Useful Stuff

Most Popular House Colors in Sudbury, MA in 2013

Most Popular House Colors in Sudbury, MA in 2013

For years I’ve been keeping track of the popularity of house colors and their changes from year to year. Here are the results for 2013 and below that is the chart for the previous year so you can see the changes. Keep in mind that Sudbury is a leafy, colonial New England town with a total of 242 homes sold in 2o13 and that the residents generally tend toward colonial colors and furnishings.

You will see that compared to 2012, for the major colors: white has dropped slightly; tan is the same; and gray is up. For the minor colors: yellow and blue are down;  green and brown are up; and red is the same.

In a follow-up blog I will be answering the question – “What color houses sell the quickest and is it worth it to repaint my house before I put it on the market?”

2013-sudbury solds by color
2012-sudbury solds by color

10 Top Real Estate Predictions for 2014

10 Top Real Estate Predictions for 2014

Every December I take a stab at prognosticating (is that even a word?) and come up with my list of predictions for the Metrowest real estate market in 2014. Last year I was right ten for ten.

1. There’s no telling where the general housing market will go but I feel fundamentals are in a very good place in the towns west of Boston.

2. 2014 looks to be one of the first “normal” markets in Metrowest since 2007. Job stability in most sectors is looking good. Prices have stopped falling… in most towns they’ve actually risen slightly. Because of that inventory levels will be increasing in just about every price point. New construction starts are up and condominium projects are steadily coming on-line in a slow, predictable fashion. This balancing of supply and demand will be good for both sellers and buyers.

3. I predict that unit sales in most towns will increase by 15% over last year.

4. We will see more and more buyers do the ‘relative’ value trade – forgo buying in Boston (which is back at the heights of 2007) and buying out in the inner suburbs.

5. Only the really perfect condition properties will command great prices and people will continue to choose the convenience of living closer to Boston and charm of living in smaller homes with much less land over the temptation of living further out in a Trophy Home on big acres.

6. The Federal Reserve’s “tapering” of its securities purchases will happen and mortgage rates will increase slightly unless Wall Street tanks.

7. The drop in refinancing activity will cause nervous lenders to get more competitive for new purchase mortgages. Look for faster closing times and finally a loosening of the credit guidelines/scores (maybe even back to the 720/Fannie/Freddie and 650/FHA that ruled the previous decade). Lenders will have to comply with the new qualified mortgage (QM) rules but they won’t let that get in the way of profits.

8. Home Ownership affordability rates will drop, causing demand pressure on rental inventories. Because of this a supply correction in the multi-family rental property sector will occur. Evidence is already on the horizon. A growth industry will be flip-to-rent in 2014.

9. There’s a lot of talk about comprehensive tax reform (eliminating interest and property tax deductions in exchange for lower rates) and replacement of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac .. won’t happen in 2014, probably not even in 2015.

10. I plan on having another amazing year helping people buy and sell real estate. I’ll meet interesting people along the way and learn something new.

Do Brass Doorknobs Disinfect Themselves?

Do Brass Doorknobs Disinfect Themselves?

For centuries brass has been the metal of choice for door knobs. In recent years design trends have shifted to brushed nickel coated steel and recently to black coated steel. But there may have been a reason brass was popular for so long … it actually kills bacteria. As many infections can be spread by door knobs, it’s interesting to note that a brass knob (unvarnished) will disinfect itself in about seven hours. Steel, Stainless Steel and Aluminum knobs will never disinfect themselves.

This effect was discovered by Swiss botanist Carl von Nageli in the 1890’s and is known as the Oligodynamic effect. He studied how metal ions, even in low concentrations, are toxic to living cells and microorganisms, concluding that the metal ions of silver and copper and copper alloys interfere with their metabolism.

You might think that shiny stainless steel door knob would be a better antibacterial than a grungy-looking tarnished brass one. Think how many times you have seen stainless steel knobs in hospitals, they must know a few things about germs, right? In fact, brass (being a copper alloy commonly 65% copper/35% zinc) is germicidal. Stainless steel (being an iron alloy (88% iron/12% chromium) is not.

If you want to get the most disinfectant benefit from your brass door knobs you have to remove the coating that manufacturers put on them to keep them shiny. Paint stripper will do the trick. You’ll have to polish once in a while if you want them to be shiny, but they also look very nice if you let them age to a beautiful patina. Here’s to beautiful brass.

%d bloggers like this: