Archive for October, 2017

For Bedford Real Estate, Halloween Marks a Turning Point

Fa la la la la, la la la la: it’s carol time again!

Not quite? You can’t almost hear those sleigh bells ringing? Well, brace yourself. Halloween is today—and nowadays, that means that by Wednesday, holiday advertising will be with us for the duration.

Whether we admit it or not, the Thanksgiving start of holiday season is a thing of the past. Hallmark has already launched its “Countdown to Christmas;” Bedford mailboxes are filling with gift catalogs; store windows are only weeks away from being transformed into snow-sprayed winter wonderlands.

As far as Bedford real estate is concerned, a couple of the advantages to buying during the holiday season will arrive more or less simultaneously. And there are advantages.

One real estate education company, FortuneBuilders, counts five key reasons why “the holidays are a great time to buy.” In short, they are:

  1. Limited inventory. Less activity means fewer competing buyers.
  2. Sellers are motivated. Those who have not sold during the peak season are more likely to welcome offers.
  3. This depends on the particular financial situation of both Bedford buyers and sellers.
  4. Lower interest rates. Historically, interest rates tend to be lower during the holidays—probably because mortgage companies need to pep up sleepy demand.
  5. Faster closing. Although lenders, brokers, and inspectors may be thinking it’s time to take a vacation, when business does appear, they clear the decks and move!

Those reasons may seem like distant abstractions in the week before Halloween, but they are very much in play starting with the first stirrings of November….and Thanksgiving…and all the rest of the holiday onslaught! For those who will be in the market for a new Bedford home—in reality, they’ll be shopping in a “holiday” market environment! As the educators put it, “some of the best deals you can make during the holidays involve real estate, not 72-inch televisions.”

Give me a call me anytime!

Joan Parcewski, Realtor & Notary

LAER Realty Partners           http://www.JoanParcewski.LAERRealty.com

JParcewski@LAERRealty.com    cell 978-376-3978

Laer Realty PartnersJoan Parcewski Full Picture 102017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Autumn is Burlington’s Landscaping Window of Opportunity

Burlington gardening enthusiasts already know this—but for those whose thumbs are anything but green, right now is a special time of year where landscaping is concerned. It’s Burlington’s high season for planting and transplanting!

You don’t have to intend on listing your Burlington home anytime soon to have a vested interest in maximizing your home’s curb appeal. After all, year in and year out the plantings in front and back yards can make all the difference in the kind of impact your property makes—it’s a pride of ownership fundamental. Neighbors and casual passers-by may not realize how much of a difference a pleasingly planted yard makes, but it’s one area that’s readily within every Burlington homeowner’s control. And experienced gardening hands know that right now it’s the key season for making the most difference for the least expense.

Autumn’s cooler temperatures are what creates the opportunity. The soil is still holding much of the summertime warmth while cooler air temperatures make for less stress on plants’ roots (and on the gardener doing the planting, too). Like bears, perennials need to hibernate. Their dormancy period constitutes a nice restorative siesta. It’s also a low-stress way for roots to settle into their new digs.

Most non-gardeners only start thinking about boosting the color and variety of their gardens with the arrival of springtime…but for many spring-blossoming bulbs, shrubs, perennials, and trees, that’s not the optimal time to get out the digging forks and shovels. Right now is when experts say it’s best to divide clumps of any perennials that have been doing well. It’s how to spread the color to other parts of the garden—at a total cost of nada. It’s also prime time to watch for sales at Burlington garden centers.

Burlington house flippers approach their projects on a much-compressed schedule—but for homeowners who aren’t thinking about selling anytime soon, taking the long view of property enhancement begins with their home’s setting: its landscaping. October is the perfect season for turning any long-range creative ideas into next spring and summer’s lush garden reality. Then when the time does come to buy or sell Burlington real estate, I hope you’ll think of giving me a call. I’m always here to share some no-obligation counseling and advice!

Joan Parcewski, Realtor & Notary

LAER Realty Partners           http://www.JoanParcewski.LAERRealty.com

JParcewski@LAERRealty.com    cell 978-376-3978

Laer Realty PartnersJoan Parcewski Full Picture 102017

 

 

 

Billerica Homeowners Gain from Home Value Optimism

More than half of U.S. homeowners expect their home’s value to rise in the coming year. For Billerica real estate watchers who track public sentiment as a market indicator, the news comes as a welcome addition to other reports of rising consumer optimism regarding the economy as a whole.

The finding comes from a national telephone and online survey conducted earlier this month by the Rasmussen Reports organization. It signals an acceleration in a year-long trend of rising expectations among U.S. homeowners. A year earlier, fewer than 40% had predicted that their own home values would rise in the coming year. In this latest report, that number has increased to 53%—a leap of 12% over the March finding. According to Rasmussen summary, this amounts to “a record high” in optimism about future home values.

Billerica homeowners who plan to list their own properties in the immediate future have reason to welcome measures of positive expectations. When most people expect Billerica home values to rise, buyers are apt to view current market prices in terms of their investment potential. This can prove to be important—especially when values have been on the rise for a while.

This latest Rasmussen finding was all the more impressive in that it marked the first time in eight years that a majority of those sampled expressed optimism about future home values. It is in sync with a heavy majority of industry prognosticators who predict home value increases in the coming year.

It’s always good news when there is general agreement that Billerica home values are expected to continue to rise. If your own future includes the possibility of buying or selling in the coming year, I’d like to help—call me anytime!

Joan Parcewski, Realtor & Notary

LAER Realty Partners           http://www.JoanParcewski.LAERRealty.com

JParcewski@LAERRealty.com    cell 978-376-3978

 

Laer Realty PartnersJoan Parcewski Full Picture 102017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buying a Home in Burlington: Quelling the Top 5 Fears

While we’re still in Halloween Scary Things mode, we might as well address the fear factor when it comes to buying Burlington homes. First-time Burlington home buyers aren’t the only ones who experience at least some degree of trepidation as they go about such a major purchase. The prospect of buying a home can be so intimidating that putting it off seems the easiest course of action (actually, inaction). The problem is that if that delay happens to fall during a period of rising home prices or mortgage rates­, it’s going to seem self-defeating in retrospect.

But unlike the scary Halloween decorations that are being crated up until next year, the fears that accompany home buying are reality-based. When you look up “home buying top fears” you come up with a remarkably consistent million and a half commentaries.

Here are 5 hobgoblins that contend for the honor of being the most Universal Home-Buying Fears—issues most likely to haunt people as they go about buying a home in Burlington:

  1. Money. It’s not just the unusual number of zeros that buying a home involves, it’s also the scary thought that maybe the property is overpriced (in other words, that you are the only one who will ever be in love with the place enough to pay $xxx,xxx). The mortgage lender’s loan approval letter can shoo away this goblin.
  2. Interest rates. As home loan interest rates rise, it’s rational to fear that you won’t find a suitable home before rates drive the monthly payment number out of range. As soon as the right Burlington home is located and rates are locked, this witch flies off into the night.
  3. Condition surprises. This fear can wake anyone up in the middle of the night: what if the inspection doesn’t uncover major issues–but they show up later? This fear may be rational, but it’s seldom realized. It’s usually banished by Father Time.
  4. The neighborhood. What if the neighbors turn out to be an unfriendly lot—or are just plain weirdos? The cure for this is as simple as chatting with some folks on the block, making some shopping forays at local Burlington stores. Most of us have our own reliable built-in antennas that alert us to places that make us uncomfortable.
  5. It’s safer to rent. Especially for first-timers, this scary gremlin may be the most persistent of the five because it’s self-inflicted. In fact, it’s just another cloak that Fear of the Unknown wears­—so it’s particularly difficult to throw off. The best cure is to remember that everyone who has ever bought a home in Burlington has eventually reached the opposite conclusion. Ask them, and they’ll tell you it’s one they don’t regret.

Buying a home can be scary at first, but one very reassuring factor is that you don’t have to go it alone. Just give me a call!

Joan Parcewski, Realtor & Notary

LAER Realty Partners           http://www.JoanParcewski.LAERRealty.com

JParcewski@LAERRealty.com    cell 978-376-3978

 

Laer Realty PartnersJoan Parcewski Full Picture 102017

Timing Your Billerica Home’s Sale

Hardly anyone decides to put their own Billerica house up for sale without wondering whether there wouldn’t be a better time to do so. There are a couple of different ways to look at the timing of your Billerica home’s sale—but only one of them is controversial.

Controversial: timing by the calendar. A good number of real estate commentators think that the optimal timing for any home’s sale is during the spring/summer season. In the residential real estate lexicon that’s the “peak selling season.” Statistics validate their point. Since the majority of transactions are in fact initiated during the good weather months when the sun shines the longest, it might seem to make the most sense.

The controversy arises when it’s pointed out that this notion is so commonly held that timing your home sale to list it during the peak puts you in competition with many more sellers. Peak season proponents don’t think that’s a problem since there are also more buyers in the market. Naysayers counter that house-hunters in poorer weather are demonstrating that they are more committed—by definition, they are better prospects. And so on—and on. The argument isn’t likely to be settled any time soon.

Non-Controversial: timing by your personal calendar. This argues for disregarding the wall calendar in favor of letting your personal situation dictate the timing for your own Billerica home sale. Financial commentators make the argument that when your home no longer fits your lifestyle, that’s all the timing you need to pay attention to…if your financial ducks are in a row. The seasonal timing debate can be argued either way, but almost everyone agrees that the underlying economics should dictate the final word on timing.

Once your debt situation is in control, and you’re confident that you can afford the move to your next house, the only timing issue remaining is allowing enough of it to bring your current Billerica home up to prime showing condition. Whenever your personal situation aligns to suggests it’s time to start thinking about selling, one timing element I can heartily suggest is to give me a call. We’ll have a no-obligation discussion about if and when to get the ball rolling

Joan Parcewski, Realtor & Notary

LAER Realty Partners           http://www.JoanParcewski.LAERRealty.com

JParcewski@LAERRealty.com    cell 978-376-3978

Laer Realty PartnersJoan Parcewski Full Picture 102017

Bedford Halloween: Controlled (but Safe) Disruption

Halloween in Bedford is the one day in every year when the regular order of things gets a thorough shaking up. For one thing, it’s the single day of the year when we expect our doorbell to be ringing non-stop for hours on end. It’s certainly the only time when prudence dictates that we stockpile bowls full of treats to serve as ransom payments against demands for booty from an onslaught of pint-sized masked neighbors.

For Bedford’s small fry, if all goes well, Bedford’s Halloween ranks right up there with birthdays in terms of fun and excitement—possibly because of the aura of good-natured bounds-testing that seems to hover over the proceedings. When else does everybody get to dress up in disguises? When else might some perfectly dignified adult don an eyepatch and start talking like a pirate? When else does practically the whole of Bedford agree to engage in a tradition that disrupts the normal order of things for the express purpose of just having some fun? Who thought this thing up, anyway?

For parents who may or may not find themselves costumed this Tuesday, the fun will be somewhat tempered by the grownup’s job of keeping everybody safe amid the spooky mayhem. Without spoiling the fun altogether, the most-noted Halloween safety concerns for Bedford homeowners are:

  • Keep your property’s walks and stairways well-lit.
  • Place pumpkins and other Halloween decorations well off to the side to prevent their becoming tripping hazards.
  • Secure pets away from the mayhem. Even the best-behaved may lose their cool after hours of doorbell ringing and screaming kids.
  • Avoid homemade treats and loose candy—parents can’t trust them.
  • Don’t leave treats outdoors for the kids to take. They can be tampered with.

Health authorities aren’t shy about advising parents to temper their little goblins’ candy intake. One good tactic: reserve a particularly enticing new toy to trade for a goodly amount of the sugary swag.

Here’s hoping your family has a safe and moderately sane Bedford Halloween. As soon as things get back to normal, I’ll be here, ready to assist with your next Bedford real estate venture!

Joan Parcewski, Realtor & Notary

LAER Realty Partners           http://www.JoanParcewski.LAERRealty.com

JParcewski@LAERRealty.com    cell 978-376-3978

Laer Realty Partners

Joan Parcewski Full Picture 102017

 

 

Forewarned is Forearmed: Top 6 Investment Property Repairs

When you first look into whether an investment property in Bedford would be a suitable addition to your own portfolio, the positives leap out. Bedford investment properties can throw off positive cash flow even as they appreciate in long-term value. What’s not to like? But there is one area that may hover as a wildcard: the maintenance issue.

Because tenants are part of the picture, Bedford investment properties undergo varying amounts of wear and tear, so keeping them in top shape does require at least some degree of attention. Veteran landlords learn how to handle maintenance and repairs with a minimum of turmoil—sometimes by simply farming them out to professional property managers. In that, we are fortunate—Bedford has some great ones!

However you choose to address the issue, it’s useful to know which repairs investment property owners say are most frequently needed. Here are six leaders:

  1. Leaks. Under sinks, under windows and in the ceiling, leaks require the swiftest action to forestall expensive repercussions. Even the smallest leaks can result in mold growth, so any hint of water where it doesn’t belong rates immediate attention.
  2. Appliances. They have the greatest number of working parts, so it’s no surprise that they wind up having the greatest number of non-working parts. Repairmen are whispering that current models in almost all brands are not holding up as well as they used to…so when replacements are necessary, consider that higher-quality models may be worth the initial expense.
  3. Water heater. Tenants deserve hot water, so when it peters out, having the attention of a veteran plumber can be the difference between a repair (often all that’s needed) or a more expensive replacement.
  4. Rodents and bugs. Sealing up holes is the first line of defense for discouraging all manner of creepy-crawlies. If they show up anyway, Bedford pest control experts can usually rid infestations for at most a few hundred dollars.
  5. Furnace. If the heat goes out during cold spells, unless it’s only a pilot light going out, it can quickly become an emergency situation. You’ll want to have the emergency phone number for one of Bedford’s experienced furnace repairmen at the ready.
  6. Running toilet. We’re all familiar with the sound of a toilet that won’t shut up. It’s usually (in fact, virtually always) due to a “flapper” that doesn’t quite seat properly. These are inexpensive parts that are easily replaced—but there are also a hundred different varieties. All the expertise that’s required to fix this common tenant complaint can be found in YouTube videos demonstrating the various 10-minutes solutions.

Some terrific Bedford investment property possibilities are among this fall’s listings. Call me to explore them!

Joan Parcewski, Realtor & Notary

LAER Realty Partners           http://www.JoanParcewski.LAERRealty.com

JParcewski@LAERRealty.com    cell 978-376-3978

 

Joan Parcewski Full Picture 102017Laer Realty Partners

 

 

%d bloggers like this: