Month: March 2014

Simplify Your next Move — Downsize, Upsize or Rightsize

Please join Amy Slotnick from Fairway Independent Mortgage and I to introduce Laurie Nordman from Next Stage AssociatesLaurie and her team offer the most comprehensive services I have encountered.  Next Stage can help with all aspects of  your move or your parents move.  Don’t let your stuff hold you back from moving on!

Amy Slotnick will speak about possible options to fund your move and I will speak briefly about the current local real estate market.

April 22 from 6:00 to 8:00

60 Wells Avenue Suite 101, Newton

easy parking





You’re Invited: Seminar to Simplify Your Next Move — Downsize, Upsize or Rightsize

Newton, MA.  Realtors and Real Estate

Amy Slotnick  from Fairway Independent Mortgage and I are delighted to introduce the amazing Laurie Nordman from Next Stage Associates.   Laurie’s services are the most comprehensive I have ever encountered.  Laurie and her team can help you or help you help your parents from the simplest tasks of sorting and packing to overseeing the entire move while you are on vacation!   Next Stage handles one bedroom apartments to estates.  Laurie can direct you to art dealers, antique dealers or junk collectors.   Laurie can also help navigate the emotional turmoil that can arise between siblings when selling the family home.  Laurie’s calm demeanor and her organizational skills are her best assets and your best friend.  Amy Slotnick will speak about financing options for your next  move.  I will also briefly speak about the current real estate climate and options that may be available for a smooth transition.





light dinner will be served…space is limited




What Your House Should Look Like When You Sell

Newton, Ma.

Not every house is going to look like the pictures below but it is important to make YOUR home look, smell and feel as fresh as possible.

You’re in the market for a new home, whether you need more space or less, you must first sell your present residence. One might think that the slow housing marking would potentially have buyers pounding at your door, but this is not necessarily the case. Prices are steady at the moment and seem not to be plummeting any further. This is good for a buyer and can be good for you, however, home buyers are smarter and leerier these days. They are less apt to make hasty decisions and less apt to buy out of their range, which is partially what contributed to the great housing market collapse. Houses are selling these days, but how quickly they sell is really up to you, the seller, and your agent. The houses that move are those that are priced well. Today’s buyer is savvy and has done his research. Buyers also want a turn-key home that is immediately ready for them to move in and unpack. What they don’t want are…

pinterest keep kitchens clean when selling your home 10 Things Home Buyers Hate About Your Home!

1. Bad Smells

Nothing is more of a turn-off than walking into a house that has a smell. Before you sell your home walk through with a friend, a Realtor, or someone you can rely on to give you an unbiased opinion. You will want to get rid of the source of any bad odor as soon as possible. Pets are big culprits, especially cats. If you have a cat, kitty litters need to be cleaned as often as possible and kept, if possible, in a remote or out of sight location. Wall to wall carpeting can harbor bad smells as well, especially if pets are present in the home. Clean all carpets professionally prior to listing your home. If you have a fan above your stove get in the habit of using it regularly to keep from cooking foods with particularly strong odors, such as fish, the evening before an open house or a showing. If your basement smells dank and musty consider purchasing a dehumidifier to clear the air of moisture and odors.  While some smells are offensive to home buyers, some are very inviting!

clean kitchens a must to sell your home yelp 10 Things Home Buyers Hate About Your Home!

2. Dirty house, especially bathrooms and kitchens

Having a house on the market is tough and hard work, especially when you have young children at home. If you don’t have time to clean your house daily, and really, nobody does, concentrate on your kitchen and bathrooms. Make sure floors are vacuumed and devoid of spills, crumbs and dirt. Make sure counters are wiped clean and that there are no dirty dishes in the sink. Don’t hide them in the oven for a quick remedy, house buyers are nosy and will look in your oven and any drawer or cabinet that can be opened! Keep a set of clean, dry towels on hand for the kitchen and bathroom for showing purposes.
pinterest living room tidy to sell home 10 Things Home Buyers Hate About Your Home!

3. Messy house

This is really an extension of the last point.  The average home buyer has a hard time looking past your clutter and mess. Simple, easy tasks, can make all the difference. If you have children you know that clutter happens. I am a huge fan of wicker baskets. They are inexpensive, efficient and look nice in your home. Invest in a few wicker baskets  as a quick way to stash toys when you don’t have time for an overhaul. Laundry is perhaps the hardest thing to keep on top of and is the most time consuming. If you don’t have time to wash, fold and put away your laundry on a daily basis, pick up a couple more wicker baskets to stow away clean, folded laundry so it doesn’t look like an eyesore. In the kitchen and in the bathroom clear away bottles and containers. Bowls of fresh fruit and vases or pitchers of fresh flowers not only look pretty but often make a room smell lovely.

selling your home neutral colors 10 Things Home Buyers Hate About Your Home!

4. Poorly lit rooms

No one wants to enter a dark house, especially someone who wants to buy your home. If a house is too poorly lit they may tend to wonder what you are trying to hide. Replace dim or burnt out light bulbs with high efficiency, bright bulbs to brighten up your space. If need be, pick up a few stylish lamps that will not only brighten your home but can add to your home decor. If you have big windows, take advantage of them. Make sure they are clean and make sure that drapes and curtains are not blocking the natural sunlight.  When it comes to selling your room, lighting really can be everything.
no wall paper when trying to sell home 10 Things Home Buyers Hate About Your Home!

5. Loud Walls and Busy Wallpaper

Shhhhhh!! Most likely the person who ends up buying your home will not have the same taste and style you do. They say one decorates their home for living, and one should re-decorate their home for selling. When you sell your home, you must remove yourself and your history from the overall picture. A home buyer wants to be able to envision him or herself in your home, not wonder about you, your lifestyle and your family. You don’t want to distract from the task at hand which is to sell your home. Tone down those bright and cheery colors and save them for your next home. Instead, use softer, more neutral tones like creams and off-whites that can make spaces like lighter, airier and brighter. If your home is covered in brightly patterned wallpaper you ought to give serious consideration to removing that as well. Potential buyers may be deterred by the paper knowing what a colossal  a nuisance it is to remove it.

well maintained outside of home pinterest 10 Things Home Buyers Hate About Your Home!

6. Unkempt yards, untrimmed bushes

Nothing is more unwelcoming than pulling up to a potentially Haunted House! Make sure your yard is well mowed, all bushes and hedges are trimmed. If you can add or fix up your landscaping with fresh or potted plants. The outside of your home is the first thing that will be seen. Let it be a great reflection of you and a great indication of what’s yet to be seen on the inside.

wall to wall carpeting 10 Things Home Buyers Hate About Your Home!

7. Wall to wall carpeting

If you can, please remove them. These days home buyers are looking for hardwood floors throughout. Even if they aren’t in the best of shape, hardwood floors are much more appealing than wall to wall carpeting. If you can’t rip out the wall to wall, please have it professionally steam cleaned.

entryways selling home 10 Things Home Buyers Hate About Your Home!

8. Neglected entryways

This is the first room everyone sees as soon as they pass through the front door. This is your greeting card. Let it be warm, friendly and welcoming. A simple bouquet of flowers, it need not necessarily be elaborate, makes a lovely statement. Clear out closets, and make sure that stray shoes and other items are neatly put away.

pet house 10 Things Home Buyers Hate About Your Home!

9. Your pets

May people are allergic. Many children are scared. Please keep your pets away from your home whenever possible.

via tumblr garage when showing your home leave 10 Things Home Buyers Hate About Your Home!

10. You!

I’m sure you are lovely and you know your home like no one else, but a potential home buyer simply does not want you there, or anywhere nearby. If you remain at home they won’t stay, they won’t linger and they won’t take their time to look around to get a proper look and feel. You will not be doing yourself any favors by remaining at home. Leave the selling to your Realtor, that’s why, after all, you’ve hired him (or her!)

Newton Real Estate Attorneys and Mortgage Brokers etc…

My Newton contractors I love post was a huge success so I have decided to delve into real estate professionals I love.  In this crazy market we have going on here in the Boston burbs, please speak with a mortgage broker before you even start to look at homes.  Mortgage brokers are now issuing pre-approvals where your credit has been checked, your bank statements have been looked at, your income has been verified.  If something shows up on your credit report you will be asked to document and re-document what the issue was.  The guidelines for self-employed borrowers have dramatically changed and not in a good way if you are trying to buy a house.

I am listing my tops in alphabetical order not in preference order.

Mortgage Brokers

Wayne Olson

Radius Mortgage

781-706-9571  cell

Amy Slotnick:  

Fairway Independent Mortgage

781-719-4670  office

617-513-4670  cell

Anastasia Tacewicz

GMH Mortgage

617-301-1332 cell

Craig Tanny

Mortgage Equity Partners

781-309-1805 office

781-956-7640  cell

I have complete confidence in all of them, they do an excellent job and they are all PLEASANT with a can do attitude!


Brian Brown

Brian Brown Law Offices

(781) 235-4024

Yitz Magence

Gilmarten Magence


Laurie Sullivan



Paul Cornell


Neil Desmond


Lisa Alajajian


Helping to Prepare for the Move

Laurie Nordman


Laurie’s services are so comprehensive that I attached her website.

I only recommend good people who can get the job done and they must possess a sense of humor.  There a lot of bumps in the road and it makes life so much less complicated if everyone is on the same page.  Everyone of the people I have referred here works on the weekend or they have coverage on weekends.

One last thing I would like to mention is giving up a mortgage contingency or an inspection contingency is NOT a good idea….if you do not have the cash to pay for your home or do not have more money to put down if the appraisal comes in low do not forego your mortgage contingency.  I feel as if we are heading into appraisal issues again since the prices have risen so dramatically in such a short period of time.  No inspection?  Not ok unless you plan to gut the entire house or you have an endless supply of money.  I know, I know, with bidding wars you feel like you will lose this next house (and you have already been outbid on the last 4) it is a decision you may later regret when you have 6 inches of water floating in your basement.  

Newton Real Estate Market is CRAZY!

OMG its crazy what is happening in the Newton/Brookline real estate market.  Brookline prices are now like swanky Boston condos, and Newton prices are now Brookline prices…I have a client who bought a condo at 45 Province in Boston a year ago for around $1,175 a square foot, condos in that building are now selling in the $1,600 a square foot range.  I am beginning to think a dog house will cost a 100 grand in Brookline and the insanity continues into Newton.

So what’s selling? pretty much anything priced under 1.4.  If it’s cute and staged — it’s sold.  Homes between 1.4 and 1.9 are slightly tougher to sell.  There are some great deals out there and honestly I don’t understand the rationale behind why a buyer would so over pay for a house that’s adorable but will never be anything  more than adorable.  Look at the stats I put up below!  I took these from MLS, there are 75 homes on the market and there are only 15 under 1 million dollars!

Sellers, the time is now!  This is a supply and demand business and there is no supply.   Buyers, get yourself a broker (ME) and try not to get caught up in this frenzy.  Run some numbers, check what you are paying on a price per square foot basis AND if you do not have the cash to pay for a house DO NOT give up your mortgage contingency.  I suspect we will some appraisal issues in the near future.  If you are not gutting a house DO NOT give up an inspection contingency.  There will ALWAYS be another house.

On-Market Snapshot
Report Run: 3/14/2014 10:56:03 AM
Property Type(s): SF
Snapshot Date: 03/14/2014
Towns: Newton
Price Range Number of
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 42
$500,000 – $599,999 1 2
$600,000 – $699,999 2 4
$700,000 – $799,999 3 8
$800,000 – $899,999 4 110
$900,000 – $999,999 4 69
$1,000,000 – $1,499,999 18 61
$1,500,000 – $1,999,999 15 156
$2,000,000 – $2,499,999 13 137
$2,500,000 – $2,999,999 3 199
$3,000,000 – $3,999,999 8 47
$4,000,000 – $4,999,999 2 153
$5,000,000 – $9,999,999 1 2
Over $10,000,000
Total Properties 75 Avg. 97  
Pending Statistics Print this page  /  E-mail this page  /  Make a PDF of this pagePDF this page
Report Run: 3/14/2014 11:00:21 AM
Property Type(s): SF
Start Date: 12/14/2013
End Date: 3/14/2014
Towns: Newton
Went Pending Current Status
Price Range # of
# 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 2 1 1
$450,000 – $499,999 4 1 2 1
$500,000 – $599,999 9 6 2 1
$600,000 – $699,999 9 4 3 2
$700,000 – $799,999 15 10 2 3
$800,000 – $899,999 13 6 1 4 2
$900,000 – $999,999 13 7 2 3 1
$1,000,000 – $1,499,999 21 11 7 3
$1,500,000 – $1,999,999 13 8 3 1 1
$2,000,000 – $2,499,999 3 1 1 1
$2,500,000 – $2,999,999 4 2 2
$3,000,000 – $3,999,999 2 2
$4,000,000 – $4,999,999 1 1
$5,000,000 – $9,999,999
Over $10,000,000
Total Properties 109 59 21 22 7
Lowest Price: $449,000 Median Price: $899,000
Highest Price: $4,200,000 Average Price: $1,224,298
Total Market Volume: $133,448,499

Massachusetts single-family home sales hit a 10-year high for February

Newton’s Top Realtors

BBJ Real Estate Daily


Massachusetts single-family home sales hit a 10-year high for February


Enlarge Photo

Local real estate professionals expect a busy spring season.

Thomas Grillo — Real Estate Editor-Boston Business Journal



The Massachusetts Association of Realtors reported on Tuesday that pending sales of single-family homes hit a 10-year high for the month of February, the latest indicator yet that the market’s momentum is carrying over from 2013.

Pending sales figures, also called homes under agreement, are a leading indicator of actual housing sales in Massachusetts for the next 90 days.

MAR President Peter Ruffini and regional vice president at Jack Conway & Co. said poor weather failed to dampen buyer demand. He also said an improving economy and low interest rates fueled accepted offers last month.

The number of single-family homes put under agreement increased to 3,587 last month, a 20.4 percent increase compared to the year-earlier period when 2,980 homes went under agreement. February marked the 12th-straight month of year-over-year increases and the most homes put under agreement in February since 2004, when there were 3,612 homes placed under contract. On a month-to-month basis, single-family homes put under agreement rose 13.8 percent compared to the 3,151 homes put under agreement in January.

The median sales price of single-family homes put under agreement in February was $295,600, up 7.5 percent from $275,000 in February 2013. On a month-to-month basis, the median P&S price was down 7.7 percent from the $320,000 posted in January.

Condominiums placed under agreement also increased by double digits. The number of condos put under contract in February was 1,533, up 17 percent compared to February 2013 when purchase and sales agreement totaled 1,310. This is the most number of condos put under agreement in February since 2007 when 1,777 units were put under agreement. On a month-to-month basis, condos put under agreement were up 7.9 percent from 1,421 units in January.

The median sale price of a condo put under agreement in February was $282,500 which was up 8.9 percent from $259,450 in February 2013. On a month-to-month basis, under agreement median prices were down 5.9 percent from $300,000 in January.

Real estate agents say the tracking of signed purchase and sales agreements or “pending sales” provide reliable information about where the real estate market is heading in the months ahead. A pending sale or a sale “under agreement” is when the buyer and seller agree on the terms of the sale of a home and have a signed purchase and sale agreement, but have yet to transfer a deed. MAR’s data only includes deals made through the MLS systems in Massachusetts and only includes sales involving a broker.

Newton School Rankings According to Boston Buisness Journal




Top Public School Districts in Mass.

Locally Researched by: Sean McFadden, Boston Business Journal

More Data

(Toggle up to 5 options)

  •  Rank
  •  MCAS, Average Cumulative Score
  •  MCAS Statewide Rank
  •  SAT, Average Cumulative Score
  •  SAT, Statewide Rank
  •  PSAT, Average Cumulative Score
  •  PSAT, Statewide Rank
  •  School Superintendent
  •  School Superintendent
MCAS, Average Cumulative Score
MCAS Statewide Rank
SAT, Average Cumulative Score
SAT, Statewide Rank
1 Lexington
146 Maple St.
Lexington, MA 02420
1 95.75 18 1903 2
2 Acton-Boxborough
16 Charter Road
Acton, MA 01720
2 95.85 17 1876 3
3 Dover-Sherborn
157 Farm St.
Dover, MA 02030
3 95.45 19 1843 6
4 Carlisle
83 School St.
Carlisle, MA 01741
4 96.35 13 1807 11
5 Newton
100 Walnut St.
Newton, MA 02460
5 93.6 42 1849 5

Selling a House With Personal Photos

I’ve been trying to put a classic family picture wall gallery in the hallway that leads to our master bedroom but the layout always stumped me.  I am a symmetrical orderly person which will surprise many of you who know me.  I can’t stand an angled bed or a couch angled in the corner of a room.  That’s says to me; it doesn’t fit.  I also don;t like to see a bed against the wall.  I would say 90% of the houses I sell the kids beds are against the wall.  The first thing I think of is what a pain in the ass to make that bed and changing the sheets…UGH!  Who cares if the kids fall out if the bed, mine did and they are fine::))  I’m clearly showing my neurotic side today because I don’t want to sleep in a bed with my head under a window and I definitely don’t want to sleep in a bed angled in the corner with that dead space behind it.

Which brings me back to the wall gallery.  I love the top presentation below, the bottom one — I’d rather stick needles in my eyes!  The top is orderly and symmetrical but it is also soothing, allowing your eye to calmly move from one picture to the next.  As a Realtor, I would NOT ask my client to remove these pictures.  I am a complete unabashed believer in de-cluttering and de-personalizing to some extent.  But I do not believe in removing every trace of life from a house.  Yes, get rid of that show off picture of you and Bill Clinton in the sterling silver frame on the mantle in the living room.  He is not your bestie but now people are wondering how you know Bill and not looking at the house.  Worse than that they hate Bill or W and can’t imagine themselves liking a house that one of “these” people liked.  Yes, it is amazing how many people in Newton have a framed picture of themselves with a “celebrity” prominently displayed in their home.

I want a house to look happy, if you have some wonderful photos of your children laughing or a cute moment captured on camera, by all means leave it there.  A grouping, a sentimental picture in a nice frame on the bedside table,  a gallery wall that is well done.  I don’t want to see three years of your kids artwork on the refrigerator.  For the most part I don’t want to see your kids art work all. If your kid is talented, then by all means frame a few pictures and hang them.  If not, get a plastic bin and put the budding Van Gogh’s work in there.  It will have to be done before you move anyway.

The key to photos is tasteful, happy, edited, soothing….


NO NO  NOOOO!  Everything about this wall makes me anxious…I want to straignten the frames, I want to rip down the blue and white peeling sayings.  Baby blue stick ons on baby poop colored walls is a NO.