Hello, we are AJ and Jen Migonis!
We have been a real estate team for the past three years. Working as a team allows us to give the clients the maximum flexibility with our schedule and two knowledgeable perspectives. We love working with buyers of all types. We’ve recently been helping a number of buyers purchase their first home. It is so fun to meet with them the first time and hear about their dreams for their first home and then to walk them through the process of finding a home, obtaining financing, securing an attorney and all the other little pieces that come into place. The biggest joy is to see them be handed the keys for the first time or to visit them at their new place a couple weeks after and see how thrilled they are to finally have their own home.
Because we have a background in investment properties (see our complete story below the reviews) we love helping people supplement their income through purchasing a property that will bring them in some rental income. If you are interested in chatting about buying your first home, getting into the investment property market or buying a second home in Boston’s North Shore area AJ and I would be overjoyed to walk you through the process. Just shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can set up a time to meet; we’ve recently been having potential buyers over our home for dessert, which we would love to invite you to do, or we are more than happy to come to you!
SOME REVIEWS FROM PAST AND CURRENT CLIENTS
I’ve been working with Jen to find a condo on the North Shore. She’s been incredibly helpful every step of the way. With my crazy work and travel schedule, it’s been so nice having a realtor willing to work with my schedule. She also has a great eye for properties with potential. One time we were standing in a kitchen, and she pointed out how an odd corner with a second sink might make for a great bathroom. I never would have thought of it! Jen and AJ are a good team! I know that any advice I receive from them has been talked and thought through by at least two realtors. Intending to purchase the beginning of 2016: Amber F.
I can’t say enough good things about Jen and AJ. They helped me through a very complicated process of purchasing a home on the north shore which included the added challenge of meeting first-time-homebuyer regulations. They were always there to answer my questions and give me solid financial advice. They knew exactly what I was looking for in a house and helped me get everything I could have wanted in a home. If you need someone to help you buy or sell your home Jen and AJ are the people to help you do it. They are the best in the business!Bought a Single Family home in 2015 for approximately in Gloucester, MA.: Abby S.
We’ve been working with Jen for a while now searching for the right home for our family. She has been available for the silliest of questions, always quick to arrange a viewing, and even sending “out of the box” ideas our way (because you just never know!) We are grateful for her patience as we search in a very popular area with a very limited budget and are confident we’ll find the perfect home together.Review written before they purchased a single family home in Beverly, MA in October 2015: Sarah and Karlos S.
A year and half ago, family and I decided to rent out our 2 family and buy another home. I was extremely worried that this would be too stressful for us, but AJ and Jen made the process so much easier for my husband and I. They were very patient with our ignorance of the market and of buying/selling/renting protocols and took the time to educate us on the things we needed to know. AJ walked through the house with us helping us prioritize what we needed to fix to get the house ready to rent. He helped us budget and plan. Essentially, because of him, we stayed within our means and did not go overboard on home improvements. Similarly, Jen worked hard with me to come up with a plan for staging the house and keeping it show worthy. She took beautiful pictures and used her connections and social media to attract people to our rental property. In the end our house looked incredible and we were able to get tenants immediately. While we were doing this, they also took us to many showings and open houses and helped us discern exactly what type of property we needed and wanted for our family and then they helped us find exactly the right house for us. They worked tirelessly to help us find a perfect place in a perfect location and stay in budget. We are so grateful. I cannot begin tell you how happy we are in our new home thanks to AJ and Jen Migonis.Purchased a single family home in Topsfield, MA: Abby and Steven W.
AJ & Jen are THE dynamic real estate duo…. a wealth of knowledge about local towns and schools, home reno, home design, investment properties… everything your family could possibly need and more! Actively searching to find “the one” with their guidance!Under contract for a short sale in Hamilton, MA with intended purchase date February 2016: Heather and Joe V.
Without further ado….
I wrote this post and then shortly after watched someone post on Facebook about the brand new luxury car they purchased and thought to myself that this post seemed just as braggy and not the way I wanted to share our family or our family’s goals. So I stewed about it all day and here’s what I came up with… if it comes across as braggy that is totally not my goal. My goal is to fill you in on our history with real estate and purchasing investment properties so that some of you may get the courage to do the same with your family. Owning and operating investment properties has a two-fold purpose: for now and for the future.
Some properties we make a profit from every month; we need these properties now to help supplement the income I was making while I was working full time. Some we just break even; these properties are ones we are holding on to for their future value. The day I met AJ (on a blind date!) he told me he was meeting with his lawyer about a house he was purchasing. Two things stood out to me: he had a lawyer (that was so grown-up!) and was buying an investment property (wow). As we dated I would stop in over the summer and encourage him with snacks while he was fixing up the house he had been in the process of buying or I would help paint or do other things with him. As we dated he told me more of his vision for investments. At that time he owned his condo and had bought a two family about a year before the house he was working to fix up and rent. He’d done all of this on a teacher’s salary.
Once we got engaged we started talking about fixing up a house to flip. Honestly, I can’t remember how we started talking about this but we saw this one house in Lynn, about forty minutes from us, made a full price offer the day it hit the market and purchased it three days after we were married. The six months after we were married were filled with days of working then driving to Lynn to fix up the house till 10pm then doing it all over again the next day. Not your typical first year of marriage. 🙂 That house was critical for us though. We made a good sized profit that we put straight into the down payment on our home.
After purchasing our home in Manchester in February 2010 we sat tight for about a year. When AJ’s grandmother passed away she gave him a portion of her inheritance. Instead of blowing it on fun things we spent $4500 on a truck for AJ, which was a lot more practical than his beloved, and very gassy smelling, 1984 BMW and then put the rest into a 25% down payment on a condo in Gloucester. (For most banks you need to put 25% down on any investment property.) This condo was key for us in two different ways: it had loads of equity in it immediately because it was a foreclosure and it gave us an excellent profit every month (those are the two key things to look for in any income property). Shortly after that we purchased a house to flip. After working on it for about four months, and doing the math, we realized we’d be better to hold onto this flip and rent it out until the market got even better. I didn’t love when AJ suggested that… but here’s the thing, if we were to sell that flip now we would make about triple what we would have three years ago when we bought it.
Our next purchase was a three family. This property was selling far below market value and we scooped in up when it had been on the market for about 10 minutes thanks to AJ’s relentless prowling of MLS (the multiple listing service available to Realtors and and our clients). We’ve found buildings with three units or more in it to be the best investments as rentals. With this three family we can carry the building if only two of the units are rented. Making sure your numbers work that way can definitely make it less intimidating when you know that not every unit has to be rented to pay your mortgage.The next purchase was a 15 family, a large Mansard style home that is comprised of typical apartments and studios with shared bathrooms. There are very few buildings like this where we live and because of that rarely have vacancies because the rents are some of the most affordable around. This property was out of our price range when it hit the market and the bank told us to sit tight and wait to purchase something else. AJ could see that this building would eventually be his exit strategy from teaching and started talking with our real estate broker, and AJ’s mentor, about it. Our broker ended up buying the building and over the next year walked AJ through the process of managing such a large project (previously our largest building up until this point was the three-family). Our broker made a lot of updates to the building so after that year he could sell the building to AJ and I as a well-oiled machine. After that mentoring year was over we purchased the building from Peter under fair-market value but high enough that all his improvements were more than paid for. AJ is at this building every day or every other day. Anyone who tells you real estate is passive income is wrong. It certainly is more passive than sitting at a desk for 40 hours a week but AJ is always making repairs, settling tenant disputes, cleaning bathrooms, etc.
You’re probably wondering how we did all this when I was a stay-at-home mom for most of it and AJ was, and still is, a teacher. For more info see this FAQs post HERE about how we’ve financed these projects and how we choose which properties to purchase. We currently have 23 units, made up of a condo, two single families and multi-families.