Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA
Leading Edge Real Estate | 781-944-6060 | [email protected]


Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA on 5/16/2019

Privacy fencing is a great way to increase your home value while improving the quality of life you live in your home at the same time. There are many solutions for you to consider. Think about your aesthetic preferences, whether or not youíre trying to block noise in addition to controlling your view and what works best with the contouring of your yard. Think about the flow between your backyard and front yard and how your home blends with the street as a whole. We all want to enjoy our neighbors, but we need to protect our home space as well.

Horizontal or Vertical Boards ó Does a classic vertically installed fence fit best with your yard or do you like the modern aesthetic of horizontal boards? With either selection, you can install a fence with tight boards that completely block out the view or try peekaboo fencing for privacy that allows more light into your yard. Consider natural cedar, pine or a composite. Select a prefab white fencing option to minimize repainting or a natural wood that self-protects from environmental wear for minimal ongoing maintenance. 

Trellis and Vines ó Trellis is a very affordable fencing option. To create more seclusion with your privacy fence train a vine to grow up and through the lattice. Though annual vines will grow fast and create coverage quickly, you won't have coverage year-round. Perennial vines will take longer to establish but will give your yard excellent coverage all year. You can select from flowering vines like Morning Glory (annual), Trumpet (perennial), Wisteria (perennial) or Climbing Hydrangea (perennial). Evergreen plants are probably the best solution for full and consistent coverage. Try an English ivy or creeping fig for your evergreen selection.

Hedge Wall ó For another green solution consider growing a hedge wall. There are many easy to care for and fast-growing hedge plants you can contemplate. Boxwood varieties grow upwards of 20 feet tall to maintain and shape with shearing to fit the style of your yard. The American Arborvitae grows thick and tall making it a good option for visual appeal and noise screening. Also, consider a bamboo wall for privacy. No matter where you live, you can acquire a bamboo type that works for your region and soil. Select the right variety, a clumping, non-invasive bamboo for best results and enjoy a beautiful noise canceling and private solution for your yard. 

 Wherever your home is there is a privacy fencing solution for you. Talk with your real estate agent and your local hardware professional about the best options for your neighborhood, yard terrain, and home aesthetic to create a beautiful privacy fence that adds value to your life and home.




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Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA on 5/9/2019

Many homeowners have a difficult relationship with their homeowners association. On the one hand, the HOA helps your community stay safe, clean, and makes it a desirable place to live which improves the property value of your home. But, on the other hand, homeowners associations can be a problem if you want to make a change to your property that they disagree with.

 In this article, weíll talk about some common issues that homeowners face in their dealings with homeowners associations and give you tips on how to handle them so that youíll have the best possible outcome.

 Study the rules carefully

It may seem like a nuisance, but your best defense when dealing with the homeowners association is to understand whatís expected of you. Not only will it help you stay on good terms with the HOA, but it will also make it easier to understand what your options are.

Itís a good idea to understand these rules and bylaws before you ever move into the neighborhood, but itís never too late to learn them. It might help you later on down the road should you want to paint your house or build a new structure in your yard.

Introduce yourself to the members

Itís best to get off on the right foot with the other members of your homeowners association. You donít want your first meeting to be a complaint against you, nor do you want to introduce yourself to someone only to make a complaint against someone else.

It will also give you a chance to ask questions about the community and to get an understanding of how easy or difficult it is to deal with the regulations of the homeowners association.

Donít assume ill-will

If you find that a complaint has been raised against you, donít act immediately. Take some time to compose your response and be sure to acknowledge the complaint. Odds are that the other members of the HOA arenít there just to give you a hard time.

Choose your battles

There are some things worth fighting for when it comes to your home. However, you donít want to be repeatedly challenging the HOA on small issues. Stick to the rules on the things that arenít hugely important, that way other members wonít come to expect issues from you.

Follow protocol

When youíre required to get permission from the board before making a change to your property, be sure you follow the steps laid out in your agreement. Doing so will avoid any unnecessary conflict.

Pay all dues and fines on time

Even if you are in the middle of a disagreement with the HOA, itís better to continue paying your dues and fines that to leave them outstanding. If you donít pay, you risk further penalty, including fees.

Plan ahead if you want to change the rules

If youíre dissatisfied with some or man of the rules of the homeowners association, odds are youíre not alone. First, start by talking with other neighborhood members. If they have similar views on the rules in question, you can bring them up collectively at the next meeting.

Your second option would be to run for the board and try to enact the changes yourself. However, you should never seek a position out of spite or anger. Only volunteer your time and effort if you want to lend a hand in your community and make life better for all of the inhabitants.

 




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Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA on 5/2/2019

Just take your time and imagine living in this beautifully designed home that offers a Chelmsford lifestyle like no other! A $300K artful restoration transformed this c 1872 Colonial into the perfect blend of character and today's modern conveniences. The 1st floor offers perfection in terms of ease and space for dinner parties or holiday gatherings with a grand living room and an elegant formal dining room. The spacious kitchen is sure to please with expansive granite counters, stainless steel appliances, breakfast bar, and mudroom. Four bedrooms include a grand Master en suite, complete with a beautiful spa bath featuring an expansive walk-in shower. To top it off a second-floor laundry room and huge walk-in closet. The homes outdoor space features a rolling level lawn, corner lot, raised patio, landscaped fenced yard; a 2-car garage! It is located in walking distance to Varney Playground, Freeman Lake, the MacKay Library and the North Chelmsford Cultural Center.

More Info on this Property | New Listing Alerts





Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA on 5/2/2019

If you want to streamline your home search, there is no need to worry. In fact, there are several things you can do to quickly and effortlessly discover a great house at a budget-friendly price.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you streamline your search for your ideal house.

1. Create Homebuying Criteria

Homebuying criteria may help you save time as you embark on a quest to find your dream home. Because if you enter the housing market with homebuying criteria in hand, you'll know what you want to discover in your ideal residence.

To create homebuying criteria, think about your home must-haves and wants. Then, you can search for houses based on your homebuying criteria and move one step closer to finding a residence that you can enjoy for years to come.

Of course, it is important to remain flexible as you pursue your dream house too. And if necessary, you should be ready to adjust your homebuying criteria as your home search progresses.

2. Hone Your Home Search to Preferred Cities and Towns

You know you want to buy a house, but you still have no idea where you want to settle down. If you make a list of preferred cities and towns, however, you may be able to accelerate your home search.

Consider your short- and long-term aspirations as you prepare a list of preferred cities and towns. For instance, if your long-term goal is to work in the city, you may want to focus on houses in or near the city itself. On the other hand, if you want to own lots of land in a small town, you may want to consider small town residences.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

Searching for a home on your own may prove to be time-consuming. Fortunately, real estate agents are homebuying experts who are happy to help you simplify your house search.

By hiring a real estate agent, you can receive comprehensive assistance throughout the property buying journey. A real estate agent will teach you about the housing market and respond to your homebuying concerns and queries. Plus, he or she will offer recommendations and suggestions to help you make an informed home purchase.

In addition, a real estate agent is ready to assist you in a number of ways. He or she will set up home showings, keep you up to date about new houses that become available in your preferred cities and towns and help you submit a competitive offer to purchase your dream home. Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will do whatever it takes to help you acquire a terrific residence at an affordable price.

As you get set to embark on a home search, it generally is a good idea to enter the housing market as a prepared property buyer. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can conduct an in-depth home search without delay. And as a result, you can use these tips to discover your dream house in no time at all.





Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA on 4/25/2019

Problems with the soil are one of the main reasons that the vegetables or fruits do not yield as expected. Gardeners with inadequate knowledge about the land then apply ineffective means to solve these soil issues. These methods, however, do not produce any tangible results. Here are some common soil issues that many gardening enthusiasts face as well as how to go about correcting them:

1. Inadequate organic matter. When a piece of land has been raising crops for long without manure, the soilís natural strength will decline. This loss of nutrients will manifest in various ways like poor water holding capacity, failing crops, and minimal organic activities. You can fix low soil organic matter by adding manure to the soil. Use only fully decomposed compost to enable plants to absorb the soil nutrient fully. You can also plant cover crops. Avoid tilling wet soil and practice crop rotation.

2. Excessively Dry Soil. Dryness is typical to sandy soil. You can prevent your garden soil from drying out too quickly by adding manure. The manure will increase water retention capacity and also help the dirt to retain nutrient. You should only use fully decomposed compost. It will help improve water retention and reduce water loss by evaporation.

3. Excessively Acidic Soil. This poor soil condition usually happens when there is excessive use of nitrogen-based fertilizer, high rainfall and a vast population of evergreen trees in the area. You can fix acidic soil in your garden by adding lime in a controlled amount, depending on the type of land as well as the present pH levels. Wood ash also works to reduce soil acidity, however, in more controlled levels as too much can make the soil more basic which is also inferior. Growing acidic soil tolerant plants is also a good idea to provide natural support for the land.

4. Soil with Excess Sodium Content (Excess Salinity). Excessive salinity is typical in low lying areas close to waterfalls as well as semi-arid climates. Testing the land is the best way to confirm that the soil has excess sodium content. The best remedy is to add elemental gypsum and sulfur. The addition depends on the type of dirt and how serious the issue is. Talk to a soil expert before use.

Having good soil is a prerequisite for great gardening, or else most of your efforts will be in vain. If you are planting a garden without knowing the soil type, visit a landscape expert to help you access your garden soil and recommend professional solutions for you.




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Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA