Archive for June, 2010

Values of East Boston Three-Families Higher Today Than in 2000

While there is much discussion about depressed real estate values, current property values of the average East Boston triple-decker are higher than they were 10 years ago, and such properties sell more quickly then they did a decade ago, according to Multiple Listing Service records.  Between January 1, 2000 and June 30, 2000, 52 East Boston three-families sold.  The average sale price was $223,202, and the average marketing time was 91 days.  Between January 1, 2010 and June 30, 2010, 40 three-families have sold.  The average sale price was $273,160, and the average days on market was only 49 days.  In 2000, only 3 multi-families sold between January and June for more than $300,000. This year, 14 of the 40 three-families sold for $300,000 or more.

Certain factors have helped East Boston maintain its property values over the last decade.  We have a safe neighborhood close to downtown Boston with five subway stations providing easy access to transportation; we have steadily improved our parks and facilities such as the Greenway, the Bremen Street Park, Piers Parks, and our community gardens; we have encouraged small business development and storefront improvements for restaurants, corner stores and other small businesses; we have welcomed large developments such as the Porter 156 Lofts as well as small condo conversions; and we have embraced an artist community visible at 80 Border Street and in the new Zumix Firehouse.  If East Boston continues with the steady improvements it has made over the last decade, we can expect a vibrant community of homeowners willing to purchase in East Boston and help maintain, and perhaps steadily increase, our neighborhood’s real estate values.

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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Buyers of Newly Renovated East Boston Condos Take Advantage of April Tax Credit

During the last two months, 17 East Boston condominiums sold and 5 others remain under agreement.  Of the sold units the average list price was $233,059; the average sale price was $225,282.  More than half the units that sold and almost all those under agreement are brand new, developed during the last five years, or completely renovated.  Almost all the purchasers are first time homebuyers trying to obtain an $8,000 tax credit—they must have a property under contract by April 30, 2010 and close by June 30, 2010.  Furthermore, first time homebuyers seem reluctant to purchase older, unrenovated condos without many of today’s sought after amenities—laundry in unit, central a/c, ample storage space, and newer kitchens and baths.

While condo prices remained stable during early spring and interest was high, currently there are not too many buyers.  There are 70 condos on the market in East Boston with an average list price of $222,117 and an average of 165 days on the market.  Many units for sale were developed during the last 20 years and are considered “older,” and many of this year’s set of homebuyers have already made their purchases to meet the April tax credit deadline.  Sellers might want to consider renovating older condos and common areas in order to sell them or perhaps rent them until Spring 2011 buyers start their home search.

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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Recent Immigrant Community Plays a Strong Role in East Boston’s Revitalization

East Boston has changed considerably over the last 25 years. In the mid 1980s, East Boston was still suffering from the departure of most small businesses and middle class families who moved to the suburbs. Urban gentrification that was budding in areas such as the North End and the South End did not reach this side of the harbor. There were many vacant apartments and storefronts; subway stations were underused and in poor condition; many landlords told horror stories of poor quality tenants. And property values and rents were extremely low.

East Boston’s most recent immigrant population started growing in the late 1980s. By the mid 1990s, like today, most small businesses and most multi-family properties were being purchased by recent immigrants. The average triple-decker price might have been $75,000 in the 1980s; today it is close to $350,000. Apartments that once rented for $300 or $500 now rent for close to $1,000 a month. Similarly, the “corner store” and other neighborhood businesses were blocked up and vacant in the late 1980s. Today, immigrants have revitalized much of the small business scene in East Boston.

While the recent immigrant population is not East Boston’s only community (we have a vibrant long standing community in East Boston and a growing young professional community), it is important to note the positive role recent immigrants have played in East Boston’s housing demand and vibrant small business community. They have made a hefty contribution to East Boston’s strong property values, both on the residential as well as the commercial side.

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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Tony’s Realty Lists Three-Family in Jeffries Point

Tony’s Realty recently listed a very nice three-family home at 12 Cottage Street in Jeffries Point, across from the Joseph Ciampa Community Garden and Piers Park. Consisting of a one bedroom apartment and 2 two bedroom apartments, the property has had some major renovations—walls and ceilings are newer, windows and moldings have been replaced, bathrooms and kitchens have been updated. There is also a nice backyard as well as decks off all three apartments. This pleasant home also has great views of the Park and Harbor from its bay windows as well as spectacular skyline and water views from its third floor deck.

Over the past few years, there have only been a handful of three-family properties to sell in Jeffries Point, especially in the Webster, Cottage, Haynes and Marginal Street areas. The general evolving trend in the area is buildings being developed into condominiums (rather than sellers offering entire properties, individual units are sold off). Purchasing 12 Cottage Street is a rare opportunity to purchase a fully intact three-family in the heart of the Jeffries Point waterfront neighborhood. The price is $429,000.

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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City of Boston Should Consider Periodic Smoke Detector Inspections

Last week’s multi-family fire in East Boston that resulted in two deaths is a terrible tragedy.  Sadly, it’s not hard to imagine something similar happening in many East Boston buildings.  Because East Boston properties are densely populated and extremely close to one another, it might be time for the City of Boston to take pioneering steps in fire prevention, and perhaps as a community we should encourage it.  The City of Boston should consider requiring regular periodic inspections (annually or biennially) to make sure every residential unit has properly installed and functioning smoke detectors.

While the Gove Street property may have had adequately installed and properly functioning smoke detectors, it’s not hard to imagine there are East Boston properties that do not.  Most units are equipped with smoke detectors, but over time batteries are sometimes removed if an alarm sounds off while cooking or sometimes batteries are not changed on a regular basis.  And occasionally, smoke detectors are placed in wrong locations.  When faced with leaky roofs, falling snow, freezing pipes, or other property management issues, proper smoke detector installation and maintenance can often be overlooked.  The City of Boston should consider inspecting every residential unit on a regular periodic basis to make sure homes are in compliance with smoke detector laws.  While this might be considered expensive, an inspection cost can be passed on to a homeowner or landlord.  Property owners pay mortgages, taxes, water bills and insurance.  An extra $100 per year, or whatever a smoke detector inspection might cost, would be negligible when added to other annual expenses.  It would be no different than already required annual automobile inspections.  And perhaps the annual awareness about the importance of functioning and properly installed smoke detectors could save future lives.

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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