Tag Archives: movies

Real Estate Tips I Learned from Realtors in Movies

As I was watching Downton Abbey recently, I was amazed how the estate was the real star of the show rather than the characters. It made me think about movies I’ve seen where the house was the real star. Then I started thinking about how Realtors were portrayed in other movies. After making a list of of real estate movies, I began to analyze what real estate tips I could take away from the Realtors featured in those movies.

Poltergeist, the story of a good house gone badPoltergeist tells the story of a family’s dream home turning into a nightmare. Craig T. Nelson’s character is a Realtor who moved his family into a new home which is part of his company’s new real estate development. What he didn’t know was the real estate developers built this home over an old cemetery and the contractors only moved the head stones. What can we learn from this horror classic? If you can, try to find out if the house is built over a cemetery. Supposedly spirits get angry when their eternal rest is disturbed. In Massachusetts, this may not have happened because this would fall under stigmatized property and would have to be disclosed.

American Beauty shows that looking deeper can revel something differentAmerican Beauty plays on the theme that beauty on the outside can’t hide the ugly inside. Annette Bening gave a wonderful performance as an insecure real estate broker that focuses on superficial beauty and material possessions. She makes herself and her listings appear flawless. What can we learn from this Academy Award winning picture? No matter how perfect she made her life seem, it was not real, and she would never be happy. Trying to make yourself or your listings into something they are not, will never fool anyone. The right way to market real estate and your own attributes are to accent the strengths instead of covering up the weaknesses.

The Money Pit is another story of a dream home turning into a nightmare. But unlike ghosts stealing children into the TV, it’s a the perfect house that falls apart the second the couple moves in. When first-time homebuyers, played by Tom Hanks and Shelley Long, move into what could be their dream home, they soon discover they were duped and the more they fix, the more  has to be fixed. In the end, after all the renovation and costs, the foundation was strong and everything worked out. What can be learned from this movie? Always get your home inspected!

Glengarry Glen Ross shows salesmen at their worst, willing do whatever it takes to make a sale. This story is focused on a group of desperate real estate salesmen. Each character has different motivation for why they do their job and what they will do to make a sale. What can be learned from this movie? You should never feel like you are being sold because your agent should have your best interests in mind. These men had their interests and their needs in mind and their clients were mere obstacles to overcome toward getting what they needed. We also learned “coffee is for closers.”

Trainspotting features real estate only briefly, but it shows London real estate can be a bigger high than heroin. When the main character, Mark Renton, sobers from his heroin addiction and  finds his life in Edinburgh boring and meaningless, he moves to London and becomes a property letting agent. A property letting agent is basically a real estate agent that focuses on rentals. Due to ties at home, he has to leave, but in the end he chooses life. What can be learned from this movie? Renton’s life was boring and meaningless, when he moved to London the excitement and challenge that came from working in real estate, brought a sense of purpose he had been missing. This lesson may be more for future Realtors but if you are feeling trapped in mundane experiences, real estate may be a career to consider.

Working in real estate is exciting and challenging. Every business has drawbacks and unscrupulous people, which is why it is crucial to work with someone that you do trust and who truly understands your goals. If you are interested in speaking with a Realtor about your real estate needs (buying, selling, renting, etc.), contact the Realtors of Matthew and Alisa Group Real Estate.

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Lights, Camera, Action! Filming in Boston

Boston has been captured on film for decades and as a Realtor and film junky, I find it fascinating to see how the city has changed over the years. In fact, one thing I like to do on a rainy day is watch movies filmed in Boston over time. First I watch a film from the 1960’s such as Boston Strangler with Tony Curtis or The Thomas Crown Affair with Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway. Then I watch a movie filmed in Boston from the last few years like Knight & Day with Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz or What’s Your Number? with Anna Faris. It’s amazing to see how much the city has changed, particularly Back Bay and Downtown, or how little Beacon Hill has changed. Many other movies filmed in Boston have the same effect, but I can watch the movies I mentioned and pay attention to the city instead of the plot.

Filming Knight & Day in South End BostonBoston has been the backdrop to Oscar-winning movies, blockbuster classics, Emmy-winning T.V. shows, and reality television such as MTV’s The Real World. Boston has a variety of architectural styles that make it a great location for filming any time period. For example, Boston’s well preserved historic architecture offers ideal locations for historic period pieces like Glory or Amistad. Boston’s continuous modern development also makes this city an ideal setting for films set in the future like Surrogates.

Along with it’s blend of historic and modern architecture Massachusetts lures filmmakers with tax incentives packages including a 25% production credit, a 25% payroll credit, and a sales tax exemption. To qualify for the payroll credit and sales tax exemption a project must spend $50,000 in Massachusetts. Spending over half of total budget or filming at least half of the principal photography days in Massachusetts makes a project eligible for the production credit. The program requirements are straightforward, have no annual or project caps, no residency requirements, and no extended schedule of credit payouts. Judging by the number of films shot in Boston over the last few years, it is safe to say Boston offers a favorable tax break.

From the architecture to the tax breaks, it’s no wonder Shonda Rhimes, creator of Grey’s Anatomy, chose Boston as the location to film the pilot of her new project “Gilded Lily’s.” The show will be a romantic period drama set in 1895 about the opening of the first luxury hotel in New York City. Filming in Boston will begin March 2012. According to the announcement made by the Patrick-Murray Administration’s Massachusetts Film Office (MFO) many people in Boston are very excited about the project, even though the show’s setting will be New York.

“This is a very exciting project for the Commonwealth. Massachusetts is the perfect place to set a story from the Gilded Age, an impressive and well-preserved period in the Commonwealth’s history,” said Lisa Strout, the Director of the Massachusetts Film Office.

“This is a great opportunity to showcase Massachusetts’ historical richness and the incredibly talented workforce that exists in the Commonwealth,” said Greg Bialecki, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development. “Our competitive tax credit program continues to bring top industry producers and filmmakers to the Bay State, creating significant job opportunities.”

To learn more about historic or modern real estate for sale in Boston, contact the Realtors of Matthew and Alisa Group Real Estate.

For more information about the Patrick-Murray Administration’s Massachusetts Film Office and it’s tax incentives, visit www.mafilm.org.

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