186 Scituate St, Arlington

Market Analysis for:

Donald and Mary Anne Sandberg

Date prepared: 

I've done a market analysis on your home at 186 Scituate St 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.

A true delight perfectly tucked away on a quiet, dead end street in the highly desirable Brackett Elementary School district only steps from the popular Robbins Farm. This meticulously maintained home offers a top location in Arlington Heights with breathtaking views of the Boston skyline visible from your very own screened porch. Modern style and curb appeal galore define this immaculate home. Thoughtfully maintained gardens surround the home with colorful trees and perennial plantings. The home, built in 1916, is a ranch style (living space on one level) offering 2 bedrooms and 1 full bathroom on a lot of 0.1 acres. The home is updated with lots of modern style. Public record has the home at 1140 square feet. There is a room in the basement finished with wood paneling and carpeting that is not included in the square footage. This room is accessed through the unfinished part of the basement. The home has a single car garage under.

The covered front entrance welcomes you inside the front foyer as natural light and gleaming hardwood floors flow throughout the home’s interior. The formal living room draws you in on the right with a large picture window, hardwood floors, and crown molding. The living room transitions to the formal dining room through a large cased opening. The formal dining room is elegant with a built-in corner china cabinet, chair rail, crown molding, hardwood floors, and a large picture window for abundant natural light. 

The chef’s culinary skills are guaranteed to shine in the modern kitchen with granite counters, stylish white beadboard wainscoting, gas cooking, subway tile backsplash, recessed lighting, and ceramic tile flooring. A large double window opens the home to even more light and air while offering delightful views of the screened porch and the beautiful Boston skyline views beyond. A small mudroom area off the kitchen with ceramic tile flooring and a closet connects to the screened porch and a stairway to the lower level.  The screened porch is surrounded by windows and offers the perfect place to relax with a glass of lemonade during summer months while enjoying the spectacular views of the Boston skyline. 

The master bedroom features a large picture window, hardwood floors, and his/hers closets. The family bedroom is a bit smaller in size, but is full of natural light with beautiful hardwood flooring. The updated bathroom is full of modern flair with a stylish dark wood vanity and tiled tub/shower. 

The walkout lower level provides convenient exterior access via the home’s side entrance and driveway. The driveway circles around to the rear of the property offering plenty of off street parking and access to the single car garage. A finished room is accessed via the unfinished section of the basement. The room has wood paneling and carpeting. It is currently being used as storage, but we discussed emptying the room and staging it as a playroom. The unfinished section offers abundant storage space and the laundry area. The garage is also accessed from the basement.

The home is heated by a gas fueled Weil McLain boiler and forced hot water baseboards.

 



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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 $700K price range is around $450 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 1910’s the average price per sq. ft. is $455. 

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 $444 but it increases to $578 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 1140 sq ft | 2 beds | 1 bath | Built 1916 | 1 car garage | 0.1 acres

This cape style home was built in 1923.  It is larger than your home with 1,296 sq ft of approx. living area. Your home has 1,140 sq ft of living area according to public records. This home has the same number of bedrooms as your home, both having 2 bedrooms. It also has the same number of bathroom as your home, both having 1 full bathroom. It sits on a similar size but still smaller size 0.08 acre lot whereas your home sits on a 0.10 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, marble 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 cathedral ceiling and hardwood floors.
This home does not have garage space but has 5 car off street parking, and has hot water baseboard, gas heating and wall AC cooling. It was listed for $485,000 and was sold for $475,000.

Relevance: Relevant, but less. Given the inferior condition, concrete backyard, and lack of a garage versus the home being just a little larger than yours I believe it is relevant to  your home but yours should sell for more.

Your details: Living area 1140 sq ft | 2 beds | 1 bath | Built 1916 | 1 car garage | 0.1 acres

This colonial, Victorian style home was built in 1890.  It is smaller than your home with 927 sq ft of approx. living area. Your home has 1,140 sq ft of living area according to public records. This home has the same number of bedrooms as your home, both having 2 bedrooms. It also has the same number of bathroom as your home, both having 1 full bathroom. It sits on a similar size  0.10 acre lot as your home.
From the farmer’s porch through the entry hall, the living room is on the left and it has hardwood floors and it is partially open to the formal dining room through a cased opening. The formal dining room has bay windows, hardwood floors, and has an exterior access to the back porch through a french door and it has an open floor plan with the kitchen. The kitchen has white cabinets, white appliances, a bar island where the prep sink is situated, and hardwood floors. The family bedrooms, including the master bedroom, and a family bathroom, are on the 2nd level. The bedrooms have vaulted ceiling with skylights, and hardwood floors.
This home has a detached 2 car garage and paved 2 car off street parking, and has steam, oil heating. It was initially listed for $559,000 but price was dropped to $549,000 before it went under agreement and was sold for $549,000.

Relevance: Relevant, but less. Given the much smaller size, inferior location (Lowell St - busy street), and inferior condition I believe it is relevant to  your home but yours should sell for more.

Your details: Living area 1140 sq ft | 2 beds | 1 bath | Built 1916 | 1 car garage | 0.1 acres

This colonial style home was built in 1920.  It is smaller than your home with 1,008 sq ft of approx. living area. Your home has 1,140 sq ft of living area according to public records. This home has the same number of bedrooms as your home, both having 2 bedrooms. It also has the same number of bathroom as your home, both having 1 full bathroom. It sits on a similar size but still smaller size 0.09 acre lot whereas your home sits on a 0.10 acre lot.
The main level has crown molding, and hardwood floors and has an open floor plan, which includes the living room with the dining area and the kitchen. The kitchen also has white cabinets, built in china cabinets, white appliances, granite countertops,and a pantry. This level also includes the sunroom with walls of windows, and hardwood floors. The 2nd level has the bedrooms which have hardwood floors, including the master bedroom, the home office, and the family bathroom .  
This home has a detached 2 car garage and 2 car off street parking, and has steam, oil heating. It was initially listed for $599,000 and was sold for $700,000.

Relevance: Relevant. Given the similar location (close to Arlington Center),  similar size and  similar condition I believe this home is relevant to  your home and will sell for the same amount.

Your details: Living area 1140 sq ft | 2 beds | 1 bath | Built 1916 | 1 car garage | 0.1 acres

This contemporary style home was built in 1926.  It is larger than your home with 1,300 sq ft of approx. living area. Your home has 1,140 sq ft of living area according to public records. This home has the same number of bedrooms as your home, both having 2 bedrooms. It also has the same number of bathroom as your home, both having 1 full bathroom. It sits on a similar size but still larger size 0.11 acre lot whereas your home sits on a 0.10 acre lot.
From the entry hall, the living room is on the left and it has triple windows, and has access to the deck and another to the screened porch through french doors. The formal dining room has double windows, custom built ins, and chair rails. The kitchen has cherry cabinets, ceramic tile backsplash, triple windows, and hardwood floors. The 2nd level includes 2 bedrooms which has hardwood floors, an office, and a family bathroom.
This home has an attached single car garage and 2 car off street parking, and has oil heating. It was listed for $599,000 and is currently under agreement.

Relevance: Relevant. Given the similar location (close to Park Ave),  slightly larger size and  similar condition I believe this home is  relevant to your home and will sell for the same amount.

Your details: Living area 1140 sq ft | 2 beds | 1 bath | Built 1916 | 1 car garage | 0.1 acres

This ranch style home was built in 1952.  It is larger than your home with 1,277 sq ft of approx. living area. Your home has 1,140 sq ft of living area according to public records. This home has the same number of bedrooms as your home, both having 2 bedrooms. It also has the same number of bathroom as your home, both having 1 full bathroom. It sits on a similar size but still larger size 0.17 acre lot whereas your home sits on a 0.10 acre lot.
The living room has a fireplace, picture windows, and hardwood floors. The formal dining room has double windows, and hardwood floors. The kitchen has granite countertops, ceramic tile backsplash, double windows, vinyl floors, and it has access to the 3 season porch. The 3 season porch has a cathedral ceiling with skylights, walls of windows, beadboard walls, and wall to wall carpeting. The bedrooms, including the master bedroom, and the family bathroom, are also on the main level. The finished lower level has the family room which has barn wood board walls, and wall to wall carpeting.
This home has an attached single car garage and 2 car off street parking, and has central heat, forced air, gas heating and central air cooling. It was listed for $619,000 and was sold for $735,000.

Relevance: Relevant. Given the similar size (365 sqft was in the basement - so, only 912 above grade), and  slightly superior condition I believe this home is  relevant to  your home and will sell for the same amount.

Your details: Living area 1140 sq ft | 2 beds | 1 bath | Built 1916 | 1 car garage | 0.1 acres

This ranch style home was built in 1956.  It is larger than your home with 1,368 sq ft of approx. living area. Your home has 1,140 sq ft of living area according to public records. This home has the same number of bedrooms as your home, both having 2 bedrooms. It also has the same number of bathroom as your home, both having 1 full bathroom. It sits on a similar size but still larger size 0.14 acre lot whereas your home sits on a 0.10 acre lot.
The main level has an open floor plan with picture windows, and hardwood floors. The living room has a fireplace with white mantel. It is defined from the kitchen by a beam on the ceiling. The kitchen has a breakfast bar island, granite countertops, white cabinets, over head cabinets with glass paned doors, ceramic tile backsplash, and stainless steel appliances. The sunroom has beamed vaulted ceiling, walls of windows on beadboard walls, wall to wall carpeting, and has an exterior access. The bedrooms, including the master bedroom, are also on this level. They have hardwood floors and double windows.
This home does not have garage space but has paved 4 car off street parking, and has hot water baseboard, gas heating and window AC cooling. It was listed for $699,000 and is currently under agreement.

Relevance: Relevance: Higher. Given the larger size and  superior  condition I believe this home is relevant to  your home and 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 $690,000 - $720,000.

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 (specifically 26 Amhurst Rd and 3 Beverly Rd) 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.

I have included two homes that I feel are highly  relevant to your home - 26 Amhurst Rd (listed at $599,000 and sold for $700,000) and 106 Westminster Ave (also listed at $599,000). Unfortunately Westminster Ave has not sold (it went under agreement quickly and so the final price was probabbly bid higher - perhaps close to $700,000). This list price does indicate a pattern in list price that I feel we could exploit.

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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