Ellen McLaughlin - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage



Posted by Ellen McLaughlin on 1/19/2020

When buying an older home, you might wonder how to get more livable space out of that low-ceiling basement. There are two ways to gain height: raise the foundation or lower the floor. Raising the foundation requires lifting the entire home off its current foundation, building a new foundation, and resettling the home. For most homeowners, the sheer number of things that can go wrong with a project of this magnitude makes it an unlikely option. An alternative is bench footing, a method of lowering the floor of the basement that results in a higher ceiling.

Bench footing is a straightforward technique regarded by contractors to be an optimal approach for supporting your building while providing room for more structural support and depth. With bench footing, professional contractors do not need to dig deep into the home’s foundation. Instead, they can lower the basement floor and add structural support from there.

How Is It Done?

The process is straightforward, but don’t try to do this one yourself: Hire a professional contractor. Bench Footing costs less than other methods because it doesn’t require you to dig underneath the existing footings. Instead, a new floor is dug through the existing basement floor. A new foundation is laid inside the existing one, creating your new basement floor and an additional wall inside your existing basement. It is important to consider that the width of your bench footing is determined by the depth you want to add to your basement.  For every foot in depth that you add, you will need about a foot of width for your bench footing.  The floor space of the basement will decrease in area by the thickness of the new wall. 

The result is a ledge or “bench” all the way around the outer wall of the basement. That’s why they call it Bench Footing. A savvy contractor can make use of the space above the bench by installing cabinets, reading nooks and other built-ins. Others simply inset the entire wall to the new location. 

Why Choose Bench Footing?

If you need to increase your usable space but you are unable to add another story or extend your home on any side, making better use of your basement is the most valid option. In addition to being less damaging to your existing home, bench footing is less costly to complete and doesn’t change the exterior aesthetic of your home. This is particularly important if your home is in a historic area or has a strict association.

To get the best results with your bench footing, hire a professional contractor with several years of experience and with many positive reviews. Consult with your real estate agent for recommendations for a local contractor who can help you with your project.





Posted by Ellen McLaughlin on 1/17/2020

This Condo in Amesbury, MA recently sold for $1,118,766. This Townhouse,Mid-Rise style home was sold by Ellen McLaughlin - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.


60 Merrimac, Amesbury, MA 01913

Condo

$1,099,900
Price
$1,118,766
Sale Price

6
Rooms
2
Beds
2/1
Full/Half Baths
Live the ultimate Waterfront Dream. If you're coming to Amesbury, why not start at the top? Direct Waterfront Views, great shopping, & the finest restaurants; this is the lifestyle you have earned, COME AND LIVE IT! Wake up each morning to awe-inspiring sunrises in the East and drift off to sleep each night to the beautiful sunsets. Incredible expansive deck to enjoy the panoramic views of the Merrimac River, Maudslay State Park and a seasonal privately-owned marina. Luxuriate in the kitchen of your choice. Enjoy the walls of windows w/16’ ceilings, floor to ceiling gas fireplace, study or dining of your choice and open concept living, perfect for entertaining. First floor master w/deck access & a spa like master en-suite bath. Bldg features heated garage, grand lobby w/elegant details, mail & package area, community & exercise room. Plenty of time to customize thru designer choices. Photos are samples.






Tags: Real estate   condo   Amesbury   01913  
Categories: Sold Homes  


Posted by Ellen McLaughlin on 1/12/2020

Let's face it – no condo seller wants to deal with a high-pressure negotiation. Lucky for you, we're here to help you streamline the process of selling your condo so you can avoid stressful negotiations with property buyers.

What does it take to remain calm, cool and collected during a negotiation with a condo buyer? Here are three tips that every condo seller needs to know.

1. Consider the Condo Buyer's Perspective

As an informed condo seller, it is important to consider both sides of a negotiation. By doing so, you can evaluate a condo buyer's perspective and plan your next move accordingly.

For condo sellers, the goal is to get the best price for a property. As such, a condo seller who performs extensive housing market research probably understands the true value of his or her residence.

On the other hand, a condo buyer is likely to conduct real estate market research on his or her own. This property buyer also will assess the current condition of a condo in relation to his or her budget and submit an offer that accounts for these factors.

Ultimately, a condo seller and buyer should try to find common ground. That way, both parties can work together to get the best results out of a negotiation.

2. Review All of Your Options

After a condo seller accepts a buyer's proposal, the next step likely involves a property inspection. At this point, a condo acquisition may move forward, or a condo seller might need to rethink his or her plan.

If a condo inspector discovers myriad problems with a property, a condo buyer may ask the seller to complete repairs or lower the price of the property. Meanwhile, a condo seller will need to review all of his or her options quickly.

Following a condo inspection, it is important to consider the results of the evaluation.

If a condo seller discovers major repairs are required, he or she should consider completing the repairs or lowering the price on a property.

Or, if a condo buyer asks for a major price reduction even though only minimal repairs are needed, a seller should be unafraid to say "No" to the buyer's requests.

It is important for a condo seller to feel comfortable with any decision that is made throughout the property selling cycle. Thus, if a condo seller is uncomfortable with completing property repairs or reducing the price of a residence after a property inspection, he or she should be ready to decline a buyer's demands.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent will handle negotiations between a condo seller and buyer. Therefore, this housing market professional can play a pivotal role in a seller's ability to get the best price for a condo.

Consulting with a real estate agent who possesses condo experience is key. This real estate agent can keep you up to date during negotiations with condo buyers and ensure you are fully satisfied with the final results.

Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can move one step closer to maximizing the value of your condo.





Posted by Ellen McLaughlin on 1/5/2020

Aromatic oils have been used for millennia by cultures like the ancient Greeks and Egyptians for use in medicines and ointments. And, to this day, many of us use products containing essential oils, such as perfumes, shampoo, cleaning supplies, and even the food we eat.

More recently, essential oils have become a popular DIY ingredient for household items. In this post, I’m going to share with you some of the many household uses for essential oils and break down which oils are suited for each purpose.

Read on for tips on using essential oils in your home.

Oil diffusers


Perhaps the most common use for essential oils is in an oil diffuser that emits an aromatic steam into the air of your home. Oil diffusers are great for a desktop that you work by, particularly in the winter time when the air tends to be dry. This mist can help mitigate the effects of dry air on your throat and nasal passage, and emit a pleasant air freshening odor into the room.

There are several oils and oil blends that are used in oil diffusers. Some of the most common oils used are lavender, peppermint, and several citrus-scents like lemon, bergamot, and wild orange.

When using an oil diffuser, be sure to use only a few drops of the oil--using too much can become easily overpowering and even irritating to the skin, nose, and eyes.

Room mists

Many top-brand air fresheners use essential oils as part of their ingredients. However, they also contain a number of other additives that you might not enjoy. Essential oils give you the ability to create a blend that works for you.

Combine water with a few drops of essential oils into a spray bottle for a refreshing room mist. This solution can even be used on most fabrics--however, just like with an oil diffuser, make sure you don’t put too many drops of essential oils in your solution to protect your fabrics.

Cleaning solutions

Cleaning supplies can get expensive very quickly. Fortunately, the ingredients to make a simple all-purpose cleaner are cheap and can make over a gallon of solution that you can keep refilling as needed.

Vinegar and water-based cleaning solutions often incorporate a few drops of essential oils like peppermint, lemon, and other fresh, “clean” smelling scents.

The best part? These solutions are made from non-toxic ingredients that can typically be used on your countertops, inside microwaves, and on other surfaces that food may come into contact with.


A quick warning: essential oils are made by distilling vast amounts of plant material into very concentrated oils. This means that the oils are exponentially more potent than their plant counterparts. Overuse can easily cause rashes and irritation, so use sparingly, avoid contact with your eyes when working with oils, and always read instructions before use.




Categories: essential oils   fragrance  


Posted by Ellen McLaughlin on 12/29/2019

When you’re preparing your home for the market, your main goal is to make it as desirable as possible to potential buyers. Not only will this gain more attraction from interested parties, but it can also help you out in a bidding war by making your home stand out among the rest and therefore increasing the final sale value.

Many of the ways to increase the desirability and curb appeal of your home involve costly home improvements and upgrades. However, there are some simple solutions that can make an impact and might just be enough to tip the buyer in favor of your home.

Today, we’re talking about the value of marketing a spotless, freshly cleaned home. The benefits are many. But, among them are the chance of increasing your sale value, attracting more potential buyers, and demonstrating to them that you’re the type of homeowner who has cared for their home.

Read on for some of the most important cleaning tips to help you along the process of selling your home.

1. Decluttering helps in more ways than one

When you’re ready to sell your home, the last thing you want to be thinking about is finding places for all of your belongings that you’ve accumulated over the years. People interested in buying your home won’t want to visit a house filled with your personal belongings, as it will make it harder for them to imagine their own decorating style in the house.

To make this whole process easier, it’s a good idea to declutter and pack away things that you won’t necessarily need until you move into your new home. You’ll also be doing yourself a favor later by packing boxes now that won’t have to be repacked when you move to your new home.

2. Mold and mildew

Bathrooms and kitchens are especially vulnerable to these two culprits that can be a huge turn-off for potential buyers. You’re going to want to carefully inspect these rooms for signs of mold and mildew and eliminate them. Non-streak and bleach-based cleaners are ideal as they can help your glass and tiles shine like new.

Remember to make sure these are clean before you have real estate photos taken or your listing and before having any potential buyers over to show your home.

3. Deep dusting

You know those corners of your home that you always think, “oh well, no one will ever see back there anyway”? Well, people interested in buying your home will likely want to look in those corners and might be off-put by piles of dust.

If you have a hard time seeing because parts of your home are dark, set up some portable work lights while you’re cleaning to ensure you’re getting the job done.

Finally, don’t forget to clean the tops of ceiling fan blades and behind your kitchen appliances, where few seldom go.

4. Gutters are a giveaway

Clean gutters are a sign that a homeowner cares for the long-term maintenance of their home. So, if you haven’t been quite keeping up with gutter cleaning, now is the time to do it.

5. Pressure washing can be worth the cost

If there’s one thing that’s worth spending money on for cleaning an older home, it’s usually power washing. Vinyl siding is low-maintenance, easy to install, and relatively inexpensive. But, it does get dirty from time to time.

Hiring a power washing service or renting a pressure washer can be a good way to make the exterior of your home look like new again.