Welcome to our Real Estate Blog! 

Here you'll find valuable real estate and community information like local market updates for some of the Boston suburbs, town information, town events and much more! 

 

 

 

 

Sept. 4, 2019

August 2019 Real Estate Market Snapshot

 

•••••• 𝐑𝐞𝐚𝐥 𝐄𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐭𝐞 𝐌𝐚𝐫𝐤𝐞𝐭 𝐔𝐩𝐝𝐚𝐭𝐞 ••••••

Very interesting stats as we move full swing into the fall market. 

 

  • Typically we see an increase in the inventory levels at the end of summer heading into the fall market. This year, however, the inventory levels are remaining low in our market snapshot towns. 
  • With interest rates hovering at a 3 year low, we should see strong buying activity this fall, especially with first time buyers maybe being nudged off the fence with the enticing rates. 
  • If you’re a seller, now is the time to get your property listed if you haven’t already. It’s even more important this time of year to market properly, especially when it comes to pricing. Overpricing, even by just a little bit, could cost you valuable time and money in a shorter fall market. 

Check back next month to see how these numbers will compare to Septembers snapshot. If you're looking for a more detailed market report on your town, head over to the Market Reports section of our Homepage. 

June 3, 2019

May 2019 Market Snapshot

 

 

 

Single family inventory has jumped quite a bit since a month ago in all but one of these towns, which is expected for this time of year. 

 

Inventory Change


Walpole - +41%

Medfield - + 44%

Franklin - +49%

Hopkinton - +10%

Upton - +40%

Wrentham- (-10%) 

Interest rates remain at historic lows and checked in at an average of 4.01% for a 30
year fixed rate according to Bankrate.com on May 31. 

 

Buyer demand remains high, with the number of sold properties increasing in most towns with average days to an offer decreasing in most areas from a month ago. 

 

2018 to 2019 Year to Date Average Sale Price Comparison

 

 

2018

2019

Walpole

$598,398

$584,553

Medfield 

$710,826

$730,436

Franklin 

$502,105

$471,688

Hopkinton

$671,324

$707,499

Upton

$459,913

$483,820

Wrentham

$479,402

$571,379

 

April 8, 2019

Are You a Busy Parent? Easily Prep Your Home for Sale with These Budget-Wise Tips

 

 

 

These days, parents have enough on their plates without having to worry about prepping a home for sale. It can seem like an overwhelming task to take on, especially with the extra time and extra costs. However, properly staging a property can make a big impact on how well it sells. Luckily, there are some budget-friendly ways for parents to prep their home.

Remove Bright Colors and Photos 

 

Your family photos and favorite colors may make your house feel more like a home for you. For potential buyers, however, these features can make it challenging to picture themselves living there. You need to create a blank canvas to inspire buyers to make an offer on your home. Try painting the walls with more neutral shadesand replacing photos with inexpensive decor. To keep the costs of staging down, spend some time looking online for discountsfrom retailers like Lowe’s. The money you get back can be put toward projects at your new home.

 

Organize Your Pantry and Closets 

 

If you are like other busy parents, your storage areas may be a bit of a mess. However, storage areas, from closets to pantries, can be major selling points for a home. That means buyers will want to look into yours. Set aside some time to really go through these areas and decide what needs to go and what you should keep. You can pick up cute jars, baskets, and bins to get these areas in order from places like The Container Store, where you can also usually find clearance itemsto help you save money. 

 

Clean from Top to Bottom

 

Before you schedule your first showing or open house, you need to make sure your home is clean. There truly is no such thing as “too clean” when it comes to prepping your home. Having kids around can make the job a bit more challenging, especially when it comes to maintenance, but there are a few tools that can help you out. Check out Amazonfor deals on lightweight vacuumsthat will be easy to get from room to room. You can also buy cleaning supplies in bulk from sites like Boxedand Amazon Pantry to save even more on your cleaning needs. 

 

When you stay on top of your cleaning, you’ll be prepared for any last-minute showings without having to race through the house in a panic. In fact, according to Angie’s List, you can get ready for an impromptu showing in only 15 minutesby tidying up, opening the curtains, turning on lights, and giving your kitchen and bathroom a quick wipe-down.

 

Spruce Up Your Outdoor Spaces 

 

Curb appeal is important for attracting people to your home. However, you also need to pay attention to other outdoor spaces too. People love picturing themselves hosting cookouts or spending quiet evenings outside a new home. So, help them do just that by perking up your front and back yard. Start by cleaning up any toys or stray items from your lawn, and then make sure your gardens are looking their best. You can get fertilizers and plants that will easily fit your budget from Walmart, but don’t forget to look for their weekly adto help you save even more. 

 

Neutralize Odors in Your Home 

 

If you have kids and pets, you may find yourself dealing with some unwanted odors. Odors can linger in your home, and you may not even be able to smell them anymore -- but potential buyers will. Your best bet is to use fabric refreshers on areas you cannot clean, such as furniture and carpet. An essential oil diffuser is also a good way to make your home smell more inviting. Bed, Bath, and Beyond has diffusers at every price point and you can typically find weekly deals and couponsthat will help stack up the savings. Use these blends to perk up your old home and keep the diffuser to help freshen your new home. 

 

You shouldn’t have to spend a lot of time, money, or effort to get your home in shape to sell. From paint to decor to cleaners, there are many easy ways to save and still get all your home-prep tasks done. So, try some of these helpful tips and help get the job done faster. 

 

 

April 1, 2019

Market Snapshot Q1 2019

 

 

 

This month’s market snapshot features 2019 first quarter breakdowns for 5 suburban towns. 

Interest rates for a 30 year fixed rate mortgage have dipped from 4.51% in the beginning of January to 4.08% (according to bankrate.com 4/1/2019)making this spring full of opportunities for both buyers and sellers. 

Compared with the first quarter of 2018, there have been more single family homes sold in Q1 2019 in all of these towns below, except Franklin. Also, the average days for a property to receive an offer has increased for these particular towns from a year ago. 

Check out Q1 2018 stats for the same towns below:

➡️Walpole-avg 💲single family $632,500 
~33 Single Family🏡sold~43 days to offer~

➡️Medfield-avg 💲single family $695,109 
~19 Single Family🏡sold~45 days to offer~

➡️Franklin-avg 💲single family $484,598 
~52 Single Family🏡sold~41 days to offer~

➡️Hopkinton-avg 💲single family $619,257
~29 Single Family🏡sold~44 days to offer~

➡️Wrentham-avg 💲single family $445,184 
~22 Single Family🏡sold~44 days to offer~

March 18, 2019

What to Embrace and What to Avoid in Your Bathroom Remodel

There’s more to consider with a bathroom remodel than with your average renovation. Bathrooms are susceptible to things like water damage, mold, mildew and slick surfaces. Here, we’ve compiled a list of the best and worst materials for your bathroom remodel, so you can be sure you’re making the right choices.

Flooring

Choosing a flooring material is one of the most difficult parts of a bathroom remodel. You want a material that will stand up to water droplets and hot steam without getting slick.

Embrace: A few go-to options include slip-resistant tile, rubber and linoleum flooring. If you choose linoleum, use sheet flooring instead of linoleum boards, which have more cracks and are susceptible to moisture seeping through.

Avoid: Wood flooring isn’t a good choice for bathrooms because it warps under wet and steamy conditions. And slick substances like stone or porcelain can be dangerous when damp. But the worst choice for bathrooms is carpet. Carpet will mildew, mold and lead to water damage in the subfloor, and it’s downright unsanitary in bathrooms.

Walls

Unlike floors, it doesn’t matter if your walls are slippery. So, you have a bit more flexibility when choosing wall materials.

Embrace: Ceramic, porcelain and stone tile are great waterproof options that add personality to your space. Try installing decorative tile around areas that are exposed to a lot of water, like above your shower and behind your sink. And for walls that are farther away from water sources, paint is a good choice – so long as you avoid flat matte shades, which show every speck of water.

Avoid: The least favorable material for your bathroom walls is wallpaper because it may peel from the constant steam. A solid vinyl wall covering can add texture without moisture issues. And you also won’t have any issues if you use wallpaper in bathrooms that don’t have a shower.

Countertops

 

Luckily, when it comes to bathroom countertops, there’s a relatively small margin for error. Most countertop materials are waterproof, which gives you a wide range of options to choose from.

Embrace: Laminate such as Formica, solid surface such as Corian, glass, stone such as marble and quartz are all popular options that should be able to withstand moisture and normal wear and tear.

Avoid: You may want to avoid installing tile countertops in the bathroom. Grout gets dirty much faster in these heavily used areas, and things like colored soap, makeup and lotion can stain it. If your heart is set on tile, consider going for a dark grout color to disguise grime. And stay away from copper countertops if you’re not up for the regular maintenance they require.

 

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UPDATED: 
March 1, 2019

February 2019 Market Snapshot

 

Check out February’s market snapshot! With the short month, fewer homes closed in most markets, which is not a surprise. 

 

Inventory is is up in all of these towns from last month except Hopkinton with 2 less single families and in Wrentham, inventory remained the same. 

 

Interest rates are averaging 4.33% for a 30 year fixed mortgage (according to bankrate.com). This is about 2 tenths less than the end of 2018 and over 4 tenths less than the average rate at Thanksgiving. This should translate into a strong spring market with lots of opportunity for both buyers and sellers. 

 

If you would like more detailed, customized information based around your real estate goal fill out the contact form and we can customize a plan just for your needs. 

Feb. 21, 2019

Your Pet and the Selling and Home Showing Process

 

 

 

 

 

 

PET/AGENT RELATIONSHIP 

Regardless of your pet or breed, you should not hire a real estate agent unless you determine that the prospective agent is comfortable around your pet(s). Although it is widely known within real estate circles that many buyers have discomfort—even an aversion to being around pet(s)—it is also true that an agent who dislikes pets can limit their desire to show your home. A real estate professional who is uncomfortable around your pets as evidenced by either their words or body language, should not be the person you rely upon to maximize showings 

and results. 

HOUSE STAGING 

When you select an agent, focus on their ability to help you merchandise your home before it is placed on the market. This should include pet-related staging. Keep in mind, you will need to: 

• Regularly clean litter boxes and pet waste—inside and outside. This will ensure buyers have a perception of cleanliness and maintenance regarding your property. 

• Treat pet smells to the degree possible. Ask friends or family to inspect your home for smells to which you might have become desensitized. 

• Repair pet damage to doors, walls, carpets, hardwood floors, grass and anywhere your home has been aesthetically marginalized. 

HOUSE SHOWINGS 

Consider where you feel comfortable keeping your pets during showings. Should you place your pets in a kennel, pet hotel or with friends? Is it better to move them from your home until it's sold or just during showings? If only during showings, ask for a one-hour minimum advanced notice. Ask your Real Living Lifestyle Advisor what other homesellers have creatively done to pet stage their home. 

If your pet will be home during a showing, be sure it is in a secure location and not greeting buyers at the door. You cannot afford to guess who loves and who is uncomfortable with pets. If the delivery person does not like pets that may well be their problem. When a buyer is uncomfortable, that could become your problem, meaning a lost sale! 

"PET PROPORTIONALITY" 

A smaller dog might not be an issue to buyers touring a potential home when a property is estate- sized. Alternatively, a Great Dane greeting buyers in a relatively much smaller home may deter buyers. Therefore, you should discuss the issue of relative pet and home size with your agent. 

ADVERTISE A PET-FRIENDLY COMMUNITY 

If your neighborhood is likely to attract buyers who have pets, include how pet friendly the neighborhood is, distance to dog parks and trails, as well as pet hospitals and veterinarians. 

 

Want more tips on moving with your pets? Fill out the contact form below and we'll be happy to send more tips on making the process less stressful. 

Feb. 21, 2019

January 2019 Market Snapshot

 

Here is our January market snapshot for some local towns. Active single family inventory remains low in these towns. Hopkinton was the only town with a slight increase in inventory from a month ago. 

Interest rates remain low. Averaging 4.35% for a 30 yr fixed rate mortgage (according to the Wall Street Journal 2/1/2019) 

Punxsutawney Phil did NOT see his shadow, so he is predicting an early spring! 

Will that also mean that the spring real estate market will come early too? Time will tell, but if you’re thinking of selling this spring, it could be here before you know it

 

 

 

Feb. 7, 2019

How to Use Bedroom Design for Better Sleep

 

 

 

 

The bedroom should be the one room in your house that’s always a calming sanctuary. It’s the place where you escape from professional pressure and stress and, sometimes, from personal problems too. We believe in using bedroom design to enhance sleep. That means every element will need to work together to create the ambiance that will help you get a full seven to nine hours of sleep night after night.

1. The Perfect Fireplace

While not all bedrooms are big enough for a fireplace, those that are certainly deserve one. A fireplace brings an element of nature indoors. Nature subconsciously influences your thoughts and feelings. For example, a walk outdoors can reduce activity in the part of the brain responsible for depression. Nature also has a restorative effect on the brain that helps you stay calm and focused.

 

The crackle of a fire, earthy scent of wood, and dry, penetrating heat are about as natural as you can get. A fire also creates a mood that can range from romantic and cozy to warm and inviting, both of which work perfectly in the bedroom.

2. Layout the Big Features

How you arrange the room affects how it and you feel upon entering. A well-balanced symmetrical layout has the most calming effect on the mind. However, the size and shape of your bedroom may require a different approach.

 

Your biggest movable feature will be the bed followed by any other major furniture pieces like a dresser or armoire. Before you can decide on their placement, take a good look at the room as a whole. Where and how big are is it? What’s the overall shape of the room? What other architectural features do you need to plan furniture placement around?

 

Decide on the focal point, which may be the bed itself or it could be a wall of windows or a fireplace. Build your furniture placement around this focal point. If you have an over-sized or rectangular room, do your best to create balance. You may have to place the bed in the center of the room or visually divide the room into halves and balance the bed half of the room with a fireplace, loveseat, or side table and chairs on the other half.

3. Control Both Natural and Artificial Light

In large part, light controls your sleep-wake cycle. Sunlight is absorbed by special photoreceptors in the eyes and travels directly to the portion of the brain that controls sleep. Consequently, sunlight causes sleep hormones to be suppressed. As the sun goes down, sleep hormones are gradually released until at dark, they’re at full power.

 

Sleep-supportive bedroom designs carefully control all light sources. To keep out moonlight and light pollution, you may need blackout curtains, drapes, and/or blinds. Artificial light can affect sleep too. Replace high-efficiency light bulbs, which emit a blue light that suppresses sleep hormones, with incandescent bulbs. Electronic devices like televisions and smartphones can also emit blue light. It’s best to either remove them from the bedroom or keep them covered when it’s time to sleep.

Conclusion

A bedroom is a highly personalized space. No matter what design elements you choose to include, they should inspire and speak to your unique tastes. The right bedroom design will create the perfect home retreat that will allow you to relax and get deep, restful sleep.  

Jan. 28, 2019

Budget-Friendly Ways to Clean and Disinfect Your New Home So It’s Move-In Ready

 

 

So, you’ve just purchased the home of your dreams. Congratulations! Now it’s time to pack up your belongings and start moving in, right? Well, not quite. Before moving into your new home, there are a few things you’ll need to do. One of the most important tasks to complete before moving day is to clean and disinfect your home. That way, it will be ready for you to move in without having to worry about what germs the previous owners left behind. Here are some budget-minded tips to get your new home ready to go.

 

First Things First, Get to Cleaning

 

When it comes to cleaning your new home, you’ll want to clean before your moving day as well as right after you complete the move. You should already have your cleaning supplies purchased and on-site so you don’t have to worry about running out to buy more. Try to keep your belongings packed up until you finish cleaning; it will be much easier to clean everything without the extra clutter.

 

Thoroughly scrub and disinfect every inch of your home prior to unpacking. This includes dusting, cleaning appliances (inside and out), scrubbing toilets, washing baseboards and floors, and thoroughly cleaning your cabinets and counter-tops. In addition to reducing germs and bacteria from the previous owners, a good cleaning will also make the place feel more like home.

 

Reduce Allergens

 

We typically associate allergens with the outdoor environment. While grass, trees, and flower pollen are a huge source of hay fever for many people, indoor allergens can play a role, too. Dust, mold, mildew, and pet dander are common contributors.

 

If you or anyone else in the home are allergic, there are some specific cleaning tips that can help reduce allergens in your new home. First, be sure to regularly vacuum the home rather than sweeping. Brooms distribute dust rather than removing it, while regularly vacuuming twice per week can reduce dust, mites, pet fur, and other allergens. If you don’t have a great vacuum already, read some reviews to find the best one for your household. Then, when you have one picked out, use online deals (Walmart coupons tend to work great) to help keep the cost low.

 

Identify and Remove Indoor Pollutants

 

Determine if there are any hidden indoor pollutants lurking in the air — and take appropriate steps to remove them. To reduce the indoor pollutants in your air, check your home’s exhaust systems, HVAC, and ventilation, this should be done initially during your home inspection, but should be kept up with. If you have a forced air heating/cooling system, make sure that you are constantly monitoring and changing your air filter inside the system. Additionally, air purifiers can help maintain air quality throughout your home or in specific rooms. Retailers such as Target can help you pick out the right one by choosing based on room size (you can find a great tabletop option for around $40).

 

These are just some great, budget-friendly options for getting your new home ready for move-in day. By practicing these cleaning and disinfecting tips on a regular basis, you can keep your home looking tidy and well looked after. That will help your home to be a clean, beautiful place to live for years to come.  

 

For more information on this or any other real estate topic please feel free to reach out in the section below.