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Blog :: 08-2016

July Housing Market Report for Brookline and Boston

July Housing Market Report for Brookline and Boston

The most up-to-date housing market report for Brookline and Boston suggests that we've had a slowdown in July. Pricing hasn't been affected too greatly but lack of inventory has stalled the momentum we saw earlier this year. With the Federal Reserve giving more serious thought to raising the interest rates, my thoughts are as follows:

  • Sellers thinking of about putting their homes on the market shouldn't delay
  • Buyers who already have a signed offer should discuss a rate lock with their lender. If their lender doesn't offer a rate lock, shop around
  • Those home buyers thinking of purchasing a property in the coming months, should be certain to keep nurturing their down payment fund. A higher down payment could translate to a discount on your mortgage rate

For a closer look at what's happened in the Brookline and Boston housing markets, check out the numbers at http://bit.ly/2ceTHIM

Fund-Raising Walks and Runs: Taking Steps Towards Good Causes

It will be peak season soon for fund-raising walks and runs.A change of season means a shift in many facets of our lives: getting out those sweaters, putting away the water wings, loading up on firewood. It’s an exciting time of year as we turn to another page on the calendar. With summer vacations over and cooler weather in store, many charities and non-profits schedule their fund-raising walks and runs in the Fall in order to attract the most volunteers.

If you’ve given any thought to using your daily steps towards a good cause, I’ve found the perfect website for you. Check out Active.com, a site focused on providing information about walking and running activities. To make it even easier for you, here’s the link that takes you straight to Massachusetts walk/run fundraisers: http://bit.ly/2bQF3mz

Whether you plan to get out and put your feet to good use or simply want to enjoy one of the best seasons in New England, I hope that you and your family will have a fun and healthy season.

Smart First-Time Home Buyers Don't Search On Their Own

first-time home buyersWith the fall season practically at our doorstep, it’s time for many first-time home buyers to start thinking about reigniting their house-hunting efforts. Best tip for you guys? Don’t go it alone. Hire someone who can represent your best interests and guide you through the sometimes convoluted real estate process.

Do yourself a favor and hire an ABR®.

Realtors with an Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR) designation understand buyers’ specific needs and local market conditions as well as how to navigate the real estate transaction successfully. With an ABR®, you can find the house that will be your home.

I’ve been an ABR® since 2004 when I first began my real estate career. Since then I’ve put my skills to work to help first-time home buyers successfully get through every stage of the buying process – from the home inspection right to the closing table. Here’s a great video that demonstrates clearly why you should work with an ABR: http://youtu.be/Qvlur2WHnu8

Text or call me today about working together to find the house that will be your home! You can always reach me at (617) 899-3162 or via email at mpallares55@gmail.com. I look forward to working with you.

Top 5 Tips for Visiting Open Houses

Making the most of your time when visiting Open Houses.Even the most ardent home buyers took a break this summer from their searches but now with the season coming to an end soon, many house hunters will be back to visiting Open Houses again in full force. If you want to make the most of your search, check out my “Top 5 Tips for Visiting Open Houses.” 

  1. Get a Good Night’s Sleep. It may seem like an easy task to visit Open Houses but once you’ve explored half a dozen homes and navigated all the crowds, you’ll find yourself wishing you had had a better night’s sleep the day before. Being well rested will help you stay focused and not running out of steam too soon in the day.
  2. Wear “Double Duty” Shoes. I tell my home buyers to make sure to wear the proper shoes when attending Open Houses. They should both be comfortable AND easy to take on and off. Comfy shoes make sense since you’ll be doing a lot of walking and climbing but many homeowners ask that you take your shoes off before entering. Wearing slip-off shoes saves time when you want to hit a lot of homes in the same day.
  3. Look Beyond the Four Walls. Keep in mind that you’re not only at the Open House to check out the specific home but you also want to get a good sense of the neighborhood. Are the other yards well-maintained? Is there a market close by? How far is the nearest bus stop? Where would I go for coffee? How easy is it to get to a major highway? If you see one of the local residents outside tending their garden, introduce yourself and ask them some of these questions. This is a great way to meet one of your potential neighbors as well.
  4. Be Prepared to Act Fast. Have all your paperwork ready in case you want to make an offer quickly. In a hot market where properties aren’t for sale very long, it’s best to be able to act fast when you need to. Be pre-approved for a loan. Have your checkbook handy. Know how much you can comfortably afford. Have a real estate attorney and home inspector on speed dial. The savvy buyer must be prepared to act fast when the occasion calls for it.
  5. Get a Sense of the Homeowners. Sometimes it makes sense to include a personal letter along with your offer. That extra effort will definitely help you stand out from the competition. With that in mind, see if you can glean a bit about the sellers during the Open House. A lot of cookbooks? They enjoy time in their kitchen. Beautiful garden? They enjoy tending their yard. Everything’s clean and tidy? They’re proud of their home. Being able to customize your letter to the sellers will make a good impression when the time comes.

As a home buyer in a seller’s market, it’s often the small details that not only make searching easier but also gives you a leg up when there are multiple offers. Buying your home is a major endeavor and it’s best to be as well-prepared as possible. In the end, you want to look back on this process and know that you came to your decision to buy a home in a thoughtful and organized manner.

 

Today's Good Deed: Donate Your Car to a Charity

donate your car

I recently had the chance to donate my car to a favorite charity and I have to say that the whole process was much easier than I expected thanks to a group dedicated to streamlining the whole experience. I was fortunate to have come across Car Donation Wizard (www.cardonationwizard.com), an organization whose sole mission is to connect you and your vehicle donation with a charity of your liking, such as The American Cancer Society, UNICEF, Habitat for Humanity, and even your local National Public Radio station like WBUR. 

With just a few clicks, you’ll soon be on your way to donating your car, boat, RV, motorcycle or other vehicle to a group whose charitable mission you support. Being the animal lover that I am, I chose to donate my car to the ASPCA (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty for Animals). It’s definitely a win-win process since you do receive written documentation from the group to use for a tax deduction. (For more info on the tax deductions, check out the IRS-issued “Donor’s Guide to Car Donations.)

And, if you don’t have a vehicle of your own to donate at the moment, why not pass along this info to someone who might. Rack up a good deed today!

Michael A. Pallares

at Andrew Mitchell & Company

617-899-3162 | mpallares55@gmail.com Offices in Concord & Marion, Ma