Blog :: 08-2011

Child-proofing Tips and Resources

Electrical outlets, cords, cleaning products, germs, lead paint, small objects, sharp objects, heavy objects, stairs, hardwood floors, sharp corners, pets, door jams, windows, and, and, and....

Having a child can make your once cozy, comfy home seem like a danger zone with hazards at every turn. Often times new parents are also first time homeowners, and on top of everything else associated with owning a new home, the challenge of how to make this home safe for a child or new baby can be overwhelming.
Somewhere between putting your child in a bubble and letting them run with scissors there is a right way for you to child proof your home. There are numerous Websites available to help guide you in the process of making your home safe. We're giving you a few local resources in and around Arlington to get you started.
Safe Solutions of New England. Home safety evaluation and installation of child safety products.
Arlington Family Connection. Child Safety Resources, including:
And remember, nothing child-proofs a home better than an educated parent, good planning and common sense.

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    Your Arlington Open House Weekend Update

    Despite earthquakes and hurricanes and storms (oh my!) we have some great homes new on the market. You won't want to miss the opportunities we have this week.

    Here's our weekend spotlight - the open house is Saturday 11:30-1:00, so be sure to check it out before you kick off your hurricane party!


    Address

    Rooms

    Beds

    Bath

    Style

    Price

    33 Golden Ave.

    7

    3

    1

    Colonial

    $419,000



    Move right in to this pristine 7 room colonial located on a charming cul-de-sac in the desirable neighborhood of "Arlmont Village." Close proximity to public transportation, easy highway access, and a central location to Arlington, Lexington and Belmont make this a fantastic location. This is a perfect starter home with 3 spacious bedrooms, updated bath, a lovely eat-in kitchen, a wood burning fireplace in the living room, and finished lower level that could be an ideal play room or home office. A private rear yard, screened porch and garage make this a great place to call home.



    SINGLE FAMILY


    Address

    Rooms

    Beds

    Bath

    Style

    Price

    33 Golden Ave.

    7

    3

    1

    Colonial

    $419,000

    42 Spy Pond Pkwy.

    7

    4

    2/0

    Cape

    $549,900


    CONDO


    Address

    Rooms

    Beds

    Bath

    Style

    Price

    990 Massachusetts Ave. #12

    4

    2

    2/0

    Hi-Rise

    $299,900

    92 Oxford St. #1

    6

    2

    2/0

    2/3 Family

    $439,000

    132 Warren St. #B

    4

    2

    2/0

    2/3 Family

    $449,000

    94 Oxford St. #2

    7

    4

    2/0

    2/3 Family

    $549,000


    MULTI-FAMILY


    Address

    Rooms

    Beds

    Bath

    Style

    Price

    10-12 Quincy St.

    11

    5

    2/0

    2 Family - 2 Up/Down

    $549,000



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      Do You Know Your Earthquake Readiness Level?

      Now there's a topic we didn't think we would be covering in Arlington. Yesterday, many of us on the east coast felt the effects of a 5.8 magnitude earthquake out of Virginia. Nerves may have been rattled but we were lucky not to have sustained any significant damage.

      While we are not in a typically active earthquake zone, yesterday's tremors were a reminder that we are not exempt from these natural occurrences, and it makes sense to be prepared.
      The Red Cross has a great checklist of how to prepare and what to do during and after an earthquake. For example, "doorways are no stronger than any other part of a structure. During an earthquake, get under a sturdy piece of furniture and hold on."

      And of course there are certain things you can do now to secure your home:

       

      ·         Bolt and brace water heaters and gas appliances to wall studs.
      ·         Bolt bookcases, china cabinets and other tall furniture to wall studs.
      ·         Hang heavy items, such as pictures and mirrors, away from beds, couches and anywhere people sleep or sit.
      ·         Brace overhead light fixtures.
      ·         Install strong latches or bolts on cabinets.
      ·         Large or heavy items should be closest to the floor.
      ·         Learn how to shut off the gas valves in your home and keep a wrench handy for that purpose.
      For these and other handy tips, visit the Red Cross website. And while we're in The Ant and the Grasshopper theme of being prepared, you may also want to check out their tips for gearing up for hurricane Irene. Batten down the hatches!

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        Ten Questions for Kaira Rouda

        On a recent visit to the Bowes Real Estate, Real Living offices, Harley Rouda, President of Real Living and his wife, Kaira Rouda, met with the team and talked shop about real estate on both the local and national levels. Both have had a hand in the success of the company (one of the country's largest real-estate franchise operations) and we caught up with Kaira to learn more about her eclectic background.
        Here is a brief summary from her bio: 
        • Award-winning entrepreneur
        • Bestselling  author (REAL YOU INCORPORATED: 8 Essentials for Women Entrepreneurs
        • Marketer
        • Speaker
        • Founder of numerous companies, including Real You
        • Brand creator of Real Living Real Estate, the nation's first women-focused real estate brand
        This brings us to her latest endeavor, HERE, HOME, HOPE, a novel published in May of 2011 and winner of a 2011 Indie Excellence Award for fiction. Add to this being a member of NAWBO, the International Women's Forum, the Women President's Organization, eWomen Networking, the Women's Council of Realtors, American Marketing Association, the Google Real Estate Advisory Board, a WebAward Judge for the Web Marketing Association, all the while raising four children and you have a very, very, busy person.

        Don't know how she does it? We asked Kaira a few questions and she graciously provided us some insight into how one can excel both personally and professionally, and with style.

        1.   You've been busy! Following a long list of accomplishments and accreditations, you have written a novel that is near and dear to your heart. Tell us what sparked the idea for Here Home Hope.

        Since 3rd grade (when I lived in Lincoln, MA, actually!) I've known I wanted to write books, to have a career as a novelist. Our teacher had us write a letter to a person who was in the career you wanted to have so I wrote to Robert McCloskey - author of Make Way For Ducklings, my favorite book, and he wrote back!  That said, it's been a few years since 3rd grade and I've had a great career as a journalist and a marketer, as well as in real estate. All along, I've continued to write and I've kept the dream alive. This is my first novel, but hopefully, not my last!

        The idea for Here Home Hope arrived as I sat in my dentist's chair, actually - and that's the opening scene in my book. I've also, throughout the course of my career, and especially since the publication of my business book, REAL YOU INCORPORATED: 8 Essentials for Women Entrepreneurs, had the opportunity to meet and speak to - and hopefully inspire - a wide variety of women. What we all share is the innate ability to put others' first. Sometimes, to the detriment of our own needs. The notion of a midlife crisis for women is important to discuss. I'd say women go through transitions, not so much a set crisis, and that's a major theme in the book, too. That, and the healing power of friends.

        2.   How much of the book is pulled from events in your own life?

        All novels are a reflection of the novelist's particular experiences and perspective on life. You draw on that for your craft - but it's not autobiographical at all. If it was, it'd be a memoir!

        3.   While growing up you lived in different parts of the country because of your father's work (a professor). How did those experiences shape who you are today?
        I'm comfortable with change - in fact, I welcome it. I think that's one of the legacies of moving frequently as a child. I also think you learn to adapt and absorb a new setting, which is ultimately quite helpful in business and writing. Without exception, every real estate market is unique, just as every real estate agent and broker is unique. Being able to relate to and respond to the needs of people working in diverse marketplaces, spread across the country is to me the best part of a well-run franchise.    

        4.   One place you resided was in the Boston area. Do you have any memories about growing up around 'Hahvahd Yahd?'

        While my dad was busy being a marketing professor at Harvard, I mostly hung out in Lincoln. I remember walking to Walden Pond. We ice skated there in the winter, swam in the summer. We had a very long driveway that would be plowed straight down toward the house - making a great sledding run off the back. I got lost in the woods behind my house the day we moved in (arriving from Austin, Texas) so I've always had a fear of forests, unfortunately. I was also there for the Freedom Train and all the celebrations of 1976 - really fun!

        5.    As someone who was listed as a top 10 real estate newsmaker of the year, and one of the top 50 most influential women in real estate - how are women shaping and redefining the real estate market?

        Real estate was one of the few careers women could enter and make as much as or more than men. I love that about our industry. Women make or influence 91 percent of all home buying decisions. Single women are the second largest group of homebuyers after married couples. We not only have shaped and defined the industry (except for at the broker/owner level where we lag behind, sadly), we will long into the future. Real Living was the first brand created to acknowledge the power of the women consumers in real estate, as well as the dominance of women in the sales force. It's exciting.

        6.   In addition to writing, social media, marketing, and PR, you developed the Real Living brand - where do you want to see it five years from now?

        Since Real Living launched in 2002, my answer to that question has been and remains: Global Dominance. J Others have more realistic metrics, I'm sure.

        7.   Of all of your accomplishments to date which are you most proud of? Which was the hardest to achieve?
        My four kids are the light of my life. I couldn't be more proud of them.
        8.   If you could give aspiring entrepreneurs one piece of advice, what would it be? What's the best piece of advice you have received?
        Do it now. And be sure that the business you create is a reflection of the Real You. As for the best advice I've received? I'm not sure.
        9.   What do you like most about living in Malibu? What do you miss most about Columbus?
        I love living by the ocean. It speaks to me, and Malibu is simply gorgeous. What I miss most about Columbus is my friends, but fortunately, I get to visit quite often!
        10.  Inquiring fans want to know - when should we expect a follow-up to Here Home Hope?
        My next novel is in the works and hopefully will be out next summer! Stay tuned!

        Kaira's book is available online, via Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble  and at a bookstore near you.

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          Your Arlington Open House Weekend Update

          There are big happenings in Arlington open houses this week. We have three fantastic new listings - two in the Brackett district and one in the Dallin district. Each of these homes has something unique to offer interested buyers. Check out these and other listings in Arlington.


          Address

          Rooms

          Beds

          Bath

          Style

          Price

          156 Newport St.

          7

          3

          2/0

          Colonial

          $499,000


           

          Everything you wanted near Brackett School and Skyline Park! This spacious and meticulous Dutch Colonial offers a very flexible floor plan. The first floor offers a spacious family room with full bathroom, a traditional living room with fireplace, a formal size dining room and kitchen. There are three spacious bedrooms and a full bathroom on the second floor, and the lower level is huge and provides many opportunities for a play room, workout room or man cave. There is a small yard and garage.

          Address

          Rooms

          Beds

          Bath

          Style

          Price

          36 George St.

          8

          3

          3/1

          Cape

          $499,000


          Deceivingly spacious Cape-style home on quite tree lined street near Dallin School! Offering a flexible floor plan, this charming home has an oversized addition that is perfect for a family room, au-pair suite or master suite. Meticulously maintained, there is a great kitchen with separate eating area, 3 ½ baths and 2 additional bedrooms on the 2nd floor. The kitchen has been updated and there is a state-of-the-art heating system. This is a wonderful home with a private rear yard!

          Address

          Rooms

          Beds

          Bath

          Style

          Price

          303 Park Ave.

          7

          3

          1/1

          Colonial

          $479,000


          Looking for a turnkey home in Brackett School District with manicured lawns? This wonderful home boasts gleaming hardwood floors, gumwood detailing, beautiful living room with fireplace, and a cozy playroom or home office off the living room. An updated eat-in-kitchen with ½ bath and dining room complete the first floor. The second floor has full bath, 3 beds and a walk up attic. Lush outdoor space abounds. Lots of storage options in the basement, attic and "garage". Close to public transportation, Heights, and Route 2.


          Other listings new to the Arlington market this week:

          SINGLE FAMILY

          Address

          Rooms

          Beds

          Bath

          Style

          Price

          66 Thesda St.

          6

          3

          2/0

          Cape

          $450,000

          303 Park Ave.

          7

          3

          1/1

          Colonial

          $479,000

          64 Crosby St.

          6

          3

          1/1

          Cape

          $479,000

          156 Newport St.

          7

          3

          2/0

          Colonial

          $499,000

          36 George St.

          8

          3

          3/1

          Cape

          $499,000

           14 Brand St.

          7

          5

          3/0

          Colonial

          $659,000

          21 Kensington Park

          9

          4

          2/1

          Colonial

          $737,500


          CONDO


          Address

          Rooms

          Beds

          Bath

          Style

          Price

          19 Fessenden Rd.   #1

          6

          2

          1/0

          Townhouse

          $399,000


          Multi-Family


          Address

          Rooms

          Beds

          Bath

          Style

          Price

          153-155 Madison Ave.

          10

          6

          2/0

          2 Family - 2 Up/Down

          $399,999


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            YourHomeForSale Blog Nominated for Boston Best Blogger Award! (We Need Your Vote!)

            As a nominee for the CBS Boston Most Valuable Blogger Award, it's time for YourHomeForSale to start kissing babies and shaking hands. We are hitting the campaign trail for your vote!

            We were honored to be selected as a nominee among some pretty stiff competition (hello... HubSpot). But we can hold our own with your support.
            YourHomeForSale was nominated in the 'Everything Else Category.' Go to this page, scroll down to the bottom and click the 'Vote' icon. Voting for finalists is open now through September 9th, so vote early and vote often!
            Here are the rules:
            • This is a local award which is partially based on popular vote.
            • There is a limit of one vote per user per day (hint: this means you can vote more than once).
            • The blog that receives the most total votes in each category will be named as the 'Popular Vote' winner for that category.
            • The winning blogs will be announced Wednesday, September 14th, 2011.

            As always, we write this blog to be a resource for you and the community. If you ever have a suggestion or input, please let us know!

             

            "The YourHomeForSale blog is, like the state of Maine, the way a blog should be: informative, personable, funny, with solid content."

             

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              This Just In... New Listings in Arlington Picking Up

              "The median selling price of a single-family home in Arlington is higher in 2011 than any other comparable period in the last five years."

              According to a recent article in the Arlington Advocate* on the local housing market, overall sales may have been down recently, but home prices are up in Arlington. This is consistent what The Home Advantage Team has seen - until now. (You can read our latest Market Analysis here).

              With all the gloom and doom we've been hearing about the market, it's nice to hear some positive statistics. Which has to make antsy, nervous, impatient, and exasperated buyers and sellers wonder...

              Is the Tide Turning?

              Given the instability of the market, it's hard to give a definitive 'yes.' But we'll go so far as to say, yes, for Arlington, for now. Here's why: we are currently seeing an increase in activity with an uptick in our new listings - this bucks the trend reported by The Advocate, and our own historic trends where we typically see a rush in the fall. The rush appears to be heating up earlier this year.

              For example:

              • We have three new listings coming up this weekend in the desirable Brackett School and Dallin School districts, with more coming next week. 
              • If Cambridge is your preference, then we also have brand new condos coming on the market, completely renovated, with sleek designs in the Avon Hill and Radcliffe areas. 

              Despite tricky housing markets, homeownership is still a priority for many Americans. According to an article from The KMC Crew that covered the National Housing Survey from Fannie Mae, 69% of people think that now is a good time to buy a home - and this number has increased in each of the last two quarters.

              It seems that people in and around Arlington think so, too.

              If you are interested in the listings we have coming on the market, go to www.yourhomeforsale.com, search properties in the area and get alerts when new properties become available. Or, call us to schedule an appointment (781.645.0505). *By the way, a shout out to our own Erika Pereira who made the cover shot in the Advocate!

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                Spotlight: Arlington Home of the Week, 83 Wright Street

                If you are looking for a condominium alternative, look no further than this meticulous and charming Bungalow-style home situated on an oversized lot. Relax on your enclosed front porch and enjoy the sights and sounds of a quiet neighborhood. The long-time owners of 40 years have invested their time and care in making this home move-in ready for the next lucky owners. With 2+ bedrooms, a lower level family room with a decorative fireplace and numerous updates, you can move right in or utilize the abundant space to expand if desired.


                Contact us today and see if it's 'Wright' for you.

                Ideal Buyers: Great opportunity for first-time buyers, or apartment/condo dwellers from Boston/Cambridge/Somerville interested in more space.

                What's Nearby: Public Transportation, Shopping, Park, Walk/Jog Trails, Bike Path, Pierce School

                Address: 83 Wright Street, Arlington, MA 

                Listed: $339,000

                Contact me for additional details. 781.645.0505, steve@yourhomeforsale.com.

                Closing Time

                "Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end." Semisonic
                Before you close the door on your old place and start your life in a new one, there are - or at least seem to be - thousands of i's to dot and t's to cross. And one item that often gets overlooked when considering costs associated with moving is closing costs.
                "The point in time at which the contract is actually executed and the title to the property is conveyed to the buyer is known as the 'closing'." Hence, the term 'closing costs.' OK, we get that. But how much should you allocate when considering the costs of selling your home? That may not be as clear for some.
                A general rule of thumb is to use ½% of the sale price to allocate for closing costs. This is a starting point, and you'll want to double check with an accountant about the potential tax implications.
                The following is a list of some of the expenses that are typical at closing.
                ·         Attorney Fees. You should always have an attorney represent you when you are selling a home or property. Attorney fees are for the review and negotiation the Purchase & Sales Agreement, drafting the deed and attending the closing.
                ·         Stamp Tax. The stamp tax is $4.56 per thousand dollars of the sale price. For example, if the sale price of your home is $500,000, the Stamp Tax would be $2,280.
                ·         Tax Adjustment. Since taxes are paid on a quarterly basis, you may either be credited or you may owe the buyer depending on timing. If that is the case, there will be an adjustment at closing for that specific amount.
                ·         Mortgage Payoff. The bank attorney will pay off any existing mortgage(s) you may have and there are certain associated expenses.
                ·         Recording Fees. There are nominal recording fees in which the Seller is required to pay at closing.
                Again, these are typical seller-specific closing costs. Other fees may apply so be sure to check with your agent, attorney, and accountant for details.

                Your Weekend Update


                Arlington has quite a few new homes on the market this week. Grab an umbrella, break out your Hunter boots and check out these new listings!


                SINGLE FAMILY


                Address

                Rooms

                Beds

                Bath

                Style

                Price

                43 Peirce St.

                7

                3

                1/0

                Colonial

                $299,000

                28 Brand St.

                7

                4

                2/0

                Cape

                $399,000

                38 Rockmont

                8

                4

                2/0

                Cape

                $419,000

                71 Brattle St.

                7

                4

                1/1

                Colonial

                $429,000

                155 Ridge St.

                7

                3

                1/1

                Raised Ranch

                $499,000

                15 Parker Rd.

                10

                3

                3/0

                Ranch

                $1,350,000


                CONDO


                Address

                Rooms

                Beds

                Bath

                Style

                Price

                15 Mt. Vernon #1

                5

                2

                1/0

                2/3 Family

                $299,000

                137-139 Thorndike St. #1

                4

                2

                1/0

                2/3 Family

                $339,000  


                Multi-Family


                Address

                Rooms

                Beds

                Bath

                Style

                Price

                16 Sherborn St.

                13

                4

                2/0

                2 Family - 2 Units Up/Down

                $549,000