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Home Buying in Cambridge : Real Estate Advice

  • All155
  • Local Info7
  • Home Buying42
  • Home Selling9
  • Market Conditions6

Activity 70
Mon Mar 21, 2016
Adams.miscellany asked:
The owner of the condo I rent has decided to sell, and he offered to sell it to us directly for 25% over its estimated value. I declined, but now find that he has listed it for 15% over…
0 votes 0 Answers Share Flag
Fri Feb 5, 2016
Kathy Burgreen answered:
The decision depends on what you can afford. Will you be paying 100% cash or will you need a mortgage. If you need financing, the lender will verify your finances and determine how much of a mortgage they will commit to. Then you will need to find a home within your budget. ... more
0 votes 1 answer Share Flag
Sun Apr 19, 2015
Anna M Brocco answered:
When it comes to any safety/crime related issues, it's always best to contact the local authorities with all your questions, hear all there is to hear firsthand. If unfamiliar with the area(s) do revisit more than once and at different times of day, possibly chat with locals/neighbors. Real estate professionals are prohibited from steering, enticing a buyer to purchase/rent, or not, in specific neighborhoods.
http://www.neighborhoodscout.com/
https://www.crimereports.com/
http://www.homefair.com/
... more
1 vote 2 answers Share Flag
Fri Dec 26, 2014
Sandi Bauman answered:
Did you have the property inspected by a professional prior to closing?
0 votes 1 answer Share Flag
Tue Sep 2, 2014
Adam Shamus answered:
Hi KJD, there are a decent amount of communities that could fit your search profile. I would look at Lexington, Concord and Arlington. Burlington, Lynnfield and Stoneham may also be good alternatives. You will want to take a look at homes on line in these communities to see if it is possible to find something that would meet your criteria. Most websites will also provide you with school reports, crime figures and other important area stats. Good luck with your move! ... more
0 votes 2 answers Share Flag
Fri Mar 7, 2014
Territory.com answered:
Feel free to sign up here
territory.com
We have a direct MLS feed so we should have 3x the amount of listings on the market:

Listings:
http://territory.com/search?search_string=CAMBRIDGE&min_price=%240&max_price=%240&property_type%5B%5D=SF&property_type%5B%5D=CC&min_beds=&max_beds=&min_baths=&max_baths=&min_living_area=&max_living_area=&min_year_built=&max_year_built=&min_days_listed=&max_days_listed=&school=&school_type=grade_school

http://territory.com/search?search_string=ARLINGTON&min_price=%240&max_price=%240&property_type%5B%5D=SF&property_type%5B%5D=CC&min_beds=&max_beds=&min_baths=&max_baths=&min_living_area=&max_living_area=&min_year_built=&max_year_built=&min_days_listed=&max_days_listed=&school=&school_type=grade_school

http://territory.com/search?search_string=MEDFORD&min_price=%240&max_price=%240&property_type%5B%5D=SF&property_type%5B%5D=CC&min_beds=&max_beds=&min_baths=&max_baths=&min_living_area=&max_living_area=&min_year_built=&max_year_built=&min_days_listed=&max_days_listed=&school=&school_type=grade_school

Good luck!
Territory Real Estate
Massachusetts Destination for Home Buyer's
617 848 5407 ext 702
... more
0 votes 5 answers Share Flag
Fri Nov 15, 2013
John Dean answered:
Sarah,

1031 Exchange process is not difficult with the right team in place. I just completed a 1031 exchange in the spring on a multifamily transaction in Somerville. Everything was as smooth as silk and the transaction closed in under 3 weeks.

The difficult part would be finding a multifamily home in Cambridge. This year the market has been extremely slim in Cambridge and especially with multifamily properties. Right now there are only 12 properties on the market and 4 of those properties are in the sales process. This has been an extremely competitive property type as developers seem to be snatching up many of these homes to condo and turn for profit.

I would be happy to review your property and offer you my opinion on it's market value. This may help you plan the next steps in the process.

My best recommendation is to meet with an aggressive Realtor that can help you find properties quickly and you may want to look on the Somerville/ Cambridge line to expand your opportunities.
... more
0 votes 10 answers Share Flag
Thu Oct 10, 2013
Robert Ortiz answered:
Hey Scott!!!

East Cambridge and North Cambridge are the best value buys. Draw for East Cambridge is proximity to Kendall, MIT and MGH. Draw for North Cambridge is Alewife and Davis plus easy access to Rt 2.

I have a non-MLS 3-Fam for sale in North Cambridge. 5% cap with current condition/rates. With the right amount of work to each unit could very easily improve to a 7% Cap with the 2014-2015 leases.
... more
0 votes 7 answers Share Flag
Sun Aug 18, 2013
James Daniel answered:
Interesting question. My opinion? Absolutely not! Single Family homes are so rare in Cambridge that no matter how modest your home is, in this market, it's probably worth more as a single that it would be as two smaller condos.

Over 60% of home sales in Cambridge annually are condominiums, meaning there would be much more competion as condos than there would be for a Single Family.
... more
1 vote 10 answers Share Flag
Sun Aug 18, 2013
James Daniel answered:
Good question. Since you are looking to buy in Cambridge I'll focus my answer on what is typical and customary in the Cambirdge market.

First, you should know that there is no rule or set amount you must put down. The goal at the offer stage is to try to impress upon the Seller that you have the financial ability to purchase the property and get to the closing table.

In Cambridge and Somerville it is customary to give your Buyer Agent a check for $1000 to bind the offer. The check will will most likely be made out to the company that has the listing. The reason for this is that the listing company typically is the one responsible for holding the deposit monies in an escrow account.

When you sign the Purchase and Sale Agreement a buyer then gives the Buyer Agent a check for for 5% of the final purchase price (minus the $1000 already paid) which is also given to the Sellers Agent. This check will be added to the escrow account. Both the offer and P&S check can be a personal check. Banks checks will be required at closing for any additional deposit being made.

The current market in Cambridge is extremely competitive due to the record low inventory of homes for sale. This means that you will undoubtedly be competing against other buyers to get a home. As part of your strategy to be the winner you may want to seriously consider putting down a much larger amount to bind the offer, depending of course on how many offers there are. Your agent should be able to find out for you.

I recently sold a home where I was representing the Seller and there were competing offers. One of them offered to put down almost 5% to bind the offer (over $40K). This is well outside of the comfort zone of most people so, consult with your agent and figure out what works best for you.
... more
0 votes 10 answers Share Flag
Fri Aug 9, 2013
Mano Ravi answered:
Thanks to all those who answered my question positively, It is very encouraging..

M.Ravi
0 votes 5 answers Share Flag
Sun Jun 30, 2013
Rona Fischman answered:
It is interesting that I first answered this question in 2009. Here is it, again in 2013, being answered. Now we are in a better market, and basement units are still less expensive to buy.
Basement living areas are less expensive to buy and will sell for less when you sell in any market. What makes the difference is that if you have to sell in a buyer's market, you are at a disadvantage compared to properties on grade or above; it may take longer to sell and your discount may need to be deeper than those more desirable units.
Kevin (below) is right that every buyer needs to balance the advantages of the discount at purchase against the purchase of more expensive condos above grade. I add the you need to also balance the risk of having problems selling, if you need to, in a future buyer's market.
... more
0 votes 7 answers Share Flag
Sun Jun 30, 2013
Kevin Vitali answered:
Trulia is mostly updated by pulling data from various sources. The data will eventually catch up in the Trulia system.
0 votes 3 answers Share Flag
Sun Jun 30, 2013
Kevin Vitali answered:
If you are looking for a very specific address or location, call a local real estate agent and tell them what you want. We have tools that can cull out homes in a radius and address or a group of streets and notify us immediately when something comes on the market. ... more
0 votes 2 answers Share Flag
Sun Jun 30, 2013
Kevin Vitali answered:
Best thing to do is talk to several lenders and see what they can offer you and how they will look at your income.

Bottom line any lender will be attributing some sort of monthly income to you based on a couple of years of income from your tax return.

With that said, it is hard to know what mortgage amount you could be approved for to purchase a home.
... more
0 votes 10 answers Share Flag
Fri Apr 26, 2013
John Dean answered:
Min

My suggestion is to go back to the real estate agent that you purchased the property with. Usually they have a huge database of local contractors to tap into. Realtor are plugged into the local market well past just the sale or purchase of a home. If you do not have a relationship with a Cambridge agent it may be worth a phone call to get plugged into the local market.

If you cannot remember Angie's list is worth the membership rate and I would stay away from Craig's List as it can be questionable.
... more
0 votes 8 answers Share Flag
Fri Apr 26, 2013
John Dean answered:
sounds like you could use an accountant not a real estate agent to answer this question properly
0 votes 3 answers Share Flag
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