Memorial Day volunteer and donation opportunities

Honor‚ remembrance‚ reflection. These are the true purposes of Memorial Day. If you are uncertain of how to honor our fallen heroes‚ consider volunteering with and/or donating to one of the following organizations:

  • TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors). Created by bereaved military families‚ TAPS provides counseling and support groups to those grieving the death of a military loved one.
  • Knights of Heroes. Through its outdoor adventure programs‚ Knights of Heroes offers adult mentorship‚ character development‚ and lasting friendships to children who have lost a parent in service to our country.
  • American Widow Project. Founded in 2007‚ the American Widow Project delivers peer counseling and educational programs to help widows rebuild their lives.
  • Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation. Provides college scholarships and educational counseling to military children who have lost a parent in the line of duty.

I hope you find this information to be helpful. Here’s to a safe and healthy holiday weekend.


Free credit reports available until April 2021

In an effort to help Americans better protect their financial health during these difficult economic times‚ the three main credit reporting agencies are now offering free weekly online credit reports. Here’s what consumers need to know:

  • Experian‚ TransUnion‚ and Equifax announced that free weekly reports from each agency are available until April 2021.
  • The process for obtaining reports remains the same: Consumers visit‚ fill out a form that includes their name‚ Social Security Number‚ and current address‚ and then select which agency’s report they wish to receive.
  • Consumers are advised to save reports as PDFs or print them out.
  • Credit reports do not include a credit score. Reports give access to the credit information that is used to calculate a score.

I hope your customers find this information to be helpful. As always‚ I enjoy staying in touch.


Overall home sales up 0.8%

COVID-19’s impact on the housing market is just starting to be felt. And while the latest numbers are unfavorable‚ silver linings can be found. Here is the most recent housing data from the National Association of REALTORS®1:

  • Total existing home sales fell 8.5% from February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.27 million in March. Despite the decline‚ overall sales were up 0.8% from a year ago—the ninth straight month of increases.
  • The median sales price jumped 8% from this time last year to $280‚600.
  • March’s national price increase marked 97 straight months of year-over-year gains.

I wish you good health as your business adapts to the current climate. I am here if you need assistance.

1“Home sales increase year-over-year despite expected monthly March sales decline due to impact of COVID-19‚” National Association of REALTORS®‚ last updated April 21‚ 2020.


Tips for a more welcoming entryway

A foyer is more than just an entryway—it provides a first impression to a home’s visitors. Share with customers these strategies for making a foyer more welcoming1:

  • Seating options. For those who like to kick off their shoes upon arrival‚ seating makes this task easier. For homes with limited space‚ a small stool works just as well as a larger bench.
  • Let in the light. Natural light‚ ceiling lighting‚ and bright-colored walls help set a positive tone.
  • Clutter containment. Shelves‚ trays‚ and hooks can store common clutter like coats‚ mail‚ and keys.

As always‚ it is a pleasure staying in touch.

1Larissa Runkle‚ “Six classic foyer décor mistakes that make designers cringe‚”®‚ last updated March 17‚ 2020.


Builder confidence drops—yet still remains high

While the spreading coronavirus impacted both U.S. and global economies in March‚ builder confidence in the housing market remained solid nationally and here in New England.1 More from the National Association of Home Builders®:

  • The Housing Market Index (HMI) saw a two-point drop to 72 after holding steady in the low- to mid-70s for the past six months. A score over 50 means more than half of builders see favorable conditions.
  • The HMI score in the Northeast region may sit below the national average‚ but it did rise two points to 64 in March.
  • Twenty-one percent of builders surveyed reported a disruption in material supplies due to the virus’ effect in other countries‚ such as China.

If you have any questions‚ please contact me. I am always here to help.

1Robert Dietz‚ “Builder confidence declines but remains solid amid rising risks‚” Eye on Housing Blog‚ last updated March 17‚ 2020.