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Best Sledding on the North Shore

Rumor has it, these are some of the best sledding spots on the North Shore!

Woodsom Farm - Amesbury

New England Sports Park - Amesbury

Ward Reservation - Andover

Lynch Park - Beverly

Beverly Golf and Tennis Club - Beverly

Endicott Park - Danvers

Stavros Reservation - Essex

Stage Fort Park - Gloucester

Bass Rocks Golf Club - Gloucester

Veasey Park - Groveland

Castle Hill on the Crane Estate - Ipswich

Cable Gardens Hill - Ipswich

Gannon Municipal Golf Course - Lynn

Essex County Club - Manchester

Seaside Park - Marblehead

Gatchell Playground - Marblehead

Ould Newbury Golf Club - Newbury

Maudslay State Park - Newburyport

Bartlet Mall - Newburyport

March's Hill - Newburyport

Brooksby Farm - Peabody

Evans Field - Rockport

Mack Park - Salem

Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary - South Hamilton

Jackson Park - Swampscott

Phillips Park - Swampscott

Wheatland Hill - Topsfield

Wenham Country Club - Wenham

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Home Ownership Matters

Team Windhill supports a number of efforts to maintain the integrity of the homeownership industry as a whole. Thank you Betty Slatko for leading the charge!

NSAR Immediate Past President, Betty Slatko presents a check from the Massachusetts REALTOR® Political Action Committee (RPAC) to Representative Brad Hill at a recent meeting in Ipswich, MA.

Rep. Hill has been a long-time supporter of REALTOR® and home ownership issues including recent issues such as Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief and Copper Pipe Theft Prevention.

Dead Low Home Inventory = Great Timing for Sellers!

Media reports of insanely low inventory ring true here on the North Shore, North of Boston. Buyers fighting over limited listings is a reality in some, not all, circumstances. Yes, buyers are aggressive but they are also educated and informed.

“Inventory reached a low this month that we haven’t seen since MAR began recording the data,” said 2016 MAR President Annie Blatz in a press release. “As long as we need more homes for sale, it will remain a good time to put your house or condo on the market." All of us here at Windhill agree. Get the full article here from Boston.com correspondent, Scott Van Voorhis.  Contemplating a change of address? Find a trusted REALTOR® professional who will work in your best interest.

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Buying Vs. Renting North of Boston

When does owning your home become cheaper than renting? There are plenty of pros and cons both ways but if we look at cost only, the gap continues to narrow, particuarly here in Boston, MA and North of Boston. Try this handy Rent Vs. Buy Calculator from Realtor.com to help you decide. Have questions about neighborhoods, schools, community services, home values, etc.? Speak with an experienced professional who knows the area! We do! 978-356-8922  

This is NOT News! Boutique Firms are Changing Real Estate.

1987 brings back fond memories of working along side some local real estate legends, some still breaking records, some no longer with us. Boutique firms are nothing new. It's how I started out all those years ago, working for a woman no less, who grew to be the leading company of her time & place. Fast forward 30 years and I find myself again, with the leading company of my time & place. The decades have been telling. I've experienced the giant corporations with their slick marketing materials, convention center expos and thousands of followers; they have a right to be here too. Then there's the independent guy (or gal) who takes a different approach, one of quality over quantity, one of substance over slick, one of personal relationships. The choice is all yours. And while I do appreciate Inman's article about independent brokerages sharing their secrets to success, I'm here to tell you, we've been doing it for decades, proudly so. 2016 was another banner year and Windhill managed to move more real estate in Ipswich than any other firm. More importantly, we built relationships every step of the way. We expect 2017 to be even busier. I still believe this is a relationship business. It's personal. Choose wisely.

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Don't Invite a Fire to Your House this Winter!

Did you know? Nearly a third of total-loss house fires happen in December, January & February? I had no idea. Thank you Realtor.com for the reminder! These things to watch out for seem obvious but worth the cursory glance. Read the list of dangerous things that can spark a house fire. I'm going home to make sure my outlet adaptors are not warm to the touch or overloaded. And if you have a live tree, make sure it's watered!

Mortgage Interest Rates on the Rise

There’s no doubt that “the era of ultra-low interest [mortgage] rates is over,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors®, in a statement. That's the quote that stopped me in my tracks.

I wish I could tell you that lower home prices will offset the rate increase but currently we are still experiencing low inventory and high demand, including multiple offer situations and many frustrated buyers. The article suggests that if you're planning on buying in 2017, act sooner than later; I agree. Get the full article on rising interest rates from realtor.com here

What's Your Real Estate Agent Doing Behind Your Back?

Great article from Realtor.com and it's not what you might think! Almost 30 years in this business, I've been asked the question many times: "What makes a great real estate agent?" My response would be, "What does 'great real estate agent' mean?" Makes the most money? Provides the best customer service? Accomplishes both of those goals with refined ethics?" 

Ideally, you would have a skill set that included not only a psychology degree but be as gifted as one of the most eminent psychologists of the 20th century, have legal experience equivalant to one of the most influential laywers in the world, possess the most powerful secrets of super negotiators, be in the top 500 for marketing & advertising, globally. And let us not forget patience; you would have to have the patience of Job.

Of course, I'm speaking dramatically and quite sarcastically, but seriously, none of the necessary skills required to be GREAT in this profession are magically granted upon passing the Massachusetts Real Estate Salesperson License Exam. NONE. Anyone can attend the required hours and pass the test; many, who do, never go on to be great. Furthermore, we all measure "success" in our own way. I'm a big proponent of ethics, maybe because I like to sleep at night. I can say the same for my team.

Take a peek at this list of what your real estate agent SHOULD be doing behind your back. This is just a snapshot of what you should expect, in the least, when hiring a real estate PROFESSIONAL. Ask about experience, not how long they've had their license, ask how many transactions they've completed in the last year, 2 years, 5 years, etc. Ask for testimonials. Speaking of testimonials, here's a long list of the kind of service you can expect from Windhill Realty. Do your research. Your REALTOR® is your professional partner in one of the most important and largest business transactions of your financial history. Not getting the answers you need to make your decision? Call me. I'm not in sales. My job is to help people and that includes you!