3% down mortgages from Fannie Mae are back!

Fannie Mae has announced its new 3% down mortgage program for qualified first-time home buyers who “may not have the resources for a larger down payment.” (more…)

Winterize your garage to gain more space

“In New England people don’t use their garages for cars but for storage.” This was said recently by the selling agent when I was showing the house to a buyer.
How true!
But you don’t have to limit your garage to storage. (more…)

The cost of The Twelve Days of Christmas: geese are expensive this year

For 31 years PNC has compiled an index of the cost of all the items in “The Twelve Days of Christmas”.
As my Christmas shopping list did not include any Geese or Swans this year, while I clean forgot to order any Dancing Ladies or Leaping Lords from Amazon (would they have been included in my Prime subscription I wonder?) I am indebted to PNC for pricing information. (more…)

Falling oil prices should be good for real estate markets

This Economist article Why the oil price is falling explains the background to falling oil prices which should, in general, be good for the US economy next year and by extension good for the real estate market which, having largely recovered from the Great Recession, is now more dependent upon economic growth for continued gains.

The table below shows forecasts from IHS Global Insight for the US economy in 2015 at different average oil prices: (more…)

Housing market in “early stages of recovery”

Two public house-building companies released strongly optimistic comments about the future of the housing market this week. (more…)

What Jon Lester can afford to buy in Chicago

While Jon Lester’s sale of his Newton home Why Jon Lester may not be returning to the Rex Sox did not necessarily indicate that he would not be coming back to the Red Sox, he is in fact going to Chicago. For $155 million for 6 years.

Which raises the question, obviously, of where he will live. (more…)

Check carefully before you buy that Greek Island

While, in the words of the Wall Street Journal, buying a Greek Island “drenched in sunshine and surrounded by turquoise water”may be the ultimate property dream, there are a few pitfalls of which buyers need to be aware. (more…)

Carnegie Hall comes to Marblehead

As part of this weekend’s Christmas Walk, the Old North Festival Chorus performs two concerts at Old North Church, 35 Washington Street, on Saturday at 8:00 pm and Sunday at 7:30 pm.

The Concerts, in their 34th year, feature a wide range of music, from Bach’s Magnificat to carols, in which the audience is invited to join in, with appearances from the Old North Bell Choir and the award-winning Old North Children’s Festival Chorus. Truly something for everybody and a joyous and memorable evening is guaranteed. (more…)