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


Posted by Cathy Toomey on 10/10/2017

It makes good sense to buy a home on active duty, especially when you consider low mortgage interest rates, job stability and the range of approved Veteran’s Administration (VA) lenders. Buy a permanent home while serving on active duty and you could take advantage of home allowance assistance. Get a VA loan as soon as you qualify for the loan based on your length of military service and you could also use your home allowance to help pay off the life of your mortgage. Choosing the Right Location is Key Even with these benefits, you might drag your feet, opting to rent versus buy. It’s understandable. Few people relocate and move to a new house as frequently as active duty military members. Here are ways that you could determine if you’re ready to buy a permanent home on active duty and how to identify a permanent home location that may be right for you and your family. If you’re close to your immediate family and know that you're going to settle down in the town where you were born and raised after you finish your military service, you could buy a house there while you’re on active duty and rent the house out. You could even rent the house out to older relatives who are going to college or other active duty members stationed in the town. Feel a strong connection to an area you were stationed in? Discuss buying a home there with your family. Turn the house into a rental property until you complete active duty. Similar to how people rent out summer homes, you could only rent out your house while you’re away, and stay at the house during long vacations. Another option is to buy a permanent house where you’re currently stationed. If you're married, your spouse could live at the house if you're deployed or stationed away from home. If you choose this route, watch the housing market, so that you buy when housing prices, including interest rates, are down and sell when housing prices are up. Documents that Help Secure Military Mortgages After you identify where you want to live, start getting documentation together that you will need when you meet with lenders. Items that you may need to present to lenders include: • Tax returns • Letters from the Internal Revenue Service laying out a payment plan should you be behind on paying your taxes • Bank statements • Monthly credit union statements • Housing allowance assistance documents (that show how much housing allowance you receive each month) • Statement of Service • Certificate of Eligibility • Proof of residency • Paystubs • Driver’s license or passport Work with reputable lenders. Make sure that you can absorb your current living expenses as well as pay for a permanent home. Should you make adjustments to pay off a permanent home, such as renting out a portion or all of the house, while you’re in the military, you could be able to keep more of your retirement pay.





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

This Single-Family in Amesbury, MA recently sold for $386,000. This Colonial style home was sold by Cathy Toomey - Stone Ridge Properties.


8 Birch Street, Amesbury, MA 01913

Single-Family

$375,000
Price
$386,000
Sale Price

7
Rooms
3
Beds
2
Baths
This home is located on a cul-de-sac. The kitchen has been updated with granite and stainless and is open to the dining area. The living room has a gas fireplace and there is a den or fourth bedroom on the first floor. The first floor bath is gorgeous with a tile shower. The master bedroom has a wonderful walk in closet with nice built ins.and there are two more bedrooms as well as an updated bathroom. One of the very best features is the large three season porch. It adds so much living space for much of the year. The yard is very nice with a shed and all with good access to downtown and commuter routes.

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Categories: Sold Homes  


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,

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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.

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