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Help #SavePurnell!

One of our awesome clients is going through something not so awesome recently, and we’d like to lend a helping hand, through the power of blogging and social media share their message. Help us help Taylor & Sam #SavePurnell by sharing this post! Thanks in advance! 

-Nick

~~~

From Taylor, Sam & Purnell:

Recently our 1-year-old son Purnell was diagnosed with a rare and fatal genetic disease, called Niemann-Pick Type A (NPA). It's uniformly fatal by the age of 3, and causes severe cognitive decline (like a baby Alzheimer's) typically beginning at age 15-18 months. This Friday Purnell turns 14 months. There is currently no treatment available.

BUT there is a promising gene therapy treatment within reach--it just needs funding. So my husband and I began a campaign <www.gofundme.com> that has gained the attention of local, national, and even international media. To date, we have raised over $500K (including offline donations), but we are racing the clock to reach our goal of $750K by June 30. 

All money raised goes directly to the Wylder Nation Foundation, <www.wyldernation.org> the 501c3 non-profit that is funding the gene therapy research. The money we raise goes toward saving not only our son Purnell, but to making treatment available to all babies afflicted with this terrible disease.

From Friday June 23 to Friday June 30, we are launching a massive final push #7days1goal to get to our goal of $750,000 by June 30. There are a TON of ways to help #SavePurnell during these 7 days, and not all of them require money!! :)

SOCIAL MEDIA:

  • Facebook Live 14-month Birthday Party 
    • This is our official #7days1goal launch event.
    • The sad truth is we don't know if we will get another birthday with Nell, so we are celebrating every month like it's the big day.
    • Please join us on the Save Purnell Today Facebook page <www.facebook.com/SavePurnellToday> on Friday, June 23 at 4:30pm EST to celebrate Purnell's 14-month birthday with us, live from our living room.
    • Share the event with your network.
  • Six Second Hug Challenge
    • Similar to the ice bucket challenge, we're hoping to go viral with videos of people hugging for 6 seconds. Tag 6 friends to post their own six-second hug video or donate $25 to #SavePurnell.
    • There is no treatment for Niemann-Pick Type A. The goal of this challenge is to raise awareness of the disease and our efforts to make a treatment available for Purnell and all other babies with this disease.

LOCAL EVENTS:

  • Saturday, 6/24: Middlesex Lounge (315 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA)
    • Food and drink for purchase; drink proceeds go to #SavePurnell
    • 50/50 raffle
    • 6pm-9pm
  • Monday, 6/26: West on Centre (1732 Centre St, West Roxbury, MA)
    • Neighborhood Nights--10% of all bills with attached coupon will go to #SavePurnell
    • 11am-11pm
  • Wednesday 6/28: Not Your Average Joe's (111 Pond St, Norwell, MA)
    • Not Your Average Cause--just mention #SavePurnell and 15% of the bill will be donated
    • 11:30am-10pm
  • Thursday 6/29: Wild Rover (61-63 Chatham St, Boston, MA)
    • Free apps, dj, some raffle items including Red Sox/Yankees tix, 50/50 raffle
    • 6pm-9pm
  • Friday 6/30: Blarney Stone (1505 Dorchester Ave, Dorchester, MA) 
    • Final event of the campaign.
    • Free apps, dj, raffle items, silent auction with BINcA students artwork, 50/50 raffle
    • 5pm-8pm

ONLINE SHOPPING:

We are so grateful for the support of the Boston community and beyond. We BELIEVE together we will #SavePurnell!

With Hope Always,

Sam, Taylor, and Purnell

Can I Buy A Home With No Money Down?

If you’re trying to buy a home, you may feel discouraged by the 20% down-payment that most lenders require. However, saving up for a 20% down payment on a six-figure home is simply unrealistic for many home buyers. You may qualify for a program that doesn’t require you to put any money down to purchase a home.

The most common programs include:

Credit Union Loans

Credit unions are owned by members instead of a board of directors. If you’re not already a member, consider researching local credit unions to see if you meet criteria. Some credit unions offer loans with no down-payment, to members with good credit who earn 80% or less of the median income for the area.

USDA loans

If you don’t need to live in Boston proper and are okay living in a town of less than 10,000 people, this loan could work for you. These are the criteria for a no-interest loan through the United States Department of Agriculture. The federal organization may also be able to help if you earn low or moderate income for your area.

VA loans

This program is for retired military members or their surviving spouse. You need an excellent credit score and a special appraisal to qualify for a Veteran’s Administration home loan with no money down.

Longwood Residential is Here to Help.

The city of Boston is currently on target to meet its goal of 53,000 new housing developments by 2030. We’re willing to do whatever it takes to match our clients with their perfect home. Consider attending one of our first-time home buyer seminars if you have never purchased a home. You may also want to think about other homeownership options, such as buying a condo. With determination, planning and having access to the right resources, home ownership can be a reality, much sooner than you think.

How Much Apartment Can I Afford?

Budgeting for apartment rent isn’t always easy, especially when it’s your first time renting. For most people, rent or mortgage, food, and transportation take up at least 60% of their budget. The goal of this article is to help give you a baseline knowledge of this topic to establish your own personalized apartment budget.

When adding up your income, be sure to include or subtract the following, if applicable:

·       Salary

·       Bonuses

·       Royalties or rental income

·       Alimony or child support

·       Interest

·       Proceeds from a recent sale of a large item

As you balance your budget, try not to spend much more than 60% percent of your total income on rent, food and transportation. You will still need money for electricity, cable/phone, insurance, medical care, debt repayments, and if you’re lucky savings. Be sure to consider the cost of living in your preferred location when choosing your apartment. In Boston, many people enjoy the conveniences of urban living, such as public transportation and riding or walking to their workplace.

Your Annual Salary Should Be At Least 40 Times Your Monthly Rent

There’s no question that the cost of living is high in Boston. This is why many landlords require tenants to earn an annual salary that is at least 40 times the monthly rental rate. Assume that you and your spouse earn a combined income of $100,000 per year. Divide this figure by 40 to get the maximum you should pay for rent each month. In this case, it’s $2,500.

Consider Your Move-In Costs

Keep in mind that you almost always need to pay a security deposit when you move into your new apartment. It’s common for landlords to require the first and last month’s rent when you sign a lease, too. To offset these costs, look for special deals being offered. For example, a rental property manager may offer a free month’s rent when you sign a lease of at least one year. You also need to account for costs such as new furniture or professional moving assistance. Rest assured, the management at Longwood Residential will assist you in locating money-saving deals whenever possible.

What is a short sale?

You’ve probably heard of the term “short sale” if you’re looking to buy a home. However, many people don’t have a clear understanding of what a short sale really is. When you agree to complete a short sale with a seller, it means that the lender has given them permission to sell their home to you for less than what’s owed on it. Common reasons for this include the borrower’s inability to continue making payments or depreciated value on the property.

From the lender’s perspective, agreeing to a short sale is better than having to foreclose on the property. For sellers, going through with a short sale has less of an impact on their credit rating than a foreclosure, and it allows them to get out of a mortgage they can no longer afford.

A Short Sale Must Be Approved by the Lender

Now that you understand what a short sale is, it’s important to realize that the process doesn’t transpire just because the seller wants it to. The lender must approve of the short sale first, since it means they must accept less for the property than what is owed on it. The seller needs to submit proper documentation to the lender, proving that they can no longer keep up with their mortgage payments. Lenders tend to look more favorably on this practice, as opposed to someone just abandoning their property.

Benefits and Considerations of a Short Sale for Buyers

A short sale gives buyers the opportunity to acquire a home at fair market value without the same risk associated with purchasing a foreclosed property. However, it differs from a traditional real estate sale in several important ways:

  • It may take longer to complete a short sale because it’s more challenging to set a closing date -- lenders require significant documentation before agreeing to a short sale.

  • Buyers purchase the property “as-is,” which probably means they’ll have to invest additional money for repairs or remodeling.

  • The seller may have to pay some money at closing. If the buyer is unable or unwilling, the sale may fall through even though the lender approved it.

  • Inspection fees that a lender may cover in a traditional real estate sale are the buyer’s responsibility in a short sale.

Work with an Experienced Real Estate Agent if You’re Interested in a Short Sale

Purchasing a home via short sale can save you money, but it’s also complex. An experienced agent will anticipate challenges and know how to overcome them. Longwood Residential is available to help you navigate the home buying process. Your agent will help you evaluate all options, including Longwood condos and short sales.

How does rent-to-own work?

When looking to buy a home, rent-to-own can help you secure a property, even if you have poor or insufficient credit. People who are struggling to sell their home, or who would like to sell it to someone who may not qualify for a traditional mortgage, can also benefit from a rent-to-own arrangement.

Details of a Rent-to-Own Contract

Many people confuse rent-to-own with a lease-option contract, which is entirely different. In a lease-option, the person occupying the home and making rent payments has the right of first refusal if the house goes up for sale. He or she does not promise to buy it. A rent-to-own deal is a legal contract to buy. A rent-to-own deal is a contract between buyer and seller that typically extends one to two years into the future. The main difference is that it gives the buyer time to obtain acceptable financing and save for a down payment.

Buyers and sellers should include the following information in a rent-to-own contract:

  • The full name of each party, the property address, and the date of the agreement

  • The terms, including amount of rent, payment due dates, grace period, and late penalties

  • The contract should indicate how much of the rent goes towards the purchase price

  • If necessary; a pet policy may be included, as well as a utilities payment schedule, who can reside in the home, and who is responsible for property maintenance during the rental period

The amount of the “option consideration fee,” which is separate from a security deposit, should also be included in the rent-to-own contract. This fee is paid out to the homeowner in exchange for a written agreement to not sell the home to anyone else. When the buyer changes over from renting to owning, the entire amount of the fees collected by the seller should be subtracted from the purchase price.

If you’re interested in rent-to-own as a buyer or seller, please contact one of the Longwood Residential professionals for assistance.

What Is My Home Worth?

When it comes time to sell your home, you’d obviously like to get as much as you can for it. For some people, the question “What is my home worth,” seems like an unsolvable mystery. Often times, we tend to assume our home is worth much more or less than it actually is. It often comes as a surprise to homeowners that land appreciates over time, while the physical structure occupying the land can depreciate over time.

Comparable Value

When determining your home’s worth, real estate agents first consider “comps,” otherwise known as comparable properties, which are other homes in your neighborhood that have recently sold. Your agent will likely use comps to prepare a CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) for you.

The steps to prepare your personalized CMA include:

  • Locate listings of homes that have sold in your immediate or nearby neighborhoods in the past six months.

  • Select three properties which are a close match to your home in terms of year built, square footage, size of lot, type of roof, style, and amenities. According to Home Guides, there shouldn’t be more than a 200-foot difference between your home and the comparable properties.

  • Consider whether your property is larger, newer, or has additional features from the compared properties. If so, your agent may choose to add to the price of your home. If not, they may opt to take some money off of the selling price.

  • Average the selling price of the three comparable homes, adjust accordingly, and set the price for your home intelligently.

The Option of Hiring a Home Appraiser

Sometimes it may be difficult for you and your agent to come up with an accurate selling price for your house. It’s possible that there haven’t been enough comparable properties sold around you in recent months. There may also be too much information to sift through, making this part of the process very time-consuming. A professional appraiser can work with challenging situations to come up with an accurate home worth.

Setting the Selling Price

After reviewing your home’s unique features and three comparable properties, it’s time for your agent to set a selling price. It’s a good idea to set the price a little higher than you expect to get, but not so high that it discourages buyers from bidding. This leaves room for negotiation on both sides. It’s common for real estate agents to suggest that clients should offer 5% less than what they plan to ask for their home. Of course, you would be free to respond to your agent with a counter offer.

Need Help Pricing and Selling Your Home?

We are available to help you with your home selling or buying needs. Please contact Mike today and let's get the process started!

Where is the Best Place to Live in Boston?

According to the website Best Places, Boston is the historic and intellectual capital of the United States. Many residents choose to live in Boston for that reason alone. It’s hard to find Boston’s culture and tradition anywhere else. It can be more challenging to figure out where is the best place to live in Boston. With a cost of living 70 percent higher than the rest of the U.S. and an average home price of $499,000, renting or buying a condo is a better option for a lot of Boston residents.

Condos Available in More Than a Dozen Boston Neighborhoods

Longwood Residential offers Longwood condos for sale in 14 different neighborhoods within the Boston city limits. Our prices are in line with the average condo price in Boston. Limited real estate availability and the desire to save money on purchasing a home are the main reasons people consider condo ownership. Lifestyle is another important consideration. You don’t have to spend your valuable free time mowing and maintaining your lawn. Our staff handles these chores as part of your homeowner’s association dues.

Many of our multi-unit condo towers offer amenities such as valet parking, an exercise room, room service, package delivery, and on-site stores. You have the convenience of a hotel but you get to stay there permanently.

Apartments in Boston

For some people who choose to live in Boston, renting an apartment makes more sense. They need the flexibility to move when the lease is up and may not be able to afford a house or condo. Longwood Residential manages several luxury apartment complexes in Boston. Many have the same upscale amenities as our condos. Please contact us to learn more or arrange a tour.

What Is A Town House?

There are a lot of options when looking for a new place to live, which can be confusing. Besides a private residential home, you might be looking at an apartment, condo, or town house. People sometimes get confused about the differences between these types of housing. An apartment is a unit you rent, while a condo is similar except that you own it. Today we’re going to explore the question: what is a town house?

Town Houses Are Physically Attached to Each Other

You may have heard town houses referred to as row houses. That is because they are physically attached to the units on either side of them, by ‘shared walls.’ Many people prefer the town house at the end of a row, as they do not share a wall with two neighbors. These dwellings can be a single story or multiple stories high. You own your property as well as the land it sits on.

Is a Town House Right for Me?

If you buy a town house in a large complex, you may be required to contribute money each month towards general upkeep of common areas. This fee is called a HOA (Homeowners Association) fee. Most town house owners enjoy having a front and back yard, just as owners of private homes do. Although a town house owner is responsible for their yard, they don’t have as much exterior maintenance to worry about. Other benefits include greater security and on-site amenities. Examples might include a swimming pool, tennis court, and party room.

You may have slightly less privacy living in a town house. Another thing to consider is that you may not be able to decorate the exterior exactly as you like. However, many people find the trade-off for a better sense of security to be worth it. If you have questions or concerns before buying a town house or want to consider looking at a few Longwood condos instead, please contact our staff.

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Sign Up for Our First-Time Home Buyer Program

It’s an exciting time when you decide to buy your first house. It can also be overwhelming. When you rented an apartment, you filled out an application, paid a deposit, and moved in. While the owners checked your financial stability and rental history, applying for a mortgage is much more involved.

You probably have numerous questions in addition to how to qualify for a mortgage. Longwood Residential’s first-time home buyer program can start to address your concerns at our free information session, which we hold periodically. In the market for Longwood Condos but not sure where to start? We'll post our next seminar on Facebook, so follow us there!

What to Expect at Our Free Home Buying Seminars

Longwood Residential hosts these events at our office. We are conveniently located at 1404A Beacon Street in Brookline. Here are some of the helpful topics we plan to address:

  • High-level overview of buying a home and the local real estate market Foyer of luxury home

  • Best practices for getting your offer accepted

  • Evaluating your financing options

  • Differences between buying and renting

  • What to expect during your home inspection

  • Expectations for closing

We also leave plenty of time to answer any questions from attendees. We understand that everyone has a unique situation that won’t necessarily fit into the general information we provide. You are welcome to contact a member of our team, if you have any immediate questions for us regarding buying or selling your home.

Education should be the first step on your exciting journey toward home ownership

Anyone interested in the home buying process is welcome to attend our free events! We just ask that you RSVP to info@longwoodresidential.com, or call us at 617-396-3100. Space for our first-time home buyer programs are limited, so reserve your spot today!

Features & Amenities of Luxury Apartments

Just because you choose to live in an apartment doesn’t mean you can’t have the same luxuries as someone who lives in a private home. In fact, your living quarters and amenities are often more luxurious when renting. As the management company for Longwood Condos, we also rent and manage several luxury apartments. You can find luxury apartment complexes managed by Longwood residential in both Boston and Brookline.

What Makes Our Apartments So Luxurious?

Luxury ApartmentsDefining luxury can be subjective. What one person considers a luxury amenity might be a necessity to someone else. At Longwood Residential, it’s our goal to make your life as easy as possible. This includes concierge service and package delivery at one apartment complex, a private pool and workout room at another, and heated underground parking at a third. It’s up to you to decide which amenities you need to live comfortably.

The size of your apartment and the view are additional factors that make it more luxurious than a typical rental situation. Many of our luxury apartment buildings offer high ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, and private balconies each unit.

Participate in Onsite Activities as Much or as Little as You Like

You become part of a community the day you become a resident at one of our upscale apartment buildings. You are welcome to choose to participate in building-sponsored events. There’s no obligation, and we have designed our units to provide maximum privacy for the times you wish to be at home, undisturbed by others.

Please contact us to learn more about available apartments at one of our many luxury apartment buildings in Boston or Brookline.