A LOOK AT THE MORTGAGE INTEREST DEDUCTION. BIG CHANGES COMING? PROBABLY NOT

(image credit: Schecky/Dreamstime)

(image credit: Schecky/Dreamstime)

June 26, 2017

(updated June 27, 2016)

Premier Properties is a leading full-service residential and commercial real estate company that in 2017 is celebrating 30 years in business.

We have offices in Easton, Raynham, and Martha’s Vineyard.  The primary – but not exclusive – geographic area in which we work is is one that takes in Metropolitan Boston and extends over Southeastern Massachusetts and across Cape Cod and the Islands.

Our 40 licensed agents care deeply about their vocation, are highly knowledgeable about their vocation, and handle each and every purchase and sale with personalized and customized attention and service.

It provides Premier Properties immense gratification, and we find it immensely heartening, that we are now helping, with their first home purchases, the sons and daughters of our early clients.

Here in this space we discuss the business of real estate, and matters related … sometimes distantly related … to real estate.

Today we discuss a topic and issue that is central to real estate and individual and family finances: the mortgage interest deduction (MD).

The mortgage interest deduction is a bedrock of American personal and family finance and investing.

Forces that lobby and advocate for the MD on the federal and state level are well financed, well motivated, and well organized.

Investopedia provides the following definition of the mortgage interest deduction:

“A common itemized deduction that allows homeowners to deduct the interest they pay on any loan used to build, purchase or make improvements upon their residence. The mortgage interest deduction can also be taken on loans for second homes and vacation residences with certain limitations. The amount of deductible mortgage interest is reported each year by the mortgage company on Form 1098. This deduction is offered as an incentive for homeowners.”

Here is more information that Investopedia offers on the MD:

“Home Mortgage Interest is reported on Schedule A of the 1040. Mortgage interest paid on rental properties is also deductible, but this is reported on Schedule E. Home Mortgage Interest is quite often the single itemized deduction that allows many taxpayers to itemize; without this deduction, the remaining itemized deductions would not exceed the standard deduction. Interest from Home Equity loans also qualifies as Home Mortgages Interest.”

There is a lot of talk in public and the media about what impact the Trump administration’s tax plan may have on the MD.   One aspect of the plan would raise from $322,000 to $608,000 the home loan mortgage balance you carry in order for it to make sense to take the deduction.

So does this mean that wealthy homeowners will receive most of the benefit under this plan – as opposed to the middle class?   Well, in terms of overall tax relief, maybe – and maybe not.  Broad considerations apply.  That is, take a look at the entire tax package.

Here is an explanation about the Trump plan and its “Mortgage Tax Break” included in a May 16 story in Bloomberg, written by Prashant Gopal and Paul Light:

“Americans filing their taxes can either subtract a fixed amount from their incomes, called the standard deduction, or itemize write-offs, including mortgage interest as well as state and local taxes. The administration wants to raise the standard allowance — to $24,000 from $12,700 for a married couple filing jointly — and allow deductions for only home loans and charitable donations, greatly reducing the chances that itemizing would pay off for average taxpayers.”

Please click here to be taken to the full Bloomberg story, titled “25 Million Americans Could Find Mortgage Tax Break Useless Under Trump’s Plan.”

Premier Properties also recommends a smart and insightful newspaper story about the MD and the Trump administration’s tax plan written Tom Kelly, the former real estate editor for the Seattle Times, and syndicated columnist and talk-show host.

Please click here to be taken to Mr. Kelly’s story, titled, “Mortgage interest deduction: Fewer than expected take it,” published in the June 22 at Akron.com.

What next for the mortgage interest deduction?

Premier Properties believes that it will remain in place – and not be changed considerably.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A MEMORIAL DAY REFLECTION AND REMEMBRANCE

A Boy Scout salutes at the foot of a grave after volunteers placed flags at the Los Angeles National Cemetery on Saturday, May 28, 2016 in preparation for Memorial Day. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

A Boy Scout salutes at the foot of a grave after volunteers placed flags at the Los Angeles National Cemetery on Saturday, May 28, 2016 in preparation for Memorial Day. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

May 29, 2017

Premier Properties is a leading full-service residential and commercial real estate firm with offices in Easton, Raynham, and Martha’s Vineyard.

In 2017 we are celebrating 30 years in business.

The primary geographic area in which Premier Properties does business takes in, and extends from, Boston and down and across the South Shore and to and encompassing Cape Cod and the Islands.

Our 40 licensed brokers are highly knowledgeable and are committed to handling every purchase transaction, every sales transaction, with personalized and customized service.

Our brokers work cooperatively – they work as a team.

Everyone at Premier Properties – our founders and co-owners, Lenny Altieri and Robert Simmons, our brokers – live and are involved in and give to the communities in which we do business.

The people of Premier Properties understand that in practicing our vocation honestly, forthrightly, courteously, and with a strong work ethic, we can reconcile making a living with making a life.

We recognize that a major component of the American Dream is owning a home. Premier Properties is gratified and privileged to be able to assist and partner with and help people secure this part of the American Dream.

Premier Properties appreciates that another pillar of the American Dream is our vigorous system and culture of free enterprise, and the extraordinary opportunities for people to own and build a business.

Day in and day out Premier Properties and its people benefit from and reap the rewards of the American Dream.

We hope that we never lose sight that the realization of the dream is not a given, and that freedom and liberty in which we live, and in which we work – the opportunity we are availed – are the envy of, admired by, and the aspiration of so much of the world.

While every day, of course, is a day in which we should give thanks to and for those who sacrificed, those who fell, in defense of our republic and to safeguard and preserve our freedoms and liberty, it is wholly appropriate that we use the occasion and ceremony of Memorial Day to sound a special and particularly fervent clarion of gratitude.

It is only right.

And today, on Memorial Day, and every day, let us hold close these words of Joseph Campbell:  “The patriot’s blood is the seed of Freedom’s tree.”

KEEPING COOL PRIOR TO AIR CONDITIONING – OF THE “OTHER SIDE OF THE PILLOW” AND OTHER TACTICS

Drawing by Gary White; original for sale at online at fineartamerica (www.fineartamerica.com)

Drawing by Gary White; original for sale at online at fineartamerica (www.fineartamerica.com)

May 16, 2017

Premier Properties is a leading full-service residential and commercial real state firm, now in its 30th year.

We have offices in North Easton, Raynham, and Martha’s Vineyard.

Today was a warm day – a day that follows a relatively cool and wet spring in these parts – that is the area in which Premier Properties primarily does business: a stretch that extends across and takes in Metropolitan Boston South and Southeastern Massachusetts and Cape Cod and the Islands.

Warm is the transition to warmer and then hot.

Interestingly, enough … and we know this, even if we don’t dwell on it much … even just within Massachusetts, there is significant variation in climate – e.g. difference in yearly snowfall accumulations between Central and Western Massachusetts, and that of Cape Cod.

According to the Köppen climate classification system, Metropolitan Boston South and Southeastern Massachusetts is primarily a humid subtropical climate, and Cape Cod and the Islands is an oceanic climate.

As described in Wikipedia entries, a humid subtropical climate is one characterized by “hot, usually humid summers and mild to cool winters”; an oceanic climate “generally features cool summers (relative to their latitude) and cool but not cold winters … ”

The Köppen system classifies Boston Metropolitan West and North and Central and Western Massachusetts as a humid continental climate, which is one with big swings in temps throughout the year, with warm to very hot summers and winters that can be brutally cold.

One thing for sure is that around here it can become uncomfortably hot – and this statement stands independent of any discussion of climate change.

A highly effective … though expensive … way to cool in your house is to turn on – and keep on – the air conditioner.

Ah, modern convenience.

If you can believe it, there was a time without automated air conditioning, which Louis Carrier invented in 1902.  In its early years, until the end of World War II, electric air conditioning was mostly used for industry.

Starting in the mid 1940s, modern air conditioning became a popular residential phenomenon.

How did humans handle the heat – prior to the air conditioner?

What did humans do to stay cool beyond turning the pillow over?

(Love sport journalist great Stuart Scott creating and immortalizing the term: “Cool as the other side of the pillow.”)

Living underground – including in caves – worked.   It still does.  In northern latitudes, underground homes, naturally, even when the temps outside are near 100 degrees Fahrenheit, maintain temps around 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit.

How many people with finished basements retreat to those basements during heatwaves?  We suspect many.

Not long into humanity’s first experiment in home building, thick stone walls were found to keep interiors cool.

As is the case today, strategic placing of shade trees around a house – particularly on the east and west sides of and abode – helped.

There was always the practice of opening windows.

Many homes built in the New England region in the 1700s and early 1800s, had several fireplaces.   During the late spring through late summer, opening the flues of all the fireplaces created a comforting and soothing draft of air – especially when combined with open windows.

In 1882, Schuyler Wheeler created the electric fan.

Around 1885, Philip Diehl invented the electric ceiling fan, and in 1904 he added to the ceiling fan a split-ball joint that allowed the fan to pivot, which provided for, three years later, the first oscillating fan.

By the 1920s in America, electric fans were fairly common in homes.

Fans in windows, working in tandem, took things to a new level.

Those who lived in cities, way back, and who in buildings that had roof decks, can tell you how those decks were cooling and social gathering places on evenings during hot spells.

And then there was the front and back screened in porch – for town and city and rural dwellers, all.

Another cooling practice from yesteryear, and still widely used today, is the swim and dip in a pool, lake, or river.  Really, it quite remarkable how that time … even a brief time … in the cool water works so well.

How about chilling underwear in the icebox or freezer?

Well … anyway.

Spring has fully spring – and we are about five weeks out from the start of summer.

We have recently been complaining of cold.   We will soon be complaining of heat.

That is how we roll in Premier Properties country.

 

One of the photos featured in "Easton Then and Now":  Downtown North Easton, 1960s.

PREMIER PROPERTIES DISCUSSES THE LIMITS OF SOCIAL MEDIA AND ONLINE COMMUNICATION — AND LOOKS BACK AT THE SUCCESS OF A RECENT ART EXHIBIT IN EASTON

(image above; photo exhibited at Easton Then and Now:  Downtown North Easton 1960s)

April 30, 2017

Premier Properties is a leading full service residential and commercial real estate firm which does business, primarily, but not exclusively, across a region that takes in Metropolitan Boston, South of Boston, and Cape Cod and the Islands.

We have been in business for 30 years, and operate offices in Easton, Raynham, and Martha’s Vineyard.

Our 40 licensed agents care deeply about their profession, and address every purchase transaction, every sale transaction, with customized and personalized attention.

As we have discussed here in this space, our agents work cooperatively and as a team.  This cooperation and teamwork is fundamental to our success.

As well, we care deeply about the communities in which we work — which are also the communities in which we live.  We give back to and are involved in these communities.

A way in which we stay connected and communicate is through social media — through the channel and outlet you and we are on right now.

Social media is an excellent tool and place.  It is immensely useful and valuable.

Indeed, there are many — among them smart and wise and thoughtful and caring people — who consider that social media and global online communication will serve a purpose of making society increasingly better … and perhaps, one day, ideal.

Except it won’t.

At Premier Properties, we use social media and email and our website, and other online and wireless communications methods and technologies, to better serve our customers, and to market and advertise.

But, ultimately, it is our in-person relationships — and that cooperation and teamwork — and  values that were as important in commerce a thousand years ago, as they are today, that are the reason that the sons and daughters of our first clients are also Premier Properties clients.

As well, online communications has deep limitations as a communications vehicle and paradigm — and can often, unnecessarily, hurt and undermine healthy personal relationships.

When the business of a business is real estate, when one’s livelihood is real estate, helpful and productive communication is at an essence.   It is essential to communicate forthrightly and in a way that delivers value.

Of course, the smart and caring nexus and interplay of online and virtual, and real life,  can amount the extraordinary and good things all around.

Everyone can benefit.

To wit:  the wonderful and highly successful event, Easton Then and Now — An Art Exhibit to Honor Our Hometown History Through a Contemporary Lens  — a photo and drawing exhibit that we hosted at our offices on Main Street, on Saturday, April 22, and Sunday, April 23.

The event, free and open to the public, was presented by Amy McMannis, the founder and administrator of the highly popular Easton Stories Facebook page; Pam Foley, also a Premier Properties broker; and Eric Lothrop, a professional photographer.

On display and for sale at the exhibit were historic photos from Easton’s past, photos of recent vintage taken by Pam Foley and Eric Lothrop, and drawings by Pam.

Along with Premier Properties, sponsoring the exhibit were The Farmer’s Daughter restaurant and the soon-to-be-open The Township restaurant, both located on Main Street in North Easton; and Keel Vodka.     

The Farmer’s Daughter and The Township had available a vast selection of delicious appetizers, including cheeses and various spreads, and wines, and specialty cocktails made with Keel Vodka.

Social media was harnessed effectively and enthusiastically to build attention for and publicize the event.  Images of artwork that would be on display were posted online.

Discussions about the art, and about the event, prior to the event, grew and were interesting and happy and positive.

And it all helped the actual event — the live person event.

For the actual art exhibit was a continuation and buildout of the community and discussion that had lived and prospered online.

It was fun and interesting, educational and enjoyable.

And, you know, when the weekend ended, and the exhibit was over — it wasn’t really over …. for the conversation and discussion continued online, and in the virtual world, the ether, the cloud … you know..

It was all a worthy example of people using technology to make life better.

And, really, each of us, all of us, need to mindful of the truth that, ultimately, it is we who are responsible for improving the world — and that technology only assists us in this mission when it is in our service and under our direction.

CELEBRATE EASTON’S HISTORY — THROUGH PHOTOS AND DRAWINGS — THIS WEEKEND AT THE PREMIER PROPERTIES OFFICE ON MAIN STREET IN NORTH EASTON

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April 20, 2017

Premier Properties celebrates its 30th year in business in 2017.

We operate offices in North Easton, Raynham, and Martha’s Vineyard.

Premier Properties primarily services a geographic region that takes in and extends across Southeastern Massachusetts and Cape Cod and the Islands, and throughout the Metropolitan Boston area.

Donahue Hall at Stonehill College; formerly the home of Frederick Lothrop Ames (photo by Eric Lothrop)

Donahue Hall at Stonehill College; formerly the home of Frederick Lothrop Ames (photo by Eric Lothrop)

Our 40 licensed brokers are highly knowledgeable, dedicated, and committed to delivering personalized and customized service on every on every purchase and sale.

Premier Properties professionalism and values are fundamental to why children of our first customers become our customers.

We also honor a responsibility to give to and be productively engaged in the communities in which do business.

Our brokers and the people who work for our business partners live in and are active in these communities.

In keeping with honoring this responsibility, Premier Properties is delighted to host and co-sponsor a cultural event that will be held this weekend.

The event is Easton Then and Now — An Art Exhibit to Honor Our Hometown History Through a Contemporary Lens.

Downtown North Easton, 1960s.

Downtown North Easton, 1960s. O’Connor’s News Store was located on the property where is now The Farmer’s Daughter

Easton Then and Now will be held at the Premier Properties North Easton office at 99 Main Street.

On Saturday, the exhibit will be open from 3 to 8 pm, with wine and cheese offered.   On Sunday, the exhibit runs open from 10 am to 2 pm, with coffee, tea, and danish.

Admission is free.

Presenters of the event are Easton residents Amy McMannis, who launched and administers the highly popular Easton Stories Facebook Page; Pam Foley, also a Premier Properties broker; and Eric Lothrop, a professional photographer.

Photo by Pam Foley of arch at Oakes Ames Memorial Hall.

Photo by Pam Foley of arch at Oakes Ames Memorial Hall.

Featured in the exhibit will be historic photos from Easton’s past, photos of recent vintage taken by Pam Foley and Eric Lothrop, and drawings by Pam.

Back on December 29, we posted in this space about Pam’s drawings and photography, with samples of her excellent work.  Please click here to be taken to the post.

Sponsoring the event along with Premier Properties are The Farmer’s Daughter restaurant and the soon-to-be-open The Township restaurant, both located on Main Street in North Easton; and Keel Vodka.      

Morse Factory in South Easton (circa: 1908)

Morse Factory in South Easton (circa: 1908)

“Easton is a special place, with special people, and Premier Properties is privileged to do business here and serve the town’s residents,” said Lenny Altieri, co-owner and co-founder of Premier Properties.  “We are honored to help celebrate the history of the town through this photography exhibit.”

It will be a lot of fun — Easton Then and Now.

Premier Properties hopes you stop by.   

IN PRAISE OF THE TRADES – AND VOCATIONAL TRAINING AND APPRENTICESHIPS

 

buildin-trades

image credit: Pike-Lincoln Technical Center

March 31, 2017

Premier Properties is a leading full-service commercial and residential real estate firm that in 2017 is celebrating its 30th year in business.

We have offices in Easton, Raynham, and Martha’s Vineyard.

The primary geographic area in which we do business is one that stretches from Metropolitan Boston and through the South Shore and across Cape Cod and the Islands.

Our 40 licensed brokers are highly knowledgeable, highly focused, and provide every client with the highest level of personalized support and customer service.

This past week and into next week has been,  and will be,  a busy and anxious, and joyous, and disappointing time across America for high school seniors awaiting … and opening … letters from college and university admissions departments.

An exciting and wonderful and enriching next step awaits those going on to college.

As well, of course, there are high school seniors – the best and most noble of our citizenry – who will soon be wearing the uniform of the U.S. Armed Forces.

Others will be entering the police and fire academies – and will become our first responders.

Others will directly enter the work force.

And, you know, there are others – and we at Premier Properties wanted to do a call out for these students – who will enter the trades, and learn trades skills, and apprentice.

In that we at Premier Properties are in the business of selling and buying houses and commercial buildings, we know first-hand the value and importance – to our society, to our economy, to our way of life – of one sector of trades: the building trades.

We know first-hand the value and importance of framers, carpenters, electricians, masons, plumbers, HVAC techs, welders, plasterers, painters, carpet layers, insulation installers, landscapers … and more.

And as we know this value, and this importance, we recognize the shortage of skilled tradespeople in America – and that it results in a slowing of economic growth and overall loss of potential.

There has been a lack of emphasis across education in our nation in the trades and in developing tradespeople.

Vocational and technical schools need more support.

It would be a good idea to reinstitute … or grow existing … metal and wood shop programs in junior high and high school.

Apprenticeship programs should be expanded.

Please click here to be taken to a story, titled, “Why 5 Million Apprenticeships Will Make America Great Again,” by Nicholas Wyman, published in the March 21 issue of Forbes.

Yes, the title of the story is takeoff of Pres. Donald Trump’s campaign message, but the story which advocates for apprenticeships and vocational education, is one that advances a cause that Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, should get behind.

Because, for sure, and without a doubt, America needs to continue to be nation of builders, of those who construct, who craft – and of those who make things work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

PREMIER PROPERTIES GIVES A CALL OUT TO ITS STANDOUT WOMEN BROKERS – AND TO THE REMARKABLE, MULTI-ACCOMPLISHED BLANCHE AMES

Blanche Ames, debutante photo, late 1890s (image credit: New York Social Diary)

Blanche Ames, debutante photo, late 1890s (image credit: New York Social Diary)


 

March 8, 2017

Premier Properties is a leading full-service residential and commercial real estate company.

We have offices in Easton, Raynham, and Martha’s Vineyard.

Premier Properties launched 30 years ago with an office at Whistlestop Plaza in Easton, on Rte. 123, near Five Corners.

Borderland Mansion (image credit: John J. Ventresco)

Borderland Mansion (image credit: John J. Ventresco)

It speaks to the way that Premier Properties conducts business that we now are helping, with their house hunting and house purchases, the sons and daughters of our first customers.

Premier Properties takes the occasion of today, International Women’s Day, to note that the strong majority – about 85 percent – of our 40 licensed brokers are women.

We are proud of this fact.

And, in fact, if you click here and here and here you will be taken to posts on this blog which feature Premier Properties women brokers.

As well, please click here to be taken to a post, on this blog, about the first woman to found a town in America.

We will keep this energy and love going in heralding today, here, a most remarkable woman, one who made her home in Easton for many years.

Blanche Ames (1878-1969) is the woman — a whirlwind of brains, creativity, energy, strong work ethic, fortitude, virtue, and courage.

Blanche Ames was a renowned and powerful advocate for women’s rights, with this work focused on winning women the vote, and access to birth control.

Ms. Ames was also accomplished as an architect, painter, illustrator, cartoonist, and inventor.

Born Blanche Ames, in Lowell, she was a member of a distinguished and wealthy family.

She was president of her class at Smith College, graduating in 1899.

In 1900, she married botanist Oakes Ames (no relation) — a globally renowned expert on orchids — also a member of a family of American aristocracy.

Blanche Ames took on the name Blanche Ames Ames.

Blanche Ames knew something about real estate and property.

In fact, in 1908 – displeased with the work of an architect she and her husband had hired to design a home (with a key stipulation given to the architect that the home be fireproof) on the couple’s 1,200-acre estate in Easton called Borderland – Blanche Ames fired the architect and designed the property herself.

Following is an excerpt from a page of a section titled, Where Women Made History, from the National Park Service website, which discusses the role of Blanche Ames in the construction of the Borderland mansion (completed in 1910) and surrounding grounds, and Ms. Ames’s contributions to the interior space of the Ames Mansion:

“ … Blanche took over the design and construction management of the mansion and hired the Concrete Engineering Company to draw plans according to her specifications. She also calculated the engineering measurements for the causeways and dams built on the ponds surrounding the mansion. Once the mansion was completed, Blanche set up a full-size studio on the third floor of the house and maintained a workshop in which she and her brother, Adelbert Ames, developed a scientific color system for mixing paints.”

Yes, for sure, Blanche Ames was an exceptional and inspiring woman.

And, just as certainly, her work and legacy and energy continue.

In fact, a component of Blanche Ames’s work, her legacy, and her energy can be found and accessed by all, at her former estate, which since 1971 has been owned by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and operated as Borderland State Park.

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Please click here to be taken to a story published on November 5, 2013 – at the New York Social Diary website, and written by John Foreman – about the Borderland mansion, which includes a series of photos of the property, and also interesting information on Blanche Ames. 

THOUGHTS OF SPRING AND GARDENING – FIVE HERBS THAT ARE EASY TO GROW

Mint leaves (NDTV Convergence)

Mint leaves (NDTV Convergence)

February 27, 2017

Premier Properties is a leading full-service commercial and residential real estate firm that has been in business for 30 years.

We primarily, but not exclusively, work across a geographic region that takes in Metropolitan Boston, Southeastern Massachusetts, and Cape Cod and the Islands.

We have offices in Easton, Raynham, and Martha’s Vineyard.

Our 40 licensed brokers cooperatively and as a team.  They care deeply about their vocation, and are motivated and driven to provide optimum service and guidance on every purchase and sale.

Chive stocks and flowers (image credit: Only Foods)

Chive stocks and flowers (image credit: Only Foods)

Our brokers continuously educate themselves on changes in the real estate industry, and on matters and issues of government policy that affect real estate.

There are reasons that Premier Properties now works with the sons of daughters of early clients, helping the new generation purchase homes.

We are on the cusp of March, and without yet setting the clock ahead when 6 pm comes around there is still light.

The earth is stirring.  Already crocuses and daffodils have peeked through the dirt and snow.

Spring arrives in these parts this year at 6:29 in the morning on March 20.

Gardening enthusiasts and dedicated hobbyists are getting itchy and raring to till and prepare and plant and cultivate.

Let’s say, though, that you don’t have much of history or success in gardening – and while you do enjoy, somewhat, trying to grow plants, you are not passionate about the practice.

For those who are more dabblers in gardening, Premier Properties suggests, in today’s post, five herbs to plant in Southern New England climes that don’t require a lot of work and tendering in order for them to flourish.

As for just what is an herb, it is defined as a plant of which the flowers and seeds are more commonly used as flavoring and for medicinal and therapeutic properties, as compared against vegetables which are cooked and eaten in larger and more substantive measure.

Here are those suggestions for easy-to-grow plants to start in spring once the danger of frost has passed:

Mint (Mentha longifolia) is an herb that is hearty and will spread fast.  Of course it has many uses in cooking.  Mint is the oldest and most commonly grown herb worldwide.  Purchase seedlings in early spring and plant in shady area with rich soil.  It will take off.

Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) is a perennial member of the onion family, or Allium genus.  Plant sees in sun or partial shade, and keep the ground moist until the plants are established. They will prosper and expand their footprint. Chive stalks and flowers are delicious.

Sage (Salvia officinalis) is a perennial short shrub that has a long culinary and medicinal history.  This herb, while easy to grow, does require a bit of attention in order thrive best.  Please click here to be taken to an article, published at The Spruce, and written by Marie Ianotti, on how to successfully grow sage.

Cilantro, also called coriander (Coriandrum sativum), is a type of parsley.  Now, here’s the thing with cilantro – it seems to be one of those herbs that imparts a taste to food the type of which has fervent fans and those can’t stand it.   Please click here to be taken to a page at Gardener’s Supply Company website where is provided information on growing cilantro.

As described in the opening paragraph at the Wikipedia entry about thyme, the plant is an evergreen herb with culinary, medicinal, and ornamental uses. The most common variety is Thymus vulgaris. Thyme is of the genus Thymus of the mint family (Lamiaceae), and a relative of the oregano genus Origanum.  If you click here you will be taken to a page at herbgardening.com where is explained how grow thyme.

Soon, at this blog, we will post about some vegetables that are easy to grow outdoors in Southern New England.

EXTRAORDINARY PROPERTIES THAT ARE GIFTS OF LOVE

Boldt Castle (image credit:  Thousand Islands Bridge Authority| Boldt Castle)

Boldt Castle (image credit: Thousand Islands Bridge Authority| Boldt Castle)

February 14, 2017

Last Valentine’s Day, Premier Properties posted in this space about a famous gift of love, the Taj Mahal, and what may have been a gift of love … that is if it ever existed: Hanging Gardens of Babylon.

Please click here to be taken to the post.

The Ballroom in Boldt Castle (image credit: Thousand Islands Bridge Authority | Boldt Castle)

The Ballroom in Boldt Castle (image credit: Thousand Islands Bridge Authority | Boldt Castle)

Premier Properties is in its 30th year in business, and in that time, as we have grown and solidified our reputation as a trusted full-service residential and commercial real estate firm, we have had the tremendous privilege in working with and supporting individuals and families in the sale and purchase of land, buildings, and homes.

And it has been our tremendous privilege to experience the extraordinary love and devotion and commitment that is fundamental to and the foundation of buying a home or a business property.

For Valentine’s Day 2017, we felt it appropriate – and that visitors to this blog would find of interest and entertaining – discussion of more historic and grand real estate gifts of love.

The Entry Arch to Boldt Castle (image credit: Thousand Islands Bridge Authority |  Boldt Castle)

The Entry Arch to Boldt Castle (image credit: Thousand Islands Bridge Authority | Boldt Castle)

Now, mind you, Premier Properties doesn’t think for a moment that any of these historic and grand gifts we herald are borne of any higher love than are the purchases we have been a part of through the years.

But the grand, the extravagant, makes for a good read, for sure.

Actually, the first property we feature is one of love and heartbreak.

In 1900, construction began on Boldt Castle on Heart Island (yes, shaped like a heart), one island among the 1,864 island that form the gorgeous 1000 Islands archipelago that stretches across the St. Lawrence River and bestrides the U.S. and Canada.

The castle was commissioned by George Charles Boldt, the hotel magnate, for his wife Louise.  Comprising 11 buildings, the castle was modeled on the Victorian and medieval palaces of Europe.

Tragically, nine months prior to the intended day – Valentine’s Day 1905 – Mr. Boldt was to present the castle to Louise, she died at the age of 41.

Charles Boldt, in emotional anguish, ended construction on the castle.  After his wife’s death, he did not return to the island.

After 73 years of vacancy, a period in which weather and occasional vandalism contributed to deterioration of complex, the property was acquired (for $1)  by the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority, under the agreement that all revenue created in use of the buildings and grounds would go toward their renovation and rehabbing.

Today, Boldt Castle is a hugely popular tourist and special events destination.

Of more recent gifts-of-love vintage we refer to the apartment that United Kingdom business tycoon Raj Kundra gave his Bollywood star wife, Shilpa Shetty.

Burj Khalifa Tower (image credit: 2016 Emaar PJSC)

Burj Khalifa Tower (image credit: 2016 Emaar PJSC)

Yes, an apartment – one incredible apartment.   You see, this apartment comprises the entire 19th floor of the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building and tallest free-standing structure.

Opened in January 2010, the Burj Khalifa is 2,717 feet from base to tip.  It has 163 floors, above ground, with the top floor at a height of 1,918 feet, and an observation deck at 1,823 feet.

Big building – tall building – the Burj Khalifa.

Of course, and we repeat, true love – the gifts of true love – are not measured in the currency of money.

We do though like to look, and gawk a bit, at castles and high luxury.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

THOSE NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS – AND THEIR NOTEWORTHY CONNECTION TO PREMIER PROPERTIES, AND TO EASTON

(image credit: New England Patriots)

(image credit: New England Patriots)

January 31, 2017

Premier Properties is a leading full-service residential and commercial real estate firm that in 2017 is celebrating 30 years in business.

We operate offices in Easton, Raynham, and Martha’s Vineyard.

Our 40 licensed agents care deeply about the business of real estate, and about providing every customer … on every purchase, on every sale … with personalized service.

Premier Properties works as a family – and also as a team.

And we like to win for our clients.

So permit us to feel a bit of a kinship with the New England Patriots, the most successful professional football franchise on earth.

Yes …yes … yes … of course it is wholly relevant that Premier Properties territory is also New England Patriots territory.

We know that … and we feel that.

Premier Properties has helped members of the New England Patriots buy and sell homes.

As for those Patriots, here is a bit of history  on the team that is tied directly to Easton where, again, one of our offices is located – and where we began doing business, in 1987.

Okay, the New England Patriots franchise was founded as the Boston Patriots, one of the original eight teams that, in 1959, launched the American Football League, and which played their inaugural season in 1960.

There were 10 businessmen who purchased the founding Boston Patriots franchise.

Those 10 were Billy Sullivan, Joseph Sullivan, George L. Sargent, L. Edgar Turner, Daniel F. Marr, Dean Boylan, Paul Sonnabend, Edward McMann, Dom DiMaggio … and … a native and resident of Easton:  John Ames Jr.

Mr. Ames, an attorney, graduated from Harvard College and University of Virginia Law School.

Among the many accomplishments of Mr. Ames was serving as special assistant to Winthrop Aldrich when Mr. Aldrich was Ambassador to the Court of St. James.  Mr. Ames also served on the Massachusetts Governor’s Council.

While the American Football League (AFL) immediately became a rival to the established National Football League (NFL), in its ability to sign top college talent, it was not considered on par, early on, with the overall quality of play of the NFL.

In 1970, the AFL was merged into the NFL.

From the start of the Patriots (Pats) franchise, through the 1960s, through the 1970 season, the team did not have a stadium to call its own.  It played at Harvard Stadium, Nickerson Field, Fenway Park, and Alumni Field.

Ground was broken in September of 1970, in Foxborough, MA, for the Pats’ first home – Schaefer Stadium.

As the Patriots prepared to play their first season, the 1971 campaign, in Schaefer Stadium, the club changed its name to the Bay State Patriots.  The NFL nixed that name, and the team said it would be called the New England Patriots, a name which met with the favor of the league.

For sure, there have been many lean years in the 56 that that the Pats have been playing football.

Then, again, there have been many great years … the greatest of years – like the extraordinary run ongoing.

We know that … and we feel that.

GO PATS!!