56 Lancaster Rd, Arlington

Market Analysis for:

Henry & Frances Hogan

Date prepared: 5/28/2018

I've done a market analysis on your home at 56 Lancaster 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 is a lovely center entrance colonial with a front farmers porch on a quiet side street in a neighborhood in the popular Dallin ES school district. The home offers easy commuting with easy access to Route 2 and short walking distance to bus stops. Public record has the home at 1,788  square feet of living space on a lot of 0.11 acres, and was built in 1921. There appears to be approx 6 car off street parking and the home has 4 bedrooms and 1 full bathroom.

The front entry leads into a large open space with the living room off to the right and the dining room off to the left. Hardwood floors, 2 double windows in each room facing the front of the home. To the right of the home is a side entry with the washer & dryer and a mudroom.  The kitchen is at the back of the home with a glass exterior door outside, is large enough for an informal dining area, oak cabinets to the ceiling,oak wainscoting. 

Questions I have based on the photos, but they won't impact the resultant market analysis. Bedroom layout??  Is there one on the main level? Is the laundry in the mudroom? What is the room off to the right from the ktichen??

The full bathroom is fresh and inviting with a ceramic tile floor and tub/shower. The cabinetry is a darker wood with a darker wood chair rail around the perimeter. 

This market analysis is not assuming any cosmetic improvements have been done to the home apart from cleaning and tidying up.

The lower level is unfinished.  2 smaller oil tanks to fuel the boiler providing hot water to the hot water baseboard heat.


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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 $600K price range is around $410 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 $457. 

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 $445 but it increases to $586 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 price ranges 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 1788 sq ft | 4 beds | 1 bath | Built 1921 | 6 car off street parking | 0.11 acres

This colonial style home was built in 1930. It is smaller than your home with 1,412 sq ft of approx living area. Your home has 1,788 sq ft of approx living area according to public records. This home has the same number of bedrooms as your home, both having 4 bedrooms. It has half a bathroom more than your home, having 1.5 bathrooms whereas your home has 1 full bathroom. It sits on a smaller size 0.08 acre lot whereas your home sits on a 0.11 acre lot.
Upon entry to the living room, it has triple windows, and hardwood floors. It is open to the kitchen through a cased opening. The kitchen has white cabinets with built in china cabinets, some stainless steel appliances, hardwood floors and an informal dining area which has double windows. The family room has a fireplace on bricks with white mantel, crown molding, picture windows, hardwood floors, and has an exterior access to the deck and has 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 had been freshly painted and stage inside.
This home has 2 car off street parking and has an detached garage with no driveway, near the deck. It has hot water baseboard, gas heating. It was listed for $595,000 and was sold at its listing price.

Relevance: Relevant. Given the superior condition inside, smaller living area, inferior location I believe that this home is relevant to your home.

Your details: Living area 1788 sq ft | 4 beds | 1 bath | Built 1921 | 6 car off street parking | 0.11 acres

This cape style home was built in 1941. It is smaller than your home with 1,585 sq ft of approx living area which includes a finished room in the basement. Your home has 1,788 sq ft of approx living area according to public records. This home has the same number of bedrooms as your home, both having 4 bedrooms. It has the same number of bathroom as your home, both having 1 full bathroom. It sits on a similar size size 0.15 acre lot whereas your home sits on a 0.11 acre lot.
The living room has picture windows, crown molding, and wall to wall carpeting. The formal dining room has picture windows, crown molding, pine paneled walls, and wall to wall carpeting. The kitchen has dark stained cabinets to the ceiling and is quite dated, crown molding, chair rails, pantry, and vinyl flooring. The master bedroom and another family bedroom are on the main level and both have crown molding, wood veneer walls, and wall to wall carpeting over hardwood floors. The family bathroom is also on the main level and is quite dated. The 2nd level includes 2 more bedrooms which have sloping ceilings, and hardwood floors. This home has a bonus room on its semi-finished basement which has wall to wall carpeting.
This home has paved 6 car off street parking. It has forced air, oil heating. It was listed for $599,900 and was sold for $605,000.

Relevance: Relevant, but less. Given the similar condition, smaller above ground living area I believe that once all factors are considered this home is relevant to  your home but yours should sell for more.

Your details: Living area 1788 sq ft | 4 beds | 1 bath | Built 1921 | 6 car off street parking | 0.11 acres

This colonial style home was built in 1931. It is of similar size as your home with 1,750 sq ft of approx living area. Your home has 1,788 sq ft of approx living area according to public records. This home has the same number of bedrooms as your home, both having 4 bedrooms. It has 1 more bathroom than your home, having 2 full bathrooms whereas your home has 1 full bathroom. It sits on a larger size 0.22 acre lot whereas your home sits on a 0.11 acre lot.
Entry to this home goes through a staircase and a covered porch with walls of windows. The living room has an open floor plan with the formal dining room. It has a fireplace, triple windows, and hardwood floors. The formal dining room has triple windows, hardwood floors, and has a partially open floor plan with the kitchen. The kitchen has chair rails, double windows, rustic stained cabinets, and rustic wood floors. This level also includes a bedroom, an office which has exterior access through sliders, and are adjacent to the main level bathroom. The 2nd level includes 3 bedrooms with cathedral ceiling, wall to wall carpeting, and double windows and share a family bathroom.
This home has an attached single car garage although there is no access for a car to it with the current landscaping, and 3 car off street parking. It has hot water baseboard, gas heating. It was listed for $595,000 and was sold for $655,000.

Relevance: Relevant, but higher. Given the similar size, larger lot size, extra full bathroom, superior condition of the home I believe that this home is relevant to your home but it should sell for more.

Your details: Living area 1788 sq ft | 4 beds | 1 bath | Built 1921 | 6 car off street parking | 0.11 acres

This colonial style home was built in 1926. It is smaller than your home with 1,368 sq ft of approx living area. Your home has 1,788 sq ft of approx living area according to public records. This home has the same number of bedrooms as your home, both having 4 bedrooms. It has the same number of bathroom as your home, both having 1 full bathroom. It sits on a similar size size 0.13 acre lot whereas your home sits on a 0.11 acre lot.
The home has been completely renovated inside with a new bathroom and kitchen. The walls have all been freshly painted and the home shows beautifully. Upon entry to the home through a french door, the living room has a gas fireplace with white mantel, crown molding, double windows, and hardwood floors. Iy has access  to the sun room which has walls of windows, and wall to wall carpeting. The dining room has wainscoting, china cabinet, crown molding, and hardwood floors. It is partially open to the kitchen through a cased opening. The kitchen has stainless steel appliances, soapstone countertops, vinyl flooring, custom built ins, and has an exterior access through a glass paned door. The family bedroom, the master bedroom, and the family bathroom are on the 2nd level. The master bedroom has crown molding, and hardwood floors. The rest of the bedrooms have hardwood floors.
This home has a detached 2 car garage and 3 car off street parking. It has steam, oil heating. It was listed for $680,000 and is currently under agreement with competing offers.

Relevance: Higher. Given the superior condition but smaller size I believe that this home will sell for more than your home.

Your details: Living area 1788 sq ft | 4 beds | 1 bath | Built 1921 | 6 car off street parking | 0.11 acres

This colonial style home was built in 1920. It is larger than your home with 2,293 sq ft of approx living area. Your home has 1,788 sq ft of approx living area according to public records. This home has the same number of bedrooms as your home, both having 4 bedrooms. It has 1 more bathroom than your home, having 2 full bathrooms whereas your home has 1 full bathroom. It sits on a larger size 0.40 acre lot whereas your home sits on a 0.11 acre lot.
Entry to this home is through a screened porch. The living room has bay windows and hardwood floors. The formal dining room has chair rails, bay windows, a china cabinet, and hardwood floors. The kitchen has bay windows, granite countertops, ceramic tile backsplash, and ceramic tile floors. It has an informal dining area and has exterior access leading to the deck. The master bedroom is also on the main level and it has hardwood floors. The rest of the bedrooms are on the 2nd floor and they have low vaulted ceiling and wall to wall carpeting. This home has a home office at the finished lower level which has wall to wall carpeting and has a separated entry.
This home has 6 car off street parking. It has hot water baseboard, gas heating. It was initially listed for $799,999 but was dropped to $750,000 and then to $699,999 before it went under agreement and was sold for an even lower price of $650,000.

Relevance: Higher. Given the much larger living area, much larger lot size, extra bathroom I believe this home will sell for more than your home.

Your details: Living area 1788 sq ft | 4 beds | 1 bath | Built 1921 | 6 car off street parking | 0.11 acres

This Victorian style home was built in 1890. It is larger than your home with 1,859 sq ft of approx living area. Your home has 1,788 sq ft of approx living area according to public records. This home has the same number of bedrooms as your home, both having 4 bedrooms. It has 1 more bathroom than your home, having 2 full bathrooms whereas your home has 1 full bathroom. It sits on a same size 0.11 acre lot as your home.
Upon entry to the foyer from the covered porch through a french door, the dining room is on the left through another french door. It has bay windows, and hardwood floors, and has a china cabinet. The living room is connected through a cased opening and it also has bay windows, and hardwood floors, and has access to the enclosed porch. The kitchen is at the end of the foyer and it has a breakfast bar peninsula, stainless steel appliances, soapstone countertops, custom built ins, double windows by the informal dining area, and hardwood floors, and has an exterior access. The 3 family bedrooms are on the 2nd floors and they have hardwood floors and share a family bathroom in this level. The master suite is on the 3nd level and it has low vaulted ceiling, wall to wall carpeting, and has an attached bathroom.
This home has a detached 2 car garage and 2 car off street parking. It has forced air, gas heating. It was listed for $725,000 and was sold at its listing price.

Relevance: Higher. Given the larger living area, 2 car garage, extra bathroom, superior condition I believe that this home will sell for more than your home.

Your details: Living area 1788 sq ft | 4 beds | 1 bath | Built 1921 | 6 car off street parking | 0.11 acres

This colonial style home was built in 1926. It is of similar size but still larger than your home with 1,824 sq ft of approx living area. Your home has 1,788 sq ft of approx living area according to public records. This home has the same number of bedrooms as your home, both having 4 bedrooms. It has more bathrooms than your home, having 2.5 bathrooms whereas your home has 1 full bathroom. It sits on a similar size 0.10 acre lot whereas your home sits on a 0.11 acre lot.
Upon entry to the foyer from the enclosed/ 3 season porch, the dining room is on the right through double doors. The living room has double windows, hardwood floors, and it is partially open to the formal dining room through a cased opening. The formal dining room has a built in china cabinet and has hardwood floors. The kitchen has granite countertops, ceramic tile backsplash, stainless steel appliances, white cabinets, double windows, and ceramic tile floors. It also has an informal dining area which has a cathedral ceiling with skylight, triple windows, and has an exterior access to the deck. This level also includes a family bedroom which has hardwood floors. The 2nd level includes 2 more family bedrooms, the master suite, and the family bathroom. The master bedroom has a cathedral ceiling with skylights, double windows, a walk in closet, a balcony, hardwood floors, and has an attached full bathroom.
This home has 2 car off street parking. It has hot water baseboard, gas heating. It was listed for $759,000 and is currently under agreement.

Relevance: Higher. Given the slightly larger living area, extra bathrooms, superior condition I believe this home will sell for more than your home.

Your details: Living area 1788 sq ft | 4 beds | 1 bath | Built 1921 | 6 car off street parking | 0.11 acres

This garrison style home was built in 1972. It is larger than your home with 1,975 sq ft of approx living area. Your home has 1,788 sq ft of approx living area according to public records. This home has the same number of bedrooms as your home, both having 4 bedrooms. It has more bathrooms than your home, having 2.5 bathrooms whereas your home has 1 full bathroom. It sits on a larger 0.15 acre lot whereas your home sits on a 0.11 acre lot.
The living room has  a fireplace with brick facing, picture windows, and hardwood floors. The formal dining room has hardwood floors, and has exterior access through glass sliders leading to the porch. It is connected to the kitchen which has a breakfast bar island, granite countertops, ceramic tile backsplash, white cabinets, stainless steel appliances, picture window by the sink, and ceramic tile floors and is quite stunning. The kitchen also has an exterior access. The family bedrooms, including the master bedroom, have hardwood floors and are on the 2nd level. The finished lower level is the family room which has a kitchenette with wet bar, granite countertops, white appliances, ceramic tile floors, and custom cabinets. It also has a full bathroom, and has its own exterior access. Both full bathrooms are totally renovated.
This home has 2 car off street parking and has a storage shed. It has  central heat, hot water baseboard heating and central air cooling. It was listed for $779,000 and is currently under agreement.

Relevance: Higher. Given the larger size, superior condition, larger lot, air conditioning 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 $610,000 - $650,000.  

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.   An example of this is the home at Oakledge Terr which was listed for $595,000 and sold for $655,000.

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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