The Truth About Short Sales, REO’s & Auctions

GavelEverybody wants a great deal and there are hundreds of ads, TV shows and websites that offer “unbelievable” opportunities for a “small” fee! But you know what they say about deals that sound too good to be true! Each of the properties in the aforementioned categories are being offered at a discount for a reason…

Let’s look at some examples:

  • Short Sales, which are sales that require a lender’s approval, due to the delinquency of mortgage payments, can take many months to either be accepted or denied by the lender. Therefore buyers must be very flexible on closing dates, and or be okay with not getting such a property and having to start the process again on another home.
  • REO’s (Real Estate Owned) are properties that the bank has foreclosed on and they discount them and list them with a broker, generally because of the deferred maintenance and rough condition. When people lose a property to the bank, they usually are not happy and have not been putting time, energy, money or love into the property.
  • Auctions are challenging properties, because quite often they are distressed – condition wise, occupied by unhappy owners or tenants, and most often cannot be viewed inside until after agreeing to the auction sale price and signing the papers related thereto. Such papers require no financing contingency, no home inspections and closing within 30 days of auction,

As you can see, these types of purchases are not generally easy or appropriate for anyone who is not very experienced in buying, rehabilitation, dealing with difficult tenants and can handle a significant amount of stress and risk. If you are interested in a property that you feel may fall into one of these categories feel free to reach out. I’d be happy to help you figure out if this is the right choice for you.

Sam Webb, Broker Associate, Realtor
International President’s Circle Top 2%
Email: Sam.Webb@NEMoves.com
Free MLS for my Clients:SamWebb.com
Cell 781-893-1195

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5 Key Decision Factors in Choosing Where You Want to Live

While some people know exactly which city or town they want to live in, many people, in this transient society are open to more that one option. People who move to a new area are often focused on their commute to a new job.

Even if you have been in the same job and plan on being there for several more years, choosing a living location is an important decision and one that you want to thing a bit more long-term about.

Here are some of what I believe to be the most important factors to consider when you are looking to buy a property:

  1. Job location, proximity and stability
  2. Lifestyle needs, such as recreation, shopping, transportation
  3. Schools, if you have or plan on having children in a public school system.
  4. Friends in the area.
  5. Community you will be living in.

Early on, I suggest you look closely at each of these items and decide how much of a trade-off you are willing to make for each line item. For instance, would you prefer to get more “house/condo” for your money by living a little further from a major city, but have to commute more? Or, would you prefer to live in a city and be comfortable with less space?

Once you’ve started to get a real feel for your preferences, then you can actually begin scouting out the areas you are considering to get a better feel for your future neighborhood and homeWELCOME HOME!!

Thinking about a specific location? Concerned with your current commute and looking to move? I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to comment on this post or reach out to me directly.

Sam Webb, Broker Associate, Realtor
International President’s Circle Top 2%
Email: Sam.Webb@NEMoves.com
Free MLS for my Clients:SamWebb.com
Cell 781-893-1195

What You Want vs. What You Need

buying a homeYou have your own thoughts, and wants when it comes to where you want to live, what type of property you want, even the kind of relationship you want.

And then there are your needs. Many of us are often driven by our wants for more, bigger, faster, nicer, stronger and so on. However, our Needs are often significantly less than we think they are. Our consumerism society is bombarding us with “things” to buy that will give us happiness. For example, most people don’t “need” a 25 room multiple million dollar home – and this usually doesn’t lead to a happier life.

I came across a great article the other day, where Joshua Becker talks about how many people tend to actually lead a happier life when they own a smaller home, he focuses on his mother’s experience with her recently purchased smaller abode. Check out his article here.

When it comes to housing, you need a roof over your head, a bathroom, heating system and other essentials to protect you. Many people who own modest homes or condos are very happy because they appreciate what they have and don’t have to worry about excess property they need to maintain.

Have you had a real estate experience you’d like to share? A question? I’d love to hear from you! Feel free to comment on this post or reach out to me directly.

Sam Webb, Broker Associate, Realtor
International President’s Circle Top 2%
Email: Sam.Webb@NEMoves.com
Free MLS for my Clients:SamWebb.com
Cell 781-893-1195

7 Tips To Prepare Your Home for Winter

woodsWinter is coming and it is the season to get properties preserved and ready (especially in New England, never know what you’re gonna get!)

As the leaves fall and the daylight gets shorter there are some important things to do, most of them are often overlooked so here’s a starter list of tips to protect your property from the cold:

1. Gutters! Be sure to have them cleaned or if you are handy, clean them yourself, to protect against damage from ice damning.

2. Exterior water lines (sprinkler systems), hoses and faucets must be completely drained and left open for any possible water/ice to escape.

3. Fall fertilizer is really one of the most important ones, because it nourishes the root systems and gets it prepared for early growth in the Spring.

4. Snow stakes along edges of road and driveways, for plowing and snow blowing protection of the landscaping.

5. Lawnmowers, add stabilizer to fuel or even better run till completely emptying gasoline.

6. Make sure that you have some sand or ice melting material–before you need it.

7. Be sure that your electricity lines are not in danger of limbs coming down on them.

Feel free to comment with questions and share any of your own tips below or reach out via email and I will be happy to answer them!

Also check out my site to see what else is currently on the market.

Motivation of Brokers

Real estateWhile all brokers and agents need to earn a living, the motivations of anyone’s broker can have a huge impact on the value that broker brings to the table. Many agents are motivated by greed and only see their “clients” as $’s. Often those agents are heavy closers and often do a high volume of sales.

Other, more humanistic agents see their clients as themselves, as someone they have a fiduciary responsibility to protect and take care of. Obviously, there is a huge range of agents in between on a continuum. This is important to know for those who haven’t yet chosen their agent.

It can mean thousands of dollars of difference. I have seen many transactions where, for the same amount of money, in the same town and even comparable location, 2 different properties with a huge difference in real value, sold for the same price! And this happens largely due to the greed of a pushy broker. So make sure you choose a quality agent who views their clients as fellow citizens, who want the best value and quality property for their budget!

Have any questions? Please comment on this post or reach out via email and I will be happy to answer them!

Also check out my site to see what else is currently on the market.

Timing is Everything

fallContrary to popular belief, with Fall clearly in the air, it is a great time to buy! Many people think that when daylight gets shorter and the leaves start falling that it isn’t a particularly good time to buy a property.

However, the fact that only really serious sellers have their homes on the market, and that there are few competing buyers checking out those houses really can be advantageous to buyers. Heating systems, insulation, energy efficient windows and all components of properties show their true functionality.

Landscaping can look a little drab, but you can always tell the difference between well maintained grounds and those that are in rough shape. So if you are considering investing in real estate I suggest looking now, when there are fewer competing buyers. Interest rates are still at historical lows and only really motivated sellers are on the market at this time of year.

Have questions about a house you saw or anything else real estate related? Please comment on this post or reach out via email and I will be happy to answer them!

Also check out my site to see what else is currently on the market.

Not All Square Footage is Created Equal

sqftLayout has a huge impact on the usability. A well laid out floor plan of 1200 sq ft can be better than a poorly laid out 1350 sq ft. Furthermore, it’s important to know that “living” sq ft is different, sometimes very different, from gross square footage.

High rise buildings show this by valuing the higher units more than same square footage at a lower level. Think Penthouse vs. basement! Same square footage in same building, with same layout can have vastly different value based on views, light, privacy, etc. With single family dwellings “walkout” lower levels are much more usable and desirable than basements below grade. So when you are looking at square footage be sure to get the real living square footage and the layout to make sure the space works for you!

Have questions about square footage or anything else real estate related? Please comment on this post or reach out via email and I will be happy to answer them!