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.
Though it’s cold and gloomy today, spring will be here shortly and with it – spring house tours.
I finally had a chance to update the Massachusetts House Tour schedule and there are some super tours in the offing.
The debut spring house tour is in Concord on April 6th. The tour features houses that exhibit “new concepts in energy efficiency, accessibility and design”. Among the seven houses on tour are a LEED certified house, a 300-year old house that’s been in one family for generations (my favorites!) and recently updated, and a contemporary.
Another one I’m looking forward to is Framingham’s on May 19th. You’ll get to see a diverse group of properties including a contemporary on Lake Cochituate, a Colonial, an expanded ranch, a farmhouse, and an Arts and Crafts era house.
Links to pages with ticket details and more for the spring house tours can be found on the tour page at left.
Maybe you’re thinking it’s time to move. Your place is too small, you’re ready for a house not a condo, you want a better commute….
Whatever the reason, you’re stumped. You need to sell your current home to buy your next home. You know that you should sell first since you need that money to afford your new place. But you’re worried. You haven’t seen anything come on the market that you liked. Or you did find a place – or two or three – and you took the plunge but lost out in multiple bids.
So you wonder – how can we make this work? What can we do if we need to sell to buy our next home? How can we buy and sell at the same time?
Right now, the Cambridge and Somerville real estate market presents real opportunities for sellers. In many transactions sellers are able to ask for – and get – terms that were uncommon in the past.
Sellers are able to structure the dates in the offer in a way that best works for their plans. Buyers, anxious to pin down a property in a market where there’s just not been enough of them to satisfy demand, will often agree to allow the seller to rent back after the closing for a specified period of time. This can allow you time to find a place to purchase and the funds to do so. Other sellers use that time to do renovations on their new home.
Buying your second place typically offers challenges that you didn’t encounter as a first-time buyer. Right now, the robust real estate market’s making that move a bit easier.
If you’d like to discuss how to make your next move, give me a call at 617-504-1737 or email me at [email protected]. I look forward to hearing from you! Liz Bolton ReMax Destiny
It looks like the snow might not live up to the projections made earlier this week – at least around Cambridge. The open houses will go on!
Here’s one guy who looks like he’s hoping for more snow….
If you’re a Cambridge property seller – the numbers are on your side.
8 . . . 14 . . . 20 . . .25 . . . 40 …. Are these open house visitor counts? Open houses are very busy nowadays. Even last Sunday when the streets and sidewalks still weren’t clear and the T wasn’t running open houses were packed.
No – those aren’t open house sign-ins. Those are multiple bid counts for properties that have recently been on the market in Cambridge.
When properties come on the market they are typically snapped up immediately. Buyers are paying over market to secure properties. A good number of them are able to pay with cash. Sellers are able to ask for and get the terms they want.
Even with the Cambridge real estate market as intense as it is getting the price right is still important. Over priced properties sit on the market while buyers line up to bid on others. Pricing right will almost always get you a higher sales price especially in a real estate market like Cambridge is experiencing right now.
Getting the best price for your property still depends on a good marketing strategy. Making sure people know of and get in to see your property is critical. Selling to the first buyer for full price or even a bit more may feel great – but who knows how much money you left behind? My marketing strategy ensures that your property will be in front of buyers and agents – each of whom is working with multiple buyers – and positioned to get you the very best price and terms.
If your property failed to sell in the past there’s no better time than now to put it on the market. Properties that didn’t sell as recently as three months ago have come back on the market, sometimes at a higher price, and sold, often with multiple bids. If you were discouraged by the market over the last few years you can feel confident that you’ll likely have a much more positive experience selling in 2013.
If you’ve considered making a move before or sometime in the next few months or even the next few years, you’ll want to seriously consider selling now. It’s hard to imagine a better time to sell – lots of buyer and very little competition from other sellers. Both interest rates and the inventory of properties for sale are at historic lows. The numbers are on your side if you’re a seller.
If you’re considering selling and want to strategize and to get an idea of what’s possible in today’s real estate market I would be delighted to speak with you. I can be reached at 617-504-1737 or by email at [email protected]. Liz Bolton, ReMax Destiny, Cambridge.
Last weekend’s blizzard was fun – for a day or two. But getting around town is no easy feat this week. Luckily, the daytime temperatures have been above freezing since a whole lot of melting is needed before we can easily get around Cambridge again.
Cities just aren’t designed to have this much snow. Cambridge sure isn’t. Driving is nervewracking with so many people walking in the narrow streets. Snow piles make intersections hazardous. Two-way streets are reduced to one lane. And parking? Forget about it. Parking will be a challenge until spring.
Somerville, as usual, is doing a fantastic job of snow removal. City workers are on the job around the clock with convoys of dumptrucks taking away the snow that bulldozers have cleared. The other night Ball Square was blocked off by the police for snow removal. I noticed today that there is NO snow left in the square. Now, that’s the way to do it.
This recently erected sign strikes despair in Cambridge drivers’ hearts. Expect delays – ok – what else is new? But for TWO YEARS? How depressing is that? The next screen announces work on Western Ave that will be tying up traffic for two years. Ugh. From bad to worse.
But enough griping. We New Englanders are a hardy lot. Spring will be here soon and a little – or a lot of – snow makes it all the sweeter.
Last week, as part of our weekly tour, ReMax Destiny agents headed over to NorthPoint Cambridge. Condos at NorthPoint have been selling like hotcakes so we were excited to get a presentation about the development and to tour a number of condos. Amy Clements, Sales Director at NorthPoint, and a representative from the development group spoke to us about what’s in the works.
NorthPoint Cambridge is a 45-acre parcel. A former railyard, the property will be transformed into a new Cambridge neighborhood featuring a 10-acre park at its center. It will be a mixed use community with residential space – both apartments and condos, office and lab space, retail establishments, and a public transportation stop once the Lechmere Green Line T stop is relocated to NorthPoint.
Development stalled at Northpoint Cambridge in 2007 when the original owners became embroiled in a court battle. The project is back on track after new investors, including former LA Laker Magic Johnson, took over in 2010. Condos at NorthPoint are now selling like hotcakes with more than 30 contracts signed in January 2013.
Plans for North Point include a total of twenty buildings. There will be three million square feet of residential space, 2700 residential units in total. The next phase of development at NorthPoint Cambridge will be a 20-story, 355 unit luxury apartment building. That building will include:
- 8000 sq. ft. of retail space
- “Click cafe”
- Basketball court
- Outdoor lounge / bar for residents
Today the condominiums at North Point are in two buildings, constructed in 2008. 1 Earhart (formerly called Sierra) and 2 Earhart Street (formerly called Tango) have over 300 units between them. The smaller building, One Earhart / Sierra, has 99 condos. Two Earhart / Tango has 230 units and includes a 12-story tower. Many of the condos are two-level loft style units.
When we toured the development last week 78% of the condos had sold and closed. 86% were sold or under agreement. Given the pace of sales those numbers have probably changed by now.
Northpoint Cambridge Condos Feature
- Condo fee includes heat and hot water
- 24/7 concierge with a desk in 2 Earhart
- On site building manager
- Bamboo floors
- Central air conditioning
- In-unit laundry hookup
- Some condos have a patio, deck or Juliet balcony
- Stylish finishes, fixtures and appliances including Arclinea cabinets, Phillipe Stark Duravit sinks, and Bosch dishwashers
- Two pets allowed – no breed or weight restrictions
Residents at NorthPoint have easy access to the Green Line at Lechmere and to the Orange Line at the Bunker Hill stop. The EZRide bus service stops at North Point and continues to Kendall Square, MIT and North Station. Boston is a hop, skip and a jump away and the Charles River is just down the street.
Here are some of the condos for sale at NorthPoint Cambridge. There may be others available – to see all the options we need to visit the development. If you’d like more info or want to see condos at NorthPoint I would be happy to arrange for a presentation and tour. Amy Clements, the Sales Director at NorthPoint, explained that she is happy to work with other agents – so having an agent represent you will not be an issue and will not mean that you pay any more. Give me a call at 617-504-1737 or email me at [email protected] and we’ll explore NorthPoint together. Liz Bolton, ReMax Destiny
Are you having trouble finding a Cambridge condo to buy? No wonder – inventory is at record lows. Here’s how the numbers looked at this time of year over the last decade:
2003 . . . . . 151 condos listed for sale on February 5th
2004 . . . . . 127
2005 . . . . . 225
2006 . . . . . 321
2007 . . . . . 265
2008 . . . . . 287
2009 . . . . . 243
2010 . . . . . 174
2011 . . . . . 182
2012 . . . . . 92
2013 . . . . . 86** **Only 64 condos are actually available for sale
Ouch. There are 86 Cambridge condos listed in the MLS for sale right now. But actually only 64 are available for purchase. 22 are what we call “Red Active” – the condos have an accepted offer and are under agreement. The listing agents and sellers are continuing to market the condos but the agent view in the MLS shows the status in red indicating that the property is under agreement.
So there are only 64 condos for sale right now in Cambridge – less than half of what was for sale in every other year this past decade aside from 2012 when 92 condos were listed for sale on February 5th.
But the inventory is even tighter than that number suggests – particularly if you don’t want to live in a modern building in East Cambridge. 21 of the 64 condos listed for sale are at NorthPoint and 10 more are scattered among the other luxury buildings in East Cambridge – the Esplanade, Thomas Graves Landing, the Glass Factory, River Court, the Regatta and One First.
These are beautiful condos in the East Cambridge buildings but if that’s not the style or location you’re looking for there are just 33 condos currently available anywhere else in Cambridge. Seven of these are priced at more than $1,000,000.
So what’s a buyer to do?
You really need to have your ducks in a row and your team in place. If properties do come on the market in your price range make sure you see them so you can start to get an idea of what’s possible. You’ll want to get preapproved by a reputable lender so you’ll know what your price range is and so you’ll be ready when you do want to make an offer. Find an agent with whom you feel comfortable working. It’s more important than ever that you work with an excellent real estate agent. An experienced agent’s advice and help with strategy is critical in a market as competitive as this. Make sure you share all the details of your wish list – and its refinements over time – with your agent so that she can keep an eye and ear out for any new listings that might be a match. And try to be available to get out to see places as quickly as possible.
If you’re a seller this is an excellent time to put your property on the market.
Conventional wisdom may be that listing your home for sale in spring is optimal but it’s difficult to recall a better time than right now to sell a property. Buyers are out in force and you’ll have little competition. If your property is priced right – and pricing remains an important factor – and marketed well you may receive multiple offers and be able to select an offer with excellent price and terms. Now is not the time to sell your property to the neighbor knocking on your door or to buyer calling you on the phone because your house didn’t sell a few years ago. If one person wants your house it’s a good bet that if your house is put on the market there will be multiple interested buyers.
Whether you’re interested in buying or in selling I would be happy to discuss what’s possible in this market. Please give me a call at 617-504-1737 or email me at [email protected]. Liz Bolton, ReMax Destiny
Several local libraries are running a library card challenge in February - Arlington, Belmont, Lexington and Somerville are competing to see which library can increase new library card sign-ups by the largest percentage.
There will be prizes for new library cardholders and one grand prize of an e-reader awarded. New cardholder bling will include buttons, bracelets, pencils, bookmarks and more.
Already have a library card? Bring a friend who signs up for a card and you’ll receive a prize.
Your new library card is your passport to more than three dozen local libraries since Arlington, Belmont, Lexington and Somerville all belong to the Minuteman Library Network.