Real Estate Myths: Common Wisdom that isn’t so Wise

Let’s look at two elements of common wisdom that many buyers follow when purchasing a home. One element advises them to eliminate certain houses from consideration. The other, tells them how much to spend. We consider both these elements of common wisdom to be myths!

PROTECTING YOUR HOME WHILE YOU ARE AWAY – 10 THINGS YOU SHOULD NOT DO!

There are a number of systems for protecting your home while you are away. There are alarm systems which are triggered when a door or window is opened, and others that include motion detectors. Either of these systems may have an alarm that makes a lot of noise (similar to a car alarm). Alternatively, either may be monitored by an alarm company, or by you, via your smartphone. They all require a non-trivial initial investment and possible ongoing monthly charges. If you aren’t going to investment in one them, there are still things you can do to protect your home while you are away at minimal cost, or at no cost at all. And even if you have an expensive alarm systems, the tips below will help you avoid some of potential problems that alarms don’t address.

NEW CONSTRUCTION vs. TRADITIONAL HOUSING

In the Boston area there are significant numbers of both new and traditional housing. There is also a hybrid of the two – old houses that have been gut-rehabbed. Understanding the key differences is helpful to buyers, sellers, and owners alike. Buyers can use the understanding to evaluate the trade-offs between the different types of housing. Sellers gain insight into the competition. And owners can use the information to make informed decisions about when, if, and how to invest in upgrades and renovations to their home with an eye towards the ultimate resale value.

Residential Real Estate Taxes in Boston and Nearby Towns

Real estate taxes vary from town to town in the greater Boston Area. We’re going to take a look at Boston Proper and some of the immediately adjacent municipalities to compare the tax rates. But first, we’ll answer some questions about the terminology.

My property appraisal is lower than my purchase price.

When you apply for a mortgage, the bank has a professional appraiser perform an appraisal of the property. The question today is: what if the appraisal comes in lower than the price you have agreed to pay? And the answer, like the answer to many questions, is: “It depends”. Mostly, it depends on what it says in the mortgage contingency that was part of your offer.

For the purposes of this discussion we will use – as an example – that:
– you have agreed to pay $600k for the property.
– the bank will lend you up to 80% of the appraised value – which is standard.

The Spring Market – Greater Boston Real Estate

Spring is the season when many people tend to buy and sell real estate. Much like spring cleaning…a lot of people do it. Of course, with cleaning, people aren’t impacted by the number of people who decide to do it in the spring. But with real estate, the number of people looking to buy and sell impacts everyone in the spring market.

Boston 2018 – Real Estate Roundup

Here are snapshots of real estate activity in selected Greater Boston Area communities for 2018: Newton, Needham, Roslindale, and West Roxbury. You can see how some key indicators in 2018 compare to 2017 activity. Specifically, there are graphs that show the number of houses sold for each of the two years, the average sale price, and the average days on market, We’ll also take a quick peek – before we close – at anticipated activity in 2019.

Getting to “SOLD” in Real Estate.

Owners who try to sell their home without an agent are frequently successful in getting a signed contract from a buyer for an acceptable price. Unfortunately – all too often – they learn the hard way about the number of problems that can come up and interfere with getting to “SOLD”. A contract that doesn’t close typically has a negative impact on the purchase price of the next offer…future buyers tend to be very suspicious of why the first offer didn’t get to “SOLD”. Here are some of the many ways that a good agent can help you navigate through the sea of problems and get you to “SOLD”.