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Blog :: 03-2014

Clean streets right around the corner

TOWTRUCK

With the arrival of April comes some good news and bad news for Boston residents. The good news first: now that our torrential rains have passed, and hopefully we are done with significant snow, your streets will soon be cleaner. The City of Boston resumes its street sweeping schedule on April 1, so all the dusty, sandy streets will be clean once again. The bad news now : a negative that comes with along with the street sweeping is restricted parking. But fear not the City has a handy webpage that you can check which lists the cleaning schedules and parking restrictions. The schedule is searchable by neighborhood and day, or by street name. Forgetful? Not a problem. Sign up for reminder emails from the City, based on your address. For additional information and to sign up for notifications, visit the Boston Public Works Department web page at http://www.cityofboston.gov/publicworks/sweeping/.

If you are one of the unfortunate ones to be towed, whether for a street sweeping violation or something else, we can help you there tooIf your vehicle was towed in Boston, call either the Boston Police Tow Line at 617-343-4629 or the Boston Tow Lot at 617-635-3900 to locate the vehicle. Alternatively, search the online towing database at http://www.cityofboston.gov/towing/. Either way, you will need the vehicles plate number, and you will need to pay a number of fees. According to Citys website, Before releasing the vehicle, the tow operator is entitled to a maximum of $90 for the tow and a maximum of $35 per 24-hour period of storage. These charges are limited by the Mass DPU, in accordance with state law. The tow operator is also entitled to add a fuel surcharge to the $90 involuntary towing fee.

So before you even pay the City violation ($40), you have already invested $125+ for parking. Take our advice. Sign up for the reminders, and enjoy those clean streets this Spring.

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Back Bay Fire

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As most people have heard by now, there was terrible fire yesterday in Bostons Back Bay. The fire spread quickly to nine alarms, and 150 firefighters were called in to battle the blaze, made even more difficult by yesterdays 45 mile per hour winds. Two heroic firefighters died saving the lives of others, and keeping the fire from spreading to the surrounding buildings. Both men worked out of the Engine 33, Ladder 15 firehouse located at the corner of Boylston and Hereford Streets, located right in the heart of the Back Bay. As with all Bostonians, our thoughts and prayers go out to the Walsh and Kennedy families, as well as to the thirteen other firefighters injured battling the blaze.

The Governor, Mayor and Cardinal Sean OMalley have all posted condolence messages today:

Gov. Deval Patrick: My heart and my condolences go out to the families of the firefighters lost in the line of duty today, as well as to the entire Boston Fire Department. This terrible tragedy reinforces how we must be grateful every single day for the brave men and women who put themselves in danger day in and day out to keep us safe.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh: "Tonight the City of Boston mourns the loss of two of our own. Lt. Ed Walsh and Firefighter Michael Kennedy lost their lives battling the nine-alarm fire on Beacon Street today. Words cannot do justice to the grief that we feel tonight. Our hearts are heavy with the knowledge that these brave men gave their lives to protect the safety of our city and its people.

"The men and women of the Boston Fire Department are the brave heroes who run towards the danger when others run away. A day like today makes us all too aware of what they are risking in the course of doing their jobs. They are heroes simply by virtue of accepting this duty. They put themselves in harms way so that others might be safe. Thank you to the Boston Fire Department, Boston Police Department, EMS and all other first responders and volunteers for your heroic work today.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with their families tonight as they face this terrible loss. We also hold close their fellow firefighters, who have lost friends as dear as brothers."

Cardinal Sean OMalley: These brave men gave their lives in the line of duty, putting the public safety ahead of their own interests. As a community we come together in this time of loss, offering our support and our prayers to the Walsh and Kennedy families and their fellow firefighters.

With so many advances in building codes and fire prevention technology, it is sometimes easy to forget these catastrophic fires can, and do still happen. We are truly fortunate to have the brave men and woman of all the emergency services who are willing to sacrifice their own well-being, for the well-being of all of us.

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Clear the Clutter to Boost Home Sale Appeal

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Need advice for a winning edge in selling your home? Ensure your home stands out by highlighting its best features and eliminating items that prevent a potential buyer from picturing themselves living in the house. Collaborate Design Studios offers some tips to help homeowners sell in todays challenging real estate market.

No doubt one of the biggest mistakes home sellers make is not being objective about how their house looks to a possible buyer, said Kim Pozzi-Pesavento, senior designer at Collaborate Design Studio, based in Deerfield, Ill. Too often, homeowners think their personal touches and decorating styles add value and visual appeal to the house. Most of the time just the opposite is true because too much personality in a home design might be fine for you but it makes it difficult for anyone to visualize your house as their future home. Pozzi-Pesavento believes sellers who successfully market their homes in a buyers market usually follow a few simple, proven rules. First, clear the clutter, she said. Your home should look like someone could move in tomorrow. Toys on the floor, for example, might convey a homey family image, but they are a distraction, as are too many family photos and other personal stuff.

Other timely tips offered by Collaborate Design Studio to home sellers today are:

- Neutralize rooms to broaden your market. You limit your market when there are too many taste-specific colors. Someone who hates deep blue, for example, wont be able to look past it when evaluating your home, Pozzi-Pesavento said.

- Clear excess furniture. The rule for furnishings is, less is better. In addition to making a room look more spacious, removing excess furniture also lets the buyer better determine how they can furnish or use the room to accommodate their lifestyle preferences.

- Keep the home well-maintained. Shaggy shrubbery, overgrown foliage and peeling paint take away from the buyers critical first impression. You dont need to spend a lot to keep your property in top shape for maximum curb appeal.

Some other advice based on our personal experiences: -Bring ina professional. Interior designers or professional staging companies are a great option. They come in with a detached perspective and have no sentimentality about that ugly old chair that you just love, or the Velvet Elvis tapestry that youve had since college. They are only interested in helping you make your property look its best, which in the end is the goal.

- Dress up a vacant property. If the home is vacant, consider virtual staging. So much of the home buying process is done electronically that curb appeal really starts with the listing photos. It is amazing what can be done to make a vacant property look much more appealing, for a very reasonable price.

- Clean, clean, clean. Few things are more off-putting to buyers than going into a property that isnt clean. Many cleaning services will come in and do a one-off clean before an open house or a listing appointment. Theyll get to those spots that you never seem to get to, or that you have looked at for such a long time that you just dont notice anymore.

For more suggestions and ideas, or to discuss a plan for selling your property, please contact a Bostonia Properties representative.

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