newton mass homes for sale

Survey Says Millennials Want To Live In New York, What Does Research Say?


Newton, MA. Top Realtor,  Compass Massachusetts Realtor, Newton, MA. Homes for Sale

Survey Says Millennials Want To Live In New York, Research Suggests They Should Live In Philadelphia…Hmm?

Philadelphia (Shutterstock)

In a recent survey one-in-five Millennials said New York is their ideal city. Less than 1% said the same of Philadelphia. Ironically, however, the city of Ben Franklin and cheesesteaks outranks its more popular brethren when it comes to qualities the young purport to value.

Millennial-run apartment search site Abodo set out to determine what their generational-peers look for in a city to call home by surveying 2,000 people born between 1982 and 1998. Respondents rated 20 qualities on a 1 to 10 scale, with 10 connoting the highest importance.

It turns out, the top three qualities Millennials want in a city are economic in nature: a thriving job market (average score: 8.19), affordable rent (7.94) and affordable home prices (7.55). Beyond those core three, the ratings for quality of life metrics were fairly evenly dispersed. Rounding out the top third of the list were parks or hiking trails (6.52), non-chain restaurants (6.49) and quality pizza (6.11). Meanwhile, items ranging from top-rate public schools (6.07) to an LGBTQ-friendly environment (5.47) to access to music venues (5.38) all have above average ratings. In fact, the only quality not achieving a score greater than five was the presence of a local college or university (4.99).

To Sam Radbil, communications manager at Abodo, the survey shows “Millennials are career driven.” He added, “Despite Millennials’ reputation for being lazy or entitled they care about the job market and their careers. They are looking for a place that is affordable.”

Interesting distinctions arise when the group is divided by age range, comparing 18-to-22 year-olds with 23-to-28 year-olds and 29-to-34 year-olds. Employment and housing are key concerns among all three groups, though affordable rent outranks job prospects only for the youngest cohort.

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For the oldest group home purchase price becomes more important than rental prices. While unsurprising, the differences among age groups do reflect recent trends. After years of hand-wringing over whether young people would participate in this traditional rite of passage, surveys suggest Millennials do want to buy and that as they get older they are taking the ownership plunge. According to the National Association of Realtors, Millennials now make up the largest share of home buyers at 35%. The median age of a first time buyer is currently 31.

(Courtesy Abodo)

When it comes to location, nearly 20% of people surveyed list New York as their perfect city. Next up is San Francisco at 10%, Seattle and Portland at 9% and Los Angeles at nearly 8%. All of these cities have 80% or more of the 20 qualities Abodo pegged as important and most have several of the traits Millennials value highest. By Adodo’s calculations, however, several cities that barely registered with the survey-group may have more of what the generation is looking for, including Philadelphia (which got top city rating from just 0.89% of people), Washington D.C. (1.36%) and Boston (2.3%).

The company judged Philadelphia as the best city for Millennials in part due to solid marks on job market (the Philadelphia region’s unemployment rate was 20 basis points below the national average when the data was pulled) and average home prices (sale and rental) of at or below 30% of average income.

(Courtesy Abodo)

Of course, some of the metrics are subjective–a New Yorker may not agree Philadelphia has quality pizza. (Disclosure: the author of this post lives in New York, went to college in Philadelphia and has strong feelings about pizza.) But the survey’s broader point–that places you’ve never thought of may have exactly what you’re looking for–remains indisputable.

10 Home Renovations That Offer the Best (and Worst) Return on Investment


Newton, MA.  Homes for Sale,  Newton Top Brokers Margaret Szerlip, West Newton Hill

10 Home Renovations That Offer the Best (and Worst) Return on Investment

This was posted in Realtor.com–not sure I agree with some of these….what do you think?

Remodeling may be a labor of love, but it’s also an investment that can seriously boost the value of your home.  Only by how much? Well, according to Remodeling magazine’s 2016 Cost vs. Value Report, you’ll recoup an average of 64% of what you paid for a renovation if you sell your home this year.

To arrive at these figures, Remodeling asked consultants in various markets to estimate the average cost for 30 home improvement projects, from adding a bathroom to replacing a roof. Then, they asked real estate agents nationwide to estimate the expected resale value of these renovations so that readers could compare their out-of-pocket costs to how much money they’d get back when it came time to sell their home.

So, what projects gets you the most bang for your home renovation buck? It may not be nearly as sexy (or fun!) as adding a chef’s kitchen or glam bathroom, but attic insulation gets the top spot. That’s right: Stuff some fiberglass insulation into the walls of a 35-by-30-foot attic, and you’ll pay an average of $1,268. But when you sell, you will rake in $116.90 for every $100. For you math-challenged out there, that’s a recoup of 116.9% of your costs. It’s the only home reno on this year’s report that redeems more money than you spend!

 

The next best-paying renovation on the list: manufactured stone veneer, offering a respectable 92.9% return.Meanwhile—sorry, luxury tub fans—the home improvement project that reaps the worst ROI is the addition of a bathroom, at 56.2% (although the “added value” of an extra bathroom for anyone who’s ever had to wait their turn for one is, of course, priceless).

Take-home lesson? If you’re looking for a general rule of thumb, it’s that less is more: Lower-cost projects  generally reap bigger returns, with four of the five projects that cost less than $5,000 ranking among the top five for money back when you sell.

Check out the best (and worst) returns for home renovations in the two charts below, including how much you’ll pay and get back if you sell your home this year.

———

5 Must-Haves of Millennial Home Buyers


5 Must-Haves of Millennial Buyersopen concept

Millennials, those born between 1980 and 2000, are the second-biggest segment of home buyers, behind Generation X (those born between 1965 and 1979), according to a 2013 National Association of REALTORS® study about generational housing trends.

Real estate professionals told ABC News recently of some “must have” features that tend to be in high demand among young buyers. Some of those “must haves” include:

1. Updated kitchen and bath: “The primary reason young buyers seek updated kitchens and baths is because they have limited budgets,” says Jack Curtis, a real estate professional in Dublin, Ohio. “Most of their savings will go toward the down payment and furnishings. Kitchens and bathrooms are also the most expensive parts of a home to update, and young home owners cannot afford to sink a lot of money into those areas.”

2. Big kitchen with an open floor plan: “The kitchen has become the hangout room along with the family room,” says Lou Cardillo of The Lou Cardillo Team in Yorktwon Heights, N.Y. “An open space that can easily transition from kitchen to TV room is high on the list of the perfect home for young buyers. In essence, the kitchen is the new living room.”

3. Home office: “As technology continues to make us more mobile, young buyers have more options than ever to work from home, depending on their job,” says Paige Elliot, a real estate professional with Dave Perry-Miller & Associates in Dallas. “Having a dedicated space is important because it will help keep them focused and concentrated on work while they are at home on a Skype call, planning a presentation, setting up their workday or simply paying bills.”

4. Location: “My young buyers look for properties that are in proximity to public transportation and that have a good walking score,” says Margaret Szerlip, Real Estate professional at Sotheby’s in Newton, MA.

5. Technology: A home’s appeal can be increased if it has a strong mobile carrier’s signal or its list of Internet service provider options, says Cardillo. “Internet and cell service matters a lot to this generation, and they’re going to ask, so you need to have answers,” Cardillo says.

Homeowners: We Need to Sell Your House Twice


Homeowners: We Need to Sell Your House Twice

Sotheby’s Newton  Newton’s Top Brokers

Posted: May 5, 2015 EST  Newton, MA.

Homeowners: We Need to Sell Your House Twice | Keeping Current Matters

Every house on the market has to be sold twice; once to a prospective buyer and then to the bank (through the bank’s appraisal). In a housing market where supply is very low and demand is very high, home values increase rapidly. One major challenge in such a market is that bank appraisal. If prices are jumping, it is difficult for appraisers to find adequate comparable sales (similar houses in the neighborhood that closed recently) to defend the price when doing the appraisal for the bank. With escalating prices, the second sale might be even more difficult than the first. And now, there may be a second issue further complicating the appraisal issue. The Mortgage News Daily (MND) recently published an article titled Conservative Appraisals Increasingly Mentioned in 2015; Did Something Change? The article revealed that there was a “flurry” of comments on their website from members expressing concern about…

“…a sudden increase in appraisals reflecting market values well below what had been expected. In some cases the low appraisals had merely required the restructuring of the loan, in others they killed the deal.”

The National Association of Realtors revealed this month that 8% of the contracts that fell through over the last three months were terminated because of appraisal issues.MND decided to survey their members and ask why this sudden increase in “short” appraisals could be taking place. Here is one result of that survey:

“Almost everyone we spoke to mentioned Fannie Mae’s new Collateral Underwriter (CU).”

Collateral Underwriter provides a risk score on individual appraisals which will lead to a ranking of appraisals by risk profile, allowing lenders to identify appraisals with heightened risk of quality issues, overvaluation, and compliance violations. It went on-line on January 26. Marianne Sullivan, senior vice president of single-family business capability with Fannie Mae believes that CU is not a problem for appraisers. She claimed:

“From an appraiser perspective, one of the lender’s responsibilities has always been to review the quality of an appraiser, and they have been using various methods to do that forever. I don’t think appraisers will find this tool to be disruptive.”

However, some think that CU has caused appraisers to become too cautious with their appraised values. One mortgage professional in theMND article explained it this way:

“My personal opinion is that appraisers are being overly conservative in choosing comps because of CU. If CU questions the comps, adjustments, etc., the appraiser would have to do a lot of extra work to justify them. I had anticipated that CU would cause delays because of this extra work, but it seems that appraisers are one step ahead and are being ultra conservative, thus avoiding the extra work in the first place. I haven’t spoken to an appraiser about it; this is just my interpretation of what I am seeing.”

Ryan Lundquist, a Certified Residential Appraiser in the Sacramento area, agreed:

Lack of Inventory Hits Tony Towns


Real estate agent Margaret Szerlip is seen at 1592 Commonwealth Avenue in Newton, Monday, April 27, 2015. Staff photo by Angela Rowlings

By: Adam Smith

When Meryl Appelbaum put her family’s Newton Corner home on the market for $1.89 million last month, her agent got her a good ­offer in just two weeks.

But there was one problem.

“There was nothing out there that made it worthwhile to sell,” said Appelbaum, who was looking to downsize but stay in Newton.

Anything going for $1.5 million or less — the price she was hoping to pay — either needed renovations or was sold as soon as it was listed. So, she backed out, and took her house off the market.

“It’s nuts,” said Appelbaum’s real estate agent, Margaret Szerlip, vice president of Karp Liberman & Kern Sotheby’s International Realty in Newton.

Szerlip and several other area real estate agents say the number of homes for sale in affluent Greater Boston communities has been shrinking compared with previous years — and the dramatic lack of inventory has been compounded by home owners like Appel­baum, who hold off selling for fear they’ll have no place to go.

“It’s a catch-22” said John Dulczewski, executive director of the Greater Boston Association of Realtors, who said several of his agents have faced similar situations with clients who hold back on selling their homes.

The lack of inventory has hit Brookline, Newton, Cambridge, Needham and West Roxbury especially hard, several agents say.

And it was exacerbated by the historic snowfall this year, said Szerlip.

“It was the worst winter in 11 years” for sales, she said.

Agents say that by March, they typically see an uptick in sales, but not this year.

“We started noticing this early in the fall, and it’s continued,” said real estate agent Bill Lawson, who works in Brookline.

Finally, he said, “there’s a bit more activity now that the snow is gone.”

But he also said some sellers looking to stay in town have grown wary about letting go of their homes.

From January to March, much of Greater Boston’s wealthier towns — especially
Brookline, Cambridge and Newton — saw year-over-year drops in inventory, according to numbers from the Greater Boston Association of Realtors. Brookline and Cambridge each saw about a 50 percent drop in the number of houses and condos on the market in March. Brookline, in particular, saw a significant drop in year-to-date listings by March compared with last year.

The supply squeeze means that almost anything selling in Brookline for $500,000 to $800,000 goes quickly and for well above the asking price, said Lawson, who works for Chobee Hoy Associates.

Szerlip said a Chestnut Hill condo she recently listed sold in just a weekend for above its $368,000 asking price — in a cash deal that gave the owner a September move-out date. Though she said anything for about $1 million sells rapidly, she’s even confident a home she’s co-listing for $3.5 million on Commonwealth Avenue in Newton will be quickly snapped up.

“We have a lot of showings on that and someone is going to buy that,” she said.

In addition to the tough winter, other reasons for the decline in inventory include owners with mortgage woes and strict zoning that’s keeping new homes from being built, said Dulczewski.

“In the short-term,” said Dulczewski, “I don’t hear anything from the brokers and agents that things are improving.”

Is Your Home Functionally Obsolete?


open concept

 Is Your Home Functionally Obsolete?

Newton Top Brokers, Sotheby’s Newton, MA.

Posted 12PM EST Newton, MA

The definition of functionally obsolete pertaining to real estate is: A reduction in the usefulness or desirability of an object because of an outdated design feature, usually one that cannot be easily changed.  That definition applies to many houses currently on the market here in the western suburbs of Boston.  An early to mid 20th century Colonial usually has a center stair case and a living and dining on either side of the foyer.  The kitchen is generally located behind the dining room and a sun-room located off the living room.  For many years the sun room became the family room and everyone was delighted to have that extra space.  Of course the living room wasn’t used as often once family rooms or dens became common. These houses were built when hosts didn’t want people in their kitchen when they were having company. Company came over and were led into the living room to have cocktails and Hors d’oeuvres.  The cook ran back and forth between the kitchen and the company.  Well women got tired of being in the kitchen and missing the party and the living room got shafted.

Victorians are another problem, they were extremely popular 10-20 years ago.  They have high ceilings and beautiful wide foyers.  Those wide foyers and intricate staircases make for little rooms and difficult renovations.  Over the years many people have added beautiful family rooms in the rear of the house off the kitchen.  But today’s buyer does not want a right parlor and left parlor and a dining room and a family room and a sun-room…. They don’t want to pay for rooms they don’t use.

Cooking together has become part of the experience.  People enjoy cooking now and they want their friends and family in the kitchen with them.  Guests WANT to be in the kitchen with their hosts!  A desirable first floor today in a “normal” home consists of an open concept living, dining and kitchen, maybe a separate office and a large mud room.  4 second floor bedrooms and at least 3 bathrooms.  I don’t know why kids can’t share a bathroom with their siblings anymore?  What will they do when they have to share with 20 people in college?

So what does all this mean?  It means that the price of your home depends on how desirable your home is perceived through the eyes of a buyer.  Buyers have always determined the price of a home, not the seller or their agent.  If there is a way to open up the first floor and connect unused living rooms to the kitchen then you’ll be ok.  Your home will not sell at a premium because there is an automatic deduction in the mind of the buyer.  Most pre-war Colonials were built with a powder room under the front hall stairs, blocking the ability to open up to the kitchen and living room to each other.  Relocating a bath is not inexpensive and removing the first floor powder room is not desirable while living in the home or for resale.

Every house is salable!  The price melts away objections and gives buyers an opportunity to bring a home into the 21st century.

 

ugly_kitchentransitional-1

 

Bi-Monthly Real Estate Recap


Bi-Monthly Real Estate Recap

Newton’s Top Brokers Sotheby’s Newton, MA.

Posted April 27, 2015 9:45AM EST

Inventory remains very low in Newton, we have had a small increase from 105 to 116 homes for sale.  Out of the 116 available homes only 19 are below 1 million dollars.  The least expensive home currently listed is $519,000.  48 homes have gone under agreement in the last 2 weeks up from 31 during the prior period.  The most active segment of the market remains the 1 million to 2 million segment with 21 homes going under agreement in the past 2 weeks. A mere 7 homes sold during the same 2 weeks.  The record snowfall kept most buyers and sellers on the sidelines and today’s closings represent what happened roughly 60 days ago.

The condo market is also incredibly busy and buyers thirst for new construction is not waning.  Stay tuned, the next 2 weeks promise to be very busy now that school vacations and religious holidays are behind us.

 

 

On-Market Snapshot
Report Run: 4/27/2015 9:35:39 AM
Property Type(s): SF
Snapshot Date: 04/13/2015
Towns: Newton
 04/13/2015  4/27/2015
Price Range Number of
Listings
Avg. Days
on Market
vs. today Number of
Listings
Avg. Days
on Market
Under $50,000
$50,000 – $99,999
$100,000 – $149,999
$150,000 – $199,999
$200,000 – $249,999
$250,000 – $299,999
$300,000 – $349,999
$350,000 – $399,999
$400,000 – $449,999
$450,000 – $499,999
$500,000 – $599,999 4 61 4 61
$600,000 – $699,999 1 3 1 5
$700,000 – $799,999 3 9 5 20
$800,000 – $899,999 5 49 4 68
$900,000 – $999,999 6 32 5 18
$1,000,000 – $1,499,999 22 27 25 32
$1,500,000 – $1,999,999 27 42 28 65
$2,000,000 – $2,499,999 14 176 15 141
$2,500,000 – $2,999,999 15 149 19 138
$3,000,000 – $3,999,999 8 122 9 78
$4,000,000 – $4,999,999 1 12
$5,000,000 – $9,999,999
Over $10,000,000
Total Properties 105 Avg. 77 116 Avg. 76
Lowest Price: $549,000
Median Price: $1,699,000
Highest Price: $3,999,900
Average Price: $1,840,896
Total Market Volume: $193,294,174
Lowest Price: $519,000
Median Price: $1,765,000
Highest Price: $4,000,000
Average Price: $1,911,413
Total Market Volume: $221,723,953

 

Pending Statistics
Report Run: 4/27/2015 9:37:49 AM
Property Type(s): SF
Start Date: 04/13/2015
End Date: 04/27/2015
Towns: Newton
Went Pending Current Status
Price Range # of
Listings
# UAG # CTG # Sold # Other
Under $50,000
$50,000 – $99,999
$100,000 – $149,999
$150,000 – $199,999
$200,000 – $249,999
$250,000 – $299,999
$300,000 – $349,999
$350,000 – $399,999
$400,000 – $449,999
$450,000 – $499,999 1 1
$500,000 – $599,999 4 3 1
$600,000 – $699,999 3 1 2
$700,000 – $799,999 1 1
$800,000 – $899,999 6 5 1
$900,000 – $999,999 7 3 4
$1,000,000 – $1,499,999 11 6 4 1
$1,500,000 – $1,999,999 10 4 5 1
$2,000,000 – $2,499,999 1 1
$2,500,000 – $2,999,999 3 1 1 1
$3,000,000 – $3,999,999 1 1
$4,000,000 – $4,999,999
$5,000,000 – $9,999,999
Over $10,000,000
Total Properties 48 25 19 0 4
Lowest Price: $450,000 Median Price: $1,064,000
Highest Price: $3,999,000 Average Price: $1,308,149
Total Market Volume: $62,791,163

Total Sold Market Statistics
Report Run: 4/27/2015 9:39:48 AM
Property Type(s): SF
Status: SLD
Start Date: 04/13/2015
End Date: 04/27/2015
Towns: Newton
Price Range # of
Listings
Avg. Days
on Market
Avg. Days
to Offer
Average
Sale Price
Average
Orig Price
SP:OP
Ratio
$0 – $49,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0
$50,000 – $99,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0
$100,000 – $149,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0
$150,000 – $199,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0
$200,000 – $249,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0
$250,000 – $299,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0
$300,000 – $349,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0
$350,000 – $399,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0
$400,000 – $449,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0
$450,000 – $499,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0
$500,000 – $599,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0
$600,000 – $699,999 1 35 35 $656,000 $684,000 96
$700,000 – $799,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0
$800,000 – $899,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0
$900,000 – $999,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0
$1,000,000 – $1,499,999 2 50 23 $1,130,750 $1,299,000 88
$1,500,000 – $1,999,999 1 185 177 $1,800,000 $2,200,000 82
$2,000,000 – $2,499,999 2 272 117 $2,250,000 $2,474,500 91
$2,500,000 – $2,999,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0
$3,000,000 – $3,999,999 1 139 139 $3,600,000 $3,750,000 96
$4,000,000 – $4,999,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0
$5,000,000 – $9,999,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0
$10,000,000 – $99,999,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0
Total Properties 7 Avg. 143 Avg. 90 $1,831,071 $2,025,857 90
Lowest Price: $656,000 Median Price: $1,800,000
Highest Price: $3,600,000 Average Price: $1,831,071
Total Market Volume: $12,817,500
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