Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 4/6/2020

Photo by Larisa Koshkina via Pixabay

Restoring native habitat to our surroundings is like pressing the "refresh" button on biodiversity. Homeowners who embrace native gardening are making big contributions to healthy landscapes, which is great for maintaining the native ecosystems.

Making a Difference—Beautifully

Native plants are the greenery that would grow in certain areas with or without human intervention. These plants evolved along with the rest of the living community in the same area, meaning native, dynamic gardening brings in more than plants. It buzzes with life and energy, above and below the soil - from flitting birds to pollinating insects.

The impact of native plant species on even a small stretch of land is impressive. Areas where oak trees thrive, for example, can sustain about a hundred times the diversity as other types of nursery trees. This is all due to the fact that the oak is the native tree of the land and has a built-in capacity for the surrounding ecosystems.

What's more, native gardens produce beautiful flowers, abundant fruits, and lovely, ever-changing seasonal displays of subtle and vibrant hues. They produce the age-old foods of a local area's wildlife. The nectar attracts pollinators, such as bats and hummingbirds.

Payoffs of Native Gardening

You can re-do your garden completely and go 100% native— or choose to implement a majority of native plants with a few accented implants. You could also gradually transform your garden by bringing a few native plants yearly into what you already have. This is called "conservation by addition." 

Either way, native plants in a landscape or garden take about as much effort as establishing other plants you might buy from a market or nursery. Yet after their roots take hold, native plants can flourish with surprisingly little gardening work.

Indigenous plants have evolved to do well in the local weather and soil. This means they rarely need extra resources or sprinkler systems for support. Great news for water bills! No matter what size your garden project, your native garden can help save water and key resources.

Plus, oaks, maples, and other native trees to your region work efficiently to hold in carbon dioxide while replenishing precious oxygen. These trees continually add shade, beauty, and pure, refreshed air to your surroundings.  

Ready to Give It a Go?

Visit natural areas around you. This will give you ideas about what will fit in well on your property. Use your zip code to find local plants that will delight your local birds and bees.

Contact other gardeners in your area for advice. Social media is another great source of tips.

Then enjoy learning, and celebrating the natural character of the land on which you live.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 3/30/2020

Image by fede13 from Pixabay

Just as your car needs regular maintenance, so does your home. It may not be the highlight of your weekend, but home maintenance is crucial. Keeping your home in tip-top shape will help prevent problems down the road and give you an edge when you decide to sell.

Check Your HVAC System

A general guideline is to swap your HVAC filters every two to three months. If you have a large household and/or pets, you may need to replace your filters more frequently. New HVAC filters can better trap dust and allergens and improve airflow throughout your home, benefiting both your health and your wallet. Service your HVAC system in the spring and fall before extreme temperatures hit.

Clean Kitchen Appliances

Freshen and de-grime your sink disposal. You can do this with conventional cleaners or with vinegar ice cubes. Grind up some orange peels to make the disposal extra fresh. Next up is the range hood filter. A degreaser mixed with hot water should do the trick. Lastly, you'll want to vacuum your refrigerator coils. Doing so will make your fridge run more efficiently and cut down on your electricity bill.

Check Your Fire Safety

Make sure your fire extinguisher is accessible and has sufficient pressure. This should be visible on the gauge. Next, test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Most modern systems have a test feature that will sound an alarm if all is good. Clean the detectors and replace the batteries as needed.

Check Your Water

Inspect your water heater to make sure all valves are working properly. While you're at it, check your water softener and add salt if needed. Inspect your faucets, tubs and toilets for leaks and water pressure issues. Any problems will most likely stem from the aerator, which is a simple fix.

Test Your Electricity

Check that all your outlets are working properly. You can follow various online guides on how to re-wire dead outlets. If you feel nervous about working with electricity, call an electrician.

Deep Clean Your Home

At least twice a year you'll want to dust, vacuum and scrub your interiors as thoroughly as possible. Remove stains and caked-on dirt from floors, carpets and countertops. Get into the nooks and crannies. Clean tile grout and showerheads.

Don't Forget the Outside

Hose and sweep your patio, clean your gutters and clear debris from around entrances. Trim overgrown plants. Inspect roofing, siding, paint, and brick for damages. Use caulk to patch up minor damages and seal gaps in window and door frames.

With proper maintenance, you can keep your home in excellent condition regardless of its age. Make a checklist of what you need to do monthly, seasonally and yearly. Fix seemingly small issues now before they turn into big, costly ones. If you have a busy schedule, consider hiring a professional to keep your home well-maintained.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 3/25/2020


27 Moreland Avenue, Lexington, MA 02421

Single-Family

$898,000
Price

8
Rooms
4
Beds
2
Baths
Warm and welcoming multi-level in move in condition located in the coveted Follen Hill neighborhood. Owned and cherished by the same family for 32 years, this well-maintained property offers 4 bedrooms and 2 updated full baths. A legal accessory apartment provides convenience and additional flexibility of living space. Gorgeous hardwood floors throughout and recently painted interior in a soft neutral tone will further enhance your décor. On a winter's day, enjoy sitting by one of the 2 wood burning fireplaces and in warmer weather, relax or entertain on the blue stone rear patio. Near half acre lot with serene views of well-established gardens and naturalist setting beyond. Over-sized 2 car garage and central A/C. A commuter's dream location with easy access to Alewife, Route 2, and public transportation. Fantastic walking neighborhood with nearby Elementary School, Daisy Wilson Conservation Meadow and Wilson Farm just a stroll away.
Open House
No scheduled Open Houses

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Categories: New Homes  


Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 3/23/2020

As a home seller, your goal is to optimize your property sale earnings. Yet doing so may prove to be difficult, particularly for those who are operating in a fierce real estate market. Lucky for you, we're here to help you differentiate your residence from the competition and boost the likelihood of a profitable home selling experience.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you optimize your home sale earnings.

1. Enhance Your House's Curb Appeal

How homebuyers perceive your residence when they view it for the first time may impact your ability to maximize your home sale earnings. If buyers see a home with a pristine front lawn, dazzling garden and other stunning exterior features, they may set up home showings right away. Then, after buyers see all that your residence has to offer, they may submit homebuying proposals that match or exceed your expectations.

Ultimately, your house's curb appeal can make a world of difference during the home selling journey. If you allocate time and resources to trim the hedges, mow the lawn and perform other home exterior upgrades, you can boost your residence's curb appeal in no time at all.

2. Remove Clutter from Inside Your Home

Although you may have collected many antiques, paintings and knick-knacks over the years, these items may actually do more harm than good when you try to sell your house. In fact, your personal belongings may make it tough for buyers to envision what life may be like if they purchase your home.

Oftentimes, it helps to rent a storage unit before you list your residence. This will enable you to keep assorted personal belongings safe and outside your home until your residence sells.

You also may want to host a yard sale or list items online prior to selling your house. This will allow you to simultaneously remove clutter from your house and earn extra cash.

3. Hire a Real Estate Agent

For home sellers who want to maximize their home sale earnings, it pays to hire a real estate agent. This housing market professional will work with you throughout the home selling journey to ensure you can get the best price for your home.

Typically, a real estate agent will meet with you, learn about your house and craft a home selling strategy. He or she then will host home showings and open house events to promote your residence to potential buyers. And if a buyer submits an offer to purchase your house, a real estate agent can provide a recommendation about whether you should accept, reject or counter this proposal.

A real estate agent can respond to your home selling concerns and questions too. As a result, he or she can help you make informed decisions throughout the home selling journey.

Ready to list your home? Use the aforementioned tips, and you should have no trouble enjoying a quick and profitable home selling experience.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 3/16/2020

Let's face it selling your home has been a long, complex and stressful journey. Now, you're only 24 hours from finalizing the sale of your house and moving on to the next chapter of your life.

Although most of the home selling process is complete, a homebuyer still needs to finalize the home purchase agreement. As such, there are several things that you may want to do before a homebuyer completes his or her final walk-through of your residence, including:

1. Clean Your Home's Interior

A messy interior is unlikely to ruin your home sale. At the same time, it is always better to err on the side of caution and provide a homebuyer with a fresh, clean residence that he or she will be able to enjoy instantly.

Spend some time mopping the floors, wiping down the walls and ceilings and ensuring your house's interior looks pristine. By doing so, you can minimize the risk that a homebuyer will find last-minute problems that could delay his or her home purchase.

2. Remove Your Belongings

If you have any belongings still at your residence, you'll need to remove them quickly.

When it comes to last-minute moving, you may need to rent a moving truck. With a moving truck at your disposal, you can remove items from your property and put them in storage or move them to your new address.

Also, don't hesitate to ask family members and friends for assistance. These loved ones may be able to provide a helping hand as you prepare to relocate from your current residence. Plus, they may be able to help you alleviate stress as you wrap up the home selling cycle.

3. Cancel Any Home Services

Contact your home cable, internet and telephone service providers to inform them about your upcoming move. You may be able to move various services to your new address, or you may need to cancel some of these services entirely.

Don't forget to contact any utilities providers as well. That way, you can avoid the risk of utility bills after you leave your current address.

4. Consult with Your Real Estate Agent

Your real estate agent has been a game-changer throughout the home selling cycle. As the home selling process draws to a conclusion, your real estate will continue to do what he or she can to ensure you can get the best results possible.

If you're uncertain about what to do to get ready for a home closing, be sure to give your real estate agent a call. This housing market professional will provide details about how the home closing process will work so that you can plan accordingly.

Moreover, your real estate agent is happy to respond to any home selling concerns, at any time. He or she will go the extra mile to provide you with the home selling support you need.

Get ready to finalize a home sale use the aforementioned tips, and you'll be able to prepare for a home closing.