321 Riverview Avenue, Athol – Back On Market!

Remember 321 Riverview Avenue in Athol, Massachusetts? It’s back and waiting for you to make it your own!

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This sweet ranch home has been well-loved by its current family, and it’s looking for a new owner to give it a few cosmetic updates and make it shine. Unusually for a ranch, it has an open, flowing kitchen/living/dining area, making it perfect for entertaining!

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Three bedrooms and two full baths, including a master bath with whirlpool tub, complete the living area of this home.

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That’s not all, though – a full basement, huge two-car attached garage, and shed will give you all the storage space you need (and even extra living space if you finish the basement). And true to the name of the street, you’ll have seasonal views of the Millers River from the deck!

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Athol’s a little out of the way, but it’s extremely affordable – this home is now listed at $154,999. Come see it for yourself at the open house on Sunday, March 5 from noon to 2 PM!

Foreclosure Assistance Programs

Struggling with your home payments and facing the possibility of foreclosure? There is help out there! From the Norfolk Registry of Deeds, here’s some information that might make all the difference for you.

“Norfolk County Register of Deeds William P. O’Donnell reminded homeowners who are in the midst of struggling to pay their mortgage or are facing a foreclosure that there are consumer programs available to help them out.

Register O’Donnell stated, “During the past several years, our office has partnered with reputable agencies by promoting their services when it comes to mortgage modification and foreclosure issues. Consumers can contact either the Quincy Community Action Programs at(617) 479-8181 x-376 or NeighborWorks Southern Mass at (508) 587-0950 x-46.

Another option would be the Massachusetts Attorney General’s HomeCorps program at (617) 573-3333. These agencies provide a range of assistance from helping with the mortgage modification process to providing legal services to stave off a foreclosure as well as offering several forms of credit counseling. Additional information can be found on the Registry’s website, www.norfolkdeeds.org under the Support tab.”

The Register also had a cautionary warning for consumers. “It’s important to seek the right source for your needs such as a non-profit or state agency as cited above. Unfortunately, foreclosure rescues and mortgage modification relief are becoming a growing scam. Some unscrupulous private companies look to charge consumers outrageous prices for services and make unrealistic promises to them.”

During the past few months, a statistical review showed that there has been a relative decline in foreclosures, particularly Notice to Foreclose Mortgage filings – the first step in the process. “With that said,” noted O’Donnell, “we realize that while Norfolk County is a destination location to both live and work, there are still some of our neighbors facing economic hardships. During the month of January, there were 30 foreclosures recorded at the Registry and 41 Notice to Foreclose Mortgage filings initiated against homeowners.”

Register O’Donnell concluded, “The Registry is unequivocally committed to helping those facing a mortgage delinquency or foreclosure by directing them to the appropriate agency that can hopefully put them back on the road to financial recovery. I urge people who feel that they need such services to contact the agencies referenced above.”

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 andInstagram.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 consult the Registry’s website www.norfolkdeeds.org or contact our Customer Service Center at (781) 461-6101.

Register William P. O’Donnell

Norfolk County Registry of Deeds

Norfolk Registry of Deeds – January 2017 Report

Fresh from the Norfolk Registry of Deeds, here’s the Register’s report on real estate activity for the beginning of 2017!

“Register of Deeds William P. O’Donnell reported a good but not spectacular start to 2017 Norfolk County real estate scene. While sales volume exhibited a modest increase, lending activity showed solid gains in both the number of mortgages recorded and the overall amount of money lent to home and business owners.

During the month of January 2017, the total volume of residential and commercial real estate sales increased by 3% to $532 million from the previous January. The average sale price, again including both residential and commercial, did not show any statistical change from January 2016. The average sale price for the month was $678,916. Register O’Donnell noted, “While the number did not pop, Norfolk County did hold its own.”

On the other hand, lending activity was more robust in January than compared to one year ago with a total of 2,282 mortgages recorded, a significant 15% increase from the previous year. “What these numbers prove,” stated O’Donnell, “is that consumers and business people continue to take advantage of relatively low interest rates in a historical context. Some of the increase in mortgage activity may also be tied to interest rates starting to creep up.” In addition, total mortgage lending in January increased an eye-popping 131% to $1.7 billion. This figure was influenced by a $573 million mortgage taken out against Quincy property in early January.

Norfolk County foreclosure activity was a mixed bag in January. The bad news was 30 foreclosure deeds were filed compared to 15 the previous January, a 100% increase. The good news was a significant decrease in the number of Notice to Foreclose Mortgage filings, the first step in the foreclosure process. A total of 41 Notice to Foreclose Mortgage filings were recorded in January compared to 97 in January, 2016.

Register O’Donnell noted, “As I have stated many times, one foreclosure deed filing is one too many. However, I do continue to be encouraged by the trend lines relative to foreclosure activity. As we saw in the 4th quarter 2016, there continues to be a reduction in the number of Notice to Foreclose Mortgage filings, which could have been triggered by the state’s low unemployment rate of 2.8%, the lowest in 16 years.

“With that said, some of our neighbors do continue to face economic hardship. 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. I urge anyone who is facing a foreclosure issue to avail themselves of these excellent programs.”

However, a source of good news was Norfolk County homeowners continuing to avail themselves of the Homestead Act. “A Homestead,” stated O’Donnell, “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.”

In conclusion, Register O’Donnell stated, “Overall, when considering all the indicators January was a good month for real estate activity in Norfolk County. The county held its own relative to property sales. Additionally, homeowners continue to avail themselves of the relatively low interest rates. As long as the economy remains sound, I am hopeful that the Norfolk County real estate market can gain further momentum.”

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 andInstagram.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 atwww.norfolkdeeds.org.

Register William P. O’Donnell

Norfolk County Registry of Deeds

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

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

Norfolk Registry of Deeds – November Report

Straight from the Norfolk Registry of Deeds, here’s the report on November 2016 real estate activity in Norfolk County…

“Norfolk County experienced for November 2016 a strong month of real estate sales and lending activity, tempered by a slight decrease in real estate sale prices.

Register of Deeds William P. O’Donnell noted, “The number of property transactions increased a healthy 12% in November, compared to the same time period in 2015. A total of 1,563 deeds were recorded versus 1,395 in November 2015.

“However, what was a little surprising was a small by noticeable 4% decrease in the average sale price of residential and commercial property. The average real estate sale price for the month of November was $721,968. However, total sales volume, again both residential and commercial, increased by 5% to $679 million.”

Another positive factor was that mortgage activity across the county increased in November by 37% as compared to November of 2015. A key factor in this activity, according to O’Donnell, was the relatively low interest rates still being offered by lending institutions.

While the number of mortgages recorded increased significantly, total mortgage financing for November came in at $1.78 billion, a 25% decrease from the previous year. This decrease can be explained by 3 separate commercial mortgage transactions totaling $550 million that were recorded against properties in Weymouth, Walpole and Plainville in November 2015.

Further encouraging news was seen when it came to foreclosure activity. A total of 19 foreclosure deeds were filed in November compared to 24 filings year over year. In addition, Notice to Foreclose Mortgage activity, the first step in the foreclosure process, decreased a significant 40% during the month compared to the same time period in 2015. Fifty-two Notice to Foreclose Mortgages were filed in November compared to 86 in November 2015.

“These foreclosure figures are encouraging news,” noted O’Donnell, “However, we can’t simply focus on statistics, without realizing the human impact that results from a foreclosure filing. Clearly, some of our neighbors continue to face economic hardship. My office remains committed to partnering with Quincy Community Action Programs at (508) 598-0950 and NeighborWorks Southern Mass at (508) 587-0950 x-46 to ensure homeowners who have received a Notice to Foreclose Mortgage from a lender are getting the help they need. Another option is to call the Massachusetts Attorney General’s HomeCorps program at (617) 573-5333.”

The number of Homesteads recorded, an important consumer tool, increased by 7%. A total of 1,002 Homesteads were filed last month, compared to 939 in November 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.”

Register O’Donnell concluded, “While the slight dip in average real estate sale price for Norfolk County in November was a bit surprising, I nevertheless was heartened by the solid 12% increase in the number of real estate transactions compared to year over year at a time of the year where typically there is less real estate activity. Lending activity continues its acceleration, which is good for the real estate market. As I have previously stated, an uptick in interest rates could cause a chilling effect on both real estate sales and lending. For now, however, we will accept the good news seen in the November data while we keep a watchful eye on what the Federal Reserve will do with regards to interest rates.”

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