Blog :: 01-2015

Just Say "No"!

creditscoreWell, "No thank you." might be a little nicer.

Friday night I was at Pier One buying a small table and the clerk did her best to convince me to open a Pier One credit card so I could save 10% on my purchase. THIS DRIVES ME CRAZY! It took every ounce of my self control to not lean into her about how her "generous" offer threatens the unknowing consumer's credit score, not to mention it could even jeopardize a pending closing on a recent home purchase or refinance!  Here's how it goes...and this is REAL folks.

Buyer is in the process of buying a house. The purchase and sale agreement has been executed, the first and second deposit checks are escrowed and the financing has been approved. In other words, the closing is scheduled and the deal is just about complete. Moving day is right around the corner. Somewhere between the time the ink dries on the contract and the scheduled closing date, the buyer decides to purchase a new car (or appliances or furniture). The buyer has no idea that the bank will run another credit inquiry close to the closing date to confirm that the buyer can STILL afford the loan and hadn't assumed any NEW debt. Well I'm sure you can imagine what they find in this scenario. The newly acquired car payment changed the ratios and the buyer no longer qualified for the home loan. The deposit/down-payment is LOST, the buyer doesn't get the house and the new car is nowhere near big enough for their family to live in. This entire scenario could have been avoided had the buyer simply waited until AFTER the closing to buy the car.

Buying a small table at Pier One isn't going to throw off your affordability ratios but it's very true that frequently opening small accounts like store credit cards WILL have a negative effect on your credit score. Don't take my word for it. Click here for Forbes' lessons to improve your credit score. And while we're at it here's a list of 10 Things You Shouldn't do Before Buying a Home.

Having constant face-time with our very diverse group of preferred lenders has its advantages. It's like having our own lending education department right here in our office. We are always on the cutting edge of what's happening in the lending world and that allows us to educate our clients on the most current trends, programs and of course, rates. More importantly, it helps us to be proactive and protect our clients from potential complications during the loan process. We pride ourselves on continuously educating ourselves and building relationships with like-minded professionals. We strive to provide you with the proper tools and education in the beginning so there are no surprises. View our preferred lenders here.

Prequalified vs. Preapproved - What's the Difference?


Prequalification is a lender's estimate of how much you could be eligible to borrow based on information you supply. Prequalification does not mean you will get the loan. Prequalifications are usually free.

Preapproval usually means that the lender is ready to give you a mortgage loan based on the information and documentation you provided at the time you requested a preapproval. The preapproval will say how long it is valid for and may contain some other conditions for you to get the loan. Your lender may not require that you pay any fees except the cost of a credit report at this time.

There's a major difference between the two. We are only 3 weeks into 2015 and already we are experiencing multiple bids on properties. Inventory is still VERY tight. Reports at our staff meeting last Tuesday confirmed a wave of inventory coming soon and we discussed one recent listing that had 10 offers! The discussion opened up about multiple offers, advising your seller best in this scenario and then the topic of approvals at offer presentation. A perfect example of where a PREAPPROVAL may help the best-prepared buyer. Buyers, if you're out there shopping and you plan on actually making an offer, get PREAPPROVED. Have that in your back pocket. It could be the tool makes the difference in this tight-inventory market.

We have a team of preferred lenders who have proven themselves to be trusted experts who care about their clients and provide excellent, timely service. View our list of preferred lenders here. Contact all of them and find your perfect fit.

Best Schools in the Nation?


Thinking about where to put down roots? This top 10 list might come in handy. Categories like 'chance for success', school finances and k-12 achievement were considered. See the states with the best school systems here. 24/7 Wall Street used Education Week's Quality Counts 2015 Report to identify the best and worst. See the states with the worst schools here.

Housing Predictions for 2015


The good news is there are more reasons for optimism than worry. The bad news is that I keep reading about interest rates increasing by the end of 2015. True, it's all about perspective. Today's rates are at historic lows and even a single percent higher still keeps rates extremely, historically, low. But some buyers, who are maxed out affordability wise, will feel the pinch and possibly qualify for less of a loan amount. Read NPR's article on Housing in 2015 here. 




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New Year Resolutions If You're THINKING of Buying a Home

resolutionsNot in the market yet but thinking about it? Click here for some great tips to get you started. Learn the difference between a preQUALIFICATION and a preAPPROVAL, how to sharpen your credit score, best saving practices and what government/city finance programs might be available to you.  Our Property Advisors and Preferred Lenders offer complimentary consultation on all of these topics. Give us a try! 978-356-8922


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Giving Back in 2014

Every year we meet as a team and decide where to focus our holiday giving campaign. Ipswich Humane Group, Ipswich Food Pantry, Ipswich Caring and Grace Center in Gloucester got the full attention of Team Windhill this past holiday season and thanks to YOU, our VERY generous community, we feel it was another successful community effort to help local folks in need.

Like most, we feel extra generous around the holidays but can't forget the support we give throughout the year. We are so excited to realize, in putting together this post, that we more than doubled our support over last year's to some great causes. Here's our FAVORITE list of the year:

Grace Center/Ipswich Angels Ipswich Food Pantry Ipswich Caring Ipswich Humane Group - Tree Jubilee at Marini Farm - our tree donation won Most Creative! The Orchestra on the Hill Jayson Kmiec Golf Tournament IMADA - Ipswich Music, Art & Drama Association, Inc. Ipswich Firefighters Local 1913 YMCA of the North Shore Capital Campaign Pledge Ipswich Caring - Book Tree Vikings Hockey Boosters Taste of Ipswich IHS Class of 2015 Fashion Show Boston Children's Hospital Trust Walk to End Alzheimer's Ipswich Education Foundation Athletic Fund Ipswich Chiefs Baseball Ipswich Family YMCA Field of Dreams Classic HWMC Fast Chicks 5k to benefit Wellspring House Ipswich Lions Comedy Night YMCA for All Campaign Ipswich Youth Lacross YMCA Chase the Gorilla American Cancer Society Relay for Life Ipswich Tigers Youth Football League

We are so grateful to belong to a community that cares! Check out some community event photos from 2014!

foodpantry2014e foodpantry2014d foodpantry2014c  treejubilee2014 dorothy2 halloween20142brigid2chicksbanner2 gorilla4 



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Home Sales in Topsfield, MA - December 2014


Address #BR #BA List $ Sale $
Single Family
87 Haverhill Street  Topsfield, MA 4 2.5 $519,000 $500,000
84 Perkins Row  Topsfield, MA 3 2.5 $539,000 $508,000
2 Aaron Dr  Topsfield, MA 4 2.5 $645,000 $645,250
4 Coppermine Rd  Topsfield, MA 4 3.5 $945,000 $930,000
37 Main St 1 Topsfield, MA 1 1.0 $165,000 $149,000
281 Rowley Bridge Rd 16 Topsfield, MA 2 2.0 $409,000 $400,000
23 Fairway Drive 23 Topsfield, MA 2 2.5 $639,000 $612,000


This representation is based in whole or in part on data supplied by our MLS partners. These entities neither guarantee nor are responsible for data accuracy. Data maintained by MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.


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Home Sales in Rowley, MA - December, 2014


Address #BR #BA List $ Sale $
Single Family
896 Haverhill St  Rowley, MA 2 2.0 $329,000 $325,500
26 Long Hill Rd.  Rowley, MA 3 2.0 $334,900 $335,000
21 Hammond  Rowley, MA 4 2.0 $369,900 $361,500
35 Boxford  Rowley, MA 3 2.5 $525,000 $513,500
8 Longmeadow 33 Rowley, MA 1 1.0 $125,000 $119,500
24 Vincent Cir 24 Rowley, MA 2 2.5 $389,900 $400,000


This representation is based in whole or in part on data supplied by our MLS partners. These entities neither guarantee nor are responsible for data accuracy. Data maintained by MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.


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