Boston Real Estate Blog

New Listing! 33 Eliot St in Watertown

Hi all!  We have a new listing coming on this week in Watertown at 33 Eliot St.  Check out the listing's dedicated website for more information!

A 3 Bedroom / 2.5 Bath townhouse, this listing is one that you're definitely going to love!  Easy access to the city and a great location in red-hot Watertown you won't want to miss this one.  Reach out to us today for more information on open house times and showing requests!

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The End of the Beginning

Friends, Clients, Family,

This week Signal Real Estate embarked on an exciting adventure, joining Compass as the Signal Group.  It has been with very careful consideration that we have made this move and believe wholeheartedly it will not only assist us in better servicing our clients but empower us with the tools to continue to press onward as the industry and market continues to shift and evolve.  There are four main reasons why we have decided to leave the world of boutique brokerages and join a national company like Compass.

Increased Leverage

We have loved the process of owning and operating a boutique brokerage.  We have loved building the Signal Real Estate brand and the systems our agents currently enjoy.  That being said, there has been a significant and ongoing investment made in the day to day operation of the business leaving us all with less bandwidth to do what we truly enjoy, assisting our clients in buying and selling real estate.  Through the Compass platform and the incredible agent support team, we are able to reduce the noise and focus more on a singular goal, the satisfaction of our clients.

Brand Awareness

As a small boutique, we have always struggled to remain top of mind with home buyers and sellers.  This is the existential struggle for any small business, awareness.  Over the years we have been a pioneer in the space, trying and testing new ideas and being the first in the region to pilot new programs. We have operated in this way not only because we’ve always been a forward thinking company but also out of necessity.  Even with the vast changes within the advertising landscape and the opportunities to target specific niches more efficiently we have consistently had to adapt, innovate,...

Another Happy Client in Medfield

Another Great Review

Another great review of Signal Real Estate's Dana Ravech on her transaction in Medfield, MA!  To read more great reviews of Dana click here to view her testimonials.

"When we first started the house hunting journey, we had very little idea of what we wanted and where to settle, two very large priorities when it comes to home buying. Dana was so patient with us as we narrowed down exactly what we wanted, talked us through ideas and supported us when we went back and forth on different houses. We ultimately ended up finding the perfect house for us and I know that having Dana working with us is the biggest reason why. She treated us like friends and was always there one step ahead of what we needed. Even after the closing, she was there offering everything she could to help us get situated in our new home and town, even down to finding us a terrific house cleaner and getting our kids into a great preschool. We could not have been happier to have had Dana as our realtor and will be using her for all of our future home buying/selling endeavors."
Kristen F.
Medfield 
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Have You Saved Enough for Closing Costs?

Have You Saved Enough for Closing Costs?There are many potential homebuyers, and even sellers, who believe that they need at least a 20% down payment in order to buy a home or move on to their next home. Time after time, we have dispelled this myth by showing that many loan programs allow you to put down as little as 3% (or 0% with a VA loan).

If you have saved up your down payment and are ready to start your home search, one other piece of the puzzle is to make sure that you have saved enough for your closing costs.

Freddie Mac defines closing costs as:

“Closing costs, also called settlement fees, will need to be paid when you obtain a mortgage. These are fees charged by people representing your purchase, including your lender, real estate agent, and other third parties involved in the transaction. Closing costs are typically between 2 and 5% of your purchase price.”

We’ve recently heard from many first-time homebuyers that they wished that someone had let them know that closing costs could be so high. If you think about it, with a low down payment program, your closing costs could equal the amount that you saved for your down payment.

Here is a list of just some of the fees/costs that may be included in your closing costs, depending on where the home you wish to purchase is located:

  • Government recording costs
  • Appraisal fees
  • Credit report fees
  • Lender origination fees
  • Title services (insurance, search fees)
  • Tax service fees
  • Survey fees
  • Attorney fees
  • Underwriting fees

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Selling in the Winter Attracts Serious Buyers

Selling in the Winter Attracts Serious Buyers

A recent study of more than 7 million home sales over the past four years revealed that the season in which a home is listed may be able to shed some light on the likelihood that the home will sell for more than asking price, as well as how quickly the sale will close.

It’s no surprise that listing a home for sale during the spring saw the largest return, as the spring is traditionally the busiest month for real estate. What is surprising, though, is that listing during the winter came in second!

“Among spring listings, 18.7 percent of homes fetched above asking, with winter listings not far behind at 17.5 percent. While 48.0 percent of homes listed in spring sold within 30 days, 46.2 percent of homes in winter did the same.”

The study goes on to say that:

“Buyers [in the winter] often need to move, so they’re much less likely to make a lowball offer and they’ll often want to close quickly — two things that can make the sale much smoother.”

Bottom Line

If you are debating listing your home for sale within the next 6 months, keep in mind that the spring is when most other homeowners will decide to list their homes as well. Listing your home this winter will ensure that you have the best exposure to the serious buyers who are out looking now!

The study used the astronomical seasons to determine which season the listing date fell into (Winter: Dec. 21 – Mar. 20; Spring: Mar. 21 – June...

3 Questions to Ask Before Buying Your Dream Home

3 Questions to Ask Before Buying Your Dream Home

If you are debating purchasing a home right now, you are probably getting a lot of advice. Though your friends and family will have your best interest at heart, they may not be fully aware of your needs and what is currently happening in the real estate market.

Ask yourself the following 3 questions to help determine if now is actually a good time for you to buy in today’s market.

1. Why am I buying a home in the first place?

This truly is the most important question to answer. Forget the finances for a minute. Why did you even begin to consider purchasing a home? For most, the reason has nothing to do with money.

For example, a recent survey by Braun showed that over 75% of parents say “their child’s education is an important part of the search for a new home.”

This survey supports a study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University which revealed that the four major reasons people buy a home have nothing to do with money. They are:

  • A good place to raise children and for them to get a good education
  • A place where you and your family feel safe
  • More space for you and your family
  • Control of that space

What does owning a home mean to you? What non-financial benefits will you and your family gain from owning a home? The answer to that question should be the biggest reason you decide to purchase or not.

2. Where are home values headed?

According to the latest Home Price Index from CoreLogic, home values are projected to increase by 5.3% over the next 12 months.

What does that mean...

Is Getting a Home Mortgage Still Too Difficult?

Getting a Home Mortgage

There is no doubt that mortgage credit availability is expanding, meaning it is easier to finance a home today than it was last year. However, the mortgage market is still much tighter than it was prior to the housing boom and bust experienced between 2003 - 2006.

The Housing Financing Policy Center at the Urban Institute just released data revealing two reasons for the current exceptionally high credit standards:

  1. Additional restrictions lenders put on borrowing because of concerns that they will be forced to repurchase failed loans from the government-sponsored enterprises or Federal Housing Administration (FHA).
  2. The concern about potential litigation for imperfect loans.

What has been the result of these concerns?

6.3 Million Less Mortgages

The Policy Center report went on to say:

“It was so hard to get a mortgage in 2015 that lenders failed to make about 1.1 million mortgages that they would have made if reasonable lending standards had been in place. From 2009 to 2014, lenders failed to make about 5.2 million mortgages thanks to overly tight credit. In total, lenders would have issued 6.3 million additional mortgages between 2009 and 2015 if lending standards had been more reasonable.”

In an interview with DSNews, Laurie Goodman and Alanna McCargo of the Policy Center further explained:

“Our Housing Credit Availability Index (HCAI)* measures the probability that mortgage borrowers...