Westford MA Real Estate and Community 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!

Jan. 15, 2021

Why Right Now May Be the Time to Sell Your House

Why Right Now May Be the Time to Sell Your House | MyKCM

The housing market made an incredible recovery in 2020 and is now positioned for an even stronger year in 2021. Record-low mortgage interest rates are a driving factor in this continued momentum, with average rates hovering at historic all-time lows.

According to the latest Realtors Confidence Index Survey from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), buyer demand across the country is incredibly strong. That’s not the case, however, on the supply side. Seller traffic is simply not keeping up. Here’s a breakdown by state:Why Right Now May Be the Time to Sell Your House | MyKCM

As the maps show, buyer traffic is high, but seller traffic is low. With so few homes for sale right now, record-low inventory is creating a mismatch between supply and demand.

NAR also just reported that the actual number of homes currently for sale stands at 1.28 million, down 22% from one year ago (1.64 million). Additionally, inventory is at an all-time low with 2.3 months supply available at the current sales pace. In a normal market, that number would be 6.0 months of inventory – significantly higher than it is today.

What does this mean for buyers and sellers?

Buyers need to remain patient in the search process. At the same time, they must be ready to act immediately once they find the right home since bidding wars are more common when so few houses are available for sale.

Sellers may not want to wait until spring to put their houses on the market, though. With such high buyer demand and such a low supply, now is the perfect time to sell a house on optimal terms.

Bottom Line

The real estate market is entering the year like a lion. There’s no indication it will lose that roar, assuming inventory continues to come to market.

 

Posted in Selling Your Home
Jan. 7, 2021

Why You Should Not Wait Until Spring to Make a Move

Why Not to Wait Until Spring to Make a Move | MyKCM

The housing market recovery coming into the new year has been nothing short of remarkable. Many experts agree the turnaround from the nation’s economic pause is playing out extremely well for real estate, and the current market conditions are truly making this winter an ideal time to make a move. Here’s a dive into some of the biggest wins for homebuyers this season.

1. Mortgage Rates Are Historically Low

In 2020, mortgage rates hit all-time lows 16 times. Continued low rates have set buyers up for significant long-term gains. In fact, realtor.com notes:

“Given this, homes could cost potentially tens of thousands
less over the lifetime of the loan.”

Essentially, it’s less expensive to borrow money for a home loan today than it has been in years past. Although mortgage rates are expected to remain relatively low in 2021, even the slightest increase can make a big difference in your payments over the lifetime of a home loan. So, this is a huge opportunity to capitalize on right now before mortgage rates start to rise.

2. Equity Is Growing

According to John Burns Consulting, 58.7% of homes in the U.S. have at least 60% equity, and 42.1% of all homes in this country are mortgage-free, meaning they’re owned free and clear.

In addition, CoreLogic notes the average equity homeowners gained since last year is $17,000. That’s a tremendous amount of forced savings for homeowners, and an opportunity to use this increasing equity to make a move into a home that fits your changing needs this season.

3. Home Prices Are Appreciating

According to leading experts, home prices are forecasted to continue appreciating. Today, many experts are projecting more moderate home price growth than last year, but still moving in an upward direction through 2021.

Knowing home values are increasing while mortgage rates are so low should help you feel confident that buying a home before prices rise even higher is a strong long-term investment.

4. There Are Not Enough Homes for Sale

With today’s low inventory of homes on the market, which is contributing to this home price appreciation, sellers are in the driver’s seat. The competition is high among buyers, so homes are selling quickly.

Making a move while so many buyers are looking for homes to purchase may mean your house rises to the top of the buyer pool. Selling your house before more listings come to the market in the traditionally busy spring market might be your best chance to shine.

Bottom Line

If you’re considering making a move, this may be your moment, especially with today’s low mortgage rates and limited inventory. Let’s connect to get you set up for homebuying success in the new year.

 

Posted in Buying a Home
Jan. 5, 2021

3 Must-Do’s When Selling Your House This Year

 

It’s exciting to put a house on the market and to think about making new memories in new spaces. However, despite the anticipation of what’s to come, we can still have deep sentimental attachments to the home we’re leaving behind. Growing emotions can help or hinder a sale depending on how we manage them.

When it comes to the bottom line, homeowners need to know what it takes to avoid costly mistakes when it’s time to move. Being mindful and prepared for the process can help you stay on the right track when selling your house this year.

1. Price Your Home Right

When inventory is low, like it is in the current market, it’s common to think buyers will pay whatever we ask when setting a listing price. Believe it or not, that’s not always true. Don’t forget that the buyer’s bank will send an appraiser to determine the fair value for your house. The bank will not lend more than what the house is worth, so be aware that you might need to renegotiate the price after the appraisal. A real estate professional will help you set the true value of your home.

2. Keep Your Emotions in Check

Today, homeowners are living in their houses for a longer period of time. Since 1985, the average tenure, or the time a homeowner has owned their home, has increased from 5 to 10 years (as shown in the graph below):3 Must-Do’s When Selling Your House This Year | MyKCM

This is several years longer than what used to be the historical norm. The side effect, however, is when you stay in one place for so long, you may get even more emotionally attached to your space. If it’s the first home you bought or the house where your children grew up, it very likely means something extra special to you. Every room has memories, and it’s hard to detach from the sentimental value.

For some homeowners, that makes it even harder to negotiate and separate the emotional value of the house from the fair market price. That’s why you need a real estate professional to help you with the negotiations along the way.

3. Stage Your Home Properly

We’re generally quite proud of our décor and how we’ve customized our houses to make them our own unique homes, but not all buyers will feel the same way about your design. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you stage your house with the buyer in mind.

Buyers want to envision themselves in the space so it truly feels like it could be their own. They need to see themselves inside with their furniture and keepsakes – not your pictures and decorations. Stage and declutter so they can visualize their own dreams as they walk down the hall. A real estate professional can help you with tips to get your home ready to stage and sell.

Bottom Line

Today’s sellers’ market might be your best chance to make a move. If you’re considering selling your house, let’s connect so you have the help you need to navigate through the process while prioritizing these must-do’s.

 

Posted in Selling Your Home
April 25, 2019

Things to Do in Spring in Merrimack Valley

 

I am probably just like you and want to get out and about now that the weather is better, here are some things to do and places to go.

 

Great Brook State Farm

 

This is a wonderful local park to take your kids to year round. It has 20 miles of trails and over 1,000 acres of land. In the summer, it has homemade ice cream stand and a farm with a robotic milking system. You can see the animals and they give tours of milking the cows. 

 

Lots of people run or ride their horses on the trails, they have cross country meets here as well.  In the winter when there is snow you can rent cross country skis or snow shoes or bring your own and enjoy some outdoor time and some exercise.  It does cost $2 to park there. 

 

NARA Park in Acton 

 

This park is open year round but is only manned in the summer. In the summer, you can enjoy the beach with lifeguards for a fee  or you can enjoy a concert at the amphitheater, check out the website for a calendar of events. http://www.acton-ma.gov/312/NARA-Park . In July they have a fantastic 4th of July show but you need to get there early as it does get crowded. 

 

Manning State Park Billerica MA

 

This fun park is great picnic areas, hiking, a splash pad, fitness trail and fire pits.

 

Heart Pond Chelmsford

 

This is a small pretty beach on the rail trail. The beach is open from dawn until dusk.

 

Brush Art Gallery and Studios Lowell MA

 

Artists occupy studio spaces to interact with and educate the public on a weekly basis. Currently, nine studio artists produce paintings, illustration, photography, jewelry, sculpture, ceramics, quilts, and handwoven items.

 

Bobby’s Ranch Westford MA

 

Have fun and go on a western trail ride, all levels welcome.

 

Kimball Farm Westford MA

 

Mini golf clubs are swinging, the zipline is soaring, the bumper boats are splashing, and lots more! With a variety of activities for all ages

 

 

 

Parlee Farm Tyngsboro MA

 

PARLEE FARMS was named one of the 1000 GREAT PLACES TO VISIT IN MASSACHUSETTS! What an honor – thank you! Parlee Farms is a family owned farm that specializes in growing fruit.

 

LeLacheur Park Lowell MA

 

Home to the Lowell Spinners

 

 

 

Lowell Heritage State Park Lowell MA 

 

Enjoy canal rides at this fun park that is connected to the bigger Lowell Historical Park.  It has a bike path and many exhibits on the trail.  There is a pretty Victorian garden in the heart of the downtown area, and over two miles of landscaped esplanade which allows for summer concerts.  Swimming and boating in the Merrimack River are offered as well as a boat ramp so you can bring your own.

 

 

 

Walden Pond Concord 

 

Home to Henry David Thoreau this park include 102 feet deep kettle hole ideal for swimming and fishing on 335 acres of wooded land, has lots of trails around the pond and in the summer they do interpretive guided walks. 

 

 

 

 Minuteman National Historic Park Concord and Lexington        

 

The Old North Bridge in Concord is just one of the highlights on this park system.  Battle Road is a five mile trail with houses along the way that are open to the public in the summer for tours. This is a beautiful and fun day to spend exploring both Concord and Lexington and there are many activities in the park.

 

 

 

So go out and explore and enjoy these parks, spend some quality time outdoors and remind ourselves to stop and admire what is around us.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Spring
April 5, 2019

Taxes

 

It’s time for taxes! I just sold my home do I have to pay taxes? If you owned and lived in the home for 2-5 years prior to selling that up to $250,000 is tax free. And if you are married and filing jointly then it is $500,000.  This only works on a primary residence and not on a vacation home. Anything over that amounts needs to be reported as capital gains on Schedule D.  You will need to pinpoint how much you originally paid for the house, this can be adjusted by improvements you have made, just make sure you have the information to back all of it up

 

 

 

If you sold for a loss you cannot take the deduction for that loss.

 

 

 

Hope that helps!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Taxes
March 28, 2019

So Its Spring: Home Maintenance Tips

So its spring! Finally. Time to take a look around your home and do some spring home maintenance as part of your spring cleaning!  It’s called Spring Fever. I already started cleaning windows and washing curtains.

 

Time to make a spring cleaning list that includes things to do like cleaning the gutters and downspouts between snow and leaves, it can get clogged and cause some home damage, so get this one off the list.  Take a look at your roof to see if there are missing shingles or damaged shingles from the winter storms and get them fixed!  No need for leaks next year. While you are at it check the flashing for skylights, vents and chimneys as these are areas that the seal can break down over time and cause leaks.

 

My favorite one is to check your irrigation system, I always have a head that is no longer working and I need to fix.  They easily crack with weather. Check those faucets as well to see if they froze. Any easy way to see is if you turn on the faucet and you can stop the flow with just your thumb, if that happens you may need to have a plumber check the pipes inside the home for damage. And check the hoses for dry rot and you may need to replace one or two.

 

Start up all the lawn equipment and power tools to see what works and what needs to be fixed!

 

If you have air conditioning, make sure to get the AC unit serviced now that winter is over.

 

And of course, time to power wash the decks, driveways, fences and whatever other outside surfaces you have to get rid of mold and mildew so it’s ready for use!

 

March 28, 2019

It’s time for taxes!

It’s time for taxes! I just sold my home do I have to pay taxes? If you owned and lived in the home for 2-5 years prior to selling that up to $250,000 is tax free. And if you are married and filing jointly then it is $500,000.  This only works on a primary residence and not on a vacation home. Anything over that amounts needs to be reported as capital gains on Schedule D.  You will need to pinpoint how much you originally paid for the house, this can be adjusted by improvements you have made, just make sure you have the information to back all of it up

 

If you sold for a loss you cannot take the deduction for that loss.

 

Hope that helps!

Posted in Spring
May 16, 2017

Finally, Spring Is Here!

 

Spring has finally sprung, and I want my house to look great so I can have friends over and truly enjoy my space. So what do I need to do?  Well, I want my garden to look awesome so off to the garden center I go to find some perennials for the garden and some annuals to hang or to put in a garden near my patio. Then I get to do the fun part, planting!  Then I need to put down lots of mulch to help prevent weeds and besides looks great and smells great too.  

Now I just have to remind my kids to mow the lawn, put down seed in the areas that need more and then we get to use our big tractor with a pull behind to aerate the lawn so seeds can grow.  And of course fertilize. Put down a weed preventer if possible, but ensure if you put down seed that it will be ok.  Now I just need to water but I need to check what the towns watering restrictions are since many have them starting in May. 

Rent a tiller and get my vegetable garden started so I can enjoy in July and August.  Voila I am ready to have people over and enjoy a BBQ!

 

Posted in Spring
Jan. 24, 2017

Winter Doldrums

 

Winter Doldrums? What to do about it

 

So I don’t know about you but I have the winter doldrums.  Between cold weather and kids sports there has not been enough time for my husband and I or just family time.  So I have compiled a list of 20 things to do locally to beat these doldrums, maybe I can get to one of them.  

1.      Tubing at Nashoba Valley Ski Area, Westford MA 

2.      Skiing or Snowboarding at Nashoba Valley Ski Area 

3.      Ice Skating at the Winter Ice in Littleton 

4.      Do a Boston Architecture tour starting at the Boston Public Library  

5.      Watch some Boston Bruins or college hockey (Harvard, U-Mass Lowell, Northeastern, Boston University) Check out the Beanpot 

6.      Watch Boston Celtics 

7.      Do some indoor rock climbing at Vertical Dreams in Nashua 

8.      Try out Bikram Yoga in Chelmsford 

9.      Go to the Merrimack Repertory Theatre 

10.   Enjoy the Museum of Fine Arts (Wednesdays are free after 4 PM) or the Museum of Science 

11.   See a concert 

12.   See an event at the Lowell auditorium 

13.   See chocolate being made  

14.   Take a Brewery Tour  

15.   Go see Disney on Ice 

16.   Check out the Cambridge Antique Market 

17.   See the Artists at the Western Avenue Studios in Lowell, you can blow glass, take a drawing class, learn to be a sculptor, etc. 

18.   Check out classes the Roudenbush Center in Westford, they have all sorts of fun classes including wine and beer tasting, classes for kids, martial arts, gymnastics, etc. 

19.   Go bowling or play indoor golf at Wamesit Lanes in Tewksbury 

20.   Or instead of the typical Paint Nite, try Plant Nite, have some wine and plant something! 

If that does not cut it, now is the time to sell or buy your new home, so you can be in for the spring!

 

Posted in Winter
Nov. 21, 2016

Best Local Parks

 

 

This month I was enjoying the beautiful leaves and enjoying long walks with my dog before scurrying off to all my other priorities and I thought it might be best to remind ourselves of the many wonderful and beautiful parks we have around us to enjoy.  Below is my list of ones I know of that are close to me. I am sure I missed some but it is a good start and these are great if you have not been to them.  

Great Brook State Farm

This is a wonderful local park to take your kids to year round. It has 20 miles of trails and over 1,000 acres of land. In the summer, it has homemade ice cream stand and a farm with a robotic milking system. You can see the animals and they give tours of milking the cows. 

Lots of people run or ride their horses on the trails, they have cross country meets here as well.  In the winter when there is snow you can rent cross country skis or snow shoes or bring your own and enjoy some outdoor time and some exercise.  It does cost $2 to park there. 

NARA Park in Acton 

This park is open year round but is only manned in the summer. In the summer, you can enjoy the beach with lifeguards for a fee  or you can enjoy a concert at the amphitheater, check out the website for a calendar of events. http://www.acton-ma.gov/312/NARA-Park . In July they have a fantastic 4th of July show but you need to get there early as it does get crowded. 

Manning State Park in Billerica 

This park has some nice short trails great for cross country skiing and they include a new fitness circuit to make them more challenging.  In the summer it has a splash Pad.  It does have restrooms as well. 

Lowell Heritage State Park Lowell MA 

Enjoy canal rides at this fun park that is connected to the bigger Lowell Historical Park.  It has a bike path and many exhibits on the trail.  There is a pretty Victorian garden in the heart of the downtown area, and over two miles of landscaped esplanade which allows for summer concerts.  Swimming and boating in the Merrimack River are offered as well as a boat ramp so you can bring your own.

 

Rogers Forth Hill Park Lowell

This park is being renovated and is includes 11 acres of paths and gardens, and 23 acres of woods. There are Heritage trees in the park, including Beach trees, Japanese and Sugar Maples.  The upper part of the park has mostly been restored and now they are working to restore the part with the restoration of the spring house and the addition of a pergola, I am excited to see it when it is done, it will be a beautiful addition. 

Lowell Dracut Tyngsboro State Forest 

These 1,140 acres offer six miles of trails offering hiking, bicycling, horseback riding, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling, as well as hunting in season. 180 acres of this are ponds and wetlands with some pretty viewing areas. 

Walden Pond Concord 

Home to Henry David Thoreau this park include 102 feet deep kettle hole ideal for swimming and fishing on 335 acres of wooded land, has lots of trails around the pond and in the summer they do interpretive guided walks. 

Willard Brook State Forest 

This beautiful forest contains 2,597 acres and is located in the towns of Ashby and Townsend, and includes tumbling brook and quick water amid groves of classic New England pine woods.  This state park includes campsites, hiking, fishing, swimming and trails. 

Rocky Hill Wildlife Sanctuary 

This 421 acre sanctuary includes a lot of granite ledges and rocks and is home to 100 species of birds and plants.  There is a nice 3 mile trail to walk through the sanctuary.

 

 Minuteman National Historic Park Concord and Lexington        

The Old North Bridge in Concord is just one of the highlights on this park system.  Battle Road is a five mile trail with houses along the way that are open to the public in the summer for tours. This is a beautiful and fun day to spend exploring both Concord and Lexington and there are many activities in the park.

 

So go out and explore and enjoy these parks, spend some quality time outdoors and remind ourselves to stop and admire what is around us.

 

Posted in Parks