Westford MA Real Estate and Community News

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March 28, 2019

So Its Spring: Home Maintenance Tips

So its spring! Finally. Time to take a look around your home and do some spring home maintenance as part of your spring cleaning!  It’s called Spring Fever. I already started cleaning windows and washing curtains.


Time to make a spring cleaning list that includes things to do like cleaning the gutters and downspouts between snow and leaves, it can get clogged and cause some home damage, so get this one off the list.  Take a look at your roof to see if there are missing shingles or damaged shingles from the winter storms and get them fixed!  No need for leaks next year. While you are at it check the flashing for skylights, vents and chimneys as these are areas that the seal can break down over time and cause leaks.


My favorite one is to check your irrigation system, I always have a head that is no longer working and I need to fix.  They easily crack with weather. Check those faucets as well to see if they froze. Any easy way to see is if you turn on the faucet and you can stop the flow with just your thumb, if that happens you may need to have a plumber check the pipes inside the home for damage. And check the hoses for dry rot and you may need to replace one or two.


Start up all the lawn equipment and power tools to see what works and what needs to be fixed!


If you have air conditioning, make sure to get the AC unit serviced now that winter is over.


And of course, time to power wash the decks, driveways, fences and whatever other outside surfaces you have to get rid of mold and mildew so it’s ready for use!


March 28, 2019

It’s time for taxes!

It’s time for taxes! I just sold my home do I have to pay taxes? If you owned and lived in the home for 2-5 years prior to selling that up to $250,000 is tax free. And if you are married and filing jointly then it is $500,000.  This only works on a primary residence and not on a vacation home. Anything over that amounts needs to be reported as capital gains on Schedule D.  You will need to pinpoint how much you originally paid for the house, this can be adjusted by improvements you have made, just make sure you have the information to back all of it up


If you sold for a loss you cannot take the deduction for that loss.


Hope that helps!

Posted in Spring
May 16, 2017

Finally, Spring Is Here!


Spring has finally sprung, and I want my house to look great so I can have friends over and truly enjoy my space. So what do I need to do?  Well, I want my garden to look awesome so off to the garden center I go to find some perennials for the garden and some annuals to hang or to put in a garden near my patio. Then I get to do the fun part, planting!  Then I need to put down lots of mulch to help prevent weeds and besides looks great and smells great too.  

Now I just have to remind my kids to mow the lawn, put down seed in the areas that need more and then we get to use our big tractor with a pull behind to aerate the lawn so seeds can grow.  And of course fertilize. Put down a weed preventer if possible, but ensure if you put down seed that it will be ok.  Now I just need to water but I need to check what the towns watering restrictions are since many have them starting in May. 

Rent a tiller and get my vegetable garden started so I can enjoy in July and August.  Voila I am ready to have people over and enjoy a BBQ!


Posted in Spring
Jan. 24, 2017

Winter Doldrums


Winter Doldrums? What to do about it


So I don’t know about you but I have the winter doldrums.  Between cold weather and kids sports there has not been enough time for my husband and I or just family time.  So I have compiled a list of 20 things to do locally to beat these doldrums, maybe I can get to one of them.  

1.      Tubing at Nashoba Valley Ski Area, Westford MA 

2.      Skiing or Snowboarding at Nashoba Valley Ski Area 

3.      Ice Skating at the Winter Ice in Littleton 

4.      Do a Boston Architecture tour starting at the Boston Public Library  

5.      Watch some Boston Bruins or college hockey (Harvard, U-Mass Lowell, Northeastern, Boston University) Check out the Beanpot 

6.      Watch Boston Celtics 

7.      Do some indoor rock climbing at Vertical Dreams in Nashua 

8.      Try out Bikram Yoga in Chelmsford 

9.      Go to the Merrimack Repertory Theatre 

10.   Enjoy the Museum of Fine Arts (Wednesdays are free after 4 PM) or the Museum of Science 

11.   See a concert 

12.   See an event at the Lowell auditorium 

13.   See chocolate being made  

14.   Take a Brewery Tour  

15.   Go see Disney on Ice 

16.   Check out the Cambridge Antique Market 

17.   See the Artists at the Western Avenue Studios in Lowell, you can blow glass, take a drawing class, learn to be a sculptor, etc. 

18.   Check out classes the Roudenbush Center in Westford, they have all sorts of fun classes including wine and beer tasting, classes for kids, martial arts, gymnastics, etc. 

19.   Go bowling or play indoor golf at Wamesit Lanes in Tewksbury 

20.   Or instead of the typical Paint Nite, try Plant Nite, have some wine and plant something! 

If that does not cut it, now is the time to sell or buy your new home, so you can be in for the spring!


Posted in Winter
Nov. 21, 2016

Best Local Parks



This month I was enjoying the beautiful leaves and enjoying long walks with my dog before scurrying off to all my other priorities and I thought it might be best to remind ourselves of the many wonderful and beautiful parks we have around us to enjoy.  Below is my list of ones I know of that are close to me. I am sure I missed some but it is a good start and these are great if you have not been to them.  

Great Brook State Farm

This is a wonderful local park to take your kids to year round. It has 20 miles of trails and over 1,000 acres of land. In the summer, it has homemade ice cream stand and a farm with a robotic milking system. You can see the animals and they give tours of milking the cows. 

Lots of people run or ride their horses on the trails, they have cross country meets here as well.  In the winter when there is snow you can rent cross country skis or snow shoes or bring your own and enjoy some outdoor time and some exercise.  It does cost $2 to park there. 

NARA Park in Acton 

This park is open year round but is only manned in the summer. In the summer, you can enjoy the beach with lifeguards for a fee  or you can enjoy a concert at the amphitheater, check out the website for a calendar of events. http://www.acton-ma.gov/312/NARA-Park . In July they have a fantastic 4th of July show but you need to get there early as it does get crowded. 

Manning State Park in Billerica 

This park has some nice short trails great for cross country skiing and they include a new fitness circuit to make them more challenging.  In the summer it has a splash Pad.  It does have restrooms as well. 

Lowell Heritage State Park Lowell MA 

Enjoy canal rides at this fun park that is connected to the bigger Lowell Historical Park.  It has a bike path and many exhibits on the trail.  There is a pretty Victorian garden in the heart of the downtown area, and over two miles of landscaped esplanade which allows for summer concerts.  Swimming and boating in the Merrimack River are offered as well as a boat ramp so you can bring your own.


Rogers Forth Hill Park Lowell

This park is being renovated and is includes 11 acres of paths and gardens, and 23 acres of woods. There are Heritage trees in the park, including Beach trees, Japanese and Sugar Maples.  The upper part of the park has mostly been restored and now they are working to restore the part with the restoration of the spring house and the addition of a pergola, I am excited to see it when it is done, it will be a beautiful addition. 

Lowell Dracut Tyngsboro State Forest 

These 1,140 acres offer six miles of trails offering hiking, bicycling, horseback riding, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling, as well as hunting in season. 180 acres of this are ponds and wetlands with some pretty viewing areas. 

Walden Pond Concord 

Home to Henry David Thoreau this park include 102 feet deep kettle hole ideal for swimming and fishing on 335 acres of wooded land, has lots of trails around the pond and in the summer they do interpretive guided walks. 

Willard Brook State Forest 

This beautiful forest contains 2,597 acres and is located in the towns of Ashby and Townsend, and includes tumbling brook and quick water amid groves of classic New England pine woods.  This state park includes campsites, hiking, fishing, swimming and trails. 

Rocky Hill Wildlife Sanctuary 

This 421 acre sanctuary includes a lot of granite ledges and rocks and is home to 100 species of birds and plants.  There is a nice 3 mile trail to walk through the sanctuary.


 Minuteman National Historic Park Concord and Lexington        

The Old North Bridge in Concord is just one of the highlights on this park system.  Battle Road is a five mile trail with houses along the way that are open to the public in the summer for tours. This is a beautiful and fun day to spend exploring both Concord and Lexington and there are many activities in the park.


So go out and explore and enjoy these parks, spend some quality time outdoors and remind ourselves to stop and admire what is around us.


Posted in Parks
Sept. 22, 2016

Getting Bathrooms up to par

Now is the time to get your bathroom ready as you prepare your house for the market. Where do you start knowing you do not want to spend a fortune? 

1.      Look at your tub, shower and sink – do you basically think they look good?  How about refinishing them? They will polish up nice and you do not have to buy new fixtures.


2.      As long as the layout works well, then try not to be moving any plumbing around, that is when it gets costly and you find out that you are not up to current code and when they have to touch the plumbing for the bath they need to upgrade the plumbing throughout, so try to not to move the plumbing if possible.


3.      Anything quick and easy thing is to replace the hardware, things like cabinet knobs, showerheads, drawer pulls, just make sure you stay consistent with the finished so if one is brushed nickel make them all the same.


4.      Ensure there is proper ventilation to keep mold out, if it is not done properly inspectors really can hit you hard on this one.


5.      Lighting is very important, remember this is the place you use in the morning to brush your teeth, your hair and generally get ready for your day, proper lighting is important. Sconce lighting works well over the sink; a dimming light might work well over a tub to help with relaxing.


6.      Lastly, in the master bath counter and mirror space is a must, one sink and a lot of counter space and above that lots of mirror.  And remember the countertop is important so many are using granite or just redoing the counters with laminate to give it an updated look without the cost of granite.


I hope that helps you as you move through the house getting it ready for the market. Next up is how to declutter the house, never a small task or an easy one.


Posted in Bathroom Updates
Aug. 31, 2016

How to make a great impression with your kitchen

Quite often kitchens are where everyone hangs out in a house, so it must feel right.  And it is the place buyers look to ensure it feels clean and homey.  So what can you do to make the right impression as buyers walk in the door? 

1.      Make sure it is clean.  What do I mean by this? I mean clean and organize inside the cabinets, clean inside the stove, make the sink sparkle on top of the regular cleaning of counters and floors.


2.      Make it look as spacious as possible – any extra appliances, cookbooks, extra dishes that are out on counters, put away somewhere.  


3.      Take a really hard look at your walls, counters and floors, what kind of condition are they in, should they be painted or replaced?  For example, wood floors or tile floors look a lot better than vinyl floors, fixing some wall tiles or painting the walls a somewhat neutral color can really help the appearance of the kitchen to help make it look bright and cheerful.


4.      Now look at the cabinets – do you have dark wood? Sometimes dark wood can make a room feel a lot smaller, maybe you can lighten them up with some paint or just new cabinet doors.  And maybe new door handles.


5.      Now what about the counters? Are they chipped, scratched or burnt? Granite counters can give an updated look, however you may not want to spend that much money so even a laminate new counter can help a lot and keep the cost down.


6.      Is there a place people can eat?  Even if it a small table, people really like to eat as well as make the food in the kitchen, it provides more flexibility and allows a more social environment while food preparation is going on.


7.      Now a fun idea to make it look welcoming.  This can be done with a vase of fresh flowers, a bowl of fruit, some of those artsy olive oil bottles you see in Italian restaurants, use your creativity here and have fun.


Your kitchen is now ready! Next time we will talk about bathrooms.


Posted in Kitchen Updates