Archive for October, 2008

East Boston Condos See a Typical Seasonal Drop in Sales

Since September 1, 2008, 21 East Boston condos have either sold or gone under agreement. During the late spring and summer months of this year, approximately 30 condos would sell or go under agreement every 60 days. The sales rate has seasonally dropped by about 35%.

Because most condos are purchased by first-time homebuyers, often young professionals, the above statistical drop is pretty normal—many first time homebuyers seeking to purchase a condo are renters whose leases expire September 1. They actively look for condos beginning March or April, hoping to close on them any time between June and September. After the “peak summer months,” condo buyers often “disappear” until the following early spring, especially if they are “locked into a lease.”

Of the 21 condos sold or under agreement, 9 were bank owned and one was a short sale. Eleven of the units were “regular sales,” ranging in price from $162,500 for a brand new 559 square foot one bedroom on Chelsea Street to $328,000 for a brand new 1,400 square foot 2 bedroom with parking on Cottage Street in Jeffries Point. There should continue to be a strong demand for well-built, well-priced condominiums in East Boston.

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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Remarkable East Boston Properties Sell in Today’s Market

The recent sales of two exceptional East Boston properties, both with great views, for excellent prices tell us that the East Boston real estate market is still very strong for renovated, well maintained, desirable, and unique properties.

In August, a 1,364 square foot two level penthouse, both spectacular and unusual, in a brick Jeffries Point brownstone sold for $390,000. This unit was originally converted into a condominium in the 1990s, and every time it has sold since then, it has commanded top dollar. The unit boasts ample square footage, a unique style, and a great Jeffries Point location across from Belmont Square / Brophy Park, with incredible views of the Boston skyline and harbor. This unit sold for 97% of the final asking price.

In September, an impeccably renovated 2,000 square foot hilltop home sold on Gladstone Street for $435,000. This home was tastefully and completely renovated. Located on one of the most desirable Orient Height’s streets, it also had commanding views of Boston. This property sold at 92% of its final asking price.

The sale of both of these properties tell us that if a property is well located, has ample square footage, is in well maintained or desirable condition, it will sell for a decent price, even in today’s 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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Ecco Brings New Taste to East Boston Fare

When a neighborhood evolves into a pleasant, safe, friendly, urban village, it is often the result of having affordable and enjoyable eating spots nearby. East Boston, over the last year, has seen a series of wonderful establishments pop up in the neighborhood to complement many of the great neighborhood institutions already here.

With a great selection of food and drinks, Ecco is a new arrival that offers opportunities to bump in to old and new friends, long time residents, former East Bostonians, and new homeowners, too. It truly draws a customer base from across the spectrum for food and drinks in an elegant setting.

East Boston has seen some great establishments open in the past year. Angela’s Café on Lexington Street has wonderful, authentic Mexican cuisine. The 303 Café has an amazing weekend brunch, and full menu. Scup’s, at the Marginal Street marina, offers incredible food in a unique and pleasant waterfront setting. D’Parma’s brings a full Italian menu with a full bar to Maverick Square. Saigon Restaurant is under new ownership and brings in a taste of Pho cuisine to East Boston. And, Off the Boat has expanded its location into a full dining room with truly authentic Italian seafood dishes.

And let’s not forget some of our neighborhood’s classic favorites that have been giving us great fare for decades including Kelley’s Pub, Rino’s, Donna’s, and Santarpio’s Pizza, all of which have paved the way for East Boston to be a great destination for food & drinks.

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 and the Subprime Mortgage Crisis

East Boston has not been immune to our country’s mortgage crisis. Between 1995 and 2005, East Boston properties multiplied in value. A three-family that might have sold for $150,000 in the mid 1990s sold for as much as $550,000 to $600,000 by 2005. Sadly, in retrospect, we realize buyers willing to pay the most for properties were the riskiest buyers with respect to financing. Very seldom were a bank’s terms and details known or questioned. The goal was to make sure a buyer had secured financing. Sellers entered into agreements with buyers because they were offering high prices for properties—most of the mortgages were approved and houses sold.

While some homeowners are currently in trouble, between 1995 and 2005, other homebuyers made huge profits. Real estate professionals saw dozens of buyers purchase real estate for $100,000 using risky mortgages and then resell those same properties for $200,000. Similar “subprime” loans were used for buyers of $300,000 properties who then resold them for $400,000. It was not unusual for buyers to make $100,000 to $300,000 profits on properties. Only when property values plateaued and there were no more windfall profits did the media and the country realize most of these properties were purchased with little money down and with very risky mortgages…the subprime mortgages that have lead to the crisis requiring a $700 billion bailout. East Boston is a great case study on “what went wrong” with our mortgage industry.

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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