Category Archives: Happening in Arlington

Arlington MA Real Estate + Spring Market = Insanity!

Surely you have heard about Arlington’s limited inventory, good (but rising) interest rates, and how sellers are enjoying MP900305899multiple offers over asking price, with buyers waiving contingencies. This has been a crazy spring so far.
The effect is a rise in median sale price, and everyone’s value has gone up, whether they’ve done any improvements on their house or not.

What have houses been selling for?

In the first four months of 2014 there have been 60 sales of single family homes. The average list price was $653K and the average sale price was $665K. Average days on market was 30.
During the same time period in 2013 there were 53 sales, and the average list price was $567K and average sale price $574K. Average days on market was 51. That’s a 15% increase in one year.
One interesting example is 62 Oak Hill, a fully renovated cape w 1740 sqft, listed at $635K, sold for $700K ($65K over!)

Escalation Clauses

This is a new twist buyers are using to beat their competition. Saying “buyer will pay $X over the highest offer” has allowed some buyers to get offers accepted that otherwise wouldn’t. It has also caused extreme confusion when there were several offers using this. The jury is out on this tactic, as it can work well, or backfire.

What is a home worth?

Real estate is a commodity, the value of which fluctuates depending on supply and demand. Other factors like interest rates and public sentiment affect it as well. But ultimately a home is worth what a seller is willing too take, and a buyer is willing to pay. In a market with low inventory (in the case of Arlington the absorption rate is One Month for single family homes) competitive buyers drive the price up, and find new ways to be competitive, including waiving inspections and mortgage contingencies. I do have a concern for buyers getting excited about a home and taking on undue risk in order to get their offer accepted. Sellers are looking for the highest price and the least risk. It’s a shame that buyers are shouldering most or all of the risk in this market.

Seminars for First Time Home Buyers

Buyers who do a lot of reading on the internet and shopping for listings through Zillow and Trulia owe it to themselves to come in and get the hyper-local scoop on how to effectively buy a home in this competitive market, understand the process, the risks, the contracts, the professionals needed, and know what elements are essential to protecting yourself while getting your offer accepted. In this type of environment, more than ever, knowledge is power. Come in and get some soon! Seminars taught monthly, see the schedule here.

 

First Time Home Buyers: Learn and Earn Credit toward Closing Costs

First Time Home Buyers are still looking for solid advice and guidance, learning how to buy a home in Arlington MA or any surrounding area. All are invited to attend the March 30 First Time Home Buyer Seminar, presented by Dream Home Arlington and Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. Learn HOW to buy a home now!

  • When: Wednesday, March 30
  • Time: 7 – 8:30pm
  • Where: Bowes Real Estate Office – 1010 Mass Ave, Arlington
  • Cost: Free!

Packed with insider knowledge of home-buying, timely information about the local Arlington and Middlesex County real estate market, and financing guidance, this is a “how-to” persons dream come true. We’ll cover home-buying in a step by step process, from establishing your Arlington Dream Home criteria, through Financing and pre-approvals, to Open Houses, Offers, Inspections, and on to Closing Day.

Taught by Arlington’s finest First Time Home Buyer Specialists (Realtor and ABR Bija Satterlee from Bowes Real Estate) and Mike Tanionos (Senior Lender, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage), you will discover:

  • How to get a “good buy” on your first house or condo in Arlington or surrounding area
  • How to identify and find the house or condo of your dreams
  • How to get the best Financing and interest rate for your Arlington MA home purchase
  • How to get the advantages of having a dedicated Buyers Agent
  • How to make your Offer stand out from other Buyers, and more!

We have already seen plenty of buyers scouring the limited inventory of homes for sale in Arlington and surrounding areas like Lexington, Medford, Bemont and Cambridge. NOW is a great time to become a savvy buyer. Register for the March 30 First Time Home Buyer Seminar now. And the best part? It’s free!

Read Testimonials of some of our Seminar graduates!

email bsatterlee@bowesre.com to register for the Seminar. Seating limited, Register Today!

Don’t “Wing it” Buying Your First Home

FIRST TIME HOME BUYER SEMINAR – at Bowes GMAC in Arlington – Wed Feb 24   7-8:30pm  FREE!

Buying your first home is no time to take chances, go it alone, or wing it. Here is your opportunity to learn the process of buying from First Time Home Buyer experts in Arlington. Taught by Bija Satterlee (ABR, Realtor) and Michael Tanionos (senior lender with Well Fargo Home Mortgage), these Seminars cover the basics of financing, interest rates, credit scores, and programs for buyers with varying circumstances.

The process of buying a home begins with a self assessment. Get in on an exercise designed to help you define your criteria. From there we go through a sample home purchase, from Offer to Closing. We have found that buyers who attend these Seminars have a much smoother home buying experience than those who “wing it”!

Seating is limited – RSVP today to bija@dreamhomearlington.com

If you miss this one, see schedule of upcoming Seminars here: http://www.dreamhomelexington.com/seminars.php

First Time Home Buyer Seminar Jan 26, Arlington MA

First Time Home Buyers are still looking for solid advice and guidance, learning how to buy a home in Arlington MA or any surrounding area. All are invited to attend the January 26 First Time Home Buyer Seminar, presented by Dream Home Arlington and Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. Learn HOW to buy a home before you find your Dream Home!

  • When: Wednesday January 26
  • Time: 7 – 8:30pm
  • Where: Bowes GMAC Real Estate Office – 1010 Mass Ave, Arlington
  • Cost: Free!

Packed with insider knowledge of home-buying, timely information about the local Arlington and Middlesex County real estate market, and financing guidance, this is a “how-to” persons dream come true. We’ll cover home-buying in a step by step process, from establishing your Arlington Dream Home criteria, through Financing and pre-approvals, to Open Houses, Offers, Inspections, and on to Closing Day.

Taught by Arlington’s finest First Time Home Buyer Specialists (Realtor and ABR Bija Satterlee from Bowes GMAC Real Estate) and Mike Tanionos (Senior Lender, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage), you will discover:

  • How to get a “good buy” on your first house or condo in Arlington
  • How to identify and find the house or condo of your dreams
  • How to get the best Financing and interest rate for your Arlington MA home purchase
  • How to get the advantages of having a dedicated Buyers Agent
  • How to make your Offer stand out from other Buyers, and more!

We have already seen plenty of buyers scouring the limited inventory of homes for sale in Arlington and surrounding areas like Lexington, Medford, Bemont and Cambridge. NOW is a great time to become a savvy buyer. Register for the January 26 First Time Home Buyer Seminar now. And the best part? It’s free!

Read Testimonials of some of our Seminar graduates!

email bija@dreamhomearlington.com to register for the Seminar. Seating limited, Register Today!

GMAC Brand Becoming “Real Living”

NEWS FLASH!

GMAC Real Estate was purchased by Canadian company Brookfield Residential this year, and in order to expand and re-define its brand, has merged with Real Living Real Estate, out of Ohio. Real Living is a relatively new company (since 2002) but is extremely successful, with its focus on WOMEN and FAMILY.

Knowing that women make 91% of real eststate decisions led them to orient marketing and technology in the fun friendly fashion you see on their corporate web site, http://www.realliving.com.

Bowes GMAC in Arlington is part of the transition, and will be integrating changes over the coming months. We find this news very exciting, and know it will bring much-needed energy and ‘Reality’ to real estate in Arlington and surrounding areas.  I will keep you updated to the changes and benefits you can expect. For now, get used to seeing this logo, as ITS COMING!!

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Farmers Market in Arlington

Twelve years strong the Arlington MA Farmers Market has been bringing gorgeous fresh produce to town. With at least twelve farms bringing locally produced fruit, vegetables, eggs, fish, meats, maple syrup, honey, coffee and flowers, THIS is where you should be shopping each week!

Buy The Freshest Food Here

Supporting local farms and smaller ‘mom-n-pop’ businesses is one of the pleasures of shopping here. You’ll meet hard-working sincere people who believe in what they do, and produce quality you just dont find in ordinary stores these days.

This week I talked to two nice women who wisely team up to share a tent and a good time. From The Greenest Bean (www.greenestbean.com) out of Bedford, Tricia Cowell, who roasts and grinds delicious coffee. And Maureen Harder from Sassy Sauces (www.sassysauces.us), who knocks your sox off with delicious chocolate, caramel and butterscotch sauces. You can put them on… as she puts it “just about everything”. Made from pure ingredients, it just melts in your mouth.

Two of the wonderful Vendors at Arlington Farmers Market
Two of the wonderful Vendors at Arlington Farmers Market

Never go home empty handed ~ there’s something here for everyone!

Ready for the Pot!

Whatever is Growing In Season is available

Running from June 10 – Oct 28, you can find them in Arlington Center (Russel Commons Parking Lot) Wednesdays from 1-6:30pm.

This little weekly fair is run by the energetic Patsy Kramer.

She runs it!
She runs it!

More information can be found on the Arlington Farmers Market web site, www.farmersmarketarlington.org.

Town of Arlington Notices

Spy Pond Closed June 30

Spy Pond will be chemically treated with a USEPA/MA registered herbicide to control invasive and nuisance aquatic vegetation on Tuesday, June 30. The pond will be closed to all water uses (including boating, fishing, and swimming) on that day only.  In addition, water from the pond cannot be used for drinking, irrigation (i.e.; watering of lawns, shrubs or plants of any kind) or watering of livestock. Pets or wildlife that may drink the pond water will not be harmed.  These water use restrictions will be outlined and the pond shoreline posted with printed signs, prior to treatment. For additional information please visit arlingtonma.gov.

Independence Day Celebration Saturday, July 4th

On July 4, Arlington will celebrate America’s birthday at Robbins Farm Park. There will be musical entertainment from the John Penny Band (starting at 7:00), refreshments, and the Boston Pops Orchestra and Fireworks on the giant screen (fireworks start at 10:30). The event is free and open to all. For additional information and updates please visit robbinsfarmpark.org.

Arlington Recreation 2nd Annual Golf Tournament

Arlington Recreation is having its 2nd annual golf tournament at Hillview Country Club in North Reading, Monday September 28th. The tournament is open to the public and will honor those who have made significant contributions to the Arlington Community as well as raise funds to help keep Arlington Recreation’s goal of offering quality programming at reasonable costs. This year, Arlington Recreation would like to recognize Don Vitters. Read more about Don and how you can participate in this fun event at arlingtonma.gov/recreation.

This information courtesy of Town of Arlington Notices. To subscribe/unsubscribe from this list:
http://www.arlingtonma.gov/subscriber

The Curse of Multiple Offers in Arlington

OOHF! You’ve stumbled upon the home of your dreams! Your heart is beating fast, your brain is racing… because you’ve somehow FOUND it: the home you’ve been searching for! Suddenly you are protective of it, and want other buyers to stay away, or find something wrong with it, so you can present your offer solo, without the pressure and competition of those OTHER buyers!

Love at First Sight

Perhaps you first came across it online, watching the eleven o’clock news out of one eye, while doing your obsessive evening MLS check… and BAM!… there it was! With an Open House on Sunday, and you had to WAIT to get in and see it. Along with 30+ other groups of Arlington’s First Time Home Buyers.

Along Comes Sunday…

You arrive early. You scope out the commute, the neighborhood, the outside of the house, and finally when the door is unlocked you enter Paradise! It’s everything you imagined, and more. You’re pleasantly surprised, you actually hurry from room to room, fearing a disappointment around each corner, while hoping for perfection. And it IS PERFECT. It’s practically shouting your name from every corner. Your bed here, your couch there, your computer and music here, your mom’s picture there… your car in the garage, and your grill on the back deck. YES, this is the one!

Not so Fast, Pardner.

The rooms are filling with people, several with Buyers Agents, (which you’ve managed to avoid because you enjoy being independent, and didn’t want to waste anyone’s time)… and suddenly you realize you are unprepared. This sinking feeling is compounded by realizing that your six months old pre-approval letter is hopelessly outdated. You have no ally to give you advice, negotiate on your behalf, or help you navigate the sea of disappointment you now feel.

After a couple of these disheartening experiences you realize you actually need one of those Buyers Agents, even though you have access to MLS listings, and can see properties through Open Houses. The Arlington housing market is fairly competitive for good listings at the entry level. Those could range anywhere from $299K to $600K. There are currently 26 single family homes Under Agreement in Arlington in that price range, and half of those went UAG in under two weeks. Many people missed out on those properties, having placed Offers on one or more of them, and still didn’t get a house! This is an awful experince.

Musical Chairs

The arithmetic is pretty simple: when there are more Buyers than available homes, somebody is going to get left out. When inventory is behind demand, we start seeing this with new listings: “Offers, if any will be presented Sunday at 6pm”… These words are like a red flag that it’s a hot listing at a hot price… or the listing agent thinks so anyway. Often there is a flurry of activity over the weekend and somewhere from two to eight offers on a property.

How to Win in a Multiple Offer Situation

This is valuable information coming up…

1) Don’t go it alone. Since it costs you nothing, and gives you many advantages, you should hire a Buyer Agent. They can put you on a level playing field with the other Buyers, and also represent you directly with the Sellers.

2) Have your Pre-Approval letter updated every three months at the minimum. When you put in an Offer, you need an updated letter. Some lenders actually don’t work weekends, which is when you may need it suddenly updated, or for a different price. Be in touch with your lender regularly during these times, especially if anything changes with your employment. Contrary to popular belief, this does not affect your credit rating.

3) Get access to timely information from MLS. Some of the public sites are woefully outdated, showing things available that have been Under Agreement for a week, and new listings showing up 3 days late. Have your Buyers Agent help you get hot MLS listings, and daily updates.

4) Learn the Market, know your limit. Be prepared to stretch if you need to. If you understand your finances, and know what you can afford, you can bid accordingly. Your Buyers Agent should do a Comparative Market Analysis on a property you’ve identified as your target. Knowing what other similar properties have sold for recently is one indicator of what a home is worth. But knowing the local market, if you see it is competitively priced and has high appeal, understand this is not the time to low-ball an offer. You may find yourself going over asking price, which seems crazy if you listen to the national news media, but Arlington is different! Some agents intentionally price a property aggressively to stimulate multiple offers, and get the best price for their Seller.

5) Highest and Best doesn’t always mean Highest. When multiple offers are presented to a seller, sometimes they have a difficult decision. Imagine if you were a Seller in this position, and you received three offers, all approximately asking price. You may still be looking for your next home, and need time to find it, therefore you want a closing date as late as possible. It may be what you’re looking for is price, solid financing, and a late closing. So when the Sellers go back for “highest and best” in a second round of negotiation, this is the time to have your Buyers Agent ask the Seller, “what TERMS are they looking for?” I have seen offers won on closing dates alone, because the offering price was fantatic from several buyers, but one in particular matched the Seller’s other needs.

If YOU want to have the VIP Buyer’s advantage, contact me today for a complimentary consultation, where we can discuss your goals, and get you through the competitive maze and on to home ownership!

Mickey Coyne will be Missed

mcoyne Arlington says good bye to a dear friend

Mickey Coyne passed away Sunday morning, April 4th, leaving friends and family stunned and saddened. He was the beloved husband of Maureen (Fitzmaurice) Coyne. Known for his quick wit, love of football (the soccer kind), and Irish humor, he was a wonderful part of life in Arlington. Everyone has their own memories and stories of “honest Mickey”; our lives are richer for having known him.

He has been in real estate in Arlington for 30 years, the last 20 at Bowes GMAC, and part of the Bigelow-Coyne team since 2005.

Mickey was born in County Roscommon, Ireland. He became a U.S. citizen and settled in  Arlington in 1968. In addition to his wife, he is survived by his three children Michael W. Coyne of Arlington, Fiona Mary McKenna and husband Mark A. McKenna of Billerica, and Thomas C. Coyne and fiancé Sara M. Cote of Woburn. He was brother of Christopher Coyne and his wife Josephine and Philomena “Baby” McGovern and her husband Michael, all of Ireland. He was brother-in-law of Thomas Fitzmaurice and Teresa Canning and her husband Noel, all of Ireland.  And, he was also survived by many loving nieces and nephews. He was brother in law of the late Seamus Fitzmaurice and Bridie Harkins.

Some professional affiliations include:

  • National GMAC Premier Service Diamond Award, 2007
  • Premier Service Certified for GMAC
  • Former Trustee, North East Divisional Board, Gaelic Athletic Association
  • Former Treasurer of the North American County Board of the Gaelic Athletic Association
  • Soccer Coach, Arlington Town Traveling teams 1980s.
  • Personal Arlington Resident since 1968
  • Knights of Columbus, member of Arlington Council 109

The Wake will be held at Keefe Funeral Home in Arlington on Monday April 13, from 4-8pm. For those who wish, donations in his memory may be made to the Fidelity House, 25 Medford St., Arlington, MA 02474. To send online condolences, visit www.keefefuneralhome.com

Services will be Tuesday April 14 at St. Agnes Parish, at 10:00am.