Newton, MA Real Estate News

By Larry Lawfer, "I listen for a living." It's all about you.
(YourStories Realty Group powered by Castles Unlimited®)
400 years of architecture in Newton MA redux.  Last month I went through the beginning era of architecture in Newton.  The link to that is right here.  Newton MA is a town just south and west of Boston only 7 miles from downtown Boston.  It is comprised of 13 villages with their own distinct feel, but as a whole they make us one of the nicest communities in Massachusetts.  I left off with Classical Revival which is also known as Neoclassical.  My current listing at 114 Shornecliffe Road on Farlow Hill is considered one of the nicest examples of this architecture still in existence.  This style became popular after the Colombian Exposition of 1893. While these homes will always have a formal side, the one on Shornecliffe also has its open space addition with all the modern technology and...
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By Larry Lawfer, "I listen for a living." It's all about you.
(YourStories Realty Group powered by Castles Unlimited®)
View from the Top, Luxury Newton MA.  When you are on the second and third floor of 114 Shornecliffe Road in Newton that sits atop Farlow Hill in the Newton Corner village you can see for miles. This Classical Revival home has so many wonderful details and design that it does look and feel like a view from the top.  Every owner of this storied home has been at the top of their game.  Insurance, Finance, and Medicine have each had owners who were masters in their domain. This property from its curb appeal through the front door you feel it's power and beauty. While there are many luxury properties in Newton for sale, there are few to rival what this home has to offer.  Here is a link to what the Seller put into the house in terms of capital improvements over the years.  The Buyer will re...
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By Larry Lawfer, "I listen for a living." It's all about you.
(YourStories Realty Group powered by Castles Unlimited®)
What have I done for you lately, Friday.  With each client, both seller listings and buyer clients, I speak with them on Friday. We choose a time that I will call and let them know everything that has been done to achieve our goals during the week.  For the Seller's listings I give a list of the blogs that have been written, the videos that have been posted and the various other social media tools and content I have used to drive traffic to the listing.  I give the an updated list of the people I have spoken with, mailed to, or dropped by to see in relation to the listing.  I provide them an updated market report on what has happened with them and thier competition during the week.  I provide this information along with our insight into what this means towards achieving our objectives. ...
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By Larry Lawfer, "I listen for a living." It's all about you.
(YourStories Realty Group powered by Castles Unlimited®)
Newton MA Luxury SF Market Report Dec 2014. There were 124 properties that were involved in the real estate market over the last 30 days.  Active, Under Agreement, Sold listings are the most important since they define the market. I also include Expired and Canceled listings as well because these listings usually define what is wrong with the listing, or the agent doing the listing.  In today's market if you get your property on the market at the right price and with the right kinds of marketing you will draw more people to your listing.  More people means more potential offers. Selling your home in the first thirty days is always the best for highest value and lowest stress. Luxury is defined by our MLS pin as the top 10% of our overall market which includes towns other than Newton. Th...
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By Larry Lawfer, "I listen for a living." It's all about you.
(YourStories Realty Group powered by Castles Unlimited®)
Newton, MA SF Housing Report Nov 2014.  Newton is located only 7 miles from downtown Boston.  It is a diverse and historic community that is really a town made up of 13 distinct villages, each with their own schools and small town centers.  The homes run all the way down from Ultra size and luxury to somewhat affordable.  Newton is constantly on the lists of Best Towns in the US.  Newton schools also rank right up there with the top schools in the state on a consistent basis.  Now to the numbers.  276 properties are seen on the market in the last 30 days.  That is a lot of properties. Single Family Active Listings: 120    Avg. Liv.Area SqFt: 4,697.82     Avg. List$: $1,989,602    Avg. List$/SqFt: $424     Avg. DOM: 127.64 Single Family Under Agreement Listings: 51    Avg. Liv.Area SqFt:...
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By Larry Lawfer, "I listen for a living." It's all about you.
(YourStories Realty Group powered by Castles Unlimited®)
Newton Luxury Home report November 20 2014. This report is produced by the International Luxury Home Marketing group, of which I am a member of the select Million Dollar Guild.  These statistics are for all of the Boston market and do not reflect the statistics for any single town.  The spike we saw a couple of weeks ago has fallen back to a more nomral graph. The really good news for Sellers is that the prices are still slowly increasing.  In Newton MA where I have a luxury listing, MLS #: 71746470 114 Shornecliffe Road there is a great deal of competition in the $2,225,000-#3,100,000 area.  So much more so than most communities it is causing a bit of an issue for the Buyers. Too much choice in a Buyer's market and it becomes a slower moving market. As the inventory drops and the need ...
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By Larry Lawfer, "I listen for a living." It's all about you.
(YourStories Realty Group powered by Castles Unlimited®)
Newton's MA community spirit is alive.  Newton, unlike many great small cities in the US does not have a single center, instead it is made up of many smaller villages. The number of villages has changed over the years, bu the fact remains that it is as diverse a community as you can find in the US.  Newton MA is often rated as one of the top small towns in the US.  24/7 Wall Street named them #1 in Sept 2014, Money Magazine put them in the top tier in 2012.  With 13 villages, each with thier own schools, pedestrian-friendly shopping centers, parks and playgrounds. Today, the day before Thanksgiving with a snow headed our way I saw a great new sign up for the town.  Village 14 is a site devoted to Newton activity and today they have a sign up for people who want to  and people who need p...
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By Larry Lawfer, "I listen for a living." It's all about you.
(YourStories Realty Group powered by Castles Unlimited®)
Hello Darkness My Old Friend.  We are hearing the media talk about the lack of inventory leading to the lack of sales.  We are hearing about the diminished first time home buyers who are not in the market right now.  Journalists, who don't sell real estate, and agents who are a bit like chicken little are reacting poorly to the immediate news rather than looking at it from a more historical perspective not their hysterical perspective.  I understand that journalists need to write stories and that stories of woe and mayhem are far more desired than stories that are truly helpful to the readership.  Agents who are running around like their heads are cut off are typically those not doing many transactions. The reality is that, yes there are fewer houses being sold, but they are being sold ...
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By Larry Lawfer, "I listen for a living." It's all about you.
(YourStories Realty Group powered by Castles Unlimited®)
The sounds of Silence in Newton MA are deafening.  The Boston Globe last Sunday posted a piece about how weird the market is. The stated that there are fewer homes being sold this year than last year which is true. The writer went on with this and wondering what will happen next as if this trend was indicative on things to come. What the writer missed is that while fewer houses are being sold, they are being sold for 17% more money than last year.  How this important statistic wasn't included is a failure in understanding the full statistical analysis. Another point that was made this week was that the market is being slowed by the diminished first time home buyers out there.  As it always does, this is followed by the statement that it is harder for these people to get loans.  Well, th...
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By James Lowenstern, Castles Unlimited. Newton MA Real Estate
(Castles Unlimited®)
When choosing where to live, Americans consider a variety of factors. For some, the quality of schools is important. For others, the strength of the local economy or personal safety takes priority. To determine America’s best cities to live in, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data on the 550 areas measured by the U.S. Census Bureau with populations of 65,000 or more. Based on a range of variables, including crime rates, employment growth, educational attainment, and housing affordability, 24/7 Wall St. identified America’s 50 best cities to live. Because of its importance, the labor market was one of the key measures we used to identify the best cities. In order to be considered, a city needed positive employment growth between 2011 and 2013 and an unemployment rate of no more than 9.8%, roughly...
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By Larry Lawfer, "I listen for a living." It's all about you.
(YourStories Realty Group powered by Castles Unlimited®)
Year over Year Market pricing Boston Area Move In Homes.  It is interesting to me that we are experiencing both a drop off in the unit numbers, but a jump in the price point. Since I have a property for sale in Newton I am particularly interested in in their numbers.  The stats are ever changing on a day by day basis.  The averages are just that averages.  Your house is different, it will fit in to the averages but no one  thinks there house is average. The overall outlook right now for the market is great. The interest rates appear as if they will stay lower for the next 6 months. The realty about interest rates is that their historical low rate is now a given. People forget the rates of 17% and 18% of the years past. They are not thinking of the 4% and 5% that are headed out way next ...
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By Larry Lawfer, "I listen for a living." It's all about you.
(YourStories Realty Group powered by Castles Unlimited®)
Luxury Homes Sales Boston Area Move In Homes Nov 2014. The International Luxury Home Marketing group provides  we ILHM members with reports on a weekly basis of what is going on with the Luxury market internationally and on the local level.  I follow all the markets very carefully because when asked I need to provide not only accurate information but also clear insight into the market.  Right now the key to getting your home sold at the best price is to put it on the market at a great price.  If you allow your Seller who is not a professional in our industry dictate to you what the price should be then you are not doing your client any favors.  Who knows maybe that is your working style, it has been for so many over the years.  Taking an overpriced listing and talking your client into p...
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By Larry Lawfer, "I listen for a living." It's all about you.
(YourStories Realty Group powered by Castles Unlimited®)
Are you overpriced, or just poorly marketed?  This is a question to be asked as we slip back into a Buyer's Market here in the Boston Area Move in Homes section of this great country.  So many professionals sell themselves short and yet they spout bravado with each utterance.  It is never a matter of the best line, it is always about the best information.  If more agents spent their time understanding the market from an economic and financial perspective they could give their clients and prospects more accurate information, they would stop taking overpriced listings because taking a listing in today's market that is overpriced is a sure way to diminish the value of that home.  With all the information on the internet, like zestimates, the easy consumer comp methods, any over pricing too...
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By Larry Lawfer, "I listen for a living." It's all about you.
(YourStories Realty Group powered by Castles Unlimited®)
Great Neighborhood, Beautiful Homes, Nice Neighbors and, to top all that off, one of the homes that always gets mentioned in any conversation about great homes, is for sale right now. MLS #: 71746470 114 Shornecliffe is on the market at a Buyers pricing.   All neighborhoods have their flavor. Some are friendly and socialize together, some do not.  Some share their homes during the holidays and look out for your home when they know you are away, some do not.  Some neighborhoods are filled with people who are all alike and some are not.  Farlow Hill is home to Bankers, Lawyers, Doctors and Designers; Architects, Engineers, Entrepreneurs and Gardeners.  Newton is a series of villages that is located only 7 miles from downtown Boston.  Farlow Hill where 114 Shornecliffe Road rise to is  bui...
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By Larry Lawfer, "I listen for a living." It's all about you.
(YourStories Realty Group powered by Castles Unlimited®)
Historic Living, Luxury for the ages Newton MA has a lot to offer. This town has been housing it's people in grand style since the 1600's.  It is the birthplace of countless famous and successful people through the years.  MLS #: 71746470 114 Shornecliffe Road is one of the beautiful homes on the market right now in Farlow Hill.  As is often the case neighborhoods seem to ebb and flow together.  New families move in with their young children and nourish them through to the years where they then become empty nesters. It is a very normal process and really does provide opportunity for the savvy buyer. In Newton this week the new Assessments came out for FY 2015.  The towns assessment dictates the taxes the house and property will be liable for to the town.  It is a process that happens on...
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By Larry Lawfer, "I listen for a living." It's all about you.
(YourStories Realty Group powered by Castles Unlimited®)
What about my assessment? Newton MA. The Newton MA 2015 FY assessments are out and available on the NewtonMA.gov website on the upper left, Assessors.  Once on the new page punch in the address you need and up will come all the assessments through the years.  The assessments last cycle to this one have gone higher on a 6% average.  We did a study of the Assessed Value (new Assessed Value) and the Sold Price for the last three months from the MLSPin site here in Boston.  We found a couple of questions that had to be answered. For instance a house with an assessment of $633,330 being sold in the last three months for more than 2 million.  The answer for most of these instances is just that...a developer/investor/rehabber/architect buys a house with specific upgrades to the home for the re...
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By Larry Lawfer, "I listen for a living." It's all about you.
(YourStories Realty Group powered by Castles Unlimited®)
International Luxury Home Market Report-Boston Nov '14.  There are some fun things going on with the luxury market in the Boston area this month. You will see the huge jump in average price at the end of the first graphy. Wowza!  Turns out there is a house in Cohassett for sale for $44,000,000 and a $25,000,000 and a $22,000,000 came on the market. This activity with skyrocket the stat as will the sale of any of these properties. In this rarefied air of luxury there is even larger properties that dwarf the merely magnifiscent. As the market reacts to each sale there is always a ripple up and down motion with the market.  The condo market in certain sectors of sales price is languishing right now in downtown Boston, but the rest of the luxury market is doing just fine.  By fine I mean th...
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By Larry Lawfer, "I listen for a living." It's all about you.
(YourStories Realty Group powered by Castles Unlimited®)
Luxury Homes Sales Market Late 2014 is slightly different all over the country. Here in the Boston area move in homes have been steadily rising since the fall off back in 2009-2010.  Prices continue to go up, although this week in the Boston Condo market the prices dropped slightly for the first time in many years.  In most of the nice suburbs surround Boston the prices ae doing just fine thank you. There is a bit of slowness in the market at the end of the summer and into the fall, but it is being predicted that the activity will be greater at the end of the year, just like it was last year at this time. The Fed changed the policies this week and the actions may trigger the interest rates to rise some time in 2015. We have been spoiled for quite some time with these low interest rates....
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By Larry Lawfer, "I listen for a living." It's all about you.
(YourStories Realty Group powered by Castles Unlimited®)
Assessed Value versus Market Value will change in every single market place, in every state and every region. The Assessed value is the amount the town or municipality needs to operate its local budget and so they assess each property, which includes the structure(s) to determine valuation.  Since this is done periodically there is always much discussion about the process when the new bills come out.  Newton, MA just received it's new 2015 property valuation.  In most cases the taxes went up. This is a direct result in the fact the prices for these properties have gone up since the last valuation.  By the way, you can always open a discussion about your appraisal.  Keep in mind that the appraisal is a process that uses existing statistical data to determine value, there is very little r...
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By Larry Lawfer, "I listen for a living." It's all about you.
(YourStories Realty Group powered by Castles Unlimited®)
Bonds are Gone. Who will save real estate? The Federal Reserve has ended its landmark bond-buying program and to some that spells doom.  To others its smells of relief. What comes from this is interest rates being impacted.  Rates will go up.  How fast or how quickly is up for argument.  In a recent AP post by Martin  Crutsinger reported about the "ending it's landmark bond-buying program and pointed to gains in the job market."  I was struck today to learn that there is more homelessness in MA than in other states as reported by the Boston Globe.  The third quarter of 2014 reported a slowing of the sales of homes, but the strength of the market will again be in the final quarter of the year.  We will wait to see. I am not an economist, just your Realtor®. I know that real estate has al...
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