Real Estate Myth Buster

There are a lot of myths out there that people think about buying and selling real estate. This post is to help “debunk” those myths so you can have a better understanding when you go to buy or sell a house.

Myth #1: All real estate agents are the same.

This actually couldn’t be further from the truth. For starters, there are real estate agents and then there are Realtors. Realtors have been through ethics training and are members of the National Association of Realtors. To be a Realtor you have to take an oath to the Realtor Code of Ethics which insure that Realtors operate at the best interest of their client always.  This code of ethics is reinforced by fellow Realtors. Real estate agents have no code of ethics to follow. They are just licensed real estate sales people.

Real estate agents can also differ in skills, personal traits, and experience. Most agents try to find a niche now-a-days, so it is a good idea to research and find a real estate agent that fits the role of helping you with your unique situation. Also, buyer agents and seller agents differ as well. Do your research about real estate agents. Don’t just go with your sisters boyfriends aunt because you know them, go with someone who will help you best in your specific situation.

Myth #2: All real estate agents make a ton of money.

Although some agents do very very well for themselves, this doesn’t apply to all agents. Actually, on average agents make $30-$50k / year. As a real estate agent, your income is directly correlated with your productivity level. A lot of people do real estate part time as a side job. This is good but your not going to make a million dollars. An agent is usually only paid from commissions and closing deals. The general real estate commission is around 4-6% of the sale of the home. Most people might think that 100% of that number goes to the listing agent. FALSE! Here’s a hypothetical situation to break it down: Listing agent lists house for $3150,000 with 6% commission. A buyer agent brings a buyer to the table and the property sells for $300,000. Total commission is $18,000. The listing agent offers 3% to the buyer agent as compensation for bringing a buyer to the table. Each agent gets $9,000. Now since the agent works under a brokerage, they have to share that commission with the broker as well. Usually 70-50% (for hypothetical purposes lets say each brokerage offers 50% commission). So these agents that closed the deal actually walked away with $4,500 each. Not to mention, a good agent will pay for marketing and advertising of your property to get it sold which takes money away from your commission as well.

Myth #3: When selling a home, price it to leave room for negotiation.

When it comes to pricing your home I have one line of advice. Trust your agent! They have a good understanding of the market and what properties can sell for. Even if it isn’t exactly the price you want, trust their professional opinion because they know what is best. Pricing a property too high to leave room for negotiation can be detrimental to a listing. If it’s priced too high, buyer agents won’t show it. If buyer agents don’t show it, it sits on the market for longer than it should. When it sits on the market, it creates a bad stigma and agents definitely won’t show it. It is a vicious cycle and will do the exact opposite of what you want out of selling your home.

Myth #4: Getting pre-approved is done after finding the perfect home.

 

Step one when buying a home is getting pre-approved! If you don’t get pre-approved first, you are wasting both you and your agents time. The reason is because if your not pre-approved, you have no idea what your price range is. Also, you can’t put in a strong offer on a property until you have a pre-approval letter from your lender. If you find a home that you love and you aren’t approved you will risk loosing the property to someone who is approved and put in a strong offer. Or even worse, you could fall in love with a home and then get denied for a mortgage. Just don’t do it. Get pre-approved, find a real estate agent, find your dream home.

Myth #5: Selling a home FSBO (for sale by owner) saves you money.

People think that selling a home on their own will be a great idea. Selling your house alone without any real estate experience is some what similar to trying to represent yourself in court without any law experience, or fixing your roof without construction experience. You wouldn’t do it. You would hire a professional to do the work that you personally are not skilled at. There is a lot of paperwork, marketing, and legality that goes into selling a house and doing it with a blind eye might actually cost you more in mistakes than it would cost you for real estate commission.

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Moving to Greater Lowell? Things You Should Know

Moving to a new place can be scary, but when you have a good idea about the area you are moving to – it makes it a little easier. So whether school, work, or a new adventure brings you to the Greater Lowell area, I’m here to fill you in on the small stuff from a “locals” perspective.

Good & Bad Areas:

Alright so let’s start with the basics. If you are thinking about moving to the area, you probably want to know what is a good area and what isn’t. From my perspective, Dracut is a nice, affordable suburb with a decent school system. East Dracut is a little more pricey but Collinsville and West Dracut is still affordable with home prices at an average around $250-300k. Dracut has a good mix of dense neighborhoods and rural areas with old farm land. Chelmsford is nice as well, more denser neighborhoods, but higher home prices. Billerica and Tewksbury can have nice areas but overall I personally haven’t hear great things about them. Tyngsboro is also nice, more land and woodsy. Dunstable, Groton, Westford, Pepperell are towns that people don’t realize are still part of Greater Lowell. They are very much so more woodsy, spread out and less populated. Lowell itself is obviously a city that is very densely populated. Downtown has a lot of history to it and is starting to have nicer shops and restaurants for entertainment. You have Middlesex Community College as well as UMass Lowell so the population includes a lot of college kids. A city can’t be perfect and there are some areas that you want to try and avoid such as Appleton St. & Middlesex St. in Downtown.

Food, Restaurants & Coffee:

You have a your choice of Hannafords, Walmart Superstore, or Market Basket mainly for food shopping around here. There is a Wholefoods in Andover about 30 mins away. If your close to the NH border – hit up the Market Basket and Walmart in Hudson, NH to avoid sales tax. Some good restaurants in the area, aside from the Dardin chain restaurants, are Owen & Ollie’s in a refurbished mill in Dracut. It’s a scratch Irish geared kitchen with a poppin’ bar scene on weekends. They also do brunch on the weekends. Tremonte’s in Downtown is a really good as well. Try their pizza! Also in Downtown is Fuze which i like, it’s small but cheap and a nice atmosphere. If you’re looking for a more upscale atmosphere, Grazi in Dracut is a very nice Italian Restaurant on a golf course. You can find a Dunkin Donuts almost on every street around here. Starbucks is way harder to find but there is a drive-thru location in Drum Hill in Chelmsford. There is an AWESOME little organic cafe on Broadway Rd. in Dracut called Frobie’s <– My personal favorite!

Nightlife:

Downtown Lowell has a few good bars, clubs. Mill City Ballroom has live musice and DJ’s sometimes, Smokehouse Tavern is probably the most popular club. If your looking more for bars, Dudley’s, Old Court, Blue Shamrock, and Thirsty’s are pretty chill. For sporting events, check out Sportszone in Dracut or Skybox in Tewksbury. The Boat House on Tyngsboro/ Dracut line has beer pong tournaments on Thursday nights.

Travel/ Adventures:

If you like to go on adventures then this is a good location. There are ton of state parks to check out. This link has a ton of fun things to do in the area. Your a short drive away from the ocean, the mountains, and the city. Doesn’t get much better than that. You can take the T right from Lowell or Billerica into North Station.

Hope this helps you have a happy life in Greater Lowell!

 

Fun Facts About Lowell, MA

People may have a certain opinion of Lowell. Some good, some.. not so good. But at the end of the day, Lowell has some very unique qualities that most of the time get over-looked from the somewhat “ghetto” reputation it has acquired over the past few decades.

1.) As I’ve mentioned before, Lowell was America’s first planned industrialized city. So when you drive by those mills, know that those were the first mills in the USA.

2.) Despite what you may read in the Lowell Sun, as of December 20, 2016 Lowell was named by the National Crime Prevention Council as one of the six safer cities in the country because of it’s massive reduction in crimes.

3.) The Lowell Spinners, minor league affiliated with the Boston Red Sox, have sold out 228 straight games, and there is currently a long waiting list for season tickets.

4.) Lowell has the largest population of Southeast Asian residents on the entire East Coast, second largest in the US.

5.) Moxie soda, which was the first mass produced soda in the US was created in Lowell in 1876.

6.) Lowell’s canals measure at 5.6 miles long and are included to be part of Lowell National Historical Park. The canals channeled from the Merrimack River’s 32 foot drop providing power for the mills.

7.) By 1850 the Lowell’s textile mills produced enough cloth to encircle the earth twice on an annual basis.

8.) In 1963, the first CVS Pharmacy was opened in Lowell.

9.) In 1979 Downtown Lowell was established as a National Park, the first urban National Park in the US.

10.) The Lowell Mill Girls made up more than half of the workforce in the Lowell textile mills, the highest number of female employees anywhere at the time.

11.) Telephone numbers were first invested in Lowell.

12.) The clock tower on the Lowell City Hall is said to have been built high so that the mill workers would know the correct time, and not be cheated out of proper wages by incorrect mill time clocks.

13.) The Lowell Cemetery is the 4th oldest garden cemetery in the US, dating back to the 1840’s.

14.) The Ymittos Candle Company in Lowell produced all of the candles used in the original Pirates of the Caribbean movie.

15.) For all you “folked up” people on the streets of Downtown during the summer it might be good to know that Lowell’s Folk Festival is the largest free folk festival in the US.

All of these facts were provided by: Lowell.com

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A Tribune to the Authentic Me – About the Author

I felt it would be a good idea to write a post about myself to give my readers a better understanding of my writing perspective, ideology, and beliefs. As we all know, a blog is meant for personal expression and I believe everyone has right to their opinion so feel free to disagree with any of my topics. You can do this by commenting and starting a discussion – I just please ask that we always be respectful and mindful of our words.

My name is Allyssa Guerin. I’m 23 years old and I was born and raised in Dracut, MA, right outside of Lowell. I was raised in a loving family including my compassionate mother, hard-working father, and a sister. We didn’t grow up with everything we wanted but we did grow up with a lot more than other people. I was definitely a rebellious brat filled with envy during my teenage years wanting above my families means BUT I can reflect now and be grateful for everything I did have at the time- including a home that wasn’t updated but was always warm and filled with our toys, clothes, and food; a boat that wasn’t huge but big enough for our family to share countless weekends on enjoying quality time with each other; and a family dog that always kept us busy and compassionate.

As I slowly moved through my adolescent years, I felt like I didn’t really fit in with the people around me. I felt like the things that were important to other people didn’t have the same effect on me. I found myself doing what everyone else was doing simply because I wanted to have friends and fit in, not because I genuinely enjoyed it. I made some not so smart decisions that could of seriously jeopardized my safety and health only for the approval of my peers. I feel like this probably happens to almost everyone at this age, because let’s be real – who really knows what they want and who they want to be at 15 years old?? We tend to just go with crowd because it’s easier than taking the time to think about who we want to be and what we want out of life. I am grateful every day that I somehow made a right turn that lead me to where I am today and not down a more treacherous road. Although these times sometimes felt like the end of the world to a 15 year old girl in the 21st century,  I do believe there is a purpose for everything in life and I truly believe that every step I have ever taken has and will lead me to exactly where I am supposed to be in the future.

By senior year of high school, I moved away from the things and people that were pressuring me and found myself surrounded by people that fit into the life I genuinely wanted at that time. These people stood with me through one of the most distressing situations which affected myself and my family greatly. Thank you. Two of these people are still my best friends today (shout out to you two). Most of these people I still love and enjoy spending time with but unfortunately sometimes life pulls you apart for unknown reasons and time spent together becomes shorter and more spread apart.

On November 11, 2011 I lost my father through extremely traumatic circumstances. It pressed my emotional relationships, it dwindled my faith, and it made me slightly cynical towards life. The next few years were tough for me. I took my anger out on my family and the people around me. I self medicated and gained a negative outlook on life. I skipped school, I lost respect for authorities (which sometimes was well deserved), and I lost my ambition. I forgot who I was and what I stood for. I started to follow the crowd again. I barely graduated high school in 2012. I say barely because I had over 70 tardies, probably around 20 skipped detentions for my tardies, and close to 50 absences. I previously had goals of attending a four-year college away from the small town of Dracut but by the time I was supposed to start preparing to apply to colleges – I couldn’t care less.

“I mean that they should not play life, or study it merely, while the community supports them at this expensive game, but earnestly live it from beginning to end. How could youths better learn to live than by at once trying the experiment of living?” – Henry David Thoreau “Walden” 1854

In my opinion, the best thing I (or anyone who doesn’t know what they want to do) could of done after high school was take some time to figure out who I am and what I want. To reflect on what happened to me and how I reacted. To travel and experience the world in real life versus a text book.  To live genuinely without peer pressures. To personally develop myself with genuine positivism and kindness. But my counselors in high school basically told me I would be a failure if I didn’t go to college right after high school. They pressured me to go and do something I had no desire to do. Why can’t these people realize that they can’t push their ideas on youth? You would think as a counselor they would be trained to listen and find the specific and unique path for each of their pupils…

I started at Middlesex Community College as a criminal justice major with a psychology focus. Hated criminal law but I did learn a lot from my psychology classes. Summer of 2013 was when my life really started to change. I was introduced to a network marketing business that supported a happy, healthy, and wealthy lifestyle. For the first time in my young life, I felt like this community of people and ideology really resonated with me. I learned how to question authority respectfully, how to create a life different than the social norm. I learned that if you want more than average you have to BE more than average. I learned how to fail and keep moving forward. I learned how to deal with rejection. I learned that people are going to try to convince you that doing something different is wrong. I learned so much about life and how it works, that it’s difficult to put into words. My biggest take-away has to be that life is what YOU make it. If you think negatively and think bad things will happen – bad things happen. If you think positively and think good things will happen – good things happen. It is your choice. YOU HAVE THE POWER. This has been proven over and over again through my personal life. I give a lot of credit for this mindset and way of thinking to one documentary and book series. “The Secret” had given me the building blocks in believing in creating a beautiful life for myself. Further research justified everything I believe today.

Watch “The Secret” Here

“You can create anything you want, but to do that you must follow the principles of the law. Eliminate all doubt and replace it with the full expectation that you will receive what you are asking for. If you are not receiving what you are asking for, it is not the law that has failed. It means that your doubt is greater than your faith. ” – Rhonda Byrne “The Secret”

I started my second year at MCC with a different mindset. I had so much I wanted to do and felt like I had so much ability to get everything done. But at school I was very limited. I felt very pressured to conform to the system which I didn’t agree with. By the end of my last semester, I made a bold decision to stop. I felt like school was more restricting than it was uplifting, for me at least. I saw that by adding value to society, I would inevitably be wealthy. Society didn’t need another valuable employee. Society needs people that are willing to step away from the system we are pressured to conform to. Society needs people that will think differently and question everything we were raised on. Well here I am!

From that point on, I felt a lot of personal pressure because I knew my failure or success was completely dependent on me. I couldn’t blame anything on school or on my teachers.  Although I knew every failure would lead me closer to inevitable success, it isn’t easy to be positive ALL the time. It takes a long time.  It’s been almost 3 years since I’ve adapted this mentality and I’m still not positive 100% of the time. But all I do know is, ever since I have made the choice to change my life, my life has changed. Even after the ridicule I got for not getting a degree, I am happy with my decision. Now I absolutely love what I do! I am happy every single day going to work knowing that I am helping people and supplying a valuable service to society. I hustle now yet know that I will be financially free in the future. I don’t want or need a lot of money, I need happiness and freedom.

This post became a lot longer and more in depth than I anticipated, so I will cut it short with this. I’m not perfect. No one is. I’m bad a grammer (which you probably already figured out), I still have doubt, I have a temper/attitude at times, and I may be a little stubborn. Aside from that, I love myself, I love my life, I am grateful for everything and everyone in my life, I am hopeful for my future 90% of the time, I believe in good people and know things will turn out how it is supposed to. I’m not writing this blog to show off what I know, I’m writing it to share my ideas and thoughts with the world. To inspire others to create their own life the way they want it to be. Everyone has a special gift to give to the world. It’s up to you to dig deep and find that gift. Find your passion and do it. When you focus on how you can make yourself a better person and how you can help others – that is when you will start to see dramatic change in your own life. But be patient. Have faith that your actions will pay off. Don’t do things for a reward, do things because they make your soul happy. Make the choice to be happy – or don’t. But just know that it is your choice. Stop being a victim and take responsibility for your life. Don’t argue with someone to conform them to your ideas – listen to their perspective and try to understand why they think that way. Don’t use violence to get what you want, use love and positive thoughts. Don’t take my word for it – research and educate yourself. Teach yourself what you want to know – don’t just trust what others tell you. Have your own unique thoughts and opinions, whether they are common or not. The world we live in is different than the one our parents live in so why would we do what they did? We need to admit what we don’t know and embrace life with an open mind. And when more people do this, I think that is when we will see a dramatic change on a global level. I’m merely trying to create a ripple. Make your own ripple.

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    “Train your mind to see the good in everything. Positivity is a choice. The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts.”

— Allyssa Guerin

 

Market Scope – Selling Your Home in Greater Lowell

“True wisdom is knowing what you don’t know”― Confucius

If your thinking about selling your home it’s a good idea to have an understanding of the market. They say it’s an up market but that doesn’t necessarily mean every property is easy to sell. I was curious about what was selling quickly and what wasn’t. My original assumption was that newer, updated properties are selling way faster than older properties that may need a little “TLC” (which means tender love & care in the real estate world). But when I started to do research, I was surprised to find that that wasn’t necessarily the case.

Out of all the single-family properties in Greater Lowell sold for under $400,000 in the past 2 years, the average days on market was 61. So it basically takes- on average – 2 months to get your home sold. The average sale price is $280,000. Keep in mind this is very broad representation of the market. To get an idea of what your specific property could sell for, contact me for a free market analysis on your home or click the link to fill out our form on our website. —> FREE Home Evaluation

Properties under the $400,000 price range that needed work sat on the market for about 90 days yet didn’t sell for much less. The average sale price for properties with “TLC” in the remarks was $247,000.

This is what I found very interesting. Because there are new houses being built everywhere, I figured buyers wanted brand new houses. That’s not necessarily the case. The average new construction home under $400,000 sat on the market for about 146 days and sold for about $320,000. So it is taking contractors on average 5 months to sell these homes.

For all single-family properties in Greater Lowell with a value over $400,000, the average days on market was about 84 (3 months) and sold for $490,000. New construction properties sat on the market for 141 days (5 months) and selling for $551,000. Properties that need work and that are valued more than $400,000 sat on the market for about 207 days (7 months) and sold for about $463,000.

Condo’s and multi-family homes on the other hand are very popular in today’s market. Greater Lowell Condos sit on the market for about 67 days (a little over 2 months) and sold for $176,000. Multi-families sitting for about 70 days and selling for around $320,000.

Again, this is an extremely broad representation of our real estate market but it helps build an understanding of what housing will sell for. To do an accurate analysis on the value of your home, realtors should account for a variety of things including; amount of bedrooms & bathrooms, square footage, acreage, condition of the property, location, and amenities. A big reason why properties sit on the market for a long time is because of pricing. So my advise to get your property sold as soon as possible and for the best amount – find yourself a good realtor and trust them! A good realtor will do a detailed CMA (comparable market analysis) and get you an accurate price that you should list at. As a realtor myself, I always try to be realistic with my clients and give them the choice of a lower price with quicker sale OR price it a little higher and risk having the property sit. Also keep in mind, if you risk the property sitting for longer, it may acquire a bad stigma on the MLS. Buyer agents are more likely to show properties with a low DOM (days on market) because if it has sat for a while – people make the assumption that there is something wrong with the property and that is why nobody has made an offer yet.

For more information on your specific property please click here to visit our website.

You may also contact me personally by email (ag.zrrourkerealty@gmail.com) or call/text (978-606-7215).

 

Most Expensive Homes in Greater Lowell

We hear and see about all these mutli-million dollar homes that we picture in California or Miami or something, but have you ever wondered if there are any homes like that here? I did a search for the most expensive homes sold in the last 12 months in Greater Lowell (Billerica, Dracut, Tyngsboro, Dunstable, Groton, Tewksbury, and Lowell), and to my surprise the most expensive home was sold for only $1.5M. I say “only” because compared to our close neighboring town of Andover – that’s chum change.

Greater Lowell is one of the oldest parts of this country so I found a trend in the expensive homes.. they’re all large classic styled homes in Groton, MA. Basically old farm estates or built to mimic that style.  I think this is pretty cool because I’m a history geek but you definitely aren’t finding the magnificent modern glass homes around here.

Most Expensive Homes Sold in the Last Year in Greater Lowell:

1.) Farmers Row in Groton, MA (built in 1893) – Sold for $1,550,000

This Wharton Row property is a little more modern built in 2001 but still has a classic feel that fits in with historic farm land that is Groton, MA.

2.) Wharton Row in Groton, MA – Sold for $1,250,000

The next property was built in the 90’s – you might be able to tell with all the wood trim – but it has a modern floor plan and BEAUTIFUL library/den. Check it out.

3.) Indian Hill Rd. in Groton, MA – Sold for $1,200,000

 

These houses are nice and all but a short drive up I-93 will bring your standards up dramatically. Although Andover isn’t technically in Greater Lowell – it is familiar town to everyone in the area only a hop skip and a jump away. The most expensive home in Andover is for sale for more than $3M.

1.) Hagget’s Pond Rd in Andover, MA – For Sale for $3,295,000

This home is equipped with regulation sized basketball court with locker rooms, indoor pool with 2 story water slide, bowling alley, classic movie theater, exercise room & poolside bar. Yes this exists & yes it’s a 20 min. drive from your house..

 

So start saving people! The down payment to buy this home would be about $115,325 (that is the cost of a small condo in Lowell..) and that’s with a FHA or first time home buyer mortgage at 3.5%. Your monthly mortgage payments would be $20,031 – LOL. That’s basically buying a brand new car every month..

I mean who needs a house that big anyways?? AmIRight?!

 

Future of Real Estate & Economic Markets

“The real measure of wealth is how much you would be worth if you lost all your money.”

As you may know, the real estate market is an interesting one, specifically because no one really knows what is going to happen with it. It’s described as “unpredictable”. The general idea is that it could drop at any moment or rise at any moment and no one would have ever saw it coming.

The thing is – the real estate market is actually more predictable than people may think. If you pay attention to the past economic markets, trends and fluctuations; you can actually start to predict what markets will do.

The economic market and the housing market are very closely correlated. When one goes up the other goes up and when one goes down the other goes down.

Here’s a video that explains this concept very simply. If you want to know how our economy works but can never understand the complex explanations.. watch this.

 

You may or may not know our current economic and housing market stance – so I’ll help fill you in. In 2008 the markets crashed dramatically. They called it the biggest economic recession since the Great Depression. The housing market crashed first due some extreme cases of greed in the investment banking world (a conversation for another post). When investment banks collapsed, it caused interest rates to skyrocket. Less borrowing yet higher monthly payments. When this happened, people had less to spend so their spending decreased. Since spending is someone else incomes, incomes then dropped. Housing prices dropped down due to deflation. We were in a recession.

Right now in early 2017 we are on an upward curve. We have built ourselves back by controlling credit and interest rates as explained in the video above. However, what goes up – must come down.

If we go off of the short term and long term debt cycles we have learned about above then we may be able to conclude that we are in the expansion phase. Our evidence is the increased spending, higher home prices due to inflation, and lower interest rates.

So needless to say – a deleveraging economy may very well be in our near future. How intense and to what effect is unknown. I do take the information from the video above very seriously and I can personally envision how our economy is likely to play out based on the nature of our society. That is simply my opinion.

If your educated through the process than you will be okay. Keep on top of what controls you and know how to manage your assets. Know how to build your own wealth by supplying valuable services or products to society.

 

Rent or Own?? -> Millennials

“The only thing more expensive than education is ignorance.” – Benjamin Franklin

For all you 18-34 year olds who may be thinking about the next steps in your life (i.e move out from mom and dads), this ones for you.

It’s a scary step indeed BUT sometimes you have to put yourself out of your comfort zone to move forward in life. So for all of you who want to take the next step but really have no idea where to even start, I got you.

First step is educating yourself. I am here to help with that part but please do your own research as well.

The first question you might ask is -is it better to rent or buy? Your grandfather might tell you to buy and build equity and live the “American Dream.” News flash Pops, it isn’t the 1950’s anymore. Keep in mind when our grandparents and even parents were buying houses and growing up, the market was extremely different than it is today. But that’s a topic for another post. All you need to know is that housing prices are literally 340% more than they were 50 years ago.  Yes, that means a house cost approximately $8,000 in 1950. Don’t believe me? Here ya go.

Comparing the inflated cost of living today from 1950 to 2014

RENTING – In 2017, in the Greater Lowell market you can rent an average 2-3 bedroom apartment for anywhere from $1300-$2000 a month. Obviously $1,300 is going to get you a lower end, more inner city apartment with less space. $2,000 will get you a nice newly updated good location apartment. Majority of landlords will require first month, last month, and security deposit to enter into a lease. Also be prepared to pay anywhere from $30-$50 for an application fee including a credit & background check. So all in all – if you are looking to rent be prepared to come up with anywhere from $3,900 to $7,000 to enter into a lease.

Benefits of Renting = flexibility to move, conveniences including no yard work or snow removal, if utilities break most landlords will fix it or get a new one.

Downfalls of Renting = not building equity/ paying someone else mortgage, abiding by landlords rules

BUYING – In 2017, in the Greater Lowell market you can buy an average (not high end) 2-3 bedroom house/ condo for $190,000 – $300,000. Unless you have a that kind of cash laying around, which is doubtful (no offense), you will need to get a mortgage. You can get a mortgage from a variety of banks now-a-days. Most of you will also qualify for a FHA loan (Federal Housing Authority) or a first-time buyer program where down payments are lower than the conventional 20%. On average you’ll be looking at putting 3.5% down with one those loans. So, lets say you go for the FHA or first-time buyer loan – you’ll be looking to put down anywhere from $6,650 – $10,500 (you can put down more if you have it which will make your payments and interest rate less). Coincidentally enough,  your monthly payments could be similar to what you would pay for rent, anywhere from $1,300 – $2000 including taxes and insurance.

Benefits of Buying = building equity to own outright, owning your own property

Downfalls to Buying = maintenance on the property, utilities are your responsibility, various liabilities, depreciation with market fluctuation, you may have to sell for less than you bought for

In my opinion, if you want to buy right now, buy a multifamily. Buy something that will make you money instead of cost you money. Especially if your young, don’t have kids, don’t need a ton of space. You can rent out an apartment for the cost of your mortgage. In some cases you may be able to rent out for more than your mortgage costs and profit. Yeah you might have to take care of things that break and you may have difficult tenants but if you budget and make a cushion account (saving money specifically for repairs) and screen your tenants, you will be good to go. Specifically in Lowell right now, you can buy a multifamily for the same price or less than you can buy a single family in Dracut or Chelmsford.

If you have questions on any of this please call me or email me or reach out to me in any way. This is stuff we aren’t taught in school. This is stuff we are expected to just figure out on our own. To be honest, the current housing market is so complex most people have no idea what they are doing. They do what everyone else is doing or they do what they are told to do. If you do nothing else, educate yourself, or reach out for help!

 

Allyssa Guerin | 978-606-7215 | ag.zrrourkerealty@gmail.com

What is Lowell?

Lowell is somewhat of a foreign cousin to Boston. It’s busy, it’s loud, it has a distinct smell and it’s fair share of homeless drug addicts but hey, every good city does right? Odds are you’ll be rushing around from one job to another. Beeping at your fellow driver. But – in the midst of the craziness – Lowell has the power to bring you back to earth. It has the architecture to make you think about the people who occupied this land years and years ago. The rushing noise of the Merrimack makes us think about where that water has been and where it is going. It reminds us that even with damns, to keep on flowing. It reminds us that even if we don’t have everything we want, we still have a lot more than some. Watching tourists on the trolleys (wait people actually come to Lowell as tourists? – yes) reminds us that others see beauty to what is unfamiliar, while we see what we see everyday without thinking of it. All in all – it reminds me to appreciate what is in front of me. Even if I think there is better out there (which there probably is) – to still take the time and look and actually see what is around me. And for that I am grateful.

“Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.” – Jonathan Swift

Z.R. Rourke Real Estate

I’m a realtor with Z.R. Rourke Real Estate. A pretty unique real estate office I’d say. We offer multiple real estate services in addition to helping you find your next home, sell your home, and find  you a rental – we also wholesale flooring, offer property management, and have multiple general contractors in our office. We specialize in selling difficult homes and investment properties.

If your having trouble selling your home, you should be working with us.

Rourke Realtors Website  << Check out our website for more info.