Monday, October 7, 2013

All that's left behind...

Looking back on this past weekend, I am full of emotion...sadness, wonder of the future, excitement, pride, and...well, joy!  You see, my oldest boy moved out of the family home, and into his very own first place. In anticipation of this, my wife made a few purchases, packed some things, laundered every last sock of his she could muster, made sure he had tissues and deodorant, made the brownies, and asked a million questions...did he change over the gas and electrical, did he get the right keys, where will he park, how far from the train, when will you food shop, will your friends be sleeping over?
Although she and I meant well, it seemed that with every question, he was even more anxious to start his life, where he could be the one to ask the questions, and could fall and soar on his own.

Our home is already different.  A new energy, a quieter place, a less hectic place...all that will take a bit to get used to.  My younger son will miss his big brother...the hardest part for me.  I am however enjoying already more space in the garage, less "stuff" left around, the fact that lights are shut off when nobody is in the room, and being able to lock up for the night without waiting for him to come in...I guess it's the little things!

Yesterday, my wife and I began to clean his room.  It occurred to me that he took everything he wanted, and left everything his didn't.  We looked around the room and my wife said "he is completely unsentimental."  He left behind things that WE treasure, but that he must see as dust collectors.  Do we toss this stuff, or save it?  Well, our head said to toss it, but as often the outcome in this type of question, our hearts won!  We packed posters, Reading Rocket jackets, what once were his favorite books, his cap and gown, his college football jersey, even dried out roses he wore on prom night.  The attic just got a little smaller.

In my business, I see so often those families who sell a parents house after an illness or death.  One of their first questions is "who can I call to come clean out this attic?"  So, while I was trucking things to my attic, I wondered if these items will one day be opened and admired, and will serve as a provoker of great memories, or if they will be seen as a burden.  I would like to think that my wife is correct in thinking that he will one day be sentimental, and will appreciate the fact that we saved his things.

I remember being on my own for the first time...lets face's a FANTASTIC time in life, so ok...maybe his 6th grade book report wasn't first on his list, but some day, if nothing else, even if and when HE throws all this stuff out, it will serve as a reminder to him that he means the world to us, and that saving those things helps US remember, and will keep him as our little boy for just a little longer.


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Not going feet first...

In the course of just one day, I can go from visiting my elderly parents in the very house I grew up in, to listing a large home where the seller is a 50 something like me, looking to down size, and seek a change in life style.
It seems our parents had a secret goal to stay in their big, single family home for 50 years or more.  They have more tolerance for lawns that nobody steps foot on, and giant trees that constantly need trimming, and general up keep that never seems to end.  Or...they are more afraid of change.  The older they get, the more set in their ways they become.  Afternoons spent watching Gun Smoke re-runs, and dead-heading the geraniums apparently is fulfilling enough, so...status quo it is.  My folks, like many their age (late 80's) say "you're gonna have to drag me out feet first!"  With this, I'm finding I worry more about them...can they keep up with the demands of this property?  Are they alone too much?  If Mom should fall...again, can my hard of hearing Dad hear her call for him?
There are places today where older folks, with over-all good general health can live, where an eye is kept on them around the them a life with more human interaction, balanced meals, and immediate medical attention when they need it.  And for their children...peace of mind!  No matter how my sisters and I try, along with the rest of a large, close family...we can not give them all they need, and worse...all that they WANT.

Alternatively, I see couples looking for a townhouse, while in their 50's, rather than duplicating the lives of their parents.  The thought of a Lazy-Boy recliner, and dinner at 4:15 has them packing up sooner than ever.  These clients are having me put the sign up the minute Little Johnny or Susie head to college.  They are OUT-A-HERE!  Some go to live it up in the city, while others may head to the coast...or, some stay in town, but give up 3000sf for 1500sf or less...and with no yard!  They wish to travel, dine out, socialize, entertain, and just not be tied down to home maintenance.

I think too, a lot of the reason people are selling younger is so that they will be less reliant on their children, the way ours rely so heavily on us.  We either don't want to impose on their lives, or...perhaps we are not as confident that our kids will be there for us, the way we are for ours.

Whatever the case, less space and less stuff can mean more freedom, more excitement, more opportunity to explore what life has to offer.

There will always be a 30 something who can't wait to mow the lawn, clean the gutters, and trim those unruly, if YOU'RE looking for a lifestyle change, let me show you what lies beyond the cul-de-sac!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Where have all the houses gone?

As the new year approaches, I hope all of you had enjoyable holidays.  Come this time every year, I am wrapping up sales from a few months ago, and looking forward to what the new year will bring.  By all accounts, it should be a good year in real estate.  There are reports that home prices have risen as much as 4.5%, which is the largest increase in years.  What do you think is the leading cause for this?  When I have asked this question of my friends and family over the last few weeks, the most common response has been "the low interest rates!"  Well, that has has something to do with it, but...the main reason is that of low, low inventory.  Like anything, when supply is low, and demand is that would ordinarily be challenging to sell, tend to sell, and for top dollar.  I have recently watched a few of my listing which were considered HOT houses to receive multiple offers and sell well ABOVE the listing price.
Lesson here...if you are waiting till the spring market to sell you home, with the common belief that homes show better in spring, buyers are plentiful in spring, and therefore you will sell faster and for more money...wait no more!  Inventory swells in the spring, due to this common belief, and as a result, homes can take longer to sell, and for LESS money.  January through March is traditionally an excellent market for sellers...2013 will certainly be no different.  Skeptical?  If so, I am happy to put you in touch with my clients from years past who are now "total believers!"  I will never forget a few years ago, when all it did was snow!  I had the FOR SALE sign installed in a snow bank at a NEW listing, rather than in the ground, as we literally could not get to it.  The sellers thought they would never sell, but trusted me.  In a few days, I had that house under contract...for the FULL asking price!
If you are thinking of selling...NOW is the time to call me.  If you want top dollar...the right broker, the right exposure, plus the right time all add up to be the IDEAL combination for SUCCESS!  Lets talk anytime...781-290-RICK (7425),
As always, I look forward to hearing from you!
Wishing you and yours a Happy and Healthy New Year!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I'm baaaaaack!

Well, here we sure has been a while.  Me, I figured nobody was reading, so...I took a 3 to 4  year break on writing.  But...I have a new website, and thought it was time to get back out, here I am.  Happy to be with you.  You know, back in the day, we had none of this...all I had was a car, a phone, and a dream...that's right, and I STILL sold a lot of houses!  Now, I still sell lot's of house, but also have to spend half my life texting, e-mailing, uploading, or downloading,'s, and trying to keep up with all of you.  I am very happy with my new site ( and hope you will like it too.  Please take a look, and provide me with any feedback you might have...I will welcome it.
Along with the new site, I thought it was time to re-spark the Blog.  I hope to provide you with interesting tid-bits pertaining to real estate, auctions, and sometimes just daily life.  I will give you the good, the bad and the funny!
If there are topics you would like for me touch on...please feel free to let me know.
In the mean-time, I do thank you for checking in, and will look forward to conversing with you as we go along. So many of you have always supported me, and I hope you will continue to do so, for without you...where would I be?  I hate to even think about it.
Thank you, thank you, thank you...and in case I forgot to thank you...let me say "thank you!"

Monday, November 16, 2009

Rumor has it...

If you are watching the morning, or the evening news, you are made to think that there are WAAAAAY to many houses on the market, and NONE are selling. WRONG!! All Real Estate is local, and although the national picture as a whole may not be that great, local real estate is flying off the shelves in some cases. In my market area, if you have a nice property, under 450,000, it can be gone in days.

Now, this does not mean that you do not need to continue putting your best foot forward. Buyers are still selective, as they should be, and need to see "value" in your property. Right now, inventory is so low, that the frustration of buyers, and Realtors working with buyers is there is nothing out there for them to buy. With the extension of the tax credit, some of the pressure if off to "buy now," but the fact remains, there are buyers who want, and NEED to buy now. Interest rates are at historic lows. Combine that with leveling prices (after a decline) and a potential tax credit and you have the BEST conditions in decades in which to buy a home.

Sadly, not everyone is in a position to take advantage of the current market conditions. Unemployment, compromised credit, and tightening borrowing requirements will bump some folks out right now. For those, use this time to rebuild your credit, and look to the future for the time when you will be able to buy. Home ownership, even with the recent horror stories, in my opinion remains the American Dream, and makes smart business sense in the long run.

Sellers, if you have been waiting to list your home for fear that it will not sell...fear no more. With proper staging, pricing, marketing and negotiating, this is a great time to sell. You may even find multiple buyers fighting for your property... which drives the price way up.

When selling or buying real estate, always consult with a team of trusted professionals. Choose the right Realtor, home inspector, lender, and attorney. Shop around, ask questions. In the end, it is this team that makes your dream a reality.

I am always available to respond to your questions or comments, and I invite you to contact me at

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

If you have forever, buy a "short sale."

Let's face it, every buyer is hoping to get "a deal" when looking to buy real estate. These days, one might find that deal of a century in a "short sale." Sounds like a good idea, but...there are pit falls. In brief, a "short sale" is a property that is on the market where the home owner, or seller, is not the party that is able to respond to your offer to purchase, but rather is the job of the sellers lender. In this situation, the property is "selling" for LESS than what the seller owes on it. You may see these words on such a listing..."subject to third party approval."

On its face, this does not seem like it would be a problem, for you the buyer, but rather would seem like a great opportunity to purchase a home at a good price. Generally, these listing are priced aggressively, so that they sell quickly. Most times, a buyer, or many buyers are sought quickly, but the problem is...the lender takes FOREVER to respond to these offers. I am currently representing a seller, where since January I have had multiple offers, but still have not received a response from the lender. Some buyers have withdrawn their offers because they simply could not wait. They missed out on other homes, and in some instances, they have sold a home, and need to buy something within a certain time frame, and simply could not wait it out.

If you have the ability and the patience to wait, the end result could be a VERY GOOD buy for you. I am also representing a buyer right now who is renting, and can wait. They have put an offer on a property that if accepted, will be the buy of a might just work out for them. It could work out for you too if you are in the right position, and know what you are getting into.

The thing that amazes me in all of this, is that you would think that the lenders would respond fast in this situation. Here they have a seller who has not made a mortgage payment in months, and the more time that goes by, the more they are losing. Isn't 3/4 of a pie better than no pie? They could get their money, and put it to work for them in another way to help cut their loss.

I have a lot of respect for folks who find themselves in this difficult position...some people just pack up and move, and let a house go to foreclosure. It takes a lot of time, pride, and stress to pull off a "short sale." These sellers leave with ZERO money, but they have their pride and dignity for having done all that they can do during this difficult time. Most times, it is not even their fault...the banks in many cases gave them WAY more money than the house was ever worth, making it impossible for them to ever re-pay the loan...C'mon lenders, everyone is putting their best foot forward, you should too. We are dealing with people, not just papers and money.

If you would like more information on "short sales," please contact me, and I will be happy to discuss it with you. You can e-mail me at

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Show it, don't blow it!

If you are thinking of selling your home, and you haven't heard...the market is a bit challenging, although improving from months past. There are things you NEED to do before putting your house out there for the world to see. After selecting a GREAT agent to represent you, be sure that this GREAT agent assists you in preparing your house for Sale. Your home is now a can you best package that product so that it will appeal to the majority of buyers?

Some just don't get it. I mean, you all want top dollar, you want it sold fast, yet, you do nothing to aid in making sure that happens. A GREAT agent will be honest with you, and will tactfully tell you to get rid of the extra clutter, paint the den, rip up the old rugs, trim the bushes, plant some flowers, fix the leak, and everything else you need to do. Buyers are out there comparing YOUR home, to the many others that are available. Dirt and clutter do not sell.

If I appear a little harsh, it is because today I noticed 3 houses on the market, in the same neighborhood, that are all listed for well over 1 million dollars! Are they kidding? One has 12 rooms, all painted in horrific colors, and decorated like a dorm room. The other is so cold, you need a sweater in July, with its what seems like miles of dated floor tile, and the last looks like it's furnishings are right out of the Vatican. Trust me...nobody wants to see little Franky's 2 foot by 3 foot communion picture, with the touched up Rosie cheeks from 1969 hung over the fireplace! People, you want OVER 1 MILLION DOLLARS! Where are your Brokers? Did they flatter you and tell you everything is perfect just to get the listing? 6 months from now, and 6 price reductions later, these sellers will have wished that someone was HONEST with them.

Remember, if you smell it, you will not sell it...If it is cluttered and dirty, get comfortable, you are NOT moving anytime soon. So please, if you want to sell, and you want to maximize your property's value, remember that you have ONE shot to leave a good first get ready to SHOW IT, so that you DON"T BLOW IT!