Blog :: 05-2014

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?

How to Make Your Home More Green

photo via realtor.com

Global warming and the damages we are making on our environment have been a major concern the last few decades. These concerns have resulted in the creation of energy efficient appliances and products to help save energy costs and our environment. Along with the costs that can be saved when making a home energy efficient, people can now take advantage of tax incentives. Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, federal tax incentives are now available. Updating a home with window insulation and heating/air-conditioning upgrades can all be classified as tax incentives. Here are some ways to make your home more green:

-          Watch the house temperature -          Replace the water heater tank with a tankless one -          Check house insulation -          Energy-efficient appliances -          Energy-efficient windows -          Low-flow plumbing fixtures -          Replace light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs -          Unplug unused electric appliances (Electronics can consume almost as much energy when in standby mode) -          Use 100% post-consumer recycled paper for toilet paper, paper towels, etc. -          Install bamboo floors rather than hardwood. -          Use zero or low-VOC paint -          Use compost rather than synthetic fertilizers for your garden

For more ways to make your home more green or any questions, please get in touch with us by commenting on our Facebook!

Sources: The 10 easiest ways to green your home Top 10 Ways to Make Your New Home Green 25 Ways to Create a Green and Healthy Home 9 Ways to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient