Blog :: 04-2012

Spotlight: Arlington Home of the Week: 133 Warren Street

We are flying through the spring buying season, and it's proving to be a fast-paced market in Arlington. Many believe the recovery is well underway - Bloomberghas boldly declared that U.S. housing is bottoming out after a six-year slump, and the Wall Street Journal finds homebuyers are being caught off guard by the return of bidding wars.


 

This is a great time to buy or sell a home - interest rates are low and housing supply and demand are at reasonable levels. Celebrate National Open House Weekend by checking out these and other homes for sale in Arlington.     
 

133 Warren Street: Do you like closet space? Renovated in 2000, this is a wonderful 2nd floor condo with garage parking. Every attention to detail was paid when this space was converted. There is a wood burning fire place in the living room, a beautifully restored built-in in the dining room, and an eat-in-kitchen with granite and stainless steel appliances. There are 5 bedrooms located over the two levels, with a walk-in closet in the master. Front and back porches, in-unit laundry, great location near transportation and good basement storage make this a must-have home! (MLS: 71373688)


 

What's Nearby: Arlington Center shops, Public Transportation, Bike Path, Playgrounds, Thompson School.
 

 

Listed: $429,000
 

 

Scroll down to see other new listings in Arlington this weekend and happy house hunting!
 

 

SINGLE FAMILY
 

 

Address
 
Rooms
 
Bed
 
Bath
 
Style
 
Price
 
59 Beacon St.
 
5
 
2
 
1f 1h
 
Colonial
 
$299,900
 
111 North Union St.
 
6
 
3
 
1f 0h
 
Cape
 
$339,000
 
90 Alpine St.
 
8
 
4
 
2f 0h
 
Colonial
 
$340,000
 
38 Kimball Rd.
 
6
 
3
 
1f 0h
 
Colonial
 
$499,000
 
25 Cheswick Rd.
 
6
 
2
 
1f 1h
 
Cape
 
$499,000
 
21 Old Middlesex Path
 
7
 
3
 
1f 1h
 
Colonial
 
$579,000
 
72 Oakland Ave.
 
10
 
6
 
2f 0h
 
Colonial
 
$729,000
 

 

CONDO
 

 

Address
 
Rooms
 
Bed
 
Bath
 
Style
 
Price
 
12 Water St. U:3
 
5
 
2
 
1f 0h
 
2/3 Family
 
$339,000
 
163 Highland Ave. U:163
 
6
 
2
 
1f 0h
 
2/3 Family
 
$379,000
 
133 Warren St. U:2
 
9
 
4
 
1f 0h
 
2/3 Family
 
$429,000
 
78 Summer St. U:5
 
7
 
2
 
2f 1h
 
Townhouse
 
$505,000
 

The Role of Hurdle Rates in Rent vs. Buy Decisions

Jumping through hoops, overcoming obstacles, tackling hurdles - this is either Field Day at Brackett School, or the past few years in real estate. Luckily, most signs are pointing to a recovery - although it looks like slow and steady will win this race.

As the market regroups and recovers, the rules of the game are also changing with it. Tactics for securing homeownership that might have worked a year ago (i.e., the lowball offer) are shifting.

One of these shifts involves the Rent vs. Buy dynamic. There are a number of reasons why one might rent rather than by, and vice versa, and there can be tangible and intangible benefits to both. For example:

It can make sense to rent when home values are falling (and will do so for some time). This will prevent a loss on the purchase of a home. Or, renting is an alternative when short-term housing is needed. For example, you're relocating for a job, or you're saving for a down payment. And of course it makes sense to rent if you're unsure of a new location and want to test it out to be sure it suits your lifestyle.

On the flip side, it can make sense to buy when home values are low but on the upswing. Then the home you purchase will likely increase in value and build equity long-term.  Homeownership also offers benefits from tax breaks that you are not eligible for as a renter. And, there's a sense of pride in owning a place that's yours, where you get to call the shots.

The 'hurdle rate' is one measure which people rely on to determine whether to rent or buy. A hurdle rate is the point at which it's equally smart to rent or buy if your only criterion is to build wealth.

Experts have declared that today's hurdle rate is lower than average past property appreciation rates, making Buy vs. Rent the preferred option for prospective homeowners. Why? Because things are looking up:

·         The real estate market is just beginning its recovery
·         Interest rates are at historic lows
·         Home values are only just beginning their ascent
Therefore, future property appreciation should allow you to create more wealth through owning rather than renting.
Housing affordability is at levels not seen since prior to the early 1990s, and rental price expectations for the next year are expected to continue to rise. The question of whether to rent or buy is clear - and with that hurdle behind you, you can focus on the next step of finding a new home.

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    Spotlight: Arlington Home of the Week: 15 Rhinecliff Street

    Earth Day is every day, and little changes can make a big difference in energy conservation. Not sure where to start? Here's a quick list of easy, earth-friendly fixes for your home. And if you're planning to hit the streets of Arlington this Sunday to check out open houses, try ditching the car and grab your bike. You'll get new perspective on the town, save a few bucks on gas and maybe discover the home you've been waiting for.   


     

    15 Rhinecliff Street: There is distinction in the details of this lovely Dutch Colonial with Arts & Crafts features. Built in 1928, this home boasts Gumwood in dining room and living room, which adorns the wood burning fireplace. There is an oversized family room off the kitchen. The kitchen is a show-stopper - with beautiful granite counters, lots of storage space, a prep sink next to the stove, and beautiful tile work. Upstairs has 3 beds and a beautiful bath with heated floors. There is also some finished space in the basement if you are looking for more space. With a great deck and spacious yard what's not to love? (MLS: 71369852)
     

    What's Nearby: Arlington Heights shops, Public Transportation, Bike Path, Playgrounds, Dallin School.


     

    Listed: $529,000
     

     

    Scroll down to see other new listings in Arlington this weekend and happy house hunting!
     

     

    SINGLE FAMILY
     

     

    Address
     
    Rooms
     
    Bed
     
    Bath
     
    Style
     
    Price
     
    18 Yale Rd.
     
    6
     
    3
     
    2f 0h
     
    Cape
     
    $429,000
     
    216 Wollaston Ave.
     
    7
     
    2
     
    1f 2h
     
    Colonial
     
    $434,900
     
    11 Sunset Rd.
     
    6
     
    4
     
    1f 0h
     
    Cape
     
    $449,000
     
    16 Brattle Pl.
     
    6
     
    3
     
    1f 1h
     
    Antique
     
    $464,900
     
    15 Rhinecliff St.
     
    8
     
    3
     
    1f 2h
     
    Colonial
     
    $529,000
     
    365 Park Ave.
     
    8
     
    3
     
    1f 1h
     
    Colonial
     
    $545,000
     
    10 Fayette St.
     
    7
     
    3
     
    1f 1h
     
    Colonial
     
    $549,000
     
    66 Brattle St.
     
    8
     
    3
     
    2f 2h
     
    Colonial
     
    $549,700
     
    14 Revere St.
     
    7
     
    3
     
    1f 1h
     
    Colonial
     
    $589,000
     
    24 Chester Ave.
     
    8
     
    4
     
    1f 1h
     
    Colonial
     
    $699,900
     

     

    CONDO
     

     

    Address
     
    Rooms
     
    Bed
     
    Bath
     
    Style
     
    Price
     
    100 Pleasant St. U:12
     
    3
     
    1
     
    2f 0h
     
    Other
     
    $239,000
     
    45 Park St. U:45
     
    6
     
    3
     
    1f 1h
     
    Rowhouse
     
    $349,900
     
    50-52 Brooks Ave. U:1
     
    5
     
    2
     
    1f 0h
     
    2/3 Family
     
    $399,900
     
    15 Mary St. U:15
     
    7
     
    3
     
    1f 0h
     
    2/3 Family
     
    $415,000
     
    107 Webster St. U:107
     
    8
     
    3
     
    1f 0h
     
    2/3 Family
     
    $434,900
     
    120 Florence Ave. U:120
     
    8
     
    3
     
    2f 0h
     
    2/3 Family
     
    $469,000
     

     

    MULTI-FAMILY
     

     

    Address
     
    Rooms
     
    Bed
     
    Bath
     
    Style
     
    Price
     
    1500 Mass. Ave.
     
    13
     
    5
     
    3f 0h
     
    3 Family
     
    $499,000
     

     

     

    Filtering the Macro and the Micro of Real Estate Information

    "I was listening to 'The Today Show,' which led me to be to believe [real estate] was still slow nationwide." - As Market Steadies, Home Buyers Face Competition, MarketWatch

    Don't get me wrong, I love the Today Show. And Barbara Corcoran, the Today Show Real Estate expert, has tons of helpful tips. While it's important to have this kind of high-level advice if you're dabbling with the notion of buying or selling of home, it is even more important to filter this information down to the local level.

    Think about your finances. Jean Chatzky, the Today Show's financial expert, has excellent insights and tips to manage your money. But most people would turn to a certified Financial Advisor to plan major investments, retirement, and savings strategies to suit personal needs.
    And what about your sources of news? You may read the Wall Street Journal or Boston Globe for certain news and information, but if you want to know what's going on around town, you would turn to the Arlington Patch of course.
    This idea of the macro (broad-based) and the micro (hyper-local) goes for a real estate as well.

    Micro considerations in real estate might include access to downtown, school rankings, median home prices, single-family home sales, and the variety of services and amenities available. Keep in mind, many of these criteria not only vary by town, but by neighborhood as well.

    Macro considerations might include broader-based nation-wide or even state-wide trends, including job growth, foreclosure rates, interest rates, etc.
    Real estate is an investment, and requires a strategy that takes into consideration the history, characteristics and future outlook of the local real estate market. Family, friends, Barbara Corcoran, Zillow, Trulia - all of these can be helpful sources of real estate information. Just be sure you have the right filters in place, and find an experienced REALTOR® to help you make the most of both the macro and micro trends.
    To heed the words of Al Roker, "That's what's happening around the country, here's what's happening in your neck of the woods."

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      Spotlight: Arlington Home of the Week: 60 Lombard Terrace

      What's more patriotic than the American dream of owning a home in one of the country's most historic towns? There's lot's to see in Arlington this weekend - plenty of open houses on Sunday, and after you've made the rounds, pick a spot on Mass. Ave. and enjoy the annual Arlington Patriots' Day Parade at 2:00 p.m.



      60 Lombard Terrace: This is not just your average 1st floor condo! Why? This home has a walk score of 91, views of Spy Pond, super-easy access to the bike path, private yard, distinctive details and features of yesteryear, spacious kitchen, high ceilings, numerous updates, oversized driveway and garage parking! Need more? How about over 1100 square feet of space, 2 beds, lots of natural light, and gleaming hardwood floors. Close to Arlington Center, transportation, shops, and restaurants! Unpack, unwind and enjoy your new home! (MLS: 71365596)

      What's Nearby: Arlington Center shops, Public Transportation, Bike Path, Playgrounds.



      Listed: $395,000


      Scroll down to see other new listings in Arlington this weekend and happy house hunting!


      SINGLE FAMILY



      Address

      Rooms

      Bed

      Bath

      Style

      Price

      5 Woodside Ln.

      6

      3

      2f 0h

      Colonial

      $394,000

      587 Summer St.

      5

      2

      1f 0h

      Bungalow

      $395,000

      47 Oak Hill Dr.

      6

      2

      1f 1h

      Cape

      $424,000

      242 Forest St.

      7

      3

      1f 1h

      Colonial

      $449,000

      57 Huntington Rd.

      7

      3

      1f 0h

      Colonial

      $449,900

      35 Ronald Rd.

      6

      3

      1f 0h

      Colonial

      $459,000

      1 Day Street

      7

      3

      2f 0h

      Contemp.

      $469,000

      42 Tomahawk Rd.

      7

      3

      1f 1h

      Multi-Level

      $469,000

      34 Avola St.

      6

      3

      1f 1h

      Ranch

      $484,900

      95 Bay State Rd.

      7

      4

      2f 0h

      Cape

      $499,000

      64 School St.

      8

      4

      2f 1h

      Colonial

      $579,000

      16 Wollaston Ave.

      8

      3

      1f 2h

      Colonial

      $585,000

      22 Baker Rd.

      7

      3

      2f 0h

      Cape

      $619,000

      32 Montague St.

      7

      4

      2f 1h

      Garrison

      $624,999

      342 Gray St.t

      9

      4

      1f 1h

      Colonial

      $635,000

      209 Waverley St.

      8

      3

      2f 0h

      Contemp.

      $725,000

      16 Frost St.

      10

      5

      3f 1h

      Tudor

      $810,000



      CONDO



      Address

      Rooms

      Bed

      Bath

      Style

      Price

      125 Pleasant St. U:6

      5

      2

      1f 0h

      Mid-Rise

      $250,000

      131 Warren St. U:2

      5

      2

      1f 0h

      2/3 Family

      $389,900

      60 Lombard Terr. U:1

      5

      2

      1f 0h

      2/3 Family

      $395,000

      37-39 Milton St. U:2

      8

      3

      2f 0h

      Detached

      $449,000

      21 Palmer St. U:21

      6

      3

      2f 0h

      2/3 Family

      $459,000

      83 Orient Ave. U:83

      5

      3

      2f 1h

      Townhouse

      $519,900

      37 Varnum St. U:37

      8

      4

      2f 0h

      2/3 Family

      $529,900


      The Rise of the Back-to-Basics Bungalow

      The term 'bigger is better' has its place: ice-cream cones, bonuses, smiles, etc. But these days, with rising prices to heat, cool, maintain and power homes, not to mention gas prices that contribute to work commutes, smaller can be smarter.

       

      At the turn of the 20th century, there was a movement among homeowners who believed, "... we had lost something valuable when we moved from the farmhouse to the apartment terrace, and that efforts should be made to return to a simpler home life." 
      As a result, Bungalow neighborhoods sprouted and created suburbs of big cities. After living in industrialized neighborhoods - often in run-down buildings - people wanted a return to honesty in home design, with a greater connection to nature. And, "Bungalow Mania" was born. Craftsman Bungalow communities were a symbol for solid construction and a balanced life for those that wanted relief from industrialized cities.

      Many towns, like Arlington, grew rapidly at the turn of the century and shortly thereafter. For example, Arlington's population grew by over 90 percent during the 1920s - and many homes - including Craftsman Bungalows - were built here during this time.  Today, those 'suburbs' are now what we would consider in close proximity to the cities and are often on mass transit lines for people who work in town.

       

      It seems that there is a similar movement afoot, and the pendulum is shifting back to the bungalow - or any reasonably-sized, quality-built home. In the wake of the 2008 housing collapse, the giant McMansions made of poor materials on oversized plots of land 15-20 miles outside the city are falling out of favor. People want a return to quality homes and a quality of life that means less hassle and simpler living. The ability to walk to get a gallon of milk, wave to your neighbors as you pass by, and owning a home that is comfortable yet manageable is something many people feel they have been lacking.
      Arlington has no shortage of early-to-mid-century homes that were clearly built to last. Last year, a number of Bungalows sold in Arlington ranging in price from $310,000 to $757,000. These homes are known for their unique features that can include a wraparound porch, window seat, millwork, built-in corner hutches, decorative fireplaces, and more charm and character than you find in many cookie-cutter-type homes of recent years. 
      There is a back-to-basics shift happening - whether it's wanting to know where your food comes from, or wanting quality-built homes in communities that keep families together and support networks close. People want to live in a place that is convenient yet close-knit. They want homes with style, simplicity and sound construction that balance practicality with the good life.  
      Arlington offers all of this and more. The quiet neighborhoods, desirable area, access to mass transit, and town center gives a sense of pride and community to all of its residents.
      Arlington is a town with big benefits, but it's the small nuances that make it a smart choice for so many people.