How to visit the kids, throw a dinner party, take a class. Safely.

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Zoom.com has become a life-line tool that’s going to help us get through the next few weeks of social distancing. You may have already used it for work. If you haven’t or don’t know what it is, read on …

 

What is Zoom? Think “conference call” but with a camera. The camera is key:

  • My wife taught a yoga class on Zoom Saturday.
  • Last night we had dinner with friends on Zoom.
  • My niece may have her wedding shower on Zoom.

You can use zoom.com to participate in almost any event, with others, no matter where they are. And you don’t have to be in the same room with them.

  • It’s cheap: there’s a decent “free” account or it’s about $15 a month for PRO
  • It’s easy. If you have a smart phone (iPhone, etc) or a laptop or a tablet, any device with a camera, it’ll work.
  • And it’s about as social as we can get during our “new normal”.

Once you’ve signed up, take a look at this link. It’s our favorite quick tutorial with Farrah explaining the controls: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/115005759423-Managing-participants-in-a-meeting

We hope this helps.
Bob and Sue McDermott • Kenny MacCarthy • Gibson Sotheby’s International

Are we headed for a recession?

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A lot of our friends are worried and asking. So we did some research, some reading and this is what we think. (Reverse spoiler alert: the news is not all bad.)

We’re already in a type of recession. Almost over night, the vast majority of businesses, world wide, are closed or almost closed. It feels awful, like a crash. But that’s the right side of our brains, the emotional side.

Let’s move to the left or “logical” side and look at history and some data. So far, the results of the pandemic are very similar to those caused by the events of September 11th, 2001. The horror of 911 triggered a recession of business, finances, loss of productivity, travel, retail. Life, as we knew it, was changed instantly.

History will likely remember Covid 19 and the pandemic, in a similar way: as an “event” that changed life as we knew it very quickly.

911 and the pandemic are both events. And THAT is the bright spot at the end of the tunnel. We can recover from events sooner and easier than from long term issues with a system.

So how will this EVENT effect real estate prices? Our chart tells the story. In three of the five past recessions, prices went up. In 2008, the reduction in prices was caused by a problem with the system, not an event. It took years for the problem to surface and then years to bounce back.

This time, we’re living in the results of an event, a virus. It’s biological and NOT a problem with the system. It’s sort of like a really bad snow storm: sooner or later the snow will melt and we’ll be able to work and play and travel and, yes, buy and sell real estate again.

Our advice: sit back and sit tight. This, too, shall pass.

Bob and Sue McDermott • Kenny MacCarthy • Gibson Sotheby’s International

 

Definitely Not Business As Usual

As events unfold and cause changes day by day, sometimes hour by hour, it’s not easy for anyone to keep up. For the time being, we’re going to try to break down “what’s happening” in our market, a little at a time.

Let’s assume you were hoping to sell or buy a home within the next few weeks or months, but aren’t actually in the process. The following will definitely affect you if you decide to ramp it up:

  • As of noon, March 24, 2020, there is a “work from home” order in place in MA for all non essential businesses until April 7. It means no face-to-face meetings.
  • 3rd party service providers (photographers, stagers, contractors, appraissers, inspectors, real estate agents, etc.) are not allowed to go out. Service providers can work, consult, talk, conference and advise as long as it’s from their own homes. No face-to-face meetings.
  • The back log in lending (caused by a slew of recent refinancing) is growing and slowing the sale/purchase process. No face-to-face meetings.
  • County and town offices (registry of deeds, final water meter reads) are closed and/or only allowing electronic filing. Again. No face-to-face meetings.
  • Notarization issues abound. Because we’re under “stay at home” rules, attorneys can no longer “witness” and notarize deeds, mortgages, 6D certificates, etc. No face-to-face meetings.

Some of these issues (like notarization) have been resolved. But it’s still far from business as usual.

What to do?

It’s simple. Wait. This will pass and we’ll all be able to go back out again.

We’ll be posting again soon with some data. We hope this helps.

Bob and Sue McDermott • Kenny MacCarthy • Gibson Sotheby’s International

Dear Friends and Neighbors …

Our “new normal” doesn’t feel normal. Life goes on, but at a different pace, with different priorities.

Since statistics can sometimes have a grounding effect, we offer the following:

  • Last year 61 homes and condos went under contract or were sold in Rockport, Gloucester, Manchester, Essex and Beverly from 2/20/2019 – 3/20/2019.
  • This year, as of today, same time period: 66 homes and condos went under contract or were sold in Rockport, Gloucester, Manchester, Essex and Beverly.

The viris has caused an event, albeit tragic and worldwide, but it’s still an event and not a problem with the financial system. We’ve heard some refer to it as being like a really bad snow storm: sooner or later, the snow will melt and we’ll be able to go out and about again. If we stay calm, stay sane and stay home for a couple of weeks, the infection curve will flatten and the snow will melt.

Our advice:

  • Don’t forget to smile a lot and be helpful while you’re social distancing.
  • Every night before bed, watch stand-up comedy on TV.
  • Pause and remember that we’re all in this together.

 

Bob and Sue McDermott • Kenny MacCarthy • Gibson Sotheby’s International

 

The Golf Course Home Guide

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Thinking about living at one of the North Shore’s private golf clubs?  The Golf Course Home Guide is an easy way for you to receive up-to-the-minute information on pricing, size, bedrooms and the pulse of the market, all via email.

Click here and tell us where to send your free report.

Kenny MacCarthy / Bob and Sue McDermott / Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty

Photo: Homes on Lincoln Way, Turner Hill Golf Club, Ipswich MA

The Golf Course Home Guide

cover

 

Thinking about living at one of the North Shore’s private golf clubs?  The Golf Course Home Guide is an easy way for you to receive up-to-the-minute information on pricing, size, bedrooms and the pulse of the market, all via email.

Click here and tell us where to send your free report.

Kenny MacCarthy / Bob and Sue McDermott / Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty

Photo: Homes on Lincoln Way, Turner Hill Golf Club, Ipswich MA

The Golf Course Home Guide

cover

 

Thinking about living at one of the North Shore’s private golf clubs?  The Golf Course Home Guide is an easy way for you to receive up-to-the-minute information on pricing, size, bedrooms and the pulse of the market, all via email.

Click here and tell us where to send your free report.

Kenny MacCarthy / Bob and Sue McDermott / Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty

Photo: Homes on Lincoln Way, Turner Hill Golf Club, Ipswich MA

Homes in Gloucester and Rockport

 

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There are seasonal and year-round homes and condos for sale in Gloucester and Rockport right now. The Cape Ann Waterfront Guide is an easy way for you to receive up-to-the-minute information on pricing, size, bedrooms and the pulse of the market, all via email.

Click here and tell us where to send your free report.

Kenny MacCarthy / Bob and Sue McDermott / Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty

Photo: sunset from Rowley Shore Road, Gloucester MA by Kenny MacCarthy