Real Estate News

Lawrence F. Flick, IV Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach, REALTORS® and The Trident Group wrote up his yearly report about the market:

"Listen to the news, and the headlines make it very clear that we live in a global age of uncertainty. Yet despite our interconnection with places far and wide, our own corner of the world is where we remain grounded. I’m often asked how the perception of turmoil in our country and the world affects our local real estate market for both primary and second homes."

To read Flick's entire report, click here.

Posted in:General
Posted by Matthew Vassallo on August 23rd, 2016 7:48 PM
So every little detail is finally completed and all you have left to do is move into your new home! The moving process can be incredibly stressful, but you shouldn't let it be. Here are 6 tips on how to make moving easier (thanks to

  1. Document all of your cords: The is the #1 thing that most people don't think about when moving. You may think you'll remember exactly which cords went to the TV and which went to the DVD player, but chances are, you won't. Put a little bit of tape around each wire and label what it goes to!
  2. Update your address: In the midst of moving, this one may seem to pass you by fairly easily. Before you're completely overwhelmed with unpacking, work on changing your address on all of your forms (or the important ones first, at least).
  3. Create a pet plan: Do you really want an excited puppy running around your new house all day? Probably not. Arrange to have someone pet sit in another location! If that's not an option for you, maybe bring someone along who will keep your pet company while you're moving.
  4. Recruit some help: If you decide to save some money and not use a mover, make sure to ask some friends or family if they can help you out! You'll be thankful that you did
  5. Pack a "first night in the new house" box: You will absolutely not want to be scrambling through a hundred different boxes the night of your move-in for your toothbrush and pajamas. Pack a small box that will have your bedtime essentials as well as a towel and change of clothes for the next day.
  6. Strategize your layout: Mark your boxes by either room or category. This way, as your moving boxes into your home, you'll know exactly where to put them so you won't have a stack of unmarked boxes by the front door or your kitchen utensils in your bedroom.
Do you have any moving tips that you've learned over the years? Let me know in the comments!
Posted in:Tips and tagged: tips
Posted by Matthew Vassallo on August 17th, 2015 5:53 PM
I just read an article this morning posted on Business Insider that focused on 13 real estate tips given by Zillow's CEO, Stan Humphries, in his new book Zillow Talk: The New Rules of Real Estate. At first, these tips seemed really strange. However, once I started thinking about it more and more, I realized how valuable these tips actually are. Here are my top 3 favorite tips listed:

  • Buy a home near a Starbucks
  • Don't renovate your kitchen to increase the value of your house
  • NEVER use the word "unique" in a listing

So let's start with the first one: Buy a home near a Starbucks? What? What does that have to with anything? I know home-buying and selling is all about location, location, location, but sheesh! It made a little more sense to me when it was said that "In the last 17 years, the average American home has appreciated 65%. But properties adjacent to a Starbucks have appreciated 96%." Still not good enough for you to believe? Houses within a quarter of a mile from a single Starbucks location appreciated 21% in the last five years compared to those farther away at 17%. What it seems to me is like residents prefer having a high-end coffee shop conveniently located within walking distance from their own home. I guess that $5 cup of coffee really is that important after all.

Secondly, I thought renovations (especially in the kitchen) helped to directly increase the value of a home? As written in the book, Humphries found that
 for every dollar spent on a kitchen renovation, only 50 cents of that dollar help to increase the value of a home. Although strange at first, I quickly understood that only relatively moderate renovations are really necessary in kitchen updates (ie, appliances, hardware, etc.). Anything other than that is cosmetic, and only the current home owners are really going to appreciate the built-in wine rack above the granite counter top while new, potential buyers may not even like wine, making that a useless investment because some buyers would never want it.

Lastly, avoiding the word "unique" in a listing description was new one for me. Humphries found that homes with that word in their description can, in some cases, make the home sell for up to 50% less than originally asked for. Why? The article states because "unique" tends to be code for "this house requires a lot of work." Makes sense, I suppose. But what if a home really is unique in its design and architecture? After reading this, I guess it's better to stick to terms like: custom-designed, original, and charismatic.

You can read this article in its entirety over here.
Posted by Matthew Vassallo on April 9th, 2015 2:48 PM



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