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The Commonwealth Blog

Monday, January 15, 2018

How to Wow Sellers During Your Listing Presentation

A listing presentation is an opportunity for you to show home sellers that you’re the best person to represent them in their real estate transaction. Think of it as a job interview. That may sound like a high-pressure situation, but it doesn’t have to be something to sweat if you prepare for it. Start by checking out our tips for impressing home sellers with your presentation.

Ask Questions

Before you dive into your presentation, ask your seller some questions about themselves and their goals. You might ask questions like:

  • How quickly are you hoping to sell?
  • Where are you moving?
  • Is it more important for you to sell quickly or get the best possible price?
  • What are you looking for in a listing agent?

Taking the time to ask these questions and listen attentively to the answers will make home sellers feel heard and show that you’re invested in their success. It will also help you get information about their home selling motivations and expectations, which you can use to shape your presentation’s tone.

Let the Seller Ask Questions

Your listing presentation should be a two-way street. You’ll be doing most of the talking, but you should let the home seller know that they’re welcome to ask questions during and after the presentation. Leaving openings for questions will make the presentation more engaging and give you the chance to alleviate concerns the seller may have.

Tailor Your Presentation to the Seller

Pay attention to the seller’s personality type when you first meet with them. If they seem highly analytical, be ready to dive into the market data with them. If they’re more emotionally driven (for example, if they’ve stated their top priority is finding someone they’re comfortable working with), spend less time on the data and more time explaining how you can help them. You may want to tell them about similar listings you’ve handled and how addressed your previous clients’ home selling challenges.

Put the Seller’s Needs First

One popular adage in marketing says that you should focus on explaining how your product or service can help your customer or client, rather than just presenting a laundry list of features. This rule holds true for listing presentations. You should make it clear that your skills and experience make you the best Realtor for the job, but the main emphasis should be on how those skills will help the home seller.

Research and Practice

Treat your listing presentation the same way you would have treated a test that was worth 70% of your grade in a college class: study and practice. Even if you don’t consider yourself a natural public speaker, you’ll project confidence if you know your material well and have rehearsed the presentation. If you can, ask a co-worker to listen as you run through the presentation. This will give you a good chance to troubleshoot before the real thing. For example, you may discover that you’re losing your audience’s attention at a specific point, or that something you thought would work well sounds odd when you say it aloud.

Building your presentation skills is essential for getting more listings. No matter how long you’ve been in the real estate industry, you can always benefit from working on your listing presentation strategy.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Boston Housing Market Remains Hot in 2018

In July 2017, the median Boston home price topped $400,000 for the first time. Although that summertime record is far behind us, the Boston housing market remains hot.

Statewide, the average home price was $410,000 at the beginning of 2018, up by $30,000 from this time last year. And in Boston, limited inventory is keeping the market competitive. We haven’t seen the end of houses flying off the market almost as soon as they’re listed.

Even though the Boston housing market is competitive, it’s still a good time to buy. Interest rates remain relatively low, and if you can afford to buy, it’s a much better investment than paying more than $2,100 a month in rent. And experts are predicting that inventory levels will begin to increase in fall 2018, making it easier for first-time buyers to enter the market.

If you want to buy a home this year but Boston prices just aren’t feasible, you’ll be happy to know that there are many close-in suburbs with strong housing markets and more affordable properties. Here are four hot suburbs to check out:


Medford’s median home prices are comparable to Boston’s, but you’ll get a lot more space for your money. You’ll also get to enjoy more than two dozen parks and other recreational spaces. Because it offers room to spread out while still being relatively close to Boston, Medford has become popular with families and young professionals who commute to the city.


Somerville has been an up-and-coming Boston suburb for a while now, and we’re at the point where other up-and-coming areas (including Medford) are being referred to as “the new Somerville.” But even with Somerville’s rapidly increasing popularity, it’s still relatively affordable, with home prices predicted to increase marginally this year. This suburb offers easy access to the Red Line, and residents can bike to work by hopping on the Somerville Community Path.


You’ll find everything from renovated, early twentieth-century Victorians to modern condos in Malden, a suburb that’s just north of Boston. With condos starting around $250,000 and single-family homes still available for under a half million, Malden is becoming a popular choice for home buyers priced out of the Hub. Residents can still get to the city easily via the Orange Line or commuter rail, and there’s also plenty to enjoy in Malden itself, including the nearby Middlesex Fells Reservation.


Head north from Malden and you’ll soon hit Melrose, another hot Boston suburb. Residents here have plenty of transportation choices: there are three commuter rail stops, plus a T stop in nearby Oak Grove. And while the market has been getting more competitive, Melrose still has a family-friendly feel, with a close-knit community and lots of local shops lining its small downtown.

If you’re planning to start your housing search in Boston or beyond this year, contact a CENTURY 21 Commonwealth Realtor. With offices across the greater Boston area, our Realtors have plenty of experience in the markets where you want to buy.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Make Your Home Appeal to Buyers in 2018

2018 marks a fresh start for home design. This year, design predictions are bolder than ever, doing away with what’s been popular for years in favor of brand new trends. If you’re thinking about refreshing your home as a New Year’s resolution, check out these exciting home décor ideas. Always remember to choose what you love though, regardless of what’s popular—after all, you’re the one who lives there.


Depending on who you ask, floral prints are always in, but this year but this year, the staid old designs on your grandma’s couch have been refreshed and transformed. Consider floral print on a chair, a bedspread, and for throw pillows. Expect floral designs with contrasting and psychedelic colors, overscale patterns, and a fresh new take on the traditional.


In the past several years, home design has cycled through various iterations of popular metals, including stainless steel, copper, gold, and more. Apple even made rose gold a trend that reverberated throughout both the tech and home design worlds. But for 2018, brass is making a comeback. You’ll find this classic, aged finish in everything from kitchen cabinet hardware to living room furniture, and even as serving ware.

Smart Lighting Controls

Technology is increasingly making its way into aspects of the home with thermostats, smart speakers, and more. With the prices of smart lighting (like Philips Hue) coming down, these automated systems can save money on electricity bills. They’re also customizable, meaning you can match them to your home and lifestyle. We predict these will surge in popularity in 2018.

Rich, Warm Tones

While decorating has long focused on calm neutrals, like stark whites and washed grays, earthy tones are in for the new year. Rich burgundy, burnt orange, rusty terracotta, and even muted greens will be making an appearance throughout new designs. While neutrals won’t go out of style, these rich tones can add notes of coziness and warmth to your home.


Though it sounds like a spicy sushi condiment, wabi-sabi is the Japanese art of finding beauty in imperfection. What this means for home design is using objects that are handmade, organic, and not perfectly matching. Embrace the inherent imperfections in life by using raw wood and being authentic with your décor. Perfection is no longer the goal with wabi-sabi.

A New Kind of Sink Style

Stainless steel sinks are finally out, as are white ceramic ones. As sinks become more of a kitchen statement piece, homeowners are choosing materials like granite and concrete, even copper or stone to truly showcase their large sinks. Look for these new materials in the latest kitchen remodels, but be prepared for a bigger price tag.

With the start of new year, it’s time to try out of one of these exciting new design trends in your home. Whether you want to paint a room in terracotta, add a pop of floral print to your living room, or incorporate the art of wabi-sabi into your life, 2018 is the time to do it. Bring what you love into your home, like a gorgeous copper sink, brass fixtures, or even smart lighting for the whole house. You won’t regret trying out these home décor ideas.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Tips to Market Townhouses

If you’re a Realtor with a new townhouse listing, it’s important to recognize how to market it effectively. Helping buyers understand what they’re buying as well as assisting the seller in highlighting good attributes can lead to a faster sale and higher price. So, what makes townhouses unique? Why is buying one a better option than renting an apartment or purchasing a condo? And what do buyers gain or lose when they choose a townhouse over a single-family home?

Perks and Amenities

In many neighborhoods, a townhouse is likely to be part of a homeowners’ association (HOA), which comes with fees but also benefits. This type of built-in community can offer parks, swimming pools, playgrounds, fitness centers, and other perks your clients want. HOAs can also make transitions from apartments easier for buyers, as services like landscaping, snow removal, and trash collection may be included. These amenities and included services can make owning a home seem less daunting to first-time homeowners and can help you market a townhouse.

Sense of Community

If the townhouse is located within a development, it creates a fitted community at the buyer’s fingertips. While buyers may share a wall with their neighbors, they also have nearby townhouse owners they can socialize with, which can be great if they’re moving to a new city. By playing up the strength of living in a socially engaged community, you can sell the idea of the townhouse as an ideal living location.

Lower Maintenance Costs

Townhouses offer the best of both worlds in terms of cost and independence. Condo associations are often extremely restrictive and can have very high fees. While HOAs may have certain rules, the buyer will be able to make upgrades and changes, especially to the inside of their home. With the advantages of reduced maintenance and cost, townhouses let buyers be part of a larger community without taking on the responsibility of a single-family home, and everything that can go wrong with one.

Marketing townhouses isn’t too different from trying to sell single-family homes or condos. It’s all about playing to the strengths of the property and working with the seller to highlight them. Whether you’re the listing agent or buyer’s agent, you can help your client sell their townhome effectively or understand why a townhouse is the right choice for their family. Make sure you consider all the positive factors when marketing your client’s townhouse.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

How to Improve Your Communication as a Realtor This Year

Thinking about professional resolutions to make this year? If you’re a Realtor, you may want to set a goal to improve your communication skills. Strong communication skills can help you set the right expectations with clients from the first meeting, ease clients’ concerns, and increase your chances of getting referrals. Use the five tips below to strengthen your communication strategies and make a good impression on your clients.

Get to Know Clients During Your First Meeting

Take full advantage of your first meeting with a new client by getting to know what kind of property they’re looking for and what kind of expectations they have for the home buying or selling process. Ask questions to find out:

  • What neighborhoods they’re interested in
  • Their must-haves and deal breakers
  • Their timeframe for buying or selling their home
  • Times they’re available to meet with you or view homes

Avoid asking your clients yes or no questions. Instead, ask open-ended questions that encourage longer, thought-out responses.

Be an active listener when your client is talking. Paraphrase what the client has said to make sure you’re understanding them correctly and ask follow-up questions when necessary.

Find Out Clients’ Preferred Mode of Communication

Your clients won’t all have the same communication style, and some may not even be available by certain modes of communication (someone who works a 9 to 5 office job might not be able to take your call during business hours, for example). When meeting with a new client, find out whether they’d prefer for you to reach them by text, phone call, or email. You should also find out what time of day is best to contact them.

Pay Attention to Your Body Language

Make eye contact when talking to clients, but don’t scare them by staring them down (a good rule of thumb is to make eye contact 30-60% of the time). Don’t let your shoulders tense up, as this can make you look nervous and unsure. If you tend to fidget with your hands, carry a clipboard, folder, or another item that will stop you from fidgeting.

Pay attention to your clients’ body language, too. When you mirror someone’s body language-- for example, using your hands expressively when talking to someone who does the same—you’ll build a sense of mutual understanding.

Turn Data into Stories

Rather than just telling clients about the number of listings you’ve helped sell or the biggest real estate transaction you handled, talk to them about specific challenges you’ve helped your previous clients overcome. Focus on stories that illustrate how you worked with someone who faced a similar problem or had the same concerns as your current client. This will help build trust and show your clients they’re in capable hands.

Be the Ultimate Real Estate Resource

Make sure that your clients know they can come to you anytime they have questions. Remind them that as a real estate professional, you have access to specific information that they might not be able to get just by talking to a friend or checking a real estate forum online.

When your clients come to you with questions, answer them clearly and concisely. Avoid industry-specific jargon that the client might not be familiar with. If your client asks you a question that falls outside of your realm of expertise, tap into your professional network and refer them to the best person to answer the question.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Home Repair Requests: What Home Buyers Should and Shouldn't Ask

Whether you’re buying a home that’s five or fifty years old, you can expect it to have some minor quirks and features that could use an update. However, you should refrain from presenting a home seller with a page-long list of small repairs you’d like them to take care of before the sale.

Having too many repair contingencies could give a seller pause and cause them to go with another offer, especially in a competitive market. And even if they do agree to all the repairs, they may have to push back the closing date to accomplish them all.

However, that doesn’t mean that you should avoid all repair requests. If your home inspection turns up any serious problems that could prevent the home from being move-in ready—or even pose safety risks to you and your family—it’s perfectly reasonable to ask the seller to fix them.

Let’s look at some examples of repairs that you should ask sellers to make and other items that you should handle yourself after you buy the home.

Repairs to Request Before Closing

Roof Repairs. The home seller should be able to present you with a roof certification showing that their roof is still in good shape. If they’re not able to show you this certification or your home inspector uncovers roof problems, you should talk to the seller about repairing or replacing the roof. If the seller isn’t willing to repair the roof themselves, you may be able to negotiate a lower price that reflects what you’ll have to pay for the repairs.

Leaks. Small spiderweb cracks shouldn’t be cause for concern, but if a house has larger cracks that are letting in water, you may want to ask the seller to repair them. It should be straightforward to seal the cracks with epoxy resin.

Radon Mitigation. Radon is a carcinogenic gas that can increase your risk of serious health problems if you’re exposed to high levels for a long time. If your home inspector finds that a seller’s home has radon levels of 4.0 pCi/L or higher, ask to have a radon mitigation system installed.

Lead Paint. It’s a federal requirement for home sellers to tell buyers if there’s any lead paint in their house. If your seller hasn’t already removed lead paint in their older home, they may be willing to get rid of it when you make a direct request.

Mold. Mold is likely a sign of a water penetration problem, which a home seller should be willing to resolve before closing.

Old Furnace or Water Heater. If a furnace is more than 20 years old and a water heater is more than 10, they’re likely near the end of their lifespans. You may want to ask the home seller to replace them or negotiate a reduced listing price based on what it will cost you to replace them.

Safety Code Violations. It’s reasonable to ask a seller to repair any issues that are a safety code violation, such as an unstable deck.

Repairs to Handle Yourself After Buying a Home

Minor Electrical Problems. If your home inspector tells you the electrical system in the home you’re planning to buy isn’t up to code, that’s something you may want to negotiate with the seller. If, however, there are one or two light switches that don’t work, don’t add that to the seller’s list of things to do.

Renovations Designed Around Your Lifestyle. Don’t ask the seller to take out a wall between the kitchen and living room just because you really want a house with an open floor plan. The seller doesn’t have a stake in the home’s appearance after they sell it, so they’re not going to be eager to do non-essential renovations just to please you.

Minor Cosmetic Issues. A cracked tile or chipped paint may not look good, but these little issues will be inexpensive and easy to fix once you move in.

If you spot any other small issues that you’d like to have repaired, ask yourself if it’s worth the hassle and potential delays involved with asking the seller to fix them, or will it be easier just to resolve them yourself? And if you’re unsure whether to ask for a repair, talk to your Realtor. They handle buyer and seller negotiations all the time and have a good idea what a seller will be willing to do.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Fireplace Trends to Warm Your Home

During the holiday season, the idea of cozying up to a fire in your living room is inviting. While fireplaces are no longer as popular as they were decades ago, countless new design trends modernize the feature and can change its function (without compromising your comfort).

While fireplaces from the last hundred years or so center around a traditional design with a hearth, there’s so much more you can do today with gas and electric technology. There’s no need to stick with brick facades; you can use new materials like tile, stone, and even metal if it can stand up to the heat of the fireplace. As we gather around our fireplaces this winter, let’s take some time to think about these modern fireplace design trends:

TV or Art Above the Fireplace

In the past, the fireplace was the central element of the room, and the heat output didn’t allow owners to use the space around it. With a modern gas fireplace, you can safely place a flat screen TV or beautiful art above the fireplace. This new technology allows you to use more space on the fireplace wall, creating a multi-function vertical space.

Frameless Fireplaces

If you’re installing a new gas fireplace, it’s likely to be frameless, which creates clean, modern lines, providing an uninterrupted view of your fire. With a frameless fireplace, you can finish the wall with almost any material, including wood, wallpaper, and more.

Unusual Material Choices

While almost all fireplaces of the past were made with bricks to withstand the heat of wood fires, gas and electric fireplaces enable much creativity with the material. Designers have experimented with everything from marble to aluminum and copper. Your fireplace is your canvas, and it no longer needs to sit at floor level. With frameless designs, you can center a fireplace in tile or create a new stone façade. The options are endless.

Updates that Add Functionality

When you have an older wood-burning fireplace, you can still update it with some of these modern trends. Adding a tile overlay to the brick can modernize the look of an older fireplace, while replacing the mantle with reclaimed wood can create a rustic look. It’s even possible to create built-ins surrounding the fireplace to store books, your TV, and other items. Instead of dedicating an entire wall to your fireplace, make the most of the wall’s storage space.

With these new fireplace trends, you can transform your living or family room into the place where your whole family wants to gather during the winter months. Discuss remodeling your fireplace with a contractor and get started creating a beautiful entertaining space today.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Resolutions to Help You Save for a New Home

It’s finally time to purchase a home in 2018. It’s the right time in your life, you’ve got a stable source of income, and you’re ready to make the jump to homeownership. Now it’s a matter of saving and getting your finances in order. Before the New Year, make some resolutions to get your down payment ready and get your credit in shape.

Come Up with a Monthly Budget

Once you own a home, you’ll have new costs associated with homeownership, such as property taxes, home insurance, possibly homeowner’s association fees. Variable expenses you currently pay for electricity, gas, and water may increase when you move into a home. Determine your new budget based on the estimated costs for your new home and live with it for a few months. You’ll likely have to make changes to your spending habits, like how often you go out to eat, where you shop, and more. It’s important to start living within your means.

Raise Your Credit Score

Credit history has an important impact on your mortgage application and subsequent loan terms. Improving your credit can increase your chance of approval and get you a better rate. You can improve your credit score by taking positive actions like paying down your debt, removing any negative marks from your credit report, and paying down credit card balances.

It’s especially important to pay down any high-interest debt you have, like personal loans or credit card balances that carry over from month-to-month. Most experts also recommend holding off on applying for new credit cards or auto loans in the months leading up to a mortgage, as it can be a red flag to lenders.

Start Saving for Your Down Payment and Emergencies

You’ve hopefully already started saving for your new home if you want to purchase one in 2018, but it’s time to make sure you have enough to cover all the important costs in the purchase. You’ll need enough for a down payment (which can range from 3.5% to 20% or more), closing costs, and loan origination fees. You’ll also need money for inspections, appraisal, moving costs, and other fees.

It’s also important to have a separate emergency fund for anything that could go wrong. While an inspection should hopefully find any major issues with the home, you’re now responsible if you’re suddenly confronted with a broken HVAC system, faulty plumbing, or water heater issues. Plan for having at least 3-6 months of your expenses at hand. This fund will also make you more attractive to lenders, as you have more money in the bank.

Get a Raise or Secondary Income

Your income is an integral part of your mortgage approval. It’s how lenders determine how much home you can afford. Increasing your take-home pay will allow you to have a larger loan, along with getting you more money. If you’re up for a raise at your company or have enough time to work towards one, this can be helpful in the mortgage application process. Having a secondary source of income can also be helpful if it increases your income significantly. Remember that consistency is also important to lenders, as they like to see you’ve been with your employer for at least a year or two.

With these resolutions, you’ll be on your way to purchasing a new home in 2018.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Home Staging Solutions for Awkward Layouts

As you prepare to sell your home, your thoughts may turn to some of the unusual spaces that you’ve never quite known how to decorate. How can you stage these spaces so that they have buyers shouting their delight rather than scratching their heads?

Use our tips below to resolve five common layout issues and enhance your home for showings.

Open Layout That’s Too Open

An open layout can be a major selling point, but if your space is a little too open, it can feel unstructured and overwhelming.

The Solution: Group your furniture so that it visually defines distinct areas, such as the living room, dining room, and kitchen. Even if you don’t have walls between rooms, you can use furniture pieces like sectional couches and bookshelves to create a division between spaces and direct the flow of foot traffic. Large area rugs are also great for defining spaces with separate functions.

Unused Nooks and Crannies

You’ve got a small nook or a tight corner in your living room that you’ve never known how to fill. Now that you’re selling your home, you’re worried that the lack of décor in that space will draw prospective buyers’ eyes to it.

The Solution: Find a piece of furniture, such as a bookshelf, chest of drawers, or bar cart, that fits snugly in the nook. If you’re feeling bold, you could also paint the walls of the nook an accent color to make the space pop. Giving a nook or tight corner a purpose will make it seem like an asset rather than an awkward addition.

Long, Narrow Hallway

Your hallway looks like something out of The Shining: it feels like it stretches on forever, and you’re concerned the narrow space will induce claustrophobia in your prospective buyers.

The Solution: If your hallway is at least four feet wide, turn it into a gallery. Choose a monochromatic or black and white color scheme for consistency and hang wall art that visitors can enjoy as they pass through the space. If your hallway is less than four feet wide, visitors may not be able to step back far enough to appreciate a gallery wall fully, but you can still create visual interest by adding a beautifully framed mirror or a decorative hanging light at the end of the hallway. You could also paint the walls and ceiling of your narrow hallway a light color to make the space feel larger and brighter.

Long, Narrow Living Room

Your living room looks like it’s been stretched out, and when visitors sit at one end of the room, they feel like they have to shout to be heard at the other end.

The Solution: Create two separate conversation areas for your large living room. For example, you could angle two armchairs towards each other at one end and cluster a couple of loveseats at the other end. If you have enough space, float your furniture away from at least one wall so that foot traffic naturally flows around the edge of the room through the middle. This will create a more intimate environment.

To break up the straight lines created by a long living room, add a small circular coffee table or ottoman to at least one of your conversation areas. You can also use bookshelves and wall art to maximize your vertical space and draw eyes upwards, rather than straight across the room.

Small Bedroom

The bedroom is one of the rooms prospective buyers will pay the closest attention to when walking through your home. If one or more bedrooms in your home look small and cramped, it may give some buyers pause.

The Solution: Start by removing any non-essential furniture, such as a large dresser or vanity, that may be taking up valuable space. Keep your staging simple: having a bed, two nightstands, and a chair or ottoman should be plenty. Add matching lamps to the nightstands so that you’ll have soft light when there’s not a lot of natural light. Choose a window treatment that will diffuse sunlight without blocking it completely. If possible, place a mirror across from your bedroom window. It will reflect light and make the room look bigger.

Running into additional staging challenges? Your CENTURY 21 Commonwealth Realtor is a great resource. If you haven’t found your agent yet, search in your area now.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Best Outdoor Winter Activities in Massachusetts

Massachusetts residents are no strangers to harsh winters. But just because there’s snow on the ground doesn’t mean we’re going to stay indoors all season. The upside of living somewhere with cold, snowy winters is that we get to enjoy some of the best outdoor activities in the country. Check out some of our favorite things to do during the winter.

Ice Skating

There’s probably no winter activity more iconic than ice skating on a frozen pond. Fortunately, Massachusetts has plenty of outdoor spots where you can strap on your skates. Boston Common Frog Pond is a go-to for many residents of the greater Boston area. It’s $6 for a skating pass (and free for kids under 58 inches), and you can also rent skates if you don’t have your own.

For an inexpensive skating trip, Kelly Outdoor Rink in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston is another great bet. Skate rentals are only $2, and those who are inexperienced on the ice can take lessons on Saturdays.


Massachusetts has sledding slopes for everyone, from the youngest toboggan riders to the older thrill-seekers. Boston Common and the Sugar Bowl near Jamaica Pond both offer some gentle slopes and obstacle-free space that’s perfect for young sledders. The Sugar Bowl also gives sledders the chance to build up enough momentum going down one side to slide back up the other.

For those who are looking for steep inclines and fast-paced sledding, Hospital Hill in Northampton is a good option. Prospect Hill Park in Waltham also has some big slopes and breathtaking views of the surrounding area.

Downhill Skiing and Snowboarding

New England is known for its exceptional skiing, and you don’t even have to leave Massachusetts to discover exciting new trails. Nashoba Valley Ski Area in Westford, Massachusetts boasts 17 trails and lifts that carry skiers and snowboarders 240 vertical feet up the mountain. For those who would rather not strap boards to their feet, Nashoba Valley also has a large snow tubing park.

Ski Butternut in Great Barrington is another in-state ski resort popular with families and beginner skiers and snowboarders. 20 percent of the terrain is rated for beginners while 60 percent is rated as intermediate, meaning that no one has to face a black diamond slope before they’re ready.

Skiers and snowboarders looking for challenges for all ability levels should visit Mount Wachusett, just an hour’s drive from Boston in Princeton, Massachusetts. The resort has 26 trails, a 2006-foot summit, and a mile and a half long trail on Balance Rock.

Cross-Country Skiing and Snowshoeing

If you’re hoping to get a bit more of a cardio workout than you would with downhill skiing, there are also plenty of places to go snowshoeing or cross-country skiing in Massachusetts. Just 15 miles outside of Boston, the Weston Ski Track offers a 2K lighted loop. That means that the short days of winter won’t stop you from skiing: your trail will be illuminated no matter when you go.

Feeling competitive? Hilltop Orchards in Richmond, MA hosts 5K snowshoeing and cross-country ski races throughout the winter. If you need any more motivation to check it out, Hilltop Orchards also has a winery on its grounds. Get a workout and then reward yourself with a wine tasting.

Gathering for a Winter Bonfire

Not every outdoor winter activity in Massachusetts has to involve a workout: if you’re looking for a way to relax outside without getting too cold, just head to a bonfire. Several Massachusetts cities, including Newbury and Salem, host big Christmas tree bonfires where residents are invited to burn their trees once the holidays are over. Going to a bonfire is a lot like gathering in front of a giant fireplace, with all your friends and neighbors around you. What’s not to love?

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