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Fannie Mae owns foreclosed properties all over the city of Boston, which they attempt to sell as quickly as possible to “minimize the impact” on the respective neighborhoods. Buying one of these foreclosed homes can be a great opportunity for first-time buyers as well as rental property investors. Each of these Fannie Mae homes can be purchased with bank financing or through one of Fannie Mae’s “Home Path” special financing programs. These special mortgage programs include low down payments, no mortgage insurance, and you may even qualify with less than perfect credit. The “Home Path Renovation Mortgage” also allows funds to be borrowed for light renovations in addition to the home purchase. Both of these special financing programs are also offered to owner occupants as well as investors.

You can identify properties available for Home Path financing by the Home Path logo displayed within the homes marketing materials. You may also search your desired area for available Fannie Mae foreclosed properties by visiting www.homepath.com/
 
For a list of foreclosed homes in your selected neighborhoods, email Willie@AtHomeBoston.com or call 617-297-8641. 
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If you’re currently in the market to buy and you can take the time to do a little research you can often find government buying incentives available to you. The federal and local Mass governments often have special programs that assist low income buyers, seniors, as well as first time home buyers in their home purchase. These buying incentives range from down payment assistance to financing opportunities with special interest rates. There are also many programs for real estate investors & developers if you’re willing to buy within certain areas of the city, rehab older structures, or provide housing to low income renters. During your search for financing you should also be searching for financial incentives that may be available to you. You can ask your Realtor for help discovering these programs but can also do some searching on your own. It’s also a good idea to work with a local bank loan officer familiar with programs for buyers in your particular area. The following are a few good websites to start your search:

Housing & Urban Development

http://www.hud.gov/local/index.cfm?state=ma&topic=homeownership

Mass Housing

https://www.masshousing.com/

The City of Boston – Housing

http://www.cityofboston.gov/residents/housingAndProperty.asp

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As the old saying goes, real estate is all about location, location, location.  But, there is a lot more to it than just plain geography when it comes to finding your perfect home. There are a lot of things to consider during the search because, for most, a home is the most significant purchase they will ever make.

When searching for your perfect home, the obvious place to start is with the selection of a location.  If you have children, you may want to choose a home that is close to good schools and is also located in a family-oriented neighborhood.  Many people also look for a home that offers a short commute to and from work.  If you are shopping within a specific price range, you can also narrow the choices by finding an area that offers the best value for your dollar.

The perfect home for you is one that has all of the elements that you want.  Whether it’s a garage, basement, extra bedroom or bath, a large kitchen, fireplace or open floor plan, choosing the style of home that you want is an important first step in finding the perfect place to hang your hat.  You may also want to consider whether you prefer a single-level or two-story home.  Many home buyers also factor in floor plans when searching for a house, including those that offer an open and flowing design.

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Here are a couple great Dorchester multifamily rehab projects getting ready to hit the market! Both are going to be listed at $280,000 and both need a good amount of work. Could be a great long-term investments for the right person. Call Willie for more details. 617-297-8641. Here’s your chance to get them before the hit the competition!

 

Not interested in these? Call or email me and tell me what you are looking for! I’m always working with many multifamily seller’s in the Boston area and I could have the perfect property for you. 

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Understanding the true condition of your home prior to selling can obviously help you make an accurate evaluation of your property’s worth. Home inspections are traditionally done by the buyer once a sales contract is in place, but can also be done by the seller before the property is listed. A professional home inspection can allow the seller to identify and fix any problems before the home is under contract.

Often there certain repairs that may be missed by a homeowner but brought to light during a professional home inspection. There are also some cases where repairs or upgrades must be done according to local laws. This is especially true when dealing with Boston’s older stock of homes. A good home inspector will help you discover these repairs and avoid any them from slowing down or breaking up a sale.

It’s always better to know the true condition of your home prior to determining your listing price. If a pre-listing inspection is not done, and an issue arises during a buyer inspection, it can put the sale on hold or at risk if the buyer determines it is something of significance. By taking a proactive approach and getting an inspection, you can identify and make any repairs ahead of time, saving yourself headache and possibly preventing a qualified buyer from walking away during from a contract You will also make a better first impression with buyers when you have the property in top shape prior to their first visit. 

Though making repairs may sometimes seem like an unnecessary expense, these repairs, especially to the kitchens and bathrooms can really help you increase your selling price as well as assist in the speed of the sale. Many home sellers that are very familiar with the needed repairs in their property but have chosen to avoid them for various reasons. Once you’ve made the decision to sell, you can no longer afford to put off these chores.

Take your home inspection report combined with your knowledge of the property, and create a written list of what repairs must be done vs. those that could be done. Preference should obviously be taken to those repairs that must be done and only once those improvements have been made should you consider any other work. Your Realtor can also help you uncover quick and inexpensive improvements that could be done before the home is listed and may also be able to put you in contact with good local contractors.

Not every home needs to be in mint condition to sell, but many times these small improvements will help you justify a higher asking price and gain an edge over the competition.  

 
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If you’re just getting started in the world of income producing property, here are 3 investment concepts you must become familiar with.

The first is NOI or Net Operating Income. NOI is the amount of net income (after expenses) the property is producing on an annual basis. NOI is calculated by taking the gross rental income and subtracting the property’s annual operating cost. The gross income is the total rents collected plus any other income from laundry, parking, storage or other misc. sources. Your expenses are all the cost associated with maintaining the property on an annual basis, including taxes and insurance. Your mortgage payments (principal and interest) are not included as expenses in the NOI formula. Your mortgage payments are known as “debt service” and will change from investor to investor due to differing down payment amounts, interest rates, and loan terms.  

Understanding your property’s NOI is crucial to the calculation of our next investment term,…the “cap rate”.  Cap-rates are used to determine the value of an income producing property and are found by dividing the net operating income by the property’s cost. The cap rate is great for comparing the value of one income property to another.

Typically any cap rate above 7 percent is considered a good investment, but obviously the higher the rate the better. As an interested buyer searching for properties, you should set a cap rate minimum based on what’s typically achieved for your area. Generally, the riskier the investments the higher the expected return …or rate. Higher cap rates are expected on older home and in less desirable areas.

ROI (return on investment) measures the annual return on the initial capital you invested. Your initial investment includes your down payment, closing cost, initial improvements and any other initial out of pocket cost associated with the property purchase. The calculation of ROI is slightly more complex than other financial measures and should be calculated using a reliable computer program or financial calculator.  ROI allows you to compare income producing property to other investment assets (stocks, bond, or alternative investments) and determine whether your money is invested in its highest and best use. 

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When it comes to buying a home, having bad credit is not the end of the world. Whether you have suffered from a bankruptcy, foreclosure or some type of financial hardship that resulted in late or missed payments, there are lenders who specialize in financing for those with less-than-perfect credit. You will likely have to produce a larger down payment and/or pay higher interest rates than someone who has good credit, but the important thing to know is that buying a home is an option for you.

Even if you have bad credit, it’s important to check your credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies – TransUnion, Equifax and Experian – before applying for a loan.  If anything is inaccurate, file a dispute with the reporting agency and request a correction.  You can request a free copy of your credit report every 12 months.

In addition to correcting any inaccuracies on your credit report, it’s important that you know what can help or hurt your chances of obtaining a loan.  You can start improving your credit by avoiding the temptation to apply for new credit right before submitting a mortgage application. Multiple inquiries will cause your FICO score to drop, and lenders will rely on this information when deciding whether or not to issue your loan and how to calculate your interest rates. 

If you have any questions or want more information about how to obtain or improve your credit score, please give me a call at 617-297-8641, and I would be happy to work with you. 

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Buying a single family home is about personal preference and necessity more than anything else. You buy based on what you like and what you and your family have a need for. The typical multifamily investor is not concerned personal preference, but more about the return on investment the property will produce. Cash flow investors consider what the property cost versus what the property can produce in rental income. If you are new to multifamily investing, here is a quick overview of what the your average investor considers before making the commitment to purchase.

Evaluate Your Rental Income:

The amount of income you can generate from a particular property should be one of your primary concerns. Whether you are purchasing a 2 family home or a 20 unit apartment building, the total rental income that the property can produce will be a major factor in how that property matches up to others you’ve seen. You will want to have a clear understanding of market rents in your area and if possible, the specific rental history for the property you are buying.

Evaluate Your Rental Expense:

Understanding the expenses of a prospective property is just as important as your knowledge of the income being produced. Your property may be generating a terrific amount of income but actually losing money, due to operating costs that are out of control. When evaluating properties to purchase take note of the operating expenses of each and how they compare to other properties. Insurance, property taxes, utilities, and general maintenance costs are some of the expense items you should become familiar with. You will also want to know whether the utilities are shared throughout the home or if the tenants are responsible for paying their own.

Remember It’s A Business:

The income property business can be a time consuming, but ultimately a very rewarding venture. Whether you plan to buy an income property as an investment or as your primary residence, it is important to recognize that you will be running a business. Tenants, passive income, rental expenses, and certain tax issues are among the concerns of multi-family owners. You should become familiar with your responsibilities as a landlord and business owner if you want your rental business to succeed. Like any business, the effort you put in and the knowledge you obtain will ultimately determine the success you achieve.

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 Knowing the true condition of your investment property can help you make an accurate evaluation of your property’s worth. Home inspections are traditionally done by the buyer once a sales contract is in place, but can also be done by the seller before the property is listed. A professional home inspection can allow the seller to identify and fix any problems before the home is under contract.

Often there certain repairs that may be missed by a homeowner but brought to light during a professional home inspection. There are also some cases where repairs or upgrades must be done according to local laws. This is especially true when dealing with Boston’s older stock of multi-family homes and the city’s landlord–tenant laws, which are always changing. A good home inspector will help you discover these repairs and avoid any them from slowing down or breaking the sale.

It’s always better to know the true condition of your home prior to determining your listing price. If a pre-listing inspection is not done, and an issue arises during a buyer inspection, it can put the sale on hold or at risk if the buyer determines it’s of significance. By taking a proactive approach and getting an inspection, you can identify and make any repairs ahead of time, saving yourself headache and possibly preventing a qualified buyer from walking away during from a contract. You will also make a better first impression with buyers when you have the property in top shape prior to their visiting.

Though making repairs may sometimes seem like an unnecessary expense, these repairs, especially to the kitchens and bathrooms can really help you increase your selling price as well as assist in the speed of the sale. You may be one of many sellers that are very familiar with the needed repairs in their property but have chosen to avoid them for various reasons. Once you’ve made the decision to sell, you can no longer afford to put off these chores.

Take your home inspection report combined with your knowledge of the property, and create a written list of what repairs must be done vs. those that could be done. Preference should obviously be taken to those repairs that must be done and only once those improvements have been made should you consider any other work. Your Realtor can also help you uncover quick and inexpensive improvements that could be done before the home is listed and may also be able to put you in contact with good local contractors.

Not every home needs to be in mint condition to sell, but many times these small improvements will help you justify a higher asking price and gain an edge over the competition. If you are assuming at least one or more units will be owner occupied, be sure that that particular unit is in “move in condition”. For many buyers your multi-family home will be there primary residence as well as an investment. They will look closely at the unit where they are to live and you will want them to like what they see. Buyers will also assume that the others rental units will be in similar condition to the “owner unit”.

Interested in Selling your Property? Just want to know what it’s worth? For a no obligation market analysis, call 617-297-8641 or email Willie@MandrellCo.com

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Stunning renovations done in this classic 2 family charmer. The attic and basement have both converted to terrific living space and both areas are private to the owners! Gleaming hardwood floors, original moldings and 2 working fireplaces are just some of the features. This house sits on a beautiful .25 acres lot and has a nice single family feel to it. The owners unit has 5 total bedrooms, 3 baths and both living and dining rooms …with a total of over 2000 square feet!. A 2 car garage, coin op laundry machines and additional storage in the basement are just some of the extra features included with this homes. To view more photos visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNK6jExOUp0

For a sneak peek call Willie Mandrell 617-297-8641 or email Willie@MandrellCo.com

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Here are a couple great multifamily deals a short way from Boston. Take a look! 

159 Independence Ave, Quincy MA 02169  $399

Nicely updated 2 family waiting for new owner. Mins to Quincy Center, shops in Braintree/ South Shore Plaza. Off St Parking for 4. House on 230 Bus Line. 1 Min from 93 N/S & Rte3. Private backyard. 1st floor tenant paying 1300. Upper 3 bed unit for owner! Wash/dry hookup in bsmnt. New hot water tanks and gas furnaces. Hardwood flooring throughout. All new vinyl windows. Updated kitchens/ baths. Don’t miss out on this one! Multifamily prices and rents are headed upward! 

 

1125 Chestnut Street, Newton MA 02464  $789

Very rare chance to own a multifamily like this in Newton! Great opportunity for owner occupant or investor. Over $5000 in total rents collected every month with a strong rental history! This is a very well cared for property with coin op laundry and plenty of off street parking. House sits on a large corner lot and allows easy access to public transportation and the center of town. The multifamily market is hot and rents are on the rise. Don’t miss out!

 

Have questions? Interested in scheduling a showing? Call Willie Mandrell at 617-297-8641 

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If you’ve been thinking about buying your first home or considering an investment in real estate, now may be a good time to purchase a local multi-family home. With depressed real estate prices, historically low mortgage rates, and an increased demand for rental units, the current real estate market has created a perfect storm for new landlord.
 
Over the last year the Boston rental market has experienced a huge jump in demand. Boston landlords are achieving higher rents, while also experiencing less vacancy time. According to MLS Pin, at this time last year the average Boston apartment in was renting for $2,232 vs. a current day asking price of $2,679. That’s a $447 difference and nearly a 20% increase. The number of days apartment rentals are staying vacant has also been cut down significantly. Our current average rental unit DOM (days on market) is approximately 41 days, compared to 58 days this time last year. Not only are Boston rentals bringing in more income, but they are bringing in tenants on an average of 17 days sooner.
 
I regularly speak with many would be buyers that are sitting on the side lines in this great buyers market. These buyers seem to be waiting for national headlines to tell them that it’s ok to buy a home again. Savvy buyers and investors understand that real estate trends, and therefore values, are local in nature and not necessarily affected by what happens on the national stage. Make sure you are one of these buyers and educate yourself on what’s happening locally. For income producing property you also want to look at the cash flow being produced. Stronger rents typically mean stronger cash flow and therefore stronger home values.
 
When you see rents on the rise, DOM slimming down and combine those factors with the fact that Boston has always been a great place to live, it’s hard to produce a good reason why now wouldn’t be a great time to be a local landlord.
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Realtor.com contacted me this past week asking me to contribute to a couple articles the site was writing about investing in neighborhoods with big college crowds. They were looking for Realtors in a few different cities to write about their experience dealing with investors of college apartments. Below are a few of the questions they asked and my responses. 
 
1) Have you had a client who is an investor buy in your market because of the potential renters from the university?
Absolutely. Anyone that knows Boston knows this is a huge college town. From Harvard and Northeastern to BC and BU…we have some of the best, if not the best schools in the country. With this many colleges we will always have a high demand for apartment rentals and many investors understand this. They know that you can charge a premium for apartments in many centrally located areas of Boston. Students aren’t going to stop coming to school here, so there will always be a great demand for housing. 
 
2) Have you sold a home for a client to an investor who intended to rent the property to students?
Yes. The buyer didn’t specifically say that he intended to but there was no need. We have a few areas of the city that are notorious for college rentals. There are so many college students in these particular areas that he wouldn’t have a choice but to rent to them.
 
3) Have you had any clients who are parents that brought a property for their college student to live in with roommates?
Yes. I’ve had parents of students get frustrated with the huge price tag on some of the rentals here and found that it made more sense to buy a condo for their children. Most recently I worked with a Boston University student and her parents who bought a purchased a 2 bedroom condo in South Boston. She was starting her freshman year and had a brother two years behind her in school. He knew he would be applying to several schools in Boston as well when he finished high school. Their parents figured rather than paying for 8 total years of dorming or to deal with increasing rents, that they would buy and the kids could share it while they where in school. The older sister is currently living with a couple of roommate until her brother makes his way to Boston. The rents they are receiving from the roommates are off-setting a good portion of the mortgage expense. I think this was an excellent move for their particular situation. 
 
4) Any other thoughts on your market as a place for investors to buy because of the university (ies) there?
Boston is a great city and our colleges aren’t going anywhere. If you’re looking for a great buy and hold investment, purchasing a multifamily home here is a great choice. You don’t necessarily need to be next door to one of the school…we have a terrific public transportation system and you can be almost anywhere within 30 minutes.
I would suggest buyers have a long-term timeline to justify the premium they are going to pay for these buildings. Potential buyers also need to have their financing lined up and be ready to make a move. These properties don’t become available on a regular basis, so to catch a deal you have to do your homework and be ready to make a move when the opportunity presents itself. Boston also has one of the lowest vacancy rates in the country and our schools have a lot to do wit that. 
 
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