Back to School 2019 - 2020

iStock-1020533852.jpg

Depending on your age or where you are in life, the “Back to School” time of year seems to be either filled with dread or excitement. For some (elementary through high school kids), back to school is often dreaded because it means the end of the relaxing, carefree summer days when they can sleep in and spend the day playing games, being with friends, going on vacation and just plain relaxing. For others (college kids), it’s the excitement and thrill of seeing friends again, living independently and starting a new adventure. And for the rest (parents of kids), it’s a mix of happiness about being back into a routine with less childcare demands and sadness about missing the kids who are now gone for the majority of the day. But no matter what, it happens. Back to school comes upon us toward the end of August or in early September. The big question is whether school starts before or after Labor Day….

And on that note, here are the dates of the first days of public school for several towns in Weston, Wellesley, Wayland and beyond:

Boston - Thursday, September 5

Brookline - Thursday, September 5 (grades 1-9) and Friday, September 6 (grades 10-12)

Concord/Carlisle - Thursday, August 29 📚🍎 already back to school 📚🍎

Dover/Sherborn - Wednesday, August 28 📚🍎 already back to school 📚🍎

Framingham - Wednesday, August 28 📚🍎 already back to school 📚🍎

Lincoln/Sudbury - Tuesday, August 27 (grade 9) and Wednesday, August 28 (all other grades) 📚🍎 already back to school 📚🍎

Natick - Wednesday, August 28 📚🍎 already back to school 📚🍎

Needham - Tuesday, September 3

Newton - Tuesday, September 3

Wayland - Wednesday, August 28 📚🍎 already back to school 📚🍎

Wellesley - Wednesday, August 28 📚🍎 already back to school 📚🍎

Weston - Tuesday, September 3

Of the 12 school districts above, 7 (or just over half) are already back to school, and 5 will return to school after the Labor Day holiday weekend.

Happy Back to School and First Day to all of the kids and parents out there!

For more information on this or about the real estate market in Weston, Wellesley, Wayland and the surrounding towns or if you are considering selling your home, please contact me, Lisa Curlett (www.lisacurlett.com, 781-267-2844 or lisa.curlett@compass.com), to answer any questions or for a complimentary home appraisal.

Summer Outdoor Dining Fun

iStock-609686984.jpg

I don’t know about you, but my favorite time of the year to dine at a restaurant is during the summer when I can sit outside and enjoy the sun, sky, people watching and gorgeous views while eating a meal. Just the thought of it puts a smile on my face, brings fun into the equation and spells R-E-L-A-X-A-T-I-O-N - all at the same time. On this joyful and happy note, I wanted to share with you a few of my favorite, summer outdoor ‘burb and city dining picks (in alphabetical order):

These are only a few of the many fabulous options that the city and ‘burbs of Boston offer to its residents and visitors. What are your some of your favorites for summer outdoor dining? And what makes them special to you? I can’t wait to hear….

For more information on this or about the real estate market in Weston, Wellesley, Wayland and the surrounding towns or if you are considering selling your home, please contact me, Lisa Curlett (www.lisacurlett.com, 781-267-2844 or lisa.curlett@compass.com), to answer any questions or for a complimentary home appraisal.

What Says Summer to You?

iStock-951495444.jpg

Summer typically runs from June 21’ish - September 22’ish*, and most of us associate it with a time when the kids aren’t in school, schedules are more relaxed, traveling and vacations are more frequent, the days are longer, the weather is warmer, and the sun shines more than during any other season of the year. It’s absolute heaven, right?

So during this magical, sunny, spontaneous and joyful time, what is it that says summer to you? Is it a place, a smell, a song, a memory, a friend, a feeling, an experience or something else? For me, there are a few things that embody summer.

  • First, it’s the smell of my very favorite suntan lotion - Hawaiian Tropic. In my mind, the lotion is synonymous with the beach, relaxation, being in the present, beauty surrounding me, and of course, a yummy fragrance.

  • Second, it’s having a “Pyrate Smash” at Fishbones in Martha’s Vineyard. My sweetie and I absolutely love to go here on a warm, gorgeous day, and we love sitting outside, smiling in the sunshine, meeting new people and drinking our favorite rum drink. What’s better than that?

  • Third, it’s being in Nantucket, where I have been going since I was three years old - which means for a very long time! It’s my absolute favorite place in the entire world, hand’s down and always and forever. I have built and experienced so many incredible memories and times there that it’s the most special place to me all times of the year, but especially in the summer….

So now that you’ve heard about summer for me, what says summer to you? Is it one thing or many? Is it a smell, an experience, a place or something altogether different? I can’t wait to hear….

For more information on this or about the real estate market in Weston, Wellesley, Wayland and the surrounding towns or if you are considering selling your home, please contact me, Lisa Curlett (www.lisacurlett.com, 781-267-2844 or lisa.curlett@compass.com), to answer any questions or for a complimentary home appraisal.


*According to Calendarpedia.com. “In the Northern Hemisphere spring ends and summerstarts at the moment of the June solstice, which occurs every year between June 20 and June 22. Summer ends and autumn starts at the moment of the September equinox, which occurs every year on September 21 to 23.”

The Last Day of School 2019

iStock-831383766.jpg

When we were young, there was almost nothing better than the last day of school and the start of summer vacation. Oh my gosh - it was so exhilarating! And now, it’s that time of the year again. But not for us, for our kids. They can’t wait for the day that school ends and summer fun begins. And it’s imminent. In fact, some have already had their last day of school…. Here are the dates of the last days of public school for several towns in our neck of the woods:

Boston - Wednesday, June 19

Brookline - Friday, June 21

Concord/Carlisle - Friday, June 14 (already out ☀️🎉)

Dover/Sherborn - Friday, June 14 (already out ☀️🎉)

Framingham - Tuesday, June 18

Lincoln/Sudbury - Tuesday, June 18

Natick - Friday, June 14 (already out ☀️🎉)

Needham - Wednesday, June 19

Newton - Tuesday, June 18

Wayland - Tuesday, June 18

Wellesley - Friday, June 14 (already out ☀️🎉)

Weston - Thursday, June 20

Cheers to the end of school, and Happy Summer to all of the kids and parents out there!

For more information on this or about the real estate market in Weston, Wellesley, Wayland and the surrounding towns or if you are considering selling your home, please contact me, Lisa Curlett (www.lisacurlett.com, 781-267-2844 or lisa.curlett@compass.com), to answer any questions or for a complimentary home appraisal.

Your Favorite Summer Read

iStock-1058399378.jpg

What’s better in the summer than sitting at the beach with the sun in your face, listening to the sounds of the ocean, playing a fun beach game or two and then settling into your comfy chair to start that summer book that you’ve been waiting for months to read. In fact, the photo here just about sums it all up. I look at it, and I’m instantly relaxed and happy. Ahhhhh. Reading at the beach is one of my favorite things to do. There’s almost nothing better than getting completely and fully-immersed into my much-anticipated summer read ☀️🏝📚….

I know there are several of you out there who love summer reading on the beach as much as I do. There must be, in fact, because you can actually google “Summer Reads 2019” and get a laundry list of links filled with books perfect the months of June through August. And keep in mind that summer reading can be done anytime and anywhere - while you’re traveling, going to bed, waiting for an appointment or just killing time. But for me, the beach and reading go hand in hand.

My favorite kind of summer read is some type of psychological thriller. I hate to say it, but recently, these are the only sorts of books I find myself reading. I just finished, The Girl Before by JP Delaney, which was fabulous and soon to be a major motion picture. And prior to that, it was The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen, The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn., and Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris. Next on my list is either The Silent Patient or The Mother-in-Law - or both.

Now it’s your turn…what is your favorite summer read? What’s on your list for the beach or while you’re on vacation this summer? And what kinds of book do you especially love during the summer or anytime of the year? I can’t wait to hear….

For more information on this or about the real estate market in Weston, Wellesley, Wayland and the surrounding towns or if you are considering selling your home, please contact me, Lisa Curlett (www.lisacurlett.com, 781-267-2844 or lisa.curlett@compass.com), to answer any questions or for a complimentary home appraisal.

New Restaurant Fun in the 'Burbs

Best+Door+No+7.jpg

I’m thrilled to announce that we have two new, exciting restaurant options in the ‘burbs - Door No. 7 in Wellesley and The Federal in Waltham. And I was lucky enough to be a patron of both this week…. First, my Compass colleagues and I met at Door No. 7 on Thursday evening to kick off the New Year! This is “the seventh restaurant for John and Laura Wolfe, the husband and wife team behind the well known restaurant The Cottage, in Wellesley,” according to the website. “The new restaurant will have constantly changing, chef-inspired raw bar, small plates, and entrees as well as craft cocktails and martinis.” We experienced this first-hand with fresh oysters, lobster toast appetizers and asian noodle salads. I also stayed for dinner with a client and friend, and we dined on the Crab Salad, House Ricotta Gnocchi and No. 7 Burger. Everything was delicious. The atmosphere was sophisticated and visually appealing, and the place was full of fabulous energy with people rolling in all night. Based on the crowd we saw, it seems that Door No. 7 is the hottest spot in town right now.

IMG_3548.JPG

Second, my sweetie Bob and I went to The Federal in Waltham this weekend to celebrate his birthday. Termed “a modern steakhouse” on its website, we nabbed two seats at the long, dark-wooded bar filled with every kind of bottle you can imagine. The menu includes a full background on Executive Chef Diego, who is originally from Brazil and studied culinary arts at Newbury College, working his way through school at Baker’s Best. He went on to be part of the opening team for Lydia Shire and Jasper White’s Towne Stove & Spirits as well as the Executive Sous Chef for Bancroft & Co. His experience is “legit” as they say because the food was incredibly yummy! We split the New York Strip (16 oz.) with a Horseradish Crema sauce as well as the Creamed Spinach with Double Smoked Bacon and Kennebec Fries with Truffle Oil and Parmesan. There was a great vibe at The Federal, and the patrons around us seemed to be enjoying their dinner choices as much as we did.

I definitely want to go back to both restaurants to get to know them better. What about you? Have you had a chance to try Door No. 7 in Wellesley and/or The Federal in Waltham? If so, did you enjoy your dining experience? Would you go back again? I can’t wait to hear….

For more information on this or about the real estate market in Weston, Wellesley, Wayland and the surrounding towns or if you are considering selling your home, please contact me, Lisa Curlett (www.lisacurlett.com, 781-267-2844 or lisa.curlett@compass.com), to answer any questions or for a complimentary home appraisal.


2019 Tax Rate Fun in the 'Burbs

As we turn the page and enter 2019, it’s a time of new beginnings, new adventures, new friendships, and when we get down to the nitty gritty, new property assessments and new tax rates too. On the latter note, the chart to the right provides a recap of the 2019 - and 2018 - tax rates in 22 towns/cities in Weston, Wellesley, Wayland and the surrounding area.

The 2019 average residential tax rate in these towns and cities is $14.04 per thousand, which is down $0.06 from 2018. If you click here, you’ll see details on the tax rates from 2019 - 2015, and you’ll see that this year’s average tax rate of $14.04 per thousand is the lowest it’s been since 2015. (In fact, it’s the lowest it’s been since I started compiling the tax rate information in 2013.)

Of the 22 towns and cities, Sherborn, at $19.62 per thousand, has the highest tax rate, which has been the case since 2013. And Brookline, at $9.37 per thousand, has the lowest tax rate, which has been the case since 2014. (Needham had the lowest tax rate in 2013.) The biggest increase this year was in Medfield which was up $0.84, and the biggest decrease was in Framingham which was down $0.94.

So what does this all mean for you? Well honestly, not that much…. If you are buying a home, the tax rate is not usually a determining factor in which town you choose to live. Perhaps it might come into play if you are on the fence between two towns, and there is a striking difference in the tax rates. But even then, likely not. And on the same note, if you are selling your home, the tax rate is probably not one of the compelling reasons that you’re doing so. After all, you bought your house knowing the town’s tax rate. That being said, if the tax rate increased alarmingly over the years, that’s a different story. But as you can see, the increases and decreases don’t change much from year to year. The average change this year from last was just a slight decrease of $0.06.

What are your thoughts on this subject? Did the tax rate of your town influence your decision when you were buying or selling your home? Did it play a role at all? I can’t wait to hear….

For more information on this or about the real estate market in Weston, Wellesley, Wayland and the surrounding towns or if you are considering selling your home, please contact me, Lisa Curlett (www.lisacurlett.com, 781-267-2844 or lisa.curlett@compass.com), to answer any questions or for a complimentary home appraisal.

fullsizeoutput_4720.jpeg

Fashion Fashionistas: The 76th Golden Globe Awards

iStock-493979572.jpg

Last night - the airing of the 76th Golden Globe Awards - was big for tv, film and fashion fans like me. The award ceremony was broadcast on NBC from the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA and was hosted by Sandra Oh and Andy Samberg. Taking place just after the New Year, The Golden Globes always serve as the kick off to the award ceremony season and so fashion fever is in overdrive to say the least. The awards, festivities and especially the Red Carpet were all fabulous!

But for our purposes, let’s focus on the fashion of the evening. This year once again, I’ve decided to highlight my Fashion Favorites and not dabble into the “Could Have Been Better.” No need for that…. But before I get started on my choices, I wanted to share the thoughts and perspectives of Zanna Roberts Rassi, E! News Style Correspondent. On this morning’s Today Show, Roberts Rassi said she had two favorites. The first was Emily Blunt in an Alexander McQueen gown. Roberts Rassi said the dress had “the most elegant embroidery…. You can’t see the detail in here, but it has horses and moons and stars; it’s so exquisite…. That belongs in a museum.” She continued by saying that the other person “who completely shut it down for me” was none other than Lady Gaga in Valentino Couture. She described Gaga as a “Fashion maverick. And she always brings it 1,000%…. I love the nod to Judy Garland in the original A Star is Born; it was actually a similar dress…. She just goes for a look head to toe.”

I couldn’t agree more on both counts. But before we get to that, it’s only right for me to add my disclaimer that I am no fashionista* but just a regular Realtor, mom, daughter, sister, etc. without any training in fashion or award show styling. I just like what I like. So with all that said, here are my five favorites of the evening (listed in alphabetical order):

  • Emily Blunt in Alexander McGueen – I loved the intricacy of the lace design and the chic look. I also loved that hers was 3/4 length and so different than many of the others but still quite sophisticated. And her stunning look was completed by her handsome husband (and fellow Brown University alum 👨‍🎓), John Krasinski, on her arm.

  • Patricia Clarkson in a Georges Chakra haute couture gown. After having just binge watched Sharp Objects two days ago, I have such admiration for this grande dame. She is elegance personified, and it was in clear view last night. According to the Hollywood Reporter, “After her win, she smiled in the gown, saying, ‘This is what 59 looks like.’” Impressive! And Congrats to her on her win for Best Supporting Actress in a Limited Series!

  • Lady Gaga in Valentino Couture. To me, Gaga had - by far - the most dramatic, show-stopping fashion look of the evening. In my humble opinion, no one was even close to comparing. And oh my gosh - the Tiffany Aurora diamond necklace to boot! That being said, I wasn’t a huge fan of the periwinkle blue hair dye to match the dress, but oh well…. And Congrats also to her on her win for Best Song, Shallow!

  • Thandie Newton in a Michael Cors collection gown. This was a Hot Wow given her metallic, shiny dress featuring form-fitting and skin-revealing cutouts. It was perfectly sexy and smoldering and yet understated all at the same time.

  • Lupita Nyong’o in Calvin Klein by Appointment. My favorite part about her gorgeous blue gown was the way it moved and sparkled. One part fun, another part playful and a third part sensational. Bravo!

We can’t end our fashionista review without a shout out to the men of the evening because they looked dynamite too! We would be remiss if we didn’t mention Billy Porter’s colorful “lavishly hand-beaded and embroidered jacket with an attached, fuschia-lined cape layered over a form-fitting beaded and embroidered tulle shirt with a silk collar” as detailed by the Hollywood Reporter. Wow - I love the entrance he made! As you can probably tell, though, I tend to like a slightly more traditional look so some of my faves included Michael B. Jordan in Burberry, Viggo Mortenson in Dior Men and Sterling K. Brown in Brunello Cucinelli. And while I wasn’t a huge fan of the white head-to-toe tux that Bradley Cooper donned, he is a style icon no matter what he chooses to wear (no bias there 😉).

What an amazing night with incredibly elegant, fun and dramatic fashion choices! What did you think? What were your fashion favorites? Were they similar to mine? I can’t wait to hear….

For more information on this or about the real estate market in Weston, Wellesley, Wayland and the surrounding towns or if you are considering selling your home, please contact me, Lisa Curlett (www.lisacurlett.com, 781-267-2844 or lisa.curlett@compass.com), to answer any questions or for a complimentary home appraisal.


* My other caveat is that unfortunately I wasn’t at the Golden Globes, and so I didn’t get a chance to see all of the participants and their fashion choices – only those that were on TV or online – nor did I see them in person with my own eyes.