May 2020 Market Update & Local Info

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Real Estate

Everything can change all over the world ...
but a Mother's Love never changes in any condition


May Market Update

I hope this newsletter finds you well. I’m so glad to see the change in the weather (sun!) and finally seeing fewer cases of Covid in our area! Are you wondering how the market compares to last year in the MetroWest Area?

Single Family, Condo & Multi-Family Homes Ashland, Framingham, Holliston, Hopkinton, Medway, Natick, Southborough  Year to Date as of 4/29 - 2019 vs. 2020:

 # of Listings: -10%
 # of Pendings: -4%
 # of Solds: -4%

Average Sales Prices:

2019: $522,000
2020: $564,000 Up 8%!

There have been fewer listings available in the past 2 months compared to other years. Depending on location & condition, homes that are well priced are still selling quickly and I had multiple offer on my last two listings. There are buyers out that that do need to buy and sellers that need to sell!

After sheltering in place so long are you doing any remodeling to your own home? I know I’ve got projects planned around my house. Most of my projects are things that I think will help me sell my house quicker and for more money when the time comes. If you have improvements you’ve been contemplating and want to discuss what might make for a better & quicker resale down the road, feel free to reach out to discuss. I can help you with what improvements get more return on investment and what amenities buyers are looking for now.

There are two real estate issues that I think are very important to know about this month:

Mortgage Forbearance
Mortgage forbearance provides homeowners facing a short-term crisis relief by allowing for reduced or paused monthly mortgage payments for a specific period. Mortgage forbearance is typically requested when a homeowner is dealing with an event, such as job loss, a natural disaster, or major illness, that impacts their ability to pay their mortgage on time.

With forbearance, the total amount of the missed or reduced payments will still be owed and need to be repaid. Your forbearance options can differ depending on the type of loan you have.

As of Wednesday, March 25th, The Division of Banks on behalf of Governor Baker called for all regulated financial institutions to follow new guidance to accommodate borrowers who are affected by COVID-19 and cannot make timely payments. These actions include:

60-day postponement of foreclosures
60-or-more day grace period for late mortgage payments that includes waiving late fees, online payment fees, and reporting to credit agencies
Offering borrowers an additional 60-day grace period to complete trial loan modifications 
Ensuring the consistent availability of account management and customer service capabilities for borrowers, even if the mortgage servicer closes its office
Providing proactive outreach to borrowers explaining what assistance they offer

If you qualify for forbearance, your lender will work with you to set up a forbearance agreement. Some of the terms that will be outlined in this agreement can include:

The length of the forbearance
The monthly amount that will be paid during the forbearance period
Repayment when forbearance ends

Whether the forbearance will be reported to credit bureaus 

Eviction Moratorium
For a limited time, in most cases, this law prohibits a landlord from:

       Filing for eviction (“summary process”) in court 
       Sending any notice terminating a lease or demanding to vacate a unit.
       A landlord can still send you other kinds of notices, including a statement of amounts you owe.

Unless extended by Governor Baker, this law will end on August 18, 2020 or 45 days after the end of the Massachusetts state of emergency, whichever comes first, which if May 18th holds would be the first week of July.

During this time, no court can:

Accept a “summary process” filing for eviction.
Schedule a court hearing on an eviction.
Enter a judgment in an eviction case.
Issue an order (called an “execution”) allowing the landlord to tenants and their belongings removed by a sheriff.

This law does not state how it will protect a landlord from mortgage foreclosure if they are unable to pay the mortgage without incoming rent or what will happen if tax & utility liens on the property if assessed. If they ultimately loose the rental property to foreclosure the tenants will still be out of a home.

Thinking about buying or selling? Ask me how I can help you in this new market we are in. I’m happy to meet over zoom, FaceTime or an old-fashioned phone call! 

"April showers bring May flowers" ~ and this May, there’s never been a better time to bring some joy indoors. Due to the current worldwide conditions, our local businesses welcome your support more than ever.  Check out the list of local farms, garden centers and nurseries that have gotten creative so you can purchase their products within the proper safety guidelines.  It will be a win-win for us all!  Enjoy!


10 Day Declutter Challenge

We're all spending more time inside these days…

In an effort to add some structure to our days and get ahead on spring cleaning, (yes, it truly is that time!) I’m offering you a 10-Day Declutter Challenge. Whether you're waiting on this uncertainty to pass before listing your home for sale this spring or you just want to tidy up a bit around the house - this challenge is for you!

Before you deep clean everything, you need to declutter. The less stuff you have, the less stuff you need to clean. This 10-Day Declutter Challenge will help you slowly tackle decluttering your home to make it a little less daunting and a little more fun if you’re the type of person who likes to cross things off a to-do list every day. Happy decluttering!

Day One
Junk Drawers & Countertops
Before diving too deep in grandma’s china just start small. Everyone has at least one (or two) junk drawers in their kitchen. Clean these out first, throw away any actual “junk” and organize the rest.

Day Two
Pantry, Refrigerator, and Freezer
Remember those frozen pretzels you bought last year when you were craving them? They’ve probably expired or will stay in there for another year so it’s probably best to toss them. Go through your pantry, fridge and freezer to get rid of all expired and unwanted food items.

Day Three
Kitchen Cabinets
Now we can dive into the good stuff. If you’re the type of person who loves getting free cups at every event you go to or has way too many plates, it may be time to part ways. You can donate anything you don’t need or toss anything that’s been used too much. 

Day Four
Books, Movies, and the Mail Pile
Unless you’re stuck in the ’90s or like to collect DVD’s, there’s no reason to keep piles of them. You can toss them out, give them away, or put them in a box tucked away.

Day Five
Toys, Games, and/or Office Supplies
If you have kids, it’s likely you have a lot of toys laying around. Go through the toys and games they’ve outgrown and set them aside to donate.

Day Six
If you haven’t heard of Maire Kondo yet, she has great tips on how to sort through your clothes that actually work. Check them out here.

Day Seven
Shoes and Accessories
Just like with your clothes, sort through your shoes, belts, bags, hats, and anything else that may be hiding in your closet. Throw out or donate things that don’t fit or are not used anymore.

Day Eight
Under the Sink
The space under your sink is probably filled with a couple of things... cleaning products, old lotions, and a few half-used bottles of shampoo. Take some time to go through which products you'll actually use and toss the ones you know you won't or those that have expired.

Day Nine
Linen Closet and Medicine Cabinet 
Did you know that medicine expires? It does, so those old prescriptions and cough medicine should probably get tossed out. This would be a great time to put old towels in the garage for chores and to refold all the towels in that one perfect way.

Day Ten
Nightstands and Tops of Dressers
For the last day, let's clear off your nightstands and the top of your dressers and first give them a good dusting. We find that these areas are often neglected and tend to collect a lot of dust. Then, re-evaluate what you have on top of these spaces - is everything functional? Do the remote batteries need to be replaced? Can you get rid of anything here?