Massachusetts & Southern NH Real Estate Industry News

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April 4, 2022

The Best Week to List Your Home May Be Closer Than You Think

 

 

Have you been waiting for the perfect time to strike when it comes to listing your home? As we head into the heart of spring, you might be surprised to know that the best week to list your home is right around the corner!

 

In this article, we're taking a look at the best week to list your home according to realtor.com and what you can expect to see with this window of opportunity. 

 

The Best Week To List

In a recent study by realtor.com, experts examined housing data and trends from the previous year, excluding 2020 due to it being an atypical year, to determine when the best week is to sell your house. The research revealed:

 

“The week of April 10-16 is expected to have the ideal balance of housing market conditions that favor home sellers, more so than any other week in the year.”


Therefore, if you've been waiting for that golden window of opportunity, the time is quickly approaching!

You might be wondering what makes this particular week so ideal? That's a great question and we're diving into the detail on that next.

The 4 Reasons Why

The week of April 10-16 is the perfect storm of ideal scenarios for anyone looking to sell. Let's take a close look at these contributing factors that make this upcoming week such a great one to list during:

 

Increased buyer activity. According to the study done by realtor.com, this same week in 2021 saw 29% more views per listing than the average week throughout the year. This year, there is additional fuel for the fire with the interest rates rapidly increasing after the Federal Reserve’s recent announcement. As more buyers hit the gas on their home search before rates climb too high, the activity on your listing is sure to increase accordingly. 

 

Fast market pace. Due to increased demand, homes are selling quickly. However, the activity seen this week, in particular, has historically resulted in a quicker market pace. In 2021, homes sold 13.2% faster than the average week. We’ve already seen a decrease in days on market according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), with homes staying on the market for an average of 18 days, compared to 19 days one month ago and 20 days one year ago.

 

Above average prices. According to the study done by realtor.com, homes sold this week have reached prices 1.4% higher than the average week throughout the year and are typically 10.3% higher than at the start of the year. If we take this data and apply it to what we’re seeing in 2022, the average list price could reach $5,000 above average during this peak week and $39,000 more than the start of the year. 

 

Less competition. Inventory has continued to be one of the major struggles for the housing market. According to the study, the typical trend for this optimal week is that there will be even fewer homes available. The study predicts 6.2% fewer homes on the market during this week. This means that your home will have the spotlight should you decide to list this week.

 

We do have one last additional note for you to keep in mind. Prices are not expected to hit their peak during this week, although they are expected to be above average. What’s important to remember is that while prices are projected to hit peak levels a little later in the year, so will the competition. Historically, prices peak at the end of May (+12.2% compared to the start of the year in 2021), and the number of sellers also soared to 1.5 times higher than the start of the year (+48.4% in 2021). By beating this spike, you’re still likely to get a fantastic offer on your home without the competition, meaning that you have more power over the terms of the deal than you might down the line.

 

Bottom Line

If you’ve been holding off on selling your home, now is the perfect time to make that move. With more buyers on the market and less competition, you'll be ideally situated to have a speedy transaction and get the most for your home. If you have any questions about the next steps, give us a call! We’d love to provide you with a free home value estimate and help you get set up for a successful home sale.

 

Posted in Selling Your Home
April 1, 2022

March 2022 Massachusetts Market Update

 

 

Are you curious about what recent world events and increasing interest rates mean to the housing market in Massachusetts? We’re breaking it all down today in our latest market update.

 

Under Contract and Closed Listings

As we wrap up the first quarter of 2022, we wanted to take some time to look at the state of the market. Right now, the housing market is probably one of the strongest seller’s markets than we’ve ever seen in the history of real estate in Massachusetts. With all that is happening right now, it might be surprising to hear that the market is still as strong as it is. Let’s take a closer look at the stats that we are seeing.

 

Year to date, we’ve put under contract 9,100 single-family homes and just shy of 5,000 condos. When we compared this to last year, we can see that we are down. At this point in 2021, there were about 12,000 single-family homes under contract and just under 6,500 market. Now, when we look at the number of homes that have sold, we’re going to get an even bigger picture of what’s going on in the market. Keep in mind that what’s sold represents homes that were listed for sale at the end of 2021. These numbers are down a little bit as well. In 2021, we had sold 9,200 single-family homes and about 4,600 condos. This year, in the state of MA, we have sold about 7,000 single-family homes and about 3,400 condos. 

 

Appreciation

One of the most fascinating stats this month is in regards to appreciation. In 2021, the average single-family home was selling for $603,000. In 2022, that number is up to $656,000 which equates to about $53,000 in appreciation in just the last 12 months. When we look at condos, that number gets even larger. In 2021, the average condo was selling for about $555,000. In 2022, the average price has jumped to $619,000. That is $64k in appreciation simply by owning a condo in the state of MA. 

 

Interest Rates and the Future of the Housing Market

One question that we often get asked is about how the rising interest rates are going to impact the housing market. The answer is quite simple. There is so much built-up buyer demand and not enough inventory. We predict that we won’t see a whole lot of change in the housing market even with the rising interest rates. We’re still going to sell homes, buyers are still going to be out there looking to purchase, and there are still going to be multiple offer situations. It's still going to be a great market for sellers. For buyers, we can understand a little bit of trepidation but there's still a great opportunity for you out there to buy. Even though interest rates are going to rise a little bit there's going to be some volatility which means if you time things just right you might be able to lock a rate on a slight decrease.

 

So, are we due for a housing market crash? None of the industry experts that we know of are predicting any kind of crash within the real estate market. Nobody's talking about this being a bubble or artificially high. Therefore, if you are waiting for a crash before you decide to buy or sell, you may be waiting for a while.

 

Bottom Line

As the market continues to evolve, it's more important now than ever to have someone on your team that can keep up with the ever-changing market conditions. Whether you’re thinking about buying, selling, or investing, our agents are here to help. They’re ready to stand by your side and give you the advice and guidance that you need to navigate this market. If you have any questions about this information or your next steps in your real estate journey, give us a call today!

Posted in Market Update
March 28, 2022

The Importance of Pricing Your Home Correctly

 

 

When you go to sell your home, there’s no doubt that you’ll want to sell it for the highest price possible. In this market, you have probably heard stories about homes selling far above the asking price and the owners making a pretty penny from the sale. According to data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 48% of buyers offered above list price, typically at $10,000. 

 

With this information, you may be tempted to assume that the sky is the limit in terms of list price. However, even in this market, working with an agent to set the right list price is critical. Let’s take a closer look at how the wrong pricing strategy could negatively impact your sale and how a real estate expert can help you ensure that you get the most for your home. 

 

Why It’s Important to Price Your Home Right in this Market

The price of your home sends a message to your potential buyers. In this market, the worst thing that you can do is price your home too high and run the risk of deterring buyers. The current market is set to your advantage. Buyers are willing to pay above and beyond what your home is listed for if they fall in love with your home. Additionally, there will likely be competition amongst those looking to submit an offer. NAR reports that, on average, there are 4.8 offers for every home sold. The result of this competition is that your home will likely sell for over the list price. However, that all changes if your home is overpriced. If your home is priced too high, you won’t get that demand and are less likely to have multiple competitive offers. You may even find yourself in a position to have to do a price drop to try to re-ignite interest in your home if it sits for a while. The downside to this is that a price drop can signal a red flag for some buyers.

 

While it’s tempting to want to price your home high, or set an aspirational price as we like to say here at Chinatti, it’s a risky move. Instead, we like to encourage our sellers to stay close to or below market value. Pricing your home fairly based on market conditions and similar sales in the area will attract more buyers to your home. This type of pricing also encourages a bidding war, which means that you’ll likely end up with a higher final sales price than what you have listed. 

 

One strategy that we often suggest, especially with the given market conditions, is called event pricing. For this strategy, we recommend pricing slightly below market value. Not so much that buyers will start to wonder if there is something wrong with the property, but low enough that it sticks out from other similar properties and drives a large amount of traffic to your home. We find that in this situation, sellers receive multiple competitive offers that end up well above the asking price - even higher than market value and closer to that aspirational price.

 

At the end of the day, the current market conditions provide a unique circumstance for anyone looking to sell. The competition will drive your final sales price up to an appealing price point that is going to result in you walking away with a good amount of equity. The biggest risk you face is pricing your home too high and scaring off all of those competitive buyers. 

 

How a Professional Can Help

The best way to come up with the right list price for your home is to have a conversation with an expert real estate agent in your area. They’ll take a look at your property and discuss what they view as a fair, compelling price for your home. Some factors that they’ll look at include:

  • The value of homes in your neighborhood
  • The current demand for houses in today’s market
  • The condition of your home and how it affects the value

They’ll discuss these items with you and together, you’ll decide on a price that is sure to bring in a large amount of traffic while also giving you the greatest return on your investment. 

 

Bottom Line

Even though it is a seller’s market, pricing your home is still incredibly important to your overall success with your home sale. By working with a trusted real estate agent, you’ll be able to ensure that you’re pricing right to not only get the most amount of qualified buyers to look at your property but also receive competitive offers that will allow you to make the most of the home sale and walk away with the greatest return on your investment. Curious about what your home is worth? Give us a call today and we’d be happy to provide you with the answer!

Posted in Selling Your Home
March 24, 2022

A Closer Look At Closing Costs

 

 

Closing costs - a part of the buying process that doesn’t seem to get enough of the spotlight. Sure, everyone seems to know that you need to save money for the down payment, but closing costs never seem to have the same amount of conversation. Of course, the down payment is typically the largest of the expenses you’ll have to pay out-of-pocket during the buying process, but closing costs are not insignificant. 

According to a survey done by Rocket Mortgage, 41.4% of homebuyers were surprised by their closing costs. With that said, today we wanted to take some time to review what on earth closing costs are and what you’ll need to budget for as you approach the closing table. 

What Are Closing Costs?

What exactly are closing costs? The ambiguity behind what’s involved in these costs is a big part of why many don’t even know they exist. According to U.S. News and World Report, “Closing costs encompass a variety of expenses above your property’s purchase price. They include things like lender fees, title insurance, government processing fees, upfront tax payments, and homeowners insurance.” To summarize, they are a collection of fees and payments made to a variety of individuals and organizations who are involved with your transaction. 

According to Freddie Mac, closing costs typically include:

  • Government recording costs
  • Appraisal fees
  • Credit report fees
  • Lender origination fees
  • Title service fees
  • Tax service fees
  • Survey fees
  • Attorney fees
  • Underwriting fees

How Much Are Closing Costs?

Freddie Mac states that generally, closing costs range between 2% and 5% while Rocket Mortgage says that the costs can make up about 3% to 6% of the price of the home. Therefore, for a mortgage of about $200,000, you can expect to pay between $4,000 - $12,000 in closing costs. 

Rocket Mortgage also indicated that the average closing costs (including tax) in MA came out to $7,035.04 while NH totaled $8,039.46.

So, who typically pays the closing costs? Both buyers and sellers pay closing costs, however, the buyer typically pays most of them. There is always an option to negotiate with the seller to help cover the closing costs, which can be extremely helpful if you’re not sure of how you’ll come up with the money to close. However, keep in mind that there are limits on the amount that the sellers can offer towards closing. Additionally, in a competitive market, asking for seller concessions will weaken your offer, so it’s important to discuss the pros and cons of this option with your trusted real estate agent. 

How To Prepare 

Now that we’ve discussed what closing costs are and how much they generally cost, it’s time to focus on how to prepare so that you’re ready and confident when you arrive at the closing table. Freddie Mac tells homebuyers, “As you start your homebuying journey, take the time to get a sense of all costs involved- from your down payment to closing costs.”

The best way to get ahead is to have a conversation with your real estate agent and lender right as you begin the home search. The sooner you can get an estimate of the costs directly from the experts that you’re working with to purchase a home, the better prepared you’ll be. 

Ultimately, you’ll receive a closing disclosure at least 3 business days before your scheduled closing meeting where all of the costs will be outlined and there will be a final amount of how much you owe. However, to ensure that you aren’t scrambling during those three days to get the required funds, have those conversations early so that you can focus on the best part of the closing day - getting those keys to your new home! 

Bottom Line

If you’re in the market to purchase a home, your down payment is probably the top cost on your mind. While it certainly deserves to be as its the largest cost of home buying, it's also critical to have an understanding of all the other expenses that are involved in the buying process. Closing costs can sneak up on you if you’re not anticipating them, and they are certainly not something that you want to be worried about just days before closing. By taking the time to understand what’s involved in these costs and having those important conversations early, you’ll be fully prepared as you enter the last segment of your homebuying journey.

 

Posted in Buying a Home
March 21, 2022

The Latest Interest Rate News You Need To Know About

 

 

Interest rates are no stranger to the headlines. Over the past few weeks, we've seen mortgage rates make some interesting moves due to downward pressure from growing uncertainty surrounding tensions with Russia and Ukraine. However, this past week, the Federal Reserve just released some news that you’ll want to know about.
 

In our article today, we’re reviewing the latest news release and also taking a look at how interest rates typically behave in a time of global uncertainty like what we are currently experiencing.

How Global Uncertainty Impact Mortgage Rates

It’s no secret that interest rates have been climbing in recent months, especially since January of this year. A few weeks ago, the 30-year fixed mortgage rate from Freddie Mac approached 4% for the first time since May of 2019. 
 

However, over the past few weeks, we’ve seen a bit of a different trend. Mortgage rates have dropped slightly. This decline is primarily due to the uncertainty surrounding geopolitical tensions involving Russia and Ukraine. This trend is to be expected though according to the experts.

Odeta Kushi, Deputy Cheif Economist at First American explained that while mortgage rates trended upward in 2022, one side effect of global uncertainty like what we are experiencing is downward pressure on mortgage rates. Kushi goes on to explain that geopolitical events play an important role in impacting the long end of the yield curve and mortgage rates. One example of this is that in the weeks following the ‘Brexit’ vote in 2016, the U.S. Treasury bond yield declined and led to a corresponding decline in mortgage rates. 

Economic uncertainty can impact the 10-year treasury yield, which has a long-standing relationship with mortgage rates and is often considered a leading indicator of where rates are headed. Therefore, it’s safe to say that global events can and do impact mortgage rates, which is what we were seeing over the past few weeks.

This trend would have likely continued in the short term however the Federal Reserve made an announcement last week that changed that trajectory. 

The Federal Reserve’s Latest Announcement

Last week the Federal Reserve announced that they were going to increase interest rates essentially immediately by a quarter of a point as a means to combat inflation, which is at a 40-year high according to The New York Times. This past week, we’re seeing the result of that announcement. According to the National Association of REALTORS (NAR), the 30-year fixed mortgage rate surged to 4.16% last week after Federal Reserve hiked rates. 
 

Additionally, the Federal Reserve announced that they were going to have similar increases six additional times throughout the year. At this time, there is no defined amount to what these increases will be. 

What does this mean as we look to the future of 2022 and into 2023? According to the Weekly Real Estate Monitor from NAR, “More rate hikes are anticipated in 2022 and through 2023 with the median fed funds rate at 2.5% to 2.75%. This will bring the 30-year fixed mortgage rate to 6.5% to 6.75% by end of 2023.” However, the report points out that the Federal Reserve also announced that the course of monetary policy can change based on the economic impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
 

Now, let's take a step back and look at how this impacts anyone looking to purchase a home. It’s important to remember that the number one reason why anyone buys or sells a home is to improve the quality of their life. While interest rates increasing is an unfortunate factor that is outside of our control, that doesn't mean that your goal of purchasing a home now has to change. Instead, focus on what you can control, which is putting a plan together and setting your home search up for success, which starts by getting all of the information you need on what’s happening in the current housing market. Knowledge is power, and there are still plenty of great opportunities out there.

 

Bottom Line

Interest rates are a component of the purchasing process that you always want to have a pulse on. That being said, it's important not to get too bogged down on the ups and downs of interest rates. While it’s easy to get wrapped up in the numbers, at the end of the day, your focus should be on why you started the home search in the first place. Focus on the things that you can control, have a deep understanding of the market conditions, and work with a trusted team of experts to turn your real estate dreams into reality. 

Posted in Market Update
March 14, 2022

Home Maintenance Guide: 11 Things to Do This Spring

 

 

The days are getting longer which means spring is in the air. With that said, now is the perfect time to get started on your spring maintenance checklist. The last thing that you want this spring is to find out that you need to make unexpected repairs, so we have included some of the top spring maintenance items for you to tackle today!

 

Spring Checklist

1. Examine roof shingles - Once the snow melts away, it's the perfect time to inspect your roof shingles for any damage that may have occurred during the winter months. Any cracked, bucked, or loose should be replaced to prevent any leaks, especially with all the spring showers.

 

2. Check the gutters - Take some time to check for any loose or leaky gutters. Faulty gutters can lead to water seeping into the basement or crawl space. Additionally, be sure that downspouts drain away from the foundation and are clear, and are not blocked by any debris.

 

3. Inspect the concrete - Examine any concrete slabs for signs of cracks or movement. Fill in any cracks using silicone caulk or concrete fillers. If the damage is too much to repair with filler, consider replacing the concrete entirely.

 

4. Replace rotted siding or trim - If any of your trim has begun to rot or crumble, it should be replaced and repainted. Be sure to plan accordingly if this needs to be done as painting siding or trim can be more than a weekend project. To maintain color consistency, you’ll likely need to repaint a section of your home to avoid any color mismatches.

 

5. Check outdoor faucets - Outdoor faucets are susceptible to freeze damage. To ensure that yours are working properly, turn the water on and place your thumb or finger over the opening. If you can, the pipe inside the home is likely damaged and will need to be replaced. Additionally, take some time to check the garden hose for dry rot.

 

6. Repair window screens - No one wants to deal with unwanted insects in their home due to damaged screens. Protect your home by taking some time to make those quick screen repairs. To do this, simply dab clear household cement over any holes in your screens with a toothpick. For tears, pull both sides together and hold them in place using masking tape. Once that’s done, you can apply household cement to the tear and smooth with a putty knife. Once dry, remove the tape and repeat on the other side. Note that you should test the cement on a scrap piece of the screen before applying it to ensure that it won't melt the material.

 

7. Service the AC unit - Service your AC unit before you need it! Now is a great time to have a professional heating and cooling contractor clean and service the outside unit of the air conditioning system. Additionally, take time to remove debris from around the unit, replace filters, and clean ducts and vents.

 

8. Inspect the deck - Look for any water stains, warping, or discoloration on your deck. If you find lifting or rotting boards, it's time to replace them. Additionally, watch for any loose or rusty nails and perform any necessary maintenance to secure your stairs and railings.

 

9. Perform routine home safety checks - Changing the clocks is a great time to perform those routine checks. One tip is to get into the habit of performing these checks once in the spring and once in the fall when you adjust your clock for daylight savings. Be sure to check the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Additionally, check fire extinguishers to make sure that the needle is in the green zone. Exhaust fans should be working as well.

 

10. Clean the furnace - After working hard all winter, your furnace could use some love. Take some time to properly clean the motor, filler system, and blower of your furnace system. If you need assistance, contact an HVAC technician to help!

 

11. Check the basement and attic - Step into the basement and attic to look for anything out of the ordinary. Watch out for leaks, water stains, and mold. Any odd smells, such as mold or mildew, should be immediately addressed. If present, determine the source and make necessary repairs to prevent serious water damage or mold issues.

 

Bottom Line

Spring cleaning goes beyond dusting and organizing. Now is a great time to give your home a little TLC and ensure that it’s ready to go for the warmer months. We hope that this guide allows you to get started on your spring to-dos. Let us know if you have any spring routines that you do in the comments below!

 

Click here for a free, downloadable checklist of our guide above!

March 10, 2022

The Latest On Home Prices - March 2022

 

 

As we prepare for Daylight Savings Time this weekend, we’re reminded that spring is just about here. The spring season is also the time when many buyers enter the market, hoping to secure a home while the weather is nice and the kids are finishing up school. As we look forward to saying goodbye to winter and hello to warmer weather, we want to take this opportunity to also provide an update on the latest trends on home prices. We’ll also review what this means for anyone looking to buy a home this spring!

 

Taking a Look at the Trends

Back in 2021, many analysts projected that home price appreciation would slow starting in the fall of 2021 and continue to soften through 2022. However, that has yet to happen. If we look at year-over-year appreciation for December, we see that appreciation has continued to stay strong when experts predicted a slow. The major price indices for year-over-year appreciation for December are as followed:

 

  • Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA): 17.6%
  • S&P Case-Shiller: 18.8%
  • CoreLogic: 18.5%

 

The graph below from Keeping Current Matters depicts the trends in appreciation we’ve seen throughout 2021, and also demonstrates that levels do decelerate, but do not decline during the fall season. It’s important to keep in mind that acceleration means that prices rise at a greater year-over-year pace than the previous month while deceleration means that home values continue to rise, but at a slower pace of year-over-year appreciation. In contrast, depreciation means that prices drop below their current value, which no indices are forecasting to happen anytime soon. 

 

In December, two of the three indices saw appreciation re-accelerate. Selma Hepp, Deputy Chief Economist at CoreLogic explains that after seeing some signs of slowing home price growth in 2021, monthly price growth re-accelerated again, showing that buyers are still searching for homes and have not given up. 

 

What This Means For You

Home prices continue to increase and aren’t showing the slowdown that many analysts projected back in 2021. If you’re considering buying, now is the time. Waiting to purchase will cost you in two major ways.

 

Mortgage rates are forecasted to rise this year. Senior Economist & Manager of Economic Research at Realtor.com, George Ratiu, reported that at today’s rate, the buyer of a median-priced home will pay over $278 per month more than a year ago on their mortgage payment. Economic Data Manager at Realtor.com, Danielle Hale, states that rate hikes are also expected as the Federal Reserve intends to combat inflationary pressures with another hike at its mid-March meeting. 

 

Home prices should continue to appreciate at double-digit levels for some time. If you’re waiting for prices to drop, you might be waiting on something that will not happen. Instead, that perfect home may move out of budget due to appreciation as we continue to move through the year.

 

Bottom Line

As we move into the spring season, both mortgage rates and home prices show signs of increasing. The good news is that by purchasing today, you can take advantage of the projected appreciation and build equity in your home as we move through 2022. Although it is a competitive market, there are winning strategies that can be used by your trusted real estate agent that will allow you to move into your dream home this spring. Len Kiefer, Deputy Chief Economist at Freddie Mac advises, “If you’re thinking about waiting until next year and that maybe rates are higher, but you’ll get a deal on prices - well that’s risky. It may be more advantageous to purchase this year relative to wait until 2023 at this time.” Who’s ready to make their homeownership dreams a reality this year?

Posted in Buying a Home
March 7, 2022

Things to Do in Boston This Spring

 

 

Believe it or not, spring is just around the corner! The days are getting longer and soon the temperatures will start to climb. Today, we’re going over some of our favorite springtime activities in and around Boston to help you look forward to the warmer weather to come!

 

Our Favorite Boston Springtime Activities

New England Aquarium 

With spring flowers comes spring showers so we wanted to provide you with some options that you can do rain or shine! The New England Aquarium is the perfect spot to spend the day with the family seeing all sorts of sea creatures. From sharks to stingrays, there is so much to explore. Additionally, spring markets the return of the Atlantic whale-watching season, so consider hopping on a whale watch while you’re in the area!

Take a Cruise Around Boston Harbor

Looking for a unique Boston experience? Cruising around the harbor is a great way to see the city and enjoy a relaxing evening. Additionally, there are unique cruising experiences that you can take advantage of coming up this spring. Enjoy a St. Patrick’s Brunch Cruise happening March 19 & 20, complete with a 3-course Irish breakfast, drinks, and live music!

Boston Duck Tour

Spend a day as a tourist enjoying all the sites and history of Boston. The Boston Duck Tours is an iconic city staple that offers fun for the whole family. You’ll enjoy a tour of the city by land and sea. The tours start up again on April 1st!

Opening Day at Fenway Park

Opening day at Fenway Park is just around the corner! Nothing signifies the start of spring like a ball game at Fenway. Get your tickets now to attend opening day on March 31st against the Tampa Bay Rays. If you can’t make it to the game but are looking for the Fenway experience, check out Fenway Park tours, which will allow you to explore the stadium and get excited for the start of the spring season.

Boston Museum of Science

This is another great experience that you can enjoy rain or shine. The museum has many attractions that the whole family can enjoy, from the Hall of Human Life to the Theater of Electricity, which contains the world’s largest air-insulated Van de Graaff generator. With changing exhibits and interactive fun, everyone in the family is sure to have a great day at the museum!

Patriots Day / Marathon Monday

Patriots Day is a big day for Boston. Although originally designed to honor the start of the American Revolution, this day is also the date of the Boston Marathon, a beloved tradition in the city of Boston. The best part? You don’t have to be a runner to get in on the fun. Take part in the celebration by cheering on the participants and soak up the adrenaline of the crowd watching with you. You can cheer participants on throughout the race route, although many gather on Boylston Street to celebrate the athletes crossing the finish line. 

St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Another great tradition in Boston is the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. During the parade, you’ll enjoy colorful floats, music, and Irish cheer as Boston takes the time to celebrate Irish heritage. The parade will take place on Sunday, March 20th at 1:00 pm. The parade starts on West Broadway and ends at Dorchester Avenue. If you’re looking for a good viewing spot, your best bet will be to stake out a spot anywhere along Broadway!

Bottom Line

Spring is not that far away and as we move into March, the city of Boston really starts to come alive. Take advantage of the longer days by trying some of these fun-filled activities. Leave a comment below and let us know what your favorite Boston springtime activity is!

Posted in Community
March 3, 2022

6 Reasons You May Want To Consider Purchasing an Older Home

 

We know that many homebuyers may be drawn to newer homes. After all, a newer home will have all of the most up-to-date features and you won’t have to worry about replacing anything until later down the road.

However, those turnkey new homes are tough to find in this market, and everyone wants to scoop them up. To that we say, what about older homes?

Before you decide that purchasing an older home isn’t for you, we ask that you read through our 6 reasons why we think purchasing an older home is a great option. At the end of the day, the choice is yours but we want to give you all of the information out there to help you make the best decision for you!

 

1. Generally, Older Homes Will Be Less Expensive

While the term “older home” is subjective as to how old the home is exactly, generally these homes do not use the modern materials that we see in many new builds today. Generally, we can think of older homes as those built before 1970, although for purposes of lead paint concerns, we can think of older homes with lead paint risk as any built before 1978. 

While these homes might not have the most updated features, they generally will save you a good deal of money. Rocket Mortgage reveals that the price of a newly built home is often higher than that of an older home by about 30% or more. With the price of homes rising, purchasing an older home might be the ideal option for someone that might be looking to achieve the goal of homeownership without breaking the bank to do so. 

 

2. The Craftmanship of Older Homes

Older homes are often built with great attention to detail using some of the best materials that were available at the time. The result is that many of these older homes were built to last, and with durable materials that we don’t see in new construction homes. For example, these older homes may have been built using wood made from old-growth trees (those that have grown for years without being disturbed) and are more resistant to rot or warping. 

Many of these materials may not be as efficient as some of what we see today, but they are typically durable and effective and have lasted as long as they have for a reason. That’s not to say that older homes will not require updating or repairs, but many do have good bones that will last you for years to come. 

 

3. Established Neighborhoods

With new construction, neighborhoods are often being built at the same time as the home. This means that if you were to move in, the landscaping would take years to mature and develop. Additionally, there’s not much information about a newly built neighborhood. In contrast, in an established neighborhood, you can look up the history and talk to neighbors to get a sense of if the area is right for you.

 

4. The Character in Older Homes

Similar to craftsmanship, the detail that is put into older homes is not common in newer homes today. Built-ins, original crown molding, herringbone-patterned hardwood floors, and stained-glass windows are all features that you will likely only find in an older home. While some newer homes do try to emulate these trends, nothing beats the originals. 

 

5. Larger Lot Sizes

One other benefit to owning an older home is that you will likely end up with a large lot than you would with new construction. CoreLogic reports that new constructions tend to have a larger home with a smaller lot. They explain “The median size of a new home increase from 1,938 square feet in 1990 to 2,300 square feet in 2016, but lot sizes during the same period decreased from 8.250 square feet to 6,970 square feet.” 

 

6. Long Purchase History

Another benefit to an older home is having more insight into the purchase history of the property. This can help you understand the proper’s appreciation over time. While this does not mean that the future is going to follow suit, it can help you determine if this purchase is the right move for you. With new construction, that information is not available, so it might be more difficult to make an educated guess on what the future holds for the property. 

 

Some Things to Keep In Mind

While we do think that purchasing an older home can be a great option, there are some things that you’ll want to keep in mind. Maintenance costs of older homes tend to be higher. This can be due to needing to make repairs, such as replacing older plumbing to fixing sloping floors. Additionally, your utility costs may also be higher due to older homes being built with less efficient materials. Newer homes benefit from improved materials that allow the home to better retain heat or air depending on the season. The U.S. Census Bureau’s American Housing Survey stated that homeowners in older homes spend 17% more on electricity and 38% more on gas per year. 

 

Other items that you’ll want to keep in mind are that older homes often feature smaller closets, lower ceilings, and a much more closed floor plan. Additionally, construction standards have changed over the years, which means older homes may not be built to the same standards as newer homes. 

 

If you do decide to purchase an older home, a home inspection can help you uncover any potential concerns so that you can feel confident in your purchase decision. 

 

Bottom Line

While purchasing a brand new home may sound like a dream, there are certain benefits to owning an older home that shouldn’t be overlooked. There are certainly pros and cons to both newer and older homes that should both be weighed when you’re deciding on which home is right for you. Ultimately, the choice is up to you. If you have any questions about what is the right fit for you, have a conversation with your agent! They’d be happy to help you sort through your concerns and what your must-haves are to help you determine what might be the right fit for you.

Posted in Buying a Home
Feb. 28, 2022

Reasons to Purchase a Home With the Help of a Real Estate Agent

 

 

Do you need to use a real estate agent to purchase a home? The short answer is no - however, there are many reasons why you would want to.

One objective that we often hear is that homebuyers don’t want to pay a commission to their agent. The good news is that if you’re purchasing a home, you typically do not pay commission fees. Those fees are paid for by the seller.
 

By working with a real estate agent when you purchase a home, you receive beneficial services and protection that will set your search up for success without having to pay the commission fee.
 

If you’re still not convinced, let’s dive into some of the key reasons why you would want to purchase a home with the help of a real estate professional.

Top Benefits To Working with a Buyer’s Agent

Assistance With Contracts - Real estate agents will help you with all the disclosures and necessary documents required in a real estate transaction. These transactions are heavily regulated and need to be executed correctly to protect your purchase. 

 

Rely on Proven Experience - By utilizing a real estate agent, you’ll be able to take advantage of their experience, especially in competitive situations. They’ll know the ins and outs of the entire process and will be able to guide you and offer advice about how to approach each step of the transaction given the current market conditions. 

 

Take Advantage of the Latest Technology - By using a real estate agent, you’ll be able to take advantage of the latest technology to make the purchasing process that much more efficient. Additionally, your agent will be able to set you up on a saved search that will allow you to get properties sent directly to you without having to sort through all available properties on your own. 

 

Assistance with Negotiations - Your real estate agent will act as a buffer between you and the seller for all negotiations during the transaction process. We know that purchasing a home is one of the largest transactions that you’ll make in your life, so having an expert negotiator by your side will not only make the entire process easier, but it will also guarantee that you have someone that will go to bat for you and look out for your best interest. 

 

Learn Along the Way - One other benefit that you’ll enjoy while working with a real estate agent is that they’ll not only guide you throughout the purchase process but they’ll also teach you everything that you need to know so that you have an excellent understanding of each step of the purchasing process.

 

Nail the Pricing - One big question that we often get is “How much should I offer on a home?” Without a real estate agent, you’re on your own to determine that. However, if you work with an agent, they’ll be able to help you navigate the current market conditions and come up with a fair, but competitive offer price. 

 

Bottom Line

Purchasing a home is a massive financial investment. While it is possible to do it on your own, wouldn’t you want to have an expert by your side looking out for your best interest along the way? There are many benefits to utilizing a real estate agent as you embark on your home search, from having the latest technology at your fingertips to having an experienced advisor help you navigate the current market conditions. If you have any other questions about how a real estate agent can help you, give us a call! We’d love to answer any questions that you may have.

Posted in Buying a Home