Centers And Squares
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 couldn’t help but think of the Esplanade condos in Cambridge when I read on the front page of today’s Boston Globe about the upcoming auction of condos at the Nouvelle in Natick.
The Nouvelle condominiums are the luxury condos built as part of the reworking of the Natick Mall into a luxury mall, the Natick Collection. I haven’t visited the mall yet – I just can’t wrap my head around it since the good old Natick Mall (and its next-door neighbor -now gone - the very cool Shopper’s World) was “my mall” when I was a kid.
Unfortunately for the condo project, the recession, the real estate slow down, and also perhaps the pulling back from conspicuous consumption caused sales to slump.
Owners who did buy condos at market rates should take heart however.
The last slow down in real estate, in the early 1990s, also resulted in auctions of luxury condos. In Cambridge, unsold condominiums at the newly built luxury building, the Esplanade at 75-83 Cambridge Parkway, were sold at auction in 1991.
It’s always hard for us to imagine what real estate values will be in the future. I’m sure that early buyers at the Esplanade were distressed when unsold condos were auctioned. After looking at Esplanade condo values in the years after the auction it would seem that time has healed all wounds. Recent sales in the building have ranged from $435,000 to $1,940,000. The condo that sold for almost 2 million dollars had sold in 1991, the year of the auction, for $540,000. Who would’ve thunk it?!
The month is whizzing by - time to look back and see what Arlington Home Sales looked like in August 2009.
Arlington Massachusetts On Market Snapshot
On August 31, 2009 there were 98 homes on the market in Arlington priced between $179,000 and $1,095,000. Average days on market was 93.
Homes Sold in Arlington in August 2009
60 homes sold in Arlington last month. In August the average sales price was $435,286 and the median sales price was $418,800.
33 Arlington single family houses sold in August priced between $299,000 and $799,000. The median price for a single family house sold in August was $510,000. Average days on market was 48. Houses sold for an average of 99% of list price.
26 Arlington condos sold in August for prices from $136,200 to $577,500. The median price paid for a condo was $341,250. Condominiums sold for an average of 98% of the asking price. Average days on market was 87.
Just one rental property sold in August, a two-family for $410,000.
Home sales in Arlington in August totalled $26,117,170.
Tip O’Neill’s Cambridge Church Last weekend I spent several days watching the coverage of Ted Kennedy – the nonstop coverage (thank you channel 5!) of the funeral and the various documentaries about the Kennedy family – and didn’t have time to read the newspapers. As I was going through the back issues this weekend it occurred to me that the Mission Hill church, Our Lady of Perpetual Help Basilica, will be known for years to come as the church where Teddy Kennedy’s funeral was held.
St. John the Evangelist church on Mass Ave in North Cambridge is similarly remembered to this day as the church where Tip O’Neill’s funeral was held. Some 1700 people attended the January 1994 funeral including Vice President Al Gore, and former Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter.
O’Neill grew up in this North Cambridge neighborhood and raised his family in the Orchard Street neighborhood. He was baptized and married at St. John the Evangelist. O’Neill represented Massachusetts for 34 years in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1953 to 1987 and served as Speaker of the House from 1977 to 1987.
It was great to see this banner in memory of Teddy Kennedy in Tip’s old neighborhood on Orchard Street in Porter Square.
Tip O’Neill’s church is the large yellow brick church at 2254 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge MA 02140.
It’s time to look back at Belmont home sales last month. Here’s the review of Belmont homes sold during August 2009.
On Market Snapshot:
103 homes were listed for sale in Belmont on August 31, 2009 priced between $209,000 and $2,295,000. Homes have been on the market an average of 158 days.
Belmont Homes Sold in August 2009:
36 residential properties sold in Belmont during the month of August. The average sales price was $542,006 and the median sales price was $510,850. Average days on market was 66. Properties sold for an average of 98% of list price.
22 Belmont single family homes sold in August for sale prices ranging from $357,000 to $1,195,000. The median sales price for a single family home was $612,500. Average days on market was 60. In August single family houses in Belmont sold for an average of 98% of asking price.
12 Belmont condos sold in August. Condominiums sold for prices between $219,500 and $463,000. The median condo sales price was $308,000. Condos were on the market an average of 77 days and sold for an average of 98% of asking price.
2 Belmont multi-family properties sold in August 2009 for $715,000 and 741,000. Average days on market was 74. The houses sold for an average of 97% of asking price.
Total residential sales volume for August was $19,512,200.
Check out last month’s Belmont real estate activity here:
Data about homes sold in Belmont MA from MLSpin.
Cornerstone Park, a Cambridge condo building at 2130 Mass Ave in Porter Square, was built in the early 1980s. On the corner of Cogswell Avenue, the building is midway between Porter and Davis Square.
Cambridge real estate buyers looking for modern conveniences, views, and easy access to the Red Line T will find lots to like at Cornerstone Park.
2130 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge MA – Building Features
- Professionally managed 8-story elevator building
- Live-in super
- Function room
- Garage parking and guest parking
- Beautiful large back yard and garden
Cornerstone Park Condos – Unit Features
There are a variety of floor plans in the building. There are two-bedrooms, two-bedrooms with study, and three-bedroom condos. Some are duplex units on two levels. The condos range in size from 1100 to 1300 sq.ft.
- Wood burning fireplace in many of the units
- Central air conditioning
- In-unit washer and dryer in many of the condos
- Many units have two full baths, some have 2.5 baths
- Oak parquet floors
Recent Real Estate Sales at Cornerstone Park
A 7th floor 2-bedroom, 2-bath condo, 1283 sq.ft. sold for $450,000 in 2008
A 7th floor, 2-bedroom, 2-bath condo, 1143 sq.ft. sold for $459,000 in 2009
If you would like more information about the condo market in Cambridge or would like some help with your search give Liz Bolton a call at 617-504-1737 or click here to email Liz .
Here’s our once a month look back at the Watertown real estate market - August 2009.
Watertown Homes on the Market
115 residential properties were listed for sale in Watertown on August 31, 2009. Asking prices ranged from $179,900 to $1,395,000. Average days on market was 126.
Watertown MA Real Estate Sales in August 2009
Total Watertown residential real estate sales volume closed in August was $$15,619,900
NECN had a segment the other morning on a new book about Harvard Square – Harvard Square: An Illustrated History Since 1950. As soon as the segment ended I called Porter Square Books and reserved two copies, one for myself and one for my parents.
My dad grew up in Cambridge and one story that’s regularly retold in my family is how he and his high school friends in the late 1940s would jump in their cars, drive to the Square, pull up and park, and go in for a bite to eat at the cafeteria, Albiani’s, on Mass Ave. The reason the story tickled our funny bones was how far fetched we would all find it – how could they have found three or four empty parking spots all in a row? Different time for sure.
My mother became a fan of the Square in the 70s when we would take the train in from the burbs to shop and take in the sights. The book, with its coverage through the decades, had something for all of us.
Harvard Square: An Illustrated History Since 1950 by Mo Lotman
Measuring 12″ by 10″ and 240 pages long this is a *big* and beautiful book jam packed with photographs. When I heard about it I thought it would simply be a collection of photographs – and if it were only that it would be fascinating. Lotman has dug deep for the photos in the book – in archives and in amateur photographers’ personal collections. It’s an amazing look at Harvard Square through the decades.
But the book isn’t just a photography book – it’s much more. It’s all about what makes this such a special place – the people, the politics, the shops, the restaurants, the buildings – it’s a rich tapestry and a wonderful record of the last 60 years Cambridge-style. Streetscapes, interior views, ephemera, news photos – you name it – it’s all here in chock-a-block full, endlessly fascinating pages.
The book is organized by decades and pictures are both dated and annotated to direct you to other views or info about the same scene. Thankfully there’s an index – you’ll be tempted to take a quick look to see if the places you remember are included here. I checked to see if one of my favorite teenage haunts – Dazzle - was in the book – yes – and was delighted to find four references to one of my regular stops, Reading International. And for my Dad, Albiani’s is in one of the full page photographs that open the book. There’s so much here that will bring back your favorite Harvard Square memories.
Harvard Square: An Illustrated History Since 1950 is the ideal coffee table book since everyone who spots it will be tempted to pore through its pages. It’s the perfect gift for anyone who’s ever lived in or spent time in Cambridge.
Author Mo Lotman will be at the Harvard Coop on September 12, 2009 to discuss the book and sign copies as part of the “Bookish Ball”. The book’s official launch will be held at Club Passim, 47 Palmer Street in Cambridge on September 15, 2009 from 7 pm to midnight.
Once a month we look back at the real estate market activity in Somerville. Here’s how it shaped up in August 2009.
Somerville Real Estate Market – Properties for Sale
217 residential properties were on the market in Somerville on August 31, 2009, 40 fewer than were for sale just one month ago. Properties were priced between $144,900 and $1,600,000. The average days on market was 122.
Somerville Real Estate Sales in August 2009
90 residential properties sold in Somerville during August 2009. The average sales price was $372,189. The median sales price was $349,450. Properties were on the market an average of 80 days.
9 single family homes sold in August for prices that ranged from $162,000 to $426,500. The median sales price was $335,000. Somerville single family homes sold in August for an average of 98% of list price. Average days on market was 56.
60 Somerville condos sold in August for sale prices between $145,000 and $700,000. The median condo sales price was $327,450. The average days on market was 75. In August condos sold for an average of 98% of the asking price.
21 multi-family properties sold in August for prices ranging from $220,000 to $685,000. The median sales price in August was $425,000. Multi-unit houses sold for an average of 98% of asking price. Average days on market was 102.
Total Somerville closed residential sales volume in August was $33,497,051.
Information about Somerville real estate market activity from MLSPIN
If you’d like help with your Somerville real estate search please give me a call at 617-504-1737 or contact me by email.