Monthly Archives: January 2013


Did you keep your New Year’s resolution this year?
In past years?  As we go into early February, I thought it would be helpful to revisit New Year’s resolutions and why for some it is so difficult to keep their resolutions.

Following are the Top Ten Commonly Broken New Year’s Resolutions from Time Magazine. Is your resolution on the list?

  • Lose Weight and Get Fit
  • Quit Smoking
  • Learn Something New
  • Eat Healthier and Diet
  • Get Out of Debt and Save Money
  • Spend More Time with Family
  • Travel to New Places
  • Be Less Stressed
  • Volunteer
  • Drink Less

Why don’t we keep our resolutions?  Is it motivation?  Loss of interest?  Financial resources?  Time issues?  Not keeping track?  No outside support?  Unrealistic?

Often resolutions are vague and lack actionable steps. Let’s examine “Lose Weight and Get Fit”. For someone needing to lose 50 pounds this is a very vague resolution. You say you are going to do it BUT HOW? Write down the steps needed to lose 50 pounds. For instance “I am going to join a gym and work out 4 days a week for one hour. I am going to go on the _______diet (fill in the blank) and lose 1 pound a week, for the next 50 weeks.”  Or 2 pounds a month for the next 2 years. Whatever is realistic.  And offer yourself positive rewards along the way. For instance “For every 5 pounds I lose I am going to eat and enjoy a butterscotch sundae!”

It is also important that if you break your resolution you must get started again as soon as possible.  If you are on a diet and go on vacation, enjoy yourself for the week. BUT get right back on that diet when you return.  The same applies for smoking.  Say you went out with your buddies and smoked a few cigarettes after quitting for 3 weeks. Don’t keep smoking the next day. Try again and maybe you will make it 4 weeks the next time!

Let’s look at the resolution “Travel to New Places”.  This is a vague resolution. Make a specific plan and write it down. Perhaps the plan is to research 10 potential trips and take one this year.  Part of the fun is reading about possible destinations and anticipating the fun you might have.

For those of you who had 2013 resolutions and have stopped already, I hope you reframe your resolution and get started again. There are still 11 months left in the year! And for those of you who are great at resolutions and goal setting please pass this on to your friends who need more encouragement.

About this author: Gale Spadafora is a Realtor at RE/MAX Legacy and likes to set goals and achieve them. You can contact her directly through her website at www.galespadafora.com


Linda DubeWoburn, MA – January 23, 2013 – RE/MAX Legacy, located at 65 Pleasant Street, is pleased to welcome 10+ year real estate expert Linda Dube to its dynamic sales team. Dube produced $6.5 million in sales last year while working at an independent Burlington, MA real estate office and has joined RE/MAX Legacy as a new Sales Associate. She was recruited to join the RE/MAX Legacy team by Broker/Owners Anthony Giglio, Roland Spadafora and Gale Spadafora. Dube is excited to be a RE/MAX Associate because of the brand’s global recognition and the advanced technology RE/MAX offers to their Agents.

“We are incredibly excited to welcome Linda to the RE/MAX of New England family,” said Dan Breault, Executive Vice President and Regional Director of RE/MAX of New England. “Linda will have access to exceptional real estate tools and the newest technologies in the industry and we look forward to watching her progress.”

“RE/MAX’s technology suite will help assist my clients in getting the best possible price for their home in the least amount of time,” said Dube. “I’m extremely excited to use these new technology tools including MainStreet, LeadStreet, and the new REMAX.com.”

In addition to the tools and technologies that RE/MAX offers its Associates, Dube is excited to be a part of RE/MAX Legacy because of the significant benefits she will be able to provide her clients. “No other real estate organization that I’ve worked with has a higher percentage of Affiliates with advanced, professional designations. That coupled with the most powerful referral system and educational events were strong incentives in deciding whether or not to join the RE/MAX team.”

“We are all thrilled that Linda has decided to join RE/MAX Legacy,” said Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Legacy Anthony Giglio. “She is a great addition to the office and she will be a major contributor for years to come.”

Dube has lived in the North of Boston area her entire life. She specializes in residential real estate in the MiddlesexCountyarea. More information about RE/MAX Legacy can be found by visiting their website at www.legacyMA.com.


Category: Community Info

Flu season is well on its way and lots of our friends and co-workers are sick. How can you avoid catching the flu this year?

 

 

  1. Hand Washing: Rushing is not going to solve your problem. Make sure you wash your hands at all times: after  shaking someone’s hand, coughing, sneezing, blowing  your nose, before and after eating. You must  use soap and warm water, and do not to forget 20 to 30 seconds is the rule. Sing “Yankee Doodle” to yourself and you will be done in no time.
  2. Hand Sanitizer: Keep a small bottle of hand sanitizer in your pocket, pocket book and on your desk. You are most probably shaking your clients hands or friends all the time.
  3. Disinfectant Wipes and Antiseptic Spray :  Do not forget to wipe your desk, keyboard, phone, light switches and door knobs. The germs are all over the place. Better be safe than sorry. Don’t forget to  lay your pens, pencils and books out and spray a light mist over your supplies as well.
  4. Disinfect your Cellphone: You take your phone everywhere and place it anywhere then rub it to your face. Don’t forget to wipe it clean to avoid bringing the germs to your face.
  5. Empty trash cans often: Trash cans should be emptied daily and covered with trash bags to avoid germs in your trash bin.
  6. Crack open the windows: Opening  the windows in your office will freshen the air.  A properly ventilated room can be very helpful in keeping airborne organisms away from yourself or your colleagues. If there is a “no open window” policy, then try to maintain a regulated thermostat.
  7. Do not use your friends supplies: Try and use your own supplies since you do not know if the person who previously used the pencil or calculator had symptoms of flu. Surely don’t go digging in your friends candy jar, I am pretty sure some germs might be in there too!
  8. Pack a healthy lunch and stay hydrated:  Pack a lunch to work, with lots of fruits and vegetables to build your immune system, take your daily vitamins, and lots of liquids to keep hydrated.  Staying well hydrated can help your immune system do its job.  Keep a bottle or glass of water at your desk. Other option: Drink herbal tea.
  9. Sleep 8 hours or more: Sleep 8 to 10 hours every night to improve your immune system.
  10. Use your sick days: If you’re in a supervisory position, make sure your employees know they will not be penalized if they are infected with the flu and choose to stay home. A sick or infected employee leads to mistakes and poor work performance. And if he or she spreads the flu within the office and others are infected, it can have severe impact on total office productivity. Use your sick days for your friends sake.

    About the author: Janine Elkhoury is a REALTOR at RE/MAX Legacy and has gone through many flu seasons at the office. You can learn more about her on her website www.MAhomesonline.com


Category: Home and Garden

The Real Estate Spring Market

What is the spring market?  Annually it is the period of time when buyers really step up their activity and search for a new home in earnest.  It typically follows the path of warmer weather, increased inventory (sellers wanting to sell) and falls in the period of time that would allow for a closing to occur well before the beginning of the school year in September.

 

But when does it actually begin?  As it turns out, there is no definitive answer and there are many factors that could influence it.  Some possible influences are:

Weather – A cold and/or snowy winter definitely impacts the real estate market.  Sellers are reluctant to put their home on the market and buyers mostly want to look at homes in more ideal weather conditions.

Economy – Fears of a recession, loss of jobs, or higher interest rates can all affect the buyer’s interest in buying a home.  In a bad economic year, sometimes the spring market never occurs, or it is delayed until there’s more optimism.

Government Buyer Incentive Programs – This may not be seen in the near future, but when there was an incentive with the First Time Buyer Tax Credit and a deadline to receive it, there was definitely an early and strong spring market that year.

Region/Location – Certainly the economic strength of a region or locale can influence the market.  The experience for my area, north of Boston, might be totally different than another part of the state or the country.  Knowing your market area is important so as to be prepared for whatever happens.

In my years as an active, full time agent, I have seen a wide spectrum of “spring markets”.  I have seen it begin as early as January 2nd, and sometimes as late as July. And at least once, it didn’t happen at all.   Every year is different, but when it happens, one must be ready….buyer, seller, agent, attorney and mortgage professional.  To me, it is part of what makes the real estate industry unique and exciting!   As for 2013, it’s too early to tell, but with rates low, prices bottoming and turning around, and buyer confidence continuing to be high, I am optimistic that this year it will be an early and “wild” spring market.

About the author: Roland Spadafora is a Realtor at RE/MAX Legacy and has experienced many “spring markets”. Find out more about him and his real estate team on his website  www.spadaforateam.com


Eddy and LouieAs a real estate broker in Massachusetts, I am often warning my clients about the dangers of lead paint and especially how it is most dangerous for children under the age of 6. However, today I watched my dog Louie lick one of the painted doors in my house and I started thinking about whether or not lead paint affects our pets. In addition to licking the door, Louie can often be found chewing anything he can fit in his mouth. If anything, pets might be more susceptible to lead poisoning because of their curious palate and the way dust gets trapped in their furry bodies.  This is concerning to me because my two dogs Eddy and Louie are my “children” and even worse, Louie is under the age of 6 :)

A quick search on the Internet revealed lots of valuable information that is worth sharing. A site that was especially helpful was http://www.peteducation.com/

According to http://www.peteducation.com/, pets can get lead poisoning by ingesting lead-based paint chips or dust during the remodeling of older homes and also when they eat items that contain lead such as toys, drapery weights, fishing weights, lead shot, and tile. Some types of insulation can also cause lead poisoning if ingested. Water from lead pipes can carry lead with it, as can water served in improperly glazed ceramic bowls.

Usually, the symptoms are observed after the dog ingests enough lead over a short period of time, such as licking lead-based paint dust from the haircoat over a day or two. However, low amounts eaten over a longer time can also build up in the body. Lead affects many body organs especially the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and the nervous system. Symptoms include lack of appetite, vomiting, abdominal pain, constipation then diarrhea, chomping of jaws, blindness, seizures, muscle spasms, behavior changes, circling, and incoordination. Read more at http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=2+2105&aid=1522

While its important to protect our children from lead paint, don’t forget about your pets. They are just as likely to get lead poisoning especially the ones that like to chew on everything like Louie!

About the author: Anthony Giglio is a REALTOR at RE/MAX Legacy and is passionate about his two dogs Eddy and Louie.  Learn more about him on his website www.myhomeMA.com or on his profile page


The Fiscal Cliff fast approaches.  What does this mean for mortgage rates?  Let’s start at the beginning.  What is the Fiscal Cliff?  At midnight on December 31, 2012, the Budget Control Act of 2011 will begin to take effect.  This Act was designed to cut government spending and end certain tax breaks. Most people will have fewer dollars to spend because of higher payroll  taxes and few tax breaks.  The government would slash certain programs.  The impact of the Fiscal Cliff could be dramatic and lead to a recession.

The fact that no compromise on the tax and spending bill has yet to be reached by Congress creates worries in the market. Stocks fell but mortgage rates on fix rate programs have either declined or held steady.  Going over the fiscal cliff has investors worried about an economic  slowdown.  In turn this creates a demand for the safety and security of US government bonds.  Mortgage rates are determined by the  long term  bond market.  Generally, bad economic news results in lower mortgage rates.  Just last April the mortgage rates on a 30 year fixed rate mortgages were just over 5.00%!  Here we are less than a year later with rates hovering around 3.375%.

Mortgage rates continue to operate near all time best levels.  However, the uncertainty of the fiscal cliff means that rates could easily move higher or lower.  The feeling is that there’s more risk in waiting to lock in a mortgage because rates remain very low so rates are more likely to move up than down .

It’s the winter but mortgage rates make it a great time to shop for a home.  Rates remain low and homebuyers have less competition.

About the author: Cathy Dyl is a mortgage loan officer at Stoneham Bank (NMLS#49343) with over 20 years of mortgage lending experience.  Read more about her on her personal site