Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Some “Homebuyer Do’s” In Your Lexington Home Search!

As a Lexington real estate agent, it’s my job to help guide all who are interested in buying a home in our community. It’s understandable why potential homebuyers would be interested in living in Lexington. The friendly community that is perfectly situated just north of Boston is perfect for raising a family. When I start showing off the beautiful Lexington homes on the market, I emphasize the importance of being well-prepared during the home search.

Buying a home isn’t easy. There are several factors to consider when you start searching the Lexington real estate market for your dream home. There are several little tips and tricks that I can give you to help you along the way. If you follow some of these “do’s”” during your Lexington home search, I can guarantee that you won’t only find the home you’re looking for, but you’ll be happy there, as well.

Here are four of the most important homebuyer “do’s”” that I’ve learned in my experience in Lexington real estate. Remember, a buyer that is in the know is more likely to be happy with their home after purchase! Follow these four tricks of the trade, and you’ll be moving in to your Lexington home in no time at all!

Do research the neighborhood. You might love the house, but if you hate the neighborhood, you will never be happy. The town of Lexington MA has so many fantastic, family-friendly neighborhoods to choose from. Do a little research on each one and find which one is the best fit for you. In the long run, it will help guarantee that you won’t have buyer’s remorse after purchase.

Do look at several houses before you buy. Take some time and explore your options. There are so many great properties in Lexington to choose from, and you can feel confident that you made the right decision after seeing several, instead of only one or two.

Do invest in a top-notch inspection. One of the major factors of buyer’s remorse is discovering a bunch of issues with the property you just purchased. If you spend the money to get a professional inspection, you’ll be aware of any issues the property may have before buying, and this will save you several headaches down the line.

Do buy based more on needs than wants. We all want the home of our dreams, and that is completely understandable, but you have to think long-term. One house may seem like a dream to you now, but if your family starts to grow or you know that you’re not going to use all those gourmet kitchen appliances, it’s better to buy for what you need. It’s just one more way to guarantee that you’re 100% satisfied with your house down the line, instead of temporarily enamored with some fancy amenities.

I hope that these “homebuyer do’s” are helpful to you as you start your Lexington home search! No matter which of Lexington’s many neighborhoods you settle in or what kind of home you buy, following these four helpful tips will guarantee that you’re satisfied, and they will help you avoid that scary “buyer’s remorse.”

If you’re interested in buying a home in Lexington this summer and do not yet have a Lexington real estate agent, please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions. I am happy to show you any of the beautiful Lexington homes on the market, and I will use my experience in the Lexington real estate market to help you find the home of your dreams! Feel free to contact me today to get started!

Theresa D'Antuono

Lexington MA Real Estate Agent
Search For Lexington Area Homes For Sale
Visit our Lexington MA Resources Facebook Page for Updates and Events

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Lexington MA - A Fun Class at Lex Community Education!

Thinking of trying a Community Education class? Here is a good one to try.....

Memorial Day Events in Lexington, Massachusetts

Lexington will honor Memorial Day this year with a parade, ceremonies, dedications, and a review of some of the documents that constitute the very fibers of democracy in the United States.
It begins with a ceremony at 9 a.m. at Westview Cemetery on Bedford Street, followed by a parade beginning at the old School Administration Building (The White House) at 10 a.m. The parade will travel up Massachusetts Avenue to Munroe Cemetery (next to Muzzey High Condos), at which the Lexington Minute Men will place a memorial wreath at the grave of Thomas Cosgrove (1820-1912), a Medal of Honor winner.

At the cemetery gazebo, there will be a recitation of the Gettysburg Address and Gen. Logan’s orders of the day. The parade then moves back down Massachusetts Avenue to Cary Hall, where at about 10:30 a.m. wreaths will be placed at the Police Memorial and the Korean and Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

The parade will continue through Lexington Center to the memorials near the Visitors Center, which include the World War II Veterans Memorial and the All Soldiers Memorial. The parade will continue up Bedford Street to Harrington Road, where a wreath will be placed on Capt. John Parker’s grave a the Old Burying Ground.

From there, the parade finishes at the Battle Green. At about 11:20 a.m. the governor’s proclamation will be read, a wreath will be placed at the Revolutionary War monument, and Col. Russ Blaine, Director, Commander’s Staff, Electronic Systems Center at Hanscom Air Force Base, will give the address.

Col. Blaine is responsible for a broad range of policy, resource and personnel management, operations and acquisition duties.

The parade marshal is Sgt. Ian Edmonton, a Lexington resident who just recently returned to the area after completing six years of active duty Army service. Among his many duties, he was deployed as a senior intelligence analyst for 15 months in Iraq.

Organizers say the 2000 Lexington High School graduate is one of the youngest to ever marshal the Memorial Day parade. Even he was surprised at the honor, considering how recently he was deployed.

“I was really surprised to be asked in the first place,” Edmonton said. “For me, Memorial Day is more for the veterans of World War II and Vietnam; not for me yet."
At most sites, services will include a volley by the Lexington Minute Men and Taps and Echo by the Lexington High School Buglers.

For More Information

Monday, May 16, 2011

Give Back This Week in Lexington!

As someone who has the privilege of both living and working in Lexington, I think it’s incredibly important to give back to the community. Whether it’s volunteering once a week at an animal shelter or once a year at a big, town-wide event, there are several opportunities to give back to the community when you live in Lexington. It’s part of what makes our town so unique and well-rounded. Our friendly community really cares about helping those in need, and if you have ever considered moving to Lexington, or even just visiting the area, you would see how much everyone cares about one another.

As a Lexington real estate agent, giving back to the community and getting involved in helping out those in need is of the utmost importance to me! There is ample opportunity to give back this week if you live in Lexington MA. It’s National Public Works Week, which means that the whole town is buzzing about giving back, and looking for ways to help contribute! The nice thing about the activities going on this week is that they are community-wide events, so that you can come together with the rest of Lexington and really help out!

These two family-friendly fundraisers will really show how much Lexington MA loves to give back. Whether you go to one or both of the events below, you will know that you helped make our community a better place.

Wednesday, May 18th

NuPath Inc.’s “A Taste of Spring” Fundraiser
Holiday Inn Select 15 Middlesex Canal Park
Woburn, MA, 01801

This event is perfect for Lexington’s foodies! For just a $25 donation, you can enjoy food from 25 of the area’s best restaurants. Festivities include a silent auction, a raffle, and door prizes. You can enjoy the delicious food and fun knowing that your donation benefits NuPath Inc., a nonprofit that is dedicated to helping out adults with developmental disabilities get job placement and affordable housing.

Thursday, May 19th

Lexington Public Works Day
Department of Public Works
201 Bedford St, Lexington, MA 02420

This family friendly, Lexington community event is meant to educate our town about the variety of services that the Department of Public Works provides! From using a Big Belly trash compactor to using a metal detector to sitting in and viewing equipment, the whole family will have a fantastic time at this event! It’s the perfect opportunity to show Lexington’s Department of Public Works your support while learning different ways to save energy and help the environment in Lexington!

I hope that you are able to take some time to attend these events taking place in Lexington and around the area this week! If you have any questions about other ways to give back in Lexington, don’t hesitate to ask me! As a Lexington real estate agent, I truly love helping others give back to the community. If you have any questions about the Lexington Real Estate market or homes currently on the market in Lexington, don’t hesitate to contact me!

Theresa D'Antuono

Lexington MA Real Estate Agent
Search For Lexington Area Homes For Sale
Visit our Lexington MA Resources Facebook Page for Updates and Events

Middle East Funds Return to USA Real Estate Market

Investors have begun to start considering returning to the US real estate market, in a move that has been welcomed by alternative investment advocacy group, AAA (Alternative Asset Analysis). Boston, MA, May 16, 2011 -- Investors have begun to start considering returning to the US real estate market, in a move that has been welcomed by alternative investment advocacy group, AAA (Alternative Asset Analysis).

Reports in the Financial Times about how banks and gulf-based funds are once again looking towards US property as a good place to put their money is great news for those promoting alternative investment strategies, explained AAA.

Isam Salah, the Global Head of the Middle East and Islamic Finance at law firm King & Spalding, explained to the FT: "Gulf investors are returning to the US and the past six months has seen an increasingly strong pace of investment, particularly in real estate."

Another analyst, Lewis Cohen of Clifford Chance, New York, explained that Gulf funds are keen to return to the US real estate market because it can adhere to Sharia Law: “Islamic investors like investing in real estate, as income from tangible assets is not considered interest.”

AAA’s analyst partner Anthony Johnson, said, “It’s great news that Islamic investors are starting to return to the US real estate market after values started to dip in the recession years.

"Real estate investment offers funds a great chance to diversify their portfolios and spread risk away from stocks and shares. As the US economy recovers, so should real estate values and the potential returns are plain to see.”

US lenders working within the real estate market are already used to including Sharia Addendum in documents drawn up for major real estate deals with Middle Eastern investors. As a result, Islamic funds are more eager than others to return to the markets, particularly because it has been more difficult for them to find alternative homes for their cash as any investment would require the establishment of similar Sharia-friendly additions.

Lewis Cohen added, "It is also an asset class that tends to be well understood by Islamic investors – the high level of growth in the real estate sector in the Gulf means these investors have a history of analyzing such assets and projects and they have taken that experience abroad to Europe and the US."

"Investing in alternative asset classes, such as US real estate and sustainable forestry in Brazil, through providers like Greenwood Management, is a sensible investment strategy for any risk averse fund or individual who is also keen to secure an investment that could produce some serious returns," added Johnson.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Spring Cleaning Time

There are few rites of spring more satisfying than the annual clean. For many people, however, the pleasure comes only after the work is finished. Your spring cleaning may never become effortless, but you can make the project more manageable --and even enjoyable. I am happy to share a spring cleaning checklist to help you stay organized.

The information on this checklist was excerpted from "Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook" (Clarkson Potter/Publishers; 2006).

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Do I Have To Pay Taxes When I Sell My MA Home?

“The only things certain in life are death and taxes.” — Benjamin Franklin

Massachusetts Deed Stamps / Transfer Tax

Much to every Massachusetts home sellers’ chagrin, there is a state tax on selling your home. Sometimes called deed stamps, transfer tax or excise tax, it’s a tax nevertheless, and sellers must pay it at closing. For every Massachusetts county except Barnstable and the Islands, the tax is $4.56 per thousand of the purchase price on the deed. For example, for a $500,000 purchase, the seller must pay $2,280 in taxes. That’s not chump change! In Barnstable County, the tax is $5.70 per thousand. Dukes (Martha’s Vineyard) and Nantucket counties charge an additional 2% land bank fee.

On the HUD-1 Settlement Statement, the transfer/deed tax will appear on line 1203.

The tax does not apply to transactions up to $100.00. That is why most “gift” transfers or between husband and wife recite consideration for $10.00 or the like, so as to avoid the deed/transfer tax.

Sellers, make sure you factor in this transfer tax, as well as the broker commission, when calculating the amount of your sale proceeds.

Courtesy of Richard Vetstein of The Massachusetts Real Estate Law Blog

Theresa D'Antuono

Friday, May 6, 2011

Welcome to Massachusetts Real Estate!

Lexington, Arlington, Bedford, Belmont, Cambridge, Carlisle, Concord, Lincoln, Winchester, and other Greater Boston Communities.
Whether you are a first time buyer or an experienced investor, you will find useful information about how to choose the "right" property, making an offer, negotiating, financing, mortgage rates, moving, and everything involved in making an informed real estate decision in today's market.

Please feel free to browse through this site to explore the Middlesex County communities of Lexington, Arlington, Bedford, Belmont, Cambridge, Carlisle, Concord, Lincoln, Winchester, and other Greater Boston communities. This comprehensive online tool offers direct access to the latest properties for sale in your area. Featuring extensive community information, consumer links, school information, free reports, answers to commonly asked real estate questions, and more, you'll find everything about real estate within one easy source.

Interested in selling your home? Feel free to complete this Free Market Analysis to find out what your home is worth. Are you at the beginning stages of selling or buying a new home? Then check out our very helpful buying and selling tips. Don't know what you can afford? Then see today's rates and calculate your monthly payments with our mortgage calculator.

If you currently own property and are thinking of placing it on the market, this site contains information about preparing your home for sale, selecting the right agent, pricing your home appropriately, marketing it effectively, going through the inspection processes, and receiving a timely market evaluation.


Monday, May 2, 2011

5 Tips for Creating an Outdoor Living Space in Lexington!

Spring has officially arrived in Lexington and we’re all enjoying the budding trees, flowers, longer days and warmer weather! It’s an exciting time as we begin to think of all of the outdoor activities in which we can participate and the various ways to get involved in the Lexington community.

As a Lexington Real Estate agent, this is also an exciting season as the busy Lexington Real Estate market is buzzing with activity. Many hoping to buy a home in Lexington have held off throughout winter and are beginning their house hunting for a beautiful Lexington home. Sellers are also taking advantage of this busier housing market season and are hopeful that their home will sell quickly!

However, whether you’re hoping to sell your home or are looking forward to enjoying the warmer months in your current Lexington home; creating an outdoor living space may be just the thing to put your home ahead of the competition or enhance your current living environment! Having a dedicated outdoor living space will not only make your home feel larger, but is great for entertaining or just relaxing with friends and family. Take a look at five simple tips for creating an ideal outdoor living space.

1. Set Realistic Goals- You may want a small pond with a beautiful fountain, but if know children or pets will be enjoying your space a lot of the time, this might not be realistic. Maybe you love to cook and would enjoy an outdoor kitchen. This can be a great addition, but costly at the same time. You can make your outdoor space as extravagant or simple as you want, you’ll just want to think through every scenario.

2. Keep it Close- Be sure to create your space close to the house. It’s more convenient and will be easier than hiking through your backyard with drinks or food.

3. Create a Focal Point- You’ll want to create a focal point for the space. Whether it’s an interesting piece of furniture, a firepit or water feature, this will spark conversation as well as “anchor” the space.

4. Accessorize- Bring the same warmth and detail that you would indoors to your outdoor space. It’s best to accent with “earthy” pieces such as stone features, wooden furniture and natural colors. Of course, you can add splashes of vibrant colors for interest, but keeping it natural will enhance the outdoor space instead of being a distraction.

5. Offer Shade- We all know that Lexington summers can get pretty warm, so you’ll want to offer shade. Whether you choose to build a pergola or merely have a large patio umbrella, this chance to cool down will be a welcome retreat.

I hope these tips are helpful as you consider enhancing your outdoor living space for your Lexington home! No matter how big or small the investment, you’ll find it’s worth it as you relax outside or prepare to sell your Lexington home.

If you are thinking of selling your home this spring and do not yet have a Lexington Real Estate agent, please let me know! I have years of experience with buyers and sellers in the Lexington Real Estate market and would love to help you through each step of the home selling process. Feel free to contact me today to get started!

Theresa D'Antuono

Lexington MA Real Estate Agent
Search For Lexington Area Homes For Sale
Visit our Lexington MA Resources Facebook Page for Updates and Events

Lexington MA Community Calendar

Looking for things to do in and around Lexington? This Community Calendar is sponsored by the Town of Lexington as a vehicle for non-profit and commercial events of interest to the citizens of Lexington. Here is a great link to bookmark.
Have an event you want to share, you can do it on this website as well. Enjoy and I look forward to seeing you at some of these events!