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Boston luxury real estate as it happens

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Boston – 2nd Quarter 2010 Sales Results

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

First Half Year Over Year - sales are up 5.4%

Quarter Over Quarter – Sales are up 3.1%


Click —– >Boston – 2nd Quarter 2010 Sales Results

Stephanie’s Restaurant On Newbury Street is a Gem

Friday, July 9th, 2010

I recently took a Luxury Residential Group client to Stephanie’s on Newbury for lunch.


If you know anything about this place and their amazing adaptations on comfort foods, you should go, and go now! Stephanie’s on Newbury serves familiar dishes, but executed in ways that are innovative, generous (they are known for large portions)and, above all, delicious. I have always found this to be a terrific place to go with out-of-town guests or for an afternoon of people watching with friends from their expansive street-side patio. Stephanie’s is located on Newbury Street in the heart of Boston’s historic Back Bay.

We were seated immediately on the patio overlooking Newbury Street. The atmosphere was relaxed, the waitresses were friendly and the food (especially the salads) were outstanding. For an appetizer, we shared their very well known ahi tuna tartare, essentially cucumber-wrapped chopped sashimi tuna, with plenty of spice. This amazing combination was topped with crispy wonton strips and peanuts. It tasted as great as it sounds! Then I had their seasonal lobster salad roll, that had a great balance of mayo, lemon and maybe a zing of mustard. To my liking, it was served on a toasted roll. For lobster roll fans, this could be the very best around! My Client had the classic chunky chicken salad that had some toasted almonds and capers which really were a nice touch. The homemade irish soda bread was just perfect with the chicken salad. No complaints there either! Their salads are really very special.

Most everyone will enjoy sitting on the patio on a sunny day because it is such a terrific location and the scenery is ever-changing. I wholeheartedly recommend Stephanie’s On Newbury, and definitely suggest getting a table outside on a nice day and enjoying one of Boston’s great meals with some good company. It lays claim to creating “sophisticated comfort food” so come hungry and prepare to be satisfied! They deliver.

Stephanie’s is located in Boston’s Back Bay at 190 Newbury Street on the corner of Exeter and Newbury.


Middlesex County High Schools Rank Highly

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

Sudbury HomeWhy live in towns like Weston, Wayland, or Sudbury?

Besides the fact they have some of the most beautiful real estate in the state of Massachusetts,

they also have some of the best schools around.

With the Public High School Rankings being released by Boston Magazine, Middlesex County schools including Weston, Wayland, and Lincoln-Sudbury all ranked within the top 10. With education for children being a key selling point in the home buying process, homebuyers can be confident that their children will receive a quality education in these towns. While Weston High School took the #1 spot, Wayland High and Lincoln-Sudbury followed soon after at #8 and #9 respectively. With a maximum student to teacher ratio of 13 to 1, these schools, which have notoriously been great in the past, should continue to thrive in the future.

For more information on buying a home in these areas, please contact Luxury Residential Group Buying Specialist Jeff Shuman who can be reached by phone at (978)-460-0921 or by email at Check out the rest of the rankings here:

John Wooden Passes Away At 99 – A MUST See Tribute

Saturday, June 5th, 2010

Although this has nothing to do with Real Estate in Boston, we at Luxury Residential Group felt it was important to pay tribute to one of the best athletic coaches to ever live.  What is more poignant is this espn tribute to his life.  If this does not bring a tear to your eye, you are not human. RIP Coach Wooden.

W Boston Hotel and Condo Developer Files Chapter 11

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

w-boston-hotelIn a not so shocking announcement, the developer of the new W Boston Condos and Hotel, SW Boston Hotel Ventures LLC has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.  This comes as little surprise to the Real Estate community in Boston as the developer made some crucial mistakes when building and marketing the property.  ”We always felt the initial pricing needed to be closer to $850-$1,000 per foot for the upper floors rather than a non negotiable $1,100 to $1,350 per foot” says Joshua Golden of Luxury Residential Group.  He adds,  ”Do not get me wrong, the structure is spectacular and The W brand is second to none when one thinks of sleek, clean design combined with a hip sexy atmosphere.  The problem was solely based on pricing and lack of deal making early on in the process.”

Bottom line, the prices were too high for the location.  The developer would have been far better off dropping the prices early on when they saw the market turning downward to stimulate sales and make the building more financeable for buyers.  Instead, they tried to match prices with the more desirable Clarendon Boston in the Back Bay, which ultimately was their undoing. They were not negotiable on their pricing even though evidence presented itself that buyers at the high end were migrating towards the Back Bay verse the Theater District.  The developer should have kept a closer eye on the market and acted accordingly.  Units with superior views at The Ritz Carlton were going for far less per foot.

The W Condos and its developers may emerge from this unscathed, but it is now hard to justify any sales moving forward without a significant price reduction, maybe even, dare we say it, a low reserve auction on a portion of the units, similar to The Bryant Back Bay which is now one of the hottest selling buildings in Boston.  Time will tell, stay tuned.

** It is important to note that this in NO WAY effects on the operations at the W Hotel Boston.  It is business as usual:-)

Boston Condo Sales – 2010 1st Quarter Report Released

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

For all our viewers reading pleasure.  Comments are welcome.


Boston – 2010 First Quarter Home and Condo Sales Report

Fire at 483 Beacon – April 7th, 2010

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010
483 Beacon Street

483 Beacon Street

A massive 9 alarm fire has just broken out at the historic 483 Beacon Street Condo complex on the corner of Massachusetts Ave. and Beacon St.  This 70 unit building houses condos in the range of $250,000 to $600,000.  The fire started on the 7th floor.  there are 2 to 4 reported injuries related to smoke inhalation.  The rest of the residents have been safely evacuated. Stay tuned for more information.

FHA Changes In The New Year

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

LogoSome interesting news from the FHA this week. With the increased popularity of FHA in the absence of other alternative products (they now insure 30% of all new loans) FHA is nearing the limits of loans they can make based on their capital ratio. To address this problem FHA will be raising their upfront mortgage insurance premium fees from 1.75% to 2.25%. They have also requested approval to increase their monthly fees.

On a positive note they have lifted their 90 day seasoning rule for sellers. This takes effect Feb 1st for a period of one year. All transactions must be arms-length. If the sales price is 20% or more than the acquisition cost, the lender will require a second appraisal.

Some more good news, which we feel is very important to note and directly impacts our clients, is the FHA has reduced the pre sale requirement for new condo developments to 30%. With developers struggling to move their new projects, this news will provide a big boost.

For questions or more information please call our mortgage specialist Jesse Kenner at 401-644-4066. He can also help you get your new development or condo conversion FHA approved.

Boston Properties Edward Linde Passes Away at 68 Years Old

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010
Edward Linde - Boston Properties

Edward Linde - Boston Properties

It was reported today, 1/11/2010, by the Boston Globe and Boston Properties that Edward Linde has passed away due to complications related to pneumonia. Linde was not only known for his role in building one of the countries largest, most successful commercial real estate companies, but more importantly, his donations to the arts community($25 million to the Museum of Fine Arts) as  well as local Boston Hospitals.

Our sympathies and prayers go out to the Linde family.

Senate Approves Tax Credit Extension

Monday, November 9th, 2009

Written By: Laura Levin of Luxury Residential Group

With a Senate vote of 98-0, followed by House approval shortly thereafter, the popular first time home buyer tax credit has been extended and expanded. (Insert Applause)

$8,000 - Home Buyer Credit

$8,000 - Home Buyer Credit

Even if you are not preparing to buy or sell a home in the near future, the credit may have a great influence on your finances. Below is a breakdown of the new legislation and how to make it work in your favor!

Who Is Eligible?

There are actually two credits:

First-time home buyers with adjusted gross incomes up to $125,000 (singles) or $225,000 (married) may receive the complete $8,000 tax credit as long as they purchase a primary residence before June 30, 2010 and haven’t owned a home in the past three years. If your income is above those levels the credit lessens. It is not allowed once income reaches $145,000 for singles or $275,000 for married couples.

Current homeowners may obtain a credit of up to $6,500 if they’ve lived in their primary residence for five consecutive years out of the past eight, meet the same income criterion as first-time buyers, and buy a primary residence before June 30, 2010.

Who Is Not Eligible?

Besides those buyers who top out the income restrictions, there are some other buyers who do not qualify.

Luxury Market: We are sorry to say that you are not permitted to use the new tax credit to buy a property that
costs $800,000 or more.

Vacation Or Investment Residences: You are not permitted to claim the credit to purchase a second residence, vacation home, or investment property.

Additionally significant is that you are not permitted to take the credit if you have obtained the home as a gift or
inheritance or from your spouse, parents, grandparents, children, or grandchildren.

What Are The New Terms Of The Credit?

The original credit was due to expire November 30, 2009. This new bill extends the deadline an additional seven months. Although the credit officially terminates on April 30, 2010, you will still qualify as long as you have a binding contract by that date and close by June 30.  Members of the U.S. armed forces, military intelligence, or foreign service on qualified extended duty also receive an extra year to take either credit. Moreover, if you or your spouse has been deployed overseas for 90 days or more in 2008 or 2009, you have until April 30, 2011 to claim the tax credit.

Receiving the Credit

Provided that you purchase a home in 2010 before the program expires, you are eligible to claim the tax break on your 2009 federal tax return.

Be Mindful!

The feds do not intend for this to facilitate house flippers. If you sell the home or move to an alternate primary residence within three years of closing, you can expect that you will be forced to repay the tax credit.

Guidance For Home Buyers

If you are married and have not ever owned a home, but your spouse has owned one within the past three years, the two of you do not qualify for the $8,000 first-time home-buyer credit. You do qualify for the $6,500 credit for current homeowners, as long as each of you meet the other prerequisites.

Even if you already own a primary residence, the credit is available to you if you want to buy a house with your child. Your child will get the credit of up to $8,000 assuming he or she meets the other requirements – and even if you own half the property.

How To Benefit If You’re Not In The Market?

Sellers: As long as your house is priced below $800,000 you should be sure to remind both first-time and trade-up buyers that your home may help them qualify for the credit.

Homeowners: If the new tax credit works as well as is anticipated, it could facilitate the sales of hundreds of thousands of homes, accounting for the surplus in inventory. This is precisely what you want to happen because your home value can’t and won’t begin to increase until the other homes in your neighborhood are sold.

Nearly 1.4 million first-time homebuyers have qualified for the credit through August. The National Association of Realtors estimates that 350,000 of them would not have bought their homes without the credit.

Featured Listing
22 Liberty Drive #5L, Boston, MA Seaport District Boston, $775,000
22 Liberty Drive #5L, Boston, MA
Seaport District Boston, $775,000
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