Thursday, May 24, 2012

Boston Home Spotlight

Beautifully designed Southwest corner unit with abundant natural light and views of Boston’s downtown. Granite counters and stainless steel appliances. Built in premium stereo and TV. Outside deck overlooking the Boston skyline, Custom House, and the harbor. Access to a beautifully appointed common roof deck with 360 degree views of the entire city and bay. Underground garage parking and 24 hour doorman.

Harbor Towers’ 624 residential units – one-bedroom to spacious penthouses, many with balconies -- feature extensive open space at water’s edge, marina, pool, and 24/7 concierge service and security. The spare, elegant towers sit at two addresses on India Wharf, at a location rich in Boston’s maritime history.

This is convenient urban living with a community feel, in a city that has become as attractive to residents as it is to professionals and office employees.
Harbor Towers is close to the Financial District, the MBTA public transit, and Interstate 93 north and south, as well as I-90 east to Logan airport and points west. Parking is available in an adjacent garage, and water transportation is available.
Within walking distance of Harbor Towers are hotels, restaurants, and some of the nation’s premier tourist attractions, like the New England Aquarium, Faneuil Hall Marketplace, and the Freedom Trail.

And now Harbor Towers has two “front doors” – both the beautiful harbor and the newly completed Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway, a 30-acre corridor of parks and open space that took the place of a highway now tucked out of sight underground.

A promenade around Tower 1, on the water’s edge, is a link of the 47-mile Boston Harbor Walk that frames its waterfront neighborhoods.

There is an increasingly popular trend for vacation home buyers to purchase property closer to home. The past decade saw quite a different situation as individuals typically would look to localities such as Florida or even Las Vegas for a vacation home. The notion of a shorter drive to a property that is possibly even within their own State is becoming far more attractive of an option than the more expensive and time-sensitive air travel is.
Jed Kolko, the chief economist at Trulia Inc., mimicked this insight, however it is true that vacation home sales are not just improving on the local level but are nonetheless still rising in popularity again in the aforementioned locations of Florida and Nevada. The whole purpose of a vacation home has focused on the fact that people want a place that is great for adults with plenty of activities for children that they may perhaps one day retire to. However, the status quo today seems to be heavily weighing the importance of proximity to one’s hometown.
Being able to constantly visit a vacation home perhaps more frequently than they would if it was a long plane ride away is crucial in the minds of today’s vacation home buyers. This coupled with the fact that owners will be able to sustain and keep an eye on their own property, especially in case of emergency or when making improvements. A recent survey from showed that for 2012, today’s buyers in this market segment were inclined to purchase a vacation home that was a drive of four hours or less from their current home. 91% of these prospective buyers also plan on renting these properties out for the short-term which makes the close range of options a solid investment for their future.
According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), in 2010 the average annual income for an individual purchasing a vacation home was $99,500 whereas in 2011 this number fell to $88,600. People become far more careful and are taking into consideration travel expenses, both time and money, more than ever before. In addition, the value of vacation homes has also dropped down to $121,300 for the end of 2011 which is 19% less than they were averaging in 2010.
Further evidence to the claim that proximity of one’s vacation home is the first priority of business is the incline in gas and airfare prices. From December of 2011 when they dropped to $3.23, a ten month low, prices have now been steadily fluctuating although overall going on an upward trend. Air plane tickets, on the other hand, have skyrocketed. Looking at the entire year’s averages that were gathered for 2010 and 2011, the jump between the two years was a lofty 14% increase.
This all summates to the foregone conclusion that distance is key. With people who live in and around the great city of Boston, there are many vacation home options. Many individuals who live in or near a city will have destinations to escape to surrounding it. However, Boston in particular has an array of desirable attractions for vacation homes, all within that key proximity distinction of roughly two hours or less. From the Massachusetts family-friendly sanctuary of Cape Cod, to going on an outdoor adventure in New Hampshire, or how about looking to vacation in Vermont with its sprawling hills and mountains, or even Maine for a quiet romantic getaway; there are countless options. We at Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty are highly connected and experienced throughout the New England region. With our local clients becoming increasingly inclined to look to invest in the Northeast, there is no firm more well rounded and prepared to find you not only the local home that you need, but the vacation home that you have only dreamt about.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

What Back Bay Apartments Have to Offer

If Boston is the hub of the universe, it is so because of Boston's Back Bay. Steps away from the financial district, the Back Bay boasts the classically beautiful Boston Public Library, the historic Trinity Church, and is home to the Berklee College of Music, America's first college devoted to the study of contemporary music. You can watch the end stretch of the Boston Marathon from your window, shop at the Prudential, or walk down to the Boston Common in nearby Beacon Hill.

The cost of Back Bay apartments is partly due to the vital institutions clustered in Back Bay. The other reason, according to popular lore, is of the peril of building in Back Bay. The neighborhood was developed upon filled in swampland, and it's said that building in the area is tricky due to the problems of building a foundation into such ground. But don't let that dissuade you- if you are patient and resourceful, Back Bay apartments are available at prices that won't cause severe sticker shock.

shopping in the off-season might help you find unusual deals. Boston's real estate market is heavily influenced by the movement of students in and out of the area. If you're looking in August, you will be more likely to face busy property managers and landlords who have many prospective tenants. Also, if you are flexible in your requirements, it broadens what you can get within your budget. Many Back Bay apartments are small walk-ups, as they are older buildings. There are spacious modern apartments with every conceivable luxury available in Back Bay, but the charm of Boston's Back Bay is often in the cozier spaces.

The Importance of Buyer Representation in Boston Real Estate

Why should it be essential to have representation as a Buyer in the fast paced real estate market in downtown Boston? First, lets start by clearing the air on the myth that if a Buyer goes directly to the listing agent they will likely get a better deal on the home. NOT THE CASE......The Seller is paying the whole commission whether one (Listing) agent is involved or two (Buyers) agents are involved.

In fact you, as the Buyer, may get a better deal on the home when represented by a Buyers Agent because this agent is working directly for you to help streamline the process while providing advice on a homes fair market value. I can't imagine the Sellers Agent is going to advise you to pay anything else but the asking price...It's their job to get the Sellers the most money as possible, not to save you money!! The one that wins here is the Sellers Agent who gets to pocket the full commission.

With information overload on the Internet it's sometimes hard to fully understand real estate values. As one client vehemently stated, "I have information" I responded, "Well I have knowledge" and off we went. Ultimately he purchased a home for $20,000.00 less than the information online had suggested he pay.

Who represents who in a real estate transaction?

Buyer beware, you need to understand who represents who in a real estate transaction. The laws have changed so much in Massachusetts that even the realtors have a hard time understanding the rules.

Types of Licensee/Consumer Relationships

    1. Seller Agency - Real estate agent represents seller on client basis and treats buyer as customer. Seller agent's duties to seller include "OLD CAR".
    2. Buyer Agency - Real estate agent represents buyer client in real estate transaction
    3. Dual Agency - a real estate agent who represents both the seller and buyer in the transaction is a disclosed dual agent with written informed consent of both the buyer and the seller. A Dual Agent has a duty of confidentiality and accounting to both parties. Undisclosed dual agency is illegal. Reasonable Care and Skill will apply in the real estate transaction.
    4. Facilitator- Also known as a Non-Agent or Transaction Broker/Salesperson. The Facilitator works to complete the transaction. Although bound by license law and MGL Ch. 93A, they do not have a fiduciary relationship with the seller or the buyer. They do not represent either party in the transaction. The Facilitator must disclose all known material defects that exist. Failure to do so could result in a Chapter 93A violation. Their duties consist of accounting and any other Facilitator duties undertaken. Facilitator's has no required duties to seller and/or buyer A Facilitator is obligated to fulfill all the duties of "A" ("Accountability") pursuant to the Massachusetts Real Estate License Law.
    5. Designated Agent- A real estate licensee who has been specifically appointed or designated by the broker with whom they are affiliated to individually represent a specific client (either a buyer or seller) when selling or buying real estate. The designated agent has full duties of agency ("OLD CAR") to the client while all other licensees of the firm the Designate Agent is associated with do not represent the buyer or seller and could very well represent the other party to the transaction.

Finding the Right Boston Real Estate Agent

It's very interesting how real estate agents claim they are all #1, the "top producer" or "expert in the field." If all are #1 then who is everyone else? Real Estate agents seem to have one of the lowest levels of respect among business executives and other licensed professionals.

After all, aren't real estate agents responsible for some of the most expensive transactions in the world? Or at least in your world? Someone who purchases a $100,000 home I am sure has never purchased a $100,000 car! Trusting an individual like a real estate agent with the most expensive purchase one may ever make in their lives should be looked at very seriously.

I have been practicing real estate since 1993 and will never claim to be #1, but can certainly say I feel that I am an expert in the field of real estate in Boston.

With the surge of online agencies and discount brokerage firms, I am certain buyers and sellers are in the dark with regard to the qualifications of their agent. People think that if the card they have says CNS or CAS, they must be really qualified. FYI, they are not. Look into the real estate agent you are talking to, ask for a resume, ask for references etc. After all in most cases, you are allowing someone to trade your most valuable possession!

Boston Waterfront Real Estate For Sale!

Looking for Boston Real Estate? Are you considering the Historic North End/Waterfront neighborhood? If so you should really check out this new condominium home just listed for sale on one of the areas most sought after streets.

Come home every day to a truly amazing condominium unlike anything in the city. This architecturally designed one of a kind condo features 2 bedrooms, plus an office/den, 2 full baths and is thoughtfully designed with an open kitchen and a large breakfast bar. Enjoy the original exposed brick walls and beamed ceilings. It also features a huge master bedroom with a custom walk in closet, loads of storage space, many windows allowing for wonderful sunlight and a large private terrace with views overlooking the North End.
Fulton Street maintains the old world charm of the Wharf District of years past, with exposed brick walls and massive exposed beam timbers. Tree lined with gas lights, this wide street offers an open airy feel within walking distance to the Financial District, Christopher Columbus Park on Boston Harbor as well as all of the major attractions of the North End and the Freedom Trail.
This is truly a unique opportunity to live in the city.

Essentials in Choosing a Qualified Real Estate Agent to Represent You

The topic has just come up again at my office during our weekly "Office Open Forum" where we discuss the happenings in the Boston Real Estate Market. What we have found is quite remarkable. Of all the sales closed through our office, the majority are through agents from outside the general marketplace. What does this mean? The internet as it relates to real estate these days is enormous and has had a profound impact on how we conduct business. PLEASE, get to know a licensed professional that is familiar with the marketplace you are looking for a new home in. A true professional will state that he/she does not have expertise in a particular area and refer you to someone who does.

I have a huge network of real estate professionals to reach out to all over the world and more specifically, right here in your own back yard. Let's say you're looking for a house in Northboro Ma. and not familiar with the area. Call me and I will put you in touch with a market expert in the towns you are searching for. Don't just rely on whoever answers the phone or returns an email.

If you were looking into back surgery would you go online and choose someone who states to be the best, or would you seek out advice from other professionals and/or friends for guidance? Something to really consider when contemplating the most expensive purchase in your life.

"I have had the distinct pleasure of working with Chris on several real estate transactions that he was involved in as both, a listing agent and a buyer’s agent and found him to be exceptionally thorough, diligent and overly conscientious of his client’s objectives. He also has a keen sense of current market conditions which serves as a tremendous asset when he is negotiating on his client’s behalf. And, he approaches the resolution of any issues that arise in a very practical manner so as not to compromise the transaction but at the same time attaining his client’s objectives at hand." Atty. Michael Z.

Boston Featured Real Estate: Classic Back Bay Elegance

Beautiful and bright full floor duplex penthouse with 2 car parking, 2 BR/2.5 BA, plus study/den, multiple patios w/Prudential views, living room with fireplace and terrace, magnificent kitchen with new appliances, granite counters, and large dining area. Hardwood floors, skylights, washer/dryer, large storage room. Exclusive roof rights with this unit. Penthouse and two full floors makes for a serene living environment - Near T, shops, restaurants, Charles River. A very special property!

What is Happening in the Condominium Market? Hubway Is Open for Business Again

It all started right here in Boston’s South End neighborhood back in 1962 with a woman, Betty Gibson, who transcended all preconceived notions about what it meant to be successful in the field of real estate. This polarizing stance that the firm established from the beginning of relentlessly striving to exceed the clients expectations has led to our now heralded history of quality service at Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty.

Today, it is certainly true that inventory levels are quite low. Regardless, this has not hindered the continuous high levels of demand that the real estate market is experiencing, be it both in Boston and in the surrounding suburbs. There are many factors contributing to this pent up demand such as the countless first-rate Colleges and Universities, the world-renowned hospitals, and the many developing industries and global corporations flocking to the area. Other noteworthy elements of the area include the historic, beautiful and casual lifestyle that all Bostonians enjoy with the vast amount of activities, popular sporting events, and fine dining options. Every bustling, energetic corner complete with contemporary high-rise buildings border the quaintest, weathered cobblestone-lined streets, this is what makes Boston so special.

All of the above are the core ingredients that have placed Boston real estate above and beyond the comparable numbers realized in other locations nationwide. Whilst always approaching our business with passion, up to date market knowledge and white glove service, Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty is strategically placed with 8 office locations within and around Boston comprising of 200 agents and other real estate specialists to best suit your specific needs

While still being located in the South End where the foundation of the Sotheby’s brand in Boston began, it is also here where our marketing team is based out of. With 42 countries and over 500 offices worldwide that make up the Sotheby’s network, our marketing professionals constantly are coming up with bright new ideas and strategies as to how to best advertise your home both at the local level and abroad to our all of our affiliates and their extended spheres of influence. It all starts with our Marketing Director whose years of valuable experience leads a group consisting of a professional photographer, an online media associate, a graphic designer and copywriter, as well as other individuals tasked with everything from producing print material to writing our daily blog updates, press releases and more. The dedication to marketing that the owners of Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty have committed heightens the success our agents achieve and the breadth of exposure your home will undoubtedly receive.

During the economic times of late, coupled with the firm level of high demand for real estate, there is no firm more eager, willing, and experienced in The Greater Boston Area. When it comes to professionally preparing, marketing and selling your home ensuring that you get every penny you and your property deserve, look to the ones whose passion for real estate and commitment to putting clients first runs unrivaled in the field, Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty