Framingham MA Real Estate | Judy B Leerer, Realty Executives Boston West


There are apps for tracking your data usage. There are apps for monitoring your credit. Are there apps that can monitor energy usage? Yes, there are! Moreover, the great thing about these apps is that they are free! Here are the best apps you can use to monitor your energy usage:

Simply Energy

For users of Simply Energy with working smart meters, this is unarguably one of the most straightforward ways to keep track of your energy costs and usage. The application helps monitors the amount of energy you use in your home and when you use it. This is a great way to know when your household consumes more energy so you can take quick steps to minimize it. You can also use the application to pay your utility bills at the snap of a finger, so you don't have to worry about missing out Pay on Time discount.

Energy Rating Calculator

Next, on the list is the Energy Rating Calculator. This application was developed by the Department of the Environment and Energy to help homeowners make wise choices as they shop for electrical appliances. With this application, you can input the model you are thinking of buying, and the app will swiftly make a comparison of its running costs. By doing so, you will be able to consider the long-term costs before purchasing the appliance.

Light bulb saver

It is a well-known fact that the right lights can make any home more energy efficient. However, picking the perfect bulb can be a headache. Watts or Lumens? CFL or LED? Moreover, your old halogens, what do you with them? Just like the name, Light bulb saver is here to save you. Developed by the Department of the Environment and Energy, this application makes your research easy by helping you choose the perfect lighting for your home. That's not all this application will also show you the amount of energy you might save by making a change.

Green outlet

Green Outlet was developed to allow users to know which appliances in their home use the most energy. To get it started, the application only needs some personal data before it will calculate an average monthly cost. One exciting feature in this application is that it comes with a notification sound to alert users if they are exceeding their carbon usage.

Energy Consumption Analyzer

This is another smartphone application that can help you track your energy consumption by including meters for several kinds of energy. This application will help you calculate your average rate of energy use: hourly, daily, weekly, and monthly. It runs on both Apple iOS and Google Android platforms and is extremely useful in tracking energy usage.


Add beauty and serenity to your new home be designing a flower garden. Creating a flower garden doesn’t have to be a huge time-consuming chore if you don’t want it to be. In fact, with the right plant selections, it can be fairly low-maintenance year round.

Here’s what you need to know about designing a flower garden:

Start by taking note of where you would like to place your flower beds. You’ll want to have a good idea of how much sunlight and shade this area receives as well as the soil quality.

It’s good to know how quickly the soil dries out or how much it retains moisture to best understand which plants will thrive here and which might need extra care.

If you’re looking for a low maintenance garden you’ll want to pick plants that will naturally thrive in these conditions with needing you to fuss over them very much.

Start your garden small, especially if this is your first, as you can always expand later but it will be more difficult to shrink down. You’ll also want to keep the types of plants you have in mind when planning size.

Plan based on the sizing of a mature plant and not the size you initially take it home as. This will prevent overcrowding which will keep all of your plants happy and look best visually.

Trace out the shape of your garden and test how easy it is to maintain the lawn around it. This way you will know exactly what to expect when doing law maintenance and can avoid any particular tricky corners or shapes to navigate.   

When planning placement of your flowers arrange plants by height with the tallest blooms in the back and shortest up front. This ensures that every flower will have equal access to sunlight without taller plants overshadowing those below them.  

You will also want to plan the depth of your flower beds so that you can access even the furthest reaches with ease. Don’t create hard to reach spots that make it easy for weeds or pests to take root and flourish just out of your reach.

Visually it is best to plant at least three plants of a kind. Whether you cluster them together or spread them out is up to you. As you plot out the expanse of your garden carries colors of flowers through all of your beds for a cohesive look across your yard.

It’s best to plan to add more than just flowering greenery. Shrubbery, ornamental grass and foliage add texture and interest year round. It keeps your garden looking full during periods without blooms and allows said blooms to really pop when they are in season.


House flipping is a lucrative real estate investment venture that requires a lot of skills, planning, and sometimes luck to pull off. Any wrong decision when flipping a house can lead to disaster. When done right, it could also bring in a lot of money. If you can make smart decisions to buy the home at a great price, and keep renovation costs down to the minimum while maximizing the reach, then you can sell the house at a much higher rate than you paid for it. 

If you are looking to flip a house, you are looking to make a profit, so you need to make sure you are aware of the steps to take when investing in house flipping:

1. Invest in the house flip with cash

House flipping is a risky venture, and you do not want to add more debt to increase your financial risk. Flippers that borrow money with interest to finance a house flip often end up having to pay several months of interest which adds to the effective selling price of the house, making the project tighter than it already is. Using cash only to fund a house flip also means that you can wait out a slow market until you find the right buyer for the house at the best price for it.

2. Know the neighborhood market

It is normal to get excited during a house flip, but you must be sure that you never lose sight of the figures behind the investment. Know the neighborhood well so that you can buy houses that are around 80% of the average market value or less. Have the vision to know how the finished house will compete with homes already on the market and how best to price the house for a quick sale.

3. Have a strict budget for your house flip

Speak with your contractor to work out a good idea of how much the renovations will cost. It is good to have an estimate even before buying the house so that you do not overspend and become desperate with the house. Identify all structural, electrical and other issues the house may have before starting the project so that you can know if you can afford the house flip, even if unknown expenses crop up.

4. Plan for smart renovations

Aim for renovations that are low on cost and high on value. Instead of shiny floors and custom cabinets, you can refinish the existing cabinets, add granite countertops and replace all appliances to new stainless-steel ones. Things like painting and thorough cleaning can help increase the house value.

Your real estate agent will guide you on how to finish and renovate your house to meet local expectations and have a quick sale.


As a home seller, it is important to do everything possible to transform an ordinary kitchen into a comfortable, attractive setting. With an awe-inspiring kitchen, you may be able to differentiate your house from others that are available in a competitive real estate market. Plus, your house's kitchen might even lead some homebuyers to submit offers immediately following a home showing.

Clearly, a top-notch kitchen can make a world of difference when you sell your house. But how can you determine whether a kitchen overhaul is necessary?

Here are three questions to consider before you embark on a kitchen renovation.

1. When do I plan to sell my house?

If you intend to sell your home quickly, you may have limited time at your disposal. Therefore, a complete kitchen overhaul may not be an option.

On the other hand, if you have several weeks or months to plan ahead, it may be worthwhile to evaluate your kitchen and find ways to improve it.

Consider your home selling timeline closely. That way, you can examine various home improvement projects and determine whether a kitchen renovation is a priority.

2. How much money do I have to complete a kitchen renovation?

A kitchen renovation can include everything from simple upgrades to a massive overhaul. As such, the costs associated with a kitchen renovation may vary.

Assess your home improvement budget and plan accordingly. If you have the funds available, you may be able to revamp your entire kitchen. However, if your financial resources are limited, you may need to consider cost-effective measures to enhance your kitchen.

Remember, there are many quick, easy ways to bolster your kitchen. Wiping down the walls and ceiling can help your kitchen dazzle. Meanwhile, repainting the kitchen walls and mopping the floors also provide simple, effective ways to improve your kitchen's appearance without breaking your budget.

3. Is a kitchen renovation worth my time?

A home appraisal may prove to be exceedingly valuable, particularly for home sellers who are on the fence about completing a kitchen renovation.

During a home appraisal, a property inspector will examine your residence and provide a report that highlights your house's strengths and weaknesses. This report can help you establish a price range for your home. In addition, the report may provide you with insights into whether a kitchen renovation may enable you to boost your home's value.

Lastly, if you're still uncertain about a kitchen renovation after a home appraisal, a real estate agent may be able to provide extra support.

A real estate agent understands the ins and outs of selling a home. Thus, he or she can evaluate your residence and help you decide whether a kitchen renovation is worth your time.

When it comes to a kitchen renovation, it is essential for home sellers to examine all of their options. Consider the aforementioned questions, and you should have no trouble determining if a kitchen renovation is right for you.


What do you think is the best paint color to sell your house? It often seems that the best color is white since it evokes a clean canvas for the buyer. While white is an excellent color to start with, you may find that if you warm up the interior of the house just a bit, it may assist prospective buyers in feeling more at home when they walk in than stark white. Here are some excellent fresh but neutral colors to paint your house to prepare it for the market.

Colors for the Kitchen

White kitchens have been everywhere recently, but a completely white kitchen doesn't give most buyers that homey feeling that draws them in. Neutral warm or cool grays offset those beautiful white cabinets while exposing any particular architectural details. Some reports show sales increases prices with appropriately colored walls. Your agent will know which colors are most popular in your area but some to look at are Hazelnut or Lilac Gray.

Bathroom Colors

In bathrooms, blue seems to be the color of choice. A freshly painted pale blue master bath can give the buyer a sense of a spa-like retreat while deeper hues provide a room the ever-popular nautical theme.

Bedroom Colors

Home seller reports show that rooms painted a matte soft cerulean blue made a higher net profit than expected. For added appeal, try to pair the blue with white baseboards and stage the room with natural woods. Buyers want to step into a space that feels restful. 

Living Room Colors

For your living room, look for lighter beiges and warmer gray-browns. This color combination will help the room feel more cozy and welcoming. Boldly accent the beige with a white fireplace mantle and baseboards for a clean and comfortable feel. You can use some natural woods and cozy textures when staging the room.

Dining Room Colors

For the dining room, cool bluish-grays give the room a more formal appeal and instantly updates the space. Statistics showed that dining rooms painted with a bluish gray sold for higher pricing than homes with white dining rooms.

Best practices for a smaller home are to paint most rooms the same neutral color as it gives the house a more substantial feel. But, if you have a larger home, paint in such a way to highlight the architectural detail of each room while remaining neutral. If you want to have one very bright paint, make it the front door. Studies show that a brightly painted front door adds curb appeal to any home.

As always, discuss any color changes with your professional real estate agent for the best ROI and quickest sale.




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