Cynthia Owens - Five College REALTORS ®



Posted by Cynthia Owens on 3/26/2020

When you’re buying or selling a home, you may hear the terms, “assessed value” and “market value.” There are few things that you should know about these terms. First, they cannot be used interchangeably. The assessed value is generally much less than the market value. If you’re buying a home, you probably would rather see the assessed value of the home as a price! If you’re selling, the same holds true for the market value of the home for you.


Market Value Is Used Differently Than Assessed Value


The market value is how much your home is worth on the market currently. The definition is exactly as the term sounds the home is looked at by an assessor and given a value. The assessed value is used to determine property taxes, among other things. As you can imagine, the assessed value can become a point of contention for many homeowners especially when it comes to paying their tax bills. Many homes end up being assessed at a higher price than their current value, bringing tax bills to higher levels. The market value is what the home will sell for when it is listed for sale.


Be careful when searching for a home to buy. Many sites list the assessed value along with the price of the home or estimated market value of the home. You don’t want to get these numbers confused when budgeting and searching for the perfect house. 


If you’re getting ready to sell your home, pay little attention to the assessed value of the home. That is not what your home will sell for. 


The market value is a good reason to hire a realtor to help you sell your home. Realtors are experts in finding the market values of homes. They will even do something called a CMA (comparative market analysis) for you to help you determine the right price for your home to sell at. This is where comparable properties in the area are examined for their selling prices and all the perks of your home and neighborhood are considered. The market value is determined by the price of the homes that have recently been sold in the area based on the location of the home and how close it is to certain amenities like schools, parks, and the probability of future construction. 


Finally, know that the market value and the appraised value of a home have a lot to do with how much a lender will give you to buy the property. Every home that is being bought must go through an appraisal, to protect the lender from overpaying for a home.    


Whether you’re buying or selling a home, knowing your value terms can really be a help in understanding the sweet spot for pricing a property  





Categories: Market Trends  


Posted by Cynthia Owens on 3/19/2020

Photo by Curtis Adams from Pexels

Zombie properties are homes that have been visibly abandoned but actual ownership has not. The term became popular in the housing industry during the 2007-08 housing crisis when people being unable to make their mortgage payments reached a catastrophic point.

According to ATTOM Data Solutions, a firm that tracks different types of real estate data, zombie properties made up about 3% of all foreclosures in the U.S. in October 2019. These homes can be a good buy, but there are some challenges you should be aware of before signing on the dotted line.

How Does a Property Become Classified as a Zombie Property?

A zombie property occurs when a homeowner is told they are being foreclosed upon, and they leave their home believing they must immediately vacate. The zombie scenario arises when a bank either abandons or inadvertently never completes the foreclosure process, and the house is left in limbo with no one caring for the property.

Zombie properties can be very lucrative investments because they are often able to be purchased at rock-bottom rates. The problem is there are some risks involved with buying this type of property because they’ve essentially been abandoned for often long periods of time which sets the condition for many unfortunate events to occur.

Homes Have Been Trashed

In many foreclosure situations, a home is already left in poor condition. In many cases, the homeowner couldn’t financially keep up with upkeep, or they’ve purposely destroyed the home before they left. Any of these problems or others are further exasperated in zombie situations because there is a high probability more destruction has been heaped up upon the original neglect or damage.

Squatters May Have Created Uninhabitable Conditions

Once a house is recognized as a zombie property, squatters or vandals often decide the property is fair game. They might simply come inside to be destructive, or they may use it for their own purposes.

  • House might be full of graffiti.
  • Trash is left behind, and some of it may be unsanitary or hazardous (i.e. dirty diapers or needles).
  • Space may have been used for illegal drug activity, including meth labs, which the latter can create serious health risks.
  • Open windows, doors, or busted plumbing may have created moist conditions and dangerous black mold.
  • Additionally, if vandals or squatters leave doors or windows open, animals, including feral cats might have taken up residence.

    Locating The Title Holder

    Once a homeowner has abandoned a property, they can be difficult to locate. Some may have gone off the grid or others have no clue they are still listed on the property deed. The name of the previous occupant who owned the home will need to be removed from the title so this will be a legal detail to address before a purchase can move forward.

    Purchasing a zombie property can be a very lucrative investment, but it’s essential to carefully evaluate the condition of the property before deciding to buy it. You might find the effort and expense involved in bringing it up to be habitable might be more than it’s worth.




    Categories: Properties  


    Posted by Cynthia Owens on 3/18/2020


    315 Winton St., Springfield, MA 01118

    East Forest Park

    Single-Family

    $238,000
    Price

    6
    Rooms
    3
    Beds
    2
    Baths
    A great opportunity for a move in ready meticulously maintained Cape. This lovingly cared for home had the same owner for sixty plus years! This three bedroom, two bath home has gleaming hardwoods in the living room, dining room and two first floor bedrooms. The Hertzenberg kitchen & family room, also on the main floor, have new waterproof vinyl plank flooring. Third bedroom with hardwood floors, a full bath and storage area on the second floor. Newer mechanics and central air! New waterproof vinyl plank flooring in both baths. Nice yard with rear patio, lots of space for outdoor entertaining and fun. Attached oversize one car garage. Prime location, easy access to major routes, nearby schools and minutes to shopping, Forest Park or downtown.
    Open House
    Sunday
    March 22 at 12:30 PM to 2:00 PM
    Cannot make the Open Houses?
    Location: 315 Winton St., Springfield, MA 01118    Get Directions

    Similar Properties





    Categories: Open House  


    Posted by Cynthia Owens on 3/18/2020


    315 Winton St., Springfield, MA 01118

    East Forest Park

    Single-Family

    $238,000
    Price

    6
    Rooms
    3
    Beds
    2
    Baths
    A great opportunity for a move in ready meticulously maintained Cape. This lovingly cared for home had the same owner for sixty plus years! This three bedroom, two bath home has gleaming hardwoods in the living room, dining room and two first floor bedrooms. The Hertzenberg kitchen & family room, also on the main floor, have new waterproof vinyl plank flooring. Third bedroom with hardwood floors, a full bath and storage area on the second floor. Newer mechanics and central air! New waterproof vinyl plank flooring in both baths. Nice yard with rear patio, lots of space for outdoor entertaining and fun. Attached oversize one car garage. Prime location, easy access to major routes, nearby schools and minutes to shopping, Forest Park or downtown.
    Open House
    No scheduled Open Houses

    Similar Properties





    Categories: Price Change  


    Posted by Cynthia Owens on 3/12/2020

    Photo by Gerd Altmann via Pixabay

    Only Two Toilet Per Building

    Many homes have two and a half or more bathrooms. If you want to move to Waldron Island in Washington, you’ll have to give up the idea of having a bathroom for every bedroom or even having that extra half bath. Waldron Island is very small and has a small population. Since the residents want to keep it that way, they have a law that says you can’t have more than two toilets in any building.

    Leave the Sasquatch Alone

    In Washington state, it is illegal to kill a Sasquatch. The real question is, how many people have actually seen a Sasquatch? Maybe those same people have seen the Loch Ness monster.

    Be Careful What You Show Buyers

    If you’re selling real estate in Texas, it’s probably better to empty your house before you put it on the market. It’s either that or have a super long purchase contract to list all the exclusions. In Texas, any accessories or improvements that are shown to buyers go with the house. That includes personal photos and artwork on the walls, above-ground pools and even artificial fireplace logs.

    No Spite Fences

    Many people like fences for privacy, especially in cities. People who live in rural areas often fence in their property to keep wildlife out or to keep animals in. This is all good, as long as those fences are no taller than 6 feet. Anything higher is considered a “spite” fence, at least if you’re in Rhode Island. Yes, that’s ‘spite’ as in, “I’m building a 10-foot-high fence just to spite my neighbor.”

    No Burglar Bars

    Sometimes, you just have to have burglar bars on the windows. But, Ridgeland, Mississippi says you can’t put them on the outside of the windows. You can put them on the inside of the windows, though.There's uncertainty as to why that law was put into place, but putting the burglar bars on the inside is probably not going to keep someone from breaking your windows.

    No More Than Two Female Roommates

    In Missouri, you can’t have three female roommates. Even if you decide to live with your three sisters, you won’t be able to do that. Arkansas has a similar law, but theirs says you can’t live with five women. Many years ago, lawmakers were trying to put an end to brothels. The law is very outdated and probably not enforced, but if you and your sisters plan on getting an apartment together or plan on buying a home, you might want to check.




    Tags: Real Estate Laws   Laws   Strange  
    Categories: Legal   Real Estate Laws