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Redefining Boston Real Estate

LRG Boston Real Estate Blog

Boston luxury real estate as it happens

A Quickly Moving Boston Condo Market

March 22nd, 2012

By Joshua A. Golden and Craig Anne Lake

Real Estate in Boston is changing quickly

With rental rates on the rise, Boston is beginning to feel more like Manhattan. What we are beginning to see is a shift from renting to purchasing.   With inventory at all time lows, the rental market in Boston has become quite overheated, which in turn has driven rental prices up and inventories down.

Why is Boston so much hotter than other parts of the Country?

Look no further than the areas 40 Universities, dozens of hospitals, one of the country’s largest biotech communities, and of course, the huge influx of World renowned Financial Companies/Hedge Funds.  As these companies grow, so does the need for housing.

Furthermore, there is a growing trend for empty Nester’s who want to simplify their lives by moving into the city from surrounding Suburbs like Wellesley, Newton, Weston, Sudbury and Andover.  Combine that with a huge inflow of money from Asia and The Middle East and you have a recipe for a quickly moving market.

The problem has been the lack of inventory.  Due to the fact we have had a warm Winter, Spring buying has come early.
It is not uncommon to see multiple offers and sometimes bidding wars for well priced properties.

Our Advice

  1. Know the market.
  2. Know your budget.
  3. Do not hesitate if you see something you like because it could be gone tomorrow.
  4. Talk to your bank if you not a cash buyer and get pre approved.
  5. Most importantly, use ONE experienced buyers agent that knows the market.  Remember, a good agent has seen thousand’s of units and knows a good opportunity when they see one. Furthermore, they will assist you with the buying process.

Bryant Back Bay 1st Resale Goes UAG in 3 Days

February 8th, 2012
Bryant Back Bay

Bryant Back Bay

Just to give everyone a little perspective on the current condo market in Boston, MA, here is a true story….Thursday, a new listing at the Bryant Back Bay came on the market for $1,794,000+$140,000 for a second garage space. Well, based on the feedback, the auction sale prices are in the rear view mirror.

Saturday there were 5 showings, Sunday Open House had 16 groups come through, Monday morning saw 5 more groups come through and unit went Under Agreement Monday afternoon.

Lesson Learned: The luxury condo market is heating up FAST.  For units to be flying off the market this fast in early February is a pretty clear indication that the Spring market is going to be very strong.  Buyers need to be ready to act if the right opportunity presents itself.

*The best advice we can give you is to find a good Buyer’s agent, preferably from LRG;-), who will monitor the market on a daily basis and notify you when your ideal home comes on the market.

Boston, MA Real Estate Taxes On The Rise in 2012

January 16th, 2012

As if we do not pay enough taxes, the city of Boston has raised the tax rate in 2012 to:

  • $13.04 per $1,000 of valuation for Residential.
  • $31.92 per $1,000 of valuation for Commercial

Now for some good news. In 2012, qualified homeowners can expect to save $1,644.28 on their tax bill.  What qualifies someone to receive this residential exemption? As defined by the City of Boston:

“The principal residence is the address from which you file  your State income tax return.  Your social security number will be required to verify eligibility.”

If you think your home is assessed to high, you can always file an abatement with the City.  The proper forms can be found by clicking here.

Restoration Hardware Signs Lease at Old Louis Space In Boston

October 20th, 2011
Restoration Hardware takes old Louis Space

Restoration Hardware takes old Louis Space

After Louis of Boston vacated 234 Berkley St., for it’s new home in the trendy Seaport Area, the building quickly began to erode.  The wonderful detail slowly crumbled and everyone in the Back Bay began to wonder what would come of this flagship retail space.  There were rumors of a boutique hotel and even luxury residences.

Well, now we have our answer!!!

Restoration Hardware, a very popular California based luxury furniture company has signed a lease for the 40,000 square foot building at the corner of Boylston and Berkley. At Luxury Residential Group, we feel it is a perfect fit and will be an amazing compliment to the neighborhood.

Kensington Tower on Washington St. Breaking Ground

October 12th, 2011

Luxury Residential Group LLC is excited to announce that after 8 long years, and down economic cycle, Kensington Tower will be breaking ground on Friday October 14th.  The $172 million project will be located at the corner of Washington and LaGrange streets. The complex will offer 381 luxury rental apartments as well as a club room, a rooftop pool(Finally a luxury building with rooftop pool) landscaped terrace, a fitness center and ground-floor shops as well as underground parking.

We will have more information on leasing terms, incentives and pricing as they become available.

Potential Fire at Emerson Dorm – September 16th, 2011

September 16th, 2011

12:58 am 9/16/2011 – It would appear that a fire of some sorts has broken out on Washington Street in Downtown Boston. A large number of fire trucks, police vehicles and ambulances sighted at The New Emerson College Dorm/Paramount Theater on Washington Street.  Lot’s of water on the street, and students evacuated.  Stay tuned for updates.

Earthquake Felt In Boston, MA August 23rd, 2011

August 23rd, 2011

Luxury Residential Group’s offices at 355 Boylston Street in Boston, MA just felt the effect of a 6.0 magnitude earthquake that was centered in Virginia.  The Prudential Tower was shaking as well as other Boston high rises.  It kind of rattles the nerves a bit but no damage has been reported.

Hubway Bike Sharing Comes to Boston

August 2nd, 2011

Wonder what that row of bicycles are on the corner of Arlington and Boylston just across from the Heritage Condos and Four Seasons? It is a new Bike sharing program called Hubway or http://www.thehubway.com/ which is sponsored by New Balance .  It is indeed an interesting “Green” concept that is primarily based on a trust system. The site explains the system more concisely but the overall gist is a clean, healthy, alternative to cabs.  In all, there nearly 600 bikes at 61 stations around the city(Station Map Here).  There is a annual membership fee of $85 which is reduced to $60 as a special introductory price.  Below are the usage fees and explanation of how they are structured which we got from their site TheHubway.com.

Hubway Boston

Hubway Boston

Usage Fees

Every ride less than 30 minutes time is always free for both Registered and Casual Members.  After 30 minutes, Usage Fees are incurred based on the following rates.  Registered Members received 25% off Usage Fees, which will be billed on the 10th of each month.  Casual Members are billed for Usage Fees within 3 days of the end of their membership period. The rates are as follows: 

Ride Time Total Hourly Fee
Casual Membership
Total Hourly Fee
Registered Membership
0 – 29:59 min $0.00 $0.00
30:00 – 59:59 min $2.00 $1.50
60:00 – 89:59 min $6.00 $4.50
90:00 – 119:59 min $12.00 $10.50
2:00:00 – 2:29:59 hours $20.00 $16.50
2:30:00 – 2:59:59 hours $28.00 $22.50
3:00:00 – 3:29:59 hours $36.00 $28.50
3:30:00 – 3:59:59 hours $44.00 $34.50
4:00:00 – 4:29:59 hours $52.00 $40.50
4:30:00 – 4:59:59 hours $60.00 $46.50
5:00:00 – 5:29:59 hours $68.00 $52.50
5:30:59 – 5:59:59 hours $76.00 $58.50
6:00:00 – 6:29:59 hours $84.00 $64.50
6:30:59 – 6:59:59 hours $92.00 $70.50
7:00:00 – 23:59:59 hours $100.00 $75.00

The bikes themselves seem pretty indestructiblebut this writer has concerns that vandalism(angry cabby’s perhaps?), injuries and irresponsible riders may cause some headlines in the near future.

Quoted in Today’s Boston Globe – 7/26/2011

July 26th, 2011

Joshua A. Golden of Luxury Residential Group was quoted in today’s Boston Globe:

http://www.boston.com/realestate/news/articles/2011/07/26/downtown_boston_condos_enjoy_double_digit_price_increases/

Renters, Bring Your Checkbook!!!!

July 25th, 2011

The old saying, “Bring your checkbook” is more relevant now than ever.  Boston Rental Market hits an all time high. We often see 5 or 6 applications on the same apartment after one short day on the market.

By Craig Anne Lake of Luxury Residential Group

Craig Lake

Craig Anne Lake of Luxury Residential Group

Recently, I find myself apologizing all the time while I say, “I promise I am not just saying this, and I know it sounds cheesy, but if you want this property – bring your application and check in hand and be ready to turn it in…”  I hate sounding like I am being pushy, but any bit of hesitation, and you can lose a place.

I hate that Realtors are not the most respected or trusted of professionals.  I have heard us being compared to used cars salesman.  I assure you that not all Real Estate agents are the same.  Making things worse right now, is the fact that the rental market here in Boston is out of control.  Unfortunately though, if people don’t trust our judgment, they are finding themselves without a place to live.

There just isn’t that much available, and things are going quickly.  It sounds cliché coming from an agent to say it, but if you don’t act quickly on something you like, you will not get it.

I have actually had a client lose a property even with the check and application in hand and even with an insider’s recommendation and help!

It is NOT a renter’s market right now.  I am finding some properties to be $200-$500 more expensive per month this year over last year.  Specific areas are especially difficult – like the desirable South End and Back Bay areas.  The competition is intense for a great place.  There just isn’t a lot inventory and there are a lot of people searching with very similar requirements.  Last year at this time, luxury buildings were paying full broker’s fees and offering incentives like “one month free”.  It is incredible what a difference one year can make.

The sales market isn’t too shabby either.  I have had bidding wars on properties in the South End, and have seen properties go “Under Agreement” in days.

I completely understand wanting to compare and contrast and feel that you have seen everything that is out there before making a decision.  It is difficult to convince a client to jump on a place, especially if they haven’t seen a lot of places.  However, given the market, if you find something you like, you may want to swipe it up quickly because if you don’t, someone else will.

I promise, I am not just saying this… And if you still don’t trust me… The Boston Globe explains it here:

http://www.boston.com/business/articles/2011/07/25/rents_hit_record_high_in_boston_area/?page=1

If you ever thought about buying an investment property in Boston, now would be an ideal time.  Rates are low and rents are high.

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