Category Archives: Winter

Ice dams are all the rage this winter. With the incredible amount of cold and snow we have had this winter we are experiences endless amounts of ice damming on homes. There are countless number of articles and blogs on how to fix these ice dams and to be honest it tempting for the DIYer in you!  However, fixing an ice dam is a TWO PERSON job!  Hopefully, you will learn from my experience and always remember to put safety first!

 

antnew1Anthony Giglio is a Realtor and one of the broker/owners of RE/MAX Legacy. His clients enjoy working with him because of his easy going approach. You can contact him directly on his website www.myhomeMA.com or read his blog at www.mytownline.com


survivinwinterRemember when winter use to bring a couple of insignificant snow storms?  Not this year!  Snow is falling at a rate of two feet at a time.

With five major storms in as many weeks, spring cannot come soon enough. In fact, it is hard to believe that spring will come at all.  Now as the days are getting longer, there is hope that soon this winter will be just a memory.

 

Meanwhile, we have to try to make the best of this awful time in our lives.   So here are a few suggestions to help you get through the next couple of months:

  • If you can plan a getaway to a warmer climate go! Aruba, Mexico, or the Virgin Islands are great destinations. Also, Florida is just three hours away and has great beaches and family fun attractions.
  • If you are a snow lover a ski weekend to Vermont, New Hampshire, or Maine could be a lot of fun. There is a lot of snow on the slopes so this could be a ski lover’s dream year.
  • If your budget is a little tight, consider all the fun things you can do close to home. Movies, museums, concerts, or sporting events are all available & loads of fun.

Even though it seems like summer will never come again eventually this crazy winter will end.  Also, please remember that as bad as it has been it could always be worst!

sharonAbout the author:  Sharon Potts is a Realtor at RE/MAX Legacy, who is looking forward to the warmer months! She can be contacted directly through her website at www.spotts.remax-newengland.com

 


Category: Seasonal, Winter

This winticesameer has posed many challenges in real estate.  All the cold and snow have not only dissuaded potential buyers from pulling the trigger in purchasing a home during this time, but have also created serious problems for those buyers who have decided to make the move. For buyers that are under contract, the cold and snow have created many problems scheduling home inspections, appraisals, and the final walk through.  Sellers have had to deal with removing large amounts of snow to allow potential buyers to access the property while also ensuring there are no water leaks entering the home.

The biggest issue for homeowners this winter has been ice dams.  An ice dam is ice buildup on a roof that prevents melted snow from running off the roof and into the gutters.  The melting snow from the roof then gets trapped by the dam and eventually backs up on the roof, travels under the shingles and eventually leaks into the home.  A permanent fix to this problem is proper insulation, sealing and ventilation in the attic.  This could prove costly to the homeowner and it may not be feasible to rectify the issue during the present winter season.  However, there is a simple way to diminish the damage after an ice dam has formed to prevent further damage until a more permanent solution can be put in place for next season.  This could save not only the home from water penetration, but more importantly, a sale.

Instructions:  Fill a leg of discarded pair of panty hose with calcium chloride ice melt.  Lay the hose onto the roof so it crosses the ice dam and overhangs the gutter.  The calcium chloride will eventually melt through the snow and ice and create a channel for the water to flow down into the gutters from the roof.

By tackling an ice dam immediately when your home is under agreement, it will certainly make the process go a lot smoother during this winter season.  If you need assistance with preventing your home from having any ice dams either this season or next, contact an agent at RE/MAX Legacy for a licensed contractor that will be able to help with this problem.

 

Juliano blog headshot photoAbout the Author: James A. Juliano is one of the founding partners of Scafidi Juliano, LLP managing the Woburn office located in Downtown Woburn Center. He currently serves on the Woburn Conservation Commission where he has sat for almost two (2) years.  Mr. Juliano is very active in his community and also serves as the President of the Woburn Baseball Diamond Club which supports Woburn High School Baseball and is on the Board of Directors for the Woburn Boys and Girls Club. Mr. Juliano is also a Director of the Friends of the Tri-Community Greenway, Inc. which is a non-profit corporation responsible for the formation and organization of the 6.63 mile bike path and park that will stretch through Stoneham, Woburn, and Winchester.

Mr. Juliano’s present areas of practice include residential and commercial real estate transactions, residential and commercial lending, land use and zoning, and Landlord/Tenant law.  Mr. Juliano can be reached at jjuliano@scafidijuliano.com or by phone at 781-210-4710, Ext. 102. His company website is www.scafidijuliano.com.


warm houseHere are some guidelines for keeping your home warm this winter and reducing your heating bills.  According to the US Dept of Energy as much as 35% of air leakage in a house comes from small openings in doors, windows and fireplaces.

 

 

  1. Doors – Make sure your storm door closes firmly. Install a metal or rubber door sweep on your exterior doors.
  1. Windows – Check any windows you don’t open in the winter. If you feel a draft at any point make sure to caulk. Or apply a clear weather stripping tape along the edges of the window. You can also cover the window with window film, by applying with double stick tape and then using a hair dryer to shrink it tight. Don’t forget to remove any window-mounted air-conditioning units. If you have a wall mounted AC, seal it at the edges with weather stripping and place a cover over it.
  1. Fireplaces – When your fireplace is not in use the flue should be closed. You can also install a glass door with vents at the bottom.

Other ideas to warm your house and reduce your heating bill include annual maintenance and changing the filters on your furnace or boiler, adding insulation, using programmable thermostats and avoiding ice dams on your roof by cleaning your gutters.

Gale Crop 2011 jpegAbout the author – Gale has spent a lifetime of winters in the Northeast and looks forward to the day she can reside in a warmer climate without worrying about heat loss. Gale Spadafora is one of the Broker Owners at RE/MAX Legacy and can be contacted through her website at www.galespadafora.com


Humidifier PhotoBenefits of a Humidifier

It’s wintertime and if you haven’t noticed, the air in our environments is very dry.  Dry air can lead to many problems, including dry itchy skin on humans and pets, dry hair and scalp, dry nasal passages, potential for static electricity and drying out of the wood in our furniture.  Fortunately there is a solution.  You can add moisture to your air at home or in your office via a humidifier.

Relative humidity is a measure of the moisture in the air.  At a given temperature, it is the amount of moisture in the air vs. the maximum it could hold.  Typically relative humidity of 40% or higher will minimize the conditions noted above.  Without a humidifier in your home, humidity can drop very low down into the 20’s or lower.  Lower relative humidity will contribute to your feeling colder than you should because the dry air is causing moisture to evaporate off your skin creating a colder feeling.

There are a variety of humidifiers and they come in a variety of sizes.  I’ve had one for many years and it holds about 6 gallons of water.  On dry days, it adds all 6 gallons into the air, and maintains our home at around 40% relative humidity.

It is very important to control the humidity so that you are not adding too much moisture into your home.  If there is a cold surface, the excess moisture could condense on that surface and eventually cause mold.  This is most likely to occur in your attic, so be aware, and control the moisture getting into your attic by the location and placement of the humidifier and having a barrier that insulates the living area from the attic.

To assist you in choosing a humidifier, run a Google search and ask “how to choose the right humidifier for my home” and you will come up with many valuable pages of information for choosing what is right for you.  Here is one from Home Depot to get you started: Select the Right humidifier

Once you’ve chosen the humidifier that is right for your circumstances, get it set-up and running as soon as possible.  You will feel the difference in a very short time.

Roland Crop 2011 jpeg (1)About the author: Roland Spadafora is one of the Broker Owners at RE/MAX Legacy.  He can be contacted through his website at www.spadaforateam.com


poloarThis winter is turning out to be one of the coldest winters in many years.  This is due in part to the Polar Vortex. You might ask, what is a polar vortex & why is it effecting us now?  Simply defined a polar vortex is an area of low pressure in the upper atmosphere above where most of our normal weather occurs.  Occasionally pieces break off and sweep toward southern Canada, helping to drive artic cold plunges into the United States.

This is not a new occurrence, but because we do not normally have such cold temperatures throughout the U.S., we are not as familiar with this phenomenon.  Even places like Texas & Florida that normally have moderate to mild temperatures in the winter have been affected.  Air travel has been a real challenge & school kids have had extended vacations everywhere.  Even cities & towns as far north as Minnesota have had to completely shut down.

Fortunately there is some good news! In spite of the cold weather there are still many buyers looking to purchase.  If you are thinking about selling, please do not let this big chill stop you!

sharon
About the Author: Sharon Potts is a Realtor at RE/MAX Legacy. Yo
u can contact her directly through her website at


Category: Events, Winter

bucheIt is the holiday time of the year once again, and traditions are what make those holidays joyful and memorable. For me Christmas is a religious holiday but also a tradition where our family gathers around the manger and the Christmas tree, exchanges presents, has dinner and finishes with “Bûche de Noel”. If I change any one of these traditions my son comes to me and objects. So this year he has decided to take the reins of my old traditions and he won’t let me change them…

My favorite tradition or I should say the one I have been always known for is my “Bûche de Noel”. In 9th grade one of our activities was making a “Bûche de Noel”.  I used to bake 10 to 15 Yule logs and give them out as presents. For this occasion I will share my favorite recipe with you.

If you have a favorite dessert or a tradition please share it with us. Let us make a great Christmas Recipe book from great homes.

Bûche de Noel

  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla

1. Separate egg white from egg yolk in 2 bowls.

2. Beat egg whites with 4 tbsp. of sugar and a pinch of salt until stiff.

3. Beat egg yolks, vanilla and the remaining sugar until they are pale yellow.

4. Pour Egg whites over egg yolks.

5. Mix egg yolks batter to the egg whites. (Do not use mixer).

6. Add flour and baking powder and mix lightly to blend in.

7. Heat oven at 350.

8. Pour the dough in jelly roll lined with parchment paper.

9. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes.

10. Now you will need a humid towel.  Flip your cake over the towel, remove the paper and roll with the towel. This is done when the cake is hot.

11. When you are ready to decorate unroll your cake, put your cream, roll again and decorate with the rest of the cream.

Cream

  • 2 sticks of butter
  • ¾ cup Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup of semisweet chocolate chip or bites (4 to 5 ounces)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons Rum

1.  Separate egg yolk from egg white.

2. Beat egg yolks, vanilla, rum and sugar in a double boiler until the sugar melts and it is fluffy.

3. Let the egg yolks cool off.

4. Add the butter and beat until you have a smooth consistency.

5. Melt chocolate, let it cool off and mix in the batter.

6. Beat 1 egg white and mix in.

7. Unfold your “Bûche de Noel” put half the cream.

8. Roll and decorate with the rest of the cream.

Good Luck

Happy Holidays to all of you and hope you keep at least one tradition with your family. Don’t forget to share your favorite recipes.

 

JanineAbout the Author: Janine Elkhoury is a Realtor at RE/MAX Legacy and enjoys making her Bûche de Noel around the holidays.  You can learn more about her on her website www.mahomesonline.com