23 Neighborhoods: a boston real estate blog by Michael DiMella
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So You're Thinking of Buying a Home in Boston?

home buyer slidesYou've never done this before, and it can be, well...kind of intimidating. I'm sure you've had your doubts, questions, concerns... it can be really quite overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be!!

You've been pondering this, discussing it with friends and family, but want more information on the market and what actually happens during your first home buying, but you're not quite sure where to get the answers? We at Charlesgate Realty Group can you help you!

We've been hosting a Boston Home Buyer Class for a few years now. It's free. And we discuss things such as:

    •    Renting vs. Buying: Whether it even makes sense for you to buy right now
    •    Homebuying process and timeline: How long it actually takes to buy
    •    Working with an agent: How it works and whether or not you really need one
    •    What mortgages are still available and how much cash you need to buy
    •    Using neighborhood level data (like discount ratios and real time trend graphs) to value properties
    •    Negotiating 101: How to craft your offer to drive a hard bargain!
    •    Top 10 online resources to aid your home search

It's very low key, we offer food and drinks before and afterward and it's a great way to learn about the Boston real estate market, ask questions that you may have regarding the process. In fact, our buyer agents stick around to answer any other questions you may have that we may not have hit upon during the class. The class is at 6pm on Tuesday September 20.

Click here to get more information and to register. We hope to see you there!

Six essentials to get your home SOLD in a “buyer’s market”


So you're thinking about selling your home, but you may have noticed a lot of negative press about the Boston real estate market recently, and now you're nervous.  Is it the right time to sell?  Maybe you have a pressing need to sell, and think you're going to get a raw deal.  Or maybe you may not need to sell, and you're thinking it might be better to just live in a less than ideal situation.  "I can deal with this for just a little longer..." you tell yourself.  Don't fret.  Most of the sellers I talk to are in the same position.  And I'm here with some good news...

First Time Boston Home Buyer Class to be held April 14th!

homebuyer class april 14

We're hosting another First Time Home Buyer class on Wednesday, April 14 at 6:30pm. So, if you missed the last one because of the blasted rain, or just couldn't attend, here's another chance!  Info below or find out more and RSVP on this page.


Ten Most Expensive Boston Condos Sold in 2009 (with market stats)

500 Atlantic Wharf

2009 was a very interesting year in the Boston real estate market.  Prior to the release of my 2009 year end Boston condo market report, here's a quick peek at the past year compared to 2008 and 2007:

Congress extends Fannie and Freddie conforming loan limits for Boston thru 2010

On October 29, 2009, the House and Senate passed legislation to extend the current conforming loan limits for FHA and Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae (the government sponsored enterprises, or GSEs, that back much of the mortgage market in the U.S.) through December 31, 2010.  These loan limits, set at 125% of local area median home price and capped at $729,750, would have expired on December 31, 2009 in which case loan limits would have been reduced in many markets.

It's certainly welcome news for high cost areas like us here in Boston. 

Congress passes $8000 home buyer tax credit extension & expands income limits

Expanded $8000 home buyer tax credit details

Major news out of Congress.  Today, the House voted 403-12 in favor of extending and expanding the $8000 first time buyer tax credit after the Senate did the same yesterday by a vote of 98-0.  The president is scheduled to sign the bill (which also includes provisions to extend unemployment benefits) tomorrow morning to officially make it law. (Update Nov 6: It was signed by President Obama today, officially making it law).

Labor Day surprises for the Boston real estate market?


With Labor Day coming up Monday (too soon dammit!), which usually leads to the end of the typical summer slowdown in the Boston real estate market, what surprises can we expect for the fall market?

First time homebuyer class offered for Boston condo buyers

boston condo buyer class

I just wanted to let you know that I will be holding a first time Boston condo buyer class at my office on September 9 from 6-8pm.  Class is probably not the right word, since it will be a fairly small, interactive presentation (actually more of a discussion and Q&A, I hope), but that's what we're calling it I guess!  We'll have food (and beer!) and just talk about the market conditions and the buying process. 

What you can get for the money: Beacon Hill Condos under $600,000

30 Temple Boston

I wrote about the Back Bay condo market and what $600,000 could buy you there a few weeks ago, so I figured it would be an interesting proposition to now look at the Beacon Hill condo market (another one of the most expensive neighborhoods for Boston condos).  Beacon Hill is slightly less expensive on average than the Back Bay (median condo prices in Beacon Hill are $527,000 vs nearly $608,000 in the Back Bay over the past 3 months).  Still not cheap!  I guess being one of the most historic and desirable neighborhoods in one of the most expensive cities in the country doesn't exactly equal cheap....but you be the judge as to where you want to live!  See below what $600,000 will buy you for a Beacon Hill condo.  You can also read more about Beacon Hill in our new neighborhood section of this site.

Beacon Hill Condos (under $600,000):

For a quick overview, here are some key stats before we take a look at a few choice properties for under $600K below.

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Boston real estate: Soft Second loan program offers lower costs to borrowers

saving money

[Here is a guest post from Jessica Later, one of the skilled buyer agents on my team here at Charlesgate Realty Group.  Please enjoy her post, and if you have any questions, please comment below or contact Jessica].

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