Mortgage Rates Fall to 10-Month Low

National Mortgage Rates February 2019

Borrowing costs were cheaper this week, as mortgage rates continued inching down. “The U.S. economy remains on solid ground, inflation is contained, and the threat of higher short-term rates is fading from view, which has allowed mortgage rates to drift down to their lowest level in 10 months,” says Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “This is great news for consumers who will be looking for homes during the upcoming spring homebuying season. Mortgage rates are essentially similar to a year ago, but today’s buyers have a larger selection of homes and more consumer bargaining power than they did the last few years.”

Freddie Mac reports the following averages with mortgage rates for the week ending Feb.7:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 4.41 percent, with an average 0.4 point, dropping from last week’s 4.46 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 4.32 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.84 percent, with an average 0.4 point, dropping from last week’s 3.89 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 3.77 percent.
  • 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 3.91 percent, with an average 0.3 point, falling from last week’s 3.96 percent average. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 3.57 percent.

If you have any questions about the real estate market in the North of Boston communities, contact the Ternullo Real Estate Team!


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    2018 North of Boston Real Estate Market Annual Report

    Market Overview

    "We had a strong start to 2018, however towards the 4th quarter we have noticed a change in the market and sellers began losing leverage. While this slowdown would be typical during the fall season, many experts are reporting a shift in national markets. There is conflicting information on how much of a slowdown we should expect in 2019. We noticed an increase in buyer activity immediately after the new year, and we do expect strong buyer demand as we approach the spring market." - John Ternullo 

    2018 North of Boston Real Estate Market Report

    The Ternullo Real Estate Team's 2018 Annual Report

    If you are considering a move in the suburbs North of Boston and would like to learn how this information may impact your purchase, please contact us. If you currently own a home and would like more information on the value of your home, please let us know and we can provide a detailed estimated report. If you would like to know how much you could sell your home for in the 2019 spring market, we are happy to schedule an in-person visit and provide a detailed report. 


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      The Role Access Plays In Getting Your House Sold!

      Selling Your Home - Access to EntrySo you’ve decided to sell your house. You’ve hired a real estate professional to help you with the entire process and they have asked you what level of access you want to provide to potential buyers. There are four elements to a quality listing. At the top of the list is Access, followed by Condition, Financing, and Price. There are many levels of access that you could provide to your agent to be able to show your home. Here are five levels of access that you could provide to a buyer with a brief description:

      • Lockbox on the Door – This allows buyers the ability to see the home as soon as they are aware of the listing, or at their convenience.
      • Providing a Key to the Home – Although the buyer’s agent may need to stop by an office to pick up the key, there is little delay in being able to show the home.
      • Open Access with a Phone Call – The seller allows showing with just a phone call’s notice.
      • By Appointment Only (example: 48 Hour Notice) – Many out-of-town/state buyers and relocation buyers visit an area they would like to move to and only have the weekend to view homes. They may not be able to plan that far in advance or may be unable to wait the 48 hours to be shown the house.
      • Limited Access (example: the home is only available on Mondays or Tuesdays at 2 pm or for only a couple of hours a day) – This is the most difficult way to be able to show your house to potential buyers.

      In a competitive marketplace, access can make or break your ability to get the price you are looking for, or even sell your house at all. If you have questions about selling your home in the communities North of Boston, contact the Ternullo Real Estate Team today!


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        Two Things You Don't Need To Hear From Your Listing Agent

        Meeting with a Listing AgentYou’ve decided to sell your house. You begin to interview potential real estate agents to help you through the process. You need someone you trust enough to:

        • Set the market value on possibly the largest asset your family owns (your home)
        • Set the time schedule for the successful liquidation of that asset
        • Set the fee for the services required to liquidate that asset

        An agent must be concerned first and foremost with you and your family in order to garner that degree of trust. Make sure this is the case.

        Be careful if the agent you are interviewing begins the interview by:

        • Bragging about their success
        • Bragging about their company’s success

        An agent’s success and the success of their company can be important considerations when deciding on the right real estate professional to represent you in the sale of your house. However, you first need to know that they care about what you need and what you expect from the sale. If the agent is not interested in first establishing your needs, how successful they may seem is much less important.

        Look for someone with the ‘heart of a teacher’ who comes in prepared to explain the current real estate market to you, and is patient enough to take the time to show you how it may impact the sale of your home; not someone only interested in trying to sell you on how great they are.

        You have many agents from which to choose. Pick someone who truly cares.

        If you have questions about selling your home, contact the Ternullo Real Estate Team.


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          2019 Safest Cities in the U.S.: These 6 Towns North of Boston Made The List!

          North of Boston NeighborhoodAccording to NeighborhoodScout, these 6 towns North of Boston made the list for the 2019 Safest Cities in America. Read the full article

          Looking to buy a home in one of these North of Boston communities?

          Contact The Ternullo Real Estate Team today and learn how we can help you find the right property for you.


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            Why Working With A Local Real Estate Professional Makes All The Difference

            If you’ve entered the real estate market, as a buyer or a seller, you’ve inevitably heard the real estate mantra, “location, location, location” in reference to how identical homes can increase or decrease in value due to where they’re located. Well, a recent survey shows that when it comes to choosing a real estate agent, the millennial generation’s mantra is, “local, local, local.”

            Realtor shaking hands

            CentSai, a financial wellness online community, surveyed over 2,000 millennials (ages 18-34) and found that 75% of respondents would use a local real estate agent over an online agent, and 71% would choose a local lender.

            Survey respondents cited many reasons for their choice to go local, “including personal touch & hand holding, long standing relationships, local knowledge, and amount of hassle.”

            Doria Lavagnino, Cofounder & President of CentSai, had this to say:

            “We were surprised to learn that online providers are not yet as big a disrupter in this sector as we first thought, despite purported cost savings. We found that millennials place a high value on the personal touch and knowledge of a local agent. Buying a home for the first time is daunting, and working with a local agent—particularly an agent referred by a parent or friend—could provide peace of mind.”

            The findings of the CentSai survey are consistent with the Consumer Housing Trends Study, which found that millennials prefer a more hands-on approach to their real estate experience:

            “While older generations rely on real estate agents for information and expertise, Millennials expect real estate agents to become trusted advisers and strategic partners.”

            When it comes to choosing an agent, millennials and other generations share their top priority: the sense that an agent is trustworthy and responsive to their needs.

            That said, technology still plays a huge role in the real estate process. According to the National Association of Realtors, 94% of home buyers look for prospective homes and neighborhoods online, and 74% also said they would use an online site or mobile app to research homes they might consider purchasing.

            Bottom Line

            Many wondered if this tech-savvy generation would prefer to work with an online agent or lender, but more and more studies show that when it comes to real estate, millennials want someone they can trust, someone who knows the neighborhood they want to move into, and someone who can lead them through the entire experience.

            Questions about buying or selling a home in the communities North of Boston? Contact the Ternullo Real Estate Team today!


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              The Best Time of Year to Buy Things for Your Home

              Home FurnishingsGet the latest information on the best times of the year to buy certain household items!

              This article from HouseLogic provides some great tips on when to find the best sales on mattresses, appliances, tools, furnishings, materials, and more. You can also download a calendar of when to buy so you'll save the most money.

              Contact the Ternullo Real Estate Team to learn about real estate opportunities in the communities North of Boston.


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                Ready To Make An Offer? 4 Tips For Success

                Home BuyersSo you’ve been searching for that perfect house to call 'home' and you've finally found it! The price is right and, in such a competitive market, you want to make sure you make a good offer so that you can guarantee that your dream of making this house yours comes true! Below are 4 steps provided by Freddie Mac to help buyers make offers, along with some additional information for your consideration:

                1. Determine Your Price

                “You’ve found the perfect home and you’re ready to buy. Now what? Your real estate agent will be by your side, helping you determine an offer price that is fair.”

                Based on your agent’s experience and key considerations (like similar homes recently sold in the same neighborhood or the condition of the house and what you can afford), your agent will help you to determine the offer that you are going to present. Getting pre-approved will not only show home-sellers that you are serious about buying, but it will also allow you to make your offer with confidence because you’ll know that you have already been approved for a mortgage in that amount.

                2. Submit an Offer

                “Once you’ve determined your price, your agent will draw up an offer, or purchase agreement, to submit to the seller’s real estate agent. This offer will include the purchase price and terms and conditions of the purchase.”

                Talk with your agent to find out if there are any ways in which you can make your offer stand out in this competitive market! A licensed real estate agent who is active in the neighborhoods you are considering will be instrumental in helping you put in a solid offer. Ready To Make An Offer? 4 Tips For Success 23

                3. Negotiate the Offer

                “Oftentimes, the seller will counter the offer, typically asking for a higher purchase price or to adjust the closing date. In these cases, the seller’s agent will submit a counteroffer to your agent, detailing their desired changes, at this time, you can either accept the offer or decide if you want to counter.

                Each time changes are made through a counteroffer, you or the seller have the option to accept, reject or counter it again. The contract is considered final when both parties sign the written offer.”

                If your offer is approved, Freddie Mac urges you to “always get an independent home inspection, so you know the true condition of the home.” If the inspector uncovers undisclosed problems or issues, you can discuss any repairs that may need to be made with the seller or even cancel the contract altogether.

                4. Act Fast

                The inventory of homes listed for sale has remained well below the 6-month supply that is needed for a ‘normal’ market. Buyer demand has continued to outpace the supply of homes for sale, causing buyers to compete with each other for their dream homes. Make sure that as soon as you decide that you want to make an offer, you work with your agent to present it as quickly as possible.

                Bottom Line

                Whether buying your first home or your fifth, having a local real estate professional who is an expert in his or her market on your side is your best bet in making sure the process goes smoothly. Let’s talk about how we can make your dream of homeownership a reality! Contact the Ternullo Real Estate team today!


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                  November 2018 Real Estate Market: Suburbs North of Boston

                  Watch this informative 2 minute video from John Ternullo to get an update on the real estate market in the suburbs north of Boston, specifically Middlesex and Essex Counties. He discusses inventory, days on market, homes sold, and sales prices. Learn about the “new market” we've entered and how it affects home buyers and sellers.

                  Questions about the local area? Contact the Ternullo Real Estate Team today!




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                    2 Factors To Watch In Today's Real Estate Market

                    When it comes to buying or selling a home there are many factors you should consider. Where you want to live, why you want to buy or sell, and who will help you along your journey are just some of those factors. When it comes to today’s real estate market, though, the top two factors to consider are what’s happening with interest rates & inventory.

                    Interest Rates

                    Mortgage interest rates have been on the rise and are now over three-quarters of a percentage point higher than they were at the beginning of the year. According to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey, rates have climbed to around 4.8% for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage. The interest rate you secure when buying a home not only greatly impacts your monthly housing costs, but also impacts your purchasing power. Purchasing power, simply put, is the amount of home you can afford to buy for the budget you have available to spend. As rates increase, the price of the house you can afford to buy will decrease if you plan to stay within a certain monthly housing budget. The chart below demonstrates the impact rising interest rates would have if you planned to purchase a $400,000 home while keeping your principal and interest payments between $2,020-$2,050 a month.

                    Home Buyers Purchasing Power


                    A ‘normal’ real estate market requires there to be a 6-month supply of homes for sale in order for prices to increase only with inflation. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), listing inventory is currently at a 4.3-month supply (still well below the 6 months needed), which has put upward pressure on home prices. Home prices have increased year-over-year for the last 80 straight months. The inventory of homes for sale in the real estate market had been on a steady decline and experienced year-over-year drops for 36 straight months (from July 2015 to May 2018), but we are starting to see a shift in inventory over the last five months. The chart below shows the change in housing supply over the last 12 months compared to the previous 12 months. As you can see, beginning in June, inventory levels have started to increase as compared to the same time last year.

                    2018 YOY Housing Supply

                    Bottom Line

                    If you are planning to enter the housing market, either as a buyer or a seller, let’s get together to discuss what changes in mortgage interest rates and inventory could mean for you. Contact the Ternullo Real Estate team today!


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