RE/MAX Collection Tom Carroll

Broker/Owner RE/MAX Partners
Serving the Andovers Since 1993

History and Customs of Independence Day

Most of us learned early in school that we celebrate the Fourth of July (officially, Independence Day) to commemorate the Continental Congress and the original thirteen colonies claiming their independence from England. We celebrate the day to remember the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the birth of our nation. The Fourth of July has been a Federal holiday since 1870, but in 1941 it became a paid holiday for Federal employees. These days, most people get the day off with pay, making for an even more enjoyable holiday!


While residents have celebrated the holiday since 1776, things really haven’t changed a whole lot. John Adams and others who signed the Declaration envisioned a day filled with “pomp and circumstance” such as fireworks, games, bonfires and other festivities. The first commemorative fireworks were set off on July 4, 1777 in Philadelphia and Boston. Within a few years fireworks were widely available and celebrations included all sorts of pyrotechnic colors and displays, much as we see today.

An interesting note is that John Adams (known as a man of very strong opinions) believed July 2nd should be the date to celebrate, since that is the date the Continental Congress voted for independence. He would later make his protests by turning down invitations to appear at July 4th events. Ironically, he passed away on July 4th (1826).

So while you’re watching the televised fireworks over the National Mall in our nation’s capitol or singing along with the Boston Pops and watching the fireworks on the Esplanade, you’ll be carrying on a tradition as old as our nation!


It's officially summer and there's a lot to do this weekend!  


June Picnic Concert, Stevens Coolidge Place in North Andover

Saturday June 24 from 4-7 pm

Enjoy the gardens while listening to live music by the band Cold Chocolate. Food and beverage trucks will be there or bring your own picnic. More info at


Amesbury Days, throughout Amesbury (Main St, Friend St, Upper Millyard)

Through Friday June 30

So many events! So much fun! Check the website to see times and locations of Art Show & Sale, kids art workshops, Strawberry Festival, Classic Car Show, Brewfest and sooooo much more!


Hula Frog, events throughout the Merrimack Valley

Hulafrog compiles a list of fun things to do with your kids.  Some of the events planned for this weekend include Martin's Pond Children's Fishing Derby in North Reading on Saturday from 8-11 am, Drop-in Painting and Kitten Corner Hour in Tewksbury on Friday at 10 am, and Sprinkle Donuts Workshop at TasteBuds Kitchen in North Andover Saturday at 9:00.  

Check the website for the full list at


Dads and Donuts, Memorial Hall Library in Andover

Saturday June 24 at 10 am

Dads and kids are invited to a special pre-school story time followed by a craft - and donut holes, juice and coffee.  A great way to start the day.


Summer at the Stevens (Memorial Library) in North Andover

Saturday June 24 from 10-3

Kids age 4 and up can create a work of art with Rob Surette to be displayed in the Children's Room! More info on this summer children's program can be found at


Farmers Markets! Andover, North Andover, Haverhill 

It's the season for farm-fresh fruits and vegetables.  Come support your local farmers while picking up delicious and healthy food!

Saturday from 10-2 in Andover and 9-1 in Haverhill; Sunday from 10-2 in North Andover


St. Peter's Fiesta, Gloucester

Events throughout the weekend at Pavilion Beach and St. Peter's Park

Greasy Pole contest, boat races and blessing of the fleet, music, kids' events and, of course, food! for more info go to


Movies, local theaters

Looking to cool off? Check out some of the new family-friendly movies playing locally, including Cars 3, The Mummy  and Captain Underpants (all also playing in 3D), and The Book of Henry.


Open Houses, Sunday

Take a peek at some of the newest homes on the market in Andover and North Andover!, including:

51 Enmore St (open 11-1:30), 96 Maple Ave (open Sunday 2-4), 30 Burnham Road and 41 Clark Road in Andover

93 Putnam Road and 49 Equestrian Drive in North Andover.  

For times and additional open houses, check Zillow or

Phone Scams Increasing

FOR AS LONG as there have been telephones, there have been crooks trying to call and steal your money. What is new is the sheer volume of unsolicited calls that Americans endure each year — over 29 billion in 2016 alone by one estimate, including lots of potential rip-offs. No wonder fraud complaints have increased nearly 60 percent since 2010, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Scams are continuing to show up across the country this year.

The voice on the other end of the line claims to be an IRS criminal investigator. Arrest is imminent if you don’t immediately pay thousands of dollars in back taxes. Individuals are instructed to put $500 on multiple iTunes gift cards and give up the 16-digit codes. Don’t be fooled. The IRS would never ask a taxpayer to buy iTunes cards for any reason.


Internet scam artists create little boxes that pop up on your computer screen, telling you that you have a virus and need to call for technical support. Don’t believe it. Computer companies never notify customers of a problem through pop-ups, unless it is from virus-protection software that you installed.


You get a call from someone posing as a sheriff’s deputy claiming you’ve missed jury duty and owe the county a $1,000 fine. Pay immediately, the caller says, or you will go to jail. Rest assured, no sheriff or court will call you and demand payment like this for missing jury duty. If you get this call, hang up, then call the police and report it.


 A con artist calls and tells you that you have won the Australian (or Jamaican) lottery. All you have to do to collect is wire $1,500. Don’t do it. Lotteries never call to give money to people who haven’t even bought a ticket.
You get a call from your bank that there is a problem with your account. To straighten it out they need your account number, date of birth and the last four digits of your Social Security number. Hang up. This is a scam to get information to hack your account.
Don’t let crooks scare you off from answering a call.

1. Do some research. Google the salesperson and company before you buy. Explore their reputations thoroughly. If you can’t locate solid information, walk away.

2. Don’t react out of fear. No matter how threatening or urgent their script, do not act immediately. Always hang up and give yourself time to think it over and check them out.

3. Trust your instincts. If a caller sounds fishy, hang up. The chances of losing out on a great deal are much less than losing your nest egg. 

Fun and Interesting Things to Do This Weekend!

Smolak Farms, S. Bradford Street, North Andover

Strawberry Festival

Sunday 10-5

Pick you own (or buy them pre-picked), bakery goods, ice cream treats, lunch, gift shop

Hayrides $4pp. Kids’ events (face painting, cow train, plant your own strawberry plant and more) $10 per child, under age 2 is free


The Tall Ships Regatta, Boston Harbor

Saturday, June 17-Thursday, June 22

More than 50 tall ships from 14 countries will be in Boston for the first time since 2000. The Grand Parade of Sail is Saturday from 9 – 3. Boston is the only American port that will host the Tall Ships Regatta this year!


Hampton Beach, Hampton NH

Master Sand Sculpting Classic

Sculptures going on now, they will be lighted nightly for viewing through June 28


Institute of Contemporary Art, 25 Harbor Shore Drive, Boston

Saturday and Sunday from 12-4

Kids can create artworks of their own in the Make/Made program, and hang it in the Art Lab


The Rose Kennedy Greenway, Boston

Friday, Saturday and Sunday

There is soooo much to do, for the whole family, but check out the Zip Line for a great view of Boston! More fun for kids includes the carousel and several different fountains, where kids (and adults if you dare) can cool off in the random sprays or find their way through the labyrinth. Or check out the food trucks and the Trillium Garden biergarten!


Newburyport Art Walk, Downtown Newburyport

Saturday from 11-6

Self guided tour of Newburyport galleries, with special events, live demonstrations and music


Open Houses

Check out all the interesting open houses this weekend in Andover, North Andover and throughout Massachusetts! From cute cottages to garden style condos, to ranches and colonials, you name it, there's one out there with your name on it! Take a peek at what's on the market! The list will be updated daily, so don't forget to check back before you head out! Just click on the Property Search link at the top of this page to search for open houses and any properties currently on the market throughout Massachusetts! Any questions?

Feel free to email or go to


The Salem Flea, 32 Derby Square, Salem MA

Saturday from 10-5

Featuring local vintage dealers and artisans selling clothing, up-cycled furniture, jewelry and more. While in Salem, take a boat tour to Baker’s Island (leave at 10:30 or 2:00), where no private boats are allowed to dock. Tour the lighthouse, take a short hike, play bocci and enjoy the weather!


Maudslay State Park, 1 Spring Lane, Newburyport

Saturday and Sunday at 2:00

Outdoor performance of Snow White: A Through the Looking Glass Panto, a mixture of “puns, princesses, passion and improbable plots with some of your favorite fairy tale and literary characters.”


Made in Lowell, Ecumenical Plaza at Western Canal, Lowell

Friday from 5-9 pm and Saturday from 12-5 pm

Summer Kick-Off Weekend, featuring food trucks, games, live music, and more!





















Aaaaah, those lazy days of summer when we were kids, waiting impatiently for the ice cream truck to come up the block with it's tinny music blaring from the roof-top speakers.  Now that our tastes are a bit more refined - or perhaps the ice cream truck no longer makes it to you neighborhood - here are some fabulous local places to get ice cream!  


One of the newest players is Town Market Andover in Andover.  Inside you'll find everything you need to keep you fueled for the day, including breakfast, lunch and dinner offerings, beer and wine tastings, and of course, Ice cream! 

Another newcomer to the field is Cows Rock in North Andover's Old Center. Cows Rock serves Richardson's ice cream, Richie's Italian Ice, coffee, bakery treats and sandwiches in a quaint brick building next to the common.

Speaking of Richardson's, the kids always enjoy a visit to the "real" Richardson's in Middleton, where the ice cream is made.  The cows can often be seen in the fields, and if you're looking to burn off some of the ice cream calories you can play mini golf, go to the driving range or hit the batting cages.

A couple other places that offer loads of entertainment along with awesome ice cream are Jay Gee's Ice Cream and Fun Center in Methuen where you can play mini-golf, drive the go-karts, use the batting cages or hang out in the arcade.  Kimball Farm in Westford is always a hit, and you may want to plan on spending a few hours there! You may not know where to start with things like bumper boats, zip line, pony rides, pitch and putt, country store and more to keep you busy.  Just be sure to end with an ice cream, it's totally worth the drive!

Looking for some history with your ice cream? Check out Putnam Pantry in Danvers, home of the original ice cream smorgasboard. Enjoy your overflowing sundae in an antique house turned shop, and don't leave without getting some hand-crafted chocolates or other candy made right on site.

Heritage Farm in Lowell offers not only delicious ice cream and treats, but is also well known for it's motorcyle and classic car nights.  The kids (or adults) can enjoy their ice cream while checking out the night's collection of vehicles.

Not to be missed is Benson's Homemade Ice Cream in Boxford, a staple since 1932.  Benson's is famous for making fresh native fruit flavored ice cream and toppings, including strawberry, red raspberry, peach and blueberry.

Finally, Carter's Ice Cream in Bradford is another long time area favorite.  The ice cream is made on site and new flavors are constantly being experimented with, such as pumpkin and salty chocolate caramel crunch.


Summer always seems to go by quickly, so get your ice cream before the sad day the stands close down for the season! 


Weekend Fun for June 9-11

Looking for some fun, interesting and maybe educational things to do locally this weekend?  Check out this list of ideas, with something for everyone!


Bill W. and Dr. Bob at the Spotlight Playhouse at The Pike School (34 Sunset Rock Road) in Andover

An inspiring and often humorous story of the two men who pioneered Alcoholics Anonymous, and their supportive wives, who founded Al-Anon.

Friday, June 9th and Saturday, June 10th at 2:00 and 8:00 pm


Touch-a-Boat at Merrohawke Nature School (56R Merrimac St) in Newburyport from 11 - 2

Boats are in the water and dockside. Kids and families are welcome to go aboard each and learn more about them. Lifejackets for youngsters encouraged if you have your own.

Saturday, June 10th from 11-2


Shred Day at Stop & Shop (757 Turnpike St) in North Andover

The North Andover Rotary Club, in partnership with Shred Nations, will be hosting a shred day for North Andover community residents to shred their confidential documents securely in the Stop and Shop parking lot. The Shred Day will occur rain or shine.

Saturday, June 10th from 9 am - 1 pm


Town and Country Gardens of Old Newbury (98 High Street) Newbury

This weekend-long event offers access to a selection of beautiful private gardens throughout the historic Newburys, and includes a number of events at the Museum of Old Newbury, including gardening talks, shopping and plant sale at various locations.

Saturday, June 10th and Sunday, June 11th from 10 - 4


The Music Man at North Shore Music Theatre (62 Dunham Road) Beverly

Several performances over the weekend of this endearing American classic at the area's only "theater in the round".  Kids 4-18 are half price.

Friday at 8pm, Saturday at 2 and 8 pm and Sunday at 2 pm


Glow in the Park at the Rose Kennedy Greenway in Boston

Quickly becoming a favorite annual event in Boston, Glow in the Park is back for a third year! Hosted by The Greenway with proceeds benefitting the non-profit Greenway Conservancy, this is one event unlike any other in Boston! Spend a summer Friday night in one of Boston's most beautiful and contemporary green spaces while enjoying live music, lawn games, your Greenway food truck favorites, beer, wine, entertainment and more!

Friday at 6:30 pm


Open House Events in Andover and North Andover

Sunday, June 11th.  Looking for a new home in The Andovers? It's going to be a beautiful day to get out and take a peek at what's on the market!  This list will be updated daily, so don't forget to check back before you head out on Sunday! Just click on the Property Search link at the top of this page to search for open houses and any properties currently on the market throughout Massachusetts! Any questions? Feel free to email 


Boston Pride Parade Copley Square to City Hall Plaza, Boston

Saturday, June 10th at noon


The Gifts of Frank Stella at Phillips Academy's Addison Gallery of American Art (3 Chapel Ave) Andover

An installation of prints by Frank Stella honoring the artist’s innovative, rich career and his long-standing generosity both as a donor and visiting artist to the Addison Gallery of American Art and Phillips Academy, from which he graduated in 1954. 

Friday, and Saturday, June 9th and 10th from 10-5 and Sunday, June 11th from 1-5


Berry Pond Scramble Harold Parker State Forest (700 Middleton Road) North Andover

An annual Family-friendly 5.6k race. Run by yourself, run with your kids, run with your dog! Prizes! Hotdogs! Free Berry Pond bandana for every entrant! 


Please note: terrain is varied. Strollers are not allowed. All dogs must be leashed for the duration of the event and must have a valid license tag. Additional info:

Sunday, June 11th from 10-2; Registration begins at 9


Electric Car Expo at Ipswich Middle School (130 High Street/Rte. 1A) Ipswich

Electric Vehicle Expo Get the scoop on electric vehicles from the neighbors who own them. Learn about charging, mileage and maintenance. Take a look under the hood!

Saturday from 9 am - Noon


28th Annual Art in the Barn at the Cox Reservation (82 Eastern Ave) Essex

Food and live music! Art transforms the Cox Reservation barns and grounds into an exciting weekend-long art exhibition and sale. Proceeds benefit Greenbelt’s local land conservation efforts.

Friday & Saturday, June 9 &10, 2017 from 10 am-5 pm Sunday, June 11 from 12-4 pm 


Newburyport Farmers' Market at The Tannery (75 Water St.) Newburyport

Get your fresh fruit and veggies and other locally sourced products and take a stroll along the boardwalk, hunt for antiques and collectibles and check out the shops and restaurants while in Newburyport.

Sunday, June 11th from 9-1


Rose Garden Soiree at the Stevens Coolidge Place (98 Andover Street) North Andover

A relaxing evening to celebrate the beginning of the garden season, with cocktails, appetizers and live music among the roses.The event admission includes open bar service of wine and beer, as well as light appetizers and music!

Friday, June 9th from 5-7 pm






1.  Inventory Decreases in June & July

The number of new listings typically decreases in the early Summer following the rush to sell in the Spring. As inventory starts to drop, competition increases as buyers have a smaller selection.


2.  Price Benchmarks are Established

The Spring market traditionally sets buyers’ price expectations, so by June home prices have trended toward their peak.


3.  Days are Longer

Daylight Savings Time offers more time for showings that illuminate your home in natural daylight, creating greater exposure to more buyers.


4.  Nature is in Full Bloom

Landscaping thrives in the spring and early summer months, setting the perfect stage to showcase your home.


5.  Family Decision Time

Families take time during the Summer for vacations and celebrations.  New statistics show these months have become prime time for family decisions regarding their next move.  Listing your home now capitalizes on these new buyers entering the market who are looking to settle before the Fall.


Contact me if you're thinking of selling and I will be sure your home is market ready so you can take advantage of the "hot" summer season!

Don't Skip Exercising When Traveling

Full Article

No one would argue with you if you skipped a day of your exercise routine or had a cheat meal. Everyone knows how busy you are, but is that a good enough excuse for you? If you’re really serious about staying fit, traveling shouldn’t stop you. Granted, it’s not always easy.
If you’re traveling for business, you can hardly skip the cocktail hour mixer or the catered dinner with your colleagues. What you can do is make smarter food and drink choices while still sticking to your diet and workout routine even when you are traveling.
1. Eat breakfast and drink water
If you don’t eat a good breakfast or you let yourself get dehydrated, you are not going to feel like working out. And even if you do muster the strength to drag yourself to the gym, it will be ten times harder than if you'd had a balanced breakfast and drank water throughout the day.
Make sure you get a healthy breakfast, even if it’s the hotel’s continental breakfast. Make sure you fit in all your basic food groups to give yourself the energy you need to make it through the day. If you don’t have a water bottle, purchase one that you can carry with you all day long.
2. New rule – “I will use the stairs when going up or down three flights or less.”
Just by taking the stairs, you can get a good 30-minute workout in every day. When you are traveling and your hotel room is on the 30th floor, taking the stairs is not an option. But if your meeting is on the second floor, it will take an extra 10 seconds to skip the elevator and hoof it up and down those stairs.
3. Stock your hotel room mini-fridge with real food
You will have an easier time staying on track with your diet if you have healthy food options at your disposal. Stop at the grocery store to pick up some sliced turkey or roast beef and bread. Grab some veggies and stock your hotel room fridge with foods that fit in with your diet plan.
4. New rule – “I will walk if the destination is five blocks or less (in a safe neighborhood…during the day).”
If you are staying at a hotel that is just a few blocks from your conference center, why not walk it? It will get your heart rate up, plus you’ll get to explore a new place while taking in some fresh air.
Make sure you walk briskly, no sauntering. And as you walk, tighten your muscles and flex your feet so that you get some muscle toning in too. 
5. Shorten your usual workout routine to 15 minutes (and do it in the A.M.)
Vacation is not the time to spend two hours at the gym and if you’re traveling for work, you probably don’t have that kind of time. Instead, abbreviate your workout with these easy exercises you can do in your room:

  • Lunges – Alternate legs lunging for one minute. Walk in place for 30 seconds and repeat three more times.
  • Bicep Curls – Your work bag, briefcase or carry-on make good weights for bicep curls. Curl for one minute. Shake your arms out and stretch them. Repeat three more times.
  • Standing Leg Lifts – Hold onto the edge of a table or the dresser if need be. Stand up straight and alternate lifting your legs waist high. Walk in place for 30 seconds and repeat three more times.
  • Push-Ups – You can do knee push-ups or plank push-ups but get 15 – 25 in to give yourself a good core and upper body workout.

Don’t forget to stretch before and after your workout. If once isn’t enough, do this again before you go to bed.
If you're looking for more ways to stay on track with your diet and exercise plan while you're traveling, give me a call today.

Running treadmills

Keeping Your Pets Happy

One of your responsibilities as a pet owner should be making sure your pets feel at home in their day-to-day lives. By creating a special place for them in your home, you’ll ensure they feel comfortable and content in your house. Here are eight tips for creating a space your pets will love.

  1. Invest in a Cozy Bed - Buy a cute, comfortable dog or cat bed that offers good support, and put it in a warm, quiet space so your pets can sleep on their own in comfort and style.  
  2. Utilize Storage Space - Get a nice wooden box, plastic containers or shelves that provide a designated place to store leashes, toys and clothes so your pets can have easy access to their belongings and enjoy a clutter-free environment with your help. 
  3. Give Some New Toys - Surprise your pets with new toys to keep them on their toes. Place them in and around their special spots, so your pets can entertain themselves even when you’re not around.
  4. Acquire Trendy Food Bowls - Give your pets the gift of clean, fresh food bowls that are designed to limit bacteria growth. Put them in a dry, convenient spot so your pets can eat and drink as they please. 
  5. Accessorize with Mats or Trays - Purchase a large mat or tray that suits each pet’s eating area and place it under their food and water bowls. Now your pets can dine in style without leaving a mess behind. 
  6. Shop Around for House Plants - Stop by your local home improvement store to pick out a couple of indoor plants and add them to the animal-friendly space you’ve created. Now your pet can enjoy fresh air and a touch of the outdoors while inside your home. 
  7. Build a Custom Dog House - Construct a personalized dog or cat house that suits your furry friends, and nestle it either inside your house or in the backyard. Now your pets can have a private getaway to rest and recuperate. 
  8. Buy a Stylish Crate - Invest in a spacious crate that allows enough space to move around in and keep it in a peaceful, ventilated area so your pets can make the most out of their down time.

These eight tips are great ways to start giving your pets the care and attention they deserve. When your pets have one or more cozy spaces in and around your home, they’ll feel more relaxed and satisfied. If you’re looking for additional ways to improve your pet’s quality of life, I’m only a phone call away!

Online Furniture and Home Decor Shopping

More people than ever are choosing to shop from the comfort of their own homes rather than brave the crowds at the local shopping mall. Online furniture and home decor shopping has become a huge business, so here are some top online retailers to help you hone in on some of the best and most popular. 

1. Wayfair

Wayfair is a one stop shop for all of your home decor and home furnishing needs. They sell everything from furniture and light fixtures to sinks and countertops. Their huge selection is hard to match and their low prices will keep you coming back for more. 


As an added bonus, Wayfair customers will receive free shipping on all orders of $49 or more. When you are ordering heavy furniture and lots of other items, the free shipping goes a long way. 

2. Overstock

Overstockstarted as an online liquidator selling excess inventory from various other companies. It has grown into a major online retailer that offers over 1 million products from numerous manufacturers at below retail prices.

3Made Goods

Made Goods specializes in accent pieces, making good use of alternative materials and unique designs. With hundreds of pieces in stock and ready to go, choosing an accent piece for your space has never been easier. The selection at Made Goods includes light fixtures, indoor and outdoor furniture, mirrors and decorative objects.

4. USM: Modular Furniture

This company specializes in organizational pieces for the home and office. Their selection includes a number of prefabricated boxes, shelves and drawers. If you can't find what you're looking for, USM Modular also offers an option for customers to design their own items. This is a great option for those looking to furnish an oddly shaped or unique space, but even in a traditional space, the “Design Your Own” feature is a great way for the picky consumer to get exactly what they want.

5. Ballard Designs

Ballard Designs is a European inspired company that boasts antique style pieces without the antique price tags. In addition to their already low prices, they frequently have storewide sales where buyers can get as much as 25 percent off of their purchase. Ballard Designs’ product lines include bedroom sets, wall decor, lighting, fabrics and upholstery, and of course, furniture.  

6. Amazon

No online shopping list would be complete without including Amazon is known not just for selling anything you could possibly need, but also for having it on your doorstep within 48 hours. This is huge when compared with other retailers who offer delivery within 7 to 10 business days.

You will always receive free shipping with your Amazon Prime membership, but even without a yearly membership, you will be able to get free shipping on many orders of $25 or more. This easy access to very fast shipping keeps customers coming back for more. 

Next time you are in the market for new furniture or just in the mood to shop, check out these online retailers!