152 Winchester St, Newton

Market Analysis for:

The estate of Ellen Leotsakos

I've done a market analysis on your home at 152 Winchester St in Newton 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 scrutinize the home for issues that, in my experience, will impact the price of a home making it more or less valuable. Then, I look at your current competition - the other homes that buyers in your price range will be viewing, to help determine your price.

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.

The home is located on the quiet end of a busy road in Newton Highlands. The home has 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 1 car garage underneath, built in 1932 but renovated extensively in 2013, hot water baseboard heat, split system airconditioning/heat on the first floor and is located on 0.13 acres.  The home has 1482 sq ft of above ground living area which does not include the enclosed front porch of approx 112 sq ft (guesstimate of 14' * 8'). Including the front porch we have a total of 1594 sq ft which we will use for the purposes of this market analysis.  Once we have a floor plan done we will have more accurate figures for the size.

The home has beautiful curb appeal.  A set of newly built bluestone steps/rock risers lead up to the enclosed front porch which has ceramic floor tiles and has been completely rebuilt at the time of the massive renovations done to the home in 2013. When entering the front door you have stairs leading to the second floor directly in front, and the living room off to the right. The living room has a woodburning fireplace with a granite hearth and is open to the dining room. Crown moldings, freshly painted and beautifully finished hardwood floors give you an immediate impression of the home being one of care, attention to detail and modern styling. There is access to the kitchen from both the dining room and the hallway off the living room.  The kitchen is a 'wow'.  With offwhite cabinetry, stainless steel appliances, granite counters, glass tile backsplash, pantry, spices cabinet and access to the gated deck via a french door. The kitchen is large enough for a small informal dining area in the middle. 

As you walk along the hall from the living room and kitchen you have closets, stackable laundry closet, 2 bedrooms and a full bathroom. One of the bedrooms has 2 closets and is a little larger than the second bedroom on this level. The full bathroom is immaculate and modern with a Kohler sink, ceramic floor and wall tiles and white fixtures.

Upstairs to the second level the landing has a light tube providing lots of natural light. There are 2 more bedrooms and a full bathroom on this level.  The 2 bedrooms are large and both have lots of storage with access to the undereaves area via kneewall doors. One of the undereave access is cedar lined, one of the bedrooms has a cedar closet. The full bathroom on this level is lovely and modern, with white painted wainscoting, white tile in the shower, granite floor tiles, linen closet and white fixtures.

There is additional storage in an unconditioned space accessible above the stairs with an operable window.

The basement is immaculate with drylock on the walls, painted concrete floor, a utility sink, a door to the single car garage with automatic garage door, and a full walkout door to the backyard.  The backyard is fully fenced with a double gate at the bottom of the driveway to allow access to the garage and backyard. The gas furnace and hot water tank are approximately 2012 vintage. There is approx 5 car off street parking. We will obtain a quote for a B-Dry system (french drain and sump pump) prior to coming on the market.

In summary, the home is beautifully renovated and will appeal to many buyers with the quality of the finishes, the paint colors and style exhibited throughout the home. This market analysis is assuming the home is staged incorporating some remaining furniture and items, along with more modern furniture and pieces.


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Market Dynamics

We have been experiencing shortages of housing inventory in Newton over the last 5 years or so. There are always a number of buyers looking to buy in Newton because of the strong school system, the community dynamics, vibrant villages and great commute into Boston. People like the community feeling in the villages, 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 Newton market has seen increasing prices over the last few years given the limited inventory. The demand for homes in Newton far outweighs the supply and each month a snapshot of available homes for sale shows the declining inventory levels.

Average prices in Newton are well above average prices obtained in the peak of the market in 2005/2006/2007. Average single family home prices have been increasing steadily since 2009. 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. The slight drop in the average sales price in 2016 can be attributed to the preceding severe winter compelling many older residents that it was time to sell and move to a managed development for an easier lifestyle, or move somewhere warmer. This demographic in general owned homes less than the average price in the town thus resulting in a lower average for that year because of the resultant drop in the median price.

Sales distribution statistics for single family homes show that the $1M-$1.5M price-range is the most active in Newton. The next busiest price range in Newton is the $1.5M - $2M price range, and then the $2M-$3M 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 Newton around the $700K price range is around $444 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 is in the 1930’s the average price per sq. ft. is $454.

The chart below shows that single family homes in Newton of similar size to your home in the 1,000 square foot range, have an average price per square foot of $499 but it increases to $547 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 in the $700K price range is about 1/2 month’s supply showing a severe shortage.

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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 1,592 sq ft (including front porch) | 4 beds | 2 baths | Lot size 0.13 acres | Built 1932 | 1 car garage

This cottage style home was built in 1925, yours in 1932 and is about 2 miles away.  It is of similar size but still smaller than your home at 1,563 sq  ft of approx. total living area. Your home has 1,592 sq ft of approx. living area including the front porch. This home has the same number of bedrooms as with your home, having 4 bedrooms. This home has 2 bathrooms like your home does.  It sits on a similar size but larger 0.17 acre lot, whereas your home sits on a 0.13 acre lot.
The main level includes the living room which has a fireplace, crown molding, picture windows, and hardwood floors. It has an open floor plan with the dining area and the kitchen. The kitchen is modern with a breakfast bar peninsula, granite countertops, picture windows, vaulted ceiling with skylights, stainless steel appliances, hardwood floors, and exterior access to the paved patio. On the same level are 2 bedrooms, which include the master bedroom, and a full bathroom. There are 2 more bedroom on the upper level, an office with a vaulted ceiling, and a full bathroom. This home has mostly hardwood floors.
This home has a detached single car garage, whereas your home has an attached single car garage.  The home is set up high off the road with several steep steps (approx 35 steps) getting to the front entry of the home. The garage was built into the front of the yard so it is less than ideal for a detached garage. Curb appeal was lovely but it was a less than ideal access. It was initially listed for $769,000 but price dropped to $749,000 before it went under agreement and was sold for $732,500.

Relevance: Relevant, but less. Given the similar size, similar location (busier street rather than a side street), similar size lot but with the inferior position on the lot and access into the home I believe it is relevant to your home but yours should sell for more.

Your details: Living area 1,592 sq ft (including front porch) | 4 beds |  2 baths | Lot size 0.13 acres | Built 1932 | 1 car garage

This cape style home was built in 1945, yours in 1932 and is about 0.5 mile further south on Winchester St than your home.  It is larger than your home at 1,979 sq  ft of approx. total living area including a finished basement. Your home has 1,592 sq ft of approx. living area including the front porch. This home has 1 bedroom less than your home, having 3 bedrooms while your home has 4 bedrooms. This home has 2 bathrooms like your home does.  It sits on a larger 0. 34 acre lot, whereas your home sits on a 0.13 acre lot.
The living room has a fireplace inset into a tumbled marble tiled wall to the ceiling, and hardwood floor. The dining area is open to the kitchen, has access to the sunroom and has an exterior access to the deck through glass sliders, a china cabinet, and hardwood floor. The kitchen is modern and updated with a breakfast bar peninsula, wood cabinets to the ceiling, granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, and ceramic tile floors. The master bedroom is also on the main level and it has a dressing room, hardwood floors and exterior access to the backyard through sliders. On the upper level are 2 more bedrooms and a full bathroom. The finished lower level includes a playroom and access to the 1 car garage. This home has an attached single car garage as does yours. It was listed for $725,000 and competition took the price higher than the asking price, for $772,000.

Relevance: Relevant, but higher. Given the larger size of the home with the basement finished beautifully, along with a larger lot, on the same street I believe this home is relevant but it should sell for a little higher.

Your details: Living area 1,592 sq ft (including front porch) | 4 beds |  2 baths | Lot size 0.13 acres | Built 1932 | 1 car garage

This colonial style home was built in 1927 and is just over 0.5 mile from your home.  It is larger than your home at 1,770 sq  ft of approx. total living area which does not include a portion of the basement which is finished. Your home has 1,592 sq ft of approx. living area including the front porch. This home has 1 bedroom less than your home, having 3 bedrooms while your home has 4 bedrooms. This home has 2 bathrooms like your home does although one of the bathrooms is in the basement which is less desirable than your configuration.  It sits on a larger 0.23 acre lot, whereas your home sits on a 0.13 acre lot.
The living room has a fireplace with white mantel, crown molding, hardwood floors, and access to the office through a French door. The formal dining room has chair rails, crown molding, a china cabinet, and hardwood floors. It is connected to the kitchen which has cabinets to the ceiling, ceramic tile floors, and white appliances with laminate counters. It has access to the family room which has picture window/s, exterior access leading to the backyard, and has wall to wall carpeting. The upper level has mostly hardwood floors and includes the master bedroom, a full family bathroom, and 2 family bedrooms.
This home has an attached single car garage as does your home. It was listed for $785,000 and sold for the same price, for $785,000 after 32 days on the market.

Relevance: Relevant, but higher. Given the larger size of this home, larger lot size and superior location, versus the superior condition of your home I believe this home is relevant to your home but it should sell a smidge higher than yours.

Your details: Living area 1,592 sq ft (including front porch) | 4 beds |  2 baths | Lot size 0.13 acres | Built 1932 | 1 car garage

This multi-level, mid-century modern style home was built in 1953 an dis located just under 3 miles from your home on a busy street in Chestnut Hill.  It is larger than your home at 1,795 sq  ft of some below ground living area as it is a split level. Your home has 1,592 sq ft of approx. living area including the front porch. This home has 1 bedroom less than your home, having 3 bedrooms while your home has 4 bedrooms. This home has 2.5 bathrooms whereas your home has 2 full bathrooms.  It sits on a larger 0.2 acre lot, whereas your home sits on a 0.13 acre lot.
The main level includes the living room, the formal dining room, and the kitchen in an open floor plan. The living room has a fireplace, triple window/s, and hardwood floors. The kitchen has lots of cabinets for storage, solid surface countertops, ceramic tile backsplash, white appliances, hardwood floors, is quite dated, and access to the sunroom. The family room with custom built-ins and half a bathroom are on the lower level. The bedrooms are on the upper level including the master bedroom, 2 bedrooms, and a full family bathroom. The master bedroom has an attached full bathroom, and hardwood floors. The bathrooms are original to the home.
This home has an attached single car garage as does your home. It was listed for $849,000 and sold for a lower price of $810,000.

Relevance: Relevant, but higher. Given the larger size of the home, along with the larger lot size, and the master being a master suite with its own full bathroom I believe this home is relevant to your home but it will sell for higher than your home.

Your details: Living area 1,592 sq ft (including front porch) | 4 beds |  2 baths | Lot size 0.13 acres | Built 1932 | 1 car garage

This ranch style home was built in 1940, yours was built in 1932, and is located about a mile away on busy Parker St.  It is a similar size to your home at 1,500 sq  ft of approx. total living area including 500 sq.ft. in finished basement. Your home has 1,592 sq ft of approx. living area including the front porch. This home has 1 bedroom less than your home, having 3 bedrooms while your home has 4 bedrooms. This home has 2 bathrooms like your home does.  It sits on a larger 0.32 acre lot, whereas your home sits on a 0.13 acre lot.
The home is in immaculate condition as is yours. The main level includes the living room, the dining area, and the kitchen in an open floor plan. The living room has a fireplace, bay window/s, and hardwood floors. The dining area has exterior access to the deck through glass sliders. The kitchen has wrap around cabinets, some with doors with glass panels, stainless steel appliances, solid surface counters and ceramic tile floors. 3 bedrooms  and a full bathroom are also on this level. The bedrooms have hardwood floors. The lower level includes the family room, an office, a bonus room, and a full bathroom. This level has mostly wall to wall carpeting. This home has an attached single car garage as does your home. It was listed for $710,000 and sold higher than the asking price with competition, for $829,000.

Relevance: Relevant, but higher.  Given the similar size albeit some of this is in the basement, inferior condition, similar location on a busier street, yet almost triple the lot size I believe this home is relevant to your home but should sell for a smidge higher.

Your details: Living area 1,592 sq ft (including front porch) | 4 beds |  2 baths | Lot size 0.13 acres | Built 1932 | 1 car garage

This colonial style home was built in 1920 and is located about 1 mile from your home, to the north of Route 9.  It is of similar size to your home at 1,558 sq  ft of approx. total living area. Your home has 1,592 sq ft of approx. living area including the front porch. This home has the same number of bedrooms as with your home, having 4 bedrooms. This home has 1 less full bathroom than your home does, having 1 full bathroom and 1 half bathroom whereas your home has 2 full bathrooms.  It sits on a similar size 0.12 acre lot, and your home sits on a 0.13 acre lot.
The feeling when you walk in the home is similar to how you walk into your home. A feeling of quality, modern paint colors, modern features. The living room has a fireplace, crown moldings, custom built-ins, triple windows, and hardwood floors and has an open floor plan with the formal dining room. The formal dining room has custom built-ins, crown molding, triple windows, and hardwood floors. The family room also custom built-ins, crown molding, triple windows, and hardwood floors. The kitchen has a breakfast bar peninsula, granite countertops, ceramic tile backsplash, stylish wood cabinets to the ceiling, black appliances, and hardwood floors. On the upper level are all 4 bedrooms, and they all share a full renovated family bathroom.
This home has a detached single car garage, whereas your home has an attached single car garage. It was listed for $749,000 and was sold at a higher price of $832,000. This is an example of presenting the home for the buyers. The home was presented beautifully and 'felt' lovely when you walked in the door with minimal modern furniture, and fresh paint.

Relevance: Relevant, but a little higher. Given the similar size, similar lot size, similar condition, yet superior location I believe this home is relevant to yours but it should sell for a smidge higher.

Your details: Living area 1,592 sq ft (including front porch) | 4 beds |  2 baths | Lot size 0.13 acres | Built 1932 | 1 car garage

This popular colonial style home was built in 1950 and is about 0.5 mile from your home.  It is larger than your home at 1,696 sq  ft of approx.  living area which does not include a family room and laundry in the basement. Your home has 1,592 sq ft of approx. living area including the front porch. This home has 1 bedroom less than your home, having 3 bedrooms while your home has 4 bedrooms. This home has 1 less full bathroom than your home does, having 1 full bathroom and 1 half bathroom whereas your home has 2 full bathrooms. It sits on a larger 0.18 acre lot, and your home sits on a 0.13 acre lot. The living room has a fireplace, hardwood floors, and access to the office. The formal dining room has chair rails and hardwood floors. The kitchen has white cabinetry to the ceiling, white appliances, granite countertop, ceramic tile backsplash, is large, and has hardwood floors. All 3 bedrooms are on the upper level and share a full bathroom. The master bedroom has a walk in closet along with 2 more double closets. Another bedroom has a walk in closet, beadboard walls, and hardwood floors. Another bedroom is a great size with a double closet. It had central air throughout the home.
This home has an attached single car garage as does your home. It was listed for $769,000 and sold at a higher price with competition for $845,000.

Relevance: Higher. Given the larger size of the home, central air, popular colonial style, and superior location I believe this home will sell for more than your home.

Your details: Living area 1,592 sq ft (including front porch) | 4 beds |  2 baths | Lot size 0.13 acres | Built 1932 | 1 car garage

This cape style home was built in 1940 and is located 2 miles from your home north of Newton Centre on a quiet side street.  It is larger than your home at 1,427 sq  ft of approx. total living area which does not include the 350 sq ft of finished basement. Your home has 1,592 sq ft of approx. living area including the front porch. This home has 1 bedroom less than your home, having 3 bedrooms while your home has 4 bedrooms. This home has 2 bathrooms like your home does.  It sits on a similar size 0.15 acre lot, and your home sits on a 0.13 acre lot.
The living room has a fireplace with white mantel, crown molding, custom built-ins, and hardwood floors. It has access to the screened porch through French doors. The formal dining room has chair rails, a china cabinet, and hardwood floors. The kitchen has custom wood cabinets, stainless steel appliances, granite countertop, ceramic tile backsplash, and exterior access. On the upper level are 3 bedrooms, all of which have walk in closets. The master bedroom has hardwood floors, and vaulted ceiling. The finished lower level has a recreation room and has wood paneling, a bar, and wall to wall carpeting.
This home has an attached single car garage as does your home but the access from this garage is through a mudroom into the kitchen which is preferred. It was listed for $749,900 and sold at a high price of $850,000, with competition.

Relevance: Higher.  Given the larger size of the home, superior location, preferred garage access I believe this home will sell for higher 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 $750,000-$800,000.  

Given the current market dynamics in Newton, I would suggest listing your home at the lower end of this price range 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 when we get multiple offers. You can see many examples above that came on the market for a lot less, and competition pushed them up to the price they sold for. The challenge in estimating a price for a home is ‘would this home have sold for this price if they had priced it higher?’ or was competition the driving factor that got to this price.  Experience tells me that competition is why they sold for what they did, so we have to be careful with pricing. A couple of good examples of competition pushing a price higher than market value is the listing at 52 Clinton Pl which came on the market for $749,000 and sold for $850,000, and 25 Canterbury Rd which came on the market for $745,000 and sold for $832,000. 

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.  If you decided to sell your home, then we would bring your home on the market at whatever price you deem to be appropriate.  

Determining the right price 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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