Friday, November 28, 2014

Citizens for Lexington Conservation: 2nd Annual Turkey Trot Walk

WHEN: Sunday November 60

TIME: 1:00PM-3:00PM

CONTACT: Walk Leader: Keith Ohmart   781-862-6216

Join us to walk off those turkey leftovers as we explore the Cranberry Hill Conservation area and the adjacent watershed lands of the Cambridge Watershed Authority. Along the way we will enjoy some of the best vistas as well as one of the largest and best-preserved fieldstone foundations to be found in Lexington.

We will hike in all but steady rain. Wear appropriate footgear for hilly woods trails and actual weather conditions. Hiking poles would be useful, especially if the ground is frozen. Meet Walk Leader at the end of parking lot C in the Cranberry Hill Office Complex. The entrance to the office park is on Massachusetts Avenue, just south of Marrett Road.

Maps of conservation lands can be found at

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

12 Hacks to Make Your For-Sale Home Look and Smell Pet-Free

Do you refer to your pet as one of your children, without irony? Me, too. This unconditional love is not a sentiment all who visit my home share, particularly if they stand up from my couch and discover their once-black pants are now covered in beautiful (and trendy!) tan-and-brown ombre doggie fur.

If you’re putting your Lexington home on the market, owning a dog or cat could deter buyers or reduce offer amounts. There’s no amount of money that could persuade me to banish my mutt while I entertain guests this holiday season — or put my home on the market and show it — so I’m happy to use these easy tricks and tips to help take care of pet odors, messes and damage.

It’s Not Called Furrrrniture
1. Rubber Glove Treatment: Rub a damp rubber glove over furniture, and static electricity will help remove fur quite easily. (Tip via Real Simple)

2. Duct Tape Solves Everything: I could use about 15 lint rollers to pick up fur from my couch or car seats, or I could go heavy duty and wrap duct tape, sticky side up, on a paint roller for a stronger version of the same concept. (Tip via Family Handyman)

3. Squeegee Power: Sometimes vacuuming is no match for the fur buried deep down in the living room rug. Amazingly, a window squeegee can do the trick instead. (Tip via Lifehacker)
Prevention Is the Best Medicine … Or Something Like That

4. Better Bitter: To stop dogs and cats from chewing on furniture or — zzzzt! — power cords, you can purchase Bitter Apple spray, or make your own by mixing white wine vinegar and apple cider vinegar.

5. Stick ‘Em Up: This special double-stick tape will annoy cats enough to make them avoid using your furniture as a scratch pad. (We imagine regular double stick tape would do the trick, too.)

6. Leave the Mud Outside: I’ve always kept Wet Wipes in my entryway, to wipe the dog’s paws when we come in from a muddy day. This Paw Plunger looks even more effective (and kinda fun to use).

Eau de Kennel
7. Smell Check: Before you sell your home or have special guests over, you might want to invite over a close, exceptionally honest friend who can tell you if your home smells like wet dog or a very well-decorated litter box. You need the friend, because it won’t smell bad to you at all anymore.

8. Clean Those Rugs, And Clean Them Again: Like your mom always told you, baking soda does wonders for odors. Sprinkle it on any urine stains on rugs. You can also use a black light to find old stains you never knew about or thought you’d taken care of. (Tip via Care2 and Petslady)

9. Litter on the Bar-B: Add a sprinkle of activated charcoal to the litter box to absorb smells. (Tip via ehow)

10. Clean Ears = Happy Noses: If your dog is prone to stinky ears, clean them regularly with a solution of vinegar and alcohol. This will do wonders for the smell of the whole house, too. (Tip via ehow)

Pets? What Pets?
11. Trunk No-Show: The internet is flooded with instructions on how to customize old trunks, new Ikea storage units, and built-in cabinets into excellent litter box and dog crate camouflage.

12. Play Date: When in doubt of your pets’ behavior or your visitors/buyers preferences, consider asking a friend or neighbor to have them over to play for a little while. If you’re selling your home, make sure you also put away pet toys and pet photos. You shouldn’t lie to potential buyers about furry creatures living there, but you don’t want any unnecessary reminders around either. (Tip via

Taken from: 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

5 Prices That Are Rising This Fall

Brace yourself for sticker shock this fall! Here are five common expenses that are on the rise, and tips for minimizing the monetary bite.

1. Grocery staples
You’ve likely seen the headlines: expect hikes this this fall on everything from oranges, bacon and milk to cheese, butter, chocolate and more.
What to do: Start by clipping coupons — studies show that the average family can save up to $1,000 per year. Also give generic brands and private labels a try. A family that spends $100 per week on groceries could save up to $1,500 annually with this strategy, according to Consumer Reports. Finally, buy alternatives such as turkey bacon instead of bacon, and margarine instead of butter.

2. Airfares
Did you know that the average cost of a domestic round-trip ticket reached about $510 in the first half of 2014? And that doesn’t include extra fees such as checked luggage, fast-track security lines, early boarding, additional legroom and other perks that can add from $9 to $299 to the cost of a flight.
What to do: While some “gotcha” charges are unavoidable, airline-affiliated credit cards that offer benefits such as discounts on in-flight entertainment, meals and more can translate into big savings. You should also buy your ticket about six weeks in advance for the biggest savings.

3. Clothing
As the economy recovers, apparel demand is rising, yet supplies are tight. Plus, we’ve been up against some of the worst weather patterns since the 1930s, and cotton crops have been totally destroyed. Given that nearly three-quarters of all garments sold in the United States contain cotton, prices have risen — up about 5-8 percent this year — and are expected to continue increasing.
What to do: Shop consignment, and dig deep into your own closets — and even your friends’ closets. Clothing swaps are big right now. They’re a great way to declutter your closet and update your wardrobe, all while hanging out with your favorite people.

4. Homes

Not only are prices on the rise, but so are mortgage rates. Zillow’s chief economist, Stan Humphries, predicts rates will rise from their current level of just below 4 percent to 5 percent by the end of 2015.
What to do: If you’re on the fence about buying a home, think about entering the Lexington market sooner rather than later. After all, waiting can be costly. Even a small, 1-percent increase in rates reduces your purchasing power by a whopping 11 percent.
To put this into further perspective: if you could afford a loan of $400,000 at a rate of 4 percent, an increase to 5 percent would mean you could afford a loan of just $356,000.

5. Electricity rates
While electricity rates vary widely from one state to the next, the reality is that due to more stringent regulation and other factors, they’ve been rising just about everywhere over the past decade, jumping by the double digits in many states, even after accounting for inflation.

And there’s no end in sight. In fact, National Grid recently warned its customers that they should expect their electricity bills to be as much as 37 percent higher than last year – starting in November.

What to do: Your home’s biggest electricity guzzler is air conditioning and heating, accounting for as much as half of your energy bill. Make sure your systems are running at their highest efficiency by having annual professional cleanings and checkups. Schedule a service call now.
In the meantime, become as energy efficient as possible. Steps such as installing programmable thermostats, lowering the temperature when you go to bed, or using a high-efficiency furnace or boiler can reduce your bill by 10-30 percent. Sourced:

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Prepare Your Lexington, MA Home For Winter!

We lost an hour of daylight, we saw our first snowflakes, and the holidays will quickly be upon us here in Lexington, MA. As your Lexington real estate agent, it’s my recommendation that you prepare your Lexington home for winter now, before it’s too dark and cold!

To help you along, here is a checklist:
  • Clean your gutters. Fall foliage is beautiful this time of year, but when the leaves clog up your gutters, problems could arise later. Clear out your gutters by climbing up a ladder and doing it yourself, or hire someone to do it. You’ll be glad come spring!
  • Clear the outdoors. The longer you leave your patio furniture out, the more likely it is that it’ll rust or break with each morning frost. Now is the time to clean and store it away, or at least cover it up. Remove hoses before they freeze, and store garden supplies and grills as well. It’s time for the patio to hibernate!
  • Prepare your windows. Walk around your house with a candle and notice where the candle blows from a draft. Windows are a common culprit, so get ready to caulk holes or to add weatherstripping or plastic around the windows. You could also replace your thin summer curtains with a heavier winter material.
  • Get your fireplace ready. If you have a fireplace, chances are, you’re going to want to use it this winter! Now is the time to clear out the fireplace of last year’s ashes and leftover wood, and to stock up with new wood for this year. You should consider having the chimney cleaned out as well.
  • Stock up for winter. Now is a much better time to go shopping for winter supplies than after the first major snowfall, or after freezing temperatures hit. Stock up on salt for your sidewalks, shovels, extra blankets, canned food, wood for the fireplace, heavy curtains, and anything else you can think of. Check to see if your snow blower needs maintenance, too.
These are some great tips to get you started on winter preparations around your Lexington, MA home. But winter hasn’t arrived yet! This fall is actually a great time to buy a Lexington home or to sell your Lexington home. When you’re ready to achieve your real estate goals in the Lexington real estate market, contact me, your Lexington real estate agent!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Election Day in Lexington

Today, Tuesday, November 4 

Below are important links and information for Lexington.

Election Results

Precincts & Poll Addresses
Voter Registration Status - Link to find your voter registration information
Voter Registration
 - Download a Voter Registration Form

The Town Clerk administers elections and election-related processes and functions. The Registrars of Voters, appointed by the Board of Selectmen, oversee voter registration and voter records.  Election administration is managed by the Town Clerk and staff of the Town Clerk's office. The Registrars assist the Town Clerk's office in promoting voter registration, maintaining voter registration, certifying signatures on nomination papers and petitions, issuing party enrollment certificates, certifying absentee voter applications, investigating challenges to local nomination papers, conducting recounts, and assisting in the preparation of the street list.

General Duties and Administration
The Town Clerk administers nomination and election processes, registers voters, conducts the annual municipal census and certifies applications and documents for veterans' bonuses. The Town Clerk also verifies residences, prepares and provides statistics on elections and census, and provides general assistance for citizens, political parties and members of the press.
The Town Clerk conducts all presidential primaries, state primaries, state, presidential, and Town elections. The responsibilities of the Town Clerk include:
  • voter registration
  • supplying nomination papers for candidates, initiatives and referenda
  • certification of signatures on all nomination papers and petitions
  • printing ballots for Town elections
  • maintenance of elections system
  • recruitment of poll workers
  • tallying elections results
  • maintaining and preserving the records of the election

Board of Registrars

     Barrett, Jean H. (Republican) 2015
     Hooper, Donna M., Clerk (Unenrolled)
     Hussong, Laura J., Chair  (Democrat) 2017
     Warren, Sarah L. (Democrat) 2016

Appointed by: Board of Selectmen

Length of Term: 3 years
Appointments made: March 31
Meeting Times: As needed

Purpose - The Registrar of Voters consists of three members who shall represent the two leading political parties of the Town; however, no more than two members may be from the same party. The Town Clerk need not be enrolled in a political party. While the Board's original purpose was to verify the accuracy and validity of elections, the Board may vote to authorize the Town Clerk to perform all certification functions.
Registrars assist the Town Clerk's office in promoting voter registration, maintaining voter registration, certifying signatures on nomination papers and petitions, issuing party enrollment certificates, certifying absentee voter applications, investigating challenges to local nomination papers, conducting recounts, assisting in the preparation of the street list, and being present at all elections as part of the reporting process.

Criteria for Membership - Member of one of the two leading political parties in Town. The Board of Selectmen makes each appointment from a list submitted by the town committee of the political party from the members of which the position is to be filled.
Ref. – Mass. General Laws,