Boston Neighborhoods

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.

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.

What Is My Home Worth?

When it comes time to sell your home, you’d obviously like to get as much as you can for it. For some people, the question “What is my home worth,” seems like an unsolvable mystery. Often times, we tend to assume our home is worth much more or less than it actually is. It often comes as a surprise to homeowners that land appreciates over time, while the physical structure occupying the land can depreciate over time.

Comparable Value

When determining your home’s worth, real estate agents first consider “comps,” otherwise known as comparable properties, which are other homes in your neighborhood that have recently sold. Your agent will likely use comps to prepare a CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) for you.

The steps to prepare your personalized CMA include:

  • Locate listings of homes that have sold in your immediate or nearby neighborhoods in the past six months.

  • Select three properties which are a close match to your home in terms of year built, square footage, size of lot, type of roof, style, and amenities. According to Home Guides, there shouldn’t be more than a 200-foot difference between your home and the comparable properties.

  • Consider whether your property is larger, newer, or has additional features from the compared properties. If so, your agent may choose to add to the price of your home. If not, they may opt to take some money off of the selling price.

  • Average the selling price of the three comparable homes, adjust accordingly, and set the price for your home intelligently.

The Option of Hiring a Home Appraiser

Sometimes it may be difficult for you and your agent to come up with an accurate selling price for your house. It’s possible that there haven’t been enough comparable properties sold around you in recent months. There may also be too much information to sift through, making this part of the process very time-consuming. A professional appraiser can work with challenging situations to come up with an accurate home worth.

Setting the Selling Price

After reviewing your home’s unique features and three comparable properties, it’s time for your agent to set a selling price. It’s a good idea to set the price a little higher than you expect to get, but not so high that it discourages buyers from bidding. This leaves room for negotiation on both sides. It’s common for real estate agents to suggest that clients should offer 5% less than what they plan to ask for their home. Of course, you would be free to respond to your agent with a counter offer.

Need Help Pricing and Selling Your Home?

We are available to help you with your home selling or buying needs. Please contact Mike today and let's get the process started!

Where is the Best Place to Live in Boston?

According to the website Best Places, Boston is the historic and intellectual capital of the United States. Many residents choose to live in Boston for that reason alone. It’s hard to find Boston’s culture and tradition anywhere else. It can be more challenging to figure out where is the best place to live in Boston. With a cost of living 70 percent higher than the rest of the U.S. and an average home price of $499,000, renting or buying a condo is a better option for a lot of Boston residents.

Condos Available in More Than a Dozen Boston Neighborhoods

Longwood Residential offers Longwood condos for sale in 14 different neighborhoods within the Boston city limits. Our prices are in line with the average condo price in Boston. Limited real estate availability and the desire to save money on purchasing a home are the main reasons people consider condo ownership. Lifestyle is another important consideration. You don’t have to spend your valuable free time mowing and maintaining your lawn. Our staff handles these chores as part of your homeowner’s association dues.

Many of our multi-unit condo towers offer amenities such as valet parking, an exercise room, room service, package delivery, and on-site stores. You have the convenience of a hotel but you get to stay there permanently.

Apartments in Boston

For some people who choose to live in Boston, renting an apartment makes more sense. They need the flexibility to move when the lease is up and may not be able to afford a house or condo. Longwood Residential manages several luxury apartment complexes in Boston. Many have the same upscale amenities as our condos. Please contact us to learn more or arrange a tour.

Sign Up for Our First-Time Home Buyer Program

It’s an exciting time when you decide to buy your first house. It can also be overwhelming. When you rented an apartment, you filled out an application, paid a deposit, and moved in. While the owners checked your financial stability and rental history, applying for a mortgage is much more involved.

You probably have numerous questions in addition to how to qualify for a mortgage. Longwood Residential’s first-time home buyer program can start to address your concerns at our free information session, which we hold periodically. In the market for Longwood Condos but not sure where to start? We'll post our next seminar on Facebook, so follow us there!

What to Expect at Our Free Home Buying Seminars

Longwood Residential hosts these events at our office. We are conveniently located at 1404A Beacon Street in Brookline. Here are some of the helpful topics we plan to address:

  • High-level overview of buying a home and the local real estate market Foyer of luxury home

  • Best practices for getting your offer accepted

  • Evaluating your financing options

  • Differences between buying and renting

  • What to expect during your home inspection

  • Expectations for closing

We also leave plenty of time to answer any questions from attendees. We understand that everyone has a unique situation that won’t necessarily fit into the general information we provide. You are welcome to contact a member of our team, if you have any immediate questions for us regarding buying or selling your home.

Education should be the first step on your exciting journey toward home ownership

Anyone interested in the home buying process is welcome to attend our free events! We just ask that you RSVP to info@longwoodresidential.com, or call us at 617-396-3100. Space for our first-time home buyer programs are limited, so reserve your spot today!

Features & Amenities of Luxury Apartments

Just because you choose to live in an apartment doesn’t mean you can’t have the same luxuries as someone who lives in a private home. In fact, your living quarters and amenities are often more luxurious when renting. As the management company for Longwood Condos, we also rent and manage several luxury apartments. You can find luxury apartment complexes managed by Longwood residential in both Boston and Brookline.

What Makes Our Apartments So Luxurious?

Luxury ApartmentsDefining luxury can be subjective. What one person considers a luxury amenity might be a necessity to someone else. At Longwood Residential, it’s our goal to make your life as easy as possible. This includes concierge service and package delivery at one apartment complex, a private pool and workout room at another, and heated underground parking at a third. It’s up to you to decide which amenities you need to live comfortably.

The size of your apartment and the view are additional factors that make it more luxurious than a typical rental situation. Many of our luxury apartment buildings offer high ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, and private balconies each unit.

Participate in Onsite Activities as Much or as Little as You Like

You become part of a community the day you become a resident at one of our upscale apartment buildings. You are welcome to choose to participate in building-sponsored events. There’s no obligation, and we have designed our units to provide maximum privacy for the times you wish to be at home, undisturbed by others.

Please contact us to learn more about available apartments at one of our many luxury apartment buildings in Boston or Brookline.

Awesome Longwood Condos for Sale

Before you pursue Longwood condos for sale, it’s helpful to review some basic information about condominium living. When you buy a condo, you own the entire inside of your unit. The condo association owns the exterior, common areas, and the land where the building sits.

You are not responsible for exterior maintenance as a condo owner. However, it’s important to budget for association fees in addition to your monthly mortgage payment. The money collected from all residents covers the cost of maintenance and repair in common areas such as hallways and meeting rooms.

Which Boston Neighborhood is Right for You?

One of the major benefits of Longwood condos for sale is that we have units available in multiple Boston neighborhoods. These include:

Of course, you need to consider several personal factors when deciding where you want to purchase a condo. Proximity to your work, quality of the school district, and access to public transportation are just three of the most important things to people looking to make one of these Boston neighborhoods their new home. You can search by neighborhood, price, MLS listing number, and other categories when trying to locate an available unit sold and managed by Longwood Residential.

Average Cost of Boston Condos by Square Foot

Our prices fall in line with those listed on a report released by Curbed Boston on January 5, 2017. With the new year just weeks old, prices range from $263 per square foot in the Hyde Park neighborhood to $1,467 per square foot for a condo in Back Bay. These figures include condos ranging in size from 812 to 3,247 square feet.

The analysis posted by Curbed Boston includes data from 10 distinct Boston neighborhoods. This is to give buyers an accurate idea of the average monthly payment for a Boston condo in place of using a mortgage calculator.

Featured Longwood Condos for Sale

With a presence in all 14 of the Boston neighborhoods listed above, Longwood Residential is sure to have a condo available to suit your needs. Below are just three of our luxury properties that could be your new home:

  • Ritz-Carlton Condos: Named for the hotel chain that offers such personalized service, the Ritz-Carlton Condos give you more of the same. Whether you’re interested in valet parking, room service, or wake-up calls, you can receive these services and more as a resident here. A picturesque view of the harbor completes the experience of condo living at its finest.

  • Mosaic on the Riverway: Want to live in a building with top floor club space? Then Mosaic on the Riverway is the place for you. Besides the serene view from high above the city, this building is conveniently located in the Longwood Medical Area.

  • Washington on the Square: When you want the convenience of a condo but don’t want or need a lot of space, consider a studio-sized unit at Washington on the Square. One and two-bedroom condo units are available as well. You don’t even have to leave home to exercise since the building comes equipped with a 24-hour fitness center.

Please contact us at your convenience to learn more about Longwood condos for sale.

Longwood Residential Condo CTA