Monthly Archives: November 2014

Get the Most Out of Living Small

Whether you are an empty nester, newly divorced, or just want to save some money, downsizing might be the right choice for you.

Ladies, have you ever had a professional makeover only to have the cosmetologist tell you thatstock-photo-small-modern-living-room-with-tv-and-couch-127205507 the shades you had been applying to your eyes were all wrong? For instance, dark eye shadow make your eyes narrow and tired looking, whereas neutral or light colors make you appear lively, even younger.

The same scenario applies to small spaces: darker shades will make a room appear smaller, more enclosed. To make the same room more open, new homeowners should consider repainting the room brighter with more neutral colors, such as creams, nudes, and yellows.

Carpet has a similar effect, especially lush carpet. Bottom line: hardwood is in, carpet is out. Once you change to hardwood floors your rooms will appear bigger, brighter and they will shine.

Moreover, your large pieces of furniture will overwhelm a small space, making it feel crowded and smaller than it actually is. Search for multi-purpose furniture like benches that double as storage or glass tables to give the illusion of more space. Mirrors create a similar effect by giving rooms more dimension to them.

Ultimately, make downsizing work for you, not the other way around. Use these techniques to get the most out of your space. Don’t be afraid to experiment. And when you are in the mall, stop by the makeup counter with more confidence. It is never too late for a makeover!

Patty 2About the author: Patricia Lovett is a Realtor at RE/MAX Legacy of the Alliance Home Team and would be happy to share her decorating ideas with you. She can be contacted at www.pattylovett.com


dogs & home owners insuranceIf you are considering adding a dog to your family, you might want to check with your homeowner’s insurance carrier before you do. Did you know that certain breeds of dogs may cause your insurer to deny you homeowner’s coverage?

According to the Insurance Information Institute, dog bite claims account for one-third of all homeowner’s insurance claims nationwide, costing insurers $483 million in 2013.  As a result, insurers want to limit their risk.  Homeowners’ and renters’ insurance policies typically cover dog bite liability legal expenses, up to the liability limits (typically $100,000 to $300,000). If the claim exceeds the limit, the dog owner is responsible for all damages above that amount.

Some insurers do not ask the breed of a dog owned when writing or renewing homeowners insurance and do not track the breed of dogs involved in dog bite incidents. Once a dog has bitten someone, however, the animal is viewed as posing an increased risk. The insurer may then charge a higher premium, decline to renew the homeowner’s insurance policy or exclude the dog from coverage.  On the other hand, some insurers will question the homeowner or renter about the specific breed of dog that will be living in the home, and will charge a higher premium, exclude the dog from coverage, or refuse to insure the home altogether as a result of the breed housed in the home.  The breeds that have been “blacklisted” vary by insurer, but the breeds most commonly found on insurers’ so-called “bad dog” lists include Akitas, Alaskan Malamutes, Great Danes, Presa Canarios, Chow Chows, Doberman Pinschers, German Shepherds, Pit Bull Terriers, Staffordshire Terriers, Rottweilers, Wolf Hybrids and Siberian Huskies, and may include mixes of any of these breeds.  Whether you agree with this designation or not, it’s an important consideration when selecting a pet and an insurer.

There has been pushback against these lists from animal rights groups, who view this as “dog profiling,” and object to the exclusion of certain breeds from coverage.  “Dog profiling legislation” is banned in only two states, however–Michigan and Pennsylvania.  Ten other states have pending legislation that would similarly prohibit companies from denying insurance to a homeowner or renter based solely on the breed of their dog.  These laws propose that insurance companies should only be allowed to deny or revoke a policy or to increase the premium based on the risk associated with a specific dog, meaning that the individual dog must have a known history of being aggressive or must have been officially designated as dangerous.  Massachusetts, however, is not among these states. In fact, Massachusetts has one of the strictest dog bite statutes in the nation, and is not likely to head in that direction.

Insurers argue, however, by the time the dog has bitten someone, and has therefore been deemed dangerous, there has already been a claim filed. That means that it’s already too late for the insurance company since they will have to cover the claim under the pre-existing unrestricted policy. The companies argue that the only way to reduce their financial risk is to ban certain dog breeds from coverage.  There are some insurers that do not use a banned dog list, and some other companies that will allow a household to be insured simply by excluding coverage for liabilities due to damage caused by a dog (i.e. having the homeowner/renter sign a waiver).

The takeaway is this: if you have a canine family member, or intend to add a dog to your family, be sure to understand the implications for your homeowners’ or renters’ insurance—know your coverage, and don’t be caught under-insured or uninsured.

Tedesco Carole headshotAbout the author: Carole LoConte Tedesco, a principal at Tedesco Law Offices, P.C., is a Woburn-based Attorney with twenty-two years of experience handling estate planning, estate settlement, and family law matters.  She is a graduate of Barnard College of Columbia University and Boston College Law School.  She also works with clients on probate and family law matters.  She is married to and practices with Attorney Robert W. Tedesco.  Their offices are located at 88 Main Street, Woburn, Massachusetts.  She can be reached at 781-933-9293 or via email at: cat@tedescolawoffices.com.   You can check out their website at: www.tedescolawoffices.com or find them on Facebook.  She is a dog lover, and can often be found with her two rescue pups, Daphne and Velma, under her desk.


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Considering that Halloween is behind us and the holidays are around the corner, we are now approaching 2014 year end.  According to Zillow, Massachusetts home prices have gone up 4.7% over the past year.  The latest from the National Association of Realtors is that pending home sales rose slightly in September and are now above year-over-year levels for the first time in 11 months.

This year has been unbelievable with sellers who are not sure they want to list and buyers bidding way over the asking price in order to be sure they are getting the house they want to purchase. This has created a hot little market!

I had one home that sounded like it was going to have eight offers but because of a bidding war, several buyers decided not to put their bid in because they knew that they were not approved high enough for what would be needed to purchase this particular house.  I believe the price my seller and I had agreed on was a good buy in many aspects especially since their basement was done over recently, it was at a dead end street AND it showed beautifully!

Another home I had in Burlington was very, very crowded at the open houses but because of its age and small yard, buyers were bidding below the price until Burlington’s single family inventory was lower than low.  My sellers were very pleased when we had two offers on the table at the same time and ended up getting the asking price.

I also listed a gorgeous home which was in a beautiful neighborhood.  This home  was located on the town line of Chelmsford/Lowell. This made things a little tricky.  Buyers would call me and ask about the house, but before I could speak with them about the price, details, etc., they would explain which town they wanted the home to be in.

As a Real Estate agent, it never ceases to amaze me.  Every day is different, every month is crazy at times and just when you think you have all your ducks in a row a change will happen. Always expect the unexpected!

Linda 3About the author: Linda Dube is a Realtor at RE/MAX Legacy and is excited to help you with your next move. You can contact her on her website:  www.LindaListsandSells.com