Helpful Buyer Info

Seller Credits Explained … Can You Pay for Buyer’s  Closing Costs?

Seller Credits Explained … Can You Pay for Buyer’s Closing Costs?

In general, most underwriting guidelines allow for the seller to pay a buyer’s closing costs. However, no matter what you negotiate, the amount of the credit at the closing table cannot exceed the buyer’s actual costs.

The following guidelines currently apply:

Conventional financing:

  • 90.01% + 3% credit
  • 90% or less 6% credit

FHA financing

  • 6% credit

VA financing

  • 4% credit


A seller should not give money back to the buyer at closing for repairs, decorating allowance, new carpet, etc. A closing cost credit is the only way for the seller to give money to the buyer without affecting the purchase price.

If a concession falls outside of these parameters, then the underwriter will subtract the dollar figure from the purchase price and run the loan to value ratio. If the ratio now exceeds the threshold for the loan program, the buyer may need PMI or not qualify for the loan program.

If you have a relocation customer whose company is paying their closing costs, then the amount of the seller concession will be limited. The buyer can not be reimbursed twice.

Closing costs are all of the buyer’s one-time fees associated with obtaining their mortgage. It does include escrows and pre-paids.

Allowable Costs:

Points Tax Service Fee

Appraisal Underwriting & Processing Fees

Credit Report Municipal Lien

Attorney’s Fee Plot Plan

Title search Recording & Courier Fees

Flood Certification First year’s insurance binder

Title Insurance Tax, Insurance & PMI escrows

For More Detailed Information feel free to call or email Tom Coburn, William Raveis Mortgage Broker, mobile: 508-380-7975  email:

If you had to choose would you pick a bigger backyard or a bigger house?

If you had to choose would you pick a bigger backyard or a bigger house?

Whenever anyone engages me a conversation about real estate (which is quite often) or when I’m at a party and need a little conversation starter I ask “If you had to choose would you pick a bigger backyard or a bigger house?” You’d be amazed at the answers I get. There is one consistent response. The answer I get the most is … “It depends on how you live your life”.

If you’re wrestling with this very question, I think the best thing you can do is make a personal list of pros and cons to help you with making the decision. Here are some of the responses I’ve gotten, I hope they might help you jump start your own list.

Reasons to go with a bigger yard:

  1. Having other houses close to you an issue
  2. Less house to keep clean and the kids can play outside
  3. Vegetable and flower gardens, picnics and campfires
  4. Active kids with any sport involving a ball and a stick
  5. Beautiful weather year-round makes the yard an extension of the house
  6. Large animal pets, barnyard animals, chickens
  7. Enjoy working outside
  8. Bigger house is just too expensive to maintain/clean/heat/keep cool/etc.
  9. You can always add on to your house but you won’t be able to add on to your lot size
  10. A larger yard tends to mean more privacy
  11. Hate house work and cleaning
  12. The amount of time, energy, and effort to maintain a big house is too much
  13. Bigger house means you have to own more stuff to fill it … just too much temptation to accumulate stuff.
  14. Yard is more environmentally friendly than house
  15. Like big kid toys like motorcycles, snowmobiles, boats, etc.

Reasons to go with a bigger house:

  1. Grew up in Cambridge, what’s a yard for?
  2. With unpredictable weather a bigger house gives you more inside space to spend your time
  3. Really love house cleaning (yes, some people really do)
  4. Large yards take lots of maintenance
  5. Into crafts and cooking and love to entertain
  6. More storage space
  7. Hate yard work and it’s just a burden
  8. If you can afford a housekeeper, a bigger house is all living space
  9. Additions are expensive if you need them later
  10. Public parks are everywhere and they’re free
  11. You’re in your house more than you’re outside in general
  12. We went from a small house and a bigger yard to a bigger house and smaller yard and I definitely like the bigger house
  13. A large home is the home of our dreams
  14. A large home stimulates more social interaction among the members of the family
  15. Really love to decorate

As I said before, your decision really depends on how you live your life. I personally don’t think there really is any one right answer for everyone, but the results of my totally unscientific research suggest that the majority of people tend to want a bigger yard.

Average Sales Price per Square Foot for Greater Metrowest Boston from Jan 1, 2017 to Today

Average Sales Price per Square Foot for Greater Metrowest Boston from Jan 1, 2017 to Today

It’s been a great year in real estate, and there’s still a solid quarter to jump in and get your dream house or sell your current house. Buyers and Sellers alike find one statistic very useful. This is … what is the average price houses are selling for per square foot of living area for any given town.  Although the average is not a perfect number to apply to every home it can be useful to figure affordability and to set realistic expectations of success for any given group of towns. So, as of today, here’s the breakdown for Metrowest from the beginning of the year to today (from lowest to highest) :

  • Hudson   ($171)
  • Marlborough   ($171)
  • Maynard   ($195)
  • Ashland   ($197)
  • Northborough   ($197)
  • Stow   ($202)
  • Framingham   ($204)
  • Southborough   ($208)
  • Boxborough   ($213)
  • Acton   ($237)
  • Sudbury   ($248)
  • Natick   ($270)
  • Wayland   ($281)
  • Lincoln   ($336)
  • Concord   ($354)
  • Needham   ($356)
  • Weston   ($391)
  • Wellesley   ($441)

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