12 Coolidge Ave, Waltham

Market Analysis for:

Steve & Avis Landaw

I've done a market analysis on your home at 12 Coolidge Ave, Waltham 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 scrutinize the home for issues that, in my experience, will impact the price of a home making it more or less valuable. Then, I look at your current competition - the other homes that buyers in your price range will be viewing, to help determine your price.

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.

Your home is in a lovely neighborhood in a great location in Waltham with easy access to schools, shopping, restaurants, conservation area, greenways. Just off Trapelo Road, the home is close to the Belmont line ad the Beaver Brook North Reservation, I95 and Bentley University.

 The home is an immaculate 4-bedroom, 2 full bathroom Cape. It has 1568 square feet of living space and is situated on 0.11 acres. There is a single-car garage under and 4-car off-street parking. The path to the home is nicely paved with granite front steps and a new retaining wall. The living room has a nice wood burning fireplace with white mantel, the kitchen with breakfast bar and mostly stainless-steel appliances is open to the dining room that has white bead board wainscoting. The kitchen has laminate countertops and a grey ceramic tile floor. There is access from the kitchen out to the deck. The main floor full bath is lovely and there is one bedroom on the main floor as well. Upstairs there is wall-to-wall carpet, 2 family bedrooms, a full bath that is slightly dated but lovely and clean. There is a large, front-to-back, master bedroom with private balcony. There is a family room space in the unheated but comfortable basement, along with the laundry which is separated by sliding fabric panels. The utilities have been updated and a high-velocity central air conditioning and sprinkler system have been installed. The yard is flat and fully fenced.

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Market Dynamics

We have been experiencing shortages of housing inventory in Waltham over the last 5 years or so. There are always a number of buyers looking to buy in Waltham because of its affordability, the community dynamics, commute to Boston and vibrant downtown & Moody St area. 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 Waltham market has seen increasing prices over the last few years given the limited inventory. The demand for homes in Waltham far outweighs the supply and each month a snapshot of available homes for sale shows the declining inventory levels.

Average prices in Waltham are well above average prices obtained in the peak of the market in 2005. Average single family 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 single family homes show that the $500K price-range is the most active in Waltham. The next busiest price range in Waltham is the $600K 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 Waltham around the $500K price range is around $334 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 before the 1950’s the average price per sq. ft. is $329.

The chart below shows that single family homes in Waltham of similar size to your home in the 1,000 square foot range, have an average price per square foot of $341 but it increases to $439 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 homes in the $500K price range is just under 1 month’s supply showing a severe shortage.

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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 1568 sq ft | 4 beds | 2 baths | Lot size 0.11 acres | Built 1953

This Cape style home is smaller than your home at 1440 sq. ft. of living space on a slightly larger lot of 0.15 acres. Your home has 1568 sq. ft. of living space on 0.11 acres. Both homes have 4 bedrooms, 2 full bathrooms, a single-car garage and central air conditioning. This home’s curb appeal, like yours, is lovely and inviting. This home has hardwood flooring throughout both living levels with exception of laminate in the kitchen and office. The living room has a fireplace with white wood mantle. The kitchen is a bit dated but does have granite countertops and dining area with a slider to the back deck. There are 2 first floor bedrooms, full bathroom and office space on the first floor. Upstairs there are 2 nicely sized bedrooms and the 2nd full bathroom. There is a large deck off the back of the house overlooking the backyard. This home went under agreement with competing offers so it more than likely sold for over the asking price.  

Relevance: Relevant
Given the similar size, similar condition, similar lot size I believe this home is relevant to your home but we don't know what it has sold for.

Your details: Living area 1568 sq ft | 4 beds | 2 baths | Lot size 0.11 acres | Built 1953

This home is also a Cape and is larger in size than your home at 1760 sq. ft. on a larger lot of 0.22 acres near the Belmont line. Your home has 1568 sq. ft. of living area on a lot of 0.11 acres. This home’s curb appeal is not quite as nice as your home’s. This home has 3 bedrooms and 2 full bathrooms, which is 1 less bedroom than your home. Both homes have single-car garages, yours is under and this one is attached. Both homes have 4 off-street parking spaces. There are hardwood floors through out the home, with exception of the bathrooms and kitchen. The living room is large, has a fireplace and a wall of built-in bookshelves. There is a built-in corner China cabinet in the dining room and the kitchen has been updated with granite countertops, a small center island and stainless-steel appliances. The cabinetry is slighted dated but still nice. The 1st floor full bath has a granite vanity. The 3 bedrooms and 2nd full bath are on the 2nd floor. There is 1 large bedroom and 2 smaller ones. Laundry is in basement and there is a nice patio off the back of the house overlooking the level, fenced-in back yard. The home went under agreement a couple of times after finally selling for over the asking price.

Relevance: Relevant
Given the larger size and superior kitchen condition versus the inferior curb appeal and 1 less bedroom I believe this home is relevant to your home.

Your details: Living area 1568 sq ft | 4 beds | 2 baths | Lot size 0.11 acres | Built 1953

This  Cape is larger than your home at 1912 sq. ft., including the basement  playroom, on a slightly larger lot of 0.16 acres. Your home has 1568 sq.  ft. of living space on a lot of 0.11 acres. Both homes have 4 bedrooms,  2 full bathrooms, a single-car garage under and central air  conditioning. The home has hardwood floors throughout. The large living  room has a fireplace and flows in the dining room which has a slider to  the back deck and yard. The kitchen is small with updated maple  cabinetry and laminate countertops. The master bedroom and 1 family  bedroom are on the first floor along with a full bath. There are 2  nicely sized bedrooms with built in drawers on the 2nd floor, along with the 2nd full bathroom. There is a large playroom in the basement with carpeting  along with the laundry in the basement. This home had competing offers  on it and sold for over the asking price.


Relevance: Relevant, but less
Given  the larger size of the home with the finished basement, but inferior  condition compared to your home I believe it is relevant to your home  but yours will sell for more.

Your details: Living area 1568 sq ft | 4 beds | 2 baths | Lot size 0.11 acres | Built 1953

This Warrendale neighborhood Cape home is in a desirable location convenient to school, sports fields and playgrounds. It is larger than your home at 1656 sq. ft., on a larger lot of 0.29 acres. Your home has 1568 sq. ft. of living area on a lot of 0.11 acres. This home has 3 bedrooms, 1 full and 1 half bathrooms, a single-car attached garage and central air conditioning. This is 1 less bedroom and full bath than your home has. This home has gleaming hardwood floors throughout and many nice updates. The entryway has custom built-in cabinetry and the living room has custom built-in shelving and a fireplace and flows into the dining room with built-in corner China cabinet. The updated kitchen has beautiful white kitchen with soapstone countertops, farmhouse sink and stainless-steel appliances. There is a laundry room off the kitchen, a family room off the dining room with a slider to the back patio and yard and half bathroom. The 2nd floor has master bedroom with walk-in closet, 2 nicely sized family bedrooms and full family bathroom. This home was on the market in the fall and had competing offers on the home.

Relevance: Relevant
Given the 1 less bedroom and only 1.5 bathrooms versus the superior kitchen condition and larger size I believe the home is relevant to yours.

Your details: Living area 1568 sq ft | 4 beds | 2 baths | Lot size 0.11 acres | Built 1953

This Warrendale neighborhood Cape home is larger than your home at 1734 sq. ft. of living space, including the finished basement space, on a slightly larger lot of .17 acres. Your home has 1568 sq. ft. of living space on a lot of .011acres. Both homes have 4 bedrooms, 2 full bathrooms, single-car garages (this one is detached) and central air conditioning. This home has newly updated kitchen and bathrooms and hardwood throughout. There is a fireplace in the living room with ornate mantle and a French door from the entry way. The kitchen is stunning with stone countertops, new cabinetry, center island with breakfast bar and stainless-steel appliances. There is a dining area off the kitchen with lots of windows and access to the deck, which connects to the detached garage. There is a family bedroom and full bath to complete the first level. Upstairs there is a large master bedroom with 2 closets, 2 more family bedrooms and the 2nd full and updated bathroom. There is a carpeted family room with storage area and laundry in the basement. The back yard is level and lined with trees and partially fenced in. This home was on the market for 12 days before going under agreement.

Relevance: Higher
Given the larger size, superior condition, larger lot and superior location I believe this home will sell for more than your home.

Your details: Living area 1568 sq ft | 4 beds | 2 baths | Lot size 0.11 acres | Built 1953

This brick front Ranch style home is located in the Eastview Park neighborhood near the Belmont line. It is larger than your home at 1625 sq. ft. of living space, including the finished basement, on a larger lot of 0.24 acres. Your home has 1568 sq. ft. of living area on a lot of 0.11 acres. The home has 3 bedrooms, 2 full baths, a single-car garage under and central air conditioning – this is 1 less bedroom than your home. The home features hardwood floors throughout with exception of the laminate flooring in the finished basement and tiled kitchen and bathrooms. The living room has an oversized brick surround fireplace and is open to the dining room. The kitchen has granite countertops, maple cabinetry and stainless-steel appliances and is brand new. All 3 bedrooms are on this main living level and are nicely sized, as is the full family bathroom. In the finished basement there is a 2nd full bathroom with laundry, family room with wet bar and a den. The professionally landscaped, fully fenced in yard is lovely. This house came on the market in the fall and sold quickly for above asking price.

Relevance: Higher
Given the larger size, superior condition, larger lot I believe this home will sell for more than your home.

Your details: Living area 1568 sq ft | 4 beds | 2 baths | Lot size 0.11 acres | Built 1953

This Cape home is in the highly desirable Warrendale neighborhood of Waltham. It is larger than your home at 1636 sq. ft. on a larger lot of 0.2 acres. Your home is 1568 sq. ft. of living area on a lot of 0.11 acres. This home has 3 bedrooms. 2 full bathrooms, a single-car attached garage but no air conditioning and 1 less bedroom than your home. The home has beautiful curb appeal with a brick walkway to the front door and a large fenced yard. The living room has a wood-burning fireplace with brick surround and white mantle and built-in shelving. The dining room is full of light and bright. The large kitchen has updated wood cabinetry, granite countertops, glass tile backsplash and is open to a small sunroom/den area with a high ceiling and slider to the large back deck. There is a family bedroom and full bathroom. There are 2 large bedrooms on the 2nd floor, one with hardwood flooring and the other carpeted, and the 2nd full, newer looking bathroom. Laundry is in the basement. This home came on the market in late spring and went under agreement within days for above asking price. 

Relevance: Higher
Given the larger size, larger lot, superior condition, superior location I believe this home will sell for more than your home.

Your details: Living area 1568 sq ft | 4 beds | 2 baths | Lot size 0.11 acres | Built 1953

This Colonial / Bungalow style home is near the Belmont line in the highly sought-after Briarwood neighborhood. It is larger than your home at 1931 sq. ft. of living area on a larger lot of 0.14 acres. Your home has 1568 sq. ft. of living area on a lot of 0.11 acres. Both homes have 4 bedrooms, 2 full bathrooms, a single-car garage under and central air conditioning. This home has gleaming hardwood flooring throughout the open floor plan. There is a tiled exterior entry way that is bright. The living room is also bright, large and open to the dining room. The kitchen has wood cabinetry, similar to the hardwood flooring, granite countertops, a mix of appliance finishes and a slider to the back deck and yard beyond. There is a den, a full bath with hardwood flooring and 1 family bedroom on the first floor. Upstairs there are 3 bedrooms, the master being the largest with a cathedral ceiling. All 2nd floor bedrooms have skylights. The 2nd floor full bath has a tiled floor. Laundry is in the basement. The yard is slightly sloped and mostly fenced in. It’s a lovely yard. This home came on during the spring market and went under agreement within days for well-above the listing price.

Relevance: Higher
Given the larger size, larger lot size I believe it will sell for more than your home.

Your details: Living area 1568 sq ft | 4 beds | 2 baths | Lot size 0.11 acres | Built 1953

This Cape style home is also in a sought-after neighborhood in Waltham and is larger than your home at 1622 sq. ft. on a similar sized lot of 0.14 acres. It has 3 bedrooms, 2 full bathrooms, a single-car attached garage and central air conditioning; this is 1 less bedroom than your home. There is hardwood floor in the main living area of the home and the living room is large and bright. The formal living room has a fireplace and a office area tucked behind it. The newly updated kitchen has light wood cabinetry, granite countertops, small peninsula with seating, stainless-steel appliances and an informal dining area. The main floor full bathroom has been nicely updated and has a full tub/shower. Upstairs there are the 3 bedrooms, all with wall-to-wall carpeting and the 2nd full bath with tub/shower. Laundry is in the basement and the yard is level and fenced in. This home came on during the spring market and sold within days for above the listed price.

Relevance: Higher
Given the larger size and larger lot, superior kitchen condition versus 1 less bedroom I believe this home 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 $575,000-$610,000.  

Given the current market dynamics in Waltham, I would suggest listing your home at the lower end of this price range 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 when we get multiple offers. You can see many examples above that came on the market for a lot less, and competition pushed them up to the price they sold for. The challenge in estimating a price for a home is ‘would this home have sold for this price if they had priced it higher?’ or was competition the driving factor that got to this price.  Experience tells me that competition is why they sold for what they did, so we have to be careful with pricing. A couple of good examples of competition pushing a price higher than market value is at 28 Copley Ave which came on the market for $569,900 and sold for $630,000, and the listing at 100 Whitman Rd which came on the market for $599,900 and sold for $635,000. 

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.  If you decided to sell your home, then 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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We look forward to working with you!   Please reach out if you have any questions at all about this market analysis or our plans to market your home! 

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