Boston Real Estate for Sale

5 tips to help you buy a Boston Beacon Hill condo

Spring is looming, feeling like it may be time for a change of scenery. Maybe you need more space or just want to lay down roots in Boston Beacon Hill neighborhood. Where do you begin with it all?

I’ve been selling real estate in the city since 2000, and have represented many successful buyers. Here’s what I typically advise:

Be completely preapproved for a loan. You may be in a competitive offer situation, with some Boston Beacon Hill condo buyers waiving contingencies to stand out. Make sure you’ve submitted all required documents to your lender, and consult with him or her to see what latitude you may have when it comes to, for example, waiving a loan or appraisal contingency.

Know what you can—and can’t—afford. Study comparable sales with your Beacon Hill agent to figure out where your budget will take you. For example, if you’re seeking a three-bedroom house in Bernal Heights, know the average price for that type of home. If your purchasing power is nowhere near that, it might be a good idea to expand your geographical area and not spin wheels. Review comparable sales you could’ve seen yourself buying, and make sure your budget is in line with what you like.

Don’t get sucked into list price lures. The list-low, sell-for-more pattern has basically been a mainstay in downtown Boston. If you’re preapproved for up to $1.5M, look at houses that are listed for lower. (How much lower will depend on neighborhood and other factors.) Focus more on the realistic value range of a given property.

Decide what your true purchase price max is. You may end up in a counter offer situation, faced with boosting your purchase price in order to get the home. It’s a sound idea to know how far you can go so you can negotiate accurately. How will that additional $50,000 or $100,000 affect your mortgage payments? Talk it over with your lender to avoid frantic phone calls when you’re up against a counter deadline.

Be willing to make trade-offs and compromises. Very few people find the “perfect” home. There are pros and cons, and you have to figure out what you can live with. For example, you need parking and the condo you like comes with tandem parking. Not ideal, but workable when you consider you’ll also be getting in-unit laundry, low condo fee dues and outdoor space. Come to terms with the fact that Boston properties are not cookie cutter, have their quirks and demand careful consideration when it comes to the details.

Sit out the offer situations where you probably don’t have a chance. If your agent is telling you that the property you love has 30 disclosure packages out, it may be best to sit that one out unless you have the wherewithal to bid big and waive all contingencies. There’s nothing like losing out on multiple properties to discourage your home-buying efforts. Trust your agent to guide you toward the offer situations where you’ll have a chance.

Peace be with you


5 tips to help you buy a Boston Beacon Hill condo

Boston condo transactions can often be confusing, especially for first time home buyers looking to buy a Beacon Hill condo and aren’t unfamiliar with real estate process. The good news? It doesn’t have to be that way! These 5 Beacon Hill condo tips will help you, and all those involved in the transaction, to avoid any frustrations and headaches that can emerge throughout the process.


IT’S FREE! Many Beacon Hill condo buyers make the mistake of searching for a home before they have met with a lender or been pre-qualified. It is ideal that you are “Pre-Approved before touring any Beacon Hill condominiums. This ensures that you are searching for homes that you are able to afford. Real estate agents will often arrange appointments to see the homes that the buyer wants to see. Without being pre-approved, this could lead to frustration and disappointment because you may be previewing homes that are not the best homes for your needs.


 To avoid disappointment you should only tour homes that are in your price range. It is important that your agent conduct their analysis and review all properties before scheduling appointments to view property.


The best way to make sure that you, your agent, and everyone involved in the search for your perfect Boston Beacon Hill condo are on the same page, is to make a “wish list.” Create a list of features and items that your new home must have. Be sure to review the created list with all decision makers (spouse, parents, kids, etc.) When you have your completed list, take some time to rank the importance of each item. List your “give and take” features, what can’t you live without and what can you?


When it comes to large purchases and big decisions, limit your outside influences to professionals with experience and other important people that you trust. All too often when telling friends, family, and others of your decisions and what you are doing, everyone will chime in with their own input or someone you should talk to. Many of these people or contacts may have no experience in real estate but will still give you their advice. Do yourself a favor and only consult with those whose opinions you truly value and that have experience.


Beacon Hill Listing agents have a fiduciary relationship to the seller. What this means is that the listing agent must act in the best financial interests of their clients (the sellers). These agents will provide your agent with important information to assist you and your agent when preparing the offer. Consulting beforehand will help to avoid unnecessary conflicts and help to ensure that your offer is presented and reviewed. Some examples of this are confirming which escrow and title companies to use, the various time frames for escrow, inspections and disclosures, and more.

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