Refinancing – don’t make just the minimum payment

You’ve heard the ads: refinance now and save hundreds, even thousands, of dollars a year.

And it’s true. Let’s take as an example somebody who took out a $300,000 mortgage in the summer of 2009 at 5%. Principal and Interest (P&I) payments would be $1,610 per month. Suppose she now refis at 3.75% with no costs. The monthly payment would drop to $1,315, a saving of $295 per month, over $3,500 a year. Yippee!

The reason my website includes a mortgage calculator that shows the amortization table is to demonstrate just how expensive it is to borrow money over 30 years. It is rather like paying only the minimum on a credit card. In fact, a 30 year mortgage pays down just 3% of the principal in the first year. (more…)

Single Family Home Prices – are they up or down?

Sales are up and returning to normal levels (see last 2 blogs).
But what about prices?

The median price of SFHs in Marblehead bottomed in the first half of 2009. Since then the median price for each 6 month period has gone up compared with the same period the year before – until 2012. In the first half of this year the median price declined 11%. 11%!!!!

How can this be when almost daily we hear reports that prices have shown year on year increases across the country, while in Massachusetts areas such as Brookline and Weston (quite nice, but where’s the ocean?) have reached all-time highs. (more…)

200th SFH sold today

Sales of Single Family Homes have reached 200 for the year for the first time since 2007. Good news.

Countdown to 200 home sales

Much like the New Year’s Eve  Ball Drop countdown in Times Square (but with a billion or so fewer people watching), the countdown is on to reach 200 SFH sales for the first time since 2007, another sign of a market returning to normal.
Here is a table showing sales for the last 12 years with the date that the 200th sale was recorded (in the years when sales reached that level).

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Photo courtesy of Bart Snow

Photo courtesy of Bart Snow