Boston Real Estate Blog

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Beacon Hill groups oppose city’s sidewalk and tree-cutting plans

Boston condos

Boston condos

A number of neighborhood groups are opposing the city’s plans to alter the sidewalk street-scape on Beacon Hill, plans that include cutting down hundreds of trees, removal of some bricks and new-style curb cuts for the disabled.

Hey, we’re all for making the neighborhood more disabled-friendly. But it sure looks like the city’s DPW is just pursuing the cheapest and easiest route toward that goal.

It is an historic district, after all. Right?

File under: Get it right

An ode to New England’s ‘triple-decker’ homes

Boston Apartments

Boston Apartments

Here’s an interesting post on Boston’s beloved triple-deckers homes, most of them built in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

A number of points:

1.) It’s fascinating that construction of triple-deckers literally tracked, no pun intended, the building of new trolley lines in the city and to other “streetcar suburbs.”

2.) There seems to be debate about whether they’re called “triple deckers” or “three deckers.”

Well, there’s no debate here about what to call them: They’re “triple-deckers.” The city of Boston itself officially describes them as “triple deckers.” So who are these “three-decker” interlopers who dare question the linguistic authority of Mayor Menino himself?

3.) Did you know there’s a special “3D Members Discount” at local hardware stores for triple-decker owners? It’s true. You learn something new every day.

4.) Apparently, according to this Wikipedia entry, triple-deckers were also popular as far south as New Jersey. But they’re mostly associated with New England, Massachusetts and Rhode Island in particular. Worcester and Fall River also have a ton of them.

Obviously, Somerville, Cambridge, etc. have a lot of triple-deckers as well. Somerville, it should be noted, is arguably the triple-decker capital of the world, in addition to being an All-American City.

Photo via city of Boston.

Remaking Boston’s Esplanade
The non-profit Esplanade Association has released a long-term plan to revitalize the famous parkway along the Charles River in Boston.

They have some cool ideas, including building a new year-round café where there’s now a kind of honky-tonk type shop near the Hatch Shell. They also envision replacing and/or expanding the Authur Fiedler Footbridge with a more wide gateway into the park.

Some of the ideas we doubt will ever happen, such as a new Ferris Wheel where there’s now a parking garage next to the Museum of Science. But all in all, it looks like a very interesting and promising vision for the Esplanade.

Globe coverage here and and Herald coverage here.

File under: They parked it

Massachusetts ‘unusual’ homes

Do you know of an unusual home?  I’m not sure what the exact definition is, but if you have a home like the photo above from Somerville, than read on.

WCVB’s Channel 5′s Chronicle program has a show upcoming on November 17 on unusual homes. 

This is an opportunity for Boston real estate agents to post a few pictures of an “unusual” home, along with any contact or sales information you wish to provide.  Many of these photos will be featured on-air. .

Bucking the trend

Univeral Hub reports that developer Ori Ron is pushing ahead with plans for a new condo tower at Kingston and Essex, where Chinatown and the Leather District meet. Interesting tidbit: The city actually asked that the building be made more boring so it wouldn’t distract from the Rose Kennedy Greenway. Did they stop to think that sometimes beauty enhances beauty — and that ugliness sometimes distracts from beauty?

Boston Real Estate – Feng Shui


Feng Shui and your Boston condo: How to bring wealth into your life

Here’s a unique take on how to bring more wealth into your life by tapping Feng Shui at home. Credit to New York real estate professional Debra Duneier:

-The burners on your stove represent wealth. Keep them clean and alternate your use of the burners when cooking … The refrigerator should be filled with healthy food. A full refrigerator brings in abundance.

– The indoor plants that are wealth enhancers are bamboo and jade plants.

– Take three lucky Chinese coins and tape them to the back of a rug. Every time someone walks in (your home’s entry point) they symbolically are bringing money into your property and into your life.

– Keep toilet seats down when not in use. Keep them up and money will disappear.

– Goldfish … are also magnets for wealth. Fill your tank with eight goldfish for luck and one black fish to keep away bad luck.

Looking for Boston condo with great Feng Shui visit our Boston real estate website

Beacon Hill Real Estate – Suffolk University

According to the The Boston Courant Suffolk University’s plan for a new art school building at 20 Somerset Street in Beacon Hill cleared an important hurdle last week.

At the Boston Landmarks Commission (BLC) meeting on October 14, Suffolk University received aurthorization to demolish the former Metropolitan District Commission (MDC) headquarters.

The word I’m hearing from many long time Beacon HIll residents is that their very upset with another expansion plan of Suffolk University in their neighborhood.

Boston architecture, in photos

Buildings new and old, around Boston.

(New) John Hancock Tower

W Hotel and Residences

Ritz Carlton Hotel and Towers

Dominic’s Restaurant and Bar

Paramount Theater

Rose Kennedy Greenway, Chinatown

InterContinental Boston and The Residences at the InterContinental and Russia Wharf and Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

– click on photos to enlarge

Row house, defined

What’s a townhouse, what’s a rowhouse?

Row house, town house, brownstone – By James McCown, The Boston Globe

It is a question that has vexed real estate brokers and lovers of urban architecture for generations: What’s the difference between a town house, a row house, and a brownstone? Boston native Kevin D. Murphy, whose book ”The American Townhouse” will be published in November, defines each:

Town house: A multistory urban house, attached or detached, that is built close to the street and scaled similarly to surrounding houses.

Row house: A multistory urban house built in a style that is consistent with, even replicating, that of adjoining houses; often built by the same architect and developer.

Brownstone: Any of the above structures whose façades are sheathed in brown sandstone.

So town house is an overall term, row house a subset of that, and brownstone a further subset of both.

Accompanying the story were photos of three properties then on the market (October, 2005).

* 348 Beacon St., Back Bay, brownstone:One garden-level, 727-square-foot studio condominium for sale. Price: $499,000
* 50 Beacon St., Beacon Hill, town house: Four condominiums for sale. Units all have three bedrooms and range in size from 2,051 square feet to 3,141 square feet. Prices range from $1.99 million to $3.99 million.
* 5 Union Park, South End, row house: One owner’s duplex with three bedrooms, and four rental apartments with two bedrooms each for sale. Five story building with 1,225 square feet per floor. Price: $2.99 million

Did they sell? Well, two of the three did, according to the public record.

* 348 Beacon St, #1: sold for $395,000
* 50 Beacon St, #3: sold for $4,400,000 (3,974+/- SF)
* 5 Union Park: listing withdrawn

Don’t shed a tear for the developer of 348 Beacon Street; while the “garden” unit sold for around 75% of asking price, the other four units in the renovated building sold for much closer to asking, at around a 5% discount, with prices from $2.2 million to $3.9 million.

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