First Time Buyers Quit Home Searches, Signing New Leases

Fist Time Home BuyersI’ve heard it several times the past couple of weeks. Home buyers who couldn’t buy a home of their own sign a lease on their rental for another year.

First-time-home-buyers turned renters. It is supposed to be the other way around. Watching another year’s worth of rent thrown away has got to hurt. All for what? Why?

Plenty of people successfully bought a home this past Spring, so why not you?

Maybe you made some of he following mistakes. And if you learn from them, next year will be much better.

1. You were intimidated by the “Seller’s Market.” Between the media and the big mouths on real estate agents, it was impossible to ignore the buzz around low inventory and rising home prices in the Boston area. You have two choices when faced with this challenge: fear or strategy. Which did you pick?

2. You started too late. This is a forgivable offense. Only once you begin looking at property you realize searcing for a home takes a lot longer than you think. Give yourself plenty of time to look at many properties and familiarize yourself with all the aspects of home buying.

Yesterday I had a closing with clients who counted about 50 houses they saw before choosing the home they eventually bought. This prepared them to make an excellent choice and move quickly and aggressively when it was time to do so.

3. You didn’t hire a buyer’s agent. Really? C’mon. What’s to be gained by going about a big, complex and expensive process without professional guidance. We’re not out to screw you, you know!

4. You hired a weak / stupid / clueless / brand new buyer’s agent. In this market, a buyer’s agent job is tough. She needs prepare you for a fight, provide you advice you don’t want to hear, and give you lots of bad news. There are many experienced agents who can barely stay afloat in this market.

In a seller’s market, a buyer must hire an agent who understands the dynamics, comes highly recommended, and who may push you out of your comfort zone. Likability is great, trustworthiness more important.

5. You made offers with a “pre-qualification” or a “pre-approval” from a disliked lender. Bank of America and Chase earned themselves terrible reputations in mortgage lending.  And the seller doesn’t want to hear about your buddy who works at Sloppy Mortgage, Inc.

Prepare yourself to work with other lenders with stellar reputations. Many local banks are doing a good job these days; another good choice are in-house lenders at the real estate companies.

6. You looked for a bargain or ways to pay less. HA! I work with many sellers, they know the market, they don’t want to hear from you. No one has a bargain for you.

My favorite bad move is to offer a lot less money when you have cash. The risk to the seller of a mortgage is not so high with highly qualified buyers. Several of my clients chose an offer from a buyer with a mortgage over cash offers this Spring.

7. You looked at past sales to determine value. You should look at past sales to get an idea of where the market HAS BEEN, but your offer should reflect where the market is GOING.

You need to expect to pay tomorrow’s prices. It’s a rising market, and if you do not go with the flow, you are chasing the market. Would it have been cheaper to make a better offer instead of another year renting?

Exasperating.

Look ahead. There is nothing you can do about what has happened in the past. It’s relevance is minimal.

Don’t give up on your search. Start early, prepare well, hire good help. Perhaps next Spring market will be kinder. If not, you will be sharper.

93 Strathmore Brighton Condo for Sale

Brighton MA condo for saleNew to market today, 93 Strathmore Road Unit B in Brighton.  No, the B does not stand for Basement!  This is a first floor unit in a pretty pre-war brownstone in Cleveland Circle.

There are a few features in this condominium that I love.  Other than the hardwood floors and high ceilings, there are enormous closets.  The storage space in this home is unlike any other in a Boston one bedroom condo.

Furthermore, there is a door from the kitchen directly into the courtyard garden.  It is a back yard, adding to the warmth and charm of the home.

540 square feet

$239,000

Run!

Click for an Interactive Map

Selling Brighton MA Condo

Why Direct Deals Are Bad for the Seller?

Ooh, a direct deal. That’s when the home buyer is not represented by an agent so the listing agent works directly with the buyer. Every agent wants a direct deal so they can keep double the commission. And sellers like it because often, without a co-broke, the commission will be cut (say from 5% to 4%).

Buying Home DirectListing agent makes more money while seller pays less commission, so what is the problem?

I don’t like direct deals and I think they are a rotten situation for sellers!

This unconventional piece of wisdom comes from years of experience, and has recently been reenforced during a condo sale.

At an open house I hosted two weeks ago a buyer came to me and wanted to write the offer directly with me. The next day We met, sat down, wrote the offer….well, most of it.

First, by law, I had to disclose to the buyer that I work for the seller. With this in mind, we started the money conversation.

Buyer wanted to offer well under the asking price. As I discuss the price with her, she listens, she nods, and she says (I paraphrase), “You work for the seller, why should I listen to you?”

As someone representing the seller, I do not have the authority to represent any price but the full asking price. I am not free to negotiate money which is not mine. Which is besides the fact I thought the asking price was reasonable.

As I asked her to sign the offer, she hesitates, “You know, maybe I should have my own agent review this.”

I asked her if she knew anyone, she does, she calls and books an appointment with this other agent immediately.

Two hours later, I received an offer from this buyer through her buyer’s agent. It was a much higher, much better offer. It reflected a buyer who understood the market and the process.

Seems to defy logic, that a buyer’s agent will write a much better offer than the seller’s agent?

The fact is, as long as my ficuciary obligation is to the seller, nothing I say to a buyer carries much weight. I may be giving excellent and honest advice, but none of it can be contrary to my clients best interests, or what they tell me to represent.

A buyer knows there is a choice to be represented, and once she is aware of the fact she is not, hesitation sets in. Buying a condo is a bit complex and expensive.

By seeking reprentation, the buyer agent is there through the whole transaction to explain everyting, and ensure the buyer understands it. The buyer receives advice congruent with her interests, and thus she is a more informed and eager.

Financially my client is ahead because the home buyer trusted her agent’s advice – a trust I can’t instill as someone representing the seller.

An educated, well represented buyer will make stronger offers, take the transaction more seriously, and is much more likely to close.

Isn’t that the goal?

Loft in Boston: Westinghouse Plaza Unit C301

Living at Westinghouse Plaza Boston LoftThe Lofts at Westinghouse are like nothing else in Boston.  When you are lucky enough to visit one of the penthouse units, you are sure to tell your friends about this amazing home you saw.

Located a walk from the Readville station and in up-and-coming Hyde Park, the Lofts at Westinghouse offer not only convenience, but also a building anyone would be proud to call home.

The building’s original industrial architecture has been preserved with exposed brick, wood beams, pipes and ducts.  Soaring ceilings and huge windows.  In the floor you will find evidence of the fan factory which was once here.

Converted to condos in 2010, the units are modern and updated.  Unit 301 is an end unit, with a loft, offering two levels of living.  One private bedroom is downstairs.  Living space has three 10 foot arched windows across, and a 17 foot ceiling.   Large storage area, central air, low fee, exercise room across the hall.  Come take a look, you will love it.

$325,000

Click the image for an interactive map.

Boston Condo for sale

90 Kilsyth Road Unit 2 in Brighton: Cleveland Circle Condo

Brighton Condo for saleKilsyth Road runs through both Brighton and Brookline.  It is one of the prettiest streets in the area,  lined with trees and a combination of historical Victorian houses and tidy brownstones.

90 Kilsyth Road is steps to Cleveland Circle and a walk to Washington Square.  In just a couple of minutes you are at the C, D or B lines and numerous restaurants.

Unit 2 at 90 Kilsyth Road is on a high first floor, looking into greenery and quiet privacy.  The sunny condo has hardwood floors and high ceilings.  It also features an eat-in kitchen and modern slate bathroom.  Laundry is in the building, as well as a common roof deck enjoyed by the residents.

Perfect for a first time home buyer or an investor.

639 square feet

$265,000

On market June 5, open houses the following weekend.  Area info, and more info at http://90kilsythrd2.agentmarketing.com/


Click the map below for an interactive version

90 kilsyth Rd Brighton MA condo for sale

8 Chiswick Brighton Condo For Sale

Located just steps to the very heart of Cleveland Circle, Chiswick Court Condominiums is one of the best associations in the area.

Compromised of 4 and 8 Chiswick Road, the building has 56 condos, most of which are owner occupied.  There is an elevator, but otherwise this is a classically austere pre-war building.  Beautiful architecture, comfortable layouts and just enough charm to make it feel like a home.

Unit 42 at 8 Chiswick is coming on market on May 22, with showings on the weekend.  This unit is almost 700 square feet, located on the top floor.  You’ll see from the pictures there is a lot of sunshine, good closet space, and an eat-in kitchen.

$310,000

Brighton MA condo for sale

330 Summit Ave Brighton MA Condo for Sale

Brighton MA Condo for SaleGreat things come in small packages.  330 Summit Ave #104 is one of them.

With bamboo floors, granite and stainless steel kitchen, this home will make you a believer in studio condos.  It’s spaciousness and modern look is both welcoming and comfortable.

330 Summit is located a steps to the T, near Brookline line, and a short walk to Wholefoods.

This studio condominium is a perfect investment if you’re starting your real estate portfolio.  It’s also an excellent options if you are a home buyer priced out of the one-bedroom condo market.

Want to beat the frenzy?  Contact me while the condo is still Non-MLS, which would be ASAP!

330 Summit Ave #104, Brighton:

  • $199,000
  • 379 Square Feet
  • Laundry in building
  • Extra storage!
  • Full modern kitchen
  • Walk to T
  • Individually controlled thermostat

 

 

Farmers Markets In and Around Boston

Roslindale VillageFarmers market season has begun!

What does fresh kale, local corn, and home made jams have to do with real estate?

Judging for the positive impact the farmers market in Roslindale has on the village and the community around it, I would say the availability fresh local produce are healthy both for our bodies and our economy.

I love farmers’ markets and I am proud of Boston’s dedication to getting them into every neighborhood.  For the next few months you’ll find me regularly at the Newton, Brookline and Roslindale markets.  And, no, I won’t be annoyed if you stop me for a real estate market chat.

Below find a list of Farmers Markets in Boston and some of the suburbs.  If you think I missed a good market, please add it to the list or write me directly.  Or your can simply vote for your favorite one.

The Best Farmer's Market in and Around Boston
The Best Farmer's Market in and Around Boston

Ruth Lerner The Best Farmer's Market in and Around Boston

Ruth Lerner | 22 items | 57 views

The list of the coolest farmer's markets in Boston and in the surrounding suburbs. The City of Boston has made a focused effort in getting these markets into every neighborhood.

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  1. 1. Roslindale Village Main Street

    Roslindale Village Main Street

    The mission of Roslindale Village Main Street (RVMS) is to promote Roslindale Village as an appealing destination and the dynamic center of our community.

    We are very proud of this market and visit it often during the summer. Rozi's market opens early June.

  2. 2. Newton, MA - Farmer's Market

    Newton, MA - Farmer's Market

    Indoor Market at the Hyde Community Center
    Summer Markets - 2 Locations

    Forget Wholefoods! This is where I do my produce shopping in the summer.

  3. 3. List of Locations | City of Boston

    List of Locations | City of Boston

    The Mayor's Office of Food Initiatives was created to assist local farmers, merchants and various City departments to determine viable areas that would embrace and thrive from Farmers Markets. Over the past six years, the number of farmers markets in Boston has more than doubled, from 13 in 2004 to over 20 markets this year.

  4. 4. Allston Village Main Streets - Farmers Market

    Allston Village Main Streets - Farmers Market

    Allston Village Main Streets - Farmers Market. Opens June.

  5. 5. Bowdoin Geneva Farmers Market | Food in the 'Hood on WordPress.com

    Bowdoin Geneva Farmers Market | Food in the 'Hood on WordPress.com

    The Bowdoin Geneva Farmers Market is a non-profit market run by the Bowdoin Street Health Center in Dorchester, MA. A top priority of our market is to make fresh, high-quality healthy food available and accessible to everyone. OPENING DAY - HEALTHY SUMMER KICK-OFF Thursday, June 20th, 2013 Download the market flyer to distribute in your...

  6. 6. Copley Square Farmer's Market

    Copley Square Farmer's Market

    139 St. James Ave, Boston
    Starts mid May

  7. 7. Roxbury / Dudley Town Common Farmers Market - Local Food Guide - Metro Boston MA

    Roxbury / Dudley Town Common Farmers Market - Local Food Guide - Metro Boston MA

    Roxbury's market opens early June. The FarmFresh.org Local Food Guide is a non-profit initiative to strengthen Southern New England farms and food.

  8. 8. East Boston Farmers Market

    East Boston Farmers Market

    Thursdays from 3:00 to 6:30 pm, through October 23 (rain or shine) Where: Lewis Mall, behind the Maverick T station on Sumner Street in East Boston What: For details on what's happening this week at the Farmers Market, sign up for our weekly newsletter! Good Food: We are what we eat!

  9. 9. Egleston Farmers Market: JP

    Egleston Farmers Market: JP

    Look for us at the Welcome to the Egleston Farmers Market! Wake Up the Earth Festival on Saturday, May 3, 2014. And see you on June 7 for our grand reopening! We're a community market offering fresh produce, eggs, meat, cheese, fish, bread and wonderful prepared foods from local vendors.

  10. 10. Harvard Allston Farmers' Market

    Harvard Allston Farmers' Market

    Harvard Allston Farmers' Market in Allston, MA
    Fridays starting mid June, at the Swissbankers, 168 Western Avenue, Allston.

  11. 11. Jamaica Plain Farmers' Market

    Jamaica Plain Farmers' Market

    Bank of America parking lot 677 Centre St, Jamaica Plain Saturdays 12-3, May 17 through Thanksgiving & Select other days!!! Tuesdays 12-5 and Saturdays 12-3, June 17 -November 1 *Please try to walk or bike to the market if possible. You can also park in the lot next to the bank parking lot.

  12. 12. SOWA FARMERS MARKET

    SOWA FARMERS MARKET

    SOWA FARMERS MARKET EVERY SUNDAY! MAY 4, 2014 THROUGH OCTOBER 26, 2014 10AM - 4PM The award winning SoWa Farmers Market is a foodie's delight with 60 mouth-watering stands every Sunday from May to October! You'll find the freshest produce, dairy products, meats and herbs from local farms. Shop the many specialty food stands for...

  13. 13. South Boston Farmers Market - Local Food Guide - Metro Boston MA

    South Boston Farmers Market - Local Food Guide - Metro Boston MA

    Southie's market is located on West Broadway and opens mid May. The FarmFresh.org Local Food Guide is a non-profit initiative to strengthen Southern New England farms and food.

  14. 14. Brookline MA Farmer's Market

    Brookline MA Farmer's Market

    Thursdays, 1:30 pm until Dusk, Rain or Shine June 19th through October 30th, 2014 Centre Street, West Parking Lot Brookline, Massachusetts

    A wide offering at the Coolidge Corner market.

  15. 15. Union Square Farmers Market - Somerville

    Union Square Farmers Market - Somerville

    Thanks for visiting the Union Square Main Streets (Somerville, MA) website. Please note, due to a large influx in traffic, certain pages may load slowly. We appreciate your patience! 2013 Farmers Market Season Every Saturday, 9 am to 1 pm Market Opens June 1, 2013 and runs through November 23 On the Union Square Plaza, Somerville, Massachusetts, where Prospect St, Washington St, and Somerville Ave meet.

  16. 16. Somerville / Davis Square Farmers Market - Local Food Guide - Northeast MA

    Somerville / Davis Square Farmers Market - Local Food Guide - Northeast MA

    Starts late may.
    The FarmFresh.org Local Food Guide is a non-profit initiative to strengthen Southern New England farms and food.

  17. 17. Arlington Farmers Market

    Arlington Farmers Market

    Opens June, located in Arlington Center, Russell Common parking lot.

  18. 18. Needham Farmers Market

    Needham Farmers Market

    Opening late May, Needham's farmers market is held Sundays behind the Needham Bank on Garden Street.

  19. 19. Farmers Market - Dedham Square Circle

    Farmers Market - Dedham Square Circle

    The 7th season of the Dedham Farmers Market will open on Wednesday, June 18, 2014 and run everyWednesday from 12-6 pm through October 29

  20. 20. Cambridge / Charles Square Farmers Market - Local Food Guide - Northeast MA

    Cambridge / Charles Square Farmers Market - Local Food Guide - Northeast MA

    Runs twice a week from mid May.
    The FarmFresh.org Local Food Guide is a non-profit initiative to strengthen Southern New England farms and food.

  21. 21. Cambridge Main Street - FARMERS MARKET

    Cambridge Main Street - FARMERS MARKET

    FARMERS MARKET The Cambridge Main Street Farmers Market is closed for the season. It will be back in May 2014 Long Wharf Park. Visit the market at Long Wharf Park on Thursday afternoons, 3-6pm. The market also runs on Saturdays in the summer months.

  22. 22. Cambridge / Central Square Farmers Market

    Cambridge / Central Square Farmers Market

    Open all afternoon on Mondays, located at the parking lot at Norfolk & Bishop Allen Dr.

    The FarmFresh.org Local Food Guide is a non-profit initiative to strengthen Southern New England farms and food.

View more lists from Ruth Lerner

Brighton MA Condo with Parking For Sale

Kinross 8 unit 11 living roomIf you missed the previous opportunity to see or make an offer on a condo in this delightful building, you have another chance this weekend!

Located in the historic Aberdeed area of Brighton, 8 Kinross Road is a short walk to Cleveland Circle and three T lines.  Top floor unit with private porch, eat-in-kitchen and parking.  Deeded parking.

With hardwood floors and pre-war charm, this is a classic Bostonian starter home.  Take a look at the pictures below and stop by the open house.

8 Kinross Road #11, Brighton

734 Square Feet

Condo Fee $364, includes heat, hot water

Price $319,000

Brighton MA Real Estate

1 Westinghouse Plaza Unit C334 in Hyde Park

Luxury Boston LoftIt is impossible to not love this condo.  It may no be the right home for you, but you’ll love it.

The Lofts at Westinghouse are set in historical Westinghouse Plaza, former home of Sturtevant, American’s first Fan company.  They made all sorts of fans, not the kind of fans you have in your house, but really big fans.

Condo Conversion 2010

The building which once served as the factory was converted into condominiums in 2010.  Instead of gutting the building and restructuring the inside into boring vanilla spaces, Westinghouse’s industrial beauty was maintained.  Old floors, mixed with new hardwood patches, 10 foot arched windows, 24 foot ceilings, exposed pipes and beams.

This is what loft spaces are all about.

Unit C334

Unit 334 is located in building C, on the top floor.  This unit enjoys one of the widest spaces with three windows across allowing tons of sunshine.  The ceilings are tall enough to allow you to build a loft space, if you choose.  Instead, you may enjoy the open space and high ceilings, so far beyond reach.

Located in Hyde Park’s Readville neighborhood, you are minutes from the commuter rail station to take you into town, or enjoy easy highway access.

  • 1031 sf
  • Laundry
  • 2 Deeded parking spaces
  • $269,000

Video of 1 Westinghouse Plaza C334

Pictures of the Loft at Westinghouse, Unit 334

Click the image for an interactive map.

Boston Condo for sale