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Bushari Group Welcomes Amy Carlisle

Amy Carlisle Bushari Group Real EstateBushari Group Real Estate is proud to welcome Amy Carlisle to the Boston Luxury Real Estate team.

Amy is a dedicated and passionate sales and leasing specialist who consistently offers each client her undivided attention. Having lived in each borough of Boston over the past ten years, Amy has an unparalleled understanding of what each neighborhood has to offer. This knowledge has enabled Amy to accurately guide and educate her clients through every detail of the buying and selling process. Amy prides herself in being a committed leader to her clients and is known for her enthusiasm, attention to detail, communication skills and high level of service and professionalism.

Originally from Waterford, CT, Amy moved to the Boston area to attend the University of Massachusetts Boston. Nearly six years ago, Amy found her start in real estate and has continued to rise to the top of her field. Amy currently resides in South Boston. In her free time, Amy enjoys yoga, horror movies, and watching reality television.

Click HERE to Read Reviews from Amy’s past clients on Zillow.

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“The Year of Millennium Tower” – Are you ready Boston?

Millennium Tower Boston2014 will be “The Year of Millennium Tower,” according to its developer Millennium Partners, who most recently built the uber successful Millennium Place on 580 Washington Street in Midtown Boston. I would have to agree. Boston seems desperate for a new luxury condo building as the inventory of Boston luxury condos drags at historic lows.

Millennium Tower Boston will set a new standard in Boston luxury living. Millennium Tower will be Boston’s tallest residential building to date, rising more than 600 feet out of the old Filene’s location in Downtown Crossing. Featuring almost 500 luxury condos, approximately 200,000 sq. ft. of prime retail space and nearly 550 garage parking spaces, Millennium Tower will usher in a new era of contemporary elegance for Midtown Boston.

Designed by Handel Architects, LLP, the $616 million Millennium Tower project will delicately preserve the Burnham Building, offering a spectacular blend of old and new Boston architecture.

Completion of Millennium Tower Boston is set for 2016, but reservations could start as early as May 1st! To stay updated on news about Millennium Tower Boston from Bushari Group Real Estate, please register at our new Millennium Tower website.

Find more information about Millennium Tower Boston:

Millennium Tower Boston – Newest Renderings Released

Millennium Tower Boston – Ground Officially Broken

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3 Gorgeous Boston Luxury Condos For Sale

Considering purchasing a luxury condo in Boston? Check out these spectacular 2-3 bedroom homes to get a taste for prime offerings at some of Boston’s top luxury condo buildings.
The W Boston U21GThe W Boston: 110 Stuart St. Unit 21G $2,350,000
2 Beds + Study, 2.5 Baths
1,872 Sq. Ft. and Garage Parking

The views from this 2 bedroom + study at The W Boston are simply breathtaking. When I say breathtaking, I mean absolutely spectacular, picture-perfect views of the State House, Charles River and Boston Skyline. In the true fashion of Boston luxury living, the expansive living space features floor-to-ceiling windows that flood the home with natural light. Enjoy all the luxury amenities of The W Hotel as well as private storage, 24-hour concierge and valet parking.

Four Seasons BostonThe Four Seasons Boston Residences: 220 Boylston St. Unit 1008 $2,300,000
2 Beds, 2 Baths
1,807 Sq. Ft. and Garage Parking

The Four Seasons Boston Residences offers some of the most sought after real estate in the Back Bay. This spacious, corner luxury condo features an open floor plan and superior craftsmanship. Residents of The Four Seasons Boston enjoy 24-hour concierge services and full access to all of the services and amenities of the world-class Four Seasons Hotel. Additional private storage and one garage parking space is included.

Intercontinental Boston Luxury CondoThe Intercontinental Boston: 500 Atlantic Ave Unit 19B $2,250,000
2 Beds, 2.5 Baths
1,593 Sq. Ft. and 2 Valet Parking Spaces

The Intercontinental Boston Residences is one of the most prestigious Boston luxury condo buildings. Built on the Boston Waterfront in 2006, The Intercontinental Boston offers residents breathtaking Boston Harbor and city skyline views. This spacious, corner unit features an open layout and large master suite. Residents enjoy all the fine services of the Intercontinental Boston Hotel as well as a 24-hour concierge. This home includes private storage and two valet parking spaces.

Are you looking for the newest Boston Luxury Condo project? Register for exclusive updates for Millennium Tower Boston today!

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Reserve Your Seat Today! Spaces Filling Up Fast for our Boston Home Seller Seminar and Brunch

iStock_000015158241LargeGet Ready for the Spring Market! Please join Bushari Group Real Estate, Guaranteed Rate Mortgage and Ligris & Associates, P.C. to learn more about selling a home in the current Boston area real estate market. If you are even considering selling your home in the next two years, this seminar is for you. Bring the kids and nosh on a delicious bagel brunch. Complimentary childcare provided on-site.

Seating is limited and space is filling up quickly, so please contact Mara Bushari today to reserve your spot. Email Mara Bushari or call 617-981-0209.

Where: Bushari Group Real Estate

234 Clarendon Street, 4th Floor

Boston, MA 02116

When: Sunday, March 2nd from 9:30am – 11:30am

Discussion Topics:

- The Top Strategies for Selling in the Current Boston Real Estate Market

- Implications of Interest Rate Fluctuations and New Construction

- Staging Tips and Pricing Techniques

- Things to Consider Prior to Listing Your Home

- Closing Costs and Legal Issues to Consider

- Possible Financing Challenges and Expectations

*Parents must remain on-site while children are in childcare. Please RSVP to reserve space.

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How To Compete With Cash Offers

Boston Real Estate OfferAre you one of the thousands of buyers looking to purchase a home in Boston or the surrounding suburbs? If you need a mortgage to do so, I am going to make a small assumption that you are, well, just a BIT frustrated. Not only is inventory historically low, but every home you bid on seems to be swept up by cash buyers. It can often be incredibly difficult to compete with cash offers – but it can be done. Here are a few tips to make your next offer more appealing.

1. Inspect Before You Bid – That’s right, get an inspection before you even put in an offer. That way you will know exactly what you’re getting into and the seller will feel more confident that there won’t be any surprises or attempts to renegotiate the price. I saw more than five separate inspectors at a recent open house in Brookline; this strategy is definitely gaining momentum.

2. Understand The Seller’s Motivation – Negotiation 101: Understand your opponent. Gather all the information you can about the seller. Investing in a home is not like investing in a stock. Equity trades tend not to involve emotion, and emotion is a major variable in the housing market. Buying a home is an emotional roller-coaster, but so is selling. Get a read on the seller’s motivations. Is this an estate sale? Perhaps the seller would appreciate an offer that would allow him or her to leave furniture and personal items in the home. Does the seller have a place to move? If not, maybe offer a leaseback option for a few weeks. Selling a home is stressful, and sellers appreciate it when buyers empathize.

3. It May Come Down To Price – If there are multiple bids on the table (especially cash bids), you will need to offer a very competitive price. This situation calls for caution. Be extremely careful to fully understand your personal financial situation and goals. If you strongly believe that this will be the home you spend the next 20 years enjoying, increasing your bid price significantly may correlate with your emotional and housing needs. Keep in mind that the home will need to appraise (unless you choose to remove that from the mortgage contingency). If you think you may relocate in two or three years and will need a quick re-sale, paying top dollar may not be a financially smart move. One negotiation tactic Bushari Group agents have successfully used in specific situations is a very clear and well planned escalation clause. This helps take a lot of the guesswork out of a multiple offer situation.

4. Write A Personal Letter – This plays into the seller’s motivation. Sellers often want to know that the buyer will appreciate the home as much as they did. Sometimes writing a short note about yourself and why you love the home can be the little emotional push the seller needs to accept your offer. This tactic tends to work well with empty-nester sellers who have fond memories of raising their children in the home. Some buyers send photos of their own children with notes about how much they will love the back yard or finished basement.

5. Find Off-Market Properties – One tactic Bushari Group agents excel at is finding off-market properties. Are you searching for a two-bedroom in South Boston for less than $500,000 and can’t find a thing? Great. Our agents perform extensive market research to find properties that meet their buyers’ search criteria. The agents then directly target these home owners through hand-written notes, phone calls and blast letters asking if the owners would consider selling. This has proven to be a fantastic way to find properties in the current low-inventory situation. Also, you won’t be up against a cash offer if there are no other buyers at the table!

Cash offers are a force to be reckoned with. That said, the right negotiation strategy can make your offer much more attractive.

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Top 3 Up-And-Coming Areas for Boston Real Estate Investment

Boston Housing InvestmentOur agents at Bushari Group are asked daily about investing in Boston real estate. There are multiple kinds of real estate investments, and each investment will depend on your personal financial situation, risk tolerance and exit strategy, as well as long-term and short-term ROI goals (among other things). You may choose to go the route of “blue chip” neighborhoods like Back Bay and Beacon Hill, or high-return student areas like Allston and Brighton…or, you may be one of the more risk-tolerant investors looking for a big win. If you fit into the latter category, then acquiring assets in up-and-coming neighborhoods may be for you.

After a long lull in development and construction in Boston, there is some promising investment in infrastructure and neighborhood planning on the books. There are quite a few towns, neighborhoods and sub-neighborhoods on my radar, but the three below make the top of my list.

1. Somerville - Yes, Somerville was recognized as the “Best Run City in MA” by the Boston Globe in 2006, and yes, it won the “All-America City Award” in 2009 – but that is not why I like it. I am optimistic about Somerville because of the Green Line MBTA Extension Project (or GLX). The extension is part of the 5-year Capital Investment Plan by MassDOT, which proposes $1.3b in spending to complete Green line T service from a relocated Lechmere Cambridge stop to Union Square in Somerville and Tufts University in Medford. This is a big deal. The project calls for seven new T stations with a planned completion by 2020. Now is the time to scout condos and land development projects near the new T routes.

2. Quincy - It has not been a smooth ride for the developers of the massive Quincy Center project. That said, how smooth did people really think it would be? I mean, with more than 3.5 million square-feet of mixed-use development proposed, it is only one of the largest historic downtown revitalization projects in the country. Quincy was the first city in MA to receive District Improvement Financing, which allows the city to create a DIF zone in Quincy Center and use “new” tax growth generated within the defined area to fund new public work projects such as roads, parking, green space and the long awaited final phase of the Quincy Center concourse. The project includes high-rise office buildings, 200,000+ SF of street retail space, 4,000+ new parking spaces, 1,400+ new loft style apartments and more than 300,000 SF of retail space in the new Market Center. Once complete, Quincy may become one of the hottest Boston suburbs for professionals. New tax incentives for business growth and a zoning flexibility also make Quincy an ideal opportunity for commercial investment.

3. South Boston - With many three-bedroom condos selling for more than $1m, it is hard for me to say that South Boston is still an up-and-coming neighborhood, but it is. Buyers are flooding to South Boston as they are quickly being priced out of Boston’s South End, Charlestown and the North End neighborhoods. It is one of the few areas of the city offering some new construction, and townhouses are particularly popular. Land is selling quickly and with multiple bids as developers take note (think 16 offers on a plot Bushari Group listed for just under $4m). South Boston also offers opportunity for all you fix-and-flippers. There are still a few diamonds in the rough.

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5 Ways To Add Value To Your Home in 2014

Home Value No matter what the market conditions, you always want to get top dollar when selling your home. To do this you need to make your home stand out from other comparable properties. Below are a few creative and relatively inexpensive ways to add value to your Boston home in 2014:

1. De-clutter – This is the most inexpensive way to make your home appealing to buyers. In fact, you may actually make some money if you sell unwanted items on eBay or Craigslist. A clean and organized home feels spacious. Consider only leaving the clothes and basic items your will need for 3 or 4 months in the home and using a moving company like Eagle Lines Moving to store your additional items while your home is on the market, and pick up the remaining items when you sell. That way, you are already half packed and ready for your next home!

2. Repaint in Neutral Tones – You may love those bright purple walls, but buyers will be distracted by the bold choice. A light, neutral shade provides a blank canvas for buyers to envision their own items in your home. Touch-up painted moldings and any chipped corners. A bright white ceiling paint makes any Boston home feel light and airy.

3. Be a Weekend Warrior – Clean the windows (and yes, I mean both sides). Unfortunately, it is something so many sellers overlook. If your condo association usually hires a company to clean the exterior of your windows, find out the date of the next scheduled cleaning and make sure they give your windows the Rain-X treatment. Clean the bathroom grout. Chlorine Bleach and Baking Soda work wonders on white grout and will make your bathroom shine. Re-caulk around the shower and/or tub. Cracked caulk is just not a good look. Replace any dated hardware, faucets and vanity mirrors.

4. Add Storage, Any Storage – It doesn’t matter the size of the home, buyers are always wowed by storage. Organize your closets as if a rep from Pinterest were coming to interview you for the cleanest closet award. Buyers will open every door in your home, including the fridge. Organize it. Add shelving, towel hooks, shampoo holders and whatever else will get your stuff out of sight and off the floor. Bostonians love built-ins and custom closets, but if that is over budget make sure to invest some money at the Container Store or Ikea.

5. Chíc-a-fy your Exterior – If you are lucky enough to have outdoor space in Boston, make sure it looks like an oasis. Add potted plants with colorful flowers and be sure to grow fresh herbs. If you have space for tomatoes – go with it. Buyers love the idea that they can have their own mini garden in the heart of the city. Make sure your exterior furniture is clean and contemporary. If you have a private entrance, make sure the landscaping gives you ideal curb appeal and any steps leading to the home are in great shape. Remember that your door is the face of your home. If yours is not in great shape and you can’t afford a new one, consider adding a new exterior light fixture and wreath or bold door knocker.

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Mayor Walsh and Boston Real Estate

Boston DevelopmentBoston rang in a new era on Monday. For the first time in two decades, a new face graced the Mayor’s office. Mayor Martin J. Walsh started with a bang, announcing a changing of the guard in multiple city offices – including the Boston Redevelopment Authority. In a surprise announcement on Wednesday afternoon, Mayor Walsh appointed former state representative Brian P. Golden as interim head of the BRA. As such, Golden will be authorized to sign all documents requiring execution.

One of Mayor Walsh’s original campaign promises was to “restructure” the Boston Redevelopment Authority, though he back-tracked in mid-December on his most drastic ideas of dismantling the BRA and replacing it with a completely new agency more responsive to neighborhood concerns. “I wouldn’t expect any major change until the second half of my first year in City Hall,” Walsh said, in an attempt to reassure Boston developers at an event in the Boston Harbor Hotel.

So what will Mayor Walsh’s planned changes mean for Boston real estate? Well, the way I see it, putting more weight on the “neighborhood voice” in Boston development decisions quite frankly terrifies developers. In their minds it means miles of more red tape, increased costs and dozens more meetings to get approvals. Small and mid-size developers may be less likely to take risks on expensive renovation projects (South End condo-conversions and Beacon Hill rehabs), and certainly undeveloped land (new 10-40 unit condo buildings in South Boston). If they do move forward and development is stalled or costly because of the city, those costs will be reflected in the list prices. In addition, Mayor Walsh is seen as a friend of the unions. Union construction costs more for developers – again, a cost that will be passed onto the end buyer.

That said, if list and sale prices increase for new developments and building rehabs, that will have a ripple effect for other Boston homes. List prices will increase across the board based off new comparables and possibly continued low inventory (depending on how smoothly the BRA functions). This scenario would be good for Boston sellers, expensive for buyers.

On the other hand, if the BRA becomes more transparent, as Mayor Walsh promises, this may mean a smoother and clearer process for developers. This would lead to more confidence and eventually, increased inventory. Good for Boston buyers, not great for sellers. However, a powerful “neighborhood voice” channeled in the right direction can increase green space, parks and playgrounds. Residents can demand neighborhood improvements and beautification projects. Some of the biggest issues such as traffic, parking and building shadow concerns have an important place in city planning and it’s important that the people who care about their neighborhood have a say. In the long run these changes and amenities benefit both buyers and sellers.

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Millennium Tower Boston – Newest Renderings Released

Millennium Partners has released the newest renderings for the much anticipated Millennium Tower Boston. The renderings show a spectacular glass skyscraper glistening in the Boston sunset. The Millennium Tower project will invigorate the Downtown Crossing area of Midtown Boston. The 1.1 million sq. ft. mixed-use project will host a mix of luxury residential and prime retail space in the old Filene’s space. Located near the Boston Common between Boston’s Beacon Hill and Financial District, Millennium Tower will feature approximately 450 luxury condos and about 200,000 sq. ft. of commercial space. The design by Handel Architects, LLP will preserve the existing Burnham Building, offering a spectacular blend of old and new Boston. Millennium Tower will also offer 550 garage parking spaces.

Millennium Tower Boston

Millennium Tower Boston

Millennium Tower Boston

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Millennium Tower Boston – Ground Officially Broken

Millennium Tower BostonToday ushered in big news for Boston Luxury Real Estate. Executives from Millennium Partners joined Mayor Tom “Shovels” Menino in the official groundbreaking ceremony of the new Millennium Tower Boston on the old Filene’s site in Downtown Crossing. The massive hole left after the demolition of Filene’s Basement will soon be filled with Boston’s tallest residential tower to date. The 60-story tower at 426 Washington Street will soar more than 600-feet into the Boston skyline. Millennium Tower will connect at the lower levels to the historic Burnham Building, beautifully preserving the classic architecture of Boston’s past and blending it with the fresh, contemporary style of Boston’s future. Millennium Tower Boston will feature almost 500 luxury condos and approximately 200,000 square feet of prime retail space in Boston’s bustling Midtown neighborhood.

Millennium Partners most recently developed Millennium Place, a boutique, luxury building located at 580 Washington Street. Millennium Place was one of Boston’s fastest selling luxury buildings and helped create the current buzz for Millennium Tower Boston.