Jennifer Meuse

Record Comeback in Real Estate Sales - Massachusetts Real Estate

"The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI),*, a forward-looking indicator of home sales based on contract signings, rose 44.3% to 99.6 in May, chronicling the highest month-over-month gain in the index since NAR started this series in January 2001. " Read the full article from the National Association of Realtors®

It's been an incredibly busy May/June! Our team of Windhill advisors is available for your real estate needs 978-356-8922. 


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Peabody, MA Real Estate - Peabody, MA Homes for Sale

Home Prices Should Remain Stable

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of REALTORS® and respected real estate trend commentator to 1.4 million REALTORS® realizes the inevitable economic damage of Covid-19, reports that home prices should remain stable and that our resiliency will pull us through. On the ground, here on the north shore of Boston, we concur. #Resilience has been our mantra throughout the pandemic. The market is seeing pent up demand and low inventory resulting in multiple offers and bidding wars on properties that are priced in the 'sweet spot' with guidance from experienced REALTORS®.


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Not our Normal Spring Real Estate Market - A New Way in Real Estate

Answers. It's what we all want. But nobody has them, and anyone claiming they do, well, I recommend a fact check. None of us here at Windhil have that elusive crystal ball and no, we can't make you any promises about the future. But what I can tell you is that here in the northeast, north of Boston, on the northshore in particular, what we are seeing right now is serious pent-up demand for inventory and every listing we take has a long line of ready, willing and able buyers. These homes, if priced properly, are going under contract with multiple offers, sometimes over asking and because our network of professionals including lenders, inspectors, attorneys, etc. are now well-versed in the new way of doing business, the closings are happening efficiently and on time. The closings might be curbside but the smiles are still there.

Predictions point to a delay in inventory that will inevitably explode so if you're thinking of selling but the path is unclear, ask for help, get some sound advice, educate yourself about the new process. Lack of inventory is to your advantage, while it lasts. 

The Massachusetts Real Estate Market is Down But Not Out! Great article thank you to WGBH.


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Never Mind the Baby Boom, Are We Ready for Pet Boom?

Pet ownership is on the rise amid the corona virus


I, myself, sent an email to my local shelter, asking if they were considering foster parents for pets during the pandemic, in the hopes that we would fall in love with our new companion. Boston Agent Magazine also noticed the reality of our need for comfort and how it plays out during a pandemic with this article that doesn't surprise me at all... Pet Ownership is Growing Amid the Corona Virus Lockdown


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Key Questions for Buying or Selling a Home During the Pandemic

Forbes published an informative perspective that echoes what we are experiencing here in our neighborhoods, north of Boston. 

"It's important to remember that people have to buy and sell homes in any market." An accurate statement and why I believe the real estate industry was deemed essential in Massachusetts. Our experience thus far has been that there are a multitude of buyers out there, still needing and wanting to buy. Buyers who are willing to abide by stringent showing instructions necessitated by Covid-19 represent a new level of seriousness, eliminating the "lookey-loos" and tire kickers.

Forbes makes a good point, "working with a strong real estate agent is even more vital now than ever before". Why? Because, of course many sellers who have taken their homes off the market for various personal reasons due to the pandemic but that does not mean they don't want/need to sell. It more likely means that they do not want showings right now. A professional Realtor embedded in their community is a key part of that equation, more so now than ever. Forbes' Key Questions for Buyer or Selling a Home During the Pandemic offers some valuable insight and guidance for those of us who need it.

We've been here for you since we opened our doors 15 years ago and we are still here, for you. 



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My House Failed Title V. What Are My Options?

Here in Ipswich, MA as well as across the north shore, we have a high number of septic systems and Title V is commonly part of most real estate transactions. We make it a priority to be well-informed and current on all changes by having regular sessions with our board of health director and constant information sharing. There are many nuances to managing a transaction with a septic system and I highly recommend you hire an agent who truly understands Title V. Thank you to the Massachusetts Association of Realtors for sharing these important facts: 

Q. I am selling a home that has a failed Title 5 inspection. What are my seller’s options?

A. Aside from very limited circumstances, a property must have a passing Title 5 inspection within 2 years before a transfer takes place. An inspection is not required before a transfer in the following situations:

1.     Refinancing or any situation where no new parties are introduced;

2.     a transfer between spouses;

3.     a transfer between parents and child(ren);

4.     a transfer between full siblings; and

5.     where the property is held in a trust.

A property owner or buyer of a property with a failed inspection may also enter into an enforceable agreement with the Board of Health requiring them to upgrade the system or connect to the public sewer within 2 years following the transfer of title. If a property owner has entered into this type of agreement, they must disclose it to prospective buyers, and it must be binding on subsequent owners.

The most straightforward option available to sellers with a failed Title 5 inspection is to repair or replace the system prior to transfer. However, this may not be a viable option for all sellers because of the expense involved. In these situations, the seller and buyer may negotiate a resolution that satisfies both the requirements of the law as well as the financial well-being of all parties involved.

Mass Housing Down Payment Assistance for Gateway Cities

Have you heard the term "Gateway City" yet? Massachusetts has a relatively short list of cities that have been designated as such. Why is that important? In terms of first-time buyers working hard to break into this tight real estate market, it means they have two new options for down payment assistance. (Mass housing says you do not have to be a first-time buyer if you are purchasing in Boston, Chelsea, Cambridge, Everett, Fall River, Lawrence, Lynn, North Adams and Somerville.)

Option 1: Qualified buyers who earn up to 100% of the area media income (or 135% of AMI in Boston or a Gateway City*) can get down payment assistance of up to 5% of the purchase price or $15,000, whichever is less. Eligible properties are single families, condos and 2, 3 and 4 family homes. Down payment assistance comes in the form of a second mortgage loan with a 2% interest rate and a 15 year term. 

Option 2: Qualified buyers who earn up to 80% of the area median income and who buy in Boston or a Gateway City* can get down payment assistance of up to 3% of the purchase price or $15,000, whichever is less. Eligible properties are single families and condos. Down payment assistance comes in the form of a second mortgage loan with a 1% interest rate and a 15 year term. 

I know what your next question is.."Where are the gateway cities in Massachusetts?" *PEABODY, SALEM, LYNN, HAVERHILL, REVERE, Attleboro, Barnstable, Brockton, Chelsea, Chicopee, Everett, Fall River, Fitchburg, Holyoke, Lawrence, Leominster, Lowell, Malden, Methuen, New Bedford, Pittsfield, Quincy, Springfield, Taunton, Westfield, Worcester.

For more information give us a call at 978-356-8922 and work with one of our north shore real estate specialists in combination with an experienced lender

Boston's Mayor Supports Fee on Real Estate Sales

Mayor Marty Walsh said Monday that after months of working with the City Council, he signed a home rule petition that would give Boston the ability to implement a transfer fee of up to two percent on the purchase price of any private real estate sale over $2 million. Read the US News Report here.

If approved, the cost of the fee would be split between the purchaser and seller. The funding generated would go to the Neighborhood Housing Trust Fund or would be appropriated through the annual budget process to support the creation and preservation of affordable housing in the city.

Currently Sellers pay for a mandatory real estate tax stamps at the rate of $4.56 per thousand for all Massachusetts sales with a few counties charging more.

My estimations show that in 2019 with 80,000+ sales in MA this year (not including auction or non-mls) with a volume of $41,581,812,351…Wouldn’t that be $189 million paid in tax stamps in 2019? Where does that money go?

Windhill Warriors Bowling for a Cause!

Team Windhill bowling for a great cause at Kings in Lynnfield. Our six strong bowlers Kathy Hughes, Tracey Berger, Aalin Hubbard, Nicole DiCarlo, Tim Lasquade and Shawn Cayer got a boost from Aalin with her strike streak and the entire Windhill Warrior team made the most noise at this sold-out evening! Sarah Winderlin, Andrea Della Valle, Jane Desrochers and Denise Mootafian heated up the 4-way Pac-Man table, Toni Riddle and Shawn Cayer ruled basketball, golf pro Jess Murphy impressed the guys, pinball wizard Tracey Berger broke the machine and foosball hockey champion Toni Riddle left Jenn Meuse and Betty Slatko in the dust! Making great memories with these amazing people.