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.

80 Webster Ave Somerville MA

80 Webster Ave in Somerville MA is a 46-unit condo building built in 2009 by noted local developer David Aposhian.  Midway between Inman Square in Cambridge and Union Square in Somerville, 80 Webster Avenue is one of three associations that make up the Union Place complex.

Union Place Condos at 80 Webster Ave Somerville MA 02143

Union Place Condos at 80 Webster Ave Somerville MA 02143

There are studios, one, two and three-bedroom condos at 80 Webster Avenue.  Somerville condo buyers looking for an elevator building with garage parking will want to check out any available condos here. Residents enjoy the close proximity to a myriad of restaurants and cafes in Inman and Union Squares.  If all goes as planned, soon the Green Line T will be nearby.

Condo Features and Amenities at 80 Webster Ave in Somerville

  • 4 story elevator building
  • Studio condos – approx. 450 – 575 sq. ft.
  • One-bedroom condos – approx. 650 – 800 sq. ft.
  • Two-bedroom condos – approx. 900 – 1100 sq. ft.
  • Three-bedroom condos – approx. 1450 sq. ft.
  • Air conditioning
  • Pet friendly
  • Kitchens have granite counters and stainless steel appliances
  • Some Upper floor units are on two levels
  • Some upper floor units have a private deck
  • Common roof deck with city skyline views
  • Private storage and bike room
  • Beautifully landscaped with a courtyard patio where you can grill
  • Monthly condo fee includes heat and hot water
  • Guest parking available
  • Residents with a car are required to pay monthly fee and park in the Union Place garage

Condo Sales History at 80 Webster Ave Somerville MA

Original 80 Webster Ave. sales at market rates:

  • Studios sold for $200,000 – $250,000
  • One-bedroom condos sold for $285,000 – $350,000
  • Tw0-bedroom condos sold for $$390,000 – $460,000
  • Three-bedroom condos sold in the mid-$500,000s

In 2012:

  • A 719 sq. ft. one-bedroom on the 3rd floor sold for $320,000
  • A two-bedroom 1113 sq. ft. condo with two baths on the 2nd floor sold for $421,000

If condos are available at 80 Webster Ave Somerville MA 02143 they will appear below. Click on the small photo for additonal info and more photographs.  And if you’d like to schedule an appointment or get more info about Union Place or Somerville condos, please give me a call.  Liz Bolton, ReMax Destiny, 617-504-1737.

80 Webster Ave Somerville MA 02143 is part of the Union Place complex.

Categories: Property Info
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How Long Does It Take To Buy A House in Massachusetts?

How Long Will It Take To Buy a House in Massachusetts?

How Long Will It Take To Buy a House in Massachusetts?

If you’ve never bought real estate before of if you’ve owned elsewhere but never bought real estate in Massachusetts you’ve probably wondered – how long does it take to buy a house in Massachusetts?

While I can’t predict how long it will take for you to find the house or condo of your dreams, once you do find the perfect place and make an offer there is a typical time-frame for your home purchase.

The home buying process varies state by state. Here in Massachusetts the typical home buying purchase takes six to eight weeks.  That’s from the day your offer is accepted until the day you close and get your keys.

It may be possible to speed up the process or to extend the time-frame.  Perhaps you need to move more quickly or maybe the seller won’t be ready to move for several months.  Buyer and seller will agree to a date that works for both parties.

I once had a sale close in just 12 days. That’s fast.  Nowadays closing so quickly would be a much bigger challenge – the mortgage industry isn’t making things easy so it is better to work in the 6 – 8 week time-frame if you’re getting a mortgage.

Closings can also be extended. More often than not this happens when the seller needs a particular closing date beyond the standard period and the buyer agrees.  However, you’ll want to consider the ramifications for your financing.  Your lender will only be able to lock your mortgage rate for a certain period of time.  An extended closing may very well mean that you won’t be able to pin down your mortgage rate until you get closer to the closing.

In general, you can expect it to take six to eight weeks to buy a house in Massachusetts.  So if you’re in the real estate market, plot the weeks on the calendar and make your plans.

Categories: Buyer Info
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Living Without Air Conditioning

Living Without Air Conditioning

Living Without Air Conditioning

It’s days like this that test my convictions about living without air conditioning in New England.

I really don’t believe in it and am horrified at how it’s increasingly considered an expected amenity in new or renovated condos and houses in Massachusetts.

It didn’t use to be this way and if the trend continues we’ll all be in trouble. Pick up a copy of Losing Our Cool: Uncomfortable Truths About Our Air-Conditioned World (and Finding New Ways to Get Through the Summer) to read about the impact on our planet of the increasing popularity of air conditioning.

So how to survive the dog days of summer?

Here are my methods for living without air conditioning:

  • Keep the shades down
  • Open the windows at night
  • Use fans in several windows to blow in cooler air overnight
  • Close windows during the day
  • Drink plenty of icy cold water
  • Take it easy – save the chores for the cool days that will come
  • Ice cream – you earned it
  • Find a pool or a pond – buy a wading pool if you have to
  • Spend as much time as possible in an air conditioned mall, movie theater or office – communal A/C makes sense
  • In fact – consider getting a job at the Foodmaster on Route 16 – it feels like a meatlocker – you’ll look forward to going to work

Remember – this too shall pass. It was chilly just two days ago and it will cool down soon.  But eventually it won’t if everyone keeps firing up the air conditioners.

Categories: Living Here
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Upgrade Your Smoke Alarm Batteries

Looks like lithium smoke alarm batteries are selling well at Tags in Porter Square

Looks like lithium smoke alarm batteries are selling well at Tags in Porter Square

Upgrade your smoke alarm batteries the next time you change them.

A beeping smoke alarm has to be one of the more aggravating noises we’re subjected to at home.  A responsible, organized homeowner is encouraged to replace the smoke alarm batteries twice a year with the time change in spring and fall often suggested as the best time to change those batteries.  But many of us just wait for that obnoxious beeping before dragging out the ladder (after going room by room trying to figure out which dratted alarm is screeching).

If you want a more long term solution there are now long life lithium batteries available.  I spotted them at Tags in Porter Square the other day. 

The batteries are supposed to last for ten years and cost just $8.50 each.  The regular smoke alarm batteries aren’t cheap so $8.50 seemed like a bargain to take this task off the to-do list for a decade.  The sign at Tags suggests you’ll save $50 in smoke alarm battery expense over the life of the battery but peace of mind and fewer hassles is worth even more I think.

The next time that blankety-blankin’ beeping starts up I’m heading to Tags to stock up on lithium batteries.

Categories: Everything Else
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Cambridge Garden Tour This Sunday

Looking Forward to Touring Massachusetts Gardens

Cambridge Garden Tour This Sunday

With all the much needed rain we’ve had this week the gardens should be looking their best this weekend – just in time for the Cambridge Garden Tour this Sunday, June 10, 2012.

The Secret Garden of Cambridge tour is now held every other year.  You’d better get an early start this Sunday. This year there are 24 gardens on the tour – 18 of which have never been on the tour before.

Tickets for the garden tour are $25 and can be purchased at several local stores today and tomorrow:

  • Bonny’s Garden Center – 41 Bay State Rd near Alewife
  • Dickson Brothers Hardware – 26 Brattle St in Harvard Square
  • Harvard Book Store – 1256 Mass Ave
  • Nomad – 1741 Mass Ave
  • Pemberton Farms -2225 Mass Ave
  • Porter Square Books – Porter Square shopping center
  • Rodney’s Books – 698 Mass Ave in Central Square

On Sunday tickets will only be available at the Boudreau branch of the Cambridge Public Library at 245 Concord Avenue and at the Hooper-Lee-Nichols House at 159 Brattle Street.

The Cambridge garden tour will be held Sunday, June 10, 2012 from 10 am to 4 pm.  Check out our list of garden tours in Massachusetts for more opportunities to visit local gardens.

Categories: Area Events

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How Much Space Is Enough?

Our tour was short this week because of the upcoming holiday weekend.  We saw only four properties, two of which were under 500 square feet in size.  It really made me think – how much space is enough?

The 390 sq. ft. condo that we saw really drove home the point that a relatively small amount of space can be enough – can be just right in fact.  The one-bedroom condo we saw had a small bedroom, a living room / dining room that fit a couch, a small desk, and a dining table, and a little kitchen.  It was compact, well laid out, and very appealing.

Truth be told – those are the rooms in which I spend almost all of my time.  I work at my desk, I hang out in the kitchen, I sleep – though not enough. The rest of the rooms in the house?  Storage for my stuff.

There’s a Tiny House movement afoot in America.  In Cambridge, you can opt for a small condo if you want to downsize dramatically.  Here are some options on the market – click on the small photo for more photographs and additional info:

And if you’re in the market for a condo or house in Cambridge, don’t let the lack of new listings this week get you down.  Few new properties are listed for sale close to Memorial Day.  Next week should be a good week for new listings.

Categories: Property Info
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Remembering Tip O’Neill

Reembering Tip O'Neill - Family Panel at the Cambridge Public Library

Reembering Tip O'Neill - Family Panel at the Cambridge Public Library

When I first saw this beautiful banner on Mass Ave in Cambridge I thought it must be commemorating the centennial of Tip O’Neill’s first days in Congress – we just seem so far removed from those days with today’s Congress.  But no – Tip would be just 100 this year and Cambridge is commemorating the centennial of his birth.

On Tuesday, May 22nd Chris Matthews of MSNBC (which makes it even more exciting – in my family we’re all addicted to MSNBC) and former aide to the Speaker of the House will be moderating a panel of O’Neill family members reminiscing and remembering Tip O’Neill. 

Two more panels are planned by the Tip O’Neill Centennial Committee: a panel featuring former O’Neill staff members in September and a November panel in which community members will be invited to share their memories of Tip O’Neill.

The Family Reminiscence Panel will take place at the Cambridge Public Library, 449 Broadway, on Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 7 pm.  The event is free and open to the public.

Check out the City of Cambridge website for information on other tributes to Tip O’Neill that are planned and for excerpts of audio interviews with O’Neill, including his memories of growing up in North Cambridge.

Categories: Area Events
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Open Studios This Weekend

Open Studios in MA 2012

Open Studios in MA 2012

I finally had a chance to update the Open Studios in Massachusetts page for 2012.   A long overdue task!

Good thing – five communities, including Cambridge, are holding open studio events this weekend.

Check out the list – there are open studios scheduled for many weekends in 2012.  I’ll add more as I stumble across them.

Categories: Area Events
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