Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 4/12/2021

Photo by Marce Garal from Pixabay

Eco-friendly homes may feel like a modern phenomenon, but the history of sustainable structures stretches further into the past than most people realize. In fact, in ancient times, nearly every residence or building was an environmentally friendly structure. Not because it was the trendy thing to do, but because it was the only option.

By understanding the history of eco homes and the lessons learned from the past, homeowners today can create a living space that allows them to minimize their impact on the environment.

Sustainable Housing in Ancient Times

For thousands of years, the people in ancient civilizations had no choice but to create sustainable dwellings. They made their homes out of natural, local materials, and they planned their lives accordingly so that they could survive with the resources that surrounded them. While sustainable housing was the first and only option available for generations, the industrial revolution quickly changed how people lived, worked and played. Societies that were once anchored by small villages and sprawling farms were now being condensed into bustling cities filled with factories, tenements and larger homes that drained excessive amounts of energy.

The 20th Century's Drain on Energy

The first half of the 20th century was not kind to natural, non-renewable energy sources. Every building that was created demanded more materials and more power to operate. Inefficient electrical systems were being used to power buildings that grew taller by the minute. Residents demanded homes that were made comfortable at all times and relied heavily on the use of heating and cooling systems. By the 1970s, it became clear that the human race could not continue on at its current pace of over-consumption.

The Modern Need for Eco-Friendly Homes

In the early 1970s, environmental activists sounded the alarms. They recognized that climate change was a real possibility, and that there needed to be an increase in sustainable efforts in order to curb the impact that people were having on the environment. At the same time, oil prices were climbing steadily in the 1970s and 1980s, which was a motivating factor for the average person to minimize their own energy consumption. During this time period, the modern concept of the eco home was born.

Eco Homes in the 21st Century

In the first two decades of the 21st century, eco-friendly homes went from being exclusive luxuries to the norm for many homeowners across the country. Today, people try to take both small and large steps to curb their energy dependence and reduce their impact on the environment. These are a few of the most common eco-friendly amenities that can be found in residential dwellings today:

  • Energy-efficient appliances.
  • Smart thermostats and other smart technology that helps automate the home.
  • Rainwater collection systems to maintain lawns and gardens.
  • Rock gardens versus grass lawns.
  • Living walls and roofs to generate energy.
  • Solar panels.
  • Energy-efficient windows.

From budget-conscious homeowners to those who invest in luxury real estate, nearly everyone in modern times recognizes the need for eco-friendly housing options. There are small steps that people can take to reduce their ecological footprint and large measures that they can employ to transform their lifestyle. No effort is too small when it comes to sustainability.

Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 4/7/2021

5 Goodwin Rd, Lexington, MA 02420



Full/Half Baths
On a private circle of homes, this stately brick Colonial is prominently sited on a near half-acre lot in the coveted Merriam Hill neighborhood. Open your front door and be at the Minuteman Bikeway and Lexington Battle Green in one or two minutes. Timeless details of the era combine with significant updates on all four levels. Improvements include central A/C, a renovated kitchen with white inset cabinetry, granite counters, Wolf cooktop and wall ovens, SubZero refrigerator and wine chiller, and a butler's pantry. There are 5 bedrooms and 3.5 baths on the upper levels plus a finished multi-room lower level with separate entrance, full bath and kitchenette - ideal for extended family and guests. A detached two-car garage, professionally landscaped lot with fine perennial borders, and a stone patio complete this idyllic picture. Living in Lexington Center will be a dream with unmatched proximity to shops, restaurants, Cary Library, Fiske Elementary School, LHS and the Hayden Recreation.
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Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 4/5/2021

Buying a vacation home is an important goal and milestone for many Americans who want to make the most of their holidays and plan for retirement.

Vacation properties neednít be lavish or expensive to still be a perfect way to enjoy the winter months at your home away from home. Furthermore, owning a vacation home can prove to be an excellent financial asset that increases in value over time, as more people seek to scoop up properties in your area.

In todayís post, Iím going to talk about some of the most important things to look for in a vacation home to help you kick off your search. Whether youíre months away from buying a home or the idea of a second home is still a far-off dream, this article is for you.

1. Consider locations

The most important aspect of any vacation home is that itís located in the perfect place for you to enjoy. Whether thatís a remote getaway in the mountains or a beachfront property in Florida, your plans for the home should be your number one priority.

If itís your ultimate goal to retire and move into your vacation home someday, consider what it would be like living in that location full time. Is it close to amenities like grocery stores? Or, if youíre moving to a coastal area, will the traffic drive you crazy?

On the other hand, if you donít intend to ever move into your vacation home full-time, it might be wiser to choose a location that will suit your familyís vacation needs while remaining a great asset to sell down the road.

2. Spend a week at your destination before buying

Some homeowners have a dream of buying a vacation home in a place theyíve always wanted to visit or have simply heard is a great place to own a vacation home in. The problem with this is that you might find, once you arrive, that you donít want to spend several weeks or months there after all.

It might get too crowded during vacation season or you might decide that there isnít enough to do that will keep you busy for extended stays.

To prevent buyerís remorse, spend a week or two in your planned vacation home destination to make sure it really is the best spot for you.

3. If you plan on renting, know what to expect

Many Americans purchase a vacation home with the intention of renting it out while they arenít using it to earn extra income. While this can be a great way to generate income, you will need to be prepared for becoming a landlord.

Look up local rental laws in the area to make sure you understand your responsibilities. Furthermore, understand that renting out a property part-time takes work; youíll interact with prospective renters, filter out those that you think arenít suited for your home, and handle problems with the property as they arrive.

If you keep these three things in mind, you should be able to find the perfect vacation home for you and your family.

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Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 3/29/2021

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

Most everyone would love to gain some extra room, especially those in small homes with limited space options. Here are three home interior DIY projects to help you maximize your space.

1. Transform a Closet into Workspace

If you’re lacking the room for a home office, transform one of your closets into a mini-office. This is a relatively easy and inexpensive way to give yourself a dedicated workspace.

  • Remove the door and hinges.
  • Empty the closet and give it a good wipe down.
  • Disassemble hanging rods.
  • Touch up or repaint the closet’s interior.
  • Add two to three shelves—a deep one to serve as your desktop and additional ones for storage.

If you prefer a traditional desk and your closet is wide enough, slide one in and eliminate the need for a deep shelf.

2. Mount Your TV

Modern styles are all about minimalism and entertainment centers don’t exactly fit this look. Besides, media consoles take up a ton of floor space. An easy way to reclaim this useful space is to mount your TV to the wall or above a fireplace.

  • Choose a mount for your TV—this will be a tilting mount, low-profile mount or full-motion mount.
  • Select a location and determine the best viewing height—be sure you have sufficient outlets and access to cable connections you need.
  • Cut out a piece of TV-sized cardboard or poster board and tape it to the wall to get a “visual” of your TV’s position.
  • Locate a stud and mark it. (If mounting to a fireplace use masonry anchors.)
  • Before you drill, use a level to ensure the wall mount is even.
  • Drill holes, attach your mount and secure it so it doesn’t collapse.
  • Add a cord cover to hide unsightly wiring.

Media consoles were useful before flat-screen TVs became the norm, but most people today can easily get by with a wall-mount and a shelf to hold cable boxes, media players or game consoles. If you need additional storage, add a small table with cabinet space.

3. Build Window Seats

Adding window seats to any room eliminates the need for extra seating on the floor, gives a cozy look and offers additional storage space.

  • Buy two wall cabinets about 30 inches wide by 15 inches high. You can purchase new or, to scale back costs, check secondhand stores, such as Habitat for Humanity’s Restore, for used cabinetry.
  • Use plywood (2x4 or 2x6) to serve as a perimeter base, nailing these pieces of wood into the floor to create a toekick. Be sure your outline’s depth is large enough to hold your cabinets, and leave a little extra room to pull your cabinets away a few inches from the wall beneath the window to save space for your seat.
  • Place cabinets on top of the toekick and clamp the two cabinets together. Be sure your screws are strong enough to hold the units together.
  • Clamp and screw cabinets to the toekick.
  • Place hardwood plywood on top of the cabinets to widen your seating area. (Sand and paint, if necessary.)
  • Add cushions and pillows.

Tip: Be sure to avoid positioning your seat over an HVAC vent or baseboard because you don’t block out your heat or A/C.

If you’re working with some tight spaces, you can better utilize it by transforming your existing space.

Categories: Uncategorized  

Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 3/24/2021

21 Rumford Road, Lexington, MA 02420



Full/Half Baths
Inviting Farmhouse-inspired Colonial sited on a corner level lot with fenced yard, bordered by perennial gardens and trees located in a neighborhood setting. Exceptionally crafted with high quality architectural details and finishes, including brick herringbone walkway with granite steps, wrap around porch, inlaid floors, French doors, window seats and more. Enjoy cooking in an inspiring kitchen with restaurant-style stainless range and vent hood, expansive center island, sunny bay window with breakfast area and butler's pantry with beverage center. Serene master suite and adjoining room with skylights. 3 rooms on the 3rd level each with skylights, may be used as a playroom, 6th bedroom or office. Comfortable lower level includes a home theatre with graduated seating for 8 and a game room. Exceptional built-ins provide tremendous storage. Plenty of outdoor space for patio dining, BBQ's, and yard games. A wonderful home for entertaining, working, and relaxing. Less than 1 mile to town.
Open House
March 25 at 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Appointments should be scheduled Thursday-Monday during specified time blocks through Showing Time. Please exercise all CDC-recommended COVID-19 precautions. Please limit the number of people in your party to 2 decision makers (plus your agent, if attending) Thank you.
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Location: 21 Rumford Road, Lexington, MA 02420    Get Directions

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