Posts Tagged ‘real estate’

Best Real Estate Apps

Monday, February 24th, 2014

Today’s world is a digital world, and as a result of that is a shift from paper to smart phones. Because of the shift in times, companies including real estate companies are becoming digital. Any successful real estate company today has an app for your smart phone. It’s becoming more and more popular to see people at open houses on their iPhone or Android looking at various apps to figuring out information crucial to buying a home. The best real estate apps allow consumers to view nearby amenities, calculate their mortgage, and more. Here’s a list of some of the best real estate apps:


Available for iPhone, iPads, and Androids, this app is great for both renters and buyers. Trulia allows you to view any nearby amenity including, schools, gyms, and stores. The app also displays flood zones and crime rates. Trulia is very user friendly and allows the user to search homes from any type of search including price range and date built. When ready to buy users can search for current or upcoming open houses, and even get in contact with a real estate agent.


Available for iPhone and iPads. This modern design real estate app is easy to use for viewing nearby stores and amenities. This app has features such as saving a home, searching for pet friendly homes, and high definition photos that makes it a great app when house hunting.


Available for iPhone, iPads, and Androids. This app is a very cool app to have, especially if you’re unsure of a home’s address. Take a photo of a home and Homesnap will know what home it is and will give the user the house’s information. This app is the Shazam of the real estate apps.


Available for iPhone, iPads, and Androids. Zillow’s app was awarded the Best “Search Tools” App of the Year, Appy Awards 2013. The app allows you to search millions of homes and rentals across the country. Zillow also has a “Zestimate” feature that gives users estimates on homes and rental prices. This app gives users the option to track homes, and send homes via Facebook and email.

Be sure to let us know your favorite spots on real estate apps by commenting on our Facebook! For more information on real estate apps, feel free to message our Rental Agents directly at our rentals Facebook page, Charles Rentals.

The Street

Home Buying and Renovation Shows to Check Out

Monday, January 6th, 2014

Can’t get enough real estate? Enjoy looking at homes across the country? Channels such as, HGTV and the DIY Network have relevant real estate television shows. Our agents at The Charles Realty have some shows to check out, take a look at the list:

Rent or Buy (HGTV) – On Thursdays at 11pm, with multiple re-runs throughout the day. This show walks through the process of a client’s decision to buy or rent a new home. Clients must decide if they want to make an investment to buy a home or make the shorter commitment of renting.

This Old House (PBS) – On Saturdays at 5pm, and various times throughout the week. The original, and most famous home renovation show has helped a lot of viewers in its 35 years. This show walks viewers step-by-step on home renovations for older, more historic homes. ‘This Old House’ also has its own magazine and spin-off shows.

On Saturday at 5pm

DIY Dominator (DIY Network) – On early Thursday mornings at 7:30 and 8am. For anyone that loves ‘do it yourself’ projects this is the perfect show to check out. This show features a head-to-head competition of home improvement and construction of both the exterior and interior of a home.

On Thursday at 7:30 and 8am.

House Hunters (HGTV) – Every weeknight at 10pm, re-runs are often on throughout the day. Viewers are taken behind the scenes as clients look for their ideal home, and must goes through the emotional roller-coaster while searching and buying a house.

On at 10pm on weeknights.

In addition to their television air time, all of these shows can be watched anytime online on their network’s website. Have any other real estate related shows not on this list that you like? Let us know on Facebook!

For more information on real estate shows to check out, feel free to message our Rental Agents directly at the rentals Facebook page, Newbury Rentals or check out our site!



This Old House

DIY Network

Why Buying a Home is like Watching the 2013-14 Patriots

Sunday, December 15th, 2013

No one has ever said buying a home is an easy process, and the same goes for watching this year’s New England Patriots. Both have ups and downs, yet somehow everything works out in the end. Both buying a home and following the Patriots provide an emotional roller-coaster filled with not only plenty of frustration, anger, but also moments of pure joy. Here’s a rundown quarter by quarter on what it’s like to buy a home and watch the Patriots.

First Quarter: A lot of pregame preparation has been put in and now kickoff is underway and you’re awaiting to play the game called the housing market. Like watching the Patriots you start off with high hopes that you get off to a good start and secure what you’re looking for. In most games this year the Patriots get off to a frustratingly slow start, similar when buying a home.

Second Quarter: Okay off to a slow start, but there’s still plenty of time to work something out. Yet often times the second quarter is filled with just as much frustration as the first. When all hope is nearly lost in the first half, there is a moment of hope right before halftime.

Third Quarter: Following the first half of events you come out strong to start the second. Now is the time to buckle down and get to work so you start making the progress needed for a strong closing. Despite making steps forward you are still not at your goal. Then comes the nerve racking, stress induced fourth quarter.

Fourth Quarter: It’s now or never to make something happen. Anyone that’s watched the Patriots this year or have bought a home know to never give up because when you have a Tom Brady or a great realtor everything will work out in the end. The Patriots will come out with a win and you will end up with the home you were looking for. So no matter what happens, you never give up on the Patriots and the housing market.

For more information on buying a home, feel free to contact our Sales Agents through email!

Numbers Don’t Lie

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

Are you having trouble choosing between buying a home or maneuvering the rental market? Here are the key numbers to consider!

Credit Score

Those three little numbers can play a big role in both buying a home and renting an apartment. According to Zillow’s analysis of over 25,000 loan quotes and purchase requests reveals that you need a score of 740 or above to get the best mortgage rates available. If you’re looking to rent, you can use your good credit partnered with a steady income as a negotiating tool.

Mortgage Rates

As the job market is improving and the economy is on the rise, mortgage rates are increasing. According to Zillow the average mortgage rate is currently 4.29 percent for a 30-year fixed loan. With the rising rates, buying now ensures the low rates.

Total Cost of Ownership

For home-buyers, it’s best to allocate around 25 to 28 percent of your annual income towards paying for your home. Expenses to consider include mortgage payments, insurance, and taxes.

Rental Costs

With climbing rental prices and vacancy rates dipping down to as low as 4.5 percent – according to Rentenna – it’s hot rental market with prices to match. It’s a general rule of thumb to use 15 to 50 percent of your total income. To keep your budget in check a 40-1 rule is a good rule to consider. For example if your rent is 2,400, your ideal annual income should be around $96,000 (40 x 2,400= 96,000).

Check out this handy dandy Buy vs. Renting Calculator, courtesy of the New York Times
For more resources click here

Luxury Living on the Waterfront

Friday, June 21st, 2013

Looking for an escape from the hustle and bustle of the Boston?  Have you felt hindered by the small range of waterfront real estate in the city?  Is that daily climb over Beacon Hill not satisfying your outdoor sports hunger? Does the thought of 300 square feet micro-apartments make you feel queasy?  Whether you are a hiking enthusiast or a micro-brewery aficionado, Portland Oregon is your perfect West Coast hideaway.

Lakefront Living just minutes from Portland, Oregon

This five bedroom, three full baths home is your haven for wide open space.  Newly constructed home that does not sacrifice the quintessential rustic feel of the outdoors.  First floor boasts an open design perfect for entertaining family and friends and hardwood floors throughout.    Open kitchen features recessed lighting, stainless steel appliances, and a gas stove-top engrained in the center island.
As if  five bedrooms are not enough, the master suite features clawfoot tub, outdoor shower, and private balcony.  This house has no shortage on space or awe-inspiring lake views.

Non-stop outdoor fun is yours with a covered porch and patio perfect for enjoying all year round   Bountiful yard space, lakeside cabin, and a private dock are perfect for all types of outdoor fun! You can have resident-only boating and endless lake access right in your own backyard.
This lakefront abode offers the luxury and serenity, tucked away from the happenings in Portland Oregon.   Currently on the market for $749,900 listed by our friends at the Realty Trust Group in Portland, Oregon.  For more information, please contact the listing agent Carrie Richardson at

Check it out here:

Renting with Ease: A guide to navigating your rental process

Monday, April 8th, 2013

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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

Home Appreciation Continues

Friday, March 1st, 2013

The Boston home market is still on the rise. Listings are barely hitting the market before offers come flowing in.  We’re not just talking one or two offers either, we’re talking about several offers on single listings. In this brief post we just want to highlight some of the reasons why homes are moving so quickly.

Zillow is reporting a 6.2% increase in home values across the country since last January and a 0.7% increase since December. With this in mind it’s also worth noting that this is the lowest percentage of homes with price reductions on the market in over four years.  People know that if they buy now and market trends continue, then there’s potential to make a profit in a matter of just a year or two.

In Boston, as we’ve stressed before, inventory is incredibly low across the city. Thus, home values are up 9.5% from last year. This is a clear reflection of the low inventory, thus making this the ideal sellers market. With this trend, now is the time to put your home on the market. Sellers are receiving multiple offers within just days of listing and the market is only getting busier as we come into the spring.


A Cozier and More Personal Home

Monday, February 18th, 2013

Did you just move into a new spot? Do you have a home that feels sterile and barren? Here are some tips for making your pad more comfortable and personal. When you come home after a long day at work, or a snowy commute, you ought to feel cozy among your things.

  1. Mixing color and texture: The easiest way to dress up your place is to move out of your comfort zone, and add color and texture. Try adding a rug with accent pillows, or picking a subtle pattern for a blanket that contrasts well with a painting on the wall. The more adventurous may even opt to mix multiple different patterns or colors. However, when shopping for home accessories with different patterns, try to bring along photos of the room or accessories you may already own and check that your new purchase matches!
  2. Adding shelving for more than just storage: The obvious purpose of shelving is to store your belongings or books. Instead, consider installing shelves to display trinkets or photographs. Not only is this a way to display your precious belongings at eye level, but it also adds dimensionality to your walls. Just make sure to install shelves with a level, or risk having your favorite trinkets slide and crash!
  3. Wallpaper: There has long been a stigma against wallpaper. Many claim that wallpaper is stuffy and dated when they are reminded by the floral patterns in their grandmother’s home. However, there are plenty of new wallpapers with a modern and stylish feel that will dress up your home in exciting new ways.
  4. Statement wall: Similarly, you’re hesitant to change the walls in an entire room, paint just change single wall! A bright color, or bold wallpaper on a statement wall will give your place a unique vibe with flair. One of the most popular places for a statement wall is behind the headboard of a bed in the bedroom. This single wall with pop can play a trick on the human eye, often making the space appear larger and more design-oriented.
  5. Hanging art and personal photos: It goes without saying that personal photos and art are the most straightforward ways to make your place more cozy, but avoid the collegiate temptation to simply tape or tack your wall accessories. Spend a little time in a Marshall’s or Target to buy some inexpensive frames for your photos. After all- these are your friends and family, they deserve to be hung with care!
  6. Subtle themes: While creating a “theme” for a room may be a bit childish, you can do so in a very subtle way that gives the space a greater sense of purpose and ties each element of the room together. For example, decorate a simple space with a nautical perspective, or give a living room a log cabin feel with leather furniture and plaid blankets.
  7. Fabric accessories: Soft fabrics will always emphasize the coziness of a home. Whether you drape blankets over the back of your furniture, or add a few more statement pillows, adding fabric accessories will make your space feel like one, big, cozy bed. For the more adventurous- try fun floor pillows for guests to sit on.
  8. Exposed closets: Closets are often covered by sliding doors or curtains. However, for organized fashionistas who invest a lot time and money on their wardrobe, consider removing closet doors altogether. This can open up the space to feel larger, and displays a colorful wardrobe as art. Be warned: this can quickly make a space feel messy if not well-maintained, and guests may feel inclined to do some snooping.

Starter Homes in Boston

Friday, November 9th, 2012

Recently posted a very brief post ragarding starter homes.  What they didn’t address specifically, are starter homes here in Boston. While, they did speak to the more suburban single families homes, that seem to be on the decline, and spoke to the trend of condos on the upswing, Boston is obviously very different.

Decades ago in Boston the modest single family home became a myth. We’ve become a city of condos and apartments, as most major cities have. There is certainly nothing wrong with this, but it does mean a bit of a sacrifice when it comes to a starter home. The simple fact that property values are so much higher in Boston immediately alters the idea of a true starter home. You won’t have that suburban ranch or that cute backyard, that must be accepted whether this is your first home or your tenth home in Boston.

The great opportunity in Boston however is the mortgage rates. While you may not be buying a 3-bedroom condo, purchasing a studio with office space could be a whole lot cheaper than your rent when you’re considering this on a monthly basis. If you plan to be in Boston for a while there’s nothing wrong with purchasing a smaller place as your starter home and paying far less for your mortgage than you ever would have for a rental.  It’s all about weighing your options and considering how long you plan to be in Boston and the money you’re willing to spend.

Political Real Estate (Romney vs. Obama)

Friday, October 5th, 2012

Click to enlarge!

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.