Showing posts with label register. Show all posts
Showing posts with label register. Show all posts

Sunday, April 21, 2024

Norfolk County Register of Deeds schedule office hours in Franklin, May 7 from 10 AM to 2 PM

Norfolk County Register of Deeds William P. O’Donnell and his outreach team will hold office hours Tuesday, May 7th, from 10 AM to 12 PM at Franklin Town Hall in the Council Chambers 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 will be held to assist residents with any questions or concerns regarding real property records or land documents.

The Register expressed his strong belief in the benefits of bringing the Registry directly to Franklin. “These Registry office hours,” noted the Register, “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.”

By offering office hours in Franklin, 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 citizens of Norfolk County.

Registry staff are able to provide local residents with certified copies of land documents, such as deeds and mortgage discharges. They can also bring original land documents for residents back to the Registry for recording.

Register O’Donnell concluded by stating, “I understand that not everyone has the ability to travel to the Registry. By offering office hours in Franklin, we hope to accommodate those who may have difficulty making it to our main location. Additionally, residents can also utilize our online services 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.”


Norfolk County Register of Deeds schedule office hours in Franklin, May 7 from 10 AM to 2 PM
Norfolk County Register of Deeds schedule office hours in Franklin, May 7 from 10 AM to 2 PM

Monday, April 15, 2024

Register O'Donnell Promotes Massachusetts Homestead Act

Norfolk County Register of Deeds William P. O’Donnell today reminded homeowners about the importance of filing for Homestead Protection

 

In 2023 there were 9,693 decelerations of Homestead filed at the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds, 14% less than in 2022.

 

"If you own a home, and it is your primary residence, you have an automatic homestead exemption of $125,000. However, if you file a Declaration of Homestead at the Registry of Deeds, the exemption increases to $500,000. The Homestead Law provides a homeowner with limited protection against the forced sale of their primary residence to satisfy unsecured debt up to $500,000 if they have filed. This is especially important when you consider that for most of us, a home is our most valuable asset. Consumers should take steps to protect that asset," noted Norfolk County Register of Deeds William P. O’Donnell. 

Register O'Donnell Promotes Massachusetts Homestead Act
Register O'Donnell Promotes Massachusetts Homestead Act

Another feature of the Homestead Law is the allowance for the filing of an Elderly Homestead Declaration, which defines an elder as a person who is 62 years of age or older and provides protection of $500,000 for each qualified person.

 

The Register further noted, "In March of 2011, the Homestead Law was updated so that a valid Homestead is not terminated when refinancing a mortgage. Other changes that took place back in 2011 state that a Homestead can provide protections for a primary home even if it is held in a trust. The definition of a primary residence was also expanded to include a manufactured or mobile home." 

 

A Declaration of Homestead also protects the sale proceeds if the home is sold for up to one year after the date of the sale or on the date when a new home is purchased with the proceeds, whichever comes first. Additionally, if the home is damaged by a fire, for example, the insurance proceeds are protected for two years after the date of the fire or on the date when the home is reconstructed or a new home is purchased, whichever is earlier.

 

While the Homestead Statute provides important protections for homeowners, it is important to note that certain debts are exempt from protection under the Homestead Act. These include federal, state, and local tax liens, as well as mortgages contracted for the purchase of a primary home and nursing home liens. Most other mortgages, debts, and encumbrances existing prior to the filing of the Declaration of Homestead, along with probate court executions for spousal and child support, are also not covered under the Homestead Protection Statute.

 

Declarations of Homestead are recorded at the Registry of Deeds for a state-imposed fee of $36.00. Additional information about the Homestead Law and the forms are available at no cost by going to the Registry’s website at www.norfolkdeeds.org.

 

Register O’Donnell concluded, "I want to reiterate that a Homestead provides limited protection against the forced sale of a homeowner’s primary residence to satisfy unsecured debt up to $500,000. While the debt is still owed, 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 some debts."

 

If you have any questions about a Homestead, please contact the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds Customer Service Center at 781-461-6101, Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

 

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, 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.

Friday, April 12, 2024

Great Night @ The Museum Gala (photo essay)

Franklin moms with a mission, Erin Gallagher and Meg Hagen, were joined by a healthy sized group of supporters at their Children's Museum of Franklin fund raising Gala on Thursday night at THE BLACK BOX.

Meg Hagen & Erin Gallagher
Meg Hagen & Erin Gallagher


During an interlude of music and food, they shared a brief video highlighting their first donation, happy faces, and youthful activities from their mobile museums. They were also able to confirm that they are in "active negotiations" to open in a space in Franklin in the Fall but were unable to reveal more than that.

The Dean College vocal ensemble provided some musical entertainment
The Dean College vocal ensemble provided some musical entertainment

THE BLACK BOX served the mobile museum and gala purpose delightfully. Space was allocated for tables for guest to eat, drink and converse. There was a delicious spread of food from 3 Restaurant Catering, accompanied by desserts from Birchwood Cafe & Bakery. A few of the mobile creative play stations were set up for the adults to try out.

The table centerpieces were in the fancy and playful theme. My grandson would have been playing with the magna tiles all night had he been there
The table centerpieces were in the fancy and playful theme. My grandson would have been playing with the magna tiles all night had he been there

For more about the Children's Museum check out their web page ->   https://www.childrensmuseumfranklin.org/ 

Registration for the next mobile museum, Sunday, April 21 at Annie Sullivan Middle School is available online for one of two time slots ->   https://www.childrensmuseumfranklin.org/register

And they are always looking for financial help to bring the Museum to reality -> https://www.childrensmuseumfranklin.org/donate

Friday, April 5, 2024

ECDC Registration is open for three-year-olds in the 4-day afternoon sessions

2024-2025 Early Childhood Development Center (ECDC) Registration is now open. 

There are still openings for three-year-olds in the 4-day afternoon sessions (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday PM from 12:45 pm to 3:15 pm).


ECDC Registration is open for three-year-olds in the 4-day afternoon sessions
ECDC Registration is open for three-year-olds in the 4-day afternoon sessions


Monday, April 1, 2024

Good Deeds: A Deed in Hand

During my 2024 office hours tour I have had the pleasure of visiting various towns throughout Norfolk County while letting residents know what programs and services are available through the Norfolk Registry of Deeds. While holding these Registry office hours it is not uncommon for a homeowner to ask, "Do I need a copy of my deed?" To which I reply, "You don't have to have one, but it's good to keep one on hand in case you need it."

Your deed can tell you a lot about your property. Exactly who owns it. How it is owned for probate purposes. The price you paid for it. The description of your land. And for some people, all this information contained brings them peace of mind. After all, when you think of it, most people's homes are their greatest financial asset.

To some people getting a copy of their deed presents a whole host of questions: "Do I need an attorney to access my deed for me? Is it expensive to get a copy? Do I have to drive all the way to the Registry of Deeds to get it? If I decide to come to the Registry for a copy, is it hard to research?" 

Well, the good news is, and I think you'll find all the answers to your liking, you do not need a lawyer to obtain your deed. All you have to do is go online at the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds website at www.norfolkdeeds.org. Click on 'Online Research' at the top of the bar, and when the pop-up box appears, click on 'Search for Your Deed,' and you can print a non-certified copy for free. If you would like a certified copy, all you have to do is visit or call our well-regarded Customer Service Center, Monday through Friday, between 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at 781-461-6101.
Good Deeds: A Deed in Hand
Good Deeds: A Deed in Hand 

There is more good news. The cost of a certified homeowner's deed is usually very inexpensive and can serve as a replacement for an original of it is ever lost or damaged. Certified deeds cost a dollar per page, and most deeds are two pages. Add a dollar for mailing, and an official copy of your deed will be sent to your home for $3.00!

By getting it at the Registry of Deeds, you won't pay an outrageous price from a deed solicitation company, which could charge you nearly 30 times the cost ($86) of what you would pay for it at the Registry. These companies prey on the elderly or new homeowners by 'suggesting' the homeowner is required to pay the "document fee" in what appears to be a government correspondence that almost looks like a property tax bill you would receive from the community you live in.

If you cannot make it to our main office in Dedham and wish to obtain a certified copy of your deed, visit the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds website at https://www.norfolkdeeds.org/news-event/upcoming-events to see a complete list of office hours, dates, and locations to find a scheduled office hour near your community.

Finally, I do suggest to homeowners if they get a certified copy of their deed to store it in a memorable place, like a safety deposit box or a file cabinet with their other papers. You would be surprised at how many people come to the Registry and say to the Customer Service Center, "I thought I had it, but I can't find it now." To that, I say, "No problem. We can get you another certified copy for you right now."

Monday, March 18, 2024

Register O’Donnell Delivered Food Donations to the Franklin Food Pantry

Norfolk County Register of Deeds William P. O'Donnell recently delivered donations of food to the Franklin Food Pantry. The contributions came from the Registry staff, title examiners, and the public, who participated in the Registry's Annual Holiday Food Drive which was held from November 14th to December 14th.

 

"On behalf of the many people who contributed to the Registry's food drive, it is my pleasure to deliver these items to the Franklin Food Pantry," stated Norfolk County Register of Deeds William P. O'Donnell. "I am thankful that so many Norfolk County residents, including our employees and title examiners, took the opportunity to donate and to help those with hardships during the holiday season."

 

Register O’Donnell Delivered Food Donations to the Franklin Food Pantry
Register O’Donnell Delivered Food Donations to the Franklin Food Pantry

The Registry collected more than 280 pounds of food during the drive, including items such as boxes of spaghetti, jars of sauce, canned soups, and fruits.

"Community donations are a big help and give us a good deal of variety that we wouldn't otherwise have," said Anne McGillis, Operations Director for the Franklin Food Pantry.

Last year, the Franklin Food Pantry helped more than 1,324 individuals in more than 650 households. Of those who received food assistance, more than one in four were children, and 36% were 65 or older.

 

"The food pantries throughout Norfolk County provide a valuable and much-needed resource for residents facing both long-term and temporary hardships, including children, families, and individuals, and I am grateful to be able to help in this small way," said Register O'Donnell.

 

According to Project Bread, household food insecurity in Massachusetts has been fluctuating between 20 and 26%. Many Norfolk County food pantries have seen a significant increase in demand in the last year. ​

"It is a great feeling to be able to help the community and to know that other members of the community understand that there is a need for this," said McGillis.

Franklin residents in need of assistance can register for services, schedule shopping appointments, or schedule home delivery by contacting the Franklin Food Pantry Client Services Coordinator at 508-528-3115.

 

Register O'Donnell concluded, "Hunger does not stop after the holidays it is a persistent issue affecting many of our neighbors. I encourage residents to consider dropping off food supplies at their local pantry. Pantries are requesting canned goods, breakfast cereals, pasta, sauces, toiletries, and paper products. Dropping off a food donation at a local pantry can make a world of difference in helping a family in need."

To see a list of Norfolk County food pantries, visit the Registry of Deeds website: https://www.norfolkdeeds.org/support/FAQs/where-are-the-norfolk-county-food-pantry-locations-142. Donations are needed all year long.

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. 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.

Sunday, March 17, 2024

Franklin PorchFest extends registrations to April 30. More than 24 bands registered so far!

Franklin PorchFest … the momentum is building and we are thrilled with the initial response! We are up to 24 bands and counting. Local businesses are getting in on the excitement; for example, Intermission will be open during the entire event for anyone looking for a bite to eat between performances. Other eateries are hosting musicians and extending service to outside areas. There has also been tremendous interest in hosting musicians.

To accommodate so many requests, we are extending our registration through April 30th for both porch hosts and performers. If you are interested in participating you still have time to sign up.

If you would like to host a band or performer on your Porch or if you have a band or are a performer and would be interested in performing at Franklin PorchFest, go to our website https://franklin.porchfest.info and register for the event. All the information you need to register is on our website. Also on our website you will find links so you can follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Franklin PorchFest is made possible with funds granted from the Mass Cultural Council through the Franklin Cultural District Committee. The Franklin PorchFest Committee is thankful for the support it has received from the Cultural Council, the Cultural District and the Town of Franklin.

Franklin PorchFest will be held Saturday, June 1st from 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM with a rain date of June 2nd. Save the date . . . we look forward to seeing you!

Made possible by a grant from Mass Cultural Council through the Franklin Cultural District Committee
Made possible by a grant from Mass Cultural Council through the Franklin Cultural District Committee

Saturday, March 9, 2024

New! Yoga Nidra Workshop offered by Lifelong Community Learning


Yoga Nidra graphic

Try this wonderful new yoga workshop from Lifelong Community Learning!

Monday, March 18th, 6-7 pm.

For information and to register, visit:

Exercise & Wellness Classes

Instagram  Facebook  Twitter
Lifelong Learning Institute - Franklin Public Schools | 218 Oak Street, Room 137, Franklin, MA 02038

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Monday, February 26, 2024

Register O’Donnell Brings the Registry of Deeds Directly to Norfolk County Residents - Franklin, May 7, 2024

Norfolk County Register of Deeds William P. O'Donnell announced today that he and his outreach team will resume holding office hours in communities throughout Norfolk County 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 10 million land documents dating back to 1793. The office hours will be held to assist residents in locating their property records and provide them with certified copies of land documents, such as deeds and mortgage discharges.

 

Norfolk County
Norfolk County

The Register expressed his strong belief in the benefits of bringing the Registry directly to residents. "These office hours," noted Register O'Donnell, "allow us to bring Registry services directly to the residents of Norfolk County without the inconvenience of having them travel to the Registry's central office in Dedham."

 

By offering office hours, 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.

 

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 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."

 

2024 Winter and Spring Scheduled Office Hours
2024 Winter and Spring Scheduled Office Hours

 

 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, February 19, 2024

Norfolk County Registry of Deeds: President's Day Quiz

GOOD DEEDS: Quiz in Honor of Presidents' Day

By William P. O'Donnell

Norfolk County Register of Deeds

One of the many prominent reasons that Norfolk County is considered a destination community to live and work can be attributed to its rich history. It is one of the oldest counties, founded in 1793, in the United States just five years after George Washington became president.

Talking about presidents, did you know that Presidents' Day is Monday, February 19th?  And that Norfolk County is known as the County of Presidents?  That's right, four Presidents of the United States of America were born here: John Adams and John Quincy Adams (Braintree or Quincy depending on what community you are from), John F. Kennedy (Brookline), and George H.W. Bush (Milton).

So, I thought a great way to salute these four Norfolk County Presidents was to know a little bit more about each of them. This is a fun quiz, so everybody gets an "A" for taking the time to learn more about these four Norfolk County-born leaders who held the highest office in our land.

Presidents' Day Quiz

1.) He was considered by some historians to be the "Father of the Navy."

A.) John Adams B.) John Quincy Adams C.) John F. Kennedy D.) George H. W. Bush

2.) He is the only U.S. president to have won a Pulitzer Prize.

A.) John Adams B.) John Quincy Adams C.) John F. Kennedy D.) George H.W. Bush

3.) He was the only U.S. president to serve in the Congressional House of Representatives following his presidency.

A.) John Adams B.) John Quincy Adams C.) John F. Kennedy D.) George H.W. Bush

4.) He was the only president of the four who picked a "Chief Justice" of the U.S. Supreme Court. Hint: It was considered by historians as a great selection.

A.) John Adams B.) John Quincy Adams C.) John F. Kennedy D.) George H.W. Bush

5.) He enrolled in the service on his 18th birthday, immediately after graduating from high school, and was the recipient of multiple medals at the age of 20.

A.) John Adams B.) John Quincy Adams C.) John F. Kennedy D.) George H.W. Bush

6.) He was the U.S. president who uttered the famous line, "Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country."

A.) John Adams B.) John Quincy Adams C.) John F. Kennedy D.) George H.W. Bush

7.) He was the only U.S. president to head a spy agency.

A.) John Adams B.) John Quincy Adams C.) John F. Kennedy D.) George H.W. Bush

8.) He said, "Liberty once lost is lost forever."

A.) John Adams B.) John Quincy Adams C.) John F. Kennedy D.) George H.W. Bush

9.) He was the second-youngest U.S. president to be elected to office.

A.) John Adams B.) John Quincy Adams C.) John F. Kennedy D.) George H.W. Bush

10.) He created the U.S. Marine Corps Band.

A.) John Adams B.) John Quincy Adams C.) John F. Kennedy D.) George H.W. Bush

11.) He was famous for his work and advocacy of the Monroe Doctrine.

A.) John Adams B.) John Quincy Adams C.) John F. Kennedy D.) George H.W. Bush

12.) He was the only president among the four not to attend Harvard.

A.) John Adams B.) John Quincy Adams C.) John F. Kennedy D.) George H.W. Bush

13.) Famed historian David McCullough won a Pulitzer Prize for his biography.

A.) John Adams B.) John Quincy Adams C.) John F. Kennedy D.) George H.W. Bush

14.) He once said, "Read my lips: no new taxes."

A.) John Adams B.) John Quincy Adams C.) John F. Kennedy D.) George H.W. Bush

15.) Daily, he read six newspapers at his morning breakfast.

A.) John Adams B.) John Quincy Adams C.) John F. Kennedy D.) George H.W. Bush

16.) He stated, "The four most miserable years in my life were my four years in the presidency."

A.) John Adams B.) John Quincy Adams C.) John F. Kennedy D.) George H.W. Bush

17.) He was the President during the reunification of Germany.

A.) John Adams B.) John Quincy Adams C.) John F. Kennedy D.) George H.W. Bush

18.) His administration was known as the "New Frontier."

A.) John Adams B.) John Q Adams C.) John F. Kennedy D.) George H.W. Bush

19.) He was Secretary of State before his presidency and is considered a great one.

A.) John Adams B.) John Quincy Adams C.) John F. Kennedy D.) George H.W. Bush

20.) This president and wife exchanged more than 1,100 letters from the time of their courtship to the end of his presidency.

A.) John Adams B.) John Quincy Adams C.) John F. Kennedy D.) George H.W. Bush

 _________

Answers: 1A,  2C,  3B,  4A,  5D,  6C,  7D,  8A,  9C,  10A,  11B,  12D,  13A,  14D,  15C,   16B,  17D,  18C,  19B,  20A

 

four Presidents of the United States of America were born in Norfolk County
four Presidents of the United States of America were born in Norfolk County

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.  Our Customer Service Center is also available to assist you at (781) 461-6101.

 

Thursday, January 25, 2024

Tri-County Children's Center Preschool Registration To Open February 1

Registration and Open House for the Tri-County Children's Center preschool program for 2024–2025 will begin on Thursday, February 1.  Applications can be found on the preschool's website, TCChildrensCenter.com.

Open Houses will be held on Thursday, February 8 from 12:15-1:45 PM and Friday, February 9 from 9-10:30 AM at the Tri-County Regional High School in Franklin at 147 Pond Street.  Parents will be able to view the laboratory preschool while children engage in developmentally appropriate activities.

Tri-County Children's Center Preschool Registration To Open February 1
Tri-County Children's Center Preschool Registration To Open February 1

Placement is limited to residents of the 11 towns within the Tri-County District, Franklin, Medfield, Medway, Millis, Norfolk, North Attleboro, Plainville, Seekonk, Sherborn, Walpole and Wrentham.  Admission is decided through a lottery system.  Registration will be made open to other towns if spaces are not filled by residents within the district.

The random drawing to determine which of the children registered will be enrolled will take place on Wednesday, March 6, 2024.  The number of children registered has traditionally far exceeded the number of spaces available so the random drawing was established.   Those names not selected in the drawing are placed on a waiting list.

Birth certificates for children being registered must accompany all registration forms.  Registration is limited to those children who are at least age 3 years by September 15, 2024 for the three-day program. A $25.00 non-refundable registration fee is due at registration time.  Enrollment is limited to two years or part of two years for the preschool program, as long as the child is age eligible.

Preschool sessions are Tuesday-Thursday from 8:50 -11:20 a.m. for the three-day program. Tuition will be $45 per week and class size is limited to 30 children.

Three instructors in the Tri-County Early Education Program supervise the preschool program, and are assisted by students in the Early Education Major.

 For more information, please visit TCChildrensCenter.com.


Monday, January 22, 2024

The Spring 2024 brochure is ready for Franklin Recreation classes & programs

Our Spring 2024 Brochure is HERE!  

Read up on all the classes and programs we are offering this spring and mark your calendar for February 5, 8:30 AM when registration will open on Franklinma.myrec.com.

Link to download the 
Spring 2024 Brochure


Register O'Donnell Reports on 2023 Annual Real Estate Activity in Norfolk County

Norfolk County Register of Deeds William P. O'Donnell reports that Norfolk County recordings for 2023 show indicators of less real estate activity as compared to 2022 with decreases in both the total number deeds and mortgages recorded. However, seasonal trends remained consistent, with a decrease in activity during the winter months and an uptick in the spring and summer months.

In 2023, there were 102,188 documents recorded at the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds, a 21% decrease from 2022.

Norfolk County recordings for 2023 show indicators of less real estate activity as compared to 2022
Norfolk County recordings for 2023 show indicators of less real estate activity as compared to 2022

"Looking at the 2023 real estate market, I think most would agree that it was a slow year especially compared to 2021 and 2022's busy home sales. Consumers have been facing a limited inventory of available properties along with rising mortgage interest rates. As an example of these indicators property sales in Massachusetts have dropped 22.5% in 2023," remarked Register of Deeds William P. O'Donnell. "However, Norfolk County's decline was less than the statewide average for the year."

Overall, the County's lending activity showed a continued downward trend. A total of 14,598 mortgages were recorded at the Registry in 2023, 37% less than a year earlier.

According to numbers from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the median interest rate of a 30-year fixed-rate conventional loan started at 6.42% in January 2023 and grew to 7.79% by October 2023.

Register O'Donnell noted, "Those who locked in lower interest rates in 2020 and 2021 are less inclined to refinance or buy property at current mortgage interest rates, leading to fewer mortgages being recorded and fewer existing homes on the market. Furthermore, buyers looking for new property may be hesitant to take on a new mortgage with average interest rates still above 7%."

The number of deeds for 2023, which reflect real estate sales and transfers, both commercial and residential, was 15,253 a decrease of 12% from 2022.

"The scarcity of available real estate due to fewer existing homes on the market and new construction not being able to keep pace with demand is making it more challenging for homebuyers in general, but especially for first-time homebuyers who must now deal with the added cost of higher interest rates," stated Register O'Donnell.

Sale prices for 2023 appear to have decreased slightly compared to 2022. The average sale price for all of Norfolk County, both commercial and residential, this year was $1,083,609 an 8% decrease from 2022. The total dollar volume of commercial and residential sales is also down, decreasing by 26% from one year ago.

"I can understand the frustration some homebuyers may be feeling because right now it is a more complicated process for individuals looking to purchase a home and, especially, first-time homebuyers," said Register O'Donnell. "It is more expensive for home buyers because prices are still high relative to 2021 and 2020 values, and to add to this difficulty, there may be multiple people competing for the same property as well as higher interest rate costs."

The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds has been closely monitoring the foreclosure market. In 2023, there were 73 foreclosure deeds recorded, as a result of mortgage foreclosures taking place in Norfolk County, whereas in 2022, there were 68 recorded. Also concerning is in 2023, there were 339 notices to foreclose, the first step in the foreclosure process, compared to the 308 recorded in 2022.

"The increase in the number of foreclosure deeds and notices to foreclose is troubling. This could suggest that more of our neighbors may have financial difficulties in the future," said O'Donnell. "We will continue to monitor these figures in 2024."

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 (617-770-2227) 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.

"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.

Register O'Donnell concluded, "A limited inventory of properties for sale and buyers who have been facing rising interest rates resulted in an overall slow year for the housing market. While current market conditions may be frustrating to some, especially for first-time homebuyers, it may be comforting to know that Norfolk County's real estate market is doing better compared to state and national averages and remains a desirable place to both live and work in." 

Follow this YouTube link to watch the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds Year in Review segment on Quincy Access Television:  https://www.youtube.com/watch/bHXIGI-HAHg

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.