House Hunters Blog

Good Schools, Expensive Houses

House hunters with children, or hypothetical children, almost always ask about schools. Parents want good schools for their kids. Immediately, they run into the brick wall: houses and condos in high-scoring school districts cost more than houses and condos in lower-scoring towns. Why is that?   There are two factors:  Education is funded mainly by

By |2018-07-22T15:32:27+00:00August 15th, 2018|Categories: buying process, Buying trends|

Choosing a School District

So, what do you do to get the best education you can afford for your children? Public information: The Department of Education publishes district profiles. To open a report card, write the town or district into the box for “Search for your Report Card.” Then use the hyperlinks below that to see the information. Within

By |2018-07-22T15:11:45+00:00August 15th, 2018|Categories: buying process|

Bad Location and Compromise

Some houses only sell in seller’s markets. That is when buyers are willing to do their deepest compromises. Buyers who are considering entering the market need to know that we are still in a seller’s market. When buyers get desperate, they look at seriously location-impaired houses. I am talking really impaired! Under the highway entrance

By |2018-08-01T18:17:46+00:00August 8th, 2018|Categories: buying process|

Effective House Hunting

The most common mistake that consumers make when setting up an MLS search is to limit their search too much or too little. The ideal search yields properties that are closer and closer to the goal. Bad searches yield either too few options or properties that don’t work, in the same way, over and over.

By |2018-07-27T12:54:30+00:00August 1st, 2018|Categories: buying process|

Knob and Tube Wiring

One of the common repair items that end up on a buyer’s “to do, now!” list is removing knob and tube wiring. Knob and tube is a form of electrical wiring used in the late 1800s and early 1900s, with a rubber sleeve covering the wires and porcelain knobs to prevent them from touching the

By |2018-07-08T21:17:57+00:00July 25th, 2018|Categories: Problems and repair|

Better Financing as a Negotiation Tool

The trend has been for listing agents to encourage their clients to accept offers that have  better financing. Because of this, commercial investors have a strong advantage because they frequently purchase for cash or with very high down payments. Whose interests are being served by rushing offers, then choosing buyers who are going to resell

By |2018-06-29T10:17:36+00:00July 18th, 2018|Categories: Mortgage matters, Negotiating|

Good Time to Downsize

A rising market favors people who are downsizing because the higher the property value, the greater the sale of the more expensive, bigger property. This offsets the higher price of the downsized, smaller property, assuming both properties are rising at the same rate. Suppose you own a house that was worth $650,000 before the mini-bubble.

By |2018-06-28T17:33:15+00:00July 11th, 2018|Categories: Market data and conditions, Money and finance, thinking of selling?|

This is What Democracy Looks Like. My Day on Beacon Hill.

My day started out at a Joint Committee on Revenue hearing regarding Somerville Transfer Fee Home Rule Petition (H-4582). Somerville Board of Aldermen have created a transfer fee that will charge non-resident owners and buyers a one percent fee when selling and buying property. If the seller lives there, no fee. If the buyer intends

By |2018-06-20T18:17:54+00:00June 27th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|

Which Improvements Pay Off at Resale?

Improvements. Which ones pay off at resale? I get asked that all the time. Once our clients become homeowners, they start thinking like sellers. Some improvements pay back at a high rate at resale. Some only pay back in your enjoyment of the place (and may help you sell faster.) Here's a list from Groom

By |2018-06-03T19:29:35+00:00June 13th, 2018|Categories: Buying trends, Problems and repair, thinking of selling?|Tags: |