Blog :: 04-2014

Taking on FSBO: An Interview with Real Estate Talk - Boston

Recently, Steve had the opportunity to speak with Chris Devin, host of Real Estate Talk - Boston (@RETalkBoston) on RadioBDC.

There is much to talk about in Greater Boston real estate these days - pricing, inventory, and interest rates to name a few. This interview tackles FSBO (For Sale By Owner), specifically, "Can You Sell Your Home Yourself?"

With inventory levels so low and houses moving fast, it is easy to understand why some would-be home sellers think this is a no-brainer. Can you sell your home yourself? Of course you can, but there are many reasons why you may not want to.

This interview is a must-listen for anyone who has considered (or is considering) selling a home themselves.RealTalkBoston_1

As Steve discusses, anyone can put a 'For Sale' sign on their lawn, but that's not why you hire a professional. These are just a few of the topics Steve covers in detail:

  • Negotiating with buyers, bank appraisers, lawyers, inspectors, loan officers, etc.
  • Preparing the home to sell
  • Understanding the market and demographics
  • Pricing it right for the seller, and the pool of buyers

Take a minute, give it a listen, and you'll have a much better understanding of FSBO in today's Greater Boston real estate market.

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Spotlight: HOMES of the Week!

Inventory is opening up with more than ten new listings on the market in Arlington this weekend! We have two FANTASTIC listings in Arlington and Medford. These are best-of-both-worlds homes with plenty of space and beautiful layouts - yet easy access to public transportation and urban amenities.

Time to step up your home buying efforts and get moving!

25 Falmouth Road, Arlington  

25 Falmouth Road

Have you been looking for a stately brick front center entrance colonial located in Morningside? This beautiful Colonial was custom built in 1987 for the current owners and truly reflects quality craftsmanship typically found in a traditional center entrance Colonial, with oversized windows and fine detailing. Offering an exceptional first floor layout with a spacious kitchen (perfect for the chef in the family) tons of counter space, a huge island, separate dining area, a gas cook top and wall oven. There is a formal-size dining room and a fabulous living room with glass pocket doors opening to an amazing family room with a lovely marble gas fireplace and direct access to the wonderful screened in porch. The second floor has 4 spacious bedrooms including a huge master bedroom suite. The lower level has an office and playroom with a half bathroom or it can be a terrific in-law suite. All of this with seasonal views of Mystic Lakes and a two car garage! (MLS# 71669323)

Listed: $995,000

What's Nearby: Arlington Center shops and restaurants, Minuteman Bikeway, Mass. Ave., public transportation, Mystic Lake, Mystic Valley Parkway, Bishop School.

24 Pine Ridge Road, Medford  

24 Pine Ridge Road

You will love this spectacular home and terrific location, on prestigious Pine Ridge Road in the heart of the Brooks Estates. Meticulously maintained, you will be struck by the sunlight and quality updates. This home boasts hardwood floors, a fire-placed formal living room and a custom kitchen with double ovens. The master bedroom retreat will not disappoint, with a romantic fireplace and private bath. Enjoy radiant heat and a steam shower in the guest bath. The lower level in-law suite, with a spa-like bath is perfect for guests. With the feel of a luxury getaway, this home is perfect for entertaining and was designed for the good life. Close to the West Medford Commuter Rail, just one stop to Boston, the Mystic Lake, and West Medford Square. A once in a life time opportunity to have the best of both worlds, sylvan setting and urban convenience. Watch the seasons and enjoy the amazing views of the Mystic Lake, year round! (MLS# 71669318)

Listed: $849,000

What's Nearby: Medford Center and West Medford shops and restaurants, Mystic Lake, Commuter Rail, Brooks School.


Address Rooms Bed Bath Style Price
25 Walnut Ter. 6 3 2f 0h Cape $549,900
59 Coolidge Rd. 7 3 2f 0h Colonial $550,000
71 Brattle St. 7 4 1f 1h Colonial $569,000
325 Park Ave. 8 4 1f 1h Victorian $583,800
36 Twin Circle Dr. 8 4 1f 1h Multi-Level $629,000
65 Walnut St. 9 3 2f 0h Cape $649,000
2 Park Place 7 4 2f 1h Victorian $699,000
2 Summer Hill Circle U:#2 8 3 2f 1h Colonial $749,000
72 Brand St. 9 4 2f 1h Colonial $829,000
25 Falmouth Rd. 12 4 2f 2h Colonial $995,000
53 Beverly Rd. 10 4 3f 1h Colonial $1,595,000


If You're Happy and You Know It

When you were little, if you were happy and you knew it - you clapped your hands.

Now, if you're happy and you know it - you tell someone about it!

As a REALTOR®, the best compliment you can get for providing great service isn't a gift card, flowers, or a free lunch (not that we don't appreciate thanks in all of its forms) - it is when you share your experience with others.

To know that we've done our best and our best has resulted in another happy client is why we come to work every day. We sincerely appreciate when you provide referrals and share your experience with your friends, family, neighbors and networks.

And it's never been easier if you're happy and you know, and you really want to show it, to share it with others. Send us a quick email, give us a call (781-645-0505), write a quick review on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, or right here in the comments section of the blog.

Here is the feedback from a recent seller in Arlington. Many thanks!


Seller on George Street in Arlington

"I think Steve is a terrific leader and we were impressed with his professionalism and sincerity. Steve led our family through the home selling process during a difficult time. From securing contractors for home repairs, to a stager, to finding charities to donate items no longer needed - Steve & The Home Advantage Team handled every aspect of the preparation and selling of our home.

His knowledge of local real estate is unprecedented - he knew how to price and market our home for the current pool of buyers. We had more than 100 people come through the open house and it sold immediately.

My family has moved many times throughout the years, and I am familiar in working with real estate professionals. Steve & The Home Advantage Team are a cut above the rest. When he says he'll get back to me, he does. He was always there to help every step of the way and we never felt alone.

I would recommend Steve McKenna & The Home Advantage Team to anyone with real estate needs."

Spotlight: Arlington HOME of the Week!

Big weekend this weekend. Lot's going on with Easter, Passover and of course, Patriots Day and the Boston Marathon.

The Arlington Patriots Day Parade kicks off on Monday, 4/21 at 9:30 a.m. at Brattle Street, which is sure to get you in the patriotic spirit. And don't forget to put this home of the week on your activity list - just a few blocks from Arlington Center you can walk to next year's parade without worrying about parking!

Best of luck to all of the dedicated runners in this year's marathon, and our thoughts are with everyone affected by last year's tragedy. #BostonStrong.

101 Medford Street, Arlington  

101 Medford

This beautiful condo sits right in the heart of all that Arlington has to offer! A turn of the century Victorian home with all of the charm and character you want, plus all of the renovations and modern amenities you need! The classic front porch is welcoming with delightful details. The 1st floor has a beautifully renovated open concept kitchen with granite/stainless steel. French doors open to the wonderful living room, and half bath. 2nd floor has a full bath and 2 bright and spacious bedrooms. 3rd floor has a sprawling master suite with skylight, walk-in closet and en suite bath. Central air, wood floors throughout, finished basement, back porch, deck and large rear yard make this a home gem! Just a short distance from the Arlington Center shops, restaurants, theaters, Mass. Ave. and public transportation, the walkability of this home is second to none! (MLS# 71661390)

Listed: $639,000

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


Address Rooms Bed Bath Style Price
29 Walnut Terrace 6 3 2f 0h Cape $585,000


Address Rooms Bed Bath Style Price
101 Medford St. U:101 7 3 2f 1h Townhouse $639,000
39 Park St. U:39 5 3 2f 0h Rowhouse $489,900
96 Rawson Rd. U:96 8 3 2f 0h 2/3 Family $445,000


Spotlight: HOMES of the Week!

With new listings in Arlington and Medford, opportunities to find your perfect home abound this week!

#1: Looking for an easy commute? Check out 14 Marathon Street, Arlington.

#2: Open concept and master suite? Check out 144 Winchester Road, Arlington.

#3: Interested in an investment/income property? Check out 19 Eliot Street, Medford.

These are just a few of the many reasons to put these homes on your open house list this weekend!

14 Marathon Street, Unit 2, Arlington  

14 Marathon Street

Stunning top floor condominium in one of Arlington's most desirable neighborhoods - larger than most single family homes! This fabulous second floor home showcases a spacious living room, den, formal dining room with beautiful natural woodwork and an amazing kitchen that was recently renovated with an oversized island with granite counters. A lovely back porch overlooks the rear yard. The third floor has three very large bedrooms and a wonderful bathroom that has been updated, yet still has the claw foot bathtub. All this plus newer heat, electrical and roof! The yard is shared and there is a spacious driveway for 2+ car parking. Minutes to all the vibrant shops, restaurants and theatres that East Arlington and the Center have to offer! Great commuter location just steps to Mass Ave. bus, Alewife T & Davis Square! (MLS# 71658856)

Listed: $489,000

What's Nearby: East Arlington and Arlington Center shops and restaurants, Minuteman Bikeway, Mass. Ave., public transportation, Thompson/Hardy School.

144 Winchester Road, Arlington  

144 Winchester Road

Located in the highly desirable Morningside area this center entrance colonial has so much to offer. Stepping through the front door into the foyer you will notice the front to back family room, living room, and open doorways to the oversized kitchen (with pantry closet) and eating area. The eating area has an expansive feel with cathedral ceilings and sliders leading to the deck and back yard. The half bath features an area for the laundry. The first floor offers the open concept that allows sunlight to stream through all the rooms while giving this wonderful home a bright and airy feeling. Upstairs offers three spacious beds and an office. The master suite has a walk-in closet with in-suite master bath featuring jetted tub and water closet. There is plenty of storage in the basement. It offers central air, gleaming hardwood floors, plenty of room in the yard for backyard entertaining or playing. This home is a must see! (MLS# 71658904)

Listed: $699,000

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

19 Eliot Street, Medford  

19 Eliot Street

Have you been looking for a good investment opportunity or maybe a development opportunity? What about an affordable priced home you can fix up and get some good rental income? Well make sure you stop by and see this wonderful two-family house. It has been in the same family for years and although it needs updating, it has good bones and is in a great location. Conveniently located off Main Street in close proximity to the Whole Foods and all the shops and restaurants in Medford Center and easy access to Routes 93 and 16; this could be the opportunity you've been waiting for. There are two bedrooms on the first floor and three bedrooms on the second floor. (MLS# 71658886)

Listed: $479,000

What's Nearby: Medford Center shops and restaurants, Whole Foods, Rt. 93, Rt. 16, public transportation.



Address Rooms Bed Bath Style Price
86 Dickson Ave. 7 3 1f 0h Ranch $485,900
6 Ortona St. 7 3 1f 0h Cape $485,000
144 Winchester Rd. 8 3 2f 1h Colonial $699,000
9 Crescent Hill Ave. 6 3 1f 0h Colonial $529,900
69 Tanager St. 7 3 1f 1h Colonial $539,000
3 Norcross St. 5 2 1f 1h Gambrel /Dutch $550,000
254 Sylvia St. 7 3 2f 0h Cape $479,000
183 Pleasant St. 9 6 1f 2h Other $885,000


Address Rooms Bed Bath Style Price
14 Marathon St. U:2 7 3 1f 0h 2/3 Family $489,000
57 Wollaston Ave. U:2 7 4 2f 0h 2/3 Family $549,000


Address Rooms Bed Bath Style Price
13-15 Coleman Rd. 10 4 2f 0h 2 Family $589,000


Spotlight: Arlington HOMES of the Week!

There's nothing as optimistic and upbeat as opening day at Fenway Park. A World Series win behind us, and a whole season of anticipation ahead of us.

And that's how we feel about these two new listings! Put these homes in your line-up and knock your home search out of the park.

Go Sox!

2 Summer Hill Circle, #2

2 Summer Hill Circle

Looking for something different with the WOW factor? This exquisite townhouse is for you. Built in 2011 and located on the Minuteman Bikeway, this great home features an open concept first floor. Enjoy the fireplace in the family room, great dining room, spacious kitchen and living room, 1/2 bath and welcoming foyer. The kitchen is appointed with oversized cabinets, a cooktop, wall oven, built in microwave and a large island that is great for cooking preparation, or to use as entertaining space. The second floor has 2 bedrooms, a main bath, a great laundry room and master suite. The master suite features a walk in closet and master bath with tile shower, double sinks and a water closet. The 3rd floor is finished and can be used as flexible space. There is a 2 car tandem garage with a mud room on the lower level. Plenty of storage space, exclusive use yard space, deck and great access make this a wonderful place to call home! (MLS# 71654685)

Listed: $749,000

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

143 Wildwood Ave.

143 Wildwood

Meticulous two family home in desirable Brackett/Bishop location! This is a perfect investment opportunity with good rental income and offering lots of updates. This home boasts a newer roof, newer insulated windows, low maintenance vinyl siding, a two car garage and a huge driveway. The second floor unit offers many updates including, a granite and stainless steel, eat in kitchen, ample closet/storage space, central air and a full size attic, just waiting to be renovated. The first floor unit retains its original charm with a built in china cabinet and kitchen with pantry. The high ceilings and hardwood floors will win you over. Conveniently located close to public transportation, shops and restaurants, you will enjoy the spring from your private garden and this great location. (MLS# 71654722)

Listed: $699,000

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


Address Rooms Bed Bath Style Price
54 Crosby St. 6 2 2f 0h Ranch $449,000
163 Wright St. 5 2 1f 1h Ranch $469,000
7 Aberdeen Rd. 6 3 1f 0h Colonial $479,000
20 Grandview Rd. 7 3 2f 0h Colonial $499,000
11 Wheaton Rd. 8 4 2f 0h Ranch $529,000
14 Baker Rd. 6 3 2f 0h Cape $569,000
106 Rhinecliff St. 6 3 2f 0h Colonial $598,000
23 Morton Rd. 7 3 1f 1h Colonial $649,000


Address Rooms Bed Bath Style Price
16 Old Colony Ln. U:3 3 1 1f 0h Garden $169,000
5 Damon Park U:1 5 2 1f 0h Garden $299,000
45 Alton St. U:45 6 3 1f 0h 2/3 Family $379,000
6 Amherst St. U:1 10 4 2f 1h 2/3 Family $419,900
105 Pleasant St. U:1 5 2 2f 0h 2/3 Family $487,000
57 Park Ave. Ext. U:2 7 4 2f 1h Townhouse $725,000
2 Summer Hill Circle U:#2 8 3 2f 1h Townhouse $749,000


Address Rooms Bed Bath Style Price
143 Wildwood Ave. 11 4 2f 0h 2 Family



Spring(ish) Cleaning

Even though Nantucket got hit with a blizzard last week and most of Massachusetts has had some form of snow/sleet this week, it is officially April and finally time to trade those snow boots for rain boots, shovels for rakes, salt for fertilizer, and sleds for bicycles.

For homeowners, spring means cleaning up in the wake of a particularly wild winter.

TulipsWhether you're thinking of preparing your home to sell, or you just need to freshen up, there are a number of spring cleaning steps that can have a big impact on how your home looks and feels. Here are a few to get you in the right frame of mind:


Clean out the closets, get rid of the clutter, steam clean rugs, wipe down walls, fixtures, floorboards, chair rails, ceiling fans, door knobs, switch plates and moldings, sanitize kitchens and bathrooms.

And out:

Window cleaning, gutter cleaning, garage cleanout (don't be a hoarder!), rake out garden beds, fresh coats of paint on the deck, pressure wash the siding, sweep walkways and patios.

We'll stick to helping clients buy and sell homes, and leave the down-and-dirty cleaning tips to the experts. Here are a few helpful resources with comprehensive checklists, how-tos, and everything in-between:

Martha Stewart - Throughout the House

Pinterest Spring Cleaning Lists

Better Homes & Gardens - The Ultimate Cleaning Guide

Real Simple - Spring Cleaning Shortcuts

So go get some fresh flowers and once it's about 60 degrees out, turn off the heat, turn on some good music, open the windows and start scrubbing.

Happy spring(ish) cleaning!



image via: Microsoft Office