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John Connolly's Blog

By John Connolly | Agent in Braintree, MA
  • Weymouth Real Estate | Is the “Online Value” of My Home Accurate?

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Weymouth, Home Selling in Weymouth, Property Q&A in Weymouth  |  September 28, 2011 8:15 AM  |  1,585 views  |  No comments

    This question is often asked of me from homeowners who live in Weymouth; more often they may have been searching the web on either Zillow or Trulia.  So how is it that these sites can help determine the value of your home and how accurate are they?  Well these sites pull their data from like homes that have sold in your area that have recently sold.  What they don’t acknowledge is the condition and any upgrades to your home or any sold near you. 

    I have found more often than not these websites are not accurate with their values.  So how do I acquire an accurate value on my home?  You can either hire an independent licensed appraiser who will find 3 like homes that have recently sold that offer the same style, number of rooms, bedrooms, baths, living square footage, along with lot size.  This cost is usually around $300.00.  You can also ask a licensed realtor in your area to do the same.  I would recommend having 2 real estate agents visit your home and be sure they supply addresses to confirm their value.  A real estate agent should not charge you for this service and will more often than not use the same homes a licensed appraiser will use; they’re pulling data from the same source.

    So online values on your home are helpful but not always accurate.  If you need a value on your home please feel free to communicate with me or if I can answer any questions please feel free to respond.

    Are there any questions you wish I answered for you?  If so, just ask.  Contact me directly at john@johnconnolly.com or (781) 985-9064.

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    John Connolly, Vice President
    SUCCESS! Real Estate

  • Weymouth Real Estate | When Will the Value of Homes on the South Shore Begin to Rise?

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Weymouth, Home Buying in Weymouth, Home Selling in Weymouth  |  August 30, 2011 6:26 AM  |  2,127 views  |  No comments

    We need to first start by looking at the facts.  There are currently 3.7 million homes on the market today throughout the U.S.; out of that 35% of these homes are in a distressed situation meaning they’re either owned by banks or the banks are allowing them to be sold for less than what’s owed; a “short sale”.  The most recent news that we hear is that there’s less foreclosed homes this year compared to last year. Although that news sounds good the reality is that the banks were forced to slow the amount of foreclosures because some banks were robo signing; that is the banks were frequently signing documents on the homeowner’s behalf.  The U.S. courts have now allowed the banks to move forward with these foreclosures so unfortunately we’re about to begin to see more bank owned inventory coming on the market.  Remember 35% of the U.S. inventory is distressed; normally it’s around 5%.

    One thing you need to keep in mind is that all real estate is local, so the numbers you hear and read through the press are not necessarily the same in Braintree, Weymouth, Marshfield or Plymouth.  I do believe in the next 12 months we should begin to see signs of stability.  First we need to see jobless claims decline and more positive economic news.  Once we see these 2 indicators move in a favorable direction we will then begin to see signs of a real estate recovery, so I don’t project growth until 2013 and I only anticipate a moderate 3% annual appreciation which is normal growth when looking back in history.

    I was asked by one of my past clients in Quincy what their home was worth.  When I shared their value they seemed disappointed and said it was not the correct time to sell and they were going to wait it out. Let it be know then did have equity in the home but they were hoping for more were this equity was part of there retirement.  We had figured it was going to take well over 6 years for them to obtain the value they wanted.  You see if we begin to have 3% appreciation starting in 2013 my past client had determined that now may be the best time to sell because they’re paying $25,000 annually on their home mortgages.  When they worked the costs of paying out the mortgage on a annual bases and hoping we see a increase in values in the next year or two the numbers showed them this is the time to sell, so if you’re considering selling don’t just look at today’s value, run out the numbers; you may find the same results. I hope this was of some help, is there a topic you want me to cover please respond back or feel free to contact me.

    John Connolly, Vice President
    SUCCESS! Real Estate

  • Weymouth Real Estate | What Every Buyer Should Know About A Home Inspections

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Weymouth, Home Buying in Weymouth, Property Q&A in Weymouth  |  August 16, 2011 7:43 AM  |  2,317 views  |  No comments

    I just sold a home in Weymouth to Roger and he asks me “do I really need to do a home inspection?”   My response on almost every occasion is yes.  It’s easier for me to tell you when you may not want to get an inspection and that would be on a new construction home.  One would have to assume that the town inspectors have just finished doing their final inspections before offering an occupancy permit.  You may not need to do an inspection; other than that situation I would always do an inspection.

    What does a buyer need to know about a home inspector?   I would first ask the inspector if they are licensed, and if so with what?  You want to see they’re a licensed inspector in MA.  I would then ask if they are insured, ask what their cost will be, ask what does their inspection include and do they also check for pests or radon?  And finally, ask how long they have been in business.

    General questions I’m asked about inspections is how long will it take?  Depending on the size of the home; 1-4 hours.  How much will it cost and how is the cost established?  The cost is $300 to $400 and the cost is usually based on the house size.  How do I find a good inspector?  Word of mouth is the best way and always check the references; if the referral comes from a neutral party the better the referral.  For example, your best friend had a great inspector they refer you.  What do I do doing the inspection?  My advice is stay close to the inspector, ask them questions, and note what they may be concerned about.  Some inspectors will ask you to sit back and ask questions later.  I say you’re paying them $100 per hour; you should be able to ask what you want when you want.  What happens if my inspector finds something severely wrong with the home?  Most inspectors will encourage you to bring in a specialist to help find a solution to the problem; if there’s a major electrical or plumbing issue be sure and bring in a licensed master electrician or plumber.  

    I hope this helps and if I can offer any additional help pleas feel free to contact me.

    John Connolly
    SUCCESS! Real Estate

  • How to Properly Price Your Home

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Braintree, Home Selling in Braintree, Property Q&A in Braintree  |  June 7, 2011 7:11 AM  |  2,346 views  |  No comments

    The key to a successful home sale is pricing your home correctly from the start.  The biggest mistake any seller can make is pricing their home too high.  With all the technological tools for today’s buyers to use it’s easy for a buyer to determine if a home is priced too high.  If a home homesaleis priced too high it’s going to stay out on the market for a longer than normal time frame and you are going to begin to get buyers to start wondering what’s wrong with that home; it’s been on the market forever, it must have major problems.  How can you avoid this?  It’s simple; make sure you get at least 2, if not 3 different real estate agents to give you their opinion of value.  Be sure and ask for comparable homes that they are using to help determine your home’s value.  Take that report and go out and drive by those homes that have recently sold and ask yourself “How does my home compare to theirs?”.  You can also hire an independent licensed appraiser to also assist you in finding your home’s value.

    What else can you do to ensure your home is properly priced in today’s market?  Get a list of homes in your home’s price range and set time aside to go out and look at your home’s competition.  This will not only get you more familiar with your competition and you’re also seeing what the other buyers are seeing, but you will also be able to get some great ideas to help get your home sold.

    I hope you found this to be helpful and if I can offer any help in any real estate matters please feel free to contact me directly – john@johnconnolly.com or www.facebook.com/johnconnollyrealestate.

    John Connolly
    SUCCESS! Real Estate
    (781) 985-9064

  • Finding the right location for your next home

    Posted Under: Schools in Braintree, Crime & Safety in Braintree, Home Buying in Braintree  |  May 23, 2011 8:26 AM  |  2,340 views  |  No comments

    In trying to find the right location for your next home there are certain questions you should be asking yourself.  First is what town do you want to live in?  In determining the best town for your purchase ask yourself the following questions.  Are the taxes you pay a bearing on your decision process?  If so look at what each town’s tax rate will be.   Is how the town politically run important to you?  Go to the next town meeting and see for yourself the town leaders in action.  Are the schools important?  If so go on line and see through the state’s website where the town’s schools rank.  Are after school programs like sports, theater clubs, etc. important?  If so call town hall and always check and see if there have been any layoffs to teachers, police or fire departments.  If so that’s a sign of financial instability.


    Once the town is picked now it’s finding the neighborhood.  First look 5 years into the future.  Will things be changing?  Will your family be growing or will the kids be going off to school?  A home today on a busy street may not be okay in a few years with young children so try to look into the future.  Always keep resale in the front of your mind.  If there are plans to develop land near you that can adversely affect your home’s value so keep an eye out for that.


    Always walk into your local police department and ask about crime in the neighborhood.  Ask if there are any registered sex offenders and if so, where do they live?  Any high traffic areas that you may find yourself commuting every day?  Remember buyer beware; do your own due diligence.  Don’t count on others to do this for you.


    And lastly put a list together of your wants and needs; as an example you need a fenced in yard, you want 3+ acres, etc.  Once you see them in writing talk them over and become well educated as to what you need and expect in a location.  By doing this I assure you it will save you a lot of time and heartache along with making you realtor’s job a lot easier and more efficient.


    If you have any specific questions please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.  If you need any specific advice on a location or a community please feel free to communicate back with me.  Did you find this blog helpful?  Could I have offered more information? I’m always trying to learn and be able to offer you more so your comments are appreciated.


    John Connolly

    SUCCESS! Real Estate


    (781) 985-9064

  • What Type Of An Investor Do YOU Want TO Become?

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Braintree, Home Selling in Braintree, Foreclosure in Braintree  |  April 5, 2011 11:29 AM  |  2,338 views  |  No comments

    In my last blog I wrote about what homework and research you needed to do after you made your decision as to what type of an investor you want to become, and today you’re going to learn how to find these opportunities.

    The first step in finding the right opportunity for you would be to find a good real estate agent to assist you in your search.  Tips for finding a good agent; look for one with a great reputation, experience in working with investors and see if they have any special training or special designations that they can obtain.

    3 different opportunities you can look for are bank owned properties, short sales, and auctions.  Let’s first start with bank owned properties.  You will need to act fast; good listings go quickly.  Second, keep your eye on the number of days on the market.  The longer it sits on the market the more negotiating you have.  Remember you’re not negotiating with the owner; you may be dealing with multiple third parties, each with a particular agenda and standardized process to follow.  Lastly, remember if a loan is insured by Federal Housing Administration for example, lenders can’t accept less than 88% of its appraised value in the first 30 days.

    The second opportunity is a short sale; that is when a lender that services a loan has agreed that the homeowner is at risk of default and allows the home to be sold for less than what is owed.  Tips for buying a short sale; look for the remarks that the home has an approved short sale, meaning the realtor had an offer that was acceptable to the bank yet the buyer got impatient and moved on.  Keep in mind that short sales may sell as low as 14% under list price.  Make sure you know how many loans are owed on the home.  It’s common to see two banks on one home; you need to have patience.  To get an approved short sale can take several months so if you have time restraints don’t go after them.  Lastly, make sure you have an exit strategy out of the sale in case you find a better opportunity.

    The last opportunity is an auction.  Plan on doing as much homework up front, pull public records and see if you can find the listing ticket when the home was purchased so you have an idea as to what the home has to offer.  Be cautious on anyone still living in the home; you may need to evict them.  Very rarely can you enter the home before bidding. You need a bank check for the day of the auction; it’s nonrefundable so make sure you have your financing lined up.  Lastly, a high majority of these auctions are delayed or canceled and the ones that do go off are usually started at an unrealistic asking price by the bank and it doesn’t sell, so plan on being very patient and very thorough.

    My next blog I’m going to talk about flipping a home, what you need to do once you own it, what are hidden expenses you need to be aware of and how to keep the job moving forward.

    So what do you think of these blogs?  Can I answer any other questions for you?  Did I offer enough information for you?  Your feedback would be greatly appreciated.  As always, if I can be of any help please don’t hesitate to contact me.  If you want a list of properties that I think are great opportunities please feel free to contact me.

    John Connolly, Vice President
    SUCCESS! Real Estate


  • SUCCESS! in Canton Grand Opening

    Posted Under: General Area in Weymouth, Market Conditions in Weymouth, Agent2Agent in Weymouth, In My Neighborhood in Weymouth  |  March 30, 2011 8:45 AM  |  1,306 views  |  No comments

    Please Join US…

    *** Open House Invitation ***

    Please join the Canton SUCCESS! Agents for the Grand Opening Celebration of their NEW location.

    SUCCESS! Real Estate in Canton
    Day: THURSDAY, April 14th
    Time: 3:00 – 7:00 PM
    Place: 572 Washington Street, Canton

    This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 30th, 2011 at 3:38 pm and is filed under Massachusetts Real Estate, Real Estate, Real Estate Agents, SUCCESS Real Estate. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own

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