Greater Newburyport

Hidden Gem: Plum Island Lighthouse

Have you ever visited this beautiful, historic light house on Plum Island?

A climb to the top of this historic light offers incredible views of both land and sea – from the Isles of Shoals and Mt. Agamenticus to the Great Salt Marsh and Cape Ann. Get a terrific view of the boating traffic at the mouth of the Merrimack River and down to the city of Newburyport; watch the kayaks and paddle boarders ply the waters of the Basin. And as you climb the stairs to get to the light, follow the extraordinary history of this local treasure that began with a 1788 commission signed by George Washington and travels to the present building that was completed in 1898. “Sharing the history of the Plum Island Light is one of the joys of conducting these tours”, says John Vogl, president of the Friends of Plum Island Light. “The views at the top are their own reward, but an understanding of how important this Light has been and remains to navigation in the Merrimack River Valley adds a special note for all visitors young and old. It’s the kind of place that offers something new whether it’s your first visit or your tenth.”

The Newburyport Harbor Light at Plum Island Point is now open and offering tours on Sundays this summer. The tours and parking are free; donations are gratefully accepted and much appreciated to help with preservation and maintenance of the property. For a complete list of tour dates, safety information and more visit: http://www.newenglandlighthouses.net/plum-island.html

TIPS: Declutter & Downsize

Kids off to college in the fall? Planning to list your home this spring, or maybe in the next few years? A house clear of clutter is easier to sell, plus, there are many benefits to taking the time to go through belongings and clear the clutter in your home - you can even reduce your stress by simplifying.

declutter, downsize, open space, living room

What to Keep

Before you begin to declutter, establish a list of the things you won’t want to part with during this process. Some of these may be photographs, family heirlooms, and documents such as tax returns, birth certificates or marriage licenses. Sentimental items should make the cut as well. Making a conscious decision to keep things that have special meaning to you will make the process of letting go of the rest a bit easier.

5 Tips to Start Decluttering

Once you have decided to downsize or declutter your home, get out a calendar and make a timeline for completing each section of your house. The process will take some time (think basements, garage.) If you are moving, you will want to give yourself 3-5 months to complete the process.living room, declutter, downsize

Before you begin, setup bins for donations, recycling, and trash. You won’t want to throw everything in trash bags since there will be many items that can be used by someone in need.

Start small. Before stepping into your bedroom closet, or boxes in the basement, choose a room that won’t have many items of sentimental value or won’t be too overwhelming to tackle. A bathroom or a kitchen are manageable options (you won’t lose sleep over tossing expired multivitamins or an extra whisk!)

Enlist a declutter buddy. Have a friend keep to you accountable! You can create a pile of items that you aren’t sure you are ready to part ways with. A second opinion can help you decide what stays and what goes into the donate bin.

If you are moving to a smaller space, you may need to downsize your collections of items such as books, shoes or even wine glasses. Make sure to give yourself a hard limit of how many of each item you want to keep, it will make choosing easier.

Relax and enjoy! Don’t plan to declutter the whole house in a weekend. That creates unnecessary stress. Give yourself a simple reward each time you complete a space, and give yourself time to enjoy your hard work!

 

Spring Market Trends 2017

This spring is proving to be a true seller’s market with some of the lowest inventory we have seen in years heading into the busiest season of the year. What does this mean for you? If you have been thinking of selling, now would be an ideal time to put your home on the market. With limited homes available for purchase, properties are moving very quickly with buyers competing for listings.

LOW INVENTORY

With fewer homes on the market, buyers need to be prepared to move quickly once they have found the property they want to purchase. “The historically low inventory just reinforces how important it is for a buyer to be preapproved and they must be ready to act quickly when the “right one” comes along,” says Cathy Toomey, co-owner of Stone Ridge Properties.

Sandy Berkenbush, co-owner at Stone Ridge Properties adds, “we are finding a lot of sellers are thinking about getting their houses on the market sooner rather than later, that way they will be in a great position to purchase their new home with their current home firmly under agreement.”

CURB APPEAL

Of course the spring season continues to be the best time of the year to list your home with the combination of improving weather and blooming landscaping working together to increase curb appeal. You will need to price your home competitively and accurately to sell quickly, and we would be happy to help you determine your home’s value today.

 

Giving Back in the Greater Newburyport Area

We are thankful for so much - especially for being a part of such wonderful, vibrant communities in Amesbury and Newburyport. This time of year many of us think of how we can give back to our neighbors. Being a local, independent business allows us to actively participate in so much, and part of our passion as a small business is giving back to our community. We have been a long-time supporter of many non-profit organizations in greater the Newburyport area. You can read about our continued commitment to the mission and work of such organizations in the communities we serve, we created a formal corporate giving program, the Stone Ridge Properties Charitable Foundation.

If you would like to be involved in giving back locally this holiday season, consider lending a hand to these organizations that we are proud to support. Here are a few organizations from our Foundation that have specific needs right now.

Pettengill House

The mission of The Pettengill House, Inc. is to support and empower children and families by providing education,comprehensive case management and basic needs; and by coordinating community supports that contribute to individual and family stabilization, personal growth and development.

Pettengill House offers family services to families in Amesbury, Byfield, Groveland, Merrimac, Newbury, Newburyport, Rowley, Salisbury, South Hampton and West Newbury.

How to Help:

Here is a link to the specific items Pettengill House needs most this season - food, clothing and toiletries. They also have a winter coat drive going on now. Here is more information about volunteering, including hours they are looking for help and initiatives you can be involved in.

Our Neighbor’s Table

Do you know hunger affects 1 out of every 16 people living across the northeastern Essex County? Our Neighbor's Table is committed to establishing a community that provides for the whole person with nourishing food, kindness and dignity.  Our programs provide food assistance to individuals and families living in Amesbury, Boxford, Byfield, Georgetown, Groveland, Merrimac, Newbury, Newburyport, Rowley, Salisbury, South Hampton, and West Newbury.

How to Help:

Our Neighbor’s Table is looking for items for their pantry, volunteers, and donations leading up to the holidays. You can also find a wish list for specific items they are currently looking for on their website.

Upcoming Events:

Amesbury Educational Foundation is having their Autumn Evening of Giving Monday, November 7th at the Ale House. Raising funds of sufficient size to make a difference in our schools is a challenging task. We invite you to help us provide and promote continued excellence in education for Amesbury Public School children. Learn more.

Details:

Come dine, socialize and support Amesbury Public Schools at the 2016 Autumn Evening of Giving.

Date: Monday November 7, 2016

Time: 6:00-9:00 PM

Location: Ale House 33 Main Street Amesbury, MA

 

Fall Real Estate Market Update

This fall is going to be an incredible time to buy or sell based on market trends in the North Shore of Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire. Aside from the fact that Essex County and the Merrimack River Valley are extremely desirable places to live, there are other factors, like a strong job market, that are factoring into this exciting season.

Stone Ridge Properties Co-Owner Cathy Toomey comments, “whether you are a first time buyer or a seasoned real estate pro, you have to admit these interest rates allow for much greater purchasing power.”258 High Street Newburyport MA

Earlier this year The Boston Globe predicted that this Fall would be a great time to buy or sell: “Interest rates are still low; mortgage guidelines are loosening; inventory is on the low side, keeping the supply under control and demand high; the economy in Greater Boston is booming; home equity is rising; and pride of homeownership is definitely back.” Inventory is still low which is great for sellers hoping to get an offer on their home quickly, and buyers can be optimistic about mortgage approval as mortgages are getting easier to obtain.

With low inventory and eager buyers, be sure to connect with a Stone Ridge agent soon to make the most of this busy season. We are ready to get working for you! Visit our website to find an agent and set up an account to receive daily real estate updates.

IMAGE: 258 High Street, Newburyport, MA $599,900, click image for complete listing.

Sources: The Boston Globe, Feb 7 2016: Another Big Year for the Housing Market Ahead. The Fiscal Times, May 2016: 10 Trends Driving the Housing Market Now.

Upcoming Open House Super Sunday!

Stone Ridge Properties Open HousesHoping to find your dream home this Fall? We are here to make the process as fun and easy as possible! Be sure to visit our Open House Super Sunday Sunday, October 23.

Be entered to win a $150 gift certificate to the restaurant of your choice when you sign into any of our Open Houses on Super Sunday. Check the Stone Ridge Properties website and facebook page for updates and to learn about the listings and locations.

The link to scheduled Open Houses will be updated regularly as the dates approach: www.stoneridgeproperties.com/realestate/openhouse.

Visiting Open Houses is a great way to get a sense of the market value of homes in the area, determine what you want to spend on your property, and visualize the community you may be moving into. Want to make the most of your Open Houses you attend? Here are some tips for maximizing your visit:

  • Open House Super SundayHave a good idea of what you are looking for: Be vocal with your goals of your Open House visit. Even if the Open House you are attending doesn’t end up being your dream home, our agents know the local market well and will know of other available listings or properties that may be "coming soon."
  • Ask lots of questions! This is the best way to learn about the interesting facts about the property and the history of the home. Our agents will do their best to answer, and if we don’t have the answers - we will find them out and get back to you.
  • Take notes: If you are visiting several Open Houses in the same day, you might forget which home had what amenities. Keep them all straight on a notepad or in your phone to remember key information.

Happy house hunting!

Stay in touch with us on social media!

Want to stay in the know with the latest real estate news, new listings, community events, local interest stories and more in the Greater Newburyport Area? Follow us on all of our social media channels! We have recently joined instagram and twitter so be sure to find us there as well.

Find us on Instagram: stoneridgeproperties

Follow us on Twitter: @StoneRidgeRE

Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/stoneridgeproperties

Local (low cost!) Summer Outings in Newbury, Newburyport and Amesbury

  1. Take the whole family down to the Amesbury Town Park complete with new splash pad, playground, and surrounded by acres of gorgeous woods. The park is located between Friend and Highland Streets in Amesbury. Free.
  2. Walk the Newburyport Harbor Walk & Clipper City Rail Trail and see beautiful views of Newburyport Harbor and downtown. Find more information at www.cityofnewburyport.com. Free.
  3. Visit Maudslay State Park - try to spot deer, Great Horned Owls, or the famous Bald Eagles that are nesting there. There are also beautiful gardens in full bloom. Bike in for free, or $5 to park.
  4. Take a day trip to Plum Island. Plum Island is famous for its beautiful beaches, but did you know it holds the oldest private airfield in the USA? And a historic lighthouse? You can also go fishing, birding, biking and more. Some fees may apply, visit: http://newburyportchamber.org/pages/PlumIsland for information.
  5. Go berry picking! Strawberry season is wrapping up, just in time for the blueberries and raspberries to ripen - visit one of the many amazing local farms in the area and walk and explore - and pick up some locally grown produce while you are at it. Cider Hill Farm in Amesbury or Tendercrop Farm in Newbury are great farms for the whole family: http://www.ciderhill.com/ and http://www.tendercropfarm.com/. The cost of the berries.

Best of The Daily News

Thank you Greater Newburyport Area! We are so thrilled and humbled to have named "Best Real Estate Agency" by the Daily News of Newburyport for the eighth year in a row. 

And our very own Mike Mullins was voted Best Real Estate Agent! Although he is a native of Australia, he has called Newburyport home for over 30 years.

According to the Daily News, the results are tabulated from paper ballots distributed by The Daily News via a newspaper special section, and from a poll conducted on their website, newburyportnews.com.

We take pride in serving this community as an independent real estate agency that has been in business for over 25 years. We hope to continue to assist you through the home buying and selling process for many years to come.

Thank you, thank you!