the
Boston Real Estate Blog

John Ford Realty
137 Charles Street, Boston
realtyford@yahoo.com
617-595-3712
617-720-5454
151 Tremont Street
617-482-0010

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Back Bay inn put up for sale

I’ve been made aware of a large, multi-unit inn being put up for sale in Boston’s Back Bay, near Kenmore Square.

It is currently profitable, netting over $250,000 per year.

If you are interested in learning more about it, and potentially working with me as your buyer’s agent, let me know!

(It’s not in MLSPIN.)

Ladder District buildings hit the rungs (sorry)

Five contiguous buildings in Boston’s Ladder District have hit the block, according to the Boston Business Journal:

A quintet of buildings encompassing an entire city block is being put up for sale, industry sources are telling GlobeSt.com. Totaling 150,000 sf of existing space, the assets are headlined by the 101 Tremont St. office building, but the package also reportedly features several properties on Bromfield Street …

… One broker familiar with the buildings describe them as generally “well-maintained,” but said there would likely be some needed capital improvements under new ownership. Besides 101 Tremont St., sources say the buildings being sold include 37-39, 45 and 55 Bromfield St.

The building on Tremont has a jewelry store and Beantown Pub, on the first floor.

Source: City Block for Sale in Ladder District – By Joe Clements, GlobeSt.com

Short sale hits the South End

A short sale is when an owner owes more on his or her mortgage than the property is worth, and tries to sell it (therefore, “owner” is a misnomer, isn’t it?).

There is no field in MLSPIN to check off if your client is conducting a “short sale”. The only way to find them is to do a keyword search, meaning it’s up to the listing agents to include the information.

Some sellers want you to know the property is a short sale; the idea being, you might be more eager to make an offer, because you might assume the owner is more eager to sell. Other sellers, though, don’t want you to know about it beforehand, since if you know it’s a short sale, you might offer significantly less. The idea being, the seller might be desperate, plus he/she is already losing money, you might be able to get a deal, at their expense.

It’s important to know if an owner owes more on his/her property, especially if the owner is going to be asking his/her bank to forgive the difference on a loan. It means you, the buyer, are basically negotiating with the bank, not the owner.

You can often discern what an owner owes on his/her mortgage loan, by checking the Suffolk Deeds website. However, it is not complete, plus it is subject to error. Lots of errors. If you were my client, I’d simply ask the seller’s agent prior to making an offer. (Most agents would offer it up, before an offer was made.)

A short sale was just advertised in the South End, 75 Montgomery Street. The list price is $325,000. If you look at the Suffolk Deeds site (well, if it was up, right now), you’d see the current owner apparently bought it for $500,000, in 2006. I am skeptical that there’s not more to the story, since that’s a pretty dramatic drop. Perhaps they are looking for bids? Or, the $500k was a construction loan?

Regardless, it’s a unique situation, in the city, to see this sort of thing.

Oh, and I think there was a change of heart on the seller’s part, or the seller’s agent. Although the Trulia listing clearly explains it is a “short sale”, the description in MLSPIN has been updated to erase any mention of it (although it is in the remarks, below).

Beacon Hill townhome is the one by which all others will be judged!

You will probably never see the inside of such an extraordinary home, ever again.

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MLS # 70758865
Price: $14,950,000

Location: Beacon Hill 02108
Total Rooms: 17
Beds/Baths: 6/7.5
Master Bath: Yes
Living Area: 8,450 square feet

John Neale of Sprogis & Neale RE is the listing agent, or contact me for more information on how I can assist you as a buyer’s agent.

Homes in Downtown Crossing on display during May 10 open house tour

An interesting idea, one that has been more popular in other parts of the country.

Home Sweet Home: Living in Downtown Crossing

Over six thousand people live in Downtown Crossing – do you know where?

On Saturday, May 10th from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM, the Downtown Crossing neighborhood invites the public in to discover the unique spaces, breathtaking views and convenience of living in Downtown Crossing. This self-guided walking tour visits 15 homes, from ultra-modern to historic and from loft to penthouse. Find out where over 6000 people live in Downtown Crossing, and discover their favorite shops and restaurants in the neighborhood.

The tour will stop at occupied rental and sale units at the Devonshire, Ritz, Tremont on the Common, as well as a model unit of the under construction in the 45 Province development, a penthouse at Lafayette Lofts, and lesser known spaces on the “ladder streets” including Avery, Temple Place, and Winter Streets.

The tour can be accomplished in less than two hours, but visitors should consider making a day of it and exploring Downtown Crossing’s other attractions including historic buildings, restaurants and retailers. Tickets are available in advance for $20 and on the day of the tour for $25 at 520 Washington Street (near the intersection of Washington and West Streets).

Tickets for Home Sweet Home are $20 in advance and $25 at the event on May 10th. To purchase tickets in advance click on the “Buy Now” button at the top of this page.

On May 10th, tickets will be sold at 520 Washington Street (near the intersection of Washington and West Streets). Tickets purchased in advance can also be redeemed in this location.

If you have questions or would like additional information, please email or call the Downtown Crossing Association.

Source: Tour to promote downtown living – By Donna Goodison, The Boston Herald

Bay Village on Bay Street used to be … on the bay

The Globe has a cool article on an historic home for sale in Boston’s Bay Village.

Jamie Mambro’s little piece of Boston history is on the block, something he calls “bittersweet” every time he talks of selling his home. The single-family, freestanding house at 1 Bay St. is a precious piece of the past in what is now Bay Village, the neighborhood tucked between the South End and the Theatre District. Built in the 1830s, it stands alone, along a small cobblestone way. Outside the front door, an original lamppost, one of few left in Boston, harks back to another century.

The home is now for sale, for $975,000.

History buff Jon Neale talks about how the Bay Village neighborhood used to face the Boston Harbor, back before landfill created much of the South End.

… [T]he carpenter who built it may have parked his boat just out front, when Bay Street was originally on the edge of the water known as Back Bay. Neale has heard this story, too, but says it’s difficult to confirm, although maps he has from the 1800s clearly show Bay Street adjacent to the water. And Neale says the neighborhood’s residents were tradesmen, including painters, house builders, and factory workers.

Melanie Olinto of Olde Forge Realty has the listing.

Source: This old house is one of few of its kind downtown – By Bridget Samburg, The Boston Globe

Featured open house: Court Square Press building

One of the best homes currently for sale in South Boston is unit #306, in the Court Square Press building.

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From MLSPIN:

Spacious 2 bed plus in the Court Square Press building. Lots of character, exposed brick and beam. 12 foot ceilings; both bedrooms include walk-in closets Full service luxury condo with 24/7 concierge; state-of-the-art gym, heated pool, gas grills, function room, yoga studio, organic cafe, soon to open on-site gourmet market. GREAT LOCATION; steps to Red Line Broadway T stop; steps to Harbor Walk, 10 min. walk to Downtown, 5 min. to South End restaurants & shops; easy access to major highways.

This is the only true two-bedroom home for sale at C2P in that price range. The second bedroom includes a cute, brick-enclosed study area, perfect for an office (or a nursery!). This unit has two full, nicely-tiled baths and beautiful (and expensive) bamboo flooring throughout. It overlooks the inner courtyard, receiving great afternoon light.

The purchase price includes one deeded parking space in the garage (best spot in lot).

Dom Lange at Pappas Properties has the listing, or you can contact me for help as your buyer’s broker.

There is an open house on Sunday, from 12:00 – 2:00 PM.

As spacious as a 4-bedroom, 4,200 square foot mansion

The Wall Street Journal recently ran a story about home prices across the country.

This was one of those “wow, prices are different”, “New York City real estate is really expensive” type of story.

Not everyone can just up and move to Detroit simply because a 5,000-square-foot Tudor mansion there costs only $1,000 more than a 400-square-foot studio apartment on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Even so, it can’t hurt to look. You never know when you might have to move because of a job.

They then gave examples in such far-flung places as Arlington, VA, Detroit, MI, and Dellona, WI. (?!)

So, what do you get in Boston?

A condominium at the Church, on Clarendon Street sold a couple months ago, for $400,000. This is a street-level, one bedroom with approximately 700 square feet of space. Condo fee of $422 includes heat and hot water.

From MLSPIN:

Landmark building in prime South End location. Elevator, professionally managed building features landscaped grounds, rental parking on-site (when available) and stunning common roofdeck. The unit is located on the Montgomery St side (South facing) with private entrance through brick/landscaped semi-private patio. This large one bedroom home has a great layout, kitchen open to living/dining space and a large bedroom with great closet.

So, not as expensive as SF or NYC … but close.

Source: One Room or a Mansion? – Diana Ransom, The Wall Street Journal

The Meads adjusts its prices

The Meads, the luxury condominium project recently completed at the head of Beacon Street, where the Back Bay meets Kenmore Square, has adjusted prices on many of the available homes.

MLSPIN is showing six residences still available in 13-unit building, located at 413-415 Commonwealth Avenue.

A 1,900+/- square foot, second floor unit is currently priced at $1,900,000. The home has two bedrooms and two and one half bathrooms. It includes one garage parking space. A slightly smaller third floor unit is newly priced at $1,600,000, a significant drop from when it was originally listed, back in December, 2006 (details upon request).

Campion & Company has the listings.

There is an open house at the property this Sunday, March 30, between 2:00 PM and 3:00 PM.

Welcome, future South End condo owners – Moms and Dads!

The Globe profiles the “new” South End, in today’s paper.

The South End, domain of urban sophistication, has gone baby-gaga. Weekdays bring out brigades of mothers pushing strollers past art galleries and gay bars; weekends find fathers popping into cafes for lattes with their babies tucked into Baby Bjorns.

Young families have always lived in the South End, drawn by spacious townhouses and brownstones or the neighborhood’s public housing that offers subsidized apartments. What has changed, residents say, is that affluent young professionals who once moved away when they planned to have children began about five years ago to stay. Some now are upgrading from smaller, couple-size condos to four-bedroom units that can cost $2 million.

What can you buy in the South End in each price range?

Under $200,000

MLS #: 70722388

Parking space, Wilkes Passage

$300,000 – $400,000

MLS #: 70713303
Location: East Springfield St
Details: 1 bedroom, 1 bath, 602 square feet +/-

To be featured on TLC’s “Flip That House”! Stunning period detail highlights this renovated one bed in the South End’s hottest location. High ceilings, original crown moldings, marble fireplace and original pocket doors blend perfectly with updates which include new S/S, granite kitchen, master bath, HVAC, laundry, and maple floors. Deeded garage parking available for 45K per spot. Steps to the Boston Medical Center and trendy South End hot spots such as Flour, Toro and Kyoto.

$400,000 – $500,000

MLS#: 70717800
Location: Tremont St
Details: 1 bedroom, 1 bath, 603 square feet +/-

Great one bedroom condo right across from the Boston Center for the Arts! This floor through condo has an updated kitchen with stainless steel appliance and granite kitchen. Laundry in the unit.The living room features hardwood floors and a fireplace. pet friendly.

$500,000 – $600,000

MLS #: 70725001
Location: Greenwich Park
Details: 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, 701 square feet +/-

Inviting and lovely describe this parlor level 2BR, 1BTH. Rarely do you find the perfect layout combined with windows on 3 sides and unparalled views of the Boston skyline. Do not let sq ft fool you, feels much larger. Hi ceilings, gleaming hdwd flrs and a wood burning FP grace this spacious layout. Access to a private garden through the living room and direct access to one tandem parking spot. Steps to the South End’s restaurants & shops, Prudential Center, Copley Mall and BB Station!!

$800,000 – $1,000,000

MLS #: 70705400
Location: Appleton St
Details: 2 bedrooms, 1 1/2 bathrooms, 1252 square feet +/-

Beautiful penthouse duplex with large new roof deck. 2 bedrooms/1.5 baths, updated kitchen with granite and stainless. Wood burning fireplace. Great open layout. Skylight. Pine floors. Newly painted.

$1,000,000 – $1,500,000

MLS#: 70707691
Location: Shawmut Ave
Details: 2 bedrooms, 2 1/2 bathrooms, 1,628 square feet +/-

Corner exposure 2 bed /2.5 bath PH duplex, designed by Benson Interiors, features 19 windows (19 un-obstructed views). Bow-front liv/din room with gas fireplace. Special attention was used in designing the kitch, focusing on storage, entertaining and the state-of-the-art appliances. Master bed has walk-in closet, en-suite bath with shower and freestanding soaker tub. Features walnut stained oak floors, 2nd bed with en-suite bath, custom closets and 2 decks. Garage parking avail. for sale/rent.

$2,500,000

MLS #: 70713867
Location: Gateway Terrace
Detail: 3 bedroom, 2 1/2 bathroom, 2,789 square feet +/-

Extravagant design throughout this gorgeous recently built 3+ bed/2.5 bath penthouse loft home. The spacious gourmet kitchen boasts sleek and modern cabinetry framing superior quality appliances by Best, Bosch and Sub Zero. The master bedroom includes en suite bath with television, steam shower and rain showerhead. Other features include a walk in closet, shoe closet and separate office area. The home also boasts two private terraces, private roofdeck, 4 garage spaces and a private storage room.

The best quote of the article was from a woman who takes her children to Beehive, for drinks.

“You can leave Cheerios under the table and the wait staff never seems to mind,” said Liesl Trimnell, a 39-year-old South End mother of a 1-year-old and a 3-year-old.

South End getting (a lot) younger / Influx of babies altering neighborhood’s urban edginess – By Sarah Schweitzer, The Boston Globe

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