Worcester Business Journal - JANUARY 16, 2018
ERA Key Realty Services set an all-time high of home sales last year, with $769 million in sales, the Northbridge agency announced.ERA Key President Cheryl Eidinger-Taylor said the agency’s record-high sales number was especially noteworthy because of a low inventory in the state has balanced out high sale prices.
“Many agencies have found it difficult to grow in this market, but we’ve had an exceptional year,” she said. The agency’s 2,385 home sales in 2017 was a 4-percent drop from the prior year. Year-to-year sales in total, however, rose by just under 3 percent.Eidinger-Taylor predicted another strong year in 2018, but the agency has very few homes listed on the market — fewer than 2,000, compared to what is typically more than 6,000, she said.
ERA Key has 15 offices in Central and Eastern Massachusetts. According to the company, it is one of the top agencies in the state and the top 10 ERA agencies in the country, based on sales and total volume.
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If you are debating purchasing a home right now, you are probably getting a lot of advice. Though your friends and family will have your best interest at heart, they may not be fully aware of your needs and what is currently happening in the real estate market.
Ask yourself the following 3 questions to help determine if now is actually a good time for you to buy in today’s market.
1. Why am I buying a home in the first place?
This truly is the most important question to answer. Forget the finances for a minute. Why did you even begin to consider purchasing a home? For most, the reason has nothing to do with money.
For example, a recent survey by Braun showed that over 75% of parents say “their child’s education is an important part of the search for a new home.”
This survey supports a study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University which revealed that the four major reasons people buy a home have nothing to do with money. They are:
- A good place to raise children and for them to get a good education
- A place where you and your family feel safe
- More space for you and your family
- Control of that space
When it comes to energy efficiency, look for smart features and expertise to help you save energy and money and add value to your home.
1. Begin with a Right-Sized Home.
If the home you buy is simply too large for you or your family’s needs or plans, you stand a good chance of wasting energy through excessive heating and cooling costs. If it’s too small, you’ll feel cramped and uncomfortable. It’s a big investment, so seek balance and buy it “right” from the outset.
2. Purchase Energy Star Appliances Such as Your TV, Dishwasher, Washer and Dryer, and Microwave.
And especially the refrigerator, as it alone contributes about 10 percent of the energy use in a home. Also, unplug electronics not in use or turn off power strips to avoid phantom charges.
3. Install Efficient Lighting Such as Compact Fluorescent (CLF) or LED Bulbs in Every Fixture.
Lighting accounts for about 6 percent of an energy bill each year.
4. Get an Energy Audit and Have Tests Performed to Identify Ways of Improving Your Efficiency.
You can always upgrade your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system as well as your thermal envelope, which includes insulation, windows, and doors and the seals or weather stripping around them. Visit energy.gov/energytips for more tips.