Houses of Halloween

October seems like an opportune time to do a rundown of homes made famous by Halloween themed movies.  Below are most of my favorites.  A few are here in New England, so you can see them for yourself.  It’s a GREAT time to go to Salem.  Aside from Hocus Pocus being filmed there, the town has many Halloween themed events this month.

HALLOWEEN

First of course, is THE scary movie Halloween. I recall seeing this movie when it first came out – yes, I am SO old.  No movie has scared me more – before or since.  I remember having to sleep with the lights on because I kept imaging someone in the closet or under the bed.  I even ran out of the house when the power went out the day after I saw the movie.  I was home alone and it truly terrified me.  Well, enough of my cowardice.  🙂  There were several houses and locations for the movie.  But the most famous is Myers house.  Here is how it appeared in the movie and how it looks today, all restored.  What a difference!

 

                 

CASPER

Whipstaff Manor was an amazing house – one of my all-time favorite movie houses.  But it is not one that existed outside Universal Studio Stage 12.  They fashioned it after the architecture of Antoni Gaudí, which I think was a brilliant choice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HOCUS POCUS

Another one of my favorites.  Rather than highlight the several houses in this movie here (the colonial era houses of the movie opening, Allison’s house where the elaborate Halloween party was held, etc.)  I’ll point you to this great article that covers the Hocus Pocus houses  Better yet, go see them for yourself.  October is a great time to have some spooky fun in Salem.  

 

Max’s House – 4 Ocean Ave Salem

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NIGHT OF THE DEMONS

There were two houses that were main characters in the movie.  First is the house of the old man who put razor blades in apples – shown at the beginning and end of the movie.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And Hull House where most of the movie takes place.  Both houses are located in Los Angeles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While there are plenty of other movies that take place on Halloween, most are not famous, so I’ll highlight a few more that had some interesting houses in them.

 

WITCHES OF EASTWICK

Another locally filmed movie.   Most of the movie was filmed in Cohasset.  But the Lenox mansion was actually the Crane Estate in Ipswich.  Abbott Hall in Marblehead and Milton Academy were also locations for the movie.

Crane Estate – Ipswich MA

 

THE HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL

This is an old classic that many of you may not have seen given the movie was filmed in 1959.  But it was interesting.  5 people are challenged to stay in a haunted house overnight and whomever did would get $10,000.  Aside from the scariness, there is intrigue of trying to figure out motives, etc.  So this one might be a good one to watch on Halloween.  Most of the movie is filmed in a studio, but the exterior shots are the Frank Llloyd Wright Ennis House in Los Angeles.

Ennis House front view 2005.jpg

 

POLTERGEIST

The house is located at 4267 Roxbury Street in Simi Valley, California. 

In the movie a fictional Cuesta Verde housing  company built a housing tract over an old cemetery, but instead of moving the bodies, they only moved the headstones. Big mistake.

 

 

 

 

 

 

ROSEMARY’S BABY

The exterior of the Bramford, where most of the movie takes place is actually the Dakota apartment on the Upper West Side in Manhattan.  Sadly, also the site of John Lennon’s murder.

image from: www.stefenturner.com

The Dakota

 

AMITYVILLE HORROR

Long Island’s 112 Ocean Avenue in Amityville was the site of the DeFeo family murders in 1975, in which Ronald DeFeo Jr. killed six members of his family. Thirteen months later, the Lutz family moved in, but left after a month, claiming the house was haunted.

The house was the inspiration — and used for exteriors — in the 1979 film “The Amityville Horror.”  How it looked in the movie and how it looks today.  Not so spooky.  The current owners say they have not experienced any paranormal activity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and some favorite TV shows from my childhood…..

THE ADDAMS FAMILY (1964-1966)

This house at 21 Chester Place in Los Angeles was only used for exterior shots.  It’s address was originally on Adams St for a long time!  The house is no longer there.  The last owner left it to archdiocese who made it part of a college and then eventually a high school was built on the location and where this house stood is now a field.

 

THE MUNSTERS (1964-1966)

Known as 1313 Mockingbird Lane, this is a house built on the backlot of Universal Studios and was used in many TV shows, including Desperate Houswives and other movies, such as the Burbs with Tom Hanks.  Looked a lot different in that movie.  Click here for more pictures and information on the house. 

Image may contain: tree, plant, sky, house and outdoor

 

DARK SHADOWS (1966–1971)

Finally…Dark Shadows. I loved this show – I used to race home from school to watch it at 4:00 every day.  Seeing it today, I realize it was incredibly cheesy and basically was a soap opera with vampires and werewolves as main characters.   But back then, I was enthralled.  The house – Collinwood mansion in fictional Collinwood Maine was actually Seaview Terrace in Newport RI.   Only the exterior was used.  The interior I am sure was on studio lots.

By Jim McCullars

Seaview Terrace aka Collinwood Mansion

 

Hopefully you saw some of your favorites in this list!  

Michelle J. Lane

MICHELLE J. LANE, Realtor
Century 21 Commonwealth
CELL: 617 584-3904

Open Houses in Newton Sept 14/15

With 127 Open Houses, there is lots to see!  Nice weather for it too.

Michelle J. Lane

MICHELLE J. LANE, Realtor
Century 21 Commonwealth
CELL: 617 584-3904

Closed Sale in Norwood

Just sold this lovely home in Norwood Center.  A great result for the sellers, selling for far more than they anticipated!  They took good care of the home and took my advice in clearing out the house and letting me help with staging.

Stay tuned as I will have a similar house for sale in Norwood in the spring.   Contact me for more info.

If you are thinking of selling this fall or spring, now is the time to talk about staging and pricing.

 

                 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Michelle J. Lane

MICHELLE J. LANE, Realtor
Century 21 Commonwealth
CELL: 617 584-3904

 

New to the Market in Newton Week of Sept 9th

New listings on the market the week of Sept 9th.

Lots to see this week and a beautiful weekend to see new listings.

https://bit.ly/2WaP0Ba

If you need help buying a home in Newton, contact me – info below.

 

Michelle J. Lane
MICHELLE J. LANE, Realtor
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Commonwealth
CELL: 617 584-3904

 

Seller Testimonial – Natick

Michelle helped us buy this house 7 years ago and helped us sell it this year.  We have built a great agent-client relationship. Michelle has always been patient, passionate, candid and considerate. We think Michelle has natural talent of reading people’s mind. Her instinct about who is the most potential buyer proves to be very reliable. She worked very hard. Almost responded our questions in no time. She is an excellent agent.     

Wensheng Wang and Hongyin Tang – Natick

Is the Boston Market Slowing Down?

Yes, it would seem so.   As a Realtor, I can tell you subjectively, that it feels as if it is.  Buyers are looking, but not buying or are lowballing homes that don’t sell right away (usually those that need work or are on busy roads).  One might think that is just the normal slow down as we approach winter.  So I ran the numbers to check. I chose two neighborhoods in Boston, a town north of, west of, and south of Boston.  I have run these numbers only for single family sales.  Otherwise, it becomes like comparing apples and oranges.   It can be tough to tell what is going on just by median price.  Any town can have a fluke in one month where a pricey home or two sold or a couple of particularly rundown homes sold.  So I have included numbers for Days on Market (DOM), # of Listings Sold and a snapshot number of houses on the market today vs a year ago.  You can see that overall, the number of listings sold is going down while days on market is going up.  These are indications of a slow down, seasonally adjusted.

At the end of the year, we will update our spreadsheet that shows the numbers for most Eastern MA towns for the year, and shows the trending over the past couple of decades.  That can be found here – 

Boston Area Home Values

Town Sept 2017 Sept 2018 Oct 2017 Oct 2018
Newton        
Median Price $1,107,500 $1,002,500 $960,000 $1,220,000
Days on Market 41 45 25 61
# of Listings Sold 48 37 37 31
# on Market     118 127
         
Malden        
Median Price $462,500 $473,200 $450,000 $528,888
Days on Market 22 25 32 18
# of Listings Sold 24 17 16 9
# on Market     14 34
         
Dedham        
Median Price $484,500 $465,000 $486,000 $522,500
Days on Market 38 42 39 27
# of Listings Sold 12 15 21 22
# on Market     44 51
         
Jamaica Plain        
Median Price 871,000 $897,500 $705,000 $1,067,500
Day on Market 23 89 70 21
# of Listings Sold 5 4 5 6
# on Market     8 7
         
West Roxbury        
Median Price $575,000 $677,000 $605,000 $600,000
Days on Market 51 33 42 29
# of Listings Sold 18 10 22 23
# on Market     20 30

 

So what does this mean for Boston area home owners? No need to panic, this is part of the normal cycle of real estate values. If you are not looking to sell, you’ll be fine over time – check our spreadsheet for proof of that!  If you want to sell next year it may mean that you will have to put money and work into presenting your home in the best possible light.  And you will have to be realistic about price.  Every town and every house are different, so if you want to know what you need to do to get your home sold either this winter or in the spring, just reach out to me so we can discuss.

What does it mean for Buyers?  You may not be fighting so many people in bidding wars moving forward.  There will still be bidding wars.  Because this is an area with affluent buyers who all want a move-in ready home with great spaces and details.  If they have to fight someone for that, they will.  It’s the homes that need work or are in less desirable locations where good deals will be found.  

Buyers do need to keep an eye on interest rates.  If they continue to rise, which I expect they will, that may further supress home prices.  But you’ll be making up those savings with what you pay in added interest.  

If you want the analysis for your particular town, just ask.  And if you need help buying or selling, I am here to help.

Michelle J. Lane
MICHELLE J. LANE, Realtor
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Commonwealth
CELL: 617 584-3904

Mass Save Refrigerator Recycling Rebate to End

I just noticed so thought I would share with you that it appears the MassSave refrigerator and freezer recycling program is ending at the end of this year.   If you are not familiar with the program, you can have them pick up a working refrigerator or freezer for a $50 rebate.

If you are thinking of selling your home in the spring and know you have a spare refrigerator or freezer you will be getting rid of, give MassSave a call before Jan 1, 2019 so you can get the rebate.  And better to have it taken out now before we have heavy snows.  The program will still exist after tha date, just not with the rebate.

You can find more information and schedule your pickup here:

https://www.masssave.com/en/shop/recycling/refrigerator-and-freezer-recycling/

The following eligibility requirements apply:
  • You must be a valid residential electric account holder of one of the electric sponsors of Mass Save.
  • Refrigerators and freezers must be working, plugged in, clean, and empty at the time of pickup.
  • Refrigerators and freezers must have an inside measurement between 10 and 30 cubic feet, which is the standard size for most units.
  • You must call to sign up before January 1, 2019 to be eligible for the $50 rebate.
  • A maximum of two units per electric account per calendar year will be accepted.

Have your electric account number handy to avoid scheduling delays.

Michelle J. Lane
MICHELLE J. LANE, Realtor
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Commonwealth
CELL: 617 584-3904

Century 21 Commonwealth is now Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Commonwealth

Starting November 1st, I will be a part of the Berkshire Hathway HomeServices organization!  While I have enjoyed being affiliated with Century 21 these past 9 years, I am looking forward to the change.  Century 21 is a very established company with a global presence and many JD Powers awards under their belt.  And I am going to miss getting my Academy Award Statues from them.  🙂

However, I am excited about the change.  Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices is the fastest growing Real Estate brand today with 47,000 agents worldwide.  And the brand was just recognized as Real Estate Agency Brand of Year and Most Trusted Real Estate Brand in the 2018 Harris Poll EquiTrend Study.

Personally, I feel the colors and branding of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices are more polished and better suited to a luxury brand in a luxury market.  My sellers will appreciate the more elegant home selling materials.

Nothing changes on the back end.  Commonwealth is simply changing their affiliation from Century 21 to Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices.  We still have the same 22 offices (and will be adding more), the same 500 agents, the same marketing, great service and all you have come to expect.  You will still reach me in all the same ways you did before. 

Here is a link to the full press release.

Please let me know if you have any questions on this change.

Michelle J. Lane
MICHELLE J. LANE, Realtor
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Commonwealth
CELL: 617 584-3904

 

What Home Will you Buy if you Win the Megamillions $1.6B?

by Michelle J. Lane, Realtor

With a lottery pot of  $1.6B, one can’t help but dream of what that money can buy.  Let’s say you win, you are probably going to wind up with about $600 million of that if you take the lump sum and then the IRS and DOR take their pound of flesh.  But $600 million can definitely buy you a very nice house – or two.  What if you decide to stay in the Boston area?  Below are the highest price houses on the market today – in the city, in the suburbs and on the water – take one or take all!  Just remember to call me to help you find that home of your dreams.  When you have that kind of money, you can find your dream house even if it is not on the market.  Almost anyone will move for the right price.  🙂

So for the fun part – below are those houses.  Click on the photos for the full listing information.

Most expensive condo in Boston – The Archer Residences Beacon Hill – On Market for $18,000,000

6,000sf, 3 Parking spots, Infinity Pool….click photo for more info.

Most Expensive Single Family Home in Boston – Back Bay Townhouse – $15,000,000.

8,350sf  on 6 levels – 2 garage spots, 2 outdoor.

 

Most Expensive Home in the Suburbs – Brookline $69,000,000 

26,000sf on 14 acres.  This home is in the most affluent section of Brookline where you will have the likes of Tom Brady and Robert Kraft as neighbors.  You definitely won’t spot your neighbors from this house though.  You probably wouldn’t find your own family in this house!

Most Expensive House on the Water – Barnstable -$10,760,000 

10,000sf on 6-acres with 1,700sf carriage house and caretaker’s quarters.  6-car garage and, of course, all that waterfront!

 

Michelle J. Lane
MICHELLE J. LANE, Realtor
Century 21 Commonwealth
CELL: 617 584-3904

 

 

Income by Percentile in Massachusetts

by Michelle J. Lane, Realtor

For those of you who received my recent newsletter you know that the real estate market in showing signs of slowing growth.  There are serveral reasons for this.  I mentioned that a major reason is simply that buyers have hit the wall on how much house they can afford.   This post provides some background on what that means.   

Looking at the country as a whole, the income required to be a top earner is as follows.  

  • $480,930 – to be considered in the top 1% 
  • $214,462 – to be considered in the top 5%
  • $138,031 – to be considered in the top 10% 
  • $122,744 – to be considered upper class (earning twice the median of $61,372)

Contrast that with what it takes to be in those same percentiles in Massachusetts:

  • $582,774 – to be considered in the top 1% 
  • $260,286 – to be considered in the top 5%
  • $192,612 – to be considered in the top 10% 
  • $164,760 – to be considered upper class (earning twice the median)

The good news is that more people in the Boston metro area earn an income in the Upper Class bracket than in the rest of the country.

The bad news is that the median price of a single-family house in the Boston area is $615,000 vs $200,000 in the US as a whole.   Other surrounds towns median prices are as follows:

  • Brookline – $1,760,000
  • Newton – $1,202,500
  • Wellesley – $1,433,250
  • Milton – $688,000
  • Cambridge – $1,442,500
  • Somerville – $752,500
  • Medford – $611,000

If you want the numbers for your town, just ask and I will look that up for you.

SO, the median home price in the US is 3.26 times the median income of $61,372. The median home price in Massachusetts is 7.45 times the median salary of $82,380.  

In Newton, where I live, the median income is $147,854. The median home price is $1,202,500.  That is a ratio of home prices that are 8.13 times the median income. This is untenable. Granted, the Boston area has more high income earners than other parts of the state and certainly, other parts of the country.  See the chart below.  But there are only so many high earners to buy in the area and those earners want the best houses – those that are new or in like-new condition and in desirable locations.  That leaves sellers who do not have new or near-perfect homes with a smaller pool of buyers which is why we are seeing a softening of the market on the lower end.  Higher interest rates are bound to compound the problem.

The good news is two-fold 

  1. every house can sell.  It just has to be priced right for the amount of money and effort you are willing to invest to prepare it for the market.
  2. because of low inventory, the market is not going to slump. It appears, for now, simply that price growth is slowing.

 

Michelle J. Lane
MICHELLE J. LANE, Realtor
Century 21 Commonwealth
CELL: 617 584-3904