Blog :: 03-2014

'What's it Worth?' vs. 'What's Worth it?'

These are two very different yet equally important factors in the home buying and selling process.

What's it Worth = what is this home listed for/how much does it cost?

What's Worth It = what is the value of this home as it relates to my needs and wants?

First, there is the cost of a home, or what it's worth. In economic terms, the cost of a home is based on things like materials used to build the house - wood, concrete, brick, granite. Or you could look at it in terms of the cost to upgrade a kitchen or a bathroom.

According to, a minor kitchen renovation in the Boston area will cost you $21,700, with a $19,195 resale value which can result in an 88.5% recoup in costs.  That's a pretty good return on investment and is probably worth it.

Then there is the price what the home might sell for. If you invest in that kitchen renovation chances are you can get a higher price on your home.  But price is largely the result of consumer demand, and the 'right price' depends on how many people are willing to step up to make an offer. As we've quoted in past regarding this issue, "There is no 'your price' or 'my price.' There is only 'the price' the market is willing to pay." - CRSConnect

When talking about price and cost in real estate you can't neglect the impact of interest rates. KCM Group just explained a recent Money Magazine real estate issue, which states: The average interest rate on a 30-year fixed loan is predicted to climb from the current 4.4% to 5.3% by the 2015 spring buying season, according to Freddie Mac. For a $250,000 loan, that means that a borrower who waits would pay $136 more per month and an additional $49,090 in interest over the life of the loan."

So while we know prices of homes in the Boston area have steadily risen over the past few years, the long-term cost of a home is poised to go up. In this case waiting for prices to come down may not be worth it because you'll end up paying more in the long run.


And finally there is value. Value is that rouge metric that can either upset the apple cart or make for smooth sailing. Value is a variable that can change with the March wind.

There is the economic value, and resources like Trulia's Bubble Watch "reveal whether home prices are overvalued or undervalued relative to their fundamental value by comparing prices today with historical prices, incomes, and rents."

These metrics are all well and good - they give us a general feel for where the market is and where it might be going. But real estate values vary by region, by state, by town and even by neighborhood.

You might value an open concept, granite counter tops and a master suite. You might value a nice suburban neighborhood with good schools over a short commute. Or you might value walkability to shops and restaurants above all else.

When it comes down to home values, only you can determine whether what it's worth ($) is worth it to you (<3).


Image via: Fotolia

Spotlight: Arlington HOMES of the Week!

April Fool's Day is just around the corner but these new listings are no joke. A single family home near The Res will have you dreaming of lounging on the beach, and this move-in ready condo is walkable to all of the great shops and restaurants Arlington Center has to offer.

Having lived and worked in the Arlington area for more than 25 years, we've seen every real estate cycle come and go, and come back around again. It pays to have someone at your side who knows how to help you through a seller's market, a buyer's market, and everything in between.

Give us a call today for all of your home buying and selling needs.

4 Alpine Street  

4 Alpine

Meticulously maintained, this spacious and bright seven room Colonial has a lovely floor plan with large rooms, beautiful details and sunshine flowing throughout the entire house. Gorgeous rear yard with grape arbor, lots of perennials and a stone path leads to a private patio offering spectacular city views all abutting Mt. Gilboa. The living room has a fireplace and gleaming hardwood floors with two sets of French doors leading to the living room from the foyer and from the living room to the den. The dining room is a formal size dining room with wainscoting and is adjacent to the eat-in kitchen with newer appliances, a tile floor and direct access to the rear yard. There are three spacious bedrooms, 1.5 baths and a full walk-up attic. There is a list of improvements that include new roof in 2011, blown-in insulation, new interior painting (2013) newer pergola and beautiful plantings. (MLS# 71650609)

Listed: $529,000

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

19 Lewis Ave.  

19 Lewis Ave.

Move right in to this charming one bedroom condominium. Enjoy ease of living and a terrific location, on a lovely side street just a short distance to Arlington Center, Mystic Lakes and the West Medford train. This Victorian condo boasts a touch of old world charm with its, wide plank floors and high ceilings. Enjoy the ease of living, with two off street spaces included, an eat in kitchen, large pantry, updated bath and additional storage in the basement. Wonderful sunlight streams through the many windows and the sliding doors, which open to a private deck and oversized yard, perfect for BBQ's, lawn chairs, and relaxing in the summer sun! (MLS# 71650863)

Listed: $229,000

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


Address Rooms Bed Bath Style Price
4 Alpine St. 7 3 1f 1h Colonial $529,000
49 Sunset Rd. 6 3 1f 1h Colonial $539,000
169 Park Ave. 9 4 2f Ranch $589,000
110 Wildwood Ave. 7 4 1f 1h Gambrel /Dutch $589,000
38 Berkeley St. 7 3 2f Raised Ranch $649,000
12 Village Ln. 8 4 2f 1h Colonial $729,000


Address Rooms Bed Bath Style Price
118 Decatur St. U:10 3 1 1f Low-Rise $219,000
19 Lewis Ave. U:1 3 1 1f 2/3 Family $229,000
215 Mass. Ave. U:23 3 1 1f Hi-Rise $249,000
47 Mystic St. U:4C 4 2 1f Hi-Rise $279,900
10 Egerton Rd. U:1 6 2 1f 1h 2/3 Family $379,000
36 Harvard St. U:1 7 2 1f 2/3 Family $399,000
23 Oakland Ave. U:23 8 4 2f Half-Duplex $649,000


Address Rooms Bed Bath Style Price
11 Teel St. 10 3 2f 2 Family



Spotlight: Arlington HOMES of the Week!

Things are picking up and there are a number of new homes on the market this week!

Not to mention March Madness is in full swing today - so whatever your home buying bracketology strategy, make sure these three new listings are in your top picks!

27 Buena Vista Road 25 Buena Vista Road

Move right in and enjoy now - expand later. Don't miss this beautifully updated and sun filled spacious ranch, in the much desired Brackett/Dallin school district. This move-in ready home boasts newly refinished hard wood floors and fresh paint throughout, as well as generous closets and lots of storage space. The newer windows and spacious living room with built-ins, large bay window and a great fireplace, will have you feeling cozy all winter long. Enjoy the new granite countertops and cool stainless steel appliances in the "eat in" kitchen, with easy access to the private garden and a great size lot. The basement level provides bonus space for a family room, guests or a home office, a half bath, plus an additional fireplace/wood stove. With an ease of living and a great location, close to transportation, parks, top rated schools, restaurants and shopping, you will enjoy all that Arlington has to offer from this welcoming home. (MLS #71647675)

Listed: $619,000

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

107 Dow Ave.

107 Dow Ave.This well maintained Cape-style home is a close to the Dallin School and has been meticulously maintained over the years. The kitchen was renovated in the 80's and was ahead of its time back then with easy close cabinets and doors! The open floor plan from the kitchen to the dining room was also ahead of its time! There is a spacious living room, a home office or fourth bedroom, and a full bath! Upstairs has three spacious bedrooms and a half bath. There is a finished lower level and many mechanical updates have been done over the past few years. There is a lovely yard and all of this is close to public transportation, major routes, and shops and restaurants in Arlington Heights. (MLS# 71647499)

Listed: $499,000

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

95 Sunnyside Road

95 Sunnyside Ave.This is a wonderful condo alternative overlooking Alewife Brook. This attached single family greets you with great curb appeal. The open concept first floor is something most buyers are looking for today. There is a wood burning stove in the living room and the spacious deck off the first floor is great for summertime entertaining. Upstairs you will find one bedroom and there is a two level master suite with an office/den with access to the third floor. The master suite features natural wood work, amazing soaking tub, great closet space and a balcony. Imagine summer evenings overlooking the bike path and conservation land that connects you back to nature! The basement is a walk-out to the parking and storage shed. All this with incredible access to Teele Square, Davis Square, major routes, and wonderful shops and restaurants! Public transportation is conveniently located near this wonderful row house. (MLS# 71644252)

Listed: $349,000

What's Nearby: Alewife station and restaurants, Teele Square, Davis Square, Route 2, public transportation.



Address Rooms Bed Bath Style Price
36 Kensington Rd. 9 4 2f 1h Colonial $1,150,000
34 Robbins Rd. 9 4 1f 1h Colonial $830,000
2007 Symmes Circle U:2007 6 4 2f 1h Multi-level $589,000
49 Brantwood Rd. 9 4 2f Victorian $1,100,000
107 Dow Ave. 7 3 1f 1h Cape $499,000
18 Wyman St. 11 6 3f 1h Colonial $669,000
27 Buena Vista Rd. 6 2 1f 1h Ranch $619,000
95 Sunnyside Ave. 6 2 2f Other $349,000
47 Peter Tufts Rd. 7 4 2f Cape $509,000
22 Eustis St. 8 4 1f 1h Garrison $660,000


Address Rooms Bed Bath Style Price
34 Pine St. U:2 5 5 1f Townhouse $365,000
58 Beacon St. U:58 6 2 1f Duplex $389,900
18 Hamilton Rd. U:505 3 1 1f Mid-Rise $315,000


Spotlight: Arlington HOMES of the Week!

St. Patrick's Day is almost here which is just another sign that spring is on the way (really, it is).

Has your dream home been elusive as a leprechaun? Then we've got the pot o' gold at the end of your rainbow. We have three beautiful homes of the week, each with its own character and lucky charm :)

23 Russell Street

23 Russell streetLocated a short distance to Arlington Center and the Minuteman Bike Path, this Mansard Victorian has been restored and renovated by the current and previous owners during their years of ownership. Featuring beautiful moldings, exquisite built-ins, French doors, ornate detailing on the faux fireplace in the living room and dining room, pocket doors, slate roof, and gleaming hardwood floors. Some updates and modern amenities have been added such as central air to the second and third floors, laundry was brought up to the second floor, cherry and granite kitchen, spa-like jetted tub in one of the three baths. With over 3000 square feet of living space this 12 room 4/5 bedroom three bath home is a wonderful blend of old meets new in a perfect location. A recent improvement was the addition of the bluestone front walk way and the porch. There is a three-season porch off the kitchen. The oversized flat yard is perfect for playing or summertime entertaining. The basement offers tons of storage space. (MLS# 71644252)

Listed: $925,000

What's Nearby: Arlington Center shops and restaurants, Minuteman Bike Path, Mass. Ave., public transportation.

343 Ridge Street

343 Ridge

Located in Morningside and the award winning Blue Ribbon Stratton School district, this versatile Cape-style home offers so much and has a wonderful oasis of a rear yard. The first floor offers a spacious living room with a fireplace and built-in shelves, a large eat-in-kitchen offers direct access to a three-season porch. There is one bedroom and another room the current owners are using as a bedroom which could be a dining room or den. The bathrooms both were recently updated. The second floor has two spacious bedrooms with built-in shelves, wall to wall carpeting over hardwood floors. One bedroom offers a skylight. The lower level features a wonderful family room or play room with wall to wall carpeting. There is a ¾ bath in the lower level. This home has been meticulously maintained with many updates including a four-year old roof and newer heating, hot water and updated electrical panel. (MLS #71644253)

Listed: $589,000

What's Nearby: Morningside neighborhood, Mass. Ave., public transportation, Minuteman Bikeway, Stratton School.

68 Thorndike Street, U:68

68 Thorndike St.Looking for a bright and airy condo in vibrant East Arlington? Then this is for you! With over 1900 square feet of living space on two floors, this wonderful upper level condo has four spacious bedrooms and two full size bathrooms. Offering a very open floor plan, there's tons of natural light that streams through the numerous windows into the living area. The kitchen is open to the dining and living room and it's great for entertaining. The sun porch is a perfect place to relax and enjoy year-round. Located in a prime neighborhood of East Arlington, the condo features a WalkScore of 78 "Very Walkable!" with great access to Mass. Ave., Alewife Station and the Minuteman Bike Path! There is parking for two cars and the yard is common. A great place to call home! (MLS# 71644254)

Listed: $489,000

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


Address Rooms Bed Bath Style Price
207 Crosby St. 8 4 3f 1h Tudor $1,049,000
31 Peter Tufts Rd. 6 3 2f 0h Colonial $549,000
69 Falmouth Rd. 9 4 2f 1h Colonial $699,000
23 Russell St. 13 4 3f 0h Victorian $925,000
343 Ridge St. 7 4 2f 0h Cape $589,000


Address Rooms Bed Bath Style Price
29 Amsden St. U:1 5 2 1f 0h 2/3 Family


68 Thorndike St. U:68 8 4 2f 0h 2/3 Family


122 Lake St. U:1 6 2 1f 0h 2/3 Family


72 Williams St. U:72 6 2 1f 0h Townhouse



Spotlight: Arlington HOME of the Week!

This week we're all about 'forward.' Looking forward. Moving forward. Springing forward.

It's Daylight Savings this weekend, so don't forget to set your clocks ahead Saturday night. More importantly, don't forget to change out the batteries in your smoke and CO detectors!

So brush the snow off of your deck chair and catch a few rays - the sun is the same strength as it is in mid-September. Use your imagination, picture yourself in this beautiful new Spotlight, and don't look back.

65 Colonial Drive, Arlington

65 Colonial Drive

This extraordinary Cape-style home is located in the fabulous Kelwyn Manor neighborhood. Beautifully maintained and offering numerous recent renovations, this wonderful home reflects "true pride of ownership" with its gleaming hardwood floors and gorgeous kitchen with custom cabinets and granite counters. Renovated with an addition in 2005, the private master bedroom suite is located on the first floor and provides vaulted ceilings, master bath, dressing room and walk-in closet. There is a fireplace in the living room and sliders to an oversized deck overlooking the lovely, fence-enclosed, private yard. The second floor contains two additional bedrooms (one with its own club house!) and a full-size bathroom. Located in one of Arlington's most sought-after neighborhoods, you have private access to Spy Pond and a playground, and easy access to Route 2, Alewife train station, the Minuteman bike path, Hardy School and the Capitol Theater. (MLS# 71637873)

Listed: $699,000

What's Nearby: East Arlington shops and restaurants, Capitol Theater, Minuteman Bikeway, Mass. Ave., public transportation, Spy Pond, Hardy School.

Contact: Steve McKenna (781-645-0505) and Dale Hurd (781-645-0563)


Address Rooms Bed Bath Style Price
73 Fremont St. 6 2 2f 1h Cottage $400,000
50 Colonial Dr. 5 2 1f Ranch $489,000
235 Pheasant Ave. 7 3 1f Colonial $549,000
65 Colonial Dr. 7 3 2f 1h Cape $699,000


Address Rooms Bed Bath Style Price
125 Pleasant St. U:401 3 1 1f Hi-Rise $275,000
1 Watermill Pl. U:220 3 1 1f 1h Mid-Rise $299,000
73 Fremont St. U:73 6 2 2f 1h Rowhouse $400,000
52 Palmer St. U:1 5 2 1f 2/3 Family $419,000
85 Thorndike St. U:85 6 2 1f 2/3 Family $422,000
1 School St. U:103 5 2 1f Mid-Rise $439,000
74 Webster St. U:74 6 2 2f 2/3 Family $469,000
144 Lake St. U:2 9 4 2f 2/3 Family $469,000


Which Arlington Neighborhood Are You?

Are you Prius or Ford F150? The BSO or Paradise?  Jimmy Buffet or Jay-Z? There are plenty of ways to express your personality, and where you live can be one of them. Arlington has no shortage of neighborhoods that reflect the diversity of people that live here.

They say birds of a feather flock together - which Arlington neighborhood best reflects your flock, so to speak?

East Arlington

East Arlington

  • I just moved from a small/expensive apartment in Cambridge/Somerville/Boston. I need a bit more space, but I'm not ready for 'suburbia.'

East Arlington is known for its walkability to shops, restaurants and transportation, and it is the most urban of the Arlington neighborhoods. No strip malls here and there are plenty of gems along Mass. Ave. including the Fox Library, Maxima Gift Center, Quebrada Baking, Flora, Capitol Theater and many more.

Additional resources include East Arlington Livable Streets and Capitol Square.

Schools Districts include: Thompson, Hardy

Arlington Heights

  • We're looking to raise a family in a good school district outside Boston, we need something we can afford but still want a reasonable commute into Boston.

Arlington Heights runs along either side of Mass. Ave. from about Bow Street to Brattle Street. While it has mostly single family homes, there is a mix of housing types that offers a little something for everyone. Good schools, space, and some more affordable housing options than the surrounding towns of Belmont, Lexington and Winchester make this a popular place to enter the Arlington market. Great shops and restaurants (The Meat House, Jimmy's Steer House, Balich 5 &10, and many more) still give that 'I'm not quite in suburbia yet' feel.

School Districts Include: Pierce, Dallin, Brackett


  • We need some space. The family is growing and it's time to move-up and out of our starter home.

Morningside homes are characterized by bigger plots of land, and it is known as one of the more affluent neighborhoods. You might sacrifice some walkability for peace and quiet, yet you are never far from all the Arlington and the surrounding communities have to offer.

School Districts Include: Stratton, Bishop

Jason Heights

  • We love grand homes, leafy streets and lots of parks to take the dog for a walk.

When you think of Arlington, you might think of Jason Heights with its classic Victorian homes. Many of those homes also have Boston views, and are in proximity to Menotomy Rocks Park, Robbins Farm Park as well as the Arlington Center business district (Regent Theater, Robbins Library, Tryst, and many more). People who love the outdoors as well a vibrant neighborhood enjoy the contrasts of Jason Heights.

School Districts include: Brackett, Bishop



*images via: Wikimedia Commons

Spotlight: HOMES of the Week!

March is poised to come in like a lion (or a mountain lion if you believe the latest sighting in Winchester). As long as he doesn't eat the lamb we'll be OK.

The condo market is hot right now, and we've got three hot listings for you to warm up to - two in Arlington and one in Stoneham. Condo living is convenient, maintenance free and a great alternative to the starter home. Check out these latest listings and get started on your home search today!

69-71 Winter Street, #1 Arlington 

69-71 Winter Street 








This bright, renovated 2 bedroom condo has an open plan living/dining room with built-in china cabinet. The kitchen includes stainless steel appliances, granite counter and breakfast nook! Other unique benefits are hardwood floors throughout except kitchen and bath which have tile, porch overlooking garden, one car garage space, basement storage and washer/dryer in basement. Maintenance-free living at its best! (MLS# 71637873)

Listed: $375,000

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

69-71 Winter Street, #2 Arlington  

69-71 Winter Street U2









Move in ready! Classic, recently renovated top floor condo. Better than your average kitchen w/granite counters, stainless appliances, and tile floor. Oversized windows in the kitchen bring in tons of natural light! Gleaming hardwood floors, bright, open living room/dining room with a built in china cabinet. Some traditional charm and character have been incorporated into the modern colors and design elements. There are two good-size bedrooms and magnificent renovated bath. There is a den at the front of the house for those winter days working from home. Bring the outdoors in this summer with a private enclosed front porch, rear porch, and a great sized yard. A garage completes the package. Excellent location near the Center! (MLS# 71637874)

Listed: $389,000

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

300 Park Terrace Drive, Stoneham

300 Park Terrace









Amazing Penthouse offering spectacular sunsets from your own private balcony! This spacious two bedroom condominium is meticulous and offers parquet flooring with an open floor plan. This unit is extremely bright with tons of sunshine streaming through the windows and slider. The bedrooms are spacious with ample closet space and the kitchen provides good counter space and is open to the dining area, which is perfect for entertaining. This is a terrific condominium complex with swimming pool and tennis courts. There is one car parking with the unit and additional parking available for a nominal fee. It's time for you to enjoy the easy lifestyle of condominium living. (MLS# 71637768)

Listed: $219,000

What's Nearby: Stoneham shops and restaurants, 93, Route 3.


Address Rooms Bed Bath Style Price
100 Fairmont St. 7 3 2f 1h Contemporary $685,000
77 Forest St. 7 3 2f 1h Garrison $595,000
90 Brattle St. U:90 7 3 2f 1h Colonial $499,000
38 Kensington Park 6 3 1f 1h Colonial $649,000


Address Rooms Bed Bath Style Price
90 Brattle St. U:90 7 3 2f 1h Attached $499,000
69-71 Winter St. U:1 5 2 1f 2/3 Family $375,000
69-71 Winter St. U:2 6 y 2 1f 2/3 Family $389,000
92 Oxford St. U:92 6 2 2f 2/3 Family $459,900


Address Rooms Bed Bath Style Price
69-71 Winter St. 11 total 4 total   2 Family - 2 Up/Down $759,000