Sunday, November 1, 2020

4 Powerful Ways To Freshen Your Space

1. Embrace natural light

Throw open the curtains, let the breeze in and brighten your home decor. Open those blinds and bask in the natural light. Instead of flipping on your lights in the morning, pull back the curtains and let sunshine light the way. The simple act of opening your windows can help lift your mood, and you’ll save a little on your electric bill too. Don’t have big windows? By using large mirrors you can reflect light and brighten up your room.

2. Freshen up your furniture

A white, beige, or light gray couch is a perfect and cozy nesting spot. Light neutral chairs set the tone, reflect light and set a peaceful atmosphere. If you don’t want to commit to white furniture, invest in slipcovers that you can use seasonally and remove whenever you desire. 

3. Incorporate natural tones 

Incorporate lightweight natural materials into your decor — think wicker, woven baskets, light wood grain and cotton curtains. Keep it airy and light, leaning on nature to inspire you.

Switch out heavy blankets for light throws, and pack away heavy, dark decor items in favor of woven baskets paired with colorful or nature-inspired accessories. By adding earthy materials to your home, you invoke nature inside and out for a fresh and renewed feel.

4. Go green and breath fresher air

Adding potted plants, bouquets of flowers and herb gardens to your home is a great way to bring the outdoors in. Not only do they provide beautiful focal points and improve your mood, they also give off little hits of oxygen — so breathe deep.

Visit your local farm for pretty blooms, or grow herbs in windowsill pots. Also, faux plants can still give off a fresh green look, but without all the hassle and maintenance. Give yourself a new outlook and a fresh perspective by taking the time to revitalize your space and refresh your mindset. From mixing up colors to looking to nature for inspiration, you can powerfully transform your home into a sunny, bright and airy space.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Single Family Home Prices Jumped 18% in Massachusetts This September

Two reports released Wednesday affirmed the autumn housing market is thriving and healthy in Boston. The cost of a single-family home in Massachusetts in September averaged $472,000, which reflects an 18 percent year-over-year increase. Furthermore, sales were up more than 27 percent, according to a report by The Warren Group, a real estate analytics firm.


Historically in September the real estate market sees a significant slowdown in single-family home sales, but this proved not to be the case in 2020. As expected, Suffolk and Middlesex counties were the primary drivers behind the significant uptick in condo sales in September. 


In Greater Boston, sales of condos and single-family homes rallied, according to a report the Greater Boston Association of Realtors released Wednesday. The condo market experienced a 19.1 percent year-over-year increase in sales and a median price jump of 7.7 percent to $592,500. The median price for a single-family home rose 12.4 percent year over year to $680,000, and sales skyrocketed 32.2 percent.


Even throughout the pandemic and impending presidential election, the Boston real estate market still holds a lack of housing inventory, which is driving prices up.

Thursday, October 1, 2020

4 Ways to Make Your Home Office Work

Working from home is the new normal for many Americans, which emphasizes major importance upon your home workspace functioning well, and looking great. Here's 4 tips on how to design and revitalize your home office space for maximum capability. 

1. Declutter

Now is the time to be honest for yourself and completely declutter your desk and draws. The importance of having a clean workspace with only the necessary items is astronomical, and will help keep your brain running smoothly and lower stress levels. Toss away any unnecessary items that need to be thrown out, pair similar items, contain stray pens into one decorative cup, and make sure you have all your workday essentials close at hand and non-essential items moved away. 

2.  Commit to Your Space 

Designating an area strictly for work in your home is highly important and will help you enter a driven and focused mental space. Whatever spot you choose, make sure it feels like a designated and functional work area. This means adequate lighting, a comfortable office chair, and a seamless tech set-up with plenty of space. 

3. Create an Inspiration Board

Now that you've set the stage, it's time to look forward. The wall behind your laptop (or desktop) should inspire you. This a great time to curate an inspiration board full of quotes, pictures, and your favorite images to inspire you and motivate you each day. You can also include your to do list and important reminders on the board. 

4.  Set the Mood

This is your time to create an inspiring space. Scented candles usually aren't allowed in your crowded office space, but those rules don't apply at home. Aromatherapy options are also available if you are concerned about kids or pets. Also now, your playlist can softly play out loud rather than through ear buds. Similarly, you can set out healthy snacks and any of your favorite drinks to overall create a cozy and comfortable atmosphere. 

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

4 Surprising Features That May Increase How Much Your Home Is Worth

Thousands of data points correlate with home values and sale prices, many which are obvious (like the condition of the home) and some features that aren’t obvious. 

Here are several surprising features which have the power to affect ethe existing value of your home or the price someone is willing to pay for it, based on factual data.

1.    Proximity to Starbucks

A surprising feature which may raise the value of your home is your proximity to the nearest Starbucks. A 2015 Zillow report found that, between 1997 and 2014, homes within a quarter-mile of a Starbucks increased in value by 96%, compared to 65% of all U.S homes. This information was based on a comparison of Zillow Home Value Index Data with a database of Starbucks locations. 

To evaluate if this effect is isolated to Starbucks, the Zillow research team looked into another coffee hot spot (one with particular pull on the East Coast): Dunkin’ Donuts.

The data showed that homes near Dunkin’ Donuts locations appreciated 80 percent, on average, during the same 17-year period — not quite as high as homes near a Starbucks, but still significantly above the 65 percent increase in value for all U.S. homes.

2.    Blue kitchens and blue bathrooms

Curb appeal is definitely important to prospective home buyers, and what’s inside counts too, especially the colors you choose to paint the rooms. 

According to Zillow’s 2017 Paint Color Analysis, which examined more than 32,000 photos from sold homes around the country, homes with blue kitchens sold for a $1,809 premium, compared to similar homes with white kitchens.

Blue is also a well-liked bathroom shade. The same analysis found that homes with pale blue to soft periwinkle-blue bathrooms sold for $5,440 more.

Walls painted in cool neutrals, like blue or gray, can signal that the home is well cared for or has other desirable features.

3.    Trendy/Modern Features

Zillow listings mentioning trendy features, such as barn doors and farmhouse sinks, tend to sell faster and for a higher premium. This information is according to a 2016 Zillow analysis of descriptions of more than 2 million homes sold across the country. 

Listings with “barn door” in the description sold for 13.4 percent more than expected — and 57 days faster than comparable homes without the keyword. Meanwhile, listings touting “farmhouse sink” led to a nearly 8 percent sales premium.

4.    City Proximity 

 If you are lucky enough to own a home in a major metropolitan area, you’re most likely sitting on a significant (and rapidly appreciating) financial asset. For example, home values in the New York, NY, metro area are worth $2.6 trillion. The average urban home is now worth 35 percent more than the average suburban home. Since 2012, the median home value in urban areas has increased by 54 percent, while the median home value in suburban areas is up just 38 percent.

Saturday, August 29, 2020

5 Safety Tips for Moving During COVID-19

Moving during COVID? No problem. By using these safety tips and precautions you can make your move go safely and smoothly. Amid worldwide travel bans, widespread stay-at-home orders and social-distancing mandates, millions of Americans have adapted to the drastic changes brought about by COVID-19. Countless events have been rescheduled or cancelled, but for those who made necessary plans to move, staying put is simply not feasible.

If you are in the process of moving or planning to move, you can still get the job done successfully and safely. Luckily, we have some tips and precautions to make your move as safe, smooth and stress-free as possible. 

1. Get Hands-On

Despite most states designating moving services as “essential”, many smaller moving companies have reduced hours or have paused business altogether. If you can, try to manage the move on your own. If you do need assistance, research the companies in your area and call to ask about procedures. Make sure the movers utilize necessary supplies like gloves, masks, and sanitizing kits. 

2. Minimize Contact

If you’re working with a moving company, ask for a virtual quote and see if the company offers fully contactless service. Forgo handshakes, for obvious reasons. A smile and a generous tip (sent through Venmo, PayPal or another contactless digital platform) are a welcome substitute. Furthermore, disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces, paying particular attention to door knobs and handles.

3.  Take Extra Sanitary Precautions 

While moving make sure to follow the following sanitary precautions:

  • Wear masks, gloves and booties. If you’re hiring a moving company, they’ll likely bring similar supplies for their workers, but consider having additional hygiene products available.
  • Disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces, paying particular attention to door knobs and handles.
  • Place soap and paper towels next to sinks and hand sanitizer by doors.
  • Buy new boxes: The coronavirus has been found to live on cardboard for up to 24 hours, so this is not the ideal time to pick up used moving supplies from stores that are recycling them. You can also use boxes that you already have in your home. 

4. Be Transparent and Flexible

In advance of your move, reach out to your neighbors — especially if you live in an apartment building — and share the date and time you plan to move. This gives everyone in your direct vicinity an opportunity to avoid unnecessary contact and let you know if your timing is a problem.

If you or any family members are experiencing coronavirus symptoms, postpone your moving plans. Though rescheduling is a pain, the health and safety of your community comes first. 

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

5 Ways to Enjoy the Outdoors at Home

In this current climate with many of us staying at home, one of the best remedies to deal with stress is to spend time outside and get fresh air. If you are lucky enough to possess an outdoor space such as a sprawling backyard or deck and patio area, now is the ideal time to renovate and make the most of your space. Here are 5 tips to enjoy and improve your outdoor area. 

1. Curate an Outdoor Lounge Space

Set up a beautiful outdoor lounge space on your patio or in the yard to give your space a relaxing feel. Spice up your space with new lounge chairs, chaise lounges, hammocks, and outdoor sectionals. To complete your lounge area add in some side tables, some candles, and enjoy the atmosphere. 

2. Fire Pit

You can always create a fire pit for your backyard, or purchase an electric fire pit that fits your area and your taste perfectly. A fire pit will create a cozy, campfire glow and be perfect for lounging at night, even when it gets colder outside. 

3. Create an Alfesco Dining Destination

Sitting in your kitchen every night can get boring, try mixing it up by creating an alfresco dining area. By creating an alfresco dining area in your backyard or patio area, you can enjoy fresh air while having your dinner. In addition to an outdoor dining table and chairs, you can even add a rug, a string of lights, or craft an outdoor chandelier to transform your evening meals. 

4. Create an Outdoor Bar

While traditonal bars are closed, why not create your own private outdoor bar? You can buy a bar online, or repurpose an old table or desk. Gather your bluetooth speaker, your favorite cocktail ingredients, and a few glasses to bring the ambiance of your favorite bar right at home. 

5. Beautifully Transform a Barn or Shed 

Although a bar or shed is a utilitarian structure, it doesn't have to be an eyesore. Spruce it up by painting it a bold color, attaching some shutters, adding some succulent flower boxes, installing a stone path, or even stringing up some bright lights. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Despite Ongoing Pandemic, US Sales of Existing Homes Jumped 20 Percent

Home purchase sales strongly rose in June by 20.7 percent, even after the pandemic caused home sales to slightly decrease in the past three months. However, Coronavirus cases continue to surge, which could prevent the housing market from rebounding further. Real estate prices continue to rise due to a shrinking supply of homes for sale and high demand. 

The National Association of Realtors reported sales of existing homes rose this month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.72 million. Despite the sharp gain, purchases are still down 11.3 percent from a year ago, when homes had sold at an annual pace of 5.32 million per month. 

However, housing has managed to avoid a deeper slump from the serious recession brought on by Coronavirus. Demand has remained steady and strong among buyers who have been thriving within the downturn of the economy. Furthermore, record-low mortgage rates have helped support affordability and encourage buyers to make a move. Buyers have remained stable, however new listings have declined. Although buyers are in abundance, more sellers need to step up before the real estate market will see an overall year over year increase in home sales. 

The number of property listings has significantly dropped from a year ago to 1.57 million, representing a 18.2 percent drop. June marks the 13th straight month of shrinking supply on an annual basis. It is unlikely the housing industry can advance the overall economy until more sellers enter the market, to balance a high demand of enthusiastic buyers. 

Home buyers would considerably boost the economy, as home buyers usually spend money on new furniture and fix older properties with numerous home repairs. However, their ability to supply a spending boost to the economy is restricted if they cannot find an available house on the market. The limited supply is also increasing prices, despite much of the population struggling with economic uncertainty due to the recession. 

Overall, the combination of stable and constant demand, paired with dramatically lowered mortgage rates has helped birth a 3.5 percent rise in the median price of an existing home over the past year to $295,300.

Home sales rose in the Northeast, Midwest, South, and West last month, however the increases were most concentrated in the West, with a 32 percent gain, along with the South, with a 26 percent gain.