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10 Must Do’s Before Selling Your Boston Triple Decker

Are you preparing to sell your multifamily property (2+ units) and want to make sure you earn top dollar from the market? The best way to maximize the resale of rental apartments is to get buyers to fall in love with the building. Here’s a list of 10 things you can do to ensure buyers open up their wallets.

1. Inform your tenants of the sale:
A multifamily seller’s tenants can often make or break a transaction. If the tenants are non responsive to showing requests or provide damaging information to prospective buyers it could instantly mean a lower sales price or possibly no sale at all. The best thing to do to avoid trouble is to have a conversation with your tenants about your intention to sell. You’ll need to inform them that potential buyers are going to be viewing their living space and they will need to make themselves (or their unit) available during certain scheduled times. Let them know you’ll be respectful of their living quarters but will need access for potential buyers soon. If there are any complaints that have yet to be resolved, now would be the best time to handle these issues.

2. Prepare the property financials:
When you’re selling a multifamily home you need to consider your potential buyers and their wants/needs. Many multifamily homes are purchased for investments purposes. If you’re perfect buyer is an investor, they’re going to want information on the buildings operating expenses. You should gather this information and be prepared to show it to potential buyers during the selling process. Operating expenses include: Taxes, Insurance, Water/Sewer, Common Area Cost (Heating & Electric), Utilities, Trash Removal, General Maintenance, and anything else needed to keep the building running smoothly. They are costs your potential buyer will need to consider during the purchase.

3. Provide details on your systems:
When were the heating systems installed? When was the roof installed? What is the age of the hot water tank(s)? How old are the windows? Any electrical or plumbing upgrades recently completed. Have your real estate agent provide you with a check list of home systems so you can make sure you’re fully prepared to answer questions the buyer or investor has.

4. Get a home inspection done:
Home inspections are just for buyers. As a seller you can also have a home inspection done for the property prior to placing it for sale. This proactive approach will cost you a few extra bucks, but it will also allow you to see exactly what your potential buyers are going to see. The more issues you can resolve prior to the buyers home inspection, the less you’ll have to negotiate and the more the buyer will pay.

5. Bring your rents to market value:
If market rents for a two bedroom apartment in your area are $1500 a month (but you’re a nice lady) and you’re charging your tenants $1100 dollars per month, you’re hurting the value of your property. Charging tenants less than market value is what many landlords do to keep good tenants in place. They think to themselves that they don’t want to upset things and force the tenants to move out. While there is nothing wrong with this strategy, landlords are not helping the resale value of the building. For example, if you have two triple deckers side by side with one landlord collecting $1100 ($3300) per month while the other landlord is collecting $1500 ($4500) per month, all else being equal, the multifamily with the hire rental income is going to have a higher value. Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes. If I have the option to purchase two identical income producing homes, why would I pay the same price for a building producing less income than its counterpart? I wouldn’t. If you’re timeline allows, it may make sense to increase the rents a few months prior to selling your property to show the increased income. Consult your realtor about this strategy and make sure to properly assess the current rental market.

6. Assemble your real estate team:
Do you have a real estate agent? Does that agent understand the local market, the investment business and what potential investors are searching for? Do you have a good real estate attorney to represent you during the transaction? Your attorney will help work out the details in the purchase & sales contract which you and the buyer will sign. Have you spoken to your CPA or tax preparer? Do you fully understand the (if any) tax consequences for selling this investment property?

7. Have leases and tenant documents available:
Have your tenant leases and security deposit information available to show potential investors. Once both parties are in agreement on a selling price, and an offer has been accepted, your buyer will want to see leases and ask about deposits you have in place. This is important to them as these will be the documents they will need to honor after the property is in their name.

8. Make necessary repairs to the property:
If you’ve done a pre-sale property inspection, you now have a good list of what the property will need to avoid any buyer concerns. Now is the time to take care of these issues. Ask your realtor for local contractors and handy men and have them take care of what’s necessary. Making these proactive repairs will help deter the buyer from requesting a discount and help you achieve top dollar during the sale.

9. Have a Realtor provide the home’s value range:
Your home’s value isn’t determined by a real estate agent, the bank or an appraiser. All of these people (or entities) can provide you with opinions of value based on their market knowledge, but the true value of your property is always going to be determined by the open market (buyers). Your building is only worth as much as someone in the market is willing to pay for it. When buyers determine what to pay for a particular property they review what other properties have sold in the neighborhood similar to the one they’re considering. They do what’s called pulling “comps”. They “comp” or compare your house to other sold homes in the area. When determining a value, your real estate agent will do the same and provide you with this information. They will sit with you and go over other recent sales in the neighborhood and determine where your property lines up.

10. Brush up on the current real estate market:
Are you operating in a buyer’s or seller’s market? What’s happening within the local economy and is now a good time to sell? Your real estate agent will be able to help you answer both of these questions. It’s important to know if the current market benefits you as a seller or does it work in the favor of buyers. A sellers market is anytime inventory (amount of homes on the market) is really low, but there are a larger number of buyers looking to make a purchase. This is the best time for you to sell. In a perfect world you’ll have multiple buyers bidding for your property and driving the price upward. A buyers market is a condition when there are more homes available than willing and able buyers.
The local economy should also play a role in your sales decision. Is there development going on in the area? Are interest rates good and loans readily available for buyers? If money is tight and buyers aren’t able to find lending, you’ll have a tough time finding a suitable taker for your property.

Contact me directly to learn more about how The Mandrell Company can help you sell your multi-family for the most money in a reasonable time frame.

Willie@Mandrellco.com or 617-755-4938.

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Connect With Local RE Investors & Developers – FREE Group Membership

Are you a new or aspiring real estate investors in or around the Boston area? Do you have an interest in buy & hold real estate or flipping property? If so, Boston Wealth Builders is the best REI group for you. BWB is group of new and experienced real estate professionals coming together to LEARN, SHARE, BUILD & GROW within the local market. We have regular educational and networking events all over the city as well as many locations north & south.  Membership for the group is always FREE and as part of the group you’ll have the inside track on many “off market” investment deals.

You can join the group by visiting http://www.BostonWealthBuilders.com

Make sure to RSVP for our upcoming networking event!

Drinks & Networking – Local RE Investor Gathering 
Wednesday, January 27, 2016 | to Ester Restaurant |2261 Dorchester Ave, (Lower Mills), Dorchester , MA

Come join us for drinks, appetizers and networking. This is an informal gathering for local Boston Real Estate Investors and a great opportunity to meet potential partners and mentors. The best way to push forward with your investing career is to surround yourself with people who want the same. Here’s your chance! Look forward to seeing you there!

View a few photos from our prior events!

 Learn to Rehab Property In South Boston Learn to Flip Property in Mass How to I get Money For Flipping How to I finance My Multifamily How Do I Find Financing For My RE Investment Boston Real Estate Events

 

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The Top 10 Tax Deductions For Boston Landlords

  1. Mortgage Interest Deduction – This is the largest tax deduction for most individual property owners. A portion of every mortgage payment you make goes to pay down the principal balance of the loan and another portion goes to the bank as interest. The federal government also you to deducted all interest paid to your bank associated with the mortgage. In the early years of your mortgage, interest is a very high percentage of the total payment and will become one of your largest deductions.
  2. Property Taxes – You will receive a write off for property taxes you’ve paid over the last 12 months. You’ll receive a dollar for dollar tax write for this cost.
  3. Local Water & Sewer – If you pay for water/ sewer for  your rental units, this cost is also a tax write off at 100%. If you live in the building you will not count the waster usage for you particular unit in the deduction. For example, if you own a Dorchester 3 family, live on the 1st floor and rent the other 2 units, you’d receive a tax write off for 2/3 of your total water cost.
  4. Common Area Cost – In Massachusetts, as a landlord of a multifamily building you area required to pay for lighting and other “common” area cost of your building. Hallway lighting is the most common expense that falls under this category. This is a cost of doing business for you as a landlord and is 100% tax deductible.
  5. Depreciation Expense – The government recognizes that every year your property (the asset) goes through some sort of wear and tear and slowly loses value. This loss in value (depreciation) is a tax write off for you without any outlay of cash. Most property is depreciated over a span of 29 years. You should consult your tax professional about methods for calculating depreciation.
  6. Home Office Deduction – As a landlord you are technically a business owner. As a business owner you can deduction of portion of your total home expenses as your home office. For example, if you use 1/5 of your home as an office (to run your rental business) and the total cost to operate your home is $1000 per month, you should have a total “home office” deduction of $1200. ($1000/5 = $200 * 12 months)
  7. Cost of Driving to & from your Property – There is a cost to you for driving back and forth to manage your rental property. It’s important that throughout the year you keep a log of your travel. Your accountant can assist you in calculating the exact write off provided for your time on the road.
  8. Systems & Tools of the Trade – Did you buy a snow blower, rakes, hammer, drill or other equipment you planned to use specifically for your rental property business? If so, make sure your tax person is aware of these cost as well.  It’s important to maintain a receipt log during the year.
  9. Credit Card Interest – It’s always a good idea to keep a separate bank account you use strictly for your rental business. This separate bank account allows you to easily keep track (come year end) of what you spent. You should also keep a separate credit card for your apartments as well. The interest the credit card company charges you is also a tax write off.
  10. Property Management Cost – Did you pay a property management company to handle your apartment rentals this year? If so, the company will be able to provide you with the total you’ve paid them in the last 12 months. Also provide this figure to your tax-preparer.

To learn more about the ins and outs of landlord tax deductions, I highly recommend NOLO’s “Every Landlords Tax Deduction Guide”. Click the image below to learn more!

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The City of Boston has designated the development team of the Cote Village  LLC, to redevelop the former Cote Ford Dealership site located 820 Cummins Highway in Mattapan. The Project will provide approximately 76, one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom residential units (divided between flats an townhouse units), with an accessory rental office and community room, comprising of approximately 956 square feet for spadce, 4,172 square feet of ground-floor commercial space, including a 12,000 square foot public plaza with a total of approximately 84 parking spaces. The area impacted by the proposed development is the Mattapan neighborhood.

This development can provide much needed housing for area. “The proposed development will turn the now abandoned property, which has been vacant for decades and a blighted influence on the neighborhood and surrounding area, into a thriving part of the Mattapan neighborhood fabric,” wrote Lisa B. Alberghini, president of the Planning Office for Urban Affairs Inc., and Donald Alexis, president of Caribbean Integration Community Development, in a letter of intent to the BRA.

We will continue to monitor the progress of this proposal and see if it moves forward to breaking ground.

To stay current on what’s happening in your neighborhood, be sure to sign up for our blogs!

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New Year, New Home projects. When you start the process of making renovations, make sure you ask the right questions. Many people fall victim to the bid quote they get from general contractors to renovate their homes. Our goal is to help you stay on budget! No one should pay more than they have to for any service.

Let us use the renovation quotes we often get for a kitchen remodel… many bids are likely to only cover about 33-50% of the total cost depending on the contractor.
The question then becomes, how do YOU the consumer protect yourself from predatory contractors who quote one thing and the final cost is dramatically different?
Ask the right questions upfront.
While the majority of general contractors include demolition, disposal and installation in their bids, many omit the cost of supplies/materials/hardware. If you are dealing with a novice contractor, they do not know the cost of  materials so they wait to price everything based on your specifications. The cost of materials varies tremendously by region, store, and your personal preference. For example, backsplash tiles can run from $7 to $90, a square foot.
ALWAYS ask the contractor what is included in the bid, then use those numbers to estimate further cost. Of course these tend to be ballpark figures but I would prefer to be in the same ballpark as my contractor than be rudely surprised.
A good rule of thumb is to research your potential contractor:
Speak with past clients
See their portfolio of work
Ask what is their statistics on quotes to actual final cost (you want to see if they have a history of underbidding to only cost more in the end or if they are always in the ballpark)
Research them on yelp, google+, Angie’s list (You want to learn everything about this person before you entrust them with thousands of dollars worth of work)
Other Good questions for the general contractor (unless they come highly recommended, I suggest you interview a couple):
How many years have you been in business? (You do not need 50 years of experience to do great work, focus more on quality than quantity. I know several contractors who have been in business for over 10 years but I would not trust them to do any work on my home)
Do you get supplies from a wholesaler (cheaper in bulk) or from Home Depot? If you value neighborhood stores, this is a great way to support local businesses.
What does your bid include? Is this a set price? If you go over budget, will you be responsible for the additional cost/ take it as a loss? (This is important to know upfront and GET EVERYTHING IN WRITING)
Obtain an itemized Quote and Contract and factor in 5% for miscellaneous overages but a good contractor should stay within budget unless they discover issues when walls are opened.
If your contractor does not want to provide a contract in writing with the breakdown of cost…RUN!!

Email us contact@mandrellco.com for recommendations of some of our trusted contractors or general questions.

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Do you have a single or multifamily property in the Boston area with problem tenants? Are your tenants not paying or just causing you headache? If so, we may have a quick solution for you.

The Mandrell Company works with a long list of local real estate investors and developers and each of them is looking for new investment property. These investors buy single family and multi-family homes of any size, any price range, any number of units, and in any condition.

Working with us and our investors we can help to sell your home quickly and easily. You don’t have to worry about spending money on repairs, putting a sign in the yard, having strangers drop in through your house,  or wondering when your property will sell.

When you sell your troubled property with our investors and developer clients:

• You get multiple cash offers and avoid most normal closing costs
• You sell directly to them and there isn’t often no Realtor commission to pay
• You sell your house in “as is” condition – no cleaning or repairs to make
• You can close quickly – if that’s what you need.

Our clients are also buying properties in foreclosure, probate, pending evictions, inherited, vacant or abandoned, or just in need of much work.

If you are interested in a quick cash offer on your property, please call our office today at 617-297-8641 or email me at Willie @ MandrellCo.com

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How Bad Credit Is Costing You $100’s of Thousands

This chart blew my mind when I first came across it. Everyone talks about the importance of having good credit but to be able to see it charted out makes you really take a hard look at your financial picture. (See Chart Below)

“The Cost of Bad Credit” simply shows why a good credit score is crucial to your wallet even when talking about the difference of 100 points. Think about this. If you have a 620 credit score and take out a 20,000 car loan at a 9% rate of interest, you are essentially paying $2300 more (over a typical 5 year loan period) than the individual with a 720+ score. That’s number isn’t that crazy but what this chart doesn’t consider is how many vehicles a person will own during their life span. Most Americans keep their vehicles for 5-6 years before looking for something new.  If you start driving at the age of 16 and continue buying cars until you reach the age of 80 (and drive until 86), you may end up owning 12 vehicles during your life time. If you were at a loss of $2300 for each of those 12 purchases, your bad credit will have cost you a total of $27,600!!

Quick Summary:

For having fair credit (a 620 score) you pay $2300 more in interest for the same car purchase as someone with a 720+.

$2300 * 12 vehicles purchases during your life = $27,600 you paid more than the person with good credit. If you really want to get geeky about it, you can assume that the person with good credit reinvested their $27,600 in savings over the years and created an even wider wealth gap!

If losing 27,600 isn’t enough to make you straighten out your credit, than consider that I ran these numbers with a 620 score.  Think about the wealth gap being created for the person with a score of 580 or below. And if you want to buy a home at some point you could be talking about 100’s of thousands of dollars you’re losing by not keeping your credit top notch.

If you’d like to learn more about improving your credit score and other personal finance topics, consider taking a FREE wealth building course offered through Roxbury Community College. You can view schedules and RSVP at http://www.UrbanMoneyMatters.com

 

Why Bad Credit Cost You Thousands

 

 

 

 

 

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Due to the rise in home values in recent years, many first time home-buyers and novice investors have a hard time coming up with all the necessary funds to purchase a home. They may qualify for a mortgage but now they have to come to closing with several thousand dollars to take ownership. This is difficult with rent prices, student loans and other responsibilities that make it difficult to save. One strategy seller’s and buyer’s implore to get the property under agreement is to have the seller pay the buyer’s closing costs. 

Many homebuyers look to FHA financing which requires 3.5 percent down to close. On a $400,000 home, this means, they must come to the table with $14,000 just for the down payment, excluding attorney fees, pre-paids etc. If you are purchasing a multifamily, this number jumps to 5 percent or $20,000 and to avoid Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) requires 20 percent or $80,000. Please bare in mind these numbers are just the down payment. This can be extremely overwhelming and discouraging for first time homebuyers. One way to ease this burden is to negotiate buyer credits in which the seller will cover some or all of the closing costs associated with a borrower’s home loan. This option makes a home more attractive to buyers because they are required to come up with less at closing. The seller can then ask for full asking price offers and cover buyer closing costs.

With this strategy, a specific amount of the seller’s proceeds, is used to cover the buyer’s closing costs, pre-paid items and settlement costs etc. This number is not unlimited, rather for an FHA mortgage, the credit cannot exceed 6 percent and for most conventional mortgages cannot exceed 3 percent of the purchase price. Generally, we advise you give a dollar amount of how much is needed and whatever is unused, comes back to the seller. 

Although it sounds terrible for a seller to “give away” money, sometimes offering a credit is needed to get them the most money for their home in the end if there aren’t that many offers on the table. A seller can provide a buyer credit for a specific dollar amount but require the buyer to increase the sale price by said amount to cover their own closing cost. Essentially, the buyer is financing their closing costs over the duration of their mortgage and the seller will net the same amount at closing.

To learn more about how this process can benefit you as the seller or buyer, please contact our office at contact@mandrellco.com and one of our agents will be in touch to explain the process with greater clarity.

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Roslindale Real Estate Is on FIRE! Here’s What’s Selling…

Are you in the market to buy, rent or sell property in Roslindale? 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: 72

Average Living Area by Square Feet:   1,897.04

Average Listing Price:    $488,750

Average DOM (Days on Market): 40.15                                 

Average Sales Price:  $491,923   

Condominium Listings

Total Condos SOLD: 97

Average Living Area by Square Feet:   1,196.04

Average Listing Price:    $372,240

Average DOM (Days on Market): 25.15                                 

Average Sales Price:  $374,938

Multifamily Listings

Total Multifamily Buildings SOLD: 26

Average Living Area by Square Feet:   2,808.04

Average Listing Price:    $583,240

Average DOM (Days on Market): 65.15                                 

Average Sales Price:  $588,327  

Would you like to get your own FREE Sales and Rental Market Report catered to your specific area(s)? Just send a quick email to Contact@MandrellCo.com to receive your monthly report.  We can provide you similar data for any town or city in the commonwealth.

Please call us directly at 617-297-8641,  for custom reports or questions about the data provided.

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FREE Landlord Tenant Forms

Greetings,

My name is Liz Newcombe and I am a licensed Realtor, and fellow resident in the Greater Boston area. Are you in need of landlord real estate forms? If so, you can receive the list of forms below by texting “FREEFORMS” to 44222. The system respond with a text asking for your email address. Once you’ve replied, you will receive a download link within seconds! That is my gift to you!

The landlord forms package will include:

  • Tenant Application
  • Move In/ Move Out checklist
  • Standard Tenant Lease
  • Month to Month Rental Agreement
  • Pet Agreement
  • Monthly Income & Expense Recorder
  • Extension of Lease
  • Notice to Vacate
  • Notice of Overdue Rent
  • 30 Notice to Terminate
  • & a few other great forms

If you have an apartment for rent, I would love to assist you in finding and placing the ideal tenant. As a Realtor specializing in your rental market, I work directly with the most qualified tenants around. I would love to visit your rental, take some pictures to begin showing it to my very interested client base, as soon as possible.

When you list your rental with The Mandrell Company, we will handle your tenant’s application, credit checks, employment verification, criminal background checks, lease agreements and more. The best part about listing your rental with us is that there is absolutely no charge to you for our services!

Please contact me if this is something you may be interested in or if you have any questions. I look forward to hearing from you.

Regards,

Elizabeth Newcombe

Liz@MandrellCo.com or 617-297-8641

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Sell It Yourself – 4 FSBO Negotiation Strategies

So you’ve decided to sell your home? Congratulations! The sale of real estate is often the largest transaction(s) people make throughout their lives. Considering this fact, below are some quick steps to make sure you negotiate your sale correctly and come out on top!

4 Negotiation Tips For FSBO’s

1. Stand Firm, low ball offers are coming:
To sell your home yourself you must understand the mindset of your potential buyer. Almost every real estate transaction nowadays is completed on some sort of local state MLS system. Most buyers who are looking for property OFF MLS (FSBO) are often looking for a “deal.” These buyers are under the impression that homes on the MLS are sold at market value (or above) and they attempt to search FSBO listings looking for an opportunity to score a home under market. While selling your home, you will probably receive many aggressive offers from investors and buyers trying to undercut you. Stand your ground and accept only what you know the home is worth.

2. Talk to your buyer’s mortgage lender:
So you’ve received an offer and the price is exactly what you’re looking for! Congrats, but before you accept that offer make sure you contact the buyer’s lender and ask a few questions. How well qualified is the buyer? Do they need to sell another home before they can buy mine? How much money are they putting down and who holds the earnest money deposit? How long will it take to close on their loan? As a seller you should definitely educate yourself on some common mortgage products. Why is that important? Here in the Boston area, we have a large stock of older homes. FHA, Mass Housing and a few other mortgage products can be denied if your home is found to have asbestos, lead paint, peeling paint, or a variety of other common problems found in the Boston area.

3. Be ready to renegotiate after home inspection:
You’ve found the perfect buyer, her lending checks out at the bank, and you’ve accepted her offer. Now your buyer is going to schedule a home inspector to come out and inspect the property. Remember that the inspector is being paid by the buyer and isn’t looking out for your best interest. The inspectors job is to come into your home and inform their client of everything thats wrong or could become a problem on the future. Everything on the inspectors list are items the buyer will then used to renegotiate the price you’ve already agreed to. This is where it gets emotional for most home sellers. You’ve put a ton of work into your home over the years and now these people are tearing into every little thing you think is perfectly fine. You have to keep your cool and consider which are legit repair items and which items are BS. The buyer could walk away (forcing you to put the home back on the market) if you don’t come to an agreement after the inspection.

4. Make sure you understand the home buying/ selling time line:
This is very important! In Massachusetts (Boston area) the typical home sale takes about 45-60 days from the time you and the buyer have an accepted offer. Why does this matter so much? I’ll give you a hypothetical. It’s February 1st and you’ve just accepted a new job out of state which starts on May 1st. You’ve given yourself 3 months to sell your home and move to your new location. You put your home up FSBO immediately and start trying to find a buyer. In the excitement of this life changing event, you’ve failed to execute 3 critical steps. A: You didn’t have your home reviewed by a professional and will probably have a few surprises when the home inspector comes. B: You didn’t consider the time of year and the state of the real estate market in your decision to sell. C: You’ve priced your home without consulting a professional and learning what similar homes are selling for in the area.

Considering these oversights, you put your home on the market and don’t get any serious calls for the 1st 2 weeks. You’ve only had a ton of window shoppers and a couple low ball (verbal) offers. Finally on week 6 you receive a reasonable offer and you accept. 10 days later the buyer is coming back to you with a laundry list of complains and things they want fixed. With only 6 weeks until you start your new job you have some tough decisions to make. You finally accept $20-30k less than what you wanted because you’re running of time. 3 weeks later the buyers are denied by their mortgage lender and inform you they cannot move forward with the transaction. Now what?

This scenario isn’t to scare you, but to make you aware of some of the things that can go wrong during a real estate transaction. Fully understanding the home selling timeline can help you avoid scenarios like the one above. I’ve attached a PDF cheat sheet of the home selling process below. Feel free to take it with you as you go through the home selling journey. Good luck!

Boston_Area_Home_Selling_Timeline_

Selling Your Home Timeline – TMC – Click to Download

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Downtown Affordability Within Reach?

As we prepare to usher in a new year, something rarely seen in today’s market is also upon us. The developer Related Beal has begun work on a downtown apartment building where EVERY unit will rent at BELOW-market rates. Downtown is prime real estate so this endeavor is very shocking as developers could get top dollar for such apartments. Their efforts are especially applauded as it called for a hefty $230 million budget. 

The Related Beal project offers a template for other developers to meet the city’s goal of building more housing that middle-income residents can afford. The 14-story building at Beverly and Causeway streets in the Bulfinch Triangle near North Station will house 239 apartments priced at rents affordable to low- and middle-income tenants.

About half the units are aimed at renters earning mid-range incomes — up to $78,800 for a two-person household — with the rest set at rents for lower incomes. A family of four that earns $78,800 a year, for example, could rent a two-bedroom apartment for $1,628 a month, in a neighborhood where similar new apartments could be twice that price. 

When you are doing good for the community, you have to be creative in recouping the financial loss. Related Beal designed the project to also include a 220-room hotel, to help offset the development costs and make it easier to charge lower rents. This is exciting because it demonstrates that developers can impact their community with a little creativity. Areas like Mattapan and Roxbury could greatly benefit from creative projects like this to boost the local economy, provide affordable housing and rid neighborhoods of abandoned buildings. 

Related Beal is writing a road map that could help other builders finance more affordable housing in Boston. The issue with our housing is that middle income renters suffer the most. Generally, they earn too much for heavily-subsidized apartments but can’t afford the high-end apartments that are quickly taking over.  

Construction will likely take about two years and possibly a record breaking influx of applications for the lottery. We will be following this history making project so sign up for our blog to stay current on the progress and to learn more about the Boston real estate market.

If you have any questions regarding renting one of your units, please CONTACT US TODAY at 617-297-8641 or Contact@MandrellCo.com! Our agents are trained to find you the best tenant that meets your requirements.

 

 

adapted from The Boston Globe

 

 

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Building Credit For Home Ownership

Due to the consistent rise in Hyde Park home values and subsequent rental costs, many people are starting to look more seriously at home ownership before they are priced out of their community. Understanding how credit plays a role in your ability to purchase a home is critical. If you do not have credit, then understanding how to build credit with a credit card can really be life changing. It’s an easy way to change your financial future.

You ideally want a card that reports to all 3 credit bureaus and you want to PAY IN FULL each month. If you are unable to do so, do not carry a balance greater than 10% of your card’s limit. The best way to accomplish this is live within your means: DO NOT BUY MORE THAN YOU CAN AFFORD. IF YOU CANNOT PAY OFF THE DEBT IN FULL, YOU CANNOT AFFORD THE PURCHASE! Paying off the card automatically each month is easy, with automated payment options and flexibility in selecting your due date, you should be able to pay in full each month or carry a minimal balance. You are not jumping through silly hoops trying to ‘hack’ the FICO system simply charge what you can pay for and go about your life.

Example: I charge my groceries to my credit card and when I get home, I pay off the bill. This allows my behavior to be reported to the credit bureaus (they hold the key to your financial future if you operate in the realm of credit). You want all 3 bureaus looking at your good credit habits (experian, transunion and equifax). By showing them your good habits, you will increase your credit score in a hurry.

There are 5 factors that go into a FICO score. The biggest 2 are payment history (35%) and amounts owed (30%). As you can see, it’s more important to pay on time than it is to owe a lot of money. Never take out debt to raise your credit score. That’s not a wise choice. That’s like spending money in hopes you can save money by getting a lower interest rate. Does. Not. Make. Sense. Go for the 35% and pay off your card each month. Being in good standing with your debt is the largest factor in your credit score.

At The Mandrell Company, we try to teach strong financial habits to increase home ownership in communities across Greater Boston. We specialize in teaching clients how to build wealth through real estate, and to get started, you need a good track record of strong financial decisions. To attend one of our free seminars, please register at Urban Money Matters or contact us directly at contact@mandrellco.com.

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New Development Project in Roslindale

The construction boom across the city benefits smaller but increasingly trendier neighborhoods as Roslindale. Potential homebuyers priced out of downtown and surrounding areas are beginning to appreciate Roslindale’s close proximity and accessibility to public transportation. Developers are taking notice. The latest development project approved by the BRA are new condos on Taft Hill Terrance.  

  • Total Project Cost: $4,000,000
  • Total SF: 15,353

Parkhead Development, LLC, led by Michael Indresano, received approval on plans to construct 19 condominium units off of Taft Hill Terrace in Roslindale. The project, designed by Embarc Studio, will contain two one-bedroom units, 15 two-bedroom units, and two three-bedroom units spread between two new buildings. Two of the units will be deed restricted as affordable housing, and the developer will make a $96,000 contribution to the City’s Inclusionary Development Fund to fulfill their obligations under the current policy.

The project will include bicycle storage and 19 on-site parking spaces for vehicles. Each condo owner will receive a $2,000 credit towards a car share account to encourage active transportation.

Source: Boston Redevelopment Authority 

To stay up to date on what is happening in your neighborhood’s real estate market, be sure to subscribe to our blog posts.

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It is no surprise that the Boston Real Estate market is HOT! Luxury condo buildings are on the rise, as are rental prices and demand for housing. The Boston Inclusionary Development Policy hopes to keep a place in the city reserved for low and middle income families. 

Some affordable housing activists say changes to the policy is long over due as the last substantial update was in 2007.  Updates are set to take effect in January 2016. The new guidelines would require developers to construct a greater number of affordable housing units or pay more to opt out of on-site affordable units in many neighborhoods. The goal of these efforts is to help keep home ownership within reach for Boston low- and middle income families as current prices are not realistic for achieving home ownership. 

The new IDP shifts will take effect zone by zone. Roxbury, Dorchester, Hyde Park, Mattapan, Roslindale and West Roxbury comprise Zone C. The IDP team aims to encourage middle class housing construction here. There is no increase requirements for developers in Zone C as it is difficult to develop here currently. 

Currently. rental units must be affordable to those making up to 70% of the area median income, earning $62,000 for a family of three. The BRA will allow developers in Zone C, to provide units to those making 100% AMI, earning $88,650 for a family of three. This concerns community members as they believe this is still out of reach for residents of the community. Many believe this will make the area more affordable to those from outside these neighborhoods rather than incentivising community members to become homeowners or remain renters. 

We are sure this will continue to be a topic of discussion in the coming year as we (The Mandrell Company) strive to increase home ownership in these neighborhoods. We work with sellers of the community and also educate potential buyers on the home buying process and provide resources to help make it more affordable for them to own in their community. 

 

For more information on our upcoming home ownership and investing in multi-family seminars, please email us at contact@MandrellCo.com and we will provide an updated schedule of events for 2016. 

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It is no surprise Boston rents have skyrocketed it seems over night. Some areas have seen increases as much as 25 percent over the past few years. Salaries are not keeping up with the pace of housing costs. This fact hurts middle to low income tenants but provides great benefit to landlords and young professionals with cash to burn for convenience. 

The hub is one of the most expensive markets in the nation. Overseas investors purchase properties without seeing them, they simply want somewhere to park their money and earn a great return on that investment. The Boston market is ideal because we are the educational hub, young professional and business hot spot.

Not only do we have oversees investors, but also new investors who want to own a property and have tenants help pay their mortgage. In the short term, the owner’s “rent” is cheaper as tenants pay the bulk of the mortgage. In time, as property values appreciate and owners take advantage of the many tax benefits of owning real estate, it becomes a more profitable and solid investment. If the market crashes, your home may lose value as far of sale price but your income from the property is stabilized and you are not financially affected if you are a responsible landlord. 

In addition to owner occupant investors, we have young professionals who are looking to diversify their portfolio by adding a little local real estate. They do not reside in the property but rather use it as a generator of additional income. Boston’s market is very strong and has weathered most of the financial downfalls of the nation so it is seen as a more safe investment.

Jamaica Plain and Roslindale are hot beds for hipsters and young professionals, and investors know this. Adding amenities and converting triple deckers to condo units is extremely lucrative and they are cashing in on the trend. Investors can spend full price on a triple ($600,000), convert each floor to a condo and sell each unit for upwards of $400,000 each unit. 

The benefits of buying a multi-family is very apparent to oversees investors and becoming more popular with young professionals. If you are interested in purchasing or selling your multi-family, please email us at Contact@MandrellCo.com.

One of our multi-family focused agents will be in touch and can walk you through everything you need to know, whether a buyer or a seller.

Contact us TODAY: Contact@MandrellCo.com 

 

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Millennials Choose: Boston Condo versus Single Family?

For the first time in the region’s history, the median sale price of condo units in greater Boston is virtually equal to the median sale price of single family homes. In 2000, condos sold for two-thirds  the price of a single family home in Greater Boston. Today, they are at 99 percent of the value of a single family home. The increase demand and subsequent price hike is due to high-end units and amenities as well as the buying power of younger buyers and investors. 

Millenials do not want maintenance heavy homes as they prefer to enjoy the finer things in life. They prefer to pay the higher price to forego, yardwork, snow removal, and other bothers. The convenience of proximity to public transportation, simple luxuries as in building gyms or pools are extremely appealing. In the past, inventory was cramped and older, today, we have more amenities which comes at a premium. In addition, the cost of construction has increased which makes more sense for developers to produce luxury units as opposed to single family homes as they also get a greater return on their investment.

Millenium Tower is under construction and it’s already more than 90 percent pre-sold. It is not scheduled for occupancy until the summer of 2016. Buyers are signing Purchase and Sale agreements 2 years in advance to secure this prime real estate. Although many are priced out of these areas, the key is to focus on the next up and coming neighborhoods. Prices in these areas are also on the rise but at a slower rate than the most desired neighbrohoods. Currently, Roxbury is the hotbed for millenials due to its proximity to the city and rich culture.

 

For more information or to work with our Roxbury specialist, Call Terrance Moreau today  at 857-399-0960 or email us at contact@Mandrellco.com for more information.

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On December 12th, Fannie Mae will go live with their HomeReady program aimed at credit-worthy buyers who need a little extra flexibility on the debt to income ratios, down-payment source and monthly mortgage payment verification after purchase. 

A crucial part of mortgage underwriting is evaluating your debt-to-income ratio. With student loans, car payments, entry level job salary, lenders may view your debt as too high and only count the loan applicants income. With the new program, Fannie Mae will also consider the income of anyone living in the home as “non-borrower” contributors, or parents who help pay your mortgage or gift you the down payment. 

With the ever changing dynamics of a traditional home, lenders understand that many homes consist of extended and blended families which makes it hard to qualify if you have people assisting with the bills but no real way to document it. Twenty-five percent of Hispanic homes are multi-generational, 20 percent of African Americans and 17 percent of Asians. The traditional home is no longer mom, dad and children.

To help bridge the gap, the HomeReady program offers the following:

  • Down payments as low as 3%
  •  No minimum contribution from you toward the down payment on a single family home purchase
  • You can add income of one or more household residents to strengthen your income qualification but not be considered borrowers on the loan.
  • When non-occupants are part of the picture, the minimum down payment increases to 5%
  • The Program allows you to count income from in-house boarders (someone who rents a room)
  • Everyone who qualifies for the program will need to complete an online home- purchase education course.

The new program is set to take effect on December 12th but feel free to reach out to us and be connected to a lender who already understands the program and can help you get pre-approved today!

Email us for inquiries at Contact@MandrellCo.com

 

 

 

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South Boston Rental Prices Quickly On The Rise

Are you a current or aspiring landlord in South Boston? No matter your years in the rental business, fully understanding your local market is one the most important things you can do to ensure your long-term success. Receiving regular market updates will help you determine when’s it time to buy and when it’s time to sell. It will also allow you to see what your units rent for in comparison to your neighbors. Should you be increasing your rents?

 
Here are South Boston’s rental market statistics for the last 6 months.

 
Total South Boston 1 Bedroom Listings Rented: 125
Average Rent for 1 Bedroom Units: $2,107

Total South Boston 2 Bedroom Listings Rented: 252
Average Rent for 2 Bedroom Units: $2,735

Total South Boston 3 Bedroom Listings Rented: 98
Average Rent for 3 Bedroom Units: $3,391

Total South Boston 4 Bedroom Listings Rented: 23
Average Rent for 4 Bedroom Units: $4,070

 
Would you like a FREE Sales and Rental Market Report for your specific area(s)? Just send a quick email (or complete the contact form below) 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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Foreclosures Continue to Climb as Winter Arrives

Although the national foreclosure rate has dropped, Massachusetts’ rates continues to rise, according to data from The Warren Group. Foreclosure petitions were just around 5,000 in 2008, decreased to to under 1,500 in 2013 and is around 2,000  currently. Prior to the big crash, the entire foreclosure process took 6 months to move from petition to auction. Now, on average, the process takes about 15 months. The foreclosures occurring now are from five years ago. They were caught in limbo with lenders and the influx of properties on their case load. Now, lenders are starting to off-load properties from their books. 

The current spike in foreclosures is very different from the 2005-2010 crash numbers. Unemployment is lower and home values are higher today. In some instances, Homeowner’s in foreclosure now, have a better chance of walking away with money in their pocket if they sell their property rather than having it foreclosed on. Due to the rising home prices in our aggressive Boston market, homeowners have the potential to sell for a profit or refinance on better terms if they are able to make up missed payments. 

The Mandrell Company specializes in helping homeowners figure out the best strategy for their specific situation. If you are a homeowner facing possible foreclosure, call for a no obligation consultation. We will provide information on lenders who are willing to work with you to refinance and save your home or evaluate the numbers and see if you have an opportunity to make a profit on the sale. 

It hurts to see someone lose their home when they owe $200,000 but their home is worth $350,000 if they were to sell. They walk away with $0, bad credit and no home as opposed to $150,000 in profit and an opportunity to invest that money to improve their financial situation. 

 

To speak with our Broker directly, please contact us NOW! at 617-297-8641

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Mortgage Rates Remain Low Despite Boston Values Skyrocketing

 Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate declining for the third consecutive week on disappointing national manufacturing data. While many cities and towns across the country seem to still be feeling parts of the recession, Boston’s economy (and as a result our home values) seem to be flourishing. The consistency in low mortgage rates are allowing Boston borrowers to also pull equity from their homes and make improvements and repairs.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.93 percent with an average 0.6 point for the week ending December 3, 2015, down from last week when it averaged 3.95 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.89 percent. 
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.16 percent with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.18 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.10 percent. 
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.99 percent this week with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.01 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.94 percent.
  • 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.61 percent this week with an average 0.3 point, up from 2.59 percent last week. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 2.41 percent. 

Would you like to speak with a mortgage broker about buying a home or refinancing an existing mortgage? Call us at 617-297-8641 to be connected with some of the best home loan professionals in the city!

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How Much Equity Will I Have In My Home 10 Years From Now?

Have you ever wished you could take a look into the future and see what things are like? Do you own a home and wish you could estimate the amount of equity you’d have at any given point in the future? If so, we have two videos just for you!

A property’s equity is made of of two simple factors; the value of the home and the amount owed on the mortgage. Simply put, your homes value (the asset) minus the amount of your current mortgage(s) (the liability) = equity. For example, if you own a home worth $500,000 and the current balance of all mortgages is $300,000, you have $200,000 in home equity.

Great! I know both of these numbers today, but how do I determine these two values 10 years from now? Good question! The two short videos below are going to show you just how to do that.

The 1st video takes you through the use of an amortizing mortgage calculator. This calculator will help you determine the principal balance of your mortgage at any point in the future. In addition to the use of this calculator, you should have received a loan amortization schedule with your mortgage documents.

 

The 2nd video is a compounding calculator. A compounding calculator will assist you in estimating the future value of your home. Once you’ve estimated your homes future value, you can simply subtract your future mortgage balance and BAM! There you have it. A quick look into the future!

 

Would you like to view more real estate videos like these? Subscribe to our You tube channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/wmandrell

 

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Money Saving Homes Improvements to Implement Now

If you own a home, chances are you’ve got a long list of renovations and upgrades you’d like to do on it. When it comes to saving money and preserving the value of your home, however, some home improvements are more urgent than others. Here are three high-priority improvements you should consider doing as soon as possible if they are an issue now.

Our suggested improvements will save you money in the long run, help with resale value and keep your home from falling apart. Once you’ve tackled these basic improvements, you can focus on the more fun kinds of upgrades like redoing the kitchen or adding a bathroom.
Project 1: RID YOURSELF OF DRAFTS

Insulate your home and seal drafty windows and doors. Although generally thought of as a winter necessity, We live in New England, I feel like it’s winter 10 months out of the year so this is an everyday necessity. You will not only keep heat in and cold out (savings on your heating bill) but it also keeps the house cool during other seasons. If your windows need to be replaced, start budgeting for this as well.

Project 2: Update To High-Efficient Appliances

In a similar vein, you’ll get the most bang for your home improvement buck if you upgrade inefficient appliances in your home. The top energy suckers in the home are: heating systems, air conditioning, hot water heaters, dehumidifiers, and refrigerators, according to Energy.gov
There are easy ways to adjust the energy usage of these appliances, such as installing a programmable thermostat and running appliances at night. At some point, though, you’ll have to decide between repairing your home appliance or replacing it.

Project 3: Clean Your Gutters and Look for Structural Problems

Water is often the cause of the most expensive home repairs. Winter is upon us so if you have not already done so, start fixing things that leak ie: roof, gutters, old pipes. (For some, this process may be a little late but it’s only going to get colder and snowy-er [I made that up]).
A few leaves and twigs in your gutter don’t sound that dangerous, but gutters are the first line of defense against: water problems in your basement, cracked foundations, rotten wood, leaking roofs, wood-destroying insects, and other problems. So, first, clear the gutters or have a handyperson do it for you, and install gutter guards to prevent future water damage.
Now’s the time to also take a walk around your home and look for any foundation cracks, mold or mildew in the basement or other areas, loose shingles or other roof issues (a binocular helps), any other signs of water damage, and pest issues (like termites). Dont wait until the snow comes, because she’s coming with a force (I suspect).

For more suggestions on how to you can make money saving improvements, reach out to us directly at contact@MandrellCo.com. We also know some great contractors if you need recommendations.

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PREPARE for Winter Now to PREVENT Freezing Later

It’s not too late. Although the first frost has settled on our cars, there’s still time to winterize your home. Instead of waiting for the extreme cold weather to blow in, now’s the time to get everything in order so you’re not stuck catching up on the first sub-zero day. Boston, especially areas with longterm owners such as Mattapan, Roxbury, Roslindale, Hyde Park and Dorchester are laden with older homes so updating/improving your insulation is paramount, especially after winter of 2015. 
Getting your  home prepared for winter is essentially a two-step process: first you need to seal off any leaks, and second you need to make it as efficient as possible so you’re not wasting energy. Let’s start with sealing everything off.
Seal Off Windows, Doors, and Everywhere Else

The last thing you want in the middle of winter is a bunch of cold air leaking into your house. The more cold air that comes in, the more energy you’re going to waste heating up your home. For many people-renters and owners alike-this is an incredibly simple process. Here are a few ideas:

Affordable and Non-Permanent Winterizing for homes and Apartments:

Insulate Your Windows: Your windows are the biggest place you’re going to feel cold air leaking in from. Thankfully, covering them up is easy with an insulator kit. All you need to do is wrap the windows with tape, place the plastic insulation sheets down, and shrink the sheet to fit with a hairdryer. If the window is too big for the plastic sheets, bubble wrap can do the trick.
Use Thick Drapes: If it’s especially cold in your area, you might also want to add a set of thermal drapes to your windows as well. These make the world of difference and help you identify leaks because drapes should not move if air is not entering from the outside. 
Seal Off the Doors: The draft from your door is also a big place for cold air to leak in. You can buy an actual draft guard if you want, make your own from foam pipe insulator, or just toss an old blanket in front of the door. The key is to simply make sure you’re not letting in cold air from underneath the door.
Seal Off Everything Else: Finally, make a quick run through of your house and see if you can feel cold air leaking in anywhere else. You can check attics, basements, and everywhere else. From there, block the air any way you can (safely). 
For more suggestions on how to you can make money saving insulation, reach out to us directly at contact@MandrellCo.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 can make all the difference. We’ve outlined below exactly what’s happened in the multi-family in Hyde Park over the last 6 months. Take a look at the numbers and see where you fit in.

 Multifamily Family Post

Total Homes SOLD: 26

Average Living Area by Square Feet:   2,590.04

Average Listing Price:    $467,208

Average DOM (Days on Market): 80.15                                 

Average Sales Price:  $460,923   

 

Would you like to get your own FREE Sales and Rental Market Report catered to your specific area(s)? Just send a quick email to Contact@MandrellCo.com to receive your monthly report.  We can provide you similar data for any town or city in the commonwealth.

Please call us directly at 617-297-8641,  for custom reports or questions about the data provided.

 

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