Thinking of moving to Cambridge, Massachusetts?
Who is Involved
When buying property in Cambridge, Massachusetts, you’ll generally work with the following people:
- A licensed Realtor – in most cases, one Realtor represents the Buyer and another represents the Seller.
- A home inspector - The market here is hot. It is not unusual for a buyer to have a home inspection BEFORE offers are due.
- A real estate lawyer – In Massachusetts, the Buyer and the Seller each has their own real estate attorney. Generally speaking, the Buyer retains a real estate attorney after their offer is accepted.
- A lender – Unless it’s truly an all-cash purchase, you’ll need a bank to give you a mortgage. Best to be pre-approved by a local lender. And expect to be able to make at least a 20% downpayment.
- An insurance broker – You'll want to get homeowner's insurance in place by the closing date.
The House Hunting Process
There are two primary ways that you can search for a home in Cambridge, Massachusetts:
- Online. The Charles Cherney Team can set up a search for you that is specific to your price range and requirements, and have an email sent to you daily that reports on the new listings that fall within the parameters established for your search. We can also preview properties at your request.
- In Person. If you’re planning on visiting Cambridge, you can visit properties in person. We can arrange showings by appointment, and alert you to open houses of interest. We're here to help you.
CLICK HERE TO LEARN ABOUT WHAT WE DO FOR OUR BUYER CLIENTS.
Making an offer
Cash offers free of any contingency are sometimes seen in Cambridge, Massachusetts. That being said, offers often include one or more of the following contingencies:
Home and pest inspection contingency
Condominium documents and budget review contingency
In our market, the accepted offer is replaced by the signed purchase and sale agreement - known as the P & S. The P & S is drafted by the seller's attorney and reviewed and approved by the buyer's attorney. Generally speaking, a 5% deposit is made at the signing of the P & S. CLICK HERE for more information on the normal real estate transaction timeline in Cambridge. Typical timeline for most transactions from start to finish is 4 to 6 weeks.
We don’t have escrow companies in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Deposits are typically held by a real estate company (usually, the listing agent office) and the lawyers handle the transfer of funds for closing.
The residential property tax rate in Cambridge, Massachusetts is low. In 2017, the annual tax rate is $6.49 per $1,000 of assessed value. CLICK HERE for more information. Most persons moving to Cambridge are surprised to learn how reasonable the property taxes are.
Generally, closing costs here will include:
- Balance of the Purchase Price – the purchase price less your initial deposit. Usually, the bulk will come from your lender and become your mortgage.
- Legal Fees – amount varies depending on your real estate attorney. Generally, less than $1,200.
- Title Insurance – sometimes included in your legal fees. CLICK HERE for more info on title insurance.
- Mortgage – Costs associated with the loan vary. Check with your lender. This is likely the single largest additional expense for most buyers. Expect it to be 1+% of the loan amount.
- Property Tax Adjustment – reimbursement to Seller of property taxes they paid beyond the closing date
- Adjustments for Fees, etc. – reimbursement to Seller for prepaid fees such as condo fee, etc.
The Real Estate Market
The current real estate market in Cambridge, Massachusetts is extremely strong, and you’re more likely to experience a bidding war than find ‘a deal’. Over the last five years, residential properties in Cambridge - single families and condominiums and multi-families - have been selling over the asking price and appreciating in value. The average sale price in 2017 in Cambridge is just over $1,000,000.
|Year||Appreciation (as a %)||Sale-to-List-Price (%)|
|2017 (through 10.31.17)||7.6%||105%|
Questions? Need Help?
We love to help buyers buy in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Reach out today for assistance.