Belt Up your Decor!

Tired of seeing the fifty ways to repurpose a wood pallet?  Listen, I still love the look of those weathered wood planks but I agree, those posts are getting a little monotonous.   My friend Anne just shared this idea… so cool!  There is something about the warmth and richness of leather that is almost like a hearty glass of red wine at the end of the day 🙂  Now imagine a unique leather rug on the floor, you curled up on the couch sipping  your favorite tea  and reading a fabulous book by a fire crackling in the fireplace.  Ahh…

The designer Ting who created these masterpieces currently has design studios in London and Los Angeles.  Thinking she might be a little outside my budget.  Wonder what it would take to make something like this?

Maybe I could start with the seat of a chair or a placemat…Vintage Belt Place Mats.  Sketch, London, 2005.

Though this door is amazing- functional plus a design element.

Elevator Door.  Private Residence, Chicago, 2011.

I bet some of our more contemporary buyers at Ides Hill Commons or Flynn Terrace could go for this when customizing their new Townhomes. (We have one buyer who is now creating his own industrial looking curtain rods with plumbing fixtures – his window treatments are going to look incredible, I can’t wait to see how all of his finishes come together!)

So who is going to figure out how to do this and not have it look like a project from Trading Spaces?  (How is that for a throwback to the beginnings of DIY TV?!? Ahh… the good old days.)

Let me know and I will hit every thrift store in the area to create a stockpile of leather belts for you!

Jen McMorran, RealtorJennifer McMorran, Realtor
New Construction Specialist

respect, reputation, & referrals.
real estate for real people.

Kensington - Jen McMorranServing clients throughout Massachusetts.
Attleboro to Boston and the communities in between!



Functional Magic with Pallets

Now that the sun is finally making a break through here in North Attleboro, I am definitely ready to get back outside and get working but I also wouldn’t mind working on a little functional art with the kids as well!   How super creative and simple are these ideas for re-purposing wooden pallets.  I have included my favorites below but definitely check out the whole article at Better Homes and Gardens for more DIY Pallet Projects.

Pallet compost binHow about tidying up your compost pile with three pallets braced together?

pallet outdoor coffee table Or what about this coffee table?
Just two pallets and some exterior paint!

pallet outdoor paintingNeed some art work to liven up an outdoor space?  How cute is this?

pallet rustic headboard
And just in case you are in search of a rustic style headboard…

Could it get any easier?


Jen McMorran, Realtor * 508-930-5259 *
Kensington Real Estate Brokerage *

First-Time Home Buyers… Five Common Mistakes (and how to avoid them!)

First Time Home BuyersTis the season … the Spring housing market is taking off.  If you are first time home buyer, now is the time to get prepared with the basics so you can take advantage of new inventory coming on the market and the continued low interest rates still under 4%  (and if you’re new to it all, under 4% is great!).

5 Common First-Time Home Buyer Mistakes

Finding Home1.  They don’t ask enough questions of their lender and end up missing out on the best deal.

 2.  They don’t act quickly enough to make a decision and someone else buys the house.

 3.  They don’t find the right agent who’s willing to help them through the home buying process.

4.  They don’t do enough to make their offer look appealing to a seller.

5.  They don’t think about resale before they buy. The average first-time buyer only stays in a home for four years.
Source: Real Estate Checklists and Systems,


How to Avoid 5 Common First-Time Home Buyer Mistakes

1.  They don’t ask enough questions of their lender and end up missing out on the best deal.
What is the current interest rate? What will my monthly payment be including taxes & insurance?
What happens if the rate goes up?
What happens if the rate goes down? Is there a program to make sure I get the lower rate if it decreases before I close? Is there a fee for that program?
What are the fees involved with this loan? Will I be charged PMI (private mortgage insurance)? Can I avoid that?
What do I need for a downpayment?
Can I get a gift of money from friends or family to put towards my downpayment?
If I am buying new construction which won’t be ready for a few months, can I lock an interest rate in now? Are there any extended rate lock programs available?

2.  They don’t act quickly enough to make a decision and someone else buys the house.
The Spring market can move at a fast and furious pace … BE PREPARED and READY to make an offer!  
If there is a listing you love and think is a good value, chances are hundreds of other buyers and agents are thinking the same thing. Let’s set up a search NOW so you get daily updates of homes in your price range. Even if you are thinking Summer, now is the time to get comfortable with the market and a better feel for what you like and what you can afford.
Then, set up time to meet with a mortgage officer. This is a great time of year to do it since you already have much of the paperword handy from filing your taxes.  They will consider your credit score, income, debt, and assets when figuring out the mortgage amount for which you will quality.  Remember, you need to be comfortable with the monthly payment!!  You know your lifestyle, so even though you may qualify for a higher  mortgage amount that doesn’t mean you have to search that high.  If you are a solid borrower, they will give a prequalification or pre-approval letter that we can then present to strengthen any offer you may make.  If the mortgage company, feels you need to wait a bit to work on credit or decrease debt, ask them what specific things you should work on and pay off – it will make a difference.

3.  They don’t find the right agent who’s willing to help them through the homebuying process.
I truly enjoy sharing the knowledge I have gained over the years both personally and professionally to make a first time home buyer as comfortable as possible with the process. I have no expectations of you except that you will be honest, willing to listen & learn, and ask a million questions along the way. You’ve never done this before and honestly things are constantly changing in Real Estate. Friends and family will have their opinions, but remember how important it is to get the facts and to form your own opinion. I am ready to guide you from starting your search to closing on your first home.

4.  They don’t do enough to make their offer look appealing to a seller.
There is more to an offer than just sale price. As a buyer’s agent, I always urge buyers to think about presenting a strong offer.
Present a $1000 check as a deposit with the offer (If the offer is accepted, that money will be applied to the amount you ultimately need to bring to the closing anyway. If the offer is not accepted, the check gets handed back to you.)
Have a pre-approval letter from a reputable bank ready to submit with your offer.
Think about the closing date – would a quick closing work better for a seller or an extended closing? Maybe a seller would like flexibility with a closing date because they are searching for a new home themselves or building one?
Are you looking to have closing costs paid for so there is less money out of your pocket? If you are in a bidding war with other buyers, consider offering over the ask price so you can finance your closing costs into the mortgage (The seller would credit you back that amount at closing. Sometimes this can lead to issues with the bank’s appraisal of the property so make sure to discuss with your buyer’s agent.)
Time is of the essence when selling a home. Make sure dates for inspection, Purchase and Sale signing, and mortgage commitment are reasonable but not drawn out. A seller does not want to lose marketing time if your deal is not going to go through.

5.  They don’t think about resale before they buy. The average first-time buyer only stays in a home for four years.

You likely will not be in your first home forever. Think into the future about when you try to sell this home. If it is a hard location to sell now, it is most likely going to be a hard location later as well. When you sell, you will be paying the agent’s commissions (typcially 5%). Do you think this home will appreciate to cover that and allow you to purchase a new home? Are there major projects that need to be done now? Buyers are going to want those projects to be completed when you sell or they are going to expect a drastically reduced price to adjust for that. Every property will have its advantages and disadvantages. Let’s discuss those now and anticipate how to correct for them in the future.  Your offer should reflect your concern with resale value.

I really do enjoy working with First Time Home Buyers so please let me know when you are ready to start the process.
I am ready to guide you through the whole the process, from search to close!

Jen McMorran, Realtor * 508-930-5259 *
Kensington Real Estate Brokerage *

Something Olde, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue…

We’ve got it all available this Saturday and Sunday for you to check out!

Models Open at Flynn Terrace
Flynn Terrace Units 1 & 2Saturday 10am-12pmUnit 22
1400 Commerce Way, Attleboro


Model Open (and ready to sell!) at Brigham Hill Estates
24 Brigham Hill24 Brigham HillSaturday 12pm-2pm
AND Sunday 12pm-2pm

24 Brigham Hill Rd, Attleboro
20 new lots just opened in Phase II
to build your Custom Home.
From $495,500


New 3BR, 2.5Ba Colonial Up & Ready!
1158 Park St1158 Park Street, Attleboro1158 Park St
Saturday 12:30pm-2:00pm 
Set well off of Park Street
on private way.


Beautiful and luxurious restoration and remodel!
North Ave115 North Ave, AttleboroNorth Ave kitchen
Sunday 12:00-2:00
Value Range Priced $299,900-$334,900


65 Broad StreetAnd if you’d like to borrow something blue we have
65 Broad St, North Attleboro
Nicely updated 2BR, 900sf rental

Field Trip Back in Time

1780 ColonialHave you ever seen a property on-line and just had to see it?

Last night I had a buyer ask me to find out a little more about a home built in 1780 before she packed up her kids and made the trek down here.

The property is currently vacant, bank-owned, winterized, and electric is turned off.  Normally that means a phone conversation or a few e-mails back and forth with another agent to get the “scoop”.  However, the antique lover in me just had to check out this Attleboro charmer myself so I grabbed a friend and a flashlight and off we went this morning.

First let’s get the negatives out of the way… it is on a main road (and really only about 20 feet off of the main road). Minimally (from what we could see) it needs plumbing updated, floors leveled, chimney(s) rebuilt, some electrical work,  kitchen & bath renovations, updated heating, and yard cleared.  BUT …

1780 Colonial1780 ColonialYou enter off of the back into a mudroom area with wood floors, this leads into a family room area across the back of the home complete with wide pine floors, beamed ceiling, and fireplace.  When facing the front of the house, to your left off of the family room is a small kitchen with wood cabinets which would be great opened up into the fireplaced family room.  In the back corner of the house to your right is a second set of stairs and a full bath.  There are two good sized rooms in the front of the home on the first level with the front entry in between.  Both of these rooms offer great built-ins, closets, wide pine floors,  fireplaces, and more charm!1780 Colonial 1780 Colonial

Upstairs follows a very similar layout… two large rooms in the front of the house each with a fireplace and then one large room across the back that has a small room (above the mudroom) off of it. A second floor laundry is in the back left corner (above the kitchen) and another full bath is in the back right corner (above the first floor bathroom).   The space and plumbing could be there to create a master suite out of the back of the second floor with walk-in closet and ensuite bath.  Plus you could still have two other bedrooms and a full bath.

But wait, there’s more… off of the second floor bath is a staircase to the third floor which appears to have had two other finished rooms at one time. On the third floor, it is clear, the chimney will need help (it has fallen in). The basement offers lots of usable space, tall ceilings, and cement floor.1780 Colonial 1780 Colonial

Set on a spacious almost half acre lot abutting a little stream, this Colonial rehab is clearly not for the average buyer …but if you love a home with a story, have vision & patience, and access to some cash (either in your account now or through a 203k loan program), the unique charm and space is there inside and out to keep the right buyer happy for years to come!

Listing courtesy of: Michael Solotke, Next Home Real Estate, Inc.

Let me know if this looks like a future home for you, I’d love to walk you through it.

And certainly let me know if you’d ever like me to preview a property
or schedule a showing for you.

I am just a call, text, or e-mail away…

Jen McMorran Jen McMorran, Realtor
First Time Home Buyers
Existing Home Sales
New Construction
Antique Homes

Kensington Real Estate Brokerage – Servicing clients from Boston to Providence! North Attleboro, Attleboro, Plainville, Wrentham, Mansfield, Norton, Foxboro, Sharon, Seekonk, Cumberland, North Smithfield, Providence, Lincoln

A Sliding Barn Door… Love it!

I definitely love décor that tells a story. And even more than décor, any of my buyers will tell you I love Homes that tell a story! It is so satisfying to see before and after pictures of houses I have sold to see how each buyer puts their own personal stamp on their interior and exterior spaces. A plain, forgettable, house soon becomes a memorable comfortable “Home”.

Photo: Ryan Benyi

This is one project I have always wanted to try in my house. A sliding barn door offers function and style plus does not take up space in your room. No need to rip open walls for pocket doors or framing openings for standard doors. And think of all of the possibilities for the door itself… casual, rustic, painted, metal. Or, heck you could do a chalkboard, huge dry erase board, calendar on one side and always have access to it since door won’t be opening and closing in standard fashion.

Check out this “how to” at to find out
how these could be created and installed in your home!

Jen McMorran Jen McMorran, Realtor
First Time Home Buyers
Existing Home Sales
New Construction
Antique Homes

Kensington Real Estate Brokerage – Servicing clients from Boston to Providence! North Attleboro, Attleboro, Plainville, Wrentham, Mansfield, Norton, Foxboro, Sharon, Seekonk, Cumberland, North Smithfield, Providence, Lincoln

Happy Fall! (Happy Projects!)

Old Post Road, North Attleboro Need any help compiling your Fall To-Do list?
This Old House suggests the following six projects  to think about now …
well before your holiday guests start arriving!!

vacuuming vent register and grill for better heat circulation, fall easy upgrades for upkeep1. Drain and Store Hoses garden hose dripping and wound up in grass, fall easy upgrades for upkeep
2. Light your Pathways
3. Move Cold-Sensitive Items Inside
4. Dust Heating Vents
5. Upgrade Your Thermostat
6. Extend Downspouts

Cool mornings, warm afternoons, and then back to cool evenings could only mean one thing – fall is here! We have really had some beautiful days in North Attleboro these past couple of weeks. The weather has been perfect for apple picking, checking out the fall foliage, enjoying the kids’ practices and games, hiking the endless trails of New England, and even getting in some beach trips (especially now that it is after Labor Day you can take your canine friends to many of them).

BUT… With only 14 more weekends until January (yikes!), we really should also be taking advantage of these nice fall days to prepare for the harsher weather to come. I know we have our standard Fall To-Do list … closing the pool, cleaning & putting away pool furniture, clearing out gardens and mulching, raking leaves, picking up chestnuts, finishing up exterior painting projects.  This Old House is always great for adding a few more projects to our list 🙂

Jen McMorran Jen McMorran, Realtor
First Time Home Buyers
Existing Home Sales
New Construction
Antique Homes

Kensington Real Estate Brokerage – Servicing clients from Boston to Providence! North Attleboro, Attleboro, Plainville, Wrentham, Mansfield, Norton, Foxboro, Sharon, Seekonk, Cumberland, North Smithfield, Providence, Lincoln

Stairway to Fun (time to add more shades to mine!!)

I was doing my daily review of Facebook this morning and had to smile when I saw this post by Deborah Baldwin of This Old House on using “Paint to Create Upbeat Stair Risers”.  The article shows how interior designer Erin Paige Pitts used this technique to add interest and whimsy to a home entryway.  (Then check out how my stairs turned out when I couldn’t decide between gray and white.)

hues of blue stairway

Raise your stairs’ profile with a five-color palette of related hues
A stairway naturally sets the tone inside the entry of a house. Open the front door at this waterside guest cottage and you glimpse painted stair risers that strike a note as zingy as the keys on a kids’ xylophone. Saturated blues, from deep marine to Caribbean turquoise, are interspersed with cool gray and set off by lots of clean white, giving them a sophisticated edge.

Photo: Geoffrey Hodgdon
(Tip: Scatter colors in a seemingly random pattern to add a little extra punch.)

During a cottage-inspired redo of the little house, which is a converted garage, interior designer Erin Paige Pitts painted the upstairs floor white and connected it to the foyer by painting the stairwell white too. She drew colors for the risers from adjacent rooms. “I like to start out with a palette and let it flow throughout the interior, but without repeating the colors exactly,” Pitts says. After playing with large-size color samples at her desk, she chose five shades that were “vibrant but not too bright” and carefully worked out a pattern. Something similar could be done with any color scheme, from warm autumnal tones to icy pastels.

What about scuff marks on all that latex semigloss? “Invest in Magic Erasers,” she says with a laugh, referring to those miraculous Mr. Clean sponges. “And tell the kids to leave their shoes by the door.”

stairway of indecison :)Our home was built in 1743.  When we put on a garage addition with finished room above, I could not decide what color to paint the risers. I primed them all white then decided I would go with gray to tie in the trim color of the eating area and kitchen below.  I started with the bottom riser and then went to the top riser to make sure I had the right color for the different lighting under the window at the top.  Anyone who knows me, knows I like classic styles with a little funk.  When I saw the gray with the white, I just went with it.  My indecision on whether to go gray or white turned into my ultimate decision, at least at the time… now I am thinking I could add a few more hues 🙂   (Don’t be afraid to try it yourself … it’s only paint and easily changed!!)

Jen McMorran, Realtor

Jen McMorran, Kensington Real Estate Brokerage

Multi-tool Hair Clip – now that’s cool!

Tool Box Hair Clip

With Christmas just 5 months away 🙂  OK, not thinking about stocking stuffers yet?  How about for those college kids?  Or yourself?   Saw this on a post from “This Old House” and had to share.  Definitely one of the coolest little gizmos I have seen in a while!  Found it for purchase at this website for $10.

  tool tool2 tool3 tool4 tool5 tool6







Screw drivers, wrench, trolley coin, ruler & cutting edge, all
combined in this tiny hair clip.
A multi functional hair clip that doubles as a toolbox on the go!
Made of Stainless steel. Size: 6 x 2.4 x 1.2cm / 2.36 x 0.94 x 0.47 in

Add a little  “bedazzlement” and it would be perfect! 🙂

Jen McMorran, Realtor       508-930-5259 
Kensington Real Estate Brokerage

I think I found my Island!!

…or at least a great idea for one.

Eric Perry © 2014 Kitchen Island in HGTV Smart Home
Photo by Eric Perry

I have been on the look out for a unique kitchen island since we moved into our home 8 years ago.  Built in 1743, I really want to add something unique to our home’s kitchen.  I want to add functionality but not weigh down the space visually.  While glancing through HGTV‘s website on the hunt for fun storage ideas I came across this kitchen island.  Yay!!!

I love that they were able to run electricity to it and still maintain the look of a table.  I love the drawers which would be great for silverware, spices, napkins, cooking utensils, etc.  And, I love that you get seating too (which would be so great in front of the huge beehive oven fireplace we have in our kitchen).

This piece would be too big for the working portion of our kitchen but my creative juices are flowing again…  maybe I could find an old table or a table top on clearance at a furniture store.  It could be so fun to find a unique base and a functional top then run electricity (disguised somehow) up one of the legs to an outlet on the island.  Thankfully I know a great guy who loves metal work and does amazing woodwork and finish carpentry.  My ideas and his skills … the possibilities are unlimited.    (I am also thinking now this could be a great table idea for our eating area which also doubles as homework space.  Those drawers could be used for pencils, rulers, markers, etc.  Or, I could use a couple for bills and mail…  We could plug in lap tops without tripping over cords… I am getting excited!).

When you get a chance, you have to check out some of the other unique storage solutions featured in the HGTV Smart Home.  Perfect storage for mugs and coffee maker, a pet bowl drawer, and even cabinetry specifically designed to house your paper towels – who would have thought??

Jen McMorran, Realtor     508-930-5259 Jen McMorran, Kensington Real Estate Brokerage