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

Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA on 9/28/2017

Massachusetts is a gold mine of fun and historical things to do— and during all four seasons, from the Berkshires to the arm of Massachusetts. There are things to do for families, couples, large groups, and singles. Let’s take a look at some of the best things to do in Western Massachusetts in the summer.

  1. Outdoor activities in Northern Berkshires, MA
Including whitewater rafting, zip lining, kayaking, fishing, wildlife tours, butterfly conservatory and much more. And check out the scenic railway that runs from North Adams to Adams, MA. Northern Berkshires, MA
  1. Monument Mountain in Great Barrington, MA
Hike this monumental mountain and take in views that may just take your breath away. You’ll see sights of the mountainous Berkshires and the Housatonic River Valley and make sure to explore Squaw Peak.
  1. Yankee Candle Factory in Deerfield, MA
Visit the Yankee Candle Factory and tour/shop the Bavarian village, a Christmas wonderland all year round. After you make it through the village, check out Wax Works where kids and adults can create their own candles. But most of all, take in all the scents that this flagship store has to offer. You will find seasonal scents all year round; their current scenes and you may even be in luck to find your favorite scent that is no longer sold in retail stores.
  1. Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, MA
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is a great place to visit on a hot summer day and perfect for kids and adults who love the game of basketball. Tour the museum, attend an event (on select days), and host your child’s birthday party or an event, and much more.
  1. Six Flags New England in Agawam, MA
Once known as Riverside, Six Flags New England is the largest theme park in New England. There are rides and activities for all ages and plenty of food options. If you are looking for a day full of family fun then this is the place to go. So what are you waiting for?

Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA on 8/18/2016

If you have electric heat you probably associate winter with being the time of year you spend the most on electricity. In the summer, however, you're using air conditioners and fans to keep your house cool. Plus, your refrigerator and freezer have to work harder to keep the temperature down. Home energy audits are a great way to determine how you could lower your electricity usage. And who wouldn't want to use less electricity? It saves you money on your monthly utility bill and helps the environment in the process by requiring that power plants burn less coal and natural gas.

Energy audits

There are a few ways you can get a better grasp on your electricity usage. The best way is to hire a professional who can come and assess your home to tell you exactly what can be improved. They have the knowledge and training to inspect areas of your home that might be dangerous to try to inspect yourself. Ultimately, they'll help you save in the long run so it's worth the cost. If you don't want to pay to have your home audited, you could do a DIY inspection. A great place to start is on your utility provider's website. Most providers allow you to log in and see things like your bill and usage history. You can even often view the average usage of neighboring households to give you an idea of where you stand. This is helpful because the people in your neighborhood likely have homes comparable to yours in terms of size, energy-efficiency, and climate/weather. So, if you're spending a lot more than your neighbors, it could be a sign of an issue.

Ways to save

There are hundreds of ways you can cut back on electricity in your home, some more feasible than others. Below you'll find both common and little-known methods of lowering your electricity usage in the summer months. We've separated them into two categories: temperature control and everything else. Temperature control
  • Smart tech. Turn off the AC or adjust the thermostat when you don't need it. Better yet, install a programmable thermostat so you don't have to remember to turn the temperature up before you leave for work.
  • Whole house fans. These ingenious fans suck hot air into your attic. If all your windows are open, it will draw in the cool air from outside and it's cheaper than having several fans or air conditioners running.
  • Use fans correctly. Window fans that bring in cool air are great, but having several ceiling or floor fans running when you're not in front of them are just using electricity and aren't affecting the air temperature very much.
  • Time your windows. As a rule, open windows overnight to let in air then close them in the morning. Use black-out curtains during the day as well to stop the sun from heating the inside of your home.
Everything else 
  • Power strips. Plug your electronics into power strips and turn them off when they're not in use. Many electronics continue using electricity even when they're not powered on.
  • Dishwasher. Don't run it until it's full.
  • Refrigerator/freezer. Buy a size that makes sense for your home. Having a large refrigerator or extra freezers running in the basement use a lot of extra electricity.
  • Lighting. Replace all of your lights with energy-efficient CFL or LED bulbs.
  • Clothes. Wash full loads and dry them outside on a clothesline.
  • Maintenance. Makes sure ACs, refrigerators, and washers/dryers are all cleaned, especially air vents. Replace old appliances with newer, energy-efficient models.

Tags: summer   electricity   bill   utility   save  
Categories: Uncategorized  

Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA on 6/9/2015

It is almost summertime and the living is easy. But there is some preventative work you will want to do around the house before those lazy days of summer move in. A few quick and easy tasks will have you enjoying your home all summer and for many years to come.  

  • Clean and care for deck
  • Wash all outdoor furniture
  • Clean and repair siding and look for loose pieces
  • Maintain yard growth by trimming the hedges, weeding and mulching
  • Test and lubricate garage door
  • Remove rust on railings and repaint if necessary
  • Check skylights for leaks
  • Change filters in furnace and air conditioners
  • Test carbon monoxide and smoke detectors
What are some of your favorite things to do to get your home ready for summer?

Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA