Cathy Toomey
Stone Ridge Properties | 978-609-3970 | cathyt@stoneridgeproperties.com


Posted by Cathy Toomey on 8/11/2020

Image by TeroVesalainen from Pixabay

Is your workspace feeling a little blah lately?  The new year is just the right time to make a change!  Make it part of your New Year's resolution to create a cheery, bright, and welcoming workspace by upcycling your old, dingy file cabinet into this blackboard-sided, pretty yet utilitarian piece of office furniture!

You'll Need:

  • A filing cabinet or cabinets
    You probably have a filing cabinet sitting in your office or garage already and if not, you can easily source one from a thrift store or used office supply warehouse.  If you do buy your file cabinet(s) used, be sure to check them carefully for rust and make sure you can easily open and close each drawer before making your purchase.
  • Spraypaint and spray sealant
    Choose a cheery color several shades more intense than your wall or carpet color. 
  • Blackboard paint
    Blackboard paint is the best thing since sliced bread.  It may seem like an expensive buy, but you won't use it all on this project unless you're working with multiple filing cabinets, and you'll find yourself wanting to use it all over your house: it's addictive!
  • Tools to remove your hardware
    You will need a screwdriver to remove the drawer handles and locks from your file cabinet.
  • Sandpaper
    You'll need fine-grained sandpaper for this project.  An electric sander would come in very handy!
  • Primer and/or Sealant
    You'll need to use a basic primer to ensure that your paint stays put!
  • Garbage bags and painter's tape
    If you don't have a dropcloth, several large black garbage bags taped together with masking tape do just fine!
  • Spongy applicators for blackboard paint (or a small roller)

Steps:

  1. First, remove all your hardware: the drawer handles, locks, and so on.
  2. Sand your filing cabinet.  Your goal isn't necessarily to remove the paint, but to create a rasp to which your primer can adhere, and to remove any peeling paint or flakes of rust.
  3. Remove the drawers and lay them out on your dropcloth.  Next, use a spray primer to create a tacky surface to which your paint can adhere.  Make sure you spray everywhere you'll paint, including your fittings if you plan to paint these.  Some blackboard paint doesn't require a primer; read the instructions on your paint to find out.  
    Note: Spray the back of the cabinet as well as the front; you never know which way it will face in the future! 
  4. Wait the prescribed amount of time for the primer to dry.
  5. Next, paint the left, right, and back of the cabinet and the space between the drawers with blackboard paint using your roller.  Continue applying coats until the look satisfies. 
  6. Using painter's tape, wrap a garbage bag 'cape' just beneath the top of the cabinet so only the top is exposed.  Then, spray the top of the cabinet with your spraypaint.  Then do the same with the drawers.  
    Note: Slower is better: do several light coats instead of trying to apply a great deal of spraypaint at once.  Check out this great article for ultimate spraypainting tips!
  7. You may choose to apply spraypaint to the hardware, keep it plain, or paint it with blackboard paint as well.  If you choose to spraypaint your hardware, be sure you've primed it thoroughly, first.
  8. Keeping the 'cape' in place, spray a sealant over your spraypaint.  Do not spray the sealant over your blackboard paint.
  9. Once the cabinet is completely dry, re-attach your hardware and place the drawers back inside the cabinet.

Now you have a beautiful, bright, blackboard-sided filing cabinet!  The blackboard paint along the edges of each drawer allows you to label the contents with chalk markers and easily erase them if you rearrange your filing system.  You can put to-do lists or draw your calendar on the sides.

Some Additional Ideas for this Project:

  • Do the entire filing cabinet in blackboard paint!
  • Apply stick-on decals before applying a sealant over your paint.
  • Mod Podge over textured paper, wallpaper, contact paper, old maps or newsprint to the front of your drawers rather than spraypainting them.  Apply a sealant as usual when you're done.
  • Use painter's tape to create amazing patterns on your drawers or on the top of your cabinet.
  • Edge the top and bottom of the drawers -- or the top of the cabinet -- with washi tape.  Use Mod Podge and sealant to ensure it doesn't peel up over time.




Categories: DIY  


Posted by Cathy Toomey on 8/4/2020

The home selling journey sometimes can be long and complicated. Lucky for you, we're here to address home selling challenges and ensure you can seamlessly list your house and maximize your home sale earnings.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you approach the home selling journey with confidence.

1. Learn About Your Home's Strengths and Weaknesses

Let's face it even though you've allocated significant time and resources to upgrade your home over the years, your house is far from perfect. Fortunately, if you take an objective look at your residence, you can identify problem areas and address them before you list your house.

In many instances, it helps to conduct a house inspection prior to adding a home to the real estate market. This inspection enables a property expert to assess your residence and provide valuable feedback. Then, you can use a home inspection report to prioritize house improvements.

For home sellers, it is important to do everything possible to transform various home weaknesses into strengths. If you perform home repairs, you may be able to boost your house's value. Plus, completing home repairs may help you differentiate your residence from the competition and speed up the house selling journey.

2. Analyze the Real Estate Market

The real estate market moves quickly, and a buyer's market today could morph into a seller's market tomorrow, or vice-versa. If you learn about the real estate market, however, you may be able to identify opportunities to distinguish your residence from comparable houses in your city or town.

For example, if you find that houses are selling at or below their initial asking prices and take many weeks or months to sell, you may be operating in a buyer's market. To differentiate your house in a buyer's market, you may want to upgrade your residence's curb appeal. Also, it may be beneficial to set an aggressive initial home asking price that is sure to garner buyers' attention.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

When it comes to selling a residence, it helps to work with a housing market expert. If you hire a real estate agent, you can get the help you need to streamline the house selling journey.

A real estate agent is dedicated to helping you achieve the best-possible results. He or she first will learn about your home selling goals and craft a custom house selling strategy for you. Next, a real estate agent will promote your residence to the right groups of prospective buyers and set up home showings and open house events. And if you receive an offer to purchase your home, a real estate agent will provide a recommendation about whether to accept, reject or counter this proposal.

If you need assistance as you get ready to sell your home, you may want to contact a real estate agent. By working with a real estate agent, you can receive extensive support as you navigate the house selling journey.





Posted by Cathy Toomey on 7/30/2020

This Single-Family in Amesbury, MA recently sold for $330,000. This Colonial,Bungalow style home was sold by Cathy Toomey - Stone Ridge Properties.


43 Whitehall, Amesbury, MA 01913

Single-Family

$325,000
Price
$330,000
Sale Price

4
Rooms
1
Beds
1
Baths
Opportunity isn't just knocking, it is pounding on the door! This home has so much potential. While only one bedroom now on the first floor there is a full walk up attic just waiting for someone to add bedrooms and a bathroom. The house is full of light and the living room is large with a three season sun porch right off of it. .The kitchen has lots of cabinets and is open to the dining area. The master bedroom is on the first floor with a walk in closet. Need space for your toys or tools? The two story barn is the answer. There is also a car port and lots of parking. It is only a short walk to downtown Amesbury.

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Categories: Sold Homes  


Posted by Cathy Toomey on 7/28/2020

This Condo in Amesbury, MA recently sold for $325,000. This Townhouse style home was sold by Cathy Toomey - Stone Ridge Properties.


14 Greenwood, Amesbury, MA 01913

Condo

$317,500
Price
$325,000
Sale Price

5
Rooms
3
Beds
1/1
Full/Half Baths
Have you been looking for that Highlands location? Look no further. This 2-3 BR, 1.5 bath condo has so much to offer. Drive up the tree lined street in this historic neighborhood to your own oasis. This sunny and bright home has an eat in kitchen, with gas stove, LR with wood floors and two bedrooms and a bathroom. Walk up to the third floor and there is a very large room perfect for so many uses. Teen suite, master bedroom, or in home office. Maybe a game room? Relax on your big deck and hear the birds chirp it is so quiet. Short walk up town to all the shops and restaurants or go in the other direction and relax at Alliance Park on the Merrimack. Laundry is in the unit. OH Sunday 12-2. Offers due Monday June 29th at 6 PM

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Tags: Real-Estate   Amesbury   01913   Condo  
Categories: Sold Homes  


Posted by Cathy Toomey on 7/28/2020

There is no set amount that a homeowner should spend on a smart house device. In fact, depending on the smart gadgets you purchase, you may wind up spending only a few dollars, or hundreds, on these devices. But if you understand how to shop for smart home gadgets, you may be better equipped than other property owners to find high-quality and budget-friendly smart devices for your residence.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you get the most out of your smart home device spending.

1. Choose Only the Smart Home Devices You Need

Although there are many smart home devices available, it is paramount to select only the ones you need for your house. That way, you can keep your smart home device spending in check. Plus, you can avoid the risk of buying smart home gadgets you ultimately won't need.

As you try to sort between smart device wants from needs, consider your day-to-day activities. For instance, if you require energy-efficient and economical lighting for your house, you may want to invest in smart light bulbs. Or, if you are concerned about security, a smart home security system may be an ideal investment.

2. Shop Online and at Brick-and-Mortar Retailers

Smart home devices are available both online and at brick-and-mortar stores. If you shop for smart house gadgets from a variety of retailers, you may find some that offer the optimal combination of affordability, convenience, and quality.

Don't hesitate to ask questions as you shop for smart home devices either. Remember, your goal as a homeowner is to find smart gadgets that can serve you well for an extended period of time. If you ask questions about smart home devices, you can gain the insights you need to make informed purchase decisions.

3. Consider Pre-Owned Smart Home Devices

Smart home device models are constantly evolving, and multiple generations of different gadgets may be available. Keep in mind, however, that an old smart home device model may suit you perfectly at a fraction of the cost of a new version.

Sometimes, you may find pre-owned smart home devices that work great and won't break your budget. If you search smart home device listings on Craigslist and other online marketplaces, for instance, you may find lots of terrific pre-owned smart house gadgets. If you browse these gadgets closely, you may discover a pre-owned smart home device that corresponds to your budget.

For those who want to buy a smart home device, it often helps to remain flexible, too. If you are open to shopping for smart house gadgets from a wide range of manufacturers, you may quickly find a smart home device that is both expertly constructed and affordable.

Ready to purchase one or more smart home devices? Take advantage of the tips above to shop for smart house gadgets, and find devices that fall in line with your finances.







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