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.
I’m a traditionalist when it comes to thermostats – I love my classic round Honeywell thermostat. Designed by Henry Dreyfuss in 1953 it’s non-programmable and works perfectly for my needs.
Perhaps it was the similar size and shape of the Nest thermostat that clicked with me when we were touring a house in Cambridge. The very cool display that came on when we walked by certainly caught my eye. I liked it enough to snap the photo at right.
The New York Times had an article about the Nest thermostat today – in the Business section, not the Home section. Turns out the thermostat is even cooler than it looks.
It’s the ultimate in smart programming – the thermostat can determine when nobody is home and turn itself down. It also “learns” your patterns over the course of a week and adjusts accordingly.
Best of all, for people like me with very unpredictable schedules that don’t jibe with regular programmable thermostats, there are apps to allow for remote control of the Nest thermostat. Aaah – to come home to a warm house this winter – that’s living!
The Nest thermostat sells for $250 and can be purchased online at nest.com.
Here’s the Medford MA real estate market update for the period January to September 2012.
Last year’s numbers for the same period are in parentheses.
By every measure 2012 has been a better year than 2011 for Medford real estate. Median prices were up, average days on market were down. Properties sold more quickly and for closer to their asking prices.
On September 30, 2012 115 properties were listed for sale in Medford. That’s a huge drop from a year before when 204 properties were on the market.
If you’re considering selling it’s a superb time to be on the market – buyer demand is up and supply is way down. That’s great for sellers – and challenging for buyers.
Residential real estate sold in Medford – Jan-Sept 2012 (2011):
- 452 properties (358)
- Average days on market = 75 (92)
- Properties sold for an average of 98% of asking price (97%)
- Median price of $349,950 ($336,000)
Medford Single Family Sales – Jan-Sept 2012 (2011)
- Total sold: 226 (183 )
- Sale prices ranged from $70,000 – $645,000 ($135,000 - $768,500)
- Median price: $357,000 ($348,800)
- Average days on market: 72 (90)
- On average, houses sold for 98% of asking price (97% )
Medford Condo Sales – Jan-Sept 2012 (2011)
- Total sold: 145 (116)
- Sale prices ranged from $98,750 – $635,000 ($136,000 - $600,000)
- Median price: $284,900 ($284,000)
- Average days on market: 83 (97)
- On average, condos sold for 98% of asking price (97%)
Medford Multi-Family Sales – Jan-Sept 2012 (2011)
- Total sold: 81 (59)
- Sale prices ranged from $191,000 – $650,000 ($225,000 – $660,000)
- Median price: $427,500 ($415,000)
- Average days on market: 69 (92)
- On average, multi-unit houses sold for 99% of asking price (96% )
The deadline to register to vote in Massachusetts in November’s election is October 17, 2012.
Here are links to local towns’ and cities’ voter registration info:
The big day, Election Day, is Tuesday, November 6, 2012. See you at the polls!
Now that we’re 3/4 of the way through 2012 (where did those months go?!) let’s pause to see how the Watertown MA real estate market fared.
The figures for the first three quarters of 2011 are in parentheses for comparison.
On September 30, 2012, 81 residential properties were listed for sale in Watertown. That’s significantly fewer than were on the market one year before when 105 properties were available for sale.
For the market as a whole the median price was down by more than 5%. That’s probably due to a change in mix of properties sold rather than a true reflection of real estate values. Quite a few more condos sold this year than in 2011 which brought down the median price overall. The median price for single families was down slightly, the median barely budged for condos, and actually increased by 5% for multi-families. Properties sold for closer to the asking price in 2012.
Demand outpaced supply for multi-family properties which sold on average in just 42 days versus 91 days in 2011.
Residential Real Estate Sold in Watertown – Jan-Sept 2012 (2011)
- 275 properties sold (240)
- Average days on market = 70 (94)
- Properties sold for an average of 98% of asking price (96%)
- Median price of $360,000 ($380,000)
Watertown Single Family Sales – Jan-Sept 2012 (2011)
- Total sold: 66 (65 )
- Sale prices ranged from $203,000 – $1,063,000 ($240,000 – $1,250,000)
- Median price: $420,500 ($430,000)
- Average days on market: 59 (68)
- On average, houses sold for 97% of asking price (97% )
Watertown Condo Sales – Jan-Sept 2012 (2011)
- Total sold: 168 (120)
- Sale prices ranged from $116,000 – $850,000 ($163,100 - $1,435,000)
- Median price: $326,500 ($326,875)
- Average days on market: 81 (110)
- On average, condos sold for 97% of asking price (96%)
Watertown Multi-Family Sales – Jan-Sept 2012 (2011)
- Total sold: 41 (55)
- Sale prices ranged from $245,000 – $710,000 ($296,000 – $667,500)
- Median price: $528,000 ($497,000)
- Average days on market: 42 (91)
- On average, multi-unit houses sold for 99% of asking price (96% )
Info about the Watertown MA real estate market in 2012 (2011) from MLSpin
Looking for something to do this weekend? There are some super events scheduled for Saturday – which leaves Sunday free for real estate open houses if you’re so inclined. Here are a few of my favorites:
Need some ideas for renovating your kitchen? You can visit eight beautiful kitchens in Concord on the Concord Kitchen Tour 2012 held on Saturday, September 29th from 10:30 am to 3 pm. If you want more you can check out the CentersAndSquare’s schedule of upcoming house tours in Massachusetts.
Did you know that the lunchbox favorite, Marshmallow Fluff, had Somerville roots? Somerville resident Archibald Query invented the spread and sold it door to door before selling his formula to two Lynn businessmen who brought Fluff nationwide. Somerville’s tribute to Query’s invention, the annual Fluff Festival, in all its wacky wonderfulness is scheduled for this Saturday, September 29th in Union Square from 3 pm to 7 pm.
Local history buffs will want to check out Cambridgeport History Day on Saturday, September 29th from noon to 5 pm. There’s a tour, musket firings, activities in Dana Park and my favorite – neighbor-created If This House Could Talksigns posted outside houses along Cambridgeport streets. Pick up a list of signs at the booth in Dana Park and stroll the streets for a fun way to find out more about the old houses that line this Cambridge neighborhood’s blocks.
74 years ago people all over New England were greeted by scenes likes the one at right. The Hurricane of ’38 slammed into New England on September 21, 1938. The devastating storm killed over 700 people in New York and New England and town after town, including Cambridge, suffered enormous damage from the violent storm.
My dad grew up on Brookline Street in Cambridgeport near the B.U. Bridge. He and other neighborhood boys, aged about 7 – 12, were outside in the early part of the storm, gathered by the Stop and Shop on Brookline Street.
When a large tree fell in the field that’s now the site of the Morse School, the policeman outside the Stop and Shop advised the kids to head home.
Not five minutes later the enormous Stop and Shop sign blew off, hitting the policeman, who barely survived his injuries.
Shortly after he arrived home my grandmother asked my dad to look outside and see if there was any damage in the front yard. Leaves filled the window when my dad looked out – a large maple tree in the front yard had fallen on the house. Not long after a poplar tree in the back yard fell on Billy Harris’s house at 1-3 Rockingham Place. Both houses survived unscathed.
Not so for the Keene, New Hampshire house I lived in during the 1990s. That’s it in the photo above. The woman I bought it from described cowering in the pantry with her parents during the 1938 hurricane which caused extensive damage in Keene and nearby towns. The tree at the corner of the yard fell on the house, knocking off the chimney and part of the second floor. The house across the street was split in half by another large tree and similar scenes could be found all over town.
If you were in New England 74 years ago chances are your memories of the Hurricane of 1938 are still vivid. If you missed the big hurricane you can still get an idea of power of the storm from images on old postcards, newspapers, booklets and scrapbooks that you’ll come upon in local antique stores. I discovered the photo of my 44 Union Street house in a booklet about the hurricane I found at an antiques shop.
New to the market, 369 Franklin Street Unit 101 in Cambridge offers a rare combination – a condo in a modern elevator building with its own exclusive use yard and patio.
After looking for several months with a Cambridge real estate buyer this year, I know how difficult it is to find a modern Cambridge condo with *any* outdoor space – even a small balcony to call your own. 369 Franklin Unit 101 is truly exceptional with sliders from the living room to a private patio and a yard space that extends the depth of the building.
Inside, the condo has one bedroom plus a second that’s been converted to an office with a beautiful built-in desk. The condo has bamboo floors, central air conditioning, in-unit laundry, a garage parking space, and a kitchen with Corian counters, a gas stove, and plenty of cabinets. The building is extremely energy efficient and has an elevator and a small penthouse exercise room with a great Boston skyline view. It’s a pet friendly building with one household pet allowed and a second with trustee approval.
Listed at $489,000 by Elizabeth Bolton – that’s me! – 369 Franklin Street Unit 101 can be shown by appointment or at several open houses this week. Call me for more information at 617-504-1737 or click on the Contact button above to send me an email.
In honor of the beautiful blue moon tonight I’ve put together a slide show of blue houses from Cambridge and nearby.
What’s a blue moon? It’s official definition is the third full moon in a season with four full moons (instead of three). It’s also been defined as the second full moon in a month. There was a full moon on the first day of August and now we have another on the last day. We won’t have another blue moon until 2015.
Blue houses aren’t too common either in our neck of the woods but over the years I’ve found a number. Here, in a variety of architectural styles, are some blue houses for a blue moon:
Elizabeth Bolton is a real estate agent in Cambridge, MA and a lover of houses in all styles and colors.