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So You're Thinking of Buying a Home in Boston?

home buyer slidesYou've never done this before, and it can be, well...kind of intimidating. I'm sure you've had your doubts, questions, concerns... it can be really quite overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be!!

You've been pondering this, discussing it with friends and family, but want more information on the market and what actually happens during your first home buying, but you're not quite sure where to get the answers? We at Charlesgate Realty Group can you help you!

We've been hosting a Boston Home Buyer Class for a few years now. It's free. And we discuss things such as:

    •    Renting vs. Buying: Whether it even makes sense for you to buy right now
    •    Homebuying process and timeline: How long it actually takes to buy
    •    Working with an agent: How it works and whether or not you really need one
    •    What mortgages are still available and how much cash you need to buy
    •    Using neighborhood level data (like discount ratios and real time trend graphs) to value properties
    •    Negotiating 101: How to craft your offer to drive a hard bargain!
    •    Top 10 online resources to aid your home search

It's very low key, we offer food and drinks before and afterward and it's a great way to learn about the Boston real estate market, ask questions that you may have regarding the process. In fact, our buyer agents stick around to answer any other questions you may have that we may not have hit upon during the class. The class is at 6pm on Tuesday September 20.

Click here to get more information and to register. We hope to see you there!

Searching for a Boston foreclosure deal


[This is a post from James Marsden, a Buyer Agent at Charlesgate Realty Group. If you have questions, please contact James].

Based in the jump in the number of foreclosure petitions issued by banks (the first step in the foreclosure process) in Massachusetts in 2010, foreclosed properties should continue to play a large role in the Boston real estate market.

While foreclosures can be an awesome deal, searching for and buying a foreclosed property in Boston and the surrounding area is a daunting task.  Property being foreclosed on is sometimes referred to as a Short Sale, a Pre-Foreclosure, Off Market Pending Eviction, REO, Bank Owned, Lender Owned, or some other technical term.

Each one of these terms and status have an impact on not only how much you offer for a property but how you can even find the properties and to whom the offer should be made.

Foreclosure in Regatta Riverview hits the market at $110K less than last asking price

Regatta exteriorBanks all work differently when trying to sell their REO (bank-owned foreclosures) property, but they all have the same end goal: To sell the property quickly and try to get the best price they can.  Like normal sellers, banks are not just going to give away money, they need to recoup their costs as well.  That being said, when they bring a property to market, it is often after many months of holding and maintaining the property through the foreclosure process so they often prefer to get the property sold very quickly - which is why many foreclosures sell for a discounted price and can present opportunities to savvy buyers.

As an example of a foreclosure in the Boston area being listed at a discount to the market, we are just about to list a bank owned property at the Regatta Riverview Residences in Cambridge that literally has had a $110,000 price drop!  It was last listed pre-foreclosure for $539,000 and the bank just gave us their new listing price of $430,000.  Whatever the motivation is for them to get this property off their balance sheet, apparently the bank truly wants to "unload" this condo. 

Top 5 highest and lowest priced Boston condos sold this month

37-39 Folsom St - Unit 6

Similar to how I wrote about the Boston real estate market in April and May (sorry - I skipped June), here are the Top 5 highest and lowest priced Boston condos sold in July.

The price range is always astounding to me - this month the highest priced condo in Boston sold for 100 times more than the lowest priced condo.  And these two properties are only a hair over 2 miles away from each other - easily walkable.  Two miles and 100x the price.  Amazing.  And this is even a smaller price range difference than in either May or April!

Can you get a bargain by buying a bank owned foreclosure in Boston?


Massachusetts foreclosures down sharply...sign of stabilization?

foreclosure petitions

Following up on my post about the Boston City Council petitions that should decrease the number of foreclosures in Boston, statewide foreclosures in April fell to their lowest monthly level in over a year even prior to the petitions taking effect.  The Warren Group (a real estate records agency in MA) is reporting via their press release:

Changes coming to Boston foreclosures after city council decision


Last night, the Boston City Council approved three new petitions that will try to stem problem of foreclosures in Boston.  I previously wrote about the 5 Boston neighborhoods that have been hardest hit by foreclosures and posted a map of all foreclosures sold in Boston, so in those posts you can see the foreclosure problem in Boston that the city councilors are now trying to do something about.  Overall, in 2008 there were 1,219 foreclosures in Boston and 257 so far this year (according to Warren Group data).

From the Boston Globe article about the council decision today:


Massachusetts multifamily home sales booming?

Massachusetts multifamily home sales report

After some ugly market data regarding single family and condo sales market in Massachusetts (Boston fared a little better price-wise than the state - for Q1 Boston condo sales data, see this post on the Boston condo market and this post on the Boston luxury condo market) in the first quarter of this year there is a bright spot in the market when it comes to multifamily sales.

The Top 5 highest and lowest priced Boston condos sold in April

dorchester condo

UPDATE (JUNE 11, 2009): If your just finding this post, you may also want to check out the Top 5 highest and lowest priced Boston condos sold in May as well.  Thanks for reading!

Foreclosure in Ritz Carlton condos hits the market

Ritz Carlton Residences

It's been just about forever, but we finally got the go ahead from the bank to actively list the condo for sale that I previously wrote about in foreclosure in the Ritz Carlton condos way back in October, when we were initially assigned the listing from the foreclosing bank.  The unit has finally cleared the last legal hurdles to be sold and the bank has just authorized us to go to market with it.

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