Tuesday, September 2, 2014

September Events: What to Do This Month in Boston

September is here and fall is just around the corner! And just because summer is coming to an end, doesn't mean the events in the Boston Metro Area will be too. In fact, the month of September will host many local festivals and celebrations in the city, from a carnival in Cambridge to a music festival in Jamaica Plain to the South Boston Street Festival. 

The following events are all FREE and just a few of many ways to welcome in the new season in Boston:

Jamaica Plain Music Festival
Saturday, September 6, 2014; 12 PM to 7 PM
Pinebank Field at Perkins St and Jamaica Way
Jamaica Plain

The fourth annual Jamaica Plain Music Festival kicks off this Saturday with 21 bands on two stages. What's more, this is a truly local event as at least one member of each band has to have lived or worked in Jamaica Plain. Attendees can expect great music, food trucks, local vendors and businesses, and even activities for the kids.

Cambridge Carnival
Sunday, September 7, 2014; 12 PM to 7 PM
Parade will end on Main St. between Vassar and Ames

This local event will go on rain or shine to celebrate its 22nd year. The Cambridge Carnival was originally started to celebrate African traditions and this year will feature family-friendly activities like face painting, story telling, arts and crafts and a special costume parade.

South Boston Street Festival
Saturday, September 13, 2014; 11 AM to 5 PM
East Broadway between I and L Streets
South Boston

Another great music festival including performers from the local Woods School of Irish Step Dance in South Boston. Not only is this event free, but the Southie Shuttle will be giving away free rides to and from the festival. 

Boston Local Food Festival
Sunday, September 14, 2014; 11 AM to 5 PM
Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway

This annual free outdoor festival showcases local restaurants, food trucks, farmers and organizations specializing in healthy food from New England. There will be food samples, cooking demos, and tips on eating locally. The Boston Local Food Festival is geared toward healthy lifestyles and will be a zero-waste event, recycling and reusing 90 percent of their waste.

Contact me today for more recommendations in the Boston Metro Area and to chat about the local real estate market!

Ken Snyder
Keller Williams Realty Boston-Metro
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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

5 Ways Owning a Home in Boston Beats Renting

Today's real estate market has seen a boost in homebuyer motivation, given the rising costs of renting in Boston. Aside from the simple payment aspect of owning a home in Boston (one that goes toward your own mortgage and not your landlord's), there are numerous ways homeownership takes the cake.

For instance, net worth. A homeowner's net worth is over 30 times that of a renter. If you've been on the fence about buying a home in Boston, now might be the time for you to make it happen.

You can make it your own
When you choose homeownership over renting in Boston, you have the opportunity to truly make the spaces your own. The home is yours and you can choose to do with it what you will! There is no need to worry about losing your security deposit simply because you want to renovate the bathroom.

You are investing your money
Think of all of the money you've spent on rent over the years and how you could have applied that to a home in the Boston Metro Area. Each month you are paying a mortgage and through "forced savings" you are investing it in your home instead of spending it on other purchases. Then when the time comes to sell the home and your mortgage is paid off, you will more than likely walk away with a profit!

There are no landlords
When you own a home, there are no landlords to deal with— no landlords to prod about fixing that leaky faucet or one who might raise your rent next year. Owning a home means you are in charge of the home and you don't have to put up with landlords ever again.

You have tax deductions
Owning a home in Boston comes with a few perks, including certain tax deductions. As a homeowner, you have the ability to deduct mortgage interest payments and also eligible expenses like energy-efficient improvements. 

You'll buy less furniture
Did you know that homeowners generally spend less on furniture than renters? Renters tend to think of their homes as temporary and purchase furniture that will simply "fit the space." When you buy a home and settle in for years to come, you purchase pieces that you can see growing with you and those you'll want around for the long haul.

Ready to buy a home in Boston? I'm ready to help! Contact me today to see what's available in your desired neighborhood and how you can start your journey toward homeownership. 

Ken Snyder
Keller Williams Realty Boston-Metro
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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Common Paint Mistakes for Boston Home Sellers

With Boston home sellers feeling the itch to move to a new space this summer and Boston homebuyers ready to make an offer, the rush to fit in home projects that will help the process can be daunting. 

One of the most common tasks to take on as a Boston home seller is painting— a little interior paint can go a long way, but so can the common painting mistakes. Avoid these painting blunders as you tackle your to-do list and prepare the property for sale:

Using poor equipment
Just like with any project, you'll want to use the best equipment to get the best results. Pick up quality paintbrushes and rollers, don't hold back in this department. You may be spending $40 to $50 on a gallon of top-notch paint, so invest in great gear up front. 

Don't neglect prep work
There is more to be done before you paint your Boston home than simply putting on old clothing. You'll want to make sure your walls don't need repairs before you start, otherwise you'll notice bumps and cracks later. Start with a clean, smooth surface for the best results.

Keep a smooth paint line
Home improvement expert Bob Vila advises to never overextend your paint roller or brush. Many homeowners will continue with a drop of paint until the brush becomes dry, but don't wait too long! Once the paint starts to break up, it's time to re-dip your brush.

Wasting your leftover paint
If you're one of the Boston homeowners that likes to keep leftover paint on hand for touch-ups, it's important that you take care of the product. Be careful not to let it dry up or the money spent on quality paint will be somewhat wasted. One tip for water-based paints is to place plastic wrap on the surface of the paint and reseal the container. For oil-based, add a few splashes of water on the surface before resealing.

Painting your home in the Boston Metro Area can really freshen the property and give it that something that homebuyers are looking for in today's real estate market. Whether you're painting in the garage, basement or improving the look of every interior space, your home sale could be better off just from this one simple project. 

If you're feeling motivated to sell this year, or have questions about the process, contact me today

Ken Snyder
Keller Williams Realty Boston-Metro
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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

3 Key Ways to Increase Your Boston Home Value

When it comes to selling your home in Boston, it's difficult to find one single homeowner who doesn't want a healthy home value. In fact, many are constantly looking for ways to increase home value before listing. Regardless of what your renovation plans may say, increasing your home value does not have to be expensive— just consider these low-cost ideas:

Put Away Personal Photographs
No contractor involved, no demolition necessary. Simply put your personal photographs in a safe place while homebuyers are touring your property. Why? Boston homebuyers want to feel a connection to a home and as photos are very specific to the homeowner, they can get in the way of that. While you will have many memories in your home, the homebuyer should feel they're in a neutral space when they come inside.

Edit, Edit, Edit
Like I mentioned above, homebuyers are looking for a neutral space, a clean slate when they tour homes in Boston. Does your home boast an open, de-cluttered feel? Even if you think you're already in good shape, take a few minutes to walk around and "edit" your furniture. Remove the big, bulky items, especially if they're blocking a focal point like a fireplace or city view.

Increase Comfortability
Naturally you feel at home in the property— you're the homeowner. But will a Boston homebuyer? When listing your home in the Boston real estate market, it's important to make the buyer feel welcome and that includes playing to the senses. Be sure to mask any odors left behind by pets, play calming music instead of loud, fast-paced tunes, and keep the home's best features in plain sight. 

As your Boston Metro real estate expert, I am happy to help you with the entire selling process— from listing to closing. For everything in between, I can assist you with details on today's Boston real estate market and what homebuyers are attracted to in homes. We will work together to ensure your home sells and that you'll soon be on your way to your next dream home.

Questions about Boston homebuyers or how to sell your home? Contact me today!

Ken Snyder
Keller Williams Realty Boston-Metro
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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Boston Nearing Title of Most Walkable City in U.S.

This year as homebuyers set out on their search for properties in Boston, one of the items high on their wish list will be walkability. Today's buyers want to move to an area that can be easily navigated on foot. Well, you're in luck Boston, because the city is quickly becoming the most walkable in the country!

The walkability factor is one of Boston's major strengths—Walk Score even calls Boston a "pedestrian's perfect city"— and it's only going to improve from here on out.

One research group recently analyzed several cities and factors that contribute to their "walkability score," finding the top five to be Washington, D.C., New York, Boston, San Francisco and Chicago. However, according to Curbed Boston, a shakeup is in the works due to new construction which would put Boston in the Number One spot!

The research group took into account the construction and urbanization of Cambridge and the nearby suburbs to arrive at Boston's "walkability score." So where are the best places to live in the city if your plan is to stroll to your various errands, shopping spots, restaurants and nightlife? According to Walk Score, the North End, Chinatown and Bay Village all tied for first place (with a 98 out of possible 100) in terms of walkability in Boston.

The following are considered Boston's most walkable neighborhoods:

North End
The North End is the oldest neighborhood in Boston and today, is one where about 10K residents live. Many people know this area as Boston's "Little Italy" as it is home to many Italian restaurants and shops.

Located close to Boston's downtown shopping and financial district, Chinatown is rich in history, tradition, culture, culinary treasures and unique gifts. It is also the third largest Chinatown in the United States.

Bay Village

Bay Village is relatively quiet with little traffic, making it ideal for pedestrians. It is also located nearby numerous parks and gardens like Boston Common and the Boston Public Garden.

Beacon Hill

Beacon Hill describes itself as a "cozy enclave, filled with nearly 10,000 people, more like a village than an anonymous city." This area of Boston is filled with a strong community bond with beautiful homes, shops, and restaurants all within walking distance.

Downtown Crossing

Downtown Crossing is a shopping district located east of Boston Common and west of the financial district. With large department stores and souvenir sellers alike, this neighborhood also has streets closed to traffic which boosts its walkability factor.

As your local Boston real estate expert, I'd love to help you find a home that fits your homebuyer wish list, including one in a walkable neighborhood. Contact me today to find out which neighborhood would best suit your needs!

Ken Snyder
Keller Williams Realty Boston-Metro
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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Preparing Your Boston Home for Bad Weather

Summer does indeed bring sunshine and warm weather that is much needed after a long, harsh winter. However, the season can also bring a host of thunderstorms and bad weather along with it. There are a few steps you can take to prepare your Boston area home for storm season, most importantly having your insurance up to date. 

This weekend, take the time to prep your home in the Boston Metro Area for any unexpected weather the remainder of the summer may throw our way. To make it easy, Boston homeowners can start with the following:

General Home Preparation
  • Unless you're in an apartment, it's important to check your roof regularly for any sign of repair.
  • Keep your gutters, downspout and drains clear for rain to pass through.
  • Trim any trees, branches or shrubbery that are too close to your Boston home. You don't want to risk them falling onto your roof or even through a window.
  • Purchase and install surge protectors for your electronics and appliances as a lightning strike could destroy them.
  • Secure any loose items around your home, meaning patio furniture, outdoor planters or pots, yard tools, bikes, decorative items such as flags or lanterns and even mailboxes. Be sure they are all either completely secured and stable or put away during storms.
General Storm Preparation
  • Identify the safest room in your home, such as a basement, bathroom or closet and inform all of those who live with you.
  • Make sure your car and homeowner's insurance is enough for your location and needs, as well as up to date.
  • Make sure you know how to safely turn off your water and gas, if need be, and how to turn the power both on and off.
  • Prepare for bad weather by storing water, flashlights, batteries, a radio and a first-aid kit in a safe place.
  • Take photos of your home, both inside and out, as well as photos of expensive items, cars, etc. Store the photos off-site or in a safe deposit box for insurance purposes after a storm hits.
The Boston Metro Area is a great place to call home and it's important you go the extra mile to ensure the safety of yours this year. As your Boston real estate expert, I am here to answer any questions you may have about homes for sale in Boston, how to sell your current property, in addition to details about the local real estate market.

Contact me today— I'd be happy to hear from you!

Ken Snyder
Keller Williams Realty Boston-Metro
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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

What to Do in Boston: Summer Beach Trips

There is still plenty of summer left to enjoy in Boston and around the city, you'll find numerous chances to spend the day on the beach or at least, on the water. As your Boston real estate expert, I'm here to share everything from homebuyer tips and home seller advice to recommendations for exploring this great community. 

Summer is the perfect season to take in all that Boston has to offer, so be sure to mark a staycation or day trip to the beach on your to-do list. You can start with these Boston waterfront locales:

Carson Beach
Carson Beach has been called the best beach scene in Boston, with tons of sand to relax upon and great city views to soak up. Aside from the beach, Carson Beach also boasts bocce courts and chess tables to pass the time. Other perks include free parking, a lifeguard on duty, shady spots for resting, public restrooms, and access to the MBTA.

Castle Island/Pleasure Bay
One of the most popular destinations for Boston residents, Castle Island has opportunities for both recreation and historical learning. The island is home to Fort Independence, listed on the National Register of Historic Places and Pleasure Bay is one of the city's treasured swimming and picturesque beach destinations. Boston residents can enjoy the park around the fort for a summer picnic or take a dip in the calm, enclosed lagoon of Pleasure Bay.

Spectacle Island
With five miles of walking trails and two sandy beaches, Spectacle Island is a must-visit this summer. The island is part of the Boston Harbor Islands and also offers a vast array of activities for Boston families, no matter the ages. This island is just a short ferry ride away (from Long Wharf) and also easily accessible via public transportation. The pebble beaches, boat docks and visitor-friendly concessions make Spectacle Island the perfect beach trip for Bostonians

Charles River Esplanade
Boston residents don't have to travel far to enjoy this idyllic summer locale. The Charles River Esplanade features beautiful views of the city and on July 26, will host a community swim. 3 local organizations will cohost the second annual Charles River Community Swim (one was also held on July 12) and allow people to swim off the dock near the Hatch Shell (30 people at a time, for 30 minutes at a time). 

Ready to make Boston your permanent home or sell your current property and move up to a new space? Contact me today!

Ken Snyder
Keller Williams Realty Boston-Metro
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