Blog :: 2021

Marriage or Mortgage - Which Would You Choose?

Have you seen Netflix's new show yet? "Marriage or Mortgage"? Being in the biz, we love the concept! No surprise that millennials lean towards putting off buying a home, which is especially understandable in the current market. The really interesting component of the show is for the guests who choose mortgage, the negotiating powers of an experienced real estate professional are on full display. The entire industry is cheering because for every seasoned full-time pro, there's someone out there with a newly acquired real estate license who just came on the scene. These are the moments that put us to the test! We thrive in these familiar waters! Going to bat for our clients is what we've been doing for years. It takes experience to work your way around 33 offers in bidding war, whether you are representing the buyer or the seller! It's a skill set that ends up being priceless for both buyers and sellers. In my 30+ years, this is the riskiest market for a FSBO (for-sale-by-owner) and for unrepresented buyers. Thank you NAR for pointing out Marriage or Mortgage and the critical role of real estate professionals!  And I quote, "Find yourself a good agent that you trust - a good negotiator, find an agent who has lots of experience." We agree! 

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"In a Sense, it has Elevated Real Estate Markets as a Centerpiece of Our Lives."

Thank you for the 'pandemic poetry' Elena Cox, in your well-written article for realtor.com! Our local real estate market has definitely been rocked by Covid-19, as you say, and your story rings true here on the northshore of Boston, MA. 

My favorite line: "Frenzied, take-no prisoners bidding wars might even quiet down into mere skirmishes." Our team of well-seasoned REALTOR professionals wholeheartedly hopes that will come to fruition, soon, really soon!

Despite the hardships these conditions have manifested, real estate, or what we call "HOME", has always been the centerpiece of our lives. We are proud to have been considered essential since the beginning of the pandemic; we are. 

Read Elena's full article here: How the U.S. Housing Market Was Rocked by COVID-19—and Where We Go From Here.

Casting Call for North Shore Farmhouse Owners - Ipswich MA

Must be within 45 minute drive of Ipswich!  Own a farmhouse on the North Shore of Boston that needs some major renovations? High Noon Entertainment wants you to get in touch.

The production company behind Fixer Upper is now casting New England farmhouse owners for a national show on a major cable network. The ideal candidate must live within a 45-minute drive of Ipswich and have an existing renovation budget of $150,000.

The team is looking for homes built before 1940, and in need of a large-scale renovation—ideally a renovation of four to five rooms. The family also must be willing to vacate the house for the duration of the build. And they’ll have to let the show’s design team take the reins!

Renovations will start this spring and summer, to be finished by early fall at the latest.

If you think you and your home are a good fit, head to newenglandcastingcall.castingcrane.com to apply. For more information, visit highnoontv.com.

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Median Vs. Average - in Real Estate

Median vs. Average

The median of a set of numbers is that number where half the numbers are lower and half the numbers are higher. In the case of real estate, that means that the median is the price where half the homes sold in any given area that month were cheaper, and half were more expensive than the median.

Here's an example. Take a look at these 11 fictional home prices:
 
  1. $100,000
  2. $101,000
  3. $102,000
  4. $103,000
  5. $104,000
  6. $105,000
  7. $106,000
  8. $107,000
  9. $650,000
  10. $1 million
  11. $3 million
The median price of these 11 houses is $105,000. That's arrived at because five houses were lower priced and five were higher priced.
The average price of these 11 houses is $498,000. That's what you get if you add up all those prices and divide by 11.
What a difference. When you are looking at recently sold prices of houses, make sure you know whether the numbers are averages or medians. Both numbers provide good information, but they have different implications. If the average price in a particular area is higher than the median for the same time period, that tells you that the area contains significantly higher-priced houses even though in that particular time frame, sales were strong in the lower range.

Best Number to Use for Real Estate

The median price in a particular neighborhood is generally regarded as the more useful of these two ways of looking at prices. That's because an average price can be significantly skewed by sales that are extremely high or extremely low.3

If you were looking at an area whose prices were reflected in the example above and you considered the average price, $498,000, you might decide it is out of your price range and look elsewhere. But that number is distorted because, while most of the houses sold in the low $100,000s, the two at the high end drastically changed the average. If you remove those two million-dollar sales, the average is $164,000, still higher than the median but much closer to it than the other number. That's the effect that extremely expensive (or extremely low-priced) house sales have on average prices for an area.
 
On the other hand, if you look at the median price, $105,000, you might think that area was very affordable, and it's a much more accurate reflection of the prices of most of the houses sold at that location in that time frame.
 

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The Most Desirable Home Feature of 2020-2021?

You may have guessed a bigger, more updated kitchen or a pool. I was a bit surprised myself. I knew a home office was our rising star due to the pandemic but I didn't think it would be at the top of the list. The top 3 most desired features tell the story of much needed interior space. Interesting. Thinking about making a move? Need more square footage? We can tell you today's market value of your current home; it's complimentary, and help you find your new home (office)! 

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Will There Be More Foreclosures in 2021?

Black Night Inc. gives us an inside look at mortgage data across the country, providing statistics on forbearance, which is an indicator of future foreclosures. What is a forbearance plan? A forbearance plan doesn’t erase the amount you owe on a mortgage, but it temporarily suspends or reduces your mortgage payment until your hardship is over. At the end of the forbearance plan, you must repay what you missed, but necessarily not all at once. Follow the track of these forbearance plans and you wind up with a lot of data.

Keeping Current Matters summarizes the data and points to the health of today's homeowner equity, downward 3-year foreclosure trend pre-pandemic, and what banks learned from their mistakes in 2008-2012 as reasons why we won't see the market flush with foreclosures despite joblessness due to the pandemic. But, will there be foreclosures in 2021? 

Yes, there will be foreclosures, but predictors say that the high demand and lack of inventory we are currently (and painfully) experiencing will be enough to absorb any increase. Trying to get your foot in the door of today's market? Find an experienced real estate professional, not just someone with a real estate license, and put them to work on your behalf; it's what we do! 

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Massachusetts Home Sales Hit 16-Year High During Pandemic - Ipswich MA - Windhill Realty - Massachusetts Real Estate

More single-family homes were sold last year in Massachusetts than in any other year since 2004, despite a once-in-a-century pandemic that threatened the financial security of thousands of residents and dramatically changed the process of buying and selling a home.

There were 61,469 single-family home sales in 2020, a 3.9 percent increase over the sales total of 2019, according to The Warren Group. The median sale price for those homes climbed 11.4 percent from 2019 to hit $445,500 last year.

“In the wake of the first COVID-19 lockdown way back in March, single-family home sales took a nosedive for the entire second quarter,” Warren Group CEO Tim Warren said. “If you told me back then that by the end of the year that the total number of sales would surpass 2019, there’s no way I would have believed you … yet here we are. Another record-setting year in the books for Massachusetts real estate.”

Warren said an unprecedented December helped to boost the 2020 totals. December 2020 saw 6,410 single-family home sales in Massachusetts — the most ever recorded for the month and up 28.6 percent from December 2019. The median sale price for the month jumped 14.4 percent to $455,000, an all-time high for the month and the sixth consecutive month with a median sale price greater than $450,000, Warren said.

“The hot market has continued right into December, four straight months of sales gains of 25 percent or more,” driven by low interest rates and people spending more time at home. “The more time they spend at home, the more they think about the home and some ask what they want to change,” he said on The Warren Group’s podcast.

Almost everyone who sold or purchased a home in 2020 probably had to deal with COVID-19 restrictions and safety measures in one way or another. Packed spring open houses gave way to virtual showings and eventually to tightly-scheduled and timed windows for prospective buyers to tour homes for sale.

But despite the new hurdles COVID-19 imposes on buying or selling a home, the virus and its accompanying shift towards remote work helped to fuel a migration away from cities and towards “vacation” areas in Massachusetts like Cape Cod and the Berkshires, Warren said.

He said that he expects the housing market will “continue to sell well” in 2021 but saw a concerning trend emerge at the end of 2020.

“The one thing I worry about is the rapidly-rising median price across the state,” Warren said. “For six straight years, we saw a very good market but with restrained growth in price — just two to five percent. The tail end of 2020 saw huge changes and prices rose by 14 percent or more for five straight months. For the year as a whole, prices rose 11.4 percent. I consider that to be unsustainable.”

He added, “I hope we see the market cool and consolidate its gains before we create a bubble in prices as we did in 2005. The collapse of the market in 2006 and beyond was very painful.”

Gov. Charlie Baker last week signed an economic development bill that included a housing production measure anchored to local zoning changes, and another initiative designed to boost housing near MBTA stations.

More single-family homes were sold last year in Massachusetts than in any other year since 2004, despite a once-in-a-century pandemic that threatened the financial security of thousands of residents and dramatically changed the process of buying and selling a home. Thank you whdh Boston for keeping us informed! 

Looking for a home on Boston's north shore

26 Island Park Road, Ipswich - Massachusetts Real Estate - North of Boston Homes for Sale

26 Island Park Rd Ipswich MA Spectacular open concept ranch with beautiful tidal marsh views located on a double lot and dead end street. This house has wide plank floors, a spacious living room with fireplace and adjacent sunroom and sliders that lets you enjoy views to Steep Hill. Central Air on main floor, 2 bedrooms and a gorgeous dining room with oversized skylight.Finished lower level with large family room and office space. Title V approved (2016) for 3 bedrooms! Island Park is a hidden jewel off Jeffreys Neck Road and a short distance from Pavilion Beach and Great Neck. Listed by Toni Riddle.

30 Redberry Lane, Peabody - Massachusetts Real Estate - North of Boston Homes for Sale

Exciting NEW offering at sought after Juniper Village...This undeniably impeccable, "Eastern" end unit townhouse impresses at every opportunity. With 2600+- sf over three levels it feels more like a single family. Granite and stainless kitchen with breakfast bar and adjacent dining area, lovely dining room opens to large LR with soaring ceilings and gas fireplace. Hardwood throughout all major living spaces. Second floor holds a generous master suite with huge walk-in closet and ample master bath. Guest room fits a king bed, lofted area for an office/study, separate laundry room and full bath. The finished, walk-out lower level with private entrance provides many options including third bedroom. 2 full/2 half baths. Heat/AC have been upgraded. Rinnai hot water heater. Oversized two car garage w/epoxy flooring and hot/cold running water to seal. This is a spectacular unit in pristine condition. Call for private viewings. Listed by Kathy Brown. For more homes for sale in Peabody, MA click here.

2021 Real Estate Tax Rates North Shore of Boston, MA

Across the North Shore, communities have announced their FY21 property tax rates.
 
Approximately two-thirds of Essex County cities and towns decreased their tax rates from 2020 to 2021. That doesn’t necessarily mean that property owners will see a decreased tax bill though as property values have been continually rising year after year.

How does your town compare? Full list below...

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