Drink Pink for the Cure is tomorrow!

Pour Richard’s Drink Pink for the Cure is happening tomorrow from 2-5 PM!

DRINK PINK LOGO (2)

If you don’t have your tickets yet, there’s still time – drop by Pour Richard’s Wine & Spirits and pick up your custom-engraved Riedel wine glass for $20, or order your ticket online. I’ll be there, so come and say hello if you see me.  It’s going to be a spectacular event and a great fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, so don’t miss out!

Pour Richard’s is located at 14 Grove Street in Franklin.

Home Inspections 101 – Part 3

Yesterday, we talked about what to expect from your home inspection and the report you’ll receive afterward. Once you have your report in hand, you’ll want to discuss it in detail with your Realtor, who can advise you on how to proceed.

A good inspection report should be extremely thorough (one might even say nitpicky), so as a buyer, your best strategy is not to overwhelm the seller with too many requests or demands for repairs.  If any health and safety issues pop up in the report, such as mold, radon gas, or damaged structural elements, those are definitely points you should raise with the seller right away.  If the problems are severe enough, you may want to back out of the deal entirely, but if you still want the home, your best bet is to either ask the seller to complete the necessary repairs before closing (make sure you get receipts!), or ask for a reduction in the purchase price or credit at closing to enable you to complete the repairs yourself.  More minor issues should be considered as part of your new homeowner’s “to do list,” and this is where the inspection report can help you decide what to prioritize once you move in.

Some homes, particularly short sales and foreclosures, are sold “as is,” meaning that the seller will not agree to perform any repairs or make any price reductions based on the inspection findings.  If this is the case for you, you’ll want to pay special attention to the inspection report, since all of the necessary repairs will be your responsibility.  If you’re willing to get your hands dirty, an “as is” home can be a great bargain, but you’ll want to make extra sure you know what you’re getting into.

I hope this week’s series on home inspections has been useful!  Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions, or just want to talk real estate – I’m always available to help.

Home Inspections 101 – Part 2

So you’ve selected a home inspector and scheduled a date for your inspection. Now what?

It’s important to know what to expect from your inspection; I’ve heard other agents liken it to a checkup from your doctor, and I think that’s a great comparison.  A home inspection is intended to be an overview of the major structures and systems of your home, to alert you to any issues that may need to be looked into more carefully by a specialist.  The American Society of Home Inspectors states on their website that a standard home inspection should cover heating and cooling systems (temperature permitting); plumbing and electrical systems; the roof, attic, and visible insulation; the basement and foundation; and the condition of walls, floors, ceilings, windows, and doors.  Most inspectors will also do a radon test for a small additional fee, but if you’re concerned about lead paint, you should work with a licensed lead specialist to perform a separate inspection. In Massachusetts, you can contact any of the lead inspectors listed here.

Keep in mind that inspectors go by what’s visible.  They aren’t authorized or trained to open up walls to look for problems that may be lurking inside, so for example, if your inspector notes a water stain on a ceiling, you may need to have a licensed plumber and/or contractor take a more in-depth look.  Most inspectors also won’t go up on the roof to examine it in detail, but will let you know if they see any issues from the ground that suggest a roofer should take a closer look.

Once the inspection is complete, your inspector will issue you a full report based on his or her inspection of the home. These reports are often lengthy, but it’s important to read through the report carefully; a good inspector will note all of the visible issues with the home, no matter how minor.  Your next step will be to discuss the report with your Realtor, so tomorrow, I’ll give you some tips on where to go from there…

Home Inspections 101 – Part 1

This week I want to share some helpful advice about home inspections!  Most people know that the inspection is a major part of the home-buying process, but there are a few things to keep in mind in order to make sure you get the most for your money.

First of all, when choosing an inspector, check his or her credentials. In Massachusetts, home inspectors must be licensed and registered with the state, and a list of all licensed home inspectors in Massachusetts is available online here. Many home inspectors also have business websites, so you can get an idea of the services he or she can provide. Your Realtor should have a list of several reliable home inspectors that he or she can recommend, but the final choice is always up to you.

When choosing an inspector, remember that the home inspection isn’t just a bargaining tool for your home purchase, but also an important opportunity to learn about the maintenance and upkeep of your prospective new home (particularly if you’re a first-time homebuyer). Some inspectors actually specialize in these “educational” inspections, so keep an eye out for them.  In any case, don’t be afraid to follow along closely with the inspector as he or she does the job; you’ll learn so much about how to keep your home in its best working order and spot problems before they get out of hand.

Tomorrow, I’ll talk about what to expect during and after the inspection…

Save the Date – Feast of St. Rocco!

I know it’s early, but this is such an important annual event in the Franklin community that I wanted to give everyone a chance to put it on their calendars way ahead of time!

The Feast of St. Rocco is a celebration of not only its namesake saint, but also Franklin’s rich Italian heritage and community.  While most Franklinites know the annual Feast for its wonderful Italian food, there are also many family-friendly activities to enjoy.  Several religious services will also take place during the Feast, including a Healing Mass with anointing of the sick.

This year’s Feast will take place August 14-16, so save the date now. To keep up with St. Rocco’s news and events, follow their Facebook page for more information.  (This will be particularly important during the festival itself – if you’re keeping up with the Feast on Facebook, you’ll get advance notice when your favorite dishes are close to running out, so you can head over and get them before they’re gone!)

Sold! Who’s next?

Remember that beautiful townhouse in Canton that I listed last month?  That sale successfully closed yesterday!

121 Revere St_111

After a quick sale for the full asking price, the sellers are on to a new adventure in their new home, and the buyer will have many happy years in this one.

This is still a hot sellers’ market and I can do the same for you!  Contact me for a free, no-obligation market analysis to find out how much your current home could be worth today.  If you’re looking to buy or rent, I can help you there too!  I’m ready 24/7 to advise and support you for all of your real estate needs, from the initial inquiry to the closing table and beyond.

Franklin Community Garden Update and Plant Sale

Reblogged from the Franklin Community Gardens blog:

“Hello Gardeners!

The 2015 growing season is well under way, and many of the plots in the garden are already taking shape so great work! Even if you’re a little behind there is plenty of time to catch up, and if you need a little help…

Event: King St. Memorial Garden Official Opening & Plant Sale – Saturday/Sunday May 23rd & 24th – 9AM to Noon

We will be celebrating the official opening of the gardening season on May 23rd and 24th in the community garden from 9 am to Noon. We will have organic seedlings available for sale, and will have committee members on hand to answer any questions you may have. If you have any specific requests let us know and we’ll see if we can get them there. Please join us!

Open Plots

We still have a few open plots, so if you know anyone that is interested please direct them to the recreation department. They can sign-up, pay, and be assigned a bed immediately.

Shed Keys

Over the years we’ve lost a large number of shed keys to gardeners who have left and not returned them.  One of the solutions we’re considering is switching the lock to a combination lock, as this would be far less expensive them duplicating additional keys and easier to distribute changes to.  If you have any concerns please let us know, if we do make the switch I will be e-mailing out the combination to all current gardeners.

Where and When for Pests & Diseases

This winter was longer and stronger than anything I’ve experienced in New England and it has also shifted the arrival times of some of the pests I would have expected to see already. If you spot anything in the garden please let me know so I can inform you of organic ways to deal with the pests.

Watering

One of the advantages of the deep raised beds in the community garden is they help reduce the number of times a week you need to water your bed. Once your plants are established a single deep watering each week with about an inch of water should keep your bed in great shape. At the beginning, however, and especially when the weather is very hot young seedlings need to be looked after daily until their roots establish. If you have any specific watering questions let us know!

With the weather as hot and dry as it has been make sure when you water that it is saturating the layers underneath the first half inch. It is very easy this time of year to just wet the surface and then have most of it evaporate before penetrating to the layers below.

What’s Landed in the Garden?

Toddler for Scale

With the help of the Franklin Charter School and gardeners we’ve kept the weeds in the garden under control for the most part, but we do still have a few trouble areas. I have some Solar Cones that I’ve used to warm up the soil in my own garden, but what I’ve found they’re really great at is solarizing a section of the garden that I want to kill all the weeds in. I’m going to be placing the cones in some of the trouble spots and moving them around to hopefully clear them of weeds. As a fun experiment stick your hand down the top of one on a hot day just to see how much they concentrate heat! I’ll be setting these up during the Opening this coming weekend.

As always if you have any questions let us know!

Sincerely,

Chris Clay & The Franklin Community Garden Committee”