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Home Buying in Wellesley : Real Estate Advice

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  • Local Info10
  • Home Buying13
  • Home Selling3
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Activity 15
Wed Aug 20, 2014
Richard Shapiro answered:
All three are great and you wouldn't go wrong. I would also consider commute time and the size of the HS. Newton is a large school system and has two HS's. Belmont and Wellesley have smaller HS's compared to Newton's. You may also want to check out the course offering for electives and Honors/AP classes. Sometimes the bigger schools (Newton's) will have more choices. ... more
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Thu Apr 3, 2014
Centsable Inspection answered:
Since MA Home Inspector licensing in 2001, a consumer must have a signed exclusive buyer's agent agreement with a Real Estate Broker or Salesperson before the Real Estate Broker or Salesperson can refer a home inspector. ( See Massachusetts General Law Chapter 112 Section 87YY1/2 )

Without a signed exclusive buyer's agent agreement, the Real Estate Broker or Salesperson may only refer the buyer to the list of all MA Home Inspectors from the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Home Inspectors.

A "good" home inspector has an interesting aspect now that The Commonwealth of Massachusetts requires licensing of home inspectors. The Board of Registration of Home Inspectors does not provide any criteria to rate a home inspector. A Standard Home Inspection in Massachusetts is a home inspection performed to the MA Home Inspector Standards of Practice (SOP).

Home Inspectors can provide additional/optional services that are not in conflict with the prohibitions listed in the SOP. Some common consumer criteria for a "good" home inspector are; Photographs or no photographs in the inspection report, hand-written report or computer generated report, use of measurement instruments or no use of measurement instruments.

Feel free to contact me if you have further questions regarding Massachusetts home inspectors.

Jim Mushinsky
Centsable Inspection
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Sat Feb 1, 2014
MScary answered:
Yes, it is worth it. A lot of the homes in that area of town are being torn down and replaced or expanded and renovated. If you plant to stay there and raise a family (10+) years, you will find that your investment was very smart. Wellesley homes hold their value even in a sluggish economy. (BTW: I am not a real estate agent!) ... more
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Thu Mar 28, 2013
Ken Barber answered:
Hi, I would call the zoning board of appeals and give them all your information and the secretary to the board would be very helpful in answering your questions, Ken barber
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Fri Dec 11, 2009
Tom and Joanne Team answered:

For a long time assessed values were simply used as a way for towns to collect revenue for tax purposes and were never intended to represent fair market value. Up until roughly 2000 assessed values in many communities were around 60 to 80% of fair market value. However, when the real estate market started to take off, communities began assessing home for 100% of market value and for a long time assessed value lagged behind fair market value. Rebecca, this all changed in 2005 when the housing market started to turn, and now in many communities the assessed value is significantly higher then the fair market value. In Wellesley the fair market values have held and it has only been in the last 8 months that we have begun to see the prices slipping. Therefore the correlation in the price point you are looking in is not as set in stone as in other communities where the market has been off for a couple of years.

I am a certified buyers agent who has sold 30 homes in the last 12 months and many as a buyers broker. If you would like some further consultation, please feel free to contact me. My website is listed below. Best of luck.
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Thu Sep 3, 2009
Mary Condon answered:
Great Question - and one most home buyers naturally have. It may be helpful for you to understand that Realtors are NOT permitted to discuss this question with buyers. I know that is frustrating.

Having said that, Realtors are knowledgeable about the resources which may help you learn more about your question.

a. Check with the town demographic profile....Check out the schools profiles and website - learn about their sports, dance, music, newspaper groups etc.
b. Call the Town Clerks office an learn if there is a New Comers Group or something similar - and call to speak with members of the group living in that community
c. Call the school and ask to visit the school - see with your own eyes
d. ASK people who live in the Community what their experience has been

Notice - this is all about other peoples view points and their personal experiences. When it comes down to it - you will determine the quailty of life you have in any community.

If you'd like to learn how I may be a good fit for you as your buyer's agent, please give me a call; 508-479-9833

Mary Condon, MBA
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Thu Sep 3, 2009
Mary Condon answered:
Hi Mary -

Great question. I am a big researcher - having said that - my analysis of the relevancy of price per sq ft in determining the asking price of a home in WELLESLEY is.... VERY LITTLE RELEVANCY! While I WILL review price per sq ft -
I do not place significant weight to that in pricing a sellers home...or advising a buyer client.

Price per sq ft CAN be used effectively in negotiations by an experienced buyer agent for their buyer client once an offer is submitted.

Choose a buyer agent who can can do a CMA for the homes you like the most and especially any home you want to put an offer on. Decide a negotiation strategy in advance.

If you would like more in depth advice please give me a call - it would be my pleasure to talk with you.

Mary Condon
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Tue Jul 7, 2009
Wellesleybuyer answered:
Thanks everyone. We ended up buying a home in Wellesley, and I think we got a decent value.

Best wishes,
0 votes 18 answers Share Flag
Tue May 19, 2009
Elaine Bannigan answered:
Hi - I write a weekly real estate column on Wellesley, a twice yearly summary called 'The Pinnacle Report', give seminars on this rather complex question, and I have an hour long lecture on the Wellesley Channel on what has happened to prices since the height of the market - the short answer is I suspect we're at the bottom. Prices, however, don't appreciate or depreciate uniformly in all price ranges. It depends on which price band in which you're looking. If you call Pinnacle we can send you the last few Pinnacle Reports and any of my Realtors can really bring you up to speed. I was having dinner last week with one of the country's leading economists (who happens to live in town as do I), and we agreed that Wellesley had dropped considerably less than most other places across the county. The spread I see is from -10% to -18%, depending on price range. As for the answer to your question - I'd rather have a hard asset like real estate in a blue chip town than anything else these days and I'm actually looking for investment property myself. ... more
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Sun May 3, 2009
Elaine Bannigan answered:
You seem to be specifically asking about Cottage Street? When you say 'thru streets' I presume you are referring to streets with heavier traffic patterns, as most streets are thru-streets versus cul-de-sacs, ended-ways, etc. 'Busy street' is a relative term (we'd all agree on Route 9, of course), but about most folks with small children or pets prefer streets with the lightest traffic. Second, many people will pay a premium for houses in the neighborhoods around town because you can walk to town, not because of any historic designation. In fact, historic districts may (and do) require approvals from the Historical Commission on changes you may want to make on the exterior of your house. As for the next part of your question, you can't look at unique houses in different states of condition and in distinctive neighborhoods (versus condos or subdivisions of tract housing) and do a square foot value analysis. Specific street, style (e.g., the market will pay a huge premium for a Colonial over a multi-level at twice the size!), quality of construction, size of lot, lot utlity, and condition are huge variables and completely trump square footage. Also, the 'Charm Factor' can be hugely seductive. As for what neighborhoods would be good comps, there are lots of comps right within the neighborhood in which you're looking. Confine your comp search right there. Good luck, Tania.
Warm regards, Elaine
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Tue Apr 14, 2009
Andrea J. Mealey answered:
Dear Jill,

I am sorry to respond so late after your initial post. If you have not already decided upon an agent, I wanted to express my interest in working with you. I am an experienced broker/owner of an independent brokerage and have invested in distressed properties as well. I have my JD and worked for a large bank as a paralegal while in law school during the downturn of the 1990's. I know the in's and out's of the foreclosure and short sale processes from the inside and out.

Please contact me if I may be of assistance in answering any questions and I am always available to meet to discuss your investment strategy and goals. My information is available in my Trulia profile. Best of luck in your searches.

Kind regards,
Andrea Mealey
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Fri Aug 29, 2008
Elaine Bannigan answered:
Interesting question. I've lived in Wellesley for about 30 years. I live in Wellesley Hills, but my office is in Wellesley Square. Wellesley Farms could be divided into two separate areas - upper and lower.
The key to the answers in each area is simply density of neighborhood. The upper farms properties are, generally, on the biggest lots of the areas you've mentioned. 'Wellesley Hills', per se, is further divided into several areas. In fact, the term "Wellesley Hills" tends to be used by us Wellesley folks just to define the 02481 post office - not to define any specific neighborhood. I think you'll find just about anywhere, that the greater the neighborhood density, the more you'll see kids playing on the street and the more you'll interact with your neighbors. People who live near the square, love to be able to walk into town - more and more empty nesters in town search for properties within walking distance to the village.

When my children were young, I lived on a street in 'Old Cliff Estates' where the properties were pretty close together. My kids played on the street, my dog snoozed on the sidewalk, and we did various things together as a neighborhood. After we became empty nesters, we literally moved two streets over, but on an acre lot - we now have privacy and don't see our immediate neighbors that often. I hope this is helpful. The Realtors who work for me live all over town. One of them is President of the Wellesley Mothers' Forum, others are members of Wellesley Junior Service League, Wellesley Garden Club, etc. They live or have lived in areas from Wellesley Square to Poets to Country Club to Cliff Estates and Farms to College Heights to Sprague Estates, etc., We're always happy to answer questions and welcome new families to town. Best, Elaine
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Sat Jun 21, 2008
Pat Baker answered:
In the past 6 months the average price sold at $1,408,964 and the median price was $1,213,500 which was 95% of the list price. Recently there was an article in the pictoral seciont of the Boston Globe. The title "Best Zip Codes." Wellesley was there. In spite of the declining market Wellesley has not gone down. It may still be online to read. I am not sure how long their archive articles. You really would be making a great investment by purchasing a home in Wellesley. The school would be John D Hardy Elementary School‎. ... more
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Fri May 16, 2008 answered:
In the last 6 months 14 properties sold in the bates school district and all were above 1500 square feet but one which sold in the $400000 range and likely wasn't in the best shape. The sale price to original price is 94% which means that properties on average in this area are seeing price drops off original price of about 6%. In an area like wellesley it is sometimes difficult to use average sale price stat's because there is a big market for $1million+ properties that scew the numbers. So, in attempt to narrow it down, the 5 properties that have sold in the $700000-900000 range - all above 1600 square feet w/similar yards - have an average price per square foot of $419. I checked out your property of interest and looks like it may be just slightly over priced. I make this determination with very few interior photo's and certain upgrades can have an effect on value. I can see that the kitchen does not have top of the line upgrades (although it isn't a bad kitchen) and the living room/sitting room looks small(er) but the yard looks fabulous and level.

I think there is potential to get the property in the $770,000-780,000 range and there are 2 great comps to support an offer like this. That said the property has only been on the market for 2 days so the seller may be reluctant to take a lower offer today but you never know.

Hope that helps!
... more
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Sat Apr 26, 2008
Elaine Bannigan answered:
Property values are varied, depending upon size, age and condition. I would call this a transitional neighborhood with some newer homes and some smaller cottages in various condition. It's continually improving. As for Wetlands restrictions, it depends on how close you are to the Pond and what you want to do. Requires a careful examination based on what you mean by problems - you need to explain what your intent would be to remodel or expand and your exact proximity to a vegetated buffer zone. ... more
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