Category Archives: New Home Buyer Seminar

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!

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!

Get Ready To Buy Your Arlington Dream Home

Buying your Arlington Dream Home in 2010: Are you Ready?

If owning your own home is on your 2010 ‘to do list’ then here’s how to make sure it happens.

Even you are months away from writing an offer, there are significant things you can do right now to get your “house-buying ducks” in order. My past clients will all testify that these steps done early save you stress, money, and other problems!

  • Getting pre-approved for a loan early in the process
  • Chosing a Buyers Agent who understands you and will protect your interests as you buy your home
  • Getting explicit about your Dream Home Criteria(Fill Out the Dream Home Criteria Worksheet)
  • Attending a First Time Home Buyer Seminar
  • Finishing up “old business” that may be holding you back~ like selling a house, saving for down payment, improving credit score
  • Learning the inventory ~ whether through MLS (Multiple Listing Service) or open houses or private appointments.

I can’t emphasize enough how much less stressful buying a home will be if you follow these preliminary steps! Read the first success story here of a couple who took the right steps from the beginning, and who now live in an adorable home they love.

As the new year approaches I wish you peace, prosperity and good health. And if your Dream Home is in your future, now is a great time to plan and prepare for it so you can spend NEXT HOLIDAY SEASON in your new home, whether in Arlington or a surrounding area!

Be safe, and let’s make 2010 your year!

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July Market Review: Strength in Arlington Single Family Homes

The end of July brought a frenzy of closings in Arlington! Those Under Agreement listings raced to close at the end of the month, boosting sales to an encouraging level, especially in the single family category.

Single Family Home Arlington

Comparing this year with last year, the single family closings were up in actual numbers (42 sales in ’09 vs 30 sales in ’08). From those who experienced the swarms of people attending open houses and making appointments to see single family houses, this is not surprising. The average sales price this year was $515,000, actually up from last year, which was $507,000.

The average days on market was only 40 days, the envy of other areas of the state. Last year’s average was 44. Looking further at the number of Days on Market, we saw 12 properties go under agreement in less than 10 days. What does that mean, you ask? It means these properties were snapped up by savvy, prepared buyers, many of whom may have already lost out on properties that had multiple offers.

The most expensive single family home that sold in July was a stately Victorian on 47 Marathon Street, that listed for $845,000 and sold after 13 days for $822,500. Gorgeous, beautifully updated, with a glass sunroom and more, it was the high point for the month in single family sales.

The glory the Single Family category enjoyed in July ’09 wasn’t shared by condo sellers. Only 28 condos closed this July; same period last year saw 41 closings, and an average higher price of $382,000. This year July’s average was $362,000.

Multi Family Home sales were clearly down. In 2008 we saw 9 sales, average sale price being $579,000. This year there were just two sales, averaged at $601,000.

The rest of the summer and fall will surely be driven by First Time Home Buyers, looking to close on a property by the deadline, in order to get their part of the $8,000 tax credit to first time buyers. Hopefully potential sellers will take advantage of the energy in the buying market, since interest rates have stayed favorable, and the buyers are pressed to make the end of October deadline for getting a P&S signed if they want to close in time to get the tax credit.

If you or someone you know would like help with purchasing a home, whether for the first time or not, you can contact me to discuss your goals at bija@dreamhomearlington.com for a free consultation. Additional useful information is available by attending our next Seminar for First Time Home Buyers August 12 in Arlington.

Why Title Insurance?

Your Arlington, MA home may be the single biggest investment you ever make.

It makes sense to protect it in every possible way. When you Close on your new home, the lender will require homeowner’s insurance to protect against fire, theft, and wind damage. You may be required to get flood insurance if in a flood zone. Title insurance is not actually required, but it is as important as the other types of insurance you will purchase. It protects you against title hazards, and can ultimately protect your family’s investment.

When you buy a home, you are purchasing the title to the property – the right to occupy and enjoy the property. That title may be limited by rights and claims asserted by others, which may limit your use and enjoyment of the property and even bring financial loss. Title insurance protects against these types of title hazards. Unlike other types of insurance, it is purchased with a one-time premium, before Closing on the property.

Save 10% on Title Insurance by Attending Seminar April 23

Learn more about title insurance, and many other topics at the upcoming First Time Home Buyer Seminar this Thursday, April 23, at Bowes GMAC Real Estate Office. Participants will receive a certificate for 10% off Title Insurance with First American Title Insurance Company. A representative will be present to answer your questions. This evening is presented free of charge, and runs from 7:00pm – 8:30pm. RSVP by phone (781) 354-4835 or email bija@dreamhomearlington.com.

Closing Escrow – The Movie

This, Ladies and Gentlemen, is not Premier Service

But it is funny! Thankfully things are not like this in Arlington MA! Be glad you’re not in Oklahoma or California trying to by or list a home! (No realtors or clients were harmed during the making of this movie). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dgFVppU7_Mc&feature=player_embedded

Finding a truly reputable and professional Realtor…

…is so important. Make sure you are comfortable with the level of education, commitment, and professionalism your Agent exhibits before signing a contract with them! Look for advanced certifications like ABR, CRS, etc., which shows a commitment to further education, and specialization. Many unqualified Realtors are leaving the industry at this point, but watch out for any sense of desperation from a Realtor you are considering working with. You can sense it, and it’s best not to begin a relationship under those circumstances. Look for a strong company with many resources, and an Agent who is very familiar with your target area, who is professional, and is full-time in the business. And now enjoy the movie, knowing this will NOT be you!!

Upcoming First Time Home Buyer Seminar

Take time to get educated, learn how you actually buy a home in Massachusetts, lending requirements, mortgage info, $8000 Tax Credit and more… on April 23 join me at Bowes GMAC Real Estate office from 7-8:30pm when I will be presenting an educational workshop for First Time Home Buyers. A senior lender from J.P.Morgan Chase, Mike Tanionos, will explain how financing works. This is not to be missed if you are planning your first purchase anytime soon! Email bsatterlee@bowesre.com to register or for more information.

Leaving Cambridge for Parts Further West…

Where is the Stampede going?

Town Sign Arlington MA

Town Sign Arlington MA

As a Realtor I commonly ask folks who visit my Open Houses “Where y’all from?”

Of course there’s a variety of answers… but there’s an obvious TREND going on… There is a high number of people migrating to Arlington from Cambridge, Somerville, Boston, Charleston, Brighton… not from parts West or North. They are invading from the east, much like the British, but with less tea.

A youthful resurgence. It seems young professionals mostly in their twenties and thirties, who have decent jobs are seeking to escape the urban headache, and have set out for parts greener and less pricey. Arlington is still convenient enough to continue working in Cambridge and Boston, so the formula is rich with possibility for these escapees! It seems Arlington is the place to be!

First Time Home Buyers were 50% of the market in 2008

The trend is for a better lifestyle, and once renting gets ‘old’ and you decide that owning your own home is in your future, where do you go? Well, where your friends have gone for starters. Where you can get some green grass and a garage to go with your sleeping quarters, and where you can get a capuccino within walking distance. You will be comforted by the abundance of public transportation, frequent wifi spots, fresher air, a sense of ‘neighborhood’ and distinctly less crime and city dirt.

Once you fully engage the “let’s buy a house” stage you are possibly also thinking of the future, or a growing family and a school system. In the next issue of the Arlington MA Real Estate Blog we will hit on some key resources for living a full life here, including schools and other resources around town. For those of you who get anxious just thinking of leaving ‘the city’ just know you will be surrounded by others with the same complex! But rest assured, Arlington is everything you have been looking for if you want to keep aspects of the city you love and lose the things you don’t.

FIRST TIME  HOME BUYER SEMINAR March 19

You and your friends can learn the in’s and out’s, pitfalls and must-do’s for buying your first home by attending the wildly popular Seminar series being taught by myself and the brilliant Michael J. Tanionos of J.P.Morgan Chase Bank. We will provide some food and drinks and valuable information at the BOWES GMAC Real Estate Office, 1010 Mass Avenue, from 7:00 – 8:30pm Thursday.

Email Bija at bsatterlee@bowesre.com to RSVP ~ feel free to bring a friend!

First Time Home Buyers Seminar March 19

Back By Popular Demand

Did you miss previous First Time Home Buyer Seminars, taught by myself and Michael Tanionos of J.P. Morgan Chase Bank? Well fear not, you can catch the show again when we produce it LIVE, at the Bowes GMAC Office on March 19th, complete with tasty offerings from Dag’s Deli.  The multimedia presentation runs from 7-8:30 pm. If you are thinking of buying a home in the coming months and you’ve never done it before, or not around HERE, you don’t want to miss it!

You can learn more about what’s happening in the local micro-market of Arlington, I will have the latest market data and comparisons. Of SERIOUS note is how great Arlington’s VALUES are holding up in the midst of other town’s woes. You must have seen it in this month’s Boston Magazine. Arlington was voted one of the “Teflon 10” – and we’re grateful for that!!

We will cover the process of buying, local trends, how to get the most from MLS, Open Houses, buyer’s market vs. seller’s market, multiple offers, and more. You will have a chance to ask questions about everything, including the $8,000 Tax Credit for First Time Home Buyers.

Do you know how to check your credit score? Are you aware of the impact small mistakes can make in your credit report? Are you aware that tiny mistakes can cost you big money in the long run? Mike will highlight simple steps you can take to improve your credit score, and why it’s important to begin this process as soon as you can. He explains in plain English what your choices are, and what you need to know and do in order to get the best possible  rates on a loan.

Get Smart Sooner, Not Later!

Surely you’ve smacked yourself on the head over silly mistakes you’ve made in life? Well, buying a home isn’t one you’d like to regret, so why not learn as much as you can early in the process, and save time and possibly thousands of dollars, as well as have a much smoother experience buying your very first home! Call Bija today at 781-354-4835 or email bsatterlee@bowesre.com to reserve a spot at the upcoming First Time Home Buyer Seminar.

See more details and upcoming dates here.

“We had a good time at your November seminar and learned so much. We can’t wait to get started looking at houses again after the first of the year. This will definitely be the year we buy, and it all makes more sense now!” ~ Ted and Susan P.  (Brighton)