According to Condé Nast Traveler, the American based luxury travel magazine, Boston was named the #10 best city for shopping in the U.S. Our fair city ranked among the upheld shopping capitals such as L.A., San Francisco, and New York City. Bostonians know that Newbury Street is the home to the diverse realm of shops, from luxury boutiques to high end second-hand stores.
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Whether this is your first Boston winter in the new apartment or just looking to battle the challenges of living in the city during gargantuan snow storms, we are here to give you some tips on how to make it through:
Mind the Thermostat
Yes, we know that this is the #1 word of advice from any Bostonian, and there is a reason for it. Not only is it super energy and cost efficient to keep your heat on low when you are out of the house, but also it’s just as important to get your thermostat checked out! It’s good to double check that the batteries and the thermostat itself are working properly before the real snow begins.
Beware of the Draft
Double checking that the windows lock properly and weatherstripping all windows and doors are two quick ways to combat the cold winter air. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, cold air drafts can waste anywhere from 30% to 5% of your energy use. Rolling up towels are a quick DIY way to weatherstrip any problem doors.
Schedule an Energy Audit
Have one of the experts handle it and inspect your home to help you cut costs on your winter heating bills. Whether you live in an apartment or a condominium, you can have your landlord contact National Grid to inspect your home and provide a full report on how to make your home more energy efficient.
Stock Up on the Basics
Flashlights, batteries, and your ice-melt solution of choice are all handy items to stock up on in the Boston weather. It’s always better to be prepared with these items on hand then to have to trek through snow banks in Back Bay for any last minute necessities.
Always Have a Backup Plan
Parking in Boston can be a nightmare on a day to day basis, then throw in a New England Blizzard and things can get really interesting. Always be sure to have a back-up plan about where to park in case your parking spot is ever the home to a snowbank. You can talk with your landlord or surrounding parking garages about back up options.
Protect Your Floors
Even gleaming hardwood floors can take a toll from the harsh New England Winter. Take any old tray and fill it with pebbles and rocks to create a stylish and mess free place to put your winter boots to dry.
For more tips and tricks on how to make it through a legendary Boston winter, feel free to reach out to our agents about life in the city!
This summer has been a record-breaking season for everyone here at the Charles Realty. Our Principal Broker, Annette Given brought in $5,815,000 in closed residential sales for this past June. Our luxury boutique agency has made a mark on the real estate market in Boston Proper and beyond. After working in the business for 33 years, she has been able to lead a successful team that has paved the way in Boston real estate.
Boston Top 20 Realtors is an organization that aspires to recognize the hardwork of successful realtors in the Metro Boston area and in surrounding suburbs. The realtors total sales volumes are collected by a third party, which are then compiled into the top 20 highest grossing realtors. The following is the goal for the Boston Top 20 organization:
“to celebrate the hard work of local agents by featuring them in a consolidated online resource for consumers, allowing them higher visibility while providing consumers a more personal introduction to talented agents in the Metro Boston area.”
We are grateful that a reputable organization, such as the Boston Top 20, exists to recognize hardworking realtors at the current state of the market.
To stay updated on monthly realtor rankings, follow the Boston Top 20 website here!
To learn more about Annette Given, her accomplishments, and the best way to touch base with her, check out her full biography on our website!
According to Boston.com, Cambridge beat out Boston for the #1 spot on their countdown of the best Massachusetts spots to call home. Here is our rundown of Cambridge versus Boston.
Versatility. Whether you’re in the city everyday or commuting out to the suburbs, the location offers easy accessibility to public transportation and major driving routes. You can have all the perks of being a city-dweller without the hustle and bustle of Boston. On top of it all, you have the most distinct dining options and some of the best school systems right at your fingertips.
Nothing beats living in Massachusetts’s largest city. There is a distinct neighborhood for all walks of life (and all budgets) from the up-and-coming South End to the college slums of Allston. Indulge in each neighborhood flavor with endless transportation possibilities. Ranking in the lowest third amongst all Massachusetts communities, the city just falls short of the #1 spot because of the Boston public school system.
Check out what other Massachusetts places made the Top 25 here.
It’s the season for renting. Students, young professionals, even families are looking to lay their head in the Boston area, but many don’t know the most efficient way to go about it. Smart City is laying out a step-by-step way to go about renting through one of our reputable agents.
- Figure out what you want. Whether it be the number of bedrooms, the area, the proximity to public transportation, or the price, come into a rental office with a list of requirements. However, be prepared to be flexible.
- Assemble your documents. These include current and past landlord information, student documentation, or paycheck stubs for verification of employment. The sooner you are able to provide these to your rental agent, the faster the process will move along.
- Take notes on apartment showings. Make lists of pros and cons and try to recall specific details of each apartment. A rental agent can really help with these details.
- Come to showings with a checkbook. Be prepared to make a quick decision if you find your dream home. Properties, particularly in Boston, go very quickly.
- Read through your entire lease before signing. This seems straightforward but it’s important to know exactly what you are signing. Have a conversation with your rental agent if you spot anything that confuses you or raises questions.
- Finally, make preparations for your move. Consider parking, elevator access and even the weather on the day of the move.
To get in touch with one of our experienced and talented rental agents to guide you through this process, call (617) 236-0353
While summer may be the warmest season for sales and rentals, spring is the time to prepare your property to go on the market. In fact, with less inventory flooding the market in the spring rather than summer, you’re more likely to have a faster sale if you list soon.
As the economy heats up, students and residents are dying to find home in this crowded city. Get in touch with an agent to warn them in advance of your preparations and plans to list. Ask when they would recommend beginning showings. The warmer the weather gets, the busier our offices become, so don’t wait until the last minute consider listing.
Preparations can include de-cluttering your home and making small updates and fixes here and there. Have conversations with family and friends about storage opportunities while making the move, and ask your listing agent if there are any renovations you should make to increase property value.
Lastly, always consider the overall look and feel of your home in terms of when it’s appropriate to put it on the market. If your home has large windows, listing during sunny weather will emphasize this positive aspect of your home. However, if your home is a top story walk-up, a hot day might turn visitors off from a big flight of stairs, so listing in spring might be the time for you.
To speak with an agent about listing while the market and the weather heat up, please call our offices at (617) 236-0353.
New developments in the Boston area are a great sign of a burgeoning economy and improving market. There has been a lot of attention surrounding the on-again, of-again project intended to cross the Mass Pike, called “Fenway Center.” According to Curbed Boston, the development plans include “at least 550 apartments, plus retail and commercial space, at Brookline and Commonwealth avenues.” The project intends to include four buildings, the majority of which will be built above the turn-pike.
Up until now, construction has been delayed due to hold-ups with an adjoining landowner. However, lead developer, John Rosenthal triumphed over these challenges. Since then, Rosenthal has progressed by buying a parking lot nearby on Landsdowne Street in partnership with The Boston Red Sox.
According to The Boston Herald, these actions signal big strides for the $450 Million project, “set to break ground this year.”
According to Fenway Center’s website www.fenwaycenter.com, the project is environmentally conscious and “plans to include one of the largest solar energy generation plants in the Commonwealth.” It also will include a new commuter rail T stop and pedestrian access to Fenway Park, according to WBGH-TV.
And that’s not all! The project anticipates creating about 1700 construction jobs and 200 permanent ones for Boston area laborers.
Rosenthal explained in his interview with WBGH that while there is a sky deck at Prudential and Copley, there hasn’t been one to cross the turnpike in over 30 years. “Try to envision an overpass extending the bridge from Brookline Ave…west to Beacon Street…”
While building on air rights may sound complicated, Rosenthal asserted, “You have to create the land!”
The Estately Blog recently created a fun and playful comparison of the housing situations of the two presidential candidates (excluding the White House). The website compared Obama’s Chicago home with the five homes Romney has owned in the past few years. Both the presidents live in high-end houses. The average American home value is $221,800, but Romney’s (in total) is $32 million and Obama’s is $1.6 million. Check out the image above for all the info Estately gathered—including information on their neighbors. While Obama has had political neighbors in Chicago, Romney has had some rather interesting neighbors in Utah—including Cheech Marin of Cheech & Chong. Both candidates have some luxe amenities in their homes. For instance, Obama has a 1,000 bottle wine cellar and a third floor ballroom. Romney is doubling the size of his La Jolla, CA beach home and adding an elevator for his cars. Decide for yourself who has the better digs!
The White House is the most luxurious. It has a bowling alley, basketball court, a missile defense system and lasers for security, and a home brewery. It is 55,000 square feet, has 11 bedrooms, 35 bathrooms, 28 fireplaces, and is worth a whopping $100 million dollars.
You are now three weeks in to your new lease and probably finally feeling settled in your new apartment. You have probably seen your neighbors in the hallways or when you are exiting or entering your apartment building and just greeted them with a quick nod. However, now that you feel more comfortable it is time to possibly build some friendly relationships with the people that share your building, mail room, and maybe even laundry basement. Here are a few pointers for meeting new neighbors!
- Remember to smile
- Don’t be afraid of small talk–while exiting or entering the building, in the laundry room, or in the elevator or on the stairs
- If there is one, join your building’s committee–you’ll definitely meet people and feel as if you have a say in the community and also be able to discuss common issues (such as issues with the landlord, etc.)
- If you’re feeling bold, plan a building party—invite everyone!
You never know—after making these connections you could make a new friend, or even find a new roommate for next year!!