Blog :: 10-2013

Would a Haunted Listing Spook You?

So say you've been searching for a home and the perfect listing comes on the market. You make an offer and it's accepted (Yay!). Except you come to find it has a history of hauntings (Boo!). No really. BOO!

It's one thing to stay in a haunted hotel like the Hollywood Roosevelt for fun. It's another thing altogether to call a haunted house home.

Chances are you will not find 'haunted' in the list of disclosures from a seller. Most real estate laws require sellers to disclose only 'material facts.' These include structural issues such as cracks in the foundation, leaks in the roof, water in the basement, etc. Aside from the property's physical condition, a seller does not need to elaborate on levitating plates.

If you are a buyer and this is a concern (maybe you've been spooked before), one thing you can do is talk to the neighbors - chances are they would know of anything noteworthy. Or even Google the home for possible paranormal activity. As a seller, if a home is known to have spectral tendencies, it's best to fess up before engaging a buyer, or it can come back to haunt you.

Of course, if we had a scary listing, we'd make the most of it:

The Shining new countertops and (phantom) gourmet kitchen will have you howling at the moon! The spacious living area creaks with personality and oozes charm. Just off the living room is a bonus room - perfect for an office or Bogeyman-cave. Levitate up the stairs to the master suite with a walk-in (and through) closet. The beautiful grounds are so peaceful your cares (and maybe you) will vanish! Glide on in, this home is sure to get you in the house-hunting spirit!

Take our survey and let us know what you think (if you dare!)

Would a Haunted Listing Spook You?

Pumpkin

This is all in good fun, but when it comes to buying a home, you really just have to trust your gut(s) - or at least your Sixth Sense ;)

Have a happy and safe Halloween!


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    Spotlight: Arlington Home of the Week!

    One day at a time, Red Sox fans. One day at a time.

    In case you missed it, the Boston Business Journal showcased just how much more house you can afford in St. Louis. As if you could dangle cheaper prices and more square footage to convince us that living anywhere else but in the hub of Red Sox Nation was an option. Pfft.

    Has it been a tough housing market for buyers? Sure. But patience and diligence pays off, and we have a fantastic new listing to get you off the bench and back into the game. Check it out!

     4 Kenilworth Road, Arlington 4 Kenilworth

    Minutes to Brackett School and Robbins Farm! This lovely Colonial was completely renovated in 2005 and offers some wonderful features and amenities. The first floor has an open floor plan with hardwood floors and a fabulous kitchen with stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops. There's a living room that opens to the den and dining room which overlooks the kitchen. There are plenty of windows and combined with the open plan, the house is extremely bright. The second floor has three spacious bedrooms and the master has vaulted ceilings and a large walk-in closet. There are two full size bathrooms and the fourth bedroom or playroom is located on the third floor. The yard is quite spacious and the deck overlooks the yard, which is perfect for entertaining! (MLS # 71600777)

    Listed: $679,000

    What's Nearby: Arlington Center shops and restaurants, Mass. Ave., public transportation, Minuteman Bikeway, Robbins Farm, Brackett School.

    SINGLE FAMILY

     

    Address

    Rooms

    Bed

    Bath

    Style

    Price

    79 Bay State Rd.

    4

    2

    1f 1h

    Ranch

    $479,000

    7 Michael St.

    6

    3

    1f 1h

    Cape

    $494,000

    40 Kenilworth Rd.

    7

    3

    1f 1h

    Colonial

    $635,000

    164 Summer St. U:164

    7

    3

    2f 1h

    Other

    $669,000

    4 Kenilworth Rd.

    8

    4

    2f 0h

    Colonial

    $679,000

     

    CONDO

     

    Address

    Rooms

    Bed

    Bath

    Style

    Price

    230 Mass. Ave. U:8

    3

    1

    1f 0h

    Mid-Rise

    $250,000

    47 Amsden St. U:1

    6

    2

    1f 0h

    2/3 Family

    $379,000

    9-11 Revere St.U:11

    7

    2

    1f 0h

    2/3 Family

    $389,000

    57 Churchill Rd. U:2

    8

    4

    2f 0h

    2/3 Family

    $579,000

    Spotlight: Arlington Home of the Week!

    If you've been on the edge of your seat for most of the week - having one way conversations with umpires and willing bats to hit home runs - you'll definitely need to get out for some fresh air this weekend.

    There are plenty of open houses to keep you busy, including this fantastic, picture perfect Dutch Colonial in Arlington Heights. Check it out and you'll come back refreshed and ready for more baseball.

    This. Is October. 

    11 Elmore Street, Arlington 11 Elmore

    This beautiful home has a newly landscaped front and rear yard with outdoor patio that is great for entertaining! Located a short distance from Mass. Ave, Minuteman Bikeway, and wonderful parks, this Dutch Colonial is the house you have been waiting for. It has been meticulously maintained and updated while retaining the charm and character of yesteryear. There is stunning natural woodwork, beamed ceilings, and a wood burning fireplace in the front to back family room. There is a paneled home office off of the living room. The dining room features natural wood built-in with lots of windows. The eat-in kitchen was recently updated with plenty of cabinets, granite counters, and stainless appliances. Upstairs has two spacious bedrooms plus a front-to-back master bedroom with his/her closets and the main bath has been updated. There is a walk-up attic for storage space or possible expansion. The partially finished lower level is perfect for a family room or guest room with a ¾ bath. All of this and garage parking too! (MLS # 71595065)

     Listed: $579,000

    What's Nearby: Arlington Center shops and restaurants, Mass. Ave., public transportation, Minuteman Bikeway, Dallin School.

     SINGLE FAMILY

    Address

    Rooms

    Bed

    Bath

    Style

    Price

    11 Elmore St.

    8

    3

    2f 0h

    Colonial

    $579,000

    2008 Symmes Circle U:2008

    6

    2

    2f 1h

    Multi-Level

    $639,000

    48 Linden St.

    6

    3

    1f 1h

    Bungalow

    $769,000

    CONDO

    Address

    Rooms

    Bed

    Bath

    Style

    Price

    16 Teel St. U:2

    6

    3

    1f 0h

    2/3 Family

    $340,000

    105 Bow St. U:2

    6

    2

    1f 0h

    2/3 Family

    $349,000

    34 Harvard St. U:1

    7

    3

    1f 0h

    2/3 Family

    $349,000

    35 Boulevard Rd. U:2

    5

    2

    1f 1h

    2/3 Family

    $419,000

    8-10 West St. U:10

    6

    3

    1f 0h

    2/3 Family

    $439,000

    40 Brattle St. U:5

    6

    3

    1f 1h

    Townhouse

    $545,000

    164 Summer St. U:164

    7

    3

    2f 1h

    Townhouse

    $669,000

     

    Arlington's Cool Factor

    We're not the hipsters - that's Cambridge and Somerville.

    We're not the upper crust - that's Lexington, Belmont and Winchester.

    We're not the college kids - that's Allston and Brighton.

    We're not rough and tumble - that's Southie (although even that's changing).

     

    Maybe, just maybe, we're a little bit of all of these groups, which is actually pretty cool.

    Slate.com recently posted an interesting article, What does "cool" even mean in 2013? Which led us to thinking about the Arlington Cool Factor (or ACF, if you want to be, well, you know).

    Cool doesn't try to be cool, cool just is. As the article states, "To be cool is to have cultural and social capital ... Cool is an attitude that allows detached assessment, but one that prizes an air of knowingness over specific knowledge.

    Arlington is certainly a 'knowingness' kind of place - what with so many residents working at area Biotechs, start-ups and universities. Not to mention Arlington schools which continue to post strong performances on MCAS achievement tests, and Arlington High School which recently came in at #25 of the Top 50 high schools in Massachusetts.

    I'd also say we have a run on the market of cultural and social capital. The Capitol Theater, Regent Theater, Arlington Center for the Arts, Arlington Historical Society and Cyrus E. Dallin Art Museum. Plus all of the great restaurants and shops, with new ones popping up every day; Menotomy Grill, Tryst, Flora and Retro Burger.

    And there are plenty of people who continue to live and work in the town they grew up in - which speaks volumes to the tight-knit community that Arlington has been, and continues to be.

    Are we slightly Bohemian? Blue collar? Intellectual? Outdoorsy? Probably all of these and more.

    Anyone that lives here knows there is a certain je ne sais quoi that gives Arlington its own unique identity. And when it comes to finding a place to live that has something for everyone, it's fair to say the cool cat is out of the bag.

    Spotlight: Arlington Home of the Week!

    While the dynamic between hesitant sellers and low inventory has caused some frustration among buyers, there is a wave of new construction in our area that is sure to build confidence along with some beautiful homes.

    We have a number of new home listings in great school districts - both single family and condos - many walkable to Arlington Center or East Arlington.

    Feast your eyes on the first one featured in our Spotlight - this home has it all!

    60 Edgehill Road, Arlington

    60Edgehill

     This is outstanding new construction located near Arlington Center, Mystic Lakes, and major routes. Meticulous attention to detail was paired with the finest materials and finishes. The first floor features open floor plan, creating an airy space with lots of natural light. Arrive in the side entrance colonial with a living room/dining room combination featuring beautiful moldings and dramatic French doors, oversized kitchen and eating area with sliders to the patio and back yard. There is also a family room with a fireplace and sliders to the patio and back yard.

     The second level features a master suite with cathedral ceiling, master bath with custom tile shower and walk-in closet, two beds, main bath, and spacious laundry room. Dramatic city views can be appreciated from the third floor multipurpose room (bedroom, play room, home office, or any of the above). There is also a full bath on the 3rd floor. There is an oversized garage, mudroom, and tons of storage space on the lower level. All of this is surrounded by magnificent landscaping and stone work. (MLS # 71595065)

     Listed: $1,100,000

     What's Nearby: Arlington Center shops and restaurants, Mystic Lakes, public transportation, Minuteman Bikeway, Bishop School.

     SINGLE FAMILY

     

    Address

    Rooms

    Bed

    Bath

    Style

    Price

    8 Kipling Rd.

    6

    4

    1f

    Cape

    $469,000

    88 Menotomy Rd.

    6

    3

    2f

    Cape

    $529,000

    36 Argyle Rd.

    7

    3

    2f

    Colonial

    $595,000

    79 Hillside Ave.

    8

    4

    2f 1h

    Raised Ranch

    $849,000

    60 Edgehill Rd.

    10

    4

    3f 1h

    Colonial

    $1,100,000

    83 Gray St.

    12

    5

    4f 1h

    Gambrel/Dutch

    $1,575,000

     

    CONDO

     

    Address

    Rooms

    Bed

    Bath

    Style

    Price

    32 Lewis Ave. U:32

    4

    2

    1f 0h

    Townhouse

    $399,000

    30 Lewis Ave. U:30

    12

    5

    2f 1h

    Townhouse

    $725,000

     

    MULTI-FAMILY

     

    Address

    Rooms

    Bed

    Bath

    Style

    Price

    30-32 Lewis Ave.

    16

    7

    3f 1h

    2 Family - Side by Side

    $1,120,000

     

    Have We Got Some 'New' For You

    New construction that is.

    In our previous post, The Chicken and the Egg of Housing Inventory, we promised to let you in on some listings coming to a neighborhood near you.

    Not only do we have a number of new listings coming your way, but these are all new construction - and new construction inside 128 can be tougher to find than your keys on a Monday morning.

    So How do you know if 'new' is for you?

    • Are you a growing family looking to upsize? We have beautiful new homes in great school districts.
    • Are you a first-time buyer but think you can't afford a new home? We have new condos within walking distance to Arlington Center.
    • Are you interested in a home with history and character but also with modern amenities? We have a renovated and restored antique home.

    The question of whether to renovate and stay put, or buy new and start fresh is a question that many people grapple with. It's a decision that depends on a number of factors, some financial and some not.

    Not everyone wants to leave their neighbors or undertake a home search. Yet not every renovation is worth the time, money, effort and aggravation.

    Have you been hesitating to list your home because you don't think you'll have a new place to move into? Then read on and stick with us, because we will feature one of the beauties below in our Spotlight Home of the Week on Friday!

    ARLINGTON (Priced from $800,000's - $1,100,000)

    Single family homes

    Dallin school district                                       

    2,800+ square feet

    4 bed

    2.5 bath

    Brackett school district 

    2,600 square feet

    3-4 bed

    2.5 bath

    Bishop school district                                     

    2,900 square feet

    4 bed

    3.5 bath

    Bishop school district

    Restored antique, Low $500s

    1,900 square feet

    3+bed

    1.5 bath

    Condos

    Near Arlington Center

     

    2 bed

    2 bath

    2 levels              

    Low $400s

    3 bed

    2 bath

    2 levels              

    High $400s

    Near East Arlington

    5 room

    2 bed

    Low $400s              

    NEWTON

    Albemarle section

    2,900 square feet

    4 bed              

    4.5 bath

     

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      The Chicken and the Egg of Housing Inventory

      One of the top reasons today's homeowners are holding off on selling is this: fear of not finding another place to move into due to low inventory levels. And one of the reasons we have low inventory levels is because homeowners are skittish about selling. There you have it. Chicken and the egg. Listings and inventory.

      The question for homeowners isn't about which came first, but how to crack open this puzzle and break the cycle.

      As the busiest real estate brokerage in Arlington, we list and sell more homes than any other shop in town. We are out at open houses, showings, and talking to clients and business partners about the market every day. Living and breathing real estate gives us an insider's view into the hyper-local market -- the pipeline of available homes, who the potential buyers and sellers are, and what's coming on the market next.

      And we can tell you that within the next 30 days we have a number of new listings that will be coming available.

      Yes, the market is low on inventory - right now. But this is not the time to chicken out of the housing market. Homeowners who are considering listing their homes have plenty of opportunity to land sunny side up when it comes to buying on the flip side.

      Be sure to stay tuned to our blog, we're going to fill you in on what we know - including some of these fantastic listings and new construction.

      The Tough Get Going

      Here's a little something the housing market doesn't always take into consideration. People still buy homes cyclically - regardless of market conditions, or low inventory, or even interest rates.

      There are job relocations, growing families, rising rents and plenty of other reasons why people are not going to sit back and wait for their dream home to find them.

      We all know spring is a popular time to list a home because it gives people the opportunity to transition over the summer. Equally time-sensitive is fall, with the holidays dangling like an ornamental finish line.

      The fact that interest rates have just dropped to their lowest level since June (30-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 4.22% as of Thursday), there is even more incentive to get moving.

      Unlike some branches of government, when homebuyers aren't getting exactly what they want they don't shut down. In other words, when the going gets tough, the tough get down to business.

      Sellers, there are plenty of motivated buyers out there working hard to get into a home just like yours by the holidays. This fall housing market is like no other and you don't want to let a great opportunity pass you by. Call us today for your free custom market analysis.

      Moving Forward

      Moving forward can be one of those annoying, cliché business terms, like at the end of the day, or it's a win-win. But when it comes to buying or selling a home, that's exactly what you want to be doing. Moving forward.

      For the past few years, many people have stuck in their home - or maybe their parent's home - either trying to save money for a down payment, or waiting for home values to rise in order to sell. A wait-and-see mentality kept many people on the sidelines, waiting to make their next move.

      Government shutdowns aside, this happens to be a great time to move forward with your home buying or selling plans. Interest rates are still phenomenally low - 30-year mortgage rates averaged 4.32% for the week ending on 9/26. And it is still cheaper to buy than to rent.

      "These low rates should somewhat offset the house price gains seen the last number of months and keep housing affordability elevated," said Frank Nothaft, chief economist for Freddie Mac.

      ·         Moving forward can mean getting your home cleaned out and fixed up.

      ·         Moving forward can mean getting your pre-approval in hand.

      ·         Moving forward can mean finally calling a REALTOR® to go over comps in your area.

      Sometimes moving forward just means starting. One step in front of the other, until before you know it you're cruising towards your home buying or selling objectives.

      And moving forward, that's a win-win for you.