Indigo Rose Tomatoes in my Garden

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I don’t even know where this plant came from in my garden…but it is thriving and very unique!  Since I know nothing about it, I researched it online. I found out it was bred specifically to be high in antioxidants at Oregon State University. Supposedly, I will know when it is ripe because the deep ultra purple color will turn a rusty purple color and it will be soft, just like any other ripe tomato. The color inside should be red and the flavor hasn’t been mentioned as any thing special. More to come in a few weeks!

59 Western Ave has a Gloucester harbor view!

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Ever dream of living on the Boulevard in Gloucester? Having water views 365 days out of the year? Having lots of fun & events at your doorstep? The Fiesta events, the Parade of Sails, the July 4th parade, the Christmas parade all happening at your door step…no need to make plans to attend, you are already there! Walk across the street to Pavilion Beach, sit by the water side, launch your kayak or search for sea glass. Tired of the non stop water view and boat activity? Walk to Stage Fort Park, let your kids or grand kids play at the playground and your dog(s) run free at the dog park. Hungry? Some of the best restaurants in town are all in walking distance. In one direction is the Causeway and in the other direction head for The Franklin Cafe, Passports, Latitude 43 or Cafe Bishco to name a very few :) Walk to both cinemas in town, the train station, the synagogue & churches. Park your car and enjoy the daily pleasures of life in Gloucester served up at your doorstep each & every day, with a harbor view! Think this Gloucester lifestyle sounds like fun?

This two family house is in the middle of renovations, the second floor unit being more complete then the first. Both units are two bedrooms and two baths.The property asks for someone with vision and creativity, who loves a water view!  Take a peek at this opportunity


Pick of the Litter Wednesdays!

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The Legendary Tomato Release Day at Goose Cove Gardens

Just planted tomato plant

First time I heard this phrase “tomato release day” I was “what the heck does that mean”. In my mind I visualized tomato plants running on their roots (feet) with their branches swaying back and forth, as if they were set free from captivity….kind of like an “end of the world” scene from a movie. I was at Goose Cove Gardens in Gloucester and I was inquiring when the tomato plants would be ready for purchase. Tomato plants like warm weather, the hotter the better! Planting them earlier then consistent warm (60+) temps (day & night) does them no favors. Interestingly, you can plant them earlier, but they will produce no more tomatoes than when planted later!

Happy Tomato Plant

They pretty much just sit in the ground and shiver :) Barbara Dombrowski (and husband Hilary), the owner(s) and operator(s ) ( CEO) of Goose Cove Gardens for over 20 years does her best to insure the success of her customers and impart her plant wisdom to all of us Cape Ann gardeners.  One of the ways she has done this is by making sure we don’t plant her products at the wrong time. Goose Cove Gardens grows organically and features a fabulous supply of heirloom tomato plants. This philosophy has resulted in the famed “Tomato Release Day” at Goose Cove Gardens. Tomato Release Day is the Wednesday before Memorial Day weekend. Yes, it is very busy, yes the small parking lot is jammed, yes it is the best time to plant your tomato plants on Cape Ann and yes there are plants left to buy on Thursday! Not around the week before Memorial Day or too busy? Not only does Barbara do an excellent job of meeting demand, she does another tomato release day two weeks later!

Garden tomatoes

Game changing? (No REALLY!) Real Estate app for your iPhone, iPad & Droid (soon)

As a full time real estate agent who loves real estate technology I’m always interested in the latest “shiny” new app. This one is not yet perfect and not yet released for Droids, but boy is it cool!!! Called, “Homesnap” it is a real estate app for the iPhone or iPad. It is still “touchy” and may take a few tries to get the correct information, but wait until you hear what it does! The app, takes a picture of the home (for sale or not for sale) and then downloads onto your device the public information (from the town) available about the home, (haven’t tried it with commercial buildings). If it is “For Sale”, it gives the listing information. How cool is this? One photo and you can find out price (if listed), # of bed rooms, lot size and general assessor information.

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Some of the technology being used is based on an “AVM” or automatic valuation formula. AVM is what Zillow is using when displaying their famous or infamous “Zestimates“. It is a formula which gives a home value sight unseen. Is it accurate?…well not always. AVM’s tend to be much more accurate in parts of the country where the  home construction is more “cookie cutter” then here in the Northeast, which is full of varying types and ages of home construction.

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Anyway…back to Homesnap. This app is the fastest way I know to get information about homes as one is traveling and spots a home that you find interesting or attractive in your home search. No more remembering an address or a company. Just take a picture with your phone and voila you are empowered with all the available listing information. Check it out and let me know if you find it useful. Of course it is free :)

9 reasons to fall in love with

Lushious new toy!

How the Serenity Prayer Applies To Selling a Home

I read the blog: Keeping Current Matters…religiously…. And yes I have supported more then one client (of all denominations BTW) in the burying of the St. Josephs statue (upside down in the back yard). However this is the first time I have seen one of my favorite prayers applied to my day job :)
You may believe that selling your home is impossible in today’s market. You may feel powerless to the process. What could YOU possibly do to turn this housing market around? There is no doubt that today’s real estate market is extremely difficult to navigate. However, we want you to know thatthousands of homes sold yesterday, thousands will sell today and thousands will sell each and every day from now until the end of the year.
It is totally within your power to guarantee that your house will sell even in the current market.“How?”, you ask. Let’s look at the simplicity of the famous Serenity Prayer and apply it to selling a home in today’s real estate market.“Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.”

Accept the things you cannot change

The two main reasons that the housing prices have softened:

  1. the current economy
  2. the inventory of distressed properties (foreclosures and short sales)

As an individual homeowner, there is no way for you to impact either of those two situations. The best think-tanks in the country are struggling to discover solutions.

Have the courage to change the things you can

There is not a vacuum of buyers in the market. There is a vacuum of homes a buyer in today’s market will purchase. Let us explain: could you sell your home today for $1? … $1,000 … $10,000? Of course you could. There are plenty of buyers in the market for a home they consider priced correctly. You have to decide what the correct price is for your home if you truly want to sell. If you want your house sold, you must list it at a price a buyer will pay for it. Not a buyer from 2006 but today’s buyer who has plenty of homes from which to choose.

It will take courage to sit with a real estate professional and honestly decipher the true value of your home. If you want to sell, you must have that courage.

The wisdom to know the difference

We all realize that the economic situation will take some time to correct. If we want to wait for prices to return to 2006 levels, we will probably have to wait for 5-7 years.

Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and decide whether the extra money you would get from the sale is worth that wait. Is money more important than being with family? Is money more important than your health? Is money more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you think you should?

This is where your wisdom must kick in. You already know the answers to the questions we just asked. You have the power to take back control of the situation by pricing your home to guarantee it sells. The time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire. That is what is truly important.

Tax tip for property owners in Gloucester MA

Rounding up tax info?  It always seems I have most of the information but not all of it…:) The Gloucester MA city site: is a great resource to view & gather information on your total property taxes and sewer/water costs (for landlords).  In case you are like me and can’t always find this information easily in my own home, the city website has it all neatly filed in one location. Once you are on the city site:

City of Gloucester Website - Home page

“click” on the tab (left side of page) that says “online services”.  That will bring you to this page:

City of Gloucester Website - Online services page

The property tax records and water/sewer bills can all be accessed by “clicking” on the highlighted type.

The next page will then ask you for your address or parcel ID number.

City of Gloucester address page for online tax records

If you are unfamiliar with your parcel ID number, it can be found in the “assessors” records online , on a tax or water bill or by calling our helpful Gloucester assessors office. Fill in the address and voila the computer does what computers do and you have your annual records in front of you!

Sea Smoke in Gloucester MA? What is Sea Smoke?

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“Sea Smoke” is the “fog” one sees rising from the ocean when the air is much colder then the water. It is very difficult to photograph due to its transient, hazy properties. It is most common at sunrise, usually the coldest period of the evening. As the sunlight warms the air the temperature, the temperature difference between the air and water tends to moderate and the wafting, steamy quality of this event disappears.

Wikipedia describes the phenomena in the following manner: Evaporation from exposed water surface depends upon its vapor pressure. If the water temperature is greater than that of the nearby air, the evaporation continues faster than the air can absorb the water vapor, even though the cool air’s relative humidity is 100%. This further evaporates immediately and re-condenses as visible fog, which rises up in convective currents.The conditions required for such fog formation include not only low surface temperature but also a preexisting surface inversion of temperature to inhibit the rapid development of instability.

Not only is Sea Smoke difficult to capture on film it is downright eerie in person and an accurate predictor of one cold morning here in Gloucester!!!