Archive for the 'East Boston Multi-Families' Category

East Boston Real Estate Market Heating Up

Recent real estate sales activity in Jeffries Point demonstrates there’s a strong East Boston real estate market with limited inventory and more buyers than sellers.  Many properties are selling over their asking price.  Some have been purchased by investors; others are being purchased by owner occupants.  Here is a glimpse of that activity:

  • In March, 74 Everett Street, a regular size triple-decker needing renovations, was listed at $379,900 and sold for $377,000.
  • In May, 34 Cottage Street, a completely renovated brick three-family, sold for $550,000; asking price was $549,000.
  • This past week, 49 Jeffries Street, a beautifully renovated three-level two-family home with a rooftop deck and harbor views, sold for $430,000; asking price was $424,900.
  • Also this week, 66-68 Cottage Street, an older bank-owned two-family house needing renovations, sold for $331,000; asking price was $274,900.
  • And in April, 474 Sumner Street, an older ten-room single-family home sold for $302,000; asking price was $299,900.

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

If you are curious about the East Boston real estate market or would like to talk about recent trends and activities, please feel free to email Tony.

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East Boston Has a Strong Demand for “Buyer Friendly” Multi-Families

March is the beginning of the Spring real estate market in East Boston. And there is a strong and steady demand for two and three-family properties in our neighborhood. What has become most important to a successful sale of late is that properties be in “buyer friendly” condition. Most buyers purchasing East Boston properties are obtaining loans, often FHA (Federal Housing Authority) loans, which require properties be in adequate and properly maintained condition and that they appraise at “current market value.” In other words, not only should properties being sold to buyers with such loans be in “working order,” they should be selling at prices that are comparable to other properties that have recently sold. If a porch, roof, electrical service, or a furnace needs repair, it makes sense to act on these repairs before selling a house. And it is important to be aware which similar properties are selling and to price one’s property accordingly so that there are no financing issues later.

During the past year, unfavorable tenant conditions have deterred many buyers from making offers on properties. Some landlords try to sell properties without delivering a vacant “owner’s unit.” About 90% of purchasers of two and three-family homes intend to live in those homes and need to know there’s an empty apartment in the building they’re purchasing—this allows them to place an offer with peace of mind. Many landlords also have tenants whose rents are far below market value. Before placing a home on the market, it’s a good idea to negotiate a market value rent with a current tenant or at least get an agreement from the tenant to pay market value when a new buyer takes over. The more financially sound a building appears, the more attractive it is to prospective buyers.

In summary, East Boston has a strong demand for two and three-family homes in decent shape with tenants who pay market value rent—and that come with at least one vacancy for a prospective buyer to occupy upon purchase.

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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Recent Sales on Trenton Street Indicate a Market Uptick

Recent sales activity on East Boston’s Trenton Street during the month of November continues to demonstrate that multi-family prices are slightly improving over the average 12 month sale prices in East Boston.  125 Trenton Street, a 1,740 square foot renovated two-family with three garage stalls sold this week for $312,000.  It is the only two-family property outside of Orient Heights to sell for more than $300,000 during the last year in East Boston.  During the last 12 months, 41 two-families sold with an average sale price of $238,695.

Similarly, Tony’s Realty recently sold 146 Trenton Street.  This completely, and exquisitely, renovated 2,728 square foot three-family sold for $375,000.  A similar sized property (2,448 square feet) at 96 Trenton Street also sold this week for $356,000.  Both these sales are indications of an improved market.  During the last twelve months, the average three-family in East Boston sold for only $243,191.  And in all of East Boston, only 6 three-families, during that time frame, have ever sold for more than $350,000.

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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Short Sales at Artificial Prices Hurt the East Boston Market

Two recent property sales in East Boston exemplify how short sales can contribute to a neighborhood’s plummeting property values. Recently, two of East Boston’s largest and finest triple-deckers were put up for sale and sold for about $100,000 less than market value in less than a week, without giving potential buyers an opportunity to bid or pay true market value for these properties. In both cases, the real estate agents listed and sold the properties quickly to their own buyers and then proceeded to negotiate with their sellers’ banks in order to have sale prices accepted and the sellers relieved of mortgage debt.

61 Homer Street is a large three-family with four parking spaces. It was listed on May 14 for $400,000; an offer was accepted on May 15. It sold on September 21 for $315,000. The City of Boston’s assessed value was $412,600. It could have sold on the open market for about $425,000. Similarly, 127 Princeton Street, a large three-family, was listed on August 21 for $499,000. It had an accepted offer on August 24. It sold on September 14 for $258,000. The City of Boston’s assessed value was $346,400. It could have sold on the open market for about $350,000.

By accepting artificially low sales prices of $315,000 and $258,000, lenders on these properties allowed sellers to walk away from debts and allowed real estate agents to limit sales to their own buyers and earn larger commissions than they otherwise would have. Meanwhile, neighborhood values were hurt. If lenders had required these properties to stay on the market for at least one to two weeks at somewhere near their market or assessed values, these properties could have sold for more money, creating documented sales at higher prices. It would then be easier for other buyers to obtain fair appraisals of properties purchased from “regular sellers” and easier for homeowners who are looking to refinance, the opportunity to obtain decent and fair appraisals on their properties. The sale of two of the neighborhood’s largest and finest triple-deckers at artificially low prices will have a lasting negative impact on homeowners throughout East Boston. While two homeowners might have been relieved of their debts, the neighborhood is paying the 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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East Boston Attracts a Diverse Range of Buyers

A question buyers and sellers often ask of Tony’s Realty is “who is buying real estate in East Boston?” Based upon observations of Tony’s Realty agents, the answer oftentimes depends upon the type of property being purchased. Most condos in East Boston are purchased by professional first time homebuyers, most of whom have maybe 3% to 10% available for a down payment. Many bank owned condominiums, most of which are in buildings with no associations, are sold to investors who pay cash. These are primarily used as investment properties and rented out. Sometimes, if a condo association is established and a high owner occupancy rate can be achieved in a building, investor purchased bank owned condos can be resold for a profit, again with most buyers being younger professionals.

Larger multi-family properties in East Boston, especially those with apartments having two or three bedrooms, are almost exclusively sold to immigrant families currently living in East Boston as tenants. These usually become owner occupied properties. Smaller, bank owned multifamily properties are usually sold to investors, often paying cash, who use the properties as rental buildings.

Single-family homes attract both younger professionals as well as immigrant families. Occasionally, native East Bostonians or city employees such as firemen or policemen will purchase Orient Heights properties. Unlike condos, which sell almost exclusively to younger professionals or two or three family homes, which sell almost exclusively to immigrant families, single-family homes attract buyers from both of East Boston’s two major pools of buyers.

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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Regular Sales Fetch Higher Prices than Bank Owned Sales or Short Sales

In the last three months, 16 triple-deckers have sold in East Boston, ranging in price from $135,000 for a rundown, bank-owned, gut-rehab at 204 Princeton Street to $350,000 for a completely renovated and smaller property located at 67 Webster Street. Of the 16 properties, 4 were bank owned, 7 were short sales, and 5 were regular sellers. A “regular seller” is an individual, not a bank, who owns a property and who usually sells for more than what is owed on a mortgage.

Two of the bank owned properties were in decent condition, not requiring a gut rehab. 51 Wordsworth Street was sold in one day. The asking price was $190,900. The sale price was $230,000. A very large bank owned property at 316 Saratoga Street was listed for $325,000 and sold in six days at asking price. It is not uncommon for well-priced bank owned properties to sell at or above list price.

It is interesting to note that four of the five most expensive three-families to sell, all between $290,000 and $350,000 were not bank owned. These properties—67 Webster at $350,000, 26 Bremen Street at $335,000, 358 Meridian Street at $320,000, and 499 Sumner Street at $290,000—were all in very good or excellent condition and sold for prices higher than most bank owned or short sale properties.

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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