Have you seen an accent wall in someone's home that's made of wood and wondered what it's called?
That type of wall is called shiplap. Shiplap has been around for more than 100 years, so it’s not a new trend, by any means. However, it’s become a hot new trend so you might have seen it popping up in newer homes and condos everywhere.
Shiplap was actually once used in place of drywall. After it was installed, they would put in cheesecloth or wallpaper.
"Shiplap is a hot new home trend."
It’s a very attractive feature in a home, and it works really well in laundry rooms and mudrooms. It has the effect of a rustic farmhouse.
If you have any questions about shiplap or new home trends, check out this website. Feel free to reach out to us. We'd be happy to help you!
There's no doubt about it. It's a very competitive market today if you are looking to buy a home.
Inventory is near record lows, and more and more homebuyers are entering the market. This means you need every advantage to grab that perfect home when you do find it.
One no-brainer is to get pre-approved for a mortgage. A pre-approval informs you of how much you can borrow and it's something you will need to do at a later point anyway.
A pre-approval can mean the difference between having your offer accepted or having to watch your dream home go to somebody else in a crazy market like this.
In spite of all these good reasons, less than 10% of buyers who got a mortgage get pre-approved by the lender who originated the loan. In other words, you can definitely get a leg up on the competition by starting your home search at the loan office rather than at the open house.
“A pre-approval definitely gives you a leg up on the competition."
Here are a few things that you will need:
1. Proof of income. At a minimum, lenders will want to see pay stubs from the past 30 days showing your year-to-date income, two years of federal tax returns, and two years of W2 forms from your employer.
2. Proof of assets. You will need to present statements from your checking, savings, or investment accounts to prove that you have funds for the down payment and closing costs.
3. Good credit. Most lenders reserve the best rates for homebuyers with a credit score of 740 or above. You can still qualify for a mortgage with a lower credit score, but a good lender will also recommend ways that you can improve your credit and qualify for a better loan.
These are the biggest and most common things you will need to get pre-approved, though your lender might want to see some other documents as well.
Once you are pre-approved, the buying process will be faster, more convenient, and less stressful. Most importantly, it will make it more likely that your offer for that perfect home gets accepted.
If you have any questions for me or need any additional assistance, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Where should you buy or invest in real estate? Where are the latest local hotspots?
As we all know, first it was Southie, but right now you can’t touch that area, and if you do, it will cost you a pretty penny. I love the Polish Triangle in Dorchester, but right now condos are trading for more than $800,000 there, and three-family units are selling for up to $2 million.
In Jones Hill, the average cost of a 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom condo is $650,000. Four or five years ago, you could probably buy a condo for $300,000 in Neponset, but since then, condo prices have doubled, and they’re now trading between $500,000 and $800,000. In Adam’s Village, it’s the same story with condos and multi-family units.
“Condos and multi-family units cost half as much in Lower Milles as they do in the neighborhoods."
My new love is Lower Mills. Why do I love Lower Mills? It’s close to public transportation, it features lots of parks, and it has a lot of hip bars, restaurants, and coffee shops, including Yellow Door Taqueria, Flat Black Coffee, and the Lower Mill Tavern. On top of that, condos and multi-family units cost half as much as they do in the neighborhoods I mentioned above.
To be clear, I love all of these neighborhoods, but if you want to make some money and buy an investment property where your money would appreciate at a high rate, look in Lower Mills, Dorchester, and parts of Mattapan.
If you have any questions about prices in these areas or you’re looking to buy, sell, or invest in real estate, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d love to help you.
Now that we’ve entered the new year, let’s take a look back at the 2017 Milton market.
We had 292 single-family homes sell in 2017 with a record-breaking average sales price of $755,000.
As far as days on market, the average was just 45 days.
From 2014 to 2017, we’ve experienced home appreciation of more than 21%. But, what does this mean?
“Whatever your real estate goals for 2018, there are a lot of great opportunities in our market right now."
For buyers, this rise in value is absolutely good news. And for sellers, it’s a great time to list since inventory and rates are both extremely low. Whatever your real estate goals for 2018, there are a lot of great opportunities in our market right now.
If you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
What are the latest numbers from our market? What do they mean for buyers and sellers?
Right now, inventory is very low. We only have 45 properties on the market, and the average list price of those properties is $1,176,000. There are 22 properties on the market that are listed at over $1 million, which is the highest number we’ve ever seen.
Year to date, 249 single-family homes have closed. The average sale price of those properties is $768,608, and the average days on market for them is 46 days.
“Now is a great time to both buy and sell."
To give you a year over year comparison, there were 228 single-family homes that had closed at this time in 2016. Their average sale price was $726,059, and the average days on market for those properties was 77 days.
If you’re a buyer, there’s still no better time to buy than right now. Interest rates are still low, so you’d be locking in a great rate for the next 30 years.
If you’re a seller, there’s also no better time to sell than right now because inventory is so low and there is a high number of active buyers looking to move to our city.
If you have any more questions about our market or you’re thinking of buying or selling a home soon, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d be happy to help you.
Why should you list your house for sale during the holidays? Now is actually the best time of the year to sell your property because interest rates are low and inventory is down once again. More specifically, there are four reasons that I wanted to share:
People looking to buy during the holidays tend to be more serious about buying. I recently held an open house. It was not only jam-packed, but everyone there was already pre-qualified to make an offer on the spot. The spring market is more filled with people who are just curious about the market.
Serious buyers have fewer homes to choose from during the holidays. Less competition means more money for you.
Houses show better when decorated for the holidays. Christmas trees and lights gleaming off of your hardwood floors make a strong emotional connection with buyers. They can see themselves living there and celebrating the holidays with their family.
Some buyers have to move because of job relocation. Companies are hiring and want to get their new employees in before January, so these employees need to buy a house in December.
“Holiday house hunters are more serious buyers."
Now that you know why this is such a great time to sell, let's get your house on the market, get multiple offers, get it sold, and pop some champagne! If you have any questions for me or you're ready to take advantage of the great selling conditions we're seeing, give me a call or send me an email today. I look forward to hearing from you!
Low inventory in the Boston market has caused a number of multiple offer situations on listed homes. This is good news for sellers, but can pose problems, too.
Great news: we’re officially in the fall real estate market. Because we’ve had low inventory this year, it’s not uncommon to have multiple offers on a property with some offers substantially higher than the list price. Though this may seem like a great problem for the seller to have, it’s important to be careful when it comes time for the appraisal.
A good listing agent will analyze each offer with their seller and educate them about every problem that may occur during the transaction. An example of a common problem with high offers is when the home doesn't appraise to its agreed-upon price.
“A good agent will bring the home’s features to the appraiser’s attention.”
In this situation, a seller will want to go back to the highest offer and re-negotiate with the highest bidder so that they’ll pay the difference between the appraisal and the purchase price in cash. This will essentially remove the appraisal contingency and prevent any future delays in re-negotiating the offer price when the appraisal does come in.
The seller will want to make sure that they have their listing agent meet with the appraiser at the property at the time of the appraisal. Listing agents have a pulse on the local market and will share the most recent comparable home sales, buyer feedback, the number of offers on the home, special features of the property, and any recent upgrades with the appraiser in order to justify the sale price.
If you have any questions about low appraisals or the home buying or selling process in general, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I hope to hear from you soon!
Summer is here in Boston. The Red Sox are starting to heat up and so is the real estate market.
The first five months of sales from 2016 are already up 15% from 2015. Much of this is due to an increase in new construction, as well as a respite from the record-breaking snowfall we saw last year. Sale prices have already increased by 8% this year!
Although we’ve been seeing some great numbers for sellers, the market is starting to balance out a little bit for buyers as well. Inventory has been steadily rising and prices are cooling off a bit. If you tried to buy a home earlier in the year, it’s possible that you were shut out and could not find a home. Have no fear because more inventory is here. Buying in the next couple months is a great idea because you can still take advantage of mortgage interest rates below 4%!
“You need to price to
sell in this market.”
We wanted to mention one more thing for the sellers out there. Although you can sell quickly in this market, you can only do so if you’re priced correctly from the beginning. You need to price to sell, not to sit. Overpricing your home will cause it to sit stale on the market. When your home has been sitting on the market for a long time, buyers feel more at ease making offers much lower than the asking price. It’s vital to sell quickly in today’s market.
If you have any questions about the Boston real estate market, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We would love to hear from you via phone or email.
Today, I have some great news to share with you! A year ago, we were buried in approximately seven feet of snow! That’s not the case this year. We’re seeing signs of early spring weather this month.
Ready for even better news? Inventory across the state of Massachusetts is extremely low! Let’s look at it by neighborhood.
In South Boston, there’s 40 active condos on the market, and last fall, there was over 100. In Milton, there are 32 active properties on the MLS compared to last fall’s 95 listings. In Watertown, there’s 2 total properties for sale currently! There’s a clear advantage to listing your home today. Don’t wait for the spring market. Now is the time to act!
If you’re thinking about listing this year in the surrounding Boston area, reach out to me by phone or email. Let’s get started now, so you can take advantage of low inventory right now. I look forward to hearing from you!
The holidays are approaching. Today, we thought we'd do something a little different and share this festive video on holiday decorating tips from HGTV. Designer Angelo Surmelis shares several great ideas to spread holiday cheer throughout the home. Here are some of our favorites.
Pay attention to the mantle. If you don't have some already, buy some kind of garland to drape over the mantle. Next, use leftover ornaments and candles to add light and texture. When choosing ornaments and candles, ensure they are in the same color-palette. This helps make your mantle a great focal point!
Use smaller Christmas trees. Every house has their main Christmas tree. In addition, you can also purchase smaller, inexpensive, eco-friendly trees to place throughout the home. Decorate these trees with strips of fabric from a T-shirt in holiday colors to save money for the main tree.
Use what you have. Be resourceful. Adding a plate charge and place mat to your everyday dining set adds some jazz to your table. Fresh-cut flowers and candles will help finish the look. You don't need grand, expensive candles -- a little candlelight goes a long way!
As you can see, it doesn't take much to make your home feel more festive. If you have any questions, give us a call or send us an email. We would be happy to help you!