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The Pingry II – One of our most popular New England colonial plans with 2,200 square feet of fabulous living space located at 166 Haymeadow Lane.

Hardwood floors throughout first floor, spacious kitchen/dining area open to front/back family room with vaulted ceiling and gas fireplace with granite surround, formal dining room and living room or study on first level.

Huge master bedroom suite, upgraded maple kitchen and baths with granite, stainless Whirlpool appliances, ceramic tile, two zone economic gas heat with humidifier.

One acre wooded level lot on country cul-de-sac in Ayer’s premier neighborhood, Pingry Hill.

Learn more here.

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homebuying

NPR ran an article last week regarding the recovery of the housing market. Very interesting and we wanted to share! Read the original NPR article here.

A slew of new numbers at the start of spring home buying season shows the housing recovery is in full swing.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Spring has arrived and with it, the usual pick-up in the pace of the housing market, but good luck finding a home to buy. Housing inventory, the number of houses actually for sale, is low in many parts of the country and very low in the West. Generally speaking, that’s good news for the economy because it’s pushing prices up. Here’s NPR’s Yuki Noguchi.

YUKI NOGUCHI, BYLINE: Errol Samuelson spends a lot of time staring at housing numbers.

ERROL SAMUELSON: So it’s really interesting. Some of these markets which were so hard hit, when the bubble burst, are now just roaring back.

NOGUCHI: Samuelson is president of Realtor.com. He says nationally, inventory is 16 percent below where it was last year. But that’s an average. There are some markets, especially in California, where it’s not uncommon for supply to be down 60 percent. And, he says, there are both good and bad reasons for the lack of homes on the market.

On the positive side…

SAMUELSON: That distressed inventory is now gone.

NOGUCHI: A less promising reason is that about a fifth of all homeowners still owe more than their home is worth. Another is that many builders aren’t building or can’t build. This week, the National Association of Homebuilders said builder confidence is slipping as the cost of building materials increases and there’s little developed land to build on.

Samuelson says that means there’s not as many new homes coming to market.

SAMUELSON: Every step of the chain downsized in the last six years and I think this recovery has happened so much more quickly than people expected that everyone’s sort of been caught, you know, when the light’s turned on.

NOGUCHI: New data out today from the National Association of Realtors underscores how few homes are for sale. It’s the primary reason home prices are increasing rapidly in many markets. Lawrence Yun is chief economist for the Association. He says last year, investors, including private equity groups, snapped up many distressed properties.

This year, with improvements in both the job and stock markets, regular buyers are also coming back in large numbers.

LAWRENCE YUN: And that will provide a significant boost in consumer spending.

NOGUCHI: Specifically, he expects a wealth effect from all the extra spending on furniture, moving services and other housing-related expenditures will reach $100 billion this year, enough to offset the federal spending cuts from the sequester. But Yun says, not all parts of the housing economy are moving in tandem, namely new supply is not coming on fast enough.

YUN: Naturally, a very low inventory, you want to produce more, restock that inventory. The builders, small-time builders are not doing that.

NOGUCHI: He says the increase in new housing construction is happening almost exclusively among the biggest builders, companies that have access to capital from the public markets. Small builders, which rely more heavily on local community banks, are still having trouble getting construction loans. Ed Harrison is president of a small builder in Ovilla, Texas.

ED HARRISON: It would be almost impossible for a new builder to come out and get a loan.

NOGUCHI: Harrison says after the housing bust, Harrison Homes changed its business model to build fewer, more expensive homes and not to rely on bank loans.

HARRISON: Since ’08 we have almost stopped doing any speculative housing with any type of loans. We do it out of our pocket. When we do it, we just bankroll it ourselves.

NOGUCHI: With the new Dodd-Frank banking regulations and increased costs to small businesses, Harrison says, it just makes sense to stay small.

Yuki Noguchi, NPR News, Washington.

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Have you driven by lot 51 yet? It’s our latest plan, the Marisa with a hip roof! Why pay rent when you can buy this beautifully adorable home for less than $350,000? Over 1,800 SF, a huge kitchen and living area, stainless steel appliances, tile and hardwood, gas fireplace and central air conditioning are all standard in this home. It’s a great choice if you’re looking to buy and there’s still time to choose your selections for this one located on a gorgeous cul-de-sac lot!

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Well, here’s some good news: On Tuesday the Case-Shiller Index showed that June home prices in 20 U.S. cities were higher than a year ago, the first year-over-year gain since 2010, when a first-time homebuyer tax credit boosted sales. “The better comparison is probably December 2006—the last time prices were in positive territory excluding tax-credit-induced distortions,”Deutsche Bank (DB) economists wrote in a note on Tuesday morning.

The question is: Will prices hold or even grow in the fall? Or will they continue the market’s recent trend of what CoreLogic (CLGX)calls a “Sisyphean slide,” by which price decreases in the second half of the year erase any gains. In normal times, home prices often climb in the first half of the year, as families gear up to move and get settled before the school year starts, and then flatten in the later months, when there is less activity. For the past several years, though, prices have fallen in the second half of the year, in part because fewer homeowners were selling and low-priced foreclosures made up a bigger share of the market.

CoreLogic points that a few factors now work in favor of bucking the Sisyphean problem. In particular, rising home prices have reduced the number of borrowers who owe more than their home is worth, which has been a drag in getting non-distressed properties on the market and has discouraged potential buyers who are looking to move. When prices rose in the past few years, they were drowned out by foreclosures. This year foreclosures have been dropping, too. In July, there were 58,000 completed foreclosures in the U.S., down from 69,000 a year ago, according to CoreLogic. It attributed the decrease to banks doing more “alternative resolutions” such as short sales, which tend to fetch higher prices than foreclosures. Because it’s unlikely that foreclosures will again flood the market, CoreLogic thinks demand will be sufficient to meet any increases in supply without hurting prices.

That’s not to say there aren’t headwinds. Unemployment is still high and consumer confidence is trending down. Moreover, investors have been a powerful force in bumping up prices, accounting for more than a quarter of all homes sold in May. Prices have now increased so much that some are bowing out, according to Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance HousingPulse Tracking Survey. Investors accounted for fewer than 22 percent of sales in July, diminishing their role in propping up prices. The market will depend on regular consumers to make up for declining investor demand. If everyday buyers step in and prices hold, we’ll need to find a new Greek myth. That of Sisyphus will no longer apply.