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Believe me! There is no fortune telling in real estate, only insights!

Believe me! There is no fortune telling in real estate, only insights!

I don’t have a crystal ball, but I can tell you there will be bidding wars over houses all over the Greater Boston Area this week.

It’s frustrating, people want to know what the future will bring. . .

. . .there are plenty of speculations, but if you are thinking of making a move, this kind of “noise” is not helpful.

What is the answer?

Find a real estate professional who can give you the information you need to make confident real estate decisions. Someone who has taken the time to know what is happening in the neighborhood when you need it. Someone who can give you insights by showing you houses that have sold recently, homes currently in contract, and the active competition.

The New York Times wrote Tech Executives Aren’t Fortune Tellers. The same is true for Realtors®.

Call/text me anytime at 617-797-9497 with your real estate questions. I’m here for you. ~Janet

Do you remember Zoltar from the Tom Hanks movie, BIG?

Zoltar Photo by Hulki Okan Tabak on Unsplash

People who work in technology are often incredibly smart. But that doesn’t necessarily make them accurate forecasters of human and social behavior. ~New York Times

Can you Compare Buying Slippers (with arch support) to Buying a House?

Can you Compare Buying Slippers (with arch support) to Buying a House?

Yesterday I went to buy a new pair of slippers. I wanted slippers with good arch support.  The Barn, my go-to shoe store in Newton, was short on supply in sizes and styles. So I went on-line and found many styles and sizes were on backorder. More desirable products were priced higher.

The Washington Post reports a “pandemic of broken toes…calluses, tendonitis, and heel pain.”

The bottom line is the demand for slippers with arch support is high, supply is down, and prices are rising.

Every day, buyers are competing for houses, single-family, and condominiums. Location is a factor and the geographic range is shifting.

A Middlesex Market Review3-21 (below) illustrates the story of decreased inventory and appreciating prices.

The bottom line is the supply of houses for sale is at a historic low and prices are escalating at an unpredictable rate.

Whether you’re thinking of selling or not, you owe it to yourself to know the value of your home.

Please email me or call or text me at 617-797-9497 with your questions. I’m here for you.

Middlesex County Area Market Review
2021 vs. 202 As of March 2, 2021
Prepared by Janet Porcaro
Source: 2021 MLS Property Information Network, Inc.


211 Crafts St, Newton, MR1 Zone With Large Level Lot

211 Crafts St, Newton, MR1 Zone With Large Level Lot

Attention builders, developers, investors, and homeowners!

Single-family home located on a large level lot (.29 acres) in an MR1 zone in desirable Newtonville.

This graceful Victorian structure features bay windows, delicate gingerbread trim, and rich architectural details. Step up to the sheltering porch and enter the foyer and center hallway. To the right enter the gracious living room with an antique soapstone fireplace. The living room is open to the adjacent den. Large eat-in kitchen leading to a formal dining room. The rear of the first floor features a generous sized laundry room/mudroom and a full bath. Come home to the wide driveway and enter the kitchen via the side deck. The second floor includes 4 bedrooms, a study, and a full bath. Both baths were updated in 2014-2015 including extensive plumbing updates. high ceilings, crown molding, hardwood floors, and front & back stairways, and a full walk-up attic. and slate roof. (Photos from 2018)

211 Crafts Street
Newtonville, MA 02460
Offered at $1,150,000
Approx 2428 sq. ft. not including attic or basement
Lot size: approx. 12,650 sq. ft.
Zoned: MR1

Contact Janet Porcaro, Keller Williams Realty, Janet@JanetPorcaro.net, 617-797-9497

1340 Centre Street, Suite 202, Newton, MA 022459

Why This Summer Is the 2020 Real Estate Season

Why This Summer Is the 2020 Real Estate Season

With stay-at-home orders starting to gradually lift throughout parts of the country, data indicates homebuyers are jumping back into the market. After many families put their plans on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, what we once called the busy spring real estate season is shifting into the summer. In 2020, summer is the new spring for real estate.

Joel KanEconomist at The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) notes:

“Applications for home purchases continue to recover from April’s sizable drop and have now increased for five consecutive weeks…Government purchase applications, which include FHA, VA, and USDA loans, are now 5 percent higher than a year ago, which is an encouraging turnaround after the weakness seen over the past two months.”

Additionally, according to Google Trends, which scores search terms online, searches for real estate increased from 68 points the week of March 15th to 92 points last week. As we can see, more potential homebuyers are looking for homes virtually.

What’s the Opportunity for Buyers?

Another reason buyers are coming back to the market, even with forced unemployment and stay-at-home orders, is historically low mortgage rates. Sam Khater, Chief Economist at Freddie Mac indicates:

“For the fourth consecutive week, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has been below 3.30 percent, giving potential buyers a good reason to continue shopping even amid the pandemic…As states reopen, we’re seeing purchase demand improve remarkably fast, now essentially flat relative to a year ago.”

With mortgage rates at such low levels and states gradually beginning to reopen, there’s more incentive than ever to buy a home this summer.

What’s the Opportunity for Sellers?

Finding a home to buy, however, is still a challenge, as this spring sellers removed many listings from the market. Though more people are now putting their houses up for sale this month as compared to last month, current inventory is still well below last year’s level.

According to last week’s Weekly Economic and Housing Market Update from realtor.com:

“Weekly Housing Inventory showed continued tightening. New Listings declined 28% compared with a year ago, as sellers grappled with uncertainty and hesitated bringing homes to market. Total Listings dropped 20% YoY, a faster rate than in prior weeks, leaving very few homes available for sale. As Time on Market was 15 days slower YoY, asking prices moved up 1.5% YoY.”

If you’re thinking of selling your house this summer, now may be your best opportunity. With so few homes on the market for buyers to purchase, this season may be the time for your house to stand out from the crowd. Trusted real estate professionals can help you list safely and effectively, keeping your family’s needs top of mind. Buyers are looking, and your house may be at the top of their list.

Bottom Line

If you’re thinking of selling, many buyers may be eager to find a home just like yours. Let’s connect today to make sure you can get your house in on the action this summer.

Experts Predict Economic Recovery Should Begin in the Second Half of the Year

Experts Predict Economic Recovery Should Begin in the Second Half of the Year

One of the biggest questions we all seem to be asking these days is: When are we going to start to see an economic recovery? As the country begins to slowly reopen, moving forward in strategic phases, business activity will help bring our nation back to life. Many economists indicate a recovery should begin to happen in the second half of this year. Here’s a look at what some of the experts have to say.

Jerome Powell, Federal Reserve Chairman

“I think there’s a good chance that there’ll be positive growth in the third quarter. And I think it’s a reasonable expectation that there’ll be growth in the second half of the year…

So, in the long run, I would say the U.S. economy will recover. We’ll get back to the place we were in February; we’ll get to an even better place than that. I’m highly confident of that. And it won’t take that long to get there.”

Nonpartisan Analysis for the U.S Congress

“The economy is expected to begin recovering during the second half of 2020 as concerns about the pandemic diminish and as state and local governments ease stay-at-home orders, bans on public gatherings, and other measures. The labor market is projected to materially improve after the third quarter; hiring will rebound and job losses will drop significantly as the degree of social distancing diminishes.”

Neel Kashkari, President, Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank

“I think we need to prepare for a more gradual recovery while we hope for that quicker rebound.”

We’re certainly not out of the woods yet, but clearly many experts anticipate we’ll see a recovery starting this year. It may be a bumpy ride for the next few months, but most agree that a turnaround will begin sooner rather than later.

During the planned shutdown, as the economic slowdown pressed pause on the nation, many potential buyers and sellers put their real estate plans on hold. That time coincided with the traditionally busy spring real estate season. As we look ahead at this economic recovery and we begin to emerge back into our communities over the coming weeks and months, perhaps it’s time to think about putting your real estate plans back into play.

Bottom Line

The experts note a turnaround is on the horizon, starting as early as later this year. If you paused your 2020 real estate plans, let’s connect today to determine how you can re-engage in the process as the country reopens and the economy begins a much-anticipated rebound.

Taking the Fear Out of the Mortgage Process

Taking the Fear Out of the Mortgage Process

A considerable number of potential buyers shy away from the real estate market because they’re uncertain about the buying process – particularly when it comes to qualifying for a mortgage.

For many, the mortgage process can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be! 

In order to qualify in today’s market, you’ll need a down payment (the average down payment on all loans last year was 5%, with many buyers putting down 3% or less), a stable income, and a good credit history.

Once you’re ready to apply, here are 5 easy steps Freddie Mac suggests to follow:

  1. Find out your current credit history and credit score– Even if you don’t have perfect credit, you may already qualify for a loan. The average FICO Score® for all closed loans in September was 737, according to Ellie Mae.
  2. Start gathering all of your documentation– This includes income verification (such as W-2 forms or tax returns), credit history, and assets (such as bank statements to verify your savings).
  3. Contact a professional– Your real estate agent will be able to recommend a loan officer who can help you develop a spending plan, as well as help you determine how much home you can afford.
  4. Consult with your lender– He or she will review your income, expenses, and financial goals in order to determine the type and amount of mortgage you qualify for.
  5. Talk to your lender about pre-approval– A pre-approval letter provides an estimate of what you might be able to borrow (provided your financial status doesn’t change) and demonstrates to home sellers that you’re serious about buying.

Bottom Line

Do your research, reach out to professionals, stick to your budget, and be sure you’re ready to take on the financial responsibilities of becoming a homeowner.