Sherry Bourque - RE/MAX Main Street Associates

Posted by Sherry Bourque on 6/18/2017

The Northeast and New England are home to some of the most historic estates in the country. If you drive through almost any small town in New England you'll notice houses that proudly wear signs giving the year the home was built, with many dating back to the 1700s. Many of these homes have fortunately been preserved and opened to the public as museums. The area isn't just full of old colonials, either. Mansions in Rhode Island, estates in Vermont, tenement buildings in New York City, and even a few modern feats of architecture in Connecticut sprawl across the region. Here's a list of 10 must-see homes-turned-museums in the Northeast:

1. Mark Twain House, Connecticut

In 1873, Samuel Langhorne Clemens (Mark Twain) and his recently wed wife, Olivia began work on their home in Hartford, Connecticut. Twain would go on to live what he described as the happiest and most productive years of his life. The museum holds many artifacts from Twain and his family, including his last pair of spectacles.

2. The Glass House, Connecticut

The Glass House is a 49-acre experiment in modern architecture that lies in New Canaan, Connecticut. The structures on the estate were built in 1949 with industrial age materials like steel and glass (the main house being comprised of glass).

3. The House of Seven Gables, Massachusetts

Salem, Massachusetts is mainly associated with the Salem Witch Trials and various pop-culture references that tie it to the supernatural. Most of the witch trials of 1692 involved residents of neighboring Danvers (then Salem Village). The House of Seven Gables was built by a Salem sea captain named John Turner in 1668.

4. Old Sturbridge Village, Massachusetts

As its name suggests, Old Sturbridge village is a reconstructed village that depicts an average New England village in the 1830s. It includes a school, country store, bank, a working farm, and several homes.

5. The Breakers, Rhode Island

The Breakers was constructed as the summer home of Cornelius Vanderbilt II in 1893. It is a gilded age mansion on the ocean that represents the opulence and grandeur of its time.

6. Hildene, Vermont

The home of the Lincoln family built in Manchester, Vermont in 1905. It was constructed by Robert Lincoln, son of Abraham Lincoln and was excluseively the home of Lincoln decendents until 1975.

7. Jackson House, New Hampshire

The Jackson House in Portsmouth, New Hampshire is the oldest wood-framed house in New Hampshire. It was built ca. 1664 and has post-Medieval English architectural motifs.

8. Castle Tucker, Maine

Castle Tucker was built in 1807 in coastal Wiscasset, Maine. Visitors are offered a glimpse into the lives of the Tuckers, a well-known shipping family. Economic difficulties meant the home was seldom renovated and one of the most well-preserved Victorian era homes in the region.

9. Tenement Museum, New York

While many homes on the list tell the story of well-to-do families, the NYC tenement museum takes visitors through a multi-floor tenement building that housed over 7,000 working class immigrants.

10. Lyndhurst, New York

Lyndhurst, an estate overlooking the Hudson river in Tarrytown, New York, is an American Gothic revival mansion. It housed many prominent figures including a a New York City mayor and a railroad tycoon.

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Posted by Sherry Bourque on 6/11/2017

There are many different ways to upgrade and create the perfect outdoor space. You can upgrade what you already have by adding simple things to it, you can accessorize, or you can overhaul the entire area by starting from scratch. It’s always a good idea to take these three approaches and use a mix of the strategies.    

Go For Durable

Sometimes many different types of patio furniture end up being a little stuffy and high maintenance. While these sets can be beautiful, they may not be practical to suit your needs. If you live in an area where you need to put away your furniture for the fall and winter season because you don’t have use of the outdoors, plan accordingly with the type of outdoor accessories that you buy. 

You’re better off going for value and finding durable, yet stylish furniture that will stand the test of time. Otherwise, you’ll be replacing your furniture every year without fail. Go a bit more traditional than bold and work your outdoor style around that.

Choose Your Colors First

If you start with furniture, you’re left to figure out how to accessorize. There’s no rule that says you can’t find the accessories you want first before you begin to buy furniture. Find your cushions and outdoor rugs first. Then, move on to finding furniture that meshes well with those colors and styles.

Use The Outdoors To Accessorize

Whether you’re replacing your existing patio furniture, or just looking to recreate your space, you can use more than throw pillows and an outdoor rug to accessorize. Find planters that match well with the style you’re looking to achieve. Add in greenery and flowers that will only accent the look. There are a number of options of the types of planters that you can choose from hanging plants to large pots to planters on pedestals. Get creative with your plants and spice up your space. Is your outdoor space near your vegetable garden? Be sure to highlight your hard work and use that as a sort of focal point for your entire outdoor space.

Be Practical

If you’re spending a lot of time outside grilling, you’re going to want a table and chairs available, so there’s no need to truck food in and out of the house each night for dinner. It also would be a good idea o have some storage for food prep items like grilling tools, extra plates, and more just to keep everything you need in one place. These storage items are an important piece to your outdoor space. Whether you are primarily using a deck, patio, or the pool area, thinking practically can really be a big help in decorating.

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Posted by Sherry Bourque on 6/4/2017

Let's face it – your bedroom needs to be cleaned up if you want to sell your home. Fortunately, there are many quick, effective ways to transform a messy bedroom into a pristine one. Here are four bedroom cleaning tips that every home seller needs to know about: 1. Pick up bedroom cleaning essentials. To clean up a dirty, dusty bedroom, you'll need a few key cleaning essentials, including:

  • Dusting Mitts – These mitts will make it easy for you to dust floors, furniture, electronics and much more.
  • Disinfecting Wipes – These wipes are great choices for cleaning switch plates and doorjambs.
  • Glass Wipes – Clean up your bedroom windows with high-quality glass wipes.
Of course, don't forget to pick up a broom, mop and vacuum for your bedroom cleaning. These cleaning essentials likely will serve you well as you clean your bedroom as well as other rooms in your home, too. 2. Cut down on clutter. The sheer amount of clutter in your bedroom may seem overwhelming, and ultimately, may cause a simple bedroom cleaning to become an arduous task. Fortunately, those who cut down on clutter can simplify the process of cleaning up a bedroom. Since you're selling your home, you may want to get rid of items to streamline your move to another address. And if you declutter now, you may be able to reap the rewards of a clean bedroom and reduce the clutter in your home at the same time. 3. Eliminate bad odors. Trash can add up quickly, and if it accumulates in your bedroom, bad smells may escalate. However, you can minimize the risk of bad odors if you empty your bedroom trash regularly. Of course, if bad odors become overwhelming, it is a surefire sign that your bedroom is long overdue for an extensive cleaning. In this scenario, you'll want to devote as much time and energy as possible to eliminate these odors altogether. Wipe down every surface, including your trash, and clean the floors thoroughly. By doing so, you'll be able to put bad odors in the past and prevent them from reoccurring. 4. Make cleaning your bedroom a daily activity. Don't make cleaning your bedroom a one-time occurrence; instead, try to spend a few minutes each day keeping your bedroom clean, and you'll always be ready to showcase your bedroom to prospective homebuyers. Remember, homebuyers can be spontaneous, so you'll want to be ready to showcase your entire residence at any time. And if you keep your bedroom clean and neat, you'll be better equipped to make a positive first impression on homebuyers. Cleaning your bedroom is a simple task that can make a major difference as you attempt to sell your home. Even committing an hour per week to cleaning your bedroom may help you keep your bedroom looking great and ensure it delivers a memorable impression on homebuyers. Make cleaning your bedroom a top priority – you'll be glad you did! Home sellers who maintain a picture-perfect bedroom can improve their chances of generating significant interest in their residences.

Posted by Sherry Bourque on 5/28/2017

In 1869 a scientist named Étienne Léopold Trouvelot was studying ways to develop a silkworm industry in the town of Medford, Massachusetts. Trouvelot imported gypsy moths with the hopes of breeding them with silk worms. The moth larvae were accidentally dispersed in the area during the process. This was the act that set into motion the invasion of the moth species throughout the northeastern part of the country over the next century. There have been several large outbreaks of gypsy moths (and their caterpillar form) over the years. But if you're old enough you will almost certainly remember the outbreaks in the late 70s and early 80s that devastated New England. In 1981 over 12.9 million acres of trees were defoliated. This year, the moths are back at it. With caterpillar infestations popping up around Rhode Island, Connecticut and beyond. So, what can you do to protect your trees from gypsy moths?

Understanding gypsy moths

Gypsy moths have been studied extensively over the years due to their alarming rate of spreading across North America. Scientists have carefully catalogued information on the growth and habits of the moths. The moths have been known to eat hundreds of different species of plants in North America. However, they cause the most damage to oak and aspen trees. To protect the trees in your yard follow these tips.

Spraying for moths

Numerous methods of population control have been used on gypsy moths over the years. Due to their destructive and invasive nature, local and national government has even gotten involved in control gypsy moth populations. Local governments often employ a technique of spraying insecticides to limit the damage caused by the gypsy moth caterpillars. However, this has not yet proven to be an effective longterm solution. Fortunately, the moths do have several natural predators and population checks that help limit their spread.

Natural predation

Several species have depended on gypsy moths as a food supply over the years. The most common--and most effective--however, has been the white-footed mouse. Birds have also played a minor role in the predation of the moths. The most effective natural enemy of gypsy moths is fungi. In times of high rain, the fungus (Entomophaga maimaiga) has had huge success rates in controlling moth populations.

Controlling gypsy moth caterpillars in your yard

If you've read or seen on the news that the moths are spreading in your area, don't panic. Though they can be quite destructive, there are steps you can take to limit their impact on the trees of your yard.
  • Identify and destroy the egg masses. They are tear-drop shaped and 1-2 inches long. They are yellow-brown in color. Soak them in soapy water for two days to destroy them.
  • Wrap your trees. Several methods of trees wrapping have shown success in preventing the caterpillars from reaching the leaves. Among them are duct-tape and tanglefoot, as well as burlap strips.
  • Keep your yard clean. Moths lay their eggs on old stumps and branches that you can remove from your yard.
  • Use a trap. Gypsy moth traps lure the moths in and help you control them without spraying harmful chemicals in your yard.

Tags: Trees   yard   gypsy moths   caterpillars   backyard  
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Posted by Sherry Bourque on 5/21/2017

You love when family visit. Not only will you get to see infant relatives and children and check out how much they have grown since you last saw them, you'll get to catch up with adult cousins and siblings. If it's a good visit, there will be laughter, lots of smiles, good eating and happiness.

Paths to stress free living while relatives visit your house

But, all family visits don't go well. For this reason, you cringe at the thought of an upcoming family visit. The stress starts to build the same day that you learn that your relatives are going to spend a few days and nights at your house.

As with most emotions, before you know it, the stress that you feel has passed to your spouse and children. Less than two days into learning about the upcoming visit, your entire household is exhibiting signs of strain, becoming impatient and edgy.

With a few practical steps, you could make a visit from nearly any family member rewarding and stress free. Start by informing every member of your household of the upcoming visit. Get everyone's buy in, especially if high drama relatives are stopping by.

Encourage well behaved children to be themselves, even if visiting relatives pressure them to act and speak differently. Instead of sending children to sleep on the sofa while family visit your house, place  a roll away bed in the living room.

Getting ready for a family visit at your house

To accommodate regular family visits, you could turn a spare bedroom into a guestroom. Insulate and clean out your attic, and the uppermost room of your house could also serve as a great guest room. Of course, a finished basement makes for a large guest space.

You could add a bedroom, entertainment room and an exercise room or home office to a finished basement. Whichever room you use to accommodate your family members sleeping needs, stock up on refreshments.

Head to the grocery store one to two days before family visit your house. Determine which recipes you are going to put to use if you cook homemade meals for relatives. Another thing that you want to do ahead of time is to identify which restaurants you'll take visiting relatives to, if you plan on taking your family out to eat.

Other actions to do ahead of time include deciding where you will take relatives who visit your house for entertainment. For example, are you going to take relatives to the movies, shopping at the mall, to one or more local festivals or to a live sporting event?

Planning is a great way to reduce or eliminate stress as it relates to family visiting your home. Take the time to plan what you are going to do during each day that relatives stay at your house. But, be open to change. Another good idea is to ask relatives who are going to stay at your house what they want to do during their visit. This can increase the likelihood that your house guests will be more than happy during and after their visit.

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