Blog :: 07-2012

Evolving Southie and Seaport

South Boston is a place that once carried a not too enviable reputation and it wasn't all that long ago that the Seaport had a completely different look, but today everything is changing. Southie is slowly seeing older buildings turned into new modern pieces of architecture a slightly younger crowd moving in.

In January of this year there were plans for up 1,700 new apartments in the morphing area. With developers dying for a chance to get their hands on a piece of property in Southie the area that borders the newly deemed "Innovation District" really is breathing new life into older neighborhoods. Even Seaport Square is shaping up into the "it" place to own a home, with 22 stories of apartments expected begin building this year.

Now it's even looking like you can expect some Manhattan-style living in the months and years to come. This past winter Mayor Menino made a push to change regulations and laws to allow developers to build smaller appartments, as small as 375 square feet. This may seem incredibly small but could provide a solution to the shortage of housing and the high rental price tags we've been seeing lately.

Of course, this is not to say that Southie is no longer a place for families and older generations but there certainly has been an influx of the younger crowds moving into the neighborhood. Developers and the city have begun catering to the young professionals and are welcoming the new look along the Seaport and through much of Southie. It might be worth considering a change of pace and a look at Southie's old and new real estate.

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London Real Estate

Today we're humoring ourselves and getting hyped up for the Olympics. We're looking at some of the glamorous real estate in London and let me tell you, it sure is luxurious!

London is home to the most expensive condo complex in the world, One Hyde Park. This is where you can find plenty of wealthy folks purchasing homes that they only live in part time. Condos have been sold for as much at $221 million in this building and it is truly glamorous. Just take a look at the One Hyde Park website and glance at the 5-bedroom condo that spreads itself across 9000 square feet. Interior designers have put their touch on everything and the building is graced by fine retailers such as Rolex.

To further emphasize the luxury living in London Boston.com ran a little story comparing real estate in London with homes back here in Boston. And although their comparisons were not exactly perfect matches it certainly could make anyone feel like they were getting a bargain when buying in Boston. The biggest gap in price could be found in suburban single-family homes, running almost $300,000 more in London.

London is also one of the word leaders in international home buyers, meaning that many places like One Hyde Park are being purchased by politicians, diplomats, and royalty from all over the world. London is not only a vacation spot, but also the desired second home for wealthy everywhere. Beyond this, property values in the city continue to rise, even as values around the rest of the country drop. London is a thriving city that everyone wants to be a part of and for two weeks everyone can feel like a piece of them is there, enjoying the Olympic games.

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Boston Housing Market is on the Mend

The Boston Globe came baring good news today in the form of a front page article. This article presented plenty of facts and figures supporting the idea that now is the time to sell. Last year at this time there were nearly double the number of condos on the market. Now there are just over 500 condos for sale in all of Boston, a severe drop in numbers. This means buyers are looking for anything they can get their hands on and we're back to good old fashioned bidding wars.

Property values are on the rise and sellers are making top dollar on their homes. In Downtown and Back Bay, condo prices are at an all time high. A result of the simple principle of supply and demand. Condos are going quickly, a true sellers market right now.

But don't freak out buyers, there are still homes out there for you and you should probably hop on them now before you see an even greater rise in property values.

So if you've been considering selling, or buying now is the time to do it!

We have both sellers and buyers guides to help you understand the process and we would be happy to help you buy or sell your home!

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September First is Beckoning

Your immediate thoughts when reading the words "September First" are probably "Whoa hold up! It's still July" but honestly as scary and dreadful as it might sound, September 1st is not all that far away. If you're looking to rent, you now have about a month to find a place. Of course the infamous date is the beginning of a majority of the leases in this city, and the big move-in day for everyone. So right now you're either shopping for apartments or shopping for furnishings for your apartment, either way September 1st is your big day! Here are some tips for those of you that are counting down or dreading the big day!

1) Find out about parking at your new pad- You can't bring that mattress, couch, or table on the T, so you're going to need to find a car. Whether you already have your own ride, a friend's car, or you're renting a zip car or U-haul for the day, you'll still need to find a convenient place to park. On any other day you might not care how far away you park but when you're hauling everything from your car to your apartment you're going to want to make sure you're parked close. Find out from your landlord or management company about the way parking works, especially for move-in and move out. Are there spaces for you behind your place, parking spaces you can book for the day, meter parking? These are things to know before you show up with all your stuff.

2)Book your movers now- You certainly can't book movers last minute if you plan to move on the first, so book them as early as possible. Make sure to also pack for your movers, they're not there to do the packing for you and chances are you won't like the way they pack away your four old iPods and your grandmother's quilt. So be ready for the movers and book them ASAP, maybe even now. There's nothing like being prepared.

4) Pack clothing in trash bags- Trash bags are a lot easier to carry than boxes and eliminate some of the awkward bulk. You don't need to worry about dropping your bag of clothes because it will just gracefully bounce down your stairs when you're hauling them up your walk-up building. There will be no harm done to anything and you can just toss the trash bags out when your done, or better yet put them aside and use them for their original use, as trash bags!

5) Downsizing- Even if your new apartment is bigger than your last place you should really go through as you pack and eliminate anything you don't want. Donate it to charity, put it on eBay, or find a friend that wants whatever it may be. The chances are you will want new furniture and knick-knacks for your apartment anyway, so don't be afraid to part with things. The last thing you want to do is move it all out and move it all back in to your new place just to throw it out.

If you're still looking to find a place for September 1st, it's not too late! You can always check our rental page for tips on renting and to search all the Boston listings!

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Boston Condo on the Market: 330 Dartmouth

We have a unit that is new to the market on Dartmouth Street, offering you full access to all of Back Bay. This one bed, one bath still offers plenty of possibilities with an open layout you are left with several opportunities to use the space as you see fit.  With nine windows overlooking both Dartmouth Street and Beacon Street you are not only presented with excellent views of Back Bay, but spectacular streaming natural light throughout the entire unit.

A kitchen comes complete with stainless appliances and granite countertops for modern living. The building is also professionally managed and pet friendly. With all of Boston at your fingertips this home is waiting for you to embrace city life.

If you're interested in learning more about this condo please contact Annette Given at (617)236-0353 or annettegiven@realtor.com.

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The Braemore

Today is about highlighting a great building here in Boston with a whole range of condos and apartments.  We've rented several of the units and currently have a couple new listings that are expected to hit the market in The Braemore this week! We're excited and we just wanted to share a little bit about this wonderful building!

The Braemore is a former luxury hotel converted into wonderfully convenient condos located almost directly in Kenmore Square. Situated right on Commonwealth Ave you truly have access to all of Back Bay. Many of the units offer beautiful views of Fenway Park, the Charles River, and Comm Ave.  With Kenmore Square right there you have access to many fine dining options including the Eastern Standard, and Island Creek Oyster Bar. Beyond this, night life is not too far away with Fenway Park just a short walk away. You'll be living with the true Boston experience and taking in all of Back Bay!

56 Prince Street Hits the Boston Market

This home offers plenty of natural light and outdoor space, with two private balconies and roof deck access. Glass sliding doors open the spacious living area onto the balconies and offer the ideal place for city living. You're right around the corner from the Old North Church and living directly in the popular North End. The convenient and sought after location is just the beginning of this modern and spacious home. Stunning finishes include a glass mosaic tile backsplash, hardwood floors throughout, and exposed brick walls in the living room and kitchen. The renovated and modern kitchen is finished off with caesar stone counter tops. With an in-unit washer and dryer, private basement storage, professional management, and a pet friendly building this home has everything you could want.

56 Prince Street has received a great deal of attention since going on the market this Monday. With plenty of requests for showings we have a good feeling about this place...

For more information about this home please contact listing agent Betsy Herald at (617) 236-0353 or betsyherald@realtor.com

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Visitor in the office today!

We had a visitor in the office today, Lucky! He's been greeting clients and hanging out with all of us here. We even went for a walk today and Ashley ended up carrying him down Newbury Street! He's been a sweet boy and we just wanted to share some pictures with all of our readers!

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Insuring Your Boston Home

The Windsor, here in Boston. Condos are tricky to insure sometimes, but it can be made easy if you understand what you're looking for.

Lately I've been trying to write a little more about the aftermath of buying or renting a home. There's so much emphasis on the whole process of finding the right place but not much out there about the "happily ever after" once you've found a home.  Naturally the most intensive parts are done once you've signed your lease or your purchase and sale. Then comes all the fun things like decorating, picking out furniture, throwing a house warming party, settling in. However, unfortunately there's still a few pesky things, like making sure your new home is insured.

For those who have just bought a home insurance is a very important aspect of being a homeowner. It's certainly something you can't neglect, you need to make sure your home is protected, even in Boston which tends to be free of most natural disasters. We may not see the hurricanes, tornadoes, and wildfires that other parts of the country sees, but still you need to have your home coverd. It's a necessity so here's what you can do, and what you need to consider.

To begin with just shop around, think of this like you would going to open houses and attending showings when you were finding your home. There are plenty of different insurance companies in this world but chances are you're looking for someone that can offer a policy with excellent coverage and a decent rate.

There are the major corporations and companies, chances are they're the ones you see advertised on TV.  A majority of these companies will market directly to you and you will contact them directly through the internet or over the phone, these are your Geico's and Progressive's.  There are also many insurance companies that will provide you with the necessary home insurance through captive agents. All State is one company that uses this model, you will have a physical person that you can go to for all your needs, but they work specifically with one insurance company. Finally you can go through an independent agent that will help you asses policies from all sorts of companies and aid you in finding quotes and picking the company and policy that is right for you.

While shopping around compare prices and what is or isn't covered with each policy. If  you're living in the mountains far from water, there's a good chance flood insurance is not a popular thing, so get to know what the common inclusions and exclusions are in policies. Also decide what you really think needs to be included in a policy in order for your to accept it. In the end you want peace of mind knowing your home is safe, no matter what.

Read through everything thoroughly once you think you've found the right plan. Be skeptical of things, ask questions. Make sure that if something is "guaranteed" there isn't a price cap on the coverage.

After truly examining the policy you liked best and approving of everything, consider if there is anything else you might want to include in the plan and possibly purchase additional coverage for things not already covered in the policy. Try not to go around to too many companies and piece together your home insurance, try to stick with one or two companies, it will make your life a whole lot easier.

Of course this is Boston, and a majority of homes are condos and townhouses, so insurance may get a little tricky. All the rules above still absolutely apply but be careful. A decent amount of insurance will only cover the interior and you might want to tweak your policy to cover more obscure things that could occur including water damage or storm damage. It's just something to be aware of, it can not be stressed enough how important full coverage is.

So with that being said I hope this helps you understand a bit more about home insurance. I found a couple of great articles about finding insurance and making sure you're properly covered that might be helpful! Happy insurance hunting!

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Hotels on their way to Boston

Another sign that Boston's economy is looking up right now, the influx of hotels being built and opening.  According to an article from Boston.com we could see as many as 4,000 new hotel rooms in the city within the next 2 years. There are plenty of projects put into place and some hotels are already opening. There are up to 24 different hotels in the works for Boston. This may seem extremely high, and it is unlikely that we'll be seeing 24 brand new hotels in the next few years, but as of right now we can expect about 6 and we'll see how many of the plans go through for the other 18 or so.

Copley Plaza Hotel in Boston

Marriott appears to be capitalizing on this need for hotels and the building craze it seems to be creating. They just recently opened a Courtyard hotel down towards the T.D. Garden and it looks like there will be a Marriott Residences Inn going in near the convention center along the waterfront. The South End and waterfront is where a  majority of the demand for hotels is coming from. The Westin Boston Waterfront is also looking to expand given the demand and the need for more rooms.

According to Boston.com 79% of the time Boston hotels are sold out, this is an extremely high sell out rate and certainly is welcoming for new hotel business in the area. It's been almost two years since a hotel has opened here but that's all about to change! This could mean that we'll see a rise in property values and a real push to bring more people into the city! This is all very good news!

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