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Why You Should Buy a Home in Early 2017!

by Mary Jean Agostini

The new year is upon us! It is time to sit down and set those New Year's resolutions for 2017. If buying a new home makes it onto your list of resolutions, the time to act on it is right a way in the New Year! 


2016 saw many positive real estate trends. Consumer confidence has risen. Home values throughout much of the nation has increased. At the same time, we have seen the inventory of homes decrease and mortgage rates are higher. Both of these factors show no signs of changing in 2017. Mortgage payments are currently 3% higher than they were last year.  Although this is still manageable for most, it is expected that payments will increase an additional 9% as we progress throughout the New Year! And, although low inventory has been a factor for many years, the emergence of new buyers and an increased sense of urgency has caused the inventory to reach an all time low.

 

What does this mean for you as a home buyer in 2017? Don't despair! In order to achieve your home buying resolution, we recommend buying a home early in the year. This will allow you to lock in the lower mortgage rates before they rise. In addition, you will have less competition from other buyers since January and February are slow real estate months. Inventory of homes is also not much lower than it is in the spring, which gives you plenty of options to pick from. 

 

Start your home hunt today! If you are interested in Buying a home in Central or Shoreline Connecticut during 2017, the MJ Agostini Real Estate Team is here to help you work towards your resolution! Give us a call today or visit our website at http://www.mjagostini.com/ to get a jump start today!


Source: Realtor.com

Merry Christmas from MJ Agostini Real Estate

by Mary Jean Agostini

Jingle bells are filling the air! Christmas has finally arrived! This weekend will be filled with delicious food, festive cheer, colorful gifts, and time with family and friends! It is also time to celebrate the end of the year and reflect on all there is to be thankful for. Here at MJ Agostini Real Estate, we would love to say THANK YOU to all of our past and current clients for giving us the opportunity to help you with all your real estate needs this year!

 

Our team feels very blessed to help serve Central and Shoreline Connecticut Communities. We love our towns and helping people discover why they are such incredible communities to call home! 

 

The new year often brings about new changes. If you are interested in buying and selling your Connecticut home in 2017, our team would love to assist you along the way! Contact our team today so that we can help you reach all your real estate goals!

 

We Wish You a Very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
 

Why Now is Not the Time to Rent!

by Mary Jean Agostini

Have you been wondering whether or not to renew your lease or make the plunge to buy a new home? Well, it is important to know that now is NOT a good time to rent! According to the third quarter median rent numbers released by the Census Bureau, rent has been increasing since 1988 and does not show any signs of going down in the future.

 

When Is a Good Time to Rent? Not Now! | Simplifying The Market

It is the time to consider buying your own home and having regular monthly payments towards a mortgage as opposed to being faced with increasing rent costs! If you are interested in seeing if you can afford your own home, contact me today! I am happy to help you find your dream home!

 

Source: Keeping Current Matters

 

 

Why Are Mortgage Interest Rates Increasing?

by Mary Jean Agostini

According to Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey, the 30-year fixed rate mortgage interest rate jumped up to 3.94% last week. Interest rates had been hovering around 3.5% since June, and many are wondering why there has been such a significant increase so quickly.

 

Why did rates go up?

 

Whenever there is a presidential election, there is uncertainty in the markets as to who will win. One way that this is noticeable is through the actions of investors. As we get closer to the first Tuesday of November, many investors pull their funds from the more volatile and less predictive stock market and instead, choose to invest in Treasury Bonds.

 

When this happens, the interest rate on Treasury Bonds does not have to be as high to entice investors to buy them, so interest rates go down.  Once the elections are over and a President has been elected, investors return to the stock market and other investments, leaving the Treasury to raise rates to make bonds more attractive again.

 

Simply put, the better the economy, the higher interest rates will go. For a more detailed explanation of the many factors that contribute to whether interest rates go up or down, you can follow this link to Investopedia.

 

The Good News

 

Even though rates are closer to 4% than they have been in nearly 6 months, they are still slightly below where we started 2016, at 3.97%.

 

The great news is that even at 4%, rates are still significantly lower than they have been over the last 4 decades, as you can see in the chart below.

Why Are Mortgage Interest Rates Increasing? | MyKCM

Any increase in interest rate will impact your monthly housing costs when you secure a mortgage to buy your home. A recent Wall Street Journal article points out that, “While still only roughly half the average over the past 45 years, according to Freddie Mac, the quick rise has lenders worried that home loans could become more expensive far sooner than anticipated.”

 

Tom Simons, a Senior Economist at Jefferies LLC, touched on another possible outcome for higher rates:

 

“First-time buyers look at the monthly total, at what they can afford, so if the mortgage is eaten up by a higher interest expense then there’s less left over for price, for the principal. Buyers will be shopping in a lower price bracket; thus demand could shift a bit.”

 

Bottom Line

 

Interest rates are impacted by many factors, and even though they have increased recently, rates would have to reach 9.1% for renting to be cheaper than buying. Rates haven’t been that high since January of 1995, according to Freddie Mac.

 
 

Source: Keeping Current Matters

 

 

A Lack of Listings Remains 'Huge' Challenge in the Market

by Mary Jean Agostini

The housing crisis is finally in the rearview mirror as the real estate market moves down the road to a complete recovery. Home values are up, home sales are up, and distressed sales (foreclosures & short sales) are at their lowest mark in over 8 years. This has been, and will continue to be, a great year for real estate.

 

However, there is one thing that may cause the industry to tap the brakes: a lack of housing inventory. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), buyer traffic and demand continues to be the strongest it has been in years. The supply of homes for sale has not kept up with this demand and has driven prices up in many areas as buyers compete for their dream home.

 

Traditionally, the winter months create a natural slowdown in the market. Jonathan Smoke, Chief Economist at realtor.com, points to low interest rates as one of the many reasons why buyers are still out in force looking for a home of their own.

 

“Overall, the fundamental trends we have been seeing all year remain solidly in place as we enter the traditionally slower sales season, and pent-up demand remains substantial as buyers seek to get a home under contract while rates remain so low.”

 

NAR’s Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun, points out that the inventory shortage we are currently experiencing isn’t a new challenge by any means:

 

"Inventory has been extremely tight all year and is unlikely to improve now that the seasonal decline in listings is about to kick in. Unfortunately, there won't be much relief from new home construction, which continues to be grossly inadequate in relation to demand."

 

Bottom Line

Healthy labor markets and job growth have created more and more buyers who are not just ready and willing to buy but are also able to. If you are debating whether or not to put your home on the market this year, now is the time to take advantage of the demand in the market.

 

Source: Keeping Current Matters

 

 

 

NAR Reports Show Now Is a Great Time to Sell!

by Mary Jean Agostini

We all realize that the best time to sell anything is when demand is high and the supply of that item is limited. The last two major reports issued by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) revealed information that suggests that now continues to be a great time to sell your house.

Let’s look at the data covered by the latest Pending Home Sales Report and Existing Home Sales Report.

THE PENDING HOME SALES REPORT

The report announced that pending home sales (homes going into contract) are up 2.4% over last year, and have increased year-over-year now for 22 of the last 25 consecutive months.

Lawrence Yun, NAR’s Chief Economist, had this to say:

"The one major predicament in the housing market is without a doubt the painfully low levels of housing inventory in much of the country. It's leading to home prices outpacing wages, properties selling a lot quicker than a year ago and the home search for many prospective buyers being highly competitive and drawn out because of a shortage of listings at affordable prices."

Takeaway: Demand for housing will continue throughout the end of 2016 and into 2017. The seasonal slowdown often felt in the winter months did not occur last winter and shows no signs of returning this year.

THE EXISTING HOME SALES REPORT

The most important data point revealed in the report was not sales, but was instead the inventory of homes for sale (supply). The report explained:

  • Total housing inventory rose 1.5% to 2.04 million homes available for sale

  • That represents a 4.5-month supply at the current sales pace

  • Unsold inventory is 6.8% lower than a year ago, marking the 16th consecutive month with year-over-year declines

There were two more interesting comments made by Yun in the report:

"Inventory has been extremely tight all year and is unlikely to improve now that the seasonal decline in listings is about to kick in. Unfortunately, there won't be much relief from new home construction, which continues to be grossly inadequate in relation to demand."

In real estate, there is a guideline that often applies; when there is less than a 6-month supply of inventory available, we are in a seller’s market and we will see appreciation. Between 6-7 months is a neutral market, where prices will increase at the rate of inflation. More than a 7-month supply means we are in a buyer’s market and should expect depreciation in home values. As Yun notes, we are, and will remain, in a seller’s market with prices still increasing unless more listings come to the market.

"There's hope the leap in sales to first-time buyers can stick through the rest of the year and into next spring. The market fundamentals — primarily consistent job gains and affordable mortgage rates — are there for the steady rise in first-timers needed to finally reverse the decline in the homeownership rate."

Takeaway: Inventory of homes for sale is still well below the 6-month supply needed for a normal market. Prices will continue to rise if a ‘sizable’ supply does not enter the market.

Bottom Line

If you are going to sell, now may be the time to take advantage of the ready, willing, and able buyers that are still out looking for your house.

 
 

Source: Keeping Current Matters

 

 

Top 10 Home Maintenance Tips for Your Central Connecticut Home

by Mary Jean Agostini

 

 

Berlin High School Varsity Sports Going Strong!

by Mary Jean Agostini

The Berlin community takes great pride in the academic and athletic excellence that are displayed everyday by the students at Berlin High SchoolWe love to cheer on the Redcoats as they compete every week. Although the seasons are coming to an end, there are still plenty of chances to watch these students in action. Here is a list of the upcoming games and meets for the varsity sports teams at Berlin High School.

 

Redcoats Football

Current Record: 5-1

Upcoming Games

Friday, October 28th at 6:30 pm - vs. Plainville - HOME at Sage Park - Scalise Field

Friday, November 4th at 6:30 pm - vs. Tolland - AWAY at Tolland High School

Friday, November 11th at 6:30 pm - vs. Rocky Hill - HOME at Sage Park - Scalise Field

Friday, November 18th at 6:30 pm vs. New Britain - HOME at Sage Park - Scalise Field

 

Boys Cross Country and Girls Cross Country

Upcoming Meets

Saturday, October 29th at TBD - Class MM Championships - AWAY at Wickham Park

Friday, November 11th at TBD - State Open - AWAY at Wickham Park

 

Boys Soccer

Current Record: 8-2-3

Upcoming Games

Tuesday, October 25th at 3:45 pm vs. Bristol Central - AWAY at Bristol Central High School

Friday, October 28th at 6:30 pm vs. Weathersfield - AWAY at Cottone Field at WHS

Tuesday, November 1st at 6:00 pm vs. Plainville - HOME at Sage Park - Scalise Field

 

Girls Soccer

Current Record: 9-4

Upcoming Games

Thursday, October 27th at 6:00 pm - vs. Wethersfield - HOME at Sage Park - Scalise Field

Tuesday, November 1st at 6:00 pm - vs. Plainville - AWAY at Tinty Field and Track

 

Girls Swimming & Diving

Upcoming Meets

Tuesday, October 25th at 6:30 pm vs. Southington - HOME at Plainville High School

Wednesday, November 2nd at 5:00 pm CCC Diving Championships - AWAY at Miss Porter’s School

Thursday, November 3rd at 3:30 pm CCC Swimming Championships - AWAY at Cornerstone

 

Girls Volleyball

Current Record: 7-10

Upcoming Games

Wednesday, October 26th at 6:00 pm vs. Plainville - HOME at BHS A-Gym

Thursday, October 27th at 5:30 pm vs. Windsor - HOME at BHS A-Gym

 

 

Good Luck to All of Berlin High School's Varsity Sports Teams!!

 
 

GET YOUR SCARE ON! Halloween Events with Connecticut Landmarks!

by Mary Jean Agostini

It is that spook-tacular time of here! Halloween is just around the corner! With so many Historic Homes sites located throughout central Connecticut, it is easy to get in the spirit of the season. Check out these great Halloween activities through Connecticut Landmarks  going on through the end of the month!

 

Under the Harvest Moon

Date: Saturday, October 22nd

Time: 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Location: Bellamy-Ferriday House and Garden (9 Main Street North, Bethlehem)

Cost: $5 per person, Free for children 4 and under

Enjoy an afternoon full of fun fall activities at Bellamy-Ferriday House and Garden. There will be live music by Allen and Ian Johnson, a pumpkin painting contest, bounce house, temporary tattoos, children’s activities, and so much more! Starting at 2:30 pm, check out the Birds of Prey Program as rehabilitated injured or orphaned birds are showcased. There will also be a raffle with tickets at $2 a piece.

 

 

Hempsted Halloween

Date: Saturday, October 22nd

Time: 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Location: Hempsted Houses (11 Hempstead St, New London)

Cost: FREE

Hear spooky stories from the ghosts of New Londeners! See if you are brave enough to talk to them!

 

Grave Yard Tour

Date: Saturday, October 22nd

Time: 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Location: Nathan Hale Homestead (2299 South Street, Coventry)

Cost: $20 per person, $15 per Connecticut Landmark members

Go on a proper ghost hunt during this grave yard tour at Coventry’s Historic Cemetary. Led by the Seaside Shadows founder, you will use EMF detectors and spirit box communication equipment to interact with the ghosts on site. Reservations are required for this event. Be sure to call (860) 742-6917 or email hale@ctlandmarks.org to reserve your spot today!

Things That Go Bump In The Night

Dates: Friday, October 28th and Saturday, October 29th

Time: 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Location: Nathan Hale Homestead (2299 South Street, Coventry)

Cost: $25 per person, $20 per Connecticut Landmark members

On a special candlelight tour, you will be led from room to room until you reach the spooky attic. Hear ghost stories from the Homestead. There will be refreshments served. Be sure to reserve your spot today. Register by calling (860) 742-6917 or emailing hale@ctlandmarks.org.

Exciting New Development Planned for Downtown New Britain

by Mary Jean Agostini

The upcoming downtown Columbus Commons Development project is about to make the city of New Britain even better! All 15 Aldermen on the city’s Common Council have approved the sale of the 3 acres of land located at 125 Columbus Boulevard in downtown New Britain for a future $55 million mixed-use development project. This development project will bring exciting new retail and residential options to the central business district in town and should spark future growth in the area. It will be the largest retail and residential construction project that has occurred downtown in several years.

 

Although still in the early stages of development, there are big things planned for the development, known as Columbus Commons. This urban style development will include retail and residential units within its 230,000 square feet of space. There will be two 6-story buildings on the property. The first floors will include spaces for retailers, restaurants, and offices, covering 20,000 square feet. It is unknown as of yet how this space will be divided up but the developers are hoping that the future tenants will cater to the younger, modern crowd by offering services that they need and desire. Above the retail space, the buildings will house 160 apartment units. These units will be a mix of market rate apartments and “workforce” housing, for those residents who earn within a specific income. Between the two buildings will be an interior courtyard, with access to the retail spaces surrounding it. Within the site, there are also plans for plenty of green spaces, ensuring that the development adds aesthetic charm to the area.

 

The developers of the project are hoping to break ground for Columbus Commons in about a year. This will depend on funding for the project. The developers are planning on applying for grants through the Department of Economic and Community Development, federal tax credits, Department of Housing flex funds, and finding additional sources of funding. It is hoped that all construction and the leasing of the spaces will be complete within 5 years.

This downtown project will bring local economic development to the community and allow residents to have access to even more amazing amenities. With beautiful outdoor spaces, great retailers, new housing options and more, downtown New Britain will be another reason to call this community home.


If you are interested in Buying your dream home in New Britain, give MJ Agostini Real Estate a call today or visit our website at http://www.mjagostini.com/.

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