Featured Listing | 309 W Foster St., Melrose | $469,000

Look no further for the best location and value in town! Three bedroom colonial built in the 1900s hasn’t lost its charm! Beautiful, sunlit rooms with great energy boast hardwood floors and original moldings. Conveniently nestled between Cedar Park and Wyoming commuter rail stations and approximately 1.5 miles from Oak Grove. Located a few blocks from downtown Melrose and just across the street from Gooch park! First floor living room, dining room and eat-in kitchen; Second floor has three bedrooms and full bath. Updated roof and heating system. Open Houses 5/20 12-1:30 & 5/21 1-2:30

Featured Listing | 387 East Foster St., Melrose | $650,000

Unpack and enjoy! Picture perfect and move in ready describe this attractive colonial style home nestled in a fantastic East Side neighborhood. Who wouldn’t love cooking in the eat-in kitchen with plenty of cabinets and granite counters? Imagine cozy winter nights in front of the fireplace or a peaceful morning cup of coffee in the sunroom. Plan your 4th of July barbecue in the enormous yard with great deck and patio area. 9 rooms, 4 bedrooms, 1/5 baths plus finished room in basement makes a great man cave, playroom or craft space…your choice! Bonus features offered in the well maintained property include replacement windows, a walk up attic for great storage, an attached garage and central air for comfortable summer nights. This location is ideal…just steps to the bus line (to Oak Grove “T” stop) and minutes to Route 1, golf courses, the Melrose Common (with its new awesome playground), schools and hiking trails.

 

Clean Room Program

When you are getting ready to sell your house there is a lot to do and think about, and keeping your home tidy should be at the top of the list. Why do it alone? I have a creative way to get the kids on board to help with the everyday messes… bribery!

If your child can be motivated by money (I know mine can!), I will give each of your children $50 for keeping their rooms clean, coats hung, toothpaste cleaned out of the sink and evidence of play, snack and homework gone for all showings.  Kids usually respond positively and clean after themselves. I am not their parent so they listen to me! I will also check in to make sure they have done their part and am always happy to talk to them directly if they need a little extra push in the right direction. Trust me, it works!

Contact me and learn more about my creative approaches to selling your house.

Before/After Bathroom

WHAT WE DID

Pulled down beadboard and trim. Not because we didn’t like it; it had water damage in some spots and looked tired overall
Painted Walls. Sherman Williams TopSail (love!!)
Cleaned grout with homemade paste: 3 parts baking soda/1 part vinegar
Reinvented vanity console: First we removed the bottom drawer to make a shelf then we painted with Annie Sloane chalk paint in Paris Grey, distressed it with a hand sander and finished with a black wax. We replaced the knobs too, but I was thinking silver might have been better… what do you think?
New faucet: Home Depot $40
New mirror: Home Depot $40
New shower curtain: Pottery Barn (clearance!) $39.99
New curtain rod, towels, rug: Target $25

Do you have a before/after project to share? Send pictures and what you did to info@kristyb.com

Featured Listing | 51 Burrell St, Melrose | $825,000

Finally, the home that you’ve waited so long for is here! This beautiful Garrison sits on a lovely street and is surrounded by pretty trees and foliage. It is quaint and classic, but is loaded with space and all the fixings. The first floor features a FP living room, sunken DR w/ window seat, tea room, sun-filled family room (8 windows + French doors) and a large EIK w/ Viking stove, vaulted ceilings and sliders to the back deck. The second floor features 3 nicely sized BRs and full bath w/ white subway tiles. But the showstopper here is the fabulous MBR- vaulted ceilings, 12 windows, a great big bath w/ double sinks, shower and soaking tub, 2 closets and custom cabinets. Throw away the key and let the rest of the household fend for themselves! Two bonus spaces in the lower level – a den and exercise room. Private and serene backyard boasts a patio and deck. Walk to Bellevue Golf Club. Close to Ell Pond, MHS, Whole Foods and has quick access to route 1. OH’s Fri, Sat, & Sun.

Let’s Give Back Together…

Helping families is what I do for a living. Selling a home ranks among one of the most important experiences someone can have and it should be fun and rewarding. In that spirit, should you choose me to represent you as your Realtor the next time you’re selling a home, a donation to one of the following organizations will be made in your name upon the closing:

The Medford Family Network (MFN) is a family support and parenting education program that is available to every child and caregiver who lives or works in Medford with at least one child prenatal through age seven.

Susan G. Komen For the Cure. Simply put, the mission of Susan G. Komen for the Cure is to eradicate breast cancer by advancing research, screening, care and education. Their vision is a world without breast cancer.

Children’s Miracle Network. The Children’s Miracle Network’s goal is to help as many children as possible by raising funds and awareness for local children’s hospitals. Donations stay local so any contributions from us will go directly to Boston Children’s Hospital.

I look forward to working with you and to helping give back to a worthy cause that gives so much. I appreciate the trust that you have in me to help you navigate the nuances of successfully marketing and selling a home. This is just one of the ways that we can work together to make a difference.

Kristy B.

“Welcome to our Home” Chalkboard

Have to share because, seriously… this is so adorable and won the hearts of so many buyers at my open house. Creating a welcoming living space like this doesn’t have to be expensive, just some chalk paint and chalk. Choose a wall that’s not a focal point; but rather a hidden gem like under a staircase or, in this case, a wall in a room that can’t be seen from it’s entrance. While the idea of a charming, hand-drawn chalkboard sounds nice, let’s be honest, the kids are going to scribble all over your beautifully written words before you get your first offer! Now who’s ready to buy this home?!

 

Sample Love Letters to Buyers

Dear Buyer,

We moved here over four years ago, and are sad to leave so soon. We moved from Cambridge, worried that we would be too far from the “action” of the city out here in Medford. However, what we found was the perfect mix of a friendly neighborhood in suburbia with fast, easy access to the city. We would readily have a night out with the Red Sox or dinner in Harvard Square while enjoying the space to expand our family and host backyard bar-b-ques for our friends at home (always with plenty of on-street parking right outside the house where our friends could park for free with no permit!).

We regularly take our daughter for walks in the evenings, and have thoroughly enjoyed all the people and pets that we have met. It is definitely a dog-friendly neighborhood, but our two cats loved the free rein they had of their back garden. There are parks aplenty if you crave green space, or a place to play tennis, basketball, or softball.

One of our favorite aspects of the house is it’s incredibly close proximity to Boston Logan airport. We love our home, but we also love travel, and it is typically a 10-15 minute journey by car to pick up friends or fly off on our own adventure. There are also three different grocery stores within about one mile of the house (new Stop & Shop, Star Market, Foodmaster). One of the establishments I have most enjoyed is the spa around the corner – A Different Concept – on Central Ave. They cut my husband’s hair and massage my worries away. They are wonderful! If you have (or hope to have) children, there is an excellent daycare (First Steps Early Learning Center) a mile away on Highland Ave. We also have the best pizza (Pisa Pizza) and Chinese (Asian Taste) delivery places for miles around.

Welcome to the neighborhood – we hope you come to love it the way we do!

 

Dear Buyer,

For the last 10 years, our family has loved living in this “house on the hill” in Fulton Heights with its breathtaking views of the Boston skyline – especially dramatic in the wintertime, backyard sanctuary designed by a previous owner who was a master gardener, and the surrounding oak grove which we believe is over 100 years old. This south-facing house receives beautiful morning sun, and as the day progresses, the back and side yard are filled with gentle late afternoon sunlight. From the master bedroom windows, you can watch the moon sweeping across the sky, and may spot our two resident red-tailed hawks sailing on the warm updrafts blowing up the hill. The house is wonderfully warm on chilly winter days, especially the living room and sunroom. The professional-grade kitchen is where everyone naturally congregates during house parties. I learned to love cooking in this kitchen (which is large enough to accommodate children underfoot!) while looking out at the beautiful wooded lot next door. On warm spring, summer, and fall days, you can open the front door and back door to create a wonderful breeze that brings in fresh air. Older neighbors tell us stories of the original owner planting scores of forsythia bushes for his new bride on the hillside behind the house for a breathtaking yellow display in spring. They are still there, along with vintage white roses in front and back yard, and gorgeous perennials that bloom in rotation from May to August. Our family has raised many delicious veggies in the side yard garden plots – and we leave blueberry bushes and concord grape vines for your summer pleasure. If you love light, views, and nature as much as we do, this is the house for you!

For the first 4 years, we were a couple without kids who commuted daily to Cambridge, and enjoyed the quick transit to urban Boston activities. Then we had children and discovered the other joys of our neighborhood. Our children love our backyard, and especially enjoy climbing the hillside and rocky ledges. We also befriended many of our neighbors who also have children, and found that our little neighborhood on a cul-de-sac has a strong community spirit.

Some of our fondest memories in the neighborhood are walks to and along the nearby Fellsmere Pond, which boasts cherry blossoms is spring, ducks and geese in the summer, beautiful trees in the fall, and incredible sledding in the winter at the locally famous “Seven Bumps”. It is a pleasant stroll down to Haines Square to grab a muffin from Dempsey’s Diner, or pick up some paint and tools at Modern Hardware. If you have downtown Boston by transit in mind, it is only a 20 min walk to Malden T Station on the orange line. Families in Medford will thrill to be part of the renowned Medford Family Network – “a place to know and a place to grow” – which was vital to our growth and survival with three young boys! Arts in Medford has also taken off in the past few years with summer Circle the Square nights and Thursday evening Farmer’s Markets.

Though our personal and professional lives have led us to move, we’re really going to miss this house on the hill. We hope that you enjoy this wonderful, spacious home. It took great care of us, and we know it will take great care of you.

 

Dear Potential Home Buyer:

Nine years ago, with two very young children we decided it was time to move from Boston to a town with more of a community feel. We began our home buying journey in a time where it wasn’t quite as easy as going on Realtor.com to see every house on the market. After having a real estate agent show us several homes around surrounding towns, we couldn’t seem to find a place that had everything we were looking for. Having grown up in Medford, I decided to drive around the area to find potential neighborhoods where a house may come on the market and by chance saw the For Sale sign on the front lawn at ** ********* **. It was fate.

As soon as we stepped inside, we knew our search was over. This home had everything we were looking for: the character and small touches missing in many younger homes, the perfect rooms for our kids, a great neighborhood, proximity to the city, and the easiest access to a major highway you’ll ever find.

It has been hard for us to start thinking about selling this beautiful home. After living here for nine years we have a lot of wonderful memories. We’ve had so many family BBQs, Halloween parties and hosted weekly viewing parties for Patriots games. In the back yard, we watched our kids learn to throw a football, do their first cartwheels and chase their puppies. We love to mountain bike and hike and having the Fells Reservation just across the highway has been fantastic.

Over the years Medford has changed, and only for the better. The city has undergone significant development. Medford square is a great location for dining. Don’t miss out on an Italian sub from Bob’s or a burrito at Tenoch. Medford schools have been rebuilt and Medford youth sports programs are great. The Medford Family Network is also great resource to new parents and we made lifelong friends through our involvement.

We’ve maintained the house well and made small updates over time. It has always been important to us to keep the property’s original character. We fenced in our yard, updated our bathrooms and made lighting and electrical changes. Our home has never given us any problems. During major storms, even when 100 inches of snow fell last winter, we never lost power. We’d happily provide a list of all the service providers we have used in the past including contractors, electricians, landscapers, painters, plumbers and heating specialists.

I no longer work in the city and my commute has changed and so it is time for a new family to enjoy this special house. Warm wishes to you and your family as your new journey begins.

 

Dear Buyer,

Here’s why we’ve loved living here!

The Location:

This neighborhood is full of great people and is so convenient! We are steps to coffee shops, great restaurants, a (truly amazing) spa, a friendly hardware store, and many other shops. We frequently walk to the local parks, Medford Square and the Medford Library. Getting to the T is easy: we walk, ride a bike, or take the bus to the orange line (Malden Center or Wellington). When we drive, we are in Boston in 5 mins on 93.

We were initially concerned about the parking lot behind the house, but quickly learned that it is quiet (mostly people grabbing coffee) and our back yard is private because we don’t have neighbors behind us!

The Rooms:

We love coming home to the warm and welcoming entryway, with all the craftsman woodwork. It has been so convenient to have a spacious area for coats, shoes and bags. The side entrance has proved to be a fast way for getting directly from the car into the house (especially for unloading groceries), and it provides additional storage space.

We spend the most time in our living room: it is large but cozy and has plenty of room for our two big sofas and bookshelves. We love the beam ceiling, berber carpet and big radiator. It keeps the room very warm in the winter.

The kitchen is our favorite room of the home. It is great for entertaining, with the open plan to the dining room. We designed the layout for optimum cooking convenience; with the positioning of the stove, sink and island in a triangle. My favorite features are: 1) the farmers sink; 2) the cabinets, which are huge and soft-closing; and 3) the stainless steel dishwasher, which has an efficient eco wash system.

Bonus Points:

-In the upstairs hallway there is a large linen closet with original built-in drawers.

-The basement serves as a laundry room, man cave, and play room—and we still has room for storage.

-The back yard is a little urban oasis: we have summer bbq parties and there is enough grass for playing ball games and gardening.

-It’s a bonus to have a 2-car driveway, but we have never had problems with multiple guests finding on-street parking.

Quirks:

-The 1930s antique garage was something we thought we would tear down when we moved here. But after much deliberation, we decided against it. We are happy with our decision, as it is great for outdoor storage and serves as an outdoor workshop.

-The grey cement block of steps attached to the back of the house is a remnant of the original home design. When the home was built by its original owner in 1910, the kitchen had a back entrance (it was removed in the 60s). The block could be removed, but we kept it because it’s a quirky place to sit and/or use for planters.

 

 

Dear buyers,

My search for a home in Boston was a difficult one after living on a farm in western Connecticut. As soon as found this home, I knew my search was over. Despite being close to the city of Boston, it felt like country. I loved how set back and pretty was. I loved that there were no curbs on the street and I loved the privacy of the backyard, especially for my dogs.

This house has been the family “party house” for the past seven years. I’ve been able to host sit down family meals for 30 people. The cook (my brother) was the center of attention with the island stove and hors d’oeuvres on the counter. There was always plenty of room for everyone in the living room and den or out on the deck until called to eat. The driveway can hold six cars, maybe another – great for big family parties.

The location has been great for getting almost anywhere – close to 93 and 128.  It’s been lovely being so close to Lake Quannapowitt, downtown Stoneham and Redstone shopping plaza.  So nice.  I will miss it.

I hope that you will be as happy here as I have been!

 

Dear Buyer,

We moved into this house as newlyweds in 2001, and it has been a wonderful home for us. When we first walked in, we fell in love with the natural light, the beautiful old light fixtures and woodwork, and lovely backyard.

Built in 1897 by Isaac W. Brown, a rubber worker, this house was passed down through the Brown family until we bought it. We have always appreciated its history and worked hard to restore and maintain the period detail as much as possible.

This house is fantastic for entertaining large groups and for sharing Sunday morning pancakes around the kitchen table. There are cozy places to sit and read a book, and a living room with plenty of space – it’s even made a great dance floor! The garden beds have great rich soil (we’ve grown amazing tomatoes here), and the 100+ year-old trees in backyard are beautiful in every season.

This home has seen birthday parties and cook-outs, christening parties and baby showers, play dates and book club gatherings, and many Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. Our friends and family tell us that they always felt welcome and at home here, and we love how warm and comfortable the house feels to everyone who enters it.

In 2004, we brought our first baby home to a warm welcome (and even signs on our front door) from our neighbors, and four years later, his little sister. As our families live outside Massachusetts, our neighbors really became our family. Our kids play together, we help each other shovel out after storms and we trick-or-treat together. We will miss our neighbors the most when we move.

We sincerely hope the next owners of this home find as much joy in it as we have.

 

Dear Buyer,

The first thing that drew us to this home was the peaceful, quiet street on which it sits, with only three other homes on it.  Although we are right off the Fellsway, and thus have easy access to a main thoroughfare of Medford, our street itself is relatively secluded.  Our children have had free reign on our street, where the only traffic are the cars belonging to our home and the other two homes on the street.

This makes up for the relatively small yard, especially when the neighbor children come out to play as well.  We have enjoyed entertaining groups on our large second-story deck, which is shaded from the afternoon sun by the house, making it very pleasant for an evening barbecue.  Our neighbors have been absolutely wonderful, whether it be bringing in our mail when we are out of town, helping with yard work or bringing goodies over.  We will be sad to leave them.  With such a small street, we have gotten to know them and have thoroughly enjoyed their company.

Once inside the home, we were immediately taken by the warm wood trim that exists throughout the home.  No white painted cheap fiberboard window trim here.  We have love the ample room in the home, with three immaculate stories, four bedrooms and huge windows throughout.  When we moved in, the windows, rain gutters and oil burner were woefully outmoded and worn out.  We replaced the old windows with hyper-efficient triple-paned NewPro windows, replaced the oil burner with a brand new natural gas furnace and replaced the old wooden rain gutters with new seamless aluminum gutters.  These upgrades, combined with new ceiling fans throughout, brought the home to a whole new level of energy efficiency and comfort.  The zoned heating allows us to heat either the whole house, or only the parts of the house that we want heated, saving us quite a bit of money in the winter, and it is literally shocking what a difference triple paned windows make in the summer.   People viewing the home will immediately notice that we have ample parking for four vehicles in our driveway.  In a place as crowded as the Boston area, where parking is a premium, we have loved the fact that our guests never have to park on the street, but can instead pull into our driveway.

We will definitely miss our home, but we wish the new owners as much happiness here as we have had.

Epoxy Magic

Since starting my before/after posts I’ve had so many questions about epoxy paint on tile. Here’s why it works and how it’s magic. Painting or reglazing existing tile is way more affordable than replacing it and good luck trying to find a contractor to re-tile (if you’re out there… call meeeee). Use epoxy paint if your pepto-bismol pink tile is giving you a stomach ace; if your tub and tile are in good condition, but need an aesthetic makeover; if you can’t yet afford the bathroom or kitchen of your dreams or, and especially, if you’re looking for a quick and inexpensive update to sell your home.

Epoxy paint compared to regular old paint is harder, lasts longer and is weather resistant. Standard paints are easier to apply
so you may be temped to save money and skip epoxy; don’t.  The most common room to apply it in is the bathroom where water and steam live. Even if you are preparing to sell, it’s a complete waste of time and money. The result of epoxy paint is magic. An instant update. The transformation is so bright and clean you may need to re-accessorize and why not with all the extra money you’ll have!

Always call a professional, but if the budget or job is small (like a kitchen sink or a small patch in a tub) a DIY is totally doable.  Most pre packaged kits are available at any local hardware store. Be prepared for the amount of prep work involved and carefully clean grout. If selling a home, I always recommend white or something light but there are lots of colors to have fun with.

Here is a before/after kitchen with epoxy paint. Share some of your favorite reglazing projects!

 

Epoxy Paint

EPOXY An adhesive, plastic, paint, or other material made from a class of synthetic thermosetting polymers containing epoxide groups. Epoxy paint is supplied in two liquid components — the epoxy resin and a hardener — which must be mixed together immediately before application. Once applied, epoxies are tougher and more abrasion-resistant than ordinary house paints. Because of their chemical-resistant properties, epoxy paints are often used in industrial facilities, but they also fill some very practical needs in the home.

IN OTHER WORDS: A magical paint or reglazing process that easily and inexpensively updates porcelain, ceramic and fiberglass.

EXAMPLES AS IT RELATES TO REAL ESTATE:
Bathroom tub seen better days?
Pepto-bismol pink tile giving you a stomach ache?
Why let buyers think these updates will cost waaaaaay more than they actually will when you can paint them?
The result is an updated space that looks clean and bright.