While the coronavirus has many of us sidelined from our usual activities , you don't have to press pause on your real estate plans just because you are staying home. Here are four things you can do right now to keep your home search on track, so you are ready to go when this health crisis [...]
Is it Time to BUY or SELL your Home? 2 Local North of Boston Experts answer this question!
Geri Farrelly, Broker/Owner of Farrelly Realty Group in North Reading and Tom Patch, Loan Office of Mortgage Equity Partners in Lynnfield know the local market and want you to be in the know too.
Tom Patch says, “Everyone can benefit from low mortgage interest rates!”
You don’t want to miss out on the opportunities available right now in the housing market. Mortgage interest rates are the lowest they have been since October 2016. Everyone can benefit whether you want to buy a home, sell a home, or refinance your current home. This is a unique time in history where no matter where you fall in the housing market, everyone can benefit.
Home values have been appreciating for several years now. The annual appreciation rate has nearly doubled since 2012. It is projected to dip beginning 2020 and not come back up until 2023, according to Home Price Expectation Survey 2019 2Q. That means it is an excellent time to sell if you want to get the most for your home.
Mortgage Interest Rates are the lowest they have been in 3 years. That means it is a good time to buy, sell, or refinance. A lower interest rate means a lower monthly payment and the ability to afford more home for your money!
If you bought a home more than 2 or 3 years back and thought you didn’t want to move because you will never get a rate that low again, now you can move up to a bigger home and still get a super low rate.
If you already own a home and you don’t want to move, you should review your current interest rate. It has been widely shared that 8.2 million homeowners now have refinance opportunities. Anyone who owns a home right now should be contacting a loan officer. If you have a rate that is higher than 4.25% you can save money even with closing costs and the other charges associated with closing a loan, in most cases.
“Rates of 4% and, in some cases even lower, create extremely attractive conditions for consumers. Buyers, for good reason, are anxious to purchase and lock in at these rates.”
Geri Farrelly, Broker/Owner of Farrelly Realty Group believes that the data (specific to North Reading) continues to show a very strong housing market.
The North Reading Transcript has recently had several articles about the Real Estate market in general, but how does our Hometown North Reading market look? The market from Jan 2018 to July 31st, 2018 to the 2019 market in the same time period was surprisingly similar.
From January 2018 to July 31st 2018 there were 96 homes sold, and 30 condominiums sold.
From January 2019 to July 31st 2019 there were 101 homes sold, and 30 Condominiums sold.
The average days on market for single families in 2018 was 45.41.
The average days on market for single families in 2019 it was 68.27.
There was a significant increase to the days on market this year. The reason for this is twofold. List prices have started a little higher this year coming off such a successful/robust market from last year. Secondly buyers were willing to sit back and wait for price decreases if they felt the property was priced on the higher end of the market. Also, buyers continue to be savvy, studying the internet and determining the home’s value prior to ever stepping foot in the property.
“HOME PRICES ARE RISING!”-Geri Farrelly
In 2018 the average list price was $589,724.00 for single family homes.
In 2019 the average list price was $617,602.00 for single family homes. The average list price increased by approximately $28,000.00
In 2018 the average sale price was: $591,156.00
In 2019 the average sale price was: $622,168.00
An increase of $31,012.00, the increase appeared to be a steady climb as compared to last year as the prices where increasing at a much more rapid rate. A steady increase is much healthier for our community’s economic outlook.
The award-winning school system, amazing park system, the proximity to Boston and North Shore/New Hampshire Beaches, as well as the reputation of being such a great community which offers an excellent quality of life for its residents. North Reading housing inventory continues to be low which leads to a seller’s market, as of today there is 1.76 months’ worth of inventory. The market is balanced when there is 4-5 months’ worth of inventory on the market. So, you can see we are significantly below the balanced market. Which indicates it is an opportune time to sell, if you are thinking about doing so.
The combination of interest rates at the lowest they have been in years and a strong healthy real estate market make both experts say the answer is YES to the question “Is it the right time to buy or sell your home?” The good news is there’s still time to make a move before the school year starts and the fall weather sets in. Maybe it’s time to make that change. Reach out to your realtor and mortgage loan officer today to get things moving in the right direction.
Tom Patch, MLO#142695, is a mortgage professional at Mortgage Equity Partners, NMLS#1936.
Geralyn Farrelly is the Broker/Owner of Farrelly Realty Group, North Reading, MA License # 9533996
Tips for Taking the Stress Out of Moving into an Accessible Home
Are you in the market for a new accessible home? Navigating the home-buying process can be stressful, especially when mobility issues are a concern. With a few tips and tricks, however, you can make your move so much easier. Here’s how to get started.
Take Some Stress Out of Your Home Search
Before you find your perfect home, you may want to spend some time planning to reduce stress and tension for your family, and this includes the four-legged family members. Make the time you spend searching for a home and moving less of an issue by making pet care more simple. An automatic pet feeder is a perfect solution to keep those furry bellies full and happy while you are dealing with all the extra stress. Many of the top models allow you to adjust feeding schedules to fit your pets so you can manage their care and their weight with minimal effort.
Of course, you may also need someone to help you out with other pet-parenting responsibilities if you do need to spend a lot of time away from home. You can look online to find a dog walker who can drop in on your pet and make sure he or she gets some exercise during those hectic days. You should also ask your dog walker about additional pet boarding services, which can come in handy if movers will be in and out of your home. Moving with dogs can be stressful, but dealing with a lost or frightened pet will only lead to more tension.
Find Accessible Homes Without Spending Hours Searching
If you are living with a disability, finding a home with features that fit your mobility needs can feel like a hassle. Online searches tend to leave out filters for accessibility features, which can make shopping for a new home a struggle. That’s why working with a realtor is always a smart first move when it comes to buying a new home. Licensed local real estate professionals will have more access to pertinent information about available properties and can more easily locate homes with mobility features already built-in.
If you and your realtor are having a hard time finding a home with accessibility options, you can also consider looking for a property at a price that will allow you to make your own upgrades. With the help of an experienced contractor, remodeling for accessibility can be fairly easy and inexpensive for prospective homeowners. Plus, your contractor will be able to tweak these adjustments so that they fit your own mobility needs and lifestyle. You may even be able to factor modification grants into your remodel budget, which can give you more options for making an offer on your dream home.
Hire Professional to Make Your Move Safe and Simple
Helping your pets stay calm and comfortable during this big change can relieve some tension, but you also need to make sure your move is safe for you. If you are living with a disability, chronic pain, or mobility issues, packing and moving boxes can put a lot of unnecessary strain on your body. So, think about looking for experienced professional movers who can take care of all of those tedious tasks for you. They often bring their own supplies too, which can leave more room in your budget for other moving expenses.
You can use the savings to pay for other new home and moving expenses. You will want to do a deep clean of your new home to make sure it is free of any allergens or pollutants that could make your family sick. This means stocking up on cleaning tools and supplies that will make the work easier, or you can think about hiring professional cleaners to help you with this chore as well. Professional cleaners take the work out of getting your new house clean and leave you with more time to relax and feel at home.
Moving with mobility issues does not have to be a hassle. You can plan ahead to make the whole process smoother and take the stress out of settling into your perfect new home.
Photo Credit: Pexels
Most new homeowners have something about their property that they want to change. And as family needs and design trends shift over time, many will eventually choose to remodel. Some homeowners make updates to their property before listing it to maximize their potential sales revenue.
Whatever your reasons are for taking on a home improvement project, it’s wise to consider how the money you invest will impact your home’s value.
We’ve taken a look at six popular home renovations and identified those that—on average—have the best and worst returns on investment. So before you lift a hammer or hire a contractor, take a look at this list and see if your remodeling efforts will reward you when it comes time to sell.
RENOVATIONS THAT PAY OFF
These three common home improvement projects not only add function and style to your home, but they also offer a strong return on investment. Making strategic upgrades to your property will help you increase its value over time.
Minor Kitchen Remodel
The kitchen is often referred to as the “heart of the home,” and for good reason. Traditionally used for preparing food, it has morphed into so much more. Many of us now eat our family meals in the kitchen, it serves as a favorite spot for homework and kids’ art projects, and it’s the place guests tend to gather when we host events.
Because we spend so much time in our kitchens, it’s natural that we will eventually want to make updates and upgrades to better suit our needs and changing style preferences.
Luckily, a minor kitchen remodel is one of the best investments you can make in your home. According to Remodeling Magazine’s annual Cost vs. Value Report, it has an average 80.5% return on investment.1
The key to making a kitchen remodel pay off is to keep it modest in scale. Spend too much on custom or high-end selections, and you are less likely to recoup your investment. Instead, make an effort to keep your existing layout if it works for you and your family. Paint or reface cabinets instead of replacing them. Update countertops with low-maintenance quartz and swap out old light fixtures with modern alternatives. Replace outdated appliances with energy-efficient models. The average cost for a minor kitchen remodel is $22,500, and it’s likely to recoup more than $18,000 at resale.1
Wood Deck Addition
A deck addition is a popular way to extend and enhance the use of your outdoor space. It’s the perfect spot for grilling, dining alfresco, and entertaining. In fact, 81% of surveyed homeowners said they have a greater desire to be home since completing a deck addition.2
For a 16 x 20-foot wood deck, you can expect to spend around $13,000. Fortunately, the money you invest offers an average return of 76%.1
Decks made of composite material are a popular alternative these days, as they don’t require the regular sanding and staining that wood decks need. However, at an average cost of $19,000 for a 16 x 20-foot composite deck, they are significantly more expensive. Plus, the expected return on investment is only 69%.1 Still, if you plan to hire someone to provide regular maintenance to a wood deck, then a composite deck may offer cost savings over time.
Everyone knows good curb appeal is important when selling your home. And while it may not be the most exciting way to spend your remodeling budget, new siding can make a big impression on buyers … and your selling price.
Your home’s exterior is one of the first things buyers see when they view your home. It sets the tone for what they are going to see inside. It also gives an impression of how well the property has been maintained. Worn, peeling, or rotted siding can be a major red flag for buyers.
Replacing 1,250 square feet of siding costs around $16,000 and will net you an average of 76% at resale.1
For an even greater impact, consider replacing a portion of your siding with manufactured stone veneer. It can have a dramatic effect on the visual appeal of your home. A 300 square foot area will run you around $8,900, but you can expect to see a nearly 95% return when it comes time to sell.1
RENOVATIONS WITH WEAK RETURNS
These three popular remodeling projects are homeowner favorites. However, don’t expect to see a high rate of return at resale. Instead, consider them an investment in your current quality of life. Just make sure you’ll be living in the home long enough to make them worthwhile.
Major Kitchen Remodel
If there’s one room the majority of homeowners dream about making over, it’s their kitchen. From custom cabinetry to high-end appliances, the possibilities are endless. But those dreams can come at a cost.
An upscale kitchen remodel with high-end cabinetry and countertops, commercial-grade appliances, and designer features can cost upwards of $130,000. And unfortunately, you’ll only get back around 60% at resale. Even a mid-range kitchen remodel that includes new semi-custom wood cabinets, laminate countertops, and energy-efficient appliances could run you around $66,000 and net you a mere 62% at resale.1
Of course, an outdated or non-functional kitchen could turn buyers off from your home completely … and keep you from enjoying it yourself! So if your kitchen needs a major remodel, you shouldn’t necessarily scrap your plans. Just go in with the realization that you may only get back a fraction of what you invest. Then you can decide which upgrades are worth the splurge.
Few additions deliver more entertainment or enjoyment than an in-ground pool. It brings families and friends together, provides a break from the summer heat, and offers a fun and convenient way to stay fit. Plus, you’ll be the envy of your neighbors! But before you dive into a pool addition, consider whether the benefits outweigh the (substantial) costs.
The average expense to install a standard 18 x 36-foot in-ground pool is $57,500. And the estimated return at resale is only or 43%.2 In addition to the installation cost, plan to spend money each year on maintenance, repairs, and additional insurance.
However, 92% of surveyed homeowners said they “have a greater desire to be home” since installing a pool, and 83% have “an increased sense of enjoyment when they are at home.” For you and your family, the perks of a pool may be priceless.2
Master Suite Addition
If you own a house built before the 1980s, there’s a good chance it lacks a master suite, which is a feature that has become commonplace in most newly constructed homes.3
Master bedrooms have evolved from a simple place to sleep into a homeowner’s retreat—often featuring a sitting area, his-and-hers walk-in closets, and an attached bathroom with double vanities, a soaking tub, and a walk-in shower.
And master suite additions have become increasingly popular—both in homes that lack one as well as those with aging owners who can no longer accommodate stairs to an upper-level bedroom.
But what’s the typical return at resale? Unfortunately, a master suite addition offers one of the lowest returns of any remodeling project. With a median cost of $125,000, most sellers will only recoup around 52% of their investment. Nevertheless, in a survey of homeowners, the majority were satisfied with their decision to add a master suite, giving it a “Joy Score” of 10 out of 10.4
WEIGHING COST VS. BENEFIT
It’s always wise to enter into a remodeling project with knowledge of how it will impact your home’s value. In most cases, upscale or highly-customized upgrades are less likely to offer a high rate of return. That said, home renovations that improve your quality of life and enhance your enjoyment may be worthwhile no matter the cost.
GET A CUSTOMIZED ANALYSIS OF YOUR PROJECT FROM FARRELLY REALTY GROUP
We’ve been talking averages. But the truth is, the actual return you can expect on a home improvement project will vary depending on your particular home and neighborhood. If you have plans to remodel, call or send us the details. We’d be happy to conduct a free analysis to determine how the renovations will impact the value of your home or put you in touch with our many vendors to help tackle your upcoming projects! Call us at (978)664-3700.
- 2019 Cost vs. Value Report -
- NAR’ Remodeling Impact Report - https://www.nar.realtor/sites/default/files/documents/2018-05-remodeling-impact-outdoor-features-05-23-2018.pdf
- Zillow -
- House Logic -
Personalized service is becoming a rare commodity in 2019. From my own recent experience, you can travel from coast to coast and be surrounded by people but not interact with a single one. Automation and artificial intelligence is taking over! In some situations it makes perfect sense but in the real estate world with your biggest investment on the line you deserve more. You deserve personal attention not a one size fits all box approach! You deserve a local market expert! You deserve a team approach where you are the top priority! Farrelly Realty Group is just the firm you deserve. Geri Farrelly, the Broker/Owner of Farrelly Realty Group is keeping her firm "Boutique Size" where personalization is the corner stone of the business. Geri and her team believe "Your Roots are Their Foundation". Check out the recent press on this unique personal approach to real estate.
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