Blog :: 10-2018

Micro Housing in Boston

Good news for developers: Boston recently initiated a "Compact Living" pilot.  It's a two-year program that will allow developers to build so-called micro housing units in the City (though the preferred term is "compact unit" instead of "micro unit").  Boston has been considering such a policy for a while, and this two-year experiment will let the City determine how well it works.  

In order to build micro housing units in Boston, developers need to meet a number of standards.  This includes complying with design standards, inclusionary housing requirements and following specific processes and procedures for approval.

Micro housing is often a hotly debated topic.  Opponents typically raise concerns about density and displacing families (who need larger units to accommodate all family members).  On the other side, micro units help promote affordability by creating more units and they help fill an underserved area of housing demand (according to Boston, the number of single people and couples is 2/3 of the City's population, but the number of studio and one-bedroom units is only 1/3 of the City's housing stock).

For more details on the pilot specifics, click here for Boston's webpage on the Compact Living Pilot.  If you are a developer looking for micro housing opportunities in Boston, contact Eric Shabshelowitz to help with your search.





  1. Peter Parkar on

    Hey Eric, Micro Housing a great idea and it will work well definitely. Good post with good idea.

    Apartment Spotlight: Quick Move-In and Half Fee

    In need of an apartment?  Here are a few featured apartments that are available for immediate move-in and at half of the broker's fee!

    South End | 614 Massachusetts Ave, U10 | 1 Bed | $2,295
    AVAILABLE NOW!!!  Wonderful, completely gut-rehabbed, with all new appliances.  One bedroom unit with large, sunny windows, refinished hardwood floors and an abundance of closet space.  Electricity, Heat and Hot Water included in the rent!  Please contact Andrew Bemben with any questions or to set up an appointment for this Saturday, 10/20 from 10:00 A.M. - 3:30 P.M.

    Back Bay | 247 Newbury St., U3F | 1 Bed | $3,100
    AVAILABLE NOW!!!  This spacious, sun-filled one bed is a great space for being in it all! As Back Bay maintains to be the neighborhood loaded with entertainment, food, shopping and anything you can fathom. Nestled in a superb location, located on Newbury and Fairfield St. This wonderful unit has a very open living room and large separate kitchen with granite counter tops. Heat and hot water included in the rent as well as a washer/dryer combo in the unit!  Please contact Andrew Bemben with any questions or to set up an appointment for this Saturday, 10/20 from 10:00 A.M. - 3:30 P.M.
    Bay Village | 10 Church St., U3 | 2 Bed | $2,595
    AVAILABLE NOW!!!  Live in this freshly painted, floor-thru two bedroom in Historic Bay Village! Right in the middle of the South End, Back Bay and Theatre District.  Location cannot be more convenient to transportation, the grocery store/markets, entrance/exit ramp to I-90 and laundry services.  This spacious unit has a very open living room with two, equal, large-sized bedrooms.  Please contact Andrew Bemben with any questions or to set up an appointment for this Saturday, 10/20 from 10:00 A.M. - 3:30 P.M.
    Back Bay | 475 Beacon St., U9 | 2 Bed | $3,200
    AVAILABLE NOW!!!  Newly renovated, two bedroom, garden floor-thru on Beacon and Hereford St.  New hardwood floors throughout, brand new kitchen with dishwasher and a new bathroom as well!  There is even a private outdoor patio to enjoy the Southern sun!  Location is great for being so close in proximity to the Charles River Esplanade.  There is common laundry right near the unit with hot water included in the rent!  Please contact Andrew Bemben with any questions or to set up an appointment for this Saturday, 10/20 from 10:00 A.M. - 3:30 P.M.



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    Relocating to Boston?

    There are still some great apartments out there. 
    Whether moving for a job transfer, new employment opportunity, or trying to get off a friend or parent’s couch, there are a variety of apartment options to explore.  Decide what you want your commute to be - walk, transit, bike?  What is your budget?  How much space do you really need?
    Benefits:  Live in one of Boston’s many desirable neighborhoods and walk to cafes, parks, music events, and join local community happenings to meet people and get involved!
    Benefits:  Usually a shorter term lease and flexibility, just bring a suitcase and a toothbrush! This is 
    perfect for consultants, grad students and the undecideds!
    Benefits:  Guaranteed elevator, central air, most times a doorman, gym, common outdoor space, and many other unique life experience perks!
    Search our website and contact an experienced rental agent for the most up to date listings and location advice.


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    What is a Homestead and Why Should You File a Homestead?

    Buying a home doesn’t just involve finding a home that you love.  There are certain steps you can and should take to protect yourself – not just during the transaction itself, but also continuing thereafter.  One of those important protections is called a “Homestead”.  Here is a brief overview of homesteads from Attorney Joe Anderson of Crowley & Cummings:

    It is indeed a rarity that someone owns and resides in a home as their principal residence in Massachusetts and has not filed a homestead.  Nonetheless, you do not want to be the unfortunate person left in the cold when it comes to maybe the only fraction of a real estate closing that actually protects the homeowner (as opposed to the 70 other pages of documents and disclosures that only really protect the mortgage lender).  There is a shortage of things in life that are too good to be true, but the Massachusetts homestead is akin to having a professional mechanic replace your brakes for free, if not much better.  In the real estate world and estate planning arena, the greatest financial benefit for your dollar spent might be the homestead.  And when I say dollar, it only costs $35.00 to record a homestead.   

    A homestead estate exempts a certain amount of equity in a home which is used as a principal residence from attachment, seizure, execution on judgment, levy and sale for the unsecured debts of the owner of the home.  Exceptions to this protection would include federal, state and local taxes, assessments, claims and liens, liens recorded prior to the creation of the homestead estate, mortgages, orders of the probate court for support, a levy or sale for ground rents (where the homeowner does not own the land) and an execution from a court to enforce a judgment based upon fraud, mistake, duress, undue influence or lack of capacity.     

    By law, merely by owning a home and using it as a principal residence entitles the owner to automatic homestead protection of up to $125,000.00 of the equity therein.  However, by actually filing a Declaration of Homestead at the applicable registry of deeds increases the equity protection to up to $500,000.00. 

    Under the Massachusetts Homestead Act, the homeowner’s equity is protected for up to one year after a sale of the home, and, if the home has suffered a casualty that results in the payment of insurance proceeds, then the insurance proceeds are protected for up to two years, in order to allow the homeowner time to acquire a homestead in a new (or reconstructed) home.  The Declared Homestead protects the owner, owner’s spouse and minor children.  Even upon the death of the owner, the protection continues for the spouse and minor children.        

    Please don’t hesitate to contact me directly regarding your interest in the Massachusetts Declaration of Homestead.  There are some technical requirements, so your best bet would be to arrange to have a Massachusetts attorney draft the appropriate filing.  We can either a) confirm there is an existing homestead filed at the registry of deeds and email you a copy; or b) prepare a homestead for you, free of charge (provided you pay the $35.00 recording fee charged by the registry of deeds).” 

    Thank you, Attorney Joe Anderson!




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