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Cambridge : Real Estate Advice

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

Activity 177
Thu Nov 3, 2011
John Dean answered:
I have to say that Nichole Bookwalter and Liz Boltons answers are spot on. I think you should truly look at the the opportunity and the costs associated with condexing the home. In the long run it may make sense. As far as the sale price as agents we see transfers of property between families for $1.00. Granted the city of Cambridge will tax on the value of the home.

Steps:

*Consult an accontant
*Check with the town
*Select a real estate attorney to draw the condo paperwork & handle the property transfer
*Select an architect for floor plans
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0 votes 4 answers Share Flag
Wed Oct 12, 2011
Amy Uliss answered:
As mentioned previously, there are agencies that will place your home on MLS for a small fee. It will typically state in the remarks section of the listing that this is the case. It's not necessarily bad to use this limited service if you have a good handle on what is involved in selling or purchasing a home. There is so much more to the process that just placing the information on the internet for all to see. The real work starts when an offer comes in and what to do with that information when you receive it. Having a realtor by your side is invaluable and that is why many of us would not suggest pursuing this important transaction by yourself. ... more
0 votes 13 answers Share Flag
Mon Jul 18, 2011
Christine Moran Realtor & Notary answered:
send me an email and I can refer you to my loan person. I have helped people in your situation before.
0 votes 3 answers Share Flag
Mon Jul 4, 2011
John Dean answered:
Erin

I always advise my clients to seek a mortgage professional to answer that same very question you pose. A good mortgage professional will run multiple scenarios with or without the sale of your current home. This will give you a true and accurate picture to start your home search. I know several that would review your current question free of charge. Please let me know how I can help.

If you are looking for something quick I have a free mortgage calculator on my website as well.
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0 votes 6 answers Share Flag
Mon Jun 27, 2011
Linda Balliro answered:
Why are you thinking you will never get the price that you paid for it? What price you would get in the future is speculation anyways - so even if you thought you were getting a low price now, you could still not get what you paid in the future.

And what future? one year? three years? 5 years? 10 years?

If you have looked and looked and this is the only place you like, you are doing the right thing - it seems like you are worried because you know you are emotional about the place - that doesn't mean you're doing the wrong thing. Everyone gets nervous - no matter how many times you buy and sell, its nervewracking - Donald Trump says he's nervous everytime he buys something!

And yes, this is my opinion. My colleague was quick to point out that I have been giving my opinion, which is correct. Since you and I don't have any agency relationship, and you asked for an opinion, that's exactly what I'm giving you. It doesn't seem to helpful to you if I just dance around general information and never tell you what I think. In the end you should gather a few different opinions and make your decision.

You've got a lot of people telling you that as long as you get comps, and compare locations, size and condition, get a home inspection, and you like the place, you are doing the right thing! Also, your attorney can make sure there is a clause int he Purchase and Sale agreement saying that the property must appraise at the sale price.

Good luck!
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1 vote 26 answers Share Flag
Mon Jun 20, 2011
Michelle Lehman answered:
Does your lender handle Energy Efficient Mortgages? Often times the cost of replacing windows, HVAC, water heaters and other such items to increase the energy efficiency of the home can be added on top of the FHA or VA loan with no additional qualifying. We do quite a few EEM (Energy Efficient Mortages) in the Sacramento area. Perfect solution for an older home that needs updating of these items. ... more
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Mon Jun 20, 2011
Annette Levinson answered:
Have you spoken to the condominium manager. They know who currently hold mortgages in the condo. Those lenders are your best bet or go for private money.
0 votes 5 answers Share Flag
Wed May 11, 2011
David Stein answered:
I can refinance you on that deal. The only thing you have to worry about is taxes owed to uncle sam. If no taxes are owed you are ok. please call or email me to discuss a refinance. davbstein@yahoo.com or 858-337-9744 ... more
0 votes 2 answers Share Flag
Mon Jan 24, 2011
William Patterson answered:
I would say this for a single family:

Orange Line - Malden.
Red Line - Ashmont / Lower Mills
Commuter Rail - almost anywhere north of the city.

Condos-
Cambridge, Somerville.

Good luck in your search!!

Cheers,
Bill P.
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0 votes 9 answers Share Flag
Mon Jan 24, 2011
William Patterson answered:
I would say 20-30,000 on the price but it depends on the street.

Cheers,
Bill P
0 votes 5 answers Share Flag
Fri Jan 7, 2011
Susan Murie answered:
Hi Jackie,

This question is from a while ago but I will answer it anyway.

MIT/Kendall/East Cambridge: Lots of new development going on in this neighborhood. As we head toward more sustainable living, neighborhoods like this with a proximity of Boston will be come more and more valuable. Varied housing stock, not many single family homes, properties are close together, many condos and multi-family homes. Lots of new condo developments.

Central Square: Huge jump in home values over the last 20 years. Very popular area. Mostly condos converted from multi family homes and some single family. Quaint tree-lined streets. Highly walkable, close to subway, many shops and restaurants. Vibrant.

Mid Cambridge: Close to both Harvard and Central Squares. Highly desirable, very walkable. Lovely tree-lined streets, brick sidewalks, wonderful architecture. Mostly condos, some singles families that tend to be grand in scale.

Inman Sq: Iman Sq itself is bustling with shops and good restaurants. Borders Somerville and has the same density. Mostly condos. Can walk to Harvard and Central in about 20 minutes.

Harvard Square/Riverside: Prime real estate here. Highly sought after for academics. Very beautiful, quaint streets, charming architecture. Easy walk to red line and many shops and eateries in the square. Very expensive real estate.

Huron Village: Lovely neighborhood, codos and single family homes. About a 20 minute walk to Harvard. Some lovely little shops. Pretty area and quiet.

Strawberry Hill: Just out side Huron, closer to Belmont than to Cambridge. More affordable real estate.

Agassiz/Avon Hill: Up Mass Ave from Harvard before Porter. Very tony area. Magnificent homes and condos. 20 Min walk to Harvard or Porter.

Porter Sq: Vibrant lots of shops etc. Many condos, not as expensive as Harvard. Borders Somerville Davis Sq area and access to bike path.

North Cambridge: Great for commuters and the most affordable real estate in Cambridge overall. Mostly condos and small charming houses. Walk to Davis Sq Redline or Alewife.

Whew! Hope that helps!


Susan Murie
Realtor, ePlace, Cambridge
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0 votes 4 answers Share Flag
Wed Jan 5, 2011
Joan Congilose answered:
I have looked into real estate databases & have found them to be too costly,and too cumbersome to use. I am very satisfied with Microsoft Office Outlook. I have all of my contacts in there, I have them in specific categories which I have set up with color codes so they are easy to identify & I can access the list & my appointments from my Blackberry wherever I am. ... more
0 votes 7 answers Share Flag
Thu Dec 30, 2010
William Patterson answered:
Hi J.

Check the Middlesex Registry of Deeds in Cambridge. Or you could email me and I will send you the list.

Cheers,
Bill P
0 votes 8 answers Share Flag
Mon Sep 27, 2010
Dayle Doherty answered:
Hi Danielle!

Congratulations to both of you on your anticipated raises! Where in Cambridge are you looking? I live in Central Square on the weekends and simply adore the area.

Unfortunately, the 80/10/10 loans are a thing of the past, but rates are so low right now that it's not much of a difference. The appeal of the 80% (as you probably found in your research) is that it doesn't have Private Mortgage Insurance. Any loan over that will have PMI until it gets down to 80% loan-to-value. To hit that 80% more quickly, you can always put more towards your principal balance after you start seeing all of your hard work translate to your paycheck! E-mail me at dayle@phoenixmortgage.biz if you'd like to me to run some specific scenarios, amortization schedules and financing options for you! We work with five different lenders, and some of them are offering great deals with lender-paid PMI right now.

Looking forward to speaking with you, Danielle.
Dayle
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0 votes 1 answer Share Flag
Sat Jul 31, 2010
William Patterson answered:
Hi there,
Good question. Most people in real estate will tell you to buy. There are many good reasons for this:

1) Good loan packages geared towards first time home buyers.
2) Cambridge real estate is amongst the most stable (price and value-wise)
3) American dream.... yada yada.

If you have a great great deal as a rental, your cash flow situation may be so good that buying seems like a bad idea. And this may be TRUE!! You have to gauge this for yourself, but keep this in mind. Even if you end up selling a place for the same price that you bought it.... you will be better off (cash flow) in the end.

Good luck!

Bill P
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0 votes 6 answers Share Flag
Mon Jul 5, 2010
Tamela Roche answered:
By law in Massachusetts, real estate agents and brokers are not allowed to "interpret" the law; be sure to discuss this with your real estate Attorney immediately to receive legal counsel for all contractual terms, obligations and contingencies - especially for how breach of contract will be handled. If you are not currently working with a real estate attorney - retain one immediately.

Tamela Roche, Realtor®
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Cambridge MA
http://www.cambridgeagents.com
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0 votes 5 answers Share Flag
Sat Jun 19, 2010
Anna M Brocco answered:
Keep in mind that any local agent(s) can help you with questions, showings, etc.,--contact any realty office and inquire or contact any local Trulia contributor(s) directly and ask.
0 votes 2 answers Share Flag
Wed Jun 16, 2010
Linda Balliro answered:
There are a few good choices but it really depends on what you like - Malden has some great choices IF you stay close to the Malden Center T . Malden is a diverse, dynamic community, with a great library and a few urban-style amenities - an great asian-fusion trendy restaurant on Pleasant St that's always packed, the Exchange St Bistro - and a thriving arts community - a gallery and artist living space that mimics the South End. If you can't find what you want within walking distance to Malden Center T - then try to be walking distance to Oak Grove. Once you get too far from the T, Malden starts to feel very suburbun rather than urban. Somerville also has some great choices right now - lots of square footage compared to Cambridge although Davis and Harvard sq are of course still pricey. Another great choice is East Arlington - close to Spy Pond and the movie theater, trendy restaurants and shops, while still a bit cheaper than Cambridge/Boston. Also, there are some deals to be found in Charlestown these days, although you have to be a good scouter to find them. Good Luck! ... more
0 votes 9 answers Share Flag
Tue Jun 8, 2010
William Patterson answered:
Hi There,
I think the condo fee there is, actually, very low. Not a sales pitch here either. Take a look at other buildings that have similar amenities (elevator, pool, gym, concierge) and you will see they are, at least, $300 higher. Not kidding. The only hook at Regatta is the parking, which stinks.

Taxes, you can't do much about. That is a city of Cambridge issue, decided by the assessor's office.

Cheers,
Bill P.
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