Owners/Landlords, if you have a tenant that is late with the monthly rent do not let it slide. Find out why immediately! Send a notice of late rent and start a paper trail as soon as this happens. Too often I see landlords let it go and then one month becomes two and you blink and the tenant is six months behind before you put you foot down. In Massachusetts you as an owner must be very firm on this. Be firm but fair and you’ll be fine. If you have questions about this, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I saw this coming. If you reach back into your memory to February, yes, and nine feet of snow, sorry. Our business came to a full stop for about six weeks because that’s when the snow finally stopped falling and started to melt. With this, streets opened up enough for us to park and hold open houses. But for those six weeks there were no offers to reject or accept, no inspections etc.
So that little hiccup produced an April with few closings. This is normal because of the extreme weather we had and I’m confident that the market will continue as it should. If you have questions about the sales market, give me a call.
2015 is the time to make a move in the real estate market; whether you’re a first time buyer or a homeowner, now’s the time to advantage of the current market. There are many reasons to throw your hat in the real estate ring, here are just a few:
1. Mortgage rates are historically very low. Also, mortgage lenders are becoming more lenient on qualification requirements, which mean more and more people, are being approved for loans, which include people with subpar credit scores and those who cannot afford sizeable down payment.
2. Renting prices are very high and they will continue to increase. Even if you’re mortgage payment is higher than your current rent payment, the mortgage interest write off on your taxes will be another benefit to making a purchase this year
3. RE cycles, rise and fall, the current trend is on the rise and should continue to do so. Don’t get caught buying at the top of the cycle
Still looking for more reasons to throw your hat into the real estate ring? Give Michael Spurr a call today at 617-965-3300.
At the current time, there are very few multifamily homes on the market and the few that are go under agreement fast. Those that don’t, are either over priced or something is seriously wrong with them.
Because of the aforementioned, the price is being driven up. Why not consider a single family as an investment? There are more single family homes on the market, and days on market are double that of multifamily properties. Just like buyers, renters will pay a premium not to share a wall with another tenant. But-know your market and delead the property before you list it for rent!
If you are listing your home for sale and have multiple offers, is there any instance where you might want to accept a lower offer instead of the highest bid? YES! If it’s a cash offer. If the offer has no contingencies, i.e. inspection or mortgage contingency. If the sale is subject to the buyer selling another property first.
If you are considering selling or buying and have questions, I’m happy to give you the answers! Thanks for reading…
One thing buyers need to know is that lenders require the new owner to prepay- for one year, home owners insurance. That can be over $500 added to your closing costs. Be aware of all the “little things” that may pop up when you buy a home.
Questions -email me email@example.com
Buying Real Estate
A great house just came on the market and in your price range too. If you’re looking to purchase a home soon, you may run into a situation where you are competing with other buyers for the same property. If you’re at an open house with your buyers agent and it’s really busy, how do you make your offer stand out? You have to expect that other offers will be coming into the sellers agent. However, I have held open houses that seemed crazy busy and there was only one offer and I have been with buyer clients and expected several offers, but my clients were the only ones making a move. You never know, so I recommend offering the asking price (not above or below) in this situation. If you’re offer is below and someone offers asking, you lose. If you offer more than asking you might pay more than you have to. If there are several offers, the sellers agent will most likely inform the buyer agents of this and ask for best and final offer. This gives you the option of increasing your offer. Here are some other tips on making your offer stand out:
- Prequalified Letter from Lender
- Cover letter
- Wave the Inspection or Financing contingencies
- Cash offer
- Flexible closing dates
Thanks for reading!
Michael Spurr, Realtor
The current sales market is strong for sellers because there is more demand than supply. If you are considering selling in the next few months, there is a good chance you will have more than one offer. Especially if you prepared the property for sale, staged it well and at the correct asking price with the help of your Real Estate agent.
Your agent should make it known to all buyers agents and buyers that there will be a date/time that all offers will be reviewed and responded to. If you have more than one offer, look at all aspects of each offer. Each offer should be presented with a commitment letter from a lender and a check. Look at each part of the offer, not just the offering price.
Check the timing of the closing. This may be too soon for you to close if you need to find a new home to purchase. Check the contingencies, both financial and inspection-are they reasonable or waved? How much is the down payment? This is important because if it’s only five or ten percent, will the bank change their mind on the loan? Of course, what is the highest offered price. Then a good agent will go back to the ones who offered and request a final and best price/terms. When this happens the final price often goes above the asking price. This does not mean the house is underpriced or that the agent listed it too low. What this means is that for reasons above and beyond reasonable market price, this buyer is willing to spend more for the property. Maybe it’s an investor who owns the adjacent property or a buyer with parents close by to help take care of the kids, you never know.
An example of an offer winning but not being the highest offered price might be a cash offer without inspection or mortgage contingencies. I would recommend that a cash offer be accepted over one that was $10,000 higher with inspection and financial contingencies seven days a week and twice on Sunday. This is because the risk of the deal falling through due to some defect or issue from the inspection or if the asking price is well above asking, the lender may require more down from the buyer if the house does not appraise to the agreed selling price. Take the cash!
Thanks for reading!
Michael Spurr, CBR, SRS, Realtor
Home Buyers Use Caution! When you purchase a condo, make sure your agent checks for pending or expected special assessments. If not, you may get stuck paying thousands of dollars for an assessment that the seller was responsible for paying. One of the best ways to find out if something is pending…request the minutes from the last 3 condo meetings. Questions about buying a home, email me anytime! (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Alternatives to a Reverse Mortgage
Reverse mortgages can give the home owner additional income on which to live, but they are not for everyone. One of the downsides to these types of mortgages are the fees. With every type of mortgage, there are going to be fees involved, but reverse mortgages tend to have some of the highest fees.
If you live in a larger home and don’t need the space, often the case, consider renting a smaller place and then renting your home to a tenant. I know, that sounds like a headache, but if you have a good property manager it can provide substantial monthly income and you control your property and your equity continues to grow and will go to your heirs not the mortgage company.
Newton Centre Associates specializes in this type of management and will answer any questions you have about renting your home to a quality tenant.
One of my seller clients asked me, “Does Staging make a difference when I sell my house”? I said well, in a word, YES!!! Why do luxury complexes have a “model unit” or two dedicated to showing potential new tenants. The owner gives up the rental income of a luxury unit, pays to heat and cool it, furnishes and keeps it clean in order to show new tenants the perfect place. That’s over $50,000 per year, per unit to have a nice place to show people. Yes, staging and setting up a home for sale is very important.
That’s a very “loaded” question, and we can hear the one liner jokes now! The truth is that the correct answer will be different for every buyer. Here are some things to consider before you make your offer:
1. Is the asking price reasonable?
2. Is the asking price within my budget?
3. How long has the property been on the market?
4. Are there others prepared to make an offer?
If the asking price is not reasonable, but you still want to make an offer, your buyer’s agent should go over the recent sales prices of homes that have sold recently in the area to give you an idea of what should be a reasonable offer for the home.
If the asking price is at the top of your budget, make the best offer possible, but stay within your budget if the offers go above and if so, walk away. There will be others.
If the property has been on the market for a long time (that can be different from city to city), try to find out why? Was the original asking price too high or is there something wrong with the property? A busy street? etc.
If the home has just come onto the market and the open house is really busy, chances are that there will be more than one offer. Make sure your financing is in place and that your agent provides the listing agent with a preapproval letter from your lender with the offer.
In our market, Newton & Metro West of Boston, it’s not uncommon to see multiple offers on the same property and that then selling price may be over the original asking price. Cover letters introducing yourselves to the seller are becoming more common too. If you have questions about the process, give me a call or email. I’ll be happy to guide you.
Banker & Tradesman reported mixed results from the foreclosure deeds and petitions filed in MA by lenders in the month of January. While the foreclosure deeds fell, (257 filed) by more than 25% but foreclosure petitions increased (618 filed) by 70%. This activity in foreclosures is consistent with the rest of the country. Lenders have a backlog of delinquent loans to be processed.
As Real Estate Brokers, we enjoy seeing low interest rates for our clients. I do believe these lower rates will continue this year. However, if at the end of the year interest rates increase you should be aware of how this may affect the buying market. Inventory of homes for sale has been and is low. If interest rates start to move up, this usually motivates any buyers that have been considering buying into the market. With this rush, bidding wars start and prices increase. FYI.
Stay tuned for more buying tips from Newton Center Associates
Over the years, Michael Spurr has worked with a number of clients, who are new to the buying process; buying a home for the first time is a big step, and can be daunting. Michael knows this, and for each client he strives to go above and beyond to provide extra support and education for first time buyers. This extra touch of diligence helps clients feel at ease as they delve into this big step in life!
Below, you will find the top 10 ways to prepare for home ownership:
- Know what you can afford; the rule of thumb usually tells you that if a home is equal in value to two-three times your gross income, it is affordable.
- Develop the features of your dream home wish list; then prioritize the most important features of this list first.
- Where do you want to live? You should pick out the top three neighborhoods you would like to live in. remember to take into account things like schools, your job location, safety, and recreational facilities.
- Start saving money! You need to have enough money saved to cover the down-payment, and will your salary will be able to pay the mortgage? Ideally, you should put 20% of the total price down. And don’t forget about closing cost, i.e. taxes, attorney’s fees, and transfer fees.
- What’s your credit score? Make sure you have everything in order, and have a copy of that credit score, to show history, and if there are any bad debts/late payments.
- Determine your mortgage needs; how big of a mortgage will you need? Decide which loan option is best for you; such as 30 year or 15 year fixed mortgages.
- Get preapproved; organize documents, such as W2 forms, copies of at least one pay stub, account numbers, and two to four months of bank or credit union statements so that a lender can decide whether or not to preapprove you for a loan.
- See if there are any other sources that will help with your down payment; maybe you qualify for special mortgage or down-payment programs. You can check with the local government on down-payment assistance programs for firs time buyers.
- Add up all the costs of home ownership; this includes: taxes, insurance, upkeep and utilities, and association fees.
- Find an experienced realtor who can help guide you through the process.
Michael Spurr has represented many first time home buyers; he will continue to help first time home buyers through the difficult, but doable process of buying home.
For more information about Mike’s real estate services, please give Newton Centre Associates a call at 617-965-3300.