Barrett Sotheby's International Realty

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!

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.

New Story Sponsorship

At the 2017 GNE, September 25th – 27th, Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates heard about “New Story,” a non-profit that works to build homes and communities around the globe. With the goal of 100 homes for a new community in Mexico, they left the GNE with more than 140 pledged!

Laurie Cadigan, the owner and CEO of Barrett Sotheby’s International Realty purchased a home at the GNE.

The goal of New Story is to build homes that provide safety and consistency for families. These lead to improved health, income and opportunity, and education. The homes are built to withstand time and potential disaster, as a long-term solution to enable a place for generations to grow and thrive.

Each home is built by local workers, creating not only a new home, but economic opportunity for community members. The homes are also built with local materials. The to-be home owners are part of the conversation and building process, with their long-term goals in mind.

Once the homes are built, donors receive a video of the family they have sponsored!

To read about families who have been sponsored, or are looking for sponsorship, click here.

Tips for a Brighter Winter

Settled in New England, we are no strangers to the winter months! As autumn begins and fades, so do the hours of light that we experience. While there are countless things to look forward to in the winter, there are also symptoms of fatigue and dreariness that many Massachusetts natives, and transplants, experience.

We can enjoy the crisp air, apple cider, snow days, added exercise, layered clothing, and holidays, but when the excitement settles, some New England residents are left feeling less than joyous about the season change.

This leaves us to wonder… how do we combat the wintertime blues? With the end of daylight saving, we thought we’d look into some ways to brighten our days.

Along with the recommend daily exercise, time outdoors (even in the snow and cold!), and maintaining your typical routine, there are also things you can do in your home to bring more light and energy in the darker months.

Of course, if you’re experiencing more than just a bit of wintertime dreariness, you may also want to seek a doctor’s professional opinion. But, if you’re just looking to brighten up your home, or try some natural remedies first, look no further! We’ve broken down our tips into three main categories. You will find one main theme: visual and sensory cues.

 

Windows:

  • Clean your windows.
    • This task may even have the added bonus of an upper-body work-out depending on how many windows you have. Once you’ve finished, you’ll feel like you’ve achieved something and your home will be full of bright, uplifting light.
  • Remove the mesh screens. This added layer obstructs the view to the outside.
  • Maximize the daylight in your home, especially in the morning, by opening the blinds.
  • Make the windows of a room the focal point during the winter months.
  • While we’re on the topic of blinds, change out your heavy drapes with light colored window treatments.
    • By mounting treatments outside of the window frame, you can also create a visual cue that the windows are larger. As a bonus, when open, this will allow for the maximum amount of sunlight to come through.
  • Trim any shrubbery near the windows that would obstruct your view of the daylight. This is another chore that will add some exercise and an outdoor experience.
  • Open the windows.
    • It may seem counter-intuitive in the colder months, but even twenty minutes of fresh air and sunlight in your home can do wonders for your moods. Not to mention the fresh feeling and renewed scent your space will have once they’re closed.

 

Interior Design:

  • Remove dark rugs and textiles.
  • Add bright, light, and textured designs to your floor coverings, slips, and pillows.
  • Add reflective surfaces to your home.
    • Even a simple statement mirror can add a tremendous amount of light when placed mindfully.
  • Add full-spectrum or daylight toned bulbs to your home.
  • Light boxes, dawn simulators, and circadian rhythm simulators are all added light elements, as well – but you may want to discuss with a doctor if this is a good choice, first.
  • Add new pieces to your home.
    • Even small changes like one added piece of art, or a few bright photos, can add excitement to a space. This is especially helpful to make your home feel new, and get you excited to spend some quality time there.
  • Plants! Adding natural elements to your home helps to bring the outside in, adding natural air filtration, another indoor task, and a nurturing sensibility during months where self-care is especially important.
  • Aromatherapy is another added piece of interior design that we often overlook.
    • Having a signature scent for your home is something lots of designers recommend, but adding natural essential oils like lavender for calming, or orange for invigorating the senses, to your home can help various ailments. 

Schedule:

  • Maintain your typical routine.
    • See the people you normally would. Participate in a winter activity that you enjoy, or find a new one to try, adding enthusiasm to the time of year.
  • Make your bed daily.
    • This indicates your day is starting and you’re ready for what is ahead. The simple shift, if not already implemented, helps to prepare you for a good day.
  • Exercise.
    • Walking outside helps to get you light, air, and endorphins. If you are able, hiking also brings you into a new atmosphere that is said to help brighten your moods, as well.

 

Atwood Millet House Tour with Westford Historical Society

Nine years ago, the Atwood/Millet House at 4 Graniteville Road in Westford was vacant and in need of much care. It was purchased by Anson and Marie James, a young couple with energy and expertise in high end home restoration. This fall, the Jameses are re-opening their home to the public for one afternoon only.

The Westford Historical Society will be hosting a house tour at the historic Atwood/Millett/James house at 4 Graniteville Road in Westford on Sunday, November 5th, from noon to 4 p.m. Come see the transformation. Marie and Anson will be on site to share their stories and hear yours.

Tickets will be available at the door, cash or check only. $6 for Westford Historical Society members, $8 for non-members. $1 discount for students and seniors. Parking is across the street on Randolph Circle. For more information, the Facebook Event can be found here.

Originally built in 1878, this 3,475 square foot home is set on .57 acres and offers a great space for anyone looking for modern amenities with historic charm. Not only is it on tour with the Westford Historical Society, but it is for sale with Barrett Sotheby’s International Realty. For more information, take a look at the listing on our site, here.

Loving Local Life: Carlisle

Once described by Thoreau as the “city of the woods,” Carlisle, Massachusetts is next on tour for our Loving Local Life series. Our second-to-last stop, Carlisle continues to be a natural community, with over 30% of land remaining under a conservation effort.

Great Brook Farm is a large destination for those around the town, open each day 11 am to dark (dependent on weather) from April to October. A modern dairy farm, Great Brook has 61 flavors of ice cream for visitors to enjoy after exploration of the trails. Perfect for biking, hiking, or a picnic, it is great for family and friends alike.

The Malcom Preserve is another outdoor adventure for those seeking one in Carlisle. This 11 acre reservation includes trails that suggest a minimum of one half hour to explore, with one wheelchair accessible trail spanning one half mile long, lined with crushed stone. The Malcom Preserve also leads to a larger protected landscape of 1,300 acres in surrounding towns.

The Carlisle Cranberry Bog continues the theme of natural enjoyment and agriculture that is prevalent in Carlisle. Cranberries have been grown here since 1904, currently with 19 acres of active production. The bog provides another outdoor experience, especially grand in autumn.

With local companies such as Kimball Farm to stop at for more ice cream, and Ferns Country Store for any of your other needs, Carlisle is a great trip to make, for all!

Loving Local Life: Lincoln

The next town along the “Patriot’s Trail” that we’re stopping at for our Loving Local Life series is Lincoln, MA.

Following with our trend of historical towns, Lincoln is no exception! Lincoln is home to the Thoreau Institute, part of the Walden Wood Project. The Thoreau Institute Library holds over 60,000 items, all pieces of Thoreau-related material. There are conservation efforts, a farm, and plentiful educational elements to the Walden Woods Project, where the Thoreau Library is located.

Lincoln is also home to the Gropious House. The Gropious House was designed by the founder of the Bauhaus design school, and follows the Bauhaus style combining traditional elements of New England architecture. Anyone interested in Historical Architecture (especially in New England) will love a visit here!

The Codman Estate is another historically-steeped element of town. Known to some as “The Grange,” this estate has been passed through generations. Not only is it a landmark to visit, but the Codman Community Farm is a Lincoln staple, which has been in continuous operation for over 150 years.

If the farm has peaked your interest in heading to the great outdoors, the Mass Audubon Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary is another great place to go. Drumlin Farm is a working farm, with 206 acres total, and four miles of trails to explore, with two Universally Accessible trails.

For something with a bit of indoor and outdoor choice, the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum makes a great local day trip! deCordova is a welcome place for new visitors and return guests alike, supplementing the 3,500 piece Permanent Collection in several media with ever-changing Upcoming Exhibits.  

Finally, no visit to Lincoln is complete without a stop at Ponyhenge. An eclectic display, a local property owner found that each time they went away they would return to a new pony figure or statue left on their land. When driving, pull off at 39 Old Sudbury Road in Lincoln and look across to find this display to complete your tour!