1/21/2014: Scotch club

Went out for drinks with New Guy last weekend and he says to me “we should start a scotch club.”  Total no-brainer.  New Guy’s only been around for a few months, but he catches on quick.  Really like where his head is at.

Management hopes things “don’t get weird.”  Not sure what that means but New Guy and I want to be clear about the rules of scotch club.

1.) First rule of scotch club is don’t show up with Zima.  (Did you think it was going to be don’t talk about scotch club?)  New Guy and I feel like if you show up with a sixer of Zima you are really missing the point.

2.) DO show up in a smoking jacket or something super manly.  Favorite old t-shirt, high school letter jacket — whatever.  I’m going to wear a Patrick Swayze tank top I have.


3.) This IS NOT a book club.  New Guy and I want to be super clear about this.  Can’t tell you the number of times I read a book and showed up and everyone there was drinking merlot not talking about the book.  I never would have read Jane Austen.  But OMG was Pride & Prejudice soooo good!

4.) Will appetizers be provided?  This isn’t some Cambridge gastro-pub — there’s not going to be any charcuterie.  No bros in tweed jackets using words like “peaty” and “smokey.”  We show up at someone’s house and drink scotch.  That’s it.

5.) Is this club just for bros?  Hell no.  It’s for men (and women) who like scotch, rare steaks and horsepower.  If your husband wears skinny jeans or mock turtles — you should report to scotch club.  You need this more than anybody.

New Guy and I will let you know when our first meeting is.  All you have to do is show up. Don’t bring Zima.  Really can’t emphasize that enough.

1/16/2014: West Newton real estate outlook for 2014

Two words gang: seller’s market.

Last year, low inventory and even lower interest rates created a real estate market that heavily favored sellers.  The annual average interest rate on a mortgage hovered around 3.98% — which means buyers could pay more for a house because they’re paying the bank less interest.  Only problem was housing inventory in 02465 was down about 20% — so there were less homes to buy.

This created bidding wars.  Lots of them.  105 homes sold in 2013 — 49 of them sold at or above asking price.  28 homes took less than 1 week to sell.  The homes that didn’t sell at or above asking got 98% of their list price — so don’t feel bad for them.

The market was totally loco last year you guys.  Like 2005 all over again.  But what can we expect in 2014?

Probably more of the same.  Inventory is still low.  I expect rising interest rates are going to be a factor.  Rates have risen nearly 1/2 point in the past few months.  For West Newton buyers, that rate increase will mean an extra $200-300 each month on interest.  May not seem like a lot, but that’s more money buyers are paying on interest — not the house.

As interest rates and inventory rise, the market will become a more level playing field for buyers & sellers.  Until then, it’s a sellers market.

Some pics below of 86 Prince Street — the most expensive home sold in 02465 in 2013 ($3.905M).

86 Prince

86 prince2

86 Prince3

86 Prince4

1/15/2014: Christmas tree pick up

I’ve totally gotten used to the Christmas tree that’s been in our front yard for the last 2 weeks.  I mean nothing says Christmas is over like a rotting tree in the yard.  Really drives it home for the kids too.

I’m in no rush to get rid of the tree.  Neither is the City of Newton — which has scheduled tree pick up for Randlett on Friday, January 17th.  The last possible pick-up day.

xmas tree

1/9/2014: TV in front of 339 Waltham

Hey guys, it’s me — the TV that’s been sitting out front of 339 Waltham for the past 3 weeks.  I’m not waiting for bulk pick-up, I’m waiting for a new home.  I know you’ve seen me.  Why don’t you stop and put me in your trunk?

339 Waltham TV

Allow myself to introduce…. myself.  I’m a 27″ color TV with wireless remote (buried in snow somewhere).  I have a nice wood frame that weighs 147 pounds.  I’m compatible with VHS and BETA VCRs, Atari & Nintendo gaming systems.  The snow and cold hasn’t effected my tube — shows like Dallas, Three’s Company, Alf, Charles in Charge and Mork & Mindy still look look great on my screen.

If you’re looking for high-def, I’m not you’re guy.  Watching hockey on me is impossible — where’s the puck?  You can’t hang me on the wall over your fireplace.  I belong on the floor.  Don’t know what DVDs are so I won’t play ’em.  Don’t have a DVR either — just use the VCR to record your shows, so easy to program!

I got some good years left on me.  Just need a cozy corner in your home with room for my remote and antenna.  So find the strongest person you know and come pick me up.  I’m freezing out here.