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4 Things to Consider Before Buying a Retirement Home

GolfingMany people want to buy a home after retirement because specific wants and needs change as you get older. There are lots of things you should consider before buying a retirement home. Here are four of the most crucial factors.

Lifestyle

Probably the most important thing to consider is your long term lifestyle desires. As you get older, you’ll want easy access to things that are important to you. Do you like golfing, hiking, playing tennis, going to the beach, skiing, or boating? You don’t want a long commute to get the things you want to do. You want to spend time doing these things!Sailing

Location

If you’re considering a move to a different town or state, be sure you’ve spent plenty of time there. Do some research and talk to your realtor about the area and different neighborhoods. If you’ve been living in the same place for a long time, you probably have a large social network of friends, family, and coworkers. Would you miss them too much, or are you ready for a new adventure in a location you’ve always dreamed of?

Think about how easy (or how hard) it will be to get around. Larger cities and suburbs offer a wealth of amenities, public transportation, healthcare, and local attractions while rural areas can be more appealing if you have friends and family nearby.

Layout

Single story homes are ideal for retirees who don’t want to worry about the future aches and pains associated with climbing (or falling down) stairs. If you’re buying a new construction home, popular features like wider doorways, hallways, and walk in showers are great options to consider. If you have a large home, you may want to downsize so your home is easier to manage. Also, keep repairs and maintenance in mind.

Finances

When you make a financial plan, consider your income limitations from no longer working and include pensions and social security. The price of the home, HOA dues, property taxes, insurance, other monthly expenses, and recreational activities should be included. Weigh the pros and cons of putting a large down payment on your home. You may pay it off faster, but it may not be the best financial move for you.

Thinking about buying a retirement home in the Greater Boston area? Contact Barrett Sotheby’s International Realty today and learn how we can help!

Annual Bedford Free Summer Walkabout and Concert

This Thursday, July 12th is the third annual Free Summer Walkabout and Concert in Bedford, Massachusetts! This year the popular Party Band will play the concert, with the walkabout beginning at 6PM and running until 8:30PM.

The event is sponsored by the Bedford Chamber of Commerce alongside Recreation, Economic Development, and Healthy Bedford.

Barrett | Sotheby’s International Realty is a Bedford Chamber of Commerce partner and will provide the DIY tie-dye!

Take a look at the map for information on the full location of the event, and visit the Bedford, MA site to learn about all of the participating companies.

Celebrating Home and Community this Fourth of July

There are few things we love as much as home, community, and celebrations!

What better way to spend time than to celebrate our history in our communities, then? We’ve compiled our local events in one quick list for you!

Concord, Massachusetts

Join locals for the annual Picnic-in-the-Park on July 4th at Emerson Field (90 Stow Street). The event starts at 10 am and includes a parade and a concert band.

Lexington, Massachusetts

The Lexington Lion’s Club puts on the annual Fourth of July Carnival at Hastings Park from July 4th through July 7th. The celebration includes fireworks on July 5th at 9:30 pm at the Lexington High School Baseball Field (Worthen Road).

Lincoln, Massachusetts

Lincoln celebrates with a run, bike parade, reading of the Declaration of Independence, grand parade, cook-out, swim, and fireworks! Fireworks occur at 9:45 pm at Codman Field (1 Ballfield Road), but a schedule for all activities can be found here.

Boston, Massachusetts

Independence Day celebrations in Boston begin with Boston Harborfest, an event already in motion! The festival goes through July 4th and includes historical reenactments, cruises, and food-specific events.

Adjacent to Harborfest is The Boston Pops Firework Spectacular. There is a concert on the evening of July 3rd to begin the festivities and another on July 4th, beginning at 8 pm with fireworks to conclude the celebration at 10:30 pm.

If you like the sound of that, but not the commute, many of our own Bedford agents head to Arlington to watch the Firework Spectacular from Robbins Farm Park.

Enjoy the celebrations! 

Barrett Sotheby's International Realty Announces Ranking in RISMedia's 30th Annual Power Broker Report


Barrett Sotheby’s International Realty is proud to announce its ranking as the No. 538 real estate firm in the U.S. in sales volume, according to RISMedia’s 30th Annual Power Broker Report in which the top 1,000 brokerages are recognized. Barrett Sotheby’s International Realty reported a total sales volume of $408,019,006 in 2017, representing 635 closed residential transactions. This ranking has placed Barrett Sotheby’s International Realty 200 spaces above their 2016 ranking.

John Featherson, President and CEO of RISMedia said of the report, "The firms represented are the nation's most elite brokerage firms serving literally millions of consumers with their real estate needs. Even up against extremely scarce supply, Power Brokers posted remarkable sales. With the economy expanding and home prices on a tear, they're charging forward and leveraging the opportunities. We applaud their commitment to homeownership and congratulate them on their Power Broker standing."

The Top 1,000 2018 Power Brokers collectively earned more than $1.3 billion in sales volume and more than 3.7 million transactions in 2017 and encompass more than 478,000 agents and over 8,370 offices.

5 Home Improvements that Pay Off

Like many American’s, your biggest investment may be your home, so you want it to perform well when you put it on the market. Some home renovations can be costly, so you want to make sure the upgrades will make your home more attractive to potential buyers and give you the biggest bang for your buck. Here are some home improvements that pay off when it comes time to sell your home!

Energy Efficient UpgradesHome Improvements Kitchen

Improving your home’s energy efficiency may make a bigger difference and give you more bang for your buck than cosmetic upgrades. The number of energy efficient homes is on the rise, and many home buyers favor energy efficient homes because of potential long term savings. Think attic insulation, HVAC, water heaters, windows, and doors. These upgrades are less expensive than solar panels. It’s a great idea to provide potential buyers with copies of your utility bills to show them how much they can save.

Minor Kitchen Renovations

Renovating the kitchen is one of the key things you can do to improve your home’s value. The good news is you don’t need to do an expensive full kitchen renovation to make a big difference. Smaller things like painting your cabinets, getting new cabinet doors, or switching out cabinet hardware can make buyers happy. Upgrade your countertops and install new appliances, if needed. You don’t need to buy the most expensive appliances to make your kitchen fabulous.

Minor Bathroom Renovations

Updating your bathroom can also make a big impact on buyers. Think about regrouting tile, replacing caulk, updating the toilet, mirrors, and fixtures. These smaller projects can give your bathroom a nice facelift without breaking the bank.

Fresh PaintHome Improvements Paint & Flooring

One of the least expensive things you can do also gives you one of the best returns on investment. A nice, fresh coat of interior paint can really brighten up your home and make it shine. Color trends change over time, but it’s usually best to stay away from deep, dark colors and pure white. Always consider the impact the color will have on the buyer. Select colors that will make it easier for buyers to picture themselves living in your home.

Power wash your home’s exterior to decide if you need to freshen up the exterior paint. Sometimes power washing alone works enough magic. If your front door is older and you aren’t going to replace it, it’s a good idea to paint it!

Flooring Upgrades

Upgrading your flooring can make a huge difference and it makes your home look well maintained. Hardwood floors payoff and they are in high demand, but they are expensive to install. Replace tile and carpet if needed. At the very least, refinish your hardwood floors, wax tile areas, and get carpets professionally cleaned. If you’re on a budget, focus on the upgrading the flooring in the kitchen and living areas to get the biggest impact.

Thinking about selling your home in the Greater Boston area? Contact Barrett Sotheby's International Realty today and learn how we can help!

Lexington Kicks Off Summer Events!

The heat of the summer is here. On its tail, the social scene for the summer is heating up as well! 

This summer we’ll be noting events in our local towns as they come up. There is so much to enjoy here, we can’t miss out!

This weekend Lexington kicks off the festivities with The Eighth Annual Lexington Battle Green BBQ Festival. This event begin on Friday, June 1st and runs until Sunday, June 3rd. General admission costs $5, proceeds of which will benefit LABBB Collaborative.

Gate Hours, per the event website:

Friday, June 1st | 4 – 7:30 pm

Saturday, June 2nd | 11 am – 7 pm

Sunday, June 3rd | 12 – 4 pm

Who will be cookin’ up a good time? The line-up is as follows: Messy Mike’s BBQ, Chicken on the Road, Meat @ Slim’s, The Smoke Shop, and Boston BBQ.

Of course, there will be more fun than just the food! Music and local breweries will also be participating… but don’t take our word for it. We’re just sharing the plans. Check out the full event details on the event website here.

Close Up Series: The Inn at Hastings Park

In our most recent episode of the Close Up Series, Realtor® Jacqueline Potdevin visited the Inn at Hastings Park in Lexington, MA.

Owner Trisha Pérez Kennealy described her fascination with the history of Lexington, sparked by her long-term experience as a resident here. She purchased the property in 2010 and brings all things American into the space. From American craftsmanship in furniture throughout the rooms to local Summer Farm Dinners in the restaurant, American history is at the heart of the Inn.

To learn more about the Inn at Hastings Park visit in-person at 2027 Massachusetts Avenue or on social media at:

Facebook: Inn at Hastings Park
Twitter: @InnHastingsPark
Instagram: @innhastingspark

Check out this episode and all of the archives on our Close Up Series page!

Follow along as we release new episodes on our social media pages:

Facebook: Barrett SIR
Twitter: @barrett_sir
Instagram: @barrettsothebys

Seller Spotlight: Michio Ihara


Image of Ihara's home studio in his Concord, MA home (above).

Michio Ihara’s brass and stainless sculptures are on display the world over. The metal geometric shapes have a lightness and movement that belie the materials from which they are created. The sculptures take many forms from wall-mounted or suspended to those incorporating wind and kinetic elements. 

Barrett | Sotheby's International Realty is fortunate to be listing his incredible 4,383 sq. ft. studio and 3,255 sq. ft. home in Concord, MA where he has worked since 1981. To see this amazing property; visit our website here

His visually exciting sculptures can be found in corporate parks while others are displayed in hospitals, places of worship, and natural outdoor spaces. Highlights of his breadth of work with photographs of wall, suspended, wind and kinetic sculptures in situ may be seen on Ihara’s website.

Check out the most recent article about him in Huffington Post. His work allows viewers and observers a moment of peace in their day while providing visual stimulation that changes and engages the viewer anytime they have the pleasure to see it. 

Close Up In Our Community Series

When you think of Real Estate, what do you think of? The search for the perfect property? The right number of beds and baths?An updated kitchen and a fenced in yard?  It’s always great to find that place that you can see yourself in, but that’s not all there is to it.

We know your search is about more than finding a house; it’s about finding a community. At Barrett Sotheby’s International Realty, our mission is to help you find both, the perfect home in the ideal community.

We have always showcased properties to help you find your house, now we are exposing you to some of the local businesses in our vibrant area, so you can get a flavor for what makes our towns so special and how committed the local businesses are to serving their communities.

Through the Close Up In Our Community video series, our agents take you with them to visit some of their favorite local places. Check out our Close Up Series page, you may find a new favorite place right in your neighborhood!

Toys for Tots Generous Donations!

 

Anna Travias and Rosina Harlem, Realtors® at Barrett | Sotheby's International Realty have been collecting donations for Toys for Tots for years. Travias and Harlem have collected donations for the past two years at Barrett | Sotheby's International Realty, but both have histories of collecting prior to joining together, here! They have worked together on the effort together for four years total.

Travias collected in her previous career for over fifteen years. The same is true for Harlem.

When asked why she was drawn to the cause, Travias said, "I think it's a great cause. I don't think any child should not have anything to open on Christmas."

Harlem shared similar sentiments stating, "All children should have a good holiday," and "I'm just really into the giving of the season!"

Toys can be donated at any of the Barrett | Sotheby's International Realty locations until December 15th. 

Prior to becoming part of the team here, Harlem worked with a colleague at another firm to collect toys. Each year, the same family contributed a generous load of gifts. The deliveries, Harlem says, have continued.

Last year, we highlighted the family on the blog. As their family grows, so do their donations, and so does the legacy of this wonderful story and tradition. Below is the story of Sylvester (Ziggy) Barbato, and his family! 

 

Sylvester (Ziggy) Barbato grew up in Stoughton, Massachusetts, as a member of a first-generation Italian American family. One of nine children, he grew up knowing that Christmas mornings would be sparse, with no presents to open, and certainly no toys.

When he started a family of his own, he was determined to make Christmas merry for his kids. With five children to provide for, Mr. Barbato had to work multiple jobs to support his family and make sure they had toys to play with on Christmas morning. He shared his story with his children of a Christmas without the gifts, and taught them that there are always families in need "especially around the holidays."

His children heard his message and hoped to continue the same tradition and merriment that their father provided for them. Each year, the whole family gathers together to share their Christmas cheer with others. Mr. Barbato gives his children money to bring their children to the toy store where they all pick out gifts for Toys For Tots. On Christmas Day, the family shares in the happiness of knowing that kids, who otherwise may not have been able to open gifts on Christmas morning, are sharing in their joy, just as Mr. Barbato has always hoped.

On behalf of Barrett | Sotheby's International Realty, thank you to the Barbato family, for your generous donations.

To donate to Toys for Tots this holiday season, visit any of the five Barrett | Sotheby's International Realty locations by December, 15th, or visit Toys For Tots online.