Welcome to Centers and Squares

As a Cambridge real estate agent, the city squares of Cambridge, Somerville and Medford and the town centers of Arlington, Watertown and Belmont, Massachusetts are my home turf. And as a lifelong New Englander who’s lived within twenty miles of Boston most of my life, I can introduce you to other nearby towns as we search for your new home. If you’re planning to sell your home in Cambridge, MA or nearby you’ll find plenty of info about the home selling process here too. Questions? Send me an email or call me at 617-504-1737.

Two Family in Porter Square

21-23 Regent Street in Porter Square

21-23 Regent Street in Porter Square

21-23 Regent Street is a handsome two-family house in Porter Square.  Regent Street is just a couple blocks from the Porter Square Red Line T (Baptiste Yoga’s on the corner) so it’s a walk-to-everything location.  The street is a mix of single family houses, multi-families, and condos in converted turn of the century houses or the modern lofts built at the end of the block.

The house will appeal to owner-occupants who’ll appreciate the single family feel of the larger unit.  It has its own entrance and offers four bedrooms on two levels.  Regent St is a super location for investors since apartments this close to the T and to local colleges can command premium rents.

This much loved two-family house was home to the sellers for decades.  New buyers will get a chance to make 21-23 Regent Street their own later this week when it comes on the market for $1,100,000.

21-23 Regent Street Cambridge MA 02140 is listed with Elizabeth Bolton of ReMax Destiny (that’s me!).  Email me at [email protected] or call Liz at 617-504-1737 for more information.

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Lunch at the Wayside Inn

Our snowy day trip destination - the Wayside Inn in Sudbury

Our snowy day trip destination – the Wayside Inn in Sudbury

A couple of weeks ago my parents and I drove out to the Wayside Inn in Sudbury for lunch.  It was the day after the snowstorm and the scenery was the perfect excuse for a day trip.  The wet snow still blanketed the tree branches and with the brilliant blue sky it was just dazzling to drive out Route 20.

The Wayside Inn is under an hour from Cambridge.  The historic inn, memorialized by Cambridge’s own Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, has charming dining rooms as well as a gift shop to browse in after your meal.  Several dining rooms have fireplaces though only the fireplace in the tap room burns wood. It’s a beautiful place to soak up some atmosphere and enjoy classic New England style cooking. 

There’s more to see when you’ve finished lunch.  Henry Ford owned the Wayside Inn in the 1920s and built or moved several historic structures to the complex.  In the warmer months you can walk over to the Little Red Schoolhouse (believed to be the school mentioned in Mary Had a Little Lamb) or up the rise to the Martha Mary Chapel.  Down the road is the Grist Mill, a water powered mill built for Ford in 1929. Be sure to save room for fudge or candy from the Wayside Country Store just over the line in Marlborough.  It’s one of the best candy shops around and the gift shop is packed with books, collectibles and more – much more.

Route 20 has many shopping options including Country Curtains, Patti Bros Lighting, antique shops, bookstores and more.  Plenty to make a day of it – or a weekend by spending the night.  The Wayside Inn is an operating inn, the oldest in the country, and celebrating its 300th birthday this year.  Whether you’re looking for a day trip or a weekend destination the Wayside Inn in Sudbury won’t disappoint.

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Somerville Two-Family House for Sale

52 Electric Ave is a handsome Somerville two-family house between Teele and Davis Square

52 Electric Ave is a handsome Somerville two-family house between Teele and Davis Square

Today’s the day we tour the new listings for the weekend. One of them was the Somerville two-family house for sale that I’ve listed at 52 Electric Ave, Somerville.  Electric is a great side street between Teele Square and Davis Square.

52 Electric Ave sits up high and the owner’s renovation took advantage of the wonderful views and abundant light – there are new windows and French doors to the decks on the back of the house – you can see the distant hills, Harvard Square, and neighborhood rooftops.

A super house for the end user or investor, 52 Electric was extensively updated in 2003 and both units have new walls, ceilings, electric and insulation and updated kitchens and baths.

Open houses are scheduled for Thursday, July 9th from 11 to noon, Friday, July 10th from 4:30 to 6 pm, and Sunday, the 12th, from 1 to 2 pm.

52 Electric Ave, Somerville MA 02144, a two-family house, is listed for sale for $1,100,000.  For more information call Liz Bolton (that’s me!) of ReMax Destiny at 617-504-1737.

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No More New York Times Home Section

I can't even take my NYT out of the bag since I'm so sad about the demise of the Home section

I can’t even take my NYT out of the bag since I’m so sad about the demise of the Home section

My mother called early this morning.

“Did you get your New York Times yet?”

I hadn’t.  My paper was still in its delivery bag unopened.

“There’s no Home section!”  My mother speculated that her delivery guy had left it out of the bag – perhaps annoyed about his overdue tip.

But a quick search online revealed the sad news.  The New York Times has discontinued our longtime favorite section, Thursday’s Home section.

The Home section has been one of the highlights of my week for years.  I like Tuesday’s Science section but it’s so meaty it can take days to wade through and I sometimes view it with exasperation rather than anticipation since I know it’s likely to remain in my to-be-read pile for too long.  Wednesday’s Food section is a bore – I just don’t care to read endless minutiae about food. And the huge two-part Arts section on Friday is usually tossed in the recycling bin after a glance at a review or two.

But Thursday?  Thursday was special.  I pored over every article in the Home section, as did my mother. Home often prompted phone calls between us with critiques or comments about photos and articles.  I woke up happy on Thursdays because I knew what awaited me in the bag outside my door.  And I know we’re not alone in our love of the NYT Home section – for any house enthusiast Thursday’s paper was a much anticipated treat.

Clearly the arts generate more advertising support than the home decor field. That’s too bad.  It’s stupid and shortsighted on the part of advertisers – advertisements and snippets about products in the Home section have motivated my purchases multiple times over the years.  But it’s also stupid and shortsighted on the NYT’s part.  Daily delivery of the New York Times is not inexpensive and if the best sections are eliminated the expense becomes much more difficult to justify.

Today’s a sad day for house enthusiasts and for newspapers.

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Online Gift Registry for Home Buyers

Hatch My House Gift Registry

Have friends and family help you buy a house with Hatch My House

Have you heard of Hatch My House?  It’s an online gift registry where you can have friends and family give monetary gifts to help you save for a house – or at least the down payment.

I have mixed feelings about online registries and asking for cash but Hatch My House totally won me over.  It’s a really cute design – you select a house and then assign values to its features – inside and out if you want.   Your loved ones “buy” a window, or a door, a microwave, even a toilet for cripes sake (I’d advise against including the toilet – nobody seems to “buy” them – not surprisingly) – however you want to set it up.  You choose the values for each feature you want to include and when a donor selects it they can opt to leave a message to you that shows up when someone clicks on the building element.  It really is fun and you can’t help clicking and clicking when you open up one of the registers.

Hatch My House is popular with couples who use it for their wedding registry. Many make a good point – they’ve been together for years and really don’t need the traditional wedding gifts since they’ve already outfitted their apartment. 

Saving for a down payment is no easy feat.  Hatch My House could get you on your way.

 

PS ~ I love the vintage postcards with egg houses so couldn’t resist using one here.

Categories: Buyer Info

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Days on Market Hangover Shortened

MLS lightens up

MLS Lightens the Days on Market Ball and Chain

A number of years ago our local MLS, MLSpin, changed their policy about days on market for properties listed for sale. The new rules meant that a property that had been taken off the market would retain the days on market number when it was relisted. While it was arguably good for buyers who often think that days on market or “DOM” is a reflection of the property’s value relative to price, it really wasn’t a good policy for sellers.  That days on market number was a ball and chain that you carried with you as a seller or listing agent.

The only way to clean the slate and set the DOM ticker back to zero was to keep the property off the market for more than 90 days.

MLSpin recently announced that their Board of Directors has voted to change the period for the DOM “cure” to just 60 days.  Hurrah!  Under the new rules a property that’s been off the market for 61 days or more will be relisted on the MLS with a DOM of zero.  No word yet when the change to MLS policy will be enacted.

As a seller you want to be sure when your property comes off the market to clarify its status with your agent.  The status must be either Expired or Cancelled.  If you agent changes the status to Withdrawn you won’t be able to escape the days on market hangover no matter how much time elapses. 

Buyers should be pleased with this change too since it means that more properties may be relisted earlier in the season – and we’re all anxious for new listing to come on the market.  Buyers would also be well served by worrying a bit less (a lot less?!) about days on market.  If the property is right for you that’s what counts most – despite the DOM tally.

Categories: Seller Info

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Address in the Boston Globe

Address in the Boston Globe

Don’t Miss Address in the Sunday Boston Globe

Do you get the Sunday Boston Globe?  There are plenty of reasons to get the Sunday Globe – news, community, coupons! – but since last spring one of the best reasons is the Globe’s Address section.   The Globe had been getting a bit skimpy but lately it seems that they’re adding new sections rather than eliminating portions of the paper.

Address debuted last March and is really a must-read for anyone interested in real estate and in houses.  It’s filled with articles and columns about real estate and home ownership and is subtitled “Your Real Estate Guide to Buying, Selling, Living”.  In years past the Boston Globe‘s real estate coverage struck many agents as “a day late and a dollar short” – the Globe always seemed to be reporting news and trends from several months back.  But their real estate articles have been noticeably better and more timely and Address reflects that improved coverage.  Regular features include:

  • An essay by guest columnists titled “My First Home”
  • A Massachusetts town profile that fills two full pages each week
  • Columns with questions and answers about home repairs, gardening and landscaping
  • The “Home of the Week” featured property for sale 
  • A decorating feature “Room to Love”

This Sunday’s Address section included

  • A two-page profile of Malden, MA – you’re bound to find out things you didn’t know about Malden
  • Info about sealing granite countertops
  • An article about decorating a Craftsman-style house on a budget
  • A wonderful “My First Home” essay written by a local minister

Just like the New York Times’ Home section on Thursday the Boston Globe‘s Address has become a must-read for me every Sunday – something I look forward to as soon as the newspaper hits the driveway.  Check it out!

 

 

Categories: Living Here

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Time Capsules in Medford and Watertown

Watertown time capsule

Watertown MA Time Capsule

Time capsules have been in the local news recently as two time capsules were unearthed in Boston.  First, a 113-year old time capsule was removed from the head of the lion statue at the Old State House. Then in December an even older time capsule saw the light of day at the State House.  This one was first secreted away in 1795 though it was rehoused and reburied in 1855.  First deposited by Paul Revere, William Scollay and Samuel Adams, the capsule’s contents should be fascinating since so much time has elapsed and its creators played such a large role in our history.

Franklin School Medford time capsule

Time Capsule in Medford MA

Sometimes I think that time capsule creators don’t do that good a job of gathering evidence of their time.  It’s difficult to decide what sums up an era – what will give people 100 or 200 years from now a real feel for our world.  As a lover of old paper I’ve given this topic some thought over the years.  Plenty of old paper I’ve got socked away brings back earlier times when I comb through the piles. For a time capsule perhaps a collection of essays in which people describe what they do in the course of a day would give a better sense of our lives.  It’s the minutia of the day to day that will likely catch the fancy of people living in very different times. 

I’ve come across a couple of time capsules in Centers and Squares territory.  The one pictured above is in Watertown Square.  It’s due to be opened in 2030, when Watertown celebrates its 400th birthday.  I’m not sure how old the time capsule will be at that point – we’ll just have to be surprised!  And I’m destined to forever wonder what’s in the time capsule outside the Franklin School condos in Medford on Central Ave, pictured at right, since it’s scheduled to be opened in 2075.

 

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