176 Brooklawn Court | New Bedford, MA 02745
Phone: 508-998-1888 | Fax: 508-995-0604
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Helpful Information


For years, Gold Star Realty has been serving the Greater New Bedford area with exceptional Real Estate services for both buyers and sellers. Our approach is simple. We aim to meet the client's needs with personal and professional service – and we do just that. We understand that a Real Estate Transaction is not just a stack of papers or contracts. These transactions involve real people in need of services to obtain the best possible results. The key to our success has always been, and continues to be "team-work". Whether you're looking to buy your first home, trying to sell your existing home, or looking for the perfect location for your business; we're here to work with you, and we're here to help!

Greater New Bedford is an area of superlatives - tastiest seafood, the best waterways and the friendliest people. Here, the quality of life and the variety of cultural, economic, geographic and educational advantages provide a progressive atmosphere, rich in heritage and opportunity. The area's proximity to metropolitan areas like Boston and Providence, and the communities of Cape Cod and the Islands, make this one of the most desirable areas in which to live, work and play. Bordered by the Atlantic, this area has a long and rich history, a history rich in its cosmopolitan nature, still simple in its traditional New England values.

The Greater New Bedford area is comprised of ten communities, each of which adds a distinct flavor to the composite whole. From the metropolitan nature of New Bedford to the rural atmosphere of Rochester, each of these communities contributes to the rich appeal held by the area as a whole. Established as a separate township in 1787, the city of New Bedford enjoyed the reputation of the Whaling Capital of the World during the last century. The transition from whaling to fishing was a smooth one, making the working waterfront a continuous and vital part of the local economy. Today, the New Bedford and Fairhaven harbors are home base for the largest fishing fleet on the East Coast and the number one revenue-producing port in the nation.

The city is a well-balanced mix of old and new. Sensitive to the important role it played in the nation's history, New Bedford has retained much of its heritage through thoughtful restoration and preservation efforts. These efforts are seen in the cobblestone streets, period lighting, and carefully preserved whaling mansions in the Waterfront and Historic Districts. Through balanced industrial planning and placement, New Bedford has successfully met the challenges presented by progress without sacrificing its past. With just over 12 miles of coastline and a natural deep water port, New Bedford's ties to the sea are forever locked in place. A fishing fleet of 350 vessels brought in catches worth the highest dollar value in the country; making New Bedford the number one fishing port in the nation.

Protected by a breakwater and hurricane gates, New Bedford's inner harbor provides a natural deep water channel that will accommodate vessels with up to 30 feet of draft. New Bedford also boasts a modern State Pier with storage capability and easy access to rail, highway and air transportation. Trucks leaving Greater New Bedford enter the Interstate Highway network within five minutes and are within an overnight drive from 35%A of our nation's population. Major cities such as Baltimore, Washington D.C., Albany NY, Philadelphia, Portland ME and New York City all lie within easy access of freight service, as evidenced by the large volumes of fresh seafood and locally manufactured goods from companies like Aerovox, Inc., Polaroid Corp., Calvin Clothing Corp. and Acushnet Company (maker of Titleist, Pinnacle, and FootJoy Golf Products) which are shipped out of New Bedford each day.

The New Bedford area provides future industrial endeavors with a well planned, solid infrastructure that will address their needs. Greater New Bedford is blessed with plentiful fresh water, a natural deep water port, a lucrative working waterfront, and one of the most technologically advanced airports in the state. Programs exist on the regional and local levels to assist companies in finding financial, human and facility resources. Available facilities range from renovated mills in urban settings to ready-to-develop land in rural and suburban industrial parks.

The New Bedford Industrial Park is a hugely successful industrial complex set in New Bedford's north end just minutes from the Municipal Airport.

One of the most technologically advanced airports in Massachusetts, New Bedford's Municipal Airport, features two 5,000 foot runways, a state-of the art manned tower, and is the training airport of choice for air-traffic controllers around the country. With scheduled service to Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket Islands, and charter service available to anywhere in the world, New Bedford's airport is receiving more recognition every year.

Area economic development agencies work together to complement traditional resources available to arriving and existing companies, focusing specifically on human resources. By coordinating efforts and cataloging resources such as Tax Exempt Industrial Bonds, free training programs and tax incentives for locally hired workers, local economic development agencies assure that both existing business and new companies alike receive the level of service they need to prosper in our area.

Opened in 1979 by the Wareham Economic Development and Industrial Corporation (EDIC), Wareham's Industrial Park began attracting business to its perfectly situated acres. The park affords easy access to Interstates 195 and 495. The park now has over 40 employers who employ over 500 people.

People are attracted to the opportunities of Southeastern Massachusetts. Good employees are grown here or come here. As a result, fine companies flourish here. Considering the region's variety of attractions, lifestyles and natural assets, it is obvious why Greater New Bedford is a great place to live, work and play.

Population: 93,000
Area: 20.14 Square Miles
Approx. Distance from Boston: 54 Miles
Tax Rate: $15.41 per $1,000
Government: Mayor-Council
Public School System: 22 (K-6), 3 (7-8), 1 (7-12); 1 (9-12)
Medical Facilities: Jordan Hospital, St. Lukes Hospital, Tobey Hospital

Here's how a REALTOR is of service to YOU!

1. A REALTOR knows real estate values and can intelligently determine the fair market price of a home at the time of purchase.

2. A REALTOR has a list of available properties in various neighborhoods and in different price ranges, and works closely with other REALTORS in sharing information about what properties are available.

3. A REALTOR is familiar with each house he or she offers for sale and, in most cases, has personally inspected the property.

4. Because a REALTOR knows your financial position, your basic needs and desires, he or she will only show you homes that "fit the bill". He or she will not waste your time on properties you can't afford or would not be interested in.

5. A REALTOR knows real estate values, can recommend homes that will fit your budget, and will answer all questions concerning zoning, the neighborhood, schools, churches, shopping centers, and transportation.

6. A REALTOR does not have personal ties or fond memories concerning the property. He or she will answer all questions objectively, pointing out any defects or advantages in a particular home.

7. A REALTOR is familiar with local lending institutions, knows how much down payment will be required, and what the approximate monthly payments and closing costs will be.

8. A REALTOR will work closely with you, showing you every available property that meets your specifications. He or she will never "high pressure" you into buying something that you're not completely satisfied with.

9. A REALTOR is experienced in presenting your offer on a home you have selected and will guide you through the negotiation stages.

10. A REALTOR operates under a strict Code of Ethics enforced by the National Association of Realtors, assuring you the most competent, professional and ethical performance available.

Here's what a REALTOR does for you!

1. A REALTOR knows real estate values, can intelligently determine the fair market price of a home at the time of sale, helping to assure top dollar for your property.

2. A REALTOR has a list of pre-screened prospects, people seriously interested in buying a home.

3. A REALTOR is familiar with zoning codes, neighborhoods, schools, churches, transportation, and shopping centers.

4. A REALTOR does not have personal ties or fond memories concerning the property. Therefore, he or she is better able to answer all questions objectively and unemotionally.

5. Because of his or her many years experience, a REALTOR can offer many valuable suggestions on how to make your home more saleable.

6. A REALTOR knows how to advertise a property to gain maximum results, and has referrals from others.

7. A REALTOR pre-screens all prospects, sets up appointments and personally shows the property. You are not bothered with lookers, curious and undesirable traffic.

8. A REALTOR knows how to "sell" the property and obtain a firm offer without pressuring the buyer.

9. A REALTOR knows how to assist the buyer in obtaining a mortgage, the amount of down payment required, points, escrow, property taxes, closing costs and utility bills.

10. A REALTOR will present to you offers made on your property and will assist you in negotiating the sale and in guiding you through the closing process.

11. A REALTOR operates under a strict Code of Ethics enforced by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS, assuring you the most competent, professional and ethical performance available.

The Purchase or Sale of your home is one of the most important transactions you will ever make. The process of buying a home requires attention to numerous details, many of which require extensive knowledge of local real estate laws. Therefore, it is advisable to consult with and enlist the services of a knowledgeable real estate attorney.

The role of an attorney is particularly important in the following matters:

A. Purchase and Sale Agreement

To avoid potential complications, it is advisable for both the buyer and seller to enlist the services of a real estate attorney prior to signing a Purchase and Sale Agreement. By doing this, each attorney can help make his/her client aware of the legal ramifications of each clause in the Purchase and Sale Agreement.

B. Title Search

This is accomplished by examining the records at the Registry of Deeds and, in some cases, the Registry of Probate of the county in which the property is located to insure that the owner does in fact have a good, clear record and marketable title to the property. The title search will also reveal any encumbrances, rights of way, easements, restrictions and any other matters or conditions which may affect the property.

C. The Closing

This is the final financial settlement. The buyer, the seller, their respective attorneys and the attorney for the mortgage holder meet to finalize and execute all the closing documents. These include, among many others:
1. The Deed
2. Discharges of Mortgages
3. Promissory Note and Mortgage
4. The Truth in Lending Statement which documents all finance charges
5. Survey or Mortgage Plot Plan
6. Final Accounting which involves a prorating of property taxes, water bills, etc.

D. After the Closing

After the closing, the title examination is updated and the Deed, Mortgage and other miscellaneous documents, including a Municipal Lien Certificate from the town or city in which the property is located are recorded in the Registry of Deeds, at which time title to the property is transferred to the new owner.

The attorney's role is to make sure that his/her client is informed and protected through the transaction. When choosing an attorney, keep in mind that many specialize in certain aspects of legal practice. You should take the time to make sure that the attorney you choose is familiar with local real estate laws and practices.

CONVENTIONAL:

These types of mortgages are currently made through banks, savings and loans, and mortgage companies. They are typically made for 25 to 30 years and are called "fixed rate" mortgages. The amount of money on a conventional mortgage ranges from approximately 75% to 95% of the value of the property.

ADJUSTABLE RATE:

This type of mortgage is one which the interest rate fluctuates throughout the term of the loan.

FHA:

This loan is made through banks, savings and loans, and mortgage companies, but is backed by the Federal Housing Authority. There are different programs within the FHA such as FHA 203 loan and FHA 245 loan. Qualifications and interest rates may differ from a conventional loan.

VA:

These loans are made to qualified veterans. The maximum interest rate is set by the Federal Government and these loans may require no money down.

SHORT TERM BALLOON:

These loans are typically for a set period of time, 1, 3, or 5 years for example. Although based on a payment schedule of 30 years they must be paid off at the end of 1, 3, or 5 year period. The term balloon is used because the entire amount or "balloon" amount is paid off at the end of the loan period.

GRADUATED PAYMENT MORTGAGES:

This plan allows people to make less of a monthly payment in the early part of a mortgage and greater amount of payment in later years.

SHARED APPRECIATION MORTGAGES:

Under this program, the borrower obtained a lower interest rate in exchange for giving the lender or some other party a share in the increased value of the home, so that when the property is sold, the equity is shared.

ASSUMPTIONS:

This is a method of financing that allows the buyer to take over an existing loan with the permission of the lender. This type of loan is normally less than current interest rates. Typically, all VA and FHA loans can be assumed.

OWNER FINANCING:

In some cases the seller is in a position to take back or hold the first or second mortgage on the property. This provides a mortgage when none was available, or more importantly, at a lower interest than the current market.

FANNIE MAE:

Federal National Mortgage Association is a national organization which "buys" mortgages from local lenders to keep a constant flow of mortgages available to home buyers.

The Role of a Realtor in the Real Estate Transaction

A REALTOR is a licensed real estate broker or agent who has taken additional steps to become a member of the local Board of Realtors and has agreed to act under and adhere to a strict Code of Ethics. A REALTOR, whether acting as an agent for the seller or buyer, is bound by the Code of Ethics to give fair treatment to all parties in the transaction. Some of the services you should expect from a REALTOR include:
  • A complete understanding of the type of property that will best meet your needs and wants.
  • Assisting in determining how much home you can afford.
  • Researching the market for suitable properties.
  • Showing properties and soliciting your feedback.
  • Preparing the Sales Contract.
  • Assisting with the arranging of financing.
  • Interacting with other REALTORS, lending institutions, and attorneys from the agreement through closing.
When selecting a REALTOR, some of the qualities you should consider are the REALTOR's knowledge, perseverance, enthusiasm, his or her ability to keep you informed on a regular basis, the reputation of the office and its cooperation with outside agents. Another important consideration is the emphasis both the agent and the office place on training and continuing education.

The goal of the REALTOR and the buyer is to find a property which meets the buyer's needs, within his/her budget and time frame and bring the sale to closing in a timely fashion. There are four ways that you, the buyer, can greatly assist in this effort.
  • Be loyal to one REALTOR. Select a REALTOR you feel comfortable with and direct all inquiries to that person. Once assured of the loyalty of the buyer, a REALTOR will spend unlimited time, effort, and energy to see that buyer happily relocated.
  • Give the REALTOR as much information as possible about the type of property desired, the urgency of relocation, and details on your income and debt levels which will affect your ability to qualify for a mortgage.
  • Let your REALTOR who is a member of a Multiple Listing Service (MLS) investigate all ads. It is not necessary to call each office to see its listings. Your REALTOR has the same information and can obtain prompt assistance from a fellow REALTOR.
  • Be frank with your REALTOR about the price range and your reaction to each property to avoid confusing the picture and making your search for the right home difficult.

ADJUSTABLE RATE MORTGAGE: A loan that allows the lender to adjust the borrower's interest rate and payments at prescribed times and sometimes with prescribed limits.

AMORTIZED LOAN: A loan which is paid off in equal installments during its term.

APPRAISAL: An estimate of real estate value, usually issued to the standards of FHA, VA, FNMA. Recent comparable sales in the neighborhood are the most important factor in determining value.

ASSUMABLE MORTGAGE: Purchaser takes ownership to real estate encumbered by an existing mortgage and assumes responsibility as the guarantor for the unpaid balance of the mortgage.

CLOSING COSTS: Expenses incurred in the closing of a real estate or mortgage transaction. Purchaser's expenses normally include: cost of title examination, premiums for title policies, survey, attorney fees, lender's service fees, and recording charges. In addition, the purchaser may have to place in escrow a sum of money to cover accrued real estate taxes and insurance.

CONVENTIONAL MORTGAGE: A loan neither insured by the FHA nor guaranteed by the VA.

EQUITY: The difference between the market value of property and the homeowner's indebtedness (mortgage).

ESCROW PAYMENT: That portion of a mortgage's monthly payment held in trust by the lender to pay for taxes, hazard insurance, mortgage insurance, lease payments, and other items as they become due, known as impounds in some states.

EXCHANGE: The trading of an equity in a piece of property for the equity in another.

FANNIE MAE: Nickname for Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA), a tax paying corporation created by Congress to support the secondary mortgages insured by FHA or guaranteed by VA, as well as conventional home mortgages.

FIXED RATE MORTGAGE: A loan that fixes the interest rate at a prescribed rate for the duration of the loan.

FREDDIE MAC: Nickname for Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (FHLMC), a federally controlled and operated corporation to support the secondary mortgage market. It purchases and sells residential conventional home mortgages.

GRADUATED PAYMENT MORTGAGE: An FHA, VA, or Conventional loan where the borrower pays a portion of the interest due each month during the first few years of the loan. The payment increases gradually during the first few years to the amount necessary to fully amortize the loan during its life.

INVESTOR: The holder of a mortgage or the permanent lender for whom the mortgage banker services the loan. Any person or institution that invests in mortgages.

LEASE PURCHASE AGREEMENT: Buyer makes a deposit for the future purchase of a property with the right to lease the property in the interim.

LOAN TO VALUE RATIO: The ratio of the mortgage loan principal (amount borrowed) to the property's appraised value (selling price). On a $100,000 home, with a mortgage loan principal of $80,000, the loan to value ration is 80%.

MORTGAGE/DEED OF TRUST: Pledge of real property to secure a debt by a written instrument given by the mortgagor. Should be recorded in the County Recorder's Office.

MORTGAGE INSURANCE PREMIUM (MIP): The consideration paid by a mortgagor for mortgage insurance either to FHA or a private mortgage insurance (PMI) company. This insurance protects the investor from possible loss in the event of a borrower's default on a loan.

MORTGAGEE: The lender of money or the receiver of the mortgage document.

MORTGAGOR: A borrower of money or the giver of the mortgage document.

NOTE: A written promise to pay a certain amount of money.

ORIGINATION FEE: A fee or charge for work involved in the evaluation, preparation, and submission of a proposed mortgage loan.

POINT: One percent of loan amount.

PREPAYMENT PENALTY: A fee paid to the mortgagee for paying the mortgage before it becomes due. Also known as prepayment fee or reinvestment fee.

PREPAYMENT PRIVILEGE: The right given to a purchaser to pay all or part of a debt prior to its maturity. The mortgagee cannot be compelled to accept any payment other than those originally agreed to.

PRIVATE MORTGAGE INSURANCE (PMI): Insurance written by a private company protecting the mortgage lender against loss occasioned by a mortgage default.

RENT WITH OPTION: A contract which gives one the right to lease property at a certain sum with the option to purchase at a future date.

SECOND MORTGAGE/SECOND TRUST: Junior Mortgage or Junior Lien; an additional loan imposed on property with a first mortgage. Generally at a higher interest rate and shorter terms than a "first" mortgage.

STRAIGHT LOAN: A loan with periodic payments of interest only; the principal sum due in one lump sum upon maturity.

TITLE: Often used interchangeably with the word ownership. It indicates the accumulation of all rights in property, the owner's and others'.

TITLE INSURANCE: An insurance policy which protects the insured (purchaser or lender) against loss arising from defects in title.