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Condos for Sale in Boston and Brookline!

Do you want the satisfaction of owning your own place without all the responsibility? Then purchasing a condo may be right for you. Condos for sale by Longwood Residential are individual units located within a building or multi-family home. You must get approved for a mortgage just as you would when buying a private home. You pay association dues in addition to your mortgage. These fees are mostly for maintenance of common areas. While you’re responsible for maintenance inside your unit, your condo association takes care of things such as landscaping and shoveling snow.

Luxury condos, such as those operated by Longwood Residential, are run by a board of directors. The board votes on, and enforces, rules that affect residents. You will want to learn about the condo board’s reputation before buying a condo. Also, you should know how much of a reserve fund the association has on hand to handle exterior upkeep.

Mortgage Rates and Luxury Accommodations

In January 2017, Curbed Boston reported condo rates ranging from $263 to $1,467 per square foot. You will find that prices for Longwood condos typically fall into this range. We mostly operate luxury condos with amenities that you won’t find at many others in the Boston area. Some of the amenities at Longwood condos include:

  • Private fitness clubs
  • Concierge services
  • On-site, underground parking
  • Rooftop swimming pools
  • Party rooms
  • Business suites
  • Package services
  • Private balconies
  • Valet services
  • In-unit wash machine and dryer
  • On-site retail stores
  • On-site play areas for children

We offer one, two, and three-bedroom condo options as well as limited studio-sized units. Most of our condos are in neighborhoods that are within walking distance to many of the things you need. Our buildings are also located in areas with excellent access to public transportation.

Which Boston Neighborhood is Right for You?

Deciding you want to buy a condo is just the first step. It can be a bit more challenging to find the amenities, price range, and neighborhood, that is just right for you. Longwood Residential offers condos for sale in more than a dozen Boston neighborhoods. Whether you have your heart set on Back Bay, Roslindale, or The Fenway, we can help you find the best Boston condo for you and your family. Feel free to start your search here or contact our office for assistance. We look forward to working with you.

What is the Cost of Living in Boston?

cost of living bostonAccording to a June, 2017 report released by Best Places, Boston scored a 169.90 for overall cost of living. A score of 100 is the baseline for cities across the United States (the higher the better). High housing costs seem to contribute the most to this score. Although Boston scores high in several other areas as well, it’s the housing costs that really drive it up. They are highest in Boston proper as compared to the Boston/Cambridge/Newton metro area and Massachusetts as a whole. Setting down roots in the right neighborhood can make all the difference in housing costs.

Other Cost of Living Scores for Boston

Boston also scores above 100 in several other cost of living categories. These include:

  • Utilities, 149

  • Miscellaneous, 131

  • Health, 125

  • Grocery, 122

  • Transportation, 105

Many residents consider the cost of living in Boston worth it. The city offers excellent public transportation and a rich history, among other things. You always have the option of getting in on the tiny house craze to reduce your housing costs.

Average Rental Costs in Boston

cost of living bostonThe June 2017 Best Places report indicates that the average rent for a studio apartment in Boston is $1,245 per month. This compares to $898 for the rest of Massachusetts and $712 average for the entire United States. Other rental rates by size include:

  • 1 bedroom: $1,395 in Boston, $1,067 in Massachusetts, and $825 in the United States

  • 2 bedroom: $1,716 in Boston, $1,335 in Massachusetts, and $1,027 in the United States

  • 3 bedroom: $2,130 in Boston, $1,668 in Massachusetts, and $1,379 in the United States

These high rental rates might encourage some people to become homeowners sooner than they would have in a different area. At Longwood Residential, we offer competitively priced apartments, condominiums, and private homes. We may have exactly what you’re looking for, so give us a call or click to contact us and discuss your needs today!

 

How Much is a Condo in Boston?

The condo market in Boston is growing quickly. According to an August, 2016 report released by realestate.com, both the number of available condos and their prices are on the rise. A big reason for the higher average price is the development of many new luxury condos. Longwood Towers Condominiums is one such example. These units have a lot of amenities not previously found in Boston condos. Some of these features might include an on-site fitness center, concierge service, and valet parking.

Condo Prices vs. Single-Family Home Prices

In late 2016, the average condo in Suffolk County was $520,000. This represented a 9.5% increase over the first half of the year. Suffolk County includes Boston as well as smaller, nearby cities like Chelsea and Revere. The average single-family home in the same county sold for $440,000. That was 4.4 percent higher than the first half of 2016.

Here are the average condos prices for Boston and nearby cities:

  • Downtown Boston (including South End, Midtown, and Back Bay) - $800,000

  • South Boston - $615,000

  • East Boston - $400,000

  • Cambridge - $651,000

  • Somerville - $587,000

  • Jamaica Plain - $478,000

These prices can certainly be discouraging, especially for a first-time homeowner. However, attending one of our first-time home buyer seminars can provide you with several resources. If you don’t see any upcoming, please contact us, or feel free to call us at (617) 396-3100, and we’ll be sure to arrange a seminar to help you soon!

How Are Condos Different?

Many Bostonians prefer condos because it allows them to own property with more perks and less responsibility than a homeowner. It also provides more freedom than renting an apartment. Someone else handles all outside maintenance such as mowing the lawn or shoveling snow. Since you own your unit, you’re free to decorate or remodel as you see fit. The one exception is that you won’t be able to make structural changes to common walls between your own space and a neighbor’s.

If you’re looking for luxury and convenience, speak to us today about Longwood condos for sale.

Where To Rent In Boston

Boston has several distinct neighborhoods, each with its individual benefits. So, it can be kind of challenging to choose the appropriate place for you to call home. For example, if you’re a Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center employee; Brookline, Fenway, and Jamaica Plain could all make ideal places to live.

Brookline is near several reliable public transportation routes, and is home to Coolidge Corner, a premier shopping area. Fenway is closest to the hospital and offers a vibrant nightlife with bonus points if you’re a Red Sox fan. Jamaica Plain is the most affordable of the three neighborhoods, and offers numerous parks and recreational areas, if you have a dog and wish to be social.

Popular and Attractive Boston Neighborhoods

Perhaps living near a hospital in the Longwood area isn’t a concern for you. If not, you may want to consider the neighborhood of Roslindale. You can find single-family homes, condos, or luxury apartments here quite easily. You may even want to save up to purchase a multiunit property, and rent out the space you don’t need.

Brighton is another up-and-coming neighborhood for young professionals in Boston. Several two-story homes here have been turned into condos. This makes an attractive option when you want your own space without the full responsibilities of home ownership.

Enjoy the Unique Combination of Luxury and History

Do you enjoy having all of the modern amenities within a building with history and character? If that’s the case, you need to check out Garrison Square in Boston’s Back Bay. The building itself sits in one of the most historic neighborhoods in the city. You will love the surrounding brownstone homes and the historic cobblestone streets you’ll travel daily. Protip: invest in comfortable walking flats.

The 105 units of Garrison Square have all the features you would expect in a luxury apartment complex. A rooftop terrace, private balcony, and breathtaking landscape features, name a few.

Whether you’re looking for luxury or practicality, we’re here to help. Longwood Residential offers our experience dealing in all sorts of rental properties within the parameters of Boston Metro. Please contact us today for a complimentary assessment.

Help #SavePurnell!

One of our awesome clients is going through something not so awesome recently, and we’d like to lend a helping hand, through the power of blogging and social media share their message. Help us help Taylor & Sam #SavePurnell by sharing this post! Thanks in advance! 

-Nick

~~~

From Taylor, Sam & Purnell:

Recently our 1-year-old son Purnell was diagnosed with a rare and fatal genetic disease, called Niemann-Pick Type A (NPA). It's uniformly fatal by the age of 3, and causes severe cognitive decline (like a baby Alzheimer's) typically beginning at age 15-18 months. This Friday Purnell turns 14 months. There is currently no treatment available.

BUT there is a promising gene therapy treatment within reach--it just needs funding. So my husband and I began a campaign <www.gofundme.com> that has gained the attention of local, national, and even international media. To date, we have raised over $500K (including offline donations), but we are racing the clock to reach our goal of $750K by June 30. 

All money raised goes directly to the Wylder Nation Foundation, <www.wyldernation.org> the 501c3 non-profit that is funding the gene therapy research. The money we raise goes toward saving not only our son Purnell, but to making treatment available to all babies afflicted with this terrible disease.

From Friday June 23 to Friday June 30, we are launching a massive final push #7days1goal to get to our goal of $750,000 by June 30. There are a TON of ways to help #SavePurnell during these 7 days, and not all of them require money!! :)

SOCIAL MEDIA:

  • Facebook Live 14-month Birthday Party 
    • This is our official #7days1goal launch event.
    • The sad truth is we don't know if we will get another birthday with Nell, so we are celebrating every month like it's the big day.
    • Please join us on the Save Purnell Today Facebook page <www.facebook.com/SavePurnellToday> on Friday, June 23 at 4:30pm EST to celebrate Purnell's 14-month birthday with us, live from our living room.
    • Share the event with your network.
  • Six Second Hug Challenge
    • Similar to the ice bucket challenge, we're hoping to go viral with videos of people hugging for 6 seconds. Tag 6 friends to post their own six-second hug video or donate $25 to #SavePurnell.
    • There is no treatment for Niemann-Pick Type A. The goal of this challenge is to raise awareness of the disease and our efforts to make a treatment available for Purnell and all other babies with this disease.

LOCAL EVENTS:

  • Saturday, 6/24: Middlesex Lounge (315 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA)
    • Food and drink for purchase; drink proceeds go to #SavePurnell
    • 50/50 raffle
    • 6pm-9pm
  • Monday, 6/26: West on Centre (1732 Centre St, West Roxbury, MA)
    • Neighborhood Nights--10% of all bills with attached coupon will go to #SavePurnell
    • 11am-11pm
  • Wednesday 6/28: Not Your Average Joe's (111 Pond St, Norwell, MA)
    • Not Your Average Cause--just mention #SavePurnell and 15% of the bill will be donated
    • 11:30am-10pm
  • Thursday 6/29: Wild Rover (61-63 Chatham St, Boston, MA)
    • Free apps, dj, some raffle items including Red Sox/Yankees tix, 50/50 raffle
    • 6pm-9pm
  • Friday 6/30: Blarney Stone (1505 Dorchester Ave, Dorchester, MA) 
    • Final event of the campaign.
    • Free apps, dj, raffle items, silent auction with BINcA students artwork, 50/50 raffle
    • 5pm-8pm

ONLINE SHOPPING:

We are so grateful for the support of the Boston community and beyond. We BELIEVE together we will #SavePurnell!

With Hope Always,

Sam, Taylor, and Purnell

Can I Buy A Home With No Money Down?

If you’re trying to buy a home, you may feel discouraged by the 20% down-payment that most lenders require. However, saving up for a 20% down payment on a six-figure home is simply unrealistic for many home buyers. You may qualify for a program that doesn’t require you to put any money down to purchase a home.

The most common programs include:

Credit Union Loans

Credit unions are owned by members instead of a board of directors. If you’re not already a member, consider researching local credit unions to see if you meet criteria. Some credit unions offer loans with no down-payment, to members with good credit who earn 80% or less of the median income for the area.

USDA loans

If you don’t need to live in Boston proper and are okay living in a town of less than 10,000 people, this loan could work for you. These are the criteria for a no-interest loan through the United States Department of Agriculture. The federal organization may also be able to help if you earn low or moderate income for your area.

VA loans

This program is for retired military members or their surviving spouse. You need an excellent credit score and a special appraisal to qualify for a Veteran’s Administration home loan with no money down.

Longwood Residential is Here to Help.

The city of Boston is currently on target to meet its goal of 53,000 new housing developments by 2030. We’re willing to do whatever it takes to match our clients with their perfect home. Consider attending one of our first-time home buyer seminars if you have never purchased a home. You may also want to think about other homeownership options, such as buying a condo. With determination, planning and having access to the right resources, home ownership can be a reality, much sooner than you think.

3 Tips To Sell My House Quicker

If you’re trying to sell your house quickly, skip the for sale by owner option. By going it on your own with a FSBO, you’re required to perform hours of research, just to determine a starting listing price. You’ll also have to supervise and control all of the other nuances that go with selling your home on your own. This includes arranging home showings and drafting a legal P&S (purchase and sales) agreement.

Here are three helpful tips that you can take opportunity of TODAY to help sell your house quickly:

1. Set a competitive asking price right from the start

Many sellers make the mistake of setting a price too high and then lowering it when the house fails to sell within a predetermined time. It’s important to understand that activity during the first 30 days of your house being on the market is the best you’re going to see. Starting out with a price that’s too high will delay the sale of your home unnecessarily. At Longwood Residential, we have years of experience establishing the right selling price for specific neighborhoods.

2. Don’t overlook the importance of preventative maintenance and curb appeal

Keeping up with your home’s maintenance means you won’t have to scramble when it comes time to sell. If you notice something needs repair, we recommend taking care of it before putting your house on the market. It’s also essential to enhance the view of your home from the street. Consider planting flowers, replacing the dented mailbox, or giving the front door a fresh coat of paint. Buyers won’t even stop to look if they’re already turned off before setting foot inside your home.

3. De-personalize your home

This will probably be hard to do, but it’s a necessary step. Buyers need to picture themselves living in the house, not you. If you need successful home staging ideas, just ask your Longwood Residential realtor.

Bonus Tip!

Work with an experienced Longwood Residential realtor! As our client, you will benefit from our many years of experience selling in the Brookline/Boston markets. When you list your home with us, you’ll have access to the best tools and helpful Realtors who can help you quickly get your home from just listed to blissfully sold.

How Much Apartment Can I Afford?

Budgeting for apartment rent isn’t always easy, especially when it’s your first time renting. For most people, rent or mortgage, food, and transportation take up at least 60% of their budget. The goal of this article is to help give you a baseline knowledge of this topic to establish your own personalized apartment budget.

When adding up your income, be sure to include or subtract the following, if applicable:

·       Salary

·       Bonuses

·       Royalties or rental income

·       Alimony or child support

·       Interest

·       Proceeds from a recent sale of a large item

As you balance your budget, try not to spend much more than 60% percent of your total income on rent, food and transportation. You will still need money for electricity, cable/phone, insurance, medical care, debt repayments, and if you’re lucky savings. Be sure to consider the cost of living in your preferred location when choosing your apartment. In Boston, many people enjoy the conveniences of urban living, such as public transportation and riding or walking to their workplace.

Your Annual Salary Should Be At Least 40 Times Your Monthly Rent

There’s no question that the cost of living is high in Boston. This is why many landlords require tenants to earn an annual salary that is at least 40 times the monthly rental rate. Assume that you and your spouse earn a combined income of $100,000 per year. Divide this figure by 40 to get the maximum you should pay for rent each month. In this case, it’s $2,500.

Consider Your Move-In Costs

Keep in mind that you almost always need to pay a security deposit when you move into your new apartment. It’s common for landlords to require the first and last month’s rent when you sign a lease, too. To offset these costs, look for special deals being offered. For example, a rental property manager may offer a free month’s rent when you sign a lease of at least one year. You also need to account for costs such as new furniture or professional moving assistance. Rest assured, the management at Longwood Residential will assist you in locating money-saving deals whenever possible.

What is a short sale?

You’ve probably heard of the term “short sale” if you’re looking to buy a home. However, many people don’t have a clear understanding of what a short sale really is. When you agree to complete a short sale with a seller, it means that the lender has given them permission to sell their home to you for less than what’s owed on it. Common reasons for this include the borrower’s inability to continue making payments or depreciated value on the property.

From the lender’s perspective, agreeing to a short sale is better than having to foreclose on the property. For sellers, going through with a short sale has less of an impact on their credit rating than a foreclosure, and it allows them to get out of a mortgage they can no longer afford.

A Short Sale Must Be Approved by the Lender

Now that you understand what a short sale is, it’s important to realize that the process doesn’t transpire just because the seller wants it to. The lender must approve of the short sale first, since it means they must accept less for the property than what is owed on it. The seller needs to submit proper documentation to the lender, proving that they can no longer keep up with their mortgage payments. Lenders tend to look more favorably on this practice, as opposed to someone just abandoning their property.

Benefits and Considerations of a Short Sale for Buyers

A short sale gives buyers the opportunity to acquire a home at fair market value without the same risk associated with purchasing a foreclosed property. However, it differs from a traditional real estate sale in several important ways:

  • It may take longer to complete a short sale because it’s more challenging to set a closing date -- lenders require significant documentation before agreeing to a short sale.

  • Buyers purchase the property “as-is,” which probably means they’ll have to invest additional money for repairs or remodeling.

  • The seller may have to pay some money at closing. If the buyer is unable or unwilling, the sale may fall through even though the lender approved it.

  • Inspection fees that a lender may cover in a traditional real estate sale are the buyer’s responsibility in a short sale.

Work with an Experienced Real Estate Agent if You’re Interested in a Short Sale

Purchasing a home via short sale can save you money, but it’s also complex. An experienced agent will anticipate challenges and know how to overcome them. Longwood Residential is available to help you navigate the home buying process. Your agent will help you evaluate all options, including Longwood condos and short sales.

How does rent-to-own work?

When looking to buy a home, rent-to-own can help you secure a property, even if you have poor or insufficient credit. People who are struggling to sell their home, or who would like to sell it to someone who may not qualify for a traditional mortgage, can also benefit from a rent-to-own arrangement.

Details of a Rent-to-Own Contract

Many people confuse rent-to-own with a lease-option contract, which is entirely different. In a lease-option, the person occupying the home and making rent payments has the right of first refusal if the house goes up for sale. He or she does not promise to buy it. A rent-to-own deal is a legal contract to buy. A rent-to-own deal is a contract between buyer and seller that typically extends one to two years into the future. The main difference is that it gives the buyer time to obtain acceptable financing and save for a down payment.

Buyers and sellers should include the following information in a rent-to-own contract:

  • The full name of each party, the property address, and the date of the agreement

  • The terms, including amount of rent, payment due dates, grace period, and late penalties

  • The contract should indicate how much of the rent goes towards the purchase price

  • If necessary; a pet policy may be included, as well as a utilities payment schedule, who can reside in the home, and who is responsible for property maintenance during the rental period

The amount of the “option consideration fee,” which is separate from a security deposit, should also be included in the rent-to-own contract. This fee is paid out to the homeowner in exchange for a written agreement to not sell the home to anyone else. When the buyer changes over from renting to owning, the entire amount of the fees collected by the seller should be subtracted from the purchase price.

If you’re interested in rent-to-own as a buyer or seller, please contact one of the Longwood Residential professionals for assistance.