Welcome to the Registers Report with John Buckley, the Register of Deeds for Plymouth County. In this episode, we will be discussing the recent activity in the Plymouth County real estate market for the month of February. We will also be joined by Paul Wolf, the Director of Assessing for the Town of East Bridgewater and the new president of the Plymouth County Assessor’s Association. Additionally, we will be exploring some interesting land records related to the upcoming holiday of St. Patrick’s Day.
In February, there were a total of 572 property sales recorded at the Registry of Deeds. Although this number is slightly lower than the previous month, it is still one percent higher than February of last year. Overall, the first two months of 2017 have seen a five percent increase in property sales compared to the same period in the previous year.
February also saw a decrease in mortgage activity, with 1,254 mortgages recorded. This is a seventeen percent decrease from the month of January. However, mortgage activity for the first two months of the year remains on par with last year’s figures. It is worth noting that there is some uncertainty about how rising interest rates may impact the refinancing market in the future.
Foreclosure activity in Plymouth County has seen a decline, with 54 foreclosure deeds recorded in February, an eighteen percent decrease from the previous month. Compared to last year, foreclosure deed activity is down by one percent. However, foreclosure notices have increased by forty-nine percent, indicating that lenders are taking action against homeowners who have not been paying their mortgages.
For properties in the area most affected by foreclosures, such as the towns of Plymouth and New Bedford, the registers have accumulated a significant number of foreclosure deeds. These land records provide a historical perspective on the impact of foreclosures on the local real estate market.
Online System Training
The Registry of Deeds offers free training sessions on how to navigate their online system. These training sessions are open to the public and are intended to help homeowners and professionals efficiently access property records. The next training session will take place on Thursday, April 6th, from 9:00 am to noon at the Memorial Town Hall.
Property Fraud Alert
To protect property owners from fraudulent activities, the Registry of Deeds offers a property fraud alert service. By registering for this service, property owners will receive email notifications whenever a document is recorded against their property. This added layer of security helps prevent unauthorized changes to property records.
Historical Land Records
The Registry of Deeds maintains a vast collection of historical land records dating back to 1899. Additionally, they also have records that go all the way back to the establishment of the county in 1685. These records are available through an online index, making it easier for researchers and genealogists to access information.
In the next segment of the show, John Buckley is joined by Paul Wolf, the new president of the Plymouth County Assessor’s Association. They discuss the role of assessors and their contribution to the real estate industry. Assessors are responsible for valuing properties in a fair and equitable manner. In order to achieve this, assessors perform mass appraisals based on recent sales data and other factors that affect property values.
Assessors conduct cyclical inspections of properties, typically every ten years, to collect data on the condition and value of each property. They also analyze sales data to determine the fair market value of properties within the town. This information is used to calculate the property taxes that each homeowner is required to pay.
Property Tax Bills
East Bridgewater, like many other towns, sends out property tax bills on a quarterly basis. The first two bills, sent in August and November, are preliminary bills based on the previous fiscal year’s assessments. The following two bills, due in February and May, are the actual tax bills based on the updated property assessments.
If homeowners believe that their property assessments are incorrect, they have the right to apply for an abatement. The abatement process allows homeowners to contest their tax bills and request a change in their property assessment. Applicants must file their abatement request within 30 days of receiving their first actual tax bill. The Board of Assessors reviews each application and makes a decision. If homeowners are not satisfied with the decision, they can appeal to the Appellate Tax Board.
In conclusion, the Plymouth County real estate market has shown steady activity in the month of February. Property sales remain strong, although mortgage activity has decreased slightly. Foreclosure rates have declined, but foreclosure notices are on the rise. The Registry of Deeds offers various services, such as online training and property fraud alerts, to assist homeowners in accessing property records and protecting their investments. Additionally, the role of assessors in determining property values and ensuring fair taxation was also discussed. Overall, the real estate market in Plymouth County continues to be dynamic and responsive to changing economic conditions.