Archive for the ‘Bedford MA’ Category

Bedford Asking Prices Can’t Beat this Week’s $10 Example

It’s true that today’s Bedford asking prices fall into a wide range—occasionally even at temptingly reduced levels. But last week came news of one that I have to admit beat them all by a mile (at least regarding the asking price). This was found in Montclair, New Jersey. CBS interviewed the selling agent. Money Magazine wrote it up. The NAR highlighted it.

Photos made the offering all the more interesting since the asking price was so low—yet the pictures were not, as any well-schooled real estate watcher would have expected, fuzzy images of some run down dump. The shots all showed a pristine historical (1904) 4-bedroom, 2-bath beauty, seemingly presiding in stately repose over well-manicured grounds. It looked like, well—a mansion.

The asking price is $10.

For those budget-minded Bedford home shoppers who would never consider making a first offer at full asking price, in this instance, you might make an exception. Since the current asking price has already been reduced from $1,400,000, you have to expect that the owner will probably not be willing to come down much further. The $10 is probably a take-it-or-leave-it number.

But lest any Bedford house hunters think about packing their bags for the trip to Montclair for a tour of the property, it’s only fair to elaborate on what anyone would already be assuming: namely, that there must be a few problems.

Local house hunters will appreciate the first problem, which is location. The house not only isn’t in Bedford, but it’s also currently sited on land that has been sold to a developer. It has to be moved. Moving a three-story 3,912 sq. ft. structure of this size is an expensive undertaking. Although the current owner is offering to contribute $10,000 toward solving that problem, anyone who has ever overseen this kind of house-moving project knows that the details (digging up the foundation, wedging in all the I-beams, jacking up the structure, getting it up on the trailer beds, etc.) comprise a pricey, open-ended proposition.

Local house hunters would encounter another problem, which is that, as a historically significant local landmark, the powers-that-be in Montclair have made it clear that the mansion won’t be allowed to be moved beyond the city limits. So transplanting it to anywhere in Bedford isn’t a possibility. Another problem: having been designated an historical monument, the home will have to be treated tenderly by its new owner. “Handle like eggs” might be the watchword. That could prove as tricky as trucking it off to its new Montclair destination.

Fortunately, the current batch of area listings offers buyers Bedford asking prices that may be a bit steeper, but represent opportunities with significantly fewer complications. They may carry asking prices less head-turning than the $10 listing, but when you consider the big picture, they constitute significantly better bargains. Call for details!

Joan Parcewski —CRS, MRP, CSHP, SRES, CBR, LMC, Realtor & Notary
978-376-3978   JParcewski@LAERRealty.com    OR    JParcewski@gmail.com
 
Licensed MA & NH    
Introductory Video  https://youtu.be/RrM4q17cjU0

6 Categories of Bedford House Hunters

Trying to categorize prospective buyers’ motivations and levels of seriousness is something that’s hard to resist. Many a successful seller will tell you how they originally mistook the ultimate buyer for an unreliable looky-loo (or vice-versa). Still, judging from the articles written on the subject, apparently it’s worthwhile recognizing the different sorts of house hunters and the categories that describe them. Category names vary, but here are six cited most frequently:

  1. Serious surveyor. The most common variety of house hunter, the serious surveyor has usually viewed the Bedford listings online, prepared a budget, and possibly even pre-qualified with a lender. The serious surveyor is patient—if a home fitting their must-have list isn’t available within the budget, they’ll keep hunting until the pieces fall into place.
  2. Burn-up-the-tracker (aka Relo Express). These house hunters are usually motivated by factors that force a quick decision. They can be in danger of succumbing to the stress of the circumstances, which could result in a less-than-optimal buying decision. If I am their agent, it’s my job to alleviate as much of the stress as possible by making sure that they are exposed expeditiously to the Bedford listings that meet their requirements.
  3. Laid-backer. This house hunter is in no hurry to go beyond the canvassing-Bedford stage. This can be due to their current housing situation (as when a future purchase can only be finalized after their own home has been sold), or because the laid-backer isn’t totally convinced that they really want to move. This buyer is not to be confused with a true looky-loo, who is not really a buyer at all. On the contrary, many a laid-backer becomes an enthusiastic buyer once they feel educated about the Bedford offerings and discover an appealing property.
  4. Hard Sell. House hunting can be a delightful opportunity to tour Bedford homes that are at their best: spit-and-polished for inspection by qualified prospective buyers. For the hard sell buyer, however, it’s likely to be less fun. This house hunter has probably had some bad earlier house hunting experience or other because distrust of almost every detail rules the day. In truth, it’s a fine idea to subscribe to the “trust but verify” school of house hunting—that’s why a home inspection should always be on the agenda. But it’s too bad if there’s no measure of enjoyment to be had in the process.
  5. Market Buster. Fully aware that in any buyer-seller relationship the buyer-side ultimately makes the important decisions, this house hunter is focused on making a deal that defies market realities. That may be possible—but sometimes the result is more predictable: most properties that can be had at below-market levels are priced that way for a reason.
  6. Frozen. This is a rarely seen Bedford house hunter: frozen in indecision either because of the momentous nature of the decision, a bewildering array of appealing offerings, or a shifting set of their own priorities. Frozen house hunters can become unfrozen if they miss out on a home they realize in retrospect was the one!

You needn’t try to fit into any category to succeed in your own Bedford house hunting venture. One step I can guarantee will advance the process: call me!

Joan Parcewski —CRS, MRP, CSHP, SRES, CBR, LMC, Realtor & Notary
978-376-3978   JParcewski@LAERRealty.com    OR    JParcewski@gmail.com
 
Licensed MA & NH    
Introductory Video  https://youtu.be/RrM4q17cjU0

 

Laer Realty PartnersJoan_Parcewski (1 of 1)

Joan Parcewski – Realtor Neighborhood Ambassador

Wouldn’t you want to get to know the realtor who has taken the time to get to know the businesses, organizations, people in the local neighborhood?

I am very excited to announce that I have committed to become the neighborhood ambassador for both Bedford and Billerica.  It not only is an opportunity for me to get to know more about each of these towns -their history, their residents, the local businesses (large and small), events, news and more.

Living in any town is more than just the home you live in, it is the possibilities of how you can get involved – in town meetings, on a local committee, as a volunteer at your child’s school.

Check out either Parkbench.com/Bedford  OR   Parkbench.com/Billerica – and subscribe to get automatic updates  or keep checking back –  The sites are updated regularly.  Here is a quick link to a recent blog post

https://parkbench.com/blog/griggs-farm-farmers-market-bedford-billy-griggs

https://parkbench.com/blog/growin-minds-preschool-day-cares-billerica-carolina-mango

 

Joan Parcewski —CRS, MRP, CSHP, SRES, CBR, LMC, Realtor & Notary
978-376-3978   JParcewski@LAERRealty.com    OR    JParcewski@gmail.com
 
Licensed MA & NH    
Introductory Video  https://youtu.be/RrM4q17cjU0
Laer Realty PartnersJoan_Parcewski (1 of 1)

Events that Trigger Buyers for Homes for Sale in Bedford

What are the most common changes in circumstances that send buyers out looking for homes for sale? What are the events that trigger typical prospects to comb through the Bedford listings, contact Bedford Realtors®, set out on house tours—and ultimately make the offer that results in the move to a new home?

The answer to that question may be different for everyone, but some in-depth research has come up with interesting similarities among groups of active homebuyers. It matches a conclusion that also conforms with common sense: namely, that the motivating events (or “triggers”) sometimes vary by age group. In other words, when we humans reach similar milestones in life, we often make the same housing decisions—even though the reasons for a couple of them may be mysterious.

I came across the details buried in a report put out this past spring by economist Lawrence Guo in Realtor magazine. The top line of the piece—the part that got the most attention—dealt with the homeownership goals of active home shoppers. “Privacy” was the leading goal; “physical comfort” was second; “stability,” third. Of the styles of homes for sale, “ranch homes” were the most sought-after; the kitchen was considered the most important room, etc. None of these findings were at all mysterious or unexpected.

But when it came to revealing the impetus for a move in the first place—the life event or changed condition that set people checking out the current crop of homes for sale—a few could definitely be tied to the age group of the prospects. Since more than 20 triggering events were identified—each broken down into five different age groups—the resulting graphic was so complicated that most readers’ eyes probably glazed over before many conclusions could be drawn. Most of the findings were unremarkable—as when youngsters weren’t as likely as oldsters to cite “considering retirement” as a triggering event, or when some events were equally named by all age groups. But some were less predictable:

  • Relocating to a new city: most common among 35-44 year-olds; least among those 55-64.
  • Favorable home prices: most cited by 25-34 year-olds; least (fewer than half of that group) among 35-44 year-olds.
  • Favorable interest rates: most pointed to by 45-54 year-olds; least among the 35-44 year-olds … and equally cited (about 1 in 10) by all the other age groups.
  • Desire to live closer to family/friends: as expected, ‘way more prominently named by the 65+ group.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to ferret out why home prices are most important to the youngest group, but the greater importance of interest rates to the 45-54 group but not the 35-44s? That one will take some thought. Not a surprise is the across-the-board Number One triggering factor among every age group: “tired of current home”!

If you fit in with that extremely common group, right now there are extraordinary values to be had among today’s homes for sale in Bedford. Give me a call to lay out an itinerary for visits to the ones that match up with your own specific wish list requirements!

Joan Parcewski —CRS, MRP, CSHP, SRES, CBR, LMC, Realtor & Notary
978-376-3978   JParcewski@LAERRealty.com    OR    JParcewski@gmail.com
 
Licensed MA & NH    
Introductory Video  https://youtu.be/RrM4q17cjU0
 Laer Realty Partners    Joan_Parcewski (1 of 1)

 

 

Buying Bedford Luxury Homes on a Tight Budget

The content the National Association of Realtors® publishes is usually staid and non-controversial. After all, what they put out there has to ring true for the real estate industry in every nook and cranny of the country: in communities large and small, coast to coast—from Podunk to Peoria, Manhattan to Bedford.

Real estate is, after all, the most massive industry in the country, so you’d expect the Association that represents its professionals to be hyper-cautious in its pronouncements.

So it was eye-widening to come across an article in the Realtor website that was a how-to on buying a luxury home without having to pay a lot of money for it. I’m of the opinion that Bedford luxury homes are more expensive than less-luxurious homes—so I was eager to see what in the world they were talking about.

Surprisingly, they had a point—in fact, several good ones. In truth, the “6 Sneaky Tips for Buying a Luxury Home Without Wads of Cash” are mainly variations on becoming a shrewd shopper, but putting them in one list was a clever way of presenting that idea. And I can add a few more along the same lines for future Bedford luxury home shoppers.

Their six tips started with timing: waiting for the darkest, dankest days of winter, possibly around Christmastime, when few other prospects are out there competing. Then look for evidence of a motivated luxury home seller who has recently reduced price a couple of times. Then see if the motivated seller will finance at least a piece of the mortgage (although this slightly contradicts a previous tip, which was to “make your bid straightforward”).

Both of the last two tips call for disclaimers: to check out foreclosure listings and to be ready to borrow from your retirement funds. The first tip is not “sneaky” at all—but should carry a disclaimer that, as with all foreclosure buys, it’s a good idea to check that the property won’t ultimately involve “wads of cash” to rehabilitate. Likewise, raiding your retirement plan requires the utmost of caution (and probably professional guidance).

A (non-sneaky) tip I would add is to be realistic when budgeting the upkeep costs your Bedford luxury home will generate. Maintaining luxury can be relatively expensive—and allowing it to deteriorate, even more so. Another tip: be patient, and think long term. Be willing to start with a non-luxury home you can improve, and start the process of working your way up. It’s non-sneaky in the extreme—and it’s the way most Bedford luxury home owners wind up luxuriating!

One last tip is equally non-controversial: reach out to an experienced Bedford real estate professional who understands your goals and stands ready to help—not just now, but for the future, as well. Call me to start that process!

Joan Parcewski —CRS, MRP, CSHP, SRES, CBR, LMC, Realtor & Notary
978-376-3978   JParcewski@LAERRealty.com    OR    JParcewski@gmail.com
 
Licensed MA & NH    
Introductory Video  https://youtu.be/RrM4q17cjU0
Laer Realty Partners   Joan_Parcewski (1 of 1)

Selling Your Bedford House: a Tool Called PST!

If you see the letters “PST!” in connection with selling a house in Bedford, don’t think it’s someone whispering to get your attention (that would be spelled “psst!”).

The selling-a-house kind of “PST” isn’t something whispered by a black marketeer to keep an off-the-books deal under wraps. There’s no need to speak in hushed tones about PST in polite conversation. When speaking about selling your Bedford house, its meaning is right out there in the open. It may not be on the tip of every homeowner’s tongue as they prepare their home for sale, but its import is undeniable in formulating one of your listing’s most important ingredients: the asking price.

Before any Bedford house can be put on the market, zeroing in on the dollar amount the ultimate buyer will be willing to pay is always a kind of high-stakes guessing game. This mysterious buyer could be anyone. He or she could appear at any time. Even so, picking an asking price that attracts the greatest number of possible ultimate buyers isn’t pure guesswork, nor is it some number that’s plucked out of the air. And it definitely isn’t a large number that’s chosen “just to see what happens.”

The most reliable way to arrive at an effective asking price is to do some serious investigation into the current Bedford market by seeking what previous buyers have been willing to pay. That’s where PST! comes in.

This “PST” is an acronym for Proximity, Similarity, and Timeliness—the three main ingredients that measure the quality of Bedford “comps”—the comparable sales figures that buyers, their agents, lenders, and sellers rely upon to develop asking and offering prices.

P—proximity: how physically close was the sale? Next door is best; in the neighborhood also good; 50 miles away, pretty worthless.

S—similarity: how do the layout and features compare with your house? With a slight adjustment, a 4 bedroom 3 ½ bath comp is useful for your own 4 bedroom 3 bath property. For a 1 bedroom condo, not useful. It’s important to account for level of finish, too. If a neighbor’s home sold for X dollars including its brand new $80,000 kitchen remodel, a similar house that’s straight out of the 80s shouldn’t expect the same.

T—timeliness: how recent was the sale? A March sale would be terrific right now; January 2015, not so terrific.

Researching and analyzing a good sampling of comps accomplishes more than just establishing the asking price. Being able to furnish a solid selection of comps convinces buyers that you are selling your house for a reasonable price. And lenders can use them to verify a property’s collateral value in today’s Bedford marketplace.

When you are selling your Bedford house, a good first move is to partner with an experienced local real estate agent. When you give me the nod, from the outset, you will be the beneficiary of the most comprehensive PST research available. That’s a solid place to start!

Joan Parcewski —CRS, MRP, CSHP, SRES, CBR, LMC, Realtor & Notary
978-376-3978   JParcewski@LAERRealty.com    OR    JParcewski@gmail.com
 
Licensed MA & NH    
Introductory Video  https://youtu.be/RrM4q17cjU0
Laer Realty Partners    Joan_Parcewski (1 of 1)

 

Bedford Mortgages & the Student Loan Phenomenon

All of a sudden last month Bedford readers might have come across a number of new articles dealing with the same topic: the problem young first time home buyers are encountering due to outstanding student loans.

The target group is the millennials—everyone born between the early 1980s and 2000s. If you are one of them, you are frequently reminded that there are millions and millions of you out there. And millions who also share the same student loan problem.

There are conflicting accounts of the precise size of the issue, but it seems that the average college graduate now carries somewhere between $30,000 – $50,000 in debt upon graduation. The Federal Reserve says that the amount of student debt has more than doubled since 2007, to something like $1.3 trillion, at this point!

Nobody would deny that this appears to be a roadblock to young adults contemplating applying for their first Bedford mortgage. Dealing with banks or any lending institutions for the first time always has the aura of stepping into alien territory. A major unknown is the detail known as the debt-to-income ratio.

Apparently many would-be first-time homebuyers who are thinking about qualifying for Bedford mortgages automatically assume that their own debt-to-income ratios disqualify them from consideration, even though that’s not necessarily the case. At least according to the folks at Equifax, the debt reporting company, that perception is at odds with the reality.

The debt-to-income ratio is the monthly dollar amount an individual must produce in order to service his or her combined debts in relation to their total income. It is not the total amount of debt (no matter how soberingly large that number might be). Rather, it’s the ratio between the cash in and cash out per month. That becomes a considerably less daunting proposition because it’s a measure that can be improved much more rapidly. A recent survey showed that most respondents assumed that they had to reduce their debt payments by more than $300 per month in order to qualify for a mortgage, but an actual analysis showed that the real number was most often less than $300—and sometimes as little as $150.

Qualifying for Bedford mortgages differs for everyone, so the takeaway for Bedford Millennials (as for every other first time home buyer) is that assumptions shouldn’t get in the way of real fact-finding. Give me a call if you’d like to get a broad view of today’s Bedford starter home offerings. It could be that you are closer to moving into a home of your than you think!

 

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