The Needle Group Blog

Feb. 27, 2019

3 Tips for Making Your Dream of Buying A Home Come True

3 Tips for Making Your Dream of Buying A Home Come True [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

Some Highlights:

  • Setting up an automatic savings plan that saves a small amount of every check is one of the best ways to save without thinking too much about it.
  • Living within a budget right now will help you save money for down payments while also paying down other debts that might be holding you back.
  • What are you willing to cut back on to make your dreams of homeownership a reality?
Posted in Real Estate
Feb. 12, 2019

How To List Your Home for the Best Price

If your plan for 2019 includes selling your home, you will want to pay attention to where experts believe home values are headed. According to the latest Home Price Index from CoreLogic, home prices increased by 4.7% over the course of 2018.

The map below shows the results of the latest index by state.

How To List Your Home for the Best Price | MyKCM

Real estate is local. Each state appreciates at different levels. The majority of the country saw at least a 2.0% gain in home values, while some residents in North Dakota and Louisiana may have felt prices slow slightly.

This effect will be short lived. In the same report, CoreLogic forecasts that every state in the Union will experience at least 2.0% appreciation, with the majority of the country gaining at least 4.0%! The prediction for the country comes in at 4.6%. For a median-priced home, that translates to over $14,000 in additional equity next year! (The map below shows the forecast by state.)

How To List Your Home for the Best Price | MyKCM

So, how does this help you list your home for the best price?

Armed with the knowledge of how much experts believe your house will appreciate this year, you will be able to set an appropriate price for your listing from the start. If homes like yours are appreciating at 4.0%, you won’t want to list your home for more than that amount!

One of the biggest mistakes homeowners make is pricing their homes too high and reducing the price later when they do not get any offers. This can lead buyers to believe that there may be something wrong with the home, when in fact the price was just too high for the market.

Bottom Line

Pricing your home right from the start is one of the most challenging parts of selling your home. Once you decide to list your house, let’s get together to discuss where home values are headed in your area!

Posted in Real Estate
Feb. 6, 2019

January 2019 Market Snapshot

Incredible homes are being sold in Sharon! The average sales price for the month of January jumped to $682,000, up from $564,000 in December. There were eight closed sales throughout the month, with 27 active listings, and 10 pending listings. Whether you are looking to buy or sell in Sharon, there is plenty of activity happening in our town!


We omitted days on the market because one listing had some marketing flaws and greatly skewed that statistic to an average of 232 days on the market! Don’t let that happen to you. Contact The Needle Group to get your home marketed properly from the start!


Posted in Sharon Real Estate
Feb. 4, 2019

A Romantic Idea: Episode 3 Recap

Celebrate Love with Local Businesses


Part of the reason we love Sharon is that it is filled with local family businesses who take customer service to the next level. Plan a special evening or treat yourself this Valentine’s Day at any of the places we visited on Episode 3 of Live Love Sharon!


A Special Wish List


Hefez & Sons Jewelers began in Boston in 1980 and has grown to include four locations, including one in Sharon that opened 2006. This jewelry store is much more than diamonds - they aim to make every person’s experience easy and enjoyable.


“We have a customer database in our computer,” explains Dina Hefez. “Any time a customer walks into the store and they like a certain piece, I automatically put it on their wish list.”


The wish list includes information about what pieces each customer likes, as well as sizing information for rings. This way, you can browse jewelry items with your special someone, and go back to select something you know your partner will love as a surprise.


Customers can also view items from the other locations from the computer. If you find something you want to see in person, it can be delivered to your local Hefez & Sons Jewelers store within a day. Want something completely unique? You can customize your own piece, either from jewels at the store or repurposed from old pieces of jewelry. A jeweler will help you design your own piece and show you a computerized version before it is made.


Sweet Tooth


Valentine’s Day wouldn’t be complete without something sweet! Sweethearts Three Chocolates and The Penny Candy Store have you covered in Sharon! Between these two stores, you can find every sweet you desire.


Something we love about Sweethearts Three Chocolates is that everything is handmade! Jill Schwab told us, “We have everything from nutty chocolates to caramel chocolates to truffles. It is all fresh ingredients, a lot of organic products. We have everything from nut-free to chocolate for vegans.”


Jill’s mother, Karen first opened the business in 1981. Now, the mother-daughter duo works together to make delicious treats. Along with candy making, the store has a retail section, and they make candy for special events including weddings and showers. Karen says, “we have something for everybody and at every price point.”


Go Local


When it comes to flowers, your local florist is the best way to go. Kayla Ann Bellin at Bloomsbury Park Flowers told us, “Everyone knows the big brands like 1-800-flowers. I really recommend you call your local florist directly. They can get on the phone with you, tell you what is in stock, and work with you to get what you want, without that extra fee to work with a third party.”


Kayla works from her in-house studio. She took the time to show Bruce two arrangements that will stand out from your traditional red roses. Whether you are looking for something bold and colorful, or elegant and sophisticated, a local florist can take the time to discuss your options to create a unique arrangement.


“I love helping people out with small events, special occasions, dinner parties, bar mitzvahs, small weddings. We have some really great options here in Sharon, including Flowers by Ami,” Kayla said.


A Perfect Taste


Looking for a perfect intimate evening with your sweetheart, but don’t love to cook? Neil Morris from A Perfect Taste will help you with that.


“We do personal cooking out of A Perfect Taste, which is a full-service catering company. Our biggest specialties are weddings, bar mitzvahs, large corporate events. We got into this a few years ago, where we do small intimate dinners where we come in and execute the event for you as your personal chef,” Neil said.


You can also make it a fun evening with friends. Invite your closest friends or family over for a dinner party where you can interact with the chefs in your own home - the perfect way to enjoy good food while being able to spend time with your guests.


Because A Perfect Taste is a full-service catering company, they can provide everything from linens to china to certified Kosher food, or you can provide what you want and let a seasoned chef execute the meal.


Live Love Local


Valentine’s Day is all about celebrating the love in your life. What better way to celebrate than with local businesses?


What are your favorite ways to spend Valentine’s Day? Let us know in the comments!

Posted in Live Love Sharon
Jan. 30, 2019

Why It Makes No Sense to Wait for Spring to Sell

The price of any item (including residential real estate) is determined by the theory of ‘supply and demand.’ If many people are looking to buy an item and the supply of that item is limited, the price of that item increases.

The supply of homes for sale dramatically increases every spring, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). As an example, here is what happened to housing inventory at the beginning of 2018:

Why It Makes No Sense to Wait for Spring To Sell | MyKCM

Putting your home on the market now, rather than waiting for increased competition in the spring, might make a lot of sense.

Bottom Line

Buyers in the market during the winter are truly motivated purchasers and they want to buy now. With limited inventory currently available in most markets, sellers are in a great position to negotiate.

Posted in Real Estate
Jan. 23, 2019

The Importance of Homeownership to the American Dream

For centuries, people in this country have seen homeownership as part of the American Dream. Whether they were born here or immigrated from another country, they wanted to own a piece of America. With so many prominent societal changes over the last few decades, it is fair to ask if people in America still feel the same way about owning a home. The answer was made abundantly clear in two separate reports released earlier this month.

In their market trends report, As Housing Trends Shift, So Does Renter, Buyer and Seller SentimentTrulia revealed that:

“After two years of no change, the share of Americans who say that homeownership is part of their personal “American Dream” ticked up from 72 percent to 73 percent of Americans.”

At the same time, the National Association of Realtors released their Aspiring Home Buyers Profile. As the report explained:

“For both homeowners and non-homeowners alike, homeownership is strongly considered a part of the American Dream. For non-owners, roughly 75 percent reported that homeownership is part of their American Dream. For owners, nine in 10 believe it is part of their American Dream.”

Bottom Line

The belief among the vast majority of Americans, whether they rent or own, is that purchasing a home still remains a major step toward accomplishing the American Dream.

Posted in Real Estate
Jan. 16, 2019

People in Your Neighborhood: Episode 2 Recap


Do you know the people in your neighborhood? On Episode 2 of Live Love Sharon, Dianne sits down with some of the most recognizable faces in Sharon, Massachusetts.



It’s a Beautiful Life


Back in 1989, Alice Hui didn’t know the culture of the neighborhood, but decided to open a restaurant anyway. Alice's Mandarin Taste has been a staple of Sharon ever since. Her warm, positive personality and excellent customer service come naturally. She loves to talk to and understand people.


Alice explains that growing up in a different country with a different lifestyle has allowed her to notice the endless opportunities available in Sharon. This viewpoint makes her work harder and appreciate all the good in her life.


When Alice’s father visited Sharon, she told him, “I don’t know how to describe my life now, but the one thing I want to tell you is: it’s beautiful.”



Invite People In


After working in another town for 6 years, Amine Laatabi did not want to transfer Sharon. Now, he recognizes it as one of the best changes in his life. The diversity and culture of Sharon make him love the neighborhood.


And the people of Sharon love seeing Amine. As store manager of Cumberland Farms, Amine’s store stands out because it is always busy. People, even when having a bad day, always walk out with a smile.


“It’s how you present yourself to the people,” Amine explains. “(When) you talk to the customer, you have to invite them in. Treat them like your family.”



Follow Your Passion


Jimmy Stamoulis left the world of engineering to follow his passion. He opened Sharon Pizza Market in what he calls “one of the best communities around.” Now his days are full of his passion for cooking recipes from his grandma.


“When you love what you do, it doesn’t make you tired. No matter how many hours you are working, if it’s your passion and you love it, it doesn’t make you tired,” says Jimmy.


Between the warm welcome, good food, and smiles, it’s no surprise people keep returning to Sharon Pizza Market.



For the Kids


Andrea Sullivan, a long-time resident of Sharon, spends her days as the Crossing Guard Supervisor for all the elementary schools in Sharon Public Schools district.


Community is the word that comes to mind when Andrea thinks of the town of Sharon. Of course, “Miss Andrea,” as the students call her, loves spending her time with the children of the community.


“I take your kid’s life in my hands every day, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I love my job. I love seeing smiles on the kids' faces every day,” Andrea says.


We know that the people of the community make Sharon an incredible place to live. Who would you like to see featured next?

Posted in Live Love Sharon
Jan. 10, 2019

2018 Market Report

It’s time for our 2018 Market Report!


We want every market report to benefit you - the people we know are currently looking to buy or sell. This month, we answer some of the most asked questions we had at the end of the year about market statistics in Sharon, MA.


For first-time homebuyers or those looking in the $350,000-$550,000 range, what does the market look like in Sharon?


That is the sweet spot in Sharon. In 2018, the median price was $518,000, and the average price was $530,000. Out of the 204 homes sold in Sharon in 2018, over 100 were between $350,000 and $550,000. It’s a great price point to find a home in Sharon.


What happened with interest rates in 2018?


During the first quarter of 2018, we saw all the headlines saying interest rates were about to go up. That proved to be true, interest rates did go up in 2018. In Quarter 1 of 2018, average interest rates were at 4%. By Quarter 4 of 2018, interest rates averaged at 4.75%. Even though there was an increase, rates are still very low.


What was the biggest sale in Sharon in 2018?


Knowing that the average price point is in the $500,000 range, you may be surprised to learn a home sold in Sharon for $1.7M! The house is lakefront property, which in Sharon is coveted and hard to come by.


What about the cinema in Sharon? It’s gone, and I’ve heard rumors something is going on there.


There is a new development in Shaw’s Plaza. They transferred ownership, so the entire development has a new owner. We know a new health club is coming to the plaza (we can’t give away the name yet!) and believe the Dunkin' Donuts will be adding on a drive-thru.


I also see a lot happening at Sharon Gallery. What’s going on there?


Sharon Gallery is in the works, with one of the anchor tenants being Market Basket. I know many people are probably concerned about the traffic. Right now, the road plan is being approved. There will be streetlights as the road plan is finalized.


What’s the market like right now? What can we expect in 2019?

Predictions for 2019 are that inventory will be up, and we will have a stronger year of selling in 2019, with more homes sold than in 2018 and 2017 - which was a robust market.


Predictions from the top 100 economists around the country are that homes will be appreciating throughout 2019. The consensus is we will see an appreciation of around 4.6%.


If we look at Sharon from this year to last year, we saw homes appreciated about 3.5%, which is the national average. Regardless of what is going on in the country, the Northeast is very strong.

We think in 2019, we are going to have a solid market as Sharon continues to appreciate.


Final Thoughts

Everyone wants to wait for the spring market, but we had 19 homes sold in December in Sharon - that is 10% of homes sold for the entire year this past month. There are a lot of buyers looking right now. If you know you want to list your home in 2019, start the process today!


Every month, we will be giving an update on the market here in Sharon and the surrounding areas. Do you have any market questions you would like answered? Let us know in the comments!

Posted in Sharon Real Estate