Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Massachusetts Real Estate Salesperson Pre-licensing Classes

We're looking forward to the start of our Massachusetts Real Estate Salesperson Pre-licensing Classes at Annex Real Estate School next week.  These classes meet the new state requirement of 40 hours of classroom instruction.  These classes are taught by practicing Massachusetts licensed Real Estate Brokers, in the environment of an active real estate office.  In addition to the usual classroom 'handouts', Annex Real Estate School uses profession real estate textbooks rather than just a compilation of instructors' notes.

There are still places left in the class so I would recommend registering now rather than later.  Please remember that classroom size is limited to assure class quality and class availability depends upon class enrollment.  More information and Applications are available on the website of Annex Real Estate School

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Debt Limit and the Real Estate Market

It's the day after Congress has passed and the President has signed the bill that increased our national debt limit.  The reaction of the stock market remains negative with a multitude of reasons being offered.  The projections for the job market aren't any more encouraging.  If you're involved in real estate, construction, brokerage, financing, inspection, etc. ...what impact do you see from this in the weeks and months ahead?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

FHFA House Price Index Rises 0.4 Percent in May; Second Consecutive Monthly Increase

The Federal Finance Housing Agency has just release it's figure through May of 2011.It show the second consecutive monthy increase in the price index.  You can read the full report here

If you have trouble with the link, the type http://www.fhfa.gov/webfiles/21747/HPI72111.pdf  into the top line in your browser.

Friday, July 01, 2011

What You Should Know before Renting a Vacation Property

From the Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation: What You Should Know before Renting a Vacation Property :


As the temperature rises, school has ended and parents take a break from work, many families are making summer vacation plans. If you’re thinking about renting a vacation property this season, do your homework first. Sometimes properties are not as they are advertised or could be a scam.

Research and compare rentals online. Beware of ads posted on Craigslist and other online classifieds, as these websites are popular with scam artists. Scammers may use fake photos and names, often stolen from other websites. They entice consumers with attractive offers hoping that they won’t research the transaction further.

 Be careful if renting from an individual. It is safer to use a reputable rental company or a real estate agent.

Check out the property owner. Get references from family or friends. Check with the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation, Attorney General’s Office, and Better Business Bureau to see if there is a history of complaints on file.

Get the address of the vacation rental and use an online map (e.g. Google or Yahoo) to bring up the address. If you can’t find it online, it probably doesn’t exist.

 Verify the condition and location of the rental property. Look at photos and take a virtual tour online. If possible, visit the property beforehand. Look for cleanliness and be sure that that everything works as it should (i.e. toilet flushes, lights turn on, no leaks, etc.).

 Get everything in writing. Always have a signed agreement, no matter how brief your stay. Make sure all verbal agreements are included in the rental contract including details about deposits, rules on pets, refunds, and what is included in the cost of the rental such as utilities, internet, etc.

Do not pay or put money down until you have carefully read and signed the rental agreement.

 Never pay via money wire (e.g. Western Union). This is a sure sign of a scam. If at all possible, pay with a credit card, which provides some consumer protection if there is a dispute.

For more information about vacation rental properties, click on vacation and travel scams and avoid vacation rental horrors.


Barbara Anthony, Undersecretary       10 Park Plaza      Suite 5170      Boston, MA 02116
Hotline 617-973-8787    888-283-3757    www.mass.gov/consumer"

There are two items to note. First, this alert recommends working with a real estate rental agent.  The other point has to do with children and lead paint.  Both potential tenants and landlords should read and understand

Short Term Vacation or Recreational Rental Exemption Form

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Facts About The Mortgage Interest Deduction (MID)

Are you running an Open House this weekend?  Are you a potential Buyer and you're considering making an offer on a home?  Here are some facts about the Mortgage Interest Deduction (MID) that you should know:
                     

                       
                                                   

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                                Couple figuring the mortgage interest tax deduction
                               
                             
                                 
                             
                           

                           
                           

    7 Mortgage Interest Deduction Myths


                           
    Think losing the mortgage interest deduction would be no big deal? We bust seven myths to show why the cost is bigger than you think. Read

                           

                           
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Visit houselogic.com for more articles like this.

                             
Copyright 2011 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

                       

                       

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Be on the Lookout for Con Artists Knocking on Your Door

From the Massachusetts office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation, comes this warning:


Attention Homeowners!
Be on the Lookout for Con Artists Knocking on Your Door

Individuals looking to steal or con people out of money may work in pairs and pose as utility workers in order to enter a home. While one distracts, the other robs. Senior citizens are particularly vulnerable to these types of scams. An elderly Braintree couple was recently robbed by a North Carolina pair posing as state electrical inspectors in order to gain access to their home.

When people show up in person claiming to represent a state agency or other organization, it is always best to err on the side of caution; don’t let strangers enter your home without first asking for identification; and, when in doubt, call the police. State electrical inspectors will always carry identification, badges, and business cards and usually drive marked vehicles.

In Massachusetts, all electricians must be licensed by the Board of State Examiners of Electricians. The Board examines and licenses candidates and enforces the regulations and general laws relative to electrical installations in Massachusetts. The Board also prosecutes those found to be working without a license, either through the Division of Professional Licensure (DPL) Office of Prosecutions, the Attorney General’s Office, or directly in the courts of the Commonwealth. Many other professions such as plumbers, realtors, and home inspectors are also licensed by DPL and should provide identification prior to entering your home.

Consumers are urged to visit the Division of Professional Licensure’s website at http://license.reg.state.ma.us/loca/locaprof.asp to determine whether a professional they are considering doing business with is licensed and in good standing.


If you have concerns about a licensee that you are considering, the DPL Office of Investigations can be reached at (617) 727-7406.



Barbara Anthony, Undersecretary       10 Park Plaza      Suite 5170      Boston, MA  02116
Hotline 617-973-8787    888-283-3757    www.mass.gov/consumer

Friday, April 01, 2011

Do You Have a Blockbuster Gift Card?

If you have a Blockbuster Gift Card, you need to know that as of April 7 it will expire. For more information, please read our Consumer Advisory. The Advisory is in PDF format so you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to open the file. If you already have Acrobat Reader you will be able to open the advisory without any problems. If you do not have it, you can go to the link below and download it. There is no fee associated with downloading Acrobat Reader.

http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html



Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation
10 Park Plaza, Suite 5170
Boston, MA 02116
www.Mass.Gov/consumer
News & updates at http://consumer.blog.state.ma.us/blog
and follow us at www.twitter.com/Mass_Consumer

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Beating the June 1st Change

Starting June 1st, candidates for the Massachusetts Real Estate Salesperson license examination will need 40 hours of classroom instruction.  This is an increase from the current requirement of 24 hours of classroom instruction.  People who are thinking about getting their license in the near future are signing up for classes, such as those at Annex Real Estate School to meet their required time.

NAR Dues Increase

There is a lot of buzz online about the proposed $40 increase in dues of the National Association of Realtors.   
Nobody represets the interests of all real estate licensees, Realtors and non Realtors, more or better than NAR.  And nobody does a better job at representing the interests of the average buyer and seller of real property than do the Realtors. 
With discussion, we can see where the proposed increas will be spent and whether it is justifiable in these times.
I have no doubt that there will be a dues increase.  It's just a matter of how much and what it will be used for.

What's your opinion on this?