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The Great Outdoors - Terrific Terraces

Spring has arrived, the sun is shining and the whole of New England wants to be outside!  Enjoying your outdoor space is top of mind right now as we thaw out from another cold winter and embrace the warmer temperatures.  Whether you have a patio, deck or veranda, it’s a bonus to have some room outside to relax or entertain.  There are plenty of ways to personalize and make the most of your terrace - search Pinterest and you’ll find a wealth of inspiration!  Patio or bistro lights have become very popular and are a simple and cost-effective way to add lighting to your outdoor space - you can purchase strings of lights designed to weather the elements and suspend them above your seating area for an atmospheric effect.  Outdoor soft furnishings are another trend that has been around for a while - wicker sofas and chairs with removable covers give comfortable, practical seating, and outdoor rugs also add texture and a fun design element.  Or how about oversized outdoor beanbags for a fun and adaptable way to add extra seating?  Fire pits were hugely popular during the colder months to enable people to gather outside, and during warmer weather they are also useful to keep away those annoying insects (and of course to make s’mores!)  Finally, try adding color to your space with planters - use one or two circular pots with large plants for drama, or barrel planters with flowers to brighten things up!

If you need more ideas check out some of these terrific terraces in Acton, Concord, Maynard, Stow and from Chelsea to California!































Looking for your own outdoor oasis?  Browse our latest listings.



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    The Housing Market - March Round-Up

    It’s now over a year since our part of the world shut down in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.  Since then we’ve seen many peaks and troughs in the battle against the virus, but after an initial pause, the housing market has remained steadily on the up. During the lockdown in March and April, when businesses were closed and real estate activity was restricted, realtors got creative and found different ways to market their homes.  Videos, Facebook Live, Matterport virtual tours and other interactive forms of home viewing helped the housing market quickly recover in our towns.  One year on, demand continues to be high as some of the effects of the pandemic are still evident - working patterns have changed for good, with working from home becoming the norm, and social distancing is here to stay for a while yet which is increasing demand for more indoor and outdoor living space. 

    When we look at the year-on-year figures for March, even taking into account the situation a year ago, we can see that there are far fewer listings on the market in 2021. There are fewer than 10 single family homes for sale today (April 1st) in Acton, Arlington, Bedford, Carlisle, Lincoln, Melrose and Westford.  Consequently, homes that do come to market are moving quickly.  Days to offer are in single figures in Carlisle and Westford, and homes are closing in an average of less than 40 days in Acton and Lincoln.  The increase in demand has had an impact on average house prices - list prices are up by more than 30% year over year in Concord, Lexington and Winchester.  

    What does this mean for you and your moving plans in 2021?  Whether you are buying, selling, or both, it pays to talk to an experienced real estate agent Our agents are all experts in the towns they serve and understand the opportunities and challenges with moving in this marketplace.  They can guide you through the process from start to finish and ensure you are getting the best value for your investment.  Get in touch today to find out more!
















































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      Come Outside - Homes with Glamorous Grounds

      Outdoor space has never been more important than during the past year. As we all scramble to find safe ways to meet family and friends, or just to escape our four walls for a short while, our yards, patios and gardens have taken on a new significance.  Whether you are an aspiring vegetable gardener, enjoy outdoor entertaining, or hanker for a place to sit and observe the changing seasons, outdoor space has shot up the wish list for buyers in the past 12 months.  In line with this some new trends in landscaping have emerged, such as rewilding to encourage local wildlife back to your yard, and indoor / outdoor living, where the lines between the two spaces are blurred to encourage a seamless transition.  From across the globe, Sotheby’s International Realty has shared homes that embrace these new trends to spectacular effect - read their latest blog for inspiring ideas.  Here in the northern suburbs of Boston we have our own featured listings where the outdoor space is just as appealing as the home itself - such as 40 Brook Street, Acton, which has a babbling brook running through the grounds, 22 Warbler Springs Road, Lincoln, with pretty water features, and 49 Paul Revere Road, Concord and its perfect patio fire pit.  

      Looking for your own outdoor oasis?  Contact one of our experienced agents today - they can help you find your ideal place to call home.






















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        5 of the Best Places To Buy a House Near Boston

        Lexington MABoston is a great city to settle down in - or outside of! Living in the Boston suburbs provides the best of both worlds. You can have access to the hustle and bustle of the city, including the booming job market, while still being able to come home to a yard and a driveway with plenty of parking. Picking which suburb to settle down in can be tough, so here are a few different options and what makes them special.

        Lexington, MA

        Lexington is a 30 minute drive from Boston. The town has a population of 33,792 residents and most own their homes. The town is unique because it hosts the historic Minuteman Statue, The Old Belfry, Buckman Tavern, Lexington Depot, and Hancock-Clarke House from the Revolutionary War. Today, Lexington is known for its highly rated school system, so check out properties for sale in Lexington if you’re a family looking to move! 

        Acton, MA

        If you drive 40 minutes northwest of Boston, you will find Acton, MA. The town has a population of 23,627 people. It was voted one of the top 20 small communities by Money Magazine. Acton is a historic community with a forward thinking attitude evidenced by gracious tree line streets, top scoring schools, and over 1,650 acres of conservation lands owned by the town. Go and check out the community, or view Action homes to get a feel for the area.

        Arlington, MA

        Only 20 minutes from Boston, Arlington is known for its vibrant community popular with professionals and young families, good schools, and opportunities for outdoor recreation. The town is home to 45,304 and residents boast of its clean sidewalks and safe community. The town is very family-oriented. See Arlington homes for sale here.

        Boxborough, MA

        Boxborough, MA is a quiet town of 5,561 a 45 minute drive west of Boston. If you don’t mind a commute into the city but you’re looking for a small, caring community with a good school system, Boxborough is for you. Browse Boxborough real estate and see what you find. 

        Westford, MA

        Located a 40 minute drive northwest of Boston is Westford. The town is home to 24,342 residents and they tend to enjoy the outdoor amenities nearby, like the Nashoba Valley Ski Area that offers skiing, snowboarding, and tubing. The town also has two beaches and walks through the conservation land area. Westford is perfect for outdoorsy families who want a reasonable drive to the city. Check out current Westford homes for sale.

        Still Unsure?

        Check out the Greater Boston town websites for more information about a variety of towns. If you have any questions about the areas, do not hesitate to reach out and contact Barrett Sotheby's International Realty.


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          Park Life - Homes Near Notable Green Spaces

          You may have been hearing that during the pandemic there has been a surge in the number of people wanting to move out of big cities.  The reasons cited include wanting to have more outdoor space and to get closer to nature.  Yet in Boston we are fortunate to have many gorgeous green spaces right within our city.  The string of parks from Boston Common and Public Park through to Franklin Park, known as the Emerald Necklace, offers city residents  open green spaces to explore right on their doorstep.  A little further out in the suburbs we are also blessed with plentiful opportunities to explore nature - the Middlesex Fells in Winchester, Minute Man National Historical Park in Lexington, and Walden Pond State Reservation in Concord are all easily accessible and give residents the chance to enjoy the improved quality of life that green spaces can offer.  City or suburbs, we can help you find your own place to be close to nature.  Get in touch with one of our experienced agents to start your search.

          Across the globe some of the most iconic cities have within their limits the most fabulous parks and green spaces to be enjoyed by urban dwellers.  Sotheby’s International Realty has listed some examples of homes for sale within easy reach of these renowned parks, from New York's Central Park to Singapore's Botanic Garden - read more in their blog.  



































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            Homes with Eye-Catching Wallpaper

            Wallpaper is enjoying something of a renaissance in home decor. No longer an unwelcome reminder of the 80’s, modern patterns and styles are featuring on home styling blogs and Pinterest is full of inspirational wallpaper designs.  As well as updated patterns, this time around wallpaper is being used in different places, for example on the ceiling, or in the bathroom.  In the past people may have been turned off by the effort and commitment entailed with wallpapering- it’s not an easy job, requiring patience and skill, and if you change your mind the time and expense for removal can also be daunting.  Today, with many more high-quality peel-and-stick products available, you don’t need to feel overwhelmed by the wallpapering task.  If you are still unsure about the commitment, try a small area at first - powder rooms, mudrooms or laundry rooms are all great places to experiment with bold patterns and colors on a manageable scale.

            Need inspiration?  Check out some of these homes from Sotheby’s International Realty with striking wallpaper - big patterns, bold colors, one wall or floor-to-ceiling, you’ll love these eye-catching designs.  Looking for something closer to home?  22 Warbler Springs Road in Lincoln and 243 Trapelo Road in Waltham both feature some great examples of how wallpaper can bring a home to life.























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              The Housing Market- February Round-Up

              It might not feel like spring when you step outside, but as far as the real estate market goes we are in full bloom!  Our agents are reporting an uptick in activity in the past month, with long lines at open houses and multiple offers with very competitive terms.  Taking a look at the standard metrics we measure, we can see a continuation of the trends of recent months - prices continue to increase year over year in towns such as Bedford, Lexington and Westford, and we see homes moving quicker in Acton, Concord and Winchester.  The one figure that may be surprising is the number of listings sold, which in towns such as Concord, Westford and Winchester is down on the previous year.  The reason for this becomes clear when we take a closer look at the number of properties on the market.  Across the board, the number of single family homes on the market as of March 1st is drastically down on the number from 2020 - in some towns it has more than halved.  This shortage in inventory is driving up competition for homes, leading to the lines of buyers at open houses and the increase in multi-offer situations.  It is not uncommon for sellers to accept an offer within the first week of marketing, further exacerbating the inventory shortage.


              So what does this all mean for you?  If you were considering selling your home during 2021, there are advantages to bringing your home to market sooner rather than later.  Buyers are motivated, interest rates remain historically low, and the ongoing health situation has meant people are considering a move further away from the city with more space.  Talk to one of our experienced agents to get a more in-depth analysis of the market in your area.





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                The Breakfast Club - Delightful Breakfast Rooms

                Breakfast - the most important meal of the day.  Especially on the weekend, when breakfast can be taken at a more leisurely pace, a sit-down occasion to be savored rather than a grab and dash affair.  This is when a breakfast room comes into its own - a place to enjoy a cup of coffee and a plate of pancakes and contemplate the day ahead.  These informal dining areas are also utilized for day-to-day meals, a relaxed space to grab a bite to eat or catch up with family.  Our Sotheby’s International Realty affiliates are offering homes with beautiful breakfast rooms right across the country.  From Cape Cod to California, Topanga to Texas, get inspired by these cosy breakfast nooks and relaxed eating areas, all enjoying bright windows, distinctive style and effortless proximity to the kitchen. 

                Looking for your own cosy breakfast spot?  Take a look at 1599 Lowell Rd or 874 Strawberry Hill Rd in Concord, both with an Open House this weekend, or take a virtual tour of 8 Brandt Drive in Woburn and be inspired!





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                  A Record Breaking Year for Sotheby's International Realty

                  2020 redefined home, and lead to a record-breaking year for Sotheby’s International Realty.  Our affiliated brokers and independent sales professionals achieved a record US$150 billion in 2020 global sales volume, a nearly 32% increase in sales growth year over year.  Thanks to a longstanding commitment to innovation, Sotheby’s International Realty agents were able to seamlessly help clients navigate the changing market dynamics brought on by the global pandemic, with existing technology offerings which propelled business momentum.  More people than ever were using our websites to view properties both close to home and from across the globe, taking advantage of virtual reality and high-definition videography.  Last, but very definitely not least, our public relations team continued ensure Sotheby's International Realty is the most profiled real-estate company in the news, fostering relationships to generate awareness of the extraordinary properties and agents the brand represents.   

                  We always understand that it is a choice to work with us, and we are grateful for the clients who trusted us with their biggest asset during all the uncertainty of 2020.  It was a privilege to work with you.


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                    Let It Snow - Best Local Sledding Spots

                    One of our favorite snow day activities is sledding!  It requires very little equipment, no tickets or pre-booking are necessary, and can generally be enjoyed within social distancing guidelines - making it a winner for families this winter!  We’ve asked our agents for their recommendations for the best local spots to enjoy this fun family activity - so grab your snow pants and your sled and check out the slopes in your town!  You can click on each location to access a map and directions.


                    Acton - NARA Park, 25 Ledge Rock Way. 


                    Arlington - Robbins Farm Park / Skyline Park, Eastern Ave.


                    Boxborough - Steele Farm / Beaver Brook Meadow, 484 Middle Road.


                    Burlington- St Margaret’s Church, 111 Winn St.


                    Concord - Nashawtuc Hill, Nashawtuc Road;  Concord Golf Course, Old Road.


                    Lexington- Hastings Park, Mass Ave.


                    Littleton - Bumble Bee Park, Harwood Ave.


                    Lowell - Shedd Park, Rogers St.


                    Malden- Fellsmere Park, W Border Road.


                    Maynard - Maynard Country Club, 50 Brown St.


                    Melrose - Mount Hood Memorial Park and Golf Course, 100 Slayton Road.


                    North Billerica - Kohlrausch Park, Colson St.


                    Winchester - Mullen Field, 54 Ridge St; Ambrose School / Sanborn House, High St.


                    Woburn - Woburn Country Club, Country Club Lane, Woburn


                    Did we miss any?  Add your favorites in the comments!




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