Archive for December, 2009

East Boston Three-Family Sales Steadily Improve

During the last three months, only three bank-owned three-family homes were sold in East Boston. Two of these homes sold for more than asking price. Recently, banks have been pricing smaller three families in the high $100,000 price range—those homes then often sell at above asking price. When a property is priced below market value, the price generally attracts multiple buyers and offers resulting in the successful purchaser paying more than list price.

42 Gove Street was listed on 8/18/2009 for $166,900. It went under agreement in 9 days. It sold on 10/27/2009 for $185,000. 310 Saratoga Street was listed on 10/20/2009 for $198,000. It went under agreement 8 days later; it sold on 12/15/2009 for $226,000. 295 Havre originally went on the market on 5/13/2009 for $220,000. On 6/22/2009, it was lowered to $209,900. It went under agreement in one day. It came back on the market on 9/17/2009. Its price was reduced to $189,900 on 9/18/2009, and it went under agreement again on the same day. It sold on 10/29/2009 for $180,500.

Recent activity for non-bank owned three families continues to improve, with houses remaining on the market for fewer days and selling for higher prices than in most of 2009 and all of 2008. In December 2009, 90 Saint Andrew Road, a 2,912 square foot three-family with two parking spaces, sold for $460,000, making it the highest price Orient Heights three-family to sell in almost three years.

Please check back as we continue to update you on East Boston real estate happenings.  To see all our listings, or to search MLS properties, head to the Tony’s Realty Website.

Email Tony with your questions or comments.

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5 Tips for Selling a Multi-Family Home

Because the holiday season is the least busy time of year for selling a multi-family home, it makes for one of the best times of year a future seller can prepare a two or three-family home for sale.  Here are five simple tips to assist you in selling your multi-family home.

  1. If you have tenants, inform them their home is going up for sale.  Chances are future buyers will want to keep them on as tenants.  Arrange with tenants in advance about access for showing their units.  Some tenants prefer to be home; others would rather go out and leave their keys with a real estate agent.  Inform and discuss with tenants the best methods to having their apartments shown while your property is for sale.
  2. If you have vacancies, or if a tenant is moving, leave at least one apartment empty.  Ninety-five percent of buyers of two and three-family houses want to live in at least one unit.  Providing a vacancy makes it possible for a buyer to qualify for a loan as an owner occupant, and more simply, it gives a buyer a unit to live in.
  3. During the winter months, property owners sometimes fuss over the cost of heating vacant properties.  It is advisable to “keep the heat on” and make sure that vacant units are toasty warm.  When a buyer sees a cold house or a cold vacant apartment, they are less likely to feel comfortable and less likely to buy.  If you budget a few hundred dollars a month for heating an empty unit or house, you will get the money back when selling the house, and your property will be much more attractive than a colder, less presentable, property.
  4. Gather your data.  If you have tenants with leases or signed rental agreements, keep a folder with copies of those contracts.  If you have done recent repairs on your roof or heating system, find the receipts or copies of checks written to pay for repairs.  If you have certificates of lead paint compliance, keep them together with any other important information pertaining to the property.  And if you have a history of bills paid for water, gas or electric, keep them together.  Buyers are more likely to purchase a home from a seller who “has everything” together.
  5. De-clutter the home, hallways, yard, and basement.  If you have unnecessary items in your basement, attic, empty apartments, backyard or rear porches, throw them away or hire a junk removal company.  An emptier property is much easier to view and a buyer can more easily see what repairs need to be made (before hiring a home inspector) or what improvements have been done.  It leads to a smoother sale.  And a seller won’t have to worry about emptying everything out the home at the last minute either. 

Please check back as we continue to update you on East Boston real estate happenings.  To see all our listings, or to search MLS properties, head to the Tony’s Realty Website.

Email Tony with your questions or comments.

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Three-Families in East Boston Sell at Faster Pace

This week Tony’s Realty compares thee-family property sales between October 14, 2009 thru December 14, 2009 to thee-family sales five years ago between October 14, 2004 and December 14, 2004.  There are fewer current three-families on the market than five years ago, and they are selling much faster—albeit at significantly lower prices.  During the last two months, 16 triple-deckers have sold in East Boston; back in 2004, during the same October 14 thru December 14 time frame, 25 thee families had sold.

The average sale price for three-families in East Boston between October 14 and December 14, 2004 was $473,688.  Larger three-families were mostly selling for around $500,000.  Smaller triple-deckers usually sold for around $425,000.  The average selling time 5 years ago was 79 days.

During the last two months in 2009, the average sale price for a three-family was $288,781, which is 39% lower than in 2004, but the average selling time was only 48 days.  Larger three-families are mostly selling in the low $300s, whereas smaller triple-deckers are selling in the low $200s.  Of the 16 triple-deckers to sell between October 14 and December 14, two were bank owned and two were short sales.

With lower prices, properties sell much faster, but fewer properties come on the market.  There are currently only 15 three-families for sale in East Boston.

Please check back as we continue to update you on East Boston real estate happenings.  To see all our listings, or to search MLS properties, head to the Tony’s Realty Website.

Email Tony with your questions or comments.

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Preparing a Home for Sale Is Key in Fetching Higher Sale Prices

There is a strong demand for East Boston three-family properties. Large three-families, or small ones in good condition, are beginning to sell for over $300,000—most usually sell within three months. When selling a triple-decker, it is important not only to price the property correctly, but also to properly prepare the property and gather all necessary records in order to make the property attractive to buyers.

Most buyers in East Boston will want to live in at least one unit. If there is a vacant apartment, consider leaving it empty. If you are planning to sell a property three to six months from now, it is best to ask at least one tenant to move out. The increased sale price for having at least one vacancy will make up for any lost rent during the time the property is up for sale. Also, if you have tenants with children under 6, it is important to test the apartment and common areas for lead paint and obtain a certificate of lead paint compliance. If you currently have tenants, it is important to put rental agreements in writing (even if occupants are Tenants at Will), specifying who occupies the unit, rent amount paid, and who pays for utilities. It is also important to make arrangements with tenants to show the property to prospective buyers. If you have tenants living in an in-law or illegal apartment, it is important to vacate those units. Banks will not finance buildings with illegally occupied apartments.

Properties should be well presented. Basements, backyards, stairways and porches should be as empty as possible, and overgrown trees and shrubs should be cut. If an apartment is furnished, but no longer lived in, excess belongings and clutter should be removed except for sofas, tables, chairs, bedroom furniture and wall hangings. Heating systems should be serviced with paperwork provided to buyers. Leaky plumbing should be fixed. If an electrical box has fuses, consider switching to circuit breakers. If a roof leaks or a furnace is not working, it is worth replacing each of these items. Any money spent on preparation or repairs will be made up for in a sale price.

Please check back as we continue to update you on East Boston real estate happenings.  To see all our listings, or to search MLS properties, head to the Tony’s Realty Website.

Email Tony with your questions or comments.

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