Sonia Rollins
EXIT Premier Real Estate | 781-454-6043 | [email protected]


Posted by Sonia Rollins on 5/3/2020


 Photo by Maria Godfrida via Pixabay

For a homeowner who wants to make green improvements and renovations to their personal property, the Conditions, Covenants & Restrictions, or CC&Rs, of the local homeowner association can pose problems that cost time, money and freedom of choice. This is especially true for homeowners who wish to make structural or aesthetic changes to existing homes. Here are only a few of the battles you might face when the local HOA discovers your plans for going green in a traditional or historic neighborhood.

Your Planned Solar Panels Aren't Warming Anyone's Hearts

While some HOAs may interfere with your choice of color of solar panels, others may not permit them at all. It's an aesthetic dilemma. Allowing solar panels on one home differentiates it from the others. In a community that's built upon history or tradition, individuality is rarely a good thing. If you're thinking of adding solar panels to a home that's governed by an HOA, you may be forced to buy certain-colored panels, or you may be banned from adding them at all. Consider this before buying a home, if you plan to make green upgrades in an area that features a homeowner association.

Your Energy Efficient Windows Are Getting a Cold Reception

Windows that feature double-paned glass or visible solar tints may get you in hot water with your HOA. Changing out historic windows and doors for more energy-efficient versions should be advantageous, right? Not if doing so sets your home apart from your neighbors or your condo unit apart from the rest of the building. If you want those new, modern windows that lower the cost of your energy bill over time, and you live in a home regulated by an HOA, prepare to fight for your right for window replacement. 

Your New Cool Metal Roof Is Being Hotly Debated

Cool metal roofing is all the rage for homeowners who live in dramatic climates. Cooler in summer and warmer in winter, they'd be a big improvement over those old cedar shakes your home is currently rocking. But you'll probably never experience the convenience of cool metal if you live in an historic area where cedar shakes abound. While your HOA can't prevent you from repairing or replacing a failing roof, they can legally limit the materials you use to do it. 

While homeowner associations do a lot for the communities they serve, they can cause consternation to those homeowners who place value on energy efficiency above historic appeal. If you're planning to buy or renovate a home that's regulated by the CC&Rs of the local HOA, make sure you completely understand the limitations they impose before you buy. Once in, you're bound by the rules you agreed to follow, even if it means sacrificing energy efficiency in lieu of tradition. 

 

 

 





Posted by Sonia Rollins on 3/8/2020

Image by David Papazian from Shutterstock

Porch lighting is an essential part of a home's curb appeal. It offers much more than help navigating in the dark or a pretty accent for your front door. A brightly lit porch can enhance security and also save you money on your energy bill.

Where will you place it?

The location of your porch light helps you choose the right fixture. When updating an existing light, your choices may be limited if you don’t want to relocate your electricity or create additional patching or painting tasks. If your project is bigger or you are starting from scratch, your options are unlimited. In addition to the traditional placement on either side of the door, porch lights can be hung from above or be installed on posts.

What is the style of your home?

The architecture of your home also dictates the kind of fixture you should choose. If your home does not have any defining characteristics, your style is all you need. Porchlights can be found in several styles and designs with modern, casual and traditional options widely available. Consider a traditional style for a colonial home or a rustic fixture for a log cabin.

What is the size of your entry door?

The size of your porch light should balance with the size of your door. For example, if you have a standard-size door of six-feet eight-inches, it is recommended that your porch light be between 5 and 9 inches wide. A porch light that is 10 to 12 inches wide will balance with an eight-foot door. Choose the same or similar widths when installing multiple fixtures.

What are the features?

Motion sensitive porch lights feature a built-in sensor that turns on the light when a person or pet moves into the range of the sensor. A daylight sensitive light has a timer that automatically turns on the lights at dusk. Most decorative porch lights feature built-in dusk to dawn photoelectric eyes, which means you won't need to think about turning on the porch light. 

If you want a bright porch light, check the wattage recommendations for the fixture you’re considering. Do not exceed the fixture's wattage as this could cause damage. Replace your incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs or outdoor-rated compact fluorescent bulbs.

Installing the right porch light can add charm to your home and significantly boost your curb appeal. If you need guidance or installation assistance, ask your realtor for recommended lighting professionals or contractors to help with your project.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Sonia Rollins on 11/13/2016

Old New England homes are rich in history and character. The style of many modern houses in the region is heavily influenced by English colonial homes of the early 1700s. It was in colonial times when lead pigment was first used. By the 1920s lead paint usage was at its peak. The paint was strong, it covered a lot of surface area, and it made vibrant colors, all very appealing to home homeowners at the time. The health hazards of lead paint are many. Although, unlike other home hazards like fire or carbon monoxide, they reveal themselves slowly over many years, making them especially dangerous for children. According to WebMD, high levels of lead paint exposure can cause the following:

  • Damage to the brain and nervous system
  • Kidney damage
  • Behavior and learning problems, such as hyperactivity
  • Slowed growth
  • Poor muscle coordination
  • Hearing problems
  • Headaches
  • Bone marrow problems
Scary stuff, right? But don't panic... Here's what you need to know about detecting and eliminating lead paint in your home. If your house was built before 1978, there's a chance it has lead paint. It was in 1978 that the federal government banned the consumer use of lead paints. Since usage reached its peak in the 1920s, the older your house the higher the likelihood of it having lead paint. This puts old New England homes at greater risk. To test for lead paint you should seek out a licensed inspector. Most state websites have resources for locating an inspector near you (mass.gov for example). Inspection can cost anywhere from $150-$400 and will depend on the size of your home, rates in your area, and other factors. Once tested, you will be given options and a risk assessment and can then decide how you'd like to proceed. Some ill-advised homeowners take the situation into their own hands, scraping paint and mopping up the dust. This is exactly what NOT to do. Dispersing all of those lead particles into the air will contaminate your home and yard, seeping into the ground outside. Many people share anecdotal stories about removing lead paint themselves, insisting, "I did it myself and I'm still alive." It's important to remember, however, that those who are truly at risk are the children who will grow up in that house facing longterm exposure to lead. Young children are particularly vulnerable to lead poisoning for three reasons:
  1. Toddlers tend to put objects into their mouths such as paint chips or other objects that may have traces of lead. This causes a high level of lead absorption
  2. Children's bodies are developing rapidly and absorb lead faster than adults
  3. They can spend decades in a home, developing the symptoms listed above that can then become chronic, lifelong illnesses
To completely remove the lead from your home you'll need to seek out a lead abatement contractor. View the Lead Safe List for your area to find contractors and receive quotes. If you have attempted to remove lead yourself, or performed recent renovations that may have dispersed lead paint and are worried that your children may have been exposed you should bring them to their pediatrician. Testing for high levels of lead can be detected by a simple blood test.  







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