Boston Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

May 5, 2020

Lockdown's Effect on Real Estate

BOSTON HOUSING SALES DOWN!

Everyone wants to know what effect the corona virus/shelter-in-place lock downs have had and will have on real estate. Although some governors have labeled real estate an essential service, the media have sufficiently scared the public into cowering in their homes and not getting out and looking for their next home as much as they would normally be doing at this time of year. With very few exceptions, sales this April are less than what they should be. Since real estate markets vary from state to state, county to county, and even within cities, we shouldn't be interested in general stories you might read in the newspaper or hear on the nightly news regarding real estate sales
"nationwide" or in one state or another. What matters is what is happening in your town. Consequently, what follows below is a table showing 63 individual towns and neighborhoods in and around Boston to give you a hyper-local feel for what is going on in our "local" area.

The table has four columns next to each town. The first is the average number of sales from Jan 1, 2020 through Apr 30, 2020. Therefore, 20 total sales = 5 on average per month. The second column shows what impact the shutdown has had on April sales. You will notice that 57 of the 65 market areas saw a decrease in the rate of sales when April should have seen a significant increase. This does not bode well for May.

The third column shows the number of homes on the market and available for purchase as of May 4. Not unexpectedly, there are fewer homes on the market that what we would normally expect due to the fact that sellers, unless they are desperate to sell, do not want strangers parading through their home and possibly contaminating it. Although determining absorption rates usually utilize the average number of sales per month, for example, 5.5 for Allston, given current circumstances, I think it wiser to use the most recent month's sales to calculate how many months it will take for the current inventory to sell off. The caveat, however, is that this assumes that no other properties will come on the market until all of these sell.

Real estate markets are dynamic. They change daily. So, although absorption rates are constantly changing, they do give us an idea of whether we are in a buyer's or a seller's market.

BUYERS

You obviously want to get a good deal on your purchase, right?! Your strategy should be to find homes that have been on the market a long time. The usual reason for them not selling boils down to the property being overpriced. Being overpriced gives you the opportunity to make a low-ball offer without worrying about others bidding up the price which occurs in a seller's market. Ideally, you want to be buying in a buyer's market. A buyer's market occurs whenever there is so much inventory on hand that it will take more than 6 months for everything to be sold. If you look down the fourth column for numbers 6 or more, those are the places you should be able to negotiate a good deal.

SELLERS

We have had a long, great seller's market beginning back in 2012. Prices began rising until finally plateauing in 2018. Robust markets where sales have continued at a good pace have not seen many bidding wars, certainly not above asking price; and so, you have to be careful about how you price your property. You don't want to be too high and have it sit without showings and/or offers. The higher the number in the fourth column, the more realistic you are going to need to be about pricing. The question you now have on your mind is likely: should I put my property on the market now or wait? Since the best time to sell is March through June, you cannot afford to wait. Sales drop off precipitously in the summer time!

Interpreting absorption rate data:

0-3 months = seller's market. 3-6 months = balanced market. 6+ months = buyer's market.

Town or Mo Sold On Mos
Neighborhood Sales Apr Mkt Supply
         
Allston 5.5 3 6 2.0
Arlington 34 33 27 0.8
Ashland 22.8 17 12 0.7
Back Bay 15 9 57 6.3
Bay Village 4 2 12 6.0
Beacon Hill 9.8 3 48 16.0
Belmont 15.3 13 21 1.6
Braintree 28.5 14 37 2.6
Brighton 18.5 12 34 2.8
Brookline 36.5 29 89 3.1
Cambridge 50.3 32 75 2.3
Canton 24.3 15 66 4.4
Charlestown 17.3 17 32 1.9
Chelsea 14.3 14 25 1.8
Chestnut Hill 13.5 9 30 3.3
Chinatown 4.5 0 24 4.0
Concord 23 8 46 5.8
Dedham 25.8 20 31 1.6
Dorchester 64.8 48 101 2.1
Dover 8.5 6 53 8.8
Downtown 7.5 7 39 5.6
East Boston 32.3 23 80 3.5
Everett 19.3 14 33 2.4
Fenway 5.5 2 13 6.5
Foxborough 13.8 14 19 1.4
Framingham 56.8 49 57 1.2
Hyde Park 16.5 11 14 1.3
Jamaica Plain 37 33 55 1.7
Lexington 24.8 22 62 2.8
Lincoln 5.8 10 21 2.1
Malden 29 17 21 1.2
Mattapan 7.8 4 10 2.5
Medfield 11.8 13 46 3.5
Medford 34.3 27 37 1.4
Melrose 18.5 15 12 0.8
Milton 19 14 35 2.5
Mission Hill 3.5 3 6 2.0
Natick 39.3 27 61 2.3
Needham 20.8 16 50 3.1
Newton 60.8 35 157 4.5
North End 10 11 24 2.2
Norwood 17.5 13 17 1.3
Quincy 60.3 44 110 2.5
Revere 24.3 16 40 2.5
Roslindale 21.3 16 25 1.6
Roxbury 13.8 7 25 3.6
Sharon 23.8 17 49 2.9
Sherborn 8.5 10 19 1.9
Somerville 48.8 38 74 1.9
South End 25.8 22 93 4.2
South Boston 49.8 36 128 3.6
Sudbury 26.3 16 45 2.8
Walpole 21 19 49 2.6
Waltham 41.5 35 52 1.5
Watertown 28.8 22 32 1.5
Wayland 17.8 14 27 1.9
Wellesley 21.5 13 69 5.3
West End 4 3 20 6.7
West Roxbury 24.5 20 24 1.2
Weston 12.5 11 48 4.4
Westwood 14.8 17 32 1.9
Weymouth 58.5 55 56 1.0
Winthrop 9.3 3 21 7.0
Posted in Market Updates
Dec. 19, 2019

Boston Real Estate Stages a Rebound

BOSTON HOUSING INVENTORY DOWN!

Between late summer and the end of the year many areas in Boston have defied history. An expanding inventory has suddenly contracted and have not only slowed the inevitable change from a balanced market (3-6 months of inventory) but have reverted many areas back into a seller's market! The chart below shows over 60 towns/neighborhoods around Boston, providing you a glimpse into which towns/neighborhoods are best to buy or sell in as of today. The market is in constant flux as houses come off the market due to seller fatigue, withdrawn for the holidays, or change of mind about selling, or as other new listings come on the market. 

Typically, sales from November to January shrink in number. You will see below that every town or neighborhood has seen a drastic drop in home sales for the first 18 days in December relative to the average number of sales per month from Dec 1, 2018 through Nov 30, 2019.

BUYERS

Generally speaking, the best time to buy is now through January as competition will really start to heat up in February. If you want to know in which towns you might get the best deal, look down the column of # of months supply and see which are at 6 months or greater. Another way to look at it is to see which areas have had the fewest number of sales this month... especially if the number that have been selling on average is drastically higher.

SELLERS

The hottest time to sell is from February to April. Therefore, get your home on the market in January!!

  # # Avg #
Town or On Sold Mo Mos
Neighborhood Mkt Dec Sales Supply
         
Allston 9 3 6.0 1.5
Arlington 20 9 49.9 0.4
Ashland 21 7 26.9 0.8
Back Bay 63 7 22.7 2.8
Bay Village 17 1 6.5 2.6
Beacon Hill 29 4 13.3 2.2
Belmont 19 7 22.6 0.8
Braintree 38 12 38.7 1.0
Brighton 35 12 25.0 1.4
Brookline 54 13 41.8 1.3
Cambridge 45 19 67.3 0.7
Canton 53 8 29.7 1.8
Charlestown 32 9 30.7 1.0
Chelsea 24 9 19.7 1.2
Chestnut Hill 38 11 18.9 2.0
Concord 68 6 22.8 3.0
Dedham 28 11 29.7 0.9
Dorchester 125 38 78.2 1.6
Dover 46 3 7.3 6.3
Downtown 114 8 19.8 5.8
East Boston 83 8 42.3 2.0
Everett 39 13 30.0 1.3
Fenway 12 3 5.6 2.1
Foxborough 26 9 18.1 1.4
Framingham 65 26 66.8 1.0
Hyde Park 26 8 21.0 1.2
Jamaica Plain 61 22 43.3 1.4
Lexington 47 15 31.9 1.5
Lincoln 22 4 5.9 3.7
Malden 29 15 38.9 0.7
Mattapan 12 3 9.2 1.3
Medfield 23 6 15.8 1.5
Medford 32 19 49.3 0.6
Melrose 20 14 31.9 0.6
Milton 39 9 25.3 1.5
Mission Hill 8 2 1.3 6.4
Natick 57 27 41.9 1.4
Needham 40 14 30.8 1.3
Newton 149 21 71.3 2.1
North End 35 35 4.9 7.1
Norwood 14 15 29.8 0.5
Quincy 129 34 95.8 1.3
Revere 37 22 38.9 1.0
Roslindale 24 11 27.3 0.9
Roxbury 22 9 10.3 2.1
Sharon 45 6 19.3 2.3
Sherborn 30 6 8.2 3.7
Somerville 93 28 21.5 4.3
South End 60 9 34.9 1.7
South Boston 127 20 62.6 2.0
Sudbury 62 5 25.6 2.4
Walpole 42 7 28.8 1.5
Waltham 50 27 53.4 0.9
Watertown 37 16 36.3 1.0
Wayland 28 6 16.1 1.7
Wellesley 59 9 27.9 2.1
West End 13 2 4.7 2.8
West Roxbury 20 8 27.6 0.7
Weston 42 3 13.8 3.1
Westwood 28 6 20.6 1.4
Weymouth 97 35 71.8 1.4
Winthrop 17 8 17.3 1.0
Posted in Market Updates
Dec. 9, 2019

Registry Fees Going Up

Cost to Buy/Sell Your Home on the Rise

When you buy or sell a home in Boston there are unavaoidable fees whether you sell with or without a real estate broker. These fees include the property transfer tax (aka stamp tax) as well as recording fees. These are scheduled to go up. For details on recording fees, please click here.

Posted in Market Updates
Dec. 9, 2019

Boston City Council to Impose Higher Taxes & Burdens on Landlords

 

Sponsors: Wu, OMalley, Flaherty, Edwards, Essaibi-George, Flynn, Janey, McCarthy, Zakim, Campbell

 

Status: March 18th, Public Hearing, GBREB testified in opposition, vote scheduled Wednesday, December 11th at noon.

 

GBREB has joined NAIOP Massachusetts in expressing our concerns regarding several items in the proposal that will cause chaos for existing projects by taking effect immediately upon a vote by the City Council. It also would mean that projects could be denied if they have an effect on contagious land and regulate projects outside the buffer zone. Notice to abutters would be required within 300 ft. vs 100 ft, which is consistent with other wetlands bylaws. This would be unheard of in an urban area. Lastly, it requires applicants to consider the “cumulative effect” on “foreseeable future projects” found in Boston Master Plans or other documents approved by the City.

 

 

 

 

Sponsors: Edwards, Janey, Wu, Ciommo, Esssabi-George, Flaherty, Flynn, Garrison, O’Malley, Zakim and Campbell.

 

Status: March 19th public hearing. GBREB testified in opposition. Vote scheduled Wednesday at noon

 

On Monday, the Committee on Government Operations released a report regarding the real estate sales tax introduced by Councilor Lydia Edwards. The Committee report included a report prepared by the Walsh Administration and PFM Group Consulting on the Economic Impact of a Real Estate Transfer Tax. The bill reported out of Committee changes the proposed sales tax from 6% to 2% and strikes in its entirety the language regarding a 25% “flipping tax” on repeat sales. It also has been amended to allow but not require the City of Boston to partner with the Registry of Deeds for the Collection of fees.

 

 

 

 

Sponsors: Zakim, Wu, Ciommo, Edwards, Essaibi-George, Janey, Flynn, O’Malley and Campbell

 

Status: Public Hearing, Tuesday December 10th at 3:00, posted on the Council Agenda for Wednesday.

 

Docket #0549, entitled “Ordinance regarding providing voter registration to tenant” would require all residential landlords to provide voter registration forms to all residential tenants at the time of lease signing. While the proposed Ordinance would exempt owner-occupied dwelling and certain institutional housing, it would require the inclusion of these voter registration forms with all leases and would subject any property owner or manager to a $100 fine and other potential liability if they fail to comply. It also imposes fines and potential liability for treble damages and attorney’s fee pursuant to G.L. c. 93A for any ministerial error. Docket #0549 imposes liability not only on the landlord, but on managers and rental agents.

 

 

 

Your voice is critical! Please keep up the pressure and call the Boston City Council and let them know you oppose ANY new sales tax on homes or commercial property and to consider reasonable amendments to the wetlands by law before rushing it through.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Market Updates
Aug. 28, 2019

Real Estate is Hyper Local

Real estate is often in the news. Talking heads are sharing about how houses are appreciating or depreciating in value based upon national sales figures. However, real estate markets are not only NOT national, they are not just local either. They are hyper local. The Boston metroplex is not a national market. It is local to you and me here in Boston; but, the market can be vastly different in different areas of Boston!

Here is a chart of property data in and around Boston, comprising about 60 towns and neighbors:

Locality Available Pending Total Sold - 7/31 Absorption Mo Supply
Allston 11 13 24 37 5.3 4.5
Arlington 35 72 107 298 42.6 2.5
Back Bay 112 38 150 199 28.4 5.3
Bay Village 6 5 11 2 0.3 38.5
Beacon Hill 52 31 83 99 14.1 5.9
Belmont 28 31 59 152 21.7 2.7
Braintree 66 71 137 243 34.7 3.9
Brighton 50 54 104 154 22.0 4.7
Brookline 91 72 163 373 53.3 3.1
Cambridge 89 125 214 455 65.0 3.3
Canton 82 99 181 145 20.7 8.7
Charlestown 39 52 91 211 30.1 3.0
Chelsea 25 32 57 145 20.7 2.8
Chestnut Hill 60 24 84 139 19.9 4.2
Concord 84 34 118 169 24.1 4.9
Dedham 44 58 102 201 28.7 3.6
Dorchester 107 162 269 422 60.3 4.5
Dover 55 17 72 54 7.7 9.3
Downtown 134 42 176 134 19.1 9.2
East Boston 88 142 230 257 36.7 6.3
Everett 32 64 96 174 24.9 3.9
Fenway 14 29 43 56 8.0 5.4
Framingham 88 135 223 456 65.1 3.4
Hyde Park 38 45 83 134 19.1 4.3
Jamaica Plain 60 95 155 269 38.4 4.0
Lexington 85 57 142 201 28.7 4.9
Lincoln 35 10 45 40 5.7 7.9
Malden 43 88 131 269 38.4 3.4
Mattapan 8 29 37 60 8.6 4.3
Medfield 45 27 72 96 13.7 5.3
Medford 66 90 156 329 47.0 3.3
Melrose 34 59 93 193 27.6 3.4
Milton 60 44 104 159 22.7 4.6
Mission Hill 6 4 10 12 1.7 5.8
Natick 78 68 146 277 39.6 3.7
Needham 54 47 101 227 32.4 3.1
Newton 194 140 334 547 78.1 4.3
North End 20 13 33 37 5.3 6.2
Norwood 33 64 97 216 30.9 3.1
Quincy 179 193 372 526 75.1 5.0
Revere 43 92 135 244 34.9 3.9
Roslindale 29 50 79 188 26.9 2.9
Roxbury 34 24 58 79 11.3 5.1
Sharon 53 32 85 144 20.6 4.1
Sherborn 46 15 61 58 8.3 7.4
Somerville 125 109 234 472 67.4 3.5
South End 60 52 112 282 40.3 2.8
South Boston 131 130 261 442 63.1 4.1
Sudbury 93 40 133 188 26.9 5.0
Walpole 51 67 118 183 26.1 4.5
Waltham 62 83 145 361 51.6 2.8
Watertown 48 54 102 251 35.9 2.8
Wayland 52 17 69 108 15.4 4.5
Wellesley 71 43 114 208 29.7 3.8
West End 6 3 9 15 2.1 4.2
West Roxbury 30 44 74 185 26.4 2.8
Weston 96 31 127 83 11.9 10.7
Westwood 56 83 139 97 13.9 10.0
Weymouth 117 165 282 446 63.7 4.4
Winthrop 38 33 71 105 15.0 4.7
Totals 3671 3642 7313 12306 1758.0 4.2

First, some vocabulary tips!

  •  Locality can be a town or neighborhood of Boston.
  •  Available means a property that no one has made an acceptable offer on.
  •  Pending means a property has an accepted offer but has not closed yet.
  •  Closed means money and title have transferred between seller and buyer.
  •  Total on the top line means all available and pending properties added together
  •  Sold - 7/31 means the total number of closed sales Jan 1 - Jul 31, 2019
  •  Absorption rate is the average number of sales per month between 1/1/19 and 7/31/19
  •  Months Supply is the number of months it might take for all the existing properties to sell**

** Months' supply of inventory does not take into account that new properties come on the market almost daily and that some sellers give up and take their homes off the market voluntarily! This means that the number of months of inventory is not a fixed fact but is a moving target!

Second, why is this chart important to you?

The bottom line is what you might find reported in the Boston Globe.
   "There is a 4.2 supply of inventory in the Boston area as of today's news. Realtors say that a 0-3 months' supply
   indicates a seller's market, a 3.1-6 months' supply indicates a balanced or neutral market, and 6.1+ months' supply
   of inventory indicates a buyer's market. A seller's market means bidding wars and rising prices. A buyer's market
   means falling prices. Boston is in a "neutral" market."

Such a story, although using real, accurate figures is "fake news!" Why? Because real estate is not just local, it is hyper local. Although it points to the truth that our seller's market has come to an end and we are eventually going to find ourselves in a buyer's market, this is just painting with a broad brush. If everyone in the Boston metroplex believes and acts as if we are in a neutral market, he will find some pleasant and not so pleasant surprises! Values and market timing are NOT the same from town to town or neighborhood to neighborhood. Look at Arlington or Belmont. Their supply of inventory is under 3 months each and so they are still enjoying a seller's market and might be surprised at how fast his property sells and for top dollar while places like Revere or South Boston ARE in a neutral market and it might take awhile to sell and maybe not for as much as the seller is hoping to get. On the other hand, if you look at Weston or Westwood, they are already deep into a buyer's market and are finding their properties sitting on the market, getting stale at the price they were hoping to get. They have to lower their prices if they want to sell sooner than waiting for the 10 months' supply to be finally absorbed.

Just so you know, hyper local does not simply indicate "confined to a town". In large towns, some parts sell better than others. Some price ranges sell better than others. Therefore, even in a town where you have, on average, a 4-months' supply of inventory, each price tier is likely different. One tier might sell in within a month. Another tier might not sell for a year!

If you'd like to know what market you are in specifically, please reach out to me and I will be glad to drop by and give you a hyper local estimate of value and time to sell.

Posted in Market Updates
Aug. 14, 2019

Interest Rates Dropping

PSA for buyers, sellers, and real estate agents alike - 45 days should be the time frame used in offers to purchase for getting a new mortgage. Think it's a benefit to go 30 days?  Well, with the yield curve on treasuries officially inverting today, we're officially in a refinance boom. What does that mean? Longer turn times for lenders - literally every lender in the country is experiencing an influx of refinance volume - at levels rarely seen before.

Extend your deadlines

The last time rates were this low, consumers had nowhere near the levels of home equity they currently do. Last time they had home equity in the amounts they currently have, rates were closer to 6%.  We currently have the perfect storm of huge rate drops (down from the 5's last November to the 3's today) immediately following a 6-year period of extreme home appreciation.  For home owners, this means the time is now to refinance - either for rate/term refinances or cash out refinances (rarely is the market primed for both to offer such huge benefits).

 

For real estate agents, this means setting oneself (and more importantly, clients) up for failure if trying to push for 30-days or less escrow periods.  

 

Lenders might still be telling you they can get stuff done in 30 days; and the reality is, they probably can - but with operations teams being maxed out with an overload of applications and bulging pipelines, turn around times are being affected proportionally. Underwriters simply can’t get everyone’s file reviewed as quickly as we want.

 

If your option is to push for an escrow period of 30 days or less and almost guarantee a stressful closing for just about every party involved, or, to set your escrow period at 45 days and ensure everyone is happy, all deadlines are met, and all expectations are exceeded, which scenario makes more sense? Why choose the former? Just don't do it!

 

The verbiage everyone I will be using for the foreseeable future is "45 days or sooner, if all parties agree", in any and all contracts where that's possible. Buyer agents are still feeling the pressure of "our offer won't get accepted with more than 30 days" in many hot markets with tight inventory, so they're still going to push for 30 or 21 day escrows. Lenders, feeling the pinch and afraid of losing business, will succumb to this same pressure - and then everyone will be upset come closing time because deadlines are being missed or things are not happening until the very last minute. Again, the answer is simple... Just don’t do it!

Posted in Market Updates
July 10, 2019

Don't Buy Old When You Can Buy New!

TWO NEW CONSTRUCTION HOMES FOR SALE!!

54 Birchwood Street, West Roxbury, MAStop previewing all of the old houses in Boston with their tiny closets, no or window air conditioning, and bathrooms or kitchens that need enlarging or updating?

Admittedly, there is not a lot of single-family new construction homes to choose from in Boston. Fortunately, however, you now have an opportunity to buy a brand-new home in a great location. 5

2 and 54 Birchwood enjoy Boston's low tax rate and are just minutes from all the great shopping available in Dedham and Westwood. The sooner you buy, the more custom touches you will be able to add! The homes will be available for occupancy in early fall.

Click on this link to follow the construction progress.

Posted in Market Updates
June 21, 2019

Do You Like Your Realtor?

Buying and Selling Real Estate

starts off as a logical, thought process but more often ends up being run by emotions. You want to pick the best agent who knows the market and has lots of experience and references, but then rely upon your emotions when it comes time to make a choice. This is normal. After all, we are human. As such, we are doomed to repeat making decisions based upon "how you feel" versus based upon "what makes sense". When you are interviewing REALTORS to find the best one to represent you, your natural inclination will be to go with the one you like, the one with whom you "click". This kind of behavior might cost you thousands of dollars! Consequently, you must not let your need to "feel good" govern your decision making. Here is a real-life example of what you should avoid doing...

You interview two agents. The first one bounces into the room with excitement, oohing and aahing about your home. You talk some and are enthralled by the enthusiasm exhibited. The suggested list price is right where you think it should be. The next agent arrives. This one is quiet, contemplative. You have a sober chat about the market and go over a pricing strategy. Now, which broker would you choose?

Although the seller appreciated the sober approach and agreed with everything said, the seller felt as though the "click" was between the enthusiastic broker because the broker's excitement might translate into better marketing, such that buyers might be swept up in the same interest/excitement the broker has and buy the property. This makes sense, right? You get someone oozing enthusiasm for your property and who agrees with you on where to price it. 

Well, a thoughtful seller would have asked exactly how the brokers would go about marketing. Maybe even ask to see something that they have on the market or have recently sold to be able to compare marketing plans. As it turns out, I already had a passing acquaintance with this seller and chose a sober approach, focusing upon the real estate market and the economy instead of putting on airs. 

The end result: the home should have sold within two weeks. It didn't. It is a small condo and so there are only so many photos you can take of it. The enthusiastic broker took 7 interior shots and 3 exterior and one of the common area in the building. I would have taken 10-12 interior shots, 4-6 exterior shots, and 10-15 of the building and its amenities. I would also have created the unit's own web site to showcase the property in its best light versus confining my marketing to posting it in the MLS. The enthusiastic broker did not take the time to measure the unit or to provide a floor plan. Sadly, this "enthusiastic" broker is providing sub marketing for such a great property. We shall see just how long it takes and how many price adjustments will be required before it sells.

Posted in Listing Your Home
June 14, 2019

Congress Passes VA Loan Bill

Congress has passed the "Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act."

The PresideSeal of the Dept of Veterans' Affairsnt is expected to sign H.R. 299, the "Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act." The positive side of this:

This legislation includes language which will eliminate the cap on the VA home loan guarantee. Veterans, under this legislation, will be able to purchase any home they qualify for using the VA home loan (with zero down payment). What does this mean for you, Vets? Prior to this legislation, the VA Guaranteed Loan Program set limits on how expensive a home you could buy with zero down payment. This might have been okay in cities and towns where housing was affordable; but when you are looking at the housing prices around Boston, that loan amount ceiling just didn't cut it. So, in prior years and areas you might have been able to buy a home as long as it didn't cost more than $485,000. But, as soon as the President signs the new bill, you can buy any house that you can afford with zero down payment!

There are two way in which you must qualify: 

  1. Like buying with any other mortgage program, you must have enough income and good credit for the loan amount you need.
  2. You must be an eligible Vet. VA eligibility is earned through service to our country. Active duty (Title 10) members can become eligible after 90 straight days during wartime or 181 days during peacetime. If not called to active duty, regular military members need to serve two continuous years, and Reservists and Guard members must serve six years. The VA loan benefits are available to most Veterans who served prior to the early 1980s as long as they have 90 total days of active military duty during WWII, Korea War or Vietnam War, or 181 continuous days of active duty between these conflicts. This is just a summary of the eligibility guidelines. Regardless of when you served, the VA has a rule regarding honorable discharge. To be eligible for VA home loans, a Veteran, if separated from the military, must have done so for reasons other than dishonorable discharge. Also, if your service was shortened due to an injury, illness, reduction in force or some other qualifying reason, the VA may still award home loan benefits in some cases even if you do not meet the minimum service duration requirements.

The negative side of this:

As introduced, the legislation would slightly increase some of the guarantee fees for all veterans using the VA loan program, in order to pay for the healthcare component.

Posted in Market Updates
April 10, 2019

3 Steps to Effective Decluttering

3 Steps to Effective Decluttering

Spring cleaning is a ritual that most homeowners find themselves tasked with annually. While some people enjoy the activity, others find it tedious and difficult. When attempting to sell your home, you may be even more wary, as such daunting tasks can cause added anxiety and stress. Here are a few tips on how to help get rid of your stuff: 

Decluttering

1) Look for Support. Friends and family are often great motivators for getting rid of clutter. Think about asking other people's opinions on what should stay and what should go. If you're in the process of selling your home, your REALTOR could be a trusty resource. REALTORS have experience helping people just like you prepare their homes for prospective showings and eventual moves.

Sometimes I find myself face-to-face with a seller whose home is jam packed with stuff. The first thing I tell them is, "If you are planning on moving, start packing now!" This takes the stress off doing everything at once when the property sells and the sellers have 3 weeks to clear out! It also is a great means of decluttering and making the home feel more spacious.


2) Professional Help May Be Necessary. Sometimes the task at hand may be a bit too much for homeowners to handle. Years of clutter and storage build up quickly and figuring out where to even begin can be tough. So enlisting the help of a professional organizer can go a long way to speedily cleaning your home.


3) Consider Your Options. When you are actually ready to declutter, the question then becomes: Where should all the stuff go? There are a few options to consider when cleaning:

SELL. Some things you may want to sell include antiques or collectibles.

DONATE. Old clothes and furniture that you don't use anymore may be better suited for others in need.

STORE. Consider getting a storage unit off-site if you are unsure about getting rid of your possessions. If you are relocating, you can look into getting a POD or something similar.

TRASH. Can we et real? Some items you have stored have no value or are damaged. Throwing them away is a quick way to create much-needed space.

Posted in Home Tips