Posts Tagged ‘Bedford’

4 Bedford Home Buying Steps (with Some Adjustments)

What a simpler world it would be if Bedford home buying could be reduced to anything like a simple 4-Step process. Even better if those were four easy steps. Actually, without actually coming out and saying so, that’s the tantalizing prospect hinted at on radio financial guru Dave Ramsey’s web site’s “Home Buying Process Made Easy.

Ramsey is the likable media expert in household budgeting and financial planning. A good deal of his guidance could be summed up in just 2 steps:

1) get out of debt (except for mortgage debt) as soon as humanly possible; then,

2) stay out.

Since that’s not bad advice, the promise of home buying in 4 steps seems almost reasonable. After all, his millions of listeners have undoubtedly benefitted greatly through the years (once they’ve figured out a way to act on the advice).

And in fact, his 4 easy home buying steps are actually not far off-target—although I think they’re out of order:

  1. Put your finances in order before home buying; IOW, know what you can afford.
  2. Do the cash flow Ramsey thinks your Bedford home’s monthly mortgage payments should be no more than a quarter of your net income.
  3. Get a home loan. Make this a 15-year fixed rate mortgage to minimize total interest paid.
  4. Find a good real estate agent to “help make sure you don’t pay too much” and deal with any “unexpected home buying hurdles.”

Realistically, Bedford home buying involves a bit more involvement than that. Also, Step 4 should actually come after Step 2, and Step 3 (getting a mortgage) should come after that—and after you and your good real estate agent have zeroed in on your target Bedford  home.

One more practical alteration: the 15-year mortgage structure automatically results in a higher monthly payment that, when combined with a 25% of net income budget cap, could yield an unrealistically limited budget target. Being financially conservative also means being realistic. A growing family, for instance, might find that they have wasted money if they have to move to a larger home after only a few years.

That’s where your good real estate agent can save the day. Call me at any step in the process: I’ll be your sounding board on today’s practical short and long term Bedford home buying trade-offs!

Joan Parcewski, Realtor & Notary

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

JParcewski@LAERRealty.com    cell 978-376-3978

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The Economics 101 Reason to Sell Your Bedford Home Now

Give me one good reason why selling now is better than waiting until next spring,” is a perfectly legitimate request. It’s a challenge to the traditional peak of Bedford’s selling season. Why should right now, at the start of September, be the right time to sell your Bedford home?

Statistics show that more homes are sold in the spring and summer, that—plus sheer inertia—can be powerful arguments to the contrary.

So here’s the “one good reason.” In fact, it could be the best reason. It’s the textbook Economics 101 basic rule about markets and pricing.

Simply put, the supply of housing all across the nation continues to be low. Really, really low. A few weeks ago, USA Today put inventories of homes for sale at “a 20-year low.” By the start of summer, that explained why the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller national home price index was up 5.6% from the year before—an all-time high.

Now, it could turn out that the supply of competing homes on the market remains low throughout the fall and winter—and even throughout 2018. But it’s also possible that conditions change, and that the housing inventory slump finally reverses. In fact, the economy, jobs reports, and consumer confidence are on the rise…

But until then, it’s what those Econ 101 introductory texts lay out: a basic truth that the price of an item is a reflection of supply and demand. Unless the annual pattern does a surprise about-face, come springtime, many more competing homes can be expected to enter the market. In other words, right now an already-constricted supply is likely to thin out even further. And most homeowners will wait for the traditional peak selling season to sell their Bedford homes.

The long and short of it is that listing now isn’t just a good time—it could be the good time. If you were looking for that “one good reason,” it’s also another reason, too—to give me a call me to discuss how best to sell your Bedford home!

Joan Parcewski, Realtor & Notary    LAER Realty Partners

JoanParcewski.LAERRealty.com   cell 978-376-3978   JParcewski@LAERRealty.com

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Password Advice Eases Bedford Real Estate Site Visits

Last week came a piece of advice that’s directly applicable to Bedford real estate matters. To a greater or lesser degree, it also impinges on every one of your online accounts that attempt to safeguard your privacy—for instance, when you log into your account here on my Bedford real estate site.

The news is about web passwords and security. For more than a decade we have been offered a choice:

  • If we care about our security—that is, the possibility of being hacked by internet bad guys—we’ve been cautioned to create passwords with long combinations of obscure characters (like ^,@, !, or %) interspersed between capital and lowercase letters and numbers—preferably in an order which makes no sense at all. And to change them every 90 days.
  • The other choice was to throw caution to the winds, cross our fingers, and make our passwords simple and memorable.

This advice originated with the National Institute of Standards and Technology in a pamphlet written by a mid-level manager named Bill Burr. Last week, Mr. Burr—who is now 72—admitted that much of the old advice was misguided. The recommended complexity had actually had a negative effect. “Much of what I did,” he said, “I now regret.”

So what ARE the new rules for creating your passwords—for my Bedford real estate site and all the other password-protected sites? The new, rewritten guidelines suggest long, easy-to-remember phrases. The Wall Street Journal reported that “correct horse battery staple” (written as one long word) would take 550 years to crack, as opposed to the three days it would take to break “TrOub4dor&3.”

And better yet: forget about changing those passwords all the time. Change them only if there is an indication they’ve been stolen. It’s not every day that life gets easier—but this looks like it could be one of them.

Another way to make life easier when Bedford real estate matters are at hand: check in with me. When you call me at the office, you won’t even need a password!

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)

 

 

Perfect Pricing: the Sweet Spot for Bedford Listings

Figuring out the perfect pricing for any Bedford home for sale would be easier if there were a way to confirm past instances that hit that mark precisely. But that can’t be done. It’s the nature of the beast: it’s simply not possible. Even if a comparable Bedford home’s asking price resulted in being sold immediately at that exact amount, it only could have been priced perfectly. We can’t know that it wasn’t priced too low.

Even if the pricing on some Bedford home was quickly met and even exceeded—IOW, it resulted in a bidding —that might be evidence that it had been originally priced too low. Even that isn’t certain because the supposed underpricing resulted in a sale that was higher than expected, which is a perfect result. So perhaps that was the perfect pricing. You see the ambiguity.

So if you can’t ever determine what constitutes perfection in pricing—even after the books are closed on a given sale—then there is no way to guarantee a number will result in the maximum outcome. That’s why the whole issue of pricing any Bedford home is forever going to be an art (with as much science thrown in as possible). That being the case, getting the “science” part right is pretty important.

When it comes to pricing Bedford homes, it stands to reason that the mortgage lending industry would have put maximum effort into determining the most predictive residential real estate values: in other words, any Bedford home’s most realistic pricing. A week ago, one of the nation’s largest mortgage lenders offered their advice to homeowners. They acknowledged that while “we’re on an upward swing” in property values in general, it’s still important to get “a very accurate estimate of home value” to attract multiple buyers and avoid surprises during the sale process. Their three steps to discovering that:

Online search. Using the massive amount of data is a starting point for establishing a baseline.

Knowing the Market. It’s vital to measure your own house against those that are most similar to yours and on the market now. Visits to nearby open houses will offer the best opportunities to observe how similar homes are priced and marketed.

Calling in the pros. Ultimately, the do-it-yourself idea for home pricing seems to yield to what is available when the assistance of a real estate professional can be called upon—at least in the opinion of the other pros: the lenders. Rallying the in-depth data that current and historical comparable sales figures provide is persuasively the superior path, from their point of view.

Perfection in pricing might not be attainable—but if success in selling Bedford homes is a good stand-in, one way to achieve the desired end result is to seek out a professional with a proven track record like mine. 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
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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

 

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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)
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