Blog :: 01-2014

The Best Schools in Boston 2013

bestschools

Ipswich came in at #74

Topsfield at #31

Essex at #26

See how all the schools rated in the Best Schools in Boston 2013 list.

Interesting...Cambridge spent the MOST per pupil at $26,305 but only scored #88 overall. Georgetown spent the LEAST per pupil at $9,961 and scored #71 overall.

The list is sortable and fun to explore.  Do you agree with your town's rank? How much weight does this list carry in your decision about where to live?

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Where's Everyone Going?

population

Regional growth projections? Status-quo or stronger region? The MAPC (Metropolitan Area Planning Council) has some projections they want to share with us: 10 Greater Boston communities expecting growth and then you have the 10 Greater Boston communities that may the population decline. 3 towns on the North Shore are will shrink in population? Hard to believe! How do you explain that?

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A Real Estate License Doesn't Make You A REALTOR®

EthicsOne major difference for me, is The Code of Ethics subscribed to by all REALTORS®. We take it very seriously and refer to it often, our 'bible' if you will.

The National Association of REALTORS® does a good job explaining:

Why Use a REALTOR®?

All real estate licensees are not the same. Only real estate licensees who are members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® are properly called REALTORS®. They proudly display the REALTOR "®" logo on the business card or other marketing and sales literature. REALTORS® are committed to treat all parties to a transaction honestly. REALTORS® subscribe to a strict CODE OF ETHICS and are expected to maintain a higher level of knowledge of the process of buying and selling real estate. An independent survey reports that 84% of home buyers would use the same REALTOR® again.

Real estate transactions involve one of the biggest financial investments most people experience in their lifetime. Transactions today usually exceed $100,000. If you had a $100,000 income tax problem, would you attempt to deal with it without the help of a CPA? If you had a $100,000 legal question, would you deal with it without the help of an attorney? Considering the small upside cost and the large downside risk, it would be foolish to consider a deal in real estate without the professional assistance of a REALTOR®.

But if you're still not convinced of the value of a REALTOR®, here are a dozen more reasons to use one:

1. Your REALTOR® can help you determine your buying power -- that is, your financial reserves plus your borrowing capacity. If you give a REALTOR® some basic information about your available savings, income and current debt, he or she can refer you to lenders best qualified to help you. Most lenders -- banks and mortgage companies -- offer limited choices.

2. Your REALTOR® has many resources to assist you in your home search. Sometimes the property you are seeking is available but not actively advertised in the market, and it will take some investigation by your agent to find all available properties.

3. Your REALTOR® can assist you in the selection process by providing objective information about each property. Agents who are REALTORS® have access to a variety of informational resources. REALTORS® can provide local community information on utilities, zoning. schools, etc. There are two things you'll want to know. First, will the property provide the environment I want for a home or investment? Second, will the property have resale value when I am ready to sell?

4. Your REALTOR® can help you negotiate. There are myriad negotiating factors, including but not limited to price, financing, terms, date of possession and often the inclusion or exclusion of repairs and furnishings or equipment. The purchase agreement should provide a period of time for you to complete appropriate inspections and investigations of the property before you are bound to complete the purchase. Your agent can advise you as to which investigations and inspections are recommended or required.

5. Your REALTOR® provides due diligence during the evaluation of the property. Depending on the area and property, this could include inspections for termites, dry rot, asbestos, faulty structure, roof condition, septic tank and well tests, just to name a few. Your REALTOR® can assist you in finding qualified responsible professionals to do most of these investigations and provide you with written reports. You will also want to see a preliminary report on the title of the property. Title indicates ownership of property and can be mired in confusing status of past owners or rights of access. The title to most properties will have some limitations; for example, easements (access rights) for utilities. Your REALTOR®, title company or attorney can help you resolve issues that might cause problems at a later date.

6. Your REALTOR® can help you in understanding different financing options and in identifying qualified lenders.

7. Your REALTOR® can guide you through the closing process and make sure everything flows together smoothly.

8. When selling your home, your REALTOR® can give you up-to-date information on what is happening in the marketplace and the price, financing, terms and condition of competing properties. These are key factors in getting your property sold at the best price, quickly and with minimum hassle.

9. Your REALTOR® markets your property to other real estate agents and the public. Often, your REALTOR® can recommend repairs or cosmetic work that will significantly enhance the salability of your property. Your REALTOR® markets your property to other real estate agents and the public. In many markets across the country, over 50% of real estate sales are cooperative sales; that is, a real estate agent other than yours brings in the buyer. Your REALTOR® acts as the marketing coordinator, disbursing information about your property to other real estate agents through a Multiple Listing Service or other cooperative marketing networks, open houses for agents, etc. The REALTOR® Code of Ethics  requires REALTORS® to utilize these cooperative relationships when they benefit their clients.

10. Your REALTOR® will know when, where and how to advertise your property. There is a misconception that advertising sells real estate. The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® studies show that 82% of real estate sales are the result of agent contacts through previous clients, referrals, friends, family and personal contacts. When a property is marketed with the help of your REALTOR®, you do not have to allow strangers into your home. Your REALTOR® will generally prescreen and accompany qualified prospects through your property.

11. Your REALTOR® can help you objectively evaluate every buyer's proposal without compromising your marketing position. This initial agreement is only the beginning of a process of appraisals, inspections and financing -- a lot of possible pitfalls. Your REALTOR® can help you write a legally binding, win-win agreement that will be more likely to make it through the process.

12. Your REALTOR® can help close the sale of your home. Between the initial sales agreement and closing (or settlement), questions may arise. For example, unexpected repairs are required to obtain financing or a cloud in the title is discovered. The required paperwork alone is overwhelming for most sellers. Your REALTOR® is the best person to objectively help you resolve these issues and move the transaction to closing (or settlement).

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  1. Yosio on

    OH MY GOD!! That's so not our house! Are you a magician?? These piurctes are awesome! Who wouldn't want to buy this house, with its extra long bed and giant doors! Ah, the magic of photography. The photos are TREMENDOUS!! Man, I could go on, but I'll stop. Have a great weekend!!

    What's the Difference Between Being Prequalified and Preapproved?

     

    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 make 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 2 weeks into 2014 and already we are experiencing multiple bids on properties. Inventory is still VERY tight. Reports at our staff meeting today confirmed 3 bids from 3 different buyers on a particular listing. The discussion opened up about multiple offers, advising your seller best in this scenario and then the question, "Who has the best financing?". The answer, "It's hard to tell." A perfect example of where a PREAPPROVAL could have helped 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 that gets you the house you fall in love with.

    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 on our home page. Contact all of them and find your perfect fit.

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    Shawn Cayer Appointed by the North Shore Association of REALTORS®.

    Shawn Cayer 1.91MBcolorDear Shawn, 

    I am pleased to confirm that 2014 President Jim Armstrong has appointed you to serve on the 2014 Professional Standards Committee.

    You have been selected from the NSAR's 1,000+ members for this important role. Your willingness to participate is appreciated by the leadership, staff, and membership of the North Shore Association of REALTORS®.

    Your participation should benefit everyone, including you! The work we do together is in the best interest of all our members and is guided by the mission, goals, and objectives of the NSAR Business Plan.

    Jim and I sincerely hope that you will enjoy your time serving the NSAR on your appointed committee(s). Congratulations, and we look forward to working with you in 2014! Sincerely,

    Susan J. Kline, RCE, CAE Chief Executive Officer

    Andrea Lacroix Appointed by North Shore Association of REALTORS®!

    andrea20103Dear Andrea,

    I am pleased to confirm that 2014 President Jim Armstrong has appointed you to serve on the 2014 Membership Recognition Committee!

    You have been selected from the NSAR's 1,000+ members for this important role. Your willingness to participate is appreciated by the leadership, staff, and membership of the North Shore Association of REALTORS®.

    Your participation should benefit everyone, including you! The work we do together is in the best interest of all our members and is guided by the mission, goals, and objectives of the NSAR Business Plan.

    Jim and I sincerely hope that you will enjoy your time serving the NSAR on your appointed committee. Congratulations, and we look forward to working with you in 2014!

    Sincerely, Susan J. Kline, RCE, CAE Chief Executive Officer