SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Business

November 14, 2012

Moving on up

Brisk sales, stable prices means realistic home market

SALEM — Salem native Scott Garabedian loves his home at 3 Lincoln Road, a cozy four-bedroom Colonial in which he and his wife raised a family.

“This wasn’t a house, this was our home,” said Garabedian, whose home sits in a tight-knit neighborhood off Loring Avenue just up the road from Pickman Park.

Garabedian’s home was able to sell relatively quickly in a market that some North Shore real estate brokers describe as having both buyers and sellers with realistic expectations. Those expectations are leading to homes selling at a faster pace than a few years ago, but prices still have not shot through the roof.

With his youngest son in college, Garabedian and his wife became empty nesters, but that did not trigger the thought of moving. It was when Garabedian looked into refinancing that he saw how low interest rates have become.

The thought occurred to him that the downsizing move he and his wife intended to make to a townhouse condominium in four or five years was one best made now. When he bought his home 24 years ago, his mortgage was 11.9 percent. He has refinanced that rate over the years, but his new mortgage on his new townhouse is 2.6 percent.

“‘Why don’t we throw it on now and see what it is,’” Garabedian said he told his wife.

Garabedian felt the timing of the sale was off, given it was after Labor Day and his house was perfect for a family who might not want to move after the school year began.

“It really took less than 30 days to get an offer and get moving,” Garabedian said.

The home was under agreement in about two weeks, said Julianna Tache, an owner of Tache Real Estate in Salem, which listed the Garabedians’ home.

The offer of $330,000 was in the middle of the couple’s dream offer and the rock-bottom price they would accept.

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