Inman Crossing .. 2018 new construction in Cambridge, MA

Down the street from our office (Flatiron Realty, 55 Webster Avenue, Somerville, MA o2143) is a new construction condo development just over the Somerville line and being represented for sale by Compass Realty.

Flatiron Realty wants to partner with buyers interested to purchase a new construction unit. Flatiron Realty will refund 30% of the buyer agent real estate commission received from your transaction back to you at closing. Contact us at flatironrealty@pm.me

Here are the details currently available for Inman Crossing according to the marketing website:

• 35 New construction units in Cambridge

  • Thirteen 1-BR residences (500 – 800 sf)
  • Nine 1-BR plus residences (750 – 1200 sf)
  • Twelve  2-BR residences (900 – 1400 sf)
  • One 3-BR residence (1300 sf)
  • One commercial retail condo (1400 sf)

• Four-story elevator building
• In-unit laundry and central AC
• Private storage and bicycle spaces
• Underground garage parking

Located at 305 Webster Avenue, Cambridge

Construction is said to be completed and ready for occupancy in early 2019 and pre-sale “reservations” to purchase units should start in fall 2018. We couldn’t find any specifics on layouts and pricing at this stage.

Partner with Flatiron Realty for your purchase in the early stages and lock in your Buyer Refund offer.

 

Closing Your Purchase or Sale: a checklist

Checklist for Coordinating the Final Steps of Your Sale

Please read the following checklist to assist you through the final stages.

Prior to closing

  • Review the terms of the Purchase and Sales Agreement.
  • Unless otherwise agreed, Seller must vacate the property before the closing.
  • The Buyer is entitled to a final walk through of the property prior to closing. Typically, within 48 hrs of closing.
  • Schedule Movers.
  • Buyer obtains insurance policy or binder with paid receipt.
  • Seller’s attorney prepares new deed. If Seller is not using an attorney, the Seller may pay the closing attorney to prepare the new deed.
  • Seller or Seller’s agent obtains a Smoke Detector Compliance Certificate from the Fire Dept.

*Please book appointment with the Fire Dept. well in advance of closing. Two weeks prior to closing at a minimum.

  • Seller or Seller’s agent obtains a Carbon Monoxide Compliance Certificate from the Fire Department (they come once to check smoke and CO2 detectors as operable).
  • Buyer and Seller need to change addresses and utilities, as outlined below.
  • Seller obtains final water reading and invoice.
  • Prior to Closing – Condominiums Only
    • Seller or her broker obtains a 6(d) Certificate from the Management Company. There is typically a fee for this certificate.
    • Buyer amends Master Insurance policy to reflect buyer’s name and lender.
    • Buyer may wish to purchase their own condominium insurance policy in addition to the existing Master Insurance policy.
      • Buyer may wish coverage for personal possessions, liability, and any gaps in Master Insurance policy.

The Closing

  • Seller leaves instruction manuals and warrantees, if any, for appliances and other items to be transferred to buyer at closing.
  • Buyer does a final walk through of the property prior to closing. Typically within 48hrs of closing.
  • Seller and Buyer must bring acceptable photo identification (driver’s license) to closing.
  • Buyer brings certified/bank check to closing. Please obtain check amount from closing attorney one day prior to closing.
  • Seller must bring Certificate of Compliance for the smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors to closing.
  • Seller brings all keys to closing.
  • Buyer/Seller brings checkbooks for payment of any outstanding costs, if any.

Change of Address

  • Driver’s License
  • Savings and checking account
  • Dog license (if applicable)
  • Credit cards
  • Place of employment
  • Health and life insurance
  • Magazines and newspapers
  • Creditors
  • Post Office
  • Friends and family
  • Online accounts of any type/kind

Utilities

  • Utilities are turned over as of the day of closing. Please plan ahead and notify your utility companies regarding your old residence as well as your new residence.
  • National Grid:  1-800-375-7405 is the number to “request service”
  • Eversource:  1-800-592-2000 or www.eversource.com
  • Oil Companies: Check the furnace at your home for a tag which may show who has been servicing the furnace.
  • Water and Sewer Depts: You will be billed quarterly and the departments should notify you. Contact your Town or City Hall for further information.
  • Phone/Cable/Satellite Dish
  • Comcast:  800-COM-CAST  or www.comcast.com
  • Verizon:  1-800-837-4966 (1-800-VERIZON)
  • MassResources.org has a broader list and set of resources as well.

Taxes – Specifically for the Buyer

  • Once you have moved into your new home, it is a good idea to visit the Assessor’s Office to have your name put on the tax rolls. Watch the newspaper for the announcement that the tax bills are coming. If you do not receive a bill, call the town as soon as possible. The town may have sent it to the previous owner. However, it is still your responsibility!

For Sale By Owner (FSBO) with an MLS listing

FSBO is a great option for those who can pay attention to their own marketing, deal with queries and showings from the general public in an even and fair manner, and retain a real estate attorney who can review offers and deal with all legal aspects to the sale.

Here are some things to consider when going the FSBO route:

*connect with and hire a real estate agent/broker who can help you with the listing price and also to put your listing in the local MLS. This is key to your success.

*find, research, and retain a real estate attorney to represent your interests during the transaction. This real estate attorney will draw up contracts such as the Purchase & Sale (P&S), review offers if you instruct them, and help with the Seller side closing documents .. they will also be a good interface with the Buyer’s attorney.

*make sure to offer the market commission rate in your area for Buyer’s agents so you can make sure to entice Buyer’s agents to show your listing to their buyers. In FSBO listings I have seen on the MLS, the rates being offered to a Buyer’s agent on the listing range from 2-3% with the average being 2.5%. In the Boston metro markets, I have seen mainly foreclosure properties offering 3% buyer agent commissions.

If you are interested in hiring a broker to create an “Entry Only” FSBO listing for your property, Flatiron Realty can help put your listing on the MLS for a fee. Contact us!

Rental Income and Property Investing

TransUnion is one of the 3 credit reporting agencies who determine your credit score. On the TransUnion blog, there was a post (see below). In this blog piece they give some tips for investing in rental properties and becoming a landlord. They make some good, and obvious points.

“They say everything has a bright side, and you can even find one in the recent real estate collapse. With widespread foreclosures and unemployment, more Americans are renting rather than buying. Is rental property a good investment? Now that mortgage rates have dropped to a 40-year low, investment in rental properties looks like a smart bet.”

There is a combination of events happening right now that make sense for buying property with the aim of renting out for the monthly rental yield, or owner occupying one unit in a 2-3 unit property and doing the same. Rates for borrowing up to 30 years are under 4%, demand for rental properties is high, however, inventory of decent (or not so decent) supply of properties for sale has remained low. Why? Partially this is because there are many home owners who cannot put their property on the market without taking the loss, and partially the banks have been keeping foreclosed properties off the market for various reasons: not to flood the market and depress prices.

TransUnion says you should consider the following for rental property investing:

  • “Go local. If you know the neighborhood, you’ll likely be able to avoid potential pitfalls like crime or a nearby competitive development luring renters. Do a rental property investment analysis first, then find a nearby realtor with experience in selling rental property.”
  • “Think about multi-unit buildings (in New England, we call these properties “multi-family, two-family, or 3-decker/triple-decker). Collecting rent from several tenants rather than one will keep the cash flowing, and single vacancies won’t be as damaging.”
  • “Cover yourself. Set total rent higher than your loan payments on the property, and leave yourself at least a 20% buffer to absorb repairs, vacancies and property management costs. This should be part of your rental property investment strategy.”
  • “Insure it. Many landlords think they can save by skipping coverage, but can’t predict tenant behavior, weather disasters, fires and other unforeseen events. Some experts recommend requiring tenants to have their own renter’s insurance, in addition. The property owner’s coverage extends to repairs and structures, and sometimes the appliances, but not the tenant’s belongings.”
  • “Work with a standard lease for your state from a real estate office or association, rather than a generic form lease from an office supply store or downloaded online.”
  • “Check for environmental compliance. Make sure your building meets the state guidelines for lead paint, asbestos, mold and indoor air quality. If it was built before 1979, there could be painted-over lead paint in the walls.”
  • “Hire a professional to manage the property. Unless you don’t mind a call about a faulty toilet at 2 am on a holiday weekend, pay someone else to look after the daily details. You can focus on improving the property to recoup your investment, while your property manager deals with the nitty-gritty, especially in a larger building or one requiring frequent maintenance.”
  • “Finally, seek out sources of support. Join an apartment association so you have resources for advice, forms and referrals about owning rental properties.”

These are some useful tips. If you are serious, contact us and we will help you find the most suitable property for investment that meets your goals.

 

Airbnb, condo owners, and condo associations .. issues

Airbnb has been an amazing experiment and has benefited travelers as well as home owners. However, over the coming years there will likely be increased regulations for this part of the shared economy and this has started at the local level.

The first major contest is currently occurring between condo owners and their condo association. Most condo association by-laws were not created with rules for sharing services such as Airbnb in mind. Therefore, condo association by-laws are starting to change to prevent or regulate the usage of room sharing concepts such as Airbnb. The by-laws usually have rules in place that regulate the leasing out of individual units, but they are just starting to focus on Airbnb type arrangements.

I found the article below about the battle between condo owners who use Airbnb and the reaction from their associations. “Condo associations are scrambling to update their rules to clarify when owners can sublet units, in many cases expressly forbidding the kind of short-term rentals found on Airbnb and even house swaps, where money isn’t exchanged.”

Condo boards slap hefty fines on neighbors for Airbnb rentals

For those of you who are looking to purchase a condo in the Greater Boston area, pay greater attention to the by-laws for the condo association where you are looking to purchase a unit.