Dec. 29, 2021

Buying vs. Renting: How to Know Which is Right for You

A wooden house surrounded by a huge yard.

The question of whether to buy a home or continue renting, is a decision that requires care. No option is wrong, but they both come with their respective lists of pros and cons. It's difficult to decide whether to rent or buy in the Boston area. The rental fees have increased since the pandemic started, with the associated rent for an average apartment rising up to $3,000. It appears the situation is the same with properties for sale, although recent reports suggest the median price has seen a slight drop. However, who's to say what the future will bring? 

With that in mind, before making a move, carefully analyzing all aspects of renting and buying is imperative. It’s also a matter of personal preference: some people feel better as owners, while others prefer renting. If you are unsure whether to rent or buy, this article will outline the differences between the two choices, making it easier to come to an ultimate decision.

The advantages of renting

There are certain situations in which it makes more sense to rent than it does to buy. For instance, renting offers people flexibility, and the same can't always be said about homeownership. Furthermore, there are additional benefits of becoming a renter, which includes:

  • Renters have the option of renting a property on a short-term or long-term basis.
  • Moving on to the next property whenever a tenant feels like it is possible, as long as they've given a notice first.
  • Maintenance costs typically fall under the responsibilities of a landlord.
  • There's no mortgage associated with renting and no legal fees.
  • Tenants that don't have the necessary furniture and appliances have a pool of partially and fully furnished properties to choose from.
  • Renting represents a kind of a fail-safe for those that are just starting to live with their significant others.

Moreover, the moving team behind preferred-movers.com argues that, by renting out a place, you're allowing yourself to move out a lot quicker than if you were moving out of your own house. There will likely be fewer furniture pieces and other belongings to take care of. The process itself is much easier, too, and includes significantly less paperwork.

Professional movers handling a move.

It's much easier to move out as a tenant than a homeowner.

The disadvantages of renting

Although there are essentially more pros than cons, certain disadvantages are worth mentioning:

  • It's up to the landlord to determine the rental fee. They also have the freedom to increase the amount once it's time to renew the lease.
  • Decorating without the owner's approval is not allowed.
  • Repairs might take longer, considering it's the landlord's responsibility to get in touch with the professionals capable of tackling them.
  • In case the owner decides to sell, staying at the premises is no longer an option.
  • There is always a possibility of not getting the deposit back.

The advantages of buying

When faced with the buying vs. renting dilemma, leaning towards homeownership is warranted, considering the positive aspects of being an owner of a Boston property.

  • As an owner, getting evicted is not possible as long as you commit to paying the mortgage on time.
  • You are free to decorate your own house in any way, shape, or form.
  • When something goes wrong, homeowners can immediately call for help without waiting for anyone's approval.
  • The property becomes yours once the mortgage has been paid off.
  • The value of the home is likely to increase down the line. This could be beneficial should you ever decide to sell.

A row of tiny house models

In terms of buying vs. renting, buying has an advantage when it comes to building equity.

The disadvantages of buying

Unfortunately, not everything about buying a home is a smooth process. With possibly your entire life's savings on the line, you can't afford not knowing about the cons of owning:

  • It takes time to save up enough money for a down payment. With the median down payment in Boston being close to $80,000, gathering the funds is anything but simple. Furthermore, the fact that property prices are constantly rising in no way alleviates the situation.
  • Only a small percentage of people can afford to make an all-cash purchase. Those that can't must commit to a mortgage for the next decade, two, or longer.
  • Repair costs fall under the responsibilities of a homeowner.
  • Homebuying isn't a particularly transparent process. As a matter of fact, it comes with a variety of hidden expenses.
  • Those that decide to sell could have a hard time finding a buyer, depending on whether the market is hot or cold. Additionally, market trends are subject to change, thus making it more difficult to predict whether they'll work in one's favor.
  • Interest rates tend to fluctuate. Those with variable-rate mortgages could, ultimately, see their monthly payments rise.

A mortgage broker holding a house model

Those that choose to buy are essentially committing to a mortgage for a number of years

To rent or to buy - the conclusion

Buying vs. renting - which is right for you? It's tough to say since both choices are flawed in a way. As was noted at the beginning, choosing between the two comes down to personal preference. Some people think of renting as spending money in vain. Others are fine with it when considering the flexibility it offers and the fact there are virtually no obligations associated with it. The rest prefer having their own home, despite all the responsibilities. In the end, if you are still having doubts about whether to rent or buy, consulting a professional is the way to go. By doing so, you should be able to figure out what option is the right one for you!

Dec. 1, 2021

Unlimited Sotheby's is Proud to Support 'Toys for Tots'

Our offices are proud to be Toys For Tots drop-off locations this year from now until December 15th We are located at:

  • 1290A Beacon Street, Brookline, MA
  • 673 Centre Street, Jamaica Plain, MA
  • 767 Beacon Street, Newton, MA

We're open from 9am to 5pm Monday through Friday and 10am to 4pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Please stop by with packaged and unwrapped gifts for children in need this holiday season. The recipients range in age from infant to 12 years old. Toy/Gift Recommendations:

  • Generic coloring books –- no holiday reference
  • Soft baby dolls
  • American Girl Dolls, Barbies, Ken Dolls, etc.
  • Crayons,Colored Pencils, and Markers
  • Interactive crib toys/musicals
  • DVDs, books, magazines, video games
  • Pretend play – i.e. kitchen, baby dolls (plastic), tools, etc.
  • Animals, dinosaurs, people figures, etc.
  • Super hero action figures
  • Lego’s ® and Lego kits
  • Cars and trucks
  • Craft and bead kits
  • Pop-up toys (cause and effect)
  • UNO cards and board games
  • Infant Rattles/ Teething Toys

Learn more about Toys for Tots HERE | Make a monetary donation HERE

 

 

 

Oct. 11, 2021

What is soft staging, and how can it help sell your house?

Every home seller wants to make the most of the property sale. From different levels of home improvements to ways of presenting, there are many strategies for attracting potential buyers. Usually, houses are put to market empty, traditionally staged, or soft staged. As one of the most common steps in selling a property, soft staging is a budget-friendly option to make the best visual appeal. If you're planning to sell your home, you might want to consider this technique that will help sell your house in a record time.

What is soft staging?

 

Soft staging is a trending version of presenting a home for sale. Unlike traditional staging, the focus is not on furniture but surface treatment and details that will accent the best home features. It requires a significantly smaller investment than regular staging, so you don't have to stress about the design and rent furniture for it. 

Adding tasteful and effective details like mirrors and decor to a bathroom could make a place much more luxurious

Why is home staging important?

When looking to buy a home, people usually focus on location and local amenities. However, the next step in narrowing down a housing choice is the size and genuine home appeal. As the place where we spend most of our time, homes provide comfort and safety. Thus, during a house hunt, homebuyers look for a place that will evoke some emotions. Entering empty property or stepping directly into someone else's lives doesn't have the same appeal as soft staging. With this open space concept, you can see the best features of every room accented with details, leaving the rest of the home layout design to customers' imagination. Carefully curating the space, buyers will fall in love with the place, triggering emotional purchases and a higher offer.

How does staging help sell your house?

Staging a home is like putting makeup on it. With the right shades, palettes, accents, and details, you can achieve wonders. However, this method of home presenting has three main goals to achieve. To:

  • show the home best features,

  • sells the property fast,

  • impress the potential buyers.

Before putting it for sale, every home requires some refreshing, from wall painting and home improvements to dedicating some time to the exterior and curb appeal. The level of upgrades will entirely depend on your budget. However, if your home is in good condition, you might want to focus mainly on home improvements that will raise the property's value. Instead of spending time and money on traditional staging, investing in kitchen and bathroom elements could be a good return investment.

Natural light, clean space, and effective details are the key factors of soft staging

How to achieve it?

Staging a home is like furnishing your dream house. But in this case, you might want to focus more on neutral appeals than personal taste. To attract buyers, you will need to research classic and trending home features and adjust the idea to your own concept. Still, every home staging has a couple of typical steps.

Storing the furniture

The first step in soft staging is storing everything before you start preparing the home for a sale. With fewer furniture pieces, homes look bigger and brighter. That's what makes the soft staging stand out from traditional staging, along with being more budget-friendly. So, once you decide to leave your Massachusetts home and start planning that complex interstate relocation, the movers you have hired can simply transfer your things all at once to a new location. That way, you can skip the storage renting part. This can be a great way to save some money, especially if you want to leave the state and settle elsewhere. Of course, if your new home is not ready yet, always keep in mind that a nicely staged home can get you a better deal. So, paying a bit more for storage may pay off significantly. 

Wall painting

Wall painting is the most affordable and effective way for a room to achieve a “brand new” vibe. It will give freshness and a clean feel, which positively affects anyone entering the place. Therefore, when choosing the wall colors, make sure to go with warm and inviting tones. Opting for neutral is the best way to appeal to most homebuyers.

Going with white and light pastel wall colors is always a win

Flooring

Next to walls, floors are the first thing anyone notices entering a home. Thus, dedicating some time and means to rejuvenate wood and tile will give a great first impression. Cleaning, polishing, and waxing wooden surfaces is always a good investment since it can also raise the value of the place.

Lighting

Dedicating some thoughts to lighting when soft staging your home will do wonders for the place. Natural and artificial lights play an essential role in home design since they accent the colors, textures, and details. Make sure to let a lot of light in, or consider innovative and eco-friendly lighting solutions when making the improvements.

Depersonalizing

 

The final and most crucial step in soft staging your home is getting rid of the personal touch. No one wants to enter other people's memories, so make sure to use neutral and tasteful artwork and décor. You can also achieve it by using fresh flowers, clean forms, and light textures, which will create inviting and positive vibes.

Conclusion

In the real estate market investments, as in life, people should never underestimate the power of the first impression. Since most of the home viewings are available online, you need to seize the opportunity to create the right home appeal to attract potential buyers at first glance. That's exactly what soft staging is about – efficiently presenting the best features of your property on a limited budget. This not only refers to the interior of the place but the exterior as well. Therefore, sticking to the neutral, clean, and clutter-free concept in landscaping is a guarantee of a fast home sale.

Posted in Selling, Tips & Tricks
Sept. 3, 2021

6 Signs It's Time to Downsize