Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 9/17/2018

When it comes to arranging furniture, the living room may perhaps be the most challenging. This is especially true when the room houses both a fireplace and a television. Itís difficult to decide where to place the items in your living room when you want those seated in the room to have access to all the room has to offer including a good view of the TV and the fireplace. Here, weíll give you some tips on where to place what for the perfect living room arrangement. We promise that if you follow these tips, everyone will have the perfect view of both the TV and the fireplace and be able to enjoy the living room fully. Think Right Angles First, place all of your seating perpendicular to both the television and the fireplace. This is one surefire way to know that every seat in the living room is the best seat in the house. Thereís no wrong way to arrange furniture when youíre working with right angles! Place the TV On the Wall Opposite the Fireplace The fireplace will be the true focal point of the room. The TV will also be a feature of the room, yet less eye-catching. Where the television is installed will completely depend upon where your fireplace is. You may want to avoid, for example, hanging your TV over the fireplace so that eyes donít become overwhelmed when the fireplace is on. Place Tables For Practical Use Side tables are going to be used frequently in your living room. You should place your side tables strategically, preferably next to pieces of furniture, so they can be used for placing items and drinks on. Putting tables far away from the ends of furniture just doesnít make sense, since you wonít actually be using the tables. Center the Coffee Table The coffee table should be placed as close to the center of the room as possible. A coffee table should be somewhere between one-half and two-thirds of the length of your couch. This rule of interior design ensures that no piece within the room becomes too overwhelming in the space. Flow One of the best words to remember when arranging living room furniture is that of ďflow.Ē You want the room to appear as if it were effortless to design and maintain. The living room is a place that is often used for to relax in, so you want it to feel as such. Function Beyond the look and feel of the room, you want to make sure that your living room is functional. Itís a room thatís used for reading, chatting, watching television and connecting. You never want to room to feel stuffy or unusable. With the right planning and use of your furniture, your living room can be everyoneís go-to room in the house. You wonít even need a bowl of popcorn on movie night to entice everyone with!





Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 9/12/2018


5 Howard Road, Gloucester, MA 01930

Single-Family

$1,298,000
Price

12
Rooms
5
Beds
4
Baths
Welcome to 5 Howard Road, a perfect vacation retreat or year round residence with direct water front. You'll enjoy kayaking on the river to Wingaersheek Beach, swimming from your private dock or just relaxing in the evening on your screened porch. This inviting Colonial offers a serene location at the end of a private way. The heart of the home is a sunny open-concept kitchen with granite counters and access to an expansive deck, an inviting living room with gas fireplace and dining room all with glorious views. A first floor guest bedroom with an adjacent full bath could also function as a master. Three second level bedrooms include a sunny master with a walk-in closet and a tiled bath. There's plenty of room for guests in the lower level suite that offers 3 well proportioned rooms including a 5th bedroom as well as a full bath. Located on Wheeler's Point with easy access to the highway and town center with great restaurants, museums, shops, art galleries and lots more.
Open House
Sunday
September 16 at 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM
Cannot make the Open Houses?
Location: 5 Howard Road, Gloucester, MA 01930    Get Directions

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Categories: Open House  


Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 9/10/2018

Many homeowners are unaware that the most common causes of house fires are cooking related. According to data from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), cooking fires cause 46% of house fires and 44% of household injuries.

You arenít alone if you think those numbers are shockingly high. However, most of us are never taught cooking safety techniques. In this article, weíre going to give you some tips to protect you and your family from the most common and some lesser known causes of kitchen fires. 

Cooking fire statistics 

Knowing the most common causes of cooking fires is a great way to understand just how dangerous certain types of cooking really are. The NFPA reports that frying is the most dangerous type of cooking. Two-thirds of cooking fires were the result of the ignition of food and cooking materials.

In terms of equipment, the range or cooktop is the most dangerous part of the kitchen, causing over 60% of fires. However, much of the time the cause comes down to leaving your equipment unattended.

Cooking safely

One of the most important things you can do to reduce the risk of house fires is to stay in the kitchen while youíre cooking. Unattended ranges, stovetops, and ovens can be particularly deadly since they can happen as a result of someone dozing off while watching television, or someone forgetting they left a burner on after they go to sleep.

A good way to monitor your cooking is to always use a timer, even if you donít necessarily need one for the cooking that youíre doing. Also, be sure that your smoke detectors are working and that you have a functional fire extinguisher in your home. Make sure your family knows what to do if they encounter a fire.

Before you turn on your burners before frying, make sure there is nothing around your oven that can catch fire. A food container, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper towels, or curtains could all potentially catch fire if they come in close contact with a burner.

Clothing is also a leading cause of kitchen fires that turn fatal. Make sure sleeves and other pieces of clothing arenít near any burners or open flames.

In case of fire

If you encounter a large cooking fire that is spreading throughout, the best thing to do is to immediately gather your family and get out of the house, avoiding the kitchen entirely. Call 9-1-1 as soon as you are safely outside and donít re-enter the house under any circumstances.

For small grease fires, smother the fire with a lid and turn off the burner immediately.

Understanding cooking fires

Most fire requires oxygen to burn and spread. If there is a small fire in your kitchen, using a soaked towel or a pan lid to smother it will suffice.

However, grease fires work differently. Never put water on a grease fire, this can cause the fire to spread very quickly. Rather, use a lid to put out the fire if it is small enough to get near. You can also throw baking soda, or use a fire extinguisher on a small grease fire.




Tags: kitchen   home safety   Cooking  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 9/7/2018

This Single-Family in Lexington, MA recently sold for $917,000. This Ranch style home was sold by Mary-Lou McDonough - Barrett Sotheby's International Realty.


5 Holton Road, Lexington, MA 02421

Single-Family

$895,000
Price
$917,000
Sale Price

9
Rooms
4
Beds
3
Baths
Enjoy easy one level living in this wonderfully updated four bedroom Ranch. The living room - with vaulted ceiling, fireplace, bay window and beautiful hardwood floors - is perfect for entertaining large gatherings. A glass pocket door leads you into the family room with views of lush gardens and has a slider providing access to the rear deck. Sunny dining room with skylights and a wall of windows also has access to the deck and patio beyond for convenient entertaining. Great natural light streams into the eat-in kitchen with cherry cabinets, beautiful new quartz counters and island, and coordinating tiled backsplash. The master bedroom suite with vaulted ceiling has a walk-in closet and full bath with whirlpool tub, granite vanity and a separate tiled shower. The roof and brick patio were installed in 2010. The exterior of the home was painted last year and the entire interior is freshly painted. Conveniently located with easy access to commuter routes. A lovely property to call home.

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Categories: Sold Homes  


Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 9/3/2018

If you are thinking of buying a home in the near future, thereís one three-digit number that could be oh so important to you. That number is your credit score. Read on to find out how a credit score can affect you and the steps you can take to be sure that your credit is in good standing when you head to apply for a mortgage. 


What Is A Credit Score?


Your credit score is checked by lenders of all kinds. Every time you apply for a loan or a credit card, thereís a good chance that your credit score is being pulled to see if you qualify for the loan. Your credit score is calculated based on the information on your credit report. This information includes:


Payment history

Debt-to-credit ratio

Length of credit history

New credit accounts opened


The areas with the most impact on your score is your payment history and your debt-to-credit ratio. This means that on-time payments are super important. You also donít want to get anywhere close to maxing out your credit cards or loan amounts to keep your score up. 


Whatís A Good Score?


If youíre aiming for the perfect credit score, itís 850. Most consumers wonít reach that state of perfection. Thatís, OK because you donít have to be perfect to buy a house. If your score is 740 and above, know that youíre in great shape to get a mortgage. Even if your score is below 740 but around 700 or above, youíll be able to get a good interest rate on your mortgage. Most lenders typically look for a score of 620 and above. Keep in mind that the higher your credit score the better your interest rate will be.    



What If You Lack Credit History?


Most people should get a credit card around age 20 in order to begin building credit. You can still qualify for a mortgage without a credit history, but it will be considerably harder. Lenders may look at things like your rent payments or car payments. Lenders want to know that youíre a responsible person to lend to. 


What If Your Score Needs Help?


It doesnít mean youíre a hopeless case if you lack good credit. Everything from errors on your credit report to missed payments can be fixed. The most important thing that you can do if youíre buying a home in the near future is to be mindful of your credit. Keep an eye on your credit report and continue to make timely payments. With a bit of focus, youíll be well on your way to securing a mortgage for the home of your dreams.        






Tags: Mortgage   credit score  
Categories: Uncategorized