Thomas Murphy - Pine Shores Real Estate

Posted by Thomas Murphy on 10/17/2019

This Single-Family in Yarmouth, MA recently sold for $405,000. This Ranch style home was sold by Thomas Murphy - Pine Shores Real Estate.

9 Cogswell Path, Yarmouth, MA 02673


Sale Price

Immaculate 3 bedroom ranch, fully updated with granite kitchen and central air. Wide open floor plan great for entertaining with a bonus room off the garage for a play room, man cave, arts/crafts room or home office. Mud room and bonus room open with french doors to your deck with a back yard surrounded by town own land offering plenty of privacy. Nothing left to do, but move right in!

Similar Properties

Categories: Sold Homes  

Posted by Thomas Murphy on 10/13/2019

The last thing your family needs is to have no idea where to find your important papers and last wishes when confronted with a sudden illness or death. No one wants to talk about these things but taking the time to organize your paperwork can give your loved ones true peace of mind when dealing with your estate. Here are the top essential documents to keep handy and why you should do it now.

Important documents

Living revocable trust: This document allows you to retain control of your assets while you are still living but enables a trustee that you appoint to transfer your assets to your trust beneficiaries without going through probate. If you don’t have one, your estate must go through probate. Anything that is not correctly added to the trust will still have to go through the probate process, so make sure you keep it up to date, and that ownership and titles of all assets (homes, vehicles, accounts) are transferred out of your name and into the name of the trust.

A living will: Also called an advanced directive, a living will is a statement of your end-of-life medical treatment desires if you become terminally ill, incapacitated, or cannot speak for yourself. Without one, state law determines who has the legal right to make these decisions for you. Typically, it is in the order of closest relationship, but if, for example, the children are next in order but cannot, as siblings, agree, your situation could end up being decided by a court. A living will protects your family from having to make these decisions.

Healthcare POA: A power of attorney (POA) is a document allowing someone else that you trust to have the final say about your medical care when you are incapacitated. It works alongside the living will to carry out your wishes.

Financial POA: Your financial accounts can only be handled by someone else if you’ve given them permission to do so. The legal document is a financial power of attorney. Many financial institutions have their own POA forms that you can complete and send in to them. Without a financial POA, no one can pay your bills or even buy your groceries from your accounts, meaning that you might leave loved ones with debts you intended to pay. It is important to note, however, that a financial POA is only in force while you remain alive. At your death, your will, trust, and designated beneficiary documents take over.

List of Financial Accounts: Often, your family does not know what accounts you have. Create a list of your accounts that includes the institution (with address and telephone number), account number, beneficiaries, and any automatic withdrawals that come from the account (including payee and amount. Also, keep a list of all insurance accounts, retirement accounts, and annuity accounts with the same information. It is essential to list the beneficiaries clearly and if possible, their social security numbers and relationship to you, so that there is no question if you meant Suzy your niece or Suzy your great-granddaughter.

Marriage License: A copy of your marriage license (especially if you’ve been married more than once, is essential so that there is no question about transfer of ownership to a surviving spouse. Without it, your spouse will have to order one from the county or country where you married, which could take several days to more than a month. Until then, your spouse may not be able to claim rights and benefits.

Divorce Decree: In the same way, copies of divorce decrees protect your current spouse from any claims by a prior spouse.

Tax Return (most recent)

Letter of Intent: Your executor needs clear instructions about the management and distribution of your estate. Along with the legal form, a list of significant items you want to be designated to specific persons should be attached. 

Funeral Arrangements: Clearly identify the type of memorial service you prefer. Also, define if you prefer burial or cremation, and any specifics about where and how you want your remains taken care of, including if you own a burial plot or niche. While this document is not legal, it gives your families the assurance that they are following your wishes.

Will: Usually, this is including with your living trust, but if you have assets outside the trust, your will specifies how your executor should distribute your assets after your death.

Plan for Business Succession: If you own a business, it is vital that you have a business succession plan in place. This plan outlines who will be in control of your business if you become incapacitated, and when you die. Without it, your business operations and your employees could suffer. It should be separate from your personal trust, with its own appointed trustee that has knowledge about how your business operates that can keep it running.

If you don’t have some of these items in place and need a referral to legal representation, reach out to your local bar association for a list of qualified estate attorneys near you.

Tags: personal finance   will   family  
Categories: Uncategorized  

Posted by Thomas Murphy on 10/6/2019

It sounded like such a good idea, right? Update the kitchen, do some painting, some new fixtures, maybe some landscaping and then you can sell your home for top dollar or create the home of your dreams. As the days turn into weeks, then months and your bank account slowly drains down, that perfect home starts to seem like just a pipe dream. You've fallen victim to the most common renovation problem: scope creep.

Scope creep is the general term for when your project gets expanded beyond its original borders either through intentional decisions or unintentional discoveries or mistakes. Once you’re down this path, the time and cost can start to grow exponentially.

You Don’t Have to Be a Victim

Even the best-laid plans can fall to the wayside when the unexpected happens, but you can prevent scope creep from happening to you by planning for a variety of eventualities and getting help from professionals. First and foremost, pick what you want and stick with it. Mid-project changes nearly always increase the costs more than you think they will. Your builder will have budgeted for your original plans including pre-ordering fixtures and materials, finding ways to group orders together for better costs and planning for what’s best available in a particular season. When you change your mind after you place those orders or allocated any extra funds elsewhere, you can cascade your pricing up. You also lengthen your construction time, since you may have to wait for new fittings or materials to ship before completion of the work. This delay can push you into a new season, which can cause its own problems.

In addition to the problems you can cause, there are many factors out of your control. Remember that even if you have the most professional and realistic builder, any project estimate is just that: an estimate. They are guessing based on research and experience. That can come back to bite you when their regular suppliers are out of stock or have increase prices. Weather, even on the opposite side of the country, can affect the pricing and availability of materials, fixtures, and more, so keep that in mind when making your plans. The most dangerous unavoidable problem is the weather. Unexpected rain can slow or stop work even change how paint or grout dry and causing cracks in addition to delays. Nearly every pricing delay is also a budget increase and vice versa.

Use a Professional

While some things you can DIY, for large projects on a specific timeline, you’re best off getting the right help. An experienced builder is familiar with scope creep and should warn you about any changes you request and what they will do to your timeline and budget. Choose your builder near to when they make the bid so they can put in purchase orders and get the prices they quoted you. Spend some time thinking about what you want and be sure about your plan before getting estimates. Once you decide on that plan, stick to it. No matter how good your builder, they will still be giving you’re their best estimate, so always add at least 20-25% to both the time and cost estimates you receive.

Want to know the best renovations for your property? Ask your real estate professional for a recommendation!

Categories: Uncategorized  

Posted by Thomas Murphy on 9/29/2019

That kitchen sink faucet needed replacing for a while, but between the cost of the new faucet and the cost of paying the hourly rate of the plumber and his helper, it is still the same old faucet. It works—sort-of—at least water comes out. Then, while watching one of those shows (that is either remodeling a house to live in or to flip and make some money), you see them change out the kitchen faucet, and you say to yourself, "I can do that.” 

So, the adventure begins.

On the surface, changing out a faucet does not seem like such a challenging project. However, if you are not doing plumbing on a regular basis, it can get more complicated. The first step is that you have to buy the faucet you want that will look good. That seems simple enough, but there are holes already drilled in the sink or the countertop, so you must get a faucet that will fit those. There are two ways to size the holes: either remove the old fixture or get under the sink to measure the distance between the holes. (This is particularly important if this is an older home.) 

Now to do the work.

Removing the faucet requires crawling under the sink. 

  • First, remove all of that stuff stored under there.
  • Turn off the hot and cold water. If there are no valves under the sink, you need to find the master valve for the house. (If this is the situation, you might decide to install valves while you’re at it, but remember, you are not a plumber, so that might be biting off more than you can chew.)
  • Now you find that the drain pipes are in your way of trying to get under the sink to reach the backside. So, you decide to remove them to get around under there. Seems logical right? Unfortunately, you find that someone else that is not a plumber replaced those drain lines and did not put them back correctly so now you are going to have to replace those.
  • Back to the faucet you finally get the water lines removed and the nuts holding the faucet to the sink. (They're corroded—apparently, there had been a leak at some point). 

Following the instructions that came with the faucet, you get it attached to the sink, and it looks GREAT! Unfortunately, you go to connect the waterlines, and the ends do not match the faucet. So, you remove the waterlines from the inlet valve and head to the DIY store to find new lines that will fit. You also remember to take all of that drain pipe with you because you are going to need to replace it and make it fit correctly.

Wrap it up!

Now you have the new parts you can get the water attached and the drain pipes reconnected. The drain pipes look a lot different, but they work, and they do not leak. Congratulations to you! 

You have finally replaced that old faucet. It looks good, but bummer it took you all Saturday morning and then some. Maybe you should have paid that plumber for an hour. You could have done something more fun. Plumbing is one of those DIY things that when you do not do it all of the time, you NEVER have the correct pieces and you end up making several trips to the store. You are not alone.

The choice is yours: spend money or spend time. DIY can be satisfying or frustrating, so remember to start a project with your eyes open to what could be involved. Good luck! 

For a referral to a qualified plumber, check with your real estate professional.

Posted by Thomas Murphy on 9/22/2019

One of the biggest benefits to buying a home is that of the tax savings for you. You own a home now, so there’s no more monthly rental payments going out the window. All of your mortgage payments are going towards your financial future. There’s many different types of tax breaks that you can get from owning your home. Many home improvement projects that allow you an extra tax break are hiding right in the fine print! Tax breaks are known as “incentives.” These incentives are essentially what help people to get important things in their homes done without having a order placed on them. There are some hidden things that you may not have known could be used as tax write-offs.  

Energy Savings

From putting solar panels on your home to replacing appliances, there are certain tax breaks that you can get for making your home more energy efficient. There are lifetime caps on these deductions, but on a certain year, you’ll be able to save some extra money on your taxes. Some of the deductions that you might be able to claim include:

  • Air-source heat pumps
  • Biomass stoves
  • Central AC units
  • Water heaters
  • Certain energy-generation systems which include an array of things like water heaters, solar panels, fuel cell systems, wind turbines, and geothermal heat pumps.

You can deduct somewhere in the neighborhood of 30% of the cost of these improvements to your home. It doesn’t hurt to check on the updated standards that are introduced each year by the government. Your accountant can help you to understand your own deductions a bit more in-depth. 

Modifying Your Home For Medical Needs

If you need to modify your home in order to accommodate medical needs, you may be eligible for a tax deduction. The modifications must not increase the value of your home and be medically necessary. If the doctor tells you to lose weight and you put in a home gym, you can’t deduct that. If you need a ramp put in your home for wheelchair accessibility, then that can be deducted. The cost of the modifications generally has to exceed 10% of your adjusted gross income, or 7.5% if you’re over the age of 65. 

What’s Not Deductible

If you have done some major remodeling around your home, it’s sad to say that these improvements probably aren’t tax deductible. On the positive side, you will get a bigger return on your home when you do decide to sell it. This could help you to reduce any capital gains tax that you may have to pay on the sale of the home.

Remember that when you make improvements to your home, you’re doing it first for your own needs. Any tax write-offs that you may get are merely a bonus.

Categories: Uncategorized