Monthly Archives: September 2010

How Low Will They Go?

Historically low interest rates

Historically low interest rates

The average national interest rates on a 30-year fixed rate home mortgage fell to 4.32% for the week ending Thursday, September 3rd, according to Freddie Mac.  Though this is a record bottom and rates have since risen, the question remains:  how low will they go?

It is clear that there is a strong focus on using the housing industry and mortgage interest rates to help spur the economy.  In the past year, the Fed has driven interest rates down to help homeowners refinance to lower their monthly housing expenses and to make homes more affordable for those looking to purchase.

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Trading Up In a Down Market

Trading up in a down market has several advantages.   William Raveis agent, Patty McCarthy, gives buyers solid reason to go for that bigger home in this market.  Check it out…


September 21, 2010

Carpe Diem

Carpe Diem.  If there are two words in Latin most people are familiar with, it’s these (especially those who had the pleasure of taking 3 years of Latin in high school, like yours truly).  Carpe Diem means–everyone say it with me–seize the day.  Generally speaking, this iconic phrase is meant to inspire a sense of purpose and gusto to those who feel like their lives have become just plain monotonous.  And to some, it does.  However, many of us are guilty of falling prey to the negativity of an irritating boss, financial troubles, a bad breakup or children who never stop crying.  As a result, we may miss out on many of life’s opportunities.  We need a dose of Carpe Diem.  But where to find the inspiration to bring this phrase to life?

Personally, I have become inspired by my co-worker and former President of William Raveis, Carolyn Deal, who overcame a battle with breast cancer. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women and the second leading cause of cancer death amongst women.  A staggering 1.5 million people will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year, states the American Cancer Society.  With statistics like these, you can understand the extreme mental stress a newly diagnosed patient endures.  And this is exactly how Carolyn felt when she was given the life-changing news.

Since everyone’s breast cancer experience is unique, asking other people for advice and doing research can sometimes be more overwhelming than helpful.  Carolyn explained that having someone to help map out all the steps to take when she was diagnosed would have been extremely beneficial.  So…and this is the inspiring part…after winning her breast cancer battle, she is now the President of the William Raveis Charitable Fund, which directly supports the William Raveis ACS Patient Navigator Program at the University of Connecticut Health Center and the Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Boston, MA.  This unique program helps newly diagnosed breast cancer patients “navigate” through the physical, emotional and financial challenges the disease presents.  Thanks to Carolyn’s leadership in garnering the support of our company, sales associates, staff and surrounding communities, nearly $1.3 million has been raised for this important breast cancer initiative.  And thanks to her and her team’s hard work, hundreds of breast cancer patients and their families will be assisted this year alone in CT and MA.

Starting on September 13th, William Raveis Real Estate, along with my wonderwoman co-worker, will be selling raffle tickets to raise funds for the Navigator Program.  Tickets will be sold until December 1st and a drawing will follow.  There are fabulous prizes to be won, such as an Amazon Kindle DX, a 50” Panasonic Plasma TV, diamond earrings and much more ……  In addition, you can make an online donation to the program here.

Carolyn has encouraged me to think twice about my everyday complaints, and sources of annoyance.  She seized every opportunity to take life’s challenges and make them her successes.  So next time you feel yourself about to utter an expletive because an email won’t come through fast enough, think of this story to put things in perspective.  Because who knows what tomorrow will bring.  Carpe Diem.

September 10, 2010

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle-Homes, Of Course

Reduce, reuse and recycle! The green movement is not just the latest fad in real estate – but the direction of the future.  It is all about environmentally friendly materials and energy efficiency.  This can include where and how a home is built,  the appliances and materials chosen and strategies for cutting water and energy waste.

Studies show that homebuyers are willing to pay MORE for an energy efficient home that minimizes harm to the environment and will save them money long-term.  Because of this, builders started going green to both increase their revenue and meet consumer demand.  The green movement has created a whole new network of green real estate professionals including green builders, green sales agents, green lenders, and green attorneys to name a few.

The tour below is a creative example of reusing materials.  The materials are from Boston’s Big Dig – a project to reroute the central artery through Boston into a tunnel below the city. Some of the finest steel and concrete leftover materials were used to create two homes – one in Lexington and one in Lincoln. The tour is of the Big Dig II in Lincoln, MA.

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September 3, 2010