Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas Eve Caroling in Lexington

Please bring family and friends to Lexington’s 9th annual Christmas Eve Caroling event!  Caroling will take place from 4:00 – 4:30 pm on December 24, 2011 at the Hastings Park Bandstand in Lexington, which is located at the corner of Massachusetts Avenue and Worthen Road.

Join in this town tradition that is enjoyed by several hundred residents and neighbors each year who gather to sing an assortment of traditional and favorite carols.  Children will be invited up onto the bandstand with the musicians to ring bells to the final song - Jingle Bells, of course!  Song sheets, hot chocolate, and cookies will be provided to all!  Please bring your own candles or flashlights.  

For years, Hank Manz and Peter Kelley have been helping out with the event by dutifully donating and serving up hot chocolate and cookies for the carolers.  In addition, for some time the Dance Inn has been lending jingle bells for the children to ring during "Jingle Bells" and the Lexington Rotary Club and the Lexington Lions Club have joined in to help organize and co-sponsor this community event.
Email or call  781-861-8772 with questions.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Fun-to-Make Holiday Crafts

Brighten your Lexington holiday home with these clever handmade Christmas decorations. From bright ornaments and creative wreaths to cozy pillows and festive garlands, we have tons of projects that you'll love to help make your home holiday-ready.

Better Homes and Gardens shares 28 cute and simple ideas. Below are just two. Click to see all 28 ideas.

1. Crystallized Christmas TreesThese rock candy-embellished cones are a fun -- and easy! -- holiday craft project. Pour horizontal rows of candy crystals in three or more colors on a baking sheet with the rows flush together. Wrap solid light-color cardstock around foam cones, slightly overlapping the paper at the back of the cone and securing it with hot glue. Do not apply the glue directly to the cone, which will melt. Larger cones may need two sheets of paper to be completely covered. Spread crafts glue on the cones and roll them in crystals; let dry. Re-glue and re-roll, if needed, to cover cones completely with crystals. Use hot-glue to fill in small gaps with hand-placed crystals.

2. Bright Sequined Christmas Light Ornament

These colorful ornaments will light up your tree in vintage style and bold colors. For the bulb base, press a 1-1/2-inch plastic-foam ball on a work surface to flatten one side; repeat to flatten the opposite side. Roll the shape back and forth on the rounded edge, pressing down until the bulb base resembles a marshmallow. Press in one flat edge of the bulb base with your thumb, making it concave. Hot-glue the concave edge to the wide end of a 2-inch plastic-foam egg (this will form the ornament shape).
Place a line of hot glue between the bulb and bulb base and attach one end of colorful sequin trim. Continue adding lines of glue and wrapping the trim around the bulb, overlapping the trim slightly as you work; cut off excess trim. Poke a hole in the center of the flat edge of the bulb base with the tip of the glue gun. Make a small loop at one end of a length of metallic cord, leaving a long tail. Push the ends of the loop into the hole; let the tail trail out of the hole. Place hot glue on the bulb base around the loop; attach and coil the cord on the base around the loop. Continue wrapping and gluing the cord to the bulb base until it is completely covered; cut off excess cord.

Read all 28 great ideas by Better Homes and Gardens

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Tipping Guidelines this Holiday Season

There are no hard and fast rules on holiday tipping, experts say. How much to tip, or whether to tip at all, depends on several factors, including the quality and frequency of service, the relationship you have with the provider, how long they have worked for you, where you live (since amounts can be higher in large cities), and your budget. 

The Emily Post Institute offers the following guidelines for holiday tipping, but also advises consumers to let common sense and the holiday spirit be your guide. If financial circumstances limit what you can give, a handwritten note or something homemade (when appropriate) is suggested. Remember, these guidelines are for service providers that you use on a continually basis. If you see a massage therapist once or twice a year, tip at your own comfort level.

• Babysitter - One evening’s pay, plus a small gift from your child(ren)
• Barber/Hair stylist - Cost of one haircut or a gift (gift card)
• Child’s teacher - Check the school’s policy. If allowed, give a small token gift of appreciation, not cash. School supplies or items for the classroom are usually appreciated.
• Day care providers - $25 to $70 for each staff member, plus a small gift from your child for providers who give direct care to your child(ren)
• Dog walker - One week’s pay or a gift (gift card)
• Pet groomer - Cost of one session or a gift (gift card)
• Personal fitness trainer - Up to the cost of one session
• Housekeeper/maid service - Up to one week’s pay or a gift (gift card)
• Doorman - $15 to $80
• Garage attendant - $10 to $30 
• Massage therapist - Up to the cost of one session or a gift
• Handyman service - $15 to $40
• Yard/garden worker - $20 to $50 per worker 

Happy Holidays (and Tipping)!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Buyer Pet Peeves

A real estate agent's job entails more than assisting clients with the nitty-gritty details of buying or selling a home. Good agents also tour as many homes as possible. Knowing the local inventory gives them an edge over the competition and provides great value for future buyers and sellers because those agents know the market -- their product.

Having toured hundreds of homes (my personally, exclusively in Lexington)  through the years, agents have come to loathe certain sights. They sometimes leave houses wondering whether the seller even knew a showing was scheduled for that day.

Here are five reasons buyers don't want to see your home. (click to read all 5)

1. Pets and Stuff
2. Toys and Stuff
3. Clutter and Stuff
4. Personal Items and Stuff
5. The Toilet and Stuff

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Great Source for Ideas

Winter hasn't even started yet and the kids might already being saying "I'm bored". is a great website as a source of kids craft ideas, kid friendly recipes, game ideas and more. There are parenting blogs,  how to videos, contests, printables and more. Bookmark this site to keep busy during the long Lexington MA winters.
Here is a link to some great Fall Craft Ideas for Kids, Fall Coloring Pages and simple and yummy Fall Recipes.

Have any other family friendly websites you like? Please share!

Monday, November 26, 2012

4 Tips for Correctly Pricing Your Lexington Home!

I hope you all enjoyed your holiday weekend!  As we enter the holiday season, it’s a great time of year to reflect back and remember all we have to be thankful for.  As a Lexington MA Real Estate agent, I’m thankful to be able to live and work in a community that I love.  I always enjoy telling buyers what makes Lexington such a great place to call home and how I appreciate being a part of such a historic and beautiful area.

And, while I do enjoy working with buyers as they discover their ideal home in Lexington; I also look forward to working with sellers who are looking for a smooth home selling transaction.  My goal is to make sure the seller has a good grasp of the current Lexington Real Estate market and the value of their home, and to ensure they are comfortable and happy throughout the process.

One of the main item on sellers minds is the list price for their home.  While a seller has a good idea of what they want to get out of their home; it’s not always that simple.  Here are just a few things that help determine the correct selling price for a Lexington home.

1. Location- You can't get away from this one. If your Lexington home is in on a charming street or within walking distance to the center of town; you may be able to get a higher price than you can for the same house in a less desirable location.  

2. Condition- A Lexington home that is well maintained and shows better will always sell for more than one that has had deferred maintenance and needs work.

3. Desirable Amenities- If a house has amenities that are popular in Lexington MA homes such as historic features, an open floor plan or a beautiful view, it will sell more quickly. 

4. Calculate the price per square foot- The average price per square foot for homes in Lexington shouldn't be the sole determinant of the asking price for your home, but it can be a useful starting point. 

If you are considering selling your Lexington home; I would love the opportunity to talk with you!  Together we can walk through current homes on the market that are similar to yours (comparables), and can talk about what your goals are in selling your Lexington home.  

I’d love to be with you every step of the way to ensure your Lexington home gets sold in a timely and efficient manner!

Theresa D'Antuono

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving Fun Facts

Happy Thanksgiving to All! We at Lexington Houses Blog hope you have a safe holiday enjoying family, friends, food and football! Now some fun Thanksgiving Facts
  • Despite popular belief, the tryptophan in turkey is probably not responsible for post-meal drowsiness. Thanksgiving sleepiness is more likely caused by drinking excess alcohol and eating a large, high-carbohydrate meal that the body must work hard to digest. While eating turkey on a completely empty stomach without any other food might make you a tad tired, when served as part of a hefty feast, the tryptophan's effect is negligible.
  • The first Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1924 drew a quarter of a million people and featured costumed Macy's employees, professional bands, and animals from Central Park Zoo. Today, over 3 million people attend the parade, and another 44 million tune in on the tube.
  • According to Guinness World Records, the largest pumpkin pie ever baked was 12 feet in diameter and 2,020 pounds. The recipe required 900 pounds of pumpkin, 1,860 eggs, 300 pounds of sugar and 250 pounds of crust, among other ingredients.
  • The average Thanksgiving turkey weighs 15 pounds and is comprised of 70 percent white meat and 30 percent dark meat. 
  • More than 40 million green bean casseroles are served on Thanksgiving.
  • The First Thanksgiving lasted for three days. (Wouldn't that be nice!)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Visit the Birth Place of Thanksgiving

America's Hometown Thanksgiving Celebration
November 16, 2012 to November 18, 2012 in Plymouth, MA

Make a pilgrimage to the birthplace of Thanksgiving and watch as history comes to life. A parade is one of the highlights of this annual celebration, which attracts Pilgrim, Native American, patriot and pioneer re-enactors to Plymouth's historic waterfront. Information:

Saturday events include a Thanksgiving Parade on Main Street U.S. Air force Flyover, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; New England Food Festival in Waterfront Park, kids activity tent, and crafter’s pavilion, all in Waterfront Park 11 a.m.-4 p.m. 

Portal to the Past historic village and demonstrations in Brewster Gardens; Wampanoag Educational Pavilion; Living History Scavenger Hunt in Brewster Gardens, 2-3:30 p.m.; Senior Drum Corps Competition in Memorial Hall, 6:30-10:30 p.m. 

Sunday events include edible South Shore Harvest Market in Waterfront Park 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; Jenney Grist Mill Tours, 1-5 p.m.; and all the entries for Saturday.  Phone :  508-746-1818

Monday, November 5, 2012

Voting Day in Lexington, Massachusetts

The polls are open in Lexington tomorrow -  election day (11/6/12) from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. for all elections.  

When approaching the check-in table, to keep lines moving and assist workers, state to the poll worker:
  • the name of street where you reside
  • the number of your residence and your name  
In a primary election, voters registered in a political party may only obtain a ballot for that party. An "unenrolled voter" (commonly referred to as an "independent voter") may request the ballot of any party participating in the primary election.
The Election Official will confirm with the Town Clerk the registration status any names of persons failing to appear on the listing of registered voters. Voters whose name is on another list in the Town may appear at that polling location to cast a ballot or may vote at the Town Clerk's office. Voters must vote at the precinct from the address from which registered. Election Officials will explain options available to persons wishing to vote whose name does not appear on the voting list. Disabled Persons may be accompanied by someone who can provide assistance in voting or may request a poll worker to provide confidential, nonpartisan help. For more information visit:

Registered voters in Lexington's nine precincts vote at the following polling places.
Not sure where to vote? Click here

Precinct OneCary Memorial Building1605 Massachusetts Ave
Precinct TwoBowman School9 Philip Road
Precinct ThreeClarke Middle School7 Stedman Road
Precinct FourBridge School55 Middleby Road
Precinct FiveCary Memorial Building1605 Massachusetts Ave
Precinct SixDiamond Middle School99 Hancock Street
Precinct SevenEstabrook School117 Grove Street
Precinct EightSamuel Hadley Public Services Bldg.201 Bedford Street
Precinct NineMaria Hastings School7 Crosby Road

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Stowing Away Summer Tools & Equipment

We have to face the fact the weather in Lexington is turning cooler so it's time to put away your outdoor stuff. It can be a lot of work so we tend to procrastinate until the very last minute. You can't wait any longer! Plus if you are thinking about putting your Lexington home on the market or thinking about moving, getting these items accomplished now will help you later and you won't have to do it when the weather really turns bad.

Here is a handy checklist to help with the process:

  • Barbecues-Wheel portable models to inside storage, but keep propane tanks outside, covered with a plastic bag or tarp. Propane poses an explosion risk indoors, says Ralph Taylor, owner of Gas & Grills stores in Cleveland, Ohio. Many homeowners keep BBQ grills outdoors, especially built-in models, but cover them. Hardware stores sell plain covers for $15 to $85. Grillfitti in Phoenix offers decorated covers, priced at up to $300 for custom-made ones. Taylor objects to covers, arguing they trap moisture that can rust burners, cooking grids and rock grates.
  • Play equipment-Sturdy, wooden play equipment, anchored in the ground can weather the outdoors, as can heavier plastic models. But wooden play equipment will last longer with water sealer applied in the fall and spring, says Donna Thomson, director of the National Program for Playground Safety. Also check for splinters and sand rough areas. Smaller lighter-weight units, especially plastic, should go inside to avoid sharp edges from breakage.
  • Lawn mowers-"One of the first things I put away is my lawn mower," says Steve Hardison, manager at Mutual True Value hardware store in Highland Park, Ill. Tune the mower at summer's end, Hardison says, to avoid the multitudes who take in mowers for a tune at the start mowing season. Add a gasoline stabilizer to remaining fuel to preserve it. Follow the same routine for any gas-powered equipment, such as weed trimmers or leaf blowers.
  • Hoses-To prevent freeze damage, unhook garden hoses from spigots, empty water and store in a garage or shed. Even drained hoses outdoors suffer from exposure, shortening use to a couple of years.
  • Lawn furniture-Portable, lightweight plastic lawn furniture goes inside. Heavier pieces, like wrought-iron, can be left out, protected by manufacturers' designed covers or large plastic bags from most hardware stores or online. Typically made of vinyl, some with a flannel backing, the bags have drawstrings or grommets for cords to secure against wind. Cushions go inside the garage or house.
  • Potted plants-Pull up dead, potted annuals at summer's end, throw out the soil and store pots in a shed, garage or basement. Otherwise, terracotta pots left outdoors can freeze and plastic pots will wear out in a couple of years from exposure.
  • Garden tools-Dip shears, weeders, pruners, spades and other hand tools in sand mixed with motor oil to clean and lubricate before storing.
  • Pools-Winterizing a pool can be complex in climates with freezing temperatures, says Bob Buettner, regional sales director in Dallas with Leslie's Pool Supplies. Buettner recommends help from a pool professional the first time. The task can involve partially or fully draining the pool, depending on regional practices. Typically, water is drained from all lines to prevent bursting of frozen pipes. If water is left in pools, homeowners can toss in air pillows, plastic gallon jugs or even logs, items to be safely crushed by expanding ice to avoid pool damage, especially to more vulnerable large, freestanding vinyl pools. Cover pools and remove ladders and hoses. Diving boards can be removed or covered. Small kiddie pools should be brought indoors.
  • Paints-Bring leftover paint from summer projects indoors to a basement or heated garage. Latex paints freeze and "look like cottage cheese after they're thawed out," Hardison said. Oil-based paints fare slightly better if they freeze. They can be restored with paint thinner, but they should be indoors, too.
For the full article and more storage tips, visit

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Create An Eco-Friendly Environment in Your Lexington Home This Winter!

Lexington MA is famous for its link to history and its charming town that draws in visitors each year.  Those living in Lexington would also attest that the historic charm and warm community is one of the main reasons they chose to settle in to this great community.  

But did you know that Lexington has another unique feature?  Lexington has a “Green Community” designation that highlights Lexington’s committment to the environment.  There are five clean energy benchmarks that make a community “green”, which you can read more about on the Lexington MA website.  

One of the great things about Lexington’s pursuit of a cleaner environment is that it’s not just up to the city’s officials or government employees; we all can play a part!  As a Lexington Real Estate agent, I want to showcase some ways that you can be eco-friendly in your Lexington home this coming winter.  Take a look!

1. Set the Timer- Set your thermostat to lower temperatures while you’re away from your Lexington home or while you’re sleeping. This will automatically help reduce energy used as well as costs just by programming your thermostat.

2. Let the Sunshine In- During the day, be sure to leave blinds and curtains open to let in the sunlight and natural heat. At night, shut them to help “trap” the warmth.

3. Light a Fire- It’s amazing how a fire in your fireplace can heat up a room instantly! Consider lowering your thermostat on cooler evenings and lighting a fire instead. You’ll instantly feel cozier in the midst of Massachusetts’ chilly winters.

4. Bundle Up- Feeling chilled? Instead of turning up the thermostat, throw on a pair of socks or an extra layer. These small choices to not turn up the heat can really add up in energy savings!

5. Switch our Your Lights- From lamps to the Christmas tree, all of your lights can be changed out for energy efficient LED lights! With the sun setting earlier, you’ll be using your indoor lights more often. Also, the festivity of the season’s decorations can spike energy bill. LED Christmas lights can cut back on costs and energy usage.

6. Stop Leaks- Check all doors and windows for drafts. You can easily seal windows and doors to prevent the warm air from your Lexington home escaping while making sure the cool air doesn’t leak in!

7. Unplug- Not using an appliance? Unplug it! The Department of Energy notes that, even if appliances are not being used, they are still using energy. 40% of electricity used for your home electronics is used when they’re turned off, but still plugged in. Getting in the habit of unplugging will prove to be a smart habit in the long run!

I hope these tips inspire you to take the next steps in making your Lexington home more “green”!  It may seem like small changes, but these can all add up to a big difference as we all do our part to make Lexington an even better community!

Have questions about living in Lexington?  Let me know!  I would love the opportunity to talk with you and help you with any of your Lexington Real Estate needs!

Theresa D'Antuono

Thursday, October 25, 2012

2012 Halloween Trick or Treating in Lexington

Visit your neighborhood Lexington MA businesses to see what treats they have in store for you and your children in a safe and fun way! Wednesday, October 31, 2012, 2 - 5 p.m. (rain or shine)

Bring your children in their costumes to as many businesses as you can visit.  All participating stores will be displaying Event Colored balloons at their doorways.  What a great way to learn more about the businesses in your area, and your children will begin to collect their Halloween's bounty in a safe and fun way.  Check back here, at our web site, for more information and a list of participating businesses.

What we ask of participating Trick or Treaters:

  • Dress for the occasion.  
  • Treats are only given to those people in costume.
  • Look for the Orange/Black/White balloon bouquets at the door of our participating local businesses.
  • Say "Trick or Treat!!"
Sponsored by the The Lexington Retailers Association, Lexington, Massachusetts. 11th Annual Trick or Treating event.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Simple Steps Before You Start Looking for Your Lexington Home Buying Process

Buying a home is such an exciting time in everyone's lives.  But it's not always the easiest process.  There are several things that you can do in before you even begin looking for your first Lexington home to make the process flow much more smoothly.  Below are just a few basic suggestions to begin the process.  If you would like to talk about these further, call me at any time.

1. Get pre-qualified for a home loan – This could cut several days from the process and might even save you from losing your dream home. If multiple offers come in on a property, you could lose out as a seller may accept an offer that has already been pre-approved rather than wait for you to begin the process.

2. Know in advance, how much home you can honestly afford not what you think you can afford. You may think $50 more a month isn’t much but when it comes time to actually pay the bills you may find it is. Add up all your current payments that aren’t going to change and figure out what is left including monthly entertainment and food costs. No one wants to be “house poor”

3. Research neighborhoods. Most people chose their home based on location.  You should check into basics such as school districts and distance to your place of work (both you and your spouse). But you should also investigate shopping, entertainment, parks and anything other places that are important to you.  All of these things should be considered when looking at potential areas to live.

4. Make a list of Must-have’s for your new home and a list of want-to-haves. But be honest about your lists. Often times, I hear; “we must have 4 bedrooms” when in actuality they only need 3 but would like to have four. This could dramatically change the homes (and budget) that we preview. Having a very clear picture of your needs and wants will help me find you the perfect Lexington home.

Doing these four very simple things before you start previewing homes will decrease time looking for homes that don’t fit the criteria. You also won’t become disappointed if you find a home outside of your price range. Again, if you have any questions, or if you're ready to move forward let me know.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Looking for Something to Do This Columbus Day?

Wilson Farm hosts it annual Spooky Hayrides, free of charge and fun for the whole family. Ride one of our farm tractors through our fields filled with spooky displays.

With the harvest nearly done for the season we've noticed lots of unusual activity in the fields. It seems a giant has taken up farming in our field, a monster is rumored to be eating whole tractors, and we even thought we saw a UFO crash the other day. 

Don't believe it? Hop on a tractor with our brave farm hands and see for yourself.
Located at 10 Pleasant Street, Lexington, MA, 02421
Open: Weekends: 10:30AM - 4:30PM
Monday & Fridays: 3PM - 4:45PM
Thursdays: 12:30PM - 4:45PM
Columbus Day: 10:30AM - 4:30PM

Get out there and enjoy the fresh Autumn air. Bring home some fresh vegetables! Best of all just have some fun!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

4 Tips for Buying a Lexington Home This Fall!

The fall season is one of the most beautiful times of year in the Lexington MA area.  People flock from all over the country to take in the stunning fall foliage that the east coast has to offer!  It comes as no surprise, then, that this is oftentimes what draws people in to buy a home in Lexington’s historic and charming city.  

One of the things I’m encouraged to see as a Lexington Real Estate agent is the uptick in the national housing market.  Recently, the S&P/Case-Shiller national home price index, which covers more than 80% of the housing market in the United States, climbed 6.9% in the three months ended June 30 compared to the first three months of 2012. “We seem to be witnessing exactly what we needed for a sustained recovery; monthly increases coupled with improving annual rates of change,” said David Blitzer, a spokesman for S&P, in a statement. “The market may have finally turned around.”
If you are considering buying a Lexington home, this fall is an excellent time to do so while home prices and mortgage rates are still low.  Here are a few extra tips I’ve gathered for those of you who are wanting to take the next step in buying a Lexington home.
1. Do Look at Many Houses Before You Buy- Although you may fall in love with the first Lexington home you tour, it’s wise to view other homes in the area.  You never know if the home across the street is more in line with what you’re looking for in a home!  It’s also good to see the comparables to ensure you’re not overpaying for the home.  View at least three houses before making your decision and, if you still are in love with the first Lexington home you saw, make an offer!
2. Do Research the Community- Not only do you want to find a Lexington home that fits your needs and lifestyle, you’ll want to feel at home in either the community as well!  Decide what you would and wouldn’t like to see in the area in which you live, and make finding the right fit in a community a high priority as well.  I’d love to discuss the various areas of Lexington with you to determine which fits you best!
3. Do Invest in a Professional Inspection- While you may be trying to cut down on costs; this is one you don’t want to skip!  Sellers may not disclose everything about the home or they may have done a quick cover-up fix to a larger problem in the home.  Have a professional check over every detail of the house could save you thousands of dollars in the long run.  You’ll also feel very comfortable in making your final decision knowing  the condition of the home.
4. Do Buy Based on Needs, Not Wants-  On average, Americans live in a home for nine years, so when thinking long term; it’s best to decide on a Lexington home based on your needs.  Some of the items you may want now, such as choosing a gourmet kitchen over square footage, may not be what you need in five years if your family is going to grow.  Make a list of your needs and be sure to follow it to be sure you don’t have buyer’s remorse down the road.
I hope these tips help you take the next steps in the home buying process.  I’m always here to answer your questions or to show you around Lexington if you’re new to the area!  
I look forward to hearing from you!

Theresa D'Antuono

Staging Your Vacant Lexington Home

Staging your Lexington home for sale, may be an issue if you have already moved and the house is vacant.  There are some simple staging tips that can help buyers envision how they might live in your home which is critical for most buyers if they are going to make an offer.

1. Strategically place minimal greenery, furniture and accent pieces with in a room. Not only does this help buyers envision what the room is used for, buyers may not notice a home’s imperfections, like cracks in the walls or worn hardwood floors.
2. Staging can also demonstrate a creative use of space, especially for small or oddly shaped rooms. If a dining room seems small try placing an inexpensive card table and chairs within the space. Just use a pretty table cloth and tableware to take the emphasis off the furniture itself. Now buyers can see the space as it is intended.
3. All homes could use a little facelift. Consider having a professional cleaning crew go through the home thoroughly. A clean home represents a well-kept home to buyers.
4. Have hardwood floors refinished and/or carpets steamed cleaned or replaced. So if a room is empty, buyers can see what good condition the floors are in. Floors are often key selling points of a home.
5. Have fresh flowers on a small table or counter in several rooms. This simple trick brings a sense of “life to a room” even if the room is empty otherwise.
6. Paint the rooms that need it the most. Dingy walls with or without furniture is a turn off to many buyers. An empty freshly painted room may be even better than a dingy room full of furniture.
7. Turn as many lights on as possible. This goes with both furnished and non-furnished rooms.
8. Of course you could always consider hiring a professionally staging company.

Vacant homes can be dim and lifeless, but adding a few pieces of furniture, artwork, accent pieces and kitchen and bath accessories can help bring more life to the home. These few simple tips can be enough to convince potential buyers that they can love the home as their own even if it is vacant.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

10 Tips for Picking the Perfect Paint Color

Why do we find one place appealing and are uneasy in another? Why are we attracted to one color over another? Color—whether architectural or in products—accounts for 60 percent of our response to an object or a place.
The "buzz" about color is usually called "color psychology." But the effects of color are subtle and significant; physical and psychological. Color use is not something that results in a definitive equation between "color and our moods," as is a currently popular expression. Wherever we go we respond to color, but the importance of color is often underestimated. Color use is important to us personally in our homes and in the places where we work.

1. Start Small
If you're not sure where to begin with color, experiment in a powder room or bathroom, a small hall or area between rooms, or an accent wall. If you're doing your own painting, pick an area that's quick to do so you can see your results sooner, and be happy with it or change it. Look at the process as an adventure.
To get started, select a favorite color drawn from artwork, a rug, dishes and an accessory or furniture piece as a main color or accent.
2. Think About Your Mood
When selecting a color, consider the mood of a room. In a bedroom do you want the feeling to be restful and soothing or dramatic and intimate? Soft, cool colors and neutrals usually create a quieter feeling while stronger colors are for drama.
Do you want a dining area to feel sociable and stimulating or appear formal and quiet? Warmer, contrasting and somewhat brighter colors add to a sociable atmosphere; deeper blue-greens and neutrals will give a more formal ambiance.
Do you want kid's rooms to create an active and exciting energy or an orderly and restful feeling? Be careful not to overstimulate your children with intensely bright hues. You may not know it, but some brighter colors can lead to unrest and irritability.
3. Pay Attention to Lighting
The reason why paint stores have light boxes for you to test paint chips: 
  • Natural daylight shows the truest color; 
  • Incandescent lighting brings out warm tones and yellows;
  • Fluorescent lighting casts a sharp blue tone.
So, a strong color might be too bright and overpowering when used on all walls or next to a large window, but it might be effective when used as an accent wall with indirect light.
4. Learn the Color Terms
It helps to understand the terminology used to describe color. 
  • Hue is what we call a color. Red is the hue; blue is the hue. 
  • The value of the hue is how light or dark it is. 
  • Saturation refers to how dominant the hue is. As we go from red to pink, the red hue becomes less dominant. 
  • Intensity is the brilliance of the color. The pure colors such as red are more intense than the combined colors such as yellow-green. A stronger intense color usually has a more dominant hue.

If you want a more active space, consider introducing stronger, more intense color. Even if you want a light-colored room, choose colors that are slightly more saturated than off-white or light pastel. Very light color can feel bright and stark when it appears on all surfaces in a room. However, two or more medium-light, closely related pastel colors can create a luminous effect when used in the same room.
5. Test Your Color ChoiceBoost your confidence by testing colors on poster board or large areas of a wall. Don't be afraid to go beyond your comfort zone: Consider strong, vivid colors or soft, deep neutrals like chocolate brown or olive green as main or accent colors. Or add drama with a stronger color on the ceiling. Tinted ceilings can dramatically change the whole look of a room.
6. Add Depth With Decorative Finishes
Transform flat, dull walls into interesting and personal spaces with subtle or dramatic visual texture and broken color. Burnished mineral/metal finishes and layered colored glazes add depth. Some examples of softly reflective metals are mica, copper, pewter, bronze and, of course, antiqued silver and gold.
7. Walk Into Another Room
Consider walls as planes of color, and see how they interact when viewing one next to the other in adjacent rooms. Approach it like a composition: You're in one room, but you're going to see a piece of another room through it. So as you're choosing colors, consider how they will flow from room to room to create your picture.
8. Follow the Color Wheel
A small color wheel is a great reference tool for modifying and intensifying two or more colors. For example, red and green, which are complementary (opposite) colors, are most intense when used together. You may be surprised at how many combinations function beautifully together, and you may even become attracted to entirely new color palettes. The color wheel also illustrates the visual temperature of a color. Draw a line from the yellow-green mark on the color wheel all the way down to the red-violet; you'll see that all the colors on the left are warm and the colors on the right are cool.
9. Play Up Monochromatic Schemes
Think one color is boring? Create bold or subtle variations within one color group with contrasting paint finishes. For example, use closely related colors, or try a single color in different finishes, for walls and trim in one space.
For an accent color, select a warmer (more toward reds) or cooler (more toward blues) color to complement your main color group. For a quieter ambience, make sure your colors are not extremely bright. White or an off-white tint can be a striking accent when used as trim with a monochromatic color group.
10. Choose Different Paint Finishes
A single color used on walls and trim takes on new significance when applied in different finishes. For example, wall and trim colors can remain the same hue, but use an eggshell (matte and less reflective) finish on walls and a satin or semigloss on trim. The color will appear slightly different on each surface. It's a good way to create a cohesive look in rooms with many windows and doors, and relatively little wall area.
Article Courtesy of HGTV

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Celebrate Lexington's 300th Anniversary!

Lexington's Country Fair is the perfect place to celebrate! The Fair will feature activities, performances, contests and handicrafts for all to enjoy.

There's still time to sign up for the Blue Ribbon Contests which showcase the gardening and cooking talents of your Lexington neighbors, including special categories for children. Judges will taste delectable entries such as family favorite corn dishes and tastiest tomato, and size up the wildest sunflower or oddest homegrown vegetable.  Please click here for the Blue Ribbon Contest Entry Form.

Children are invited to participate in a variety of field games ranging from an obstacle course to old-school favorites like sack and three legged races. Kids looking for a little friendly competition can enter the hula-hoop contest or participate in timed races.

Our “Race through Time”, for kids and adults, takes participants on a challenging journey through Lexington’s history.

Crafters and local history buffs will find plenty to enjoy in and around the Tercentennial Tent. Our talented Lexington neighbors have been busy creating handcrafted specialty items for the 300th Celebration. Bring home one of a kind souvenirs!

Lexingtonians can also share their favorite local memories at the “Thanks for the Memories Table.” Bring your favorite photos representing your Lexington experience to be added to the 300th Image Collection and the Mass. Memories Road Show. The Mass. Memories Road show, a public history project based at UMass Boston, has already digitized more than 4,000 photos creating an archive for future generations.

After you visit our Memories Table, don’t forget to stop at the Scavenger Hunt table with your Passport Booklet - this is where the Scavenger Hunt officially ends!

All these activities, games, and contests will surely whet your appetite, so the Country Fair is hosting a variety of local food vendors for your eating pleasure. From traditional fair food like burgers and dogs to spicy salsa and chips, there is something for everyone.

For your convenience satellite parking with shuttle service will be available.  Satellite parking will be available at Harrington Elementary School, Elks Club at 959 Waltham Street, Cary Hall and C&W Bus company Parking lot off of Bedford Street.  The Shuttle buses will  pick up and drop off only Country Fair goers at Town Pool Parking, Greeley Village, Countryside Village, and  Vynebrook Village.

So Save-the-date, September 22nd, and we’ll Meet You at the Fair!
Click here for a full calendar of celebration events.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Sell Your Lexington Home This Fall with These 10 Tips!

Now that Labor Day is behind us, it seems we’re all gearing up for fall here in Lexington MA.  The coming season brings many visitors to the area as Lexington’s historic charm and stunning fall foliage offer a great way to celebrate the changing season.

It’s also a time where the Lexington Real Estate market begins to pick up as those interested in buying a Lexington home begin searching for a place to settle into before the holiday season.  Because there’s an increase in activity; it’s also an ideal time to sell your Lexington home!  Whether you’re hoping to move into your dream home, or extenuating circumstances are causing you to relocate; here are ten key tips for selling your home this fall!

1. Update your listing photos- If your Lexington home was listed last winter or spring, talk with your Lexington Real Estate agent about updating your home’s marketing with brand new fall shots. Pictures from the previous season make your listing seem dated.

2. Focus on curb appeal- Selling your Lexington home during the fall certainly comes with one advantage: the season's beautiful foliage which can automatically make your home more attractive for showings. However, you still need to do your part to keep your home looking its best. Start by sprucing up your lawn, keep falling leaves at bay with frequent raking and patch up any brown spots in the grass.

3. Appeal to the senses- As the weather cools down in Lexington, make your home a warm, welcoming space where buyers will want to stick around. If you encourage them to stay awhile during showings, you give them more time to admire your home's best features.

4. Flaunt your fireplace- A warm, inviting fireplace is a great selling point as the weather gets cooler. Highlight this fall-friendly feature by arranging your furniture to make your fireplace a focal point. Place a mirror, artwork, vases or other tasteful decor on top of the mantel to make it even more prominent.

5. Think like a buyer- Fall house hunters are looking for great deals on Lexington homes, so be prepared for lowball offers and possible non-serious buyers. Manage your expectations and negotiate accordingly, depending on your motivation.

6. Hire a reliable real estate professional- As if selling your home isn't stressful enough, you're probably thinking ahead for the holidays or helping the kids ease into a new school year. During this hectic season, you definitely want a great Lexington Real Estate agent to take some of the pressure of selling your home off your shoulders. If you are still searching for an agent; I would love to help you sell your Lexington home!

7. Price it right- If you want to grab the attention of Lexington buyers in this competitive market, you need to price your home correctly from the start - possibly slightly lower than comparable homes in your neighborhood. Setting your listing price just right could lead to a bidding war, resulting in a higher sales price for you. Work with your Lexington Real Estate agent to price your home correctly.

8. Watch your timing- Put your Lexington home on the market well in advance of looking for a new home. And don't place an offer on your next home until you have solid offers on the one you have to sell now. The last thing you want to do is juggle two mortgage payments.

9. Beware of TMI (too much information)- Buyers think most sellers these days are in dire straits, so don't do anything to add to that perceived advantage and lower your potential selling price. For instance, if you are moving from Lexington due to a job transfer, it's best not to offer up that information or at the very least, downplay the urgency. While you are obligated to disclose everything about the property's condition, you aren't obligated to disclose your personal situation.

10. Be flexible- We are currently in a buyers market in Lexington so be willing to work with buyers to help your chances of making a quick sale. Offer to pay for closing costs or repairs, and be adaptable when it comes to showing your home and holding open houses. If you really need to sell your Lexington home, you need to accommodate buyers' busy schedules as well. This might mean opening your home on weeknights and weekends. Be flexible!

As an experienced Lexington Real Estate agent; I’m always available to answer any questions you have about the Lexington Real Estate market.  I’d love to talk with you about my selling strategy and how we can work together to get your home sold!

Contact me today to get started!

Theresa D'Antuono