Friday, March 26, 2010

Boston in the Top Ten Cities for Borrowers

Top 10 Best Cities for Borrowers
Some cities are better than others for borrowers.

The best cities have the lowest percentage of foreclosures and delinquencies, including a low percentage of bank-owned homes. In most of the cities on this best list, home prices are actually rising. Boston ranks 6th in the list of the top ten.

This kind of solid housing market motivates banks to offer lower rates and better terms.

Here are the 10 cities that Forbes ranks as the best for borrowers:
1. Kansas City, Mo.
2. Houston
3. Dallas
4. Virginia Beach, Va.
5. San Antonio, Texas
6. Boston
7. Pittsburgh
8. Denver
9. Seattle
10. Portland, Ore.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Time to Spring Ahead...and Check Those Smoke Detectors!

Tonight is the night (actually, tomorrow morning at 2am) that we turn our clocks ahead by one hour, and when we should be replacing the batteries in our smoke detectors (and carbon monoxide). This year, with the change in the smoke detector regulations, you should consider replacing any of your smoke detectors that are near (within 20ft) a kitchen or a bathroom with a shower with a photoelectric model.

Most smoke detectors that are currently installed in homes are of the ionization type. They work very well, but are prone to going off due to cooking vapors and steam from a shower. When this happens, people tend to remove the batteries to shut them off, and ultimately forget to put them back in leaving everyone in the home vulnerable to a fire. The photoelectric type is not as sensitive to false alarms, therefore the batteries won't be taken out, leaving them ready to do their job at all times.

Though the new law that goes into effect in April only applies to new construction and homes that are being sold, you should take the initiative and install the photoelectric detectors now.

Jim Armstrong

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

New Massachusetts Smoke Detector Requirements

New State Smoke Detector Requirements

A new regulation regarding the installation and maintenance of smoke detectors goes into effect April 5, 2010.

These new regulations were enacted by the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services and will apply to single and multi-family homes built or most recently substantially altered prior to Jan. 1, 1975 and sold on or after April 5, 2010. Homes built or substantially altered on or after Jan. 1, 1975 are governed by the State Building Code, which already imposes the same requirements & restrictions.

See the rest of the article Here: Massachusetts REALTOR News

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Will Congress Extend the Home Buyer Tax Credit?

It’s that time of year again: time for lobbyists to convince Congress to extend the home buyer tax credit.

The National Association of Realtors and other industry groups are beginning to make the rounds on Capitol Hill to press their case, which goes something like this: We know you’ve extended the tax credit two times already, but the housing market is still fragile, the tax credit is working, and don’t forget– you’re up for re-election soon. In other words, do you really want to own the next leg down in home prices?

See the rest of the article at the Wall Street Journal online: