Just about impossible to believe that August is almost over. And for many folks Labor Day signals the unofficial end of summer, although the seasons don't officially change until the autumnal equinox on September 22. Since we're not ready to give up summer, we're sharing one of our favorite Pinterest boards "Summer in New England". As our description of that board says, "Summer in and around Greater Boston and the New England region may be fleeting and sometimes fickle. But that's why folks pack so much in to those few glorious months."
Tips For Homeowners
Recently Barrett Sotheby's International Realty Owner and CEO Laurie Cadigan and staff members Linda Fabrizio, Administrator; Diane Gilson, Advertising Director; and Sue Leone, Office Manager participated in an orientation conference held for companies that have recently joined the Sotheby's International Realty® network of residential real estate brokerages.
Philip White, President and CEO, Sotheby's International Realty Affiliates LLC said, "Our luxury network helps connect the finest independent real estate companies to the most prestigious clientele in the world. Our orientation program helps our network's brokers effectively use the exclusive line of Sotheby's International Realty products to better serve their clients' needs."
The orientation conference included business meetings in Short Hills, NJ, highlighting the exclusive Sotheby's International Realty marketing, advertising and referral services that are designed to attract well-qualified buyers to Barrett SIR's property listings. In addition, a networking event at the Sotheby's Auction House in New York City emphasized the unique ability to refer real estate clientele to the auction house for appraisal services for jewelry, art, antique furniture and collectibles.
"Our visit to the Sotheby's Auction House and Real Estate Center in Manhattan highlighted the opportunity we have to target our marketing to a coveted audience worldwide," said Laurie Cadigan.
The meteorologists describe a "heat wave" as "a prolonged period of excessively hot weather, which may be accompanied by high humidity". Here in New England we are in the midst of our third heat wave of the summer.
And whether you love the heat or hate it, nothing sounds better than a cool, refreshing dip in a soothing aquamarine-colored swimming pool. Since we can't actually give you a pool to dive into to cool off, how about taking a look at some of the stunning images we have collected on one of our favorite Pinterest boards "Making a Splash" for a little imaginative plunge.
"'A picture is worth a thousand words.' refers to the notion that a complex idea can be conveyed with just a single still image. It also aptly characterizes one of the main goals of visualization, namely making it possible to absorb large amounts of data quickly," according to Wikipedia. The phrase, in various forms, first appeared in print beginning around 1911. Over 100 years later, Pinterest has become one of the most popular social media sites and it revolves around pictures, pinned every minute by the thousands. Pinterest.com's About Us page says it is "a tool for collecting and organizing things you love." The format of "pinning" pictures to a "board" allows you to gather images online that speak to you, however you'd like to categorize them and then share those pictures and boards with your friends, both real life and online ones.
Barrett Sotheby's International Realty has a collection of Pinterest boards with a variety of titles such as "Architecture", "Kitchen Inspirations", "A Room with a View" and many more. From time to time, we will share those boards here with you and invite you to follow along with us on Pinterest to see what's been catching our eye and perhaps find some inspiration for your own home and garden. As we head into summer here in New England, there is no better place to start than with Porches, Patios and Decks. Whether screened in or wraparound, flagstone or cedar, we hope you find these outdoor spaces to be inviting, lovely to look at and worthy of a second glance.
The Spring market is in full swing and Barrett & Company agent Melanie Zwicker is also a home seller who recently put her own house on the market. Working with buyers and knowing what they are looking for when viewing homes helped her a lot when it came to deciding what work needed to be done before the house was listed. Melanie relied on professionals she trusts and has worked with in the past to help her tackle the list of projects. In a few cases, when she needed recommendations, she asked some of her fellow Barrett & Company agents for suggestions of contractors they have built relationships with.
She had wonderful experiences with the folks who did the painting, landscaping, gardening, electrical work and flooring and shared them with me to pass along to others who are getting spruced up for Spring!
The whole interior of the 1,900 square foot home, including basement and cathedral ceiling, was painted by Peg Walker from Peg's Painting 978.777.4162 (recommended by Barrett agents Laura McKenna and Jeannine Taylor). Melanie said "Peg works hard, arrives early, paints fast and efficiently and is reasonably priced. She does beautiful work and it was nice to have a woman contractor in the house in the early a.m. for the past month."
Winn from Chambers Flooring, 617.887 2338, was recommended by Bob Champey, another Barrett agent. Winn removed and disposed of ceramic tile and carpet, installed two rooms of hardwood floors and refinished one bedroom floor. According to Melanie, "The bedroom floor looks brand new and the newly installed floors are gorgeous. Winn works hard, does what he says he is going to do and is reasonably priced. He matched the finish on the new floor perfectly to the existing flooring in two adjoining rooms. It appear seamless, like it has always been hardwood."
Billy Hutchinson, an electrician, 978.815.7014, was also recommended by Bob Champey. He has done basic electrical work for Melanie and several of her clients over the past 6 months. Melanie finds him, "...honest, reasonably priced and knowledgeable. He is also very accessible."
The entire exterior of the home was painted last summer by George Grow, 508.222.0864, who was recommended by Ann Trudeau. Melanie says "George is the calmest, most efficient contractor I have come across. He is reasonably priced with expert painting experience, is very knowledgeable and does beautiful work. He arrived every day at 7:00 a.m., was done by 3:00 and I barely noticed that he was on the property."
Trees and Lawn Maintenance
Tom Cullinane, of Cullinane Not Just Tree & Landscape, 978.833.0787, did tree work and lawn maintenance and "has done a tremendous job on my property. He is efficient, reasonably priced and a nice polite businessman. His crew is always polite as well. Tom trimmed a few very large trees this past summer to open up the appearance of my home from the street. Does great work!"
Garden Installs & Upkeep
For installation of gardens and upkeep, Melanie says her friend Fran Callahan, 978.395.1097, "cannot be beat. Fran prides herself on organic gardening. She has installed gardens on the entire perimeter of my home over the past 5 years. She can plan, install and upkeep gardens. She works hard, is reasonably priced and is as strong as most men. She can easily spread 7 yards of mulch in a day while maintaining a garden."
Melanie admires and appreciates these contractors because "they are are good at what they do and they are honest, hard working individuals." With their help, along with staging support from the Barrett & Company Designed to Sell team, the property is well on its way to a quick closing.
Barrett Sotheby's International Realty recently hosted a regional meeting in Concord Massachusetts for the Northeast affiliates of Sotheby's International RealtyÂ® (SIR). The meeting featured several sponsorship informational sessions from local real estate related businesses, as well as a guest Q&A panel of experienced agents and wasÂ aimed to strengthen the connections between the affiliates in attendance:Â Gibson Sotheby's International Realty of Boston MA;Â Gustave White Sotheby's International Realty of Newport RI;Â Home Center Sotheby's International Realty of Hingham and Cohasset MA;Â Karp Liberman & Kern Sotheby's International Realty of Newton MA;Â Legacy Properties Sotheby's International Realty of Maine;Â Macdonald & Wood Sotheby's International Realty of Duxbury MA;Â Mathieu Newton Sotheby's International Realty of Westborough MA;Â oldCape Sotheby's International Realty of Brewster MA;Â Tate and Foss Sotheby's International Realty of Rye NH;Â Vermont Country Properties Sotheby's International Realty of Vermont andÂ Waterfield Sotheby's International Realty of Winchester MA.
Highlights of the informational sessions included a presentationÂ given by Tony Dolceamore, Vice President of Affiliate Services at Sotheby's International RealtyÂ®Â showcasing the power of presentation behind the SIR branded "Anthology" app for the iPad;Â Jack Huntress of homebinder.com, a website content management system which allows homeowners to store important information such as favorite contractors, a home inventory, as well as reminders for routine maintenance. An overview of current mortgages from Meredith Spence a Home Mortgage Consultant for Wells Fargo, as well as a wonderful outline of the services offered by Gentle Giant Moving CompanyÂ rounded out the event.
"I think that I cannot preserve my health and spirits, unless I spend four hours a day at leastâ€”and it is commonly more than thatâ€”sauntering through the woods and over the hills and fields, absolutely free from all worldly engagements." Henry David Thoreau, Walking
Concord, Massachusetts is known for many things, most notably for being at the heart of the American Revolution, but there is more to the quaint New England town than just that. Concord is also home to American Bloomsbury, a group of writers, philosophers, and revolutionists; two members of which were the Fathers of the Transcendental movement of the 19th century: Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau.
Both authors, spanning their writing careers, produced some of the most influential American Literature that is still studied in university courses today. In Emerson's famous essay "Nature" he proclaims "a man needs to retire as much from his chamber as from society" and that "When I behold a rich landscape, it is less to my purpose to recite correctly the order and superposition of the strata, than to know why all thought of multitude is lost in a tranquil sense of unity." Much like many of his essays, as with Thoreau's, the focal point lies in reconnecting the human spirit with nature. To do this, both Emerson and Thoreau would spend hours wandering the uncharted woods of Concord forging their own paths. Thanks to a recent project undertaken by the Town of Concord, the Trails Committee, the Emerson family, the Mill Brook Task Force, and many volunteers, one known path has been restored for all to enjoy.
On Friday, June 14, 2013, a grand opening was held for the newly finished Emerson-Thoreau Amble that begins at Heywood Meadow and stretches to the location where Thoreau's cabin was sited at Walden Pond. Curving and cutting through woods, wetlands, and fields, the Amble follows the same path both famous authors frequented, sometimes together, with notable points of interest along the way, including the recently refurbished Gun House, Emerson's House, and the Concord Museum, just to name a few.
Although the path has already been forged, the Amble still has a certain allure. With each step forward one is thrust backwards into the time of Emerson and Thoreau, when walking wasn't for fitness, but for leisure and a way to find oneself among nature. Keeping in mind how times have changed, how in the current epoch people have information at the tips of their fingers, this path can hopefully serve as a way for us to return to our roots. To once again, take an intrinsic act and walk, not into the future, but into oneself.
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