Broker, Real Estate Consultant
ASR, CBR, CRB, SRES, New construction, Staging & Relocation.

Posted by Joyce Torelli on 2/21/2018

If your budget allows for it, hiring a good housekeeper is well worth the money. If you're like most professional couples, you probably already feel "maxed out" after you've put in 40 to 60 hours at your jobs . When you add parenting responsibilities into the mix, there's not too much time and energy left for cleaning the house! While certain basic house cleaning tasks are unavoidable on a daily basis, it's a relief to know that a paid house cleaner will be coming in to do a thorough job soon.

Finding a reliable housekeeper with whom you feel comfortable can be a bit of a challenge, but if you can get referrals from family, friends, and others you know, then your search should put you on the right track.

The Selection Process

Since the main reason you're hiring a cleaning person is to make your life easier, the last thing you want to deal with is dependability problems or substandard work. That's why it's important to get referrals from people you know and trust. It often pays to interview more than one prospective cleaning person because you want to find someone who is the best match for your budget and needs. When you have two or three prospects to choose from, you'll be in a better position to choose the one with the best attitude, top references, and the most agreeable personality.

Unless a cleaning person was referred to you by someone you know well, it's a good idea to request references and contact a couple of them before making any final decisions. Calling at least two of their current customers (or past bosses) should give you some helpful insights into their work habits, punctuality, and willingness to follow directions.

Although most customers will probably try to be complimentary, if you ask the right questions and look for "red flags" in their answers, you'll be surprised at what you can learn. While it may be too blunt to ask if their cleaning person is honest, a lot can be inferred from their responses to other questions. For example, if a housekeeper has been working for the same customer for several years and cleans their house while the costumer is at their office or other place of employment, then there's a good chance the cleaner does excellent (or at least satisfactory) work and can be trusted. One direct question that generally needs to be asked when talking with references is "Would you personally recommend this person?" Asking how their housekeeper responds to special requests, suggestions, or constructive criticism may also provide revealing answers.

When getting a quote from a cleaning person or house cleaning service, it's useful to get an itemized list of what chores or services would be covered in the price. There are two advantages to this. First of all, you'll be able to compare "apples to apples". Secondly, you'll be able to gauge your expectations to what was initially promised and agreed to. While there may be other issues to consider, like possible background checks and insurance coverages they carry, once you've found a house cleaner you like and trust, you've cleared the biggest hurdle in your search!

Posted by Joyce Torelli on 2/18/2018

This Condo in Mendon, MA recently sold for $285,000. This style home was sold by Joyce Torelli - ERA Key Realty Services - Distinctive Group.

3 Spring Brook Court, Mendon, MA 01756


Sale Price

Full/Half Baths
Cul-de-Sac, Beautiful Wooded Locale! Single Fam. lifestyle, enclave-Duplex style homes w-2 Car Gar-No condo fee! Open Flr.Plan..Beautiful Mahogany color Bamboo Flrs! Spacious Liv.Rm. w/decorative tiled Fireplace, LED Rec.Lts., open to Dining Room with Chair rail decor & Sliders to Screened Porch to Stone & Brick Patio! Brushed Steel Appl., in Rich Oak Kitchen with Granite, Bronze Clamshell pulls, Gooseneck faucet in Double Stainless sink, lovely tiled backsplash, Center Isle w/Breakfast bar, & a Pantry! Vaulted Sky-Lit King size Master Bedroom w-Wall to Wall Double Closets, and cozy reading area. Queen/Full secondary BR's. 2nd. Flr. Full Bathrm with 36" Cherry style Cabinets/Granite, Glass Doors-White Tub/Shower with Built in shelving, & Tiled Flr. 1st. Flr. Laundry w/Storage. Entertainers delight on Fin. Lower Level shared Firepit area! UPDATES: Bamboo Flrs.,Stainless; Refrig./5-Burner Range/Microwave&Bosch Dishwasher, Bathrm, Patio, Boiler @2yrs, Well Pump @2yrs.

Tags: Real Estate   Condo   Mendon   01756  
Categories: Sold Homes  

Posted by Joyce Torelli on 2/14/2018

If youíre buying a fixer upper, whether you plan to live on the property or flip it, there are plenty of things that youíll need to consider. So you can budget appropriately, below, many of the costs and fees are laid to so that you can see what youíll need to budget for when rehabilitating a home.

The Overall Costs

The costs that youíll incur in buying and finishing a home that needs to be rehabilitated are as follows:

  • The team needed for rehabilitation
  • The purchase price of the property
  • The cost of owning the property
  • The cost of selling the property (if you plan on flipping the home)

The Team

The people that you put together to rehab your home will be very important to the entire rehabilitation process. You should take the time to research each person that youíre hiring to be sure that they are a good fit for the job.

Professionals who will be involved in the process include:

  • Lender
  • Attorney
  • Realtor
  • Contractor 
  • Insurance agent
  • Home inspector

You can ask your realtor or other trusted contacts for recommendations. Putting a team in place helps to make the entire, sometimes cumbersome process of house rehabilitation a bit smoother. 

Buying The Property

These costs are pretty standard as if you were buying any other home. Youíll need to pay closing costs, attorneys fees, realtor fees, and more. Costs typically included in a home purchase are:

  • Inspection
  • Purchase price
  • Closing costs
  • Appraisal

You should budget for all of these typical home buying costs when buying a rehab home. 

The Costs Of Home Rehabilitation

This is where things get expensive. Youíll need to first pay a contractor just to consult with them to see how they will create your vision for the property. You could also take another route an consult with a home inspector who has experience in construction. They can give you an idea of what the construction expense will be and what needs to be addressed. 

When you do get to meet with contractors, youíll want to understand their construction experience and feel comfortable that they can produce the work that you need at a high level of quality.  

Owning A Home

Once you have the home in need of rehabilitation in your possession, youíll need to pay the typical costs of any homeowner. These include:

  • Mortgage payments
  • Taxes
  • Insurance
  • Utilities
  • Maintenance

Even if youíre not currently occupying the home, once the property is purchased, all of these costs will need to be covered and considered. 

If you decide to flip the property and sell it, youíll need to consider additional costs including realtorís fees and other closing costs.  

Posted by Joyce Torelli on 2/13/2018

95 Maplewood Avenue, Marlborough, MA 01752



Approx. GLA
1 TIME SHOWINGS PUBLIC OPEN HOUSE, SAT.1-3PM. Feb.17th. Updated, INVESTOR FRIENDLY or OWNER OCCUPIED! Immense Fenced Back Yard, & 2 Driveways! Light & bright. Nice side str. neighborhood. Gas Heat. FIRST FLR., French style doors to Lovely Hardwood floored Liv.Rm. Cheerful European style Eat-in Kitchen w/Electric Range & Refrigerator, 1 Bathroom, 2 Bedrooms, & 3rd. BR use in large Finished Walk-Out lower level & Office! Wash/Dryer in basement for 1st Flr. 2ND FLR. -White Kitchen w/Gas Range, Ceil.Fan, a small Den, Large, 1 bedroom, Bathroom - no w/dryer hookups, private left side entry/drive, & uses Common front enclosed Porch if icy weather. UPDATES: Thermopane Windows, Architectural Roof @ 2003-4, Hot Water Tank@2013, Exterior Painted 2016). Walk to downtown/quick access to major routes. Many local amenities: 24Hr.Grocery/Drug, AMSA Charter School, Mall, Memorial Beach-boats/swim/recreation.T-station-Southb. SUBMIT OFFERS on/or before TUE.5pm.2/20. Disclosure below.
Open House
February 17 at 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Don't miss!
Cannot make the Open Houses?
Location: 95 Maplewood Avenue, Marlborough, MA 01752    Get Directions

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Categories: New Homes  

Posted by Joyce Torelli on 2/7/2018

Stressed out and wishing you had room in the budget for a trip to Hawaii? Take a vacation whenever you want from the comfort of your home by creating a home sanctuary. When you have a peaceful refuge just a few footsteps down the hall you can easily take 15 minutes to yourself to relax and take the edge off whenever you like.

Start by selecting your space. You can turn a spare room or unused corner of the home into your sanctuary. When choosing a place take the foot traffic and lighting of the area into consideration. For example, you may find it distracting of your new sanctuary is across from the bathroom your family uses frequently or if there is a harsh glare at sunrise or sunset.

Decide on how youíll spend time in this area. While you may hear sanctuary and immediately assume itís a space for meditation or prayer this can be a quiet place for you to do any activity you find soothing. This may be reading, painting, writing or even putting a puzzle together. Once you know how you would like to utilize the room you can add furniture that will easily allow you to immerse yourself in an activity. Consider soft lighting, a desk, rug,  large chair, and any tools necessary for your chosen activity. This could mean adding anything from a meditation pillow to an easel.

Handy hint: keep what you do add to the room intentional and functional. To maintain a calming environment that is easy to relax in avoid clutter from finding itís way into this room and taking over. Add plants to bring a touch of peaceful nature to the room and purify the air. Choose soft, neutral colors to decorate with. If you are using a corner of a room for your sanctuary you can section the area off for privacy with a room divider or bookshelf.

If you donít have space in your home for a dedicated sanctuary you can easily turn any space into a peaceful area by turning on some relaxing music and lighting some candles whose smells you find soothing. If youíre open to redecorating you can take the above tips and apply them to your living room or family den. You can even get your whole family to join in by limiting tv time and scheduling a ďcalm hourĒ for everyone to take a break and just chill.

Donít wait all year for a two-week vacation to relax. Bring the elements that soothe your soul to your everyday routine into your home whether with a hobby like building a puzzle or setting dedicated quiet time for the whole family. When you make it simple to take a timeout from the day itís harder to put off taking the time to relax. Your health will thank you!

Categories: Uncategorized