Showing posts with label Norfolk County. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Norfolk County. Show all posts

Monday, July 15, 2024

Register O'Donnell Announces 41,500th Book Printed at Norfolk County Registry of Deeds

Celebrating a significant milestone at the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds, Register William P. O'Donnell today announced the Registry recently completed printing its 41,500th book of recorded land documents, marking an important occasion for the many who appreciate the convenience of modernization and the reliability of the time-tested method of printing land document books to keep records.

 

Register O'Donnell noted, "The printing of our 41,500th book, which includes land documents such as deeds, homesteads, mortgages, and mortgage discharges, is a significant event in the life of the Registry and a testament to the volume of work completed each and every business day here at the Registry of Deeds. The printing of Book 41,500 links us to the Registry's rich history, which dates back to 1793.

 

Register O'Donnell Announces 41,500th Book Printed at Norfolk County Registry of Deeds
Register O'Donnell Announces 41,500th Book Printed at Norfolk County Registry of Deeds

While the printing of books is ongoing, it is important to note that the Registry continues to embrace and utilize cutting-edge technologies, allowing us to record land documents instantaneously. Documents are scanned and available for viewing within 24 business hours of recording at www.norfolkdeeds.org. This modern approach to document recording makes it possible for the digital land document library, which is on Book 41871, to stay up-to-date and accurate.

 

This digitalization process has greatly improved accessibility and efficiency for those seeking land records. Additionally, the Registry of Deeds actively works to ensure the security and integrity of these digital records through regular backups and advanced data protection measures.

 

"Our computer systems have been backed up on a nightly and weekly basis for decades. This redundancy allows the Registry to maintain a permanent record of all land document recordings in the event of a disaster affecting our building at 649 High Street, Dedham. In addition, the Registry also, per state law, microfilms all recorded land documents and ships the microfilm off-site to a secure location where it can be retrieved in the event of a catastrophe," stated the Register.

 

The Register further emphasized the importance of these measures, stating that the backup systems and off-site storage ensure the preservation and accessibility of important land documents even in the face of unforeseen circumstances. This commitment to safeguarding records reflects the Registry's dedication to providing reliable and uninterrupted services to the public.

 

Residents and those with an interest in Norfolk County property records are encouraged to visit the Registry of Deeds. Users of the Registry have options to view land documents by whichever means they are comfortable with. You, as a member of the public, can research property in hard copy via books, online at one of our many computer workstations available to the public, or from the convenience of your home or work computer.

 

The Registry of Deeds understands the importance of accessibility and convenience for its users. By offering both physical and online options to view land documents, individuals can choose the method that best suits their needs and preferences. This commitment to flexibility ensures that residents and those with an interest in Norfolk County property records can easily access the information they require, further enhancing the Registry's dedication to providing reliable and uninterrupted services.

 

Concluding his remarks, Register O'Donnell stated, "The core mission of the Registry of Deeds is to record land documents in a safe, accurate, secure, and accessible manner. Part of this charge is to serve as a depository for over 13 million land documents recorded from the Registry's beginning in 1793 right up to the present day. While we have embraced the latest technologies to improve efficiencies, the printing of books allows us to maintain a permanent hard copy record of each recorded land document on-site."

  

If you would like to stay up-to-date on upcoming Registry of Deeds events, programs, and real estate information, you can sign up for our Registry email updates at www.norfolkdeeds.org, like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/norfolkdeeds, or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/norfolkdeeds.

 

The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds, located at 649 High St., Dedham, is the principal office for real property in Norfolk County. The Registry is a resource for homeowners, title examiners, mortgage lenders, municipalities, and others with a need for secure, accurate, and accessible land record information. All land record research information can be found on the Registry's website, www.norfolkdeeds.org. Residents in need of assistance can contact the Registry of Deeds Customer Service Center at (781) 461-6101 or email us at registerodonnell@norfolkdeeds.org.


Saturday, July 13, 2024

Sheriff's Summer Safety Fest in Plainville - July 20




We're excited to announce our first Sheriff's Summer Safety Fest of the summer! On Saturday, July 20th, join us at Telford Park (142 South Street in Plainville) from 1-4pm for a fun, free, and family-friendly afternoon with activities, summer safety resources, inflatables and more! 


Norfolk County Sheriff's Office | 200 West St | Dedham, MA 02027 US


Constant Contact

Tuesday, July 9, 2024

June Property Sales Price Increase from Last Year, Down from Last Month in Norfolk County, MA

Norfolk County Register of Deeds William P. O’Donnell reported that Norfolk County recordings for the month of June 2024 indicate a decrease in overall real estate activity, with decreases in property sales and transfers as compared to June 2023.

 

The average sale price of commercial and residential properties for June 2024 rose to $1,153,576, an 11% increase compared to June 2023 but a decrease of 8% from May 2024. The total dollar volume of commercial and residential sales is down 5% from last year but up 7% from last month.

 

June Property Sales Price Increase  from Last Year, Down from Last Month in Norfolk County, MA
June Property Sales Price Increase  from Last Year, Down from Last Month in Norfolk County, MA

“I think many would agree that it is a difficult market for buyers, especially first-time home buyers, due to the limited inventory of available property and an increase in property prices compared to previous years,” stated Norfolk County Register of Deeds William P. O’Donnell.

 

The total number of deeds recorded for June 2024, which reflects both commercial and residential real estate sales and transfers, was 1,474, down 14% from June 2023 and down 2% from May 2024. However, looking at just home sales from last month, June 2024 saw a 16% increase compared to May 2024.

 

"Through the late spring and early summer months, we have seen a consistent rise in property sales month over month, and as the traditional home buying season continues, we hope to see similar activity in July and August as well as an increased number of property listings, which may help alleviate some of the pressure on buyers," stated Register O'Donnell. “However, the overall trend of a lack of inventory and increasing prices is still a concern.”

 

In June, lending activity decreased compared to the same month a year ago. A total of 1,390 mortgages were recorded in June 2024, down 3% from June 2023 and roughly the same number recorded last month.

 

“Homeowners who took advantage of lower interest rates in 2020 and 2021 are less likely to refinance and are more hesitant to buy at current mortgage interest rates. Higher interest rates also make it harder for first-time home buyers to secure affordable repayment options,” noted O'Donnell.

 

The Registry of Deeds recorded 9,062 documents in June 2024. This was 14% less than in June 2023, and a 2% decrease compared to May 2024.

 

“The number of deed recordings and mortgage recordings are significant contributors to overall real estate activity, and whenever either or both of these numbers decline, there will be a substantial decrease in the total number of recordings,” stated Norfolk County Register of Deeds William P. O’Donnell.

 

The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds has been closely monitoring the foreclosure market. In June 2024, there were 9 foreclosure deeds recorded as a result of mortgage foreclosures taking place in Norfolk County, the same number recorded in June 2023. However, in June 2024, there were 37 notices to foreclose, the first step in the foreclosure process, more than the 28 recorded in June 2023.

 

“The number of these notices is troubling. It suggests that more of our neighbors may have financial difficulties in the future,” said O'Donnell. “If you are having difficulty paying your monthly mortgage, please consider contacting one of these non-profit agencies for help and guidance,” said O’Donnell.

 

For the past several years, the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds has partnered with Quincy Community Action Programs (617-479-8181 x376) and NeighborWorks Housing Solutions (508-587-0950) to help anyone facing challenges paying their mortgage. Another option for homeowners is to contact the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Consumer Advocacy and Response Division (CARD) at 617-727-8400.

 

O’Donnell concluded, “It comes down to the lack of available property inventory. In general, an increase in the number of properties on the market will help bring down costs. Lower costs will alleviate the effects of higher interest rates. These factors together may help increase the number of individuals who can participate in the American dream of owning a home.”

 

To learn more about these and other Registry of Deeds events and initiatives, "like" us on Facebook at facebook.com/norfolkdeeds. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @norfolkdeeds.

 

The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds, located at 649 High St., Dedham, is the principal office for real property in Norfolk County. The Registry is a resource for homeowners, title examiners, mortgage lenders, municipalities, and others with a need for secure, accurate, and accessible land record information. All land record research information can be found on the Registry's website, www.norfolkdeeds.org. Residents in need of assistance can contact the Registry of Deeds Customer Service Center at (781) 461-6101 or email us at registerodonnell@norfolkdeeds.org.

Monday, July 1, 2024

Norfolk County Deeds: Probate Court Records and Your Real Estate Title

Norfolk County Register of Deeds William P. O’Donnell today reminded homeowners how title to real estate may also be affected by records filed with the Probate and Family Court.

 

“People sometimes confuse the terms deed and title. A deed is a written document that transfers ownership rights to a property from one party to another,” noted Norfolk County Register of Deeds William P. O’Donnell. “Unlike the title to a vehicle that consists of a one-page document issued by the Registry of Motor Vehicles, title to real estate is a legal principle that establishes whether a party has the legal right to use, control, and eventually sell a property as evidenced by documents that are recorded and become public records.”

 

The majority of documentation affecting the title to real estate is recorded here at the Registry of Deeds. In Norfolk County, the Registry of Deeds is located at 649 High Street in downtown Dedham, across from the gold domed Superior Court.


Norfolk County Deeds: Probate Court Records and Your Real Estate Title
Norfolk County Deeds: Probate Court Records and Your Real Estate Title


“Our trained staff indexes the relevant information and stamps it with a book and page reference,” stated Register O'Donnell. “Copies of the deed can be easily accessed by checking our indexes which can be found on the Registry website, www.norfolkdeeds.org  and obtaining the book and page reference.”

 

Deed book and page references may be needed when a party is preparing to sell or mortgage property or drafting estate plans. All the land records dating back to the establishment of Norfolk County in 1793 are available via the Norfolk Registry’s internet land record research system.

 

“Most people acquire their property by a deed that identifies the grantor and the grantee, the purchase price, if any and a legal description. The deed is recorded here at the Norfolk Registry of Deeds for the 28 communities that make up Norfolk County,” stated Register O'Donnell. “However, there are numerous instances where title to real estate may also be affected by records filed with the Probate and Family Court.”

 

The Probate and Family Court for Norfolk County is located at 35 Shawmut Road, Canton. Most experienced attorneys and title examiners, when examining title to a specific property, will examine not only the records at the Registry of Deeds but will also check the Probate and Family Court records.

“We often get questions from property owners who can’t find the book and page reference to their deed. More often than not, that is because the owner acquired their title through the probate process, not by a recorded deed,” stated Register O'Donnell. “When a person owns real estate in just their name and passes away, their property, including any real estate passes to their estate which is then probated in the Probate Court for the county where they resided.”

 

When the decedent (the individual who passed away) leaves a will, the party that has been named in the will as a personal representative submits the will and supporting documentation, including a petition for formal or informal probate of the will.

 

Register O'Donnell explained, “Title to the real estate passes under the terms of the will to whomever is named as the devisee or devisees for that property, subject to the Court issuing a decree allowing the will. A similar process is followed when the decedent does not leave a will. In that case title to the property would pass per Massachusetts State Law to the decedent’s heirs-at-law. In either case, the party acquiring title to the property has the same interest they would have if the property was deeded to them. However, with title that is acquired through the probate process there is no recorded deed with a book and page reference.”

 

“The problem with the lack of a deed reference when title is obtained through probate was alleviated somewhat when Massachusetts enacted the Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code in March 2012,” noted O'Donnell.

 

The Massachusetts probate statute now provides for the recording of a “deed of distribution” from the personal representative to the devisees or heirs. This allows owners of recorded land to reference the book and page of the deed of distribution that is recorded at the Registry of Deeds as their source of title.

 

“However, if the property is registered land, deeds of distribution are not filed and additional steps have to be taken to establish title in the devisees or heirs,” noted O'Donnell.

 

There are two categories of land records in Massachusetts: recorded and registered. All land is in one category or the other, and it is possible for a single parcel to include both types. Registered land comprises about 20% of the property in Norfolk County.

 

O'Donnell stated, “In order to establish title to registered land in the name of a devisee or heir-at-law, a petition and copies of the probate proceedings have to be filed with the Land Court in Boston. Once the Land Court is satisfied that the necessary steps have been taken to establish title in the devisees or heirs, the Court will issue an order that is filed in the Registry’s land registration section and a new certificate will be issued.”

 

The Chief Title Examiner of the Land Court has issued a memorandum detailing the process that can be found online at: https://www.mass.gov/doc/land-court-chief-title-examiner-memorandum-re-land-court-guideline-14-death-the-effect-of-death/download .

 

Divorce records filed in the Probate and Family Court records may also impact title to real estate.

 

“Purchasers of property from parties who are in the process of getting divorced or have been divorced should examine the terms of any separation agreement that have been filed to make sure the terms of the agreement as it relates to the real estate have been complied with. Attorneys and title examiners tasked with certifying title to a real estate property will check the Probate and Family Court records including any divorce records,” stated O'Donnell.

 

In addition, by operation of Massachusetts Law, the tenancy of parties who acquired title as tenants by the entirety will become a tenancy in common upon the final judgment of divorce. If either party dies before they convey the property, the interest of the deceased party will have to be probated; it will not pass to the surviving party.

 

The Norfolk Registry of Deeds has a computer on-site dedicated to Probate and Family Court records for the convenience of attorneys and title examiners. The Trial Court also has a website at https://www.masscourts.org/eservices/home.page.2 where records can be found pertaining to cases filed in the various courts, including Probate and Family Court divorce and probate records.

 

O'Donnell concluded, “As always, if Norfolk County residents have a Registry related question about the title to their property, the answer is just a phone call away by dialing the Customer Service Center at (781) 461-6101. The department is open Monday through Friday from 8:30AM to 4:30PM.”

 

To learn more about these and other Registry of Deeds events and initiatives, "like" us on Facebook at facebook.com/norfolkdeeds. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @norfolkdeeds.

 

The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds is located at 649 High Street in Dedham.  The Registry is a resource for homeowners, title examiners, mortgage lenders, municipalities, and others with a need for secure, accurate, and accessible land record information.  All land record research information can be found on the Registry’s website, www.norfolkdeeds.org.  Residents in need of assistance can contact the Registry of Deeds Customer Service Center via telephone at (781) 461-6101 or email us at registerodonnell@norfolkdeeds.org.

Monday, June 24, 2024

Register O'Donnell Warns Homeowners About Deed Scams

Register of Deeds William P. O’Donnell today reminded Norfolk County residents to disregard a direct mail solicitation offering them a certified copy of their property deed for an outrageous fee of anywhere from $60-$112. 

Register O’Donnell stated, “For the past several years, a California company has been preying on unsuspecting homeowners by sending a direct mail solicitation asking them to send a check for $112 in order to receive a copy of their deed. If a consumer knew that they could print a non-certified copy of their deed for free from our website www.norfolkdeeds.org or obtain a certified copy of their deed for a charge of only $1.00 per page plus an additional $1.00 for postage, they would never agree to pay such an outrageous fee for service. The average price for a mailed homeowner’s certified deed copy by the Registry (usually two pages) is $3.00.”

Warning About Deed Scams
Warning About Deed Scams
Consumers should always be cautious of unsolicited requests for payment, especially when it comes to official documents like property deeds. It's important to research and verify the legitimacy of any requests before sending money.

“These solicitations,” noted O’Donnell, “are labeled Recorded Deed Notice and request that the homeowner forward a check in the amount of $112 for a copy of their deed. The Registry has been contacted by multiple individuals who have received this solicitation. Please do not fall for this scam.”

Always verify the source of any request for payment for official documents, as scammers often target homeowners with deceptive tactics. It's advisable to contact the appropriate authorities, such as the Registry, to confirm the legitimacy of any such requests before taking any action. If you receive such a deed solicitation notice, please contact the Registry’s Customer Service Center at (781) 461-6101 or by email at registerodonnell@norfolkdeeds.org.

Register O’Donnell concluded, “While the deed direct mail solicitation may be legal, it is unconscionable as it takes needless advantage of individuals. Clearly, this is a scam being perpetrated against hard working Norfolk County residents, many of whom are first-time homeowners or elderly. Consumers are interpreting these notices as a bill, since they are affixed with a due date. I once again urge in the strongest terms that Norfolk County citizens not let themselves fall victim to these types of misleading deed scam advertisements.”

Additionally, if you desire a certified copy of your own deed, also contact the Customer Service Center and they will be glad to provide you with one for a nominal fee of usually $2.00-$3.00. 

If you would like to stay up-to-date on upcoming Registry of Deeds events, programs, and real estate information, you can sign up for our Registry email updates at www.norfolkdeeds.org, like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/norfolkdeeds, or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/norfolkdeeds.

The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds, located at 649 High St., Dedham, is the principal office for real property in Norfolk County. The Registry is a resource for homeowners, title examiners, mortgage lenders, municipalities, and others with a need for secure, accurate, and accessible land record information. All land record research information can be found on the Registry’s website, www.norfolkdeeds.org. Residents in need of assistance can contact the Registry of Deeds Customer Service Center at (781) 461-6101 or email us at registerodonnell@norfolkdeeds.org.

Monday, June 17, 2024

Register O'Donnell Announces 2024 Summer Outreach Schedule

Norfolk County Register of Deeds William P. O'Donnell announces the 2024 Summer Community Outreach Schedule. The Registry of Deeds speaking engagements and office hours are an integral part of its consumer outreach initiative. The Register and members of his staff will be at the following, Council on Aging’s, Community Centers, Civic Organizations, Library's and Town Halls starting on Monday, June 17th through Tuesday, August 27th.
Norfolk County
Norfolk County

The Registry of Deeds is the principal office for real property records in Norfolk County, cataloging and housing more than 10 million land documents dating back to 1793. 

By offering these office hours and speaking engagements, the Register aims to make it more convenient for residents to access and inquire about real property records. This initiative reflects the Register's commitment to providing efficient and accessible services to the residents of Norfolk County.

"By releasing the Summer schedule now, it provides people with advance notice to put these dates on their calendars," noted Norfolk County Register of Deeds William P. O'Donnell.

Although Registry staff cannot provide legal advice, they will be on hand along with the Register to answer basic questions, transport documents for recording, and assist in the filling out of a Declaration of Homestead form that provides limited protection against the forced sale of an individual's primary residence to satisfy unsecured debt up to $500,000. They will also assist a person in signing up for the Registry of Deeds Consumer Notification Program, which alerts a homeowner when a transaction has been made against their property to alert them against potential cases of fraud.

Register O'Donnell Announces 2024 Summer Outreach Schedule
Register O'Donnell Announces 2024 Summer Outreach Schedule

Register O’Donnell concluded by stating, “I understand that not everyone has the ability to travel to the Registry. By offering office hours in different locations throughout Norfolk County, we hope to accommodate those who may have difficulty making it to our main location. Additionally, residents can also utilize our online services at www.norfolkdeeds.org to access and request real property records from the comfort of their own homes. Our goal is to ensure that all Norfolk County residents have convenient and flexible options for accessing and inquiring about their real property records.”

 If you would like to stay up-to-date on upcoming Registry of Deeds events, programs, and real estate information, you can sign up for our Registry email updates at www.norfolkdeeds.org, like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/norfolkdeeds, or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/norfolkdeeds.

The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds, located at 649 High St., Dedham, is the principal office for real property in Norfolk County. The Registry is a resource for homeowners, title examiners, mortgage lenders, municipalities, and others with a need for secure, accurate, and accessible land record information. All land record research information can be found on the Registry’s website, www.norfolkdeeds.org. Residents in need of assistance can contact the Registry of Deeds Customer Service Center at (781) 461-6101 or email us at registerodonnell@norfolkdeeds.org.

Monday, June 10, 2024

Norfolk County Home Sales Continue to Rise in May

Norfolk County Register of Deeds William P. O’Donnell reported that Norfolk County recordings for the month of May 2024 indicate an increase in overall real estate activity, with significant increases in property sales and transfers as compared to May 2023.

The Registry of Deeds recorded 9,249 documents in May 2024. This was 1% more than in May 2023 and an 11% increase compared to April 2024.
 
Norfolk County Home Sales Continue to Rise in May
Norfolk County Home Sales Continue to Rise in May


“The increase in overall real estate activity, especially when it is driven by a jump in property sales and transfers, is a positive sign for the local real estate market, indicating continued growth,” stated Norfolk County Register of Deeds William P. O’Donnell. “The rise in the number of deeds recorded suggests a strong demand for real estate in Norfolk County. It also reflects that Spring is a traditional time period to buy and sell homes.”

The total number of deeds recorded for May 2024, which reflects both commercial and residential real estate sales and transfers, was 1,504, up 11% from May 2023 and up 20% from April 2024. Looking at just commercial and residential real estate sales, the number was up 3% from last year and up 19% from last month.

“The total number of commercial and residential property sales in May 2024 showed a notable increase compared to May 2023. This positive trend is a promising indicator that the real estate market in Norfolk County continues to show resilience and growth,” Register O'Donnell added. “The likely factor in the rise in the number of deeds recorded is the ongoing desire to both live and work in Norfolk County communities, which is increasing demand for properties in the area.

The average sale price of commercial and residential properties for May 2024 rose to $1,252,129, a 27% increase compared to May 2023 and an increase of 21% from April 2024. The total dollar volume of commercial and residential sales is also up, increasing 31% from last year and up 43% from last month.

Register O’Donnell noted, “With a limited supply of available properties on the market, any increase in demand is likely to cause an increase in the average property sales price. Unfortunately, when prices rise without an equivalent rise in inventory, it may result in increased competition among buyers. This makes it harder for homebuyers in general, but especially for first-time homebuyers.”

For the month of May, lending activity showed a decrease compared to the same month a year ago. A total of 1,392 mortgages were recorded in May 2024, down 3% from May 2023, but 12% more than last month.

“Homeowners who took advantage of lower interest rates in 2020 and 2021 are less likely to refinance and are more hesitant to buy at current mortgage interest rates. Higher interest rates also make it harder for first-time home buyers to secure affordable repayment options,” noted O'Donnell.

The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds has been closely monitoring the foreclosure market. In May 2024, there were 3 foreclosure deeds recorded as a result of mortgage foreclosures taking place in Norfolk County, whereas in May 2023, there were 7 recorded. However, in May 2024, there were 32 notices to foreclose, the first step in the foreclosure process, more than the 28 recorded in May 2023.

“The number of these notices is troubling. It suggests that more of our neighbors may have financial difficulties in the future,” said O'Donnell. “If you are having difficulty paying your monthly mortgage, please consider contacting one of these non-profit agencies for help and guidance,” said O’Donnell.

For the past several years, the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds has partnered with Quincy Community Action Programs (617-479-8181 x376) and NeighborWorks Housing Solutions (508-587-0950) to help anyone facing challenges paying their mortgage. Another option for homeowners is to contact the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Consumer Advocacy and Response Division (CARD) at 617-727-8400.

O’Donnell concluded, “It is good to see that the real estate market in Norfolk County is strong and vibrant, driven by an increased demand for property in local communities due to the desire to live and work in the area. We hope to see this trend continue as we move into the summer months. However, the lack of available inventory may lead to further price increases. It will be important to keep an eye on these trends to help navigate the competitive market.”

To learn more about these and other Registry of Deeds events and initiatives, "like" us on Facebook at facebook.com/norfolkdeeds. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @norfolkdeeds.

The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds, located at 649 High St., Dedham, is the principal office for real property in Norfolk County. The Registry is a resource for homeowners, title examiners, mortgage lenders, municipalities, and others with a need for secure, accurate, and accessible land record information. All land record research information can be found on the Registry's website, www.norfolkdeeds.org. Residents in need of assistance can contact the Registry of Deeds Customer Service Center at (781) 461-6101 or email us at 

Monday, June 3, 2024

Register O'Donnell Reflects on "America the Beautiful"

Norfolk County Register of Deeds William P. O'Donnell reflects on one of the United States' unofficial national anthems, whose author lived, studied, and taught in Norfolk County.

 

"While most Americans know the United States national anthem, 'The Star-Spangled Banner', written by Francis Scott Key and inspired by the resilience of the American flag, which survived the 25-hour bombardment of Fort McHenry, proving to Key that the Fort had withstood the British onslaught, what many do not know is that there was a very close contender for the United States national anthem that has ties to Norfolk County," noted Norfolk County Register of Deeds William P. O'Donnell.

As part of the 225th Anniversary Commemoration of Norfolk County in 2018, the Registry of Deeds published its first Notable Land Records booklet, which featured this national anthem contender, Katharine Lee Bates and the story behind the inspiration for the poem "America the Beautiful."

"America the Beautiful"
"America the Beautiful"


In the summer of 1893, a group of educators hiked up Pikes Peak in the Rocky Mountains using a wagon and mules. Reaching the summit, the group exhaustedly looked out from atop the mountain, feeling a sense of accomplishment and awe.

 

"As Katharine Lee Bates absorbed the breathtaking view and the magnificence of her surroundings, joy overcame her exhaustion. Bates drew inspiration from this experience to write the poem 'America the Beautiful,' which would later become one of the most beloved patriotic songs in the United States," stated register O'Donnell.

 

"To understand the depth of Bates' connection and understanding of the natural beauty and complexity of America, it is important to know the person behind the words," noted register O'Donnell.

 

Katharine Lee Bates was born in 1859 in Falmouth, Massachusetts. Her father died when she was only a few weeks old, leaving her mother and aunt to raise her. Both being well-educated women who saw the value in a good education, they sent Bates to high school and college.

 

Bates graduated from Wellesley High School in 1874 and Wellesley College in 1880. She also studied at Oxford from 1890 to 1891. She returned to Wellesley College in 1891 as an associate professor, earned her master's degree, and became a full professor of English literature.

 

In 1926, there was a strong effort to make the hymn the national anthem, but President Herbert Hoover picked the "Star-Spangled Banner" instead, amid complaints from some who objected to the choice of a song composed in war over one that speaks to the natural beauty of the country.

"As a testament to the enduring impact of Bates' words and affection for the song, there are still occasional discussions on whether 'America the Beautiful,' known as the 'unofficial national anthem,' should become the official national anthem," O'Donnell concluded. "But I hope we can all agree that the song's powerful message of unity and admiration for the country will continue to resonate with generations to come, regardless of its official status."

If you would like to stay up-to-date on upcoming Registry of Deeds events, programs, and real estate information, you can sign up for our Registry email updates at www.norfolkdeeds.org, like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/norfolkdeeds, or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/norfolkdeeds.

 

The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds, located at 649 High St., Dedham, is the principal office for real property in Norfolk County. The Registry is a resource for homeowners, title examiners, mortgage lenders, municipalities, and others with a need for secure, accurate, and accessible land record information. All land record research information can be found on the Registry's website, www.norfolkdeeds.org. Residents in need of assistance can contact the Registry of Deeds Customer Service Center at (781) 461-6101 or email us at registerodonnell@norfolkdeeds.org.

Monday, May 20, 2024

Register O'Donnell reveals Norfolk County’s most expensive real estate sales 1st Quarter of 2024

Norfolk County Register of Deeds William P. O’Donnell reported that during the first quarter of 2024, ten properties, a mix of commercial and residential, sold for more than $6,000,000, with an average price of $11,846,612.

The prices on the property to follow concern real estate sales during the period of January 1st, 2024, through March 31st, 2024.

The ten properties were:
  • The U-Haul rental and storage facility on Washington Street in Stoughton. The property on 3.14 acres of land was sold in February for $6,409,127;
  • 738 Washington Street, Norwood, a 40,700-square-foot three-story retail unit and multi-family apartment building, sold in February for $6,450,000;
  • 3 Buckingham Terrace, Wellesley, a 9,922-square-foot, six-bedroom mansion sold in March for $6,450,000;
  • 99 Yarmouth Road, the 5-bedroom Brookline Chestnut Hill Estate, which sits on 1.38 acres of land, sold in January for $6,815,000;
  • 11 Randolph Road, Randolph, an over three-acre industrial center and warehouse site, sold in March for $
  • 280 Dudley Street, Brookline, a 10,194-square-foot, six-bath, seven-bedroom mansion sold in January for $8,000,000;
  • 419 Orchard Street, Millis, a five-bedroom, 4,086 square-foot home and 23.12 acres of land sold in March for $10,000,000;
  • 140 Constitution Boulevard, Franklin, a 101,882 square-foot medical equipment manufacturing building, sold in January for $17,000,000;
  • 6 Billings Street, Randolph, the Conference & Function facility and Boston-area landmark known as Lombardo's, sold in February for $24,592,000;
  • 23-25 Bridge Street, Quincy, the 6-story, 60-unit apartment complex known as Hillside Residences, sold in March for $25,450,000.
The top sales appear to have been a combination of apartment complexes, retail, industrial and warehouse space, and residential property.

Register O'Donnell reveals Norfolk County’s most expensive real estate sales 1st Quarter of 2024
Register O'Donnell reveals Norfolk County’s most expensive real estate sales 1st Quarter of 2024

"The variety in these real estate transactions bodes well for the Norfolk County economy, with high value properties selling in both commercial and residential sectors," stated Norfolk County Register of Deeds William P. O’Donnell. "This also indicates that Norfolk County is not only a desirable place to both live and work but is also a magnet for business, industry, and trade."

Excise taxes from these 10 sales totaled more than $540,000 for the state and county.

In the first quarter of 2024, there were 1,491 property sales recorded in Norfolk County, down 3% over the same time period last year. The average sales price for these properties which include, commercial and residential property was $1,019,511, up 14% from last year.

“The first quarter of 2024 started off strong with January and February beating 2023 property sales. Overall sales were down due to March 2024’s decrease in property sales,” noted Register O’Donnell. “However, despite the slight decrease in real estate activity throughout the county, there are still pockets of the market here in Norfolk County that are seeing growth and stability, particularly in certain neighborhoods and property types.”

The Registry of Deeds recorded 8,312 documents in April 2024. This was 9% more than in April 2023 and an 8% increase compared to March 2024. Also, there were 649 property sales recorded for the month, up 15% over the same time period last year.

"With April 2024 showing a strong start to the second quarter we hope to see similar real estate activity as we move further into the home buying season,” said Register O’Donnell.

To learn more about these and other Registry of Deeds events and initiatives, “like” us on Facebook at facebook.com/norfolkdeeds. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @norfolkdeeds.

The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds, located at 649 High St., Dedham, is the principal office for real property in Norfolk County. The Registry is a resource for homeowners, title examiners, mortgage lenders, municipalities, and others with a need for secure, accurate, and accessible land record information. All land record research information can be found on the Registry's website, www.norfolkdeeds.org. Residents in need of assistance can contact the Registry of Deeds Customer Service Center at (781) 461-6101 or email us at registerodonnell@norfolkdeeds.org.

Saturday, May 18, 2024

GOOD DEEDS: The True meaning of – "Support the Troops"

This month, we observe Memorial Day to honor and remember the brave men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. With this in mind, I want to take a moment to reflect about the true meaning of "support the troops." For me, as the father of a Service Member, supporting our troops goes beyond a simple gesture. It means actively getting involved and reaching out to the brave men and women whose commitment and service to our country is both unwavering and inspiring. By truly supporting our troops in a meaningful way, we can honor their sacrifices and show our gratitude for their dedication to protecting our freedoms.

In the spirit of one of the United States Army's 10 principles of leadership, leading by example, I want to share with you a few ways that we at the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds have not only shown our support but acted on that principle to hopefully inspire others to do the same.

Providing clothing donations to Veteran organizations is a simple yet impactful way to show appreciation for our Veterans. This small act to benefit Veterans can make a significant difference in their lives.

In 2016, the Registry of Deeds made a commitment to the Veteran Affairs Boston Healthcare System Voluntary Service program by expanding the Registry's "Suits for Success" program to include Veterans, starting with Jamaica Plain VA Medical Center. Since that time, this partnership has grown to include the West Roxbury VA Medical Center and the Brockton VA Medical Center. Since the Registry started the "Suits for Success" program in February 2009, it has collected and distributed more than 11,500 articles of clothing to local non-profit groups throughout southern Massachusetts.

Norfolk County Register of Deeds William P. O'Donnell delivers clothes to Mary Peak and staff, VA Boston Healthcare System Voluntary Service program.

Another way to show your support is by sharing the story of a fallen hero. By telling their stories, it ensures that their legacy lives on and that future generations will remember the sacrifices made by these brave men and women.

In November 2023, the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds celebrated the Veterans of Norfolk County with an open house and the release of our third volume of Notable Land Records titled "We Remember Our Veterans."

These stories allow us to honor the sacrifices made by Veterans and gain a deeper understanding of why it is crucial to support and care for our Veterans today.

The evening's event took on a special significance as Veterans' Services Secretary Jon Santiago, the highest-ranking state Veteran's official in the Commonwealth, spoke about the role of Veterans and the sacrifices they make on behalf of our freedoms.

From left Norfolk County Register of Deeds William P. O'Donnell, Jeanette Rose-Gutshall, a Gold Star wife from Weymouth, and Massachusetts Veterans' Services Secretary Jon Santiago
From left Norfolk County Register of Deeds William P. O'Donnell, Jeanette Rose-Gutshall, a Gold Star wife from Weymouth, and Massachusetts Veterans' Services Secretary Jon Santiago


Lastly you can actively participate in the Veteran community. You can show respect on Memorial Day by going to a national cemetery or war memorial, putting flowers or flags on the graves of Veterans, or going to a local parade or ceremony. Another option to be active in the Veteran community and show your support is to talk to a Veteran or Veterans' group.

Recently, I had the honor to meet with the Veterans and Veteran Family Members of Braintree American Legion Post 86 to share some of the programs and services that are available through the Registry of Deeds. During that event it was my pleasure to sign a Statement of Support for the National Guard and Reserve, joining others throughout the United States in pledging that I fully recognize, honor and enforce the Uniformed Services Employment and Re-Employment Rights Act and will continually recognize and support our country's service members and their families in peace, in crises and in war.

So, I hope that this Memorial Day, you will join with me and your fellow Americans in not only showing your support but also taking the time to be active in the Veteran community so that we can all truly reflect on the sacrifices made by our brave men and women in uniform and express our gratitude for their service and dedication to this great Country, the United States of America.

Norfolk County Register of Deeds William P. O'Donnell

Friday, May 17, 2024

Norfolk County Register of Deeds Visits Franklin Town Hall

Norfolk County Register of Deeds William P. O’Donnell and his outreach team held office hours at Franklin Town Hall as part of his ongoing efforts to bring the Registry of Deeds directly to the residents of Norfolk County.

The Registry of Deeds is the principal office for real property records in Norfolk County, cataloging and housing more than 13.1 million land documents dating back to 1793. The office hours were held to assist residents with any questions or concerns regarding real property records or land documents.

“This is a great service to offer and really convenient,” said Franklin resident Phyllis Mueller. “It was wonderful to be able to stay in town and get some questions answered and get a copy of our deed.”
Norfolk County Register of Deeds Visits Franklin Town Hall
Norfolk County Register of Deeds Visits Franklin Town Hall


Register O’Donnell and his staff met with local residents and answered questions on a wide range of property owner issues. Registry staff were also able to provide certified copies of land documents, including deeds and mortgage discharges.

The Register expressed his strong belief in the benefits of bringing the Registry directly to Franklin. “These office hours,” noted Norfolk County Register of Deeds William P. O’Donnell, “allow us to bring the services of the Registry of Deeds directly to the citizens of Norfolk County without the inconvenience of having them travel to the Registry’s central office in Dedham. I was very appreciative that Franklin residents came to our office hours and our team was able to assist them with their questions.”

Registry staff were also on hand to explain the benefits of having a Declaration of Homestead recorded and were also able to bring original land documents back to the registry for recording, saving local residents time and expense.

“Homeowners can have peace of mind knowing that with a Declaration of Homestead recorded at the Registry of Deeds, their primary residence cannot be forcibly sold to satisfy most debts. This is especially important when you consider that for most of us, a home is our most valuable asset,” stated Register O’Donnell.

This visit to Franklin Town Hall is part of a broader effort to work with various communities throughout Norfolk County to make it easier for residents to have convenient access to the services offered at the Registry of Deeds.

“I want to thank the Franklin Town Council, Town Administrator Jamie Hellen, Town Clerk Nancy Danello, and the entire team at Town Hall for their generosity in allowing us to hold office hours and bring the registry directly to the citizens of Franklin,” said O’Donnell.

If you would like to stay up-to-date on upcoming Registry of Deeds events, programs, and real estate information, you can sign up for our Registry email updates at www.norfolkdeeds.org, like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/norfolkdeeds, or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/norfolkdeeds.

The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds, located at 649 High St., Dedham, is the principal office for real property in Norfolk County. The Registry is a resource for homeowners, title examiners, mortgage lenders, municipalities, and others with a need for secure, accurate, and accessible land record information. All land record research information can be found on the Registry’s website, www.norfolkdeeds.org. Residents in need of assistance can contact the Registry of Deeds Customer Service Center at (781) 461-6101 or email us at registerodonnell@norfolkdeeds.org.