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What ~$2500/Month Gets You in 5 Greater Boston Neighborhoods

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Boston is a city of diverse neighborhoods. Each of its districts, streets, boroughs, and buildings reflect a unique history and boast a distinct personality. From the rows of grand brownstones in Back Bay to the chic apartments of the SoWa district, Boston’s diversity is the strength of the city. Is one man’s hovel another man’s loft? What kind of home can you find around the city for around $2,500 per month?

Brighton

9 Bronsdon St #19B-B: $2,490/mo

Just one of the many townhome-style apartments in this building offered by Bushari agents at 617Living, #19B-B is an 800 sq. ft. 2 bed/1 bath second level unit. The home features all utilities and includes an eat-in kitchen with gas cooking, a manicured courtyard with grilling stations, and 1 on-site parking space. All residences at 9 Bronsdon are smoke-free, pet-friendly, and include a private balcony or patio. Convenient access to I-90, Storrow Drive, Boston University, Harvard, and the #86 bus route.

Approx. Living Area: 800 sq. ft.

Beds: 2

Baths: 1

Unit Level: 2

Contact Information: 617Living / 617.500.9900 / email here

North End

4A Prince St #5: $2,400/mo

Ah, the North End. Its thin, bustling streets waft the smell of fine Italian dining and a sense of premier elegance. Finding a suitable home in this area isn’t always the easiest task. This rare 2 bed+/1 bath lies right off the fashionable Hanover street. The 1000 sq. ft. unit offers an eat-in-kitchen and hardwoods throughout. This is certainly a unique opportunity in an extraordinary neighborhood.

Approx. Living Area: 1000 sq. ft.

Beds: 2+Office

Baths: 1

Unit Level: 5

Contact Information: Daniela Cafaro / 617.797.0056 / email here

Waterfront

386 Commercial St #4_B: $2,300/mo

The many blossoming homes along the historic Boston wharfs are always overflowing with character and charm. Residences in Boston’s Waterfront offer prime real estate, with a variety of restaurants and entertainment options right outside of your door. Nothing says charm quite like an open studio with exposed brick design right along the harbor. 386 Commercial St #4_B has an updated kitchen and bathroom with closet space, and an additional storage unit in the building. Directly across from the Battery Wharf and Exhale Gym and Spa, residents can enjoy easy access to the North End‘s unique dining, shopping and nightlife. This oversized studio is great for those who want to be close to Downtown and the excitement of the Waterfront.

Approx. Living Area: 500 sq. ft.

Beds: (Studio)

Baths: 1

Unit Level: 4

Contact Information: Matthew Diozzi / 617.413.8188 / email here

South End

40 Saint Botolph #41: $2,700/mo

The South End, North America’s largest Victorian residential district in existence, proudly showcases a mixture of old and new styles in its stunning residences. The Back Bay neighborhood has quickly become one of the most affluent and prestigious neighborhoods in all of New England; exhibiting high-end boutiques, a plethora of bustling bars and restaurants, and truly top-of-the-line shopping. 40 Saint Botolph #41 is conveniently nestled between these two exciting neighborhoods, proving convenient access to the best that Boston has to offer. The spacious one bedroom residence offers hardwood flooring throughout, large windows that stream in ample natural light, a spacious living room and open kitchen. Real estate is all about location, and 40 Saint Botolph’s position in Boston is unmatched.

Approx. Living Area: 654 sq. ft.

Beds: 1

Baths: 1

Unit Level: 5

Contact Information: Andrea McDonough Team / 617-733-1238 / email here

Medford

618 Boston Ave #7F: $2,550/mo

With easy access to Tufts University, Ball Square, and Davis Square, 618 Boston Ave #7F is convenient for those interested in enjoying the best of Medford while having a quick route to the rest of Boston excitement. This spacious penthouse unit is situated right by the Medford/Somerville Line and the proposed Green Line Extension. The home features 5 rooms including a master bedroom with ensuite bathroom and private entrance and exit, a second bedroom with its own full bathroom, and private updated balconies off each bedroom. Entertain your guests in your spacious living room or front porch overlooking the city. In-unit laundry and a garage parking spot complete this charming space. A rare opportunity in a growing area!

Approx. Living Area: 1015 sq. ft.

Beds: 2

Baths: 2

Unit Level: 3

Contact Information: Joshua Stiles / 734.474.3940 / email here

100 Station Landing #1103: $2,600/mo

The coveted Skyline Condominiums at Station Landing offers luxury living in Medford with a wealth of shopping, dining and entertainment moments from your door. Enjoy breathtaking sunsets and amazing river views from your private balcony at 100 Station Landing #1103. This unit features spacious living and dining rooms opening to the den/home office. Gleaming hardwood floors, gourmet kitchen-black granite counters/breakfast bar, cherry cabinet, stainless appliances, and in-unit laundry take this home to the next level. Station Landing features concierge, secured entry, elevator, a club room and an exercise facility.

Approx. Living Area: 976 sq. ft.

Beds: 1

Baths: 1

Unit Level: 11

Contact Information: Diane Giacobbi / 617.293.1240 / email here

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Take a Deeper Dive into Boston’s Pools with Our Free ebook

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The dog days of August are upon us and, even though Labor Day is just a few weeks away, the summer isn’t quite over. In fact, Boston is experiencing another hot weekend and people all over the city are looking for ways to beat the heat. A little bit of research revealed that there was no comprehensive list of Boston’s residential pools available to the public. So, to make your search a little easier we have compiled The 2015 Bushari Guide – The Residential Pools of Boston, a free ebook now available for download.

Boasting the most comprehensive and up-to-date list of Boston properties where you can live and swim, the book provides full-color photos and descriptions of each pool, as well as the amenities and services available at each. Whether you’re looking to buy or rent a home in the city, our ebook will give you the scoop on the hottest properties to cool off.

 

download your free copy

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Hottest Boston Apartment Rentals

331Boston rental season is in full swing. We’ve compiled a list of some of our most exciting Boston Rentals and Boston Luxury Apartments. Check out these amazing properties below. Click the address links for additional info and photos.

 

 

 

 

ONE FIRST

Neighborhood: East Cambridge, Cambridge
150 Cambridge St #625   $5,700/mo
3 Beds / 2.5 Baths
Garage Parking
Pets welcome (with restrictions)
Available 7.1.13
Contact Diane Giacobbi 617-293-1240

THE RITZ

Neighborhood: Midtown, Boston
2 Avery St #37A   $4,900/mo
1 Bed / 1.5 Baths
Available 7.1.13
Contact Brendan Cavanaugh 617-794-5638

LUXURY BEACON HILL APARTMENT

Neighborhood: Beacon Hill, Boston
65 Mount Vernon St #6   $4,600/mo
2 Beds / 2 Baths
Pets welcome (with restrictions)
Available 7.1.13
Contact Diane Giacobbi 617-293-1240

REGATTA RIVERVIEW

Neighborhood: East Cambridge, Cambridge
8 Museum Way #1307  $2,600/mo
1 Bed / 1 Bath
Garage Parking
Private Balcony
Water View Apartment, City View Apartment
Available NOW
Contact Diane Giacobbi 617-293-1240

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Help! I Have Pets! (Which Means You Might Be Homeless)

How could you possibly turn this cute little guy away? :(

How could you possibly turn this cute little guy away? :(

You know what sucks? I’ll tell you. Having pets and not being able to find a place to live because of it. Now I’m not talking farm animals or an unconventional pet like a a wildebeast or a dwarf dolphin that you’re planning on shoving in a bathtub. I’m talking a typical domesticated (god willing) dog or cat. Usually landlords prefer cats to dogs, so cats aren’t really a HUGE issue due to their independent and quiet nature, but you will sadly not be preferred over someone who has no pets at all.

The issue at hand goes back to the vacancies (see blog entry Rent: Up, Up, & Up Some More). You see, the rental market in Boston right now is very competitive, so landlords have all the power. They can choose who they think will be the perfect tenant. With an overwhelming number of applicants per rental property, landlords do not give a flying fluff if your precious poopsie canine is the greatest thing since Cute Overload, or is your only friend in life.

The thing that I have a hard time wrapping my brain around is that cats are preferred over dogs. I sincerely apologize if I am about to offend anyone (well, actually no I don’t) but I absolutely cannot stand about 95% of the cats I’ve met. They’re bitchy, self entitled, knock your crap over in a very stealthy manner so they can pretend it was really no big thing, and my god does that litter smell. I went to a friend’s home once who had a cat and I could smell that mess from OUTSIDE the front door. When I walked in I thought I was absolutely going to immediately be asphyxiated by the toxic smell of cat business all over that apartment. No wonder it’s hazardous for pregnant women to be around that. It probably causes the unborn baby to have ongoing conniption fits until it’s removed from that nauseating repulsive environment. That’s just my humble opinion of course.

Satan….In fluffy form

Yeah sure dogs chew and scratch and bark  and get excited but cats scratch and piss and throw up and sometimes meow uncontrollably like the South Park cat ( I believe his name is Mr. Kitty) who’s in heat. At least if a robber breaks in you home you’ll be made aware of it far sooner with a dog than you would with a self righteous cat.

So to summarize, make sure you ask up front about the pet situation. Sometimes they’re negotiable. If you did your job as a proper pet parent your precious baby will be well trained, not wake the nation during inopportune times, and be an absolute bundle of joy. Otherwise you know that negotiation is pretty much going to end before it even gets started. Beg, plead, bat your eyes and bake some cookies. And don’t forget to make nice. Everyone knows you get more flies (eww) with honey than you do with vinegar…..or however that saying goes.

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Rent: Up, Up, & Up Some More

This is probably what your rent looks like if you live in Boston. If it doesn't consider yourself to be one of the chosen people.

This is probably what your rent looks like if you live in Boston. If it doesn’t, you should consider yourself to be one of the chosen people.

If you’re a renter in Boston, perhaps you’ve noticed that this year has been just a tad more difficult to find your dream space…or any space for that matter, than times past. I’ve heard from multiple friends that their landlords are basically forcing them to move out due to the current market. Landlords know that they can find tenants willing to pay asking price, so that’s exactly what they are doing. According to market trend spotting brokerage Rental Beast, the average monthly rent jumped more than 7 percent to $1,881 in the past year. In a hot spot like the Back Bay, you should expect the average rent to run you a whopping $2,857 a month; in another trendy spot like Jamaica Plain, a modest $1,536 by comparison.

This rent escalation isn’t just happening in Boston though. According to New York data firm Reis Inc., Boston is only the fifth most expensive rental market in the states. We in Boston got beat out by the two other obvious contenders, New York City and San Francisco. To be honest, I’m personally quite content letting them win that race. Landlord’s and rental property managers however are enjoying this immensely, because they know that when tenants vacate, it’s a golden ticket for them to reap some monetary benefits.

Rental Beast says the vacancy rate, already low last year at 3.8 percent, has dropped to 3.1 percent. In high-end neighborhoods such as the Back Bay and South End, not even 1 percent of apartments are vacant. That’s making the apartment search nearly impossible. If you’re looking for places with pre-existing roommates, the search becomes even more difficult because this whole process is similar to that of a nerve wracking blind date combined with a job interview. People are now looking for utopian roommate conditions and are willing to expend the extra time and effort to find the perfect candidate as oppose to allowing the first decent visitor to take the vacancy.

Real estate brokers feel that the rental increase is in part due to Boston’s successful economy in the ever growing tech and biotech industries. Because more people are now moving to Boston to work in these fields, said industries are expanding to downtown areas. See: Innovation District.

Why else is this rent increase happening in Boston? Well three probably causes. Older couples are choosing to live in the city rather than the suburbs, probably because even they know that the city is clearly where all the action is at.

Young professionals are still choosing to rent vs buy even when rent is obviously a more temporary solution and doesn’t give your future housing a whole lot of stability. But really it’s not about the rent, but moreso about the freedom from mortgage and being tied down to one location. Boston also has tons of higher education institutions and students don’t want to live on campus anymore, sharing their room with some stranger who will most likely  sexile them during exam time.

According to an article in Boston.com, Boston officials said they have permitted construction of 3,256 apartments so far this year in central neighborhoods such as the Back Bay, Fenway, and the Seaport District, where rent pressures are at their most extreme, and another 1,077 affordable units citywide for lower-income tenants. The city has numerous other initiatives that encourage developers to build or preserve subsidized housing, especially for populations like the elderly.

But many of the new market-rate units have been high-end apartments in the city’s more expensive neighborhoods — downtown and the waterfront, for example — that end up reinforcing higher rents throughout the market.

What IS available for rent are more upscale luxury-style apartments, which obviously targets only one demographic. A future solution to the overwhelmingly high rental demand is those tiny, micro Manhattan style apartments (see below) that have just enough room for you to sleep. Expected size of these units will be approximately 350 square feet, will be located near the Seaport District and the projected rent will range from $1,200 to $1,600 a month. Gotta love shoebox living.

Coming Soon: Shoebox living in Boston

So let’s put this all into perspective, shall we? If you spend 40-50% of your hard earned blood sweat and tears income on your housing, you are looking at more stay-cations, not going out nearly as much, shopping at Good Will and probably forgoing that overpriced gym membership. Awesome. If you look on the bright side however, You will probably  be able to fit into your middle school skinny-jeans again, living off that lettuce leaf and unfiltered tap water. It’s high time that Boston look into constructing more affordable housing by perhaps eliminating minimum lot sizes and easing restrictions on multi-unit buildings.

Here’s what I propose: As rent goes up, your employer should increase your pay (which should be done regularly anyway if you have half a brain and show any promise in your field) the same percentage of expected rental increases so that you can in fact pay this inflation and you won’t be homeless. No one wants to have to move back in with their folks against their will (insert noose here). I don’t recall that being a part of the American Dream. Granted if you look at the bigger picture, higher rent = higher taxes, which, if used correctly, means better city living conditions overall. So let’s try to look at this as a glass half full, mmmmk?

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RENT ME: 7 Bay State, Unit #2

Located at the corner of Beacon Street and Bay State road (think Kenmore T stop near Back Bay and  The Fenway) is a lovely two bed / two bath condo on the second floor of an elevator building available for September first of this year. This unit boasts beautiful views from a grandiose living room with bay windows and 11 foot ceilings. The hardwood oak floors throughout are just gleaming and give the home a very distinguished feel, especially when accompanied with the moldings and views. There is a very expansive master bedroom complete with an en suite bath, also with bay windows. Amenities include galley kitchen with separate dining room, spacious 2nd full bath,  in-unit washer|dryer and  a gorgeous common roof deck.

 

Quick Stats:

  • Price: 3,750
  • Size: 1500 Sq ft
  • Bedrooms: 2
  • Bathrooms:2
  • Dave available: 9/1/12
  • Rent Fee includes: Heat, hot water, sewage disposal, refuse removal
  • Area Amenities: Public transit, shopping, park, walk/jog trails, medical facility, bike path, conservation area, highway access, T station, University

 

 

For more information on this rental or to schedule a showing, please contact Karen Grey at (617) 834-6582 or email karen@bushari.com

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Rents on the Rise: To Rent or To Buy?

This year Renters should expect to experience price increases of about 3%, while landlords reap the benefits receiving a further profit increase of almost 6%. According to U.S. Census Bureau, more families are presently renting homes than they are owning them.

“As it becomes more difficult to buy (harder to get a mortgage, for example) more people enter the rental market. Therefore rental prices increase. It is a good time to be a landlord, so more investors see opportunity in the market.” Says Bushari Group‘s Associate Broker Mara Bushari. The supply for these rentals however is experiencing a decline as the demand continues to rise, which is yet another  reason for this inflation, and why the rent could continue to climb even further still.

If you’re a landlord or multifamily investor, you’re probably grinning ear to ear dreaming about being in a music video where you roll around in dollar bills while using some form of  the popular expression “make it rain” to express your fiscal enthusiasm. If you’re a renter, especially with a family, this may force you to bring up the topic of relocation. Sadly for renters, there is no evidence that these prices will trend in your favor.

I’m gonna take a moment and play devil’s advocate. As a renter, you can’t build your equity and you don’t have as much say in your standard of living. That doesn’t have to mean however, that you’re not still capable of living the American dream. It just means that the American dream has evolved slightly, so renters are just prepared in a new way. If you think about it, based on the past economic downturn and slew of housing foreclosures, people are reevaluating their options.

Owning a home once meant stability and peace of mind, but if the bank owns you, how much security do you really have? As a renter you are free from the burdens of mortgages, which means less debt up front. Let’s not forget that should you decide you don’t like where you’re living, you’re free to move about more easily than you would if you owned your home. Part of the allure to renting could even be argued that American’s thrive on having more than one option for practically everything from cell phone plans to food, to nuptials.

On the other hand if you ARE looking to buy a home in Boston and you want to live comfortably or perhaps  luxuriously  for an extended period of time in one location, there is good news! The number one reason to buy right now is the extremely low interest rates. If you are presently paying dearly for your  Boston rent, maybe it’s time to give some serious consideration to buying. It is a good time to buy because prices still have not dramatically increased from their lows over the past few years, because there are less able buyers out there, and because some great new properties are coming on the market.

 So whether you decide to rent or buy your next home, let us at Bushari Group help make that choice a little easier for you. We will work with you to help find the perfect housing match to fit all your wants and needs.

 

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Apartment Amenity Fees No More?

Apartment Fees

When you rent an apartment in Massachusetts, sometimes you might end up paying your landlord a bit more than you bargained for. It’s not always uncommon to pay extra just to move in, for your pet, to use the community facilities, or whatever else may have attracted you to the building in the first place. These fees can really start to add up and are obviously rather cumbersome to apartment renters, especially when rent in this state seems to be so high by itself. On the upside of this situation is these extra fees have now been proclaimed illegal under the Massachusetts Security Deposit Law.

Recently  federal judge William Young abolished these extra nonrefundable fees and has permitted a class action suit to commence against Reading’s Archstone  apartment complex, where the whole fiasco began. This suit might be cause Archstone and other Massachusetts complex’s to be in the business of owing tenants a nice chunk of change for refunds to previous and existing tenants who have paid such fees in the past four years. When you rent, your landlord is only allowed to charge tenants first and last month’s rent, a security deposit and the cost of a new lock and key. If you find landlords are still trying to enforce amenity fees, take a stand and call the apartment complex’s management. If you paid an amenities fee already, it is your right to ask for a refund.

According to Bushari Group realtor Brendan Cavanaugh “This will potentially change the rental business as we know it today and drastically reduce profits for largely managed apartment complexes. It could very well increase rent for tenants because the profits will have to come from somewhere else.” The Archstone trial determining its monetary fate is scheduled for June of this year.

 

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How to be Careful as a Rental Cosigner

I’ve heard the rental market of Boston described as a sort of modern-day wild west. One day, it’s peaceful, the day after it becomes a stampede of U-Hauls on Allston Christmas, more commonly known as moving day on August 31st and September 1st.

In addition to the hazards of moving, there’s the question of co-signing. Usually, if you are renting as a young adult or without much credit history, you will need to get a cosigner. This is usually a parent or someone else with established credit history.

Now, most people never run into situations where cosigners become involved. However, in the event of property damage, this is where things could get tricky. In one such scenario, cosigners were dragged into a roommate dispute, even after years had passed and the original tenants had changed.

Now in such a drastic case, it may be necessary to seek professional help, but most disputes can be handled with the landlord. It is important to keep in mind what being a cosigner entails before committing to it. Essentially, you are taking on the rent if the tenant fails to keep up with it. This has been a common problem found by parents of ill-financed college students.

Be careful what you sign and always review the fine print.

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Boston’s Rental Prices Skyrocket

Rental prices for Boston apartments have hit record highs. For example, a Boston apartment averaging around $1,665 per month, with the market up 7% from last year and projected to go up another 6.2%. Boston’s luxury real estate and key locations have made the city the fifth most expensive rental market in the country.  Fewer constructions of new rental buildings in Boston have enabled the market to stay stable and resilient, while more and more people have decided to rent instead of buy in a down economy. Experts say that the demand for rentals will continue to increase, as homeowners who lost their homes to foreclosure or short sale in the recent years are unable to qualify for mortgage financing and therefore, cannot buy into the housing market.

This tight renting market has left Boston apartment seekers scrambling to get an apartment before the traditional changeover date, September 1. Even apartments that have been declared “overpriced” by many are getting rented and some people are even renting without a viewing. Boston is a hotter location to rent than before, with real estate in the Back Bay, Beacon Hill, and Cambridge in higher demand than ever.