In February of 2012, Mayor Warren joined businesses and residents in proudly announcing the Energy Smart Newton program, a new, innovative initiative aimed at reducing energy usage city-wide by 20% by the year 2020. This comprehensive approach will address the municipal, commercial and residential sectors. As a Green Community as designated by the Commonwealth's Department of Energy Resources, our goal is to reduce energy usage in the municipal sector as quickly as possible, setting the pace and saving over 30,000 Million Metric Btu's (a standard energy measurement which combines electric kWh and gas therms). NSTAR is a partner in this effort, offering technical advice and financial incentives worth 100's of thousands of dollars to achieve this level of energy reduction. If you are a resident or business owner interested in reducing your energy consumption please visit http://www.newtonma.gov/gov/building/energy_smart.asp
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Preservation Properties Blog
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Are you a first time home buyer?
Or, perhaps just unsure about what to do at this point in your life: continue to rent or take the leap and purchase a home?
Here's some helpful information reflecting the 'break even horizon' when it comes to renting vs buying.
In other words, learn how many years it will take before owning a home becomes more financially advantageous than renting the same home.
This article takes into consideration some very important factors that should help determine your decisions:
- Time horizon
- Future prices and rents..financial trends
- Tax deductibility
- Maintenance costs
- Transaction costs
Learn how to compare 'apples to apples' not 'apples to oranges' so that you make the financial decisions that are truly in your best interest here.
For a quick summary on the subject, this version is simpler.
Whichever route is best for you...buying or renting...we're here to help every step of the way!
Are you on the fence about buying in the current market? Confused about all of the conflicting news reports? Not sure where to start? Just want some information?
Start by attending our free buyer seminar on Saturday, March 23, at 11.30am. Get the scoop on the market, the financing, the deed/title issues. Educated buyers make the best buyers.
Coffee and munchkins provided to help you... focus! :-)
Space is limited! Please RSVP to info@preservationproperties.
We are holding a drive for the victims and rescue workers of Hurricane Sandy at our Newtonville office all week. Please bring anything you can down to our office at 439 Newtonville Avenue and we will be transporting them down to Long Island
What they are greatest need of now is:
- warm clothes, gloves, blankets, etc.
- cleaning supplies
- trash bags
Nonperishable food items will be accepted as well. For any cash donations, please visit www.licares.org . Thank you!!!
In many American communities, buying a home is now less expensive than renting. And with the economics tilting in favor of homeownership, many first-time buyers are jumping into the market.
After eight years of renting, Kitsy Roberts and her husband, Janko Williams, are practically giddy about their new Seattle home. And like proud parents, they are eager to show it off, from its historic details to its fresh paint.
The living room of their 1920s bungalow in the city's Central District features a lovely Craftsman-style fireplace and high ceilings. But the house also came adorned with chartreuse carpeting and kitchen cabinets of faux pink marble.
Roberts and Williams moved in about a month ago; they've been feverishly fixing and renovating ever since. They're scraping away layers and layers of paint and wallpaper, filling in cracks and replastering. Pointing to the old and not very efficient windows, Roberts sighs and says, "We will probably need to replace these at some point."
People buy homes, especially first homes, for lots of reasons. They want more space, a backyard, a sense of privacy and security.
And until the housing bubble burst, homeownership was widely viewed as a good investment.
Today, buying a house may once again look like a sound financial option, at least in many parts of the country where markets have stabilized, mortgage interest rates are extremely low, and rents are moving sharply higher.
"If you are in a stable place and you have the financial ability ... it's kind of the perfect time to purchase a home," says Kim Colaprete, part of Team Diva real estate at Coldwell Banker Bain. She helped Roberts and Williams buy their house.
The couple — both of them are in their early 30s — had been thinking about taking the plunge into homeownership but hadn't gotten serious. Then they watched as a house in their favorite neighborhood sold in just a couple of days — and for substantially more than the asking price.
"I mean, that was sort of it — that one house," Roberts says.
"We're going to miss our chance," Williams recalls thinking. They set out to find a real estate agent, and a house of their own.
Their new home cost $350,000. Their monthly payment is $1,680, including taxes and insurance. That's about $250 more than their rent. But they'll get some of that back when they deduct the mortgage interest on their tax return.
"It beats paying rent," Roberts says. "You're paying for a roof over your head. But after that, you're paying into nothing."
Colaprete says she hears the same thing from most of her first-time buyers: They are sick of paying rent, especially since rents have been rising.
They say, " 'This is ridiculous, I can buy something with an interest rate of 3.35, or 3.5 [percent]. Why am I paying someone else to have an investment when I can have my own investment?' "
because you won't be able to make up for the transactional cost."
Those transaction costs — such as closing costs and commissions — can be thousands of dollars.
Historically, Humphries says, the so-called break-even point when buying becomes a better financial proposition than renting has been about four to five years in many markets. Today, he says, in lots of places it's less than three years.
Still, there are challenges for many would-be homebuyers. Obtaining a loan can be difficult. And in places like Seattle, there's a shortage of homes on the market — so there isn't much to choose from.
But Kitsy Roberts found what she was looking for: a cute house in the right neighborhood, for the right price.
"This is pretty neat," she says. "It's all ours."
Newton’s Trade & Recycle Day
Oct. 13 (Sat) at the Rumford Ave Resource Recycling Center at 145 Rumford Ave, Auburndale 8am-1pm drop off (City residents), 8am-2pm browse (everyone)
Usable household items, sporting goods, electronics, bikes, books, appliances, non-upholstered furniture and more can be given away for use by others- and you are also welcome to take other’s stuff! You may bring non-toxic, non-hazardous and clean items, such as doors, wood and plumbing/light fixtures, as well as clothing, fluorescent bulbs, paper, cardboard, glass and scrap metal for recycling. Volunteers are needed to help on Oct 13th (Sat) - contact Miles at firstname.lastname@example.org
Article from The Green Decade
Rents soar in suburbs west of Boston....
Rents in area communities have soared over the past year, in some cases posting double-digit percentage increases as the number of available apartments and homes declines, recent reports indicated
Asking prices for monthly rents have gone up in both upscale and middle-income communities, according to July figures from Zillow.com, a website that tracks all rentals, including apartments and houses.
“I have a lot of people looking and not much to show them,” said Dana Whiddon, rental agent for Bowes Real Living in Arlington.
In Concord, the median rental listings rose 7.7 percent over the year to $2,752, while Plainville posted a 12.3 percent year-over-year increase to $2,031. Asking rents in Arlington jumped a stunning 14.6 percent to $2,416, according to Zillow.
Whiddon said she has only three apartments in Arlington to show renters, whereas typically she would have eight or nine. That’s been a big factor in driving rents up, she said.
Across Middlesex County, asking price for rents rose 9.6 percent in August compared with the same month last year, according to an online real estate research and brokerage firm.
Seeing the market change at first hand is Karen LaChance, who recently sold the house she bought with her husband 26 years ago in Framingham to move into an apartment in their hometown as they prepare for retirement.
LaChance, a veteran real estate broker who spent years selling homes, found herself suddenly dealing with a tight market in which rents were spiraling and landlords were charging fees for parking spaces, cats — even just for the privilege of applying.
“It was eye-opening, all these little fees,” she said. “They get you by these little fees — that was the most irritating experience of being a potential renter.”
The median listing for rent hit $2,084 in Framingham in July, a 7.4 percent increase over last year, according to Zillow.
Overall, Wellesley had the highest asking rents in the region in July, with a median of $3,547 after a 6.7 percent gain over the year, Zillow reported. In Newton, the median was $2,920, in Waltham $2,230, and in Marlborough $1,952.
Many apartment dwellers are opting to stay put and renew leases in a market where available apartments are scarce and rents are rising, said Darryl Ricci, broker owner of Vanguard in Waltham.
And that, in turn, is helping push up rents even more by keeping units off the market, he said, adding that he hasn’t seen such a tight rental market since the mid-1990s.
One Waltham landlord with a 12-unit building typically gives him three to four listings as the fall rental season approaches. This year he had only one, Ricci said, with the rest of his tenants deciding to renew their leases.
“There is not any question that rents have gone up,” Ricci said. “The supply of apartments, it is just not there. The landlord has the upper hand.”
You don’t have to tell that to Karen Dyer. A management consultant, she is facing sticker shock in Concord a year after moving out to the suburbs with her husband and daughter from their two-bedroom apartment in Somerville.
“We are paying almost twice as much,” said Dyer, who shells out more than $2,000 a month for a two-bedroom house in West Concord. “The listings for rentals were very few and far between. It took a long time to find a place.”
There were 8,000 vacant homes and apartments in Middlesex County as of July, just 1.4 percent of the total and less than half the national average of 3.4 percent, said Jed Kolko, chief economist for Trulia.
“Here is what is going on — both the job growth and the low vacancies are pushing up rents,” Kolko said.
As rents rise, it could help fuel demand in the for-sale market, with buying suddenly becoming more attractive financially.
“The market is about to change,” said Lesley Palmiter, a broker at William Raveis specializing in Natick and Wellesley, among other towns. “I think when they compare buying to renting, I think more people will decide to buy, where before they would have rented.”
Among those weighing their options is Dyer. Her rent is about to jump, with a 5 percent annual increase built into her two-year lease.
Yet when she looks at other houses she considered renting a year ago, the picture is not encouraging either. Many of these homes have also seen rent increases.
“Maybe we should buy something,” Dyer mused. Or, they could simply stay put. “We are definitely considering our options.”
Article provided by Boston.com
GREEN SOLUTIONS EXPO
Sunday October 14, 11 am – 5 pm
Newton Harvest Fair
Newton Centre Green
This Newton/Needham Chamber of Commerce EXPO showcases solutions you need to reduce your carbon footprint and over 60 exhibitors & workshops in one area. It will be held from 11-5pm in Newton Centre during the Newton Harvest Fair which also features continuous entertainment, food and games for the kids. Get tips on how to live a "green" life style. See exhibitors with green products, services and ideas. Find out how you can convert to solar electricity without paying thousands and reduce your electric bills. Have a green lawn all summer without watering and only cut once a month.
This article comes from Green Decade Newton
Newtonville Village Day
Saturday, September 29, 10am – 5pm & 6-10pm
Walnut Street, Newtonville
Please visit us at our booth on Saturday the 29th! We will be giving out lots of information pertaining to sustainable building materials, local green companies and products that will help you live a more eco-friendly life.
Join your neighbors in being green! Come to the following events...
April 21 (Sat) New England Mobile Book Fair - 11 am- 4 pm 82-84 Needham St. Newton – Green Decade and our “Magic Energy Bike” will be featured by the New England Mobile Book Fair!
April 22 (Sun) Whole Foods Markets 916 Walnut St & 647 Washington St - Reduce your carbon footprint and help support Green Decade Newton with a purchase of a vegan product. Both Whole Foods Markets in Newton will donate $1 for each vegan bakery item sold in their Bakery departments. From 2-4 pm at the Walnut St. Store there will also be a garden workshop!
This article comes from Green Decade Newton