Archive for Rockport

March Madness 2013 in Real Estate

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It’s no secret at a certain price point ( under $400k)  in many Essex county communities (Gloucester, Rockport, Beverly, Danvers, Salem, Essex, Ipswich and Peabody), buying a home  has become quite  competitive.  Purchasing real estate in 2013 has its own  level of “March Madness“. There are 20, 40 or 60+ people viewing well priced properties at open house(s). There are multiple offers and yes people are paying above asking price. Every house? No, just  homes priced appropriately for their age, condition, location and size. Buyers are not offering crazy amounts of money because we all know at the end of the day it must appraise, since most purchases are contingent on buyers receiving a mortgage.

So what will tip the scales in the favor of your offer being accepted, if you are a buyer ? There are four practices I use with consistent success when I know there is a  chance that there will be multiple offers.

1) View the house and make the offer ASAP. The early bird gets the worm. Yes it may be inconvenient and you may have to cancel a previous appointment to go view a house. Sorry, this is  about getting the house you want, not living a balanced life.

2) Offer asking price at a minimum. If you know potentially there will be multiple offers, forget about “stealing” a property. You like the house, you want it, now get it! Offer above asking to a level your agent or lender feels it will appraise at (and you are pre approved for).

3) Have your agent write the “magic letter”. People like to do business with people they know and like. Share with the buyers how much you like their house. Compliment them about their decorating or cleanliness. Find out what is motivating the sellers to sell and speak to that. Be real and be personal. Don’t laugh this works, I have had several clients achieve their home in a competitive situation because the sellers felt like they knew them and liked them after reading the “magic letter”.

4) Last but not least, always ask the sellers agent for a final and last opportunity to submit a final bid if there are multiple offers. Don’t assume that the list agent will automatically give everyone a chance to rebid; they may not. If a buyer does not want to offer more, they don’t have to, but at least they have the opportunity to make up their own mind about their final bid.

The “other” March Madness? All the way with Syracuse for me!



Condition, condition, condition is the new location, location, location

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Location, location location is the age old axiom of advice when purchasing real estate. It is still excellent advice.  But condition, condition, condition is definitely giving it a run for the money and I do mean money. Todays buyers are placing a premium on the condition of a property for many reasons:

1. Buyers may not have excess cash for renovations/updates.

2. Buyers can be overwhelmed by the thought of finding reputable contractors.

3. Buyers may not have the time and patience for home projects (general contracting).

4. Not all buyers have vision when renovations are required.

Todays buyers are placing a premium on the condition of the property. When sellers are preparing their home to go on the market I encourage them to “tie up all the loose ends”; no project or detail should be left undone. Clean as though there is no tomorrow if you want people to purchase your property at top dollar. People just plain like the way clean smells, never mind the way it looks!

Think about it this way if you are wondering what to do when preparing your home for sale.  A home is most people’s largest ever purchase; it requires most of us to be employed at a job in order to make this purchase possible. So to most buyers it doesn’t make sense to purchase a new home that is itself a “project” or a “job”.  At the end of the day, most people only want one job and not one they have to pay a mortgage on!  No they are not overlooking the location, but good condition, condition condition can be a very strong persuader and can overcome other objections a buyer may have.

Fireworks Schedules on the North Shore


Firework & Parade Schedules, North Shore MA

Fireworks Schedules

Locally, many communities on the North Shore schedule their fireworks and parades on July 3, 2011.  Did I just say parade?  Always a fabulous prelude to the fireworks, many of our local communities have Horribles Parades as well. What is a “Horribles Parade” you may ask? Well, it is pretty much a parade for the people by the people!!! It is usually humorous, the more unsophisticated the better, opinionated and features homemade floats and costumes. Those parade schedules are below as well.

July 3, Sunday

Gloucester – Horribles Parade starts @ High School 6PM  Fireworks over Harbor 9:30

Danvers – Fireworks Festival Plains Park 7PM (rides, music, kids games) Fireworks 9:30ish

Swampscott  & Lynn – Fireworks Kings Beach @dusk (rain date July 5)

July 4, Monday

Beverly FarmsHorribles Parade Hale St., starts @ Oak St.8AM  Fireworks West Beach @dusk

Marblehead – Horribles Parade 10AM  Waterfront Festival all day Fireworks 9PM

Rockport – Firemans Parade starts @ High School 6PM Band concert & bonfire 8PM Back Beach

Manchester -by- the Sea –  Independence Day Parade starts @ High School 9AM

Salem – Derby Wharf Kids Space 4PM, Music 5PM, Fireworks 9:15PM

Enjoy your Fireworks Schedule on the North Shore!


Dogtown anyone?

New off leash for us! Inland and off Cherry St., look for the Dogtown Common sign 100 yards from the Cape Ann Sportsman’s Club. There’s another entrance off Gee Ave. but we’ve yet to use it. Click for map.

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Running Rock Head

YouTube Preview ImageWhen you are a dog mom, one gets invitations to yards (byod-bring your own dog), or walks much more then homes! It was at one of these yards I learned the story of “Running Rock Head”.

Great art by great artists can be found in the most surprising places! Visiting a friends’ yard (yes on Cape Ann and no I can’t say where) for the first time, I was introduced to this very unique work of art, hidden behind her fence, “running” in the side of her yard. It is inspiring to look at and special in significance. The story how it came to be located there is at once intriguing and sad.

The artist, Joe Wheelwright is the intrigue. His art ranges from tree “sculptures” to traditional stone sculptures, all the way to cast bronze. His art is one of vision, imagination and execution. It is not so much the art of using materials to create an object, but more one of seeing a vision that people like myself can not see. He “liberates” this vision, from its’ encumbered natural existence into that of a piece of art. Now eligible to be seen, admired and enjoyed by mere mortals like you and me.

Tree figures he creates, are one piece of wood. Joe removes the unnecessary part of the tree to fit his vision. He then designs a wax feeder system that will channel the molten bronze around the tree form. The form is then enveloped in plaster. The plaster contains the bronze as it surrounds the tree form. When it cools post-casting, it is again heated in an oven. After the plaster is removed, he often creates a patina on the surface using a heat torch, chemicals and a brush. Joe often sculpts heads out of stone and frequently sees trees as forms having life energy apparent in arms and legs. It is so very fitting that in this sculpture he has used a rock as the head and the tree as the movement of the figure. His most common stone sculptures are heads and faces. Yet, his most plentiful tree sculptures are of the human body consisting of torso, arms and legs.

The sad part of the story: Running Rock Head came to reside at my friend’s house as a gift from a friend. It was received, post-mortem, after a tragic youthful death. It dances (in my eyes) or runs every day as a testament to a friend with way too much life to ever really die. Thank you dear friend and Joe Wheelwright for this gift of life. Both the artist, and the gift giver, are and were two truly exceptional people in life and in death.

Big News for 1st Time Home Buyers in MA

Big News For 1st Time Home Buyers

Gov. Patrick announced a new loan program, that allows first time home buyers to “monetize” the $8000 tax credit, to pay for closing costs.  It is only through the MassHousing mortgage program.  Payment of this loan is deferred until June 30, 2010, to allow homeowners  to repay MassHousing with their 2010 tax refund.

Simple, yet effective

I can’t believe how good the pictures are that my i phone takes! Patty

4th Annual Studio Potter and Student Show and Sale

A variety of pottery was presented at this show and sale.  Established potters such as Cynthia Curtis, Jayne Lacey, Susan Hershey, Lisa Vincent and Anni Melancon were shown as well as those of us who still consider ourselves their students.  Patty

Saba from Rockport

Saba is a very pretty labradoodle (sp.?) Who does not like cats, under any circumstances, and always tells them so! Patty