Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Is Your Homeowners Insurance Enough?


What is covered under a standard homeowner’s insurance policy?

Some natural disasters are always covered by homeowner’s insurance, including wildfires, tornadoes and hail storms. But other natural disasters are never or rarely covered under a standard homeowner’s insurance policy. They generally fall into two categories: floods and “earth movements.”

The first category comprises disasters caused by rising water, which includes everything from floods caused by extensive rainfall and hurricane-induced storm surges to dam failures and tsunamis. “Earth movements” include disasters such as earthquakes, landslides and sinkholes.

Unfortunately, many Americans are unaware that these disasters are not covered by a standard homeowner’s policy, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

Certain natural disaster typically aren’t covered because of the level of the destruction they create, said Lynne McChristian, a spokeswoman for the Insurance Information Institute and executive director of the Center for Risk Management Education and Research at Florida State University.
With these disasters, “the damage is usually so widespread, and it’s typically a total loss,” McChristian said. “Insurance companies can’t price it appropriately to make it a viable line of business for them.”



Read the entire article at www.realtor.com

Monday, October 8, 2018

Why to Buy a Lexington MA Home This Fall

Buy a Lexington MA home this fall
If you’ve been wanting to buy a Lexington MA home, but have been putting it off, now is the time to do it! As your Lexington real estate agent, allow me to fill you in on some reasons why fall is the ideal season for home-buying:

1.  You’ll reap tax benefits. Buy before the year’s over and you can take advantage of tax breaks, such as mortgage interest and property tax deductions.
2.  You’ll be home for the holidays. Buy now, before the holiday season begins, and you’ll be able to celebrate the winter holidays in your new Lexington MA home!
3.  The market is calmer. Bidding wars dominated the summer market, but activity tends to slow down in the fall. Take advantage now and you might have more bargaining power.
4. You could save money. Home prices and mortgage rates are still on the rise. The sooner you buy, the more you may save.

When you’re ready to begin house hunting in the Lexington real estate market this fall, contact me, your Lexington real estate agent! Fall weather is beautiful for showings. Take advantage!

Theresa D'Antuono

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Verrill Farms Harvest Fest


Saturday, October 6, 11 am - 3 pm
12th Annual Harvest Festival & Benefit for Emerson Hospital Pediatric Care



Fields surrounding the farm stand are transformed into an old-fashioned fair ground. Event includes games, activities, music food, a raffle & more.

Water Balloon Toss
Hay rides
Obstacle Course
Pony rides
High Striker
Hay Treasure Hunt
Spin the Wheel!
Noodle Smash
Cow Milking

  • Pick-Your-Own Pumpkin in fields by the stand
  • Live Music by Live Music by The Sky Ridge Boys
  • Delicious food, beverages & more... a la carte


There will also be a Silent Auction & a Raffle of items featuring fun family activities, gourmet food baskets & restaurant gift certificates. Activity, game & raffle tickets are 5 tickets for $10 or 12 for $20.

Proceeds from ticket sales and food purchases are used by Emerson Hospital's Pediatric Intervention 

Team to create and distribute age appropriate kits to all children entering the Hospital. The kits are used to help both children and families manage and cope successfully with the hospital experience.

Tickets for games and activities can be purchased at the festival for $2 each or 12 for $20. Entry to Festival is free.

Proceeds from activity, game & raffle tickets, as well as food purchases, go to Emerson Hospital's Pediatric Intervention Team to provide Coping Kits for children at the hospital.

Rain Date October 13



Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Minuteman Bikeway 25th Anniversary


Come celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Minuteman Commuter Bikeway on Saturday, September 29, 2018, when Arlington, Lexington, and Bedford will host a tri-town celebration of the popular rail-trail.  The bikeway was completed and dedicated by the three towns during 1992-93, and its success has inspired countless rail-trail and pathway projects in New England and beyond.  As we celebrate the past 25 years of Going Places on the Minuteman Bikeway, we look forward to an even better trail that is part of a robust regional bicycle transportation network.  
 
Community celebrations will be held simultaneously along the bikeway in all three towns from 11 am to 3 pm on September 29.  You are welcome to visit as many activities as you like in Arlington Center (Whittemore Park), Lexington Center (Visitors' Center lawn), and Bedford (near the Bikeway Source), as well as along the bikeway.  Each location will feature conversations with local bicycle enthusiasts and bikeway representatives, information about current and future bicycling initiatives, and light refreshments.  Planning is underway for special visual art and musical interludes along the path. 

Of course, the best way to celebrate the bikeway's success is to get out and enjoy it by foot, bicycle, skates, or wheelchair!  We look forward to celebrating "Minuteman Bikeway Day" with everyone on September 29.

Curious about the the bikeway and its history? Visit MinutemanBikeway.org and watch the special 25th Anniversary video


Wednesday, September 19, 2018

What is an Energy Efficient Mortgage?


If you’re in the market for a new Lexington home, there’s a way to save the environment and some cash at the same time: Consider a “green” mortgage.

An energy-efficient mortgage (EEM), the umbrella term for these types of loans, allows buyers to fold expenses for energy-saving home improvements into their mortgage.

EMs are an option if you’re buying or building a home and you want to add energy-efficient features, if you’re refinancing a mortgage for a home you already own and want to add energy-efficient renovations, or if you’re buying a new home that is already energy-efficient.
The idea is that, in the long run, the money saved on monthly utility bills will offset the higher mortgage payment. The projected energy savings from the lower bills could also qualify buyers for a larger loan amount and a better, more energy-efficient home.

And at the point of resale, homeowners will likely benefit again, as the energy upgrades can boost the home’s value and attract buyers in a competitive market.

Improving Your Home’s Energy Efficiency
Green mortgages can be used to finance a range of energy-efficient upgrades, from weather stripping to new heating and cooling systems to double-pane windows and solar panels.
A required home energy audit provides recommendations for energy-saving improvements and estimates of the costs and savings of those improvements. Lenders use this information to determine how much you’ll save in energy costs with each improvement.
Fannie Mae, the Federal Housing Administration, and the Department of Veterans Affairs all offer a version of EEMs. The amount of energy improvements a borrower can finance varies by program, ranging from about 5 percent of the value of the property through an FHA loan to around 15 percent with a conventional mortgage. A VA EEM, available to military personnel, caps energy improvements at $3,000 to $6,000.

Understanding the Green Mortgage Lending Process
While securing an EEM can be fairly simple for the borrower, it can be cumbersome for lenders unaccustomed to the process of managing the “work flow” of the energy improvements, says Tonya Todd, senior vice president of strategic products at Mountain West Financial in Redlands, California. This may be why they aren’t more common.

“The loan itself is easy; it’s the facilitation that takes some work,” Todd says. “Lenders that are successful at this will find a local energy-efficient mortgage facilitator. The facilitator handles everything from A to Z to ensure a smooth and timely process for all parties.”
The facilitator works with the buyer, the energy rater, the contractor, the realtor and the lender to keep everything moving to avoid delays.

“After closing, the facilitator will ensure the installation of the energy improvements are completed,” she adds. “It just makes everything much smoother.”
So, if you’re interested in pursuing an EEM, go for it — just be aware you may have to put some effort into finding a lender.

“Niche lenders do offer these programs and do them well,” Todd says. “However, a lot of lenders do not offer them because they do not understand the operational component, or they don’t have the support system internally.”





Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Breakfast & Pajama Party with LexFUN!


You Donut Want To Miss This! Please Come in Your PJs!


Saturday, September 15th
8.30am - 1pm
Keilty Hall at St. Brigids Church, 2001 Mass. Ave.

Open to existing and prospective members!

Help us kick off the 2018-2019 membership year.  We invite you and your family to join us in your pajamas.

Enjoy free breakfast from favorites Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, Wegmans and Wicked Bagel. Stay until noon for free custard from Abbott’s!

Schedule of fun:
8.30am - Games, Face Painting, Balloon Twisting, and Instrument Petting Zoo with Keys for Kids Music School begin
9.30am - Pajama Parade with Prizes!
10.15am - Toe Jam Puppet Band
12.00pm - Enjoy free frozen custard from Abbott’s

  
Location: Keilty Hall at St. Brigids Church, 2001 Mass. Ave. Lexington, MA 02421


Search For Lexington Area Homes For Sale

Monday, September 10, 2018

Lexington Homebuyers Trade Must-Haves for Good Schools

Now that the new school year is in full swing, are you considering relocating to a better school district? As your Lexington real estate agent, I understand! A new report from Realtor.com found that 86 percent of homebuyers defined their home search by school district boundaries, and 78 percent of buyers were willing to sacrifice must-have home features for a dream school district.

The Lexington MA school district was named the second best school district in Massachusetts by Niche, with an overall A+ grade. We received an A+ grade in Academics, Teacher and College Prep!

If you’d like to relocate to Lexington MA for better schools, or you’d like to buy and remain in the Lexington school district, contact me! As your Lexington real estate agent, I can help you find a home that meets your needs in the Lexington real estate market this fall.

Theresa D'Antuono

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Girl Scout Information Nights


Calling all parents and caregivers of girls in kindergarten and older! Join us to learn more about joining Girl Scouts--whether you're joining a troop, volunteering to be a troop leader, or coming to learn about the amazing programs and activities Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts offers, adults are invited to join us for a Q&A.

Choose from two different dates! Both sessions will be held at the Lexington Community Center (39 Marrett Road, Lexington MA).

THURS 9/6, 7pm-8pm
WED 9/12, 7pm-8pm

Recruitment Specialist Molly Kazin will be there, along with volunteers from Lexington MA Girl Scouts to answer any and all of your Girl Scouting questions! We do request that this event is adults-only. 

Can't make it? That's okay, sign up to become a member and join a troop online now! Secure her spot for fall, register on the Girl Scouts of Eastern MA website www.gsema.org/join, select "Join Today", fill out the girl registration page and click continue. Search by troop number or zip code on the next page.

Financial aid is available for girl and adult memberships. Your transaction is complete when you receive an email confirmation for your purchase. Remember to add your adult membership if you plan to help with the troop.

Questions? Email Molly at MKazin@gsema.org.

Location: Community Center, 39 Marrett Road, Lexington





Wednesday, August 29, 2018

8 Ideas to Add Color to Your Laundry Room


If you have a finished, designated area for laundry, have you ever considered what a great canvas you have for injecting personality into your home? Take a look at eight eye-catching examples of colorful laundry rooms for inspiration.

1. Be bold. Keep in mind that this isn’t your living room or bedroom, therefore you probably (hopefully!) won’t be be spending hours upon hours in the space. I’m also guessing it’s not where you do the bulk of your entertaining, so don’t be afraid to go for a vibrant color if you happen to be a fan of intense hues. A saturated, juicy orange is a terrific choice for revving up the room.

2. Borrow from the kitchen. Take your favorite elements from the kitchen — a floor or wall tile pattern, a nice light fixture — and crank it up with color for the laundry room. This black, white and deep green laundry room has an interesting graphic appeal because of the contrasting hues. The punches of green set it apart from ubiquitous mostly-white laundry rooms.

3. Go wild with wallcoverings. A hot-pink backsplash might not fly in your open-plan kitchen, but why not inject this unusual hue into your laundry room? Forget about what’s trendy and go ahead and select colors or patterns that speak to you, regardless of how bold they might be.

4. Look to the ceiling. Don’t forget the often-overlooked “fifth wall” when upgrading your laundry room. The ceiling can be a fantastic canvas for a fun color. This yellow ceiling really raises the eye upward and accentuates the handsome pendant light fixture.

5. Consider colorful cabinetry. Fire-engine-red cabinetry might be a visually overwhelming choice for your kitchen, but in a laundry room it injects much-needed energy and personality. The colors we surround ourselves with can affect our mood and motivation level, so if you need to get revved up to do the laundry, hot hues such as red can get your motor running.

6. Add artwork. In addition to using a fetching wall color, think about installing artwork and other decorative elements, such as pretty window treatments. There’s no reason why the laundry room has to be a boring, utilitarian space. If you’re going to spend time in there, make it as comfortable and visually appealing as you can.

7. Have fun. I say don’t feel obligated to stick to safe neutrals for the laundry room. Go ahead and experiment with color combinations you wouldn’t normally consider. Color trends are constantly shifting, but paint is a relatively easy and affordable thing to change. Tile is a bit more labor-intensive to add or change out, but if you select a relatively inexpensive tile and the area to be tiled is not very large, you might be surprised by just how budget-friendly an option it can be. So have fun with it and don’t worry so much about trends or resale value.

8. Be creative. Lest all the color fun be limited to those with separate and distinct laundry rooms, here’s a clever color upgrade for those of us living with laundry closets. I love this vibrant blue-green, but if you’re worried about a bold door color clashing with other decor in the room, you could always paint the eye-catching hue on the inside panel of the doors only, or just the interior walls of the closet. That way you’ll get an eyeful of gorgeous color whenever you open the doors to put in a load.

Article compliments of Houzz.com



Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Household Medical Waste Disposal Just Got Easier in Lexington


The Lexington Public Health Department has installed 2 secure containers to allow residents to safely dispose of household medical waste. They are behind the Town Office Building, which is at 1625 Massachusetts Avenue.

Directions:
Drive up the divided driveway just to the east of the Police Station - across from the First Baptist Church.Turn left and drive behind the police station and Cary Memorial Building. There is short term parking on your left, between Cary Memorial Building and the Town Office Building. The containers are just outside the back door of the Town Office Building.



The Red Box

The red box on the right is for the disposal of needles and syringes:
  • No loose needles or syringes - they must be in a sealed container (see below)
  • No glass containers
  • No medications
  • No trash or paper or plastic bags

ALL needles and syringes must be put into a container and sealed before being placed in the Red Box. 

You can use: a closed sharps container, sealed with duct tape a heavy plastic bottle, such as an empty detergent bottle - NOT a water or soda bottle. Fill it only 2/3 full, put the cap on and seal with duct tape.

The Blue Box

The blue box on the left is for disposal of unwanted household medications. 
You can dispose of:

  • prescription medications
  • over-the-counter medications
  • pet medications

You can't use this box to dispose of:
  • sharps or syringes - they go in the Red Box
  • asthma inhalers, aerosols or cylinders
  • schedule II drugs, such as Adderall, Ritalin, fentanyl, Demerol or OxyContin
  • alcohol, hydrogen peroxide or other solutions
  • mercury or mercury thermometers
  • trash

Packaging:
tablets, gelcaps, capsules should be in a sealed container or sealed zip lock bag
liquid medications should be in the original container and sealed
Personal information should be removed or marked over with a permanent marker

If you have any questions, please contact the Lexington Office of Public Health from 8:30 - 4:30, Monday - Friday, at 781-698-4533.