Archive for the 'East Boston' Category



Sellers Shouldn’t Delay Readying a Home for Sale this Season

Now is the busiest selling time of year in East Boston: April 15 thru August 15. The weather is warm and the days are long during these four months. The Obama tax incentive for first time buyers who place a property under contract before April 30 is also helping boost the spring market. While November thru February are the coldest, darkest, and slowest months of the year to sell a property, any time spent “thinking about” selling a home at this point in the calendar is lost marketing time. If you are planning to sell, now is the time to put your house on the market.

During prime selling season, you don’t want to waste too much time “getting your house ready” if that means “keeping it off the market.” Spend a week or so doing the most important tasks; remaining tasks can be done while the house is already listed for sale. The to do list remains pretty much the same—remove clutter as much as possible, empty basements and attics, rake leaves, throw away “yard junk,” and keep your lawn or hedges trimmed. Wash windows and doors and paint trim if necessary. Fix leaky plumbing, paint old leak stains, and service your heating furnace. In multi-family properties, clean front and back hallways, neatly print tenant names on mailboxes, and keep porches cleared of trash and extra debris. If you have any vacant apartments, it is advisable to leave at least one empty for the new homeowner. Also, gather tenant records and leases and make note of when your roof was last repaired, heating systems installed, electricity updated, etc. A well presented property along with detailed information on tenants and past improvements, or even acknowledging work that still needs to be done, will lead to a much faster, smoother sale.

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 Attracts a Diverse Range of Buyers

A question buyers and sellers often ask of Tony’s Realty is “who is buying real estate in East Boston?” Based upon observations of Tony’s Realty agents, the answer oftentimes depends upon the type of property being purchased. Most condos in East Boston are purchased by professional first time homebuyers, most of whom have maybe 3% to 10% available for a down payment. Many bank owned condominiums, most of which are in buildings with no associations, are sold to investors who pay cash. These are primarily used as investment properties and rented out. Sometimes, if a condo association is established and a high owner occupancy rate can be achieved in a building, investor purchased bank owned condos can be resold for a profit, again with most buyers being younger professionals.

Larger multi-family properties in East Boston, especially those with apartments having two or three bedrooms, are almost exclusively sold to immigrant families currently living in East Boston as tenants. These usually become owner occupied properties. Smaller, bank owned multifamily properties are usually sold to investors, often paying cash, who use the properties as rental buildings.

Single-family homes attract both younger professionals as well as immigrant families. Occasionally, native East Bostonians or city employees such as firemen or policemen will purchase Orient Heights properties. Unlike condos, which sell almost exclusively to younger professionals or two or three family homes, which sell almost exclusively to immigrant families, single-family homes attract buyers from both of East Boston’s two major pools of buyers.

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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Fall Home Prepping Reaps Benefits for Spring Sales

The East Boston real estate market was very busy between May 1 and mid August. While the market generally slows down as summer ends, we predict a busy 8 weeks beginning after Labor Day and ending around Halloween. The subsequent months, November thru March, should be relatively slow. With shorter days, and wet and cold weather, enthusiasm for moving usually starts to dwindle.

If you are thinking of selling within the next six to nine months, but are not prepared to sell during the remaining 8 busy weeks of the season, it is best to spend the subsequent November thru March months preparing your property as best as possible for a spring market. Service or replace old furnaces, de-clutter and simplify each room, empty attics or basements, fix broken window panes or screens, grout bathrooms, install GFI outlets in kitchens and bathrooms, remove any asbestos, refinish hardwood floors, clean or replace carpets, paint walls and ceilings, fix leaky roofs, and obtain certificates of lead paint compliance for rental units. Spending between $1,000 to $10,000 during the late fall and winter months to make a property more presentable will enable a faster sale and a higher price during the busier April thru October selling months.

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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Maverick Square…East Boston’s Living Room

Tony’s Realty offers its congratulations and thanks to all those who have dedicated countless hours, days, and years to the renovation of Maverick Square. The dust has settled; East Boston has its welcome mat back, and it looks better than ever.

Now that we have the infrastructure in place, Tony’s Realty would like to encourage East Boston (public and private citizens alike) to ensure the square becomes as welcoming a gathering spot as Harvard Square in Cambridge, Bryant Park in New York, or the Spanish Steps in Rome. The Square is our living room, after all.

We’re imagining outdoor seating for all the restaurants and coffee shops that line the square (whether the establishment is big, small, independent, or a chain). We also envision fruit and slush carts—similar to the ones currently lining many a streetscape in New York—or allowing some of our grocery stores to sell their produce outdoors along the sidewalks. Perhaps a few more trees, flowers, and potted plants (both from the public as well as private sectors). And performance spaces for music groups both above ground and below.

Great cities have great living rooms. While the work that was done was a great first step in improving the square, it’s simply that—a first step. Now that the house is built, it’s time to start furnishing it, making it a home.

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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Magnificent East Boston Three-Family for Sale

This week Tony’s Realty is proud to present a beautiful three-family home located at 146 Trenton Street. This East Boston property was completely renovated by the current owners in 1997 and has been lovingly taken care of since. It will be delivered vacant.

The home features three magnificent apartments, all separate utilities, a lovely backyard, a large walk-in basement, and a wonderfully restored Victorian style clapboard facade with a tri-color palette. It is a short walk from the newly restored Souza / Putnam Square.

The first two floors currently have four rooms each featuring large eat-in-kitchens, beautiful bathrooms, large master bedrooms, smaller offices, and ample closet space. The third floor features an adorable, sunlit one bedroom apartment. The building’s entryway is wonderfully restored, and the yard is perfect for a patio or gardening. This house is probably one of the best restored and maintained three-families that has been on the market in East Boston within the last five years. It has too many features to list. Showings will begin on Saturday, April 4. The property is priced at $419,000.

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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Large Non Short Sale Three-Families Sell Quickly in East Boston

In East Boston, there is an increased demand for larger three-family homes in decent condition that are not short sales.  Most sales taking place recently have been short sales (in a short sale, a seller attempts to sell a property at market value, which is less than what is owed on a mortgage, and asks the bank to forgive the difference between the amount owed to the bank and the amount a buyer is willing to pay).  Short sales are sometimes not approved, and approvals can take three to six months.  There are many buyers unwilling to attempt a short sale purchase, but who instead want to buy a “non short sale property” from a “regular seller” so that a sale can take place in the normal 45-day time frame.

Recently, some larger three families in East Boston, which have not been short sales, have sold for higher prices than many short sales.  A large 4,128 square foot three-family with a driveway at 641 Bennington Street near Orient Heights recently sold for $350,000.  Another large 3,553 square foot three-family at 222 East Eagle Street sold in January for $320,000.  A large 4,764 square foot home at 358 Meridian Street was recently listed at $325,000 and went under agreement in just 24 days.  Similarly, a large 4,632 square foot three-family at 316 Saratoga Street was listed at $325,000 and went under agreement in just 6 days. (The last two properties have not yet sold; most properties that go under agreement within 30 days sell within 90% to 100% of asking price.)

East Boston has a shortage of large three-family properties on the market and in good condition that are not short sales.  Regular sellers will find that even in these tough economic times, there is a strong demand for large three-families in good condition in the $300,000 to $350,000 price range.  They tend to sell quickly.

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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A Glimpse Into the East Boston Mortgage Crisis

A bank-owned two-family located at 91 Leyden Street on a very large 6,695 square foot lot was placed on the market on March 13 for $199,900. There was an accepted offer only 11 days later—most bank owned properties sell close to their asking price.

The mortgage history of this property gives us a terrifying glimpse of the East Boston mortgage crisis. The last owners purchased this two-family plus in-law in 1997 for $147,000. Their down payment was less than $7,000; their original mortgage was only $140,082. They refinanced the property six additional times: in March 2001 for $183,750; in September 2002 for $260,000; in November 2003 for $267,000; in May 2004 for $316,000; in June 2005 for $325,000. Lastly, two mortgages were obtained in January 2006 totaling $409,500. The property was foreclosed upon in September 2008.

Many East Boston homeowners borrowed consistently and extensively on their homes over the last decade. Ironically, even as a 2009 bank-owned foreclosed property, 91 Leyden Street will probably sell at a price higher than it did in 1997. This makes us wonder if housing prices in our neighborhood have “collapsed” or are just returning to their “normal levels” of the late 1990s.

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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