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2014 Updates & Strategy: Renting, Buying & Selling
Here's a few tips going in yet another competitive real estate season. In following newsletters, I'll take the time to further delve into each category individually, as well as share GBAR's local market reports for the winter months & 2013 wrap-up - so for any specific requests on an area or neighborhood let me know. As always, please don't hesitate to reach out anytime with questions, feedback or real estate advice!

1. Renting

The trend of the past 2 years continues as there's low inventory making the rental market competitive. Rents are up and typically the broker fee falls on the tenant, although we are slowly starting to see the trend come back for landlords to contribute especially in some luxury buildings, more often in the fall/winter seasons vs the spring market. June & September listings start coming up as early as March, while others will come on the market only a month or two before the lease start depending on landlord/location. Move-in costs will often require up to 3-4 months (first, last month, security & broker fee). 


Be pro-active, be flexible & be prepared!


2. Buying

It continues to be a highly competitive, fast-moving market. Bidding wars are common. This trend is expected to continue in 2014, but there's hope more sellers will begin to sell this year. While buyers may pay over-asking prices, interest rates remain relatively low compared to history's averages (see chart below, reproduced with the permission of 


A 1% rise in interest rates can mean almost a 10% rise in a monthly mortgage payment.... so ready, willing and able buyers shouldn't be afraid to make a move. Another advantage buyers still have is the many first-time home buyer programs available; while there are the traditional FHA & Mass Housing loans (including low downpayment options 3%+ & no PMI programs), many banks have recently started to offer their own in-house FTHB programs with similar incentives. Timing wise, the height of the market is between March and June- i.e. when the most listings are available. Don't by shy to look before or after- the height of the market is also when the majority of buyers (=your competition) are looking. 


Know what you can afford, be patient, be flexible & be aggressive! 


3. Selling

It's what conventionally known as a "seller's market"- low inventory & high demand = competition among buyers and homes selling quickly, at great prices. This stems from many factors including low interest rates, rising rents, great loan programs and the desire for many to live in "hubs" and city-like areas. Sellers wishing to sell should certainly take advantage of this. However, it's equally important to price a home right so that a seller capitalizes on these conditions and gets maximum exposure (and have a plan of action to reduce a price in 2 weeks if no activity). Also timing is a factor - the spring starts earlier and earlier each year so consider getting listed and on the market by March.


Know your competition, be aggressive, set expectations with your agent!


Remember: whether you're renting, buying or selling, having a knowledgeable, experienced, and communicative agent with a proven track record is crucial!

JUST SOLD! 45 Chestnut Street Unit #1, Waltham MA 
Beautiful newer construction townhouse right off of Moody for $338k! As a new Waltham resident myself (officially a year in December 2013!), I couldn't have been happier for my client Irina. I consider Waltham a not-so-hidden gem - affordable, very commuter-friendly, tons of awesome shops, restaurants, nightlife, adorable movie theater, and trails along the Charles River. Ironically, the very first home we looked at back in the spring was on a Chestnut Street in the neighboring city of Newton - so it was surely meant to be - excited to have made a new friend and a new neighbor!
Congratulations to Irina & welcome to Waltham!


As always, whether renting, buying or selling, I'm here to provide you with more detailed information about neighborhoods, local home values or details on any of the homes that might catch your eye, as well mortgage & lender info. Please let me know when I can be of any assistance and continue to keep me in mind for any friends, family or colleagues with any real estate needs. As a dedicated agent who's now joined forces with the #1 largest real estate company in North America, you can always be assured of the best service possible. 


Please don't hesitate to contact me anytime at 508-439-3099 or email me at Thank you!


Yours truly,


to search homes for sale, download my mobile app, home buying/selling info & past client reviews:
How about a chance to win $50k?!! 
Just download my personal real estate app and click the big red "Enter to win $50k" button on the home screen. Contest ends March 31st. 
***If you're already using my mobile app, you can also enter!***

My mobile app is a very user-friendly, GPS-driven real estate search app. Awesome for OH searches plus has the ability to custom draw areas on the Ipad. My clients tell me (direct quote) it's "waaay better than Zillow "!!

To download, click image below or link here:

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Copyright Melanie K. Fleet 2013 All Rights Reserved.

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