Category Archives: Unlimited Sotheby’s International Realty News

2018 Niche School Rankings for Local Schools in Massachusetts

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Niche, a website for researching schools, recently released the 2018 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 and around the Greater Boston area.

The cities with the most representation at the top include Cambridge, Newton, Brookline, and Wellesley – all of which have the additional bonus of close proximity to the attractions and learning opportunities of downtown Boston.

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:

  • 2018 Best Public School Districts: The Wellesley, Lexington, Newton, Westford, Cambridge, Belmont, Weston, Brookline, and Wayland School Districts make up the top ten. All top ten MA public high schools rank in the top 100 on a national scale.
  • 2018 Top 10 Best Public High Schools: Massachusetts Academy of Math & Science, Lexington, Wellesley, Newton North, Boston Latin, Newton South, Brookline, Belmont, Weston, and the Advanced Math & Science Academy Charter High Schools make up the top ten.
  • 2018 Top 10 Best Public Middle Schools: Edward W. Brooke Charter (East Boston), Brooke Charter (Roslindale), William Diamond (Lexington), Jonas Clarke (Lexington), Blanchard (Westford), Wayland, Winthrop L. Chenery (Belmont), F.A. Day (Newton), Wellesley, and Heath (Brookline) Middle Schools make up the top ten.
  • 2018 Top 10 Best Public Elementary Schools: Edward W. Brooke Charter (East Boston), Brooke Charter (Roslindale), Maria Hastings (Lexington), Schofield (Wellesley), Mason Rice (Newton), Bowman (Lexington), Ward (Newton), Joseph Estabrook (Lexington), Heath (Brookline), and Day (Westford) 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 Massachusetts 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. 

Unlimited Sotheby’s International Realty Welcomes Krystyn Elek

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 About Krystyn Elek

Connecting personally with clients and understanding their individual needs, Krystyn tailors the process of buying or selling while keeping it straightforward and efficient.  She is passionate about building and maintaining relationships with her clients by putting their needs and satisfaction above all else, all while operating with integrity.

Krystyn possesses a unique blend of experience, having worked with buyers and listings in Brookline, Newton, Back Bay and the South End, and as a top-producing leasing agent in the Greater Boston area. In addition, Krystyn was an integral part of the successful sell-out of a 19-unit building in Porter Square.  Pairing local expertise with global outreach, Krystyn garners top dollar for sellers and provides distinctively supportive representation for her buyers.

With a life-long passion for ice hockey, rugby, and softball—as both an athlete and a coach—Krystyn blends a team approach and provides hands-on consultation and education for new and experienced clients.  The combination of her personal and professional experiences make Krystyn an asset to all with whom she works.

Krystyn served as the head coach for the varsity hockey team and the middle school softball team at The Winsor School in Boston as well as head coach of the women’s rugby club at Amherst College.  She graduated with honors from Amherst College with a degree in Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought and Psychology before earning her Masters of Science at Smith College.  Krystyn currently resides in Watertown with her fiancée.

Krystyn can be reached at 843.209.5044 or krystyn.elek@unlimitedsir.com

2017 REAL Trends/The Wall Street Journal “The Thousand” Rankings

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Sotheby’s International Realty Brand Tops Individual Sales Volume Category in REAL Trends/The Wall Street Journal Report for Second Year in a Row

Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC today announced that the Sotheby’s International Realty® brand was the No. 1 real estate brand represented in two of the six categories that comprise the 2017 REAL Trends/The Wall Street Journal “The Thousand” for the second year in a row. The annual report ranks America’s top 1,000 residential real estate agents and teams based on 2016 annual sales volume and transaction sides, and the top 50 agents and top 50 teams on average sales price—making it a ranking of the top 1,100 nationwide.

The Sotheby’s International Realty brand claimed 46 of the top 250 sales associates in the REAL Trends Individual Sales Volume category, more than any other real estate brand. 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.

“Having a leading number of sales associates represented in two categories of the REAL Trends/The Wall Street Journal rankings is a testament to the strength of the Sotheby’s International Realty brand,” said Philip White, president and chief executive officer of Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC. “In 2016, the average sales price accomplished by Sotheby’s International Realty was among the highest of any national real estate brand as evidenced by its achievement of $95 billion in global sales volume. This accomplishment is made possible by having top sales professionals affiliated with Sotheby’s International Realty and I am so proud of the companies and sales associates represented on this list and their contribution to the power of this brand.”

Click here to see the Sotheby’s International Realty brand affiliated sales associated represented on “The Thousand.”

The Sotheby’s International Realty network currently has more than 20,000 affiliated independent sales associates located in approximately 880 offices in 69 countries and territories worldwide. In 2016, the brand achieved a record global sales volume of $95 billion USD. 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, the firm’s brokers and clients will benefit from an association with the Sotheby’s auction house and worldwide Sotheby’s International Realty marketing programs. Each office is independently owned and operated.

The complete Thousand Top Real Estate Professionals list can be found on REAL Trends’ website, realtrends.com.

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Tall Ships Coming to Boston

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Calling all history buffs and nautical fans – the Tall Ships are on their way to Boston!

The Tall Ships will be docking in Boston Harbor now through next Thursday. This massive event is part of the Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta, a transatlantic race over 7,000 miles of the Atlantic Ocean. With Boston’s extensive ties to all things maritime, it may come as no surprise that it’s the only American port part of the Regatta this year. The festivities began earlier today during the opening ceremony at noon, and family-friendly events will continue throughout next week, including sunset salutes, parades, and much more.

Sail Boston’s main event will be the Grand Parade of Sail tomorrow from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM. The tall ships will sail into the Harbor’s main channel and along the waterfront before turning to Charlestown and settling in to their berthing areas. Furthermore, over a million people will come to enjoy Sail Boston’s festivities and watch the tall ships, with popular spots including Castle Island and the Charlestown Navy Yard for front-row views of the ships.

After the Grand Parade wraps up and the tall ships are docked at their designated piers, it’s your chance to board the ships free of charge! If you can’t board a ship on Saturday between 4 and 10 PM, they are also open to the public on Sunday from 10 AM to 10 PM.

This is also a perfect outing during Father’s Day Weekend, with fun for the whole family as part of Sail Boston. For a schedule of events and more information, visit Sail Boston’s website here.

Photo Credit: Sail Boston

New Developments Along the Massachusetts Turnpike

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Land along the Massachusetts Turnpike is seeing a surge in new developments, especially within the Allston-Brighton area.

A major catalyst for the accelerating new construction is New Balance, the $40 billion shoe company that’s been at the forefront since the beginning. New Balance has been part of the Boston area since its founding in 1906 and the Allston-Brighton neighborhood since the 1980s. They submitted proposals in March 2012 for building a massive new complex on the same street as their old one, with over 250,000 square feet making up their corporate headquarters and 650,000 for additional office space along the Mass Pike. However, construction plans with New Balance didn’t stop with their HQ opening day in 2015; their new offices were only the beginning of a grand revitalization project that would see much more come to the area.

One of the most anticipated projects for Boston sports fans was the opening of the Warrior Ice Arena, a facility for the Boston Bruins to call home in the city. It serves as the training and practice facility for the Bruins and as a complex for college, high school, youth and amateur level hockey. When there isn’t a game scheduled, there’s skating, drop-in, and ice times open and available to the public, with over 600 spectator seats and parking to boot. Plans to build the Celtics training facility over the turnpike are already well on their way as well.

Both the new headquarters and ice arena are part of the bold Boston Landing project on Guest Street. Other impressive additions include a 175-room hotel over the Mass Pike, holding air rights over the highway that could make it similar to the overhanging Star Market in Newtonville. Although the Boston Landing Hotel has yet to be built, it could signal an overhaul of the neighborhoods alongside the Pike.

Already the city is taking note, adding infrastructure improvements to the neighborhoods best known for their diversity and high student populations. The new Boston Landing commuter rail stop on the Framingham/Worcester line opened last month, which is a service that this community has lacked since the 1960s when three rail stations had closed. This stop offers another option for commuting or otherwise getting into downtown Boston with ease.

The transportation development enables more residential development, an initiative sorely needed in Boston’s current housing shortage. Besides the Residences at Boston Landing, which will add almost 300 luxury apartment units, there are plans from The Michaels Organization to build a 262-unit residential complex nearby the new Boston Landing commuter rail stop. Closer to the city center are plans to build over the pike in Back Bay, which will potentially add another 300 or more,  condos and/or apartments. More towers are coming in Fenway and Back Bay, with hundreds more business and residential units in the works.

The success of Boston Landing could see a ripple effect in development throughout Boston in the coming years. Some very exciting growth is unfolding within the Hub.

 

Your home, presented by the Sotheby’s International Realty® Brand

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Newton Partnership Makes a House a Home for Domestic Violence Survivors

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Team members from Unlimited Sotheby’s International Realty, Newton at Home and The Second Step with items available for those in need through project HOME AGAIN.

More than a year in the planning, HOME AGAIN, a collaboration between two Newton nonprofits, is now a reality. The initiative, spearheaded by Newton at Home and The Second Step with additional support from Unlimited Sotheby’s International Realty, offers survivors of domestic violence free new and gently used household items to help them set up apartments of their own.

Donations for the project will come in part from members of Newton at Home, an organization serving Newton seniors who want to live their own homes for as long as possible.  “Many of our members have accumulated household items they no longer want or need and are happy to have them put to good use,” said Julie Plaut Mahoney, NAH’s coordinator of community partnerships and volunteers.

The Second Step runs two residential programs in Newton supporting domestic violence survivors.  “Transitioning from our residential program to their own apartments, can be a challenge to many clients who have few resources,” said The Second Step Community Programs Director Carole Thompson. “Just setting up a kitchen can be daunting.”

Now individuals starting over can pick out what they need from a wide variety of items including kitchenware, lamps, wall decorations, small appliances, blankets, towels, sheets, silverware, dishes, glasses, cleaning materials and many other household essentials.

HOME AGAIN founders anticipate a large number of donations from the greater Newton community as well. Project volunteer and one of HOME AGAIN’s original founder Mindy Peckler, has been integral to the collection process. “People want to help,” she observed.  “I sent out an email to friends asking for donations and was stunned by the bags and bags of items that were left outside my door.”

Jon Ufland, principal and managing broker of Unlimited Sotheby’s International Realty in Newton Centre is providing free storage and display space for the growing collection in a satellite office on Sumner Street. “Real estate is local. As a company, we’re invested in and dedicated to the community and what’s happening on a local level in and around Newton,” said Ufland. “Everything we do revolves around housing, so our partnership with The Second Step and Newton at Home is a perfect fit for us. It gives us an opportunity to add value, give back and align with two organizations we believe in.”

The Second Step estimates that 10 to 15 families a year will take advantage of HOME AGAIN’s resources to enable them to rebuild their lives in their new homes.

To contribute items to HOME AGAIN contact Cindy Laughrea at claughrea@thesecondstep.org (617.965.3999), or if you are a Newton at Home member or volunteer contact Julie Plaut Mahoney at partnershipsandvolunteers@newtonathome.org (617.795.2560).

 

 

 

 

Coolidge Corner Arts Festival – June 3rd 11am-7pm

CCArtFest

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Happy Memorial Day 2017

Thank you to all who have served and are currently serving, as your sacrifices have made it possible to live our lives in freedom today. We hope your Memorial Day weekend is spent relaxing with loved ones in the home and country you’ve worked to protect.

In It to Win It: Land Your Dream Home by Avoiding These 7 Mistakes on Your Offer

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You’ve seen every house on the market and you’ve finally found the spot you can’t wait to call home. In fact, you’ve mentally decorated it and planned your new life, down to the barbecues and block parties you’ll have with your awesome new neighbors. Sweet!

Slow down there, dear buyer. As you know, you still have one giant hurdle to overcome: You’ve got to make the offer that wins the house. And in a highly competitive housing market, that can be easier said than done. Don’t blow your chances with any of these common home offer mistakes.

  1. Dragging your feet

If you love a property, the worst thing you can do is wait to make an offer. Of course, you’re allowed to have some feelings of uncertainty—after all, this is likely the biggest financial decision of your life. But the longer you vacillate, the greater the chances you’ll set yourself up for failure.

“Time kills deals,” says Andrew Sandholm of BOND New York Properties, in New York City. “Dragging your feet means you could wind up paying more in a bidding war situation or missing out on the property all together.”

Not only should you be emotionally ready to pounce, but be logistically ready as well. That means pulling together all of your paperwork—bank statements, pre-approval letter, and any documents supporting proof of funds—while you’re house hunting.

“Get everything ready so we can act fast when we find a home you love,” Sandholm says.

  1. Offering your max pre-approved amount

Today’s sellers are often besieged by multiple suitors, and the successful buyer will be one who’s prepared for a bidding war. The best way to arm yourself for battle is to make sure you’ve got a strong financial arsenal. That means getting pre-approved (do this now, if you haven’t already) to show a seller you’re financially prepared to buy a home—their home.

But when you make an offer, beware of submitting a price that exactly matches the amount you were pre-approved for, says Chuck Silverston, principal at Unlimited Sotheby’s International Realty in Brookline, MA.

“Many buyers come in with a pre-approval for the exact offer price, but when you’re competing against other offers, including cash offers, you want to show financial strength,” he says. “An exact pre-approval could make a listing agent nervous because not only does the buyer not have any wiggle room to negotiate, but they might no longer qualify if interest rates rise.”

“In this market I often advise buyers to look at homes under their max loan amount,” echoes Denise Supplee, a Realtor® with Long and Foster Real Estate in Doylestown, PA. “When you have to bid against multiple offers, they will need some room to go up, and if they are at their maximum amount, that may not happen.”

  1. Using an obscure lender

Also consider using a well-known local mortgage lender or bank, suggests Realtor Megan Tolland, with Realty Executives Boston, who often sees online pre-approvals from out-of-state lenders or unknown online entities.

“Agents, and therefore sellers, are generally more comfortable with a local lender they know,” she says.

  1. Lowballing

Trust your agent and bid accordingly—even if it means offering a little more than you think you could get away with. If you lowball the seller in the hope that it’ll spark a negotiation, it could backfire—especially in a seller’s market.

“A lowball offer that isn’t backed up with math or comparable sales data is disrespectful and could turn off the seller and possibly mean you will miss out on the property completely,” Sandholm says.

  1. Waiving the inspection contingency

“I don’t care whether it’s new construction or even your mom’s house you’re buying from her—get it inspected,” says Joshua Jarvis of Jarvis Team Realty in Duluth, GA.

An inspection is the only way to uncover potential flaws that could cost major cash to fix. And if you waive the inspection contingency in your offer, you stand to lose your earnest money if you back out.

  1. Letting outsiders sway your offer

When you’re buying a home, you probably want a second opinion. And probably a third, fourth, and maybe even 10th. We totally get it. But beware of letting these people—who mean well but haven’t seen the many, many other homes you’ve seen—influence your offer.

“The ‘adviser’ does what they think is best and tries to protect the buyer and usually slams the home,” Jarvis says. “Unfortunately, they don’t have the education in seeing the other 10 homes or understanding the market.”

If you’re going to rely on outside advice, Jarvis says, then ask that the person accompany you through as much of the process as possible.

  1. Not selling yourself

Wait, isn’t it the seller who, you know, does the selling? It might not sound quite fair, but in a seller’s market, you want to make sure you—the buyer—look as good to the seller as that picture-perfect house looks to you, Silverston says.

And it’s not just about looking good on paper. In fact, Silverston says, the offer process begins the moment the buyer steps through the door at the open house or showing.

“In today’s highly competitive environment, the listing agent is trying to determine which buyer will be the easiest to deal with,” he says.

That’s why buyers should avoid pointing out defects, asking a lot of nitpicky questions, or even insulting the owner’s taste by discussing changes they want to make.

“Basically buyers who act less than enthusiastic will see themselves at a competitive disadvantage when sellers are comparing multiple offers,” he says.

And, don’t forget to help seal the deal with a love letter—a personal touch could be enough to boost you to the top in the seller’s mind.

Interested in speaking with Chuck and his real estate team? Let us know or contact him directly on our website.

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.

See the original article on realtor.com.