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How Quickly are Condos Going Under Agreement in Boston's Back Bay, Beacon Hill and South End?

In Boston's Back Bay, Beacon Hill and South End, competition for condos can be fierce. Available inventory has remained low - essentially at the same levels as we saw pre-pandemic - so when well-priced, desirable condos hit the market, they sell quickly. 

How quickly?  Based on MLS data for condos listed between 12/23/2020 and 2/23/2021 (past 2 months), the following are the average days to accepted offer in the Back Bay, South End and Beacon Hill:
 

Under $1,000,000:  8.14 days

$1,000,000 - $1,999,999:  3.88 days

$2,000,000 - $2,999,999:  13.29 days

$3,000,000 and above: 15 days


On the market for less than 4 days on average, competition is extremely high for condos in the $1-2 million range.  Additionally, buyers are prioritizing outdoor space (especially private roof decks and patios).  The figures above are only for condos that have gone under agreement or sold, and there are units that are sitting on the market, but this data shows that buyers are out and looking this Spring.  

Connect with us if you are considering a move - we can set you up for immediate notifications and help you react quickly when you find your dream home.  With condos selling as quickly as they are, there is no time to snooze!

 


 

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Thinking of selling? Tips to prepare your home to put on the market

Spring market is the busiest time to sell homes and the 2021 spring market is fast approaching. According to local realtors spring market starts as early as March!

 

  • Start cleaning your home now
  • Take out the clutter
  • Pack grown up kids’ bedrooms
  • Interview realtors
  • Meet with stager or organizer
  • Do updates or repairs to improve value
  • Get quotes from moving companies
  • Remove personal items, family photos, etc.

 

The preparations you start now will pay off later and make for less work once the nice weather gets here.

Contact Cabot and Company to see how we can help make the process easier.

 

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Staying on Par Through the Winter

It’s one of the saddest days on the calendar, the day you have to put away the golf clubs.  It’s something our friends in warm-weather climates don’t understand, but those of us who call the northeast home feel the pain every year. Here in Boston, it can be tough to practice and keep from getting too rusty in the winter.  Golf is a feel game and it is important to keep the momentum going from season to season. You don’t want to lose your touch, right? So where can you go to stay sharp when you’re swinging a shovel instead of a seven-iron? Check out these local spots to keep your game up to par year round. 

 

 

City Golf Boston 
167 Milk St, Boston, MA 02109
https://citygolfboston.com

*Offering golf lesson for individuals or groups

*Golf Memberships - Includes unlimited golf lessons and unlimited use of simulator

 *Custom club fitting
 

Lynx Fitness Center 
64 Arlington St.  Boston, MA 02116
https://lynxfitnessclub.com/lynx-indoor-golf

*Boston’s first Top Golf suites

*Members and Non Members can reserve simulator for practice

*Lessons with PGA Professionals

*Private suite booking for events

 

McGolf
150 Bridge St, Dedham, MA 02026
https://www.mcgolfonline.com

*Radiant heated outdoor golf bays year round

*Fittings and lessons

*Members putting and chipping area

*Reserve golf simulator

 

Carpet Removal Made Simple

Do you have carpet that is old, with multiple stains and has collected the grime from city streets?  Are you ready for a change to wood flooring in one of the rooms in your condo or maybe the whole thing? It starts with ripping up the carpet, and you can save money by doing it yourself.

Here is a list of tools that you will need:
1.  Utility knife
2.  Vice grips or channel locks
3.  Crowbar or catspaw
4.  Dust mask
5.  Wood chisel 
6.  Hammer

Start by selecting an edge or a corner and use vice grips or channel locks to pull until the carpet is free from the underlayment (sponge-like material installed underneath the carpet). While using your dust mask, distribute your weight from your legs to your upper body and rip up a section of the carpet. From there, use a utility knife to cut the carpet into manageable pieces (recommend cutting every 4-6ft.) to facilitate an expedited and safe removal from your home. Once all the carpet is removed, there will remain underlayment. The underlayment will be stapled to the plywood substrate. The underlayment usually will not rip up clean, but in pieces. Try your best to pull carefully around the staples so the underlayment comes up in full sections. Use a wood chisel and channel locks to remove the staples that remain in the ply-wood. If some of the staples cannot be removed, use a hammer to embed the staples into the plywood. Once all underlayment is free, you will be left with a substrate ready to receive your new floor.

 

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Finding a Home for You and Fido

While rents have fallen during the pandemic, pet adoption has gone up by 20% according the MSPCA. Each week in Back Bay, I spot a puppy being walked and an owner doing their best to wrangle their new furry four-legged ball of energy. While entertaining for me, I know it can be a lot to handle. 

For new pet owners who may be searching for where to go for Fido's grooming, care and toys, as well as pet-friendly apartments in Boston, here are a few suggestions.
 

Pet Services in Back Bay 

Back Bay Veterinarian Clinic, 288 Newbury St., www.backbayvet.com

The Fish & Bone, 217 Newbury St., www.thefishandbone.com

Boston Dog Walks, 107 St. Botolph St., www.bostondogwalks.com

Kelly’s Underground Dog Grooming, 248 West Newton St., (617) 638-3230

Pawsh Dog Boutique and Salon, 31 Gloucester St., www.pawshboston.com

 

Some Pet Friendly Apartments
Contact Us for More Available Options

6 Marlborough St., Back Bay, 1 bed $2400 - https://cabotandcompany.com/listing/34645781/marlborough-st.-boston-ma-02116/

 

289 Newbury St., Back Bay, 1 bed $2150 - https://cabotandcompany.com/listing/34646504/newbury-st.-boston-ma-02115/

40 Fay St., South End, 2 bed $2795 - https://cabotandcompany.com/listing/221885677/fay-st.-boston-ma-02118/

17 Plymouth St., Cambridge/Kendall Square, 2 bed $2750 - https://cabotandcompany.com/listing/67178307/plymouth-st.-cambridge-ma-02141/

6 Chilcott Place., Jamaica Plain, 3 bed, $3200 - https://cabotandcompany.com/listing/238509831/chilcott-pl.-boston-ma-02130/

 

 

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Giving this Holiday Season

The holiday season is a time to spend with family and friends.  It is also a time to reflect, assist those in need, and try to bring a joyous holiday to those that are less fortunate and are struggling during these hard times.  Here are a number of local organizations that are accepting donations for families, children, and men and women:
 

Greater Boston Food Bank: https://www.gbfb.org/

Cradles to Crayonshttps://www.cradlestocrayons.org/boston/

Boston ABCD: https://bostonabcd.org/service/adopt-a-family/

FamilyAid Boston: https://familyaidboston.org/donate-items/

Women's Lunch Placehttps://womenslunchplace.org

 

 

 

Tourism and Boston's Commercial Real Estate Market

Tourism is a huge part of Boston’s economy, so monitoring the number of travelers is important in evaluating the health of Boston’s real estate market.  Due to COVID-19, the number of travelers, not only at Boston-Logan Airport, but throughout the country, has decreased dramatically since the beginning of this year. 

 With the holidays around the corner and the number of cases on the rise, many are expecting flight traffic to remain low as people plan to travel by car instead of plane.  In order for Boston’s commercial real estate market to rebound, we will likely need to see passenger traffic return.

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Thanksgiving in the Time of COVID, 2020

It’s been too many months since we have been able to see extended family and friends. The holidays bring back nostalgic memories of past gatherings, and lure us to think of throwing caution to the wind, and forge ahead with our traditional feast and get together.

Given the current surge in coronavirus infections, health experts and the CDC are advising all of us to avoid our traditional gatherings around Thanksgiving. So what can we do to still celebrate, and keep everyone safe and healthy?

1. Arrange a Zoom family gathering. The video conferencing tech company is giving a gift to everyone, by eliminating the pesky time limit of 40 minutes for its non-paying subscribers. So, your family gathering on Zoom doesn’t have to get cut short. #ZoomTogether this Thanksgiving.

2. At every Thanksgiving, certain friends and family are known for a specialty dish. It could be Mom’s best stuffing, or Dad’s fried turkey, or Grandma’s pumpkin pie. Arrange for everyone to make their specialty dishes ahead of time, portion them out to deliver and share on your Zoom.

3. Dine al fresco if possible if you insist on getting together. You can use outdoor portable heaters, and leave some blankets out.

Finally, here’s a link to my hands down, best ever, Thanksgiving Turkey recipe. It’s courtesy of Melissa Clark of the NY Times. It’s so easy, and comes out perfect every time. FYI, I’ve tried all the fancy organic, farm raised, heritage, you name it turkeys, but have decided that a Butterball is still the best! 

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Why Title is So Important

Whether you are buying or selling, clear title is essential to the purchase or sale of real estate. “Dirty” or “bad” title can be fatal to a deal. Unlike the deed (a legal, physical document recorded in the Registry of Deeds), the title isn’t a piece of paper, but a concept that gives you ownership of the property. Without clear title, you generally cannot purchase, mortgage or sell it in the near future. Some common examples of title defects are improper title transfers, previously unknown heirs, state or local tax liens, estate complications, contractor/mechanic liens, boundary encroachments and liens from creditors, lenders and the IRS.

The GBREB's (Greater Boston Real Estate Board's) standard purchase and sale agreement form provides for what happens in a transaction if defective title is discovered. Clause 10 states the seller has 30 days to use reasonable efforts to clear the title. If the seller cannot deliver clear and marketable title within the 30 day period, the buyer may elect to withdraw from the contract without penalty.  

Sellers benefit by searching the title prior to listing their property for sale to ensure there are no title defects or other title issues. Buyers protect themselves by having their attorney search the title as soon as the purchase and sale agreement is signed, and by purchasing title insurance.

One of the key services that real estate attorneys provide is verifying that the title is good and marketable, thereby providing peace of mind to both buyer and seller. And the bank.

DISCLAIMER: This is provided for informational purposes only and is not offered as legal advice. Please consult an attorney to discuss your specific questions regarding title and other legal matters.

 

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Roadmap to Buying a Home in and around Boston

While the year 2020 has presented some major challenges for many people, there have been some upsides as well. For instance, interest rates have set record lows a few times this year, creating a rare opportunity, especially for first time home buyers. So what does the buying process look like in the Boston area?

Once you have spoken with your real estate agent and identified neighborhoods and types of properties you are interested in, and established a price range through your lender, here is a general overview*:

1. Start viewing homes.  Visiting open houses and viewing properties by appointment with your agent are both great ways to see available options. Our website is a great place to search homes available for sale in the Boston area.

2. Make an offer.  Once you’ve found a property you are interested in, make an offer. This is one of the most important steps in the process. Your real estate agent will provide you with a market analysis to help determine a price to offer, guide you through the various aspects such as timing and contingencies, and help position the offer as strongly as possible. Generally, a $1,000 deposit is due with the offer and the seller is usually given a 24 hour deadline to respond.

3. Home inspection.  When the offer is accepted, a home inspection is typically the next step, and usually takes place within 7-10 days of an accepted offer.

4. Review condominium documents (if applicable) and other items.  This is also the time when you generally review the condominium documents (if you are purchasing a condo). Your attorney should review them as well. The master deed, declaration of trust, rules and regulations, condo budget and recent condo meeting minutes can all provide important context on the building – for instance, is the association budgeting for capital improvements, are there any restrictions on renting out the condominium, are there are pet restrictions, etc. This usually takes place within 7-14 days of an accepted offer.

5. Sign the Purchase and Sale Agreement (P&S).  The P&S sets out, in greater detail than the offer, the terms of the purchase/sale. With the P&S, the deposit also increases – typically, the deposit is increased from the $1,000 deposit made with the offer to 5% of the purchase price (though this can vary greatly). Generally, the P&S is signed within around 14 days of the accepted offer. 

6. Obtain your mortgage commitment letter.  Throughout the process, you will be working with your lender to provide them the information that they need to approve the loan. The lender’s approval is given to you in a “commitment letter”, which they typically issue to you within 30-45 day of the accepted offer. Note that this timeframe varies depending on current processing times, so check with your lender. Commitment letters also typically contain conditions, so they are not a “guarantee” of financing – this is also something you should discuss with your lender. Here is a list of some common mistakes to avoid while your mortgage is in process.   

7. The final walk-through.  Usually done the day before or the morning of the closing, the final walk-through is a short visit to the property (usually 10-15 minutes) to ensure it is in the condition that was expected (e.g. any repairs that were required to be made have been done, furniture has been moved out, appliances are all still in place, etc.).

8. CLOSING!  This is when you sign A LOT of documents. But once the deed is recorded, the home is officially yours! 
 

* Please note that while this is a general outline, there is no one-size-fits-all. The steps, deposit amounts and timeframe will all vary case-by-case. Closings may happen quicker, for instance if you are paying with cash, or slower. For guidance on your particular transaction, have a discussion with your real estate professional. 

 

 

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