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.
Here’s the last market report for July - The Somerville Real Estate Market - July 2009.
Somerville Real Estate Market – Homes for Sale
257 residential properties were on the market in Somerville on July 31, 2009, 25 fewer than a month ago. Properties were priced between $105,000 and $1,600,000. The average days on market was 124.
Somerville Real Estate Sales in July 2009
79 residential properties sold in Somerville during the month of July. The average sales price was $404,843. The median sales price was $366,800. The average days on market was 60.
6 single family homes sold in July for prices between $267,500 and $1,100,000. The median sales price was $404,000. Somerville single family homes sold in July for an average of 92% of list price. Average days on market was 92.
56 Somerville condos sold in July for sales prices between $88,200 and $667,000. The median condo sales price was $364,500. The average days on market was 57. Condos sold in July for an average of 98% of list price.
17 multi-family properties sold in July for prices ranging from $224,900 to $673,500. The median sales price in July was $476,000. Multi-unit houses sold for an average of 98% of asking price. Average days on market was 57.
Total Somerville closed residential sales volume in July was $31,982,625.
Information about Somerville real estate market activity from MLSPIN
While on the What Style Is It? architecture tour during Cambridge Discovery Days we came across this excellent example of a Greek Revival door style on Brattle Street in Cambridge Massachusetts.
The Greek Revival period in American architecture dates from about 1825 to 1860. This house was built in 1852.
What appears to be the original door provides an example of some of the most common features of Greek Revival door styles:
- There is a full transom window across the top
- Sidelights flank the door
- Plain columns support the classic entablature – the overhang above the door
- The door itself has four panels
- two longs panels above, two short panels below
- Greek Revival doors also included single panel or two panel styles
- Sometimes doors were paired
I couldn’t help but snap the photo at right of the door on this red painted Greek Revival house in Arlington. Built in 1848, with what looks like a more recent door, the door frame has the typical sidelights. I had never seen these with shutters before and I’m not certain to when these date. Nifty idea!
For a full illustration of Greek Revival door styles see Virginia and Lee McAlester’s book A Field Guide to American Houses.
It’s that time of the month again – time for a quick look back at the state of the real estate market in Cambridge MA in July 2009:
On Market Snapshot
On July 31, 2009 there were 359 residential properties on the market in Cambridge MA. That’s a significant drop from a month ago when 410 properties were active on the market.
Asking prices ranged from $185,000 to $4,850,000. Average days on market was 121.
Cambridge Real Estate Sales during July 2009
124 residential property sales closed in Cambridge during July - the second month in a row where closed sales increased more than 25% over the previous month’s closings. The average sales price was $571,333. The median sales price was $442,000. Average days on market was 68.
19 single family homes sold in July priced from $366,700 to $3,746,000. Houses that sold had been on the market for an average of 68 days and sold for an average of 98% of asking price.
101 condos sold in July in Cambridge. Wow! Sales prices ranged from $200,000 to $1,400,000. The median condo sales price in July was $420,000. Condominiums sold for an average of 98% of the asking price and were on the market an average of 70 days.
4 Cambridge multi-family houses sold in July 2009 for sale prices from $676,500 to $1,000,000. The median sales price was $797,500. Average days on market was 27.
Total closed residential real estate sales volume in Cambridge in July was $70,845,340.
Information from MLSpin.
Last month’s numbers:
Live In a Renovated School – Medford Schoolhouse Condos Old brick school buildings make beautiful condos. Large windows, high ceilings, wide hallways, and wonderful original detail make for dramatic spaces. Medford Massachusetts has a great selection of converted schoolhouse condominiums. The old High School was converted to condos in the 1980s and several years ago the City of Medford retired several elementary schools that are now condo buildings. Here’s the scoop on condos in schools in Medford and links to search the MLS for currently available units.
The Gleason School - 160 Playstead Road
This school was converted in 2006 to just eight large units ranging in size from approx. 1200 to 2800 sq.ft. There are flats and multi-level units with two to four bedrooms. The building has an expansive, park-like yard with a common patio. Located in West Medford with the commuter rail station – just one stop to Boston! – right down the street. Market rate units sold for $439,000 to $599,000.
The Swan School – 75 Park Street
The Swan School, at the corner of Park and Washington Street, was converted to 15 renovated schoolhouse condominiums in 2006. There are flats and multi-level units all with beautiful finishes. Features include oak floors, central air conditioning, gas fireplaces, two parking spaces, an elevator, and basement storage. Units range from 1000+ to over 3700 sq.ft. with two to four bedrooms. Sales prices ranged from $450,000 to $585,000.
The Franklin School – 68 Central Avenue
The Franklin School, at the corner of Farragut Avenue, was converted to twenty condos in 2006 ranging in size from about 900 to 2000 sq.ft. Most condos have two bedrooms and two baths. Amenities include private storage room, an elevator, two parking spaces, central A/C, and maple cabinets, granite counters, and stainless steel appliances in the kitchens. Units on the first floor have private patios.
The Hervey School – 122 Sharon Street – 51 Holton Street
Yet another one of the recent schoolhouse conversions, the Hervey School is in West Medford near the Mystic River. The eight units range in size from approx. 1000 to 2600 sq.ft. Each unit has two parking spaces, there’s storage outside the unit and an exercise room. Condos in the Hervey School have sold between $369,000 and $476,000 for market rate units.
The Medford High School Condos – 48 – 64 Forest Street
The original Medford schoolhouse conversion, the old Medford High School in Medford Square has over 100 condos. Condos range from two-room units to large, loft-like 2000 sq.ft. units. There’s garage or outdoor parking, central air conditioning, elevators, tennis courts, sauna, and best of all – a beautiful indoor pool. In the last two years homes here have sold for prices between $162,000 to $256,150.
More Schoolhouse Conversions on the Way
The Kennedy-Lincoln School at 215 Harvard Street is under renovation as I write. New townhouses have been constructed and the second phase will include condos in the renovated school building. The project is being marketed by Doug Rae of Hammond Residential. There is also talk of converting the Fulton School in Fulton Heights to condominiums.
If you’d like to live in a renovated school – call Liz Bolton for more information about Medford schoolhouse condos. Liz is a real estate agent at Coldwell Banker and can be reached at 617-504-1737.
I think of fences as house parts since it’s the whole package we fall in love with when a house catches our eye. And a fence is often the first thing someone sees when they walk up to your house.
If you’re trying to decide on a style, Cambridge is great for getting ideas – you’ll find all styles of handsome or charming fences here – from the modest to the elaborate or fanciful. Most are made of wood – believe me you won’t be seeing any plastic on these pages – from picket fences to grander versions, some vintage cast iron can be found as well as ones that use granite for posts or bases.
There are a couple of popular companies in our area if you’re thinking of adding a border at the street or want to enclose your yard:
Walpole Woodworkers‘ exquisite work can be spotted along Brattle Street and elsewhere in Cambridge.
W.J. McDonough Fence has done a couple of fences for me and does very nice work
Here’s a gallery of local fences and walls:
Time for another market report – here’s a look at the July 2009 Belmont MA Real Estate Market.
On Market Snapshot:
97 homes were listed for sale in Belmont on July 31, 2009. The least expensive was listed for $209,000 and the highest asking price was $2,345,000. The average days on market was 158.
Belmont Real Estate Sales in July:
34 residential properties sold in Belmont during July. The average sales price was $668,121 and the median sales price was $592,500. Average days on market was 105. Houses sold for an average of 98% of list price.
24 Belmont single family homes sold in July for sale prices ranging from $400,000 to $1,365,000. The median sales price for a single family home was $657,500. Average days on market was 105. Single family houses in Belmont sold for an average of 97% of asking price in July.
7 Belmont condos sold in July. Condominiums sold in a wide price range with sale prices between $260,000 and $1,175,000. The median condo sales price was $409,500. Average days on market was 111. Condos sold for an average of 99% of asking price.
3 Belmont multi-family properties sold in July 2009 for $525,000, $555,000 and $565,000. Average days on market was 87. Multi-families sold in July for an average of 97% of asking price.
Total residential sales volume for July was $22,716,100.
Check out last month’s Belmont real estate activity here:
Data about Belmont MA real estate market activity for July 2009 data from MLSpin.
Another page pulled from the calendar – time to look back at the Medford real estate market in July 2009.
On Market Snapshot
On July 31, 2009 147 residential properties were on the market in Medford Massachusetts, down from 160 a month ago. Asking prices ranged from $139,900 to $1,200,000. Average days on market was 129. The median price of homes for sale in Medford was $369,000.
Real Estate Sales in Medford MA in July 2009
42 properties sold in Medford in July with an average sales price of $333,359. The median sales price was $337,500. The average days on market was 96. In July homes sold for an average of 96% of asking price.
23 Medford single family homes sold in July for sale prices from $173,000 to $501,000. The median sales price for a single family home was $344,444. Average days on market was 90. Single family houses sold for an average of 100% of asking price.
12 condos sold in Medford in July for sales prices from $195,000 to $390,000. The median condo sales price was $286,250. Condominiums sold for an average of 98% of the asking price. The average days on market was 100.
7 multi-families sold in July in Medford MA for sales prices between $285,000 and $450,000. Multi-family homes sold for an average of 94% of list price. Average days on market was 110. The median sales price was $365,000.
Total Medford residential real estate sales volume closed in July was $14,001,077.
Medford MA Real Estate Sales in June 2009
SEARCH FOR PROPERTIES FOR SALE IN MEDFORD MASS
Information about the Medford real estate market in July 2009 was based on data from MLSpin
Buying a House or Condo in Cambridge – What to Bring to the Closing The big day is almost here – you’re buying real estate in Cambridge – your first house, a new condo – congratulations!
What Do I Need To Bring To The Closing?
A limber wrist is probably the most important thing to bring to your real estate closing – there’s a reason the closing is often referred to as “passing papers”. Nowadays at a Massachusetts real estate closing there’s a large stack of papers getting passed around the table between buyers, sellers, and attorneys.
Seriously though, here are the things you need to remember to bring with you:
A bank check – also called a certified check or cashier’s check. The check for the amount of money you’re bringing to the closing can’t be a personal check – the bank requires cleared funds. The bank attorney’s office will let you know the amount of the check a day or two before the closing. If the figure for the check still hasn’t been determined sometimes they’ll give you an estimate and either you or the attorney will write a check for the difference at the closing. Typically, you’ll be instructed to have the check made out to yourself and then you’ll sign the check over at the table.
Don’t forget to arrange for access to your funds for the closing. If you need to move money around it’s best to do it well in advance of the day of your sale. You may choose to have your bank wire the money but this too needs to be arranged in advance. The bank attorney’s office will be able to give you wiring instructions.
Photo ID. You are required to present photo identification at the closing – a driver’s license or a passport is what people usually bring. It’s a good idea to have a second form of identification as well since every so often a bank asks for a second form of ID.
Your checkbook. It’s not uncommon for a personal check to be needed for some miscellaneous expense or recalculation. Nowadays more and more people don’t carry a checkbook but you should be sure to pop one in your bag just in case.
An hour or two at the table and you’ll be the happy owners of a new house or condo. Congratulations!
Buying A House Or Condo In Cambridge – What To Bring To The Closing by Elizabeth Bolton, a Cambridge real estate agent at Coldwell Banker, 171 Huron Avenue, Cambridge MA.