Blog :: 01-2012

Spotlight: Arlington Home of the Week: 20 Bartlett Ave.

In this week's Spotlight we're channeling Jane Austen and Charles Dickens with this beautiful Victorian home in the Jason Heights section of Arlington, MA. Imagine yourself in this impressive turn of the century home - brimming with more original charm than Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy, and architectural detail to rival Mansfield Park.


 

Enter through a welcoming foyer with inlaid floors, soaring ceilings and abundant natural light. Continue on through this expansive home which boasts elegant entertaining rooms with fireplaces, a formal dining room with built-ins and a large eat-in kitchen. Spacious bedrooms are open and airy with ample closets and storage. The third floor offers an au pair suite and/or expansion possibilities. Simply exceptional!

 

What's Nearby: Arlington shops, Public Transportation, Robbins Farm Park, Walk/Jog Trails, Bike Path, Brackett School.
 

 

Listed: $825,000
 

 

Scroll down to other new listing in Arlington this weekend!
 

 

SINGLE FAMILY
 

 

Address
 
Rooms
 
Bed
 
Bath
 
Style
 
Price
 
20 Bartlett Ave.
 
13
 
7
 
4f 0h
 
Victorian
 
$825,000
 
30 Addison St.
 
9
 
4
 
2f 1h
 
Townhouse
 
$799,00
 


 

CONDO
 

 

Address
 
Rooms
 
Bed
 
Bath
 
Style
 
Price
 
30 Addison St. U:30
 
9
 
4
 
2f 1h
 
Townhouse
 
$799,000
 
9 Rockaway Ln. U:9
 
5
 
2
 
1f 1h
 
Townhouse
 
$329,900
 
36 Warren St. U:2
 
6
 
3
 
2f 0h
 
2/3 Family
 
$374,900
 

More Factors Point to a Boston-Area Real Estate Rebound

MSNBC.com recently reported that San Jose and Boston are among cities set for a real estate rebound.

"For real estate to do well you want to see two things: that incomes are growing rapidly... and that the growth in jobs attracts other people to that market."This is right in line with our post from January 18th about the Arlington real estate market, Slow and Steady Wins the Real Estate Race.

"Lots of local colleges = smart people = job growth = higher employment rates = stronger real estate market. That's a lot to digest all at once, but the bottom line is that strong employment and healthy real estate go hand-in-hand."
Another important factor mentioned in this article is that, "markets that lost less value in the housing bust have the potential to recover faster."
In other words, the bigger the boom, the harder the fall, the longer the climb back up. The Boston market is poised to  rebound and make a faster comeback because it does not have as far to go to get there.
If you look at areas that had big housing booms (Florida, Nevada, areas in California) - there were significant investments in sub-developments and new construction built on specs. When the market went bust, these areas were left with a lot of supply, little demand and not enough business growth to keep people employed and paying their mortgages.
Hop over to the MSNBC article to check out my comment, and see what others are saying about why some cities are (or are not) set for a real estate rebound.

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    Will Arlington Get Thrown Under the Bus (and T)?

    From Twitter: @erijens: Trying to attend #mbta fare cut hearing feels a lot like riding the Green Line: no space in room, no overflow room, no clear backup plan.

     

    Clearly, the proposed cuts by the MBTA are a heated topic for anyone who relies on public transportation. One of the many reasons Arlington, MA is such a desirable town is because of the public transportation options it offers. With bus routes in town and the Red Line just over the border in Cambridge, we have a lot invested in our transit system.   

    And we're not alone. In addition to Arlington, Medford, Newton, Worcesterand other towns in and around Boston that rely on the rails are also up in arms about the possibilities of fare hikes and/or cuts.

    Social media sites like Twitter have been, well, a-twitter with the news, and have been acting as a virtual town meeting:

    @CouncilW9: #Waltham City Council unanimously adopted my resolution opposing #MBTA fare hikes and service cuts http://t.co/sLa2FebV . @steveannear: #MBTA property theft up 26%in 2011. @ShevBeatz: Sooo the #MBTA will hike the fares but won't provide safer, better service. @TheVoice: The Cost of Commuting: MBTA's Fare Proposals http://t.co/WpZjAHlH .

    If virtual town meetings aren't your thing, then go to a real one today, Tuesday, Jan. 24th from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in the lower level community room at Robbins Library. State Representative Sean Garballey, whose district includes Arlington, will be on hand to discuss the MBTA proposal.

     

    Don't let Arlington get thrown under the bus: encourage the MBTA to review its proposal so that all the I's are dotted and T's are running.
    If you can't attend tonight, take a moment to call or email your representatives:
    1.     State Senator Kenneth Donnelly
    Phone: 617-722-1432, Email: Kenneth.Donnelly@masenate.gov
    2.      State Representative Sean Garbally
    Phone: 617-722-2090, Email: Sean.Garballey@mahouse.gov
    3.    Arlington Selectman Kevin Greeley
          Email: Greeleycom@aol.com

    Spotlight: Arlington Homes of the Week, 6 Virginia Road, 40 Pleasant View Road

    The Pats are on at 3:00 p.m. this Sunday, which means it's time to put on your gray hooded sweatshirt and plan your open house strategy. Everyone knows the best offense is a good defense (just ask Tebow) and you can get ahead start by taking a virtual tour of these new single-family home listings in Arlington, MA. Stick with us and you'll be back in time for nachos and kick-off!


     

    Address: 6 Virginia Road
     

     

     

    Owned by the same family for over five decades, this home has been lovingly maintained and reflects true pride of ownership. Recently painted and with gleaming hardwood floors, this over-sized Ranch has plenty of space. An open living room/dining/kitchen and huge lower level make this a great home for entertaining. Three comfortably sized bedrooms with ample closet space Garage parking and a nice yard make this a must see!
     

     

    What's Nearby: Arlington Heights shops, Public Transportation, Robbins Farm Park, Walk/Jog Trails, Bike Path, Dallin School.
     

     

    Listed: $495,000
     

     

    Address: 40 Pleasant View Road
     

     

    Premier Jason Heights Colonial with beautiful, seasonal views of the Boston skyline. This wonderful home has been lovingly maintained over the years and reflects the true sense of a classic New England home. The first floor has a front-to-back living room with a center fireplace, a formal dining room with hutch, an eat-in-kitchen and a terrific home office or playroom. There are 3 spacious bedrooms, 3 full baths including a large master suite with private bath and fireplace. This is a lovely place to call home.


     

    What's Nearby: Arlington Heights shops, Public Transportation, Robbins Farm Park, Walk/Jog Trails, Bike Path, Dallin School.
     

     

    Listed: $679,000
     

     

     

    There are plenty of choices in Arlington this weekend, scroll down to browse them all!

     

    SINGLE FAMILY
     

     

    Address
     
    Rooms
     
    Bed
     
    Bath
     
    Style
     
    Price
     
    1 Cross St.
     
    5
     
    2
     
    1f 0h
     
    Colonial
     
    $284,900
     
    36 George St.
     
    8
     
    4
     
    3f 1h
     
    Cape
     
    $489,000
     
    378 Park Ave.
     
    7
     
    3
     
    1f 1h
     
    Colonial
     
    $489,000
     
    6 Virginia Rd.
     
    9
     
    3
     
    2f 0h
     
    Ranch
     
    $495,000
     
    15 Murray St.
     
    6
     
    3
     
    2f 0h
     
    Colonial
     
    $579,000
     
    22 Fisher Rd.
     
    8
     
    4
     
    2f 0h
     
    Cape
     
    $599,000
     
    40 Pleasant View Rd.
     
    8
     
    3
     
    3f 0h
     
    Colonial
     
    $679,000
     
    71 Stowecroft Rd.
     
    8
     
    4
     
    2f 1h
     
    Colonial
     
    $719,000
     
    16 Lincoln St.
     
    14
     
    5
     
    4f 1h
     
    Contemp.
     
    $1,200,000
     

     

    CONDO
     
    Address
     
    Rooms
     
    Bed
     
    Bath
     
    Style
     
    Price
     
    135 Pleasant St. U:14 (aka) 33
     
    3
     
    1
     
    1f 0h
     
    Mid-Rise
     
    $209,876
     
    10 Willow Ct. U:A
     
    4
     
    2
     
    2f 0h
     
    Other (See Remarks)
     
    $305,000
     
    118 Lowell St. U:116
     
    5
     
    2
     
    1f 0h
     
    2/3 Family
     
    $379,876
     

     

    A Real Estate Match Made In Heaven?

    MarketWatch recently posted its 12 Housing Themes for 2012. Aside from the usual talk of foreclosures, financial distress, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, there were two themes that made us sit up and take notice. Number 6 (Multi-family Momentum) and number 12 (Housing Demographics of Young People).

     

    According to Arlington Town data*, multi-family homes account for more than half of the available housing units in town.  Approximately thirty-five percent of all housing units are in multi-family structures with two to four units, and twenty-five percent are in multi-family structures with five or more units. Forty percent of the housing units in Arlington are single-family structures.
     
    Just like a financial portfolio, one of the many reasons Arlington real estate has weathered this storm is diversification. We do not have all of our housing eggs in one basket, so if the single-family market is struggling, we have multi-families and condos to fall back on. If condos and multi-families are hurting, we can ride the relative strength of single-family home sales. 
     
    The single-family market in Arlington has stayed relatively strong, with a 1.6% increase in home values from 2010 to 2011. The multi-family market has been flat, with little-to-no increase.

     
    According to MarketWatch, this is going to change: "The hottest sector in real estate right now is multi-family. It seems like everyone wants to buy apartment buildings, in particular in coastal metro markets where rents are going through the roof. .."


     
    So if one of the themes for 2012 is for the multi-family market to heat up - and Arlington has a multi-family market that's ready for an upswing - who are the buyers? This brings us to theme number 12: The Demographics of Young People.
     
    Raise your hand if you a) have a child older than the age of 18 living at home, b) this child is at home because they can't afford the increase in rents, c) this child is home because they can't afford the down payment for a home.
     
    Sound familiar? If not you, then I'm sure you know of at least one other parent or child in this situation. According to the Census Bureau, the number of 25-to 34-year-old adults in the U.S. living at home rose from 14 percent in 2005 to 19 percent in 2011. While this can sound dire, it also means that a significant pool of potential buyers has been saving up and biding their time until the market looks more favorable.
     
    Rents are rising and single-family homes are still out of reach for many young buyers, making the multi-family and the boomerang a possible real estate match made in heaven.
     
    * Town of Arlington, MA, 2004 Community Development Block Grant
     

    Spotlight: Arlington Home of the Week, 87 Bartlett Ave.

    Do you suffer from friggatriskaidekaphobia? If so, you're not alone. An estimated 17 to 21 million people in the United States are affected by a fear of Friday the 13th. That's why it's a great day to stay in, put some garlic around your neck, and plan your open house weekend!

     

    We have a brand new spotlight this week on 87 Bartlett Ave. in Arlington. This is a fabulous house in Jason Heights, located close to Menotomy Rocks Park and Mass. Ave.  This bright and spacious ranch-style home offers a contemporary flair with numerous updates and renovations.  Beautiful cathedral ceilings, gleaming hardwood floors and an open floor plan create an airy space.  a wonderful kitchen. There are three fabulous bedrooms, two and a half baths, a terrific family room plus a playroom & potential au-pair suite on the lower level. You have to see this house to appreciate all that it has to offer.


     

    What's Nearby: Public Transportation, Menotomy Rocks Park, Shopping, Walk/Jog Trails, Bike Path, Bishop School
     

     

    Address: 87 Bartlett Ave., Arlington, MA
     

     

    Listed: $579,000
     

     

    SINGLE FAMILY
     

     

     
    Address
     
    Rooms
     
    Bed
     
    Bath
     
    Style
     
    Price
     
    17 Hemlock St.
     
    9
     
    4
     
    2f 0h
     
    Colonial
     
    $549,000
     
    87 Bartlett Ave.
     
    9
     
    3
     
    2f 1h
     
    Ranch
     
    $579,000
     

     

    CONDO
     

     

    Address
     
    Rooms
     
    Bed
     
    Bath
     
    Style
     
    Price
     
    1 Watermill Pl. U:500
     
    3
     
    1
     
    1f 1h
     
    Mid-Rise
     
    $259,000
     
    4 Herbert Rd. U:3
     
    5
     
    1
     
    1f 0h
     
    2/3 Family
     
    $269,000
     
    50 Hemlock St. U:50
     
    5
     
    2
     
    1f 0h
     
    2/3 Family
     
    $289,000
     
    73 Medford St. U:73
     
    7
     
    3
     
    2f 1h
     
    Townhouse
     
    $598,500
     

    We've Got Street Cred

    It takes street smarts and savvy to negotiate real estate deals these days. And in a town like Arlington, if people don't like how you do business, you'll know it (and so will everyone else in town).
     


     

    That's why the 2011 Arlington real estate numbers are a true testament to the YourHomeForSale team's credibility on the streets of Arlington. For over 20 years, Steve McKenna has outperformed other leading agents in town by wide margin.
     

     

     

    These numbers also contributed to the overall success of the Bowes Real Estate office, which as a whole, closed 198 transactions, 108 more than the next leading office.
     

     

    So what does this mean to buyers and sellers? In a nutshell, three things:
     

     

    1.      Experience. You can't close 78 transactions in a year and not know what you're doing. Only a knowledgeable well-oiled team can keep deals moving along smoothly and seamlessly.
     

     

    2.      Commitment.  It can be a tough market, and you can't close deals if you don't go to bat for clients. That means attention to detail from start to finish, and keeping clients' needs first and foremost.
     

     

    3.      Credibility. Arlington is not as big as you might think. Word gets around pretty quickly about who's going to get the job done.
     

     

    Numbers are hard to dispute, and the YourHomeForSale team's ability to handle a high volume of transactions shows a true commitment to the business. To the team, real estate is not a hobby, a side job, or a stepping stone to another career.  It is a business that is held accountable by its clients.
     

     

    When choosing a real estate broker, buyers and sellers should look for an agent that can back up their claims of being the best. Testimonials, references, and referrals are all valid benchmarks for success, but take a look at the numbers before deciding whether it all adds up.
     

     

    It's not bragging if you can back it up. --Muhammad Ali
     

    Slow and Steady Wins the Real Estate Race

    Some say 2011 was one of the worst years on record for housing sales since 1945. Collectively that may be accurate, but there were many pockets of success throughout the country that should not be discounted. Real estate groups including Trulia, KCM Crew and Inman News have contributed thoughtful insights on housing market trends on the macro level, but it can be difficult to decipher what that means on the local level.

    So how did Arlington fare this year as compared to the rest of the country? Here are some highlights that we have pulled together:

    ·        In September, the Boston Globe reported that some Massachusetts areas were experiencing a rise in home values.Arlington was included in its list of strong and growing real estate communities.

    ·        In October, Zillow reported survey results of the 1,000 largest cities for Businessweek.com, and Arlington, Massachusetts ranked the second best.
    ·        Trulia recently predicted that smart cities will be hot, and suburbs west of Boston are a hotbed of smartness.
    Despite the dire headlines of the past year, we are seeing certain consistencies percolate which bode well for Arlington. Time and again there are characteristics which keep our town strong, and these will continue to keep Arlington ahead of the curve in 2012:
    1.      Lots of local colleges = smart people = job growth = higher employment rates = stronger real estate market. That's a lot to digest all at once, but the bottom line is that strong employment and healthy real estate go hand-in-hand. The Boston area churns out hundreds of thousands of highly educated graduates every year. Some leave, but many stay on to hire and be hired. Arlington has proximity to Boston on its side.
    2.      Supply and demand. Basic economics also fuel Arlington's success. Arlington is surrounded by desirable towns: Lexington, Belmont, Cambridge and Winchester. The cost of owning a home in these towns is often significantly higher, making it difficult for first-time buyers to get 'in.' Arlington offers more affordable price points that are attractive to buyers who want to live close to Boston - making competition for these homes high, and supply more limited.
    3.      Good schools. Good schools have long been an economic indicator for strong communities.  A town that invests in its schools invests in its community. If the schools are suffering, other services and amenities may start to slide as well. There are other towns in close proximity to Boston that struggle because of failing school systems - proximity to a city alone does not guarantee a strong community.
    So while the outlook for Arlington is looking good, what about the 2012 real estate market as a whole? Now that banks have figured out that they can't lend money to people who are not capable of paying them back, and people are realizing they can't buy homes they can't afford, we should start to see a slow uptick in the market. But with 1.5 million homes still in the foreclosure process and buyers backing out of home purchases last minute because they can't get the funding they thought they would, it will be a slow climb.
    But I'll let you in on a little secret: Slow is not always bad. That's right. Now, say it with me: Slow is not always bad. If we don't want another real estate market built on a house of cards, we need to rebuild this industry on a solid foundation and with structure that can withstand other economic, political and environmental bumps down the road. For every boom there is a bust, and slow but steady growth has a higher likelihood for long term success.
    Finally, if you have been on the housing sidelines waiting to see how it all plays out, 2012 is looking like a good time to get back in the game. Mortgage rates will continue to remain low - which equals free money as compared to years past - but probably not for much longer. And as the market starts to make the upswing prices will start to go up and supply will go down.

    There's your 2012 update, now it's your move.