Posts Tagged ‘Joan Parcewski’

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

Long Term Strategic Thinking for Selling Your Burlington Home

Selling your Burlington home is never something you do on a whim. There can be rare situations when the decision to sell is a sudden one that’s forced by unexpected life circumstances (favorable or not)—but selling your Burlington home is not likely to be the result of some sudden impulse.

Since that’s the case, it follows that most of us will have been aware for some time that we will be selling sooner or later. That gives us some leeway for improving the ultimate results we can expect when an eventual sale takes place. Thinking about that, and acting upon it, constitutes a strategic advantage.

The tactics for selling your Burlington home will vary when the day comes, depending on market conditions, what comparable properties are the most sought-after at the time, etc. Such factors are somewhat unpredictable. But tactics and strategy are different. Strategy can start anytime. It can start right now!

Here’s an example I came across in an old blog post. Instead of discussing selling your Burlington home, it dealt with the kind of decision investors make when they are rehabilitating investment properties they intend to rent out. Landlords know there are good tenants and bad tenants, so their best strategy is to develop a property that will retain maximum value in either case. An example is a decision they sometimes have to make when they’ve acquired a home that calls for some rehabbing: should they install carpeting or hardwood flooring?

Most experienced investors tend to go with the hardwood. Not only does it stand up better when it comes to regular wear and tear—it also signals quality to most people. That is also true for carpeting when it’s newly installed, but over time, the effect is lost. A scratched hardwood floor can be refinished, but worn carpeting is a start-over situation. It’s a strategic choice.

When the day arrives when selling your Burlington home becomes reality, if you have been making similar long-term strategic decisions all along, the results will be rewarding. Preparing for sale will not only require much less effort and expense—it has every likelihood of returning the results every seller hopes for.

Whether selling your own Burlington home is an immediate or distant prospect, you are always invited to give me a call to discuss any of your own ideas and questions when it comes to any and all Burlington real estate matters. I’ll be standing by!

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

Buyer’s Remorse, Billerica Mortgage Rates, and Summertime

Mortgage rates in Billerica remained mostly steady this past month, at least partially due to the predictable July-August doldrum effect. When the summertime vacation schedules of Washington and Manhattan movers and shakers presages a slowdown in activity and economic reports, there is simply less going on that might affect the rate meter—in either direction.

Summertime can also mark the beginning of a nationwide tapering off of real estate’s peak selling season. With the added factor of mortgage rates in (town) looking as if they will remain invitingly low for the near future, fear of a sudden rate rise is ebbing as well. It’s the kind of  apprehension that can spur some buyers into feeling the need to scoop up some of Billerica’s current inventory with less than due diligence, so that’s a positive development—especially if a new report from Trulia is accurate.

Trulia’s report highlighted the importance of careful deliberation for new buyers. A wide-ranging poll registered the startling fact that nearly half of Americans are willing to express some form of buyer’s remorse about their home soon after purchase.

Trulia found the top regret came in not choosing the right sized home. The lion’s share belonged to the third of homeowners who wished they’d bought a larger place. This might have been expected among those whose budgets wouldn’t accommodate a “dream home” property, yet even among Americans earning $100,000 or more, according to the study, 16% regretted having bought a home that was proving too small for their liking.

The takeaway is simple: if you are thinking of buying in the near future, allowing any outside factors (including Billerica mortgage rates) to push you into a home that isn’t right for you and your family can have an immediate downside. Buying a home is definitely a venture that rewards cool reflection…even when a potential dream home is in on the horizon.

At least for the moment, mortgage rates in (town) remain at historically affordable levels.  If you’re looking to buy this year, be sure to keep your “must have” list handy as you assess the emerging inventory. Better still, when you give me a call, I’ll be happy to turn my professional efforts to helping with the monitoring effort. I’m here all summer standing by!

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

 

Selling Your Burlington Home for Profit (that’s the Fun Part!)

Every once in a while you can be checking through the accumulation of notes and other odds and ends when you find something that doesn’t look familiar. Possibly it’s something someone handed to you that you didn’t have time to look at previously. It’s just there, somehow—who knows how or when it got mixed in with your own notes.

Here’s one of those. It’s a memo that came out of a printer, so there’s no handwriting which might have provided evidence of its origin. When I read it, everything in it rang true—and valuable. Here it is in its entirety (I have fixed a spelling error or two):

—————-

Keys to Selling Your Home for Profit

 

-smart modest investments (new stainless steel appliances, new carpet, etc)

-smart exterior improvement (clean landscape lines, strategic color pops, fresh mulch, new exterior paint/trim)

-stage it! Stage indoors and outdoors during warm months. Research average return on staging statistic.

 

Unless it’s a fixer, then these tips don’t apply, in that case to make the most money, don’t invest in any improvements, just price to sell!

—————-

 

If I had one thing to add, it would be the “staging statistic” that the author (who was obviously pressed for time) seems to have wanted to include.

Boiling down Realtor® Magazine’s most detailed analysis of the topic (2015), they found that “A staged home will sell for 17% more on average than a non-staged home.” Furthermore, when it comes to speed in selling your home, staged offerings left their non-staged competitors in the dust: they sold “87% faster.” Those statistics might be a little misleading, since if you are selling your Burlington home and either willing to hire a professional or else put in the work yourself, you are automatically more energetically focused on the sale—itself a plus.

Selling your Burlington home profitably is everyone’s goal from the start to finish of the process. I offer the local knowledge and expertise that has helped me perform exactly that for my clients through years of practice and experience. That’s the best reason to give me a call!

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)

 

Half a Dozen Vacation Safety Tips for Burlington Homeowners

An overstuffed curbside mailbox, blazing porch light at noon, or a pile of newspapers out there by your front door all indicate a couple of things Burlington homeowners would do well to avoid. For burglars and housebreakers of all stripes, these are like lighted billboards announcing:

  • This Burlington homeowner is off somewhere enjoying a nice summer vacation; and
  • This afternoon and/or evening, there’s nobody home!

Every Burlington homeowner deserves an extended break now and then—and the July/August weather makes now the ideal time for many—but it’s also high season for break-and-enter artists (or just ‘enter’ artists, since 34% of burglars walk in through the front door). As long as we’re discussing the percentages, the common assumption that break-ins are midnight outings doesn’t hold water. Sixty-five percent of burglaries happen in broad daylight; most between 10am-3pm.

For vacation-bound locals, a few precautionary steps will do much to avoid a miserable discovery on your return home. If your home is currently listed, I think it’s a good idea to notify your agent to add a “Do Not Disturb Occupants” rider under the “For Sale” sign (whether it’s occupied or not!). In general, here are another six good vacation safety tips:

  1. Recruit some trusted neighborly help to keep an eye on the place and gather any mail and newspaper overflow. Most Burlingtonites are delighted to help—and you should offer to reciprocate.
  2. DON’T POST VACATION PIX on Facebook, Instagram, or any other social media haunt until you get back. High among leading vacation safety no-no’s are tweets like, “Off to Maui!”
  3. Think like a thief (that is, take a few minutes to case the joint). You’ll find yourself securing little-used doors and windows that are usually unlocked.
  4. Either unplug automatic garage doors that can be triggered by remote control frequency scanner or install a deadbolt lock.
  5. Do a better job of hiding the spare key. Thieves know all the common places. A spare key can be a vacation safety backstop if you need to phone someone to help get into the house in an emergency, but a spare key under the flowerpot is asking for trouble. Best hiding place: inside an envelope you entrust to your neighbor.
  6. Cancel deliveries. An Amazon Prime carton beside the front gate is a commonplace—but when one or more remain uncollected for more than 24 hours, it’s a virtual invitation to the unscrupulous.

Even for Burlington neighborhoods that are safer than most, vacation time burglaries can happen anywhere and anytime that basic vacation safety precautions aren’t observed. A few minutes of prevention should yield added peace of mind while you’re on the road as well as a pleasant return to a safely secured home. I’ll be standing by to help when you start planning the more extended kind of outing: to your next Burlington home!

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)

 

 

Again, Robotic Real Estate Estimates Run into Trouble

There’s news on the real estate value estimating front (robotic version).

For any kind of Billerica real estate activity—whether you are buying or selling; financing or refinancing; whether for your family residence or as an investment—there are at least two value estimation figures that determine how the Billerica transaction is likely to fare.

The first is a value estimate that you come up with: a dollar amount that reflects what the subject property is worth to you. That’s a calculation likely to be based on some mix of the property’s features, your own personal tastes, and your financial profile and outlook. If I’m your Realtor®, it will also be greatly influenced by the research I prepare for you: the real-world values of all the latest comparable transactions that have been taking place locally—along with the asking prices of similar properties.

That figure is one thing, but the second kind is an actual appraisal—the estimate that lenders use as the collateral value for the Billerica property. That estimate is the one a professional appraiser calculates using guidelines and formulas that have been painstakingly developed over time. It’s fortuitous when the first number comes close to the professional estimate—and I’m happy to say that it’s often the case.

But since 2006 there has been a third kind of Billerica real estate value estimate—one that’s increasingly mentioned in news of real estate controversies. This is the “Zestimate” offered by the website data company Zillow: a number that is arrived at via an automated system that assembles publicly available data. It’s stated purpose is “to aid potential buyers in assessing market value of a given property.” Unlike the painstaking reports that certified assessors create for a fee, Zestimates are widely disseminated to everyone for free. There is one problem, which I’ve mentioned before: the figures may be misleading.

Although Zillow claims an “incredibly low” national median error rate of 5%, last June they hailed a new improved algorithm that dropped the rate to 6.1%” [that’s not a typo: 6.1% is indeed a larger error rate than the still-claimed 5%]. Worse yet, research shows that in 10% of the cases examined, the error was 20% plus or minus…so a home with an actual fair market value of $300,000 could show a Zestimate of anywhere from $240,000 to $360,000!

Given that possibility, it’s probably no wonder that Zillow has announced a $1 million prize “to the person or team who can most improve the Zestimate” formula. MarketWatch points out that the contest was announced “just a week after a class action suit was filed against them” for offering unlicensed appraisals that hurt business—but the company claims the timing is just a coincidence.

Billerica real estate buyers and sellers will undoubtedly continue to be amused by those Zestimates when they see them, but the more knowledgeable keep in mind that they can constitute eye-rolling mistakes. When your own Billerica real world real estate affairs are in the offing, better to give me a call for information that won’t include any misleading automated miscalculations.

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)

 

 

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