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.

Medford MA Friends of the Library Book Sale

Book SalesLocal book sales are an excellent way to pick up good books for little money while supporting your local library at the same time.

I became an aficionado of book sales for a while when I dabbled in reselling books online.  Nothing like a bit of packing and shipping and standing in line at the post office to remind me of how much I love selling real estate.

Nevertheless I did spend quite a few evenings or early mornings at local book sales and highly recommend them as a way to augment your library on the cheap.

The Medford MA Friends of the Library will be hosting a book sale at the Medford Public Libary at 111 High Street, Medford, Massachusetts.  The sale will take place on:

  • Saturday, May 16, 2009 from 9 am to 3 pm
  • Sunday, May 17, 2009 from 2 pm to 5 pm
  • Friends of the Library members’ preview sale on May 15, 2009 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm.

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When she’s not buying books, Elizabeth Bolton is a real estate agent in Cambridge MA serving buyers and sellers in Arlington, Belmont, Cambridge, Medford, Somerville, Watertown and nearby communities.

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Graduation Dates – 2009 College Commencements in Cambridge and Boston

Graduation DayIt’s college commencement season. The colleges around Cambridge and Boston play a large role in making the city such a lively and vibrant place to be.  And nothing’s more exciting than graduation day.  It’s always fun to spot new grads in their robes accompanied by proud family members. 

And if you’re not lucky to attend the commencement you can’t help but hope to catch a glimpse of the honored guest here to provide words of wisdom to the new grads – Larry Bird, Smokey Robinson, Matt Lauer, Gwen Ifill, Ted Koppel and Steven Speilberg are among those scheduled to speak this year or to receive honorary degrees.

Boston and Cambridge hotels will be full. Soon after, the last of the UHauls will pull away from curbs lined with discarded furniture.  The summer is a quieter time in Cambridge and Boston – there are parking spaces to be found, the lines for brunch are shorter, and the subway’s not quite as crowded.

So when are the 2009 graduation ceremonies?

Cambridge Commencements

Saturday, May 16, 2009.  Lesley University Commencement. Speakers will include Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot and Arthur creator Marc Brown.

Thursday, June 4, 2009.  Harvard Commencement.  US Energy Secretary Steven Chu will be the principal commencement speaker.  The day before, June 3rd, Matt Lauer (heart be still!) will be the Class Day Speaker.

Friday, June 5, 2009.  MIT Commencement.  Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick will be the guest speaker.

Sunday, June 7, 2009.  Cambridge College Commencement.  Speakers will include Diana Chapman Walsh, former President of Wellesley College and Callie Crossley.

Boston Commencements

Saturday, May 9, 2009.  Berklee College of Music Commencement.  Smokey Robinson will be commencement speaker and Linda Ronstadt is among the honorary degree recipients.

Friday, May 15, 2009.  Simmons College Commencement.  Simmons grad Gwen Ifill will be the undergraduate ceremony speaker.

Sunday, May 17, 2009.  Boston University Commencement.  US Representative Michael Capuano will deliver the commencement address and honorary degree recipients include Larry Bird (my favorite!) and Steven Speilberg.

Sunday, May 17, 2009.  Suffolk University Commencement.  Ted Koppel and Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley will be the speakers.

Monday, May 18, 2009.  Emerson College Commencement.   Blair Underwood will deliver the undergraduate address and US Congressman John Lewis will deliver the graduate address.

Friday, May 29, 2009.  UMass Boston Commencement.   Senator John Kerry will deliver the principal address.

Medford Commencement

Sunday, May 17, 2009.  Tufts University Commencement. Governor Deval Patrick will deliver the commencement address.

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Somerville Real Estate Market Activity – April 2009

Somerville Massachusetts Real EstateThe April real estate  sales numbers are in – here’s the April 2009 Somerville real estate market report.

Somerville Real Estate Market Snapshot

 255 residential properties were on the market in Somerville on April 30, 2009.  The lowest priced property was listed for $125,000, the most expensive for $1,600,000. Average days on market was 107.

Inventory is up from last month when 217 properties were on the market on March 31st.  It’s not unusual for new inventory to outpace sales during the height of the spring market as many sellers choose to list their homes for sale during the busy spring months.  Inventory is still down on an annual basis – there were 332 residential properties on the market a year ago in Somerville

Somerville Real Estate Sales in April 2009

34 properties sold (closed) in Somerville during April with an average sales price of $429,603.  The median sales price was $402,750.  Average days on market was 119.

Four single family sales closed in April for prices ranging from $190,000 to $533,000.  The average sales price for a Somerville single family house sold in April was $365,875.  Single family houses in Somerville sold for an average of 91% of asking price.  Average days on market was 50. 

Fourteen condominiums sold in April. The least expensive condominium sold for $100,000.  The most expensive condo sold in April closed for $525,000.  The median condo sales price was $387,000.  The average days on market was 108.  Somerville condos sold for an average of 96% of list price.

Sixteen multi-family property sales closed in April, twice as many as closed in March. The lowest sale price for a multi-family was $280,000.  The highest price paid was $835,000. The median sales price was $534,000. Multi-families sold for an average of 97% of list price.  Average days on market was 146.

Total Somerville closed residential sales volume in April was $14,606,500.

 See Also:

Somerville MA Real Estate Market Activity – January 2009
Somerville MA Real Estate Market Activity – February 2009
Somerville Real Estate Market Activity – March 2009

 

Search for Somerville Real Estate

Somerville real estate sales data from MLSpin.

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Cambridge on the Silver Screen – Movies Filmed In Cambridge

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Love Story Locale? Corner of Harvard Street and Inman Street in Cambridge

A number of movies have been filmed in Cambridge Massachusetts.  It’s always fun to see familiar buildings or favorite locations on the big screen.  The older the film the more fun it is too see vintage Cambridge street scenes.

Paul Sherman’s book Big Screen Boston is the best source for information about movies filmed in Massachusetts and the source for most of the info in this post. It’s an exhaustive reference for Massachusetts movie lovers with lots more detail about local scenes in the movies and a must have for your bookshelf.

Movies Filmed In Cambridge

If you want to host a Filmed In Cambridge Film Fest here are some movies with Cambridge scenes:

Between the Lines (1977) My favorite of the bunch, this movie about an independent weekly based on The Real Paper has some great local scenes including the Suffolk Franklin Savings Bank in Copley Square where I once worked.  There are a number of Cambridge locales too including Harvard Square and Cheapo Records in Central Square.

Blown Away (1994) was set in Boston but there are some Cambridge cameos including the Harvard-Epworth Church and MIT

The Bostonians (1984) This Merchant Ivory film includes two Cambridge houses as homes to characters in the film – the Longfellow House and a house on Pemberton Street in North Cambridge.

The Dark End of the Street (1981) Set in the Cambridge projects this movie was young Ben Affleck’s debut film.

The Dozens (1980) was an indie film about a female ex-con set in Cambridge.  I like the earlier movies for glimpses of the Cambridge I remember or never knew.

Gone Baby Gone (2007) was Cambridge’s own Ben Affleck’s directorial debut.  Mount Auburn Cemetery makes an appearance.

Good Will Hunting (1997) Cambridge born Matt Damon and Ben Affleck’s film has Harvard Square scenes.  Remember The Tasty?

The Good Mother (1988) is based on local author Sue Miller’s novel of the same name and includes scenes in Harvard Square and at the 1369 Club.

Harvard Man (2001) Given the title, it’s not surprising that there are a number of Cambridge locales in this movie.

Love Story (1970) is perhaps the most well known Cambridge-based movie.  Though Sherman doesn’t mention it I’ve always heard that the building pictured above is featured in the movie.  Guess it’s time to rent it again to check.

A Small Circle of Friends (1980) has scenes at Harvard and at the Orson Welles Cinema.

 

So – rent some movies, break out the popcorn, and enjoy some Cambridge flashbacks on film.

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House Numbers in Cambridge and Somerville – House Parts We Love

Stick On House NumberHouse numbers are important – ask any Cambridge real estate agent.  As we’re driving around and around the block, craning our neck trying to find the house where we’ve scheduled an appointment, a bright clear house number is just what we want to see.  

House numbers are also critical for emergency personnel.  In fact, the Somerville fire department requires homeowners to have a visible house number in order to get the smoke alarm certificate that’s required in Massachusetts to sell a home.

So if you have to have a house number on your home – why not make it a special one?  Cambridge and Somerville homeowners have personalized their abodes with special house numbers – made of tile, of shiny brass, of polished nickel, in script, on plaques, in gilt on glass, even in one case in colored mesh on a garden gate.

Why would you want to settle for a paste-on sticker like the one above when you could have a stylish or charming house number like one of these?

Somerville and Cambridge House Numbers

 

Here are some sources for house numbers for your Somerville or Cambridge house:

Architectural Numbers by Weston
Brass House Numbers
Tile House Numbers

 Here are some other House Parts We Love:

Shutters With Cutouts
 Decorative Metal Doorknobs

 

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Belmont MA Real Estate Market – April 2009

Belmont Real Estate MarketThe numbers are in – here’s  a  look at Belmont Massachusetts real estate market activity in April 2009. 

Real Estate Inventory in Belmont MA:

110 residential properties were listed for sale in Belmont on April 30, 2009. The lowest priced property was listed for $215,000, the most expensive for $2,595,000. Average days on market was 137.

Closed Real Estate Sales in Belmont MA in April:

19 properties sold (closed) in Belmont during April with an average sales price of $592,758.    Average days on market was 105.  Properties sold for an average of 96% of list price.  More than twice as many residential properties sold in Belmont in April than in March when nine properties sales closed.

7 Belmont single family homes sold in April for prices ranging from $338,500 to $1,595,000.  The median sales price for a single family home was $600,000.  Average days on market was 123.  Single family houses in Belmont sold for an average of 96% of asking price.

8 Belmont condos closed in April.  The lowest price paid for a condo was $293,422. The most expensive condominium sold in April for $990,000.  Average days on market was 84.  Belmont condos sold for 97% of asking price.

4 Belmont multi-family properties sold in April for prices between $440,500 to $660,000.  Average days on market was 115.  Belmont multi-families sold for 95% of list price.

Total residential sales volume for April was $11,262,402.

 Belmont real estate sales data is from MLSpin.

See also:
January 2009 Real Estate Sales in Belmont MA 
February 2009 Real Estate Sales in Belmont MA  
March 2009 Real Estate Sales in Belmont MA

 

belmont-real-estate-search1

 

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Orchard Street – Somerville and Cambridge – Real Estate Rambles

mansard-orchard-streetSomerville and Cambridge real estate buyers have their favorite streets and for many Orchard Street tops the list.  This tree-lined street parallels Mass Avenue and Elm Street and runs from Davis Square to Porter Square.  Just a half mile in length it is one of the most charming streets in Cambridge or Somerville.

From the first time I saw Orchard Street I was determined to live there.  Sure enough, within several months I was living there as a tenant in one of the large brick apartment buildings built in the 1930s.  It was a great place to live – the Davis Square T stop was a few minutes away, the supermarket in Porter Square was a pleasant walk down the sidewalk lined street, and neighbors – and neighbors’ cats – soon became familiar sights along my route.

Houses on Orchard Street

It’s been years since I lived on Orchard Street but it is still one of my favorite streets in the city.  Lined with an eclectic mix of triple deckers, single families and two-families, the architectural mix on Orchard Street includes Victorians, Greek Revivals, multi-families built in the early 1900s and several handsome brick apartment buildings. 

Orchard Street is right on the line between Somerville and Cambridge with part of the street in each city. The brick sidewalks are one giveaway that you’ve crossed into Cambridge.

Orchard Street History

The first lots on Orchard Street were platted in 1845 from former farm land near Beech Street.  The lots were large and the first houses on the street were built in 1846 to 1847.

tip-oneils-house-at-orchard-and-russellTwo Orchard Street houses were once home to one of Massachusetts’ most beloved leaders – Tip O’Neill.  The O”Neill family owned a two-family on Orchard Street where Tip grew up and during his years in the House of Representatives he and his wife raised their family in the mansard on Russell Street at the corner of Orchard that is pictured at right.

Orchard Street – Somerville and Cambridge Real Estate Sales

Recent real estate sales on Orchard Street include:

Orchard Street Real Estate Sales

Somerville and Cambridge real estate sales data from MLSpin.

SEARCH FOR SOMERVILLE REAL ESTATE

SEARCH FOR CAMBRIDGE REAL ESTATE

More real estate rambles: Garfield Street Cambridge

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Watertown Real Estate Market – April 2009

Watertown MassachusettsWondering what’s happening in the Watertown, Massachusetts real estate market?  The numbers are in – here’s a recap of real estate sales in Watertown MA in April 2009.  Keep in mind that sales that closed in April reflect properties that, in most cases, went under agreement some six to eight weeks earlier. 

Real Estate on the Market in Watertown MA

133 residential properties were on the market in Watertown on April 30, 2009. That’s an increase from a month ago when 109 properties were listed for sale in the MLS.  Spring tends to bring the most inventory onto the market.  The lowest priced property was listed for $214,900, the most expensive for $1,395,000. Average days on market was 113. 

Watertown Real Estate Sales in April 2009

21 residential properties sold (closed) in Watertown during April with an average sales price of $373,543.  That’s an increase of 50% from March when 14 sales closed.  The median sales price in April was $380,000. Average days on market was 101.
 
8 Watertown single families sold in April.  The least expensive single family sale was for $283,000.  The highest price paid in April for a Watertown single family was $518,000.  The median price paid was $395,450.  Watertown houses sold for an average of 95% of list price.  Average days on market was 41.
 
11 Watertown condominiums sold in April. The least expensive condominium sold for $212,000.  The most expensive Watertown condo sold in March closed for $495,000.  The median condo sales price was $360,000.  Condos sold for an average of 95% of the asking price.  Average days on market was 148.
 
2 multi-family sales closed in April, for $380,000 and for $425,000.  The multi-families sold for an average of 98% of asking price.  Average days on market was 79. 

 

Total Watertown residential real estate sales volume closed in April was $$7,844,400

 See also:
Watertown MA Real Estate Activity – January 2009
Watertown MA Real Estate Activity – February 2009
Watertown MA Real Estate Activity – March 2009

 

watertown-real-estate

 

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