Category Archives: Unlimited Sotheby’s International Realty News

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.

Boston by the Numbers: Singles Edition

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If you’re on the lookout for that special someone, your best bet may be trying your luck in Boston.

Boston ranked in the top five in a recent nationwide survey, beating more high-profile cities like Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York City. The WalletHub ranking surveyed 150 cities for the best places for single individuals, using such metrics as cost of living, number of attractions, and dating opportunities to narrow the list. Although Boston is an expensive area to live in, its wealth shines through in the countless events to attend and opportunities to take advantage of.

It’s no secret that Boston is one of the nation’s top places to live, and for good reason with its strong job market and high quality of living. US News and World Report commends Boston for its seamless blend of tradition and innovation, offering perks and amenities for all interests and ambitions. For singles especially, Boston’s restaurant and cultural scenes are unbeatable in both variety and quality: from heritage trails and museums, to film festivals and mouthwatering cuisine, there’s no other city with quite this much unfolding year-round.

If we’ve convinced you to move to Boston and find your other half, these five neighborhoods should be at the top of your list:

Brookline

The charming town of Brookline is hard to beat with its amenities, character and close proximity to Boston. 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.

Single Population: 45%
Married Population: 45%
Gender Ratio: 45% male, 54% female


Newton

Recently rated by Money Magazine as one of the top places to live in America, Newton Massachusetts is one of the most sought after communities in the Greater Boston Area.  Located minutes from Boston on the Mass. Pike, Newton offers its residents the convenience of city living in a more suburban environment.

Single Population: 34%
Married Population: 55%
Gender Ratio: 46% male, 53% female


Jamaica Plain

Home to many of the jewels in the “Emerald Necklace”, Jamaica Plain has an abundance of green space for the outdoor enthusiast. This, combined with its artsy flair, easy access to downtown, and community feel make Jamaica Plain a top destination for Boston area residents.

Single Population: 53%
Married Population: 33%
Gender Ratio: 45% male, 54% female


Cambridge

As one of the most sought-after places in greater Boston to reside, Cambridge has ample charm to go along with its history and intellectual fame. First established when America was still under British rule, it has aged so gracefully that its ivory towers and historical churches blend seamlessly with its thriving science and technology hubs. Combine all of these perks with easy access to the Hub of the Universe and Cambridge becomes a city almost unbeatable in its desirability.

Single Population: 56%
Married Population: 33%
Gender Ratio: 48% male, 51% female


Somerville

Named Best-Run City in Massachusetts by The Boston Globe, Somerville packs an urban-planning punch only two miles from the Boston city center. It’s won the All-American City Award three times since 1972 for its ideal walking and biking routes, and Cities throughout Massachusetts and New England look to become “the next Somerville” in terms of its roaring success in residential initiatives.

Single Population: 55%
Married Population: 33%
Gender Ratio: 49% male, 50% female

As the icing on the cake, eighty percent of Bostonians have attended college, so your significant other will be one smart, successful cookie.

Demographic information provided by point2homes.com.

Sotheby’s International Realty® | Houseguest Episode IV – Chef Joe Cicala

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Houseguest” is the new custom video series presented by the Sotheby’s
International Realty® brand. This series follows influential and inspirational people as they become a houseguest in a home represented by the Sotheby’s International Realty brand and meld their life with the unique lifestyle found with their extraordinary accommodations.

The Sotheby’s International Realty brand is the first real estate partner to
develop this type of custom content with the Wall Street Journal. Houseguest will be featured in Sotheby’s International Realty brand media units and
social platforms.

Episode 4 | Executive Chef, Joe Cicala, visits Via di Cappello, a secluded villa nestled in the Florentine countryside

As the Executive Chef at Le Virtu, and the Co-Owner and Culinary Director at Brigantessa in Philadelphia, Joe Cicala regularly travels to Italy to feed his passion and research authentic local flavor that he will infuse into his cuisine. In this awe-inspiring episode of Houseguest, Joe visits Via di Cappello, a secluded villa nestled in the Florentine countryside. Watch as Joe finds inspiration for his latest recipe: Tagliatelle with Tuscan Pork Sausage and Mushroom Ragu.

Want a taste? Craft Joe’s Tagliatelle with Tuscan Pork Sausage and Mushroom Ragu at home with the below recipe:

Ingredients for the pasta:
2 cups flour
3 whole eggs
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

Ingredients for the ragu:
3 T extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves of garlic
2 pork sausage links, casings removed
1/2 pound fresh porcini mushrooms, sliced
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1/2 cup pasta cooking water
1/3 cup heavy cream
Salt, to taste
1/4 cup grated Pecorino Toscano
1 small black truffle

Method:
On a flat surface, form a “well” with the flour. Add eggs and olive oil in the center and start to beat with a fork. Slowly incorporate the outer layer of flour into the egg mixture until dough starts to form. Discard the fork and knead the dough for three minutes until it becomes firm. Cover the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for one hour. On a floured surface, roll the dough by hand until it’s 3mm thick. Fold the sheeted dough in half and in half again. Using an 8″ chef’s knife, slice the dough into 1/4″ pieces. Unfold and form the noodles into “nests.” In a large pot of salted boiling water, drop the pasta, cooking for 4-6 minutes or until the pasta is cooked through yet retains a firm bite (about 2 minutes after the pasta floats). Drain the pasta and add to the pan with the prepared ragu (see below).

In a large sauté pan, add the olive oil and garlic cloves. Cook over medium heat until the garlic is browned on all sides. Discard the garlic. Add sausage to the pan and caramelize well. Add the porcini mushrooms and rosemary, and cook in the pork fat until tender. Deglaze the pan with the pasta water and loosen the brown bits on the bottom of the pan by scraping with a wooden spoon. Add the cream and reduce by half. Add the cooked pasta to the pan and toss or mix well with a fork and spoon to incorporate the sauce throughout the pasta. Add the Pecorino Toscano and do the same. Slice fresh black truffle on top of the dish and serve immediately.

Learn more about the house:

Price Upon Request | Florence, Italy | Italy Sotheby’s International Realty

Built in the late 19th century by Giuseppe Poggi, one of Florence’s greatest architects, the 1060-square-meter villa is to the south of the city and just outside the town of Impruneta, famous for its terracotta and olive oil. Fifteen minutes from the center of Florence and thirty minutes from the airport, this impressive Florentine country estate is the unusual combination of a wonderful rural location with easy access to a magnificent renaissance city. The estate, enjoying fantastic south-facing views over the Chianti landscape, is accessed by a cypress-lined private drive. Set on a hillside with commanding views over formal gardens and the surrounding countryside, the property reveals astonishing views of the Chianti landscape.

Learn more about the Guest

We’ve got something to tell you…

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Unlimited Sotheby’s International Realty Attracts Local Talent and Expands to Newton, Massachusetts

Unlimited Sotheby’s International Realty today announced the opening of its new office located at 767 Beacon Street in the heart of Newton Centre. Locally owned and operated, Unlimited Sotheby’s International Realty now has a total of three offices strategically located in Brookline, Jamaica Plain and Newton. These key markets will allow it to better serve an international clientele, at all price points, who are coming to live in the Boston area to take advantage of the many opportunities available in the Boston Medical area, local universities and the innovation economy; many of whom are also looking to live in the communities with strong school systems like Brookline, Chestnut Hill, and Newton markets.

“We are thrilled to have been selected to represent the prestigious Sotheby’s International Realty brand in Newton. The power of a global brand, built on a 272 year heritage, is unparalleled in the real estate brokerage industry. When the opportunity to expand into Newton presented itself, we felt like the brand saw us as the future leader in these key strategic Boston and suburban markets that run throughout the entire Route 9 corridor.  With our new strategic position and strength, we feel Unlimited Sotheby’s International Realty offers top agents and clients the best option for luxury real estate and international exposure in the marketplace” said Jon Ufland, principal and managing broker, Unlimited Sotheby’s International Realty, and Newton resident.

The Sotheby’s International Realty brand attracts top agents around the world. Recently, the brand had the most individuals represented in the Individual Average Sales Price category, holding 17 of the top 50 spots (34%) in the 2016 REAL Trends/The Wall Street Journal Top Thousand report. Unlimited Sotheby’s International Realty is now uniquely positioned to represent distinctive properties across the Greater Boston area.

Newton broker and resident, Margie Kern will also be joining the company as a Principal and top performing sales agent. Kern, one of the elite luxury residential brokers in Newton and the Greater Boston area, will be heavily involved in helping to grow the Newton office.

“We are thrilled to have Margie Kern joining our team. Margie has positioned herself as one of the most successful luxury residential real estate agents in the area as a result of her unmatched work ethic, incredibly loyal clientele and dedicated team of talented agents.” said Jon Ufland. “Margie’s market knowledge, collaborative spirit in helping others succeed, and her strong business acumen will enhance our ownership team as well as attract other top performing agents to our company.”

Joining Margie at Unlimited Sotheby’s International Realty’s Newton office are agents Sandra Fromm, Beverly Berman, Beth Barry, Valerie Beaver, Marsha Marchant, Ward Shifman, Linda Brennan, and Chris Lee, all of whom are, or have been, Newton residents and active community members.

Unlimited Sotheby’s International Realty serves clients in Brookline, Jamaica Plain, Newton, and surrounding Greater Boston communities. The global advertising and marketing tools are unparalleled, offering sellers unprecedented access to buyers around the world, through the Sotheby’s International Realty network of more than 850 offices in 65 countries and territories worldwide. In addition to the referral opportunities and widened exposure generated from this source, the firm’s brokers and clients benefit from an association with the Sotheby’s auction house.

For more information, visit, unlimitedsir.com.

See the full press release here.

2016 Toys For Tots Drop-Off

tftOur offices are proud to be Toys For Tots drop-off locations this year from now until December 15th. We are located at 1290A Beacon Street in Brookline and 673 Centre Street in Jamaica Plain and are open 9am-5pm Monday through Friday and 10am-4pm on Saturday and Sunday. Please stop by with gifts for children in need this holiday season. The recipients range in age from infant to 12 years old.

Toy/Gift Recommendations: 

  • Generic coloring books –- no holiday reference
  • Soft baby dolls
  • American Girl Dolls, Barbies, Ken Dolls, etc.
  • Crayons,Colored Pencils, and Markers
  • Interactive crib toys/musicals
  • DVDs, books, magazines, video games
  • Pretend play – i.e. kitchen, baby dolls (plastic), tools, etc.
  • Animals, dinosaurs, people figures, etc.
  • Super hero action figures
  • Lego’s ® and Lego kits
  • Cars and trucks
  • Craft and bead kits
  • Pop-up toys (cause and effect)
  • UNO cards and board games
  • Infant Rattles/ Teething Toys

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Learn more about Toys for Tots HERE | Make a monetary donation HERE

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Happy Thanksgiving from our homes to yours!

Renters Beware: Rental Scams are on the Rise

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The newest trend in real estate isn’t location, condos vs. single family’s, fixer-uppers vs. new construction, unfortunately it is rental scams.  While the rental market in Massachusetts is on the rise, so is the potential of being scammed.

Over the past few months one scam in particular seems to be overshadowing others, and it can be very costly to those effected.

What is the scam?

The intention of this particular scam, like most others, is money. It is designed to make people believe that they are wiring funds in order to secure a rental property that does not exist as advertised.

How does it work?

  • The person, or persons, running the scam clone a valid rental listing then post it on the internet at a significantly lower price in order to entice renters. Often found on Zillow and Craigslist.
  • Renters then contact who they think is an agent, all via email, and are directed to wire funds to secure the unit.
  • Once the funds are wired, the scam is over. There is no apartment, no follow-up, no rental, and the money is gone.

Who is targeted?

  • This scam tends to target people who are more likely to rent a property sight unseen, and those who do not live in the area, particularly those that live out of state or overseas.

Why now?

  • Technology:
    • In the past 10 years, technology has changed the real estate industry drastically. It is not uncommon these days to complete a transaction electronically through email, text, Facetime and online transaction management programs.
    • Technology has also made it possible for scammers to clone online listings from websites such as Zillow and Trulia, including photographs. While online portals are have become mainstream in today’s real estate market, they have very limited safe guards in place making them extreme vulnerable.
  • Pricing:
    • With the rental market being on the rise, finding a listing with a below market rent is very appealing. Instead of questioning why the price is so low, people tend to want to snatch up the property before someone else does.

Steps to avoid being scammed

  • Prior to wiring any funds:
    • Be sure to speak to the agent on the phone. 100% of the scams that we are aware of involved only email communication.  This is not to say that email is not a valid means of communicating in a real estate transaction, however, before any money is exchanged and/or personal information, be sure to speak with an actual person.
    • Form responses. Following an inquiry, if you only receive a form response, be aware that it is either a scam or an agent who doesn’t take the time to respond personally, either scenario should be avoided.
    • Research the property. Google the property:  If you see multiple listings with different rents for the same address, or discrepancies with respect to the property description, for example one ad states it is a two-bedroom unit while another shows it as a four-bedroom, this is a warning sign to explore further.
    • Research the agent. Check to see that the listing agent is a real agent doing business in the community. For those looking to move to Massachusetts, check that their license is real and active on the Division of Professional Licensure website.
    • Research market rents.  If a rent seems “too good to be true,” research what the current market values are in that specific city or town, it probably is.
    • Schedule a showing. If you cannot view the property yourself, ask a friend or family member to view a listing for you. If that is not a viable option, ask the agent to Facetime or Skype with you to see the unit in real time.  If an agent is forced to video chat with you, chances of being scammed decrease.
  • Wiring Funds: Do not wire the funds without calling the agent’s office to get the wiring instructions and confirm the transaction is legitimate.
  • Hire an agent: Last but not least, try to hire an agent that is working for you!  If you are not familiar with the area in which you are looking, use your personal sphere and social media for agent referrals.

Sotheby’s International Realty Beats Zillow And Realtor.com To 3-D

sirmatterportSotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC today announced that its global website, sothebysrealty.com, now supports 3D Tours on its property detail pages allowing real estate consumers the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in homes listed by the Sotheby’s International Realty® brand. The 3D Tours will also feature a Virtual Reality Tour (VR) experience that can be viewed through a compatible device such as an Android phone or VR headset.

The 3D and VR Tours are produced by strategically placing specialized cameras throughout a home to create a result that transforms the traditional way people view homes online. The 3D and VR Tours add an additional layer of content to the existing property detail pages on sothebysrealty.com which also provide a written description, high-resolution photographs and high-definition videos. At launch, the Sotheby’s International Realty brand will have 3D Tours available on over 1,000 properties that are viewable on desktop, tablet or smartphone.

“Introducing 3D and VR Tours on sothebysrealty.com is just another example of how we are keeping the Sotheby’s International Realty brand on the cutting edge while creating an immersive experience for consumers,” said John Passerini, global vice president, interactive marketing at Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC. “Distance can present a challenge when looking to buy a home and virtual reality has provided a provocative solution. This technology is allowing buyers to purchase homes without having to physically travel to view them, which is especially relevant to the global clientele we serve.”

In coordination with this announcement, Sotheby’s International Realty is also a real estate launch partner for Matterport’s CoreVR release— the largest collection of virtual reality content across multiple disciplines. With the adoption of CoreVR, Sotheby’s International Realty will be able to offer both a 3D and VR experience. Additionally, Sotheby’s International Realty property listings on Mansion Global, the digital luxury real estate destination from Dow Jones, will also be equipped with the 3D Tour feature.

View our latest 3D tour for 60 Princeton Road in Chestnut Hill.

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