Thank you to BH&G The Shanahan Group's, Jacqui Curtin for contributing to this week's blog. Its the middle of January and the holidays are over! Whether its de-cluttering, organizing or just freshening up paint, theres no better time to re-think your homes interior. OUTBOX You can start by creating an outbox. Find a place in your home thats easily accessible to collect items that you dont need, things to donate, or just throw away. By having an outbox you have an ongoing project at your fingertips. By the end of the month youll be amazed at how much stuff youve eliminated from your everyday household! SHELVES Another idea for revamping your homes interior is to de-clutter by using vertical wall space. By creating new shelving space for storage, you can take your everyday stuff off the floor or furniture and give it a permanent home. Youd be amazed at how much wall space is ignored and what a difference in makes in giving your home a more simple, organized look. PAINT Refresh your home space with new paint colors. Remember the two paint families; warm colors (red, orange, yellow) and cool colors (blue, green, purple). Try and stay within one family of color for each floor of living. Warm colors are generally better in more social, active areas of the home, while cool colors are best for more calming areas such as a bedroom or study. A few simple ideas that can really make your home a BETTER place to live in 2013!
Shanahan Real Estate Group
This weekend, Shanahan Real Estate Group is participating in Nationwide Open House Weekend. This is the third annual event, organized locally by the Massachusetts Association of Realtors (MAR).
About National Open House Weekend
Since its first year, Shanahan Real Estate Group has participated and coordinated all of our open houses to ensure that buyers had a very clear day and time to see as many of our listings as possible. While open houses are only one component to a successful marketing plan, most buyers utilize open houses as a first step in the home buying process.
Who goes to open houses?
68% of buyers in Massachusetts take advantage of visiting an open house as part of their home search process. Nationally, only 45% of buyers do. Home buyers in the northeastern United States visit open houses more frequently than any other region in the country. 94% of all buyers felt going to an open house was either very useful (56%) or somewhat useful (38%). 79% of sellers in Massachusetts used an open house to help market their home. Only 58% of sellers nationally used open houses. (The data is from the 2011 Massachusetts Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers, compiled by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), on behalf of the Massachusetts Association of REALTORS (MAR)). Open Houses Today Our listings at 1 Ivy Circle, 12 Plymouth Rd, 161 Cambridge St, 98 Wildwood St and The Ledges Unit 57 will all be Open today (4/29) from 1-3PM. For more information and a list of all open houses in Winchester today, visit our website. And as always, there is a very friendly and knowledgable agent in our office ready to answer any questions that you might have about a specific property, the local market or about the process of buying a home in general. Stop in or call us anytime!
Shanahan Real Estate Group's Rebecca Brennan-Laird, is running the Boston Marathon on April 16th to raise money for arts and education. Below is a post from Rebecca explaining why she's running and which worthy cause she is supporting. Good Luck, Rebecca!
Shanahan Real Estate Group and FAN would like to take a minute to thank everyone for a very successful First Annual Turkey Trot for Kids. We had about 100 runners participate this year! We would especially like to thank our sponsors who helped in donating goods and services to this event, specifically Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, Stop and Shop and Peterson Party Center. We would also like to extend a big Thank You to all of the runners and their parents for participating in this great event. With all of your contributions, we were able to make a substantial donation to the Bridget Brigade Foundation and have some fun on Thanksgiving morning.
We are already looking forward to next years run!
If you missed the event but would like to contribute to the Bridget Brigade, we have a collection box in the office for new, unwrapped toys. These toys will be donated to children hospitalized over the holidays by the Bridget Brigade. The collection box will be in our office through December 13th. Gobble Gobble!
Calling all kids ages 3-9!!!
Shanahan Real Estate Group has teamed up with the Family Action Network of Winchester (FAN) to kick off ourfirst annual Kids Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning at Lincoln School. All proceeds from the race will go to benefitthe Bridget Brigade Foundation. Several years ago, John & Dianne Dobbins lost their first child, Bridget Marie, to cancer before she turned 2.The couple and their three children started The Bridget Brigade with a toy drive for sick children as a way to honor Bridgets life. It was so successful that the group has grown and is now branching out to help sick kids and their families in many other ways too.
Please join us for some fun on Thanksgiving morning for a great cause!
Shanahan Real EstateGroup joins the town of Winchester in the fight to end Alzheimer's.
Our Town of Winchester
Its amazing how a good thought materialized into the founding local chapter of the Alzheimers Association. This is exactly what a group of residents from Winchester did. Jon McCafferty and Donna von Halle were the catalyst in organizing and recruiting team captains. On Sunday, September 25th over 100 residents from our town joined in the Walk to End Alzheimers held in Boston along the Charles River. As one of the team captains, I asked my fellow associates to join me in this most worthy cause. The Shanahan Real Estate Group stepped right up and joined into the raising of donations, adding moral support, and walking the walk! Our team raised $1,600. In all, there were over 100 walkers from this founding Winchester chapter. The spirit of giving in time and donations and support of our families made this a very rewarding day for all of us. Our Shanahan Real Estate Group was also able to keep our office open for business on the Sunday of the walk and also host open houses for some of our listings. What a great office to associate with. Borrowing a statement from a recent Boston Globe article, one in every 8 people over age 65 will have this devastating disease. - Mary Price, Shanahan Real Estate Group Thank you to Shanahan Real Estate Group's Mary Price for contributing this blog and spearheading the efforts from our office for the walk.
Shanahan Real Estate Group's agent Paula Sughrue has tips to winterize your home this fall. If youre like me, youve started pulling out long pants and sweaters from storage because of the change in weather. But, dont forget about your home, too. We also need to prepare our homes for the cold months ahead. Before you know it, the frigid temperatures will be here. Take advantage of the mild fall weather to get some outdoor chores accomplished. Take the time to assess your home to determine if there are any major repairs that need to be done. Some of these needed repairs could get worse during the winter months. With the help of some experts, I put together some tips to help you winterize your home and keep it in tip-top shape.
(1) Check out your roof and clean those gutters
A problem with your roof would only get worse over the winter. Replace worn roof shingles or tiles. Check flashing to ensure that water cannot enter the home. Also, if you notice snow melting on your roof while other snowy roofs in the neighborhood are not, air sealing and extra insulation might be the solution. You can add extra insulation in the attic to prevent warm air from getting to your roof and thus causing ice dams. Another cause of ice dams are clogged drains. Be sure to remove all of the fallen leaves from your gutters. You can remove them by hand and then use a hose to spray water down the downspouts to clear away debris. You should also check downspouts to be sure that they are carrying water AWAY from your homes foundation. You can add extensions to the downspouts to direct the water away.
Its a good idea to turn your furnace on now, to make sure its even working, before the cold weather is upon us. Its suggested that you have your furnace cleaned and checked annually. Be sure that you remove all flammable material from the area surrounding your furnace.
(3) Get Your Fireplace Ready
We all love to sit by the warm fire during the winter. Here are a few important step to take to ensure its safety. Before lighting your first fire of the year have your chimney inspected. Be sure the top of the chimney has a cap or screen to keep out foreign objects (birds, animals and tennis balls). Inspect the fireplace damper to ensure that it opens and closes properly. Just a reminder to keep out cold air, the damper should be closed when the fireplace isnt in use.
(4) Check Doors and Windows
Now of course is the time to take down your screens and replace them with glass ones. If you have storm windows, install them to give you an extra level of protection and warmth. If you have any windows that are cracked, have them replaced. To add another layer of warmth, hang thermal curtains in front of your windows. Another tip is to pull your chairs at least 6 away from your windows. Windows tend to be the coldest surfaces in our house and separating ourselves from them can make your home feel warmer. If your home has a basement, consider protecting your window wells by covering them with plastic shields.
(5) Landscaping and Outdoor Surfaces
Rake away all debris from the foundation. Seal up any small holes or entry points to keep small animals from crawling under the house. Trim trees and branches which hang too close to your house or wires. After Hurricane Irene there may be some loose branches that may need to come down. Move sensitive potted plants indoors. You can also plant your spring flower bulbs. Maybe Ill finally get around to doing this since Im putting this in writing .
(6) Check your alarms
This is a great time of year to check the operation of your homes smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Check to see that you have a fire extinguisher where it should be and replace those older than 10 years.
(7) Prevent Pipe Freezes
Drain all garden hoses and put them away for the winter. Insulate exposed plumbing pipes. Drain air conditioner pipes and if your air conditioner has a water shut- off valve, you should turn it off. If you go on vacation, leave the heat on 55 degrees. Hopefully, these tips will help you protect yourself and your home all winter long.
Thanks Paula, great tips on winterizing!
At Shanahan Real Estate Group, we feel it's important to not only present and analyze market data but to pair that with our experience to provide a comprehensive picture of our Winchester market. Below is our perspective on recent spring sales data. If you are interested in discussing the market in Winchester or one of our neighboring communities, contact one of our agents- we love what we do, and always happy to talk real estate! Winchester Spring Market- Our Perspective Massachusetts Association of Realtors (MAR) reported last week May sales were down from the same time last year, while median prices for single-family homes were up both year-over-year and month-to-month. If you read this data from any of our major news sources, things seem really bad in real estate and the economy in general. This data compares sales data from May 2011 to May 2010, at the peak of the artificial stimulus created by the Homebuyers Tax Credit. We believe that these comparisons are not a good measure of our real estate market today. In fact, the May 2009 sales data is much more in line with last months sales data (Source: MLSPIN Total Sold Market Statistics). So, how does the Winchester market compare on these same metrics? As we discussed in our blog recently, its been a conservative spring market, with buyers being more cautious about value and taking time to do their due diligence. There are many buyers looking in Winchester, and well-priced homes in good condition are selling- and sometimes in multiple offers. Our sales data reflects this, with relatively flat volume through May but slowly increasing home prices. The big story is something we have been discussing in our office and with our clients- we call the late spring market. In May and through June, we have experienced a flurry of buyer and seller activity. This is confirmed in Junes sold data, both in terms of number of homes sold and median sale prices.
The Bottom Line
Our Winchester market is stable and it continues to stabilize from the turbulence of recent years, both in the number of homes sold and their selling prices. Junes sold data shows a fundamental strength in the market, with many willing and able buyers looking for a well-priced home in good condition in our town. While we dont anticipate any wild upswings in sales volume, we do think that our Winchester market is stable and the coming months will continue in our conservative but active pattern of sales.
So, hows the market?
We get asked this question a lot, whether on a listing appointment, showing a house to buyers or even at the supermarket. We thought we would use this forum to answer this question, as well as others we hear from buyers, sellers and friends in the course of our day at Shanahan Real Estate Group. The answer to this question is not that simple and has been changing over the course of the year so far. Springtime is usually a very busy period for the real estate market, with lots of new listings and an equal number of eager buyers. This year, we have had a surprisingly low inventory of homes for sale in Winchester. You may have seen the article in The Winchester Star recently, titled Sellers Wanted. There are buyers who have been looking in town for a long time, and are just waiting for the right house. While our data shows continued activity across most price ranges, homes that are priced right and are in great condition are the ones that sell the fastest. When a buyer finds a home, they are hesitant, waiting to make sure that we have really hit bottom, as far as prices are concerned. As optimistic Realtors, we believe that we have seen the bottom of the market in Winchester and, while no one expects any dramatic increases in value, home prices remain steady. Our community has been fortunate to have weathered the recent economic times with property values holding steady, with single digit percentage changes in value from years past.
We expect to see our conservative real estate market continue, with reasonably priced homes that are in good condition selling quickly. Gone are the days where a buyer walks into a home and exclaims I love this house! Lets make an offer!. Buyers are much more cautious and educated in the local market, reviewing sales data with their agents and touring the home several times, before finalizing their decision. We encourage both buyers and sellers to have this level of education and comfort with the local real estate market. Our agents are educated on a continuing basis about OUR market- Winchester and our neighboring communities. While we are bombarded with real estate headlines and trends (often negative) , its important to remember the old saying: all real estate is local. The national real estate market is very different from that in Boston and Winchester is a totally different story altogether. Our agents know the market HERE and we are always happy to talk about it.
So, hows the market? Ask one of us- we know.
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