Wonderful comments from our client Denice

57 Wachusett 150x150 Wonderful comments from our client DeniceWe are grateful for wonderful sellers like our client Denice.  She wrote the following:

Thanks so much for the incredible job you’ve done! You have exceeded my expectations by leaps and bounds.

Your work has reassured me that exceptional Real Estate agents certainly earn their piece of the finished product. Finding the right ones are key, so I will always touch base with the two of you before I tackle the next Real Estate venture.

Honestly, I would never change a moment of this process. You have made miracles happen under the gun and never let me know just how much I stressed you out.

Thank you again!


If you’re thinking about buying or selling a home, or know someone who is, we’d love to speak with you!

- Ellen and Janis

Ask Ellen and Janis: Why Buy Energy Efficient Construction?

Solar Array photo credit NAIT Ask Ellen and Janis: Why Buy Energy Efficient Construction?

photo credit NAIT

Last week’s cold weather snap was a not so gentile reminder that New England winters can be bone-chilling and long. While we love the change of seasons, severe winter weather has implications for our heating budget and the fragile environment. In the last few years, buyers have expressed more interest than ever in reducing heating costs and decreasing the size of their carbon footprints. While the Boston real estate market has been strong, there is very little “new construction”, and the new construction that does exist is not necessarily “green” or “energy efficient”.

In collaboration with the City of Boston several leading developers launched energy efficient projects that feature smart sustainable design. These cutting-edge properties are super-insulated and feature air tight construction.  What does this mean for home buyers? It means higher R-values for the cold New England winters and the hot summer months. These homes are designed to keep you warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer – you will be able to maintain an optimal indoor temperature – without relying on large mechanical heating and cooling systems or fossil fuels.

55 Marcella St 150x150 Ask Ellen and Janis: Why Buy Energy Efficient Construction?

55 Marcella St, Roxbury, MA

These homes use state-of-the-art energy efficient building materials such as ductless mini split air conditioning and heating systems, and high performance triple glazed windows that provide fabulous visual appeal with great insulation against the winter’s cold harsh winds. Ductless heating and air conditioning systems avoid energy losses that are prevalent in traditional systems. High efficiency, Energy Star appliances cut down on the long term operational costs while helping to reduce the carbon footprint and greenhouse gas effects on the environment.

These smartly designed homes produce much of the energy they consume. Solar panels harness the sun’s renewable energy and use it to heat the domestic hot water and capture the sun’s energy to produce electricity.  These homes are designed to produce more electricity than they consume and the surplus will be sold back to the grid. A smart way to live!

ExtforWeb1 150x150 Ask Ellen and Janis: Why Buy Energy Efficient Construction?

228 Highland Ave, Roxbury

EXTERIOR1 150x150 Ask Ellen and Janis: Why Buy Energy Efficient Construction?

66 Catherine St, Jamaica Plain

We have been involved in sales and marketing of several energy-positive homes, and are becoming the experts on this type of construction. If you are interested in learning more about smart energy efficient homes or would like to see JP’s first energy positive home, we’d be happy to schedule a private showing. Smart living is green living!


Ellen and Janis

Ask Ellen and Janis: What happens at a home inspection?

7932506788 68b31b00f5 z 150x150 Ask Ellen and Janis: What happens at a home inspection? What happens at a home inspection??  What all buyers and sellers want to know.

Having a home inspection is a very important part of the home buying process. For some buyers this may be the first time you are going to own a home and the working mechanics of it are new to you. Thus a good home inspector (and if you are our buyer we can recommend several good ones to you) will reveal not only things that are wrong or need attention but he or she will also explain to you how certain things work: ie., the hot water heater, the main water shut-off, the heating system, etc. This information is extremely valuable. And, if anything does come up on an inspection as your buyer agent(s) we will advise you on how to navigate through the list and what things to ask the seller to repair and what things to ask the seller to provide a credit for you. You should expect to pay someplace in the range of $400 – $700 for a good home inspection, complete with a report and photos.

If you are selling a home and we represent you on the sale, that includes us attending the home inspection on your behalf. We listen, observe, and take copious notes from what the inspector says out loud. We won’t know exactly what the buyer will be asking you for until it is given to us formally in writing within the inspection time period allowable as written on the offer.   The inspection typically takes 2-3 hours depending on the size of your home. And, if you own a condo, the inspector will be inspecting the common area items as well including but not limited to: the roof, foundation, exterior, porches/decks, retaining walls, etc. If you are thinking about selling we can help you to showcase your home in the best light and advise you on what’s best to do as it relates to work on the property ahead of having your home inspected by a buyer.

Contact us if you have questions regarding home inspections or for that matter anything real estate related and we’ll be happy to answer them.

photo credit: stockmonkeys


Help Make a Child’s Holiday Wish Come True!

Screen Shot 2013 12 10 at 9.27.29 AM 300x93 Help Make a Childs Holiday Wish Come True! Once again, we are pleased to be the toy captains for the Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage office in Jamaica Plain. We are partnering with Bernie & Phyl’s Furniture to collect toys as part of The Home for Little Wanderers’ Big Wishes Gift Drive. Big Wishes is one of the Boston area’s oldest and largest toy drives, supporting children and families who are living in at-risk circumstances and are served by The Home’s programs across Eastern Massachusetts.

We encourage friends, clients, & neighbors throughout the community to drop off new, unwrapped toys at the Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage office located at 713 Centre St. and any Bernie & Phyl’s store in Massachusetts. The Coldwell Banker offices are accepting donations now through 12:00 noon Wednesday, December 18, 2013.

bears 150x150 Help Make a Childs Holiday Wish Come True! The Home needs gifts for children ranging in age from birth to 22-years, with an urgent need for gifts for the 14- to 18-year-old teenagers in its care. To help meet the challenge of providing suitable holiday gifts for the teens that The Home serves, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage also welcomes donations of gift cards. Some suggested places for purchasing gift cards are music stores and clothing outlets such as Target, Marshalls, T.J. Maxx, or Walmart, and online retailers for personal care items, electronics and sporting goods.

To learn more about ways to help The Home this holiday season, including how you can pledge a gift from a child’s personal wish list or shop from a general list and have the gift delivered free of charge directly to The Home’s Toy Room, visit www.thehome.org/bigwishes.

Thank you & “Big Wishes” for you and your family during the holiday season!

Ellen And Janis

Happy Thanksgivukkah!

ht asher weintraub menurkey ll 131115 16x9 6081 245x300 Happy Thanksgivukkah! Thanksgiving and Hanukkah share a focus on gratefulness, feasting and an air of celebration. This year the first full day of Hanukkak falls on Thanksgiving day providing each of us with an opportunity to reflect and to be grateful. The two holidays haven’t coincided since 1888, and by some calculations, won’t happen for another 78,000 years.

Rabbi Tzvi Freeman recently wrote on the website Chabad.org: Thanksgiving is “a narrative about an arduous journey to escape religious persecution for freedom in a new land, the establishment of a democratic charter and the sense of Divine providence that carried those refugees through their plight.”

“That’s Chanukah, as well,” Freeman continued. “A narrative deeply embedded in the collective Jewish psyche of how we fought back against religious oppression in our own land, earned our freedom and thanked G‑d for the miracles.” This rare convergence has inspired many in our community to incorporate elements on Hanukkah into their Thanksgiving menus. Some people are calling the holiday “Thanksgivukkah.”

Whether you celebrate Thanksgiving, Hanukkah or another tradition, this week provides each of us with the time to reflect on the past year, and to be grateful for the many people and events that continue to come into our lives.

Ask Ellen and Janis: Should I have my home staged?

LRformls 150x150 Ask Ellen and Janis: Should I have my home staged? What is staging and should I have my home staged?

Staging a home is a real estate term for having everything in your home look “sell ready”.  What does sell ready mean? It means that every room will look a certain way and will maximize the value of your home – uncluttered, furniture placed so that the flow of traffic through the house makes sense, chairs & couches arranged so that they suggest social or ideal family living spaces. Artwork and accessories added or placed tastefully for the addition of color or interest.

You could have your home professionally staged. This is when a professional looks at your home and the various rooms and brings in furniture, artwork, and all of the accessories. They place the furniture where it should go and after your home is under agreement they will pick up their furniture and all that they brought in. They typically charge a fee which includes: the design, delivery, setup, & removal, based on a 3 month period.  We have several good stagers we work with on a regular basis and are happy to refer them, meet with them and walk them through your home in order for them to put together an estimate.

You can also have your home staged with your own furniture, artwork, and accessories. As realtors who happen to have a really good eye for interior design, we will go through your home room by room and make suggestions of what to remove, what to leave, and perhaps what to purchase if need be. We have done this successfully with numerous sellers over the many years we have been selling real estate.

Ultimately the goal is to have your home showcase in the best possible light. This will allow for beautiful professional photographs which will appear in all of the marketing materials both printed and web based. It will also look beautiful as we open the doors to the 1st open house. Everyone who enters will want to live there! In turn this will mean a quick, successful sale for you.

Contact us if you have questions regarding staging your home or for that matter anything real estate related and we’ll be happy to answer them.

- Ellen and Janis

Pie in the Sky 2013

Squaregraphic 150x150 Pie in the Sky 2013Thanksgiving is almost upon us and we would like to Thank You for working with us, referring friends and family, and reading our blog. You not only contribute to the success of our business, you also made it a pleasure for us and we are certainly grateful.

We are helping to sell Thanksgiving pies prepared and donated by more than 150 of Boston’s top restaurants and caterers. Community Servings is a nonprofit organization that provides free, home-delivered meals to acutely ill individuals, their families, and their caregivers in 18 cities and towns throughout Massachusetts. For every pie sold, Community Servings will be able to feed one client for 5 days. Each day, Community Servings delivers a nutritious lunch, dinner and a snack to 800 men, women and children too ill to shop or cook for themselves.

To order your Thanksgiving pie, please call the Coldwell Banker office at 617 522 4600 or visit Pie In The Sky website and enter the name Janis or Ellen under Pie Seller.

Last year we helped to raise $450,000 to feed individuals and families who are ill with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other life-threatening illnesses with 93 cents of every dollar raised going directly to providing meals. This year the goal is $600,000. Thank you for your support.

Happy Thanksgiving,

Ellen and Janis

It’s Halloween!

Halloween 150x150 Its Halloween! Don’t forget to stop by Coldwell Banker  today from 3:30-6:30 pm for Halloween treats when our office participates in the Trick or Treat Halloween celebration on Centre and South Streets. Along with our neighbors, we’ll be opening our doors to greet local ghouls and goblins. Look in the windows of participating merchants for a poster welcoming trick-or-treaters.

Home for the Holidays!


As we approach the end of October, our thoughts turn to the holidays and year-end family celebrations. Perfect for entertaining, this spacious & sunny colonial in the heart of Roslindale has a gracious floor plan that is ideal for family gatherings. Features include: a welcoming enclosed front porch, 3 good sized Bedrooms –including a Master bedroom with siting area, a beautifully renovated designer Kitchen with maple cabinetry and stainless appliances, 2 nicely updated full size Baths, a formal dining room and a home office that is currently used as a walk-in closet/dressing room. There’s also a rear Deck, 2-car parking, a garden area, tons of storage and updated systems. Walk to Roslindale Village train, shops & restaurants.

See this wonderful home at the open house on Sunday October 27th from 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm

This is the one you have been waiting for!

JP Lantern Parade!

JP Lantern Parade 150x150 JP Lantern Parade! The 30th annual Jamaica Pond Lantern Parade will be held this year on Saturday October 19th and Sunday October 20th at about 6pm. The neighborhood tradition, which has been going strong since 1983, has its roots in Japanese lantern making. The parade winds its way around Jamaica Pond illuminating the darkness with a string of light. Children are encouraged to come in their Halloween costumes! The lantern parade highlights the diversity and artistic spirit that make JP special. It’s another reason to love JP!

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