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.




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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Pools in Boston

Massachusetts recorded record temperatures this Summer and the Fall looks like a warm one.  If you can’t get to the beach or prefer to stay in the city but still like to cool your toes, there are many terrific condo and rental buildings with pools!  Most neighborhoods have at least one property with a private pool, a hotel or two with possible pool memberships and an outside public pool as well as the YMCA. Here are a few options to consider when scouting your next move:

Downtown - 45 Province offers a year-round heated outdoor pool.
South Boston - McAllen and Court Press building condominiums share an outdoor heated pool, and you also have a beach nearby.
Waterfront - Harbor Towers, which consists of 2 buildings on Boston Harbor with a resort-style pool, grills and great lawn areas. 
Charlestown - Parris Landing has a heated pool and fun grilling area.
Cambridge - Atmark is a luxury rental complex with a solar heated pool, and Avalon-North Point has an indoor heated pool plus there's a cool shopping mall in walking distance.  Regatta Residences has an indoor lap pool, and many of the upper floor units offer unbeatable views of the July 4th fireworks over the Charles River.

Pool at 45 Province
Why not enjoy Summer in the City?!  Let us help you find an enjoyable place to live!


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Cabot Field Trip at Echelon Seaport!

Sales agents from Cabot & Company Real Estate enjoyed a private experience tour of the fantastic and expansive new construction property Echelon Seaport on Seaport Boulevard consisting of luxury condominiums with every lifestyle amenity offered and more!  

Be part of the exciting life in the Seaport as more shops and restaurants join the new Icon movie theater, LL Bean, Bonobos, and loads of green space fun!



Thank you to Patrick Cutter and Cottonwood staff for the comprehensive tour!

Pricing and floor plans available, be the first, contact us for information about Destination Living! 




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Four Seasons One Dalton Street: Sneak Peek

Four Seasons One Dalton hard hat tour with vests, goggles, gloves and construction boots!  (See our photos from the 54th floor)  Cabot & Company was treated to an exhilarating tour of the much anticipated luxury hotel and private condominium property at One Dalton Street, which will be 61 stories tall when complete.
Some of the exciting state of the art amenities include a Private Resident’s Club Lounge in the sky with a TV lounge, full bar, kitchen and terrace.  The building also offers a salon and spa, fitness center, steam rooms, golf simulator room with wet bar, private theater room, indoor lap pool, family activity center and more!  The contemporary homes will have floor to ceiling windows, custom Semantic cabinetry and marble baths.  
Thank you to Sarah Ragsdale and Gabby Guagliano Baron for a great day!!
Contact us for detailed unit information and pricing.  


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Prime Real Estate to Celebrate the Fourth of July in Boston

July 4, 1929:  Boston’s first free Fourth of July concert along the picturesque Charles River. That season of events was enjoyed by over 208,000 people.
July 4, 1974:  The first free concert on The Esplanade, including cannons and fireworks. That evening alone attracted a record 400,000 people.
Now:  More than 1/2 million people watch from the banks of the Charles River, and millions view on television!
Find homes here that are close to the Charles River (some even offer the private roof decks with incredible views).


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Work From Home

According to a 2017 Gallup poll, 43% of Americans in 2016 worked from home in some capacity.  This number had increased from previous years and is steadily rising.  Many developers are taking this into consideration when planning projects and are catering to this popular and growing concept.

Park Lane Apartments in Boston’s Seaport anticipated this as the first apartment building in a new neighborhood.  They offer a conference room, club room with billiards, and a 24-hour gym.  The newer, Waterside Apartments in Seaport has extended work space in the business center with a Wi-fi connected cafe and a 24-hour fitness center, among many other perks. 

How you "work from home" depends upon how you like to work.  Some may prefer to be in a luxury building that offers many of these types of amenities, so that while you are "trapped" at home/work, you can sneak in a quick workout at your building's gym or spread out in the business center.  

For those who want to search for a private in-home office, the best bet is to look at homes offering a private den or small second (or third or fourth) bedroom.  Click here to search for two bedrooms for sale under $1 million to help get started.

There are lots of options in and around Boston.  Our team is here to help do a lot of the legwork to help hone in on the properties that would be the best fit for what you're looking for.  Feel free to contact us and let us show you how we can help you find your next home (and office)!



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