Blog :: 10-2015

Spotlight: Arlington & Medford Homes of the Week!

Think it's too late to get into the home buying market?? Don't be spooked! We have three wonderful new listings to take the fright out of your night. Note: 490 Appleton is the LAST HOME LEFT at Appleton Farms! Don't delay!

And Halloween is Saturday, "officials advise using good judgment and common sense for the evening." There is probably a costume for that. Check here for details on when and where to trick or treat in Arlington this weekend.

Be safe and have fun!!!

490 Appleton Street, Arlington      

Ready for Winter Occupancy!! Welcome to Appleton Farms! Arlington's newest premier neighborhood offering 3 uniquely designed custom built homes by well-known, local developer. These homes offer extraordinary features and amenities with the highest standards of quality and craftsmanship. Each home will have 9' ceilings on the first level, a huge family room with a fireplace, which is open to the kitchen. The formal size dining room has a double sided fireplace that also opens into the study or home office. There will be custom moldings and trim, French doors, top of the line appliances, NEST thermostats and the garage will be wired for an electric car charger. The homes will offer 4 - 5 bedrooms with 4.5 baths, an open concept designed for entertaining. Terrific outdoor space with large decks and spacious rear yards. Location and layout have modern conveniences in mind! Photos depict model home. (MLS #  71925361) Click here for the full listing

Listed: $1,239,000

What's Nearby: Arlington Center shops and restaurants, Mass. Ave., Menotomy Rocks Park, public transportation, Brackett School.  

 

61 Jerome Street, West Medford

Great opportunity to own a two family home as an investment or to live in West Medford near the commuter rail (one stop to North Station), schools, restaurants, Whole Foods, great parks and all that West Medford has to offer. The first floor apartment is currently rented at $1,500 per month and it's a two bedroom unit with one bathroom. The second floor unit is quite spacious, with two levels of living space, offering 4 large bedrooms and two full bathrooms. The kitchen has some recent updates which include all new appliances in 2015. There is access to a roof top deck from the third floor, overlooking the private yard. This unit would be great as an owner occupied unit, or add to the rental income, and make it a terrific short or long term investment. This location is convenient to Arlington Center, Somerville and Cambridge. You will enjoy the easy access to the Mystic River for boating, bird watching and the natural trails. A wonderful home to own or to plan your retirement! (MLS # 71925539) Click here for the full listing

Listed: $549,000

What's Nearby: West Medford shops and restaurants, Mystic River, The Fells, Whole Foods, Starbucks, Commuter Rail, public transportation, Route 93, Route 60.

 

29 Wildwood Road, Medford

A perfect home for a first time home buyer, someone downsizing from a larger home, or looking to invest in a project. This is a lovely house with lots of charm and character awaiting your updates. This home offers a cozy living room with a fireplace, a formal-sized dining room with a built-in hutch, a country style kitchen and two spacious bedrooms. There is one bedroom on the main level, convenient for the down sizer seeking a first floor master bedroom, and the second bedroom is extremely spacious, located on the second floor and presents great potential. Well cared for over the years and still boasting many of the original features, this home is sure to appeal. Typical in this neighborhood, as well as much of Medford, the driveway and garage are shared. Enjoy your own private rear yard and garden in a terrific neighborhood, which is close to schools, MHS, public transportation, the Commuter Line, parks, playing fields and all that West Medford has to offer! (MLS # 71925496) Click here for the full listing

Listed: $329,000

What's Nearby: Medford shops and restaurants, parks and fields, Whole Foods, Starbucks, Commuter Rail, public transportation, Route 93, Route 60.

 

Spotlight: Arlington & Medford Homes of the Week!

You just cannot beat the location of either of these homes. Nature, public transportation, great school, Starbucks… the list goes on and on. Not to mention these are beautiful homes just waiting for you.

Make sure you swing by The Costume Company so you’re all set for Halloween, and swing by these open houses so you’re all set with a new home by the holidays! 

 

8 Menotomy Rocks Drive, Arlington     

This traditional New England Colonial is located in one of Arlington’s most coveted locations, near Menotomy Rocks Park, the Brackett School and a short distance to Mass Ave. Perfectly situated at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac, this spacious 8-room Colonial sits on an incredible lot and has tremendous potential. The owners have been in the home for more than 6 decades and although it was lovingly cared for, it will require the new owner to shine this diamond in the rough. The first floor features a front to back living room with fireplace, oversized family room, large kitchen, plus a roomy ½ bath. On the second floor there are 4 spacious bedrooms and 2 full baths, one adjoining to the master bedroom. A two car garage connecting into the basement keeps you out of the cold in the winter months. (MLS # 71922679) Click here for the full listing

Listed: $719,000

What’s Nearby: Arlington Center shops and restaurants, Mass. Ave., Menotomy Rocks Park, public transportation, Brackett School.  

48 Mystic Street, Medford

 

Don't miss this terrific West Medford Garrison Colonial on a tree lined street, just around the corner from the Brooks School, Whole Foods/Starbucks and close to the Commuter Rail, one stop to North Station, shops, restaurants and all that West Medford Square has to offer. This lovely home is move in ready and freshly painted, with an updated kitchen, granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances. The kitchen opens to a terrific family room with built in shelves, lots of windows and great light. The first floor also has a formal dining room and a gracious fireplaced living room. You will love the sizable master bedroom with master bath and two large closets. Two additional bedrooms and a bath on the second floor provide ample space. The third floor offers a great fourth bedroom, guest space, home office or hang out space for kids. The basement has a finished play room with fireplace, a full bath with jacuzzi tub and a separate office for privacy and quiet. Great yard, great home!! (MLS # 71922685) Click here for the full listing

Listed: $699,000

What’s Nearby: West Medford shops and restaurants, Whole Foods, Starbucks, Commuter Rail, public transportation, Route 93, Route 60.

This Home Will Sell Itself

It is a common thought among would-be home sellers in areas where inventory is low and homes are moving fast: This home will sell itself.

  • Why bother hiring a REALTOR® and pay a commission when I can do it myself?
  • There’s no need to make the effort to stage it…
  • I don’t need to fix that roof/walkway/leaky faucet…
  • I’ll just accept the highest offer and be done…

The top reasons people choose not to FSBO (For Sale By Owner) and use a real estate professional include the three P’s: Price, Process and Peace-of-Mind. The complexity of real estate transactions is increasing – think mortgages, interest rates, real estate regulations and fluctuating markets where one misstep can put you in all kinds of trouble - legal, financial and emotional, if you include the stress factor.  

For example, how well versed are you on the new TILA RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rule which went into effect on October 3rd? “This massive rule weighs in at nearly 2,000 pages and impacts all businesses that touch a residential mortgage, as well as homebuyers,” according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Just a little late night reading, no big deal.

People also underestimate the emotional aspect of the home sale. Your home comes with many memories and personal pride. It can be very difficult to be unbiased and objective when negotiating with inspectors, appraisers and home buyers – and this can end up costing you.

There are YouTube videos on how to build your own home and you could do that too if you really wanted to. But there is a point where it is not worth the time and effort to do something that someone else already knows how to do (and likely better than you).

Before you think that your home will sell itself, consider the details that go into a successful home sale:

  • Negotiating with buyers, bank appraisers, lawyers, inspectors, loan officers, etc.
  • Preparing the home to sell
  • Understanding the market and demographics
  • Pricing it right for the current pool of buyers

Of course you can sell your home on your own – anyone can put a 'For Sale' sign on their lawn. But just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

Tailgate Open House at Appleton Farms

Are you ready for some football - and real estate?! Here's your ticket to Sunday Funday at Appleton Farms in Arlington. Join us for a tailgate open house with food, fun and raffles. Grab your #12 jersey and come on down.

488 Appleton Farms

Welcome to Appleton Farms! Arlington's newest premier neighborhood offering 3 uniquely designed custom built homes by well-known, local developer. These homes will offer extraordinary features and amenities with the highest standards of quality and craftsmanship. Each home will have 9' ceilings on the first level, a huge family room with a fireplace, which is open to the kitchen. The formal size dining room has a double sided fireplace that also opens into the study or home office. There will be custom moldings and trim, French doors, top of the line appliances, NEST thermostats and the garage will be wired for an electric car charger. The homes will offer 4 - 5 bedrooms with 4.5 baths, an open concept designed for entertaining. Terrific outdoor space with large decks and spacious rear yards. Location and layout have modern conveniences in mind!

In Your Best Interest

There are lots of things that are in your best interest when it comes to buying or selling a home (understanding mortgage interest rates are just the beginning).

The tactics that worked for your neighbor when they sold their home may not work for you… what’s trending for buyers on the national level may not be playing out in your backyard…. the ‘best’ time to buy or sell may not be ‘best' for you….

While it’s important to know what works on a high level, it’s even more critical to know what’s going to work for you. When it comes to real estate advice, diving in at the local level will open doors and enable closings.

Here are a few things that are in your best interest when it comes to understanding real estate:

  • Make a List. Not a mental list. But an actual written or typed out list that outlines your must have’s and no-can-do’s.
  • Become Educated. No one knows what you want better than you. It is important to have a baseline understanding of the home buying/selling process so you can work toward attaining those goals.
  • Understand the Mortgage/Lending Process. How much can you put down vs. how much should you put down? Where are interest rates now and where are they going? These are important concepts to understand up front.
  • Understand Your Finances. Money in, money out. Know how much debt you can handle and how much will leave you feeling house-broke (see #1).
  • Find a REALTOR® (and check references). Sure you could go it alone, or go with a family friend. But when it comes to the biggest investment of your life, you want unbiased expert advice from the best.
  • Look at the Big Picture. Are you in a transient place in life, or are you in this for the long haul? How you approach a real estate transaction should come with both short-term and long-term analysis and expectations.

Financial experts on talk shows can have excellent insights and tips to manage your money. But most people would turn to a certified Financial Advisor to plan major investments, retirement, and savings strategies to suit personal needs.

You may read the New York Times or the Boston Globe for certain news and information, but if you want to know what's going on around town, you might turn to the Arlington Patch or The Advocate.

This idea goes for a real estate as well. It’s great to check out Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com for nation-wide or even state-wide trends, including job growth, foreclosure rates, interest rates, etc.

But you want detail information on public transportation, school rankings, median home prices, single-family home sales, and the variety of services and amenities available not just by town, but by neighborhood as well.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to real estate. It requires a strategy that takes into consideration your best interest first and foremost.

 

Image via: DollarPhotoClub, Swapan

What You Don't Get

When researching a REALTOR® to represent your home listing, you'll usually get a list of benefits and services provided. Sometimes these can sound repetitive or even trite (Local expert! Professional service! We sell your home fast!). This can make it difficult to understand what sets an exceptional real estate professional apart from an average one.  

As always, we like to think about things a little bit differently. So while it's important to know what you're getting from your real estate professional, it's equally important to understand what you're NOT getting.

Here is the short list of what you should NOT get from your REALTOR®:

Stressed. This is probably one of the top reasons people delay or put off selling a home. It's a lot of work and it can be very stressful.

You get a lot of things from a REALTOR®, but stressed shouldn't be one of them.  REALTORs® are the shock absorbers of the home sale. Any bumps in the road are handled and managed by us. Appraiser running late? Need to get ready for an unexpected showing? Buyers dragging their feet on financing? These things happen. It is just the nature of the process. While we can't prevent the unexpected, we can plan for it. A good REALTOR® is there to smooth over the home-selling bumps and minimize the stress.

Stumped. There are just so many moving parts to preparing and listing a home that managing the details can quickly become overwhelming. How do you know where to begin? Or what to do next and when? A  REALTOR® should be so good at juggling tasks and to-do's that they could join the circus. And like a good ringmaster - a REALTOR® is center circle, making sure everything is coordinated, negotiated, planned, posted and advertised so you just need sit back, enjoy the show, and await the offers. 

Second-rate service. There is a reason a great REALTOR® continues to have clients refer friends and family - it's because they must give 100% attention and effort to Every. Single. Customer. On the flip side, you should never be 'passed off' or pushed aside. From a million dollar listing to a one bedroom condo - everyone deserves and receives the utmost time and attention.

Stuck. You've decided to sell your home but now what? Whether you're working two jobs or raising two kids, people are busy these days and the last thing anyone needs is another to-do list. Who will put a fresh coat of paint on the walls? Who will fix that broken window pane? Who will clean it? Who will to stage it so it sells fast? A REALTOR® should - or at least they should have a network of trusted vendors and service providers to help get the job done.

And finally, local expertise matters. You wouldn't want someone from New Jersey to come and tell you how best to get from Arlington to Downtown Crossing. Please! You also wouldn't want someone from Newton, or Peabody or Waltham telling you how best to sell your Arlington home.  Knowing the ins and outs of a town - including the pool of buyers that's shopping around - comes from being ingrained in the community day in and day out.

Still think you don't have to do your homework to find a qualified REALTOR®? Just remember, what you see on the surface can be pretty straightforward (and typical). But dig a little deeper and realize that what you don't get from your REALTOR® is what can separate the best from the rest.

Steve McKenna & The Home Advantage Team aren't in the real estate business to make a quick buck, or to use it as a stepping stone for their next career move. Year after year of proven results and happy clients are what continue to make us Arlington's #1 real estate team.

 

 

Image via: DollarPhotoClub, Marek

Downsizing a Hot Topic in Greater Boston

 

Many thanks to everyone who came out to our seminar, ‘Planning for Your Future,’ including our guest speakers – Attorney Carl Toumayan, Allyson Kreycik, Senior Loan Officer, and Peter Boari, CPA.

Downsizing is a topic that is impacts a large (and growing) community in Greater Boston. Baby Boomers and their families are quickly realizing that downsizing in a competitive real estate market is more complicated than it appears.

There are so many variables today that it is nearly impossible to go it alone – selling your current home, buying a home to fit your current and future needs, estate planning, tax implications, financial strategies….

Planning for your future starts with you, but it continues with the help from a team of experts who can get you to where you want to be down the road.  

Ready to get the ball rolling? Call us today: 781-645-0505.

Or, if you missed this seminar but you are interested in attending one in the future, please sign up to receive information on upcoming events in your area. Email: info@yourhomeforsale.com

 

 

 

Spotlight: Arlington & Winchester Homes of the Week!

Fingers crossed that Joaquin continues to move out to sea. In the meantime, this post shows that humor moves faster than a speeding Joaquin.

If you are a fan of all things real estate like us, then you will definitely want to catch The Property Brothers in Framingham on Sunday, October 4th from 1-3 p.m. Drew and Jonathan are in town to open the long-awaited grand opening of the new Cost Plus World Market.

While you might need to dodge a few rain drops this weekend, you don't miss these two amazing new listings - each with their own style, space and something for everyone!

See you on the open house circuit!

 

33 Edgehill Road, Arlington     

Extremely spacious 10 room Colonial, featuring a partially open floor plan, 3 plus bedrooms, and a spacious yard all residing on a tree lined street close to the Bishop School. The first floor features an open living area of kitchen and dining room, plus connecting living room with fireplace, making it perfect for entertaining, as well as a den and 1/2 bath. The second floor features a master bedroom suite with private bath, as well as an additional full bath, and two bedrooms, one leading up to the third floor. Vaulted ceilings and skylights fill the third floor with natural light, making it an ideal teen suite, or 4th bedroom. The lower level hosts a finished family room, playroom with full bath. Close to Arlington Center, Minuteman Bike Path and public transportation this house has something for everyone. (MLS # 71913248) Click here for the full listing

Listed: $869,000

What's Nearby: Arlington Center shops and restaurants, Mass. Ave., Minuteman Bikeway, public transportation, Route 60, Bishop School.  

 

93 Thornberry Road, Winchester

Location, location, location! This lovely, privately situated home, nestled in a terrific Winchester neighborhood, is close to the new Vinson-Owen School, the Winchester Swim and Tennis Club, Wright Locke Farm and all that Winchester has to offer. The location, long appreciated for its easy access to Lexington, Arlington and Burlington, make this home a commuter's dream. Offering over 4700 SF, with a retro vibe and an openness typically found in newer construction, this solid custom built lovingly maintained home, awaits your updates and vision. You will find a place for everything, and everyone, in this 9 room, 6 bed, 4 bath home with ample parking. Situated on a large, nearly half acre, natural lot, enjoy the sound of the birds and the wind whistling through the trees. Perfect for multi-generational living, with plenty of space to work from home, accommodate guests, extended family or an au-pair suite. This home has everything for everyone at a great price and should not be missed! (MLS # 71913107) Click here for the full listing

Listed: $985,000

What's Nearby: Winchester shops and restaurants, Route 3, Winchester Swim & Tennis Club, Wright Locke Farm, Vinson-Owen School.