Podolsky | Tate Real Estate Team's Complete Home Buying Guide for Newton

Podolsky | Tate Real Estate Team's Complete Home Buying Guide for Newton

  • Irina Podolsky
  • 01/26/23

Boston is a city bustling with people of all walks of life, from Boston University students to sports fans enjoying Fenway Park, to history buffs walking cobblestoned roads touring historic sites. And while this city, famous for its annual St. Patrick's Day celebrations and marathons, is well known, its high taxes and unfavorable retirement conditions, have many Bostonians relocating. In Fact, Since 2021, 68% of urban counties have experienced steady declines in population. Many people are on the hunt for Newton real estate. Newton, Massachusetts is Boston's answer to its mass exodus of residents as well as anyone seeking the comforts of a smaller town while maintaining access to metropolitan amenities.

Newton, also known as the Garden City, consists of 1200 acres of parkland, biking trails and bodies of water, such as Crystal Lake and Pulsifer’s Cove. This quaint town in Middlesex County was listed as the number 1 place to live in Massachusetts. Its annual jazz festival and  Philharmonic Orchestra satisfies those seeking arts and culture and for those career-driven people, job opportunities are abundant within its booming economy, boasting a predicted growth of 8.5% over the national average.

Home sales in Massachusetts have been increasing 18% since March 2021 and it’s still a sellers market despite low housing inventory. These imbalances in the market can make home buying a challenge. Houses linger on the market 52 days longer than a year ago and competition remains steep for buyers. The good news is, however, Newton's housing inventory is steadily increasing, and there were 173 more home sales than the year prior. With the proper guidance, finding homes for sale in Newton is a cinch and acquiring your perfect home is much easier with Irina Podolsky's home-buying tips.

1. Narrow down the location

Newton uniquely consists of 13 villages, so knowing which place has the most of what you need is essential. Those looking for a bit of city life access while maintaining the coziness of a smaller community already hit gold with Newton's mere 7-mile distance from downtown Boston. However, depending on your needs, you should look closer to the neighborhoods that have the amenities that suit you. For instance, a home near hospitals and pharmacies is ideal if health is a concern. If you enjoy easy access to shopping, entertainment, and dining, walkability to your favorite spots may be a priority. If you have school aged children, you'll likely be drawn to areas like Oakhill or Newtonville, where the top-rated high schools are located.

Consider making a few trips to areas of interest and listening for planes, barking dogs, and other potential noise levels. Use online tools to assess crime rates and property value trends and check the walkability to your favorite places with sites like Walkscore.

2. Know your style

Nailing down your preferred architectural style will help narrow down your search. If your home aesthetic is Tudor or Victorian, you'll find what you're looking for in Chestnut Hill, but Newton offers wide varieties. A cape cod which typically features 2-4 bedrooms is the perfect 2-story home for a small family. In contrast, a Ranch home may be ideal for a single person, a couple, or anyone who prefers a more straightforward open layout with a single-level design. Houses also have personalities, so be sure to find your perfect match.

Don’t forget the outside. Do you need a large yard for kids or entertaining guests? Do you prefer long paved driveways, or is a back patio top on your list? In any event, make a list of all your everyday functional needs inside and out.

If you're one of the 9 million who work from home, consider the space needed for a home office in addition to your preferred number of bathrooms and storage spaces.

3. Go beyond picture perfect

It is time-consuming to visit multiple listings. No wonder  97% of buyers primarily search for homes online but don't fall into the trap of solely relying on photos, particularly when searching for luxury homes where many clients rely on online images to locate houses overseas or out of state.  Prioritizing listings that offer video and virtual tours allows you to spend more time in a room, even more so than in person, with the ability to zoom in and out.

Expect more from a home's description. Square footage, rooms, and amenities are essential details. Still, a seller who offers a detailed story gives you more insight with a personalized illustration of how the house was lived in. It helps you envision yourself there and informs you on the property and owner  with whom you'll potentially negotiate. Perhaps there was a room they played the piano in because the acoustics were best, or a spare room, otherwise considered storage, was used as a playroom.

4. Inspect

Once you find a house, a home inspector is the next step to ensure everything is working and in safe conditions, from overall structural integrity to details like functional light switches and plumbing. For quality control, it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with the variety of home materials such as, wooden floors, marble countertops, appliances, and fixtures to ensure they are high-end.

55% of homeowners eventually renovate and remodel, so remember to check in on zoning and potential HOA restrictions or guidelines.

5. Get the right help

Ultimately, the best way to ensure you find the perfect home is by connecting with the right realtor. Luxury homes aren't found online often in order to retain the seller's privacy; therefore, connections and recommendations are crucial.

There are multiple certifications from Luxury Home Certification to Resort & Second-Home Specialist, or RSPS, so make sure your agent is equipped to fit your needs. Don’t forget to vet realtors websites, social media, and past customer reviews.

When you're ready to make a Newton house your next home, trust the Podolsky | Tate Real Estate Team to make their expert home-buying guide work for you.

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We are equipped to provide clients with experienced representation and personalized professional service. Contact us today to start your home-searching journey!

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