SAFE Coalition Narcan Training – February 15, 2017

Those of you who know me personally know that I don’t take myself too seriously. However, there’s a serious issue facing our communities here in Massachusetts, and I think it’s important to bring attention to it and help out in any way we can. I’m talking about the opioid epidemic, and fortunately, there’s a fantastic group here in the Franklin area that’s working to combat it. (Watch this space for more info on this group soon!)

The SAFE Coalition, together with the Franklin Fire Department, Franklin Police Department, and Brockton Area Multi-Services Inc. (BAMSI), will be hosting a life-saving training session on February 15, 2017 at the Franklin Fire Department (40 West Central St.). Drop in any time from 4 to 8 PM to receive training in the use of Narcan, a medication that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. At 4 PM, 5:15 PM, and 6:30 PM, hands-on CPR training will also be provided. If you’d like to attend one of the CPR classes, please register by emailing the SAFE Coalition at info @ safecoalitionma.com with your name and desired class time. No registration is necessary for the Narcan training, and both Narcan and CPR training are free of charge.

I know I say “don’t miss out” about pretty much every local event I feature on this blog, but I really mean it in this case. This class could give you the power to save someone’s life, so please, take advantage of it!

Norfolk Registry of Deeds – 2016 Highlights

From the Norfolk Registry of Deeds, here’s a look back at the highlights of 2016…

“It was a year where history came alive, consumer milestones were reached and legislative successes were achieved,” noted Register William P. O’Donnell in referring to the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds operation in 2016.

The Register noted that in 2016, the Registry was indeed an extraordinarily busy time when it came to real estate transactions. The Registry collected more that $55 million dollars in revenue and recorded more than 160,000 transactions, including processing approximately 12,500 homestead applications, a 4% increase from 2015.

The Registry in 2016 also hit a couple of milestones. The first was its completion of its 34,000th book of land transactions. “Today for the sake of security and convenience,” noted Register O’Donnell, “we maintain documents in 3 forms; hard copy, electronically and on microfilm and our materials are backed up and stored 3 different ways.”

On the consumer front, the Registry reached its 500th subscriber milestone for its Consumer Notification Program. The free program allows any county resident to opt in and be alerted when any document is recorded against their name. To sign-up, please see the Registry’s website at www.norfolkdeeds.org.

One of the programs brought online this year that the Registry is quite proud of is its “History Comes Alive” transcription project. The initiative, the first of its kind for a New England Registry, makes land recorded documents written in the 18th and 19th centuries in the old cursive handwriting style much easier to read by converting the words to text. This is a great breakthrough for historical commissions and societies as well as genealogists who want to trace their family’s history. Famed historian David McCullough sent a note to Register O’Donnell expressing his belief that this project was, “a large and important contribution.”

Register O’Donnell noted that public accessibility is a key focal point to the Registry’s operation. “In 2016, you didn’t need to come to the Registry to get your work done. You could view all documents online from your home or work computer. Additionally, we have added resources to our Customer Service Center which you can call from 8:30AM to 4:30PM,MondayFriday at 781-461-6101.”

In 2016, the Registry focused on upgrading its computer security network, along with educating its workforce not to fall victim to a cyber-attack. On the capital improvement side, it also made several extensive renovations to its historic building opened in 1903.

Register O’Donnell noted that the Massachusetts Registries of Deeds were the recipients of 3 major victories on Beacon Hill in the last year. “We were able to have our tech fund extended through the year 2020 which pays for our projects and initiatives. We were also able to provide input to the Legislature with regards to the Public Records Law so that we can remain responsive and cost efficient in our operations. Lastly, the Governor just signed into law legislation designed to modernize and make more cost efficient how Registries store their vast documentation.”

The Register concluded by stating, “The year 2016 was a productive and pivotal one for the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds. What was accomplished last year will only make us better equipped to meet the challenges of 2017.”

To learn more about these and other Registry of Deeds events and initiatives, like us atfacebook.com/NorfolkDeeds or follow us on twitter.com/NorfolkDeeds and Instagram.com/NorfolkDeeds.

The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds, located at 649 High Street, Dedham, is the principal office for real property in Norfolk County. The Registry is a resource for homeowners, title examiners, mortgage lenders, municipalities and others with a need for secure, accurate, accessible land record information. Residents in need of assistance can contact the Registry of Deeds Customer Service Center at (781) 461-6101, or on the web at www.norfolkdeeds.org.

Register William P. O’Donnell

Norfolk County Registry of Deeds

Small Business Administration Workshop – January 25, 2017

Do you own a small business in the Franklin area? Thinking about starting one? If so, don’t miss the upcoming workshop on the Small Business Administration!

This Wednesday, January 25, from 9-11 AM, come to the Franklin Municipal Building to learn more about the various programs and services the SBA has to offer. From Guaranty Loan programs and government contracting opportunities to the Center for Women and Enterprise and the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center, you’ll leave with all the information you need about the resources that can help your business flourish.

This event is free, and you can RSVP by clicking here. Don’t miss out!

2017 Reader’s Choice Awards

It’s that time of year again! The voting is open for the 2017 Wicked Local Reader’s Choice Awards.

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This is a great opportunity for you to show your appreciation for your favorite local businesses, and once the results are out, it’s a great way to find some new favorites! To vote, just click on the link above. Don’t forget that you need to vote in at least ten categories for your votes to be counted, so be generous and creative and share your opinions freely.

Voting is open until February 15 at 5:00 PM, so get started and have fun!

Franklin Ranked #4 in Nation for Safety

New rankings from NeighborhoodScout are out, and once again, Franklin’s near the top! Ranked the fourth safest city in the entire nation, Franklin also leads the Boston-area contenders (three of which made the top ten). Thanks to our hard-working police and other city officials who help to keep us that way!

Every year, NeighborhoodScout looks at the number of property and violent crimes per 1,000 residents in cities of 25,000 or more to create their final rankings. With 4.53 crimes per 1,000 residents, Franklin’s considered safer than 93% of cities in the United States.

Check out the full report on Franklin here, and if you’re looking to make Franklin your home, give me a call!

Norfolk Registry of Deeds – 2016 Year in Review

From the Norfolk Registry of Deeds, here’s a look back on real estate activity in our county for 2016…

“While 2016 was in may ways a tumultuous year, both nationally and internationally, Register of Deeds William P. O’Donnell also reported it was a solidly impressive one for the local Norfolk County real estate market.

Register O’Donnell noted, “A review of 2016 showed a strong across-the-board performance when it came to Norfolk County real estate. During the year, the number of residential and commercial properties sold increased 4%.”

In addition, the total volume of residential and commercial sales in 2016 came in at $9.1 billion, an impressive 12% increase year over year. The average sales price, for both residential and commercial, was $775,031, an increase of 8% over 2015.

Another positive economic indicator was the 167,600 land documents recorded, a 6% increase from the prior year. “These numbers indicate that Norfolk County remains a desirable location to raise a family and secure gainful employment,” noted O’Donnell.

The year 2016 was also a robust one for real estate financing in Norfolk County. A total of 35,159 mortgages were recorded, representing an 11% increase from 2015. Total mortgage financing closed at $19.3 billion, a 5% increase from the previous year. Register O’Donnell stated, “Clearly, a strong economy in eastern Massachusetts, coupled with low interest rates, were the key factors.”

Norfolk County residents continued to avail themselves of the protections provided by the Homestead Act. A total of 12,573 Homesteads were recorded in 2016, a 4% increase over 2015. O’Donnell noted, “A Homestead provides limited protection against the forced sale of an individual’s primary residence to satisfy unsecured debt up to $500,000. I urge homeowners who have not recorded a Homestead against their primary residence to consider this valuable consumer protection tool.”

One note of concern in an otherwise bright market was foreclosure activity. A total of 294 foreclosure deeds were filed in Norfolk County in 2016, compared to 250 in the previous year. In addition, Notice to Foreclose Mortgage, the first step in the foreclosure process, also increased by 3.7%. Register O’Donnell noted, “These numbers are quite sobering. While one foreclosure is one too many, there is a silver lining in the 4th quarter of 2016, the Registry saw significant reductions in the number of Notice to Foreclose Mortgage filings. I am cautiously hopeful these trend lines will continue.”

The Registry continues to partner with Quincy Community Action Programs at (617) 479-8181 x-376 and NeighborWorks Southern Mass at (508) 598-0950 to help anyone who has received a Notice to Foreclose Mortgage from a lender. Another option for consumers is to call the Massachusetts Attorney General’s HomeCorps program at (617) 573-5333.

Register O’Donnell concluded, “Norfolk County real estate market experienced solid growth in 2016. A strong economy in eastern Massachusetts, coupled with low interest rates, propelled consumers to spend on housing, even in light of the reduced inventory. In 2017, it will be interesting to see if this activity can be sustained, especially in light of the increase in interest rates by the Federal Reserve.”

To learn more about these and other Registry of Deeds events and initiatives, like us at facebook.com/NorfolkDeeds or follow us on twitter.com/NorfolkDeeds and/or Instagram.com/NorfolkDeeds.

The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds, located at 649 High Street, Dedham, is the principal office for real property in Norfolk County. The Registry is a resource for homeowners, title examiners, mortgage lenders, municipalities and others with a need for secure, accurate, accessible land record information. Residents in need of assistance can contact the Registry of Deeds Customer Service Center at (781) 461-6101, or on the web at www.norfolkdeeds.org.

Register William P. O’Donnell

Norfolk County Registry of Deeds

Happy New Year!

Hello, readers, and welcome to 2017! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and you’re feeling rested, refreshed, and ready to tackle the New Year. I’m looking forward to a successful year, myself.

Since January’s not only the start of the new year but also my birthday month, I always find it to be a good time to reflect back on the previous year, figure out what worked and what didn’t, and decide how I’m going to approach the coming months. As part of that, I want to invite you, the readers, to let me know your thoughts. Is there any content you’d particularly like to see me cover? What’s working for you about this blog? What’s not working?

I’d love to hear any and all feedback you have for me so I can help make this blog better. So please don’t hesitate to reach out!