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Home Buying in 02139 : Real Estate Advice

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  • Local Info1
  • Home Buying6
  • Home Selling3
  • Market Conditions0

Activity 53
Fri Apr 26, 2013
Louis Wolfson answered:
As you know land is not depreciable. and typically and in high rise condo's the towns typically don't give the land a value. Therefore you can depreciate the entire value of the property. That said I would ask your accountant and you can only depreciate it if you rent the unit out as an investment. Remember when you sell you will have recapture. ... more
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Sun Feb 3, 2013
Susan Murie answered:
Hi Murphy Law

East Arlington, which borders Cambridge and is an easy 15/20 minute bus ride to Harvard, is an excellent option for you as it meets all of your criteria. There will also be some good properties to consider in Cambridge. You will get more for your money in Arlington than Cambridge. Both Arlington and Cambridge are among the top markets in the country right now and you can't go wrong parking your investment dollars in either one.

We can discuss this further if you wish and go over the market and buying process in detail.

Susan Murie
Realtor, Certified Buyers Rep
ePlace, Cambridge
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Sat Feb 2, 2013
Katie Malin answered:
Now is a great time to invest. My family owns many investment properties in Somerville and Cambridge (which I manage), but then decided to branch out into Sales territory. Rents are incredible. I grew up here, went to school in Cambridge, and have never really seen the values go down. The investment is here-- MIT, Harvard, and Lesley aren't going anywhere! More T stops are coming to the areas--please call if I can help - Katie Malin Century 21 Avon (Cambridge)- 781-799-5981 ... more
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Wed Mar 27, 2013
Green Home Team answered:
Give me a call. I graduated from BU...BA Journalism.
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Fri Nov 2, 2012
Peter Mlaguzi answered:

How are you? The way you are able to identify a property is under agreement or sold if not clearly indicated online is by asking a realtor. Did you have a property in mind? Please feel free to email with mls id or address!

Best regards,

Peter J. Mlaguzi
M&A Real Estate
O:617-588-0087 x701
Follow us on twitter: @MandArealestate
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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 ?
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Fri Nov 15, 2013
Dennis Joseph answered:
Hi Sarah (?),

Thanks for asking such a great question!

Just as with many things in life which have some complexity, if you have someone beside you who has been down the same path before, things become much simpler.

I suggest that one of the more difficult parts in reaching your objective is finding professionals you can trust to handle the details, such as a 'facilitator'.

When you sell your two-family, the 3/5 of the proceeds regarded as your investment profit will be disqualified for use in a 1031 exchange if you 'touch' the money. You can not receive a check in your name at the closing from the 3/5 investment portion of the proceeds and you can not let the money get deposited into an account you control. Money which is to be used for a 1031 Exchange (also called a 'Starker' exchange) must go directly to a facilitator.

You may know this but a facilitator can be an attorney who specializes in 1031 exchanges or, more often, a company specializing in tax-deferred exchanges. Prior to the closing of the sale of your house you must hire a facilitator who will be authorized to receive the investment profit from your house at the closing of your two-family and who later will pay that money towards the purchase of your next property.

A good facilitator is priceless because he or she assists people with the 1031 exchange process all the time. A good facilitator knows how to handle every detail and will make certain you are aware of your responsibilities and time constraints every step of the way.

You are correct about the possible difficulty of finding an appropriate replacement property. Inventory is low and competition for the best properties is stiff. But there are strategies for managing this uncertainty.

In fact, one of the two major exchange types is a 'reverse exchange', in which you buy a replacement property prior to selling your house. However, based on your question, I suspect this may not be the best option for you.

In the more typical 'Forward Exchange', from the time you close the sale of your property you have 45 -calendar- days to -identify- a replacement property. You must then close on the replacement property within 180 *calendar* days of the closing of your current house. These are strict deadlines which can not normally be altered but there are ways of gaining some flexibility for yourself. For example, if you ave having difficulty finding a replacement property you might be able to persuade the buyer of your house to delay the closing of your sale, thus delaying the beginning of your 45- and 180-day time frames.

This may be easier than you think, depending especially on the current condition of your house and your buyer's plans for the house. For more than fifteen years I have specialized in helping multi-family owners deal with every aspect of marketing, selling and transferring their property in a beneficially timely manner, according to the circumstances. Special circumstances are much more common than you may expect. I suspect you would be surprised at some arrangements I have negotiated for my clients. Everyone circumstance is unique.

Starker Exchanges are much less common these days than they were even five or ten years ago. I have participated in a number of exchanges and at your request can recommend the best facilitators in the business as well as assist you in selecting one best suited for your situation.

If you are beginning to form a strategy for the sale of your house—which it seems you are—I suggest that what would help you the most is to sit down with a qualified, experienced real estate professional experienced in multi-family sales who is also knowledgeable and has had experience in the areas of real estate taxes and 1031 exchanges. (Not surprisingly, I have a great recommendation for you!! 8-)

Talking through the process and through various scenarios specific to your situation will help clear things up for you and show you that, however complex the process may now seem, it is eminently manageable.

I hope this information helps and has answered your main questions. Of course I would be pleased to meet with you privately to continue the discussion and assist you in developing a strategy best suited for your situation. No obligation, of course—this is what I do!

RE/MAX Destiny, Cambridge
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Mon Nov 21, 2011
Louis Wolfson answered:
Cambridge born, Do your folks live in the property? If they do I or have lived in it 2 out of the past 5 years, I suggest you buy your folks half, they can take upto the 500k capital gain exemption and again take the gain again when they sell the new unit they buy from the other owner. if they do not live in it, then it will not make a difference.

You would be eligible for all the same programs and tax benefits based on your acquisition cost if you live in the property, if you do not live in it, you will not get the benefits of a 1st time home buyer as it will be an investment, but you will be able to depreciate the property and the operating expenses which will help you on your personal taxes.

Two best people to speak with, 1st your parents accountant, 2nd a good real estate attorney, I have a couple to recommend if you need one. Lastly I also have a mortgage expert at Cambridge Savings Bank
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Thu Nov 3, 2011
Nichole Bookwalter answered:
To really understand everything that is required to condo a building, I would recommend that you contact The City of Cambridge as well as a real estate attorney. The price of a property is based off of the market value set by recent sales within 6 months for a similar property. You could also have an appraisel done, which would be required if you needed a mortgage to purchase the property.
Good luck! Nichole Bookwalter
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Sun Jun 30, 2013
Shanna Rogers answered:
Hi Charlenesmithwriter,

Contact a local lender and they will be able to calculate what you qualify for. Ask for a pre-qualification/pre-approval letter from them. Sellers like to see these when your Realtor submits your offer on a property - this lets them know you are able to purchase their property.

Good luck.

Shanna Rogers
SR Realty
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Sat Dec 21, 2013
Greer Swiston answered:
You may have a problem with any future wish to update your bathroom if there is truly no way to put in a vent. Check with Inspectional Services ... but I believe current code requires an external vent in all bathrooms ... grandfathered until a bathroom is touched for any amount of updating.

That would be the only possible complication that comes to mind. Let me know if I can help.
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Tue Mar 27, 2012
James Oh answered:
The median age of homes in Cambridge is approximately 64 years (29 years being the national average). Boston/Cambridge is, after all, a very old town! It's nearly impossible, or just very very difficult, to completely replace a window. Unless a home has been completely renovated, the part of the windows that might have been replaced are the glass and moving parts when rainwater starts and drafts start to enter the home through the windows. The frame of the window is usually the same age as the home. ... more
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Sun Jun 30, 2013
John Dean answered:

There is nothing available in the buildings that you mention. If you are specifically looking in just the above addresses it is best to work with a local Realtor like myself as we generally have a heads up if/when a unit becomes available .

My office is just outside of Harvard Square and I specialize in the Cambridge Market. I would love to set up a time / date to meet with you to discuss your housing needs. The Spring Market is just around the corner, new inventory is becoming available and I am here to help.
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Mon Jan 24, 2011
Susan Murie answered:
Mon Jan 24, 2011
Jacques Handal answered:
You could either buy in Quincy or Milton,both cities are near the downtown Boston area.You could find something very attractive within the price range of $400,000.You are going to need a buyer s broker to help you with your housing search.I have experience,integrity,and i have obtained results for my clients;i could help you with the whole buying process.Please contact me at 617-957-5447 for more information. ... more
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Wed Mar 27, 2013
Anna M Brocco answered:
Since no link is visible and no address given, you may wish to ask your question again--or keep in mind that any local agent(s) can help you, contact any realty office(s) and inquire.
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Mon Jul 5, 2010
Anna M Brocco answered:
What is your agent advising--If you did not sign a contract and exchanged no deposit money, ask your agent to cancel--if you do have an executed contract--signed by all parties and deposit money was exchanged, consider consulting with an attorney who specializes in real estate and see exactly what options you may have. ... more
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Tue Feb 23, 2010
Don Tepper answered:
Check with an accountant. I'm not an accountant, so this isn't accounting advice. However . . .

You actually have several different issues involved here. Let's take them one at a time.

First, can your fiancee qualify? She bought the home May 7, 2005, and lived there until October 2008. She then moved in with you. OK. The IRS says:
For homes purchased after November 6, 2009, long-time residents can also get the credit under a special rule for a qualifying replacement home. To qualify, you must have owned and used the same home as your principal residence for at least five consecutive years of the eight-year period ending on the date you buy your new principal residence.
She would have have had to have owned and used the same home as her principal residence for at least five consecutive years. Unfortunately, she only used it as her principal residence for 3 years. Therefore, she wouldn't qualify under the replacement home tax credit. (State and federal authorities will look to things like vehicle registration to determine a person's principal residence.)

Would she qualify as a first-time homebuyer? The IRS says:
For homes purchased after April 28, 2008, and before November 7, 2009, taxpayers (including spouse, if married) who owned a principal residence at any time during the three years prior to the date of purchase are not eligible for the credit. This means that you can qualify for the credit if you (and your spouse, if married) have not owned a home in the three years prior to a purchase.
Again, unfortunately no. She owned a principal residence (that is, she owned the property and used it as her principal residence) up until October 2008. After that point, it wasn't her principal residence. Still, that's well short of the 3 year restriction imposed by the IRS.

Again, I'm not an accountant or a lawyer, so this isn't accounting or legal advice. You really should talk to one of those. However, I don't see how your fiancee could qualify under either area of the tax credit provisions.

Hope that helps.
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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.

Bill P.
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