Real Estate and *stuff *

Real Estate and *stuff *

A real person helping real people with real estate

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New to the market and SO MUCH NEW TO SEE! Open Sunday!

ImageThis one is for YOU! Completely remodeled spacious home on the Worcester / Auburn line sits at the end of a dead end street offering a wonderful view! But wait until you see the inside! New hardwoods throughout the open main level that offers tons of natural light with the french door from the mudroom. BRAND NEW kitchen with granite and stainless steel! Additional pantry space! NEW first floor half bath with laundry! Upstairs you’ll find three full bedrooms with restored hardwoods and a NEW full bathroom. Master bedroom has a BONUS room through the restored french door. NO LACK OF SPACE HERE! Full dry walk-out basement, level back yard and vinyl siding. NEW roof, NEW electrical, NEW plumbing, NEW kitchen, NEW bathrooms! Easy highway access by 290 and Holy Cross! NOTHING TO DO BUT MOVE-IN! Come see this home and fall in love with it! Make it yours today!

Check out the video walk through!  Click here to view on youtube!

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For more information and pictures or to schedule a showing:

Mullen Real Estate

Amy Mullen, Realtor CPA CDPE MBA

Ann Mullen, Realtor CBR, Buyer Specialist

508-784-0504

annmullen@remax.net

http://www.amymullenrealestate.com

<img src=”http://jnmwaygroup.com/image/z/8352300144071853800.jpg&#8221; />

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Large Land Lot Available in Sutton, MA

February 21, 2019

Welcome to Sutton!

Tired of not finding the right home in Sutton? Build your home oasis!

This 17.7 acre retreat lot is in Orchard Estates – one of Sutton’s best loved neighborhoods!

Peach Tree Land

This scenic lot is located off of Leland Hill Road on the Grafton side of Sutton. Enjoy coming home to your new construction in the country! Quick access to Routes 146, 395, 290 and the Mass Pike. Commuter friendly to Worcester, Boston, Putnam and Providence. Convenient to the Blackstone Valley Shoppes and Restaurants. Sutton has a newer school system, new Police Department Building and newer shopping center with Market 32, Starbucks and more! Buyer to perform all due diligence necessary for intended use with accepted offer.

9 Ways Home Flipping Shows Mislead Viewers

February 19, 2019

We all know the premise of home-flipping shows: An investor buys a veritable dump and then, with the help of a team of ready-and-willing contractors and landscapers, transforms it into the best-looking home on the block. Next, that intrepid buyer turns around and sells it for a hefty profit. Sounds like a straightforward formula for financial success, right? Well, not quite.

What makes for entertaining television doesn’t always translate into a win beyond the high definition flat screen. The following are nine ways home-flipping shows mislead viewers. So, if you’re considering turning this into your next career or even a side gig, you may want to separate fact from fiction first.

1. Tight turnarounds aren’t always realistic

In order to realize as large a profit as possible, it’s important to flip the property as quickly as you can, otherwise paying the mortgage, taxes, and insurance quickly chips away at your bottom line. While sales tend to happen quickly on TV, the reality is that even if you have a willing buyer, getting pre-approved and securing the financing doesn’t happen overnight. For anxious sellers, that ticking clock is a constant reminder that every passing day means a little less money in their pockets.

2. Finding a dedicated team isn’t easy

As far too many homeowners know, not all contractors are created equal. For the most part, the artisans who make their way onto home-flipping shows are trustworthy, knowledgeable and willing to work nearly round-the-clock to get the job done. In reality, contractors may be working on multiple projects simultaneously and may disappear for days at a time. And as we all know, time is money.

3. DIY doesn’t work for everyone

Part of the appeal of these home-flipping programs is the ease with which the whole property comes together. But it’s more than just the time-lapse photography that makes it seem like anyone with a tool belt can renovate like a pro. While you might be tempted to take a DIY approach to keep expenses low, remember, these people know what they’re doing, whereas most homeowners are experts at other things. Sometimes tackling a task yourself will end up costing you more than if you’d hired the right person for the job.

4. When trouble strikes, it’s not so easy to resolve

Even with a careful home inspection, surprises (not the good kind!) pop up when you least expect them. Yet, if a sink hole opens and threatens to swallow a sunporch, home-flipping show teams are ready to fix that issue like it’s no big deal. When it happens to non-TV-star homeowners, it’s not always easy to find the right subcontractor — especially when you’re under time constraints. And, once you do, can you even afford to deal with whatever unpleasant shocker has come your way? If you have to go back to the bank for more money, that will impact your timeframe and ultimately your profit. (See number 1.) Home-flippers on TV seem to have bottomless bank accounts. Must be nice, right?

5. Materials don’t arrive simultaneously

When home-flippers begin a project, all the requisite materials are on-site and ready to go. If only this were the norm! Anyone who’s ever fallen in love with a special order item knows that it’s almost impossible to find everything you like in stock and ready for delivery. Some contractors are reluctant to start a renovation until all the supplies are in, which, again, can hurt your timeline and your profit.

6. The back-and-forth is all done behind-the-scenes

Never mind the fact that homes showcased on these programs never seem to lack for buyers, in many instances there doesn’t seem to be any haggling to speak of when it comes to the asking price. Leaving out the art of negotiation does viewers a disservice as it makes it appear that buyers can’t wait to pay full price — or above it.

7. The math is fuzzy

In order to reap the biggest profit, you need to buy below market value, sell above it, and not put more money into the renovation than you’ll get back. As if that equation weren’t complicated enough, on television, you don’t always hear about the costs of buying or selling, inspection and appraisals fees, and other expenses that go into both sides of the transactions. Leaving out some numbers conveniently inflates the profit.

8. Costs vary by area

Renovating a bathroom in rural Tennessee is going to cost much less than it would in, say, Manhattan. Not only will the labor be less expensive, but the materials and delivery charges will also skew lower in non-metropolitan areas. Of course, none of that is addressed in the show and most often estimates on TV are far lower than those you’d gather in real life.

9. You can over-renovate

Once you’re in the home improvement groove, you may be tempted to splurge and really go all out, but you have to resist the temptation to overdo it and put in more money than you’ll ever get back. In the quest to make your flip as fabulous as possible, you never want to lose sight of the the reason you started this project: to make money. Consider the return on investment for each improvement you make.

Land Available in Sutton, MA

February 18, 2019

Raw land available on a great street.

Check out this view from Google Maps! You can do ANYTHING you want here!

Fullergoogles

Buyer to perform any and all due diligence but here is a 1/2 acre of completely undeveloped land for your imagination!

6 Household Hacks Inspired by MacGyver Tricks

February 16, 2019

Today we’re inspired by one of the most influential DIY show ever. Nope we’re not talking about This Old House (which debuted in 1978). We’re referring to MacGyver, the action-adventure series that taught us any sticky situation could be fixed with a few mundane items.

We asked four DIY experts to share their favorite MacGyver-inspired household hacks and tips.  

Expert: MoneyCrashers.com

This penny-pinching site known for doling out smart budgeting advice came up with two quick fixes; one clears clogs while the second neatens up floors.

1. Unclog a drain 

Solution: Next time one of your drains is being a pain, drop three Alka-Seltzer tablets down the sink followed by a cup of white vinegar.



We’re not 100% sure about the science behind this, but we heard when combined together, these ingredients will dissolve grease and other funky things. After about 15 minutes, you can clear the drain with boiling water.  

Do not attempt this trick immediately after using a commercial drain opener like Drano or Liquid-Plumr.

FYI, you can also use this exact same solution to clean and freshen up toilet bowls.

Fun MacGyver fact: He mixed it with baking soda to create a smoke screen. 

2. Fix scuffed floors

Give scuffmarks on tile and linoleum floors the boot using a tennis ball fitted on the end of a broom handle. When rubbed against the floor, the ball will remove scuffmarks.

What, you don’t have a tennis ball? Use a sneaker. The bottom of most clean sneakers can easily buff floors.

Fun MacGyver fact: He once made a missile out of a broom handle. 

Expert: Domestic Imperfection 

Ashley, the blogger behind this site, knows a thing or two about being crafty. Just like MacGyver, she likes hacking common office items.

3. Create more pantry space

Small office organizers like the ones used for pencils and pens can turn wasted wall space into room for spice storage.

Look at the photo to see how small desk organizers instantly became mini-spice racks when placed in front of pantry shelves.

Credit: DomesticImperfection.com

Don’t own a few of these clever storage finds? Organizers like these can be found easily at most dollar stores. 

Fun MacGyver fact: He once hotwired a truck using a bunch of office supplies including a paper clip, a ballpoint pen, and a rubber band.

Expert: It’s Overflowing 

Aimee, the woman who creates all the great content on this site, is no stranger to dirty jobs. So how does she keep her hands so clean?

4. Keep your fingernails clean when doing dirty jobs

Credit: ItsOverflowing.com

Simply pack clean soap under your talons by rubbing them across a bar a few times. When the dirty work is done, quickly scrub it all out with a nailbrush.

Fun MacGyver fact: He was always armed with a Swiss army knife, which included a nail file, tweezers, and a few other grooming tools.

Expert: Jimmy DiResta

Like MacGyver, one of our favorite TV DIY guys, Jimmy D. (co-host of Discovery Channel’s Dirty Money) is no stranger to sticky situations. Here are a few of his great glue tricks

Credit: VintageAndFlea.com

5. Fix a wall crack

Just add a little baking soda to Crazy Glue when filling a small wall crack and ta-da — it becomes a hard plastic you can easily sand or file down.

6. Undo glue joints or remove a pesky sticker

Turn a can of air duster cleaning spray upside down and spray your target. Doing so will “freeze” the glue, making it easy to undo the joint or pull the sticker off.

DEIRDRE SULLIVAN

is an NYC-based writer who’s obsessed with maximizing every inch of her urban dwelling. She’s a former fashionista who has worked for Lucky Magazine and InStyle. She recently traded her high heels and Fashion Week pass for a drill and bandsaw. Follow Deirdre on Google+Twitter, and Pinterest.

OPEN HOUSE SUNDAY 2/17/19*Cancelled*

February 15, 2019

THIS OPEN HOUSE HAS BEEN CANCELLED DUE TO UNFORSEEN EVENTS

You will not want to miss the chance to see this home first hand!

Open House

 3 Carey Road in Sturbridge, MA 01566

2-17-2019 from 12PM until 1:30PM

01 Front-4

If you aren’t local and still want to take a look at this unique home-take a look at the 3-D virtual tour by clicking the photo below!

3dtour

.5 Acres Raw Land in Sutton!

February 14, 2019

Raw land available on a great street!

17 Fuller Rd Plot Map

Buyer to perform any and all due diligence but here is a 1/2 acre of completely undeveloped land for your imagination!

What are your dreams of?

How to Repair a Light Switch (No Electrician Required)

February 13, 2019

Here’s how to repair a light switch if you’ve got 10 minutes.

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You flip a light switch and nothing happens. And you just changed the bulb yesterday. What gives?

Do you really need to call an electrician? Maybe not. The easiest and least expensive solution could be to replace the switch altogether. Best of all, you won’t need a $90-per-hour (or more!) electrician — it’s an easy DIY job.

How Much Do Switches Cost to Replace?

A single-pole light switch costs less than $6 to replace. Go for a rocker switch that’s easy to use and adds sensible universal design to your home.

Three-way switches let you control the same light from two different locations. When you flip one switch to the on position, the other switch is simultaneously moved to the on position. A three-way switch also will cost less than $6.

Likewise, four-way switches let you control the same light from three or more locations. Each four-way switch costs in the $10-$15 range.

Double-pole switches have four terminals instead of two, so they’re used for outlets and appliances that require 240-volt circuits. They also come in rockers. Each double-pole switch will cost $7-$15.

What if I Want a Dimmer?

Dimmer switches not only add instant mood lighting to a room, they save energy, too — for every 10% you lower a light bulb’s brightness, you’ll double the bulb’s life.

The only hitch: CFLs often don’t work with dimmers, so you’ll have to use LEDs or halogen incandescents in your fixtures. Dimmers come in rotary, slide, touch-activated, or digital varieties; the cheapest is rotary and will cost less than $10.

So How Do I Replace My Light Switch?

It’s easy. All you’ll need are:

  • Phillips-head screwdriver
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Voltage tester
  • Needle-nosed pliers

Important: Before you attempt any repairs, cut power to the light switch by switching off the circuit breaker at your electrical service box.

Follow the steps outlined in this video:

Video by Ryan Adams

COURTNEY CRAIGis an Atlanta-based writer and editor. She believes no effort is too small when it comes to green living, which she tries to keep in mind while renovating her recently purchased first home.

Find Your Home in Sturbridge!

February 11, 2019

Oasis in Sturbridge!

01 Front-4

A commuter’s dream! Sitting on 1.5+ acres with deeded lake rights you can enjoy country living AND an easy commute.

Check out this view!

lake view

This house has been tastefully updated to open concept living with character.

The chef style kitchen with granite, stainless steel appliances, double wall ovens, center cooking island and gathering island.

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Full pantry and plenty of storage!

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The main level Master has a walk in closet, accessory office space, separate side entrance and private bath with tiled shower and jetted tub.

jet tub

The lower level has been updated with a fantastic family room. The double fire place wall accents the room with a separate entrance, granite, wet bar and stove.

04 Family Room-3

There is also additional space for a guest room or office.

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The property is also being sold with a .78 acre lot on Leadmine Road for additional frontage! Includes a bomb shelter in basement too!

Click the photo below to take an interactive 3-D tour!

20181019_140854.jpg

 

Tax Deductions for Homeowners: How the New Tax Law Affects Mortgage Interest

February 9, 2019

Tax changes for 2019 change the landscape for homeowners.

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Tax season is upon us once again, and to make it even more interesting this year, the tax code has changed — along with the rules about tax deductions for homeowners. The biggest change? Many homeowners who used to write off their property taxes and the interest they pay their mortgage will no longer be able to.

Stay calm. This doesn’t automatically mean your taxes are going up. Here’s a roundup of the rules that will affect homeowners — and how big of a change to expect.

Standard Deduction: Big Change

The standard deduction, that amount everyone gets, whether they have actual deductions or not, nearly doubled under the new law. It’s now $24,000 for married, joint-filing couples (up from $13,000). It’s $18,000 for heads of household (up from $9,550). And $12,000 for singles (up from $6,500).

Many more people will now get a better deal taking the standard than they would with their itemizable write-offs.

For perspective, the number of homeowners who will be able to deduct their mortgage interest under the new rules will fall from around 32 million to about 14 million, the federal government says. That’s about a 56% drop.

“This doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll pay more taxes,” says Evan Liddiard, a CPA and director of federal tax policy for the National Association of REALTORS® in Washington, D.C. “It just means that they’ll no longer get a tax incentive for buying or owning a home.”

So will you be able to itemize, or will you be in standard deduction land? This calculator can give you an estimate.

If the answer is standard deduction, you’ll be pleased to know that tax forms are easier when you don’t itemize, says Liddiard. Find instructions for IRS Form 1040 here.

Exemption Repealed

One caveat to the increase in the standard deduction for homeowners and non-homeowners is that the personal exemption was repealed. No longer can you exempt from your income $4,150 for each member of your household. And that might temper the benefit of a higher standard deduction, depending on your particular situation.

For example, a single person might still come out ahead. Her $5,500 increase in the standard deduction is more than the $4,150 lost by the personal exemption repeal.

But consider a family of four with two kids over 16 in the 22% tax bracket. They no longer have personal exemptions totaling $16,600.  Although the increase in the standard deduction is worth $2,420 (11,000 x 22%), the loss of the exemptions would cost them an extra $3,652  (16,600 x 22%).  So they lose $1,232 (3,652 – 2,420).

But say their two kids are under 16, giving them a child credit worth $2,000. That offsets the loss resulting in a $758 tax cut.

The takeaway: Your household composition will probably affect your tax status.

Mortgage Interest Deduction: Incremental Change

The new law caps the mortgage interest you can write off at loan amounts of no more than $750,000. However, if your loan was in place by Dec. 14, 2017, the loan is grandfathered, and the old $1 million maximum amount still applies. Since most people don’t have a mortgage larger than $750,000, they won’t be affected by the cap.

But if you live in a pricey place (like San Francisco, where the median housing price is well over a million bucks), or you just have a seriously expensive house, the new federal tax laws mean you’re not going to be able to write off interest paid on debt over the $750,000 cap.

State and Local Tax Deduction: Degree of Change Varies by Location

The state and local taxes you pay — like income, sales, and property taxes — are still itemizable write-offs. That’s called the SALT deduction in CPA lingo. But. The tax changes for 2019 (that’s tax year 2018) mean you can’t deduct more than $10,000 for all your state and local taxes combined, whether you’re single or married. (It’s $5,000 per person if you’re married but filing separately.)

The SALT cap is bad news for people in areas with high taxes. The majority of homeowners in around 20 states have been writing off more than $10,000 in SALT each year, so they’ll lose some of this deduction. “This is going to hurt people in high-tax areas like New York and California,” says Lisa Greene-Lewis, CPA and expert for TurboTax in California. New Yorkers, for example, were taking SALT deductions around $22,000 a household.

Rental Property Deduction: No Change

The news is happier if you’re a landlord. There continue to be no limits on the amount of mortgage debt interest or state and local taxes you can write off on rental property. And you can keep writing off operating expenses like depreciation, insurance, lawn care, and utilities on Schedule E.

Home Equity Loans: Big Change

You can continue to write off the interest on a home equity or second mortgage loan (if you itemize), but only if you used the proceeds to substantially better your home and only if the total, combined with your first mortgage, doesn’t go over the $750,000 cap ($1 million for loans in existence on Dec. 15, 2017). If you used the equity loan to pay medical expenses, take a cruise, or anything other than home improvements, that interest is no longer tax deductible.

Here’s a big FYI: The new rules don’t grandfather in old home equity loans if the proceeds were used for something other than substantial home improvement. If you took one out five years ago to, say, pay your child’s college tuition, you have to stop writing off that interest.

4 Tips for Navigating the New Tax Law

1. Single people may get more tax benefits from buying a house, Liddiard says. “They can often reach [and potentially exceed] the standard deduction more quickly.” You can check how much you’re likely to owe or get back under the new law on this tax calculator.

2. Student loan debt is deductible, up to $2,500 if you’re repaying, whether you itemize or not.

3. Charitable deductions and some medical expenses remain itemizable. If you’re generous or have had a big year for medical bills, these, added to your mortgage interest, may be enough to bump you over the standard deduction hump and into the write-off zone.

4. If your mortgage is over the $750,000 cappay it down faster so you don’t eat the interest. You can add a little to the principal each month, or make a 13th payment each year.

17.7 Acres Land For Sale

February 8, 2019

Welcome to Sutton! Tired of not finding the right home?

Peach Tree Land

Build your home oasis! This 17.7 acre retreat lot is in Orchard Estates – one of Sutton’s best loved neighborhoods!

hand-over-construction-plans-with-yellow-helmet-and-drawing-tool_1232-2909

This scenic lot is located off of Leland Hill Road on the Grafton side of Sutton. Enjoy coming home to your new construction in the country! Quick access to Routes 146, 395, 290 and the Mass Pike. Commuter friendly to Worcester, Boston, Putnam and Providence. Convenient to the Blackstone Valley Shoppes and Restaurants. Sutton has a newer school system, new Police Department Building and newer shopping center with Market 32, Starbucks and more! Buyer to perform all due diligence necessary for intended use with accepted offer.