New Home Search Site

If you’ve ever searched for a new home online, this conversation is probably familiar to you: 
“You: Hi, Realtor! I found a listing on [that big real estate site that rhymes with “pillow”] that looks really nice! Can you tell me more about it?

Realtor: Unfortunately that home is no longer available. It went under agreement three weeks ago and it’s off the market now. [Or a month, or two, or…]

You: OK, how about this one? 

Realtor: Same deal.”

Unfortunately, many of the big-name real estate websites don’t provide terribly accurate information, which can be frustrating for both you and your Realtor. But now, there’s a better way! My office has just started using a new platform to help our clients with their real estate search needs, and since the information is pulled directly from the MLS, it’s guaranteed to be accurate. Plus, you’re not limited to searching on your desktop; you can download my mobile app for iPhone or Android, so you can search on the go as well. I’ll be able to see your search results so we can work together efficiently to find your brand new home. 

Once you’ve signed up on my site, your conversations with your Realtor will go more like this:

“You: Hi, Kiernan! I found a listing on your site that looks really nice! Can you tell me more about it?

Me: Sure! I think this one would be a great fit for you, and they’re having an open house this Sunday. Let’s go check it out!”

If that sounds more like your speed, check out my new site here, and don’t forget to download my app too. Let’s get started finding your dream home!

Norfolk Registry of Deeds – February Real Estate Report

From the Norfolk Registry of Deeds, here’s the report on real estate activity in our county for February 2017… 

“A patch of bad weather and the loss of one critical business day, contributed to the downturn in the Norfolk County real estate and lending markets for the month of February 2017.

Register of Deeds William P. O’Donnell noted, “The inclement weather in the second week of February and the loss of 1 business day, with February 2016 being a leap year, were primary factors in the reduction of real estate activity. We also noticed a reduced number of high-end sales which contributed to the decline in total volume and average sales price.”

Register O’Donnell stated, “The month of February saw a 2% reduction in the number of deeds recorded year over year from 1,042 to 1,019. More striking was the total volume of residential and commercial sales coming in at $338 million, a 35% reduction from February 2016. Also, the average sales price, again both residential and commercial, fell 34% to $594,915. Overall, the number of land documents recorded at the Registry during February was 9,905, a 7% reduction from the previous year.”
The lending market also saw declines during February 2017. A total of 1,691 mortgages were recorded, a 12% reduction from the previous year. The total amount of mortgage borrowing also fell 48% to $700 million; the decline was significantly influenced by a $479 million mortgage recorded in February 2016.
Norfolk County homeowners continued to avail themselves of the benefits of the Homestead Act. A total of 674 Homesteads were recorded in February, a 2% increase year over year. “The Homestead law provides limited protection against the forced sale of an individual’s primary residence to satisfy unsecured debt up to $500,000. I urge Norfolk County residents to consider this consumer protection tool,” noted O’Donnell.
A bright spot for February was the reduction in foreclosure activity. A total of 16 foreclosure deeds were recorded compared to 30 the previous February. In addition, the number of Notice to Foreclose Mortgage recordings, the first step in the foreclosure process, was down to 49 filings compared to 55 in February 2016.
Register O’Donnell stated, “I remain optimistic that we are now finally turning the corner when it comes to the issues of foreclosure, a significant problem we have steadily faced for nearly a decade. With that said, one foreclosure is one too many. We need to remain diligent that any homeowner facing a challenge with their monthly mortgage payments are getting the help and counseling they need.
The Registry continues to work with Quincy Community Action Programs, 617-479-8181 x-376, and NeighborWorks SouthernMass, 508-587-0950 to help homeowners who have received a Notice to Foreclose Mortgage. Another option is to contact the Attorney General’s HomeCorps program at 617-573-3333.”
Register O’Donnell concluded, “While Norfolk County continues to be a destination location for individuals and families to live and work, there are two significant factors that will impact how the housing and lending markets take shape in 2017. One key factor will be the amount of housing inventory available for consumers. The other major issue will be whether or not the Federal Reserve follows through on its promise to increase 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 Instagram.com/NorfolkDeeds.
The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds is located at 649 High Street in Dedham. The Registry is a resource for homeowners, title examiners, mortgage lenders, municipalities and others with a need for secure, accurate, accessible land record information. All land record research information can be found on the Registry’s website http://www.norfolkdeeds.org. Residents in need of assistance can contact the Registry of Deeds Customer Service Center at (781) 461-6101, or email us at registerodonnell@norfolkdeeds.org.
Register William P. O’Donnell 
Norfolk County Registry of Deeds

email: registerodonnell@norfolkdeeds.org

phone: 781-234-3336

web: http://www.norfolkdeeds.org”

Franklin Library Events – March 18-19

The Franklin Public Library has a lot going on this weekend, March 18 and 19, so don’t miss out!

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Click here to RSVP on Facebook! 

First of all, the library’s holding another book sale on both Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday from 9 to 3, pick up some new reading material for just $1 per book. On Sunday, fill a brown paper bag with books for just $5 per bag.

On Saturday morning at 10:30, the library’s hosting an Elephant and Piggie Party, in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Elephant and Piggie books. Bring your kids for crafts, activities, snacks, and a special reading!

Finally, on Sunday at 2 PM, join the library for a free concert by the Keep On The Grass Bluegrass Band. Dance and sing along with Joe Rebeiro, Brian Sargent, and Ted Mello to classic bluegrass tunes for a great way to wrap up your weekend.

The library’s still in its temporary home at 25 Kenwood Circle in Franklin, while the construction on the main building continues, so stop by this weekend and enjoy all the library has to offer!

 

Winter Is Coming – Again

It’s March 13, and you know what that means. More light in the evenings, spring bulbs popping up everywhere, and – 12 to 18 inches of snow?? Oh yeah, this is New England. Sorry.

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Graphic from my favorite winter weather forecast site – check it out for great snow maps!

That’s right. We have a major snowstorm scheduled to hit us tomorrow, with likely blizzard conditions, so today is your day to make sure you’re fully prepared.

  • If you don’t have to go anywhere tomorrow, don’t plan on it, and if your employer allows you to work from home, take full advantage.
  • Make sure you have plenty of food and any necessary medical supplies at home; I like to joke about the “French Toast Alert” that seems to go off in New Englanders’ heads when a storm is predicted, that makes them all rush to the grocery store for milk, bread, and eggs, but it’s a good idea to stock up in case you lose power or you’re stuck at home for a couple of days.
  • Stock up on things like ice melt, snow shovels, and fuel for your snowblower too.
  • Charge up your electronics, again in case you lose power, and make sure your heating system is in good working order (and fully supplied if you depend on oil, wood, or pellets for your heat).
  • Check on your elderly or vulnerable neighbors to make sure they have everything they need to get through the storm, too.
  • And finally, keep yourself informed. I like the site I linked above for snowfall forecasts, but there are tons of great weather sites out there like Weather Underground and the Weather Channel that will help keep you up to date.

Stay warm and safe and I’ll see you on the other side!

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!

321RiverViewAveAtholMA-15

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

321RiverViewAveAtholMA-8

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!

321RiverViewAveAtholMA-20

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!

We’re Number 1!

By now you’ve probably seen the news – Massachusetts has been named the best state in the country by the US News and World Report! We hit the top of the list thanks to our strong economy, innovative healthcare, and world-class educational institutions, but there are so many other factors that make Massachusetts such a great place to live. 

I’ve lived here almost ten years now, and I definitely appreciate all the big stuff that puts us at #1, but for me it’s the little things that I really love. It’s the way everybody drinks iced coffee all year round, and has a die-hard loyalty to one particular coffee brand no matter what. (Dunkin people vs. Cumbies people vs. Starbucks people vs. Honey Dew people… I could go on but you get the idea.) It’s the way even non-sports fans cheer on the Red Sox or the Patriots or the Bruins or the Celtics because they’re ours, and when they win it makes everybody feel good. It’s the way people truly appreciate every one of our four seasons; for everyone that complains about the snow or the summer heat, there are three people out there in the weather enjoying every second. It’s the way people come together to support each other and their communities. It’s the particularly New England blunt, sarcastic sense of humor. 

I could go on for days, but I want to hear from you! What do you love best about Massachusetts? 

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