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Budgeting Tips for First Time Home Buyers

Rainy Day Showings

rainy day

Rainy Day Showings are inevitable!  While they may not be the best situation, there are ways to put the home in a good light despite the gloomy weather.

Getting a shower as you walk in can turn off a buyer.  Make sure the gutters are clean and working properly and diverting the water away from the house.  Any leaks or drips will show up at this time, and while this may be an advantage for a buyer, it’s important to get the repairs done before the showings begin.

Wet weather can also mean flooded basements.  Check on your sump pump and make sure it’s in good working order.  You may even want to replace it to make sure the water stays out of the basement where it belongs.

Puddles are the norm after a heavy rain, but you may want to make note of huge puddles in the yard after a major storm and try to divert the water before your showings begin.

Good lighting is important!  Show how bright and cozy your home can be in dreary weather.  Turn on all the lights, change bulbs if needed.   Turn up the heat and light the fireplace if you have one.  Cold, damp weather can make a home seem cold, so turn up the cozy factor.  Light candles or simmer potpourri on the stove to stave off the cold, damp smells.  Fresh flowers can also help with delightful smells and the promise of better weather.

You can always have the buyers come back on a better day to check out the yard and exterior of the house if they are very interested.

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This blog was posted on www.agentrising.com on April 6, 2017.

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Buyers Rushing Into Housing Market

Agent RisingBuyers are rushing into the housing market in anticipation of higher interest rates

Winter is Great Time to Buy or Sell Real Estate

winter market Study: Real Estate Cheapest in Fall, Winter

DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS

According to Realtor Magazine

Your home buyers likely won’t want to shy away from the fall or winter months. They may score the best deals.

Home sales prices in the nation’s largest metros typically peak during the summer but drop in the fall and are lowest in the winter, according to a new study from NerdWallet, in which researchers analyzed sales and listings over the past two years in the 50 largest metros using realtor.com® data.

Home sale prices tend to peak in June and July, according to the analysis. Buyers will find the most inventory or home choices during those months but there is also more competition from other buyers that they will have to contend with.

The market tends to slow in the fall and sales prices start to dip. Sales prices drop nearly 3 percent, on average – a fall of $8,300 on the median home – from summer (June through August) to fall (September through November).

Home sale prices tend to be cheapest in the winter. In January or February, for example, homes could potentially cost 8.45 percent less on average than in June through August.

January had the lowest sales prices in 29 of the 50 metro areas analyzed; February had the cheapest in 19 areas.

“If your circumstances give you the freedom to be able to choose the best time to look to sign a contract on a new home, there’s no question that the market dynamics favor you the most to do that in the dead of winter, ideally in January or February, right before the activity starts to heat up,” says Jonathan Smoke, realtor.com®’s chief economist.

Source: “House Shopping After Summer Ends? Buying Later in the Year Could Save You Thousands,” NerdWallet (Sept. 20, 2016)

Inventory is low, now is the time to list your home or buy a new home.  Time to make the move.

Visit www.realtormag.realtor.org more real estate news.

Visit www.boldmovesrealestate.com to help you get into the winter real estate market.

This blog was posted on www.agentrising.com on February 16, 2017.

 

Bus Service Begins in Marion and Mattapoisett

New bus route begins Monday for Marion, Mattapoisett

By Georgia Sparling | Jan 31, 2017

Courtesy of: GATRA/SRTAThe new bus route follows Route 6.

A new bus service from Wareham to New Bedford will begin soon, including service for Marion and Mattapoisett.

The Greater Attleboro Taunton Regional Transit Authority (GATRA) and Southeastern Regional Transit Authority (SRTA) collaborated on the new route, which begins Feb. 6.

There will be two round trips in the morning and two in the afternoon, Mondays through Wednesdays.

“This is a very exciting chance to link social services, businesses and the people of our collective communities to new employment and educational opportunities,” SRTA Administrator Erik Rousseau wrote in SRTA Administrator Erik Rousseau wrote in an email.

As the program is grant-funded, there won’t be any cost to the communities through which the buses will travel.

“It’s been a need,” GATRA Administrator Frank Gay said in 2016. “It’s been something that’s been identified for a number of years and something that we’ve been trying to figure out how to fund.”

Half of the funding, about $42,000, came from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, with the transportation services matching the amount.

Awarded in July, the grant will last one year, but GATRA can apply for a second year.

Gay said the transportation authority usually like to assess a new program over two to three years.

The program will be a boost for Marion and Mattapoisett residents in need of public transportation.

Council on Aging departments in the three towns offer some public transportation, and SRTA provides limited on-demand service for Mattapoisett residents who qualify for assistance to get to medical appointments. Marion and Rochester, however, do not belong to GATRA or SRTA, and unfortunately, the Route 6 route won’t improve public transportation for Rochester unless residents can get to the route on Marion or Mattapoisett.

While there are not specific bus stops in Marion and Mattapoisett, the bus can be stopped along the route ad there are approximate times the bus will pass prominent corners in each town.

In Marion, the corner is Route 6 and Route 105. Eastbound times at that location are 8:06 a.m., 10:06 a.m., 2:36 p.m. and 4:36 p.m. The approximate time buses will reach that corner going westbound are 8:40 a.m., 10:50 a.m., 3:20 p.m. and 5:20 p.m.

In Mattapoisett, the corner is at Route 6 and North Street. Eastbound stops are at 7:55 a.m., 9:55 a.m., 2:25 p.m. and 4:35 p.m. Westbound stops are 9:01 a.m., 11:01 a.m., 3:31 p.m., and 5:31 p.m.

Riders should arrive at least five minutes early.

There are a total of seven stops on the route: The New Bedford Terminal, the Southcoast Health System in Fairhaven, Shaw’s/Greater New Bedford Health Center in Wareham, the Wareham Multi Service Center and Cranberry Plaza, also in Wareham.

The fare is $1.50 each way and 75¢ for senior citizens 60 years and older, children ages 6 to 11, those with a registered disability and Medicare recipients. Children under 6 travel for free.

Visit www.sippican.villagesoup.com for more local stories and click on www.boldmovesrealestate.com for local realtors who are experts in our local communities.

This blog was posted on www.boldmovesrealestate.com on February 1, 2016.

 

Sippican Woods in Marion

Sippican Woods to offer affordable homes

By Tanner Harding and Georgia Sparling | Jan 18, 2017

Photo by: Tanner Harding

MARION — More affordable housing is coming to Marion.

Following the completion of the Marion Village Estates apartments, Baywatch Realty is proceeding with its adjacent 36-house development named Sippican Woods. Nine of those homes will go to lower income families in a lottery to be held in February.

The development is part of the plan for 60 apartments and 36 homes approved five years ago to add “40B” affordable housing for residents. The “40B” regulation allows the developer to bypass local zoning restrictions if a percentage of homes are sold or rented at below-market costs to people who meet the income requirements, and if a town has not met the state-required 10 percent minimum  of affordable housing in its boundaries.

The apartments, all of meet the state’s requirement for affordable housing, were completed in August 2015 and are full, said Ken Steen of Baywatch Realty. Affordable housing takes into account the median income in an area.

Preliminary work for the houses is underway, and Steen said the first affordable houses will likely be completed by the end of this summer.

“How many qualified applicants we have will determine the rate at which we construct the affordable houses,” he said.

Each affordable home is approximately 1,600 square feet, will have three bedrooms and one and a half baths, and will cost $213,300. Homeowners Association fees are $45 a month.

The affordable homes will only be sold to households with incomes at or below 80 percent of the area median income. The maximum allowable income starts at $46,000 for a single person and goes up to $76,250 for six people.

Everyone in the household must also qualify as a first-time homebuyer, and the household must be pre-approved for a mortgage.

The town also requires that preference be given to local residents for 70 percent of the homes, or six of the nine.

For this requirement, an applicant must be a current resident of Marion, have resided in Marion for at least five years, have a child who has lived in Marion the past five years, or be a full- or part-time town employee.

The remaining 27 homes are also generating a lot of interest. Though Steen said there isn’t a hard timeline for the project, some of the houses already have buyers.

He also said the project could take a year to finish or it could take three. It depends on demand.

“We started marketing them about four weeks ago,” he said. “There’s been a tremendous amount of interest.”

The deadline for the application to participate in the lottery is Feb. 14 at 2 p.m., and the lottery will be held Feb. 28 at 6 p.m. at the Elizabeth Taber Library.

“We’re excited to get into the for sale portion of the project,” Steen said. “We look forward to completing it. We think it’s a great product. We think it’s something the town is in need of.”

For more information, attend an information session on Jan. 24 at 6 p.m. at the Elizabeth Taber Library, or go to www.s-e-b.com/properties/for-sale-developments.

Visit sippican.villagesoup.com for more local stories.

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This blog was posted on www.boldmovesrealestate.com on January 20, 2016.

Winter is Best Time to Sell

winterWinter Is Best Time to Sell, Study Shows

The housing market doesn’t hibernate in the winter. Sellers who list and buyers who buy often find the winter season the most advantageous time to make a move in real estate, according to a new study by the real estate brokerage Redfin. The winter season officially takes place between Dec. 21 and March 20, and real estate professionals should be ready for a season that often brings in more focused and active sellers and buyers.

Winter Sales

In an update to a two-year analysis it completed last year, Redfin researchers studied nationwide home listings, sales prices, and time-on-market data from 2010 through October 2014.

The study found that February is “historically the best month to list, with an average of 66 percent of homes listed then selling within 90 days,” according to Redfin’s research.

Even in cold weather cities – such as Boston and Chicago – researchers found that home sellers were better off listing their homes in the winter than during other seasons.

The winter tends to net sellers’ more than their asking price during the months of December, January, February, and March than listings from June through November. Listing during those four winter months has resulted in higher percentages of above-asking-price sales than listing during any months, other than April and May.

Redfin researchers found that in 2012 December listings were producing the highest percentage of above-asking sales for the entire year at 17 percent.

Researchers say the winter market is less competitive for sellers since many people tend to wait until the spring to list. The smaller inventory of active listings help sellers get more attention from buyers on their properties. Also, many large corporations often transfer employees or hire new ones early in the year, creating opportunities for winter sellers from very motivated purchasers.

Homes that are “priced right and show well can sell any time” of the year, says Nela Richardson, chief economist for Redfin. Winter buyers tend to be “serious buyers… Most people are not window-shopping” in December and January, like they do in the spring months, Richardson adds.

Sellers shouldn’t worry about the holidays hampering their chances either. A 2011 study conducted by realtor.com® found that 60 percent of real estate professionals advise their sellers to list a home during the holidays because they believe it’s an opportune time to sell. Nearly 80 percent of the real estate professionals surveyed said that more serious buyers emerge during the holidays, and 61 percent say less competition from other properties makes it an ideal time to sell.

As for buyers, they may find winter a good time to make a move too. Sellers often are more flexible about negotiations over prices and terms than they would in the spring, real estate professionals say.

“People get more realistic at this time of year,” particularly if their homes hadn’t sold during the summer and fall, says Mary Bayat, a broker in Washington, D.C., and chairwoman-elect of the Northern Virginia Association of REALTORS®.

Source: “Best Time to List a Home for Sale? Winter, Redfin Says,” Los Angeles Times (Dec. 14, 2014)

http://realtormag.realtor.org/

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This blog was posted on www.boldmovesrealestate.com on Jan. 6, 2017.

10 Real Estate Trends to Watch in 2017

real estateBy Beth Braverman

November22, 2016

Nearly a decade after the real estate crisis set off wild swings in the housing market, most markets finally stabilized last year. The election of Donald Trump has brought uncertainty into the industry, however. While the President-elect built his empire on real estate, he has said relatively little about what policy changes he might make regarding housing.  That’s not too unusual, since when the housing market is doing well it is generally not a campaign issue.

Here’s what the experts we spoke with expect to see in 2017:

1. Rising prices will keep pushing up homeowners’ net worth.
After a 6.3 percent increase over the past year, home prices are poised to rise another 5.2 percent through September 2017, according to a recent report from CoreLogic. Rising prices have doubled the amount of home equity held by Americans with the average homeowner gaining more than $11,000 in home-equity wealth last year alone. If home prices continue to increase as projected, Americans would add $1 trillion in home equity to their collective balance sheets next year.

2. But mortgage rates are going up.
Rates for conventional loans shot up nearly a quarter of a percentage point in the days following the election, the fastest increase since the ‘taper tantrum’ of 2013. That could be just the beginning; the Fed is expected to continue raising rates on a strong economy, and even before Trump’s election, the Mortgage Bankers Association was predicting that rates would reach 4.8 percent (an increase of nearly two percentage points) by the end of 2017. 

That means that borrowers who are looking to re-fi should do so earlier in the year, and buyers should consider locking in their rates during the closing process. While some worry that rising rates could dampen the housing market, job security and wage growth are larger factors on home activity than interest rates.

3. It’s getting easier to get a mortgage.
It’s easier to get a mortgage now than at any time in the past eight years, according to the Mortgage Credit Availability Index. That reflects an increased availability of both jumbo loans and low down-payment loans. Banks may also be more willing to work with borrowers over the next few years as they look to make up for a decline in refinancing business when interest rates go up. “The pendulum has been swinging toward a loosening of the credit box a bit,” says Daren Blomquist, a senior vice president with Attom Data Solutions. “I don’t think we’ll see a reversal of that with the new administration. We’ll likely see an acceleration.”

4. Rents will continue to level off.
While rents in most large metro areas will continue to increase next year, they’ll grow at just 1.7 percent next year, following a similar growth this year, according to Zillow’s rent forecast. The modest gains follow years of double-digit growths in many places and reflect inventory finally catching up with demand as builders create new apartment buildings to accommodate the nearly 40 percent of Americans who are choosing to rent rather than buy housing.

5. The share of cash buyers will move closer to normal.
All-cash buyers fell below 30 percent of home sales this year for the first time since 2007, and they’re projected to decline for the next two years until they get back to their historical average of about 25 percent, according to CoreLogic. That’s good news for some homebuyers who have struggled in recent years to compete with all-cash buyers in bidding wars.

6. New homes are getting smaller.
The median square footage for new homes this year fell for the first time since the recession. Smaller homes are the product of several trends driving the real estate market, including higher demand for homes close to city centers where space is tight, and continued growth in the “tiny home” movement.

The shift also reflects a renewed focus by builders on the neglected market of entry-level buyers. “They’re building smaller homes because people can’t afford to buy the larger homes anymore,” Chief Economist at Texas A & M’s Real Estate Center.

7. Inventory will remain tight.
While builders have increased production, they’re still only putting homes up at about 60 percent of the normal pace. Total housing inventory at the end of September increased 1.5 percent to 2.04 million existing homes for sale, but that’s still 7 percent lower than last year. Unsold inventory in September was at a 4.5 percent-month supply, down from 4.6 percent the previous month. (A six-month supply is considered a healthy market.)

That continued lack of inventory is one of the main factors behind rising prices. “It’s driven by supply and demand,” says Sam Khater, deputy chief economist at CoreLogic. “The lack of affordable supply is really driving up home prices.”

8. Foreign buyers will play a smaller role.
Foreign buyers, who have helped fuel the luxury real estate market in recent years, backed off a bit this year amid rising prices and an appreciated dollar and increased scrutiny from the Treasury Department. That trend may accelerate as foreign investors weigh the impact of a Trump presidency on their purchase.

9. It’s getting easier for first-time buyers. After years of shutting them out, the market has become slightly more welcoming to first-time buyers. “On the supply side, builders are finding business models to provide the level of product, such as townhouses, that first-time buyers are looking for,” says Robert Dietz, chief economist with the National Association of Home Builders. “And on the demand side, wage gains and the demographics of today’s millennials who are marrying and having kids later, will help.” 

Millennials are more secure in their jobs, so they’re better qualified for mortgages, particularly the low down payment options.  While inventory is still tight, many institutional investors have left the market, which makes it easier for first-time home buyers to compete for entry-level properties.

Visit www.thefiscaltimes.com for more stories.

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This blog was posted on www.boldmovesrealestate.com on December 28, 2016.

 

Merry Christmas from BOLD Moves Real Estate

Christmas

BOLD Moves Real Estate would like to wish all our families, friends, and clients a wondrous and joyful Christmas and an inspiring New Year.  At this time of year, our BOLDIES team would like to thank all our clients for the pleasure of working with them during one of the most important times in their lives.  We know buying and selling a home is one of the most important and emotional decisions in anyone’s life.   We know that there are many choices out there and we thank you for choosing to work with BOLD Moves Real Estate.  We genuinely want to help our clients move into the home of their dreams or sell their home and move on.

A new year is a clean slate and the possibilities are endless.  Dream big and make 2017 the best year it can possibly be.

Visit www.boldmovesrealestate.com to meet our team of BOLDIES and see how they can make your 2017 shine.

This blog was posted on www.boldmovesrealestate.com on December 23, 2016.

Buying a Home at the Holidays

 

Top 5 Reasons To Buy A Home During The Holidays

Why it Makes Sense to Buy a Home at Year’s End

Top 5 Reasons To Buy A Home During The Holidays

November 30, 2016 Few people like to uproot their family and go through the stresses of home buying and moving during the holidays, but for those who do not mind, the holiday season may provide home buying bargains. Here are a few of the reasons why.

    • Less Market Activity – Lots of family, school, and work activities, combined with the weather in many locations, lead to fewer real estate transactions over the holidays. Since fewer people overall are looking to buy houses, you will have less competition for your preferred house – and this gives you leverage.Holiday home sellers often have to adjust their price downward or make other concessions if they want to sell. Keep this in mind as you search for homes. Bargains may be available, and listed prices may be more open to negotiation.
  • Motivated Sellers – People who are selling their homes over the holidays often have great incentive to sell, such as an upcoming job relocation. If a house has already been on the market for some time, that incentive is multiplied.You may be able to use this urgency to your advantage (assuming you are not in a similarly urgent need to buy). Negotiate fairly but firmly with sellers and you should be able to extract a lower price and/or other concessions like paying part of the closing costs.

Potential Tax Advantages – If you itemize your taxes, you can deduct any points you paid upon closing, as well as property taxes and mortgage interest. Whether it is to your advantage to buy before or after year’s end depends on factors such as how many other deductions you have this year and expect to have next year.

It is best to consult with a tax professional before purchase. Even though you do not want to make a decision on a home purchase strictly for tax reasons, it could be to your benefit to close before the end of the year.

 

    • Better Interest Rates – Within the general trend of interest rates, there is often a cyclical trend of lower interest rates during the holidays – not from the generosity of lenders but due to limited demand forcing greater competition among lenders.There are plenty of factors that can obscure or swamp this cycle, but in general, you should see preferable interest rates around the holidays compared to the times immediately before or after.

 

  • Faster Closings – Generally, all parties involved have incentive to complete transactions toward the end of the year. Lenders want to close their books, real estate agents want to receive their commissions before the year closes, sellers want to move on to their new home and settle in for the holidays – and just like the sellers, you want to settle in as well.Since all parties are motivated and there are fewer transactions taking place during this time, it should be easier to put everything in place for a smooth and rapid closing.

These factors do not always apply. For example, if you are trying to buy a home in a winter ski resort area or similar high-demand winter destination, these dynamics may be reversed – except for the tax implications. However, for the majority of Americans, the holidays represent an opportunity to buy a home under mostly favorable economic conditions.

The weather may still be frightful, but your opportunities to buy a home around the holidays may be just as delightful. Enjoy the holiday season as you explore your options. Don’t forget to give Santa your new forwarding address!

www.moneytips.com

 

Photo ©iStockphoto.com/vgajic

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This blog was posted on www.agentrising.com on December 15, 2016.