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10.27.07 Salem to Receive $474,000 for City Park

The Salem News reports that Salem will receive a $474,000 state grant to turn a blighted lot behind Wendy’s restaurant on Lafayette Street into an urban park.

The new park, which will be on Peabody Street, a former brownfield’s site on the edge of downtown, will include playground equipment, plans for a gazebo that could be used for a meeting place and game tables for cards and dominoes, and may also include a mural that would record the history of the neighborhood, which has long been a home for new immigrants.

Read the entire Salem News article

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10.27.07 Andover Town Yard Search Site Narrows

The Andover Townsman reported that an Andover 6-member Town Yard Task Force is close to completing its search for a new public Town Yard, currently on Lewis Street.

The 3 sites are: Town of Andover-owned land adjacent to West Fire Station; a state-operated parcel on Prospect Road near Route 125; and a town-owned property formerly operated by the Reichhold Chemical Co. in southern Andover.

Read the Andover Townsman article

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10.27.07 Senior Housing One Step Closer in Danvers

On September 27, 2007, the Danvers Herald reported that an over-55 housing development is one step closing to construction, after the Danvers Zoning Board of Appeals approved the zoning relief needed for the Thomson Companies to build 20 new single-family homes off Elliott Street, along the Porter River. According to the September 27, 2007 edition of the Danvers Herald, the ZBA will allow construction of multiple structures on a single lot with only 87 feet of frontage. The 2,000-2,400 square foot homes, which will be priced at about $500,000.00, will have a “condominium ownership arrangement”. Attorney Nancy McCann said that the development “is a unique project for Danvers”, providing an alternative to apartment-style condominium housing, and reminded readers that “over 1/3 of the population of Danvers is over 55.”

The developers will provide access to 3½ acres of green space at the end of the proposed cul-de-sac, including 2 parking spaces in a gravel lot and walking trails, all to be maintained by the condominium association. The project still requires approval by the Danvers Conservation Commission.

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10.27.07 HUD Prohibits Certain Downpayment Assistance

The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) published a final rule on Standards for Mortgagor’s Investment in Mortgaged Property on October 1, 2007. Beginning October 31, 2007, a prohibited source of downpayment assistant will be any payment that consists, in whole or in part. of funds provided to the Buyer by the Seller or any other institution that financially benefits from the transaction.

The National Association of Realtors® supported this rule and submitted to testimony on July 17, 2007. This rule will prohibit certain non-profits from collecting contributions from property Sellers, taking a fee, and then giving the remaining money to Buyers to purchase the property. NAR’s position was that these “seller-funded” downpayment programs were resulting in home price inflation and increased the risk for mortgage payment delinquency and foreclores.

NAR does continue to supports many other downpayment assistance programs to help Buyers purchase a home, including assistance from family members, the Buyer’s employer, state or local governments, and charitable organizations that do not involve a party with a financial interest in the transaction.

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10.27.07 Danvers Building Permits, October 1−22

The Danvers Herald posted a list of all the Building Permits issued by the Town of Danvers from October 1st to October 22nd.

Click here to link to the article

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10.26.07 October 24, 2007 Legislative Breakfast

On October 24, 2007, NSAR hosted its third Legislative Breakfast in 2007. The event was attended by State Representative Anthony Verga (D-5th Essex), Representative Brad Hill (R-4th Essex), and Dan Pawson, Legislative Director for Senator Bruce Tarr (R-1st Essex & Middlesex).

MAR Associate Counsel Margy Grant presented the Realtor® position on the following topics:

1. New proposed Transfer Taxes (S. 1776; S. 1773; H. 3959)
2. New proposed Lead Paint law (SB. 1230)
3. New proposed mandatory Seller’s disclosure in connection with environmental issues (H. 323, S. 201)
4. New proposed mandatory disclosures for real estate licensees in connection with Wetlands (H. 767)
5. Smart Growth funding for Chapter 40R (S. 132, H. 160)

NSAR and the Government Affairs Committee extends a sincere appreciate to the legislators who participated and to all those that attended.

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