Archives for October 2008

Almost Lover

Your fingertips across my skin
The palm trees swaying in the wind
You sang me Spanish lullabies
The sweetest sadness in your eyes
Clever trick

Well, I never want to see you unhappy
I thought you’d want the same for me
Goodbye, my almost lover
Goodbye, my hopeless dream
I’m trying not to think about you
Can’t you just let me be?
So long, my luckless romance
My back is turned on you
Should’ve known you’d bring me heartache
Almost lovers always do

We walked along a crowded street
You took my hand and danced with me
And when you left, you kissed my lips
You told me you would never, never forget
These images


Well, I’d never want to see you unhappy
I thought you’d want the same for me
Goodbye, my almost lover
Goodbye, my hopeless dream
I’m trying not to think about you
Can’t you just let me be?
So long, my luckless romance
My back is turned on you
Should’ve known you’d bring me heartache
Almost lovers always do

I cannot go to the ocean
I cannot drive the streets at night
I cannot wake up in the morning
Without you on my mind
So you’re gone and I’m haunted
And I bet you are just fine

Did I make it that
Easy to walk right in and out
Of my life?
Goodbye, my almost lover
Goodbye, my hopeless dream
I’m trying not to think about you
Can’t you just let me be?
So long, my luckless romance
My back is turned on you
Should have known you’d bring me heartache
Almost lovers always do


These are the lyrics from the song Almost Lover by A Fine Frenzy. Great, great song. Very sad, but the lyrics read like poetry. Can’t ask for more than that.

Moving On

I realized something today. I have been trying to mold this blog into something interesting, useful, profitable, etc. But what I ended up doing was turning it into something I didn’t even recognize. What I had always intended for it to be was a place for me to record my thoughts, feelings, fears and hopes. A place to just vent my frustrations or wish for luck. My own little spot on this frighteningly large and overwhelming web of words. No matter what you do, there is always going to be someone with a better, faster, stronger site. So I’m going back to what it was, just a place for me. Because sometimes you look around and realize that you have been spending so much time trying to keep up with everyone else, listening, helping, supporting, that you forgot to be true to the one thing that really matters, your own heart. This is my heart and I am laying it out here for no one else but me.

Britney’s Home Goes Back on the Market

Even during these difficult financial times, when we continue to hear it is a buyer’s market, Britney Spears has decided to put her home on the market.

Listing Price: $7,900,000

Exquisite gated Italian Renaissance inspired Villa w/in the exclusive guard-gated Summit. This magnificent Estate offers approximately 7,500 square feet of luxury, 6 BD, 6 BA, gated motor court, wet bar, maid s quarters, library, smoking room/den, sophisticated formal dining room, & a grand entrance foyer. Artisan quality finishes are highlighted by dramatic high ceilings, providing a sense of unmatched scale & volume. Old world craftsmanship and designer details including carved millwork, stone & mosaic tile floors, & elegant iron accents are found throughout. A brilliant state-of-the-art chef s kitchen with Viking appliances, walk-in pantry, & large breakfast nook open to the spacious family room. The breathtaking Master suite offers his and hers baths, fireplace, & romantic loggia. Manicured rear grounds afford a pool, spa, elegant arbor, and lush landscaping ideal for year round entertaining. This grand estate is offered with select furnishings, accessories, and art work.

Kennedy History For Sale

{photo courtesy of PAUL E. KANDARIAN for the Boston Globe}

We all know that the Kennedy compound is in Hyannis Port, but did you know that the “original” Kennedy compound is located in Hull, MA?  This original Kennedy compound is part of Allerton Hill in Hull and is considered by locals to be the original. The property was owned at the turn of the 20th century by John F. “Honey Fitz” Fitzgerald, then mayor of Boston, father of Rose Kennedy and grandfather of president John F. Kennedy.

The 16-room Victorian multi-gabled mansion had fallen into disrepair over the last several years and was purchased in 2006 by developer Ernesto Caparrotta of Hull, owner of Seven Hills Corp. in Weymouth. He paid $950,000 for the 7,163-square-foot house at auction. It is assessed by the town for $1.52 million and is now on the market for $2.37 million. Read more about this gorgeous house in this Boston Globe article.

Is there something inherently interesting about buying an historically famous house? Is it a treat for home owners to know that someone “great” once lived within the same walls where they now reside?

The Wolf at the Door

Great article in the Wall Street Journal attempting to answer the question of the day.

Bachelor Pad for Sale

ABC’s “Bachelor” pad is now available for 33% off. The owner of the Los Angeles-area house, where contestants on the popular reality-TV show competed for love, is asking $8.75 million, down from just under $13 million.

According to the Wall Street Journal, during the years of occasional filming, Marshall Haraden, who built the six-bedroom rustic Italian-style house in 2005, has lived in it. He designed the 8,000-square-foot house with materials from Morocco, India, China and Mexico in Agoura, Calif., near the western edge of Los Angeles county. The 10 acres include a studio of 4,000 square feet. The pool has a built-in bar and an arched “aqueduct” with several waterfalls and fountains.

Could it be?

Positive news on the real estate front?

According to USAToday, pending sales of existing homes unexpectedly jumped in August to the highest level in more than a year. The National Association of Realtors Pending Home Sales Index, based on contracts signed in June, rose 7.4% in August to 93.4 from an updwardly revised index of 87.0 in July.

A major unknown is how the worldwide financial crisis and economic slump will affect the housing market.

Despite numerous efforts by the Federal Reserve to encourage banks to lend more, lenders have kept tight reins on mortgage lending, and average rates on 30-year mortgages have remained over 6% for most of the year.

The latest effort by the central bank came Wednesday, when the Fed and six other major central banks around the world slashed interest rates Wednesday in an attempt to prevent a mushrooming financial crisis from becoming a global economic meltdown.

There’s no guarantee, though, that mortgage rates will match the Fed’s cut.

That’s because long-term interest rates, which influence 30-year mortgages, don’t always move in sync with the Fed’s action, which lowered the interest rate banks charge each other on overnight loans.

However, the Fed action will reduce borrowing costs almost immediately for U.S. bank customers whose home equity and other floating-rate loans are tied to the prime interest rate. Bank of America, Wells Fargo and other banks cut their prime rate by half a point to 4.5% after the Fed announcement.

Boston Going Green

It appears that Boston’s biggest property owner is going green. According to this recent Boston Globe article, Equity Office Properties Trust, which owns 20 Boston buildings, is “outfitting its buildings with features ranging from energy-saving heating and cooling units to new bike racks as part of a multimillion-dollar effort to stamp its buildings with the green label.”

Budget Renovations

Farnoosh Torabi renovated her kitchen in 2004, paying roughly $12,000 for the whole job, including the contractor, new cabinets, recessed lights and granite counter top.  Now, with home values dropping and houses staying on the market longer, it’s a great time to concentrate on getting your home in tip-top shape for when the market picks up.  But if you don’t want to pay thousands for a huge job, here are Torabi’s thoughts on how to give your place a facelift on the cheap.

Problem: Spots and Stains on Walls
Solution: Dry-erase sponges. For under $4.00, buy a pack of dry erase sponges to get rid of markings on your walls, cabinets and dry wall surfaces. They’re usually available at your local grocery store, Wal-Mart, Target, Home Depot or Lowe’s.

Problem: Kitchen Counter Needs a Facelift

Solution: Tiles. Create a great backsplash for your counter to liven up your kitchen with a more professional, crafted look. All you mainly need is a tile adhesive (called tile mastic) and enough tiles to suit the length. You can find tiles for under $1 each at IKEA.

Problem: Pantries and Cabinets are Messy
Solution: Plastic storage containers with airtight seals
are a fantastic solution for storing and organizing your dry foods. They come in various sizes and start for as little as a few dollars each. A sturdy Lazy Susan also helps under the kitchen sink or in cabinets to hold pots and pans, kitchen supplies and other heavyweight items in an accessible and neat way. The Container Store has a number of solutions.

Problem: Cabinets Look Out-Dated
Solution: New knobs for cabinets and drawers
are a simple way to spruce up a plain look. Peruse flea markets to find rare and unique knobs. Home Depot, Lowe’s, IKEA and offer up an affordable selection as well.

Problem: My Carpets Look Tired
Solution: Foam shaving cream.
Besides a deep vacuuming, foam shaving cream is a tried and true home-remedy for most common stains from spills to dirt and grime. Let the foam sit on the stain for about a half hour before blotting away. Next, rinse the spot with a mixed solution of water and vinegar.

Problem: Bathroom Blues
Solution: Replace faucets and handles.
A new shower curtain and towels can also help change the room’s color scheme. It’s best to pick something neutral and easy on the eyes. Brighter light bulbs can also give a bathroom a more chipper look. If you’re willing to spend an extra few hundred dollars, an acid wash and tile and tub reglazing can do wonders for giving your old bathroom a brand new shine.

A final note: For all your rooms, cleanliness and organization can go a long way, and they can be achieved practically free. It just takes letting go of the clutter, pushing appliances back against the wall or tucked away neatly inside cabinets and making sure your walls, floors and cabinetry shine.

Farnoosh is currently on the new show by Real Simple Magazine on TLC called REAL SIMPLE, REAL LIFE.

Tom Brady’s Real Estate Journey

{image courtesy of Matt Stone}

It appears that Tom Brady is having just as much trouble off the field as he had on the field. A recent article ran in the Boston Herald’s Inside Track about the difficulty he is having unloading his $16 million home in New York City’s Time Warner Center. Read here for the full story.

It’s comforting to know that even high-profile celebrities and athletes are equally affected by the current state of our financial market. Even the bubbles of the stars can burst.


The subtitle for the new book from Domino Magazine, DOMINO: The Book of Decorating, is that it is a “room-by-room guide to creating a home that makes you happy.” I absolutely love this magazine because it gives the reader millions of little ideas (and sometimes large and slightly daunting) to help transform the place you live into a HOME.

Over the weekend I went out with my sister and my brother-in-law to look at houses. They already own a very beautiful home, but with prices being so low, they couldn’t help but be a little curious as to what was out there. We found the cutest house, very much under-priced, and filled with all the nooks and crannies you want in a home. The house had a warm and inviting little office right off the kitchen, a back staircase, a guest room that had it’s own bathroom and direct access to the kitchen. Needless to say, it was perfect! Unfortunately, in the financial market we are currently in, and with their house not even in the first stages of being prepped for sale, they had to walk away. Both of them seemed disheartened that this adorable house with unlimited possibilities was probably going to belong to someone else very, very soon.

However, what it did make them realize is that there house should always be in “For Sale Condition.” They were inspired by our outing to go home, clean up their wonderful house, ready it for the holidays and start decorating. This book would be the perfect item for them! (Or a subscription to the magazine…maybe I’ll keep that in mind for Christmas). As Holly Becker states on her blog for Real Simple, Simply Stated (which I just discovered and am already obsessed with!!)

Clean it, toss it, file it, decorate it, love it