Blog :: 01-2013

Staying Warm at Home During a Chilly Boston Winter

It's chilly out there this week for Bostonians. Rather than cranking up the heat (and your bill!) check out some of these tips for staying cozy in your Boston home:

  1. Avoid using your kitchen and bathroom ventilation fans, which can drain your house of its heat in a very short period of time- especially when left on too long.
  2. Take advantage of a sunny day! Leave open your curtains and blinds and let the sun pour in for some natural heat.
  3. Seal your windows with adhesive or invest in storm windows to prevent small drafts, which can creep in and chill you to the bone.
  4. Similarly, don't forget to weatherstrip your doors
  5. Think of buying a warm mist humidifier. Not only is it a safe alternative to a space heater, it also will help to get rid of that pesky static electricity in the air.
  6. Close off the doors to unused rooms to condense the hot air to just your daily living space.
  7. Invest in a stylish rug or carpet, which not only will add some flair to your pad, but also prevents heat loss through the floors. As an added bonus, the rug also allows you to walk around your place barefoot without getting the chills.
  8. Throw a dinner party! Cooking lets the stove heat up your kitchen, and warm bodies hanging around will also liven things up.
  9. Take a warm bath with some candles. While it's minimal, candles throw off some heat and this is a great way to relax after a long day.
  10. Exercise! Turn on some tunes and get ready for bathing suit season by doing workouts at home. In fact, it will even save you from freezing on the way to the gym.

...and when all else fails, throw on some cozy sweats and a sweater and hunker down to wait it out.

More positive signs for the 2013 housing market

Recently more numbers and predictions have been released from sites like Zillow, supporting the idea that property values are going to continue to rise. Pictured above is a graph showing the estimated rise in property values based on surveys of 100 economists. With an expected 4.6% rise in home prices in 2013, this is undoubtably the time to buy and sell.

This may seem confusing, but for buyers your property is expected to jump in value and steadily rise in the coming years, while sellers have the opportune moment to put their home on the market, with such low inventory (we know, we sound like a broken record). If you're looking to sell quickly, things are flying off the market these days, and if you're looking for a good longterm investment, buying is the right thing to do in this economy.

Event from October to November home value increased by .6%.  This is the 13th consecutive month of home appreciation, a positive sign of the recovering real estate market!

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Being a Good Neighbor

Being a good neighbor does not take much effort and it certainly provides plenty of benefits for you. It means fewer complaints from other neighbors, that extra help when you need moving something, or extra resources, like when you run out of butter or milk. It's also a nice opportunity to meet new people and make some friends, so just be a friendly neighbor and everything will work out!

If you want to make an excellent first impression then make sure to introduce yourself to neighbors. Different neighborhoods and buildings have different mentalities, but very rarely will anyone be upset if you take the time to say hello and introduce yourself as a new neighbor. Naturally in the city it's a bit different than in the suburbs. While neighbors are a bit more spread out in the suburbs they tend to be friendlier, with neighborhood barbecues and their kids playing in each other's yards. In the city you don't have that same vibe, but it still can't hurt to knock on your neighbor's door and say hello!

Make sure to continue saying hello now and then, it's simple and easy, and might seem like common sense, but when you see your neighbor be sure to wave or say hi.  It's not difficult, but it is quickly forgotten after the first couple weeks of living someplace new, so just keep smiling and waving.

Lastly, remember to send cards at the holidays! You're sending cards out anyway, so why not add a few more to the stack. It's a nice reminder to your neighbors that you care and it helps build a basis for a relationship.  Next time you need to borrow a cup of sugar, they might be a bit more willing to share!

In the end, these suggestions may seem appear obvious, we just want to remind everyone that being a friendly neighbor can make all the difference in your life, and in the lives of others.

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New Years Resolutions: Keeping a Cleaner House

photo from HGTV

Time for a fresh start in a new year! The best way to get a fresh start is with a clean house, here are a few tips on maintaining a clean house in 2013:

1. Labeling can never hurt matters. Labeling drawers, and containers is a quick reminder that you shouldn't just toss random clutter on the nearest shelf. You'll feel like you have to follow the system you've set for yourself, an easy way to change our habits!

2. Close off storage spaces with curtains. For a very reasonable price you can purchase or make a curtain along with a curtain rod, and quickly you will have a designated corner or nook for storage, separated from everything else.

3. For those in an apartment that are afraid of damaging walls, buying hercules hooks and mounting them can create a whole other option for storage. Hang up scarves in your bedroom, coats by the door, and towels in the bathroom with hercules hooks.

4. A caddy that hangs on your doorknob can be great for cleaning supplies, or bath supplies. It keeps everything out of the way, but in an easy-to-access location.

5. Bins, pegs, and hooks should be placed near entry ways for hats, gloves, scarves, coats and boots. In the winter it can be very easy for an entryway to get messy, but putting a few storage units into place will quickly change that!

We hope these few basic and simple changes will make life a little easier and neater in the coming year! HAPPY NEW YEARS!

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