Katie McBride | Hopkinton Real Estate, Holliston Real Estate, Ashland Real Estate


For some people, their bicycle is their main method of transportation. Whether it's commuting to work or getting groceries, a bicycle can be an excellent way to save money, stay in shape, and enjoy the ride to your destination. For those of us who live too far away from work to cycle there, bicycles can still be a fun activity to that also helps you stay in shape. Just like your car, your bicycle requires regular maintenance to keep your rides smooth and safe. Local bike shops will be able to give your bicycle a tune-up or make difficult repairs. However, there are a lot of maintenance tasks that can be done right from home with your average toolkit. In this article, we'll go over basic bike maintenance that you can do in your driveway that will keep your bike in good  working condition.

Safety Check

Before you ride your bike, it's good to perform a basic safety check in your driveway before leaving your home. You'll want to check:
  • tires, to see if they're properly inflated, have enough tread, and don't have any cracks
  • brakes, to see if both the front and rear brakes work properly and that they're touching the rims when pressed
  • chain and shifters, to make sure the chain is lubricated and that the shifters are functioning correctly

Cleaning and lubrication

Cleaning your bicycle regularly isn't just a matter of aesthetics. A clean bike is a safe bike and the process of cleaning helps you discover any potential issues with the bicycle. On a monthly basis, clean the frame and rims of your bike with a cloth. Look for any cracks in the frame, loose bolts or screws on any of the mechanisms. Cleaning and lubricating the chain of your bike will significantly increase its lifespan and will prevent your chain from malfunctioning when you're out on a ride. First, turn your bike upside down so that it is balanced on the sea and handlebars. Wipe off the grime that has built up on the chain with a rag. If necessary, use a degreaser and a small brush to scrub any remaining residue from between the links, then wipe down the chain once more. Apply a drop of chain lubricant to each chain link while you rotate the pedals. While you have the lubricant out, also be sure to apply a small amount to the brake levers an derailleurs (the part that moves the chain onto the different sized sprockets to change gears). Also lubricate the brake cables and gear cables to make sure they can move freely and do not freeze up.

Repairs and replacement

Sometimes, in spite of proper care and maintenance you're going to beed to make some repairs to your bicycle. The most common fixes you'll need to make are changing flat tires and replacing worn brake pads, and chain issues like a skipping link. Depending on your bicycle, you can often find tutorials online that will help you find the tools you need to make these repairs from home. Otherwise, you could always give business to your local bike shop.

In the community of Ashland, MA in the past month there have been 7 homes sold.  The average sale price of these homes was $571,857 and the homes were on the market an average of 28 days.  There have been 7 homes listed for sale during the past month Ashland, MA.
 
We are here to serve all your real estate needs in the surrounding communities.  We welcome your business, and we promise to take exceptional care of you or any of your referrals.


The housing market has been anything but normal for the last eleven years. In a normal real estate market, home prices appreciate 3.7% annually. Below, however, are the price swings since 2007 according to the latest Home Price Expectation Survey:

After the bubble burst in June 2007, values depreciated 6.1% annually until February 2012. From March 2012 to today, the market has been recovering with values appreciating 6.2% annually.

These wild swings in values were caused by abnormal ratios between the available supply of inventory and buyer demand in the market. In a normal market, there would be a 6-month supply of housing inventory.

When the market hit its peak in 2007, homeowners and builders were trying to take advantage of a market that was fueled by an “irrational exuberance.”

Inventory levels grew to 7+ months. With that many homes available for sale, there weren’t enough buyers to satisfy the number of homeowners/builders trying to sell, so prices began to fall.

Then, foreclosures came to market. We eventually hit 11 months inventory which caused prices to crash until early 2012. By that time, inventory levels had fallen to 6.2 months and the market began its recovery.

Over the last five years, inventory levels have remained well below the 6-month supply needed for prices to continue to level off. As a result, home prices have increased over that time at percentages well above the appreciation levels seen in a more normal market. 

That was the past. What about the future?

We currently have about 4.5-months inventory. This means prices should continue to appreciate at above-normal levels which most experts believe will happen for the next year. However, two things have just occurred that are pointing to the fact that we may be returning to a more normal market.

1. Listing Supply is Increasing

Both existing and new construction inventory is on the rise. The latest Existing Home Sales Reportfrom the National Association of Realtors revealed that inventory has increased over the last two months after thirty-seven consecutive months of declining inventory. At the same time, building permits are also increasing which means more new construction is about to come to market. 

2. Buyer Demand is Softening

Ivy Zelman, who is widely respected as an industry expert, reported in her latest ‘Z’ Report:

 “While we continue to expect a resumption of growth in resale transactions on the back of easing inventory in 2019 and 2020, our real-time view into the market through our Real Estate Broker Survey does suggest that buyers have grown more discerning of late and a level of “pause” has taken hold in many large housing markets.

Indicative of this, our broker contacts rated buyer demand at 69 on a 0- 100 scale, still above average but down from 74 last year and representing the largest year-over-year decline in the two-year history of our survey.”

With supply increasing and demand waning, we may soon be back to a more normal real estate market. We will no longer be in a buyers’ market (like 2007-February 2012) or a sellers’ market (like March 2012- Today).

Prices won’t appreciate at the levels we’ve seen recently, nor will they depreciate. It will be a balanced market where prices remain steady, where buyers will be better able to afford a home, and where sellers will more easily be able to move-up or move-down to a home that better suits their current lifestyles.

Bottom Line

Returning to a normal market is a good thing. However, after the zaniness of the last eleven years, it might feel strange. If you are going 85 miles per hour on a road with a 60 MPH speed limit and you see a police car ahead, you’re going to slow down quickly. But, after going 85 MPH, 60 MPH will feel like you’re crawling. It is the normal speed limit, yet, it will feel strange.

That’s what is about to happen in real estate. The housing market is not falling apart. We are just returning to a more normal market which, in the long run, will be much healthier for you whether you are a buyer or a seller.


Home insurance is a must for any homebuyer. However, getting the right coverage at the right price may seem impossible, particularly for those who are buying home insurance for the first time.

Fortunately, we're here to help you take the guesswork out of buying home insurance. Here are three tips that you can use to obtain the right home insurance coverage for your residence.

1. Understand What a Homeowners Policy Covers

Homeowners insurance offers protection against damage to your property and personal belongings. It also safeguards you against liability for any injuries or property damage that you may cause to other people.

Typically, homeowners insurance offers a package policy that ensures you are protected against natural disasters and other unforeseen risks. On the other hand, homeowners coverage does not protect you against every possible danger. And in some cases, you may need to buy additional coverage to supplement your homeowners policy.

For instance, a homeowner who lives in a floodplain likely will need to purchase flood insurance, as a homeowners policy does not offer flood coverage. Or, if you own a trampoline or your home features a swimming pool, you may need additional coverage as well.

Speaking with an insurance agent will allow you to learn about the ins and outs of a homeowners policy. If you ever have concerns or questions about homeowners insurance, a home insurance professional will be able to respond to your queries at any time.

2. Get Multiple Home Insurance Quotes

When it comes to finding home insurance, it pays to shop around. By doing so, you'll be able to get multiple home insurance quotes and find the best coverage at the best price.

Meeting with at least three home insurance companies usually is a good idea. This will enable you to find out how home insurance will impact your monthly expenses and receive responses to all of your home insurance queries.

3. Don't Forget About Preventative Measures to Supplement Your Home Insurance

Homeowners insurance offers protection in a number of areas, and ultimately, provides a great option to safeguard your property and belongings against risk. Furthermore, there are many quick, easy ways to minimize risk without having to increase your homeowners insurance coverage or add supplemental insurance.

For example, if you own a large collection of antique coins, it may be worthwhile to purchase a safe to secure these items. Also, if you buy a security system for your home, you can safeguard your residence and belongings against theft and may be able to get a discount on your home insurance too.

Purchasing home insurance is a major decision, and if you need extra help along the way, your real estate agent may be able to point you in the right direction.

Your real estate agent may have home insurance contacts, and as such, can connect you with these contacts instantly. Thus, you can move one step closer to buying home insurance that enables you to safeguard your property and belongings both now and in the future.


In the community of Hopkinton, MA in the past month there have been 26 homes sold.  The average sale price of these homes was $806,621 and the homes were on the market an average of 64 days.  There have been 11 homes listed for sale during the past month Hopkinton, MA.
 
We are here to serve all your real estate needs in the surrounding communities.  We welcome your business, and we promise to take exceptional care of you or any of your referrals.




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