A. A. Zamarro Realty has served the residential and commercial real estate markets of Worcester, MA for over 50 years. Whether you’re looking to buy, sell or rent – we can help.
Worcester Business Journal recently ran an article on declining college enrollment numbers (Colleges Adjust to Shrinking Enrollment Numbers, November 11), the impact on local institutions, and steps being taken by area schools to ameliorate any decline in revenue.
For owners of multi-family properties who look to college students to fill their apartments, it’s an uncertain time. For several years, the cost of room and board has outpaced the cost of renting an apartment and paying for utilities and necessities. Another relatively recent trend, whereby ‘going to college’ has been synonymous with ‘moving out of the parents’ house’ – means that even those students attending a school relatively close to home choose to live on or near campus.
Schools have responded by building dorms, or in the case of the Mass College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, buying up entire blocks of apartments and condos to offer housing to students and faculty.
At first glance, it’s easy to think that multi-family owners might find fewer student tenants for their apartments. But a few factors still point to the strength of student rentals:
- Recognizing that students are more price-sensitive, colleges have begun to freeze tuition rates; however, those increases will be offset by eliminating discounts, requiring students to save money where possible, such as seeking (ostensibly) cheaper off-campus housing options.
- Colleges like Holy Cross are placing additional weight on recruiting students from outside of New England; in theory, a higher number of students who don’t have the option to live with their parents, thus needing housing likely in excess of what the school can provide, will offset the college’s decision to decrease the size of their incoming freshman class.
- Worcester is fortunate to have several top-ranked schools with educational offerings in growth areas such as healthcare and engineering; these schools will continue to attract students despite high tuition costs.
- Many institutions offer advanced degree options (master’s level, PhD, M.D., etc) which draw students from around the nation and the world; the majority of these students are in off-campus housing either by need or by choice.
Landlords who rely on students to fill their properties should know how changes in the education market can impact their business, but in the end, properly-managed, quality housing should survive hiccups in the larger economic environment.
Waterfront property in Shrewsbury—zoned for limited business use!
7,970 sf lot containing an existing structure with 1,024 sf living space, 2 bedrooms and one bath. Additional 1,024 sf in unfinished basement. Gas heat. Download property flyer.
Contact Carmine Zamarro at 508-769-4499.
All information taken from public record. Buyer to confirm zoning and land use regulations. Non-MLS listing by request of seller.
Certain misconceptions on rental fees and costs tend to stay alive in the minds of both landlords and tenants. Landlords and tenants should both be aware of the facts on fees associated with property rentals, as well as the payments that a landlord may lawfully collect in advance.
- Massachusetts law does not allow for rental property prepayments beyond “first and last month’s rent, one month’s security deposit, and the cost of installing a new lock.” (M.G.L. c. 186 § 15B)
- A landlord may not charge a ‘finder’s fee’ to a prospective tenant
- A landlord may not charge a ‘late payment’ fee for rent paid after the agreed-upon date, unless the rent is paid more than 30 days past due. However, Massachusetts law does not provide for a grace period, and a landlord may send a notice-to-quit immediately if the tenant does not pay on time according to the lease terms
- A landlord may not offer reduced rent in exchange for early or on-time payment
Commercial/multi-family opportunity – prime location on Grafton Hill! One street-level commercial space currently used as restaurant, plus 6 residential units consisting of 2 bedrooms and 1 bath each. All units rented! Call for additional information on income and expenses. Street addresses are 344 & 346 Grafton Street, plus 11 Houghton Street. All information recorded under assessor’s card for 11 Houghton Street. List Price: $675,000
Call George at 508-612-1573 or email email@example.com. 24-hour notice required to show.
- Home inspection – approximately $400-600. This is an important component! No matter your level of expertise, it’s never a bad idea to get a home inspection. Other inspection costs can include termite/pest inspection, lead paint inspection, radon test, well water quality test, etc.
- Attorney fee – approximately $400-600. Can often be reduced if the bank or closing attorney will also represent the buyer.
- Title Examination and Certification (outside of Worcester and contiguous towns) – $300-500. Lender Title Insurance Policy costs approximately $3.00 per thousand; owner may obtain Owner Title Insurance Policy for an additional fee.
- Fees charged by lending bank – application fee, processing fee, attorney fee, appraisal fee.
- Prepaid costs – mortgage interest, real estate taxes, homeowner insurance policy, water/sewer bill, condominium fees, oil-in-tank (if applicable).
- Escrows, if required, for real estate taxes, property insurance, mortgage insurance.
- Costs associated with your loan – Private Mortgage Insurance for buyers with less than a 20% down payment; ‘Points’ added to loan; FHA Mortgage Insurance Premium; VA loan fees.
- Certificate of Municipal Liens, payable to City/Town, certifying that there are no municipal liens on the property.
- Recording fees for deed, mortgage, and municipal lien certificate – approximately $500.
- Plot plan – $150-300.
- Massachusetts Excise Stamps, due at closing, equal to $4.56 per thousand based on the sale price.
- Title Examination and Certification (Worcester and contiguous towns) is approximately $300-500.
- Real Estate Broker/Agent fee – covers the agent’s expenses associated with selling the property such as advertisements and agent’s investment of time; may also be used to compensate buyer’s agent.
- Attorney’s fees – variable; approximately $400-600.
- Recording fee of $75 per mortgage discharge (in MA), plus money wiring fees and overnight mail fees associated with each discharge obtained.
- Cost of Smoke Detector/Carbon Monoxide Certificate from local fire department. In Worcester, the certificate for a single-family dwelling is $50; the fee is $60 for a two-family dwelling, and $70 for a three-family dwelling. (View application)
- Adjustments due to buyer for water, sewer, real estate tax and condo fees; in a multi-family property, this would also include adjustments for tenant rent payments and any deposits held by the seller.
- Other miscellaneous fees where applicable – cost to obtain Title V certificate; cost of wood stove permit; fees charged by condominium associations to supply copies of documents such as association by-laws, etc.