We owe them all

Thank you to all of the men and women who serve our country and to their family members and friends who support them! “This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is home of the brave.” Feeling the utmost respect, honor, and gratitude for your dedication and service to keeping us free and safe. Happy Veterans Day.

No Wave of Foreclosures this Time

Why a Wave of Foreclosures Is Not on the Way

With forbearance plans coming to an end, many are concerned the housing market will experience a wave of foreclosures similar to what happened after the housing bubble 15 years ago. Here are a few reasons why that won’t happen.

There are fewer homeowners in trouble this time.

After the last housing crash, about 9.3 million households lost their homes to a foreclosure, short sale, or because they simply gave it back to the bank.

Why a Wave of Foreclosures Is Not on the Way | MyKCM

As stay-at-home orders were issued early last year, the fear was the pandemic would impact the housing industry in a similar way. Many projected up to 30% of all mortgage holders would enter the forbearance program. In reality, only 8.5% actually did, and that number is now down to 2.2%.

As of last Friday, the total number of mortgages still in forbearance stood at  1,221,000. That’s far fewer than the 9.3 million households that lost their homes just over a decade ago.

Most of the mortgages in forbearance have enough equity to sell their homes

Due to rapidly rising home prices over the last two years, of the 1.22 million homeowners currently in forbearance, 93% have at least 10% equity in their homes. This 10% equity is important because it enables homeowners to sell their homes and pay the related expenses instead of facing the hit on their credit that a foreclosure or short sale would create.

The remaining 7% might not have the option to sell, but if the entire 7% of those 1.22 million homes went into foreclosure, that would total about 85,400 mortgages. To give that number context, here are the annual foreclosure numbers for the three years leading up to the pandemic:

  • 2017: 314,220
  • 2018: 279,040
  • 2019: 277,520

The probable number of foreclosures coming out of the forbearance program is nowhere near the number of foreclosures that impacted the housing crash 15 years ago. It’s actually less than one-third of any of the three years prior to the pandemic.

The current market can absorb listings coming to the market

Why a Wave of Foreclosures Is Not on the Way | MyKCM

When foreclosures hit the market back in 2008, there was an oversupply of houses for sale. It’s exactly the opposite today. In 2008, there was over a nine-month supply of listings on the market. Today, that number is less than a three-month supply. Here’s a graph showing the difference between the two markets.

Bottom Line

The data indicates why Ivy Zelman, founder of the major housing market analytical firm Zelman and Associates, was on point when she stated:

“The likelihood of us having a foreclosure crisis again is about zero percent.”

It is my true pleasure to  work hard for my clients and your referrals throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Cape Cod.  Please let me know what questions you may have and how I can be of the best assistance to you.

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Jennifer McMorran, Realtor, SRES
New Construction & First Time Home Buyer Specialist
MA, RI, and Cape Cod & Islands Licensed Real Estate Sales Associate
Keller Williams Elite
508-930-5259
Jen.McMorran@gmail.com
www.jenmcmorran.realtor
real people. real estate. 

Spiked Cranberry Punch

You’ll be thankful I shared my favorite punch recipe in time for Thanksgiving this year!!

This incredible combination of homemade cranberry juice, apple juice, sparking wine and Fireball is a total crowd pleaser – I had you at Fireball didn’t I? 🙂

Always a bit hit with family and friends on Thanksgiving because it is absolutely delicious, not too sweet, and looks beautiful on the table and in people’s hands as they carried them around (though they didn’t get too far before finishing!)

INGREDIENTS

1 pound fresh cranberries
1 cup sugar
½ gallon water
½ gallon apple juice, chilled
16 ounce cinnamon whiskey (Fireball) , chilled
1 bottle sparkling wine, chilled
Fresh apples
Fresh oranges
Additional fresh cranberries  for garnish
Cinnamon sticks for garnish

PREPARATION

1. Combine cranberries, sugar, and water over medium-high heat, and cook until berries are completely soft and “mushy”.  They will “pop” , cook down,  and become soft in about 10 minutes.

2. Strain and set aside to completely cool before adding to the punch.

cranberry-apple-whiskey-punch-and-turket

3. Thinly slice the apples and oranges and layer into a punch bowl.  Add cranberry juice, apple juice, and whiskey and stir gently to combine.

4. Pour in bottle of sparkling wine and add some cranberries for an additional colorful garnish.

5. Serve and enjoy!

The punch went great with my Butterball!

* Juice, Fireball whiskey, and sparkling wine should be chilled prior to making punch.  To keep punch cold without diluting with ice, freeze apple juice in a ring  or ice cube tray and float in the punch.

This homemade punch is delicious and could not be easier to make.  As an added bonus, my daughters and I discovered a new use for our left over bags of cranberries from Christmas and Thanksgiving.  Cooking a bag of cranberries with a half gallon of water and a cup of sugar actually makes an awesome batch of cranberry juice.  Never would have thought about it before making this recipe!!  I bet it would make a nice non-alcoholic punch as well by adding sparkling apple cider and cinnamon sticks.   Looking forward to trying that next!

It is my true pleasure to  work hard for my clients and your referrals throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Cape Cod.  Please let me know what questions you may have and how I can be of the best assistance to you.

Jennifer McMorran, Realtor, SRES
New Construction & First Time Home Buyer Specialist
MA, RI, and Cape Cod & Islands Licensed Real Estate Sales Associate
New Homes Team Kensington Real Estate Brokerage
508-930-5259
Jen.McMorran@gmail.com
www.jenmcmorran.realtor
real people. real estate. 


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Happily serving my clients throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Cape Cod & the Islands.

What Buyers and Sellers Need to Know about the Appraisal Gap

It’s economy 101 – when supply is low and demand is high, prices naturally rise. That is the simple principle that accounts for today’s housing market. Home prices are appreciating at near-historic rates, and that’s creating some challenges when it comes to home appraisals.

In recent months, it’s become increasingly common for an appraisal to come in below the contract price on the house. Shawn Telford, Chief Appraiser for CoreLogic, explains it like this:

What Buyers and Sellers Need To Know About the Appraisal Gap | MyKCM

Recently, we observed buyers paying prices above listing price and higher than the market data available to appraisers can support. This difference is known as ‘the appraisal gap . . . ’”

Why does an appraisal gap happen?

Basically, with the heightened buyer demand, purchasers are often willing to pay over asking to secure the home of their dreams. If you’ve ever toured a house you’ve fallen in love with, you understand. Once you start to picture yourself and your furniture in the rooms, you want to do everything you can to land the property, including putting in a high offer to try to beat out other would-be buyers.

When the appraiser comes in, they look at things a bit more objectively. Their job is to assess the inherent value of the home, so they’re going to study the facts. Dustin Harris, Appraiser Coach, drives this point home:

It’s important for everyone to understand that the appraiser’s job in the end is to remain that unbiased third party, to truly tell the client what that home is worth in the current market, regardless of what decisions have been made on the price side of things.”

In simple terms, while homebuyers may be willing to pay more, appraisers are there to assess the market value of the home. Their goal is to make sure the lender isn’t loaning more money than the home is worth. It’s objective, rather than emotional.

In a highly competitive market like today’s, having a discrepancy between the two numbers isn’t unusual. Here’s a look at the increasing rate of appraisal gaps, according to data from  CoreLogic (see graph below):

What Buyers and Sellers Need To Know About the Appraisal Gap | MyKCM

What does this mean for you?

Ultimately, knowledge is power. The best thing you can do is understand appraisal gaps may impact your transaction if you’re buying or selling. If you do encounter an appraisal below your contract price, know that in today’s sellers’ market, the most common approach is for the seller to ask the buyer to make up the difference in price. Buyers, be prepared to bring extra money to the table if you really want the home.

Above all else, lean on your real estate agent. Whether you’re a buyer or seller, your trusted advisor is your ally if you come up against an appraisal gap. We’ll help you understand your options and handle any additional negotiations that need to happen.

Bottom Line

In today’s real estate market, it’s important to stay informed on the latest trends. Let’s connect so you have an ally to help you navigate an appraisal gap to get the best possible outcome.

It is my true pleasure to  work hard for my clients and your referrals throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Cape Cod.  Please let me know what questions you may have and how I can be of the best assistance to you.

Jennifer McMorran, Realtor, SRES
New Construction & First Time Home Buyer Specialist
MA, RI, and Cape Cod & Islands Licensed Real Estate Sales Associate
New Homes Team Kensington Real Estate Brokerage
508-930-5259
Jen.McMorran@gmail.com
www.jenmcmorran.realtor
real people. real estate. 


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Serving clients throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Cape Cod & the Islands.

How Upset Should you be about 3% Mortgage Rates?

Last Thursday, Freddie Mac announced that their 30-year fixed mortgage rate was over 3% (3.02%) for the first time since last July. That news dominated real estate headlines that day and the next. Articles talked about the “negative impact” it may have on the housing market. However, we should realize two things:

1. The bump-up in rate should not have surprised anyone. Many had already projected that rates would rise slightly as we proceeded through the year.

2. Freddie Mac’s comments about the rate increase were not alarming:

“The rise in mortgage rates over the next couple of months is likely to be more muted in comparison to the last few weeks, and we expect a strong spring sales season.”

A “muted” rise in rates will not sink the real estate market, and most experts agree that it will be a strong spring sales season.”

What does this mean for you?

How Upset Should You Be about 3% Mortgage Rates? | MyKCM

Obviously, any buyer would rather mortgage rates not rise at all, as any upward movement increases their monthly mortgage payment. However, let’s put a 3.02% rate into perspective. Here are the Freddie Mac annual mortgage rates for the last five years:

  • 2016: 3.65%
  • 2017: 3.99%
  • 2018: 4.54%
  • 2019: 3.94%
  • 2020: 3.11%

Though 3.02% is not as great as the sub-3% rates we saw over the previous seven weeks, it’s still very close to the all-time low (2.66% in December 2020).

And, if we expand our look at mortgage rates to consider the last 50 years, we can see that today’s rate is truly outstanding. Here are the rates over the last five decades:

  • 1970s: 8.86%
  • 1980s: 12.7%
  • 1990s: 8.12%
  • 2000s: 6.29%
  • 2010s: 4.09%

Being upset that you missed the “best mortgage rate ever” is understandable. However, buying now still makes more sense than waiting, especially if rates continue to bump up this year.

Bottom Line

It’s true that you may not get the same rate you would have five weeks ago. However, you will get a better rate than what was possible at almost any other point in history. Let’s connect today so we can plan your home search and allow you to lock in a great rate while they remain this low.

It is my true pleasure to  work hard for my clients and your referrals throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Cape Cod.  Please let me know what questions you may have and how I can be of the best assistance to you.

Jennifer McMorran, Realtor, SRES
New Construction & First Time Home Buyer Specialist
MA, RI, and Cape Cod & Islands Licensed Real Estate Sales Associate
New Homes Team Kensington Real Estate Brokerage
508-930-5259
Jen.McMorran@gmail.com
www.jenmcmorran.realtor
real people. real estate. 

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Serving clients throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Cape Cod & the Islands.

Boston – Attleboro – Providence – Cape Cod … and the Communities in between.

Simple, Sweet, and Spicy Pear Salsa

rachels black bean salsa

I am still a huge fan of my favorite Black Bean and Corn Salsa.  This year-round delicious pleaser continues to wow crowds whether at a backyard BBQ, sitting poolside, or snuggled onto the couch to watch the Super Bowl.  BUT, I now have another fresh tasting salsa recipe that a good friend introduced me to.   I could easily devour (and have devoured – sorry Jess!) an entire the bowl if left in front of me.

Weight Watchers Pear Chutney

I am now officially adding this Easy Pear Salsa to my list of favorite recipes.  The sweetness from the pears, the acid from the lime juice, along with the hot spiciness from the jalapenos is just perfect.  Awesome on a tortilla chip or something sweet and spicy to liven up blackened fish or chicken – I’m getting hungry just thinking about it!

This recipe is definitely worth bringing to any picnic, cookout, or holiday gathering !!  (Jess mentioned that her recipe came from Weight Watchers – the photo from the Weight Watchers site to the left will link you to their “Pear Chutney”.  I’m thinking if I called it chutney, I  might not get as many people willing to try it 🙂 . )

Ingredients:

2 ripe Bosc or Anjou pears diced to fit on a chip (I leave the skins on)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 finely chopped jalapeno (no seeds)
1/4 cup dried cranberries (I dice them small again to fit on a chip. If you do chop them, don’t be surprised that your dip turns pink )
2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (one lime)
approx 1/2 teaspoon salt (add a little at a time to taste)

Directions:
Chop pears, cilantro, jalapeno, red onion, and cranberries.
Add to bowl. Toss gently.
Add fresh lime juice. Add salt to taste. Gently toss.
Let sit 10-15 minutes.

Serve.

Awesome with tortilla chips, Triscuits with Brie cheese, fish, blackened chicken or just in a spoon!!

It is my true pleasure to  work hard for my clients and your real estate referrals throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Cape Cod.  Please let me know what questions you may have and how I can be of the best assistance to you.

Jennifer McMorran, Realtor, SRES
New Construction & First Time Home Buyer Specialist
MA, RI, and Cape Cod & Islands Licensed Real Estate Sales Associate
New Homes Team Kensington Real Estate Brokerage
508-930-5259
Jen.McMorran@gmail.com
www.jenmcmorran.realtor
real people. real estate. 

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Serving clients throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Cape Cod & the Islands.

Boston – Attleboro – Providence – Cape Cod … and the Communities in between.

Should I Wait for Lower Mortgage Interest Rates?

Should I Wait for Lower Mortgage Interest Rates?

Historically low mortgage rates are a big motivator for homebuyers right now. In 2020 alone, rates hit new record-lows 16 times, and the trend continued into the early part of this year. Many hopeful homebuyers are now wondering if they should put their plans on hold and wait for the lowest rates imaginable. However, the reality is, acting sooner rather than later may be the actual win if you’re ready to buy a home.

According to Greg McBride, Chief Financial Analyst for Bankrate:

“As vaccines become more widely available and a return to normal starts to come into view, we’ll see mortgage rates bounce off the record lows.”

While only a slight increase in mortgage rates is projected for 2021, some experts believe they will start to rise. Over the past week, for example, the average mortgage rate ticked up slightly, reaching 2.79%. This is still incredibly low compared to the trends we’ve seen over time. According to Freddie Mac:

“Borrowers are smart to take advantage of these low rates now and will certainly benefit as a result.”

Here’s why.

As mortgage rates rise, the increase impacts the overall cost of purchasing a home. The higher the rate, the higher your monthly mortgage payment, especially as home prices rise too. Sam Khater, Chief Economist at Freddie Macsays:

Should I Wait for Lower Mortgage Interest Rates? | MyKCM

“The forces behind the drop in rates have been shifting over the last few months and rates are poised to rise modestly this year. The combination of rising mortgage rates and increasing home prices will accelerate the decline in affordability and further squeeze potential homebuyers during the spring home sales season.”

What does this mean for buyers?

Right now, the inventory of houses for sale is also at a historic low, making it more challenging than normal to find a home to buy in many areas. As more buyers hit the market in the typically busy spring buying season, it may become even harder to find a home in the coming months. With this in mind, Len Keifer, Deputy Chief Economist for Freddie Macrecommends taking advantage of both low mortgage rates and the opportunity to buy:

“If you’ve found a home that fits your needs at a price you can afford, it might be better to act now rather than wait for future rate declines that may never come and a future that likely holds very tight inventory.”

Bottom Line

While today’s low mortgage rates provide great opportunities for homebuyers, we may not see them stick around forever. If you’re ready to buy a home, let’s connect 508-930-5259 so you can take advantage of what today’s market has to offer.

It is my true pleasure to  work hard for my clients and your referrals throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Cape Cod.  Please let me know what questions you may have and how I can be of the best assistance to you.Shortcode

Jen McMorran, Realtor

Jennifer McMorran, Realtor, SRES
New Construction & First Time Home Buyer Specialist
MA, RI, and Cape Cod & Islands Licensed Real Estate Sales Associate
New Homes Team
508-930-5259
Jen.McMorran@gmail.com
www.jenmcmorran.realtor
real people. real estate. 

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Serving clients throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Cape Cod & the Islands.

Boston – Attleboro – Providence – Cape Cod and the Communities in between.

“I Have a Dream”

Jobs and Freedom – two words that ring out every single day.

Did you know that Martin Luther King Jr gave his speech on August 29, 1963 at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom?

We obviously can’t help but think of Martin Luther King Jr’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech today – his day of remembrance. But his words are even more appropriate after all that we lived through in 2020 battling a world wide pandemic and struggling with existing social injustices.

It’s been year of daily reports on jobs and freedoms as we contend with:

Balancing safety from the health consequences of Covid-19 for all while maintaining personal and business’s financial security.

Weighing the freedom to make personal choices without negatively impacting others’ well being.

Understanding racism exists and stepping outside our own comfort zones to acknowledge, to heal , and to ask “what can we do” to be better neighbors, friends, and citizens so that everyone may enjoy the same right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

The year 2020 has placed incredible demands on us as a country, as neighbors, as families, and as individuals. The uncertainties have left us scared and being “remote” has left us feeling alone. But, we are not alone. We can come together with determination, collaboration, and HOPE. We can take care of each other. We can move forward. We can create the change that offers everyone the same opportunity to dream and live their fullest lives. WE can do it.

From The Martin Luther King Jr Institute for Research and Studies at Stanford University you can click here Listen to Audio for the speech as spoken by Martin Luther King Jr himself.

I HAVE A DREAM

I say to you today, my friends [applause], so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow (Uh-huh), I still have a dream. (Yes) It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. (Yes)

I have a dream (Mhm) that one day (Yes) this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed (Hah): “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” (Yeah, Uh-huh, Hear hear) [applause]

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia (Yes, Talk), the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream (Yes) [applause] that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice (Yeah), sweltering with the heat of oppression (Mhm), will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream (Yeah) [applause] that my four little children (Well) will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. (My Lord) I have a dream today. [enthusiastic applause]

I have a dream that one day down in Alabama, with its vicious racists (Yes, Yeah), with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of “interposition” and “nullification” (Yes), one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers. I have a dream today. [applause] (God help him, Preach)

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted (Yes), every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain (Yes), and the crooked places will be made straight (Yes), and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed [cheering], and all flesh shall see it together. (Yes Lord)

This is our hope. (Yes, Yes) This is the faith that I go back to the South with. (Yes) With this faith (My Lord) we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. (Yes, All right) With this faith (Yes) we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation (Yes) into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. (Talk about it) With this faith (Yes, My Lord) we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together (Yes), to stand up for freedom together (Yeah), knowing that we will be free one day. [sustained applause]

This will be the day, this will be the day when all of God’s children (Yes, Yeah) will be able to sing with new meaning: “My country, ‘tis of thee (Yeah, Yes), sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. (Oh yes) Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim’s pride (Yeah), from every mountainside, let freedom ring!” (Yeah)

And if America is to be a great nation (Yes), this must become true. So let freedom ring (Yes, Amen) from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. (Uh-huh) Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania. (Yes, all right) Let freedom ring (Yes) from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado. (Well) Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California. (Yes) But not only that: (No) Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia. [cheering] (Yeah, Oh yes, Lord) Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee. (Yes) Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. (Yes) From every mountainside (Yeah) [sustained applause], let freedom ring.

And when this happens [applause] (Let it ring, Let it ring), and when we allow freedom ring (Let it ring), when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city (Yes Lord), we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children (Yeah), black men (Yeah) and white men (Yeah), Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics (Yes), will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: “Free at last! (Yes) Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!” [enthusiastic applause]Source: 

MLKEC-INP, Martin Luther King, Jr. Estate Collection, In Private Hands. From The Martin Luther King Jr Institute for Research and Studies at Stanford University. © Copyright Information

Why (and How) to Price a Home Right!

Why It’s Important to Price Your House Right Today

Even in today’s sellers’ market, setting the right price for your house is one of the most valuable things you can do. According to the U.S. Economic Outlook by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), existing home prices nationwide are forecasted to increase by 4.5% in 2021. This means experts anticipate home values will continue climbing next year. Danielle Hale, Chief Economist for realtor.com, notes:

“We expect price gains to ease somewhat in 2021 and end 5.7% above 2020 levels, decelerating steadily through the spring and summer, and then gradually reaccelerating toward the end of the year.”

Why It’s Important to Price Your House Right Today | MyKCM

How to Price Your House

When it comes to setting the right price for your house, the goal is to increase visibility and drive more buyers your way. Instead of trying to win the negotiation with one buyer, you should price your house so that demand is maximized and more buyers want to take a look.

As a seller in today’s market, you might be thinking about pricing your house on the high end while so many of today’s buyers are searching harder than ever just to find a home to purchase. But here’s the thing – a high price tag does not mean you’re going to cash in big on the sale. It’s actually more likely to deter buyers.

Why It’s Important to Price Your House Right Today | MyKCM

Right now, even when there are so few houses for sale, your house is more likely to sit on the market longer or require a price drop that can send buyers running if it isn’t priced just right from the very beginning.It’s important to make sure your house is priced correctly by working with a trusted real estate professional throughout the process. When you price it competitively from the start, you won’t be negotiating with one buyer. Instead, you’ll likely have multiple buyers competing for the house, potentially increasing the final sale price.

The key is to make sure your house is priced to sell immediately. This way, it will be seen by the greatest number of buyers. More than one of them may be interested, and it will be more likely to sell at a competitive price.

Bottom Line

Let’s connect to price your house correctly from the start so you can maximize your exposure and your return.

It is my true pleasure to  work hard for my clients and your referrals throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Cape Cod.  Please let me know what questions you may have and how I can be of the best assistance to you.

Jen McMorran, Realtor

Jennifer McMorran, Realtor, SRES
New Construction & First Time Home Buyer Specialist
MA, RI, and Cape Cod & Islands Licensed Real Estate Sales Associate
New Homes Team Kensington Real Estate Brokerage
508-930-5259
Jen.McMorran@gmail.com
www.jenmcmorran.realtor
real people. real estate. 

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Serving clients throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Cape Cod & the Islands.

Boston – Attleboro – Providence – Cape Cod … and the Communities in between.