Blog :: 2016

Don't Invite a Fire to Your House this Winter!

Did you know? Nearly a third of total-loss house fires happen in December, January & February? I had no idea. Thank you Realtor.com for the reminder! These things to watch out for seem obvious but worth the cursory glance. Read the list of dangerous things that can spark a house fire. I'm going home to make sure my outlet adaptors are not warm to the touch or overloaded. And if you have a live tree, make sure it's watered!

Mortgage Interest Rates on the Rise

There’s no doubt that “the era of ultra-low interest [mortgage] rates is over,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors®, in a statement. That's the quote that stopped me in my tracks.

I wish I could tell you that lower home prices will offset the rate increase but currently we are still experiencing low inventory and high demand, including multiple offer situations and many frustrated buyers. The article suggests that if you're planning on buying in 2017, act sooner than later; I agree. Get the full article on rising interest rates from realtor.com here

What's Your Real Estate Agent Doing Behind Your Back?

Great article from Realtor.com and it's not what you might think! Almost 30 years in this business, I've been asked the question many times: "What makes a great real estate agent?" My response would be, "What does 'great real estate agent' mean?" Makes the most money? Provides the best customer service? Accomplishes both of those goals with refined ethics?" 

Ideally, you would have a skill set that included not only a psychology degree but be as gifted as one of the most eminent psychologists of the 20th century, have legal experience equivalant to one of the most influential laywers in the world, possess the most powerful secrets of super negotiators, be in the top 500 for marketing & advertising, globally. And let us not forget patience; you would have to have the patience of Job.

Of course, I'm speaking dramatically and quite sarcastically, but seriously, none of the necessary skills required to be GREAT in this profession are magically granted upon passing the Massachusetts Real Estate Salesperson License Exam. NONE. Anyone can attend the required hours and pass the test; many, who do, never go on to be great. Furthermore, we all measure "success" in our own way. I'm a big proponent of ethics, maybe because I like to sleep at night. I can say the same for my team.

Take a peek at this list of what your real estate agent SHOULD be doing behind your back. This is just a snapshot of what you should expect, in the least, when hiring a real estate PROFESSIONAL. Ask about experience, not how long they've had their license, ask how many transactions they've completed in the last year, 2 years, 5 years, etc. Ask for testimonials. Speaking of testimonials, here's a long list of the kind of service you can expect from Windhill Realty. Do your research. Your REALTOR® is your professional partner in one of the most important and largest business transactions of your financial history. Not getting the answers you need to make your decision? Call me. I'm not in sales. My job is to help people and that includes you!

Introducing Betty Slatko, the new Northern Region Vice President for the Massachusetts Association of Realtors®

Official Press Release - We are so proud of you Betty!
Introducing the new Northern Region Vice President for the Massachusetts Association of Realtors®

Ipswich Realtor® Elected Northern Region Vice President of

Massachusetts Association of Realtors®

WALTHAM, Mass. – December 6, 2016 – Betty Slatko, Realtor® at Windhill Realty in Ipswich, has been elected Northern Region vice president for the Massachusetts Association of Realtors® (MAR) for 2017.

As vice president for the Northern region, Slatko will coordinate association objectives and activities within the Greater Newburyport, Northeast, and North Shore Associations of Realtors® and meet regularly with local and regional leadership to discuss real estate industry issues of statewide importance.  She automatically becomes a member of the MAR Executive Committee and Board of Directors as a result of her election as a regional vice president.

Slatko has been a member of the MAR Board of Directors since 2015, and served as an alternate director in 2013. She has been a member of the Government Affairs Committee, and served on the Diversity Task Force and Forms Content Advisory Committee in 2016.

At the local level, Slatko was the 2016 President of the North Shore Association of Realtors® (NSAR) in 2016. She serves on the NSAR Board of Directors as well at the Government Affairs and Finance Committees.

A Realtor® since 1998, Slatko has earned her ABR (Accredited Buyer Representative) and SRES (Senior Real Estate Specialist) professional designations.

About the Massachusetts Association of Realtors®:

Organized in 1924, the Massachusetts Association of Realtors® is a professional trade organization with 24,000+ members.  The term Realtor® is registered as the exclusive designation of members of the National Association of Realtors® who subscribe to a strict code of ethics and enjoy continuing education programs. 

Municipal Restrictions on Short-Term Home Rentals? Coming Soon to a Town Near You?

TONIGHT the Town of Lynnfield, MA will hold a Town Meeting that will, if passed, affect the rights of its property owners. 

Take a look at Article 6 on Lynnfield's Town Warrant. This language would prohibit owners of single family homes from renting out THEIR PROPERTY, if the rental period is 30 days or less. No doubt what prompted the panic was the Lynnfield fatal shooting at a sprawling mansion earlier this year.

I can certainly see a homeowner's initial reaction being, "Why should anyone be able to dictate what I can and cannot do with my property?" However, there seems to be more to the story when you dig deeper. Sure, we have Little Neck, Great Neck, and Plum Island which come to my mind immediately; and all the weekly and seasonal short-term rentals that allow many of those owners to afford their slice of paradise. Many of my personal best vacations were the weekly rentals of beach-front and lake-side homes. Are vacationers ruining the fabric of the neighborhoods? One of the biggest opponents of Airbnb says exactly that about how Airbnb is hurting the neighborhoods of NYC. His (some say hypocritical) position is that it forces would-be long-term renters out for the astronomically high rents short-term renters are willing to pay. He does make a point there.

What do you think? 

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Halloween in Ipswich - Events, Dates & Times

Halloween at the Ipswich Public Library - Thursday, October 20, 2:30-4:30. Drop-in craft.

Kid's Halloween Party at The Ipswich Museum - Friday, October 21, 3:30-5pm. 54 South Main St., Ipswich, MA

Ipswich Halloween Parade - Thursday, October 27, 6:15pm sharp. Ipswich Riverwalk, Ipswich, MA - FREE 

Jungle Jim's Ghostbuster Academy - Saturday, October 29, 10-11am. Town Hall. FREE - Ages 3-10

Ipswich Downtown Trick-or-Treat - Saturday, October 29, 2-4pm. Market Street, Ipswich, MA - Ages 9 & under

Trick-or-Treat Hayrides at Marini Farm - Saturday October 29 & Sunday October 30, 11am-5pm

Ipswich Fire Dpt. Halloween Costume Party - Monday, October 31, 5:30-7:30pm. 55 Central St, Ipswich, MA - FREE

All Town Trick-or-Treating - Monday, October 31, 5:30-7:30

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Ipswich in the Top 10 for Biggest Gain in Home Price

The Warren Group reports we are at or near record levels in several categories. We are not surprised and have been experiencing brisk sales locally, here on the North Shore, including multiple offer situations on properly priced inventory, heavy attendance at open houses and large buyer pools in certain price ranges. Manchester, MA falls in at number two with a 23.6 percent gain, to a new median home sale price of just under a million at $955,000! Ipswich came in at number three with a home sale gain of... 

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Windhill Builders WINS Readers' Choice Award!

windhill builders best of north shore

Thank you for your vote! We are honored and humbled to be the Readers' Choice Winner for Builder Restoration in North Shore Magazine’s first Home Awards edition! We would also like to congratulate Matt Diana and Cummings Architects for their much deserved wins. We have partnered with them both on numerous projects and the talent is outstanding.
Read the entire, exceptionally gorgeous, digital issue here:  http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/8557e8b9#/8557e8b9/65