Cathy Stewart - KELLER WILLIAMS REALTY / Merrimack Valley | 978-270-2280 | cathystewart@kw.com


Posted by Cathy Stewart on 11/15/2018

This Single-Family in Tewksbury, MA recently sold for $450,000. This Ranch style home was sold by Cathy Stewart - KELLER WILLIAMS REALTY / Merrimack Valley.


969 Chandler Street, Tewksbury, MA 01876

Single-Family

$478,000
Price
$450,000
Sale Price

9
Rooms
5
Beds
2
Baths
Your search for a home with a genuine, updated in-law suite is over! With gleaming hardwood and abundant natural light this 2 bedroom suite is in move-in condition. Floor to ceiling fireplace is the focus of the living/dining room. Completely remodeled kitchen offers granite counters, soft close cabinets, decorative glass tile backsplash and brand new appliances gas cooktop, dishwasher, wall oven and microwave. Master bedroom has two closets and space for an office, nursery or walk-in closet. Another bedroom and spacious full bath with tile flooring, granite topped vanity, tiled shower stall and stacked w/d complete the suite. The main house has 3 bedrooms with new carpeting, full bath with new vanity and w/d hookup, bright kitchen and oversized living room with cathedral ceiling and plenty of windows. Each side has a garage bay, deck overlooking fenced backyard, access to unfinished basement. Newer roof, windows & heating system. EACH UNIT IS SEPARATELY METERED FOR GAS & ELECTRIC!!

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Categories: Sold Homes  


Posted by Cathy Stewart on 11/13/2018

There was a time when moving across the country was a trip into the unknown. For some, that prospect may be an exciting one. For a homeowner with bills to pay or children to raise, the more you know about a place the better.

Fortunately, todayís technology equips us with tools to learn everything (or almost everything) we need to know about a place without ever visiting. With the use of statistics, maps, and first-hand accounts, would-be homeowners can put in their researcher hats and get a feel for a place without ever even visiting.

In todayís post, Iím going to introduce you to some of those tools. So, if youíre thinking of making a long distance move sometime in the near future, read on for a list of the most useful resources that will help you along your search.

Cost of living

Most of us would love to move to Hawaii or San Francisco, but letís face it--cost of living differences can make a huge impact on our ability to move wherever we want. Fortunately, there is reliable data on the specific cost of living for different parts of the United States.

Nerdwalletís cost of living calculator lets you enter your current city and income and then compare what you would need to earn (on average) to move to a city of your choice. Moving to Boston, MA from Denver, CO, for example, would mean a 34% increase in costs like housing, groceries, transportation, etc.

Do you freelance or work from home and have the ability to travel wherever you want? If so, check out the Nomad List. It lets you compare housing costs, safety, weather, and--perhaps most important for freelancers--internet speeds in cities around the country and around the world.

Howís the weather?

Another important consideration for long distance moves is the climate. Not only will it determine your wardrobe and comfort level, but it also could mean more expensive heating in the winter or air conditioning in the winter.

To check out the average monthly temperatures and precipitation levels, check out U.S. Climate Data.

School scores

Itís hard to judge schools based on a few numbers, and itís best to see what kind of programs and classes theyíll offer for your children as well. However, to get a glimpse of the nearby schools, you can check out City Data or NeighborhoodScout.

Safety

Safety is always a concern when visiting or moving to a new place. Fortunately, there are several good sources of information for neighborhood safety.

When we think of safety, most of us think of things like crime rates. NeighborhoodScout provides all the data youíll need on crime. However, there are other safety concerns that should be addressed.

The CDC provides health data for 500 U.S. Cities. And, if youíre worried about lead exposure, this interactive map from Reuters has you covered.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Cathy Stewart on 11/6/2018

We all know that buying a home is expensive. For first-time buyers who donít have the luxury of equity for a down payment, it can be difficult to find a way to finance your home without taking on a huge interest rate and mortgage insurance.

Fortunately, loan programs like those offered by the U.S. Veterans Affairs can be a godsend. However, there is a great deal of confusion around who is eligible for VA loans and how to acquire them.

So, in todayís post, weíre going to cover some of the frequently asked questions of VA loans. That way, you can feel confident in knowing whether or not itís a good financing option for you and your family.

VA Loans FAQ

Who is eligible for a VA Loan?

VA loans arenít just for veterans. Most members of the military, including Reserve and National Guard members can apply. Additionally, spouses of service members who died from a service-related disability and those who died on active duty can apply as well.

How long do you have to service to be eligible?

The VA defines eligibility as having served no less than 90 days of service during wartime and 181 days of continuous service during peacetime.

Who are VA Loans offered by?

Like any other loan, VA loans are offered by private lenders. The difference is that VA loans are guaranteed by the government. That means that the federal government takes on some of the risk of lending to you, therefore making it possible to secure a loan with little or no down payment.

Should I make a down payment on a VA loan?

If you have the means, making a down payment will almost certainly save you money in the long run. If you can put down 10% of your total mortgage amount, you can also significantly reduce the VA Funding Fee.

Will I have to pay private mortgage insurance?

Private mortgage insurance (PMI) is something that borrowers pay on top of their mortgage payments and interest. This additional insurance helps borrowers buy a home with a small down payment. VA loans allow you to secure a mortgage without PMI.

Are VA loans different for active duty, National Guard, and Army Reserve members?

Each type of service member is eligible for a VA loan. However, there are some minor differences regarding the VA Funding Fee. With no down payment, an active duty member would pay 2.15% of the loan amount in fees. National Guard and Army Reserve members pay around 2.40% with no down payment.

What does my credit score need to be to get a VA loan?

The VA doesnít have a set minimum credit score. However, the private lenders that offer the loan do. On average, the lowest credit score that you can secure a VA loan with is around 620. That being said, a higher score will secure you a lower interest rate, saving you money over the lifetime of your loan.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Cathy Stewart on 10/30/2018

A pantry is a coveted feature for many homeowners. Especially those come from small apartments or houses. No more stacking items like the Leaning Tower of Pisa or reaching back into the endless depths hoping to land on your favorite spice mix.

However, all the extra space can cause a new organizational problem - thereís so much that you donít know what to do with it. If finding ingredients has become an aerobics exercise from searching them top to bottom each time you cook todayís article is for you.

Instead of tall jars opt for flat square stackable containers. By taking up more surface space and less height they canít hide behind one another. Label each container so you know at a glance which is flour and which powdered sugar.

Take advantage of the space your pantry door provides. Install hooks to hang pans or lids down the length of the door. Or for a weekend craft project install a large magnet and put spices in little jars with metal lids. Youíll just want to make sure your magnet has a strong enough hold that all of your jars donít come crashing down each time the kids inevitably slam the door shut.

For ultimate organization install a chalkboard along the inside (or outside) of your pantry door for an ongoing shopping list. Add a small lip to hold some chalk so anyone in the family can add on to the list when they finish up the last snack of the bunch. This helps cut down on time spent taking inventory of your home staples and which need to be restocked.

Take advantage of space below shelving in your pantry with crates. These are great for storing the aforementioned kid snacks, baking items and extra items you stock up on to stretch the time between shopping trips. Install wheels on the bottom to make them easier to pull in and out or into the main kitchen area.

Create zones throughout your pantry with items like under-the-shelf racks, stacking shelves, lazy susans, and clear bins. These not only help you keep like-items together but also to capitalize on the space you have. Label bins to help the rest of your family keep things tidy. Under-the-shelf racks are great for more delicate items like bread and root vegetables to stay up and out of the way from the threats of cans and jars.

Alternatively get creative and use a shower caddy or magazine rack hung from the inside of the door for your root vegetables and bread. Measure the space between the door and shelf when closed to ensure the correct depth or match the spacing between each so the height of bins matches that of shelf spacing.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Cathy Stewart on 10/23/2018

The homebuying journey may seem daunting at first. Lucky for you, we're here to help take the guesswork out of finding and acquiring your dream house.

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

1. Be Diligent

A diligent homebuyer may be better equipped than others to enjoy a seamless and successful property buying experience. In fact, this buyer likely will do whatever it takes to find the right house at the right price, regardless of the current real estate market's conditions.

To become a diligent homebuyer, it generally is a good idea to learn about the housing market in your preferred cities and towns. With this information, you can determine whether you're pursuing a home in a buyer's or seller's market and plan accordingly.

Furthermore, it may be beneficial to get pre-approved for a mortgage. If you enter the housing market with a mortgage, you'll know exactly how much you can spend to acquire your dream house.

2. Know Where You Want to Go

Establish homebuying criteria Ė you'll be glad you did. If you know what differentiates your dream house from others, you can quickly and effortlessly search for residences that match your expectations.

Also, you may want to hone your home search to specific cities and towns. For example, if you want to find a house close to your office in the city, you may want to explore residences in or near the city itself. On the other hand, if your goal is to buy a house near the top schools in a particular state, you should narrow your house search based on school rankings and other pertinent data.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

Buying a house is no small feat, and ultimately, there is no reason to try to navigate the homebuying journey alone. Thankfully, you can hire a real estate agent who can provide expert support throughout the homebuying journey.

A real estate agent is a must-hire, and for good reason. He or she will guide you along the entire homebuying journey and respond to any of your homebuying concerns and questions. In addition, a real estate agent offers recommendations and suggestions to help you make informed decisions as you pursue your dream residence.

Usually, a real estate agent will learn about your homebuying goals and craft a personalized homebuying strategy for you. He or she next will keep you informed about available residences that meet your criteria and set up home showings. Once you find your dream residence, a real estate agent will help you put together a competitive offer to acquire this house. And if your offer receives a "Yes" from a home seller, a real estate agent will help you finalize your house purchase.

Ready to streamline the homebuying journey? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can kick off a house search and discover your ideal residence in no time at all.




Categories: Uncategorized