Northwest Boston Communities

2016 Residential Tax Rates Greater Boston Towns

The following are the 2016 tax rates for our Greater Boston communities. We are happy to provide this comparison as a real estate resource in Greater Boston for over 30 years. If you are considering a home purchase or rental in the area and would like assistance in comparing these towns on other important factors, please call us at 978-369-6453 or email us at info@barrettsothebysrealty.com. We look forward to assisting you.

2015 Residential Tax Rates Greater Boston Towns

The following are the 2015 tax rates for our Greater Boston communities. We are happy to provide this comparison as a real estate resource in Greater Boston for over 30 years. If you are considering a home purchase or rental in the area and would like assistance in comparing these towns on other important factors, please call us at 978-369-6453 or email us at info@barrettsothebysrealty.com. We look forward to assisting you.

residential-tax-rates-ma-towns

Data provided from town government websites.

 

Great Events Around Our Towns

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It's a glorious time of year to live in New England! Here are some fun local events to spice up your fall

Nashoba Valley Winery Bolton NVW offers a unique "Vine to Wine" series where guests can see how wine is made from start to finish. Dates for this year's seminars are October 12th, 19th, and 25th. Call ahead to reserve your spot! In addition, they offer numerous seminars on wine tasting and other fun events in their restaurant serving unique American cuisine. http://www.nashobawinery.com/

Harvest Fair Newton Hosted on 10/18 and 10/19, the town of Newton invites any and all to enjoy the riches of fall! With numerous performances to choose from, it's the perfect place to enjoy face painting, sand art, ethnic and American foods along with so much more! For more information go to: http://www.newtoncommunitypride.org/harvest-fair.html

Looking for something a bit more active? Try the:

Sudbury Halloween 5k and Fun Run Sudbury The fun takes place on Sunday, October 26, with the 5k ($27) going off at 11 and the Fun Run ($12) at noon. What better way to bring in the seasons than with a nice run through one of Massachusetts most beautiful towns! Register by October 3rd to be guaranteed a shirt. More info here: https://sudbury.ma.us/recreation/2014/08/30/sudbury-halloween-5k-1-mile-fun-run/

Battle Road Trail Lexington/Concord 978-369-6993 This five mile trail highlights the battle of April 19, 1775 and is free to walk. Walk in the shoes of those who fought in the battle which began the American Revolution. Accessible from any point, see a complete map of the trail: http://www.nps.gov/mima/planyourvisit/upload/MIMA%20Park%20Map.pdf

Not in the mood for a walk? Try the Lexington Liberty ride!

Liberty Ride Lexington/Concord For more information: 339-223-5623 Rather than walking, a classic trolley takes you down Battle Road. 90 Minutes in duration, the trail highlights historic sites and attractions throughout the tows.

10 Places to Celebrate the 4th of July 2014 in Greater Boston

July 4th 2014 Greater Boston

Here's a list of places in and around Greater Boston to celebrate the 4th of July in 2014. Ten spots (listed alphabetically) to choose from...some of them have *fireworks*, all of them include *fun*...like parades, live music, food, games and much, much more. Enjoy!!

  • Acton Mass. July 4th Celebration at NARA Park, Acton MA, July 4, 2014 from 3:00 pm to 10:00 pm with family fun activities, live music and *fireworks* beginning at 9:30 pm.
  • Arlington Independence Day Celebration at Robbins Farm Park, Arlington MA, July 4, 2014 with musical entertainment provided by the "The Reminisants", refreshments, and of course, the Boston Pops Orchestra and Fireworks on the giant screen (fireworks start at 10:30pm). The event is free and open to all.
  • Boston Harborfest is favorite yearly destination for 4th of July festivities, running from July 2nd - July 6th 2014. Activities include Scavenger Hunts, Harbor Cruises and the annual USS Constitution Turn-Around. The Boston Pops *Fireworks* Spectacular with this year's performers: The Beach Boys, Megan Hilty, The Phantom of the Opera and The Boston Children's Chorus. And don't forget, you can see the concert on July 3rd but there won't be any fireworks.
  • Chelmsford 4th of July Parade and Country Fair, Chelmsford, MA The fair will be held on Thursday, July 3, 2014 from 5:00 pm to 11:00 pm and on Friday, July 4, 2014 from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm. The parade starts at 10:00 am on Friday, July 4, 2014.
  • Concord Picnic in the Park, Concord MA at Emerson Field, on July 4, 2014 from 11:30 am to 4:30 pm Scheduled to have tethered balloon rides, a bicycle parade, live music, and family activities.
  • Harvard Mass. 4th of July Events at Fruitlands Museum and Harvard Center, Harvard MA, July 2 - July 4, 2014 featuring a parade, live music, field events and *fireworks* on the 2nd beginning at 9:15 pm.
  • Lincoln Independence Day Activities, Lincoln, MA July 4, 2014 Activities include a 2.5 or 4 mile road race, parade, Boy Scout BBQ, concert and *fireworks*. The day's events begin at 7:45 am and continue through the evening
  • Newton July 4th Celebration, Newton, MA July 4, 2014 Scheduled events include children's activities, Open Air Market, amusements rides, live music and *fireworks*.
  • Waltham 4th of July Celebration, Prospect Hill Park and Leary Field Waltham, MA On Friday, July 4, 2014 at Prospect Hill Park from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm there will be a family event featuring children's inflatables, pony rides, animal shows, music, and much more! That evening at Leary Field, Back in Time will be performing at 5:30pm followed by *fireworks* at 9:30pm.

For lots more ideas for places in Massachusetts to celebrate Independence Day, check out massvacation.com.

Photo credit: Beverly & Pack / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Living the Sweet Life in Lincoln

What is more quintessentially New England than maple sugaring? It is underway right now in Lincoln, Massachusetts as the unseasonably warm weather in January and February has caused the sap to run early in the town's sugar maples.

I live in Lincoln and this first sign of spring has become a cherished family tradition. Our introduction to maple sugaring came when we first moved to town and cut down a large pine tree that was towering over our house. We immediately got a call from our neighbor: "Unlike many, we love pine trees," he began. My husband and I panicked. Uh-oh, we'd probably offended our new neighbor by cutting down the tree. But then the neighbor continued,

"We use pinewood to power our maple sugar boiler. Can we come by and cut up the tree and take the logs?"

The next day, the neighbor was sawing and removing the huge tree, saving us disposal costs and making us happy to see it go to such a good use. Soon we noticed his homemade sugar boiler smoking away. Coming from the Back Bay we found this amazingly quaint. I thanked him by baking some cookies; what a great community we had just joined.

The tradition of maple sugaring continued as another neighbor with three children set up an organized maple-sugaring operation on our road. I admired this father who took the time to embrace this long-standing New England activity even though he commuted into Boston on the train with me each day. After work he would change into some New England farmer duds and he and his wife would set the buckets out to tap the maple trees. All of the neighbors with maple trees "loaned" their trees to the effort. For added charm, the taps and buckets were the traditional tin type, not the plastic milk cartons that I had seen used in New Hampshire.

The sap only runs for a couple of weeks, and it is a window that cannot be missed. Our neighbors gathered all the kids in the area and piled them into the back of their pickup. They would drive slowly from one tree to the next on the quiet country road and we would all pick a tree and empty its sap bucket into a bigger drum. Then we returned to the truck to bounce and slosh back to their house and transfer the thin, sticky sap into the boiler. A month or so later, we all received some delicious Grade A maple syrup. Not a bad lifestyle in a town 20 minutes from downtown Boston!

Note: A great introduction to maple sugaring is found at a Sap-to-Syrup Farmer's Breakfast at Lincoln's Drumlin Farm March 17-18, 2012. They offer a pancake and maple syrup breakfast and activities and presentations outlining methods of maple syrup production.

Colonial Style Homes of New England

When people say that "colonial homes" are their favorite housing style, they are probably picturing a two-story structure with a center entrance and a symmetrical arrangement of windows, often fondly summed up as "five-over-four-and-a-door." In New England, colonial homes, both old and new are generally built of wood.

The towns that Barrett & Company serves have many beautiful examples of Colonial homes, and a surprising number of these are the real McCoy, dating from between 1640 and 1776. These antique homes usually have been lovingly cared for and sensitively updated over the years. They offer their owners history and a homey warmth.

Some traits of Colonial-era homes:

  • Post and beam construction -- now a current trend in modern home-building, showing that what is old is new again.
  • True divided light windows.
  • Construction around a central chimney. This huge masonry chimney runs through the middle of the house and was originally the only heat source for the upper floor. Later, to gain more interior space, early American homes had a chimney on either end of the house.

The Colonial Revival

The Boston area also has a stunning collection of Colonial Revival homes, which were extremely popular at the turn of the 20th century through the 1930s.

Colonial Revival homes:

Were inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement, which honored the craftsmanship of a bygone era.  Wallace Nutting, a famed collector of early American furniture, produced hand-colored photographs of Colonial interiors, helping spread interest in the revival.

Tend to have a bigger layout and larger windows than true Colonial-era homes because of course central heating was part of the original design. Glass-walled sunrooms and formal gardens set these homes apart from their homey, utilitarian forebears.

Usually have a fine level of workmanship in the moldings and mantels, many historically accurate but sometimes "pumped up" for added drama.

Can range from houses that would be considered estates to modest Dutch Colonials (to be discussed in a future blog).

May include Arts and Crafts elements in the interior, such as an inglenook or a built-in sideboard in the dining room.

Modern Classics

New England residential architects continue to draw on Colonial design traits when building new homes. A large, 5,000 square foot "Colonial" can have game rooms, large walk-in closets, and other high-end amenities but will still rely on classic Colonial details, such as dentil molding, side panels on either side of the front door, and an overall symmetry of design.

Built for the Landscape

Colonial homes of any time period function well in the New England climate. They have simple rooflines and a maximum of usable space for the footprint of the house, making them easier to heat than more "sprawling" styles.