Major Advantages of a Large Kitchen

Finding a new home that will meet your family’s current and future needs requires a clear mental picture of what you want and your desired lifestyle.

While you may not be able to get every item on your new-house wish list, knowing your priorities is the first step to realizing your goals.

For many growing families, having a spacious eat-in kitchen is a high-priority. Here are a few reasons a large kitchen can enhance the enjoyment of your new home.

Entertaining guests: If you like to host holiday gatherings, birthday parties, and other celebrations at your home, a spacious kitchen lends itself to everything from food preparation and buffet setup to mingling with your party guests. Kitchens are a focal point of social gatherings, and can play a major role in the success or failure of your parties, dinners, and other events.

Increased efficiency: Without enough counter space and room to comfortably move around, meal preparation can turn into more of a chore than a pleasure. Ideally, there should be unobstructed paths between key work stations, including the stove and kitchen sink (You’ll want to have a clear path when you’re ready to drain cooked pasta or carry pots of water to the stove.) Generally, the more people you’re serving, the more crucial it is to have plenty of space for working, staying organized, and keeping track of cooking times. Since food preparation is both an art and a science, it requires planning, proper execution, and the freedom to express your creativity.

Family harmony: There are at least two ways that ample kitchen space can contribute to harmonious family relationships. First of all, gathering in the kitchen at mealtime, every day, helps foster good communication between members of your family. When you’re facing each other and sharing stories, plans, and concerns at the kitchen table, it’s easier to know what’s going on in the lives of your spouse and children. A roomy kitchen also helps keep the peace in your family. For example, when more than one person is getting a snack, making a meal, or cleaning up, having a little extra space can help keep family members from bumping into each other and feeling cramped. Conflicts sometimes arise, especially among siblings, when there’s a shortage of personal space. On busy days when everyone is rushing in opposite directions, often at a hectic pace, having enough counter and floor space in the kitchen can help minimize drama and keep family traffic flowing smoothly.

Whether you’re entertaining dinner guests or baking cookies for a school bake sale, the process is sure to go more smoothly when you have sufficient counter space and a work flow area that helps gets things done in the shortest period of time.

Another Property Sold – 15 General Ave Shrewsbury, MA

This Single-Family in Shrewsbury, MA recently sold for $390,000. This Ranch style home was sold by Bernadette Calvario – Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.

15 General Ave,

Shrewsbury, MA 01545



Sale Price




Welcome home. *This amazing home sits on a tree lined street located near Dean Park. It offers a fantastic set up for an in home office,nanny qtrs, guest quarters or master suite. Lovely level yard sites this oversized 2100 sf ranch. Enjoy the late summer/early fall breezes from your Double Deck with above ground pool, screened room & separate shed The floorplan offers flexibility to accomodate a growing family, or an in law situation. A spacious light filled great room creates the central family gathering space. Many holiday gatherings were celebrated in this large room. Presently used as a dining room, it also functions nicely as a family room, office or..The separate master suite quarters offers a large master bedroom , full bath and an office or den area. Flexible living space adapts to every families needs,Cabinet packed kit.w/ dining area – overlooks fireplaced living room w/ custom shelves.3 good sized bedrms w/ hw floors & double closets. LOWER level boast lg. FR & Bath

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First-Time Home Seller Tips: How to Identify a Lowball Offer

As a first-time home seller, it is important to avoid shortcuts. By doing so, this home seller may be better equipped than others to reduce the risk of accepting a “lowball” offer on his or her residence.

A lowball offer is something that every home seller would like to avoid. Yet a home seller who lacks real estate knowledge and insights may struggle to identify a lowball offer, particularly if he or she is listing a residence for the first time.

Ultimately, there is no need for a first-time home seller to settle for a lowball offer. Lucky for you, we’re here to teach you how to identify a lowball offer in any real estate market, at any time.

Now, let’s take a look at three tips to help a first-time home seller identify and address a lowball offer on his or her residence.

1. Learn About the Housing Market

The housing market often fluctuates, and a real estate sector that favors home sellers today may morph into one that favors homebuyers tomorrow. As such, a first-time home seller should allocate the necessary time and resources to monitor real estate market patterns and trends closely.

To learn about the housing market, it is essential to analyze available houses in your city or town. Furthermore, don’t forget to assess available houses that are similar to your own.

Housing market data can provide pivotal insights that a home seller can use to stir up substantial interest in his or her residence. Plus, these insights can help a home seller establish a competitive price for a home, thereby reducing the risk of receiving a lowball offer on his or her house.

2. Understand Your Home’s Value

For first-time home sellers who want to avoid lowball offers, a home appraisal is ideal. In fact, a home appraisal can make it simple for a first-time home seller to understand what his or her property is worth based on its current condition.

As part of a home appraisal, a property inspector will assess a house both inside and out. After the appraisal is completed, the inspector will provide a home seller with a report that outlines his or her findings. Then, a home seller can use the report findings to review a house’s strengths and weaknesses and complete home improvements as needed.

A home appraisal can help a home seller uncover ways to bolster a house’s interior and exterior. In addition, the appraisal can provide insights that highlight a home’s true value and help a home seller minimize the risk that he or she will accept a lowball proposal.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

A first-time home seller may be uncertain about how to proceed with an offer. Fortunately, real estate agents can provide unparalleled insights into the housing market and help home sellers make informed decisions.

In most instances, a real estate agent is happy to discuss an offer with a home seller. This housing market professional can offer honest, unbiased home selling recommendations to ensure a home seller can differentiate between a lowball offer and a strong proposal as well.

Avoid the danger of accepting a lowball offer on a residence – use the aforementioned tips, and a first-time home seller will be better equipped than ever before to accept the best proposal for his or her house.

Another Property Sold – lot 19 Cortland Way (30) Grafton, MA

This Single-Family in Grafton, MA recently sold for $525,000. This Colonial style home was sold by Bernadette Calvario – Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.

lot 19 Cortland Way (30),

Grafton, MA 01519



Sale Price



Full/Half Baths

Ready for immediate delivery! Just completed 4 (or 5) BR home in desirable Cortland Manor Estates in North Grafton. Spectacular lot with sunny southern exposure. Watch the sun rise and set on the gorgeous front porch. Home includes many upgrades such as HW floors in Kitchen, LR, DR, 2-story foyer, stairs, and upstairs hall, generous use of recessed lighting, crown & wainscoting in DR, gas fireplace in FR. Spacious kitchen offers loads of cabinet space with soft close drawers/doors, granite tops, SS GE appliances, peninsular, range vent hood, eating area & double french doors that open to back yard. Over-sized bedrooms have large closets with custom shelving. Master bedroom has a 16' walk-in closet. The luxurious master bath has large granite vanity w/ dbl sinks, a pocket door divides the bathroom & leads to a tiled 5' shower and toilet. This home has an option for an oversized 1st floor bedroom with a full bath perfect for extended stay guests or in-law.

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How To Choose The Right Area Rugs For Your Home

If your home has hardwood floors, you’re going to want to put carpets in and around the home. This helps to warm the space up both visually and physically. How do you know what size area rug to choose or what colors to choose? It’s quite simple. There are a few rules of thumb that you should know in order to help you choose the right rug for each room of the home. 

First, you’ll need to measure the seating area. You’ll select the rug that’s the closest size up from those measurements. Choose the next size up from that so all of your furniture can rest on the rug. Alternatively, you can set the room up so that no furniture rests on the rugs and the carpet simply sits in front of the furniture. This is all a matter of taste.  

Fill The Room With A Rug

You can fill an entire room with a rug as well. Just measure the room and subtract a 2-foot perimeter around the room for floor space. 

Layer Your Rugs For A Great Visual Effect

You can create more definition in your room by layering rugs. You can put a smaller rug on top of a larger rug for something a bit visually interesting in the room. Smaller rugs help to define a seating area, so you would layer those rugs on top of a larger rug.

Furniture Movers

Placing movers or sliders under furniture is more than just for rearranging a room. These little disks help to protect both your hardwood floors and your carpets. You’ll have floors free from scratches, tears, and scuffs. If you think that furniture can’t ruin carpets, think again!  

Dining And Kitchen        

For rugs in your dining area, the carpet should surround your table. The rug needs to extend out a bit beyond the focal point of the room. Measure about two feet beyond your table as a good rule of thumb. 

In the kitchen, make sure that your rugs are slip resistant. Put rugs near the places that you tend to stand the most like the sink and oven. You could put several area rugs in the kitchen to create a warmer feel in the room without making it hard to clean. 


In your bedroom, one of the most important purposes for a rug is having a soft, warm place for your feet in the morning. An area rug should extend out at least two feet beyond the bed itself, which is the focal point of the room. If you’re using smaller rugs, place them strategically so that your feet are warm yet the bed is still the main visual focus in the room. 

Color Choice

Remember that your rug should be an accent to a room. Your walls are the dominant color and your rug will only add to the beauty. Pick a color that blends well with the rest of the scheme of the room.

How To Make Commuting By Bicycle Work For You

The daily commute can be a daily grind. What if you could commute and get a workout in at the same time? You can if you take on the task of commuting by bicycle. Whether you’re established in your current neighborhood or searching for a new home, you should always consider your location in relationship to your work in addition to your preferred mode of transportation. Especially in regions where the weather is nice the whole year through, you’ll want to check on your options for commuting by bike. Below, you’ll find some tips that can make commuting to work by bicycle from your home a bit easier. 

Plan Ahead

Depending on weather conditions, you’ll need to plan ahead. If you have a longer commute, you’ll most likely need to bring a change of clothes to work. You don’t want to spend an entire day at the office in sweaty, smelly clothes. If you need to dress professionally, you should plan to bring clothing that won’t wrinkle easily. Also keep some items to help you freshen up in your work bag including deodorant and wipes. As temperatures get warmer throughout the year, this will become ever important. If the weather looks like it might rain, you might want to bring additional gear or just skip the commute by bike altogether on those days. You can even store some spare clothing or toiletries in your desk in case you forget to pack something one day.  

Have A Space To Keep Your Bike

Both at home and at work, you’ll need to find a spot to keep your bike. It’s important to find a place where the bike will be secure and is able to be locked down. Depending upon the type of area you work in, you’d hate to ride to work on your bike only to find out that when you’re ready to return home your bike has been stolen. Your bicycle should also have a convenient location where you can store it around your home as well. 

Keep In Mind That You Still Could Encounter Problems

Even though you’re riding a bike and not driving a car, you can still encounter problems on your ride to and from work. Hit one bump the wrong way and you’ll end up with a flat tire. This means that you’ll need to have a kit ready in case of any kind of issues that you encounter during your commute. Keep this commuter kit with your work things so that you don’t need to worry about where the spare tubes and bicycle pump are. 

When you choose a commuter friendly neighborhood, you’ll be surprised at how much fun and how easy commuting to and from work by bicycle can be. Just heed some convenience and safety tips and you’ll be well on your way to a good workout to and from work.      

Simple Ways to Add More Sleeping Space to Your Home

If your family is growing and you’re not ready to take on a larger mortgage, you have options. You can add more sleeping space to your current home. The additional space comes

 in handy if you have extended family or friends visiting during graduations, weddings or holidays.

A good night of sleep should be stress free

Say good-bye to worries. Try these simple ways to add more sleeping space to one or more rooms at your house.

  • Buy sofa beds instead of traditional sofas. Two adults can comfortably sleep on a sofa bed. You might be able to fit three to four small kids on one sofa bed. Check a furniture store, and you might be surprised to see how attractive sofa beds are. In fact, it’s hard to tell a sofa bed from a traditional bed. Both are also generally equally comfortable.
  • Pull out rollaway beds. Use rollaway beds that are padded with quality mattresses. Otherwise, there’s a high likelihood that people will feel the bed springs pushing into their back while they try to sleep.
  • Turn twin beds into bunk beds. To convert twin beds into bunk beds, attach support beams, safety rails and a ladder. If there’s enough room to place two twin beds side-by-side in a room, create two sets of bunk beds. That simple step adds enough space for four people to sleep comfortably at your house.
  • Place a mattress on the floor. This is a temporary option, best used when company is visiting for a few days.
  • Add a double bed, thin sofa bed, dresser and chair to your attic, turning the top room of your house into a bedroom. Just make sure that the attic meets local housing standards.
  • Line the longest wall in your home office with a thin sleeper sofa. Choose a three-seater sofa. Bright colored pillows add decor and personality to the furniture.
  • Buy an air mattress. These mattresses take up more space than traditional mattresses. But, air mattresses are functional in that you can easily store them in a closet in the morning. You can get an air mattress from a neighborhood department store.
  • Design half of your basement into a bedroom.Adequate insulation and floor padding are needed to make the space comfortable.For padding, you could place decorative throw rugs on the basement floor. Consider moving boxes, cans and other items that you store in your basement to one side of your garage.
  • Donate old clothes, shoes and furniture to organizations that support the community you live in, and watch the sleeping and living space at your home expand.
  • Move coffee tables to one side of your living room or den to allow for more sleeping space in the middle of the floor.

Renovations that you make to add more sleeping space to your home could easily become hits with your children. The changes may also help you to find more work and living space. Small, simple changes could even sharpen your interior design skills,gifting you with a greater appreciation for your home.

How To: Setting Up a Home Office

Working from home is a job benefit many dream of. However, despite what some may think working from home is not all fun and games. While it may make for an easier commute it also can make for more distractions that keep you from your work. Learn how you can create an office in your home that is a productivity oasis.

Function before form. It may be tempting to run out and buy all the beautiful office supplies and knick knacks, but before you do plan out the function of your office first. Create a list of must-have items. Will you need a printer, file cabinet or shelves for your reference binders? Perhaps a fax machine, large whiteboard or a sprawling desk with plenty of elbow room. Knowing what you need on hand to create the most efficient work environment will give you the ability to sit down and productively work without running out to get supplies or inventing workarounds. You will also want to invest in a good ergonomic chair since you will be spending so much of your time sitting in it. Your back will thank you.

Location. The location of your home office in your house may be more important than you think. Choosing a quiet secluded room with lots of light will create an ideal working environment. If you have children or a partner that will be home during the day you will want the room in a place where they will not have to tiptoe around like if you, for example, set up shop in the dining room. Creating some “do not disturb” signs may be a good idea to further set boundaries with your family.

Organize. Set yourself up for success off the bat by developing an organization system that works best for your home office. Since home offices tend to be set up in smaller rooms of a house make the most of your space by organizing vertically as well horizontally. Neatly manage and label cords when you set up any electrical equipment. Keep the items you use daily within easy reach so you don’t need to jump up and down all day to dig through your cabinets.

Inspire. This is your home office, after all, and not a cubicle so don’t be afraid to add personality to work your space. Pick up posters with uplifting quotes or imagery or a cork board to pin inspiration and goals. Paint your office a color that uplifts and inspires you. A calm blue paired with a vibrant yellow can help boost your focus and alertness.

Setting up a home office is an exciting house project, especially when you will have the opportunity to work from home. While it’s tempting to make your new office one that is visually appealing don’t forget to keep function at the forefront of your planning process. In the end, you’ll have the best of both worlds and may even be more productive for it!

Another Property Sold – 185 Myrtle St Ashland, MA

This Single-Family in Ashland, MA recently sold for $620,000. This Colonial style home was sold by Bernadette Calvario – Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.

185 Myrtle St,

Ashland, MA 01721



Sale Price



Full/Half Baths

Beautiful well cared for Colonial in sought after Ashland! This 4 bed, 2.5 bath home sits well off the road surrounded by mature trees & a beautiful stone wall. Hardwood floors and recessed lighting throughout the 1st floor. The chefs kitchen opens right into the family room w/ a 6+person breakfast bar. Off the kitchen is another eating area with french doors to the expansive backyard & paver patio. Also off the kitchen is a mudroom area, half bath and pantry that could be used as a laundry area. A formal dining room and formal living room / office round out the first floor. Upstairs hosts four large bedrooms, including a master suite with tray ceiling, large walk-in closet & corner jacuzzi tub. Both upstairs baths have double vanity sinks. Massive bonus room over the garage is perfect for guests, playroom, office or media room. Laundry located on second floor. Walk up attic and large basement provide plenty of storage for your family in this home.

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Multiples Attic Usages

Whether your attic is 150 or 300 square feet, you can get more from your attic. One of the simplest ways to get more from your attic is to designate this uppermost room as a storage space. You’ll appreciate having made this decision more if you turn your basement into a family room, den, bedroom or separate living space.

Other attic uses include a television room, den, guest room and study area. To beautify your attic, you could add cactuses, hanging plants and other greenery that don’t require a lot of water or sunlight to thrive. Build custom shelving into attic walls and you can create a private library. Just make sure that there’slots of airflow in the room before you use the space as a library.

Prepare your attic for multiple usages

Before you start stacking storage boxes, old furniture and clothes that you rarely wear inside your attic, make sure that the flooring is durable. Thin plywood flooring can give way if too much weight is placed on it.

Also, clean and treat your attic if you find pests droppings. If you start pushing storage boxes inside your attic prior to inspecting and treating the room, you could inadvertently create a good hiding place for pests. Items that you may not want to store in your attic include old books, magazines and photographs. Believe it or not, pests like roaches, find old paper goods attractive. Roaches actually feast on books and other paper items.

Place anti-fatigue padding or rubber tiles over flooring for added protection before you store heavy items in your attic. This way, you could prevent plywood or hardwood floor tiles from buckling or sagging. Well maintained floors make it easier to turn your attic into an extra bedroom or office, should your family grow and you need the extra space years down the road.

Choose great attic ventilation and flooring

Add vents to your attic to improve ventilation. Do this whether you merely use your attic as a storage space or turn your attic into a living or work room. Even if your attic already has vents, you may want to add more vents, especially if you live in an area where temperatures drop below freezing. On cold days, poor attic ventilation can cause ice dams to form. Your attic may also feel damp if it’snot properly ventilated.

Familiarize yourself with local housing codes to ensure that you meet local attic ventilation requirements. Vent choices range from round to rectangular. There are also small, medium and large vent sizes to choose from. Simply adding insulation and upgrading drywall may not offer enough attic ventilation.

To improve airflow in your attic, consider leaving the attic door open during the daytime.Before you open the attic window to increase airflow, check the roof for bird and insect nests. Clear roof drainage pipes and place a screen and attic guard over the window. You can get attic window guards on or offline from housewares stores. Some department stores also sell attic guards.