Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Billionaire Says Real Estate is Best Investment Possible

Billionaire Says Real Estate is Best Investment Possible

by  on March 19, 2015 in For Buyers
Billionaire Says Real Estate is Best Investment Possible | Keeping Current Matters

Billionaire money manager John Paulson was interviewed at the Delivering Alpha Conference presented by CNBC and Institutional Investor. During his session he boldly stated:
"I still think, from an individual perspective, the best deal investment you can make is to buy a primary residence that you're the owner-occupier of.”

Who is John Paulson?

Paulson is the person who, back in 2005 & 2006, made a fortune betting that the subprime mortgage mess would cause the real estate market to collapse. He understands how the housing market works and knows when to buy and when to sell. What do others think of Paulson?
According to Forbes, John Paulson is:
“A multibillionaire hedge fund operator and the investment genius.”
According to the Wall Street Journal, Paulson is:
“A hedge fund tycoon who made his name, and a fortune, betting against subprime mortgages when no one else even knew what they were.”

Why does he believe homeownership is such a great investment?

Paulson breaks down the math of homeownership as an investment:
"Today financing costs are extraordinarily low.”
The latest numbers from Freddie Mac show us that you can still get a 30-year mortgage for under 4%.
“And if you put down, let's say, 10 percent and the house is up 5 percent,” as many experts predict, “then you would be up 50 percent on your investment."
How many are seeing a 50% return on a cash investment right now?
Paulson goes on to compare the long term financial benefits of owning verses renting:
“And you’ve locked in the cost over the next 30 years. And today the cost of owning is somewhat less than the cost of renting. And if you rent, the rent goes up every year. But if you buy a 30-year mortgage, the cost is fixed.”

Bottom Line

Whenever a billionaire gives investment advice, people usually clamor to hear it. This billionaire gave simple advice – if you don’t yet live in your own home, go buy one.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Home Upgrades That Pay Off


Remodeling Projects: Evaluating Cost vs. Value

Home renovations can be tricky. You want to improve your space (and the way you live in it). But you don't want to end up in the red when it comes time to sell. Before you splurge on that chef's kitchen or a steam shower in your bath, make sure your projects enhance your home in the eyes of future buyers as well.
Here are few improvements that Remodeling magazine says will return the most on your renovation dollars. (The examples below reflect 2014 numbers.)
Under $5,000: Functional, secure and energy-efficient entries are chief priorities in this price range. Your best bet is replacing your front door with a sturdy steel unit. Finish it with an antique brass lockset, and you can expect to recoup 96.6 percent of your investment. A garage door replacement offers an equally respectable 82.9 percent return.
Between $5,000 and $25,000: A wooden deck is tops for a mid-range budget, recouping 87.4 percent of the $10,000 you can expect to spend. A minor kitchen remodel also fares well: Budgeting $18,000 for fresh paint, a new oven, new floors, fixtures, countertops and new doors on existing cabinetry typically results in recouping 82.7 percent at resale.
From $25,000 and $100,000: An attic bedroom is a romantic notion, and it offers the best return at this price range. Converting the space into a bedroom and bathroom (with shower) will get you back 84.3 percent of your spend. Likewise, a newly finished basement returns 77.6 percent.
Have other plans in mind? Read Remodeling's summary on cost vs. value trends, and jump into your home improvement projects more informed.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Interesting Real Estate News Link

Boston Agent Magazine

Friday, March 20, 2015

New England Home Show


Title:New England Home Show
Date:3/20/2015 - 3/22/2015
Address:Gillette Stadium , One Patriot Place, Foxborough, MA
Location:Foxboro, MA
Hours:Friday 2PM - 9PM, Saturday 10AM - 9PM, Sunday 10AM - 6PM
Cost/Cover:Adults: $10, 17 and under: Free, Buy tickets online and save $2
Web Page:
Contact Info:(800)543-1776; (508)384-4389

Details:From lighting to flooring to siding for your home, from techniques to tools, over 500 experts are on hand to answer your burning DIY questions! Located at the Dana Farber Field House at Patriot Place. Bring the kids and enjoy live cooking demonstrations, furniture building zone and a craft and specialty food area. 

Now in its fifth year at the New England Home Shows, the Craft Pavilion is an amazing aisle of handcrafted products made by talented artists and artisans from the northeast. Their creations include furniture, jewelry, pottery blown glass, stained glass. clothing, photography, paintings, sculpture, metal, crafts form other media, and specialty foods. The artists and artisans are the actual makers of their goods and they are in their booths selling directly to the public. So, while at the Show, take the time to meet the artists, view their works, and support locally made handmade products.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Agent Snapshot



Agent Snapshot: Ed Hughes, Realtor, Andrew Mitchell & Company, Natick

by James McClister 

Ed Hughes is a Realtor with Andrew Mitchell & Company working in Natick.
What was your first job in the realty industry? After working in senior management for 25 years in several high tech/start ups, I decided to get into real estate. My first job in real estate was as a Realtor with Dewolfe Realty. Within a year, Dewolfe was bought out by Coldwell Banker Residential Realty. This was particularly disturbing to me because all of the high tech companies I had worked for were ultimately bought out by a larger company.
Where did you grow up? Natick, Mass.
Growing up, what did you want to be? My father was a sales vice president, so I always thought I would become some kind of business person.
What do you do to relax when you’re stressed? I do yoga and meditate. Although I was brought up Catholic, I enjoy the teachings of the Buddha.
If you could have lunch with a well-known figure (living or not), who would it be and why? I would love to have lunch with Jackie O. She had such a fascinating life, I would love to quiz her about all the people she knew and what she thought about them.
Where is your favorite place to hang out? My home.
What do you love most about the industry? It’s all about the people. I love meeting new people, listening to them and then developing a plan to meet their objectives, whether they are buyers or sellers. Then after a successful transaction, having them call me years later to help them with their next move!
How do you distinguish yourself from the crowd of agents? I find that many Realtors, even those with many years of experience, don’t understand business. They do what they have always done, treat every buyer and seller the same. I see each buyer and seller as individuals with individual needs. I tailor my service to the client’s needs…not the needs of previous clients or my own biases.
What is the most difficult aspect of your job? The three most important things in real estate are location, location, location. I think the three most difficult aspects of real estate are negotiation, negotiation, negotiation! Having both the buyer and seller (no matter who I am representing) complete a transaction and both parties feeling it was a win-win, fair deal. It isn’t an easy task. There is the first negotiation at the offer stage and then in many cases another negotiation after the inspection. Being able to negotiate a deal that is satisfactory to all parties can be difficult and is one of my major objectives.
Where do you go to network and meet new clients? I’m not great at networking through business associations. The way I prefer to network is through previous clients and with people I meet through the course of a normal day. I was having dinner at the bar of a local inn and struck up a conversation with the woman sitting next to me. To make a long story somewhat shorter, she had a child, was in a relationship with a man who also had a child. They both had homes and were wanting to live together. Neither of their homes were “right” for how they wanted to blend their families. Over the course of five years my meeting this woman resulted in seven transactions…and there will be more.
What has been your greatest accomplishment? I feel like there have been many. While I answered “negotiations” as being the most difficult aspect of being a Realtor, I feel my greatest accomplishments have been in my ability to keep deals together. Buying and selling property is so filled with emotion, it is critical for Realtors to maintain perspective. If a deal doesn’t make sense, I will be the first to make sure it doesn’t happen. But if I am working on a deal that does make sense but emotions have taken over, I do everything I can to help the buyers and sellers see this.
What was the last good movie you saw or book you read? “A Course in Miracles” by Dr. Helen Schucman.
What is your favorite restaurant? Tomasso’s Trattoria. It is a fantastic Italian restaurant in Southboro Mass. with “creative,” local, seasonal offerings with just about perfect wine pairings; some feel it’s “expensive,” but when factoring in portions that can be “shared,” the bright, trattoria-inspired atmosphere and knowledgeable staff, most find it well worth the price. This comment from a Zagat review.
What kind of car do you drive? Scion FR-S. It is a two seater sports car. After years of driving sedans and SUVs, I finally decided to get a car I enjoyed driving. The day of needing a big car to drive clients around is gone. I meet listing clients at their homes and typically buyer clients have children and prefer to meet at the home we are viewing.
Smartphone or paper? Smartphone.
What is your favorite city after Boston? San Francisco.
In 10 words or less, what is your advice for someone new to the industry? Develop a business plan that is Internet focused.
What’s your favorite real estate iPhone/Android app? My own.
Who are your favorite people to follow on Twitter? Depak Chopra, HGTV.
- See more at:

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Travel & Taste of Newfoundland

Title:Travel & Taste Newfoundland: Fins, Feathers and Fossils
Date:3/26/2015 (Thursday)
Address:280 Eliot St.
Location:Natick, MA
Hours:Dinner at 6:30 pm, Lecture at 7:30 pm.
Cost/Cover:Dinner/Lecture: $26M;$32NM/Lecture only: $12M; $15NM (7:30 start)
Web Page: ...
Discounts: ...
Contact Info:508-655-2296

Details:Over a 5 week adventure in Newfoundland, from cute Atlantic puffins, terns, gulls and Leach’s storm petrels to the cliff nesting Northern gannets and only breeding colony of manx shearwaters in all of North America, Ed and Janet discovered Newfoundland was for the birds! On land, one can “travel back in time” from Viking settlements and beyond to evidence of continental collisions and Cambrian layers on “The Rock.” Here you can see folded rocks from continents colliding and million year old fossil layers. Newfoundland is only one of two places in the world you can see trombolites, the critically endangered flower-shaped mounds formed from algae & bacteria, the only known forms of life from 3.5 billion to 650 million years ago. Never more than 50 miles from the ocean, one can see much from shore including humpback whales and the largest animal in the world, the blue whale, while below the surface are slowly recovering populations of salmon and cod. Join us as we explore the nature of this ancient land.

Location-themed buffet dinner and lecture or lecture only. Pre-registration required for dinner by 6pm Tuesday, March 24. Online registration available.

Instructions and Directions:
Location-themed buffet dinner and lecture: Dinner at 6:30 pm, Lecture at 7:30 pm. 

Please let us know at the time of registration if there are any dietary restrictions.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Economic Update

Tightening labor market conditions are another sign of an improved economy. Labor market confidence could help the Fed decide to raise policy rates in June.

The dollar continues to improve against overseas currency like the yen and euro. Nearing 12-year highs, the strong dollar is good for interest rates.

Wholesalers report more inventory and decreased sales for January. Blamed by economists on the plunge in oil prices, the changes are good for interest rates.

The number of new homes being built suggests that housing growth continues. The type of homes built points to interest in home ownership by first-time buyers.

Millennials accounted for 32% of all home purchases in 2014. With a median age of 29 and income of $76,900 they were also the largest percentage of buyers.

The housing market continues to rebound. Foreclosure inventory decreased 33.2% and completed foreclosures dropped 22.5% year-over-year in January.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

The 5th Annual Taste of MetroWest


Title:The 5th Annual Taste of MetroWest
Date:3/24/2015 (Tuesday)
Address:Sheraton Framingham Hotel & Conference Center, 1657 Worcester Road, Framingham, MA 01701
Location:Framingham, MA
Hours:5:00 PM to 8:00 PM (EDT)
Cost/Cover:Early Bird On Line Only $28.00 At the Door $40.00 Corporate Sponsor Tickets $28.00 Children under 12 $14.00
Web Page:

Details:Announcing the 5th Annual Taste of MetroWest!

5:00PM - 8:00PM

The region's finest restaurants, caterers, gourmet and ethnic markets, gift boutiques, wineries, brew houses and local purveyors of fine liquors will offer delicious samples of food and beverages at this event at the Sheraton Framingham Hotel & Conference Center.

Share your feedback through the “People’s Choice” awards for various food and beverage categories. Cast your vote and celebrate the “Best of MetroWest.”

Click here for a list of last year's exhibitors and sponsors!

Don't miss out on this fabulous event...The 5th Annual "Taste of MetroWest!"

Friday, March 6, 2015

2015 Home Show


Title:Worcester Spring Home Show
Date:3/6/2015 - 3/8/2015
Address:DCU Center, 50 Foster St., Worcester, MA
Location:Worcester, MA
Hours:Fri 4-8; Sat 10-7; Sun 11-5
Cost/Cover:see website for free pass
Web Page:
Contact Info:508-836-2222

Details:The Worcester Spring Home Show, presented by the Home Builders and Remodelers Association of Central Massachusetts is the oldest Home Show in Worcester County. Since 1946 area home owners have found the products, services and advice they need at the Worcester Home Show. But the Home Show is not only the oldest; it’s also the biggest with over 300 displays displaying the latest products and services for your home, your lawn, your patio and your garden. From roofing to flooring, from windows to doors, from siding to paint; if you can’t find it at the Home Show you probably can’t find it anywhere.

With spring right around the corner the Home Show is the perfect place to shop for all your needs. Many exhibitors will be offering money saving show specials.

There is no better time to get going on the projects you have been delaying. Today’s low interest rates make now the time to turn your house into the home you’ve always wanted.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Animal Tracking at Broadmoor


Title:Animal Tracking at Broadmoor
Date:3/8/2015 (Sunday)
Address:280 Eliot St.
Location:Natick, MA
Hours:2:30 pm - 4:00 pm
Cost/Cover:Adults: $12 Members; $15 Non-Members
Web Page: ...
Contact Info:508-655-2296

Details:Winter is a great time to look for signs of animals as they forage for food and shelter at Broadmoor during the cold winter months. Learn to identify the tracks, chews, scat, burrows and other clues left by many creatures including deer, fisher and coyote. Enjoy a guided walk as we search for signs of our local winter wildlife.

Instructions and Directions:
Will be held with or without snow. Please dress for the weather. This program also includes walking over uneven terrain. Pre-registration required. Online registration available.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

March $600 Gift Card Sweepstakes!

Enter my March sweepstakes to win $600 in gift cards from popular retailers such as Pottery Barn, Home Depot and Target. To enter, just like or comment on this post or click the link below!

Enter now: