Boston Area Real Estate Connection
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Boston Area Real Estate Connection
Real estate updates and trends for Brookline, Brighton, West Roxbury and Newton MA
Curated by Ruth Lerner
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Do Home Buyers Pay A Commission in Newton MA?

Do Home Buyers Pay A Commission in Newton MA? | Boston Area Real Estate Connection | Scoop.it
I am often asked how real estate agents get paid. Home buyers worry they will have to pay a commission, let me clear up the confusion.
Ruth Lerner's insight:

Home buyers are naturally confused by the real estate commission rules.  This article is relevant whether you are buying a home in Newton, Brookline or Boston.  


Once you understand your role in paying agent commission, make sure you hire a great Realtor, who is not asleep at the wheel.  Click for more useful tips for home buyers in Greater Boston.

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Regency Park Condominiums Brookline MA

The Regency Park is a luxury condominium complex located 1731 Beacon Street in Washington Square. Known for it's amenities, Regency Park offers indoor swimmi...
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Greater Boston home values heating up again - Boston Globe

Greater Boston home values heating up again - Boston Globe | Boston Area Real Estate Connection | Scoop.it
Greater Boston home values heating up again
Boston Globe
Highlights from the Boston Real Estate Now blog. Boston and a growing number of ... peak set during the bubble years.
Ruth Lerner's insight:

If you are friends with a busy real estate agent, you would have known this by now.

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Boston MA Local Blogs

Ruth Lerner's insight:

25 Local Boston MA blogs and bloggers.  Do you want to add anyone to the list?  Let me know.

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Another Monster Along Jamaica Plain's Parley Avenue

Another Monster Along Jamaica Plain's Parley Avenue | Boston Area Real Estate Connection | Scoop.it
The $2,155,000 trade of 45 Parley Avenue was the most expensive home sale in Jamaica Plain in 2013. The newly listed 41...
Ruth Lerner's insight:

Take a look at this beautiful house on Parley Road in Jamaica Plain.  

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Zillow: Boston-area home values hit record levels in January

Zillow: Boston-area home values hit record levels in January | Boston Area Real Estate Connection | Scoop.it
There’s more good news for Bay State homeowners: Home values increased in January, well above the national average, according to the Zillow Home Value Index.
Ruth Lerner's insight:

Prices keep rising in the Boston area, as inventory keeps falling.  For example, in 2008, 150 condos on market in Brighton was normal. Today there are 17!!!


Year-over-year median prices in Brookline have risen 10.5%.  Take a look at this article for more detail on the market and price trends in other towns.

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Sophisticated condos in Sudbury - Wicked Local

Sophisticated condos in Sudbury - Wicked Local | Boston Area Real Estate Connection | Scoop.it
Sophisticated condos in Sudbury
Wicked Local
Dudley Brook Preserve, a community for active adults 55 and over, offers 26 townhouse condominiums in four styles, all with private courtyards and a functional open floor plan.
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Luxury condos for Engine 6 site | Village 14 City of Newton, Massachusetts

Luxury condos for Engine 6 site | Village 14 City of Newton, Massachusetts | Boston Area Real Estate Connection | Scoop.it
The Newton Tab reports that a developer has bought the old Engine 6 firehouse in Waban and will be building three luxury condos there. The Engine 6 property Events and Politics in Newton Massachusetts (Remember Engine 6?
Ruth Lerner's insight:

Luxury Condos in Newton to be built at the Engine 6 property.  Located in Waban, these three new homes will have D line access! 

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Home Prices in Newton Center, 02459

Home Prices in Newton Center, 02459 | Boston Area Real Estate Connection | Scoop.it
Houses in Newton Center come in diverse sizes, ages and styles. Zip code 02459 covers a large residential area, from the historical Victorians on Beacon Street to the late 1940′s ranches of Oak Hill. From splendor to tear-downs, we have it all.
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Condos soar as home sales stumble - Boston.com (blog)

Condos soar as home sales stumble - Boston.com (blog) | Boston Area Real Estate Connection | Scoop.it
Condos soar as home sales stumble
Boston.com (blog)
There's more price volatility with condos the poster child, at least in New England, of the devastating early-1990s real estate collapse. Many of those who snapped up ...
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Luxury retailers expanding in Boston - Boston.com

Luxury retailers expanding in Boston - Boston.com | Boston Area Real Estate Connection | Scoop.it
Luxury retailers expanding in Boston
Boston.com
Their growth mirrors the surge of wealth that has flooded Boston in recent years, with stylish modern buildings where condos sell for seven figures, and restaurants that feature $62 Kobe steaks.
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Have rents finally peaked? - Boston.com (blog)

Have rents finally peaked? - Boston.com (blog) | Boston Area Real Estate Connection | Scoop.it
Have rents finally peaked?
Boston.com (blog)
So says John Ford. Owner of downtown Boston brokerage by the same name, Ford's Boston Real Estate Blog offers an insightful and independent take on the city's real estate market.
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Future Of Boston: Expensive Housing Market Puts Squeeze On Workers - CBS Local

Future Of Boston: Expensive Housing Market Puts Squeeze On Workers - CBS Local | Boston Area Real Estate Connection | Scoop.it
Future Of Boston: Expensive Housing Market Puts Squeeze On Workers
CBS Local
“It's really the law of supply and demand,” said Tim Warren, CEO of the Boston-based real estate data tracking firm The Warren Group.
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Married landlords who file separate tax returns may lose ability to deduct rental losses

Married landlords who file separate tax returns may lose ability to deduct rental losses | Boston Area Real Estate Connection | Scoop.it
The vast majority of the time, it’s best for married people to file a joint return. However, there are situations where they can save on taxes by filing separately. For example, a married couple may save tax by filing separately ...
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Real Estate Assessed Value VS Fair Market Value

Real Estate Assessed Value VS Fair Market Value | Boston Area Real Estate Connection | Scoop.it
The difference between Real Estate assessed value and fair market value explained in detail. There is little correlation between assessed and market value.
Ruth Lerner's insight:

One of the most common question from buyers is why the assessed value so different from asking price?


Bill Gassett writes, "In most cases assessed values are a worthless piece of data when figuring Real Estate values."


I agree.


This article from 2012 still rings true, especially in a hot market when home prices are soaring.  This is what is going on in the Boston area, and the difference between the City's assessed values and market prices grows.  


It is important to understand the absence of a correlation.  But it is also important to understand the relationship between the two numbers.  As I wrote in my 2013 post about Boston and Brookline Abatement, you can use the market prices to ensure you are not overpaying in taxes.

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Bill Gassett's comment, March 24, 2014 2:01 PM
Thanks for sharing Ruth!
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First Time Home Buyer Advice

First Time Home Buyer Advice | Boston Area Real Estate Connection | Scoop.it

Tips For Buying Your First Home by Bill Gassett. Enjoy This Real Estate Article? "Subscribe To My Blog - It's FREE and No Spam EVER!" Get my blog articles in your inbox as soon as they are published!

Ruth Lerner's insight:

This is a through overview from Bill Gassett for first time home-buyers.  There are many vital tips here, and I'm adding a few of my own.


1. To get specific about your search.  Know what you want and need.  In general I would agree, but at the start you may not know your options well enough.  I often need to recommend to buyers to get unspecific, and be open to options.  Budget always poses the least flexible constraint.


2.  Get your Pre-Approval Letter.  I can't stress this enough, I can't agree more!  In the pre-approval process you will learn a lot about mortgages, a big piece of the home-buying puzzle.


3. Look Thoroughly.  Know your inventory, compare and learn why one property is priced higher than another.   Get out there and visit open houses as much as possible.


4. Hire a Great Real Estate Agent.  Seriously, this would be my very first tip.  I believe the most important research you can do is for finding a buyer's agent.  Interview several, don't be shy, this is important.  An agent will be a resource of information and guidance from the very beginning


5. Make the Right Offer.  In a seller's market, like today, expect to compete for a home.  For a new listing and multiple offers,  make an offer well in excess of the last comparable sale if you are buying in Brookline, Newton or Boston.   


6. Listen to the Inspector.  Inspection is your opportunity to scrutinize the property, and to learn how to take care of your home.  Wise advice, Bill.

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Bill Gassett's comment, March 2, 2014 2:23 PM
Thanks for sharing Ruth!
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Warren Buffett reveals his No.1 rule for property investing

Warren Buffett reveals his No.1 rule for property investing | Boston Area Real Estate Connection | Scoop.it
In his much-anticipated annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders, company chairman Warren Buffett revealed some of the lessons he's learned from investing in real estate over the years.

In the letter, Buffett sizes up a deal in 1986 for a 400-acre farm 50 miles north of Omaha, N

Via Richard W J Brown
Ruth Lerner's insight:

Thinking of investing in real estate?  The investors I've witnessed who have done well follow Warren Buffett's advice instinctively.  “Focus on the future productivity of the asset.” 


Focusing on price and future price, you will get stuck.  Current prices never seem reasonable, future prices always unpredictable.  


But when you focus on the "productivity of the asset," meaning, the expected income from the property, it is much easier to find value, and make an offer.

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Richard W J Brown's curator insight, February 26, 2014 2:34 PM


When Warren Buffett speaks many will listen and try to learn – and I am no exception! So, what did he have to say about the secret to successful property investing then?

 

“…focus on the future productivity of the asset under consideration — not how much the property price will change."

 

Of course he was talking about a commercial property investment – a farm – and so I am not going to use this argument in the battle between income and capital investing per se. However, despite the fact that he is talking about a commercial property venture we can still take some lessons into our residential property investing strategies and here’s how…

 

Buffett, being a visionary investor is capable of both assessing AND realising an asset’s future value in terms of its income generating potential. Translating this to assessing the future value of an investment property, at face value this would seem quite straightforward – check the rental returns of comparable properties in the local area and add in some element of growth projection based on factors such as supply & demand, population growth, new inward investment, industry growth, Government policy, fashion and desirability factors, etc. and there you go right?  Well, no not really; I don’t believe this is what Buffett intended with his advice at all. After all, he seeks exponential growth rates not linear ones with his investments as far as I can tell. So how can we apply his rule to our property business then?

 

Well, to me he is looking outside the obvious i.e. say we buy a 3 bed house and assess the equivalent rental value of a 3 bed house as a single let now and in the future as outlined above. I don’t think he is suggesting that so, taking the farm investment as an illustration – he assessed an increase in productivity and future crop prices in his assessment not an assessment of today’s values and a suitable yield return multiplier. What he did was to incorporate a sort of added value yield multiplier into his thinking instead.

 

Applying this to our 3 bed house example; what if we could create a 4th bedroom (remodel the layout), or create additional space by adding a loft conversion (extend), or convert into a 4 or 5 bed multi-let (change of use), or carve out a section of the garden to build on (redevelop), or convert into 2 flats (title split), or simply let the garage out separately (separate rental generators), etc. etc.? I think that’s the line he was heading down.

 

OK, so as an investor myself I usually tend to look for a discount when buying to create value and built-in equity at the point of purchase and so an uplift in my resulting yield but right now I am currently looking to buy a property where I will be paying close to the asking price for it – and the reason is that I plan on converting it to a multi let, which will have an end valuation some 70% higher post works. I have also let a property and garage separately to increase the overall yield and done a PRC conversion to overcome restrictions on lending to increase the value of another property. These are just examples of the things we can do to improve the returns and as a result the end values of our investments.  I certainly do not claim to be a guru on the subject; the examples used are merely to illustrate what is possible with a little bit of vision and not necessarily always my own ;)

 

Sometimes we have to look beyond the obvious to find the gems right in front of our eyes…

Richard W J Brown's comment, April 1, 2014 11:58 AM
Ruth - thx for the rescoops and commentary :)
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Real Estate Prices in Brookline MA: Single Family Homes

Real Estate Prices in Brookline MA: Single Family Homes | Boston Area Real Estate Connection | Scoop.it
Following the trend of prices of houses on market in Brookline MA. What contributes to the difference in prices and where is the current trend heading?
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FHA Minimum Credit Score Requirement Drops 40 Points

FHA Minimum Credit Score Requirement Drops 40 Points | Boston Area Real Estate Connection | Scoop.it
Credit score requirements are dropping for the FHA mortgage. Analysis and effect on U.S. home buyers, plus today's live FHA mortgage rates.

Via Lynn Pineda, Bill Gassett
Ruth Lerner's insight:

More flexibility and lower thresholds in lending will allow the first time home buyers to enter the market.  With low interest rates, and high rents, home ownership will become not only more attractive, but more feasible.

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Lynn Pineda's curator insight, February 19, 2014 2:17 PM

More Buyers to qualify for an FHA Mortgage.  Will this continue to strengthen the many Sellers Markets being experienced nationwide  with an increase in supply of Buyers searching for homes to buy? Currently, a Seller's Market means there are many Buyers with not enough homes for sale to select from, yet with threatening rise in mortgage interest rates, has the pool of eligible Home Buyers shrunk? Perhaps, this will make the pool of Buyers grow.

 

If you're considering Selling your home, the greater the competition for your home the better. Act now, and get your home ready to sell.

Bill Gassett's curator insight, February 20, 2014 9:28 PM

FHA mortgage products are super popular with today's buyers due to the fact that you can get into a home for low money down. Currently in order to get an FHA loan you only need to put 3.5% down. This makes it especially attractive for a first time home buyer.


With FHA dropping the credit score requirement by 40 points there will be more borrowers eligible for using an FHA mortgage product.

Lynn Pineda's comment, February 20, 2014 9:35 PM
Thanks Bill!
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Boston Condos Are On the Map For Chinese Investors - Banker & Tradesman

Boston Condos Are On the Map For Chinese Investors - Banker & Tradesman | Boston Area Real Estate Connection | Scoop.it
Boston Condos Are On the Map For Chinese Investors Banker & Tradesman Last March, the National Association of Realtors didn't consider Massachusetts one of the top destinations for Chinese buyers; but by June the Realtor organization had the...
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1059 Beacon St, Brookline, MA

MLS#71482975

Ruth Lerner's insight:

Recent price reduction on this property.  Priced at $2,350,000.

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Condo Market Report for Brookline MA, January 2014

What is the trend in the condo real estate market in Brookline MA? How will things change in 2014?

The tight real estate market in Boston and the area has put great pressure on the town of Brookline’s inventory of housing.

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Future Of Boston: Real Estate, Transportation Development Projects - CBS Local

Future Of Boston: Real Estate, Transportation Development Projects - CBS Local | Boston Area Real Estate Connection | Scoop.it
Future Of Boston: Real Estate, Transportation Development Projects CBS Local BOSTON (CBS) – Right now there is more than $5 billion worth of real estate under construction in Boston including brand new buildings in the Seaport district, Downtown...
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Luxury apartments hit the market in Chelsea - Boston Business Journal

Luxury apartments hit the market in Chelsea - Boston Business Journal | Boston Area Real Estate Connection | Scoop.it
Luxury apartments hit the market in Chelsea Boston Business Journal Betting that not everyone can afford downtown Boston apartment rents at nearly $5.00 per square foot, a pair of developers have opened “One North of Boston” where luxury living can...
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BBJ Real Estate Daily: Boston's newest luxury apartment tower now ...

BBJ Real Estate Daily: Boston's newest luxury apartment tower now ... | Boston Area Real Estate Connection | Scoop.it
If you are having trouble viewing this email, click here Sponsored by: February 7, 2014 Boston's newest luxury apartment tower now leasing Competition amon.
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