Real Estate Information Archive


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Massachusetts Home Sales hits a ‘Baker’s Dozen’

by Ingrid Miles, CBR, REALTOR®

Massachusetts Home Sales hits a ‘Baker’s Dozen’ in July with 13 Straight Months of Increases as median prices also tick up REALTORS® support new short sale guidelines for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

WALTHAM, Mass. – August 29, 2012 – The Massachusetts Association of REALTORS® (MAR) reported today that July marks the 13th straight month that single-family home sales have gone up compared to the same month the year before. Condominium sales were also up from July 2011. Both single-family and condominium median prices were up compared to last year.

“While we’ve hit a ‘baker’s dozen’ with months of sales increases now at 13, prices continue to stabilize,” said 2012 MAR President Trisha McCarthy, broker at Keller Williams Realty in Newburyport. “The probability that home prices will begin a more steady increase is good if the combination of higher buyer activity and lower inventory levels continue. What is needed are more sellers at all levels to insure that price increases happen at a more reasonable pace than during the bubble years.”

There were 4,709 detached single-family homes sold this July, a 22.7 percent increase from the 3,837 homes sold the same time last year. This is the 13th straight month of year-over-year increases. On a month-to-month basis, home sales were down 13.2 percent from 5,422 homes sold this past June.
The median selling price for single-family homes in July was $325,000, which was the up 1.9 percent from $319,000 in July 2011. On a month-to-month basis, the July median selling price was down 1.1 percent from $328,500 in June 2012.

The July condominium market was up 23.1 percent compared to the same time last year (from 1,468 units sold in 2011 to 1,807 units sold in 2012). This is the 12th month of the last 13 that condominium sales have been up. On a month-to-month basis, condominium sales were down 16.6 percent compared to the 2,167 units sold this past June.

Condominium median selling prices in July were up 4.2 percent from the July 2011 median price (from $288,000 to $300,000). On a month-to-month basis, the median selling price of a condominium was down 3.8 percent from a June 2012 median of $312,000.

New Short Sale Guidelines for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac:
REALTORS® in Massachusetts and across the country support the recent announcement made by the Federal Housing Finance Agency that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are issuing new and clear guidelines to their mortgage servicers that will align and consolidate existing short sales programs into one standard short sale program. These changes are scheduled to go into effect on November 1, 2012.
“There is nothing ‘short’ about a short sale and anything that can streamline the process and make it faster will help prevent foreclosures and preserve home values in communities across the state is a good thing,” said McCarthy. “We support efforts like these at the federal, state and local level that work to stabilize the market and help homeowners that are having financial difficulties through no fault of their own.”

One of the most important features of these new guidelines is that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will permit a homeowner to sell their home in a short sale even if they are current on their mortgage if they have an eligible hardship. This is a significant change as in most instances; a homeowner has to be at least 90 days late on their mortgage payment to begin the short sale process. As a result, because of the length of time it takes for short sales to be approved, the home often goes into foreclosure.
Inventory and Days on Market:

The inventory of single-family homes as of July 2012 decreased 16.6 percent from July 2011 (34,337 listings in 2011 to 27,622 listings in 2012) which translates into 7.7 months of supply in July 2012. This is down from 11.3 months of supply last year and also down slightly from 8.3 months in June 2012. Inventory has gone down eight of the last 10 months. This was also the largest single month year-over-year decrease since 2007.

The inventory of condominiums on the market in July was down 29 percent compared to the year before (11,974 listings in 2011 to 8,497 listings in 2012), which translates into 6.3 months of supply, which is down from 10.1 months in July 2011 and down from 6.9 months in June.

Detached single-family homes stayed on the market an average of 98 days in July 2012, which was down one day from 99 days in July 2011. Condos stayed on the market an average of 93 days, down from an average of 100 days in July 2011. On a month-to-month basis, days on market for single-family homes were down from 104 days in June while condos were down from 96 days.

About the Massachusetts Association of REALTORS®:
Organized in 1924, the Massachusetts Association of REALTORS® is a professional trade organization with more than 19,000 members. The term REALTOR® is registered as the exclusive designation of members of the National Association of REALTORS® who subscribe to a strict code of ethics and enjoy continuing education programs.

Energy Saving Measures

by Ingrid Miles, CBR, REALTOR®

With heating and cooling costs continuing to rise, it makes sense to look at one of the leading causes of energy inefficiency in the home: the windows. Installing energy-efficient windows can mean increased comfort as well as savings on utility bills in any climate.

The transmission of air and light is generally the most important function of windows. However, this can mean heat loss in the winter, overheating in the summer, and higher energy bills. A typical home may lose up to 30% of its heat or cooling through windows. Properly installed energy-efficient windows can go a long way toward improving this situation.

There are many factors that affect a window's energy efficiency. Whether they are single or multiple-paned, gas-filled, Low-Emittance (Low-E) coated, and even the material of the window frame all contribute to a window's performance. One excellent resource is, which provides detailed information on these specifications and how to select windows appropriate for various climates. An experienced window contractor can also be a good source of information and recommendations.

Homeowners should check with their local utility to find out about possible rebates and other incentives for the purchase of new, energy-efficient windows.

Of course, replacing windows is not always a viable option. However, there are steps homeowners can take to improve their energy savings without replacing windows such as making sure windows are properly caulked, keeping weather stripping in good repair, and using storm windows will help. Putting window coverings is another good way to reduce heat loss in winter and avoid overheating during summer.

Improving energy efficiency throughout the home means cost savings to the homeowner. Energy-efficient windows are a significant step toward that goal.


Pillar to Post

Helping Sellers Maximize Their Profit Potential

by Ingrid Miles, CBR, REALTOR®


Helping Sellers Maximize Their Profit Potential


For most people their home is their largest investment. It is most likely going to bring the greatest return on investment and it is perhaps the only investment that allows you to enjoy it while it increases in value. Therefore, homeowners should put a lot of thought and consideration into the eventual possibility of selling the home. After all, we all sell at some point, right?

Your sellers may be thinking of selling in a month, six months or six years, but the process is the same and the main objective is to get the maximum return on the investment. This translates to faster, higher commissions for you.

Staging has become an important factor in home sales. However we take a different approach to traditional staging. We actually don’t even like to use the word “staging.”

Staging implies false or façade, which most savvy buyers can see through.

We like to call it detailing the home, or creating a lifestyle that buyers want, presenting the home as a “hot commodity.”

We do this by helping homeowners make decisions that will not only improve the way they live in their homes, but ultimately increase its value. Keeping a home updated and organized throughout the years will help to give the home the curiosity factor that makes people interested in seeing more.

As we all know, good curb appeal and updated kitchens and bathrooms help sell a home. They don’t need to be high-end or luxurious. Just updated, clean and well designed is enough. The investment made in these updates will definitely translate into cash at closing and could be the difference between a fast and profitable sale, versus a listing that languishes on the market.

Investing in preparing a home for sale can be a tough nut to swallow for homeowners in this challenging market, but they can’t really afford not to. Frequently, we hear that a homeowner did not know that the cost of preparing a home for sale—including the cost of professional staging—is often tax deductible.

In addition, it can often be charged on a credit card and paid off slowly or once the home sells. This minimizes the out of pocket costs for the homeowner and gives them the confidence that they have increased their profit potential.

We have found that the magic formula for selling high in the current market is what we refer to as the “selling trifecta.” A fair market price, excellent marketing and a well prepared “staged or detailed” home is the winning combination.

Help your homeowners sell high and fast by providing them with the tools they need to be market ready, and you too will reap the benefits when you hit the closing table.

Our top 5 ways to boost your sales appeal:

1. Curb Appeal - People do judge a book by its cover, so the outside of the home becomes as important as the inside. Seasonal color, a well manicured lawn and landscape, and a freshly painted front door all add value and interest to the home.

2. First Impressions - Make the entryway of the home inviting. Add a mirror. Buyers really do like to literally “see” themselves in a home they are interested in. Remove all personal items such as coats, shoes, sports equipment, etc. This will give buyers the impression that the home offers plenty of storage solutions. Adding flowers or natural elements will also add a welcoming touch. Don’t forget to attract a buyer’s sense of smell. Consider air fresheners that are subtle with a natural scent like cinnamon or vanilla. Stay clear of florals. These small tricks will give buyers a positive first impression and make them interested in seeing more.

3. Kitchens sell homes - A well designed updated kitchen will pay for itself and then some. Changing out cabinet hardware is an inexpensive way to change the look of the kitchen. An interested buyer will open up drawers, cabinets and closets so remove anything unnecessary and give the illusion of a clutter-free lifestyle. Also, keep the counter tops clear of clutter and most appliances.

4. Bathrooms – In most cases, today’s buyers are looking for homes that they can move into and live. They may have long term goals of renovations and updates, but they want to feel good about the investment that are making. Keeping the fixtures updated is essential to giving a bathroom that “move-in ready” feel. Again, by reducing the clutter and personal items, buyers will see the potential.

5. Furniture placement and flow - Edit down furniture and accessories to help buyers envision their things in the home. There does not need to be something on every wall or every corner. Leave passageways and hallways opened enough to allow two people to pass. It may look bare to the homeowner, but will look fresh and organized to a buyer.

Also, always keep paint colors neutral and current. Paint is an inexpensive way to freshen up a space and neutral colors always give a good first impression.

Article printed from RISMedia:

Copyright © 2012 RISMedia. All rights reserved.


Recycling save you money!

by Ingrid Miles, CBR, REALTOR®

Did you know that:

1.  that all plastics number 1 to 7 can be recycled?

2.  that you can recycle glass, cans, cardboard and paper  as well as

3.  newspapers, magazines

4.  junk mail and envelopes and

5.  OJ or milk cartons

6.  you can put latex paint dried out into your regular trash?

Check with your town as to when leaf collection is:  usually mid-November.

Other approaches for recycling include:

1.  construction waste:  Mellow Disposal of Georgetown, MA (978.352.9948)/pay be weight.

2.  household hazardous waste:  call your town's health department

3.  for appliances and metal items that you are not able to get to a Transfer Station, call JRM to pay with credit card and schedule pickup at 978.536.2500.


Real Estate Transfers - Ipswich - July 2012

by Ingrid Miles, CBR, REALTOR®

Real Estate Transfers – Ipswich–July 2012


by Ingrid Miles


in Ipswich






List $

Sale $

Days on Mkt


Single Family



Dix Road








Long Ridge Ln








Mineral St








Woods Ln








Kimball Ave








Highwood Ln








Mile Lane








Linebrook Rd
















Spillers Lane








Cayer Way








Turkey Shore








Herrick Dr








North Shore August Activities - Newburyport

by Ingrid Miles, CBR, REALTOR®

Castle Hill; Ipswich Concerts

Thu, 16 August, 7 - 9 pm
Crane Estate
Argilla Road aka beach road
Ipswich Massachusetts 01938 (map)

Thursday nights this summer, Castle Hill on the Crane Estate in Ipswich is the place to be for good food, good friends, and great music. Pack a picnic, bring the kids, and get ready to dance the night away under the stars on the Grand Allée.  Explore the newly restored landscaped lawn and try the family Eye Spy featuring statuary and architecture. Don’t miss the weekly raffle and membership promotion. Let our lawn be your summertime playground.

August 16 Inner Visions | Authentic Caribbean Reggae


Waterfront MOVIE Series - Newburyport

Wednesday Nights, August 15 & 22

(raindate August 29)

Movies begin at dusk on Waterfront Park 

August 15 - Hairspray
August 22 - Madagascar

What could be better than watching a movie OUTSIDE on Waterfront Park on a warm summer night? Grab a blanket and your family & friends and join us! Movies will be shown on a 40-foot inflatable screen with an HD Blue Ray Projector and BOSE professional sound system. You don't want to miss this! FREE TO ALL!

Cruisin' the 50's - Newburyport

Thursday, August 16


Join us in historic downtown Newburyport as we celebrate the fabulous 50's! The Downtown will be transformed into a summer night set in the era. Visit our renowned restaurants, unique shops and historic sites featuring special events and 50's pricing. Music of the era will fill the downtown streets and classic cars will be displayed on State, Pleasant and Inn Streets.

THE LEGENDS - WNBP Radio will be broadcasting on the air and on

"LEE LEWIS & THE DOO WOP ALL STARS" will be performing in Market Square

at 7:30pm!

Click here for more information.

Displaying blog entries 1-6 of 6

Contact Information

Photo of Ingrid Miles, CBR, SRES, Lead REALTOR, Stephen Mil Real Estate
Ingrid Miles, CBR, SRES, Lead REALTOR, Stephen Mil
Keller Williams Realty
11 South Main St & 1 Merrimac St
Topsfield & Newburyport MA 01983 & 01950
Direct: 978-471-9750
Fax: 978-861-4218

The property listing data and information, or the Images, set forth herein were provided to MLS Property Information Network, Inc. from third party sources, including sellers, lessors and public records, and were compiled by MLS Property Information Network, Inc. The property listing data and information, and the Images, are for the personal, non-commercial use of consumers having a good faith interest in purchasing or leasing listed properties of the type displayed to them and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties which such consumers may have a good faith interest in purchasing or leasing. MLS Property Information Network, Inc. and its subscribers disclaim any and all representations and warranties as to the accuracy of the property listing data and information, or as to the accuracy of any of the Images, set forth herein.”