Archive for June, 2008

Affordable Housing a Good Option for East Boston Buyers

While East Boston has always attracted buyers to this corner of the city due to its affordability, there has traditionally still been room for “Affordable Housing” in our neighborhood.

Housing oftentimes built with deed restrictions, Affordable Housing makes it possible for first time homebuyers (usually this means a buyer who has not owned a home in the past 3 years) to purchase a home at a price that is below market value—developers of Affordable Housing offer housing to the public at prices that are below what one might find in the open marketplace. Because Affordable properties are priced below market value, they are usually purchased at list price—they can either be sold in a lottery or by a first come, first serve basis with a real estate agent.

In return for the benefit of purchasing a home below market value, a buyer oftentimes pledges to resell the property to the next buyer at below market value, too—oftentimes this translates into an increase in the home’s value of, at most, 5% a year. And if an owner puts any improvements into the home (hardwood floors, for example), the owner can usually add another 1% to that 5% annual increase in value. Buyers must meet certain income guidelines before purchasing an Affordable unit, and their income must be verified by city and state agencies prior to closing.

Affordable Housing is a great way for individuals to make headway in building equity at an affordable price. It is oftentimes a means to home ownership in a property that is either new construction or fairly recently built—properties that are generally in much better condition or bigger than a typical East Boston property offered at the same price.

Please check back as we continue to update you on East Boston real estate happenings. To see all our listings, or to search MLS properties, head to the Tony’s Realty Website.

Email Zaragoza with your questions or comments.

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East Boston Continues to Shine as an Eclectic Urban Village

The East Boston real estate market remains strong, and East Boston continues to be a neighborhood where new homebuyers purchase properties, despite the current economic downturn.

Two factors continually draw buyers to East Boston: price and location. Housing in East Boston continues to be less expensive than other Boston neighborhoods. When prices are lower, more buyers come.

Location is another big East Boston asset. We are a strong stand out as an ideally located urban village connected to a major metropolis by a public transportation system with five neighborhood T stops. The recent addition of the Ted Williams tunnel has only made access to the Turnpike and communities like Cambridge and Newton much easier.

If crime rates continue to remain low and if our streets continue to be beautified with graffiti removal services and anti-litter campaigns, East Boston will continue to shine as an urban village. Our corner stores, subway stations with easy pedestrian access, community gardens, local bakeries, ethnic restaurants, additional greenspaces, bike paths and community arts venues will continue to make our neighborhood a unique, vibrant, and eclectic urban village.

Buildings will convert into owner occupied housing: Triple-deckers will gradually be converted into condominiums and old industrial buildings such as the old GE Factory which now houses the Porter 156 Lofts, will be turned into housing. Our real estate values should remain stable. And if gas prices ever reach $8 a gallon, our resident downtown commuters should be much happier than their suburban counterparts.

Please check back as we continue to update you on East Boston real estate happenings. To see all our listings, or to search MLS properties, head to the Tony’s Realty Website.

Email Tony with your questions or comments.

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East Boston Single-Family Sale Prices Down

East Boston currently has 26 single-family homes listed as for sale with our local Multiple Listing Service with an average market time of 148 days. While the supply of single-family homes is relatively low, prices are less expensive than in previous years. Single-family homes currently on the East Boston market range from $149,000 for an attempt to “short sale” a 1,544 square foot Jeffries Point home on Cottage Street that’s situated on a 900 square foot lot to $549,000 for a beautiful 2,000 square foot home set upon a 7,507 square foot lot on Gladstone Street in Orient Heights.

In the last three months, 18 single-family homes in East Boston have sold or have gone “under agreement.” “Under agreement” means an offer has been accepted by a seller but a deed has not yet been transferred to the buyer to complete the purchase. Among the 12 single-family properties that actually sold during the last three months, prices have ranged from $125,000 for a 1,283 square foot home on Saratoga Street in Eagle Hill to $340,000 for a 1,600 square foot brick “tudoresque” colonial on Orient Avenue in Orient Heights.

After a peak in 2005, sale prices for some East Boston single-family homes have dipped under $200,000, and sale prices for some homes have been dramatically less than they were just a few years ago. Here are some examples: 1 Bennet Place, a 1,478 square foot home, sold in March 2008 via a negotiated “short sale” for $185,000 (the same property sold in January 2006 for $257,000); 152 Saratoga Street, a bank owned property, sold in April 2008 for $125,000 (that 713 square foot home sold in July 2005 for $245,000). These represent selling price reductions of 28% to 49% from a 2005 & 2006 peak market.

Please check back as we continue to update you on East Boston real estate happenings. To see all our listings, or to search MLS properties, head to the Tony’s Realty Website.

Email Tony with your questions or comments.

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East Boston 3 Family Market Hit Hard

In East Boston, there are currently 66 three family homes on the market. One of the hardest hit markets in the recent real estate downturn, prices for 3 families are down considerably from their 2005 peak.

In the last three months, 12 three family properties have sold in East Boston, ranging from $165,500 for an older, smaller, attached triple-decker in the Paris Flats to $421,000 for a larger, detached beautiful 3 family on Bennington Street near the Orient Heights beach.

Seven of the 12 recent 3 family sales were bank owned properties. Another 3 properties were negotiated “short sales.” A short sale is when a bank allows a seller to sell a property at market value, even if the amount owed to a bank exceeds the amount for which the property is selling.

Private sellers still account for a substantial number of 3 family homes for sale. Bank owned properties tend to sell more quickly and for less money in this market of drastically reduced real estate prices because banks tend to be more willing than private sellers to adjust their prices and negotiate sales to current market values. For many private sellers, it is hard to forget the higher selling prices of 2005 and 2006.

Certain recent sales clearly reflect the price reduction for East Boston 3 family homes. In May, 185 Marion Street sold for $170,000. In February 2006 the same property sold for $383,000. Similarly, 736 Bennington Street sold last April for $421,000. In June 2005, this property sold for $619,000.

Please return to our blog for East Boston updates. All our real estate listings can be seen on the Tony’s Realty Website where there’s also an option to search MLS Listings.

Email Tony with your questions or comments.

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East Boston Condos Steadily Selling

Tony’s Realty is delighted to inform our readers about trends and happenings in the East Boston real estate market (to see all our properties, go to the Tony’s Realty Website).

This week we want to report on condominium sales in East Boston, which have remained relatively steady and strong over the past few years. There seems to be a shortage of units, with more buyers than units as of late. Units that remain on the market for extended periods of time might either be priced incorrectly, have difficulties with their layouts, or lack recent updates. Beautiful and well-priced condos continue to sell in East Boston. Most of these units sell to owner occupants.

In the last three months, there have been 63 condominiums that have sold or gone under agreement in our neighborhood. Prices have ranged from $55,000 for a small garden level studio apartment to $395,000 for a penthouse unit at the Gumball Factory.

Although the market is strong for East Boston condos, the selling prices are not necessarily as high as they were several years ago. A good example is a penthouse unit that sold at the Gumball Factory at 150 Orleans Street. In May 2006, this unit sold for $525,000. It subsequently became bank owned, and most recently sold last week for $395,000, about a 25% reduction.

Please check back as we continue to update you on East Boston real estate happenings. To see all our listings, or to search MLS properties, head to the Tony’s Realty Website.

Email Tony with your questions or comments.

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