5 Things to do in and Around Boston


A pre-Thanksgiving Christmas tree, holiday home tours, a film fest for kids, and more.


  • Thursday-Sunday > November 21-24
  • Here’s a chance to decorate your own halls with some local art: Boston’s School of the Museum of Fine Arts holds its annual sale with thousands of works by students, faculty, and alums to choose from over four days. smfa.edu/artsale


  • Friday-Saturday > November 22-23
  • Portland, Maine, is launching a Holiday Home Tour this year, with five homes in the city’s historic West End opening their doors to visitors. Decked out for the season by professional designers, the homes will also feature chefs serving up baked goodies and authors signing and selling cookbooks. Tickets start at $25. 207-831-0201 or 207-229-3866; thedivineseries.com


  • Saturday > November 23
  • Sure it’s pre-Thanksgiving, but Boston’s Faneuil Hall is ready to light up its 80-foot holiday tree  — 12 days before the tree on Boston Common. The day’s events start at noon with a visit from Santa and culminate in the (televised on WBZ) lighting ceremony at 7:30. The Tanglewood Festival Chorus and a host of other acts will perform. As the tree illuminates, 350,000 other lights strung throughout the marketplace will begin to flash to the music of Holiday Pops. The tree and the BLINK! installation will be on display through January 5. faneuilhallmarketplace.com


  • Saturday > November 23
  • It takes muscle and stamina to perform like Yamato, the Drummers of Japan do, hopping from drum to drum and never losing the beat. The lively taiko show begins at 8 p.m. at Cambridge’s Sanders Theatre. Tickets start at $28. 617-876-4275; worldmusic.org
  • Pictured, Yamato’s twenty drums make for one big percussion party.


  • Saturday-Sunday > November 23-24
  • For 60 years, Weston Woods has adapted tales from some of kids’ best-loved authors (Maurice Sendak, William Steig, Lois Lowry, to name a few) for the screen, and you can catch a selection of those gems at Belmont World Film’s Family Film Festival next weekend. New favorites as well as classics like Harold and the Purple Crayon and In the Night Kitchen are on the schedule. Tickets start at $5. 617-484-3980; belmontworldfilm.org
  • SHARE YOUR EVENT NEWS. Send information on Boston-area happenings at least three weeks in advance to week@globe.com.
November 17, 2013


Reality Check: Why Home Inspections Matter

Adult male inspects siding

Sat, October 12, 2013

One of the best pieces of advice you can heed when it comes to buying a house is to order a home inspection. Regardless of whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or an old pro, you might have on rose-colored glasses when it comes to buying a house – your future home. Luckily, a certified home inspector has no emotional attachment to your new place and can impartially and appropriately identify structural, electrical and plumbing problems. Plus, this person can offer insight into the safety and value of the house.

During your home search, you’ll probably notice the great front yard, charming breakfast nook and spacious bedrooms. What you won’t notice, however, are the termites in the basement, nests in the chimney or cracks in the foundation. That’s why it’s important to speak with your real estate agent, who will be able to recommend inspectors who can reliably and responsibly check the nooks and crannies, walls and roofs.

The inspection will cost you several hundred dollars, depending on where you live, but it’s a small price to pay to ensure your home is worth the investment. Usually conducted after an offer is accepted, the inspection also provides leverage for negotiating concessions with the seller before the sale is finalized. Based on the inspector’s detailed report, you’re able to alert the seller to all issues you’d like fixed or addressed before the sale is closed.

In other words, a home inspection allows you to know exactly what you’re buying – and if it truly is the perfect place for you.

If you’ve already found your perfect place, let us know – you could win $10,000! The What’s Your Perfect Fit? contest runs through Oct. 16.

Contact a RE/MAX real estate agent to get your home search started today.

by: RE/MAX Housing Blog


Welcome Edana Spicker

We are pleased to announce that Edana Spicker is now affiliated with our soon-to-open                                   RE/MAX Destiny office in WebJamaica Plain’s Hyde Square. Edana is a licensed Realtor who has specialized in helping people buy and sell homes in Jamaica Plain and nearby communities for over ten years.

She chose to be one of the first agents to affiliate with the new branch of RE/MAX Destiny in Jamaica Plain for several reasons. According to her,  “I am attracted to the collaborative and supportive culture and the powerful, yet accessible marketing tools which will help me to handle my client’s needs even more effectively. Plus, I am excited at the practical matter of being able to serve customer’s from the brand new, conveniently located office in the vital Hyde Square neighborhood. Edana can be reached at agentedana@gmail.com or by calling 617-821-1102.

Client Comments:


“HOO-RAY! This week has been so hectic–I am still absorbing the reality. You have been so wonderful though–we really can’t thank you enough. We will certainly refer anyone who’s at any stage of the home-buying process to you!!


– R.H.


Thank you soo so sooooooo much for all of your above and beyond help getting me this beautiful home and studio. You are a friend for life.

– F.M.

We have worked with Edana over the years buying and selling several properties.  Edana is a very diligent, responsive and organized real estate professional. I especially appreciate her meticulous eye for details – especially handy with all the contracts and paper work. I have been more than happy to refer Edana to several of my friends over the years. 

– E.K.

Home Sweet Home!

My New Desk

Written By: Elizabeth Bolton

In October, after 12 years at 171 Huron Ave – first at DeWolfe and then Coldwell Banker – I moved across Cambridge to RE/MAX Destiny.

I’m thrilled by the move – and now that I’ve finally unpacked I thought I’d introduce you to my new office.

Over the years many of my favorite agents had moved to RE/MAX and I’m delighted to join them.  Coincidentally, all four of us in my room were formerly at DeWolfe.  The admin and marketing staff at RE/MAX Destiny is top notch and such a pleasure to work with.  The office has all the real estate bases covered with a property management division, commercial real estate agents, a super rental department, and close to 50 residential real estate agents.

My new office address is 907 Massachusetts Ave.  It’s a very different feel than Huron Ave with lots of foot traffic well into the evening and easy access to the Red Line at Central or Harvard.  The convenience of being just down the street from City Hall and the post office can’t be beat and I love walking around Mid-Cambridge when I leave the office.  I’ve yet to find a nearby place for a slice of pizza (where’s my new Armando’s?) but there are plenty of restaurants to explore.  Come join me for lunch when you’re in the neighborhood!

Before I packed up I made sure to photograph my old desk:

This was my desk at Coldwell Banker

This was my desk at Coldwell Banker

And here’s my new space.  It’s really sweet – you can’t see the wide board floors or the wall of windows overlooking Hancock Street and Mass Ave.

My new desk at ReMax Destiny

My new desk at RE/MAX Destiny

If you’re in the neighborhood stop by RE/MAX  at 907 Mass Ave and say hi!

Pie it Forward raises over $32,000 to help those in need

We are so proud to work with agents that give back to the community in such a positive way. GREAT JOB Tamela and Juan and the Pie it Forward Team for working with the Pie in the Sky fundraiser at Community Servings. They were the #1 pie selling team and raised over $32,000 to help those in need.






Cambridge, MA (Jan. 15, 2013) – Eleven volunteers of Team Pie It Forward sold 1,191 pies and raised $32,451 for the 20th Annual “Pie In The Sky” Thanksgiving bake sale which benefits clients of Community Servings.  Team Pie It Forward raised an additional $2,400 for the Community FoodBank of New Jersey to help those still struggling to survive the impact of Hurricane Sandy.

Team Pie It Forward includes members Mike Bavuso, President, Big Foot Moving & Storage, Inc.; Brian Jurgens, Sr. VP, W.T. Kenney Company, Inc.; Karen Coleman, VP, Advance Restaurant Finance; Patrick F. Dwyer & Assoc. LLC; Kathleen Wentworth, Sr. Loan Originator, Leader Bank; Joseph Aceto; Juan Murray, Realtor®, RE/MAX Destiny; Mary Dean McKee, Gordon Brothers Group; Rich McKee, Big Foot Moving & Storage, Inc.; Gabriella Innella, SurfaceWorks, Inc. and Tamela Roche, Realtor®, RE/MAX Destiny, Team Captain.

The 20th Annual “Pie In The Sky” Thanksgiving Pie bake sale was a huge success with over 16,000 pies sold and more than $565,000 raised for Community Servings.  Hundreds of volunteers sell and deliver Thanksgiving pies baked by Boston’s finest chefs who donate their time, culinary expertise and ingredients.

“The exceptional fundraising success achieved by Community Servings is a testament to leadership steadfast in their mission; from farm to table at every level of the organization possible.” said Team Captain, Tamela Roche.  “Very few non-profits can return 93 cents of every dollar raised in a fundraising event.  Even fewer foster the kind of loyalty and enthusiasm for volunteering the way Community Servings has for twenty years.”

Team Pie It Forward helped box thousands of pies and delivered over 500 to several local companies including Ariad Pharmaceutical, William Gallagher and Associates, Cambridge Offset Printing, Patriot Financial Group, The Appraiser’s Group, Sirois Electric, Inc. and RE/MAX Destiny thanks to Mike Bavuso, President of Big Foot Moving & Storage, Inc. who generously donated crew and moving trucks.  Mike Bavuso is once again named “King of Pie” for the team, selling 395 pies and raising over $10,000!

Community Servings is a free, home-delivery meals program for the acutely ill, their families and their caregivers throughout Massachusetts who are battling 35 types of critical illnesses including HIV/AIDS, Cancer, Lupus, Diabetes and MS.  Since 1990, Community Servings’ founding goals are to help clients maintain their health and dignity, to provide nutritionally and culturally appropriate meals, to preserve the integrity of their family and send the message that someone cares.  For information about Team Pie It Forward contact Tamela Roche, Team Captain, at 617.245.4072 or visit www.pieitforward.com.  For more information about Community Servings visit www.servings.org or www.pieinthesky.org.


RE/MAX Sees Strong Agent Growth in 2012

Housing Recovery Brings Agents Back
DENVER, July 30, 2012 – PRNewswire via COMTEX/
PR NewswireWith an improving housing market, real estate agents are returning to the industry. But they’re being very selective about where they’ll have the best chance of success. While other national real estate franchises are still experiencing agent losses, RE/MAX has seen an increase of over 1,300 agents year to date – the first such increase since 2010.

“RE/MAX has always attracted top-performing agents, and that’s especially true after everything we’ve been through in recent years,” said Margaret Kelly, RE/MAX CEO. “Because of the many innovations we’ve put in place, the best agents know that RE/MAX is where they want to be in this new market environment.”

RE/MAX is not just adding new agents, the company is attracting the industry’s top-performing agents. In 2012, the average years of experience a RE/MAX agent has is 15.1. That’s an increase of 23.8% from 2007, positioning the organization for even higher levels of success.

Two national surveys of the country’s best performing real estate brokerages demonstrate that RE/MAX agents outperform agents at the other national franchise organizations. In the REAL Trends 500, RE/MAX brokerages took 44 of the Top 50 positions when ranked according to agent productivity, and the RIS Media Power Broker Survey showed RE/MAX agents averaged 15.6 annual transaction sides, the highest average of any national franchise.

“The many resources and tools RE/MAX offers our agents are second to none, and the comprehensive education from RE/MAX University prepares our agents to provide the highest quality service to the consumer,” Kelly added.

Additionally, RE/MAX has experienced significant success in the sales of new franchises. In the first half of 2012, nearly 300 sales have been recorded. In the United States, Florida led all regions with franchise sales 30% higher than the first half of 2011. Internationally, South Africa saw an increase in sales of 75%, Canada was up by 21% and Europe was 13% higher. Increased franchise sales will lead to a greater number of offices and agents in the near future.

International growth has also continued at a strong pace, with the addition of three countries in the first half of 2012: Morocco, Thailand and the Philippines.

RE/MAX Broker/Owners will be gathering in Washington, D.C., from August 12-14 to mark the many achievements so far in 2012. And the global real estate franchisor will celebrate its 40th anniversary at the annual RE/MAX R4 convention to be held at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas next February.

For more information please visit Remax.com or JoinREmax.com.

About the RE/MAX Network: RE/MAX was founded in 1973 by Dave and Gail Liniger, real estate industry visionaries who still lead the Denver-based global franchisor today. RE/MAX is recognized as one of the leading real estate franchise companies with the most productive sales force in the industry and a global reach of more than 80 countries. With a passion for the communities in which its agents live and work, RE/MAX is proud to have raised more than $120 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, Susan G. Komen for the Cure® and other charities. Nobody in the world sells more real estate than RE/MAX.

SOURCE RE/MAX International, Inc.
Copyright (C) 2012 PR Newswire. All rights reserved

The Art of Kaizen – Continuous Improvement

In essence change is good.  Kaizen is a simple method of improvement and awareness.

Kaizen evolved as a concept where companies such as Sony, Toyota and others made continuous improvement part of the companies DNA. Their success is legendary.  Learn more about Kaizen Improve with Kaizen System, How the Japanese “Kaizen” Method Can Change Your Life. These same principles can be effectively used by individuals, teams and partnerships in building their real estate practice.

What are the key components to a successful real estate practice?  What can we measure and practice in an effort to achieve the best results in the shortest time?  Start by writing out a list of these activities; listing & selling presentations, marketing campaign, lead generation and conversion and others.  In essence, define what is standard for what you do in your business.  Your current production level does not matter.  This exercise is intended to help you see the “big picture” view of your business.  Once you are clear on your base line practice(s) you can begin applying the process of Kaizen or continuous improvement.

The process is quite simple and only requires an understanding that the energy in all that you do is to be captured and improved upon instead of lost and dissipated.  As the old Chinese proverb says, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.  In Kaizen it begins with the understanding that continuous improvement conserves energy and increases momentum.

Four step process:

Start: What is the most pressing problem I am having?  Define problem area you wish to improve.

Choose: What can I do differently to eliminate the problem or reduce its’ impact? Decide on specific changes to be made.

Implement:  How will I know it’s improved?  Make sure you can measure results.

Capture: What do I need to do to make this my new standard?  Blend into or raise your standard of practice continuously.

Think of the process as a constant and continuous upward spiral. It never stops.  The process is forgiving not demanding.  You can come in and out of its focus as you wish.  There is no consequence to returning to the process should you drift away, only a stronger understanding of the value in its simplicity.

Personally, Kaizen has helped save me from trying to be perfect instead of effective.  I like to call myself a “recovering perfectionist”. The perfectionist has a tendency to over analyze and in essence procrastinate instead of taking action and learning by experience.  Through Kaizen I have learned to handle many more activities and projects than I would have ever imagined.  I see all that I do as a large wheel or spiral of improvement where I strive to get a plan into action sooner rather than later.  Remember, time is of the essence, just like in real estate.  The more time that passes the less likely you are to follow through.

As a Broker/Owner of a growing 40+ person company I have a strong desire to provide the very best in support, service and personal development.   So I now work with a “Done is Better” attitude knowing that once I get the project into my cycle of activity I will evaluate it to see if I can improve it and therefore raise the effectiveness or perhaps simply let it disappear.

Kaizen can be practiced by anyone often in less than ten minutes.  It can have a lasting and dramatic effect on how things get done.  It centers on personal accountability and honesty. If in a team or partnership, add the expectation that everyone involved will take responsibility for their contributions to help define efficiency and effectiveness.  It is awareness that all you do can and should be improved upon, ideally using energy that is already in motion. It is a process of compounding and increasing positive energy.  Let kinetics work for you. See your practice as a series of strategies where you test and apply measurable tactics to move you ever faster forward toward your goals and dreams.

Think of the four steps as a quality improvement circle.  You need to complete all four for maximum impact or improvement.  When you identify a problem write it down so that you can complete the process at a time where you can really focus on it.  It might be an improvement to a presentation, a soft close technique or any number of realizations.  Get the most out of your efforts.  Build a positive business cycle of continuous improvement that recycles your energy into ever greater success and joy.

Kaizen Real Estate Guide Says:

  • Do What Matters Most First
  • Choose a Simple Solution – Not The Perfect One
  • You Will Return To What Matters- Improve it then
  • Done Is Better
  • Problems Are Opportunities in Disguise
  •  Re-evaluate Fixed Ideas – Learn & Grow
  •  Resist Stagnation – Seek Inspiration