From Baby Boomers to Generation Z: Who’s Buying More Homes?

Baby Boomers, who are currently between 58 and 76 years old, have become the largest group of home buyers, surpassing Millennials. In 2022, the combined share of younger and older Baby Boomer buyers rose to 39%, while Millennials’ share fell to 28%, according to the latest study from the National Association of Realtors®. Here’s a breakdown by generation with info on the buying habits of each, based on the study.

Please note: Generations before Baby Boomers and after GenZ aren’t listed here because they do not make up a significant amount of home purchases. The age ranges for generations mentioned are approximate and may vary in different sources or studies.

Apologies to those on the cusp of each gen who were grouped into a generation older than they believe they should be in. Feel free to move to a younger generation as you see fit!

Generation Z (ages 18-23):

  • Generation Z represents 4% of home buyers.
  • Many Gen Z buyers relied on support from their families to make their first real estate purchase.
  • Finding a location convenient to friends and family was the most important factor for this group.

Younger millennials (ages 24-32) and older millennials (ages 33-42):

  • Millennials had been the top group of home buyers since 2014 but saw their combined share fall from 43% in 2021 to 28% in 2022.
  • Younger Millennials and older Millennials make up the majority of first-time buyers.
  • Younger Millennials typically stayed in their homes for four years.

Generation X (ages 43-57):

  • Generation X accounted for 24% of total buyers.
  • They had the highest median household income of any generation ($114,300).
  • Generation X typically moved shorter distances, within a median of 15 miles.

Younger Baby Boomers (ages 58-67) and older Baby Boomers (ages 68-76):

  • Baby Boomers now make up the largest generation of home buyers.
  • The combined share of younger and older Boomer buyers rose to 39% in 2022, up from 29% the previous year.
  • Many boomers are repeat buyers with housing equity, looking for their dream homes for retirement or homes near friends and family.
  • Older boomers stayed in their homes for 16 years on average before selling.

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Ready to buy a new home or refinance the one you own? Please get in touch and I’ll be happy to answer your questions and help guide you through the process. I look forward to speaking with you.

Memorial Day

Memorial Day is known for being the official kickoff of summer and it is usually filled with vacations, beach visits and barbecues. But the true purpose of this holiday is to remember and honor the sacrifices made by our military service members.

Here are some meaningful ways to honor Memorial Day:

Attend a Memorial Service:

  • Participate in local Memorial Day ceremonies or parades.
  • Observe a moment of silence to honor fallen soldiers at 3:00 PM (local time, as the National Moment of Remembrance suggests).

Display the American Flag:

  • Fly the American flag at half-staff until noon to commemorate fallen heroes.
  • Consider placing small American flags on gravesites.

Write Thank You Notes:

  • Express gratitude by writing thank you notes to active-duty military personnel or veterans.
  • Encourage children to create drawings or write letters thanking service members for their bravery.

Memorial Day is a time to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country. By engaging in meaningful activities, we can show our appreciation and ensure their memory lives on.

Home Improver: Landscaping Hacks on a DIY Budget

Revamping your home’s landscape doesn’t have to drain your wallet. With some clever planning and strategic Do-It-Yourself choices, you can transform your outdoor space on a limited budget.

Lush Greenery with Container Gardens
Container gardens offer a versatile and budget-friendly way to introduce greenery to your landscape. Purchase a variety of pots and planters in different sizes and shapes. Opt for affordable plants such as perennials, herbs, or small shrubs. Arrange the containers strategically around your outdoor space, adding pops of color and texture.

Enhance with Pathway Lighting
Illuminate your pathways and enhance the ambiance of your landscape with affordable pathway lighting. Solar-powered lights are a great option as they require no electrical wiring and are energy-efficient. Install them along your walkways or position them to highlight specific features like trees or flower beds.

Transform with Gravel or Mulch Pathways
Create charming pathways in your garden using gravel or mulch. Clear the desired path and lay down a base layer of landscape fabric to prevent weed growth. Then, spread gravel or mulch evenly along the pathway. Gravel offers a rustic look, while mulch provides a natural and organic appearance.

Relaxation Retreat with a DIY Fire Pit
Transform a corner of your outdoor space into a cozy relaxation retreat with a budget-friendly DIY fire pit. Gather bricks or pavers and arrange them in a circular shape to create a fire pit structure. Fill the center with gravel or sand and add a fire ring. Gather some comfortable seating and enjoy relaxing evenings by the warm glow of your new fire pit.

7 Things to Hide to Sell Your Home Faster

When selling your home, it’s important to create a neutral backdrop that allows potential buyers to envision their own furnishings in the space. Sometimes the things you find quirky, others may find creepy. It’s always best to tuck away items that may influence your potential buyers’ love of your home. Here are seven things that should never be present in your home when showing it to an interested buyer.

  1. Your Weird Doll Collection: If you’re an avid collector of dolls, especially those with porcelain skin and beady eyes, it may be best to pack them away during open houses. While you may find them charming, potential buyers may be creeped out by rows of dolls staring back at them.
  2. Funeral Urns: It’s understandable to want to keep your loved one close, but having their cremation urn on display during showings can be a turn-off for buyers. They may feel uncomfortable with the idea of living in a home where someone’s remains are present.
  3. Taxidermy: While some people find taxidermy to be an art form, others find it unsettling. If you have stuffed formerly live animals or other preserved creatures on display, it may be best to store them away until after the sale.
  4. “Inappropriate” Art: Art is subjective, but it’s best to err on the side of caution when it comes to selling your home. Pieces that may be offensive or contain explicit content should be stored away before showings.
  5. Personal Hygiene Items: It’s common to leave out toiletries in the bathroom, but potential buyers don’t need to see your prescription medications or adult diapers. Keep those items in a drawer or cabinet.
  6. Religious or Political Memorabilia: While it’s fine to express your beliefs in your own home, displaying items related to religion or politics can be a turn-off for some buyers. It’s best to keep these items hidden during showings to avoid any potential conflicts.
  7. Anything That Smells: This may seem obvious, but it’s worth mentioning. Make sure to eliminate any unpleasant odors, whether it’s from cooking, pets, or other sources. Fresh air and clean scents go a long way in making your home more inviting to buyers. Remember this little rhyme: if they can smell it, you may not sell it.

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Ready to buy a new home or refinance the one you own? Please get in touch and I’ll be happy to answer your questions and help guide you through the process. I look forward to speaking with you.

World Design Day

April 27 is World Design Day. It’ s an major moment for the global design community as they come together to recognize the power of design in shaping our world. This special day has been celebrated every April 27 since 1963.

World Design Day is a great time to refresh your marketing materials and sport a new look for your business.

To celebrate the day, I’ve got a new banner and photo for Raising the Roof. Hope you like it!

I’d like to give a shout-out to all the talented graphic designers, interior designers, architects and professionals that make our world a more visually appealing place to live and thrive.

Home Improver: Rearranging Furniture for the Spring

Spring is a perfect time to give your home a fresh and new look by rearranging your furniture. By making some small changes to your furniture arrangement, you can easily transform your living space into a brighter, more inviting place. Here are some tips for rearranging furniture for the spring:

Declutter: Before you start rearranging your furniture, it’s essential to declutter your living space. Get rid of any unnecessary items and donate or sell what you don’t use anymore. Do this to create a more spacious and open feel in your home.

Create a Focal Point: Identify the focal point of your living room and arrange your furniture around it. This could be a fireplace, a large window, a big-screen TV or a piece of artwork. By doing this, you’ll create a natural gathering spot in the room and a sense of balance.

Add Some Greenery: Spring is all about new growth and fresh starts, so adding some greenery to your living space can help to bring the outdoors in. You can do this by placing some potted plants or flowers on a windowsill or adding some hanging plants to your walls.

Experiment with Layout: Don’t be afraid to experiment with different furniture layouts. Try moving your sofa to a different wall or swapping your armchairs around. By doing this, you’ll give your living space a new and exciting look.

Mix and Match: Mixing and matching furniture styles can create an eclectic and unique feel in your home. Don’t be afraid to pair a vintage armchair with a modern sofa or mix up your dining chairs.

Bring in Some New Pieces: Finally, consider adding some new pieces of furniture or accessories to your living space. This could be a new lamp, a colorful throw pillow, or a piece of artwork. By doing this, you’ll give your home a fresh and updated look for the spring season.

Why More Homeowners are Opting for a Home Equity Line of Credit

The housing market has experienced dramatic changes over the past decade, with mortgage rates fluctuating to historic lows. As a homeowner with a low mortgage rate, you may be wondering how to take advantage of your home’s increased value and unlock its potential. A home equity line of credit (HELOC) could be the answer you’re looking for. Let’s explore the reasons why choosing a HELOC may make the most sense for you.

1. Preserve Your Low Mortgage Rate
If you’re fortunate enough to have locked in a low mortgage rate, a HELOC allows you to maintain it while accessing the equity in your home. This is because a HELOC operates as a separate loan, independent of your primary mortgage. You can tap into your home’s equity without refinancing your current mortgage or affecting your interest rate. With mortgage rates currently on the rise, preserving your low rate is an essential consideration.

2. Flexible Access to Funds
A HELOC provides a level of flexibility that other loan options may not. Rather than receiving a lump sum of cash, as with a home equity loan or a cash-out refinance, a HELOC allows you to draw from a predetermined credit limit as you need it. This means that you only pay interest on the amount you actually use, and you can access the funds multiple times without reapplying for a new loan.

3. Lower Interest Rates than Other Loans
HELOCs generally come with lower interest rates compared to other types of loans, such as personal loans or credit cards. Since your home is used as collateral for the loan, lenders are more willing to offer competitive rates. This can save you money over the life of the loan, especially if you’re using the funds for purposes like home improvements or consolidating high-interest debt.

4. Use the Funds for a Variety of Purposes
A HELOC offers versatility in how you use the funds. You can put the money towards home improvements, consolidate high-interest debt, pay for education expenses, or even use it as an emergency fund. The flexibility of a HELOC allows you to address your financial needs as they arise without the need for multiple loans.

5. Build a Stronger Financial Future
When used responsibly, a HELOC can help you achieve your financial goals and build a stronger financial future. By leveraging your home’s equity, you can invest in projects that increase your property value or pay off high-interest debt to improve your overall financial health.

Remember, as with any financial decision, it’s crucial to carefully evaluate your personal circumstances and consult with a financial professional before moving forward. By doing so, you’ll ensure that you’re making the best decision for your unique financial situation. I can help. Email or call me at 617-965-1236 to have a look at your options and to see if a HELOC is right for you. I look forward to our chat!

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Ready to buy a new home or refinance the one you own? Please get in touch and I’ll be happy to answer your questions and help guide you through the process. I look forward to speaking with you.

April Is Financial Literacy Month

It’s almost April and apart from Opening Day at Fenway, April is also known as Financial Literacy Month. Let’s have a look at a few ideas to help you better understand your finances and make informed decisions.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). These agencies provide resources and tools, from understanding credit scores to avoiding scams.

There are also many non-profit organizations dedicated to promoting financial literacy.

And, of course, you always have your favorite mortgage broker to help you get financially savvy about buying your first (or next) home, figuring out what you can afford, and making intelligent long-term decisions about your financial investments, options, and obligations.

Home Improver: Wallpaper’s Big Comeback in 2023

A few months ago we wrote about how the 1980s fashions were popular again. One of the big interior design trends in 2023 has been the resurgence of wallpaper adding a fresh, nostalgic twist to modern homes. With the ’80s aesthetic making a strong comeback, wallpapers are no longer confined to the walls of grandma’s house. Here are some of the most popular wallpaper trends from the ’80s that have made a resurgence—as well as the new trends popular with home decorators this year.

Bold Geometric Patterns
The ’80s style was known for a love of geometric shapes, and this passion has made a strong comeback in 2023. Large-scale patterns with bold, striking colors are a popular choice for feature walls, bringing a sense of depth and dimension to any room. Whether you opt for classic chevrons, hexagons, or interlocking triangles, these dynamic designs add energy and character to your interior design.

Pastel Palettes
Pastels were a staple of ’80s interior design, and they have returned with the vengeance of Crockett & Tubbs. Soft pinks, blues, and mint greens are making their way back into wallpaper designs, creating a soothing and inviting ambiance.

Tropical Prints
Bringing the outdoors in is a trend that has only grown in popularity, and with the ’80s resurgence, tropical prints are back in full force. Palm leaves, exotic birds, and bold florals add a touch of adventure and playfulness to your space, while also providing a natural, relaxing atmosphere. Remind you of a particular TV sitcom home in Miami?

Murals and Panoramic Wallpapers
Another exciting trend in 2023 is the use of murals and panoramic wallpapers. These designs transform entire walls into works of art, showcasing stunning landscapes, city skylines, or abstract compositions.

Eco-friendly and Sustainable Options
As environmental concerns continue to shape consumer choices, eco-friendly and sustainable wallpapers have become increasingly popular. These wallpapers are made from responsibly sourced materials and often use water-based inks and recyclable packaging.

Animal Spirits and Buying Decisions

As a mortgage broker working with people of diverse backgrounds, I understand the importance of cultural influences that are often factored into making financial decisions, such as buying or refinancing a home.

The book Animal Spirits: How Human Psychology Drives the Economy, and Why It Matters for Global Capitalism sheds light on the role of psychology in economics and how it can affect the housing market. Initially, I thought this was related to the Chinese Zodiac animals, but in fact, the “animal spirits” concept was developed by legendary British economist and philosopher John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946). He used these to describe the psychological forces that tell us why the economy does not behave in the manner predicted by classical economics — “a system of thought that expects economic actors to behave as unemotional beings.” As we all know when it comes to real estate, it’s impossible to be 100% objective when making the largest purchasing decision of your life.

The five animal spirits identified in the book are confidence, fairness, corruption and bad faith, money illusion, and stories.

Confidence is essential in the housing market, as it promotes growth and stability.

Fairness is another animal spirit that can impact the housing market. Buyers and sellers want to feel that they are being treated fairly, which means being transparent about fees, rates, and other costs associated with the mortgage process.

Corruption and bad faith can erode confidence in the housing market. In the mortgage business, it is crucial to act with integrity and provide clients with honest and accurate information to avoid any doubt about the market’s fairness.

Money illusion is the belief that the nominal value of money is more important than its real value. This is why I inform my clients on the total cost of the mortgage, including interest and fees, to help them avoid falling prey to money illusion.

Stories are narratives that people use to make sense of the world around them. In the housing market, stories can shape buyers’ perceptions of the market and influence their decision-making. I love helping clients separate fact from fiction and provide them with accurate information about the state of the housing market and how I can help them make the best financial decisions.

OK, that’s very cool, but you wanted something related to Chinese Zodiac animals, didn’t you? Well, 2023 is the year of the rabbit. According to this article:

“In terms of property, the Year of the Rabbit is expected to bring favorable conditions for buying or selling real estate. This can be a good time to invest in property, whether it’s a new home or a rental property, as the market is likely to be stable and prices may be more favorable. It’s also a good time to renovate or improve existing property, as this can lead to an increase in value.”

In addition to these animal spirits, cultural influences such as Feng Shui can also impact buying or refinancing a home. In Chinese culture, certain numbers are considered lucky or unlucky, and a buyer may be hesitant to purchase a home with an unlucky address number, even if it is otherwise perfect for their needs. Similarly, Feng Shui principles may influence a buyer’s decision to purchase a home based on its location and orientation to the sun.

It is important for me to be aware of cultural influences that may impact a buyer’s decision and be respectful of their beliefs and customs. By considering both the animal spirits and cultural influences, I help clients make informed decisions that support their financial goals.

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If you’d like to chat about mortgage options, please call me at 617-965-1236. If you’re planning to buy this year, let’s talk soon. I look forward to speaking with you.

Ready to buy a new home or refinance the one you own? Please get in touch and I’ll be happy to answer your questions and help guide you through the process. I look forward to speaking with you.

Woman’s History Month

We’re almost in March and hopefully moving closer to spring (the sooner the better)!

Here are some things about March you might not know:

  1. March is National Nutrition Month in the United States, which focuses on educating people about healthy eating habits.
  2. March is also National Women’s History Month. International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8th.
  3. Notable people born in March include Dr. Seuss (March 2); Michelangelo (March 6); Albert Einstein (March 14); and Bruce Willis (March 19).
  4. In real estate, March is often considered the beginning of the spring buying season in many parts of the world, including the United States.
  5. March 20th is the vernal equinox, also known as the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere.

Home Improver: Getting Rid of Burnt Popcorn Smell

Picture it: You’re getting ready to watch the latest episode of The Last of Us and you’re making some microwave popcorn just as the show is starting. You forget to stop the timer and now your smoke alarm is screaming and your entire house reeks of lingering burnt popcorn smell. How do you get rid of it?

First, get the smell out of the microwave itself: Fill a bowl with 1/2 cup water and 1 tablespoon white vinegar.

Microwave it for 4-5 minutes and leave it with the door shut for 10-15 minutes. The steam will loosen anything stuck to the walls. Vinegar absorbs odors, even stubborn ones like burnt popcorn smell. After the waiting period, remove the bowl and wipe the inside of the microwave down with a paper towel. Repeat if necessary.

Next: Go citrus to neutralize odors. Put lemon slices or oranges and your favorite fragrant spices in a pot of 1 1/2 cups of water.

Bring the water to boil with several chopped lemons or orange peels. Let it steep for approximately half an hour to saturate the surrounding air and remove the foul odors.

Is Your Mortgage a Mole or Melanoma?

Millennials (and now GenZ) homebuyers often make decisions about their finances through online research, even when it comes to buying a home. But relying solely on online research to educate yourself about mortgages can be risky. It’s like using WebMD to diagnose yourself without seeing your doctor.

Online research can be overwhelming and often confusing. There is a lot of conflicting information available, and it can be difficult to separate the credible sources from the unreliable ones. You may think you’re qualified by your own research and calculations, but you still may have your application rejected due to some detail you overlooked. Also, it’s very easy to overestimate your income and not properly factor in your debt-to-income ratio, even when using a mortgage calculator. So many things can go wrong in this process, especially if you’ve never been through it before. Think about it: this is going to be the biggest purchase you’ve ever made in your life, along with the longest financial commitment. Does that sound like something you can easily accomplish on your phone?

Here are a few more things to keep in mind:

Online calculators and mortgage rate comparisons can only provide an estimate and do not take into account the unique financial situation of each individual. This can lead to a situation where you might think you have found the perfect mortgage option, only to find out later that it’s not the best fit for you. Sometimes it can be so stressful and overwhelming — especially for first-time homebuyers — that they just go with whatever their bank has to offer. Don’t fall into that trap!

Additionally, online research cannot replace the expertise and experience of a mortgage professional —someone with the knowledge and experience to guide you through the process and can answer specific questions, advise on the best options, and help you find the best mortgage rates.

Going back to our WebMD analogy, a rash on the skin might not be the deadly illness you thought it was, but your doctor will be able to tell the difference between a simple rash and a serious disease (you know we always assume the worst with WebMD). Similarly, a mortgage professional will be able to tell the difference between a good deal and a mistake. I help clients avoid the pitfalls of predatory lending and steer you clear of options that might seem too good to be true.

Some big banks may push you towards products and options that are more profitable for them, rather than what’s best for you. As an independent mortgage broker I always put your needs and interests first. I am never beholden to any one lender and can provide you with a range of options that are in line with your specific needs.

Don’t take the risk of self-diagnosing your mortgage needs. It’ll make you sick. Let’s set up a meeting to get you the mortgage that works best for you.

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If you’d like to chat about mortgage options, please call me at 617-965-1236. If you’re planning to buy this year, let’s talk soon. I look forward to speaking with you.

Ready to buy a new home or refinance the one you own? Please get in touch and I’ll be happy to answer your questions and help guide you through the process. I look forward to speaking with you.

February Facts

February is a month known for its icy weather, Valentine’s Day and Presidents Day. But did you know these fantastic February facts?

  1. The name “February” comes from the Latin word “februarius” which means “to purify.”
  2. February is the only month in the year that can pass without a full moon.
  3. The birthstone for February is amethyst, a violet variety of quartz often used in jewelry.
  4. February is Black History Month, celebrating the contributions of Black Americans to our nation’s history.
  5. February is also National Heart Month, a time to raise awareness about heart disease and promote healthy habits.
  6. The first Groundhog Day was celebrated on February 2nd, 1887 in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.
  7. The first National Flag Day was celebrated on February 15th, 1894.
  8. Super Bowl LVII takes place on Sunday, February 12 this year at State Farm Stadium, home of the Arizona Cardinals.

Home Improver: Benefits of a Heated Driveway

Heated driveways may seem like a luxury item, but more and more families have these helpful snow and ice melters installed as a safety measure — not just for slip-and-falls but for the stress on the cardio-vascular system from shoveling heavy snow. Here are more benefits of this time-saving system.

  1. Convenience: during colder months: No more shoveling or snow blowing to clear a path to your garage or front door. The heat from the driveway melts snow and ice as soon as it falls, keeping your driveway clear and safe to walk on.
  2. Increased property value: A heated driveway is a luxury feature that can set your home apart from others on the market, making it more attractive to potential buyers. It also increases the overall curb appeal of your home.
  3. Energy efficiency: Electric heated driveways are typically more energy-efficient than gas-powered systems and can be controlled by a thermostat, allowing you to set the temperature to your desired level.
  4. Low maintenance: The heating elements are buried beneath the surface and do not require any regular maintenance. Additionally, the heating elements are protected from the elements and are not affected by snow and ice, ensuring a long lifespan.
  5. Environmentally friendly: By reducing the need for snow removal, a heated driveway can help to reduce the amount of pollutants and emissions caused by gas-powered snow removal equipment.

Learn more about heated driveways here.

Fed Up with the Fed? Here’s My Advice.

For the seventh time this year, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates, this time by half a percentage point on Dec. 14, to a range of 4.25 to 4.5%. The primary reason for the rate hikes is to combat inflation, but what does it mean for home buyers?

One thing history tells us is that if you’re looking to purchase a home, any attempt to time the market may not work out in your favor. As inflation continues to increase and rates steadily trend up, higher interest rates and mortgage payments may be the result. You may have better luck locking in a lower mortgage interest rate now rather than gambling on an uncertain future.

Timing Is Always a Gamble

Timing the market isn’t always the best way to figure out when to buy a home. People who wait for the right time, hoping to squeeze a few percentage points off their mortgage rate, often find themselves waiting too long and wind up with higher monthly mortgage payments than expected. And those continuing to wait for some sort of market correction may find themselves on the sidelines as rates climb steadily higher. That’s not conjecture, it’s history.

Keep in mind that you’re not just timing the US market, you’re factoring in the global market. Inflation is a result of many factors including the war in Ukraine and the ongoing pandemic issues. The UK is at a 40-year high at 10% and Germany is in the same range. Think our 7% is bad enough? Inflation in Turkey and Argentina is up over 80%.

Think Micro, Not Macro

Rather than timing the global market, try working within your own schedule and plan. Think micro! Look at your personal economic situation first and foremost. Consider working with a financial planner to see if it makes sense to buy your home now rather than waiting on rumors and predictions for next year. Remember: you buy the house and date the rate. You can always refinance down the road.

If you are ready now, this may be the best time to purchase for a while. Let’s talk about your options before the Fed gets too aggressive and potentially creates a new financial challenge in an effort to solve another.

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If you’d like to chat about mortgage options, please call me at 617-965-1236. If you’re planning to buy this year, let’s talk soon. I look forward to speaking with you.

Ready to buy a new home or refinance the one you own? Please get in touch and I’ll be happy to answer your questions and help guide you through the process. I look forward to speaking with you.

The Holidays Are Here

Happy Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and New Year!

Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas you’re probably familiar with the song “The 12 Days of Christmas.” It’s the one three french hens, two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree. Weird gifts to be sure.

Each day brings the previous gifts, so by the end of the song, the gifter’s “true love” receives about 184 total birds between the partridges, doves, hens, calling birds (aka colly birds), swans and geese. Others argue the total is 224 birds because the “five gold rings” are not jewelry but refer to a ring-necked pheasant. That’s a lot of birds, not to mention the dozen pear trees!

What’s the Time Limit for Displaying Holiday Decorations?

Have you ever driven down a street on a warm spring day and noticed plastic reindeer and Christmas lights on someone’s roof? It’s a pet peeve for many. Holiday decorations have a specific time and place. So what is the etiquette?

We consulted several etiquette sources like Emily Post and online sites like and Better Homes & Gardens. The consensus, while not 100% in agreement, leaned strongly towards removing your menorah the day after Hanukkah ends and your Christmas tree and decorations 12 days after Christmas.

But there were other opinions. Some felt that you should keep them up longer if family is visiting for a few extra days. No one said anything about rooftop reindeer in spring, so don’t do that.

Some suggested that businesses should keep the menorah as long as the Christmas decorations to show others the importance of both holidays. In the interest of diversity and inclusion, it is recommended in office settings to include a Kwanzaa kinara (candle holder) and then removing all decorations after the last holiday ends (or after New Year’s Day).

The ’80s Are Back — But Comparatively, Mortgage Rates Are Still Totally Rad!

Have you noticed the fashion trends of the 1980s are finding their way back to department store racks and online shopping sites? ’80s fashion has seen a recent resurgence, perhaps due to current pop culture hits like Stranger Things and retro fashion videos on TikTok.

You may be hoping that mortgage rates won’t see the absurd highs of the ’80s. Although the average for that decade was 12.7%, rates in the ’80s topped out at 18.45%. Yikes!

One thing to note is that although the 18% rate is unthinkable now, home prices were considerably lower back then. With today’s rates higher than recent years, we’re also seeing lower asking prices by sellers. Gone are the insane bidding wars that raised prices by tens of thousands during the pandemic. The market tends to self-correct whenever possible.

The other concern is for sellers and real estate agents to be realistic about their pricing. We recently saw a home sale where they needed to adjust down considerably either due to poor market research or homeowners trying to bring in maximum dollars. Case in point, a home that recently sold:

  • Oct 1: listed at $1.2 Million
  • October 20: dropped to $999K
  • November 1: dropped again to $950K
  • November 15: accepted offer of $850K

Real estate agents have a responsibility to educate their buyers and sellers on how to set proper pricing. Most are educated and aware of up-to-the-minute changes. The example above shows a home that was not correctly priced and it may have cost the seller several thousand dollars because of it.

Remember to choose wisely when selecting your real estate agent. If you need a recommendation, just ask!

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If you’d like to chat about mortgage options, please call me at 617-965-1236. If you’re planning to buy this year, let’s talk soon. I look forward to speaking with you.

Ready to buy a new home or refinance the one you own? Please get in touch and I’ll be happy to answer your questions and help guide you through the process. I look forward to speaking with you.

Top Selling Songs and Top Grossing Movies of the 1980s By Year

Song: Call Me by Blondie
Movie: Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

Song: Bette Davis Eyes by Kim Carnes
Movie: Raiders of the Lost Ark

Song: Physical by Olivia Newton-John
Movie: E.T.

Song: Every Breath You Take by the Police
Movie: Star Wars: Return of the Jedi

Song: When Doves Cry by Prince
Movie: Indiana Jones & the Temple of Doom

Song: Careless Whisper by Wham! featuring George Michael
Movie: Back to the Future

Song: That’s What Friends Are For by Dionne & Friends
Movie: Top Gun

Song: Walk Like an Egyptian by The Bangles
Movie: Fatal Attraction

Song: Faith by George Michael
Movie: Rain Man

Song: Look Away by Chicago
Movie: Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade

Top Album: Thriller by Michael Jackson
Bestselling novel: Clear and Present Danger by Tom Clancy
Top TV Show: Dallas

Home Improver: ’80s Decor Is Trending

Floral wallpaper, pastel sofas, lucite chairs and more are back in style as 1980s home decor trends have returned. Call it Miami Vice Revisited or Golden Girls Chic, these ’80s decor trends are making a big comeback to homes across the US.

  1. Return of Pastels. We’re seeing more of this trend on sofas than anywhere else in the home. Light blue or green sofas with pink or blue solid, patterned or striped accent pillows.
  2. Chintz and Floral Patterns. French-inspired decor and aesthetics are trending on social media. Chintz is a delicate, floral-printed cotton that is primarily used for curtains and upholstery. Wallpaper with big earthy, leafy prints is also on the rise.
  3. Brass is Back. Some would argue that brass never went out of style, but most bathrooms since the ’90s have favored brushed chrome or darker colors.
  4. Lucite Accents. Remember lucite? it’s a thick, clear plastic used in furniture and accessories. It adds a clean, modern look to rooms and is commonly found on barstool seats, lamps, and shelving units.
  5. Wicker Lives! Most of us got rid of all traces of wicker by the ’90s. But wicker is the oldest furniture making method in history, so you had to expect it to make a comeback.

4 Big Myths About Reverse Mortgages

If you’re one of many people who are skeptical of reverse mortgages, you’re not alone. Even though the first reverse mortgages were approved in 1961, they didn’t gain popularity until the late 1980s. Rumors abounded about how this was a risky financial decision, but we know now that a reverse mortgage can be a helpful solution for the right homeowner.

Let’s debunk the top 4 myths about reverse mortgages.

Myth No. 1: As soon as I sign the papers, the bank owns my home. The deed remains with you. The home is still yours, as long as you continue to pay your property taxes and homeowner’s insurance.

Myth No. 2: If you die, your family has no rights to the home. Your heirs have the option to make arrangements to repay the loan and buy the home if they wish to keep it in the family.

Myth No. 3: I can’t sell my home. You are allowed to change your mind and sell your home whenever you want if you would like to relocate.

Myth No. 4: I won’t qualify because I still have an existing mortgage on the house. If you have built up equity in your home, you may still qualify. The proceeds of the reverse mortgage must first be used to pay off the remaining balance. One very common reason to get a reverse mortgage is to pay off an existing mortgage without dealing with monthly mortgage payments.

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If you’d like to chat about mortgage options, please call me at 617-965-1236. If you’re planning to buy this year, let’s talk soon. I look forward to speaking with you.

Ready to buy a new home or refinance the one you own? Please get in touch and I’ll be happy to answer your questions and help guide you through the process. I look forward to speaking with you.

Fall Is Here!

Leaves are falling and sweater weather is finally here!

Here are some fall facts to get you in the mood for our coziest season.

  1. What’s It Called?
    We Americans typically refer to this time of year as “fall,” while the British use the word “autumn.” Both terms date back to the 16th century but before that it was called “harvest” because of the harvest moon.
  2. Changing Colors, Sort Of.
    The yellow and orange colors you see already exist in leaves but are overwhelmed by the abundance of green from chlorophyll. Chlorophyll starts to decrease as the sun weakens when the days grow shorter.
  3. Pumpkin Spice Tastes Nothing Like Pumpkin.
    There isn’t even any real pumpkin in it. It’s really a mix of cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg. Think of it more as a fall vibe than a pumpkin flavor.

Home Improver: Keeping Your Pets a Secret to Guests

There’s nothing worse than entering someone’s home and knowing exactly which pets they own before you even see them. Pet odor is not the first thing you want your guests to notice the second they walk through the door.

So what can you do to control pet odors so your guests are actually surprised when your pet pops in to say hello?

  • Sweep & Vacuum Hair and Dander. This may seem obvious and it may be something you do often, but to truly control odor, you have to find all the hiding spots for pet hair. This includes under couch cushions, below and inside drapery, under blankets and beds.
  • Use Baking Soda. Nothing neutralizes pet odor like baking soda. Use it in your carpet, on area rugs, and in your dog and cat beds. Let it sit for a few minutes before vacuuming.
  • Buy Nature’s Miracle. Have a puppy, kitten, or elderly pet. Accidents happen. Nature’s Miracle has a full line of pet products that remove, neutralize, and clean up messes and odors. No, they didn’t pay us to promote them, but we have the experience of using them and they are really effective.

Second Mortgage vs. HELOC: What’s the Difference?

When choosing the loan that’s right for you, it’s important to understand the differences between a second mortgage and a home equity line of credit (HELOC).

But before we jump into differences, let’s look at what each option has in common:

HELOCs are often thought of as a type of second mortgage because both borrow from the equity you’ve built in your home. Both loans come from the bank that provides your original mortgage and both use your existing home as collateral.

OK, now for the differences:

The most obvious “pro” in favor of a second mortgage is a fixed rate that is locked in for the life of the loan. With this comes the peace of mind knowing years in advance how much you’ll be paying monthly. Conversely, HELOCs come with variable rates which can prove costly, even if you are approved for the HELOC at a low rate. Your rate may increase because of decisions made by the Federal Reserve. It could go down as well, though this has not been the case this past year — along with the fact that rates are still historically low.

So why would I want a home equity line of credit? The main benefit is that you can use the funds as you need them. A second mortgage loan is paid to you in a lump sum at the start of the loan. A HELOC can make money available to you only when you need it. If you need less than you thought, your monthly payment will be smaller.

Just be careful: you could easily make impulse-buy decisions over the years on home improvement projects that, little-by-little, could max out the full amount of the line of credit.

Typically, a second mortgage is used to purchase a second home or to make large-scale home improvements on the original home. In addition, second mortgages can help the homeowner with debt consolidation from high interest auto loans, credit cards, life events and medical bills.

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If you’d like to chat about mortgage options, please call me at 617-965-1236. If you’re planning to buy this year, let’s talk soon. I look forward to speaking with you.

Ready to buy a new home or refinance the one you own? Please get in touch and I’ll be happy to answer your questions and help guide you through the process. I look forward to speaking with you.

National Peach Month

We know Justin Bieber gets his peaches out in Georgia, but did you know that August is National Peach Month?

In 1982, Ronald Reagan choose the peach to represent adding more nutritious fruits into the American diet. Because peaches are a summer fruit, he chose August as the month to celebrate them.

So what are the nutritional benefits of peaches?

  1. They’re packed with nutrients and antioxidants.
  2. They help contribute to healthy digestion.
  3. They contain compounds that help lower cholesterol and blood pressure.
  4. Peach skin and flesh are rich in carotenoids and caffeic acid — two types of antioxidants with anti-cancer properties.
  5. They may reduce allergy symptoms. In addition to eating peaches, Test-tube studies report that peach extracts may be effective as well and limit the inflammation commonly seen in allergic reactions.

Home Improver: Do Air Purifiers Really Work?

Let’s face it: there’s a lot of dust, odors, and toxins that we breathe in throughout the various rooms in our homes. What’s the easiest way to minimize the negative effects in the air we breathe? Get an air purifier.

These room refreshers have come a long way in recent years and they are reasonably priced for what they do. When used properly they can reduce household odors as well as common allergens that make you sick.

If you suffer from allergies, an air purifier can help mitigate symptoms, but don’t expect 100% relief. For those concerned about Covid-19, the CDC says: “Ventilation systems can be supplemented with portable high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) cleaners to reduce the number of infectious particles in the air and provide enhanced protection from transmission between persons.”

One of the most popular and highly rated air purifiers is this one from Conway, (shown above) for just $200. One thing to remember before you buy: Will the air purifier you choose cover the size of your large room?

Mortgage Rates on the Rise: Don’t Hit the Panic Button

We thought it was important to address the elephant in the room: Mortgage rates have surged and may continue to increase. Having this happen during a time of the highest rate of inflation since 1982 may make you think buying a new home is impossible. But there are a few things to consider before hitting the panic button.
  1. Mortgage rates are still historically low. They were just under 7% for a 30-year fixed loan before the recession in 2018. In 2000, they were at 8.62% and in 1981 they topped out at 16.63%. Yikes!
  2. A market correction could happen sooner than we think. Experts believe that rising rates may bring the housing market back down. With the mortgage frenzy of the past few years slowing, home prices should become more affordable, especially if it reduces the number of bidding wars that have put some homes out of reach for buyers on a budget.
  3. Common sense from Jim Gaines, research economist at Texas A&M’s Real Estate Center. Jim says, “the Fed and the government historically want to encourage homeownership. They really don’t want the mortgage rate to get that high that it will be a detriment to the market.”
Keep in mind that everything is relative. You sell high to buy high and you sell low to buy low. The market dictates that. All we can do as buyers and/or sellers, is to make smart fiscal decisions with the data points we have. If this is all too confusing and causing you anxiety, get in touch and we’ll discuss your options for buying or refinancing your next home.

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If you’d like to chat about mortgage options, please call me at 617-965-1236. If you’re planning to buy this year, let’s talk soon. I look forward to speaking with you.

Ready to buy a new home or refinance the one you own? Please get in touch and I’ll be happy to answer your questions and help guide you through the process. I look forward to speaking with you.

Happy 4th of July Weekend!

It’s supposed to be hot and mostly sunny on Sunday and Monday, so grab your sunscreen and have some outdoor fun as we celebrate our nation’s 246th birthday. Here’s some trivia about July 4th that you can share to amaze your friends and family.

July 4th or July 2nd?
Although the Declaration of Independence was dated July 4, congress voted for independence from Great Britain two days prior on July 2, 1776. It apparently wasn’t signed by everyone until a month later on August 2, 1776.

Population in 1776.
While the current US population is more than 330 million, the population in 1776 was just 2.5 million. That’s just 0.75% of the current number of US residents.

Hot Dog!
Americans consume a staggering 150 million hot dogs every Independence Day. That’s about 800 dogs per second. Pass the mustard, please!

A New Constitution?
Thomas Jefferson wrote to James Madison that he believed a new Constitution should be written for each generation. Read this.

Home Improver: Do-It-Yourself Carpet Cleaning

What’s the best way to clean your carpets? Everyone has an opinion: steam, shampoo, cold water, hot water, etc. But other variables exist as well: call in a professional, rent a machine, hands-and-knees scrub, and more. The fact is, any of these methods will leave your carpets cleaner, but what are the risks involved?

Are liquid carpet cleaners toxic? Most are safe for the general public, but at any given point, you and your family could be exposed to:

  • Perchloroethylene, a popular dry cleaning chemical known to cause nausea, dizziness and fatigue.
  • Naphthalene, a popular cleaning solution that helps dissolve dirt. Naphthalene is derived from coal tar and is commonly used as a pesticide to kills moths and other small insects.
  • Butyloxy Ethanol, which can enter your body by both breathing it in and by coming in direct contact with your skin.

(Source: Chem-Dry)