30 Inverness Rd Arlington

Market Analysis for:

Michael Lawrence & Douglas Wright

I've done a market analysis on your home at 30 Inverness Rd in Arlington and have prepared this document to help explain how I've arrived at a price for your home. I perform a market analysis and calculate a price taking into consideration a home’s location, size, configuration, number of bedrooms and baths, lot size and general condition. I also take into account your reported condition and how, in my experience, that will impact the price of a home making it more or less valuable.  

Contents

  1. Description of Home
  2. Market Dynamics
  3. Analysis of Relevant Properties
  4. Pricing Recommendation
  5. Marketing

Description of home

Please note that these comments do not relate to marketing, but are included purely to ensure that we have captured the information and reflect the major components of your home.

Your home has huge amounts of curb appeal, and is located on Inverness Rd a dead-end street in ‘Little Scotland’ area of Arlington. This area appeals to buyers because of its proximity to Arlington Center and Mass Ave (public transport to Alewife and Cambridge). The home is on 0.09 acres – a rectangular lot with a small but well maintained front and rear yard. Your home was built in 1927 but has been extensively updated since you bought it 2001. One the first-floor there are two bedrooms (one providing access to the second floor) and a full bathroom. The second floor has been finished into two rooms - it is currently unheated. The basement is unfinished. This gives 2 or 3 bedrooms and 1 full bathroom. According to public records there is 816 sqft on the first floor. A rough measure of the second floor (32’ x 12’) equals 384 sqft. The total sqft we will use for this market analysis is 1,200 sqft.

The house has great curb-appeal and the exterior is in very good condition. The entrance to the house has a large front verandah. As you enter the house there is a large open-plan family room and dining area. This leads into the kitchen which has stainless steel appliances, granite counters, tile backsplash, ceramic floor tiles and white cabinetry - the kitchen presents beautifully. On this level there are two bedrooms – a front master bedroom and a second rear bedroom. The bathroom between the bedrooms has an engineered wood floor (laid on top of the original tile) and painted wall tiles – there is very minor peeling showing the blue tile beneath. The tile around the bath has been professionally painted and is in very good condition. The rear bedroom provides access to the second floor. Except for the bathroom (engineered wood) and kitchen (tile) the first floor has a natural wood floor (dark color).

The second floor (attic) has been finished into two rooms. This area is approx. 6’ high with the sloping ceiling/knee wall. Both rooms in this area are unheated (if this is incorrect please let me know as this will change the estimated price). We will need to disclose that these are unheated and typically living area in unheated rooms are not included in the total living area. The larger room has carpet the smaller has wood plank flooring. A rough measurement of this area was 12’ wide. There are windows in both rooms (front/back of the house).

The basement is accessed through the kitchen. It is unfinished although the laundry is in this area. The water heater is new and is on-demand. Both the water heater and stove are natural gas. The furnace is oil. Heating is steam radiators. 

There is a single off-street parking place.

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Market Dynamics

We have been experiencing shortages of housing inventory in Arlington over the last 5 years or so. There are always a number of buyers looking to buy in Arlington because of the strong school system, the community dynamics and vibrant downtown. People like the feeling of the downtown area, and want to stop and have a coffee, or have dinner at the many restaurants, or just watch the world go by, chatting with folks who are out and about. The Minuteman bike path and conservation areas close by pull those who desire an outdoor lifestyle while still remaining within commuting distance to Boston.

The Arlington market has seen increasing prices over the last few years given the limited inventory. The demand for homes in Arlington far outweighs the supply and each month a snapshot of available homes for sale shows the declining inventory levels.

Average prices in Arlington are well above average prices obtained in the peak of the market in 2010. Average home prices have been increasing steadily since 2011. The real estate market downturn that existed for the last few years is well and truly over and prices are continuing to increase each year.

Sales distribution statistics for homes show that the $600K price-range is the most active in Arlington. The next busiest price range in Arlington is the $700K price range. 

Before reviewing the price per sq foot charts it is important to throw in a caveat of using the average as the definitive guide. There is wide variability among agents as to what is included in the living area reported in MLS. In some instances, agents will include a finished component of the basement in the living area and this is acceptable so long as how the living area is calculated is disclosed. Others report the living area reported in public record, which never includes finished areas in the basement, but note in MLS that there is a finished basement. To this end, it is important to review each individual listing to determine the ‘true’ price per sq. ft. of above ground living area, but we also need to factor into this when a home has a finished basement.

Reviewing the price per sq. foot charts for single family homes shows us that the average price per sq. ft. in Arlington around the $500K price range is around $411 per sq. ft. It’s important to note that the maximum price per sq. ft. achieved varies across most price ranges, along with the minimum obtained for each price range.

When the year built in the 1920’s the average price per sq. ft. is $447. 

The chart below shows that single family homes in Arlington of similar size to your home in the 1,000 square foot range, have an average price per square foot of $432 but it increases to $593 per sq. ft. when you decrease to the under 1,000 square foot range. It is common across municipalities to see an increase in the price per square foot for smaller sized homes, as it reflects the minimum cost of a home in a town irrespective of the property size.

The chart below shows how many months’ supply of inventory there is in a given price range. It uses the assumption that given the same rate of sales over the prior 12 months, and considering current inventory available for sale, how many months it should take to sell the available inventory. This is referred to “Absorption” in the real estate world. 

Any price range where there is more than 7 months’ supply, we consider there to be an oversupply of inventory, also known as a ‘buyer’s market’. Anything between 4 – 6 months is considered a balanced market. Anything less than 3 months’ supply is considered a shortage of inventory on the market at this price range, also known as a ‘sellers’ market’. As can be seen, currently, absorption rates for all homes is almost nothing indicating a severe shortage in every price range.

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Analysis of Relevant Properties

The following map shows the  homes that we believe to be of value in determining the price of your  home. Below the map you will find basic information  provided for each home including the price the home was  listed at, and the price the home sold at (if sold), the listing date, Days on market, Bedrooms, Bathrooms, living area size and lot size.  Noted for each home is a classification of Relevance which outlines whether we think the  property is valued Less (L), Relevant/Comparable (R) or Higher (H) than  your home. The notes for each home outlines the similarities and differences between  your home and the one being analyzed.

Your details: Living area 1200 sq ft (including approx 384 sq ft of unheated 2nd floor) | 2/3 beds | 1 bath | Built 1927 | 1 park | 0.09 acres

This cape style home was built in 1923.  It is larger than your home with 1,296 sq ft of all above ground living area. Your home has 1,200 sq ft of living area which includes approximately 384 sq ft in the unheated second floor that we will use for this market analysis.  This home has a similar number of bedrooms as your home, having 2 bedrooms upstairs and the option of one on the first floor. It has the same number of bathrooms as your home, having 1 full bathroom. It sits on a similar size 0.08 acre lot whereas your home sits on a 0.09 acre lot.
From the foyer, the living room is on the right and it has an open floor plan with the formal dining room and both have crown molding and hardwood floors. The family room is on the left from the foyer and it also has crown molding and hardwood floors. The kitchen has dated white cabinets, black appliances, tile floors, wainscoting, and exterior access through the informal dining area. The family bathroom is also on the main level. The family bedrooms are both on the upper level having sloped ceilings and hardwood floors. The home was quite dated inside and needed work done on the presentation. It was being sold 'as-is'.
This home has 5 car off street parking, and has hot water baseboard heating and wall AC cooling. It was listed for $485,000 and was sold lower than the listing price for $475,000 after 6 days on the market.

Relevance: Less. Even though the home has heated bedrooms upstairs, and is a similar size, it is in inferior condition to your home so I believe your home will sell for more.

Your details: Living area 1200 sq ft (including approx 384 sq ft of unheated 2nd floor) | 2/3 beds | 1 bath | Built 1927 | 1 park | 0.09  acres

This gambrel colonial style home was built in 1925 and is also located in Little Scotland.  It is smaller than your home with 840 sq ft of all above ground living area. Your home has 1,200 sq ft of living area which includes approximately 384 sq ft in the unheated second floor that we will use for this market analysis.  This home has a similar amount of bedrooms as your home, having 2 bedrooms upstairs but it is much smaller on the first floor. It has the same number of bathroom as your home, having 1 full bathroom. It sits on a smaller size 0.05 acre lot whereas your home sits on a 0.09 acre lot.
From the portico, through the foyer, the living room is on the right which has crown molding, bay windows, custom built ins and hardwood floors. The dining area is open to the living room through a cased opening and has an open floor plan with the kitchen. The dining area has chair rails, double windows, and hardwood floors. The kitchen has a breakfast bar peninsula where the stove is sited, granite countertops, ceramic tile backsplash and floors. It is smaller than your kitchen and not as stylish. Access to the upper level is via stairs to the left side of the foyer. The bedrooms both have sloped ceilings and hardwood floors. Both share the family bathroom which is on this level and it has a sloped ceiling and beadboard wainscoting. The home is also immaculate and very stylish. The backyard is quite small and half the size of yours.
This home has 1 car off street parking, and has steam heating and central air cooling. It was listed for $499,900 and was sold higher than the listing price for $525,000.

Relevance: Relevant, but less. Given the similar size, but smaller 'feel' to this home, smaller lot size, not as stylish updates I believe this home is relevant to your home but yours should sell for more.

Your details: Living area 1200 sq ft (including approx 384 sq ft of  unheated 2nd floor) | 2/3 beds | 1 bath | Built 1927 | 1 park | 0.09  acres

This cape style home was built in 1947.  It is larger than your home with 1,435 sq ft of all above ground living area. Your home has 1,200 sq ft of living area which includes a rough measure of 384 sq ft in the unheated second floor that we will use for this market analysis.  This home has 4 bedrooms but one is in a loft and does not have a closet. It has the same number of bathroom as your home, having 1 full bathroom. It sits on a larger size 0.17 acre lot whereas your home sits on a 0.09 acre lot.
The living room has a fireplace with brick facing, a beamed ceiling, bay windows, and hardwood floors and it is open to the formal dining room. The kitchen is open to the dining room and is quite dated with white appliances, wallpaper on the walls, laminate floors. The bathroom is quite dated. The bedroom in the loft has a low ceiling with skylight. The home didnt present well as there was clutter everywhere.
This home has 3 car off street parking, and has forced air heating. It was listed for $525,000 and was sold higher than the listing price for $540,000.

Relevance: Relevant, but less. Given that this home is larger, has more bedrooms, has double the size lot, but has inferior condition to your home I believe it is relevant to yours but yours will sell for more.

Your details: Living area 1200 sq ft (including approx 384 sq ft of  unheated 2nd floor | 2/3 beds | 1 bath | Built 1927 | 1 park | 0.09  acres

This antique colonial style home was built in 1870.  It is larger than your home with 1,342 sq ft living area which includes 150 sq ft in the finished lower level. Your home has 1,200 sq ft of living area which includes a rough measure of 384 sq ft in the unheated second floor that we will use for this market analysis.  This home has a similar number of bedrooms as your home if we include yours in the second floor, having 3 bedrooms. It has more bathrooms than your home, having 2 full bathrooms. It sits on a much larger size 0.43 acre lot in a popular area whereas your home sits on a 0.09 acre lot.
From the front hall, the living room is on the left and it has a fireplace on bricks to the ceiling, coffered ceiling, bay windows and picture windows, hardwood floors, and exterior access through french doors. The formal dining room has a coffered ceiling, bay windows, and wall to wall carpeting. The kitchen has a cedar lined cathedral ceiling, dark wood cabinets, some stainless steel appliances, vinyl flooring, and exterior access. Both bathroom are quite dated. The family bedrooms are on the upper level and they have hardwood floors and share a family bathroom which is also on this level. The partially finished lower level has a fireplace with brick facade and has exterior access through sliders.
This home has paved  3 car off street parking, and has hot water baseboard heating. It was listed for $589,000 and finally sold but lower than the listing price for $550,000.

Relevance: Relevant. Even though this home is in inferior condition, it is larger and has 3 true bedrooms, 2 full bathrooms and is on a lot that is about 4 times bigger than yours, so considering all of these factors I believe it is relevant to your home.

Your details: Living area 1200 sq ft (including approx 384 sq ft of  unheated 2nd floor) | 2/3 beds | 1 bath | Built 1927 | 1 park | 0.09  acres

This ranch style home was built in 1951.  It is smaller than your home with 1,040 sq ft of all above ground living area. Your home has 1,200 sq ft of living area which includes approximately 384 sq ft in the unheated second floor that we will use for this market analysis.  This home has the same number of bedrooms as your home, having 2 bedrooms. It has more bathrooms than your home, having 2 full bathrooms. It sits on a larger size 0.17 acre lot whereas your home sits on a 0.09 acre lot.
This home has an open floor plan, beamed cathedral ceiling with skylights, hardwood floors, and picture windows throughout the main living area. The living room has a fireplace on bricks to the ceiling, and custom built ins. The kitchen has cherry cabinets with built in china cabinets, stainless steel appliances, and ceramic tile backsplash. The master bedroom has an attached bathroom which has a jacuzzi.
This home has 2 car off street parking, and has electric baseboard heating and wall AC cooling. It was listed for $525,000 and was sold higher than the listing price for $595,000 because of competing offers.

Relevance: Relevant. Even though the home is smaller than yours, yours we are including unheated rooms in the sq footage, it has an extra bathroom which is a master bathroom, a double sized lot compared to yours, but has electric heat which the buyers do not like, and not as desirable a location. I believe once you consider all factors I believe this home is relevant to your home.

Your details: Living area 1200 sq ft (including approx 384 sq ft of  unheated 2nd floor) | 2/3 beds | 1 bath | Built 1927 | 1 park | 0.09  acres

This colonial style home was built in 1930.  It is larger than your home with 1,412 sq ft of all above ground living area. Your home has 1,200 sq ft of living area which includes a rough measure of 384 sq ft in the unheated second floor that we will use for this market analysis.  This home has 4 bedrooms which is more than your home even including the unheated rooms upstairs. It has more bathrooms than your home, having 1 full and 1 half bathrooms. It sits on a similar size 0.08 acre lot whereas your home sits on a 0.09 acre lot.
Upon entry, the dining room is off to the right separate from the foyer and it has picture windows, and hardwood floors. It is open to the kitchen through a cased opening. The kitchen has white cabinets with built in china cabinets, butcher block counters, hardwood floors and an informal dining area. The family room is off the kitchen and has a fireplace with a brick facade and white mantel, crown molding, picture windows, hardwood floors, and exterior access to the deck and access to the half bathroom on this level. The family bedrooms are on the upper level they have hardwood floors and share a family bathroom on this level. The home was presented beautifully and the bathrooms were renovated recently.
This home has 2 car off street parking, and has hot water baseboard heating. It was listed for $595,000 and was sold at its listing price.

Relevance: Relevant, but higher. Given the larger size, extra true bedrooms, extra half bathroom and similar presentation mean that I believe that it is relevant to your home but it will sell for more than your home.

Your details: Living area 1200 sq ft (including approx 384 sq ft of  unheated 2nd floor) | 2/3 beds | 1 bath | Built 1927 | 1 park | 0.09  acres

This home was our listing. This bungalow style home was built in 1926 but has been meticulously maintained.  It is larger than your home with 1,485 sq ft of all above ground living area. Your home has 1,200 sq ft of living area which includes a rough measure of 384 sq ft in the unheated second floor that we will use for this market analysis.  This home has more true bedrooms than your home, having 3 bedrooms all heated. It has more bathrooms than your home, having 1 full and 1 half bathrooms. It sits on a similar size 0.09 acre lot also in Little Scotland, whereas your home sits on a 0.09 acre lot.
Entry is through a closed front porch which has wainscoting, crown molding, and ceramic tile floors. The living room has a wood burning fireplace with stone surround, crown molding, and hardwood floors and is open to both the formal dining room and the kitchen. The formal dining room has chair rails, crown molding, and hardwood floors. The kitchen has white cabinets, ceramic tile floors, an informal dining area, and access to the half bathroom and the backyard with exterior access. The family bedrooms are on the upper level and they all have crown molding, and hardwood floors. The shared family bathroom has tiled tub/shower with a frameless glass door and is fresh and clean. One of the bedrooms has a walk in closet.
This home has 2 car off street parking, and has hot water baseboard heating. It was listed for $629,000 and was sold higher than the listing price for $652,000 after we had competing offers.

Relevance: Higher. Given the larger size of the home, along with 3 true bedrooms, extra half bathroom, similar location, albeit an inferior ktichen I believe this home will sell for more than your home.

Your details: Living area 1200 sq ft (including approx 384 sq ft of  unheated 2nd floor) | 2/3 beds | 1 bath | Built 1927 | 1 park | 0.09  acres

This colonial style home was built in 1914.  It is larger than your home with 1,432 sq ft of all above ground living area. Your home has 1,200 sq ft of living area which includes a rough measure of 384 sq ft in the unheated second floor that we will use for this market analysis.  This home has more true bedrooms than your home, having 3 bedrooms. It has more bathrooms than your home, having 1 full and 1 half bathrooms. It sits on a larger size 0.14 acre lot whereas your home sits on a 0.09 acre lot.

The home has been completely renovated inside. Upon entry from the farmer’s porch to the foyer, the living room is on the left. It has  picture windows, crown molding, and hardwood floors and has an open floor plan with the dining area, the kitchen, and the family room. The kitchen has a breakfast bar peninsula, granite countertops, ceramic tile backsplash, stylish white cabinets with built in china cabinets, stainless steel appliances, hardwood floors, and access to the mudroom and the half bathroom on this level. The family room has a cathedral ceiling, hardwood floors, and exterior access to the deck through sliding glass doors. The family bedrooms are on the upper level and they all have vaulted ceilings, hardwood floors, and walk in closets, and share a family bathroom on this level.

This home has paved 4 car off street parking, and has forced air central heating and central air cooling. It was listed for $749,900 and was sold higher than the listing price for $765,000.


Relevance: Higher. Given the larger size, more true bedrooms, extra half bathroom, larger lot size, central a/c I believe this home will sell for more than your home.

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Pricing Recommendation

My analysis of the relevant homes outlined above suggests a final market value for your home of between $600,000 - $640,000.

Given the current market dynamics in Arlington, I would suggest listing  your home at the lower end of this price range estimated to attract more  interest and potentially multiple offers.  If the market deems your  home to be worth more than the list price, then the price will be pushed  over the market value of your home, and sometimes well over that when  we get multiple offers.  You can see many examples in the above  mentioned properties that came on the market for a lot less and  competition pushed them up to a higher final sale price. The challenge  in estimating a price for a home is ‘would this home have sold for this  price if they had priced it for higher’ or was competition the driving  factor that got to this price.  Experience tells us that competition is  why they sold for what they did, so we have to be careful with pricing.   A few recent examples of competition pushing a price higher is our listing at 51 Sutherland Rd which came on the market for $629,000 and sold for  $652,000,  50 Woodside Lane which came on the market for $525,000 and  sold for $595,000.

When homes are  overpriced they end up sitting on the market and ultimately selling for  less than market value, whereas homes priced realistically can often  sell for well over market value. Competition is what will get us the  highest sales price. As we see time and time again, if the buyers  consider the market value of your home to be realistic in relation to  the asking price, then competition will push the price up higher and  often over the market value of the home. The challenge with overpricing  is that the buyers are very educated – they go week after week to see  homes in their price range so they KNOW what the prices are and what  ‘feels’ right.

I have to stress that these are  recommendations.  We would bring  your home on the market at whatever price you deem to be appropriate.  

When  determining the right price - it all depends on your motivation and  your risk tolerance level. We know that homes that are priced at the  'strike price' will sell quicker and may generate more than one offer.   I’m an excellent negotiator and know how to push a price up if we have  the market activity. I also know that some sellers want to put their  home on for a higher price than I might recommend, which I’m willing to  do, so long as it is understood that putting the home on for more than  the majority of buyers perceive its value, could mean that your home  will have a much longer market time and sell for less than it should  have had it been priced properly out of the gate.

I DO NOT  DETERMINE THE PRICE - the market dictates the value - what a buyer is  willing to pay. My job is to make sure that you have the best market  exposure and that your home is positioned well in the market.   I do not  believe in projecting more money than I think your home will sell for  just to get your business.

My team and I know how to stage and  market your home, and I understand its value, but I can only sell it for  what the market or a buyer will pay. I strongly believe that a home  should be priced compared to the current competition, not just on what  has sold in the last six months.  At the end of the day, you will be  competing for the buyers looking for a home like yours and in the same  price range. You can do far more 'damage' to the resultant price we get  for your home if we overprice. The prospective serious buyers will see  your home within the first weekend of your home coming on the market,  and they will have seen everything else in this price range.  In other  words, the serious buyer knows what is priced well.  If they don't see  value in your home at its listing price and are not motivated to make an  offer, then they will move on and keep looking.  In times of increasing  prices, it is often hard to predict what a home will sell for, but be  assured that even if we price your home lower than what market value is  currently, market dynamics will bring the price of the home up to where  it should be.  Prospective buyers should walk in thinking the price  'feels right' and are motivated to make an offer in the short term,  rather than letting several months’ pass.

It is important to  stress the value of marketing your home to capture the highest price.   In times of low inventory, we know your home will sell by doing the  bare minimum to market it, BUT that is not going to get you the maximum  price for your home.  Key to getting the maximum price for your home is  to prepare a comprehensive marketing plan that incorporates all avenues  available to us to expose your home to the maximum number of buyers out  there looking.  Exposure, and feet in the door, is what will get you the  highest price for your home. Basic ratios help explain this.  If 10% of  the buyers who walk in your door fall in love with your home, then if  you only have 10 buyers walking in, then potentially there is only 1  buyer - if you have 100 buyers walking in your door then using the same  ratios, you will potentially have 10 buyers falling in love with your  home.  10 buyers will push the price up versus only one buyer.

 New statistics state that over 100% of potential buyers  search the web as their primary search vehicle.  Thankfully, your home  will show fabulously in photos. With historically low interest rates  likely to increase and inventory at a 7-year low, there are still homes  that do not sell in this market.  I’m making my recommendations to  ensure that you are one of the sellers who will have success in the  first month of being on the market, but optimally the first weekend.


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