MaryAnne Sannicandro - REALTOR® - REALTY EXECUTIVES Boston West | Framingham, MA Real Estate


Long before Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter changed the way we communicate and share information, there existed traditional social networks.

Although it's an old-fashioned concept, its value and importance will never go out of style.

For homeowners, growing families, and senior citizens, having a small group of people you can consistently turn to for support can make problems smaller and challenges a lot easier to glide through. Not only that, but having a solid connection with a few good friends, family members, and neighbors can help keep your spirits up, through both good times and bad.

When it comes to being a homeowner, raising a family, and growing older, here are some specific reasons why staying in touch with your social contacts can make life easier, less expensive, and safer:

  • Getting recommendations: Whether you need a new dentist, dog groomer, or plumber, your chances of finding someone who's dependable and reasonably priced are much greater when you ask a friend, relative, or trusted neighbor. When you're just left to you're own devices to sift through Internet listings, online reviews, and advertisements, it can be pretty time consuming and frustrating. All things being equal, you're more likely to have a successful experience with a service provider who's been recommended to you, as opposed to going through the vetting process completely on your own.
  • Taking care of your house while your away: When you're on vacation or away from home for a long weekend, it's nice to have someone you can rely on to water your plants, take care of your pets, and check to see if your house is secure. They can also make sure you don't have newspaper deliveries, packages, or mail piling up in front of your house.
  • Knowing a neighbor you can trust: Having someone nearby who can help you in an emergency, take care of your kids if you can't get home on time, or keep on eye on your house while you're away is a vital resource.
  • Senior citizens need a support network: As we age and become less able to get around like we used to, a helping hand can make a big difference in our lives. The psychological benefits of having a social life at an older age have also been well documented. Social contact enhances the quality of life for senior citizens and can even contribute to longevity.
If you've recently moved to a new community, it may be worth your while to join a couple organizations, take an adult education class, meet a few of your neighbors, and become active in the community. As songwriters, poets, philosophers, and spiritual leaders have reminded us for generations, everyone needs the help of other people in different stages of our lives. Seventeenth century English poet, John Donne, said it the mostly concisely when he wrote "No man is an island."

Finding the perfect bedroom mattress is a must if you want to feel and function at your best. The right bedroom mattress can also have a positive impact on your relationships. Your health will also thank you after you get and start sleeping on the right mattress.

What to look for in the right bedroom mattress

After all, poor sleep doesn't only cause you to feel fatigued, as if you're literally dragging your body around, during the day. Lack of sleep or poor sleep can also contribute to irritability, heart disease, high blood pressure, dizziness and difficulty concentrating. 

Avoiding these problems is as simple as finding the right mattress. Be patient. You could sleep on a mattress for eight years or more. Features to look for in a great bedroom mattress include:

  • The right amount of firmness - You want a mattress that supports your entire body, all of your weight
  • Room to roam - The perfect bedroom mattress is wide enough to allow you to roll from side to side. If you move a lot while you sleep, go for a king size bed. Also go for a bedroom mattress that is long enough to support your head, arms, calves and feet. The perfect bedroom mattress will not require you to draw up your legs or hang your feet over the bottom of the mattress.
  • No sag - Ensure that the mattress does not dip,sink or sag when you lay on it. If you're married, try both sides of the mattress. It's best to visit a mattress store with your spouse, so that you both can try out the mattress.
  • Consider your box springs - If you're only replacing your bedroom mattress, measure your box springs before you head to the store. You want a mattress that easily fits your box springs.
  • Design - If decor is important to you, go with a mattress that has the type of design that you appreciate.
  • Accidents - A good mattress can sustain minor water spills. Ask the retailer that you work with how well the mattress handles spills. Find out if the mattress stains easily if a liquid is spilled on it.
  • Comfort - Lay on a mattress for several minutes. To get the real feel of a mattress, give yourself several days to try out different mattresses. You could even create a simple spreadsheet to chart and compare how different mattresses feel. Don't rely on television, magazine and other advertisements. Actually try several mattresses out yourself before you make a purchase.

Sleep deprivation is nothing to take lightly. There are physical, emotional and mental health risks associated with poor sleep. Finding the perfect bedroom mattress can help to reduce those risks. When you sleep on the right mattress,the type of bedroom mattress that fits the weight and shape of your body, you may wake in a better mood which can, in turn, lead to better communications and relationships.


If you live in a relatively safe, low-crime area, then that's definitely something to be thankful for! However, very few -- if any -- neighborhoods are 100% crime proof, so it's always a good policy to "err on the side of caution."

By integrating some basic, common-sense home security measures into your daily routine, you can dramatically increase the chances that you and your family will remain safe. While each home has different security needs and potential vulnerabilities, there are several steps you can take to thwart burglaries and help prevent home intrusions.

  • Be security conscious: Good habits are one of the cornerstones of keeping your home secure. If you get in the habit of locking doors every time you leave the house, then you're making it a lot less convenient for an intruder to enter your home. Even if it's just a neighbor, relative, or friend who might innocently let themselves in through an unlocked door, there might be personal papers on your desk, a private letter left out, or a sink full of dirty dishes that you'd prefer they didn't see! Locking your doors when you're not at home can help protect your privacy, as well as your security.
  • Avoid leaving ladders out when you're not using them. One of the cardinal rules of home security is don't make it inviting and easy for a burglar to gain access to your home. Leaving your garage doors open when you're gone or allowing your first-floor windows to be covered by overgrown bushes are two other security breaches that many homeowners overlook.
  • Create the impression that someone is home -- especially at night. Leaving lights on or having them come on automatically at a designated time is one smart strategy for discouraging break-ins and home intrusions. Outdoor illumination, such as lamp posts and motion-activated spotlights, are other easy-to-implement techniques for making your home more burglar resistant.
  • Secure first-floor windows. Since homes can get pretty stuffy if you leave your windows closed all the time, it's nice to let fresh air circulate, whenever possible. Although opening your windows on a regular basis can be highly desirable to maintain comfort and indoor air quality, remembering to close and lock them when you're sleeping or away from the house is of even greater importance.
  • More ideas to consider: If home security is a major concern of yours, it may pay to look into options like deadbolt locks, stronger doors, window and door sensors, and high-tech security systems that you can control from a mobile device.

While it's beneficial to make your entire family aware of the importance of home security, it's often a good idea to designate one person as the resident security chief, so to speak. When the "buck stops" with one specific person -- preferably an adult -- then there's less of a likelihood that important precautions will be forgotten or overlooked. Since every family's security needs are unique, creating a customized checklist for your own individual situation is the best solution.


There's more to lawn care than just cutting, watering, and fertilizing your grass. Even if you do these things correctly, your lawn will still build up compacted soil and lawn thatch (the un-decomposed stems and roots that tend to accumulate near the top of the soil). One of the best ways to address these issues is by aerating your lawn. If you've come here because your grass isn't growing as fully as it could be, you're in the right place. Whether this is your first time aerating or if you want to brush up on the proper technique, read on to learn how, when, and why to aerate your lawn.

What is aerating?

To grow healthily, the roots of your grass need to reach deep into the soil. When too much thatch builds up or your soil becomes too compacted, grass has a hard time taking root. Furthermore it becomes difficult to plant new seed or to get nutrients down to the roots of your grass. One do-it-yourself solution to this problem is aeration. Motorized aeration machines plug clumps of compacted soil and pull them out of your yard, allowing water, seed, and fertilizer to enter the soil to grow new, healthy grass.

When should you aerate your lawn?

The best time for aeration is during or just before peak grass-growing season in the spring. Warm weather and a lot of rain and sunshine all will help your newly aerated lawn grow quickly.

Steps of aeration

Here are the steps you should take for aerating your lawn:
  1. The day before aeration rake your yard and clean up anything that might be in your grass (pet toys, garden hoses, etc.)
  2. Water your yard heavily to make the soil moist. If you own an aerator, you can wait until the day after heavy rainfall. If you're renting one, just make sure the soil is wet enough to soften and plug
  3. Use the aerator on your entire lawn, avoiding things like irrigation systems. Then make a second pass with the aerator
  4. You can leave the excavated plugs on your lawn to dry up and decompose
  5. Once aerated, spread compost or peat moss over the yard to prevent further soil compaction

Aeration tips

There are many myths about lawn aeration. Some people argue that you don't need to plug the soil, but rather just spiking the lawn will suffice. Unfortunately, spiking the lawn won't do much to break down thatch and might even further compact your soil (think walking on your lawn with baseball cleats on). Another myth involving aeration is that leaving grass clippings on your lawn will cause thatch to build up quickly. This is also false. Grass clippings are mostly water and will decompose, adding nitrogen to your soil. This could save you money on having to buy fertilizer often. Another tip that will help you maximize the benefit of aeration is to avoid cutting your grass too short. Grass cut under two inches could be damaged or die. After you aerate, let your grass grow a few inches before cutting it, allowing your grass roots to take firm hold.

Believe it or not, your unfinished basement can make or break your home in the eyes of a prospective homebuyer. And ultimately, your basement may dictate whether a homebuyer makes an offer or considers other residences. An unfinished basement represents an opportunity for home sellers around the country. And those who devote the necessary time and resources to improve the quality of their homes' unfinished basements could reap the rewards of a fast sale. So what does it take to revitalize an unfinished basement? Here are three basement improvement tips that every home seller needs to know about: 1. Use floor mats. Your basement's concrete floor likely remains cold and unattractive. Fortunately, foam mats can help you add a splash of color and improve your basement floor's appearance instantly. Foam mats come in a variety of shapes and colors, ensuring you'll be able to find mats that fit your basement floor beautifully. Plus, these mats can help you showcase the true value of your unfinished basement to prospective homebuyers. Whether homebuyers want to use an unfinished basement as a workout area, a den or a workspace, you can leverage floor mats to create an awe-inspiring setting that helps transform a bland basement into an exceptional one. 2. Install storage. Want to show off the massive amount of space available in your home's unfinished basement? Installing shelves and using storage units to your advantage enables you to highlight how an unfinished basement can serve as a great storage area. From storing sports gear to tools and everything in between, your basement can serve as a one-of-a-kind storage space that enables you to keep excess items out of sight. And with the right storage units in place, you'll have no trouble showing prospective homebuyers what it's like to stay organized and maximize the space available in your unfinished basement. 3. Stop the moisture. Notice a wet, damp smell that lingers across your basement? Moisture likely is the culprit behind this odor. However, you can eliminate moisture and the associated smell by picking up a dehumidifier. With a dehumidifier, you will be able to eliminate moisture without delay. And in the event of moisture that causes leaks and puddles in your basement, you may need to consider weatherproofing your basement to keep moisture at bay consistently. When it comes to your unfinished basement, you'll want to do everything you can to ensure it serves as an asset – not a liability. But those who are committed to improving the quality of an unfinished basement can take the right steps to minimize moisture and its associated odor. Remember, your unfinished basement is an important part of your home. And even though your basement may be one of the final areas a prospective homebuyer examines, you'll want to make this space as attractive as possible. Enhance the quality of an unfinished basement to ensure this space can help you boost your home's attractiveness to prospective homebuyers. By doing so, you may be able to increase your residence's value and generate interest in your home from a wide range of homebuyers.



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