Category Archives: Buying a Home

Tips on Buying a Home

First Time Homebuyer Special! Open House Sun. 02/12 12-3 PM

Price Reduced on 55 Royal Road Brockton MA

Great First time homeowner opportunity. This gorgeous home is filled with features you need to see. Come take a look. Open House – Sun. 02/12 12-3 PM or call Lew at (781)252-9789 to make an appointment for a private showing.

Friendly neighborhood near Abington Line, close to Walmart, Brockton Hospital, Shopping and many schools. This floor plan is unique in a Campanelli ranch, offering a dining area, an additional half bath off the master bedroom, a front door to the garage and a mudroom/work area in the garage. The home also sports freshly painted interiors, new a/c and a newer roof. A hand-built garden box accents a spacious fenced in back yard. Must see.

Thinking of selling your home? I have a passion for Real Estate and love to share my marketing expertise! Contact me today for a market analysis of your house!

Lew McConkey

I service the following towns in South Shore MA: Whitman, Hanson, Brockton, Rockland, Abington, Pembroke, East Bridgewater, West Bridgewater, Easton, Weymouth, Braintree and Quincy MA. Rosen Realty
(781)252-9789

http://www.facebook.com/South.Shore.Homes

Lew McConkey can get you the latest properties that are on the market

Sign up for the latest property listings on the South Shore


 

 

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Five Tips for Buying the Perfect Home

One of the biggest problems with the selling your house housing market right now is a glut of inventory. This provides more choice and a better bargaining position for buyers, but there’s a hazard too: Home Hunting Burnout. You spend 8 hours driving all over your county checking out the best bargains, but found a lot of high priced, gorgeous houses that fit your dreams to a T, but have non-negotiable prices outside your range or …uhmm…unique fixer-upper opportunities. At the end of the day, your tired, bored, frustrated and very mad at your agent for taking you on this hours-long rollercoaster ride of elation and disappointment. Not to mention about $65.00 of gas. Enjoy some good targeted house hunting with these five tips.

1. Design your perfect home
Build your own personal home inspection sheet. Make a list of features you like in a home and features that are an absolute must-have. How close is it too the highway? Where are the schools? How many baths? Does it have a pool? What about storage? How many square feet of living space? The idea is to come up with a list that guides you and your agent so that the homes you line up on a tour will all be relevant homes within your price range. Below that have a couple of clear lines where you can jot down notes at each property. What did you like, what needs to be changed, needed repairs, interior condition, curb appeal, etc. As you fill out each sheet, staple it to the listing form your agent will have emailed or printed for you before visiting the property.

As an aside, ask your agent how an offer is made well before your ready to place one. Ask what options you can add in to sweeten your deal, if you need to, or conditions you need to include in your offer to better make it fit your needs.

2. Be organized!
That brings us to paperwork. Your agent will provide you with as much information as you can handle for each property you see. Be ready for that stack of data to get overwhelming quickly. Get yourself a file folder or binder and sort them by town. This is easier to locate a specific house than if you used date of visit. Keep your data sheets from your agent and your personal inspection sheet together in your file. Save everything too, even info on homes you didn’t like. You never know when you’ll want to remember something specific that you did like about the home. When you do place an offer keep the paperwork together. Offers aren’t always accepted. Frequently a volley of offers and counteroffers goes back and forth between buyer and seller’s agents. Label each one, because they’ll look very much alike, and stick it in your file.

3. Use the internet – Educate Yourself.
There’s a large quantity of useful tools out there to move your search along. Check out MLS, Zillow or Trulia to see specific houses, perform searches, get information on the sales process, market conditions or agent referrals. These tools will help you pick houses to look at to helping you find your position in the marketplace and so much more. Remember to make your searches flexible. A little above and below your desired range, looking for bargains on the low end and flexible motivated sellers on the upper end. You can, also, check out ratings for neighborhoods on schools, shopping, crime and many other nice-to-know stats. Download a QR app for your Smartphone. When passing by a home you like, Turn on the app and point your Smartphone at the sign. If there’s an odd black and white sign that looks like a pixilated cloud, point your phone’s camera lense at it. It’s like a UPC code at the grocery store. The difference is this one will direct you to a website that has the vital statistics of the house and contact information on the seller or his agent. No more frantically writing down numbers while you steer with your knees.

4. What can you afford?
Prior to house hunting, get pre-approved for a mortgage. This gives a solid idea what you can afford, provides an early warning for credit issues(like credit scores) and lends you more credibility when placing an offer. A lender bases pre-approval on your actual income, debt, and credit history. If you haven’t already, make yourself up a budget of what you typically spend in a month and how much you can afford for a down payment or monthly payment. If you need to consider low or no down payment loans, ask a mortgage officer about FHA, USDA, VA and other loan options.

5. Make sure you partner with your real estate agent
You and your agent need to be on the same wavelength on a variety of issues. Your agent needs to know your price range, desired features and really, everything you can tell them. A good agent will take the risk of angering a shy client by asking a load of questions. As an agent, I’ll tell you: It’s uncomfortable for everybody when you have to do that. It’s even more uncomfortable when an agent doesn’t do that and you embark on a 6 hour tour of houses the client is just not interested in. Lastly, Both you and your agent need to exchange Cell #, Office #, emails, etc. Add your agent to your contact list, so you’ll see his name pop up on your phone when he calls. Fast communication is sometimes key to getting a deal through.

Thinking of selling your home? I have a passion for Real Estate and love to share my marketing expertise! Contact me today for a market analysis of your house!

Lew McConkey

I service the following towns in South Shore MA: Whitman, Hanson, Brockton, Rockland, Abington, Pembroke, East Bridgewater, West Bridgewater, Easton, Weymouth, Braintree and Quincy MA. Rosen Realty
(781)252-9789

http://www.facebook.com/South.Shore.Homes

Lew McConkey can get you the latest properties that are on the market

Sign up for the latest property listings on the South Shore






For Email Marketing you can trust

Open House at This Nice Custom Built Colonial – Sunday 7/31, 1 – 3 PM

Come and see this beautiful custom colonial in mint condition. This home offers 10 rooms with 5 large bedrooms and 3 full baths with great attention to detail. Entertainment size kitchen with Corian counters and center island, a huge familyroom with cathedral and fireplace, sliders to deck from dinette and familyroom, formal diningroom with hardwood floors, den/livingroom with hardwood and pocket door, first floor laundry & grand two story foyer. Very private level yard with well and irrigation. Directions: High Street to Pine to Pine Street Extension to Locust Hill Road

Thinking of selling your home? I have a passion for Real Estate and love to share my marketing expertise! Contact me today for a market analysis of your house!

Lew McConkey

I service the following towns in South Shore MA: Whitman, Hanson, Brockton, Rockland, Abington, Pembroke, East Bridgewater, West Bridgewater, Easton, Weymouth, Braintree and Quincy MA.
Rosen Realty
(781)252-9789
Lewmcconkey@rosenrealty.com
http://www.facebook.com/South.Shore.Homes

A Whitman MA Realtor – All Real Estate is Local!

Famous Bostonian Speaker of the House on Capitol Hill, Tip O’Neil never spoke truer words. Essentially, a deep understanding of the people and environment in your area of responsibility is essential to providing timely, accurate, cost effective & valuable service. Knowing and understanding the people and the area he was serving , as well as, both of their needs, led him to victory after victory in the political arena. He knew what his constituents(Clients) needed/wanted and delivered consistently.

Real estate is very similar. A Realtor should specialize in an geographic area where conditions are fairly similar and function in a larger territory where those conditions are still common. Living and working in the specialty area, while developing your personal life and your professional network, gives you an in-depth understanding of how a community works, how individuals fit in that community, where the amenities are, what’s available and what’s profitable. That carries over into surrounding communities too.

Each client wants/needs something different. Those interests obviously include the the perfect property, but they also encompass what they need out of the community too. The perfect property could be one of the Hottest New Properties, the Best Over 55 Condos, the Most Valuable Real Estate Deals, Central Locations for Commercial Properties, Great Opportunities for Real Estate Developers, Staging Needs to make your home for sale stand out from the competition in it’s community, housing closest to the best medical services, shopping, fishing and more. Any necessity or interest could be the deciding factor for you on whether one community or another is perfect for you. It’s the Realtor’s responsibility to either know or find out what the client wants/needs out of a community, if it’s available and where to find it.

Ask your Realtor or Real Estate agent:
1. What geographic area do you specialize in?
2. What is your territory? (If they answer: “All of Massachusetts?” Nope, Wrong Answer!)
3. Do you live in the community you serve?
4. How Long?
5. Where to find the things you care about most locally?
6. How do the various comps of the property you’re interested in compare to each other?
7. What are the planned development projects in the area that could affect your property value?

I am licensed to service clients in the entirety of Massachusetts. Since I live and work in Whitman, My specialty is Real Estate in Whitman, Abington, Brockton, Hanson, East Bridgewater, and Halifax. My effective territory is the South Shore. Just how effective would a Realtor from Cape Cod be for someone looking to buy a home in Framingham? Would a Realtor from Worcestor be truly effective for someone selling in Peabody? How often would a Boston Realtor come in contact with septic issues? Would the Realtor from North Adams know a particular house is located near Hanscom Field and right under a flight path?

I and any Realtor or agent, working outside of his chosen territory, would be effective if we put in a lot of extra travel, expense, time and effort to research and understand the core of the community. Then taking that gestalt, the “foreign agent” will need to come up with a workable, profitable(Read: Minimal Expenses) goal and strategy to reach that goal. The local Realtor has all that at his fingertips.

Being a Whitman Realtor means focusing on Whitman and the surrounding towns of Abington, Brockton, Hanson, East Bridgewater, and Halifax. It allows me to offer that deeper understanding of the people and environment in the area and is essential to providing, exactly, the accurate, cost effective and valuable service my clients need and expect. Additionally, it also allows me to develop a deep and dynamic network of local resources to draw on to help my clients overcome the unexpected, in short order.

If you’d like to buy or sell with a Whitman Realtor, specifically, or a South Shore Realtor, in general, please include me and people like me, in the group of Realtors you interview.

Have Fun!

Thinking of selling your home? I have a passion for Real Estate and love to share my marketing expertise! Contact me today for a market analysis of your house!

Lew McConkey

I service the following towns in South Shore MA: Whitman, Hanson, Brockton, Rockland, Abington, Pembroke, East Bridgewater, West Bridgewater, Easton, Weymouth, Braintree and Quincy MA.

Rosen Realty
(781)252-9789
Lewmcconkey@rosenrealty.com
http://www.facebook.com/South.Shore.Homes

Want the Perfect Home? Build it Yourself!

I am a huge used car fan, always have been. I’ve never been happy with new car pricing. I do most of my own mechanical work, so buying other people’s problems (After all, the last owner sold their car for a reason!) and fixing them was more along the lines of a challenging puzzle, than a real financial hardship. Since I do the work myself, labor costs aren’t a problem either. Just my time, my effort and parts needed are the only expenses to me.

Buying an existing home is very similar to buying a used car. They’re both yours. You spend a huge amount of time in both. Both are a reflection of you that, whether we like or agree with it or not, we display to the public eye daily. You’re responsible for their maintenance an upkeep and the neighbors do watch. I’d find it very challenging to find a neighborhood anywhere, that people aren’t complaining about “THAT HOUSE”. You know, the one with the untrimmed hedges, uncut grass, stained siding and maybe damaged roof, and the list goes on. Every neighborhood has one. Buying an existing home usually entails some expense after the sale. If you haven’t bought someone else’s problems(Horray! You, lucky devil, need to pick me some lottery numbers.), you might need to do some customizing to make the home, really fit you and your needs.

General exceptions to that rule are condo communities, like the Village at Auburnville on Route 14 in Whitman, where exterior maintenance and upkeep are handled by the Condo Association, for a monthly fee. Also, New home developments like Orchard Estates near Whitman Center offer a gorgeous area. The homes are all new or recent builds, so they’re in excellent condition.

Buying an existing home is easier, in some ways. The structure and function is already there. You only need to adapt it to you, you’re needs and your image, once you own it. But you’re somewhat limited by the existing structure and creatively/cost effectively finding a way to make it work for you.

The best part of New Construction or Custom Building is you get just what you want. Builder’s may guide you or or you may guide them, in creating the image, the function…the specific environment you dream of. Do you want a farmer’s porch? How about an attached garage? One or two cars? Three or four bedrooms? Want a Master Bath? I’d like a custom game room/family room. Would you? The choices are as endless as your imagination.

Get the information and find out for sure what your options really are. You might be able have a dream vacation home, as your primary residence. If this sounds like it’s for you, Call me and we can set up a no cost/no obligation meeting with a one of the most successful builders in Whitman. Life is good, huh? Enjoy it, in style, and…

Have Fun!

Thinking of selling your home? I have a passion for Real Estate and love to share my marketing expertise! Contact me today for a market analysis of your house!

Lew McConkey

I service the following towns in South Shore MA: Whitman, Hanson, Brockton, Rockland, Abington, Pembroke, East Bridgewater, West Bridgewater, Easton, Weymouth, Braintree and Quincy MA.

Rosen Realty
(781)252-9789
Lewmcconkey@rosenrealty.com

http://www.facebook.com/South.Shore.Homes

The Spring 2011 Housing Boom is Beginning on the South Shore.

Spring in New England is right around the corner. The unrelenting snows have turned to unrelenting rains. The temps have soared from 0 to…above zero. Piles of snow so high it felt as if you were driving through a trench have melted to almost nothing. Birds are singing. Sun is shining, sometimes. Soon the grass will turn green and the Spring buds will bloom.

Already, as expected, Spring Real Estate Market is showing signs of waking up. The market istelf is still a  bit shaky and uncertain. There’s a great deal of solid indicators that it’ll be a lively Spring, though. Personally, client traffic is picking up after a typically slow Winter. Mortgage rates are still amazingly low. Home builders are forecasting, with their own dollars spent, an increase in new home building. Most importantly, Unemployment is is dropping nearly as fast as new unemployment claims. That’s the real indicator of market health.

Checking out the specifics of the towns I specialize in: Whitman, Hanson, Brockton, Rockland, Abington, Pembroke, East Bridgewater, West Bridgewater, Easton, Weymouth, Braintree and Quincy MA., There’s a lot to be really positive about.

Indicative of the strategies followed by the Realtor & Seller/Buyer partnerships in each town, their strategies appear to be working well. Where home prices fell the sharpest, average time on the market dropped the most significantly and overall volume trends rose. Where home pricing held firmest, volume dropped…time on market soared, but most reached a selling price close to the listing price(94-98%). Some of the best news is in Brockton, our strongest local urban center. After a hideous streak of plummeting home prices and shocking volume decreases year over year, Brockton had only a tiny decrease in volume (just 3 properties) over last year in February 2011 and a tiny increase of time on market(just 16 days). Brockton has clearly taken advantage of lowering their For-Sale home pricing to make it an incredibly competitive and active marketplace. That doesn’t look that strong, but it’s impressive, considering Brockton’s 2010 track record. Also, It’s a strong forecast for the surrounding towns as well, which weathered the market downturn pretty well, all things considered.

In short, the Spring of 2011 is looking pretty good for the South Shore Real Estate Market. Have Fun! You know I will.

Thinking of selling your home? I have a passion for Real Estate and love to share my marketing expertise! Contact me today for a market analysis of your house!

Lew McConkey

I service the following towns in South Shore MA: Whitman, Hanson, Brockton, Rockland, Abington, Pembroke, East Bridgewater, West Bridgewater, Easton, Weymouth, Braintree and Quincy MA.

Rosen Realty
(781)252-9789
Lewmcconkey@rosenrealty.com

http://www.facebook.com/South.Shore.Homes

October 2010 Home Sale Stats from Abington Massachusetts

In the coming days, we’ll be doing an overview of the home selling market in Abington, Whitman, Hanson, East Bridgewater and Brockton. Today, it’s Abington’s turn.

In October of 2010 there were just 5 homes that closed within the month for $1,426,400 for Abington, Massachusetts. This was an decrease of 2 units as there were 7 homes that closed in October of 2009.
The Average list price for the homes that closed in October of 2009 was $266,310
The Average list price for the homes that closed in October of 2010 was $303,320
The Average sale price for the homes that closed in October of 2009 was $262,065
The Average sale price for the homes that closed in October of 2010 was $413,791
The Average Market time for the homes that closed in October of 2009 was 88 days.
The Average Market time for the homes that closed in October of 2010 was 76 days.

10 homes went under agreement in Abington Massachusetts in the month of October. The average list price of the homes that went under agreement was $279,910.

Lew McConkey
Focused on Home Buyers and Sellers in Brockton, Abington, Whitman, Hanson, Halifax and East Bridgewater

Rosen Realty
(781)252-9789
Lewmcconkey@rosenrealty.com

Buying Your First Home in Today’s Real Estate Market? Do It!

Is it unrealistic to be able to buy a home in this market and afford the payments? For some, yes. The uncertain job market is a major factor in considering buying a house. Another is the tough environment of the mortgage lenders. Commitments for loans can be hard to come by. Though, everyone’s situation is unique. Comfortable employment, good credit, a ready down payment and this might actually be an ideal time to buy your first home. A glut of homes in the current inventory and historically low interest rates combine to make a powerful incentive to buy now.

You need to do you’re research before diving in. A buyer without a pre-approval or commitment letter is just a window shopper. In the very beginning though, window shopping is research…fun research, but still useful information can be gathered early enough to guide you the rest of the way. What do you want in a home…a neighborhood? Do you even really want a house? Maybe a condo would be better. Open neighborhood or gated community? Would an over 55 community fit you best? Even in the current real estate market, taking a few simple steps can put you on the path to successfully buying and keeping your first home.

First, and most importantly, is to find out how much you can afford. Talk to a licensed and experienced Realtor in your area to get a feel for the market, and find a mortgage broker to help you through the ever changing mortgage market. In fact, I’d recommend interviewing several of each. Find ones that you like and can work with, and obviously hunt down the best deal. Having these two pros on your team before you shop is always a great idea. It gives you the aspect of a serious, capable buyer and helps insure you get the best deal possible. A good Realtor who is familiar with your local market will help you find the best homes, that fit your needs and wants in your price range and the mortgage broker will help you set up the program that works best for you and guide you through the complex obstacles along the current loan application path.

You also need to know what your credit score is. Your credit score along with your available down payment will play a role in determining what interest rate your will have for your loan. Start looking for cash too. The more that you’re able to put down on your new home, the lower the loan balance will be. That means lower monthly loan payments and typically and easier path through the loan application process.

No and low down payments are out there. They require little if any cash, from the buyer. Today, buyers are able to purchase a home with as little as four percent down. 20 years ago, the average down payment was twenty percent . Many factors go into how much you need to put down. In today’s market, finding a no down payment mortgage can be painfully difficult. Remember, circumstances will determine what you qualify for. If you are a veteran you can probably qualify for a VA Loan but low down payments in the form of FHA loans are also available.

You can buy a home with only 3.5% down if you can qualify for an FHA loan. FHA loans used have fairly low maximum amounts, so buyers in expensive metropolitan areas were just out of luck. Recent increases to more than $700,000 in some geographic areas have become available to alleviate that problem. For first time home buyers this is perfect, considering they may not have the 20% down payment. Mortgage insurance is often required if the borrower puts less than 20% down, depending on the loan program. Make sure to consider the cost of this mortgage insurance in your monthly payment.

Borrowers can usually cancel PMI once they reach a certain level of equity in their home. This depends on your loan program but is usually between 20 and 22 percent. Lenders are required by law to cancel PMI when the equity you have reaches 22% however you can contact the lender and request the PMI be cancelled after you hit 20%.

Even if you could come up with a 20% down payment, you may choose to apply for a loan with a lower down payment. Then you could use the extra money for other things, like refurbishing your new home, debt consolidation or future mortgage payments.

In short, do your research. Use the resources available and you can have your own home, even in this market…Especially in this market.

Many homes on the market today are short sales, which take a long time to buy. You can buy new construction too. Another factor in the first time buyer’s favor is the current housing market. There’s a large selection of stock, both new and existing homes, on the market, driving home prices down and creating fierce competition between home sellers.

This is the time to buy. Getting the best deal on a low interest mortgage and a generous selection of great value homes creates the perfect buying environment.

Take advantage while it lasts…and have fun!

Lew McConkey
Focused on Home Buyers and Sellers in Brockton, Abington, Whitman, Hanson, Halifax and East Bridgewater

Rosen Realty
(781)252-9789
Lewmcconkey@rosenrealty.com

http://www.lewmcconkeyhomes.com/2010/10/25/buying-your-first-home-in-todays-real-estate-market-do-it/

Five Important Facts For 1st Time Homebuyers

First time homebuyers have a lot to adjust too. The economic and psychological advantages of purchasing a home for the first time tend to shock most people. There are several things involved in buying a home that an inexperienced homebuyer might not be aware of and need to know.

The first thing to be aware of is that buying a home is complicated, and employing a real estate agent will make the process much less difficult. Agents understand the process; they have information on neighborhoods, and real estate markets that the average person does not. Around every bend, your real estate agent will be there to help with all the questions you have and guide to to more you may not have thought of yet.

Next, have an idea, a vision of what you want before you begin looking at or visiting houses. If there are important features you are looking for in your first home, build a list of them ahead of time. While a good realtor will ask a lot of questions and really get to know you and your goals, Your realtor can’t read minds. Let them know what you are searching for, this will help target your search and save time and energy looking at properties you care nothing about. If there are certain features you are searching for in the neighborhood you reside in, express these to your agent as well.

Then, consider questioning mortgage lenders before looking at houses. See as many financial groups as you can; this will guarantee that you receive the mortgage that is right for you. Think about your finances, and decide in advance what you can afford. If your lender offers you more than you have said you are able to afford, you do not have to take it all. Also, getting a pre-approval letter makes you a “player” in the eyes of a home seller. It means you’re serious and someone who should be paid attention.

Fourth, when you begin visiting properties for sale, you ought to bring a notepad and a digital camera. You will view as many as 10 properties in a typical trip, remembering all the features of each one will be impossible. You’re head will be spinning with features, liabilities and neighborhoods. An easy rating system(IE Scale of 1 – 10: Ten being the best) for the properties you view as well as a catalog of distinguishing features will help you recall the homes you preferred. Label each MLS sheet for each property with your rating. Write down notes on neighborhood features as well; this is just as crucial as remembering the best features of the properties you see. All this might not be required if you really like the first house you view; however, it is best to be prepared.

On a final note, be ready for a lot of financial expenses involved in buying a home. Homebuyers that have not gone through the home buying procedure previously might be aware of the down payment cost, but they may not realize there will be other financial obligations involved. A down payment is 1-3 % of the whole cost of the house. First, however, you will need to offer earnest money. Earnest money is put down at the time of the primary offer you make on a house; it proves that you are sincere. Good faith deposits at the accepted offer, another at the P&S signing as well. The homebuyer will also incur some closing costs, which includes anything needed to process the deal. You must be ready to cover all of these costs from the outset of the house purchasing process. A realtor is a a good guide through the process, but for closing, you’ll want to consult a lawyer, specializing in real estate transactions, as well.

Lastly, and most importantly, Have Fun!

Lew McConkey
Focused on Home Buyers and Sellers in Brockton, Abington, Whitman, Hanson, Halifax and East Bridgewater

Rosen Realty
(781)252-9789
Lewmcconkey@rosenrealty.com