What Transitions Might This Year Bring You? 

January was just a trial run. Your new year starts now, and we’re here to help you think.  We’re still in that liminal space of the new year: sorting through goals, making subtle shifts in our routines, releasing overwhelming stress by playing games such as 겜블시티, and setting ourselves up for success this year. That […] Read More

Video: Why This is a Unique Moment in Boston

Despite the national slowdown in real estate, Boston remains a resilient market. Hear more from Melony and loan officer Andrew Marquis of CrossCountry Mortgage about why this moment presents opportunities for potential buyers and the financial strategies that can be used right now. 6’09”: What financial strategies could buyers use to navigate the current market? Read More

Finding Opportunity in the Fall Market

Now that we’re deep into the fall season amidst higher interest rates, some home buyers seem to be weighing their options and waiting until next spring to jump back into their home search. Even so, the Boston area is seeing signs of a vibrant market––it just looks a little different.  Our economy in Boston remains […] Read More

How do we clear this interest rate hurdle? 

As of mid-June—which is typically the height of the Boston area spring season—it appears that the overall speed and volume of home sales may be slowing down. Though the number of homes for sale remains extremely low, many home buyers who would be prepared to compete fiercely are holding back. Folks seem to be prioritizing […] Read More

A Shifting Market: What’s going to free up buyers and renters?

Three key factors drove the dramatic, unprecedented seller’s market that the Boston area has experienced for the past decade: a housing shortage (for rentals and sales), high rent prices, and historically low interest rates. The severe lack of rental housing coming out of the last recession drove landlords to hike up rents or cash in […] Read More

Jumping in to the Pre-Spring Market

As we cross the threshold into January, folks often get energized about their real estate plans. This might be the most strategic moment to dive in. Home sellers and buyers both tend to think of spring as their target timeframe for making sales and moves. In the Boston area, this is due in part to […] Read More

How We Helped Bring a Celebrated COVID Vaccine Scientist to Boston

CLIENT FEATURE: DR. KIZZMEKIA CORBETT Client, friend, and public health scientist Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett and her research colleagues have been named TIME’s 2021 “Heroes of the Year” for their innovative work in developing the mRNA-based platform for the COVID-19 vaccines. New to Boston, Dr. Corbett has also been dubbed “The People’s Scientist” as a 2021 […] Read More

Recasting Your Mortgage Can Be Strategic—and Save You Money

If you’re selling and buying simultaneously—or buying before your routine bonus comes in or before vesting stock options—planning to recast your mortgage can allow you to purchase strategically in a competitive field, and save money. (Ask your loan officer about loan products that allow it or if you could use a service from sites like […] Read More

Navigating a Competitive Market

I recently had the honor of speaking on a virtual panel hosted by The Boston Globe. The webinar, “Room for Optimism: How to Buy a House in a Difficult Market,” featured Boston-area real estate experts fielding home buyers’ questions about how to win a home in our often urgently competitive environment. For more on business […] Read More

Weekly Live Series @goodbostonliving

Boston Realtor Melony Swasey digests the week’s real estate updates during COVID-19 As we adjust our routines around stay-at-home orders, we’re all finding new ways to share connection and guidance online. To that end, I’ve been hosting a weekly Live event on Facebook to digest the latest and engage my guest colleagues on everything from […] Read More

How Boston real estate sales are adapting to COVID-19: week 4

For sellers who need to sell, buyers are ready and waiting It’s week four of the Boston area’s stay-at-home advisory. And while the high spring season has largely paused due to physical distancing measures, the City of Boston has officially deemed home buying and selling services as essential.  If a seller needs to sell right […] Read More

That home-office life: creating work space

As millions of employees like us now work from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many predict that our adaptations may usher in a new way of working for the long term. As the workplace becomes a more permanent presence in our homes, addressing contentious workplace situations becomes increasingly important. This is because creating a […] Read More

PMI: Avoid it or embrace it?

If you’ve used an online mortgage calculator, you’ve likely considered how to factor in or avoid PMI. What is PMI?  Private mortgage insurance (PMI) protects the lender in case a borrower defaults on their loan payments. As a home buyer, you might be required to purchase PMI if your down payment is less than 20% […] Read More

Is It a Buyer’s or Seller’s Market? How to Tell

A common question I am asked is about whether it’s a buyer’s or seller’s market. People want to know because they understand that can shift leverage and risk during a real estate transaction. Who has more leverage can vary by season or year—or even by location—but it’s often strongly influenced by larger market factors: interest rates […] Read More

Matchmaking in a Secret Garden

I love when we get to do matchmaking. My colleague Jay and I were preparing to bring this listing to market, when an out-of-state buyer of mine came into the picture: a retired couple from Vermont relocating to be near their grandchildren. As they pondered their transition from rural Vermont farm life back to the […] Read More

Buying a Home with Gift Money

How to use gift funds for your loan down payment As I prepare homebuyers to navigate Boston’s hyper-competitive markets—whether they’re first-timers or multi-homeowners—I inform them that family money has become a significant force behind area home sales. (More than half of my buyer clients are using family funds of some kind.) With inventory super-tight and […] Read More

3 Reasons Boston’s Housing Market is Tight

Where Do You Fit in the Picture? With limited homes for sale over the past five years, Boston’s real estate markets are increasingly competitive and expensive—similar to other in-demand cities like Los Angeles and Seattle. Here, three reasons home buying options remain limited, competition stiff and prices high. If you’re relocating to the area—or if […] Read More

Home Appraisal: What If It Comes in Low?

Most sellers want as much as they can get for their property, but that doesn’t come without risks. Unless a buyer is purchasing entirely in cash, a seller should evaluate an offer price for its ability to match or exceed a potential appraised value. In a seller’s market, competing buyers’ offer prices are likely to […] Read More

Renting Now and Planning to Buy?

Read your lease terms and plan ahead If you are renting now and planning to buy, be sure to understand what, if any, flexibility your lease allows. Why? It’s currently a strong seller’s market in Boston. It is typical for a seller to receive numerous offers, and you don’t want lose out due to your […] Read More

Home Buyers and Sellers: How Appraisals Fit into Your Strategy

In Greater Boston, buyers gearing up for the spring’s purchase market will need to plan how they’ll navigate the very competitive terrain. If you’re buying with financing, your offer strategy will need to address appraisals. If your appraisal comes in below your offer price, you may need to make up the difference––in addition to the […] Read More

Buyers: Find Your Edge in Boston’s Real Estate Market

While it’s smart to casually begin checking out open houses and considering your ideal moving timeline, several critical factors may compel you to get a well informed buying strategy in place right out of the gate. Here’s what to know: Start right now The sooner we get you informed about the market and your options […] Read More

Community, Credenzas, and Color

Sky and Madison expected a gradual, laid-back buying process. They’d told themselves they would allow a year for their search. It didn’t take a year; it took a week—and the process went smoothly. Their next task was configuring their massive North Dorchester newly built condo, with its city views. Considering community SKY: It was kind […] Read More

Melville Park Curiosities and Conversations

After looking on and off for three years, Mike found just the right place in Dorchester’s Melville Park near Shawmut Station. He and his partner Brandon love the house and the neighborhood. They describe settling into a new house and neighborhood, using art and curiosities to generate conversations, and what it’s like working with Melony. […] Read More

Put Relationships at the Center of Your Strategy

The Boston area markets, from the South End to the suburbs, are fast-paced. And they continuously break new ground on prices—and on the risk-taking required of competing buyers to get a deal done. I am unmistakably competitive and, as I often say to both my seller and buyer clients, I play to win. I’m guided […] Read More

Business Based in Love

I am often taken by the camaraderie, human connection, and goodwill that moves the business I’m in. Yes, the Boston area real estate market is intensely competitive and increasingly expensive. But I’m struck by the heart that’s involved—between agents as well as between buyers and sellers. The stories in my daily dealings are numerous. If […] Read More

Cash vs. Financing: Why Cash is King

Both seller and buyer are measuring and negotiating risk—risk in the timeline before closing and the level of buyer deposits to bind the agreements. The more risk a buyer is willing to take on, the more confident a seller can be in accepting their offer. A cash offer—even if it’s priced lower than offers that […] Read More

Why I Don’t Use the Term “Bidding War”

Google “bidding war” and you’ll find over half the search results reference residential real estate. It conjures up images of an intense, competitive back-and-forth with escalating prices each party is willing to make to win the house at any cost. I understand a buyer’s reluctance to enter into a bidding war. I don’t use the […] Read More

What’s an Escalation Clause, and How Does It Work?

Escalation clause (or escalator clause) is a device that’s gained so much traction, the Boston Globe featured its pros and cons. What is an escalation clause? Simply put, an escalation clause says the buyer will pay a certain amount over another, competing offer. If structured smartly, an escalation clause can work favorably for both buyer and seller: […] Read More

Buying Property? Assemble Your Team

In addition to the buyer and seller, there are multiple critical players in any real estate transaction—with your buyer’s agent serving as the hub. Working closely with top-notch, client-focused experts, I hand-pick an airtight team to work seamlessly your behalf. Buyer’s agent Your real estate professional guides you through the home buying process from start to finish. […] Read More

“Strategy helped us get our home”

Cara and her husband Chris wanted a more permanent home to raise their daughter in Jamaica Plain. “Melony really helped us (a) understand that there was strategy [to buying a home], and (b) helped us come up with a really excellent strategy that we were happy with and could sleep with at night.” “I came […] Read More

Why Speak With A Loan Officer First?

Buyers often want to jump right into looking at properties. But before we do that, we need to discuss your priorities and strategize to win them. Part of that is determining your buying power up front. That is, what are the best ways to structure your financing given: the funds you have on hand where you’re […] Read More

Your Buyers Meeting

Once you’ve prepped for your buyers meeting, we’ll meet in person and cover the following (allow two hours): What’s your key need? What’s making you need or want to buy right now? What happens in the next five to ten years? In order to win your priorities in a vibrant home sale market like many […] Read More

How Much House Can I Afford?

Unless you’re buying entirely with cash, you’ll be leveraging funds from a lender in order to make your purchase. To decide what you can afford, you might begin with a feeling or perception, such as “I don’t want to spend more than $500,000.” But don’t stop there; that perception may not reflect these critical factors: […] Read More

Buyers Meeting Prep: Making Informed Financial Decisions

If you’re thinking about buying a home, then you’re also pursuing an investment—an asset to be stewarded over time. Let’s proceed in a way that satisfies your needs financially as well as logistically and aesthetically. Additionally, in the realm of modern investments, technology has opened up new avenues, such as utilizing tools like a cryptocurrency […] Read More

What’s a Buyers Agent—And Why Use One?

Simply put, a buyers agent is the real estate agent working on behalf of the buyer. Typically, a seller has hired a real estate agent (a “listing agent”) or CRE broker denver to market their property and help them negotiate the best price and terms for them. As a buyer, you will be smart to […] Read More

Why Buy with Cash, Then Get a Mortgage

No matter your circumstance, there are at least a couple of good reasons to purchase a Boston property entirely with cash: an all-cash offer can afford you a critical edge if you’re competing with strong offers from other buyers with sought-after neighborhoods, resilient markets, and strong rents, Boston area real estate can be a solid […] Read More