Tag Archives: Somerville

Hidden Gem: The Museum of Modern Renaissance

boston hidden gem

The Museum of Modern Renaissance has given many Tufts University students and Somerville residents pause at its eye-catching location near Powder House Square. Originally a Unitarian Church and then a masonic lodge, the building at 115 College Avenue was transformed in 2002 into a vibrant “Temple of Art”.

 

boston hidden gem

The creation of the museum was the dream of two Russian artists, Nicholas Shaplyko and Ekatrina Sorokina. They fashioned a playful space filled with their own artwork that brings the visitor into another dimension. Covering almost every surface of the Museum with fresco-like paintings called “Mystical Realism,” the artists transformed their home into a fantasy world full of mythological themes. From the front hall, which they call the “Parade of Planets,” to their workroom that also serves as an indoor garden in winter, to the teapot-themed bathroom, their artwork graces the entire building. All the art is a collaboration of the two married artists.

 

museum of modern renaissance

The outside of the building (pictured above) is as kaleidoscopic as the interior. The facade is reminiscent of an Incan ruin, with a large stone face above the doorway and a colorful bull on the door. Although the museum is not open to the public, there are tours available by appointment. The doors also open for various concerts and the annual Somerville Open Studios.

Source Image Credit

 

Featured Rental: Posh Contemporary Condo in Cambridge

EXT Full Kitchen Dining Area FP

Exclusive Listing: Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge

 $2,700/month, Available September 1st

Experience condo living in Cambridge before buying a home with this centrally located two bedroom condo. With a sunny and spacious open layout, our latest listing on Massachusetts Avenue holds contemporary flair. Wood floors are throughout the condo, leading into the modern kitchen with stainless steel appliances and an island. The living room has a  decorative fireplace as well as a balcony, for enjoyment both indoors and outdoors. Central air and heat, an updated bath, and laundry in the basement round out this gem of a find. One off-st parking spot is included in the rent. Take your pick of Porter Square amenities or Davis Square attractions – this condo is near both major squares. Easy access to the MBTA Red Line and multiple bus lines for streamlined transportation routes to all of Greater Boston.

To learn more about this Cambridge rental, contact our rental department:
Phone: 617.264.7900
Email: rentals@unlimitedsir.com

About Life in 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. Cambridge is most distinguishable on a global scale for being the home of multiple top universities.

Steeped in colonial history, Cambridge is a hotbed of historical architecture. Additionally, their breadth of museums provide rotating exhibits and content for all ages to enjoy. Cambridge hosts a number of town squares, each with its own personality and mini-culture. Combine all of these perks with easy access to the Hub of the Universe and Cambridge becomes a city almost unbeatable in its desirability.

Want to see more rentals on and around Massachusetts Avenue? Check out the Cambridge rental here or visit unlimitedsir.com for more available homes.

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.

Featured Listing: Top Floor, Urban Chic Condo in Porter Square

Porter Square Somerville LivingPorter Square Somerville KitchenPorter Square Somerville Deck Porter Square Somerville Dining

28 Holyoke Road, Unit 3 – Somerville

Offered at $569,900

Renovated top floor, urban chic home in A+ Porter Square location. Light filled condo highlighted by vaulted ceilings and skylights. Fantastic kitchen for cooking with ample counter space, breakfast bar, stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops. Sought after open floor plan with two good sized bedrooms. Want outdoor space? Enjoy your own deck and a private fenced-in patio. Additional amenities include central air, in-unit laundry, recessed lighting, private storage and a pet friendly association. In addition, the location offers easy access to the Red Line subway, commuter rail, supermarket, pharmacy, book store and restaurants within a few blocks. Walk Score 92.

Listing Agent: Cathleen Lane, 617.943.9980, cathleen.lane@unlimitedsir.com

View more information on 28 Holyoke Road here or visit unlimitedsir.com for more available homes.

About life in Somerville:

It’s the city known for zany festivals, hipsters, and arguably more artists per capita than most of the East Coast. Meet Somerville, one of the most densely populated cities in the country with just over four square miles to work with. Its enviable location is only two miles from Boston’s city center close to Cambridge.

Named Best-Run City in Massachusetts by The Boston Globe, Somerville packs an urban-planning punch. 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.  From its roots as a revolutionary hotspot to an industrial juggernaut, it’s now setting into its status as a vibrant, community-centered location with a bright future ahead.

EXPLORE: Living in Somerville

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It’s the city known for its zany festivals, hipsters, and arguably more artists per capita than most of the East Coast. Meet Somerville, one of the most densely populated cities in the country with just over four square miles to work with. Its enviable location is only two miles from Boston’s city center and close to popular Cambridge sites like Porter and Inman Squares. From its roots as a revolutionary hotspot to an industrial juggernaut, it’s now setting into its status as a vibrant, community-centered location with a bright future ahead.

History

Somerville first began as part of Charlestown when it was settled by British colonists in 1630. More than a century later, Somerville played a vital role in the American Revolution where it saw one of the first hostile acts by British soldiers at The Old Powder House, which is still standing today; it’s also the home of the first official raising of the American flag at Prospect Hill, critical for its views of Boston proper.

In 1842 Somerville officially separated from Charlestown and became its own township, and, due to the booming factory growth in the area, was incorporated as a city in 1872. Today, it’s undergoing a renewal renaissance, where it’s preserving its industrial past and crafting an innovative culture of forward-thinking residents with fierce pride for their city.

Urban Planning

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.

Each square in Somerville not only holds a place in US history but offers present-day dining and shopping attractions as well. Assembly Square, Davis Square, and Union Square each have their own sub-cultures and worth at least a visit for their individual charms.

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Claims to Fame

Somerville’s deep roots in industrial work left behind a legacy as the birthplace of many products and well-known store chains. Marshmallow Fluff, for example, was first invented in Somerville; thousands flock to Somerville every year for its annual “What the Fluff?” festival that celebrates it and other Somerville creations.

With Somerville practically surrounded by water, it’s easy to visit renowned markers like the Mystic River, which is nationally known and referenced in poetry and film.  Other attractions range from historically renowned sites to institutions like Brooklyn Boulders and the Museum of Bad Art in Somerville Theatre.

Need more convincing? Somerville lies a stone’s throw away from Tufts University, only bested by MIT and Harvard as best university in Massachusetts. On a national scale, Forbes ranks Tufts within the top twenty due to its high caliber programs and internationalism.

Transportation

With Red and Orange Line connections, Somerville is easily accessible from Cambridge and Boston by both rail and bus routes via the MBTA. For further convenience, Somerville will soon have a place on the Green Line as well through the Green Line extension project, set to be completed in 2021.

Somerville is highly walkable and bike able with ideal grid routes, a rare and unusual trait for a city this close to Boston. Popular routes include the Somerville Community Path, which runs from Davis Square to the Cambridge border near Lechmere Square. Companies like Hubway have partnered with Somerville to support cycling and bicycle infrastructure with more than 300 bike parking spots and other initiatives.

Housing

Somerville’s Davis Square and Winter Hill areas have seen the highest increases in price over the past decade, seeing prices jump over sixty percent in both areas. Somerville is also a great location for singles as over half its residents are unmarried.

Due to excitement over the Green Line extension and its urban planning success, Somerville is rapidly becoming a valuable choice for homeowners and investors. Trendgraphix sets the average price of a single family home today at $789,000, an increase from the average price of $461,000 in 2007.

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.

Featured Rental: Union Square 2 Bed with Central Air

LR - DR 1   Big MasterPorch

Exclusive Listing – Giles Park, Somerville

$2800/month, Available October 1st

This Union Square 2 bed, 2 bath apartment has a modern kitchen with a breakfast bar, wood floors, high ceilings, central air, a master bedroom with a full master bath (with double sink), in-unit laundry, and a porch off the back. Across from a park and public gardens, with easy access to stores, restaurants, and public transportation.

Learn more, contact our rental departments at:
617.264.7900 (Brookline) or 617.522.2200 (JP), rentals@unlimitedsir.com

Featured Rental: Union Square 2 Bed, 2 Bath Apt

master bed LR 1 LR - Kitchen kitchen porch

Exclusive Listing – Giles Park, Union Square – Somerville

$2600/month, available March 1st

Spacious 2 bed Union Square apartment with modern fully applianced kitchen (plus breakfast bar) and 2 full – and fully updated – baths. Hardwood floors throughout, master bedroom with private bath, central air, in-unit laundry, and a porch off the back of the unit. Steps to stores, restaurants, and public transportation.

Learn more, contact our rental departments at:
617.264.7900 (Brookline) or 617.522.2200 (JP), rentals@unlimitedsir.com

Hidden Gem: Massive Indoor Rock Climbing Facility in Somerville

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Image Credit: Brooklyn Boulders Website

Love to rock climb but can’t always find time to head out of the city to the nearest climbing spots? Brooklyn Boulders in Somerville is a 40,000 sq.ft. facility that offers climbing, fitness, yoga, workspaces, a cafe, saunas and much more right in Greater Boston.

You can check Brooklyn Boulders out for yourself at 12A Tyler Street in Somerville from 7am to 11:30pm Monday-Friday and 10am to 11:30pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Visit Their Website for More Information

Happy Climbing!

Introducing: Timeless Somerville Three Family Home

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10 Thurston Street, Somerville

Fantastic opportunity to buy and own a reasonably priced 3 family home in Somerville. This 3 unit building is perfect for: The Owner Occupant who wants to collect rent and live almost for free. The Investor who is looking to make a return on his investment that is much larger than just leaving cash in the bank or the Developer looking for a condo conversion in one of Greater Boston’s hottest up and coming suburbs. The VACANT first floor features a large 1 bedroom apartment while the RENTED second & third floor units are both nice sized 2 bedroom apartments. This building has many possibilities and is just waiting for the right individual with vision and a little TLC. All showings begin at the first open house on Sunday, 11/09/14 from 11:30-1:30. It really is a must see! MLS # 71765483

Learn more, contact Agent Scott Goldsmith:
617.529.2434, scott.goldsmith@unlimitedsir.com