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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Triple-Decker House Style – Three-Family Houses in Cambridge

West Cambridge Triple-DeckerCambridge real estate buyers will quickly learn to recognize triple-deckers if they’re not already familiar with the house style.  These three-unit buildings , also called three-families or three-deckers, are ubiquitous in Cambridge and Somerville and are also found in other nearby cities and towns including Boston, Belmont, Medford and Watertown.  Nowadays, many triple-deckers have been converted to condominiums so even if you’re not looking for investment property you’ll likely be looking at a lot of triple-deckers.

Triple-Deckers in Cambridge Massachusetts – History and Architecture

Triple-deckers were first built in the 1870s in Boston (according to some, others suggest that Fall River or Worcester was first to popularize the style) and soon became a common building style throughout New England, particularly in cities.  Three-deckers were the answer to high land costs and the need for relatively inexpensive housing options for workers. 

Mid-Cambridge Triple DeckerConstructed with three stacked identical units, triple-deckers have a flat roof, often an overhanging cornice, and frequently front or back porches – or both – on all three levels.  Typically the narrow end of the building faces the street though there are a number of examples in Cambridge where the wide facade faces forward often with bay windows on each side of the main door to the building.

As evidenced by the varying quality of interior and exterior ornamentation, triple-deckers were also constructed for those of more means as builders sought to appeal to middle-class home buyers. In Cambridge you can find simply ornamented three-deckers as well as examples with gracious foyers, handsome built-ins, transom windows, and rich paneling and trim. Exterior details reflect a variety of architectural styles including the Colonial Revival and Queen Anne.

Developers often built several triple-deckers side-by-side and some Cambridge streets are lined almost entirely with three-families including Alberta Terrace in North Cambridge, Cambridge Terrace in Porter Square, Speridakis Terrace in Cambridgeport, and Marie Avenue in Mid-Cambridge.

Triple-Deckers in Cambridge – Investment Property and Cambridge Condos

West Cambridge Three Decker HouseTriple-decker apartments have become popular as condos and many of Cambridge’s three-families are now in condominium ownership.  Builders will buy a three-family, gut it and transform the apartments – often changing the floor plans, sometimes installing a second bath, and outfitting the kitchen and baths with all the bells and whistles that today’s buyers expect.  Other triple deckers have gone through more modest upgrades and still retain much of the original feel and character.

Sale prices for the eleven Cambridge three-decker buildings that sold in the last twelve months in the MLS ranged from $485,100 to $1,055,000 with a median price of $810,000. It won’t be surprising if many of these return to the real estate market as condos as a couple already have.  Asking prices for triple-deckers currently for sale in Cambridge range from $699,000 to $1,185,000.

Sale prices of Cambridge condos in triple-deckers over the last twelve months in MLS ranged from $305,000 to $735,000.  The most expensive triple-decker Cambridge condo sale that I can think of was the $881,500 paid in 2006 for a beautifully renovated condo in a particularly handsome three-decker in Cambridgeport. 

Read more about architectural styles found in Cambridge in these posts:

 

Greek Revivals in Cambridge
Mansards in Cambridge

Bungalows in Cambridge and Arlington

 Here are some Somerville and Cambridge triple deckers on the market – click on the photo for more info and use the back button to return to this page:

 

And if you’re looking for Cambridge multi-unit properties or considering buying a condo in a triple-decker in Cambridge:

SEARCH FOR CAMBRIDGE MULTI-UNIT PROPERTIES

SEARCH FOR CAMBRIDGE CONDOS

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Adult Ed in Cambridge – Adult Education Classes In and Near Cambridge

Cambridge Center for Adult Ed

Cambridge Center for Adult Ed

I’ve always loved to take classes and the myriad of excellent adult education opportunities in Cambridge and nearby towns is one of the reasons I love living in Massachusetts.  Whatever your interest you’re likely to find a course to take.  Classes are typically open to all, regardless of town or city of residence.  Many of the programs also have classes for kids or teens.

All of these programs publish printed catalogs each season and it’s worth picking up copies or asking for a copy to be mailed to you.  I’ve included the links to the organizations’ websites below but the printed catalogs are superior – you’ll find yourself highlighting classes, turning over page corners, and repeatedly discovering new intriguing choices as you flip through the pages.  Copies of the Cambridge, Boston, and Brookline adult ed catalogs can be often be found about town, sometimes in newspaper boxes, in local shops, and in libraries.  The Concord Public Library usually has a good collection of suburban adult ed catalogs for the taking.

Here are some of the best adult ed programs in the Cambridge / Boston area:

In Cambridge MA

The Cambridge Center for Adult Ed (CCAE) has been part of Cambridge for over 130 years, first as the Cambridge Social Union which was founded in 1876, and as the Cambridge Center for Adult Education since 1938. 

CCAE has a wide variety of course offerings – some that meet for a single session, others that run for weeks.  Need-based scholarships are available. Some of the course topics include:

  • Languages
  • Writing
  • Business
  • Film
  • Photography & Video
  • History & Contemporary Issues
  • Homes and Gardens
  • Food
  • Work Life

Here’s a video about the Cambridge Center for Adult Ed:

[vimeo]http://www.vimeo.com/714247[/vimeo]
 

In Boston MA

One of the best Adult Ed organizations, the Boston Center for Adult Education, recently moved its headquarters to 122 Arlington Street in downtown Boston from its old home by the Public Garden.  A rich variety of courses are offered with topics including:

  • Creative Arts
  • Performing Arts
  • Professional Growth
  • Real Estate & Finance
  • Humanities & Science
  • Foreign Languages & ESL

Adult Ed in Other Massachusetts Communities

Brookline Adult & Community Education is another superb local option for classes. Courses are offered in a wide variety of subjects including:

  • Arts
  • Health and Well Being
  • Investment and Business
  • Dance & Exercise
  • Writing
  • Music, Performance and Production

There’s also an excellent selection of lectures on Tuesday and Thursday evenings for $5 per lecture. Upcoming topics include:

  • The Plight of the Butterfly
  • Discovering the Boston Harbor Islands
  • The Uncluttered Family
  • A Glimpse Into the Current Housing Market

Concord-Carlisle Community Education offers a diverse selection of classes in Concord MA.  A sampling of courses from the spring catalog include:

  • Meal Planning Without Tears
  • Small Scale Agriculture – Raising Chickens
  • Papermaking Workshop
  • Organic Lawn Care
  • Introduction to Kayaking
  • Instant Piano for Busy People

Lexington Community Education has been offering excellent courses for years in Lexington, MA.  I took furniture refinishing there years ago and have been meaning to take their Furniture Upholstery class.  Other upcoming courses include:

  • Coping With the Stress of Tough Economic Times
  • In the Bin – Household Recycling Know How
  • Probating Your Parents’ Estate
  • Summertime Pilates
  • Intro to Web Design

Newton Community Education has a wide variety of reasonably priced adult ed classes.  Some of the spring classes that caught my eye include:

  • How to Be a Private Eye
  • Totally Green Organic Bodycare
  • How to Be a Landlord
  • If Your Home is a Castle, Why Does Your Office Feel Like a Dungeon?
  • Whitewater Kayaking

Learn a new skill, explore a new interest, discover more about your community. If you live in Cambridge or nearby there are endless opportunities in Massachusetts adult ed.

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Cambridgeport Condos – Cambridge Real Estate Market Activity

Cambridge MA Real EstateCAMBRIDGEPORT is a popular neighborhood for Cambridge real estate buyers.  Cambridgeport  runs from Mass Ave in Central Square to the Charles River between River and Sidney Streets.  Tree lined streets, parks, Victorians, lofts in converted industrial buildings, and turn-of-the-century multi-unit buildings make for an appealing neighborhood.  There are a variety of transportation options in Cambridgeport including buses that run through the neighborhood, the Red Line T stop in Central Square, and the Green Line just over the B.U. Bridge at the far end of Cambridgeport.  Three major universities are minutes away – MIT, Harvard and Boston University.

Cambridgeport Condos For Sale

Cambridge real estate buyers have 29 Cambridgeport condominiums to choose from today, with condos currently on the market priced from $319,000 to $1,495,000. 

Average list price for Cambridgeport condos currently on the market: $599,566

Median asking price for Cambridgeport condos on the market: $559,000

Average price per square foot: $465.  Prices per sq. ft. ranged from $312 to $690.  That compares to an average price per square foot of $480 for all condos currently on the market in Cambridge.

Median price per square foot: $499

Average days on market: 121

Median days on market: 53

Cambridge real estate buyers will find condos in Cambridgeport for sale in vintage brick multi-unit buildings, in converted Victorian houses, in recently built townhouses, and in a converted school building.  Three one-bedroom condos, fifteen two-bedroom condos, and eleven condos with three or more bedrooms are currently on the market in Cambridgeport.

Recent Cambridgeport Condominium Sales

Seventeen condos sold in the Cambridgeport neighborhood of Cambridge, MA in the last six months.  Sale prices ranged from $320,000 to $779,000.

Average sale price: $512,676

Median sale price: $475,000

Average price per square foot: $375

Average days on market: 82

Cambridgeport condos sold included lofts, townhouses, and condos in triple deckers and in multi-unit Victorian houses.

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Architectural Styles in Cambridge: The Greek Revival

Greek Revival in Winter Hill Somerville

Greek Revival in Winter Hill Somerville

The Greek Revival is one of my favorite house styles.  My first house and my current house have Greek Revival elements and there’s something very appealing about houses from this period, inside and out.  The Greek Revival was the most popular architectural style in the United States from about 1825 to 1860.  Asher Benjamin, a New England architect and carpenter, and author of popular pattern books, helped popularize the style when he included the Greek orders in his 1826 edition of The American Builder’s Companion.

Features of the Greek Revival Style

The most easily recognized Greek Revivals are those modeled on a Greek temple, with a front gable with one or two-story columns supporting an overhanging pedimented gable. Other examples have a less dramatic facade with a columned front entry.

The entry door style of early American houses is often indicative of the period in which the house was built.  The Greek Revival doors typically were flanked by side lights often with a transom window above.

Greek Revival in Central Square Cambridge

Greek Revival in Central Square Cambridge

Greek Revivals often have large windows, typically with six panes over six panes (six over six) .    It is not uncommon for windows to run from floor to ceiling or close to, as can be seen in the photograph at right of a Greek Revival in the Central Square neighborhood of Cambridge Massachusetts.  Some have a row of small windows  running across the wide trim below the cornice. 

Inside, one of my favorite features that you see in local Greek Revivals is the triangular trim that is sometimes found over the door and window openings, echoing the pediment outside. 

Greek Revival Houses In and Near Cambridge

Since many houses were built in Cambridge and nearby towns during the early 1800s, a number of Greek Revivals can be found in these communities.  Many handsome houses of the period still stand in East Cambridge, in Cambridgeport, and in Central Square.   Distinctive examples can be found in Somerville, Arlington, Belmont. Medford and Watertown as well.

Here’s a slideshow of Greek Revivals in Cambridge, Arlington and Somerville.  Click on the arrow to start the slide show and then on the box with four corner arrows in the bottom right corner of the border to get a larger image.

 

 

Read more about architectural styles found in Cambridge MA and nearby:

Bungalows
Mansards

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The French School Condominiums – 69 Harvey Street, Cambridge MA 02140

French School Condominums in Cambridge MAThe French School Condos at 69 Harvey Street, Cambridge MA occupy a handsome brick building constructed in 1900.  The building was converted to condominiums in 1989. There are sixteen condos in the association – four units on each of the four floors. A wide staircase with shallow steps rises through the building – there is no elevator. Condos at the French School range in size from 989 sq.ft. to 1390 sq.ft.

Condo layouts vary but are open and loft-like. Most have exposed brick walls. The windows are large and ceilings high – appealing features often found in schoolhouse conversions. The condominiums have in-unit laundry and off street parking.

History of the French School

69 Harvey Street Cambridge MA was built by the French Canadian community in North Cambridge in 1900. Built to house the Notre Dame de Pitie School, the building became a convent in 1916 when the school moved to a new facility at Rindge and Sargent Streets. The building was once again converted in 1961 when it became a manufacturing facility.

The French School Neighborhood and Location

French School - Facade Detail

French School – Facade Detail

Harvey Street is a one-way street running west off Mass Ave in North Cambridge. Harvey Street intersects Massachusetts Avenue at the point where the bike path to Davis Square crosses the Avenue. Davis Square is just a short walk away via the bike path. There you’ll find the Davis Square T stop, the Somerville Theatre, and a variety of shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants.  More shops and restaurants line Mass Ave all the way into Arlington or towards Porter Square and Harvard Square.

In the other direction, the Alewife T station – the first (or last!) stop on the Red Line T is not far since Harvey Street ends at Russell Field across from the T station. One of several cohousing communities in Cambridge, Cornerstone Cohousing, built in 2000-2001, is at 175 Harvey Street. In spring you can meet your neighbors at the North Cambridge open studios tour.

Recent Real Estate Sales at the French School Condominiums

There haven’t been many sales at 69 Harvey Street.  A top floor condo with two bedrooms and two baths sold for $519,000 in 2012.  A unit with an atypical layout for the French School – over 2300 square feet on the first floor and lower level – sold for $500,000 in 2013.

If any condos are available at the French School they’ll show below.  Or you can see all the condos on the market in Cambridge right now. And if you dream of living in a converted school give me a call – I can help.  Liz Bolton – 617-504-1737


 

Sales information for 69 Harvey St Cambridge MA from MLSpin.  Post written by Elizabeth Bolton, ReMax Destiny, Cambridge MA.

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Street Cleaning in Cambridge Will Sweep Away More Than Dirt

Money In the Streets of CambridgeIf it’s spring it must be street sweeping season.  Thank goodness!  Cambridge is a dirty mess with flotsam and jetsam lining the curbs.  The snow covered up months of accumulated debris. Now that the snow’s gone – finally! – it’s time for a good cleaning.

People also dropped money in the snow over the long winter months.  When the ice and snow melted I started to find change as I walked along the streets in Cambridge.  I love to find money – even pennies.  I save it in a tin so I can keep track of how much I’ve found.  When the piles along the curbs were first uncovered it seemed I was finding money every day.  My best score by far is shown in the photo above.  Yes – that’s a dirty, rumpled $20 bill that spent many weeks buried in the snow and debris.  Resisting the urge to pull that $20 from my tin in a pinch will be a true test of self control.

There’s more money out there!  Quick – before it’s swept away – poke at the piles along the curb.  I’ve got everybody I know looking down as they walk, kicking aside the refuse in the hopes of finding some cash.

Street sweeping in Cambridge MA runs from April 1st through December.  Streets are cleaned monthly – opposite sides on different days.  The Cambridge DPW has a map and schedule online.  Miss the day and your car will be towed.  Watch the signs – even blocks with parking meters are subject to towing on street cleaning day.

Happy hunting!

 

When she’s not picking up money in the streets, Elizabeth Bolton is a real estate agent in Cambridge, MA.  Actually she does both at once – since she found the bill pictured above while on the way to show a house for sale in Cambridge.

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Cambridge Real Estate – March 2009 Real Estate Market Statistics

Cambridge MAIt’s that time of the month again – time to look at the monthly real estate market statistics in Cambridge. The real estate market is busy and it is not uncommon for newly listed properties to sell during the first week on the market. The closed sales in March reflect the properties that went under agreement about six to eight weeks before.  Here are the March 2009 real estate sales in Cambridge:

355 residential properties were on the market in Cambridge on March 31, 2009. The lowest priced property was listed for $185,000, the most expensive for $4,850,000. Average days on market was 114.

36 property sales closed in Cambridge during March with an average sales price of $627,518.  The median sales price was $463,200.  Average days on market was 92.

7 single family sales closed in March.  Sale prices ranged from $471,500 to $2,895,000.  The median price was $975,000.  Average days on market was 93.

25 condos closed in March. The least expensive condominium sold for $262,500.  The most expensive condo sold for $1,250,000.  The median condo sales price was $419,000.  Condos sold for an average of 98% of the asking price.  Average days on market was 70.

Four multi-family sales closed in March. The lowest sale price for a multi-family was $352,351.  The highest price paid was $810,000.  Multi-families sold for an average of 92% of list price.  Average days on market was 222.

Total Cambridge closed residential real estate sales volume in March was $22,590,646.

  Also see:

Cambridge Real Estate Activity in January 2009
Cambridge Real Estate Activity in February 2009

Information from MLSpin.

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