Real Estate


Time May Be Running Out

During the Great Recession, some homeowners elected to rent their home rather than sell it for less than it was worth. IRS tax code allows for a temporary rental of a principal residence without losing the exclusion of capital gain based on some specific time limits. During the five year […]


A Cost to Consider

Homeownership, part of the American Dream: a home of your own where you can feel safe, raise your family, share with your friends and enjoy life. The benefits are easily recognizable but maintenance is just as real and should be considered. Property taxes and insurance are two of the largest […]


Dial Down Risk for Retirement

There is certainly no shortage of retirement planning strategies available to individuals who actually take the time to consider them. What most financial experts do agree on is that the closer you are to retirement, the less time you have to recover from a loss. For that reason, many people […]


Down Payment: FOUND!

Saving the down payment may be unnecessarily keeping would-be buyers from getting into a home. They may be unaware that the funds might be available. The NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers reports that 81% of first-time buyers got all or part of their down payment from savings. Less […]


When the rate goes up

It’s not “if” the rate goes up but “when” the rate goes up; it could make a big difference for some buyers. Freddie Mac predicts that mortgage rates will be at 4.5% a year from now. If buyers can afford a home with higher interest rates, it means higher payments. […]


Waiting to Buy…WHY?

Some people wait to buy a home until they have 20% down payment to avoid paying the mortgage insurance which is required by lenders when the loan-to-value ratio is greater than 80%, with the exception of VA loans. To illustrate a typical situation, let’s assume that buyers have $10,000 for […]


Dust-Free Home

Having a dust-free home isn’t difficult, but it takes a serious commitment and a housekeeping strategy that addresses the dust and its causes. Whether your motive is cleanliness or to eliminate the cause of some allergies and asthma symptoms, it will be worth it. Try to dust your home at […]


Getting to Value

Fair market value is the price that real estate would sell for on the open market without any unusual forces being involved. The definition is relatively simple but there certainly different methods of determining what it is. A homeowner could order an appraisal before they put their home on the […]


Pay Off Your Mortgage?

Becoming debt free is as much a part of the American Dream as owning a home but there certainly can be conflicting circumstances that make the decision to pay off your mortgage early unclear. The advantages of paying off debt early is increased cash flow, less interest paid and a […]


Two Negotiations

There are two negotiation periods in some home sales. The primary negotiation takes place when the contract is agreed upon that includes the price, closing and possession. Buyers and sellers alike feel relieved once this first round has resulted in an agreement but there may be more negotiations to come […]


Ready for Retirement?

It’s surprising to realize that most people spend more time planning their next vacation or cell phone purchase than they do on their own retirement. Let’s look at a hypothetical situation where you have $35,000 to invest for your retirement in 15 years. Have you compared where you might have […]


Avoid Wasting Time

“If you waste my time, don’t expect me to hang out with you very long.” This could have been said by a buyer or seller or a real estate agent. Time is valuable and no one wants to waste their time. Most people can’t put their lives on-hold while they’re […]


Home Inventory

How old is your bedroom furniture and what did you pay for it? Don’t know? That’s okay, let’s try an easier question. When did you buy the TV in your family room and is it LCD or LED? Whether you are the victim of a natural disaster or a robbery, […]

Photo by Harlow Heslop

Photo by GotCredit

The Cost of Co-Signing

It seems fairly innocuous – a friend or family member wants you to co-sign on a loan because they don’t qualify. They assure that they’ll make the payments, they’re convincing and very appreciative. You want to be a nice person and help them out. The more you think about it, […]


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How Accurate is Zillow?

Zillow is the first to admit that their Zestimates aren’t that accurate (and I appreciate their honesty!). An algorithm can’t differentiate between all of the different variables that go into the determining the value of a house. There are times when an AVM (Automated Valuation Model) will be much higher or significantly lower than the actual value of a house. A few times in my career, I’ve been surprised and the AVM and I agree on the price of the house.

I decided to do an experiment. The short video below shows the value that 4 different pricing models came up with for a house I had for sale in Medford and then I reveal the price that we actually sold for.


Inventory

Listing Inventory and Sales Performance

There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing an agent to work with to sell your home.  A recent study called How Many Listings are too Many? Agent Listing Inventory and Sales Performance  by the University of Central Florida and Longwood University analyzed 10 years of real estate sales to determine if the amount of listings an agent is working with has any affect on the likelihood of the property selling and its sales price.  As you can see in the video above, it does make a difference.  Just like in the story of Goldilocks, sellers who choose to work with an agent who has too few listings (1) or too many (15 or more homes for sale), end up taking longer to sell and sell for less money.  To help maximize the amount of money you get for your house and to sell in the least amount of time, choose an agent who has a medium level of inventory.  Goldilocks found a bed that was not too soft and not too hard and you can find an agent who handles enough sales to have the experience that you need without going to a mega-agent and being lost among all of the homes they are selling.


Who Moves to Medford?

Have you ever wondered where people moving to Medford come from? I’ve just found this interesting information from spokeo.com compiling the most common out of state cell phone numbers found for people living in Medford. I’ve been helping people sell their homes in Medford for over 20 years and I […]

Medford Mass Map

Mortgage Rates Projected to Rise

We can all agree that mortgage rates have been phenomenally low for a long time.  The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae and the National Association of Realtors have all projected that the 30-year mortgage rate will be at least 4% by the end of 2013. Historically, 4% is still an amazing interest […]