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.

Arlington Real Estate Market – Real Estate Sales in April 2009

Arlington Massachusetts Real EstateThe Arlington real estate market continues to hum along.  While inventory has increased from last month many properties continue to sell very quickly and more than twice as many properties closed in April than did in March.

Arlington Real Estate Market Statistics for April 2009

Properties Currently on the Market in Arlington Massachusetts

132 residential properties were on the market in Arlington on April 30, 2009. The lowest priced property was listed for $135,000, the most expensive for $1,149,000. Average days on market was 71.

Real Estate Sales in April in Arlington MA

Information about closed residential real estate sales reflects transactions that went under agreement some six to eight weeks before the closing.

28 properties sold (closed) in Arlington during April with an average sales price of $445,846.  The median sales price was $415,500. Average days on market was 77.

13 Arlington single families sold in April.  The least expensive sale was for $380,000. The most expensive house sold for $840,000. The median price for a single family house was $564,000.  Average days on market was 60.  Houses sold for an average of 97% of asking price.

14 condominium sales closed in April. The least expensive condominium sold for $175,000.  The most expensive Arlington condo sold in April closed for $678,000.  The median condo sales price was $319,500.  Condos sold for an average of 98% of the asking price.

multi-family sold in April for $549,000.

Total Arlington residential real estate sales volume closed in April was $12,483,695.

See also:
Arlington Real Estate Sales in January 2009
Arlington Real Estate Sales in February 2009
Arlington Real Estate Sales in March 2009

Information is from MLSpin

 

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New Trader Joes at Fresh Pond in Cambridge – Open Now

new-stores-at-fresh-pond-cambridgeUpdate:  Trader Joe’s at Fresh Pond is open! I’ve yet to drop by but they’ve hung up a huge banner with the hours – they’re open 8 am to 10 pm.  Their phone number is 617-498-3201.

There’s a lot of commercial real estate reshuffling going on at the shopping plaza by the rotary at Fresh Pond in Cambridge.  Several existing stores are moving and leases have been signed for some of the store fronts in the new building that replaced the old Ground Round (formerly a HoJo’s I think).

Newbury Comics has moved across the street to the Whole Foods plaza.  Part of their former building at the back of the lot has been taken down and is being rebuilt.  Kappy’s Liquors will be moving from the back building to a space in the new building.

A new Trader Joe’s will be joining CVS in the refurbished back building.  That’s happy news for those of us at this end of Cambridge. Makes you wonder though – since the store is bound to be popular – where on earth is everyone going to park? 

Update – October 27, 2009:  We drove by the new store today to check things out.  The Trader Joe’s signs are up at the rotary and on the newly refurbished building next door to CVS. The store hasn’t been filled yet and there’s no notice posted regarding an opening date. Ominously, the front parking area was half full even so.  

ugly-signs-at-fresh-pond-cambridgeOther commercial tenants planned for the new building on the site include a bank, a T-Mobile store, a Chipotle restaurant, and a Sleepy’s mattress store.  Since there’s already a Sleepy’s near Whole Foods I’m guessing the store is moving across the street.

I have to say it’s a bit suburban-strip-mall and not what you like to see at one of the gateways to the city of Cambridge.  Compounding the modern day ugliness of it all is the horrific assortment of huge signs – topped by the massive CVS truck-stop-style sign.  Cambridge does a fairly good job regulating signage around the city but it seems to be anything goes for this particular stretch.

 

If you’re interested in the living here as well as shopping here, here’s some info about condo projects near Fresh Pond and Alewife.

Categories: Living Here

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Pooh’s House in Cambridge

cambridge-pooh-house1Sorry Cambridge real estate buyers – this house isn’t for sale!  Perhaps the most charming small house in Cambridge – Pooh’s House on Hurlbut Street is a favorite of local residents and visitors alike.  The guest book tucked inside has been filled many times over with comments by visitors from around the world.

The Cambridge Pooh House tree also has a book swap box inside with a stuffed bear perched atop.  A sign gives credit to people responsible for the creation of the Pooh House including  local resident Irv Devore who originally began to turn the rotted tree into Pooh’s house. 

At the base of the tree is a small door with a sign that reads “Mr. Sanders” above – since as we all know, Winnie the Pooh lived in a house with the name “Mr. Sanders” above his door.  There’s a weathervane atop the wood shingled roof and a narrow window facing the street.

cambridge-pooh-house-mini-doorCreated by Cambridge artist and furniture craftsman, Mitch Ryerson, this delightful house is carved from the remains of a large silver maple tree that had to be cut down.  Ryerson has transformed the remains of several other large Cambridge trees into gigantic chairs in projects funded by the Cambridge Arts Council.  It’s always a huge loss when these grand trees are no longer viable but the tree chairs are consolation and an enduring gift to the neighborhood.  These distinctive seats can be found around Cambridge on Oxford Street, Lee Street and Clay Street.  I think there are more – leave a comment if you know the location of other tree chairs.

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Medford Real Estate Market – April 2009

Real Estate Sales in Medford MAHere’s a look at Medford real estate market at the end of April and a review of Medford real estate sales activity in April 2009.

Medford Real Estate – On Market Snapshot

134 residential properties were on the market in Medford on April 30, 2009.   Medford is one of the few communities where more property is going off the market than is coming on.  The lowest priced property was listed for $125,000, the most expensive for $950,000. Average days on market was 131.  The median price of residential property listed for sale was $349,900.

Real Estate Sales in Medford MA in April 2009

35 properties sold (closed) in Medford during April with an average sales price of $315,903.  The median sales price was $300,000. Average days on market was 111. Properties sold for an average of 98% of asking price.

16 Medford single families homes sold in April.  The least expensive sale was for $105,000. The most expensive house sold for $445,000. The median price for a single family house was $299,950.  Average days on market was 121.  Houses sold for an average of 96% of asking price.

12 condominium sales closed in April. The least expensive condominium sold for $195,400.  The most expensive Medford condo sold in April closed for $570,000.  The median condo sales price was $279,450.  Condos sold for an average of 96% of the asking price.  Average days on market was 117.

multi-family sales closed in April.  Multi-families sold for an average of 115% of list price!  That was because many of the mult-family sales were foreclosures that sold for significantly more than the asking price.  The lowest sale price for a multi-family home was $252,000.  The highest price paid was $560,000. The median sales price was $333,000. .  Average days on market was 78. 

Total Medford residential real estate sales volume closed in April was $11,056,600.

Also see:  

Information based on residential sales data in MLSpin

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Cambridge Real Estate – Cambridge Condos With Swimming Pools

swimmerAs a real estate agent in Cambridge I get to do a lot of dreaming.  “Oh, if I only lived here…”,  “Ooh – can you imagine coming home to this?” or “If I lived here I’d really get some exercise!”

My idea of heaven would be an indoor pool that I didn’t have to care for myself.  I love to swim but the outdoor swimming season in New England is not that long.  An indoor pool seems ideal – and all the better is somebody else is responsible  for the day to day upkeep.  If you’d rather get a tan and meet your neighbors while lounging poolside, a Cambridge condo with an outdoor pool may fit the bill.

Cambridge real estate buyers who  long to take a dip after work have a number of options:

Cambridge Condos With Indoor Pools

Cambridge real estate buyers who want the convenience of an indoor pool – and the possibility of giving up that gym membership – have options in several Cambridge condo developments. 

The Esplanade at 75-83 Cambridge Parkway, near the Cambridge Galleria and Boston and overlooking the Charles River, has a beautiful lap pool and an exercise room.  The Esplanade is a luxury building, with concierge, garage parking, and many units with amazing river views. Sales in 2009 at the Esplanade included a one-bedroom condo on the seventh floor that sold for $435,000 and a two-bedroom condo with beautiful views of Boston and the Charles River that sold for $1,950,000.

SEARCH FOR CONDOS AT THE ESPLANADE IN CAMBRIDGE

Regatta Riverview is also close to Boston and near the Charles River.  These condos were formerly Museum Tower rentals and were converted to condominiums several years ago.  A former gym located in one of the towers is now a private fitness facility with lap pool for residents.  Regatta Riverview has a 24-hour concierge, a business center, private theater, and garage parking.  Recent sale prices for condominiums sold in 2009 ranged from $415,000 to $635,000. 

SEARCH FOR CONDOS AT THE REGATTA IN CAMBRIDGE 

River Court, yet another Cambridge condo building on the Charles River near Boston, also has an indoor lap pool.  River Court, at 10 Rogers Street in Cambridge, was built in 1989 and has a concierge, exercise facility with lap pool, and garage parking.  Sale prices for condos sold in the last two years have ranged from $392,000 to $927,250.

SEARCH FOR CONDOS AT RIVER COURT

 

Indoor Pool at Fresh Pond Place Condos in Cambridge

Indoor Pool at Fresh Pond Place Condos in Cambridge

Fresh Pond Place is at the other end of the city, in West Cambridge in the Strawberry Hill neighborhood.  Not only is there an indoor pool with sauna but the complex is just across the street from Fresh Pond with its two-mile trail around the reservoir, public golf course, and playground.  No gym membership needed!  The townhouses at Fresh Pond Place were built in the early 1980s.  Walk down the nicely landscaped paths to the poolhouse and take a dip.

SEARCH FOR CONDOS AT FRESH POND PLACE IN CAMBRIDGE

Cambridge Condos With Outdoor Pools

Cambridge summers definitely heat up and an after work dip will be mighty nice.  The pool-side social scene gives you a chance to meet your neighbors which is not always easy in the city.  Here are some Cambridge condominiums with outdoor pools:

Thomas Graves Landing at 4 – 6 Canal Park, yet another East Cambridge complex, is near the Museum of Science and Cambridgeside Galleria.  The complex was built in 1989 and sits aside a canal that feeds into the Charles River.  Many condominiums have water views. Thomas Graves Landing is a full-service building with concierge, garage parking, health club, and an outdoor pool.  In the last year, condos at Thomas Graves Landing (sometimes called by its address, Canal Park) have sold for $310,000 to $585,000.

SEARCH FOR CONDOS AT THOMAS GRAVES LANDING

Bay Square at 950 Massachusetts Avenue is midway between Harvard Square and Central Square.  A full-service luxury building, Bay Square was built in 1989.  Building amenities include a 24-hour concierge, fitness center, garage parking and an outdoor pool. The most recent sales at Bay Square in the MLS were for a studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom that sold for $305,000, $430,000, and $600,00o respectively.

SEARCH FOR CONDOS AT BAY SQUARE

 19 Chauncy Street is an 18-unit building built in 1972 very close to Harvard Square.  The building has an elevator and garage parking.  Relax outside by the pool or on the large common deck.  A two-bedroom condo sold in 2008 for $575,000. 

SEARCH FOR CONDOS AT 19 CHAUNCY STREET

 

Whether it’s a condo with a pool that you’re looking for or something else on your real estate wish list, call or email Liz for help finding the perfect place in Cambridge or nearby.

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Furniture Corner In Cambridge

Crate and Barrel at Furniture Corner in CambridgeBusy real estate buyers in Cambridge have always had easy,  one-stop shopping options for furniture for their new Cambridge home.  Just outside Harvard Square, on Mass Ave heading towards Central Square, the intersection dubbed “Furniture Corner” has provided a number of shopping venues for Cambridge homeowners.

Located at the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue, Trowbridge Street, and Putnam Avenue, Furniture Corner seems to be in transition.  Even before the rough patch in the economy, several furniture stores had closed shop.  I can’t remember what furniture store occupied the highly visible storefront at the corner of Putnam Ave. but the space now houses an architectural firm. The Cambridge Pottery Barn and Hold Everything are long gone. Home Design’s storefront is empty and for lease.  Longtime favorite Bowl and Board has left Furniture Corner Store ClosingCambridge for Davis Square leaving a large hole in the retail landscape on Mass Ave. 

Other stores are capitalizing on the opportunity to move into new space across or down the street from their current locations.  Heartwood has moved across the street to its new digs at 1008 Mass Ave.  Sleep-a-Rama has moved down the street.

Though the huge 50% off sale signs posted at City Schemes recently gave me pause, there are still a good number of furniture stores at the corner.  Crate and Barrel may have left Harvard Square but Crate and Barrel Furniture is still at the corner of Trowbridge Street.  Looking for modern furniture and accessories? Design Within Reach is ensconced at Furniture Corner. One of my favorites – and a great source for custom desktops and tables – the Door Store is going strong, just up Mass Ave towards Central Square. Several other furniture stores add to the mix at Furniture Corner.

Just moved into your new place in Cambridge?  Furniture Corner may be just the ticket.

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Cambridge Real Estate Market – Two Bedroom Cambridge Condos

1010 Memorial Drive Cambridge MACambridge real estate buyers often decide that a condo is the best option for them.  With an average sale price of over $1,000,000 houses in Cambridge are expensive.  Condos offer other benefits beyond price including shared responsibility for upkeep and maintenance in small associations or perhaps a management company that handles the day to day upkeep for condo owners. Many first time buyers are looking for two-bedroom condominiums.  Here’s a look at recent activity in the Cambridge real estate market.  All information is from MLSpin.

Two-Bedroom Cambridge Condos – the Cambridge Real Estate Market in 2009 

Since January 1, 2009: 

  • 51 two-bedroom condos sold in Cambridge
  • Average sale price of a two-bedroom condo: $450,624
  • Median sale price of a two-bedroom condo: $418,000
  • Average price per square foot: $433
  • Two-bedroom Cambridge condominiums sold on average for 97% of asking price
  • Average days on market: 93

Cambridge condos with two bedrooms sold since the beginning of 2009 for prices ranging from $204,000 to $1,250,000. Actually one sale, the most expensive of the lot, was in co-op ownership.

What You Get for The Money in 2009 – Cambridge Two Bedroom Condos and Co-ops 

For $204,000 a four room, two-bedroom, one bath, 835 sq. ft. condo sold on Willow Street, near Inman Square.  The condo was on the second floor of a three-unit building and in need of renovation.

For the median price of $418,000, a five room, two bedroom, 1.5 bath condo in a newly renovated triple-decker sold on Wood Street.  This 969 sq.ft. second floor condo had central air conditioning , in-unit washer and dryer, and one parking space.

The most expensive two-bedroom sale in 2009 to date, was an 1870 sq.ft. unit in co-op ownership on the sixth floor of 1010 Memorial Drive, the high rise pictured above, that sold for $1,250,000 in March 2009.  Cambridge has a handful of buildings in co-op ownership. This unit had three bathrooms, garage parking, and stellar views of the Charles River which could be enjoyed from the enormous living room.

Two-Bedroom Condos – Cambridge Real Estate Options

Cambridgeport Condo BuildingMany Cambridge condos are in converted two and three-family houses.  Others can be found in converted industrial buildings like the one on Brookline Street pictured at right.  Many condos are in brick buildings built between 1900 and 1930.  Other units are in high rises built in the 1960s to 1980s or in newer complexes built in the last few years.   Of the 51 condos that have sold since the start of the year:

  • Six condos were in two-family houses
  • Ten condos were in three-family houses
  • Nine condos were in buildings with 4 – 8 units
  • Fifteen condos were in buildings with 12 – 24 units
  • Eleven condos (actually 10 plus that one co-op!) sold in larger complexes with 31 – 436 units 

Last year there were 161 two-bedroom condos on the real estate market in Cambridge on April 28th.  Today there are 165 two-bedroom condos for sale in Cambridge.  Average days on market for two bedroom Cambridge condos was 149 a year ago, now it is 111.  Search for Cambridge condominiums here:

SEARCH THE MLS FOR CAMBRIDGE CONDOS

And if you would like more information about the Somerville real estate market see:

Somerville Two-Bedroom Condos

 And for more information about the Cambridge real estate market including Cambridge condos, single families and multi-family sales see:

Cambridge Real Estate Market Monthly Report

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House Parts We Love – Decorative Metal Doorknobs

Vintage Metal Doorknob in CambridgeSo often when we fall in love with a house it’s the details that make the difference.  When I’m out on the real estate trail in Cambridge MA, I come across so many wonderful features in the great houses in Cambridge.

This series – House Parts We Love – is my celebration of the myriad of special features that add charm and character to a house.  Many of these features are found in older houses since builders in years past paid a lot more attention to the details.  There are fine features in newer houses too – so if new houses or modern architecture warm your heart – not to worry – I’m snapping pictures in houses of all ages.  And feel free to email me with your favorite house parts.

Vintage Decorative Metal Doorknobs Found Around Cambridge

Doorknobs have been catching my eye lately.  Doorknobs are such an integral part of the house – a part of the house that is hard for anyone to miss.  You can’t help but be intrigued when it’s a beautiful Art Nouveaux doorknob you turn to open the front door.  Or perhaps it’s the intricately patterned embossed doorknob that’s a standout on a closet door.   The utilitarian can also be beautiful.

Vintage Metal Doorknob in CambridgeHurray if you’re lucky enough to have some fabulous doorknobs in your home already.  If not, there are some great sources for new, reproduction, or vintage doorknobs.  Ebay is worth visiting regularly for vintage hardware and architectural salvage yards will have vintage doorknobs available.  Raybern on Weston Ave in Teele Square, Somerville carries a wide variety of specialty hardware including some lines with reproduction doorknobs. 

Here are some other providers of antique and reproduction doorknobs:

 Other house parts we love:

Cutout Shutters

Elizabeth Bolton is a house enthusiast and real estate agent in Cambridge MA.

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