Pat Baker - REALTY EXECUTIVES Boston West



Posted by Pat Baker on 8/18/2017

When people hear the term "modular" a few things come to mind. Standardized, easy to assemble, minimalist, and modern. When you hear the words "modular furniture" there's probably only one thing that comes to mind: Ikea. There are, however, a wide selection of stores (online and brick & mortar) that offer furniture to fit your minimalist lifestyle.

Reasons to go modular

Form follows function. This statement should be as true in the world of decorating as it is throughout the sciences. However, many times we buy items that are large and bulky; mistaking quantity for quality. In the world of modular furniture, form is everything. Here are some reasons you may want to start buying minimal furniture:
  • If you move often. Do you relocate for work every few years? Are you a student or young professional who does a lot of jumping around apartments? In a workforce that is increasingly freelance and online in nature, there are fewer bindings holding us back from moving.
  • If you like low-maintenance. Modular furniture is perfect the the person who likes to set something up easily out of the box. You won't have to worry about complicated maintenance or difficulty finding parts because modular furniture tends to be highly standardized.
  • If you're a space-saver. Are you the type to try to take advantage of every inch of free space in your home? Alternatively, do you like to give your home a spacious atmosphere through smart decorating? Modular furniture is intelligently designed to take advantage of space. Modular furniture pieces like sofas are often able to be reconfigured or rearranged in different pieces so you can place them in corners or sparsely around the room to open up space. Similarly, they often contain interior storage space for things like blankets and pillows.
  • If you have a refined taste for space. Modular furniture is at the cutting edge of home technology. Therefore it often boasts visually-appealing, minimalist form and modern color schemes. Like any industry, style varies between makers. But generally modular furniture companies tend to stay current with trends.

The biggest names, the best prices

Since modular furniture is an up-and-coming industry, there are a number of stores to choose from, some even with brick & mortal locations. Here are some of our favorites.
ikea
Not much needs to be said about IKEA. They started with one man in Sweden and now have locations in over 40 countries. IKEA is the standard by which all other modern furniture stores are weighed against.
vitsoe
Vitsoe keeps it simple with three basic modular "systems." Chairs, tables, and shelves. One of each system could easily fill a room. Their designs are minimalist and space-saving, which is evident by the "nesting" tables which fit into one another.
way basics
If you're looking for simple, lightweight and affordable storage and shelving, Way Basics is where you should start your search. They specialize in storage cubes and they take the humanitarian and environmentalist approach to doing business.
urban outfitters
They may seem like a strange addition to this list, but Urban Outfitters--the paragon of urban hipsterdom--has a surprisingly great selection of modular furniture items in their online shop. They do an excellent job of fusing vintage style with modern function.  





Posted by Pat Baker on 8/11/2017

In a world where we do much of our socializing online and can talk to people around the world in an instant it has become less incentivized to have a relationship with your neighbors. However, there are man benefits to having a tight-knit neighborhood that are sadly being forgotten. Some people are private by nature and like to keep to themselves, which is certainly okay. Others like to be involved members of their communities, getting to know the people who live around them and taking an interest in their well-being. Have you ever wished that your neighborhood had more things for your kids to do? Or maybe that you had a few friends next door to have cookouts with in the summer time? In this article we'll talk about the many ways you can build a community in your neighborhood to get your friends and neighbors more involved.

Start a community garden

Is there a lot or patch on land in your neighborhood that is going unused? A great project to start that can benefit the neighborhood is to create a community garden. Gardening with others is a rewarding activity. You'll be busy working so you won't have to worry about awkward silences, and you will all share in the great rewards of seeing your creation grow. Here's how to start:
  • Get permission for using the land, unless you own it
  • Pass out flyers and post on Facebook to the people in your neighborhood to let them know about it.
  • Add on the flyer that it would be appreciated if people brought some tools and supplies along which you can also list on the flyer
  • Have a "breaking soil" day when your neighborhood comes out to commence work in the garden
  • Before long, word of mouth and curious passersby will make your garden a popular place to hang out in the neighborhood

Host an outdoor movie night

It's easier than ever to screen a movie outside. All you need is a laptop, some decent speakers, a projector, and a white sheet to hang against a wall. Just like with the garden, pass out flyers. And, be sure to choose a kid-friendly movie that people can bring the family to.

Start a neighborhood book club and book swap

Books are great icebreakers. You won't have to worry about having nothing to talk about because you'll have all the material from the books to discuss. Once you get a few people in the neighborhood to join the club, you might think about creating a neighborhood book swap. Take an outdoor cabinet and put it on your front lawn with a sign says "Take a book, leave a book." Then get some of your neighbors to join in as well.

Spend time outside and go for neighborhood walks

Just by spending more time in the front yard and taking nightly walks you'd be surprised at home many new members of your neighborhood you'll meet. Instead of hiding your benches in the backyard, put them in the front and remember to say "Hello!" to your neighbors when they pass by.  





Posted by Pat Baker on 8/4/2017

The realization that a family dog or cat has gone missing can be a scary, if not panic-inducing moment. While some cats seem able to fend for themselves in the outside world, if they're gone for more than a day, it's only natural to assume the worst. It goes without saying that cats kept indoors stand the best chance of staying safe and living a long life. However, many cats are determined to explore the outside world regardless of your good intentions, and trying to prevent them from doing so may ultimately be an exercise in futility. To further complicate matters, many cats and dogs are quite resourceful when it comes to spotting and taking advantage of open doors and unlocked backyard gates.

Once they're outside, cats can easily jump over fences, and dogs -- especially puppies -- have a knack for finding and escaping through small openings in the fence (often at the bottom) that you may not have noticed. There are a lot of different possible causes for the disappearance of a pet, but the sense of loss families experience when a beloved pet doesn't return is universal. Since prevention only goes so far with adventurous cats and dogs, it can also be helpful to have a quick response plan ready. Making sure your pet is either micro-chipped or wearing a collar with up-to-date ID tags can increase your chances of getting a lost pet returned to you quickly.

One vital resource to be aware of and connected with is neighborhood social media sites. By finding out if there are any active ones in your area, you can be in a better position to quickly alert your neighbors, in the event your pet suddenly disappears. Since many people are pet owners, they'll be very sympathetic and responsive to an online post of a missing dog or cat. The bottom line is this: Your prospects of a speedy reunion will often improve in direct proportion to how many neighbors know about your missing animal friend and how to contact you.

There's also the relatively old-fashioned, but often effective method of printing out and posting "lost pet" flyers. In addition to posting them in various locations, such as dog parks, neighborhood stores, and pet-oriented businesses, you can also hand them out to neighbors you see when conducting your initial search. For maximum effectiveness, the flyer should say "Lost Cat" or "Lost Dog" at the top of the flyer, and include a good photo of your pet, as well as your phone number and information about when and where they were last seen. Other features, such as breed, color, markings, age, weight, gender, your pet's name, and any unique characteristics should also be included in the flyer to help neighbors identify your pet. Additional tactics and tools for recovering a lost pet are also available through the ASPCA.





Posted by Pat Baker on 7/28/2017

Many home sellers face a dilemma. In most instances, it is important to set a competitive price for your property to stir up plenty of interest in it. Conversely, it is essential to explore ways to maximize the value of your residence.

For home sellers, establishing the right price for your house is key. By doing so, you can set a price for your home that meets your needs as well as homebuyers'.

What does it take to establish the right price for your residence? Here are three tips to ensure home sellers are equipped to do just that.

1. Study the Housing Market Closely

The housing market fluctuates constantly. As such, what your home was worth yesterday may not be what it is worth today.

If you study the housing market closely, you can price your residence based on the current real estate sector's conditions. Thus, you'll be better equipped than other home sellers to garner attention from homebuyers and accelerate the home selling process.

Examine the prices of comparable houses in your area, along with the prices of recently sold houses similar to your own. This will make it easy for you to establish "fair market value" for your property and price it accordingly.

Also, don't forget to conduct a home appraisal before you add your home to the real estate market. With a home appraisal, you'll be able to receive comprehensive insights into your home's condition and complete home repairs to boost its value.

2. Set Home Selling Goals

Do you want to sell your house as quickly as possible? Or are you looking to optimize the value of your home, regardless of how long it remains on the real estate market?

Set home selling goals prior to adding your house to the real estate market, and you can establish a fair price for your residence.

For example, if you want to sell your house so you can relocate quickly, you may want to price your residence competitively. On the other hand, if you can afford to be patient, you can always wait out a buyer's market to maximize the value of your residence.

3. Hire an Experienced Real Estate Agent

Your real estate agent will play a key role in your ability to sell your house and get the best price for it. And if you employ an experienced real estate agent, you should have no trouble accomplishing your home selling goals.

With an experienced real estate agent at your disposal, you can receive extensive support throughout the home selling process. This real estate professional will offer expert tips and advice to help you get your property ready for the real estate market. In addition, he or she can offer guidance about how to price your home competitively, whether to accept or reject a homebuyer's offer and more.

Collaborate with an experienced real estate agent, and ultimately, you can simplify the process of selling your home.




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Posted by Pat Baker on 7/21/2017

There’s a certain recipe for successful home lighting. Lighting can make a room feel smaller or larger. There should be a mix and match of about 4 layers of lighting throughout the house. These layers should be:

  • Ambient light
  • Task lighting
  • Accent lights
  • Decorative lights


These 4 layers of lighting are perfect to mix and match for a well lit room. Ambient lighting includes natural light sources like windows, pendant lighting and overhead light fixtures. Task lighting includes under-counter lighting, desk lamps and reading lamps. Accent lights include recessed lighting and adjustable lighting. These lights will highlight certain areas of a room. Decorative lighting includes chandeliers and other types of ornamental lighting. After you have your layers set up, you’ll want to use your lighting to the advantage of your home’s decor.   


Bring The Drama To A Room


You can highlight anything you wish in a room using the right kind of lighting. It can be a fireplace or a painting or a ceiling. Use a soft spotlight to highlight a painting. Uplighting adds a softer effect to the scheme of a room. You can create this effect with wall mounted sconces or rope lights. You’ll see quite a warm glow.  


Dimmers Are Your Friend


Installing dimmer switches on your light fixtures can help to save energy and will allow you to bring down rather bright ambient lighting or help you to create a different kind of lighting scheme with the flip of a switch. As a plus, a dimmer will extend the life of your light bulbs and will maximize the time you need to change lightbulbs that require a ladder to reach. 


Don’t Put All Of Your Lights In One Place


Don’t just stick one or two bright lighting fixtures in a room and say that it’s all set. You’ll get more shadows and glare than would be desirable. This is where our blend of lighting recipe comes into play. Using that 4 step-formula will help you to spread your lighting out accordingly. This way no type of lighting will be overwhelming. 


Look Outside


Remember to use the daylight. Natural daylight is the best type of lighting. It brings in fresh color and complements any landscape. You can add natural light to your home through installing skylights, widening windows or thinking about how to redress the windows that you already have.


Choose Quality Fixtures


High quality light fixtures are better all around. They’re clearer and the fixture will be more attuned to your home’s style. When choosing lighting make sure that you see if the shade covers any part of the light, is made of good materials and that the connections are sound. 


When it comes to creating a well-lit home, you need to look everywhere from the windows to the ceilings. You want to be sure that your lighting is set up to be energy efficient and practical. Consider the many different kinds of lighting that are available and plan each room to ensure that you’ll have all the light that you need.  

      

   







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