Category Archives: First Time Home Buyer

Featured Listing: Single Family Home Sitting High on Metropolitan Hill

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50 Hemmen Street – Roslindale

This house is calling you home! This home sits high on Metropolitan Hill and faces southwest to bring in beautiful light over the treetops and sunset vistas. This bright bungalow is filled with warmth and great charm, as well as, lustrous gumwood woodwork, pillars, a built-in hutch and wainscoting. It also has a heated 4 season sun room with French doors. The front porch features stunning views of the neighborhood. The lower level is partially finished and fully heated, there is a walk-up attic, Oak floors throughout, mostly replaced windows, and a covered rear porch to boot! Only .8 mi to Roslindale Village shops, restaurants, commuter rail and buses to Forest Hills. MLS # 71772892

Learn more, contact The Surrealtors at:
Trisha Solio- 617.293.8070 or Kathy Power- 781.424.7394

First Time Home Buyer Seminar Continues to Grow

For nearly 15 years, we have been hosting seminars to educate First Time Home Buyers (FTHB) on the ins and outs of purchasing a home. Our dedicated sales professionals have worked hard to develop and build engaging and interactive events that consistently exceed our clients’ expectations. We have been thrilled with the positive feedback and robust attendance throughout the years, and have worked with many FTHB seminar attendees to achieve their dream of home ownership.

Buying your first home is an important life event and can seem like a daunting challenge. To help you navigate and demystify the home buying process, the events bring together the area’s most knowledgeable industry experts in their respective fields.  Presenters include a real estate agent, mortgage lender, home inspector, real estate attorney and an insurance agent.

The next Home Buyer Seminar is just around the corner! It’s free and there’s no commitment or obligation, just the opportunity to learn everything you need to know about the home buying process. Thank you to all former seminar attendees, and to everyone else, we invite you to stop by the next Home Buyer Seminar – check back for future dates as well.

Upcoming Seminar
Tuesday, July 15:  6:00-8:00PM
1290A Beacon Street, Brookline, MA
Register Here!

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Featured Listing: Stunning New Construction in JP!

73-75 Wachusett Street, Jamaica Plain

Three new construction townhomes available in Jamaica Plain, close to public transportation, shops, parks and the Arnold Arboretum. Units feature luxurious finishes including, hardwood floors, gourmet kitchen, high ceilings, integrated sound systems and more! Private off-street parking included.

Units 73A and 73B
Listed at $549,900
2 bedroom, 2 bathroom
Amazing roof deck with panoramic views
MLS # 71693850 & 71693852

Unit 75 #1
Listed at $649,900
3 bedroom, 2 bathroom
Large open floor plan
MLS # 71693853

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Open Houses: Saturday, June14th 2-4pm & Sunday, June 15th 2-4pm

Featured Listing: Investors and First Time Home Buyers Wanted!

2089 Dorchester Avenue, Unit 2 – Dorchester

Listed at $139,000

Own for less than renting! Affordable pied-à-terre, investment property, starter condo, whatever works for you! There’s no wasted space in this fantastic, clean, incredibly affordable one-bedroom! Walk to Ashmont T station, pharmacy, shopping, restaurants, cafes, yoga, Dorchester Park, Neponset River, you name it. MLS #71676779

Learn more, contact George Wood:


Mortgage Update: Why do mortgage companies care about your large bank deposits?

Update by Jarred Alexandrov : Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation

If you’re like most people applying for a mortgage, or getting pre-approved for a mortgage you will be asked by your mortgage company “to source your large bank deposits.

(A large deposit is generally considered any non payroll deposit over $1000. This includes simple transfers from checking/savings accounts.)

Why Do Mortgage Companies Care About Your Large Bank Deposits?

  1. Mortgage companies are required by law (USA Patriot Act) to source deposits in order to combat money laundering. If we do not source the deposit we could be held liable if money laundering is determined to have taken place.
  2. Mortgage companies want to determine that you have the funds available to pay for your mortgage. More specifically they need to know that you are not relying upon one-time sources of funds such as gifts, gambling winnings, etc to qualify.

If you have large deposits in your bank accounts, you will need to “source” those deposits by providing evidence of the check and/or origin of the funds.

Of course, you can also avoid having to provide evidence for sourcing large deposits by not depositing or transferring funds until your mortgage is finalized.**

**If you are receiving gift funds for a purchase of real estate, get those funds transferred or deposited at least 2 months before you apply for a mortgage so that the “large deposit” won’t be reflected in your most recent bank statements.**

When you are asked to “source a large deposit” now you know why!

Jarred Alexandrov
Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp. Marketing Director and Loan Coordinator
617-456-1700 ext.115


Don’t forget to come in, call or visit us at for all your Real Estate needs in Boston, Brookline, Jamaica Plain and surrounding areas.



The Rental Market AFTER Sept 1st with Al Norton of Prudential Unlimited Realty

A Rental Market Update
by: Al Norton, Rental Manager

September First has come and gone, so the rental market is dead, right? I mean, roughly 90% of all Greater Boston apartments are on a 9/1 – 8/31 lease cycle, so what could possibly be available at the start of October? Well, while the floor of our rental department isn’t exactly Grand Central Station like it was just a few weeks back, there is still business going on –  new homes being found – so if you are looking now or plan on looking in the next few months, what follows will help you be a more informed consumer!

Traditionally, the off-season (October thru April) inventory is made up of some combination of September First leftovers, lease breaks, luxury units, and new investment property…


September First leftovers

September First leftovers are just that, places that were listed for 9/1 occupancy that no one rented. Maybe because they were overpriced, maybe the office that had the listing didn’t do any marketing, maybe they just somehow slipped through the cracks, but frequently current conditions simply leave them vacant. The good news is that because they have been on the market for a while, the rent for these units is likely lower than it was six weeks ago. Keep in mind there is only so low they will drop; a $2600 two bed in Brookline is not going to fall to $1900, but you might get it for $2400 . Also, the leases for these units will likely be less than one year in order to get back on cycle and then you are looking at a rent increase to get back up to market level.

Lease Breaks

Lease breaks are situations where the current tenant has to move; they have a lease in place, likely through the summer, but people get new jobs, lose jobs, split up, get engaged/married and all year round with no respect to our leasing cycle, so these units do pop up. Also. the First Time Home Buyer market has been hot this season due to low rates, causing tenants to grab deals thus freeing up more units. There’s not a ton of them, but they are out there and the thing to keep in mind about these units is that they will likely not be discounted since the landlord already has a contract with the existing tenants where they have to pay the rent until someone else takes the place, so there is no reason for them to mark the unit down.  The good news is these rentals aren’t available because of issues of quality and/or price, so you won’t have to adjust your expectations the way you would for a leftover.

Luxury Units

Luxury units don’t always follow the same rental cycle because the amenities those buildings typically offer – some combination of concierge services, gym, pool, club/media room, garage parking – are hard enough to come by where they are always going to be in demand no matter what time of year they are available. There can be some discounting involved in the off-season but those discounts might be along the lines of a one bed that was $3500 now being $3200; $300 a month off your rent is great but it’s still $3200 a month in rent!

New Investment Units

New investment units come to market all year round because real estate closings happen all year round. A smart investor will recognize that their goal with an off-season closing is to get a quality tenant in the unit at a price they can live with in order to get the unit back on the 9/1 cycle, so you may be able to get what would be a $1900 unit for $1800 or even $1750. Again, don’t forget that you will be looking at an increase at the end of the lease but if you can save $100 – $150 a month for 8 -10 months that pays your moving costs (for example).
We rental agents speak in general terms, which during a strong market some renters can find discouraging, but the truth is all you need to find is one place, so take the information you’ve just read and bring an informed, realistic, and yes, optimistic mindset to your search!

Next week we will have a feature from Thomas O’Connor, Head of Property Management for Prudential Unlimited Realty about how you can add value and efficiency to your home.  Don’t forget to come in, call or visit us at for all your Real Estate needs in Boston, Brookline, Jamaica Plain and surrounding areas.

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Quick Tips: Moving into a new apartment.

Living in a new environment, whether as a first time home owner, veteran property professional, or college student in a new dorm… can be stressful. This weeks’ “Quick Tips” are all about your new home; getting things organized, cleaning what the previous tenants left behind, and general household upkeep with a twist. After the chaos that was Sept. 1st, 2012 (See our survival guide HERE)  we will to take a look at some steps you can take to make your new house a home.

Around the House


Candle wax on your new floor? Use a brown paper bag and an iron to clean up the mess! Place a paper towel or brown paper bag over the dry wax spill and press with an iron on low heat. The wax will stick to the paper and lift right off your floor!


Wooden furniture legs scratched during the move? Take a raw walnut, rub it over the scratches and watch as they disappear. The natural oils in the walnuts help to seal the scratches on your wooden furniture, making them look brand new.


Polish chrome items with baby oil. Just a dab on a cotton cloth will make everything shine!


Drains clogged? Mix equal parts baking soda and vinegar and
pour down a clogged drain and cover it with a warm wet cloth. Let the mixture settle in the pipes for about 5 minutes, uncover and run steaming hot water through the pipes.


Greasy dinner make a mess on your clothes or furniture? Toss a little cornmeal on top of the grease stain and let it absorb your mess for about 10-15 minutes. Dust or vacuum over the cornmeal and, viola! No more grease stains!


Water stains ruining your furniture? Turn that hair dryer on high and aim at the stain. Watch as the water ring disappears! Once the ring is gone, dab a little olive oil over the surface to keep the wood moisturized. A hot iron over a towel will work wonders on those water stains as well.

In the Kitchen


Cleaning your food processor or grinder regularly can be a chore but it will keep residual flavors from mixing together and creating a not so tasty treat. For a quick fix, toss a piece of fresh white bread in and run your processor/grinder. This will lift any residual oils or smalls pieces of food out of the appliance.


Hate the self cleaning function on your oven and heavy duty chemical cleaners? By making your own paste from baking soda and water you can clean your oven more naturally!

How to: Mix baking soda and water to a paste consistency and coat the oven surfaces evenly (but don’t cover the heating elements!). Let this sit overnight to break down the grease and grime that has accumulated in your oven. The next day (preferably while wearing gloves) take a plastic spatula, scrape it all up and wipe down with a damp paper towel. Once your ‘new’ oven is clean and ready to go, cover the bottom with an oven liner available at most home goods stores.


Do your coffee cups have dark tea and coffee stains? White dishes stained and you haven’t been able to remove them? Fill your sink with warm water, drop a few denture cleaning tablets in the water and let your dishes soak until the stains are gone! Rinse and repeat as needed to remove the stains completely! For ceramic and enamel items with stains and dark scratches, try Bar Keeper’s Friend. Bar keepers friend is a great cleaning agent that will make your dishes look brand new!


Microwave oven have stains or a weird odor? Fill a bowl or mug with water and a teaspoon of vanilla extract and heat on high for 2-3 minutes. Leave the microwave door shut for an additional couple of minutes to allow the steam to penetrate caked on food. Wipe down the interior with a damp cloth to remove grime. Leave the door open for a few hours to dry and let additional odors escape

Coming Up!

Next week we will have an update from Al Norton, Rental Manager for Prudential Unlimited Realty as well as market updates to help prepare you for the winter months. Don’t forget to come in, call or visit us at for all your Real Estate needs in Boston, Brookline, Jamaica Plain and the surrounding areas.


Also, to learn more about our ongoing FIRST TIME HOME BUYER SEMINARS and other educational services we provide, please CLICK HERE

Upcoming Event: Boston Real Estate Investment Club, meet John MacIsaac and Rajeev Kotyan


This Thursday, February 16th, at 6pm Prudential Unlimited Realty will be sponsoring the next meeting of the Boston Real Estate Investment Club.  The event, hosted at the Brookline Holiday Inn,  will be featuring John MacIsaac of ASAP Environmental Inc. and Rajeev Kotyan of NUA Advisors, LLC. 

The Featured topics for the meeting are:

  • “Basics of Using Self Directed IRAs to invest in Real Estate” 
  • “Eliminate Lead Paint Risk and Enhance Your Investment.” 

************** To register for this weeks meeting please  click HERE:  ***************

About the Speakers

 John MacIsaac: ASAP Environmental Inc.

John founded ASAP in June of 1993, and since then, has been widely respected throughout Massachusetts and nationally as a leader in the Lead Inspection industry.  He has developed a unique base of clients that include public/private collaborations to assist property owners with Lead Paint Abatement programs. Previously, John worked as a contractor and property manager for over 20 years which gave him a dynamic perspective to advise on the removal of lead  as well as other remedies for indoor air quality problems.

His expertise and insight have given him the opportunity to join the New England chapter of the Lead and Environmental Hazards Association (LEHA) as President, as well as to sit on their national  board. Other credits include board positions on The American Indoor Air Quality Council and with American Society Home Inspection.

Rajeev Kotyan: NUA Advisors, LLC

Rajeev Kotyan holds the position of Risk Manager and Principal at NUA Advisors, LLC.  He provides the risk management guidelines required to analyze all client portfolios spanning both traditional and non-traditional asset classes.

Rajeev’s background includes both corporate and institutional risk management and strategy planning for business and product development, as well as financial products and strategies, such as algorithmic trading, transaction cost analysis, quantitative analysis and cross asset class strategy trading.

Since 1998, Rajeev has been personally investing in non-traditional investments using Self Directed IRAs, mainly focused on real estate and real estate-related assets, including mortgage notes, short-term loans, foreign exchange and small business ventures, to name a few.

For more information on BREIC and to register click HERE.

Thinking About Buying? Why Not?

Why does the real estate market work in such crazy ways? This past spring, the market was flooded with First Time Homebuyers hoping to take adantage of the $8,000 Federal Tax Credit for first time buyers. The deadline to find a home and put it under contract was April 30, 2010 and originally, the transaction had to close by June 30, 2010. That has since been extended to September 30, 2010.

The media started to talk about the economy coming out of recession. Builders and developers began buying land and renovating and improving existing structures. Locally, developers were back out on the prowl looking for multifamily homes and apartment buildings with the hopes of converting to condominiums. Many developers were able to buy a multifamily in the fall, renovate and do a condo conversion, and subsequently sell all the units in the first half of the year.

The increase in demand created by the tax credit found many buyers shut out by May 1st. Many had experienced and lost multiple offer bidding wars. Many had experienced similar heart breaks similar to those experienced at the height of the real estate market of the mid 2000-2010 period. Many walked away empty handed feeling it was just not meant to be this year.

But why? Was an $8,000 tax credit really the only reason worth buying a first home? Why end your search and leave the market now? Below are 4 reasons why now is an even better time to buy a home.

1. You’re still renting. You’re still paying your landlord’s mortgage, why not pay your own? You’re still living under some else’s roof. You are still throwing money away each month with little to no tax benefits. You still have no opportunity to enjoy in the appreciation in home prices over time.

2. Demand is lower. As mentioned above, buyers were routinely losing the properties they coveted because someone else either beat them to the punch, paid more than them, or had more money to put down than they did. The tax credit created demand, gobbled up all the good supply and put pressure on prices. In many cases, the increased demand caused prices to climb by more than $8,000. If that was the case, then what good is the tax credit. It was great for some sellers who have been waiting he last couple of years for a good time get out. It seems to reason, that if you could get the home you wanted, at the price you wanted AND you could take advantage of the tax credit, then the tax credit was great but not otherwise. If the demand caused prices to increase more than the amount of the tax credit or it caused buyers to settle for a home they didn’t like as much as another, then it wasn’t necessarily a great reason to buy on it’s own.

3. The Fall Market. With the exception of last year when the government first introduced the tax credit, the fall season usually shows some somewhat predictable trends. Many sellers (and their real estate agents) perceive the post-Labor Day market to be more like a mini spring market. However, this is not necessarily the case. In fact, if you look at historical trends, the fall is often the time of the year where the supply of housing inventory actually grows and sellers have a difficult time selling (especially unrealistic sellers).

Experienced and knowledgeable real estate professionals often times monitor the housing supply and compare it with demand. The housing supply can be measured by the absorption rate (which is basically the rate of houses coming on the market versus the rate of houses going off the market) or by months of inventory . When more houses are coming on the market than coming off, the absorption rate slows, the supply increases, and therefore, there is a higher number of months of inventory. Months of inventory indicates how many months it would take at current activity levels to absorb all of the available housing units if not one more additional property were brought on the market (which we all know is unrealistic).


serious buyers, this should be a great time to buy a home. It is true, more homes come on the market. It is also true that relative to the number of new homes on the market, there is usually not a similar spike in the number of buyers. This creates opportunity for a serious buyer. There is more to choose from. There is usually more negotiating room, and there is less pressure to make a quick decision. Serious buyers have a lot of opportunity. Between Labor Day and Thanksgiving, there is usually a build up of supply. Between Thanksgiving and New Years, many sellers take their property off the market in anticipation of waiting until the spring market causing the supply to decline. Then, at the beginning of the calendar year, the whole cycle starts over again.

4. Interest Rates. During this past spring market and during the time the tax credit was available, interest rates were at least a half point (0.50%) or more higher than they were as of last week. Last Tuesday, interest rates on a 30 year fixed conventional mortgage for top tier buyers was at 4.375% whereas during the spring, interest rates were 5% or more (not that that’s a high interest rate). Therefore, based on the difference between 5% and 4.375, a buyer who owns their home for 5 years, would benefit from buying now based on interest rate alone than if they bought during this past spring, all other things equal and got the tax credit.

Based on all of the above, a buyer looking to buy now rather than this past spring can probably benefit from more choice, more negotiating room, more motivated sellers, and lower interest rates, while still benefitting from tax deductions for mortgage interest and real estate taxes, and a higher probability in the long run for price appreciation.

If you are thinking about buying a home now or in the future, go to our website and search for homes by map or search parameter, sign up for one our well-known free, monthly First Time Homebuyer Seminars or sign up to meet with one of our experienced buyers agents to receive free representation on your home purchase.

Open House Extravaganza – View our Properties and Enter to Win a $500 Gift Card

Prudential Unlimited Realty will be hosting an Open House Extravaganza this Sunday, May 16th from 12:00-3:00.

In order to gain added exposure for its seller’s properties for sale, Prudential Unlimited will be holding extended open houses in order to offer a chance for all spring market buyers to view our available homes. Special advertising leading up to the event has been placed in the weeks leading up to the event.

Prospective buyers attending the extravaganza are encouraged to register at each property for a chance to win either a $500 Best Buy Gift Card or a Home Depot Gift Card. The more properties one attends and registers at, the more chances the buyer has to win the gift card.

Click here for a list of open houses that will be participating in the extravaganza.