Friday, April 27, 2012

Nationwide Open House Weekend

Potential home buyers rely on open houses to help them find the home of their dreams. This weekend buyers can have a greater chance of doing just that during Realtor® Nationwide Open House Weekend, which is organized by state and local Realtor® associations across the country. This Saturday and Sunday, April 28-29, Realtors® from coast to coast will host thousands of open houses while engaging consumers on the benefits of homeownership and bringing buyers and sellers together.
Lexington Massachusetts is participating in this event. Look for local open houses this weekend or check with your REALTOR.
“Realtor® Nationwide Open House is a fantastic opportunity for those interested in homeownership to connect with a Realtor® who can offer expert guidance and advice on the home buying process,” said National Association of Realtors® President Moe Veissi, broker-owner of Veissi & Associates Inc., in Miami. “During the weekend Realtors® will be on hand to answer questions about the local housing market and provide insights into the social and financial benefits of homeownership. Open houses are also a great way for potential buyers to get a feel for what is available in their local market.”
According to NAR’s 2011 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers 45 percent of all buyers used open houses as a source in their home search process. This figure suggests the value of open houses even in the Internet era. In addition, buyers in the Northeast region are significantly more likely to use open houses, followed by those in the Midwest region. Women are more likely to use open houses than men, as are buyers who were not born in the U.S. or whose primary language is not English. Older buyers rely more on open houses than younger buyers, and buyers with higher incomes are also more likely to visit open houses.
NAR’s most recent housing affordability index indicates that homeownership is even more attractive now, with affordability conditions reaching their highest level since recordkeeping began in 1970. The index, which is based on the relationship between the median home price, median family income and the average mortgage interest rate, reached 206.1 in January, the first time the index broke the two hundred mark. The higher the index, the greater the household purchasing power. The current index indicates that the typical family has roughly double the income needed to purchase a median-priced home.  
“For buyers who can qualify for a mortgage and are willing and able to take on the responsibilities of homeownership, now is a very good time to become a homeowner,” said Veissi. “And for those consumers, Realtor® Nationwide Open House is a great way to kick off the home buying season and learn more about housing issues and the local real estate market.”

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

10 Tips for Moving to Lexington MA with Pets

Moving to your new Lexington MA home can be stressful on your pets, but there are many things you can do to make the process as painless as possible. Experts at The Pet Realty Network in Naples, Fla., offer these helpful tips for easing the transition and keeping pets safe during the move.

1. Update your pet’s tag. Make sure your pet is wearing a sturdy collar with an identification tag that is labeled with your current contact information. The tag should include your destination location, telephone number, and cell phone number so that you can be reached immediately during the move.

2. Ask for veterinary records. If you’re moving far enough away that you’ll need a new vet, you should ask for a current copy of your pet’s vaccinations. You also can ask for your pet’s medical history to give to your new vet, although that can normally be faxed directly to the new medical-care provider upon request. Depending on your destination, your pet may need additional vaccinations, medications, and health certificates. Have your current vet's phone number handy in case of an emergency, or in case your new vet would like more information about your pet.

3. Keep medications and food on hand. Keep at least one week’s worth of food and medication with you in case of an emergency. Vets can’t write a prescription without a prior doctor/patient relationship, which can cause delays if you need medication right away. You may want to ask for an extra prescription refill before you move. The same preparation should be taken with special therapeutic foods — purchase an extra supply in case you can't find the food right away in your new area.

4. Seclude your pet from chaos. Pets can feel vulnerable on moving day. Keep them in a safe, quiet, well-ventilated place, such as the bathroom, on moving day with a “Do Not Disturb! Pets Inside!” sign posted on the door. There are many light, collapsible travel crates on the market if you choose to buy one. However, make sure your pet is familiar with the new crate before moving day by gradually introducing him or her to the crate before your trip. Be sure the crate is well-ventilated and sturdy enough for stress-chewers; otherwise, a nervous pet could escape.

5. Prepare a first aid kit. First aid is not a substitute for emergency veterinary care, but being prepared and knowing basic first aid could save your pet's life. A few recommended supplies: Your veterinarian's phone number, gauze to wrap wounds or to muzzle your pet, adhesive tape for bandages, non-stick bandages, towels, and hydrogen peroxide (3 percent). You can use a door, board, blanket or floor mat as an emergency stretcher and a soft cloth, rope, necktie, leash, or nylon stocking for an emergency muzzle.

6. Play it safe in the car. It’s best to travel with your dog in a crate; second-best is to use a restraining harness. When it comes to cats, it’s always best for their safety and yours to use a well-ventilated carrier in the car. Secure the crate or carrier with a seat belt and provide your pet with familiar toys. Never keep your pet in the open bed of a truck or the storage area of a moving van. In any season, a pet left alone in a parked vehicle is vulnerable to injury and theft. If you’ll be using overnight lodging, plan ahead by searching for pet-friendly hotels. Have plenty of kitty litter and plastic bags on hand, and keep your pet on its regular diet and eating schedule.

7. Get ready for takeoff. When traveling by air, check with the airline about any pet requirements or restrictions to be sure you’ve prepared your pet for a safe trip. Some airlines will allow pets in the cabin, depending on the animal’s size, but you’ll need to purchase a special airline crate that fits under the seat in front of you. Give yourself plenty of time to work out any arrangements necessary including consulting with your veterinarian and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. If traveling is stressful for your pet, consult your veterinarian about ways that might lessen the stress of travel.

8. Find a new veterinary clinic and emergency hospital. Before you move, ask your vet to recommend a doctor in your new locale. Talk to other pet owners when visiting the new community, and call the state veterinary medical association (VMA) for veterinarians in your location. When choosing a new veterinary hospital, ask for an impromptu tour; kennels should be kept clean at all times, not just when a client’s expected. You may also want to schedule an appointment to meet the vets. Now ask yourself: Are the receptionists, doctors, technicians, and assistants friendly, professional and knowledgeable? Are the office hours and location convenient? Does the clinic offer emergency or specialty services or boarding? If the hospital doesn’t meet your criteria, keep looking until you’re assured that your pet will receive the best possible care.

9. Prep your new home for pets. Pets may be frightened and confused in new surroundings. Upon your arrival at your new home, immediately set out all the familiar and necessary things your pet will need: food, water, medications, bed, litter box, toys, etc. Pack these items in a handy spot so they can be unpacked right away. Keep all external windows and doors closed when your pet is unsupervised, and be cautious of narrow gaps behind or between appliances where nervous pets may try to hide. If your old home is nearby, your pet may try to find a way back there. To be safe, give the new home owners or your former neighbors your phone number and a photo of your pet, and ask them to contact you if your pet is found nearby.

10. Learn more about your new area. Once you find a new veterinarian, ask if there are any local health concerns such as heartworm or Lyme disease, or any vaccinations or medications your pet may require. Also, be aware of any unique laws. For example, there are restrictive breed laws in some cities. Homeowner associations also may have restrictions — perhaps requiring that all dogs are kept on leashes.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Sell Your Lexington Home with These 5 Tips!

Selling your Lexington home this spring may seem like a daunting task with new homes coming on the Lexington Real Estate market each week. However, with a little work and help from your Lexington Real Estate agent, you should have no problem making your home stand out from the competition!

In fact, selling your Lexington home can be a very smooth process if you’re willing to price it right and be flexible with buyers. Since they have the upper hand in the current buyers’ market; they’ll be looking for a home that’s move in ready and a good deal. Your Lexington Real Estate agent will help you determine a fair selling price and how to move seamlessly through the home selling process. Here are a few home selling tips you’ll want to review before you begin!

1. Research- While your Lexington Real Estate agent will provide you with comparables of what other homes in your neighborhood are selling for, taking the time to do a little research on your own will help you prepare for what you can expect. Take note of home prices in your area and what upgrades those homes have to offer.

2. Fix it Up- You’ll want to know what needs to be fixed before buyers begin looking at your home. Having a “pre-inspection” by a home inspector will allow you to fix any necessary repairs so that they don’t come up in the buyers home inspection. This can help speed up the process once you find an interested buyer.

3. Act Like a Buyer- If you were looking at your home as a buyer, what would you see? Are there any updates you’d want to make such as paint, appliances or finishes? Acting like a buyer for your own home will give you insight into what you can do to make your Lexington home more attractive to buyers.

4. Make it Move In Ready- Today’s buyers have the option to be picky and many want a home that’s move in ready. Your home will need to have those key factors that are now considered standard in a Lexington home such as granite countertops and stainless steel appliances.

5. Price it Right- This is a key factor that cannot be stressed enough. Pricing a home correctly from the beginning will help you sell your home more quickly. Your Lexington Real Estate agent will work with you to show you what other homes are selling for and to determine a fair market value for your home. If your home is priced too high, it will sit on the market and you’ll eventually have to lower your price. If you decide on a price that is the lowest you’d like to go, be prepared to offer buyers other incentives such as closing costs or a flexible closing date.

As always, I’m here to help in any way I can! I know jumping into the Lexington Real Estate market is a large decision, and I would be happy to answer your questions and walk with you each step of the way.

I look forward to hearing from you and helping get your Lexington home sold!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Raising Lexington - Enjoy Spring with Your Kids!

By Audra Myerberg – Lexington Patch

Unlike most of America, my resolutions usually start around early spring, when my bulky sweaters give way to lighter more revealing wear. It is then when I realize my workout routine needs to be stepped into high gear and my diet tightened up if I don’t want to be laughed off the beach in my bathing suit.

But now that I am a mom, spring has taken on a bigger and, yes, better meaning. Now spring is about reconnecting and remembering what’s important in my life.

The best way to reconnect with my kids is spending time outside. Plenty of us have people to come and clean up their flowerbeds each spring and fall, but honestly it’s a really cool way to discover spring and bond with your kids.

Last week when we all started to realize this is going to be a very early spring in New England, the kids and I went exploring around our property to see what we could find. My son had already discovered spring's first flower, the crocus at his school, and was eager to see if we had any. Finally, after pushing away last fall’s dead leaves we found them peaking through the Earth ready to show their happy petals. My kids screamed with joy, literally.

Suddenly they wanted to clean out our entire flower garden. Out came the rakes, gardening gloves and trash bags. They even discovered a bee and a butterfly in their cleaning. My daughter got out some paper and crayons and drew all of the flowers she found in our young garden. While having our first al fresco dinner the kids noticed two robins frolicking about in the yard. My son did his best “sneak attack” on them and got pretty close.

It made me so happy to see them so interested in the flowers, insects and birds welcoming spring. I know at some point they will take these first signs of spring for granted, but for now they weren’t and they were reminding me not to either.

Spring is a great time to rediscover your town, too. We’re still feeling pretty new in our area so we love these warm days when we can walk to town, go biking and get to know our neighbors. When your kids see that you are invested in your town and school they feel invested too, and that sense of pride goes a long way. I went online and found out all of the fun activities happening in our area and had my kids make a list of which ones they wanted to do. My daughter marked it on her calendar and my son is already counting the days until the weekend. From parades to library events to a visit to the local fire department, with longer days and warmer temperatures there isn’t an excuse not to get out with the kids and check out your town.

But it is New England, after all, and weather around here changes like my mood (a lot) so always best to have some indoor spring activities on hand. While my daughter was busy changing out the window decals from winter to spring my son and I weeded through last year’s summer clothes to see what still fit. I think we all know the answer to that question: Nothing fit! So we made several bags of clothes to donate and my son got his turn at writing a list of what we needed to buy for spring. Somehow the list included Legos, which I wasn’t aware was a clothing option.

In an effort to keep what little sanity I have left, I pulled up some online clothing stores and the kids had fun picking out some clothes they’d like, which I will get while they are in school. I wasn’t born yesterday, after all, and the thought of bringing two young kids to the mall to clothes shop ranks right up there with a scrubbing the toilets.

So, jump into spring with your kids and reconnect with them in whatever fashion works for you. It doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive, just fun and honest. Remember what it felt like to be a kid when you could finally go out and play after dinner because the sun hadn’t set yet? It’s heaven.

Maybe you should join them and go for a walk, throw the Frisbee or watch the birds. All the things you have to do around the house or for work can wait but childhood doesn’t.
By Audra MyerbergLexington Patch. About this column: A bi-weekly column exploring the triumphs, trials and travails of parenting.

Related Topics: Audra Myerberg, First Day of Spring, Parenting, Raising Lexington, Rediscover Spring With Your Kids, Spring Activities With The Kids, and Spring In New England

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Easter Happenings Around Lexington MA

Easter is fast approaching, have you made plans yet? If not here are some ideas to fill the day in the greater Lexington MA areas. Enjoy.

Friday, April 6th from 6:00 PM-7:30 PM
Good Friday Kidz Night
Puppet Show, games, prizes, Easter egg hunt, crafts, Easter story, pizza and juice. Ages 3-12 free. Contact: 781-860-0500 Location: St. Paul Evangelical Church 451 Lowell St. Lexington, MA

Saturday, April 7th from 10:00 AM-11:00 AM
Easter Egg Hunt & Bake Sale
Join First Baptist Church of Lexington at our Annual Easter Egg Hunt and Bake Sale for children ages 3-10! The Egg Hunt will begin at 10:00AM - there is only one, so don't be late! Prizes, stories, baked goods and more! Bags to collect eggs will be provided. Contact: Adrienne Eaton 781-862-9050 Location: First Baptist Church of Lexington, 1580 Massachusetts Ave., Lexington, MA

Sunday, April 8th
Eating Out
Many people enjoy going out to eat on Easter. Brunches or buffets are quite popular. So if you are one of the many heading out for Easter here is a list of restaurants that are open many with special Easter events. List provided by

Need to walk off that big meal you just ate, why not visit a zoo! There open. Visit Zoo New England for more details.