Wellesley & Weston Real Estate News

April 7, 2019

Spring cleaning time has arrived! Are you ready?

Are you looking for some cleaning products that will do a great job, but that won’t break the bank or hurt the environment? Read on for DIY spring cleaning agents that are good for the environment and budget friendly.

Pillowcases
Pillowcases aren’t just a place to lay your head, it turns out that they also pose a way to collect dust while you are cleaning. Just toss the pillowcase over your fan blades and gently pull it off so that the dust and dirt will remain inside the pillowcase and not all over the floor below it.

Stove Burner Cleaning
Looking to clean stubborn foods and stains off of your stove burners without putting in the extra elbow grease? There’s an easy solution for this. Just place the burners inside a Ziploc bag along with a ¼ cup of ammonia. Then leave them there overnight and in the morning, gently wipe them clean with a sponge.

Mattress Cleaning
Mix a few drops of essential mattress oil with one cup of baking soda. Sprinkle the mixture onto the top of your mattress and let it sit for one hour before vacuuming it up. The baking soda will absorb any dirt, moisture and odors while the essential oil will leave the mattress smelling fresh when you retire to bed.

Vinegar Cleaning Solution
If you’re looking to get things really clean, everyone knows that vinegar is the go-to solution. However, it is just as easy to make this solution at home. Make your own citrus vinegar cleaner. Place citrus peels in a jar and cover with vinegar. Let the solution sit for 2 weeks. After the 2 weeks, strain and dilute it 1:1 with water. Use this cleaner on any surface and it will renew it quickly and easily.

Removing Hard Water Stains
Remember the power of lemons when trying to remove stubborn hard water stains. Just cut up some lemon and rub it on the stains. They should come right up with the power of the lemon juices.

Cleaning Stainless Steel
If you want to make your stainless steel shine, mix a solution of borax and lemon juice. Once mixed, they will produce a paste that you can rub on the surface. Let the paste stay there for a bit, then and rinse with water. Dry the surface and you are well on your way to a sparkly clean kitchen.

 

April 4, 2019

Wellesley STEM Expo 2019

This Saturday, April 6 come to the Wellesley High School for the 2019 STEM Expo! Doors open at  10 AM and admission is free. 

About the event: The Wellesley STEM Expo is a hands-on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) exposition including a speaker series, hands-on exhibits, workshops and a student work showcase – transforming Wellesley High School into an interactive science center for a day.
Exhibits and workshops are from 10am to 2pm
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Cheryl Knott - "Face to Face with Orangutans": 2pm to 3pm
Note: Parking at the High School is extremely limited. Additional parking will be available in Tailby Lot (103 Linden Street) with shuttle service to WHS.
For additional information please visit the Wellesley Education Foundation website

 

April 1, 2019

5 Ways to Fake a Green Thumb This Spring

Want beautiful flowers and vegetables in your garden this spring, but don’t know if your horticulture skills matches your vision? Have you always wanted to compete with your gifted horticulturist neighbors, but have never had the skills that they do? Now you can cultivate an impressive display of greenery by using these nifty tips and tricks. Learn how to transform your barren yard into grandeur with these easy yard cheats that everyone will be impressed by.

Choose Succulents

There's no doubt that succulents can be beautiful, however, not only do they come in a variety of colors to match any landscape, but they can handle a little bit of abandonment from time to time. They are best grown in areas where there is lots of sun and fairly dry soil.

Use Sparkling Water

For many gardening spots, especially places of high elevation, watering your plants with sparkling water can actually help them grow. At high altitudes, plants can be deprived of carbon dioxide, so spraying your plants with sparkling water can increase the carbon dioxide and make your plants grow to new heights.

Plant a Dwarf Tree

If you’re worried about your cultivation skills, start by planting a dwarf tree. These trees only grow five to ten feet tall and can be grown in large pots. They can even be replanted or moved if their growth gets too extreme. They adapt very well to most environments, but be sure to select the right type of dwarf tree to plant in your climate. And of course make sure to water and fertilize them so that your trees don’t run out of nutrients.

Create a Terrarium

Terrariums have a look of elegance and sophistication upon first inspection; however, they are one of the easiest horticulture projects to undertake and maintain for years to come. Be sure to select plants that will only reach small sizes and ensure that the varieties you choose will grow well in a low amount of light and high humidity. They will even let you know when they need to be watered based on the amount of condensation you can see on the glass.

Pick Plants that are Durable

When looking for outdoor plants to include in your landscaping, choose plants that can easily withstand a wide variety of weather conditions. You never know when you might get hail or a rainstorm. A variety of grasses and flowering plants will come back, without effort, year after year, due to their sheer resilience to any conditions. These plants can also serve as filler pieces around your main flower garden or greenery area. 

These gardening cheats are also great for staging your home. If you’re thinking about selling, contact me and I’ll share more great ideas to get your home in tip-top shape.

 

March 31, 2019

The 3 Biggest Mistakes Homeowners Make When Preparing Their Homes for Spring

Whether you are prepping your home for sale or not, spring is the perfect time to give your home a makeover. When the weather begins to warm and you are ready to pull out the ladder and get started sprucing up, don’t make these three mistakes that many homeowners make when preparing their home for spring.
 
1. Skipped or Insufficient Outdoor Spring Prep
 
Over the winter, your home can suffer a lot of minor damages that add up to major problems. When you start prepping your home for spring, begin outside. Inspect your home exteriors. That includes checking trees for potential rot.
 
Next, get on the roof and check your shingles. Clean your gutters, which are likely piled high with leaves and debris. If you have to make repairs to your roof, wait until after the gutters are clean to power wash your siding, driveway and walkways.
 
If you have a pool, begin pool maintenance by checking your filtration systems. Inspect your pool’s foundation for cracks and get those repaired before you even think about opening it. Walk around to your AC unit if it is outdoors and have it inspected if needed.

2. Poorly Thought-Out Landscaping Plans
 
In a nutshell, your landscaping is your curb appeal. Even if you are only sprucing up for your own enjoyment, your landscaping design should be well thought out. Otherwise, your lawn looks shabby.
 
A word of advice to improve your landscaping is to think function first and then form your landscaping from that vantage point. In what way do you want your backyard to function? As a place for guests? A playground for your pets? A garden oasis? Whatever your intention, make sure your backyard has structure and flow. For example, don't plant random trees here and there or one in a sea of flowers. Organize your trees around shrubbery and walkways so that they accentuate your landscaping, not detract from it. Also, avoid planting trees on a hill and keep your lawn maintained. 

 

3. Missed Opportunities to Make Big Changes
 
Finally, spring prep is the perfect time to make some big changes that will cause dramatic improvements to your lawn and garden. Think of adding a fountain, repaving your driveway, adding a lit walking path, adding pavers, installing a new deck or patio or a stone retaining wall.
 Create outdoor living spaces or install a fire pit. 

 

There are plenty of opportunities to make big changes this spring. If you're interested in even more ways to improve your spring cleaning routines, reach out to me today for more advice.

 

March 27, 2019

What's New in the Weston Real Estate Market?

As published in the Weston Town Crier, see what happened in that market for the week of March 18!

 

March 15, 2019

Scoring "big" at your local yard sales

It seems like yard sale signs are always popping up! People use yard sales as a way to sell items around their home that aren't getting used and are causing clutter. This is a great opportunity for you to get your hands on furniture, electronics, housewares and more at a bargain. Here are some of our best tips for scoring a great deal at garage and yard sales.

Plan your route

There are so many online resources now to find garage and yard sales in your area. You don't have to look for homemade road signs to point you in the right direction. Get on websites and apps such as Craigslist, YardSaleSearch or Yard Sale Treasure Map. Now you can find yard sales in your area and hop from one to the next throughout the day. 

Research what you're looking for ahead of time

If you're hoping to snag a particular item, such as a TV, record player, vintage jewelry, etc., research it ahead of time on eBay to see how much it's going for so that you're better equipped to negotiate if you find what you're looking for. This will also save you from overpaying. Or, if you happen upon an item at a yard sale that you love but you're unsure whether it's selling for a fair price, look up the item on the spot using the eBay phone app.  

Bring cash and small bills

It's becoming increasingly common to find yard sale hosts using credit card readers attached to their phone as a means of payment. However, cash is always preferable — especially if you're visiting an estate sale or going to a neighborhood with older residents. In these places, people are less likely to take credit cards. Also, for haggling purposes, take small bills with you. It's awkward if you negotiate the price of an end table from $50 to $20 but all you have in your wallet are $50 or $100 bills.  

Know the right way to haggle

The art of getting a great deal takes a little bit of patience and relationship building with the seller. Before you suggest a much lower price on an item for sale, get to know the seller. Ask about a few different items, where they come from and how old they are. Strike up a friendly rapport and then ease into negotiations. However, don't be afraid to walk away if the seller simply won't budge. Some people just aren't interested in bargaining. If that's the case, move on and maybe you'll have better luck at the next yard sale.  

Test any electronics before purchasing 

If you find any electronics, such as TVs, radios, phones or tablets, ask the seller to demo the items for you first. Insert batteries if they're needed, or plug the item into an outlet to ensure that it works. Nothing is worse than getting home with a new item just to find out that it won't turn on or that the picture or sound quality is poor. 

Buy in bulk 

A good way to get a deal is by purchasing multiple items from the seller. If you find a set of teacups, some mismatched plates and some linen napkins, ask the seller how much they'll charge for everything in a single purchase. Oftentimes, sellers are more willing to give you a deal if you're buying multiple items because their goal is to sell as many things as possible so they don't have to bring them back into their home. 

What tips to do you have for scoring big at yard sales? We'd love to hear from you!

March 1, 2019

How to make your home Eco-Friendly this Spring

How to Go Eco-Friendly in Your Home This Spring

 

There are simple changes you can make to your lifestyle and home that will help you give back to the planet. Maybe you’ve been thinking about making an effort to be greener. So how about starting now? Spring is a great time to reevaluate your home and routines. Implement some of these tips to leave a smaller carbon footprint.

Kitchen

  • Start composting:When you compost, you cut down on waste and what you have left over you can use to fertilize your garden. Simply deposit food scraps into a bin and empty it once a week. 
  • Ditch paper towels for cloth: Instead of buying more paper products, switch out paper towels for cloth rags. You can make your own rags out of old t-shirts. 
  • Recycle: This one is a no-brainer, but it’s so important. Recycling is good for the earth because it reuses resources so that we don’t have to produce more.
  • Use homemade cleaning products: It’s easy to make your own cleaning products out of vinegar, lemon and some water. It’s better to use natural products than ones filled with chemicals. 

Hygiene

  • Use sustainable beauty products: There are tons of new eco-friendly beauty brands. Using products that don’t include harsh chemicals isn’t just good for your skin, it’s good for the earth!
  • Use less water: Preserving water is important to our earth’s sustainability. You can do your part by keeping your faucet low when you wash your face or by using a low-pressure showerhead. 

Electronics

  • Purchase rechargeable batteries: Instead of tossing batteries when they’re out of juice, invest in some rechargeable batteries for your devices. 
  • Switch your light bulbs to LED: Incandescent light bulbs are outdated. LEDs use less wattage, making them better for the environment because they last so much longer. 
  • Unplug electronics: You will save tons of energy if you unplug electronics when they’re not in use. Big TVs take up lots of energy and make your utility bill more expensive. Turning off items such as TVs and computers is good for your wallet and the environment. 

Shopping

  • Reusable mug: If going to your local coffee shop each morning is part of your routine, make bringing your reusable mug part of the routine, too. Swapping out countless paper cups for a reusable one is a great way to go green. 
  • Canvas shopping bags: Those plastic bags they give you at the grocery store are very wasteful. They end up in landfills and in the ocean and lakes. Bring your own canvas reusable bags to the grocery store and skip the plastic. 

Misc.

  • Recycle your car: You can donate your car to countless charities or recycle it at your local automotive recycling center. You could even receive a tax deduction for recycling your old vehicle.
  • Buy a houseplant: Certain houseplants, like spider plants, help purify the air of harmful toxins. Put one in your bathroom, hallway — anywhere! 

What are your favorite ways to reduce waste and help the planet? We’d love to hear from you!

Feb. 24, 2019

"Birdy" to play at Babson College

“Birdy” to open at Sorenson Theater in Wellesley

Birdy, Babson, WellesleyThe Commonwealth Shakespeare Theater in residence at Babson College will present “Birdy”, a play that examines the effects of war on young lives. The story also offers hope in the possibility of powerful friendships to heal the psychological wounds of war. 

Note: the production contains adult language and some nudity.

Adapted by Naomi Wallace from the novel by William Wharton

 

Directed by Steven Maler

 

WHEN: February 27, 2019 – March 10, 2019

WHERE: Carling-Sorenson Theater, Babson College, Wellesley

GET TICKETS: $15 – $40

DATES:

Wednesday, February 27 at 7:30pm
Thursday, February 28 at 7:30pm
Friday, March 1 at 7:30pm
Saturday, March 2 at 7:30pm
Sunday, March 3 at 3:00pm
Thursday, March 7 at 7:30pm
Friday, March 8 at 7:30pm
Saturday, March 9 at 3:00pm
Saturday, March 9 at 7:30pm
Sunday, March 10 at 3:00pm

 

Running Time: 2 hours with intermission

Sponsors
Royal Little Family Foundation, Jann E. Leeming, Senior Trustee
Partners
Heni Koenigsberg
Supporters
Elizabeth T. Ayer/Geoff Van Wyck
Nancy Lukitsh

By special arrangement with Knight Hall Agency Ltd and Spring Sirkin.

 

Feb. 20, 2019

Wellesley Public Schools Awarded Green Ribbon Honor

According to the patch.com Wellesley was one of three schools awarded the Green Ribbon for excellence in reducing environmental impact. 

 

WELLESLEY, MA — The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education named Wellesley Public Schools to the 2019 Green Ribbon School list. Wellesley was one of only three school districts in the state to receive the honor.

The U.S. Department of Education launched the Green Ribbon school program in 2011 to recognize school districts' excellence in reducing their environmental impact and costs, improving students' and staff's health and well-being, and providing practical environmental sustainability education.

The state awarded the Green Ribbon award to Wellesley following the district's work in making buildings more energy efficient, offering healthier school lunches, and implementing an environmentally conscious curriculum.

 

Feb. 17, 2019

Storage Hacks to Clear Clutter in Your Family Spaces

Did you know that clutter can actually impact your mood? At least, that's what a group of experts at UCLA's Center on Everyday Lives and Families recently found when then explored the relationship between 32 California families and their belongings.

Particularly for women, stress levels go up when there is too much stuff cluttered around them. On the other hand, men in the family were relatively unaffected by the mess around them. In other words, there are a lot of stressed out moms out there looking for ways to de-clutter their lives.

It's time to get creative, kill the stress, and put your life in order with these fun and creative storage hacks that will help you de-clutter your living space.

Before You Get Started, Remember Everything Has a Place

Everything has a place,  even if it means buying containers for your knickknacks. The problem is that buying more bins for clutter- prone households could end up backfiring. Instead, start weeding out the things you want to get rid of first. Then find creative ways to store or showcase what is left. The last thing you want to do is purchase containers to store the stuff you don't really need to keep in the first place.

Inspirational Storage Hacks for Decluttering

Once you've narrowed down the items that you want to keep, it's time to get to work finding creative and inspiring ways to declutter. Use these storage hacks for inspiration:

#1: Office Organizers: You know those wire mesh stacked hanging file folders you see in offices? They can have many great uses outside the office. Consider them for your mail, your shoes or flip flops, storing pot lids, hair styling tools, and more. 

#2: Multi-Purpose Shoe Racks: Clear plastic shoe racks - the kind that hang over the back of your closet door - can be used to hold more than just shoes. Do you have a nail polish collection? Store like shades in each shoe pocket to create a colorful mosaic. Hang one in the pantry to keep small items, spice jars or even your tinfoil and saran wrap. They've even been seen on sites like Pinterest holding office and craft supplies, jewelry, children's toys and more. 

#3: Wine Racks: In addition to keeping your wine organized and your kitchen stocked, wine racks can be a great addition to your guest bathroom to store your rolled-up bath and face towels. This is a creative way to keep your bathroom organized, especially for guests.

#4: Closet Extenders: Buzzfeed gets the credit for this gem of an idea. Take soda can tabs and hook them on your hangers to add an extra loop for another hanger. You can double your closet space just like that. Or, hang your scarves from one hanger using shower rings as holders.

#5: Magnetize Things: Magnetizing smaller containers to keep them in one place can be a great idea for smaller items like hair pins, spare buttons, push pins and more. Simply attach a magnet to the small container and let it affix itself to the metal of your choice.

These are just a few of the many ideas that can be useful when decluttering your home. Remember, you don't want to wait until it's time to sell your home to start enjoying it. Declutter today and wipe the unneeded stress out of your life.