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By Jessica Quirk | Agent in South Boston, Boston,...
  • AUDUBON PARK AUCTION “CHEAT SHEET”

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Boston, In My Neighborhood in Boston, Property Q&A in Boston  |  September 24, 2010 8:28 AM  |  889 views  |  No comments
    Purchasing property at an auction is a great way to get an AMAZING deal!

    But, to be successful and to become a winning bidder you need to be prepared!!

    If you haven’t purchased property at an auction before it can be daunting. Don’t worry – we are here to make the process as smooth as possible and help you get prepared for auction day!

    Here are some more details about the Audubon Park Auction:

    (but first, if you have not read our previous posts: Audubon Park Goes Auction &  Fenway Condo Auction Tips please jump into those first before continuing AND do not forget to ask us about the special CASH BACK REFUND that ONLY CondoDomain is offering!!!!)

    AUCTION DAY

    This sale includes 25 condominium residences within Audubon Park, located at 16 Miner Street in the Fenway neighborhood. The sale will occur on October 19, 2010 “Auction Day”. The developer owns 41 units so be ready to see new units put on at the Auction.

    A minimum selling price has been established for all the residences. This means that the Seller has agreed to accept from registered bidders all bids equal to or greater than the published minimum selling price for each of these residences. No bid below these minimums will be recognized. From our experience most auction units end up selling at a 35%-40% discount from the asking price.

    REGISTRATION

    Registration is required to attend the auction and to become eligible to bid. Complete and return the Auction Registration Form by October 17th 2010.

    On Auction Day, all approved registered bidders must present a Bank Check in the amount of $10,000. Each bidder is also required to bring a blank personal check. The blank check will then be added to the $10,000 to equal three and one half percent (10%) of the winning bid price. The Bank Check should be made payable to yourself.

    ** If you are FHA approved you can put down as little as 3.5% and only have to bring $5,000 to the Auction. So, make sure you ask your mortgage broker.

    INSPECTION

    You should physically inspect all residences you are interested in purchasing since the units will be delivered in “as is” condition. Most of our clients make detailed lists of the units they like and rank them according to preference before auction day.

    CONDO DOCUMENTS AND P&S

    You will be able to review electronic copies of the Purchase and Sale and Condominium Documents PRIOR to the auction. It is important to read through the condo documents and have an attorney take a look as well. Before auction day you will also want an attorney to review the Purchase and Sale Agreement since winning bidders will be expected to fully execute the Condominium Purchase and Sale Agreement immediately after becoming the winning bidder in the auction room. There will not be time to review the documents again on Auction Day so please ask all questions prior to October 19th!

    FINANCING

    Prospective buyers should get pre-approved by the Seller’s preferred lender. In the event a successful bidder wants a mortgage financing contingency in the Condominium Purchase and Sale Agreement, the successful bidder must use financing arranged by the Seller’s preferred lender(s) and Title Company, and must provide to Seller a pre-approval in writing for a specific dollar amount prior to Auction Day. A mortgage representative from the Seller’s preferred lender(s) will be present on site during open house dates to meet with bidders by appointment to assist with financing.

    CLOSING

    All sales must close on or before December 17, 2010 unless an extension is granted by Seller in writing. In addition to the Purchase Price, the Buyer will be responsible, as provided in the Purchase Agreement, for paying certain costs on the day of the closing, including but not limited to, recording fees, title insurance fees, settlement costs, any costs related to Buyer’s loan and two (2) months initiation fees to the Condominium Association.

    PARKING

    There are 20 garage parking spots in the building. Auction winners are able to purchase the parking spots for $60-$70K (depending on the level) on Auction Day. Garage spaces will be offered on a first come first served basis to winning bidders on Auction Day and added to the purchase price of the home.

  • Audubon Park Condo Auction to hit Boston!!!

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Fenway/Kenmore, Foreclosure in Fenway/Kenmore, In My Neighborhood in Fenway/Kenmore  |  September 23, 2010 12:16 PM  |  1,649 views  |  No comments

    Audubon-Park-Condo-Auction

    BREAKING NEWS TODAY – AUDUBON PARK ANNOUNCES IT WILL SELL REMAINING UNITS VIA AUCTION JUST A FEW WEEKS AWAY ON OCTOBER 19TH !!!

    Minimum Bidding will start at $195,000 at Audubon Park and with my first glimpse at pricing, these are going to FLY off the shelf.  See pricing for the Audubon Park condo auction below.

    As you, our team here at CondoDomain Boston has had an enormous success with all the Boston condo auctions over the past 2 years especially with our friends over at Velocity Marketing partners who have held some of the most recent Boston condo auctions.  We have been responsible for more than 20 sales in the top 6 Boston condo auctions.   If your interested in buying at the Audubon Condo Auction definitely look at our track record with the Longwood Towers Auction, The 1850 Auction, Brewery Lofts Auction, Nouvelle at Natick Auction and the super luxury Bryant Back Bay Condo Auction.

    Most importantly our clients can attest to how much value we provide in the condo auction process so we highly advise contacting us so we can represent you in the Audubon Park condo auction – its free for you – and actually, if you let us represent you – you will get CASH BACK (but ONLY with CondoDomain).   Call us to learn exactly how we do it 617 314 7704.

    *** VERY IMPORTANT ***

    If you found out about the Audubon Park condo auction here on CondoDomain please be sure to ‘not go alone’ and call us so we can accompany you to the property.  This is the ONLY way you can get representation during the Audubon Park condo auction (and its free!!!) If you go alone, you waive all rights to having a broker represent you.  BUT IF YOU GO ALONE, you will get nothing, so call us today to schedule 617.314.7704 or email patti@CondoDomain.com

    If you know how important it is to have a broker help you during the Audubon Park condo auction, please be sure to ‘not go alone’ and contact us so we can escort you to the property to lock us in as your broker (which is free) and we will be able to insure you a successful condo auction experience, and if you win a unit you will get the traditional 20% CASH BACK we give all of our clients!  BUT IF YOU GO ALONE, you will get nothing, so call us today to schedule 617.314.7704 or email patti@CondoDomain.com

    Section G from the terms and conditions of this auction state.

    (G) No real estate broker or salesperson commission will be honored unless such real estate broker is present at the time of registration and executes a Broker Registration Form at the time of first visit to the Auction Information Center. If a broker has met the conditions above, such broker will receive a 2% commission should their client become a successful bidder at auction. Commission shall be due and payable upon the closing of the unit.

    Quick Example if you win a unit at the Audubon Park Condo Auction:

    Lets say you win a unit for $500,000 and you BRING CondoDomain as your broker.

    1. You will get VIP service and auction expertise throughout the entire process.
    2. Our services are 100% free to you.
    3. We represent you and ONLY you and your best interests.
    4. CondoDomain will get Compensated 2% of the sales price ($10,000 in this example).
    5. CondoDomain will share 20% of that commission with you ($2,000 cash back to you!)

    Call Us Today To Learn More on the Audubon Park Condo Auction 617 314 7704

    Below is a list of the Audubon Park Condo Auction Pricing:

    audubonparkauctionpricing

  • Need A Nice Place To Stay?

    Posted Under: In My Neighborhood in Boston  |  May 11, 2010 7:07 PM  |  384 views  |  No comments

    BIZ-NET just launched a new division of its BIZ-NET Travel section called Luxury City Guides, a family of websites offering luxury accommodations in major metropolitan areas for the distinguished traveler. The Luxury City Guide websites’ primary focus is on 5 and 4 star luxury hotels, as well as other useful destination information such as public transportation, luxury shopping destinations, fine dining, and activities and tours.

    Currently BIZ-NET has freestanding City Guides for Boston, Chicago, San Diego, San Francisco, and Seattle, each offering anywhere from 30-50 4 and 5 start hotels. Each city’s site actively promotes a handful of these hotels, showcasing 3-5 featured hotels in their own box on the city’s homepage.

    Boston’s website, BostonLuxuryHotelsGuide.Net, features The Four Seasons, The Mandarin Oriental, The Langham, and The Ritz-Carlton on their homepage, as well as a map-driven hotel search, a separate list of the highest rated Boston hotels, and a brief description of the city, titled, “Boston: Beantown and the Cradle of Liberty.”

    The site itself, or Boston’s at least, appears to be a bit amateur at first glance, with a cheesy “Boston Luxury Hotels” logo and green-and-gold color scheme, however, the information seems to be valid and the recommendations sound…

    Across the main navigation bar at the top of the page are 5 buttons; Luxury Hotels, Event Tickets, Activities and Tours, Rental Cars, and Contact Us. My initial evaluation of the site as a bit amateur held true as I attempted to click the Event Tickets button only to be continually redirected to the same page that the Luxury Hotels button took me. Both buttons bring you to a fairly standard hotel search with a list of hotels, various ways to organize them, links to maps, ratings, and the option to compare hotels

    The Activities and Tours page was quite nice, with separate tabs for Attractions, Activities and Tours, Outdoors, Dining, and Other Services, and a progress bar at the top that moves you along from Search, to Select, to Review, to Reserve, and finally to Confirm. Under each tab lies a list of attractions, with a clearly marked price, a nice big blue “Order Now” button, and a short, one-sentence description of the product or service, many offering online specials. However, as I probed the tabs further and discovered that the site only offered one selection under the Dining tab and it was The Hard Rock Café, I knew that either the site is still very new and unfinished, or yes, this is an amateur attempt at a website indeed.

    Browsing further, the Rental Cars tab seemed OK, as the site has a plethora of car-rental partners including Avis, Budget, Hertz, and Enterprise, however I didn’t give this tab a full exploration. Finally, I came upon the Contact Us section, which actually helped to change my opinion on the site. The Contact Us button brings you to a page where they clearly lay out their purpose:

    “Boston, MA offers a wide range of luxury hotel accommodations. To assist you in selecting the property appropriate to your needs the lodging operators of Boston MA have worked in cooperation with BostonLuxuryHotelsGuide.net to create a complete and up-to-date directory of all your premium lodging choices,

    As well as this little bit on hotel participation:

    “Boston Luxury Hotel operators have provided BostonLuxuryHotelsGuide.net with property descriptions, photographs, and direct reservation links to enable a seamless booking process. They have done this to enable you to book directly through BostonLuxuryHotelsGuide.net. Some properties do not participate in BostonLuxuryHotelsGuide.net and as a result are not included in our Boston Luxury Hotel Guide, and we cannot comment on them as a trusted lodging resource.”

    The Contact Us page also offers legitimate contact information, but it is the purpose and participation paragraphs that make me respect this attempt at a new website. Transparency is the name of the game in business these days, and detailing how your company works in a public space that can be easily accessed is a great way to earn credibility right off the bat.

    Overall, I thought that BIZ-NET’s new Luxury City Guides websites are a good start to a good idea. However, a brief exploration of the Boston website showed me that these websites are still very new, fairly amateurish, and could use a few tweaks. If you have used any of these sites, please leave us a comment and let us know how your experience was.

  • Big Green Mission Hill Development Underway

    Posted Under: In My Neighborhood in Boston  |  March 30, 2010 2:31 PM  |  309 views  |  No comments

    Construction began yesterday, Monday the 29th, at Mission Hill's Terrace St. for a new mixed-income housing development, The Oliver Lofts. The project involves the $25 million renovation of three historic mill buildings that have been vacant for 25 years. The buildings, former homes to The Highland Springs Brewery, The Oliver Ditson Music Publishing Company, The Croft Brewery, and The R&S Pickle Factory, are two, four, and five stories respectively, and will be converted into 62 new units of mixed-income, LEED-Silver housing including 12 one-bedroom units, 39 two-bedroom units, 8 two-bedroom duplexes, and three artist live-work spaces.

    This latest residential development in Boston is really exciting for a few reasons:

    1- The buildings themselves are just so cool. I mean, we're talking about practically ancient mills that have been vacant for more than two decades being converted into affordable residencies. And these ancient buildings are being renovated to LEED-Silver "green" certification standards, that's just incredible.

    2- Not only are the buildings cool, but in the words of our fine Mayor, Mr. Menino, who visited the site on its first day of construction, " [The development] marks an important step in realizing the community's vision for activating Terrace Street as a gateway between Roxbury Crossing and the Back of the Hill." With a few more developments, Terrace Street could become a hotspot for local happenings as well as an easy way to move from Roxbury to Mission Hill.

    3- The majority of the residences that the project will provide are reserved for lower-income families and individuals. To quote CityBizList, "[Three] artist live-work spaces [will be] available to artists with incomes at or below 100% of Area Median Income (AMI). Thirty-five of the homes will be available to households earning 60% or less of AMI, and eight of the units will be set aside for the formerly homeless who have an income at or below 30% of AMI, made possible by an award of project based vouchers from the Boston Housing Authority. In addition, 16 units will be unrestricted." This is clearly a great community-improvement development project for an area with a mix of lower to middle income families.

    4- The project came together with the help of the community and multiple organizations, despite having the deck stacked against them. The project received $750,000 directly from the city of Boston as well as $2.5 million from the State Department of Housing and Community Development and the Affordable Housing Trust. The developers, Winn Development, were able to secure Low Income Housing Tax Credits through DHCD as well as Historic Tax Credits through the Massachusetts Historic Commission and the National Park Service. The community played a big part too, as mentioned by the Mayor, "The Oliver Lofts development is the result of a lot of hard work and patience on the part of the community and development team. I want to congratulate the folks who participated in the Terrace Street Corridor Planning Initiative, as well as WinnDevelopment and The Architectural Team, for helping to move this important project forward." It's always nice when the people take part and have a say in what's being developed in their community...

    The project will use high efficiency heating and cooling systems fixtures as well as Energy Star rated appliances in an effort to receive LEED-housing Silver certification as well as meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star standards. The project is also set to be completed by July of 2011, and is expected to create over 100 new jobs. All things considered, maybe we can expect to see The Oliver Lofts nominated as a finalist in next year's ULI Awards for Excellence in The Americas?

    Think this sounds like a cool area to live? Check out some listings around Mission Hill on CondoDomain, and get a feel for price, location, and the community.

  • Menino Spending $63 Million in Retrofitting

    Posted Under: In My Neighborhood in Boston  |  March 20, 2010 11:03 AM  |  291 views  |  No comments

    Mayor Thomas Menino announced last Friday his plan to spend $63 million over three years to retrofit one third of The Boston Housing Authority's federally supported public housing units. The task is charged to a local Framingham-based energy firm, Ameresco, who's CEO claims that once the loans are repaid, taxpayers can expect to save approximately $7 million in annual utility costs. And that $63 million isn't even the half of it, The Boston Globe's Andrew Ryan adds, "The energy upgrades are part of a larger, $238 million upgrade that McGonagle described as the 'single largest capital improvement in the 75-year history of public housing in this city.' Funding for the overall project includes $73 million in federal stimulus money and $102 million from bonds and the agency’s capital budget." That's a big chunk of change, so what exactly are we getting for $63 million?

    The refurbishing will happen in plumbing systems and toilets, saving thousands of gallons of water, electricity and lighting, increasing efficiency, and heating systems and oil heaters, which will be replaced with natural gas, saving space as well as money. At the Lenox Street development in the South End, sticky black tar roofs will be replaced with solar panels white surfaces that reflect the heat. In Roxbury's Torre Unidad development, a natural gas cogenerator will heat hot water and provide enough electricity to power 33 single-family homes. The Bromley-Heath development in Jamaica Plain will be recieving $11.5 million alone, refurbishing its bathroom fixtures, heaters, and thermostats.

    Douglas Foy, a specialist on energy and the environment who was a Cabinet secretary in Governor Mitt Romney’s administration, claims that buildings are the largest consumers of the world's energy, more so than airplanes, sport utility vehicles, and other modes of transportation. Foy believes that building's enormous energy appetite stems from inefficient heating and cooling systems inside of an already poorly designed building. Boston's retrofitting project will renovate 4,300 apartments in 13 seperate Boston Housing Authority developments, and according to our mayor, "It’s the nation’s largest public housing energy performance contract, right here in Boston."

    What do you think? Will the project pay off down the road or will it stall like the Big Dig?

    Let us know. Leave a comment below and don't forget to visit CondoDomain to search the MLS, buy, sell, or rent, and as always, SAVE MONEY!

    For the full Globe article, click here.
  • Roth Blunders, Menino Counters in Downtown Crossing Debacle

    Posted Under: In My Neighborhood in Boston  |  March 10, 2010 11:11 AM  |  302 views  |  No comments

    If you've been to Downtown Crossing in the last year or so then you've probably seen the eyesore that used to be Filene's flagship store, a site eagerly awaiting development by Vornado and John Hynes’ Gale International. The site has been neglected by its owners for some time now, but after Steven Roth, chairman of Vornado, co-developer of the site with Gale International, was caught boasting about how he let a similar urban development site in New York decay until the government was forced to kick in some extra cash, Mayor Menino countered, refusing to allow Roth to repeat his scheme.

    We can't be absolutely sure that Roth is indeed trying to haggle the city for a little extra cash by leaving the Filene's site an uncovered dump, but after his remarks during his speech at Columbia University, it is definitely a likely possibility.

    So how did Menino counter? With a letter. Menino informed Roth that he will not hesitate to use the city's power to seize the semi-demolished property (called eminent domain power.) This forces Roth, Vornado, and Gale International to draw up a plan to improve the site that must be verified by Menino and the Boston Redevelopment Authority. Whether Menino should follow through with his threat or not is a matter for debate.

    If Menino does indeed try to seize the property with his eminent domain power, there will be some hurdles to overcome. First, there is the price, which must be approved by a court as the appropriate market price. Seizing property also scares other developers in the area who may fear that similar action will be taken against them. This having been said, today's boston.com editorial offered this, "buying a prime piece of real estate in a low market is not a bad investment, and could pay off for taxpayers down the line. So it should remain an option."

    Roth blames the economy for his lack of action with the Filene's site, but his inaction has turned Downtown Crossing into a mess. The planned development is to build a 39 story mixed-use building that would house offices, retail stores, and residences.

    What do you think? Tired of seeing Downtown Crossing the way it is? Just want the old Filene's to be fully demolished? Think Roth should be driven out of our city? Think Menino is being a bully? Let us know.

 
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