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Experience Real Estate
Salem, Massachusetts


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Thomas J. Costagliola
51 Lafayette St
Salem, MA 01970

Cell Phone: 617 529-3222
Email: gotothomas@aol.com

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I am Thomas J. Costagliola
Realtor, Developer and Business Consultant

I have been in the business of Buying, Selling, Building and Managing real estate for over 30 years. I bring a great wealth of knowledge to my clients. Iinevitably my clients appreiate the application to their situation of my in-depth experience with real estate.

See www.gotothomas1.com
for more information about me

See www.Experience-RealEstate.com
for information about my firm

Contact me at Thomas@Experience-RealEstate.com or gotothomas@aol.com

Presentation Basics

I create a website for each property that I market.
See SOLD below for a typical slide show presentation that I create.

For my clients who are looking to purchase properties, I will also take photos of the properties that we see together.  I will post these reference photos to the web so that we can discuss physical details of the property. See http://www.flickr.com/photos/32254069@N06/sets/72157628405168199 as an example. This property needed a lot of work and the photos documented the work before the purchase.

This is 53 North Central St., Peabody, MA

This Folk Victorian is a great three bedroom single family house that has been meticulously
maintained. It has a wonderful deck and spacious yard.  This house is located near the end 
of a long dead-end street yet is only a mile from the Rt 114 entrance to Rt 128.  It is quiet
yet convenient to the North Shore and Liberty Tree Malls as well as cultural activities in

53 North Central St.  Front

The sale of this property was completed as a short sale on April 29, 2011 for $236,000.

I posted this bit of writing elsewhere on the web.  Since it is about housing and housing markets I thought I would post it here as well.

For some time I had been meaning to read the article, “200 Million Empty Apartments? China's Complex Property Market” in EconomyWatch.com.  The latest article "China Housing Inequality: Ordos - Wealthy Mongolian Ghost Town" also in EconomyWatch.com provided the link that reminded me to read the original article.


As someone who has faced business life and death while navigating the twists and turns of the real estate market for the last 30 years, I find the assumptions about real estate markets in this article to be consistently faulty.  Clearly the author has never done a market survey of housing buyers to really determine what drives their buying decisions.  And also the author confuses where the demand comes from and why. 


Put simply,

    1. People spend what they can afford to.  If they can afford ten homes they will buy ten homes.   When analysts said demand for TV’s would dry up when every household had one, they made the same mistake that underlies this author’s reasoning.
    2. Household formation is never a steady rate in either the short run of a few years and sometimes not even for a generation.  Household formation follows the economy not the population growth.  Household formation in fact has historically varied by the generation and is driven more by the ability in any era to accumulate wealth rather than by population growth.  Even population growth does not happen at a steady rate, the baby boom generation being the obvious example of just one surge.
    3. Increases in housing supply, always responds after the fact to demand.  Housing is not like consumer disposables where a second shift instantly meets demand.  While the Chinese urban builders are much quicker than US urban builders to bring supply to the market due to looser regulations, it still takes time.  When savings rates are steady, demand is steady and when demand is steady supply keeps on increasing.  It is only wild increases in consumer debt that leads to housing booms and busts.
    4. There is no mention in this article that on average Chinese pay cash for their housing and they do not typically have mortgages, the way we in the US do.   Excessive debt leads to crashes.
    5. Chinese consumers do not have debt though Chinese businesses and governments incur debt to produce housing.  This is a crucial factor.  The Chinese central government is business friendly but ignores or curtails the consumer.  They look askance on consumers taking on debt but support businesses with generous loan terms.  This has all led to massive increases of wealth for a segment of the population in China that dwarfs the same population size in the US.  As a broker I see the effects of this with overseas Chinese buying real estate in downtown markets in the US and always paying cash.  I have read about this same thing going on in downtown London and even in Italy.
    6. With two hundred million poorly housed migrants who all work their tails off and are great savers and only sixty million “excess” units, I would say that China still has a shortage of housing.
    7. A home that is paid for is a way to store wealth.  A home with a mortgage is one job loss away from being one more anchor pulling the housing market down.  Comparing housing markets around the world requires a careful look at consumer credit availability and savings rates as well as regulatory limitations on the supply.  Ignoring this as this article does in its analysis is foolish.    

The Chinese real estate market looks terribly normal to me and is not abnormal as this article states.  The Chinese real estate market is best compared to downtown markets in capitals around the world where the surrounding real estate markets are in chaos.  In downtown markets for the best properties in my experience, eighty percent of buyers are all cash buyers and property values have been immune for the most part to the declining values of the surrounding devastation that we have seen in debt ridden suburbs and poor inner city neighborhoods.


Lastly I want to say that I find most fault with “this disturbing analysis in Caixin Online” which is the basis of the Economy Watch article.  With David Caploe, the EconomyWatch.com author, I disagree mainly on the role of the exchange rate between the US dollar and the Chinese Yuan.  I believe that the exchange rate is misaligned by several hundred percent and in fact is distorting both US and Chinese job and housing markets and I think that David believes otherwise.


Thomas J Costagliola

January 6, 2011  Visitor to my balcony.


See all my photo sets at http://www.flickr.com/photos/32254069@N06/sets/ 
I take extensive photographs for all my real estate work.

December 29, 2010

Salem, MA                        Why I love living here - View from my window.                        Summer 2010

December 20, 2010 - No English Required

YouTube Viral Video!

How to board a train that never stops 

A few words and a movie from an inventor in China.   

December 15, 2010

My distinction between Clients and Customers.

I have recently come to realize the difference between Clients and Customers.  Now this may sound obvious once I state it, but for years I have used the words Clients and Customers interchangeably.   Now I make this distinction:  Customers are people with whom I would like to establish a professional relationship.  For me as a real estate agent Customers are people who wish to buy or sell real estate.  Clients are people who have entrusted me to represent their best interest and we have a signed contract. 


The state requires for me to disclose at my first face to face meeting with a customer who I represent.  The choices that the standard form presents are Buyer’s Agent, Seller’s Agent or Facilitator.  Each choice creates a relationship between me and the customer.  If I am a Buyer’s Agent or a Seller’s Agent, my obligation is to provide my best efforts to represent either the Buyer or the Seller.  By signing this form as a Buyer or Seller’s agent, I legally obligate myself to protect the Buyer or Seller from the pitfalls that they might make in a real estate transaction for want of knowledge that as a professional I should know. 


So, here is where the distinction between Clients and Customers becomes important.  If I sign on the disclosure form as a Buyer or Seller’s agent, I begin to obligate myself to a customer.  Yet, the Customer has no obligation to me.  So in effect, a customer begins to get my best efforts with no clear understanding that they have any obligation of loyalty in return for my efforts.  I am giving away my best efforts for free.  This is a great deal for the customer if they can get it. 


AS A RESULT, I am now seeking Clients and a very limited number of clients at that.  A Client is someone with whom I have a signed contract, either a listing agreement to sell their property or a signed contract to represent them in their search for a suitable property to purchase.  Please ask me to send you About_Agency.PDF to see the standard Agency Disclosure form that I use plus a blank contract that when completed would establish me as your Buyer’s Agent and you as my Client.


Best wishes for this holiday season,



December 6, 2010

Balancing work, play and life.

My goal here with this website is to provide service to my customers, clients, and my community.  Also, I want to have fun and bring people joy whenever and however I can.   It is difficult for almost everyone to balance work, play and life and I am especially vulnerable to lack of moderation. 

Here is a brief journey in photos, links and graphics to the places I have been and things I have obsessed over since Saturday morning.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/32254069@N06/sets/72157625415484819/show/ photos from my trip to Douglas
www.SalemUU.org where I can be found most Sundays at 10:45 AM
www.HorizonsForHomelessChildren.org Truly worthy cause promoted by my new acquaintance and new Facebook friend Phinn Céitinn

          My volunteer effort as a graphic designer.  As I said I try to be of service to my customers, clients and community.

Saturday December 4, 2010

I am off to my farm in Douglas today.

How would you like a New England country home built in stone?  Talk to me, I have plans and the land!  

December 3, 2010

"Oh, the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done!" by the incomparable Dr. Seuss

A trip to Henderson - as the light fades
A tour of one of our latest bank owned listings


Servicing: Acton, Amesbury, Andover, Arlington, Ashburnham, Ashby, Ashland, Athol, Auburn, Avon, Ayer, Barre, Bedford, Bellingham, Belmont, Berlin, Beverly, Billerica, Blackstone, Bolton, Boston, Boxborough, Boxford, Boylston, Braintree, Brookfield, Brookline, Burlington, Cambridge, Canton, Carlisle, Charlton, Chelmsford, Chelsea, Clinton, Cohasset, Concord, Danvers, Dedham, Devens, Douglas, Dover, Dracut, Dudley, Dunstable, East Brookfield, Essex, Everett, Fitchburg, Foxboro, Framingham, Franklin, Gardner, Georgetown, Gloucester, Grafton, Groton, Groveland, Hamilton, Hardwick, Harvard, Haverhill, Holbrook, Holden, Holliston, Hopedale, Hopkinton, Hubbardston, Hudson, Ipswich, Lancaster, Lawrence, Leicester, Leominster, Lexington, Lincoln, Littleton, Lowell, Lunenburg, Lynn, Lynnfield, Malden, Manchester, Marblehead, Marlborough, Maynard, Medfield, Medford, Medway, Melrose, Mendon, Merrimac, Methuen, Middleton, Milford, Millbury, Millis, Millville, Milton, Nahant, Natick, Needham, New Braintree, Newbury, Newburyport, Newton, Norfolk, North Andover, North Brookfield, North Reading, Northborough, Northbridge, Norwood, Oakham, Oxford, Paxton, Peabody, Pepperell, Petersham, Phillipston, Plainville, Princeton, Quincy, Randolph, Reading, Revere, Rockport, Rowley, Royalston, Rutland, Salem, Salisbury, Saugus, Sharon, Sherborn, Shirley, Shrewsbury, Somerville, Southborough, Southbridge, Spencer, Sterling, Stoneham, Stoughton, Stow, Sturbridge, Sudbury, Sutton, Swampscott, Templeton, Tewksbury, Topsfield, Townsend, Tyngsborough, Upton, Uxbridge, Wakefield, Walpole, Waltham, Warren, Watertown, Wayland, Webster, Wellesley, Wenham, West Boylston, West Brookfield, West Newbury, Westborough, Westford, Westminster, Weston, Westwood, Weymouth, Wilmington, Winchendon, Winchester, Winthrop, Woburn, Worcester, Wrentham