Cambridge

The Boston Globe Names the 2018 Top Spots to Live in Greater Boston

In April 2018, The Boston Globe shared the list of towns outside of Boston with a high percentage of appreciation since 2012

With data pulled by the Warren Group, a real estate tracking firm based, The Boston Globe pulled together the list of best towns to live in outside of Boston for single-family homes based on four different price-points. The article also included information on mentioned listing of each town's median condo price, as well as expert information about each area that may help incoming residents decide where to move within in the Boston area.

Here are the top spots for the first two price-point tiers for single-family homes in Greater Boston:

First Price-point Tier: $1M+

  • Cambridge: $1,310,000; +59% change since 2012
  • Winchester $1,085,000; +55% 
  • Brookline $1,850,000; +54%

Second Price-point Tier: $750K-$1M

  • Jamaica Plain: $850,000; +80% change since 2012
  • South Boston: $790,000; +78%
  • Needham: $962,500; +43%

Visit The Boston Globe for the full article. 

5 Ways to Spend a Rainy Day in Boston

What to do on rainy days in Boston, Massachusetts

Although it can be nice staying inside on a rainy New England afternoon, the wet weather hardly spoils Boston's lively activities. The city and the Greater Boston area have a variety of local treasures worth exploring for everyone!

We've made a list of rainy day activities and suggested places to visit in Boston:

Get lost in an independent bookstore. There's nothing like finding a good book to curl up with and read on a rainy afternoon. The first step? Finding a new book or two. Grab a coffee-to-go and head to the local bookstore in your neighborhood. Trident Booksellers & Café in Back Bay has become a well-known Boston institute for book lovers. If you're looking for a large selection, the Brattle Book Shop is one of the oldest used booksellers in the country. 

Find a new cozy brunch spot. Rainy days in Boston present great opportunities to check out brunch places that you haven't been able to try because of the long lines that typically appear on sunnier days. The Paris Creperie's food truck makes its rounds through Boston, but their café in Brookline is well worth visiting with friends for fresh crepes and Nutella chocolate drinks. If you're looking for a healthier brunch option, head to Za, a restaurant that makes pizza and salad using seasonal, farm-fresh ingredients from local farms. Want more suggestions for brunch in Boston? Thrillist has you covered with the best brunches to try in Boston right now.

Hit the shops. Between Copley Place and The Prudential Center, you have plenty of stores to choose from to update your wardrobe. You'll find that there's a wide selection of luxury and contemporary brands available in Boston! If you're not in the mood to shop for clothes, you can always simply window shop or make your way to Barnes & Noble at the Prudential Center. 

Treat yourself to a spa day. If you know that your weekend plans may be rained out in advance, book a facial or massage in Boston! Take the opportunity to do some self-care and escape from stress for an hour or a half-day. We recommend Balans, the only all-organic spa in Boston, and Corbu at The Charles Hotel in the heart of Harvard Square. 

Check out the latest museum exhibits and explore Boston's smaller museums. Take advantage of living in Boston by exploring the incredible museums in the city! The Museum of Fine Arts (MFA), the Museum of Science and the Harvard Museum of Natural History are some of the larger museums that are more likely to have active, rotating exhibits, but it's also worth visiting the smaller historical treasures Boston has to offer. Trinity Church, the Nichols House Museum, and the Paul Revere House are centrally located in Boston and are only a short walk away from downtown shops and restaurants.

Local Cafés with Free WiFi in Cambridge

Explore local Cambridge cafés as options for places to meet up for coffee or get some work done 

There are coffee shop chains like Starbucks, Au Bon Pain, and Peet's in the area, but we want to share locally owned cafés to highlight the special spots to enjoy Cambridge.

Check out these amazing finds that offer free WiFi to paying customers:

barismo 364

Barismo's flagship location is the perfect place for coffee lovers. This coffee bar is passionate about roasting and tasting the best coffee possible! 

364 Broadway, Cambridge, MA, 02139

Dado

An Asian-inspired coffee and tea house, Dado is dedicated to serving healthy, organic and wholesome meals and beverages. 

50 Church Street, Cambridge, MA 02138    

955 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139 

Tatte Bakery & Café

There's WiFi at Tatte, but you'll find that the Cambridge favorite has a lot more to offer when you sit down at the table—enjoy pastries and dishes made with fresh, carefully-sourced ingredients while sipping a hot latte and getting some work done.

318 Third Street

101 Main Street

1288 Massachusetts Avenue 

205 Broadway

Zinneken's

Get hooked up to free WiFi and enjoy authentic Belgian waffles in Cambridge! 

1154 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138

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Romantic Restaurants in Boston

Have you thought about where to go for a special date night in Boston?

Whether you're looking to plan Valentine's Day dinner or surprise someone you love for no reason, these Beantown restaurants check all the boxes for a romantic evening. 

The Classics

It's no surprise that the highly-recommended romantic restaurants in Boston are French—after all, it is one of the most romantic languages and cultures in the world. 

  • L'Espalier, French, 774 Boylston Street, Back Bay
  • No. 9 Park, Italian/French, 9 Park Street, Beacon Hill
  • Bistrot du Midi, French, 272 Boylston Street, Back Bay 
  • Mistral, French, 223 Columbus Avenue, South End
  • Tasca, Spanish Tapas, 1612 Commonwealth Avenue, Brighton

The Newcomers

Spoke Wine Bar, 89 Bennet Square, Somerville

Spoke Wine Bar has been around since 2013, but has been under new management since April 2017. Late founder and original owner Felicia “Flea” Foster had stepped away from the restaurant in 2015 as she dealt with her amyotrophic laterals sclerosis (ALS) diagnosis. Spoke reopened last spring with new owner Mary Kurth and new executive chef Eric Frier who sought to combine their new ideas with well-loved Spoke's legacy. Foster, who passed away in October 2017, is remembered for her many accomplishments, fierce spirit and opening one of America's Top 20 Wine Bars and a Somerville neighborhood favorite. 

Benedetto, Italian, 1 Bennett Street, Cambridge (inside The Charles Hotel)

When The Charles Hotel made the decision to close Rialto in June 2016, shortly after the departure of chef and owner Jody Adams, the restaurant space was leased and replaced by Michael Pagliarini, chef and owner of Giulia. An Umbrian native, Pagliarini and his wife Pamela Ralston invite customers to "experience the re-imagining of rustic Italian recipes with luxe ingredients and artisan bravado." If the main plates aren't enough to entice you, perhaps Boston Magazine's review of the "enchanted sugarscapes" crafted by pastry chef Renae Connolly will hit your sweet spot. 

Café Du Pays, French-Canadian, 233 Cardinal Medeiros Avenue, Cambridge

The same restaurant group behind State Park, Mamaleh's and Hungry Mother—which closed in 2015—opened the new French-Canadian restaurant in July 2017. If the established restaurant collection doesn't indicate a positive future for Café Du Pays, the restaurant has earned 2017 Restaurant of the Year and 2017 Top Best New Restaurant. Not convinced enough to make reservations? Read this review.

Additional Recommendations

Check out the Boston Chefs website for a more comprehensive list of Valentine's Day restaurant specials.

A Guide to Apartment Living in Boston, MA

Decide where you want to live in Beantown

 

Boston has so much to offer, but depending on your workplace or your situation, those factors impact your decision on which neighborhood you would like to live in. Also, it may be worth considering living outside of downtown Boston. According to an interactive map created by the founder of Mobyus, a mobile shopping service, over 310,000 commuters live within 20 miles of Boston. There are a number of towns that are easily accessible to Boston via commuter rail or the T if you want to avoid traffic.

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Prioritize the amenities you need for your lifestyle

 

Outside of your workplace, it’s important to ensure that your needs at home are met. What luxury amenities are you looking for? Would you want to have access to a fitness center in your apartment complex or would you rather go to a gym in your neighborhood? Is a shopping center within walking distance or will you take the T to run your daily errands? Do you currently have a pet (or two!) or are you planning on having a pet in the future?


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Personalize your new space

 

Once you have found your perfect Boston apartment, it’s time to add personal touches to throughout the space. Incorporating vintage accents in a modern space is a common approach to decorating Boston apartments because it brings the character of the historical New England city in your home.

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Cambridge Apartments

If you want to live in a historic city with lots of modern attractions, consider Cambridge, Massachusetts. Its roots date back over 400 years, when it was a farming community. Since then, it has transformed into a national hotspot for biotechnology and intellectual pursuits. Some of the current attractions in Cambridge include:

  • Harvard University

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  • American Academy of Arts & Sciences

  • National Bureau of Economic Research

  • The Boston Museum of Science

  • Volpe National Transportation Systems Center

The city is also home to many historic sites. Two of these include the Abraham Watson House and the Aaron Hill House. When you rent Cambridge apartments, you’re close to everything you need. This includes restaurants for any palate or budget, history, technology, and medical centers. You’re also close enough to Boston proper to take in the many concerts and events that city has to offer.

Where to Find Apartments for Rent in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Longwood Residential rents and manages many of the area’s finest apartments. We also offer condos, townhomes, and private homes. If you know that you want to live in Cambridge, we encourage you to use our search feature to see everything we currently have available. You can search by property type, price, number of bedrooms or bathrooms, and specific amenities. Common searches include those close to public transportation, shopping, parks, and public schools.

When you rent in Cambridge, MA, you can expect to pay at least $1,600 per month. The rates go up depending on the number of bathrooms, bedrooms, and amenities. Longwood Residential offers numerous luxury accommodations with features such as swimming pools, fitness centers, business centers, concierge services, and much more. We are happy to assist you with locating the perfect Cambridge apartment. If you’re open to nearby communities such as Boston and Brookline, we have properties there as well.

Studio Apartments in Boston

A studio apartment is a rental unit with everything but the bathroom combined into one main room. It doesn’t contain any separate bedrooms. You may be interested in studio apartments for rent if you’re a single person who doesn’t require a lot of space; or are simply looking to save money. However, even studio rentals can provide luxurious accommodations. Longwood Residential rents and manages several luxury studio loft apartments that we encourage you to check out today.

How to Determine What You Can Afford to Spend on Rent

Food, transportation, and housing costs, make up nearly two-thirds of the budget for most people in the Boston area. However, financial experts recommend trying to cap these costs at 60%. With the high cost of living in Boston, we recommend that your annual salary be at least 40 times your monthly rent. This ensures that you can comfortably afford your monthly rent obligation. Be sure to look at all sources of income as well as all recurring and occasional expenses when creating your rental budget. Cheap apartments in Boston are hard to come by, but Longwood Residential studio rentals are your best bet in finding them.

Decorating a Small Apartment

Just because you rent a small space doesn’t mean you must give up your decorating style. Renters with limited space or funds can get quite creative in this department. Local flea markets are an excellent place to find vintage furniture, pottery, and glassware. You can even shop fabric stores to add chic style to curtains, older furniture, and other personal items in your studio apartment.

Where to Find Studio Apartments Near Me

Longwood Residential offers studio apartments in several of Boston’s finest neighborhoods. Please view our listings to learn more, or contact us directly with your questions. We will help you find the best small apartment for your price range, amenities desired, and neighborhood where you want to live.

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.

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.

Boston and Brookline Area News and Events thru September

If it comes as a shock to you that August is already here, take heart. There are still plenty of activities to participate in while it is still warm enough to leave your home without a jacket. Summer may be winding down, but events in Boston and Brookline (or some nearby cities) are not. Here is what’s on tap for late August and the whole month of September:

Find Your Park

July 22 to August 30

Brookline Public Library, First Floor, 361 Washington Street

To honor the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service this month, staff from the John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Frederick Law Olmstead historical sites are jointly hosting a public event. Some of the exhibits show the strong connection each site has with the federal national park system. A book truck will also be available with literature on each of the historic sites.

Restaurant Month in Brookline

The Fireplace Restaurant, 1634 Beacon Street, Brookline

While many nearby restaurants are celebrating Restaurant Week in mid-August, The Fireplace Restaurant is participating for the whole month. During August, diners can enjoy a three-course meal at $20 for lunch and $38 for dinner. This offer is available seven days a week.

Indignation

Opens Friday, August 5

Coolidge Corner Theater, 290 Harvard Street in Brookline

Based on a novel of the same name, the play Indignation is set in 1951 around the time of the Korean War. Marcus, a brilliant young Jewish man from a working-class family in Newark, heads to a conservative Christian college in Ohio to avoid being drafted. Once he gets there, love complicates everything. Tickets are just $11.25 for adults and $9.25 for seniors and children.

Arts on the Arcade

Fridays, August 5, 12, 19 & 26

Samuel Adams Park, 30 Germaina Street Jamaica Plain in Boston

Every Friday through the end of the month, Brookline residents can trek to nearby Jamaica Plain to leisurely look at works of art while enjoying live music from area bands.

Mamadou Diop Concert

Saturday, August 20, 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

City Hall Plaza, Boston, 1 City Hall Square

If you enjoy Mamadou’s popular songs I Am Me, Senegal, IBOU, or Sweet Susan, you won’t want to miss this event. He is well-known for West African music and his master rhythm guitar playing.

Dedham Square Coffeehouse Open Mic

Thursday, September 1, 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

565 High Street, Dedham

Have people always told you that you’re funny? Now is your chance to prove it. Dedham Square Coffeehouse, located about 8 miles from Brookline, is hosting an open mic night. Get your best comedy routine ready and give it a shot.

Central Square Art Share

Wednesday, September 14, 10:00 p.m. to Midnight

The Middle East, 472 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge

This free event is open to anyone age 21 and up. You can enjoy live DJs, drinks, dancing, and viewing the work of many local artists. Contact abby@mideastclub.com if you are interested in setting up an artist’s booth at this event.

Copenhagen Beer Celebration

Friday, September 23 and Saturday, September 24, Noon to 11:00 p.m.

City Hall Plaza, Boston, 1 City Hall Square

Beer enthusiasts will love this one. Dozens of the top names in the brewing industry will have their beers represented at this festival. You will appreciate the food and music as well.