Brooks & Crowley January 2020

Review Brooks & Crowley

January 2020


439 Washington Street Dedham, MA 02026

*Services Throughout Massachusetts

"It just goes to show that the one thing that stays constant as you grow older is the world shifting under your feet."

Then the internet came along, and I suddenly understood exactly what my parents experienced. Just like them, I’ve found myself to be a stranger in a strange land when it comes to my kids’ world and interests. It just goes to show that the one thing that stays constant as you grow older is the world shifting under your feet. Thankfully, the underlying bedrock of my parents’ tutelage has remained the same. One of the most important lessons I’ve taken from my own upbringing is the importance of independence. My mother and father understood that if my siblings and I were going to grow, then we had to be given enough room to make mistakes and learn from them. Even in the age of smartphones and social media, this practical wisdom from my parents has helped me as a father. It can be hard to sit back and let your kids test their boundaries, but seeing the ways they’ve grown into responsible adults has made it more than worth it. So, as hard as these milestones in independence can be to experience, they bring me joy. It’s easy to dwell on the parts of your family life that will come to an end after your child learns to drive, heads off to college, or starts a job, but what you need to remember is that those moments are going to bring plenty of exciting beginnings, as well.


go whenever they like, and I have a hard time keeping up. Even the nightly dinners have shifted. Our daughters have gone from sitting at the kids’ table to going to different restaurants entirely. This greater level of independence isn’t all bad. After all, if I want to stay off the mountain and just watch football while the girls ski, I can! Plus, my wife and I are free to catch up with friends our age who our kids wouldn’t have as much interest in spending time with. But for all the convenience that comes with maturity, there’s still a little part of me that already misses the closeness of their younger years. I’ll admit it; I thought I was going to have no problem relating to my kids throughout their lives. Growing up, my parents didn’t “get” many of my interests. Irish immigrants used to the simple practicalities of farm life, they had a tendency to dismiss my clothes, hobbies, and general style as “American stuff.” When thinking about raising my own family in the U.S., I made the mistake of believing I’d never be out of touch.

On the surface, my family’s New Year’s celebration looks the same as ever. Just like we’ve been doing these past 15 years, we’ll be heading to my brother-in-law’s place in North Conway, New Hampshire, for a weekend of skiing and revelry. But like many of the family traditions this year, welcoming in 2020 is going to be bittersweet. Our eldest daughter is now a senior in high school, which has become a fact that colors every celebration and milestone between now and her graduation. There’s a sense of finality to these family traditions: her last Christmas at home, last birthday at home, last New Year’s ski trip. Obviously, she’ll still make it to many future family gatherings, but things are going to feel different once she’s in college. In fact, the ways these events shake out have already been changing as our kids grow older. They certainly have come a long way from our first few ski trips. Looking back, we adults used to have to put all their ski gear on for them and take them to the slopes. Now, they just get up and

Here’s to all the changes this year will bring,

–Neil Crowley


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Medical Miracle or Health Hoax? 3 Red Flags to Watch Out For

If you want to get in shape this year, avoid diets or products that claim to melt cellulite. This is a clear indication these treatments aren’t based on real medical science. CURE-ALLS CURE NOTHING A “cure-all” is any product, treatment, or diet that claims to cure a bunch of unrelated medical problems. Cure-alls have been a problem for centuries, claiming to help with weight loss, migraines, heart disease, anxiety, depression, and even baldness! This isn’t how medicine or the human body works. One change cannot magically fix many different, sometimes unrelated, problems. A good way to determine if something is a cure-all is to check if it claims to help treat, prevent, or cure cancer. That’s a big red flag you want to avoid.

them. Unless you have been diagnosed with a disease that would impair your liver or kidneys, you don’t need to spend extra money to keep your insides clean. A healthy diet is enough.

The new year is a great time to make your health a priority again, and there are a bunch of workouts and diet plans to choose from. Too many, some might say. It can be difficult to determine exactly which health plan will help you reach your goals, but there are some pretty obvious red flags that you’ll want to avoid. BEWARE THE DREADED ‘DETOX’ Plenty of diets, supplements, and products claim to “purify” your body by removing unspecified “toxins.” These “detoxes” conveniently forget that your kidneys and liver are already removing substances your body doesn’t need! The human body has been capable of cleansing itself for thousands of years. It doesn’t need a special smoothie or footpads to get the job done. Most detox products are nothing but snake oil, and some of them can leave you feeling worse than you did before you started using The past 10 years have been a period of steady growth for the Boston real estate market. In fact, the rate of growth is beginning to become a problem. Last year, Zillow ranked us as one of the 15 cities where the housing shortage is most severe. How did we get here? And what does it mean for the future? With the 2010s about to close, let’s take a look back at some of the decade’s biggest real estate trends. SHIPPING UP TO BOSTON The population of Boston has grown at more than double the rate of the national average over the past 10 years, which means that people are moving here in droves. During the ‘80s and ‘90s, young professionals tended to settle in the suburbs, but their kids seem to want to do just the opposite. The

CELLULITE ISN’T REAL In 1968, Vogue magazine introduced

American women to the word “cellulite,” warning them of a terrible “diagnosed” condition women suffered from. They encouraged the use of a special rolling pin to banish the little lumps of fat on women’s thighs and buttocks. Since then, cellulite has been used as shorthand to mean “bad body fat you need to remove.” But cellulite is not an indication of poor health. Furthermore, there’s no cure for cellulite because it’s not a disease. It would be like using a special lotion that claims it can remove the wrinkled skin on your knuckles! Most people, especially women, have cellulite. It’s perfectly natural!

A Market Hotter Than the Patriots Looking Back on a Decade of Boston Real Estate Trends

NEWWAYS TO LIVE AND WORK The ways all sorts of services function have changed over the last decade. We don’t order food or watch TV the same way we did a decade ago, so it’s no surprise that companies are attempting to rethink our living and working arrangements. From private dormitories to coworking spaces, new ways of using real estate are cropping up all the time. Whether one of these really sticks remains to be seen, but expect more real estate companies to get into the business of novel ideas. No matter where the market turns over the next 10 years, you can count on Brooks & Crowley to help you with the legal aspects of all of your real estate transactions. Call us today if you’re in the market.

metropolitan areas of Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville have experienced the largest growth, with inner suburbs like Watertown and Arlington close behind. With demand in the city unlikely to slow down, the ripple effect could continue. THE RENTAL RAT RACE Almost everyone reading this newsletter probably has a friend or loved one with a rental horror story. Finding an apartment anywhere in the area is a battle, let alone one that represents good value. College students and middle-aged workers alike share the struggle to find a place. Certainly, one of the chief real estate issues of the next decade will be trying to figure out a way to dramatically increase the supply of rentals.


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Jump-Start Your Business With Eric Ries’ ‘The Lean Startup’

Ries’ guidance does not end with MVPs and vanity metrics; here are some other key takeaways that will keep you on the lean startup path when it's most daunting.

After reading just a few pages, it’s easy to see why everyone raves about Eric Ries’ invaluable manual “The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses.” Ries is a fantastic writer, but two aspects of his writing style separate him from the pack of typical business writers and keep you turning pages: He is intellectually honest and cheerful about his business insights.

"It's the boring stuff that matters most."

quickly to consumer feedback and tailor your final product to specific needs.

LAUGH OUT LOUD Eric takes a common notion in business — “fail fast, succeed fast” — and breaks it down into a system that works for businesses and keeps consumers happy. “The Lean Startup” recommends the use of a minimum viable product, or MVP, to gauge demand before you embark on major product development. Forbes describes an MVP as “a product with only a basic set of features, enough to capture the attention of early adopters and make your solution unique.” If you jump into building the best product possible before measuring what your consumers actually need, you risk wasting a lot of time. Market research can tell you a lot, but MVPs can tell you even more. Plus, if your initial rollout is successful, you can respond

"Remember if we're building something that nobody wants, it doesn't much matter if we're doing it on time and on budget." "Customers don't care how much time something takes to build. They care only if it serves their needs." In the epilogue, Eric's intellectual honesty shines; he readily admits that some readers may take his theories as a means to justify their past business actions. But he encourages everyone to use his book instead as a guide for what they will do next in their entrepreneurial journey.

Throughout his book, Ries emphasizes the importance of consumer feedback for the success of your business, but he also warns against putting any real value in vanity metrics, which TechCrunch describes as data points, “like registered users, downloads, and raw page views.” Anyone can generate immediate hype for a product, but it's another thing to maintain constant engagement and experience growth of consumer interest. With a good MVP and continued improvement of your service or product, your business will see that growth and also retain customers.

Easy Tomato Soup


• • • •

1 cup chicken broth 8.5 oz coconut milk

• • • •

2 tbsp coconut oil

4 leeks, white parts only, thinly sliced

Kosher salt

6 cloves garlic, minced

Freshly ground black pepper

1 28-oz can roasted and diced tomatoes (Muir Glen Organic is a good brand)

1. In a skillet over medium heat, sauté leeks in coconut oil until softened and translucent, about 7–10 minutes. 2. Add garlic and sauté for another 30 seconds. Remove from heat. 3. Meanwhile, in a blender, purée entire can of tomatoes, including juice, until smooth. 4. Add sautéed leeks and garlic and purée again. 5. Transfer purée to a saucepan and add chicken broth and coconut milk. Bring to a boil, then drop to simmer and cook for 10 minutes. 6. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve. directions

Inspired by Nom Nom Paleo


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439 Washington Street Dedham, MA 02026 Inside This Issue


The New Year, Skiing, and Growing Up

These Health Hoaxes Will Sink Your Resolution


A 2010s Real Estate Recap


Optimize Your Business With Eric Ries

Easy Tomato Soup


Local Events

Boston Events Cars, Dragons, and Chocolates

VALENTINE'S DAY TRUFFLE EXPERIENCE When: Monday, Feb. 10; 6–8 p.m. Where: The KITCHEN at Boston Public Market Admission: $75 per person ($60 for Trustees members) Website: metro-boston/event-49927.html Instead of getting your partner chocolates this Valentine’s Day, why not make them together? Taza Chocolate and the Massachusetts Wine Shop will lead you both through a delicious cooking experience of sweets and vintages.

LUNAR NEW YEAR CELEBRATION When: Saturday, Feb. 1; 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Where: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Admission: Free! Website: celebrations/lunar-new-year-celebration The Year of the Rat kicks off on Feb. 1, and the Museum of Fine Arts is taking the opportunity to celebrate and educate! There will be a variety of activities, demonstrations, and performances throughout the day, including dragon dances! This is a great event for people of all ages to explore Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese traditions.

The new year is off to a bright start, with plenty of exciting events happening here in the Boston area. Here are some of our top picks. NEW ENGLAND INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW When: Thursday, Jan. 16 – Monday, Jan. 20 Where: Boston Convention and Exhibition Center Admission: $7–$17 Website: Car lovers rejoice! New England’s biggest auto show is back in town, letting you see some of the world’s most exotic vehicles up close! From muscle cars to grand prix racers, there are hot rods for auto fans of all stripes.


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