House Hunting

$3000 towards knob and tube removal

Some electrical repair can’t wait. Knob and tube wiring is one of those problems. This wiring, from 80-100 years ago, has not aged gracefully. It is considered a fire hazard by most insurance companies. Our clients are often told that they cannot get insurance, or they can only get insurance if they promise to remove

Can’t sell because you can’t buy?

The big issue in Boston area real estate is inventory. There are not enough houses for sale. We have a stalemate about inventory here. These are the factors: Empty-nesters are staying longer in their houses. This is a demographic and cultural shift. They are holding on to their houses, partly because of personal choices and

Higher interest rates

Do you know what it will cost you to borrow at a higher interest rate? If your rate changed from 3.5 percent to 3.75 percent, the cost would be an additional $14 per month, per $100,000 of principal. This increases slowly to $15 per month, per $100,000 when the interest rate changes from 4.5 to

Creating an effective house-hunting search

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 | 2017-01-23T08:46:52+00:00 January 25th, 2017|Categories: buying process, House Hunting|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Choosing a town. How far is too far?

How do I choose a town to buy in when I don’t live there? That is one of the most frequently asked questions by prospective buyers. They live in an apartment now. They know it is too small for their long-term use. They want a yard. But, where? It is both common sense and neuropsychological

By | 2017-01-18T08:19:12+00:00 January 18th, 2017|Categories: House Hunting|Tags: , , , |

Save money, buy a smelly house

One of my pet peeves about houses for sale is that many of them are unpleasant because they are dirty. Houses collect hold odor in the heat of the summer and in the dead of the winter. Sellers, ventilate. Sellers, clean your homes. Sellers, don’t cover it with perfume! It’s little wonder why some places

By | 2016-12-28T14:00:58+00:00 September 28th, 2016|Categories: buying process, House Hunting, Problems and repair|Tags: , , , |

Where do you get information about schools?

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 this data, you will find information about not only test scores, but stats on the qualifications

What does UAG mean? CTG?

Here’s a quick primer on how to read the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and alternate real estate listing sites. Most of my clients “web around” to sites like Trulia and Zillow to look at images of properties for sale. We create customized searches with our database, but the raw data is out there for everyone

By | 2016-12-28T14:01:00+00:00 March 22nd, 2016|Categories: buying process, House Hunting|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Distressed properties (short sales and foreclosures)

What is good about distressed properties: In a market where prices are this high, any discount is a discount. What is wrong about distressed properties :  Many conditions of these sales require that you give up your right to inspect, your right to get your deposits back, and any leeway for delays in your financing. The

Baffling you with bullsh*t

The spring market is coming, and so is the spring marketing. If you are reading headlines and looking at charts, you will likely come up with the wrong conclusion. Below, I will show you some liar’s graphs. But first, the data those graphs were based on. The actual data (from Zillow): The real estate economy