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Blog :: 2021

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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        The Housing Market - January Round Up

        Throughout the year we take a monthly 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.

        January has gotten 2021 off to a steady start. It’s not typically a busy month, nevertheless many towns reported an increase in the number of homes sold compared to Jan 2020, with Acton and Winchester showing a double figure % increase, and Arlington nearly doubling the number of homes sold.  List prices increased year over year in Concord and Lexington, and sale prices were also higher than 2020 in Lincoln and Melrose.  With inventory still low, demand continues to be high, resulting in much faster transactions as days to offer and days on market continue to drop.  In Arlington and Westford homes received an accepted offer in under 20 days on average, and closings in less than 30 days were the average in Acton and Melrose

        In this fast-paced environment, it is vital to work with an experienced and knowledgeable agent who can help you navigate this marketplace to secure your dream home.  Contact a Barrett Sotheby’s International Realty agent today for a more detailed analysis of the market in your area. 

        Getting ready to move?  Consider attending one of our complimentary virtual seminars this month, with tips from the experts on downsizing and preparing your home for sale.  Seminars take place on Saturdays at 10:30am - email us at to register.  



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          4 Benefits of Moving to the Greater Boston Area

          Moving to Greater Boston AreaConsidering moving to the Greater Boston area? You’re making the right decision. Boston has a thriving job market, strong educational opportunities, a central location in New England, plus it’s a food heaven!

          Job Market

          Boston is home to big name companies in the technology, financial services, and life sciences sectors. You can find Google in Cambridge, Amazon in Seaport, and more companies like Pfizer, Fidelity Investments, and Liberty Mutual scattered across the city. Along with industry leaders, Boston is home to many up and coming startups who offer appealing benefits and plentiful stock options. The high salaries in Boston can make up for the cost of living. Drop your resume around at some Boston companies- you won’t regret it!

          Educational Opportunities

          Known for its educational opportunities, Boston is home to countrywide educational leaders such as Harvard, MIT, Boston University, and Boston College. Higher education isn’t the only sector of education Boston excels in. Massachusetts consistently ranks as one of the top states in public education. They say “doing well isn’t good enough” and students consistently shine, possibly due to the excellent quality of teachers in Massachusetts.

          Central Location

          Boston is located in a great spot in the Northeast. It’s possible to take a day trip to multiple different states. If you want to go explore a national park, head up the coast to Acadia National Park in Maine. If you want to go to another city, New York and Providence are just a car ride away. Interested in relaxing by the lake or in the mountains? New Hampshire and Vermont have both. The possibilities are endless in Boston.

          Great Food Scene

          Foodies will be in heaven with Boston food. Massachusetts is known for its seafood, being right on the coast after all. Try some New England clam chowder or lobster. Is seafood not your thing? No worries. Boston has nearly every type of cuisine you can think of. You will have to make multiple outings to eat your way through the city!

          If you have any questions about buying a home in the Greater Boston area, contact Barrett Sotheby's International Realty. We'd love to help you find your new home!


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            Family Fun for February Vacation

            February vacation is just a week away and this year it is even more of a challenge to find things to do with the kids.  The pandemic has put travel plans on hold and many favorite activities are out of bounds.  We are here to help!  Our agents are all very knowledgeable about their towns and many of them have raised families here, so who better to ask for suggestions to keep both kids and parents entertained?  Here are some of their recommendations for low-risk* activities you can enjoy this vacation and beyond.  Many of these are outdoors and require pre-booking, so check the weather and the website before you set off.  Stay safe and have fun! 


            Ski resorts in MA are operating for the season, but non-skiers can still enjoy the snow with tubing!  Ski Ward and Nashoba both offer tubing in specific timeslots - advance booking required. Some height/age restrictions apply - best for ages 6+

            The Trustee of the Reservations are hosting some fun Feb vacation week activities at select locations, including Fire Pit Picnics, Snowshoeing, and Hike and Seek adventures.  deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln is a great place to explore - tickets go on sale one week in advance. 

            If the weather is good, take a walk in one of our many nearby state parks and reservations- try  The Middlesex Fells in Winchester, Minute Man Park in Concord, Great Meadows also in Concord, and Willard Woods in Lexington are all good places to explore.  Or head into the city and take a stroll through Boston Common and the Public Garden, or along the Rose Kennedy Greenway (don’t forget to say hello to the seals outside the Aquarium!)

            Boston’s Seaport has transformed to Snowport for the season!  Enjoy a winter stroll, explore the art installations, try curling or enjoy dinner in an igloo - and keep an eye out for Betty the Yeti!

            Both Stone Zoo and Franklin Park Zoo are open to visitors - again, visitor numbers are restricted so make sure you purchase your tickets in advance.

            If you prefer to be indoors, some of our favorite kid-friendly museums are open with precautions.  Try Discovery Museum in Acton, Museum of Science or New England Aquarium for an undercover day out.


            *All organized activities will have their own covid safety protocols in place - please check individual websites for details and requirements.  Please remember to wear a mask and maintain social distance when taking part in any self-guided activities.  Let’s keep everyone safe!


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              Laid Bare - Homes featuring Exposed Brick

              If you are lucky enough to have a house made of bricks, as well as avoiding becoming a wolf's breakfast, you can also take advantage of this trend!  Using exposed brick as part of your home decor has seen a resurgence in recent years.  The combination of warmth and character is a winner for folks looking to celebrate the history in their home.  Often seen around fireplaces, exposed brick is now popping up as a feature in living rooms, kitchen and even bedrooms.  The top-floor condo at 16 Wellington Street in Boston’s South End features exposed brick in the living room and bedroom, giving a striking appearance.  At 501 Lowell Street in Carlisle, the exposed brick brings drama to the stairway. Check out both homes on our Featured Listings page.

              Sotheby’s International Realty has examples from New York to New Mexico in their latest blog - you can read more at













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                Preparing to Move - Free Virtual Seminars to Get Tips from the Pros

                Moving is one of the most stressful things you can do - it’s up there with divorce as one of the most anxiety-inducing events in your life.  Yet it doesn’t need to be that way.  With a bit of planning ahead and help from the experts, you can dramatically reduce the stress around moving.  That’s where we come in!  Owner and President Laurie Cadigan knows only too well the trials and tribulations of moving - not only has she helped countless people move houses, she and her husband did the tricky “downsize'' move a few years ago.  Laurie has since hosted several seminars on the art of preparing your home for sale and downsizing, sharing the tips and tricks she learned then to help people through the process.  She teams up with experienced stagers Jan and Liz from Perfectly Placed For You and Lisa Skripps from Linen and Lantern, downsizing specialist Marie LeBlanc from Transitions Liquidation, and antiques expert Bobbi Benson from North Bridge Antiques to walk you through some of the tricky decisions around this process and offer resources to help.  They share thoughts on what to keep, sell and donate, how to see your home through a buyer’s eyes, and that most tricky of situations - how to get your grown-up kids to take their stuff!

                This year’s seminars will be held on Zoom - they are free but you will need to register to attend.  Please email or click on the seminar titles below and let us know which date you would like to join.  


                Preparing Your Home for Sale - 10:30 am, February 13th and 27th.

                You will learn to quickly and effectively clear clutter!  Play up selling points through thoughtful furniture arrangement and accessorizing.  Create room balance that will resonate with buyers.

                Downsizing - 10:30 am, February 20th and March 6th.

                Gain valuable advice about how to refine the items you need to make a comfortable, beautiful lifestyle in less space.  Learn tips, tricks and the resources you need to help get the job done.



                A Recipe for Style - Enviable Kitchens

                They say the kitchen is the heart of the home, and these kitchens certainly live up to that.  Whether grand and ornate or simple and minimalistic, they all have certain things in common.  Kitchens should blend comfort, style and function, a place where you can prepare an elaborate 4-course dinner or rustle up a quick snack with equal ease.  Trends come and go but high-end appliances, tons of preparation space and counter seating are always key ingredients for culinary success! 

                Read the latest blog from Sotheby’s International Realty for kitchens that inspire, and check out our own enviable kitchens - try 22 Devens St, Concord, 15 Lawson Rd, Winchester, 16 Shiraz Lane, Acton or 22 Warbler Springs Rd, Lincoln for design recipes that combine style and substance.   



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                  The Housing Market - 2020 in Review

                  2020 was quite a remarkable year in the housing market north of Boston.  As the first lockdown hit in mid-March and we saw the traditional spring market grind to a halt, many of us thought we were looking at an extremely slow year.  Yet we adapted to the new circumstances and pivoted to find new ways to help people move - virtual tours, Facebook Live showings, digital brochures, socially-distanced open houses - all designed to keep everyone safe during the pandemic.  And slowly but steadily our buyers and sellers came back, until by the summer we were as busy as a typical spring. This trend continued and we saw a steady stream of closings right through to the end of the year, as demand continued from buyers in all of our towns. By the end of 2020 there were more single-family homes sold than in 2019 in virtually all our towns.  We also saw average list and sale prices increase, reflecting the high demand for homes in our core areas. Prices were up by 10% or more in Acton and Lincoln.  Homes were also selling quicker, again a reflection of limited inventory.  Days on market dropped by more than 10% in Arlington and Winchester, and offers were received a staggering 32% faster than the previous year in Westford.  An increase in the median price also shows that prices were on an upward turn in towns such as Bedford, Carlisle and Melrose.  At the end of the year, the total market volume had increased by more than 30% over 2019 in Lexington and Lincoln, and by more than 20% in Acton, Concord and Westford.  

                  So - what do we think this means for the housing market in 2021?  Get in touch if you would like to know more about the housing market in your area.  Our experienced agents are happy to give you a complimentary market analysis to help you decide if now is the time to make a move.  Whatever happens, we will continue to pivot, adapt our business and invest in tools and technology to be able to serve our clients safely and efficiently.   














































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