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JONES GROUP BLOG

April
15

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We once lived in a world where if a buyer could fog up a mirror strategically placed under his or her nose, the buyer got a mortgage.  Why this happened is another whole conversation, but I mention this because it’s a whole new world.  The financial collapse of many banks and the bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac resulted in the Dodd Frank Act.  While the mirror test was the result of the pendulum swinging too far in one direction, the Dodd Frank Act swings it completely in the other.  Banks now have to scrutinize every aspect of the buyer’s financial situation to the extent that buyers have said they feel violated.  Why?  One reason is The Dodd Frank Act requires banks to buy back mortgages they sell if the loan goes bad in the first seven years of its life.  They don’t have a crystal ball to tell them who is going to get divorced, lose their job or have some other disaster befall them rendering them unable to pay, so they use the tools they have.  To add insult to injury the banks are fined for the casualty.  The Act also dictated that in order to be sold to Fannie or Freddie, the Mortgage must be a “Qualified Mortgage,” meeting strict ratio guidelines; and that every rock must be overturned to determine the buyer’s income and assets, employment, credit history and any debt obligations, all of which affects the rate you will ultimately pay.  To add insult to injury, they must re-check three days before the closing to see if anything has changed.  Some banks may just check employment; some may run through the whole checklist. 

But there is life after Dodd Frank and it’s a good one.  Houses are still being sold and people are happily transitioning.  Bankers should not be seen as an enemy, but a guide to help you through the process.  They have a lot invested in your success, too.  More than ever, it is collaboration between you, your banker and your REALTOR® to be sure that the information about you and the property all adds up.  

April
11

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Matthew Ahmed and Michele JohnsonWe are delighted to welcome Michele's Team to our Amherst office!  Michele Johnson has been licensed since 1994, and is well-regarded in the industry for her attention to detail, professionalism and commitment to personal service. Michele holds a GRI, Graduate of the REALTOR® Institute designation and CNE, Certified Negotiations Expert designation.  Michele’s Team is proud to say that their honest enthusiasm, relentless drive, passion, and communication are what set them apart.  Matthew Ahmed, Michele’s son, is a graduate of The University of Massachusetts Isenberg School of Management and having grown up in the Valley, embraces all the Valley has to offer.  The Team has been recognized on many levels for their innovative use of technology, including social platforms in real estate plus an “outside the box” approach to real estate marketing.  With Jim Steiner, Michele’s Team delivers a full service approach making every transaction beneficial. Michele Johnson is a recipient of the REALTOR® Association of the Pioneer Valley Silver Award.  Visit their website at PioneerValleyLiving.com. Contact Michele's Team at michele@jonesrealtors.com.

 

 

April
8

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Jones Group REALTORS® is pleased to welcome Daniel Emery to their Northampton office at 5 Franklin Street.  Emery is originally from Western New York and has been an established resident of both Franklin and Hampshire Counties since 1997.  Emery holds a degree from Drew University, has lived in Southern California and more recently owned and operated both Clarks Sport Shop and Trails Outdoors in Franklin County.  He is excited to bring his knowledge from purchasing, selling, building and renovating real estate over the last 20 years to the real estate industry.  Emery will earn his GREEN designation from the National Association of REALTORS® which provides advanced training in green building and sustainable business practices. 

March
28

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Spring is here with new listings blossoming and the buyers are ready and waiting!  At a recent Jones Open House, there were nearly 50 parties in attendance!  Area inventory is very tight and now is a great time to list your Home whether you live in Amherst, Hadley, Northampton, Belchertown,  Sunderland or anywhere in the

Valley.  Our Jones Team is here to answer questions, give you current local market data, as well as giving valuable advice.  Our agent/advisors meet regularly to discuss local real estate news, as well as important community developments and keep the buyers and sellers informed.  Connect with a Jones agent/advisor and get ready to make your move today.

March
13

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Spring is in the air…well, not really.  However, our Jones Team has been busy preparing Market Analyses for Sellers, and we have many new listings on the way.  Some new listings are trickling in daily, however, when the snow finally melts the inventory will open up even more.

Sellers, here are a few tips on getting your home ready for the market in order to realize your maximum market value.  You don’t need to spend a lot of money to make it “REALTOR Ready.”  De-clutter, clean out those closets and storage areas and remove any excess furnishings.  Clean the home from top to bottom, inside and out.  Wash windows, decks and siding; replace any bent gutters. You may even want to hire an inspector to look for any issues that could crop up in the middle of a sale before you list.  You don’t want any surprises that will cost you during the negotiation process. Ask your Jones REALTOR® for advice-they’re experienced and have seen it all!

Realtor.com offers a useful to-do list on preparing your Home to sell.  By the way, did you know that when you list with Jones Group REALTORS® your home will have the Realtor.com Company Showcase and Enhanced Listing Program?  This special program gives your Home the added world-wide marketing exposure that today's home sellers expect.

With over 55 years of providing outstanding real estate services throughout the Upper Pioneer Valley, you can rest assured that every complicated transaction has been solved using our local experience and expertise resulting in success. Jones Group REALTORS® takes pride and assumes the responsibility of being the area’s largest independent real estate company…

Year after year, first in listings, first in sales.

Moving Generations Since 1958.

February
11

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There remain many unknowns regarding the 2012 Biggert-Waters Act (BW-12) which raises insurance rates to reflect flood risk.  The good news is that in a 67-32 bi-partisan vote in the US Senate on January 30th, the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act passed which would require a four-year delay in implementation of the Biggert-Waters Act.  It now heads to the House of Representatives. “This delay would provide the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) with the time to complete an affordability study and research the true impact of the law as we have experienced it here.” said Massachusetts Association of REALTORS (MAR) President Peter Ruffini. Read more from MAR's recent post.

Explore the FEMA site for more information.  The Insurance Journal provides another in-depth look at the big picture.

Whether buying or selling, you may be asked to sign a new Flood Insurance Notice from MAR.  We advise that you review your homeowner's insurance policy and pay close attention to any information pertaining to flood insurance.

 

January
30

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BUYER REPRESENTATION. With Spring just six weeks away, Buyers are looking now! Our Jones Team from our Amherst,Belchertown and Northampton offices are qualified to guide you through the Home Buying process. Our Jones Agents/Advisors are Buyer's Representives. How does this work?  The Multiple Listing Service (MLS)  is a cooperative marketing system set up byREALTORS® to facilitate real estate transactions.  Under this arrangement, REALTORS® register listings in a central listing service.  With this service any REALTOR® regardless of their agency affiliation, is able to sell any house listed by an MLS participating agency.

If you are a prospective Home Buyer and you have been working with a REALTOR® as your Designated Buyer’s Agent, the agent is working for you as your representative.  As your REALTOR®, the agent understands your personal needs and narrows in on what you are looking for, and he/she should always be the one you call for information on any house that you see, regardless of who has the listing.  When you attend an open house, be sure to tell the agent hosting the open house, that you are working with your REALTOR®, or when you drive by a house, see a home online, or in the newspaper that interests you, it is always best to contact your REALTOR® and let them make the arrangements to show you the property.  Your REALTOR® will represent you in the transaction and will look out for your best interests.

With over 55 years of providing outstanding real estate services throughout the Upper Pioneer Valley, you can rest assured that every complicated transaction has been solved using our local experience and expertise resulting in success. Jones Group REALTORS® takes pride and assumes the responsibility of being the area’s largest independent real estate company…

Year after year, first in listings, first in sales.

January
22

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New mortgage rules have arrived!  New consumer protections are in place while making the lending environment more transparent. National Association of REALTORS (NAR) President, Chris Polychron, states “These regulations will go a long way to protecting consumers from receiving loans that may be inappropriate for them and gives them additional legal protections." The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director, Richard Cordray acknowledges concern that the new rules could further constrain credit in an already tight lending environment. Read more from NAR’s News Release. 

If you are considering applying for a mortgage in 2014, these tips from ABC News Business can help you with your mortgage decisions.  

Check out all of the Tips from ABC News Business. 

Realtor.com offers more advice and what NOT to do before you purchase a home here. On February 9th, the Boston Globe ran this helpful article in its Globe Magazine.

Our Jones Agent/Advisors have CONNECTIONS to help you achieve home-ownership!

Legendary Service. Every Client. Every Time.
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Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. All properties are subject to prior sale, change or withdrawal. Neither listing broker(s) or information provider(s) shall be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, misprints and shall be held totally harmless. Listing(s) information is provided for consumers personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Information on this site was last updated 04/19/2014. The listing information on this page last changed on 04/19/2014. The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange program of MLSPIN MLS (last updated Sat 04/19/2014 1:51:34 PM EST). Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Jones Group REALTORS® may be marked with the Internet Data Exchange logo and detailed information about those properties will include the name of the listing broker(s) when required by the MLS. All rights reserved. --
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