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.

Back on the Bus

Bus Service Only for Weekend Red Line Commuters

Bus Service Only for Weekend Red Line Commuters

It’s time to get back on the bus – the shuttle bus that is if you’re heading into or out of North Cambridge over the next few weekends.

The MBTA is again doing repairs on the Red Line tracks between the Harvard and Alewife stations.  Red Line service between Harvard Square and Alewife will be provided by shuttle buses on the next few weekends.

So if you need to go beyond Harvard Square or get on the T at Alewife, Davis or Porter Square you’ll be taking the shuttle bus instead.

Weekend shuttle bus service will run between Harvard and Alewife on November 24-25 and December 1-2, 2012.  The work scheduled for the weekend of December 8-9, 2012 has been postponed and the subway will be running this weekend.  The City of Cambridge website has more info here.

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Vintage Wallpaper

I love old wallpaper.  In fact, I’ve bought three houses because of – at least in part – their vintage wallpaper.  It’s one of those features that rings bells for me.

When houses that haven’t been updated for years change hands it’s only a matter of time before the vintage wallpaper is no more.

20 Vincent Street in Cambridge is a beautiful multi-family that was on the market for a few days recently before receiving multiple offers.  The house had fabulous vintage wallpaper in almost every room.

Chances are that wallpaper is not long for this world.  So let’s memorialize it here with this slideshow.

Vintage wallpaper in Cambridge multi-family

Vintage wallpaper in Cambridge multi-family

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Look Who’s Coming To Dinner

President Obama at Thanksgiving Dinner

President Obama at Thanksgiving Dinner

 

The table is set.  The turkey’s in the oven.  Thanksgiving dinner will soon be served.

The first guest has arrived.   Actually he’s been the backdrop to our celebrations for close to four years – and he’ll be here for four more!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!

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The Last Cupcake

The Last Hostess Cupcake

The Last Hostess Cupcake

No more Hostess Cupcakes?  Say it’s not so!  Word that Hostess was shutting down and halting production caused runs on local groceries and convenience stores this weekend.  Sentimental shoppers, stunned by the thought of never again getting their favorite snack foods, cleared store shelves of all things Hostess. 

And don’t think because the box says “Drake’s” that your favorite lunchbox treat is safe – Hostess owns Drake’s too.

What does a life without Hostess mean?

No more Hostess Cupcakes
No more Donettes
No more Twinkies
No more Devil Dogs
No more Ding Dongs
No more Yodels
No more Wonder Bread

Aach!! What are we gonna eat for dessert?  What’s going to go in the lunchbox?  Heck – forget the lunchbox – what about our special plastic Hostess Cupcake and Twinkie-shaped containers – never to be filled again.

Hostess Cupcakes with a glass of cold milk were the dessert in my imaginary “last meal.”  A package of powdered Donettes and a Diet Coke was the snack I’d pick up when I was on the road.  In high school, attacks of the munchies were sated with Twinkies.  I can still remember the field trip we took to the Hostess Factory when I was in elementary school.  And any trip to the Natick Mall was enhanced by the amazing smell of Wonder Bread baking in the nearby factory.

I hope you managed to find your favorites before the shelves were bare – and if not, there’s always Craigslist or ebay for a few more weeks.  Courtesy of my brother Andy I scored five Hostess Cupcakes and two packages of Donettes – or Donette Gems as I’ve always called them.  I’ll savor each sugary bite.

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Price Per Square Foot In Cambridge

One57 In NYC

One57 In NYC is Selling for $6,500 Per Square Foot

A recent line in the New York Times caught my eye the other day.  It seems that the average price per square foot for a condo at One57 in Manhattan – aka the Billionaires Building – aka the building-with-the-collapsed-crane – is $6,500.  $6,500 to own a square foot of New York City.  Yowza!  Turns out that that’s not the most expensive real estate in NYC – I found at least one reference to a sale for twice that or $13,000 per square foot.

What’s the highest price per square foot in Cambridge I wondered?

In the last three years only four buildings in Cambridge commanded a price per square foot of more than $1,000.  Only 14 properties of the 2,556 condos or houses – just over 1/2 of 1% – sold in Cambridge sold for more than $1,000 per square foot in the last three years.   The buildings with the highest price per square foot in Cambridge are:

University Green at 130 Mount Auburn Street (3 condos sold)

The Esplanade at 75-83 Cambridge Parkway (3 condos sold)

The Residences at Charles Square at 975 Memorial Drive (7 condos sold)

1010 Memorial Drive (1 co-op sold)

These Cambridge buildings that command the highest price per square foot are all full-service luxury buildings.  Three of the four are on the Charles River.  University Green and Charles Square are right in Harvard Square.

For these 14 Cambridge properties, the price per square foot ranged from $1,003 to $1,516.  That’s the top price you’ll pay in Cambridge but in NYC it’s an average price – or more precisely the median price – which ranged from $1,129 to $1,592 per square foot in New York City’s most expensive neighborhoods.  In Cambridge, a relative bargain by New York City standards,  this year the median price per square foot for condos was approximately $468.

When you search for properties that have sold for more than $1,000 per square foot in Cambridge in the last few years your search will return only condos and co-ops.  You have to search further back to find any houses that sold at this price point.  Two single family houses, one in 2003 and one in 2006, sold for more than $1,000 per square foot.  Both were in the Brattle Street neighborhood of West Cambridge.  A couple of other houses commanded a price per square foot in this range but the price was clearly based on the land, not the structure.

Wondering what’s for sale in Cambridge’s most expensive buildings?  Here are condos currently listed for $750,000+

Photo of the collapsed crane at One57 courtesy of Sarah_Ackerman.

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2012 Election Results

2012 Election Results

2012 Election Results

I think it’s fascinating to compare how towns and cities vote so here are the 2012 election results for Centers and Squares territory as compared to results for the state vote overall.  And what about home town advantage?  Elizabeth Warren lives in Cambridge and Mitt Romney’s from Belmont.

Though the percentages varied, election results in Arlington, Belmont, Cambridge, Medford, Somerville and Watertown aligned with  state-wide results with Obama and Elizabeth Warren winning in each town or city in our neck of the woods. 

There were three ballot questions that appeared on every town or city’s ballot.  We voted for flexibility in car repairs (Question 1) and in favor of medical marijuana (Question 3), questions that passed state-wide.  Question #2, to allow physicians to prescribe medication to the terminally ill to end life, failed state-wide by 51-49% but passed in every Centers and Squares municipality except for Medford.

In Somerville, Question 4,  a vote to adopt the Community Preservation Act, passed by a large margin.

For more information check out each city or town’s website.  Here are the preliminary 2012 election results:

Massachusetts 2012 Election Results:

Obama 61%    Romney 38%
Warren 54%  Brown 46%

Question #1 “Right to Repair” passed 85% to 15%
Question #2 “Die with Dignity” failed 51% to 49%
Question #3 Medical Marijuana passed 63% to 37%

Arlington 2012 Election Results

Obama: 18,580  72%
Romney: 6,659  26%

Warren: 17,501  68%
Brown: 8,265  32%

Question #1  Yes – 19,668  No – 2,455    Passed 89% to 11%
Question #2  Yes – 14,352  No – 10,648 Passed 57% to 43%
Question #3  Yes – 16,876  No – 7,961     Passed 68% to 32%

Belmont 2012 Election Results

Obama:  9,108    65%
Romney: 4,728  34% 

Warren: 8,480  60%
Brown: 5,577     40%

Question #1  Yes – 10,662  No – 1,565   Passed 87% to 13%
Question #2  Yes – 7,622  No – 5,853     Passed 57% to 43%
Question #3  Yes – 8,883  No – 4,592     Passed 66% to 34%

Cambridge 2012 Election Results

Obama:  41,991   86%
Romney: 5,340   11% 

Warren: 41,127  85%
Brown:  7,463     15%

Question #1  Yes – 35,841  No – 4,716     Passed 88% to 12%
Question #2  Yes – 30,909 No – 14,639   Passed 68% to 32%
Question #3  Yes – 36,063  No – 9,564     Passed 79% to 21%

Medford 2012 Election Results

Obama:  18,613   68%
Romney: 8,294   30% 

Warren: 16,808  61%
Brown:  10,580    39%

Question #1  Yes – 12,705  No – 1,666     Passed 86% to 14%
Question #2  Yes – 12,588 No – 13,445    Failed 52% to 48%
Question #3  Yes – 16,678 No – 9,070     Passed 65% to 35%

Somerville 2012 Election Results

Obama:  28,467   82%
Romney: 4,865   14% 

Warren: 27,412  80%
Brown:  7,038      20%

Question #1  Yes – 26,787  No – 4,486    Passed 86% to 14%
Question #2  Yes – 21,210  No – 11,904  Passed 64% to 36%
Question #3  Yes – 25,733 No – 7,357     Passed 78% to 22%

Question #4 – Community Preservation Act  Yes – 24,358  No – 7,714  Passed 68% to 32%

Watertown  2012 Election Results

Obama:  11,878   71%
Romney: 4,516   27% 

Warren: 10,773  64%
Brown:  5,938      36%

Question #1  Yes – 12,705  No – 1,666   Passed 88% to 12%
Question #2  Yes – 8,821  No – 7,080     Passed 55% to 45%
Question #3  Yes – 10,884  No – 4,921   Passed 69% to 31%

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We Met At an Open House

Open House Cat

Open House Cat

 

 

He’s just so amazing I had to share.

 

We met at an open house a couple of weeks ago. 

 

I’m a bit of a cat whisperer and he was shy at first, hiding under the bed. 

 

We Met In Cambridge

We Met In Cambridge

I got him to come out and when I complimented him and told him how handsome he was  he just preened.

He loved to be patted but when you pat him his skin wrinkles.  Eeek! 

Who knew this is what cats look like under all that luscious fur?  There’s something beautiful about him though in all his bare skinned skinnyness.

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Voting Hours in Massachusetts

Polls are open for voting in Massachusetts from 7 am to 8 pm

Polls are open for voting in Massachusetts on Election Day from 7 am to 8 pm

Voting Hours in Massachusetts

It all comes down to this.  Months of political chatter, the hours and hours of political TV that are the backdrop in my house every night, debates, rallies, phonecalls, tweets, fundraisers – it all comes to an end tomorrow when we vote.

It always boggles my mind that it all comes down to what happens on just one day – Election Day.  The tension and excitement is almost unbearable.

Make sure you get out and vote tomorrow.  Voting hours in Massachusetts are from 7 am to 8 pm.

See you at the polls!

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