Tag Archives: investment property

35 Kingston Street #1/B: 4186 SqFt Blank Canvas of Mixed-Use Space in Downtown Crossing

New to the real estate sales market, 35 Kingston Street offers a creative buyer a rare opportunity to acquire a substantial amount of square feet in a premier location, Downtown Boston. Currently being used as two separate commercial spaces, this 4186 sq ft raw mixed-use space can be combined to create an incredible live/work area spread over two levels.

The location at 35 Kingston Street is convenient to public transportation such as the orange and red lines, commuter rail and AmTrack, and it is minutes to the main highways (I-90 Mass Pike and I-93) and an express lane to the airport. In addition, approximately $2.4 billion has been privately invested into the downtown area of Boston over the past 10 years creating a vibrant neighborhood filled with restaurants, college facilities and lecture halls, new residential high rise condos, theatre restorations, luxury hotels, shops, etc. With more projects from commercial to residential planned, valuing approximately $800 million, and a committed community of property owners (Downtown Boston Business Improvement District) dedicated to transforming the Downtown Crossing area of Boston area into a clean and lively neighborhood, $1million for 4186 sq ft at 35 Kingston Street is a well-priced investment with incredible potential.

35 Kingston Street #1:B exteriorThe lower level offers 2174 sq ft, if a buyer would want to keep this as commercial, this can be subdivided to maximize commercial potential. The first floor display level offers 2012 sq ft, 14ft ceilings, exposed brick, aged wood floors, and incredible possibilities for either a residential condo or large open commercial space. As it currently exists, 35 Kingston 1/B is not realizing its full potential, but for a creative buyer it offers endless options. Large spaces, such as 35 Kingston Street offers, have made incredible art galleries and studios, performance spaces, or a truly one of a kind home. The master deed has already been amended to allow converting the spaces from commercial to residential.

This project is not for the faint of heart, it will take a buyer with passion and creativity to see how this space can be maximized. But once completed, the new owner will have over 4000 sq ft in the most dynamic of Boston’s up and coming neighborhoods.

Exclusively listed by the Matthew and Alisa Group, contact us to schedule a private showing.

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Posted in Boston Property, Commercial Real Estate, Condo, Investment Property, Property for Sale, Real Estate Sales Market, Renovation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Luxury Building Condos Go No Smoking: Smokers Need Not Apply

Smoking is becoming more and more out of fashion. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of smokers in the country has dropped from 20.9% of adults in 2005 to 19.3% of adults in 2010.

With high-end homeowners and renters expecting luxury and top of the line accommodations, the odor left behind by smokers tend to deflate the high standard many buildings aim for. Following the trend of the times, luxury building condos are now becoming smoke-free environments.

Many buildings already do not allow smoking in the common areas both in and out of doors, but would not place any smoking restrictions within the owner’s unit. This is changing as buildings become smoke free, meaning no smoking on the premises, including in individual condos. One reason for banning smoking within someone’s property is the effects of second-hand smoke. Even if smoking is restricted to one condo, the vents are common throughout the building and the smoke from one unit will travel through the vent and into other units. This will affect the air quality in everyone’s condo.

Another reason is not every smoker keeps their cigarette butts in an ashtray or trashcan. Some (but not all) smokers have a habit of flicking their finished cigarette outside. Entering a luxury building littered with cigarette butts along the street does not make the impression these buildings (or condo owners) want.

Luxury Buildings becoming smoke freeIt seems strange to put restrictions on what an owner can or cannot do within the unit they own. However, the condos are part of a community and share ventilation systems, common areas, and amenities. With the majority of the population being smoke free, more luxury building condos will continue to become smoke free. This will be positive when considering the value when it comes time to sell the property and also if you are considering buying a condo in a luxury building as an investment property. Smoking does cause damage to a property and will turn off potential tenants.

Although people will try to get around the rules and continue to smoke in condos in many creative ways, such as Lucille Bluth in Arrested Development, it will ultimately not work.

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Boston Real Estate Sales Market: Why Now is a Good Time to Sell

Boston’s population is the highest it’s been since the 1970s, up to over 625,000 people. With cranes as far as the eye can see, new developments are going up in areas considered in the past to be tired or rundown. However, buildings are not going up as fast as the demands call for it.

Buyers are chomping at the bit to enjoy the lifestyle that comes with city living offered in the downtown neighborhoods of Boston. Convenience of shops and restaurants, little to no need for cars, and the vibrant energy of the city are appealing to young professionals, empty nesters, and young families. More people prefer the location and lifestyle that comes with living in a condo over square footage and a yard that comes with a single family home. The demand is high, inventory remains low, and people are ready, willing, and able to pay what the market demands. The competition between investors and home buyers is stiff. Investors are fully aware rentals are in as much high demand as condos, so they are not concerned with the investment potential associated with rental property.

Boston city living is in high demandOver the weekend Matthew Gaskill and Alisa Peterson hosted an open house at their listing 41 Commonwealth Ave #3. A beautiful lofted one bed on the second block of Commonwealth Ave in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood priced at $489,000. The open house was from 11:30am-1pm, in the hour and a half the door was open, over 50 groups came through. The buyers ranged from first-time homebuyers, empty nesters, and investors. And as a result the property was under agreement Monday evening after receiving multiple offers.

This is not a rare occurrence and it is fantastic for sellers. The high demand is driving up prices and lowering the days a property is on the market. More properties are coming on the sales market, however,  and well-priced properties are going under agreement after the first open house. Why wait until next year to sell? We know today’s buyers have the strongest buying power in years. Inventory remains low. Low inventory means low competition which equals the highest price possible.

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Exclusive New Listing: 41 Commonwealth Avenue #3

Matthew Gaskill and Alisa Peterson have listed a new Back Bay condo. This parlor level property is located on the beautiful and historic Commonwealth Avenue, known as Comm Ave to the locals, a street designed after Parisian boulevards with its wide swath of tree-lined park running down the middle. 41 Commonwealth Avenue #3 is located on the sunny side of Comm Ave, which affords it ample Southern light throughout the day. Located on the second block of Comm Ave, between Berkeley and Clarendon, 41 Comm Ave is only one block from Boston’s Public Garden and one block from the shops of Boston’s famed Newbury Street.

41 Commonwealth Avenue was built around 1869, one of four adjoining houses (41, 43, 45, and 47 Commonwealth) built at the same time for banker, real estate investor, and lumber merchant Elijah Chesley Drew and his wife Hannah. The Drews made their home in 41 Commonwealth Avenue and sold the three remaining homes.

41 Comm Ave #3 Back Bay condo for saleThis lofted one bedroom condo features soaring 13 foot ceilings, parquet hardwood floors, and period details that include crown molding, wainscoting, and a fireplace with matching mirror above the mantle. The living space is large enough to live and entertain with areas for a sitting area, work station, and a full dining table. The kitchen is fully appointed with stainless steel appliances and a dishwasher. The building features free laundry facilities and a deeded storage area for the exclusive use of the owner of unit #3.

41 Comm Ave #3 would make a great home for a first-time homebuyer, as well as a pied-à-terre or an investment property. The current owners lived in the property until last year when their family expanded and have rented the property for $2600 per month for the last year. At the current rental price, the property offers a healthy positive cash flow as well as the promise of steady appreciation rate in a prime location within Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood. With rental prices steadily increasing, the return on your investment will increase in both cash flow and appreciation over time.

With the location on Boston’s best street, owners and tenants alike enjoy all Boston has to offer. The offices of Back Bay are a short walk away while downtown is accessed via a short train ride. When work is over for the day, 41 Comm Ave #3 offers proximity to the Esplanade for a bike ride or jog before heading out for shopping or to one of the eateries along Newbury Street.

The 724 square foot condo at 41 Commonwealth Avenue #3 is being offered at $489,000.

First showings will take place Sunday March 3rd from 11:30-1. Offers, if any, will be reviewed after the open house. Please contact us with and and all questions or to schedule a private showing.

Posted in Alisa Peterson, Boston Property, Condo, Investment Property, Matthew Gaskill, Property for Sale, Rental Property | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

ROI: 99 Projects and a Bath Ain’t One – REMIX

Home Improvement ProjectsLast year I wrote about what projects brought the best return on investment according to the annual Cost vs Value Report. This year the report is out again but showed a couple of differences.

MidRange Projects:

Top 5 Best ROI Projects in Boston

1- Minor Kitchen Remodel 88.5% ROI

2- Deck Addition (wood) 86% ROI

3- Enty Door Replacement (steel) 80.9% ROI

4- [tie] Attic Bedroom Remodel and Siding Replacement (vinyl) 78.1% ROI

5- Window Replacement (wood) 77.5% ROI

Top 5 ROI Projects National Average

1- Entry Door Replacement (steel) 85.6% ROI

2- Deck Addition (wood) 77.3% ROI

3- Garage Door Replacement 75.7% ROI

4-Minor Kitchen Remodel 75.4% ROI

5- Window Replacement (wood) 73.3% ROI

Upscale Projects:

Top 5 ROI Projects in Boston

1-Siding Replacement (fiber-cement) 86.4% ROI

2- Garage Door Replacement 77.8% ROI

3-Siding Replacement (foam-backed vinyl) 77.6% ROI

4-Window Replacement (vinyl) 76.4% ROI

5- Window Replacement (wood) 74.7% ROI

Top 5 ROI Projects National Average

1-Siding Replacement (fiber-cement) 79.3% ROI

2- Garage Door Replacement 75.2% ROI

3-Siding Replacement (foam-backed vinyl) 71.8% ROI

4-Window Replacement (vinyl) 71.2% ROI

5- Window Replacement (wood) 68.4% ROI

As you can see, the more you spend does not mean the more you get back. Before beginning any home improvement project it is important to consider the purpose for the project. Yielding a high return on investment is good to consider, but if you have no intention to sell anytime soon, there is no reason not to make a house your home. Once you have decided to pursue a project make sure to use the right contractor, no matter the project, the right contractor will save money in the long run.

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What Does $500K Buy in Back Bay?

I have given examples about what you can buy for $1 million in Back Bay and for $2.5 million in Back Bay in the current real estate sales market, but what about $500,000? In an neighborhood with grand mansions, renovated condos, and luxury high rises, can $500,000 go very far? Let’s find out.

According to MLS, over the last 6 months 30 condos have sold between $450K – $550K. The average sold price per square foot was $728, the average days on market was 59, and the average sold price was $499,728. The condos range from renovated one beds in traditional brownstones to luxury studios in high-rise full-service buildings. All of which make for an ideal pied-à-terre or investment property.

351 Beacon Street #6

This bright 680 square foot 1 bed 1 bath condo featured a renovated kitchen and bath. Located on the corner of Fairfield Street at Beacon Street, this condo was listed for $493,000 and had an accepted offer after 8 days on the market for the full asking price.

351 Beacon Street #6 - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

351 Beacon Street #6 – Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

 

326 Dartmouth Street #2

Located on Dartmouth Street near Marlborough Street, this renovated 741 square foot lofted 1 bed condo is something special. Featuring high ceilings and classic details but with a modern kitchen and bath. The condo was listed for $524,000 and sold for $517,000 after 143 days on the market.

326 Dartmouth Street #2 - Paragon Properties

326 Dartmouth Street #2 – Paragon Properties

 

110 Stuart Street #26I

The Residences at the W feature high-end finishes in every unit and luxury services. Located on Stuart Street, this 512 square foot new-construction studio features incredible views from the 26th floor. Listed for $550,000, it sold in 2 days for $525,000.

110 Stuart Street - Otis & Ahearn

110 Stuart Street – Otis & Ahearn

 

113 Marlborough Street #7

Located on one of the most desired locations in Back Bay, this 779 square foot 1 bed 1bath condo features incredible light and plenty of storage. Listed for $525,000, it had an accepted offer after 5 days on the market, and sold for $550,000.

133 Marlborough Street #7 - Gibson Sotheby's International Realty

133 Marlborough Street #7 – Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty

 

Search here to see what is for sale between $450-$550K in Back Bay, but with the way the market is behaving, what you see now, may not be available tomorrow.

Posted in Boston Property, Buy Property, Condo, Investment Property, Luxury Building, Real Estate Sales Market, Real Estate Transactions | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Real Estate Transfer Tax: Fact or Fiction?

Plenty of rumors were spread during the election. Now that the dust has settled, we can start separating what was fact from what was fiction. One rumor in particular had myself and fellow Realtors concerned, the rumor of a 3.8% real estate transfer tax included in the Obamacare bill going into effect on January 1, 2013. If true, this would indeed affect many people. Fortunately, it is has been completely misunderstood and will not impact 97% of real estate transactions. In fact, it is wrong to call it a real estate transfer tax. It is a capital gains tax.

This video from the National Association of Realtors, addresses some of the rumors and explains how and when this tax will come into play.

Here are the basic facts:

  •  The new 3.8% tax increase is to help Medicare and goes into the Social Security Trust.
  • The tax only applies to individuals that makes over $200,000 a year or couples that make over $250,000 a year.
  • Sales of primary residences can still take advantage of the $500,000 capital gains exclusion, but the tax will apply to anything above that cap.
  • Any capital gains on non-primary residences (investment properties, second homes, ect.) will be subject to the tax if the owner’s income exceeds the limits previously mentioned.

Working in a bustling city, many of my clients own investment properties and pied-à-terres throughout the downtown neighborhoods. If you feel you will be affected by this new tax, please consult a tax or financial consultant to learn exactly how.

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Investment Property Inspection and Reinspection Ordinance

Boston’s real estate market has a somewhat transient nature. The high number of colleges and universities along with medical and financial jobs opportunities lead to thousands of people moving in and around the Boston area every year. We see this in the sales market but much more so in the rental market. Because of the need for rental housing, savvy investors purchase investment property they then offer as apartments for rent.

The way to build wealth in real estate is to buy and hold on to property, which is why most people buy condos in the city now with the idea of renting when they move to something bigger later. However, many investors think on a larger scale. They don’t see one condo to rent out, they want the whole building. Both types of landlords are great and much needed in this city, however some changes are in the works that investors should know about.

Since Boston has hundreds of colleges and thousands of students, dorms are constantly full. The appeal of being off campus in a vibrant city can also make dorm living seem less than attractive. Unfortunately for them, not everyone rents to undergraduate students (students are not a protected class, so landlords can refuse to rent to them). For undergraduates, options are slim and not very ideal. In fact, some conditions are downright inhumane. It is with this in mind that the City of Boston, has been drafting and re-drafting a new law to increase rental property inspections and have owners that do not seem to care about their properties, tenants, and neighbors, take more responsibility.

New ordinance for investment property in BostonPresently, inspections only occur when the lease expires. The proposed law, Rental Housing Inspection Ordinance, will mandate inspections of over 140,000 rental apartment units in Boston, with each unit inspected at least once every 5 years. Owners would be required to register for $25 per unit and pay a $15 annual fee. Prices are higher for any owner who wants to enroll in an alternative compliance plan available to property owners in good standing and a favorable history of compliance. The new ordinance includes any owner who rents out their condominiums. The law requires owners to report any transfer of ownership within 30 days of closing and stipulates the owner of the property (or the acting agent for a trust) have their name, address, and phone number on the mailbox at the property. A P.O. Box does not comply with the address requirement. It also requires any non-local owner to have a Boston-based resident agent.

The goal of this new law is to protect many of the tenants living in problem properties and to force the owners to take offenses seriously. “Problem Properties” are considered by the city as properties that the Police Department has been called to no fewer than four times, the Air Pollution Control Commission has received no fewer than four complaints, or the Inspection Services Department or Public Health Commission has received new fewer than four complaints all within a 12 month period.

The vote to pass this new ordinance can happen as early at December 19th, go into effect on January 1st, and have owners register by July 1st. For those about to buy investment property, keep these new rules in mind, the fees will affect your bottom line depending on the size and location of your building.

UPDATE: The Boston City Council voted 9-4 to approve the rental registration ordinance on December 19, 2012.

Posted in Apartments, Boston Property, Condo, Investment Property, Real Estate Tips, Rental Property | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Exclusive New Listing: 141 Arlington Street #4 in Bay Village

Alisa Peterson and I are proud to announce our new listing at 141 Arlington Street #4, a condo in Bay Village, the neighborhood between the South End and Back Bay. This property and its ideal location would make a perfect fit for a first home, an investment property, or a pied-à-terre. The home is a turnkey possibility as the owner will consider selling as a furnished condo.

141 Arlington Street condo for saleThe sunny one bedroom condo in Bay Village was gut renovated in 2003 when the building was converted to condos. And 141 Arlington Street #4 was built to maximize space. The condo is west facing with unblocked afternoon light through three large windows. Hardwood floors are found throughout the condo and ample storage exists in both the closet and cabinetry. The building features professional management, common laundry, and extra storage private to the unit.

As far as an investment property the condo offers both a cap rate over 5% and a positive cash flow. Combined with an area with impressive historical appreciation rates, 141 Arlington Street #4 is positioned as a excellent investment property.

The Bay Village neighborhood is a convenient location with access to public transportation options such as the Green Line at Arlington Station and the Commuter and Orange Lines at Back Bay Station. Entrance and exit ramps to I-93 and the Mass Pike (I-90) are also nearby. And it is an easy walk to Back Bay, the South End, the Theater District, and Midtown, and Beacon Hill.

Contact us with any questions or to schedule a showing of the condo at 141 Arlington Street #4. Or click below to subscribe to our newsletter for email alerts of new listings.

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How Does President Obama’s Reelection affect the Housing Market?

It is the best time of year! Right now is time to sit and enjoy the silence. We are in the quiet period when all the campaign commercials and coverage end but right before the bombarding of Christmas commercials and specials. During this quiet time we can have a moment to think about what this election really means. What can we expect in the next four years?  No matter how you feel about the election, it is over and we know who’s captaining the ship. So far the unemployment rate is still not great but it has been steadily increasing over the last year. The economy is showing signs that it is growing. But what about the housing market? The housing market is seen to be related to the jobs market and with the unemployment rate maintaining steady growth, the housing market may continue to strengthen.

Obama's Reelection and the Housing MarketThe mortgage rates are still incredibly low (less than 4% on a 30 year fixed mortgage) and the housing market appears to be on the rise after bottoming out. So far this year, low inventory has been the big story in regard to the housing market. Well-priced properties sell fast and sometimes over asking price. We don’t know what the future will bring, but now is a great time to sell. If you are aggressive, it can be a good time to buy property as well. Foreign investors have felt the same way and have bought many properties in the US with all cash offers. Since President Obama will be in office for four more years, the policies in place most likely will remain. Meaning the strict regulations that lenders have to follow will remain (whereas Romney would have done away with many of them). Also the Federal Reserve will move forward with the Quantitative Easing plan, which may not be the best plan but one that has helped the housing market so far.

I would like to predict that the housing market will continue to rise in prosperity but no one can be certain. I do however find comfort in the fact billionaire investor Warren Buffet is buying real estate brokerages all around the country. He is partnering with Brookfield Asset Management, a Canadian real estate investor, to at least double his brokerage business’s size. Warren Buffet has been very vocal about his belief in the turn around in the housing market. If Warren Buffet believes enough in the housing market’s continued growth to put his money in it, you should too!

If you are interested in learning more about buying or selling property, contact the Realtors of Matthew and Alisa Group.

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