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

Single Family Listings
Total Homes SOLD: 10
Average Living Area by Square Feet: 1,540.70
Average Listing Price: $430,460
Average DOM (Days on Market):  62.30
Average Sales Price: $414,100

Condominium Listings
Total Condos SOLD: 53
Average Living Area by Square Feet: 980.87
Average Listing Price: $357,845
Average DOM (Days on Market): 51.49
Average Sales Price: $356,586

Multifamily Listings
Total Multifamily Buildings SOLD: 36
Average Living Area by Square Feet: 2,602.06
Average Listing Price: $609,300
Average DOM (Days on Market): 64.14
Average Sales Price: $599,417

Rental Stats
Average Rent for 1 Bedroom Units: $0
Average Rent for 2 Bedroom Units: $$1,881
Average Rent for 3 Bedroom Units: $2,330
Average Rent for 4 Bedroom Units: $2,650

 

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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I have a confession to make, I was once a huge fan of real estate reality TV, house hunters, all the DIY shows but I’ve come to realize they paint a false picture for homebuyers.

If you’re a real estate newbie devoted to “House Hunters” or “Buying Alaska,” you may be left with some very wrong impressions about how the house searching and buying process really works. On TV, it seems that as soon as the idea of buying a home crosses someone’s mind—whether they’re a property virgin, serial home buyer, or any combination that a real estate agent swoops in and immediately, you find the home of your dreams! While I wish it were that simple, the process is a little more detailed than what they show you. 

In fact, 42% of all buyers and 38% of millennials say their first step in the home-buying process is looking for properties online. They utilize sites as Zillow or Trulia to begin their preliminary research. Contacting a real estate agent is next on that list. Buyers reported taking a median of two weeks as they are searching before contacting an agent. For millennials, the median was three weeks.

Moreover, websites are used throughout the process by 89% of buyers and 93% of millennials. Indeed, 71% of millennials are specifically using phones or tablets to access data during the process.This may not add up to compelling reality television, but it is actual reality.

What gets me roweled up is that  on TV, the TV camera-ready house hunters look only at the magic number of three houses before finding their perfect place. Every time! In real life, buyers look at a median of 10. Depending on your market and your budget this number can vary quite a bit. In Boston, the problem in our spring and summer markets is low inventory with a ridiculous amount of buyers. Homes are sold for well over asking in most cases due to bidding wars. They never show this on House Hunters but it is a reality in our market.

Let me tell you: Three houses just wouldn’t cut it. From my personal experience, I can attest that it is nearly impossible to grasp what is most important to you in a new home, and how to value the various trade-offs, without having real, honest-to-God examples in front of you. And there will be trade-offs: No two homes are alike, and what is available for sale at any given time is typically a subset of the features most buyers think are important. Your best chance to get your dream home within one of the 1st three homes viewed would be new construction or a home you customized yourself. 

You might think that being in a specific neighborhood, or having an open floor plan, or having the latest appliances seem most important—but when you actually walk through homes in various conditions, at differing prices, in a mix of locations and styles, suddenly you realize it isn’t so simple. Not even close.

Using a real estate agent is invaluable, especially in the Boston market because the process is complex, and buyers don’t want to make mistakes in what is likely the biggest purchase they’ve ever made. Your Real Estate Agent can walk you through the process, negotiate better terms on your behalf and provide feedback and draw attention to warning signs etc. highlight features or faults to a property and generally has a huge network of quality service providers to make the process less stressful.

In other words, it’s not about finding a home. It’s about finding the right home, making a good decision, navigating the entire process, and getting a good deal. And if you’re looking to buy a home, you’ve started in the right place here at The Mandrell Company.

We work with buyers and sellers throughout New England and our agents are trained to help you find the right home at the right price.

CONTACT US TODAY

WE WOULD LOVE TO ASSIST IN MAKING YOUR DREAM COME TRUE!

 

 

Source: Realtor.com
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Are you in the market to buy, rent or sell property in Hyde Park? Before you make a move, understanding the local market condition can make all the difference. We’ve outlined below exactly what’s happening with Single Family, Multifamily, Condos and Rentals in the area. All these number reflect what’s taken place over the last 6 months.

Single Family Listings
Total Homes SOLD: 55
Average Living Area by Square Feet: 1,682.43
Average Listing Price: $381,615
Average DOM (Days on Market): 75.85
Average Sales Price: $375,956

Condominium Listings
Total Condos SOLD: 13
Average Living Area by Square Feet: 1,233.08
Average Listing Price: $265,515
Average DOM (Days on Market):   75.23
Average Sales Price: $254,962

Multifamily Listings
Total Multifamily Buildings SOLD: 24
Average Living Area by Square Feet: 2,790.71
Average Listing Price: $484,217
Average DOM (Days on Market):  89.17
Average Sales Price: $475,537

Rental Stats
Average Rent for 1 Bedroom Units: $1,175
Average Rent for 2 Bedroom Units: $1,598
Average Rent for 3 Bedroom Units: $1,907
Average Rent for 4 Bedroom Units: $2,200

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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Sell for profit or rent

If you’re in the business of rehabilitating old properties, you may find yourself faced with a choice: is it really the best idea to sell the property off immediately, or should you offer it as a rental property instead? Boston is a unique market which offers benefits for both options depending on your goal. Each option has a number of advantages and disadvantages, and which choice is better depends on a lot of factors:

Time

If the economy is trending downwards and unemployment is trending up, chances are good that fewer people will have the money and economic security to make a major real estate purchase. During an downturn,  the number of people renting instead of buying will increase. Conversely, a strong economy with low unemployment will see more people looking to buy. With interest rates still at the lowest we’ve seen, gas prices still reasonable, coupled with Boston’s great job market… more people are taking the plunge.

Location

Neighborhoods determine the price range for a house and how those houses are used. A property close to a college campus (Boston College, Boston University, Northeastern University) is an excellent site for a rental. A property with a strong neighborhood association, good schools and more family oriented will likely attract more interested buyers than interested renters (Roslindale, Jamaica Plain, Newton, Dedham ).

Costs And Profits

The biggest upside to renting is the fact that you can use a rental property to give yourself a consistent income so long as you can keep all the units full. On the other hand, you’ll also be on the hook for the initial loan and all the other costs of ownership: property taxes, utilities, insurance, and the repair and replacement of major appliances and the building itself. Your funding source has a huge part to do with which option will work best for you. If you utilized hard money and purchased high… it may be imperative you sell because the cost of carrying the note will be detrimental to your business.

While tenants can cover most of the cost, if you are not making a profit at the end of the day… it does not make sense to utilize the property as a rental. If you’ve gone over budget in every aspect of your rehab and you will be at a loss if you were to sell it… maybe it’s time to consider renting it out IF the rents can cover all costs associated with maintaining the property. You should always strive to have good credit so you can refinance out of your funding source into something more traditional.

 source: HardMoneyMan
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Boston real estate is determined by supply and demand. There is a high demand for housing in our city due to our world renowned universities and hospitals. As long as there is a high demand for housing and the supply is limited… prices will continue to rise. We have a finite amount of land so developers are forced to be creative and build upwards or convert multi-families into individual condominiums.

Interest rates are relatively low so there are more buyers on the market so the competition is heavy

Price increases when you have multiple people applying for the same property. If you want an apartment or a house, you will increase your offer price to ensure you beat the competition.

 

In short, prices will continue to rise until supply meets demands.

For more information on the Boston Market or to connect with one of our agents please call 617-297-8641 or email us at contact@Mandrellco.com

 

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7 Home Buying Myths Resolved

 

7 Home Buying Myths Resolved

MYTH: I need an excellent credit score to buy a home

FACT: You do not need excellent credit, you can purchase a home with a 600 credit score. To take advantage of better lending opportunities you should aim to have a credit score in the 700s or higher.

 

MYTH: I need to earn a ton of money to buy a home

FACT: You do not need to make a ton of money. You need to think strategically. Better housing options are available with higher income but if you make around $40,000/yr and purchase a multifamily, you could afford a much larger mortgage payment because your tenants are helping pay down your debt and their rent counts as additional income.

 

MYTH: I need to have a big down payment to buy a home

FACT: Typically, lenders want to see you have more money to put toward a down payment. FHA and Mass Housing allow for 3.5% and 3% down. There are also a few programs that provide down payment assistance.

 

MYTH: I’m more stable if I continue to rent versus buying

FACT: When you own, you control your payments, while taxes may increase, it is not a substantial increase and you have time to prepare. When you rent, you have no control over how much your rent will increased over time. If you had a great deal and your landlord realizes he could receive more money…once your lease term is over, he can increase your rent to the market rate. 

MYTH: I need to live there until the mortgage is paid off

FACT: You do not need to live in the house for the life of the mortgage. You can purchase a home and rent it out one year later OR if the market appreciates, you can sell it within a couple years and cash out on all the equity. You can sell at any time.

MYTH:I should spend the maximum amount allowed

FACT: When you get pre-approved, you get a maximum amount to purchase a home. This does not mean you purchase a home at this price. Common sense says, look at your budget and purchase a home based on what you can afford on a monthly basis. 

MYTH: Buying is always better than renting

FACT: We try to encourage home ownership but it is NOT always beneficial depending on your situation. If you do not know where you will be in 2 years, your job transfers you alot, your employment status is up in the air…buying may not be in your best interest. Generally, you want to live in a place for at least 5 years. There are always exceptions to the rule but generally, you do not want to incur debt if you have to leave and cannot find someone to rent your place at a higher price to cover your overhead.

To schedule a no obligation consultation with one of our agents, please contact us at Contact@MandrellCo.com

 

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5 Reasons Boston Real Estate Was The Best Investment I’ve Ever Made!

 

Real Estate in Boston is one of the best investments because Boston has a very strong market compared to other cities.

  1. Appreciation: Over time the value increases. There is a high demand for housing thanks to our educational institutions
  2. Debt Reduction: As the asset is appreciating, the debt associated with the home (mortgage) is being paid down over time and even faster with tenants.
  3. Cash Flow increases over time: Debt pay down combined with rent increases makes this an AMAZING option.
  4. Tax Benefits: You can write several things off for owning rental property. Everything you do is tax deductible
  5. Tangible Asset: We can see it, we can touch it. You have a visual and control over the asset.

For more reasons on why I love Boston Real Estate, please feel free to email me at Willie@MandrellCo.com

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

Single Family Listings
Total Homes SOLD: 16
Average Living Area by Square Feet: 1,490.13
Average Listing Price: $583,650
Average DOM (Days on Market):  60.81
Average Sales Price: $578,695

Condominium Listings
Total Condos SOLD: 230
Average Living Area by Square Feet: 1,103.45
Average Listing Price: $616,942
Average DOM (Days on Market): 46.42
Average Sales Price: $614,010

Multifamily Listings
Total Multifamily Buildings SOLD: 22
Average Living Area by Square Feet: 3,068.77
Average Listing Price: $1,064,345
Average DOM (Days on Market): 34.45
Average Sales Price: $1,046,450

Rental Stats
Average Rent for 1 Bedroom Units: $1,937
Average Rent for 2 Bedroom Units: $2,666
Average Rent for 3 Bedroom Units: $3,115
Average Rent for 4 Bedroom Units: $3,527

 

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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What’s the difference between a lease and a Tenant At Will (TAW)?


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5 Terrific Negotiation Tactics For The Massachusetts Home Buyer


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A lot of my friends comb through craigslist for apartments that do not have realtor fees. I completely understand as I used it as my primary search engine a few years ago as well. The problem with craigslist is that there are few checks and balances which therefore leads to rental scams posted. A new report from New York University explores just how common these scams are. Spoiler alert: they are everywhere.

How the Scam Works:

You are looking for a new place to live on the very popular Craigslist apartment listings. You know that scams are common on the site, but just how prevalent are they? Very! Craigslist fails to identify more than half of rental scam listings, and suspicious posts linger for as long as 20 hours before being taken down.

Researchers reviewed more than 2 million for-rent posts and found 29,000 fake listings in 20 major cities. Yes, Boston was on the list for researchers and I have discovered a few myself within 10minutes on the site. Of those, there were three key types of scams. In the first, a fake post instructs a would-be tenant to purchase a credit report. The scammer gets a commission from the credit reporting site, even though there is no property for rent.

In another scheme, con artists duplicate rental listings from other sites and post on Craigslist at a lower price. Prospective renters pay a deposit via wire transfer. Another pervasive scam is “realtor service” companies. Targets are asked to pay fees to access listings of pre-foreclosure rentals or rent-to-own properties. In the majority of cases, the companies leading the scams have no connection to the properties listed. Realtors do not ask for fees up front nor should you pay, especially when the information is public knowledge. There is NO SECRET PRE-FORECLOSURE LIST… ITS PUBLIC INFORMATION! You find them in your newspaper, local search engines, Zillow, RealtyTrac, your city’s public records database. If someone is asking for money before they prove themselves… RUN!

How to Spot a Rental Scam:

Don’t wire money or use a prepaid debit card: You should never pay a security deposit or first month’s rent by prepaid debit card or wire transfer. These payments are the same as sending cash – once you send it, you have no way to get it back. Real Estate professionals ask for checks which are held in escrow and you receive a deposit receipt. Realtors are held to a code of Ethics and you know who they are, you can track them, report them, not so with online tricksters.

Watch out for deals that sound too good: Scammers lure in targets by promising low rents, great amenities and other perks. If the price seems much better than offered elsewhere, it may be a scam. Many people search for rent-to-own opportunities… while these do exist, they are usually MORE EXPENSIVE than market rent and not thousands cheaper. You will never find a 3 bedroom for rent at $900 in Boston. We all know that is unrealistic..why would you fall for that scam on craigslist? Even if it was rent-to-own…where is their profit? Think like a business and you won’t get got!

See the property in person: Don’t send money to someone you’ve never met for an apartment you haven’t seen. If you can’t visit an apartment or house yourself, ask someone you trust to go and confirm that it is what was advertised. Call their bluff… You will show up with check in hand if you like the property…scammers generally never have access to the property so they will find an excuse as to why they can’t get you in on a specific date or ever.

Search for the same ad in other cities: Search for the listing online. If you find the same ad listed in other cities, that’s a huge red flag.

 

The moral of the story is…. feel free to use craigslist for finding apartments and homes but understand there are ALOT of scammers out there. Do your due diligence (research) before handing over your hard earned cash. Sometimes paying a realtor fee is worth it not to have the stress or risk losing your money. For assistance in finding an apartment in the greater boston area…be sure to connect with one of our agents

Source: PR Newswire
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Foreclosures Up in The Bay State

The Bay State saw an increase in foreclosure petitions once again, up 45.6 percent compared with February 2015, according to a new report from The Warren Group, publisher of Banker & Tradesman.

This marks the 24th consecutive month of year-over-year increases in petition starts and is the highest number of petitions reported in February since 2012. The market has improved substantially but many people are plagued by lay offs and unemployment pushing them into pre-foreclosure. 

This year, lenders filed 1,264 petitions to foreclose in comparison with the 868 filed last February. Year-to-date, there have been 2,188 petitions filed in the state, a 47.2 percent increase from last year’s mark through February of 1,486. Petitions note the first step in the foreclosure process, when lenders file notice of their intention to foreclose with the Commonwealth’s Land Court.

“While there’s no doubt some new delinquencies are occurring, the majority of what we’re seeing as ‘new’ foreclosures are loans that have been delinquent for quite some time,” Timothy Warren Jr., CEO of The Warren Group, said in a statement. “Lenders continue to work through what remains of their backlog from several years ago, when the entire industry ground to a halt to await the outcome of legislative and regulatory changes and updates.”

There were 644 auction notices filed in February, an 8.8 percent increase from the 592 filed in February 2015. The state has seen 1,389 auctions year-to-date, a 19.2 percent increase from the same period in 2015 when there were 1,167. The auction notice acts as an alert to the Land Court that the lender has scheduled an auction and publically announced the time, date and address in legal notices in local newspapers.

In February, there were 519 foreclosure deeds filed, marking a 66.9 percent increase from the 311 deeds in February 2015. There have been a total of 867 deeds recorded in Massachusetts in 2016, a 52.6 percent increase from the 568 filed through February 2015. The deeds represent completed foreclosures, indicating there has been a change of ownership in the foreclosed property. Do not let this be your situation. Many times, your home is worth more than you owe and you could sell for a profit or at least not damage your credit score. Foreclosures stay on your credit history for 7 years, that is a long time which will make it hard t purchase another home or even find an apartment. Ask Questions, do not wait until it is too late to seek assistance. 

Source: Bankers & Tradesman

Need Help Avoiding Foreclosure? Want to know your options? 

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Unrealistic Buyer Expectations (Pt II)

I think I came down a little hard on some buyers the last time I discussed unrealistic expectations. Although I stand by my statements… I do understand that misinformation is the root of all of this. That being said… came across two other misconceptions we hear a lot in this business…

Foreclosure sale and Auction purchase as a first time home buyer.

Most people do not understand the auction protocol, and do not understand it is sometimes difficult to finance. Definitely not possible with traditional financing as auctions need money almost immediately, sooner than a traditional lender can provide.
Foreclosures are an awesome option for getting properties at a discount. Unfortunately Boston is extremely competitive and you are probably competing against cash buyers… you don’t stand a chance as an FHA buyer with these properties unless no investor wants it. 
 
Many first-time homebuyers have FHA pre-approvals, so they have other stringent property condition requirements to facilitate their lender. If you’re going conventional shoot for the stars. 
 
I think my favorite buyer is the one where every property is overpriced. I switch the question on them, and advise one day they’ll be there seller. Are they going to offer a deep discount. Probably not!
This is an off the cuff post so not as detailed as my last on this topic but still… let’s be realistic this  house hunting season.
 
Be sure to sign up for our blog alerts to stay current on what’s happening in the real estate world. 
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Real Estate Investment Company Searching For Intern | Start Immediately

Hi Wealth Builders,

One of our group members is searching for some assistance growing their real estate investment start up. They’re searching for a young, motivated professional eager to learn many different areas of the real estate business. The individual should be personable and enjoy working in a fast-paced team environment. If you’ve ever considered a career in Real Estate Investing, but never knew how to start, this is the position for you.

Benefits:
• Create your own flexible schedule
• Access to personal mentor
• Earn while you learn
• No cap on pay
• Support system to help you succeed
• Learn firsthand how wealth is built in Real Estate

What You Can Learn:
• Acquisitions
• Management
• Fix & Flip
• Foreclosure
• Short Sales
• Wholesale
• Traditional & Creative Financing
• & Much Much More

Requirements:
• Ability to work 30+ hours per week
• Valid driver’s license & personal vehicle
• Knowledge of basic computer systems
• Willingness to get your hands dirty
• Great attitude and desire to learn

If you’ve got a high level of ambition and are eager to start a new chapter in life, this is the internship for you. Serious Applicants Only – Please send resumes to Contact@USFlipFunding.com for consideration.

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Unrealistic Buyer Expectations (Pt I)

As real estate professionals, we hear A LOT about about what’s happening in the market and how to do our job. Fortunately for us, most of this “advice” and “input” comes from individuals with no knowledge of real estate or how to truly evaluate it… They watch a couple commercials, read a few blog posts and think that they are the expert. No hard feelings, I smile and nod, then I have a real conversation. Many times its a matter of educating people on our current market and what is actually happening versus what they think is happening. This is pretty easy to do since I work with DATA and FACTS that I have access to, which allows me to track trends. Short of the story…  Listen to your Realtor!

Below are some misconceptions real estate professionals hear all the time. Please do not be offended by my honesty. It is this same honesty that will get you the right home at the right price at the right time.

1. Buyer: “It’s a Buyer’s market.  The Sellers need me more than I need them.  My neighbor’s boyfriend’s cousin who has his real estate license but works at Star Market told me so.”

Realtor:  I can understand why you might think that but the market has flipped the other way, inventory is low, and we are seeing multiple offers out there, often over asking price… i.e. Seller’s market. Boston, particularly Jamaica Plain, West Roxbury and Roslindale are seeing offers sometimes $50,000 over asking because of bidding wars. That screams SELLER’S MARKET to me.

Everyone and their brother has got a real estate license these days… go by the FACTS they present and not just their opinion. 

2. Buyer:  “I can get a mortgage with no problem. Let’s go see these 10 houses first, and then I will get a pre-approval letter once I have found the one.”

Realtor:  We are about efficiency and results! How will we know the price range of homes you can actually look at without a pre-approval? It’s also gotten tougher these days to get a mortgage if you have some flaws on your credit report or high debt-to-income ratios, so its best to find out what’s on your credit report by doing the mortgage pre-approval up front.  Then you’ll be able to make an offer on the spot if you find “the one”. You would be pretty upset if you drove around to 25 homes, finally found “the one” then realized you had to get pre-approved and someone else put in an offer before you that was accepted… or worse…you could not afford it. My job is to get you into homes you can buy now if you wanted to. EFFICIENCY AND RESULTS!

Sell My Problem Property Quickly

3. Buyer: “What do you mean there are closing costs on top of the down payment for my mortgage?!  Can’t the Seller pay that?  I have $1000 saved – that’s enough, right?”

Realtor: Yes, there are closing costs too!  No, $1,000 is not going to cover it!  You’ll want to talk to your mortgage professional about how much you have saved towards closing costs and down payment.  Sometimes the Seller can contribute a portion towards the closing costs, but it depends on what type of loan you are getting, and generally Buyers will up their offer if they expect the Seller to pay closing costs.  The lowest down payment option available is on an FHA loan – 3.5% of the purchase price, plus closing costs can be several thousand additional. (Currently, Mass Housing has a 3% down program)

4. Buyer: “I would like to make the Seller an offer 50% of the asking price and don’t plan to go up a whole lot.”  

Realtor: If this is your strategy for every home moving forward… I can refer you to another great agent. (code for… get the heck outta here! Time is money honey!!) Most Realtors will not waste their time with a buyer who wants to make such lowball offers. Boston is largely a sellers market. Your offer gets laughed at and immediately discarded! Don’t be “that” buyer… give competitive offers. (Unless it’s an “ugly house” in which case… game on)

5. Buyer: “I want a rent-to-own home in Hyde Park. Preferably in the Fairmount area. Can you help me find a Seller that won’t ask me to put much money down?”

Realtor:  Probably not.  Lease options and Rent-To-Own scenarios are, in this Realtor’s opinion, not really beneficial in this market to the tenant and generally require a sizable deposit.  It can work if you find a seller who is not completely aware of the process and charges less than the normal fee for such transactions. Typically you pay an “option” fee of between $5,000-$30,000 that is NOT REFUNDABLE. In a Seller’s Market, you are losing for sure… why would I sell my house to you on a rent to own basis (collect small monthly payments over time) when I could easily sell to a ready and willing buyer with cash or a pre-approved mortgage (Fat wad of cash within months vs years).

There are many more “reality check episodes” to come but these are a few that we hear regularly. Let The Mandrell Company help you get into the home that is right for you today.

Schedule your consultation with one of our real estate agents.

 

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East Boston Real Estate Prices Are Shocking | Check Out What’s Selling

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

Single Family Listings
Total Homes SOLD: 13
Average Living Area by Square Feet: 1,623.57
Average Listing Price: $431,750
Average DOM (Days on Market): 49.15
Average Sales Price: $419,577

Condominium Listings
Total Condos SOLD: 53
Average Living Area by Square Feet: 933.04
Average Listing Price: $349,240
Average DOM (Days on Market): 49.15
Average Sales Price: $346,577

Multifamily Listings
Total Multifamily Buildings SOLD: 41
Average Living Area by Square Feet: 2,701.04
Average Listing Price: $602,240
Average DOM (Days on Market): 33.15
Average Sales Price: $595,438

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Mortgage Rates Slowly Rising

For the third consecutive week, mortgage rates inched higher, but potential home buyers shouldn’t sweat it too much. Mortgage rates are still hovering below levels from a year ago. When evaluating interest rates, it matters for your monthly payment adjustments. If a .2% increase only changes your monthly payment by a couple dollars, no need to worry. However, a rate change that affects your monthly payment by hundreds of dollars, warrants a closer look and re-evaluating your situation. 

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending March 17:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.73 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending March 17, 2016, up from last week when it averaged 3.68 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.78 percent. 
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 2.99 percent with an average 0.4 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.96 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.06 percent. 
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.93 percent this week with an average 0.5 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.92 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.97 percent.

Considering getting Pre-Approved? Need recommendations on lenders? Send us an email and we can forward some suggestions. Contact@mandrellco.com

Source: Freddie Mac
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Debt Buster Tip: Attacking your Credit Card

Never assume that you can’t improve the terms of your credit card payments. Many people are unaware of the power they possess inside of them! Our job is to tell you…you can do it… we have…we’ve suggested it to others…they have and they’ve seen results. Here are 2 tips to help you start chipping away at your credit card debt. 

Get Your Interest as Low as Possible

If you have a solid track record of paying on time and your card is not close to the limit, renegotiate the interest rates on your cards. Tell the companies that you’ve been a valued customer for X years and you have never missed a payment. You would like to see if they can give you a better interest rate on your card for being a valued member.

I promise you it works! It may not work overtime, but I’ve done it and other clients have done it and it works. The trick is not to bother them. Call once every 6-12 months to request a better interest rate.  Usually they decrease your interest rate by 1/2-1 percent. Although this amount does not sound like a lot…you are starting the process of saving more money.

Side tip: If you are given a decrease, calculate your payments based on the higher interest rates and pay that amount… you will be lowering your balance and climbing up the ladder toward financial freedom.

Pay off Debt from Highest Interest Rate to Lowest

There are different strategies to paying down debt. Some need small victories to motivate them to larger victories. This would be, for example, paying off the credit card with the smallest balance first. Once this card is paid off, you feel accomplished and energized to move on to the next. While I like this method, and use it depending on my mood, I think the best strategy is to pay the highest interest card first.   This is the mathematically correct way of doing things. You may end up spending thousands of more dollars in interest because while you paid off your $1000 card at 10% interest, you still have a $5,000 card with a 15% interest accruing over time. Interest is pretty much you giving away your hard earned money. Go with the mathematically correct way! Do not go with your emotions. Paying off small debts may feel nice but it’s a superficial feeling. Superficial feelings get people in trouble. Trust math. It has no emotions.

Financial Freedom requires determination and strategy. Pick which works best for your discipline level and for your wallet.

Our goal is to help our clients, improve their credit worthiness in preparation for a home purchase. For more information, please contact us and schedule your free no obligation consultation.

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Landlord Tip: Security Deposits

Many landlords are hesitant to collect a security deposit (SD) from tenants because they fear it is too much money for someone to pay. While I completely understand the sentiment and extending a helping hand….security deposits are designed to help you (the landlord) in the event your tenant damages the property. 

The following covers some major points of security deposits as they pertain to landlords.

How much can you ask for?

You must strike a balance, requiring a deposit that sufficiently insures against potential damage but that does not overburden your new tenants. In the state of Massachusetts, the maximum amount you can request is equal to one month’s rent. 

You must charge the same security deposit rate for all tenants so as not to trigger a discrimination issue. For example, you cannot charge your first floor tenant a $500 SD because you felt sorry for him and your 2nd floor tenant $1000 for a SD because you knew they could afford it. If unit 2 found out and decided to sue you, it would be their legal right to do so and win because you did in fact discriminate. 

How should funds be held?

Security deposits remain the legal property of the tenant until a triggering event, such as damage to the unit, occurs. Security Deposts are to be held in an interest bearing account (also called an escrow account) at your local bank. You will need a W9 for the tenant so that any interest earned on the account can be reported to the government (Yes, you can be taxed on interest). If you fail to comply and your tenant pursues it, you will be forced to pay 5 times the amount. I say…follow the law and avoid the headache. 

When can you keep the deposit?

Your lease agreement should clearly spell out which situations would warrant retaining the tenant’s security deposit; otherwise, the tenant may have a strong case against you for wrongful withholding of tenant funds. Some legitimate reasons for withholding some or all of the SD may include the following:

  • Failure to pay rent
  • Damage to the property
  • Damages exceeding normal wear and tear
  • Unpaid utilities
  • Removal of abandoned property
  • Cleaning costs

In nearly all states, you must provide an itemized list in writing detailing the costs of the expenses. If the tenant disputes the list, he or she may initiate a lawsuit in housing court, which would require you to prove that damage occurred and that repair costs were congruent with the amount withheld.

How soon should you return the deposit?

You must return unused security deposit funds within 30 days of the tenant moving out, keeping in mind that these funds legally belong to the tenant unless a triggering event has occurred. 

Being a landlord is like running a business, you need to be organized and set up systems to ensure success. For free Landlord-Tenant forms, feel free to contact us and we will gladly email them to you.

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Via our FREE Financial Literacy seminars and our partners, we educate members of the community on strategies to improving their credit score in preparation for the biggest purchase one can make…. buying a home!

One question we get asked a lot is whether they should pay off their collections. You have the option to pay off your collection or settle the debt for a lesser amount with the lender but there is one step before handing over your debit card. In order to truly impact your credit score, the creditor needs to REMOVE or DELETE the collection from your credit report. If you pay in full or settle, the negative activity still remains on your credit report. You need to request IN WRITING that your creditor delete the collection from your report. Do not issue a pay in full or settlement amount until you receive a response IN WRITING that they have agreed to or rejected your request. 

After 7 years, the collection item is no longer visible but if you are planning to purchase a home or a car within 6 years… it may be worth it to have those negative items removed from your record. 

I strongly recommend people monitor their credit report monthly. CreditKarma is FREE and sends you alerts when there are changes to your report. Although it does not utilize the FICO score which is utilized by the credit bureaus, it helps you MONITOR your financial report card so to speak. You want to know if you are on track or what items to address because they are setting you back.

 

For more strategies to help you get on track to purchase a home in 1-2 years, please contact us for a free no obligation consultation.

Schedule Your FREE Consultation

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5 Signs Your Home is Outdated (And How to Fix It)

No one wants to REALLY hear the truth! Think about it… do you think you would like someone telling you that your baby isn’t the cutest baby in history? A little harsh but sellers treat their homes like their children. When you want to sell your home, it is best to leave it to someone with an objective eye. Dated touches/accents might be charming to you but they may overwhelm buyers and send them running out the door. 

I get it, but I’m here to tell you: Stop making excuses and be a savvy seller! Your outdated decor will immediately turn off a potential buyer, lowering your home value and making the selling process that much more difficult.

Today’s buyer wants modern homes with amenities and convenience. Of course some are willing to compromise on that but your marketing strategy should cater to the MAJORITY and not the minority.

Here are a couple things to consider:

1. White appliances

White stoves look outdated.

White stoves look outdatedthelinke/iStock

You probably know stainless steel is all the rage for kitchen appliances, but if your stove is still white, now’s the time to update. Not only are white appliances harder to keep spotless, but you’re risking turning off buyers. If you are on a budget, consider black appliances. Automatically gives a more sleek appearance. While there are buyers who want white… in order to sell in an aggressive market, you need to target the majority. 

2. Busy wallpaper and bold paint

Busy wallpaper could scare away potential buyers.

ugly wallpaperSpiderstock/Getty Images

Buyers care about what’s on your walls. It’s difficult to envision yourself living in a room when it has loud outdated wallpaper or colors. For best results on a budget, consider painting over the wallpaper or removing it altogether. Buyers want neutral tones which serves 2 purposes. Makes the place appear larger and also cleaner.

 

3. Dated, boring fixtures and hardware

Gold doorknobs could close a lot of doors for potential buyers.

Gold doorknobs could close a lot of doors for potential buyersDonNichols/iStock

Mixed metals such as silver and bronze were the rage of 2015. Gold did not make the final cut. Consider a makeover before putting your home on the market. Gold fixtures and accents automatically places your buyers in the 80s.

Even exchanging beige outlet plates for white ones can make a huge difference.

This is a detail we often overlook when it’s our own home and we see it everyday, but can go a long way in appealing to buyers.

4. Tiled countertops

Tiled countertops Flutter_97321/iStock

You might not give much thought to your kitchen and bathroom countertops, but potential buyers certainly will. Consider ditching your old-school tiled countertops before a sale.

The grout is hard to clean especially when colored liquids set, if the tile chips…that’s yet another expense. Your goal is to make buyers see your home as minimal maintenance. Aim for a solid countertop. Anything is better than tile. Really!

5. Wood paneling

Wood? We would not.

tacky-living-roomH. Armstrong Roberts/ClassicStock/Getty Images

If your home screams “That ’70s Show,” do something about it before listing.

No question about it “Wood paneling instantly dates a home.” If you can’t afford to replace it, paint it a neutral color to make it feel more modern and up-to-date.

It’s amazing what white paint can do to make a dark, dreary room feel like somewhere you actually want to live. Remember, you are making changes for the NEW Owner not for your preferences!

 

For more tips on how to market your home for SALE in this competitive market…CALL for a FREE HOME VALUATION CONSULTATION at 617-297-8641.

We look forward to assisting you!

Full Article: Source

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4 Surprising Predictors of Home Values

In our aggressive market, homeowners and buyers want to know where the market is headed. Are valuations heading up, up, up, making it the perfect time to buy? Or are they beginning a precipitous decline from their peak—making it high time to sell? To read the tea leaves, they might focus on the latest jobs reports, check out what’s going on in other markets, or scrutinize the writings of economists.

But when it comes to nailing the best deal in real estate, you can get a jump on the competition! Inside-track insights can be found in the most unusual places—such as on a grocery run, or at the gas pump. Realtor.com has rounded up eight surprising indicators of change in home prices. Do they play a role in pushing the numbers skyward or down into the dirt? Or are they false prophets? 

1. Gas prices

Sure, it feels fantastic to fill up your car with gas for just $35 when it used to cost almost $50. But if you’re looking to buy a home, the financial benefit of cheap gas might be overrated—as gas prices fall, home prices inevitably go up. And homes sell faster, too, which takes a toll on available inventory.

factor-01

For every $1 decrease in gas prices, home prices increase by roughly $4,000 and the average time to sell a property decreases by 25 days, according to a study by Longwood University and Florida Atlantic University.

Lower gas prices lead to increased consumer confidence and more disposable income for potential buyers, Longwood professor Bennie Waller explains. In addition, the listing broker—who has to travel between properties—is more likely to market more aggressively and have more showings when gas is cheap.

2. Trader Joe’s vs. Whole Foods

When it comes to healthy eats, cost-conscious gourmet market Trader Joe’s and pricey, environmentally conscious Whole Foods each have their own massive cult following. But it turns out, if you’re seeking a neighborhood where homes are worth more—and gaining in value—you’d better know which store to look for.

factor-02

Homes near the two foodie superstores significantly trump the national average home value, but homes near a Trader Joe’s are worth 5% more than homes near a Whole Foods, according to RealtyTrac

Homes near a Trader Joe’s also appreciate faster, with an average appreciation rate of 40% from the time of purchase. Meanwhile, homes near a Whole Foods appreciated 34%, the same as the national average. So even if you do tend to shop at “Whole Paycheck,” you’d probably do better to buy a home near TJ’s—and load up on some Two-Buck Chuck while you’re at it.

3. Sports facilities

Walking distance to the big game? Score! Living near a stadium clearly is not a hard sell for sports fans, but even those without an obsessive rooting interest in the local teams should pay close attention if there’s a major sports facility nearby.

factor-03

Moving a residential housing unit one mile closer to a professional sports facility increases its value by $793. But the effect disappears after four miles, according to researchers at the College of William and Mary and University of Alberta, who extracted property data within 5 miles of every NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL facility in the U.S. So sidle up to that stadium—just be sure you have a dedicated parking space.

4. Trees on the street

Everyone knows that stately old-growth trees add major charm to a neighborhood—and are probably an indicator of more expensive homes. But did you know just how expensive? A recent study found that houses on streets where there were trees fetched an average of $7,130 more than houses on treeless streets. Maybe it’s time to consider branching out.

 

If you are interested in selling your home or want to know your property’s value, please contact us directly at 617-755-4938 or email at contact@mandrellco.com.

We look forward to serving you.

 

Read Full Article: Source

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You either hate it or love it…Tax Season. Owning a home can pay off at tax time.  

Take advantage of these home ownership-related tax deductions and strategies to lower your tax bill:

Mortgage Interest Deduction 

One deduction homeowners can take advantage of is the mortgage interest deduction. To get the mortgage interest deduction, your mortgage must be secured by your home — and your home can be a house, trailer, or boat, as long as you can sleep in it, cook in it, and it has a toilet.

Prepaid Interest Deduction

Prepaid interest (or points) you paid when you took out your mortgage is generally 100% deductible in the year you paid it along with other mortgage interest. 

If you refinance your mortgage and use that money for home improvements, any points you pay are also deductible in the same year. 

Property Tax Deduction

You can deduct the real estate property taxes you pay. If you have a mortgage with an escrow account, the amount of real estate property taxes you paid shows up on your annual escrow statement.

If you bought a house this year, check your HUD-1 settlement statement to see if you paid any property taxes when you closed the purchase of your house. Those taxes are also deductible.

PMI and FHA Mortgage Insurance Premiums

You can deduct the cost of private mortgage insurance (PMI) as mortgage interest if you itemize your return. The change only applies to loans taken out in 2007 or later.

What’s PMI? If you have a mortgage but didn’t put down a fairly good-sized down payment (usually 20%), the lender requires the mortgage be insured. The premium on that insurance can be deducted, so long as your income is less than $100,000 (or $50,000 for married filing separately).

Energy-Efficiency Upgrades

The Nonbusiness Energy Tax Credit lets you claim a credit for installing energy-efficient home systems. Tax credits are especially valuable because they let you offset what you owe the IRS dollar for dollar, in this case, for up to 10% of the amount you spent on certain upgrades.  

For more information or to be connected to one of our trusted CPAs, please contact us at Contact@MandrellCo.com

 

 

To Read the full article: Source

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Start Building Credit While You Are Young

Breaking-Down-Your-Credit-Score-mortgage-infographic

At The Mandrell Company, we are firm believers in educating our clients so they make wise financial decisions. These decisions go beyond purchasing a home but truly building a foundation on how to grow wealth. We found this infographic (source: MGIC Connects) and wanted to share this statistic that over 74% of college students do not know their credit score. Again, this is something that is not taught in school but we should all review our credit report at least Bi-Annually. Credit Karma is a free service, and although it does not provide your FICO score, it can be a great tool to monitor your credit so you have an idea of where you stand. 

Credit impacts your purchasing power and unknown to many, it can also affect your hiring status for a new job. You may be wondering why… well… some careers that require you to work with money or others’ finances want to ensure you are also financially responsible. Their goal is to limit their liability so it makes sense to hire a candidate with a strong history of being financially responsible.

Are you a Greater Boston college student interested in building credit and truly paving the way for when you enter the real world? The world of “adulting” with rental applications, car loan application and mortgages, can be stressful but we would love to point you in the right direction to increase your chance of success.

Please contact me to schedule FREE seminars on your campus. 

I look forward to speaking with you!

Denisha

Denisha@MandrellCo.com  |   617-982-3337

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Know to Own

A recent Bankrate.com survey finds while 29 percent of renters say they can’t afford a down payment, nearly a quarter report they don’t have a clue how much they would put down to buy a home.

Only 9 percent of non-homeowners said they would put down 1 – 5 percent of the purchase price as a down payment. It’s possible to get an FHA loan with just 3.5 percent down, or a conventional loan with 3 percent down.

As real estate professionals specializing in multi-family properties, we come across a lot of rental clients. Many of them are unaware of what is required to purchase a home. They are uninformed about the various programs available to assist with down-payment costs. As the real estate market continues to rebound and home values increase, many renters are feeling the heat with rising rent costs, making it harder to save for a down payment. 

We take time to research programs and educate potential clients on what is needed to purchase a home and provide resources to assist them in setting goals, finding financial assistance programs and becoming more financially responsible to build wealth through real estate. For more information on our upcoming FREE seminars, please visit www.urbanmoneymatters.com or contact us at Contact@MandrellCo.com

We look forward to serving you. 

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