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Prices Up, Inventory Still Down in Watertown

by Mike DelRose Team

With Spring here we can expect lots of things in real estate. Snow not being one of them of course. In sharp contrast to last year, prices continue to rise but inventory is down (Hovering around 2 months inventory opposed to a normal market of 5-6 months) in H20 Town. 

Some say it's due to global warming, or lack thereof, but the truth really can be seen from those that purchased real estate just before the crash. Still needing to build equity, many are not trading up or trading down. 

In Watertown, Houses are selling about 30% faster (depending on the type of property) or going under agreement in roughly 26.6 Days after coming on the market compared to last year. We know the demand to live here is high, and it helps that the Arsenal Project is getting underway. But for those looking to get into the community, it has become a huge challenge. 

Home owners that are thinking of selling their home could see up to $50,000.00 increase compared to last year if they are properley price (figure based on sales percentages) and buyers will have to match that and sometimes more to beat out their competition. 

$50,000 is no small figure, there's more than enough shock to go round, just not enough houses. 

The Way the Cookie Crumbles

by Mike DelRose Team

    Monday Morning Coffee

INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:
 
"You will become a great philanthropist in your later years."  
 
~ Chinese Fortune 
 
THE WAY THE COOKIE CRUMBLES! 
 
Today’s quote was lifted from an actual fortune cookie that a friend opened after a recent dinner at the local Chinese restaurant (Lucky Numbers: 34, 15, 26, 38, 17, 8). It’s got to be the best cookie fortune ever! Its positive message is twofold, a doubly wonderful possibility for the future. 
 
Becoming a great philanthropist is hopefully founded on the premise of becoming very wealthy, so the fortune seems to imply that not only will my friend become rich, but that he'll also be responsible enough to put that wealth to good use. 
 
Capitalism is a “necessary evil” of this global age, and it creates a sense of obligation to help those less fortunate. Or to help them to help themselves, primarily through the improvement of education systems throughout the world. 
 
The idea of the dog-eat-dog corporate mentality (see “The Apprentice”) is becoming outdated. Selfishness is no longer in style, and trampling everyone else down is no longer seen as the best road to success. More and more “celebrity” entrepreneurs like Bill Gates, Paul Newman, and Richard Branson are teaching a message of social responsibility. 
 
Even if my friend never attains the kind of wealth those gentlemen have built, it's still certain that the cookie’s fortune will come true, because everyone has a responsibility to help others, no matter who you are, where you live, or the balance in your bank account. 

Market Fluctuations

by Mike DelRose Team

As with any market that is governed by forces outside the buyers and sellers control, real estate Market Fluctuations are the nature of the beast and are not necessarily indicative of a market that is destined to favor one party or the other. But whether a market is perceived as a buyer's or a seller's market, an adequate strategy needs to be developed to fully capitalize on prevailing conditions. Any real estate market is occasionally going to experience fluctuations, and the savvy real estate participant needs to be alert to the conditions on the ground. Of course everybody's timelines are different when it comes to moving their family and buying a home, so the length of time one can wait for optimum market conditions will vary greatly from case to case.

What Market Fluctuations Mean for the Seller

When the housing market slows, it often engenders a knee-jerk response among sellers to lower the asking price in an effort to goose interest in their particular parcel, and to help set it off from the crowd of other properties that don't seem to be moving very well either. While this is certainly a strategy that might lead to a quicker sale, it also might not be necessary to lower your asking price at all depending on local market conditions.

Buyers entering a slow market have a fairly keen idea of what they are looking for in a new home, and with property not moving, they have plenty of time to check out comparable homes in the neighborhood. If your property is up to snuff and worthy of your asking price, the well informed buyer will know that a nice home can still command top dollar.

To fully gauge the market and to ensure that they are competitively priced, sellers should speak with a real estate professional to discuss a winning strategy to sell their property.

What Market Fluctuations Mean for the Buyer

A slow market might entice a buyer to think that they are entering a buyer's market, but despite all outward appearance it might just point to a healthy leveling of activity. If a buyer is looking at entering any market, whether it is perceived as a buyer's or a seller's oasis, talking to a real estate professional early on can put them on the right footing when it comes to assessing potential properties.

Mortgage Changes to Know in 2014

by Mike DelRose Team

In effort to reign in the predatory lending practices that stand conspicuously out as leading contributors to the housing crash that precipitated the 2008 Great Recession, and were rightly viewed as a significantly weak link in the housing market supply and demand chain. Federal regulations and mandates, which took effect in January, seek to correct the worst abuses, and if one is looking at buying a new home in the upcoming year, then these are the Mortgage Changes to Know in 2014.

Ability to Repay

Gone are the days when pushing the buyer into the largest possible mortgage they were able to qualify for, without an underlying ability to repay that loan. New regulations mandate that lenders must look at the borrower’s ability to repay the debt throughout its term, and must now consider a myriad of additional expenses from auto loans to student loans in assessing their credit calculations. As such, all assets, income, debts, and credit history will be placed under a fiscal microscope to ensure the borrower is not getting in over their heads.

Caps on FHA Loan Limits

For those casting about for a Federal Housing Administration loan to make their purchase, one of the mortgage changes includes a limit on the amount of money that agency will be able to loan from $729,790 to $650,000. Buyers looking to finance higher priced property will need to obtain a jumbo loan, which will invariably come at the cost of a higher down payment. While the majority of markets in the nation are considerably below this monetary threshold, those shopping in large metropolitan areas may well find themselves bumping up against this limit.

Qualified Mortgages

To ensure that the buyer isn’t biting off more mortgage than they can chew, qualified mortgages are to be limited to those with a debt to income ration that falls somewhere beneath the 43% level. Additionally, qualified mortgages cannot include risky features like terms lasting longer than 30-years and interest only payments that fail to whittle away at the loan’s principle. As part of the reform, origination fees, title insurance, points paid, and other charges and fees can’t total more than 3% of the total loan cost.

New Listing: 27 Dorset Road, Belmont, MA 02478

by Mike DelRose Team

Contact info:
Mike DelRose | RE/MAX Leading Edge | 617-923-8355






27 Dorset Road, Belmont, MA 02478

27 Dorset Rd, Belmont, MA 02478

$859,000

KEY FEATURES
Year Built: 1937
Sq Footage: 1805 sqft.
Bedrooms: 5 Beds
Bathrooms: 2 Baths
Floors: 2
Parking: 4+ Garage
Lot Size: 0.31 Acres
Property Type: Single Family House

DESCRIPTION


Welcome to this beautifully updated and sun filled Village Hill home. Gorgeous refinished hard wood floors and a grand fire-placed living room welcome you in. Enjoy delicious dinners prepared in the stunning brand new kitchen with energy star stainless appliances, custom maple cabinets and granite counter tops. The first floor has a special wing with two bedrooms and a full bath. Could be perfect for an in-law suite, offices, or music rooms. The whole interior has also been updated with fresh neutral paint colors, a sophisticated energy efficient new Gas furnace (good bye oil), spectacular brand new central air system and new attic insulation. You also have a whole house water filtration system, security system, irrigation system, screened- in porch and for the auto enthusiast, a heated two car garage. This warm and welcoming home will not disappoint you. A unique and special Royal Barry Wills home

PROPERTY FEATURES


  • Living room
  • Dining room
  • Family room
  • Storage space
  • Range / Oven
  • Refrigerator
  • Dishwasher
  • Stainless steel appliances
  • Yard
  • Heat: forced air
  • Central A/C
  • Hardwood floor
  • Tile floor
  • Granite countertop
  • Fireplace



ADDITIONAL Links



Contact info:
Mike DelRose
RE/MAX Leading Edge
617-923-8355


Posted: Mar 21, 2014, 2:25pm EDT

Hottest Housing Markets in Massachusetts

by Mike DelRose Team

When it comes to scouting out the hottest housing markets in Massachusetts, experts are pointing to the boom occurring in Boston's east side. Long known for its traditionally working class denizens, and ethnically diverse population, the "Eastie" section of town took a hit in the 2008 housing crash. Far removed from the doldrums of that economic calamity however, Boston's east side's housing market is on the move and has been tapped by the Boston Business Journal as the number one leading housing market according to its latest quarterly "Hottest Housing Markets" report.

Short Sales and Foreclosures

The report takes time to note that the previously depressed real estate values were the product of a series of short sales and foreclosures at the height of the recession. Property owners at the time often walked away from their investment leading to a short term ding on the relative value of Eastie property, which is in the process of correcting itself now. As many of those early abandonments were conducted by investors who paid little money down and often collected rents without keeping their mortgage payments up to date, the price collapse represented an artificially deflated market driven more by avarice than any fundamental weakness in the market itself. With this appraisal sigma removed, East Boston began its move to claim its title as the hottest housing markets in Massachusetts.

Several Factors Account for the Rise

With home prices showing approximately 25% growth rates year-over-year, current median home values stand at $276,000 in Eastie, which is a good 4% higher than where they stood during the depths of the Great Recession five years ago. In addition to the boost that the area is receiving due to gentrification efforts, as in other parts of the city, like Jamaica Plain and South Boston, this community of 40,000 residents is also drawing the interest of investor groups who are drawn by the large stock of available multi-family residences, and the opportunity to benefit from the area's rising rental values. A steady influx of young couples and working singles has sparked this boost in rental value as they're lured by the perceived value of the area. The neighborhood's close proximity to downtown and changing perceptions relative to crime in the area contributes to Eastie move to the top as the hottest housing market in Massachusetts.

Top Kitchen Remodel Projects

by Mike DelRose Team

Moving into a new place represents a hodge-podge of emotions for most buyers. The excitement of the move is tempered by the less than stellar water pressure in the downstairs shower, and the dark living room paneling that they found so distinguished prior to the escrow closing now just seems to be kind of dark and dreary. Of the many household remodeling projects that are contemplated by those new homeowners however, far and away the most popular remodeling projects are happening in the kitchen. Indeed, nearly half of all remodels that are undertaken within the first three months of moving in are centered on the kitchen.

If remodeled with an eye towards what will still be in vogue a few years down the line, the cost of even the smallest of remodel projects can pay back the initial investment upon selling, and prior to that time the homeowner gets all the benefits of living in a state-of-the-art kitchen. Before you looking for your measuring tape, here are some of the top kitchen remodel projects.

Chef's Stoves

Kitchens are for cooking, and a professional-grade range tops the list of favorite appliances. Double ovens with high end features like built in wine refrigerators, induction cook tops, and convection ovens all scored high in desirable creature features.

Granite and Quartz Countertops

When it comes to the top kitchen model projects, respondents almost overwhelmingly report that they plan on replacing their kitchen counters. While granite is still the rock star in kitchen counters, while Quartz counters are gaining traction due to their low maintenance and ease of cleaning.

Stainless Steel

The clean lines of stainless steel are the all the rage in top kitchen remodel projects. Beyond the typical faucets and sink basins, homeowners are thinking outside the steel box and adding them in unexpected places. For instance, sculptured stove hoods are making an appearance and grabbing all the attention with their curvy, sculptured shapes. When combined with materials such as treated glass, they provide a bold futuristic look to the kitchen.

Cabinetry

Cabinets have gone on numerous directions when contemplating the top kitchen remodel projects of 2014. Whereas cabinets of yesteryear were designed with the intention of hiding the debris associated with the kitchen, newer designs feature minimalistic cabinets that sport semi-translucent glass, high gloss lacquer facades, or touch latch cabinet fronts that eschew bulky hardware.

Is the Weather Slowing Down the Market?

by Mike DelRose Team

I'm going to put an end to speculation that the weather has anything to do with the real estate market right now. Yes it's been a terrible winter and a listing or two may be delayed by one of our routine blizzards, but that's not why inventory is so tight.

The real reason is because a segment of the market is still recovering from the bust. Really? Yes, really. Those who bought from 2006-2008 are finally starting to catch back up with the money they lost on their home's value. And once they do reach that 2006 level, it doesn't mean they're going to sell, not having built up enough equity. We know the average first-time home buyer spends a good 5-7 years on average before trading up, and our issue now is that these buyers are just not ready to. 

With the afforementioned lack of inventory, coupled with low interest rates and cash buyers from Canada and China, and all of a sudden there's a mini bubble of sorts that sent some Massachusetts communities like Winchester to a 24% appreciation in one year. That's ridiculous. If you look at the MLS Q4 Economic Report from 2013, you will find that Middlesex County alone increased it's values by 7% on average.

Thankfully, interest rates are remaining low for the time being because raising them could be a huge detriment to the real estate industry as well as the economy in general. Looking back, this accounts for why experts crowned 2009 the year you wish you invested in real estate. While it's not too late to take advantage of low interest rates, 2009 saw the market bottom out and start it's climb in price. 

Three Bedroom, Two and a Half Bath Townhouse

by Mike DelRose Team

Marketwatch Report Q4-2013

by Mike DelRose Team

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 422

Contact Information

Photo of Mike DelRose Team Real Estate
Mike DelRose Team
RE/MAX Leading Edge
142 Galen St
Watertown MA 02472
Phone: 617-848-0000
617-923-8355
Fax: 617-926-5166



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