Cathy Toomey
Stone Ridge Properties | 978-609-3970 |

Posted by Cathy Toomey on 10/20/2017

Sited on 100 acres with a waterfront park on the Merrimack River, Bartlett’s Reach offers a casually elegant lifestyle with a community clubhouse complete with catering kitchen, lighted tennis courts and in-ground pool. A granite and stainless steel kitchen with island breakfast bar opens to open-concept living/dining area and wrap-around deck. With three spacious floors this three-bedroom, three-full-bath townhouse has a much sought after first-floor Master suite and second bedroom with fantastic closet space. A two-room guest suite on the second floor includes a loft sitting area with a stunning tiled fireplace for cozy nights. And for entertaining the lower level offers a wine cellar, wet bar and ample room for gaming or parties! Beautiful woodwork and ample hardwood floors throughout. There is an attached one car garage. Come home to Bartlett’s Reach.

More Info on this Property | New Listing Alerts

Posted by Cathy Toomey on 10/3/2017

Thankfully, the human brain is usually a pretty efficient mechanism for keeping our lives organized, healthy, and safe.

However, when we're rushed, overwhelmed, or feeling stressed, important tasks, safety measures, and priorities are sometimes forgotten.

Most of the time, this does not pose an imminent health or safety threat, but there are exceptions. Fortunately, there are often simple solutions available and preventative measures we can take.

Finding high-tech (or low-tech) ways to remember important things can provide you and your family with improved home safety, more peace of mind, and other benefits.

Here are a few strategies for overcoming the pitfalls of occasional forgetfulness.

  • Practice present moment awareness. You'll tend to be happier, healthier, and safer when you condition your mind to stay in the present moment as much as possible. Although there is a lot of value in planning for the future and dwelling on happy memories, it's counterproductive to worry about problems that might never happen or regret things from the past that can't be changed. People waste a lot of energy and create self-imposed stress when they spend more than a few seconds worrying or regretting. Staying focused on the present moment also has some health and safety implications worth mentioning. For example, how many times have you left the house (or gone to bed) and wondered if you locked the door, turned off the oven, or unplugged the iron? Getting yourself in the habit of bringing your mind back to the task at hand and being more aware of what you're doing will help you avoid some of these potential dangers, concerns, and distracting  thoughts.
  • Set an alarm as a reminder. If you set an alarm on your mobile device or computer to remind yourself to get ready for an appointment, send an important email, make a phone call, or check on the progress of dinner in the oven, then you never have to worry about getting distracted and losing track of time.
  • Good habits can be a lifesaver. Going through a mental inventory before you leave the house or go to bed can help reduce forgetfulness about locking doors, turning off kitchen appliances, and reactivating the smoke alarm. And speaking of smoke alarms, the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) recommends that homeowners check the batteries in their smoke detectors once a month and replace them with fresh batteries at least once a year. It also urges people to completely replace their smoke alarms every 10 years. Important safety note: The federal agency strongly discourages people from removing smoke detector batteries to silence the device while cooking. Instead, it recommends opening a window, waving a towel at the alarm to clear the air [a paper plate also works], pressing a "hush" button if the unit has one, or moving the alarm several feet away from the cooking area.
While you can't always depend on old-fashioned memory techniques like tying a string around your finger, effective ways to jog your memory can range from using cell phone alarms and appointment-reminder software to low-tech strategies like Post-it notes, to-do lists, wall calendars, and calendar books.

Posted by Cathy Toomey on 9/29/2017

So much has been done to this house over the last few years. The furnace is four years old, the roof is two years old and the windows were done in 2005. The wood floors were just redone and extensive painting was done on the inside and out. Enjoy the kitchen with its vaulted ceiling that has so much light. The living room, dining room and den all have wide pine floors. There are three bedrooms and full bath on the second floor. The screen porch is perfect for those summer evenings . The outbuilding has power for the hobbyist. Close to the Collins Street playground and not far from downtown Amesbury and commuter routes,

More Info on this Property | New Listing Alerts

Posted by Cathy Toomey on 9/29/2017

This two family was owner occupied up until recently. Both units offer great space. There are newer windows on the first and third floor. You will not believe this large yard. There is ample off street parking and the park is across the street and downtown is a short distance.

More Info on this Property | New Listing Alerts

Posted by Cathy Toomey on 9/26/2017

Work that home builders conduct on the parcel of land that you recently purchased to build your dream house on can make or break your residential real estate plans. Pick the wrong contractor to build your new house and you could end up paying thousands more for your house.

Stay out of real estate trouble

At the truly bad end, if you cut a deal with the wrong home builder, you could find yourself center of a local, regional or national real estate scam. Watchfulness can help you to avoid getting scammed. Beginnings of watchfulness start with asking around about home builders and contractors who you are thinking about working with.

Another way to steer clear of real estate home builder scams is to familiarize yourself with signs that a home builder might be shady. Although there may not be a list of all the scams that shady home builders could run, below are a few signs that a home builder may not operate to the letter of the law:

  • Lack of permit - It may not be enough for the contractor who's building your new house to have a general construction license. To perform certain types of work on your house, a contractor might need one or more permits. Types of permits that your city or state government might require include electrical, gas, heating or cooling permits. These permits might be needed to enlarge, replace or repair appliances or entire parts of your new house.
  • Bad history - Shady contractors may have a history of performing below par work on new houses that they work on or repair. One way to tell if a contractor has a bad performance history is to check construction performance review websites. You could also check with professional construction and home builder networks and ask for feedback on a contractor that you're thinking about working with.
  • Ongoing problems - If a contractor keeps finding problems as they build your house, you could be getting scammed. This type of contractor might be in the business to turn a fast profit, not to serve clients.
  • Conflicting stories - Repeatedly changing stories about defects and problems at the property might signal that a contractor is being dishonest.
  • Payment before work begins - Avoid paying a contractor in full before she starts working on your new home.
  • Keep away - Shady home builders might encourage you to stay away from your own property until after they finish building your house. Because it's your property, stop by and check on work that home builders perform throughout each stage of the home building process.

Don't let a bad home builder wreck your dream home

Wrecking your dream house isn't the only thing that a bad home builder could end up doing. A bad home builder could damage your exterior property, making it that much harder for you to restore your real estate investment. Even more, a bad home builder could involve you in a real estate scam that could have a regional or national reach.

Because a shady real estate contractor may do everything in his power to keep you from discovering what he's really up to, it's on you to research contractors that you're considering working with. Check with government agencies, review forums and professional real estate networking organizations.

Ask for first person referrals or feedback on the contractor. Don't just take the contractor's or the home builder's word. Also, avoid getting conned by glossy construction websites. Trust your gut and take your time while researching and choosing a contractor to build your dream home.

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