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Celebrate Memorial Day Weekend


Newton, MA.

Looking for something to do with your family this weekend? You can check out activities throughout Massachusetts.

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HOLIDAYS

MEMORIAL DAY 2014


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

STATEWIDE

Blue Star Museums
 – Blue Star Museums is a collaboration among the National Endowment of the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 1,500 museums across America. First launched in the summer of 2010, Blue Star Museums offers free admission to all active duty military personnel and their families from Memorial Day, May 26, through Labor Day, September 1, 2014.

GREATER BOSTON

Service of Commemoration
 – Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, May 25, 1:30-3:00pm
 Words and music will help us to remember those who have gone before us during this Memorial Day Service on Bigelow Chapel Lawn. In the event of inclement weather, the Service will be held in Bigelow Chapel.

Street Performers Festival – Boston
 – May 24-26
 – Street performers, world-class jugglers, clowns, storytellers, mimes, acrobats,
dancers, storytellers, and others will perform on the cobblestone streets of the
Faneuil Marketplace. Location: Faneuil Hall Marketplace. Time: all day. Cost: 
Free. 617- 523-1300

Memorial Day Weekend Sale
 – Wrentham Village Premium Outlets 
May 23 – May 26 – 
Don’t miss the annual Memorial Day Weekend Sale. Enjoy extra discounts on top of already low outlet prices. 
May 23 : 9am – 9pm
 May 24: 9am – 9pm
 May 25: 10am – 6pm
 May 26: 9am – 9pm

Museum of Fine Arts
 – Free Memorial Day open house

GREATER BOSTON PARADES

Arlington: 9:30
Cambridge: 9:30
Hudson: 10:00
Medford: 10:00
Needham: 6:50


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NORTH OF BOSTON & GREATER MERRIMACK VALLEY

Newburyport Spring Fest – Newburyport
 – May 25-26
 – Celebrate the season in downtown Newburyport! Thousands attend to enjoy great live music, art, fine crafts, food from Newburyport’s best restaurants and Kid’s Korner featuring entertainment for children and families and the ever popular Teddy Bear Parade.
Location: Downtown Newburyport
. Time: 10a.m.– 5 p.m. 
Cost: Free 
Information: 978-462-6680

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NORTH OF BOSTON PARADES

Haverhill: 10:30
Lexington: 9:00am
Marblehead: 9:00am
Methuen: 10:00am
Salem: 10:30am

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SOUTH OF BOSTON

Free Admission for Veterans
 – May 24-26. All active duty, retired and reserve military personnel who show proof of service will be honored with free admission to Battleship Cove.

Memorial Day Ceremony May 26. Honor and commemorate the men and women who gave their lives for freedom. Experience a traditional military observance at 12:00 PM with the raising of the American flag from half-staff and a 21-gun salute. The ceremony is open to the public.

Colonial Military Arts
 – May 24-26
 Plimoth Plantation
n early Plymouth Colony, all men between the ages of 16 and 60 were required to serve in the town’s militia. Meet a member of New Plimoth’s militia in the center of the Century English Village. Free with general admission.

Military Service Appreciation Day
 – Buttonwood Park Zoo
 – 425 Hawthorn St., New Bedford – 
May 24 – 26. 
On Memorial Day Weekend all active duty, retired and reserve military personnel and their dependents who show proof of served will be honored with free admission to the Zoo.

Annual Fisherman’s Memorial Service
 – Starting at the Seamen’s Bethel
 – May 26 
10:00 am – 
Annual walk from Seamen’s Bethel on Johnny cake Hill down Union St. to Pier 3 on the New Bedford Waterfront for a service honoring all of the many fishermen who have lost their live going to sea.

SOUTH OF BOSTON PARADES

Brockton: 11:00
Cohasset: 10:30
Fairhaven: 8:30
Fall River: 1:00
New Bedford: 11:00
Plymouth: 9:30
Somerset: 10:00
Swansea: 1:00
Taunton: 9:30
Westport: 8:00

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CAPE COD & THE ISLANDS

Massachusetts National Cemetery
 – May 26th 
Annual Memorial Day Services.
 Bourne
 (508) 563-7113

Cape Cod Scenic Railroad
 – May 24
 Opening day, tickets on sale for scenic passenger train rides from West Barnstable, until train time 11:50 am. Visit the historical museum 9:00am to 2:00pm every Saturday, May 28 through October 15, 2011. 
Location: 2469 Meetinghouse Way, West Barnstable
Information: 508-362-9287

43rd Annual Figawi Regatta
 – May 24-26
 Sailboat race from Hyannis to Nantucket Island and back; weekend-long festivities
Hyannis Yacht Club, Hyannis & Nantucket Boat Basin, Nantucket
. Information: 508-778-6100

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CENTRAL MASSACHUSETTS

Wool Days at Old Sturbridge Village – Sturbridge
  – May 24-26
 Wool Days means sheepshearing at Old Sturbridge Village, plus demonstrations of other parts of the seasonal processing of wool, including scouring, carding, dyeing, spinning, and weaving. Try your hand and learn about other fibers available to early New Englanders at our textile exhibit. Wool Days fall on Memorial Day weekend, when the Old Sturbridge Village stagecoach returns for the summer, along with the Quinebaug River Boat Ride.

AIS 44th Annual Memorial Powwow
 – May 24-25
 Native American powwow
 4H Camp Marshall, 92 McCormick Rd., Spencer

CENTRAL MASSACHUSETTS PARADES

Ashburnham: 8:45am
Ashby: 10:00am
Fitchburg: 10:00am
Westminster: 11:00am

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WESTERN MASSACHUSETTS

Massachusetts Sheep & Woolcraft Fair
 – May 24-25
 Sheep shows, sheep dog trials, spinning contest, fiber contests & workshops, handcraft & hand spun yarn contests, fleece show & sale, shearing demo & shearing service.
 Location: 97 Fairgrounds Rd., Cummington
Time: May 29, 9-5; May 30, 9-4
 Fee: $8:00 per vehicle
. Information: 413-458-0168

Memorial Weekend Sidewalk Sale
 May 23-26
 Annual Memorial Weekend Sidewalk Sale featuring incredible savings on spring clearance and summer merchandise at participating stores.
 Lee Premium Outlets
Lee

Annual Memorial Day Marathon Races
 – May 25 Lenox. 
This annual event starts and finishes at the iconic Tanglewood Music Center in the beautiful Berkshires of Western Massachusetts. Come experience The Berkshires, a true slice of Americana featuring the quaint towns, beautiful views, and friendly people depicted in Norman Rockwell’s art and James Taylor’s music, as we celebrate running – a true American pastime – on the national holiday honoring our fallen soldiers. The weekend will feature The Memorial Day Marathon & 1/2 Marathon, The Berkshires 10K & 5K, The MDM 15K Trail Race, The MDM Trail-Road Challenge, The MDM Kids Run and The MDM Pre-Race Expo at Tanglewood.

Paradise City Arts Festival
 – May 24-26, County Fairgrounds, Northampton. 
Ranked the #3 arts fair nationwide. This is truly one of the most spectacular fairs of fine craft, painting and sculpture in the whole country, lauded for its fresh, innovative approach. Four buildings, a big tent and a lush Sculpture Garden showcase 260 of the nation’s finest artists and craftspeople, featuring furniture, glass, large-scale sculpture, jewelry, paintings, ceramics, fashion and home furnishings. The Festival Dining Tent cooks up sensational cuisine by Northampton’s best chefs and a soundstage featuring live music with a New Orleans beat by the likes of Charles Neville and Samirah Evans. The theme this spring is “Wild Things!”, with an exhibit of art inspired by the animal kingdom, a silent art auction to benefit the Dakin Animal Shelter and a host of children’s activities and demonstrations centered on animals. Boston Magazine writes, ‘There’s no better place in the country to pick up original artwork than the Paradise City Arts Festival.’

WESTERN MASSACHUSETTS PARADES

Agawam: 10:30
Amherst: 9:30
Chicopee: 10:00
Easthampton: 10:30
East Longmeadow: 10:50
Greenfield: 10:00
Hampden: 10:00
Holyoke: 9:00
Ludlow: 9:00
Monson: 10:00
Montague: 10:15
Northampton: 9:30
Palmer: 10:15
South Hadley: 11:00
Southwick: 9:30
Ware: 1:00
West Brookfield: 9:00
Westfield: 10:00
West Springfield: 9:00
Wilbraham: 10:30

EXISTING HOMES FOR SALE AT LOWEST POINT IN 11 YEARS


Top Brokers, Newton, MA.  Newton, MA. real estate, Buyer and Listing Broker, Sotheby’s, Newton, MA

 

I know I sound like a broken record….. wouldn’t you rather sell your house with little competition?

  • Existing Home SupplyHome sales dropped last month, but not because demand was lacking. There are fewer homes for sale than at any time in the last 11 years.

According to the National Association of REALTORS®, Existing Home Sales for December 2012 fell to a seasonally-adjusted, annualized rate of 4.94 million homes from November’s tally of 4.99 million existing homes.

The Existing Home Sales report is based on the number of closings for previously-owned, single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops. It’s estimated that existing homes account for 85 to 90 percent of all home sales nationwide.

2012 was a good year for housing. Sales of existing homes climbed 12.8 percent as compared to the December 2011 tally, which may be a strong indicator of future mortgage originations and short-term demand for home-related goods.

Based on preliminary sales figures, the number of home resales in 2012 grew 9.2 percent to 4.65 million homes as compared to 4.26 million homes sold during 2011. This marks the highest number of home resales sold in 5 years — a time which predates the recession of last decade.

In addition, the median price of a homes resale read $180,800 in December, which is a 11.5 percent increase as compared to December 2011, and the tenth consecutive month of year-over-year median price growth.

Not since November 2005 has the median home resale price climbed this quickly

Furthermore, the supply of existing homes fell to 4.4 months in December, down 0.4 months from November. At the current pace of sales, the national home resale inventory will be sold by June. This is an important statistic because home supply of less than 6.0-months is thought to represent a “seller’s market”.

There are also just 1.82 million existing homes for sale nationwide — the fewest since January 2001, and a 22 percent reduction from one year ago. With buyer demand high and home inventory down, home prices are likely to rise in Boston are and nationwide throughout 2013.  

 

Six Reasons Housing Inventory Keeps Declining


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

 

A post I want to share with you….

By Nick Timiraos

 
The number of homes for sale fell to 1.82 million at the end of 2012, an 8.5% drop from November.

Home sales in December dropped by 1% from November, the National Association of Realtors reported on Tuesday, but still stood nearly 13% above the levels of one year ago. That means home sales have risen from the year-ago month for 18 straight months.

For 2012 as a whole, sales were up 9% to 4.65 million units, the highest annual total since 2007.

Prices, meanwhile, are picking up because the number of homes for sale continues to drop despite the sales volume gains. The number of homes for sale fell to 1.82 million at the end of 2012, an 8.5% drop from November and a 21.6% decline from one year earlier, the Realtors’ group said on Tuesday.

Here’s a breakdown of why inventory has continued to drop this year:

Many homeowners are underwater: More than 10 million homeowners owe more on their mortgage than their homes are worth, according to CoreLogic Inc. CLGX -1.45% That pencils out to around 22% of homeowners with a mortgage, or 15% of all homeowners (since not every homeowner has a mortgage). Underwater owners aren’t likely to sell unless they need to move due to changing life (marriage, divorce) or financial circumstances, and they’ll take a hit on their credit for pursuing a short sale, where the bank allows the home to sell for less than the amount owed.Data from CoreLogic show that inventory has been the most constrained in housing markets where there’s the largest concentration of underwater borrowers.

Others don’t have enough equity to “trade up”: Another 10 million homeowners have less than 20% equity in their current residence, meaning they can’t easily “trade up” to their next house. Traditionally, homeowners have relied on home equity to make the down payment on their next home, and to pay their real-estate agent to sell their current home and buy their next one. These “under-equitied” homeowners—meaning they don’t have enough equity to make a move to a more expensive home—have added to the drag on inventory.

Everyone wants to buy at the bottom, but few want to sell: Even those people who do have plenty of home equity are likely reluctant to sell if they think prices will be higher tomorrow. Would you sell your largest asset today if you thought it might be worth 5% more next year? This helps explain why markets such as Denver and Dallas, which didn’t have huge housing bubbles and thus had smaller shares of underwater borrowers, have also seen double-digit inventory declines.

More purchases from investors of all stripes: From the big institutional investors that have been grabbing all the headlines, to the mom-and-pop landlords that have traditionally played a much larger role renting out homes, investors have increasingly bought homes that can be rented out rather than flipped and resold for quick profits. This is further keeping inventory off the market in two ways: homes that are bought at courthouse foreclosure auctions never show up on multiple-listing services when they’re initially sold. They’re also held out of the for-sale pool because they’re being rented out.

Banks have been slower at foreclosing: Banks and other companies that process delinquent mortgages have had trouble proving that they’ve followed state law in taking title to homes ever since the “robo-signing” scandal surfaced in late 2010, and they’ve also had to meet a host of new state and federal rules governing loan modificationsand foreclosures from settlements spawned by the robo-scandal. Banks have also become better about approving short sales and loan modifications, which has curbed the flow of foreclosed properties onto the market.

Builders have been putting up fewer homes: Housing starts were severely depressed from 2009 through 2011 and have only recently rebounded off of those low levels. Consequently, there’s been much less new home inventory being added to the market at a time when demand (boosted by increases in household formation) is picking up. If more homes are held off the market—for any of the five reasons above—you can bet that builders will move in to fill the void.

Many of these factors that have been dragging down inventory aren’t signs of “normal” or “healthy” housing markets—but then, we probably haven’t had a normal market for around a decade now. If anything, declining inventory shows that normal supply-and-demand dynamics are returning, which is an important step towards putting a floor under home prices and giving markets time to get back to health.

 

Housing: Year End Reports Reveal Market Coming Back


Sotheby’s Newton, MA. Margaret Szerlip..Top Realtor, Newton, MA.  Newton MA.  real estate

Housing: Year End Reports Reveal Market Coming Back


H

Housing MarketEvery year-end housing report revealed that the real estate market is recovering quite nicely. Here is a quick synopsis of each:

Existing Home Sales Report

  • Total existing-home sales rose 5.9 percent in November over last month
  • Sales are 14.5 percent higher than November 2011
  • Sales are at the highest level since November 2009
  • The national median existing-home price was $180,600 in November, up 10.1 percent from November 2011
  • Total housing inventory at the end of November fell to a 4.8-month supply; it was 5.3 months in October, and is the lowest housing supply since September of 2005 when it was 4.6 months

Pending Sales Report

  • Pending home sales increased in November for the third straight month and reached the highest level in two-and-a-half years
  • The index is at the highest level since April 2010 when buyers were rushing to beat the deadline for the home buyer tax credit
  • With the exception of several months affected by tax stimulus, the last time there was a higher reading was in February 2007
  • On a year-over-year basis, pending home sales have risen for 19 consecutive months

New Home Sales Report

  • Sales of new homes rose 4.4% in November to a two-and-a-half-year high
  • This is the highest level since April 2010, when a temporary tax credit boosted demand.
  • Sales are now 15.3% higher compared to one year ago

Case Shiller Home Price Index

  • Home prices rose 4.3% in the 12 months ending in October
  • In nineteen of the 20 cities covered, annual returns in October were higher than September

Harmful Effects from Changing the Listing Price?


Sotheby’s Real Estate, Newton, MA

 

Harmful Effects from Changing the Listing Price?

A great article I want to share…

 

 

  • With the housing market showing signs of a recovery, sellers may think they can list their homes at a higher price and adjust if necessary. That may not be a good strategy. This is a post we ran last year by Ken H. Johnson, Ph.D. — FloridaInternational University (FIU) and Editor of the Journal of Housing Research. To view other research from FIU, visit http://realestate.fiu.edu/– The KCM Crew

The Research

Are there any negative effects from changing the listing price of a property?  This question haunts Brokers/Agents as well as sellers of property every day.  At present, there does not seem to be a consensus answer to this question within the professional real estate community.  Fortunately, this question was scientifically investigated by John R. Knight. Unfortunately, few know the results of Professor Knight’s research.

In Knight, the impact of changing a property’s listing price is investigated.  Additionally, the types of property that are most likely to experience a price change are also estimated.  The findings from this research indicate that, on average, properties which experience a listing price change take longer to sell and suffer a price discount greater than similar properties.  Furthermore, bigger price changes are found to experience even longer marketing times and greater price discounts.  Finally, as for which properties are most likely to experience a price change, Knight finds that the greater the initial markup; the higher the likelihood that any given property will experience a listing price change.

Implications for Practice

Sellers as well as Brokers/Agents should therefore be aware of the critical necessity of getting the price correct from the start.  Sellers wanting to over list will ultimately take longer to sell and will sell their property for less, on average, according to Knight.  Brokers/Agents’ desire to take a listing and get the price right later will ultimately lead to their working harder according to Knight, and they are not doing their sellers any favors.  Thus, an initial and detailed analysis of the proper price is much more critical than many originally thought.

Interestingly, I have found in my own research that the direction (up or down) of the listing price change does not matter.  A listing price increase and decrease both lead to similar results found in Knight’s work – longer marketing times and lower prices.  Therefore, get the price right from the beginning.  It is best for all.

House and Condo Sales by Region


Newton Realtor, newtonmasshomesforsale.com

Please take note of the charts below.  Boston area is seeing a 3.8% price increase from October 2011.  Important to remember that Boston home prices fell on average 10% versus California and Florida where prices dropped 40%.

Posted: 30 Nov 2012 04:00 AM PST

Why Are the Letters ‘CFPB’ and ‘QRM’ So Important?


 

Newton, MA.  realtor….West Newton Hill, Realtor

 


I
‘d like to pass this on….

As professionals in the housing market, we must be able to give expert advice to our clients in order to guarantee that they make the best decisions for themselves and their families.

When talking to potential purchasers, we must be able to intelligently discuss the changes that will be taking place in 2013 because of CFPB and QRM. These changes will have a major impact on the mortgage process and a buyer’s ability to finance their purchase of a home.

Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB)

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 created the CFPB. Its purpose is explained on their website:

“The central mission of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is to make markets for consumer financial products and services work for Americans — whether they are applying for a mortgage, choosing among credit cards, or using any number of other consumer financial products.”

The site goes on to explain:

Like a neighborhood cop on the beat, the CFPB supervises banks, credit unions, and other financial companies, and we will enforce Federal consumer financial laws.”

In 2013, the CFPB will put its stamp on the mortgage industry in the United States. We should keep ourselves aware of the changes that will be coming and their impact on the home purchase experience. One of these changes will be QRM.

Qualified Residential Mortgage (QRM)

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and other federal agencies are currently developing guidelines for loans that will have a statistically lower risk of default, based on the underwriting guidelines and product features built into the loan. A loans meeting these new guidelines will be a qualified residential mortgage.

What impact will this have on the mortgage market?

According to the Qualified Residential Mortgage Resource Center:

 “The bottom line is that borrowers who fail to meet the basic criteria for a qualified residential mortgage will have a harder time finding a loan, when compared to borrowers who do meet those criteria. They might end up paying a higher interest rate, as well…Financial analysts from J.P. Morgan Securities have estimated that borrowers might pay up to three percentage points more for loans that are subject to risk-retention (i.e., loans that don’t meet the definition of a qualified residential mortgage).”