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Memorial Day Real Estate Trivia

General & President “Ike” Eisenhower Slept Here

It was September 21, 1953, seven weeks after an armistice ended the Korean War. Operation Moolah was in effect. Operation Moolah was a United States Air Force (USAF) effort during the Korean War to obtain (through defection from any Russian, Chinese or North Korean pilot) a fully capable Soviet MiG-15 jet fighter to deliver to America. The US had attempted to obtain a MiG for years because it was considered to be the best fighter aircraft of the 1950’s and Korean War. The performance of the MiG-15 outclassed and amazed its’ Western opponents.

That morning, North Korean fighter pilot No Kum Sok seized his opportunity to escape a dead end future in North Korea and find asylum in America. He climbed into the cockpit of a MiG-15 and flew it to Kimpo, an American air base near Seoul in South Korea.That same morning president Eisenhower flew out of Washington, D.C. to Boston before the reports about the MiG and the North Korean defector reached the White House.

Eisenhower stayed at the Annex to the Algonquin Club at 223 Commonwealth Avenue, Back Bay, Boston and was called by the White House that day and given the news “We got the MiG.” Eisenhower dictated in a personal and confidential letter to his longtime advisor and confidante, Walter Bedell Smith, Undersecretary of State “I am sorry I was not in Washington today to discuss the MiG incident with the entire staff.” He was not sorry, however, that he was staying on America’s grandest avenue at 223 Commonwealth Avenue, Back Bay, Boston.

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Great windows in your new home?

Renters:
When renting a condo you may expect to have some kind of window treatments. Most landlords put the basic blinds or roller shades which might not be attractive enough for you. You can customize your apartment by adding color with curtains. Simple, inexpensive and easy to install curtains can be found at many different stores like Bed Bath and Beyond, Pottery Barn, West Elm or even on Amazon.

Buyers:
Choosing the right window treatments for your newly purchased condo can be overwhelming.  First, make sure to check with the condo association’s rules to know what are the dos and don’ts. Many managed buildings have scheduled window cleanings during the year. If you are interested in getting as much light as possible, select a window shade that allows light to come through. Being on a lower floor you might want to consider having a top down bottom up shade, so you can cover the bottom of the window for privacy yet allowing light into your place by having the top portion of the window completely open. There are many options, therefore you may want to have a window expert come and explain all the different possibilities; many of them offer a complementary consultation for new home buyers.

Shopping for a new home? Check out all our listings, the spring market is going strong and many new listings are added every week.

 

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6 Mistakes to Avoid While Your Mortgage is in Process

The offer on your new home was accepted, your inspection went smoothly, the purchase and sale agreement has been signed, and now you are just waiting for your mortgage commitment letter. You are almost done, but don’t go shopping for that new furniture set just yet!

Most lenders recommend taking a financial pause. Here are some suggestions to avoid common mistakes that can prevent you from getting your mortgage:

 

1. Do not open any new lines of credit, including opening new credit cards, or taking out new loans.

2. Do not close existing credit accounts.

3. Do not make any large purchases, such as buying/leasing a new car, expensive furniture sets, etc.

4. Do not make significant job changes, such as quitting or changing your job.

5. Do not make large deposits or withdrawals from your bank account.

6. Do not pay your bills late.


If you have any questions, ALWAYS check with your loan officer.

Happy closing!

 

 

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Parking Spots for Sale in Boston

Ever wonder what it is like to own your own parking space in Boston? Just finding parking alone is time consuming, stressful and can often take a good amount of change out of your pocket if you are renting one daily.  Beat the weather, save time/money and please check out some of the open parking spaces within Back Bay, South End and Beacon Hill that can save you all the hassle, knowing you have a space waiting or you.
 

25 Savoy St., Tandem Parking Space - South End - $200,000
Tandem parking space in the Rollins Square Garage available in the South End between Washington St. and Harrison Ave. Easy access to I-93, beat the rush!  Click here for details

 

700 Harrison Ave., Single Parking Space - South End - $80,000
Single, garage parking space available in the 700 Harrison Ave. Condominiums, between E. Brookline St. and E. Canton St. Beat the weather with this parking space!  Click here for details

 

195 Beacon St., Single Parking Space - Back Bay - $345,000
Single parking space available in Back Bay on Beacon St., right near the Mass. Pike. Be right next to your work, and near the shops, restaurants and all that Back Bay has to offer. Easy walk to Fenway Park!  Click here for details

 

144 Charles St., Single Parking Space - South End - $350,000
Single, garage parking spaces available on Charles St. Own a parking space in one of the most challenging parking neighborhoods in Boston. Click here for details

 

35 Fay St., Single Parking Space - South End - $125,000
Single, garage parking space available on Fay St., right near E. Berkeley St. No need to clean off your car from snow with this parking space! Easy access to I-93, beat the rush!  Click here for details

 

Contact Andrew Bemben with any questions or to set up an appointment to discuss parking spaces for sale in Boston.

 

 

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Boston Condo Market 2018 Review

A Look into Boston's Condominium Sales Market

 

It's safe to say that Boston's real estate has been on a hot streak. With 2018 at a close, Boston condominium sales have set even higher records than ever before. The Seaport took the lead in 2018 as the most expensive neighborhood, with the highest average sale price. Back Bay and South End continue to be highly sought after neighborhoods. South Boston also saw an increase from previous years when comparing average price and price per square foot; However, the most impressive statistic was that South Boston was the most popular in terms of condominium sales volume, totaling to 753 units sold. Now the question is, what does the market have in store for 2019?

 

 

 

Click to view available condos in South Boston

Click to view available condos in South End

Click to view available condos in Back Bay

Click to view available condos in Beacon Hill

Click to view available condos in North End

 

 

 

 

 

Open House Tips for Buyers: Just Looking (Part 1)

Open houses provide terrific opportunities to visit a neighborhood, investigate particular styles of housing, get a feel for space or picture yourself living somewhere.  Your real estate agent can set you up to receive weekly open house lists in your desired area and price range.  Visit an assortment and educate yourselves before getting serious about buying.  Upon arrival, introduce yourself, sign in with your Buyer agent's information, take a listing sheet and respectfully look around.  Feel free to ask questions but save any personal or money discussion for your own agent.
 

 

Etiquette tips: 

  • Don’t use bathrooms or sit on furniture. 
  • Ask before opening any closed doors. 
  • Do not bring pets.
  • Remove shoes if asked.


Other tips:

  • Take notes on likes and dislikes.
  • Observe other Buyers and listen.
  • Concentrate on permanent items as opposed to changeable decor.
  • Look up and down and for any signs of neglect or recent repairs.
  • Walk the outside of the house/building and any immediate areas.
     

Stay Tuned for Part 2: READY TO BUY!

Looking for a buyer’s agent who can keep you informed and up to date on your real estate search?  You need someone experienced to guide you through this process and help negotiate for a wonderful new home!  Contact us and let one of our experts help!

 

 

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.

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Peter Parkar on

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

    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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    Valuable Tips for a Fall Sale

    Find yourself listing your home on the market and concerned about the season?  Use these effective methods for a successful sale:

    1.  Clean out closets and cupboards so buyers have easy access and space can be easily viewed.

    2.  Move extra pieces of furniture, equipment, and out of season clothes to storage.  Can people walk around comfortably and enjoy the space?

    3.  Clean all windows and move those window treatments aside to let optimal light in.  Check all lightbulbs and be sure they work and match color for evening showings

    4.  Take a good look at the front entry, common area, yard, deck, and any outside the home areas and spruce up!  Add some seasonal items and look at the first impression buyers will get.

    5.  Most importantly, engage an experienced real estate broker who will commit to multiple public and industry open houses.  These will work in your favor!
     
    As always, please don't hesitate to contact us for assistance.  You can also fill out our home evaluation form and we will prepare a complimentary price analysis and recommended marketing strategy for you.
     
     

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