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Your Source for Greater Newburyport Real Estate & Community News

Feb. 23, 2020

Getting a Headstart: Spring 2020 Real Estate Trends

 

Spring means a few things: warmer weather, deep cleaning, and the official start of real estate season. Thinking of selling, or looking to browse the market to buy? We are breaking down the top four real estate trends that you can expect to see in 2020.

Millennials At The Forefront: This generation is at pivotal ages when it comes to house-buying, with the younger end reaching the prime age for first-time homeownership, and the older end looking to expand their families (and therefore their square footage). This means a focus on smaller homes that are in more desirable locations – think close to lively restaurant scenes and attractions – and therefore require less maintenance. This also leads to another millennial must-have: move-in ready properties. Fixer-uppers are no longer as desirable as they once were, so this market will be looking for modern updates and pops of color. 

Earlier Interest in House-Hunting: While the expected busy season is right around the corner, in some areas it’s already begun. Usually January heavily lags behind warmer months like April when it comes to interested homebuyers. However, many markets around the country are seeing earlier interest, as curious buyers look to capitalize on planning ahead of the trend. This makes it an ideal situation to list your home now – or start looking sooner rather than later if you’re a buyer– as inventory will be lower and desirable properties will get scooped up more quickly.

Slow Increases in Price: The market certainly expects home prices to increase every year, and this year will be no different. There will be a steady rise in home prices as compared to last year, however the increase may be slower than in previous years. What this means for homeowners is that it’s a great time to sell if you’re debating between this year or next, as this year will give you ample opportunity to get the value of what your home is worth. This is especially true if your home value is considered entry-level or mid-level for your city. Homes in these ranges will see the greatest demand, especially from first-time millennial homebuyers. 

Interest Rates Will Remain Low: This is great news for both homeowners and buyers. The market is poised to bring in young buyers, with expected national rates at around 3.8%. This is great news for those in the city – which is where younger millennials prefer to be – and in the suburbs – where young families will look to relocate. If you’re a homeowner and you’ve been eyeing a few properties in the area, you’re poised to be in a good spot to bring in a competitive value for your home with a very desirable rate on your new home. 

While we’re all looking forward to when the snow finally starts to thaw, we can start preparing now for these real estate trends. If you’re looking to get a jump-start on the buying process, or are thinking of taking advantage of the market by selling, give us a call. We can walk you through what you can expect to get you ahead of the curve.

Feb. 12, 2020

Fall In Love This Valentine’s Day…With Where You Live

Downtown Newburyport

 

Valentine’s season is here and with all the love that’s currently in the air, there’s one thing we’re sure about: You should love where you live. And in the North Shore of Massachusetts and the Seacoast of New Hampshire areas, there’s a lot to love. We’ve rounded up our top reasons to love living here, so whether you’re new to the area (or are thinking of moving here!) or have been here for decades, there’s something for everyone.

 

The Beaches – it goes without saying that one of the top attractions is the impressive shoreline. An oceanfront view will elevate anything, whether it’s patio dining, a workout, or just your evening walk. Salisbury Beach and Hampton Beach in New Hampshire provide the perfect destination for beach days or wintertime walks with your pet. Want to feel like you’re on vacation without leaving the area? Plum Island is the perfect destination, just a short drive away and home to one of the best shorelines and coastal restaurant scenes.

 

The Terrain – not only is this area home to some of the best beaches in New England, but it’s also where you can easily find your next hiking trail. In Newburyport alone there are 77 trails for you to get outdoors at a moment’s notice, as well as wildlife refuges and parks. Point anywhere on a map in the area, and you’re sure to find enough hiking/biking/scenery destinations for every weekend. While you can hit the trails nearly all year long, leaf-peeping season is sure to inspire a life-long romance with the area.

 

The Food & Bar Scene – dive bars, elegant restaurants, grab-and-go shacks, breweries

Downtown Newburyport is a mecca for charming seafood restaurants that are perfect for an elegant dinner – such as Brine and Ceia. Looking for something a little more casual? The area is home to countless casual eateries and dive bars – such as local favorite Thirsty Whale in Newburyport and Hoaty’s in Hampton. For quicker options on your way to the beach, there are countless possibilities, such as Farr’s Famous Chicken near Hampton Beach or SurfSide near Salisbury Beach. And if you’re looking for something out of the ordinary, head to one of the breweries in the area, such as Amesbury’s Brewery Silvaticus or Newburyport Brewing Company. For a bigger night out, head to one of the music venues in the area, such as Blue Ocean Music Hall in Salisbury. And for the truly remarkable, have dinner in the Newburyport Lighthouse. If you venture north just a few miles, definitely swing through downtown Portsmouth and Exeter for some amazing food and drink destinations.

 

Seasonal Activities – one of the best attributes of the area is that there’s always something to do all-year-long. There’s Cider Hill Farm in Amesbury for apple-picking and fall festivities that are perfect for the whole family. When the temperatures drop, head over to Amesbury’s Sports Park to pack in some outdoors time during the winter months. Also be sure to keep an eye out for spring festivals and summer parades that pop up every year.

 

The People – there’s nothing like a New England coastal town to bring the best people together. In an area where small businesses thrive and there are countless family-friendly events all year long, community really is everything. This also includes the history of the area, with historical landmarks – like the Pink House – that have sparked local stories passed down for generations. 

 

So this Valentine’s Day, just look around to be inspired by the season. With everything that the area has to offer, it’s sure to make you fall in love.

Posted in Community News
Jan. 6, 2020

Congratulations to our new co-owner, Celine Muldowney!

 

We are delighted to announce that our long-time Top Producer from our Newburyport Office, Celine Muldowney, is joining the ownership team here at Stone Ridge Properties. Owner Mike Webber will be stepping down as an owner in January but will continue to be actively practicing real estate.

 

Celine joined Stone Ridge Properties in January of 2005. Licensed in MA and NH, Celine has been a Real Estate Salesperson since 2004, and has experience with all aspects of the real estate transaction. Celine brings enthusiasm and dedication to both buyers and sellers, as evidenced by the loyal clientele she has developed. We are excited to welcome Celine to the leadership team here at Stone Ridge Properties! 

Jan. 3, 2020

Best of Luck to Amesbury's New Mayor, Kassandra Gove

 

Best of Luck to Amesbury's New Mayor, Kassandra Gove!

 

In what many would call an upset, Amesbury Chamber of Commerce Director and Stone Ridge Properties agent Kassandra Gove beat out the incumbent and will become Amesbury’s youngest mayor ever and the first woman mayor!  Kassandra Gove’s win in her run for mayor of Amesbury is Stone Ridge Properties loss -- she will be inaugurated in January and at that time will no longer be actively selling and listing property. Kassandra started her real estate career with Stone Ridge Properties five years ago and was immediately very successful. We wish her continued success in her new role!

Nov. 13, 2019

Staying Longer: How A Lower Homeowner Turnover Changes The Market

 

Even though it’s more than a decade past the last recession, there is one trend that has continued: homeowners are staying longer in their homes. With the down market in 2008, many people chose to make smaller investments in their property rather than move to a bigger home. Fast forward to 2019, and across the country homeowners are staying in their homes an average of 13 years - up five years since 2010. In the Boston area, that number jumps to nearly 18 years. 

 

There are a few reasons why Americans across the country are holding onto their homes for longer. Rather than move to a new home, some owners have found it makes more financial sense for them to renovate or even demolish and completely rebuild their current properties. This could be for tax reasons, or simply that their current budget does not cover the amount of house that they need.

 

Secondly, Americans are living longer and healthier, which means the number of years they have in their own homes have increased. Many older Americans don’t feel the pressure to downsize just yet, so they are staying put and instead renovating their homes to fit their lifestyles. In some states, tax incentives make it even easier for people to stay in their current homes. 

 

So what does this mean for the market? For starters, it means less supply for first-time homebuyers and younger families looking to expand. Neighborhoods are skewing older, with less turnover in owners, and therefore less opportunity for younger people. When the housing supply is low and the demand stays consistent - as it is now - this means higher home prices (which is great news for sellers) and lower mortgage rates (which is great news for buyers). To entice the market, mortgage rates will drop, making it an ideal situation for a buyer if they are able to secure a home in a low supply market. It also means it’s an optimal time to list your property if you’ve been waiting for an extra incentive to sell. You can expect heavy demand and quick offers at asking price on your home.

 

In the long-term, the market can also expect a shift. Just because people are staying in their homes longer now, doesn’t mean they’ll stay forever. This is delaying the wave of people downsizing their homes, so we can expect a seller-heavy period in a few years, with higher mortgage rates and much more supply for the demand.

 

If you’re thinking about listing your property or finding for your dream home, contact us for more information on how we can help you start the process. We would love to work with you!

Oct. 3, 2019

The Sweet Side of Condo Life

 

New mortgage policies will make it easier to buy a condo

 

Wondering if a condominium might be a smart choice for you or your family? They are an attractive option if you are looking to live in a downtown area, or maybe you are looking to buy your first property and are seeking a manageable space and price point. They are also perfect for downsizing to a property where you won’t need to mow the lawn or worry about a leaky roof. 

 

 

Why condominiums?

There are a multitude of reasons buyers are drawn to condominiums. First and foremost, there is less maintenance and less space to manage. Often condos are based in busy city or town centers offering easy access to restaurants, shops and public transportation. They also offer security due to building technology and in some cases security staff. Affordability is also a major benefit - condos tend to be significantly less expensive than single family homes.

 

New mortgage policies

If you have considered buying a condominium in the past or if you are a first time home buyer concerned about coming up with a large down payment, now is a great time to take a closer look based on the new mortgage and FHA policies. These rules impact the amount that a buyer has to put down at closing. Until now, condos were not eligible for the 3.5% down payments that were available for single family homes. Realtor.com reports, “The new rules, which are expected to extend eligibility to 20,000 to 60,000 additional condo units, go into effect on Oct. 15. “

 

 

Call us or register online today to begin your search for your perfect condo.

Sept. 30, 2019

Let's Get Together this Fall

Work with us for your Fall home sale or purchase

 

Why choose Stone Ridge Properties as your real estate team this Fall?

 

    1. Knowledge and Expertise: We work as a team and we immerse ourselves in our community! Our agents live, work, and raise families in the greater Newburyport area and will be an invaluable resource to you long after your transaction has closed.
    2. Personalized Guidance: You will never feel like a "number" or just another client if you work with a Stone Ridge Properties agent; we value each and every one of our clients -- as we work together we will take into account your specific needs for your future home or for your home sale.
    3. Real Connection: Let’s face it; buying or selling a home is one of the most important decisions of your life and can be an emotional experience. We will help you work through finding a dream home that suits your budget or selling the home your kids grew up in with empathy and understanding.

 

Sept. 16, 2019

New England Home Decor Inspiration for Fall

Transition your home from summer to fall with ideas from home staging experts

 

Fall has arrived! The leaves are bringing their bold colors to decorate our paths, parks and yards and the chill in the air has us thinking of cozy nights by the fire. We have rounded up some tips to help transition your home decor from warm summer hues to cooler autumnal decor.

 

 

Mimic nature

Mother Nature offers us a gorgeous palette this time of year. Use these rich colors to add pops of color in each room of your home, from kitchens to living rooms or even your bathroom.  The deep auburns and oranges of mums and the bright reds of the leaves can offer inspiration for transitional indoor accents such as vases, bowls and wreaths. Local home stager and interior designer Betsy Konaxis suggests, “Natural elements such as birch logs, large wooden bowls filled with gourds, pine cones or air plants are often another fun way to add nature’s fall décor.”

 

Layer up

The temperatures have us adding layers to our outfits but we can also use layers to add depth and “coziness” to our homes. Bedding is a great example of a place where layers can add not only warmth, but texture and color. Konaxis adds, “If you have wall-to-wall carpet, layering a smaller carpet at the foot of the bed or near a fireplace can create warmth and coziness as well.” Add pillows of varying sizes and blankets to fold and gather for a robust autumnal feel.

 

Throw in some throws!

Oversized chunky blankets are trending this fall, couple them with bright woven throw pillows to refresh your living rooms. Add a small distressed ladder or large natural baskets to the corner of your bedroom or living room as a place to store your layered throws.

 

Head to the farm

Our local farm stands have beautiful displays for the home that have been harvested from the fields or garden. Using pumpkins, gourds and seasonal fresh or dried flowers is a beautiful and inexpensive way to transform a mantle or tablescape.

 

Konaxis has one more piece of advice, “Autumn is the season of shedding. It is a good time to go through closets and storage areas to purge unused and unnecessary items that cause a feeling of added weight to our lives. Who knows what good fortunes you will harvest next year from donating to another’s needs.”

 

Contact home stager and designer Betsy Konaxis by visiting https://www.bkhomestagers.com.

Sept. 2, 2019

Real Estate Snapshot: North Shore & Seacoast

The fall real estate market is making national headlines with our record low mortgage rates. At the end of August, the average 30-year mortgage rate was about 3.6% -- the lowest level since 2016 according to Freddie Mac data. This can have a huge impact on your finances whether you are buying a home, selling a home, or thinking of refinancing.


As REALTOR®s, this is great news! We are able to work with buyers during a time when interest rates are unexpectedly low, making future interest payments over a 30 year mortgage less daunting than ever.

 

For our sellers, this is great news too. Motivated buyers mean quick home sales for top value - especially when experienced agents are assisting in the process of preparing both the home owner and home purchaser.

 

Home sales, mortgage rates, refinancing & more!

 

Although home supply may be down in some areas of the country, these low rates combined with a strong economy are actually helping homebuyers across the board. As experienced real estate agents, we don’t get caught up in hysteria about market concerns or rumbles of a recession. But we do pay close attention to market trends. 

 

Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors (NAR) says, “We expect the second half of the year will be notably better than the first half in terms of home sales, mainly because of lower mortgage rates*.”

 

The agents at Stone Ridge Properties have been through many market cycles and can effectively guide you through your decision making process. If you need assistance or have questions about the interest rates or the current market, we are more than happy to assist you -- this is what we are here for! We also have relationships with mortgage lenders who can help you with your pre-approval, or can assist you with understanding your options for refinancing.

 

 

*Sources Yahoo Finance

 

July 15, 2019

Low Interest Rates

We are experiencing lower than predicted interest rates currently, and this is something that can have a huge impact on your finances whether you are buying a home, selling a home, or thinking of refinancing.

As REALTORs, this is great news! We are able to work with buyers during a time when interest rates are unexpectedly low, making future interest payments over a 30 year mortgage less daunting than ever.

For our sellers, this is great news too. Motivated buyers mean quick home sales for top value - especially when experienced agents are assisting in the process of preparing both the home owner and home purchaser.

If you need assistance or have questions about the interest rates or the current market, we are more than happy to assist you -- this is what we are here for! We also have relationships with mortgage lenders who can help you with your pre-approval, or can assist you with understanding your options for refinancing.

Tap into the right resources

Courtesy of Realtor.com

Whether you're looking to buy a home or a homeowner looking to refinance, there are many mortgage tools online to help, including the following:

  • A mortgage rate trends tracker lets you follow interest rate changes in your local market.
  • A mortgage payment calculator shows an estimate of your mortgage payment based on current mortgage rates and local real estate taxes.
  • Realtor.com's mortgage center, which will help you find a lender who can offer competitive interest rates and help you get pre-approved for a mortgage.