Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Big Expectations for 2016 Housing Market

Do signs point to another housing boom? Perhaps — home sales are poised to zoom to the highest levels since 2006 next year, according to a 2016 housing forecast issued by®.
Gains in new-home construction and existing home sales are both expected to push total home sales to the highest levels in years. The new-home construction market is expected to see the most gains in 2016, with® forecasting a 12 percent year-over-year increase in housing starts and a 16 percent year-over-year growth in new home sales. The gains in existing-home sales are expected to be more moderate, with expectations of a 3 percent year-over-year gain.

“Next year’s moderate gains in existing prices and sales, versus the accelerated growth we’ve seen in previous years, indicate that we are entering a normal, but healthy housing market,” says Jonathan Smoke,®’s chief economist. “The improvements we’ve seen over the last few years have enabled a recovery in the existing-home market, but we still need to make up ground in new construction, which we could begin to see in 2016. New home sales and starts will bring overall sales to levels we have not seen since 2006 and will help set the stage for a healthy new home market.” 
Total sales for existing and new homes are expected to reach 6 million for the first time since 2006 next year.

2016’s Buying Force
Fueling the increase in total sales,® predicts three distinct segments of home buyers to dominate: older millennials (25 to 34 years old); younger Generation Xers (35 to 44 years old), and retirees (65 to 74 years old), Smoke says.

Millennials: Millennials are expected to make up the largest demographic of buyers in the coming year at 30 percent of the existing home market.

“Driven by increasing income, millennials will seek out homes that meet the needs of their growing families – putting the most weight on the safety of the neighborhood and the quality of the home,” according to®’s forecast. “Commute time and a preference for older homes have these buyers looking in city centers and closer-in suburbs.”® predicts some of the most sought-after markets for millennial buyers in 2016 — based on their large number of millennials, strong employment growth, and affordability — include:

Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, Ga.
Memphis, Tenn.-Miss.-Ark.
Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Mass.-N.H.
Austin-Round Rock, Texas

Young Generation Xers: Buyers between the ages of 35 to 44 years old are likely to make up the second largest population of buyers in 2016.

“These buyers have rebounded from the financial crisis and are entering their prime family-raising and earning years,”®’s report notes. “More than two-thirds of the buyers in this age group already own a home. They will be moving out of a starter home into a larger home or more desirable neighborhood.”

The markets expected to see the most upticks from these growing families are:
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, Ga.
Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colo.
St. Louis, Mo.-Ill.
Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, N.C.-S.C.
Columbus, Ohio

Retirees: The third largest segment of home buyers in 2016 are expected to be individuals or couples who are looking to relocate or retire between the ages of 65 and 74. New retirees are expected to fuel a trend in downsizing and seeking out ways to lower their cost of living.
“They will likely put their home up for sale at the start of the home-buying season in March or April, and aim to make a home purchase following the sale of their home,”®’s report notes. “This age cohort has a very strong preference for newly constructed homes and put the most weight on their ability to customize their home.”

The markets expected to see the most retiree buying activity in 2016 are:
Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Mass.-N.H.
Sacramento-Roseville-Arden-Arcade, Calif.
San Diego-Carlsbad, Calif.
North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, Fla.

Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla.

source from: 

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Homeowners Insurance Can Cost You Twice as Much With Bad Credit

You’re probably already aware that credit scores are a major factor when you’re buying a Lexington home, because your credit score affects the interest rate you get on your mortgage. Considering how big home loans are, a few credit score points could translate into a slightly higher rate, which ultimately can add up to thousands of dollars in interest over the life of the loan.

Of course, there are many more expenses that come with buying a house than taking out a mortgage. Pretty much everyone takes out homeowners insurance, which can—on average—tack on nearly $100 or so to your monthly homeownership expenses. On top of that, you could be paying higher insurance premiums just because you don’t have a good credit score (here’s an explanation of what qualifies as a “good” credit score).

Across the U.S., homeowners might pay 32% more in annual homeowners insurance premiums if they have fair credit, as opposed to excellent credit, according to a survey from

If you have poor credit, your homeowners insurance can cost twice as much as it would if you had excellent credit. Most states allow insurance underwriters to consider credit history when determining home insurance premiums, though California, Maryland, and Massachusetts do not. In 38 states, plus Washington, DC, people with poor credit pay, on average, twice as much for homeowners insurance as they would if they had excellent credit.

“It’s hard to fathom that bad credit would justify such steep rates on homeowners insurance, but it often is a factor and clearly can be an important one,” said Gerri Detweiler,’s director of consumer education. “When I bought my current home a number of years ago, I was told I didn’t get the largest discount for my homeowners insurance due to my credit score, even though I had very little debt and a clean payment history. So I can relate to homeowners who are really frustrated by this practice.”

Insurance underwriters generally use credit-based insurance scores, according to the report from, and those scores are based on credit report data such as outstanding debt, length of credit history, late payments, collection accounts, bankruptcy, and credit applications.
There are many expenses that come with being a homeowner, so anything you can do to keep the costs down will likely add up to a lot of savings in the long run. If you didn’t get the lowest rates, consider asking your insurer to reassess your premium after you’ve had time to improve your credit after buying a home. You could also shop around for a new policy as a money-saving tactic, because underwriting practices vary by insurer. 
This article was written by Christine DiGangi and originally published on

Friday, December 18, 2015

Don't Let the Holidays Scare off Sellers

Some Lexington home owners may be tempted to delay putting their home on the market until after the holidays. But there’s plenty of reasons why they shouldn’t wait and use the holidays to their advantage and start the new year with a “sold” sign on the front lawn of your Lexington Home.

Here are a four reasons why selling during the holidays may offer them a better chance than right after the new year:

1. Buyers relocating for job purposes may be in a hurry to get settled into a new home before the new year, particularly if they have school-age children.

2. Buyers who are looking for a home during the holidays tend to be more serious and in a hurry to buy.

3. Some stagers argue that homes show better when they’re decorated for the holidays and welcome buyers in. (Read more: Add Some Holiday Charm to Your Listings)

4. Sellers will likely have less competition against other home sellers during the holidays. The supply of listings tends to increase after the holidays and new-home construction likely will pick up then so home sellers will compete against more homes for-sale.

Source: “Waiting Until After the Holidays Isn’t a Smart Decision,” Keeping Current Matters (Nov. 5, 2015)

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Winterize Your Lexington, MA Home!

Prepare your Lexington, MA home for winter!
In the midst of holiday shopping, wrapping, cleaning and events, you may have overlooked the steps you should take to winterize your Lexington home. The cold temperatures and snow will be upon us soon! Take a few hours out of your day or upcoming weekend to prepare your Lexington home for the upcoming winter months.

As your Lexington real estate agent, I've summarized a checklist from RISMedia that you can work your way through:

  • Clean your gutters free of debris so nothing blocks the drainage.
  • Make sure your downspouts are directed away from the house and are also free of blockages.
  • Put away your outdoor patio furniture if you haven’t already. It could age or get damaged if left out in the cold, wind and snow.
  • Drain and store garden hoses inside a shed, garage or basement. Any water remaining in the hose will freeze and expand, causing it to burst.
  • Winterize your air-conditioning unit.
  • Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Evaluate your home’s insulation, or hire a professional to do it. They can tell you where insulation needs a boost behind your walls or in the attic.
  • Boost insulation where needed. Energy-efficient foam insulation is cost-effective.
  • Seal air leaks around windows and doors. It’ll save you a lot of money on your energy bill!
  • Replace the air filter on your furnace.
  • Install storm windows if you have single-pane windows. This is another great way to keep the cold out.
  • Shift ceiling fans to clockwise motion, so they push the heat down and help warm up your rooms.
  • Learn how to prevent your pipes from freezing
For more tips, check out the RISMedia article in its entirety. Once you have this done, you can peacefully enjoy the holiday season and prep for your holiday parties, knowing that your Lexington home is safe, secure, warm and energy-efficient.

Ready to buy a Lexington home? Ready to sell your Lexington home? The holiday season is actually a great time to do so! According to Forbes, about one million consumers will purchase a home from November to January, taking advantage of softer home prices. At the same time, because there are fewer sellers on the market right now, you could gain an edge by selling right now.

Contact me, your Lexington real estate agent, for answers to all of your real estate questions, and to get started on achieving your goals in the Lexington real estate market. Happy holidays!

Theresa D'Antuono

12 Tips for Holiday Home Safety

As you're sprucing up your Lexington home this season, keep an eye out for these common holiday trip-ups, fire hazards, and other safety snafus.

1. Merry and Bright: Carefully inspect holiday light strings each year and discard any with frayed cords, cracked lamp holders, or loose connections. When replacing bulbs, unplug the light string and be sure to match voltage and wattage to the original bulb.

2. Lights Out: Always turn off holiday lights when you leave the house unattended or when going to bed.

3. Fresh Is Best: Try to purchase a freshly cut tree, as they are more resistant to ignition. Keep your Christmas tree watered and away from open candles.

4. Timing Is Everything: Use an outdoor timer certified by CSA International to switch lights on and off. Lights should be turned on after 7 p.m. to avoid the electricity rush hour.

5. Check for the Certification Mark: When purchasing light strings, extension cords, spotlights, electrical decorations, gas appliances, or carbon monoxide alarms, look for the certification mark of an accredited certification organization such as CSA International, UL, or ELT to ensure that the products comply with applicable standards for safety and performance.

6. One and Done: Never connect more than one extension cord together; instead use a single cord that is long enough to reach the outlet without stretching, but not so long that it can get easily tangled.

7. The Great Outdoors: When hanging outdoor lights, keep electrical connectors off the ground and away from metal rain gutters. Use insulated tape or plastic clips instead of metal nails or tacks to hold them in place.

8. Climbing Up: Using a ladder when you put up lights? Choose the correct ladder for the job and double check for a certification mark to ensure your portable ladder complies with applicable standards.

9. Keep the Gas Behind Glass: Do not use your gas fireplace if the glass panel is removed, cracked, or broken, and only allow a qualified service person to replace fireplace parts.

10. Sound the Alarm: Test your smoke alarms monthly to make sure they work, and be sure to install smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms on every level of your home -- especially near sleeping areas.

11. Filter-Friendly Furnace: To help prevent CO hazards in your home, have a qualified heating contractor perform a yearly maintenance check of your furnace and venting system, and clean or replace your furnace filter frequently during the heating seasons.

12. Clean the Clutter: Do not store combustible materials such as gasoline, propane, paper, chemicals, paint, rags, and cleaning products near your gas furnace. Gasoline or propane cylinders should be stored outside the home.


Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Holiday Events Around Lexington

Holidays at Buckman
Buckman Tavern (1 Bedford St.) will be the center of a special holiday celebration and boutique with the Lexington Historical Society. Visit the Tavern decorated for the season and find special seasonal items at the holiday boutique. Enjoy music, light refreshment, and a scavenger hunt for children. The Tavern will be open to the public two weekends: December 5 & 6 and December 12 & 13 from 1-7 PM. Free to Society members; $5 entrance fee for non-members. Contact: Lexington Historical Society   781-862-1703

Kids Holiday POPS!
Sing along and celebrate the season with Lexington Symphony! Suited for families with children of all ages, this afternoon (4:00-4:45pm) concert features popular carols, sing-alongs, and a special visitor from the North Pole.
And then again from 7:30-9:30pm, sing along and celebrate the season with Lexington Symphony! Featuring popular carols and sing-alongs, this evening concert offers a festive atmosphere and musical favorites that evoke joyous holiday memories. 
Tickets, which are priced at $20 for adults and $8 for children/students -- can be purchased online at or by phone at 781-523-9009. Contact: Samantha Wade   781-523-9009

A Christmas Carol
Come join us December 11 at 7:00pm. Charles Dickens’ timeless classic is a perfect show for the whole family. Join Ebenezer Scrooge as he receives visits from the Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present and Yet to Come and transforms from a bitter man to one that understands the true meaning of Christmas. Contact: Peter Lally   6175311257

Model Train Weekend
Discover the magic of trains at the annual Model Train Weekend at the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library, 33 Marrett Road, Lexington, MA on Saturday, December 12 and Sunday, December 13, 2015 (10:00am-4:30om). This family-friendly event is a perfect holiday-season outing for adults and children of all ages. The HUB Division of the National Model Railroad Association presents miles of track with trains running on multiple main lines as they chug up mountain climbs, past coal mines, through small villages and into tunnels. Some engines pull 50 cars past hundreds of charming venues including icy lakes with skaters, snow-covered farms, and urban skyscrapers. Admission is $7 per family; $5 individual; $4 for museum members and members of the HUB Division. You can call 781-861-6559 for more information, or visit the website. Location: Scottish Rite Masonic Museum and Library (National Heritage Museum) 33 Marrett Road, Lexington, MA

Lexington Tea Burning Re-enactment
Join the Lexington Historical Society on Sunday, December 13 from 1:30-2:30pm as they re-enact the "Lexington Tea Burning" of December 13, 1773 (which took place three days before the Boston Tea Party!). Protest British tea taxes and add your tea to the bonfire. The Tea Burning will take place on the lawn of the Lexington Visitors' Center. Colonial dress encouraged. Free and open to the public. Contact: Lexington Historical Society   781-862-1703

For more events please visit:

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Talking Turkey

Did you know you can call Butterball and ask any question you have pertaining to your Holiday feasts?
Give them a call at 1-800-BUTTERBALL (1-800-288-8382) or email them at throughout November and December.
Available-weekdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. CST (Central Standard Time)

Over the years, the Butterball® Turkey Talk-Line experts have solved some puzzling turkey situations, like which pan to use, what to do when the turkey is on fire, and when to start roasting the turkey so it’s ready by halftime. They also have a page of their FAQ's.

Some Interesting Facts
  • When the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line opened twenty-nine years ago, six home economists responded to 11,000 phone calls in the first year alone.
  • These days, the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line employs more than 50 professionally trained, college-educated home economists and nutritionists, who respond to more than 100,000 questions each November and December.
  • They’ve answered calls regarding how to cook for a whole firehouse, how to impress the in-laws, and how to serve international students their first American Thanksgiving dinner.
You can also get a bunch of great Holiday Recipe Ideas!

So Have a Great Thanksgiving and cook the perfect Turkey!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Shop Lexington First

There's nothing worse than knowing what you want, but shopping too late to find it. Start your shopping now and see the largest selection and have the most choices. You'll come across some great offers in places you won't expect.
For a list of participating vendors please visit:

Come watch as Santa rides a fire truck into Depot Square to turn on Lexington Center's holiday lights

Rudolph the Reindeer at Eagle Bank 5pm-6pm
Singing and refreshments in Emery Park 6pm
Santa arrives at 6:30pm

Still have items on that list? Lexington's merchants and restuarants have just the thing to reduce your stress. Our doors are open for evening shopping. We're rolling out the red carpet with snacks and treats and special offers. Local singers and musicians, on the streets and in our businesses, will put you in the holiday mood. Visit your favorite stores and take a moment to discover new ones.

Whether you are ready to finish your shopping,just beginning or looking for a night to escape the frenzy of the season, this is the night to Shop Lexington. Check out the great promotions and the Midnight Madness being offered. There's great dining for the perfect shopping break, and special offers left and right.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The History of Veterans Day

World War I – known at the time as “The Great War” - officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France. However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.”

Soldiers of the 353rd Infantry near a church at Stenay, Meuse in France, wait for the end of hostilities.  This photo was taken at 10:58 a.m., on November 11, 1918, two minutes before the armistice ending World War I went into effect

In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: "To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…"
The original concept for the celebration was for a day observed with parades and public meetings and a brief suspension of business beginning at 11:00 a.m.

The United States Congress officially recognized the end of World War I when it passed a concurrent resolution on June 4, 1926, with these words:

Whereas the 11th of November 1918, marked the cessation of the most destructive, sanguinary, and far reaching war in human annals and the resumption by the people of the United States of peaceful relations with other nations, which we hope may never again be severed, and

Whereas it is fitting that the recurring anniversary of this date should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations; and

Whereas the legislatures of twenty-seven of our States have already declared November 11 to be a legal holiday: Therefore be it Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), that the President of the United States is requested to issue a proclamation calling upon the officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on November 11 and inviting the people of the United States to observe the day in schools and churches, or other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples.

An Act (52 Stat. 351; 5 U. S. Code, Sec. 87a) approved May 13, 1938, made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday—a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as "Armistice Day." Armistice Day was primarily a day set aside to honor veterans of World War I, but in 1954, after World War II had required the greatest mobilization of soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen in the Nation’s history; after American forces had fought aggression in Korea, the 83rd Congress, at the urging of the veterans service organizations, amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word "Armistice" and inserting in its place the word "Veterans." With the approval of this legislation (Public Law 380) on June 1, 1954, November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

Later that same year, on October 8th, President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued the first "Veterans Day Proclamation" which stated: "In order to insure proper and widespread observance of this anniversary, all veterans, all veterans' organizations, and the entire citizenry will wish to join hands in the common purpose. Toward this end, I am designating the Administrator of Veterans' Affairs as Chairman of a Veterans Day National Committee, which shall include such other persons as the Chairman may select, and which will coordinate at the national level necessary planning for the observance. I am also requesting the heads of all departments and agencies of the Executive branch of the Government to assist the National Committee in every way possible."

Friday, November 6, 2015

Create A Spa Out Of Your Lexington Bathroom!

Lexington Real Estate
With winter fast approaching, how nice does a warm bubble bath in a spa-like atmosphere sound? As your Lexington real estate agent, I’m not talking about going to an expensive spa in the area and spending big bucks. I’m talking about creating a spa in your very own Lexington home!

This could mean completing a full renovation on one of your bathrooms, or it could mean making small changes to create a spa-like ambiance. Not only will you stay cozy and comfortable this winter, but you will also increase the value of your Lexington home. Upgrades to the kitchen and bathrooms, especially the master bath, create increases in value and more interest from Lexington homebuyers.

So, what changes can you make to your bathroom to create the peaceful atmosphere of a spa? Here are some recent suggestions from the Realtor Magazine blog:
  • Paint. Painting the walls in your home is one of the most inexpensive ways to spruce it up and add value, and this rings true in the bathroom as well. If you think about the color scheme of most spas, they are usually neutral and relaxing. Some great options include soft gray, rich brown or cucumber green. Always choose a washed-out, subtle version instead of a bright, stimulating tone, as the blog post suggests.
  • Scents. Every relaxing spa features relaxing scents that you notice as soon as you walk in the door! Recreate this in your bathroom by adding a candle, some dried lavender in a sachet or an essential oil diffuser with your favorite scents. Lavender is known for helping you to relax, so mix some in with Epsom salts next time you take a warm bath. You’ll feel truly at ease!
  • Lighting. Soft lighting is key for relaxation in a spa-like atmosphere. There is nothing peaceful about harsh fluorescent lights. However, you want bright lights for putting on makeup and checking your outfit, so the key here is options. Have one switch for soft lighting, and another for bright lighting over the mirror. If that isn’t an option, just light candles and turn off the lights when trying to relax.
  • Fixtures. The experts recommend either upgrading your out-of-date fixtures for an improved style and increased home value, or improve the looks of your current fixtures with spray paint. Textured paint can give your bathroom a whole new look and feel. If you do upgrade the features, start with a modern showerhead with numerous water features. You won’t be sorry!
  • Coordination. Organization and cohesion are also aspects of most spas. So if everything in your bathroom is mismatched, invest in some new towels, washcloths and a bath mat. Opt for soft and fluffy options, so you feel like you’re at the spa every time you get out of the shower or bath. Choose colors that match your paint scheme and shower curtain so that the whole room comes together.
Enjoy relaxing in your bathroom this winter! When ready to sell your Lexington home, or when ready to buy a Lexington home, contact me. As your Lexington real estate agent, I am here to help you accomplish your real estate goals year-round!

Theresa D'Antuono

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Your Lexington Fall Checklist

Fall is a good time to take care of big home repair projects before shorter days (and in Lexington MA, ice and snow) make outdoor work too difficult.  Take some time this fall to boost energy efficiency throughout your home, and prevent damage from winter storms with proper tree care (we spoke with an expert to find out what you need to do). Tick these 15 items off your list this season, and you can rest easy knowing that your home and yard are buttoned up and ready for winter.

1. Care for trees and shrubs. If you have trees on your property, consider hiring an arborist to care for them — these pros can spot signs of poor health early on to prevent tree loss, and know how to prune properly to avoid falling limbs in winter storms.

“The most important maintenance for a homeowner to do in the fall would be trimming [the] dead out of trees,” says Bryan Gilles, owner and arborist at Arbor Doctor in Calabasas, California. “Trees are going dormant at this time, and are less likely to get a disease.” Because trees are slowing growth in the fall, it’s not an ideal time to plant a new tree, as the roots may have trouble getting established. For treatments, Gilles recommends fungicide injections in the fall to prevent diseases such as diplodia, which can affect pine trees.

It’s also a good idea to observe your trees throughout the fall, keeping an eye out for signs that signal a need for intervention. “Early change in leaf color, pines looking thin and/or needles turning brown, and dead branches are all signs of diseases,” Gilles says. “Ash trees spotting yellow sporadically around this time of the year is a bad sign of a disease called ash yellows, since ash trees are one of the latest to turn.”

2. Rake leaves. Leaves look beautiful blanketing the ground, but leaving too many leaves on a lawn over winter in a snowy area can inhibit spring growth. To make the job easier, choose a lightweight rake, wear gloves to protect your hands and use handheld “leaf scoops” to bag leaves quickly.

3. Clean gutters and downspouts. Once most of the leaves have fallen, clean out gutters and downspouts (hire a helper if you are not comfortable on a ladder). Clogged gutters during rainstorms can cause water to pool and damage your roof or siding.

4. Make exterior repairs. Take a walk around your property, looking for signs of damage to the roof, siding and foundation. If you spot anything that needs repair, schedule it before winter weather hits.

5. Seal gaps where critters could enter. Mice need only a tiny gap to be able to sneak into your house and raid your pantry — and with colder weather coming, all of the little critters out there will be looking for warm places to make a home. Fill small holes and cover any larger gaps securely with heavy-duty hardware cloth to keep the wildlife outdoors.

6. Check walkways, railings, stairs and the driveway for winter safety. When the landscape is covered in ice and snow, just walking from the driveway to the front door can be quite a challenge.

Make navigating around your home safer by checking that all stairs are in good shape and have sturdy railings, and that the driveway is in good repair to make for easier shoveling.

7. Stock up on winter supplies. If you live in a region with cold, snowy winters, fall is the time to prepare.

Check the condition of snow shovels and ice scrapers; replace as needed
Pick up a bag of pet- and plant-safe ice melt, if needed
Restock emergency kits for car and home
If you use a snow blower, have it serviced and purchase fuel

8. Shut off exterior faucets and store hoses. Protect your pipes from freezing temperatures by shutting off water to exterior faucets before the weather dips below freezing. Drain hoses and store them indoors.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Warm and Cozy Lexington Home

November is almost  upon us and the days and nights are getting colder. Here are more than 9 mood-lifting ideas to make your Lexington home more welcoming and efficient this winter.

The dark days of winter can really do a number on your well-being. Shorter days trigger the blahs; freezing temps spark the sniffles. So we put together a list of ideas that’ll turn your home into a comfy haven.

Cozy and Clever Energy Savers

Here’s how to create a brighter and warmer home without using more energy or cranking up the thermostat.

1. Clean dirty light fixtures and dusty bulbs to make your home appear 30% brighter without turning on more lights.

2. Seal sneaky air leaks. It’s not just window and door leaks killing your cozy vibe. Don’t forget to plug stealthy gaps around recessed lights, electrical boxes, and wall outlets. Use a lit incense stick or scented candle to hunt down drafty spots while leaving behind a cozy scent.

3. Replace your traditional gas or wood fireplace. Why? Both suck out heated indoor air and send it up the chimney. A gel fireplace insert is an eco-friendly option that produces a burning fire without gas, wood, electricity, or even a chimney. It’s also smoke-free and emits fewer allergens than a wood fireplace; some options crackle like the real thing. A basic model costs between $100 to $210; custom models go up exponentially from there. A case of gel fuel comes with 12 cans that burn for three hours each (about $35).
Tip: Use a slow cooker to infuse your home with a warm and cozy aroma. Even better, slow cookers are more energy efficient than electric ovens, typically using less energy than a light bulb.

Immunity Boosters

You’ll feel coziest in a healthy indoor environment that keeps allergies at bay and reduces your chances of getting sick.

4. Get plants. Some indoor plants, like golden pothos and gerbera daisies, are particularly adept at sucking up nasty VOCs — the vapors emitted from household cleaners, paints, and dry cleaning. And since plants increase humidity levels, they help decrease household dust.

5. Vacuum while your thermostat is set to “fan on.” This helps filter dust that gets kicked-up while cleaning. Just leave the fan on for about 15 minutes after you finish vacuuming and switch it back to “auto” afterward. HVAC blowers aren’t intended to run all the time.

6. Change your HVAC filter every couple months (monthly if you have pets) to prevent excess dust from circulating.

Tip: Combat superbugs with copper. If you’re planning to upgrade your kitchen or bathroom fixtures, consider classic and homey-looking copper or a copper alloy like brass. A three-hospital study in 2011 found that bacteria can only survive on copper for a few minutes, but germs can live on stainless steel for weeks.

Sun Worshippers

Lack of natural light can trigger a mean case of the winter doldrums — or worse, mood-altering seasonal effective disorder. Maximize daylight and make rooms feel warmer by adding the following to your yearly fall maintenance checklist.

7. Make your windows pane-fully clear. Clean glass not only lets more natural light into your home, it’s a feel-good task, according to a survey by the American Clean Institute. When ACI asked consumers what clean surfaces make them happy, “gleaming windows” made the top five above a “spotless sink.”

8. Ditch your window screens in the fall and winter. They trap dirt and can make your home appear darker inside and out. It’s a good curb appeal booster, too.

9. Add an interior window to a room next to a sun-drenched space to take advantage of natural light.

Tip: Paint chilly rooms, especially north-facing walls that don’t typically get sunlight, in reds, oranges, or yellows — cozy colors that can actually help the room feel warmer, according to a Michigan State University study.

For full article visit: 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Halloween Activities in Lexington

Halloween Trick or Treat with Local Businesses
Thursday, October 29 from 2:00-5:00pm

Pre-Elementary and Elementary age Children with Parents:
Visit your neighborhood businesses around town to see what treats they have in store for you and your children!

Come in your Halloween costumes and look for the black, orange and white balloon bouquets hung in front of the participating businesses.
This event is rain or shine.
Sponsored by the Lexington Retailers Association.  Contact: Eric Michelson   781-862-1034

For a list of participating businesses

Halloween Parade
Saturday, October 31 from 9:45 to 11:30AM at the Visitor’s Center

LexFUN! is once again proud to host its special Halloween Parade for little ones on Sat. Oct. 31st!
Every year, Elmo leads our tiniest Lexingtonians on a parade walk around the Battle Green, as they show off their costumes and make noise with their kidde instruments. This is a long-standing tradition in our Town and provides a safe and welcoming environment for our youngest Lexingtonians to celebrate Halloween in their costumes in a family-friendly atmosphere. 
To this end, LexFUN! encourages parents to use their good judgment in selecting costumes. LexFUN! promotes a safe and inclusive environment for the parade, one that respects social, generational, and cultural differences. We encourage costumes that are family friendly (not scary to our little ones) and portray positive images to our children. This event is open to the public.

In addition to bringing your little tyke in costume, also please bring two other things to the parade: 
(1) Bring your child’s favorite noise making instrument to help Elmo on his march around the Battle Green. 

(2) Bring a couple of can goods to donate to our Lexington Food Pantry drive. It is a great teaching opportunity to explain the importance of giving back to our community. 
We’re looking forward to another great parade this year!!!
See you on Sat. Oct. 31st at 9:45 am in front of the Visitors’ Center!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Lexington Community Center Grand Opening

 OCTOBER 17TH FROM 10:00 AM TO 1:00 P.M.


The Recreation and Community Programs Department and Human Services Department have moved to the Community Center.

On Monday, July 6th  programs and classes began at the Center.  39 Marrett Road, Lexington, MA 02421
We thank you for your ongoing patience and cooperation while final touch-up renovation work is being completed. 

 As of September 8th, the Center will be open from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday.  We look forward to seeing you there!

Your Community Center - Look What's Coming
A multigenerational, multicultural, and inclusive space
Technology-enabled large and small meeting spaces for community use
Senior Services programs for a healthy, active retirement
Classes, programs, and activities for people of all ages and abilities
Specialized youth and family programs
Opportunities for community initiated programs
Fitness, wellness and cardio rooms for health and wellbeing
Games, billiards, and table tennis rooms
Support services for families, seniors, youth and veterans
Workshop, gift shop, craft, and classroom spaces for teaching and learning
Public WiFi, refreshment lounge, and plenty of sunlit spaces for reading and thinking
Centralized location for community connections, information, transportation services and making the most out of life in Lexington
Accessible via Lexpress and the MBTA
For more information, visit the Ad Hoc Community Center Advisory Committee webpage, or contact Karen Simmons, Director of Recreation and Community Programs, 781-698-4801, orSheila Butts, Lexington Community Center Director, 781-698-4802

Thursday, October 8, 2015

How to Save For a Down Payment as a Lexington Homebuyer

Lexington Homebuyer Down Payment Tips
Do you want to buy a Lexington home in the foreseeable future? As your Lexington real estate agent, I’ll be the first to tell you that now is the time to buy in Lexington! According to the latest reports, home prices and mortgage rates are predicted to increase by 4.7 percent by this time next year.

If you’d like to buy, but aren’t sure how to cut down on costs in order to save up a down payment, Trulia shared some great tips on how to ‘trick your mind’ into saving. Here’s a summary of some of their tips:

1.  Take away your spending money. If you are saving up for a down payment in your checking account, switch the money over to another account that doesn’t have a debit card attached to it. This way, you won’t be tempted to spend that money! You could also stop using debit cards altogether, and limit yourself to a certain amount of cash to spend each month.

2.  Automate savings. It’s easy to want to save, but then to spend the money before you ever transfer it to your savings account. To ensure that you’re saving money every month, or from every paycheck, set up an automated account that diverts some of your income into a savings account each month. Then you don’t even have to think about it!

3.  Set goals and reminders. A great reminder would be to post a picture of your dream home to a highly visible area, like your refrigerator, nightstand or desk, or make it your computer background. This will remind you what you’re saving up for. You could also create a savings timeline, with specifics on how much you need to save and how long you’re giving yourself to do it.

4.  Match purchases with savings. Every time you buy an impulse item, or something significant, put that same amount of money into savings. Sometimes the thought of spending double will be enough to deter you. If you buy an item on sale, figure out how much you saved, and put that amount into savings.

5.  Find support. Fill your family and friends in on your changes in spending habits. Post on social media sites about it, so your friends know, and you feel more accountable. Hang out with people who are more frugal or also trying to save. Their saving habits will rub off on you!

6.  Maintain status quo. Even if you earn a raise, or come into some unexpected money, don’t think of it as ‘extra money’ to spend. Put it all into savings, and keep living the way you’re living now.

If you actively follow these tips, you should save up a down payment for a Lexington home in no time! The most important thing to remember is to save everywhere you can, deter yourself from purchases you don’t need, and keep reminding yourself why you’re doing it.

When ready to buy a Lexington home, contact me, your Lexington real estate agent! I am here and ready to help you through the home-buying process with ease.

Theresa D'Antuono