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Reading : Real Estate Advice

  • All25
  • Local Info2
  • Home Buying10
  • Home Selling0
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Activity 19
Mon Dec 5, 2016
Amandaxrenae answered:
My son was in the army and he's trying to get a VA loan can he purchased a house that needs to be fixed up he works full-time
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Wed Jun 10, 2015
Melissaress asked:
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Thu Dec 11, 2014
Greg Stratton Real Estate answered:
I would suggest driving around town, and walking as well. If you have children, look up the relevant school information online, and visit the schools in person - as a Reading native, I had a strong personal preference to stay at my elementary school, which influenced my parents' home-buying decision when I was a child.

Otherwise, some considerations to keep in mind that could affect your preference would be whether you prefer to walk, drive, bicycle, or utilize the commuter rail, or if you would rather be in a residential area, or closer to stores or restaurants.

Different neighborhoods in town also have varying levels of density - some are more spacious than others, and that is important to many people. Depending on the size of the home you want to buy, you may want to choose one area over another - in most cases, it is best not to be the biggest house on the street, and you may be uncomfortable occupying the smallest - but that is your personal choice.

Generally, in almost any area, a home that is on the lower end of the spectrum in a neighborhood with fairly consistent pricing (properties that are fairly comparable, but with some differences), will be easier to sell than a home at the high end of the price spectrum. So the period of time you plan to live in your new home may be a factor as well - if you want to be able to sell quickly whenever you want, that would particularly affect your choice in this way.

I suggest consulting with several Realtors familiar with the area, and then pick one who you think will best represent you as a Buyer's Agent. Having an established relationship with a professional is a good way to start your search, and they can show you homes that meet your requirements in each part of town. By taking this approach, you will have a representative who knows your particular needs and preferences, and also someone who will prepare you in advance to successfully purchase a property when you find something you like. Reading is a competitive market for buyers, so having your "ducks in a row" is critical, and someone who is a local expert will be able to advise you appropriately with regard to your bidding strategy when the time comes. Then this person will be able to represent your interests as they usher you through to the closing of the transaction. Many buyers are not aware of the immense amount of work involved on the part of agents, attorneys, lenders, etc. that takes place after an offer has been accepted. Having a qualified Realtor to help you through these stages as well as your initial search will ensure that you are successful in finding and purchasing a new home that is right for you. The purchase is not complete until all closing paperwork has been signed, and the deal has been recorded at the Registry of Deeds. That process can take anywhere from just a few weeks in rare cases, to several months, depending on the situation.

The essence of all this boils down to the fact that it is important to interview multiple Realtors for the job of representing you. If you do that, their job will be to help you through every step. Part of the value they add is being able to assist with even basic questions such as which areas are best for you. The beauty of buyer agency is that it does not typically cost anything, since the commission for both the buyer's and seller's brokerages is pre-determined by the agreement the seller has made when listing their property. That money is coming out of their pocket, whether you use your own agent or not.

So it is certainly in your best interest to work with a Buyer's Agent. If you do not, and consent to dual-agency on the part of the seller's agent (allowing the person representing the seller to represent you as well), you receive no benefit on individual reputation. However skilled and ethical a Realtor may be, representing parties on both sides of a deal is difficult at the very least, and often can be problematic.

Once you have found a good Buyer's Agent, they will be available at all times for any questions you may have. If they are not, then don't hesitate to tell them you are going to work with someone else instead, and do so!
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Thu Dec 11, 2014
Greg Stratton Real Estate answered:
These are both great communities. Having grown up in Reading, with close family in Wakefield, I will say it is a matter of personal preference, and encourage you to look at both information available online about matters that are important to you, as well as personally visit each town and explore. Doing so with someone from the area (not necessarily a Realtor) would be particularly valuable. ... more
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Thu Dec 11, 2014
Greg Stratton Real Estate answered:
If you are looking for a good Realtor, for a purchase OR a sale, it is important to keep in mind that either one, especially if it is your primary residence, is typically one of the largest financial transactions in your life. This answer is a bit long, but worth reading precisely due to the fact that this is an incredibly important decision!

For that reason in particular, I would strongly recommend interviewing multiple Realtors for the job of representing you. It can make a huge difference, measured in dollars, time, and/or peace of mind. Most Realtors will be happy to have an initial consultation at no charge, where you will be able to evaluate their professionalism, skill level, experience, personality, and whatever other factors are important to you. Find someone that you "click" with.

I would caution you against selecting someone for just one reason, such as for example a low commission - a good Realtor (when selling a property) will add value greater than the commission (otherwise the entire industry would not exist!). With respect to this example, if someone is willing to compromise on the commission THEY are getting paid for their own time by agreeing to take, say, 4% instead of 5% (every brokerage determines their own commission policies), how well do you think they will be able to represent YOUR interests when negotiating with buyers? Commission is an easy sticking point for some consumers, but it is just one of many factors (different for each buyer or seller) that will contribute to your final decision.

You will find good Realtors in large and small agencies, both national firms and local, independent ones. You will also find agents who are not nearly as good in the same places. That is why it is important to listen to the individual approach of several professionals before making a final hiring decision. Certainly it is worth a few hours of your time to interview multiple Realtors when the difference between hiring one versus another may ultimately be hours of your time, and potentially a great deal of money - thousands, or even tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars, or even more than that in a very large transaction!

A final note is that not all real estate agents can say they are a "Realtor." A Realtor is a member of a professional organization to which they pay dues, but more importantly, have committed to following a higher code of ethics than strictly required by law. In MA, membership requires attending a class about this, and making a formal oath to adhere to the ethical standards of the local and national professional organization (National Association of Realtors is the national organization). So when you hear someone say that they are a "Realtor," if they are being truthful, it means that they have not just been licensed as a real estate agent, but have also taken the steps to become authorized to use this designation as I described.

If you are still in the process of searching for someone to represent you, I would love the opportunity to interview for the job of doing so. I actually grew up in Reading, and my parents live there to this day. While my agency is based in Boston, I love to work in the communities north of the city, and am intimately familiar with Reading. In fact, I still spend a lot of my time there (also do not live far away), and recently decided to intensely focus on that market area (01867 zip code) in particular.

I would be happy to meet, free of charge, to discuss your situation, my qualifications, and the things that differentiate me from others, and see if we would be a good match. Such an interview is in fact a two-way process, because while you must select someone who can represent your interests well, I only take on business that I feel comfortable handling, and sometimes will decline to represent clients for various reasons after meeting with them.

Should you wish to contact me, my information is below - feel free to call or email me at any time.

Greg Stratton
Weichert Realtors,
Metropolitan Boston Real Estate
297 Newbury Street
Boston, MA 02115
Cell: 781-439-0841
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Thu Dec 11, 2014
Greg Stratton Real Estate answered:
Escalation clauses are a subject worth a separate answer, and something you should take time to carefully research with the help of an experienced mentor before doing anything with real live clients.

As for the pre-approval letters, my viewpoint is that you only need one pre-approval. It should be ideally for more than the asking price and more than the bid for the property your client wants to buy. If the pre-approval is too close to the bid, the seller will have doubts about the buyer's ability to get financing, so usually you want a pre-approval for as much as possible.

If the seller tries to negotiate a higher price in a counter-offer by saying "you were approved for X," the counter-argument is that it doesn't matter how much the buyer can afford - the bid is based on the value of the property, which is dictated by the market, NOT buy the buyer's wallet or the seller's desires or even their needs!
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Mon Jul 28, 2014
Karen Gately Herrick answered:
Update to this question. Since Reading completed the downtown renovations - there are even more families with young children coming to the "walk to downtown" neighborhoods. Hunt Park and Memorial Park flank both sides of RT 129 (Salem Street) and provide great recreation entertainment options. Summer Concerts, ice skating, tennis, playgrounds. Reading maintains the parks on a revolving basis. ... more
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Thu Aug 1, 2013
Jim oleary answered:
Take Route 93S to Charlestown exit take bear left at traffic light take 1st right onto Bunker Hill Ave, cross RR tracks take immediate left onto Medford Street and go to end of street Back entrance to Navy Yard straight in front of you. The key to easy traffic flow is leave Reading at 6:30 AM but no later than 6:45 AM. travel time averages approximately 30 mins. ... more
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Sun Mar 17, 2013
Don Tepper answered:

Find out how much mold remediation will cost. Then adjust your offer by that amount.

Check with an attorney and your Realtor for more information.
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Fri Feb 22, 2013
Christine Moran Realtor & Notary answered:
massachusetts law prohibits agents from advertising "quiet" area or street. You should ask the neighbors or visit yourself.
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Thu Jul 19, 2012
Lindsay answered:
I own a condo in Reading Ma and it is up for sale...237 Main st Unit A9 it's listed on the trulia website. Its going for a great price, 2 bedrooms, new bathroom, 3rd floor, newer laminate floors throughout the house and newer burber carpet in both bedrooms. Right next to the major highway and about a 5 minute drive to Woburn. Call Rosemary Maroney at Booardwalk 800-591-7820 ext 241 for a showing. ... more
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Thu Feb 17, 2011
Paul Santucci answered:
Hi Filip, I moved to Reading in 09 for the same reasons you listed. I am also a real estate agent and my specialty is selling modern-style homes, mostly loft properties. I really dig modern / contemporary homes also, and was only able to find one on the market in Reading at the time. I really wanted that home because it needed work and wanted to put my touch on the final product - however, we bought an updated colonial - just made sense for size / location / etc. at the end of the day - my spouse is a little more traditional.
The home is on Terrace Park. Drive by and you'll see it. Judge for yourself if it sticks out. And, if it does, is that a good thing? My take on it is if you love your home, you'll be happy living there and when you go to sell, it may be different, but it will stand out and people of the same tastes will love it. There is a community in Lexington with modern / Frank Llloyd Wright style homes and they sell because there are more contemporary home buyers in the area than you think.
The other towns in the area are all cut from the same cloth. Lynnfield / Andover / Stoneham. These are classic New England. But, there is a momentum for modern homes, especially with green features.
If you need any references to the best contractors / designers, let me know...
Build your dream home!
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Thu Jun 10, 2010
Elizabeth Herbert answered:
This link may also be of use to you;

You might also want to try contacting Martin Fair 978-664-6042 in the health department. ... more
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Mon Apr 27, 2009
Kevin Vitali answered:
Who is your agent? If you have a buyer's agent they should be handling it for you. Even if you went directly to the listing agent, they should at least tells you what needs to be done. If you are dealing with a FSBO, you can still be represented by a buyer's agent.

I would immediately notify the seller in writing that the home inspection had issues that you did not find acceptable. Define exactly what the issues were and if possible support with copies of the pages of inspection that address the issues. I would not send the whole copy of the inspection. Then I would state what you propose as a resolution, whether the seller fixes it or a price reduction.

This is all assuming you signed a Contract to Purchase with a home inspection contingency.
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Sun Apr 19, 2009
Househappy09 asked:
Relocating to Las Cruces, what neighoborhoods should I look at. Budget of $140,000 to $200,000, VA loan qualified. I am look ing for a house 1800 - 2000 sq ft, 4 brdrms, 2 baths, 2 car…
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Fri Aug 1, 2008
Galileo answered:
Go to a website like or where you can see all of the previous sales in the neighborhood. You might discover that houses that actually sold went for much less money than the houses that are on the market. Tour other houses in the neighborhood. Talk to agents openly about neighborhood prices (not just your own agent, but listing agents as well---of course, the information they give you will be biased, but they will point out useful things you weren't aware of). Talk to locals in the neighborhood. After a few weeks of research, you should have you a pretty good sense of what the "fair market value" of the home is.

In fact, you may have a better idea than the home seller does, especially if the market has been declining and the seller doesn't realize this (or is in denial). Because of this, even if you make a fair or slightly below fair market value offer, there is a risk the seller will brush you off or make an unreasonably high counteroffer. Don't let that bother you. Don't let your agent pressure you into offering an unreasonably high number. Just be patient and keep making serious offers until you find somebody you can work with.
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