Real Estate and *stuff *

Real Estate and *stuff *

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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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You’ll Want to Steal These Amazing DIY Ideas for Your Front Yard!

August 16, 2018

By: Leanne Potts

Because they’ll put money in your pocket.

Landscaping done right can put as much as $4 in your pocket for every $1 you spend, according to the “Remodeling Impact Report” from the National Association of REALTORS®. So what are you waiting for?

Grab a shovel, and let’s go.

#1 Mix Rocks with Bark Mulch:

Surrounding bark mulch with a rock moat makes for a tidy, everything-in-its-place yard. It also makes maintenance easier because mulch smothers weeds and keeps plant roots cool and moist. And the rock mulch next to your home’s foundation is smart, because it keeps water away.

Best of all, this is a simple landscaping idea to DIY: Put rubber garden edging along your beds. Put down weed guard. Pour bags of mulch and gravel in the beds. Done.

#2 DIY Window Flower Boxes:

Window boxes are like jewelry for house, adding bling to the blah. If you’re handy with tools, make your own, but you can also buy prefab ones and mount them yourself. Fill with plants, and your curb appeal improves at point five past light-speed.

TIP: Leave an inch of space between the window flower box and the house to prevent moisture from destroying your siding.

#3 Build a Dry Stream:

Here’s why we love dry rock streams: They add a touch of mountain-y rugged to your yard. They drain water away from the foundation of your house. They don’t need to be mowed, watered, or fertilized. Oh, and it’s a simple two-step install: 1. Dig a trench. (It’ll replace your cardio and strength workouts for the week, so prepare accordingly.) 2. Place the rocks.

#4 Build a Paver Path:

Creating a path from the curb to your door to adds a civilized touch and makes your front yard feel designed. It also means less lawn to mow and weed. You can do this one yourself with pavers or bricks.

TIP: Choose a brick pattern with staggered edges to handle curves without the drag of cutting bricks.

#5 Light Your Walkways:

The only thing better for your curb appeal than making a walkway is making a walkway and lighting it. LED lighting adds the most value, but you can DIY it with a solar lighting kit. Lighted walkways look very Architectural Digest, and they’ll keep you from taking a header when you’re bringing in the groceries.

#6. Plant Flowers and Trees:

“I want a yard devoid of trees, shrubs, and flowers.” Said no one, ever. Adding plants (a.k.a. softscape) to your yard adds to your home value.

You’ll get every penny you spend on plantings back when you sell your house. So apparently money does grow on trees.

Plants get more valuable as they get older, so take care of the tree saplings and azaleas you planted. You’re getting ROI as well as flowers and shade.

#7 Grow Grass:

If you do nothing else to your yard, plant a lawn or reseed a patchy one. Americans love lawns, so for every dollar you spend planting a lawn from seed, you’ll get more than $4 back when you sell your home. It’s hard to beat a 400% return on an investment.

The 7 Most Financially Savvy Home Upgrades You Can Make!

August 15, 2018

By: Lisa Kaplan Gordon

Enjoy your home more today — and sell it for the best price tomorrow.

When it comes to home improvement, some dollars stretch more than others. And if you’re on a limited budget, it becomes even more important to spend those dollars wisely.

Here are seven affordable  home improvement projects that’ll help you enjoy your home more today and provide excellent financial return in the future.

#1 Add the Finishing Touch of Molding:

Crown molding makes rooms seem both bigger taller. It’s an elegant addition to any home.

Plus, wood moldings come in hundreds of options — from simple to ornate — that you can stain, paint, or leave natural.

You can also find moldings in flexible materials, such as foam, that make installation a whole lot easier. Some moldings even include lighting that casts a soft, ambient glow.

And at $1.50 per foot if you DIY it, or $8 per foot if you hire, it’s a no-brainer in terms of personalizing your home while adding value. (Although we don’t recommend DIY unless you’ve got above-par mitering skills.)

A few tips about molding:

Be careful about proportions. If your ceiling height is 9 feet or less, go with simpler styles to avoid overwhelming the room.

Place a chair railing at one-third the distance of the ceiling height. Chair railing placed incorrectly can make a room seem out of proportion.

Don’t forget entryways, doors, and windows: Bump up the trim around these areas to give rooms a completed and expensive feel.

Add a pop of color for bright curb appeal and ROI.

#2 Hang Quality Ceiling Fans:

If your ceiling fans are old and outdated, new ones (coupled with a fresh paint job and crown molding) could give your rooms a refreshing update while saving money.

Some tips about ceiling fans:

  • Hang 7 to 8 feet above the floor.
  • If you’ve got a low ceiling, buy a hugger ceiling fan that’s flush-mounted.
  • Go for the biggest Energy Star-rated fan that will fit the space.
  • Choose quality. You’ll get better cooling results, less noise, and good looks at a digestible price point of $200 to $600.

#3 Plant Some Trees:

Say what? Adding trees doesn’t instantly pop into your head when you think of adding value to your home. But trees are moneymakers that get better with age.

A mature tree could be worth between $1,000 to $10,000, says the Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers. A 16-inch silver maple could be worth $2,562, according to a formula worked out by the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service.

In urban areas, money really does grow on trees. A recent study of home sales by the Pacific Northwest Research Station of Portland showed that street trees growing in front of or near a house boosted its sale price by an average of $8,870 and shaved two days off its time on the market.

There’s more. Trees also:

  • Save $100 to $250 annually in energy costs
  • Lower stress
  • Prevent erosion from downpours and roof runoff
  • Protect your home from wind, rain, and sun

#4 Install a Deck or Patio:

But don’t go crazy and trick out your outdoor space with high-end amenities, like an outdoor kitchen — especially if you’d be the only one on the block with one. When it’s time to sell, you won’t get back much — if any — of your investment on outdoor kitchens and other high-end amenities. Instead, keep it simple and functional to see a return on investment.

A professionally installed deck costs about $10,000 to install, but if you DIY it, you’ll save more than half that while adding to your equity.

Don’t skimp on deck lighting. It can make all the difference in functionality and beautification.

#5 Upgrade Your Insulation:

It’s not as sexy as a kitchen remodel, but it doesn’t cost as much either ($65,000 vs $2,100).

Plus, you’ll save all year long on your utility bills. Win-win!

#6 Add Some Creative Storage:

We don’t have to sell you on the value of storage and built-in organization. Since when have you heard someone complain about too much storage? Never, we bet.

Adding storage is a no-brainer, but it does take a little brainpower to find your home’s hidden storage.

Here are a few ways to think outside of the toy box:

  • Open drywall to create storage cubbies between your wall’s studs.
  • Install platform storage that hangs from your garage ceiling.
  • Even stairs can give you more storage. One clever mom repurposed an old chest of drawers and created storage within a basement staircase.

#7 Install Landscape Lighting:

Exterior lighting makes your home shine in the evening, accents features you like most about your house, and helps keep burglars away. Installing motion-detecting lights can even lower some homeowners’ insurance premiums.

Tips:

  • Place accent lights under your favorite trees to show off your landscaping’s top earners.
  • Put them on a timer so you don’t waste energy running them during the day.
  • Choose a warm, white light. It’ll make your home look and feel welcoming.

How to Renovate Your House Like a French Girl!

August 14, 2018

By: Leanne Potts

It’s not about decor. Not at all.

How do the French do it? That effortless style in their homes?

Even our term for that mysterious and not-quite-definable dollop of fabulousness is French: je ne sais quoi.

Hint: it’s not decor that does it. There aren’t enough Anthropologie throw pillows in the world to ooze that level of sophistication.

Instead, it’s an ideology of six guiding principles:

#1 Respect Your Home’s Architecture:

Architecture matters. It’s the bones of your house and should guide your renovating decisions.

Can you imagine a French homeowner replacing the windows in his Provence farmhouse with arched Spanish Colonial-style ones? Of course not.

Mixing architectural styles turns your house into a hard-to-sell Frankenstein. It’s the home renovation equivalent of bad plastic surgery: ill-advised, expensive, and tough to undo.

#2 Skip Home Renovation Trends:

Paris is 2,000 years old. The French have been watching trends come and go since Julius Caesar ruled the place.

They don’t care about the Pantone Color of the Year, the craze for faux stone veneer, or shiplap. You’ll get more bang for your remodeling buck if you think like the French and pick a timeless look.

The tile with ducks wearing blue bows that’s in your mom’s kitchen? Trendy in 1984. White subway tile on the kitchen wall? Timeless.

Before renovating your house, ask yourself: Were homeowners making this choice 20 years ago? Will they still 20 years from now?

#3 Allow Nature to Be Itself:

Your yard has an architecture, too, made up of the existing trees and native plants that are meant to grow there.

The French don’t plant palm trees in front of their Provence houses. They plant lavender.

When you landscape, honor your surroundings and pick plants that go with your climate, making your yard easier to care for, more affordable, and looking like it belongs there.

And don’t cut down trees in your yard. Unless they’re an environmental hazard (especially “Bradford pears”), or they’re about to fall on your house.

#4 Keep It Functional:

A house that functions well is the little black dress of renovating. Swapping your traditional staircase for industrial-chic spiral stairs seems like a good idea until you’ve carried a laundry basket up and down them for a few years.

So before you reno, run your plans through the criteria the French follow: form follows function.

That’s the reason French houses are so effortlessly stylish — they’re built to accommodate the way their owners go about their day. It’s actually effortless to live in them.

#5 Make Room for Your Things:

Ignore those magazine photos of kitchens with nary a stray dish or stack of mail, where a slim trio of open shelves appears to contain all the owners’ culinary-related possessions.

Those rooms are staged for a photo shoot, not life. The French know that one’s possessions give a house personality. They design their homes with space for their stuff to live out in the open.

So make room for the things you love. Build shelves in your kitchen so you have room for your cookbook collection — and room for it to grow. Add more counter space so you can set out your vintage Fiestaware canisters.

They’re not clutter to be hidden. They’re the ingredients of your life.

#6 But Don’t Overdo Renovations:

When you have a passion for power tools, it’s easy to think, “What can I do next?” instead of “What needs to be done?”

Sometimes the answer is nothing. If the French swung sledgehammers half as often as Americans do, their centuries-old homes would look, well, not centuries old.

Do what your home needs, and stop there. Because you won’t get back much of your investment if you over-improve for the neighborhood.

Use that extra time to do something else the French have mastered: enjoying their homes.

Book your appointment in Southbridge today!

August 13, 2018

CharltonSouthbridge.jpg

This is not your average multi family in Southbridge!  FOUR fully occupied units!  This building features a paved parking lot, newer roof, vinyl siding, updated electrical, town water and sewer and in building coin-op laundry.  Tenants are TAW, long term and prefer to stay.  Nicely located by the Charlton Str School and priced well for a fast sale.  Turn key investment property that makes a return from the first day! Listed for $245k!  Showings by appointment only on Tuesday 8/14 between 5pm  and 6:30 and Thursday 8/16 11am to 12:30pm.

Open house this weekend in Leicester!

August 13, 2018

RawsonLeicester

Nicely renovated large farm house style colonial on a tree lined country road is now ready for you! Large rooms and high ceilings provide a light and airy flow to this house.  Great outdoor space with a wrap around farmer’s porch, flat yard and 3 bay garage.  Updated kitchen includes granite counters, mud room/pantry, stainless steel appliances and propane cook stove. The living room has newly refinished parquet wood floor, a fireplace with gas insert, beamed wood ceiling and entrance to the deck.  Dining room features newly refinished hardwoods, a pellet stove and is bright with multiple front windows! Master bedroom has a dedicated staircase and cathedral ceilings with decorative window. 2 additional bedrooms are also generously sized.  NEW well!  NEW septic!  Great yard!  Great commuter location! 3 bedrooms, large general living space and over 1700 sq feet! Now listed for just $299,999! Open house on Sunday 8/19 from 1pm-2pm!

Check out the full listing HERE!

Check out the 3D tour HERE!

Open house in Leicester tomorrow!

August 11, 2018

RawsonLeicester

Nicely renovated large farm house style colonial on a tree lined country road is now ready for you! Large rooms and high ceilings provide a light and airy flow to this house.  Great outdoor space with a wrap around farmer’s porch, flat yard and 3 bay garage.  Updated kitchen includes granite counters, mud room/pantry, stainless steel appliances and propane cook stove. The living room has newly refinished parquet wood floor, a fireplace with gas insert, beamed wood ceiling and entrance to the deck.  Dining room features newly refinished hardwoods, a pellet stove and is bright with multiple front windows! Master bedroom has a dedicated staircase and cathedral ceilings with decorative window. 2 additional bedrooms are also generously sized.  NEW well!  NEW septic!  Great yard!  Great commuter location! 3 bedrooms, large general living space and over 1700 sq feet! Now listed for just $299,999! Open house on Sunday 8/12 from 1pm-2pm!

Check out the full listing HERE!

Check out the 3D tour HERE!

Open house in Leicester on Sunday!

August 10, 2018

RawsonLeicester

Nicely renovated large farm house style colonial on a tree lined country road is now ready for you! Large rooms and high ceilings provide a light and airy flow to this house.  Great outdoor space with a wrap around farmer’s porch, flat yard and 3 bay garage.  Updated kitchen includes granite counters, mud room/pantry, stainless steel appliances and propane cook stove. The living room has newly refinished parquet wood floor, a fireplace with gas insert, beamed wood ceiling and entrance to the deck.  Dining room features newly refinished hardwoods, a pellet stove and is bright with multiple front windows! Master bedroom has a dedicated staircase and cathedral ceilings with decorative window. 2 additional bedrooms are also generously sized.  NEW well!  NEW septic!  Great yard!  Great commuter location! 3 bedrooms, large general living space and over 1700 sq feet! Now listed for just $299,999! Open house on Sunday 8/12 from 1pm-2pm!

Check out the full listing HERE!

Check out the 3D tour HERE!

5 Inventive Ideas We Found On Instagram To Boost Bath Equity!

August 10, 2018

By: Amy Howell Hirt

Try wall-mounted faucets to add precious space to a tiny bath.

The best bathroom updates aren’t just easy on the eye: They make life easier — and they add to your home’s value.

For inspiration, check out these #bathroomrenovation ideas from Instagram that pack style, function, and a whole lotta’ equity into one little room.

#1 A Doorless Shower Design:

Um, hey. The shower head in this sweet bath is hanging out there with no tub or enclosure below it.

It’s not an oversight.

With this liberating doorless shower design, there are no door tracks to clean (or trip over), no glass panels to bang your knee on, or mildewy shower curtains to wipe off. #loveit!

To drain your suds properly, you’ll need a slightly sloped floor in the shower area, great drainage, and probably a skilled contractor to make it all work.

#2 Budget Bath Update:

A complete bathroom do-over can run $30,000! But you don’t have to risk defaulting on your student loan to get an oo-la-la before-and-after.

Keep as much of your bathroom’s pricey bones in place as possible — in this Instagrammer’s makeover, the wall tile, tub, and shower were keepers.

That brought the cost of this DIY project to just $3,000, which covered a new vanity, mirror, flooring, lighting, window treatments, and paint.

#3 Wall-Mounted Faucets:

Got a tiny bath? Get a little extra elbow room by mounting sink fixtures on the wall. (And without those tight crevices around the faucet to navigate, cleaning your sink will be a lot less awkward.)

Wall-mounting can cost a bit more, and may require additional insulation (especially if it’s on an exterior wall), but isn’t any bit of extra room in a small bathroom worth it?

#4 Attic Conversion to a Bathroom:

If you’re constantly juggling for bathroom time, the peacekeeping solution could be right overhead: your attic can serve a higher purpose as an extra bath.

To save thousands, situate it above an existing bath or kitchen so you don’t have to redirect plumbing lines.

And look at all the built-in character that sloping roofline adds to the space that’ll surely wow future buyers.

#5 Built-In Shower Shelf:

Speaking of built-in character, you can build some into your shower with a little between-the-studs magic — which comes with the added benefit of a better-functioning bathroom.

If you already have plans to gut your shower surround, recessed shelving is an easy add to the project. (Just think, no more gunky shower caddies!)

Adding niches during construction won’t add much to your budget or schedule, but the result is sure to add to your home value (and Instagram ♥s).

Open house in Leicester tomorrow!

August 8, 2018

RawsonLeicester

Nicely renovated large farm house style colonial on a tree lined country road is now ready for you! Large rooms and high ceilings provide a light and airy flow to this house.  Great outdoor space with a wrap around farmer’s porch, flat yard and 3 bay garage.  Updated kitchen includes granite counters, mud room/pantry, stainless steel appliances and propane cook stove. The living room has newly refinished parquet wood floor, a fireplace with gas insert, beamed wood ceiling and entrance to the deck.  Dining room features newly refinished hardwoods, a pellet stove and is bright with multiple front windows! Master bedroom has a dedicated staircase and cathedral ceilings with decorative window. 2 additional bedrooms are also generously sized.  NEW well!  NEW septic!  Great yard!  Great commuter location! 3 bedrooms, large general living space and over 1700 sq feet! Now listed for just $299,999! Commuter open house on Thursday 8/9 from 5pm-6:30pm!

Check out the full listing HERE!

Check out the 3D tour HERE!

Instagram Pics That Prove White Rooms Rock It for Home Value!

August 7, 2018

By: Kelley Walters

Skip the hassle (and expense) of color fads. Be a smart homeowner and stick with white.

Yesterday’s chic home colors were teal and brown, today’s are a muted palette of gray, lavender, and blush. Tomorrow, who knows?

If only you could get away with simple, easy white.

Psst. You can. Check out Instagram. White rooms get so much Insta-love. And no wonder, because white for interior walls is a no-brainer for home value. See why:

White Shows Off Your Home’s Best Features:

Like a canvas, this pure hue acts as a backdrop for your home’s highlights, making floors, cabinetry, fireplaces, and doorways pop.

And every time those easy-to-spot architectural details give you a little “wow” moment, remember who else they’re sure to wow: future home buyers.

Plus white walls work with any architectural style.

Even better, if your home’s bones are a little-bit-of-this, little-bit-of-that, white can tie it all together.

It’s the Best Color to Paint a Kitchen:

Plus, white is clean and fresh, two words you definitely want to associate with your kitchen.

And no future home buyer is going to walk away saying, “Can you believe that white kitchen? What were they thinking?”

It Looks Fresh and Clean:

Like your kitchen, “clean and fresh” are words you want your entire home to evoke. Dirt, mold, mildew, water stains — none of them can hide against white surfaces.

And the sooner you see the grime, the easier to deal with it.

Houseplants (and Humans) Love It:

Whether you share your home with giant fiddle-leaf figs, wee succulents, or every green thing you can get your hands on, white’s knack for maximizing light makes houseplants super happy.

Which, in turn, is likely to make you happy — because plants clean the air, giving you a home that’s not just beautiful, but healthier, too.

It Makes Bedrooms Serene:

Your home should be an escape from the color and chaos of daily life. Your bedroom should do double duty in that regard. White will do that.

Make your bedroom whites feel warmer with classic lighting — like bedside sconces or a small chandelier on dimmers. Use warm light bulbs, rather than lights with a blue tint (like some LEDs) since blue light works against white’s calming powers.

White Makes Rooms Look Bigger:

In the same way white makes rooms look brighter, it can also make rooms look bigger. (It’s the magic of color reflection at work.) Painting the walls and trim all white lets the eye flow around the room without stopping, which helps create the illusion of largeness.

It Puts All Eyes on Color:

Choosing white doesn’t mean divesting the entire room of color. After all, color is a major way to make your home feel like you. Using white as your home’s base makes the colors you do use steal the spotlight, putting more you into every square inch.

It’s Not Really Cold and Sterile:

White gets a bad rap for being cold – even sterile — at times. But these rooms? We’re ready to move in.