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Should I Buy Now or Wait?

The housing market has experienced some drastic changes since the start of the pandemic. In particular, the high interest rates and low inventory we are now experiencing have greatly influenced many people’s decisions on whether or not to invest in real estate. Let’s examine some of the top reasons the timing may or may not be right for buying a home. 

Why Buy Now?

There are plenty of reasons that potential homebuyers have decided that now is the right time for them to buy. The more obvious of these reasons include an immediate need to change their living situation, for instance, they have to move for work, or are expecting an addition to their family. Maybe now is the right time to buy if you have already found the perfect house for your specific location and needs! 

Otherwise, the decision to buy in this seller’s market may be based on more subtle factors. Choosing to buy a house will almost always be a good investment, as home prices go up over time. For first-time homebuyers, purchasing a house without delay means that you can begin to build equity immediately, as opposed to staying in a rental for an indefinite amount of time. 

The most important factor in your decision to buy a home is your financial means. If you have saved enough money for a down payment, with enough left over for the many other costs of buying a home, the cash will be better spent on a home than sitting around in your bank account! If you have a high credit score, you will also be in a better position to buy a home now than those who do not. Despite the current rising interest rates, a good credit score will help you secure the best mortgage rate possible. 

Why Wait?

If you are not perfectly confident in your finances, you may find that now is not the time to purchase a home. Especially if this will be your first real estate purchase, the process may cause far too much financial pressure to be worth your time. Similarly, in this current housing market, your chances of securing the property you are interested in are lessened by strong competition and offers over asking price. This may be the time to live below your means and strengthen your savings and credit score, which will help you avoid exorbitant interest rates. 

If you are comfortable in your current living situation, regardless of your financials, you may be better off waiting for a change in the housing market while you secure the means for your ideal home. Though it is impossible to predict how or when the market will shift in the buyer’s favor, it cannot remain the same forever. Keep your focus on the housing market in the specific area where you are looking to buy, as it may be different from the overall market trends across the state or country. 

In the spring of 2022, Bankrate examined some of the major barriers to homeownership:

“The primary reasons are not enough income (43 percent), out-of-reach home prices (39 percent) and being unable to afford a down payment and closing costs (36 percent). Other reasons cited were poor credit (22 percent), simply not being ready (22 percent), mortgage rates that are too high (17 percent), lack of inventory of homes for sale (13 percent), and having too much debt (13 percent).” 

Alternatives

Many people who are interested in home ownership have said that they are willing to take other steps toward finding more affordable living in the current housing market. The top concessions they are willing to make include moving out of state, buying a fixer-upper, and moving farther from family, friends, and work. Finding a house in 2022 may require some sacrifices to your original plans or vision of a dream home. 

Trying to predict the housing market is a Sisyphean task. The decision to buy a house is an entirely personal one, based on your current needs and means. A local real estate agent will be able to help you assess the local market as it relates to your housing goals to help you decide if the timing is right. If you are interested in purchasing a home in NorthShore Massachusetts or have further questions, please contact me today.

5 Reasons to Sell this Winter

Every winter, I hear the same sentiment from many of my clients; “I thought the market slows down in the winter so it would be a good time to keep my home off the market.” Many sellers want to wait until spring or summer to put their house up for sale. However, If you’re planning to move, now is actually a good time. Between low inventory and eager buyers coming off the 2021 market, it’s truly the perfect time to sell your home.

Here are 5 reasons why now is a great time to sell your home. 

Low Inventory

The start of the new year and colder temperatures always lead to a cooling real estate market. For example, in Denver, there are only about one-third as many homes for sale in winter as in spring or summer. Many sellers take time off over the holidays or simply think moving during the winter would be too much work. However, according to Zillow’s latest report, while inventory is trending down, the growth in home values continues to trend up. A mass of eager buyers combined with low inventory gives winter sellers better control over their home sales. Moving companies are also offering great deals for those looking to move during the off-season. 

Eager Buyers

Summer 2021 was one of the most competitive markets I’ve seen in years. U.S. homes spent an average of 31 days on market in 2021—the lowest median selling period in more than 15 years! Due to the competitive market, many buyers walked away from 2021 without their dream homes. These buyers are still on the hunt and are waiting for new homes to enter the market. You very well may end up in a bidding war if you consider selling.

New Year New Buyers

A new year is a time of change for many individuals across the country. From new jobs, company relocations, moving closer to family, or even just personal changes, many are looking for a change of scenery. Many of these buyers can’t start new jobs or opportunities until they have a home base and are eager to make a quick sale. These buyers are anxious to find a home and often present high cash offers!

Growing Competition

According to Zillow’s latest market report, the seasonal housing cooldown may end early this year. The usually slow winter housing market is set to be saturated with sellers before the snow has even melted! If you’re even considering selling, get ahead of the competition and take advantage of the low inventory and eager buyers that are waiting for new listings. 

Increasing Mortgage Rates

Mortgage rates have been consistently low over the past few years. However, they recently saw a slight increase.  While this increase is still slight and has no indication of halting the 2022 housing market, rising rates can still give some buyers pause. Get ahead of rising rates and place your home on the market this winter!

Thinking about selling? Contact me today  for a FREE market analysis for the value of your home or to learn about the current market and the selling process. I’d love to help!

Manchester-by-the-Sea MA

Many may recognize Manchester-by-the-Sea by the film of the same name directed by Kenneth Lonergan and starring Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams. However, there is a lot more to this seaside town than just a Hollywood blockbuster. 

Settled by colonists in 1629, Manchester by the Sea or “Manchester” as it was known until 1989, was primarily a fishing village until it became a summer vacation destination for Boston residents. Covering 18.3 square miles, Manchester by the Sea sits along Massachusetts’s beautiful coast between Beverly and Gloucester. For the next fifty years, Manchester by the Sea grew into an adorable town full of seaside cottages and architectural homes.

Known for its classic New England homes perched along rocky shorelines with gorgeous ocean views, Manchester-by-the-Sea is the ideal home base for those looking for the perfect combination of charm and luxury. 

Groceries and Snacks

All the gazing at architecture and beautiful seascapes is bound to work up an appetite! Stop by these local spots for a quick snack!

Originally selling small bites off Singing Beach, the Laughing Gull Cafe has grown into a delicious cafe in downtown Manchester-by-the-Sea. Stop by for their great coffee, fresh bakery items, and friendly faces.

If you’re looking for something on the healthier side, Crosbys Marketplace is for you. From cheese to organic produce Crosby’s has all the ingredients you’ll need for a quick snack or your next dinner.

Allie’s Beach Street Cafe is a local favorite for a reason. Allie’s is a family operated full-service restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner with a French Bistro flair. Make sure to try the Shakshooka if you’re in the area.

Gorgeous Views

Manchester-by-the-Sea is known for its unmatched ocean views. 

If you’ve heard of Manchester-by-the-Sea you’ve probably heard of Singing Beach. The beach is famous for its “singing sand” that squeaks as you walk along the dunes. However, if you’re not into singing sand, White Beach faces southwest with stunning views of the Boston skyline and is the perfect spot to watch the sunset. 

If you can’t find time for a beach day, one of my favorite ways to explore Manchester-by-the-Sea is by car! to Jump on Route 127 and 127A for a drive full of beautiful coastal views.

If the beach isn’t your thing, the Coolidge Reservation is the perfect destination to enjoy nature. The reservation sits on a scenic pond and a small forest of pine and oak that lead to a spectacular seaside lawn with beautiful views of Massachusetts Bay and the North Shore.

Delicious Eats

Manchester is more than scenic views. Try out these restaurants for delicious coastal cuisine. 

  • Bravo by the Sea is the place for fresh wood-fired pizza! The pizza bar uses all fresh ingredients imported from Italy. From the appetizers to their pies you have to try it all! You can also check them out on Phantom Gourmet.
  • Cala’s Food and Spirits food is “Homestyle” modern with a  “Cheers” casual ambiance. The beer and wine pours are never skimpy and their lobsters are caught right off of the shores by one of their regulars! 
  • Antique Table is a local favorite along the North Shore! The trattoria-style restaurant offers a culinary tour of Italian food and culture. Each meal is cooked from scratch and is sure to impress even your toughest critics. 
  • The Mooring is a breath of fresh air! The restaurant’s welcoming atmosphere and delicious cuisine make it a staple in Manchester-by-the-Sea. I recommend the Flatbread salad!

Things to Do

From sailing to shopping there’s something for everyone in Manchester-by-the-Sea.

If you’re looking to catch ocean views from a different point of view, head out on the high seas with Frayed Knot Sailing Charters. They provide a gorgeous vessel for parties, day trips, overnight trips, and even lessons right off the coast of Manchester-by-the-Sea.

If you need a break from the sun, stop into some of Manchester-by-the-Sea’s quaintest stores. Located downtown, 4 Beach is a lovely family owned business selling all of the coastal gifts and goodies you could ever need. Also stop by Manchester by the Book for a variety of used, new and classic books. 

Spend the day exploring the rich history of Manchester-by-the-Sea at the Manchester Historical Museum. The Manchester Historical Society was founded in 1886 “to serve the entire community through the preservation of irreplaceable town records and artifacts, its research capability and commitment to education.“ Learn more about the museum through their feature on Chronicle.

Welcome to the North Shore

First and foremost, what is the North Shore? The North Shore is the region north of Boston located along the Atlantic coast. Over the years, there has been much debate over which towns and cities should and should not be included in the official North Shore.

Some believe the North Shore includes the entire coastline from New Hampshire to Boston and is made up of the following:

Beverly, MA

Danvers, MA

Essex, MA

Gloucester, MA

Ipswich, MA

Lynn, MA

Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA

Marblehead, MA

Nahant, MA

Newbury, MA

Newburyport, MA

Peabody, MA

Revere, MA

Rockport, MA

Rowley, MA

Salem, MA 

Salisbury, MA

Saugus, MA

Swampscott, MA

Winthrop, MA 

However, The Boston Metropolitan Area Planning Council’s North Shore Task Force, defines the North Shore as also encompassing Cape Ann and several other communities:

​​Amesbury, MA

Beverly, MA

Boxford, MA

Danvers, MA

Essex, MA

Georgetown, MA

Gloucester, MA

Groveland, MA 

Hamilton, MA

Haverhill, MA

Ipswich, MA

Lynn, MA

Lynnfield, MA

Manchester, MA

Marblehead, MA

Merrimac, MA

Middleton, MA

Nahant, MA

Newbury, MA

Newburyport, MA

Peabody, MA

Rockport, MA

Rowley, MA

Salem, MA

Salisbury, MA

Saugus, MA

Swampscott, MA

Topsfield, MA

Wakefield, MA

Wenham, MA

West Newbury, MA

No matter what you define as the “official” North Shore, we can all agree that the region has so much to offer. From historic towns, stunning beaches and picturesque views it is the perfect place for a day trip, vacation or even your home base!

Looking for travel advice? Check out our North Shore guides to find out what to do, where to eat and everything else about our favorite towns and cities.

Visit Beverly

The North Shore’s best-kept secret, Beverly, has something to offer for the whole family.  “The Garden City,” only 40 minutes away from Boston’s downtown, has easy access to the city, beach, countryside and beautiful wildlife. Read On

Visit Salem

Named by TravelMag.com as one of the top 30 most charming small cities in the U.S., there is a lot to love about Salem, Massachusetts. Whether you’re interested in the atmosphere, the rich history, the people, or the restaurants, Salem has something to offer everyone. Read On

Visit Marblehead

When you think of New England coastal towns, you may think of Gloucester, Rockport, and Newburyport—gorgeous fishing towns where you are guaranteed to find a classic sailboat magnet at a cute boutique shop on the main stretch. But there’s another iconic coastal town on the North Shore that is somewhat of a hidden gem. A quaint town that offers a timeless quality and a sense of belonging. Read On