Walkable Neighborhoods Give Rise to Home Values

Recently a few of the buyers I have been working with put the “walkability” factor as a primary item when looking for a home.

And with the walkability factor becoming more in demand, walkability may increase the saleability of the home! Walkable urban areas are showing signs of becoming the strongest housing market today.

The real estate website feature “Walk Score” lets buyers know how close each home is listed to shops, restaurants and community parks. Franklin, Massachusetts has a walkable score of “88″ out of “100″ and considered very walkable.

Market reports show that home values in walkable neighborhoods are greater than in the car dependent suburbs. Home rents in urban walkable neighborhoods are able to bring 60% more annually than those in the suburbs where a car is needed.

A Pew Research Center Social & Demographic Trends survey showed “suburbanites are significantly more satisfied with their communities than are residents of cities, small towns or rural areas. This survey explores what Americans like — and don’t like — about the places where they live”.

The rebirth of the downtown district has been unfolding for many years, however, the positive activity the real estate market is experiencing has given rise to new opportunities for today’s home buyers.  The people’s  interest in walkable neighborhoods is becoming more popular with the trend moving towards healthier lifestyles that include walking, bike riding and ride sharing.

If you haven’t yet been outside today, consider taking a walk.

Relocating with no idea of where to begin? Let me do the thinking for you. Call me today.

Comments { 0 }

Fire Safety on the 4th of July

 Have a Happy and Safe July 4th Holiday

Brightnest Infographic July 4th

Call me for all real estate needs.  “Your Guide to Better Living”.  Know some relocating,  I can help them find a realtor at their destination location, a no cost or obligation service! 

 

Comments { 0 }

Pocket Listings are Percolating

 pocket listings 450

Who Truly Benefits?

A “Pocket Listing” is an industry term for a home listing that is not in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).  It is as simple as the words imply, a listing being held close to the vest and not available to the broader buying pool.

The concept originated many years back when celebrities were marketing their homes. The rich and famous were not interested in posting dozens of pictures online to be gawked at, and they certainly didn’t want hundreds of curious strangers invading their personal space. At that price point and owners with such notoriety, it makes some sense to keep the listing private, however, the average homeowner needs the broader buying pool to capture the highest and best price, and the MLS is where they need to be.

The MLS is designed to provide maximum exposure and the opportunity to fetch top dollar for the seller.  All buyers go where the home listings are and that is the Multiple Listing Service.

The seller is the one to make the decision to keep a home listing off the MLS. Many sellers are attracted to the perceived benefits of selling a house outside of the MLS and might not be informed as to the pitfalls associated with this method. This method tends to appeal to sellers who don’t want hassle and inconvenience of showing their property or sellers who think they are saving money on a commission, when in actuality they could be receiving less than market value. More times than not the cost of using a realtor allows the seller to pocket more money in the end.

Other sellers like to test the market with their home and price, however, if they are only receiving a tiny sampling of the buying pool, how do they know if the feedback is accurate or the offer is current market value.

So why are we seeing such an increase with pocket listings? With the market shifting back to a seller’s market,pocketlisting4 many list agents, who realize they can double dip on the commission, is determined to be the motivating factor for the increase in pocket listings.  This has many realtors questioning the ethics of holding a listing in-house. As a list agent, we have a fiduciary relationship to represent the seller’s best interests and pocket listings limit the buying pool with other potential issues, such as the seller losing their negotiating power and appraisal problems.

Almost every seller tells me during the pre-listing period that if I have a buyer, to bring them in … unaware of the financial ramifications of this statement. The strategies I use to reduce the “days on market” and the number of contingencies in an offer allow the seller to move confidently to the closing table knowing they received their highest and best price, with the least amount of inconvenience, in a competitive environment that provided options.

Keeping you informed of the current market trends. Feel free to contact me should you have any questions. If I can help you with your real estate needs, I’m just a phone call away.

All the best,
                                                         Jean 

 

Relocating and need to find a destination realtor! Let me do the leg work for you. Contact me at jean.curley@nemoves.com or call at 508-479-2106.

Comments { 0 }

Open Floor Plans Getting Closed Off|Separate Kitchens

We are not seeing this demand in our area as of yet, however, it could be on the horizon, what are your thoughts about this new trend?  Article below written by Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR(R) Magazine

Demand Grows for Separate Kitchens

Open floorplans have been in high demand in recent years, with buyers showing preferences for open kitchens and dining areas tucked into great rooms. But could that be changing? A New York Times article highlights a “separate kitchen comeback,” as some home owners say they want a more defined space for a kitchen and dining area. More new buildings are opting to feature separate kitchens and formal dining rooms due to a rising demand for separate corridors, according to the article.

Why are some home owners suddenly wanting to close off the interior of their homes again? Some point to a “dirty dishes” driver. Home owners are finding that when entertaining they prefer to have a separate kitchen space so their guests don’t have to see the food being prepared or look at the dirty dishes afterwards.

The separate kitchen and dining space also helps to remove one popular sticking point for home buyers: How to fit their existing dining room table into an open floorplan? “The issue of where to put the dining table kills more deals than anything else in real estate. If a family is moving, the dining table is the one thing they say they can’t part with,” Barbara van Beuren, a managing partner with Anbau Enterprises, told The New York Times. Anbau Enterprises is developing new duplexes in New York City featuring dedicated dining rooms.

For some home owners, they’re preference for separate kitchens is more nostalgic. They desire it because it reminds them of their childhood home.

“So much new construction features open floor plans that there’s a pent-up desire for apartments with separate dining rooms and kitchen,” broker George Case with Citi Habitats told The New York Times. “They offer charm, they’re better for entertaining, and you don’t have to see your partner first thing in the morning. For a certain demographic, they’re a definite selling point.”

Some listing ads are even highlighting homes with a separate dining room, viewing it as a selling point. Some architects also are responding to the increase in demand with what they’re dubbing “hybrid kitchens,” using pocket doors that can be opened or closed to give home owners the option of an open or closed kitchen.

pocket door

Comments { 0 }

How to Achieve the Right Curb Appeal Effect: Why It Works

Curb Appeal Effect600

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Curb Appeal is an invitation, and if you are selling your home you want to invite everyone to the party. When designing both your interior and exterior, less is more.

So, how to achieve the right curb appeal effect is very easy. Reduce. Reduce the visual clutter.

Simplicity in your presentation allows buyers to visually absorb the framed picture in a positive light. The elements capture your interest and draw you into the picture.   In the photo above, the mass of the pink shrubbery balances the natural colors of the steps, creating a scaled unified focal point. The pots continue the journey, adding depth and intrigue, guiding you to the front door.

Remove small flower plant combinations with a robust shrub or cluster 3-5 medium sized perennial plants to create a larger visual mass.

You can’t get all of your dream homes into one property, so you must learn how to edit the picture. Step back from your home, to the road, and frame your home’s view as a drive-by buyer might see it. When things are right, you will feel it from this vantage point and you will know you have achieved the right curb appeal effect.

Take your influence from Asian inspired designs. Simple and tranquil; evoking calmness and scientifically proven to lower one’s blood pressure. The Asian design incorporates natural elements; wood, stone, plant life, and a mostly monochromatic color scheme. Contrasting and complimenting these elements create a soothing, restful mindset when entering.

If your exterior home isn’t evoking this “feeling” for you, it certainly won’t for your potential buyer. Spring is the ideal season to plant. It allows the plants to become established more easily, and for you to enjoy tending to, and nurturing, their growth as the season’s change.

Start small. One quick and easy way to begin to add personality, is simply by delineating the lawn edge from the garden bed. More times than not, I’ve started with this simple plan and then suddenly I realize I’ve reshaped my entire vision.

When your outside space and the unexpected hidden pockets become a destination point for you, then you are expanding your livable space and increasing your home’s value. Take a walk through your yard and see what potential is being untapped.

Here are a few ideas to stimulate your creative and artistic side while increasing your home’s value.

Comments { 0 }

How Will the Millennials Affect the Luxury Market?

Luxury Home300According to Nielsen … Millennials may be many things, but they may not be what you expect. Millennials are the social generation. They’re the founders of the social media movement—constantly connected to their social circles via online and mobile. They prefer to live in dense, diverse urban villages where social interaction is just outside their front doors. They value authenticity and creativity, and they buy local goods made by members of their communities. Millennials care about their families, friends and philanthropic causes. However, they’re also coming of age in the most dire economic climate since the Great Depression–making their families, communities and social networks even more valuable as they band together.

Among their key findings, Millennials are…

  • Diverse, Expressive and Optimistic
  • Driving a Social Movement Back to the Cities
  • Struggling, But They Have an Entrepreneurial Spirit
  • Deal Shoppers and Desire Authenticity
  • Connected and Want the Personal Touch

Luxury Home Market Statistics

luxury market

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 National Summary Charts

The charts below show the 7-day and 90-day rolling averages for median list price, days on market, and inventory for the national composite–a snapshot of how, together, the luxury markets around the country are performing.

Luxury mkt price chart

Inventory 33014

DOM 33014

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where Do The Millennials Live?

2014 Luxury Market Stats

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quick Fact:

As of March 30, 2014 There are 320 Luxury listings priced between ($1,000,000-$5,000,000) in Norfolk County, Massachusetts.  327 Luxury listings have sold, contingent or under agreement in the past 6 months.

Middlesex County – 375 Luxury listings with 500 that have either sold, contingent or under agreement.

Information courtesy of the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing

 

 

 

Thinking of buying or selling a home, or know someone who is considering a move, please call me. I can help you find a realtor at your destination location, a no cost or obligation service!  “Your Guide to Better Living”

Comments { 0 }

80 Johnson Drive, Holliston, Mass.

80 Johnson SALE PENDQuiet Elegance with a Prestigious Presence Nestled peacefully within the desirable Cedarbrook neighborhood, this stunning colonial is screened by nature with towering native trees and artiscally landscaped with many varieties of shrubbery and perennials. Landscape irrigation is provided by a separate well system. This custom designed home blends elegance and comfort with tasteful appointments and refined finishes. As you enter into the two-story foyer with palladium window,  the expansive first floor offers an office for the professional with custom floor to ceiling built-in cabinets, hardwood floor, electric fireplace and privacy with a French door garnished with a transom window. The spacious formal Living Room and Dining Room, accented with custom mouldings and trimDining Room details, decorative columns and hardwoods, provides for great conversation to flow. Tucked quietly off the Living Room is the enormous Music Room featuring new soft carpeting and flanked by another french door with transom. Boasting additional custom cabinetry for storage this multi-purpose room; billiard room or playroom allows you to comfortably entertain with family and friends. As you continue your tour to the back of the home, the sun filled kitchen featuring new granite counters and polished hardwood floors; you immediately step down onto the plush carpet and relax in the casual living of the sky-lit fireplaced family room with cathedral ceiling and brick hearth with custom mantel.  Enjoy the view of nature and private play area through the expansive window adorned with custom shutters. Journey along and you find easy access to the second floor bedrooms by way of a back staircase.

Music Room 3The double doors of the Master Suite open to a tranquil space featuring a private sitting area with cathedral ceiling. Custom built-in cabinetry enhance the character and charm of the room and provide a wonderful hide-away spot for the television and additional storage. Neatly tucked into the corner are two walk-in closets and a full master bath featuring a whirlpool tub, tile floors with double vanity and granite counters.

The three other bedrooms on the second floor feature custom double closets with Elfa closet organizers, all new plush carpeting and fresh neutral paint. Located between two bedrooms is the comfortably sized family bath offering tiled floors, double vanity and upgraded with granite counters. For your personal showing, please call me at 508-479-2106. Value Range Marketing, this home is priced at $679,000-$700,000. View the MLS Listing

Comments { 0 }

Buying or Selling a Home … How Accurate is Zillow in Determining Market Value?

Many buyers and sellers refer to Zillow’s Zestimate before they buy or sell a home.  This video offers a great explanation, hopefully saving you valuable time and money when you are negotiating an offer.

Thinking of buying or selling a home, or know someone who is considering a move, please call me. I can help you find a realtor at your destination location, a no cost or obligation service!  “Your Guide to Better Living”

Comments { 0 }

10 Tips to Help Seniors Downsize to Simpler Living

senior-downsizingSimpler living sounds appealing to most of us, however, it takes on an entirely new meaning for a senior needing to relocate and downsize to a new home. I recently began on this journey with a client and their family and the challenges they faced were not unique to them.  Below are 10 tips I learned along the way.

1. Sensitivity and Patience. Emotions are all over the place when a senior begins this process. It may even have been their suggestion to make the change, however, this is a time of much needed sensitivity and patience as they navigate the process for themselves. If you are planning to list and sell the home in the near future, give yourself atleast six months to clear the home at their pace and then prepare it for the sale.

Their “stuff” is much more than material, it represents a time in their life and deciding which items to keep, sell and donate is an overwhelming and understandably stressful event.

2. Acquire New Floor Plan. Knowing the space constraints of the new living environment will make it easier  to tag appropriately through the sorting process. Plan your move with consideration to their new lifestyle; will they be cooking often, entertaining large groups of people, etc.  It can become quite an emotional event for your senior to have to remove an item of furniture or knick knack  after the move, therefore, itemizing exactly which pieces are traveling with them prior makes the transition much easier. It would be such an uplifting feeling to be able to “add” a memorable piece after the move, than to take away.

3. Before You Begin. Take a day to spend with your family member and talk about the move and what to expect. Get your loved one involved by giving them small tasks to do;  such as going through a desk drawer; a box from the attic; a less sentimental room or a closet.  Start small, 15 to 20 minutes a day on one task with the least emotional attachment will  help them get into the process.

4. The Sorting Process. Seniors usually like to keep things that have sentimental value. Be gentle.  A good approach is to suggest the positive benefit of someone else enjoying their cherished item.  For those hard to part pieces, a family heirloom treasure allows seniors to realize they’ve touched many people through their years with a memory to share. Multi-colored stickers or post-it notes offer a great way to maintain organization. Label items with stickers; “green” stickers for items that move to the new place; “red” stickers for items that  do not move on and “yellow” for the undecided items that need to be readdressed.

5. Pictures Provide Placement. Replicating their old environment in their new space will help seniors adjust to their new environment. It takes most new homeowners six months to a year to “naturally” develop a functional flow. Seniors have this down pat at their age, so it is best to try to arrange furniture similar to their existing home. Accessorizing comparably will help your loved one make their new place feel more like their home.

8. Hire outside help. The enormity of this task can be daunting for everyone involved. Enlist the help of others; friends, family, neighbors as needed to make this more calming and enjoyable for everybody.  Senior Move Managers and Home Helpers are growing in popularity today. The  NASMM (National Association of Senior Move Managers) is great resources to help you determine the types of services available to you. 

9. Lastly. Allow your senior time to say goodbye. It is a big change. Help them move forward with collecting and organizing the 3P’s for their move to their new home … the paperwork, pills and pictures.  Their paperwork can include legal documents; memorable cards; letters;  grandchildren’s artwork, etc. Pills that are no longer being used can be discarded in the trash, as long as they have been mixed with something unpalatable, per the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Determine which pictures they would like to have displayed. Label these pictures with the person, location and date so they can easily recall the moment.

10. Once They Move. Be patient with your senior after their move.  It is not uncommon for seniors to experience remorse and become slightly depressed. Adjusting to their new lifestyle is an ongoing process that could take months. Help them engage with others in their new surrounding, developing consistencies and routines help them plan their tomorrows and visualize their future taking shape.

Relocating and need to find a destination realtor! Let me do the leg work for you. Contact me at jean.curley@nemoves.com or call at 508-479-2106.

 

 

Comments { 0 }

Real Estate Factoid #3 – Is the American Dream Alive in 2014?

 

courtesy of npr.org

courtesy of npr.org

96 percent say owning a home is important.

78 percent say that home ownership is an important part of the American dream.

72 percent say that finding the right home and community are key to their family’s happiness.

64 percent say a good real estate agent can help them make the right choices about the type of  home and community they want.

62 percent say a good agent can help maximize home ownership investment.

Factoid of the day

—By REALTOR® Magazine                                                              

 

 

Thinking of buying or selling a home, or know someone who is considering a move, please call me. I can help you find a realtor at your destination location, a no cost or obligation service!

Comments { 0 }