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Cambridge : Real Estate Advice

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

Activity 106
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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Wed Jan 20, 2010
Alyssa Kitchen answered:
37 Lancaster street in Cambridge has been on the market for 14 days at 4,900,000. Here is the MLS# 71015688 enter that into a google page and it will show up on trulia, zillow, or any other real estate website. Or you can just enter the address and the same thing will happen. That is likely the easiest way to track the home but I can tell you that homes in that price point seem to stay on for quite a bit in this market! ... more
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Thu Feb 25, 2010
Territory Real Estate answered:
Hi Richard,

There are actually 3 balconies for this unit: One off the main living area, one off the master suite and the third off the second master suite. If you haven't yet seen this unit in person or have any other questions, feel free to email me at

Search every MLS listing at
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Sat Jul 31, 2010
Richard Lecinski answered:
You must run your numbers to see if you will run a positive cash flow and certainly allow for a period when the unit may not be rented.
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Wed Jan 13, 2010
Anna M Brocco answered:
Fair Housing Laws prevent a real estate professional from answering such a question--you may wish to do some of your own homework--you can try to google each town, some may have demographics that can help you.

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Sat Dec 12, 2009
Kevin Santos answered:
This is a growing problem that I'm running into more and more as a Real Estate Agent. I would suggest contacting Michael Chaves at Wells Fargo Home Loans at 978-568-0039. I have found him to be very helpful over the past few years and if he is unable to assist you he may at least be able to point you in the right direction. I hope this helps.
K. L. Santos
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Wed Jun 16, 2010
Rona Fischman answered:
I bet you hate answers that include, "that depends," but I have to give you that caveat. If you are looking for space, but close to the city, that's one thing: Medford, Melrose, Wakefield would work. If you want space, but you are willing to travel, Acton, Maynard, and Dedham come to mind. There is a lot of missing information, like where you are working, where you commute to, what you like to do.

So, it some research about towns on the link I put below.
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Fri Jan 7, 2011
Voices Member answered:

There are 13 neighborhoods that make up Cambridge, MA. The best reference I can provide is to go to this website:

It provides a neighborhood index map and shows which neighborhoods border what other towns.

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Fri Jul 17, 2009
Don Tepper answered:
Check with your Realtor. If the first buyer accepts your offer, then there's a signed agreement--a signed sales contract. And, yes, contracts are binding.

If there was a time period in your counter and that time period expires, then so does your counter.

If you're confident about the second offer, you can withdraw your counter to the first buyer and then accept the second offer.

You can tell the first buyers that you've received a higher offer. However, the first buyers could agree to your counter at the price lower than the second anyhow. So, strategically (and check with your Realtor) it might be better for you to withdraw your counter, inform the first buyers of a higher second offer, and see if the first buyers will go up.

Hope that helps.
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Tue Jun 30, 2009
Tim Cahill answered:
Hi Again,
I can only assume from the two words in your post that you're asking how the Riverside market is these days? :-) If so, without more detail as to whether you are interested in selling a single family home or condo, how many bedrooms it has, gross living area, etc., I can give you a breakdown of the number of active listings in Riverside over the past month (May 30 - June 30, 2009):

Active Listings
Price Range # of Listings Avg. Days on Market
$0 - $49,999 0 0
$50,000 - $99,999 0 0
$100,000 - $149,999 0 0
$150,000 - $199,999 0 0
$200,000 - $249,999 0 0
$250,000 - $299,999 0 0
$300,000 - $349,999 1 27
$350,000 - $399,999 0 0
$400,000 - $449,999 0 0
$450,000 - $499,999 1 62
$500,000 - $599,999 0 0
$600,000 - $699,999 1 33
$700,000 - $799,999 0 0
$800,000 - $899,999 1 7
$900,000 - $999,999 0 0

Total Properties: 4
Avg. Days on Market: 32
Lowest Price: $349,000
Median Price: $563,950
Highest Price: $829,000
Average Price: $576,475
Total Market Volume: $2,305,900
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Thu Feb 25, 2010
Voices Member answered:

Have you tried looking it up on your Cambridge property search site?

Here are the property search sites ect.. available in your county.

For your state...

This is a fairly decent search tool for public records..

Good luck, Dunes
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Mon Jun 15, 2009
Todd Scott answered:
I would recommend taking all documents icluding your CC & R's to a local real estate attorney and get a legal opinion.

Since this will require a permit from your county you may want to ask them to review the language used in both deeds to determine whether your porch is allowable. I would not take their answer over the attorneys.

Hope this helps.

Todd Scott
Senior VA FHA Loan SPecialist
iFreedom Direct
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Fri Jun 19, 2009
Deb Nicholls answered:
Thursday. Times vary, but that is the approximate range.
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Mon May 16, 2016
David Chamberlain answered:
Yes you can, try to get together with some agents that are already doing one. Serve food and drinks that go along with what they are having.
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Fri Jul 31, 2009 answered:
Sadly welcome to world of traditional brokerage!! I am so sorry you are experiencing such push back and ignorance from listing agents (who also represent home buyers).
If you want to talk about this in a more personal and open detail - so that we don't "offend" anyone - feel free to contact us below and we can give you some good advice (and DONT WORRY unlike most responses you might get here we wont be trying to win your business since we are an exclusive buyer brokerage :) )
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Fri Jun 19, 2009
Deb McCourt answered:
Hi Bruce,

While I see over and over again, many ads discussing "assessed value", most Realtors do not incorporate the assessed value in determining market value.. Assessed translates to property taxes. I know many consider affordability of property taxes in a town when considering buying a home. However, cities and towns are all over the place in setting property taxes and assessments. It is best to go by what has recently sold (BUYERS determine value) and to contact a good buyer's agent to help you. ... more
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Sun Jun 30, 2013
Rona Fischman answered:
If you are buying it now, it should be at a pretty deep discount. Basement units sell poorly in recessions. If you don't mind a basement, you may get a good deal on it. The people who get burned on basement units, one bedrooms units, or other less desirable choices for condos are those who buy them at peak, when the price differential is not as steep.

I can't give you a figure for how much less, because it varies from condo to condo.

Also, are you sure that the place is water tight? Does it have good light and ventilation and fire egress!
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Fri Apr 24, 2015
Emmanuel Scanlan answered:
Hello Rona,

I have never heard of using vinyl as a waterproofing material. Was this a sheet vinyl product, i.e. a vinyl flooring product, or was it some special material?

The material, whatever it is, will have to be applied with a mastic or cement to hold it down. This adhesive would not necessarily be a waterproofing material as none really are meant for that purpose. Additionally you will most likely have voids underneath between the vinyl and concrete surfaces. Water can collect and mold can grow in those voids. If they had damp concrete and managed to lay vinyl over it I would not expect it to stay adhered for long. Look for ripples in the vinyl and loose edges where it may already be lifting.

Anymore details that you can provide?

Emmanuel J. Scanlan
PS Inspection & Property Services LLC
214-418-4366 (cell)
TREC License # 7593
International Code Council, Residential Combination Inspector #5247015-R5 (Electrical, Mechanical, Plumbing and Building)
Certified Infrared Thermographer (ASNT-TC1A Standards)
Texas Residential Construction Commission, Third Party Warranty Inspector #1593
Texas Residential Construction Commission, Inspector, County Inspection Program
Texas Department Of Insurance, VIP Inspector # 08507061016
Hayman Residential Engineering Services, Field Technician
CMC Energy - Certified Energy Auditor

Knowledge is power, but sharing knowledge brings peace!!
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Mon May 11, 2009
Ken Lambert answered:
Hi Rona- This is just a cursory answer and thought- sight unseen. I was a builder for 10+ years in Mass.
I can assure you that a vinyl floor, or a wall covering, is not going to stop water seepage coming in from the walls or up from underneath the floor. If the water pressure is there, almost nothing can stop it from getting through the concrete, totally. The vinyl is just a superficial thing so that they can put carboard boxes down on the floor and not have the stuff inside them get ruined. Its good for that.
If it has a working sump pump with no pipe blockages, then it should be OK, as far as flooding and major damage. Is it in an area that often gets water in the basement? Knock on the door and ask a couple of the neighbors. They would probably tell you if it always floods when it rains a lot, etc.
If I can be of any help, please contact me. Thanks,

Ken L.
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