Blog :: 2016

Preventative Maintenance for Your Older Home

The craftsmanship on homes built before the 1960s is superior to what you can find today. However, original heating and cooling, plumbing, and electrical wiring don’t fare so well. Owners of older homes should budget for unplanned repairs or replacement of major equipment. Creating a schedule of preventative maintenance for older homes is essential as well.

What to Include in Your Checklist of Preventative Maintenance for Older Homes

People didn’t have the expectation for indoor comfort when your older home was built that they have today. In fact, most didn’t have central air conditioning. If you don’t have the budget to install central air or the time to figure it out, a whole house fan will do. Place it in the ceiling on the second floor to get a breeze in each room of the house.

Many older homes have inefficient boilers installed. You will save money over time by replacing it with a more modern and energy-efficient heating system. Once installed, be sure to arrange for annual preventative maintenance. It’s also essential to change air filters quarterly.

Another problem with older homes is that they often have hot water pipes wrapped in asbestos. Since this material can cause serious health hazards, arrange for a professional HVAC company to remove it as soon as possible. An inexperienced person completing the job could cause you to have asbestos in the air of your home.

Upkeep of your wiring system is an important part of preventative maintenance for older homes. If your home has knob and tube wiring, plan to upgrade to a modern system. Older types of wiring are not always grounded, which means you could get a shock just by touching it.

Steel plumbing pipes prevalent in older homes clog easily from internal rusting. Plan to replace them if you don’t want to deal with frequent clogs or unexpected pipe bursting. Once the new pipes are in, use as little toilet paper as possible and don’t place anything in the toilet other than that to prevent future clogs.

Longwood Apartments: Luxury Properties for Rent in Brookline

As part of the Greater Boston area that is close to five other upscale neighborhoods, Brookline has much to offer renters. From the Coolidge Corner retail district to the active nightlife, you won’t be at a loss for things to do in this community. Fortunately for you, several luxury Longwood Apartments are currently available to rent.

Exclusive Longwood Apartments in Washington Square

Washington on the Square, which also goes by the name 1600 Beacon Street Condominiums, offers the upscale living you desire. It has studio as well as one and two-bedroom units. Some of the features you will enjoy inside of your apartment include granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. All bathrooms have been recently renovated. Some of the building’s features include concierge service and underground parking. You can also workout in its private 24-hour facility.

Just down the road from Washington on the Square is the 1440 Beacon Street Apartments. As a renter at this building, you will be close to Coolidge Corner. 1440 Beacon Street Apartments are within walking distance to the Green Line. With in-unit dishwashers, package receipt service, and wall to wall windows among its many amenities, you won’t want to miss these Longwood Apartments.

1443 Beacon Street Apartments are literally a stone’s throw from the 1440 building. Like its neighbor, the 1443 building is on the bus line. Additionally, it has a walkscore of 92%. That means you can walk to nearby shopping centers, medical facilities, grocery stores, and other businesses you visit on a regular basis. You will enjoy a life of luxury using the sundeck, pool, valet dry cleaning service, 24-hour concierge service, and other exclusive services for our renters.

Ready to make Brookline your new home? Just contact a representative of Longwood Residential today.

Retro Furniture Ideas for Your Brookline Apartment

Although you would love to decorate your living room with retro furniture, you’re not sure that you have room for it in your small Brookline apartment. Fortunately, this style of decorating has more to do with patterns and color than with size. For example, brown and creamy colors combined provide an understated throw-back look. Solid wooden furniture can be reupholstered with classic prints and make a fashion statement that will become the envy of your friends and family.

Other Popular Color Schemes for Retro Furniture

Both understated and bold are popular when it comes to choosing colors for retro furniture and household decorations. Purple and violet were the top color choices last year. Gold and silver accents were popular as well, and will always remain in style when used correctly. While bold checkered designs are all the rage, you don’t have to choose any style in particular just to achieve a retro look if you don’t care for it. The ideas are limitless.

A Unique Twist on Modern Design

A retro style can still work for you if you prefer your furniture and décor to look modern yet funky. When it comes to the shape of your eccentric furniture, be sure to think outside the box. A cube bookshelf with curved corners, or a magazine rack that has a letter cutout is different enough that you won’t get bored by the design. A tall skinny lamp with a brightly colored lampshade is another fun idea. You don’t have to select a lamp with a straight pole either; twists and curves give your space that retro look you’re after without blowing through your decorating budget.

Sometimes, all it takes is putting up a poster or painting of people from an earlier era to give a room that classic throw-back look. The “Camelot Era” is an especially appropriate time, since President John F. Kennedy originally hails from Brookline. Alternatively, you can’t go wrong with an oversized Warhol of Marilyn!

Preventive Home Maintenance

preventative home maintenancePreventative home maintenance just makes sense, especially when you consider that an unexpected repair can set you back thousands of dollars. For starters, rain gutters can eliminate many problems associated with excess moisture. However, you need to keep them free of leaves and other debris. You can prevent rotting wood by aiming the sprinkler away from the house. When you shower, turn on a fan or crack a window to prevent moisture from forming that leads to mold and mildew.

Weekly, Monthly, and Seasonal Preventative Home Maintenance Chores

Developing a schedule of preventative home maintenance tasks now is the best way to avoid costly repairs later. Every week, plan to remove all debris from window sills and around the foundation of your home. You should also vacuum all carpets. Some of the things you can do monthly include:

  • Vacuum heat registers, refrigerator coils, and vents
  • Pour boiling water down drains to ensure they are not clogged
  • Clean exhaust fan filter and blades in kitchen
  • If you have a frost-free refrigerator, clean its drain pan
  • Look for leaks on your dishwasher

If you discover issues such as a clogged drain or leaky dishwasher, find out which tools you need to repair them and attend to the job right away.

Prepare for the warm and cool weather seasons in advance by weather-stripping around doors and windows. Changing the filter on your air conditioner and furnace is also important. Be sure to check your wood-burning fireplace and gas heater as well.

You can prevent a tragedy by making it a point to change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors every spring and fall. Everyday safety habits, such as turning off appliances and not overloading power cords, can also prevent a costly emergency or serious injuries.

Condos in Brookline, MA

Brookline is an upscale, historic city best known as being the birthplace of President John F. Kennedy. Brookline MA condos don’t disappoint in their luxury, convenience, and number of amenities. If you’re looking to settle down in this community, here are some housing options to consider.

Brookline MA Condos and Apartments

The following condo community is available in Brookline:

Washington on the Square: This building has 11 stories and 125 units. They include a mix of studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom units. Each has hardwood flooring, granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, and other luxury amenities. The building is located within a five-minute walk of grocery stores, restaurants, and entertainment. Concierge service, a fitness center, and an on-site laundry facility are just three of its many amenities.

These luxury apartment buildings are also located in Brookline:

1440 Beacon Street Apartments: This newly renovated building has 136 studio and one-bedroom units. It is conveniently located next to the Green Line if you need to take public transportation into the city. Some of the unique amenities include package receipt, a fitness center, heated underground parking, and wall to wall windows.

1443 Beacon Street Apartments: With a walk score of 92 percent, nearly everything you could need in the Brookline area is accessible by foot. The building offers a sundeck and pool, 24-hour concierge service, valet dry cleaning, and much more. 1443 Beacon Street Apartments has one, two, and three-bedroom units. Availability for the three-bedroom apartments is currently limited.

If you’re considering living in Boston proper, several condo buildings are available there. Please see our Hot Boston Condos blog for more details.

Hot Boston Condos

Living in a condo in Boston has many perks. You get the benefits of owning your property without the same responsibilities of home ownership. Several hot Boston condos have recently opened or are scheduled to open soon. It is only a matter of choosing which one best meets your needs.

Could One of These Hot Boston Condos Be Your Next Home?

Longwood Residential can help you arrange a tour of any of the following buildings: forecaster 121 hot boston condos

Forecaster 121

As part of the historic Bullfinch neighborhood, Forecaster 121 offers 80 condo units in a refurbished warehouse setting. You will enjoy private gathering rooms for personal use, meeting rooms for business use, and amenities such as private balconies, a fitness center, and valet services. One, two, and three-bedroom units are available for purchase.

Longwood Towers 

This building merges contemporary design and classical architecture in a uniquely Boston style. Just a few blocks from Coolidge Corner, Longwood Towers offers wash machines and dryers in each unit, a resident lounge, on-site fitness center, and several other amenities. One and two-bedroom units are available to rent or buy.

millenium towerMillennium Tower

This luxury condo building just opened this summer. In addition to amenities such as a children’s play area and executive lounge, you have access to the lifestyle network La Vie. This enables you to attend exclusive events such as wine tasting and live shows. Grocery and fine apparel shopping is available within the building as well.

Mosaic on the Riverway

As the first residential building in the Longwood Medical Area in 10 years, Mosaic on the Riverway has top floor club space, a package delivery room, a 24-hour maintenance hotline, and much more. The building opened earlier this year. Its 85 units are evenly split between private condos and affordable housing needs.

pierce boston condos fenway hot boston condosPierce Boston Condo

As the tallest residential building in the Boston Fenway area, Pierce Boston Condo will open in the winter of 2017. The lower floors include retail space for the ultimate in convenience. A roof deck pool, concierge services, and private fitness club are some of the other amenities. Units range from junior one bedrooms to penthouse suites.

Ritz-Carlton Condos

When you buy or rent a condo here, you will enjoy many of the same services that you would as a guest in a Ritz-Carlton hotel. Some of these include room service, valet parking, wake-up calls, and cleaning services. One, two, and three-bedroom units are currently available to rent or buy. Floor to ceiling windows provide an amazing view of the harbor below.

These hot Boston condos won’t be available long, so we urge you to check them out today.

Vintage Decor for your Boston Home

What is old is new again. At least that is the case with vintage décor and retro furniture for apartments and homes in the Boston area. If you’re old enough to remember growing up in a house where everything was green and orange, don’t panic. Today’s style may lean towards those colors, but not in the same dramatic way. A green vinyl chair in the kitchen or a desk chair in a cheery orange color may be all you need to look chic.

Decorate Your Bathroom in a Unique 1950s Style Vintage Decor

Light colors such as pastel pink, turquoise, or a cream and white combination give your bathroom that old-time look while still being making it appear inviting. A perfectly circular mirror and a claw foot bathtub make you feel like you’re stepping back more than half a century without ever leaving your home. You can round off the retro look with tiled flooring, a fluffy shag rug, or a lamp with a rounded shade.

Don’t Forget to Make Lighting Part of Your Vintage Home Décor

Chandelier lamps add a touch of class while standing lamps give you endless decorating possibilities. You can even add a string of lights in different colors to create a personalized living environment. Tall floor lamps make excellent vintage décor because you can dress them up in any style you like. A lava lamp is perfect if you’re trying to re-create the hippie era.

Your Living Room Can Be Unforgettable

Most people try to match their living room furniture, but you want to be a little different. Consider buying sofa pieces in bright contrasting colors and push them together. It will bring the room to life and leave quite an impression on people. When it comes to vintage décor, your home can be your personal painting canvas.

Boston Housing Report

According to an April 2016 Boston housing report issued by Mayor Martin Walsh, the city is on target to meet its goal of creating 53,000 new units of housing by 2030. To that end, the city approved building permits for 565 new housing units during the second quarter of 2016. That brings the total to over 17,000 housing units developed in just the past two years. This is already nearly one-third of the original goal.

The Fast Growth of Boston

Mayor Walsh states that the population of Boston is growing faster than at any other time during its history. There is more new construction taking place now than there has been for the last 20 years. The demand is high for all types of housing, including rental properties.

The monthly rent in older buildings has remained steady, while studio and one bedroom apartments are seeing the largest increases. However, much depends on the location of the rental property. Back Bay, Beacon Hill, the Central District, Mattapan, and the South End have only seen marginal rent increases in the past two years.

Boston Housing Report and the Greater Boston Economy

The economy is strong in Greater Boston. Because of this, young people are moving to the area to start careers and families. An unemployment rate that is less than five percent makes means that people have stable income to pay rent or a mortgage.
The 2015 Greater Boston Housing Report Card estimates that two-thirds of all new housing developments will be multi-family units. This is good news for people looking to settle in Greater Boston who might not be able to find a place to live otherwise.

For Sale By Owner: Why Should I Work With A Real Estate Agent?

You may be considering selling your house on your own because you think it will save you time and money. In reality, going it alone usually ends up costing you more of both. Realtors are experienced at establishing competitive selling prices because they have access to updated sales data, financing terms, and other essential details of homes selling in your immediate vicinity. Without access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), your asking price could be off as much as 40 percent. According to a 2015 National Association of Realtors study, homes sold by realtors sell for an average of $27,000 more than those sold by the owner!

Real Estate Agents Offer a Professional Marketing Plan

Selling a home today is different than your parents’ generation. While putting up a yard sign and an ad in the newspaper may have been enough then, 88 percent of people looking to buy a home today conduct their search online. Other things to consider are that realtors have professional connections in the industry who might send an interested buyer your way. They also have years of experience in creating marketing plans to get your house sold.

One Word: Paperwork

Industry regulations and mandatory disclosures make for a lot of paperwork and this has only increased over time. After getting through the appraisal, inspection, and negotiation with the buyer, you still have a mountain of paperwork to sign at the closing. These forms can be difficult for someone without real estate training to understand, which means you could end up signing legally binding documents that are not in your best interest.

Selling your house is a major transaction that requires the guidance of a professional realtor. If you’re set on for sale by owner, consider sitting down with an agent first to see what he or she can offer you.

Boston Concerts and Shows in October

With its impressive musical scene, Boston has a lot of culture to offer. Several Boston concerts are coming up in October in several different genres and venues. No matter which type of concert you prefer, you’re sure to find something that is music to your ears.

Boston Concerts in October

September 23—October 2
Boston Lyric Opera presents Carmen
Boston Opera House 
539 Washington St., Boston MA

September 23—October 10
Celebrity Series of Boston presents Play Me, I'm Yours: Street Pianos Boston
Piano locations

September 9—October 16
Sunday in the Park with George
Huntington Theatre
264 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02115

September 2—October 9
Company
The Lyric Stage Company of Boston
140 Clarendon St, Boston, MA 02116

September 29—October 1
Andris Nelsons conducts Strauss' Der Rosenkavalier featuring soprano Renée Fleming
Boston Symphony Orchestra
301 Massachusetts Ave, Boston, MA 02115

Saturday, October 1, 8:00 p.m.
Lauryn Hill: A Diaspora Calling
Citi Performing Arts Center Wang Theatre
270 Tremont Street, Boston, MA  02116
Lauryn Hill is a well-known hip-hop artist with a strong rhythm and blues sound.

Saturday, October 1, 8:30 p.m.
Green Day
House of Blues
15 Lansdowne Street, Boston, MA  02115
Green Day is a punk and alternative rock band that enjoys experimenting with its sound.

Thursday, October 6, 8:00 p.m.
R Kelly
TD Garden
100 Legends Way, Boston, MA  02114
Robert Kelly, who goes by the stage name R Kelly, sings mostly reggae music.

Tuesday, October 11, 7:30 p.m.
Sum 41 & Senses Fail
House of Blues
15 Lansdowne Street, Boston, MA  02115
Sum 41 is an alternative rock bank while Senses Fail is a hardcore rock band.

Sunday, October 23, 8:00 p.m.
Lupe Fiasco
Wilbur Theatre
246 Tremont Street
Boston, MA  02116
Lupe Fiasco sings mostly rap music with a blend of hip-hop added to the mix.

Tuesday, October 25, 8:00 p.m.
Colbie Caillat
Wilbur Theatre
246 Tremont Street
Boston, MA  02116
As a singer, songwriter, and acoustic guitarist, Colbie Caillat is best known for producing pop and folk music.

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Tickets for most of these concerts are available at Ticketmaster or Stubhub.