Kathy Foran - REALTY EXECUTIVES Boston West



Posted by Kathy Foran on 2/21/2016

It is common question that real estate professional get; what is my home worth? Unfortunately, it is a question that does not have an exact answer. There are ways to determine about what your home is worth. You may find online estimates that say one thing but is that a true test of what the market will bear? So, how can you really determine what your property is worth? 1. Consider Solds-Look at other comparable homes in your area that have recently sold. This will give you a good idea what buyers are willing to pay. 2. Consider Under Agreements/Pendings-Although it is difficult to tell what a home has sold for before it closes you may be able to tell the demand in a price range. Look at the asking price of the home and how long it was on the market. If you see a trend of homes going under agreement quickly you may assume they are going closer to the asking price. 3. Consider Active Listings-Real estate is about competition just like any other commodity. It is important that your home be competitively positioned against other comparable listings. The asking price is a part of the marketing plan of the home. 4. Online Values-Be wary of online estimates. The very definition "online" takes the human factor out of determining the value.  A computer program cannot take into account the nuances of location, home style and home condition. 5. Sell It-The only way to know a home's true market value is to sell it. At the end of the day a home is only worth what a buyer is willing to pay.  





Posted by Kathy Foran on 11/9/2014

Is it a seller's market? A buyer's market? Depends on the day and which media outlet you happen to be listening to. One thing is sure the market is changing. Here are some ways to know what kind of market it is: These are the signs of a buyer's market High inventory or more than six months of inventory currently on the market. Sale prices are higher than active listing prices. Lower closed sale numbers. Declining median sales prices. Higher DOM or days on the market. Here are some signs of a seller's market Low inventory or less than six months of inventory currently on the market. Sale prices are lower than active listing prices. Higher closed sale numbers. Increasing median sales prices. Lower DOM or days on the market. These are signs of a balanced market Three to six months of inventory is currently on the market. Sale prices are similar to active listing prices. Stable sales numbers. Flat median sales prices. Days active on the market are approximately 30 to 45 days. If you want to know how to figure out the months of inventory there is a simple way to do that. Take the total number of active listings and the total number of sold or closed transactions on the market last month. Divide the number of total listings by the number of total sales, which results in the number of months of inventory remaining. Then you can determine what type of market it is.





Posted by Kathy Foran on 12/9/2012

If you have been dreaming of owning a vacation home now may be the time to buy. Home prices and mortgage rates continue to fall and there are some great deals for buyers looking for a second home. Here are five things you need to know before taking the leap. 1. Prices are at all-time lows In many second-home hot spots, prices are still close to their five-year lows. When the real-estate bubble burst, some of the hardest-hit markets were vacation destinations. Many vacation home areas experienced overgrowth and may now be suffering from foreclosures. 2. Think ROI Consider the possible return on your investment. Whether or not you decide to rent the home out, you will want to consider buying a place that has good rent potential. That's because a home's rent ability can affect its resale value. Before you bid on a house, make sure the homeowners association or township allows short-term rentals. 3. Don't count on rental income If you are planning on counting on rental income to cover the costs beware. According to HomeAway.com, a typical second home property rents out just 17 weeks a year. Make sure to account for the weeks the home won't rent. Plus, you'll need to pay for cleaning, maintenance, insurance, and maybe management fees. Make sure to plan on the maintenance costs of the property being at least 15% of the income. 4. Your mortgage rate depends on how you use the home How you use the home depends on the mortgage rate you will receive. If you plan to use the property primarily as a second home and you'll pay about the same mortgage rate as you would on a primary residence. If your plans are to use the home for rental income and need that income to qualify for the loan, you'll need to have as much as 25% for the down payment and pay up to one percentage point more in interest. 5. Take advantage of tax benefits Talk to your tax guy before you buy. If you rent the home out for two weeks or less you won't have to report a cent of income to the IRS. The good news here, you can still deduct property taxes and mortgage interest. On the flipside, if you stay there for less than two weeks or 10% of rental days, you can deduct operating costs in addition to interest and property tax. But where should you buy? According to CNBC here are the top places to buy a second home. If you are thinking about buying a second home I can help you find a professional agent in that area.





Posted by Kathy Foran on 12/18/2011

It’s time to buy a home! That is right you heard it here, no more doom and gloom for the real estate market. The time has come to go out and buy some real estate. The only thing holding buyers back has been consumer emotion but a look at the facts should help buyer feel more confident in opening up their wallets for a great opportunity in today's housing market. JP Morgan’s Market Insights report has outlined why people looking to buy a home have never been in a better position. Here are just three important points from the JP Morgan report. The Price is Right One measure the report looked at was the ratio of personal income to home prices. “Since 1966, the median price of an existing single family home in the U.S. has varied between 150% and 251% of personal income per household. However, roughly three-quarters of the time it has been in a relatively narrow band between 185% and 230%. In September 2011, the ratio was just 153%, implying that to get back to an average price to income ratio, home prices would have to rise by about 27%.” Mortgage Rates are Right Mortgage interest rates are at historic lows as compared to personal income.  The report notes, “During the week of October 7, Freddie Mac reported that mortgage rates had fallen to an average annual level of 3.94%. Assuming the use of a fixed rate mortgage with 20% down, this would make the median mortgage payment on a single family existing home just 6.9% of per household personal income, compared with an average of 14.4% since 1966.” What this means is that it is a buyers perfect storm. Buyers who buy now will likely reap a long term financial gain by buying a home at a lower than average cost and financing it for a lower than average cost. It is a win-win situation. Home Ownership Beats Renting The report goes on to look at the cost of renting versus owning. JP Morgan predicts that by the "third quarter of this year, we estimate that the implied median mortgage payment had fallen to just 78% of the median asking rent. In other words, at current mortgage rates, home prices would have to rise by 35% just to get back to their average relationship to rents." Home buying is now more affordable than it has been in decades. Home prices are at all time lows, mortgage rates are at rock bottom and income levels remain steady. Despite what you may hear on the nightly news home ownership has never been more affordable.