Monthly Archives: November 2018

We’re Updating Our Kitchen

Like many of you, we’ve been looking at our kitchen over the last few years and thinking that maybe it was time for an update.

Also, like many of you, we found reasons not to take on the project….the timing wasn’t right; we were going on vacation; we had other household projects that needed to be addressed first.

Plus we had a new floor installed about a year ago and the cabinets — while original to the house — had been refaced. All our appliances are relatively new.

But when we decided to look at our kitchen through the eyes of a potential buyer, we realized that maybe the time had come.

It’s been a very interesting adventure and one that we’d like to share with you. We just posted on our social media pages the first of several installments that will chronicle the process. We hope you’ll find find the information helpful.

The first installment is linked here.


According to industry resource KCM,  the top concern for most first-time home buyers is their ability to save for a down payment.

According to a new survey, 36% of millennials took on a second job to make their dreams of home ownership a reality in 2017.

Among millennials with incomes over $100,000 a year, the top ways to come up with the necessary funds were to sell stocks (20%) or to sell cryptocurrency (16%).

The most popular method of savings was the most traditional; 60% of those saving for a down payment used a percentage of their paychecks to achieve their goal, while 75% of those with salaries over $100k were able to save this way.

For those who have not yet begun to save for their down payment, 32% plan on pursuing additional employment, while 15% plan on driving for a ride-share service as their second job.
Many first-time buyers are mistaken about the down payment needed in today’s real estate market. In fact,

In a 2017 survey, 68% of renters cited saving for a down payment as an obstacle to home ownership. Thirty-nine percent of renters believe that more than 20% is needed for a down payment and many renters are unaware of low-down payment programs.

If you’re seriously considering buying a home, the best plan is to meet with a realtor and/or a reputable lender to discover what your options are. You may be closer to that down payment than you think!


For a quick summary of last week’s market news, please check out The Markets in a Minute from our partners at Residential Mortgage Services. (RMS)

Enjoy your week and watch for our social media updates on our kitchen remodel!

Mari and Hank



National experts in the field — as well as many of us who closely follow real estate on Cape Cod — have been talking about a looming shift in the market.

We can now say with some degree of certainty — and apologies to Bob Dylan — that the market it is a changin’.

We first saw evidence of the shift when sales figures were released for September and now there are more signs of the changing dynamic with the publication of data for October.

After months of concern over low inventory, available housing stock increased almost 4% when comparing this October to last.  There were also 538 new listings last month. That number was 489 in October 2017.

The year-to-date median sales price for single family homes on Cape is $426,335.00, a 7.4% increase over last year at this time. ($397,000.00)

The year-to-date median sales price for condominiums is $300,000.00, a 9.1% increase over last October. ($275,000.00)

Single family homes and condos are also selling faster than a year ago.

What does this all mean?

1. With single family homes and condos on the market fewer days than in 2017, buyers are serious when finding properties they’re interested in.

2. Increase in inventory and listings indicates that sellers understand that the holidays can be a great time to market their properties.

3. The up tick in interest rates is also beginning to be a factor in how buyers are selecting potential new homes. We’ve seen this ourselves as a very qualified buyer just recently took properties off his list, as they moved out of his price range because of interest rates.

if you’ve been thinking about selling your home, now is certainly the time, while inventory remains relatively tight; buyers are serious, and higher interest rates have not had a larger impact.

And as we’ve mentioned before, our homes never look better than they do doing the holidays!

If you’d like to talk about your options as a buyer or seller, please contact us at 508-568-8191 or use the comment section to get in touch.


For more information about the world of finance and how it’s impacting real estate, please check out Markets in a Minute from our partners at Residential Mortgage Services.


Finally a sincere wish to all for a happy and safe Thanksgiving.

For the first time in several years, we’re not on the road and are instead hosting our daughter and her family, as well as Mari’s Mom.

We’re grateful for our many dedicated clients, who made 2018 one of our most successful years.  We look forward to continuing to work with them, as well as with those of you who will decide that 2019 is the year that you’re going to “make your move with Mari.”






Why rent, if you can own?

Chances are that if you’re renting, you’re spending too large a percentage of your monthly income on housing. The rule of thumb has always been that a household should not spend any more than 28% of their income on monthly rent or mortgage payments. This percentage allows households to cover expenses, while also saving for the future.

According to new data provided by industry resource KCM and, 49.5 million renters in the U.S. were cost burdened in 2017, meaning they spent more than 30% of their income on rent. This statistic accounts for nearly half of all renters in the country and is up 3.1 million households from a decade ago.

While paying such high rents, it is difficult to save for the future.

But renters shouldn’t be discouraged.  Those who can save at least 3% for a down payment can become homeowners. In fact, the percentage income needed to buy a home is significantly less than renting at 17.1%!

Here on Cape Cod where rents for small, two bedroom apartments can be higher than mortgages, there are many who dream of owning their own home, but don’t believe they can afford it.

Our best advice is to speak with a reputable lender to determine from a professional what your position is. The advice is free and often more reliable than family members, who can discourage — not encourage — home buying, particularly for young people.

Realtors are also willing to speak with potential buyers to provide a current reading of the market, as well as on going information, while money is being saved for a down payment or credit card debt is being reduced.

If you’re interested in an informational session, we’d be happy to meet with you. Please contact us using the comment section or calling 508-568-8191.


If  you are thinking about buying, here are some additional terms that you should be familiar with:

Closing Costs: The cost to complete the real estate transaction. These can include taxes, title insurance and attorney fees.

Credit Score: A number ranging from 300 to 850 that is based on analysis of your credit history. This helps lenders determine the likelihood that you’ll repay future debts.

Real Estate Professional: An individual who provides services to assist in the buying and selling of homes. Realtors help you through the process, assist with often confusing paperwork, and provide advice based on their professional experience.


For the latest financial news and how it’s impacting the real estate market, please check out The Markets in a Minute from our partners at Residential Mortgage Services.


Mari and Hank