The Charles Realty

Thinking About a Move to Boston? Here Are 5 Things You Should Know

With diverse neighborhoods, booming development and a current shortage in the supply of homes for sale, real estate in Boston can be a complicated matter, which is why it's critical to work with an experienced local agent.  But there are other things about the city outside of real estate that have an impact on the average day of a Bostonian.  If you're a local buying a home in Boston, it's easier to navigate some of these nuances of the city, but if you're moving in from out of State or a suburb you might not know what questions to ask or what kind of research to do.  So, we asked our friend Jeremy Alderman at Zog Digital to put together a list of 5 important things people moving to Boston should know about the city before they move here.  Here's what he had to say:

There’s a lot you need to know before moving to Boston. With schools like Boston College, Boston University, and of course Harvard Medical School and Harvard Business School, Boston reaps all the benefits of a youthful population brimming with innovation and enterprise. Boston even beats out both New York and Los Angeles as a top city for venture capital investing (surprising, I know), creating a great startup environment. But it’s helpful to understand a few things about the city if you’re planning a move to Beantown, so here are some things to review before loading up the moving truck:

University Town 

Boston and its surrounding suburbs boast some of America’s most elite universities. This includes exceptionally prestigious institutions like Harvard University, MIT, Tufts University, Boston College, Boston University, Emerson College, and Northeastern University, with Dartmouth, Brown, and Yale also in close proximity. What does that mean for homebuyers shopping for real estate in Boston for the first time? Expect a younger crowd when you’re looking in certain neighborhoods like Fenway / Kenmore, which is home to Boston University.  Take the time to really explore the city’s neighborhoods so you can get a feel for the atmosphere, demographics of potential neighbors and how the local universities - and their students - affect the area.  With over 30 colleges and universities within Boston’s greater metropolitan area, it’s safe to say that Boston is truly a college city and enjoys a multitude of benefits through university partnerships. 

Boston + Sports = <3

The Patriots. The Red Sox. The Bruins. The Celtics. If you’re not a sports fan when you move to Boston, you will surely become one, as the fandom of Boston’s teams is extraordinary and contagious. If by chance you don’t get caught up in the allure of Boston’s teams, it is absolutely necessary to acknowledge that many Bostonians are deeply devoted, so each game has an impact on the city. For the non-sports fans considering a move to Beantown, keeping track of game schedules will prove to be immensely helpful when mapping out travel time through and around the city. On game days the influx of sports fans from around the city and surrounding area will certainly affect your commute, so it would be wise to keep note of who plays who even if you won’t be tracking the scoreboard.

Boston Loves Its Startups and Tech Companies

Boston and its neighboring cities, like Cambridge, have developed an attractive corporate culture for tech giants like Google, Amazon, and Microsoft. In fact, Boston is a frontrunner for the site of Amazon’s second corporate headquarters.  Plus, Boston has positioned itself to become a great place for hundreds of startups due to its proximity to nearby universities and abundance of well-educated students and post-grads with motivation and fresh ideas. Cambridge’s Kendall Square, which neighbors MIT, is a great example of a neighborhood that demonstrates a thriving startup scene thanks to eager students and recent graduates.

Day Trips, Getaways, and Breweries 

There’s a lot to do with a weekend in Boston, and a trip to one of the city’s many craft breweries should definitely make the list. Although craft brewing has always been a common trade in Boston, the industry has grown quite a bit since the big breweries have entered the scene. Many breweries offer tours and host festivals, including Harpoon Brewery and of course, Samuel Adams. Keep in mind that while most bars around the city shutdown at 2 AM, the metro system stops running generally between 12:30 AM and 1:00 AM.

But if you need an escape, quiet destination spots like Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket are a quick drive away, and offer charm and refuge, especially during the warmer months. Even without a car, many nearby vacation spots are accessible by bus, train, or ferry ride. 

One thing you should know about Boston is that Massachusetts’s winters are notoriously harsh. Each winter the city is hit by a few major snowstorms that halt activity and travel.  Wintertime temperatures can often dip down into the low twenties and sometimes the high teens, so dress warm! 

The T 

The Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (The T) is at the heart of many Bostonian’s everyday commute. Before you move to Boston, you need to embrace public transportation. If you plan to use the T, it would be wise to consider selecting a home or apartment with easy access to a station, preferably one on the same color line you need to take to get to work. Although living within walking distance from a T station would be ideal, expect that convenience to reflect in your rent. These locations are sought after and typically more expensive. 

Real Estate Shopping 

Your best bet for apartment shopping in Boston is to contact a Boston real estate agent who knows the city and it’s neighborhoods.  Housing in the city is diverse - condos in Back Bay are very different from the real estate in The Seaport District or the common owner-occupied double or triple-deckers you’ll find in Somerville and Dorchester.  These homes are often older, are individually managed, and come with fewer amenities than new apartment buildings.  As with all cities, Boston real estate prices depend greatly on location, and a Boston real estate agent will be best able to identify an ideal location based on your needs. 

Before you unload the moving van, think about reserving your moving permit online through Boston City Hall. Many rental apartments within the city are accompanied by a September 1st move in date to accommodate (for better or worse) all of the many college students moving back to campus in the fall, so be prepared if you’re moving in that timeframe!

Boston is a thriving city with so much to offer for newcomers. It has a timeless and historic appeal for both locals and visitors, while still maintaining a fresh East Coast atmosphere with endless opportunities in business, education, culture and entertainment. Trusting local experts will ensure you discover the perfect real estate property for sale in Boston - whether you're looking for a luxury condo in Back Bay or a townhouse in South Boston.  Our friends at The Charles Realty have unparalleled knowledge of the city and it’s neighborhoods, having been in the forefront of the Boston real estate market for 34 years, and they help clients immerse themselves into the city and get acclimated to their neighborhood with leading insights on all things Boston. 

 

 

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    Savvy Buyers Are Choosing Real Estate In East Boston - 10 Hot New Buildings

    In our last new construction feature we focused on one of the hottest and most lively residential and commercial development scenes impacting real estate in Boston - The Seaport.  This week, we’re heading across the harbor to East Boston, another waterfront neighborhood experiencing an unprecedented flood of development.  

    There was a time, not long ago, when East Boston, home to Boston’s Logan Airport, was somewhat of a red-headed stepchild when compared to it’s sister neighborhoods.  Known as a working-class neighborhood with a large number of foreign-born residents who have lived in the neighborhood for many years, Eastie was a small enclave of cheap and authentic ethnic cuisine, impressive views of the Boston skyline and most importantly to many - some of the most affordable real estate in Boston.  But over the last several years, as the supply of homes for sale in downtown Boston dropped and the flow of new inventory slowed to a trickle, buyers were forced to expand their search to areas just outside of downtown, like East Boston, that still had a lot to offer.  Developers, both residential and commercial identified the trend and the opportunity it presented, and so began Eastie’s transformation into one of the areas new “It” neighborhoods.  With a striking number of new residential projects, many of them luxury condos, and an influx of chic new restaurants and stores, the neighborhood’s appeal, and it’s average home value, are on a serious trajectory.  Here are 10 new construction projects that anyone interested in East Boston real estate should take note of:

    1. Clippership Wharf

    (Source: bldup.com)

    Clippership Wharf is a mixed-use development project on 12 acres of the East Boston Waterfront.  The phased project began with the erection of the first three buildings - two containing 284 apartments and the third consisting of 80 condominiums (dubbed Slip65).  Phase two will include a fourth building with 114 apartments.  Here are the specifics:

    • A total of 478 residences with approximately 30,200 square feet of retail and community space, including a cafe and restaurant
    • Over four acres of waterfront open space including a new Harborwalk
    • 321 vehicle parking spaces on site, 300 of those in an underground parking garage
    • Slip65 will include one and two-bedrooms with top-of-the-line finishes and waterfront views throughout
    • Slip65 amenities include indoor and outdoor gathering areas, a fitness and social club and bike storage
    • Slip65 condos are currently on sale, but are 95% sold
    • Apartments at Clippership Wharf will be dubbed Dox, and leasing will begin in 2018
    • Located steps from Maverick Square and MBTA Blue Line station, and is a three-minute train ride to Downtown Boston

    2. Portside at East Pier Phase 2

    (Source: bldup.com)

    As the name suggests, Portside at East Pier is ideally located on over two acres of the East Boston Waterfront with views of the cityscape. Phase one of the project was completed in November of 2014 with the second, larger phase scheduled for completion in September of 2018.  It will include:

    • 296 residential units across two new five-story buildings
    • 43 units will be designated affordable and eight will be extended-stay units.  The remaining 245 units will be offered at market rates
    • 11,000 square feet of amenities on the ground floor, including an indoor pool
    • A one-level underground parking garage on site with 253 spaces

    3. The Residences at 245 Sumner Street

    (Source: bldup.com)

    This new luxury residential apartment building is located in the waterfront Jeffries Point neighborhood of East Boston.  Luxury rental buildings are popular in downtown Boston, but options for luxury rentals in East Boston are far more scarce.  The Residences at 245 Sumner Street will offer a great opportunity for those looking for a luxury rental in Boston without the price tag commonly attached to luxury rentals in Back Bay, The South End and The Seaport.  Here are more details:

    • 34 luxury units including 2 and 3-bedrooms with open floor plans, natural lighting, private decks and 9-foot ceilings
    • Finishes include bamboo hard wood floors, high-efficiency LED lighting, brushed nickel door hardware and faucets, stainless steel appliances and granite counters
    • 2,257 square feet of ground-floor retail 
    • Market-rate rents start at $2,400 / month for 2-bed / 2 bath, and $3,100 for a 3-bed / 2 bath apartment 
    • 34 vehicle parking spaces are located in an underground garage, with bicycle storage as well

    4. Coppersmith Village

    (Source: bldup.com)

    This mixed-use development is currently under construction along Border and Liverpool streets and will offer both rentals and ownership condominiums.  Here are the specifics:

    • 71 residential units and approximately 3,000 square feet of ground-floor retail
    • Two multifamily buildings will feature 56 1, 2 and 3-bedroom rentals as well as ground floor retail
    • One building will include 15 condominiums for sale
    • 37 vehicle parking spaces under the two rental buildings, which will be connected by a ground-floor lobby
    • Each condo will include a one-car garage

    5. 70 Bremen Street

    (Source: bldup.com)

    Mixed-use buildings seem to make up a large percentage of new construction projects in Boston.  Buildings with retail space are particularly attractive to residents because they offer conveniences and an energy that other, strictly residential, buildings don’t often have.  Here are the details of 70 Bremen Street, a mixed-use building just steps from the East Boston Waterfront:

    • 32 residences with 1,028 square feet of ground-floor retail space
    • Four studios, 16 1-bedrooms and 12 two-bedrooms
    • A 30 vehicle at-grade parking garage
    • Located near the MBTA Blue Line, Maverick Square and the East Boston Greenway

    6. 320 Maverick Street

    (Source: bldup.com)

    Located a short walk from the MBTA Blue Line in Maverick Square, Piers park and the East Boston Waterfront, 320 Maverick Street will feature residential condominiums expected to be completed in early 2018.  The buildings will feature:

    • 33 new residential condominiums
    • 4 condominiums will be designated affordable
    • 32 garage parking spaces will be located on site

    7. The Faretra

    (Source: bldup.com)

    For buyers looking for luxury condos in East Boston, The Faretra is a great option.  The building is “Boston’s newest boutique residential development,” and is located just steps from the Boston Harbor and the MBTA Blue Line.  The specifics include:

    • 9 condominiums, all with 2 bedrooms and 2 full bathrooms  
    • Luxury finishes include solid oak hardwood flooring and recessed LED lighting, custom kitchens and with white shaker style cabinets, white Caesarstone countertops, white marble backsplash and top-of-the-line appliances
    • Some residences include private balconies
    • The penthouse residences feature private roof decks with Downtown Boston skyline views
    • Garage parking is located on site  

    8. Seville Boston Harbor

    (Source: bldup.com)

    Those looking for luxury, waterfront condos in East Boston with all of the high-end finishings, views and local conveniences a Bostonian could dream of should check out Seville Boston Harbor.  The window to own an affordable luxury condo with such proximity to downtown and the thriving pockets of this burgeoning neighborhood will close quickly as East Boston continues to flourish, making these condos a timely investment for savvy buyers.  Here are the details:

    • 66 luxury residential condominiums
    • Ground-floor retail space situated on the East Boston waterfront with views of the Boston skyline
    • One and two-bedroom configurations
    • Amenities include garage parking, a fitness center and an expansive roof deck
    • Convenient to MBTA Blue Line rapid transit with direct service to Downtown

    9. The Eddy

    (Source: bldup.com)

    If you’re not totally sold on East Boston, and you want to “try before you buy,” The Eddy could be a  great place to start.  Not only is it perfectly located on the East Boston Waterfront overlooking the Boston skyline, but it’s packed full of cool amenities you won’t find in many other rental buildings, including music practice space and a dog wash.  Other features include:

    • 258 studio, 1 and 2-bedroom residences now leasing
    • Amenities include a top-floor roof deck with sweeping views, a second-floor pool deck with a fire pit and barbecues, a fitness center, on site parking, music practice rooms, conference rooms, communal lounge space and a dog wash
    • Monthly rents start at $1,800 for studios, $2,050 for 1-bedrooms and $3,200 for 2-bedrooms
    • A waterfront restaurant will be located on the buildings ground floor
    • 3/4 of an acre of outdoor public open space including an extension of the East Boston Harborwalk

    10. Boston East

    (Source: bldup.com)

    Boston East is another rental option on the East Boston Waterfront.  Scheduled to open this Fall, the building will have:

    • 200 residential apartments and public waterfront amenities including a Harborwalk, art galleries, historic interpretive exhibits and a boat launch.  
    • Six artist live-work units
    • 26 apartments that are designated affordable
    • Decks and a large indoor-outdoor rooftop lounge are listed as amenities, as well as underground parking with 120 vehicle parking spaces

    With stunning Harbor and city views, excellent proximity to downtown, a lively atmosphere and considerably lower home prices than most other Boston neighborhoods, it’s not surprising that the East Boston Waterfront is one of the fastest growing areas in the city.  The sub-$500,000 condo market in Boston is diminishing, but even luxury condos in East Boston are in a price range you wouldn’t expect to see just miles from downtown.  For savvy buyers looking to maximize the return on their investment, East Boston real estate is ripe with opportunity.  

    The Charles Realty has had its finger on the pulse of Boston real estate for 34 years.  Our agents have unparalleled knowledge of the city and it’s neighborhoods, and oftentimes have access to information not yet made public.  For any questions about listings in the aforementioned buildings, other new projects in Boston, the status of projects, availability of new construction homes, or anything pertaining to Boston real estate, please contact us.  

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      Renting in Boston? Here's How to Prepare for September 1st

      It's here - August 1st, the day when people look at their calendar and realize that the Summer in Boston will soon be coming to an end.  For some, it marks the beginning of school preparations for their children or logistics planning for the holidays, but for Boston renters it means one very important thing: it's time to plan for your September 1st move in.  It's no secret that the Boston real estate market has become increasingly competitive over the last several years, which has forced a number of renters who once hoped to buy condos for sale in South Boston or Back Bay or The South End to put those aspirations on hold and instead continue to rent.  Naturally this has created more competition in the rental market, and thus, has made September 1st, which was already known as the busiest, most chaotic move-out / move-in day for renters in Boston, a true cluster for anyone not fully prepared.  This year, September 1st is on the Friday of Labor Day weekend, so we're reposting a 9/1 move-in checklist so you can get prepared, get moved and get on with your long weekend festivities!  Of course there's the obvious: pack, call about utilities, etc., but there are some other tasks that should definitely be checked off the list sooner rather than later.  Here they are, in order of time sensitivity:

      -Secure a U-Haul: There are more than 36,000 students at Boston-based colleges and universities who are renting apartments in Boston neighborhoods.  This number alone makes for a serious crowd of Sept. 1st movers, but throw in the additional renters in and around the city and you've got a number that's staggering.  If you need help moving, be it a truck or a moving service, book it now!  Call your local U-Haul, bribe your friends, whatever it takes to make sure you're not alone, strapping a mattress to the top of your Smart Car on 9/1.  If all the U-Hauls in the city are already taken, look for one outside the city in the suburbs.  Also, check to see if you'll need a parking permit for the moving truck, or if the moving company you're using will secure parking signs from the city.

      -Elevator / Loading dock reservations: Condos in Boston often come with rules.  Will you need access to your new building's elevator or loading dock on 9/1?  Chances are, other people will too, so make sure that you reserve your time if required by the building.

      -Parking permit:  Will you need a residential sticker in order to park in your new neighborbood?  Better to get it taken care of now so you don't have to deal with a parking ticket on top of all the other stresses that come along with moving day.  Visit http://www.cityofboston.gov/parking/residentparking/ for more information about applying for a residential parking pass.

      -Door and window measurements: Don't want to saw the legs off your new dining room table?  Better measure the doors and take a look at stairwells to make sure all of your furniture will fit.  In particularly tight situations, some folks will even use cranes to get furniture through windows, so if you'll need a crane, it's better to know that sooner rather than later.  Also, don't forget to measure windows - apartments and condos in Boston don't always offer much privacy, but blinds and window treatments will help.   

      -Hire cleaners: Your new place should be relatively clean when you move in, but the previous tenant might not have the same standards for cleanliness so it's always a good idea to hire a cleaner to make your new home feel fresh and inviting.  If possible, book them for early in the morning so they can be in and out before you start your move.

      -Key collection: Check with your rental agent for key collection.  When you pick them up, make sure your unit keys also include your mailbox keys.

      -Fees: Check to see if your building management company charges a move in or move out fee.

      -Trash/Recycling schedules: Moving generates a lot of trash, so it's definitely good to know which days of the week your trash and recycling are picked up.  Here's a link to the trash schedule, http://www.cityofboston.gov/publicworks/wastereduction/collection.asp.

      And since September 1st always seems to be one of the hottest days of the Summer, make sure you have plenty of refreshments for you and your friends!

      If you have yet to secure a Boston apartment to rent, take a look at our rental listings here, and for more general information about renting or buying real estate in Boston, contact our experts at http://www.thecharlesrealty.com.

       

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        In The Booming Seaport, These 10 New Construction Buildings Are Making Their Mark

        Boston is a city defined by its history.  Much of its charm comes from the preservation of landmarks and original architecture, especially in neighborhoods like Beacon Hill and Back Bay, and its identity is often defined as much by the events of yesteryear as by its current events.  So while some neighborhoods like Dorchester and East Boston have undergone a significant transformation over the last several years - having a dramatic impact on appeal and property value -  it’s not common for a Boston neighborhood to experience repeated reinvention.  There is one considerable exception to this - The Seaport - a neighborhood so active with development the mere mention of it conjures images of renderings and project plans. 

        But the Seaport was once a part of Boston mostly covered by water.  It became a thriving shipping area in the early 20th century, and in the mid-1900’s it morphed again into a desolate expanse of parking lots and warehouses.  Fast forward to today and you’ll find another, contrasting iteration of this waterfront Boston neighborhood - a budding mecca for luxury real estate, waterfront entertainment, high-end retail, and modern office space.  Now, luxury condos in Back Bay, Beacon Hill and other Boston neighborhoods must compete with the abundance of new, sleek condos in The Seaport, most of which boast waterfront views and state-of-the-art amenities.  Let’s take a closer look at the 10 new construction projects in The Seaport that anyone interested in Boston real estate should be familiar with.  

        50 Liberty

        (Source: www.bldup.com)

        Opening in early 2018, 50 Liberty is in the heart of The Seaport on Fan Pier, with direct access to some of the neighborhoods best options for dining, entertainment and shopping.  Next door to 50 Liberty is the recently-completed 22 Liberty, a luxury condominium that was sold out prior to the building’s completion.  Here are the details of 50 Liberty:

        • 120 luxury waterfront condominiums with views of the Boston Harbor and the Boston skyline
        • Residential amenities include top luxury finishes, floor-to-ceiling glass window walls, warm wood floors and high ceilings throughout
        • Building amenities include a private waterfront club room, a board room for meetings, a private gym, 24-hour concierge service and underground garage parking
        • 30,000 square feet of civic, cultural and retail space 
        • Condominiums at 50 Liberty are now for sale

        10 Farnsworth

        (Source: www.10farnsworthst.com)

        10 Farnsworth is a soon to be completed mixed-use building offering nine luxurious condominiums in an ideal location for activity, restaurant and view-loving Bostonians.   Of the nine condos, three are still available, two 3 bed / 2.5 baths, and the 4,312 square foot 3 bed / 3.5 bath penthouse.  Here’s what you can expect from the building:

        • Generously open floor plans with state-of-the-art finishes and appliances and direct elevator access
        • A 1,765 square foot communal roof terrace with sweeping views of the Boston skyline
        • 1,400 square feet of retail space on the building’s ground floor
        • 12 resident parking spaces in a ground floor garage

        The Benjamin and VIA

        (Source: www.bldup.com)

        These mixed use buildings include 1.5 million residential and retail square feet over three acres.  Residents will live in the heart of The Seaport with immediate access to popular restaurants like Scorpion Rock Bar and Restaurant, Lobby Lounge, and Tuscan Italian Kitchen and Market, as well as Equinox Gym, Kings Bowl, Showplace ICON Theater and The Grand nightclub.  Residences at The Benjamin are now open and leasing, with VIA following this Summer.  

        • A total of 832 modern apartment homes, including 354 at The Benjamin and 478 at VIA
        • Floors 17-22 at The Benjamin feature studio to three-bedroom penthouses with ultra luxurious finishes and breathtaking views
        • A five-star lobby with professional door attendance and 24-hour concierge service at The Benjamin
        • Two outdoor terraces located on The Benjamin’s fourth floor, including a pool terrace
        • 8,000 square feet of common space at The Benjamin, including relaxation lounges, a catering kitchen, a private dining room, espresso bar, an executive business center and a fitness center
        • 775 below-grade parking spaces: 430 for residents and 345 public
        • 250,000 square feet of exclusive retail space across both buildings’ first three stories
        • Occupancy will commence Late Summer through Fall 2017

        Pier 4

        (Source: www.bldup.com)

        If you’re looking for the best of waterfront luxury condos in Boston, you’ll likely end your search with the residences at Pier4.  The collection of boutique residences with magnificent harbor views are just a piece of this project, which includes retail and office space as well as a one-acre public waterfront park.  The demand for real estate in The Seaport is skyrocketing, but the residences at Pier4 are likely to be especially competitive, especially because they are the only Seaport residences surrounded by water on three sides.  Here are the specifics:

        • Nine-story residential building containing 106 luxurious one-to-four bedroom condominiums 
        • Private outdoor space for each condominium
        • 17,000 square feet of ground-floor retail
        • Two-level parking garage on site
        • Amenities include pet-friendly conveniences, an exclusive residents club, an expansive outdoor terrace, a seating and dining area with a fire pit, a luxury fitness center, virtual golf and on site parking
        • Completion expected in Fall 2018

        100 Pier 4

        (Source: www.bldup.com)

        This recently completed building is the first phase of the redevelopment of Pier4.  The building includes:

        • 369 luxurious apartments
        • 258 underground parking spaces
        • Amenities: a pool, 24-hour fitness center and private television screening room
        • Breathtaking views of the Boston skyline and Harbor are visible throughout the building
        • Ocean Prime restaurant located on the ground floor

        The Residences at 399 Congress

        (Source: www.bldup.com)

        The Residences at 399 Congress Street will offer renters direct access to a rapidly developing are of Boston’s Seaport Innovation District.  The 22-story building will include:

        • 414 apartments
        • 13,000 square feet of retail space
        • 144 parking spaces

        150 Seaport

        (Source: www.bldup.com)

        Mixed-use buildings are certainly making their mark on The Seaport District, meaning that in addition to more housing options, the neighborhood will be thriving with hip new restaurants, retail and entertainment on the Boston Waterfront.  150 Seaport is one of these buildings, and here’s what it will offer:

        • 22-stories of mixed use space on the waterfront
        • 124 residential condominiums
        • 10,700 square feet of ground and second level retail space
        • Three levels of underground parking
        • 19 condominiums at 150 Seaport will be designated affordable
        • A harbor walk extension built around the building

        Echelon Seaport

        The Echelon will be comprised of three mixed-use towers, two of which will contain over 400 luxury condominiums and one with luxury apartment residences.  This project aims to please, with a lengthy list of amenities and on-site bonuses like a pedestrian mall, distinctive artwork and outdoor seating on multiple levels.  Though the Echelon won’t be completed until early 2020, it’s sure to be a bright spot in the future of real estate in The Seaport.  

        • Three mixed-use towers containing 1.3 million square feet across 3.5 acres
        • 733 residences
        • 125,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space
        • Amenities include two outdoor pools, an indoor pool, expansive sun decks, courtyards and oversized private terraces
        • Retail and restaurants will be located across Echelon’s first two stories
        • Multiple passages and streets will be constructed through Echelon Seaport, featuring outdoor seating on multiple levels, distinctive artwork and tree canopies
        • 560 vehicle parking spaces in an underground parking garage

        Parcel K

        (Source: www.bldup.com)

        Parcel K is another mixed-use development project which will include 500,000 square feet of rental apartments, a hotel and retail and restaurant space.  Here are some additional details:

        • 12 story residential building containing 304 rental apartments
        • A 12 story hotel building containing 293 rooms
        • 14,400 square feet of office space
        • 18,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space on the ground floor
        • A one-level underground parking garage will contain 197 spaces

        Waterside Place Phase 1B

        It won’t be completed for several years, but when it is, Waterside Place Phase 1B will offer future Seaport residents 307 rental units above retail space and garage parking.  The specifics include:

        • 23-story tower containing 307 residential rental units ranging from studio-three bedrooms.
        • 62 units will be “innovation units,” and 15 will be designated affordable
        • 3,500 square feet of retail space
        • A second-floor parking garage with approximately 84 spaces

        The shortage of supply in the Boston real estate market has been discouraging for much of the buyer population.  Condos for sale in Boston are seeing multiple offers in a record low number of days, and many frustrated buyers have been outbid more than once.  But between now and 2020, there will be over 750 new luxury condos for sale in The Seaport, and over 2,500 available to rent, so those looking to live in a neighborhood with direct access to the Waterfront and to many the city’s newest restaurants, shops and entertainment venues should look no further than this energetic, contemporary and scenic neighborhood.

        The Charles Realty has had its finger on the pulse of Boston real estate for 34 years.  Our agents have unparalleled knowledge of the city and it’s neighborhoods, and oftentimes have access to information not yet made public.  For any questions about listings in the aforementioned buildings, other new projects in Boston, the status of projects, availability of new construction homes, or anything pertaining to Boston real estate, please contact us.  

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          The Best of Back Bay Condos - Seven New Construction Buildings on Our Radar

          You won’t find a neighborhood in Boston that hasn’t been touched by the boom of residential development, and Back Bay is no exception.  Located in the heart of the city along the lovely and meandering Charles River, Back Bay is arguably the city’s most esteemed neighborhood.  The rows of victorian brownstone homes, the cultural institutions, renowned shopping and iconic city landmarks make this neighborhood illustrious and highly desirable.  So it’s no surprise that Back Bay real estate is more expensive than any other in the city, and that condos for sale in Back Bay are a hot commodity.  Luckily there’s some pretty significant residential development happening in this posh neighborhood, which will give aspiring Back Bay residents more options and satisfy some of the demand. Here are the seven new construction buildings we have our eye on right now:

          1. One Dalton

          (Image source: http://www.bldup.com/projects/one-dalton)

          The first building on the list is a doozy.  Not only will One Dalton be the tallest residential tower in New England at 740 feet and 61 stories tall, but it will offer residents state of the art amenities and sweeping views of The Charles River and the Boston skyline.  Here are the details (source: http://www.bldup.com/projects/one-dalton):

          • 180 private luxury condominium residences on the upper floors
          • Amenities: lap pool, fitness center, salon with manicure, pedicure and hair styling services, private yoga and pilates studio, a golf simulator room with a wet bar and private theater room 
          • A Private Residents’ Club Lounge will feature a dining room, a lounge area, a fully appointed bar and catering kitchen and a terrace with views of The Charles River and Boston skyline  
          • 5,000 square foot park at ground level
          • A Four Seasons luxury hotel will comprise One Dalton’s lower floors
          • Expected completion June 2018

          2. Four51 Marlborough

          (image source: http://www.bldup.com/projects/four51-marlborough)

          Located on one of the most desirable residential streets in Boston, Four51 Marlborough has the historic charm of other Back Bay condos, but was built with modern luxury in mind.  The boutique building is located just around the corner from some of the city’s best shopping, restaurants and attractions.  Only two of the 8 luxury condominiums remain, “Residence West” and “Three East.”  Specific building details include (source: http://www.bldup.com/projects/four51-marlborough):

          • Eight luxury condominium residences ranging from 2-5 bedrooms
          • Fine natural finishes as well as French balconies, direct elevator access and multiple sunlight exposures
          • Heated garage parking on site
          • Concierge service

          3. 30 Dalton

          (Image Source: http://www.bldup.com/projects/30-dalton)

          30 Dalton is a luxury rental building, but it’s certainly worth mentioning for it’s state-of-the-art finishes and sweeping views of Boston.  With construction wrapping up in June of 2016, this building’s towering facade is relatively new to the Back Bay skyline. 30 Dalton is “uniquely positioned at the nexus of the Back Bay, the South End and Fenway Cultural District” (source: http://www.30dalton.com/neighborhood/) and features:

          • 218 luxury apartment residences
          • 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom residences with state of the art finishes
          • A common area on the top floor, known as The Skyline Suite, with a double-height common space featuring a caterer’s kitchen, a fitness center, private dining and an outdoor terrace
          • Flour bakery has opened in 30 Dalton’s ground-floor retail space

          4. The Abbott

          (Image source: http://abbottbackbay.com/#services)

          Though this building has been around since 1872, it might as well be new construction with it’s luxurious and modern finishes.  This boutique building is located on the sunny side of a prime Back Bay block. Here’s more information (source: http://abbottbackbay.com/#about):

          • A complete restoration and modernization of the 1872 Peabody and Sterns brownstone
          • Located at the corner of Marlborough and Exeter Streets
          • Eight units in total
          • Expected completion in late Summer 2017
          • Rental parking available

          5. 474 Beacon

          (Image source: www.zillow.com)

          This new construction building in Back Bay is scheduled to be completed any day now, and features three units, two of which are still available.  These Back Bay condos are overlooking The Charles River and include:

          • 3 bed / 3 baths
          • Living rooms with southern exposure and gas fireplaces
          • Elevator access
          • Direct access to Tandem Garage parking
          • Expected completion May 2017

          6. The Lydon 

          (Image Source: www.lydon.com)

          Optimally located at 401 Beacon, the Lydon offers residents “a new level of style and sophistication in one of the most iconic and culturally sophisticated neighborhoods.”  Only one available unit remains, a 4 bed / 4 bath home with top of the line finishes and over 5,570 square feet.  It also includes:

          • Two living levels
          • Direct elevator access
          • Two garage parking spaces
          • A daytime concierge

          7. 237 Marlborough

          We had to throw this new construction single family into the mix because it’s sure to be one of the most magnificent homes in the neighborhood. Located on the sunny side of Marlborough street, this home is one of the best that Back Bay real estate has to offer.  It’s features include:

          • 4-5 bedrooms
          • Elevator
          • 2-car garage
          • Library
          • Fitness room
          • Au pair suite
          • High ceilings, beautiful moldings and elegant finishes
          • An oversized back deck with piped in grill
          • A large head house opening to a walk-out room deck complete with 2nd kitchen and city views

          Back Bay offers residents and visitors a unique blend of historic charm and urban culture.  But the same things that make it captivating also make it a somewhat difficult area for new construction.  In order to preserve both the antiquity and metropolitan conveniences of the neighborhood, city officials must be discriminating about new development, resulting in fewer new condos for sale in Back Bay than other Boston neighborhoods.  But these six new construction buildings have found their place in Back Bay, and they’re giving buyers some elegant and alluring new options.  

          The Charles Realty has had its finger on the pulse of Boston real estate for 34 years.  Our agents have unparalleled knowledge of the city and it’s neighborhoods, and oftentimes have access to information not yet made public.  For any questions about listings in the aforementioned buildings, other new projects in Boston, the status of projects, availability of new construction homes, or anything pertaining to Boston real estate, please contact us.  

           

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            5 Essential Tips for First Time Home Buyers

            Buying a condo in Boston is a thrilling prospect, but not knowing what to expect from the process can be daunting, and most first time homebuyers don’t know what they don’t know. Many feel overwhelmed with what they’ve heard about the Boston real estate market - costs, inventory, competition and working with industry professionals, so they hold off on buying and continue to make monthly payments to a landlord, disqualifying them from the many benefits of ownership.

            But with rate increases expected over the next year, now is the time for prospective first time home buyers to go for it. To make it easier and more manageable, we put together the 5 best tips to demystify the process and help first time buyers get the most from their Boston real estate purchase.

            #1 – Your first step is pre-approval. Before you find the home of your dreams, before you contact an agent, before you even glance at Zillow’s website or start comparing condos in Back Bay to condos in The South End, you should get pre-approved for a loan. Many first time buyers fall into the trap of finding the perfect place before they know they can afford it. It’s a waste of time and emotional energy. You’re much better off knowing what you can afford, finding something in your price range, and being able to quickly make a competitive offer. Make sure your lender clearly outlines the process for obtaining a loan, and all of the documentation you’ll need to provide, as well as the timeline for when they’ll need it. Staying organized can expedite the loan process and make things go more smoothly.

            #2 – Take a homebuyer education course. Oftentimes first time homebuyers are dealing with one or more challenges that make home buying seem less attainable than it is. Credit issues, uncertainty about the lending or buying process, lack of savings for a down payment – all of these issues are easily surmountable with the information you’ll gather in a homebuyer education course. There are thousands of organizations throughout the country that provide these courses, and all of them must meet the standards set forth by the National Industry Standards for Homeownership Education and Counseling. This means that all courses are mandated to cover the following 5 critical aspects of home purchasing and ownership:

            • Assessing homeownership readiness
            • Budgeting and credit
            • Financing a condo
            • Shopping for a condo
            • Maintaining a condo and finances

            #3 – Explore neighborhoods during off times. Neighborhoods can look very different at 9pm then they do at 11am. You’ll want to know what your prospective neighborhood is like at both times. Are you a night owl? Then you probably don’t want to live in an area where restaurants advertise early bird specials and stop serving meals at 8pm. You’re better off in a neighborhood like The South End with it's abundance of restaurants, bars and stores that stay open late.  If you're attracted to historical charm and like the energy of a neighborhood that bustles with tourist activity on the weekends, check out Beacon Hill condos for sale.  If you like the idea of a neighborhood that's somewhat removed from the downtown area but still has easy city access and a lively atmosphere, take a look at condos for sale in South Boston.  Also, don’t forget how much traffic patterns can affect a neighborhood throughout the day. You’ll want to travel the roads around your new prospective home during the hours you’re most likely to use them, so you know what your commute will look like and can factor that into your decision making.

            #4 – Identify the type of home that fits your lifestyle and needs. There are numerous reasons a person might want to invest in Boston real estate - it's a healthy market with sustainable growth due to the city's abundance of jobs and influx of university-related residents.  Most Boston homes are condos or townhomes, so if you want to live in the city it's likely you'll be sharing at least one wall with your neighbors, however there's a huge variety of building types.  If you're looking for condos for sale in Back Bay for example, you'll likely notice that the buildings are historic and stately, though many of them are restored and the homes include modern renovations.  Many condos in The South End are in new buildings, like those at the Ink Block, with a number of upscale amenities and close proximity to retail and restaurant options (here's a recent list of 7 hot new construction projects in The South End).  Real Estate in the Seaport District and Downtown Boston is thriving, again due to an influx of new residential development, so you can expect to find a good selection of luxury condo options.  

            #5 – Talk with an accountant to understand tax benefits and residential exemptions. As a buyer, you probably already know that one of the main benefits of owning a home is the impact it has on your taxes. But did you know that in Massachusetts owners qualify for an additional tax exemption if the property they own is their primary residence? It’s as easy as filling out and submitting the proper form by the April 1st deadline.  Your accountant can provide you with more details about the exemption, as well as the many tax benefits of owning versus renting.

            If you’re a first time buyer, it’s likely that you have some anxiety about the unknowns, and that makes sense, because real estate in Boston can be tricky.  But if you follow these tips and work with one of our expert agents, you'll have the information and confidence you need to navigate the process like a pro.   

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              7 MUST SEE New Construction Projects In The South End

              It’s no secret that there’s a wave - no a tsunami - of new construction washing over Boston.  And it makes sense - new real estate inventory has slowed to a trickle and buyers are desperately competing for what little options they have, often times waving contingencies and paying tens of thousands of dollars over asking price.  Exacerbating the drought of Boston condos for sale is the influx of new residents from all over the world, attracted to the area for it’s consistent and high ranking as one of the country’s best cities for education, job opportunities and lifestyle.  

              The short supply of existing residences, steady stream of new Bostonians, growth of industry, and the stability created by an abundance of local universities have made it an optimal time for developers to pepper the city with new residential construction projects. But even with an abundance of new options, the market for new construction units is very competitive, and buyers must be prepared to purchase these units before they are completed or very soon after.  

              So we went through each of Boston’s neighborhoods and put together a snapshot of our favorite residential construction projects.  Some have recently been completed and others are scheduled to be completed between now and the Summer of 2018.  This week, we’ll start with one of Boston’s hottest neighborhoods and a hot bed for new residential construction: The South End.

              1. Union Park Condos

              (Image Source: www.bldup.com)

              Although part of this South End condo building is a restoration of an existing four-story historic brick building (the majority is a contemporary four-story addition), we’re putting it first on our list for two important reasons: it was recently completed and there’s only one unit left (Unit 2).  Here are the specifics (Source: unionparkcondos.com)

              • 3 luxurious units: two duplex units and one extra-large floor through unit
              • Located on coveted Union Park in The South End
              • Views of Union Park and Back Bay / downtown skylines
              • Steps from restaurants, cafes, shopping boutiques, farmers market, grocery stores, schools, parks, rec. facilities and public transportation
              • Luxury offerings include: high-end finishes, modern home features and amenities, high energy HVAC systems, custom wood cabinetry, stone counter tops, Wolf & Subzero appliances, spa bathrooms with radiant floor heating and recessed lighting.  

              2. The Factory at 46 Wareham 

              (Image Source: www.bldup.com)

              If you’re looking for a fashionable, creative and one-of-a-kind neighborhood, SOWA is a “world-renowned retail and arts community in The South End” (Source: sowaboston.com).  It’s also home to The Factory at 46 Wareham - 18 residential ownership condominiums atop 32,875 square feet of office space.  

              •  Large 2 and 3 bedroom units (1,200+ sq ft) and a penthouse
              •  66 parking spaces
              •  Expected completion late 2017 / early 2018

              3. Siena at Ink Block 

              (Image Source: www.bldup.com)

              Joining it's recently completed sister building Sepia, Siena is the next condominium project at Ink Block - a city block of upscale residential condominiums, high-end amenities and retail.  Ink Block Boston is being described as the “ultimate urban living experience.“ Details are as follows (Source: http://www.bldup.com/projects/siena-at-ink-block):

              • 76 luxury residential condominiums
              • Amenities include a rooftop Sky Lounge and roof deck, a fully equipped fitness center, 24/7 concierge service and on-site parking
              • Homes will feature hardwood flooring in common areas, wool carpeting in bedrooms, and state-of-the-art finishes
              • A number of Siena’s condominiums will be maisonette, featuring private entrances
              • Completion early 2018

              4. 370-380 Harrison Avenue

              (Image Source: www.bldup.com)

              This 14-story, 356,500 square foot mixed-use building is in the heart of The South End’s rapidly developing New York Streets neighborhood.  Expected completion isn’t until 2019, but this project is generating a lot of buzz and the 96 ownership condominiums are sure to sell out long before the building is completed.  Details include (http://www.bldup.com/projects/quinzani-s-bakery-development):

              • 96 ownership condominiums and 218 rental apartments
              • Approximately 8,500 square feet of ground-floor retail
              • Resident amenities include upper level roof decks with outdoor social space
              • 3 levels of parking with a total of 180 spaces

              5. Jordan Lofts

              (Image Source: www.bldup.com)

              These South End condos were completed last year, and though the building is almost sold out there are still a few units available.  Nestled in the SOWA neighborhood, this fully restored historic building features fifteen luxury loft condominiums which include

              • High ceilings, large windows, abundant natural light, open floorpans and recessed lighting and skyline views
              • One vehicle parking space per condo
              • Commercial / retail space totaling approximately 13,000 square feet located on the ground floor

              6. 7 East Springfield

              (Image Source: www.bldup.com)

              This nine-unit residential condo building in The South End is currently under construction.  It’s located steps to Boston University School of Medicine and Worcester Square.  The six-story building is bounded on one side by the oldest surviving house in the South End - the federal style Porter House, and it includes:

              • Eight 1,000 square foot two-bedroom units and a 1,800 square foot three-bedroom penthouse
              • A five car parking garage will be constructed on the ground floor

              7. The Girard

              (Image Source: www.bldup.com)

              This new mixed-use building offers only rentals, but it’s an artistic space with contemporary units inspired by local artists, and an atmosphere that’e definitely worth mentioning.  In a nutshell, the building offers:

              • 160 apartments and approximately 3,600 square feet of ground-floor retail
              • Amenities: Wi-Fi Workbar, meeting rooms, top-floor and rooftop common areas and a fitness center
              • A gallery exhibiting local artists’ work
              • 162 resident parking spaces in a two-level underground garage

              The South End is a culturally rich neighborhood, with exceptional food, a lively nightlife and a dynamic atmosphere.  As one of Boston’s most desirable neighborhoods it’s not a surprise that so many developers have chosen this coveted area as the site of new residential projects.  We expect there are many more to follow, so stay tuned as we continue to provide updates on new condos in The South End and around Boston.  

              The Charles Realty has had its finger on the pulse of Boston real estate for 34 years.  Our agents have unparalleled knowledge of the city and it’s neighborhoods, and oftentimes have access to information not yet made public.  For any questions about listings in the aforementioned buildings, other new projects in Boston, the status of projects, availability of new construction homes, or anything pertaining to Boston real estate, please contact us.  

               

               

               

              Moving to Boston - Here are Some Things You Should Know

              One of the earliest cities in modern America to be settled by European immigrants, Boston is a city steeped in history and patriotism. It was here that defiant colonists dumped British tea into The Harbor, Paul Revere took off on his famous ride, and the American Revolution was born. Looking around modern-day Boston it’s impossible to see it without glimpsing its storied past. The quaint historic buildings, meandering cobblestone streets, and distinct neighborhoods make it both charming and appealing for visitors and residents alike. 

              If you're contemplating a move to Beantown you’ve likely been charmed by it like the rest of us. But what is it really like to live and work here? Our friends at Great Guys Moving put together the following infographic that details some of the things you should know before moving here.

              650,000 people love calling Boston home, and once you've walked among them through Back Bay's lantern lined streets, or dined with them at one of The South End's hip new restaurants, you'll know why.  Where else serves up cannolis like the North End, boasts top-tier schools like MIT and Harvard, or has landmarks that rival those found on the Freedom Trail? These are just some of the reasons we love living in this city, and we know you will too. Whether it's a condo in Back Bay or another luxury property in Boston, we will find you find the perfect place to call home as you make the transition to Benton.  Contact one of our agents for more information about available listings.  

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                What Millennials Are Looking for in Boston Real Estate

                For years Boston has attracted Millennials with it's abundance of highly ranked colleges and universities, and it has retained them with a thriving job market and renowned cultural appeal.  Real Estate in Back Bay, The South End, Beacon Hill, Downtown, The Seaport, Dorchester and South Boston is particularly attractive to Millennials, because homes here offer a social and convenient lifestyle not found outside the city.  Therefore it's important for the sellers of homes in these neighborhoods, and also for builders looking for land to develop residential buildings, to understand the preferences this target demographic.  Our friends at Sky Five Properties put some research together that we thought would help give some insight into this growing population of home buyers.  To help us understand what Millennials are looking for in Boston Homes.  

                What Millennials are Looking for in Boston Homes

                Millennials are spreading their wings and finding their way in this big, big world and doing so in a way that truly affects the local real estate market. Part of that is moving out of their parents’ house and into a space of their own. And although they are known to spend their money on experiences, adventure, travel, good food, and fun, they all need a place to rest their heads at night. Boston is a popular city for millennials for obvious reasons; the culture, a thriving job market, the art, the food, the big city feel, the public transportation, the coffee shops and sidewalk boutiques and access to one of the most sought after universities in the country. When moving to Boston, millennials are looking for a few key things in a home or apartment that are non-negotiable. When it comes to real estate, there are a few things your home needs to have in order to attract these tech-savvy, environmentally conscious, global-minded, entrepreneurial, social media addicted go-getters. 

                The ability to connect- For most millennials, staying connected is a priority. They usually have a multitude of different devices plugged in at one time, and having them charged and ready to use at any moment is important. Built in office spaces, conveniently placed outlets, and other features that allow them to plug in quickly and easily are important for this generation of homebuyers. They’ll ask questions about Internet and cell service in the area, so make sure you have the answers for that. 

                The option for fitness-  Millennials tend to be a more health conscious generation than those before them. Health and fitness are important to them, so a place to work out is a definite plus when looking for a home. An exercise space in the home is usually a perk, but being close to a local gym, running path or hiking trail can also peak a millennials interest.

                A place to eat-  Millennials are brave and open-minded when it comes to trying new foods. They appreciate a diverse range of foods and are more likely to spend their money on a cool new local restaurant than a typical fast food chain. And because they love food, they need a place to cook it in. A modern kitchen is a must for this generation. Contemporary appliances, stylish décor and a place that feels comfortable and spacious is a must. The kitchen has become a popular place for hang-outs and get-togethers, so this room of the house needs to be updated, open, stylish and convenient to really wow them.

                An outdoor space- Whether it is a small patio that they’ll convert into a Zen place to do yoga or a large backyard where they will grow their own vegetables, millennials appreciate a private place outside to get some fresh air. They appreciate a balcony, a patio or an intimate front porch that they can unwind on after a busy day. It’s not about the size of the space for millennials, it’s about the opportunity to get outside to recharge and relax, sip some good wine with friends, read a good book, write, check emails or hang out in a hammock. 

                Because they typically enjoy travel and put value in experiences over material things, many millennials rent a home or condo before they buy, (more about that here). The idea of spending a lot of money or time in one place may not fit with their lifestyle, so renting gives them a little more freedom in that department.

                Say what you will about millennials, but one thing is certain: Millennials moving to Boston for their first adventure on their own have a specific set of requirements that must be met before they will commit to buying a home. By making a few of these changes, your home could become the dream home for enthusiastic, energy efficient, progressive, nomadic, multi-taskers who are taking their next big step in life. 

                For more information about the Boston real estate market, contact one of our experts, 617-236-0353.

                 

                20 Flooring Options That Will Capture the Attention of Home Buyers

                One of the first things buyers notice in listing photos and on viewings is the flooring in a home.  Like paint colors and decor, everyone has their preferences - some like the warmth and comfort of carpeting, others are drawn to the clean lines of hardwood, but one thing’s for sure - any flooring that’s brand new will catch people’s eye.  So, if you’re thinking about updating your flooring as a way to capture buyers’ attention and make your home stand out above the rest, be sure to evaluate all of your options (there are more than you may think) to make sure you find one that has the right look, price and durability.  

                To help you get started, our friends at MorningChores.com  have put together a list of 20 Appealing Flooring Options & Ideas That Are Sure to Astound You.  From tile to laminate to cork and bamboo, they offer an overview of each flooring type, a price range, photo examples, maintenance instructions and in some case even tutorials for installation.  

                For more real estate advice, and information about the Boston real estate market, contact one of our experts, 617-236-0353.

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