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We are currently in the process of finishing (hopefully) a 3 family listing in Dorchester, which has had many speed bumps along the way. The owner of the triple decker decided to convert the property into three separate condos, going against the advice that he received from the listing agent. The problem with doing this was that he was therefore, involving many more parties to the buying process than there would be, had he just sold the property as a whole.

Five takeaways from this experience from an outside perspective:

• You need to value your time: Most people do not put a value on their time. Sometimes you need to ask yourself, “is this worth my time” and if your time could be better spent doing something else, then the answer is no. Doing everything yourself isn’t always the best option.
• It is better to hire out the work: Similar to the first takeaway, you hold up the project when you try to do everything yourself. Big picture, it is best to hire a contractor to do all the work. Yes, it is more expensive doing this, but the quality of work should be the best it can be and more importantly, this frees up your TIME.
• Listen to people’s advice: By going against the listing agent’s advice, the owner has added months and months onto the sale of his property. In hindsight, he ultimately admitted that he wished he took the original advice he received and sold the property “as is.”
• Don’t chase extra money: The decision to convert the property to three separate condos was due to the thought that by doing so, the owner could roughly an extra $100,000 off the sale. Even though this will be the end result, the extra six months the project took, along with many other factors, eats into those profits more that you realize until all is said and done.
• Learn from your mistakes: Everyone makes mistakes. The most important thing is that you learn from that mistake and do not make the same one again. Fortunately, the seller acknowledged his mistakes and mentioned that he would do things very differently if this situation arose again.

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Are you in the market to buy, rent or sell property in Brighton? Before you make a move, understanding the local market condition can make all the difference. We’ve outlined below exactly what’s happening with Condos in the area. All these number reflect what’s taken place over the last 6 months.

Condominium Listings
Total Condos SOLD: 93
Average Living Area by Square Feet: 869.96
Average Listing Price: $436,205
Average DOM (Days on Market): 29.59
Average Sales Price: $438,291

Want to get a FREE Sales and Rental Market Report for your specific area(s)? Just send a quick email to
Contact@MandrellCo.com to receive your monthly report. In the title put the words “FREE Boston Sales
Statistics” and in the body, add the up to 3 areas you’d like to receive data for. Your name and email will
be added to the next monthly reporting cycle. It’s that simple to stay up to date and ahead of the curve!
Please call us directly at 617-297-8641, for custom reports or questions above the data provided.

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Solar Panels: Are They A Selling Feature or A Distraction?

Solar panels are the new rage in Massachusetts. As we FINALLY enter the warm summer months, I anticipate a slight rise in the installation of these panels. I’ve seen them more throughout Boston. I feel like I’m approached by new vendors weekly. Everyone is selling it. I think it’s great but I’m a little overwhelmed by the sheer number of vendors out there selling it, I usually ask how many actually use it and then… silence…. on with my day.

For clients interested in purchasing or selling a home with solar panels, it’s all about knowing the lay of the land. At The Mandrell Company, we try to be pro-active to avoid problems that can cause delays in the transaction with some preparation in advance:

Are the panels leased or owned? The first thing we determine is whether you own the panels or lease them from the solar company. If you own the solar panels, then they should be factored into the price of the home just as any other asset/ selling feature would be. 

A solar renewable energy credit (SREC): An SREC is created for every megawatt hour (MWh) of electricity produced by a solar generator. SRECs allow a seller with a solar array to use electricity that is produced by the panels and then separately sell the SREC to a utility company. This is a huge selling feature so if you do not already have this agreement set up, consider setting this up prior. You will want to speak with a SREC broker. If you are part of a ten year SREC Program you may consider selling your future credits through such a broker and we would then value your solar panels based on the energy savings provided. Buyers will want to know what the average annual output of the panels has been so that they can properly value them.

If the panels are leased, you will need to contact the leasing company right away to let them know that you are planning to sell the home. In fact, some solar companies have set up departments specifically to work on lease transfers. The solar company may reference a UCC-1 that has been recorded with the property. A UCC-1 acts as a lien against the solar equipment on the property and is used by the solar companies to protect their interest in the leased panels. These finds should be recorded at your local registry of deeds. It is important to know whether or not a UCC-1 has been recorded with the property because some lenders may have concerns that the UCC-1 will take priority over the mortgage in the event of a bankruptcy. Some companies will remove the UCC-1 filing and then replace it when the new mortgage is recorded.

It is important to remember that a leased solar panel may disqualify some buyers as it may take them over their purchasing power and affect how much they can offer on the property. The buyer’s lender is likely to consider this when making a determination on their loan. 

In the end as the seller, you have two options when dealing with leased solar panels: buy out the lease or transfer the lease to the new buyer.

While solar panels are amazing energy and money saving options, it matters whether they are leased or owned. Leased panels can lower the offers you are presented because the buyer will also have to account for this additional monthly leasing cost with their mortgage and they will also have to qualify for the solar panel loan.

If you need further information. We will be happy to connect you with a solar panel specialist. Contact@mandrellco.com

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What Is Your “Commitment Day” When Purchasing A Home?

Many first time homebuyers are unaware of the timelines and deadlines associated with purchasing a home. They understand the list in that there is a close date on their offer but as real estate professionals we must inform our clients that sometimes, these dates are flexible depending on a few different factors. 

If there are delays in the checklist of items lenders, attorneys, inspectors, appraisers, buyer/seller documentation, then there can be a delay of the closing date in which we would request an extension.

On every offer submitted, we have a mortgage commitment date and a closing date. 

The mortgage commitment date is the date by which the bank says YES, you have truly satisfied all requirements and we are granting you permission to purchase this home. In order to issue a commitment letter, banks need current information on the following items which all have expiration dates as well. Here are 4 items that are good for 90 days, after which you will need to supply new documentation:

  • Income: Pay Stubs
  • Assets: Checking, Savings, Investment, Retirement
  • Credit: Must be re-pulled after 90 days but should not be re-pulled until needed (communicate with loan officer)
  • Appraisal: Good for 120 days before a new appraisal is required

The timing on these documents can create issues.  

If there is any change in employment status, let your loan officer know immediately. This is a MAJOR issue that will need to be addressed so you know what your options are moving forward.

Statements for your assets vary in terms of dissemination. A lot of real estate is about timing. Speak with your loan officer regarding the current statement for your investment and retirement funds. Checking and savings generally comes out monthly.

ALL loan approvals are at risk if the borrower ruins their credit, loses or quits their job or if they spend their down payment money.  This is true whether their Commitment Letter is issued 3 weeks prior to the closing or 3 months. Essentially, we advise our clients not to change anything in their life until the transaction is complete. Do not make any major purchases to alter your credit (I have seen client’s credit score drop as a result of a purchase and the reduced score disqualified them from purchasing. thankfully, the seller was flexible and we were able to extend the dates but this is few and far between)

We hope you found this little tidbit helpful.

As always – if you have questions, thoughts or concerns about the timing of a transaction, give us a call and we will coordinate with your loan officer to walk through the scenario with you to find a solution that is beneficial for everyone. Please feel free to reach out at 617-297-8641 or Contact@mandrellco.com.

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