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.

Riding Through Cambridge

Nowadays it seems that we think of this holiday as Marathon Day. But the reason we have the day off is that today is the day we celebrate Patriot's Day. Since I grew up in Concord Patriot's Day will always be one of my favorite holidays - and will always be April 19th rather than some random Monday.
Paul Revere? Or William Dawes? Patriot's Day in Cambridge 2013

Paul Revere? Or William Dawes? Patriot's Day in Cambridge 2013

But it seems even Paul Revere and William Dawes have adapted to the new calendar. I came across this man on horseback today on Mass Ave in Porter Square and thought he must be Revere.  But Paul Revere's midnight ride didn't take him through Cambridge.  His route passed nearby through Medford and Arlington.  It was another messenger, William Dawes, who passed through Cambridge.
Is that a British soldier trailing William Dawes?

Is that a British soldier trailing William Dawes?

Is that a Redcoat on his tail?  I'm not sure.

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Get Your Ducks In a Row

If you've been checking out open houses recently or calling about properties you find online, you've probably realized that it's a fast-moving real estate market this spring.
Homebuyers will want to get their ducks in a row

Homebuyers will want to get their ducks in a row

If you're hoping to buy in Cambridge or nearby towns this spring you need to get your ducks in a row early on.  Properties are typically selling the first weekend so you'll want to be prepared in case you find something you love. One of the first to-dos in the home buying process is to get a pre-approval from a lender.  It's a good idea to have a copy of that pre-approval with you when you head out to look at properties. You'll also want to tuck a check or two in your wallet if you don't carry a checkbook with you. Thus armed, you'll be able to jump into the fray if you find a house or condo that feels like home.   If you'd like to talk about strategies for success in this market, give me a call at 617-504-1737 - I'm happy to help.  Liz Bolton, ReMax Destiny, Cambridge, MA

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Not So Quiet Sunday

Welcome Home to this Vintage Easter Egg House

Welcome Home to this Vintage Easter Egg House

Usually Easter is quiet on the real estate front with few open houses. This year, however, there are a dozen open houses in Cambridge and Somerville today. Half of these are for listings new to the market this week. That's still just a handful so watch for a bump in new listings over the next week or two as sellers who waited until after the holiday put their homes on the market. I couldn't resist including the Easter clip art at right since it combines several of my favorite themes - vintage images, houses, and animals wearing clothes.  Turns out that egg-shaped houses can often be found on vintage Easter postcards - perfect for a house-loving real estate agent like me.  If you're celebrating today - enjoy!

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Condo In Central Square

13 Worcester St Unit 1 Cambridge MA 02139

13 Worcester St Unit 1 Cambridge MA 02139

New listing alert!  This condo in Central Square at 13 Worcester St Cambridge MA will be coming on the market this week. 13 Worcester Street is a handsome triple decker on a street lined with restored houses, just a couple of blocks from the heart of Central Square. Unit 1 has two bedrooms and a flexible layout with bright and open entertaining spaces, an updated kitchen with lots of counter space, a small deck, laundry and storage in the basement, and a parking space. Professional photographs will be taken tomorrow and I'll upload them on the Featured Properties page as soon as I get them. Showings will begin later this week and we'll have open houses scheduled for the weekend of April 6/7. 13 Worcester Street in Cambridge MA will be listed for $449,000.

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Houses Have Stories To Tell

Sometimes I look out the window of my old house and think about who stood here, looking out, decades and decades ago.

Sometimes I look out the window of my old house and think about who stood here, looking out, decades ago.

Recently I made a point to vist an open house for brokers in Arlington Heights.  The house was a beautiful Greek Revival, one of my favorite architectural styles, and I looked forward to seeing it. I wasn't disappointed.  The house was filled with well preserved architectural details and a real treat to see.  On the dining room table the agent had put out a number of pieces about the house's history to share with buyers. My favorite by far was a packet of letters that the homeowner had received from a member of the family that moved into the house more than a century ago.  The letters were rich in detail about how the house looked decades ago and filled with stories about the author's memories of her family and life over the years in the house. The letters were mesmerizing - filled with tidbits that evoked the sights, sounds and smells of the early 1900s.  I brought my mother a copy, knowing she would enjoy them as much as I did. "We've got to buy this house!" she exclaimed.  "Let's sell this one and move." That was not to be - the house sold that weekend to a someone more prepared than we were.  But it was an example of how powerful sharing the stories of your house can be when it's time to sell and pass the house on to new owners. I love old houses and confess to sometimes feeling like an adopted member of the families that have lived in them before me.  When it was time to sell my first house, a sweet little house circa 1865, I wrote a piece about what I had learned about the family that had owned it before me - just one family since it was new.  My packet for buyers included vintage photos of the house that dated from the 1880s through the 1930s.  It was important, I thought, to pass on that history, so the stories could be preserved for new owners.  Several years later, when the house again exchanged hands, the vignette about the house was handed over to the next owners once again. Chances are your house has stories to tell too.  Whether you're fortunate enough to have a former owner share memories with you, or you do the fun work of discovery through your own house history research, the stories your house has to tell can make you feel more connected to your old house. When it's time to move, make sure you pass on your house's stories. You'll be preserving history and may just hook a buyer at the same time.

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Spring House Tours

It's spring house tour season

Soon it will be spring house tour season

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.

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What If We Need to Sell to Buy?

What Can We Do If We Need to Sell to Buy?

What Can We Do If We Need to Sell to Buy?

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 ebolton@rdygh.com.   I look forward to hearing from you!  Liz  Bolton ReMax Destiny

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More Snow?

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....

snowman needs more snow

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