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Metrowest Real Estate News & Views

Building Lasting Relationships Through Real Estate

By Bill Gassett | Agent in Hopkinton, MA
  • Home Inspection Preparation

    Posted Under: Home Buying, Home Selling, Remodel & Renovate  |  January 28, 2013 4:18 PM  |  230 views  |  No comments
    The home inspection in a real estate transaction is one of those things that most real estate agents are not too fond of. Often times they can be long and boring. Of course from a buyer's perspective they are a vital hurdle to clear in order to find out if the home is truly worthy of purchase.

    For a home seller the home inspection can make or break a sale. It stands to reason that you will want to make sure that this part of the transaction goes smoothly. How do you make that happen? By indentifying easily discoverable issues and then correcting them. You can't assume that a buyer is going to be handy and will want to become a do it yourself project expert.

    There are numerous buyer's today who do not want to lift a finger and prefer a turn-key home with no issues to address.

    This makes overlooking the home inspection a foolish thing to do! So how do you increase the chances that your home sale stays on track and does not go down the tubes due to a home inspection?

    You need to know how to prepare for a home inspection. This includes identifying issues before your home goes on the market and fixing them. The above article on preparing for a home inspection goes into great detail on some of the more common inspection issues and what you can do to remedy them!

    It always makes sense to be well prepared when going into a real estate sale!
  • Home Improvement Tax Breaks

    Posted Under: Home Buying, Home Selling, Remodel & Renovate  |  November 17, 2010 6:40 PM  |  691 views  |  No comments
    Original article source: Massachusetts Real Estate Blog

    There is no question that there are far less people today that have the kind of equity in their home that they did five to ten years ago. In most areas across the country Real Estate values have dropped by a substantial margin decreasing the amount of folks who have capital gains concerns.

    One of the great benefits of home ownership has been the fact that equity growth to an extent does not always get taxed.

    A very important capital gains tax law went into effect in 1997 and is known as the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997.

    The current Real Estate capital gains tax law when selling your personal residence allows for an exclusion of up to $250,000 in profit if you are single and $500,000 if you are married. In order to be eligible for the tax exclusion you must have lived in your home for two of the last five years. The home must also be your personal residence and can not be considered an investment property.

    If you move often or do not have substantial equity in your property then tax breaks on home improvements are not going to be much of a concern.

    For those that are fortunate enough to have lived in their home for a long period of time and have built up a sizable equity position, there is good reason to keep track of what you have spent on home improvements.

    To continue reading see tax breaks on home improvements.
  • Rhino Shield Is The New Exterior Painting Alternative

    Posted Under: Curb Appeal, Remodel & Renovate, Going Green  |  September 8, 2010 8:23 AM  |  2,108 views  |  2 comments
    Original Source: Massachusetts Real Estate Blog

    Rhino Shield is something you may be reading about more and more in the near future. It is just starting to become popular as an alternative to painting a home.

    If you live in Massachusetts or any of the other the New England states you already know that our varied seasons can do a number on a homes exterior appearance. It is not uncommon to have to paint a home every three to six years or so depending on the quality of the paint used, the number of coats applied and the skill level of the painter.

    The Rhino Shield system offers an alternative to a traditional paint job. From the company’s website the description of Rhino Shield is as follows “Rhino-Shield Ceramic Coating is a durable, flexible maintenance free wall coating. It is a high build acrylic-urethane-elastomeric formula that waterproofs, insulates, and soundproofs.

    Innovative technology combines elastic acrylic resins with urethane resins resulting in a flexible but tough surface. This thick rubber-like membrane actually becomes part of the substrate due to excellent adhesion and bonding. Rhino-Shield Ceramic Coating offers superior mildew resistance, corrosion resistance, and ultra-violet ray reflectivity. This insulating, industrial, maintenance-free coating is long lasting.”

    To continue reading see Rhino Shield for New England Homes

  • Cost v.s. Value For Your Home Remodeling and Additions

    Posted Under: Remodel & Renovate  |  December 3, 2008 11:33 AM  |  919 views  |  1 comment

    via Metrowest Homes Blog

    The annual Cost V.S Value report for home additions and remodeling projects has been released by Realtor Realtor Magazine Cost v.s value reportMagazine for 2008. If you are thinking of adding an addition or renovating your home in Massachusetts this is an excellent guide that will at least give you a ballpark on what you can expect for a return on your investment.

    "NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® statistics show that home prices have fallen by an average of 7 percent nationally in the past year. But the value of home owners’ investment in remodeling projects has declined only 3.86 percent on average between 2007 and 2008, according to Remodeling’s 2008–2009 Cost vs. Value Report."

    Remodeling produces the Cost vs. Value Report each year in cooperation with REALTOR® magazine. REALTORS® responding to a survey in midsummer said home owners could expect to recoup a national average of 67.3 percent of their investment in 30 different home improvement projects. At the height of the housing boom in 2005, home owners could expect to recoup a national average of 86.7 percent on projects.

    Top 10 Project Paybacks 

    Once again, exterior remodeling projects lead the way for recovery on dollars spent in this year’s Cost vs. Value survey. When you compare the national averages, replacement projects that boost curb appeal—siding, windows, and decks—give you the greatest chance of recouping your money. Inside, only kitchen remodels can compare, at least on a national level.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 cost v.s value report 2008                                                                

    1. Upscale fiber cement siding (86.7%)

    2. Midrange wood deck (81.8%)

    3. Midrange vinyl siding (80.7%)

    4. Upscale foam-backed vinyl (80.4%)

    5. Midrange minor kitchen remodel (79.5%) 

    6. Upscale vinyl window replacement (79.2%)

    7. Midrange wood window replacement (77.7%)

    8. Midrange vinyl window replacement (77.2%)

    9. Upscale wood window replacement (76.5%)

    10. Midrange major kitchen remodel (76.0%)


    Over the many years that I have been selling homes in the Metrowest Massachusetts area it has struck me how often homeowners believe there is a 100% payback on the money they spend on their homes.

    Some of the most common things I hear are " how can my home only be worth X when I just spent $60,000 on my new basement" or " I just added this swimming pool for $45,000 my home has to be worth more."

    Man fixing houseIt is quite common for folks to put there list of improvements together add it all up and expect that they can add that onto the value of their home. Many fail to recognize that it is very rare to get a one to one return on the dollar. The items mentioned in the Realtor Magazine report are the best improvements you can make dollar for dollar and none of them come close to a 100% return.

    There are other improvements that I know from experience return very little money to a home seller. For example, if you are unfortunate enough to find yourself in a position where you have to replace your Title V Septic system in Massachusetts, you know you will be outlaying a hefty sum of money for a new one.

    The typical septic system replacement can run anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000 or more! Well guess what you can be darn sure that if that happens, you will not be getting a buyer to pay you back for putting it in. Buyers just don't care...they expect the toilets to flush. You will be lucky is you get a buyer to give you 10% to 20% of the cost.

    In fact this is one of the reasons I always tell my clients to get their Title V Septic inspection done early. A surprise like this is never fun!

    Other projects like repaving the driveway or adding additional landscape usually do not offer a high return unless the prior condition was absolutely terrible and the homes price point really warrants it.

    Sometimes making home improvements are more about your own personal enjoyment and use and not so much what you will recoup when it comes time to sell you home.

    There are plenty of buyers that will appreciate the improvements you have made if they are tasteful and fit what the general population is looking for. In fact when you are faced with a challenging Real Estate market, the homes that get punished the most are the ones that are in less than great shape. Home buyers today have too many options and don't have to settle.

    In the article I wrote detailing the top ten mistakes to avoid when selling your Massachusetts home two of the items covered centered around staging properly and neglecting necessary repairs.

    When selling your home sometimes even though you do not get a direct monetary benefit from an improvement you increase the saleability of your home which in the long run causes it to sell quicker. We all know that time equals money:)


    The above information on the best remodeling projects cost v.s. value for your home was provided by BillRE/MAX Executive Realty Hopkinton Gassett, the team leader for the #4 RE/MAX Team in Massachusetts in 2007. Bill can be reached via email at billgassett@remaxexec.com or by phone at 508-435-5356. Bill has helped people move in and out of many Metrowest towns for the last 22+ Years. Bill's office is conveniently located in the center of Hopkinton MA at 77 Main Street.

    I have a passion for Real Estate and love to share my marketing expertise! I would welcome the opportunity to earn your business.

    For Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate and homes see Metrowest Mass Real Estate. Want to have MLS access to beat other buyers to your dream home? Sign up with no obligation at my MLS Property Finder Site.

    I service the following towns in Metrowest Massachusetts: Hopkinton, Milford, Upton, Southboro, Westboro, Ashland, Holliston, Mendon, Hopedale, Medway, Grafton, Northbridge, Uxbridge, Franklin, Douglas, and Framingham MA.

    Click here to view Bill Gassett's Real Estate profile.


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    Building lasting relationships by helping people move in and out of Metrowest Massachusetts for the last 22 years.

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