The first time I stepped into Christine and Patrick Siska's home, I straight away fell in love with it. Since I live in an antique house myself, I'm always interested to see how others have adapted the old architecture to a modern lifestyle.
This particular house was built in the late 1800's and was originally owned by a sea captain. The Siskas are only the third family to own the antique Victorian! Before moving to Canton, they lived in the gaslight district in Charlestown. Since both Christine and Patrick work in the city, the location of their Canton home is ideal because they can walk to the train station, where the Providence/Stoughton line will get to South Station in a half hour.
Christine walked me through their beautifully renovated home that she and Patrick have put so much love and hard work into.
Long Lake has always been Ashley's happy place. Her dad and his seven siblings camped there for years until her grandfather bought a summer cottage down the road from the campground. The cottage is where Ashley spent her summers growing up and where everyone was always happy and relaxed. When she and her husband, Izzy, met, he had never been to Maine, but he quickly adopted Ashley's love for the place. Together, they decided that if they ever got the opportunity to buy a vacation home of their own, it would be on Long Lake.
On a hot summer day last week, I pulled up to Franklin's 75 Silver Fox Road, just as a major thunder storm was rolling in. I was excited to see this home because a friend had mentioned to me how special it was and what a nice job the homeowners had done decorating it. I got out of my car, looked around, and right away enjoyed the relaxing feel of this beautiful family neighborhood.
When Lissa departed on her latest cross-country road trip with her friend and cat along for the ride, it wasn't just the beginning of a fun adventure: it was the start of a new life. Lissa had just sold her colorful West Coast house and bought a New England colonial. Finding the right house hadn't been easy because Lissa was living thousands of miles away from her final destination. Many hours had been spent online looking at every new listing in the Greater Boston area. She wasn't necessarily looking for an updated home, since she was already planning to make her own cosmetic changes. What mattered most to Lissa was finding the right sized house with a good layout and bright rooms. It wasn't until she flew out to the East Coast for the weekend that she found the perfect place. Accompanied by her daughter-in-law, Lissa scheduled as many open houses as possible during her short visit so she could finally pick one before returning home. The plan worked perfectly. A house was found, an offer was accepted, and, coincidentally, Lissa's new home was only a mile away from where her son lived with his growing family.
Jeff Kinney and his wife, Julie, moved to Plainville 15 years ago. With a job in Boston that required lots of traveling, Jeff wanted an easy commute to the Boston and Providence airports. Julie, on the other hand, wanted to stay close to her family in Worcester. They drew some circles on a map and right in the middle of the diagram was Plainville. With an ideal location, the decision to settle down in Plainville quickly became a no-brainer.
Jeff, who studied computer science in college and worked as a game designer, also sold millions of copies of his book series, "Diary of a Wimpy Kid". The books have been translated into many different languages and are sold worldwide. Even the Vatican released a Latin version of the book. "Sometimes I sit across from a kid in Madrid, Spain or in Brazil and we don't share a language or a culture, but we share these stories," says Jeff. "I think it's that we have childhood in common, it's a universal language."
The Kinneys liked to dream about what they would do if they could afford to buy the old Falk's market, an abandoned landmark in Plainville. Built in the mid-1800s, the old building had been home to a variety of businesses over the years, including a pharmacy and general store. Though it played an important part in the town's history, it was now falling deeper and deeper into ruin. It wasn't until years later, when Jeff's Wimpy Kid series became a best-seller, that what was once just an unlikely idea, became a reality. In 2012, they became the owners of the old building at 111 South Street.
When Lindsay was a student at UMass Amherst, she spent a year abroad in England. There she met Cristina, at a gathering for foreign students. They bonded over the fact that they grew up two towns apart in Massachusetts and had friends in common. Throughout the semester they travelled in the UK together and even lived for a while on a sheep farm in Scotland. Once back in the US, their lives got busy and they lost touch. It wasn't until they connected on Facebook years later that Lindsay told Cristina that she and her husband, Scott, were going to build a new home in Wrentham. Lindsay knew that Cristina lived in town, and was hoping that they would have a chance to reconnect. Little did she know, when she and Scott bought their lot, that it was next door to Cristina's.
John and Jenny moved to the Norfolk side of the Fox Run development almost ten months ago. Though they lived most of their married lives in Chicago, they came to Norfolk from California where they spent a year for John's work. The move to New England was very quick, so even though buying new construction sounded great, they didn't have time to wait for a new house to be built. Their realtor suggested they consider a spec home that was ready in Fox Run. John went to see the place, gave a virtual tour via Skype to Jenny who was back in California with their three daughters, and it was a done deal!
If you know Doug and Kristin, you've probably already heard of the Sheldonville Sugar House. If not, let me tell you about this special place located in the woods of Sheldonville.
While out for a drive one day, Doug and Kristin came across thirteen acres of land that were for sale. The asking price was a little high, so they didn't think much of it at first. With time though, the price reduced and they soon realized that this would make the perfect home for their growing family.
The foundation was finished and the bulkhead was finally in. Jon and Libby were excited to stop by the Eagle Brook Village in Wrentham, where their new home was being built. With family down the street, and great jobs in Norwood and Norfolk, it made sense for them to settle down here.
On this day, Jon chose to drive the truck that had belonged to Libby's late father. She and her dad had been very close, so Jon knew how special it was for her to ride in that truck. Once they pulled up to their lot and admired the progress, Jon asked Libby to become his wife.
It was the night before signing the P&S. Denise realized that the house she was about to buy wasn't one that she and her husband, Bob, really wanted. It was a beautiful new home on a five-acre lot, but on a main road rather than in a family neighborhood, an important consideration for her. She understood that by backing out of their offer, not only would they lose their earnest money, they were going back to square one with their home search. Denise wasn't going to compromise, however. In addition to making one of the largest investments in their lives, they were deciding on where their young daughters would grow up and make memories.
Bob and Denise took a break from the stress of their home search to focus on family and their respective careers. Living in Cumberland, RI, they often enjoyed going out for scenic weekend drives around Wrentham while the girls napped in the back seats. By pure coincidence, Bob drove into the Fox Run neighborhood, where a new development was in progress. They didn't drive away before jotting down the builder's number to schedule a model home tour.
This time, Denise felt confident that they were making the right decision for their family. Contracts were soon signed and within five months their new home was ready.