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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.

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Real Estate Transactions and Reviews from January and February

Over the last couple of months, Matthew and Alisa have had clients close on the following three properties. They represented the buyer in one transaction, represented the seller in another transaction, and represented both the buyer and the seller in the third transaction.

The first property to close was 121 Beach Street #703 in the Leather District. This closing was actually on December 28th, which is practically January, right? Matthew and Alisa represented both the buyer and the seller in the sale of 121 Beach Street #703. This 2 bedroom loft was under agreement in 16 days and sold for 96% of the list price after 23 days on the market. During 2012, the average days on market for the Leather District neighborhood was 99, compared to the 16 days on market for this loft condo.

The following is a video review provided by the buyer of 121 Beach Street #703. Apologizes for the audio on this video.

The second condo to close was 141 Arlington Street #4, a closing which took place on January 15th. Matthew and Alisa represented the seller of the pied-à-terre in Bay Village. This one bedroom was under agreement in 14 days and sold for 96% of the list price after 18 days on the market, while the average days on market for Bay Village condos was 67.

In fact, 141 Arlington Street #6 recently sold. Unit #6 is a unit identical to the unit sold by Matthew and Alisa, but it also offers a roof deck. You would think it would sell faster than unit #4 and for more money, right? Wrong. This penthouse unit with a private roof deck sold for $3000 less than the unit sold by Matthew and Alisa and it took 135 days on market to do so. This is the difference marketing makes.

The following is a video review provided by the seller of 141 Arlington Street #4.

The last transaction was a condo at 87-89 Bourne Street #2 in Jamaica Plain, which closed on February 22nd. Matthew and Alisa brought the buyer to this condo and their buyer went under agreement after winning a multiple bid situation. Despite multiple offers, the buyers were able to purchase the condo for 97% of the asking price.

The following is a video review provided by the buyers of 87-89 Bourne Street #2.

If you would like to know what sets us apart from the average real estate agent, contact Realtors from the Matthew and Alisa Group.

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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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121 Beach Street #703: Modern Loft Living in the Leather District

The Leather District is located near South Station between Chinatown and Downtown Boston. This neighborhood was first developed as leather factories in the late nineteenth century and converted into an urban residential neighborhood in the late twentieth century. Due to its smaller footprint than most Boston neighborhoods, quality listings are not easy to come by. Which is why Matthew Gaskill and I are excited to announce our new exclusive listing at 121 Beach Street #703!

Built in 1913 by architect Arthur H. Bowditch, 121 Beach Street was originally built to sell leather with the street level used for display and the levels above meant for manufacturing. In 1998 the building was converted to twenty-five residential condos and one commercial condo, but maintained the original barrel-vaulted ceilings and brick & beam structure.

Living Area at 121 Beach St 703Our listing is unit #703, a 1688 square foot open-layout loft priced at $750,000. This unit features two spacious bedrooms, two full renovated bathrooms, and an open-concept living and dining area with plenty of storage, which is perfect for entertaining. Located on the seventh floor (one level higher than surrounding buildings), this unit gets wonderful light with north and south exposures and has great views of the downtown Boston skyline to the north. This unit can be rented out, so if you are looking to invest in real estate, this is something you will want to see. The building is professionally managed and the condo fees are under $500 and include everything except electric and gas. The building is also pet friendly.

Master Bedroom at 121 Beach St #703

121 Beach Street is conveniently located steps from South Station, Downtown Boston, and the Financial District. In a less than a 10 minute walk, you can find yourself in Fort Point enjoying some of the best restaurants in Boston, such as Sportello and Menton. Just another 5 minutes away you can be in Seaport enjoying more great restaurants and  and fun nightlife Temazcal Cantina and the new 75 on Liberty Wharf. If the 10-15 minute walk is too far, located 2 blocks away from 121 Beach Street is O-Ya, the best rated sushi restaurant in Boston.

Getting in and out of the Leather District is a cinch. With South Station down the street you can access the Red Line to Cambridge, take the commuter rail or Amtrak to Providence or New York, or pick up the the Sliver Line to the Boston’s Logan Airport. Driving is also easy with the Massachusetts Turnpike (I-90) and I-93 ramps a few blocks away.

121 Beach Street #703 offers an urban loft feel that doesn’t come around too often in Boston. With this location and what the area has to offer, I hope you get a chance to see it before its gone. An open house is scheduled for 1-2:30pm on Sunday November 4th, 2012. To schedule a private showing, contact the Realtors of Matthew and Alisa Group.

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Sotheby’s International Realty: Our Journey to Extraordinary

We at Sotheby’s International Realty are in continuous evolution to maintain our high standard of white glove service to our clientele all over the world. With society in constant motion not only are we on the pulse with what is current, we strive to stay ahead of the curve. This recently created video explores how much our world has changed and how our company thrives on meeting those challenges.

How Sotheby’s International Realty has grown

In 1976, the Sotheby’s auction house began Sotheby’s International Realty and, in 2004, entered a strategic alliance with Realogy.

In February of 2004, there were 15 company-owned offices. Today we have more than 12,000 real estate agents working out of nearly 650 office in 45 countries and territories.

In 2005, our company completed 19,000 transactions totaling $19 billion in sales. In 2009, we had grown to nearly 34,000 transactions totaling $22 billion. Today, Sotheby’s International Realty handles over 59,000 transactions representing $41 billion.

Sotheby’s International Realty: continuously expanding our reach

When a listing is featured as a cover property on sothebysrealty.com it gets 30% more views. We have also developed lifestyle micro sites for buyers looking for property falling under one of the following lifestyles: Waterfront, Golf, Vineyards & Wineries, Skiing, and Farm & Ranch. There are 60 billion dollars in property value on sothebysrealty.com representing 30,000 listings with 38% of them outside the United States.

Of the 2.1 billion internet users, 72% don’t search in English. On sothebysrealty.com, users can search in over 16 diverse languages.

China will soon become the largest English speaking country in the world. Sotheby’s International Realty already has a network hub in Hong Kong and we continue to expand our presence within Asia.

On the pulse of where and how our clientele search for property

13.9 million mobile subscribers access real estate information via mobile and this year more internet searches will happen via mobile versus a computer. Because of this shift toward mobile search, we created a cascading platform of 60 interconnected mobile-friendly websites and developed GPS-enabled apps for smartphones.

1 in every 8 people on earth are on Facebook. 3 years ago twitter didn’t exist now there are 175 million tweets per day. 200 billion videos are watched around the world per month. We maintain a strong and  active presence on FacebookTwitter, YouTube and other social networks on both a corporate and local level.

What is the end result of our marketing efforts? 506 million media impressions delivered. Leveraging the world’s most influential partners including BBC, Google, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Financial Times, Luxury Properties,  International Herald Tribune, Bloomberg Markets, Country Life, The Robb Report, Sotheby’s At Auction, etc.

Contact the Realtors of Matthew and Alisa Group Real Estate to see discuss how Sotheby’s International Realty can benefit you.

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Search MLS Listings and Use Our Website’s Tools

We designed our website to give you the tools you need to achieve your real estate goals. We believe the combination of the best technology and attentive and knowledgeable Realtors will give you the advantage  in a competitive real estate market.

As you know, our website features every listing offered on the MLS, including those for sale by owner. Our website updates with the MLS each hour, so you know are getting the most accurate information available. On every one of the listings you have access to on our site, you can take advantage of the following:

  • Contact a Realtor with questions on the listing or to schedule a showing. No need to pick up the phone or even switch over to your email client since your request can be done directly from the listing.
  • Save the listing to a list of favorites, so you can easily access it later. You can use this to keep track of listings or to have easy access to listings you want to compare.
  • Save notes to the listing for you to reference later. By keeping your notes on our website, your notes will all be in one place and available for you whenever you want them.
  • Calculate mortgage payments with the integrated mortgage calculator. The mortgage calculator is adjustable, so you can change the down payment, interest rate, and loan term.
  • Get the opinion of friends and family with the ability to email the listing to anyone you want or share the listing to your social networks: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest share buttons are all available on the page.
  • If you find some value in the Zillow Zestimate®, you can access this figure for each listing as well as many market and area demographics area compiled by Zillow. Although, if you rely on the Zillow Zestimate®, we should talk so I can explain how my knowledge will give you a better understanding of the real estate market than a number spit out by an algorithm.

We believe these tools will help make the most of your online search for property, but we also think your Realtor is another tool to be utilized in any real estate transaction. We are here to help and offer the guidance and advise you will not get from a website.

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How We Can Help You Decide Where to Live in Boston

Are you new to the area or looking for the neighborhood that best suits your lifestyle?

We are available to discuss and share our insights on the city and its neighborhoods. Trust us, we could talk about Boston and its neighborhoods for hours. But if you’d prefer to do some research on your own before you get us talking, our website is a great source.

We have integrated the website with resources such as Walk Score, education.com, Yelp, and Google Maps to help educate those in the midst of an international relocation and those looking for a new neighborhood to call home.

  • The Walk Score feature will provide one score for the walkability of a location and another score for its access to public transportation.
  • The Yelp integration allows you to locate nearby services including dry cleaners, coffee shops, grocery stores, health providers, athletic facilities and gyms, restaurants, and much more.
  • Our education.com feature will show area schools on a map, provide contact information, offer a brief description as well as a link to more thorough information and reviews on the education.com website.
  • By featuring Google Maps on our website, we are able to provide access directly to Google Street View without the need to leave the property listing.
  • The Zillow integration offers a variety of charts and data providing insight on the real estate market and area demographics.

We think these tools will give you the ability to find the area right for you and your lifestyle. Of course, I am always available to discuss in more detail or if you have any questions.

Schedule a consultation with a Realtor

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3 Tips to Stay Ahead of the Current Real Estate Market

Do you feel like you are a few steps behind the real estate market? Is every house you inquire on already under agreement?

This is one problem with the large national real estate websites like Zillow and Trulia. These sites were not built with the intention to provide information, so they are not concerned with whether listings are current or accurate. Their intent is to sell leads to real estate agents and, to this end, the sites will withhold certain information to encourage you to contact one of their paying agents.

Our website is updated with the MLS each hour, so you know the information is current. Another benefit we can offer with our website is the ability to save your searches and have the system send you daily email summaries of any properties matching your criteria. The triggers prompting a listing to be added to your daily email alert include a new addition to the market, a price reduction, and status changes, which is helpful when a property goes back on the market after a buyer falls through. Watch the video above to see how easy it is to set up daily email alerts for MLS online casino listings.

You should also be aware every property does not make it to the internet. Some sellers do not want their property online at all, so the property is shopped around within the real estate community. Other properties are shared among agents before going public, so once it does hit the market buyers are already lined up. If you would like to set up a consult, our Realtors would be able to get a good idea of what you are looking for and alert you of any pocket listing matching your search criteria.

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An Introduction to Our Real Estate Team

Thank You for Visiting Our Real Estate Website

First, we would like to introduce who we are. We are Matthew Gaskill and Alisa Peterson. We are two Realtors who work at Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty in Boston. We formed Matthew and Alisa Group Real Estate in 2011 as a way to better serve our clients through the process of real estate transactions. We complement each other by each coming to the team with different strengths, backgrounds, and philosophies. Among the things we share are the core values of customer service, integrity, honesty, and hard work.

If you are beginning your search or want to get more information on the area and the current real estate market, we are available for a no-obligation consult. Our past clients have found this to be a helpful first step that saved them time and the frustration of working with agents who do not fully understand their clients’ goals. The consult will give you a chance to meet us and ask any questions while allowing us to assess the best approach to your search.

Whether you are buying a home, investing in property, selling property, relocating, or renting out property we are able to offer our insight and help you reach your real estate goals.

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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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