Great Entry Level home in Needham! $485,000

541 Central Ave

This adorable 4-bedroom, 2-bath Cape is an awesome entry-level home with huge potential. First floor has living room with fireplace, dining room, kitchen, 2 bedrooms, a full-bath and a heated enclosed porch with phenomenal views of the back yard. Upstairs has two more bedrooms and another full bath. The walk-out basement has high ceilings and great potential to be finished. There is gas on the street. With your updates or expansion this house can fit a family comfortably for years to come. The GORGEOUS, huge back yard abuts conservation land and offers the oasis you would want in your own piece of land. Close (0.7miles) to the center of town, the T, shopping, etc. Easy access to major routes.

More Info Here

CONTACT ME for a showing.

Michelle J. Lane
Century 21 Commonwealth
CELL: 617 584-3904

New Listing – 2-bedroom condo in West Roxbury $219,000

36 Westgate - Kitchen (3)

Spacious 775sf 2-bedroom,1-bath Chestnut Village Condo. This is a two-bedroom garden level unit featuring an eat-in kitchen and SS appliances. Newer windows.New range and dishwasher. Wood floors in kitchen and living room, tiled bathroom floor. Freshly painted with new bedroom carpeting. Unit comes with 2 assigned parking spots. Complex is professionally managed onsite with live-in superintendent. Complex includes pool, tennis courts, playground and on-site laundry. Close to shopping, restaurants, Route 9, Putterham golf course, Chestnut Hill “T” stop and commuter rail. MBTA BUS #37 is close by. Taxes do not reflect residential exemption.

More Details Here

CONTACT ME for a showing.

Michelle J. Lane
Century 21 Commonwealth
CELL: 617 584-3904

Homes Sold in Newton MA – Week of May 18, 2015

I hope you are enjoying this beautiful Memorial Day weekend with your loved ones.

The best way to understand the value of homes in Newton and which way they are trending is by looking at what has sold, for how much, and whether it went for above or below asking price.  The sales for this week are below.  I should clarify that a sale means the deal has closed.  So the actual offers on these properties were make roughly 6 weeks ago.  This is not the same as what went under agreement, which will be in my next post.  With homes that went under agreement, we cannot know what they sold for until they close in about 6 weeks.

As you can see, the trend continues that houses under $1M are still going strong and getting into bidding wars.  Those over $1M are still selling for right around their asking price, some are going over, but not at the same percentage as the under $1M inventory.

Email Me if you are looking to buy or sell a home in Newton.  I am glad to help.

96 Harding 96 Harding Street
West Newton
2 Beds, 1.5 baths
Living Area: 1,380
Sale Price: $646.108
Asking Price $589,000
Days on Market: 8
46 Jerome 46 Jerome St
West Newton
3 beds, 2 baths
Living Area: 1,478
Sale Price: $712,000
List Price: $649,000
Days on Market: 6
131 Waban Hill North 131 Waban Hill Road North
Chestnut Hill
3 beds, 2 baths
Living Area: 1,768
Sale Price: $950,000
List Price: $899,000
Days on Market: 1
7 Shorncliffe 7 Shorncliffe Road
Newton Corner
3 beds, 2.5 bath
Living Area: 1,732
Sale Price: $1,025,000
List Price: $997,988
Days on Market: 18
104 Manet 104 Manet Road
Chestnut Hill
3 beds, 3.5 bath
Living Area: 2,858
Sale Price: $1,250,000
List Price: $1,195,000
Days on Market: 31
43 Woodcliffe Rd 43 Woodcliff Road
Newton Highlands, MA
6 beds, 2 full, 2 half
Living Area: 3,906
Sale Price: $1,210,000
List Price: $1,199,000
Days on Market: 7
703 Chestnut 703 Chestnut Street
6 beds, 3.5 baths
Living Area: 2,850
Sale Price: $1,445,000
List Price: $1,500,000
Days on Market: 9
525 Hammond St 525 Hammond St
Chestnut Hill
4 beds, 3.5 baths
Living Area: 3,672
Sale Price:$1,785,000
List Price: $1,575,000
Days on Market: 29
17 Rachel Road 17 Rachel Road
Newton Center
5 beds, 5 baths
Living Area: 5,107
Sale Price: $1,650,000
List Price: $1,699,000
Days on Market: 69
45 Colbert Road East 45 Colbert Road East
West Newton
5 beds, 3.5 baths
Living Area: 3,870
Sale Price: $1,800,000
List Price: $1,799,000
Days on Market: 4
155 Hobart Rd 155 Hobart Road
Newton Center
5 beds, 5 full baths, 2 half
Living Area: 6,240
Sale Price: $2,850,000
List Price: $2,995,000
Days on Market: 313
Michelle J. Lane
Century 21 Commonwealth
CELL: 617 584-3904

10 Things Baby Boomers Don’t Want you to Know

Baby BoomersI found this funny and useful article on Marketwatch.  Full article at – good information for those wondering how your house fits into your retirement years.  Or for those of you who will be responsible for selling your parents’ home.

Why am I as a Realtor highlighting this article? As a boomer myself it was partially funny and partially scary.  But I am sharing because, for those of us, who will be woefully unprepared for retirement, our house is our greatest asset and so we need to consider how the equity will fill the gap in our retirement income.

1. Leaving Money to Our Kids is not a Priority.

2. Make Room Kids, We’re Moving in With You When we are Old. 

This is the one that is relevant to Real Estate.  Estimates are that most Baby Boomers have saved less than half what they will need for retirement. And that medical costs could run the average Boomer $300K in their retirement years – that’s what will not be covered by Medicaid.  So it is super important to think about how your home figures into the equation.  For most of us, it is the biggest asset we have.

Medicare provides healthcare coverage for citizens over 65 (mostly).  It comes as a surprise to many retirees that Medicare does not does not cover nursing home costs.   In order to qualify for Medicaid, the recipient must be poor, which means you have to spend down all of your assets on the nursing home costs before you would qualify for Medicaid.

In the Boston area, these costs can easily run $10,000 a month, so for most people, it would not take long to run through your life savings.   At that point, Medicaid would take over.  But your house is still considered an asset and the Estate Recovery Act dictates that upon the death of the Medicaid recipient, the house be sold and the assets used to pay back what is owed to Medicaid.  So when you think you are leaving the house to the children, you are not.  You are leaving them a headache. as they have to deal with Medicaid and sell the home to pay back the debt.

What are the ways out of this?  One is to transfer the home to your heirs through a trust – at least 5 years before you believe you would be going into a nursing home.  Of course, you had better trust those heirs to do right by you.  But, then again, if you really will wind up living with them in retirement, it seems a fair trade.

The other option is to sell the house while you are relatively young, rent or buy a smaller home, invest the money and spend it to enjoy your retirement years. Then let Medicaid take over when those things run out. (Kids, see Things we Don’t Want You to Know #1).

You could buy Long Term Care insurance to cover nursing home costs.  Nowadays, the policies only cover 3 years of nursing home costs.  Don’t get me wrong – 3 years is helpful.  They cover that length of time because it is the average nursing home stay.   But should you have Alzheimer’s, you could spend a decade or more under nursing care.  That will certainly wipe out all assets.

Of course, you should sit down with an estate attorney and a financial planner before you make any decisions to sell or transfer your home.  What I am suggesting is that you do it sooner rather than later.  Once you or your parents, (if you are doing the planning for them), need a nursing home, it is too late to plan.  If you need recommendations, feel free to ask me.

3. …..and we Blame you for it (those damn college costs).

4. We can’t face reality (about what our health will be like in retirement).

This may play a big part in why we do not plan enough for medical costs.  And given things we don’t want you to know # 6,7,8 we WILL have medical costs.  And we will go a long stretch with those medical costs due to the wonders of medicine and pharmaceuticals that keeps up limping along with chronic conditions for many more years than our grandparents would have had.

5. Till death do us part doesn’t apply to us.

6. We’re Unhappy.

7. And we Eat our Feelings.

8. And we’re Addicts.

9. We will bury you in Debt.

10. We’re obsessed with Not Aging

I don’t mean to be depressing with this article.  The moral is PLAN, PLAN, PLAN and your retirement years will be much happier – for you and your children!


Want to talk about selling your home? Feel free to contact me.

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Michelle J. Lane

   Michelle J. Lane
   Century 21 Commonwealth
   Email Me
   CELL: 617 584-3904
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Why aren’t Homeowners Selling their Houses?


Overall, since the recession, buyers have felt that the time was not right to buy a house.  They were not confident about their jobs and income, they were having a harder time amassing a down payment and they also didn’t believe the market had yet to hit bottom.

After years of buyers kicking the tires, grumbling about houses on the market and making low-ball offers, sellers have decided that the time is not right to sell and are keeping their properties off the market until conditions improve. A Fannie Mae survey found that only 15 percent of Americans think this is a good time to sell.

In other parts of the country the problem is exacerbated by the fact that so many sellers are underwater or so close to it, that selling is not possible.  That is a problem in parts of Massachusetts, but not a pervasive problem in the greater Boston area.

Buyers believe that when the spring market arrives, tons of houses will come on the market.  Of course, more will come on as the weather warms up and sellers are trying to time their sales for when their children finish school in June.  But the lack of inventory is not due to the time of year.  In Newton, where I most list properties, there are currently 92 single family homes on the market. This time last year, there were 154.  This has been the situation for several months now.

The shortage is felt most deeply in the under $1M range. Currently there are 36 houses on the market under $1M in Newton.  Last year there were 79.  This is not because houses are getting more expensive, but because there is a glut of expensive houses on the market.

For Massachusetts the numbers are about 19,000 last year vs 15,000 this year.

This lack of inventory then creates a domino effect as families who need to upsize or downsize cannot find a property to buy in order to put theirs on the market.

I speak from personal experience – I have far more buyers than sellers in my pipeline right now and it is a challenge to find anything decent for those buyers.  When we do find something, it more often than not becomes a multi-bid situation.  Some of these buyers have houses to sell when they do find a place so those are homes I cannot put on the market now.

The irony is that this is an excellent time to sell, the best time since the tax credit, if not since 2007. First-time buyers finally seem to have figured out they better act now or get left behind. Multiple offers are driving prices above list, especially for lower end properties that are in very good condition.

The market rises and lowers for everyone.  If sellers wait to get more for their homes, the house they buy to upsize or downsize goes up as well.  Waiting for the market to improve only benefits sellers who are not going to be buying a home to replace the one they sell.

In the short-term – while buyers are starting to panic about not finding a home might just be the best time to sell.

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