Blog :: 05-2017

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.

Comments

  1. No comments. Be the first to comment.