Real Estate – Listing Carefully
With what seems like a record number of frozen pipes this year… here are some things you can do to prevent it from happening:
1) Insulate pipes in unheated areas (beneath sinks, basements, crawl spaces; etc).
2) Allow a slow trickle of water in sinks during extreme cold.
3) Keep cabinet doors beneath sinks open during extreme cold.
4) Seal air leaks in foundation with foam or insulation.
5) Know where shut off valve is incase pipes do freeze. This will minimize damage if they burst.
The real estate market in 2013 was one of the most remarkable years that we have ever experienced. Not just here in the Bay State, but also across much of the country, most markets realized superb boosts in prices, sales volume, construction starts, and record times for getting a property to the closing table after it has been active on the market. Now, a recent study from Harvard University has concluded that because of the above factors, the nation’s home remodeling market is also primed for success in this calendar year.
Shoveling Tips, in the City:
1) Shovel and sand/salt sidewalk in front of property (you can be held liable if someone slips and falls).
2) Shovel and lightly sand stairs to building (careful to not use salt as it eats away at wood).
3) Shovel snow away from foundation (helps prevent water entry into basement)
4) Shovel out dryer or furnace exhaust vents.
5) Shovel snow off roof or deck when accumulation is 8″+.
6) Shovel fire escapes.
7) Shovel any fire hydrants near property.
While not something that those in the industry particularly like the sound of, foreclosure activity in this instance at least when it pertains to Massachusetts is actually in a good situation. From the booming real estate market to the government programs purposefully enacted to assist homeowners who are delinquent on their mortgages, the frequency of foreclosures in the Bay State have been dramatically reduced.
In September, there were a total of 247 foreclosure deeds filed. This number was a massive 52% drop from 2012 when there were 512 foreclosure deeds.
Interest rates have hit a 4 month low. With the government shut down, and economic data disappointing investors, the rates checked back to provide some stability. Today’s Rates:
30 Year Fixed – 4.250%
15 Year Fixed – 3.375%
5/1 Adj. Rate – 2.875%
There is no crystal ball to tell us where rates will trend – but I suspect the pattern of 1.5 steps up, 1 step down to continue.
Today, one-third of luxury consumers, those with a gross annual income exceeding $250,000, insist that they are actively trying to purchase real estate either for personal use or as an investment over the next twelve months. Most of these wealthy individuals expect that if they were to purchase a property today, it’s value would appreciate by 14% over the next five years (a low estimate for Boston specific).
As I had forecasted back in June, the interest rates continue to cycle up and then correct. This week they hit a 2-month low of 4.32% (30 year fixed). This was due to the Fed’s decision last week to continue the Treasury and mortgage-backed bond purchasing. When the market responded terribly to the Fed stating they plan to cut back on these purchases, it made them realize the economy is still too fragile to mess around.
If you are ready to buy, now is a good time to capitalize.
When the real estate market is hot and properties are receiving multiple offers, it seems that anyone can list and sell a home. On paper this may hold some truth – but can the person you hire maximize profits? It happens over and over and over again where a seller chooses an inexperienced agent, or tries to do a FSBO, and it ends up costing them a LOT of money. In just the last 1.5 weeks I have seen 4 sales where sellers have left $ on the table due to the way their property was marketed and negotiated. There are a lot of tricks to generating the highest price possible… so make sure you ask questions and do your research before signing the contract!