MULTIGENERATIONAL HOMES ARE ON THE RISE

Multigenerational Homes Are on the Rise | MyKCM

As loved ones start to get older, we start to wonder: how long will they be able to live alone? Will they need someone there to help them with daily life? There’s a reason to ask those questions now more than ever, as the average life expectancy in the U.S. is 78 years old! As a result, 41% of Americans in the market are searching for a home that can accommodate a multigenerational family.

The graph below shows the number of people by generation that purchased a multigenerational home because they will either be taking care of an aging parent or they just want to spend time together.Multigenerational Homes Are on the Rise | MyKCMOf those buyers, 26% indicated they will be taking care of an aging parent, and 14% said they want to spend time with an aging parent. These numbers do not come as a surprise. According to Pew Research Center, 64 million Americans (20% of the population) lived in a multigenerational household in 2016 (Last numbers available).Multigenerational Homes Are on the Rise | MyKCMAn increasing number of studies affirm the benefits of being part of a multigenerational household. These benefits aren’t just for the grandchildren, but for the grandparents as well. According to these two resources:

The University of Oxford

“Children who are close to their grandparents have fewer emotional and behavioral problems and are better able to cope with traumatic life events, like a divorce or bullying at school”.

Boston College

“Researchers found that emotionally close ties between grandparents and adult grandchildren reduced depressive symptoms in both groups”.

This research gives helpful insight into why 41% of Americans are in the market to buy a multigenerational home.

Bottom Line

If you have a home that could accommodate a multigenerational family and are thinking about selling, now is the perfect time to put it on the market! The number of buyers looking for this type of home will only continue to increase.

4 Tips for Making a Competitive Offer

So, you’ve been searching for that perfect house to call ‘home,’ and you’ve finally found it! The price is right, and in such a competitive market, you want to make sure you make a good offer so that you can guarantee that your dream of making this house yours comes true!

Below are 4 steps provided by Freddie Mac to help buyers make offers, along with some additional information for your consideration:

1. Determine Your Price
“You’ve found the perfect home and you’re ready to buy. Now what? Your real estate agent will be by your side, helping you determine an offer price that is fair.”

Based on your agent’s experience and key considerations (like similar homes recently sold in the same neighborhood or the condition of the house and what you can afford), your agent will help you to determine the offer that you are going to present.

Getting pre-approved will not only show home-sellers that you are serious about buying, but it will also allow you to make your offer with confidence because you’ll know that you have already been approved for a mortgage in that amount.

2. Submit an Offer
“Once you’ve determined your price, your agent will draw up an offer, or purchase agreement, to submit to the seller’s real estate agent. This offer will include the purchase price and terms and conditions of the purchase.”

Talk with your agent to find out if there are any ways in which you can make your offer stand out in this competitive market! A licensed real estate agent who is active in the neighborhoods you are considering will be instrumental in helping you put in a solid offer.

3. Negotiate the Offer
“Oftentimes, the seller will counter the offer, typically asking for a higher purchase price or to adjust the closing date. In these cases, the seller’s agent will submit a counteroffer to your agent, detailing their desired changes, at this time, you can either accept the offer or decide if you want to counter.

Each time changes are made through a counteroffer, you or the seller have the option to accept, reject or counter it again. The contract is considered final when both parties sign the written offer.”

If your offer is approved, Freddie Mac urges you to “always get an independent home inspection, so you know the true condition of the home.” If the inspector uncovers undisclosed problems or issues, you can discuss any repairs that may need to be made with the seller or even cancel the contract altogether.

4. Act Fast
The inventory of homes listed for sale has remained well below the 6-month supply that is needed for a ‘normal’ market. Buyer demand has continued to outpace the supply of homes for sale, causing buyers to compete with each other for their dream homes.

Make sure that as soon as you decide that you want to make an offer, you work with your agent to present it as quickly as possible.

Bottom Line
Whether buying your first home or your fifth, having a local real estate professional who is an expert in his or her market on your side is your best bet in making sure the process goes smoothly. Let’s talk about how we can make your dream of homeownership a reality!

The Redfin Lie?


Redfin’s advertising states that they will list your home for 1%. Sounds like a good deal, doesn’t it? On the face, it does, considering most full service Brokerages usually charge 4-6%. But let’s take a look at what they don’t tell you.

Redfin Lies?

Redfin Lies?

First-hand, the fee a brokerage charges a home seller for the marketing, negotiating and selling of a home is made up of two parts. Using 5% as an example (by law, all commissions are negotiable), this fee is split between the listing brokerage (who represents the seller) and the brokerage representing the buyer. So the listing brokerage only gets part of the total fee.

What Redfin does in their advertising is to only tell you about the the fee that they will receive. The home seller will also have to pay the brokerage who represents the buyer of the property a fee equal to 2% to 3% of the sale price. This means the total fee that the home seller will pay is actually 3% to 4% of the sale price, not 1%.

So how does Redfin get away with this type of deceptive advertising? My guess is because of the wording of their listing contract (though I haven’t actually seen it). Most listing contracts list the total fee that the brokerage charges, and then discloses how much of that fee they will give to the brokerage representing the buyer. So the listing brokerage collects the entire fee due at closing and then cuts a check to the buyer’s brokerage in the amount they are owed. Redfin does not directly pay the buyer’s brokerage, but instead the Seller pays their fee from the proceeds they receive from the sale of their house. I’m guessing Redfin’s listing contract states their fee, and then separately states how much the Seller will have to pay the buyer’s brokerage.

So the actual fee of 3% to 4% that a seller has to pay with Redfin is still a savings over a traditional full-service brokerage, right? Yes, it is, but now let’s look at what you get for that fee.

Redfin operates differently than most real estate Brokerages. Redfin has one agent that services a particular territory, and may handle dozens of listings at a time. But once that agent does the listing paperwork, the seller may rarely see that agent again. Redfin uses different agents to do different jobs such as open houses, showings, attending inspections, etc. Once you get your home under contract you are required to hire an attorney to handle escrow deposits, drafting the purchase and sale agreement, negotiating issues, communicating with the buyer’s lender, etc., all things usually handled by the listing agent with traditional full-service Brokerages. Because the seller has the attorney handle these items, legal fees are typically higher than usual cutting into the savings of the lower listing fee. From the personal experience of myself and my REALTORS, communication with Redfin listing agents during a transaction is difficult at best. I’m not saying all Redfin listing agents are bad at communication, but this has ju been our experience.

Though they claim they claim they are full-service, Redfin does not provide the FULL service that traditional full-service Brokerages give. They don’t provide the personal, one on one service that most Independent REALTORS provide. When listing your home, you should always interview at least 2 different agents and choose the one who you feel will give you the service you are looking for, and one that you know you will be comfortable working with. You should be able to talk with the broker/owner of the company if needed. Choosing the wrong REALTOR and/or brokerage can make selling your home stressful, and more costly that it appears on the surface.

Jim Armstrong

Read Redfin reviews on Consumer Affairs website: https://www.consumeraffairs.com/housing/redfin.html

How do Redfin Agents feel about their company? Not very good according to Glassdoor.com: https://www.glassdoor.com/Reviews/Employee-Review-Redfin-RVW1857897.htm

 

 

 

 

 

How To Keep Your Home Spotless On A Budget When You’re A Dog Owner

Cleaning House: How To Keep Things Spotless On A Budget When You’re A Dog Owner 

Dirty Dog - Dirty Home

Photo via Pixabay by Pexels

Cleaning your home can be a challenge no matter what you have going on; you may have a busy schedule, a large family that leaves messes behind, a tight budget, or a big house that requires more time than you have to give. When you’re a pet owner, it can be even more difficult to keep things tidy. Even the most well-behaved dog can leave behind hair, dander, dirt, and saliva as he moves through the house, making your job that much harder. The good news is it doesn’t have to be a struggle to keep your home in great shape. By making a few small lifestyle changes, you can ensure that each room of your house will stay clean season after season without breaking the bank.

Some things to think about include pet grooming, lawn maintenance, and planning ahead when your dog goes outside for a walk or for an extended period of time when the weather is bad. It’s also a good idea to invest in a vacuum cleaner that includes a HEPA filter so you can keep pet hair and dander from being thrown back into the air when you clean the floors. You don’t have to spend a fortune on this essential tool; you can often find top-rated models on sale on sites like Amazon, so keep an eye on their daily Gold Box Deals.

Here are a few more things to consider when it comes to cleaning your home on a budget when you have a pet.

Get the cleaning supplies you need

Even house-trained pets can sometimes have accidents or make messes, and when this happens and you aren’t prepared with the right cleaning supplies, your home can suffer. Shop for these supplies at an already-affordable store like Target; be sure to watch out for sales and use Target in-store coupons to get the best deal on everything you need to keep your floors and furniture spotless. Having these on hand will allow you to take care of messes right away, which could mean the difference between a soiled carpet and one that just needs a bit of care.

Keep him groomed

Good grooming is essential for your pet for many reasons, one of them being that it will help you keep your home free of excess hair and damage. Well-trimmed toenails and short hair can go a long way toward making sure your floors and furniture stay in great shape, and this is often something you can do yourself. If you aren’t comfortable with cutting his nails on your own, the local pet store or your vet will do the job without breaking the bank.

Maintain your lawn

When your lawn is in good shape, it can help your pet’s feet and fur stay dry and clean. Keeping the grass cut in spring and summer, picking up waste every day, and making sure there are no muddy areas for him to roll around in will ensure that he doesn’t track in a mess on your clean floors. You can also lay out a thick-pile doormat for him to wipe his feet on (Overstock.com has lots of lovely but inexpensive options, and they offer a special discount to new customers), or keep pet wipes or a bowl of clean water by the door to give him a little foot bath before he comes in. This can be especially helpful during the rainy season.

Do a little each day

Cleaning your home can be overwhelming if you wait to do it all at once on the same day; that’s why it can be helpful to do a little bit each day. You might give everyone in the family their own section of the house to be responsible for, or write out a list of things to be done for every day of the week on a cleaning schedule. This will help break it up and make it more manageable when you don’t have a lot of time or energy to devote to cleaning.

Keeping your house clean when you have pets doesn’t have to be a stressful, costly event. With some simple changes and a little planning ahead, you can ensure that your home is spotless every day of the week, no matter how many pets you have–or what your budget is.

Selling Your Home

Selling, a famous salesman once said, is essentially a transfer of feelings.

You love and cherish your home. You want the next owner to fall in love with it, too — through photos, through words, and through the experience of walking through your front door. But, perhaps most, you want to get the price you want.

This isn’t a small task. Selling a home requires work. It requires time. The journey isn’t always easy. There will be frustrations. But when you seal the deal and move on to your next chapter — wow, what a blissful, boss feeling.

At the link below, we preview and link to each step in your journey. We’ll discuss how to know what you want (and what your partner wants if you’re selling together). How to understand the market, and ways to make a plan. And most importantly? How to create relationships with experts and trust them to help you get the job done.
The Everything Guide to Selling Your First Home

Copyright 2019 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

New Feature on ArmstrongField.com

While browsing through the homes for sale listings on ArmstrongField.com one of our knowledgeable REALTORS is only a click away!

Ask a Realtor a question about a home

Just put your name and phone number in the form that pops up and a REALTOR will connect with you via phone call within 1 minute! if you aren’t ready to talk with someone right away then just close the form with the “X” and continue to enjoy our website. When you have a question and are ready to talk, click on the “cn” logo (it stands for Connect Now) at the lower right-hand corner of your screen. You may receive a text message back if all agents are busy, but be assured that someone will get back to you shortly. We hate waiting as much as you do!

REALTOR Spotlight – Patrick Runne’

Patrick Runné (pronounced rue-nay) and his wife Anita have lived and worked around Salem and the surrounding towns for a long time. Being in real estate and the music business has led him to travel to every part of the North Shore, including the Merrimack Valley and Cape Ann, so he knows the area extremely well.

Patrick strives to constantly improve his skills in order to better serve his clients and has obtained the designations of ABR (Accredited Buyers Representative) and CBR (Certified Buyers Representative) He also recently became a CMRS – Certified Military Specialist in order to help and better understand the VA process for buying a home for our fighting men and women of the armed forces. Patrick was voted as the North Shore Association of Realtors Rookie of the Year for 2016 due to his involvement in the REALTOR Association and his sales record.

Patrick came to real estate from the entertainment industry, with 30+ years of experience as a DJ, musician, comedian, and singer performing in several states as well as the local area in Salem, Marblehead and Beverly. I’m sure you will find that Patrick keeps things light and will keep you entertained during the home buying or selling process, while his serious business side will help you achieve your real estate goals.

Besides real estate, Patrick enjoys music (of course!), his koi pond and his dog, Sophie.

For more information on Patrick or to contact him, go to:
https://www.armstrongfield.com/agents/PatrickRunne

It’s Cold Outside! Want a Home with a Fireplace?

It’s friggin cold outside! Fireplaces can not only warm your body, but also warm your soul. Watching a fireplace can lower your blood pressure and relieve the day to day stresses of life. Now you can build or install a fireplace, but that can be costly and take time, so why not just buy a home with a fireplace already in it? It’s costly and takes time, you say? OK, you may be right. But if you are already in the market for a home, why not consider these properties that already have a fireplace as part of the amenities.
https://tinyurl.com/fphomes

 

Estimated Values of Homes

armstrongfield.com provides an estimated value on all MLS listings.

If you have ever search one of the many national real estate websites you probably noticed that many times the property has not only the list price, but also an estimated value. The Zestimate provided by Zillow is probably the most well-known one. But how accurate are these “estimators”, or Automated Valuation Models (AVM as they are know in the industry)?

Let’s look at how they arrive at the values they place on homes. All AVM’s pull information from public records such as assessor’s records, which in itself, is not known for its accuracy. Some of the better ones (like the one REALTORS use call RPR) also pull data from MLS, registry of deeds and other sources. This information gets put through a proprietary algorithm that sorts and calculates the property’s value, weighing some factors more than others. These algorithms are tightly held equations that vary from each other depending on the company, and are constantly being tweaked to hopefully increase the accuracy.

How accurate are AVM’s? Zillow posted on their website that their Zestimates for the Boston area are off 5% or more of the sale price 47% of the time. They are off by more than 20% of the sale price about 10% of the time. It’s scary to think that people who are selling (or thinking about selling) their home base their asking or list price on these.

So what good are AVM’s if they are so inaccurate. Well, they offer a good starting place for someone who is performing a market valuation. REALTORS create what is called a Comparable Market Analysis (or CMA). They find similar properties that have sold and compare the subject property to them. It starts off similar to the Automated Valuation Model except they handpick the comparable properties. Next, they make adjustments for the square footage, # of baths/bedrooms, whether or not it has a pool, garage, central AC and other amenities, and the condition of the property. There are many other factors that go into the CMA – upgrades, exact location, etc. The AVM’s can’t come close to the valuation accuracy that a REALTOR can provide because the software has not seen the inside of the house, doesn’t know the condition or any number of other factors that influence market value.

So enjoy AVM’s or “Estimated Values” but don’t take them too seriously. They are a good way to watch trends in home values over the long term.

Questions? Comments?

Jim Armstrong

If you would like an accurate valuation of your home, go to:
https://www.armstrongfield.com/app/instantevaluation/template/armstrong/