Will snow removal costs increase my property taxes?

What happens when snow removal costs exceed budget? Who pays? When?

Source: National Weather Service

Source: National Weather Service

In simple terms, any snow removal costs beyond those budgeted for the current year have to be approved locally, and then the excess costs, net of any reimbursements, are added to the expenses in the following year’s budget. (more…)

Where do the ultra rich live?

This Sotheby’s International Realty  Top cities for the ultra rich report looked at the property (ies) owned by ultra high net worth individuals, defined as those with a net worth of at least $30 million. (more…)

How much does parking add to the value of a home?

I often wonder how long our memories are. In mid-winter it seems to me the entire population of New England is thinking of moving to Florida, but I suspect that come next winter we will not find deserted cities.Don’t we just love having something to complain about?

After a winter like this one everybody wants to have a home with parking – in cities – or with a garage in the suburbs and outer towns. But how much is that convenience worth?

Here’s a Boston Herald article which describes the value of parking in Boston’s neighborhoods. (more…)

Baghdad could have been a Frank Lloyd Wright mega- City

Spurred on by an influx of oil money and the temptation of a looming Olympic bid, in the 1950s, King Faisal II enlisted a coterie of architectural heavyweights—Frank Lloyd Wright, Walter Gropius, Le Corbusier, Josep Lluís Sert, and Alvar and Aino Aalto—to reimagine Baghdad as a bustling, cosmopolitan city.

I came across this fascinating article on curbed.com. The King was assassinated in 1958 and the plans died with the young king. As explained by Robert Twombly, “the people needed food, clothing and shelter more than floating gardens, gold fountains, and a mammoth zoo.”

No doubt Iraqis felt the same way about Saddam Hussein’s palaces. (more…)

How much business has been lost to the weather?

Anecdotally, we know that small businesses have been affected by this winter’s weather but now we know by how much following a survey by the Retailers Association of Massachusetts.

The main points are:
– overall sales fell 24% with a 7% drop in payroll
– restaurant sales fell 49% with a 14% drop in payroll

While it is tempting to buy everything from Amazon when the weather outside is foul, when the weather improves we should all make a point to SHOP LOCALLY! (more…)