Category Archives: Unlimited Sotheby’s International Realty News

LEARN: Residential Real Estate for the Small, Start-up Investor

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Owner and agent, Chuck Silverston, will be teaching a class about residential real estate for start-up investors on Tuesday, May 2nd at Brookline High School from 7:00pm to 9:00pm. Register Here.

Real estate remains one of the best investments yielding relatively high returns for relatively low risks, and in the current market, rental housing is in high demand and low supply. Today in Brookline’s Coolidge Corner, a one bedroom condominium unit rents for $1,950 to $2,600 per month, and sometimes even more. Selling prices for such units are in the range of $425,000 to $525,000, and the cash-on-cash return on such an investment can be about four to five percent per year and much higher than a CD, or other investments. In this course, we will review financial and economic factors that have resulted in current market conditions and discuss advantages of investing in small condominium units in select locations. We will use real examples and demonstrate basic cash flow analysis methods. Students will learn basic topics like capitalization rate, cash on cash return, and why real estate is a smart investment.

About Chuck Silverston

Chuck SilverstonChuck has been a top agent for over ten years and even earned the designation by Trendgraphix as the number one buyer’s agent in Brookline. Chuck is a Principal at Unlimited Sotheby’s International Realty. He has owned the Paris Creperie Cafe for over 15 years and has lived in Brookline for 20 years. Chuck has one daughter, Lilli, that attends Brookline High School. He served as co-chair of the Pierce School PTO from 2010-2012 and currently serves on the Board of the Brookline Education Foundation.

Unlimited Sotheby’s International Realty Welcomes Agent Ellen Meisel

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Unlimited Sotheby’s International Realty, a locally owned and operated real estate brokerage with three strategically located offices in Brookline, Jamaica Plain and Newton, is pleased to announce the hire of real estate professional Ellen Meisel. Ellen will be working out of the company’s Newton office at 767 Beacon Street in the heart of Newton Centre.

Ellen joins Unlimited Sotheby’s International Realty with more than 12 years of real estate experience. In 2003, she founded a real estate development company and throughout her career has assisted clients in selling, buying, renovating and leasing properties in Newton, Brookline, West Roxbury, and around the Greater Boston area. Formerly an advertising Account Executive in New York City, Ellen’s clients included AT&T, Nestle and Sony. Ellen prides herself on creating extraordinary customer experiences and alleviating the stress of buying and selling real estate. She is results-oriented, persistent and committed to providing open communication throughout the entire process.

“We are excited to welcome Ellen Meisel to our team. Ellen brings incredible insight and expertise to her clients and our Newton office”, said Jon Ufland, Principal & Managing Broker at Unlimited Sotheby’s International Realty. “Her strong relationships in the community and approach to real estate complement our brand strength and commitment to excellence.”  

“I’m excited to affiliate with Unlimited Sotheby’s International Realty. The prestigious brand and international reach of Sotheby’s International Realty are unparalleled in the marketplace – coupled with its locally owned and managed offices, the company offers the ideal combination for success,” noted Ellen Meisel.

Originally from Memphis, Tennessee, Ellen and her husband have lived in Brookline and Newton for the past 25 years where they have raised their three children. An active member of the Newton community, Ellen is the immediate past President of Temple Beth Avodah and is involved with various charities and political activities. Ellen holds a B.A. from University of Maryland, and M.A. from Brandeis University. Ellen Meisel can be contacted at ellen.meisel@unlimitedsir.com.

Canal Park One of Boston’s Best Connected Buildings

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WiredScore, a building certification program, has just awarded over 80 building in and around Boston for their digital connectivity – one of which being Canal Park in Cambridge, which Biznow dubs “the ideal spot for STEM tenants seeking a range of services”.

The WiredScore survey reported that the single most important consideration for a good office space is a reliable Internet connection. Despite the crucial hold the online market has on businesses, many commercial buildings struggle to implement a dependable digital infrastructure and connection. With more than 75% of respondents ranking Internet access as “critically important,” it’s clear that offices must update and upgrade their technological prowess for the Digital Age.

1, 2, and 10 Canal Park in particular houses over 150 life science and technology companies, making homes close by an attractive choice for engineers and strategists. Looking for high-speed Internet connections and easy access to the Innovation Hub? Look no further than the properties available at 4-6 Canal Park, with skyline views, concierge services, and more to draw you in.

What is it like to live at Canal Park? Agent and Canal Park resident, Donrutai (Amy) Henderson, explains, “Right on the water overlooking Lechmere Canal with breathtaking views of the Boston skyline for units on higher floors (see the above photo). All units come with an outdoor space, either a balcony (or 2 in some units) or a large patio for first level units. Units on higher floors offer the perfect spot to watch the 4th of July fireworks! There is dedicated guest parking and garage parking for most units which is rare perk for city living! Gas cooking with outside venting which is desirable for those who like to cook. Adjacent to Boston for an easy commute to downtown! There are 3 T Stations (Green Line Lechmere across street, Red Line Kendall Square and Orange Line Bunker Hill Community College) nearby and you are just moments to major highways. If the patio or balcony isn’t enough the building backs up to the canal which is perfect for strolls on a nice day, shopping (CambridgeSide Galleria) and numerous options for dining (Cheesecake Factory. P.F. Chang’s, World of Beer, Dante, Bambara, etc). This well established community has many long time residents (10-20+ years), a 24 hour concierge, and on-site Management. Canal Park is city living at its finest!”

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6 Canal Park #606, Cambridge
Offered at $1,250,000

Waterfront home in Cambridge at Thomas Graves’ Landing Condominium. This beautifully renovated 2 bed, 2 bath condo on a high floor features a Private balcony and spectacular views of Boston skyline, Charles River and Lechmere Canal. This is the perfect spot for your next 4th of July party as you’ll have firework views! This floor through style home has 2 exposures: southwest and northeast.

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There are plenty of rentals available in the area as well:

4 Canal Park #511
$3,150/month

4 Canal Park #702
$3,300/month

6 Canal Park #308
$2,600/month

If you’d like to see any of the units for sale or rent please reach out to the listing agent:
Donrutai (Amy) Henderson at 617.519.1627 or donrutai.amy.henderson@unlimitedsir.com

Match Day Has Arrived: Soon to be Boston Medical Residents, Are You Ready?

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Today is Match Day.

It’s the day when medical students across the country get matched with residency programs. In Greater Boston, this day also marks the unofficial start of the non-undergraduate rental market as students will be moving to the area and searching for places to live.

Over the course of the next six or so weeks, the majority of June 1 and July 1 apartments will get listed and rented within very short periods of time – sometimes happening within a 24 hour period.

If you or someone you know will be moving to Boston as a result of Match Day, here are a few tips to navigate the rental market:

Bring a copy of your offer letter. You’ll need to verify employment and income as a part of your rental application.

Be prepared to make a decision and act quickly. In today’s competitive rental market, it’s not unusual for an apartment to rent within a couple of days of being listed. I usually tell people, “don’t rush into a decision but once you make it, rush to act on it.” The first place you see may very well not be around by the time you are done with seeing apartment number eight.

Bring your checkbook and something to keep your jaw from dropping. The one month rental fee is being paid almost exclusively by renters now and many landlords are asking for first, last and security (a full month’s rent) upfront.

Have a co-signer lined up, even if it’s just in case. Landlords typically don’t want the yearly rent to be more than 30-35% of the yearly household income, and if it is, you will likely need a co-signer – even if you have good credit and references. Landlords are looking for assurance that the rent can be paid. And this leads into our final bullet…

Don’t take the process too personally. It’s not about if you are nice and if you hold the door for people at Dunkin’ Donuts, it’s a business transaction and for landlords the application approval process is about mitigating risk. There are nice people who do and don’t pay bills every month. So, while a landlord wants the best of both worlds, it’s not a personal affront if they request a co-signer, need to verify your income, or have questions about your credit.

Be Careful. Don’t respond to any posting/person who wants your social security and/or bank account numbers early on in the process. While they are necessary when you are actually applying for an apartment, anyone who wants them before you’ve even seen the place is likely up to no good. Talk to the agent (or agents) you’re going to be working on the phone, so you know they’re real, and don’t be afraid to use Google if you’re worried something is too good to be true. If most of the one beds you are looking at are $2000 and then you come across something on Zillow that looks great and is only $1500, proceed with caution.

There ARE good places out there and good agents just waiting to show them to you, so give one of our Unlimited Sotheby’s International Realty offices a call to get started on your search for a new Boston home! Start your search HERE.

This article is courtesy of our Rental Manager, Al Norton.
Al can be reached at 617.669.3811 or rentals@unlimitedsir.com

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Landlords, Are You Ready for the Spring Rental Market?

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Match Day is coming! This means rentals will be in high demand as medical students from all over the U.S. will be making plans to move to Boston to complete their residencies.

If you have an apartment on a June or July lease, now is the time to reach out to your existing tenants to confirm if they are staying for another year. After the Match Day rush comes the busiest rental day of the year, September 1st. It will be here before we know it, so begin to reach out to those tenants in June.

If you will have availability, let the professional rental team at Unlimited Sotheby’s International Realty help you find new, high quality tenants during the flurry of the Spring rental market. We’ve got over 75 years of combined experience, a new office in Newton Centre, and a proven marketing strategy to ensure top exposure for your properties.

To learn more, email us at rentals@unlimitedsir.com, visit our website at unlimitedsir.com or stop by one of our three high-profile offices in Brookline, Jamaica Plain or Newton.

Sick of managing properties yourself? Check out our partner, Boston Property Care, a full-service property management company with more than 20 years of experience. Learn more at bostonpropertycare.com.

Newton School District Make Niche’s List of Top Schools in MA, Along With Several Other Bay State Area Schools

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Niche, a website for researching schools, recently released the rankings for the top schools in America*. There is no shortage of great schools in the state, with many of the best schools clustered in the town of Newton.

Newton’s strong real estate market demands stem from families from across the country – and the globe – who want to live in the Newton villages for the high quality schools. No matter what grade level, Newton has top ranking schools on both state and national levels.

As a state known for its education, many other Massachusetts school districts have ranked highly in the US. We’ve broken down the numbers to highlight the best schools in in the state:

  • 2017 Best Public School Districts: The Lexington, Wellesley, Newton, Acton-Boxborough, Wayland, Belmont, Weston, Westford, Brookline and Cambridge School Districts make up the top ten. All top ten MA public high schools rank in the top 100 in the entire country as well.
  • 2017 Top 10 Best Public High Schools: Lexington, Cambridge Rindge & Latin, Newton North, Wellesley, Acton – Boxborough Regional, Brookline, Newton South, Boston Latin, Weston and Wayland High Schools make up the top ten.
  • 2017 Top 10 Best Public Middle Schools: William Diamond (Lexington, MA), Jonas Clarke (Lexington, MA), Oak Hill (Newton, MA), F.A. Day (Newtonville, MA), Wellesley (Wellesley, MA), Bigelow (Newton, MA), Raymond J. Grey (Acton, MA), Winthrop L. Chenery (Belmont, MA), Blanchard (Westford, MA) and Wayland (Wayland, MA) Middle Schools make up the top ten.
  • 2017 Top 10 Best Public Elementary Schools: Maria Hastings (Lexington, MA), Bowman (Lexington, MA), Mason Rice (Newton Centre, MA), Schofield (Wellesley, MA), Joseph Estabrook (Lexington, MA), Ward (Newton Centre, MA), Harrington (Lexington, MA), Bridge (Lexington, MA), Fiske (Lexington, MA) and John D. Hardy (Wellesley, MA) Elementary Schools make up the top ten.

Many of our sales professionals work and live in the area and many of them have had or have children in the Newton school systems. Looking to buy in this town? Contact us to learn more.

*The ranking is based on rigorous analysis of key statistics and millions of reviews from students and parents using data from the U.S. Department of Education. Ranking factors include state test scores, college readiness, graduation rates, SAT/ACT scores, teacher quality, public school district ratings, and more. 

Image Credit: NewtonISD

 

$95 Billion Global Sales Volume in 2016

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CNBC
broke the news this morning
that for 2016, the Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC affiliated brokers and sales professionals achieved approximately $95 billion in global sales volume, the highest annual sales volume performance in the history of the brand, driven largely by a brand record of over 127,000 transactions.

“During a year when the words “slowdown” and “slump” were used to describe the luxury housing market, 2016 turned out to be a banner year for Sotheby’s International Realty.” – CNBC

Global Growth

The Sotheby’s International Realty® brand also reported growth across its global network, which now encompasses nearly 70 countries and territories worldwide. At year-end, the network totaled 880 offices and more than 20,000 sales associates.

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Outside the United States, the Sotheby’s International Realty brand achieved $10 billion in sales volume in 2016 and continued to expand into key markets. The brand saw continued growth in Europe, entering the countries of Austria, Croatia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Montenegro. The brand also expanded in the Asia-Pacific region through affiliations in Fiji and Shanghai and continued to grow in Hong Kong and greater Thailand. Finally, the brand expanded its presence in the Caribbean with the addition of affiliates in Roatan and St. Vincent & the Grenadines.

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In the United States, the Sotheby’s International Realty brand achieved $85 billion in sales volume in 2016 and also added seven independently owned and operated residential real estate firms as well as 45 new offices to its network across the country.  This past year witnessed continued significant growth by existing affiliate companies through talent attraction and mergers and acquisitions, most notably increasing the brand’s market presence in Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts, throughout southern Rhode Island and on the island of Kauai, Hawaii. The brand also entered several key new markets last year, namely: Gulf Shores, Alabama; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Virginia Beach, Virginia.

 Innovative Technology

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The Sotheby’s International Realty brand was at the forefront of interactive technology in 2016 with the introduction of 3D Tours with Virtual Reality capability on sothebysrealty.com. Additionally, the site saw the most traffic in its history with nearly 22 million visits, a 54% increase year-over-year.Capture2
The brand also launched the first luxury real estate app for Apple TV, featuring professionally curated high-resolution photography and high-definition video giving consumers the opportunity to explore homes on a screen larger than ever before. An alliance with Juwai.com was launched in 2016 that gives the Sotheby’s International Realty network an edge to generate Chinese homebuyer interest on one of the world’s most prominent real estate websites with over two million monthly visitors. As a truly international brand, Sotheby’s International Realty has the most global representation on Juwai.com, displaying luxury listings from 66 countries and territories.

“CEO Philip White told CNBC in a recent interview that Sotheby’s makes “the consumer the real focus, and that’s important when you do business in the luxury space. We made a decision early on to provide the consumer a high level of exceptional service and true global exposure.”‘- CNBC

 

The Sotheby’s International Realty brand was the No. 1 real estate company represented in two of the six categories that comprise the annual REAL Trends/The Wall Street JournalTop Thousand” report. The Sotheby’s International Realty brand claimed 45 of the top 250 sales associates in the Individual Sales Volume category, more than any other real estate company. The brand also had the highest combined individual sales volume from sales associates in the same category. In addition, the Sotheby’s International Realty brand had the most individuals represented in the Individual Average Sales Price category, holding 17 of the top 50 spots (34%), further establishing the strength of the Sotheby’s International Realty brand as a leader in luxury real estate sales.

Sotheby’s International Realty listings are marketed on the sothebysrealty.com global website.  In addition to the referral opportunities and widened exposure generated from this source, each brokerage firm and its clients benefit from an association with the Sotheby’s auction house and worldwide Sotheby’s International Realty marketing programs.

Newton Office Opening and Holiday Celebration

On January 24th all off our agents, staff and owners, gathered to celebrate a successful 2016 and the opening of Newton Centre office. The evening began with at open house at the Newton office, located at 767 Beacon Street, so everyone could see the new space right in the heart of Newton Centre. Then agents, staff and their significant others moved two doors down at Central for a night of celebration.

Boston and the International Luxury Housing Market

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A new report on the international luxury real estate market, “The Global Property Handbook” has now been made available.

The report, generated by Wealth-X in collaboration with Warburg Realty and Barnes International Realty, reviews the real estate buying habits of the world’s wealthiest people. These so-called ultra-high net worth (UHNW) individuals are worth at least – or more than – $30 million and have largely come by their fortunes from their own brilliance and ingenuity. Their property choices are a reflection of practical and personal values, two qualities that make Boston an attractive destination.

According to the new Alpha Cities Index, which catalogues the most desirable cities in the world for UHNWIs to reside, Boston is placed amongst the top 15 world destinations, beating cities like Singapore, Moscow, and Rome for a chief global ranking. Boston is a strong city for practicality, emotional appeal (shopping, cultural richness) and finances (ease of doing business and high property value).

Boston comes third on a world scale for practical factors alone: strong education, air travel connectivity, environmental friendliness, and personal safety culminate our appeal. Boston beats out other US cities like New York, San Diego, and Chicago by “lead[ing] its national peers” in this assessment.

Boston is consistently ranked one of the best cities to live in for all types of individuals: there’s something for every runner, scientist, student, and entrepreneur, just to name a few of the lifestyles drawn to Beantown. With such a high quality of life for the average Bostonian comes even more value for UHNWIs.

Our school smarts are of particular interest. More than fifty higher education institutions in the greater Boston area make it a sought-after destination, as UHNWIs will buy homes close to their children “while they are being educated in schools or universities away from home, or which provide a base for their descendants to live in while pursuing their studies.”

One of the biggest draws to luxury real estate is its value retention even amidst political and economic insecurity. “Real estate assets provide multiple benefits for the wealthy investor … they both offer a hedge against inflation and portfolio diversification, while also affording today’s global citizens unique opportunities for travel and enjoyment.” In other words, a luxury property must be both practical and exciting for both domestic and foreign buyers – a point driven home as two of the three indicators in the Alpha City Index.

With the new luxury properties coming to market throughout downtown Boston, including those at the newly-built Millennium Tower, one would think that downtown areas are the primary aim for the multimillionaires of the world. Despite the gorgeous skyline and harbor views, however, many will actually look just outside of Boston for both privacy and a slower pace of life. With world-famous businessmen, celebrities, and leaders looking at Greater Boston for their new home, a community feel is one of the finest benefits to life beyond the busy epicenter.

Altogether, the next neighborhood the wealthiest will move to must have the following characteristics: proven value retention in the housing market, unbeatable quality of life, easy access to educational institutions, vibrant entertainment options, and a peaceful element to living. When price is no barrier to real estate options, UHNWIs can guarantee their desires will be met in their next home.


Three neighborhoods in particular best fit this description: Newton, Cambridge, and Brookline, all of which lie close to Boston’s amenities and venues. Besides their proximity to Beantown, each neighborhood has unique, enticing features that amplify their charm and appeal.

Newton’s single family homes are priced at over $1.2 million on average. Lasell and Mount Ida College both call Newton home, and its villages are within a ten-minute drive to Boston College and Brandeis University. Besides being ranked one of the best places to live in America, Newton has a lot to offer its residents that enjoy the outdoors, including many public playgrounds, parks, and the illustrious Crystal Lake.

Brookline homes continue to increase in value, with single family prices hovering just under one million dollars. It’s not only a stone’s throw from the universities in the Longwood Medical area (including Wheelock, Simmons, and Emmanuel colleges) but also houses parts of Boston College and Boston University. From popular villages with great restaurants and shopping to grand homes in the shadow of The Country Club, Brookline makes for a great place to live.

Cambridge is most distinguishable on a global scale for being the home of multiple top universities, including Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The average price of a single family home is roughly $1.9 million, making it one of the most expensive markets in the Boston area. Steeped in colonial history, Cambridge is a hotbed of historical architecture with residences, churches, and other buildings that stretch back hundreds of years. Additionally, their breadth of museums provide rotating exhibits and content for all ages to enjoy.

Whether the world’s elite are looking to set down roots or secure a vacation retreat, Boston and its neighborhoods are sure to impress even the choosiest of home buyers.

Read the full Global Property Handbook report here.

See current luxury offerings in Greater Boston here.

Newton Centre Office Open for Business

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At the beginning of December we shared the exciting news that we were expanding into Newton Centre!

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Well the doors have officially been open for a few weeks now and we’d like to invite you to stop by and say “Hello!”. The new office is located at 767 Beacon Street in the heart of Newton Centre (located next to Lee’s Burgers and the Tete a Tete Salon). We are open 9am-5pm Monday through Friday and agents are in the office on the weekends as well.

NewtonCentre

Internationally Recognized. Nationally Known. Locally Owned.

We look forward to becoming a big part of the local community in Newton! If you are looking to buy or sell, in Newton or the surrounding the communities, reach out to us today at 617.332.1400 or info@unlimitedsir.com so we can connect you with one of our top-notch agents.