Massachusetts Real Estate News

 

April 14, 2021

Home Buyer Tax Credits

Are you a home buyer or even a first-time home buyer in the Metro West Boston area looking for homebuyer tax credits? Then you are going to want to read this! 

Let’s talk about possible homebuyer tax credits & a few other plans that the new Biden Administration has to help home Buyers in 2021. 

1) A Proposed Tax Credit for First time home Buyers-

The Biden Administration is proposing a $15,000 credit for first-time homebuyers to help families purchase their first homes. 

The refundable credit would be received by homebuyers at the time they buy their home, offering more financial flexibility after a major purchase rather than forcing them to wait to receive the benefit until they file taxes the next year. 

First-time buyers are defined by the federal government as people who have not owned a residence within the previous three years.

The National Association of Realtors stated that they are a little concerned that the tax credit could cause demand to rise higher, and without additional supply, this could send prices even higher. 

Therefore, if you are a first-time home buyer and this passes you will want to make sure that you take advantage of it right away!

2) State and Local Tax Changes-  

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 implemented a $10,000 cap on deductions of state and local taxes. That aspect of the law disproportionately hit high-tax states such as Massachusetts where tax bills typically exceed $10,000. 

Property taxes alone can be several times that amount.  The Biden Administration is proposing to eliminate the cap thus making more of our property taxes deductible!

3) Student loan forgiveness-

While it is unclear how much The Biden Administration is thinking in terms of student loan debt forgiveness, the end result is the same. It will go a long way towards freeing up millennial incomes, which means that money will be more available to pay for a mortgage and get into the housing market sooner.

4)Creation of a Public Credit Reporting Agency-

Being able to obtain a credit report is a critical step for homeownership. But today credit reports, which are issued by just three large private companies,  often contain errors. 

The Biden Administration plans to create a new public credit reporting agency to provide consumers with a government option that seeks to minimize racial disparities, and by accepting non-traditional sources of data like rental history and utility bills to establish credit.

This is also an interesting concept since during this past year I have had more than a few buyers surprised by their credit score only to dig further to find errors and thus needing to wait to get their credit score up before purchasing.

 

I hope you enjoyed this quick blog about possible Buyer Tax Credits and other plans the new Biden Administration has for 2021 that could have an effect on our Local Real Estate Market. If you’d prefer to watch it in video form or want to share this with someone, my YouTube version is below.

All these policies still need to be passed into law so we will need to stay tuned to see what will happen!

Feel free to reach out with questions about your Buying and Selling Real Estate plans- even if you are not planning a move in the near future. It is never too early to plan for the future!

 

Posted in News
March 5, 2021

Top 10 Spring Maintenance Items to Perform

We’ve had an unusual winter on the East Coast this year with Sudbury and Wayland seeing more storms than usual. This might have left your home with a few things that need to be updated or repaired. Now is the time to start making plans for those “honey-do” lists. 

 

And, if you are planning on buying or selling your house this season, it’s especially important to make sure you check these 10 maintenance items off of your list.

  • Gutters - Pull leaves and debris out of the gutters, run a hose on the roof and check if there are any leaks that need to be fixed. 
  • Siding - Power wash vinyl siding to prevent mold from forming. If you have wood siding, there may be areas that need a paint touch-up!
  • Windows & Door Screens - Check screens for holes and replace them if necessary. Clean windows inside and out. Let buyers focus on the view! 
  • Water Heater - Lubricate the circulating pump and motor. If you are not familiar with these parts, you may want to call in a professional for maintenance. 
  • Roof - Inspect the roof for any missing, loose, or damaged shingles that need to be replaced.
  • Deck or Porch - Check the deck or porch to see if they need to be weather treated or re-stained. Check railings for sturdiness and adjust if needed. 
  • Sprinkler System - Replace or fix any valves that are leaking or not working.
  • Landscaping - First impressions are important. Whether you do it yourself or call in a pro, make sure to trim any overgrown plants and remove weeds. Don’t forget to add a pop of color with seasonal flowers!
  • Foundation - Check floors, concrete, and walls for any cracking or deterioration. If needed, call a foundation professional who can help.
  • Bathrooms - Inspect the caulking around the base of the shower and sinks. If it is deteriorating, scrape it out and replace it. Buyers want to see a fully-functioning bathroom, not worry about water getting through the shower or sink.

If you need suggestions on the above or would like to find out how much your home is currently worth in the new season, let me know. I’m happy to be of assistance.

Posted in News
Feb. 9, 2021

How Home Improvements, Repairs, and Taxes Go Together

 

It’s getting to be that time of year - tax time in the Metro West! 

 

Do you wonder about the difference between home improvements and home repairs? There is often confusion on whether home improvements and repairs are tax-deductible. Is a new roof tax deductible? What about an addition?

 

Surprisingly, in most cases, it simply doesn’t matter unless your house increases dramatically in value during the time you own it.

 

Improvements vs. Repairs

 

Whenever money is spent on your home, it will generally be either an improvement or a repair. An improvement is anything that adds additional value to your home or increases its lifespan. There’s not a specific list of improvements.

 

Things like an addition to your home or a new furnace are certainly improvements. Adding an alarm system would count, too. Other common improvements would be re-plumbing your house, adding an in-ground pool, or making your home handicap accessible.

 

Home improvements can impact your tax situation, but only at the time you sell your home. Improvements are included in the tax basis of your home. A $20,000 swimming pool would decrease the profit you realize upon the sale of your home by $20,000.

 

Repairs don’t provide the same benefit. Repairs would include things like painting a room or fixing a leaky sink.

 

Does this tax advantage really matter?

 

For most people, it doesn’t. Under the current tax law, you don’t have to pay any taxes on the profit generated from the sale of your home, for up to $250,000 for singles and $500,000 for married couples filing jointly.

 

So, the tax benefit from home improvements is only relevant if you receive profit beyond these thresholds. It could even be argued that keeping records of your improvements is a waste of time. But maintaining good records is still a prudent idea.

 

Keeping records

 

Keep all of your home improvement and repair receipts. You don’t know what the housing market will do in the future. Keeping these records could save you hundreds of thousands of dollars in some circumstances.

When you sell your house and determine the amount of profit, you can subtract the original sales price and the cost of your home improvements. Unless you’ve made a lot of improvements or the market has gone through the roof, you’re unlikely to see any tax benefits.

Exceptions

 

Some home improvements actually are tax-deductible, such as energy-related home improvements or any losses you’ve suffered due to theft, act of nature, or accident. In the case of the latter, only the amount not covered by your insurance is tax-deductible.

 

If you rent out part of your home or qualify for a home office deduction, you have some additional tax advantages. Any repairs specific to the parts of your home used for these purposes are tax-deductible.

 

Any whole-house repairs can be partially deducted. For example, if your home office accounts for 10% of your total square footage, you can deduct 10% of the cost of a new a/c unit from your taxes. Similar rules are followed if you rent out part of your home.

 

Conclusion

 

Improvements can be tax-deductible, but only when you sell your home. Repairs are only tax-deductible if you rent part of your home or have a home office that qualifies as a tax deduction.

 

Otherwise, tax deductions only exist if you realize more than $250,000 of profit when selling your home. Remember that amount increases to $500,000 if you’re married filing jointly. If you have any additional questions, be sure to contact a tax professional. For most of us, there won’t be a tax deduction from any home improvements or home repairs.

 

Keep in mind, all the above information is not to offer any advice in any way but just general information. We suggest you have an accountant on your contacts list to be sure you are always getting the most you can for your tax dollars. 

Posted in News
Jan. 13, 2021

14 Ways to Make Working Out at Home More Effective

 

14 Ways to Make Working Out at Home More Effective

With 2020 behind and KNOWING we will probably still be at home more for a while, it’s time to find new ways to stay active.

 

Working out at home has a lot of advantages compared to visiting a gym. You cut down on driving, you skip the long lines, and you control the playlist. Plus, regardless of the weather, you can remain warm and dry. And, let’s not even mention the fact that COVID has closed or limited many local gyms and exercise facilities anyway.

 

Maybe the only thing that would make staying home even more rewarding would be making your exercise sessions extra effective.

 

Try these suggestions for creating and using a home gym that will help you to become slimmer and fitter in less time.

 

How to Design an Effective Home Gym:

  • Designate a space. Being able to set aside an entire room may be ideal, but you can make any layout work. If you’re short on space, arrange a gym in one corner of your basement or studio apartment. You can even put your equipment out of sight when you’re done.
  • Clear away distractions. Make it easier to concentrate by storing work materials and children’s toys elsewhere. Turn your phone off if you’re tempted to text.
  • Stock up on equipment. There’s plenty of gear that you can pick up even on a tight budget. Maybe you want a deluxe treadmill or just some resistance bands and a yoga mat.
  • Go online. For endless variety, use your phone or set up a monitor so you can watch fitness videos. Sign up for a Crossfit program or visit your library for free titles. YouTube, Amazon Prime and even Netflix have exercises online that you can indulge in.

How to Use Your Home Gym:

  • Focus on whole-body movements. Compared to exercises that target single muscles, compound movements are more efficient. You may want to spend more time doing push-ups instead of bicep curls.
  • Be comprehensive. Train for strength, heart health, flexibility, and balance. Vary your workouts instead of sticking to just the exercises that you like.
    Try interval training. You may have seen studies that show that interval training increases the benefits of exercising. To get started, alternate between high-intensity activities and less demanding movements. Gradually make your workouts more challenging by increasing the intensity, pace, or resistance.
  • Find a buddy. When you workout with a friend, you can share feedback, encouragement, and laughs. Invite a neighbor or coworker to join you. You can even “Zoom” to workout together if need be.
  • Set goals. It’s common to reach a plateau after you’ve been working out for a while. If you want to stay motivated or keep making gains, give yourself targets to strive for. You might decide to work out for at least 30 minutes at least 3 days a week or take an inch off your waist within 30 days.
  • Track your progress. Once you establish goals, you can measure them. Keep a journal about your workouts and performance. Reward yourself when you reach each milestone.
  • Have fun. Remember to have a good time. If you love training with kettlebells or watching nature shows while you’re running on the treadmill, you’ll be more likely to stick to your workout program.
  • Use good form. Protect yourself from injuries by doing exercises properly. If you’re a beginner, you may want to take a class or work with a trainer to receive the instructions you need.
  • Rest up. Giving your body adequate time to recover will also help you to stay safe and strong. If you have no signs of overtraining like fatigue or persistent muscle soreness, you may prefer active rest like going for a gentle walk on your days off.
  • Talk with your doctor. Discuss any individual concerns with your physician. That’s especially important if you’ve been sedentary or you’re trying to manage a chronic condition.

Enjoy the comforts of home while you maximize your workouts. A well-planned space and a balanced exercise program will help you to shape up faster than you expected.

Posted in News
Jan. 7, 2021

Valuable Resources for Moving to MetroWest

 

If you love the idea of living near Boston without dealing with some of the expenses and challenges that come with city life, you may have discovered the charms of the MetroWest area! New residents of this region just outside of Boston quickly discover that the fantastic school systems, tight-knit neighborhoods, and a variety of things to do make MetroWest the perfect place for families to settle down. Consider Sudbury and Wayland if you are looking to live here. 

 

Have you recently closed on a MetroWest home?  If so, you might be curious about what you can do to make the most of your first few months in your new community. Moving can be stressful, but the perks of living in MetroWest will make all of your efforts worthwhile! These resources will explain everything from registering with an electric company to getting a gym membership.

 

Settling Down at Your New Home

 

Contact Local Utility Providers

Unpack Your Moving Boxes

Hire a Contractor for Renovations

Choose New Car Insurance Policy

 

Relocating Your Business

 

Smooth Business Transition Tips

Join the MetroWest Chamber of Commerce

Paying Taxes in Massachusetts

Forming a Massachusetts LLC

 

Necessary Services

 

Research MetroWest Schools

Find a Primary Care Doctor

Make an RMV Appointment

Locate Your New Post Office

 

Explore the Area

 

Historic Boston Area Landmarks

Enjoying the Great Outdoors

Go Shopping in MetroWest

Best Restaurants in MetroWest

 

Connecting With Community

 

Attend Worship Services

Hang Out at Coffee Shops

Getting Fit in MetroWest

Volunteer With Your Neighbors

 

Whether you’re a young professional or a parent looking for an idyllic place to raise your children, you’ll find what you’re looking for in MetroWest. As a new homebuyer, you’re probably eager to get settled in at your property, begin meeting your neighbors, and spending your weekends enjoying everything that MetroWest has to offer. With these informative resources, you’ll quickly adapt to life in your new home, and you’ll feel truly welcomed in MetroWest!

 

Ready to make your big move to MetroWest? I can help you with your search! Call me today at 978-505-1466 to learn more.

 

 

Photo via Unsplash

Guest author Katie Conroy is the creator of AdviceMine.com. She particularly enjoys writing about lifestyle topics and created the website to share advice she has learned through experience, education, and research. 

Posted in News
Dec. 22, 2020

Roofing Maintenance (for the homeowner)

When you own a home, it's usually your most important and expensive investment. It's important to keep everything working well and one of the most important aspects of your home outside of the foundation is the roof. If the roof is not kept in good order you can suffer leaks which can escalate into bigger problems inside your home. (And that’s all water related so bear with us.)

 

Pretty much any time you're outside your home you need to train yourself to take a look at your roof. You never know when something can happen that you just weren't aware of such as trees touching your roof, branches falling on your roof, or other debris. Even the existence of black streaks on your roof can be a sign that you need roof work done. 

 

Most people use the season of spring to check their roof, this is a good rule of thumb to use since most people do their spring cleaning at that time and the weather is not too hot or too cold. But, it’s never too late to start keeping an eye on your roof. The last thing you want is to have a hole or leak in your roof during the winter. Here are a few things to keep an eye out for.

 

Check for Overgrown Trees

 

Overgrown trees can cause a lot of problems with your roof. They can scratch it, gouge it, and even fall onto your roof. They can puncture your roof, scratch your roof, and make holes in your roof. The falling leaves can also clog up your gutter causing water to back up and run down the fascia causing mold build-up and other problems. Any low hanging tree branches should be removed and cut enough that they are not close enough to your home to drop their leaves in the guttering or touch and scratch your roof.

 

Check for Mold

 

If you have black discoloration on your roof it is more than likely algae, fungus or worse, mold. If you live in a humid area or have humid times of the year like we do this is a danger. These bacterias can eat away at the roofing material and eventually lead to leaks. Plus, the discoloration is unsightly. If you trimmed your trees to provide more sunlight to directly shine on your roof this can be a natural way to repel the growth of algae, fungus or mold. You can also have zinc strips installed after you've cleaned and scrubbed the roof, which will create zinc oxide during rain which will retard the growth of these deteriorating conditions. 

 

Survey Your Roof for Actual Damage

 

If you see shingles that are flapping in the breeze or actually missing, it's important to get this repaired immediately. It's only going to get worse, and cost more if you don't fix it right away. Fixing a few shingles yourself is not difficult. Just pull the bad shingle off carefully and put a new one in place. If you have a tile roof it might be best to hire someone to do it for you. But a shingle roof you can easily do yourself if you are handy. Here’s a video from This Old  House with some good direction.

 

 

If you do at least an annual inspection each year, and you train yourself to always look up at your roof when you are outside doing something else you can avoid issues. Just because they say a roof lasts for 15 or 30 years does not mean you may not have damage from low lying trees, storms or rain damage. Keep diligent about your most important investment and it will be in good repair for a lifetime.

 

 

Posted in News
Dec. 9, 2020

Tips to Simplify the Process of Buying Your First Investment Property

 

Investing in real estate can provide additional income and financial security. If you haven’t purchased an investment property before, however, the process can feel very overwhelming. Knowing where to buy and what to buy can be confusing, as can figuring out how to manage your property so that things run smoothly for you and your tenants. Instead of feeling stressed and strained about these important steps, you can always use online resources and guides to make the process of buying and managing your first rental property less of a hassle. In fact, using these three simple tips can make becoming an investment property owner easier.

 

Popular Locations Can Increase Profits

 

Make sure you’re on the right path when it comes to maximizing your rental income. Look in areas that are hotspots for vacationers and transplants, which means the market for rental properties is always booming. The trick to making this process easier is to decide which neighborhood you should buy a rental property in. If you invest in a rental in any of these popular areas, be sure to highlight attractions and activities that will make your home the perfect spot to vacation — or even live. Of course, the more popular the area you buy in, the more likely you’ll have to pay a premium for your investment property, so carefully research what’s within your budget. It’s also important to have an understanding of the local housing market; in Sudbury, one of Metro West’s beautiful communities, homes tend to sell for around $810,000 and spend 27 days on the market before selling.

 

Of course, getting the property of your dreams will require you to work with a skilled real estate agent you can trust. Rachel Bodner can help you find the perfect place in Metro West that will work splendidly as your first investment property.

 

Properties That Attract More Tenants

 

First-time investment property owners tend to be cautious when it comes to purchasing their first home, and many may think that a smaller rental home is better than a larger property. In reality, however, buying a small rental property can limit your ability to maximize your profits. So, if this is your first investment property, you may want to consider a single-family home, as these properties tend to be the safest bet for novice landlords. When most people look for their first home to rent, they tend to look at single-family homes, which offer ample space for affordable prices. 

 

Single-family residences are always in demand on the rental market but you can maximize your ROI by keeping a few things in mind. First, understand that any real estate investment will take time and effort in order to turn a profit. You can’t buy a single-family rental with the expectation of immediate cash flow. It’s also important to keep in mind that you may need to look outside of your own city to find a more lucrative investment. If you have enough capital and courage, however, purchasing multi-family properties can also be smart. 

 

You can also improve your ROI by adding some amenities that will appeal to renters. For example, a remodeled kitchen and bathroom can make a home considerable more desirable. You could also install a generator in case power is lost due to bad weather. Installing a generator averages $4,460 (prices vary by type of generator), but renters will appreciate having light, heat, and electricity while they wait for power to be restored. 

 

Experienced Property Managers Can Minimize Stress

 

Self-managing your properties can come with pros and cons, so be sure to weigh these carefully as you consider your investment property options. While self-managing a rental property can produce more profits, since you won’t have to deal with property management fees, it can also come with more headaches. If you have no problem taking the time to collect rent or coordinate repairs, then self-management may be right for you. If you have a full-time job or are not comfortable dealing with these tasks, however, you may want to budget for hiring an experienced property management company. Whether you are renting out a residential listing or a vacation home, property managers can simplify the process by taking care of more tedious tasks, like collecting rent, and helping with more pressing priorities, like finding new renters.

 

ou should be excited about purchasing your very first investment property! With the right resources, you can easily turn that rental into a steady stream of income. That way, you can maximize the return on your real estate investment while minimizing the stress of becoming a first-time rental property owner. 

 

To learn more about how Rachel Bodner can help you with all your investment property buying needs, call 978.505.1466 today!

 

Guest author Katie Conroy is the creator of AdviceMine.com. She particularly enjoys writing about lifestyle topics and created the website to share advice she has learned through experience, education, and research. 

 

Photo Credit: Rawpixel

 

 

 

Posted in News
Nov. 17, 2020

Home For The Holidays

 

Many of us in Sudbury were hoping to use the Holiday Season as a way to make up for all of the missed events of 2020.  But, true to form, 2020 has thrown a wrench into our plans.  With the COVID-19 epidemic worsening it may be smart to rethink how we spend the holidays this year.    

 

If you were planning to travel for the holidays, the CDC suggests you consider staying home.  That is truly the best way to protect yourself, and others. But, if you must, then travel smart.  And, be sure to check the guidelines for both Massachusetts and the state you are traveling to regarding quarantines, etc. 

  • Driving to your destination will limit your exposure to the virus.  
  • If you need to take public transport then, if your schedule allows, consider traveling during non-peak times.
  • And of course, pack plenty of hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, and extra masks.
  • If your travel includes being a guest in someone’s home make sure you and your hosts have a clear plan of what is expected of you.  
  • Change out of your travel clothes upon arrival and store your belongings away from common-use areas.

Some of these suggestions may seem overly cautious, but having a clear plan can lead to a peace of mind.

 

If you are playing host to overnight guests then make sure you and your guests are on the same page as to what’s expected.

  • Keep plenty of hand sanitizer for them. 
  • Provide them with disinfectant wipes to clean hard surfaces after they use them.
  • If sharing a bathroom set a schedule for bathing and make sure it gets cleaned after each use.
  • Ask your guests to wash their own dishes or place them in the dishwasher themselves.  

If your guests see that you take their health seriously then hopefully they will return the favor.

 

If your plans include a gathering:

  • Keep the gathering small so there can be some social distancing.
  • Weather permitting, have the party outside. You could plan for earlier in the day to increase the chances of warmer weather. Keeping in mind that a tent with closed sides has less ventilation than being inside
  • If inside, keep windows and doors open to improve ventilation.
  • Put the air conditioning/heating on continuous circulation and consider upgrading your filter to the highest-rated.
  • Avoid using area fans as this will just blow air from one person to another.
  • Have ALL GUESTS WEAR A MASK except when eating/drinking.  And make sure guests keep their masks to themselves when they aren’t wearing them.
  • This year skip the family sing-along.  And have the ambient noise down so guests don’t have to shout at each other to be heard.  Singing and yelling increase the range that particles can travel.  
  • Quarantine the pets while company is in the house.  There have been cases of pets being infected with the virus, though the chances of them spreading it back to people is low.  But, for Scruffy’s sake, err on the side of caution.

 

There is no current evidence that the virus is spread through food, or through the handling and serving of food.  The possibility comes in with multiple people handling the food containers or serving utensils.  Here are some tips to help reduce any possible spread at dinnertime: 

  • Consider having guests bring their own meals/drinks.  The point is to be together.
  • If cooking for the group, have one person do the preparation and wear a mask/gloves.
  • Don’t do buffet style.  Have one person responsible for the serving, rather than multiple people touching the utensils.  Have them wear a mask.
  • Use disposable utensils/plates/cups and make everyone responsible for their own clean-up
  • Don’t spare the disinfectant wipes--use them liberally on all commonly touched areas.
  • Keep an open trash can so guests don’t have to touch the lid.

 

Many of these precautions may seem daunting, but really it all comes down to the suggestions you’ve heard all year:

  • WASH YOUR HANDS
  • WEAR A MASK
  • SOCIAL DISTANCE
  • CLEAN COMMONLY TOUCHED SURFACES

 

If it all seems too much, there is no shame in staying home this year.  Or planning something small with just the members of your household.  Go for a socially distanced intimate gathering and save the big celebrations for next year.

 

And, boy, what celebrations we’ll have!!

 

Posted in News
Nov. 1, 2020

Holiday Fun is STILL Available

This year staying home has been the smart thing to do and Wayland and Sudbury are no exception. But that doesn’t mean it’s been the fun thing to do.  And, after ten months we’re all going a little stir crazy, no doubt.  Before the winter weather sets in and further encourages us to hunker down and hibernate, there are some outdoor activities that are open for your enjoyment.  Of course, as with everything this year, with safety precautions firmly in place.

 

The Wayside Inn in Sudbury has been limiting their gatherings this year, but they are currently open for indoor, patio, and takeout dinner services.  You can make reservations here 978-443-1776

 

Nov 10 at 7 PM the Inn is hosting a Virtual Fireside Author Discussion and Take-Away Dinner

$10 for the Zoom link/$25 for the Dinner

The discussion will include authors Erica Bauermeister and Karen Karbo.

 

The Wayside is also currently taking reservations for Thanksgiving Dinner.

 

You can check out their policy regarding COVID--https://www.wayside.org/about/policies

 

 

Another area classic is Gore Place in Waltham.  And, while they have postponed their indoor tours/activities, their outdoor tours have resumed.  Along with some outdoor and online activities.

 

Nov 6,  8-9PM

Nov 20, 8-9PM--Stargazing at Gore Place  Learn about the stars, planets, and constellations during this stargazing program led by an astronomy educator.

$15/adults  $10/6-17 year-olds.

Tickets available online only.  Not sold at the door.

Face masks are REQUIRED.

 

Nov 7, 9-3--Holiday Photo Sessions  Want a fancy professional holiday photo that helps support a great cause?  The cost of this event is $250, with $200 of that going towards the Gore Place Annual Fund.  Click on the above link for all the details.

 

Dec 19, 10 AM and 3 PM

Dec 10, 10 AM and 3 PM--One Holiday must at Gore Place are the Santa Teas, and this year is no different.  Well, it’s a little different because while Santa will be in the Carriage house, unfortunately, indoor guests are not allowed.  But, fear not, Santa will be broadcasting right into the warmth of your own home.  Tickets are $20/household.  Get your tickets here--https://app.arts-people.com/index.php?show=117714

 

And once the snow starts falling a perfect activity for social distancing and face coverings is snowshoeing.  Check out the info here--https://goreplace.org/whats-on/snowshoeing

 

While many local favorites have been postponed this year, the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, in Wellesley, is hosting their Festival of Trees.    Tickets go on sale Nov 2nd.  They will be time-specific and must be purchased in advance.  Small groups will be led through the exhibit this year, to comply with COVID restrictions.  The event runs Nov 27 through Dec 20, Wednesdays-Sundays (closed Mon/Tues) from 10 AM to 8 PM.

 

They will again have their indoor Snow Village exhibit, featuring model trains winding their way through different winter scenes.

 

Massachusetts has plenty of outdoor activities that encourage social distancing and this time of year mask-wearing.  Take some time and get outside and enjoy what nature has to offer.

 

Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge

 

Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge

 

Sudbury Valley Trustees

 

Weston Ski Track

 

Ski Ward Ski Area

Posted in News
Oct. 13, 2020

Decorating Your Home for Fall on a Budget




The price of seasonal decor is on the rise. So what's a stylish decor maven to do when trying to decorate for a Sudbury or Wayland fall? Take on a DIY project, of course! 

 

Whether you're working on a shoestring budget, or simply trying to save a dime, with a bit of ingenuity and time, you'll be well on your way to fall home decor that even Martha Stewart deems worthy. Try these inexpensive decor ideas to jazz up your home for fall: 

Pine cone wreath. 

Greeting your guests at the door with a pinecone wreath ensures a warm and stylish welcome. Rather than paying the standard price of $50 to $100 for a pinecone wreath, make one yourself for under $10! Before shopping and starting, be sure to peek on Pinterest for a little inspiration. 

 

  • Take an afternoon to collect pine cones with your children or grandchildren. Two small shopping bags of pinecones should be enough for a large wreath. Next, purchase a Styrofoam wreath for approximately $1, a glue gun for around $2, and a piece of ribbon for $1. 
  • Use a glue gun to adhere the flatter side of the pine cones to the wreath. The pine cones should be pointing upwards, rather than laying flat. Continue gluing pine cones until the Styrofoam of the wreath is no longer visible. Then, loosely wrap a long ribbon around the top of the wreath and tie. 
  • You can display your pine cone wreath by hanging the ribbon on your doorknocker or simply using a wreath hanger that can be purchased at most big box stores for $5. 

Pressed Leaf showcase. 

With the help of Mother Nature and some everyday items you already have around the house, you can make photo frames that display your beautiful pressed leaves. This fall staple is the epitome of autumn decor and packs a big punch for a small buck! 

  • Place a piece of wax paper in the middle of a heavy book, such as an encyclopedia, and lay several leaves on the wax paper without overlapping leaves. Place another sheet of wax paper over the leaves, and then close the book. Let stand for approximately 12 hours.
  • Use a piece of scrapbook paper with colors that are reminiscent of fall and fit it to your photo frame. Place a dot of hot glue on the center of the paper and press your leaf onto the glue. Then, carefully slide your pressed leaf and scrapbook paper combo into your photo frame and display! 

Simple switch. 

Changing your smallest accessories can provide both the biggest bang for your buck and visual stimulation. Swap out your regular throw pillows, curtains, throws, and vases in favor of ones that are laden with fall-friendly hues. 

  • Orange, red, brown, bronze, and even green are generally colors associated with fall. 
  • There's no need to replace your existing decor; just adapt what you already have! Attach a fun orange or brown pompom trimming to your curtains with Velcro. Rather than ditching your existing throw pillow, simply sew a flirty and autumn-friendly cover for the fall.

 

Whether you're working with a $100 budget or a $10 budget, you can effectively decorate your home for the fall. When on a tight budget, your most important ally will be your imagination. Remember, where there's a will, there's a way.

 

Take inspiration from magazines, decorating shows or even snap photos of pieces you see in department stores and try to recreate them at home. If you're open to trying something new and taking the time to take on some DIY projects, the sky truly is the limit to what you can do!

 

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