The Trends

7 Hot New Construction Buildings in Fenway/Kenmore

The Fenway / Kenmore area may be home to “America’s most beloved ballpark,” but Bostonians know that there’s a lot more to the neighborhood then the iconic home of the Boston Red Sox.  The 1.24 square mile neighborhood is bursting with vitality thanks to a unique blend of cultural institutions, universities, and the natural beauty bestowed by the Emerald Necklace - a chain of parks linked by parkways and waterways that spreads through Fenway/Kenmore and beyond.  Young professionals and students from nearly a dozen colleges and universities located in the neighborhood fill the many bars, restaurants and nightclubs lining the streets of Fenway/Kenmore, giving it a perpetually animated feel.  The neighborhood also attracts a cerebral and cultured population of Bostonians who  enjoy spending time at the Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts and Symphony Hall.  It’s a diverse and dynamic area, and has a seemingly endless amount of entertainment making it an appealing neighborhood for those looking at Boston real estate.  

But like other neighborhoods in the city, real estate in Fenway/Kenmore is transitioning.  Not long ago the majority of housing was student-centric and affordable, but over the last several years a surge of new development has helped establish a prominent luxury real estate market in the neighborhood. Those looking for condos for sale in Fenway/Kenmore can expect to see prices that are approaching those of Back Bay real estate and condos for sale in The South End, and luxury condos in Fenway/Kenmore are now more common than those with basic features and amenities.  But for an area that has as much to offer as Fenway/Kenmore, it’s not surprising that demand has increased so significantly.  Here’s a list of the top 7 Fenway/Kenmore new construction projects that are adding to the much needed supply of new housing in the popular neighborhood.

Pierce Boston


This behemoth project had to top our list, mostly because it’s one of the most prominent new construction projects in all of Boston, but also because it’s scheduled to be finished any day now.  Here are the details of what this 30-story luxury tower will contribute to luxury real estate in Fenway/Kenmore:

  • A mix of 240 rental apartments and 109 condominiums
  • 20,000 square feet of retail located at the tower’s base across the first two stories
  • An underground parking garage will contain spaces for 80 cars
  • Amenities will include a Levity Lounge on the buildings top level, as well as a sky deck with a kitchen and a gas fireplace and a sky top pool, a library, a fitness center and a private dining room

Fenway Center


Another massive project underway in the neighborhood is Fenway Center in Kenmore Square.  The project will be constructed in two phases, with phase one expected to be completed in early 2020.  Here’s what this 1.1 million-square-foot development project will include:

  • Five new buildings, including a 27-story tower above the Massachusetts Turnpike
  • A total of approximately 550 residential units, 160,000 square feet of office space and over 50,000 square feet of retail
  • 30,000 square feet of park and green space
  • A seven-story parking garage will include 1,290 parking spaces
  • A 12,000-square-foot air rights deck and landscaped pedestrian walkway will be constructed over  Yawkey Station as part of phase 1.  

Symphony Court Phase Two


This luxury condo building in Fenway/Kenmore is sold out, but it’s worth mentioning because you never know when one of these homes will come back on the market.  Here are the details:

  • 34 luxury condominium residences
  • Amenities include a resident club room, an outdoor community terrace, a fitness center and garage parking
  • Residences feature natural light, high ceilings and views of the Boston skyline
  • A number of residences feature private decks 

The Harlo


This 17-story, recently completed building offers luxury apartments to rent in Fenway/Kenmore.  With a convenient location, The Harlo “connects historic legacy with modern city living.”  Here are the features:

  • 212 luxurious apartment residences ranging from studio to three-bedrooms
  • Residences include elegant finishes like exposed concrete ceilings, quartz countertops, hardwood floors, oversized window and panoramic views of Fenway Park, the Charles River and Downtown Boston
  • Select homes feature loft floor plans and private terraces
  • Amenities include a long with a billiards area and open workspaces, a work and study area, private dining and entertaining space, a fitness center, a library and conference space.  
  • Multiple private outdoor spaces including a yoga terrace, a fifth-floor outdoor terrace featuring cabanas, a fire pit and grills and a top-level sky deck with sweeping views of the Emerald Necklace, the Boston skyline and Fenway Park
  • A two-level underground parking garage with 105 spaces and bicycle storage

839 Beacon Street


Located steps from Kenmore Square, the upcoming apartments at 839 Beacon will have modern amenities but a classic brick-and-bay townhouse look.  These Kenmore Square rentals will also have:

  • 45 apartment residents and 4,500 square feet of ground-floor retail
  • Apartments will include 16 studios, 23 one-bedrooms, 4 two-bedrooms and 2 three-bedrooms
  • Homes feature quartz countertops, stainless steel appliances, vinyl plank flooring and in-unit laundry
  • Amenities include a lounge, meeting room, fitness center, a dog washing station and a roof terrace featuring a kitchen facility on views of the Boston skyline
  • 30 parking spaces with Zipcars available on site as well as electric car charging stations 

50 Symphony Road


This recently approved building will include modern-contextual design and 20 condominiums for sale in Fenway.  Here are the details:

  • First-floor residential space will be 6 feet above grade, providing privacy for residents
  • 17 condominiums will be market-rate and 3 will be offered to buyers earning 80-100% of Area Media Income (AMI)
  • The building’s basement will have parking for 11 vehicles
  • All floors are elevator accessible
  • Conveniently located to MBTA stations at Symphony (Green Line), Hynes Convention Center (Green Line) and Massachusetts Avenue (Orange Line)  
  • MBTA Bus lines are just steps away
  • Easily walkable to major Boston neighborhoods including Fenway, Copley, Back Bay and South End

Gateway Boston


These high-end apartments in Fenway were completed a little over a year ago, but are a great option for renting in Boston.  The building is right in the heart of the Fenway neighborhood, and offers:

  • 32 one and one plus-bedroom apartments
  • State-of-the-art finishes
  • Garage parking on site
  • 4,470 square feet of ground-floor retail space

Residential new construction projects are seemingly ubiquitous in Boston right now - having a massive impact on real estate in The Seaport, East Boston and other neighborhoods that were ripe for rejuvenation.  Though Fenway/Kenmore is a well established neighborhood that isn’t seeing quite as many individual projects, new buildings like the Pierce are major-league (pun intended) and are capturing the attention of every Bostonian interested in Boston real estate and general buzz about the city.  One thing seems certain, with a number of new luxury housing options and a bright future of growth, buyers are going to be paying much closer attention to real estate in Fenway/Kenmore.  

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.  



A Detailed Look at the Improper Bostonian's 9 of the Best Bars in Boston

One of the best things about living in Boston (arguably the best thing) is how full of life it is.  You could spend an entire month exploring the city and still miss some if it's best attractions.  So, as some of the most experienced real estate agents in Boston, we've made it a priority to acquaint ourselves with the city in every way, which hasn't been too difficult since our agents live, work and play in the neighborhoods they work in.  Whether it's a question about luxury condos for sale in Back Bay, the best Italian restaurant in the North End, pet friendly buildings in Fenway, or what Bostonians can expect from the massive amount of development in The Seaport, we have all kinds of answers.  But while our agents love exploring the city and gathering information for clients (a job perk for sure), we also like to consider the opinions of others around town.  So, we partnered with our friend Jessica Kane to get the details on The Improper Bostonian's list of the 9 Best Bars and Clubs in Boston.  Here's what Jessica had to say:

The Improper Bostonian, a lively, alternative newspaper serving the community, likes to develop lists of the best. An important "best list" from The Improper Bostonian addresses bars, taverns, and nightclubs in Boston.

If you are planning a trip to Boston, or if you live in or near the city and want to learn more about nightlife in your community, there are nine establishments that made the longer "best list" that are well worth a look.

Best Beer Bar: The Publick House

Although beer bars have been popping up in Boston at a rapid pace in recent years, The Publick House has been and remains ahead of the ever growing pack. The Publick House is described as the "sultan of suds" by The Improper Bostonian. 

The Publick House features over 30 styles of beer, served in over 80 bottles. In addition, the establishment offers its patrons an ever rotating selection of brew on tap. 

Best Cozy Bar: Anchovies

Anchovies is recognized as the best cozy bar in Boston. Anchovies is a dimly lit joint, that comes complete with a dark wood bar. It is a neighborhood tavern, that includes nick-knacks about the place, and bartenders who are generous in their pours.

Anchovies is a friendly spot, a pub that serves a large cast of regulars. In addition, Anchovies serves a full menu of delectable, authentic Italian food until 1:30 a.m. 

Best Dance Club: Royale

When it comes to Boston dance clubs, Royale is a survivor. Dance clubs in the city, indeed across the country, come and go in a flash. Royale is now in its seventh year, and no other venue has come close to taking the perch as the best away from this venue.

Royale is located in the Boston Theatre District and packs crowds in each and every weekend. Royale features a wide array of marquee DJs and EDM stars. In addition, the venue is outfitted with a tremendous light and sound system. Royale is also home to some great live concerts each year, thanks to its partnership with Bowery Presents. 

Best Dive Bar: Drinking Fountain

Who doesn't like a fun dive bar? And Boston has more than a few. With that said, Drinking Fountain is the best dive bar in town.

Drinking Fountain has been able to withstand the trend towards gentrification that has been sweeping the city in the past couple of decades. In addition, Drinking Fountain offers some of the most affordably priced drinks to be found anywhere in Boston.

Best Date Bar: The Gallows

Despite the establishment's name, The Gallows is regarded as the best date bar in Boston. The Gallows is a lively, vibrant South End gastropub. In addition to reasonably priced adult beverages, the establishment offers a nice selection of small plates. It is a perfect place for comfortable conversation, even well suited to that all important first date.

Best Gay Bar: Club Café 

In business for 30-plus years, Club Café remains the best gay bar in Boston. People still line up down the block to get in. This remains the case even as gay bars shutter as LGBT patrons venture towards partying in "mainline" establishments. 

Club Café offers the best cabaret stage in town. In addition, there is a lively dancefloor located at the rear of the establishment. 

Best Hotel Bar: Hojoko

If you are visiting Boston, or if you are a resident that wants to try out something not normally seen in a hotel bar, Hojoko is the place to go. The establishment is located in the trendy Verb Hotel.

The establishment features a vibrant décor not normally associated with a hotel lobby bar. The colorful décor provides a marvelous backdrop for the best sake selections found anywhere in Boston. Midnight snacks of ramen are served daily. On a seasonal basis, beverages from Hojoko can be enjoyed poolside.

Best Irish Pub: The Field

What would Boston be without its wonderful Irish pubs? There are plenty of them. And, The Field is considered the best.

The cash-only pub offers patrons pints of Guinness, pool, and darts. Keep in mind that The Field is not located in Southie, but in the Cambridge area (not necessarily where you'd expect to find the best Irish Pub). Because of its location, The Field attracts a truly eclectic array of patrons, people from all walks of life and a myriad of backgrounds. It is a truly friendly gathering place.

Best Jazz Club: Wally's Café

Wally's Café tops the list as the best jazz joint in Boston. Wally's Café, in its 70th year, is a Boston institution. 

The establishment has featured nightly jazz performances by veteran musicians and up-and-coming performers. There are early evening sessions at Wally's Café, followed by scheduled performers.

Jessica Kane writes for TIPS Alcohol Training, offering TIPS responsible alcohol service training online for both on and off premise needs.  

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 questions about homes for sale in Boston, or if you're looking for the most dedicated seller's agents in Boston, please contact us.  


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

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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:

  • 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 

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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:  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 

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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:

  • 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

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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 (

  • 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

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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

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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

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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.  




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.


3 Reasons Overpricing Your Home is a Big Mistake

Awhile back we wrote this post outlining 4 reasons not to overprice your home, and it's such an important topic we think it's worth revisiting. We get it, the market is crazy competitive right now and it seems like testing it with a high asking price might be a great way to maximize your profit, but in reality it has damaging affects that could have the opposite result.  Here are a few more reasons that drive our point home:

If you overprice your home, not only will you miss out on views, showings and offers, but you'll lose credibility with buyers.  Expect that buyers who live in your area have done their research, so they know what similar homes are worth, and they likely won't want to get involved in negotiations with sellers that seem to have unrealistic expectations.  

When you're working with an agent who advises you to overprice your home, or doesn't advise against it, they're either uncomfortable being honest with you (not a good quality in an agent), they just want to get their sign up in your lawn for exposure, or they want their name to be associated with higher priced homes.  None of these motivations are good ones, so if they don't advise you to price your home appropriately for the market, start shopping for another agent immediately.  

According to research, you'll get the best price for your home if you sell within the first two weeks of hitting the market.  If you price competitively, you're likely to get attention from multiple buyers who recognize the value of your home at the listed price.  In a competitive offer scenario, you could end up getting more from your home than you would if you overpriced.

We can't stress enough how important it is to find the right asking price.  To get started, check out our home value estimator, then call one of our agents for some expert advice, 617-236-0353.  


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Top-10 New Years Resolutions for Your Home

You know the drill: new year, new this that and the other thing.  But according to, only 9.2% of people feel they're successful in achieving their New Years Resolution, which means that over 90% of people set themselves up for failure.  This year, instead of vowing to spend more time at the gym or less time on devices, how about shifting the focus to your home. has put together this Top-10 List of New Years Resolutions for your Home, and we think you should take a look so that when 2017 comes to a close, you have a sense of achievement AND you’ve added value to your home!

For more tips on how to care for and add value to your home throughout the year, contact our team of experts who love to share what they know! 

What's Next for Interest Rates and What Does it Mean for Home Buyers?

If you follow real estate even a little, you've probably heard that interest rates are on the rise.  In fact, on December 1st most lenders came close to the highest levels we've seen in two years.  So what's next?  And does an increase in rates mean that home prices will drop since there will be fewer buyers and therefore less demand?  

Let's address the second question first.  In an article titled "Higher Rates Don't Mean Lower House Prices After All," the Wall Street Journal revealed that a recent study found that "prices weren't especially sensitive to rising rates, particularly in the presence of other positive economic factors such as strong job growth, rising wages and improving consumer confidence."  In fact, the last four times rates dramatically increased - in 1983, 1987, 1993 and 1999 - home prices increased by 6.6%, 5.2%, 1.2% and 10.9% respectively.  But with the combination of rising rates and U.S. home prices finally topping record levels for the first time since July 2006, it’s likely that prices will begin to increase more gradually then we’ve seen in the last 4 years.  

Now for the hard part - what’s next?  Interest rates were remarkably low in 2016, so an increase was inevitable, and since some lenders were offering loans with rates in the 2’s, a jump back to more “normal” levels will be a very sizable increase.  However, many industry experts predict that although rates will continue to rise in 2017, it won’t be as extreme as many people fear.  Kiplinger says that “even with a rate hike, interest rates will likely stay low and fluctuate within a narrow range for some time to come.”  Michael Winks, Executive Vice President / Chief Lending Officer for Northpointe Bank in Grand Rapids, Michigan, anticipates rates remaining in their current range through 2017.  Without a crystal ball none of us can be certain, but one thing is for sure: lenders and agents are advising buyers not to take their chances by waiting.  Even a small price increase on home prices, coupled with a marginal (one eighth to one half percent) increase in rates could cost a buyer tens of thousands of dollars.  

Here’s the bottom line: If you're thinking of refinancing, now's the time to lock in a rate.  If you have your eye on a property or you’re considering buying at some point over the next year, you'll find lower rates and will compete against fewer buyers if you act now.  In fact, waiting just a month or two could make a huge difference, as the influx of new inventory that comes to market in the first 6-8 weeks of a new year attracts crowds of buyers.  For more information, contact one of our experts, or call us at 617-236-0353. 

Tuesday Tip - 19 Tips for Winterizing Your Home

In this post from last year, we featured 13 tips for winterizing your home, via AOL Finance.  So far the temperature has been higher than the same time last year, but the forecast calls for a steady drop and by Christmas we're sure to see some of the white stuff.   So, we thought we'd do a little research to find more great tips for trimming your bills and staying warm this winter.  Take a look at this article by Popular Mechanics, which offers 19 Easy Ways to Winterize your Home.  


Tuesday Tip - The 4 Boston Neighborhoods Smart Real Estate Investors Should Check Out Now

If you’re from the Boston area, you likely remember a time not long ago, when towns like Somerville and Brighton were where college students with 3 digit bank accounts moved the day after they graduated.  While there were pockets of prosperity, the more affluent home buyer frequently chose Cambridge instead of Somerville, and Newton instead of Brighton.  But times, they have a-changed, and the savvy investors and homebuyers who recognized the potential of these areas are seeing enormous returns on their investments.  In Somerville, for example, the average home value is 56% more than what it was just 6 years ago (source: Zillow).  But while the market here is still very healthy, the percentages at which home values are forecasted to increase next year is almost half that of last year.  In other words, Somerville and neighborhoods like it - Brighton, Southie, Jamaica Plain, etc. - have blossomed in the last 10 years, capturing the attention, and investment capital, of every buyer within 50 miles of Boston.  Don’t get us wrong, these neighborhoods are still great places to live, but they aren’t your best investment options as they aren’t likely to see another dramatic spike in home value for some time.

So, which towns will be next to see a surge of Somerville proportions?  Likely it will be areas adjacent to those that have experienced recent booms, as they will start to see an influx of home buyers that weren’t able to afford the areas more popular neighborhoods and towns.  Naturally, the increase in buyers will have a direct impact on demand, and as home values begin to increase, so will taxes, which will mean more funds to contribute to the betterment, and appeal, of the town. 

With that in mind, here are four communities we think you should check out if you’re looking for a smart Boston real estate investment:


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At 3.2 miles northwest of downtown Boston, this Somerville neighbor boasts optimal proximity to Boston.  And though it’s already a very accessible city, if the Green Line Extension is approved by the Federal Transit Administration, Medford could be an ideal option for commuters.  Home to Tufts University, Medford has a strong focus on academics for students of all ages, making it attractive to home buyers looking for a place to raise a family.  The city is investing in new housing opportunities as well as the growth of businesses and the preservation of environmental open space for the community to enjoy.  At $463,000, Medford’s median single-family home price is nearly 35% less than that of Somerville (source: Zillow). 


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At the geographic heart of Boston, Roxbury is appealing to home buyers looking for a lively neighborhood in the beginning stages of a great revival.  Like it’s more expensive neighbors Jamaica Plain and Dorchester, Roxbury is a place that celebrates diversity and culture.  And with over 570 acres of parks, playgrounds and athletic fields (23% of park space in Boston and the most in any one neighborhood in the city), Roxbury has been an attractive option for families with children.  At $305,500, Roxbury has the lowest median single-family price on our list (source: Zillow).  It’s affordability coupled with new business and housing initiatives make it a great option for buyers who are looking for the significant return of a long-term investment. 


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If you follow Boston real estate even a little, this one comes as no surprise.  Though, according to Zillow Dorchester’s 1-year growth forecast for home values is quite a bit lower than last year’s, there’s no doubt that the surge of residential and retail construction, supported by the Boston Redevelopment Authority, is going to have a major impact on the popularity of the area.  With 28 residential projects in various stages of development, including the hyped Dot Block which will feature 388,440 square feet of residential and retail space, the median single-family home price of $423,300 (source: Zillow) will likely see a significant increase over the next decade. 

East Boston

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For buyers who want waterfront living but don’t want to pay Charlestown prices, East Boston is a smart choice.  While Charlestown is a lovely place to live, dine, and boat watch, the median single-family home price is $655,000 (source: Zillow), while East Boston’s is significantly lower (though not for long) at $387,000 (source: Zillow).  Like Dorchester, Eastie is well into it’s transition into one of Boston’s more desirable neighborhoods, but will be even more so upon completion of a record-setting number of new developments, including Portside at East Pier with some 550 units, 6 New Street with 259 units and Clippership Wharf, which is slated to have 400 condos and a large amount of retail space.  Eastie has more to offer than waterfront properties with some of the best views of the Boston skyline, it also has remarkable and affordable ethnic cuisine, beach access by way of a beautiful new greenway, and very close proximity to Logan Airport.  But hurry, the appeal of East Boston is one of the cities worst kept secrets.

Greater Boston Real Estate ROI

The Boston real estate market has experienced a plunge in affordability over the last several years.  According to, the number of listings in Boston that are affordable for middle-income buyers is now just 20% of all the homes and condos on the market, having fallen by more than half since January 2014, when that number was 42%.  While this statistic works in favor of those who purchased in 2009 and 2010, it’s discouraging for buyers and investors who are constrained by limited (limited being a relative term here) budgets.  Luckily, forward thinking developers and city officials have taken a broader look at Greater Boston and surrounding towns, and have identified several areas primed for growth and development. It’s in these towns and neighborhoods that middle-income buyers and savvy investors will find good deals, great communities and exceptional return on their investment. 

5 DIY Projects That Will Help Sell Your Home

When it comes to making home improvements in order to sell your home more quickly and at a higher price, the most important consideration is whether or not the project will have a greater finanical impact on the offer than it did on your wallet.  If it's a DIY, you must also monetize your time in order to determine whether or not the project is worthwhile.  Here are 5 inexpensive DIY projects that can add a great deal of appeal to your home and likely attract more buyers.

1 - New Paint.  You've heard it before but we'll say it again, new paint can dramatically change the look and feel of a home.  Plus, there's just something about that new paint smell that makes a home feel fresh.  Stick with neutral, warm colors that will appeal to a broad variety of potential buyers.  Pinterest has no less than infinity suggestions for the perfect paint color!

2- Crown Molding. Crown molding adds a simple element of luxury to a room that can subtly make buyers feel like the home is worth more.  You can purchase decorative strips from your local hardware store and have them cut to the measurements of your room, or for a lower cost you can buy unfinished strips, cut and paint them yourself.  But be prepared, if you do the cutting yourself, the project will require a little brain power and a bit of math!

3- Replace your front door.  We all know first impressions are critical, so if the entrance to your home doesn't welcome potential buyers, it will be harder to impress them once they're inside.  Take a drive around a neighborhood with nice, recently built homes a little above the price range of your home to see some new and popular styles.  Selecting one of these styles will help give your home a more updated feel!

4- Replace hardware and fixtures.  This is the easiest and least expensive upgrade on the list, but it often gets overlooked.  When you've lived in your home for many years, you get used to the look of your hardware and fixtures, and may not notice that they're making your home look dated.  Take a stroll through a couple of open houses for recently built homes and get some style ideas for new cabinet doorknobs, drawer handles, curtain rods, outlet covers, light plates, and bathroom hardware. 

5- Install Ceiling Fans.  Spring and Summer months are when the real estate market really picks up, so it's the perfect time to make this upgrade.  Not only are ceiling fans great for energy efficiency, something LOTS of buyers are focused on, but the circulation of air helps eliminate odors and keep rooms feeling fresh and comfortable.  Who doesn't want to take a nice summer nap under the gentle breeze of a ceiling fan?

These 5 DIY improvements are quick, easy and inexpensive, but they will make a remarkable difference to potential buyers.  For more tips on how to sell your home quickly and for a higher price, reach out to one of our experts, 617-236-0353.


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