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.

This Is the Way It’s Done

I loved this page posted on a fusebox - ok, it's a circuit breaker box really - so much that I had to snap its photo.  I came across it one day when showing a house for sale  in Waltham.
A Careful Homeowner's Record

A Careful Homeowner's Record

What's so special about this fusebox?  It may be difficult to see in the photo which shows just a portion of the list, but it's the beautifully detailed, carefully written guide to which circuit breaker covers which appliance, outlet, etc. Taped inside the box and printed in very neat block letters on graph paper, the guide is a sure sign that a careful homeowner lived here - someone who took pride in his house and cared enough to do it right. This is the way it's done.  This carefully printed page must have helped the homeowners repeatedly over the years when a breaker tripped or a fixture needed to be replaced.  I could just picture the homeowner - I bet he had a well stocked workbench in the cellar and that he liked to putter and to work on projects around the house in his spare time.  He reminds me of my grandfather who kept records that looked very much like this.  These guys came from the "greatest generation" of homeowners - people who knew how their house worked, how it was built, and how to keep it up. This is way it's done - but unfortunately it's not done all that often nowadays.  We're too busy, too scattered, too quick to rely on somebody else to do the job for us.  There aren't as many workbenches in cellars nowadays.  My own bookshelves are full of homeowner how-to books but I'm all too quick to hire someone to do a job for me. Something as simple as labeling circuit breakers can begin to get you better acquainted with the workings of your house. This simple piece of paper set a new standard for me.  I want a fusebox guide that looks like this one.

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Cambridge Houses Sold For $1,000,000+

Cambridge Houses Sold for $1,000,000+

Cambridge Houses Sold for $1,000,000+

The sale prices achieved in this spring's bidding wars in the Cambridge real estate market are at times amazing.  It's been a challenging market for buyers and for agents.  What price was right?  What did you have to offer to "win" - to prevail - to actually get an offer accepted?  It was often difficult to know and at times frustrating and even painful for buyers. As those spring sales close we're finally finding out just what clinched the deal for the houses that sold for over the asking price.    Let's take a look at sales of Cambridge single family houses that sold for $1,000,000 or more over the last three months.  There's a bit of an overlap with our last post, Cambridge Single Family Sales - Houses Priced Under $1,000,000 - since the houses that were priced at almost one million sold for quite a bit more. Twelve of the twenty-one houses in this price range sold for over asking.  The premium paid ranged from $5000 to $1,300,000 over list price - from less than 1% to more than 30% over asking.  With numbers and ranges like that it's no wonder that the Cambridge spring market was so challenging for many buyers. In the list of Cambridge house sales that follows the room count - number of rooms / bedrooms /baths is included and if the house is attached to another, rather than free-standing, that's noted as well.

Cambridge Houses Sold for $1,000,000+

63 Foster St 02138 ... 6/3/1 ... Ask $995,000 ... Sold $1,140,000 7 Chalk St 02138 ... 7/4/4.5 attached ... Ask $1,299,000 ... Sold $1,290,000 26 Parker St 02138 ... 10/6/3 ... Ask $995,000 ... Sold $1,355,000 44 Coolidge Hill Rd 02138 ... 9/5/2.5 ... Ask $1,365,000 ... Sold $1,370,000 25 Meadow Way 02138 ... 10/5/3.5 ... Ask $1,395,000 ... Sold $1,400,000 8 Acacia St 02138 ... 8/4/3.5 attached ... Ask $1,425,000 ... Sold $1,500,000 140 Foster St 02138 ... 9/6/4.5 ... Ask $1,395,000 ... Sold $1,560,000 25 Brewster St 02138 ... 8/5/3.5 attached ... Ask $1,750,000 ... Sold $1,730,000 34 Bates St 02140 ... 12/6/3 attached ... Ask $1,890,000 ... Sold $1,790,000 10 Newell Terr 02140 ... 10/4/3.5 ... Ask $1,895,000 ... Sold $1,870,000 20 Hilliard St 02138 ... 8/4/3.5 attached ... Ask $1,895,000 ... Sold $2,000,000 65 Larchwood Dr 02138 ... 9/3/2.5 ... Ask $1,895,000 ... Sold $2,010,000 134 Larch Rd 02138 ... 11/5/4.5 ... Ask $2,100,000 ... Sold $2,050,000 205 Brattle St 02138 ... 10/5/3.5 ... Ask $2,150,000 ... Sold $2,050,000 245 Grove St 02138 ... 10/4/4.5 ... Ask $2,350,000 ... Sold $2,700,000 117 Avon Hill St 02140 ... 10/5/3.5 ... Ask $2,750,000 ... Sold $2,800,000 25 Lakeview Ave 02138 ... 10/4/4.5 ... Ask $3,100,000 ... Sold $2,825,000 4 Lowell St 02138 ... 13/6/3.5 ... Ask $3,180,000 ... Sold $3,415,000 28 Fayerweather St 02138 ... 15/8/4.5 ... Ask $3,800,000 ... Sold $3,500,000 57 Francis Ave 02138 ... 16/7/3.5 ... Ask $3,850,000 ... Sold $3,710,000 66 Sparks St 02138 ... 14/5/4.5 ... Ask $3,700,000 ... Sold $5,000,000 Stay tuned as we have more posts planned that look at Cambridge condo sales this spring.  

Categories: Real Estate Market Info

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Stop and Shop Coming to Route 16

 
Stop and Shop Coming to Route 16

Stop and Shop Coming to Route 16

You've probably seen the signs - but in case you haven't - Stop and Shop is coming to Route 16 in Somerville.   The closing of Foodmaster on Route 16 at Broadway on the Cambridge / Arlington line has left a lot of people without a handy supermarket.  A number of the former Foodmasters are becoming Whole Foods stores but the Route 16 location didn't fit the bill since it's sandwiched between two Whole Foods with one at Alewife and one down the street in Medford. Happily, it looks like Stop and Shop will be opening soon.  The parking lot was filled with pickup trucks the other day - lots of work going on it seems. I hope to see some of my favorite Foodmaster employees back on the job and have my fingers crossed that Stop and Shop gives them first dibs for positions in the new store.

Categories: Area Info

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Cambridge Single Family Sales – Houses Priced Under $1,000,000

Cambridge Houses  Priced < One Million

Cambridge Houses Priced < One Million

With all the multiple bids and sales for far above asking price this spring I find myself paying a lot of attention to the closed sales on the hotsheet.  You may be asking too - wonder what that house sold for?  Here's the first in a series of posts with sales prices for Cambridge single family houses that closed in the last three months and had asking prices less than $1,000,000:

 Cambridge Houses Priced Under One Million

76 Sixth St 02141 ....6/3/1 attached .... Ask $399,900 .... Sold $440,000 108 Dudley St 02140 .... 7/3/1 .... Ask $489,000 .... Sold $555,100 42 Valentine St 02139 .... 5/2/1.5 townhouse .... Ask $499,000 .... Sold $550,000 9 Oakland St 02139 .... 8/5/1 .... Ask $545,000 .... Sold $430,000 46 Valentine St 02139 .... 7/2/1 .... Ask $549,000 .... Sold $632,000 50 Hancock St 02139 .... 8/4/1 .... Ask $599,000 .... Sold $550,000 126-E Oxford St 02140 .... 6/2/2 townhouse .... Ask $410,000 .... Sold $600,000 9 St. Saveur Ct 02138 .... 9/3/2 .... Ask $669,000 .... Sold $701,500 30 Crescent St 02138 .... 8/3/2 attached .... Ask $679,000 .... Sold $699,000 5 Corporal McTernan 02139 .... 5/3/2.5 townhouse .... Ask $699,900 .... Sold $726,000 114 Tremont St 02139 .... 5/2/3.5 .... Ask $749,000 .... Sold $830,000 31 Bay St 02139 .... 7/3/1 .... Ask $749,000 .... Sold $749,000 122 Western Ave 02139 .... 6/3/2.5 .... Ask $775,000 .... Sold $777,500 117 Charles St 02141 .... 5/3/3 .... Ask $849,000 .... Sold $799,000 115 Charles St 02141 .... 5/3/3 attached .... Ask $869,000 .... Sold $760,000 105-A Trowbridge St 02138 .... 7/3/3 townhouse .... Ask $875,000 .... Sold $931,000 111-8 Trowbridge St 02138 .... 7/3/3.5 attached .... Ask $899,000 .... Sold $903,000 24 Locke St 02140 .... 9/5/2 .... Ask $950,000 .... Sold $985,000 26 Parker St 02138 .... 10/6/3 .... Ask $995,000 .... Sold $1,355,000 Note: Room counts are given as total rooms / bedrooms / baths.  If the property is in a townhouse development or attached to another dwelling that is noted.  If no style is listed the houses are free standing.  House sales closed between March 1, 2013 and June 3, 2013. Next we'll look at Cambridge Houses Sold for $1,000,000+.    

Categories: Real Estate Market Info

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Garden Tours Are the Reward of Spring

Spring Garden in Cambridge

Spring Garden in Cambridge

It's been a funny Spring season - cooler than typical with the windows often still closed and the puff still on the bed.  Contrast that with last year when Spring came early and so did warm weather. Last year Spring sprung before most garden tours were held.  It was a different view of many of the gardens where blooms had long passed by the time of the tour. This year we're back to a more typical calendar - the lilacs were out on Lilac Sunday, gardens will be in their full glory for upcoming garden tours.  Ideally we'll get some much needed rain this week and weekend to keep gardens looking their best. Cambridge has switched to an every-other-year schedule so won't have a tour this year.  But a number of other towns are holding tours and I'll add more to the list I find them.  Check out the updated Massachusetts garden tours calendar and make your plans!

Categories: Area Events

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Open Studios Almost Every Weekend

Open Studios in Somerville MA

Open Studios in Somerville MA

Seeing all the open studio signs last week in Somerville reminded me that it's high time to update the 2013 calendar of open studios in Massachusetts. Not to worry if you missed last weekend's event.  There are more than two dozen upcoming open studio events listed on the calendar including Cambridge this coming weekend. Open studios are a great opportunity to meet your neighbors, find something special for your place or for a friend, and a super way to support the local arts community. Check out the calendar and if your event isn't listed please get in touch.

Categories: Area Events

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Cambridge One-Bedroom Condos

When I was checking the hotlist today for properties new to the market I noticed a number of newly listed Cambridge one-bedroom condos.  Whether you're trying to get a toehold in the Cambridge real estate market with your first place, looking for a city getaway, or seeking a place to call home while you're in school in Cambridge for a few years, you'll want to check out this week's one--bedroom condos in Cambridge.  And best to act fast - this spring there's a "blink and it's gone" pace to the market. Over the last six months one-bedroom condominiums in Cambridge have sold for a median price of $439,800 and a median price per square foot of $530.  Both of those figures probably skew a bit high because of the large number of luxury condos at Northpoint in the mix. The condos that caught my eye that are included below range in size from 542 to 798 square feet and are priced from $325,000 to $409,000. They're in a variety of building types that give a good idea of what you're likely to find in Cambridge - the buildings date from the 1870s to the 1970s with most built around the turn-of-the-century.  Asking price per square foot ranges from $437 to $755 with a median price per square foot of about $510.  Four of the six have a parking space.  The condos are all over town - from North Cambridge to Cambridgeport, to Riverside, Central Square and Harvard Square. Click on the small photos below for additional photographs and more information.  See something you like? Give me a call and we can make a plan to see one or all.  Liz Bolton, ReMax Destiny, Cambridge.  617-504-1737     CentersAndSquares@gmail.com

Categories: Real Estate Market Info
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Condo In A Renovated School House in Davis Square

This condo in a renovated school house in Davis Square is spectacular! The former Lowe School at 185 Morrison Ave in Somerville MA is a block from Davis Square and set above the street.  Unit 101 is a high first floor corner unit.
Live in a renovated school in Davis Square at 185 Morrison Ave Somerville MA

Live in a renovated school in Davis Square at 185 Morrison Ave Somerville MA

Light streams in through the oversized windows.  If you like high ceilings you'll love 185 Morrison.  I don't know how high these ceilings are - very high is all I can say!  There's a wall of built-in bookcases in the expansive dining / living room and a library ladder to help you reach the top shelves.  The original chalk wells remain as a reminder of the building's origins. The list of improvements is long and includes a sleekly styled kitchen renovation with Liebherr and Jenn-Air appliances and Caesarstone counters, a remodeled bathroom with Duravit sink and rain shower head, custom lighting throughout, oodles of custom fitted closets, replacement windows and more. There's a parking space behind the building, a spot to stow your bike downstairs, extra storage and common laundry.  The photographer came this morning so check back for some beautiful shots of 185 Morrison Ave in Somerville.  The condo comes on the market tomorrow and can be seen by appointment or at the open houses on Friday, April 19th from 5 - 7 pm and Saturday and Sunday, April 20th & 21 from 1 to 2:30 pm.  If you'd like more info or want to set up an appointment please call Liz Bolton of ReMax Destiny- that's me! - at 617-504-1737.

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