Erika Pereira

Please Help Flood Victims in Vermont

As many of you know, my family is from an area in Vermont hit hard by the floods of Irene. Luckily, everyone in my family is OK, but there are so many families that have lost everything.
For example, there is a nearby mobile home park that was completely washed away. Within that park there are about 20 children that should be starting school who now have nothing. There is an expectant mother due within days who is now living in a tent. In fact, many people are currently set up in tent cities for shelter and there is more rain expected. These are just a few of the many stories of loss from this disaster.
I am putting out a request on behalf of these families for donations, and please pass this along to anyone you know that would be willing help. We are collecting the following:
  • Non-perishable items
  • Clothing
  • Blankets
  • Rubbermaid bins (to store items that might be salvageable)
  • Tents
  • Cook stoves
  • Flashlights
  • Other camping equipment
  • Baby items (diapers, wipes, formula, toys, clothing)
I am collecting items at the Bowes Real Estate office (1010 Massachusetts Ave. in Arlington) - anything you have of use would be appreciated.

If you would like to donate online, here is a link: 0r you can go online via PayPal,

You also have the option to write a check made payable to Sustainable Woodstock. Please put "Flood Relief Fund" in the memo line and mail your check to: Sustainable Woodstock, PO Box 611, Woodstock, VT 05091.
Thanks so much in advance for any assistance you can give.


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    Let Us Eat Cake - And Have a Conversation

    Throughout the month of July, Governor Deval Patrick and Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray are embarking on a 'Summer Conversation Tour' across the state. The purpose of the tour is to address areas of importance including jobs, education, health care, youth violence and other current issues. Tim Murray is scheduled to visit Arlington on Thursday, July 14th at 6:00 p.m. at the Arlington Town Hall (730 Massachusetts Avenue).

    July 14th also happens to be

    Bastille Day - the French National Holiday. However, at this meeting no one will be storming Town Hall and sparking a revolution - just the opposite. It is an opportunity for Arlington citizens to voice their opinions and 'claim their right to self-determination' just as the French were aiming to accomplish 222 years ago.Vive la démocratie!


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      Staging. When is a Good Dusting and a Vacuum Enough?

      Implications of an Aging Population on Real Estate

      We all know the statistics on today's aging population. There are almost 40 million people aged 65+ in the United States (13% of the population), and each year more than 3.5 million boomers turn 55.

      This is having a significant impact on the real estate industry which will continue for years to come. An article on aging trends has broken down the following statistics on income and home ownership:

      • Eighty percent of elders are home owners and 20% renters.
      • The median construction year for homes was 1969 and 4.4% of the homes have physical problems.


      • About 68% of older homeowners in 2007 owned their homes free and clear.


      I am writing a few posts about these population trends, and relaying what we're seeing on the street. This first post relates to staging.

      I spoke with an older friend recently, and she was contemplating selling the family home. This is a beautiful old home (out of state) that has seen six children grow up and move on. The house is tidy and structurally sound, but it has the taste of an older couple which is not necessarily the taste of today's younger buyers. There are photos, knickknacks, brass fixtures and three floors of wall paper.

      She was overwhelmed by the recommendation of her realtor to strip the wallpaper, paint, remove all of her things and put them in storage, and stage it for a younger demographic. It would be a huge disruption, time-consuming, and given age, health and other considerations, it would be exhausting.

      True, the house would probably sell for a higher price without wall paper and a fresh coat of paint. But at what cost? In this case, the seller is willing to settle for a lower selling price in favor of convenience.

      Often we get caught up in over-the-top staging strategies we see on T.V.. This usually entails a team of people making major updates and changes - and sometimes spending a significant amount of money - to make a home appealing to potential buyers. It is important to remember there are times when a little can go a long way. Whether it is a good dusting and a vacuum, cleaning your windows, de-cluttering counter space, or edging the lawn, there are many small things that can have a big impact.

      A good listing agent will take the time know to their audience. They will identify what is important to the seller, not his or her bottom line, and structure the sale accordingly.

      Likewise, a buyer representative will see this as an opportunity for the right person to get a great home at a lower cost, and have a chance to make the improvements that suite their tastes specifically.

      Stay tuned for my next post on the implications of an older demographic on the buying and selling process.


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        The Home Team Advantage*

        This is my inaugural post for the YourHomeForSale blog, so I'd like to introduce myself and let you know that you will also be hearing from me, in addition to Steve.

        I've been in the real estate business for more than 18 years, almost as long as Steve, and that's saying something. I've been working with The Home Advantage Team for the past six years, and we've established ourselves as the #1 real estate team in Arlington, MA. But you knew that.

        What you may not know, is that with the Home Advantage Team, you also get the Home Team Advantage. According to
        baseball analysts:

        "Over the course of modern baseball history, the difference between playing at home vs. on the road has been about 80 points of team WPCT [winning percentage] - a road team will win about 46% of its games, and a home team will win about 54% of its games, all else being equal."

        Stay with me here. Just as the home team wins more on their own turf, so do clients who use local, knowledgeable real estate agents.

        I represent buyers in a Buyer Agent capacity. Whereas Fenway Park may be one of the Red Sox's most lethal weapons, having a real estate agent that knows the ins-and-outs of the town you're interested in, is yours.

        Buying a home is an intensive and time consuming process - there are a lot players that need coaching - inspectors, lawyers, brokers, lenders - and when you're buying a home, you definitely don't want to swing and miss. So I hope you'll come back regularly and look for some of my insights and tidbits of information that you can use as part of your house-hunting strategy.

        *Disclaimer: An exception to the rule of the home team advantage applies to the Stanley Cup tonight, where the Bruins will surely win on the road and bring the cup home. Go Bruins!


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