Andrew Bemben

Apple Picking Near Boston

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Apple picking season is here!  Fun for the entire family throughout orchards in Boston's neighboring towns. A great way to escape the brick & mortar and pick your own sweet, crunchy apples. From Cortland, Honeycrisp to McIntosh - you cannot go wrong with any variety. With the crisp autumn air and the endless consumption of apple cider/cider donuts, this time of year proves to be favorited by all. If you’re looking to experience this classic New England activity within a reasonable distance from Boston, there are plenty of orchards to explore. Here are a few popular options:

Shelburne Farms (Stow, MA) -

Russell Orchards (Ipswich, MA) -

Smolak Farms (North Andover, MA) -

Brooksby Farm (Peabody, MA) -

Carver Hill Orchards (Stow, MA) - 

Connors Farm (Danvers, MA) -

Carlson Orchards (Harvard, MA) -

Berlin Orchards (Berlin, MA) -

Parlee Farms (Tynsgborough, MA) -



Some Quick Home Maintenance Tips for Spring

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Now that it is March and the Winter months are starting to get behind us, it is now time to get ready for Spring! During those cold months, your home goes through a good amount of wear and tear which may require some repairs. It is important to conduct routine maintenance checks on your home to keep up with these minor repairs to help prevent larger problems in the future. Here are a few maintenance recommendations: 

Check, clean or replace your HVAC air filters. This helps keep clean, healthy air flowing throughout your home. Also, scheduling an HVAC maintenance professional to run diagnostics will keep the system running efficiently. 

Clean out your Gutters. If your home is close to or under trees, then chances are your gutters are full of debris. This can cause your gutters to clog, causing damage to them (freezing water can cause cracks/breaks), your siding and the foundation if there is not proper water run-off from your home. You can do this yourself if you're comfortable with heights and exercise caution, but many roofing and landscaping companies offer gutter clean-out services as well.

Check your Smoke and Carbon Detectors. Many of us weather-proofed our homes for Winter, which may have included plastic insulation on windows or under-door sealers to stop drafts/cold air from entering. While that weather-proofing can keep cold air out, it also has the potential of keeping in harmful gases if you are not getting fresh air from outside. It is important to make sure that your home detectors are working. 



Clean Windows Enhance Properties

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When preparing your home to sell, it is best to have a maintenance plan. This usually includes manicuring the landscape, addressing important repairs and tidying up the home decor, to name a few.  One home maintenance project that is often overlooked is window washing/cleaning.  This can improve the light and views from inside the home and it can boost your home's curb appeal. After all, first impressions mean a lot! 

If the view is one of your home's key features to highlight, it is particularly important to have your windows professionally cleaned.  Dirt, grime, insects and more can build up over time.  Professional cleaners don’t just clean the glass, but can also clean the window frames and tracks.

Good, quality windows are a big investment; seasonal maintenance, including cleaning, can help with their longevity.  Keeping up with general maintenance, rather than needing to replace them, can save you money in the long run. 

An abundance of natural sunlight is generally high on homebuyers' wish lists. One general tip is to remove the screens from the windows - they generally account for 25% natural light lost!

Are your windows in need of a good cleaning?  Here are some local window washing professionals:

All-Pro Window Cleaning & Power Washing - (781) 799-2453

Fish Window Cleaning - (617) 479-9300

Shine On Boston Inc. - (617) 980-4500



Window Boxes to Boost Curb Appeal

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With beautiful weather forecasted into the summer and the housing market hot, flowers have the power of ‘curb appeal’! Outdoor flowers are a plus in any common areas, but window boxes make a statement. Eye-level, window boxes bring a charm and a delight to both owner/viewers.

Window box ideas include:

1.  A window box with pansies. Pansies are easy maintenance flowers with a tolerance that can last most seasons. Easy to plant and bringing a wide range of colors that brighten any area, no matter the exterior color. When pansies need water, you can typically tell by the way they look (almost wilting). Also mix well with other flowers such as violas, coleus and alyssum. 

2.  A window box with geraniums. Geraniums are another easy, low maintenance plant, that give off vibrant colors and a pleasant scent. When planting geraniums, plant just under where the stem meets the root. Make sure the window box has good drainage to avoid root rot. These plants will need little to no water - some deadheading is helpful - April/May showers may be enough!

3.  A window box for petunias. Petunias are the summer plant. Something so simple to take care of, yet so beautiful. Water twice a week, petunias will grow luxuriously over your window box and have a vine effect. They will catch any viewers' eyes and add to the aesthetics of any space.

4.  A window box for vegetables. To add to your garden space and ‘fresh produce’, a window box for vegetables is a great idea for condos/apartments or any dwelling lacking land space. Cherry tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower and lettuce are all plants that benefit in a window box. What better than fresh produce straight from your window? These plants take water two/three times a week and grow great organically.


Carpet Removal Made Simple

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Do you have carpet that is old, with multiple stains and has collected the grime from city streets?  Are you ready for a change to wood flooring in one of the rooms in your condo or maybe the whole thing? It starts with ripping up the carpet, and you can save money by doing it [...]

Apartment Market Update

With an abundance of vacant apartments in the (traditionally) most sought after neighborhoods in Boston, it is now a "renters'" market. According to some reports, there has been a 7-9% increase in empty apartments since the COVID-19 pandemic struck. In a drastic change from recent years, landlords are looking to sweeten the deal for [...]

Beat The Rush!

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Looking for an apartment in Boston for your new job?  Or looking to relocate to a new place?  Thinking of moving when your lease is up?  If you have said yes to any of these questions, we are here to help!  If you have rented before in Boston you know that the market is extremely competitive, especially if your looking for rentals beginning [...]