Money and finance

File this, save thousands on real estate taxes!

Residential exemptions make a big difference to property taxes in Massachusetts. While doing a comparative market analysis for a client, I noticed that half the condos were paying almost twice as much in taxes than other condos that were pretty much the same size and location. The difference wasn’t that some were renovated, thus worth

By |2019-09-11T18:24:45-04:00September 11th, 2019|Categories: Happy Home Ownership, Money and finance|Tags: , , , |

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 |2018-09-16T12:53:33-04:00September 26th, 2018|Categories: Money and finance, Mortgage matters|

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 |2018-06-28T17:33:15-04:00July 11th, 2018|Categories: Market data and conditions, Money and finance, thinking of selling?|

Two-Income Trap

In The Two Income Trap, Ms Warren and Ms Warren Tyagi wisely advise families to prepare for emergencies ahead of time. I am thinking of copying the chapter “The Financial Fire Drill” and giving it to my clients before they start house hunting. They pose three questions: Can your family survive for six months without one

By |2018-04-08T15:31:05-04:00April 18th, 2018|Categories: Money and finance, Mortgage matters|

Property tax, the basics

For most of our clients in eastern Massachusetts, their property taxes went up for 2018. In many towns and cities, the tax rate stayed the same, or even went down. Example: In Somerville, the tax rate for residential property went down slightly from Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 and FY2018. It was $11.67 per thousand dollars

By |2018-01-08T17:43:23-04:00January 17th, 2018|Categories: Money and finance|

Credit Fraud. House Hunters’ Guide

How will the Equifax data breach in 2017 affects your house hunting? Equifax's mistakes in September, 2017 gave away the social security numbers of half of us. Are you in the lucky half, or the unlucky half? Here is the story That data will be sold and resold by criminals for years to come. If you are

Scare the buyers, sales hype 2017

Dear Boston Globe, It is February 28, 2017.  Too early for your annual “scare the buyers” article. Please wait until spring. But, since you chose to publish now. I will translate for my clients. Definitions: Sales volume: the number of housing units sold in a given period. Median sales price: The middle price from a

Credit scores, the very basics

Your credit report is a full list of who you have open credit with, and how loyal you are about repaying those debts. Your credit score is a number compiled based on how you are handling that debt. The algorithm used to determine you credit score changes, but there are some basic rules. Have open

By |2016-12-28T14:00:59-04:00July 27th, 2016|Categories: Money and finance, Mortgage matters|Tags: , , |

Change in credit score calculation coming soon

Mortgage underwriting change. What does it mean to you? There’s a new version of credit analysis that will be part of the approval process. Changes will start having an effect when the new Fannie Mae Desktop Underwriter* launches June 25th.  It will allow lenders to discern between applicants who carry balances on credit cards vs.