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Blog :: 12-2020

Hall of Flame - Homes with Cozy Fireplaces

When the winter chill sets in there’s nothing better than cozying up in front of a fire.  Gas or wood-burning, whatever your preference, there is something comforting beyond just the warmth - watching the flames can be calming and almost hypnotic, better than any movie.  That’s why the hearth is often considered the heart of the home, a place to gather, relax and unwind.  A fireplace in the bedroom?  The ultimate luxury!

Sotheby’s International Realty has some beautiful examples of striking fireplaces, from California to Connecticut, that will delight and inspire you.  Want examples closer to home?  Take a peek at 539 Strawberry Hill Rd, Concord and 251-A Old Billerica Road, Bedford for your own cozy spot to snuggle up with a book and a hot chocolate.







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    Inspirational Dining Rooms Around the World

    Dining rooms have been doing double duty this year - serving as home offices, classrooms, art studios, sewing rooms and more.  We hope that at some point in 2021 we’ll be back to using these rooms for their true purpose - hosting family and friends for celebrations, gatherings and holidays.  To help us look forward to those times, Sotheby’s International Realty has gathered together some examples of inspirational dining rooms from around the globe.  From an historic French villa to a wood-paneled mansion in Montreal, these homes serve to remind us that better times are coming and we can be together with our loved ones again soon. 

    If you are looking for dining inspiration closer to home, take a look at 29 Fern St, Lexington, with multiple dining areas for formal and informal gatherings, 8 Skyview Lane, North Sudbury, which showcases handsome moldings and decorative columns for a traditional look, or 4 Bennington Lane in Lexington, with its striking light fixture giving the space a warm modern feel.


    Image courtesy of Nantes Sotheby's International Realty



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      Let Someone Else Cook for the Holidays

      It’s not laziness, it’s helping the local community!  This holiday season, consider supporting local restaurants that have been severely affected by the pandemic by ordering a to-go holiday dinner.  Whether you want to save your energy for baking in the lead up to the big day, or decide you need a total break from Christmas cooking this year, we’ve got options for you.  Not only will you be doing yourself a favor, you’ll also be helping these restaurants to pay the bills so they'll still be around for future Holidays. There are also take-out options for New Year’s Eve celebrations, so you can say wave goodbye to 2020 in style!

      A Tavola on Church St, Winchester has a Christmas to Go menu - order by 12/19

      Sister restaurant Bistro 5 in Medford also has a Christmas to Go menu - order by 12/23

      Lucia Ristorante Winchester is offering Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve / Day menus - order by 12/20 for Christmas, 12/26 for New Year.

      Farfalle Italian Market in Concord has a special Italian-themed Christmas menu.   Order by 12/18 for pick up 12/24. 

      Woods Hill Table, also Concord, offers a variety of pre-prepared options you can finish at home.  Pick up is 12/23.

      Trail’s End Cafe is offering a Cuban take-out menu for Christmas with a difference!  Pick up 12/24 from 3pm.

      The Inn at Hastings Park in Lexington offers Christmas At Home and New Year’s Eve at home menus.  

      Via Lago, also in Lexington, has catering options for 4+ people - order by 12/19 for pick up 12/24.

      The Capital Grille in Burlington has 3 and 4-course Holidays at Home menus to pick up for Christmas or New Year.  

      The Stones Common House and Kitchen, Stoneham has a Xmas Eve dinner and NYE Cocktail Party to Go!  Order by 12/21

      At Joe’s Marketplace from Not Your Average Joes you can order a glazed ham or turkey feast, as well as other family favorites. (48 hrs notice required).  Locations in Acton, Arlington, Burlington, Waltham.

      Looking for something different from ham or turkey?  Bamboo Fine Asian Cuisine in Westford has special Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve menus.

      Did we miss your local favorite?  Email us - - and we'll add them to the list!

      Photo by from Pexels


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      Holiday Lights - Take a Self-Guided Tour

      There’s something very special about the drive around your neighborhood at this time of year, seeing the beautiful lights and decorations people put up outside their homes to brighten the dark winter.  However, some homeowners have taken it to the next level, with elaborate light displays to rival Clark Griswold! 

      There are even homes whose owners have gone all out, setting their displays to music for the ultimate festive experience.  We’ve asked our realtors for a list of homes in their neighborhood that are worthy of a visit.  So grab the hot chocolate, load the family into the car and take a drive around our towns for a fun, pandemic-friendly activity to mark the season! 

      Belmont - Pleasant Street

      Billerica - Pratt Street, Biscayne Drive

      Concord - Elm Street, Bedford Street / Nancy Road, Virginia Road

      Lincoln - Trapelo Road

      Melrose - Washington Street

      Saugus - Lynn Fells Parkway (16 and 22), Lynn Fell Parkway and Forest (near Target)

      Wakefield - Davey Lane and Woodcrest Drive (tune your radio to the station advertised for the full effect!)

      Wilmington - Concord Street 

      Winchester - Hill Street

      Medford - South Border Road

      Somerville - The Arts Council will release a map on Dec 12th listing all the decorated homes - click here to see the Somerville Illuminations Tour

      Stoneham - Franklin Street, Pearl Street

      Tyngsborough - Town Common (Middlesex / Kendall), Lawndale Farm (91 Frost Road) 

      Woburn - Elijah Street, Shields Street

      (stock images)


      The Housing Market - November Round-Up

      At the end of each month we take a look at the sold numbers to give us a snapshot of the local housing market activity - how many homes sold, how quickly homes went pending, and what happened to list and sale prices.  Over time these numbers help us to understand the trends in the marketplace which can guide us when working with buyers and sellers.  By comparing the figures year to year we hope to eliminate any seasonal changes and get a true indication of the way the market is moving.

      However, as with everything this year, the pandemic has affected the typical pattern of housing market activity.  November is typically a quieter month for house sales, marking the end of the Fall market when homes that were listed in the warmer days of September and October close. This year we are seeing no signs of the market slowing down, and there have been increases across the board in average sale price and median price.  Bedford, Concord, Lexington, Melrose and Winchester have all seen a more than 20% increase in sale prices compared to last November - in Arlington and Melrose sale prices were up over 30%.  Alongside that, days to offer and days on market are down year over year in nearly all our towns.  Homes sold in Arlington and Lincoln averaged just 10 days from listing to accepted offer.  Acton has the shortest days on market - just 19 on average.  The number of homes sold is also up year over year in most towns - Bedford, Lincoln and Westford saw an over 50% increase.   While we may see a slight decline over the next month as the Holidays take over our attention, it's clear to see that market remains buoyant for sellers and competitive for buyers as demand outstrips supply. 

      For a more detailed analysis, and what it means for your own particular situation, reach out to one of our experienced agents



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