The Boston2.com Real Estate Blog

Neighborhood Guide - East Boston

Getting to know East Boston – From talking about the different neighborhoods that make up East Boston and what they have to offer from restaurants to schools to parks.

More and more people are being drawn to East Boston and it isn’t just because of its convenient access to downtown Boston, the highways and airport! East Boston is home to 45,000 people and has been going through a transformation as a development boom has taken hold with people discovering the exceptional value East Boston offers. Currently just over 50% of the population is of Hispanic decent with the second largest being the white population at a hair under 37%.

Hey it’s Jeff Chubb, welcome to the channel. To learn more about real estate then don’t forget to click the subscribe and like button. And if you want to talk Real Estate mano ye mano… Then find my info in the description below!

When I purchased my first home, I chose East Boston because of the convenience and the affordability. I felt it would be one of the next up and coming areas of Boston. What I didn’t realize when I purchased my first home was that East Boston offered so much more than just convenience and affordability.

East Boston is made up of three neighborhoods, Jeffries Point, Orient Heights and Eagle Hill. It is serviced by the Blue Line T with 4 stops as well as the Silver Line that goes into Chelsea. Now for the record, the Silver Line isn’t a train line. They call it a Rapid Bus Transit… It’s a Bus. There are also a lot of normal bus routes that run through East Boston for residents to take. A breakdown of the neighborhoods and what they have to offer is coming shortly… So hang tight.

If it is parks that you like, then East Boston has you covered. The largest park is Belle Isle Marsh which is 360 acres and is Boston’s last remaining salt marsh which offers landscaped hiking paths, benches and an observation tower....

3 Options A Divorcing Couple Has & the 7 Things You Must Know When Selling a House as part of a Divorce

3 Options A Divorcing Couple Has & the 7 Things You Must Know When Selling a House as part of a Divorce

The 3 Options when getting a Divorce and a house is involved:

  • If you do not want to sell, you have the option of possibly buying out your partner’s legal interest and keeping the home.

  • You could negotiate to occupy the home for a period of time. This would typically be an option if children are involved.

  • Sell the house and move on. This way, both parties receive a fair share that could be invested in new properties.

7 Must Knows When Getting a Divorce & Selling a House

  1. Pick an Agent who is objectively qualified in Divorce Sales

It is worth the time to find an agent who specializes in working with separating couples as this situation can present a unique set of challenges. In many cases when working with a divorcing couple, a real estate agent will double as a mediator. 

You need to find an agent that both can trust and feel comfortable with. An agent where neither person feels that the agent is on the other person’s “side”. It is always recommended to pick a fair and neutral Realtor rather than hiring a family friend or mutual acquaintance. Picking an agent where there is no connection will help build each individual's trust that their personal situation is not getting back to their personal sphere. 

It is always recommended that both parties be present for any listing interviews. It is important that the divorcing couple understand that their agent represents both of them equally. Oftentimes when one party selects...

Top 3 Reasons Selling House During a Divorce is Worth It

Top 3 Reasons Selling House During a Divorce is Worth It

Selling the marital home is often one of the first thoughts that come to mind during a divorce. It’s not only for emotional reasons that people sell but also for legal reasons. Undeniably, selling house during a divorce can be a very stressful experience, but it can be worth it. 

In this article, we’ll take a look at why people sell their houses during divorce, the benefits and best ways to do it, and the necessary help you need to make the entire process as painless as possible.

What if I don’t want to sell?

That’s a fair statement. You’ve made memories in your house, and for many, that’s hard to let go of. But, who gets the house in a divorce? Most couples who divorce go through one of three scenarios:

  1. First off, if you do not want to sell, you have the option of possibly buying out your partner’s legal interest and keep the home.

  2. Secondly, you could negotiate to occupy the home for a period of time. This would typically be an option if children are involved.

  3. Lastly, it may be necessary to sell and move on. This way, both parties receive a fair share that could be invested in new properties.

Deciding to sell your house is a very personal decision, but knowing the benefits of selling could help you make a decision. Let’s look at some of the reasons selling could be to your benefit.

  1. Legal Reasons Selling House During a Divorce is Worth it

Divorce can be peaceful and reasonable when the parties are capable of dealing with each other. Unfortunately, this...

Neighborhood Guide - South Boston, MA

NEIGHBORHOOD GUIDE - SOUTH BOSTON, MA

With its rich history and strong sense of community, South Boston is an evolving, vibrant neighborhood located in Boston, MA.

From the Departed to Good Will Hunting, South Boston (colloquially known as ‘Southie’) has been the setting of many well-known movies over the years. However, you’ll find that South Boston is quite different from the neighborhoods these movies have often portrayed.

This traditional community is one of the city's most storied and historically rich areas, but don’t make the mistake of thinking it’s stuck in the past! Over the past few years, South Boston has been changing and reinventing itself. The community has seen new life with the opening of new restaurants, hotels and markets all over, as well as new housing developments, from stunning condos to the refurbishment of many of the original Victorian-era style buildings.

Neighborhoods here are filled with life and character. And, with the influx of working professionals and families streaming into the area, it’s no secret that South Boston has become one of the city’s most sought-after areas.

Click Here to search all Homes For Sale in South Boston 

History of South Boston

Previously fertile farmland, the first formal settlement in South Boston dates back more than 350 years, with the Anglo-Saxon Protestant Puritans’ arrival in 1635. This piece of the neighborhood's history is quite ironic since South Boston would later become famous as a haven for Irish Catholic immigrants in the following centuries.

After being...

Boston Neighborhoods - Where to Live?

Boston Neighborhoods – Where to Live?

The city of Boston has designated 23 Neighborhoods in the city. One of the best things about Boston is that all the neighborhoods have different personalities... And that there is literally a neighborhood for anyone and everyone in Boston!

To make things even more confusing... Unofficially, Boston has many overlapping neighborhoods... within larger towns. Take South Boston or otherwise known as “Southie” as an example. Boston recognizes the neighborhood of South Boston, however to residents it is broken up into two distinct parts. There is the East Side & West Side. But within the two sides, there is the neighborhood w/in the neighborhood. Take Andrew Square or City Point. Both are in Southie. Andrew Square is on the West Side of South Boston while the neighborhood of City Point is on the East Side. And both are two very distinct areas with very different personalities.

So where do we start? Let’s start with the Designated 23 Neighborhoods in the city and then be on the lookout for future videos that go more in depth for each neighborhood. So lets scratch the surface if you will…

The official neighborhoods of Boston are: Allston, Back Bay, Bay Village, Beacon Hill, Brighton, Charlestown, Chinatown, Dorchester, Downtown, East Boston, Fenway- Kenmare, Hyde Park, Jamaica Plain, Mattapan, Mission Hill, North End, Roslindale, Roxbury, South Boston. South End, West End and West Roxbury. Boy… Say that 5 times fast!

Keep in mind that Boston today looks A LOT different than a couple hundred years ago. Knowing this, Boston may make a little more sense when you see all the roads criss cross in chaos when looking at a map!

Much of what we know as Boston today was actually a Bay that would be later filled in. So geographically speaking when we say...

Steps to Buying a Home - The 18 Steps of Buying a Home for First Time Home Buyers

The Steps to Buying a Home - The 18 Steps of Buying a Home for First Time Home Buyers

In this episode, we discuss all the steps when it comes to buying a home. Wondering how to buy a house? Well, we have counted and there are 18 steps! Some bigger and more important than others, but all important to know when buying a new home. Whether you are a first time home buyer or a seasoned veteran, this video will give you a rundown on how to buy a home step by step. This is most likely your biggest investment… It can be exciting, but also scary… This video is to help alleviate some of that fear!

About this video: You have decided that you want to buy a new home so what is next? In this video we discuss how to buy a home and walk you through a step-by-step process on what happens and when. We go through it all from the beginning all the way to the end when you are handed the keys to your dream home!

Step 1 - Meet with Your Realtor
Step 2 - Commit to Working with one Another
Step 3 - Get Pre-Approved or Pre-Committed
Step 4 - Define Must Haves & Nice to Haves
Step 5 - Narrow Down your Intersted Areas
Step 6 - Tour Homes & Fall in Love with One
Step 7 - Write an Offer
Step 8 - Mutual Acceptance of the Offer
Step 9 - Initial Binding Deposit (Escrow)
Step 10 - Home Inspection & other Due Dilligence
Step 11 - Sign Mutually Agreeable Purchase & Sale Agreement 
Step 11b - Second Deposit Made (Escrow)
Step 12 - Applyling for the Mortgage
Step 13 - Appraisal of the Property
Step 14 - Final Loan Commitment
Step 15 - Final Walk Through
Step 16 - Closing
Step 17 - Go on Record
Step 18 - Move in!

...

The Pros/Cons of a Home Sale Contingency for a Buyer

The good & the bad of a home Contingency For buyers.

Most buyers need to sell their existing home in order to purchase a new one. This is especially the case for home buyers that are looking to trade up. The home sale contingency gives buyers the time they need to sell and mitigates their risk to ensure they don't lose their deposit.

In doing this however, it is shouldering the burden of risk on the seller. By accepting a home sale contingency, the seller is losing marketing time and possibly other opportunities in selling their house. It essentially becomes a little of a gamble for the sellers. They are gambling that the buyers house will sell quickly. It’s also a process that the seller’s have very little control over. For instance, the seller can’t make a buyer stage their house a certain way to make it more attractive or force them to reduce the price. They are stuck in a holding pattern doing a little hoping and praying.  

The Pros for Homebuyers are:

  • Avoiding owning 2 Homes & paying 2 Mortgages
  • Being able to "lock'' in the next house so they don't end up homeless
  • No risk to the Buyer’s deposits should they not be able to sell their house.

The Cons for Homebuyers Are:

  • They will still need to move forward & pay for home inspections, Bank fees as well as appraisal fees. Should the deal fall apart, none of those costs are reimbursed to the buyer.
  • A buyer may potentially need to pay more for a property then compared to if they were to make an offer without the Home Sale Contingency. The reason for this is that the seller is taking on more risk of a buyer’s ability to perform. Therefore, they will want to be compensated for that risk.
  • Should it be a multiple offer situation then chances of winning the bid are greatly decreased unless the buyer pays far over and above the next competing offer.

...

What is A Home Sale Contingency?

What is A Home Sale Contingency?

A home sale contingency is a clause in an offer that states the execution of the offer is only if the buyers home goes under agreement and successfully closes.

These contingencies are often times used by buyers when they are planning on using proceeds from the sale of their home to purchase the next one.

So, how does it work? It’s important to remember that a home sale contingency can be structured in Many different ways. But let’s say the buyer needs to sell 123 Main Street. The Home Sale Contingency will be in the offer that the buyer extends to the seller. The offer will be like any other offer with regards to price, deposits, inspections. The difference is that the actual execution & closing on the property is all based on whether the buyer’s home at 123 Main Street goes under agreement and closes.

If the buyers house at 123 Main Street goes under agreement by a specified date, then the contract moves forward. If it does not sell, then the contract is terminated and the deposits are released back to the buyer.

If you couldn't tell, these clauses are here to protect the buyer, not the seller and are only applicable to home buyers who want or need to sell a home Before they Buy a new home.

There are two separate types of home sale contingencies that are used at different times. These contingencies are the:

Sale and Settlement Contingency and just the Settlement Contingency

So, what’s the difference between the two and when is each correctly used.

If you are a buyer & your home has already gone under Agreement then you will want to use the Settlement Contingency. Simply put, this contingency protects the buyer should their sale fall through for any reason....

10% Over Asking Isn’t Enough?

10% Over Asking Isn’t Enough?

This is a crazy market. There is little doubt on that fact.

We are seeing shortages in all walks of our life… From chip shortages which are creating shortages in cars and electronics to shortages in lumber and now even Gasoline! So I guess it’s no surprise that it’s no different with Housing.

But is now offering 10% or more over a seller’s asking price not enough? Is 10% the new minimum for many homes for Sale in Boston?

This last weekend we put four offers in for our clients. They were great offers with relaxed home inspection contingency thresholds between $5,000 to $7,5000, flexible closing dates with Suitable Housing Clauses for the Sellers and all of them were 10% or more over asking price.

On one offer we went 20% over asking price. On this house there were 69 other competing offers. 70 offers in total! We did not win this bid…

Another offer we wrote was a cash offer that was 10% over asking price with a flexible closing date and a $7,500 home inspection contingency threshold. But here is the kicker… This house was directly next door to a sewage treatment plant. We lovingly started referring to this house as the “Poo House”. We confirmed that there were no health hazards living next to a sewer treatment plant. Our client was excited about this house and had no issues with the environment. We figured we had this one in the bag…. Cash offer over 10% above asking with a big home inspection threshold! I mean come on! But no, that wasn’t even enough to win the Poo House bid.

And we were not able to secure the other 2 offers either. So, we went 0 for 4 in getting offers accepted. With all the offers at least 10% above asking price and what would be considered very strong terms for the seller.

So why these stories? Because it is important...

Are Housing Prices Going Down in 2021?

Are Housing Prices Going Down in 2021?

I have heard many perspective buyers say they are waiting on the sidelines until prices go down. Or that prices are getting too expensive. It seems that timing the real estate market has become a new national past time…

But is the real estate market really going down in 2021 or heck even 2022?

It’s always important to remember that real estate is local. So, while the national market could continue to see gains, there could be some specific markets where home prices go down due to local issues. In this case we are talking about the National market.

So, will the market go down in 2021 or even 2022?

It’s not going to happen. And there are a multitude of reasons why.

Let’s first start with the imbalance of housing supply to demand. Demand is far outstripping supply. The level of demand will subside. This level of imbalance will not continue. It’s my belief that demand will decrease due to increased interest rates and/or buyer fatigue. But that decrease in demand will not turn into a slump.

Freddie Mac recently stated that the U.S housing market is 3.8 million single-family homes short of what is needed to meet the country’s demand.

Why the shortage? The chief economist at Freddie Mac is quoted as saying “That is what you get when you under build for 10 years”.

So, what does this have to do with prices? Even if demand subsides a bit, we will continue to see an imbalance in the supply and demand curve for housing due to underbuilding.

It’s true, we are building more houses. Last year single family home starts rose to 991,000 units. Which isn’t bad. That is actually the highest rate since 2007. But in order for home builders to meet long term demand, they need to be constructing between 1.1 and 1.2 million single family...

Don’t Get Pre-Approved by These Companies

Don’t Get Pre-Approved by These Companies

The Bank that you get pre-approved with matters.

We recently had a client that got pre-approved with a not to be named internet bank. She started the pre-approval process before we had initially talked. She found a home that she loved and extended a very competitive offer that was far over asking price. It turns out another offer was close and she ultimately lost out… The swaying factor, the bank on her pre-approval.

So why do these banks have such a negative perception? For many reasons… And some are deserved. Some are reputations of a long time ago that are still haunting them. Some might not even be deserved, but that doesn’t matter. Perception is reality.

One of these banks that have a negative reputation provided a loan commitment and told the buyer she was all set to close. But two days before closing they called the soon to be home buyer saying that in final underwriting there was an issue and she needed to bring an additional $20,000 to the closing table. $20,000 is a lot… Let alone 2 days before closing. And them doing this after the mortgage commitment meant that she would lose her deposit. CRAZY

Another bank that you should not get a pre-approval from is known for their delays in underwriting and having to push out closing beyond planned closing dates.

Another Bank is known for their quick pre-approval. And their pre-approvals in the industry are known to be worth less than the TP you wipe your backside with.

We recently had a local Mortgage Broker who disappeared during the loan process. Promised the moon. Let the loan commitment lapse. When it came down to bras tax, they still did not deliver on their promises. Their inability to perform cost that mortgage broker $2,500 and cost our client nearly their entire deposit. Not to mention all the wasted...

You Are an Idiot if You Don’t Buy a House

You Are an Idiot if You Don’t Buy a House

The Real Estate vs. Stock Market Return on Investment

Historically, over the long run your ROI on your house will be higher than the Stock Market. Plus owning a house has one more BIG advantage… YOU can’t live in Stock Certificates.

Let’s take a look at the average return of the Stock Market for the last 20 years…

(Hyperventilating in a bag) Look at all those swings. Up and down. Up and down. With swings like that, make sure to keep your therapist on speed dial!

The average return from 2000 to 2019 was 7.68% for the S&P 500.

So, $50,000 invested in the year 2000 would have been worth $162,066 at the end of 2020.

THAT’S NOT BAD! That is a respectable return! And if you already own a home, then I think everyone would agree that it is smart to diversify…

But that’s not what we are talking about here. We are talking about the people who rent because they think they are better off financially…

Let’s look at the Home price appreciation over the same time period.

From 2000 to 2020, we have seen a Median Appreciation Rate of 3.85% for homes throughout the United States.

Please do keep in mind that this will vary from Market to Market. For instance in Boston we have seen a 10.5% increase from $222,000 to $690,000 in that same time period.

But let’s stick with this average 3.85% yearly return figure to show why investing in the stock market over buying a personal resistance that you can reside in is dumb.

It’s important to realize that a house appreciates off of the full asset value. Not how much you put down as a down payment. This is one of the major differences between stocks and real estate. Stocks you have to pay for the entire position up front. Real Estate you can leverage the asset over the long...

What Happens if Appraisal Comes in High?

What Happens if Appraisal Comes in High?

So what happens when an appraisal comes in higher?

Essentially nothing. It's a good thing in essentially the buyer has already created equity in the property, but it doesn't really impact the deal.

It doesn't effect the financing because a bank will take the lower of the appraised upon value or the agreed upon price.

Questions people sometimes ask and that we answer:
With the higher appraisal, do I get extra money or can I finance more?
Does the seller find out about the higher appraisal?
Can the seller charge me more?

Transcript of Conversation:

- What happens when an appraisal comes in higher? Hi, I'm Jeff Chubb with the eXp Realty and we're here with Jason Bonarrigo of RMS Mortgage talking to you about what happens when that appraisal comes in higher and make sure you stick around to find out at the end of the video what we're doing with a thousand dollars. So, Jason, tell me first off, what is an appraisal?

- Well, an appraisal is a way that the lenders essentially certify the market value of the property. We don't always put in exact numbers of the purchase and sale. So we have an independent third-party go out there and see what the market analysis is.

- Okay. So we get the appraisal. So comes back, what happens if that appraisal, that third-party opinion of the value, actually comes in higher than agreed upon price?

- So let's just say agreed upon price is 500,000

- mhmm

- and that appraisal comes back 520.

- Yeah. Nothing. No, I mean, essentially it doesn't really impact, it's certainly not a negative thing for the buyer.

- Right. Good thing

- it's a good thing. They, you know, essentially tactically could have picked up maybe 20 grand in equity.

- A hypothetical extra 20,000

- Hypothetical,...

What Happens If Appraisal Comes in Low?

What Happens If Appraisal Comes in Low?

Is the deal completely dead if the value of an appraisal comes in below the agreed upon price?

No, it’s not dead. There are still some options and ways to keep the deal alive.

The first option is for the seller to agree to reduce the price of the agreement to the appraised price.

This is the simplest avenue, but not all sellers are agreeable. We see sellers become even less agreeable in hot seller markets.

The second option is for the buyer to make up the appraisal difference.

A buyer could make up the difference by bringing additional funds to closing, but can sometimes also be able to adjust the percentage the buyer is putting down without requiring them to bring additional funds to closing.

The third option is a mix between the two where the seller agrees to reduce the sales price and the buyer brings additional funds to closing. As an example, if there was a $20,000 difference between the agreed upon value and the appraisal then the seller would agree to reduce the price by $10,000 while the buyer brought an additional $10,000 to closing.

The fourth option is terminating the deal and all parties moving on. If this is the case and the buyer had a mortgage contingency and all dates were met in the mortgage contingency then the buyer would (most likely) get their deposit back.

Transcript of Conversation:
- What happens when an appraisal comes in below agreed-upon value? Hi, I'm Jeff Chubb with EXP Realty. We're here with Jason Bonarrigo of RMS mortgage and make sure that you stick around to the end of the video to find out...

What Is An Appraisal?

What is An Appraisal?

An Appraisal is an independent 3rd party professional that certifies the value of a property.

An appraiser does this valuation to ensure that the market value and the agreed upon purchase price match.

The lender orders the appraisal; however, they do not do it. It is an independent party that is not tied to the buyer, seller or lender.

The bank will pay for the appraisal up front; however, they will collect this fee from the buyer eventually.

The point of the appraisal is to make sure that the deal is above board and that the buyer is not over paying for the property. These appraisals can create issues; however, they are in the best interest of not only the bank, but the buyer as well.

The appraisal is a way to qualify the real property if you will.

The bank secures the mortgage against the asset (the house). The bank needs to know that should a buyer not be able to pay back the loan, that the asset will be able to cover the loss.

An appraisal will look at comparable houses within a one-to-two-mile radius. They specifically look for recent sales within the last 6 months. There are exceptions that can be made in more rural areas where there are no recent sales.

The appraisal happens once the Purchase & Sale Agreement has been signed.

There can be appraisal delays based on how busy the marketplace is. Generally, this should not be an issue that holds up closing, but can hold up the mortgage commitment.

Other Blogs & Videos May Interest You:
What Happens if Appraisal Comes in Low
What Happens if Appraisal Comes in High
...

Buying a House With No Down Payment

BUYING A HOUSE WITHOUT SAVING FOR A DEPOSIT

Haven’t saved for a down payment to buy a house? Or need a little more in order to make your dream of buying a home possible? You may still have options.

Don’t be sidelined from the real estate market continuing to stash small amounts away in the form of savings for a down payment.

You have options of receiving a Gift or borrowing against your 401k.

A buyer can receive a gift from a person that the buyer has a strong relationship with (this is for most programs). Gifts are not acceptable for all programs so this is something that you would want to reach out to a mortgage banker to discuss more with.

A gift of cash (actual dollar bills!) can difficult the gift process. This is an example where the funds would need to be seasoned.

In most cases a buyer can pull from their 401k. This is something where the buyer will want to check with their provider or HR department to see what the plan offers. A lot of times this is an interest free loan that is in most cases have no tax implications.

Saving 20% for a down payment is near impossible for a lot of first-time home buyers… Especially those located in expensive markets! It’s important to know that you always have options!

Transcript of Video:

- Can I still buy a house without saving for a down payment? Hi, I'm Jeff Chubb. We got Jason Bonarrigo here today. Today we're talking about down payment options with 401ks and gifts. And be sure you stick to the end of the video in order to figure out what we're gonna do with this thousand dollars with your help. So Jason, do I have to save for a down payment in the traditional sense? Do I have other options?

- You always have options. A lot of times clients don't know that, but they don't have to save...

Biggest Mistake Buyers Make in a Hot Market

Biggest Mistake Buyers Make in a Hot Market

A Seller's market is where there is more demand for houses then supply. This creates an imbalance where a seller has pricing power.

This imbalance is making it where many houses are going far above a seller's initial asking price.

If a house is marketed at $500,000 but really sells for $575,000 then the true market value of that house is $575,000.

So the biggest mistake a buyer is making is looking at houses that initially seem to be at the top of their price range when in reality they are not really in their price range.

The issue with looking at a house that is above your price range is that you become attached to areas or finishes of the more expensive houses. It's natural for a buyer to compare one house to another house. If a buyer is constantly looking at houses that are out of their price range then this will create a level of disappointment for the buyer.

In this market, a buyer doesn't necessarily want to look at the brand new listings at the high end of their price range. They should wait until after the weekend to view the property to ensure that it hasn't received multiple offers with the bid price going above the seller's initial marketing price.

Transcript of Conversation:

- Biggest mistake when searching for a house in a hot real estate market. Hi, I'm Jeff Chubb. We got Jason Bonarrigo with us today. And make sure you stick around for the end of the video to find out what we're gonna do with this $1,000. So...

- Jeff, talk to me, what is a hot market? What's going on right now?

- So a hot market, a hot sellers market, is basically where sellers have all pricing power, all the advantages of a hot market place, if you will. So, and that's really what we're seeing today. We're seeing sellers,...