Will Higher Interest Rates Kill HOME SALES?


Sotheby’s Realty Newton, MA.  Top 20 Agents Network

 

Will Higher Interest Rates Kill HOME SALES?

Posted: 11 Dec 2014 02:00 AM EST

Will Higher Interest Rates Kill HOME SALES? | Keeping Current Matters

The Mortgage Bankers Association, the National Association of Realtors, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are each projecting mortgage interest rates to increase substantially over the next twelve months. What will that mean to the housing market in 2015? Last week, we posted a graph showing that home prices appreciated each of the last four times mortgage interest rates dramatically increased. Today, we want to talk about the impact higher rates might have on the number of home sales. The reason many experts are calling for a rise in rates is because they see a stabilizing economy. With the economy beginning to improve, they expect the employment situation to regain some ground lost during the recession, incomes to grow and for consumer confidence to improve.

What will that mean to home sales next year?

In its November 2014 U.S. Economic & Housing Market Outlook, Freddie Mac explains:

“While higher interest rates generally detract from housing activity, when they occur with strong job and income growth the net result can be increases in household formations, construction, and home sales. Our view for 2015 is exactly that, namely, income and job growth offset the negative effect of higher interest rates and translate into gains for the nation’s housing market.”

Bottom Line

Even with mortgage rates increasing, home sales and home appreciation should be just fine in 2015.


Cleveland Circle Will Finally Be Developed


Boston Business Journal shared by Margaret Szerlip November 19, 2014 Newton, MA.  Keep Calm and Sell Real Estate
Some established players are teaming up to redevelop site of the former Circle Cinema at the corner of Beacon Street and Chestnut Hill Avenue in Boston.
Boston Development Group and National Development said in a news release that they’re forming a joint venture to do the work and that Charles River Realty Investors will provide the capital.
Ted Tye, managing partner of National Development, said in a prepared statement: “We are pleased to help bring development of this landmark site to fruition. There has been a great deal of effort put forth to date from the City of Boston, Town of Brookline, and the local community. Our combined team will work to move the project forward, with an anticipated mid-2015 construction start.”
BDG’s project manager on the job is John Meunier.
According to this week’s prepared statement, the project will be “similar” to a previously proposed 162-guest-room, 92-residential unit project. There also is likely be retail fronting to Chestnut Hill Avenue.
Despite proximity to Boston College, or perhaps because of it, the residential units will be off-limits to younger renters. The developers said in their news release that the project will be age-restricted “in part to address neighborhood comments.”
“We see a huge need for urban residential alternatives for active senior adults,” Tye said.
The architect for the project, according to the news release, will be Elkus Manfredi Architects. Stantec is set to do civil engineering. Cranshaw Construction of Newton is involved in early work.

Pre-Qualification vs. Pre-Approval


Margaret Szerlip November 18, 2014 Sotheby’s Newton, MA.

Amy Slotnick
Amy Slotnick
Vice President
Fairway Independent Mortgage
MLO#27030
(781) 719-4670
amy@amyslotnick.com


Pre-Qualification vs. Pre-Approval, and how we do it at Fairway


It is prudent to get pre-qualified or pre-approved before you begin your search for a new home. In general it means that you have spoken to a lender and have a basic understanding of how much you can afford to purchase based on your income and expenses. But most people don’t realize that to be “pre-qualified” and “pre-approved” are two very different things. In this competitive market place, it pays to understand the difference.

To get “pre-qualified” you simply need to have a conversation with a lender and verbally explain your income, assets and expenses to them, discuss your down payment, and they in turn will give you a general estimate of what you can afford to pay monthly for a mortgage. There is no cost and no obligation to do business with the lender. In essence, this is a mathematical conversation.

When you get “pre-approved” it means that you have provided actual documentation to a lender verifying your income, assets and debts. In addition, the lender has pulled your credit report and determined your credit score eligibility. Right away it is a more thorough and accurate financial accounting. The lender will provide you with a letter of pre-approval, stating how much money they would be willing to loan you subject to receipt of an appraisal and purchase and sales agreement as well as re-verification of your income and employment. Clearly this carries more weight and will make a difference to a seller in this competitive market.

At Fairway, we take it one step further with our Certified Pre-Approval and money back guarantee. You will know how much money you can afford and be 100% confident that you will be able to borrow the money for your home. Fairway’s complete evaluation of your financing ability including income and asset documentation ensures a closing, and if not, we will refund you up to $7500 in costs.

How does it work?

Fairway issues and certifies the accuracy of the “Fairway Certified” pre-approval as long as:

· Your personal financial qualifications stay the same or improve[1]

· The agreed upon loan parameters stay the same or improve[2]

· The property meets all necessary loan requirements[3]

If we are wrong we will:

· Reimburse documented short-term moving, relocating and/or storage expenses up to a maximum of $1500

· Reimburse any documented lost home inspection or appraisal expenses up to $1000

· Reimburse any forfeited earnest money expenses up to $5,000

The Closing and Beyond

· The HUD will be available to review well in advance of the closing

· Funds will always be at the table ahead of the closing

· All parties will have the opportunity to review documents in advance

· Scheduling of closings will ensure maximum convenience for all parties involved

You won’t find another lender who will provide you with that kind of guarantee, anywhere!

Be sure to get Fairway’s Certified Pre-Approval before you begin your new home search. Call 781-719-4664, email info940@fairwaymc.com or visit our website at Fairwayne.com


[1] “Personal financial qualifications” includes but is not limited to employment, income, assets, credit scores, and debt.

[2] “Agreed upon loan parameters” includes, but is not limited to maximum loan amount, maximum total monthly payment, maximum interest rate, interest rate market conditions, down payment requirements, property insurance requirements and mortgage insurance requirements.

[3] “Necessary loan requirements” of the property includes but is not limited to, appraised value, insurability, property condition, inspection condition, legal title conditions, HOA
conditions and housing project conditions

8 Ascenta Terrace Under Agreement


8 Ascenta Terrace Under Agreement

Posted by margaret Szerlip November 14, 2014 Newton, MA.

Under Agreement 8 ASCENTA TERRACE, WEST NEWTON HILL.  Closing early to mid January

 

8 Ascenta Terrace

8 Ascenta Front IIA California Bungalow on West Newton Hill. This former ranch was transformed in 2004 with the addition of a family room and a most serene 2nd floor Master Bedroom Suite. An inviting home which feels sunny, warm and expansive. Extremely flexible floor plan allows for 1st or 2nd floor master. Timeless cherry kitchen features high-end appliances and granite counters which flows into a spacious family room. The private yard is large and level. The property also features a covered porch and deck which can be accessed from the dining room or family room. 2004 kitchen, baths, electric, plumbing, HVAC, roof, windows etc. 15,000+ level lot may be suitable for a builder.

 

 


8 Ascenta Kitchen 8 Ascenta Family Room II8 Ascenta Master Bedroom II

 

Either Way, You’re Still Paying a Mortgage


Posted by Margaret Szerlip 12PM EST, Newton, MA.   Newton, MA. Top Brokers, Sotheby’s Newton, MA.

Thanks for sharing KCM Crew..

Either Way, You’re Still Paying a Mortgage


Either Way, You’re Still Paying a Mortgage

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 04:00 AM PST

Either Way You're Still Paying a Mortgage | Keeping Current Matters

There are some people that have not purchased a home because they are uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize that, unless you are living with your parents rent free, you are paying a mortgage – either your mortgage or your landlord’s. As a paper from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University explains: 

“Households must consume housing whether they own or rent. Not even accounting for more favorable tax treatment of owning, homeowners pay debt service to pay down their own principal while households that rent pay down the principal of a landlord plus a rate of return. That’s yet another reason owning often does—as Americans intuit—end up making more financial sense than renting.”

Also, if you purchase with a 30-year fixed rate mortgage, your ‘housing expense’ is locked in over the thirty years for the most part. If you rent, the one guarantee you will have is that your rent will increase over that same thirty year time period.


Unless you are living with your parents rent free, you are paying a mortgage. #KCM2014
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As an owner, the mortgage payment is a ‘forced savings’ which will allow you to have equity in your home you can tap into later in your life. As a renter, you guarantee the landlord is the person with that equity.

Bottom Line

Whether you are looking for a primary residence for the first time or are considering a vacation home on the shore, owning might make more sense than renting since home values and interest rates are still at bargain prices.

Bi Monthly Real Estate Recap for Newton, MA.


Bi Monthly Real Estate Recap for Newton, MA.cropped-cimg1501.jpg

posted by Margaret Szerlip 11.00AM EST/Newton, MA.

The real estate market continues to be busy this fall.  Inventory remains very low with a total of only 156 homes currently for sale.  115 of the 156 homes are priced over 1 million dollars and 61 or roughly 40% of the homes for sale in Newton are over 2 million dollars!  Kind of crazy.  A closer look reveals that the 1 million to 1.5 price range is most active with 9 homes going under agreement in the last 2 weeks. And another 9 priced between 1.5M and 2.5M.  The 600K price range seems to be lagging and I can assure you that is because houses are priced too high.  There is no lack of buyers in that price point.  The craziness of last spring’s bidding wars has abated somewhat. SOme of that is due to buyer fatigue of being out bid and some of that is greed on the part of sellers trying to suck every last cent out of a buyer.  I am also seeing more deals fall apart due to inspection issues.  When a buyer ends up paying more than they ever dreamed of paying for a house and an inspection turns up some nasty surprise you can be certain of a total walk away or a renegotiation from the buyer.  Sellers don’t be unreasonably greedy it could quite possibly come back to haunt you.

 


On-Market Snapshot
Report Run: 11/3/2014 10:48:54 AM
Property Type(s): SF
Snapshot Date: 11/03/2014
Towns: Newton
 11/03/2014  11/3/2014
Price Range Number of
Listings
Avg. Days
on Market
vs. today Number of
Listings
Avg. Days
on Market
Under $50,000 - - - -
$50,000 – $99,999 - - - -
$100,000 – $149,999 - - - -
$150,000 – $199,999 - - - -
$200,000 – $249,999 - - - -
$250,000 – $299,999 - - - -
$300,000 – $349,999 - - - -
$350,000 – $399,999 - - - -
$400,000 – $449,999 - - - -
$450,000 – $499,999 1 24 1 24
$500,000 – $599,999 3 16 3 16
$600,000 – $699,999 14 45 14 48
$700,000 – $799,999 9 35 9 35
$800,000 – $899,999 6 43 6 43
$900,000 – $999,999 8 44 8 44
$1,000,000 – $1,499,999 30 72 30 73
$1,500,000 – $1,999,999 24 125 24 126
$2,000,000 – $2,499,999 24 134 24 135
$2,500,000 – $2,999,999 19 120 19 120
$3,000,000 – $3,999,999 12 171 12 171
$4,000,000 – $4,999,999 3 76 3 76
$5,000,000 – $9,999,999 3 194 3 194
Over $10,000,000 - - - -
Total Properties 156 Avg. 97 156 Avg. 98
Lowest Price: $474,900
Median Price: $1,649,000
Highest Price: $6,950,000
Average Price: $1,903,710
Total Market Volume: $296,978,784
Lowest Price: $474,900
Median Price: $1,649,000
Highest Price: $6,950,000
Average Price: $1,903,710
Total Market Volume: $296,978,784

 

PENDING

Pending Statistics
Report Run: 11/3/2014 10:50:44 AM
Property Type(s): SF
Start Date: 10/20/2014
End Date: 11/03/2014
Towns: Newton
Went Pending Current Status
Price Range # of
Listings
# UAG # CTG # Sold # Other
Under $50,000 - - - - -
$50,000 – $99,999 - - - - -
$100,000 – $149,999 - - - - -
$150,000 – $199,999 - - - - -
$200,000 – $249,999 - - - - -
$250,000 – $299,999 - - - - -
$300,000 – $349,999 1 - 1 - -
$350,000 – $399,999 - - - - -
$400,000 – $449,999 - - - - -
$450,000 – $499,999 - - - - -
$500,000 – $599,999 3 2 1 - -
$600,000 – $699,999 3 1 2 - -
$700,000 – $799,999 3 2 1 - -
$800,000 – $899,999 5 3 2 - -
$900,000 – $999,999 - - - - -
$1,000,000 – $1,499,999 9 5 4 - -
$1,500,000 – $1,999,999 4 2 2 - -
$2,000,000 – $2,499,999 5 2 3 - -
$2,500,000 – $2,999,999 1 - 1 - -
$3,000,000 – $3,999,999 - - - - -
$4,000,000 – $4,999,999 1 1 - - -
$5,000,000 – $9,999,999 - - - - -
Over $10,000,000 - - - - -
Total Properties 35 18 17 0 0
Lowest Price: $339,900 Median Price: $1,197,499.50
Highest Price: $4,250,000 Average Price: $1,444,159
Total Market Volume: $50,545,586

 

SOLD

Total Sold Market Statistics
Report Run: 11/3/2014 10:52:33 AM
Property Type(s): SF
Status: SLD
Start Date: 10/20/2014
End Date: 11/03/2014
Towns: Newton
Price Range # of
Listings
Avg. Days
on Market
Avg. Days
to Offer
Average
Sale Price
Average
List Price
SP:LP
Ratio
Average
Orig Price
SP:OP
Ratio
$0 – $49,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$50,000 – $99,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$100,000 – $149,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$150,000 – $199,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$200,000 – $249,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$250,000 – $299,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$300,000 – $349,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$350,000 – $399,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$400,000 – $449,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$450,000 – $499,999 1 51 9 $495,000 $510,000 97 $510,000 97
$500,000 – $599,999 1 5 5 $570,000 $539,000 106 $539,000 106
$600,000 – $699,999 3 69 60 $659,000 $679,600 97 $721,600 92
$700,000 – $799,999 1 74 3 $720,000 $719,000 100 $719,000 100
$800,000 – $899,999 3 31 31 $858,000 $866,300 100 $891,633 97
$900,000 – $999,999 2 53 6 $916,000 $879,500 104 $874,000 105
$1,000,000 – $1,499,999 7 27 9 $1,203,551 $1,176,857 103 $1,176,857 103
$1,500,000 – $1,999,999 1 50 50 $1,870,000 $1,995,000 94 $1,995,000 94
$2,000,000 – $2,499,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$2,500,000 – $2,999,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$3,000,000 – $3,999,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$4,000,000 – $4,999,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$5,000,000 – $9,999,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$10,000,000 – $99,999,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
Total Properties 19 Avg. 41 Avg. 22 $971,729 $968,300 101 $978,353 100
Lowest Price: $495,000 Median Price: $900,000
Highest Price: $1,870,000 Average Price: $971,729
Total Market Volume: $18,462,855

Taking the Spooky Out of the Mortgage Process


Posted by Margaret Szerlip 11:00AM EST, Newton, MA.

Taking the Spooky Out of the Mortgage Process [INFOGRAPHIC]Posted: 31 Oct 2014 04:00 AM PDT

Taking the "Spooky" Out of the Mortgage Process | Keeping Current Matters

 

Buying a Home with as Little as 3-5% Down Payment


Buying a Home with as Little as 3-5% Down Payment

Posted: 30 Oct 2014 2:30PM EST Newton, MA.

Buying a Home for as Little as 3-5% Down | Keeping Current Matters

We have recently reported on the misconception that many buyers have regarding the down payment necessary to purchase a home. Multiple studies reveal that 40-50% of Americans believe you need between 15-20% of a down payment to be eligible to purchase a home. This misconception came about as the government just last year debated new guidelines for residential mortgages because of the housing collapse in 2007. Some were arguing that there should be a minimum of 20% or even 30% down payment on all mortgage loans. However, those standards were never implemented. To counter this misunderstanding, Christina Boyle, Freddie Mac’s VP and Head of Single-Family Sales & Relationship Management, in a recent Executive Perspectives explained that a person “can get a conforming, conventional mortgage with a down payment of as little as 5 percent”.

3% Down Payments Available Soon?

Just last week, Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt announced that mortgages requiring only a three percent down payment may soon be available:

“To increase access for creditworthy but lower-wealth borrowers, FHFA is also working with the Enterprises to develop sensible and responsible guidelines for mortgages with loan-to-value ratios between 95 and 97 percent. Through these revised guidelines, we believe that the Enterprises will be able to responsibly serve a targeted segment of creditworthy borrowers with lower-down payment mortgages by taking into account “compensating factors.”

Bottom Line

If you are saving for either your first home or that perfect move-up dream house, make sure you know all your options. You may be pleasantly surprised. Line-Break

14,164 Homes Sold Yesterday! Did Yours?


Posted by Margaret Szerlip / October 28, 2014, Newton, MA.

14,164 Homes Sold Yesterday! Did Yours?

Posted: 28 Oct 2014 04:00 AM PDT

14,164 Homes Sold Yesterday! Did Yours? | Keeping Current Matters

There are some homeowners that have been waiting for months to get a price they hoped for when they originally listed their house for sale. The only thing they might want to consider is… If it hasn’t sold yet this fall, maybe it’s not priced properly.

After all 14,164 houses sold yesterday, 14,164 will sell today and 14,164 will sell tomorrow.

14,164!

The Tricks or Treats of Credit


Posted by Margaret Szerlip October 28, 2014 Newton, MA.

Top Brokers in Newton, MA.  Sotheby’s Realty Newton, MA.

 

Many thanks to Amy Slotnick for providing these credit goodies!

 

Amy Slotnick
Amy Slotnick
Vice President
Fairway Independent Mortgage
MLO#27030
(781) 719-4670
amy@amyslotnick.com


The Tricks or Treats of Credit!


Happy Halloween!

Your credit is one of the most important criteria in determining your mortgage eligibility- it impacts the interest rate that will apply to you and, in a worst case scenario, could affect your ability to qualify at all.

Below are some Treats; ways to improve your credit score before you search for a home, and Tricks; things to avoid when qualifying for a home loan.

Treats: Ways to increase your credit score

  • Look for past due balances on a credit report and bring them current.
  • Reduce all outstanding debt to as close to zero as possible-try to keep credit balances at less than 50% of available credit.
  • If married, keep separate credit card accounts-this provides flexibility in transferring some or all balances to one spouse to increase the credit score of another, and allows one spouse to become the sole borrower if necessary.
  • Request an increase in available credit lines on credit cards to reduce debt ration-but only if the credit card company can do this without a hard credit inquiry.
  • Past due and charge offs-pay only those within the last two years. Once it is beyond two years, there will be no impact on your credit score if wiped out, and could even bring it down temporarily.
  • If you have an outstanding debt that has been incorrectly charged to you or has yet to be cleared, notify the creditor and credit bureau with a request that it be deleted. They have an obligation to act within 30 days.

Tricks: When applying for a loan-avoid these pitfalls at all costs!

  • Don’t buy or lease an auto-it will impact your debt to income ratio.
  • Don’t move assets from one bank account to another. It will show as a new deposit a need additional verification, complicating the application process.
  • Don’t change jobs-there may be a probationary period in which income from your new job cannot be considered.
  • Don’t buy new furniture or major appliances-this may increase the amount of debt you are responsible for on a monthly basis and could disqualify you from a loan or cut down on the available funds you will need at closing.
  • Don’t attempt to consolidate bills before speaking with your loan consultant. It may not be necessary to do this.
  • Don’t pack or ship important financial information needed for loan application-obtaining duplicate copies can take weeks and slow down the transaction.

Need help obtaining a credit report? Your loan consultant can help you with this, or you can get one, for free, from any of the 3 main credit reporting agencies:EquifaxExperian, TransUnion

Want to learn more? Click here for information on what goes into a credit score.

As always, we are happy to answer any questions! Info940@fairwaymc.com or 781-719-4664

Here’s hoping your Halloween is all treats!

State of Real Estate in Newton and Brookline, MA.


blog pictures

 

 

 

Posted by Margaret Szerlip October 26, 2014 Newton, MA.

I am asked all the time where I think home prices are headed, what about interest rates.  I usually respond that if I knew for sure I would be a very rich woman.  But I do feel good about the current housing market here in the western suburbs of Boston.  Inventory remains very low, prices are rising but not at the frenzied pace of last spring.  Interest rates are dropping.  Jumbo loans under 4% again!  7/1 Arms are under 3%!  Good stuff  — For the first time in 2 years I also see some real movement in the over 3 million dollar market.  I know most of you don’t care about what happens in the over 3 million dollar market, but I believe it is an important indicator of the overall health of the real estate market.  For the last two years we have been in a trickle up market.  The 500K houses pushed the 750K and they in turn pushed the 1M houses.  For some reason the push up never really got past the 1.5 million price point.  A trickle down real estate market is more broad and sustainable.  What happened last fall and spring in the under 1 million dollar price point was scary.  Houses seemed to be selling  20% higher than 2 years prior while houses over 2 million were sitting on the market.  It was very difficult for contentious brokers to advise their buyer clients.  The truth is you can’t really under price a house because the market will raise it to where it should be.  This fact is indisputable –over pricing has more serious consequences to the seller.  I told my buyer clients that I really couldn’t comp a house to a certain price, that if they really wanted a house they had to pick the price they were willing to pay, but that number was emotional.  One house I listed for $899K  had 9 offers and went 180,00 over asking!

So, I am optimistic about the housing market.  The stock market is taking a hit and when people pull their money out of the market they have to put it somewhere. Many buy a more expensive home.  What I would really like to see is more people buying beautiful older homes and not just new or like new.  Remember, in 10 years your house is neither new or charmingly old.

 

When looking at future housing values, Home Price Expectation Survey provides a fair assessment. Every quarter, Pulsenomics surveys a nationwide panel of over one hundred economists, real estate experts and investment & market strategists about where prices are headed over the next five years. They then average the projections of all 100+ experts into a single number. Here is what the experts projected in the latest survey:

  • Home values will appreciate by 4% in 2015.
  • The cumulative appreciation will be 19.5% by 2018.
  • Even the experts making up the most bearish quartile of the survey still are projecting a cumulative appreciation of over 11.2% by 2018.

Now is the time to buy or sell a home.

 

Bi-Monthly Newton, MA. Real Estate Recap


Bi-Monthly Newton, MA. Real Estate Recap  Newton, MA.  Top Brokers, Sotheby’s Newton, MA.

Posted October 24, 2014 by Margaret Szerlip Newton, MA.

 

The fall market is very busy here in Newton — the reason I have not been posting as often as I’d like.  Current inventory is still below normal.  We have a total of 167 properties for sale vs. 175 3 weeks ago and down from a “normal” 200 homes.  83 homes have gone under contract or have accepted offers in the last 3 weeks!  The hottest segment of the market is homes priced between 1 million to 1.5 million with 17 homes in contract.  9 homes priced over 2 million have also gone under contract in the same time period.  That is very welcome news that the high-end of the market is starting to heat up.  26 homes have closed, again the 1 million to 1.5 million had the highest number of homes close at 9.

Remember the spring market in Newton starts the end of January early February here in Newton.  So if you’re considering a sale call me for an analysis sooner than later.

On-Market Snapshot
Report Run: 10/24/2014 11:41:22 AM
Property Type(s): SF
Snapshot Date: 10/24/2014
Towns: Newton
 10/24/2014  10/24/2014
Price Range Number of
Listings
Avg. Days
on Market
vs. today Number of
Listings
Avg. Days
on Market
Under $50,000 - - - -
$50,000 – $99,999 - - - -
$100,000 – $149,999 - - - -
$150,000 – $199,999 - - - -
$200,000 – $249,999 - - - -
$250,000 – $299,999 - - - -
$300,000 – $349,999 - - - -
$350,000 – $399,999 - - - -
$400,000 – $449,999 - - - -
$450,000 – $499,999 1 14 1 14
$500,000 – $599,999 5 34 5 34
$600,000 – $699,999 11 34 11 37
$700,000 – $799,999 9 47 9 47
$800,000 – $899,999 9 66 9 70
$900,000 – $999,999 8 61 8 61
$1,000,000 – $1,499,999 34 67 34 67
$1,500,000 – $1,999,999 26 115 26 116
$2,000,000 – $2,499,999 27 114 27 114
$2,500,000 – $2,999,999 21 116 21 116
$3,000,000 – $3,999,999 10 177 10 177
$4,000,000 – $4,999,999 3 84 3 84
$5,000,000 – $9,999,999 3 184 3 184
Over $10,000,000 - - - -
Total Properties 167 Avg. 92 167 Avg. 93
Lowest Price: $474,900
Median Price: $1,599,000
Highest Price: $6,950,000
Average Price: $1,867,799
Total Market Volume: $311,922,470
Lowest Price: $474,900
Median Price: $1,599,000
Highest Price: $6,950,000
Average Price: $1,867,799
Total Market Volume: $311,922,470

 

 

Pending Statistics
Report Run: 10/24/2014 11:39:03 AM
Property Type(s): SF
Start Date: 10/06/2014
End Date: 10/24/2014
Towns: Newton
Went Pending Current Status
Price Range # of
Listings
# UAG # CTG # Sold # Other
Under $50,000 - - - - -
$50,000 – $99,999 - - - - -
$100,000 – $149,999 - - - - -
$150,000 – $199,999 - - - - -
$200,000 – $249,999 - - - - -
$250,000 – $299,999 - - - - -
$300,000 – $349,999 - - - - -
$350,000 – $399,999 - - - - -
$400,000 – $449,999 - - - - -
$450,000 – $499,999 3 2 1 - -
$500,000 – $599,999 7 2 3 1 1
$600,000 – $699,999 6 4 1 - 1
$700,000 – $799,999 4 2 2 - -
$800,000 – $899,999 7 5 2 - -
$900,000 – $999,999 3 2 1 - -
$1,000,000 – $1,499,999 10 7 2 - 1
$1,500,000 – $1,999,999 5 5 - - -
$2,000,000 – $2,499,999 3 2 1 - -
$2,500,000 – $2,999,999 1 1 - - -
$3,000,000 – $3,999,999 1 1 - - -
$4,000,000 – $4,999,999 - - - - -
$5,000,000 – $9,999,999 - - - - -
Over $10,000,000 - - - - -
Total Properties 50 33 13 1 3
Lowest Price: $465,000 Median Price: $889,000
Highest Price: $3,795,000 Average Price: $1,127,973
Total Market Volume: $56,398,698

 

Total Sold Market Statistics
Report Run: 10/24/2014 11:42:37 AM
Property Type(s): SF
Status: SLD
Start Date: 10/06/2014
End Date: 10/24/2014
Towns: Newton
Price Range # of
Listings
Avg. Days
on Market
Average
Sale Price
Average
List Price
SP:LP
Ratio
Average
Orig Price
SP:OP
Ratio
$0 – $49,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$50,000 – $99,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$100,000 – $149,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$150,000 – $199,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$200,000 – $249,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$250,000 – $299,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$300,000 – $349,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$350,000 – $399,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$400,000 – $449,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$450,000 – $499,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$500,000 – $599,999 4 26 $538,400 $533,725 101 $539,725 100
$600,000 – $699,999 2 30 $651,000 $662,000 98 $675,000 97
$700,000 – $799,999 4 51 $739,750 $746,500 99 $746,500 99
$800,000 – $899,999 3 16 $844,500 $786,667 107 $786,667 107
$900,000 – $999,999 2 51 $937,500 $954,950 98 $949,450 99
$1,000,000 – $1,499,999 9 46 $1,111,978 $1,086,889 103 $1,119,222 100
$1,500,000 – $1,999,999 2 60 $1,737,500 $1,812,500 96 $1,812,500 96
$2,000,000 – $2,499,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$2,500,000 – $2,999,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$3,000,000 – $3,999,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$4,000,000 – $4,999,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$5,000,000 – $9,999,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$10,000,000 – $99,999,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
Total Properties 26 Avg. 41 $934,842 $927,762 101 $940,454 100
Lowest Price: $519,000 Median Price: $888,500
Highest Price: $1,800,000 Average Price: $934,842
Total Market Volume: $24,305,900

Outdoors Are In


Outdoors Are In

From the pages of RESIDE® | Luxury Homes and Lifestyles Around the World | Fall 2014 Master Edition

Out is the new in.  Plush sofas, area rugs, stone fireplaces–for the past several years, traditional furnishings and design elements that were once relegated exclusively to interiors have been trickling to exteriors, with homeowners creating exquisite residential spaces under the skies for relaxation and entertaining.

And it’s not only the living room that has gone rogue.  The solitary, standard patio barbeque grill has been replaced with sophisticated, gourmet kitchens complete with pizza ovens, flat screen TVs and built-in espresso machines.  After cooking alfresco, homeowners wine and dine with family and friends under the stars and glittery chandeliers, followed by open-air movies or sports on pop-up screens.

KSG9V4 Thailand$2,750,000 USD | Koh Samui, Thailand | Hunter Sotheby’s International Realty

Nowadays “people don’t want to be confined to inside anymore,” says Suzanne Perkins of Sotheby’s International Realty in Montecito, CA.  They want the option to literally spread out—and to interact with nature with the same comfort and style that they enjoy indoors.

Indeed, when pros specializing in residential design were surveyed by the American Society of Landscape Architects to rate the popularity of outdoor design elements for 2014, kitchens and entertainment spaces were second most popular, at 92 percent (gardens and landscaped spaces came in first at 94.2 percent).

Of course, in certain parts, this indoor/outdoor approach to living isn’t new at all.  “This has been the lifestyle in Hawaii,” says Dodie MacArthur of MacArthur Sotheby’s International Realty in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.  “Whatever activities you can do indoors you can do outdoors.”

KDQWM6 Montecito$12,900,000 USD | Montecito, California | Sotheby’s International Realty- Montecito-Coast Village Road

Surprisingly, that’s also now the mindset in areas that aren’t particularly warm year-round.  “Outdoor living is a really big trend here over the last couple of years,” says Andrew Ernemann, a broker associate at Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty.  Although they have a short warm weather season, Ernemann’s clients want to maximize their time outdoors when they stay in Aspen.

But the trend isn’t just about stepping out and reclining on a deck or patio.  It’s far grander than that.  “It’s about creating a personal destination.  People want the entire experience of the best resorts in the world, incorporated into their outdoor spaces and customized for their needs,” says MacArthur.

One of the best ways to achieve a seamless, organic flow with an open floor plan is by utilizing floor to ceiling sliding or swinging glass doors, suggests Perkins, “so the outside isn’t a secondary defined area, but more of a smooth transition from inside to outside.”

3299vb BarbadosPrice Upon Request | Saint James, Barbados | West Coast Villas Sotheby’s International Realty

When considering the creation of outdoor living spaces such as a dining room, living room and kitchen, do work with a landscape architect and/or interior designer with experience in indoor/outdoor living.  And Brooklyn-based designer Lyani Powers says that a good approach is to plan the entire project at once, taking into account basic necessities such as plumbing, heat and electricity, audio and visual equipment and wireless/internet connectivity.  There may also be structural additions, such as pergolas, loggias or lanais, for shade and protection.

There are outdoor living solutions for all types of climates, even rain and cold.  “Open but covered is the way to go,” says Krista Hunter of Hunter Sotheby’s International Realty in Thailand.  “Otherwise you run the risk of not being able to use your outdoor space for much of the time.”  In Aspen, some homeowners add roofs over their outdoor living rooms so they can still be utilized in the winter.

ZZSGLS Hawaii$11,950,000 USD | Hawi, Hawaii | MacArthur Sotheby’s International Realty

Most outdoor areas typically feature recreational zones, which can include a hot tub and swimming pool.  But consider adding wow factors to enhance the outdoor experience:  a pool table, a life-size chess set, a putting green and a bocce ball court.   Take it a step further with a complete bar, which can connect visually to the nearby kitchen zone, where function is at a maximum with every state-of-the-art stainless steel appliance that’s incorporated in standard indoor kitchens, plus a variety of extras:  a hooded grill with a built-in fryer and smoker, a pizza oven, a rotisserie, a wine cooler, icemaker and wet bar, a cappuccino and espresso machine, and of course, ample storage space, work stations and countertops with stools for casual eating.

SY9BJT Colorado$20,000,000 USD | Woody Creek, Colorado | Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty

Adjacent to the kitchen would be a dining zone.   For a cozy effect, cover it with a pergola and then hang a decadent chandelier over the table to set the mood at twilight.   After a fine meal, meander over to the living room zone.   If cool weather is a factor, think about including a heating system – which may range from traditional patio heaters to a built-in fireplace or radiant heat.  This space in particular should offer ample ambient lighting, entertainment in the form of audio and/or visual equipment designed specifically for the outdoors and comfortable seating (upholstered in outdoor fabrics, of course), area rugs and accessories, but do keep in mind one rule of thumb, stipulates HGTV and STYLE Network expert Kelly Edwards:  all of the exterior spaces must coordinate aesthetically with your interior décor, so that your home – inside and out– is cohesive and visually appealing.

Other than that, when going out, the sky’s the limit.

Article provided by Claudia Gryvatz Copquin exclusively for Sotheby’s International Realty®.

Browse our digital magazine featuring outdoor living spaces >

Sotheby’s Relaxing Retreats| Elegant Master Bathrooms


Top Newton, MA. Brokers, Sotheby’s Newton, MA.

Relaxing Retreats| Elegant Master Bathrooms

From chandeliers to extraordinary views, Georgia to Thailand, explore six homes that transformed ordinary master bathrooms into unique, elegant and relaxing retreats.

Athens_Georgia Prop id 7pzkmf$3,650,000 USD | Athens, Georgia | Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty

Secluded on 12 acres in Athens, Georgia, this country estate features a stone-clad main house with porte cochere, pool and five-car garage. Inside, rustic wood beams accent the ceilings, and oversize windows allow light to flood in. The layout includes six bedrooms and six baths. Deco-inspired black-and white tile floors and free-standing bathtubs complement the traditional look. The master bath centerpiece is the large walk-in shower with an enclosure of glass panes offset by black mullions.

Rolling Hills, California Property id# YGJJ2Y$8,499,000 USD | Rolling Hills, California | Ewing & Associates Sotheby’s International Realty

Architect Cliff May, renowned for his casual California Ranch style, designed this 14,000-square-foot home set on four acres in Rolling Hills, California. Views of Los Angeles and the Pacific Ocean can be seen from the stone deck and indoor pool with retractable roof. Cathedral ceilings with wood beams lend structure to the free-flowing plan, which contains seven bedrooms, seven baths and three powder rooms. As part of a remodeling in 2010, the baths were finished in white marble and travertine.

Izamal_Mexico Property id ZDFYBX$2,275,000 USD | Izamal, Mexico | Riviera Maya Sotheby’s International Realty

Bathed in warm terracotta tones and ensconced in lush vegetation, this 10-bedroom, 10-bath remodeled farmhouse in the Yucatán town of Izamal, Mexico, is rich in history. The building dates to the early 19th century. In 2002 the town joined the Pueblos Mágicos program to preserve both its Mayan and colonial cultures. Hand-plastered walls, soaring ceilings and hand-hewn woodwork are present throughout. The baths are distinguished by natural rock walls and tall French doors with ornately carved wood shutters.

Rancho Santa Fe_California Prop id ZYHRKE$3,550,000 USD | Rancho Santa Fe, California | Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty

Commanding hilltop views and surrounded by mature tropical vegetation, this eight-bedroom, seven-bath adobe home in Rancho Santa Fe, California, is rich in history. The structure was originally a 1900 mission building transported to its current location for Hollywood starlet Corinne Griffith. The residence retains numerous original features, including handcrafted wood shutters, distinctive “latillas and vigas” (sticks and beams), ceilings and stained-glass skylights. Amenities include seven fireplaces and baths with brightly-colored Talavera-style painted sinks bathtubs, old-fashioned skylights and ornately carved woodwork.

Magaro Residence$10,500,000 USD | New Canaan, Connecticut | William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty

English arts and crafts meets American shingle style in this six-bedroom, seven-bath residence in New Canaan, Connecticut, designed by Wadia Associates. Finishes include five-inch, quarter-sawn, white-oak floors, leaded glass windows and fixtures by Waterworks. Twelve-foot ceilings grace the master suite. A master bath is warmed by radiant-heated marble floors. Additional amenities include a wine cellar, massage room, yoga studio and tennis courts. The elegant garden is scented by David Austin English roses, espaliered Asian pear trees and grape and kiwi vines.

Surat Thani Thailand Property Property ID 7LN6Q9฿136,013,595 | Surat Thani, Thailand | Hunter Sotheby’s International Realty

Directly on a beach dotted with gigantic boulders, this five-bedroom, six-bath house on the island of Ko Samui in Thailand invites nature inside. Twenty-foot ceilings with swooping roofs animate the architecture. A glass wall in a bedroom abuts the pool to simulate an aquarium, while in the master bedroom, sliding doors open onto the sea. The deck features a media center and projector for outdoor screenings. Rock formations incorporated into the bath and the outdoor showers complement the organic theme.

NOW Is the Time to Buy — Mortgage Interest Rates Below 4%


Mortgage rates fall below 4%
Newton, MA. Top Brokers, Sotheby’s Newton, MA.

Long-term borrowing costs continued to fall this week, with the average rate on a 30-year mortgage falling back below 4 percent, to the lowest level since June 2013.
Freddie Mac (OTC: FMCC) says a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.97 percent in the week ending Oct. 16, down from 4.12 percent last week. A 15-year fix fell to 3.18 percent, down from 3.30 percent.
A one-year adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 2.38 percent, down from 2.42 percent.
Long-term mortgage rates tend to follow the 10-year U.S. Treasury rate, which saw yields fall briefly below 2 percent this week.
“Mortgage rates are at their lowest levels since June 2013 amidst continued investor skepticism regarding the precarious economic satiation in Europe,” said Freddie Mac chief economist Frank Nothaft.
Next week, reports are due on new home construction and sales of existing homes in September.
The consensus forecast is for housing starts last month to have risen 5.4 percent from August, with sales of existing homes rising 0.8 percent. If so, the gains would follow drops in home construction and housing sales in August.

Put Your Money in Real Estate


With the stock market tanking it may be time to take your money out and buy real estate.

2014 Design Trends


ON THE HOME FRONT
2014 house design trends
2014 house design trends
As anyone who’s ever carpeted her bathroom knows, interior design trends can be fickle. (Carpet? What were you thinking?)That’s why we try to stay up on what’s cool in the home-decor world without, you know, being a slave to what’s cool in the home-decor world.To that end, we present–without judgment–the top 10 trends for home construction in 2014. From smart home systems to tempered-glass backsplashes to secret “dirty” kitchens, these are the add-ons, amenities and materials that today’s home buyers are requesting.

Check out our list to see which trends you like–and which you think are headed to the land of avocado-green appliances.

For Sale 8 Ascenta Terrace, West Newton Hill $1,529,000


8 Ascenta Terrace, West Newton Hill,  October 7, 2014 Sotheby’s Newton Top Brokers

 

8 Ascenta Terrace

8 Ascenta Front IIA California Bungalow on West Newton Hill. This former ranch was transformed in 2004 with the addition of a family room and a most serene 2nd floor Master Bedroom Suite. An inviting home which feels sunny, warm and expansive. Extremely flexible floor plan allows for 1st or 2nd floor master. Timeless cherry kitchen features high-end appliances and granite counters which flows into a spacious family room. The private yard is large and level. The property also features a covered porch and deck which can be accessed from the dining room or family room. 2004 kitchen, baths, electric, plumbing, HVAC, roof, windows etc. 15,000+ level lot may be suitable for a builder.

 

 


8 Ascenta Kitchen 8 Ascenta Family Room II8 Ascenta Master Bedroom II

 

Bi-Monthly Real Estate Recap Newton, MA.


Bi-Monthly Real Estate Recap Newton, MA.

Despite the usual slowdown during the Jewish holidays the real estate market has been humming along.  There are currently 175 single family homes listed for sale, down from 179 2 weeks ago.  179 homes for sale is still below normal.   38 homes went under agreement during this time frame.  17 homes sold in the past 2 weeks.  One thing I have started to notice are price changes, we have had 10 price reductions and one idiot raised their price in the last 2 weeks.  After all, if someone didn’t like your house at 600K they will surely love it at 629?!  The bulk of pendings were in the 800K-899K range followed by the 1M to 1.499M.  Over 2 million remains slow, however there was a sale in the over 5 million category.  That is something else I have noticed in Newton, Brookline, Wellelsey and Weston, the over 5 million market is definitely picking up steam.  Hopefully, that will trickle down.  We have been in a trickle up market for the past 2 years and it seems to stop at the 1.5 million mark.  Buyers continue to want new or like new at all price points.  Buyers still love white kitchens, I love white kitchens, but I am getting so sick of seeing the same kitchen in every newer house.   Let’s at least change-up the back splash and counter tops to something other than Carrera marble.   Apparently today’s buyers don’t want their children sharing a bathroom.  Really 2 kids can’t share a bath?  Jeez, how will these kids cope when they go to sleep away camp or college?  That’s a post for another day.  

The good news — I see the market continuing to be strong right up until Thanksgiving.  As always I appreciate your referrals.

On-Market Snapshot
Report Run: 10/6/2014 10:24:06 AM
Property Type(s): SF
Snapshot Date: 10/06/2014
Towns: Newton
 10/06/2014  10/6/2014
Price Range Number of
Listings
Avg. Days
on Market
vs. today Number of
Listings
Avg. Days
on Market
Under $50,000 - - - -
$50,000 – $99,999 - - - -
$100,000 – $149,999 - - - -
$150,000 – $199,999 - - - -
$200,000 – $249,999 - - - -
$250,000 – $299,999 - - - -
$300,000 – $349,999 - - - -
$350,000 – $399,999 - - - -
$400,000 – $449,999 - - - -
$450,000 – $499,999 2 43 2 43
$500,000 – $599,999 10 30 10 30
$600,000 – $699,999 8 49 8 53
$700,000 – $799,999 9 46 9 46
$800,000 – $899,999 9 67 9 70
$900,000 – $999,999 12 39 12 39
$1,000,000 – $1,499,999 34 62 34 63
$1,500,000 – $1,999,999 29 136 29 138
$2,000,000 – $2,499,999 24 137 24 138
$2,500,000 – $2,999,999 19 101 19 101
$3,000,000 – $3,999,999 13 189 13 189
$4,000,000 – $4,999,999 3 126 3 126
$5,000,000 – $9,999,999 3 166 3 166
Over $10,000,000 - - - -
Total Properties 175 Avg. 96 175 Avg. 97
Lowest Price: $465,000
Median Price: $1,589,000
Highest Price: $6,950,000
Average Price: $1,834,169
Total Market Volume: $320,979,581
Lowest Price: $465,000
Median Price: $1,589,000
Highest Price: $6,950,000
Average Price: $1,834,169
Total Market Volume: $320,979,581

 

PENDING

Pending Statistics
Report Run: 10/6/2014 10:26:38 AM
Property Type(s): SF
Start Date: 09/22/2014
End Date: 10/06/2014
Towns: Newton
Went Pending Current Status
Price Range # of
Listings
# UAG # CTG # Sold # Other
Under $50,000 - - - - -
$50,000 – $99,999 - - - - -
$100,000 – $149,999 - - - - -
$150,000 – $199,999 - - - - -
$200,000 – $249,999 - - - - -
$250,000 – $299,999 - - - - -
$300,000 – $349,999 - - - - -
$350,000 – $399,999 - - - - -
$400,000 – $449,999 - - - - -
$450,000 – $499,999 1 - - - 1
$500,000 – $599,999 3 1 2 - -
$600,000 – $699,999 3 1 2 - -
$700,000 – $799,999 4 3 1 - -
$800,000 – $899,999 8 5 3 - -
$900,000 – $999,999 3 2 - - 1
$1,000,000 – $1,499,999 6 6 - - -
$1,500,000 – $1,999,999 4 2 1 - 1
$2,000,000 – $2,499,999 - - - - -
$2,500,000 – $2,999,999 - - - - -
$3,000,000 – $3,999,999 - - - - -
$4,000,000 – $4,999,999 - - - - -
$5,000,000 – $9,999,999 1 1 - - -
Over $10,000,000 - - - - -
Total Properties 33 21 9 0 3
Lowest Price: $495,000 Median Price: $889,000
Highest Price: $5,800,000 Average Price: $1,134,806
Total Market Volume: $37,448,599

SOLD

Total Sold Market Statistics
Report Run: 10/6/2014 10:27:37 AM
Property Type(s): SF
Status: SLD
Start Date: 09/22/2014
End Date: 10/06/2014
Towns: Newton
Price Range # of
Listings
Avg. Days
on Market
Average
Sale Price
Average
List Price
SP:LP
Ratio
Average
Orig Price
SP:OP
Ratio
$0 – $49,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$50,000 – $99,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$100,000 – $149,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$150,000 – $199,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$200,000 – $249,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$250,000 – $299,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$300,000 – $349,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$350,000 – $399,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$400,000 – $449,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$450,000 – $499,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$500,000 – $599,999 1 4 $500,000 $499,000 100 $499,000 100
$600,000 – $699,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$700,000 – $799,999 5 19 $763,000 $753,760 102 $757,760 101
$800,000 – $899,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$900,000 – $999,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$1,000,000 – $1,499,999 6 70 $1,173,167 $1,155,333 102 $1,256,833 96
$1,500,000 – $1,999,999 2 70 $1,733,750 $1,827,000 95 $1,882,500 92
$2,000,000 – $2,499,999 2 32 $2,170,500 $2,237,000 97 $2,322,000 93
$2,500,000 – $2,999,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$3,000,000 – $3,999,999 1 3 $3,500,000 $3,500,000 100 $3,500,000 100
$4,000,000 – $4,999,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$5,000,000 – $9,999,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$10,000,000 – $99,999,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
Total Properties 17 Avg. 43 $1,333,088 $1,342,812 100 $1,396,341 97
Lowest Price: $500,000 Median Price: $1,169,000
Highest Price: $3,500,000 Average Price: $1,333,088
Total Market Volume: $22,662,500

PRICE CHANGES

Luxury Real Estate Headlines — Enjoy the Weekend


Luxury Real Estate Headlines

Sotheby’s Newton, MA.  Top Newton, MA. Brokers

Highlights from this week’s top news stories on luxury and global real estate, art, collectibles and home.  A girl can dream…..Enjoy the weekend!

2014_9_26_New Orleans$1,200,000 USD | New Orleans, Louisiana | Dorian Bennett Sotheby’s International Realty

From Factory to FancyThe Wall Street Journal

House of the Day: Renovating History in the HamptonsThe Wall Street Journal

On the Market: A Tuscan villa with traditional architecture is up for sale in Lucca, ItalyArchitectural Digest

On the Market: A former colonial plantation in Izamal, Mexico—Architectural Digest

House of the Day: A Private Island to Call HomeThe Wall Street Journal

A Houston Chateau Asks $43 MillionThe Wall Street Journal

House Once Owned by Bing Crosby Relists for 43% MoreThe Wall Street Journal

Lee Trevino’s Dallas Estate Goes on the Market for $13 MillionThe Wall Street Journal

On the Market: A 1918 estate designed by Boston architects Chapman and Frazer in Duxbury, MassachusettsArchitectural Digest

On the Market: A turn-of-the-century manse in the Hamptons is up for sale in Water Mill, New YorkArchitectural Digest

Home of the Day: Mediterranean Revival with Batchelder tileThe Los Angeles Times

The Esoteric World of Print CollectingThe New York Times

J.M.W. Turner: an Exhibit, a Film and an AuctionThe Wall Street Journal

Sotheby’s Uses $200 Million of Art to Woo West Coast RichBloomberg

Case Schiller: Home Price Gains Decelerate Rapidly


Case-Shiller: Home Price Gains Decelerate Rapidly

Newton, MA. Top Realtors, Sotheby’s Newton, MA

Biggest drop in HPI since November 2012

home prices money
While I agree that the market is not as frenzied like last year the under 1 million market is still insanely busy.  Listings that have come on in the last few weeks for the fall market looked VERY expensive to me.  There have been a few price drops.  The over 2 million mark is STARTING to move but there is a lot of inventory to clear out before we see any appreciation in that segment.  At one point buyers will move away from “only brand new” mindset to a restored late 19th and early 20th century houses being back in vogue.  That will be a welcome return to quality over shiny and new.

The Case-Shiller home price index fell 0.5% in July, the drop the biggest since November 2011 and the third month in a row of declines, according to the latest Case-Shiller Home Price Index.

Annualized growth printed at 6.75%, well below analyst expectations and the slowest rate of growth since November 2012.

The national Case-Shiller HPI printed at a disappointing 5.6% in the 12 months ended in July, down from 6.3% in June and well below analyst expectations.

Home prices were growing at a double-digit annualized pace as recently as February 2014.

“While the year-over-year figures are trending downward, home prices are still rising month-to-month although at a slower rate than what we are used to seeing over the past couple of years,” said David Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices.

The 10-city home price index grew just 6.7% in the year ended in July. The 20-city price index was also up 6.7%.

“The housing market has been giving us a lot of mixed signals lately. New home sales are up big, but existing home sales are down. Case-Shiller and other housing indices continue to show a general slowdown in home price appreciation, even as some local markets remain very hot. Inventory is up, but sales volume is down,” saidZillow chief economist Stan Humphries. “What all of this is really telling us is that the housing market we’re beginning to see emerge from the ashes of the recession is one that is finally transitioning away from being fueled by internal factors like low mortgage interest rates, low inventory and low prices.

“Instead, it is increasingly being fueled by more traditional outside factors like wage growth, an improving job market and household formations. This transition won’t be seamless, however, and I expect to see more conflicting data as the recovery continues,” Humphries said.

The national HPI increased 0.2% in July, while the 10-city and 20-city HPI composite dropped 0.5%.

“The slower pace of home price appreciation is consistent with most of the other housing data on housing starts and home sales,” Blitzer said. “The rise in August new home sales – which are not covered by the S&P/Case-Shiller indices – is a welcome exception to recent trends.”

Cities in the South and West, the two largest housing markets, saw the biggest price drops and are still seeing the bulk of the price increases today.

“Slow but steady is this year’s theme when it comes to home price increases,” said Quicken Loans vice president Bill Banfield. “Unless we see a significant change in the economy, I don’t see this changing in the near future.”

 

Seniors’ Housing Cost Burden on Rise


Seniors’ Housing Cost Burden on Rise

Newton Real Estate Top Brokers, Sotheby’s Newton, MA.

For a growing share of older Americans, housing expenses have become an increasingly large financial burden.

Chart: Housing burdenOne in three Americans over age 50 were carrying a severe or moderate housing cost burden in 2012, up from one in four in 2000, according to a new study by Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies and AARP. The Center defined a severe burden as housing costs that consume more than half of household income; a moderate housing burden takes between 30 percent and 50 percent of income.

The Center’s report, Housing America’s Older Adults – Meeting the Needs of An Aging Population,” warns that the nation is unprepared for both the financial and non-financial housing challenges that will accompany the coming explosion in the elderly population. Aging baby boomers will require better access to public transit, handicap access, assisted living facilities and other special services and amenities, and many will need subsidized housing.

Housing is often an older person’s largest single expense. And because housing costs are largely fixed (think mortgage payment, taxes, insurance, upkeep and utilities), they can become a growing burden for people as they age and become more vulnerable to reductions in income. Incomes often decline toward the end of their working years and decline again when they enter retirement. Pensions and Social Security benefits fall again when one spouse dies.

The report finds that:

  • Nearly 17 percent of people over age 50 are moderately burdened, spending from 30 percent to 50 percent of their income on housing.
  • Another 16 percent spend more than half of their income on housing.
  • Some 3.9 million households over age 62 are eligible for rental assistance – but only 1.4 million receive it.
  • In 2010, about three out of four homeowners ages 50 to 64 were still paying off a mortgage, up from about two in three in 1992.
  • Housing costs are especially challenging for minority groups: 39 percent of older Asian households, 43 percent of older Hispanic households, and 46 percent of older black households have moderate or severe house cost burdens.  The figure for older white households is 29 percent.

Housing reliably consumes a large chunk of retirees’ monthly income. As baby boomers prepare for retirement, many should consider reducing their housing costs so they fit their new retirement budgets.

Newton Bi Monthly Real Estate Recap


Newton Bi Monthly Real Estate Recap Margaret Szerlip, September 22, 2014, Newton, MA.  Top Agents

 

I must say I am a bit disappointed with the results of the past two weeks.  Inventory is building, we have 180 homes currently listed vs. 140 a month ago.  During the same two-week period in August, 65 homes went under agreement vs. 24 in the September time frame.  We will have to see if this trend continues.  I will say that prices seem to be much higher than even six months ago.  1 million is the new 750-800K.  The Jewish holidays are upon us and that does impact the number of transactions completed.  Perhaps buyers are finally saying enough with the price increases.  There is some movement at the above 2 million mark.

 

CURRENTLY LISTED

Report Run: 9/22/2014 10:57:31 AM
Property Type(s): SF
Snapshot Date: 09/22/2014
Towns: Newton
 09/22/2014  9/22/2014
Price Range Number of
Listings
Avg. Days
on Market
vs. today Number of
Listings
Avg. Days
on Market
Under $50,000 - - - -
$50,000 – $99,999 - - - -
$100,000 – $149,999 - - - -
$150,000 – $199,999 - - - -
$200,000 – $249,999 - - - -
$250,000 – $299,999 - - - -
$300,000 – $349,999 - - - -
$350,000 – $399,999 - - - -
$400,000 – $449,999 - - - -
$450,000 – $499,999 2 71 2 71
$500,000 – $599,999 8 37 8 37
$600,000 – $699,999 10 64 10 67
$700,000 – $799,999 9 40 9 40
$800,000 – $899,999 13 52 13 54
$900,000 – $999,999 13 37 13 37
$1,000,000 – $1,499,999 34 51 34 52
$1,500,000 – $1,999,999 31 120 31 121
$2,000,000 – $2,499,999 23 126 23 126
$2,500,000 – $2,999,999 19 99 19 99
$3,000,000 – $3,999,999 11 198 11 198
$4,000,000 – $4,999,999 3 115 3 115
$5,000,000 – $9,999,999 4 119 4 119
Over $10,000,000 - - - -
Total Properties 180 Avg. 88 180 Avg. 89
Lowest Price: $465,000
Median Price: $1,545,000
Highest Price: $6,950,000
Average Price: $1,805,159
Total Market Volume: $324,928,784
Lowest Price: $465,000
Median Price: $1,545,000
Highest Price: $6,950,000
Average Price: $1,805,159
Total Market Volume: $324,928,784

UNDER AGREEMENT

Report Run: 9/22/2014 11:00:10 AM
Property Type(s): SF
Start Date: 09/08/2014
End Date: 09/22/2014
Towns: Newton
Went Pending Current Status
Price Range # of
Listings
# UAG # CTG # Sold # Other
Under $50,000 - - - - -
$50,000 – $99,999 - - - - -
$100,000 – $149,999 - - - - -
$150,000 – $199,999 - - - - -
$200,000 – $249,999 - - - - -
$250,000 – $299,999 - - - - -
$300,000 – $349,999 - - - - -
$350,000 – $399,999 - - - - -
$400,000 – $449,999 - - - - -
$450,000 – $499,999 1 - 1 - -
$500,000 – $599,999 6 3 1 - 2
$600,000 – $699,999 1 1 - - -
$700,000 – $799,999 - - - - -
$800,000 – $899,999 1 1 - - -
$900,000 – $999,999 4 4 - - -
$1,000,000 – $1,499,999 8 6 2 - -
$1,500,000 – $1,999,999 2 2 - - -
$2,000,000 – $2,499,999 1 - 1 - -
$2,500,000 – $2,999,999 - - - - -
$3,000,000 – $3,999,999 - - - - -
$4,000,000 – $4,999,999 - - - - -
$5,000,000 – $9,999,999 - - - - -
Over $10,000,000 - - - - -
Total Properties 24 17 5 0 2
Lowest Price: $495,000 Median Price: $979,500
Highest Price: $2,399,000 Average Price: $1,171,450
Total Market Volume: $28,114,800

SOLD

Total Sold Market Statistics
Report Run: 9/22/2014 11:00:57 AM
Property Type(s): SF
Status: SLD
Start Date: 09/08/2014
End Date: 09/22/2014
Towns: Newton
Price Range # of
Listings
Avg. Days
on Market
Average
Sale Price
Average
List Price
SP:LP
Ratio
Average
Orig Price
SP:OP
Ratio
$0 – $49,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$50,000 – $99,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$100,000 – $149,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$150,000 – $199,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$200,000 – $249,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$250,000 – $299,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$300,000 – $349,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$350,000 – $399,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$400,000 – $449,999 1 5 $445,000 $499,900 89 $499,900 89
$450,000 – $499,999 2 22 $476,000 $452,000 105 $452,000 105
$500,000 – $599,999 1 108 $595,000 $659,000 90 $699,000 85
$600,000 – $699,999 2 82 $662,500 $699,000 95 $699,000 95
$700,000 – $799,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$800,000 – $899,999 2 18 $829,850 $819,000 101 $819,000 101
$900,000 – $999,999 3 40 $944,833 $922,000 103 $966,000 98
$1,000,000 – $1,499,999 3 97 $1,286,667 $1,232,667 106 $1,274,667 103
$1,500,000 – $1,999,999 3 74 $1,606,083 $1,732,633 93 $1,949,667 83
$2,000,000 – $2,499,999 1 103 $2,115,000 $2,250,000 94 $2,250,000 94
$2,500,000 – $2,999,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$3,000,000 – $3,999,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$4,000,000 – $4,999,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$5,000,000 – $9,999,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$10,000,000 – $99,999,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
Total Properties 18 Avg. 61 $1,033,581 $1,056,156 99 $1,108,883 96
Lowest Price: $445,000 Median Price: $927,250
Highest Price: $2,115,000 Average Price: $1,033,581
Total Market Volume: $18,604,450

Newton is Considering A One Year Demolition Moratorium


for sale sign

 

Newton Toying With a One Year Demolition Moratorium

Newton, MA. Real Estate , Sotheby’s Newton, MA.

 

 

I stated in my last post that I was going to try to address the proposed One Year Moratorium on Tear Downs in Newton. On September 4th, Alderwoman Amy Sangiolo has made a motion on “behalf of concerned citizens requesting a one year moratorium on the demolition of single and two-famly homes.”  The purpose of this moratorium is unclear.  The problem has been defined as the following:

What’s Being Lost”

  • Integrity and Character of Existing Neighborhoods
  • Moderately Priced houses–less than $800,000
  • Historic Houses
  • Mature tree canopy and neighborhood green space
  • Socio-economic and generational diversity

What’s Replacing It:

  • Houses out of character and scale with neighborhood context
  • McMansions Out of Character
  • Snout Houses
  • Linguine Houses
  • Added Density
  • Physical and Fiscal Impacts on Infrastructure

I have a lot to say about this and I’m not sure where to begin.  First off I believe we have a zoning problem not a building problem.  If you want to curb McMansions than limit the size of a house based on the lot size.  That’s easy, we have made it a problem because of special permits and variances.  I have to laugh at the moderately priced homes under $800,000 comment.  Who are we kidding, there are NO moderately priced homes in Newton.  There is not one home listed under $450,000 and the Massachusetts  average is $322,000.  The average price of a home for sale in Newton is currently over 1 million dollars.  Snout houses for those who don’t know are houses with the garages added onto the front of a home.  I have absolutely no idea what a linguini house is.  Snout houses are ugly for sure, but people buy them because they want a garage.independt living pictureas

Added density and socio economic/ generational diversity go hand in hand.  You cannot have it both ways.  The only way to increase the inventory of lower priced homes is to build townhouses and multi-families and apartments.  But the neighbors don’t like that so they go down to the special permit hearings or Historic Committee hearings and fight for the status quo.  Has there ever been a time in history where people say we love change?  Our leaders must have the confidence to stand up to these people and do what is right for everyone.  I had a neighbor that added a huge addition and I hated it, but I got over it. The land is too expensive for a developer to build a small house.  It just doesn’t work that way.   Newton has a significant number of homes in Waban, Newton Centre, West Newton Hill,  Chestnut Hill, Auburndale and the Highlands that were built in the late 19th century and the early 20th century that are basically historic McMansion’s.  I am sure that many people thought these homes were ugly and out of character 100 years ago.  So many of Newton’s “moderately priced hosing stock” consists of smaller Colonials on the north side of town and splits and ranches on the south side.  These homes have become functionally obsolete.  Today’s buyers want an open concept first floor — period.  They don’t want a family room and a living room and a sun-room and a dining room separated by walls.  They want an open concept kitchen/ family room and a dining room that can also serve as an office.  So the floor plan of yesterday no longer works.  In expensive homes those buyers want the same thing on a larger scale.  They may have the unused living room set up with a pool table.  Younger buyers want to have fun in their homes.  They want to play pool or ping-pong and watch movies in their media rooms.  And who are we to judge what people want.  Builders MUST build what a buyer wants to buy.  It costs more money to renovate than rebuild.  Which brings me to the possibility of a design review process.  Wellesley currently does this and now Wellesley has big houses that all look the same.  We are not a socialist country and we cannot legislate taste.  I sell real estate, what one person hates another loves.  It’s a zoning issue.

One of the things I really liked about Newton was its diversity and sadly that is disappearing.  But isn’t it the Alderman who approved the building of The Street?  My God the average upper middle class person with two kids can’t really afford to shop in most of the stores.  The movie theatre costs twice as much as a normal theatre.  The restaurants are not a place where the average homeowner goes for a bite.  You can’t have it both ways.  You can’t say we want generation and socio-economic diversity and build an outdoor mall that most of your citizens can’t afford to shop and NONE of the lower-income people can even dream about shopping at.  It’s like the affordable housing units in luxury building in Manhattan where the affordable people have a separate entrance.

I think some of the Alderman complaining are responsible for the current state.  The process is unfair.  You can’t approve some changes and then say, oh we approved too many and the neighborhood is changing so now we have to put the brakes on.  The Historic Committee and the Building Department and the Alderman each have a few members with a chip on their shoulders.  Their minds are made up before they even hear the findings.

Like it or not the horse is out of the barn.  Newton is not affordable and I don’t see how we make it affordable unless we make some zoning changes.  We can approve multi families and townhouses on busier streets close to the town centers.  Builders need incentive to build here.  If we arbitrarily have a moratorium builders will go somewhere else because it will become untenable to do conduct business here.  Let’s hope for a thoughtful process that can meet the needs of most of the residents of Newton.

s

 

5 Reasons to Sell BEFORE Winter Hits


5 Reasons to Sell BEFORE Winter Hits

Newton, MA.  Real Estate  Sotheby’s Newton, MA.

People across the country are beginning to think about what their life will look like next year. It happens every Fall. We ponder whether we should relocate to a different part of the country to find better year round weather or perhaps move across the state for better job opportunities. Homeowners in this situation must consider whether they should sell their house now or wait. If you are one of these potential sellers, here are five important reasons to do it now versus the dead of winter.

1. Demand is Strong

Foot traffic refers to the number of people out actually physically looking at home right now. The latest foot traffic numbers show that there are more prospective purchasers currently looking at homes than at any other time in the last twelve months which includes the latest spring buyers’ market. These buyers are ready, willing and able to buy…and are in the market right now!

As we get later into the year, many people have other things (weather, holidays, etc.) that distract them from searching for a home. Take advantage of the buyer activity currently in the market.

2. There Is Less Competition Now

Housing supply is still under the historical number of 6 months’ supply. This means that, in many markets, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers in that market. This is good news for home prices. However, additional inventory is about to come to market.

There is a pent-up desire for many homeowners to move as they were unable to sell over the last few years because of a negative equity situation. Homeowners are now seeing a return to positive equity as real estate values have increased over the last two years. Many of these homes will be coming to the market in the near future.

Also, new construction of single-family homes is again beginning to increase. A recent study by Harris Poll revealed that 41% of buyers would prefer to buy a new home while only 21% prefer an existing home (38% had no preference).

The choices buyers have will continue to increase over the next few months. Don’t wait until all this other inventory of homes comes to market before you sell.

3. The Process Will Be Quicker

One of the biggest challenges of the 2014 housing market has been the length of time it takes from contract to closing. Banks are requiring more and more paperwork before approving a mortgage. Any delay in the process is always prolonged during the winter holiday season. Getting your house sold and closed before those delays begin will lend itself to a smoother transaction.

4. There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move-Up

If you are moving up to a larger, more expensive home, consider doing it now. Prices are projected to appreciate by over 19% from now to 2018. If you are moving to a higher priced home, it will wind-up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and mortgage payment) if you wait. You can also lock-in your 30 year housing expense with an interest rate in the low 4’s right now. Rates are projected to be over 5% by this time next year.

5. It’s Time to Move On with Your Life

Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and determine whether it is worth waiting. Is money more important than being with family? Is money more important than your health? Is money more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you think you should?

Only you know the answers to the questions above. You have the power to take back control of the situation by putting your home on the market. Perhaps, the time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire.

That is what is truly important.

August Real Estate Recap


August Real Estate Recap

Margaret Szerlip Newton, MA.  Real Estate, Sotheby’s Newton, MA.

 

Happy Fall!  Summer is over and with the sadness comes a renewed sense of moving forward.  Overall this summer was more active than past summers.  There was even a ray of sunshine in the over 2 million category, however, it will take many sales and price adjustments to clear out inventory at that price point.  MANY homes above 2 million are simply overpriced in the minds of the buyers.  I sense this fall market will be quite busy.  Interest rates are slated to rise and we all know that cost is more important than price.

There are a total of 126 single family homes currently listed in Newton and a whopping 91 are over 1 million dollars roughly 75% of the market and 65 are above 2.5 million or 50% of the market.  In my opinion that end of the market is over saturated and obviously over priced.  I believe we will see at least a 10% decline in prices to clear this inventory out, possibly more in certain areas of Newton.  As newer listings come on the market with proper pricing many of these stagnant listings will sit unless the sellers get realistic.  Any offer a seller receives on a house over 2 million cannot be ignored.  I am not suggesting sellers accept any offer but a seller MUST counter an offer.  It does not matter what price a buyer starts an offer with it only matters what a buyer will ultimately pay.  Understand there is a market for expensive homes although those buyers generally don’t HAVE to move, they’d like to move, so they are willing to wait for the right house in a neighborhood they want.  This is a buyers market in the over 1.5 range so sellers cannot be unrealistic.  That being said I expect sales of under 1.5 million to be robust.

CURRENTLY LISTED

On-Market Snapshot
Report Run: 9/1/2014 12:32:02 PM
Property Type(s): SF
Snapshot Date: 08/31/2014
Towns: Newton
 08/31/2014  9/1/2014
Price Range Number of
Listings
Avg. Days
on Market
vs. today Number of
Listings
Avg. Days
on Market
Under $50,000 - - - -
$50,000 – $99,999 - - - -
$100,000 – $149,999 - - - -
$150,000 – $199,999 - - - -
$200,000 – $249,999 - - - -
$250,000 – $299,999 - - - -
$300,000 – $349,999 - - - -
$350,000 – $399,999 1 81 1 82
$400,000 – $449,999 - - - -
$450,000 – $499,999 1 46 1 47
$500,000 – $599,999 6 39 6 40
$600,000 – $699,999 8 41 7 49
$700,000 – $799,999 8 88 8 90
$800,000 – $899,999 5 91 5 98
$900,000 – $999,999 6 26 6 27
$1,000,000 – $1,499,999 26 60 26 61
$1,500,000 – $1,999,999 17 154 17 158
$2,000,000 – $2,499,999 20 117 19 119
$2,500,000 – $2,999,999 14 92 14 93
$3,000,000 – $3,999,999 9 189 9 190
$4,000,000 – $4,999,999 2 141 2 142
$5,000,000 – $9,999,999 3 130 3 131
Over $10,000,000 - - - -
Total Properties 126 Avg. 97 124 Avg. 99
Lowest Price: $399,000
Median Price: $1,594,500
Highest Price: $6,950,000
Average Price: $1,866,618
Total Market Volume: $235,193,887
Lowest Price: $399,000
Median Price: $1,594,500
Highest Price: $6,950,000
Average Price: $1,873,345
Total Market Volume: $232,294,887

 

UNDER AGREEMENT

Report Run: 9/1/2014 12:32:54 PM
Property Type(s): SF
Start Date: 08/01/2014
End Date: 08/31/2014
Towns: Newton
Went Pending Current Status
Price Range # of
Listings
# UAG # CTG # Sold # Other
Under $50,000 - - - - -
$50,000 – $99,999 - - - - -
$100,000 – $149,999 - - - - -
$150,000 – $199,999 - - - - -
$200,000 – $249,999 - - - - -
$250,000 – $299,999 - - - - -
$300,000 – $349,999 - - - - -
$350,000 – $399,999 1 1 - - -
$400,000 – $449,999 1 - 1 - -
$450,000 – $499,999 3 2 1 - -
$500,000 – $599,999 1 1 - - -
$600,000 – $699,999 6 1 3 1 1
$700,000 – $799,999 9 5 3 - 1
$800,000 – $899,999 4 2 1 - 1
$900,000 – $999,999 7 5 1 - 1
$1,000,000 – $1,499,999 9 5 4 - -
$1,500,000 – $1,999,999 4 4 - - -
$2,000,000 – $2,499,999 4 3 1 - -
$2,500,000 – $2,999,999 2 2 - - -
$3,000,000 – $3,999,999 - - - - -
$4,000,000 – $4,999,999 - - - - -
$5,000,000 – $9,999,999 - - - - -
Over $10,000,000 - - - - -
Total Properties 51 31 15 1 4
Lowest Price: $399,000 Median Price: $910,000
Highest Price: $2,999,000 Average Price: $1,122,788
Total Market Volume: $57,262,199

 

SOLD

Total Sold Market Statistics
Report Run: 9/1/2014 12:34:12 PM
Property Type(s): SF
Status: SLD
Start Date: 08/01/2014
End Date: 08/31/2014
Towns: Newton
Price Range # of
Listings
Avg. Days
on Market
Average
Sale Price
Average
List Price
SP:LP
Ratio
Average
Orig Price
SP:OP
Ratio
$0 – $49,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$50,000 – $99,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$100,000 – $149,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$150,000 – $199,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$200,000 – $249,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$250,000 – $299,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$300,000 – $349,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$350,000 – $399,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$400,000 – $449,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$450,000 – $499,999 1 21 $480,000 $499,000 96 $499,000 96
$500,000 – $599,999 3 55 $566,333 $569,300 100 $592,333 96
$600,000 – $699,999 4 17 $649,975 $645,975 101 $645,975 101
$700,000 – $799,999 7 26 $743,857 $750,243 99 $754,529 99
$800,000 – $899,999 7 30 $833,500 $797,286 105 $823,286 103
$900,000 – $999,999 9 34 $916,778 $905,433 101 $921,544 100
$1,000,000 – $1,499,999 20 39 $1,209,125 $1,212,190 101 $1,232,990 99
$1,500,000 – $1,999,999 11 70 $1,708,977 $1,760,164 97 $1,826,000 94
$2,000,000 – $2,499,999 2 28 $2,112,500 $2,022,500 105 $2,022,500 105
$2,500,000 – $2,999,999 1 14 $2,580,000 $2,680,000 96 $2,680,000 96
$3,000,000 – $3,999,999 1 202 $3,200,000 $3,500,000 91 $3,500,000 91
$4,000,000 – $4,999,999 1 71 $4,100,000 $4,000,000 103 $4,000,000 103
$5,000,000 – $9,999,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$10,000,000 – $99,999,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
Total Properties 67 Avg. 42 $1,211,308 $1,217,955 100 $1,241,333 99
Lowest Price: $480,000 Median Price: $1,050,000
Highest Price: $4,100,000 Average Price: $1,211,308
Total Market Volume: $81,157,650

 

 

 

22 Lenox Under Agreement in 5 Days!


So happy 22 Lenox is Under Agreement.  That’s what happens when Developers build what people want to buy and build with integrity.  Inspection tomorrow — hopefully closing on September 22nd.  Outstanding Renovation done by Brian DiBlasi and Remi Aftandilian from Credere Ventures.

Chic and Stylish Total Renovation

Chic and Stylish Total Renovation

With Interest Rates and Home Prices on the Rise, Do You Know the True Cost of Waiting?


Newton, MA.  Margaret Szerlip Sotheby’s Realty

With Interest Rates and Home Prices on the rise, do you know the true Cost of Waiting?

Posted: 19 Aug 2014 04:00 AM PDT From The KCM Crew

With Interest Rates and Home Prices on the rise, do you know the true Cost of Waiting? | Keeping Current Matters

Today we are excited to have Morgan Tranquist as our guest blogger. Morgan is the Marketing & Graphics Director for The KCM Crew and provides insight into what the Millennial Generation needs to hear from their agents. – The KCM Crew

At Keeping Current Matters, we have often broken down the opportunity that exists now for Millennials who are willing and able to purchase a home NOW… Here are a couple other ways to look at the cost of waiting.

Let’s say you’re 30 and your dream house costs $250,000 today, at 4.12% your monthly Mortgage Payment with Interest would be $1,210.90.

(that price point does not exist in Greater Boston)

But you’re busy, you like your apartment, moving is such a hassle…You decide to wait till the end of next year to buy and all of a sudden, you’re 31, that same house is $270,000, at 5.3%. Your new payment per month is $1,499.32.

The difference in payment is $288.42 PER MONTH!

That’s basically like taking a $10 bill and tossing it out the window EVERY DAY!

Or you could look at it this way:

  • That’s your morning coffee everyday on the way to work (average $2) with $11 left for lunch!
  • There goes Friday Sushi Night! ($72 x 4)
  • Stressed Out? How about 3 deep tissue massages with tip!
  • Need a new car? You could get a brand new $20,000 car for $288.00 per month.

Let’s look at that number annually! Over the course of your new mortgage at 5.3%, your annual additional cost would be $3,461.04!

Had your eye on a vacation in the Caribbean? How about a 2-week trip through Europe? Or maybe your new house could really use a deck for entertaining.  We could come up with 100’s of ways to spend $3,461, and we’re sure you could too!

Over the course of your 30 year loan, now at age 61, hopefully you are ready to retire soon, you would have spent an additional $103,831, all because when you were 30 you thought moving in 2014 was such a hassle or loved your apartment too much to leave yet.

Or maybe there wasn’t an agent out there who educated you on the true cost of waiting a year. Maybe they thought you wouldn’t be ready, but if they showed you that you could save $103,831, you’d at least listen to what they had to say.

They say hindsight is 20/20, we’d like to think that 30 years from now when you are 60, looking back, you would say to buy now…

Open House 22 Lenox Street — West Newton Hill Sunday from 12-2


Chic and Stylish Total Renovation

Chic and Stylish Total Renovation

 

 

22 Lenox St, West Newton, MA 02465

Chic and Stylish Victorian

5Bd/3.5Ba Single Family House

$2,349,000

Description

Victorian home meets 2014 with a complete down to the studs renovation at the top of West Newton Hill! The new version is stylish, and chic and fits perfectly with today’s lifestyle. Open concept first floor with outstanding kitchen and adjoining family room with fireplace and open staircase to the finished LL. Kitchen has custom cabinetry, honed Calcutta counters and professional grade Thermador appliances. Beautiful Master suite boasts a walk in closet and the most serene bathroom. 2 generous bedrooms, another top quality bath and laundry room complete the 2nd floor. The 3rd floor has high ceilings, abundant sunlight, 2 bedrooms, plus a loft area for office or play and another bath. Wonderful large renovated basement with bath and bar area. New roof, wood floors, electric, plumbing, HVAC, siding, kitchen, baths, walls, ceilings, spray foam insulation..everything.

22 LENOX STREET WEST NEWTON — OUTSTANDING RENOVATION!


22 LENOX STREET SOTHEBY’S,
NEWTON, MA.  TOP REALTOR NEWTON, MA.

A perfect example of preserving the past and building for the future!  I have attended quite a few Historic Commission meetings and special permit meetings at City Hall this summer and it is obvious that the “people in charge” are sick of tear downs not to mention the neighbors.  I wish I had the before shot to show you!

Chic and Stylish Total Renovation

Chic and Stylish Total Renovation

Victorian home meets 2014 with a complete down to the studs renovation at the top of West Newton Hill! The new version is stylish, and chic and fits perfectly with today’s lifestyle. Open concept first floor with outstanding kitchen and adjoining family room with fireplace and open staircase to the finished LL. Kitchen has custom cabinetry, honed Calcutta counters and professional grade Thermador appliances. Beautiful Master suite boasts a walk in closet and the most serene bathroom. 2 generous bedrooms, another top quality bath and laundry room complete the 2nd floor. The 3rd floor has high ceilings, abundant sunlight, 2 bedrooms, plus a loft area for office or play and another bath. Wonderful large renovated basement with bath and bar area. New roof, wood floors, electric, plumbing, HVAC, siding, kitchen, baths, walls, ceilings, spray foam insulation..everything.
OPEN HOUSE — SUNDAY AUGUST 17th  12-2PM
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Foyer

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Living/Dining

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View from Living to Foyer and Family Room

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View from Family Room to Kitchen and Lower Level

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Kitchen with French Doors to outside

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Staircase

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Master Bath

22Lenox_Int_18-3450009867-O

Master Bath

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Third Floor Bedroom

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Third Floor Loft Area

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Lower Level Beverage Center

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Lower Level

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Street view of beautiful Lenox Street

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Yard

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Yard

Home Prices Since the Peak — Top 20 Cities


Newton,. MA.  Top Realtors, Sotheby’s Newton, MA.

 

We are lucky here in Boston

Home Prices Since Peak | Keeping Current Matters

Bi-Monthly Real Estate Recap


It’s that time again for the Bi Monthly Recap…I’d just like to say that 2 weeks do not fly by in January like they do in the summer.  We continue to suffer from very low inventory and I am sensing buyer fatigue in the homes priced under 1 million dollars, there are only so many times a person can be outbid on a home.  The question is does that frustration lead to just a break or do buyers start looking in more affordable towns?  The answer is both, at some point paying 900+ for a 3 bedroom 2 1/2 bath with just average kitchen and baths just seems ludicrous.  For some buyers who already feel Newton is too suburban still believe it’s much more affordable here especially if you factor in school costs in the city.

There is still activity taking place this summer and I think more so than in previous summers.  Labor Day is very early and school starts early, the Jewish holidays are late this year so I expect September to be very busy.  There has been and uptick in the sale of homes priced over 1.5 million for the first time in a long while.  Let’s hope that continues.  Currently we have 137 homes on the market down from 144 two weeks ago.  The lowest inventory is in the 800-899 range.  27 homes have gone under agreement and 12 have contingency agreements in the past 2 weeks.  11 of those are priced above 1.5 million.  32 homes sold with the busiest price point being 1 million to 1.5 million with 11 homes sold.  The jumbo rate  and conforming rates are virtually the same which may explain the increase in over 1 million sales.

I would say this bodes well for the fall market…if you are thinking of selling call or email me at 617-921-6860 or margaretszerlip@gmail.com   Enjoy the rest of your summer.

 

On-Market Snapshot
Report Run: 8/4/2014 11:26:45 AM
Property Type(s): SF
Snapshot Date: 08/04/2014
Towns: Newton
 08/04/2014  8/4/2014
Price Range Number of
Listings
Avg. Days
on Market
vs. today Number of
Listings
Avg. Days
on Market
Under $50,000 - - - -
$50,000 – $99,999 - - - -
$100,000 – $149,999 - - - -
$150,000 – $199,999 - - - -
$200,000 – $249,999 - - - -
$250,000 – $299,999 - - - -
$300,000 – $349,999 - - - -
$350,000 – $399,999 1 54 1 54
$400,000 – $449,999 1 12 1 19
$450,000 – $499,999 2 11 2 11
$500,000 – $599,999 4 14 4 14
$600,000 – $699,999 6 62 6 71
$700,000 – $799,999 11 55 11 61
$800,000 – $899,999 4 89 4 96
$900,000 – $999,999 6 53 6 53
$1,000,000 – $1,499,999 27 58 27 59
$1,500,000 – $1,999,999 24 127 24 129
$2,000,000 – $2,499,999 21 113 21 113
$2,500,000 – $2,999,999 14 82 14 82
$3,000,000 – $3,999,999 11 166 11 166
$4,000,000 – $4,999,999 2 114 2 114
$5,000,000 – $9,999,999 3 103 3 103
Over $10,000,000 - - - -
Total Properties 137 Avg. 90 137 Avg. 91
Lowest Price: $399,000
Median Price: $1,639,000
Highest Price: $6,950,000
Average Price: $1,888,610
Total Market Volume: $258,739,586
Lowest Price: $399,000
Median Price: $1,639,000
Highest Price: $6,950,000
Average Price: $1,888,610
Total Market Volume: $258,739,586

 

Pending Statistics
Report Run: 8/4/2014 11:28:57 AM
Property Type(s): SF
Start Date: 07/22/2014
End Date: 08/04/2014
Towns: Newton
Went Pending Current Status
Price Range # of
Listings
# UAG # CTG # Sold # Other
Under $50,000 - - - - -
$50,000 – $99,999 - - - - -
$100,000 – $149,999 - - - - -
$150,000 – $199,999 - - - - -
$200,000 – $249,999 - - - - -
$250,000 – $299,999 - - - - -
$300,000 – $349,999 - - - - -
$350,000 – $399,999 - - - - -
$400,000 – $449,999 1 1 - - -
$450,000 – $499,999 - - - - -
$500,000 – $599,999 2 1 1 - -
$600,000 – $699,999 3 - 3 - -
$700,000 – $799,999 3 1 1 - 1
$800,000 – $899,999 3 1 1 - 1
$900,000 – $999,999 4 3 1 - -
$1,000,000 – $1,499,999 4 1 2 - 1
$1,500,000 – $1,999,999 5 2 3 - -
$2,000,000 – $2,499,999 - - - - -
$2,500,000 – $2,999,999 2 2 - - -
$3,000,000 – $3,999,999 - - - - -
$4,000,000 – $4,999,999 - - - - -
$5,000,000 – $9,999,999 - - - - -
Over $10,000,000 - - - - -
Total Properties 27 12 12 0 3
Lowest Price: $449,000 Median Price: $929,000
Highest Price: $2,995,000 Average Price: $1,188,214
Total Market Volume: $32,081,800

 

 

 

Total Sold Market Statistics
Report Run: 8/4/2014 11:29:33 AM
Property Type(s): SF
Status: SLD
Start Date: 07/22/2014
End Date: 08/04/2014
Towns: Newton
Price Range # of
Listings
Avg. Days
on Market
Average
Sale Price
Average
List Price
SP:LP
Ratio
Average
Orig Price
SP:OP
Ratio
$0 – $49,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$50,000 – $99,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$100,000 – $149,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$150,000 – $199,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$200,000 – $249,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$250,000 – $299,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$300,000 – $349,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$350,000 – $399,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$400,000 – $449,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$450,000 – $499,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$500,000 – $599,999 1 12 $590,000 $619,000 95 $619,000 95
$600,000 – $699,999 3 23 $655,000 $626,333 105 $626,333 105
$700,000 – $799,999 2 4 $722,250 $709,500 102 $709,500 102
$800,000 – $899,999 4 20 $833,250 $846,750 99 $854,250 98
$900,000 – $999,999 5 44 $950,800 $954,200 100 $954,200 100
$1,000,000 – $1,499,999 11 24 $1,240,182 $1,202,182 104 $1,229,818 103
$1,500,000 – $1,999,999 3 12 $1,643,333 $1,604,667 102 $1,604,667 102
$2,000,000 – $2,499,999 2 356 $2,157,500 $2,199,000 98 $2,362,500 91
$2,500,000 – $2,999,999 1 266 $2,525,000 $2,585,000 98 $2,585,000 98
$3,000,000 – $3,999,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$4,000,000 – $4,999,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$5,000,000 – $9,999,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$10,000,000 – $99,999,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
Total Properties 32 Avg. 52 $1,171,828 $1,159,250 102 $1,179,906 101
Lowest Price: $590,000 Median Price: $1,055,000
Highest Price: $2,525,000 Average Price: $1,171,828
Total Market Volume: $37,498,500

It’s that time again for the Bi Monthly Recap…I’d just like to say that 2 weeks do not fly by in January like they do in the summer.  We continue to suffer from very low inventory and I am sensing buyer fatigue in the homes priced under 1 million dollars, there are only so many times a person can be outbid on a home.  The question is does that frustration lead to just a break or do buyers start looking in more affordable towns?  The answer is both, at some point paying 900+ for a 3 bedroom 2 1/2 bath with just average kitchen and baths just seems ludicrous.  For some buyers who already feel Newton is too suburban still believe it’s much more affordable here especially if you factor in school costs in the city.

There is still activity taking place this summer and I think more so than in previous summers.  Labor Day is very early and school starts early, the Jewish holidays are late this year so I expect September to be very busy.  There has been and uptick in the sale of homes priced over 1.5 million for the first time in a long while.  Let’s hope that continues.  Currently we have 137 homes on the market down from 144 two weeks ago.  The lowest inventory is in the 800-899 range.  27 homes have gone under agreement and 12 have contingency agreements in the past 2 weeks.  11 of those are priced above 1.5 million.  32 homes sold with the busiest price point being 1 million to 1.5 million with 11 homes sold.  The jumbo rate mortage and conforming are virtually the same which may explain the increase in over 1 million sales.

I would say this bodes well for the fall market…if you are thinking of selling call or email me at 617-921-6860 or margaretszerlip@gmail.com   Enjoy the rest of your summer.

 

On-Market Snapshot
Report Run: 8/4/2014 11:26:45 AM
Property Type(s): SF
Snapshot Date: 08/04/2014
Towns: Newton
 08/04/2014  8/4/2014
Price Range Number of
Listings
Avg. Days
on Market
vs. today Number of
Listings
Avg. Days
on Market
Under $50,000 - - - -
$50,000 – $99,999 - - - -
$100,000 – $149,999 - - - -
$150,000 – $199,999 - - - -
$200,000 – $249,999 - - - -
$250,000 – $299,999 - - - -
$300,000 – $349,999 - - - -
$350,000 – $399,999 1 54 1 54
$400,000 – $449,999 1 12 1 19
$450,000 – $499,999 2 11 2 11
$500,000 – $599,999 4 14 4 14
$600,000 – $699,999 6 62 6 71
$700,000 – $799,999 11 55 11 61
$800,000 – $899,999 4 89 4 96
$900,000 – $999,999 6 53 6 53
$1,000,000 – $1,499,999 27 58 27 59
$1,500,000 – $1,999,999 24 127 24 129
$2,000,000 – $2,499,999 21 113 21 113
$2,500,000 – $2,999,999 14 82 14 82
$3,000,000 – $3,999,999 11 166 11 166
$4,000,000 – $4,999,999 2 114 2 114
$5,000,000 – $9,999,999 3 103 3 103
Over $10,000,000 - - - -
Total Properties 137 Avg. 90 137 Avg. 91
Lowest Price: $399,000
Median Price: $1,639,000
Highest Price: $6,950,000
Average Price: $1,888,610
Total Market Volume: $258,739,586
Lowest Price: $399,000
Median Price: $1,639,000
Highest Price: $6,950,000
Average Price: $1,888,610
Total Market Volume: $258,739,586

 

Pending Statistics
Report Run: 8/4/2014 11:28:57 AM
Property Type(s): SF
Start Date: 07/22/2014
End Date: 08/04/2014
Towns: Newton
Went Pending Current Status
Price Range # of
Listings
# UAG # CTG # Sold # Other
Under $50,000 - - - - -
$50,000 – $99,999 - - - - -
$100,000 – $149,999 - - - - -
$150,000 – $199,999 - - - - -
$200,000 – $249,999 - - - - -
$250,000 – $299,999 - - - - -
$300,000 – $349,999 - - - - -
$350,000 – $399,999 - - - - -
$400,000 – $449,999 1 1 - - -
$450,000 – $499,999 - - - - -
$500,000 – $599,999 2 1 1 - -
$600,000 – $699,999 3 - 3 - -
$700,000 – $799,999 3 1 1 - 1
$800,000 – $899,999 3 1 1 - 1
$900,000 – $999,999 4 3 1 - -
$1,000,000 – $1,499,999 4 1 2 - 1
$1,500,000 – $1,999,999 5 2 3 - -
$2,000,000 – $2,499,999 - - - - -
$2,500,000 – $2,999,999 2 2 - - -
$3,000,000 – $3,999,999 - - - - -
$4,000,000 – $4,999,999 - - - - -
$5,000,000 – $9,999,999 - - - - -
Over $10,000,000 - - - - -
Total Properties 27 12 12 0 3
Lowest Price: $449,000 Median Price: $929,000
Highest Price: $2,995,000 Average Price: $1,188,214
Total Market Volume: $32,081,800

 

 

 

Total Sold Market Statistics
Report Run: 8/4/2014 11:29:33 AM
Property Type(s): SF
Status: SLD
Start Date: 07/22/2014
End Date: 08/04/2014
Towns: Newton
Price Range # of
Listings
Avg. Days
on Market
Average
Sale Price
Average
List Price
SP:LP
Ratio
Average
Orig Price
SP:OP
Ratio
$0 – $49,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$50,000 – $99,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$100,000 – $149,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$150,000 – $199,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$200,000 – $249,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$250,000 – $299,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$300,000 – $349,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$350,000 – $399,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$400,000 – $449,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$450,000 – $499,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$500,000 – $599,999 1 12 $590,000 $619,000 95 $619,000 95
$600,000 – $699,999 3 23 $655,000 $626,333 105 $626,333 105
$700,000 – $799,999 2 4 $722,250 $709,500 102 $709,500 102
$800,000 – $899,999 4 20 $833,250 $846,750 99 $854,250 98
$900,000 – $999,999 5 44 $950,800 $954,200 100 $954,200 100
$1,000,000 – $1,499,999 11 24 $1,240,182 $1,202,182 104 $1,229,818 103
$1,500,000 – $1,999,999 3 12 $1,643,333 $1,604,667 102 $1,604,667 102
$2,000,000 – $2,499,999 2 356 $2,157,500 $2,199,000 98 $2,362,500 91
$2,500,000 – $2,999,999 1 266 $2,525,000 $2,585,000 98 $2,585,000 98
$3,000,000 – $3,999,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$4,000,000 – $4,999,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$5,000,000 – $9,999,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$10,000,000 – $99,999,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
Total Properties 32 Avg. 52 $1,171,828 $1,159,250 102 $1,179,906 101
Lowest Price: $590,000 Median Price: $1,055,000
Highest Price: $2,525,000 Average Price: $1,171,828
Total Market Volume: $37,498,500

Selling Your House? 5 Reasons to Do It Now!


Newton, MA. real estate, Newton, MA. Top Brokers

Selling Your House? 5 Reasons to Do It Now!

Posted: 21 Jul 2014 04:00 AM PDT

Selling Your House? 5 Reasons to Do It Now! | Keeping Current Matters

Many sellers are still hesitant about putting their house up for sale. Where are prices headed? Where are interest rates headed? Can buyers qualify for a mortgage?  These are all valid questions. However, there are several reasons to sell your home sooner rather than later. Here are five of those reasons.

1. Demand is Strong

There is currently a pent-up demand of purchasers as many home buyers pushed off their search this past winter & early spring because of extreme weather. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the number of buyers in the market, which fell off dramatically in December, January and February, has begun to increase again over the last few months. These buyers are ready, willing and able to buy…and are in the market right now!

2. There Is Less Competition Now

Housing supply is still under the historical number of 6 months’ supply. This means that, in many markets, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers in that market. This is good news for home prices. However, additional inventory is about to come to market.

There is a pent-up desire for many homeowners to move as they were unable to sell over the last few years because of a negative equity situation. Homeowners are now seeing a return to positive equity as prices increased over the last eighteen months. Many of these homes will be coming to the market in the near future. Also, new construction of single-family homes is again beginning to increase. A recent study by Harris Poll revealed that 41% of buyers would prefer to buy a new home while only 21% prefer an existing home (38% had no preference).

The choices buyers have will continue to increase over the next few months. Don’t wait until all this other inventory of homes comes to market before you sell.

3. The Process Will Be Quicker

One of the biggest challenges of the 2014 housing market has been the length of time it takes from contract to closing. Banks are requiring more and more paperwork before approving a mortgage. As the market heats up, banks will be inundated with loan inquiries causing closing timelines to lengthen.  Selling now will make the process quicker and simpler.

4. There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move-Up

If you are moving up to a larger, more expensive home, consider doing it now. Prices are projected to appreciate by over 19% from now to 2018. If you are moving to a higher priced home, it will wind-up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and mortgage payment) if you wait. You can also lock-in your 30 year housing expense with an interest rate in the low 4’s right now. Rates are projected to be over 5% by the end of next year.

5. It’s Time to Move On with Your Life

Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and determine whether it is worth waiting. Is money more important than being with family? Is money more important than your health? Is money more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you think you should?

Only you know the answers to the questions above. You have the power to take back control of the situation by putting your home on the market and pricing it so it sells. Perhaps, the time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire.

That is what is truly important.

_____________________________________________________________________

2014 Summer Seller Guide Available Now! | Keeping Current Matters

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Newton BI MONTHLY Real Estate Recap


Please forgive my summer doldrums, I mistakenly reported the last recap as Bi Weekly instead of Bi Monthly…I do apologize for my summer brain.

The market is moving along at a summer pace but moving nonetheless.   Well priced homes are still being scooped up quickly and that is important as we make the transition into the fall market.  I predict that this fall we will see a significant uptick in properties selling over 2 million dollars….Let’s see if I am right.  Currently there are 144 single family homes on the market, only 38 are under 1 million dollars, 106 over 1 million with 54 of the 106 over 2 million!  29 homes went under agreement in the last 2 weeks and 15 were over 1 million.  There was even one sale over 5 million.  During the last 2 week 27 homes closed and the strongest price range was 1 million to 1.5.

If you are considering a home sale or purchase in the next few months or next spring (spring market starts here in mid January to early February) now is the time to begin the process.  Allow me to show you how to get top dollar and make your move as seamless as possible.

 

 

 

On-Market Snapshot
Report Run: 7/21/2014 11:27:24 AM
Property Type(s): SF
Snapshot Date: 07/21/2014
Towns: Newton
 07/21/2014  7/21/2014
Price Range Number of
Listings
Avg. Days
on Market
vs. today Number of
Listings
Avg. Days
on Market
Under $50,000 - - - -
$50,000 – $99,999 - - - -
$100,000 – $149,999 - - - -
$150,000 – $199,999 - - - -
$200,000 – $249,999 - - - -
$250,000 – $299,999 - - - -
$300,000 – $349,999 - - - -
$350,000 – $399,999 1 40 1 40
$400,000 – $449,999 1 5 1 5
$450,000 – $499,999 1 5 1 5
$500,000 – $599,999 4 25 4 25
$600,000 – $699,999 8 47 8 53
$700,000 – $799,999 11 45 11 51
$800,000 – $899,999 4 76 4 83
$900,000 – $999,999 8 57 8 57
$1,000,000 – $1,499,999 24 58 24 58
$1,500,000 – $1,999,999 28 102 28 102
$2,000,000 – $2,499,999 19 106 19 106
$2,500,000 – $2,999,999 18 65 18 65
$3,000,000 – $3,999,999 12 151 12 151
$4,000,000 – $4,999,999 2 100 2 100
$5,000,000 – $9,999,999 3 89 3 89
Over $10,000,000 - - - -
Total Properties 144 Avg. 80 144 Avg. 81
Lowest Price: $399,000
Median Price: $1,662,500
Highest Price: $6,950,000
Average Price: $1,905,156
Total Market Volume: $274,342,587
Lowest Price: $399,000
Median Price: $1,662,500
Highest Price: $6,950,000
Average Price: $1,905,156
Total Market Volume: $274,342,587

 

UNDER AGREEMENT

Pending Statistics
Report Run: 7/21/2014 11:31:31 AM
Property Type(s): SF
Start Date: 07/07/2014
End Date: 07/21/2014
Towns: Newton
Went Pending Current Status
Price Range # of
Listings
# UAG # CTG # Sold # Other
Under $50,000 - - - - -
$50,000 – $99,999 - - - - -
$100,000 – $149,999 - - - - -
$150,000 – $199,999 - - - - -
$200,000 – $249,999 - - - - -
$250,000 – $299,999 - - - - -
$300,000 – $349,999 - - - - -
$350,000 – $399,999 1 - 1 - -
$400,000 – $449,999 - - - - -
$450,000 – $499,999 2 1 1 - -
$500,000 – $599,999 2 1 1 - -
$600,000 – $699,999 2 2 - - -
$700,000 – $799,999 1 1 - - -
$800,000 – $899,999 3 2 1 - -
$900,000 – $999,999 3 3 - - -
$1,000,000 – $1,499,999 8 6 2 - -
$1,500,000 – $1,999,999 4 1 3 - -
$2,000,000 – $2,499,999 1 - 1 - -
$2,500,000 – $2,999,999 1 1 - - -
$3,000,000 – $3,999,999 - - - - -
$4,000,000 – $4,999,999 - - - - -
$5,000,000 – $9,999,999 1 1 - - -
Over $10,000,000 - - - - -
Total Properties 29 19 10 0 0
Lowest Price: $399,000 Median Price: $1,099,000
Highest Price: $7,500,000 Average Price: $1,370,700
Total Market Volume: $39,750,300

 

SOLD

Total Sold Market Statistics
Report Run: 7/21/2014 11:33:17 AM
Property Type(s): SF
Status: SLD
Start Date: 07/07/2014
End Date: 07/21/2014
Towns: Newton
Price Range # of
Listings
Avg. Days
on Market
Average
Sale Price
Average
List Price
SP:LP
Ratio
Average
Orig Price
SP:OP
Ratio
$0 – $49,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$50,000 – $99,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$100,000 – $149,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$150,000 – $199,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$200,000 – $249,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$250,000 – $299,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$300,000 – $349,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$350,000 – $399,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$400,000 – $449,999 1 43 $400,000 $409,000 98 $439,000 91
$450,000 – $499,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$500,000 – $599,999 1 6 $550,000 $499,000 110 $499,000 110
$600,000 – $699,999 1 41 $638,000 $655,000 97 $630,000 101
$700,000 – $799,999 6 19 $738,500 $717,133 104 $717,133 104
$800,000 – $899,999 3 45 $823,200 $839,300 98 $872,000 94
$900,000 – $999,999 4 18 $965,750 $942,975 103 $942,975 103
$1,000,000 – $1,499,999 8 23 $1,163,263 $1,156,688 101 $1,165,438 100
$1,500,000 – $1,999,999 1 6 $1,510,000 $1,375,000 110 $1,375,000 110
$2,000,000 – $2,499,999 2 50 $2,165,000 $2,234,500 97 $2,282,500 95
$2,500,000 – $2,999,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$3,000,000 – $3,999,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$4,000,000 – $4,999,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$5,000,000 – $9,999,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$10,000,000 – $99,999,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
Total Properties 27 Avg. 26 $1,018,433 $1,009,374 102 $1,019,341 101
Lowest Price: $400,000 Median Price: $960,000
Highest Price: $2,200,000 Average Price: $1,018,433
Total Market Volume: $27,497,700

Massachusetts Unemployment Rate Drops to 5.5%


Massachusetts Unemployment Rate Drops to 5.5%
Newton, MA. Top Realtors,  Newton, MA. Listing Agent
Web Editor-Boston Business Journal
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The Massachusetts unemployment rate dropped 0.1 percentage points to 5.5 percent in June, according to preliminary data released by the state this morning.

The state said Massachusetts added 3,700 jobs in June and the rate is the lowest since August 2008.

By sector:

  • Education and Health Services gained 6,000 (+0.8%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Education and Health Services gained 20,700 (+2.8%) jobs.
  • Trade, Transportation and Utilities added 900 (+0.2%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Trade, Transportation, and Utilities gained 10,000 (+1.8%) jobs.
  • Financial Activities had no change in its jobs level over the month. Over the year, Financial Activities added 1,100 (+0.5%) jobs.
  • Manufacturing lost 1,100 (-0.4%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Manufacturing lost 1,600 (-0.6%) jobs.
  • Construction lost 900 (-0.7%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Construction has added 800 (+0.7%) jobs.
  • Leisure and Hospitality lost 900 (-0.3%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Leisure and Hospitality added 1,900 (+0.6%) jobs.
  • Other Services lost 900 (-0.7%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Other Services jobs are up 2,300 (+1.9%) jobs.
  • Information lost 100 (-0.1%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Information gained 4,300 (+5.0%) jobs.
  • Professional, Scientific and Business Services lost 100 (0.0%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Professional, Scientific and Business Services added 9,800 (+1.9%) jobs.
  • Government added 900 (+0.2%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Government lost 500 (-0.1%) jobs.

Here’s the full release from the state.

Meanwhile, here are some headlines, with links, about companies hiring, or planning to hire soon, in Greater Boston:

Looking back a little farther:

Here are recent companies hiring in Massachusetts:

How Much of a Down Payment Do You Actually Need?


How Much of a Down Payment do You Actually Need?  Newton, Ma.  Top Realtors,

From Our Friends at KCM

How Much of a Down Payment do You Actually Need? | Keeping Current Matters

A recent survey by Zelman & Associates revealed that 38% of those between the ages of 25-29 years old and 42% of those between the ages of 30-34 years old believe that a minimum of 15% is required as a down payment to purchase a home. A recent questionnaire administered byFreddie Mac showed that over 50% of all respondents thought 20% was required as a down payment.

In actually, a purchaser may be able to put down far less.

Freddie Mac, in a recent blog post addressing the issue, confirmed that there is misinformation regarding the amount necessary when determining the down payment for a home purchase:

“Did you know 40 percent of today’s homebuyers using mortgage financing are making down payments that are less than 10 percent? And how about this: since 2010, the number of people putting down less than 10 percent for conventional loans has grown three-fold.  So, not only are low down payment options real, they represent a significant portion of today’s purchases.”

In a separate Executive Perspectives, Christina Boyle, Freddie Mac’s VP and Head of Single-Family Sales & Relationship Management explained further:

  • A person “can get a conforming, conventional mortgage with a down payment of as little as 5 percent (sometimes with as little as 3 percent coming out of their own pockets)”.
  • Qualified borrowers can further reduce the down payment coming out of their own pockets to 3 percent by lining up gifts from family or grants or loans from non-profits or public agencies.

Ms. Boyle goes on to explain:

“Letting more consumers know how down payments are determined could bring more qualified borrowers off the sidelines. Depending on their credit history and other factors, many borrowers can expect to make a down payment of about 5 or 10 percent.”

Bottom Line

If you are saving for either your first home or that perfect move-up dream house, make sure you know all your options. You may be pleasantly surprised.

Earning the Trust of Seniors in Real Estate Transactions


Earning the Trust of Seniors in Real Estate Transactions   Newton, MA.  Real Estate  Sotheby’s Realty Newton, MA.

 

Senior real estate picture

Last year my 87-year-old mother-in-law decided it was time to go to an Independent Living Community.  She had a few falls, which resulted in a broken hip from one fall and broken ribs from another.  We tried to convince her that living alone was no longer a viable option but she would have none of it.  One day I said to her wouldn’t you rather go on your own terms, pick the place you are going to live instead of us deciding?  A few weeks later she decided to take the plunge, but bear in mind this conversation had been ongoing for well over a year.  My husband and I went down to NJ and visited a few places that she knew about.  It’s amazing how you know as soon as you walk in the door!  It also didn’t hurt that her 91-year-old “friend” lived in this complex.

We met with management and we were shown a few apartments.  She already knew which building she wanted to live in and why so that was a huge help.  After the viewings as they were called, (seemed like a term for a wake to me) we were led back to an office.  I want to caution you here – make sure you or your parents understand that this is a hard sell!  My mother–in– law is no slouch but wow, she was flustered.  This is a buy in option Independent Living so the dollars we are talking is not chump change.  My mother-in-law wanted a specific apartment we saw and she was pressured into making a decision right there to secure her apartment.  We told mom that we would go to lunch and talk it over and come back in 2 hours.  Since they had no viewing appointments scheduled we thought it was unlikely that ‘her” apartment would be gone.

Mom took the apartment, has moved in, and loves it!  She says she was sorry she hadn’t done it sooner.  She also says she never could have made the move without us.  Mom is fortunate that she could buy her new place without having to sell her current condo.  Since I have lived in Boston for 20 years I didn’t know a Realtor in Morristown, NJ but the Independent Living Community recommended a Broker for mom.  The Realtor showed up at the appointed time, took as mom said, the nickel tour, and immediately whipped out her measuring laser!  As she was relaying this story to me, I was dumbfounded!  Mom said she was very efficient!  She brought her into the kitchen and handed her a contract to sign before she even did an analysis.   She told her that they would fill the price in later.  I was so relieved she didn’t sign!  When I asked her if she liked the broker she kept saying that she was very efficient and seemed capable.  I pressed further do you trust the broker?  The truth was she didn’t, she said there was something pushy about her as if she just assumed she would be selling the condo.  I told her to sleep on it but that she should interview other brokers.  I made a call to the manager of an office in Morristown, told him where Mom lived and her personality.  He immediately mentioned a Broker: Maggie Sellers.

Maggie went over to meet with mom and they hit it off beautifully.  Maggie understood mom’s needs and most importantly knew the neighborhood, the complex and the town.  Maggie had the analysis in 36 hours, she went over and sat with mom to make sure she understood the comps and how she came up with the price.  It was now 5 days since pushy broker came and mom still didn’t have the analysis.   Mom called pushy and was told she was a busy broker and highly respected by the Independent Living Community and she should be assured that she would get to her, her house would be sold and she should relax!  What?  After 10 days pushy dropped the analysis in the mailbox!  It was considerably higher than Maggie’s analysis.  I had Maggie and pushy e-mail me their comps and tried to figure out the discrepancy.  I have not lived in NJ for 20 years and I never lived in Morristown but it took me two minutes to figure out the problem.  Pushy used comps that weren’t comps for mom’s unit.  She used new construction and single-family homes along with similar condos  There had been enough sales in Mom’s complex in the past 6 months and there were two units currently listed.  Pushy did not understand the market or didn’t think she needed to.  After all she is the recommended broker for the Independent Living community for sellers in the greater Morristown area of which she gives 25% of her commission back to the IL Community not to the seller!

The point is mom felt an immediate connection with Maggie.  Maggie asked  mom if she could involve me in the process.  Maggie had worked with seniors and had an elderly mother of her own.  Maggie cared about her; Maggie had a list of people who bought items that the children didn’t want.  (My basement is loaded with china and silver that she hopes her grandchildren will want.)  Maggie recommended movers, and when an unknown problem was revealed at the inspection, she had trusted people to remedy the problem.

I asked Mom what she liked about Maggie and she was very clear.  While she felt the other agent was competent and successful, she didn’t necessarily think that they were a good fit.  She said she probably would have hired her if I had not gotten involved because she did not know any better.  She had a list of what she liked about Maggie.

  1.  Asked Me what I wanted
  2. She was prepared and did what she said she would do
  3. Treated me like an adult who was still capable of making decisions
  4. She wanted to introduce herself to my kids
  5. Let me make the final decision
  6. Had a list of companies to help facilitate the move and she had already vetted them
  7. Thoroughly explained the process without rushing me to sign paperwork
  8. I LIKED HER

                                                               

As a Realtor serving seniors, it is important that I understand that what makes a great partnership is in the eyes of our clients.  If you are not comfortable, there are many agents out there who will make you comfortable.

 

A good Realtor will make the process about you  and your needs.independt living pictureas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BI-WEEKLY NEWTON REAL ESTATE RECAP


Newton, MA.  REAL ESTATE   Sotheby’s Newton

The market is quieting down for the summer but there is still activity happening…. I have added a new column at the end.

EXPIRED, WITHDRAWN, CANCELLED….I am adding this category at this time because many houses are withdrawn for the summer months.  Personally, I don’t think this is wise since there are only 86 single families on the market at this time! This is a supply and demand business and people look for a houses every day.  I personally bought a house on 4th of July weekend….I was relocating here from NJ 20 years ago this summer!   I have sold 2 houses on the 4th of July weekend.  19 homes were cancelled, expired or withdrawn in the past 2 weeks.  I temporarily withdrew 22 Lenox Street because the house isn’t finished but I would like brokers to know it’s out there.  I expect to put that back on the market next week.  Some brokers cancel because they feel the house gets “stale” and they will put it back on after Labor Day.  Some brokers cancel because they go away for the summer….hmmm, yes it’s true.  Time for a new broker.   Some people fire their agents because they think another agent is going to sell their overpriced home.  It’s the price not the agent… Some people just decide they aren’t going to sell at the price they want and let the listing expire.   Some people make some changes by painting a few rooms a more neutral color, removing some carpeting etc.  Often the seller realizes the agent was right and they should have done this from the start.  Happy Summer!!

On-Market Snapshot
Report Run: 7/7/2014 11:24:29 AM
Property Type(s): SF
Snapshot Date: 07/07/2014
Towns: Needham
 07/07/2014  7/7/2014
Price Range Number of
Listings
Avg. Days
on Market
vs. today Number of
Listings
Avg. Days
on Market
Under $50,000 - - - -
$50,000 – $99,999 - - - -
$100,000 – $149,999 - - - -
$150,000 – $199,999 - - - -
$200,000 – $249,999 - - - -
$250,000 – $299,999 - - - -
$300,000 – $349,999 - - - -
$350,000 – $399,999 - - - -
$400,000 – $449,999 - - - -
$450,000 – $499,999 - - - -
$500,000 – $599,999 9 38 9 40
$600,000 – $699,999 5 40 5 40
$700,000 – $799,999 6 80 6 80
$800,000 – $899,999 3 50 3 50
$900,000 – $999,999 4 45 4 45
$1,000,000 – $1,499,999 31 87 31 87
$1,500,000 – $1,999,999 14 119 14 119
$2,000,000 – $2,499,999 8 127 8 127
$2,500,000 – $2,999,999 6 182 6 182
$3,000,000 – $3,999,999 - - - -
$4,000,000 – $4,999,999 - - - -
$5,000,000 – $9,999,999 - - - -
Over $10,000,000 - - - -
Total Properties 86 Avg. 91 86 Avg. 91
Lowest Price: $500,000
Median Price: $1,398,500
Highest Price: $2,895,000
Average Price: $1,412,502
Total Market Volume: $121,475,200
Lowest Price: $500,000
Median Price: $1,398,500
Highest Price: $2,895,000
Average Price: $1,412,502
Total Market Volume: $121,475,200

 

Pending Statistics
Report Run: 7/7/2014 11:26:28 AM
Property Type(s): SF
Start Date: 06/24/2014
End Date: 07/06/2014
Towns: Newton
Went Pending Current Status
Price Range # of
Listings
# UAG # CTG # Sold # Other
Under $50,000 - - - - -
$50,000 – $99,999 - - - - -
$100,000 – $149,999 - - - - -
$150,000 – $199,999 - - - - -
$200,000 – $249,999 - - - - -
$250,000 – $299,999 - - - - -
$300,000 – $349,999 - - - - -
$350,000 – $399,999 - - - - -
$400,000 – $449,999 - - - - -
$450,000 – $499,999 - - - - -
$500,000 – $599,999 1 1 - - -
$600,000 – $699,999 1 1 - - -
$700,000 – $799,999 3 1 2 - -
$800,000 – $899,999 6 3 3 - -
$900,000 – $999,999 2 1 1 - -
$1,000,000 – $1,499,999 5 2 3 - -
$1,500,000 – $1,999,999 3 - 3 - -
$2,000,000 – $2,499,999 - - - - -
$2,500,000 – $2,999,999 1 1 - - -
$3,000,000 – $3,999,999 - - - - -
$4,000,000 – $4,999,999 - - - - -
$5,000,000 – $9,999,999 - - - - -
Over $10,000,000 - - - - -
Total Properties 22 10 12 0 0
Lowest Price: $579,000 Median Price: $914,000
Highest Price: $2,680,000 Average Price: $1,123,895
Total Market Volume: $24,725,700

 

Total Sold Market Statistics
Report Run: 7/7/2014 11:27:54 AM
Property Type(s): SF
Status: SLD
Start Date: 06/24/2014
End Date: 07/06/2014
Towns: Newton
Price Range # of
Listings
Avg. Days
on Market
Average
Sale Price
Average
List Price
SP:LP
Ratio
Average
Orig Price
SP:OP
Ratio
$0 – $49,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$50,000 – $99,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$100,000 – $149,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$150,000 – $199,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$200,000 – $249,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$250,000 – $299,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$300,000 – $349,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$350,000 – $399,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$400,000 – $449,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$450,000 – $499,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$500,000 – $599,999 1 7 $571,000 $539,000 106 $539,000 106
$600,000 – $699,999 6 23 $648,333 $617,000 105 $617,000 105
$700,000 – $799,999 2 30 $734,500 $749,000 98 $763,500 96
$800,000 – $899,999 4 51 $845,500 $809,250 105 $809,250 105
$900,000 – $999,999 1 6 $936,000 $895,000 105 $895,000 105
$1,000,000 – $1,499,999 12 50 $1,251,417 $1,218,249 103 $1,240,749 102
$1,500,000 – $1,999,999 9 131 $1,699,756 $1,723,333 99 $1,820,556 94
$2,000,000 – $2,499,999 1 13 $2,442,550 $2,399,000 102 $2,399,000 102
$2,500,000 – $2,999,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$3,000,000 – $3,999,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$4,000,000 – $4,999,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$5,000,000 – $9,999,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$10,000,000 – $99,999,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
Total Properties 36 Avg. 61 $1,194,593 $1,177,750 103 $1,210,361 101
Lowest Price: $571,000 Median Price: $1,225,000
Highest Price: $2,442,550 Average Price: $1,194,593
Total Market Volume: $43,005,350

 

 

 EXP  $499,000
WDN $529,000
EXP $539,900
EXP $679,000
WDN $699,900
EXP
WDN $799,900
WDN $1,059,000
EXP $1,350,000
EXP $1,599,000
CAN $1,745,000
CAN $1,799,999
EXP $2,199,000
WDN $2,299,000
WDN $2,349,000
CAN $3,295,000
EXP $3,395,000
EXP $4,200,000
WDN $4,290,000
  Single Family Listings: 19    Avg. Liv.Area SqFt: 3,961.84    Avg. List$: $1,792,195    Avg. List$/SqFt: $435    Avg. DOM: 63.53

 

4 Demands to Make on Your Real Estate Agent


Newton, MA.  Real Estate

4 Demands to Make on Your Real Estate Agent

Posted: 18 Jun 2014 04:00 AM PDT

4 Demands to Make on Your Real Estate Agent | The KCM Crew

Are you thinking of buying a home? Are you dreading having to walk through strangers’ houses? Are you concerned about getting the paperwork correct? Hiring a professional real estate agent can take away most of the challenges of buying. A great agent is always worth more than the commission they charge just like a great doctor or great accountant.

You want to deal with one of the best agents in your marketplace. To do this, you must be able to distinguish the average agent from the great one.

Here are the top 4 demands you need to make of your Real Estate Agent when buying a home:

1. Tell the truth about the price

Too many agents just take your offer at any price and then try to ‘work’ both the seller and you while negotiating later. Demand that the agent prove to you that they have a belief in the price you are offering. Make them show you their plan to get both the seller – and the bank – to accept that price. Every house in today’s market must be sold two times – first to you and then to your bank.

The second sale may be more difficult than the first. The residential appraisal process has gotten tougher. A recent survey showed that there was a challenge with the appraisal on 24% of all residential real estate transactions. It has become more difficult to get the banks to agree on the contract price. A red flag should be raised if your agent is not discussing this with you at the time of the original offer.

2. Understand the timetable with which your family is dealing

You will be moving your family into a new home. Whether the move revolves around the start of a new school year or the start of a new job, you will be trying to put the move to a plan.

This can be very emotionally draining. Demand from your agent an appreciation for the timetables you are setting. You agent cannot pick the exact date of your move, but they should exert any influence they can, to make it work.

3. Remove as many of the challenges as possible

It is imperative that your agent knows how to handle the challenges that will arise. An agent’s ability to negotiate is critical in this market.

Remember: If you have an agent who was weak negotiating with you on parts of the purchase offer, don’t expect them to turn into a super hero when they are negotiating with the seller for you and your family.

4. FIND the right house!

There is a reason you are putting yourself and your family through the process of moving.

You are moving on with your life in some way. The reason is important or you wouldn’t be dealing with the headaches and challenges that come along with purchasing. Do not allow your agent to forget these motivations. Constantly remind them that finding the right house is why you hired them. Make sure that they don’t worry about your feelings more than they worry about your family. If they discover something needs to be done to attain your goal (i.e. rethinking price), insist they have the courage to inform you.

Good agents know how to deliver good news. Great agents know how to deliver tough news. In today’s market, YOU NEED A GREAT AGENT!

Buying a Home? Know ALL Your Options


 

Newton, MA…Realtor

Reposted from my friends over at KCM

Buying a Home? Know ALL Your Options

Posted: 02 Jul 2014 04:00 AM PDT

Buying a Home? Know ALL Your Options | Keeping Current Matters

In a post earlier this week, we suggested that the Millennial generation’s struggles with student debt and the overarching concept of homeownership are not the reasons for so many first time buyers hesitating to move forward with the purchase of their first home. Now there is another firm suggesting the same. The asset management company, Nomura, came out with strong guidance to their investors. According to an article in Housing Wire last week:

“Nomura’s note to clients has a take few have offered: The first time homebuyers are holding out and it’s not student debt, a shift away from homeownership as a choice by Millennials, or any of that.”

Instead, they think it is a lack of a full understanding of the mortgage process. The article explains:

“Analysts say it’s not that Millennials and other potential homebuyers aren’t qualified in terms of their credit scores or in how much they have saved for their down payment. It’s that they think they’re not qualified or they think that they don’t have a big enough down payment.”(emphasis added)

This comes off the heels of a survey by Zelman & Associates that revealed that 38% of those between the ages of 25-29 years old and 42% of those between the ages of 30-34 years old believe that a minimum of 15% is required as a down payment to purchase a home. In actually, a purchaser may be able to put down far less.

The Reality of the Situation

According to Christina Boyle, Freddie Mac’s VP and Head of Single-Family Sales & Relationship Management, in a recent Executive Perspectives piece:

  • A person “can get a conforming, conventional mortgage with a down payment of as little as 5 percent (sometimes with as little as 3 percent coming out of their own pockets)”.
  • Freddie Mac’s purchase of mortgages with down payments under 10 percent more than quadrupled between 2009 and 2013.
  • More than one in five borrowers who took out conforming, conventional mortgages in 2014 put down 10 percent or less.
  • Qualified borrowers can further reduce the down payment coming out of their own pockets to 3 percent by lining up gifts from family or grants or loans from non-profits or public agencies.

Ms. Boyle goes on to explain:

“Letting more consumers know how down payments are determined could bring more qualified borrowers off the sidelines. Depending on their credit history and other factors, many borrowers can expect to make a down payment of about 5 or 10 percent.”

Bottom Line

If you have considered purchasing a house or moving-up to a new dream home, know all of your options. Reach out to a real estate and/or mortgage professional in your marketplace to get the best, most up-to-date information available. You may be surprised to learn what you and your family are capable of achieving.

4th Of July Celebrations Around Massachusetts


4TH OF JULY 2014


Along with Thanksgiving, July 4th is a holiday Americans can claim all to themselves. There’s no shortage of fun, family oriented things to do in Massachusetts this July 4th. Boston Harborfest is the king of all things 4th of July. With hundreds of events for adults and children, including historic reenactments, live music, food, and patriotic revelries, you won’t run out of things to do. But Independence Day celebrations aren’t limited to Boston. There is a solemn reading of the Declaration of Independence at Old Sturbridge Village; a Blessing of the Fleet with food and live music in New Bedford; art shows in Brewster ; a road race on Nantucket and many fireworks displays across the Commonwealth. Don’t miss any opportunity to get out there and have some patriotic fun. Here are just some of the things to do in Massachusetts this 4th of July.

GREATER BOSTON NORTH OF BOSTON SOUTH OF BOSTON CAPE COD & THE ISLANDS CENTRAL MASSACHUSETTS WESTERN MASSACHUSETTS

STATEWIDE

Blue Star Museums Free admission to the military and their families from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

GREATER BOSTON

Boston Harborfest
 – July 2-6
 Festival includes more than 220 events: walking tours, concerts, Revolutionary-era historical reenactments, the famous Chowdafest, visits from U.S. and foreign naval ships; harbor cruises; State House tours; guided walking tours of the North End, Boston’s underground and the Harbor Islands; treasure hunt; tour of Coast Guard ships; whale watch and dinner cruises; chowder fest; USS Constitution Turnaround Cruise; Boston Pops concert and fireworks. Check out the MBTA’sspecial schedules during Harborfest.

Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular
 – July 4
 Free outdoor concert in the Hatch Shell aside the Charles River is a glittering, unforgettable Independence Day tradition. This Fourth of July musical celebration includes performances of patriotic favorites like “Yankee Doodle Dandy,” “America,” and “Stars and Stripes Forever”; thunderous rendition of Tchaikovsky”s “1812 Overture” followed by fireworks display over Charles River

Reading of the Declaration of Independence
 – Boston
 July 4
 – Only once a year, Boston residents and visitors get to hear the famous speech read from the balcony as it was on July 18, 1776. Location: Old State House, State and Division Streets.
10 – 10:30 a.m.
 Cost: free

Liberty Fleet of Tall Ships
 – Boston
 July 2 -7. 
 Lots of great tall ship events during Harborfest.

Wrentham Village Premium Outlets
 – July 4th Summer Sale
 Don’t miss the July 4th Summer Sale at Wrentham Village Premium Outlets®. Enjoy extra savings on top of already low outlet prices. Featuring 170 stores including Banana Republic Factory Store, Elie Tahari, Juicy Couture, Salvatore Ferragamo and many more. Visit the Sales & Events page for a sample of in-store promotions.

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NORTH OF BOSTON & GREATER MERRIMACK VALLEY

Sudbury’s Annual Fourth of July Parade
 – Sudbury 
July 4
 All are welcome to come and watch one of the area’s best parades! (With a zip code like 1776, Sudbury’s patriotic spirit is one to be reckoned with…) The parade forms on Union Avenue between Station Road and Codjer Lane. Step off time is 1 p.m.

Acton Celebrates Independence Day
 – Acton
 July 4
 Fireworks and Concert. At NARA Park in Acton, MA. The day starts off with family fun activities from 3-7 PM, followed by a free concert featuring the Rolling Stones Tribute Band, The Blushing Brides at 7:30 PM and fireworks at 9:30 PM. Food vendors will be onsite. No alcoholic beverages permitted. Free Admission – some activities may have a small fee.

Picnic in the Park
 – Concord
 July 4
 A program of favorite patriotic tunes by this 50-year-old concert band. Location: Emerson Field, Stow Street. The concert will be in the Concord Armory if it rains. Time: 10 a.m.-4 p.m., with band performance at 3 p.m.

Pepperell Fourth of July
 – Pepperell
 July 5
 Parade at 12:30 p.m.; Rockin Rib Fest at the Community Center fields; fireworks at dusk. Location: Parade starts at Pepperell Town Hall, travels on Main Street East around the rotary, follows Hollis Street North past town field, turns left onto and marching up Tucker Avenue, and ends at the large parking lot between Nissitissit Middle School and the field where the fireworks are displayed.

Salisbury Beach 4th of July
 – Salisbury
 July 4
 Enjoy the sea and surf, ice cream and cotton candy, beach pizza and fried dough, arcades and more. Dine over the ocean, listen to reggae on a giant oceanfront deck. Get your palm read. Play games on the Broadway Mall. Visit the Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation’s Sea Life Discovery Center where you can come face-to-face with marine creatures at their new touch tank! Or take a surf lesson with Zapstix at their second, new oceanfront location. There’s something for everyone at Salisbury Beach!

Rockport Independence Day Celebration
 – TBD 
Rockport Firemen’s Parade at 6 p.m., followed by a Legion Band Concert and bonfire on Back Beach at about 8:30 p.m

Gloucester Independence Day Horribles Parade and Fireworks
 – TBD – 
Gloucester Horribles Parade begins at 6 p.m. and circles through downtown Gloucester. Fireworks begin at 10 p.m. Favorite viewing locations: Stacy Boulevard, Stage Fort Park, Western Avenue.

Danvers Family Festival
 – Danvers
 TBD Festivities leading up to the Danvers Fireworks on July 4 start about a month prior with themed nights, concerts, games and festivals. The Fireworks Festival itself takes place at Plains Park from 4 – 9 pm. The main stage hosts musical performances while various concession stands sell delicious food. The Just for Fun areas features games and rides for kids. Throughout the early evening there is a stunt plane show, along with parachuting and a military fly over. The famed fireworks show begins at 9:30 pm.

Beverly Farms Independence Day Celebration
 –  TBD 
 The featured events are the always unique morning Horribles Parade and a spectacular evening shoreline illumination and aerial fireworks display held at West Beach. Rounding out the holiday events, the Committee also sponsors the House Decorating Contest, the Family & Friends Cookout, the youngsters Scavenger Hunt, the post Parade “Old Timers” adult softball game at Dix Park, races and games at West Beach on the afternoon of the 4th, and musical entertainment at the Beach leading up to the fireworks.

Marblehead Fireworks & Harbor Illumination
 – Marblehead
 – July 4
 – Monday, July 4th, 2011 approximately 9:00 p.m. The Harbor Illumination will begin at 8:45 p.m. and immediately following we will LIGHT THE FUSE ON THIS YEAR’S EDITION OF FIREWORKS FOREVER!

PARADES

Fireman’s Parade, Rockport, July 4, 6 pm.

Independence Day Parade, Manchester, July 4, 12 noon

Highlands Horribles Parade, Danvers, July 4, 9 am

Back Bay Parade, Danvers, July 4, 11 am

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SOUTH OF BOSTON

Plymouth’s Star Spangled 4t of July Celebration
 – July 4 – 
Always a great time to be in America’s Home Town! Parade route begins at Cordage Park Marketplace on Court Street in North Plymouth and winds its way down Court Street through downtown Plymouth and Main Street, continuing onto Main St. Ext and, turning left onto Water Street to the reviewing stand next to the Plymouth Rock. The Legion Bud Band starts at 7pm and ends just before the fireworks begin, with the playing of the 1812 Overture 
508-747-7174

New Bedford Folk Festival
 – July 5-6 -New Bedford Folk Festival brings together over 70 renowned and emerging performers and 90 juried arts and crafts vendors in New Bedford’s authentic historic district during the first weekend in July. The two day family-oriented festival offers continuous folk music from 11am to 9pm on seven sound stages in and around the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park ranging from the majestic 1200 seat Zeiterion Performing Arts Center to the intimacy of the National Park Garden Stage.

139th Brockton Fair
 – June 27-July 6 
Lively and exciting entertainment for all ages! In addition to the always-thrilling midway full of rides, other featured entertainment includes a surprise-filled magic show, exciting demolition derby, horse racing, amateur boxing, figure 8 racing, stock car football, big bear show, magician, petting zoo, puppet shows, livestock shows and spectacular fireworks displays!

Hingham Celebrates the 4th
 – July 4: Fireworks over Hingham Harbor, Hingham Road Race & 4th of July Parade
, Vintage Baseball Game.
 781-749-1312

39th Braintree Independence Celebration

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CAPE COD & THE ISLANDS

Cape Cod Baseball League Summer Schedule

Mashpee Wampanoag Annual Pow Wow
 – Mashpee
 July 4-6 
Native American cultural event including drummers, dancing, crafts and food.

Fourth of July Parade & Fireworks
 – Edgartown
 July 4
 Edgartown on the Fourth is classic Americana and Fella Caters offers you a classic American cookout – burgers and dogs with all the fixins’ and much more. Bring the family, spread out your blanket and relax and enjoy a great meal while waiting for the parade to start. Free marching band concerts in the Old Whaling Church before and after the parade are fun for the whole family. Food is sold and served a la carte and tickets are not needed to attend. It’s a great place to have a casual dinner after the parade and before the fireworks. Location: Old Whaling Church Lawn. 
4 – 8 p.m. Cost: admission is free, food is sold a la carte.

PARADES ON THE 4TH OF JULY

Chatham’s “July 4th” Independence Day Parade
 – July 4
, 9:30AM – 11:30AM
 Main Street, Chatham.
 Chatham’s “July 4th Independence Day Parade” will be held on Saturday, July 3, 2010 – This year’s theme is “From Sea to Shining Sea”. Parade proceeds Down Main Street from the corner of Shore Road to Veteran’s Field.

Barnstable Village
 – Starting at 9:00 a.m.
The parade will commence at 9:00 a.m. at the County Complex on Railroad Avenue; proceed down Main Street (Route 6A); left onto Mill Way and continue to the Village Hollow where it will end for various activities.

Provincetown
 – July 4 – 
The parade starts at noon. Location: Starts at the Cape Inn and goes to Franklin Street

 Click Here for a complete list of Cape Cod events.

Wellfleet – July 4 – The Wellfleet Chamber of Commerce is pleased to present the 2014 4th of July Parade. The theme this year is Oysters R Us! The Parade route runs up Holbrook Avenue, turns right on Main Street, continues down Main Street, turns right on Commercial Street and ends at the Wellfleet Town Pier. The Judge’s stand will be on the lawn of the Town Hall on Main Street. The classic car parade begins at 9:30am and the general parade starts at 10:00am

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CENTRAL MASSACHUSETTS

An 1830s Idependence Day Celebration
 – Old Sturbridge Village, Sturbridge. 
July 4
This Fourth of July, step back to a time when America was new, and veterans of the fight for freedom still lived.

4th of July Celebration — Shrewsbury
 – July 4
 The town of Shrewsbury’s 4th of July Celebration will include food, live music and DJs, inflatable amusements, clowns, and facepainting. A decorated bike and doll carriage parade begins at 12:30 p.m. Location: Main Street. Time: noon – 4 p.m. Cost: free.

Harvard Town Fireworks at Fruitlands
 – Fruitlands Museum, Harvard
 July 3
. The pastoral site of Fruitlands Museum in Harvard, Massachusetts will be home to an all-American Independence Day celebration on Friday, July 1st with bands, food, and fireworks. Music is slated to start at 5 P.M. Hot dogs, hamburger, and drinks will be available for purchase; local Girl Scouts will be on hand selling desserts. Visitors are also allowed to bring picnics to the event.

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WESTERN MASSACHUSETTS

Pittsfield Fourth of July Parade – 
Pittsfield
 July 4 
Called one of the ten best Fourth of July parades in the country by USA Today, Pittsfield’s annual Independence Day parade is legendary for its outstanding musical acts, balloons and floats and its hometown feel. Location: Downtown Pittsfield beginning at Park Square and ending at Wahconah Park Time: 10 a.m.

Independence Day Celebration
 – Amherst
 July 4
 This promises to be an event that everyone will enjoy; featuring a children’s carnival, face-painting, games, field races, a pie-eating contest, the Amherst Community Band, and of course, fireworks. Location: Various around town.

July 4th Sidewalk Sale – 
Lee, 
July 3-6
 Don’t miss this weekend of spectacular savings on hot summer fashions!

Star Spangled Springfield
 – Springfield
, July 4
 Program begins at 7:00p.m., on the steps of City Hall, Celebrating America. Fireworks will commence at 9:30 p.m. from the Memorial Bridge with musical simulcast on MIX 93.1 FM.

Williamstown July 4th Celebration
 – Celebrate our nation’s independence in inimitable Williamstown style. At 10am, gather at the Williams College Museum of Art to hear WTF actors read the Declaration of Independence and the British reply before viewing the College’s amazing Founding Documents collection. Williamstown’s classic small-town parade kicks off on Spring Street at 11am and ends at The Clark Art Institute for the grand opening of their newly expanded campus. Take a break from the sun at our special 4pm performance of June Moon before heading out for some BBQ or catching the fireworks at The Clark. It’s a big day in Williamstown — an iconic 4th of July experience that’s not to be missed.

The 10 Most Exciting Suburbs in America….


The 10 Most Exciting Suburbs In America

HMMM what do you think?

Only that’s totally untrue.

After ranking the country’s most exciting cities — big and small — last year, we at the Movoto Real Estate Blog decided to start 2014 off by turning the preconceived notion that suburbs are boring on its ear. So, we applied the same Big Deal List formula responsible for rocketing places like Oakland, CA and Hoboken, NJ into the spotlight to the nation’s largest suburban cities. What did we find? Cambridge, MA is unquestionably America’s most happening ‘burb.

It wasn’t alone; we ended up ranking nearly 140 suburbs on numerous excitement factors, and 10 emerged as the absolute thrilling-est of the bunch. These are America’s Most Exciting Suburbs:

1. Cambridge, MA
2. Quincy, MA
3. Berkeley, CA
4. Miami Beach, FL
5. Santa Monica, CA
6. Lakewood, OH
7. Jacksonville Beach, FL
8. Tempe, AZ
9. Santa Clara, CA
10. Evanston, IL

Bravo to the Boston, MA area–not only did the historic city appear on our ranking of the most exciting big cities last year at No. 2 overall, but now two of its suburbs, Cambridge and Quincy, top this list. They inched out Berkeley, a suburb of Oakland, our most exciting big city and one of three California ‘burbs in this top 10.

How did we figure all this out, and what exactly constitutes “exciting” in our book? If you’ll keep reading, we’ll explain all that and more. We promise it’ll be exciting.

How We Found America’s Most Exciting Suburbs

For most people, math’s not very exciting. Yet math is the means by which we ranked the most exciting suburbs. Lots and lots of numbers went into the process, but it all started with 139: the number suburbs we looked at. These are the largest suburbs of the 50 largest cities in the nation.

The next number of importance was six: the number of criteria we used to determine how exciting a suburb is. We applied the same criteria to this ranking as we did for our two previous Most Exciting Cities rankings:

  • Nightlife per capita (bars, clubs, comedy, etc.)
  • Live music venues per capita
  • Active life options per capita (parks, outdoor activities, etc.)
  • Fast Food restaurants per capita (the fewer the better)
  • Percentage of restaurants that are fast food (the lower the better)

Each suburb was ranked from 1 to 139 across all these criterion, with one being the best possible score (like in golf). This was accomplished by looking at business listings for each city and U.S Census data—not, unfortunately, dining and dancing the night away in person. Once we’d done that, we averaged the individual criterion scores to produce an overall Big Deal Score, which was used to determine the final ranking (the lower the score the better in this case, too).

The cities which you’re about to read about below had the 10 lowest scores, but we went ahead and included stats on how the top 50 ranked across the board at the bottom of this post. That way, if your idea of “exciting” is spending a Friday night arguing over minutiae, you can do that. For everyone else, here’s the big picture on what made our top 10 shoot past the rest of the pack:

1. Cambridge, MA

 

When most people think of Cambridge, they either a) picture classrooms full of students at Harvard and M.I.T. with their noses buried in books or b) say “Hey, isn’t that in England?” From now on, when we think of this Boston suburb, we’re going to think “excitement.” 

True, a big part of Cambridge’s success in this ranking has to do with the fact that it’s home to not one, but two top-tier universities. Its population of 18- to 34-year-olds is, as a direct result, a whopping 49 percent, easily clinching a 1st place win for the city in this criterion by nearly 6 percentage points. Cambridge was also in the top 10 overall for active life options (third), live music (sixth), and nightlife (sixth).

Cambridge has one nightlife option for every 1,002 residents, and when they’re spots like The Druid and The Comedy Studio, that figure gets even more exciting. The city also ranked in the top 10 (10th, in fact) for its low percentage of fast food restaurants compared to all dining options (a mere 4 percent). This means your tastebuds will be subjected to fewer McDonalds and exposed to more A-grade eateries like Hungry Mother and Craigie On Main.

2. Quincy, MA

 

Excitement clearly runs in the Boston area family. Located not half an hour from our No. 1 most exciting suburb, Quincy is nevertheless far enough away that it has its own unique scene. It’s one that, for instance, relies much less on a young population to get the fun times rolling, as its 13 to 34 crowd makes up a (much) smaller 27 percent of its populace. 

Despite the drop in our most exciting age group, there’s still plenty to keep the days and nights hopping in Quincy. It placed fifth overall in terms of active options with spots like Olindy’s standing out, and a respectable 25th for live music and nightlife. So, whether you want to belt out some questionably-in-key karaoke at Fuji 1546 or down a few pints at The Fours, you won’t be wanting for evening activities. Plus, any town that has a restaurant called The Fat Cat among its huge 96 percent of non-chain dining spots gets a thumbs up from this feline-friendly blogging crew.

3. Berkeley, CA

 

This suburb of Oakland is right in Movoto’s back yard, so we’re more than a little familiar with what it has to offer in the way of excitement. Before you start saying “But wait, guys, isn’t it just a bunch of mellow hippie types,” though, we’ve got to stop you. This East Bay gem has plenty to offer excitement seekers of all hair lengths. 

Of course, with UC Berkeley in town, the 18 to 34 group is going to be plenty large; it sits at 43 percent, to be exact. Plus, with it being part of the notoriously health conscious Bay Area, a sixth place finish for active life options isn’t unexpected (there are parks and yoga places everywhere). What you might not be expecting, though, is that this seemingly laid back suburb has a lot of nightlife.

From bars such as Jupiter and the Albatross, to world-renowned venues like the Greek Theatre, it’s a fantastic town to hang out with friends after dark or take in an A-list act.

4. Miami Beach, FL

 

From the Bay Area, we head to the extreme opposite end of the country for our No. 4 most exciting suburb. Miami Beach is America’s suburban nightlife creme de la creme, ranking first overall in both live music and nightlife with one spot for every 304 people. If you’ve ever turned on TV to a reality show, though, you probably know this, as they’re seemingly always living it up in some South Beach hotspot like LIV or Mango’s. 

Miami Beach is, as expected, also a bastion for daytime excitement, placing sixth overall for active life options. It’s adjacent to the aforementioned South Beach, with its myriad boating, biking, and outdoor activity offerings. It’s also a great town to be a foodie, having placed fourth overall in terms of unique dining options–the best in our top 10–with only 2 percent of its restaurants being chains. If you’re ready to take a break from fast food, you can’t go wrong at places like Yardbird (where you may think you’ve died and gone to fried chicken heaven) and Cuban food paradise Puerto Sagua.

5. Santa Monica, CA

 

We’re trading a beach city in Southern Florida for one in Southern California at our No. 6 spot. Part of the mega-sprawl that is Los Angeles county, Santa Monica is pretty much the quintessential SoCal beach community, and its excitement can be felt by anyone who’s ever stepped foot on the Santa Monica Pier or the Third Street Promenade. 

It placed second overall for active options, including the pier, its adjoining beach, and thrilling activities like the Trapeze School New York. For as much fun in the sun as it has to offer, Santa Monica continues to shine after the sun has set. The city came in third overall for nightlife and live music, bolstered by places including The Room and Harvelle’s.

6. Lakewood, OH

 

Lakewood has been making quite a name for itself in the past few months, appearing on multiple rankings we’ve produced–including our Most Exciting Small Cities list. So, its appearance here comes as little surprise… even if it also made our list of best spots to retire. The young crowd is still strong in this Cleveland, OH suburb, however, making up 30 percent of the population and earning the city a 12th place finish for this criterion. 

While the retirees snooze away, the youngins will play at places like West End Tavern. Residents of all ages benefit from exciting non-chain dining options such as Melt and Buckeye Beer Engine that make up the impressive 97 percent of restaurants in Lakewood that aren’t your average, mass-produced fare. The only area this city could have done much better in was active life options, where it placed 90th overall.

7. Jacksonville Beach, FL

 

Our next suburb sits not on a lake, but on a much larger body of water: the Atlantic Ocean. Yes, we’re back in Florida, but this time it’s near Jacksonville rather than Miami. With the geography sorted out, it should come as little surprise to readers of this ranking that Jacksonville Beach was second only to Miami Beach in terms of nightlife and live music on a per capita basis. We’re talking places like Lynch’s, Engine 15, and the Shim Sham Room. 

Also of zero surprise was this suburb’s fourth place finish for active life options, from beaches to waterparks to golf. Where Miami Beach absolutely trounced this fellow Floridian destination, however, was in non-chain dining options. Jacksonville Beach came in 50th for this criteria with 9 percent of its restaurants chains. Still, that doesn’t mean residents looking for some exciting eating options are out of luck, what with the likes of Eleven South and Salt Life Food Shack in town.

8. Tempe, AZ

 

The second-youngest city in our top 10, a full 44 percent of the residents in this Phoenix, AZsuburb are between the ages of 18 and 34. That’s not bad for a state that many people associate with retirement (Florida bucked that trend on this ranking, too). You might also find it hard to believe that Tempe is a nightlife hotspot for similar reasons, but it is, placing ninth overall for clubs, live music, and associated after dark attractions like the Mill Cue Club and Big Bang, a dueling piano bar. 

One area where Tempe shook its stereotype for the sort-of-worse was activity options, as it placed 22nd overall for those. It’s also note quite the daring dining destination of the other nine suburbs that comprise our top 10–in fact, at 59th overall for non-chain restaurant percentage, it’s the worst. Don’t tell that to people who swear by vegetarian delight Green or the Four Peaks Brewing Company ale house, though.

9. Santa Clara, CA

 

If you’d asked anyone in the Movoto office to guess the top 10 most exciting suburbs in the country, Santa Clara would honestly not have been in the running. This ranking isn’t about preconceived notions, though; it’s about what the data says and exposing the truth. The truth is, then, that this San Jose, CA suburb is exciting. 

A big part of that is due to the considerable percentage of 18 to 34 residents (31 percent) and the fact that Santa Clara placed 20th out of 139 for nightlife. The number of karaoke joints like Arirang Music Studio are simply mind-boggling, too. Oh, and this city is also home to the California’s Great America theme park which, while perhaps not one of the country’s top-tier parks, is definitely a lot more exciting than most cities’ carnivals.

10. Evanston, IL

 

Evanston, Ill.

Google Earth

 

As Ol’ Blue Eyes used to croon, Chicago is a wonderful town. Evanston’s placing in our top 10 has us wondering “Evanston, Evanston, what an exciting town” wasn’t Sinatra’s second choice for lyrics. While the Chairman of the Board wouldn’t have sung the praises of Evanston’s 49th place finish for live music, at least he’d have enjoyed a dish at Dave’s, one of the town’s many non-chain restaurants (it ranked 23rd for those). 

Oh, and Evanston has a group of 18- to 34-year-olds who make up 32 percent of its total population. We wonder how many of those wouldn’t know a tune by the Sultan of Swoon if we played it for them?

Can You Feel The Excitement?

We think we accomplished what we set out to do: show that suburbs are definitely more than meet the eye. They’re not all full of 40-somethings obsessed with youth soccer and typesetting the minutes for their neighborhood watch meetings. They’ve got lots of things to do—day or night. Especially Cambridge, MA, where any egghead from M.I.T. can tell you that “suburb” is just a word; Excitement is a way of life.

Want to talk about our ranking, or share what makes your hometown exciting? Let’s hear it in the comments below.

Most Exciting Suburbs in America

Read more: http://www.movoto.com/blog/top-ten/exciting-suburbs/#ixzz35etfJ7Tr

Bi-Weekly Newton Real Estate Recap


The numbers are in and the story doesn’t change much.  Busy busy under 1 million, not so much over 1.5 million.  The info below tells the story.  Heading into summer the market remains very active!  152 single family homes for sale, 33 homes have gone under agreement in the last 2 weeks and 32 have sold.

On-Market Snapshot
Report Run: 6/24/2014 9:40:31 AM
Property Type(s): SF
Snapshot Date: 06/24/2014
Towns: Newton
 06/24/2014  6/24/2014
Price Range Number of
Listings
Avg. Days
on Market
vs. today Number of
Listings
Avg. Days
on Market
Under $50,000 - - - -
$50,000 – $99,999 - - - -
$100,000 – $149,999 - - - -
$150,000 – $199,999 - - - -
$200,000 – $249,999 - - - -
$250,000 – $299,999 - - - -
$300,000 – $349,999 - - - -
$350,000 – $399,999 2 19 2 26
$400,000 – $449,999 - - - -
$450,000 – $499,999 1 1 1 1
$500,000 – $599,999 2 34 2 34
$600,000 – $699,999 4 50 4 50
$700,000 – $799,999 11 35 11 35
$800,000 – $899,999 8 36 8 40
$900,000 – $999,999 10 57 10 57
$1,000,000 – $1,499,999 26 47 26 47
$1,500,000 – $1,999,999 31 94 31 94
$2,000,000 – $2,499,999 22 78 22 79
$2,500,000 – $2,999,999 15 35 15 35
$3,000,000 – $3,999,999 13 108 13 108
$4,000,000 – $4,999,999 3 121 3 121
$5,000,000 – $9,999,999 4 64 4 64
Over $10,000,000 - - - -
Total Properties 152 Avg. 65 152 Avg. 66
Lowest Price: $399,000
Median Price: $1,662,500
Highest Price: $7,500,000
Average Price: $1,947,770
Total Market Volume: $296,061,097
Lowest Price: $399,000
Median Price: $1,662,500
Highest Price: $7,500,000
Average Price: $1,947,770
Total Market Volume: $296,061,097

 

Pending Statistics
Report Run: 6/24/2014 9:41:55 AM
Property Type(s): SF
Start Date: 06/09/2014
End Date: 06/24/2014
Towns: Newton
Went Pending Current Status
Price Range # of
Listings
# UAG # CTG # Sold # Other
Under $50,000 - - - - -
$50,000 – $99,999 - - - - -
$100,000 – $149,999 - - - - -
$150,000 – $199,999 - - - - -
$200,000 – $249,999 - - - - -
$250,000 – $299,999 - - - - -
$300,000 – $349,999 - - - - -
$350,000 – $399,999 - - - - -
$400,000 – $449,999 - - - - -
$450,000 – $499,999 - - - - -
$500,000 – $599,999 2 2 - - -
$600,000 – $699,999 3 1 2 - -
$700,000 – $799,999 4 2 1 - 1
$800,000 – $899,999 4 2 1 - 1
$900,000 – $999,999 2 2 - - -
$1,000,000 – $1,499,999 12 9 3 - -
$1,500,000 – $1,999,999 6 5 1 - -
$2,000,000 – $2,499,999 - - - - -
$2,500,000 – $2,999,999 - - - - -
$3,000,000 – $3,999,999 - - - - -
$4,000,000 – $4,999,999 - - - - -
$5,000,000 – $9,999,999 - - - - -
Over $10,000,000 - - - - -
Total Properties 33 23 8 0 2
Lowest Price: $589,000 Median Price: $1,024,000
Highest Price: $1,899,000 Average Price: $1,161,139
Total Market Volume: $38,317,600

 

Total Sold Market Statistics
Report Run: 6/24/2014 9:42:56 AM
Property Type(s): SF
Status: SLD
Start Date: 06/09/2014
End Date: 06/24/2014
Towns: Newton
Price Range # of
Listings
Avg. Days
on Market
Average
Sale Price
Average
List Price
SP:LP
Ratio
Average
Orig Price
SP:OP
Ratio
$0 – $49,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$50,000 – $99,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$100,000 – $149,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$150,000 – $199,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$200,000 – $249,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$250,000 – $299,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$300,000 – $349,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$350,000 – $399,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$400,000 – $449,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$450,000 – $499,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$500,000 – $599,999 1 4 $505,000 $499,000 101 $499,000 101
$600,000 – $699,999 3 46 $670,833 $670,667 100 $677,667 99
$700,000 – $799,999 3 104 $738,000 $739,000 100 $754,333 98
$800,000 – $899,999 4 52 $858,000 $851,500 101 $851,500 101
$900,000 – $999,999 6 6 $951,417 $909,333 105 $909,333 105
$1,000,000 – $1,499,999 6 30 $1,223,083 $1,173,167 106 $1,173,167 106
$1,500,000 – $1,999,999 5 59 $1,700,930 $1,734,000 98 $1,764,600 97
$2,000,000 – $2,499,999 2 42 $2,046,750 $2,224,500 92 $2,224,500 92
$2,500,000 – $2,999,999 1 223 $2,880,000 $2,995,000 96 $3,300,000 87
$3,000,000 – $3,999,999 1 3 $3,925,000 $3,950,000 99 $3,950,000 99
$4,000,000 – $4,999,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$5,000,000 – $9,999,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$10,000,000 – $99,999,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
Total Properties 32 Avg. 46 $1,269,177 $1,271,656 101 $1,288,063 100
Lowest Price: $505,000 Median Price: $982,250
Highest Price: $3,925,000 Average Price: $1,269,177
Total Market Volume: $40,613,650

22 Lenox Street


22 Lenox Street     West Newton Hill      $2,349,000

Listed by Margaret Szerlip — Karp Liberman Kern Sotheby’s

 
22 Lenox HIGH FRONT

 

 

Victorian home meets 2014 with a complete down to the studs renovation at the top of West Newton Hill! The new version is stylish, and chic and fits perfectly with today’s lifestyle. Open concept first floor with outstanding kitchen and adjoining family room with fireplace and open staircase to the finished LL. Kitchen has custom cabinetry, honed Calcutta counters and professional grade Thermador appliances. Beautiful Master suite boasts a walk in closet and the most serene bathroom. 2 generous bedrooms, another top quality bath and laundry room complete the 2nd floor. The 3rd floor has high ceilings, abundant sunlight, 2 bedrooms, plus a loft area for office or play and another bath. Wonderful large renovated basement with bath and bar area. New roof, wood floors, electric, plumbing, HVAC, siding, kitchen, baths, walls, ceilings, spray foam insulation..everything. An eco-friendly new concept carport with “green” sides and garage doors is in the process of being built.

City expected to endorse Cleveland Circle plan despite resident-group’s objections


Jun 18, 2014, 12:11pm EDT  By Thomas Grillo, Boston Business Journal

City expected to endorse Cleveland Circle plan despite resident-group’s objections

0318 Cleveland Cirlce

An artist rendering of the hotel and apartments that would replace the Cleveland Circle Cinema.

The Boston Redevelopment Authority is poised to approve a controversial $80 million mixed-use development that would redevelop the shuttered Cleveland Circle Cinema in Brighton, one of the earliest indicators yet of how the Walsh administration will balance neighborhood objections with private-sector plans to revitalize sections of the city.

On June 19, the BRA’s board is likely to endorse Boston Development Group’s plan to replace the cinema site at 399 Chestnut Hill Ave. with a mixed-use residential, hotel and retail complex. Typically, items that make it on the agenda win unanimous board approval. The thumbs-up is expected despite opposition from most members of the Impact Advisory Group, a city-appointed panel assembled to advise the BRA on the project. A majority of the panel wanted a development with fewer apartments, less height and guarantees that apartments would not be rented to undergraduates, among other demands.

“I’m very angry at the BRA,” said IAG member Mary Cronin. “Given that the city will not insist that the developer make these changes, the project will be a disaster for the people living near it. We are being left holding the bag and we are the ones who will take the hit once it’s built.”

Eva Webster, another IAG member, said while she has been supportive of the redevelopment, it should not proceed to the board without changes that would improve the overall project.

“This project needs to happen, but my support was conditioned on tying up the loose ends,” she said. “The things that I have been asking for are not deal breakers. They are things that would improve the project for the neighborhood and the developer.”

But Erico Lopez, the BRA’s project director, said while support from the IAG is preferable, he noted that based on the comment letters to the city, the neighborhood generally supports the redevelopment plan. Of the 259 comment letters to the BRA, 171 were in support, 84 were opposed and four were neutral, he said.

“We always want to have the IAG on the same page, but when we nominate members, we don’t nominate them for their voice to be the one and only voice,” he said. “The process for this project can never be questioned. We have gone through more than three years of community meetings. This project has gone through an evolution and the city received much more mitigation and community benefits than a lot of projects because we’ve had the community’s input.”

Mayor Martin J. Walsh first hinted at his approval for the Cleveland Circle project last month in an interview with the Boston Business Journal. The project is among the first controversial development plans he has addressed since taking office earlier this year.

“People have a right to have a voice in the community,” said Walsh at the time. “If we are building a 60-story tower in an area that’s zoned for three stories, then that’s too much density. But here we are talking about a development that will result in a revitalization of the Cleveland Circle area.”

Real Estate — Summer To Do List


Summer To D0 List

Newton, MA. Top Agents, Sotheby’s Newton, MA.
Summer has finally arrived and our thoughts turn to a more carefree lifestyle and a tendency to put things on the back burner. If you are thinking of selling your house in the fall, summer is the perfect time to get your house in order at a more leisurely pace. I would say on average it takes 7-10 days to get a home in photography ready shape, of course that varies depending upon each person.  I have had sellers take years to get a house ready and sellers’ who can have a photographer show up that afternoon.   A motivated seller can have their house ready in 7-10 days.  Below you will find a guide to selling.  You cannot have it both ways, top dollar and no work is not a model for success. You want buyers to think that if they move to this home their closets can/will look amazing. Their kitchen cabinets will be clean and tidy and the toys in the basement magically put themselves away.

Disassociate Yourself With Your Home

  • Stop thinking of the memories created in this home and try to imagine the memories you will make in your next home.
  • Your home is full of things and many of those things can be moved to a new home.
  • Picture yourself decorating your next home.
  • Indulge yourself and spend a morning reflecting about your life in this house and then start sorting and cleaning in the afternoon.
  • Imagine visiting your furniture or china or art in your child or grandchild’s house.

De-Clutter

  • If you haven’t used or even looked at something in a year, it is time to throw away, donate, or give away
  • Bookshelves are for books and a FEW special knick-knacks — clean up those book shelves
  • Pack up or discard items you no longer want or even like
  • Kitchen counters must be cleared to the point of looking sterile
  • All horizontal surfaces (tables, shelves, dressers) must be free of clutter
  • Items used everyday can be put in a box and stored in a closet for showings
  • Remember you would have to do this anyway to move!

Closets

  • Remove plastic dry cleaning bags
  • Get rid of clothes you haven’t worn in years
  • Hang alike garments together — pants with pants, shirts with shirts etc.
  • Have clothes face the same direction
  • Line up your shoes or put out of season shoes in storage

4. Kitchen

  • Clean your cabinets on the inside and outside
  • Take everything out of your cabinets and throw away items that you bought 10 years ago. I guarantee you will find some ridiculously old food item
  • Arrange your dishes to stack neatly and throw away broken or chipped cups and plates.
  • Clean up and arrange your spice jars
  • CLEAN your stove and refrigerator….buyers open the refrigerator – DON”T MAKE THEM GAG FROM THE SMELL OF YOURS.

5. Remove or Replace Fixtures You Wish to Keep

  • If you want your dining room chandelier, replace it now. As soon as buyer knows they cannot have it, they want it.
  • If you absolutely must have your draperies in the next home consider removing them. If they make a statement then be prepared for a buyer to want that same statement with the same drapes. Sellers, if your the drapes don’t fit your new house don’t be stingy; leave them for the next owner to enjoy
  • Washer and Dryer – When you find out how much it costs to move the washer and dryer just leave them.

Remove Furniture

  • Homes show better with less furniture. Remove any soiled, beaten up dingy furniture; they make the house look dingy.
  • Remove any furniture that creates an obstacle walking thru a room
  • Remove excess pieces of furniture — you are selling a home you don’t own a furniture store
  • Contrary to popular opinion, extra leaves in a dining room table make the room appear larger. Remove hutches and sideboards if the room seems cramped
  • Leave enough furniture in each room to showcase the rooms’ purpose with room to move around
  • Most professionals are going to come in and tell you to remove every personal picture you have displayed. I think that is overkill. You want a home to feel warm and inviting, as if people LIVE in a house not just inhabit the house. Get rid of any controversial pictures – pictures of you with Presidents or politicians, anything that might elicit a thought other than aw has to go. Too many artifacts from your children and your vacations are distracting. We want buyers to look at the house not your things.

 

Make Minor Repairs

  • Consider painting your walls neutral colors, especially if you have grown accustomed to purple or pink walls.
  • Remove wall to wall carpeting
  • Replace cracked floor or counter tiles.
  • Patch holes in walls.
  • Fix leaky faucets.
  • Fix doors that do not close properly and kitchen drawers that jam.
  • Replace burned-out light bulbs.

Make the House Sparkle

  • Replace worn bed-coverings with crisp a crisp white duvet
  • Clean your child’s bedding! Teenage boys have stinky pillows
  • Wash windows inside and out.
  • Clean out cobwebs.
  • Re-caulk tubs, showers and sinks.
  • Polish chrome faucets and mirrors.
  • Clean out the refrigerator.
  • Vacuum daily.
  • Dust furniture, ceiling fan blades and light fixtures.
  • Bleach dingy grout.
  • Hang up fresh towels.
  • Clean and air out any musty smelling areas. Odors are a no-no.
  • I am going to hear from the energy police BUT replace your fluorescent lights while your house is on the market! The lighting quality is poor, the color is bad, and it makes your home look dark and dingy.

Think like a Buyer 

  • Stand at your front door — is it welcoming? If not make it so! Paint the front door and threshold
  • Linger in the doorway of every single room and imagine how your house will look to a buyer.
  • Does the furniture placement make sense to a buyer?  You don’t live in a home the way you sell a home so inconvenience yourself for a few weeks and move the furniture around.  Think about how much more money you will net.
  • Make sure window coverings are clean and free of dust
  • Tune in to the room’s statement is it neutral yet inviting?

Check Curb Appeal

  • If a buyer will not get out of her agent’s car because she doesn’t like the exterior of your home, you will never get her inside
  • Keep the sidewalks cleared
  • Mow the lawn
  • Paint faded window trim
  • Place of pot of colorful annuals near the front door
  • Trim your bushes
  • Make sure visitors can clearly read your house number

The journey may seem overwhelming but it doesn’t have to be.  I have the tools and the people to help you accomplish the task.

Bi Weekly Newton Real Estate Recap


Below you will find the Newton’s real estate story for the past 2 weeks.  Inventory continues to be extremely limited below 1 million dollars.  Although it appears we have a bit more inventory in the 700’s.  The last 2 weeks have been more active in the 1 million to 2 million range — 17 homes have gone under contract in the last 2 weeks!  The above 2 million market continues to struggle.  The first 2 weeks of June tend to be quiet times in the real estate market between graduations and last days of school activities, however this June we are continuing to see many homes coming to market. Broker Tour has been busy with new listings and price reductions.  If you liked a home and you thought the price was to high, now may be the time for an offer.  Ping me and get my opinion 617-921-6860…there are deals to be made!  If you are thinking of buying or selling in the Fall now is the time to reach out to Realtors.

 

On-Market Snapshot
Report Run: 6/13/2014 10:31:20 AM
Property Type(s): SF
Snapshot Date: 06/01/2014
Towns: Newton
 06/01/2014  6/13/2014
Price Range Number of
Listings
Avg. Days
on Market
vs. today Number of
Listings
Avg. Days
on Market
Under $50,000 - - - -
$50,000 – $99,999 - - - -
$100,000 – $149,999 - - - -
$150,000 – $199,999 - - - -
$200,000 – $249,999 - - - -
$250,000 – $299,999 - - - -
$300,000 – $349,999 - - - -
$350,000 – $399,999 - - 2 15
$400,000 – $449,999 1 55 1 67
$450,000 – $499,999 - - - -
$500,000 – $599,999 2 18 2 23
$600,000 – $699,999 6 26 7 29
$700,000 – $799,999 8 28 11 33
$800,000 – $899,999 6 40 8 33
$900,000 – $999,999 11 43 9 53
$1,000,000 – $1,499,999 32 36 27 38
$1,500,000 – $1,999,999 30 58 29 64
$2,000,000 – $2,499,999 24 81 25 73
$2,500,000 – $2,999,999 9 79 11 35
$3,000,000 – $3,999,999 14 86 14 96
$4,000,000 – $4,999,999 3 98 3 110
$5,000,000 – $9,999,999 4 43 3 42
Over $10,000,000 - - - -
Total Properties 150 Avg. 56 152 Avg. 55
Lowest Price: $449,000
Median Price: $1,685,000
Highest Price: $7,500,000
Average Price: $1,940,731
Total Market Volume: $291,109,797
Lowest Price: $399,000
Median Price: $1,675,000
Highest Price: $7,500,000
Average Price: $1,901,687
Total Market Volume: $289,056,499
PENDING

Report Run: 6/13/2014 10:12:15 AM
Property Type(s): SF
Start Date: 06/01/2014
End Date: 06/13/2014
Towns: Newton

Went Pending Current Status
Price Range # of
Listings
# UAG # CTG # Sold # Other
Under $50,000 - - - - -
$50,000 – $99,999 - - - - -
$100,000 – $149,999 - - - - -
$150,000 – $199,999 - - - - -
$200,000 – $249,999 - - - - -
$250,000 – $299,999 - - - - -
$300,000 – $349,999 - - - - -
$350,000 – $399,999 - - - - -
$400,000 – $449,999 - - - - -
$450,000 – $499,999 - - - - -
$500,000 – $599,999 2 2 - - -
$600,000 – $699,999 4 2 2 - -
$700,000 – $799,999 1 - - - 1
$800,000 – $899,999 3 2 1 - -
$900,000 – $999,999 4 3 1 - -
$1,000,000 – $1,499,999 8 6 2 - -
$1,500,000 – $1,999,999 9 6 3 - -
$2,000,000 – $2,499,999 - - - - -
$2,500,000 – $2,999,999 - - - - -
$3,000,000 – $3,999,999 - - - - -
$4,000,000 – $4,999,999 - - - - -
$5,000,000 – $9,999,999 - - - - -
Over $10,000,000 - - - - -
Total Properties 31 21 9 0 1
Lowest Price: $525,000 Median Price: $1,149,000
Highest Price: $1,875,000 Average Price: $1,164,903
Total Market Volume: $36,112,000

 


Total Sold Market Statistics
Report Run: 6/13/2014 10:14:57 AM
Property Type(s): SF
Status: SLD
Start Date: 06/01/2014
End Date: 06/13/2014
Towns: Newton
Price Range # of
Listings
Avg. Days
on Market
Average
Sale Price
Average
List Price
SP:LP
Ratio
Average
Orig Price
 
$0 – $49,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$50,000 – $99,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$100,000 – $149,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$150,000 – $199,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$200,000 – $249,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$250,000 – $299,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$300,000 – $349,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$350,000 – $399,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$400,000 – $449,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$450,000 – $499,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$500,000 – $599,999 1 29 $505,000 $560,000 90 $560,000 90
$600,000 – $699,999 1 6 $697,500 $699,000 100 $699,000 100
$700,000 – $799,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$800,000 – $899,999 4 25 $868,625 $816,750 107 $816,750 107
$900,000 – $999,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$1,000,000 – $1,499,999 4 20 $1,222,700 $1,147,000 108 $1,147,000 108
$1,500,000 – $1,999,999 4 72 $1,749,913 $1,836,750 96 $1,844,250 95
$2,000,000 – $2,499,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$2,500,000 – $2,999,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$3,000,000 – $3,999,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$4,000,000 – $4,999,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$5,000,000 – $9,999,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$10,000,000 – $99,999,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
Total Properties 14 Avg. 36 $1,183,389 $1,175,786 102 $1,177,929 102
Lowest Price: $505,000 Median Price: $1,160,400
Highest Price: $1,950,000 Average Price: $1,183,389
Total Market Volume: $16,567,450

 

 

 

5 Reasons People Want a House in Newton


5 Reasons People Want a House in Newton

Margaret Szerlip June 11, 2014

CIMG1496

Home buyers are searching high and low for an affordable home here in Newton.  There is only so much room and plenty of demand.  I see a need for a tastefully renovated smaller homes.  I have a hunch many older folks would like to sell their big old Victorian and move into a remodeled ranch.  Unfortunately, builders want to raze those homes and build a big monstrosity, which is why we have a glut of over 2 million dollar homes currently on the market.

1.  Newton is a Commuter’s Dream Location

Whether you work in Boston or New Hampshire Newton is beyond convenient to the Mass Pike and 128.  You can bike to Cambridge or take a bus.  While the Green Line of the T is slow; it is reliable, safe and clean.  You can get the express bus to Boston in either West Newton or Newton Corner.  If the commuter rail is more your style — no problem there are two stops in Newton.  Getting to Logan Airport is now a breeze, I have people text me when they land and I leave for the airport then.  No more circling the airport.

2.  The Local Schools are Very Well Respected

Any person with kids is justifiably concerned with the schools, and Newton is nationally recognized as a quality school system.  There are plenty of private schools around and of course multiple colleges right here in Newton

3.  The Residents are Educated and Employment is Diverse

Newton is blessed with an educated population and close proximity to institutions known to pay well.  Hospitals, pharmaceuticals, universities, financial firms, law firms, technology firms are all located either in Newton or a short drive away.

4. Newton is a Walkable Town

Milleniums want the freedom to walk many places and we cannot underestimate that choice when they are buying a home. They want to walk to coffee shops, restaurants, parks and most importantly to work.  If they can’t walk to work easy access to public transportation is a must.

5.  Strong Sense of Community

There are always things going on in Newton.  5K races, children’s activities including Art’s in the Park, dance studios, ceramics, painting, music classses along with a plethora of children’s sports.  The Y and the JCC have programs for both young and old alike.  The Senior Center is always busy with interesting speakers and activities.  The Newton Community education offers interesting classes at very reasonable rates.  Each village has something to offer and the community likes to get involved.

We are fortunate to be near an amazing network of hospitals and healthcare, professional and college athletic teams, outdoor activities on the Charles River and all the culture and history you could want from Boston to Concord.

 

The Dreaded Best and Final Offers…


The Dreaded Best and Final Offers, Newton, MA.

 

The definition of a Best and Final offer in real estate is a buyer’s last and highest offer.  A best and final is typical in response to a bidding war.  A seller who has received several offers will usually ask top bidders to submit a best and final offer.  This type of offer induces STRESS for the buyer and their agent.  As an agent I will do an analysis of the property to determine fair market value.  In a bidding war fair market value is determined by the person with the most potential to pay for the property and actually close the deal.  The buyer with the highest offer does not necessarily mean the best offer.  In the past 6 months prices in the under 1 million dollar market have sky-rocketed to the point of crazy.  When I have a buyer in a bidding war situation and there are no comps to justify an inflated price I kind of cringe.  What usually happens is a review of the comps and I speak frankly about the possibility of overpaying.  My advice is to offer a number that means you  don’t care if you don’t get the house for only $1.00 more, either because you can’t afford to pay more or you can’t justify paying more.  That number must come from the buyer…Agents cannot change a buyers finances or their view of a dream home. As a listing agent it makes me sort of smile.  My job as a listing agent is to close the deal at the highest price.  The “close the deal” is key.

I recently listed a house below 1 million dollars, the sellers did everything we told them, de-cluttered, put items in storage, cleared out baby things, went away for the weekend with their two very young children so we could accommodate any showings.   We had an open house on Saturday and Sunday and many private showings before or after the open house along with Friday and Monday showings.  Offers were due by 4 on Monday.  Realtors always know when the price is right…you phone rings — constantly! We had 100’s of prospective buyers view the home.  Monday afternoon rolled around and we had 6 offers, I actually expected more but I should note the amount of buyer fatigue we heard.  “I only have 20% to put down, I was out-bid on 3 other properties, I can’t waive my mortgage contingency, should I give up my inspection contingency?”  No never do that. We reviewed the offers and presented them to the seller: basically you lay out the offers on the dining room table.  This is the lowest, the middle and the highest.  But wait the highest offer doesn’t have great financing but the next highest offer has incredible financing.  It is easy to eliminate the low offers, not so easy to eliminate the fab financing offers.  Closing dates, dates for inspections all come into play.  In this particular case the highest offer also had the best financing.  Lots of money to put down and a considerable offer amount above the next competing bid.  Shortly after we left we had the unpleasant job of calling the agents or buyers themselves to relay the bad news.  Buyers who make offers without an agent typically make dumb offers.  Crazy high offers with 500 contingencies, low offers that would have made no sense 5 years ago and of course the ASK…”I am not using an agent so the seller only has to pay 1/2 the commission.”  UGH, that’s a post for another day.

We did not go back for the best and final in this case.  The offer was more than the seller had dreamed of, the financing was perfect, the buyers were seasoned and seemed reasonable while viewing the house.  We felt that these were the right buyers.  If we went back for best and final there is risk of annoying the buyer who stepped up to the plate from the beginning and feels he is not treated fairly and decides to walk. Or you can have a buyer increase their offer in the heat of the moment only to wake up with buyer’s remorse.  They may regret their decision and then try to “renegotiate” the price based on some little inspection issue.  In the end you want the seller to go to the closing table.  Most often the seller is purchasing another home and the timing of this closing must coincide with the closing of the new home.

Buyers — put your best foot forward, DON’T panic, and let the chips fall where they may.  There will be another house for you.  Sellers –DON’T get greedy, the most successful deals happen when each party leaves a little something on the table for the other guy.

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Realtor: Newton, West Newton Hill, Brookline, Chestnut Hill, Weston and Wellesley, MA. Real Estate

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