REAL ESTATE

4 Tips for Making a Competitive Offer


Newton, MA. Real Etstate, Compass, Sotheby’s Suburban Boston Team #Top Realtor

4 Tips for Making a Competitive Offer

4 Tips for Making a Competitive Offer | MyKCM

So, you’ve been searching for that perfect house to call ‘home,’ and you’ve finally found it! The price is right, and in such a competitive market, you want to make sure you make a good offer so that you can guarantee that your dream of making this house yours comes true!

Below are 4 steps provided by Freddie Mac to help buyers make offers, along with some additional information for your consideration:

1. Determine Your Price

“You’ve found the perfect home and you’re ready to buy. Now what? Your real estate agent will be by your side, helping you determine an offer price that is fair.”

Based on your agent’s experience and key considerations (like similar homes recently sold in the same neighborhood or the condition of the house and what you can afford), your agent will help you to determine the offer that you are going to present.

Getting pre-approved will not only show home-sellers that you are serious about buying, but it will also allow you to make your offer with confidence because you’ll know that you have already been approved for a mortgage in that amount.

2. Submit an Offer

“Once you’ve determined your price, your agent will draw up an offer, or purchase agreement, to submit to the seller’s real estate agent. This offer will include the purchase price and terms and conditions of the purchase.”

Talk with your agent to find out if there are any ways in which you can make your offer stand out in this competitive market! A licensed real estate agent who is active in the neighborhoods you are considering will be instrumental in helping you put in a solid offer.

3. Negotiate the Offer

“Oftentimes, the seller will counter the offer, typically asking for a higher purchase price or to adjust the closing date. In these cases, the seller’s agent will submit a counteroffer to your agent, detailing their desired changes, at this time, you can either accept the offer or decide if you want to counter.

Each time changes are made through a counteroffer, you or the seller have the option to accept, reject or counter it again. The contract is considered final when both parties sign the written offer.”

If your offer is approved, Freddie Mac urges you to “always get an independent home inspection, so you know the true condition of the home.” If the inspector uncovers undisclosed problems or issues, you can discuss any repairs that may need to be made with the seller or even cancel the contract altogether.

4. Act Fast

The inventory of homes listed for sale has remained well below the 6-month supply that is needed for a ‘normal’ market. Buyer demand has continued to outpace the supply of homes for sale, causing buyers to compete with each other for their dream homes.

Make sure that as soon as you decide that you want to make an offer, you work with your agent to present it as quickly as possible.

Bottom Line

Whether buying your first home or your fifth, having a local real estate professional who is an expert in his or her market on your side is your best bet in making sure the process goes smoothly. Let’s talk about how we can make your dream of homeownership a reality!

Home Buyers are Optimistic About Homeownership!


Newton, MA. Brookline, Sotheby’s Compass Suburban Boston Team #TopRealtor

Home Buyers are Optimistic About Homeownership!

Home Buyers are Optimistic About Homeownership! | MyKCM

When we consider buying an item, we naturally go through a research process prior to making our decision. We ask our friends and family members who have made similar purchases about their experience, we get opinions and insights, and we read reviews online. There’s no difference when considering a home purchase!

Most homebuyers start by listening to the news to hear what is being said about the real estate market. They check with family and friends about their experience. They spend time online reading reviews about their desired neighborhood.

The challenge is that comments from the news and those closest to us can contradict the data and reports. One source says one thing, while another source says something completely different.

There is a group of homebuyers that are not allowing comments about an upcoming recession to interfere with their decision to buy a home. According to a survey by realtor.com®,

Nearly 70 percent of home shoppers this spring think the U.S. will enter a recession in the next three years, but that hasn’t stopped them from trying to close on a home…Despite the fact that they foresee an economic downturn, they generally expressed confidence that a future recession will be better than 2008 for the housing market.”

The report provides more insights from the survey:

  • Nearly 30% of the active home shoppers* surveyed expect the next recession to begin sometime in 2020.
  • 56% of shoppers believe home prices have hit their peak.
  • 41% believe housing will fare better than 2008.
  • 45% of home shoppers feel at least slightly more optimistic about homeownership.
  • 33% reported no impact on their feelings about homeownership.

Homebuyers are aware and making decisions with their eyes wide-open. As the report mentioned,

“The fact that some [36%] home shoppers expect the next recession to be harder on the housing market than the last recession suggests that they are buying homes with eyes wide-open and very sober, if not slightly pessimistic, views of the housing market.

This is a stark contrast to the years leading up to the last recession when ‘irrational exuberance’ was more common and yet another reason to expect that the next downturn will be very different for the housing market than the last.”

Bottom Line

If you are considering buying a home, let’s get together to help you understand our local market and determine if buying a home is the right choice for you now.

*Active home shoppers are those consumers who responded that they plan to purchase their next home in 1 year or less.

 

Newton and Brookline Real Estate Recap


Newton, MA. Brookline, Sotheby’s Compass, Suburban Boston Team

 

The Rundown

Spring events in Brookline are in full bloom and Newton passes another law on going green. We’re also taking a closer look at the local real estate market. Keep reading to learn more about what’s coming to your neighborhood in May!

New & Noteworthy

Five Tips for First-Time Homebuyers

Spring can be the perfect time for first-time home buyers to begin their search. Read up on some tips on how to navigate the marketplace here.

Brookline Single-Family Home Prices Proven to Increase
No need to worry about value when buying a home in Brookline. Brookline saw single-family prices increase between 2005’s market peak and 2011’s bottom. Learn more about some of the top spots to buy in Greater Boston here.

Newton Bans Plastic Stirrers and 

Polystyrene Food Containers

Newton passed a law that will ban restaurants from the use of plastic stirrers and polystyrene to-go containers. The ban will be effective as of January 2020. Learn more about how Newton is going green here.

Market Snapshot
Nesting
Etsy’s 2019 Home Decor Trends Will Have You Inspired 

Etsy has declared 2019 the year of maximalism–think statement home decor accents, bold patterns, and vibrant hues. Read all about the latest trends here on Elle Decor.

3 Ways to Give Your Bed a Much-Needed Spring Refresh

You’ll spend a third of your life sleeping, so it’s important to keep your bed in tip-top shape. Learn how to properly care for your mattress, bedding, and pillows here on Apartment Therapy.

Mark Your Calendar

The Shop on Washington Mother’s Day Pop-up | May 2-5 and 8-11

A special Mother’s Day pop-up shop is coming to Newtonville for two weekends in May. The shop will feature a variety of locally-based brands for gifting. Check out the schedule of workshops and events here.

ART Off The Wall | May 11

The fifth annual ART Off The Wall is returning to Brookline this spring. The event features works by artists who support the mission of the Brookline Arts Center. Learn more about the participating artists and purchase your tickets here.

Brookline Cherry Blossom Festival | 

May 18 

The Brookline Cherry Blossom Festival began as a celebration to honor the donation of cherry trees to Brookline High School from the Consul of Japan. The annual event features food, games, and music for the whole family. View the schedule of events for the day here.

Featured Listings
West Newton

The finest example of a Queen Anne on coveted West Newton Hill

Priced at $3,600,000

Margaret Szerlip

617.921.6860

 

margaret@compass.com

© Compass 2019 ¦ All Rights Reserved by Compass ¦ Made in NYC

Compass is a licensed real estate broker and abides by Equal Housing Opportunity laws. All material presented herein is intended for informational purposes only. Information is compiled from sources deemed reliable but is subject to errors, omissions, changes in

Sampling Newton’s Restaurants


Newton, MA.  Compass, Sotheby’s Newton’s Top Realtors

Discover the best restaurants in Newton for pizza, ramen, brunch, and more

Moldovan food? Newton has it.

A side of meatballs at Fiorella's in Newton
A side of meatballs at Fiorella’s in Newton. –Justin Saglio

A leisurely trip from Boston on the Green Line, Newton may not at first seem like a suburb to visit for Moldovan food. But it is — along with classic Neapolitan pizza, Chilean cuisine, and steaming bowls of ramen. The next time you find yourself in Newton Centre, Newton Highlands, and other Newton villages, head to one of these fantastic restaurants, which make up the area’s globally diverse cuisine.

Buttonwood
A May 2018 kitchen fire caused this Newton Highlands neighborhood eatery to close for 10 months, but it has triumphantly returned with its entire staff (led by the team behind Sycamore and Little Big Diner) and many of its beloved menu items, including the BW cheeseburger, pork schnitzel, and a slew of Mediterranean-inspired grilled dishes. The cocktails are nothing to scoff at, either: Try the Crimson King, made with rye, ginger-maple syrup, lemon, and angostura bitters. (51 Lincoln St.)

Comedor
An order of crispy chicken drumsticks at Comedor. —Justin Saglio for The Boston Globe

Comedor
At Comedor, a colorful and inviting bar and restaurant in Newton Centre, Chilean soul food takes center stage in the form of chili-glazed pork ribs, papas fritas, and Spanish octopus with roasted root vegetables. It’s a popular spot for brunch, too, with homemade doughnuts and a nap-inducing s’mores French toast with chocolate ganache. (105 Union St.)

Dunn Gaherin’s
It’s not easy to find an Irish pub in the Boston area that serves both great beer andfantastic food, but Dunn Gaherin’s — fun to say, even better to visit — is one of the exceptions. Inside the quirky space, customers tuck into plates of steak tips and gravy-drenched meatloaf (stop by on Fridays and Saturdays for the shepherd’s pie special). Imported and local brews flow from the taps, including the necessary Guinness. (344 Elliot St.)

Fiorella's
Gnocchi at Fiorella’s. —Justin Saglio

Fiorella’s
At Fiorella’s in Newtonville, you’ll find the types of Italian food that can cause sudden cravings at unsuspecting moments: chicken parmigiana, shrimp scampi, four-layered lasagna. A hefty salad section is ideal for the lunch crowd (and includes everything from chopped Italian salad to a roasted beets and arugula bowl), and desserts are ideal for, well, anytime — especially if your order involves the peanut butter ice cream pie. (187 North St.)

The Landing Pizza & Kitchen
This Newton newcomer has only been open for a few months, but pizza fans are already raving about the pies here. Owner Massimo Ottani is certified in making traditional Neapolitan pizza, and his training shows: Thin-crust dough is topped with fresh ingredients that range from sweet sopressata and anchovies to potato. Oven-baked focacce sandwiches and calzones are also on the menu, but you’d be remiss if you skipped out on Ottani’s exceptional pizza. (223 Adams St.)

Little Big Diner
The spicy miso ramen at Little Big Diner. —Suzanne Kreiter

Little Big Diner
For a soul-warming bowl of ramen, Little Big Diner is the go-to spot in Newton. The tiny lunch and dinner hangout serves brown rice bowls, poke, and shared appetizers, but it’s the ramen that draws in locals, from traditional miso or shoyu ramen to the spicy tan tan ramen, a take on tantan mien with both chashu pork and chili ground pork. (1247 Centre St.)

Lumiere
The takeout family meal of roast whole chicken, salad, grilled broccoli, potatoes, other vegetables, and cookies at Lumiere. —Suzanne Kreiter/Globe Staff

Lumiere
As one of Newton’s more upscale restaurants, Lumiere excels at on-point service and expertly executed French fare. Chef Jordan Bailey focuses on approachable classics like an herb-roasted half chicken, steak frites, and smoked fish pate, but if you really want to put your faith in Bailey, go for the chef’s whim tasting menu: five blind courses with the option to pair with wine. The kitchen also offers a family meal, a takeout dinner meant to feed two adults and two children. (1293 Washington St.)

Max & Leo’s
Emotions run rampant when discussing the quality of pizza in the Boston area, but Max & Leo’s delivers on both great pies and a family-friendly atmosphere. The sibling-owned pizzeria, which also has locations in Sudbury and the Fenway, allows you to build your own pie or choose from one of the custom pizzas — the Steve’s Old Fashioned is an exercise in refined simplicity, made with fresh mozzarella, slices of tomato, fresh basil, and garlic-infused extra virgin olive oil. (325 Washington St.)

Moldova
A pie with savory filling at Moldova. —Suzanne Kreiter/Globe staff

Moldova
Moldovan cuisine takes inspiration from its surrounding neighbors — Romania, Ukraine, Turkey, Bulgaria — and you’ll find a little bit of all of these influences at Moldova, a colorful cafe on Watertown Street. Serving brunch, lunch, and dinner, the menu includes dishes like Platou Moldovenesc, a mix of scrambled eggs, your choice of meat, hash browns and polenta; as well as sarmale, which are hand-rolled cabbage and grape leaves stuffed with rice, chicken, and herbs. (344 Watertown St.)

Sycamore
Seasonal fare dictates the menu at Sycamore, a neighborhood bistro where crispy Rhode Island squid and mushroom lasagna are listed alongside a Colorado lamb board for two. Bring a friend (or a date) and settle in to the brick-walled space, where a small, cozy bar serves beer, wine, and craft cocktails. (755 Beacon St.)

 

Why Has Housing Supply Increased as Sales Have Slowed Down?


Newton, MA. Real Estate, Compass, Newton Top Brokers, Sotheby’s

Why Has Housing Supply Increased as Sales Have Slowed Down?

Why Has Housing Supply Increased as Sales Have Slowed Down? | MyKCM

According to the latest Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the inventory of homes for sale this year compared to last year has increased for the last four months, all while sales of existing homes have slowed compared to last year’s numbers.

For over three years leading up to this point, the exact opposite was true; Inventory dropped as sales soared.

NAR’s Chief Economist Lawrence Yun shed some light on what could be contributing to this shift,

“This is the lowest existing home sales level since November 2015. A decade’s high mortgage rates are preventing consumers from making quick decisions on home purchases. All the while, affordable home listings remain low, continuing to spur underperforming sales activity across the country.”

Let’s take a deeper look:

Interest Rates

Since January, 30-year fixed mortgage interest rates have increased nearly a full percentage point (from 3.95% to 4.9%). Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the National Association of Realtors, and the Mortgage Bankers Association are all in agreement that rates will continue to increase to about 5.2% over the next 12 months.

“The rise in [mortgage] rates paired with this very strong price appreciation absolutely is slowing housing,” said Fannie Mae’s Chief Economist Doug Duncan.

Even though rates are higher than they’ve been in a decade, they still remain below the average for the 1970s, 80s, 90s, and 2000s!

Mismatch of Inventory

Elizabeth Mendenhall, President of NAR, said it best, “Despite small month over month increases, the share of first-time buyers in the market continues to underwhelm because there are simply not enough listings in their price range.”

Prices of starter and trade-up homes have appreciated faster than their higher-priced counterparts. Over the last 5 years, the lowest-priced homes have appreciated by 47% while the highest-priced homes have appreciated by only 24%.

According to the Institute of Luxury Home Market’s Luxury Market Report, the $1M-and-up price range is now experiencing a buyer’s market. This means that supply (inventory) has finally caught up with demand and buyers are in the driver’s seat when it comes to negotiations. Additionally, many listings in this price range have experienced price cuts in order to entice buyers to put in offers.

Bottom Line

Additional inventory coming to market could help normalize the housing market and allow incomes to catch up to home prices. For more information about sales and inventory in our area, let’s get together so we can help you make the best decision for you and your family.

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The information contained, and the opinions expressed, in this article are not intended to be construed as investment advice. Keeping Current Matters, Inc. does not guarantee or warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information or opinions contained herein. Nothing herein should be construed as investment advice. You should always conduct your own research and due diligence and obtain professional advice before making any investment decision. Keeping Current Matters, Inc. will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on the information or opinions contained herein.

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Is Newton Heading Towards A Buyer’s Market?


Newton, MA. Top Broker, Newton, MA. real estate, Compass, Sotheby’s

Buyer and seller sign

Is Newton Heading to A Buyer’s Market?

The real estate market in Newton is starting to feel a bit different.  New things are coming to market and homes are going under agreement but it all seems — different.’

We’ve listed 3 properties in the past month and happily had over asking offers, some substantially over asking.  4 of our buyers purchased properties this month. One purchased 100k under asking, one 6o under asking and one at asking.  All of these wold be considered hot properties and yet none had multiple offers.  I’ve decided to dig into the numbers and see what I can decipher.

This is the market as of today:

ON Market                                      Average Price                            Days on Market

130 single families                          $2,091,980                                          101

59 Condos                                           $948,146                                         64

 

UNDER AGREEMENT

61 single families                            $1,449,334                                            32

19 condos                                          $726,809                                             27

 

SOLD

38 single families                                $1,249,858                                    29

16 condos                                             $650,000                                       34

 

These numbers tell a story.  The average list price at $2,091, 980 is 40% higher than the average sold price of $1,249,858. It took an average of 29 days to sell vs. the 100 days for the current unsold inventory.  This is a supply and demand business and when new inventory outpaces under agreements a declining market is usually forecasted.  I do not expect to see a significant drop in prices but there will be pushback on price which we are already seeing.  Mortgage rates are up about a 1/2 point and another rate increase is expected before year-end. These increases affect the below 1.2 million dollar buyer the most.

My advice is to seek a Realtor who understands the market trends and acts before everyone else.  You do not want to chase the market down.

copy-of-lifestyle-1-e1538500648730.jpg

Margaret Szerlip 617.921.6860

 

 

 

 

Boston’s 10 most expensive one-bedroom condos start at $1.35M


Newton, MA. real estate, Newton’s Top Brokers, Sotheby’s Compass

Boston’s 10 most expensive one-bedroom condos start at $1.35M

Half are in just two buildings: 50 Liberty and the W Boston

50 Liberty under construction in December 2016. 
Dan Logan/Shutterstock

Half of Boston’s 10 most expensive one-bedroom condos as of late July are in just two buildings: The newish 50 Liberty in the Seaport District and the older W Boston at 110 Stuart Street in the Theatre District.

In general, these 10 priciest one-bedrooms range from $1.35 million to $2.5 million, according to real estate research site NeighborhoodX. The units range in size from 878 square feet to 1,398 square feet.

“Given that the square footage for these properties is relatively modest, the asking prices are driven by relatively high prices per square foot,” NeighborhoodX research director Constantine Valhouli said over email. “These range from $1,246 a foot (1 Charles Street South, #3 in Back Bay) to $1,853 a foot (50 Liberty Drive, #6D in the Seaport).”

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