertainment, volunteering, or participating in our community tent, email lexingtonfarmersmkt@gmail.com for more information.




Locally Grown, Locally Sourced, Locally Produced
in Lexington, Massachusetts and Beyond

2017 Summer Market Location and Information

Tuesdays from 2-6:30 pm
May 30 – October 31
(no market on July 4)
Corner of Massachusetts Avenue and Fletcher Avenue, Lexington