Monthly Archives: March 2013

Are you looking for things to do in Stoneham? Here are some ideas to get you started.

1.  Stoneham Theatre is a professional regional theatre located at 395 Main Street, in theStoneham Theatre heart of Stoneham Square.  I have been a season ticket holder since it opened in 2000, and a volunteer usher for the last 7 years. As a resident of Stoneham I am excited to have such a treasure in my town.  Looking for quality theatre without the hassle of Boston? This is your answer! Stoneham Theatre features a variety of plays:  musicals, comedies, dramas, mysteries, and holiday specials.  Something for everyone.  They have lessons, programs and workshops for children ages 7-18.  Some of these culminate in the Young Company performances in January and August every year. For more information check out their website at  www.stonehamtheatre.org  or call the Box Office at 781-279-2200.

 

2.  Stone Zoo is another gem located in Stoneham at 149 Pond Street, just off Interstate 93. This is a wonderful medium size suburban zoo to explore, and it has a wide Stone Zoovariety of animals. When my son was young we often visited the zoo and he had his favorites. The popular exhibits now include the black bear, reindeer, snow leopards, North American river otters, gibbons and the barnyard animals. The Stone Zoo has many special events for the children, so make sure you check their website at www.zoonewengland.org  or call them at 781-438-5100. If you can tolerate the cold weather then Zoolights is for you. Every December the Stone Zoo is turned into a Winter Wonderland and this event has become a yearly family tradition for many.

 

Whip Hill3.  Looking for a walk in the woods? Then try Whip Hill located at 1 Whip Hill Road, situated in a residential area near the Stoneham/Melrose line.  Whip Hill is a 30 acre conservation park owned by the Town of Stoneham. There is an English Tudor Mansion on the grounds.  Enjoy the winding woodland paths as you stroll along, or walk your dog. If you want a longer hike the trails connect with Middlesex Fells. For more information go to http://www.ci.stoneham.ma.us/Pages/StonehamMA_WhipHill/index  or call 781-665-2696.

 

4.  Do you like boating? A favorite spot in Stoneham is Spot Pond. It has a surface area of Spot Pond boating340 acres and a capacity of 1.8 billion gallons of water.  Because it serves as a backup reservoir to the Quabbin, there is no swimming and you can’t bring your own boat. BUT there are rentals and classes available through Spot Pond Boating (www.spotpondboating.com ).  This summer try out  a sailboat, kayak, canoe or rowboat and enjoy the cooling breezes out on the pond. If interested you can find more information at http://www.mass.gov/dcr/parks/metroboston/fells.htm

5.  More walking opportunities! Join the Walking Club sponsored by the Stoneham Senior Walking clubCenter. They leave from the Stoneham Senior Center every Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. (except holidays). They first walk to Finnegan Hall to pick up additional walkers, and then walk around the area. Get some exercise, enjoy the fresh air, and meet a new group of people!  For more information call the Senior Center at 781-438-1157 or check it out on the web at http://www.stonehamseniorcenter.org/activities/exercise

 

About the author: Gale Spadafora has been living in Stoneham for over 20 years and enjoys the variety of activities available in her town. You can contact Gale directly through her website at www.galespadafora.com

 


Should You Waive a Home Inspection?

 It doesn’t matter if you’re buying new construction, an old home, condo or something in between.  It is extremely important to have a home inspection by a licensed home inspector.  It could be the best money you can spend in the home buying process.

The inspection is important for the buyer as it becomes a learning process and an opportunity to learn about the home or condo that you’re buying.  In addition, the issues identified become a potential negotiating point or a reason to walk from the sale.

I’ve personally found that experienced buyers/investors tend to feel that they know homes well, and as a result, will waive a home inspection.  Sometimes waiving a home inspection may give a buyer an advantage in multiple offer scenarios.  In my opinion, waiving the home inspection is like playing Russian roulette.   Unless you’re a contractor with a full understanding of what you’re buying, this is not recommended.

As a buyer’s agent, I will never advise my buyer to waive the inspection.  Over the years I’ve had buyers waive the home inspection.  They have felt confident that their cursory walk-through has provided enough information that they can move forward, only to find issues that were overlooked when they own the home.  Some of the most common overlooked issues are:

Pests:  Presence of termites, carpenter ants, or powder post beetles is sometimes not obvious.  Current or past damage from these insects could result in the need for extensive repair/replacement of the damaged areas and perhaps even treatment to prevent future reoccurrences.

Structure:  Structure issues can be a result of damage from pests, settling of the home, or improper construction.  Failure to repair structural damage could cause further impact on the home over time.

Electrical:  Having the electrical system checked is a must.  I am seeing more instances of improper wiring in the electrical panel, moisture gaining access from the outside causing rust and potential shock and short out dangers, overloading and doubling up on breakers.

Mold:  This can be caused by excessive moisture (another problem in and of itself), and mold can come in different forms and levels of danger.  Proper removal can be at a significant cost.  A home inspector is not allowed to identify it as mold, but by raising a red flag and calling attention to “it”, you can bring in an expert to further assess.

If you are a seller, perhaps a proactive approach for you would be to have an inspection before placing your home on the market.  This will identify potential issues and give you the opportunity to correct the issues before they become part of the negotiation.

To summarize…have a home inspection!  It will be the best money you will spend.  And while you’re at it, check for radon too.  That will be a subject for another day!

About the author:   Roland Spadafora is a Broker Owner of RE/MAX Legacy, and is active as a listing and selling agent.  Over the years, he has been present on numerous home inspections and “has seen it all”.  You can visit his website at www.rolandspadafora.com.

 


Activities for Kids and Teens in Woburn

New to Woburn, not sure what to do with your kids? All you need is to find the activity your kids would enjoy.   Here are some great ideas that will keep your family busy for a long janine1time.

Join the North Suburban YMCA. Lots of sports, swim, summer camps, family activities an indoor swimming pool, rock climbing wall and sports. The Y brings families closer together, encourages good health and fosters connections through fitness, sports, fun and shared interests.

janine2woburnWoburn Recreation Center  has great programs for you and your kids to keep active all year round. Adult Fitness & Wellness Programs,  some free activities at the parks in the summer, field days and more. Don’t forget your summer bracelet to access the pools during the hot summer days.
LaserCraze  Lazer tag a fast-paced high-tech game, which combines the games of hide and seek, tag, and capture the flag. It incorporates state-of-the-art interactive computer and laser technology to create an exhilarating experience you won’t forget.

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Boston Rock Gym Qualified, patient instructors will guide you through the basics of using the equipment and developing safe climbing habits. Climbing shoes, a harness, locking carabineer and belay device, and chalk bag are all provided.  You will learn the following skills: properly tying into the rope, safely belaying in a top-rope system, catching a falling climber, as well as other basics.

Horn Pond I think this it is a great place to walk, jog, ride your bike,  go fishing and more. We all love Horn Pond.  Everyone is friendly and says hi all the time.  Not to forget Horn Pond Day and all the fundraising walks that happen around the pond throughout the year.

janine4Woburn Bowldrome  Why not take the kids for a glow bowling night? It is the perfect way to spend a Friday or Saturday night out. Lights are turned off and the black lights are on with disco balls, fog machine, and loud music for all ages.  Also a great place for birthday parties, tournaments and leagues.
Boys & girls club in cooperation with the Woburn Public Schools, offer the After the Bell Afterschool Academic Enrichment Program at the Shamrock Elementary School. They have programs to help kids do their homework. Academic support is their primary but they also offer the following: computer time, healthy snacks, fun & games, crafts, brain games and more.
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Jump On In includes over 11,000 square feet of slides, obstacle courses, trampoline basketball, table games and bouncers. A great place to have your kids birthday party or just spend some time and burn some energy jumping on the moon bounces,  playing dodge ball , soccer, basketball and more.

O’Brien Ice Skating Rink. Have an hour here and there take the kids to skate at the O’Brien ice skating rink located at the Joyce middle School.

Last but not least Woburn’s sports leagues have a place for every kid and every sport. From soccer,  basket ball, hockey, baseball, lacrosse and Football.

JanineAbout the Author: Janine Elkhoury has been living in Woburn for 12 years and enjoys the many activies Woburn has to offer with her family. Learn more about her on her website www.woburnhousevalues.com

 

 


IS IT TIMspringE TO SPRING AHEAD?

You know the old saying “Fall back, Spring forward.”.  As a Realtor, Spring Forward is very valuable to me.  When clients wish to see a property after business hours, the longer we have our sunshine, the better it is for showing homes to “potential” buyers.

When the new year begins, our business can be slow depending on what’s happening in the market and/or weather.  This year, the market is hot even with our snow storms that keep hitting on the weekends (which is usually when we conduct our open houses).  I was amazed today when I stopped at a broker’s open house to find they have received five offers on the property.  Because there is not enough inventory, buyers are having bidding wars and the seller is getting more than they expected for their homes.  So because the market is hot for the sellers, now is the time to list!

Recently I learned something new about changing our clocks.  It’s called daylight saving time, not daylight savings time.  Most people, including myself, put that extra “s” on the word “saving”.  In 2013, Daylight Saving Time starts on Sunday, March 10th.  Don’t forget to move your clocks ahead one hour before going to bed Saturday night.

Yes, moving the clocks ahead does mean we all lose an hour of sleep, but in return it will be light longer which is wonderful in my estimation.  Anyway, I believe that Saturday night is the best time to lose that hour because you can just sleep in a bit on Sunday before getting up and starting your day.  Or, in a Realtor’s case, before you begin your day of open houses!

Our fire department encourages us to change the batteries in our smoke detectors and C02 detectors when we change our clocks because Daylight Saving Time is definitely  a convenient reminder.  And, because my refrigerator has a water filter, my husband believes that we should change that filter along with the smoke detector and the C02 detector batteries.  If that happens to apply to you as well, change your water filter too or anything else that you think applies to your personal circumstances.

Be sure to change your clocks one hour ahead on Saturday, March 9th before you retire!

About the Author:  Linda Dube, is a Real Estate Agent at RE/MAX Legacy with over 10 years of experience.  You can contact Linda directly through her website at lindalistsandsells.com.