Blog :: 05-2011

Giving Back - Educating Our Kids!

 

Carrie Cayer, local real estate advisor for Windhill Realty spent the morning educating Ipswich High School students on current trends in today's real estate market. The students were working on research for a building project assignment that had to meet code and zoning guidelines. They also had to take buyer demand, design trends and return on investment into consideration. Carrie not only shared her career experience with the kids but invited them to the Windhill Building at 16 Market Street, the old Newspaper Store, where she and her husband Shawn had their own personal experience when they bought the burned out building and had to go through local board approvals to build. The students received a tour of The Windhill Building and left with some souvenirs.   The students designed a sketch of the Windhill Building as a thank you card signed by all the kids who visited! "Bill Gallant, the Draft Class Instructor has asked me present to his class for the past few years, and I always look forward to it," said Carrie! "He is a great teacher and as a 20+ year Ipswich High alum, it makes it all the more special for me to help him out."

Biweekly Mortgage Plan? Should You Commit?

You know the offers I'm talking about. They arrive mixed in with your monthly mortgage statement claiming to offer you loads of advantages including generous savings in interest on your loan, blah, blah blah. I've never understood these "offers". Even as a very young homeowner, I would open these and ask myself, "Why would I want to give them my money EARLY and why would I OFFER THEM a contractural agreement binding me to do so?"  And here's the kicker: they charge you a fee! Yes! A Fee! They usually call it a processing fee. So they are charging you in the range of $400 so you can commit to giving them your money early! Good deal? Sure is, for them!

What is a biweekly payment plan exactly? The homeowner, every two weeks makes a payment equal to half the monthly payment on their mortgage. Since there are 26 biweekly periods in a year, the biweekly payment produces the equivalent of one extra monthly payment every year.

If you like the idea of shortening the life of your loan (and if you're a commitmentphobe like me) simply make one extra mortgage payment each year. It's the absolute equivilent of a biweekly mortgage plan without the commitment! And the way I like to do it is to take the monthly payment total, divide by 12 and add that amount to extra principal on every monthly payment. Set it up as an automatic monthly payment if you use electronic banking and you won't even notice! This results in a significant shortening of the term. For example, a 7% 30-year loan converted to a biweekly pays off in 287 months - or 23 years, 11 months. The reduction in term is due entirely to the extra payment every year. That's 6+ years off the 30 year mortgage! Good deal? Sure is! FOR YOU!

There are other money-saving ideas! I recently read a great article, "Time to Ditch the 30-year Mortgage?" With rates so low, this might be a good time to consider this alternative. Is it time to ditch your 30 year mortgage? Click here.

So go ahead, convert! But don't commit!

Legal Insider - Condominiums...Buyer Beware!

 

Atty. Judy Field

 

The mortgage crunch hit condominiums hard with the recent changes to the Federal National Mortgage Association Selling Guide, including some alterations that went into effect March 1, 2011.

Federal National Mortgage Association, also known as Fannie Mae, is a government-backed mortgage provider, a private corporation sponsored by the government that buys mortgage from banks and financial institutions and guarantees roughly a quarter of the US home loan market.  In my experiences, roughly 70 percent of recent buyers are applying for Fannie Mae mortgages so if a condominium unit is not Fannie Mae compliant then it will kill a deal for the majority of current buyers.    

Current Fannie Mae guidelines read: "Any project (condo, co-op, or planned unit development) for which the homeowners association or co-op corporation is named as a party to pending litigation, or for which the project sponsor or developer is named as a party to pending litigation that relates to safety, structural soundness, habitability or functional use of the project, remains ineligible."

What does this mean?  If a unit owner in a condominium complex has some personal beef with the condominium association or developer because his heating doesn't work or the plumbing is leaking and sues, that will affect a potential buyer as the unit will not be eligible for Fannie Mae financing. 

Any upset condominium owner can sue the condominium association or the developer and this unfortunately triggers a Fannie Mae issue.  It is unfortunate all condominium unit owners do not realize the "ripple" effect of lawsuits.

My advice for Realtors and condo buyers is to:

  1. Have the seller/listing agent disclose the name of the condominium management company and call them directly to question whether the association is involved in any type of pending litigation which could trigger the Fannie Mae guidelines.
  2. Get this information prior to the inspection, because it's a deal killer and you do not want to be out-of-pocket for inspection costs.
  3. Work with an experienced real estate attorney, I always put a provision in my purchase and sale agreement rider in which the seller represents there is no pending litigation involving the condo.

 Legal Insider Content Contributed by Attorney Judy A. Field. Contact Atty. Field at judy@judyafieldlaw.com.

Topsfield Real Estate-What Sold in April 2011?

Address #BR #BA List $ Sale $
Single Family        
61 Washington St, Topsfield, MA 2 1.5 $319,900 $315,000
206 Perkins Row, Topsfield, MA 4 1.5 $359,900 $354,500
66 Alderbrook Dr, Topsfield, MA 4 2.5 $670,000 $620,000
183 Ipswich Rd, Topsfield, MA 5 3.5 $679,900 $650,000
50 Prospect St, Topsfield, MA 4 2.5 $728,900 $695,000

 

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.

Rowley Real Estate-What Closed in April 2011?

Address #BR #BA List $ Sale $
Single Family        
39 Weldon Farm Rd, Rowley, MA 4 2.5 $629,500 $610,000

 

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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Hamilton Real Estate-What Sold in April 2011?

Address #BR #BA List $ Sale $
Single Family        
123 Highland St, Hamilton, MA 3 2 $279,900 $214,500
17 Durham Ave, Hamilton, MA 3 2 $285,900 $265,000
1 Greenbrook Rd, Hamilton, MA 3 1.5 $365,000 $359,000
7 Anthony Rd, Hamilton, MA 3 2 $389,000 $379,000
142 Railroad Ave, Hamilton, MA 3 1.5 $390,000 $376,500
9 Patton Dr, Hamilton, MA 4 3 $979,000 $955,000
6 Don Byrne Way, Hamilton, MA 5 4+2 $995,000 $960,000

 

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.

Danvers Real Estate-What Sold in April 2011?

Address #BR #BA List $ Sale $
         
Single Family        
14 Mill St, Danvers, MA 3 1.5 $159,900 $245,000
28 Chestnut St, Danvers, MA 3 1.5 $289,900 $290,500
3 Buker Rd, Danvers, MA 3 1 $289,900 $281,000
20 Amherst St, Danvers, MA 3 1.5 $299,900 $300,000
86 Bradstreet Ave, Danvers, MA 3 1.5 $309,900 $299,500
285 Maple St, Danvers, MA 3 1 $350,000 $313,500
30 Salvatore Cir, Danvers, MA 3 1 $359,000 $350,000
1 Donegal Cir, Danvers, MA 3 2 $359,900 $358,000
43 Reservoir Dr, Danvers, MA 3 1.5 $379,000 $300,000
10 Lebel Rd, Danvers, MA 4 2.5 $589,900 $550,000
         
Condo        
19 Garden St #305, Danves, MA 2 2.5 $259,900 $253,500
128 Village Post Rd, Danvers, MA 2 2 $319,900 $275,000

 

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.

Beverly Real Estate-What Sold in April 2011?

Address #BR #BA List $ Sale $
Single Family        
12 County Way, Beverly, MA 3 1 $175,000 $175,000
100 Essex St, Beverly, MA 3 2 $219,500 $219,500
9 Beaver St, Beverly, MA 3 1 $224,900 $220,000
6 Shoretell Ave, Beverly, MA 3 1 $229,000 $231,350
12 Colonial Rd, Beverly, MA 3 1.5 $275,000 $279,500
15 Temi Rd, Beverly, MA 3 1.5 $278,500 $272,000
15 Ames St, Beverly, MA 4 2 $289,900 $277,500
11 Marsh Ave, Beverly, MA 3 1 $312,000 $305,000
15 Eastern Ave, Beverly, MA 3 2 $329,999 $317,000
6 Wellesley Rd, Beverly, MA 3 2 $339,000 $325,000
105 Hull St, Beverly, MA 3 2.5 $339,000 $329,000
10 Thoreau Cir, Beverly, MA 4 2.5 $649,000 $608,000
2 Penny Ln, Beverly, MA 4 2.5 $719,900 $702,500
27 Linden Ave, Beverly, MA 3 2 $779,000 $740,000
3 Wilson Ave, Beverly, MA 3 2.5 $1,200,000 $1,205,000
         
Condo        
116 Northridge St, Beverly, MA 2 1 $38,000 $33,000
50 Rantoul St #206, Beverly, MA 1 1 $163,700 $156,000
60 Rantoul St #105, Beverly, MA 2 2 $169,900 $169,000
2 Duck Pond Rd#208, Beverly, MA 2 2 $179,900 $179,900
12 Summit Ave #7, Beverly, MA 2 1.5 $185,000 $170,000
19 Thorndike St #4, Beverly, MA 2 1 $199,000 $185,000
9 Summer St #2, Beverly, MA 3 2 $219,900 $216,000
9 Summer St #1, Beverly, MA 3 2 $224,900 $219,900
437 Elliott St #2, Beverly, MA 4 1 $235,000 $229,000
57 Front St #5, Beverly, MA 2 1.5 $289,000 $269,000
54 Oak St #2, Beverly, MA 2 2.5 $584,000 $575,000
         
Multi-Family        
11 Roundy St, Beverly, MA 2 Unit   $225,000 $230,000
15 Dolloff Ave, Beverly, MA 2 Unit   $325,000 $330,000
67 Essex St, Beverly, MA 2 Unit   $349,900 $355,000

 

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.

Ipswich Real Estate-What Sold in April 2011?

Address #BR #BA List $ Sale $
Single Family        
3 Brownville Ave, Ipswich, MA 2 2 $319,900 $315,000
49 Topsfield Rd, Ipswich, MA 4 2 $369,900 $365,000
162 Topsfield Rd, Ipswich, MA 3 2+2 $599,900 $594,900
Condo        
100 Central St #5, Ipswich, MA 3 2.5 $339,000 $325,000
55 River Pt Dr,#30, Ipswich, MA 3 2.5 $395,400 $397,500

 

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.