Donna Coffin - ERA Key Realty Services - Distinctive Group



Posted by Donna Coffin on 4/20/2018

Houses today are built larger than ever. In spite of all the extra rooms, homeowners still have one common complaint: not enough storage space.

When house hunting, buyers often name storage space as one of their key concerns. As nest-makers, we often find it difficult to part ways with toys for our kids, exercise machines that are collecting dust, or old appliances that ďstill workĒ but no longer worked for us. That leaves homeowners with two options: rent a storage facility or make room.

Taking on an extra monthly bill just to store things that you arenít using isnít an idea that sits well with most homeowners who are already inundated with monthly expenses. But how can you create more space in your home than you already have? The answer lies somewhere up near the ceiling.

In this article, weíll talk about the vertical space in your home and how to take advantage of it without making things appear cluttered.

When and when not to use vertical space

Before we give you vertical storage tips, first letís talk about where you donít want to stack the boxes high.

Rooms where you have guest and the places in your home where you spend the most time arenít the ideal place for vertical storage. The living room, bathrooms, and bedrooms are all places where you need room to breathe. We often recommend light colors, open windows, and mirrors to improve the usage of space in these rooms. However, there are other places in your home that arenít frequented as often.

ďWhere am I going to put this thing?Ē

Thatís a questions many of us ask ourselves when we make a new purchase. Letís start outside the house and work out way in, hitting all of the best areas to store things.

The garage or shed

If you have a shed or garage, odds are thereís a lot of space up toward the ceiling you arenít using. A good way to take advantage of this is to use shelving and hooks for your tools.

If youíre a cyclist but canít figure out where to store your bikes during the winter, consider buying hooks so that you can store them up out of the way of the more useful winter items like shovels and snow blowers.

Kitchen storage

Kitchen cabinets can get cluttered easily. Inside your cabinets, try using stacking shelves to make it easier to stack high things like plates and bowls. For frequently used utensils, pots, and pans, and knives, consider installing a hook board on the wall above your counter. This will open up room in your cabinets and make your frequently used kitchen tools more accessible.

Bathroom storage

The bathroom closet can be a scary place. It is often home to countless cleaning objects, dirty laundry, towels, and more.

One great way to open up a lot of space in the bathroom closet is to hang laundry baskets on the interior of the closet door, or to hang mops, sweepers, and vacuums on the interior of the door for easy access.

Now that you know the benefits of vertical storage, think about how you can use it in your home to save space.




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Posted by Donna Coffin on 4/14/2018

This Single-Family in Marlborough, MA recently sold for $290,000. This Colonial style home was sold by Donna Coffin - ERA Key Realty Services - Distinctive Group.


89 Prospect St, Marlborough, MA 01752

Single-Family

$264,900
Price
$290,000
Sale Price

7
Rooms
3
Beds
1/1
Full/Half Baths
Looking for lots of space? Your search is over! This three bedroom, 1.5 bath colonial offers open first floor layout with large living room and dining room which is perfect for all your entertaining. Mud area off kitchen offering stainless steel appliances and an abundance of cabinets. Pedestal sink in half bath with washer/dryer. Three generous sized bedrooms and additional space in huge finished attic which would be a great family room, teen space or man cave. Other amenities hardwood flooring on first and second levels, bay window in living room, built in china cabinet in dining room and lovely farmer's porch. Updated roof/ 2014, replacement windows, hot water heater/2013, Nest Smart thermostat and new sump pump which was just installed. Walk downtown to nearby parks and restaurants. Southborough Commuter Rail 10 minutes, 40 minutes to Boston and minutes away from the amazing Apex Entertainment Center.

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Categories: Sold Homes  


Posted by Donna Coffin on 4/13/2018

Radon has no smell, taste, or color. It is a transparent, radioactive gas. Radon is released when the uranium that is contained in the soil and rocks decays over time. The reason that radon is an issue in a home is because it is released through cracks or openings that exist in the foundation. If too much radon is present in the home, the radioactive particles can attach themselves to dust particles, causing people in the home to breathe the harmful substance in.  


What Is A Radon Test?


The radon test is conducted over the course of two days. A testing machine or canisters are placed on the lowest habitable level of a home being tested. This would be either on the first floor or in the finished basement level of the home. The cost of a radon test isnít very much, ranging anywhere from $65 to $125. The radon test is typically part of the home inspection, but sometimes other circumstances warrant a test or re-test. The canisters take a bit more time to produce results than the testing machines do, so confer with your inspector before the test is done.   


The Basics


One thing you should know is that radon is always present. The level of radon fluctuates constantly. The test is conducted over a two day period to get the average level of radon in the home. The Environmental Protection Agency considers levels of radon at or above 4 pCi/L to be unsafe. If this is found to be true, there is a solution, however, as systems that lessen the amount of radon in the home can be installed. These can come with a hefty price tag, costing anywhere from $1,000 and up.   


Radon Levels


Radon levels will vary on a daily basis. They can also vary by season, with weather conditions and with the amount of available ventilation. Structural changes that have been made to the home can also have an effect on the levels of radon in the home. If you are getting ready to sell your home and already have a radon mitigation system installed, you may want to test the levels before you even put your home on the market to know what youíre working with. The system may not be working properly, or the levels may have faced a sharp increase, making it hard for the removal system to keep up. 


 With the proper installation of a radon removal system, the air in your home will be safe to breathe. If you put an offer in on a home and the home inspection finds that there are unsafe levels of radon present, at least youíll know what youíre dealing with. If you decide that the home is not the place for you and your family, even with a removal system, youíll walk away from the deal informed. If youíre a seller, beware that the level of radon in your home could affect the sale. Although radon sounds like a scary thing, itís manageable. Radon tests and removal systems help to keep the levels safe.




Tags: radon   testing for radon  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Donna Coffin on 4/6/2018

Whether you call it a "rainy day fund" or a "financial cushion", having some money set aside for emergencies or unexpected expenses can help keep life on an even keel.

Although health insurance and a homeowners' policy can provide a measure of protection, insurance deductibles can take a large bite out of your bank account.

In addition to all the predictable expenses that accompany home ownership, mechanical systems like furnaces, hot water heaters, and air conditioning units have a way of breaking down at the most inopportune times. Another crisis that many people aren't prepared for is the potential loss of a job. When families don't have money set aside to weather the storm of an unplanned income loss, then there's no "safety net" to cushion the fall.

Strategies For Saving Money

The good news is that there are plenty of ways to build up financial reserves, but it often requires self discipline, a new set of habits, and the intention to make it happen. One of the first steps to putting some money aside for a rainy day is to open up a separate bank account. If you put extra money in your regular account -- or (even worse) keep it around the house -- chances are it will get spent pretty quickly. However, if it's deposited into a separate account that's designated for emergencies, unexpected household expenses, or even a college fund, then it'll stand a greater chance of being left alone until it's needed. Putting money aside does take some doing, but it can contribute to your family's financial security and ability to do things that are important to you.

If you have a tight budget, you're probably wondering where this extra money is going to come from! Sometimes, the very act of developing a written budget can provide you with clues and ideas for reducing your expenses. You'd also be amazed at how much the savings can add up when you comparison shop, buy in bulk, use coupons, negotiate lower interest charges on your credit cards, quit smoking, car pool to work, cut back on restaurant food, and make up your mind to live just a little more frugally.

Depending on how committed you are to creating a financial cushion, you could also make the fund grow faster by depositing a percentage of Christmas bonuses, tax refunds, manufacturer rebates, salary increases (raises), and other sources of extra income. Additional ways to beef up your financial safety net could include getting a part-time job, doing freelance work, holding a garage sale, or selling unwanted items through ads or flyers. When you pay off credit cards, car loans, or other debts, you could also redirect some or all of those monthly payments into your "future needs fund."

Whatever you decide to call it, it's nice to know that there's some extra money on hand for unexpected expenses, emergencies, potential job losses, college tuition, weddings, family vacations, home renovations, nursing home costs, or even retirement.






Posted by Donna Coffin on 3/30/2018

Let's face it Ė maintaining a pristine front yard and beautiful garden can be a lot of work. As such, you may look to a landscaping company for help, especially if you intend to list your house soon.

A landscaping company can help you improve your house's curb appeal. And if your home boasts amazing curb appeal, you may be able to increase the likelihood of a fast, profitable house sale.

When it comes to selecting a landscaping company, there's a lot to consider. In fact, some of the questions that you'll want to think about before you make your final decision include:

1. What types of services do I need?

Hiring a landscaping company to mow the front lawn every two weeks is different than employing a landscaper to overhaul your back lawn. Thus, you should consider exactly what you want from a landscaping company to ensure you can find a landscaper that can fulfill your requests.

Of course, it never hurts to reach out to a landscaping company to find out what types of services are available. This also will enable you to receive immediate responses to any landscaping concerns or questions.

2. Does a landscaping company offer services that fall within my budget?

A landscaping company will ensure that you won't have to worry about completing lawn maintenance tasks on your own. At the same time, you'll need to budget for a landscaping company's services.

Ultimately, it is beneficial to establish a landscaping budget. With this budget at your disposal, you'll know precisely how much you can spend to hire a landscaping company.

For those who want to find the right landscaping company, you should be ready to shop around too. If you search for a wide range of landscaping companies in your city or town, you're sure to find a landscaper that delivers the ideal mix of affordability and quality.

3. What are past clients saying about a landscaping company?

If you're on the lookout for a landscaping company, it generally is a good idea to gain firsthand insights into what it's like to work with a particular business. By analyzing client reviews, you can collect insights into a landscaper that you may struggle to obtain elsewhere.

Oftentimes, you may be able to find client reviews about a landscaping company online. You also may want to reach out to a landscaping company and request client referrals. Because once you understand how past clients rate a landscaping company, you can make an informed decision about whether a landscaper is right for you.

As you get ready to sell your house, you may want to collaborate with a real estate agent as well. A real estate agent is happy to offer expert guidance as you search for ways to enhance your house's curb appeal. Plus, a real estate agent may be able to put you in touch with the top-rated landscaping companies in your area and ensure you can get the help you need to differentiate your home from the competition.




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