Thomas Murphy - Pine Shores Real Estate



Posted by Thomas Murphy on 5/27/2018

One feature new homeowners most look forward to adding is a backyard garden. Afterall, is there anything better than a homegrown tomato or zucchini?

Another benefit of homeownership is the ability to start a compost heap for your garden. By skipping chemical fertilizers in favor of compost you will not only have a great way to recycle yard and kitchen scraps but also naturally replenish the soil. This leads to healthier plants, a healthier you and little by little a healthier planet.

Compost is so nourishing because of what is called humus. Humus is the part of soils made from decomposition. It restores nutrients to the malnourished soil, helps the soil retain moisture and even keep diseases from affecting your plants.

To get started you’ll want to choose how you’ll go about creating your compost. You can either opt for a tumbling composter, which takes a lot of the manual work out of turning your pile, or creating your compost on top of the ground, where it will have easy access to earthworms and easily drain excess water.

When creating a compost pile you will want it to be at least 3 feet long by 3 feet wide. You will also want your pile to be about 3 feet high. To help keep your pile neat and contained you can build, or buy, a fence-like box for your compost pile.  

When you have your compost “storage” of choice ready to go you’ll also want to have a good amount of scraps to begin building your pile up to those 3 feet I mentioned or fill up your bin. The best way to do this is to keep two sealable containers in your kitchen to toss scraps in for your pile. However, you don’t want to toss just anything into this container.


What you can put into your Dry (also called Brown) scrap container:

  • Eggshells

  • Tea leaves and/or coffee grounds

  • Dead flowers

  • Cardboard and paper goods (they must be unwaxed)

  • 100% cotton and/or wool (no synthetics)


What you can put in your Moist (also called Green) scrap container:

  • Vegetable scraps

  • Fruit scraps

  • Grass and leaves

  • Manure from herbivorous animals (cows, horses, rabbits, etc)


What you should never put in your containers:

  • Meat, fish or bone scraps

  • Manure from carnivorous animals (cats, dogs, etc)

  • Waxed, sticky or treated paper products and/or wood

  • Citrus peels or onions


Begin your pile with a layer of sticks and straw if you will be building it on bare ground. This will allow your compost to properly drain and avoid becoming oversaturated. Next, alternate layers of moist/green and dry/brown materials to an even 50/50 ratio.  

You will want turn over your pile every few weeks to allow for oxygenation. If your pile begins steaming that means the decomposition process is in action!  When it begins to turn a crumbly black in the center and earthworms are showing up compost has begun to/is fully formed and ready to use in your garden!




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Posted by Thomas Murphy on 5/20/2018

An open approach to selling a home can make a world of difference for any seller, at any time. In fact, there are many reasons to maintain an open approach to selling a house, and these include:

1. You can consider all of your home selling options.

The prices of homes in one part of the country may vary from the prices of similar houses in another. Fortunately, a home seller who keeps his or her options open can map out the home selling journey based on the current housing sector's conditions.

As you prepare to sell your house, it helps to analyze the local real estate sector and keep your options open. That way, you can price your house appropriately, promote it to the right groups of buyers and boost the likelihood of a fast, profitable home sale.

2. You can wait to accept an offer that matches your expectations.

Let's face it – no home seller wants to deal with underwhelming offers to buy his or her residence. If you maintain an open approach to selling your home, however, you may be better equipped than others to avoid selling yourself short.

Ultimately, an informed home seller is open to any offer on a residence but will only accept a proposal that matches his or her expectations. If this seller receives a "lowball" offer, he or she will have no trouble politely declining the proposal. Or, if this seller gets a "fair" offer, he or she can accept the proposal and move forward in the home selling journey.

3. You can reduce the risk of making rash home selling decisions.

The pressure to sell a house can be immense, particularly for an individual who is selling a residence for the first time. But with an open approach to selling a house, you may be able to avoid making rash home selling decisions.

When the going gets tough for a home seller, he or she knows how to calm down and stay focused. By taking a deep breath and looking at the big picture, a home seller can think and act logically. Then, this seller can allocate the necessary time and resources to make informed home selling choices and increase the probability of making the right decisions based on his or her individual needs.

For those who are getting ready to sell a house, it helps to maintain an open approach to the home selling journey. Furthermore, if you need extra assistance as you prepare to list your home, you may want to reach out to a local real estate agent.

A real estate agent will help you showcase your residence to potential buyers and review offers. Perhaps best of all, he or she can provide honest, unbiased home selling advice and help you remain calm, cool and collected in even the toughest home selling situations.

Make the most of your home selling experience – take an open approach to the home selling journey, and you can move one step closer to accomplishing your home selling goals.




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Posted by Thomas Murphy on 5/13/2018

Buying a house can be simple, particularly for those who craft a blueprint before they embark on the property buying journey. Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you craft an effective homebuying blueprint.

1. Analyze the Housing Market

The housing market varies in cities and towns across the United States. However, if you analyze the local real estate sector closely, you can map out a successful property buying journey.

Assess the prices of recently sold residences and find out how long these homes were available before they sold. That way, you can determine whether a buyer's or seller's market is in place.

Remember, the more housing market data you review, the more equipped you'll be to understand the current state of the local housing sector. And if you allocate time and resources to analyze housing market data, you can gain the insights you need to make informed decisions throughout the property buying cycle.

2. Establish Homebuying Criteria

Create a list of homebuying criteria – you'll be glad you did. Because once you know what you want to find in your dream home, you can narrow your house search.

As you put together homebuying criteria, think about where you want to reside too. This will enable you to hone your home search to preferred cities and towns.

Don't forget to consider your short- and long-term plans as you craft your homebuying criteria as well. For instance, if your goal is to work in the city, you may want to focus on houses in or near the city itself. On the other hand, if you plan to start a family soon, you may want to explore residences near the top schools in your area.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

If you're unsure about how to craft a homebuying blueprint, there is no need to worry. Real estate agents are available nationwide, and these housing market professionals can help you put together a homebuying plan.

A real estate agent is a housing market expert who is happy to teach you everything you need to know about buying a residence. He or she also will respond to any of your homebuying concerns and questions.

In addition, a real estate agent will act as a guide along the homebuying journey. He or she first will learn about your homebuying criteria and goals and help you put together a property buying plan. Next, a real estate agent will help you search for your dream residence and set up property showings. And once you discover a house you want to buy, a real estate agent will help you submit a competitive offer to purchase this home.

For those who want to achieve the optimal results during the property buying journey, it generally is a good idea to create a homebuying blueprint. By using the aforementioned tips, you can craft a homebuying blueprint so you can achieve your desired homebuying results.




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Posted by Thomas Murphy on 5/6/2018

Do you need to hire a real estate agent to help you find your dream home? The choice is yours, but ultimately, your decision to hire a real estate agent to guide you along the homebuying process may determine whether you're able to find your ideal house quickly and effortlessly. Your real estate agent can provide plenty of tips as you search for homes. In fact, there are many terrific reasons to listen to your real estate agent throughout the homebuying process, including: 1. Comprehensive Resources Although you may have a vast array of online resources at your disposal, your real estate likely can provide additional insights you won't find elsewhere. For instance, your real estate can collaborate with a home seller's real estate agent to better understand a seller's preferences. This may allow you to find out whether a seller is looking for a quick sale, how much this seller would accept for his or her residence and other "insider" information. Your real estate agent is happy to provide you with extra resources as well. This professional can send you regular email updates of home listings in particular areas, set up a home showing as soon as a new residence in a specific city or town becomes available and do whatever it takes to ensure you can find your ideal home immediately. 2. Extensive Negotiating Skills Don't enter a home negotiation without a real estate agent at your side. With a real estate agent who understands what it takes to handle a high-pressure negotiation, you should have no trouble striking a fair deal with a home seller. Your real estate agent likely understands how to stay calm, cool and collected in even the most stressful negotiation. Meanwhile, this professional can pass along tips to help you confidently submit an offer on a home and await a seller's response. Ultimately, the negotiating tips and support you receive from your real estate agent can make a world of difference in your efforts to buy a high-quality residence. And in the end, the guidance that your real estate agent provides may help you secure your ideal home. 3. Honesty and Reliability Sometimes, it can be tough to trust a real estate agent. But if you do your homework and hire a real estate agent who is both honest and reliable, you can enjoy consistent support throughout the homebuying process. Employing a first-rate real estate agent ensures you'll be able to receive unbiased feedback as you search for your dream home, too. For example, an honest real estate agent won't be afraid to point out both the pros and cons of a particular home. This feedback will enable you to make a more informed decision and may bolster your chances of purchasing a residence that you can enjoy for years to come. Listen to your real estate agent throughout the homebuying process – you'll be happy you did! By doing so, you can receive expert tips to ensure you're able to buy your dream house at a price that fits your budget.





Posted by Thomas Murphy on 4/29/2018

If you're getting ready to put your home on the market, the thought of organizing, cleaning, and arranging it may seem like an overwhelming project!

Knowing where to begin and how much money to spend on home staging and decorating are among the many questions that may be flooding your mind, right now.

The key to success is to make as much of an impact as possible, without spending more money than necessary.

One way to avoid "spinning your wheels" when it comes to maximizing the appearance of your home is to work with an experienced real estate agent. A good agent will quickly notice aspects of your home that need attention and advise you on the most cost-effective ways to improve its marketability. If they've shown dozens (or more) houses in their career, they'll be very familiar with all the things that attract buyers, as well as what repels them.

Although everyone has different tastes and expectations, many house hunters are attracted to gleaming hardwood floors, energy efficient windows, and stainless steel appliances. While it may not be cost effective to have new floors, appliances, and windows installed to sell your house faster, you can make the best possible impression by making sure the windows are crystal clear, hardwood floors are polished, and appliances are clean and shiny.

Since many house hunters pay close attention to the kitchen, it's especially important to win their approval on appearance and cleanliness. Because food is prepared and often consumed in the kitchen, it's going to be one of the more challenging rooms to keep clean -- especially if you have children. However, if a prospective buyer is wavering between two houses for sale, you can be reasonably sure that the one with the clean kitchen and bathrooms will be their preferred choice.

There are a lot of other ways you can make your kitchen appealing to buyers, too. By minimizing clutter on counter tops and displaying fresh flowers and a colorful bowl of fruit, you can make your kitchen look much more inviting. Prospective buyers will also respond favorably to appealing fragrances, such as freshly baked bread, cookies, cinnamon buns, or coffee. Clean windows, attractive curtains, and plenty of natural light will also add to the ambiance of your kitchen.

The ideal reaction from potential buyers touring your home would be something to the effect of "I can imagine us preparing dinner, entertaining guests, and sitting around the breakfast table in this house!" Setting the table so that it looks like the family is just about to sit down for a meal together is one way to help convey that image. The encouraging news is that when someone expresses sincere appreciation for the comforts and features of your home, there's a good chance they'll find a place for it on their short list of possibilities!