Lauren Davis
REALTY EXECUTIVES Boston West | 508-254-0449 | [email protected]


Posted by Lauren Davis on 5/15/2019

When homes go ignored, issues start to develop and once easy to solve problems will become huge, expensive hassles. Every house will develop some item that you'll need to attend to, and there are steps you can take today to minimize or even avoid these problems. Heed the following do-it-yourself tips, and you will keep your house looking great and save money in the long run.

  1. Periodically Inspect Your Roof - Take note of areas where roofing shingles are damaged, loose or missing as well as shingles that are flapping in the blowing wind. These indicators tell you that your roof is in need of immediate repair so your home can maintain its protection from the elements.
  2. Choose roofing tiles that are fire-resistant and tough enough to hold up under the impact of hail. Polymer, slate and shake shingles are your best choices.
  3. Pressure Wash Your House Siding Annually - With time, algae and dirt build up on your house siding, making it appear old, cruddy looking and uncared-for. Wash any dirty areas of your siding with detergents and a pressure washer, taking care to thoroughly clean the areas where a lot of accumulation is present. Avoid using a pressure washer to clean your windows and trim, since the high pressure can easily damage these areas. While you are cleaning the siding, check for any warping, insect damage, buckling or paint cracking that may have developed over the past year. Quickly repair any damage you find.
  4. Check Your Gutters Often - Gutters are designed to direct rainfall away from your house, so keep them clean. Inspect your gutters regularly for any blockage (especially from leaves), cracks or even holes that may be hindering proper drainage. Your gutters should be appropriately sloped and firmly attached to your home as well. To prevent damage, ensure that the water that drains from your rain gutters directs away from your home and any landscaping you have around your house.

As any homeowner knows, when a home goes neglected for long, things will go awry. Don't wait until it's too late to deal with any small problems that develop in and around your home. Again, minor issues that are easy and cheap to fix will likely develop into big problems - ones that are difficult and expensive to fix - so give your home and your pocketbook a break and repair the small issues as soon as you find them.




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Posted by Lauren Davis on 5/8/2019

AI (artificial intelligence) is moving in on the homefront. And at the head of the pack is Amazon’s Echo with its assistant, Alexa. Echo comes in 3 options: a minimal hockey-puck-shaped device, a sleek tube in fashionable shades that make it a natural addition to your home decor, and a square-shaped device with a video screen, camera and mic capabilities.

Many are eager to bring home Alexa and make it the newest addition to their home but are left wondering what exactly does it do?

First, you need to teach Alexa which commands to recognize and perform. These commands are called “skills” And there is a whole library jam-packed with them. So where to start?

Create a Flash Briefing. Create your own daily update feed with the Flash Briefing option. You choose which sources you want Alexa to pull from and which time to report in. Get the weather, news and other updated while you get ready every day.

Use as an alarm in the morning - wake up to music, a radio station, the news, etc. If it’s available via Amazon Music it’s fair game.

Order a ride via Lyft or Uber. You can ask how much the trip will be and have it automatically billed to your account. Speed up getting ready to go out by coordinating your ride while you put on your final touches.

With multiple devices, you can sync music to play throughout your house. The app allows you to group all of your devices together into one cohesive house-wide system. Whether you want to listen to music, the news, a podcast or an audible book you can hear it no matter where you go - perfect for cleaning days.

Order pizza from Domino’s or Pizza Hut. Who doesn’t want pizza to arrive at their beck and call?  

Tune your guitar. With this skill, Alexa plays a song for you to match and listens in until you match up perfectly. Which means you don’t need another device, app or website to keep track of.

Sync up to your Fitbit to ask for updates on your latest activity and step progress for the day. In fact, you can even get more steps in while you ask since you don’t have to sit down at the computer.

With a Wemo Smart Plug, you can enable Alexa to turn devices on and off with a simple voice command. And with their light switches, you can turn lights on, off and change the brightness to match your mood.  

If you have a Hyundai, Mercedes or Ford with the right capabilities you can have Alexa start your car for you. Giving you five more minutes to grab breakfast for once.

Meditate with the Stop, Breathe, & Think meditation skill for Alexa. Just say how long you want to meditate for and settle in to clear your mind. Who said technology keeps us distracted?

And then there is always the option to ask Alexa which skills to enable. So meta!




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Lauren Davis on 5/1/2019

You thought that working from home was the ideal solution to your crazy daycare and commuting routine. You discussed it with your partner for weeks, spent hours convincing your boss, and her boss, and here you are in your pajamas two months later wondering what you've done. The house is a wreck. There are dishes in the sink. You haven't had a shower in what seems like days (it was only yesterday). The dirty laundry has piled up so high that it spills out the door of the laundry room … and the baby's crying … and the phone's ringing … and that project is due! 

How could such a great idea, that works perfectly for so many others, be such a disaster for you?

Take a deep breath! Let it out slowly.

The truth is, most first-time telecommuters or from-home contractors experience complications in the first few months. Many do not realize that their commute time indeed was productive in a way because they could plan and focus in their heads so that they can start right in a soon as they reach the office (after that cup of coffee, though). At home, you tend to jump right in, directly after you've thrown in a load of laundry, the baby's fed—and you hope will play happily for the next 45 minutes—and do the dishes. The first few days go so great that you feel entirely productive. You got more work done because you didn't have that side trip to daycare on your commute to the office.

Within a few weeks or so, however, this house of cards tumbles down. Now, you not only have a chaotic household, but you're also feeling less productive than you did in the first week and you hope no one wants to Skype because you don't look or feel like the professional you once were.

Get back that commute time

Reclaim your commute time. Even though the commute is only from your kitchen to your home office, take back the 20-30 minutes you need to get your head in the game. Sit down with that extra cup of coffee and mentally run through your to-do list.

Become hyper-focused

When managing a workload with at-home parenting, control the time baby is asleep or occupied by focusing entirely on work. The baby doesn't mind you folding laundry while he's awake. Do household chores when you're in mommy or daddy mode, but as soon as the baby is asleep or with someone else, focus only on work.

Your original plan was a good one. It will work, just a little differently than you'd planned.

If your home isn’t suited to a home office, ask your real estate professional to show you some options in your neighborhood.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Lauren Davis on 4/24/2019

In this quick, got to have it now society, the microwave is the go-to for a quick cup of tea or to reheat that coffee. But does it give a satisfying, refreshing cup? Some people believe that water heated in a kettle is hotter and stays hotter longer, so it brews a better cup of tea.

What does the science say?

Personal experience notwithstanding, the scientific community seems to be in agreement that water heated in a microwave to boiling is the same temperature as water brought to boiling on the stove. And, that once in the cup, the cooling rate is the same. There is some speculation that the kettle heats water more uniformly than the microwave, resulting in certain parts, especially in the center, cooling faster because they had not reached the same temperature as the rest of the cup.

Others contend that the heated kettle allows the water to remain hotter while the microwaved container immediately begins to convey the higher temperature away from the heated water. For this reason, microwavable packaging often instructs to stir or let stand for a specified time so that the heat transfers evenly throughout the dish.

And then there are the folks that claim the perfect cup of tea comes from microwaving your tea leaves or tea bag in the water rather than pouring the water over the tea after it has heated. Some studies conclude that boiling the leaves in the microwave extracts more of the nutritional compounds than traditional brewing methods. 

What about nature?

Well, yes, heating the water over a flame has a satisfying earthiness about it. The act of filling the kettle, lighting the burner, waiting for the steam to build up a head so the kettle will whistle … all of that adds to the mystique of the brew. During the waiting, you're already relaxing. Then, you have a few moments more to be mindful as you pour the boiling water over loose tea or tea bag and watch as the tendrils of color begin to flow through your cup.

By the time you sit down and take a sip, you've already relaxed so the tea's catechins and warm steaminess can work their magic on your soul. Then, once you've rested, the caffeine slides into your senses to perk you back up so that you can move forward in the day and accomplish more.

Whatever side you’re on, you can find the perfect kettle to brew your stovetop experience or try a borosilicate glass teapot made for the microwave to create your ideal cuppa!

And if you need a new kitchen to support your tea habit, ask your local real estate agent to show you some options.




Tags: kitchen   tea   water  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Lauren Davis on 4/17/2019

Have you ever wondered how some folks always seem to get the big breaks, or they always seem successful no matter what comes their way? Why do some people seem to “go with the flow” and handle situations without seemingly any hard work?

The Answer is Reading

Reading, you know that thing you said you would not do once you got out of school. If you look back since you left school most of the books you have read may have been fantasy, romance, or spy novels. Such books are not the type of reading that can help you be more successful. You see those successful executives and wonder how they got there, or you see those rich and wealthy people and wonder how they did it. They have one thing in common: they have created a habit of reading.

What to Read?

Reading puts fresh information into your mind. If you read biographies or autobiographies, you save time by learning from someone else’s experience. Now, when a similar situation crosses your path, you know what they did and have a plan in mind. Building on their wisdom lets you act in a way that looks like you are just “going with the flow” to those around you, but you get the most successful outcome and leave them wondering how you did it. A human being cannot act in a way that he or she has not learned by seeing or hearing. Unfortunately, you usually don’t have the option of following around a successful playwright, business person, financial tycoon, or a couple that has been married for 50 years and has successful kids. That leaves reading as the fastest way to access all of that information. 

Begin to create the habit of reading 15-30 minutes each day. One of the great things about twenty-first-century reading is that you don’t have to carry around a book all the time. All you have to do is locate a copy of the book online or get an e-reader app and buy the digital copy of the book of your choice. Just like with old school books, you can even check out these digital e-books from your local library. Now instead of just merely sitting on a metro, waiting at the doctor’s office, or even taking that 15-minute break in the restroom, you can read. 

 As you read you grow, and you will find some incredible things start coming out of your mouth during conversation that you will wonder who is talking. Now you begin to attract people and situations that you never thought would happen. Why? You expanded who you are and what you think about, and that makes you more attractive to others. Lives change as a result of reading.

So figure out your goal, then visit your local library, bookstore, or ebook website and get reading!




Tags: reading   books  
Categories: Uncategorized