I met the owners of the George M. D. Sargent House at an open house I was having for one of my Belmont listings. After living and loving their home for 43 years, it was time to downsize and pass on stewardship of their gorgeous Victorian to another owner. I met with the owners at their home to learn more about their goals and needs.

Their home was rich in history, having been owned by George M.D. Sargent, a strawberry farmer in the late 1800s.  The amazing craftsmanship of this home appeared in the detailed moldings around the fireplace and mantle as well as in the arches and doorways throughout the house.  Throughout the decades of ownership, this majestic home was restored and renovated. The high ceilings and incredible period detailing were blended seamlessly modern updates and new systems.

Because of privacy, they wanted an off-market transaction. Additionally, they wanted to find new owners who would appreciate and preserve the character of the home. Almost immediately, I had found them buyers who were looking to upsize and who fell in love with the character and beauty of this special property.

By providing the resources that the owners needed to downsize, the transition for both the buyers and sellers occurred stress-free.

I was delighted to receive this nice testimonial from them after they had settled in to their new home.

“Carolyn deserves 150% trust. We gave her our house to sell, went to Europe, and she took care not only of the sale of our house, but she helped us through the process to buy the new one in New Hampshire.  You couldn’t find a more honest, reliable, detail-minded person then Carolyn Boyle in this market.”








If you’re hoping to make 2018 the year you finally simplify your life, here is a month-by-month guide to making your home feel more spacious and your schedule lighter. Take a look now to see which projects you might want to put on your list, and then save it to your ideabook to keep it handy throughout the seasons. Read full article on Houzz.com.

As we begin 2017, here’s a look back on the Belmont real estate market and a perspective on the coming year.

2016 saw the continuation of several trends: an abundance of prospective buyers, low available housing inventory and a very strong Sellers Market.

Single family house prices continued to rise, with the average single family house price reaching an all time high at $1,126,053, up 7% from a year ago. Inventory of houses for sale dropped, with only 121 single family homes sold in Belmont in 2016, down (-23%) from last year. This dramatically lower number of homes for sale marked an 8-year low.

We continued to see strong buyer demand for single family houses. Since the market started to recover in 2010, the “days to offer” (DTO) number has generally been going down, with many houses being scooped up in less than 10 days on the market. Another key indicator of demand, average sale price to average list price, has been on the rise. In the last 3 years, the ratio of average sale price for single family homes has been at or higher than the average list price. For 2016, this ratio was at 102%. Combined, these two measures mean that buyers were acting quickly and offering more to beat out other buyers.

When is the busiest time in the real estate market? As you would expect, the peak happens in the March – June timeframe, and in Belmont, we have another mini-spike in the fall. When is the best time to buy? Data shows that January and February are the best times to purchase a home, before the spring market heats up.

The current outlook for 2017 is still quite positive and it is anticipated that the year will start off with strong demand as interest rates begin to slowly rise and many buyers from 2016 continue their home search. If you’ve been considering selling your house, now is the right time to start preparing. Preparing early and correctly means a bigger return on your home.

View market report.

Is your home in need of some updating? Did you just receive a bonus check or a tax refund from the IRS and are not sure how to use the money as best as possible? Investing money into your home with select home improvement projects can have a significant impact on your home’s value. Here is a list of enhancement projects according to research teams from both the National Association of Realtors and Realtor Magazine that include some of the highest returns on your investment.

Front Door – Replacing a boring or beat up front door with an architecturally stimulating one can enhance your home’s curb appeal and also increase energy efficiency and safety. A new steel entry door on average costs just over $1,100 but has a ROI of over 96%.

Garage Door – Continuing on the theme of exterior doors, replacing those old garage doors with modern ones costs on average about $1,500 and has an ROI of over 83%. A garage is sought after by many buyers and has a big impact on appearance making for a great investment.

Windows – Your home’s exterior appearance would not be complete without the importance of quality, functioning windows. New, energy efficient windows can cut down on your energy costs and potentially earn you tax credits with select models. Replacing windows with wood replacements has a 79.3% ROI while vinyl replacements are at 78.7%.

Deck – Decks are ideal for outdoor enjoyment and can provide a great space to entertain. A 16 foot by 20 foot deck will cost on average about $9,500 but you will gain an 87.4% return on it after resale. Already have a deck? Consider giving it a facelift with a fresh coat of paint or stain, adding a bench or screening.

Add a Bedroom – An additional bedroom can add tremendous value to your home. Building out an attic into a 15 foot by 15 foot bedroom with a 5 by 7 bathroom with shower does cost you close to $50,000, however, you can expect an 84% ROI on the project.

Update Your Kitchen – Kitchens are one of the most important rooms in any home. Fortunately, you don’t have to gut your kitchen down to the studs to make add value. Consider keeping your existing cabinets but replace the doors and drawers. Swap out those older appliances with some new energy models along with a new sink and countertops and you will have made a big improvement for significantly less than a full remodel. This type of mid-range remodel can yield an estimated 82% ROI.

Interested in another great financial move but don’t want to take on a project? Make one extra mortgage payment per year and apply this to your mortgage principal. This can reduce your overall debt and brings the lifespan of a 30 year mortgage down to 22 years.

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