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Halloween Happenings Around Town

Halloween is happening this year! After last year’s muted celebrations we are so excited to see some of our favorite events back once more - albeit with some adaptations to be mindful of individual town mandates. If you are looking for a trick-or-treat experience, or something a little more cultural (and spooky!) read our list to find a selection of events near you!

 

Bedford - Annual Trunk or Treat (Friday October 29th). Local businesses will be at the Whole Foods parking lot with treats for costumed kiddos - say hi to the Barrett Sotheby’s International Realty team there!

 

Burlington - Halloween at Wayside (Friday October 29th). Wayside Shopping Center is hosting this fun event with an outdoor scavenger hunt, DJ and dance party, costume parade and (of course) treats!

 

Carlisle - Halloween Trick-or-Treating (Sunday October 31st). Join the trick or treating fun in the town center from 4pm - stop by the Barrett Sotheby’s International Realty office to pickup some special treats!

 

Concord - Annual Trunk or Treat (Sunday October 31st). Head to the Beede Ctr Parking Lot with the family for a fun event - register ahead of time if you are planning to host a trunk.

 

Lexington - Downtown Trick or Treat (Friday October 29th). Get your costume on and stop into local businesses (including Barrett Sotheby’s International Realty) between 2-5pm for trick or treating fun.

 

Lincoln - Halloween Open House at Hartwell Tavern (Saturday October 30th). Walk down a path lined with jack-o-lanterns to trick or treat at the tavern, and chat to rangers about how people in Colonial New England protected themselves from evil spirits and witches. 

 

Melrose - Trick or Treat at Melrose Businesses (Friday October 29th). Downtown stores and businesses will be handing out treats to younger residents (Grade 3 and below).

 

Stoneham - 11th Annual Halloween Stroll (Saturday October 30th). Everyone is welcome to trick-or-treat at local businesses in downtown Stoneham then head to the town common for pumpkin decorating, festive crafts, activities and more!

 

Winchester - Halloween Window Painting (Saturday October 23rd).  This annual tradition is back for 2021! Sign up to decorate the windows of town businesses with pumpkins, ghosts, witches or whatever you fancy! 

 

Woburn - Host Lions Halloween Parade (Sunday October 31st). One of the largest parades in New England, dress up and line the parade route from Showcase Cinema to Horn Pond and cheer on the floats and marching bands as they celebrate Healthcare Workers and raise funds for the Mass Lions Eye Research Fund.

 

Woburn - 5th Annual Halloween Spooktacular Vendor and Craft Fair (Saturday October 30th). A spooktacular afternoon of shopping with 30+ local vendors and crafters - bring the kids in their costumes for some trick-or-treating too.  

 

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    MAR Qtr 3 2021 Report - The Housing Market Trends in Your Town

    The Massachusetts Association of Realtors (MAR) has published the latest housing market report for the towns and cities in our state. These numbers are of particular interest as they look at the data from the past month as well as the year to date, and compare these numbers to the same period in 2020. You can check median house prices and days on market, look at how many homes sold and what the remaining inventory is, and see how the list prices compare to sale prices. It's a fascinating tool for sellers and buyers alike, and can give you a great overview  - but for a full market analysis, you should talk to an experienced realtor. They'll be able to give you a more detailed evaluation of your home, taking into account specific property and neighborhood details, and include information about recent comparable sales to give you the true picture.

     

    So if this has whet your appetite to know more about today's busy housing market, get in touch today!

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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      Pick the Perfect Pumpkin!

      Finding the perfect pumpkin can be a challenge! Are you looking the ideal round specimen for carving, or to decorate your doorstep with quirky shaped gourds? To help you with your search, we asked our realtors to recommend their favorite spots for pumpkin picking.  From farm stands to pick-from-the-vine patches, use our handy map to find the best spot near you!

      Westward Orchards, Harvard                                

      Take a wagon ride to the pumpkin patch and enjoy some of their delicious apple cider donuts on the way!

      Pickard Farm, Littleton                                                        

      Pick your own pumpkin right off the vine!

      Drew Farm, Westford                                                          

      Choose your perfect pumpkin now then head back to the Farm at Halloween to enjoy the annual after dark Pumpkin Light – see hundreds of jack-o-lanterns displayed throughout the orchard.

      Clark Farm, Carlisle                                                 

      After you choose your pumpkin, browse the Farm Market for USDA certified organic produce, pasture-raised eggs, meat, & locally grown fruit and cheeses!

      Chip-In Farm, Bedford                                                                  

      Pick your perfect pumpkin then take the kids to the petting zoo or pick up some farm-fresh eggs from the store

      Pilgrim Congregational Church, Lexington  

      Pumpkins for a cause- funds raised go to the Navajo Nation who supply them plus other local organizations.

      Mahoney's Garden Centers, Concord and Winchester       

      Plenty of choice from traditional pumpkins to unique gourds – look for “Cinderella” pumpkins and “Autumn Wings” gourds! Plus – dare you take on the free Haunted Maze? (Winchester only)

      Matlock Farm, Lincoln                                                        

      Head to Flint’s Field opposite the farm to pick from the pumpkin patch.

      Verrill Farm, Concord                                

      Reserve your spot to choose from 1000’s of pumpkins – and take advantage of fun fall-themed photo spots throughout the pumpkin patch!

      Cucurbit Farm, Acton                                                                 

      Don’t skip the farm stand – delicious corn, tomatoes, peaches plus annuals, perennials and hanging baskets

      Shelburne Farm, Stow                                   

      As well as picking pumpkins there are many varieties of apple still available- plus warm apple cider donuts!

       

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        The Housing Market Beyond Boston - September Round-Up

        This September, as is typical for this time of year, we saw a marked increase in activity in the housing market. More homes were listed for sale and, with that, more buyers were out attending open houses. The Sold stats for September largely reflect activity from the summer, but we still saw a continuation of the recent trends.  House prices continue to increase - homes were listed for 13% more than September 2020 in Bedford and Winchester. Demand clearly justifies the increase - sold prices are up more than 10% in Carlisle, Concord and Lexington, and sale prices continue to surpass list prices in most of the towns we serve. Time is still of the essence if you are looking for a home as days on market continue to shorten - especially if you are searching in Acton, where homes are going under agreement in under 2 weeks on average! However demand is still outstripping supply, and inventory levels have not yet caught up with Fall 2020. Fewer homes sold in September this year vs 2020 (although Acton buyers can take some comfort as we saw a 40% increase in homes sold!) and overall market volume is down year over year. 

        So with a steady increase in sale prices and continued demand, why are people still hesitant to put their homes on the market? One of the main comments we hear from potential sellers is that they don’t want to put their current home up for sale until they secure their next home. Unfortunately, because of the demand, that is taking longer than expected, and the market is experiencing a bottleneck - fewer homes to buy leads to fewer sellers putting their homes up for sale. That’s where the Barrett Sotheby’s International Realty White Glove service can help! Our Buy Before You Sell program can help break that deadlock, enabling you to move forward with the purchase of a new home without worrying about selling your current home first. You can also lock in the current low interest rates on your next mortgage, and compete with other buyers whose offers may not be contingent on the sale of a home. The concierge service can also take care of preparing and staging your current home for sale, maximizing the sale price potential. Another hesitation from sellers is the worry that their home is not ready for sale, and wanting to have their home looking at its best to realize the maximum value. Our pre-listing prep service - Refresh, Renovate and Stage - can help in this situation, working with local vendors to get your home repaired, decorated and staged to its full potential, with no payment required until after closing.  

        If this sounds like your situation, talk to one of our experienced agents about the White Glove program. They can walk you through the process and help you decide whether it is right for you. 

         

         

         

         

         

         

         

         

         

         

         

         

         

         

         

         

         

         

         

         

         

         

         

         

         

         

         

         

         

         

         

         

         

         

         

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          Finding the Right Realtor to Sell Your Home

          In the current housing market, with inventory levels still low, homeowners can find they are spoiled for choice when deciding who to list their home with. So how do you choose the right person to entrust with your biggest investment? When it comes to selecting an agent, what are the qualities and services you should expect?

           

          Personality

          Selling a home can be an emotional and stressful experience, so it is important to have a good working relationship with your agent. This starts from the first meeting - does the person communicate clearly, speak your language (quite literally), and understand how you like to be kept informed (phone call, email, text)? Do you share a common connection, and do they take time to get to know your situation (for example, have they had experience working with families who are downsizing and need help to declutter)? You could be spending a good deal of time with your agent so make sure that you get off on a good foot. Clear communication, an understanding of your goals, and an empathy with your situation are all crucial to a successful relationship. A sense of humor around the process is also useful! If you are not sure where to start, check out our agents' bios to get a feel for their personality and interests.

           

          Local Knowledge

          When selling your home you want to work with an agent who knows your town well. They should be able to accurately assess the market value of your home, and find comparable properties to back up their numbers. They need to be able to articulate the key benefits of your particular location to potential buyers, using specific examples that can’t be gleaned from a google search. They also need to be able to counteract objections or concerns from buyers and their agents, which is difficult if they are not familiar with the area. Barrett Sotheby’s International Realty has 8 offices covering the Metro West Boston area, so you are sure to find someone who knows your particular town.

           

          Collaboration

          Does your agent work in an office with other agents? Do they have the ability to call on those agents for help and advice or to promote your home to their clients? Our 150+ agents regularly share news of their new listings and lean on each other for support with pricing and hosting open houses to ensure they are providing the best service to their clients. It’s also important to ask if your agent works collaboratively with other offices and agents in your local area. A good agent fosters these relationships so they are able to maximize exposure for your property,  engage in successful negotiations and ensure a smooth transaction for sellers.  

           

          Personalized Service 

          Communication is key when dealing with any real estate transaction, and you want to know that your agent is giving you their full attention throughout the process. From first meeting to closing, your agent should be there to hold your hand and walk you through each stage. Even before your home hits the market, our agents will work with you to get your house ready for sale. With access to exclusive programs such as White Glove and Buy Before You Sell, you can be confident you will be able to get the best value from your asset and move on without delay. Our agents pride themselves on being available for their clients through all the steps to sold and beyond, fostering long-lasting relationships with those they work with. 

           

          Support 

          It’s important to know that your agent has the right support to assist them throughout the transaction. An agent based in a full supportive office will have access to marketing assistance to generate all the materials they need to fully promote your listing, and administrative support to ensure the transaction happens as quickly and smoothly as possible. At Barrett Sotheby’s International Realty we also have experienced Brokers managing each of our offices, who can offer advice to our agents, and training to ensure they are always up to date with the latest in real estate legislation and technology.  

           

          Strong Brand

          The importance of a strong recognizable brand becomes key when you are dealing with a high-value transaction such as selling your home. You’ll want reassurance that the brand you are working with is reputable and trustworthy, and has access to market your home to its maximum potential. A brand such as Sotheby’s International Realty, which has over 24,000 agents operating out of 1,000 offices in 75 countries and territories, can offer you truly global exposure and the security of knowing your home is in trusted hands. 

           

          Whoever you decide to work with, it’s vital to do your homework to make sure your life’s investment is in good hands.

           

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            Fall Living Room Decor Ideas

            Fall Decor - Living RoomIt’s great to be in sync with the seasons and put out fall decorations when the weather starts changing. September and October are the perfect times to display fall decor. Here are some simple fall decorating ideas to transform your living room. 

            Autumn Colored Upholstery

            Consider using rugs, pillows, throws, and table runners in fall colors like orange, gold, red, and green to change up your living area and give it the feel of the season. This is an easy, budget friendly way to decorate.

            Bring Fall to Your Fireplace Mantel

            Keep your fireplace mantel interesting by adding fall inspired accents in different shapes and heights. Things like wreaths, vases with colorful fillers, and small pumpkins will really bring out the season in your living room. 

            Accessorize in Fall Colors

            Accessories are essential for fall home decor. Items such as beautiful decorative trays, fall leaf artwork and arrangements, handcrafted baskets, and natural vine pumpkins are great ideas to add fall accessories to your living space.

            Scents of the Season

            Whether you prefer to use scented candles, potpourri, or essential oils, there are a variety of fabulous fall inspired scents you can choose from, like pumpkin spice, apple cinnamon, pecan pie, sandalwood, and more. 

            For more fall home decor ideas, or if you’re interested in learning more about real estate opportunities in Greater Boston, contact Barrett Sotheby’s International Realty.

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              New Westford Office - Grand Opening Thursday September 23rd!

              Grand Opening EventEveryone is invited to the Grand Opening and ribbon cutting ceremony of our new office in Westford Valley Marketplace this Thursday at 1pm!

              Barrett Sotheby’s International Realty, an independently owned and operated affiliate International Realty*, is proud to announce the opening of its new Westford office. Located at 174 Littleton Road in the Westford Valley Marketplace, this is the company’s 8th office.

              The new Barrett Sotheby’s International Realty location expands the firm’s presence in the Boston MetroWest area which now includes offices in Concord, Acton, Bedford, Carlisle, Lexington, Lincoln, Westford and Winchester. Towns west of Boston have experienced tremendous growth year-over-year and the new office, with over 15 experienced local realtors, will benefit buyers and sellers in the market.

              According to Laurie E. Cadigan, owner and CEO of Barrett Sotheby's International Realty, the company’s continued growth by opening the Westford office strengthens the firm’s position to serve its clientele.

              “The Westford office and our team of seasoned agents have been assisting buyers and sellers in the Westford area for decades, and their extensive experience and expert knowledge of the area towns positions us to share our unparalleled service with the community.”

              Based in the Westford office will be agents with the St. Martin Team - Colleen Murphy, Beth Paulauskas, Adam McCusker, Nicole Wynters, Kieran Meehan, Riley Patenaude, Domenic Pappalardo and Angie Snyder-Jordan - along with the Edwards Team of Doug Edwards, Helen Edwards, Charity Edwards, David Paz, Mark Nelson and Emanuel Williams, and Peter Morano, Heidi Vaughan, Nicole Brodeur, and Carol Avery. Any of our agents can be reached by calling 978.692.6141.

              All are welcome to join us on Thursday, September 23rd at 1pm. Light refreshments will be served.

               

              *The Sotheby’s International Realty network currently has more than 23,000 affiliated independent sales associates located in over 1,000 offices in 72 countries and 6 continents worldwide. In 2019, the brand achieved a record global sales volume of $114 billion USD. Barrett Sotheby’s International Realty listings are marketed on the sothebysrealty.com global website. In addition to the referral opportunities and widened exposure generated from this source, the firm’s brokers and clients will benefit from an association with the Sotheby’s auction house and worldwide Sotheby’s International Realty marketing programs. Each office is independently owned and operated.

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                The Realtor's Pick - Best Spots for Apple Picking This Fall

                We look forward to apple picking season every year - it's a great way to get the whole family outdoors enjoying the crisp autumn sunshine and delicious local produce. We are spoiled for choice in our local area with so many orchards to choose from, so to help you decide where to go we asked our Realtors to recommend their favorite spots. Some venues offer lots of other activities alongside the picking - petting zoos, corn mazes, playgrounds and tractor rides to name a few. Others are a more traditional orchard, with perhaps a farm store serving fresh apple cider donuts. Whatever your preference, we’ve got something for you - here’s our top 10 Apple Picking Spots north of Boston.

                Map of Apple Picking Locations in MA

                Honey Pot Hill Orchards - Stow

                PYO plus hayrides, maze and farm animals.

                Shelburne Farm - Stow

                PYO, Tractor Playground, farm animals and hayrides.

                Carlson Orchards - Harvard

                PYO plus cider barn taproom.

                Doe Orchards - Harvard

                PYO and Meet the Tractors.

                Drew Farm - Westford

                PYO apples and pumpkins.

                Autumn Hills Orchard - Groton

                PYO with amazing views.

                Parlee Farms - Tyngsborough

                PYO plus farm stand, animal farm, tractor training and hay maze.

                Boston Hill Farms - North Andover

                PYO plus farm stand and farm animals.

                Brooksby Farm - Peabody

                PYO fruit and flowers plus play yard, barnyard animals, fairytale trails and hayrides.

                Russell Orchards - Ipswich

                PYO plus farm animals, winery and farm store.

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                  The Boston Suburbs Housing Market - August Round-Up

                  Sale Price as Percentage of List Price: Single Family Homes in MASummer is typically a quieter time in real estate, with people making the most of the good weather and enjoying the slower pace of life. We certainly saw a drop in activity during August compared to prior months, with fewer listings hitting the market and fewer buyers out searching - as is expected at this time of year. No surprises so far.

                  Comparisons to August 2020 are a little skewed, as last summer’s market was atypically busy, so we would expect the number of closings to be lower than the previous year - and that is the case across all our markets. However, even bearing that in mind, we can see familiar trends in the housing market in areas around Boston such as Acton, Concord, Lexington and Winchester. House prices continue to increase, with average sales prices up more than 30% on last year in Bedford and Carlisle. Sale price is now at over 100% of list price in all our towns - an indicator of strong demand for homes in these communities. Days to offer have been falling steadily each month in all our towns, and now offers are being accepted in less than 10 days (avg) in Acton and Westford. The number of listings on the market as of September 1st is still low - almost half what it was in Concord and Lexington in 2020. All these factors create an opportunity for those who are ready to make a move. There are other influences at play that point towards an eventual slow down in the market, but so far we are not seeing evidence of that in either prices or the speed at which homes are selling. Smart sellers wanting to get a jump on the Spring 2022 market should talk to one of our experienced agents today about listing your home during this prime fall period.

                  Our recent blog post also talks about some of the advantages of selling during the fall - including less competition and more focused buyers.  It also includes some tips on how to prepare your home for sale. Consult your agent before taking on any upgrades or renovations to decide whether you will get the return on your investment.

                  Acton Market Update August 2021 Bedford Market Update August 2021

                   

                   

                   

                   

                   

                   

                   

                   

                   

                   

                  Carlisle Market Update August 2021

                  Concord Market Update August 2021

                   

                   

                   

                   

                   

                   

                   

                   

                   

                   

                  Lexington Market Update August 2021 Lincoln Market Update August 2021

                   

                   

                   

                   

                   

                   

                   

                   

                   

                   

                  Westford Market Update August 2021 Winchester Market Update August 2021

                   

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                    The Last Hurrah - Labor Day Weekend Activities to End Summer on a High

                    Biking on Trail in WoodsLabor Day signals the end of the summer season - and with some schools back in session already, you might be feeling that summer is long gone. But if you (like us!) are not ready to say goodbye to fun in the sun just yet, our agents have suggestions for things to do on the long weekend to make that vacation feeling last just a little longer…

                    Get On Your Bike

                    With the weather a little cooler this is a great time to dust off your helmet and get in the saddle! A fun activity for any age, take advantage of some of the bike paths around our towns for a safe way to get on two wheels. The Bruce Freeman Rail Trail runs from Lowell to Acton, taking in Chelmsford, Westford and Carlisle on the way - it’s around 12 miles long, but you can hop on and off along the way if you don’t want to tackle the whole route. The Minuteman Bikeway follows a 10 mile route from Alewife in Cambridge through to Bedford, passing through Arlington and Lexington and close to many of the historic sites in the American Revolution. If you want to start with a shorter ride, the Tri-Community Bikeway runs from Stoneham to Horn Pond in Woburn via Winchester and is just shy of 7 miles long. 

                    Pick Your Own

                    If you missed the berry picking earlier in the summer do not despair! Late August / early September is prime peach-picking time, and you might get lucky with some early varieties of apples too! We like Honey Pot Hill in Stow, Carlson Orchards in Harvard and Nashoba Valley Winery in Westford - all have other attractions aside from the fruit picking making them a great place to spend a morning or afternoon with friends and family.

                    Lose Yourself

                    Corn Mazes are generally a fall tradition, but a few are opening up over Labor Day weekend. The annual maze at Connors Farm in Danvers is legendary and gets more creative (and tricky) each year.  This year’s theme is Barnyard Friends and the maze opens for the season on September 5th.

                    Joy Rides

                    The long weekend might be your last chance for a while to enjoy a day out with the whole family before fall sports start in earnest. Kimball Farm’s Westford location has mini golf, bumper boats, batting cages and a petting zoo - plus their delicious ice cream! Davis Farmland in Sterling also has a great range of activities targeted at pre-school and elementary age children. For older kids, Canobie Lake Park, just a short drive into New Hampshire in Salem, is always a fun day out. It’s also the final weekend for the local water parks, splash parks and pools, so keep your fingers crossed the weather allows us to take advantage one last time.

                     

                    However you choose to mark the end of summer, we hope you have a fun and relaxing weekend. Our offices will be closed on Monday, September 6th but our agents are always available to answer any of your real estate related questions - use our contact form to get in touch!

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