Good Sport | 6 Homes with Impressive Athletic Facilities

Anyone for tennis?  Or basketball, horseback riding, or climbing? These stunning homes from our colleagues at Sotheby's International Realty have the most amazing sports and athletic facilities - check out the NBA-inspired basketball court!  If sports is your thing, we have homes that can get you access to the best facilities - like 76 North Border Road, Winchester with it's direct access to the Fells for walking or biking, and 8 Cleek Court, North Reading situated on the golf course.  Talk to one of our experienced agents to find the perfect home for your sporting ambitions!



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    5 Simple Improvements to Get Your Home Ready for Sale

    Maybe you started out 2020 with a thought of upgrading your home or downsizing to suit your lifestyle, but then events got in the way.  Now you are seeing reports that the housing market is very active and your moving plans have come back to the forefront - especially if your circumstances have changed and you have different needs (home office anyone??).  But how do you make sure your home is primed and ready for sale, without spending time and money on unnecessary updates that won’t get you a return on your investment?  We asked our agents to give us the top 5 things they would recommend to sellers that will have the greatest impact for potential buyers.

    1. Curb Appeal

    Pictured - 3-5 Ridge Street, Winchester

    You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression, so make sure the front of your home gives potential buyers a good feeling from the off.  “Having your windows washed is one of the easiest things you can do to improve your curb appeal” says Erica Carson.  In addition, address any peeling paint on your front door, repair window and door screens, and wash or sweep your front steps.  If you have flower beds or window boxes, make sure they are free of weeds and dead blooms, and cover with a fresh layer of mulch.  Mow the lawn if you have one. 

    2. Declutter

    Pictured - 164 1st Street, Melrose

    “Paring down a seller’s personal belongings to highlight the space and features of a property is an inexpensive way to show the property in its best light. And helps prep for the seller’s move!” says Katie Tully.  As well as the obvious clearing away of general clutter, take a long hard look at your bookshelves, closets, bathroom cabinets, and toy storage.  Purchase some plastic storage crates and put away anything you don’t need for a few weeks while your home is being shown.  Also, consider removing or paring down any personal photos or pictures on your walls - again, buyers want to be able to picture themselves in the home, and a lot of personal items can make that hard for them.

    3. Paint

    Pictured - 40 Englewood Road, Winchester

    Neutral wall colors make it easier for buyers to picture themselves and their belongings in a home.  Consider repainting any bold or dark colors with a popular neutral (greys and creams work well) to brighten up a space and depersonalize it.  “Painting over dark colored walls or wood paneling with a light color can really refresh a room” advises Anne Spry.   If you already have a neutral palette, take a good look around your home and look for chipped or dirty paintwork that needs to be touched up.  This is the sort of detail that you may not notice but a buyer surely will.

    4. Flooring

    Pictured - 73 Sullivan Street, Boston

    If you have carpet in your home that has seen better days, check if there is hardwood underneath.  Exposed hardwood is popular with buyers as it gives a neutral look and is easier to clean.   If you don’t, it is money well spent to replace old or worn carpet with a new, neutral colored version.  The same goes for tile - make sure you clean the grout to give a fresh look, and replace any cracked tiles, or use a rug to bring a contemporary look to an older style of flooring.  “New flooring is important, especially in a kitchen - having your wood floors refinished or replacing old tile is a worthwhile investment”  advises Naomi DeLairre.

    5. Stairs

     Pictured - 145 Main Street, Westford

    Here’s a pro-tip from Lesley Smith that can make a quick impact with buyers - paint your stair treads!  An often overlooked feature, stairs are an area that can make a good or bad first impression - often they are the first thing you see as you walk into a home.  If your treads are worn or dirty, having them repainted, varnished or installing a runner can make a huge difference to the overall look of a home, says Lesley.


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      Market Update - July Listing Activity

      As you already know from our previous blog, our office enjoyed a very active and successful July, but now we turn our attention to what is happening in the market in general.  Overall we are seeing a slight slowdown in real estate activity compared to a very busy June in most towns and cities around us.  With the exception of Melrose and Stoneham, we have seen fewer new listings and the number of homes going under agreement is down across the board.  



      However, if we compare the numbers to last July, we can see a dramatic uptick in activity across all areas.  Stoneham and Reading have seen double the number of new listings compared to July 2019, showing just how different this summer has been.  Winchester, Arlington and Medford also recorded an increase in homes listed and offers accepted.  

      Some good news for buyers too - there were more active listings at the end of July than the previous month.  A reflection, perhaps, of the increased confidence and activity in the housing market.




      Want to know more about how these stats affect your moving plans?  Get in touch with one of our experienced agents.  They can give you more detailed information about the market related to your own unique circumstances.  And check out our latest listings - your dream home could be already waiting for you!


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        July - Our Busiest Month of the Year!

        Yes, you read that correctly - July, traditionally the start of the quieter summer period, was our busiest month yet!  Our agents have been working flat out on behalf of buyers and sellers, listing and selling property not just in our usual areas of Winchester, Arlington, Melrose and Medford, but as far afield as Marshfield and Manchester-by-the-Sea!  This month alone, we listed 16 homes, 9 of which already have accepted offers. This figure makes us #1 in Winchester for listings this month, far ahead of our closest competitors.  In total we put 19 homes under agreement in July - our best month this year so far, and certainly more than we would typically expect in July.  6 homes were sold this month, with an average sale price of $1,033,650.

        If you are thinking of moving this year, now is the time to talk to one of our experienced agents.  They can answer any questions you have about the market, getting ready for sale, and what it takes to find the right home for you.  Buying or selling, they are ready and willing to help get you moving!  Register with us to be notified as soon as a new listing matching your needs goes live.  Also, take a peek at our latest listings - your perfect home could already be waiting for you!


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          Enjoy the Great Outdoors | Homes Near Notable Hikes

          If you've always loved hiking, or recently got into it, you live in the right place! We are fortunate to live in an area with such outstanding natural beauty on our doorstep.  The Middlesex Fells Reservation offers over 100 miles of mixed-use trails in Winchester, Stoneham, Medford and Melrose.   There are hikes of varying length and variety - find out about our favorites in our recent blog, or download a map of the trails at the DCR website. Some of our most recent listings are located close to the Fells and offer enviably easy access to some great hikes.  76 North Border Road in Winchester is directly across from the Fells, and 17 Cranston Road, also in Winchester, is just a short distance from the access points on South Border Road.  In Medford, 27 Circuit Road is within easy reach of some of the most popular trails.  

          If you want to take your hiking to the next level, it's an easy drive into New Hampshire where you can enjoy are some more extensive hikes in the White Mountains.  With easy access to the I-93 from homes such as 2 Mill Street in Woburn, you can take on one of the 48 4,000 ft hikes and be back in time for dinner!   

          Farther afield, there are many iconic hikes in the United States and across the globe, and our affiliates have homes for sale in some of these renowned locations.  Read on for more details on these stunning homes and get inspired to dig out those walking boots and take a hike!



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            Moving to Woburn | What You Need To Know

            Situated approx 9 miles to the North West of Boston, Woburn is a small modern city with a long history.  First settled in 1640 is it one of the oldest and most historic communities in New England.  During the 1800s the leather industry was booming in this area, and the High Schoolers are still known as the Tanners today.  Modern Woburn is a mixture of quiet residential neighborhoods, vibrant commercial areas and conservation land, offering opportunities for work and play for people of all ages. 

            Due to Woburn’s long history there are examples of many different historical and architectural styles of housing.  Colonial, cape and ranch style single-family homes in neighborhoods such as Salem Street and North Woburn mix with new condo complexes such as Battle March Village and Shannon Farm in Shaker Hill, meaning you are sure to find what you are looking for. The average house price in 2019 was Woburn has 7 elementary schools, 2 middle schools and a high school, serving over 4500 students from pre-K to Grade 12.  Woburn Memorial High School and four of the elementary schools have been renovated or rebuilt in recent years.

            One of the most significant historical buildings is the Baldwin Mansion, first built in 1661, and now home to a restaurant and two award-winning bars.    Woburn has a thriving dining scene, with favorites like Pintxo Pincho Tapas and Ixtapa Mexican Restaurant in the city center, Strega Prime and Sichuan Garden in North Woburn, and family favorites such as Grill 110, Polcari’s and Bickford’s Grille along Washington Street.  There will also be restaurants in the newly redesigned Woburn Village, an open-air mall scheduled to be completed in 2021.  HomeGoods, TJ Maxx and HomeSense have already announced stores there, along with Market Basket.  Other big-box stores such as Target, Kohl’s and Lowe’s can be found here.

            The beautiful Horn Pond conservation area is a popular area for recreation.  There is a paved walkway around the majority of the pond, great for biking or walking/jogging, with many other trails leading off the main route.  Horn Pond Mountain, also called Mt Towanda, is he highest point of the city and has great views back over the pond and across to Boston.  Woburn Country Club, a 9-hole municipal public golf course, backs onto the pond, and the North Suburban YMCA is nearby offering fitness, swim and sports classes for all ages.   

            Woburn has two commuter rail stations - Mishawum, a flag stop on the Lowell - North Station line, and Anderson / Woburn (Anderson Regional Transportation Center), which as well as being on the Lowell line is also a stop on the Amtrak Downeaster route between Boston and Brunswick Maine.  The Logan Express, a bus service to Logan Airport, also departs from Anderson/ Woburn.  There is also a bus service - 354 - that stops at several locations in Woburn before traveling express to State St in the heart of Boston’s Financial District, a great option for commuters.

            Woburn is home to one of the oldest - and largest - Halloween Parades in New England.  The last Sunday in October is Parade Sunday, when up to 80,000 people line the streets to watch the floats in the Woburn Host Lions Parade.  This is also a big homecoming weekend for the returning students.  During the holidays the common across from City Hall is brightly decorated with a nativity scene, and during the Festival on the Common the mayor will read “T’was The Night Before Christmas” before the lights are switched on.  During the summer months, outdoor movies are shown at Library Field and there are outdoor music concerts at Horn Pond.

            Interested to know more about Woburn?  Get in touch with one of our experienced agents.  They can help you pinpoint the right neighborhood for your needs and guide you through the process of finding and securing your dream home!



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              Dive In | 5 Homes with Stylish Swimming Pools

              Another 90 degree day?  A home with a pool seems very appealing right now.  Take inspiration from these gorgeous swimming spots across the Sotheby's International Realty network - and then bring your search closer to home by checking out our homes with pools in the Greater Boston area.  


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                Market Stats Part II - New Listings and Activity in North Suburban Boston

                Last week we focused on the houses sold during June in various towns and cities in North Suburban Boston, and discussed how that was only part of the story. This week we take a look at the other part - how many homes were listed during that month, how many homes accepted offers, and what the inventory is like in your area. During this new normal, these numbers can give us a greater indication of what is happening in the market right now, while sold figures tell us what happened 8-10 weeks ago.



                On the whole, we have seen an increase in the number of listings coming to the market this month compared to May. What is unusual about this is that typically we would see things start to slow down in June, so steady or increasing numbers of new homes coming for sale is a good indication of improved activity. We have been suggesting for a while that there would be a surge in activity once restrictions were lifted, and these numbers seem to bear out that theory. 


                There has also been an increase across the board in the number of accepted offers during June. Again, this shows that buyers have confidence in the market and are keen to make a move. Whether they were planning to move in 2020, or recent events have changed their plans, buyers are out in force and we are seeing more multiple offer situations as demand outstrips supply in certain areas and price points.



                The knock-on effect is that inventory seems low across all our towns and cities.  At the end of June, there were fewer than 16 single-family homes on the market in Arlington, Melrose, Medford, and Stoneham. This creates its own pressures on buyers and reinforces the importance of having an experienced realtor as a partner to help you secure your next home. We do know that there are more homes coming up for sale in the next few weeks - this week alone our office will bring 9 new listings to market - so we expect there to be a lot more activity in July and beyond. 

                If you would like more detailed information about the real estate market in your area, reach out to one of our experienced realtors.  



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                  Coming Soon - 208 Ridge Street, Winchester

                  Introducing 208 Ridge Street, Winchester.  Listed by I-Ching Katie Scott, this extraordinary historic home is sited on an idyllic half acre and has been restored and reimagined. First designed by 19th-century master builder Dexter Blaikie, this 5+ bedroom, 4 bath home integrates period details with modern design. Cathedral ceilings and wall-to-wall windows create light-filled ease while the warm, open plan of the original great room offers fluidity between the intimate interior and the bucolic landscape.   A flexible wing can act as an office/den or a main floor bedroom.

                  The second floor has 4 more bedrooms, the largest with an en-suite bath and a spectacular balcony that overlooks private woods. Bonus lower level with a separate entrance leads to a media room, full bath, and extra bedroom. Full of fabulous features including new air conditioning systems, chef's kitchen, original pantry, wood stove, stone patio, copper gutters, and wall of folding french doors. A stone's throw from the new Vinson-Owen Elementary School and popular local landmark Wright Locke Farm.

                  This home will be available for showings later this week - first Open House Saturday, July 18th.  For full details and to schedule a showing contact I-Ching Katie Scott on 617-688-2372. 


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