Cambridge Area Real Estate Newsletter*
                                                                                                September, 2008
Dear Friends and Neighbors,

The Cambridge Housing Assistance Fund (CHAF), which I have directed for ten years, will present “Home Sweet Home,” a Dessert and Port Wine Tasting to Open Doors for the Homeless from 7 – 11 PM on November 14th in the President’s Ballroom at The Hyatt Regency Cambridge. Celebrity Chefs Judy Rosenberg of Rosie’s Bakery, Jed Hackney of the Harvest Restaurant (Harvard Square), Hyatt Host Chef Robert Daugherty and many more of the areas best pastry, dessert and ice cream chefs will compete for your vote for best dessert awards.

Tickets for the President’s Ballroom with dessert and dancing to Toussaint and the China Band are $50; and $75 gains you added admission to our VIP room with appetizers and dessert/port wine tastings. Tickets and donation options are available at www.CHAFund.org. Remember to enter code RR22 to be entered in exciting raffle contests. You will soon receive an invitation from me which you may use as well to order tickets or make a donation.

Your contribution will help CHAF reach it’s goal this year to raise $200,000 to help more than 225 homeless and near homeless families escape or avoid the trauma of homelessness. Many of these families are living in shelters, or sometimes their cars, working multiple minimum wage jobs to save up enough to move into an apartment and stabilize their children’s lives. Others are at risk of losing their homes and are trying to avoid the devastation of falling into homelessness. It costs CHAF on average only $670 to prevent a family from falling into homelessness. Once homeless, it costs the state $37,000 of our tax dollars to maintain that same family in the state shelter system. Your contribution can make a big difference in people’s lives! For information about CHAF or to find out how you can help or make an on line donation, visit www.CHAFund.org.

It’s been a tumultuous year in the national financial and housing markets with the collapse of Bear Stearns, sub prime loans and now the takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by the government. These institutions are considered essential to the liquidity of the mortgage market and without them it would be very difficult to get a mortgage which could bring down the national housing market even further. It is said that saving these institutions will restore investor confidence and reduce interest rates, which may help to spur recovery of the national economy and housing market. In fact, as of this writing September 9th, interest rates plummeted in reaction to news of the takeover. Conforming rates are now 5.75% for a conforming 30 year fixed rate loan up to $417,000 with no points.

In spite of the national decline and what you read in the media, the Cambridge area real estate market has been remarkably resilient and has held its value well. While activity, or number of sales per year is down, prices have remained remarkably steady and single family prices year to date actually show a significant increase over 2007.

If anything a reported shortage of inventory is affecting the market and although there are buyers who want to buy, there may not be the right inventory for them to buy.

This may indicate that now is a good time for sellers to put their homes on market. Price, condition and location remain the three most important factors in selling real estate. Houses with two out of three usually do well. We have seen some very strong sales this year relative to the market. The $300s is an especially strong price range this year with several condos selling over asking with multiple bids! New construction and renovated properties are also strong as well as high end properties.

For buyers, many believe and stats indicate the market may be flattening out or bottoming out and it may be a good time for buyers to come back into the market and find some good deals, possibly before prices start to go up again. As part of the national stimulus package, there is also a $7,500 tax credit available for a limited time to first time buyers.

If you are considering selling, and you want to have the best advice on how to market and position your house in today’s real estate market, let me know. And if you are buying, and want to have experienced advice on what house to buy and how much to pay, give me a call.

If anyone you know is considering buying or selling, most of my business comes from word of mouth and referrals by satisfied clients. I hope you will consider giving my name to your friends and associates.

I'm celebrating my 21st year in Cambridge area real estate sales, and with 15 years before that as a designer/builder/woodworker, that's 36 years experience working with Cambridge area housing! Thank you for your many referrals and for contributing to my success!

I look forward to hearing from you, whether to simply catch up, or to assist you with real estate.

David Pap

Work:          617.844.2756                          
Cell:   617.594.1088       
Email Address: David.Pap@NEMoves.com
Website: www.DavidPap.com

*While this newsletter is mostly about Cambridge, I do cover surrounding communities as well. Every town is different, so call me if you have questions about the value of your home or what to buy.