House Hunters Blog

Sellers Market is Losing Wind in its Sails

This summer, for the first time in about four years, there were signs that the supply-demand balance was becoming more even. This year, there was a noticeable lull in demand in August. It is “normal” for the real estate sales volume to drop in August.  For the past four year, no summer doldrums; the normal drop in

By |2018-10-08T11:15:13+00:00October 10th, 2018|Categories: Market data and conditions|

Asphalt Exterior Siding

That siding! You’ve seen it. The one that looks like brick-shaped wall paper that has the texture of roof shingle. Sometimes it looks like stone rectangles, sometimes like roof shingle, instead of like brick. It comes in all kinds of colors. Why would someone put roof shingle material all over their house? As with aluminum

By |2018-09-24T14:48:26+00:00October 3rd, 2018|Categories: Health and safety, Problems and repair|

Waiving Mortgage Contingency

1. Most of the time, if you have a documented pre-approval, you will get your mortgage, so a mortgage contingency is not really necessary, right? Wrong. It is only unnecessary if: You can afford to lose 5-10 percent of your purchase price. The mortgage contingency gives you a date by which you can get that

By |2018-09-16T12:53:33+00:00September 26th, 2018|Categories: Money and finance, Mortgage matters|

The Doghouse

The doghouse, in real estate lingo, is part of the house that people use, not dogs. Doghouses have advantages for people who use their basement as a workshop and for people who live in areas where there are heavy rains or snows. Do you know what it is? Here’s what it isn’t. It is not

By |2018-09-09T14:06:54+00:00September 19th, 2018|Categories: Health and safety, Problems and repair|

Poor Homeowners and Their Roof Problems

For poor people, especially poor elderly people, the cost of a new roof is beyond them. The whole house can fail if a hole in the roof is left unattended. All it takes is one 18-inch-by-18-inch hole in the roof of a house to allow in the elements and bring the structure down in about

By |2018-08-30T08:19:28+00:00September 5th, 2018|Categories: Problems and repair|

What Does it Cost to…

When we show properties in the metro-Boston area, it is impossible to judge their value without considering the cost of repairing and maintaining them. That's why electronic valuation programs are so wildly wrong; they can't tell the difference between a not-renovated house, a badly maintained house, or a maintained-but-not-updated house and a fully renovated one.

By |2018-07-30T14:18:48+00:00August 29th, 2018|Categories: buying process, Problems and repair|

Vinyl Siding

What is under that vinyl? My neighbors decided to spruce up their exterior, they exchanged their faded mint-green vinyl for trendy dark blue vinyl. I took the opportunity to provide you with this tour of vinyl siding. Around here, the vast majority of vinyl sided houses have perfectly serviceable wood shingles underneath. People choose vinyl

By |2018-08-03T17:03:12+00:00August 22nd, 2018|Categories: Problems and repair|

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|