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Boston's Buyer Agent Blog

All You Need To Know About Greater Boston Real Estate

By Gary Dwyer | Agent in Boston, MA
  • Back Bay Single Family Homes Up $2.3 Million

    Posted Under: General Area in Back Bay, Home Buying in Back Bay, Property Q&A in Back Bay  |  January 16, 2014 3:27 PM  |  210 views  |  No comments

    Now that the final 2013 sales are in MLSPIN, we can see that the Back Bay single-family home market did very well in 2013.

    Average home prices were up $2.3 million from Q12012 and $4.3 million from Q1 2007 - not a bad return on investment (plus a place to call home)

    Back Bay Single Famly - 2013

  • If A Buyer Waives A Home Inspection, Could The Seller Be At Risk?

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Massachusetts, Home Selling in Massachusetts, Property Q&A in Massachusetts  |  July 3, 2013 5:41 AM  |  462 views  |  No comments

    Over the past year or so, the Greater Boston real estate market has seen explosive growth in the number of multiple-bid scenarios.  With an improving economy and a limited number of homes available for sale on the market, buyers have been pursuing properties very aggressively.  In some cases there may be 15-20 offers on a single-property with offers 10-20+% over asking price.  Along with this, there has also been an increase in the number of buyers that are willing to forego some traditional contract contingencies such as home inspections, radon inspections, and mortgage contingencies to make their offer more attractive to a seller.

    I think waiving the mortgage contingency, unless a buyer has enough assets to purchase without a mortgage, is very risky and akin to gambling with the 5% or 10% deposit.  The radon contingency is a little less risky when waived since most of the time a radon remediation system in the area runs $1000.00 - $1500.00.  But again, these are decisions that the buyer needs to make based upon counsel with their buyer agent and / or attorney.

    However, I do think that for a first-time or "non-professional" buyer (i.e.: someone that is not involved in real estate as an agent, developer, investor at least part time), waiving the home inspection is a potentially expensive contingency not to incorporate into the offer, particularly when many sellers don't supply a written "Sellers Disclosure" on what they know / don't know about the property.  Issues and defects within a property that may not visible to buyers but would be discovered by a licensed home inspector can be very costly.  So what happens when these issues pop-up in the future and the buyer says "but I was told the seller wanted me to waive the inspection contingency".

    Now, I am not a lawyer, but I have to think that in the near future we will probably see a number of legal cases brought against sellers where the buyer got the "winning" bid on a property because they waived the home inspection based upon the seller's agent telling the buyer and / or buyer agent something along the lines of "there are many offers on the property - the sellers like your price but you have an inspection contingency and others don't - can you do something about that?". 


    Whether there is any basis for a legal claim or not will be for the courts to decide, but why take the risk?

    As an exclusive buyer agent, I'll continue to recommend to all my buyers that they have an inspection to protect their interests - I would rather them lose out on a bidding war than to buy a home that isn't right for them because of unforeseen repair costs.  I would also challenge listing agents to think about the downstream exposure for them and their seller clients when a buyer does not have a home inspection.  I have begun to notice that some listing agents are very aware of potential downstream exposure (whether valid or not) and have taken the tone of "buyers are welcome to have a home inspection but the property is sold in as-is condition.  The seller isn't going to renegotiate the deal based upon the inspection - the buyer will just have to make a go/ no-go decision after the inspection"  I think that this is a win-win situation for all since a disgruntled home buyer faced with thousands of dollars in repair costs will certainly pursue every avenue for compensation.  

  • Did Glee Encourage Dangerous Behaviour?

    Posted Under: Quality of Life in Massachusetts, In My Neighborhood in Massachusetts, Property Q&A in Massachusetts  |  April 26, 2013 5:14 AM  |  364 views  |  No comments
    Did the producers of "Glee" knowingly endanger millions of viewers last night?

    In one of the opening scenes of the episode, Santana drags a chair she found on the street into the condo in hopes of "reviving" it. Unfortunately all that she has done is expose herself as well as everyone else in the building to a potentially nasty case of bed bugs.

    Bed bugs are parasites that feed exclusively on human blood. They are often carried from one location to another via exposed clothing, suitcases and furniture. Once inside a building they are very difficult and expensive to eradicate since they can move through a buildings duct system as well as cracks and crevices in walls.

    In an urban environment, one of the key methods of infestation is by people dragging back to their home furniture that has been exposed and left on the sidewalk. During the notorious college move-in / move-out dates of September 1, many new residents of Boston, Cambridge, Somerville and Brookline do what Santana did and bring an expensive and dangerous problem home.

    For more information on bed bugs, please visit - http://www.ask.com/wiki/Bed_bug?o=2801&qsrc=999

  • Don't Be Stingy With The Heat

    Posted Under: General Area in Massachusetts, Property Q&A in Massachusetts, Home Ownership in Massachusetts  |  January 2, 2013 12:50 PM  |  192 views  |  No comments

    With temperatures in the Boston area set to drop to single-digits tonight and tomorrow night, don't make these the two nights of the year to get stingy with the heat.

    When temperatures drop into the teens and single-digits, pipes can easily freeze in just a few hours, even in the most insulated homes. For the few dollars extra in heat you spend, it can save you thousands in repair costs if a pipe freezes and bursts.

    If you have any pipe-heaters in crawl spaces or basements, make sure you have them plugged in and that are working properly. Also, leave kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors open at night to let heat circulate and leave faucets trickling over night to keep the water running.

    If you haven't already done so, now is the time to make sure your outdoor hose spigots are shut-off and drained.

  • Higher Taxes In Boston Offset By Residential Exemption

    Posted Under: General Area in Boston, Home Buying in Boston, Property Q&A in Boston  |  January 2, 2013 7:56 AM  |  294 views  |  No comments
    Although most homeowners in Boston are going to get a bit of a shock when they open their tax bills that arrived in today's mail and see an increase over last year, there is a silver lining.

    The new residential property tax exemption (available to owner-occupants in Boston) has increased to $1,724.47. This is available to owner occupants that resided in their property as of January 1, 2012.

    Check your tax bills to make sure you see the "Residential Exemption" noted on your bill - if you have any questions or need to apply for this valuable exemption, contact the City of Boston's Assessors Office at 617 635-4287 or on-line at www.CityOfBoston.gov/assessing

  • Not Shoveling Can Cost You Big

    Posted Under: General Area in Boston, Crime & Safety in Boston, Property Q&A in Boston  |  December 30, 2012 7:21 AM  |  234 views  |  1 comment
    With the first measurable snow of the season comes the inevitable Snow Violation tickets from communities around the Greater Boston area.

    In Boston and many other communities, residents are required to clear snow from public sidewalks in front of their buildings within a few hours after the snow stops. In Boston it is 3 hours after the snow fall ends or 3 hours after sunrise if the snow stopped during the night.

    Failure to do so can result in fines of $50.00 to $200.00 per day. Unlike years past, many communities have also updated their by-laws to have unpaid fines added to annual tax bills for property owners. For more on the host of other rules and regulations on snow removal in Boston, just visit http://www.cityofboston.gov/snow/

    If you want to report unshoveled sidewalks in Boston just call City Hall at 617-635-4500 and if you live elsewhere, just contact your local City Hall.

    Gary Dwyer, Broker / Owner
    Buyer Agents of Boston

  • New Rental Regulations Rejected

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Boston, Rental Basics in Boston, Property Q&A in Boston  |  November 7, 2012 1:41 PM  |  232 views  |  3 comments
    If you are a small landlord in Boston - I have great news - the Boston City Council has rejected an attempt to impose even more onerous regulations on property owners that would have cost property owners over $2 million in new fees which would have been passed along to consumers. Here is the update from the Greater Boston Real Estate Board

    "The Boston City Council rejected without prejudice a proposed ordinance that would have required mandatory inspections of over 140,000 rental apartment units in Boston. This ordinance would have replaced the current requirement of inspection at the time of lease expiration. To accomplish this task the City was planning to hire at least seventeen new staff and would have assessed over 2 million dollars in new fees to owners."
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