Wisteria on Cambridge Street


Every spring I look forward to this gorgeous display on Cambridge Street near Harvard Square in Cambridge – the wisteria draped porch on this Greek Revival

One of two matching large Greek Revivals built in 1845, this house like its twin, was built as two townhouses or “connected dwellings” as it was called when they were built.  Nowadays we Cambridge real estate agents call it an “attached single family”.  Both are quintessential Greek Revivals with the porch lined with Doric columns, the floor to ceiling windows on the first floor, and the sidelights flanking the front door.

One of these townhouses sold for $1,550,000 in 2008.  It was renovated and had four bedrooms and 3.5 baths.  What a lovely sight to come home to!


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Average Cost Per Square Foot for Cambridge Real Estate

Tape MeasurerThe average cost per square foot for Cambridge real estate is a figure that often catches the eye of buyers, of appraisers, and of real estate agents.

While it is an interesting point of information when pricing  or buying real estate in Cambridge, price per square foot has its limitations.  Unless the properties are similar in most respects – parking or no parking, renovated or not, lot size, bedroom and bathroom count, age of construction or renovation, etc. – the price per square foot comparison doesn’t tell you a lot.  A seemingly out of whack price per square foot can make sense if the house or condo in question is substantially better (or worse!) than other properties.  And an average price per square foot shouldn’t be the definitive answer when determining value since all sorts of variables can push the value up or down.

Average per square foot prices can be useful when comparing certain properties such as condos in similar buildings or single families in a neighborhood.  Useful more as a guide than a definitive method of pricing, price per square foot can help highlight outliers – properties that are priced well  below others on a price per square foot basis or properties that are priced well above what others of  a similar size command.

Average price per square foot is also impacted by the size of the condo or house in question.  Average prices per square foot are highest for small units and are lower for larger units.  That makes sense since the expensive square feet in a house are the kitchen and baths – and you only have so many of those no matter how large the house or condominium.

With all of these caveats in mind, here are the average prices per square foot for Cambridge real estate sold in the last twelve months:

96 single families sold in the last 12 months in Cambridge.

  • Average price per square foot for a Cambridge single family house: $427
  • Median price per square foot for Cambridge single family homes: $385.26
  • Highest price per square foot paid for a house in Cambridge in the last 12 months: $930.60 for an exquisitely renovated small single family between Brattle Street and Mount Auburn

177 one-bedroom condos sold in Cambridge in the last 12 months.

  • Average cost per square foot for a Cambridge one-bedroom condo: $478
  • Median price per square foot for a one-bedroom condo in Cambridge: $476
  • Lowest price per square foot: $253.69
  • Highest price per square foot: $655.02

342 Cambridge two-bedroom condos sold in the last 12 months.

  • Average sale price per square foot for two-bedroom Cambridge condos: $437
  • Median price per square foot for two-bedroom condos in Cambridge: $424
  • Lowest cost per square foot: $171.93
  • Highest price per square foot: $1,144.54 for a condo at the Esplanade with amazing views of the Charles River and Boston skyline
  • If you want to search for Cambridge real estate, click on the button below.


    Elizabeth Bolton is a Cambridge real estate agent at the Huron Avenue office of Coldwell Banker.  Contact Liz  if you still have questions about the average cost per square foot for Cambridge real estate.

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    Garfield Street – Cambridge Real Estate Rambles

    garfield-street-pinkish-red-victorianGarfield Street Cambridge – Real Estate Rambles.  Garfield Street, in the Agassiz neighborhood of Cambridge, Massachusetts, has been one of my favorite Cambridge streets for years.  Architecturally appealing and in an unbeatable location, Garfield Street is very popular with Cambridge real estate buyers.

    Just one block long, running from Mass Ave. to Oxford Street, Garfield Street is lined with an amazing collection of large, beautifully restored Victorian houses.  Located midway between Porter Square and Harvard Square, the street is just around the corner from restaurants, boutiques, cafes, museums, and more.

    Tucked in among the trees that edge and arch over the street is a classic older brick apartment building at 61 Garfield Street and on the other side, almost hidden behind the leafy branches at 76 Garfield Street, a modern apartment building built in the 1970s, both now converted to condominiums.

    At one point, Harvard University owned several of the houses on Garfield Street.  Harvard sold the houses in the late 1980s and 1990s. Over the years the street has grown to be more and more attractive as house after house was restored.

    Garfield Street Cambridge – Real Estate Sales

    The grand Victorians on Garfield Street are not inexpensive. Recent real estate sales include:

    • 32 Garfield Street sold in 2002 for $1,625,000
    • 36 Garfield Street sold in 2003 for $1,550,000
    • 64 Garfield Street sold in 2006 for $2,350,000

    If you’re not in the market for one of the large homes on the street, #61 and #76 offer options for condo buyers. 

    Recent sales of condos at 61 Garfield Street include:

    • A third floor one-bedroom condo sold for $377,000 in 2007
    •  A second floor renovated one-bedroom condo sold for $425,000 in 2007
    • A top floor two-bedroom two-bath condo sold for $472,983 in 2008

    At 76 Garfield Street a three-bedroom condo sold in 2008 for $433,000 and a three-bedoom condo was recently listed for sale for $425,000.

    Click on the button below to search for Cambridge real estate. You can also modify your search to search by address if you want to check for houses or condos currently for sale on Garfield Street.


    Orchard Street in Cambridge and Somerville is another special street.  Check back often for more posts about great streets in Cambridge and nearby towns.

    Here are some more photographs of Garfield Street in Cambridge MA:

    Garfield St slideshow

    Garfield Street – Cambridge Real Estate Rambles was written by Elizabeth Bolton, a real estate agent at the Huron Avenue office of Coldwell Banker.

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    Cambridge Real Estate Market In April 2009

    Cambridge Real Estate MarketThe Cambridge real estate market is humming – so before we get any further into May let’s look at the real estate market activity in Cambridge in April 2009.

    Cambridge Real Estate Inventory

    A the end of April 2009  there were 427 residential properties on the market in Cambridge, a significant increase from  a month before when 355 properties were listed for sale.  Cambridge real estate buyers will be happy to have more inventory to choose from.  By comparison, at this time in of the year in 2008 445 residential properties were on the market in Cambridge and in 2007 there were 485 properties listed for sale on April 30th.

    The lowest priced property was listed for $199,000, the most expensive for $4,850,000. Average days on market was 102.

    Cambridge Real Estate Sales in April 2009

    57 property sales closed in Cambridge during April with an average sales price of $528,650.  The median sales price was $422,000.  Average days on market was 114.

    3 single family sales closed in April for sales prices of $1,475,000, $1,790,000, and $1,915,126.  Average days on market was 69.

    46 condos sold in Cambridge in April. The least expensive condominium sold for $187,000.  The most expensive condo sold for $754,000.  The median condo sales price was $409,000.  Condos sold for an average of 96% of the asking price.  Average days on market was 112.

    8 multi-family houses sold in Cambridge in April. The lowest sale price for a multi-family was $520,000.  The highest price paid was $1,075,000.  The median sale price for a multi-family in Cambridge in April was $650,000.  Multi-families sold for an average of 92% of list price.  Average days on market was 144.

    Total Cambridge closed residential real estate sales volume in April was $30,133,026.

    Information from MLSpin.

      Also see:

    Cambridge Real Estate Market in January 2009
    Cambridge Real Estate Market in February 2009
    Cambridge Real Estate Market in March 2009



    Categories: Real Estate Market Info
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    Cambridge on the Silver Screen – Movies Filmed In Cambridge


    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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    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.



    More real estate rambles: Garfield Street Cambridge

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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.


    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. 


    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.



    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.


    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.


    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.


     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. 



    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.

    Categories: Living Here
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