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Blog :: 05-2012

Why right now is the time to sell, sell, sell!

Well there's good news for anyone looking to sell because property values have been rising for the past 2 months, and there are plenty of buyers out there looking to find their next home. In fact there aren't all that many people selling, and because so few people are selling right now the homes that are on the market are going quickly and they're worth a little bit more. This doesn't mean it isn't the time to start looking for a new home, it just means you might have to do a bit of searching, but there are plenty of great homes out there still, they just go quickly!

We've had homes selling in a matter of two to three days, the market is a busy place right now!  So if you want to sell your property for a great value and


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Memorial Day Weekend in Boston

Photo credit: BostonTweet

I know you're excited, and I'm excited, and so is everyone else. Long weekends are great! Memorial Day Weekend is just hours away and we've put together a short little list of things for you to do in Boston. Let us know what you plan on doing this weekend, we'd love to get more ideas!

1. Visit the 33,000 flags in the Commons which represent each Massachusetts soldier lost in combat.  This is a very powerful memorial.  With the thousands of flags spread across a portion of the Boston Commons, this is certainly something worth seeing and a great way to honor our fallen soldiers.

2. Catch a parade, there are plenty of parades all around the country tomorrow, but there are several here in Boston and the Boston area. Most towns are holding their own parades including Cambridge, Somerville, Brookline and Watertown.  It's worth waking up and heading right on out to catch a parade.  Kids love it and it's a nice way to recognize this holiday.

3. Open house at the Museum of Fine Arts, this is an awesome opportunity to check out the Alex Katz exhibit at the MFA and take a look at the two new wings they've added in the past year.  The best part about this all, is that it's free! Normally, adults are charged $22 admission, so you can save yourself a little money and go spend it on something fun like ice cream!

4. Attend the Memorial Day service right here in Boston on the Commons.  Saturday morning there will be a Memorial service held at Sgt. Charles A. Macgillvary Veterans Memorial Park. If you want to pay tribute to those who have lost their lives serving in the military then this is the perfect opportunity to do so.

These are just a few ideas of what you may want to do in Boston this weekend, but that doesn't mean you can't slip away for a long weekend in Maine or enjoy the beaches on the Cape. Not to mention the fact that the Celtics are playing Game 7 of the series Saturday night, so whether you're attending the game or just watching, it's going to be a fun night! Also the Red Sox are in town all weekend so catching a game at Fenway is always another option!


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486 Beacon Street Units 8/9 , The Penthouse Unit

Today I read an article/slide show on about roof decks in the Boston area.  They seem to be the in demand thing with this warm weather and this beautiful city to take in. The best part of this all is a home we have on the market, with two roof decks, not just one.  This is 486 Beacon Street, where units 8 and 9 are combined to make for a spacious penthouse condo in one of the most luxurious neighborhoods in all of Boston.

The two private roof decks allow you to look out onto all of Boston with its towering and sweeping skyline on one side, and then from the other roof deck you'll have beautiful views of the Charles River. This 2 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom condo offers you everything you might want in your home, with a washer and dryer, mahogany floors, and open and sunny living room and dining room.

If you're interested in this unit please do not hesitate to contact Annette Given at (617) 236-0353 or email at

If you like the idea of this location we also have another unit in the building on the market, check it out!

Remodeling the Bathroom

The bathroom is obviously not the most exciting room in the house, but it is most likely the room that gets the most use in your home. The thing about bathrooms is that they're not all that much fun to remodel and they're often neglected. No one wants to show off their bathroom.  Regardless of how dull a bathroom may be, sometimes you just need to forget about remodeling the living room for the third time, and take the time to remodel the bathroom. Here are some tips and thoughts on how to update your bathroom!

1. If it's the master bath don't be afraid to use luxurious fabrics and designs.  Right now going over-the-top with the master bedroom and bath is completely acceptable and often expected, so don't hesitate and go all out.  Get that marble sink you were eying and don't worry about the silks and velvets, because why not go all out?

2. If you don't want to completely remodel the bathroom, or if you are still fairly happy with your bathtub, toilet, and sink, you might want to think about just refinishing them.  It's a lot cheaper and will give your bathroom the facelift it needs to appear fresh and new.

3. A quick fix to give your bathroom a much more modern look is a change in all the fixtures.  Change door knobs, handles, and drawer pulls to suddenly give your bathroom a new look. You could give your bathroom a whole new accent color or theme just by choosing some new fixtures. Just a screw driver and some screws and you'll be all set to go!

4. Change up the light fixtures.  It's another quick fix that can make all the difference in your bathroom.  The style of lights change the aesthetics of the bathroom's design and the lighting can brighten up the space, literally. You'll be amazed how much larger you can make a room feel with the right lighting.

5.  Right now there are all sorts of different sleek and modern shower designs out there and they're great and actually more efficient and stylish than your typical showers and tubs.  Stray away from tradition and update your bathroom with one of these sleek new showers.  When you consider the fact that showers take up a large percentage of the space in the bathroom, updating your shower might be all you need to do to revive a dull bathroom from the 80's or 90's.

If you have any other ideas or things you've tried feel free to share with us, we'd love to get some more tips too!


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Buying, Selling, Renting Tools for Boston Real Estate

A couple months ago we launched a brand new and improved website here at The Charles Realty ( we're thrilled with the website and everything it offers.  We just wanted to remind you of all the things our website does.  It's not just a place for us to post our listings, although we certainly use our website for that too, but it acts as a tool for anyone looking to live in Boston.

The Charles Realty offers several tools and different materials to help in the home search.  We've written up separate guides for anyone looking to buy a home or rent a home in Boston.  These provide helpful tips and information regarding the next big steps in your life. We want to make it as easy as possible to start off on the right foot when finding a new home.

We certainly haven't forgotten sellers either, with a separate guide for sellers to gain an understanding of what it takes to put your home on the market.  We want you to be successful in your sale and the sellers guide prepares you with the necessary information regarding the process.

Beyond these guides we have easy to use search tools that will help you find the home you're looking for and narrow down the search.  This is really helpful when you're trying to get an idea of what is out there for homes in Boston, you can get a feel for what you like or don't like.  Once you find a place don't hesitate to let us know and fill out the form on the side of the page and we'll be happy show you the places you like and maybe even find some gems you hadn't considered yet.

Our website serves as just a sampling of what tools we have as a company to promote the home you're selling or to find your the right place to buy or rent.


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Boston Luxury Building: The Metropolitan

The Metropolitan is aluxury high-rise building that is full service and only a few blocks from the Back Bay and the Boston Common. Only steps away from the Tufts Medical Center, the Metropolitan is popular among people in the medical field. The condos feature contemporary kitchens and large windows with some of the best views in Boston.

Amenities: balcony, dishwasher, disposal, gas range, microwave, washer & dryer, carpeted floors, hardwood floors, air conditioning, cable/satellite TV, elevator, 24-hour doorman and concierge, outdoor space, garage parking, roof deck, water and city views, new construction.


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What To Consider When Renting

Renting may seem like a daunting task but it can be a very simple process if you prepare yourself properly and go into it knowing what you want and understanding what you need.  We've put together a few basic tips to make life just a little bit easier when you're planning to rent.

1. When looking at different apartments that currently have tenants try to ignore their setup and furniture and envision the space as empty or with your things.  Believe it or not, some tenants are messy and have a lot of clutter.  It can be very deceiving and misleading when you are at a showing and there are tacky posters and dirty dishes out.  Just try to remember that once you move in it's a clean slate for all of your things and you can organize however you want. Look past the current tenant's choice of decor and just consider the space, look at the windows, the ceilings, the walls, the counter space, and the amenities as you view apartments.

2. Ask about what changes you are allowed to make to the space. Some landlords and owners are very lenient on what you can do to your apartment in terms of painting and decorating but others are a bit more strict.  Always remember to check with your landlord regarding what changes you're allowed to make yourself while renting.  Be careful about nailing pictures up or making any more permanent changes like rugs and carpets. Chances are the rules will be clearly defined for you, but be sure to know them and understand them.

3. Generate a list of absolute necessities for your apartment.  Maybe you need a washer and dryer in unit, or absolutely must have 2 bedrooms, it could be that you require a large kitchen, or you're looking for a particular type of appliance, whatever it might be put it on the list. However, as you make this list, understand that it may change.  Are you looking for your dream home right now, or this just a temporary fix?  Go on a few showings after you've built your list, then after seeing a few places look over your list again and decide what you may be able to live without, or maybe you have a new thing to add to the list. Just keep in mind that this list may change with time and more showings but try to remain realistic about your expectations and know that sometimes you may have to sacrifice one thing for another.

4. Don't be afraid to ask questions.  There really is no such thing as a stupid question, especially when making a big decision like where you plan to live for the next few years.  Put together a list of questions or even Google a few frequently asked questions so you can be aware of what you should be asking. You want to make sure you'll be happy in your new place and asking questions is the only way to get direct answers.

5. Don't hesitate once you've found a place you like.  Once you've gone through your lists and asked your questions don't be afraid to jump right on a place. Everyone else who is looking to rent has the same mentality, so places go quickly.  Especially in a market like Boston's where students and young professionals are a large percentage of the population. Once you know what you're looking for you'll find the right place, but you can't let it slip away, because chances are someone else thinks it is the right place for them too.

6. Once you've settled on a place take some time and visit the area and get to know it.  You're excited to move in and enjoy your new place but what will make it even more enjoyable is knowing where the nearest grocery store is and where you can find you Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks.  Just get familiar with everything before your make the physical move, it will make life a lot easier once you're in the midst of packing and unpacking.

Let us know what tips you've learned from renting!


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Boston Luxury Building: 45 Province Street

This 32-story modern building hosts 137 condo homes and redefines 'luxury living.' Each condo has floor to ceiling glass window walls, 9-foot ceilings, custom walnut entry doors and interior pocket sliding doors, bamboo hardwood floors that are floating with sound attenuation padding. Each kitchen is equipped with custom European-style kitchen cabinets with Lacquer &Sapele Wood, quartz or granite kitchen countertops, Sub-Zero refrigerators, Bosch or Miele kitchen appliance packages; Marvel 54-bottle wine cellars are available. The bathrooms are equally as stunning with crystallized custom glass vanities, polished nickel fixtures by Waterworks, Rain Head European walk-in showers in the master bath and full size soaking tubs in 2nd Baths; "Thalassa 55" Air Tubs by Bain Ultra are also available. The units also boast Maytag "EPIC" full size front-loading Washer and Dryers (stack or side by side available). The community in the building is modern and cutting edge, offering all you could want.

Amenities: Dishwasher, disposal, gas range, microwave, washer/dryer, hardwood floors, air conditioning, cable/satellite TV, city views, elevator, 24-hour doorman/concierge, city and skyline views, new construction, fitness center, 4-season pool, 24-hour valet parking, Spa, Curb-level common spaces, balconies, decks.


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Summer is on its way and so is Ice Cream!

The weather is looking pretty promising, finally, and now that it's warming up outside ice cream is the go-to food! It is so refreshing and there's no shortage of ice cream here in Boston!  Today I've highlighted some excellent places around the city to grab your favorite frozen desert!

Berryline is a local chain started by a Harvard grad who just wanted to provide the world with some quality frozen yogurt. Of course frozen yogurt isn't ice cream but it's just as good if not better!  At Berryline you can chose from a few different flavors (including the flavor of the week) and sizes, then add toppings from there.  If you want mango, watermelon, strawberries, or even captain crunch, chocolate, or gummy bears they have it! The combinations and possibilities are endless at Berryline.  With several locations around Boston the most convenient one for city dwellers is right on Newbury Street.

Finale offers a whole range of different deserts but ice cream, mousse, and gelato are all a part of their menu and it's absolutely delicious.  Located at Park Plaza, Finale, has something for everyone and is a great place to meet up with friends for a relaxing sit-down desert.  They also serve meals so if you want to make an entire evening out of it, Finale is the place to go.

Caffé Vittoria seems to be a gelato fan favorite according to Yelp! Gelato is a refreshing change from the typical ice cream, loaded up with sugar it's nice and sweet and has just as many flavors as your favorite ice cream parlor. Gelati offers all the classics like chocolate and cookie dough or butter pecan and also provides a fruitier option with sorbetto flavors like mango, raspberry, and lemon. Located in the North End this cafe is definitely worth making a stop.

Picco will satisfy your every need for ice cream.  Also doubling as a legitimate restaurant Picco has some unique ice cream flavors including ginger and passionfruit.  And these aren't just you average ice cream cones, you have sundaes, frappes, samplers, and a variety of toppings to choose from at this South End restaurant.

Jennifer's Frosty is an ice cream truck but it doesn't drive around, it's always parked on the corner of Boylston and Arlington right along the Boston Public Gardens, for over twenty years.  You can grab a cone of soft serve and stroll through the gardens and Commons or head down Charles Street.  Right in the center of town you can make a quick pick up and enjoy Boston.

Of course you have plenty of more options like your traditional Ben and Jerry's, Emack and Bolios, J.P. Licks, and Pink Berry amongst others.  So enjoy all the sunshine and frozen deserts for the next few months!


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Boston Luxury Building: Tremont on the Common

One of the best priced full-service luxury buildings in Boston, Tremont on the Common offers many luxuries for its residents including an on-site gym, outdoor seasonal swimming pool, excellent professional management and maintenance, and 24-hour concierge and security officers. With sweeping, breathtaking views, the 374 luxury units offer an excellent location right on the Boston Common, and some units have private balconies.

Prime location and beautiful views

Amenities: balcony, dishwasher, disposal, microwave, washer & dryer, carpeted floors, hardwood floors, air conditioning, elevator, 24-hour doorman and concierge, outdoor space, parking, pool, water and city views, renowned management.


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