Wednesday, June 28, 2017

10 Strangest Questions Buyers Have Ever Asked About a House

Long before Lexington home buyers decide a certain place must be theirs, it behooves them to ask a lot of questions. For example: "How's the neighborhood?" or "How old is that water heater, anyway?" Ask away! Such queries help you pare down your options, so don't be bashful; real estate agents have heard them all.

However, the adage "There's no such thing as a stupid question" isn't always true. As proof, just check out this list of the strangest questions real estate agents have ever heard about a house from Cue the “Twilight Zone” music—things are about to get very, very weird.

1. 'How do you keep alligators from coming up into the toilet?'
Michael Lyons, a real estate broker with Lyons Realty Group in Hollywood, FL, has certainly heard his share of concerns about alligators lurking in yards, ponds, and swimming pools. But sneaking into the house? Through a toilet? That left him stumped.
"I couldn't answer that question seriously," he said. "So I made up some weird solution. I told them, 'pour vinegar down the toilet once a month, they hate it.'"
This seemed to appease the buyers, who ended up purchasing the house. No word on whether or not the vinegar trick worked.

2. 'Do any swingers live in the neighborhood?'
While home buyers often have questions about the neighbors, this one was a first for Kate Julian, a real estate agent with City Chic Real Estate, in Washington, DC.
"They said they were swingers and that's something they were looking for," she said.
Unsure what to say, she countered with, "drive around the neighborhood and see." After all, aren't swingers very friendly?

3. 'Does the car in the driveway come with the house?'
Chike Uzoka, a real estate agent with Weichert in Newark, NJ, has heard of buyers asking whether many things "come with the house," from chandeliers and furniture to appliances and pool equipment. But a car?
The only way he could answer such a question was with sarcasm: “If the attorney doesn't catch it in attorney review, then yes it does!”

4. 'Is anyone buried in the backyard?'
Larry Prigal, a real estate agent with Re/Max in Gaithersburg, MD, had no reason to believe the house he was selling had any corpses stashed 6 feet under. "So I joked, 'I’m not aware of anyone buried here, but you can dig it up after you’ve settled on the property.'”
Who knows? Maybe the buyers were worried about our next point...

5. 'Are there any ghosts in the house?'
When Chris Dossman, a real estate agent with Century 21 in Indianapolis, holds open houses at older homes, it's not uncommon to hear creaks or creepy noises. That prompts a superstitious few to pop the ghost question.
"I usually respond jokingly at first that there are ghosts but that they're friendly, but then immediately follow with ‘just kidding,’ because people can be really weird about those things,” Dossman said. "Cellars and basements can be especially freaky, even to me."
Nonetheless, a haunted house is, in fact, a selling point for some home buyers. Go figure.

6. 'I really like this house, but I need to pray about it. Is that OK?'
Kimberly Sands, a real estate broker with Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage, in Wilmington, NC, said she gets this question (or some variation of it) a fair amount, so she wasn’t alarmed, at first.
“I thought the would-be buyer would go home and pray about it and then decide, so I said 'sure.'" That's when things got weird.
"All of the sudden she drops to her knees and starts flailing her arms and yelling at the top of her lungs: ‘Dear Jesus, please send me a sign, Jesus, a sign that I should buy this house!’ Meanwhile, I slowly started inching toward the door planning a hasty escape. I ended up waiting outside on the curb for her to come out for about 15 minutes. When she came out, she was cool, composed, and had her answer: no."

7. 'Do you think the homeowner would give me the house without a down payment?'

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Lexington Bicentennial Summer Concert Series

During the summer, the LBB gives a free concert each Tuesday night from Tuesday June 27th through Tuesday August 22nd. (However, note that there is no concert on July 4th.)
The concerts take place at the Levi Burnell Bandstand, which is in Hastings Park at the corner of Worthen Road and Old Mass Avenue. Many people bring blankets, lawn chairs, picnic lunches, and games and enjoy a relaxing summer evening of music.

Children are welcome, although parents are asked to please keep children from playing near the bandstand during the concert, out of respect for the musicians and the audience. Children (of all ages) will be invited to march around the bandstand during the last piece of each half of the concert.
All concerts begin at 7:15pm. You can check whether a concert has been cancelled (e.g., because of inclement weather) by calling 781-698-4647 after 4:30pm on the day of the concert.

Concert Programs
Visit: for more information

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

5 Things to Prepare your Lexington Home for Summer

1. Give Your Air Conditioner a Checkup
Now’s the time to make sure your air conditioning is in perfect working order. If you test your HVAC system today and find out it’s not functioning properly, you need time to come up with a solution before the weather gets unbearable.

First, replace your air filter to make sure the whole system runs smoothly. Clear any debris on or around your vents or exhausts, and clean off any dirt from the main unit outside. From there, test the unit itself to make sure it’s doing its job. 

If your unit isn’t working properly or efficiently, it might be time to call in a professional. They’ll test the unit itself and test your air ducts for any potential leaks.

If you don’t already have a programmable thermostat, now might be a good time to bite the bullet and invest in one. You may also consider a smart thermostat, that does the thinking (and programming) for you to save energy and keep you comfortable. Depending on how often you use your air conditioning in summer, you can cut your electric bill quite a bit. If your AC unit is more than 15-20 years old, you might consider replacing it with a more energy-efficient unit.

If you’re installing a window AC for the first time, it’s probably easiest and safest to call in a professional. If you want to DIY, the instructions will vary depending on the unit and what kind of window you’re working with. Generally, though, you’ll have to install extensions around the unit, fasten it down with brackets and with the upper window pane, then fasten the extensions and seal the unit.

2. Test for Ventilation Leaks
Your air conditioner is functioning efficiently—great! If you have leaks in your Lexington home, though, it doesn’t really matter, because that perfectly cooled air is slowly leaking out. You can call in a professional, but it’s simple enough to conduct your own home energy audit first.
First, look for actual leaks: drafts in your windows and doors. If you do find any leaks, you can seal them up with caulk and weather stripping.

If you’ve never checked the attic or basement insulation in your Lexington home, it may have compacted over the years, which means it’s not covering everything it should. Check your insulation for leaks and gaps. Former Look around pipes and ductwork, specifically, and fill those areas using expanding foam. You should also make sure the attic floor is insulated without blocking vents.

3. Set Up a Barrier for Bugs
Summer weather seems to bring out the bugs!
First, make sure everything is properly sealed. And if you checked for leaks, you’ve already done this. Check the caulking around your windows and doors, then fix any drafts or gaps with new weather stripping and caulking. Spray your outdoor perimeter with a pesticide, along with baseboards, sinks, windows, and doors.

Read all the applicable warnings on the pesticide and make sure your pets don’t get into it. There are also many DIY bug repellents out there.

4. Change Your Ceiling Fan Direction
Yes, your ceiling fan is designed to rotate differently depending on the season. In winter months, it should rotate clockwise to help distribute heat that’s risen. In the summer, though, you should run your fan counter-clockwise at higher speeds to get a breeze going.

Check to see which direction the fans in your home are moving, and, if necessary, hit the small black switch near the base to change directions.

5. Prevent Water Damage
Summer weather isn’t just hot and sticky. It can also be stormy and, sometimes, dangerous. Check your basement for cracks and leaks. Build up dirt or place grates outside your house to direct water away from the foundation. If the dirt you currently have has settled around your house, water will start running toward your house. As a general rule, a grate of one-inch-per-foot will ensure proper water runoff.

Again, make sure your windows and doors are properly sealed and caulked, too. You should also test your gutters. Turn on your garden hose and place it inside the gutter so water begins to run. Then, walk around your home’s perimeter and check the gutter. Look for water coming out of any places it shouldn’t. You should also check your gutters for dips or sags where water might pool near your house.

Inspect your roof to ensure it’s in good working order (remove any debris and leaves while you’re up there).
  • Cracked caulk or rust spots on flashing.
  • Shingles that are buckling, curling, or blistering.
  • Missing or broken shingles.
  • Cracked and worn rubber boots around vent pipes.
  • Missing or damaged chimney cap...
  • Masses of moss and lichen, which could signal the roof is decaying underneath. Black algae stains are just cosmetic.

You can check your indoor ceiling for early signs of leaking, too. You might notice dark water stains or peeling paint. If you do find a leak, you want to call in a professional as soon as possible, especially if you live in an area that gets hit hard with summer rain.

Now is the time to make a few changes around your Lexington home to prepare for the extreme weather. With a few tweaks and inspections, it’s easy enough to make sure you’re in good shape by the time summer arrives.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Stay Peaceful at Your Lexington, MA Home during Renovation

Are you giving your Lexington, MA home a major overhaul this summer? There’s no better time to give your home the renovation it needs than the present! However, any renovation is going to turn a portion of your home into dust and chaos for a time. As your Lexington real estate agent, allow me to share some tips on how to stay peaceful even during a home renovation.

You can’t renovate your entire Lexington, MA home at the same time, because there would just be too many things happening at once, and you’d have nowhere to spend your time. So, imagining that you’re only remodeling one or two rooms at a time, here are some tips to help you keep calm:
  • Designate a space for your belongings. If you’re renovating your kitchen, you’ll need somewhere to go with your pots and pans, Tupperware, dishes and so on. If you’re renovating your master bedroom, you’ll need somewhere to go with your clothes. Designate a place in your home for these belongings, such as a basement, garage, spare bedroom or a pod that you rent. Add a shelving unit and fill it with clear, organized containers.
  • Turn other spaces in your home into a retreat. If a few of your home spaces are torn up disaster zones, turn other spaces into zen retreats. Give your bedroom, kitchen, living room or office a mini makeover so that you feel rested and rejuvenated when you spend time in those rooms. Fill them with items that you love, and consider adding plants or an essential oil diffuser to keep you calm.
  • Escape to the outdoors. Maybe before you even begin your Lexington home renovation, turn your backyard into an outdoor retreat. Add some furnishings to your patio or deck, create a picnic spot in a shaded area of your yard, hang a swing or hammock, or turn a shed into a peaceful family fort!
For more ideas on how to stay calm during a home renovation, check out the tips in this HouseLogic article. Have you been there, done that? Share your own tips for staying sane during a renovation by leaving a comment below!

Good luck with your summer upgrades, and when ready to accomplish your Lexington MA real estate market goals, contact me. I am your Lexington real estate agent, here and ready to help you buy or sell real estate all summer long!

Theresa D'Antuono

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

LEF Global Party!

Free Family Global Party!

Friday, June 9
4:00 - 7:30p.m.
Hayden Lower Field
Featuring multicultural crafts, live music and ice cream!
Kids of all ages will enjoy the afternoon featuring origami from the LHS Origami Club, face painting, balloon animals, live music from Ethan Rossiter and the Jamberries, dancing and more! 

Global Party! for Parents
Saturday, June 10
7:00 - 11:30p.m.
Hayden Lower Field
Featuring cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, auctions, raffles, music and dancing!
The evening will begin with a "red carpet" photo experience and feature performances by Lexington's talented student musical groups. The event will also include an auction of exciting items and event tickets, followed by dancing to the music of Lexington's own David Moore and the Butler Frogs!  

 Q&A for Friday, June 9:
Will there be food available on June 9?
A. We plan to have ice cream available for everyone as a sweet summer treat.

Is the event for June 9 on rain or shine?
A. Yes! We have a tent and activities will be sheltered in the event of rain, but we are hoping for sun!

Is the event on Friday, June 9 a fundraiser?
A. Friday is all about families and fun, and it's FREE! We will have raffle items and families may choose to purchase raffle tickets on-site.

Q&A for Saturday, June 10:
Are there limited tickets for this event?
A. Not at this time!

Is there an age limit for the Global Party on Saturday?
A. Saturday's event is for adults only. Some high school students will be guests as musical performers and as Student Ambassadors to LEF at the beginning of the evening.

Is the event for June 10 on rain or shine?
A. Yes! We have a tent and activities will be sheltered in the event of rain, but we are hoping for sun!
I want to purchase a "table" for friends, where do I do that?

A. We would love for you to bring friends! This year, we plan to have bistro tables and group lounge-type seating and refreshments will be available throughout the evening. If you would like to secure a bistro table for a group, please view the sponsorship options here »
I'd like to  purchase a ticket for a LPS teacher or staff member to attend, where do I do that?

A. Wonderful! There is a check box on the registration page to make a donation for a staff/teacher ticket.
What is the attire recommendation?

A. The Under the Tent and Stars Planning Team suggests "nice party" attire for socializing and dancing!
What are the beverage options?

A. Attendees may choose from wine, beer, water, tea and sodas. We recommend purchasing pre-paid drink tickets in advance, click here