Tag Archives: South End

The Matthew and Alisa Group Home Buying Process Class was a Success!

This is a quick blog thanking everyone one for joining us at last night’s Home Buying Process Class!

We had a great turn out of buyers eager to learn about the home buying process. Matthew Gaskill and Alisa Peterson discussed the market conditions to give everyone an understanding of what to expect when searching to buy property this season. With properties going under-agreement as soon as they hit the market, we wanted to make sure that buyers understand how quickly they need to move to buy property.

Joe Smith, a knowledgeable lender from Guaranteed Rate explained what lenders look for when someone applies for a mortgage and the different types of loan programs available to homebuyers, both first-time home buyers and more seasoned  home buyers. He knows just as well as we do how competitive the market is right now and without proper financial backing (i.e. pre-approval letter), sellers won’t even consider the offer.

The wonderful David Datz, Esq., a real estate attorney, explained how important it is to assemble the right team to guide you through this process. This is one of the biggest purchases you can make and it is essential to have knowledgable professionals to explain what you are buying and what you are signing.

Thank you again to Stella Restaurant for providing delicious food and a great space for us to host our class. As you can see from the video, we had quite a few eager buyers ready to learn about the home buying process and I know there are more that were not able to make it.  We will be planning another class in month or two. If you are interested in attending, please subscribe to our newsletter and subscribe to our blog and we will keep you posted on our next class. These classes are meant for anyone interested in learning about the buying process in the current Boston real estate sales market. If you are a first-time home buyer, third-time home buyer, or an investor, you are welcome to join us and learn something new!

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Home Buying Process Class at Stella in Boston’s South End

Whether you are a first-time home buyer, a seventh-time home buyer, or an investor, this class is for you. Matthew Gaskill and Alisa Peterson, along with David Datz Esq., and Joe Smith from Guaranteed Rate will be hosting a class that will discuss the different aspects of buying property.

Matthew Gaskill and Alisa Peterson will be discussing the search and offer process, along with the current sales market. With the market being incredibly dynamic, we want to manage expectations, calm fears, and even help you decide if buying now is the right decision for you. Buying property now is not for everyone, but if it is for you, we want get you excited to get started on your search.

Joe Smith from Guaranteed Rate will be discussing the financing process. Financing is crucial in this market and Joe Smith will help you understand what is needed and what to expect.

David M. Datz, Esq. from David Marshall Datz P.C. law offices will explain everything from the legal standpoint of your real estate transaction and explain how we keep your interests protected.

Home Buying Process Class at StellaThe class will be at the restaurant Stella in the South End from 5:30-7pm on Tuesday January 29th 2013. We will have light refreshments and appetizers. We will have a Q&A session after our speeches, so please come with a pen, notebook, and any question you have about the home buying process. Please RSVP by January 24th by contacting Alisa Peterson at alisa.peterson@gibsonsir.com if you are interested in attending.

We are heading into another exciting real estate season and we want to get you as excited as we are!

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What Does $2 Million Buy in Boston's South End?

When comparing some of the popular downtown neighborhoods of Boston, the data shows buyers get more for their money in the South End than they might in Back Bay or Beacon Hill. In the past 6 months, 12 condos and 9 single family homes were sold in the South End for the $2 million range. The average sale price per square foot for single family property was $619 with an average living area of 3318 square feet. The average sale price per square foot for a condo was $837 with an average living area of 2407 square feet. The difference being many of the condos are in new construction, full-service buildings.

43 Lawrence Street

Located on a quiet one way street that runs the 2 blocks between Dartmouth Street and Berkeley Street, this renovated single family home was originally listed for $1,795,000. With 3 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom home sold in 17 days for $1,775,000.

43 Lawrence Street - Rondeau:Tierney Real Estate, LLC

43 Lawrence Street – Rondeau:Tierney Real Estate, LLC

 

7 Worcester Square

This single family home is a perfect example of why pricing your home to sell is crucial in getting it sold. This 5700 square foot Victorian townhouse featured 6 bedrooms, 3 full bathrooms, and 2 half bathrooms. This home was renovated from top to bottom with no detail unnoticed and sat on the market for 586 days. I don’t know all the details about why it sat for long, but according to the MLS data it was listed in January 2011 for $3.5 million. The first price reduction was in October 2011 to $2.779 million and eventually expired at the end of online casino December. Then came back on the market in January 2012 for $2.629 million and was reduced again to $2.575 million in February. This single family was then re-listed with another office at the end of September 2012 for $2.575 million and was sold in 17 days for $2.325 million.

This home could have sat on the market for many reasons and I don’t know the particulars but based on the data, price may have been a major issue.

7 Worcester Square - Sprogis & Neale Real Estate

7 Worcester Square – Sprogis & Neale Real Estate

 

1313 Washington Street #230

Wilkes Passage is a new construction, full service, luxury condo located on Washington Street. This 3 bedroom 2 bath 1892 square foot condo was tasteful, elegant, and spacious. Listed for $1,695,000 and sold for $1,775,000 in 3 days making it $938 per square foot, parking sold separate.

1313 Washington #230 - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

1313 Washington #230 – Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

 

42 Union Park

Union Park is perhaps the most desired street in the South End, which mean properties on Union Park are priced and sold at a premium. This condo featured 3 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, high ceilings, original details, private patio, and parking. At 3,165 square foot, this parlor triplex was listed for $1,895,000 and sold for $1,842,500 in 9 days.

42 Union Park #1 - Keller Williams Realty International

42 Union Park #1 – Keller Williams Realty International

 

The South End offers living options for multiple lifestyles and at $2 million in the South End, a buyer can find something spectacular.

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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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What Can You Buy for $1 Million in the South End?

Last time I wrote about what can you buy for $1 million in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood. This time I will show you what you can buy for $1 million in the South End.

According to the MLS data, over the last 6 months there have been 60 condos and 1 single family home sold in the South End. You get a little more for your money in Boston’s South End compared to Back Bay. The average sale price for South End condos were $952,378 and the average price per square foot was $647.

What I love about the South End is that it is a real neighborhood. People enjoy wine or coffee (depending on the time of day) on their stoop with their neighbors. Residents stop to say hi to one another while they are out walking their dogs or babies. Wonderful restaurants on nearly every street serve every type of meal a person could want from top-grade sushi and french cuisine to classic hamburgers and bar snacks. Even though it seems the South End consists of nothing but beautiful brownstones, modern construction can also be found if you know where to look.

Appleton Street

This penthouse duplex is on one of the most desired streets in the South End, and it is no surprise it went on and off the market in the blink of an eye. Listed at $750,000, this 2 bed 1.5 bath 1,010 sq ft condo sold for $830,000 all cash in 20 days but had an accepted offer after 4 days. This was one of two condos in this brownstone and featured a roof deck with beautiful views of Boston’s skyline, an open layout perfect for entertaining, and a private entrance.

Sold South End Condo at 17 Appleton Street

17 Appleton Street – Meridian Realty Group

 

Harrison Avenue

The South End offers condos converted from unique places. This 2 bed 2 bath 1723 sq ft corner loft was converted from a warehouse. The unit offered incredibly high ceiling and enormous windows displaying the Boston skyline from the 4th floor. It is in a professionally-managed elevator building just a few blocks from the SOWA open market and the dog run in Peter’s Park. This loft-like condo sold for asking at $959,000 in 21 days.

485-495 Harrison Avenue – Ballast Realty Group

 

Union Park Street

Not only can you find converted warehouses in the South End, but also a bank converted to condos. The former Penny Savings Bank on the corner of Union Park Street and Washington Street now offers renovated contemporary condos. This 1 bed plus office offered a private terrace, renovated kitchen with open layout, floor-to-ceiling windows, garage parking, and a common roof deck. Asking $879,000, this condo sold in 13 days for $856,000.

Sold Condo at 30 Union Park Street

30 Union Park Street – Keller Williams Realty International

 

Greenwich Park

For modern living in a classic brownstone, this penthouse duplex offer the best of both worlds. This 1621 sq ft  listing offered 2 spacious bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, a working fireplace, and a private roof deck. Situated along the Southwest Corridor, you are steps from the best of Back Bay and the South End. Listed at $1,225,000, this listing sold for $1,200,000 in 16 days.

Sold Condo at 22 Greenwich Park

22 Greenwich Park – South End Realty Group

 

Search condos in the South End between $800,000 and $1,200,000. To see condos in the South End in person, contact the Realtors of Matthew and Alisa Group Real Estate.

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Real Estate Tips: Fire Safety Regulations for BBQ Grills

Legal Grill on Roof Deck in BostonRecently there was a roof deck fire in Boston’s South End neighborhood on Wellington St. off of Columbus Ave before Massachusetts Ave. This fire started on the roof deck at 20 Wellington St. and eventually spread to the 4th floor deck of 18 Wellington St. This hit a little too close to home for me since I had a client move into an apartment earlier this summer that is two doors down from the fire. Fortunately, both he and his apartment are fine. My client was on his deck when the fire started and was able to warn some of his neighbors.

After hearing about this fire, I learned there was another fire only a few days prior. This fire was in Roslindale and left 18 people displaced. Both fires were caused by propane grills.

To better understand what is legal and illegal regarding grills on decks, read the rules and regulations from the City of Boston, but here are the basics:

  • Charcoal grills are not allowed on or within a building structure. The only place charcoal grills are permitted would be on an unenclosed ground level patio.
  • Propane gas grills are not allowed on decks or patios above the first floor and are only permitted in an enclosed area.
  • Piped-in natural gas grills are allowed as long as they have been professionally installed. Of course, before anyone does installations for grills, check the condo docs for any language regarding grills and get approval from the condo association.

It is hard for me to stress the rules to clients whenI am on a showing, out on the deck on a gorgeous day standing next to the current occupant’s illegal bbq grill. It’s even harder when the clients are pointing out all the other grills on the decks of multiple neighbors. This is a testament to how many people think this can’t happen to them. After seeing all the damage a fire from a simple bbq can cause, I will continue to stress that it is not allowed and not worth the risk.

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Street Tour of Union Park in Boston’s South End

Union Park is arguably the most iconic and desirable block in the South End neighborhood of Boston. Union Park is the section of the street located between Tremont Street and Shawmut Avenue, whereas the rest of the street is known as Union Park Street. The evolved neighborhood aspect of the area are a large draw, as is the proximity to many of the city’s best dining options. The location also provides  an easy commute to offices in Back Bay, the Financial District, and Downtown. The sunny nature of the wide street built around a park is another reason the block is sought after, but the combination of all Union Park offers is what sets it above other blocks in the area.

Another aspect to the appeal of Union Park is the large footprints of the buildings, with Union Park lots offering some of the widest lots in the South End. Chester Square on Massachusetts Avenue and Worcester Square are the other two South End blocks known for their wide lots.

The Union Park block was inspired by the elegant garden squares of London and followed Charles Bullfinch’s use of park squares in downtown Boston. Union Park and Worcester Square, another South End park square, were laid out as parks in 1851. Construction of the houses surrounding Union Park was complete by 1859.

The original design of the park included fountains topped by the mythological “Leda and the Swan” and featured a central path of crushed stone. The path was lined trellises and flower beds with a row of elm trees along each side. The fourteen original trees survived until the 1990′s and it is said their high canopy formed a cathedral over the park, which was particularly beautiful when covered with snow.

The original cast-iron fence surrounding the park matched the one around Beacon Hill‘s Louisburg Square. The fence present today replaced the original in 1913 and was restored in 2009.

The homes surrounding Union Park consist of both flat and bow-front brick row houses originally built as single-family mansions. The homes feature Victorian details such as their ornate cast-iron fences and railings, operable wood shutters, and carved limestone headers above the windows and entryways. Examples of various architectural styles are present around the block such as Greek Revival, Italianate, and Renaissance Revival.

Union Park in the South End neighborhood of BostonStone stoops leading to the parlor level are another feature of Union Park homes. Warm summer nights often result in residents enjoying  the weather with their neighbors. A couple of years ago, the stoops were filled with wine-drinking residents watching Ben Affleck and Tommy Lee Jones film a scene from the movie Company Men.

Whole buildings sold in the last 10 years as either single-family homes or multi-family buildings sold between $1.22 million and $4.55 million with a median price of $2.2 million. These buildings are around 35,000 square feet, which means they sold for an average price per square foot of $480.

Many of the the houses built at single-family homes have been divided into condos over the years. These condos range from a two bedroom/1 bath with 811 square feet that sold for $426 thousand to a 3 bedroom/3.5 bath condo with 3400 square feet that sold for $3.275 million. The median price of condos on the block was $685 thousand over the last ten years with an average of $661 per square foot.

Former famous residents of Union Park include:

  • 4 Union Park - John Quincy Adams Brackett, Governor of Massachusetts. The house last sold in 2006 for $4.55 million.
  • 5 Union Park - Samuel Stillman Pierce of S.S. Pierce & Co. The grocery magnante got his start by bartering with ship capitains in Boston Harbor, exchanging provisions for delicacies from foreign ports. His business thrived in part because of celebrity clients Daniel Webster, John Quincy Adams, and Oliver Wendall Homes, Sr. The house last sold in 2005 for $2.1 million.
  • 16 Union Park – H.P. Kidder, founder of the stock brokerage firm Kidder, Peabody, and Co.
  • 34 Union Park - Alexander H. Rice, politician. Rice was a founder of the Republican party in Massachusetts and the first Republican Mayor of Boston. During his tenure as Mayor, Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood was developed. Rice went on to serve as a member of Congress during the Civil War and then as Governor of Massachusetts.
  • 51 Union Park - Dr. Joseph H. Warren, medical aide to Abraham Lincoln.

For more information on Union Park homes for sale and apartments for rent, contact the Realtors of Matthew and Alisa Group Real Estate.

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New Development for Albany Street in Boston’s South End

New Developments at Albany and TravelerThe South End’s New York Streets neighborhood is going to have a major face lift over the next few years. One of the changes is going to be at the former Boston Herald site, which will be developed into a 471 residential complex with a 50,000 sq ft Whole Foods called the Ink Block.

The latest development is a lot on Albany St. will be from Traveler St. to East Berkeley St. currently functioning as a parking lot in front of a large aquatic mural featuring killer whales frolicking in the ocean. New Jersey based real estate developer Normandy Real Estate Partners have submitted plans to build a 220 unit apartment complex and a 325 room hotel. They have not mentioned what hotel will occupy the space but they did mention it will offer “a low cost alternative to current hotels.” Sandwiched between the two buildings will be an above ground parking garage with 165 parking spaces.

As well as adding new residential units to the South End, this project will also enhance it’s surroundings by improving the landscape, paving, and lighting. These enhancements will greatly improved what is now a somewhat depressing and barren area.

New Development Site on Albany StreetHowever, the project could negatively affect some area residents. The apartment complex will be 19 stories high which could potentially obstruct the view of the Boston skyline from the Macallen building and Court Square Press building. Today, residents in South Boston, particularly in those buildings, have an incredible view of the Boston skyline. Hopefully the design of the building will only enhance the skyline view.

Contact the Realtors of Matthew and Alisa Group Real Estate if you are interested in learning about properties for sale in the South End or South Boston.

UPDATE: Per the Boston Herald, Normandy Real Estate Partners have brought in Gerding Edlen, a company currently building a rental high-rise in Boston’s Fort Point neighborhood. The co-developers have decided to scrap the hotel portion of their plans and proceed with an all residential project consisting of two buildings and up to 380 units. The amended plans will be reviews at a public meeting the BRA has scheduled for February 26.

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The Return of Boston Food Trucks

Parking Spaces Reserved for Boston Food TrucksIf you had searched, you may have found food trucks sparsely scattered throughout the city over the winter. Now that spring has sprung the official food truck season in Boston has begun! There will be more food trucks at more frequency and I could not be happier.

“What is so great about Boston food trucks?” you may ask. Well, the answer, my friend, is being made to order right around the corner. Boston food trucks offer fantastic variety of foods from vegetarian to bbq and gourmet cupcakes to frozen hoagies. The quick delicious meals food trucks offer are ideal for those on the go who do not have the time for a sit-down meal. Since the trucks do vary in location, day, and time, it is a wonderful way to add more options to the daily grind.

Due to the growing popularity of food trucks in Boston, Mayor Menino announced four new sites to begin this month. The first of these new sites will be in the Copley Square area of Back Bay at Stuart and Trinity. Even though trucks were here last year, this site has expanded to allow for three trucks. The second spot is located at the China Trade Building at Boylston Street across from the RMV and near the Loew’s Boston Common. This would be a great alternative to movie popcorn and Dunkin’ Donuts, not that there is anything wrong with either but it is nice to have on-the-go variety. The third location will be in the Financial District on the corner of Milk and Kilby and will have two food trucks. The fourth new location is in the South End at Tremont Street and Berkeley, which is great for me because it’s three blocks from the Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty office!

Visiting a Food Truck in Back BayNot everyone is excited for the added truck spots and extended times. Local small restaurants worry the food trucks will take away business. But variety is the spice of life and I feel there is room for both food trucks and established restaurants. In fact, since many of the food trucks have a strong fan base, they may bring in new business to the neighborhood.

Visit the City of Boston website for a complete list of the food truck locations and schedule.

Just like Boston itself, food trucks are not stagnant. The menus and locations are continuously changing. If you are interested in seeing property in an ever changing and exciting city, contact the Realtors of Matthew and Alisa Group Real Estate.

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The South End: Why I Call It Home

As I was walking through the South End on my way to work, I was thinking, “Why do I love this neighborhood?” I walked past groups enjoying coffee on the stoop of their brownstone, I saw people out walking their dogs, moms pushing strollers stopping to say hi, and there was a warmth in the air that has been missing for months. Spring is finally here and the South End seems to shine brighter to me.

So why do I love the South End?

Food and Entertainment: The South End has some of the best restaurants I have ever been to and diverse variety of flavors. Within a 10 minute radius, I can have tapas at Toro, sushi at Oishii Boston, French at Aquitane, Indian at Mela, charcuterie at The Butcher Shop, Ethiopian at Addis Red Sea, and Asian Fusion at Myers and Chang to name a few. The South End also offers restaurants with great bars to have a cocktail and grab a small bite such as The Gallows, Tremont 647, and Franklin Cafe. For live music, food, and drinks, I can go to The Beehive.

Events: The South End holds countless events throughout the year all over the neighborhood. From large fundraisers like the Chefs for Obama and Taste of the South End at the Boston Center for the Arts to local fundraisers at the smaller parks like those thrown by the Friends of Peter’s Park. The first Friday of every month the artists open their galleries late for everyone to enjoy a night of art. On Sundays, the SOWA Open Market is open to everyone to enjoy vendors selling locally made crafts, artwork, jewelry, and baked goods. Another big draw for the SOWA Open Market is the assortment of food trucks preparing all kinds of goodies such as Vietnamese noodle salads at Bon Me, gourmet grilled cheese at Roxy’s Grilled Cheese, and vegetarian/vegan delights at Clover.

Convenience: The South End neighborhood is filled with boutique shops, art galleries, and yoga/dance studios. Along with larger grocers such as Foodies and Ming’s, the South End has smaller specialty food shops like Fromaggio and Siena Farms that focus on local sustainable produce. And if I can’t find what I need in the South End, I can walk 10 minutes or less and be at Shaw’s or Whole Foods in Back Bay. As far as public transportation, I can take the Silver Line that goes along Washington Avenue, the Orange Line at Tufts, Back Bay, or Mass Ave T-Stops, or walk to the Green Line at Copley Square. If I have a long trip, I am minutes from commuter rails at Back Bay Station, the Mass Pike, Interstate 93, or the express route to Logan Airport.


South End brownstoneReal Estate
: The South End is on the National Register of Historic Places as “the largest urban Victorian neighborhood” in the United States, but it is far from being a neighborhood perserved in time. Along with newly constructed luxury buildings, many of these Victorian single family brownstones have been renovated into condos, some of which are available to rent. Some of the brownstone row houses are built around beautiful parks, also called  squares, which are only accessible to owners of the homes around each park. Former industrial warehouses nearby have been converted into modern lofts as well as newly constructed condo buildings that offer amenities such as a concierge, parking garage, and gym available to both owners and renters.

Apart from everything the South End has to offer, I knew that this neighborhood was special the night I moved here. My boyfriend and I took a break from moving to walk our dog and grab some food on Tremont Street. On the way to the store we noticed everyone was smiling and praising our dog on how sweet she is. It had the neighborhood vibe we had been looking for and it felt great to be a part of it. 

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