Massachusetts & Southern NH Real Estate Industry News

Welcome to our blog! The purpose of this real estate blog is to provide some tips for staging your house, simple easy updates, what to do in the areas, all for you to enjoy. We plan to publish this blog monthly, so please subscribe or check back often!

Dec. 2, 2022

This Weekend in New England: December 3-5

Looking for something to do this weekend? We’ve rounded up some of the best events happening in New England. Let us know if you visit any of these local attractions

 

SoWa Winter Festival (Boston, MA) - For your holiday shopping pleasure, we’ve assembled 100+ of the region’s best makers, artists, designers, and specialty vendors together under one festive roof for our 7th annual Winter Festival. Browse the main floor and enjoy delicious food and drinks, and be sure to venture to the 2nd floor for live music and specialty cocktails designed by some of Boston’s top bartenders!

 

Boston Ballet: The Nutcracker (Boston, MA) - Dare to dream big with New England’s favorite holiday tradition. Mikko Nissinen’s The Nutcracker mesmerizes audiences of all ages with its beloved characters, swoon-worthy sets, and unparalleled choreography.

Slip away into the warm drawing room of the Silberhaus family and watch as Clara’s surroundings transform before your eyes. From the dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy to the awe-inspiring snow scene, this classical ballet—set to Tchaikovsky’s timeless score—continues to delight audiences year after year.

 

The Holiday Shoppes at Tuscan Village (Salem, NH) - Tuscan Village is excited to announce the first annual Holiday Shoppes at Tuscan Village – a collective of 30 small businesses and artists debuting in a festive, open-air marketplace, featuring art, sweet treats, home décor, apparel & much much more! Come visit & get comfy underneath the heated tent which is serving a festive food and cocktail menu including the Mistletoe Margarita and the Feliz Navidad – our version of an adult hot chocolate! The Holiday Shoppes are open Thursday-Sunday starting November 18th through New Year’s Eve, and open daily during Christmas week.


52nd Annual Bowen’s Wharf Tree Lighting (Newport, RI) - It’s the most wonderful time of the year – twinkling lights, fragrant wintergreens, beautiful bows, and a most amazing Christmas tree on historic Bowen’s Wharf. Festivities begin around 12:30 with a visit from Santa, followed by an afternoon full of joyous performances from local musicians and choruses. The enormous tree is lit promptly at 6:00 – the official beginning of the holiday season at Bowen’s Wharf! Santa and Mrs. Claus motor into Bowen’s Basin by boat (weather permitting) eager to listen to every child’s wish. Come early for leisurely holiday shopping and stay through the evening for a magical day of festive fun and good cheer! Bowen’s Wharf restaurants remain open for holiday meals and many shops will offer sweet refreshments. FREE ADMISSION! Festivities are held rain or shine.

Posted in Community
Dec. 2, 2022

Interest Rates Fall 0.35%

 

Interest rates in the current market have proven to be volatile. While generally, they have continued to increase, if you're watching rates closely, you'll notice that there are drops that occur now and then. The latest of these dips just occurred, with rates today dipping down 0.35%.

If you've been considering buying, capitalizing on rate dips is crucial to securing the best possible interest rate. If you haven't already, team up with a trusted lender and discuss your options for locking your rate when the interest rate declines. Small drops like this could lead to you saving a significant amount of money on your monthly mortgage payment.

If you need help jumping on this opportunity or would like a recommendation for a trusted lender to help you lock down the lower rate, reach out to us! We would love to help you save the most amount of money and get into that perfect home

Posted in Buying a Home
Nov. 18, 2022

This Weekend in New England: November 19-20

Looking for something to do this weekend? We’ve rounded up some of the best events happening in New England. Let us know if you visit any of these local attractions

 

Winter Wonderland (Southwick’s Zoo, Mendon, MA) - Be immersed in the breathtaking world of over a million dazzling holiday lights and enchanting festival lanterns, showcasing fairytales, legends, and myths through incredible handcrafted displays.  Take a train ride through the Magical Holiday Forest where you may spot a fallow deer or the Grinch himself!  Enjoy live entertainment including acrobat shows at the Cirque de Lumination tent.  Visit Artisans Lane and warm up by the firepits while enjoying s’mores, hot toddies, and more from our special menu at the Kringle Cafe and Bakery.

 

Holiday Lantern Tour (Newport, RI) - Hear the history of early American holiday traditions on an evening walk. Learn how Newporters did, or didn’t, observe the holidays. This tour lasts about one hour. 


Holiday Giving Tree Lighting (Foxborough, MA) - Kick off the Holiday Season in Foxborough, MA at Patriot Place! Enjoy the lighting of the Holiday Giving Tree benefiting Patriot Place’s charitable partner, Cradles to Crayons. Visitors are invited to take an ornament from the tree and purchase the assigned gift to fulfill a child’s wish. Other event happenings include appearances by Santa & Mrs. Claus, Pat Patriot & New England Patriot Cheerleaders, Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer & The Gingerbread Man

Posted in Community
Nov. 18, 2022

Top Questions for Selling Your Home In Today’s Market

 

We’ve seen many shifts in this market throughout 2022. Interest rates have been a roller coaster, and the news headlines may have you questioning if selling your home in today’s market is the right move. We get it, there’s a lot to consider before you make the plunge to put up that for sale sign.

 

To help, we’re addressing some of the top questions that you may be asking and providing you with the data you need to make the best decision for you.  

 

1. Should I Wait to Sell?

This is probably the biggest question on your mind. It’s true that the supply of inventory has increased in 2022, however, inventory is still low overall. For a balanced market, we need to have 6 months of inventory available. The data below from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows where we are sitting today in terms of inventory. 

 

Yes, inventory is not at the low level it was a year ago, and buyers have regained some negotiation power. However, if you pair up with an agent who understands the current market and can help you price and market your home appropriately, you still have an opportunity to receive strong offers on your home. One way to help your home stand out is to list now before the holidays to get ahead of the competition. Many sellers will decide to jump in after the holiday rush and at the start of the new year, so you have a great window of opportunity to get a step ahead. 

 

2. Are There Buyers Out There?

One concern that we often hear is that there aren’t any buyers out there anymore. While interest rates have resulted in some buyers exiting the market, there are still many buyers looking for their homes. Millennials still make up the largest share of homebuyers and are eagerly looking for a place to call their own. An article in Forbes states:

 

“At about 80 million strong, millennials currently make up the largest share of homebuyers (43%) in the U.S., according to a recent National Association of Realtors (NAR) report…Once known as the ‘rent generation,’ millennials have proven to be savvy buyers who are quite nimble in their quest to own real estate.” 

 

Additionally, the buyers you see out there today are serious about their intent to buy, especially at this time of the year. They understand the interest rates and are still out there searching. 

 

To summarize, the buyers that are out there today are interested and dedicated to finding a home. While there might not be as many as there were, you still have an opportunity to attract strong buyers to your home in today’s market. 

 

3. Can I Afford to Buy My Next Home?

While the interest rates may have you thinking about the number of buyers left in the market, we’re sure that you’re also wondering how they will impact you should you sell your home. After all, where will you go, and can you afford to move into a home that suits your needs?

 

One important thing to keep in mind is that you likely have more equity in your home than you realize. Homeowners gained a significant amount of equity over the past year, which is the key to affordability, especially in today’s market. 

 

Consider where you want to move to and your requirements for your new home. If you’re moving to a more affordable city, you’ll be able to leverage your equity to find that perfect home that better suits your needs. If you’re looking to downsize, you may be able to use your equity to purchase the home without a loan or allow you to buy down the rate or take out a smaller mortgage.

 

Bottom Line

If you’ve been wanting to make a move to better your life and find a home that suites your needs (or move to somewhere tropical before the snow starts piling up), reach out to a trusted real estate agent to get a better understanding of what’s happening in your neighborhood. There is still opportunity out there for sellers, but it’s more important now than ever to connect with a hyper-local agent who will give you the tools you need to allow your home to shine. Get ahead of the competition by taking your first steps today.

Posted in Selling Your Home
Nov. 11, 2022

This Weekend in New England: November 12-13



Looking for something to do this weekend? We’ve rounded up some of the best events happening in New England. Let us know if you visit any of these local attractions

 

Winter Wonderland (Southwick’s Zoo, Mendon, MA) - Be immersed in the breathtaking world of over a million dazzling holiday lights and enchanting festival lanterns, showcasing fairytales, legends, and myths through incredible handcrafted displays.  Take a train ride through the Magical Holiday Forest where you may spot a fallow deer or the Grinch himself!  Enjoy live entertainment including acrobat shows at the Cirque de Lumination tent.  Visit Artisans Lane and warm up by the firepits while enjoying s’mores, hot toddies, and more from our special menu at the Kringle Cafe and Bakery.

 

32nd Annual Memorial High School Craft Fair (Manchester, NH) - Come join us for the 32nd Annual Memorial High School Craft Fair! There will be 215+ booths full of crafters/vendors so please make sure to stop by all 4 rooms (Gym, Mini Gym, Cafeteria and Hallway)! Free Parking. Admission is $2.00 per person. Proceeds benefit the Manchester Memorial High School Booster Club which is a non-profit organization that helps the students of Manchester Memorial High School throughout the year by helping fund the different student groups throughout the school.


Providence Home Show (RI Convention Center, Providence, RI) - The 14th Annual Jenks Productions, LLC. 2022 FALL PROVIDENCE HOME SHOW opens on November 12th at the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence. Have no doubt, if you’re planning to do ANYTHING to your home in the future, this is the home expo you can’t afford to miss. All types of home vendors from local Rhode Island homebuilders and kitchen remodelers to regional landscape architects and everything else in between will be on call to speak with you one-on-one. Our home show exhibitors will be ready to answer any questions you may have, provide ballpark price ranges for your project or simply discuss possibilities for your home renovations.

Posted in Community
Nov. 11, 2022

How Homeownership Impacts Your Wealth Over Time

 

 

 

 

If you’re questioning purchasing a home due to the cooling market and inflation concerns, it’s important to keep in mind the long-term financial benefits of home ownership. The infographic below gives you an overview of just how much equity has been gained by homeowners who have had their homes since 1991. The average homeowner’s equity increased by over 290% over the last 30 years.

 

Bottom Line

Don’t let the market scare you if you’re hoping to purchase a home to enjoy for years to come. The market is one of the best long-term investments that you can make. Although the current market may feel like you’re going through waves of ups and downs, if you plan to own for a while, you’ll be able to ride the waves to a great return on your investment and equity gain.

 

Posted in Buying a Home
Nov. 2, 2022

This Weekend in New England: Nov 5 - 6

Looking for something to do this weekend? We’ve rounded up some of the best events happening in New England. Let us know if you visit any of these local attractions!

New England Christmas Festival (Mohegan Sun, Uncasville, CT) - The 36th Annual New England Christmas Festival offers more than 350 pop-up boutiques showcasing handcrafted items in every price range from America’s premier artisans and craftsmen. Since 1982, this multi-award-winning Festival has been your one-stop holiday shopping solution.  

Fall Food Truck Festival (Wachusett Mountain Ski Area, Princeton, MA) - Enjoy a sampling of a variety of food trucks at the beautiful Wachusett Mountain Ski Area. Along with tasty treats, you can enjoy live music and a scenic skyride on the summit chair lift.

Rhode Island Comic Con (Providence, RI) - If Comic Cons are your thing, then you have to check out the Rhode Island Comic Con located at the Amica Mutual Pavilion & Rhode Island Convention Center. Come check out all this event has to offer, including meeting some of your favorite celebrities and the voices behind some of your most loved characters. You’ll also enjoy the artist alley, games, a cosplay contest, and even an after-party!

Waterfire (Providence, RI) - Enjoy a full lighting at this weekend’s Waterfire, which is a salute to our Veterans. You’ll hear from incredible speakers as well as a performance by the Army 88th and Navy Band. You’ll also enjoy a performance by the Rhode Island Professional Fire Fighters Pipes and Drums group as 100 veterans and active-duty service members process into the basin with lit torches and surround Waterplace Park with a Ring of Fire.

Posted in Community
Oct. 13, 2022

Top Packing Tips for Moving

 

 

Getting ready to make a move? Here are our top packing tips to help you have a smooth and seamless transition into your new home!

Get rid of as much as you can - Packing all of your items up can be overwhelming. To make it easier, cut back on clutter before your move. Do a purge of any unused or unnecessary items before you start filling boxes. The end result will be less for you to move and less to unpack once you get into your new home.

Make a folder for important documents - Collect any important moving documents and store them in one folder. This includes your new address, purchase documents, moving contracts, etc. This way, if any questions come up during your move, you'll have everything you need in hand.

Start packing early - We know you can't pack everything when you're still living in your home. However, consider packing weeks or months in advance where you can. For example, if you've moving in the summer, start packing all of your winter items. You can also start packing books and other decorative items that you don't need which will help you have less to worry about when crunch time comes.

Book professional services early - Whether it's professional movers or cleaners, you'll want to book early. Waiting can result in you paying a higher price or not being able to get services when you need them.

Schedule utilities for your new place - The last thing you want on moving day is to show up to your new home only to find that your electricity, water, or heat is off. Contact your utility providers and schedule when exactly you'll need your utilities turned on, so you're not left in the dark on moving day.

Keep the important things with you - Pack a bag with all of your essentials such as toothbrushes, important items for the kiddos, medications, paperwork, etc, and keep it with you at all times during the move. This allows you to have easy access to the things you need most and will give you peace of mind that should the moving truck hit a snag, you still have those key things with you.

Stock up on equipment - When you're wrapping up packing, the last thing you want to do is run out to the store and grab extra supplies. Be sure to order plenty of boxes, box cutters, adhesive bandages, permanent markets, packing tape, garbage bags, etc. Other things you might want to stock up on include furniture dollys, furniture pads or covers, tie-down straps, or rope.

Get the Right Moving Vehicle - If you're tackling moving by yourself, you'll want to get a truck with a ramp. Although it may be more expensive, you'll want the help of a ramp when you're loading up large furniture and heavy boxes.

Posted in Selling Your Home
Oct. 13, 2022

This Weekend in New England: October 15-16

 



Looking for something to do this weekend? We’ve rounded up some of the best events happening in New England. Let us know if you visit any of these local attractions

 

Festival of Illumination: Once Upon A Time (Southwick’s Zoo, Mendon, MA) - Travel within the realm of Fairytales, Myths, and Legends featuring larger-than-life Chinese lanterns custom-made for Southwick's Zoo. Children will stare in wonder and delight at the visual representation of some of our favorite fairy tales and stories...such as Cinderella, Puss in Boots, and Billy Goats Gruff.   Experience the mystical fantasy lanterns featuring Dragons, Medusa, the great Sphynx, and others with amazing detail and staging and so much more!

 

King Richard’s Faire (Carver, MA) - King Richard’s Faire, THE New England Renaissance Festival is long considered THE premier fall entertainment event of the region! Entertainment, exciting rides, and challenging games abound on the Faire’s enchanting 80-acre wooded site. King Richard’s Faire is the largest, biggest, and best Renaissance festival in the six states of New England! Be prepared to escape YOUR reality as you enter our world of magic and merriment!

 

Applefest (Wachusett Mountain, Princeton, MA) - Celebrate fall at one of our most expansive festivals!  Over 100 Crafters and Farmers' Market Vendors. Entertainment, Live Music, and Food Trucks. Enjoy a fun, entertainment-packed weekend while taking in some of the best fall foliage views! 

 

Oktoberfest! at the Newburyport Brewing Co. (Newburyport, MA) - Join us for the 11th annual Oktoberfest at the Newburyport Brewing Company featuring the Oberlandahauer Hofbrau band - a 12-piece traditional Oktoberfest Band playing all the classic songs and sing-alongs with big festive energy. For this epic occasion, we have brewed a new Oktoberfest beer, we'll have big steins for the stein-holding competition and great food including brats, and pretzels! Family-friendly, big outdoor party - fun for all! Bring you lederhosen and dirndls! $10 - all proceeds go to Newburyport Youth Services. KIDS FREE!

 

Bowen’s Warf 31st Annual Seafood Festival (Newport, RI) - Named one of the “10 Fabulous Fall Festivals on the Coast,” by Coastal Living Magazine, this event is an open invitation for all to come back to the waterfront after the rush of the summer season! Honoring the “Harvest of the Sea,” the Bowen’s Wharf Seafood Festival offers fresh, local seafood. Fish tacos, lobster rolls, stuffies, chowder, fried calamari, clams, oysters, signature cocktails and cold beer accompany continuous live music, and family fun, all beneath the Wharf’s colorful tents


Londonderry Fall Fest (Londonderry, NH) - Join us for a fun day of crafters, vendors, food trucks, and more at the Londonderry Fall Fest...one of the largest craft fairs and vendor events in southern NH! Over 50 local vendors will be on hand showcasing their products, including crafts, candles, jams & jellies, baked goods, jewelry, clothes, soaps, skincare, fitness, home decor, stained glass, wreaths, wooden signs, knitted items, pet products, Tastefully Simple, Color Street, Scentsy and more!

Posted in Community
Sept. 1, 2022

Are We Headed For a Housing Market Meltdown?

 

 

 

What's happening with housing inventory currently? Is it leading to a market crash? For there to be a housing crash there has to be a sharp increase in inventory and there is just not enough inventory to indicate that the market is going to crash.

So, let’s play a little devil’s advocate. Right now with the economy having some changes and with interest rates doing what they're doing is there a chance that more inventory does spike to those levels where there’s not enough demand to support it?

Let’s compare for example last year to this year there. Inventory in general has increased. However, it’s important to take note of specific markets. The New England market is strong and it's strong for several reasons. Boston is bustling with all the universities and we always have people migrating here. The demand is super high demand is higher than the supply. What you see in a lot of news channels and whatnot is that housing starts are way up. It’s true that nationwide, they are way up. However, if you look at where they're going it's not New England. They’re in Texas, Arizona, or other places that have a lot of raw land that can be developed. We don't have that here right now. 

So, how do we build inventory? There are three ways that we get inventory:

  • Existing homes
  • New construction
  • Foreclosures and short sales 

Existing Homes

Sellers are putting their homes on the market. However, the inventory still isn’t enough to meet the demand. So, sellers today are still seeing a great return on their investment, especially in the New England area. Real estate agent Bunmi Okoya states “In the past like two weeks every single house that my clients have bid on did have multiple offers.”

 

The graph below depicts inventory levels compared to what we saw in 2021, 2020, and 2019. While we’re up from the levels we saw in 2021, we’re still down from what we had available in 2020, and significantly lower than in 2019.

 

 

New Construction

How many new construction do you are you seeing right now in New England? The numbers are very low. Additionally, when these new come on the market, they're so many people bidding on them. What we’re seeing being built here are not federal developments or big developments being built. We’re seeing someone buying land hiring a builder and building their own home.  

Foreclosures 

Compared to like 2008 the amount of short sales and foreclosures right now is very low which just points to the fact it's simple supply and demand. Demand is higher than supply now even. Even though supply last year was lower than what we have today and the competition was extremely fierce, demand today is still outweighing supply. If you look at 2008, a combination of things lead to the market crash. New homes were being built non-stop everywhere. On top of that, there were major issues with lending stringencies. The mortgage credit availability index was so high that anyone could purchase a home. People were getting homes that shouldn't have been. 

The graph below depicts the number of foreclosures throughout the years. As you can see, the levels today are significantly lower than what we saw back around when the market crashed in 2008.

 

The Impact of Interest Rates

How have interest rates impacted the market? Last year, we had situations where there were 40 offers on any given home. That competition was crazy, and not healthy. Today, instead of seeing 40 offers on a home, you might see 10. Last week in Hudson, New Hampshire we still had a situation where we were up against 20 other offers. While it wasn’t 40, 20 offers are still pretty crazy. 

There are still buyers out there! It’s true maybe some have exited the market due to higher rates, but there are still so many in the game. Compare it to taking a piece out of a pie. Yes, maybe you’re missing some, but there’s still a lot left. 

What About Those Price Changes?

Now, what about all of those price changes? Would all of the price decreases that we’re seeing be a sign that the market is crashing? Let us tell you a secret. Pricing is an art. It’s an extremely important skill that the best agents out there have mastered. 

The reason why you're seeing a lot of price changes is that the sellers or the seller's agent didn't price it well to begin with. If you have those good conversations and you're creative with your pricing strategy and you hit it right the first time you will not have to change your price. The whole reason for meeting with an agent to look at a comparative market analysis and price your home is to price it where you're going to get the most eyeballs online, fed through the door at open houses and showings, and get the most offers in hand to drive up prices. The last two years created this craze that everyone believes that they're going to get hundreds of thousand dollars more than they paid or more than they think it's worth. You may very well still get a high offer but if you don't price it where you'll capture the excitement, you won’t get top dollar. You price it to create the demand, not where you hope the final price will land. 

The listing agent’s goal is to bring the most buyers in to see your home. It's a simple marketing strategy: the more people I can get to see your house the better chances of you getting the best value for your house so that involves your pricing strategy. After that, it’s all about how we take our pictures, how we describe the house, and how we show your house in the best light adds to what differentiates your home from all the competition out there. One of our favorite quotes right from Tom Ferry is “If the price isn't compelling, the home's not selling.” The price will get people to look at it and then the pictures, the staging, and the write-up that gets people through the door.  

Bottom Line

While inventory is increasing, there are still not enough homes to meet up with current demands. New England especially is still dealing with a lack of new construction and we’re not seeing those foreclosure numbers like we did back in 2008 that would indicate that we may be in trouble. Demand is still strong and homes are still receiving multiple offers. The key to this market is to price your home correctly and work with an agent that understands how to bring in the most potential buyers to fall in love with your home.