Blog :: 11-2013

The Real Estate Plot, Like Thanksgiving Gravy, Thickens.

There have been a few interesting real estate updates as we prepare to kick off this holiday season. First, according to the Warren Group, October sales for Massachusetts single-family homes rose nearly 19% on a year-to-year comparison basis.

Meanwhile, back at the raised ranch, inventory of single-family homes for sale as of Oct. 31 was down 19.9% from October 2012.

However, the number of new listings added to the market of single-family homes in October increased to nearly 11% percent over the same time last year. That means roughly 600 homes hit the market last month compared to October 2012.

So what do all of these percentages boil down to? No small potatoes (mashed or otherwise) for one thing.

It means that home sales have kept a brisk pace due to buyer demand. And while inventory levels have remained low (20 straight months of inventory decreases as of October) more sellers are in fact heeding the call to take advantage of low interest rates and rising home prices.

The gravy of the real estate market is not without lumps, but as sellers get back in the game, the supply/demand discrepancy it starting to show some initial signs of leveling out.

And for this, we should all be thankful.

Thanksgiving

*image via: Microsoft

Spotlight: Arlington Homes of the Week

As the Arlington community continues to process the tragedies that occurred on Monday, there are a number of ways to help and heal. A candlelight vigil will be held on Tuesday, November 26 at the Pierce School to honor Mei and her sons. 

Arlington also shows its spirit and generosity in supporting our first responders. More than 75 local families reached out, sending supportive notes and free pizzas to the police department. More than $1,400 in donations will go to First Step, a local domestic violence support group that is run through the police department and the town's Department of Health and Human Services.

We are proud to call Arlington home.

 130 Renfrew Street, Arlington

130Renfrew Want to be in a new home for the holidays? Gorgeous new construction in a great location! Every attention to detail was taken when building this 4 bed, 2.5 bath home. The first floor is an open concept and the space is very flexible. You have the ability to make the space your own. There is a mud room off the first level and a 2 car garage. The second floor offers 3 generous sized bedrooms, main bath, laundry room and plenty of closet space. The extraordinary master suite offers an office, 2 closets, and a luxurious master bath. The third floor is a fantastic bonus room that can be family room or home office. This home offers 2800 square feet of well thought out living space. Located a short distance to Dallin School, parks, and major routes. This house is a must see! (MLS# 71610949)

Listed: $949,000

What's Nearby: Arlington Heights shops and restaurants, Route 2, Alewife T Station, public transportation, Dallin School.

 24 Magnolia Street #1, Arlington 24MagnoliaTerrific two bedroom condominium with hardwood floors, newer windows and bath and private screened in porch. Freshly painted throughout, this spacious home boasts an inviting foyer, two great bedrooms, good-sized closets and plenty of storage space. This home has an eat-in kitchen, a sizeable pantry, plus a dining room with built in china cabinet, great for entertaining. Enjoy the convenience and all that East Arlington has to offer. Close to Magnolia Park and playing fields, restaurants, movie theaters, Cambridge, Alewife Station and convenient bus routes. You will love the location, layout, off street parking, basement laundry hook ups, terrific schools, easy access to the Minuteman Bikeway. Charming and move in ready, don't wait to call this great condo home! (MLS# 71610859)

Listed: $349,000

What's Nearby: East Arlington shops and restaurants, Spy Pond, Mass. Ave., public transportation.

 SINGLE FAMILY

 

Address

Rooms

Bed

Bath

Style

Price

2 Yale Rd

6

3

2f 0h

Cape

$449,000

152 Charlton St

6

3

1f 0h

Cape

$450,000

39 Evergreen Ln

8

4

1f 0h

Cape

$525,000

114 Eastern Ave

8

4

3f 0h

Colonial

$784,900

MULTI-FAMILY

 

Address

Rooms

Bed

Bath

Style

Price

1055 Mass. Ave.

15

6

3f 0h

3 Family - 3 Up/Down

$550,000

 

You Know Your Home Needs an Energy Assessment When....

  • Gentle breezes billow your curtains (except the windows are closed. And it's 25 degrees out).
  • You turn the lights on and the electric meter spins out of control.
  • The mailperson can slide the mail under the door.
  • You use draft-stoppers for your doors and plastic coverings for your windows.
  • You have closets or crawlspaces that are always freezing in the winter and sweltering in the summer.
  • After a big snowstorm your gutters start to look like giant glaciers.
  • The heat in your home goes up the stairs (and continues right up through a poorly insulated attic).
  • You stick your tongue to an outside wall* and you look like Ralphie from a Christmas Story. (*not recommended)

Many homes in the Arlington area are of an older stock and could use some energy efficient improvements. But these can be costly and time consuming. New windows, a new roof, and freshly blown insulation just may not be feasible.

So what if someone could come to your home, tell you exactly where your home's inefficiencies were and update many of them for you? FOR FREE.

That's exactly what the Mass Save Home Energy Assessment provides. Here's a sampling of what you'll get from a FREE energy assessment:

  • 75% up to $2000 toward the installation of approved insulation improvements
  • No-cost targeted air sealing
  • Generous rebates on qualifying energy-efficient heating and hot water heating equipment
  • Switch out inefficient bulbs to LEDs
  • Switch out inefficient shower heads and faucets to low-flow
  • The opportunity to apply for 0% financing for eligible measures through the HEAT loan program

Drafts and poor insulation are sending your heat (and your money) right out the window. Make your home more energy efficient this winter. You'll save money, create a safer home environment, and improve the value of your home.

Spotlight: Arlington Home of the Week!

TGIF! There's a lot to be thankful for this November (not just Fridays), and you'll thank yourself later for going to check out this rare new listing in Arlington!

With space galore, this home beckons anyone who wants to enjoy all the comforts of home - and accommodate family/in-laws/au pair without infringing on privacy.

Enjoy the weekend and we'll see you on the open house circuit!

7 Falmouth Road, Arlington 7 Falmouth

Have you been searching for a very spacious Colonial with room for relatives to stay? This could be the home for you! Built in 1987, this custom Colonial was constructed by a commercial developer for his family and was extremely well built. It provides a wonderful au-pair/in-law suite on the first floor with a private entrance. From the moment you walk into the spacious foyer with marble floors and 10' ceilings, you can sense that you walked into a rare offering. Each room is extremely spacious and the floor plan is perfect for entertaining. The kitchen has been wonderfully updated with an open floor plan to the family room that looks out on the recently built patio. There is an amazing master bedroom suite with a tremendous bathroom and huge walk in closet. There are three other bedrooms a total of four other bedrooms, a media room, play room and so much more. There are seasonal views of Mystic Lake and its located seconds from the Winchester Country Club! (MLS# 71607819)

Listed: $1,100,000

What's Nearby: Arlington Center shops and restaurants, Winchester Country Club, Mystic Lake, Route 3, public transportation, Bishop School.

SINGLE FAMILY

 

Address

Rooms

Bed

Bath

Style

Price

91 Menotomy Rd.

6

3

1f 0h

Colonial

$419,000

35 Avola St.

9

4

2f 1h

Colonial

$899,000

400 Mystic St.

8

4

2f 1h

Colonial

$895,000

67 Sutherland Rd.

6

3

1f 1h

Bungalow

$629,000

220 Renfrew St.

6

3

1f 0h

Cape

$490,000

8 Old Middlesex Path

10

4

2f 1h

Colonial

$1,179,000

7 Falmouth Rd.

12

5

4f 1h

Colonial

$1,100,000

CONDO

 

Address

Rooms

Bed

Bath

Style

Price

31 Russell Pl. U:31

6

3

2f 1h

Townhouse

$600,000

40 Maynard St. U:-

8

3

1f 0h

2/3 Family

$509,000

42 Maynard St. U:-

6

2

1f 0h

2/3 Family

$409,900

84 Bow St. U:2

10

4

1f 0h

2/3 Family

$405,000

Does Your Home Search Sound Like a 1980's U2 Song?

Have you run? Have you crawled? Have you scaled these city walls in search of a new home? If you still haven't found what you're looking for, then it's time to call Steve McKenna and the Home Advantage Team.

Sometimes it's hard to tell if a house is 'the one' at first glance. Sometimes you need a second look. Sometimes you need a spouse, friend or parent to check it out. And if listening to everyone's opinions leaves your head rattling and humming,  then an unbiased, third party can give you the feedback, direction and expertise to put you on the path to homeownership.

While home buyers increasingly rely on the Internet for their home search, an overwhelming majority ultimately turn to a real estate agent for extra help.

"...buyers who used the Internet were more likely than those who did not use the Internet to purchase their home through an agent," according to a NAR profile of buyers and sellers.

88% percent of buyers said they purchased their home through a real estate agent. Among those who used the Internet to search for homes, that share grew higher -- up to 90 percent, according to the NAR survey.

Buying a home is an undertaking that requires a strategy, and we can help you better understand  the local market, the pros and cons of different neighborhoods and surrounding communities, and give you a comprehensive grasp on the quality and styles of homes in the area will prepare to make the right decision at the right time.

If a home is what you desire, then all we want is you to let us guide you through the mysterious ways of homeownership. Rely on us and you're sure to be in a home by New Year's Day!

Home search

Spotlight: HOMES of the Week!

Buckle your seat belts, we have 5 (FIVE!) new listings for you to cruise through! We are making our way through Somerville and Arlington, with homes that exude charm, character, walkability, tradition and hipness.

Best to make a bee-line to these open houses because they are sure to go fast!

6 Summer Street Place, Arlington

 6 Summer Street

Recently renovated, this is a charming colonial located on a dead end street! A beautiful porch greats you upon your approach, and the first floor consists of an entry, large open living room dining room, a beautiful farmers kitchen with bead board cabinets, and honed granite counters. The half bath and laundry are located off the kitchen. There is also a mud room off the driveway and back yard entrance. The second level offers three beds and a full bath. There is a third level that has two rooms that could be turned into a master suite. Rough plumbing has been brought up. The basement offers great ceiling height and plenty of space for storage. There is a lovely patio, manageable yard and two parking spaces. All this conveniently located near the Minuteman Bike Path, Mass Ave, and public transportation! (MLS# 71606295)

 Listed: $549,000

 What's Nearby: Arlington Center shops and restaurants, Minuteman Bikeway, Route 2, public transportation, Mass. Ave.

 

56 Bow Street, Arlington

 56 Bow Street

This is a fabulous opportunity to own a gem of a home abutting the Minuteman Bikeway. This Stick Victorian is located a short distance to the shops and restaurants in Arlington Heights. This charming home has been updated over recent years but continues to offer a wonderful blend of old and new. There is an oversized country-style kitchen with a cooks stove, an abundance of cabinet space, and lots of natural light. This kitchen was designed with entertaining in mind. There are three bedrooms located on the second floor with a full bath. There is a walk-up staircase to the attic where you will find a bedroom and an unfinished portion waiting for your decorating ideas. You'll find lots of charm and character such as wide plank floors, a back deck overlooking the bike path, and a lovely side yard. A large deck overlooks the bike path and is a short distance to the Shwamb Mill and Shaker workshops. Perennials grace the four gardens including a raspberry patch, two fruit trees and a tall Golden chain tree! (MLS # 71605885)

 Listed: $539,000

What's Nearby: Arlington Heights shops and restaurants, Mass. Ave., public transportation, Minuteman Bikeway.

 

147 Franklin Street, Unit 1

 147 Franklin

Stunning gut-renovated two-level condo located near Arlington Center, Mystic Lakes, and West Medford. There is an open concept first floor living room, dining room, and kitchen. The kitchen features lots of cabinet space, granite counters, fully applianced, breakfast bar with seating for two or three. There is one bedroom on the main level, full bath and in-unit laundry! The lower level is flexible and can be two bedrooms or one bed and family room. There is another full bath. All this with tranquil front and back porches, yard space, central air, and garage parking! (MLS# 71606301)

 

Listed: $459,000

What's Nearby: Arlington Heights shops and restaurants, Mass. Ave., public transportation, Minuteman Bikeway.

147 Franklin Street, Unit 2

 147 Franklin

Stunning gut-renovated two-level condo located near Arlington Center, Mystic Lakes, and West Medford. There is an open concept living room, dining room, kitchen, and open area for home office or play room. The kitchen features lots of cabinet space, granite counters, fully applianced, breakfast bar with seating for two or three. There is one bedroom on the main level and tiled full bath. The upper level has two bedrooms, in-unit laundry and another full bath. There is also a lovely back porch overlooking the yard. Features include central air, garage parking, and beautiful details throughout. This is a must see! (MLS # 71606303)

 Listed: $529,000

What's Nearby: Arlington Heights shops and restaurants, Mass. Ave., public transportation, Minuteman Bikeway.

29 Waterhouse Street, Somerville

 29 Waterhouse

Looking for a bright, open concept, stunning first floor condo in a fabulous location? Then this is the place you have been waiting for. Converted and renovated in 2007, this unit features an open concept floor plan. There is a large first floor, two-plus bedrooms with enclosed four season sun porch, parking and ample storage. This condominium is located in Teele Square and is convenient to Davis Square, Arlington, Routes 2 and 93. The layout features an open plan living and dining room with an additional study, or nursery area. The kitchen and bath were recently renovated, and a lovely garden area adds to your outdoor space. This property has been well-maintained and shows true pride of ownership. (MLS# 71605749)

 Listed: $399,000

 What's Nearby: Teele Square, Davis Square, Red Line, Route 2 and 93, Arlington, Cambridge.

SINGLE FAMILY

 

Address

Rooms

Bed

Bath

Style

Price

64 Hodge Rd.

7

4

2f 2h

Cape

$569,000

56 Bow St.

7

4

1f 1h

Victorian

$539,000

205 Spring Ave.

8

3

2f 1h

Colonial

$639,000

 

CONDO

 

Address

Rooms

Bed

Bath

Style

Price

1184 Mass. Ave. U:1184

5

3

1f 1h

Townhouse

$389,000

72-74 Webster St. U:1

6

2

2f

2/3 Family

$469,000

 

MULTI-FAMILY

 

Address

Rooms

Bed

Bath

Style

Price

132 Sylvia St.

10 total

4 total

 

2 Family  

$490,000

 

Fifteen Fun Real Estate Facts

Sometimes you need to know about fixed-rate mortgages, flood insurance and Fannie Mae. And sometimes you just want the fun facts.

So for no other reason than it's just kind of interesting, here are fifteen fun real estate facts to liven up your Monday.

15 Fun Real Estate Facts

1.      Home is where the heart (and equity) is: 61.4% of the average American family's net worth is in home equity.  

2.      A homeowner's net worth is over thirty times greater than that of a renter.

3.      TGIF! The best day of the week to list your home is Friday.

4.      Historically, the best month of the year to sell is April. Although we would dispute that -maybe it's the most common month, but often sellers fare better in the 'off months' of summer and winter.

5.      Odds are you're going to need some help selling: Homeowners have a 120% better chance of selling their home when using REALTOR®.

6.      In 2013, NAR reports that the median age of first-time buyers was 31. On average these buyers purchased a 1,670 square-foot home costing $170,000 (guess they don't live around here!).

7.      The typical repeat buyer was 52 years old. On average these buyers purchased a 2,060-square foot home costing $240,000.

8.      According to a NAR Community Preference Survey, 78% of respondents said that the neighborhood is more important to them than the size of the home.

9.      57% said they'd give up a home with a larger yard if they could have a shorter commute. (Commuting is one of Arlington's most attractive features to buyers)

10.  NAR reports that 80% of home buyers believe their home is a good investment, 44 percent saying it's better than stocks.

11.  Buyers searched a median of 12 weeks and visited 10 homes. If you live in Greater Boston, you know this is a much lower number on both fronts.

12.  90% of home buyers who used the Internet to search for a home purchased through a real estate agent.

13.  90% of buyers financed their purchase.

14.  In Scotland, homeowners paint their front door red when they pay off their mortgage.

15.  And finally, don't be so quick to change your brass to brushed nickel! Brass doorknobs disinfect themselves.  It's called the oligodynamic effect: the ions in the metal have a toxic effect on spores, fungi, viruses, and other germs.

image via: kitzcorner, Dollarphotoclub 

Sources:

AGBeat

AOL Real Estate

Keeping Current Matters

National Association of Realtors

RealtorMag.com

1.      

New Listings On Deck

What a week and what an amazing time to live in Greater Boston! With the Red Sox winning the World Series Wednesday, Halloween Thursday and the duck parade tomorrow - it's doesn't get any better.

And if you're looking to join the fun and move to (or within) the area, we have a number of new listings on deck for next week!

We have two beautifully restored condos ranging from $499,000 to $519,000, a Queen Anne Victorian at $539,000, a lovely house right on the Minuteman Bikeway and a few new constructions coming up  - just to name a few!

There is a smattering of everything with something for everyone. So take a breather this weekend, regroup, and be sure check back soon as these homes become available!

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