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.





Wednesday, August 15, 2018

3rd Annual End of the Summer Party at the Lexington Community Center!



Join us for our 3rd Annual End of the Summer Party at the Lexington Community Center
Friday, August 17, 5:30 - 10:00 PM
  • There will be food trucks and dessert (for purchase)
  • inflatable obstacle courses
  • outdoor yard games
  • police and fire trucks
  • raffles
  • giveaways
  • a family friendly movie to close the night
  • and much more!
Address:

Lexington Community Center
39 Marrett Road
LexingtonMA 02421



https://www.lexingtonma.gov/ for more information



Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Downsizing Mistakes to Avoid As Lexington MA Homeowner

Is it time to downsize your Lexington MA home?
If you are ready to sell your home and downsize to a home that better fits your needs in the Lexington MA real estate market, I am here to help! As your Lexington real estate agent, I can help you sell and buy simultaneously. Here's how to avoid the most common downsizing mistakes:

1.  Waiting too long. Why wait to move into a home that makes more sense for you?
2.  Giving your kids storage space. If your kids have moved out, it’s time for their belongings to go with them. 
3.  Assuming furniture will fit in the new home. Be sure to measure the rooms in your new house before moving all your furniture!
4.  Focusing on the loss. Take photos of what’s hardest to leave. Find new homes for your belongings. Focus on how refreshing it feels to let go rather than the loss. Memories never fade.

When ready to sell and buy in the Lexington real estate market, contact me, your Lexington real estate agent! I am here and ready to help!

Theresa D'Antuono

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Lexington Empow Open House



OPEN HOUSE
Join Empow for a tour of their Lexington Studio on Saturday August 11! Check out the space and a showcase of projects made by their students. Computer stations will be set up to let kids try out some of the curriculum. This is the perfect time to get all your questions answered about their programs, transportation options, curriculum, and more! Please register for how many people (parents, kids, etc.) will be attending the event. Kids can not be dropped off for this event.
This is an event for families with children in 2nd to 8th grade who are interested in STEM education through our after school program, weekday and weekend classes, summer camps, and birthday parties. Registration for all programs is open now!
LOCATION: Empow Studios STEM Enrichment Center - Lexington
1776 Massachusetts Avenue Lexington, MA 02420 



WHEN: Saturday, August 11 from 3:30pm-5:30pm


Visit EMPOW for more information on their events and programs.





Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Lexington Historical Society Upcoming Events



Stories In Stone

Fridays in July and August, 11 AM, Buckman Tavern

Explore the Old Burying Ground with us in a new tour! Walk through over three centuries of Lexington's past. The Old Burying Ground contains some of the most beautiful gravestone art in New England, and even has stones signed by their carvers! Discover how mortuary art has changed over time here, and meet some of Lexington's most famous inhabitants along the way. 

$5/adult, 16 & under FREE. Buy tickets at Buckman Tavern.

Wicked Revelry

Saturday, August 11, 7:00 PM at the Depot

Back by popular demand!

Join us for a night in the 18th century underworld with a bawdy singalong and a presentation of The Beggar’s Opera, the first modern comedy musical from 1728! Follow the infamous highwayman Macheath as he tries to dodge his wife’s greedy family and the other ladies he abandoned along the way. Abridged by Diane Taraz, founder of the LHS Colonial Singers.

Admission includes 18th century snacks and non-alcoholic beverages. Cash bar - try a glass of authentic Peachum's Punch!

$15 Members, $20 nonmembers.​
This is a 21+ event.

Visit the Lexington Historical Society website for more information and events.