When a client gives you the opportunity to sell a big, beautiful house in a desirable neighborhood that is only 10 years old, you cartwheel home from that listing appointment! I was VERY excited to be trusted by my clients to sell the family home they designed and built just 10 years ago. With two kids off at college and two more in high school already thinking about leaving the nest, it was time for these sellers to downsize. Always ambitious, my clients tackled another new construction project and built their second (smaller) dream home. The logistics were tricky, but in the end we were able to line things up so they sold their old house just in time to close on their new house! Congratulations to my sellers and here's to the risk always being worth the reward!
Meet Ali and Henry! I'm proud to welcome them to my "Homeowners Under 30 Club"! And they should be super proud of themselves! Buying your first home is a big deal, no matter what age you accomplish it. Doing it under 30 sets you up for great future financial security. These two had a pretty good idea about what they wanted in a home and it did not take us too long to find it. We looked in CT and in MA and found this beauty in Somers, CT! This house checked a lot of their needs and wants boxes and was conveniently located for both of their work commutes. They ended up with a pool that was definitely not on their list of "must haves" but plan to give it a try next season. For now, Ali is planning to see how tall a Christmas tree she can fit under her new cathedral ceiling. I can't wait to see what she gets! Congratulations, Ali and Henry!
Keeping your bees alive through the winter is one of the greatest challenges for us New England backyard beekeepers. One of the most important steps in fall hive management is checking (and treating) your hives for the infamous varroa mite.
Varroa destructor (Varroa mite) is an external parasitic mite that attacks and feeds on the honey bees Apis cerana and Apis mellifera. The disease caused by the mites is called varroosis. The Varroa mite can only reproduce in a honey bee colony. It attaches to the body of the bee and weakens the bee by sucking fat bodies. The species is a vector for at least five debilitating bee viruses, including RNA viruses such as the deformed wing virus (DWV). A significant mite infestation leads to the death of a honey bee colony, usually in the late autumn through early spring. The Varroa mite is the parasite with possibly the most pronounced economic impact on the beekeeping industry. Varroa is considered to be one of multiple stress factors contributing to the higher levels of bee losses around the world. (From Wikipedia)
If you find that you have a mite count in your hive that is above the acceptable threshold, you need to treat the hive and hope it's not too late for your colony. We found a high mite count in one of our hives so we decided to treat all three with oxalic acid.
What is oxalic acid? Oxalic acid is a naturally occurring acid found in plants. It became popular in Europe & Canada for treating Varroa Mites in a honey bee hive and has now been approved by the EPA to treat honey bee colonies in the United States.
To apply the oxalic acid to our bees, we use the vaporizer method. The nifty contraption I'm holding in the photo above is our vaporizer. We place some oxalic acid powder into the vaporizer, slide it in to the hive entrace, block the entrance to keep the fumes in and hook the vaporizer up to a small tractor battery. The vaporizer heats up and turns the powder to vapor which rises throughout the hive treating all the bees for mites. The gas is safe for the bees but we humans are not supposed to breathe it in, thus the respirator.
Our hives are looking pretty strong so we're hoping this helps them get through the winter. Cross your fingers for them!
A disaster supplies kit is simply a collection of basic items your household might need in the event of an emergency.
You may need to survive on your own after an emergency without the help of others.
Your emergency supply kit should have your own food, water, and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least 72 hours, according to FEMA. The idea being that local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster but they may not be able to reach everyone immediately. You can find a sample list of items on FEMA's website at: FEMA
Use this reminder to create a new supply kit or to restock a previously created one.
Meet Helen, Pat and Summer! I met Helen and Pat through our super cool mutual friends, Bill and Jen. It's turns out that when you are super cool (looking at you Bill and Jen) you surround yourself with other super cool humans. I liked Helen and Pat immediately and already feel like I've known them forever. We had a great time house shopping and I very much enjoyed helping them find a house that had the potential for a record room and an art studio. And don't forget a great yard for Summer! Their "total package" house ended up being in the last place they originally wanted to look. Goes to show you that when you are open minded and flexible, the universe will hook you up! From start to finish they bought this house in record time, only 28 days from contract to closing, making them home-buying superstars! Congratulations, Helen, Pat & Summer!
If you invite me to brunch, will I arrive early to show you how to light your fire place for the first time? The answer is yes! My former client and now friend, Amy, was planning her first ladies brunch in her new house. I was very happy not only to be invited, but to be able to help a little too. As a first time home buyer, Amy was just a little nervous to light her first fire. She promised me she would have the chimney cleaned, and I promised to show up early and give fire starting lessons. We got it going in record time and got right down to brunch business... Mimosas! The food and the company were both wonderful and I can't think of a better way to have spent my Sunday.
I LOVE little libraries and in my travels I see more and more of them popping up. For those who don't know...
What is a Little Library?
A Little Library is a “take a book, return a book” FREE book exchange. They come in many shapes and sizes, but the most common version is a small wooden box of books. Anyone may take a book or bring a book to share. Little Library book exchanges have a unique, personal touch. There is an understanding that real people are sharing their favorite books with their community.
12 Hillside Ave
Enfield, CT 06082
I am working with a buyer who is purchasing a home on Hillside Ave in Enfield. I've been to the house a few times now and noted there was a Little Library near by. I recently finished, Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan and I had an appointment for a home inspection on Hillside Ave. So guess what is now up for grabs at the Hillside Ave Little Library? The book cover and synopsis are posted below. It was a fun, quick read! I especially liked the comparisons made between "old knowledge/books" and "new knowledge/computers" and the book cover GLOWS IN THE DARK! Super fun. If you've read the book, I'd love to hear what you thought of it, please comment below. And if you want to read the book, there's a free copy up for grabs in the Little Library! There are few other good books in there too! I slipped my book right next to Stephen King's The Dead Zone, and there was a great copy of A Man Called Ove by Frederick Backmann plus quite a few kids books. If you're in the neighborhood, check this Little Library out!
The New York Times Bestseller
A Winner of the Alex Award, a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for First Fiction, named a Best Book of the Year by NPR, Los Angeles Times, and San Francisco Chronicle
The Great Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon away from life as a San Francisco web-design drone and into the aisles of Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore. But after a few days on the job, Clay discovers that the store is more curious than either its name or its gnomic owner might suggest. The customers are few, and they never seem to buy anything―instead, they "check out" large, obscure volumes from strange corners of the store. Suspicious, Clay engineers an analysis of the clientele's behavior, seeking help from his variously talented friends. But when they bring their findings to Mr. Penumbra, they discover the bookstore's secrets extend far beyond its walls. Rendered with irresistible brio and dazzling intelligence, Robin Sloan's Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore is exactly what it sounds like: an establishment you have to enter and will never want to leave.
Financing with a rehab loan made the whole process with this house a little bit tricky. I am always up for a challenge and thankfully, so was my buyer! I have never seen a client juggle so many moving parts and not drop a single ball! With a rehab loan, you have to get contractors involved and they have to meet certain qualifications and then they have to get bank approval on everything. Every step in the process has several extra steps. I know it was an extremely stressful ordeal for my client, but she tackled every obstacle gracefully. In the end, she got a STEAL on a good house in a great location and she is going to turn it into her dream house by 2020 and significantly increase it's value. I cannot wait to see the renovation process!