Sunday, September 11, 2011 open houses in Back Bay
Sep 2011 09

A complete list of single-family and condominium homes with open houses scheduled for Sunday, September 11, 2011, in the Back Bay neighborhood of Boston.

Please contact me for more information and to set up private showings.

MLS # Address Description List Price Time/Date
71216285 52 Bay State Road 9 room, 4 bed, 3.5 bath Other (See Remarks) $2,599,000 Sep 11 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM
71284322 127 Marlborough Street U:2 4 room, 2 bed, 1.5 bath Brownstone $959,000 Sep 11 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM
71284397 76 Marlborough Street U:4 4 room, 2 bed, 1.5 bath Brownstone $865,000 Sep 11 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM
71283585 347 Commonwealth U:B 7 room, 2 bed, 2.5 bath Brownstone $2,400,000 Sep 11 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM
71283613 430 Marlborough St U:1 5 room, 3 bed, 2.5 bath Rowhouse $799,000 Sep 11 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM
71283647 295-297 Beacon St U:74 4 room, 2 bed, 1 bath Brownstone $615,000 Sep 11 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM
71283677 293-295 Commonwealth Avenue U:1C 4 room, 2 bed, 1 bath Rowhouse $499,000 Sep 11 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM
71283601 133-135 Marlborough St. U:12 4 room, 1 bed, 1 bath Mid-Rise $539,000 Sep 11 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM
71283344 146 Marlborough St U:5 3 room, 1 bed, 1 bath Brownstone $495,000 Sep 11 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM
71279037 246 Marlborough St U:6 3 room, 1 bed, 1 bath Brownstone $465,000 Sep 11 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM
71279221 566 Commonwealth Ave U:702 5 room, 2 bed, 2 bath Hi-Rise $459,000 Sep 11 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
71278281 14 Follen St U:1 3 room, 2 bed, 1.5 bath Rowhouse $849,000 Sep 11 12:30 PM to 2:00 PM
71276080 313 Marlborough Street U:1 3 room, 1 bed, 1 bath Brownstone $599,000 Sep 11 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM
71274023 464-466 Commonwealth Ave. U:PH91 3 room, 1 bed, 1 bath Mid-Rise $469,000 Sep 11 2:30 PM to 3:30 PM
71275188 338 Beacon Street U:6/7 6 room, 2 bed, 2 bath Rowhouse $1,190,000 Sep 11 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
71268983 381 Marlborough St U:1 3 room, 1 bed, 1 bath Brownstone $499,000 Sep 11 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM
71267555 106 Marlborough St U:6 4 room, 2 bed, 1 bath Townhouse $659,000 Sep 11 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
71266920 427 Marlborough St U:1 3 room, 1 bed, 1 bath Rowhouse $449,900 Sep 11 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM
71264529 80 Marlborough Street U:8 3 room, 1 bed, 1 bath Rowhouse $725,000 Sep 11 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM
71263917 259 Beacon Street U:42 3 room, 1 bed, 1 bath Mid-Rise $429,000 Sep 11 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM
71261378 40 Saint Botolph St U:24 4 room, 1 bed, 1 bath Rowhouse $419,000 Sep 11 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
71261387 40 Saint Botolph St U:B1 4 room, 1 bed, 1 bath Rowhouse $359,000 Sep 11 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
71259897 257 Marlborough Street U:11 5 room, 2 bed, 2 bath Rowhouse $824,000 Sep 11 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
71249234 295-297 Beacon St U:2 7 room, 3 bed, 2.5 bath Mid-Rise $1,099,000 Sep 11 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
71248963 416 Marlborough St. U:202 3 room, 1 bed, 1 bath Mid-Rise $489,900 Sep 11 1:45 PM to 2:45 PM
71246875 285 Beacon Street U:3A 6 room, 3 bed, 2 bath Rowhouse $999,000 Sep 11 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
71245985 280 Commonwealth Ave U:108 4 room, 2 bed, 1 bath Brownstone $679,000 Sep 11 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM
71239403 413 Beacon Street U:5 4 room, 1 bed, 1 bath Rowhouse $485,000 Sep 11 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
71240924 33 Bay State Road U:5 4 room, 2 bed, 1 bath Brownstone $569,000 Sep 11 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM
71241562 68 Marlborough U:B 4 room, 2 bed, 1.5 bath Townhouse $1,095,000 Sep 11 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM
71240575 157-159 Newbury Street U:3 9 room, 3 bed, 4.5 bath Brownstone $2,100,000 Sep 10 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
71274483 24 Marlborough Street U:5 4 room, 2 bed, 1.5 bath Mid-Rise $849,000 Sep 11 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM
71231376 327 Beacon U:1 4 room, 2 bed, 2.5 bath Townhouse $1,045,000 Sep 11 12:30 PM to 2:00 PM
71230491 133 Marlborough St U:10 3 room, 1 bed, 1 bath Mid-Rise $499,900 Sep 11 11:30 AM to 2:30 PM
71231065 313 Commonwealth Ave U:3 7 room, 3 bed, 2.5 bath Rowhouse $4,200,000 Sep 11 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM
71227573 80 Marlborough Street U:7 2 room, 0 bed, 1 bath Brownstone $357,500 Sep 11 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
71226293 313 Commonwealth Ave U:1 7 room, 3 bed, 3.5 bath Rowhouse $2,875,000 Sep 11 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 Sep 11 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
71223862 285 Columbus Ave U:707 4 room, 2 bed, 2 bath Mid-Rise $989,000 Sep 11 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM
71221832 277 Beacon St U:3B 3 room, 1 bed, 1 bath Rowhouse $475,000 Sep 11 12:15 PM to 1:15 PM

Above, 133-135 Marlborough Street #12, Back Bay, Boston, Massachusetts. Tracey Smith of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage is the listing agent.

DNA Lofts to be auctioned off October 6, new Dorchester condos
Sep 2011 08

Twenty five condos in the DNA Lofts will be auctioned off on October 6, 2011. Minimum bids begin at $115,000 with many minimums at $165-$180 per square foot. An outside parking space is included in each of the purchase prices.

The minimum prices are significantly lower than what homes sold for on the open market. A closing of a ~1,353 square foot loft was recorded in May of this year for $365,000, or $269 per square foot.

The DNA Lofts was a project that was built in the right place at the wrong time. Completed in 2008, it missed the housing boom and sales were slow. The interiors of the condos are nice and attractive and the location is prime for those looking for city living.

The DNA Lofts is a 59-unit condominium projected located at 944 Dorchester Ave, near Columbia Road, with easy access to South Boston and downtown Boston, the Southeast Expressway / Rte 93, and the MBTA Red Line at JFK/UMASS.

Many of the units are lofts of impressive modern space with some of the original character of the original industrial structure, with polished concrete floors, high ceilings, top of the line kitchen with stone counter tops and stainless steel appliances, and 16 foot ceilings.

The auction will be held at The Colonnade Hotel, 120 Huntington Avenue, in Boston, with registration beginning at 6pm.

The DNA Lofts Auction site has details on minimum prices and sizes.

Please let me know if you have any questions about the DNA Lofts or about how auctions work.

Fall Boston real estate market looks to be strong, short
Sep 2011 06

With the passing of Labor Day, the fall real estate market begins in earnest, here in Boston.

What do I expect?

Based on my ten years’ experience, I have a good idea of what will happen.

The economic uncertainty means there won’t be the level of high demand we saw between 2005 and 2007. Last fall’s level will probably be matched. This means, fewer buyers out there, and fewer sales. However, prices will remain “high”; meaning, at the same levels seen during the past couple of years. Demand for the “best” properties and limited supply here in downtown Boston means that homes that are priced accurately and fit the criteria of the largest number of possible buyers will go fast. There just aren’t that many condos out there available from which to choose. We don’t have a glut of homes on the market and there’s no reason to think we will anytime before the end of the year.

Today, just 4 new properties have been entered into our local MLS that are located in downtown Boston. You would expect 20 to 30 in a “regular” year. Real estate agents used to be waiting until the day after Labor Day to go live with new listings. Now, maybe they are still on vacation today, but my guess is, we’re just not going to see the high level of new listings we’ve had in the past.

My recommendation to you, if you are a buyer, is to get prepared to act, now. Have you talked to your lender about a mortgage loan? Have you been pre-approved? You should be. When you find the home you love, you’ll be making an offer and the seller will want to know right then and there that you’re qualified and ready to move forward and that you can close on time, without any trouble. No seller is going to risk losing a week or even a couple of days while you go find a mortgage.

If you are a seller, it cannot be emphasized enough: price your home to sell at what it’s worth today, not last year or two years ago, maybe not even for what it was worth four or five years ago. Do the necessary repairs, now; at least vacuum and do some paint touch-ups. Stop the sink from dripping. Buyers don’t want to put up with any repairs after they buy; more importantly, they don’t have to. They are in charge, now. Make them happy and you can find a buyer and at a price you can accept.

As always, if you are looking to buy or sell a home in Boston this year, please contact me. I can make sure the process is stress-free and satisfying.

Back Bay Sunday Open Houses for September 4, 2011
Sep 2011 03

A complete list of all condominium and single-family homes with open houses scheduled for Sunday, September 4, 2011 in the Back Bay neighborhood of Boston.

Please contact me for more details.

MLS # Address Description List Price Time/Date
71274483 24 Marlborough Street U:5 4 room, 2 bed, 1.5 bath Mid-Rise $849,000 Sep 4 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM
71215374 271 Dartmouth St. U:4-G 3 room, 1 bed, 1 bath Mid-Rise $458,000 Sep 4 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM

Above, 24 Marlborough Street #5, Back Bay, Boston, Massachusetts. Leah Dwyer Doolin of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage is the listing agent.

Who owns the walls in my condo, me or the condo association
Sep 2011 03

Owning a condominium is different from owning a single-family home. When you own a single-family home, pretty much anything that happens on your plot of land is yours to decide. In a condo, however, what you can and can’t do is not always so clear cut.

A recent legal decision in Massachusetts illustrates this all to well. According to a post on the Universal Hub website, the Massachusetts Appeal Court ruled that owners of a condo in Charlestown could remove an interior wall between their kitchen and living room but would be responsible for replacing the wall (presumably, at their own cost) should the condo association demand it in the future.

To those who don’t own a condo, this might seem ridiculous. How, they might ask, is it possible that a condo association can dictate what happens inside your own home?

Well, the reason is, the condo docs rule what is and what isn’t “common areas”; meaning, what does the building own and what do the individual unit owners own. The wall in question was apparently originally designed to hold “common elements (such as the pipes and ducts that the kitchen/living room wall in fact contains)”. Since the building might need to put pipes and ducts in there at some point, the owners can’t just do what they want.

It’s a peculiarity of condo ownership. Most of the time, you’ll find that owning a condo is no different from owning a single-family home. However, it’s a case of buyer beware. Read the condominium association’s condo docs prior to buying a home. Review it with a lawyer. Understand it: can you own pets, can you smoke inside your unit, can you put a roof deck on, can you have a waterbed, can you put your clothes out to dry, can you have different-colored window shades (seriously).

Only in extreme cases would something like this end up in court. You don’t want it to be you.

Home prices up in metro Boston: Case-Shiller reports
Aug 2011 30

The Greater Boston metropolitan area saw a 2.4 percent gain in home prices in June, according to the latest Standard & Poors / Case-Shiller real estate index. Only Chicago and Minneapolis saw larger gains.

Although Boston-area home prices are down compared to June 2010, off by 2.1 percent, Case-Shiller estimates that prices in Boston are up 54 percent since January 2000.

The National Home Price Index increased by 3.6% in the second quarter of 2011, after having fallen 4.1% in the first quarter of 2011. With the second quarter’s data, the National Index recovered from its first quarter low, but still posted an annual decline of 5.9% versus the second quarter of 2010.

Nationally, home prices are back to their early 2003 levels.

Back Bay Open Houses for Sunday, August 28, 2011
Aug 2011 26

A complete list of all open houses scheduled in the Back Bay neighborhood of Boston on Sunday, August 28, 2011.

Please contact me for complete details and to set up private showings.

MLS # Address Description List Price Time/Date
71278976 403 Marlborough Street U:PH-13 5 room, 3 bed, 2 bath Rowhouse $1,264,000 Aug 28 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM
71279037 246 Marlborough St U:6 3 room, 1 bed, 1 bath Brownstone $465,000 Aug 28 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM
71279221 566 Commonwealth Ave U:702 5 room, 2 bed, 2 bath Hi-Rise $459,000 Aug 28 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
71278281 14 Follen St U:1 3 room, 2 bed, 1.5 bath Rowhouse $849,000 Aug 28 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM
71278688 341 Beacon St U:2E 4 room, 2 bed, 1.5 bath Brownstone $619,000 Aug 28 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM
71272169 329 Beacon St U:4 3 room, 1 bed, 1 bath Rowhouse $499,000 Aug 28 12:30 PM to 2:00 PM
71269447 413-415 Commonwealth Ave U:3 6 room, 2 bed, 2.5 bath Brownstone $1,695,000 Aug 28 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
71263917 259 Beacon Street U:42 3 room, 1 bed, 1 bath Mid-Rise $429,000 Aug 28 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
71259897 257 Marlborough Street U:11 5 room, 2 bed, 2 bath Rowhouse $824,000 Aug 28 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
71251721 511 Beacon street U:13 3 room, 1 bed, 1 bath Mid-Rise $364,900 Aug 27 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
71246875 285 Beacon Street U:3A 6 room, 3 bed, 2 bath Rowhouse $1,024,000 Aug 28 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
71241562 68 Marlborough U:B 4 room, 2 bed, 1.5 bath Townhouse $1,095,000 Aug 28 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM
71274483 24 Marlborough Street U:5 4 room, 2 bed, 1.5 bath Mid-Rise $849,000 Aug 28 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM
71231315 382 Commonwealth Avenue U:61 5 room, 2 bed, 2 bath Rowhouse $824,900 Aug 28 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM
71227573 80 Marlborough Street U:7 2 room, 0 bed, 1 bath Brownstone $357,500 Aug 28 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM
71206431 416 Marlborough St U:702 4 room, 2 bed, 2 bath Mid-Rise $659,000 Aug 28 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM
71198814 192 Marlborough Street U:1 5 room, 3 bed, 3.5 bath Townhouse $2,999,000 Aug 28 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM
71258949 285 Beacon Street U:4B 5 room, 2 bed, 2 bath Low-Rise $1,250,000 Aug 28 2:30 PM to 3:30 PM
71064709 43 Commonwealth Avenue U:PH 5 room, 2 bed, 2 bath Brownstone $1,799,000 Aug 28 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
70997544 285 Columbus Avenue U:208 4 room, 2 bed, 2 bath Mid-Rise $874,000 Aug 28 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM

Above, 403 Marlborough Street – Unit PH-13, Back Bay, Boston, Massachusetts. Robert Cohen of Boston Realty Advisors is the listing agent.

Luxury Back Bay condo listing, 100 Beacon St, $1.995 million
Aug 2011 25

Will Montero and Warren Residential Group are proud to be listing a new home in the recently-completed 100 Beacon Street condominium building, priced at $1,995,000. The location is where the Back Bay meets the flat of Beacon Hill, diagonally across from the Boston Public Garden.

This is a two-bedroom, two and ½-half bathroom home with approximately 1,959-square feet of space.

This luxurious 1920s building was been completely renovated and restored in 2010/2011. This three bedroom home is among 16 units in the bulding serviced with a 24-hour concierge. The building is located just steps from the Esplanade and the Boston Common. The floor plan is spacious, bright and modern. Custom gourmet kitchen, large master bedroom suite.

This home is one of a kind if you like the full service attention and the privacy of a brownstone this is the perfect home for you.

Please contact me for buyer’s agent representation and to learn more about this home and others in the beautiful 100 Beacon Street development.

100 Beacon Street #2B is also available for rent, at $12,500 per month.

More photos and description: 100 Beacon Street

When dealing with tenants in Massachusetts, it’s caveat landlord
Aug 2011 24

Being a landlord gives you the opportunity to earn income on a regular basis while your property, your investment, increases in value over a period of years, eventually allowing you to sell it for a handsome capital gain.

It can also be a living hell.

Dealing with tenants is something I would never wish on any loved one … or even people I hate. It can be a nightmare. All it takes is one bad tenant to undo the good ones. Late rent payments, noisy / disruptive / illegal behavior, tenants can cause major headaches.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, from what I have read and learned over the years, has very stringent tenant – landlords laws that most people would conclude favor the tenant. (I’m not suggesting the laws are wrong, mind you, just stating what I believe to be fact.)

It is very hard to evict a tenant, even one who isn’t paying his/her rent. Even one who is breaking the law.

I mention this because there was an article in yesterday’s New York Post about a .. well, a squatter is what you would call him.

He is accused of living in an apartment that he’s not paying rent on, nor has he paid a dime for at least four months. He is believed to be employed at a “swanky Manhattan steakhouse” and therefore capable of paying, he just chooses not to. At least that’s what his landlord claims.

The landlord has tried to get the tenant out of the apartment. He even changed the locks. The tenant called the police and they told the landlord to hand over a key and let the tenant in. They said, “Take it up with housing court.”

If you’re thinking of becoming a landlord, please contact us to learn more about tenant – landlord law. We can refer you to a good lawyer and also help find you a suitable investment.

We can never guarantee you the perfect tenant, however.

Refinancing your home loan can save thousands in interest payments
Aug 2011 22

Dan Green, mortgage broker extraordinaire, does the analysis of mortgage rate changes since earlier this year to show how refinancing your home loan could save you thousands of dollars in interest payments.

As a homeowner, your “total cost of homeownership” is tied to your mortgage. The higher your mortgage rate, the more interest you pay over time. And regardless of your mortgage interest tax-deductibility, over 30 years, mortgage interest accrues into something fierce .

Lately, though, with mortgage rates down, those long-term interest costs have plunged.

- April 2011 : Over 30 years, a new $300,000 mortgage accrues $276,000 in interest
- August 2011 : Over 30 years, a new $300,000 mortgage accrues $227,000 in interest

Check out his site for more information and contact your local mortgage lender to learn more.

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