Blog :: 2014

On your mark, get set, go! The 2014 Turkey Trot is tomorrow!!

 

On your mark, get set, go! The 2014 Turkey Trot is tomorrow!!

The weather is going to clear up and we are ready for an awesome morning to benefit a great cause. The kids run a quick dash (the length of Lincoln School field), get medals and munchkins and just have fun for an hour before the holiday kicks off. All to benefit a great local charity! Registration is at the event and begins at 8AM. 

Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate The Shanahan Group and FAN are proud to announce The 4th Annual Turkey Trot for Kids!

On Thanksgiving morning get bundled up in your hats and mittens to support a great cause. The Turkey Trot is back and better than ever! Children ages 3-9 are invited to the race to raise money for The Bridget Brigade. Coffee and cocoa will be served to help warm your bones and your spirt as we watch the little ones race, and rest assured everyone goes home a winner. Registration is only $5 per racer, and what a wonderful way to start Thanksgiving. A great opportunity to teach our little ones about supporting charities, and a small way to show how thankful we are for our healthy rambunctious children.

The Bridget Brigade is a Winchester-based non-profit founded in the memory of Bridget Marie Dobbins, which raises funds to provide support to families from Massachusetts with a critically-ill child. http://www.bridgetbrigade.org/

For pre-registration visit http://www.shanahanre.com/ or in person at The Shanahan Group offices at 41 Thompson St in Winchester Center. Registration is also available at the event, beginning at 8 AM Thanksgiving morning.

New this year! We will also be collecting new, unwrapped toys for The Bridget Brigade Toy Drive!

Buyer's Agent? Why do I need one? And is it a good time to buy?

Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate The Shanahan Group presents this post from our own Nic Gatto. Buyer agency is a topic we talk about all the time at the office and Nic does a great job summarizing. Thanks, Nic! 

I speak with many people every day looking to purchase real estate, and I'm always surprised when they say "I don't need a Buyer's agent." Now, I understand that most people view Buyer's agents as basically keys with arms and legs. Merely the gatekeeper to view a property assuming that is about all they are good for, but a Buyer's agent is your advocate in the buying process!

The Seller has hired a real estate professional to list and market their property. The listing agent has spent a lot of time researching the property understanding the area, and all of the features that make up the property. They have signed a contract with the owner of the property, and have many fiduciary responsibilities to them. They work to get the owner every penny that they can for said property.

As a Buyer you want a real estate professional on your side. Someone who is also familiar with the property, understands the process of negotiating and crafting an offer that protects your interests. A Buyer's agent has fiduciary responsibility to you the Buyer. The agent owes the buyer undivided loyalty, reasonable care, disclosure, obedience to lawful instruction, confidentiality, and accountability. The agent must put the buyer's interest first and negotiate for the best price and terms for their client, the buyer.

Upon signing a Listing Contract an owner of a property agrees to pay a percentage of the sale price to the listing agent, and when they sign the contract they also agree to compensate the Buyer's agent. For example a Seller would agree to pay a 5% commission on the sale price, with 2.5% going to the listing agent, and 2.5% going to the buyer's agent. As a Buyer you can contact the listing agent without a Buyer's agent, in most cases this does not alter the contract, and will typically put you in what Massachusetts calls "Dual Agent" where the listing agent represents both the Buyer and the Seller, and is supposed to remain neutral in the transaction. Dual agency is like going to court and hiring the prosecutor to also act as you defense attorney.

At Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, The Shanahan Group, where I am an agent, we do not practice Dual Agency where one agent is representing both the buyer and the seller. If a potential buyer approaches the listing agent, they will match them up with another agent in our office to represent them in a possible transaction. The idea is to make sure everyone has a qualified professional fighting to protect their interests in any transaction. 

If you are going to purchase real estate, make sure you find the right Buyer's agent for you. Don't settle for a real estate agent who only unlocks the door and asks you what you think. Find an agent that does their homework, and has the right connections to real estate attorneys, mortgage brokers, home inspectors, and other professionals you may need along the way.

 

Now, is it a good time to buy?

When considering if it is a good time to purchase real estate, it's important to think about many factors.

1. Are home values increasing, or decreasing in the communities I am considering a purchase?

Here is a chart of communities, the median home value and the percentage they have increased in the past year.

Town

Median Home Value

12 month increase

Winchester

$813,300

5.7%

Lexington

$780,500

3.2%

Woburn

$375,700

5.1%

Stoneham

$407,500

3.8%

Melrose

$458,600

7.7%

Medford

$409,600

7.5%

Bedford

$583,400

3.5%

Sudbury

$669,700

2.2%

Concord

$775,100

4.8%

Arlington

$561,800

7.4%

Reading

$479,600

5.5%

***Numbers provided by Zillow.com***

 

2. How is the overall economy? How has an indicator such as The Dow Jones Industrial Average been performing?

The stock market is at an all-time high. Below is a chart showing the last 10 years of the Dow Jones Industrial average.

3. What kind of interest rates should I expect to get on a mortgage?

Interest rates are still low. Below are Bank of America's rates on 11/3/2014 for Massachusetts.

Mortgage type

Rate

APR

Points

 

30-year fixed

3.875%

4.036%

0.815

 

15-year fixed

3.000%

3.333%

1.238

 

 

4. How competitive is the market?

 The time of year favors buyers.

According to the National Association of Realtors one time to find a good deal is between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, when other home buyers may be put off by the inclement weather and busy with the holidays. Generally, home prices are also at a 12-month low in December and the owner of a house on the market in the lead up to Christmas may be willing to negotiate on the price.

If you are able- buy now, you have a good chance of finding a home that you like for less than it would cost you another time of year. Additionally, during this period of low demand, mortgage lenders are sometimes willing to forego some of their fees in order to win customers, so you may be able to pick up a good deal on your mortgage.

In conclusion- home values are rising, the stock market is at an all-time high, and interest rates are still low. Right now, all is aligned for the best deal. Call or email me today and let me work as your Buyer's agent in finding you the best property specifically tailored for you! 

Smoke Alarms: A Serious Business

From the desk of Paula Sughrue from Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate The Shanahan Group, below is an important reminder about smoke detectors and how to keep them working to keep you safe. 

Is your home protected with smoke alarms?

Smoke alarm safety should be taken seriously. You can save lives in your home by ensuring that you have enough smoke alarms and that they’re working correctly. 

How many times have you taken out the battery of a smoke alarm because it’s faulty or going off because of burnt toast?  Have you replaced those batteries?  Smoke alarms can save lives only if they’re working properly. Working smoke alarms give you early warning so you can get you and your family outside to safety quickly.

A recent Boston Globe article, Detecting Trouble cited that “more than half of fire-related fatalities occur between 10 PM and 7 AM, when many people are sleeping and not alert, meaning a smoke alarm is the best chance of survival.”

Smoke alarms should be placed on every level of your home including your basement. Smoke alarms should be placed outside each bedroom. Larger homes may need extra smoke alarms. Keep smoke alarms away from the kitchen to avoid false alarms. Smoke alarms should also be replaced when they are 10 years old. 

The units should be tested monthly. To ensure that your batteries are working properly, it’s a good idea to install new batteries once a year. It might make this chore easier if you replace the batteries when the clocks get turned for daylight savings time.

For more information on the correct locations of smoke alarms, contact your local fire department.

Thanks, Paula! 

Happy Fall!

Announcing The Crossing at Bedford!

Better Homes and Gardens RE The Shanahan Group is pleased and excited to announce the marketing and sale of The Crossing at Bedford, 54 Loomis Street, Bedford. The complex will be a Mixed use Condominium Development offering 19 modern residential units in one bedroom, two bedroom, and two bedroom townhome offerings. The Crossing at Bedford will also offer 2,800 square feet of boutique retail space fronting Loomis Street.

This superior location sits at the entrance of three of the regions’ most well known bikepaths: The Minuteman Bike Path, the Narrow-Guage Rail-Trail, and the Bedford Reformatory Branch Trail connecting you to Cambridge, Arlington, Lexington, and Concord. A short stroll to downtown Bedford and its dining and shopping!

The layouts have been carefully designed to meet today’s active lifestyle. These light filled units featuring modern finishes, low condo fees, and pricing starting at just $259,900 offer an impressive price point in one of the most desirable communities in Massachusetts.

 

Our sales team is excited to speak with you and offer more information with floor plans, completion dates, and finishes. Please contact us directly:

Mary Savage             mary.savage@shanahanre.com              

Stephanie Walsh        stephanie.walsh@shanahanre.com

June O’Keefe Burt      june.burt@shanahanre.com

 

Or visit us on our social networks:

 
 
 
 

Be Good to this Place: The History of a House

This week was a busy one at Better Homes and Gardens The Shanahan Group. One of the highlights was listing a lovely colonial at 22 Nelson Street in Winchester. It's a home with character and love that you can feel and a history that has been passed down through families and time. We asked its current owners for a glimpse into 22 Nelson Street and what makes this place so special.

 

From the owners of 22 Nelson Street, Winchester

22 Nelson Street was built in 1897 for the parents of Virginia Foreman. It was wallpapered in July of 1898 by Gene B. Farrowwe know this because he signed the west wall of the living room in pencil, and Gene B. Farrow writes big. The house was re-papered in the 1960s (more signatures in pencil), and painted in 2008 by the Olenn family, who also added their names to the houses history.
 
Virginia Foremangrew up in the house, and did laps around the basement on her bike. We know this because our friend Chriss mom grew up just around the corner and rode her tricycle with Virginia. In the strange cabinet under the basement stairs is a certificate of musical accomplishment from Virginias early years, though we dont know what form that accomplishment took.
 
In time Virginia married Lawrence Hutchings, aka Hutch, and the newlyweds moved into this house to take care of Virginias ailing mother. Lawrence spent his career working at Hanscom Air Force base, which we know from his silver retirement bowl. Hutch was known and loved by many in the neighborhood, often inviting people over for a cocktail on the porch, and was one of the founders of the Jenks senior center. Hutch and Virginia had their own children here, a son and a daughter. The son, Bruce, followed in his fathers footsteps and became a pilot and lives in New Hampshire. The daughter has a son of her own and lives in Hopkinton, though weve forgotten her name.
 
All this means that we were only the second family to live in this historic home, and now you are the third. It is a good home, and the spirit of Hutch seems to linger at opportune times, when doing a home improvement project and finding that a much-needed obscure jar of God-knows-what just happens to be at hand, left behind by the old man.
 
Be good to this place, and it will be good to you.
 
22 Nelson St, Winchester MA
 
Come see 22 Nelson St at tomorrow's open house, Sunday June 8th. Karen Shanahan Garrett will be there from 11:30-1:00.
In the meantime, check out the video tour:22 Nelson Street, Winchester
 
 

Today's Homebuyer: Who, What and Where?

From hyperlocal to big picture: Understanding our market

At Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate The Shanahan Group, we love our local market. We spend lots of time looking at data on Winchester, Reading, Medford and our other surrounding communities. We believe that's where the really valuable information is and how we can track the real estate market real-time. There is value, however, in picking our heads up and looking at a broader picture of how our market compares to other areas of the country. Every year, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) prepares a report of Homebuyers and Homesellers. We dig through this report every year for a national picture of consumer trends.

 

Homebuyers: Who, what and where?

Below is a subset of that report, focused on Homebuyers by region of the U.S. This piece of the report is a really interesting look at buyers by region, breaking down buyers by age, type of property etc. Here are some of the things we found interesting:
  • New England's percentage of first time homebuyers is the highest at 45%, with the Mountain region being the lowest at 29%
  • The Mountain region saw the highest percentage of buyers purchasing multi-generational homes (17%), with New England and the North Central region having the lowest multi-generational home purchases (11%)
  • Single female homebuyers represent 19% of purchasers in the North Central region (highest) and only 13% in the Mountain region

Check out the full report here: Presentation: Profile of Home Buyers in Sub-Regions

 

BREAKING NEWS: National Recognition for The Shanahan Group!

...And the PAIGE award goes to...The Shanahan Group!

PAIGE_Logo

Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate The Shanahan Group announced today that it has received the brands national PAIGE Award. The distinction is bestowed to a Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate brokerage for above and beyond demonstration of the national brands core values through their commitment to passion, authenticity, innovation, growth and excellence. While these values are nothing new at The Shanahan Group, we are so honored to be recognized on a national level for our commitment to our business and our integrity to each other and our clients. Thank you to our amazing group of agents and staff that make our work fun and exciting. We especially thank our clients who expect the best from their real estate professionals and drive us to be better every day. No honor could be more important to us than one that recognizes our commitment to our values of passion, authenticity, innovation, growth and excellence. A final thank you to our Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate national colleagues for this recognition and continuous support of our business. PAIGE photo For more news from Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate The Shanahan Group, visit us here.

Are You a First Time Homebuyer? We Can Help.

Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate The Shanahan Group Presents:

First Time Homebuyer Seminar

FTHB Flyer

Are you a first time homebuyer? Do you have questions? We have answers.

Be ready for a dynamic and exciting spring real estate market! Join us Sunday March 2nd from 3:00PM- 4:00PM for a discussion with local professionals about the home buying process. We are proud to have Martha Harvey of Mortgage Network and attorney Patrick Hall of Hall & Sullivan, as well as a discussion with a few of our experienced buyer agents.

Visit the Sunday Open Houses, then come stop by and learn from the best. No obligation, just an opportunity to get smart about the home buying process. Refreshments will be served. RSVP to info@shanahanre.com or just show up on Sunday!

In the meantime, we offer our insight about what makes a buyer successful in finding the right home in The Shanahan Group Approach to Homebuying: Key Success Factors.

Happy house-hunting!