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Are you planning to remodel your home in 2015. Verify that the buyers are getting what they want for you to get the most for your money.

Top Real Estate Stories of 2014

Here at the Book Scan, my job is to not only review books and keep you in the loop with pertinent book news, but to learn what real estate professionals want to read about. In that spirit, I wanted to look at the top ten full-length articles published in 2014 (in terms of unique visitors) at REALTOR® Magazine Online.library_unsplash

As you’ll see below, our top ten is an interesting mix of design trends and business/technology advice. But another phenomenon that became clear when looking at all of the favorite blog entries and shorter Daily News pieces was your intense focus on safety in 2014. Readers were extremely engaged in stories about slain Arkansas REALTOR® Beverly Carter in the daily news and in our blogs. Stories about staying safe on the job and other real estate pros facing harrowing situations in the field ranked high in our daily news feeds as well. And in the article list below, one piece on how to help clients stay safe was also a popular read, coming in at number six:

  1. 21 Hot Housing Trends for 2015: Everyone wants to be hip, and the latest trends in design can help distinguish one home from another. And it’s not all flash; many new home fads are geared to pare maintenance and energy use and deliver information faster. Here’s a look at what’s coming.
  2. 5 Reasons You Won’t Make it Selling Real Estate: Unless you are fully committed to real estate and have a solid business plan, you will have trouble finding success. Sales coach Jared James outlines five situations that can bring down your career — and how to avoid them.
  3. 10 Things Real Estate Pros Need to Stop Telling Themselves: Words are powerful, and the words you say to yourself can make or break you as a real estate professional. Here are 10 things you need to stop saying immediately.
  4. 10 Facebook Dos and Don’ts: Facebook is a great marketing tool, if you use it wisely.
  5. Smartphone Photography Gets an Upgrade: At the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, several manufacturers are introducing ways to upgrade your mobile photographs with attachable lenses, cameras with more megapixels, and portable printers.
  6. The Safety Talk You Need to Have With Clients: Keep all parties safe in a transaction by offering buyers and sellers these important tips.
  7. 2013-14 Cost vs. Value: Remodeling Pays Off Big Time: Home improvement projects across the board are giving home owners a greater return on their investment when it comes time to sell. Find out which projects “open the door” to buyers and where remodeling dollars stretch the furthest.
  8. How to Avoid Total Self-Destruction: You can’t miss out on an epic deal because you were too busy meditating. But you also can’t give yourself a heart attack. What is the answer?
  9. A Dozen Ways to Make Kitchens Sizzle: Whether they’re getting their house ready for the market or creating a dream kitchen in a home they just bought, clients considering a major kitchen redo will need guidance. Here are 12 tips and trends to help you serve as their resource.
  10. What Millennial Buyers Want (Now): Here are 10 trends in home amenities and interior design that elicit interest from the newest generation of buyers.

What were the most important stories to your business in 2014? What do you think will be the big themes of 2015?

Meg White

Meg White is the multimedia web producer for REALTOR® Magazine and administrator of the magazine’s Weekly Book Scan blog. Contact her at mwhite[at]realtors.org.

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New listing: 429 Chandler, Tewksbury

Unique Home That Everyone is Looking For!
Hidden by the snow banks this charming antique cape cod is in pristine condition and is ready for you to move in. Sunny home with lots of updates, a front porch waiting for some rocking chairs, and a screened back porch freshly painted with new roof, ceiling fan/light, swing day bed, and pergola with new wisteria. 

First floor has a light-filled living room, dining room, updated half bath, and 3rd bedroom used as an office. Kitchen has been remodeled with new custom cabinets with hardwood doors, stainless steel appliances, convection gas oven, microwave hood, dishwasher, farmhouse sink, plumbing, lights, and laminate floors. Silestone countertops/bar, and one butcher block countertop. Off the kitchen is a spacious mudroom with a large closet with built-in shelving, and matching laminate floors.

Second floor has 2 bedrooms with large walk-in closets with built-in shelving, and an updated full bath.  A charming windowseat on upstairs landing fits a twin mattress, with built-in storage cupboards underneath.  Fabulous level lot with white picket vinyl fencing and stamped concrete walkways.  Small perennial garden beds, and 3 raised kitchen garden beds with well-established blackberries/raspberries. 

2 car detached garage has a wood floor, shelving, cabinets, and heat, and is used as woodworking shop, and separate shed for extra storage.  The electrical system is completely new with 200amp service, hardwired fire alarms, all new lights and fans, and an exterior hookup and switch installed for a standard generator to power the whole house in case of outage (portable generator is not included in sale).

View the Virtual Tour for 429 Chandler, Tewksbury, MA
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Janine Elkhoury
Real Estate Specialist
RE/MAX LEGACY
781-223-8338
Questions?
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MLS#: 71796006
Licensed In:
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License #:
MA9055037
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Woburn Homes for Sale and Sold Report for 2014 vs 2013

Woburn Homes for Sale and Sold Report for 2014 vs 2013

Woburn, MA have seen steady price improvement month to month as well as year to year as inventory levels remain at all-time lows.

The Numbers Year to Year in Woburn, MA

The median sales price for Woburn, MA was $387,500in 2014 compared to $360,000 during 2013 and $330,000 2012.

The number of Woburn, MA homes that sold was 250 in 2014 vs.271 in  2013 and 279 that sold 2012.

As of December 31, 2014 there are33 active homes in Woburn, MA of which 19 have offers with contingencies. 13 Homes for Sale that are in contract of the overall available inventory of 46 homes.

A few highlights of the current Woburn, MA Homes for Sale are shown below and represent a nice cross section of properties available, in contract and that have sold.

This Months Most Expensive

The most expensive of all Woburn, MA Homes for sale this year was listed at $999,000 and includes13 rooms 3 bedrooms,5 full baths, 2 half baths and has 4,970 sq. ft. of living area. Unfortunately I did not toured this home last year but the pictures are gorgeous and what impressed me the most was the natural light it got in the living room , black granite floors in the dining room and living room as well as the movie theater and the pool room. Unfortunately it is off the market but if you have any interest in the property click on schedule a showing and I will let you know when it is available. (schedule a showing).

This Years Least Expensive

The least expensive of all Woburn, MA homes for sale came in at$174,000 and sold at 193,500 a contractor purchased it …

 Click to see the full report

Below are highlight properties for Woburn Homes for Sale and Sold Report for 2014 vs 2013. See more at the full report:
Highlights Photos Maps & Local Schools
Status: Make an Offer
45 Main St, Woburn MA
$550000
7 BEDROOMS
3 BATHROOMS [ 3 FULL ]

Status: Active
12 Hamilton Road, Woburn MA
$440000
4 BEDROOMS
2 BATHROOMS [ 2 FULL ]
LISTING MLS ID: 71787671
Listing Courtesy of: RE/MAX of New England, RE/MAX Legacy

Status: Just Sold
28 Carter St, Woburn MA
$369900
5 BEDROOMS
1 BATHROOMS [ 1 FULL ]
LISTING MLS ID: 71773623
Listing Courtesy of: Gregory DiGiorgio

Status: Under Contract
35 Independence Dr.
$599,900
4 BEDROOMS
3 BATHROOMS [ 2 FULL, 1 HALF ]
LISTING MLS ID: 71738444
Listing Courtesy of: Carol McDonald

Status: Active
6 Sunset Avenue, Woburn MA
$284900
4 BEDROOMS
1 BATHROOMS [ 1 FULL ]
LISTING MLS ID: 71772248
Listing Courtesy of: MLS Property Information Network

Status: Active
1 Carson Road, Woburn MA
$695000
4 BEDROOMS
2 BATHROOMS [ 2 FULL ]
LISTING MLS ID: 71784317
Listing Courtesy of: MLS Property Information Network

See the Full Woburn Homes for Sale and Sold Report for 2014 vs 2013
What is Your Home Worth?Search All Homes For SaleWoburn Homes For Sale

Woburn Condos For Sale

Burlington Homes For Sale

Homes Close to Where You Work

Avoid Foreclosure

Janine Elkhoury
Real Estate Specialist
RE/MAX LEGACY
781-223-8338
janine@elkhouryrealtors.com















Information valid as of January 28, 2015. Please contact us for the most current information and status of these properties.

Something’s Wrong With the Market

Despite a strong year, the number of home sales is trending historically low.

This year was great for real estate for home-price increases, the ability for sellers to sell, and practitioners to get homes sold. But the big problem that seems to have evaded a lot of chatter is the number of homes sold.

Home sales declined 3.8 percent between January and October of this year, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. Other real estate data show a startling long-term downward trend: According to DataQuick, home sales each month this year have averaged about 14 percent below monthly levels in 1988, when DataQuick began tracking such data. If you think about how many more homes are built every year — and how much larger the population is — it defies logic that there would be fewer sales than 25 years ago.

This has nothing to do with buyer demand or their ability to qualify for a mortgage. That’s evident in the fact that almost three-quarters of home sales garner multiple offers. Look to the selling side: A six- to seven-month supply of homes for sale is considered a normal market; we were at a 5.1-month supply in November, according to NAR. We were trending up in August, but that trend has reversed dramatically in the last 90 days.

The real question is: Why aren’t more sellers putting their homes up for sale?

One explanation could be that people are staying put longer. The median tenure of a home owner has increased from six years to nine years between 2001 and 2013. But that doesn’t explain everything. We do know that first-time landlords are at an all-time high. This began when prices were low and people were buying a new home while renting out their current home, waiting for prices to rebound. Now prices have rebounded, and they are still keeping them rented.

Low interest rates have also contributed. Many people are able to pull money out of their current home and rent it rather than sell. A $1 million mortgage today can carry a $2,600 monthly payment on a three- or five-year fixed rate. That enables people to borrow more.

Another issue is the loss of stated-income loans. Many home owners who would sell and buy another home are self-employed. They write off too much to qualify for a mortgage and need to stay in their old home that they bought and financed before 2007. Although a few lenders do have these loans, they are hard to get and much more expensive. Mortgage reform pretty much put an end to these loans, as verifying income was required on owner-occupied loans.

Lastly, many people aren’t applying for mortgages because they think they won’t qualify for a loan. In a recent DataQuick study, two-thirds of people who thought they would not qualify really would have. Perhaps many home owners who would move up are not doing so because they feel they can’t qualify for a new home if they sold their current home.

This trend may reverse a little in 2015, as people who rented their homes decide to sell because they think the market may be topping out. We could see some more stated-loan options as lenders push for more ways to loan out money — this trend of fewer sales has hurt them as well. A build-up in home equity, combined with lower down payment options from lenders, will also help. An increase in sales in 2015 over 2014 is expected, but unfortunately, they will likely remain below average levels. This will also place more upward pressure on prices: NAR is forecasting a 4 percent rise in prices over 2014. Anytime you have more buyers than sellers, you are going to see prices go up.

Shrinking Inventory

  • The total inventory of homes available for sale fell in December for the first time in 16 months.  The decline was very modest of less than 1 percent from the comparable month the year before.  Nonetheless, it represents a reversal to the general growth of listings that had been occurring throughout 2014.  Months supply is already low at 4.4 months.  More inventories are needed, not less.  Or else, home prices could re-accelerate.
  • Specifically, at the end of December there were 1.85 million properties listed for sale, down 11 percent from November and down 0.5 percent from one year ago.  The monthly decline was fairly normal which occurs every year from November to December.  But what is of interest is the year-over-year decline in inventory because this hints at possible acceleration in home prices in upcoming months.
  • For those technically minded, after applying statistical seasonable adjustment factors, the inventory has declined for two straight months, implying a genuine tightening of supply.  Therefore, home prices could re-accelerate.
  • Home prices in fact appear already to be re-accelerating.  In spring and summer of last year, the median price was rising at 4 to 5 percent.  In November and December, the price increased by 6 percent.
  • Do not expect any help to inventory from distressed properties.  The shadow inventory – those homes already in the foreclosure process or with serious mortgage delinquency – has greatly shrunk.  Hence, far fewer newly foreclosed properties will be hitting the market.  Those REALTORS® who specialize in distressed property sales should be aware that there will be less business opportunities in this field going forward.
  • Because of shorter supply, distressed properties are no longer being sold at deep discounts.  Many buyers of these previously thought to be worthless properties have done well in terms of rental return and price appreciation.  From this experience, buyers are now eager to bid up.
  • As a country, America has been a fine real estate investor.  What was thought to be worthless properties were acquired on the cheap.  France sold the vast ‘useless discovery’ made by LaSalle – the Louisiana Territory – to America for a mere $15 million.  Few years later, the ‘insect infested’ land of Florida was bought for $5 million from Spain.  The mocked ‘icebox’ of Alaska was purchased at 2 cents an acre from Russia.  (The mocking ended when gold was discovered).  But the paradise island of Cuba was not purchased or even given the chance after serious and realistic considerations during President Buchanan’s term.

EHA

Med SalesForeclosure

Lawrence Yun, PhD., Chief Economist and Senior Vice President

Lawrence Yun is Chief Economist and Senior Vice President of Research at NAR. He directs research activity for the association and regularly provides commentary on real estate market trends for its 1 million REALTOR® members.

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Janine’s Thoughts: Thank You for Another Great Year

blog thankyou“Hold on to what is good, even if it’s a handful of earth. Hold on to what you believe, even if it’s a tree that stands by itself. Hold on to what you must do, even if it’s a long way from here. Hold on to your life, even if it’s easier to let go. Hold on to my hand, even if I’ve gone away from you.”

Pueblo Indian Prayer

Now that the holidays are here, I take a break from all my routine emails to thank everyone in my business. I hope your holidays are joyful. My team and I would like to wish you a Happy Holiday and a Happy New Year.

Thank you to all my sellers who have trusted me and listed and sold with me.

Thank you to all my buyers who have chosen me as their agent and purchased a home with me this year.

Thank you to all my landlords who keep giving me their listings.

Thank you to all my prospects that see the difference in me, and cherry pick me as their agent knowing they have the choice of working with another agent.

Thank you to all the home inspectors on my team who make the home inspection issues feel like an icing on a piece of cake. They help my buyers make a wise decision whether the house has good bones and needs some work or a money pit and need to move on to the next house.

Thank you to all the mortgage brokers, underwriters, and appraisers on my team who make the mortgage commitment letter an easy process although they have to go through 100 hoops to make money come to the closing table.

Thank you to all the attorneys and paralegals on my team for reviewing the purchase and sale, writing extensions, reviewing the mortgage commitment, preparing HUD statement and  getting all the parties to the closing table without any tears.

Thank you to my team at RE/MAX Legacy for all their support, my fellow Realtors that are on the other side of the transaction, the fire fighters for smoke inspections, the utility companies for the final readings, and everyone that plays a role in my team.

Thank you (last but not least) to my husband and my son who have to deal with a mom and spouse who has to juggle a crazy schedule, not be around at dinner time, absent at sports events and squeezing a pick up between two showings.

Thank you to my friends that trust that a business relationship does not affect a friendship but makes it stronger.

Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year to everyone who held my hand this year, thank you for your trust, your knowledge, your patience, your support and your commitment.

Thank you for making my year such a successful year and my job such a fun environment. Thanks for letting me know if I can help anyone of your friends or family members buy, sell or rent in 2015. 

 

223 Concord Turnpike, Cambridge MA

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<td width=”65%” align=”left” style=”vertical-align: middle;padding-left:10px; padding-top:0px; padding-right:0px; padding-bottom:0px; margin: 0px; border:0px; text-align:left; width:65%”><table width=”100%” cellspacing=”0″ cellpadding=”1″ style=”padding:0px; border:0px;margin:0px;”><tr valign=”top” style=”padding:0px; border:0px;margin:0px;vertical-align: middle”><td height=”30″ align=”left” width=”100%” valign=”bottom” style=”padding-right:10px; padding-left:0px; padding-top:0px; padding-bottom:0px; margin:0px; border:0px; text-align:left; line-height: 20px;” ><a href=”http://searchallproperties.com/listings/2016422/223-Concord-Turnpike—Unit-454-Cambridge-MA” style=”color:black; text-decoration: none;padding:0px; margin:0px; border:0px; line-height: 20px”><span style=”text-decoration: none;margin:0 0 4px;padding:0px;border:0px; line-height: 20px; font-family: ‘helvetica neue’,sans-serif;font-size: 90%;font-size-adjust: none;font-stretch: normal;font-style: normal;font-variant: normal;font-weight: bold;letter-spacing: 3px;line-height: normal;text-transform: uppercase;color:#333333″>223 Concord Turnpike – Unit 454</span></a></td></tr><tr valign=”top” style=”padding:0px; border:0px;margin:0px;vertical-align: middle”><td height=”30″ align=”left” width=”100%” valign=”top” style=”padding-right:10px; text-align:left; padding-left:0px; padding-top:0px; padding-bottom:0px; margin:0px; border:0px; line-height: 15px;”><a href=”http://searchallproperties.com/listings/2016422/223-Concord-Turnpike—Unit-454-Cambridge-MA” style=”color: black; text-decoration: none; padding: 0px; border: 0px none; margin: 0px; line-height: 15px;”><span style=”text-decoration: none;margin:0px;padding:0px; border:0px; line-height: 15px;font-family: ‘helvetica neue’,sans-serif;font-size: 70%;font-size-adjust: none;font-stretch: normal;font-style: normal;font-variant: normal;font-weight: bold;letter-spacing: 3px;line-height: normal;text-transform: uppercase;color:#333333″>Cambridge, MA</span></a></td></tr></table></td><td align=”right” valign=”top” style=”padding:0px; border:0px;margin:0px;vertical-align: middle”><table width=”100%” cellspacing=”0″ cellpadding=”0″ style=”padding:0px; border:0px;margin:0px;width:100%;vertical-align: middle”><tr valign=”top” style=”padding:0px; border:0px;margin:0px;vertical-align: middle” ><td align=”center” width=”50%” style=”padding:0px; border:0px;margin:0px;”><img alt=”QR Code” src=”http://chart.apis.google.com/chart?cht=qr&amp;chs=177×177&amp;chl=http://searchallproperties.com/Homes/2016422/223-Concord-Turnpike—Unit-454-Cambridge-MA” width=”120″ height=”120″ ></td><td align=”left” valign=”middle” width=”50%” style=”color:gray;font-size:12px;padding:0px; border:0px;margin:0px; font-weight: normal; vertical-align: middle; font-family: verdana;text-align:left; line-height: 16px ” >Scan with your smartphone & take me with you.</td></tr></table></td>
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<td align=”left” style=”background-color: white; text-align: center; padding: 5px;”><a href=”http://www.searchallproperties.com/listings/2016422/223-Concord-Turnpike—Unit-454-Cambridge-MA/description” style=”color: black;text-decoration: none;font-family:Arial; font-size:9pt;” ><strong>Description</strong></a></td>
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<td align=”left” style=”text-align: center; padding: 5px;”><a style=”font-family:Arial; font-size:9pt;color: white;border-top: 0px solid #636D76;border-bottom: 0px solid #636D76;border-right: 0px solid #E1D9C3;border-left: 0px solid #E1D9C3;text-decoration: none;” href=”http://www.searchallproperties.com/listings/2016422/223-Concord-Turnpike—Unit-454-Cambridge-MA/map”><strong>Maps & Local</strong></a></td>
<td align=”left” style=”text-align: center; padding: 5px;”><a style=”font-family:Arial; font-size:9pt;color: white;border-top: 0px solid #636D76;border-bottom: 0px solid #636D76;border-right: 0px solid #E1D9C3;border-left: 0px solid #E1D9C3;text-decoration: none;” href=”http://www.searchallproperties.com/listings/2016422/223-Concord-Turnpike—Unit-454-Cambridge-MA/schools”><strong>Schools</strong></a></td>
<td align=”left” style=”text-align: center; padding: 5px;”><a style=”font-family:Arial; font-size:9pt;color: white;border-top: 0px solid #636D76;border-bottom: 0px solid #636D76;border-right: 0px solid #E1D9C3;border-left: 0px solid #E1D9C3;text-decoration: none;” href=”http://www.searchallproperties.com/listings/2016422/223-Concord-Turnpike—Unit-454-Cambridge-MA/vtour”><strong>Virtual Tour</strong></a></td>
<td align=”left” style=”text-align: center; padding: 5px;”><a style=”font-family:Arial; font-size:9pt;color: white;border-top: 0px solid #636D76;border-bottom: 0px solid #636D76;border-right: 0px solid #E1D9C3;border-left: 0px solid #E1D9C3;text-decoration: none;” href=”http://www.searchallproperties.com/listings/2016422/223-Concord-Turnpike—Unit-454-Cambridge-MA/print?auto=true”><strong>Print Brochure</strong></a></td>

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<td align=”left” width=”100%” style=”padding-left:0px;border:0px;margin:0px;padding-top:0px; padding-bottom:0px; padding-right:0px”><h1 style=”color:gray;font-size:16px; font-weight: normal “>short term rental with potential of long term!!!</h1></td>
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<tr style=’padding:0px; margin: 0px; border:0px’><td align=’left’ style=’font-family:”helvetica neue”,sans-serif; font-size: 11px;font-size-adjust: none;font-stretch: normal;font-style: normal;font-variant: normal;font-weight: normal;letter-spacing: 3px;line-height: 20px;text-transform: uppercase;padding:0px; margin: 0px; border:0px; color:gray’>$ <a href=”http://www.searchallproperties.com/listings/2016422/223-Concord-Turnpike—Unit-454-Cambridge-MA” target=”_blank”>Click for current price</a></td></tr><tr style=’padding:0px; margin: 0px; border:0px’><td align=’left’ style=’font-family:”helvetica neue”,sans-serif; font-size: 11px;font-size-adjust: none;font-stretch: normal;font-style: normal;font-variant: normal;font-weight: normal;letter-spacing: 3px;line-height: 20px;text-transform: uppercase;padding:0px; margin: 0px; border:0px; color:gray’>2 BEDROOMS</td></tr><tr style=’padding:0px; margin: 0px; border:0px’><td align=’left’ style=’font-family:”helvetica neue”,sans-serif; font-size: 11px;font-size-adjust: none;font-stretch: normal;font-style: normal;font-variant: normal;font-weight: normal;letter-spacing: 3px;line-height: 20px;text-transform: uppercase;padding:0px; margin: 0px; border:0px; color:gray’>2 BATHROOMS ( 2 full )</td></tr><tr style=’padding:0px; margin: 0px; border:0px’><td align=’left’ style=’font-family:”helvetica neue”,sans-serif; font-size: 11px;font-size-adjust: none;font-stretch: normal;font-style: normal;font-variant: normal;font-weight: normal;letter-spacing: 3px;line-height: 20px;text-transform: uppercase;padding:0px; margin: 0px; border:0px; color:gray’>800 Square Feet</td></tr> </table>
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<p><p><span style=”font-family: ‘trebuchet ms’, geneva; font-size: 14pt;”><strong style=”font-family: ‘Courier New’, Calibri, verdana, arial, helvetica; font-size: 10.833333015441895px;”>Looking for a <em>short term rental with potential of long term!!! SUBLET till February 28, 2015.</em> Current rent $3225 expect to rise around 2 percent March 1st. Indoor garage, $165 and $60 for storage (both optional). Security deposit is $1000 if the person has a social security number. Bright apartment, high ceilings, big quadruple pane windows, in energy efficient building with amenities, living room kitchen combo with gas fireplace and hardwood floors two bedroom with walk in closet and upgraded berber wall to wall carpets, two bathroom apartment, a spaciouseplace and oversized walk-in closets in all bedrooms and full size HE Energy Star washers and dryers.</strong></span></p></p>
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How to Clean Up After Thanksgiving in Half the Time

How to Clean Up After Thanksgiving in Half the Time

By: Lisa Kaplan Gordon

The Pilgrims were on to something when they planned a Thanksgiving potluck; here are other good ideas that’ll simplify your T-Day kitchen cleanup.

 

Want something to be thankful for? Check out these tips that’ll make your Thanksgiving kitchen cleanup faster and easier — and will give you more time to enjoy family and friends.

Plan a potluck: The first Thanksgiving was a potluck; so let your guests share the fun and bring dishes to share. Then make sure they take home their serving bowls and platters, which will cut down on dishes to wash and put away.

Decide on disposable: Leave Mom’s good dishes in the breakfront and set your table with disposable — and recyclable — place settings. Party stores sell plastic dishware that look like real china (12 dinner plates for about $13). After eating, collect and toss. If you can’t stand to set a table with anything but your best, use disposables for hors d’oeuvres and dessert.

Triple-duty cookware: Cut down on cleanup by selecting cookware that can go from oven to table to freezer. Or, serve food in edible containers, such as bread bowls or hollowed-out winter squash, which you can either consume or compost.

Empty fridge: Start your holiday with a clean slate, which will make the inevitable mess less daunting than piling clutter onto clutter. Before beginning Thanksgiving prep, pick up depressing home clutter and clean out your fridge to make room for ingredients and leftovers.

If possible, designate a shelf for Thanksgiving food, which should be empty when you start your meal, then filled with leftovers when you’re finished. In a week, clean out that shelf again. Make soup from leftover meat and veggies, and then freeze. Compost wilted greens. Toss old dairy products.

Prepare roasting pans: You won’t have to clean what you don’t get dirty. So line your turkey roasting pans with heavy-duty aluminum foil, or cook the bird in a bag. Pour drippings into a pot to make gravy, then throw away the liner.

Line garbage cans: Double- or triple-line garbage cans, which saves time when the cleaning campaign begins. After you toss a trash bag, there’s another waiting for action.

Soaking bin: Soak pots and pans as soon as you transfer food to platters. But instead of filling the sink with soaking pots, designate a small trashcan as the soaking spot. Fill it will soapy water and dirty pots, and hide it under a sink or in a mudroom. That way, your sink is free throughout the evening to clean as you go and rinse dishes on the way to the dishwasher.

Stop stains: Don’t let stains on carpet or rings on furniture set. While wine stains are still wet, dab with go-to cleaner hydrogen peroxide mixed with a few drops of dish detergent; blot with a clean cloth. Get rid of water stains on wood furniture with a dab of white toothpaste (not gel). Rub in the direction of the grain.

Pump up the music: Up-tempo music will give you a second wind for cleaning. So turn off the soothing dinner tunes and get rocking with our cleaning playlist.

Read more: http://members.houselogic.com/articles/easy-thanksgiving/preview/#ixzz3K2L6sJCp
Follow us: @HouseLogic on Twitter | HouseLogic on FacebookHow to Clean Up After Thanksgiving in Half the Time

By: Lisa Kaplan Gordon

Published: November 1, 2012

The Pilgrims were on to something when they planned a Thanksgiving potluck; here are other good ideas that’ll simplify your T-Day kitchen cleanup.

 

Want something to be thankful for? Check out these tips that’ll make your Thanksgiving kitchen cleanup faster and easier — and will give you more time to enjoy family and friends.

Plan a potluck: The first Thanksgiving was a potluck; so let your guests share the fun and bring dishes to share. Then make sure they take home their serving bowls and platters, which will cut down on dishes to wash and put away.

Decide on disposable: Leave Mom’s good dishes in the breakfront and set your table with disposable — and recyclable — place settings. Party stores sell plastic dishware that look like real china (12 dinner plates for about $13). After eating, collect and toss. If you can’t stand to set a table with anything but your best, use disposables for hors d’oeuvres and dessert.

Triple-duty cookware: Cut down on cleanup by selecting cookware that can go from oven to table to freezer. Or, serve food in edible containers, such as bread bowls or hollowed-out winter squash, which you can either consume or compost.

Empty fridge: Start your holiday with a clean slate, which will make the inevitable mess less daunting than piling clutter onto clutter. Before beginning Thanksgiving prep, pick up depressing home clutter and clean out your fridge to make room for ingredients and leftovers.

If possible, designate a shelf for Thanksgiving food, which should be empty when you start your meal, then filled with leftovers when you’re finished. In a week, clean out that shelf again. Make soup from leftover meat and veggies, and then freeze. Compost wilted greens. Toss old dairy products.

Prepare roasting pans: You won’t have to clean what you don’t get dirty. So line your turkey roasting pans with heavy-duty aluminum foil, or cook the bird in a bag. Pour drippings into a pot to make gravy, then throw away the liner.

Line garbage cans: Double- or triple-line garbage cans, which saves time when the cleaning campaign begins. After you toss a trash bag, there’s another waiting for action.

Soaking bin: Soak pots and pans as soon as you transfer food to platters. But instead of filling the sink with soaking pots, designate a small trashcan as the soaking spot. Fill it will soapy water and dirty pots, and hide it under a sink or in a mudroom. That way, your sink is free throughout the evening to clean as you go and rinse dishes on the way to the dishwasher.

Stop stains: Don’t let stains on carpet or rings on furniture set. While wine stains are still wet, dab with go-to cleaner hydrogen peroxide mixed with a few drops of dish detergent; blot with a clean cloth. Get rid of water stains on wood furniture with a dab of white toothpaste (not gel). Rub in the direction of the grain.

Pump up the music: Up-tempo music will give you a second wind for cleaning. So turn off the soothing dinner tunes and get rocking with our cleaning playlist.

Read more: http://members.houselogic.com/articles/easy-thanksgiving/preview/#ixzz3K2L6sJCp
Follow us: @HouseLogic on Twitter | HouseLogic on FacebookHow to Clean Up After Thanksgiving in Half the Time

By: Lisa Kaplan Gordon

Published: November 1, 2012

The Pilgrims were on to something when they planned a Thanksgiving potluck; here are other good ideas that’ll simplify your T-Day kitchen cleanup.

 

Want something to be thankful for? Check out these tips that’ll make your Thanksgiving kitchen cleanup faster and easier — and will give you more time to enjoy family and friends.

Plan a potluck: The first Thanksgiving was a potluck; so let your guests share the fun and bring dishes to share. Then make sure they take home their serving bowls and platters, which will cut down on dishes to wash and put away.

Decide on disposable: Leave Mom’s good dishes in the breakfront and set your table with disposable — and recyclable — place settings. Party stores sell plastic dishware that look like real china (12 dinner plates for about $13). After eating, collect and toss. If you can’t stand to set a table with anything but your best, use disposables for hors d’oeuvres and dessert.

Triple-duty cookware: Cut down on cleanup by selecting cookware that can go from oven to table to freezer. Or, serve food in edible containers, such as bread bowls or hollowed-out winter squash, which you can either consume or compost.

Empty fridge: Start your holiday with a clean slate, which will make the inevitable mess less daunting than piling clutter onto clutter. Before beginning Thanksgiving prep, pick up depressing home clutter and clean out your fridge to make room for ingredients and leftovers.

If possible, designate a shelf for Thanksgiving food, which should be empty when you start your meal, then filled with leftovers when you’re finished. In a week, clean out that shelf again. Make soup from leftover meat and veggies, and then freeze. Compost wilted greens. Toss old dairy products.

Prepare roasting pans: You won’t have to clean what you don’t get dirty. So line your turkey roasting pans with heavy-duty aluminum foil, or cook the bird in a bag. Pour drippings into a pot to make gravy, then throw away the liner.

Line garbage cans: Double- or triple-line garbage cans, which saves time when the cleaning campaign begins. After you toss a trash bag, there’s another waiting for action.

Soaking bin: Soak pots and pans as soon as you transfer food to platters. But instead of filling the sink with soaking pots, designate a small trashcan as the soaking spot. Fill it will soapy water and dirty pots, and hide it under a sink or in a mudroom. That way, your sink is free throughout the evening to clean as you go and rinse dishes on the way to the dishwasher.

Stop stains: Don’t let stains on carpet or rings on furniture set. While wine stains are still wet, dab with go-to cleaner hydrogen peroxide mixed with a few drops of dish detergent; blot with a clean cloth. Get rid of water stains on wood furniture with a dab of white toothpaste (not gel). Rub in the direction of the grain.

Pump up the music: Up-tempo music will give you a second wind for cleaning. So turn off the soothing dinner tunes and get rocking with our cleaning playlist.

Read more: http://members.houselogic.com/articles/easy-thanksgiving/preview/#ixzz3K2L6sJCp
Follow us: @HouseLogic on Twitter | HouseLogic on FacebookHow to Clean Up After Thanksgiving in Half the Time

By: Lisa Kaplan Gordon

Published: November 1, 2012

The Pilgrims were on to something when they planned a Thanksgiving potluck; here are other good ideas that’ll simplify your T-Day kitchen cleanup.

 

Want something to be thankful for? Check out these tips that’ll make your Thanksgiving kitchen cleanup faster and easier — and will give you more time to enjoy family and friends.

Plan a potluck: The first Thanksgiving was a potluck; so let your guests share the fun and bring dishes to share. Then make sure they take home their serving bowls and platters, which will cut down on dishes to wash and put away.

Decide on disposable: Leave Mom’s good dishes in the breakfront and set your table with disposable — and recyclable — place settings. Party stores sell plastic dishware that look like real china (12 dinner plates for about $13). After eating, collect and toss. If you can’t stand to set a table with anything but your best, use disposables for hors d’oeuvres and dessert.

Triple-duty cookware: Cut down on cleanup by selecting cookware that can go from oven to table to freezer. Or, serve food in edible containers, such as bread bowls or hollowed-out winter squash, which you can either consume or compost.

Empty fridge: Start your holiday with a clean slate, which will make the inevitable mess less daunting than piling clutter onto clutter. Before beginning Thanksgiving prep, pick up depressing home clutter and clean out your fridge to make room for ingredients and leftovers.

If possible, designate a shelf for Thanksgiving food, which should be empty when you start your meal, then filled with leftovers when you’re finished. In a week, clean out that shelf again. Make soup from leftover meat and veggies, and then freeze. Compost wilted greens. Toss old dairy products.

Prepare roasting pans: You won’t have to clean what you don’t get dirty. So line your turkey roasting pans with heavy-duty aluminum foil, or cook the bird in a bag. Pour drippings into a pot to make gravy, then throw away the liner.

Line garbage cans: Double- or triple-line garbage cans, which saves time when the cleaning campaign begins. After you toss a trash bag, there’s another waiting for action.

Soaking bin: Soak pots and pans as soon as you transfer food to platters. But instead of filling the sink with soaking pots, designate a small trashcan as the soaking spot. Fill it will soapy water and dirty pots, and hide it under a sink or in a mudroom. That way, your sink is free throughout the evening to clean as you go and rinse dishes on the way to the dishwasher.

Stop stains: Don’t let stains on carpet or rings on furniture set. While wine stains are still wet, dab with go-to cleaner hydrogen peroxide mixed with a few drops of dish detergent; blot with a clean cloth. Get rid of water stains on wood furniture with a dab of white toothpaste (not gel). Rub in the direction of the grain.

Pump up the music: Up-tempo music will give you a second wind for cleaning. So turn off the soothing dinner tunes and get rocking with our cleaning playlist.

Read more: http://members.houselogic.com/articles/easy-thanksgiving/preview/#ixzz3K2L6sJCp
Follow us: @HouseLogic on Twitter | HouseLogic on FacebookHow to Clean Up After Thanksgiving in Half the Time

By: Lisa Kaplan Gordon

Published: November 1, 2012

The Pilgrims were on to something when they planned a Thanksgiving potluck; here are other good ideas that’ll simplify your T-Day kitchen cleanup.

 

Want something to be thankful for? Check out these tips that’ll make your Thanksgiving kitchen cleanup faster and easier — and will give you more time to enjoy family and friends.

Plan a potluck: The first Thanksgiving was a potluck; so let your guests share the fun and bring dishes to share. Then make sure they take home their serving bowls and platters, which will cut down on dishes to wash and put away.

Decide on disposable: Leave Mom’s good dishes in the breakfront and set your table with disposable — and recyclable — place settings. Party stores sell plastic dishware that look like real china (12 dinner plates for about $13). After eating, collect and toss. If you can’t stand to set a table with anything but your best, use disposables for hors d’oeuvres and dessert.

Triple-duty cookware: Cut down on cleanup by selecting cookware that can go from oven to table to freezer. Or, serve food in edible containers, such as bread bowls or hollowed-out winter squash, which you can either consume or compost.

Empty fridge: Start your holiday with a clean slate, which will make the inevitable mess less daunting than piling clutter onto clutter. Before beginning Thanksgiving prep, pick up depressing home clutter and clean out your fridge to make room for ingredients and leftovers.

If possible, designate a shelf for Thanksgiving food, which should be empty when you start your meal, then filled with leftovers when you’re finished. In a week, clean out that shelf again. Make soup from leftover meat and veggies, and then freeze. Compost wilted greens. Toss old dairy products.

Prepare roasting pans: You won’t have to clean what you don’t get dirty. So line your turkey roasting pans with heavy-duty aluminum foil, or cook the bird in a bag. Pour drippings into a pot to make gravy, then throw away the liner.

Line garbage cans: Double- or triple-line garbage cans, which saves time when the cleaning campaign begins. After you toss a trash bag, there’s another waiting for action.

Soaking bin: Soak pots and pans as soon as you transfer food to platters. But instead of filling the sink with soaking pots, designate a small trashcan as the soaking spot. Fill it will soapy water and dirty pots, and hide it under a sink or in a mudroom. That way, your sink is free throughout the evening to clean as you go and rinse dishes on the way to the dishwasher.

Stop stains: Don’t let stains on carpet or rings on furniture set. While wine stains are still wet, dab with go-to cleaner hydrogen peroxide mixed with a few drops of dish detergent; blot with a clean cloth. Get rid of water stains on wood furniture with a dab of white toothpaste (not gel). Rub in the direction of the grain.

Pump up the music: Up-tempo music will give you a second wind for cleaning. So turn off the soothing dinner tunes and get rocking with our cleaning playlist.

Read more: http://members.houselogic.com/articles/easy-thanksgiving/preview/#ixzz3K2L6sJCp
Follow us: @HouseLogic on Twitter | HouseLogic on Facebook

5 Holiday Hosting Disasters and How to Avoid Them :

5 Holiday Hosting Disasters and How to Avoid Them

By:

Take a look at the most common things that can go wrong when you have guests and learn how to prevent them.

 

Imagine you’re preparing to host your annual holiday party, and you’re past the point of no return. The veggies and meats have been bought. Guests are already braving busy airports and crowded highways to get to your home—and then your oven won’t turn on. Your home-cooked meal has quickly turned into a microwave dinner.

That’s just one of many hosting nightmares that can end your holiday party before it even begins. Thankfully, some of the most damaging mishaps easily can be avoided. We collected five of the most prevalent issues and give you preventative tips to keep your holiday party on track.

Problem: The oven doesn’t heat

For any holiday occasion, the oven is the most important appliance in your house. If it fails to work, the centerpiece of your meal could go from roasted beef, ham, duck, or Tofurky to Peking Duck from the local Chinese takeout joint.

How to avoid:

  • There are any number of reasons a stove can break, but one common cause of disaster is easy to prevent. Don’t self-clean your oven until AFTER the holidays. You risk blowing a fuse or a thermostat, and tracking down an oven technician around the holidays can be tough.

Problem: The kitchen sink clogs

The day after Thanksgiving is the busiest of the year for plumbers. The prime cause of this clog-a-thon is the mistreatment of drains when cooking holiday feasts. We hope your Thanksgiving went well, and that you avoid clog-a-thons for the rest of the holidays.

How to avoid:

  • Fats and cooking oils can solidify in your pipes, so never dispose of them in your kitchen sink.
  • If you have a garbage disposal, make sure it’s running before anything goes in it, and never feed it any stringy, fibrous, or starchy foods like poultry skins or potato peels.
  • To fix, don’t rely on chemical drain-clearing products that can harm your pipes. Use a snake instead, available for $15 at your local hardware store. Best to keep one on hand.

Problem: The heat goes out

As the party’s host, you’re supposed to hang guests’ coats—not apologize to them for having to keep them on. A lack of heat can stop a holiday party dead in its tracks.

How to avoid:

  • The key to avoiding freezing your party to a standstill is regular maintenance of your HVAC. Every 90 days, a new one-inch pleated furnace filter should be installed. If you haven’t done it in a while, now’s a good time to replace it.
  • Also inspect insulation on refrigerant lines that are leading into your house. Replace them if they’re missing or damaged.

Problem: The toilet stops up

Toilets have a way of clogging up at the worst times, such as during parties and when you have overnight guests. This is especially true if you have a low-flow toilet from the early 1990s.

How to avoid:

  • Don’t flush anything other than sewage and toilet paper down the toilet. And there’s nothing wrong with putting up a polite note to remind your guests to do the same.

Problem: The fridge doesn’t cool

Without a properly functioning refrigerator, your meat could get contaminated, your dairy-based treats could go sour, and you may not be able to save your yummy leftovers. To avoid discovering a warm fridge after it’s too late, take these simple precautions.

How to avoid:

  • Get a thermometer for your refrigerator to make sure each shelf stays below 40 degrees and you can be aware of any temperature changes.
  • Also make sure the condenser coils located on the back of the unit or beneath it are free to breathe. Coils blocked from circulating air by cereal boxes atop the fridge, or dirtied by dust or pet hair can prevent a fridge from keeping cool.

Read more: http://members.houselogic.com/articles/holiday-hosting-tips/preview/#ixzz3K2Iwx6qV
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