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.