Supply and demand

We Need Your House!!

  We Need Your House!!!  This is a Supply and Demand Business and there is no supply!

Sotheby’s Newton, MA.  Top Realtors, Supply and Demand

April 21, 2015EST Newton, MA.

We Need You(r House)!! | Keeping Current Matters

Though the real estate market has improved, we still have one item holding it back from a full recovery – a robust supply of homes for sale. Demand has increased dramatically. At the same time, housing inventory is decreasing especially at the lower price points. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently revealed that there is apent-up seller demand caused by the uncertainty created by the housing crisis of the last decade.

What does that mean to you?

Houses listed today sell quickly. With prices still below peak values of 2007 in many parts of the country and mortgage interest rates at historic lows, this may be the perfect time for your family to make the move to the dream house you always wanted – whether that’s a larger home or that vacation/retirement home you have been looking at.

What does that mean to the economy?

Housing has always been an essential part of the U.S. economy. As we have reported before, real estate not only provides housing for families. It is often the greatest source of wealth and savings for many. The recent increase in real estate sales has led to an increase in real estate prices. This has increased the value of everyone’s’ home, whether they are selling or not. This leads to an increase in consumer confidence which in turn leads to an increase in consumer spending. Plus, each home sale automatically puts money into the economy. NAR compiled data from research conducted by the Bureau of Economic Analysis & Macroeconomic Advisors on the economic impact of a home purchase. After reviewing the data, they concluded that the total economic impact of a typical home sale in the United States is an astonishing $52,205. The more homes that sell, the better the economy.

Bottom Line

In order for the U.S. economy to get better, we need to sell more homes. Perhaps, it makes sense for one of those homes to be yours. If you have considered selling but are still a little nervous, now might be the time to sit down with a real estate professional familiar with your market and see what your options truly are.

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

How the Ultra Rich Live

How the Ultra Rich Live

Newton, MA.  11:30 AM EST


Did you know…79% of the world’s ultra-high net worth individuals own two or more properties and just over half of them own three or more residences? Explore more like this in our report with Wealth-X:

'Did you know…79% of the world’s ultra-high net worth individuals own two or more properties and just over half of them own three or more residences? Explore more like this in our report with Wealth-X:'

Sotheby’s Significant Sales

Just a little something to make you smile.


Sotheby’s Significant Sales

Newton Bi-Monthly Real Estate Recap WE NEED INVENTORY

Newton Bi-Monthly Real Estate Recap WE NEED INVENTORY

Newton, MA.  11:00 AM EST

I am sure many of you are annoyed, irritable, cold and so are real estate brokers.  I am also sure MANY of you are coping with ice dams the likes you have never seen before.  I hope you’re tired of shoveling your walks, driveways and now your roof and you’re ready to sell because we need inventory!  In what is normally our busiest time of the year the market has stalled, not because of a lack of buyers but a lack of homes for sale.  Houses are going under agreement every day.

Currently there are only 65 houses for sale, down from 77 just 1 month ago!  44 homes have gone under agreement in the past 2 weeks across all price ranges!  Buyers ARE out there.  The hottest segment of the market is the 1 million to 1.5 million range with 11 going under agreement in the last 2 weeks.

Don’t wait any longer….call me to buy or sell.  I expect many homes to come on the market as soon as the snow clears — don’t wait.  This is a supply and demand business and there is activity.

On-Market Snapshot
Report Run: 2/23/2015
Property Type(s): SF
Snapshot Date: 1/23/2015
Towns: Newton
 1/23/2015  2/23/2015
Price Range Number of
Avg. Days
on Market
vs. today 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 15
$500,000 – $599,999 2 132 2 163
$600,000 – $699,999 4 47 1 119
$700,000 – $799,999 2 148 3 96
$800,000 – $899,999 3 105 2 85
$900,000 – $999,999 2 79 2 109
$1,000,000 – $1,499,999 15 102 12 96
$1,500,000 – $1,999,999 17 153 12 178
$2,000,000 – $2,499,999 13 201 14 215
$2,500,000 – $2,999,999 8 139 6 178
$3,000,000 – $3,999,999 8 192 9 230
$4,000,000 – $4,999,999 2 61 2 92
$5,000,000 – $9,999,999
Over $10,000,000
Total Properties 77 Avg. 140 65 Avg. 165
Lowest Price: $499,000
Median Price: $1,750,000
Highest Price: $4,300,000
Average Price: $1,968,851
Total Market Volume: $151,601,585
Lowest Price: $599,000
Median Price: $1,949,000
Highest Price: $4,300,000
Average Price: $2,084,102
Total Market Volume: $135,466,687


Pending Statistics
Report Run: 2/23/2015
Property Type(s): SF
Start Date: 02/09/2015
End Date: 02/23/2015
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
$450,000 – $499,999
$500,000 – $599,999
$600,000 – $699,999 1 1
$700,000 – $799,999 2 1 1
$800,000 – $899,999
$900,000 – $999,999 1 1
$1,000,000 – $1,499,999 10 8 2
$1,500,000 – $1,999,999
$2,000,000 – $2,499,999
$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 16 10 4 1 1
Lowest Price: $675,000 Median Price: $1,249,000
Highest Price: $3,295,000 Average Price: $1,363,112
Total Market Volume: $21,809,800


Total Sold Market Statistics
Report Run: 2/23/2015 11:11:23 AM
Property Type(s): SF
Status: SLD
Start Date: 02/09/2015
End Date: 02/23/2015
Towns: Newton
Price Range # of
Avg. Days
on Market
Avg. Days
to Offer
Sale Price
List Price
Orig Price
$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 0 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$600,000 – $699,999 1 20 1 $671,000 $630,000 107 $630,000 107
$700,000 – $799,999 2 109 78 $745,500 $749,450 99 $749,450 99
$800,000 – $899,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$900,000 – $999,999 1 9 9 $966,500 $950,000 102 $950,000 102
$1,000,000 – $1,499,999 2 129 107 $1,325,000 $1,372,000 97 $1,395,000 95
$1,500,000 – $1,999,999 1 1 1 $1,537,500 $1,650,000 93 $1,650,000 93
$2,000,000 – $2,499,999 2 115 100 $2,225,000 $2,383,000 93 $1,235,250 43064
$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 9 Avg. 82 Avg. 64 $1,307,333 $1,359,878 98 $1,109,933 9646
Lowest Price: $671,000 Median Price: $1,200,000
Highest Price: $2,300,000 Average Price: $1,307,333
Total Market Volume: $11,766,000

The Difference Between a Home’s Cost and Price

The Difference Between A Home’s Cost vs. Price


Newton, MA.  12:00PM EST


PThe Difference Between A Home’s Cost vs. Price | Keeping Current Matters

As a seller, you will be most concerned about ‘short term price’ – where home values are headed over the next six months. As either a first time or repeat buyer, you must not be concerned only about price but also about the ‘long term cost’ of the home.

Let’s explain.

There are many factors that influence the ‘cost’ of a home. Two of the major ones are the home’s appreciation over time, and the interest rate at which a buyer can borrow the funds necessary to purchase their home. The rate at which these two factors can change is often referred to as“The Cost of Waiting”.

What will happen in 2015?

A nationwide panel of over one hundred economists, real estate experts and investment & market strategists project that home values will appreciate by almost 4% by the end of 2015. Additionally, Freddie Mac’s most recent Economic Commentary & Projections Table predicts that the 30-year fixed mortgage rate will appreciate to 4.5% by the end of 2015.

What Does This Mean to a Buyer?

Here is a simple demonstration of what impact these projected changes would have on the mortgage payment of a home selling for approximately $250,000 today: Cost of Waiting | Keeping Current Matters


Merry Christmas

Newton, MA.  December 24, 2014


Best Wishes for a very Merry Christmas.  May your presence mean more than your presents in you loved one’s lives.

xoxo Margaret

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


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 >

Put Your Money in Real Estate

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