Helpful Seller Info

What is Average House Size in Greater Metrowest Boston Towns?

What is Average House Size in Greater Metrowest Boston Towns?

As most people know, real estate is not a liquid asset.  In order to convert it to cash you have to put it up for sale and find a buyer who is willing to buy it, which can take an unpredictable amount of time and effort. If you want to have your home as easy to sell as possible, my best advice, which I have followed in several of my own home acquisitions, is this:  When you buy a house in the average size for the town in which it is located it will always sell. 

So here’s a list of average house sizes for homes that have sold from January 1, 2014 to today for towns in the greater Metrowest Boston area.

They are listed from small to large.

  • Maynard   (1,715 sf)
  • Framingham   (1,945 sf)
  • Hudson   (2,005 sf)
  • Marlborough   (2,041 sf)
  • Ashland   (2,117 sf)
  • Northborough   (2,174 sf)
  • Natick   (2,182 sf)
  • Stow   (2,576 sf)
  • Acton   (2,609 sf)
  • Wayland   (2,730 sf)
  • Needham   (2,850 sf)
  • Southborough   (2,919 sf)
  • Sudbury   (3,112 sf)
  • Boxborough   (3,270 sf)
  • Concord   (3,298 sf)
  • Wellesley   (3,340 sf)
  • Lincoln    (3,512 sf)
  • Weston    (4,405 sf)
What does “AS IS” mean in real estate?

What does “AS IS” mean in real estate?

The real estate industry has its own unique language that can sometimes be confusing. One term that comes up a lot, especially in these times of bank-owned properties, short sales, and foreclosures, is “as is” and its variations “where is”, and “in its present condition”. There are some agents who feel that part of the reason we see “as is” cropping up more and more is because more buyers are being coached to use the home inspection as a reason to reopen negotiations (sometimes justified, sometimes not) and that sellers and their agents, who may have already lowered the price several times, are using it as a tactic to close the door on this practice.

This is not a term to be used lightly by sellers, because there are costs as well as benefits, and if you don’t know what it really means, you shouldn’t use it. Sellers commonly mistake “as is” as a way to avoid making any repairs, rationalizing that a lower asking price will reflect the condition and eliminate expectations. Buyers, however, tend to interpret “as is” differently.  There are two common negative reactions that have serious consequences to a seller’s ability to sell: first, buyers sometimes take it as a sign of blood in the water and think that they can bargain way down from the asking price because they are now suspicious that many things are wrong with the house; and second, they will be very wary of “as is” houses and even avoid viewing them or putting in any offer for fear of hidden defects that will require a lot of time or money. You might be better off without using that clause and instead having your agent stress that at the agreed selling price the home inspection will probably not result in repairs or a price reduction on the part of the sellers.

“As is” is actually a legal term and concept used to disclaim liability for the condition of the house being sold. It says that the seller is selling and the buyer is buying the house in whatever condition it presently exists, and that the buyer is accepting the house “with all faults”, whether or not immediately apparent. It is most commonly (and correctly) used in estate situations, selling rental properties or when banks or relocation companies own the property … the sellers have never/not recently lived in the house and have no first-hand knowledge of any issues/defects. In Massachusetts, the seller and their agent must disclose any known defects in the property in an “as is” purchase, but they don’t have to disclose what they don’t know. Seller’s gents are generally very good at disclosing known defects, but buyers should know that agents are required by law to answer direct questions honestly and to the best of their knowledge, so when in doubt – ASK THE QUESTION.

And last, when buying any home the buyer must take the time to thoroughly examine the home before accepting it, but buying a home in “as is” status is the ultimate “buyer beware” situation. That means obtaining expert home inspection(s) and legal advice and doing what their experts recommend. It also means checking with your mortgage broker to make sure their institution will finance an “as is” purchase – many won’t.

In closing, buyers should clearly understand that their contract to purchase any “as is” home is contingent upon acceptable inspection(s) and that they can take the house or walk-away but the seller is under no obligation to re-negotiate or correct any inspection issues no matter how severe.

I have represented many sellers and buyers with “as is” homes and done right the transaction can work out amicably for both parties.

Mortgage Rates Today and A Historic Perspective

Mortgage Rates Today and A Historic Perspective

Interest rates today have gone up a bit but are still at historic lows and they’re still very favorable for buyers. I’ve put together this simple chart to illustrate how historically low they really are.

  • Today……………………………….4.625 %
  • 2013………………………………………….4.125 %
  • 2004 & 2005……………………………..5.71 %
  • 2003………………………………………….5.92 %
  • 1998………………………………………….6.79 %
  • 1990’s (average)………………………….9.80%
  • 1979 – 1989 (double digits)………….10+ %
  • 1987 drop…………………………………..9.2 %
  • 1980’s (average)…………………………12.62 %
  • 1973-1980 (average)……………………9.43%
  • 1973-1982 (range)………………………7.44 – 17.49%

 

Note: these rates are for 30 year conventional fixed notes with grade A credit scores on single family homes, your experience may vary. Data courtesy of Keith Munsell at Leader Bank.

When I bought my first home, in the late ’80s, I remember paying an extra point to lock in the interest rate at 14.5%, and thought I had gotten such a fabulous deal as the rates were going up weekly Sure enough when we closed they had gone up to 15.75%.

Interesting aside, as of today the rate for a 30 year fixed JUMBO mortgage is lower (4.25%) than it has been in a long while. Great news for buyers looking to upsize.

Experts are predicting that all the rates will continue to stay low at least for the next year, so if you’re thinking of selling or buying, now is a really good time to call a realtor (shameless plug for me). I hope you found this interesting.

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