Perhaps the lack of inventory has contributed to fewer deals falling apart, but when Yogi Berra said, “It ain’t over til it’s over,” professional experiences have taught me that he might as well have been talking about residential real estate brokering. Sure, an offer was signed, a home inspection completed, a purchase and sale agreement executed, a commitment letter received and it may look like a deal, but I’m not going to spend that commission check yet. A lot can happen in the last 24 to 48 hours before a closing, and those events can rock the deal boat or even sink it. These last few hours are like the bottom of the ninth inning, so I know it pays to keep Mariano Rivera cool and do everything possible to keep good fortune on my side.
“Nowadays, a Hub home goes on the market and before you can add Mentos to the list price’s Coca-Cola, the home sells for a price so much higher than list that even the jaded brokerage community is surprised.” This quote is from my column in Banker and Tradesman this month which focused on how over-ask offers have gone viral in 2014. For a copy of the column, subscribe to Banker and Tradesman or email me.
Perhaps no aspect of real estate engages the public’s imagination the way “flipping” does. Buy low, sell high. FAST.
In the local real estate recovery, interest in flipping may be at an all-time high. In February, Fortune Builders, a company founded by Than Merrill, one of the stars of Flip This House on A & E, had more local radio spots than beer companies had commercials on Super Bowl Sunday. Not long after Fortune Builders left the Hub, Doug Clark, one of the stars of Flip Men, which ran two seasons on Spike TV, had free presentations in 18 regions, including nine in Massachusetts.
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If you’re worried about sharing your home with the supernatural, you might want to check out www.DiedInHouse.com. The site is the brainchild of a homebuyer who had purchased a home where unbeknownst to him someone had died. He thought the death in the home should have been part of a disclosure in the transaction, but later found out that in most states such a disclosure wasn’t required. Whether a death in your dream home creeps you out or not, the financial ramifications of such an event can be scary. DiedInHouse references an AOL article which says that “stigmatized” homes can trade at resale for a 10-25% discount. For a nominal fee, DiedInHouse reviews more than 118 million records, mostly from 1990 to present, to see if someone had died in a home. The site doesn’t claim to be deadly accurate, but upon request did send me six reports of homes in Massachusetts in which their database had found deaths.
…And the five nominees for best real estate scene in a movie or a television show are….
#5 – Step Brothers – Will Ferrell + Anything = Hilarity, so when Will Ferrell and his step brother John C. Reilly scheme to sabotage the marketing of their parents home, it’s hilarious.
(To see the other four, click “Continue reading”)
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I don’t think I spent enough time on Harold Brown, the owner of The Hamilton Company, who has 60 years in the business, 5,200 apartments and two million square feet of commercial space. He is the most outspoken member of the panels and never fails to entertain. That’s why he’s worth the price of admission.
Here’s a couple of more quotes from him:
1) “I used to be called a mega-landlord or tycoon. Now they refer to me as an octogenarian.”
2) “Also micro units, I think that is the biggest joke that I have ever heard in my life….Who is going to go in to a studio where the toilet is in the shower stall for $3000 a month when they can rent a studio from us for $16-1700…. So I think people that got micro units better start thinking about combining them for bigger units. That’s my forecast.”
Don’t miss my article in this month’s Boston Magazine, “Lord of the Sties.” The article profiles Boston’s most notorious landlord, “the man who made a fortune renting out the student ghetto.”
Is Anwar Faisal “the subject of undue focus” as his attorney asserted at the September 12th hearing I attended, or is it a public service to write about what is happening in the many buildings he owns in and about Boston, as one caller told me after the article published. Decide for yourself: Get Boston Magazine today or click the link.
My December column in Banker and Tradesman focused on several older Boston real estate investors (Ed Zuker, Don Chiofaro, Franklin Simon and David Zussman) who are apparently drinking from the Fountain of Youth. The last paragraph of the column was reserved for Harold Brown, 89, who can still identify, finance and close on a real estate investment opportunity in the time it takes a Millennial to find the remote control. Email me for a copy of the column.
The real estate news menu typically only has two things on it: A story about an interesting home that has recently come for sale or a report from the Association of Realtors as to current market conditions. If you want a little variety in your real estate news diet–especially if you are curious, passionate, or absorbed by the market or your own real estate goals—consider trying the following dishes.
This FREE, snack-sized, ebook is an excellent reference for Greater Boston condominium buyers and sellers. Not only do the neighborhood profiles found in CONTEXT make it easy to see how a specific condominium compares to other condominiums typically sold in a neighborhood, CONTEXT also clearly shows how nine of the most important and most valuable Greater Boston condominium neighborhoods compare on 17 different metrics. Get CONTEXT, before you buy or sell.
Inside the Condominium Market is a FREE dinner time presentation with a tapas-style approach covering a wide variety of the best and most frequently asked real estate questions, such as, Is Now a Good Time to Buy Or Sell, how has the market changed, and what’s the best way to get what I want in real estate. Presenters of this real estate information feast include an agent, an attorney, and a loan officer. To go to the registration page, click.
Five Benefits is a great starting point for folks who have distinct real estate tastes, namely that they are thinking about buying a Greater Boston condo or multifamily and renting it out. This educational presentation will show how a simple real estate investment has many benefits and numerous returns on investment. Some may equate the knowledge gained to a wine tasting symposium, in that attendees of Five Benefits will leave with a sophisticated understanding of real estate investment process and benefits. Space is limited. To go to registration page
What’s the surcharge you are paying for real estate safety?
My featured column in Curbed focused on the decisions people make to be safe in real estate.
They choose amenities such as safer neighborhoods, upper floors, doorman buildings and long term fixed-rate mortgages.
What are the costs associated with safety?
About David Bates
David Bates is a top producing real estate agent who has sold condominiums, single families, and investment property in a variety of Boston neighborhoods and many of the city's better suburbs.
His insights appear not only in in this original content blog, but also in the most established local media, including Banker and Tradesman, Boston Magazine, Boston.Curbed.com, The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald, Bloomberg News and NECN.
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