Tom Lee Realtor® ABR CRS GRI LTG SRES | Medford MA Real Estate, Malden MA Real Estate

Your 401K is a great resource of investing for retirement. Many people use their 401k’s as a part of their overall investment strategies, pulling money out of it when it’s needed. When you’re ready to buy a house, you may think that pulling money out of your 401k for a down payment is a good idea. But think again. 

Although you should always speak with a financial professional about your money matters, the bottom line is that is probably not the best idea to use your 401k to supply money for a downpayment on a home. 

First, your 401k funds are pre-tax dollars. That means that you haven’t paid any taxes on these funds. Your employer will often match the amount of money that you put into your 401k, as an incentive to help you save money for your future. You need to keep your 401k for a certain amount of time before any funds in the 401k become available to you without having to pay any kind of penalty. If you decide to take on the penalty, you can often face a cut to your employer’s match programs as well. This is why you must make this decision wisely. 

The Penalties

Anyone under the age of 59.5 pays a penalty of 10 percent to take the money out of the fund. In addition, you’ll now need to pay taxes on this money, because it becomes a part of your adjusted gross income. 

Alternative Actions

If you are looking to invest in a property, there may be other options for you rather than pulling money out of your 401k. While some plans allow you to borrow money from it. However, if your only option to get money to invest in a property is to pull money from your retirement account, it may not be the best time to invest in property for you. 

Keep It Separate

If you’re younger (say in your 30’s or 40’s) your best option is to have a completely separate account that is used to save for a downpayment and other expenses that you’ll incur when you buy a home. In this sense you aren’t spreading yourself too thin as far as investments go. You should compartmentalize your money. Buying a home is a large investment in itself. Home equity can also be a good source of a nest egg in later years when you need it. However, even if a property will be an income property, it’s never smart to take from one investment account to provide for another unless you’re shifting your focus. You don’t want to reach retirement, only to see that your funds have been depleted and you can’t retire as expected.

This Multi-Family in Medford, MA recently sold for $565,000. This style home was sold by Tom Lee ABR CRS GRI LTG SRES - RE/MAX Andrew Realty Services.

157 Sharon St, Medford, MA 02155


Sale Price

Approx. GLA
New listing of a hard to find Medford duplex with 6 bedrooms and 2 baths, both units are empty. These units are being sold "AS IS". Each unit has 3 bedrooms, 1 full bath, living room, kitchen, dining room area, attic and cellar. Each unit have an enclosed front porch and open back porch. This property features original hardwood floors, one side private driveway and street parting out front. Property needs lots of work so Tradesmen, Contractors and Developers are also welcome to make a cash offer. Ideal for potential condo conversion. The duplex is in a great location on a quiet dead end street near Tufts, Whole Foods, The Mystic Lakes, Arlington Center, MTBA bus lines and commuter rail. Shopping and dining nearby. Open House this weekend April 16 - 17 from 12 pm to 2 pm. Offers due to agent by 4/19/2016 at 4 p.m.with 24 hour response from the seller.

It may not look like it, but a one level house can be as roomy as a two story home. Newer one level homes are designed with highly functional open floor plans. Colonial or ranch style roofs give these homes a traditional appearance, making them look as if they are two floors instead of one from the outside.

Because a one story house may be longer or wider than a two story house, you may get more yard with a one story home. Both housing structures offer rewards and limitations. Following are key features, including pros and cons, that are good to consider when trying to decide whether you want to buy a one level house or a two story home.

Square footage – If you live alone, you may not need or want much space in your home. You may be happy with a house that’s 900 square feet. A small, one level home may cost less while giving you all the room that you want. Should you have a large family, you may want 900 square feet of space on each floor, for a total of 1,800 square feet of living space.

Functionality– Houses that are designed with lots of rooms and doors may feel cramped, even if there is a lot of square footage in the house. Do you want a house that allows you to keep an eye on young children? Not only could an open floor plan help meet this need, so too could a one level house. On the other hand, if you have older children and want them to have a great deal of privacy, a two story house could prove best. A two story house would allow your older children to spend time upstairs in their bedroom for an hour or two while you had free reign on the house’s first floor.

Physical health – Arthritis and other health challenges could make it hard to climb stairs. Other challenges that stairs cause include children falling down stairs and older pets having to climb stairs. If you plan on living at your house for several years, think about what your lifestyle will be like a few years after you move into the house. Right now, you may not mind climbing stairs each time you do laundry, head to bed or retrieve an item from your bedroom. Yet, five to six years later, you may not want to climb stairs so frequently. Having older parents living with you is another point to consider when thinking about whether to buy a one level or a two story home.

Number ofrooms – Two story homes tend to have more rooms with doors. You may want roomswith doors for office space, bedrooms for teenage children or guest space. Ifyou plan on renting out a portion of your home, a two story house is almost amust.

Think about the different ways that you will use your home. For example, if you plan on using your home to conduct business, a two story house may prove more efficient.That way, you could use one level for the business and another level solely for family.

Whether you have a free-standing pantry, or a dedicated room for storing your kitchen essentials, there’s certain things that you should do to make sure your pantry is organized and that you have easy access to all of your items. Here’s some tips for good organization in your kitchen pantry: Be Careful With Stacking Canned Goods If you stack large items with other smaller items, such as different sized canned goods, it can pose a problem. An alternative to this storage dilemma is that of using risers. If you don’t want to put risers in because you feel that they’ll take up too much space, remember that these storage tools are giving you space in a different sense. However you choose to stack your canned goods, remember that the shortest item should be in the front. Organizing your canned goods by height can help to save you time and space. Store Open Items In Airtight Containers Items that have been opened should be stored in an airtight container with a lid. This can save you money by keeping items fresh. Also, you and your family will know what food items have been opened and need to be finished up before new items are ripped open. Keep cereals, crackers, cookies and even pet food fresh with the use of this simple tactic. Stacking Bins Save Space If you’re like most of America, your town probably recycles. Consider getting stacking bins for the pantry or kitchen area to place recyclables in. Make sure these bins aren’t too large. This way, you’ll be on top of taking the recycling outside to where it needs to be. This organizing tip helps to keep your kitchen clean. Also, be sure that these containers are easy to open for your convenience. Categorize Your Snack Foods Your kitchen pantry area will stay much more organized if you keep things in categories. Cookies and other sweet snacks should stay on one shelf in one area. Snacks for the kids should be easy to grab for little hands (that is of course if the kids have free reign over the kitchen!) Savory and salty snacks are a different category that will be on a completely different shelf and area. Baskets can be a great accessory for single-serve items. Boxes that snack items come in often take up a lot of space that could be better used. Bags of chips and other items are the same way. These bagged items can be transferred to sealable containers. Baskets are also easy to carry around if you’re offering a choice of snacks. Be sure you have clips to close bags and packages to keep snack items fresh. How Deep Is Your Shelf? Be mindful when it comes to shelving items like bottles that are all the same size. This can make things hard to find. These types of items are often best stored on a lazy Susan, or other type of turn-style storage that easily spins and allows you to see what’s available for your cooking use. This way, you’ll never have to move a bunch of things to find what you’re looking for! These kitchen pantry storage tips will help you to stay organized and save time both cooking and cleaning.

Home sellers will want to do everything they can to accelerate the sales process. And in many cases, home improvements may be necessary, which means you'll likely need to find a dependable contractor to help you enhance the quality of your residence. Although finding a qualified, affordable home improvement contractor may seem impossible at first, there are many ways to ensure that you're able to employ the best contractor for any upcoming home improvement project. Here are three tips that you can use to ensure that you're able to find a great home improvement contractor: 1. Conduct a Phone Interview. For some home repairs, you may be forced to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars. As such, you'll want to work with a top-notch home improvement contractor who will complete the necessary work to the best of his or her abilities. Typically, you'll want to conduct a phone interview before you hire a home improvement contractor. By doing so, you can ensure that both you and a home improvement professional are on the same page and can work together to transform any home repair project into a successful one. Asking about a home improvement contractor's expertise and experience is essential during a phone interview. Plus, you should ask for professional references and be prepared to answer a contractor's questions about your home improvement project. 2. Meet Face to Face. If a home improvement professional proves that he or she may be a viable candidate to complete your home improvement project, you should host a face-to-face meeting. A face-to-face meeting enables a contractor to explain exactly how he or she will approach your home repair project. It also may allow a contractor to get an up-close look at your residence and ensure that he or she is capable of finishing the project on schedule and budget. Furthermore, a face-to-face meeting may help you become more comfortable with a home improvement contractor. This meeting will allow you to get answers to any concerns or questions and ensure that you're able to find a great professional to help you complete your home repair project. 3. Finalize a Contract. A home improvement project represents a major endeavor, so you'll want to put the terms of your agreement with a contractor into a written agreement. The agreement should include details about every step of the project, including the products and materials that a home improvement professional will use, proof of liability insurance and a payment schedule. Also, you should not sign this agreement unless you feel comfortable with all of its terms. A clear agreement is paramount for both you and a home improvement contractor. And after you finalize this agreement, your contractor will be able to start working to repair your home and bolstering its quality immediately. Use the aforementioned tips to take the guesswork out of finding a reliable contractor to complete a home improvement project. By doing so, you'll be able to hire a great contractor who will help you improve your chances of maximizing the value of your residence.