Monthly Archives: May 2012

June is right around the corner and that means the opening of the outdoor Farmers’ Markets in Massachusetts. Farmers’ Markets are a great way to shop for fresh produce and have a fun experience along the way.

In addition to the farmers who sell their fruits and vegetables, there are many other food vendors at the various markets. Enjoy exploring the booths of fish and lobster, natural beef, eggs,  locally made cheeses, breads and pastries, jams and jellies, honey,  wine and organic fresh juices. Some of the specialty vendors include flowers, handcrafted jewelry, homemade soaps and lotions, crafts, and candles.

Ideas for Shopping at Farmers’ Markets:

  1. Arrive with your own reusable bags or boxes. Most vendors will have bags, but bringing your own is better for the environment.
  2. Bring an ice filled cooler if you plan on buying meat, seafood, or other perishable items.
  3. Talk to the farmers about what is in season now, and what will be arriving soon.
  4. Use cash in small bills and coins. Cash is the easiest currency for the farmers and vendors.
  5. Make it a family outing. Your kids might enjoy a fruit or vegetable they’ve selected themselves!

For a complete list of tips go to
www.mass.gov/agr/markets/farmersmarkets/get_fresh_smartshop.htm

Following are details of some of the Farmers’ Markets located in the 128/93 belt. For a list and interactive map of other Massachusetts Farmers’ Markets go to
www.massnrc.org/farmlocator/map.aspx?Type=Farmers Markets

Arlington – Massachusetts Avenue & Pleasant Street, Russell Common Parking Lot
Wednesdays  –  2:00 pm to 6:30 pm
June 13 to October 31
www.farmersmarketarlington.org/Index.aspx

Melrose – Bowden Park at West Emerson Street, Cedar Park & Vinton Street
Thursdays  –  1:00 pm to 7:00 pm
June 14 to October 25
www.melrosefarmersmarket.org/

Wakefield – Hall Park on North Avenue, adjacent to the Veterans ballfield and parking lot on Lake Quannapowitt
Saturdays  – 9:00 am to 1:00 pm
June 23 to October 20
www.wakefieldfarmersmarket.com/

Wilmington – 138 Middlesex Avenue, Town Common
Sundays   –  10:30 am to 1:30 pm
June 17 to September 30 (closed July 1)
www.wilmingtonfarmersmarket.com/

Winchester – Town Common between Laraway Road, Church Street, and Waterfield Road
Saturdays  –  9:30 am to 1:30 pm
June 9 to October 27
www.winchesterfarmersmarket.org/

Woburn – 41 Wyman Street, Spence Farm
Sundays  –  10:00 am to 2:00 pm
June 10 to October 21
www.woburnfarmersmarket.com/

Whenever you go, know that you are supporting our local farmers and vendors, and enjoying yourself at the same time.

About the author: Gale Spadafora is a Realtor with RE/MAX Legacy in Woburn MA. She works with buyers and sellers in neighborhoods north of Boston.  Visit her on her website www.spadaforateam.com


Are you relocating? Don’t know where to start you house search?

Questions you might want to ask yourself before choosing the place you want to live in…

When are you moving and is the move definite?  If you have an exact date of when you are moving because of personal reasons or you have a job relocation you are ready to start. Your company might offer you a relocation package, but you still have the choice of your relocation agent. Make a wise decision and don’t think you are forced to use the one person they assign to you. You can request an agent of your choice.

How long are you moving for?  If you are not sure of the term of your stay a rental might be the option whether long or short term.

Have you visited the town you are moving too?  Have you toured the neighborhoods close to your office to get a feel of where you are moving?

What type of area do you like to live in?  Are you a city person who loves restaurants and night life?   Are you a suburban person who would like to be close enough without paying the high cost of living in the city? Are you an urban person who would like to have a home with a yard, side streets, parks, and be in a more quiet area. Is commute the last thing you worry about? Do you like being in the woods far from everything, are you a nature lover. Would you rather live in a rural area?  Also what type of community do you like? Apartment buildings, townhouses, single family home or you want to be a landlord at the same time.

Let us now zoom in to the type of neighborhood you like?  Important criteria:

  1. What is the most important thing for me in a neighborhood:
    a.      
    Schools
    b.      
    Parks
    c.      
    Transportation
    d.      
    Shopping Centers
    e.      
    Gyms
    f.       
    Restaurants
    g.      
    Commute time to work
    h.      
    Safety
    i.       
    Does the town have a downtown?
  2. What is the average median price of the neighborhoods you are looking at?

Now that you have narrowed down your commute time and the towns available organize the towns in order depending on your most important search criteria.

Visit your favorite 3 neighborhoods, and visit 3 properties in each within your price range.

Start shopping for homes.

About the author: Janine Elkhoury is a Realtor at RE/MAX Legacy and is a relocation specialist helping her clients find the perfect home in Eastern Massachusetts. Visit her on her website www.mahomesonline.com

 


Although neither phone has been around for very long, the question has been around since the beginning…..which phone is right for me…..iPhone or Android?  Personally, I have a Droid Bionic, while my wife, who has evolved from Palm to Blackberry to Android, is now strongly leaning towards an iPhone as her next smartphone.  I’ll probably be jealous, as my upgrade is over a year away, but at least I’ll observe her learning curve and perhaps it will make me more qualified when it’s decision time again.

 

Recently, USAToday covered this topic, and I would like to capture some of their thoughts and observations.

The phones are quite different, but they do share similarities.  With the iPhone, there has really only been one to choose from as the phone has evolved.  Apple does a good job of keeping the older phones updated to use the same software.  The current version of the iPhone is the 4S, but rumor has it that iPhone 5 is due out in the near future (perhaps in the fall).  With iPhones, you can choose your memory or your color, but otherwise, all phones are the same.

The Android phones are much more varied, with more shapes and sizes, as well as performance and operating systems.   Verizon coined the name “Droid” but users refer to their Droids, regardless of the carrier.

When it comes to apps, with the Apple operating system having been around longer, the Apple store has more apps to choose from.  However, more and more, especially with the popular apps, they are being developed for both phones.

A significant advantage of the android system is its integration with Google.  One area that demonstrates this is Google Maps, which includes navigation with a GPS system.  On the other hand, different manufacturers offer different operating systems that can make each android phone look different that the next.

Here’s my thought on which one is best.  Both systems have their merits and their deficiencies.  Where I see the difference (in my limited world), is that I never hear an iPhone user saying “I can’t wait for my contract to be up so I can get a Droid”.   However I am more likely to hear Android users saying “Maybe I will switch to an iPhone the next time I get a new phone”.  Whatever you choose, learn it and use it to the maximum that you can.  And, oh by the way, have fun too!

About the author: Roland Spadafora is a Realtor at RE/MAX Legacy in Woburn MA and has been working with both sellers and buyers for over 30 years!  Visit Roland’s website at  www.spadaforateam.com


Category: Technology

I have the privilege of working with many home buyers looking to purchase their first home!  When discussing the home buying process there is one theme that seems to resonate with most of them. They all want “a deal”   This sentiment is understandable and even logical as we all want to spend less than what something is worth. Even more so for a home purchase which for most is the biggest financial investment of our lives.

The trap many home buyers are falling into however is how they define “a deal.”  To most, getting a deal on a home purchase is not paying anywhere close to the sellers asking price.  But what if the asking price is already less than the perceived market value?  What most people fail to realize is that some sellers will intentionally set a sale price at BELOW market value to attract a swarm of buyers and offers. In fact, 3 out of the last 4 homes I closed on sold for at or ABOVE asking price!  The reality today is that sellers are more realistic and aggressive in their pricing strategy and the list price is often the at or below market value.

My challenge to every home buyer is to rethink what it means to get “a deal.”    I’ve seen many buyers lose out on a house they wanted because they based “a deal” on sellers asking price rather than market value.

The best way to find out if you are getting a deal is to sit down with your Realtor before making an offer and have them do a market analysis for that specific property.  A detailed market analysis will include similar homes that have recently sold, current homes on the market, neighborhood sales history and many other important factors to consider when determining the market value of a home.  This usually is the best way to really tell if you are getting “a deal.”

About the author: Anthony Giglio is a Realtor at RE/MAX Legacy and can be contacted on his cell at 781-789-3940 or you can visit his website www.myhomeMA.com to search all homes for sale in Massachusetts


Category: Home Buying