Real Estate

2015 Homebuyers Seminar: Have questions about buying a home? We have answers.

2015 Home Buying Seminar!

Are you a first-time homebuyer who is confused by the process and wondering how to get started? Are you a second- or third-time homebuyer who wants some insight into today's market?

You have questions. We have answers.

At 6pm on March 4, 2015, Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate The Shanahan Group is hosting a no obligation home buying seminar at the offices of Ligris + Associates, 1280 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge.

 

Real Estate professionals will be on hand to answer any questions you have.

Karen Garrett and Caroline Staudt, Realtors at The Shanahan Group, will provide a brief overview of the home buying experience from start to finish and will address common questions about today's market.

Martha Harvey of Mortgage Network will discuss the mortgage process.

Jeffrey Shargel of Ligris + Associates will review the legal aspects of buying a home.

Ray Jackson of Jackson Home Inspection will walk you through the home inspection and what you can expect.

Following brief presentations from each of our experts, you will have the opportunity to ask any questions you still have.

Light snacks will be served. Space is limited.

For more information or to RSVP, please contact Caroline Staudt at caroline.staudt@shanahanre.com. We look forward to seeing you on March 4!

 

Can't wait to learn more?

Visit our Buyers page anytime to understand the home buying process and The Shanahan Group's perspective on how to be successful. 

 

 

 

 

Buyer's Agent? Why do I need one? And is it a good time to buy?

Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate The Shanahan Group presents this post from our own Nic Gatto. Buyer agency is a topic we talk about all the time at the office and Nic does a great job summarizing. Thanks, Nic! 

I speak with many people every day looking to purchase real estate, and I'm always surprised when they say "I don't need a Buyer's agent." Now, I understand that most people view Buyer's agents as basically keys with arms and legs. Merely the gatekeeper to view a property assuming that is about all they are good for, but a Buyer's agent is your advocate in the buying process!

The Seller has hired a real estate professional to list and market their property. The listing agent has spent a lot of time researching the property understanding the area, and all of the features that make up the property. They have signed a contract with the owner of the property, and have many fiduciary responsibilities to them. They work to get the owner every penny that they can for said property.

As a Buyer you want a real estate professional on your side. Someone who is also familiar with the property, understands the process of negotiating and crafting an offer that protects your interests. A Buyer's agent has fiduciary responsibility to you the Buyer. The agent owes the buyer undivided loyalty, reasonable care, disclosure, obedience to lawful instruction, confidentiality, and accountability. The agent must put the buyer's interest first and negotiate for the best price and terms for their client, the buyer.

Upon signing a Listing Contract an owner of a property agrees to pay a percentage of the sale price to the listing agent, and when they sign the contract they also agree to compensate the Buyer's agent. For example a Seller would agree to pay a 5% commission on the sale price, with 2.5% going to the listing agent, and 2.5% going to the buyer's agent. As a Buyer you can contact the listing agent without a Buyer's agent, in most cases this does not alter the contract, and will typically put you in what Massachusetts calls "Dual Agent" where the listing agent represents both the Buyer and the Seller, and is supposed to remain neutral in the transaction. Dual agency is like going to court and hiring the prosecutor to also act as you defense attorney.

At Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, The Shanahan Group, where I am an agent, we do not practice Dual Agency where one agent is representing both the buyer and the seller. If a potential buyer approaches the listing agent, they will match them up with another agent in our office to represent them in a possible transaction. The idea is to make sure everyone has a qualified professional fighting to protect their interests in any transaction. 

If you are going to purchase real estate, make sure you find the right Buyer's agent for you. Don't settle for a real estate agent who only unlocks the door and asks you what you think. Find an agent that does their homework, and has the right connections to real estate attorneys, mortgage brokers, home inspectors, and other professionals you may need along the way.

 

Now, is it a good time to buy?

When considering if it is a good time to purchase real estate, it's important to think about many factors.

1. Are home values increasing, or decreasing in the communities I am considering a purchase?

Here is a chart of communities, the median home value and the percentage they have increased in the past year.

Town

Median Home Value

12 month increase

Winchester

$813,300

5.7%

Lexington

$780,500

3.2%

Woburn

$375,700

5.1%

Stoneham

$407,500

3.8%

Melrose

$458,600

7.7%

Medford

$409,600

7.5%

Bedford

$583,400

3.5%

Sudbury

$669,700

2.2%

Concord

$775,100

4.8%

Arlington

$561,800

7.4%

Reading

$479,600

5.5%

***Numbers provided by Zillow.com***

 

2. How is the overall economy? How has an indicator such as The Dow Jones Industrial Average been performing?

The stock market is at an all-time high. Below is a chart showing the last 10 years of the Dow Jones Industrial average.

3. What kind of interest rates should I expect to get on a mortgage?

Interest rates are still low. Below are Bank of America's rates on 11/3/2014 for Massachusetts.

Mortgage type

Rate

APR

Points

 

30-year fixed

3.875%

4.036%

0.815

 

15-year fixed

3.000%

3.333%

1.238

 

 

4. How competitive is the market?

 The time of year favors buyers.

According to the National Association of Realtors one time to find a good deal is between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, when other home buyers may be put off by the inclement weather and busy with the holidays. Generally, home prices are also at a 12-month low in December and the owner of a house on the market in the lead up to Christmas may be willing to negotiate on the price.

If you are able- buy now, you have a good chance of finding a home that you like for less than it would cost you another time of year. Additionally, during this period of low demand, mortgage lenders are sometimes willing to forego some of their fees in order to win customers, so you may be able to pick up a good deal on your mortgage.

In conclusion- home values are rising, the stock market is at an all-time high, and interest rates are still low. Right now, all is aligned for the best deal. Call or email me today and let me work as your Buyer's agent in finding you the best property specifically tailored for you! 

BREAKING NEWS: National Recognition for The Shanahan Group!

...And the PAIGE award goes to...The Shanahan Group!

PAIGE_Logo

Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate The Shanahan Group announced today that it has received the brands national PAIGE Award. The distinction is bestowed to a Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate brokerage for above and beyond demonstration of the national brands core values through their commitment to passion, authenticity, innovation, growth and excellence. While these values are nothing new at The Shanahan Group, we are so honored to be recognized on a national level for our commitment to our business and our integrity to each other and our clients. Thank you to our amazing group of agents and staff that make our work fun and exciting. We especially thank our clients who expect the best from their real estate professionals and drive us to be better every day. No honor could be more important to us than one that recognizes our commitment to our values of passion, authenticity, innovation, growth and excellence. A final thank you to our Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate national colleagues for this recognition and continuous support of our business. PAIGE photo For more news from Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate The Shanahan Group, visit us here.

Winchester joins the fight to end Alzheimer's

Shanahan Real EstateGroup joins the town of Winchester in the fightto end Alzheimer's.

Our Town of Winchester

Its amazing how a good thought materialized into the founding local chapter of the Alzheimers Association. This is exactly what a group of residents from Winchester did. Jon McCafferty and Donna von Halle were the catalyst in organizing and recruiting team captains. On Sunday, September 25th over 100 residents from our town joined in the Walk to End Alzheimers held in Boston along the Charles River. As one of the team captains, I asked my fellow associates to join me in this most worthy cause. The Shanahan Real Estate Group stepped right up and joined into the raising of donations, adding moral support, and walking the walk! Our team raised $1,600. In all, there were over 100 walkers from this founding Winchester chapter. The spirit of giving in time and donations and support of our families made this a very rewarding day for all of us. Our Shanahan Real Estate Group was also able to keep our office open for business on the Sunday of the walk and also host open houses for some of our listings. What a great office to associate with. Borrowing a statement from a recent Boston Globe article, one in every 8 people over age 65 will have this devastating disease. - Mary Price, Shanahan Real Estate Group Thank you to Shanahan Real Estate Group's Mary Price for contributing this blog and spearheading the efforts from our office for the walk.

Spring Market Data: Our Perspective

At Shanahan Real Estate Group, we feel it's important to not only present and analyze market data but to pair that with our experience to provide a comprehensive picture of our Winchester market. Below is our perspective on recent spring sales data. If you are interested in discussing the market in Winchester or one of our neighboring communities, contact one of our agents- we love what we do, and always happy to talk real estate! Winchester Spring Market- Our Perspective Massachusetts Association of Realtors (MAR) reported last week May sales were down from the same time last year, while median prices for single-family homes were up both year-over-year and month-to-month. If you read this data from any of our major news sources, things seem really bad in real estate and the economy in general. This data compares sales data from May 2011 to May 2010, at the peak of the artificial stimulus created by the Homebuyers Tax Credit. We believe that these comparisons are not a good measure of our real estate market today. In fact, the May 2009 sales data is much more in line with last months sales data (Source: MLSPIN Total Sold Market Statistics). So, how does the Winchester market compare on these same metrics? As we discussed in our blog recently, its been a conservative spring market, with buyers being more cautious about value and taking time to do their due diligence. There are many buyers looking in Winchester, and well-priced homes in good condition are selling- and sometimes in multiple offers. Our sales data reflects this, with relatively flat volume through May but slowly increasing home prices. The big story is something we have been discussing in our office and with our clients- we call the late spring market. In May and through June, we have experienced a flurry of buyer and seller activity. This is confirmed in Junes sold data, both in terms of number of homes sold and median sale prices.

MLS Sold Data Winchester MA

Source: MLSPIN Total Homes Sold

The Bottom Line

Our Winchester market is stable and it continues to stabilize from the turbulence of recent years, both in the number of homes sold and their selling prices. Junes sold data shows a fundamental strength in the market, with many willing and able buyers looking for a well-priced home in good condition in our town. While we dont anticipate any wild upswings in sales volume, we do think that our Winchester market is stable and the coming months will continue in our conservative but active pattern of sales.

Serving our community- and having fun doing it!

While we are busy with a hectic spring market, the agents at Shanahan Real Estate Group are also attending some great Winchester events organized by groups that make up the fabric of our town. This was a busy week in town with several fun and important events taking place. Last Wednesday evening, several of us attended the Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year Dinner where over three hundred people came out to honor Charlie Price and Carl Boerner. Over the years, these men have dedicated coutless hours to extensive volunteer work, across several town organizations. It was a great opportunity to see the many people of this town who do so many good things that make Winchester such a special place to live. The next day was the combined lunch of members of the Chamber of Commerce and Rotary Club. This well attended event was a great opportunity for the business people of Winchester to get together and listen to Mark Ockerbloom from Channel 25/FOX News.Mark is a native Winchesterite and he talked about how he got into the broadcasting business and has moved around but Winchester will always be home.

Shanahan Agents in the Winchester Community

WCMS Music MAYnia Trolley Winchester MA

WCMS Music MAYnia Trolley

AtShanahan Real Estate Group, it's important to be involved and support these worthwhile events. Most recently,Shanahan Real Estate Group co-sponsored the trolley for theWinchester Community Music School's Music MAYnia. All of our agents have commitments outside of work with groups that support various causes in Winchester and our neighboring communities. We believe in our community and contribute our time and skills to the groups that we hold close to our hearts, from environmental groups to civic organizations.Below are some of our agents' thoughts on the organizations that they individually support: From Mary Price, Winton Club As a member of Winton Club, I recently setup another "lobby sale" at Winchester Hospital for the week before Father's Day. Vendors bring in their wares and the Winton Shop receives a percentage of monies from their sales of that day. All proceeds from our lobby sales are included in the Winton Shop sizable donation made to the hospital each year. This coming year, I transition from lobby sale chairperson to gift buyer for the Winton Shop. Luckily, I have two other wonderful members working on gift buying with me, Carolyn Doyle, and Cheryl Laurintano. Again, all profits benefit the Winchester Hospital. From Karen Garrett, Family Action Network of Winchester I have been involved in this group since moving back to Winchester two years ago and just completed my first year on the board. I serve as a co-chair of the Membership Committee, with my very good friend (also a Winchester native). It is a great way to stay connected with other busy parents and to discuss issues that are important to all of us with young families. Many of my closest friends are also part of this organization and in my role, I get to meet many new Winchester families. It has been a satisfying and fun way to contribute to our community and spend some time with my family. From Felicity Tuttle, Winchester Multicultural Network and other groups I have loved being able to participate on the Board of the Winchester Multicultural Network which is so focused on culture, diversity, fairness, and advocating for people who come to us seeking assistance. This has been an important connection between my interest in bringing to Winchester people from many cultures who further enrich the breadth of our community. Similarly, volunteering on the Winchester Housing Partnership Board helps fulfill my interest and hope that by creating more affordable housing we can enable more families with limited resources to become renting and home-owning town residents. Leading Winchester Trails walks to expand the nature education of our 4th and 5th graders in town enables me to stay in touch with a number of those eager young faces I miss as my children are now adults. Volunteering in each of these areas is truly as much of a gift to myself as a possible benefit to others! May and June are always busy months for town events, with many favorites happening in the coming weeks. Next weekend is the EnKa Fair, followed by Town Day on the 4th of June. These are such great, long running town events with many activities for kids and adults. Check out ourtown calendar page for a list of events that we enjoy.

Spring in Winchester, MA

How thrilling is it that we are finally having a nice weather weekend in Winchester and its May! Being able to be outdoors makes everyone feel so alive! The baseball and soccer fields are teeming with energy and spirit and the downtown center is bustling with activity.

New Winchester MA Open House Listings

We at Shanahan Real Estate Group will be all over town with many open houses today so check out our Sunday Open House list. In particular, we have new home listings on Brookside Rd and Nathaniel Rd in Winchester, both with their first open houses today from 1-2:30 pm. Also MusicMaynia is today with all kinds of great music- from classical to rock to Broadway. The Winchester Music School has this fundraiser every year to raise money for scholarships, discounted lessons and subsidies for those who want to learn music. It's a blast! The musical trolley is located at the Jenks Center and will bring everyone to the Music School. The trolley is sponsored by Shanahan Real Estate Group and The Winchester Cooperative Bank. Happy Spring!