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.

Barack Obama Lived Here – 365 Broadway Somerville

Barack Obama attended Harvard Law School in Cambridge from 1988 to 1991. While in school in Cambridge Obama rented an apartment – a “garden level” unit as real estate agents often call them – at 365 Broadway in Somerville on Winter Hill.

As soon as I heard that Barack Obama had rented on Broadway I figured it was this building. It’s a very distinctive brick rowhouse complex built in 1889 called Langmaid Terrace.

Barack Obama lived here at 365 Broadway, Somerville Massachusetts

Barack Obama lived here at 365 Broadway, Somerville Massachusetts

In Beyond the Neck: The Architecture and Development of Somerville, Massachusetts Langmaid Terrace is described as “one of the most architecturally significant” of the brick apartment buildings and rowhouses that were built in Somerville in the late 1800s.

The authors of Beyond the Neck describe 359 – 365 Broadway 

“Among the finest apartment row[s] in the city is this brick and terra cotta building, with a variety of roofs and crenellated parapets.”

Today Broadway is a major thoroughfare that cuts across Somerville from Charlestown to Arlington.  A bus stop sits right out front. The door to Obama’s basement apartment can just barely be seen behind the tree in the lower left corner of the picture above.  There is no sign or plaque to indicate that the future President of the United States once called this home. 

On April 18, 1775 Paul Revere’s ride took him up Broadway and there is a plaque to commemorate Revere just a couple of blocks from the President’s old digs (not to mention Paul Revere Beverages, a package store).

Today the 89 Bus will take you by Barack Obama’s old apartment at 365 Broadway in Somerville.

Categories: Area Info
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Cambridge Neighborhoods – Central Square Real Estate and More

Central Square in Cambridge Massachusetts

Central Square in Cambridge Massachusetts

The Central Square neighborhood has become very popular with Cambridge real estate buyers.

With a Red Line stop at its center and a location midway between Boston and Harvard Square, and with MIT and the Charles River just down the street, Central Square is number one on the list for many people moving to Cambridge.

I’ve often noticed that when people move to Cambridge from Manhattan or other large cities, Central Square is the Cambridge neighborhood that feels most like a city neighborhood to them.  Mass Ave in Central Square is lined with older, taller commercial buildings, there are plenty of small shops, restaurants, and clubs, and lots of pedestrian traffic.

While many lament that Central Square is becoming gentrified, it remains a grittier, funkier square than Harvard or Porter Square.  There’s a critical mass of bars, clubs with live music, and funky stores that have held on in the neighborhood for years.  There’s a great mix of ethnic restaurants with a few national chains mixed in.  A number of the restaurants have outdoor seating along Mass Ave.

Central Square Real Estate Options

Cambridge real estate buyers who want walk-to access to Central Square have several neighborhoods to choose from.  Mid-Cambridge, Inman Square, Cambridgeport, Riverside, and the blocks with the streets named after Massachusetts counties (Suffolk, Norfolk, Essex, etc) all offer easy access to Central Square.

Looking only at the Cambridge real estate listings identified in MLS as in Central Square – keep in mind that many listings don’t include neighborhood and many properties may be listed in one of the other neighborhoods listed above  – here are the average sales prices in Central Square in MLSpin over the last two years:

Single family homes in Central Square:

  •  Sold between $305,000 and $780,000
  • Average sales price $608,310

Central Square condos:

  • Sold between $169,000 and $600,000
  • Average sales price $352,527
  • Average cost per square foot $412

Click here to Search for Central Square Cambridge Real Estate.  You can expand the search parameters to include more listings.

Here are some more photos of Central Square Cambridge MA:

Categories: Area Info
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Cambridge Condos – Townhouses at 177 Pemberton Street

Townhouses at 177 Pemberton Street Cambridge

Townhouses at 177 Pemberton Street Cambridge

The 20 townhouses at 177 Pemberton Street in  Cambridge MA were built in 1997.  The association is known as Pemberton Place and is a popular option for Cambridge real estate buyers who like newer construction and lots of space.

Features of the 177 Pemberton Townhouses Include:

  • 2100 to 2750+ sq. ft.
  • 6 to 8 rooms
  • Vaulted ceilings
  • Three bedrooms including a master bedroom with bath
  • Three bathrooms
  • Garage parking space
  • Central air conditioning
  • Wood burning fireplace
  • Central vac
  • Private patio

Pemberton Place is just down the street from the tennis courts, playing field, and community garden on Pemberton Street and an easy walk to three Red Line stations – Alewife, Davis Square and Porter Square.  Danehy Park is just down the street.

Recent Sales at 177 Pemberton St Cambridge MA

  • 3 bedroom, 3 bath, 1932 sq. ft. townhouse sold in 2014 for $805,000
  • 4 bedroom, 3.5 bath, 2258 sq. ft townhouse sold for $839,000 in 2014

If there are available townhouses at 177 Pemberton Street they’ll appear below.  Click on the small photo for more information and additional photographs.




 Hoping to find a townhouse in Cambridge?  I can help with that!  Give me a call at 617-504-1737 or email me at [email protected]

Liz Bolton, ReMax Destiny, Cambridge

Pemberton Place is at 177 Pemberton Street, Cambridge, MA 02140.  Sales data from MLSpin

Categories: Property Info
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The Turret – House Parts We Love

Victorian House with a Turret in Arlington Center

Victorian House with a Turret in Arlington Center

A turret, or a tower as it’s also called, is an enormously appealing house part. There’s something romantic about a tower and the rooms inside it. The pull is strong enough that some people search for a house with a turret to call home – and around Cambridge they just may find one.

Turrets or towers were features in houses in several architectural styles including the Second Empire, Shingle Style, Romanesque Revival, and Gothic Revival. It is the Queen Anne style however that is most commonly identified with the turret. Many of these turreted Queen Anne Victorians can be found around Cambridge, Arlington and Somerville.

Turrets were typically topped with conical roofs, often covered in slate. Multi-sided turrets were capped with multi-sided roofs. The roof on a Second Empire Mansard tower often mimics the mansard roof of the main portion of the house.

Here are some other house parts we love:

 Granite Steps and Posts

Front Entry Benches

Curved Porch Balusters

Decorative Metal Doorknobs

Here are some pictures of houses with turrets.

Categories: Everything Else
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Moving To or From Cambridge? Get a Permit for That Moving Truck

Moving to Cambridge - Get a Moving Van Permit

Moving to Cambridge - Get a Moving Van Permit

Parking your car can be enough of a challenge in Cambridge.  Finding the equivalent of three adjacent parking spaces for your moving truck can be close to impossible. 

With just a bit of planning you can reserve a space – a really big space! – with a Moving Van Permit from Cambridge’s  Traffic, Parking & Transportation Department. 

Moving Van Permits:

  • Application must be submitted six business days in advance
  • Cost is $25 for a truck up to 49 feet or $50 for 50 ft+ per day
  • If the reserved space includes metered spaces there’s an additional $10 per parking meter fee

The Traffic and Parking Department will post signs reserving your space for the allotted time.  A bit of advice – be generous with your time expectations – a move always seems to take much longer than you anticipate.

Click here for info about the Cambridge moving van permit and an application.  Be sure to disable popups before clicking on the link for the application.

I can say from personal experience that this was the best money I spent for my move to Cambridge.

Categories: Buyer Info

Comments: Please leave a comment. Your opinions welcomed.

Selling for Over Asking – Arlington Single Family Home Sales

Multiple Bids for Arlington MA Homes

Multiple Bids for Arlington MA Homes

It often takes buyers by surprise, particularly if they’re new to the Arlington real estate market, to find out that it’s not uncommon for Arlington MA single family homes to sell for over the asking price.

Arlington is very popular with real estate buyers and the market for single family homes can be very competitive. Open houses for newly listed houses are usually crowded. Often buyers have to be prepared to act quickly and to make a strong offer. Many times sellers will receive multiple offers.

Arlington Single Family Homes

Since we’ve reached the half-way mark in the year and come through the busy spring real estate market I thought it would be interesting to take a look at Arlington single family sales through June 30, 2009.

Between January 1, 2009 and June 30, 2009 in  Arlington:

  • 85 single family homes sold
  • Average asking price was $538,667
  • Average sales price was $525,626
  • Average days on market was 62

Arlington Single Family Sales For Over Asking Price

Wondering how often Arlington single family homes get multiple offers or sell for more than the asking price?  Here are the numbers for the first half of 2009:

21 of the 85 single families sold through June sold for more than list price or almost 1 in 4 houses.

The average asking price for these homes was $510,910.  The average sales price was $525,347.

I was curious to see how these sales tracked by school district:

  • Brackett – 7 of 21 over asking sales
  • Dallin – 5
  • Hardy – 2
  • Peirce – 2
  • Stratton – 2
  • Thompson – 2
  • Bishop – 1

But how much are Arlington real estate buyers paying over asking price? 

Here are the Arlington homes that sold for over asking price in the first half of 2009 with days on market (DOM), asking price and sales price:

Arlington Single Family Homes that Sold for More than Asking Price in the First Half of 2009

Arlington Single Family Homes that Sold for More than Asking Price in the First Half of 2009


For more information about real estate in Arlington MA check out Arlington Home Sales by School District



Information about Arlington Single Family Homes that Sold for Over Asking Price from MLSpin


Categories: Real Estate Market Info
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Cambridge Pothole Hotline

City of Cambridge Pothole Hotline    I really love Cambridge city government.  So often I’m impressed by what the City of Cambridge offers to its residents.  And I’m doubly impressed when I see how low the property taxes are in Cambridge for a good portion of the city’s home owners.

One nifty service that Cambridge offers is a variety of hotlines. Simple – but really handy – who doesn’t want an official place to lodge complaints?  You would think that the need for the Cambridge Pothole Hotline would have passed since potholes proliferate in spring.  Not so however – there are still a lot of potholes out there, perhaps due in part to all the rain we’ve been getting.

If you spot a pothole in Cambridge call the DPW’s Pothole Hotline at 617-349-4854.

I also love youtube and have come to realize you can find just about anything there – like this video on how a pothole is formed (easily as it turns out – no wonder we have so many pot holes):




Categories: Living Here
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Antique Auto Show in Lincoln Massachusetts

I spotted this antique auto while on a tour with a real estate buyer. Perhaps they'll take it for a spin to the car show in Lincoln this Sunday.

I spotted this antique auto while on a tour with a real estate buyer. Perhaps they'll take it for a spin to the car show in Lincoln this Sunday.

There’s just something about antique automobiles that transports me (ha! no pun intended) to an earlier time. My favorite antique auto show takes places this weekend in Lincoln Massachusetts.  It’s often brutally hot at this time of year but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the mild weather continues.

The annual antique auto show is held at the Codman Estate in Lincoln.  The car show is held rain or shine. 

Over 200 antique cars, classic cars, trucks and motorcycles will be on display on the grounds.  There’ll also be entertainment by the New Liberty Jazz Band, tours of the museum, food concessions and fun for the family.

Admission: Free for children under the age of 12 and for members of Historic New England (formerly SPNEA); $5.00 for nonmembers; $10 per antique auto including passengers

Location:The Codman Estate, 36 Codman Road, Lincoln MA 01773

Hours: 8 am to 2 pm on Sunday, July 19, 2009

The antique auto show in Lincoln MA is fun for the whole family – hope to see you there!

Categories: Area Events

Comments: Please leave a comment. Your opinions welcomed.

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