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Our Favorite Luxury Rental Buildings in Boston

If you’re on the hunt for luxury rentals in Boston, you’re in luck - the city is flush with chic buildings that offer high-end finishes and luxury amenities, and there are more popping up all the time, each more fabulous then the last.  But because there are so many options, those renting in Boston, especially those renting luxury properties, need to identify what they need most from an apartment and the building that surrounds it.  For some, luxury apartment building amenities and communal space might be the priority, while others might place a greater emphasis on high-end appliances, open floorpans and extra space for entertaining or a home office.  But whether you’re looking for luxury rental buildings in The Seaport, Back Bay, The South End or Beacon Hill, you’ll have a number to choose from, so it’s important to know what they offer.  Here’s a look at the details of some of our favorites luxury rental buildings in Boston.  

The Arlington

This luxury apartment building in Back Bay has original details like arched windows and ornate columns throughout, but modern apartment features like gourmet kitchens, marble baths, open floorpans and spacious customized closets.  Amenities include a fitness center and basketball court, a game room and a resident lounge.  

Neighborhood: Back Bay

Why we love it: The location.  The Arlington is perfectly located near the Boston Public Garden and Newbury Street, giving residents direct access to all the best Back Bay has to offer

One Back Bay

This optimally located Back Bay rental building has a classic, yet contemporary design and beautifully 

appointed homes - with gourmet kitchens, marble baths and a washer-dryer in every apartment.  Residents have access to amenities like a landscaped rooftop sun terrace, entertainment lounge, children playroom and state-of-the-art fitness center by Equinox

Neighborhood: Back Bay

Why we love it: These ideally located Back Bay apartments are pet friendly, and many have lovely views of Trinity Church.  

30 Dalton

This 26 story apartment building in Back Bay has 218 luxury one, two and three-bedroom units.  The building amenities are numerous - valet parking, in-home package and grocery delivery, 24-hour maintenance guarantee, the list goes on.  

Neighborhood: Back Bay

Why we love it: The Prudential Center, Boylston Street, Boston Symphony Hall and local conveniences like Whole Foods are just a short walk from the front door of 30 Dalton.  

Ink Block

This mixed-use community has both luxury apartments for rent and condos for sale.  Siena, the new condos at ink block are over 85% sold, and there are about 20 apartments available between now and the middle of December.  One of the luxury apartment buildings in Ink Block community offers upscale, spacious floorpans with floor to ceiling windows and open views of the Boston skyline, as well as sleek modern kitchens.  The second is a bit edgier with an industrial chic vibe and bold finishings, and the third offers refined finishes in a warm, flexible and functional atmosphere.  

Neighborhood: The South End

Why we love it: Ink Block is more than just a luxury apartment building, it’s a community with direct access to restaurants, nightlife, coffee shops, galleries, parks, shopping and transportation.  

345 Harrison

This South End apartment building offers true luxury living.  The studio, one, two and three bedroom apartments have high-end finishes like Italian cabinetry, keyless entry, quartz countertops and city views, and the building’s deluxe amenities are also practical - fitness center and classes, yoga center, Sky Deck, infinity pool, dog park, garage parking and more.

Neighborhood: The South End

Why we love it: In addition to an ongoing list of amenities, we love South End living, meaning a thriving arts community, a growing retail presence and some of the best restaurants and bars in Boston.

100 Pier 4

The first phase of the massive Pier 4 redevelopment project in The Seaport, 100 Pier 4 has 369 luxury apartments and 258 underground parking spaces.  The building rises 21 stories above the Boston Harbor and offers breathtaking views.  The apartments are complete with stainless steel appliances, walk-in closets and hardwood floors, and the building offers residents access to a sun deck with outdoor pool, a cutting-edge fitness center and world-class service.

Neighborhood: The Seaport

Why we love it: The Seaport is quickly becoming the hottest place to live in Boston.  It’s truly a one-stop shop for living, dining, entertainment, shopping and recreation (not to mention views for days), and it’s a short commute to any other neighborhood in the city. 

VIA Seaport Residences

This modern and chic luxury apartment building in The Seaport soars 20 floors above three levels of 125,000 square feet of retail.  There are studio, one, two and three bedroom apartments for rent, each with Nest Thermostats, foodie-inspired kitchens and a number of high-tech in-home features.

Neighborhood: The Seaport

Why we love it: These Boston apartments are the definition of hip and offer plenty of on site space for socializing - The Rise sip bar, the Status club, Vibe lounge, Taste private dining and Flix living room, not to mention the abundance of outdoor space.

The Benjamin

Also in the heart of the vibrant Boston Seaport, you’ll find The Benjamin, known for it’s high-end service (room service, door service and concierge services), as well as stunning views and a modern design.  The Benjamin is almost fully leased, but there are still some studio, one, two and three bedroom Seaport apartments for rent, all with high end finishes.  Amenities include a pool, fitness center, outdoor terrace, Sunset lounge, Skyline Club and pet VIP spa.  

Neighborhood: The Seaport

Why we love it: We said it before and we’ll say it again, the service offered at The Benjamin creates a truly luxurious and personalized living experience.  

Devonshire

This 42 story luxury apartment building in Downtown Boston is convenient to everything - the theater district, Faneuil Hall, The North end, infamous historical sites, public transportation, the Boston Common, the Public Garden and the Waterfront.  Many of the luxury apartments have balconies with panoramic views of the Boston Harbor and the city skyline, but they all have granite kitchen counters and brushed metal backspaces, porcelain tile floors in kitchens and baths, GE appliances, large closet and storage space, and laundry facilities on every floor.  

Neighborhood: Downtown

Why we love it: Because of it’s location, this is one of the most versatile luxury apartment buildings in Boston, convenient for residents who work anywhere in the city.  

Troy

Located in The South End, Troy Boston Apartments have 14 units available for rent, all of which feature sophisticated finishes.  These pet friendly apartments are just steps from  outstanding dining and entertaining options, bars, art galleries, boutiques and the SoWa Open Market.  

Neighborhood: The South End

Why we love it: Troy has not one, but two rooftop terraces with unmatched views of the city.  

One Canal

With a walk score of 98, this Downtown Boston apartment building has everything you’d expect from a luxury complex, and a few things you wouldn’t, like a rooftop swimming pool, a spin studio, electric car charging stations, a pet spa and cold storage for grocery delivery.  It also has a good variety of studio, one, two and three bedroom floorpans to choose from.

Neighborhood: Between West End and North End

Why we love it: This luxury building has 175 reviews on their website, totaling an almost perfect overall 5-star rating.  The staff are friendly and responsive.

The Towers at Longfellow Apartments

These Beacon Hill apartments are within walking distance to all T lines, the infamous restaurants of The North End, Mass General, TD Garden, the Museum of Science, and Boston Common. There are studio, one, two and three bedroom apartments available for rent, all of which have a large private balcony and views of the Boston Seaport.  In addition to the heated pool 24-hour fitness center, clubhouse with game room and underground parking garage, the building boasts 40 acres of green space as well as a number of other amenities.

Neighborhood: Beacon Hill

Why we love it: The list of amenities is extensive, but the building also hosts resident events, which give people the opportunity to socialize, network and build a strong neighbor community. 

Pierce Boston Condos

This building offers Bostonians both luxury apartments and condos in Fenway, a neighborhood that is rapidly becoming a premiere residential destination.  The 240 apartments at 200 Brookline Ave have floor-to-ceiling windows and soaring, panoramic views.  Residents can also enjoy luxury amenities like the rooftop pool, private yoga studio, fitness center, 24-hour concierge theater and arcade room. 

Neighborhood: Fenway 

Why we love it: This neighborhood is so.much.fun.  Residents have the best of city living right at their fingertips, but can also enjoy time in the great outdoors at the neighboring Emerald Necklace. 

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 these luxury rental buildings, new projects in Boston, the status of projects, availability of luxury rentals or anything pertaining to Boston real estate, please contact us.  

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

(Source: www.bldup.com)

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

(Source: www.bldup.com)

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

(Source: www.bldup.com)

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

(Source: www.bldup.com)

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

(Source: www.bldup.com)

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

(Source: www.bldup.com)

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

(Source: www.bldup.com)

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.  

 

Backyard Improvement Ideas

Sunny days and nice weather are ahead of us this summer making it the ideal time to make backyard improvements. Creating the right features in a backyard make it the ideal close escape. Here are some ideas that will make any backyard pop:

Lighting- The right outdoor lighting helps with late night relaxing and prevents people from tripping or running into objects in the dark. Both electrical lighting and torch/lantern lighting will make a backyard more inviting.

Digital Vision/Thinkstock

Outdoor Fireplace/Firepit- Cheap and easy to make, fireplaces and pits are great places to gather with friends and loved ones. This project can be as easy as digging a pit and filling it with some stones to hiring a contractor to make a big project out of this. Fireplaces and pits are good gathering spots to roast some marshmallows with the kids or have some drinks with friends.

Digital Vision/Thinkstock

Create Your Own Beach- With enough sand you can create your very own beach in your backyard.

Digital Vision/Thinkstock

Sources: Top 10 Ideas for Outdoor Living Spaces 25 Ways to Create an Outdoor Oasis

Reducing Summer Utility Bills

The summer months are the best time to save money on utility bills and make up for the long months of winter this year. Here are some ways to reduces energy use to keep those utility bills low during the summer:

1)      Unplug Devices - Unplug unused chargers and cords because they still eat up energy even when out of use. 2)      Use Windows and Fans - Save A/C costs by using ceiling fans and breezes from outside. 3)      Close Doors to Trap Cool Air - Dedicate one or two rooms as A/C rooms and close the doors to hold in the cool air. 4)      Turn Off Lights - Use natural daylight during the day to save electricity costs. 5)      Turn The Thermostat Off - When you're not home turn off the thermostat to avoid heating/cooling the house when no one is home. 6)      Hang Laundry Outside - If you have the space, try hanging laundry outside to save the costs of going to a Laundromat or high energy bills. 7)      Stay On Lower Levels - Heat rises so stay on the first floor or basement where the house will be coolest. 8)      Grow Trees Surrounding Your Home - The Trees will provide shade and cool your home.

Sources: 10 Ways to Reduce Your Summer Utility Bills 10 Ways to Reduce Your Summer Utility Bills 20 ways to REALLY reduce your summer utility bills

Updates to 34 Plympton Street

A Modern Renovation in the Trendy South End

Unit 1 Updates: Will now be converted into a 3 bed/2 bath for $799,000.

Unit 2 Updates: Price reduced to $849,000.

Unit 3 Updates: Price is still $899,000, but will include a private roof deck to be built by seller.

All 3 Units: Seller will include 1 years parking in area garage.

These spacious loft style homes embody the flawless balance between state of the art amenities and modern designelements.  The open kitchen boasts recent renovations such as: stainless steel appliances, granite counters, plenty of cabinet space, dishwasher/disposal, and refrigerator.

These residences boasts modern features such as hardwood floors throughout the units, and tranquil bathrooms complete with rain shower heads, tiled walls with inlays, Toto water saving toilets, and Kohler tubs.

Residency at 34 Plympton offers luxuries including: a security system, air conditioning, private designated storage, walking distance to the restaurants on Harrison Avenue and Washington Street, and easy access to 93 and the Mass Pike.

If you would like to see any of the three condos in person, feel free to contact one of our expert agents by scheduling a showing here. Also be sure to go to 34plymptonboston.com for more images and information.

Boston's Best Parks for Lunch Breaks

Now that the weather is becoming more seasonable, it is the perfect time to get outside and explore Boston's finest parks. With over 2,600 acres of park land throughout the city, Boston offers a wide range of parks. Here are some to check out.

Public Garden (Beacon Hill/Back Bay)

photo via beaconhilllivingsir.com

One of Boston's most notable parks is one of America's first public botanical gardens. With a Victorian era feel, there are memorials, sculptures, and the famous George Washington statue. Flowers and trees throughout this area beautifies the park even more and during the warmer months swan boat rides are offered to give a close up view of the lagoon.

Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park (Waterfront)

photo via beaconhilllivingsir.com

One of the best places to enjoy a picnic while watching boats in Boston Harbor, Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park also features the Memorial Rose Garden trellis. This park is perfect for people of all ages and is located near the Aquarium and North End.

Norman B. Leventhal Park at Post Office Square (Downtown)

photo via beaconhilllivingsir.com

With 1.7 acres of land between buildings in Downtown Boston, this park is a hot spot for people working in the area. With a sculptural fountain and a long trellis, there is plenty of scenery in an unexpected spot. Lawn cushions are provided for seating on the lawn during the day, and live music is provided variously. This park will make you forget that you're in the middle of the city with its beauty.

Cassidy Playground/Chestnut Hill Reservation (Brighton)

photo via beaconhilllivingsir.com

Boasting both recreation and beauty, this park is adjacent to the reservoir and its 1.6 mile path perfect for walks, runs, and dogs. The park also has one baseball field, two softball fields, and two tennis courts among the large grass covered park.

Piers Park (East Boston)

photo via beaconhilllivingsir.com

Over in East Boston, where fewer businesses are located is the 6.5 acre Piers Park. This park features a playground, mini amphitheater, and a 600 foot pedestrian promenade with views of downtown Boston. Although no ball throwing is allowed, this is one of the best picnic spots in Boston.

Commentary: 'The Dream Lives On: the Future of Homeownership in America'

photo via. harvard.edu

Recently Keeping Current Matters reemerged a paper on homeownership by Managing Director of the Joint Center of Housing Studies at Harvard University, Eric Belsky. The paper entitled 'The Dream Lives On: the Future of Homeownership in America,' five financial reasons as to why people should consider owning a house were presented. Here are the five reasons and our break down as to why the five reasons are accurate:

1)      Housing is typically the one leveraged investment available. With fewer lenders willing to lend out money and fewer people interested in borrowing money to buy stock and bonds, homeownership becomes the one leveraged investment available. As home values increase so does the home's return on equity, and right now home values are increasing.

2)      You're paying for housing whether you own or rent. When paying for rent payments go towards the landlord's principle, while homeowners pay debt service to pay down their own principle. In other words, there is a return on investment when owning a home, while there isn't when renting. Landlords are the ones making an investment in rentals.

3)      Owning is usually a form of "forced savings." Whether you realize it or not, owning a home is a way money. This is very beneficial to people that have trouble saving money. The study states that people have to make a housing payment no matter what, and owning a home can help people overcome deferring saving to another day.

4)      There are substantial tax benefits to owning. Homeowners can deduct mortgage interest and property taxes from income, and capital gains are excluded from income if homes are sold for a gain.

5)      Owning is a hedge against inflation. Housing and rental costs are bound to increase to a level higher than the rate of inflation. There have been numerous periods where the housing and rental costs have gone at or higher than the rate of inflation, therefore owning is a home is becoming a bigger advantage nowadays.

For more reasons to own a home or inquires on buying a home, please visit our website or get in contact with us. Also be sure to follow us on our social media handles: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Boston's Off-Campus Apartment Market

Recent news stories have brought the off-campus apartment market into the limelight, highlighting that over recent years students have been exposed to the dangers caused by the housing shortage. With universities in Boston accepting more and more students every year, housing both on and off campus cannot keep up.

As a result of less off-campus housing inventory, college students have begun to make sacrifices. Students are now living in small, cheap, and run-down apartments to save money as financial pressures continue to grow on students. Bedbugs, rodents, and additional hazards have become more common news stories due to the state of some off-campus apartments.

With high demand and low inventory, landlords no longer have to compete to find customers and don't feel the same pressures to update their properties. In an editorial by the Boston Globe titled 'Student Apartments Expose Ravages of Housing Shortages,' it was said "As housing units come up for sale, deep-pocketed landlords whose business models involve skimping on maintenance, and packing in tenants beyond what the law allows, can easily outbid individual families or more conscientious investors." Over the last few months it has becoming increasingly difficult to go without seeing a story in the news about an apartment fire, hazardous apartment conditions, and overcrowding because of what's going on in the off-campus apartment market.

So, what is needed when moving forward?

-          City inspectors will need to step up more than before. More visits are needed to apartments and tickets will be given for safety code violations.

-          Universities should help guide students and their families in the direction of safe off-campus housing. Some universities already do a good job at this.

-          More housing. This won't happen overnight, but more housing is needed in Boston to keep up with the demand.

-          Use a rental agent. The Charles Realty's rental agents went to schools in the Boston area and know the off-campus apartment market. They can guide students to the right landlord and safe housing.

Sources: Student apartments expose ravages of housing shortage A House Jammed with Students, a Life of Promise Lost Overcrowded and at Risk: A Way of Life and, Sometimes, Death for Student Tenants A Devastating Mismatch: City vs. Scofflaw Landlords

What to Know When Moving to an Apartment

Costs

- What's your monthly budget? - What utilities are/aren't included? - What's the security deposit? - Does the landlord need first month's rent/last month's rent? - Is there a penalty for terminating the lease early?

General

- How long is the lease? - Make a good impression with the landlord. - Avoid the cheapest place available. There will likely be future problems with the place. - How easy is it to get to work/school.

Neighborhood

- Is there a lot of outside noise? - When's trash day? - Where's the nearest market, pharmacy, etc.? - What's the parking situation? - Nearby T/bus stops?

Maintenance

- Inspect the apartment before signing a contract. - Take photos of the apartment before moving in and save them until the move out date. - Figure out maintenance responsibilities between the landlord and the renter. - What tools/supplies might be needed?