Real Estate

Home Upgrades that Don’t Pay Off

 

Thinking of selling your home?  Renovating your kitchen or adding a spare room can seem like a good idea when it comes to home improvements, but there are some upgrades that end up costing you more than what you’ll get in return.  If you plan on being in your home for a while, then you probably don’t mind losing out on a little money in order to get your dream home. When it’s time for you to sell, though, you want to get the best bang for your buck.  You also want to keep in mind that just because you upgrade your home, doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed a profit when selling your home. It would be best to consult a realtor and plan how much money to spend on making home upgrades and how much money to spend on marketing your home. Here is a list of some home upgrades that could break the bank:

 

Major Kitchen Remodel 

The kitchen is one of the focal (and selling) points of the home.  (Everyone loves food!) Of course, it would make sense to remodel it to be up-to-date and trendy.  However, this upgrade only has about a 60-65% return value. On average, you can expect to spend about $60,000 for new appliances, the flooring, lighting, countertops, an island, etc. ...

Milton, MA - Everything you Want to Know

People looking to buy a house near Boston often pick one of the bustling communities near the town center. Milton MA is an established nautical suburb offering homeowners posh living within easy reach of premium amenities and urban benefits.

Niche gives the city an A rating saying the community is vibrant, diverse, and rates the schools with the highest ranking. Visitors and residents often enjoy the rich history, culture, fine dining, exquisite artwork, and a multitude of events while in the area.

General Information about the Massachusetts Town

This upscale suburb sits in Norfolk County. The population is around 25,000 residents according to the 2010 Census. The city holds just over 13.3 square miles with just about all of it being land. The town is in the middle of the Blue Hills and the Neponset River.

Affluent neighborhoods flank the city with Quincy on the south and eastern borders, Mattapan and Dorchester to the north, and the infamous Hyde Park area to the west. At one time, the city was part of Dorchester.

As an agricultural community, this town brings forth a rich culture and history. The Milton MA area was a first for creating several mills offering unique goods for travelers along with fresh vegetables, grains, and fruits. One of the most fascinating facts about this area is it is the birthplace of former President George Herbert Walker Bush. His family home is now a museum where visitors can tour and learn about the family and the president as a child.

Six historical...

What happened in September in Massachusetts....

What happened during September of 2019 in Massachusetts....

And What it means to local Real Estate Prices.

The real estate market in the month of August provided for many shifts in the market place when comparing the local markets year over year. 

For much of the year the story has been increasing inventory and decreased sales. August had some major pullbacks that could shift the market dynamic as we look to close out 2019. 

  • Inventory throughout Massachusetts shifted rather dramatically in both the Condo and Single Family markets.
  • The two largest cities in Massachusetts (Boston & Worcester) continue perform on opposite sides of the spectrum.
  • Spot checking markets throughout the state, we see some markets actually depreciating.
  • Different towns throughout Massachusetts are performing at different levels. Even neighboring towns will have major swings making real estate more hyper local then ever before. 

If you would like to learn more about the current market conditions whether buying or selling a home throughout Massachusetts, reply to this email, give us a call at 617-480-2600 or visit us online.

We look forward to being your real estate resource. 

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Improvements to Make Before Selling

Improvements to Make Before Selling your Massachusetts Home

One of the most asked questions is “Should I make improvements before selling my home”. The correct answer is maybe.

I wanted to share with you you today what improvements if any you should make when putting a Massachusetts house on the market.

The reason that the answer is ‘maybe’ is because each situation is different. For example, it most likely will not make any sense or return any value to refinish the hardwood floors for a house that will most likely be completely renovated.

So what should the golden rule be when it comes to making improvements before putting a home on the market in Massachusetts? You should only make an improvement if it will provide you a return over what you are investing or an improvement that will come up in a home inspection.

But even with possible Home Inspection Issues, I have to say that you must be careful. I can often times negotiate an amount less then what it would actually cost.

A recent example is a client of mine in Boston had a furnace that was at the end of its life and had asked if he should have it fixed. This process would end up costing my client in the $15k range and would not have offered any additional value to a buyer when the property is on the market. We were able to negotiate an amount of less than half and buying a home warranty.

The smaller stuff that you know about like broken window seals, loose cabinet doors or maybe plumbing or electrical issues are generally areas that you will want to address. Other areas that...

How to Keep Up with the Real Estate Market

Are you looking to sell or buy a home? Keeping up with the property market can be frightening especially in such a crowded market space. For a buyer or seller, timing is decisive. It can be the difference between a great deal and an average transaction. Such timing is dependent on the quality of information someone has about the specific market.

Having the information is half the battle, harnessing the data into usable intelligence is the other half.

There are two reasons why you need to stay on top of the real estate trends

  • You can make informed decisions

  • You can create a sound investment strategy

Valuable information on the property market is available on the following platforms.

Annual Real Estate Reports

Some of the top websites and research organizations feature annual and quarterly industry reports. An avid investor can subscribe to such data. They can cost a small fortune sometimes. However, such companies invite media to sample the information. You can get valuable insight from news related to such industry reports.

If a company releases a new report, earlier reports become cheaper, and they have roughly the same content. However, be careful about outdated information. They should not serve as the primary source of investment...

Eight Reasons Homeowners Call in a Contractor

Eight reasons homeowners call in a contractor

Whether you are buying your first house, or you are a seasoned property investor, contractors are one group of professionals you will contact at some point. Property owners call these experts for many things from new projects to expansions and upgrades. We talk about eight times when you know you can leave the job to a specialist to save you time, hassle, and maybe money in this post. 

Custom jobs from built-in shelves to new home builds

Adding a stunning feature can help a property investor sell a house quickly after buying to make it easy to flip. Custom shelves or an organizer for walk-in closets are small yet significant features in many buyer's opinions. Knowing the type of heating system, and whether it may be necessary to upgrade to propane heat or natural gas is paramount. When you have a busy schedule, hiring a specialty contractor is an affordable way to get quality work in your time frame. Contract firms can do small jobs like these, or they can oversee the construction of a new home or business. A project manager is the person who oversees the various specialists and organizes the team to complete the assignment efficiently. 

Maintenance when you...

Alternative Properties in Real Estate

Alternative Properties in Real Estate

Alternative properties are not something a lot of people even realize are an official part of the real estate market. The words themselves sound like a marginal or miscellaneous aspect of the commodities market. Upon searching for alternative properties on the web you will find many similar blogs and articles that tackle the subject, but not in-depth. Many give broad and similar strokes that offer little information. This is due to the fact that alternative properties vary greatly in cost and ROI.

Billboards

Amongst the more surprising to see listed on several of these blogs, billboards are a legitimate piece of the real estate market. Certainly, of no interest to someone who needs a roof over their head, or office space, they can be a lucrative investment.

The Numbers

  • Average Buy-In: Varies greatly, between several hundred dollars and millions of dollars, depending heavily on location, size, and condition of the billboard.

  • Average ROI: $1800.00/mo. (For one billboard)

Data Center

A hot ticket in the current alternative properties market is data centers. These are buildings...

4 Things To Check When House Hunting

4 Things To Check When House Hunting

4 Not-So-Obvious Things To Check When House Hunting

One of the most important purchases in life is buying a house. But even though picking a new home is exciting, it can be a daunting and anxious process. Often you will get over excited and end up thinking with the heart instead of the head.

Well, the exhilaration is a natural feeling that can plunge you into a serious time and money sink if you’re not taking everything into consideration.. With a real estate agent on your side, the process of picking the right house which suits your needs is simplified.

Of course, you contemplate several factors in making the decision. The features most people narrow down first are the size of the house, the location, the neighborhood, and the condition of the house itself.

As there are many aspects to cover, it’s easy to overlook checking into some not-so-obvious features that could adversely impact your stay in the house. These house hunting tips will help you gain a clear eye when scrutinizing homes for sale.

The Home’s Age

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What Does A Listing Agent Do?

What Does A Listing Agent Do?

What Can A Listing Agent Do For You

For many of us buying a home was the biggest financial decision we’ve ever made. Now that it’s time to sell your home you want to make sure that you get the best price possible, as quickly as possible.

There are a lot of moving parts to selling a house and the first thing a savvy home seller should do is hire a reputable real estate agent. The best way to ensure that the sale of your most valuable asset goes smoothly and to the highest bidder is to put it in professional hands.

The Skills A Listing Agent Can Offer

In particular, those selling their home for the first time may not fully understand exactly what a good listing agent can do for them. So let’s go over some of their skillsets: First and foremost a real estate agent will have knowledge about the housing market in the neighborhoods and surrounding area, and have access to sales data that will enable you to know exactly what your home is worth in the current market.

A listing agent will have complete access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), a database of homes for sale. Their first task will be to ...

For the Shopaholic - Hudson vs. Concord

For the Shopaholic - Hudson vs. Concord

For the Shopaholic - Hudson vs. Concord

For installment two of the Boston Magazine comparison, we jump to the towns that they have identified that are perfect for the ‘Shopaholic’. Boston Magazine highlighted Hudson, MA and Concord, MA as two perfect towns for homebuyers that ‘enjoys lovely boutique-lined streets’. Lets dive into the numbers and see what the current market conditions and real estate trends are for Hudson and Concord, MA.

Overall Heath Of Boston's Market

To calculate the overall health of Boston's real estate market place we look to the months of inventory on the market. In Hudson we have had 83 homes sell in the last 6 months making for an average of 13.83 per month. This is compared to the same time period last year when we saw 65 homes close for an average of 10.83 per month.

This means that today we currently have 1.08 month’s worth of inventory this year compared to 1.10 months of inventory this time last year. In other words, the Hudson Market is still a hot seller’s market that has seen statistically no change in the market conditions year over year.

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Boomtowns Around Boston

Boomtowns Around Boston

Boston Area Boomtowns – Chelsea, Lowell, Everett, Newton, Watertown

 

We look at the “Boomtowns” in the third installment of comparing the towns that Boston Magazine lists as the Top Places to Live Around Boston Right now in its March 2019 issue.

I think some additional gray hairs came in with this 5-way grudge match. But none the less, let's take dive into the numbers and see what town is performing better in the current real estate climate. To keep as apples to apples as we can, we will examine the market type that has the most sales.

As an example, in Chelsea there were 133 condos that sold in 2018 vs. the 28 Single Family Homes. In this case, we will be examining the condo market in Chelsea as the larger data set will give us a better idea of the current market conditions.

As we dive into 5 different towns throughout Massachusetts, it is important to remember that year over year the amount of Single Family Homes currently on the market in Massachusetts has grown by 15.96%.

Meanwhile year over year in the Massachusetts Condo Market we have seen an increase in the available inventory of 32.84%. These numbers will help us in creating a better baseline for the performance of these 5 individual towns.  

Chelsea

 The...

Hull vs. Manchester by the Sea - For the Beach Bum

Hull MA vs Manchester by the Sea for Real Estate

For the Beach Bum

Hull vs. Manchester by the Sea

In the March 2019 issue of the Boston Magazine, they looked at different towns for the home buyer looking for city alternatives.

For the ‘Beach Bum’ buyer, Boston Magazine put up Hull, MA and Manchester by the Sea as two towns for a buyer to put on their list. Comparing the two towns is like comparing an apple to an orange, but none the less Boston Magazine put them up as two choices for the beach bum category… So let’s dig into the numbers!

Hull MA Real Estate Statistics 

The Hull Real Estate Market is shifting quicker than the Manchester market. Year over year we have seen an increase of inventory throughout the state of Massachusetts by 15.96%. This represents an increase of 1,330 Single Family homes. On April 10th, 2018 there were 8,334 homes on the market compared to 9,664 on the same day in 2019.

The Single-Family market in Hull has increased far above the rate we have seen for Massachusetts as a whole. Today we have 42 Hull Single Family Homes on the market vs. the 20 homes in 2018. This represents a 110% increase year over in the amount of the homes available...

Monthly Existing Home Sales Reach Four-Year High

Monthly Existing Home Sales Reach Four-Year High

Home Sales Rebound In February, 2019

A report by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows existing-home sales rebounded strongly in February 2019 with the largest month-over-month gain experienced since December 2015. The report showed that the completed transactions for single-family homes, town-houses, and condominiums, increased by 11.8 percent over January.

This was an adjustment in the seasonal annual rate of 5.51 million in February. Completed home loan transactions continue to remain 1.8 percent below sales figures from a year ago when the adjusted annual rate was 5.61 million for February 2018.  

NAR's chief economist, Lawrence Yun, believes that there are several aspects that contributed to the increase in home sales February, 2019. "A powerful combination of lower mortgage rates, more inventory, rising income, and higher consumer confidence is driving the sales rebound."

Lawrence Yun believes the market could greatly benefit in 2019 with additional new housing.

 

An Increase In Existing Home Prices

In February the median existing-home price across all housing types was $249,500, which is a 3.6 percent increase over...

Older Homes vs. Supply & Demand

Older Homes vs. Supply & Demand

Supply & Demand vs. Older Homes

  According to a study by NAHB, National Association of Home Builders, the nation's residential housing inventory is getting older and new-home construction is falling behind the current demand rate.

The NAHB says this could add up to a severe housing shortage and there is a growing concern that older homes do not meet current safety and energy standards. In NAHBs, Eye on Housing blog, Laurie Goodman of the Urban Institute estimated that the supply of new homes in 2017 fell about 350,000 short of the number needed to meet demand allowing older homes to stay on the market longer.

Only 6 of every 1,000 homes built prior to 1970 are removed from the housing stock each year, according to the NAHB report. “In the long run, loss rates as small as this are not sustainable, of course, as that would imply half of new homes built in some regions last 1,000 years,” NAHB notes in the post. “But in the medium term, it may be possible to keep removal and production rates as low as they are right now.”

Older Homes May Not Pass New Standards

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Six Boston Neighborhoods For Luxury Dream Homes

View of the bay overlooking Boston

LUXURY DREAM HOME NEIGHBORHOODS IN BOSTON

Whether homebuyers are moving to Boston because of a job transfer, or they are a second generation inhabitant, luxury home shopping begins with knowing where to look.

There are 23 established neighborhoods across the city. These areas break down into over 80 communities around Boston. We give you an overview of six of the grandest places to find your Boston dream home below.

Back Bay

This community is a historic destination. The entire area is full of vintage homes and shops where residents can spend the afternoon window shopping or sipping a glass of tea with a friend. From high-end hotels to the Public Garden and the waterfront Esplanade, this portion of the city has unique experiences and innovative events.

Visitors will recognize the area immediately upon seeing the Prudential Center, the Boston Public Library, and the John Hancock Tower. Rows of Victorian homes line the city streets of Copley Square, Newbury Street, and the Commonwealth Avenue Mall area of Back Bay.

Beacon Hill

This neighborhood is another historic area in Boston. The two primary areas are the Massachusetts State House grounds and Louisburg Square. The old Colonial space is west of the city center. Most businesses and events are on Charles Street.

The neighborhood...

2019 Real Estate Market Trends

2019 Real Estate Market Trends

Today’s Real Estate Market Trends

 

  The real estate market is known for its rapid changes, and this can present a challenge to anyone who is involved in real estate transactions. Understanding the various forces that shape the market is helpful when performing initial research.

The fluid nature of the market often causes buyers and sellers to juggle multiple issues at the same time. Adaptation is more likely when you have access to useful information about the trends that shape the market as a whole. Examples of adaptations are helpful for anyone who is learning how to navigate this challenging environment.  

Staying curious about the latest market trends is key to maintaining a good perspective within a rapidly changing landscape. New information is critical when you are dealing with a situation that can shift quickly within a short period of time.

Planning is affected by perception, so learning new things is a great way to react during the inevitable times when you might be feeling overwhelmed.  

Trend Analysis Techniques

  Some of the most effective techniques are also obvious ones. For example, people who are looking to ...

Best Mortgage Loans For First Time Buyers

Best Mortgage Loans For First Time Buyers

Best First Time Buyer Mortgage Loans

Financing is always a big question mark when buying a home, especially for first-time home buyers who may not realize that all loans are not created equal; and all lenders do not offer every type of loan that is available.

Getting Started With A Mortgage

Getting the right loan could make a lot of difference in a lot of ways including the down, the number of years on the loan, closing costs and mortgage insurance. Getting pre-approved for the right type of loan could save a home buyer thousands of dollars and free up money that can then be invested in home improvements or new furniture.

Types of Mortgages

Rural Development Loans (RD)

RD loans are mortgages...

Staging Your House In The Winter

Staging Your House In The Winter

Staging Your House For Sale In The Winter

When you invest in real estate, you want the house to be in working shape, make a good showing, and sell for a comparable price for the market. Forbes says property owners who invest in staging sell houses at a faster rate. Nearly 95 percent of homes with staging sell in less than two weeks.

These houses often go for over 15 percent of the comparisons for non-staged homes. When you are putting up homes for sale in the cold, winter months, then you may come across a scant few visitors on open house day. How can you entice people to come out of nice and cozy houses to see your place? Use a professional stager to design a stunning space that beckons for potential buyers to take a closer look.

Staging Benefits

  Besides selling faster and for more money, what other benefits are there for staging a home? With the right home staging company, your house can become a place that potential buyers envision the family living in for many years. Staging can create an environment that potentially sparks a bidding war.

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Cooling Housing Market For Buyers

Cooling Housing Market For Buyers

Cooling Housing Market Offers Opportunity For Buyers

 

The economy is soaring, and unemployment is at its lowest level in decades. These two indicators would suggest that new home sales are rising.  

That’s not the case this year because new home sales are sagging. In addition to growing new home inventories, mortgage rates remain low. This combination is favorable to anyone looking to buy a home.  

What’s currently occurring in the housing market is what Real Estate experts call “rebalancing.” The housing market is moving towards a better equilibrium after several years of escalating prices and high demand.  

Ultimately, despite a strong economy, the housing market simply couldn’t continue to grow. This paradox is not what people expect during a strong economy, but the reality is that most housing indexes show a downturn in new home sales.

The Reasons for Declining New Home Sales

One of the primary reasons that new homes sales slowed is: less demand. Reports have shown that housing demand is down 10 percent compared to the same time last year. Particularly affected are single-family homes...

Trending Paint Colors for 2019

Trending Paint Colors For 2019

Best Trending Paint Colors For 2019

Do you have homes you plan to sell in 2019? Are you an investor who likes to add a hip and trendy accent wall to your houses? Looking for the important real estate trends? When stark white is driving you crazy, 2019's colors can help your house stand out from others on the market with neutrals that are no longer bland and boring.

Some of the hottest real estate tips have to do with color you choose. Glidden says to use muted yellows and tans to brighten up dull spaces without turning off potential buyers. Light gray shades are back, pairing beautifully with slate blues and charcoal grays for stunning color combinations. 

Greige Is The Hottest Tone

Greige Paint Color

Whether you put “Greige” on the outside or inside your house, it is sure to grab...