Celebrating Labor Day in Boston, MA


Things to do this Labor Day Weekend in Boston
Boston Real Estate
Labor Day Weekend in Boston

Summer is coming to a close, which means that Labor Day weekend is almost here! While it’s never difficult to find something to do in Boston, MA, the city gets particularly lively on holiday weekends. Labor Day this year is no exception. Here are 4 great ways  to get out and enjoy your Labor Day in Boston this coming weekend:


Boston Arts Festival

The Arts Festival takes place from noon to 6pm on August 30th and 31st in Christopher Columbus Park. The festival will highlight both visual and performing arts. There will be exhibits, demonstrations, workshops, and much more. Head out to this free festival to experience all of the artistic culture that Boston has to offer.


Fireworks on the Harbor

A fireworks display will be taking place over Boston Harbor on Sunday, August 31st as a closing to the Arts Festival. The display will be viewable from anywhere along the waterfront in the North End, Downtown, South Boston, East Boston, and Charlestown. The free fireworks show begins at 9pm.


Mass Brewers Fest

Taking place at the World Trade Center Head House Concourse, the Master Brewers Fest will be held on Friday August 29th from 6pm to 9:30pm. Attendees can taste craft beers from over 30 unique Massachusetts breweries, many of which are very creative with bold New England flavors. Locally renowned brews will also be featured for sampling at this age 21+ beer event. This event features live music by local talent Three Day Threshold, along with more than one hundred varieties of beer.


St. Anthony’s Feast

Head to Boston’s North End from August 29th through September 1st to honor patrons Saint Anthony and Saint Lucy with colorful parades, religious services, strolling singers, live entertainment and a wide variety of great Italian and American food options. Dating back to 1919, Saint Anthony’s Feast has become the largest Italian Religious Festival in New England. It was named the “Feast of all Feasts” by National Geographic Magazine.

As you can see, Labor Day weekend in Boston, MA will not be boring! Activities and events are only one of the many reasons that so many love Boston, MA and choose to call it home. Boston offers rich history and culture, a New England lifestyle, phenomenal educational institutions, and so much more. If you haven’t already, come visit! I’m certain that you’ll be contacting me to help you find the perfect Boston, MA home once you do.

Patti Fine
Phone: 617-642-7585
Email: pf@pattifine.com

Boston Market Statistics for the Week of 8/15/14



Presenting you with your monthly market stats for the Greater Boston area single family homes...

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research www.altosresearch.com


For single family Boston properties in zip code 02116 there was a total of 6 homes listed as of August 15th.   With an average of 5,624 square feet and 4.83 bedrooms, the median list price comes out to $4,825,000. 1 of the homes were newly listed. Finally, with an average of 145 days on the market, none of the 6 homes were absorbed.


Presenting you with your monthly market stats for the Greater Boston area condos...
Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research www.altosresearch.com


The numbers for Boston condos in zip code 02116 are promising. The median listing price was at $1,782,000 at a total inventory of 62. The average condo size is currently sitting at 1,774 square feet, along with an average of 2.44 bedrooms and 2.38 bathrooms. With an average of 71 days on the market, 6 of the 62 condos were absorbed.



Below is a graph that shows the average days on the market for Single Family Homes and Condos in 02116.


Data provided by ©2014 Altos Research LLC

Data and charts are based on the last 2 weeks, but are current to the day.  I have the ability to focus on different zip codes in the Boston area.  Please contact me with whatever your area of interest is; 02116, 02118, 02129 and I will be glad to help you, just let me know!


Patti Fine
Phone: 617-642-7585
Email: pf@pattifine.com

A Guide to Preparing Your Boston, MA Home to Sell


Making your Boston, MA real estate more appealing to buyers
Boston Real Estate
Selling Your Boston, MA Home


So you’ve decided it’s time to sell your Boston, MA home? Congratulations! There are a few things to consider before putting the for sale sign in the front yard though. Before listing your home, you'll want to make sure that it will appeal to as many buyers as possible. The more potential buyers it attracts, the quicker you’ll get your home sold. Follow this guide to preparing your Boston, MA home to sell, and you’ll be setting yourself up for success.

Evaluate your curb appeal. The first thing that potential buyers will see is the exterior of your home. Start with your landscaping. While somewhat seasonally dependent, you'll want it to appear neat and tidy no matter the time of year. Ensure that your walkway, porch or landing, and front door are clean. A fresh coat of paint can be a quick and easy facelift for your front door.  If lighting fixtures and hardware are worn, consider replacing them. If buyers are intrigued by the outside, they will be excited to see what the inside has to offer.

Make your interior sparkle. Go beyond the regular surface cleaning that you do on a consistent basis, and dig into those cleaning tasks that take a bit more effort. Some things to consider: clean windows outside and in, re-caulk sinks and bathtubs, dust light fixtures and ceiling fan blades, clean your carpets and rugs, thoroughly clean appliances inside and out, etc.  If you don't have the time or means to complete these chores, consider hiring a professional to do them for you.

Remove the clutter. Clutter makes your home appear smaller and can also give it a messy appearance. Focus your energy on your countertops and storage areas.  Countertops should be clear of any unnecessary items, so store small kitchen appliances elsewhere for the time being. Consider packing up knickknacks and books on shelves to give a more open appearance. Potential buyers will want to open closets, cabinets, and drawers to get a feel for the home’s storage space. Be certain that all of these areas neat and orderly and do not appear overstuffed.  If you are having a difficult time finding space for your belongings, visit the idea of renting a storage space while selling your home.

Depersonalize. As potential buyers are touring your home, they are trying to envision themselves living in the home. Items that reflect your personal life and taste can make it difficult for them to do so. Pack up the family photos, and remove the children's artwork from the fridge. If you have any highly taste-specific d├ęcor, your may consider swapping it out for something more neutral. When those viewing your home are not distracted by your belongings, they can better gauge whether or not the home will suit their needs.

Attend to minor repairs. While you don’t want to invest a ton of money into your home before selling it, there are certain minor things that you should do. Repair leaky faucets, patch any holes in the walls, realign doors that don’t open and close properly, etc. Most of these repairs do not take long to complete and will help prevent unnecessary checks in the cons column of the checklists of buyers.

Enlist an objective set of eyes. No matter how much time and energy you put into preparing your house to sell, it’s still worth having someone who has no emotional investment in the house give you a second opinion. Your real estate agent can be the perfect individual to do so. He or she works to sell the homes of many each and every year, so utilize his or her expertise!

Once you’ve addressed all of these areas, you’re ready to get the sales process on the road! Taking the time to prepare your Boston, MA house before listing it will pay off in helping to reduce the amount of time that it will spend on the market. As a longtime Boston area realtor, I have assisted many in making the sale of their homes as streamlined and stress free as possible. If you’re considering selling your Boston real estate, please contact me. I’d love to help you sell your current home and even find you the perfect new home.

Patti Fine
Phone: 617-642-7585
Email: pf@pattifine.com

Late Summer Events in Boston, MA


There's still time to enjoy Boston this summer!

Summer may be more than half over, but there is still plenty to do in Boston, MA before Labor Day! Whether you're looking for a date night event, an outing with friends, or something to do with the kids, Boston has something to for you this August. Here are just a handful of the upcoming offerings:


Summer Dine Out Boston 

August 17-22 & 24-29, 2014
Various Restaurants throughout Boston & Cambridge

Boston food-lovers look forward to this restaurant affair every year. Diners can experience prix fixe lunch and dinner menus at many local favorite restaurants in both Boston and Cambridge. Reservations are taken up to 3 weeks in advance, so call now to make sure you get a table!

Mass Brewers Fest 2014 

August 29, 2014
World Trade Center Head House Concourse

Those with an appreciation for beer can sample over 80 varieties from over 20 Massachusetts breweries, as well as enjoy live music by Three Day Threshold. A variety of local food favorites will also be available, including lobster rolls, curry coconut shrimp, Italian sausage, and hot dogs steamed in Harpoon beer. Please note, this event is 21 and over.

Landmarks Concerts at the Hatch Shell

Wednesday evenings throughout August
The Esplanade

The Boston Landmarks Orchestra's weekly free summer Esplanade concerts continue at the Hatch Shell throughout the month of August. All concerts start at 7pm on Wednesday evenings and run about 2 hours. The concerts in August will feature Collaboration with Boston Lyric Opera, From the New World: The Legacy of the Spirituals, Rhapsody in Green,
and O'er the Land of the Free: Bicentennial of The Star Spangled Banner.

Magic 106.7 Family Film Festival 2014

Saturday evenings throughout August
Prudential Center

Free, family-friendly movies will be hosted in the South Garden at the Prudential Center. While entertainment will begin at 5pm, the movie will not begin until sundown. August’s movies include: Despicable Me 2, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, The Lego Movie, Finding Nemo, and Disney’s The Little Mermaid.

As you can see, there are still plenty of things that you can get out and do in Boston this August. No matter the time of year, it is very easy to keep entertained in Boston, MA. That’s one of the reasons that so many choose to call Boston home! If you would like more information on the area or on real estate in the Boston area, please contact me. I would love to help you discover everything that Boston, MA has to offer!

Patti Fine
Phone: 617-642-7585
Email: pf@pattifine.com

Boston Market Statistics for the Week of 7/18/14



Presenting you with your monthly market stats for the Greater Boston area single family homes...

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research www.altosresearch.com


For single family Boston properties in zip code 02129 there was a total of 12 homes listed as of July 18th.   With an average of 1,806 square feet and 3 bedrooms, the median list price comes out to $899,000. 2 homes were newly listed. Finally, with an average of 32 days on the market, 1 of the 2 homes were absorbed.


Presenting you with your monthly market stats for the Greater Boston area condos...
Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research www.altosresearch.com


The numbers for Boston condos in zip code 02129 are promising. The median listing price was at $700,000 at a total inventory of 23. The average condo size is currently sitting at 1,554 square feet, along with an average of 2.57 bedrooms and 2.11 bathrooms. With an average of 36 days on the market, 1 of the 23 condos were absorbed.



Below are the 7 day average price compared to the 90 day average price for Single Family Homes and Condos in 02129.


Data provided by ©2014 Altos Research LLC

Data and charts are based on the last 2 weeks, but are current to the day.  I have the ability to focus on different zip codes in the Boston area.  Please contact me with whatever your area of interest is; 02116, 02118, 02129 and I will be glad to help you, just let me know!


Patti Fine
Phone: 617-642-7585
Email: pf@pattifine.com

Boston Homebuyers: 4 Important Things to Consider When Getting a Mortgage


Getting your Boston, MA home financed

Boston, MA Real Estate
Boston Mortgage Information

While there are buyers in today’s market that are able to pay cash for their Boston homes, the majority will be seeking mortgage loans to finance their purchases. Mortgages, however, can be incredibly confusing. There are so many types of loans and so much terminology that goes along with them, not to mention the tedious process of securing a loan. As a Boston homebuyer, here are 4 important things to consider when getting a mortgage.

Research loan types, and make sure to get the right one for you.

There are many loan options, and the one that will work for you will be based on your personal situation. A few types that you commonly hear are fixed-rate, adjustable-rate, 80/20, FHA, and balloon. Depending on your life and financial situation when purchasing the home, there will be pluses and minus to each. Spend some time on the internet researching your choices, and find a reputable lender for more guidance once you are ready to start looking for a home.

Take all monthly expenses associated with homeownership into account when determining how much mortgage you can afford.

Be sure to consider all of the monthly costs that you will need to afford beyond principal and interest. Depending on your loan type and the amount of downpayment that you apply to your mortgage, you may have monthly mortgage insurance premiums that will be paid along with your mortgage payment. If you choose to escrow your real-estate taxes, those too will be included in the payment. In addition, monthly utility, maintenance, homeowners association costs will also need to be considered.  By ensuring that you're looking at the whole picture of all of the expenses involved in owning a home, you will be able to prevent financial hardship later.

There is a difference between being “pre-qualified” and “pre-approved”.

Being pre-qualified means that based on financial picture you provide, the lender will estimate the amount of mortgage for which you should be able to qualify and afford. Getting pre-approved is a much more involved process. Your credit will be thoroughly analyzed, you will be asked for financial documentation, and you will be told the exact dollar amount that you will be able to borrow. Obviously, this will be contingent on your current financial and credit situation remaining the same all the way through your closing. In today’s market, getting pre-qualified for your mortgage will give you a leg up on buyers who have not done so. Since you’ll have to go through the process at some point anyway, you might as well do it early on.

Be sure to review and understand your closing costs.

There is a long list of fees associated with your closing costs. Both your lender and realtor can help you understand what all of those fees are covering. The day before your closing, you will be able to review your HUD 1 Settlement Statement. Review it carefully, and ask questions. Closing costs can amount to anywhere from 3-7% of the total purchase price of your home, so it’s important to feel confident that everything is correct.

As a long-time Boston, MA realtor, I have worked with many who’ve had to secure financing for their home. Since it is such an involved process, it’s important to start it early in your home search and enlist the help of professionals to walk you through it. With all of the Boston homebuyers with which I’ve worked, I’ve found that these 4 things are some of the most important to consider when getting a mortgage. If you would like more information about purchasing a home in the Boston area, please contact me. It would be my pleasure to assist your find the home of your dreams!

Patti Fine
Phone: 617-642-7585
Email: pf@pattifine.com

Boston, MA 4th of July Festivities


Boston MA Real Estate Information
4th of July in Boston

Celebrating Independence Day in Boston!


Considering the patriotic nature of New England, Boston, MA offers some of the best Independence Day festivities that you can possibly find. While some prefer to enjoy the holiday from the comfort of their own Boston home, there are all sorts of fun and unique events available for those who want to get out and experience what the city has to offer. Two that are particular longtime favorites are Harborfest and the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular.

Celebrating its 33rd anniversary, Harborfest will run from July 2nd through July 6th in Downtown Boston with main events occurring at City Hall Plaza. The five day fest is packed with over 200 events that display the colonial and maritime history of the city. Events include Freedom Trail tours, battle reenactments, harbor tours, and even a scavenger hunt revolving around the Boston Tea Party.  You’ll want to check the daily schedule for event times and costs, though you may have a hard time choosing with so many options!

The Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular is so well known that it draws attendees from all over the country. The event is held at the Charles River Esplanade. While this beautiful 17 mile stretch of river bank is popular to locals all year long, it really comes alive with a crowd of thousands on the 4th of July. The concert itself will be held at the Hatch Shell, this year featuring the Beach Boys, Megan Hilly, the lead performers from the Phantom of the Opera, and the Boston Children’s Chorus. There will be a concert held on July 3rd from 8:30-10pm without fireworks. The main festivities will occur on the 4th with Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular broadcast beginning at 8pm and fireworks beginning at 10:30pm. The event is in its 41st year and gets more impressive with every year that passes. Whether you’re a Boston local or not, everyone should experience this impressive pyrotechnic celebration at least once in their life.

So many love Boston, MA for its rich history, and Independence Day is a wonderful opportunity for the city to share that history with both residents and visitors. Even non-history buffs will be drawn in by the city’s fascinating roots. History is just one of the many things that adds to Boston’s charm -- a charm that makes me love having the opportunity to sell real estate in the area. Whether you get out and experience the city or throw your own soiree at home, have a safe and wonderful 4th of July!

Patti Fine
Phone: 617-642-7585
Email: pf@pattifine.com

Boston Market Statistics for the Week of 6/13/14



Presenting you with your monthly market stats for the Greater Boston area single family homes...

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research www.altosresearch.com


For single family Boston properties in zip code 02118 there was a total of 2 homes listed as of June 13th.   With an average of 2,898 square feet and 4 bedrooms, the median list price comes out to $2,572,500. No homes were newly listed. Finally, with an average of 122 days on the market, none of the 2 homes were absorbed.



Presenting you with your monthly market stats for the Greater Boston area condos...
Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research www.altosresearch.com


The numbers for Boston condos in zip code 02118 are promising. The median listing price was at $830,000 at a total inventory of 70. The average condo size is currently sitting at 1,372 square feet, along with an average of 2.06 bedrooms and 1.73 bathrooms. With an average of 37 days on the market, 19 of the 70 condos were absorbed.


Below are the 7 day average price compared to the 90 day average price for Single Family Homes and Condos in 02118.

  
Data provided by ©2014 Altos Research LLC

Data and charts are based on the last 2 weeks, but are current to the day.  I have the ability to focus on different zip codes in the Boston area.  Please contact me with whatever your area of interest is; 02116, 02118, 02129 and I will be glad to help you, just let me know!


Patti Fine
Phone: 617-642-7585
Email: pf@pattifine.com

The 5 Most Common Boston Home Seller Mistakes


Chances are, you probably don’t go through the process of selling a Boston home very often.  This being said, there tend to be common mistakes that I see happen frequently with Boston home sellers.  Here are 5 that I probably see the most often, so If you’re looking to sell your home, take note!

Neglecting repairs and appearance.  No one wants to purchase a home that appears to be poorly maintained.  Unless they are searching for a “fixer upper”, buyers don’t want to have a long, expensive to-do list as soon as they move into a home. Inspect your home top to bottom for repairs, big or small.  Any repairs that aren’t particularly costly should definitely be completed.  If there are larger repairs that need to be done, you will need to decide whether completing them will be a benefit to the selling price of your home; however, keep in mind that all issues must be disclosed to buyers. Also take the time refresh the exterior of your home — repaint the front door, clean or update hardware, plant fresh flowers.  Anything that will make your home look more appealing when a buyer drives up.

Unappealing pictures.  Since so many start their home search on the internet, the pictures of your home have to make it look its best.  It can be a wise investment to hire a professional photograph.  A real estate photographer is trained to catch the best angles of your home and has the proper equipment to do so.  Great photos can definitely help your home stand out from the pack when a buyer is sifting through a sea of homes on a website.

Pricing your home too high.  Your home must be priced in line with those in the area that are comparable to it.  If your home is one the high end of those available, you will be turning away potential buyers.  It is best to price your home near the median of the available homes in your area.  This will allow your home to fall into as many home searches as possible.

Letting your emotions take over.  While difficult, you have to try to keep your heart out the sales process of your home.  If your realtor recommends that you remove certain taste-specific items from your home, it’s only because he or she wants it to have broad-base appeal.  Should a buyer come to you with a low-ball offer, try your best to not be insulted.  Much like you’re trying to get the most you can for your home, buyers are trying to get the best deal they can on their new home.  Use the low offer as a jumping off point for negotiation.  You cannot take anything that happens during the home sale process personally.

For sale by owner:  Since you don’t sell homes for a living, it is a good idea to enlist the help of a trained real estate professional.  Hiring a realtor who is experienced in your market will be able to assist you in pricing your home correctly to attract buyers.  A realtor will also be able to help you prevent all common pitfalls that sellers tend to fall into by giving you an objective point of view. Overall, enlisting a professional will alleviate much of the stress than can come along with selling a home.

These are just a handful of the mistakes that I have encountered with the sellers I’ve worked with over the years.  With all that’s involved with selling a home, it’s no surprise that this is the case.  As a seasoned Boston real estate agent, I work closely with my clients to help ensure that the sale of their home goes as smoothly as possible.  If you have been considering the purchase of Boston real estate, please contact me.  I look forward to helping you avoid these mistakes while finding the Boston home of your dreams.

Patti Fine
Phone: 617-642-7585
Email: pf@pattifine.com

5 Things to Experience in Boston This June!


Summer is finally here!  With winter in the rearview mirror, it’s time to get out and experience all that Boston, MA has to offer!  One of the things that I love most about Boston is the wide variety of activities and events that the city provides.  It’s one of the reasons so many choose to live here!  As an experienced Boston area realtor, I know how important it is to be close to both work and play in the place that you choose call home.  Here are just a few fun and interesting options you could enjoy this June in the area.

Scooper Bowl Fest
City Hall Plaza, Boston
June 3rd  - 5th

Eating ice cream for a good cause?  Yes please!  This fundraiser scoops out over 10 tons of frozen treats which has benefited the Jimmy Fund for cancer research at Dana-Farber for 32 years running.  

Dragon Boat Fest
Charles River, with Festival on the Cambridge side of the river
June 14th - 15th

Visit Boston's annual Dragon Boat Festival, and see over 50 teams compete.  This is largest dragon boat race in North America!  Enjoy the beautiful and ornate boats with varied levels of rowers racing to the finish line.  At the festival on Sunday, you will get to experience Asian arts and crafts, martial arts, and dance performances
Boston Irish Festival
Irish Cultural Centre, Canton, MA
Weekends, May 31st - June 14th

In celebration of the Irish Cultural Centre's 25th Anniversary, the festival is going to take place over 3 weekends this year!  On May 31st, there will be a performance by Flying High Frisbee Dogs, free face painting, temporary tattoos, arts and crafts, Rugby, Hurling, and Gaelic Football clinics for kids.  On June 6th and 7th, experience phenomenal musicians — buy ticket in advance because they will sell out!  June 14th will highlight the Liam Harney School of Irish Dancing with its magnificently talented Irish step dancers.  
Coolidge Arts & Brookline Food Festivals
June 7th
Devotion School, Brookline

Experience the works of over 75 fine artists while enjoying delicious food from the local restaurants.  Pick up a one of a kind piece and discover your new favorite restaurant all at once!

Beer Tasting Sail
June 19th
Rowes Wharf and Fan Pier, Boston 

Partake in an evening sail aboard Boston’s most historic tall ship while you try some of the city’s best microbrews, along with appetizers and music!  How better to kick off summer than out on the water!

There is something to offer every taste and preference in the Boston area this summer.  Even if these events don’t suit your fancy, I’m certain there is something else that will!  If you would like more information about the area, please contact me!  I’m sure that the more you find out, the more you will want me to assist you in finding the perfect home here!  If you already own Boston real estate, I would also love to help you sell your current and find your next Boston dream home.  I have a passion for Boston real estate, and I love to share it with my clients!