Boston condo market shows continued strength
Nov 2011 05

The Greater Boston condo market has shown remarkable strength through the recession and economic maelstrom that has been the past few years.

The Standard & Poors / Case-Shiller real estate index reported that that Boston metropolitan area condo prices rose 62.5% between January 2000 and August 2011.

Case-Shiller estimates that LA prices are 74% higher than in January 2000, San Francisco’s are 35% higher, Chicago’s are 15% higher, and New York City condo prices have doubled what they were in January 2000.

Greater Boston condo prices reached their zenith in October 2005 when they were 83.68% higher than January 2000. Since October 2005, it’s estimated that Boston condo values have dropped 11%.

In comparison, Los Angeles condo values are down 40% from their high, San Francisco values are down 32%, Chicago values are down 28%, and New York values are down 11%, according to Case-Shiller.

Greater Boston has second lowest unemployment rate of major US cities
Oct 2011 19

According to an analysis from the National Association of Realtors, the Boston metropolitan area has the second lowest unemployment rate in the country.

Measured in percentages, Boston had about a 6.3% unemployment rate, the latest data available. Only Washington, D.C. did better, with a rate around 6.1%. Las Vegas has a rate over 14%, with Detroit second at about 13%.

Nearby New York is around 8% while San Francisco’s near 10%.

Below, changes to the metro-Boston unemployment rate during the past five years.

boston unemployment 2007-2011

Home appraisal tips to increase the value of your home
Oct 2011 18

When you put your house or condominium up for sale, after you get an offer from a potential buyer that you find acceptable, the next step is that the buyer’s lender will send out a home appraiser to estimate the value of the home. The estimate will be based on how your home compares to other properties in the neighborhood of similar size, style, and quality. It might seem odd to you that the lender has a say in how much your home is worth, after all, the buyer seems to have had no problem making an offer you find acceptable; shouldn’t the bank just make its loan based on that?

Well, no. Easy lending criteria is what got us into this economic mess (well, partially). Sometimes, the banks lent too much money to people buying homes that are now worth less (or, much less) than they were just several years ago. So, the banks are much more careful about how much money they will give a borrower in order to buy a home.

The home appraiser is supposed to be independent, non-biased. I’ve found the majority of appraisers to be so. What I have found to be a problem, however, is that many appraisers here in Boston are used to appraising homes in the suburbs, so aren’t educated or sophisticated enough to estimate the value of a condominium accurately. The appraiser might look at comparable properties that are in completely different neighborhoods than the condo is in, or might compare a newly-constructed condo with one in a traditional townhouse.

Although the appraisal process is pretty much cut-and-dry and straight-forward, there are some simple ways you can make your home look its best and add a bit of value to the home appraiser’s estimate.

The Wall Street Journal has ten tips to increase the value during your home appraisal. There’s a couple of simple tips, such as cleaning up your property, locking up your pets during the appraisal, doing some painting to make it look fresh. They also recommend having a folder of renovations and repairs with costs included. And, most importantly (and your real estate agent should do this for you), you should have a list of comparable properties that have recently sold in your neighborhood, to help the home appraiser understand the current state of the local real estate market.

Back Bay Open Houses for Sunday, October 16, 2011
Oct 2011 14

A complete list of all single-family and condominium homes with open houses scheduled for the weekend of October 16, 2011 in the Back Bay neighborhood of Boston.

Please contact me for more information on these listings and to inquire about my services as a buyer’s agent.

MLS # Address Description List Price Time/Date
71216431 367 Beacon St 12 room, 5 bed, 4.5 bath Victorian $3,750,000 Oct 16 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM
71071409 1 Exeter Street 12 room, 5 bed, 4 full, 2 half bath Other (See Remarks) $3,599,000 Oct 16 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM
71299787 486 Beacon Street U:6 3 room, 1 bed, 1 bath Mid-Rise $449,900 Oct 16 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM
71299820 236 W Newton St U:2 3 room, 1 bed, 1 bath Brownstone $479,000 Oct 16 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
71299869 56 Commonwealth Ave U:41 3 room, 1 bed, 1 bath Mid-Rise $599,000 Oct 16 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM
71300190 411 Beacon St U:8 3 room, 1 bed, 1 bath Brownstone $295,000 Oct 16 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM
71299184 261 Marlborough Street U:10 3 room, 1 bed, 1 bath Brownstone $489,900 Oct 16 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM
71298889 483 Beacon St U:46 3 room, 1 bed, 1 bath Mid-Rise $375,000 Oct 16 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM
71298964 265 Beacon U:1 3 room, 1 bed, 1 bath Townhouse $599,000 Oct 16 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM
71296612 184 Commonwealth Ave U:10 4 room, 2 bed, 2 bath Mid-Rise $699,000 Oct 16 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM
71296359 327 Commonwealth Ave. U:3 5 room, 2 bed, 2 bath Townhouse $1,190,000 Oct 16 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
71295795 343 Commonwealth Ave U:A 4 room, 1 bed, 1 bath Rowhouse $357,700 Oct 16 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
71295099 285 Columbus Avenue U:801 3 room, 1 bed, 1 bath Mid-Rise $695,000 Oct 16 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
71293854 7 Bay State Road U:2C 5 room, 2 bed, 2 bath Brownstone $699,000 Oct 16 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
71293310 201 Newbury Street U:508 5 room, 2 bed, 2 bath Mid-Rise $895,000 Oct 16 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
71293330 337 Commonwealth Ave U:40 4 room, 2 bed, 2 bath Townhouse $985,000 Oct 16 1:00 PM to 2:15 PM
71293455 483 Beacon St U:11 5 room, 2 bed, 1.5 bath Mid-Rise $629,000 Oct 16 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM
71293707 407 Marlborough St U:3A 3 room, 1 bed, 1 bath Rowhouse $475,000 Oct 16 12:45 PM to 1:45 PM
71294572 145 St Botolph St U:12/13 5 room, 3 bed, 2.5 bath Low-Rise $1,230,000 Oct 16 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM
71290409 34 Commonwealth Avenue U:3 3 room, 1 bed, 1 bath Townhouse $824,000 Oct 16 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
71287282 8 Gloucester St U:11 5 room, 2 bed, 2 bath Mid-Rise $900,000 Oct 16 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
71286473 311 Commonwealth Ave U:41 5 room, 2 bed, 1.5 bath Mid-Rise $725,000 Oct 16 12:30 PM to 2:00 PM
71285355 195 Marlborough St U:1 6 room, 2 bed, 2 bath Brownstone $1,025,000 Oct 16 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
71284322 127 Marlborough Street U:2 4 room, 2 bed, 1.5 bath Brownstone $959,000 Oct 16 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM
71284397 76 Marlborough Street U:4 4 room, 2 bed, 1.5 bath Brownstone $815,000 Oct 16 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
71283677 293-295 Commonwealth Avenue U:1C 4 room, 2 bed, 1 bath Rowhouse $499,000 Oct 16 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM
71297585 347 Commonwealth Avenue U:B 7 room, 2 bed, 2.5 bath Brownstone $2,400,000 Oct 16 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
71283344 146 Marlborough St U:5 3 room, 1 bed, 1 bath Brownstone $495,000 Oct 16 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
71275188 338 Beacon Street U:6/7 6 room, 2 bed, 2 bath Rowhouse $1,190,000 Oct 16 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
71267774 135 Marlborough Street U:8 4 room, 2 bed, 1 bath Other (See Remarks) $599,000 Oct 16 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
71267048 113 Commonwealth Ave U:3 6 room, 3 bed, 2.5 bath Townhouse $1,825,000 Oct 16 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
71264529 80 Marlborough Street U:8 3 room, 1 bed, 1 bath Rowhouse $725,000 Oct 16 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM
71264606 3 Gloucester St U:2 3 room, 1 bed, 1 bath Mid-Rise $339,000 Oct 16 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
71264788 501 Beacon St U:3 2 room, 0 bed, 1 bath Rowhouse $295,000 Oct 16 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM
71290401 133 Commonwealth U:1 4 room, 1 bed, 1 bath Brownstone $409,000 Oct 16 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM
71255222 416 Marlborough U:501 4 room, 2 bed, 2 bath Mid-Rise $669,000 Oct 16 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
71246875 285 Beacon Street U:3A 6 room, 3 bed, 2 bath Rowhouse $999,000 Oct 16 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM
71245985 280 Commonwealth Ave U:108 4 room, 2 bed, 1 bath Brownstone $679,000 Oct 16 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM
71239403 413 Beacon Street U:5 4 room, 1 bed, 1 bath Rowhouse $469,000 Oct 16 2:30 PM to 3:30 PM
71241126 416 Marlborough U:505 3 room, 1 bed, 1 bath Mid-Rise $495,000 Oct 16 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
71241562 68 Marlborough U:B 4 room, 2 bed, 1.5 bath Townhouse $1,095,000 Oct 16 12:00 PM to 1:15 PM
71240291 10 Charlesgate E. U:301 4 room, 2 bed, 2 bath Mid-Rise $659,000 Oct 16 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM
71240575 157-159 Newbury Street U:3 9 room, 3 bed, 4.5 bath Brownstone $2,100,000 Oct 16 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM
71288422 160 Commonwealth Ave U:301 5 room, 2 bed, 2.5 bath Mid-Rise $870,000 Oct 16 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM
71274483 24 Marlborough Street U:5 4 room, 2 bed, 1.5 bath Mid-Rise $809,000 Oct 16 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
71230031 10 Cumberland Street U:4 5 room, 2 bed, 2 bath Brownstone $774,900 Oct 16 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM
71231376 327 Beacon U:1 4 room, 2 bed, 2.5 bath Townhouse $995,000 Oct 16 12:00 PM to 2:30 PM
71230491 133 Marlborough St U:10 3 room, 1 bed, 1 bath Mid-Rise $499,900 Oct 16 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM
71231065 313 Commonwealth Ave U:3 7 room, 3 bed, 2.5 bath Rowhouse $4,200,000 Oct 16 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM
71226293 313 Commonwealth Ave U:1 7 room, 3 bed, 3.5 bath Rowhouse $2,875,000 Oct 16 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM
71225765 308 Commonwealth Avenue U:F 7 room, 3 bed, 1.5 bath Low-Rise $1,225,000 Oct 16 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM
71215457 146 Marlborough Street U:7 3 room, 1 bed, 1 bath Brownstone $493,000 Oct 16 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM
71286799 392 Marlborough St U:1 6 room, 2 bed, 2 full, 2 half bath Brownstone $1,689,000 Oct 16 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM
71210638 347 Commonwealth Avenue U:PH 7 room, 3 bed, 2.5 bath Brownstone $2,650,000 Oct 16 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
71296985 416 Marlborough St U:702 4 room, 2 bed, 2 bath Mid-Rise $640,000 Oct 16 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM
71198681 1 Charles Street South U:15H 4 room, 2 bed, 2 bath Mid-Rise $1,510,000 Oct 16 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
71198814 192 Marlborough Street U:1 5 room, 3 bed, 3.5 bath Townhouse $2,999,000 Oct 16 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM
71292449 242 Beacon St U:3 4 room, 2 bed, 1.5 bath Brownstone $739,000 Oct 16 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
71226832 8 Garrison St U:100 2 room, 1 bed, 1 bath Mid-Rise $294,000 Oct 16 2:30 PM to 3:30 PM
71059793 45 Commonwealth Avenue U:3 8 room, 3 bed, 3.5 bath Brownstone $4,450,000 Oct 16 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
70997544 285 Columbus Avenue U:208 4 room, 2 bed, 2 bath Mid-Rise $874,000 Oct 16 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
70989911 286 marlborough U:3 8 room, 3 bed, 2 bath Townhouse $899,000 Oct 16 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM

Above, 56 Commonwealth Ave #41, Back Bay, Boston, Massachusetts. Robert Cohen of Boston Realty Advisors is the listing agent.

Differences between male and female real estate agents
Oct 2011 14

There’s a lot of information out there, some good, some bad, some just interesting.

This comes in as “interesting”.

Trulia did a study that purports to show a difference in behaviors of male and female real estate agents.

Supposedly, male real estate agents have more listings than female agents, while female real estate agents list their properties for sale at higher prices.

In Massachusetts, they say, there’s a 23% discrepancy between list prices by male and female real estate agents. Meanwhile, the typical male real estate agents has 5% more listings than your average female real estate agent.

The discrepancy in number of listings is interesting for another reason; nationwide (and, presumably, here in Massachusetts), the number of female real estate agents is higher than the number of male real estate agents.

There’s so many factors at work here, so who knows. Perhaps more women than men are working as part-time agents, so they have fewer listings? Maybe sellers are sexist, and prefer listing with men? Maybe men take on more listings than they should – being either greedy or just short-sighted?

Regarding the higher price – that’s list price, not sales price. Which raises the question – do female real estate agents list properties for higher prices and sell at higher prices, or do their listings have to come down by more than the male real estate agents’ properties in order to sell?

Page 1 of 3312345102030...Last »