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02138 : Real Estate Advice

  • All21
  • Local Info2
  • Home Buying9
  • Home Selling2
  • Market Conditions1

Activity 16
Mon Aug 1, 2016
John Schutt asked:
Trulia seems to have found the listing via Roomster, and in any case the room is no longer available. If possible, please remove this listing as soon as possible.

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Tue May 10, 2016
12warecambridge asked:
Tue Jan 26, 2016
Legra001 answered:
My father owned four duplexes on a street here in San Diego that was built as a street full of duplexes next to a neighborhood of houses. Over the past 50 years I have seen numerous conversions. They all started out as 2 bedroom 1 bath units approximately 806 sq. ft. each side with one water meter, two gas and two electric meters.
I have seen three bedroom, one bath and one bedroom one bath. Single mom with three kids split her duplex and rented out the single side to a single male. Several 1600 sq.ft. 4 bedroom 2 kitchens, two baths where all they did was cut the wall connecting the joint units, this one my father bought and just put up new dry wall, taped and painted separated them back into two units. and another duplex where the person tor down the center divide wall and put a huge fireplace in the middle between the two units, too much work. So my suggestion is to make sure it will be a simple conversion, single wall, have a carpenter throw up the two x 4's drywall it and paint it. But if there was massive changes to support walls, it might turn into an expensive project that justify the outcome.
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Wed Oct 15, 2014
Annette Lawrence answered:
Opps, question posted May 2008.

Termites are a part of the environment. Nothing to get excited about.

Termites, just like water intrusion, if left unabated, WILL effect the value of the home.
If structural damage is caused, and the roof line resembles a saddle,. you can start deducting value in $10,000 increments.

Annual treatment, and keeping wood off the roof, eliminated water sources, is the best way to protect your house from a saddle roof. There is no shortage of 1920 constructed frame homes that are still standing proudly here in Florida where termites, sand, torrential rain all combine to make home owning an adventure.

Don't sweat it. Sign up for annual treatment then follow your real passions to celebrate life.
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Tue Mar 4, 2014
Jeremiah Schuur asked:
what is the defintion of egress needed for a basement bedroom in cambridge?

And is there a square foot minimum?
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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.
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Fri Aug 9, 2013
Mano Ravi answered:
Thanks to all those who answered my question positively, It is very encouraging..

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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.
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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.
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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
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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.
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Wed Feb 20, 2013
John Dean answered:
There may be options for you but it will be difficult with that credit score. Have you started to speak with local banks or a mortgage broker ?
0 votes 1 answer Share Flag
Mon Apr 2, 2012
Louis Wolfson answered:

Congratulations, its always nice to hear feedback and the results.
0 votes 21 answers Share Flag
Thu Feb 25, 2010
William Patterson answered:
Hi Thizz,
Click through here -
This is the portal to the Cambridge Assessor's Database. You can find the info there.

Bill P. ... more
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Thu Feb 25, 2010
William Patterson answered:
Hi Richard,
There are 3 terraces for that unit. The largest terrace runs off from the dining area along the Mass Ave side of the building. The master bedroom has a small one as does the second bedroom.

Let me know if you want to view the place.

Bill P.
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Wed Jan 13, 2010
Don Tepper answered:
While the other answers are correct, I'd just like to point out that there are sometimes legitimate reasons for making inquiries regarding religion or religious issues. For example, some religions forbid work--including the operating of machinery--on the Sabbath. That includes driving automobiles. For that reason, some members of certain religious denominations ask for or require a home within walking distance of a house of worship. (And now the spectre of Americans with Disabilities Act appears; agents aren't supposed to say "walk to the bus" or "3 block walk to school" in deference to those unable to walk. So we say "close to bus stop" or "close to school.")

Some religious have strict dietary laws. While it's always possible to go across town to stores and restaurants that observe those dietary laws, it may be more convenient to live relatively close to them. And while an agent can't get into the religous or ethnic makeup of a community, it's acceptable if the client requests a search of homes within a specific radius of a defined point.

More generally, though, if religious affiliation is important (in a positive way), visit some houses of worship for whatever faith you're interested in. People often attend services relatively close to where they live.

Hope that helps.
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