Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Meet the Author: Hester Young

Join Hester Young, a former Lexington resident, as she reads from her new book, The Shimmering Road. Her character, Charlotte 'Charlie' Cates, has been having strange visions again, dreams where children plead for help. In her panic, Charlie can't tell what is real and what is her anxiety? 
As she tries to decipher her visions, she learns about the mother who abandoned her as a toddler and of her mother's fate in a double murder. The other victim is family she never knew she had: her mother's half-sister. Charlie pieces together her visions, realizing the little girl who appeared in her dreams is her orphaned niece. Charlie heads to Arizona to help her, but gets caught in her own troubling revelations along the way. 

A book sale and signing will take place after a short discussion.

Tuesday February 28, 2017
7:00 PM to 8:30 PM
Large Meeting Rm

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

6 Things a Home Inspector Might Not Catch

Before buying into a monthly mortgage payment, 77% of home buyers hire an inspector to go through their new digs with a fine-toothed comb. This is a very good idea.
That extra set of eyes gives buyers peace of mind that a new house won’t have a leaky roof or cracked foundation. Or something even worse. But what you might not realize is that countless conundrums go unnoticed during a home inspection simply because the inspector doesn’t look for them.

And those undetected flaws could add up to expensive repairs.

Here’s the deal: Home inspectors aren’t regulated by federal guidelines. Each state has its own licensing and/or certification requirements. They vary from Texas, which requires 130 classroom hours of real estate inspection training, to Georgia, which requires an inspector have a business license and a letter of recommendation—and little else.

That means home buyers have to do their own homework to make sure they’re working with a reputable and thorough inspector. Make sure to verify an inspector’s references and ask to review the checklist of items covered during an inspection.

And, once you’ve done that, ask your inspector to check for these budget busters.

Runny appliances
If you’re buying a home for the first time, you’re probably swooning over the idea of having your own washer/dryer or dishwasher. And to make sure your new BFF won’t break—and break your heart—an inspector should run these kind of appliances to check for functionality and leaks.
But inspectors don’t always go over all the bells and whistles on appliances.

“Checking the water dispenser for issues on a fridge isn’t standard,” says Tom Kraeutler, a former home inspector, author of “My Home, My Money Pit: Your Guide to Every Home Improvement Adventure,” and a syndicated radio host.

That oversight could mean you walk into a flooded kitchen if the seal on the water dispenser is faulty or the ice machine springs a leak.

Leaky faucets
To put a home’s plumbing through its paces, all faucets should be turned on; toilets should be flushed multiple times; and drain pipes—even if they’re under the house—checked for leaks while the water is running.

When it comes to sinks, the faucets need to be run long enough to fill them before draining in order to spot a leaky pipe or drain. In the shower, an inspector will need to block the drain pan with a washcloth or rubber jar opener and fill the shower to the top of the “pan” or floor, The water should sit for 15 to 20 minutes to test for leaks in the drain, Kraeutler says.

“That also helps spot if the shower pan is faulty, which is a super-expensive fix,” he says.
Another thing: Leaky shower tiles happen when gaps form in the tile grout or caulk. And they show up only when wet. To simulate showering, the inspector needs to splash his hands under the water and check the integrity of grout and caulk.

Cracked sewage and drainage pipes
Home inspections are always limited to what is visible and accessible, Kraeutler says. So cracks in underground or buried pipes and drain lines will be checked only if your inspector conducts a camera inspection.

That in-depth look into your drain will cost you extra. But the additional few hundred dollars are a drop in the bucket compared to the thousands you’ll shell out repairing or replacing faulty sewage and drainage pipes.

Corroded central air conditioning
Did you know that air-conditioning units can’t be tested in certain temperatures?
It has to be at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit outside in order to run a unit—temperatures lower than that can cause damage to the air conditioner, Kraeutler says. That means inspections done in cool temperatures could have an inspector ignoring the AC altogether.

So if it’s too cold to run the unit, ask your inspector how he looks for potential problems. You’ll want to make sure the inspector examines all connections and looks for signs of damage.
And, if the temperature is 55 or higher, make sure the AC is run for several hours to test the functioning of the unit’s condenser coil.

“We’ve had customers notice condensation or water seeping through the walls in a few hours [of turning on the air conditioner] or overnight,” Hawkins says. “And unless the AC is run for several hours, that’s something a home inspector would be hard pressed to see during his run-through.”

Dangerous DIY improvements
It might be tempting to spruce up your home with some DIY projects before putting it on the market. But if those home improvements are completed with low-quality materials or not installed properly, a buyer could face an exorbitant—and unexpected—renovation.

A DIY renovation could be dangerous, too. If a basement or attic is finished without proper permits, electrical and plumbing work might not be up to code. And that could mean potential damage—or even danger—to the residents.

Although many home inspectors check for construction permits with the local municipality, Kraeutler suggests verifying that step isn’t overlooked.

Damp porches, decks, and balconies
 “A deck or balcony can also have serious safety issues and be at risk of collapse,” he says.
Asking your inspector about cracks, rusted flashing, and soft areas around drains can help keep water from seeping into your home.

One final tip: Most home inspections are performed at least two months before closing. A lot can change in that time—especially if a house is vacant, Kraeutler says. Consider having a follow-up inspection the day of (or no earlier than the day before) closing to ensure you’re not purchasing a money pit. 

For more tips and advice visit:

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Win for Quinn Basketball Fundraiser

Join friends and family of Quinn Amsler at the first annual “Win for Quinn” Basketball Fundraiser on Friday, February 10, 2017 at the Lexington High School for a great cause!

Quinn Amsler was an avid basketball fan and played for the Middlesex Magic and Boston Warrior basketball teams, which he thoroughly enjoyed. He was also a member of the Boston College Men's basketball team through the non-profit Team Impact. Quinn’s two older brothers Will and Jack will be playing for LHS with their proud LHS teams at the fundraiser!

Quinn was diagnosed at the young age of 8 years old with alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma in April, 2015 and courageously battled this cancer with resilience and strength. He received exceptional care during this last year from so many doctors, nurses, and medical care providers at The Children's Hospital, Dana Farber Cancer Institute/The Jimmy Fund Clinic, and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital.
Please join us at the fundraiser, to show your support for the Amsler family and The Quinn Amsler Fund at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

WHEN: Friday, February 10 from 7:00pm-8:30pm
WHERE: Lexington High School

Tickets to the event will be $10 for Adults/ $5 for kids.

Contact: Jeri Foutter   (781) 861-0453

How a Cluttered Lexington Home Costs You Money

Clear the clutter from your Lexington home!
As a Lexington real estate agent, I always recommend that Lexington homeowners declutter their homes. Studies show that a decluttered home causes increased happiness and health among homeowners. Also, a decluttered home is essential when selling your Lexington home! A messy, cluttered home is never appealing to a buyer!

However, did you realize that a cluttered Lexington home could also cost you money? Whether it’s a lost bill you forgot to pay, or spoiled food that you wasted money on, clutter is no friend to your bank account.

To give you more examples, HouseLogic broke it down room by room.

1.  If you have clutter in your home office, or wherever you keep papers and mail, you could lose paper and spend time and money on duplicates. If you misplace bills, you’ll be charged late fees and your bad credit will cause higher interest rates. If you miss tax deadlines, you are charged penalties.

2.  If your closets are disorganized, missing or forgotten clothes could mean money spent on duplicate items. A cluttered, knotted mess of accessories means wasted money, because you can’t find what you’re looking for or don’t wear them because of the hassle!

3.  Disorganization in the kitchen means a more probable chance of food expiring, which is wasted money, and you’ll have to buy new food sooner. A cluttered pantry means you can’t see what you have, so you might end up with duplicates. Crammed cabinets means you are overspending on dishes and gadgets.

4.  A cluttered living room means lost keys or wallet, which could make you late to work and means loss of cash. If you can’t fully relax in your Lexington home, because of the clutter, you’ll spend more money to have fun outside of the home. Blocked ventilation means increased energy costs.

For more details on how clutter is causing you to spend more, check out the HouseLogic article in its entirety. 

Hopefully now, you see the importance of decluttering your Lexington home from a new angle! It’ll help you sell your Lexington home, it could make your life happier and healthier, and it could save you money.

When you’re ready to buy or sell in the Lexington real estate market, contact me for help!

Theresa D'Antuono

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

UNPLUG! A Re-Energizing Family Afternoon in Lexington!

Lexington Recreation & Community Programs, Lexington Education Foundation and the Academy of Creative Arts are excited to invite children ages 5-14 and adults to a complimentary Re-Energizing Afternoon!

UNPLUG! A Re-Energizing Family Afternoon!
Celebrate creativity and well-being together with painting, meditation and yoga.

Saturday, February 4
2:30 - 4:30pm
Lexington Community Center
FREE advance sign-up enters you to win a gift certificate from Catch A Falling Star!
Refreshments and Door Prizes!

Painting - ages 5-14, with a focus on self-expression and meditation

Yoga - teens and adults; bring your own mat

Bring your family for painting, meditation, and yoga, plus raffles for Rancatore's and refreshments! The event is FREE to families and activities are on-going throughout the afternoon.

FREE family event. Sponsored by the Lexington Education Foundation, the Town of Lexington Recreation and Community Programs and the Academy of Creative Arts.