Home Buying in Medford>Question Details

Roger, Home Buyer in Medford, MA

Does Medford, MA have a residential exemption?

Asked by Roger, Medford, MA Mon Jun 8, 2009

and how would I calculate how much taxes I would owe based on

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Roger’s answer
I'm definitely not ruling Medford out. It was more of a comment about another thing I'll keep in mind. Though certainly not a deal breaker by a long shot. That's why I asked. Want to have all the information in case I make an offer in Medford.

I'm also not in that big of a hurry to buy. There are actually several properties in both cities (medford/somerville) that I've been monitoring waiting for them to drop to a price where I'll be comfortable with the monthly mortgage payment and feel like I'm getting a good price for the property (around 380k when the rate was 4.75% for 30 years).

Even made an offer on one of the place in Somerville (admittedly at that point it was around 15% under what they were asking) a few months ago. Ironically, they rejected the offer without countering and now they've lowered the price to almost what my offer was (and I may have even accepted had they countered with it a few months ago), but now the rates seem to have gone to 5.6+% which means to get the same monthly payment, I'll have to wait for them to go even lower before I resubmit my offer (though by that time, the rate might be even higher...what a cat and mouse game).
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 16, 2009
Hi Roger,

Thanks for your question. No, Medford doesn't have a residential exemption.

To see what the taxes are for each house, look underneath the Home Facts table about the house on Trulia and you'll see a button that says "View More Details". If you click on that, it will take you to more information about the property and you should be able to see the taxes there. This is the easy way.

If you don' t mind a bit of math and you know the house's assessed value, another way to determine the taxes is to divide the assessed value by 1000 and then multiply the answer by $10.08 (Medford's residential tax rate).
Web Reference: http://www.DebOnTheWeb.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 8, 2009
Medford's tax rate & assesments were redone for 2009, I haven't really seen any changes due to the sales price. It's based on the rate & assesment. The assesors office can answer more detailed questions on it's proceedures. You'll also want to make sure what is in the property is actually what is being paid taxes on. There has been some homes that have been in familys for years and the assesors data can be off a bit. Double check any property your interested in with the inspectional services & zoning to make sure everything is ok. This applies to all properties in all cities & towns though.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 8, 2009
Scott: yep small world! If the builder at some point decides to drop the price to my level send me a message and I'll probably submit an offer. Also, it seems that the website for amaranthplace is out of date.

Damian: You are absolutely right. A home is much more than crunching numbers. But I know what I want in a home and I know how much I want to pay. The right home can come along but it's stupid for me to overpay. Plus there's no one right home. There are many homes with their advantages and disadvantages. I know what I want and I also know what will make me happy. A good amount of it is paying the price I want to pay. If I lose a place because someone out bid me, I will not lose sleep over --another one will come along.

What you suggest is that buying a home is about emotion and to me it's not. As soon as you let your emotion get the best of you, you will wind up paying way more than you would had it been a straight logical decision. So I use my emotion to figure out what place I like and then let my logical side take over from there. And my logical side is telling me not to overpay at this uncertain market point.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 6, 2009
Let me add MUCH MORE than crunching numbers. Your home is your HOME. Not just an investment
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 6, 2009
Roger: First off, I would never steer you towards properties like the Harvard Ave condos. This goes towards intrinsic property value and property on busy streets are always problematic. I listen to who my buyers are and try to hear the finer points as to what will make them happy in a home. So far from you all I've heard is $$$$$$. Is that where you want to live? In $$ factory? What do you want to see when you look out the window in the morning? When you walk out your door where do you want to be? What do you do in your leisure time? Do you want to pop out your door and walk to a great restaurant nearby or to a park to walk your dog? Do you want to walk to JP LIcks at night or some place where you can see Orion? Where will you be in your career in 5 years--10 years--15 years? Are you single and footloose, married--child on the way? Schools important? There's more to buying a home than crunching numbers.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 6, 2009
There is only 1 unit left at Amaranth Place, Unit 4. The last unit to sell there sold for $462K. The last 2 units are larger than all the rest of the units in the whole complex. I know this because I work for the builder and he was just reading the post over my shoulder :). Small world.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 6, 2009
Overpriced is a subjective term. You may think something is not overpriced and I may think it is. I may be wrong, but I'm in no rush to be right and jump into buying.

I am pre-approved and have over a 25% down payment saved for the price range I'm looking at. If I find the right hope at the right price, I would be wiling to move today.

But my opinion of what the right price is will clearly not match yours Damian. For example 215 Harvard Ave Townhouse like condos would have to drop to ~$300k for me to say they are priced right (mostly because of the darn pillars in every room that make the rooms virtually impossible to use efficiently. Or the Amaranth Condos...the last few units left would have to be around $400k for me to think they are priced right. Mostly because their location is much worse for me than 215 Harvard and I didn't think they were particularly well lit when I saw them. Though I don't know if there are any units left at Amaranth since I think one of the two last ones sold for 460 which in my opinion is as I said 60k more than I'd be willing to pay for it.

Since I have a positive savings rate and a sizeable down payment, higher interest rates are actually better for me. For every point the rate increases, prices would have to go down 10% to have the same monthly payment. If that happens, I'd actually be paying less than with low interest rates b/c of my savings/positive cash flow. I know that analysis is basic but I don't really want to debate all of the variables that go into it.

I am a first time buyer, but I'm not worried about the credit expiring. To me, if the credit is the only reason people are buying, they are doing it for the wrong reasons and if that is the case, after the credit is gone, there will be nothing stimulating new purchases and prices will resume their fall.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 6, 2009
Another point to be aware of is that prices have actually been increasing these last few months for homes priced under $450K. There can be alot of reasons, perhaps it's the end of the $8K tax credit, the low interest rates by comparison etc. but alot of homes are selling and selling quickly. This rapid buy-up is contributing to the property price increase. It's amazing to re-read this post and compare the market to when this was first started and now.

Hope this finds you well,
Web Reference: http://www.MedfordHouse.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 6, 2009
Really? Overpriced? In this market? As you know, realtors only get paid when they sell a property, so it doesn't make sense for them to over price properties and market them forever, doing endless, useless Sunday Open Houses. We want to have a life too. True, some home owners are underwater and an agent will price their property high to see if they can save the seller's equity, but for the most part I think that homes recently marketed will have been based on a current comparative market analysis for properties sold within the last few months. And most agents have seen in the last few months (as I have) that properly priced properties are finding buyers quite readily (the first time home buyer market is busy as they want to close before Dec 1st)--so while it can't be said that we've seen where prices are going to settle, for many of us it feels like we're very close. The days of properties being way over priced are over. Tomorrow I'm closing on a fantastic Victorian that a buyer of mine got for an amazing price. He found a house he loved, at a great price and a great interest rate. (By the way, interest rates are every bit as important was price in deciding whether to buy...on a $300,000 mortgage, every 1/2 percent rise in interest rate equals over $5000 in additional interest over five years...add into that rent you are paying and your savings are considerable). Are you pre-approved? If you found the right home at the right price are you ready to go?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 6, 2009
I have not settled on a place to live. Though ironically a place I made an offer on in the spring and was rejected without a counter offer was sold for pretty much the price I offered just recently.

Rates might be really low, but there's nothing really left on the market that I like and those that I do like are way overpriced.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 5, 2009
Roger--Did you ever settle on a new home? Interest rates are still great.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 5, 2009
Hi Roger - I agree with Scott. Each of the 3 cities you're considering have their own pluses. When you find the right place - you'll know it. . . when you walk in, it will feel like home.

Good luck with your search!
Web Reference: http://www.DebOnTheWeb.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 9, 2009
It can kind of go both ways, your savings on your insurance costs & purchase price versus lower tax due to residency exemptions. In the end it'll come down to personal preference, amenitys, community features etc. All can be a wonderful place. Although I am a bit partial to Medford :) I'll look forward to possibly having you as a neighbor sometime :)

Have a great day,
Web Reference: http://www.MedfordHouse.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 9, 2009
Thanks Deb and Scott. Very helpful answers. I've been looking to buy in Cambridge, Somerville, and Medford (mostly in the later two) and have heard about the other two having the exemption but not Medford. Guess this would make Medford more expensive yearly all other things being equal.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 9, 2009
what I mean to say was based on the assessed price/purchase price how can I calculate how much taxes I'd owe?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 8, 2009
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