Month: March 2015

Bi-Monthly Newton Real Estate Recap


Newton, MA.  Real Estate Recap

Newton, MA.  10:30EST                                                     Buyer and seller sign

 

Well Spring has finally sprung!  Inventory has increased from 70 houses to 90 but still 50% lower than a more normal market.  The 1 million to 2 million market has seen the largest increase from 26 to 44 homes.  There is a dearth of inventory below 1 million dollars.  A total of 32 homes have gone under agreement in the past 2 weeks, up from 20 during the 2 weeks prior.  The 1 million to 1.5 million price range saw the most action with a total of 8 homes going under agreement.  A total of 15 homes closed since mid March and look at the sales price to listing price ratio!!  Homes priced between 600-900K did extremely well with some homes selling for ridiculous prices.  The average sale price was 122% of the list price!  The 1.5 to 2 million category also saw price increases and the list to sale ratio was 113%.  This is all tied to inventory so get your home ready to sell.

Margaret  617-921-6860  margaretszerlip@gmail.com

 

On-Market Snapshot
Report Run: 3/31/2015 10:38:48 AM
Property Type(s): SF
Snapshot Date: 03/16/2015
Towns: Newton
 03/16/2015  3/31/2015
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 6
$400,000 – $449,999
$450,000 – $499,999 1 5
$500,000 – $599,999 2 184 1 209
$600,000 – $699,999 1 5 2 5
$700,000 – $799,999 2 141 2 149
$800,000 – $899,999 4 54 5 52
$900,000 – $999,999 4 35 5 57
$1,000,000 – $1,499,999 12 13 22 32
$1,500,000 – $1,999,999 14 85 22 48
$2,000,000 – $2,499,999 12 163 13 181
$2,500,000 – $2,999,999 10 128 12 128
$3,000,000 – $3,999,999 8 213 8 228
$4,000,000 – $4,999,999 1 7 1 22
$5,000,000 – $9,999,999
Over $10,000,000
Total Properties 70 Avg. 104 95 Avg. 90
Lowest Price: $580,000
Median Price: $1,799,000
Highest Price: $4,500,000
Average Price: $1,974,346
Total Market Volume: $138,204,276
Lowest Price: $399,000
Median Price: $1,699,000
Highest Price: $4,500,000
Average Price: $1,846,623
Total Market Volume: $175,429,186

 

Pending Statistics
Report Run: 3/31/2015 10:42:02 AM
Property Type(s): SF
Start Date: 03/16/2015
End Date: 03/31/2015
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 1 1
$600,000 – $699,999 3 1 2
$700,000 – $799,999 1 1
$800,000 – $899,999 4 2 2
$900,000 – $999,999 3 3
$1,000,000 – $1,499,999 8 5 2 1
$1,500,000 – $1,999,999 3 1 2
$2,000,000 – $2,499,999 4 3 1
$2,500,000 – $2,999,999 3 2 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 32 20 11 0 1
Lowest Price: $549,000 Median Price: $1,224,500
Highest Price: $3,690,000 Average Price: $1,455,775
Total Market Volume: $46,584,800

 

Total Sold Market Statistics
Report Run: 3/31/2015 10:44:44 AM
Property Type(s): SF
Status: SLD
Start Date: 03/16/2015
End Date: 03/31/2015
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 20 20 $468,000 $499,000 94 $499,000 94
$500,000 – $599,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$600,000 – $699,999 3 22 6 $648,000 $669,333 97 $669,333 97
$700,000 – $799,999 1 175 175 $795,000 $849,000 94 $869,000 91
$800,000 – $899,999 1 7 7 $825,000 $675,000 122 $675,000 122
$900,000 – $999,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$1,000,000 – $1,499,999 6 100 35 $1,213,917 $1,192,150 102 $1,192,150 102
$1,500,000 – $1,999,999 1 4 4 $1,578,000 $1,399,000 113 $1,399,000 113
$2,000,000 – $2,499,999 1 231 155 $2,100,000 $2,200,000 95 $2,499,000 84
$2,500,000 – $2,999,999 1 271 7 $2,700,000 $2,999,000 90 $2,999,000 90
$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 15 Avg. 92 Avg. 40 $1,179,567 $1,185,460 101 $1,206,727 100
Lowest Price: $468,000 Median Price: $1,095,000
Highest Price: $2,700,000 Average Price: $1,179,567
Total Market Volume: $17,693,500

Freddie Mac’s New 3% Down Program


Freddie Mac’s New 3% Down Program

Newton, MA.  11:30AM EST

Posted: 23 Mar 2015 Freddie Mac's New 3% Down Program | Keeping Current Matters

Today, Freddie Mac is scheduled to start buying mortgages with down payments of only three percent – the first time down payments have been this low on Freddie Mac loans in nearly five years. The program is called Freddie Mac Home Possible AdvantageSM. In a recent Executive Perspectives, Dave Lowman EVP, Single-Family Business Freddie Mac, explained the potential impact this program will have on the housing market:

“There’s a new reason Realtors and lenders may expect more qualified borrowers at the closing table during this spring’s home buying season. In addition to low mortgage rates and rising job growth, the down payment hurdle is starting to shrink for creditworthy borrowers, including first-time homebuyers.”

And the mortgage industry agrees with Mr. Lowman. In a recent survey of mortgage originators by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), it was revealed that most loan officers believe the move to a lower down payment will increase access to mortgage credit. Here are that survey’s findings: Down Payment Survey | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

Many potential buyers are “ready and willing” to buy a home but have been afraid they may not be “able” because of a lack of adequate savings for a down payment. Check with a local real estate or mortgage professional to understand what the new rules may mean to you.

CALL Margaret Szerlip at 617-921-6860 or margaretszerlip@gmail.com

Newton Real Estate Bi-Monthly Recap


Newton Real Estate Bi-Monthly Recap

Newton, MA.  11:OOAM EST

Oh my there is no inventory and we will have the latest spring market in decades.  I have said many times that the average number of homes for sale in Newton during a “normal” market is about 200.  That gives us a 4-6 month supply.  I cannot remember the last time there were a mere 66 homes for sale across all price ranges in Newton.  There are only 11 homes for sale under 1 Million dollars!  The most inventory is in homes priced between 2 million and 2.5 million.  Let me say that if your home is listed under 1.5 million dollars for more than a week without an offer, your price is too high.  It’s not your agent’s fault or the weather; it’s the price!

15 Homes went under contract in the past 2 weeks about 25% of the market.  Interestingly, the most active segment was between 2 million and 2.5 million.  There are buyers in every price point from the most inexpensive homes (for Newton) to the most expensive.  Buyers are desperately waiting for more homes to hit the market.  If your home has not sold and you have not received any offers, you are in fact helping to sell your competition.

So repair your ice dam damage and get your home ready for a sale.  Call me at 617-921-6860 or margaretszerlip@gmail.com

 


On-Market Snapshot
Report Run: 3/9/2015 10:31:27 AM
Property Type(s): SF
Snapshot Date: 03/09/2015
Towns: Newton
 03/09/2015  3/9/2015
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 3 119 3 119
$600,000 – $699,999 2 68 2 68
$700,000 – $799,999 2 155 2 155
$800,000 – $899,999 2 99 2 99
$900,000 – $999,999 2 59 2 111
$1,000,000 – $1,499,999 11 63 11 63
$1,500,000 – $1,999,999 13 114 13 114
$2,000,000 – $2,499,999 15 162 15 162
$2,500,000 – $2,999,999 8 152 8 152
$3,000,000 – $3,999,999 7 224 7 225
$4,000,000 – $4,999,999 1 76 1 76
$5,000,000 – $9,999,999
Over $10,000,000
Total Properties 66 Avg. 130 66 Avg. 132
Lowest Price: $580,000
Median Price: $1,919,500
Highest Price: $4,300,000
Average Price: $1,988,507
Total Market Volume: $131,241,474
Lowest Price: $580,000
Median Price: $1,919,500
Highest Price: $4,300,000
Average Price: $1,988,507
Total Market Volume: $131,241,474

 

Pending Statistics
Report Run: 3/9/2015 10:56:13 AM
Property Type(s): SF
Start Date: 02/20/2015
End Date: 03/09/2015
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
$600,000 – $699,999 1 1
$700,000 – $799,999 1 1
$800,000 – $899,999
$900,000 – $999,999 1 1
$1,000,000 – $1,499,999 7 3 4
$1,500,000 – $1,999,999 2 1 1
$2,000,000 – $2,499,999 5 3 2
$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 18 10 8 0 0
Lowest Price: $669,000 Median Price: $1,435,000
Highest Price: $2,650,000 Average Price: $1,645,333
Total Market Volume: $29,616,000

 

Total Sold Market Statistics
Report Run: 3/9/2015 10:35:22 AM
Property Type(s): SF
Status: SLD
Start Date: 02/23/2015
End Date: 03/09/2015
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 0 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$500,000 – $599,999 1 8 8 $520,000 $489,000 106 $489,000 106
$600,000 – $699,999 1 4 4 $604,500 $598,000 101 $598,000 101
$700,000 – $799,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$800,000 – $899,999 3 24 17 $884,667 $866,333 102 $866,333 102
$900,000 – $999,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$1,000,000 – $1,499,999 2 11 11 $1,347,750 $1,377,000 98 $1,377,000 98
$1,500,000 – $1,999,999 3 97 75 $1,798,333 $1,865,667 96 $1,899,333 95
$2,000,000 – $2,499,999 1 45 45 $2,280,000 $2,399,000 95 $2,399,000 95
$2,500,000 – $2,999,999 1 310 310 $2,560,000 $2,995,000 85 $3,500,000 73
$3,000,000 – $3,999,999 1 100 74 $3,650,000 $3,795,000 96 $3,795,000 96
$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 13 Avg. 65 Avg. 57 $1,566,077 $1,632,769 98 $1,679,385 97
Lowest Price: $520,000 Median Price: $1,395,500
Highest Price: $3,650,000 Average Price: $1,566,077
Total Market Volume: $20,359,000

Protecting Your Nest Egg as You Age


Protecting Your Nest Egg as You Age

 Newton, MA.  10:15AM EST

Retirement savings golden nest eggPeople pondering their retirement years often conjure images of spending more time on a favorite pastime or traveling around the country or the world.

Health concerns can intrude on those idyllic scenes, though, not only affecting enjoyment of life but also punching a heavy dent in retirement savings.

“As we age, usually our medical or long-term care expenses increase, sometimes depleting our assets to a level of crisis,” says financial advisor Jake Lowrey, president of Lowrey Financial Group.

“It’s important for retirees, and anyone planning for retirement, to become educated about what the pitfalls are and what they need to do to avoid losing their life savings.”

Long-term care especially can burn a hole in savings accounts. In 2012, for example, nursing home care averaged $74,800 a year, according to a report by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

Meanwhile, assisted living facilities averaged $39,500 per year, and home-health services averaged $21 per hour.

More than 10 million Americans need some sort of long-term care, the Kaiser report says. That number covers all ages, even children, but about half are people 65 and older.

“Those older Americans had looked forward to enjoying their golden years,” Lowrey says. “They should be able to have actual golden years instead of what can end up being scary years, both personally and financially.”

Certainly, being able to maintain good health is a key factor in protecting savings and making retirement enjoyable and satisfying, he says.

But life doesn’t always work out that way. Fortunately, there are strategies seniors can use to lessen the impact of expenses brought on by long-term care needs. Lowrey says some of those include:

• VA benefits.
Military veterans may be able to offset nursing home or assisted-living expenses through benefits provided by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. A veteran’s eligibility for long-term care services would be determined based on his or her need for ongoing treatment, personal care and assistance, as well as the availability of the service in the area where the person lives, according to the Department of Veteran Affairs.

Other factors, such as financial eligibility, a service-connected disability, insurance coverage, and/or ability to pay may also come into play.

• Medicaid compliant SPIAs. A SPIA is a single-premium immediate annuity. Typically, a SPIA is a contract with an insurance company where you pay the company a sum of money up front (the premium), and the company promises to pay you a certain amount of money periodically for the rest of your life.

A Medicaid compliant SPIA is a specially designed annuity that pays out over the person’s “life expectancy” and has other specific characteristics. A couple who put money in a Medicaid annuity are able to avoid having the income from that annuity count against the financial assistance a spouse receives for nursing home care.

• Setting up a trust. Trusts can help shelter wealth from the look-back periods in Medicaid requirements and assist in qualifying for VA programs, among other advantages, Lowrey says.

Choose Your Paint with These Fancy Apps


Choose Your Paint with These Fancy Apps

Newton, MA.  

Picking paint at the store can be overwhelming, and sometimes you’re less inspired by a paint chip and more inspired by photos, jewelry or Mother Nature. Now your phone can give you the tools you need to preview colors where and when the mood strikes.

Photo by: iStock

Here are five apps that can help you get the right color on the walls before you buy.

The ColorSmart by BEHR® Mobile app lets you preview, match and coordinate colors on-the-go. This fun-to-use app puts you in control with handy features like:
• Browsing through the BEHR Premium Plus Ultra® and Premium Plus® colors collections
• Photo-match to a BEHR color with their proprietary tool
• Preview function to see a color in different rooms and styles
• “Touch-and-tap” technology to paint a room image
• Sharing on Facebook and Twitter
(FREE for iPhone®, iPad® or Android)

The Benjamin Moore Color Capture® app makes it simple to snap a picture of anything that inspires you and instantly find its match among the more than 3,500 Benjamin Moore paint colors. Then you can save your pics and their coordinating color matches to your Favorites. Plus, you can:
• Group colors in Favorites to create personalized combos
• Share your favorite colors on social media and email
• Browse Benjamin Moore’s inspirational color cards and access the full color wheel to search colors
(FREE for iPhone®, iPad® or Android phones 6.1 or higher)

Besides letting you search by name or browse their library of 1,500 colors, ColorSnap® for mobile from Sherwin-Williams allows you to create personalized palettes with colors that inspire you. Simply upload an image and this app will instantly match colors in your photo. Then you can edit, delete or add colors to suit your artistic vision— you can even ask Sherwin-Williams for colors that complement your selections. The possibilities are endless with features that help you:
• Fine-tune colors for lightness, saturation and hue
• Get detailed color information such as names, RGB values and LRV numbers
• Save and access your Favorites across devices
(FREE for iPhone®, iPad® or Android)

With its intuitive navigation, ProjectPaint by Valspar puts over 3,000 Valspar paints right at your fingertips. Swipe, swish and tap through their catalog to choose colors for inside or outside your home, plus get recommendations for coordinating colors. This app even helps you calculate how much paint you’ll need for your project and creates a customized shopping list so you can make just one trip to the store.

Don’t want to limit your color choices to one particular brand? AnyPaintColor by MyPerfectColorlets you search over 130,000 colors from over 100 brands including Martha Stewart and Ralph Lauren. It’s essentially a virtual fan deck that gives you the power to browse colors to your heart’s content without having to set one foot in a store.
($2.99 for iPhone®, iPad®, iPod Touch®)

The Top 7 Things to Do When You Inherit a Home


The Top 7 Things to Do When You Inherit a Home

Newton, MA.  12:30PM EST

Clean_Slate_Inherit_a_Home

1. Check the title. Make sure that the ownership is in the name it is intended so that it is freely transferable to you.

2. Make sure there are no liens against the property. If work had been done over the years on the property or it was given as collateral against any loan, there may be banking institutions or individuals that have a claim against your inheritance. You will want to research this and settle any claims before you consider or attempt to sell, lease or transfer title to the property. It may also affect the property’s value if somebody else has a claim against it.

3. Get a condition report from a licensed contractor or engineer to see what repairs need to be made. Oftentimes properties that are long-held in families can be—if they are not primary residences -in disrepair. You certainly want to protect the value of any inheritance and even minor repairs can enhance value.

4. If you are considering refurbishing and selling your inheritance, there are small things you can do to enhance the value. Consider a paint job, an upgrade of furniture, fresh flowers throughout if you are going to be showing your property and landscaping is often the first thing folks see when looking at a home so it can be a very worthwhile investment.

5. Modernize where you can. Updating a kitchen or bathroom or even flooring can make a huge difference in how a property appears to others. New drawer handles, doorknobs even small change can revamp the look of s property and bring it up to date.

13,000-Plus Listings Sell Every Day…Is Yours One of Them?


 

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13,000-Plus Listings Sell Every Day…Is Yours One of Them? 

Mar 05, 2015 09:25 am

listings_sell

It’s very exciting when a homeowner entrusts you with the marketing and ultimate sale of their home. Yes, you got a new listing!

Fast-forward a couple of weeks or months, and if the listing hasn’t sold, then you have some explaining to do. In a recent Existing-Home Sales Report from the National Association of REALTORS®, annual home sales are listed at 5.04 million homes. In order to put that number into perspective, let’s divide it by 365 days, and you’ll find that there are 13,699 homes sold every day in the United States on average (not accounting for seasonality).

With all of these homes selling across the country daily, blaming the economy or the local market for an unsold listing isn’t going to be a strong position with the home seller. It’s far more likely that you’ve made one or more common mistakes when pricing your listing.

Here are three common pricing mistakes that prevent listings from selling in a timely manner:

1. Overpricing from the Start

It’s extremely common for sellers to overvalue their homes compared to other homes in the same neighborhood and price range. Our job as local market experts is to advise and counsel home sellers on the correct pricing strategy.

One of the most important steps in correctly pricing the home is to take an honest look at similar homes in the area that have recently sold. While the seller may feel that their home deserves to command a higher relative sale price, the market determined these comps to be a fair price, so buyers will expect your asking price to be in the same ballpark.

An overpriced listing is a sure way to scare off plenty of potential buyers and waste a lot of your time.

2. Ignoring Search Ranges

These days, almost every buyer searches for homes online. If a potential buyer searches for homes in the $250,000 to $300,000 price range, they won’t see your listing if it’s priced at $305,000.

Even if your listing is a perfect fit for the potential buyer, he or she won’t know about it, even though it’s only $5,000 above their price range search.

You want to make sure you’re not pricing your listing just outside of someone’s price range, so be sure to avoid pricing just over common increment breaks.

3. Not Being Open to Offers

There’s an old saying in our business that the first offer is the best offer; however, you should advise the seller to carefully consider any and all offers that come in, even if they’re well below your asking price. Negotiation is the name of the game. It’s not where an offer starts, it’s where mutual acceptance ends.

Do you want your listing to be one of the 13,000-plus homes that will sell tomorrow? Review your pricing strategy today!

Wendy Forsythe is the executive vice president and head of global operations at Carrington Real Estate Services.