Category Archives: Home Selling

Local Real Estate Value Trends North of Boston 128/93 Area

2015 was another great year!  A year ago, we were talking about the strong year we had in 2014 and here we are a year later and the experience has been pretty much the same.  We continue to show higher than historical volume, and values have increased as well.   Now, as we proceed along into 2016, I wanted to look at how much the market has changed in the past year as well as how we compare to the values of 2005 at the previous market high.

In Woburn, the single family market average sales price finished higher than the previous year.  Sales volume was higher too.  The higher volume occurred in spite of the low inventory levels throughout the year.    On a relative basis, Woburn is more affordable than the other local towns, but maintains a similar growth in home value.  Interest rates remained low and this contributed to first time buyers being able to afford homes even as prices increased.  Interest rates in 2016 are expected to rise slightly.

Looking back over 2015, in the north of Boston area, we saw market time decrease, bidding wars with multiple offers, fewer distressed homes, and continued overall positive feeling about the market.

Statistics and trends are a favorite tool for me.  I can get a sense of where the market is going by looking at the indicators.  Although I have created charts for many individual towns, my favorite chart, which is included with this blog, is of the local 128/93 towns compared to each other.  These include Reading, Burlington, Melrose, Stoneham, Wakefield, Wilmington and Woburn.

Here is a table for these local towns that captures the trend data:

Town Average Sale Price

2015

% Change

2014 to 2015

% Change

from 2005 High

Reading $553,508 +6.47% +15.19%
Burlington $547,275 +6.82% +24.01%
Melrose $528,488 +6.50% +16.56%
Stoneham $494,653 +7.16% +9.19%
Wakefield $492,971 +4.90% +9.50%
Wilmington $461,574 +9.08% +1.71%
Woburn $438,681 +8.47% +8.47%

 

Interestingly, all of the local towns have shown strong gains over the previous year.  A year ago, not all of the towns had exceeded the highs of 2005, but at the end of 2015, all have surpassed the highs of 2005.   Looking ahead, let’s hope for continued growth in local real estate values, and a continued strong real estate market.

Mulittown

Roland Crop 2011 jpeg (1)About the Author: Roland Spadafora is one of the broker owners of RE/MAX Legacy and is known around the office as the expert in market trends and stats. You can learn more about him on his website www.spadaforateam.com

 


It’s what you don’t see that makes the Sign of a RE/MAX agent. Every day, we do more to help buyers and sellers realize their dreams. Nobody sells more real estate than RE/MAX.


 

12 Shaker Hill picThese are the things I am working with in regards to showing my own home.

I have decluttered my house, I have taken down all personal photos, taken all the magnets off of the refrigerator.

If you go by this motto: Everything in its place, your world, your house will look and feel a lot brighter. Rearrange things, be creative. This was the fun part.

When I use to clean I would set my alarm for one hour and go to town, and the next day I would pick up where I left off. Simple, but that does not work in this scenario.

So now I just shut the doors on the rooms that are clean. For instance I have one son who no longer lives at home. His room has been cleaned, so hence the door is shut.

Some other tips:

The entryway must be cleared of coats, shoes and mail. Get into the habit of hanging up your coats, designate an area for mail.

Allow a mere ten minutes at night before you go to sleep, to wipe off the counters.

Dust and vacuum every other day and clean the bathrooms daily.

Make the beds daily.

Eliminate your home of odors. There is nothing worse than pet odor except if it is smelly food.

Empty the garbage.

Landscaping, make sure you have a good curb appeal no matter what the season.

This is my favorite. Have a bowl of chocolate candy by the sign in area. It has been proven that eating something sweet will project a favorable outcome.

All of these are good practices for when you do move!  Please leave the chocolate candy for me.

Patty 2About the author: Patty Lovett is a Realtor at RE/MAX Legacy and part of the Alliance Home Team. She works with both Buyers and Sellers. You can contact her directly on her website at www.pattylovett.com


Category: Home Selling

Buyers today are really savvy at finding the particular style of house they are looking for as well as the location that is best suited for them.  I believe this has happened because the internet has everything you need except for an agent.  But then again, I guess you can find agents there as well.

I had a recent experience with buyers who were interested in a home that was priced in a way that looked to be an exceptional deal.  The husband and I took a look at the property.  His wife was unable to make that appointment so she promised to go to the first open house which was on Sunday.  The husband told me immediately that he liked it and that she would love it as well.

On Sunday, I met the wife at the open house and we observed that the amount of people parked on the street was overwhelming.  After viewing the home with the wife, the agent told me there had already been 60+ people at the open house and there was still approximately 30 minutes left to go.

So we went our separate ways and agreed to discuss later about how we were going to put their bid in. We decided that they should write a letter addressed to the seller explaining how much they loved the home.  Sellers are sometimes touched by letters written with an offer.  You never know exactly what is going to influence their decision.  I remember one of my buyers a few years ago actually had the accepted offer because he already lived in the community for 25 or so years and was close to the highest bid.  All he had to do was come up a little and his offer was accepted!

I noticed this week that more houses are coming on the market week by week so I’m hoping that buyers will be able to purchase the homes they want.  So be ready by having your preapproval letter, knowledge of exactly what and where you wish to live AND a good buyer agent.

 

Linda 3About the author:  Linda Dube is a Realtor at RE/MAX Legacy and is excited to help you with your next move.  You can contact her on her website at www.LindaListsAndSells.Com


“Yes, you can have the keys…as soon as the closing attorney drives to the Registry of Deeds, then waits in line to record….it should only take another four or five hours!”

Well, like the buggy whip and vinyl record album, that statement, spoken by countless Realtors over the years, is fast becoming a thing of the past.  And we owe the disappearance of long waits in line to record deeds, mortgages, and other documents needed to convey real property to technology that has seemingly worked its way into every facet of American life.  In this case it is Electronic Recording, also know as e-recording, which has been available for almost a half-decade.   Not only have we seen this important technological advancement in Massachusetts, but in most parts of the country as well.  Here in Massachusetts, there actually exists a “Registry of Deeds Modernization and Efficiency Commission” that is working hard to assist real estate lawyers, lenders, and property owners in streamlining the once mundane and archaic task of registering important real estate-related legal documents in order to put the world on notice as to who owns what and who owes who!

What exactly is e-recording?  The answer is fairly simple.  With the assistance of imaging technology, the internet, and secure e-recording portal service companies like CSC, PPDocs and Erxchange, to name a few, closing attorneys can now scan documents from a real estate closing table (like a municipal lien certificate, deed, mortgage and homestead), upload those documents through a secure portal company, which in turn checks the documents and then transmits them directly to the selected Registry of Deeds.  At that point, Registry of Deeds personnel view the documents sent, verify the quality of the image and the accuracy of the data (in the same manner they would if the original document was presented in-person to a Recording Clerk), and then accept them for recording.  Payment of the recording fees is automatically debited directly from an account set up by the sender (in this scenario, a closing attorney), and a receipt of proof of recording is emailed to the sender containing the recording information and confirmation of the exact charges for the recording.  The e-recording portal service companies charges a minimal service fee of about $4.00 to $5.00 per document–a small price to pay for the convenience and speed.  Final lien checks and title rundowns are also handled from the closing attorney’s desktop with real-time electronic recording data available by the participating Registries of Deeds.

Now, nothing is without its issues.  For example, if you transmit a package of documents and one of those documents contain an error, like a misspelling in a name from one document to the next, the entire “package” of documents transmitted will be rejected and bounced back to the sender as unrecordable.  This, unfortunately, can cause delay because after the error is corrected and the package is transmitted once again by the sender, the package goes to the end of the recording queue and time is lost.  Also, there are still a few Massachusetts Registries that don’t accept e-recordings, and Land Court/Registered Land Property (Torrens System) documents still must be recorded in person, where originals are collected and kept on file.

What’s next to make things faster, better, easier?  Who really knows!  To quote the late founder of Apple Computer, Steve Jobs, “A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”

 

Tedesco headshotRobert W. Tedesco, principal and founder of Tedesco Law Offices, P.C., is a Woburn-based Attorney with twenty-five years of experience handling all types of transactional matters including representing buyers, sellers, exchangers and lenders in residential and commercial real estate transactions.  He also works with clients assisting in the sale and acquisition of small businesses, property management and tenant matters, condominium conversion, as well as estate planning and settlement.  His offices are located at 88 Main Street, Woburn, Massachusetts and can be reached at:  781-933-9293 or via email at: rwt@tedescolawoffices.com.   You can check out his website at: www.tedescolawoffices.com


This winticesameer has posed many challenges in real estate.  All the cold and snow have not only dissuaded potential buyers from pulling the trigger in purchasing a home during this time, but have also created serious problems for those buyers who have decided to make the move. For buyers that are under contract, the cold and snow have created many problems scheduling home inspections, appraisals, and the final walk through.  Sellers have had to deal with removing large amounts of snow to allow potential buyers to access the property while also ensuring there are no water leaks entering the home.

The biggest issue for homeowners this winter has been ice dams.  An ice dam is ice buildup on a roof that prevents melted snow from running off the roof and into the gutters.  The melting snow from the roof then gets trapped by the dam and eventually backs up on the roof, travels under the shingles and eventually leaks into the home.  A permanent fix to this problem is proper insulation, sealing and ventilation in the attic.  This could prove costly to the homeowner and it may not be feasible to rectify the issue during the present winter season.  However, there is a simple way to diminish the damage after an ice dam has formed to prevent further damage until a more permanent solution can be put in place for next season.  This could save not only the home from water penetration, but more importantly, a sale.

Instructions:  Fill a leg of discarded pair of panty hose with calcium chloride ice melt.  Lay the hose onto the roof so it crosses the ice dam and overhangs the gutter.  The calcium chloride will eventually melt through the snow and ice and create a channel for the water to flow down into the gutters from the roof.

By tackling an ice dam immediately when your home is under agreement, it will certainly make the process go a lot smoother during this winter season.  If you need assistance with preventing your home from having any ice dams either this season or next, contact an agent at RE/MAX Legacy for a licensed contractor that will be able to help with this problem.

 

Juliano blog headshot photoAbout the Author: James A. Juliano is one of the founding partners of Scafidi Juliano, LLP managing the Woburn office located in Downtown Woburn Center. He currently serves on the Woburn Conservation Commission where he has sat for almost two (2) years.  Mr. Juliano is very active in his community and also serves as the President of the Woburn Baseball Diamond Club which supports Woburn High School Baseball and is on the Board of Directors for the Woburn Boys and Girls Club. Mr. Juliano is also a Director of the Friends of the Tri-Community Greenway, Inc. which is a non-profit corporation responsible for the formation and organization of the 6.63 mile bike path and park that will stretch through Stoneham, Woburn, and Winchester.

Mr. Juliano’s present areas of practice include residential and commercial real estate transactions, residential and commercial lending, land use and zoning, and Landlord/Tenant law.  Mr. Juliano can be reached at jjuliano@scafidijuliano.com or by phone at 781-210-4710, Ext. 102. His company website is www.scafidijuliano.com.


agents

How Real Estate Agents Are Trying To Get Your Business

 People looking for properties go to many sites on the internet.  RE/MAX has agreed with a few of these companies to automatically post listings from MLS.  I always go onto every site that I am allowed and tweak my listings assuring that the information is accurate and presented in a way that satisfies me.  Call me a perfectionist but I want to be sure that my seller is always happy with all the website information presented.  We as Realtors have to be sure that our currently-on-the-market listings are posted in as many places as possible so that we don’t miss out on that one buyer who may be the one who purchase our sellers’ home.

Zillow and Trulia are two of the most well-known sites that buyers and sellers go to in advance of their future real estate transaction.

Zillow was actually one my first affiliations.  It’s important to have a web presence, especially where the potential clients are going.  More recently I have signed on with Trulia.  I’m hoping for similar results and exposure.

One recent experience shows me that buyers and sellers have to understand what happens when an inquiry is made at one of these sites.  I received one seller lead and when I phoned the person, she didn’t seem very happy.  I sense she didn’t understand that once she provided her information on Trulia for a market analysis, she should have expected local agents who received that lead would be in touch with her immediately.

Both Zillow and Trulia are sites that most people find easily and are comfortable following the sites on a regular basis.  Personally I’m always checking to see if I have gotten any reviews that I asked my buyers and sellers alike to post for me.  When a buyer or seller is looking for an agent online, these reviews are important and help the potential client locate an agent based on the number and favorability of the reviews.

Other sites for potential clients to visit are Realtor.com and Boston.com.  Once again having a presence on these sites will contribute to an agent’s visibility and overall success.

Linda 3About the author:  Linda Dube is a Realtor at RE/MAX Legacy and is excited to help you with your next move.  You can contact her on her website at www.LindaListsAndSells.Com

 


2014 was a great year!  We ended the year with higher than typical volume and increased home values.  As we enter 2015, I wanted to look at how much the market has changed in the past year as well as how we compare to the values of 2005 at the previous market high.

In Woburn, the single family market finished higher than the previous year, and the volume although lower, was still higher than historical averages.  Fewer homes were sold, mainly due to a lower inventory.  On a relative basis, Woburn is more affordable than the other local towns, but maintains a similar growth in home value.  Interest rates remain low and had actually dropped over the course of 2014.  The experts predict higher rates in 2015, so a buyer waiting on the sidelines should see this as an optimum time to buy.  Rates could go up, and at least for now, prices are moving up as well.

Looking back over 2014, in the north of Boston area, we saw market time decrease, bidding wars, especially on lower priced homes in need of renovation, fewer distressed homes, and an overall positive feeling about the market.

Statistics and trends are a favorite tool for me.  I can get a sense of where the market is going by looking at the indicators.  Although I have created charts for many individual towns, my favorite chart, which is included with this blog, is of the local 128/93 towns compared to each other.  These include Reading, Burlington, Melrose, Wakefield, Stoneham, Wilmington and Woburn.

Here is a table for these local towns that captures the trend data:

Town Average Sale Price Last 12 Months % Change Last 12 Months % Change from 2005 High
Reading $520,571 +5.73% +8.33%
Burlington $512,312 +14.36% +16.09%
Melrose $497,182 +13.37% +9.66%
Wakefield $468,245 +4.20% +4.00%
Stoneham $461,611 +4.59% +1.90%
Wilmington $423,375 +8.11% -6.71%
Woburn $404,169 +6.43% -1.93%

Interestingly, all of the local towns have shown strong gains over the previous year.  Most of the towns have exceeded the highs of 2005 when the market reached its peak (and just before the economy sent prices downward).  Only Wilmington and Woburn have not returned to the levels attained in 2005.  Looking ahead, let’s hope for continued gains in local real estate values, and thus a continued strong real estate market.

chart

 

Roland Crop 2011 jpeg (1)
About the author: Roland Spadafora is one of the broker owners of RE/MAX Legacy and is known around the office as the expert in market trends and stats. You can learn more about him on his website www.spadaforateam.com


“Hold on to what is good, even if it’s a handful of earth. Hold on to what you believe, even if it’s a tree that stands by itself. Hold on to what you must do, even if it’s a long way from here. Hold on to your life, even if it’s easier to let go. Hold on to my hand, even if I’ve gone away from you.”

Pueblo Indian Prayer

thank youNow that the holidays are here, I take a break from all my routine emails to thank everyone in my business. I hope your holidays are joyful. My team and I would like to wish you a Happy Holiday and a Happy New Year.

 

 

Thank you to all my sellers who have trusted me and listed and sold with me.

Thank you to all my buyers who have chosen me as their agent and purchased a home with me this year.

Thank you to all my landlords who keep giving me their listings.

Thank you to all my prospects that see the difference in me, and cherry pick me as their agent knowing they have the choice of working with another agent.

Thank you to all the home inspectors on my team who make the home inspection issues feel like an icing on a piece of cake. They help my buyers make a wise decision whether the house has good bones and needs some work or a money pit and need to move on to the next house.

Thank you to all the mortgage brokers, underwriters, and appraisers on my team who make the mortgage commitment letter an easy process although they have to go through 100 hoops to make money come to the closing table.

Thank you to all the attorneys and paralegals on my team for reviewing the purchase and sale, writing extensions, reviewing the mortgage commitment, preparing HUD statement and  getting all the parties to the closing table without any tears.

Thank you to my team at RE/MAX Legacy for all their support, my fellow Realtors that are on the other side of the transaction, the fire fighters for smoke inspections, the utility companies for the final readings, and everyone that plays a role in my team.

Thank you (last but not least) to my husband and my son who have to deal with a mom and spouse who has to juggle a crazy schedule, not be around at dinner time, absent at sports events and squeezing a pick up between two showings.

Thank you to my friends that trust that a business relationship does not affect a friendship but makes it stronger.

Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year to everyone who held my hand this year, thank you for your trust, your knowledge, your patience, your support and your commitment.

Thank you for making my year such a successful year and my job such a fun environment. Thanks for letting me know if I can help anyone of your friends or family members buy, sell or rent in 2015.

 

JanineAbout the author: Janine Elkhoury is a Realtor at RE/MAX Legacy. You can learn more about her on her website www.bostonrelocationagent.com

 


monehy

Considering that Halloween is behind us and the holidays are around the corner, we are now approaching 2014 year end.  According to Zillow, Massachusetts home prices have gone up 4.7% over the past year.  The latest from the National Association of Realtors is that pending home sales rose slightly in September and are now above year-over-year levels for the first time in 11 months.

This year has been unbelievable with sellers who are not sure they want to list and buyers bidding way over the asking price in order to be sure they are getting the house they want to purchase. This has created a hot little market!

I had one home that sounded like it was going to have eight offers but because of a bidding war, several buyers decided not to put their bid in because they knew that they were not approved high enough for what would be needed to purchase this particular house.  I believe the price my seller and I had agreed on was a good buy in many aspects especially since their basement was done over recently, it was at a dead end street AND it showed beautifully!

Another home I had in Burlington was very, very crowded at the open houses but because of its age and small yard, buyers were bidding below the price until Burlington’s single family inventory was lower than low.  My sellers were very pleased when we had two offers on the table at the same time and ended up getting the asking price.

I also listed a gorgeous home which was in a beautiful neighborhood.  This home  was located on the town line of Chelmsford/Lowell. This made things a little tricky.  Buyers would call me and ask about the house, but before I could speak with them about the price, details, etc., they would explain which town they wanted the home to be in.

As a Real Estate agent, it never ceases to amaze me.  Every day is different, every month is crazy at times and just when you think you have all your ducks in a row a change will happen. Always expect the unexpected!

Linda 3About the author: Linda Dube is a Realtor at RE/MAX Legacy and is excited to help you with your next move. You can contact her on her website:  www.LindaListsandSells.com