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Peter B. Hawley's Blog

By Peter B. Hawley | Agent in 02540

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Falmouth  |  April 7, 2009 8:11 AM  |  1,626 views  |  No comments



    Spring is almost here on Cape Cod, being surrounded by still chilled water it takes awhile for our temperature to warm up. I have put away the snow shovel, the Osprey’s are returning to build their nests, I check a few of the nesting areas as I drive along the coast on my way to Falmouth, MA where I List and Sell Real Estate. (www.peterhawley.com)


    Not only do we have flowers appearing after a long winter, we also have many Buyers out and about every weekend, reviewing Open Houses. There is no question, there is high interest to get into the market, and there are some very attractive investments, but still many lack confidence that this is the right time to move forward. “We don’t know what to do.” is repeated over and over again.


    The fact is that there has been some price stabilization, there are many properties that continue to be over priced, and the market is not going to roar back. It is all about perception and the motivation to actually buy something. 1. If you have a 5 year plus time line to use and stay in a property, it is time to BUY. 2. Interest rates are at historical lows making it time to BUY. 3. High inventory offers more choices more negotiating opportunity and it is time to BUY. 4. Combing new Tax Credits, which range from $8,000 for first time Home Buyers to 30% of the cost for a wood stove (total tax credit does have some limits) makes it time to BUY.


    How to finally make the decision to move forward is difficult and my first suggestion is to crunch the numbers. What is your present debt level and when can you reduce or eliminate that debt? What is your credit score, and if it is low, what do you need to do to raise it so you can get the better interest rate offered? What is your cash reserve that will allow for a Down Payment, one year prepaid Home Insurance, Appraisal Fees, and Closing Costs? Have you sat down with a mortgage advisor and understand these costs?

    (www.conwayfinancial.com )  It is about the money, and if your first decision is to address the money, understand the money, work to accumulate the money, then you will be able to make many more choices, you will have the confidence to BUY.


    The old Real Estate quote, “One must be READY, WILLING and ABLE to Buy”,  continues to ring true. Understand your money and you will be, READY, and ABLE, and when you investigate the present Buying opportunities, you will be WILLING to BUY.


    I would love to meet with you, assist in crunching the numbers, review what you can afford that is available in the market, negotiate a successful outcome, so you can  Hop right into your new home. Contact me at phawley@jackconway.com





  • Government Gifts......

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Falmouth  |  March 13, 2009 9:08 AM  |  1,668 views  |  No comments

    Government Gifts……

    It is a crisp March morning as I make my way to the office in Falmouth, MA, where I List and Sell Real Estate. (www.peterhawley.com). I had a discussion with one of my clients last evening regarding the need to have some windows replaced in a property that I am Selling, and I was pleased to be able to review some of the new Tax Credits, now available in 2009 and extended through 2010.


    If you plan to make some home repairs, upgrade mechanical systems, or even buy a new car, let me direct you to 2 Internet sites that you might find interesting. First we have Alliance to Save Energy at www.ase.org Here you will find an easy to read outline of the new tax credits available from the US government. I also would direct you to the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency, where you can select your state and find all the current incentives available from your State government. I would also have you check with your local utility company and see what incentives they are offering, there are many incentives to purchase Energy Star rated appliances, converting Heating Systems and Hot Water Heaters. Leave no stone unturned when considering an investment in your property.


    For all homebuyers that might need to factor in the cost of upgrades when making an offer, this information will be helpful. Many of these incentives will have short lives, and like many things, timing is essential.


    There are also a number of Mortgage packages that allows you to factor in the cost of repairs and construction if you need to have a new roof, new kitchen, upgrade systems, and I highly suggest that you investigate these opportunities while speaking with your Lender. Here in Conway Country, our Conway Financial Services representative can fully explain the programs available. Kathleen Hallam, a member of the Falmouth Office team, is available at khallam@conway-financial.com, and would love to review those programs that you might qualify for.


    Selling and Listing Real Estate is more than just knowing about a property and which room is the kitchen, it involves Tax issues, Financing options and having the knowledge to offer the best service I can to my clients. I am available at phawley@jackconway.com

    and would love to hear from you.

  • SPRING FORWARD........

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Falmouth  |  March 9, 2009 8:52 AM  |  1,610 views  |  No comments



    The Spring Market has arrived and here in Falmouth, MA where I Sell and List properties (www.peterhawley.com) activity is on the rise, Open Houses are very busy, and with the new $8,000 Tax Credit, Low Interest Rates, a great inventory to select from I have noticed that many potential customers are starting to realize that this is a good time to BUY!


    We are all numb with the constant flow of housing articles printed each day, and most take a broad view of the country. Real estate is a local issue, and here on Cape Cod we have not experienced the plummeting values of property. This is not to say that we are unaffected by the housing market slump, of course we are, but we have not had the dramatic fall in values as many areas have.


    Foreclosures continue to enter the market and these are great Buying Opportunities for many who now can get into the market, using the $8,000 Tax Credit for First Time Home Buyers, finding excellent fixed rate mortgages and with a little elbow grease, Home Ownership is within reach.


    The arrival of the Red Winged Black Bird that swoops through the marsh has always been my first clear indication that spring is here. The Sun setting later each day is wonderful and walking along the beach, in late afternoon is the best reminder of why I love Cape Cod. It is getting time to fine tune my bike so I can ride on the Rail Trails, which I am determined to do as often as possible this year, and hopefully I will see you walking or riding along the Edge of America with me.


    I am available at phawley@jackconway.com, and if you want to explore the housing market or share with me your favorite walks and bike rides on the Cape, I would love to hear from you.




    Posted Under: Home Buying in Falmouth  |  February 25, 2009 11:11 AM  |  1,642 views  |  No comments


    I was driving to my office in Falmouth, MA where I Sell and List Real Estate, (www.peterhawley.com) listening to the morning news, so I can feel fully informed or just frustrated with world events, ever the optimist, I believe news is news and how I choose to interpret it makes it either good or bad. I only like to thinks in terms of good.


    What struck me was the discussion of cutting the deficit, spending more than one brings in, which is a good goal, but running a deficit adds to our debt, which is not a good thing.


    It is debt and the cost to carry that debt that gets people in financial trouble and the elimination of debt should be the goal of all of us. Yes, when we carry a mortgage that is a debt. The monthly investment we make in our homes is most often required so that we can work toward complete ownership. The amount of that investment is calculated on our monthly earnings and must be at a level that one can make comfortably.


    From time to time, we all deficit spend when confronted with an unexpected expense, that just must be addressed, like a home repair, an appliance replacement, work on our cars to keep them running. If we have not saved money and are not prepared for these contingencies, then we do what we have to do. Our goal must then be to eliminate this debt as quickly as possible, and to do so may require cutting back on other monthly spending. One needs to remember that debt has a cost in addition to the amount borrowed, and that costs mounts each month we carry it, possibly getting us further in debt and sometimes more than we ever expected.


    The simple answer of course is to live below our means, which can be accomplished with some planning and discipline. Often I have a client visit with me, wanting to purchase a property, and my first question always addresses their present debt load. Although they may think they can comfortably handle their present debt payments, often this is the very issue that will keep them out of the market. These are the folks I call “works in progress”, and my job is to work closely with them, preparing a strategy that will get them in a position to buy. I want my clients to buy, that is how I make money, but I also want them to be able to stay in their homes for a long period of time, so they will get a return on their investment in addition to daily use.


    I am available at phawley@jackconway.com to discuss where you might be today, so we can work together and plan for tomorrow.

  • GREAT NEWS.......

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Falmouth  |  February 20, 2009 7:49 AM  |  1,626 views  |  No comments

    Great News for First Time Home Buyers….



    I am trying to digest all the news coming from Washington DC, and there seems to be many things going on, and still more to come. I do know that the First Time Home Buyer Program has had a significant change. The first being the Tax Credit has been increased from $7,500 to $8,000. It is a complete Credit, with no pay back, which the previous rules required. This program will be available for those who purchase through December 2009, so there is a small window of opportunity to take advantage of this FREE incentive.


    Here in Falmouth, MA where I Sell and List Real Estate, (www.peterhawley.com), there has been an increase in the number of people looking for property. Now with this $8,000 Tax Credit available, Interest Rates for Mortgages in the low 5% range and possibly going lower, and a great inventory to select a house from, those who have the long view, meaning staying in a property for 5 plus years, this is the time to purchase.


    It always seems Real Estate Agents say that, it is a “Great Time to BUY”, but if you review the facts, it is a Great Time to Buy. With the increase activity of people house searching, the better opportunities are available for only short periods of time. Bank owned properties receive multiple offers and are moving. This is the segment of the market that offers real opportunity for those who have the long view. Buyers might be able to provide the TLC to those properties that have ”good bones” and with some time and effort again can sparkle.


    Will there be other buying incentives coming from Uncle Sam, we need to stay tuned to see what else might appear on the horizon.  I am confident that any new incentives will be retroactive to the beginning of 2009, so one does not need to be fence sitting, one needs to identify the properties that best meet their needs and take action they may be available next week.


    Please contact me at phawley@jackconway.com or call my direct line at 508-444-4057, to set an appointment, so we may work together and find you an OPPORTUNITY to BUY!

  • NOW WHAT....

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Falmouth  |  January 28, 2009 7:33 AM  |  1,679 views  |  No comments

    Now what……


    Up early today, throwing together another Slow Cooker meal that will simmer during the day, while I am at my office in Falmouth MA, where I List and Sell Real Estate. (www.peterhawley.com). I would be thankful for 30 degree weather, and maybe the snow expected soon will head somewhere else. I am always optimistic.


    I admit that January has been a mixed bag with many more inquiries by those who are considering selling than those actually buying, but everyone in my office has been showing property and had some busy weekends.


    Shortly I will begin to hold seminars for those who might be mired in debt, and are being held back from buying a home due to some unwise past decisions. The long-term goal is to demonstrate that most are able to pay off their debts without any extra income, and then they can begin working toward the goal of home ownership. Once a spending plan is established we can target a date certain, when one might be in the position to own. While Mortgage Interest paid, continues to be a tax-deductible gift from the government, while there is a $7,500 tax incentive for First Time Home Buyers, and Interest Rates hover around 5%, clearing out debt is paramount for the future and that includes those not wanting to buy real estate.


    Foreclosures continue to increase inventory, and for those in stable financial situations, there are many opportunities. Foreclosures may be more specifically addressed in future Congressional Economic Recovery legislation, and it is widely known that housing which makes up somewhere around 24% of the GDP, is central in keeping our economic engine



    One cannot paint the housing market with a broad brush, and here on Cape Cod, although we have had a reduction in average prices and volume sold, we continue to be a stable marketplace, mostly due to our location on the Edge of America, the ease to commute to large cities like Boston and New York, but still maintain a small town life style.


    It is my job as a Realtor® to provide service, clearly presenting options to my Sellers and Buyers, so they can meet their goals. If I can assist you in reaching your goals, contact me at phawley@jackconway.com.




    Posted Under: Home Buying in Falmouth  |  January 6, 2009 7:05 AM  |  1,669 views  |  No comments



    The wind blows and the snow swirls across the beaches as I drive toward my office in Falmouth. MA where I List and Sell Real Estate. (www.peterhawley.com)  I was listening to the morning news and quickly switched on some music, I just could not take it any more. The constant assault upon my ears of negative stories about every conceivable subject, made me think that I must be missing something that I just have not experienced.


    93% of the population, have not lost their jobs.


    Millions of people pay their mortgage, car payment and other bills on time every month.


    There is money to lend, interest rates are reaching their lowest point in years, most sellers are making a profit when they Sell, and are making good financial decisions when they Buy.


    Millions of people live within their budget, save money, and continue to invest in their future.


    Small business’s are thriving, when they offer value and excellent service to their customers.


    The sun continues to rise each morning and set each evening, the tide ebbs and flows, and the ferry from Woods Hole makes it’s run to Martha’s Vineyard right on schedule.


    Sure there are challenges, there are those who have not made wise financial decisions,  there are those who are feeling economic pressure, there are those who must come to grips with their situation, but this has always been the way of the world.


    One can choose to look at the glass as half empty or see that in fact the glass is half full, and I choose to begin each day with an optimistic view point and am prepared to assist those who wish to see the opportunity available each day and seize it. I agree with my partner Barbara L. Bauer (bbauer@jackconway.com), that Optimists have twice as many goods days as Pessimists.


     If I can be of service to you, please contact me at phawley@jackconway.com




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