Newton Home Prices Have Appreciated 8.4% vs. a Gain of 6.9% Nationally.

Newton, MA. Newton Top Broker, Compass, Sotheby’s

Newton Home Prices Have Appreciated 8.4% in 2018.

Home Prices Have Appreciated 6.9% in 2018 | MyKCM

Between 1987 and 1999, which is often referred to as the ‘Pre-Bubble Period,’ home prices grew at an average of 3.6% according to the Home Price Expectation Survey.

Every month, the economists at CoreLogic release the results of their Home Price Insights Report, which includes the actual year-over-year change in prices across the country and their predictions for the following year.

The chart below shows the forecasted year-over-year prices for 2018 (predictions made in 2017). According to their predictions, the average appreciation over the course of 2018 should be 4.8%, which is still greater than the ‘normal’ appreciation of 3.6%.

Home Prices Have Appreciated 6.9% in 2018 | MyKCM

If we layer in the actual price appreciation that has occurred this year, we can see that over the course of 2018, home prices have appreciated by an average of 6.9% and have outpaced projections all year!

Home Prices Have Appreciated 6.9% in 2018 | MyKCM

What does this mean?

The tale of today’s real estate market is one of low inventory, high demand, and rising prices. The forces at work can be simply explained with the theory of supply and demand. That being said, if a large supply of inventory were to come to the market, prices may start to appreciate closer to the forecasted rate which would STILL be greater than the historic norm!

Bottom Line

If you are a homeowner whose house no longer meets your needs, now may be a great time to list your home and capitalize on the equity you have gained over the last year to make a significant down payment on your next home!

How Do I Know My Home is Priced Right??

Newton, MA. Real Estate, Margaret Szerlip,


 How Do You Know Your Home is Priced Right?

WOW—you love your home, you have enjoyed it for years. Your family grew up in it! You can’t wait to sell it to someone and you just know it will have a high value because that’s what it means to you.

…or not necessarily RIGHT…..
Here’s the upfront truth:

When you put your home on the market, it becomes a property, a commodity, the value of which will be determined by a buyer who wants it and can afford to buy it. Your beautiful 21 x 14 dining room with a fireplace and beautiful windows, where so many happy family memories were shared is now simply a 21 x 14 room and potential buyers are looking at it and wondering if their own furniture will fit, not thinking or caring about your happy memories.

You have lived with the 1980’s bathrooms just fine, thank you. They worked for you. Everything is in working order and it was good enough for your family all these years. A potential buyer, looking at the outdated bathrooms, is adding up the expense of tearing them out and remodeling. Then they mentally deduct this perceived cost from the price you are asking, unless you have calculated condition into your list price.  Your Realtor must be able to prove this.

Price per square foot has become ever more important.  If your Realtor cannot do this calculation for you, get a new one!  Different neighborhoods in the same town sell at an intrinsic value.  Busy streets sell for less, large level lots sell for a higher price.  Condition plays an important role.  Well done new construction, by reputable builders tend to sell at the highest price per square foot, opposed to a fixer upper.  Curb appeal, street desirability, perceived perception of the elementary school, snob appeal are all factors.  Old rules still apply, you never want to buy the most expensive house on the street, UNLESS the neighborhood is turning and all those little capes will be made into tasteful non-mcmansions.  Little jewel houses all sell for a high price per square foot.  Unique can work for and against you, unique as in a renovated barn is good, a modern structure built into the landscape-good.  A Georgian Colonial on the outside and a 1950’s retro on the inside-not so good.

So you get your house on the market and here comes the litmus test…IF you have showings but no return showings and no offers, and if  the number of showings starts to decline, THEN…. YOU ARE PRICED TOO HIGH. It is simple as that. The market is rejecting your house at the current price, not only that, your overpriced home is making the competition look good.  You are in fact helping to sell your neighbor’s home.

It would be helpful to you as a seller to walk through your own house as if you were a buyer.  Most of my sellers are also buying another property.  When they walk through a new property they don’t want to renovate the kitchen and the bath, sometimes they find it easier to move than renovate.  The truth is, I spend a lot of time convincing my clients that buyers don’t want to renovate the kitchen  in their house either.  Houses that are fully renovated sell at a premium.  Let me add that houses that are cheaply renovated with shoddy work are mentally discarded immediately.  One of the biggest turnoff’s is looking at a hastily repaired house.  Buyers get the feeling that the seller is trying to pull one over on them, and many times they are correct.

How to Recognize a House with Good Bones

Newton, MA.  Realtor

Please take the time to read this article that Paul Morse from Morse Construction shared with me….an excellent read!


How to Recognize a House with Good Bones
By Paul Morse
Owner, Morse Constructions Inc.

In a buyer’s market, it is particularly difficult to sell a home when its charm is disguised by outdated décor or some ill-considered updates. If you have a house that just hasn’t shown well, it may be because buyers have trouble recognizing the home’s potential. All they see is the less-than-ideal  surface without considering the strength of what lies beneath.
How can real estate agents recognize a house with “good bones” and help clients envision the possibilities of these hidden gems? When I tour properties with clients who are considering buying and remodeling a new home, we look for the following:
Quality construction – A house with good bones is well-built.  I “walk” a building looking for fundamental structural problems. How does it feel? Does it bounce or list, or does it “feel” solid? I look for cracks above doorways or in stairways.  Are things tight? When I go to the basement, I look along the bottoms of the floor joists. Do they seem to be in a flat plane or do they sag in the middle of their span? Are the joists notched into the sill or resting on their full depth? Can you see cracks between the ends and the sill or are they still tight? When looking down along the foundation wall, does it look plumb or is it listing outward? When outside the building and stepping back looking at it, do the walls have bows or are they straight? Does the house lean to one side or the other? Does the roof of the front porch sag? Are there sways to the roof or is it in one plane?
Solid infrastructure – It’s relatively simple to replace aging roofing shingles or update plumbing fixtures, but it is far more complicated if the basic infrastructure of the home is lacking. If the foundation, roof, heating, plumbing and electrical systems are in good shape, renovations become much easier.
Good floor plan – Is there good flow between frequently used rooms? Are rooms arranged logically?  Look at how traffic travels through the house as a whole. You can renovate to make particular rooms more livable, but it is far more costly and complex to make fundamental changes because the entire home’s floor plan just does not work.
If you are trying to sell a home with a floor plan that feels awkward, try to envision the space with walls moved or taken down entirely. I recently worked on a center entrance colonial in which the small dining room and kitchen made the entire first floor feel disjointed and tiny. By removing the walls between the dining room and kitchen, and the dining room and hallway, we created a sense of spaciousness without changing the footprint of the house. You may be able to get clients excited about a hard-to-sell home by helping them envision the house’s potential with a few, relatively straightforward changes.
Well-proportioned rooms – Are the home’s rooms a useful size and shape, or can they be easily changed? Many older homes have small rooms that are unsuited to modern lifestyles. It is often possible, however, to move walls and open up spaces relatively easily. Removing walls, adding a beam and creating an open a floor plan can make a separate kitchen, dining room and living room a great entertainment area or family space. On the other hand, sometimes there are fundamental problems that are not easy to correct. When I recently toured a newly renovated condo, I was surprised that I had to duck at the last step when entering the third floor master suite. The walls sloped so steeply that the “walk in closet” had almost no useable space. The room’s underlying structure was so limiting that it would have been very expensive to create space that worked well for the homeowners.
Character — Look for unique architectural details that set the home apart. Today’s homeowners are moving away from the cookie-cutter feeling of McMansions in favor of spaces that feel handcrafted and authentic. Look for special architectural touches that may currently be hidden, but could serve as a focal point with a little attention.  In one Cambridge home, we took a steep attic stairway and added a skylight and delightful handrailing to create an eye-catching, artistic feature that doubled as a  welcoming entrance to a nanny’s bedroom and owner’s office.
Natural light – A sunny, airy home feels more spacious and inviting, but don’t automatically give up on a house because it is dark. Help your client consider small changes that could bring in more light. We’ve added skylights, transom windows and even cut openings in wall and floors to help light spread throughout a home.
When our Realtor friends are having trouble selling a particular home, we suggest walking through the property without clients and studying the features and traffic flow. Analyze whether the home is a treasure with good bones that are being overlooked, or just a tough sell. If the bones are good and the price is right, a well-timed suggestion about ways to renovate the home or highlight architectural features may be just what is needed to spark renewed interest from your client.

Paul Morse is owner of Morse Constructions Inc., a Boston-area design/build firm that has been crafting distinctive home renovations and additions for more than 35 years. 617.666.4460