Desirable Home Features Today’s Home Buyers Want

Home Features are Changing for 2015

The National Association of Home Builders is reporting that today’s new home features are changing. All those master baths in need of a renovation should utilize the space more efficiently and remove the whirlpool tub and install an oversized shower stall with multiple shower heads. Interestingly, linen closets are losing their popularity and their rating has dropped since 2012, however, they will not be going away. In my opinion, you can never have too many storage areas … as long as they are designed appropriately within the home and does not interfere with the flow and function.

I’ve listed below the most likely to be included features and those that are least likely, and their average rating.

Features LeastLikely600

Features More Likely 600

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please give me a call for all your real estate needs.

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Why Home Owners Need to Get Moving

This Spring … from CNN Money

Less Competition: A limited number of homes on the market will help sellers nab top dollar, and may even spur bidding wars and multiple offers.  The National Association of Realtors® reports that inventory levels nation-wide were at a 4.6 month supply in February. A balanced market is considered to fall between a 5-7 month supply.

Courtesy of CNN Money

Courtesy of CNN Money

Mortgage Rate Hikes Loom: Mortgage rates are still sitting near historical lows, with the 30 yr. fixed rate mortgage hovering under 4%.  The low rates have helped push more buyers into the marketplace, but they could also be a good thing for sellers who are looking to rebuy.  However, rates aren’t  expected to remain this low for too much longer, which may prompt a rush this spring. “When interest rates are thought to be escalating, we see a wave up of activity with people getting off the sidelines,” say Budge Husky, president and CEO of Coldwell Banker Real Estate.

Soaring Rental Costs: Also spurring more potential home buyers off the sidelines:  Rising rental costs.  Rental prices have increased 15% nationwide in the past five years in 70 metro areas across the U.S. according to NAR research.  “Every time there’s an increase, it triggers the decision processes on whether renters should go into the market and buy, “Huskey told CNN Money “It allows others to move up the chain in the market.”

Locally, our home inventory at some price points remain low.  We are seeing more first time home buyers jumping into the market, creating opportunity for trade-up sellers to purchase with the low rates.

Today rates per Bankrate.com:

Fixed Rate:   3.75% – down .01 from last week

15 Year Rate:  2.95% – down .02 from last week

5/1 Arm Rate:  3.03% – down .19 from last week

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Properties Sold

SOLD - 80 Johnson Drive Holliston

SOLD – 80 Johnson Drive, Holliston

SOLD – 17 Trevor Lane Hopkinton

 

SOLD - 66 Lovering St. Medway

SOLD – 66 Lovering St. Medway

SOLD - 14 Daniels Rd. Mendon

SOLD – 14 Daniels Rd.
Mendon

SOLD – 4 Knoll Drive Norfolk

 

SOLD - 4 Longobardi Rd. Franklin

SOLD – 4 Longobardi Rd. Franklin

SOLD - 21 Caryville Crossing Bellingham

SOLD – 21 Caryville Crossing Bellingham

SOLD - 35 Medway St. Norfolk

SOLD – 35 Medway St, Norfolk

SOLD - 61 Morse St Franklin

SOLD – 61 Morse St Foxboro

SOLD – 494 Lincoln Street Franklin

SOLD - 1 Celinda Drive Franklin

SOLD – 1 Celinda Drive
Franklin

SOLD - 101 Mann St Bellingham

SOLD – 101 Mann St
Bellingham

SOLD - 24 Nancy Rd. Milford

SOLD – 24 Nancy Rd.
Milford

SOLD - 11 Bridie Lane Norfolk

SOLD – 11 Bridie Lane
Norfolk

SOLD - 10 Joshua Rd. Wrentham

SOLD – 10 Joshua Rd.
Wrentham

SOLD - 106 Circle Drive Wrentham

SOLD – 106 Circle Drive
Wrentham

SOLD - 231 Main Street Norfolk

SOLD – 231 Main Street Norfolk

SOLD - 105 Medway St. Norfolk

SOLD – 105 Medway Street Norfolk

37  Highland St.

SOLD – 37 Highland St. Franklin

13 Daniel Shays Hopkinton

SOLD – 13 Daniel Shays, Hopkinton

50 Colonial Drive Mansfield

SOLD – 50 Colonial Drive
Mansfield

99 King Street Norfolk

99 King Street
Norfolk

6 Fox Ridge Easton

SOLD – 6 Fox Ridge
Easton

SOLD - 2 High Street Millis

SOLD – 2 High Street
Millis

SOLD-5 Howard St., Hopedale

SOLD-5 Howard St.,
Hopedale

SOLD - 61 Morse Rd. Foxboro

SOLD – 61 Morse Rd.
Foxboro

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Market Value vs. Appraised Value | How It Affects A Home Sale

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If you are a home seller looking to put your home on the market for sale, understanding the difference between Market Value and Appraised Value before you price your home for sale is very important for you to acquire the highest and best price for your home in the market at that time.

Your home’s location, features and condition all play a role in determining what your home is worth.  Market value is driven by consumer demand that is based on the recent sold comparables and pending comparables. Pending comparables provide information as to what direction the real estate market is heading.

The appraisal value is determined by a professionally licensed home appraiser.  Appraisers use methodologies to determine value: cost approach, sales comparison approach or income approach. They have the option to choose the methodology that best suits the situation. The bank requires an appraisal of value before they offer a buyer a loan commitment to finance them for the home.

An example of price vs. value is as such. A home that sits on a treed half acre and private lot with a meandering path through the woods to a secluded open space field owned by the town and deemed recreational; would be very appealing to many buyers who want the privacy and ability to use the extra acreage for pleasure.  This property could possibly fetch more money than a similar home nearby that does not offer the abutting advantage, however, the market analysis presented by a realtor would/should consider this bonus when gauging the value for the current market.  In determining the appraised value, this abutting acreage provides no value in an appraiser’s calculation.

How does this affect the seller who is pricing a home for sale, you ask? If the seller feels this location alone increases the value of the home over and above the market value the comparables show, and a ready, willing and able buyer presents an offer giving you your desired price; and then your home does not appraise, you’ve lost valuable time on the market and potentially a lost sale. The bank would not provide a mortgage for a home that appraised less than the agreed upon price. It would be too much of a risk for the lender. The Purchase and Sale Agreement has a mortgage contingency that states that if the buyer cannot acquire financing for a mortgage all funds are to be returned.

Three ways how pricing high could cost you money:

  • The buyer has been watching the market for other homes and a new home comes on the market that appeals to them more. They are no longer obligated to this transaction.
  • The market shifts to a quieter cycle with less buyers. Supply and Demand work to determine market value.
  • Your “days on market” number increases causing buyer concerns as to why the home did not sell. Simply, human nature. Time on the market is money out the window. Your home’s value decreases and most times below the sale number the original comparables indicated, called “chasing the market”

It is always advised to price a home where it will show its value. Technology has allowed buyer’s to be very informed and knowledgeable. They have a sense of value online, but gain greater knowledge as they begin the journey into homeownership.

Call me for all your real estate needs.

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2015 Color of the Year | A Robust Life Force

Marsala

Pantone, the worlds authority on color has released its 2015 Color of the Year: Marsala. Personally, I love the deep, warm and rich color tones of red. The flair and personality!

The current trend for the past few years, and still ever popular, has been the neutral shades of gray.  If you are thinking of selling, fresh paint is a necessity and appealing to home buyers; and the gray tones would be just right as a complimentary color to the earthy red-brown tone of Marsala. A perfect rich pop of color, adding warmth into a world of creamy blends of whites and grays.

The best way to add color when you are planning on selling is with the accessories; pillows, throws, pictures, vases, etc. These items can easily be changed out by the new buyer, helping you achieve a better financial return on your investment.

Need help on preparing your home for sale, call or email me, and together we can create a plan of action.

508-479-2106

jean.curley@nemoves.com

 

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Just Sold – 4 Mill River Road, Norfolk

 Charm. Personality. Comfort. 

  3 Bedroom | 2 Full & 1 Half Bath | 3194 Sq. Ft. | $550,000

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Thinking of Selling. With inventory still low, now is a good time               before your competition heats ups.

Call me today.  508-479-2106     or email @ jean.curley@nemoves.com

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4 Ways It Could Cost You Plenty | Timing is Everything

Is Waiting to Put Your Home On The Market Financially Wise

  • Interest Rates. Currently the interest rates are at historically low levels. No one can guarantee that interest rates will not go up again in the near future. If rates increase, the affordability factor knocks buyers out of the marketplace. Actually, with every 1% the interest rate rises, a buyer’s purchasing power comes down 10%. With fewer buyers in the marketplace, your market value decreases.
  • Time is on Your Side. Many sellers underestimate the amount of work and time needed to prepare their home for sale.  You wouldn’t go to an interview in your pajamas so don’t put the “for sale” sign on your lawn until it is show time. Over 90% of buyers begin their home search online and it is where their first point of contact begins.  It is easy for a buyer to click past your home and move on to the next one. Not all sellers need to hire a professional stager to present their home beautifully online. De-cluttering,  cleaning  thoroughly, putting a fresh coat of paint on the walls and minimizing your personal footprint will showcase your home’s positive attributes in a glowing light.
  • Tax Changes. At the moment we enjoy a number of benefits for owning property. See your accountant for tax advice.  Should the federal government decide to change capital gains or interest deductions, you could risk the current tax advantages which we currently enjoy, as well as lose potential buyers because they no longer can afford to purchase.
  • New Property Could Cost More. If you’re buying a new home that’s more expensive, you could cost yourself plenty.  For example, let’s say you’re selling a $300,000 home and looking to buy a $400,000 home.  If both properties appreciate at the same rate of 3% over the next six months, you gain $9000 on your existing home. However, the $400,000 home now costs you $412,000 or a net loss of $3000.

 Want to know where your home is positioned in today’s market, please call me.

508-479-2106

jean.curley@nemoves.com

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Managing the Process of a”Piggyback” Sale

The Sell-then-Buy Home Transaction

Most  sellers  today must sell their current home before they can purchase a new home. The proceeds from sale #1 are used for sale #2. This is referred to as a “piggyback” sale. If you are fortunate to have found a home and buyer at the same time, consider yourself very lucky.  Often times, the closing for #1 is in the morning and #2 in the afternoon.

Recently, I listed a home for a client who had found her dream home first. Understanding the short window of opportunity she had to capture a buyer in the real estate market at this time provided a challenge in preparing the home for sale. An undertaking that took her 3 weeks to complete, would take the average person a few months. She was totally motivated!

After a few weeks on the market, an offer was produced and the grit of the transaction that lay ahead was revealing itself.  The interested buyer had their home on the market with an accepted offer, however, a home inspection by their buyer had not been done just yet.  Furthermore, their buyer was preapproved for a USDA loan, a mortgage option with an exacting underwriting process. Not a type of loan you normally see, but the option this buyer chose to go, most likely for personal reasons and beyond anyone’s control.

After an in-depth conversation between me and the buyer’s agent about the viability of their buyer, my client decided to engage her buyer to allow her the opportunity to acquire her dream home.

So, now we have six sides of a real estate transaction with four realtors involved, and as a realtor® I have a fiduciary responsibility to protect my clients personal information and deposits while helping them achieve their desired goal.  Therefore, limited information can be shared to get you to the end result without compromising the client.

Once this boat sets sail, there can be upwards of 16 additional professionals involved in this sale – buyer, seller, loan officers, home inspectors, appraisers, attorneys and contractors, if needed, so careful orchestration was paramount in coordinating the contingency dates and terms (including price) in the offer.

When managing a sale transaction, the cooperating realtor is now my best friend. In a regular single sided transaction emotions can and do run high causing the possibility for the deal to derail. With so many touches here, you can imagine the need for patience, awareness and sensitivity of all the parties situation. The offer deadlines approach fast and I am not a supporter of allowing the need for an extension. Extensions are an opportunity for the deal to break, so communication and coordination are key elements in keeping the transaction together.

Fast forward … the 6 sides of the deal came together with multiple hurdles along the way that we were able to overcome. Two that I can share were the need for additional negotiations for unexpected home inspection issues on two sides of the transaction and the banks diligent underwriting process requiring the parties to jump through additional hoops. This didn’t cause any delays in meeting our required deadline, just a little more stress.

The looming threat of the foundational buyer, the one with the USDA loan, not being able to receive their commitment letter was with us every day from the beginning. The final walk throughs were scheduled and the closing date came, but an unexpected twist changed things for some of the parties. Was the looming threat of the first buyer with the USDA loan going to be the structural crack that brings the multiple home sales down?

 Call me for all your

Real Estate

needs.

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2015 Local Market Predictions

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 Will it be a Buyer or Seller’s Market?

  • Franklin’s inventory is down about 10% over this time last year with the days on market 50% less.  Third quarter numbers posted show an increase in home values over 2nd quarter.
  • Interest rates are forecasted to rise as we enter the spring market and continue through the summer.
  • The expectation is that home values will continue to improve as we enter the spring market.
  • Homes prices should remain consistent over the next 6-9 months with no rapid increase or big dip downward.
  • Optimism is being felt and home equity, once lost, is recovering.  I feel more sellers will be putting there homes on the market as we approach the spring.

Buying a Home Remains Cheaper Than Renting

Check out this interactive map

Rent vs. Buy | Which is Cheaper for You?

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Great News for Home Buyers | Mortgage Rates

Mortgage Rates Post 9-8-14

 

 

Helping you to avoid the purchase mistakes that cannot always

be overcome by appreciation  … over time.

Call me today 508-479-2016

 

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