Emily and Kevin Hoffman became accidental real estate entrepreneurs by buying more space in Boston than they needed at the right time (6 years ago), renovating it for fun, and now renting out one floor of their three story home.
Young professionals by day and home improvement DIYers by night, the couple has dabbled in general contracting, carpentry, interior design, and 3D modeling while turning a below grade portion of their home into a bed/bath Airbnb suite.
A few months ago, the Hoffmans contacted me to discuss their plans for purchasing another property. A two-family style home made the most sense for the duo, as having the additional rent would help them to build equity on a prime piece of real estate.
Multi-family purchases can be difficult transactions for many reasons — they can require serious elbow grease; come with a hefty price tag, and are hard to find.
Fortunately, both Emily and Kevin had a shared vision for seeing the potential in cosmetically dated properties. The challenge was not in finding homes to fit their design style, budget and location, but how to get an accepted offer amongst all of the other buyers.
Desirable multi-family properties in and around Boston are extremely competitive. I have submitted offers for clients where we are one of 30+ buyers. In these situations, bids with no contingences are commonplace. It certainly is not easy to be a young couple, with a modest down payment when you’re up against developers and cash buyers. That said, I have a proven track record for scoring my buyers their dream multi-family homes! Nabbing a property can be a process and you certainly need to be realistic, understand the market and how to work it. More importantly, you can’t get discouraged when things don’t work out straight out of the gate.
The Hoffmans did not get their dream house on their first try. They had two rejected offers in the rear view mirror before a seller accepted a bid. Third time is the charm! After tracking the inventory for a few weeks, “the one” hit the market.
Their future home, an over-sized two-family in the highlands area of West Roxbury, is steps to the commuter rail station, local shops and restaurants, and minutes to Millennium Park, Legacy Place, Chestnut Hill Shopping, highways and downtown Boston! The 1920’s house has beautiful period details like pine floors, built in cabinets and molding.
Not only was the house ideal, so was the situation with the sellers and offer submission timeline. Having been a family home, the owners wanted to see the property go to a buyer that would love it as much as they did. Plus, by identifying a property that did not have an offer deadline, we were able to submit an aggressive bid and lock down the property before it escalated to a competitive situation. It was the perfect storm. In order for this to play out the right way, Emily and Kevin made themselves available for the first tour of the home and made sure to have their lender queued up. They squeezed in the showing right before heading up north to a friend’s wedding.
When it comes to writing up offers, leveraging technology to facilitate the most streamlined process is key. By utilizing screen share technology, hotspots, and electronic document signing, I am able to get offers to the table from anywhere! The Hoffmans were able to sign from their iPhones at the wedding reception and we had the documents packaged up and out the door within an hour.
The next morning, we had a fully executed offer in hand and the property was under agreement before the public open house. Queue the celebrations!
We had a few other hurdles to cross during the transaction. Some rough spots came up after the inspection. Then, the Federal Housing Association mandated the property be brought up to certain standards in order for the loan to close. After a fair amount of negotiating, both parties were able to work together to keep the sale right on track.
The Hoffmans have already started sprucing up the units and are looking forward to many years in their stately home! Make sure to follow their progress on instagram @humbleabodeboston.
“My husband and I recently worked with Dana to find our first two family property in the Boston area. Throughout the process, Dana gave us honest feedback that allowed us to approach decisions with realistic expectations rather than based on what we wanted to hear or thought we knew. Dana was always available to us through email and text to answer questions on everything from negotiating points, to contractors, to permits, and so much more.
Dana’s experience as a realtor, investor, and landlord was invaluable and helped us to feel at ease as first timers. Dana went above and beyond the expectations we had for a realtor – helping us to forge relationships with lenders, attorneys, and contractors. She helped us get into the home of our dreams and we look forward to continuing to consult her in the future.”