Mike Schwartz

Apple Picking: Orchards Near Boston

Right up there with the Fall tradition of leaf peeping is going apple picking in Massachusetts. Who can resist hopping on a hayride, filling a bag with a variety of fresh apples, and enjoying some delicious hot or cold apple cider and apple cider doughnuts? Fun for the entire family!

Here are a few fun farms and orchards to try:

Shelburne Farms (Stow, MA) - https://www.shelburnefarm.com/

Belkin Family Lookout Farm (S Natick, MA) - https://www.lookoutfarm.com/

Brooksby Farm (Peabody, MA) - https://brooksbyfarm.org/

Honey Pot Hill Orchards (Stow, MA) - https://www.honeypothill.com/

Cider Hill Farm (Amesbury, MA) - https://www.ciderhill.com/

Carlson Orchards (Harvard, MA) - https://carlsonorchards.com/

 

 

Need to Break Your Lease?

There are many reasons why someone may need to “break” their apartment lease.  Generally, it is a stressful situation for everyone involved – the tenant usually would not be leaving their apartment were it not for the unforeseen circumstances, and the landlord is concerned about being able to pay their mortgage, real estate taxes and other operating expenses.

It typically becomes important to find a suitable replacement tenant as soon as possible.  Here are some tips for tenants needing to break their lease: 

  • Give the landlord a firm date, in writing, that you will be moving out.  This allows the landlord (and their rental agent) to market the apartment with an available move in date.
     
  • The apartment should be clean and tidy.
     
  • Offer to take updated pictures and a video tour of the apartment, and allow agents to do so too.  This is particularly important in the current environment.  Having pictures and video can help maximize advertising efficiency and limit the number of in-person tours that are required. 
     
  • Make the apartment easily accessible for agents and their clients to view.  Generally, a prospective tenant will NEED to see an apartment in-person before signing a lease.  The easier it is for access, the quicker it generally is to complete a deal with a replacement tenant (which will then eliminate the need for continued disruptions).
     
  • Consider offering incentives to any incoming prospects.  This may include offering to pay the incoming broker fee.  The inventory of available apartments is high right now due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so we do see situations where the lease-breaking tenant will offer incentives to help get a deal done with a replacement tenant in order to get “off the hook” since it can be cheaper in the long run depending on how much time is left on the lease.
     

We understand that lease break situations can be stressful for all parties involved.  Please feel free to reach out to us and we will do our best to help you navigate through it.

 

 

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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

 

 

 

Tips for Landlords to Rent Vacant Apartments in the COVID-19 Era

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a dramatic influx of apartments on the market for rent in Boston. In the not-too-distant past, inventory was low and it had been a "landlords' market" for several years. However, these days, incoming tenants looking for a deal can certainly find one.  

As a landlord, a recommended strategy right now is to make your apartment as attractive as possible. If it hasn’t been renovated in 10+ years, this is the time to do it. Price is important, but today's discerning renters are looking for "new and shiny", generally preferring nicer apartments over the absolute lowest-priced options that are not well maintained. 

Here are a few improvements to consider, based on the feedback we receive from tenants evaluating apartment options:

  • Kitchen updates are among the most important. Consider installing new cabinets - if that's not in the budget, then consider having the cabinets repainted and replacing the hardware.
  • Stainless steel appliances are becoming a "must have" for many renters.
  • Refinish the hardwood floors and apply a fresh coat of paint to all walls.  
  • Update the bathroom(s).

With the inventory out there, expectations are high. Here are some "before" and "after" pictures of an apartment that was just renovated. It tremendously helps with the marketing - not just now, but for years to come.
 

 
Before


After

 


Before

 
After

 

If you would like to schedule a complimentary consultation, contact us here. We can schedule a visit to your apartment and suggest improvements that prospective tenants would most likely request. During our visit, we can also present a pricing and marketing strategy to help you get your vacancy filled so that your investment property can maintain a positive return!

 

 

Riding the Seaport "Wave"

The Seaport District has seen tremendous growth and opportunity over the past five years, and its known as one of Boston’s fastest growing neighborhoods.  Those that purchased a condo here a few years ago have seen a large increase in their investment – the average condo sale price has increased over 133% since 2015.  
 


Data Source: MLS Property Information Network, Inc.


Nearby neighborhoods such as South Boston, Dorchester and Quincy have seen a lot of transformation over the past few years as well.  New developments and condo conversions in these neighborhoods, as well as the arrival of trendy restaurants and bars, have attracted buyers.  They have not yet seen the same amount of growth as the Seaport, but they seem poised to ride this Seaport “wave” and increase in value as well.  

 

 

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Off-Season Rentals Offer Good Deals

The peak spring and summer rental market season can be quite hectic.  Fast moving inventory, top dollar market pricing, and competing with qualified applicants.  All of this makes the stressful moving experience even more so.  After September 1st, however, there are deals to be had if one can wait to move.  The rental market tends to slow down during the fall and winter, and sometimes this leaves landlords with vacant apartments.  Great deals are available for those who can move quick, or fill odd dates.  This is also an opportune time to ask for some painting or touch up before move-in when typically there wouldn’t be time.  

Call us and speak with a qualified rental agent to find out more.

 


Current Fall Specials (click for more info):

Dartmouth St, South End - 2+BR/2BA Penthouse Duplex with Private Deck - $4,995

M St, South Boston - 1+BR/1BA Renovated Penthouse - $2,625

Marlborough St, Back Bay - 2BR/1BA Penthouse with Central Air - $3,450

Warren Ave, South End - 1BR/1BA Renovated with In-Unit Laundry - $2,375

 

 

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