Is That House Worth It?

Buyer Beware
A recent article in The Boston Globe chronicled the bidding battles in the greater Boston area as too many buyers seek to buy too few homes. The Globe story tells of buyers offering tens of thousands of dollars over asking price, waiving home inspections, agreeing to flexible closing dates and making other major concessions to buy a home.In the pursuit of the American dream, prospective buyers are taking on risks that could turn into a nightmare. Consider these scenarios:

  • You bid more than the asking price – If the appraisal comes in lower than what you are prepared to pay, you will be responsible for paying cash to come up with the difference.
  • You waive the home inspection – If you discover that the roof leaks, there is termite damage or other major repairs are needed, it’s your problem. You paid full price (or more) for the home, without any ability to discount the price to cover needed repairs.
  • You waive the mortgage contingency – A mortgage contingency clause means that the purchase of the home depends upon your ability to get a mortgage within a specified time period. If you don’t obtain a mortgage within that period, you can exercise your option to cancel the purchase and get your deposit back. By waiving this contingency, you relinquish your right to get your money back if financing falls through.

In a competitive bidding situation, it can be easy to get carried away. Sometimes the best thing to do is to walk away instead. When evaluating your options, take a level-headed approach and consider:

  • Your budget – Can you afford making a higher bid and/or potentially paying out-of-pocket for needed repairs or the difference between the sales and appraisal price?
  • Market value – Is the home really worth the extra you may pay in a bidding war? Don’t let your emotions overrule long-term investment considerations. Will you be able to recoup the money if or when you sell the home?
  • How difficult will it be to find another home that meets your criteria? – Would you be happy living in several different areas or do you have your heart set on a particular community or even a particular street? Evaluate how important this specific home is to you. If another house would do, then walk away.

Want to know more? Please give me a call at 617-965-1236 or email me for information or help.

April’s Home Value Improver

Quick Mood Boost

After last week’s events, we all could use a pick-me-up. If you can’t get outside to enjoy some sunshine or a brisk walk, bring the outside in! Studies have shown that indoor plants both improve your mood and purify the air.

According to an article in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, plants can boost mood levels, reduce fatigue, improve reaction time, lower stress, and even boost pain tolerance. A study published in 2008 even found that hospital patients recover faster and use fewer painkillers when a live plant is in the room.

Furthermore, NASA found that plants reduce airborne bacteria by 50 to 60 percent and researchers at Virginia Tech discovered that houseplants reduce indoor dust by 20 percent!

While cut flowers may not have the air purifying properties of live ones, separate studies have found that people are happier and more energetic after looking at a flower bouquet first thing in the morning. The fragrance of both live and cut flowers can help reduce stress and feelings of anxiety.

Now is the perfect time of year to place some herbs on your kitchen windowsill or pick up a big bunch of daffodils for the dining room table! Just keep in mind the power of color – reds, orange and yellow create a vibrant, energetic mood while blues and greens are more calming.