Welcome to Centers and Squares

As a Cambridge real estate agent, the city squares of Cambridge, Somerville and Medford and the town centers of Arlington, Watertown and Belmont, Massachusetts are my home turf. And as a lifelong New Englander who’s lived within twenty miles of Boston most of my life, I can introduce you to other nearby towns as we search for your new home. If you’re planning to sell your home in Cambridge, MA or nearby you’ll find plenty of info about the home selling process here too. Questions? Send me an email or call me at 617-504-1737.

Street Cleaning in Cambridge Will Sweep Away More Than Dirt

Money In the Streets of CambridgeIf it’s spring it must be street sweeping season.  Thank goodness!  Cambridge is a dirty mess with flotsam and jetsam lining the curbs.  The snow covered up months of accumulated debris. Now that the snow’s gone – finally! – it’s time for a good cleaning.

People also dropped money in the snow over the long winter months.  When the ice and snow melted I started to find change as I walked along the streets in Cambridge.  I love to find money – even pennies.  I save it in a tin so I can keep track of how much I’ve found.  When the piles along the curbs were first uncovered it seemed I was finding money every day.  My best score by far is shown in the photo above.  Yes – that’s a dirty, rumpled $20 bill that spent many weeks buried in the snow and debris.  Resisting the urge to pull that $20 from my tin in a pinch will be a true test of self control.

There’s more money out there!  Quick – before it’s swept away – poke at the piles along the curb.  I’ve got everybody I know looking down as they walk, kicking aside the refuse in the hopes of finding some cash.

Street sweeping in Cambridge MA runs from April 1st through December.  Streets are cleaned monthly – opposite sides on different days.  The Cambridge DPW has a map and schedule online.  Miss the day and your car will be towed.  Watch the signs – even blocks with parking meters are subject to towing on street cleaning day.

Happy hunting!

 

When she’s not picking up money in the streets, Elizabeth Bolton is a real estate agent in Cambridge, MA.  Actually she does both at once – since she found the bill pictured above while on the way to show a house for sale in Cambridge.

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Cambridge Real Estate – March 2009 Real Estate Market Statistics

Cambridge MAIt’s that time of the month again – time to look at the monthly real estate market statistics in Cambridge. The real estate market is busy and it is not uncommon for newly listed properties to sell during the first week on the market. The closed sales in March reflect the properties that went under agreement about six to eight weeks before.  Here are the March 2009 real estate sales in Cambridge:

355 residential properties were on the market in Cambridge on March 31, 2009. The lowest priced property was listed for $185,000, the most expensive for $4,850,000. Average days on market was 114.

36 property sales closed in Cambridge during March with an average sales price of $627,518.  The median sales price was $463,200.  Average days on market was 92.

7 single family sales closed in March.  Sale prices ranged from $471,500 to $2,895,000.  The median price was $975,000.  Average days on market was 93.

25 condos closed in March. The least expensive condominium sold for $262,500.  The most expensive condo sold for $1,250,000.  The median condo sales price was $419,000.  Condos sold for an average of 98% of the asking price.  Average days on market was 70.

Four multi-family sales closed in March. The lowest sale price for a multi-family was $352,351.  The highest price paid was $810,000.  Multi-families sold for an average of 92% of list price.  Average days on market was 222.

Total Cambridge closed residential real estate sales volume in March was $22,590,646.

  Also see:

Cambridge Real Estate Activity in January 2009
Cambridge Real Estate Activity in February 2009

Information from MLSpin.

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Arlington MA Real Estate Market – Real Estate Sales in March 2009

Arlington MassachusettsThe Arlington real estate market is in full swing. Many single families sell the first weekend and it is not uncommon for the seller to recieve multiple offers.

Arlington Real Estate Market Statistics for March 2009

Properties Currently on the Market in Arlington Massachusetts

98 residential properties were on the market in Arlington on March 31, 2009. The lowest priced property was listed for $136,999, the most expensive for $1,149,000. Average days on market was 102.

Real Estate Sales in March in Arlington MA

Information about closed residential real estate sales reflects transactions that went under agreement some six to eight weeks before the closing. Most March real estate sales reflect activity in January and February.

11 properties sold (closed) in Arlington during March with an average sales price of $411,409.  The median sales price was $385,000. Average days on market was 57.

Arlington single families sold in March.  The least expensive sale was for $363,500. The most expensive house sold for $700,000. The median price for a single family house was $555,750.  Average days on market was 60.  Houses sold for an average of 95% of asking price.

condominium sales closed in March. The least expensive condominium sold for $175,000.  The most expensive Arlington condo sold in March closed for $390,000.  The median condo sales price was $290,500.  Condos sold for an average of 98% of the asking price.

multi-family sold in March for $556,000.

Total Arlington residential real estate sales volume closed in March was $4,525,500.

See also:
Arlington Real Estate Market Statistics for January 2009
Arlington Real Estate Market Statistics for February 2009

Information is from MLSpin

 

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Belmont Massachusetts Real Estate Market in March 2009

Belmont MassachusettsThe residential property sales in Belmont, MA during the month of March reflect properties that went under agreement in January and February.  Real estate sales in Massachusetts typically take six to eight weeks to close after an offer is accepted.

Current Real Estate Inventory in Belmont MA:

100 residential properties were listed for sale in Belmont on March 31, 2009. The lowest priced property was listed for $219,000, the most expensive for $2,695,000. Average days on market was 143.

Closed Real Estate Sales in Belmont MA in March:

9 properties sold (closed) in Belmont during March with an average sales price of $385,988.  Average days on market was 124.  Properties sold for an average of 97% of list price.

Belmont single family homes sold in March for $375,000 and $525,000.

Belmont condos closed in March.  The lowest price paid for a condo was $242,000. The most expensive condominium sold this month for $417,000.  Average days on market was 116.

2 Belmont multi-family properties sold in March for$516,766 and $535,000.

Total residential sales volume for March was $3,473,889

 

See also:
January 2009 Real Estate Sales Activity in Belmont 
February 2009 Real Estate Sales Activity in Belmont

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Watertown By the Numbers – March 2009 Real Estate Market Statistics

Watertown MassachusettsWondering what’s happening in the Watertown, Massachusetts real estate market?  Here’s the real estate market activity for the month of March 2009.  Keep in mind that sales that closed in March reflect properties that, in most cases, went under agreement some six to eight weeks earlier. 

109 residential properties were on the market in Watertown on March 31, 2009. The lowest priced property was listed for $209,000, the most expensive for $1,395,000. Average days on market was 129. 

14 residential properties sold (closed) in Watertown during March with an average sales price of $384,393.  The median sales price was $392,000. Average days on market was 116.
 
Watertown single families sold in March, for prices of $270,000 to $510,000.  Average days on market was 64.
 
condominiums sold in March. The least expensive condominium sold for $175,000.  The most expensive Watertown condo sold in March closed for $500,000.  The median condo sales price was $382,900.  Condos sold for an average of 95% of the asking price.  Average days on market was 133.
 
multi-family sales closed in March, one for $440,000 and another for $550,000.  The multi-families sold for an average of 89% of asking price.
Total Watertown residential real estate sales volume closed in March was $5,381,500.

 

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Movies Filmed In New England – Free Movies in Somerville

Film SeriesThe main branch of the Somerville library on Highland Avenue is having a film festival this spring featuring movies set in New England.  What a great idea for a series!

Here’s the movie schedule:

Thursday, April 9, 2009: Mystic Pizza (1988), a romantic comedy about three teenage girls working in a pizza parlor in Mystic, Connecticut. Starring Julia Roberts, Lili Taylor and Annabeth Gish. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2009: The Verdict (1982) stars Paul Newman as a down at his luck Boston attorney.

Thursday, May 14, 2009: Fever Pitch (2005). Native New Englanders, the Farrelly brothers, paean to Fenway Fever stars Drew Barrymore as the girlfriend of a rabid Red Sox fan played by Jimmy Fallon.

Wednesday, May 24, 2009: Mystic River (2003). Directed by Clint Eastwood and with a cast filled with big names including Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon, Laurence Fishburne, Marcia Gay Harden, and Laura Linney, Mystic River was nominated for six Oscars and won for Best Actor (Penn) and Best Supporting Actor (Robbins). This dark tale about a childhood tragedy that shadowed three friends into adulthood was set in South Boston and adapted from the book of the same name by local author, Dennis Lehane.

Thursday, June 11, 2009: Next Stop Wonderland (1998) stars Hope Davis and Philip Seymour Hoffman. Set in Boston (the Wonderland stop is the Blue Line MBTA stop in Revere by the dog track), this quirky, sweet movie tells the story of two people whose paths cross repeatedly until a chance meeting finally brings them together.

Wednesday, June 24th: The Cider House Rules (1999), an adaptation of the John Irving novel of the same name, was set in Maine and filmed in Massachusetts, Vermont and Maine. Toby Maguire stars as an orphan who follows in the footsteps of the doctor, played by Michael Caine, who runs the orphanage where he grew up. Also starring Charlize Theron, Paul Rudd and Jane Alexander.

Movie showtime is 6:30 pm.  Admission is free. Somerville Library, 79 Highland Avenue, Somerville, MA.

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Mansard Houses In Cambridge – The Second Empire Architectural Style

Mansard in the Agassiz Neighborhood of Cambridge MA

Mansard in the Agassiz Neighborhood of Cambridge

Mansard Victorians are a very popular house style with today’s real estate buyers in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  Single family mansards, large and small can be found in many Cambridge neighborhoods, and it is not uncommon to find condos in mansard rowhouses.

The Mansard Victorian House Style

The distinctive sweep of the mansard roof is the definitive feature of the Second Empire architectural style dating from 1855 to 1885.

The mansard is actually the facade of the top floor of the house and will have dormer windows.  The mansard roof was covered with slate shingles, often in attractive patterns, and in many cases the original slate shingles are still intact. 

Some Second Empire Victorians have cupolas, others have square or rectangular towers.  A prominent center gable interrupts the mansard roof line on some houses. Sometimes the mansard house will have a matching carriage house with mansard roof. Many Second Empire townhouses, rowhouses with mansard roofs, were built in cities between 1860 and 1880, and many can be seen around Cambridge.

Mansard in West Cambridge

Mansard in West Cambridge

Virginia and Lee McAlester, in their A Field Guide to American Houses, describe five styles of mansard roofs: straight, straight with a flare at the bottom, concave, convex, and s-curves.  Each style is represented in Cambridge’s large selection of mansards.

Mansards in Cambridge

Much of Cambridge’s development took place during the mansard’s heyday.  Some Cambridge neighborhoods, particularly Avon Hill, West Cambridge, and Mid-Cambridge are awash with mansard Victorians. There are plenty to be found in Cambridgeport and the Agassiz neighborhood too, and, in fact, most Cambridge neighborhoods have their share.  Mid-Cambridge has many mansard roofed townhouses lining the blocks.

Mansard Roof Detail in Cambridge MA

Mansard Roof Detail in Cambridge MA

The single family mansard has either two or three floors.  In each case the top floor is behind the mansard roof. Inside on the top  floor there will be a slight pitch to the walls, high ceilings, and deep windowsills.

Many of Cambridge’s Second Empire Victorians are in “unmuddled” condition, many with slate shingles still in place.  If the slate shingles cannot be salvaged there are good imitations available if the budget prevents replacement of the slate. Sometimes you’ll come across an  unfortunate example where the mansard has been covered with vinyl or other siding. One hopes that eventually a more preservation-minded owner will uncover the house and return it to its former glory.  Those aside, mansard gems line the streets of Cambridge.

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Cambridge Foreclosures – Bank Owned Real Estate in Cambridge MA

Last night I came across something in a book that suggested blog posts should be short. Mine usually aren’t but it seems this one probably will be.

Are There Foreclosures in Cambridge?

Cambridge Foreclosures For SaleNot  so many as it turns out.  Here and there we notice one or two foreclosures listed for sale by the banks but they typically sell fairly quickly.  There were also a couple in the big auctions that were held in Boston.

With a quick scan of all the Cambridge real estate listed for sale in the MLS I found only one bank owned condominium currently on the market. It’s a six room three-bedroom condo on Windsor Street, midway between Inman Square and East Cambridge. It sold in 2006 for $390,000 and is currently listed, post-foreclosure, for $238,900.

There haven’t been many foreclosures in Cambridge or in Arlington, Watertown or Belmont. There are more foreclosures and short sales in Somerville and Medford, however, so stay tuned for a longer post!

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