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!

March 30, 2023

Federal Reserve Raises Rates: What You Need to Know

The Federal Reserve recently held a meeting where they raised the federal funds rate by 25 basis points, or 0.25%. While this isn't good news, the one positive thing is that most banks anticipated an increase of about 50 basis points, or half of a full percent. So when the meeting happened and they only raised it 25 basis points, that's actually kind of a reason for a celebration. We saw interest rates drop after this meeting because we expected worse news.

The banks make assumptions and bake those assumptions into the rate prior. So the rates probably went up two or three weeks ago because they knew at this meeting, or they thought at this meeting, that the Federal Reserve was going to raise the federal funds rate. Mortgage rates went down because banks thought it was going to go up more.

What about the real estate market? How has this had an impact? We're going to focus on New England. We have seen crazy increases in inventory, the number of homes for sale, in the last three weeks in a row. Believe it or not, going back the last three weeks, every single week we have had the highest amount of new homes for sale, the highest new homes for sale, in both New Hampshire and Massachusetts, and really New England as a whole.

Part of this is really normal; part of this is seasonality as we get out of winter and into spring. When people are thinking about moving and want to move, they're going to list their homes for sale more. If you're buying a home, this is great news. You get more options, maybe slightly less competition, and rates went down a little bit.

Now, they've gone back up since the time of making this video, but you can't control the rates; you can just control what you can control. So what I'm going to tell you as a buyer is home sales or inventory, I should say, are following the trends that we expect as we move through spring and into summer. More inventory will come, and with that, more options will be less competition.

The next thing to focus on is home sellers. If you're a home seller, you didn't miss it. It's not too late, and you still have a massive opportunity. However, as inventory picks up, it's still a seller's market, and that's not changing anytime soon. However, who you work with is even more important. How you market your home, how you price your home, what strategies you use, and how good of a negotiator your agent is - those things matter more than ever when there's more competition.

In summary, the Federal Reserve raised rates, but not by as much as we expected. The real estate market is following the normal trends of more inventory as we move into spring and summer, making it a great time for buyers. Home sellers still have a massive opportunity, but it's important to work with an experienced agent who can help you navigate the competition.

Posted in Market Update
March 29, 2023

4 Essential Tips to Sell Your Home Quickly and Hassle-Free This Spring

As spring arrives, more and more people are preparing to sell their homes. However, the real estate market has undergone recent shifts, meaning that this year's spring housing market will be different from the frenzied markets of past years. To sell your home quickly, easily, and for the most money, follow these four simple tips.

  1. Make sure that potential buyers have easy access to view your home. Don't limit the days and times when buyers can view your home as this could cost you by leaving your home on the market for longer and ultimately selling for a lower price.
  2. Make sure that the interior of your home looks inviting. Seek advice from a real estate agent on how to stage your home, and consider making small updates like fresh paint, steam cleaning carpets, or removing clutter from the garage.
  3. Remember that first impressions matter. The exterior of your home is just as important as the interior, so freshen up your landscaping to improve your home's curb appeal and make an impact with potential buyers.
  4. Price your home competitively. This is the most important aspect of selling your home in today's real estate market. Understanding home prices in your area and working with a trusted real estate professional will ensure that you list your house at the right price.

In summary, if you want to sell your home this spring, connect with a local real estate professional who can guide you through the process and help you achieve your goals of selling your home for the most money, in a certain amount of time, and with the fewest hassles.

Posted in Selling Your Home
March 18, 2023

Is SVB CRASHING The Housing Market?!


The recent news about the financial markets has caused concern among many potential buyers and sellers. With the failure of SVB and other banks following suit, the Federal Reserve has been raising rates, causing volatility in interest rates, particularly in the mortgage market.

As a potential buyer or seller in Massachusetts or New Hampshire, it's important to understand what's happening in the financial markets and what it means for you. While the issue is not isolated to just SVB, it is not indicative of a huge problem within the US banking system. Larger banks such as Bank of America and Chase are stable, and there is no real reason for consumers to be pulling their money out of the banks.

The impact on the housing market is also expected to be minimal. While the financial markets may give the Federal Reserve a little bit of pause, it is unlikely that there will be a massive falling of home values, especially in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. The local real estate markets are not likely to feel any impact. However, mortgage rates may be affected by what is happening in the financial markets, with the Federal Reserve assessing whether they will continue to raise rates as aggressively as they have been.

The good news is that the market is still robust, and there are still great opportunities for both buyers and sellers. Working with a skilled and talented real estate agent and lending partner can help set you up for the most successful outcome. The key is to understand your personal goals and work towards achieving them.

In conclusion, while the recent news about the financial markets may be concerning, there is no need to panic. The housing market is still strong, and there are opportunities for success. Working with a knowledgeable team can help you navigate the current situation and achieve your personal goals.

Posted in Market Update
March 9, 2023

Is it Time to Say Goodbye to Your Condo? Here's Why Many Owners are Making the Move to Single Family Homes


Attention condo owners! Are you considering selling your condo? It seems like there's a movement happening in 2023 with many condo owners putting their condos on the market. There are three main reasons why this trend is taking place and one factor that's impacting it all: inflation.

You might be wondering, how does inflation affect condos? Well, as inflation increases, so do your homeowner's association payments, which you can't control. This is frustrating for many condo owners who are tired of seeing their payments continually rise without any say in the matter. Selling your condo and buying a single-family home might mean a slightly higher monthly payment, but at least you'll have control over where your money goes and what you do with it.

Another reason why condo owners are hitting the market is to gain greater control over their living space. Condo living can be restrictive, especially for those with pets or a growing family. If you want more space or the ability to make changes to your home, buying a single-family home might be the solution. In fact, for the first time in over two decades, the cost of home renovations, including additions and finishing new space, can be more beneficial than buying a new home that already has these features.

Lastly, many condo owners want a greater sense of ownership. With homeowner's association payments, you have limited control over repairs and maintenance, and you can't make changes to the exterior of your condo. Buying a single-family home gives you the opportunity to pick your own repairs, contractors, and the look of your home.

Interestingly, while inflation has increased, interest rates have also gone up. This affects homebuyers, but baby boomers who are downsizing from larger homes to smaller condos are able to buy with cash and are less impacted by interest rates. However, low inventory still creates competition, with multiple buyers fighting over every single condo.

If you're frustrated by rising homeowner's association payments, lack of control over your living space, or a lack of ownership, there are solutions out there. Working with a great lender can help you secure a lower interest rate or participate in a rate watch program to refinance when rates drop at no charge. Whatever your obstacle or fear may be, let us know in the comments below, and we'll work with you to find a solution.

March 3, 2023

Renting in 2023: Flexibility and Comfort or a Missed Opportunity?

As we move deeper into 2023, the trend of renting continues to be popular. Many people are drawn to the flexibility and convenience of renting. They don't have to worry about maintenance, repairs, or mowing the lawn. However, what about the missed opportunity of owning a home?

There are many reasons why people choose to rent. Some may not know where they want to settle down, while others prefer the comfort of not having to worry about homeownership responsibilities. But what about the reasons why people decide to stop renting?

One of the most significant reasons is the desire to settle down permanently. Investing your money in a home has a return on investment. You can add value to your home, make money by adding solar panels, and save money on energy bills. When you rent, any improvements you make to the property are enjoyed by the landlord, not you.

Another reason people continue to rent is the convenience of being able to move whenever they want. However, there are other options, such as owning a condo or hiring someone to take care of maintenance tasks.

The decision to rent or own is not cut and dry. It's important to ask questions and gain knowledge to make an informed decision. Figure out what's important to you and what's holding you back. If owning a home is something you desire, take action to make it a reality.

So, what's keeping you renting? If you have a reason why you continue to rent, share it in the comments below. Let's have a conversation about the benefits and drawbacks of renting and owning a home. Remember, there's no one-size-fits-all solution. It's about finding what works best for you.

Posted in Buying a Home
Feb. 28, 2023

Get Top Dollar for Your Home: Expert Tips for Getting Your Home Ready to Sell

When it comes to selling your home, preparation is key. With the right approach, you can make your property more appealing to potential buyers and increase your chances of a quick sale. Here are some tips to help you get your home ready to sell:

Declutter and Clean - One of the most important things you can do to prepare your home for sale is to declutter and clean. A cluttered home can make it difficult for buyers to envision themselves living in the space. Remove any unnecessary items and put away personal belongings. Make sure to also clean the home thoroughly, including windows, carpets, and appliances.

Make Repairs and Improvements - Small repairs and improvements can make a big difference when it comes to selling your home. Fix any broken appliances, leaky faucets, or other issues that could turn off potential buyers. Consider making cosmetic improvements, such as repainting rooms or updating fixtures, to freshen up the home's appearance.

Stage Your Home - Staging your home can help potential buyers see the property's full potential. Rearrange furniture to create an open and inviting atmosphere, and add decorative touches to make the home feel warm and welcoming. Consider hiring a professional stager to help you make the most of your space.

Price Your Home Right - Pricing your home correctly is essential to a successful sale. Overpricing can lead to a longer time on the market and fewer offers, while underpricing can leave money on the table. Work with a real estate agent to determine the right price based on comparable sales in your area.

Use Professional Photos and Videos - High-quality photos and videos can make your home stand out online, where most buyers start their search. Consider hiring a professional photographer or videographer to showcase your home in its best light.

By following these tips, you can make your home more attractive to potential buyers and increase your chances of a successful sale. Working with a trusted real estate agent can also help you navigate the process and achieve your goals.

Posted in Selling Your Home
Feb. 28, 2023

5 High ROI Kitchen Renovation Ideas!

Are you planning a kitchen renovation but don't want to spend money on upgrades that won't add value to your home? It's important to consider cost versus value and ROI when making interior updates, especially when it comes to the heart of the home: the kitchen.

Here are the top 5 kitchen improvement projects recommended by real estate and remodeling professionals for maximizing your home's value:

  • New Cabinets - Replace old, worn-out cabinets with updated ones for a consistently high ROI. Even refinishing cabinets with new hardware and paint can go a long way in adding value.
  • Increased Countertop Space - Counterspace is key when it comes to a kitchen's value. Homebuyers are always looking for more room on countertops, so adding additional space through counter-extension cabinets or a stationary kitchen island can add value.
  • Skylight - An under-the-radar way to make a kitchen feel larger, installing a skylight draws potential homebuyers' eyes upward and can contribute an estimated $5,000 to $6,000 in value upon resale.
  • Upgraded Flooring - Replacing outdated linoleum with tile or hardwood floors can provide up to an 80% ROI upon resale. Opt for continuity throughout the house by reflooring the kitchen and dining room at the same time.
  • Avoid these low-ROI upgrades - Fancy countertop materials, personalized design choices, and nonessential luxury items may not hold their value in the long run. Consider your local market and comparable listings before investing in these amenities.

Maximize your home's value with these high-impact kitchen renovation upgrades and avoid wasting money on low-ROI improvements.


Feb. 28, 2023

Pricing Tips Every Home Seller Needs to Know for Maximum Profit



When it comes to selling your home, one of the most important decisions you'll make is how to price it. Price your home too high, and it may sit on the market for too long, causing buyers to lose interest. Price it too low, and you may end up leaving money on the table. In this blog, we'll discuss some home pricing strategies to help you get the most value from your home.

Get a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA)

  • A CMA is an analysis that compares your home to similar homes that have recently sold in your area. This will help you understand what buyers are willing to pay for homes like yours, and give you a better idea of what to price your home at. A real estate agent can provide you with a CMA, or you can use online tools to get an estimate.

Consider the condition of your home

  • The condition of your home will also affect its value. Consider the age of your home, any upgrades you've made, and any repairs that may need to be done. If your home is in excellent condition, you can price it higher. However, if it needs some work, you may need to price it lower.

Look at the competition

  • It's important to know what other homes are on the market in your area. Look at homes that are similar to yours in size, style, and location, and see what they are priced at. This will give you an idea of what buyers are willing to pay for homes like yours.

Understand the Different Pricing Strategies

  • There are three main pricing strategies: aspirational pricing (for those who don't have to sell), fair market pricing (based on what similar homes are selling for), and competitive or event pricing (priced slightly below fair market value to create competition and drive up prices).
  • Competitive or event pricing involves creating amazing pictures and ads, targeting different demographics, and turning the sale into an event.

Be willing to negotiate

  • Remember that the price you set is not set in stone. Be willing to negotiate with buyers, as this can help you get the best possible price for your home. You may also want to consider offering incentives, such as paying for closing costs or offering a home warranty, to sweeten the deal.

In conclusion, pricing your home is an important part of the home selling process. By getting a CMA, considering the condition of your home, looking at the competition, understanding the different pricing strategies, and being willing to negotiate, you can ensure that you get the best possible price for your home. Don't be afraid to seek the help of a real estate agent, as they can provide you with valuable insights and advice.


Posted in Selling Your Home
Feb. 28, 2023

Maximize Your Home's Value with these 5 Proven Curb Appeal Boosting Tips!


First impressions matter and the exterior of your home is the first thing visitors and potential buyers see. Improving your home's curb appeal can make a big difference in its overall appearance and value. Here are five tips to help you enhance your home's exterior and create a welcoming atmosphere.

Keep it clean: A clean home exterior immediately creates a positive impression. Regularly clean the siding, windows, gutters, and entryway to keep your home looking its best. Pressure washing can remove built-up dirt, grime, and stains from your home's exterior surfaces, leaving them looking like new.

Enhance your landscaping: Well-maintained landscaping can add color, texture, and interest to your home's exterior. Start by trimming bushes, hedges, and trees, and remove any dead or overgrown plants. Consider adding new plants, flowers, and mulch to create a fresh look. You can also add visual interest by installing landscape lighting or a decorative pathway.


Upgrade your front door: Your front door is the focal point of your home's exterior, and upgrading it can make a big impact. Consider painting your front door a bold, eye-catching color, or replace it with a new, stylish door that complements your home's architecture. Adding decorative hardware such as a door knocker, handle or a kick plate can also create a more elegant look.


Add outdoor lighting: Outdoor lighting can highlight your home's best features and create a welcoming atmosphere for visitors. Install lighting fixtures near the front door, along the walkway, and in the backyard to enhance your home's ambiance and safety. Choose fixtures that complement your home's architecture and provide the right amount of illumination.


Upgrade your mailbox: Your mailbox is a small detail that can make a big impact on your home's curb appeal. Replace an old, worn mailbox with a new, decorative one that complements your home's style. You can also add a new post and surround it with flowers or shrubs to create a beautiful, eye-catching display.

In conclusion, improving your home's curb appeal can make a big difference in its overall appearance and value. With these five tips, you can create a beautiful and a welcoming exterior that will impress visitors and potential buyers. Remember that even small changes can have a big impact, so don't be afraid to start with something simple and build from there.

Posted in Selling Your Home
Feb. 28, 2023

Top 9 Renovations To Increase Your Home’s Value Today


Real estate has been on a whirlwind ride in recent years, and 2023 continues that trend. The boom of 2020-2022 has given way to a different market where higher interest rates are pricing out many buyers and keeping potential sellers in place, even as home values remain elevated above pre-pandemic levels.

As the market changes, so too does the list of best home renovation projects to increase value. During the pandemic, staying at home led to an increase in extravagant outdoor kitchens and elaborate home offices. However, as homeowners start to leave the house more often, the best return on investment (ROI) in 2023 comes from smaller renovation projects and updated kitchen, bath, and living spaces.

Renovations will become increasingly important for homeowners seeking an upgrade without having to buy and take on higher interest rates. According to a HomeLight survey, 38% of top agents predict that homeowners will use their home equity to finance home renovations in 2023. However, not everyone will stay put after renovations. The same survey found that 34% of agents predict that more homeowners will try to sell and cash in, in case prices drop in 2023.

To help you prioritize your list of projects, we've compiled research from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), and top insights from HomeLight agents.

Renovating your home can be a smart investment, but there’s no guarantee that you'll make back the money you spend. The national average return on investment for popular remodeling projects in 2022 was around 59%, according to Remodeling magazine’s Cost vs. Value report. Although this is a continuation of a downward trend over the past few years, some projects now have a higher return on investment due to buyer demand and pandemic-related priorities.

To increase your home's value, here are some home renovation projects to consider in 2023:

1. Improve your home's curb appeal

Curb appeal is important because it gives buyers a first impression of the home and can get them excited about it as soon as they drive up. Real estate agents estimate that investing an average of $3,467 on curb appeal projects can yield an ROI of 238%. Basic yard care, such as cutting grass, weed control, and fertilization, is crucial. Adding three cubic yards of bark mulch and tidying up the landscaping, including shrubs, walkways, and flower beds, can also improve curb appeal.

Fresh exterior paint can add an estimated 152% ROI or about $7,600 in resale value, while a new garage door has an estimated ROI of 133%, or about $2,800 in resale value. Renovations like a garage door replacement, siding updates, adding a deck, and creating a grand entryway can often provide the best ROI for renovations that buyers see before they even walk through the front door.

2. Create a functional floor plan

The functionality of the floor plan often determines livable square footage, which increases your home's appraised value. Smaller bathrooms and kitchens that are separate rooms are outdated, and buyers are no longer as willing to make them work. Consider reworking the floor plan or adding additional space to make the home more functional for modern living. Adding large bathrooms, kitchens connected to other rooms, walk-in closets, and more prep space to the kitchen can improve livability.

If you have an unfinished basement of 400 to 1,500 square feet, adding flooring, drywall, and other touches to make it a livable space can have a potential ROI of 70%. If you can't add more space to the home, consider converting an unused space into a functional one, such as turning an unused home office into a bedroom or reworking an unused living room into a flex space.

3. Upgrade to luxurious bathrooms

Buyers are seeking a spa-like experience in their bathrooms. Rain shower heads, double-sink vanities, extra storage, and soaking tubs are all features that can make a bathroom pop in 2023. Adding more square footage to the bathroom is also an option if you have more funds for a renovation. According to real estate agent Santiago Valdez, buyers are seeking more spacious bathrooms than they did in the past. Adding mirrors or reworking the floor plan to create the illusion of more space can also improve the luxurious experience in the bathroom.

4. Install a kitchen island or walk-in pantry

According to NARI, it's common for multiple people to be cooking at the same time with different food prep and storage needs. To accommodate this, buyers are looking for multiple sinks, flexible pantry and refrigerator space, various refrigeration options, and a convection microwave. HomeLight agents say the top kitchen upgrades buyers seek are:

  • A kitchen island (64%)
  • A walk-in pantry (62%)
  • Lots of drawers and cabinet storage (57%)

These upgrades provide extra counter space for unloading groceries or takeout, gadgets, and food prep without bumping elbows. A double kitchen sink or a walk-in pantry rank high for 81% of buyers, according to the NAHB. Walk-in pantries alone yield 76% of their average $3,400 cost.

5. Build or convert a home office

If you're not a fan of cooking, consider converting an existing walk-in pantry or closet into a home office. In Provencher's experience, devoted space for a home office is a bonus. More than 70% of buyers interested in a home office or exercise room want it to be 100 square feet or larger, according to the NAHB.

Sellers can remove clothing racks in a double closet and put in a tabletop and adjustable shelving for office space, which fits well in a guest room or is an efficient way to use the closet in a baby's or toddler's room. The beauty of a home office is that it doesn't have to look like a cubicle. NARI suggests matching your home's decor and introducing natural surfaces and artistic pieces. For more appeal, be sure to find a way to add natural lighting (or at least softer lighting if you can't access a window).


6. Expand your outdoor space

Buyers often appreciate functional outdoor space, but this feature now has even higher appeal. One survey of 2,000 homeowners found that participants spent 14 hours a week outside, or three hours more than before the pandemic. In addition, 7 out of 10 said adding to their home’s exterior spaces had become a new hobby, and 73% said being outside was “therapeutic.”

Touch up your garden or hardscaping, then consider incorporating any of these sought-after features:

  • Pool
    • Adding a pool can increase your home’s value by up to 7% if you live in a warmer climate area or a neighborhood where most of the other houses have pools.
    • Talk to your real estate agent to get advice on the value a pool may or may not add to your property.
  • Deck or patio
    • You could recoup between 62% – 65% of your costs if you decide to build a deck.
    • Decks gained greater popularity during the pandemic.
  • Hot tub
    • An in-ground hot tub gives your backyard the feel of a high-end spa.
    • Although you’re unlikely to recoup your entire installation cost, you currently stand to recover about 42%.
    • If you’re shy about breaking ground, a freestanding hot tub isn’t a bad compromise.


7. Modify your home for intergenerational living

As the housing market remains uncertain, homeowners are shifting their expectations, including retirees. Instead of selling, 39% of HomeLight agents we surveyed predict that in 2023, retirees will opt to modify their current home to age in place.

This trend means that intergenerational living will become more popular as well. According to 22% of agents we surveyed, renovations will increase to make way for children moving in with their older parents.

One affordable and innovative housing solution in high-cost areas is an accessory dwelling unit (ADU), which can house extended family members or add rental income to a property. More buyers are looking for mid-price homes with ADUs, according to our 2023 Agent Insight Report. According to a study by NAR, ADUs can add up to 35% to the value of a home.

Building an ADU can be expensive, however, with an average cost of $180,000, but costs can vary depending on the type of ADU, materials used, design, labor costs, and systems equipped.

NARI advises considering universal design features, especially for older relatives or those interested in aging in place. These features can include blending ramps into the flow of the landscape.

8. Make your mudroom bigger and more functional

A mudroom or foyer with a place to drop off the day's gear has long been a home design perk, especially in areas where corralling wintery shoes and boots is a must. In-demand features include a laundry area, a central charging station for everyone's phones, and shelving or other specified storage for each family member.

Even adding a bench, hooks, and built-in cubbies to a small foyer entry creates a natural stopping point and a perceived value-add.

9. Small Changes Can Make the Biggest Impact

According to Valdez, the best return on investment comes from ensuring the home doesn't show signs of deferred maintenance. Some small updates that can make a big impact include:

  • Cleaning up the property
  • Adding fresh paint
  • Fixing windows with leaks
  • Repairing any gas leaks
  • Resanding floors
  • Updating old or outdated appliances
  • Filling in caulk or grout that needs repair


Refinishing wood floors has the highest ROI at 147%, while upgrading insulation is also a good investment.


Bottom Line

Not every renovation project will increase your home value, so it's important to invest wisely. Focus on current trends and functionality that can build value in your home.


To decide where to focus your efforts, talk with a local real estate agent about which renovations increase home value in your area. Additionally, consider which renovations can help you enjoy your space until you're ready to sell.