Lifestyle

Community Spotlight: Whitelam Books in Reading, MA

Independent books stores are a rare find these days, especially in small towns.  For our August Community Spotlight,  Michelle Ternullo interviewed Liz Whitelam, Owner of Whitelam Books in Reading, MA.   Liz has created a wonderful community centered shop.  There's a wide variety of books to choose from plus many thoughtful gifts for book lovers and creative kids.  

Watch the video below to learn more!

 

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Massachusetts Ranks First in Public Schools

One of the first things buyers often consider when looking for a home is the public school system.  According to a recent study by WalletHub, Massachusetts has the best public school system in the country.  Massachusetts placed highest for math and reading test scores and tied for second in ACT scores.  Massachusetts also tied for first in safety. Another reason to love living in Massachusetts!  

If you and your family are considering a move to the suburbs North of Boston we'd love to hear from you!  Contact us!   (617) 275-3379 or homes@ternullorealestate.com

Read the article by WalletHub here! 

 

North of Boston Famers Market Guide

 

Now is the best time of year to visit one of the many wonderful farmers markets in the communities North of Boston! 
Not only will you be able to pick the best seasonal produce, but you'll likely find a delicious snack, lunch or dinner to munch on while you shop! Maybe the kids can help and everyone can try a new veggie for dinner tonight!? Also, visiting a farmers market is a great way to learn about the communities you're house hunting in!
Check out the guide below! 

North Reading- Wednesdays June 19th - Aug. 28th 
from 3:30pm to 7:00pm
Ipswich River Park
15 Central St, North Reading, MA 01864
http://www.northreadingfarmersmarket.org
 

Melrose- Thursdays from 2pm-7pm
June through October (closes at 6PM in October)
Bowden Park, near the Cedar Park Train Station
167 West Emerson Street, Melrose, MA 02176
https://melrosefarmersmarket.org

Stoneham- Thursdays June 6 - Sept 26th 2:30pm-6:30pm
Town Common
340 Main St, Stoneham, MA 02180
https://stonehamfarmersmarket.com
 

Winchester- Saturdays through Oct. 26th. 9am-1pm
Winchester Common
22 Church St, Winchester, MA 01890
https://www.winchesterfarmersmarket.org
 

Andover- Saturdays October 19th 10a.m.-2:00 p.m.. 
97 Main Street in downtown Andover on the South Lawn of the Andover Historical Society.
https://andoverhistorical.org/programs
 

North Andover- Sundays through September 29. 10am - 2:00 p.m.  
The intersection of First and Main Streets in downtown North Andover
https://northandoverfarmersmarket.org
 

 

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Community Spotlight: RSK Marble & Granite

(photo courtesy of sanctuaryhomedecor.com)

For this month's Community Spotlight we are featuring one of our trusted vendors:  RSK Marble & Granite.  John and Michelle are renovating their kitchen and sought out the expertise of brother and sister team Peter and Kristine at RSK.  The family-owned business specializes in natrual and engineered stones.  Watch the video to learn more!   Also check out our Facebook page for the change to win a discount on countertops for your next renovation!

 

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The Ternullo Real Estate Team Community Spotlight: Kane's Donuts, Saugus, MA 01906

We had the pleasure of sampling donuts at Kane's Donuts' new location on Rt. 1 in Saugus, MA.  In celebration of National Donut Day we thought it would be fun to feature this legendary (and one of our favorite) donut shops! Watch the video below and visit our Facebook and Instagram pages for an awesome GIVEAWAY!

 

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The Ternullo Team's Community Spotlight: Our Favorite Hikes

  

There's no shortage of outdoor recreation areas in the communities North of Boston. Michelle Ternullo of the Ternullo Team at Leading Edge shares some of her favorites.  Whether you want to hike, bike or take an easy stroll with beautiful scenery, you're sure to find a natural area to fit your needs.  

Check out the video and links below!

If you'd like to visit some of the trails we featured, click the links below for more info. 

Weir Hill, North Andover MA

Breakheart Reservation, bordering Wakefield and Saugus, MA

The Tri-Community Greenway, through Stoneham, Wobun and Winchester, MA

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The Ternullo Team's 5th Annual Client Appreciation Night

(From left:  Christine Hurley, Lenny Clarke and Frank Santorelli)

Our team hosted our 5th Annual Client Appreciation Night at Giggles Comedy Club in Saugus.  What a night it was!  Our cheeks hurt from laughing so much!  The night started out with pizza and drinks and ended with a hilarious comedy show featuring seven comics.  Johnny Pizzi did an awesome job MC'ing the show.  

This was a special night to show our appreciation and say “thank you” to our past, current and future clients and to our friends/family for their support.  We especially want to thank our sponsors and trusted vendors:  

We hope everyone had a blast! Thanks again to Giggles Comedy Club for having us and Prince Pizzeria for the yummy food!

Millennials Are Skipping Starter Homes for Their Dream Homes

Millennials Are Skipping Starter Homes for Their Dream Homes

A new trend has begun to emerge. With home prices skyrocketing in the starter home category, many first-time homebuyers are skipping the traditional starter homes and moving right into their dream homes.

What’s a Starter Home?

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), simply put, a starter home is a one or two-bedroom home (sometimes even a small, three bedroom). “Prices vary widely by market but starters on average cost $150,000 to $250,000 while trade-up and premium homes cost upwards of $300,000.”

Finding Their Forever Homes Now

A recent CNBC article revealed that there are many factors that delayed older millennials (ages 25-35) from buying a home earlier in their lives. The aftereffects of the Great Recession teaming up with larger education costs forced many to either remain living in their parent’s homes or to rent.

With the economy continuing to improve, many millennials have been able to break into better-paying jobs which has helped spur down payment savings. As the dream of homeownership comes closer to reality, many millennials are saving for their forever homes.

According to the latest statistics from NAR, 30% of millennials bought homes for $300,000 or more this year (up from 14% in 2013). Diane Swonk, Chief Economist at Grant Thornton weighed in saying, “They rented for longer. Now they’re going to where they want to stay.”

More and more millennials are settling down, getting married, and starting families, which is a huge factor driving them to look for larger homes.

Increased competition in the starter home market has also been a driving force in waiting to afford their dream homes. Inventory in the starter home market is down 14.2% from last year, according to research from Trulia. This has driven prices up and has led to bidding wars.

Many first-time buyers who were originally looking for starter homes are realizing that for just a little bit more of an investment, they could afford trade-up or premium homes instead.

Bottom Line

If you plan on purchasing your first home this year, let’s get together to determine how much house you can afford. You may be pleasantly surprised.

White Balance

This Symmetrical, All-White Kitchen Provides a Calming Family Gathering Place

WRITTEN BY RONDA SWANEY  PHOTOGRAPHY BY TOP KAT PHOTO

 

“When I leave, it should look like I was never there,” says Katja van der Loo, CEO of Papyrus Home Design, a Boonton, New Jersey interior design firm. She’s describing the desired end result after a remodeling project. “Whatever style the kitchen is, if it is in keeping [with] and respectful to the architecture of the home, I think that’s when it’s most successful. This bright kitchen would look awful in a different type of house. In this house, it looks incredible,” she says.

When van der Loo was hired for this project, she found a kitchen stuck in the ’80s. The older part of the home had a classic design but suffered from a poorly executed addition. The remodeled portion appeared to be tacked onto the house as an afterthought. The owners, a couple with young children, needed a fresh start. The previous construction was removed and a new three-story addition was planned for the back of the house. This kitchen was part of that project. “We had to seamlessly blend the old with the new,” says van der Loo.

“I knew this client was into balance and symmetry, and that’s how I approach things too,” explains van der Loo. “The cleaner it is the better it feels, I think.” Balanced designs create a calming effect, which is helpful for any busy homeowners.

The range and island are perfectly centered, as are the large glass pendant lights. “Those pendants add an industrial touch to the kitchen,” she says. And they are grand enough to be noticed. “The kitchen has nine-foot ceilings and the island is nine feet long. I felt we needed something large scale to balance all that space.”

Off to the side, the bench seating that skirts the wide bay window is also perfectly symmetrical. The seat cushions are custom, while store-bought pillows in gray, white, and taupe finish the look. Drawers beneath the window seat add more storage, which the homeowner uses to keep serving pieces that are rarely used.

 

In any remodeling project, it’s smart to save dollars where you can. The homeowners already had the table and chairs used in the eating nook. Chair slipcovers were a practical selection because they could be removed and machine washed if the children spilled on the furniture. A glass chandelier, with a traditional shape but modern transparency, sparkles above the dining table. The transparency gave an added benefit to the room. “The garden, which you can see through the windows, is spectacular. I didn’t want anything to obstruct that view,” explains van der Loo.

The children use the small desk off to the side to work on arts and crafts projects. Open cabinets above the desk make books easily accessible. A printer is hidden in one end of the island, which provides easy access without visual clutter. At the island sit practical and lightweight aluminum barstools, which van der Loo calls “indestructible.”

Attention to proportion promotes the calming effect as do the colors and materials used. The cabinets, subway tile, and crown moldings are awash in white. Room flow is enhanced by how the cabinet molding merges seamlessly with the crown molding that circles the room. Pietra cardosa, a mineral-laden gray stone, tops the perimeter counters. Neutral paint with the slightest hint of gray covers the walls. The range and hood serve as the room’s focal point, while other appliances are hidden beneath cabinet panels.

One of the homeowners has a great passion for cooking and baking and many of the room’s features align with that. Many an amateur baker covets a marble surface, so statuary marble tops the island at the homeowner’s request. A high BTU range is professional grade and the warming rack above it aids in meal prep. A mixer lift is hidden in the other end of the island.

“A lot of people store mixers in a pantry, but that’s not convenient. With a lift, you open the cabinet and it pops up. When you’re done, all you have to do is clean the bowl, then it pops back down to be hidden in the cabinet again.”

A custom cabinet to the right of the range hides steel cooling racks for baked goods. To the left of the range is a wall oven and microwave. To the side of the island is a wet bar. It contains a beverage fridge and a small sink. This spot is adjacent to the family room, which is helpful for enter-taining. Guests can serve themselves without getting in the way of food prep in the main cooking area.

Symmetry, soothing tones, and hiding places that keep clutter at bay—each element plays a role in creating a calming atmosphere that draws the family together. “I love the openness and balance of this room,” says van der Loo. “But you know what the best thing about this kitchen is? It’s how you feel when you’re in it.”

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