My Favorite Places to Walk My Dog in Walpole & Medfield

fullsizeoutput_5a5One of the things I always used to like to do when my kids were little was to go to a park.  From the tiny neighborhood park we visited before they could even walk (in the greater Chicago area), to several favorites in London, East Grand Rapids, Michigan and later Sherborn, we have hit many a playground.  Nowadays my kids are both in college and don’t seem all that interested in the playground.  🙂  But now I have a dog.  We get out every single day, with rare exception (e.g. torrential rain all day).  I don’t always love it, especially when it is cold and windy, but I know it is the highlight of my dog’s day (well, maybe the highlight after breakfast and dinner).  When I am rushed for time, we will just walk in the neighborhood, but most days we  hit a local park or reservation.  My dog is part beagle, and his nose needs a workout…I think he enjoys being on the trails as much as I do.  We have some favorites, which I thought I would share in today’s post.  We continue to discover new places to walk (in fact, once this snow melts, we have another one on our radar)…I think we both enjoy the variety!  Here are some of our local favorites.

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Adams Farm, Walpole

For the last few years, since moving to Walpole, this is our “go to” place to walk.  Very popular with dog walkers, it is rare that we don’t get to say hello to at least a few “dog friends.”  You will also see runners and mountain bikers there, so heads up.  There is a main loop that most people seem to use that is partly in the woods, and partly in some open fields.  It takes us about 40-45 minutes (including stops to sniff) to complete.  Adams Farm is located on North Street in Northeast Walpole, almost on the Westwood Line (I have been known to make a quick stop at Bubbling Brook after a walk in the summer).  Per their website, the park contains almost 700 acres of land (owned by various entities).  There is ample parking, and the park is free to use.  The non-profit Friends of Adams Farm helps oversee and maintain the park (along with participation from the Town of Walpole, who owns about half of the land).  Donations are gratefully accepted.  In addition to the trails, there is a butterfly garden and a community garden with 64 plots that can be rented…in the summer there is always someone working in the gardens.  My only criticism of the park is that the trail map isn’t the most intuitive to follow (at least that’s my experience).  We have learned the trails mostly through trial and error (and following others!).  Aside from that, I find this to be a real treasure.  My dog Ollie and I are there probably 4 or 5 times a week…check out our video from our Valentine’s Day walk.

Rocky Woods, Medfield

Rocky Woods is a Trustees of Reservations property.  Located on Hartford St. in the northeast corner of Medfield, Rocky Woods is comprised of 490 wooded acres with many trail options.  Unlike Adams Farm, there is a good color-coded trail map, and trails are well-marked.  There are two ponds, one of which is being overrun by beavers.  It’s actually kind of sad, as Echo Pond used to be a beautiful little treasure…now the beavers have blocked one end and continue to destroy more trees rimming the pond’s banks.  But if you have kids, you can see the work of the beavers and it is easy to spy their huge beaver den, so maybe some educational value there.  Like Adams Farm, you can contribute to the ongoing maintenance of the reservation by becoming  a Trustees member.  Membership encompasses all of the Trustees properties, approximately 100 parcels covering 25,000 acres.  Parking at Rocky Woods is ample, but if you aren’t a Trustees member it will cost you $5 (become a member).

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William Francis Bird Park, Walpole

This park, located in east Walpole is fast becoming a favorite of mine.  Like Rocky Woods, Bird Park is a Trustees property.  Much smaller than Adams Farm or Rocky Woods, at only 89 acres, this park is mainly comprised of paved walkways rather than trails.  You will see a lot of walkers, many with dogs, but unlike other parks, dogs are typically on-leash here.  Bird Park was created in 1925 and has many small ponds and beautiful stone bridges.  The only negative is that the geese have fallen in love with the ponds, and as we all know, they can be a bit messy.  What this park offers, that the others don’t, are tennis courts, basketball courts, a large enclosed playground and a large paved (enclosed) area with all kinds of small riding toys for kids.  In the warmer months, this is a popular place.  Benches throughout the park provide places to sit and watch all that is going on.  There is ample (free) parking on Polley Lane.  Parking here you enter the park through the “Allée,” an open area lined with huge hemlocks, quite impressive (see photo above).

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Medfield State Hospital, Medfield

Located on Hospital Road in the northwest corner of Medfield, this is the site of a former state psychiatric facility.  Originally opened in 1897 as the Medfield Insane Asylum, operations ceased in 2003 and in 2014 it was sold to the Town of Medfield (for more history, see here).  I love walking here.  All the original buildings still stand, in varying states of disrepair.  Windows are, for the most part, boarded up, and entry to any of the buildings is strictly prohibited (not that you would want to go in), but there is much to see and appreciate in the brickwork and architecture.  The public is welcome to wander theSONY DSC grounds, which has a kind of quiet stillness to it…some might think eerie, but based on the number of people walking their dogs there, it doesn’t seem to bother many.  Entry is on the end closest to Rt 27, and there is ample parking.  If you continue to follow the road in, there is a new parking lot down near the Charles River.  The parking is close to miles of trails that border the former hospital (some of the trails end up at Dover-Sherborn High School…for a map, see here).  There is also a big open field for dogs (or kids) to run around in, located behind the buildings along the back of the property.  There is a group studying the long-term use of the property; for more information, see Medfield State Hospital Vision and Master Plan.

Wheelock Conservation Land, Medfield

Located on Elm St in Medfield, parking is available at the back of Wheelock School (enter at the most eastern entrance and drive straight back).  You will know you are in the right place when you see other dog walkers.  A very popular place, there are paved walkways from Wheelock south to Rt 27 (see maps here, here and here).  There are also some large open fields for dogs that like to run.  You can also access wooded trails, part of the Bay Circuit Trail.  The paved walkway is more of an “out and back” kind of path, but you can go out on the pavement, and head back by cutting across the fields (or vice-versa) to add some variety.  Best to avoid on weekends in the spring and fall as there are fields that host kids’ sporting events and tournaments and the parking area is often full.

Those are just a few of my favorite places to take the dog (and to clear my own head…I do some of my best thinking when walking the dog).  At almost 10 years old, a 45 minute walk will tire him out for the rest of the day.  Ollie and I are always looking for new places to walk, so if you have a favorite spot or two, please leave a comment below.

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Looking to relocate to Walpole or Medfield (or any surrounding towns)?  I represent both buyers and sellers in Walpole, Medfield, Dover, Sherborn, Holliston, Natick, Wellesley and Norfolk.  If you have any questions about the area, or if you are interested in discussing buying or selling a home, please call (508-308-4436), email (Lvandore@Landmarkne.com) or message me via my Facebook business page.

Interested in real estate and the local real estate market?  Click HERE to sign up for my monthly real estate newsletter, a round-up of relevant real estate news and current local market analysis.  Unsubscribe at any time, and rest assured that I will never share your email information.

 

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6 Tips for Home Buyers

6-tips-for-home-buyersIt’s early February, and the spring market is already here.   Interest rates are creeping up, with predictions that they may hit 5% by year’s end (note that a 1% increase in the mortgage rate translates to a $720 increase in your annual mortgage payment per $100,000 of loan…so a $400,000 loan would cost you almost an additional $3,000 annually).   With the mild winter, we are seeing more people out looking, and inventory levels remain low, ridiculously so in some areas.   Since the first of the year we are seeing what available inventory there is on the market, go under agreement.  If you are serious about buying a home, now is the time.  If you plan to wait until March or April to get serious, be prepared…more inventory also means more buyers (and more competition).  Fasten your seat belts and read on for my six tips on how to put yourself in the best position to obtain the house of your dreams.

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1. Get Pre-Approved

This may be the single most important item on the list.  If you don’t have a pre-approval, you aren’t really in the game.  No seller will look at an offer today without a buyer pre-approval.  It’s just the way it’s done.

  • Note that a pre-approval and  a pre-qualification are not the same thing.  A pre-approval is what you need, and it will require talking to your lender and may involve providing some actual documents to support your financial position ~ it is more than a casual conversation with a lender about what you might be able to afford.  The pre-approval will give you an idea of what the bank will be willing to lend you (although a pre-approval does not guarantee you will get a loan) and will show the seller that you are a qualified buyer.
  • If possible, your pre-approval should state that you do not need to sell an existing home in order to get a loan.  This will, naturally, be dependent on your financial situation, but it will make your offer much more attractive if your qualifying for a loan on your new home is not contingent on you selling your current home.
  • Just because you are pre-approved for a certain amount doesn’t mean you have to buy a house up to your limit.  Make sure you think about what you are comfortable spending, not just what the bank is comfortable loaning to you…they may not be the same thing.   Also, before extending an offer on a property, make sure you understand all the costs associated with it beyond your mortgage payment.  What are the property taxes like (this information is readily available on the listing sheet)?  Are there HOA fees (this is not just for condos, some detached homes come with HOA fees)?  And while you may love the pool, make sure you understand what a pool costs to run and maintain.
  • Refrain from making big purchases, changing jobs, moving money around, etc. prior to buying a home.  Banks like to see stability and no big changes leading up to your purchase.

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2. Understand What You Are Looking For in a House

This may not be 100% apparent at first, which is why you want to initially try to see as many houses as you can to help narrow down what it is you want.

  • Spend some time thinking about your priorities and your deal breakers.  Have these discussions with a partner/spouse who is purchasing with you…you will not agree on everything, but understand where each of you are willing to compromise and what the most important things are to each of you.  Are you willing to do work on a house? Do you need to be close to commuting options?  Do you want a big yard or a small yard?  How many bedrooms do you need?  What towns are you interested in?  Is there a particular school district you want to be in?  Have some conversations up front so you know where you both stand…but be flexible too.  You will never, ever find a house that checks off every single box, no matter what your budget (the more budget we have, the more we tend to want).  Be ready to compromise…with each other and with the available inventory.  
  • While open houses can be a great way to get started, once you become more familiar with the market and the inventory, you really should work with an Realtor.  A good agent will watch the market for you…agents have access to MLS listings before they appear on some of the popular websites like realtor.com and Zillow.  More importantly, an agent will also have information about listings before they hit MLS, sometimes weeks in advance.  Sometimes listings sell before even making it to MLS.  In a competitive market, you want to have all the advantages possible ~ you want to be the first person to hear of a new listing and the first person to get in to see a house ~ it may make the difference between getting the house and not.  Besides helping you to see homes, an agent will help you to negotiate an offer when the time comes, being aware of comparable sales and what is happening in the market.  They will also help you through the process from offer and acceptance to closing.  In today’s market sellers still generally pay the real estate agent’s commission…why not take advantage of a Realtor’s services?
  • Make sure any decision makers are prepared to see a house ASAP.  The best houses go quickly.  Do not assume that if you see a house on Wednesday that you can wait until the weekend for your spouse to see it.  Do not even assume you can wait until Thursday for them to see it.  Be prepared to do what it takes to see a house that you think is a contender.  Consider whether a spouse can see the house via FaceTime if necessary.  Be prepared!

3.  Have Your Deposits Ready.  

In Massachusetts this is a two-step affair.  

  • When you make an offer be prepared to write a check for $1,000 to $2,000 (this checkbook-688352_960_720can be more, but basically it is a nominal deposit).  This is money that shows the seller you are serious.  This can be a personal check.
  • In Massachusetts, after you have an offer and acceptance and the inspection has been completed, you will sign a purchase and sale agreement…at this time you need to be prepared to hand over an additional deposit bringing the total deposit to (generally) around 5% of the purchase price.  This too can be a personal check.  If you are buying a $500,000 home and have already put down a $1,000 deposit, you will need to write an additional check for $24,000.

4.  Be Ready For the Next Steps.  beach-84533__340

Most of us don’t buy a house every day, so even if we are not first-time home buyers, we may not remember all the things that need to happen between offer & acceptance and closing.   Tip:  Don’t make an offer on a house and then head out of town for a two week vacation…

  • As soon as you have an agreement you will need to set up a home inspection for the property.  While this is optional, it is highly recommended, even with new construction.  The inspector will look at the exterior of the house, the major systems, and they can test for radon, pests, etc.  The cost varies, and is the responsibility of the buyer.  You can talk to friends or family for a referral; your agent can also give you some recommendations.  Expect to have 7-10 days to get all inspections and testing completed.  You should plan to attend the home inspection.
  • Once the inspection is completed and any issues have been resolved/negotiated, it is time to sign the P&S.  This is drawn up by the buyer’s attorney (if you don’t have one, your agent can usually recommend someone).  The P&S is usually signed within a few weeks of the offer, sometimes less (remember, this is when the additional deposit is due).  Signing can be done electronically.
  • Once the P&S is signed the buyer is expected to turn in their loan application…usually no later than the next day.  Before the P&S you should already be talking to your lender to get the (loan application) ball rolling.
  • keys-1281663__340Closing…timeframe for this can vary, but anywhere from 45 to 75 days, sometimes more, depending on the wants and needs of both buyer and seller (this should be negotiated as part of the offer).  There is a lot to sign and initial at closing and this is easiest done if you are present, as opposed to being done remotely.  You will need to bring a bank check (not a personal check) for the balance of the money you are putting down on the house.

5. If You Have a House to Sell, Get it on the Market Before You Buy.  abode-987096__340

This is a big concern for many sellers in today’s market as they don’t want to sell their house without having a house to go to…however…

  • Do you really want to run the risk of carrying two houses?  While you may think that if you put your house on the market it will sell tomorrow, you never really know.  Better to list it now, and then negotiate for a longer closing date if you sell quickly.
  • Selling your house will help light a fire to make a decision on a new house.  Sometimes buyers just cannot get off the fence.  Yes, it is an important decision, not to be made lightly, yet at the same time do you really want to be looking at houses for the next three years?
  • The market is hot right now for sellers…why not take advantage of it and get the best price for the house you are selling? 

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6. Keep it All in Perspective.  

Despite all the previous urging to “be ready,” to list your current house, to make a decision…in the end, you also need to keep it all in perspective.  It is very easy to get caught up in the mania of the real estate market.  In the end, you have to trust that it will all work out.  Sometimes a house you lose out on maybe just wasn’t meant to be…not to get all “new-agey” on you, but sometimes the right house might still be waiting for you.  When I was looking for a new home a few years ago, I found a house that I thought was perfect, but before I acted it was gone.  I beat myself up about it for weeks…and then the house I ultimately bought came up for sale.  And it is a much better house for me than the house that I thought was “meant” to be mine.  So trust a bit…it will happen.  Just do your part to be ready when it does.

If you have any questions about buying or selling a home, if you are interested in learning what your home is worth, or if you have any questions about real estate in general, please give me a call (508-308-4436), send me an email (Lvandore@LandmarkNE.com) or send me a message via Facebook.  I would love to help you!

Interested in real estate and the local real estate market?  Click HERE to sign up for my monthly real estate newsletter, a round-up of relevant real estate news and current local market analysis.  Unsubscribe at any time, and rest assured that I will never share your email information.

 

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Everything You Want to Know About Living in Walpole, MA

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Thinking of moving to Walpole, MA?  Here is an overview of schools, things to do, commuting and more.  There is a lot to like about this town, which lies about 25 miles southwest of Boston.

Population (2010): 24,070
Named after Sir Robert Walpole, the first prime minister of Great Britain
County: Norfolk
Settled: 1659
21 square miles
Zip codes: 02032, 02071, and 02081

Education (statistics per Mass Dept. of Education and Walpole High School)

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Public Schools:

4 elementary schools (Boyden, Old Post Road, Fisher & Elm)
2 Middle Schools (Bird and Eleanor Johnson)
1 High School (Walpole High)
1 Vocational School (Norfolk County Agricultural High School)
Walpole also offers a preschool, the Daniel Feeney Preschool
     Center, which services children with special needs, integrated with
typically developing children (in 2015 45.8% of the students had
special needs and 4.2% were English language learners).

Student Population by School: Boyden ~ 398; Elm ~ 435; Fisher ~ 443;
Old Post Rd ~ 458; Bird ~ 498; Johnson ~ 430; Walpole High ~ 1172

Student: Teacher Ratio: Boyden ~ 14:1; Elm ~ 14.5:1; Fisher ~ 12.2:1;
Old Post Rd ~ 14.1:1; Bird ~ 13.3:1; Johnson ~ 13.9:1; Walpole High ~ 14.6:1

MCAS Results 2015 (percent of students scoring proficient or above)
Boyden: ELA 72%; Math 71%; Science 70%
Elm: ELA 79%; Math 71%; Science 68%
Fisher: ELA 83%; Math 84%; Science 82%
Old Post Rd: ELA 81%; Math 83%; Science 89%
Bird: ELA 85%; Math 61%; Science 58%
Johnson: ELA 86%; Math 74%; Science 62%
Walpole High: ELA 99%; Math 84%; Science 91%

Class of 2016 combined SAT: 1587 (Reading 527, Math 537, Writing 523)

88.7% of students in the class of 2016 went onto post high school education

Private Schools:
Next Generation Children’s Center. Daycare and preschool options.
Blessed Sacrament School. Preschool through grade 8 Catholic education.
League School of Greater Boston. Provides education for students with autism
Many additional private schools in the area

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Things to Do:

Playgrounds: Memorial and Francis William Bird Park

2 Pools: Center Pool & Splash Pad & South Pool (outdoor, summer only)

Walking/Hiking: William Francis Bird Park (Trustees of Reservations property…includes a playground and basketball courts); Adams Farm (hiking trails and community garden); Walpole Town Forest (hiking trail with vernal pool), Bay Circuit Trail (200 mile long trail that passes through Walpole).

Ice Skating: Norfolk Ice Arena in nearby Norfolk (lessons and public skate)

Farmer’s Market: Open Friday afternoons in the summer

Walpole Footlighters: Community theatre

fullsizeoutput_59cClasses and Events

Walpole Parks and Recreation ~ offers classes for youth, teens and adults

Walpole Public Library (part of the Old Colony Library Network) ~ story times and book clubs

Community Sponsored Events (Kids Night In at Blackburn Hall, Christmas Tree Lighting)

fullsizeoutput_59dPublic Transportation and Commuting

Commuter Rail Station into South Station ~ Walpole (275 West St) ~ Franklin Line; 343 parking spaces

There is also a very small station at Plimptonville (185 Plimptonville St)…no parking, only one inbound and one outbound stop a day.

Access to Rte. 95 via Coney St ramp

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Junior Women’s Club of Walpole ~ a volunteer organization that meets monthly. See thejwcw.org

Walpole Historical Societya repository for documents pertaining to the history of the town of Walpole.

Want to know more about finding a home in Walpole?  Contact me via email at Lvandore@LandmarkNE.com or via Facebook.   Interested in real estate and the local real estate market?  Click HERE to sign up for my monthly real estate newsletter, a round-up of relevant real estate news and current local market analysis.  Unsubscribe at any time, and rest assured that I will never share your email information.

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5 Tips to Help You Prepare for Meeting With a Listing Agent

5-tips-blogThinking about selling your home?  I highly recommend that you interview at least three real estate agents.  Even if you have a “go-to” agent, for example, someone you have used in the past or an agent who comes recommended by someone you trust, it is still worth taking the time to meet with at least two additional agents.  Selling a house is a big deal, and you should take the time to make sure you have selected the best agent for you.

When you contact an agent, expect them to initially come to take a look at the house.  I would be wary of any agent who meets you for the first time and walks in with a market analysis and a proposed listing price.  Every house is different, and until an agent gets inside and sees the layout, condition, upgrades, etc, they cannot really do a good job of determining a proper listing price for your home.  Once the agent has toured your house, expect them to set up a second meeting, preferably with all homeowners/decision makers present.

To help you prepare for these meetings, I have put together a list of homework you should do prior to meeting with a listing agent…being prepared will help the agent provide you with a better market value assessment.

Tip #1: Make Sure Your Home is Clean and Picked Upbedroom-1940169__340-2

While it may seem that this is a no-brainer, it still bears mention.  You want your home to look its absolute best.  If you are going to be listing your home for sale, you should get used to keeping your home neat and picked up…you never know when a potential buyer will want to see it.  While agents are better at seeing past dirt and clutter (they aren’t buying it and are more subjective than a potential buyer), they also know that a clean and picked up home is easier to sell, which will often result in a higher selling price.  Take the time to make your home look its absolute best prior to your first agent visit.

Tip #2:  Prepare a List of Upgrades and Major Repairs & Maintenance

Did you replace the roof last year?  Did you upgrade your kitchen recently?  While some things may be apparent (e.g.  a kitchen upgrade), take some time prior to your agent visit to compile a list of work you have done on your home, and when you did it, to the best of your ability.  Provide this list to the agent, which can assist them in properly valuing your home.  Make the list as comprehensive as you can.  While some expenditures may matter less than others, let the agent determine what is important.  (As a side note, I recommend holding off on doing any significant upgrades or repairs before meeting with a listing agent…let them help you decide which expenditures, if any, make sense to do before listing.)

Tip #3:  Understand Your Selling Time Frame

All agents are going to want to know whether you are looking to list immediately, sometime in the next few months, or maybe in the next year or two (it is never too early to meet with an agent!).  The timing of when you want to get your home on the market can impact the listing price.  It also gives the listing agent an idea of what your expectations of them are.

beware-of-disclosing-too-much-informationTip #4: Beware of Disclosing Too Much Information

This actually might be one of the most important tips, and one that is rarely, if ever, discussed.  Until you sign a listing agreement with an agent, they do not represent you.  If you tell them you are divorcing and looking for a quick sale or that your neighbors are loud and obnoxious and you can’t get away from them fast enough…this could come back to haunt you later.  Disclosing information to an agent, who you later do not hire, is information that they now own, and can share with a buyer that they may bring to your property later.

I have personal experience with this one…when interviewing agents the last time I sold my house, the potential listing agent presented me with a market analysis and price.  I made the mistake of discussing that price with them, and giving them an idea of what I would be happy accepting…I did not hire that agent, and she later represented the couple who bought my house.  She had information about what kind of price I would be happy with, and low and behold, that is where the buyer came in at (lower than asking price, of course).  So beware…present the facts an agent needs in order to value your home, but don’t disclose everything until they are actually representing you in the form of a contract.

Tip #5: Have Some Idea What Your Home May Be Worthdollar-1924523__340

This is not meant to put the burden of valuing your home on you.  You are relying on the agent to be the expert, and despite the wealth of information now available about home prices, the agent will still have more accurate and complete information about listing and selling prices, in addition to experience in selling homes.  That being said, take some time to look at realtor.com (the most accurate site out there) and see what is currently on the market in your area and at what price.  Look for homes that have similar bedroom and bathroom counts, square footage and features.  This will allow you to ask better questions when the agent comes back with his or her market analysis.  It will also prepare you in case the agent comes back with a price that seems unusually high.  While sometimes an agent is trying to get a listing by coming in with the highest list price, generally that is not the case.  But by doing some homework in advance, if an agent’s proposed listing price is higher (or lower) than what you are expecting, you will be better prepared to ask questions and understand their rationale.

These are my tips for preparing yourself to meet with a potential listing agent.  In an upcoming post, I will discuss what you should expect a listing agent to cover with you in their second meeting with you.  [If you would like to be alerted when these posts, and others, are available, please fill out the box below with your email information.]

Interested in real estate and the local real estate market?  Click HERE to sign up for my monthly real estate newsletter, a round-up of relevant real estate news and current local market analysis.  Unsubscribe at any time, and rest assured that I will never share your email information.

 

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Real Estate Round Up

Some interesting reading from around the real estate world.

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Yippee Ki-yay! Bruce Willis Cuts the Price of His Idaho Mansion ~ Again!

First up, take a  look at Bruce Willis’ Idaho mansion.  For a mere $7M you can own this 8400+ square foot lodge-style home featuring lake views, heated decks, a pool and a 2200 square foot master suite.  For additional photos, see the original article posted when the house went on the market for $15M.

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4 Tips for a Smooth Home Appraisal

Whether you are buying a home or refinancing, the appraisal is an important part of the process.  Item #3 is especially important in making sure your appraisal is as accurate as possible.

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Ideal Homes for 8 Dad Stereotypes, From Sporty to Handy to Stay-at-Home

In honor of Father’s Day this Sunday (wishing all the dads out there a great day), here’s a home for every Dad.

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After an Era of Ups and Downs, Home Prices Return to Sanity

While I wouldn’t say that all communities in Greater Boston have returned to “sanity,” this is good news for most.

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How Much Do You Lose Every Year You Rent Instead of Buy?

If you are thinking of waiting to buy, you might want to think again.

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House Hunting in Spain

A beautiful 6 bedroom country house in Catalonia Spain for sale for just over $1M.  We can all dream.

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What’s on the Market in Sherborn, MA

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I lived in Sherborn for 11 years…my kids basically grew up there, with my son starting out at Pine Hill Elementary in first grade, and graduating from the high school in 2013.  I may be biased, but Sherborn is a great place to raise a family.  Incorporated in 1674, until more recently Sherborn was a farming community.  Now it is primarily a “bedroom” community of just over 4,000 residents.  Located approximately 25 miles from downtown Boston, many residents commute into the city or to areas along the hi-tech corridor of Rt. 128.

Sherborn has a single elementary school, and combines with the neighboring town of Dover (population 5,600) for middle and high school.  The Dover-Sherborn Regional High School is consistently ranked as one of the top high schools in the greater Boston area, often coming in at the #1 spot.

214 Farm Rd - waterfront home for sale in Sherborn

Sherborn has a rural feel, with working farms and horse farms a common sight.  The town has a small town center with a restaurant, a gas station, two wine stores, a Walgreen’s and a Dunkin’ Donuts, among other things.  There are also three churches, a library and a community center which can be rented out for events.  The town also has a hidden gem in Farm Pond, a small, pristine body of water that is available to residents.  Sailing lessons and a swim team, along with a sandy beach with lifeguards make this a popular place in the summer.  The town is also home to numerous trails, including Rocky Narrows, part of the Trustees of Reservations properties.

Homes currently on the market in Sherborn range in price from $440,000 to $3,725,000, with a median price of $949,000.  Below are a few highlights of what is available in Sherborn right now.

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85 Brush Hill Road, listed at $699,000

Offering 4 bedrooms and 3 full baths, this ranch offers single level living with over 3,000 square feet.  This home offers an updated kitchen and baths and beautiful hardwood floors, all on an acre of land.

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113 South Main St, listed at $1,149,000

This home combines the best of old and new…the original part of the home was built in 1780 and at one time was known as Wares Tavern.  A significant addition approximately 10 years ago also served to update all the systems.  Offering 4 bedrooms and 3 1/2 baths on over 3 beautifully landscaped acres, this home is fully updated and perfect for entertaining.

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60 Washington St, listed at $1,650,000

Bridle Brook Farm dates back to 1734.  Offering 5 bedrooms, 4 full and 2 half baths, this 4900 square foot home is on almost 11 acres.  Multiple outbuildings include a 6 stall barn with tack room.  The grounds offer an in ground salt-water pool and spa along with an outdoor kitchen.  Updated for today’s living needs, this home has it all.

If you are interested in seeing any of these homes, or if I can help you find another home in the Sherborn/ Dover area, please contact me, I would love to help!

 

 

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6 Design Trends for 2015

Home decorating…just about the time you get the entire house “done” it’s time to start over again.  While many of us update our wardrobes with some frequency to follow the fashion trends, changing out our home decor is a slightly more complicated (and costly).  Whether you are thinking of redoing a room or just enjoy seeing what’s new in the decorating world, here are some of the trends in interior home design for 2015.

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Design Trend #1:  Color…Marsala, Saturated Blues and Guilford Green

What the “hot” colors are in home design depends on who you listen to.  The 2015 Pantone “color of the year” is Marsala, described as an “earthy wine red.”  Expect to see this color pop up in clothing this year, but also in home decor.  Paint is one of the cheaper ways to change or update a room.  In this article, This Old House shows how you can incorporate marsala-like colors in your home through wall paint and pendant lighting.

 

On Houzz (one of my favorite sites for home inspiration) they are calling for saturated blues to begin making a strong statement in home design in 2015.  Described as having a calming effect, selecting a deep blue for a room can make a statement and set the mood.

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Benjamin Moore (my favorite paint) has declared “Guilford Green” (HC-116) their color of the year.  Described as a “silvery green that works well with everything,” it looks lovely above against the white trim.  If green is not your thing, Benjamin Moore has a total of 23 paint colors they describe as “trending”…not surprisingly they include numerous blues and colors in the same palate as marsala.

Design Trend #2: Wallpaper…

No, I am not kidding.  All that wallpaper you tore down when you moved into your house?  It’s coming back.  Although no worries, most likely those country prints you stripped off the walls still belong in the trash.  When it comes to wallpaper, less is more…pick a room (not every room in the house) or an accent wall…geometrics and textured wallpapers are what is trending, but search “wallpaper” on Houzz and you will see a lot of variation.  I have to admit I have always loved a bit of wallpaper in a house and am happy to see it making a comeback.  Some of my favorite places for wallpaper are dining rooms, powder rooms and foyers.

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Design Trend #3:  Statement Lighting

I love this trend and have been incorporating it into my own house.  It is amazing what an interesting light fixture can do for a space…especially in a dining room, foyer or over a kitchen island.  The right fixture looks lovely both when it is lit and when it is not.  Some of my favorite resources for lighting fixtures are Lumens, Arhaus and Pottery Barn.  Restoration Hardware also has beautiful (but often very pricey) fixtures…but be cognizant of their size…many of them are enormous and made for grand spaces with very high ceilings.  Shown above is a beautiful fixture from Arhaus called the Darcel Chandelier…when lit it truly sparkles, creating a magical feel to the space.

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Design Trend #4: Driftwood Finishes

This design trend is popping up in furniture, beams, barn doors (inside the house!) and more.  Blame it on Restoration Hardware, IMO the king of the driftwood/rustic finish.  While RH has been touting this look for a while (at premium prices), it has now trickled down to the masses and you can find less expensive pieces that mimic the look at RH for sometimes a fraction of the price.

 

While adding driftwood furniture to your home decor is the least expensive way of getting the look, you can also add more permanent design elements, like a wall of driftwood finished planks…

 

…or kitchen cabinets with a gray weathered finish.

 

Other places you might incorporate the look is in overhead beams, flooring and the addition of sliding barn wood doors, all the rage now.  While you can do a lot or a little, there are many ways to incorporate this design trend into your home.

Design Trend #5: Cowhide

While the most obvious use of cowhide is in a rug, cowhide is also showing up on furniture…ottomans, benches and chairs.  And cowhide isn’t just for those looking for a “ranch” look…cowhide is very versatile and can work in both a contemporary setting and with a more traditional look.

 

Cowhide is best used as an accent…a touch here or there.  I love the bar stools pictured above.

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Even Flor, the floor tiles company, has gotten into the trend by offering black and white cow-hide-look floor squares.  As long as you keep the cowhide to an accent, there are no real restrictions on how you can use it.

Design Trend #6: Mixing Styles

This is another one of those “a little goes a long way” kinds of things…in the photo above we have a fairly traditional looking dining room, but the chairs are very modern.

 

Here mid-century modern furniture decorates a very traditional window nook.

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Another look I am seeing (and loving) is mixing glitzy with rustic.  Again I turn to Restoration Hardware for highlighting this trend in their latest catalogue.  One of my favorite ways to pull off this look is with the glitzy chandelier (also a statement piece, see #3 above) with a more rustic dining table.  In the photo above they have actually added a chandelier to a living room, a bit less expected (and note the driftwood hardwoods and modern design elements).  (If you are in love with the Crystal Halo chandelier, it comes in three sizes, starting at $3225…I told you RH lighting was expensive!).

So there you have it, 6 design trends you can consider when decorating for 2015…whether you are just changing paint color or doing a major overhaul of your house, one or more of these ideas might inspire you.  I leave you with a photo from Houzz that incorporates a number of the design trends discussed…a glitzy light fixture, driftwood finish traditional table, modern chairs and a wall color in the vein of the hot color for 2015, marsala.  Now go have some fun!

 

 

 

 

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