Blog :: 2013

Things to Do in Boston over Break

It's that time of the year again that loved ones gather together to celebrate the holidays. In Boston, there is a wealth of things to do when enjoying the winter break with friends and family. Our agents at The Charles Realty have come up with of fun Boston activities to do over break, take a look at the list:

Ice Skating: There are numerous outdoor ice skating rink in Boston, and most places have incredible views of the city making the experience even more special.

Visit a Museum and/or the Aquarium: Boston one of the most cultured and historically rich cities in America. From full size fish tanks to larger-than-life installations, Boston has it all:

Go Sledding: Provided there's enough snow during break, sledding is fun winter break activity for everyone. From golf courses to parks there are a vast array of hills for sledding in Boston.

  • Flagstaff Hill on Boston Common (near the baseball diamond)
  • The Bowl in Boston next to Jamaica Pond
  • Larz Anderson Park in Brookline
  • Weld Hill at Arnold Arboretum, corner of Walter and South streets in Roslindale
  • Cory Hill Park in Brookline
  • Dorchester Park off Adams Street in Dorchester
  • Spy Pond Park in Arlington

First Night Boston: A perfect way to celebrate New Year's is spending it at First Night Boston, where the festivities begin at 10 A.M. on New Year's Eve and ends with an unforgettable firework show at the stroke of midnight. First Night Boston features various activities for all ages including: family festivals, evening performances, outdoor events, and cultural/museum institution shows.

For more information on things to do over break in Boston, feel free to message our Rental Agents directly at our new rentals Facebook page, Newbury Rentals or check out our site!

Sources:

9 Places to Go Ice Skating in Boston

First Night Boston

40 Great Places to Sled around Boston

Why Buying a Home is like Watching the 2013-14 Patriots

No one has ever said buying a home is an easy process, and the same goes for watching this year's New England Patriots. Both have ups and downs, yet somehow everything works out in the end. Both buying a home and following the Patriots provide an emotional roller-coaster filled with not only plenty of frustration, anger, but also moments of pure joy. Here's a rundown quarter by quarter on what it's like to buy a home and watch the Patriots.

First Quarter: A lot of pregame preparation has been put in and now kickoff is underway and you're awaiting to play the game called the housing market. Like watching the Patriots you start off with high hopes that you get off to a good start and secure what you're looking for. In most games this year the Patriots get off to a frustratingly slow start, similar when buying a home.

Second Quarter: Okay off to a slow start, but there's still plenty of time to work something out. Yet often times the second quarter is filled with just as much frustration as the first. When all hope is nearly lost in the first half, there is a moment of hope right before halftime.

Third Quarter: Following the first half of events you come out strong to start the second. Now is the time to buckle down and get to work so you start making the progress needed for a strong closing. Despite making steps forward you are still not at your goal. Then comes the nerve racking, stress induced fourth quarter.

Fourth Quarter: It's now or never to make something happen. Anyone that's watched the Patriots this year or have bought a home know to never give up because when you have a Tom Brady or a great realtor everything will work out in the end. The Patriots will come out with a win and you will end up with the home you were looking for. So no matter what happens, you never give up on the Patriots and the housing market.

For more information on buying a home, feel free to contact our Sales Agents through email!

Reasons to Consider January 1st Rentals

2014 is upon us, and with it comes numerous lease openings in the Boston area. While people may find many reasons not to rent, but in today's day and age renting is something that should considered for the New Year. Below the Newbury Rentals team has come up with some reasons to consider rentals on January 1st.

More financially safe than owning a home

The economy has greatly influenced the housing market, and now is a better time than ever to rent. One of the largest costs avoided when renting is the mortgage. Not only is the cost of a mortgage avoided, but also the stress of large payments or having to remortgage. Other big costs avoided are property taxes, Homeowners Associate fees (doesn't apply to all), and homeowners insurance.

In addition, when renting you avoid the responsibilities of buying or selling a home. Another upside to renting is that it allows for people to save up money, pay off loans, and spend money elsewhere. In some cases renters today are renting more than one home allowing for them to have a vacation spot.

Access to urban conveniences

The majority of rentals are found in urban areas, which usually means everything is in a mile. Many necessities are within walking distances in urban areas. Not only are there numerous stores within a close proximity, but also many stores in cities cannot be found in suburban areas.

Some rentals have luxuries

Many luxury buildings and apartment complexes offer a pool, gym, and other amenities. It can come in handy especially in the cold winter months when any imaginable luxury is accessible right in your own building.

Less upkeep

There is far less upkeep involved when renting. Someone else does all the repairs when renting, a landlord or someone they hire will take care of repairs and replacements. When something breaks and it's in the contract that the landlord will fix it, then they are required to do so.

Social scene

When more than one tenant are living under the same roof, rentals themselves become great places for a social life. Rentals in urban areas are also close to some of the best nightlife spots, including bars, clubs, and restaurants.

For more information on rentals, feel free to message our Rental Agents directly at our new rentals Facebook page, Newbury Rentals or check out our site!

Sources:

10 Reasons To...

Top 10 Reasons to Rent Rather Than Own

6 Reasons to Rent

Easy Holiday Home Décor Ideas That Anyone Can Try!

The week after Thanksgiving marks that time of the year to begin decorating for the holidays. After all the money spent towards gifts on days like Black Friday, and Cyber Monday finding the money for decorations can be difficult so below are some inexpensive decoration ideas. Our knowledgeable agents have put together a list of tips and ideas for setting up quaint holiday decorations:

Use candles and scents: An excellent and fairly inexpensive way to liven up a home is to add lighting and scents through candles (plug-in scents are a great option as well). Scents such as cinnamon, peppermint, and evergreen help add holiday aroma. Another way to bring in the holiday scents while being decorative is the use of potpourri. Placing potpourri in a festive bowl or vase can help liven up any area of a room.

Decorate the mantle: For those with a fireplace, the mantle is the ideal place to showcase your prized holiday decorations. No matter the holiday, there is always something that can be done with the mantle. For Christmas, hanging up the stockings, placing garland, and placing a wreath are a few of many options. On the mantle, setting up mangers or Christmas scenes will be an eye-catching addition to your holiday decor.  For Hanukkah, what better place than the mantle to display a menorah where everyone can see it.

Make the front door stand out: Many people go with a traditional wreath, but there are many other inexpensive ways to make the front door shine. Creating your own wreath out of everyday materials including foods, burlap, and other cloths is a cheap and different take on a traditional wreath. One other option for the front door is to hang ornaments or bells on the knocker for a classy, yet festive display. Also making use of nature such as, using pine cones or pine branches with some ribbons is a fun way to decorate the door for the creative type of person.

Use wrapping paper: Using wrapping paper is a simple and fun way to dress up any room with the holiday vibe. For artwork or mirrors in the house simply highlight them by adding wrapping paper, ribbons or bows.

For more information on holiday decoration ideas, feel free to message our Rental Agents directly at our new rentals Facebook page, Newbury Rentals!

Sources

Best Cheap Holiday Decorations for under $25

Creative Holiday Decorations for Your Front Door

Tips and Tricks to Surviving Black Friday in Boston

Navigating the streets of Boston is a challenge in itself, let alone hitting all of the shopping destinations on the ultimate shopping holiday.  A lot of planning is involved when getting ready for Black Friday, here are some tips to keep in mind:

1.    Avoid malls

Most of the best deals can be found outside of malls! For avoiding larger crowds, try to visit individual retailer locations.  Pursuing shopping destination such as Newbury Street, Charles Street, and Boylston Street are all less spots that are less densely populated, yet have no shortage of the best boutiques.

2.   Free Stocking Stuffers

Many drug store chains such as, CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid have deal which include free items great for stocking stuffers. Some past items that have been free include: name-brand cosmetics, nail polish, and snacks.

3.   Plan a budget

This one is pretty self-explanatory, but you can lose mind of this in the heat of Black Friday. So be sure to know what deals to target, and how much money to spend.

4.      Check Retailer's Social Media Pages

Make sure to check the Facebook and Twitter pages of retailers for real-time offers and updates. Many promotion codes can be found on these pages, and always check newspapers for Black Friday offers.

5.      Take Advantage of Cyber Monday

A less popular shopper ritual than Black Friday, Cyber Monday is when online retailers are looking to reel in consumers with great deals. This day is great for anyone looking for holiday deals while avoiding the stress, crowds, and traveling involved with Black Friday.

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    Your Guide to Black Friday Shopping in Boston

    Friday, November 29 marks the most chaotic day of the year for shoppers and retailers alike. Although many Black Friday deals are getting an early start on Thanksgiving, the vast majority of deals can be found early Friday morning. Here are some great places gathered together by our knowledgable agents, in order to get that Black Friday shopping done:

    Picture via Boston.com

    Newbury Street

    One of Boston's most popular shopping destinations includes numerous trendy boutiques, national retailers, and individually owned shops. Some retailers include:

    ·         Fresh (121 Newbury St.) 3 free samples with every online purchase

    ·         Marc Jacobs (81 Newbury St.)

    ·         Ralph Lauren (92-93 Newbury St.)

    ·         Chanel (5 Newbury St.)

    ·         H&M (100 Newbury St.) Deals starting at $2.95!  Up to 70% off!

    ·         Nespresso (7 Newbury St.)

    ·         Hotel Chocolat (137 Newbury St.)

    Prudential Center

    Located at the base of the Prudential Tower is the shopping center featuring numerous apparel, accessory, and specialty stores. Some retailers include:

    ·         Lord & Taylor

    ·         Oakley Up to 91% off on sunglasses

    ·         Express 50% off every single item until noon Friday

    ·         Ann Taylor Take a 50% off deal

    ·         Vineyard Vines

    ·         lululemon athletica Save $5 for every $100 spent

    ·         Sephora $10 for limited edition products

    ·         Vera Bradley 25% off entire store open-4 a.m.; 20% off 4 a.m.-close

    Copley Place

    Located in Back Bay, the complex includes office buildings, hotels, and an upscale shopping mall great for scoring deals on Black Friday. Some retailers include:

    ·         Apple $41 off of iPad Air and $101 off Macbook Pro

    ·         Saks Fifth Avenue Extra 40%-50% off storewide

    ·         Barnes & Noble

    ·         Louis Vuitton

    ·         Michael Kors

    Stay tuned for more tips and tricks on how to make the most of your Black Friday excursion.  For more information on what shops to hit in the Boston area, feel free to message our Rental Agents directly at our new rentals Facebook page, Newbury Rentals!

    Happy Shopping!

    - The Charles Realty Team

    Newbury Street: Home to the Best Places to Shop in Boston

    According to Condé Nast Traveler, the American based luxury travel magazine, Boston was named the #10 best city for shopping in the U.S.  Our fair city ranked among the upheld shopping capitals such as L.A., San Francisco, and New York City.  Bostonians know that Newbury Street is the home to the diverse realm of shops, from luxury boutiques to high end second-hand stores.

    How to Get Your Home Ready for Winter in Boston

    Whether this is your first Boston winter in the new apartment or just looking to battle the challenges of living in the city during gargantuan snow storms, we are here to give you some tips on how to make it through:

    Mind the Thermostat

    Yes, we know that this is the #1 word of advice from any Bostonian, and there is a reason for it.  Not only is it super energy and cost efficient to keep your heat on low when you are out of the house, but also it's just as important to get your thermostat checked out!  It's good to double check that the batteries and the thermostat itself are working properly before the real snow begins.

    Beware of the Draft

    Double checking that the windows lock properly and weatherstripping all windows and doors are two quick ways to combat the cold winter air.  According to the U.S. Department of Energy, cold air drafts can waste anywhere from 30% to 5% of your energy use. Rolling up towels are a quick DIY way to weatherstrip any problem doors.

    Schedule an Energy Audit

    Have one of the experts handle it and inspect your home to help you cut costs on your winter heating bills.  Whether you live in an apartment or a condominium, you can have your landlord contact National Grid to inspect your home and provide a full report on how to make your home more energy efficient.

    Stock Up on the Basics

    Flashlights, batteries, and your ice-melt solution of choice are all handy items to stock up on in the Boston weather.  It's always better to be prepared with these items on hand then to have to trek through snow banks in Back Bay for any last minute necessities.

    Always Have a Backup Plan

    Parking in Boston can be a nightmare on a day to day basis, then throw in a New England Blizzard and things can get really interesting.  Always be sure to have a back-up plan about where to park in case your parking spot is ever the home to a snowbank. You can talk with your landlord or surrounding parking garages about back up options.

    Protect Your Floors

    Even gleaming hardwood floors can take a toll from the harsh New England Winter. Take any old tray and fill it with pebbles and rocks to create a stylish and mess free place to put your winter boots to dry.

    For more tips and tricks on how to make it through a legendary Boston winter, feel free to reach out to our agents about life in the city!

    Sources

    Winterize Your Home

    24 Ways to Get Your Home Ready for Winter

    For Rent: Gorgeous Studio Loft in the Heart of Back Bay

    By: Maria Vivas

    It's never too early to make plans for the upcoming year. If you are looking to make the Back Bay your home in January, this refined studio apartment is perfect for you.

    This completely renovated loft does not sacrifice any of the quintessential Brownstone elegance. With crown moldings, classic trims, gleaming hardwood floors, and custom built-ins, this home is the definition of classic Back Bay style. Additional stand-out features include stainless steel appliances, oversized walk-in closet and chandelier lighting. The home comes completely furnished to ease the stress of moving into your new place.

    The well-kept building features laundry and elevator access that make for easy living in one of Boston's most coveted locations. Located at 105 Beacon Street, this home is merely steps away from the Public Gardens, Copley Square, and all that Newbury street has to offer.

    If you want to see this home in person, feel free to contact one of our expert rental agents to schedule a showing here.

    How to Make the Most Out of Your Boston Studio Apartment

    After the inevitable stress of moving in, it's about time that you make your space feel like home.  Here are four tips to make the most out of your space, while becoming a part of your new Boston neighborhood.

    Keep it Simple

    There's a reason that the Real Simple Magazine exists.  Make sure to maintain a simplistic, classic design and home décor.  The clash between your grandmothers old desk with your new Ikea bookshelf will create a disconnect in your design.  Sticking to a cohesive color palette will bring together the vital pieces in your new place.

    Think Vertically

    Bookshelves, cabinets, and high ceilings are your friends. When furnishing the new digs, be sure to look for tall storage options that don't take up a lot of floor space. That leaves more room for friends to get together at your place to watch the Sox Game.

    Use Multipurpose Furniture

    Say hello to the storage ottoman!  It's the perfect way to create more secretive storage space.  And who doesn't love to relax and put up their feet once and a while?

    Oversized Mirrors in Small Spaces

    This optical illusion will work to make your studio appear more expansive.  Think outside the box, ditch the usual rectangle, and try some different shapes.  Unique designed mirrors are functional, while also serving as a work of art!

    Check out some of our available studios for rent here!