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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**New Listing in Blackstone, MA!**

September 18, 2018

Who doesn’t love an antique style cape in New England in the fall? In a picturesque setting in Blackstone on 1.83 acres with wraparound porch and barn style garage this is will be the house you fall in love with!  Enjoy the 3 season screened- in room off the farmer’s porch that overlooks the back yard and barn. Over-sized two and a half bay garage has room for all your items! Unfinished loft area above the garage bays can be your new workshop/office/hobby room. This home has so much to offer! Check out the backyard! BackyardTake an interactive 3-D tour by clicking the photo below! Can’t believe what you see? Come visit us and see! Open Houses scheduled for Thursday 9/20 5pm to 6:30pm, Saturday 9/22 and Sunday 9/23 12pm to 2pm!

Blackstone interactive

Check out this Updated Country Farmhouse in Leicester, MA!

September 14, 2018

This property on a tree lined country road is ready for you! New well! New septic! 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. Great yard! Great commuter location! 3 bedrooms, an area over 1700 sq feet! Scroll down to take a interactive 3-D tour of this gorgeous property RIGHT NOW!

CLICK THE PICTURE BELOW TO TAKE A LOOK

Interactive Walk Through!

Take a walk through this house right now!

How to Clean Up (and Forget the Nightmare) of Basement Flooding

September 11, 2018

Rain, rain, go away. And sewage backups. And burst pipes. All y’all can GO. AWAY. Especially if they turn your wet bar into a soaking wet bar and your ping-pong table into an island.

Flood design Free Vector

Every homeowner with a basement imagines that horror. If basement flooding should happen to you, don’t retreat into a fetal position on your couch and hope for a miracle, no matter how much you want to. You can deal with the soggy disaster. Here’s how.

4 Things to Do Right Away

Don’t wait until you’ve reached the fifth stage of grief before addressing a floodFast action can minimize a rising, rank situation — and the money it’ll cost to repair.

1. The first thing to do is really a “don’t,” says Glenn Gallas, vice president of operations at Mr. Rooter Plumbing. Don’t ever, everstep into standing basement water. “You could be shocked or electrocuted,” he says. Who wants to venture into that murky mess, anyway? Turn the power off or call an electrician to be safe.

2. Then stop the flow of water.How you do that depends on what the source is:

Water Source What to Do
Broken or malfunctioning pipes Turn off your water’s shut-off valve. If you don’t know where that is, scope it out now — before the worst happens. Some valves are buried in the ground and require special tools to turn off.
Sewage backup Stop flushing toilets and running faucets. Your local sewage authority may offer pumping services or let you submit a reimbursement claim. If you have a septic system, though, it’s on you. Call the septic company to have your tank pumped ASAP.
Groundwater Sorry, that’s bad news. You can’t turn off Mother Nature. The good news: Groundwater flooding might not stink as badly as sewage. Get references for a waterproofing pro or a structural engineer because you could have a foundation problem.

Groundwater was the culprit for Nancy Friedman and her husband when their St. Louis home flooded back in 2014. They knew they had a tiny wet spot in their basement, but “I didn’t think too much of it,” Nancy Friedman says. “Going downstairs is not an everyday occurrence for us,” she says, especially since they both travel a lot.

That tiny wet spot soon became a full-on flood in their basement, causing thousands of dollars in carpet damage – not to mention the cost to repair the structural issue that allowed water to seep in in the first place.

3. Find a plumber with a high-capacity pump. This is not a job for a DIYer. It needs to get done fast. You need a professional-grade pump. “The longer that water sits, and the longer your drywall spends under water, the more long-term damage,” Gallas says. The more damage, the more it costs to clean up.

4. Make your smartphone earn its keep. Take photos and video, then back them up in the cloud, so you’ll have them for insurance purposes.

DIY Some of the Basement Flood Cleanup to Save Money

Once the water is pumped out, the rest can be a DIY job. Just make sure to protect yourself with:

  • Gloves
  • Rubber boots
  • Eye protection
  • A mask (especially if you’re dealing with a sewage backup)
  • A nose plug if the smell is really bad

Then suck up the remaining muck with a wet-dry vac. You’ll also need an army’s worth of paper towels and plastic bags to dispose of the mess.

Unfortunately, you’ll have to say goodbye to all rugs, carpets, and upholstery, which will soak up floodwater contaminants and bacteria, regardless of the flood source. (Seriously sentimental items might be restorable by a professional, but don’t get your hopes too high.) That’s what happened to Friedman. “The first thing we had to do was pull up the carpet.”

Other restoration steps:

  • Open all windows and doors, and run large fans and dehumidifiers.
  • Scrub water-contaminated walls, floors, cabinetry, or hardware with a soapy solution. Ventilate again.
  • Make a bactericide by adding 1.5 cups of DIY TipBleach doesn’t kill mold and mildew. It kills the bacteria that they feed on, but doesn’t destroy the nasty fungi itself. Use soap to zap it.bleach and a few drops of liquid soap to a gallon of water. Spray on the walls; let air dry.

But Don’t Feel Like a Wimp if You Want to Hire a Pro

In fact, both Gallas and Friedman recommend hiring a restoration service, as long as the company you hire is trustworthy and affordable. A small flood might cost as little as $500 to pump out and dry, but a large flood can cost up to $10,000.

“There’s a lot of companies out there that put a guy in a truck and think a high-powered fan is good enough to dry a basement,” Gallas says. Improper technique, like not allowing the home to dry for long enough or failing to properly treat drywall, puts your home at risk for mold or mildew in addition to the flooding damage.

So just be sure to do your homework on who you hire.

Don’t Assume Insurance Will Cover Your Repairs

Friedman’s first call when her basement flooded was to her insurance company. “They told me, ‘You don’t have flood insurance,’” Friedman says. “I thought everybody had flood insurance!”

Standard home insurance often doesn’t cover all types of floods, especially groundwater.

“If I could do a speech on floods, it would be: Do you know this very moment, for sure, if you have flood insurance?” Friedman says. “Call your insurance agent right now and ask.”

But the best scenario is no flood at all.

Related: What Does Regular Home Insurance Cover?

 

5 Things To Do So You’ll Never, Ever Flood Again

  1. Install a leak detector and high-water alarm. These small devices notify you before a small leak becomes a disaster, either via an audible alarm or a text message.
  2. Insulate your pipesThawing pipes are one of the leading causes of basement flooding.
  3. Maintain your backwater valve. It prevents sewage from seeping from the septic or sewer system to your home.
  4. Consider a sump pump. Every basement should have one of these flooding saviors. “I think sump pumps should be wedding gifts,” Friedman says.
  5. Flush and dump with caution.Dumping anything besides waste and toilet paper down your toilet or drains is a big no-no — from tampons to grease. These clog the system, causing backups.

Mold. UGH. Soooo Gross. Here’s How to Kill It Forever!

September 4, 2018

By: Stacey Freed

By the way, bleach doesn’t work. And don’t try to scrape it off, either.

Ugh. Mold. It’s ugly. It’s tenacious. It’s the uninvited guest that keeps visiting — no matter how rude you are to it. But, unwittingly, you may be setting up the perfect conditions for mold’s return: a food source, lots of moisture, and a pleasant temperature.

“You’ve got to eliminate one of those three legs of the stool so mold won’t grow,” says Pete Duncanson, director of system development for ServiceMaster Restore. “And it’s always easier to prevent than to remediate.”

Assuming you like warm showers and a comfy thermostat setting, there’s not much you can do about the temperature mold loves. But you can get rid of mold — and permanently prevent it — by controlling the other two factors: food and moisture. Here’s how.

Starve It Out:

Mold is a horror flick cliché. It’s everywhere. It’s alive. It spreads by spores floating in the air. And it can grow on any surface — porcelain, plastic, copper, silicone — as long as that surface is coated with organic matter.

“Mold doesn’t live on your shower walls or the grout or caulk; it actually lives on the deposited skin cells and soap residues (which have your skin cells in them),” Duncanson says. So. Gross. So, yes, if you want to get rid of mold you gotta break out the cleaning bucket. There’s no way around it. But the good news is that you don’t need toxic cleaners. Soap and water works just fine with some elbow grease, says Bob Justewicz, a director at the National Association of Mold Professionals.

But two warnings:

(1) Don’t bleach it. Online chat rooms and myriad websites might have you believe that bleach kills mold. Both professionals say it’s not true. “Bleach or peroxide removes the stain, but they don’t kill the mold,” Duncanson says.

(2) Don’t scrape it. Remember, mold is alive (it’s ALIVE!) and reproduces through microscopic spores. “If you brush [mold spores] with your hand, they just go into the air and look for new places to colonize,” Duncanson says.

What about those daily shower sprays? Will they work? They are of some benefit, says Duncanson, in that they help push mold’s food sources down the drain. But as a solo act, no, they won’t keep your bathroom clean.

Dry It Out:

How? Use your exhaust fan. “Running the fan any time the bathroom is in use is a good idea,” Duncanson says. “Then leave it on for 30 minutes after or at least as long as the shower ran.”

But make sure your fan actually exhausts outside through the roof or a side soffit and not into the attic. “If it’s going into the attic, you’re causing moisture to go into an unconditioned space, and you can cause mold growth there.”

No exhaust fan? “Any movement of air will help dry out the bathroom,” says Justewicz. “Even a desk fan on the vanity will help.”

After a shower, use a towel or squeegee to wipe down shower walls. Open the shower curtain to let it dry. Mop any water spills on the floor and counters. Avoid piling in too many shampoo and body wash bottles. They’re a perfect place for moisture and mold spores to hide.

Make It Stay Away:

Here are a few more tips if your bathroom mold seems especially strong-willed:

Re-caulk. Mold adores crevices — probably because it knows you can’t reach it there. If lots of mold has built up on your caulking, it’s probably because it’s spread deep into unseen spaces behind it. If so, re-caulking may solve the problem. Just be sure to follow these tips to keep the problem from getting worse:

  • Once you’ve removed the compromised caulk, be sure to thoroughly clean and dry the area before putting down new caulk.
  • Use caulk labeled specifically for the bathroom, which means it will be mold resistant.
  • Let it cure for at least 24 hours (or as long as it needs to) before taking a shower or bath. If it’s not dry, it’ll allow moisture to creep back in, undoing all your hard work.

Check everywhere for mold. If it keeps coming back, it may have a colony somewhere you haven’t found. Check behind the toilet and under the sink. Moist drywall and wallpaper are tasty treats for mold.

Install a humidity monitor. Affordable at around $10, they can let you know when moisture is building before it turns into an indoor rain forest.

Know when to get help. If it keeps coming back, or you see areas of mold the size of a quarter or bigger you want professional help. “You’re dealing with excessive moisture or a food source that needs to be controlled,” Duncanson says.

How to Get Rid of Bathroom Mold:

  • Use soap and water, not bleach. Bleach only discolors it; it does not get rid of mold.
  • Keep your bathroom as dry as possible. Use squeegees on shower walls and doors. Use an exhaust fan religiously. Wipe wet areas with dry towels.
  • Recaulk your tile if necessary. Be sure to get caulk that is meant for humid and wet areas, like bathrooms.
  • Get a humidity monitor to let you know when moisture is building up to mold-friendly levels.

9 Irritating Things About Summer Heat (and How to Nix Them)!

September 3, 2018

By: Nancy Mann Jackson

Like bugs. And leggy flowers. And sky-high energy bills.

Dog days of summer? More like the mosquito days. And super sweaty days. By the end of summer it can feel like bugs, grime, sweat, and heat have taken over your home. And you get to pay for it with high cooling bills. Ugh.

Here are the most annoying things about summer and how to get rid of them:

#1 Spiders and Ants:

When the days are long and hot, bugs get thirsty, just like we do. So they may be invading your home in search of water.

To cut them off from your homey oasis, you’ll need to make sure your doors and windows are sealed, but also check where pipes and wires enter your house for tight seals, too.

How to get rid of spiders:

Vacuum your home thoroughly, clear away any cobwebs, and throw away the vacuum bag. (Vacuums typically kill spiders, but their egg sacs are pretty hardy.)

Peppermint oil, diluted with water in a spray bottle, can also help drive away some spider species.

How to get rid of ants:

When you catch an ant on the march, you’ll need to do more than un-premeditated murder to halt the parade.

Ants leave a scent trail wherever they go, so clean the area with soap and water to knock out the parade route.

Then go after the whole colony with a cup of warm water, 1/2 cup of sugar, and 3 tablespoons of boric acid. Dip cotton balls in the mixture, and place them in dishes in areas where you’ve seen ants.

#2 Stinky Garbage

In late summer, everything is ripe — including your trash. Alas, garbage is garbage, but you can deodorize your trash can in a couple of ways:

  • Make the night before the garbage truck comes “Clean-Out-the-Fridge Day” to minimize stinky leftovers piling up in the bag.
  • Sprinkle a little baking soda in the bottom of each new liner, and add a bit more to the trash every morning. Tossing a dryer sheet in the bottom of every trash bag — even if it’s already been used in the dryer — can also help neutralize nasty odors.

#3 Hot Feet on the Patio or Deck:

Foot burns are the worst.

Soothe your soles. Add a pergola over your patio or deck, and you’ll increase your home’s value while protecting your bare feet.

Other options, such as a retractable canvas awning or a shade sail, can also do the trick while adding versatility and color to your outdoor space.

#4 Ugly, Leggy Plants:

By late summer, your plants may begin to look leggy, meaning they’re just long stems with a meek flower at the end.

Rather than looking foliage-full like they did a month or two ago, leggy plants look thin, spindly, and sad. Not so good for curb appeal.

Grab your clippers for an easy fix. Just cut back about half the stems two-thirds of the way to their base. Within a couple of weeks, those cut stems will be blooming with new flowers, and you can cut back the other half.

Your refreshed pots and beds should keep looking good (and getting enviable looks from neighbors) for a few more months.

#5 Mosquitoes:

Cheesy pun alert: Mosquitoes are the ultimate summer buzzkill. (We warned you.)

But it’s true: Nothing ruins outdoor fun faster than swarm of these pesky stingers.

Clogged gutters with standing water are basically a mosquito maternity ward, so keep them clear of debris at all times.

Look for other areas that contain standing water, and clean them regularly: the dog’s outdoor water bowl, the bird bath, and that wagon the kids left out before it rained.

Also, it may seem obvious, but: Install an outdoor fan! Mosquitoes are wimps when it comes to breezes.

#6 Pop-Up Thunderstorms:

Those pop-up summer storms can be a refreshing break from a hot spell. But when a freak storm leaves a large branch or tree in your yard — or worse, on your home or fence — it can be downright scary.

The good news is that when a tree — even your neighbor’s tree — lands on your home or other insured structure, your homeowner’s insurance should cover it.

If it simply landed in your yard and didn’t hit a structure, you’re likely on your own when it comes to removing the debris. In that case, take comfort in the fact that your house is safe.

#7 Sky-High Power Bills:

As summer heat rises, so do your utility bills.

To fight back against the annual assault of energy bills, start with the basics: Install a programmable thermostat — and program it. Get your AC maintained regularly to increase its efficiency, and replace the air filters regularly.

Beyond that, some creative cooling strategies can help you save even more. So turn off your central air, and employ these cheaper cooling techniques.

Here’s how to lower your power bill in the summer:

  • Get a couple of cheaper window units for key rooms and use only when there. Like the bedroom when you’re sleeping, or one near the dog’s crate when you’re gone.
  • You can also free yourself from AC completely, using fans.
  • And during the daytime, when the sun is beating down, draw your blinds and curtains — a simple step that can drastically reduce the sun’s effect on your home’s indoor temp.

#8 HVAC Noise:

Who can enjoy the birds chirping and crickets cricketing with your AC whizzing all day?

Don’t sweat the noise pollution; take the opportunity to drown it out with something beautiful, like a water feature in your backyard. There’s nothing like the sound of rushing water to lull you into relaxing, forgetting the heat, and soaking up the last few weeks of summer.

Or just switch that baby off. Who needs to cool the house when you’re sipping ice tea on the patio?

#9 A Crunchy, Brown Lawn:

By late summer, we’re all wilting a bit. But when your once-lush lawn seems to have brown highlights — or a complete brown color wash — your home’s curb appeal will start drying up.

Brown grass isn’t always nature’s fault. Your brown grass may be the result of mowing your grass too short. Leave at least 1-3 inches of grass above the root so the grass can absorb enough water to combat the heat.

If your grass is browning because of drought, make sure your sprinklers are adjusted properly, and water less often for longer periods.

If you live in a drought-prone area, you may be better off removing most of your grass and opting for hardscaping or another drought-friendly groundcover.

What’s not to like about stone walls, gravel paths, or paved patios? Install enough of it, and you can ditch your lawn completely.

Renovated home for sale in Leicester!

September 3, 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!

Check out the full listing HERE!

Check out the 3D tour HERE!

11 Dangerous Trees You Should Never Plant in Your Yards!

August 30, 2018

By: Houselogic.com

Some trees are more trouble than they’re worth. Before you head to a nursery, see our slideshow. Then, see even more trees readers hate.

1. Silver maple (Acer saccharinum):

Big, fast-growing, and a dandy shade tree, silver maple is widespread in eastern states and the Midwest. Unfortunately, the speed at which the tree grows makes for weak, brittle wood that may break during severe storms. The shallow root system invades sewage pipes and drain fields, and is notorious for cracking driveways and walkways.

2. Ash (Fraxinus):

Sturdy and tough, the many varieties of ash that populate North America are some of our most beloved trees. Professional baseball bats are made from its wood — how American is that? But the venerable ash is threatened by the emerald ash borer, a tiny beetle that’s on track to wipe out the species. If you’re looking for a long-term tree for your yard, look elsewhere.

3. Quaking Aspen (Populus tremuloides):

The aspen is found in northern climes and higher elevations. Its white bark and gently vibrating leaves are attractive, but its root system is insidious, sending up dozens of suckers that relentlessly try to turn into new trees. Once established, it’s war. In fact, the largest living organism in the world is a Colorado aspen root system called Pando. It weighs 6,600 tons and is thought to be 80,000 years old. Try digging that out!

4. Lombardy Poplar (P. nigra ‘Italica’):

The Lombardy poplar was once a favorite landscaping tree known for its speedy growth (up to 6 feet a year) and distinctive columnar shape. However, they’re prone to a number of diseases and bugs that turn them into raggedy eyesores, and their running roots are invasive and difficult to eradicate.

5. Willow (Salix):

With its long, slender branches that hang down like Rapunzel’s tresses, the willow is one of the most recognizable of all trees. Beautiful on the outside, yes, but the willow has an aggressive, water-hungry root system that terrorizes drain fields, sewer lines, and irrigation pipes. The wood is weak and prone to cracking, and the tree is relatively short-lived, lasting only about 30 years.

6. Eucalyptus:

Imported from Australia and popularized for their speedy growth — some varieties will shoot up 10 feet in a year — the eucalyptus has a bad rap for suddenly and unexpectedly dropping big, heavy, resin-filled branches. In some areas of Australia, campers are warned not to pitch tents under eucalyptus trees. Its showy bark peels off annually and adds to seasonal maintenance chores.

7. Bradford pear (Pyrus calleryana):

The Bradford pear was imported to the U.S. from China in the early 1900s as replacement for orchard trees that were dying. With its compact shape and profusion of spring blossoms, the Bradford pear became a suburban favorite — until folks realized that it was highly prone to splitting and cracking when it reached maturity. And those blossoms? They’re on the stinky side of the fragrance scale.

8. Mountain cedar (Juniperus ashei):

Stay away from the mountain cedar in late winter. This bushy tree, native to the south central U.S., releases massive amounts of pollen during the cooler months, causing severe allergic reactions in many people. Even if you don’t have allergies, planting one in your yard may affect your neighbors.

9. Mulberry (Morus):

Big surface roots, lots of pollen, messy fruit, and shade so dense that grass refuses to grow underneath. What’s to like about the mulberry? If you’re a silkworm, the answer is: plenty! The mulberry is the silkworm’s only source of food. Silkworm farmers should plant away! Otherwise, you’ll be happier with a different kind of tree in your yard.

10. Black walnut (Juglans nigra):

Native to North America, this well-known shade tree produces prized cabinet- and furniture-making wood. It also produces pollen and plenty of fruit that’ll drive you, well, nuts when you have to clean it all up in the fall. It’s true sinister side, however, is that it secretes growth-inhibiting toxins that kill nearby plants, wreaking havoc on flower beds and vegetable gardens.

11. Leyland cypress (Cupressocyparis leylandii):

These fast-growing evergreen trees are favored for their ability to quickly create a living privacy screen. However, they require constant upkeep and trimming to keep them healthy, and as they get taller they’re increasingly likely to uproot during storms. The center of the tree forms a mass of dried twigs and branches that are considered such a fire hazard that many communities officially caution residents against planting them.

Kitchen Color Schemes: How to Avoid Kitschy Colors!

August 29, 2018

By: Lisa Kahn

The timeless beauty of versatile hues.

The kitchen is the heart of the household, a place where you prepare meals and make memories. So it only makes sense that your kitchen’s color scheme reflects your unique tastes and personality, right? 

The answer to that is yes — and no.

Although there may be a special hue that gets your heart thumping, there are many reasons why it makes sense to opt for a neutral palette in your kitchen. Many design professionals agree that using shades like white, beige, or gray as the foundation for your kitchen not only open up a spectrum of colorful possibilities, but enhance the value of your home.

The Never-Regret Factor:

“Timeless colors are perfect, whether for resale or for your dream home,” says Jackie Jordan, Dallas-based director of color marketing for Sherwin-Williams. “Your kitchen won’t suffer from this-looks-like-it-was-done-in-the-90s comments if you opt for a neutral palette.”

“It’s a space where potential buyers envision themselves spending a lot of time,” agrees Sue Pelley, spokesperson for Decorating Den Interiors in Easton, Md. Thus, although you may believe your purple cabinets are divine, others may think they’re dreadful. And that, she says, can be a real barrier to a sale.

The Versatility of Neutrals:

But does going soft and natural mean you have to stifle your inner Van Gogh? Not a chance.

“A neutral kitchen is the perfect canvas to personalize as your tastes change,” says Jordan. “It gives you the opportunity to accessorize with fun rugs, dinnerware — even just a fresh vase of flowers to liven things up.”

“I love being able to change moods with colors, often inspired by the changing seasons,” says Wendy F. Johnson, a certified kitchen and bath designer based in Manchester Village, Vt. “Neutrals can provide the base for a huge range of related or contrasting colors to be used with them, from bright and saturated to peaceful, muted hues.”

Texture also adds enormous impact to a neutral kitchen. A combination of materials from rough to smooth and matte to high gloss creates visual contrast and reflects light differently throughout the day, says Johnson. “For example, you can mix barn wood walls and satin painted drywall, white oak cabinetry with glass insets, lustrous concrete countertops with a stone tile backsplash. These might all be in the same tones, but there is nothing boring here.”

Using Color to Complement Your Kitchen’s Size:

Your kitchen’s square footage is another important factor to consider when choosing a color palette. If the space is small, opt for paler hues for cabinets, walls, and countertops. Shades of white, bone, or cream reflect light and help a tiny kitchen feel brighter and more spacious.

Neutrals are also a great choice for kitchens that open up to other rooms, notes Pelley. “If your kitchen is part of a great room design, remember that any new paint will need to work with the color schemes in those rooms, too.”

Non-Permanent Ways to Add Pops of Color:

Rather than committing to a single color scheme, a neutral kitchen lets you sample the rainbow. One option is to choose coordinating window treatments and chair cushions to liven up the space, says Johnson. An eye-catching poster, multihued area rug, or a collection of pottery displayed on a shelf all add personality to your kitchen and are easy to change when you’re ready for something new.

Paint is another low-cost way to incorporate a pop or two of color into a neutral room. You can grab a brush and paint your kitchen chairs or counter stools, or add a bright hue to the interior of a glass cabinet. Ready for something bigger? Consider rolling a bold shade on a single wall to create lively contrast in an otherwise single-color space.

Top Neutral Color Schemes:

Neutrals may be timeless, but there are some combinations that look especially fresh. “I love warm grays and whites — always have,” says Johnson. “There are so many natural materials available in these tones that mix together beautifully, and all colors look gorgeous against this type of palette.”

Sherwin-Williams’ Jordan also favors white and light grays in a kitchen. “It’s a sleek and modern combination that works perfectly with the ever-popular stainless steel appliances and subway tile.”

When it comes to a big-ticket item like a kitchen, it makes sense to choose a palette that will endure for the long term, says Johnson. “Those of us who thrive in colorful surroundings will groan at this, but even we need some soft, peaceful environments sometimes.”

A Seller’s Guide to Navigating the Home Inspection!

August 28, 2018

By: Houselogic.com

Passing the inspection advances you to the next level: closing the deal on your house.

Getting beyond the home inspection is sort of like advancing to the next level in a video game.

When you get past this step, you get to advance to a fresh, exciting place — your new home, to be exact.

In Every Inspection, There Are Stakes for Buyers and Sellers:

Once the buyer has made, and you’ve accepted, the offer, your home will get the once-over from the buyer’s home inspector. The inspection is usually a contingency of the offer, meaning the buyer can back out based on serious problems discovered. The lender also expects an inspection to make sure it’s making a good investment. Makes sense, right?

During the home inspection, an inspector will examine the property for flaws. Based on the inspector’s report the buyer will then give you a list of repair requests.

Your agent will work with you to negotiate those requests. Don’t want to be responsible for a repair? (Maybe it’s best if the buyer has the fix made by their own contractor anyway.) Your agent may be able to negotiate a price credit with the buyer instead.

By the way, inspections aren’t necessarily a big, scary deal. Your agent will help advise you about repairs you need to make before the inspection. In fact, she may have made those recommendations to you even before you put the home on the market. And if you’ve been maintaining your home all along (and you have, right?), your punch list may be minimal.

In addition, back when you put the home on the market, you were required to disclose to buyers the home’s “material defects” — anything you know about the home that can either have a significant impact on the market value of the property or impair the safety of the house for occupants. Material defects tend to be big underlying problems, like foundation cracks, roof leaks, basement flooding, or termite infestation.

What a Home Inspection Covers Depends on the Home:

Every home is different, so which items are checked during your property’s inspection may vary. But home inspectors typically look at the following areas during a basic inspection:

  • Plumbing systems
  • Electrical systems
  • Kitchen appliances
  • Heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment
  • Doors and windows
  • Attic insulation
  • Foundation and basement
  • Exterior (e.g., siding, paint, outdoor light fixtures)
  • Grounds

Depending on the sales contract, the purchase may also be contingent on a roof inspection, radon inspection, or termite inspection.

What a home inspection won’t cover is the unseen. Your inspector isn’t going to rip open walls or mountaineer on the roof. (Though that would be kind of exciting to watch.)

So What Do You Need to Fix?

A home inspection report is by no means a to-do list of things that you must address. Many home repairs, including cosmetic issues and normal wear and tear, are negotiable.

There are, however, three occasionally overlapping types of repairs that sellers are typically required to deal with after a home inspection:

  • Structural defects. This is any physical damage to the load-bearing elements of a home; these issues include a crack in the foundation, roof framing damage, and decaying floor boards.
  • Safety issues. Homes for sale have to meet certain safety standards. Depending on where you live, safety issues that you, the seller, may have to address could include mold problems, wildlife infestation, or exposed electrical wiring.
  • Building code violations. Building code violations — such as the absence of smoke detectors, use of non-flame retardant roofing material, and use of lead paint after 1978 — must be addressed by the seller.

Again, addressing these might take the form of a credit on the pirce, which in the case of structural issues could be sizeable.

Use This Checklist to Prepare for a Home Inspection:

So, are you ready for the inspection? If you take these steps (with your agent’s assistance) you will be:

  • Assemble your paperwork. Transparency is key. Ideally, you’ll have summaries or invoices of renovations, maintenance, and repairs you’ve done on your home that you can provide to the home buyer. Create a file that collects this documentation and share it with the buyer.
  • Make sure your home is squeaky clean. Your home should be pristine when the inspector arrives — a good first impression will set a positive tone. Take time to declutter and deep clean the whole house. A deep clean (stuff like cleaning the range hood and upholstery and sanitizing garbage cans), averages between $200 and $400, according to Angie’s List, depending on the size and condition of your home.
  • Remove any obstacles that may block the inspector’s access. Take measures to ensure the inspector has complete access to all facets of the property, including electrical panels, attic space, and fireplaces. This may require temporarily moving clothing and other items that impede access.
  • Leave the utilities on. For the home inspector to test items such as the stove, dishwasher, furnace, and air conditioning system, the utilities must be connected regardless of whether the house is vacant; otherwise, the inspector may need to reschedule, which can potentially push back closing.
  • Fix minor problems ahead of time. Many cosmetic issues — say, a broken light fixture or a scratch on the wall — are minor and easy to fix, but they can make buyers more concerned about how well you’ve maintained other areas of the home. It’s best to take care of small problems yourself before the buyer’s inspection.

It’s a Good Idea to Do Your Own Inspection Before the Inspection:

Some sellers choose to hire their own home inspector to check the property before their house is even listed. This is called a “pre-listing inspection,” and it has several advantages:

  • It can give you time to fix deal breakers. Granted, a pre-inspection costs money — a basic inspection is about $315, with condos and homes under 1,000 sq ft. costing as little as $200 and homes over 2,000 sq ft. running $400 or more, according to HomeAdvisor.com. That said, it can enable you to address major issues that could cause a buyer to pull out of their offer. Big problems may include mold, water damage, or foundation cracks.
  • It can mean fewer surprises — and help you market your home. Knowing what needs to be fixed in your home in advance will enable you to be upfront with buyers about any big pre-existing issues, which can give buyers peace of mind. You can also make it known to prospective buyers that consideration for those items has already been factored into the sales price.
  • It can speed up the negotiation process. Having a pre-listing inspection can help reduce, or even eliminate the time-consuming process of having back-and-forth negotiations.

If you discover any material defects to the property in a pre-listing inspection, you are legally required to disclose them to buyers — even if you fix them. Also there’s no guarantee that the buyer’s own inspection won’t reveal things yours didn’t find. The choice to do a pre-listing inspection is yours, but it never hurts to get a head start on repairs.

Be Aware of These Tried-and-True Tactics for Negotiating Repairs:

When it comes to repairs, your agent will haggle with the buyer’s agent for you — though it’s ultimately your decision as to how you want to respond to the buyer’s home repair requests.

Here are four time-tested negotiating techniques that your agent may deploy to protect your best interests — without reducing the sales price:

  • Agree to make reasonable repairs. Unless your house is flawless — and the reality is that no one’s is — be prepared to receive repair requests from the buyer. You don’t have to offer to fix everything that buyer asks of you, but you should take responsibility for major issues.
  • Offer a closing cost credit. Don’t want to deal with the hassle of making or ordering home repairs yourself? Ask your agent to offer the buyer a credit at closing for the estimated costs. This can also help you avoid complaints from the buyer over the quality of the workmanship, since you won’t be the one overseeing the repairs.
  • Barter. One way to smooth things over with a buyer and keep the deal moving forward is to offer something of value that’s unrelated to the requested repairs. For example, if you know the buyer loves the new couch or bedroom set you bought, you could offer to leave it behind in exchange for making fewer repairs.
  • Leverage the market. You may have more negotiating power depending on where you live. In a hot seller’s market, for instance, you might be in the position to offer the buyer fewer repairs, especially if you have another buyer eager to make an offer.

Home inspection may sound like a burdensome process, especially when you’re so close to your goal. But when you cross it off your list, you’re readier than ever to jump to the next level — and into your life’s newest phase.

Renovated home for sale in Leicester!

August 27, 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!

Check out the full listing HERE!

Check out the 3D tour HERE!