Essex County, MA Real Estate News

By Doug Dawes, Your Personal Realtor®
(Keller Williams Evolution - 447 Boston Street, Suite #5, Topsfield, MA)
When we were considering the purchase of our home the traditional downpayment was 20%. It was something we had strived and saved for. Now, times have changed and it is nearly impossible for most people to come up with 20% given the price of homes. BUT, the good news is that you do not need that 20% as shown below in the infographic. What You Need To Know About Down Payments Some Highlights If you want to buy a home, you may not need as much for your down payment as you think. There are various loan options for qualified buyers with down payments as low as 3.5% or even no down payment requirement. There are also thousands of programs available to help homebuyers with their down payments. With the right resources, your down payment may be more within reach than you realize. Talk to a loca...
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By Doug Dawes, Your Personal Realtor®
(Keller Williams Evolution - 447 Boston Street, Suite #5, Topsfield, MA)
This Saturday, December 16th, at 7:00 p.m. Georgetown's Byfield Parish Church will present its annual Christmas Cantata. The Cantata has been performed for 25 years now and, it's a different production each year. The Cantata is the celebration of the birth of our Savior, the Christ, Jesus through song and worship.Byfield Parish Church was founded in 1702 and is the oldest independent Congregational church in America. Mehetable "Sewell" Moody was the driving force behind the founding of the church.  The doors open at 6:30 p.m. to the public and the event is free of charge. The Cantata is the Byfield Parish Church Christmas gift to our community.     
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By Kevin Vitali, Helping Massachusetts Home Buyers and Home Sellers
(EXIT Realty Beatrice Associates)
Nestled in the picturesque Merrimack Valley, Haverhill, Massachusetts, represents a hidden gem in the real estate world. With its rich history, vibrant community, and promising Haverhill property market, this city offers an ideal blend of suburban tranquility and urban convenience.Whether you're a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned investor, buying a house in Haverhill presents a unique opportunity as one of the more affordable communities in Essex County.Home Buying in Haverhill: A Smart InvestmentThe Growing Demand in Haverhill's Housing MarketThe Haverhill MA housing trends have shown a consistent upward trajectory, making it a smart choice for both personal and real estate investment in Haverhill.The city's real estate market is diverse, offering everything from charming historic ho...
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By Kevin Vitali, Helping Massachusetts Home Buyers and Home Sellers
(EXIT Realty Beatrice Associates)
When paying a real estate commission, it's essential to understand the services you can expect from a real estate agent. These services include pricing consultation, property promotion, showings and open houses, offer negotiation, and legal and administrative assistance and much, much more… But when interviewing agents and discussing commissions, realize the lowest real estate commission paid does not necessarily mean you net more money.  A higher commission structure can provide you with more services that could lead to you paying a higher commission and putting more money in your pocket on closing day. Working with an agent can provide several benefits and potentially lead to a higher sale price. In this article, we'll explore the various services provided by real estate agents and th...
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By Doug Dawes, Your Personal Realtor®
(Keller Williams Evolution - 447 Boston Street, Suite #5, Topsfield, MA)
We are so close to Halloween which, is on Tuesday 31 October 5:00 - 7:30 here in Georgetown, MA. People are decorating, there have already been a couple of Trick or Trunk events in our own town and surrounding towns. These events came around to ensure the children are safe during Halloween since it is a controlled environment.But, this blog is about Halloween Safety. I am providing the safety tips published by our local Police Department. We ALL want Halloween revelers to be safe and have an enjoyable evening.Georgetown Police Department Shares Tips to Stay Safe This HalloweenCostume SafetyEnjoy a safe and happy Halloween by following the below guidelines, courtesy the Food and Drug Administration and Consumer Product Safety Commission: Reduce fire hazards by choosing costumes made of p...
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By Kevin Vitali, Helping Massachusetts Home Buyers and Home Sellers
(EXIT Realty Beatrice Associates)
Selling a home can be a daunting task. It requires a great deal of effort to get the property ready for sale, from preparing legal documents to making necessary repairs and renovations. However, there's one step that shouldn’t be missed. Home staging can make your home compelling and attract buyers. In this article, we'll explore why home staging is important and the benefits it brings to the table.The Importance of Home StagingWhen selling a home, the goal is to create a space that appeals to potential buyers and makes them feel at home. Home staging is a powerful tool that can help achieve this goal by transforming the property into an attractive and welcoming space that resonates with buyers. In fact, studies show that staged homes sell faster and for more money than non-staged homes...
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By Doug Dawes, Your Personal Realtor®
(Keller Williams Evolution - 447 Boston Street, Suite #5, Topsfield, MA)
The down payment is a sticking point with many buyers. With escalating home prices and interest rates, of recent, it's easy to see why buyers are concerned when looking at the conventional rule of thumb being 20% down. That's not the case though, as there are programs and mortgage options that exist that do not require a 20% down payment. If you live in a qualified rural area the USDA has a program with no money down. FHA is as little as 3% and the VA does provide no down payment loans to veterans. So, don't get too wound up as there ARE avenues available that can be of great assistance to buyers. Enjoy the article below.Wondering How Much You Need To Save for a Down Payment?   If you’re getting ready to buy your first home, you’re likely focused on saving up for everything that purchas...
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By Doug Dawes, Your Personal Realtor®
(Keller Williams Evolution - 447 Boston Street, Suite #5, Topsfield, MA)
When selling your home it is wise to be diligent in prepping your home for sale. Today I am sharing an article about how to prepare your house for Sale. Keep in mind, the better you prep your house the easier it will be for people to see their "stuff" integrated within the 4 walls, and, the more you will receive for the sale price.How To Prep Your House for Sale This Fall   Today’s housing market is different than it was just a few months ago. And if you’re thinking about selling your house, that may leave you wondering what you need to do differently as a result. The answer is simple. Taking the time upfront to prep your house appropriately and create a solid plan can help bring in the greatest return on your investment. Here are a few simple tips to make sure you maximize the sale of ...
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By Kevin Vitali, Helping Massachusetts Home Buyers and Home Sellers
(EXIT Realty Beatrice Associates)
As you think about entering the real estate marketplace, especially as a first time homebuyer, you are confronted with saving money for a down payment and closing costs for a home.There are many programs that require as little as 3% as a down payment.  For example, a $400,000 home would require a minimum of a $12,000 down payment.On top of your down payment you will also need to bring closing costs to the table.  Closing costs are the hard costs of securing a mortgage and include, appraisals, title searches, title insurance, etc....Your closing costs can run anywhere from 2-4% of the amount borrowed.In this case, you would have to come up with $20,000 to $28,000 to purchase a home. Traditional Down Payment SourceTraditionally, the money for your down payment and closing costs come from ...
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By Doug Dawes, Your Personal Realtor®
(Keller Williams Evolution - 447 Boston Street, Suite #5, Topsfield, MA)
Owning your own home and land is the dream for people all over the world. It provides security and a place in society. It is also a source of wealth-building imho.For men and women who serve(d)in the United States military, our government provides assistance in housing through the VA home loan program. VA Loans: Helping Veterans Achieve Their Homeownership Dreams \ The purpose of Veterans Affairs (VA) home loans is to provide a pathway to homeownership for those who have sacrificed so much by serving our nation. As the Veterans Administration  says of the program: “The objective of the VA Home Loan Guaranty program is to help eligible Veterans, active-duty personnel, surviving spouses, and members of the Reserves and National Guard purchase, retain, and adapt homes in recognition of the...
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By Kevin Vitali, Helping Massachusetts Home Buyers and Home Sellers
(EXIT Realty Beatrice Associates)
Today's technology has made in-home security cheap and easy to set up surveillance cameras, hidden cameras and nanny cams in a home.  And when it comes time to sell your home you may already have security cameras set up all over your home.So now your thinking..... maybe I can tap into my cameras in my home at work on my cell phone and see and hear what homebuyers are saying and doing in my home!!  Maybe you'll gain a negotiating edge that will get you thousands more for your home!!The Use Of Video Cameras During Home ShowingsThis begs the question, should you flip that switch and turn on the video cams and microphones so you can spy on your homebuyers?Before you do realize that what you are doing may be illegal and you may be committing a felony.Generally, the use of video alone is acce...
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By Kevin Vitali, Helping Massachusetts Home Buyers and Home Sellers
(EXIT Realty Beatrice Associates)
 Whether you are considering adding on or renovating your current home it is exciting to think about some fresh, new living space.  But does a home improvement really make financial sense?One thing is sure for most homeowners.  At some point, you will be selling your home.  It may be in a few years, or 10 years or more from now.  This can leave one wondering if the home improvement project is worth it.As a Massachusetts listing agent there is nothing worse than showing up at a listing appointment and tell a seller that their recent….$75,000 finished basement….or their $50,000 deck….or their $80,000 kitchen remodel……will not return the money they spent on their home improvement project.  Often, they are angry and try to justify that because they spent the money their house should be wort...
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By Kevin Vitali, Helping Massachusetts Home Buyers and Home Sellers
(EXIT Realty Beatrice Associates)
One of the more critical pieces of selling your home is pricing it correctly and getting the price just right.  Of course, you don’t want to leave money on the table but pricing too high can leave your home stagnating on the market.A home that sits on the market too long leaves home buyers leery about the home…. wondering why no one else wants it.  It is human nature not to want what others don’t want either.Often an overpriced home will go unsold or has to be sold slightly below market to regain the buying public’s confidence in the home.Ultimately, a real estate agent can make a suggestion, but it is the seller who chooses the asking price of a home.  A home seller will often just want to know what a home is worth.  But because of the subjectivity, it is important a seller understands...
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By Kevin Vitali, Helping Massachusetts Home Buyers and Home Sellers
(EXIT Realty Beatrice Associates)
So, you have decided “I want to sell my house”. Selling a home is complex on many levels. You need an understanding of what buyers are looking for so you can properly prepare your home for sale. Setting a house price that attracts the right buyers can sometime be more of an art than a science. Then, it is time to market your home effectively and reach the true buyers for your home. And there will be offers to negotiate and home inspection repairs to consider. Finally, you have an accepted offer, and you have to bring to a smooth closing. What Mistakes I Should Avoid When I Sell My Home? Every step of the home selling process can lead to making a mistake. Mistakes can lead to leaving serious money on the table or your house going unsold. Let’s take a look at a few top mistakes you can ma...
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By Kevin Vitali, Helping Massachusetts Home Buyers and Home Sellers
(EXIT Realty Beatrice Associates)
Massachusetts smoke and carbon detector laws require a seller to get a certificate of compliance for their smoke and carbon monoxide detectors before the transfer of a property.Smoke and CO detectors save lives. Massachusetts law helps provide properly working detectors in the event of a fire or emission of carbon monoxide in a home.  It is your responsibility as a homeowner to keep the smoke and carbons in compliance during your ownership for maximum protection for your family.Preparing for Your Certificate Of ComplianceGetting a certificate of compliance for your smoke and CO detectors starts with getting organized the minute you put your home under agreement.  Start the process immediately so if there are any issues you have time to resolve them. Determine the age and style of your h...
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By Doug Dawes, Your Personal Realtor®
(Keller Williams Evolution - 447 Boston Street, Suite #5, Topsfield, MA)
With Veteran's Day being tomorrow I thought this would be an opportune time to remind veterans about a VA Home Loan.One of the benefits many Veterans do not avail themselves of is a VA Home Loan. A veteran can use this benefit more than once. The VA Home Laon is a 100% government-guaranteed loan. The infographic gives the basics of the benefit. Contact a qualified VA loan provider to start the process. They can walk you through the process right to the closing. Making a Home for the Brave Possible  Some Highlights VA Home Loans provide unique opportunities for Veterans, active-duty personnel, and their families in recognition of their service to our Nation. For eligible individuals, options associated with VA Loans can help make the dream of homeownership a reality. If you or someone yo...
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By Doug Dawes, Your Personal Realtor®
(Keller Williams Evolution - 447 Boston Street, Suite #5, Topsfield, MA)
Today, 18 September 2020, is National POW/MIA Day. It is on this day that we salute the more than 500,000 Americans who endured the horrors of being held as a Prisoner of War as well as the more than 80,000 patriots who remain missing in action.Massachusetts has 1 (one) Memorial honoring the Vietnam POW/MIA soldiers. The Memorial is located at the Essex County Sheriff's Office in Middleton, MA. Each year I attend the public ceremony on this day. BUT, this year the public event was canceled due to the Covid-19 mandates Governor Baker issued for the safety of the citizens of Massachusetts. Sheriff Coppinger decided to film a virtual ceremony to ensure these soldiers would be remembered.  Although this ceremony is to honor MA Vietnam POW/MIA soldiers we will never forget 1 soldier across o...
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By Doug Dawes, Your Personal Realtor®
(Keller Williams Evolution - 447 Boston Street, Suite #5, Topsfield, MA)
Yesterday was a beautiful June day for a Real Estate closing. After a long search, my young single Buyer client closed on a great property in Georgetown. Location, location, location...The home was built in 1982, is situated on just under 2-acres, and set well back from the road. When the trees are in full leaf you cannot see the house from the road. The back-lot line borders the golf club. 6 rooms, 3 br, 1 full bath, detached garage. The buyer is a car aficionado and says he bought a garage that came with a house...lol. It's good to see a happy buyer and seller.Sale Price $402,000                                                                                                                                                The Market in Georgetown has been steady throughout this Covid-19...
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By Doug Dawes, Your Personal Realtor®
(Keller Williams Evolution - 447 Boston Street, Suite #5, Topsfield, MA)
YOUR DOG WILL BE!!!A good idea is always enjoyable BUT when it comes to fruition many get to enjoy the fruits.Today I'm giving a big shoutout to a friend and fellow Veteran, Don Jarvis, for this idea for repurposing old fire hydrants that have outlived their purpose. Here's a picture of the first repurposed hydrant. It was just installed and painting was finished yesterday. As old hydrants become available they will be placed along dog walking routes and dog parks. Each hydrant will have doggie treat bins and doggie poop pickup bags. Of course, the dogs are encouraged to relieve themselves on the hydrant. Talk about a happy dog!!! Don's service dog Mocha got to christen this hydrant. GREAT IDEA Donnie!! Don is also an author. You can purchase a copy of Don's children's book "Mocha, The ...
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By Doug Dawes, Your Personal Realtor®
(Keller Williams Evolution - 447 Boston Street, Suite #5, Topsfield, MA)
Get your crystal balls out! To be honest, I try not to make predictions simply because things can change in an instant, as we are seeing with this current health crisis we find ourselves in.  In Georgetown, MA a small, historic, New England town, prices are up by roughly 5%. There is much pent up demand and in the last 2 months numbers look like this... We have 3 properties with an accepted offer (today), 13 with a signed Purchase & Sales Agreement & 17 of those have closed. Prices are up by about 5% inventory is .68 monthsThis leads us into the age-old question, seen below.  Will Home Values Appreciate or Depreciate in 2020?   With the housing market staggered to some degree by the health crisis the country is currently facing, some potential purchasers are questioning whether home val...
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