The Charles Realty logo

Your Boston Experts.

Sign Up Today!

Get fresh listings via email, save your favorite listings, match with similar properties, and unlock additional property info.

Create Your Account

Do not fill in this field:

Already have an account? Log in

Blog :: 04-2011

Posted on 2011-04-28 20:53:28

Just recently Boston's Museum of Science received a million dollar grant from Google. Today, Boston's Huntington Theatre received a gift of $10 million from The Calderwood Charitable Foundation, which has supported the theater for years. This gift instantly doubled Huntington Theatre's endowment.

"The Huntington has earned its standing as one of Boston's legacy cultural institutions, and its Board of Trustees is committed to assuring its continued health and artistic vitality for future generations," says Board Chairman Carol Deane. "This gift makes the Huntington stronger and more secure than ever before, but it does not alone guarantee our success. Therefore, we will use this generous gift as a catalyst and a challenge, launching a careful examination over the next twelve months of the Huntington's long-term needs. The end result will be a plan that ensures the Huntington's status as a major contributor to the cultural life of Boston for many years to come."

Here is the Press Release:


Eerie weather in Boston this afternoon. The wind is out of control and there is so much moisture in the air, that when the wind blows hard enough, you can feel the drops. It all seems very ominous about the storm coming later tonight. I am excited for the skies to open up so that this 'waiting' period is over. However, for as much unrest and inconvenience the residents of Boston are experiencing, it is NOTHING next to the devastation that is in the South today. has a striking gallery here:

I hope that everyone's families are well, and that this storm tonight leaves us unharmed.


Are you renting?

It's the time of year when students are busy finding rentals for the fall, and as the apartment search continues, keep in mind that drab walls and boring spaces are easily remedied!

Here is a list of 5 simple things that you can do to improve your space as a renter, that you might even be able to take with you when you move.

1. Don't be afraid of a little color!

Most places will let you paint the walls of where you're renting. Paint is inexpensive, and if you just devote a day to changing a wall from cream to blue or red the difference will be astounding. If you're limited on natural light or your space is small (aka most rental units in Boston) then avoid dark colors. On a paint swatch, chose on of the top three shades. Trust me, they may look too light on the sample, but on your wall, it will be just fine.

Other ways to incorporate color are awesome area rugs! Urban Outfitters has great ones for inexpensive prices. Throw pillows, shower curtains, decorative vases (or recycled bottles with nice flowers), fun lamps and for a little more money... a statement chair or sofa! Adding a splash of color to a sea of neutrals is so key.

2. Hang things up!

It's amazing what thumbtacks can do. Anything from cool bedsheets to scarves can be used to jazz up your space. If your landlord doesn't want you to paint then this is ideal.

3. Turn on some lights!

Especially if it is a garden level, or doesn't have a lot of light, definitely put in as many light sources as possible. You might have to get creative if you have a limited number of outlets, but extension cords and power strips are simple to hide. Plus, then you get to play with lamp shades and cool lighting units. Definitely get creative here!

4. Mirrors are your best friend!

Nothing opens up a space like mirrors! Mirrors of all shapes and sizes are so crucial. In my apartment, we have a big mirror above the TV and a floor to ceiling mirror by the door, a vanity sized mirror on our bookshelf and a round mirror above our table. That's 4 big mirrors in a small Beacon Hill living room, and I cannot tell you how much it opens up our space! Get creative with painting the frames of the mirrors. If your on a budget, second hand mirrors from garage and estate sales can be easily repainted to fit your space. Just be sure you put newspaper down on your floor before you get down and dirty with your painting project!

5. Change your knobs!

Cabinet pulls, door knobs and fan pulls are often little forgotten details that could easily wake a space up. Anthro is one of my favorite places to look for fun things like this, but just a simple change in the kitchen such as cabinet pulls will provide a wonderful change in look and feel.

I hope this helps! And happy apartment hunting Boston!!


Marathon Monday

Boston's favorite day is finally less than a week away! Boston closes its roads to hundreds of runners on a Monday in late April every year. The traditions surrounding the race are huge in the city, and locals find anyway they can to get downtown to mingle with their friends and cheer on the runners. It is an inspiring event! This year, the 18th of April, Boston will welcome once again marathoners from all over the world for the 115th time. The route, a 26.6 mile tour of the Boston area, is scared.

One of my favorite Boston bloggers has outlined some excellent spectator tips for marathon day including how to get around (driving & parking vs public transportation), where to watch, where to eat or grab a beer, what to wear and more! That can be found here:

What are your favorite Marathon Monday stories? I always enjoyed not having class on that day, getting up with my college roommates, taking the camera to go cheer on the runners and stopping to pose with the statues on the Comm Ave mall. We have pictures of us there every year, it has become our tradition! What are yours?

Exciting New Development Planned for Somerville

"Davis Square Partners said it is prepared to break ground on the $52.5 million Maxwell's Green development in Somerville.

The project site consists of 5.5 acres of property and is slated to feature 199 rental residential units along the anticipated extension of the MMTA's Greenline through the city's Davis Square. Construction is expected to commence in May and be complete by 2015."

It's still a new topic, and so I wasn't able to find any more details online about the development, but it's still exciting!

Good News for Pet Owners in Boston

We have a few dubbed, "office dogs" here at The Charles Realty. Meet our veteran K9 friend, Mike:

And our newest addition, little Pippa:

We are an office of pet lovers, and for us all the other pet lovers in the Boston area, there is good news! Earlier today, "a newly minted Massachusetts law goes into effect that will allow state residents to form legally enforceable trusts to provide for the care of one or more pets if the owners become incapacitated or die."

Pet Trusts are now legal! You can even name a caretaker for your pet. MSPCA's Kara Holmquist says that, "This law ensures that families with pets can provide financial resources for the care of their animals in the event of incapacity or death, benefiting people as well as the pets. Additionally, the burden placed on municipal shelters and rescue organizations will now be eased as there is a viable, enforceable alternative plan for the care of animals." She applauds Governor Deval Patrick and everyone else involved who understood the importance of legislation like this.

Personally, I think that this is very exciting for pet owners. After all, pets are insured members of the family, and so building a plan for them in the event of an emergency is a natural next step.

Are you going to set up a trust?

Museum of Science receives a glorious gift!

Apart from Google's mild Buzz mishap, it never ceases to know exactly how to do everything right. The next thing on its to do list is its series of grants, totaling $12 million, to seven science museums in the United States and Canada. The company announced earlier that it will be writing a $1 million check to Boston's Museum of Science.

The grants represent Google's endeavor to support science education and learning. There are no special restrictions or requests placed on the grants, but rather the museums can use the money as they see fit.

Google hopes that its relationship with the museums in the chosen communities doesn't end once the checks are signed and donated.

I am curious and excited to see how the Museum of Science in Boston chooses to allocate its funds. Personally, even as an adult, I enjoy going to the museum with my friends. It is a huge asset to the Boston area, and I cannot wait to see what new additions it comes up with.

C'mon Spring!

Although spring time seems to get further and further away, the spring housing market is underway.

According to The Globe, Brokers expect a competitive market this spring. With more buyers than listings in Boston, and housing prices and interest rates at an all time low, this is the time to buy -- and everyone knows it.

As the economy continues to improve, buyers are scouring listings, often finding themselves in bidding wars. The Globe article cautions sellers, however, not to get too greedy even with multiple offers. Properties tend to loose their shine, and the more days on the market, the less attractive the property is to buyers.

For details about this phenomenon: