claudette millette: Are McMansions Returning to the Housing Market? - 07/07/13 10:11 PM
Are McMansions  Returning to the Housing Market?
Prior to the housing boom we were experiencing a definite upsurge in the size and stateliness of homes in the U. S.  The modest ranch, split level and even capes were being outpaced by larger homes with significantly more square footage.
Once the crash hit us in 2009 builders began to pare down home sizes.  During that eventful year, the median home size dropped to 2,135 square feet bringing it close to the levels of 2003.  When that occurred, many thought that the days of the McMansion were at an end. … (1 comments)

claudette millette: Has the Housing Market Really Recovered? - 06/23/13 04:36 AM
Has the Housing Market Really Recovered?
The answer to this question seems to be a resounding “yes.”
In most housing markets around the country prices have surged some 8 to 10% over the past year, and that’s a good thing for home owners.  It also bodes well for the general creation of wealth in our economy.
Housing Prices on the Rise
A recent article in the New York Times cited that the Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller home price index posted the largest gains in seven years.  Builders have also been encouraged and the number of building permits has surged … (1 comments)

claudette millette: How to Get MLS Listings for Your Massachusetts Home Search - 04/30/12 11:09 PM
How to Get MLS Listings for Your Massachusetts Home Search
Looking for a home these days has become a little easier than it was years ago due to all of the technology at our disposal.  Of course, you will still want to avail yourself of the services of a good buyer agent who knows the area and can help you in your search from start to finish. But even before you work with an agent you can start to preview the terrain by signing onto a  Massachusetts MLS Listings service.
Some of the sources you can choose from are, Trulia and Zillow.  A number of real estate … (2 comments)

claudette millette: Adult Community – Carriage Hill Southborough Massachusetts - 04/21/12 06:14 AM
Adult Community – Carriage Hill Southborough Massachusetts
Carriage Hill Southborough is a luxury Adult Community – 55+ in Southborough, Massachusetts.  Conveniently located, just off of Route 30 it is one mile to the Mass Pike exit and 20 miles to downtown Boston.  
Southborough is noted for its fabulous schools, affluent neighborhoods and great commuting location.  The Southborough MBTA station is not far from Carriage Hill and offers more access to Boston and other destinations.
Residents at Carriage Hill enjoy a fabulous lifestyle in townhouse units that are bright and open with soaring ceilings and detailed moldings throughout.  … (1 comments)

claudette millette: How many Villages are there in Newton Massachusetts? - 04/16/12 07:39 AM
How many Villages are there in Newton Massachusetts?
The answer to this question varies.  It really depends on whom you ask.  Most people will say that the answer is thirteen.  Those villages are: 
Auburndale Chestnut Hill Newton Centre Newton Corner Newton Highlands Newton Lower Falls Newton Upper Falls Newtonville Nonantum (also called “The Lake”) Oak Hill Park Thompsonville Waban West Newton  Some city maps split up Oak Hill and Oak Hill Park into two separate villages which would make the number total fourteen.  Still other people consider the “Four Corners” as its own separate village.  As I said previously, in … (0 comments)

claudette millette: What Does a Massachusetts Buyer Agent Do? - 03/19/12 03:36 AM
What Does a Massachusetts Buyer Agent Do?
You should know that not all Massachusetts real estate agents are created equal.  There are agents who specialize in listing homes and there are the fewer select agents who specialize in representing home buyers.  And, in between, there are Realtors® who do a mixture of both. 
Obviously, your home buying needs are not going to be served by the agent whose sole specialty is listing and selling homes.   A Massachusetts Buyer Agent is dedicated to serving the needs of someone who is buying a home and, as such, has had the … (6 comments)

claudette millette: Buying a Home in Massachusetts? Consider Resale Issues - Right up Front - 03/13/12 07:23 AM
Buying a Home in Massachusetts?  Consider Resale Issues - Right up Front
The average home buyer in Massachusetts buys and sells a home every five to seven years. Whether your selling time will come that quickly or you are planning to keep your home longer, it is safe to assume that at some point you may need to sell your home.
The time to start planning for this eventuality is during the purchase phase.   We all get caught up with emotion during a home purchase.  And, why not – finding the right home is a lot like a love affair.  Certain … (7 comments)

claudette millette: Town of Southborough - 02/14/12 07:39 AM
Town of Southborough
Suburban location, pleasant neighborhoods, historic school system and an easy commute to Boston - These are all descriptions appropriate to the Town of Southborough.
In its early days Southborough was known as "Stony Brook" and was actually part of the nearby Marlboro (or Malborough) in the 1600s.  The Town of Southborough did not become a town on its own until July 17, 1727.  
During that period, the Town of Southborough was primarily a farming and agricultural community with saw and grain mills as well as iron works.  The town's inhabitants spent their days tending crops, working in the orchards and … (0 comments)

claudette millette: Home Remodeling on the Upswing - Is it a Good Thing? - 08/16/11 11:57 AM
There could be a number of reasons for the recent jump, but according to an article in the Austin Business Journal, home remodeling has risen to its highest level in seven years. 
Figures released indicate an increase of 22% in May from a year ago which marks 19 straight months of gains.  These numbers put home remodeling levels at their highest since Buildfax started tracking these figures in 2004.
This bodes well for construction workers who hitherto fore have been gainfully employed building new homes.  With the decline in housing starts home improvement projects will … (7 comments)

claudette millette: The Elements of a Massachusetts Offer to Purchase Real Estate - 06/18/11 12:00 PM
The Elements of a Massachusetts Offer to Purchase Real Estate 
Once you have found the perfect home, it is the job of your Realtor® to write up an Offer to Purchase. Since Massachusetts has a two-contract process, the Offer to Purchase is the first step, to be followed in 7 days to a week by the Purchase and Sale Agreement. 
The Massachusetts Offer to Purchase is typically written on the standard preprinted form provided by the local board.  However, the contingency pages are another matter. These pages are specifically geared to protect your interests as a home buyer, and specifically - your deposit.
The … (4 comments)

claudette millette: Buying a Home in Massachusetts - What to Expect at Your Closing - 05/20/11 03:01 PM
Buying a Home in Massachusetts - What to Expect at Your Closing 
All the heavy lifting has been done.  You have completed your home search, found the perfect house, been through an inspection, signed the purchase and sale agreement, secured your mortgage financing and conducted a final walk-through. The time for your closing has finally arrived and there are some details that you should be aware of. 
Who attends your Massachusetts closing? 
A closing is usually attended by your buyer agent, the listing agent, the closing attorney and, sometimes your attorney. It is a good idea to have your attorney present if at all possible.  But, the … (6 comments)

claudette millette: Massachusetts Real Estate Closings Must Now be Conducted by Attorneys - 05/01/11 03:55 PM
Massachusetts Real Estate Closings Must Now be Conducted by Attorneys 
An important ruling was handed down last week concerning the role of attorneys in Massachusetts real estate closings.  The decision will have, not only an impact on the legal profession in The Commonwealth, but will also affect home buyers. 
A dispute that began in 2006 between the Real Estate Bar Association and National Real Estate Information Services was settled by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. 
The original argument stated that closing companies such as NREIS and their provision of services to mortgage lenders which included the practices of title examinations, drafting closing … (7 comments)

claudette millette: Architectural Styles for Massachusetts Home Buyers - 04/14/11 01:34 PM
Architectural Styles for Massachusetts Home Buyers 
If you have been looking for a home in Massachusetts you may have noticed a number of different styles that appear on landscape.  Some architectural styles are more popular than others but, to be sure, there is something available for a range of tastes.  
Here are some of the more popular home styles you will find in Massachusetts:  
Cape - The Cape Cod is one of America's oldest house styles.  It was a popular style through the 1840s and later experienced a revival when mass production techniques allowed builders to fill developments with capes after World … (14 comments)

claudette millette: Nice Neighborhood - If You Don't Mind the Noise - 04/05/11 03:26 PM
Homebuyers these days have some useful tools at their disposal to help them determine which homes they may or may not be interested in viewing. 
With Google Maps, for example, you can visibly detect some important nuances of a neighborhood that could possibly spell noise trouble. 
Among the most blatant of these is the ominous appearance of railroad tracks. While the convenience of living near the train is a consideration, it needs to be measured against the effect it could have when roaring by your back yard in the middle of the night.
Another important red flag, particularly here in the Metrowest area, is the proximity of busy highways to some otherwise … (7 comments)

claudette millette: A Foreclosure in the Neighorhood Can Drive You Batty - 04/02/11 07:07 AM
A foreclosed property in the historic district of Tifton, Georgia has been sitting around vacant for far too long.  As a result, an estimated 10,000 to 20,000 Mexican free-tailed bats have made it their home.  Via the Tifton Gazette. 
Local code enforcement has posted a sign on the door declaring it unfit for human habitation and city officials are scrambling to come to a solution to the problem. The cost to eradicate 20,000 bats from and to then scrub it clean from what they have left behind will, more than likely, be enormous.  
An animal removal service in the area described the situation as … (41 comments)

claudette millette: What Types of Homes are Selling Right Now? Perfect Ones! - 03/30/11 10:55 AM
What Types of Homes are Selling Right Now?  Perfect Ones! 
For those who believe everything they hear in the media and think that the housing market is at a complete standstill, I have some news.  There are many homes that are selling, and selling quickly.  They simply fit into one of two categories. 
They are: 
Well-presented, or Very well-priced.  Or, preferably - both. 
Some of my buyer clients have recently run into extremely competitive situations resulting in multiple offer scenarios.  I have found myself resorting back to techniques that were used during the boom periods to have their offers brought to the … (49 comments)

claudette millette: The Mysterious Case of the Slippery Radon Canister - 03/21/11 04:23 PM

Last week I encountered a unique and surprising series of events when I went to retrieve a radon test. 
The home inspector had strategically placed the test in a basement closet on the top shelf.  That was bad enough since the shelf height was around 6 feet high and I am but a mere 5 foot 4 inches tall.  Adding insult to injury was the fact that the basement area was treacherously dark.  
Approaching the closet, I carefully reached for the test and, faster than a speeding bullet, one of the canisters came crashing down, smashing on the floor and completely falling apart. I then witnessed something that … (14 comments)

claudette millette: What is the Most Important Room in a Home? - 03/11/11 06:06 AM
When asked this question, most buyers will single out the kitchen as the most important room to them.  Its size has nearly doubled over the last twenty years and so, it seems, has its relevance in a home sale.
Regardless of how much time is spent decorating a living room, family room or any other part of the house, the kitchen is usually where the center of action is. Whether people gather together for meals or wander in at different times, this is the place where they like to congregate.
Really - the kitchen is the heart of any home.
Originally intended as a place designated only for cooking, the kitchen has  become so much more.  Whether it is for entertaining … (13 comments)

claudette millette: Massachusetts Title V and Your Home Purchase - 03/10/11 06:40 AM
Massachusetts Title V and Your Home Purchase 
If you happen to be buying a home in Massachusetts that is not connected to a public sewer you will want to become familiar with Massachusetts Title V laws regarding private septic systems. 
A significant number of the homes in Massachusetts are serviced by private septic systems.  Some of the towns in the surrounding the Metrowest area that are serviced primarily by private septic systems include Holliston, Sudbury, Southborough and Hopkinton.  
Private Septic Systems - Defined
A home that is not in a public sewer service area will generally have either a septic system or may, … (4 comments)

claudette millette: Protecting Your Home with the Massachusetts Homestead Act - 03/01/11 02:45 PM
Protecting Your Home with the Massachusetts Homestead Act 
In your quest for the perfect home you have taken all of the appropriate steps so far, including: 
Property search and home visits. Comparative market analysis to arrive at an appropriate value. Due diligence regarding the neighborhood and zoning. Negotiating to get the best price. A home inspection to assure you of its structural soundness.  There is one more item to add to your list. It's called the Massachusetts Homestead Act.
What is Massachusetts Homestead Act? 
Home buyers have a valuable mechanism that is available to them to protect their home purchase. According to Massachusetts General Laws, you … (9 comments)