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By Jessica Quirk | Agent in South Boston, Boston,...
  • The New and Improved South Boston

    Posted Under: Quality of Life in South Boston, Market Conditions in South Boston, Home Buying in South Boston  |  August 31, 2011 7:36 AM  |  3,542 views  |  1 comment

    Drive through South Boston, or “Southie”, and you’ll quickly realize that you’re witnessing a whole new Southie on the rise—if you somehow haven’t yet heard, the infamous Whitey Bulger’s in prison and the vacant lots and dilapidated buildings of yesteryear are long gone. Departed, if you will; replaced by sparkling condos and even an artisanal cheese shop (see American Provisions). And yet, the charm of Southie, the neighborhood feel, the Irish pride, the strong sense of community, appears to remain intact.

    A friend recently told me that current South Boston real estate prices have increased 9% over last year’s prices, and he fully expects South Boston to become the next South End within the next ten years. Sure, he’s partially invested in South Boston’s future because he owns property there, but is he overconfident in assessing South Boston’s future?  Probably not.

    South Boston has a lot to offer: the waterfront, the beaches, Castle Island, all a stone’s throw away from downtown and an easy commute. There are a multitude of eateries available, ranging from Local 149 (the former Farragut House location) to Amrheins.

    Condo developments appear to dominate in South Boston, many of which have available units. Take, for example, the Trolley House condos, located at 335 West 2nd Street. Developed in 2005, these condos border the Seaport District, and include luxury amenities such as granite countertops, hardwood floors, Jacuzzi tubs, and, perhaps the most luxurious of amenities in Southie: heated garage parking. Low condo fees of approximately $300 a month cover building security and access to a common courtyard.

    Or check out the Old Harbor Street condos, located at 51 Old Harbor Street right next to the park. Unit 2 is a two bedroom, two bath currently on the market with gleaming hardwood floors and extra low condo fees of $160/month.

    Condos seem to dominate the market in Southie, and there are plenty of them currently available for you to peruse and potentially buy! Contact a member of Condo Domain to get started today!

  • Why NOW is the perfect time to buy in Boston

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Boston, Home Buying in Boston  |  August 1, 2011 11:12 AM  |  923 views  |  No comments

    According to a new report from The Warren Group, the publishers of Banker and Tradesman and The Commercial Record, the numbers for Massachusetts home sales are down more than 20% for the first half of 2011, and at the lowest level since 1991.

    Although this may not necessarily be news to celebrate the economy’s comeback, the silver lining appears. Buyers in the Boston real estate market can rest assured knowing that it is a great time to purchase their first home, or buy a vacation home. Boston area condos, especially those in the established regions such as the Back Bay and Beacon Hill, are resistant to fluctuations or decreases in value. Investing in a property in either of these neighborhoods will provide a strong sense of security that your property will not only retain value, but should substantially increase in value over time.

    The Wall Street Journal recently posted an article highlighting important reasons why now is a good time to buy a home.  Perhaps even more importantly, the article speaks to why there are numerous indications that today’s great deals may not last long, including the fact that Moody’s Analytics has predicted that distressed sales numbers will start to decrease in 2013, which, as a result, should drive home sales upward shortly thereafter.  Although home sales may be depressed for the year, the “good time to buy” sentiments are also echoed in portions of the June analysis from The Warren Group.

    For example, despite home sales being down in 2011, year-over-year home prices increased for the second consecutive month in June, and the median sale price in Massachusetts for single-family homes increased from $325,000 in June 2010 to $325,850 in June 2011.  In the condo market, condo sales decreased, but the median sales price of condos increased from $282,000 in June 2010 to $295,000 in June 2011.

    An increase in prices for two straight years appears to indicate that buyers are returning to the market, albeit carefully, and there is reduced downward pressure on the prices of homes, both of which are indicators of positive change for the Massachusetts housing market.

    If you’re searching for your dream home, what are you waiting for?  Now is the perfect time to move forward; it provides the best opportunity for you to purchase property at a fantastic value, regardless of your price range.  There are plenty of amazing listings currently available, one of which may be exactly what you’ve been looking for!

    Contact a realtor at Condo Domain today to get started with your search.

  • CondoDomain.com Secures a Significant Private Investment

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in New York, Agent2Agent in New York  |  January 13, 2011 1:57 PM  |  1,369 views  |  No comments

    The Leading Online Broker for City Real Estate Solidifies Growth Plans by Securing Capital and Adding Industry Leader Bret Violette to the Board of Directors

    By Hoyt Morgan

    Bret Violette

    NEW YORK, N.Y., Jan. 11, 2011 — CondoDomain continues to enhance its value for customers, build its executive team and expand operations. The company just closed a significant private investment round led by angels including several industry leaders, including Bret Violette. The company is the leading national real estate broker focusing exclusively on the specific needs of city condominium, loft and townhouse homebuyers with a superior online experience, expert local agents and cash refunds to clients.

    "This capital will allow us to grow our current markets, expand brokerage operations into the balance of the top-twenty U.S. cities and will enable us to ensure that our technology and employee infrastructure are up to the challenge" said President & COO Hoyt Morgan. "Bret’s addition to the team gives us an unbelievable resource as we make key business decisions.”

    Violette, winner of the Inman 2005 Innovator of the Year Award and elected to Inman’s 100 Most Influential Leaders (brokerage category) in 2007 & 2008, teams up with CondoDomain’s Founder and CEO, Anthony Longo, who was recently nominated for the 2010 Inman Innovator of the Year Award.

    "I am excited to join Anthony, Hoyt and the CondoDomain team," said Violette. "This company has the technology, web presence and agent philosophy to dramatically change the city real estate landscape for the better – in fact they already are doing it. Our super-efficient business model means we can do more with less and the biggest winner here is our customer."

    As an executive consultant and member of the Board of Directors, Bret’s role will be expansive. His key focus will be assisting with the implementation of technology and methodology to enhance the customer experience, expanding the current agent recruiting, hiring and training programs, and solidifying the 100% in-house real estate agent experience.

    Prior to joining CondoDomain, Bret was most recently President of RealEstate.com, where he started and grew the brokerage operation in 20 markets, to 1,500 agents and to over $30M in revenue, all in three years. He has also served as President of Weichert Lead Network and Weichert Rental Network, as well as CFO and VP of Business Development for YHD Foxtons.

    CondoDomain is a premium real estate brokerage, offering best-in-class online and agent experiences. The team’s experience in premium real estate service, new model real estate and building great real estate brands and businesses will help continue the company’s aggressive growth and most importantly enhance the company’s commitment to the customer.

    About CondoDomain.com

    CondoDomain is a web-based real estate broker that focuses entirely on condominiums, lofts and townhouses in metropolitan markets. The company is one of the first to offer cash back to clients and the only one that does so AND focuses exclusively on urban markets across the U.S. CondoDomain websites and agents have helped hundreds of city homebuyers find the perfect home…and save money!

    CondoDomain’s commitment to clients centers on three core principles:

    1. We promise to deliver a best in class website, giving city homebuyers tools to access property information easily and transparently.
    2. We combine the online world and offline world with our highly educated, professional and city-expert in-house real estate agents whose #1 priority is to provide fanatical customer service to our clients.
    3. We offer a cash incentive to work with CondoDomain by refunding 20% of our commission to our clients.

    CondoDomain. Smart Agents. Smarter Clients.

    To learn more about CondoDomain, see how cash back can work for you and/or to meet an amazing real estate agent in your local city please visit: www.CondoDomain.com.

    Media Contact: Hoyt Morgan, 646.449.8125, Hoyt@CondoDomain.com

  • Bankruptcy, Foreclosure, and Unemployment Amidst "Revitalization"

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Boston  |  May 12, 2010 12:16 PM  |  617 views  |  No comments

    The W’s filed for bankruptcy, the foreclosure rate is at a high, and unemployment has gone down all in the midst of what many are calling a “revitalized” real estate market.

    This is craziness. Here are the bullets.

    What’s The Deal With The W?

    As you may well know, one of Boston’s newer luxury hotels and residencies, the internationally recognized W Hotel, has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy.

    The W lies in the heart of the Theater District on Stuart Street and is considered an artistic masterpiece, designed by Bill Rawn, however, many consider it too gaudy for the area.

    The W was conceived in a crowded market around the same time as two other luxury hotels, The Clarendon and 45 Province, all in a city with only 600,000 residents.

    The Menino Administration granted The W a $10.5 million dollar loan months ago, while the hotel was still being completed.

    Many think that this loan was inappropriate, and that the city should be lending money to public institutions, not private ones.

    Boston Civic groups agree that the money should have gone towards Boston Public Libraries, many of which are closing or are in desperate need of repair.

    What The W did, turning a downtown location into a residential area, has been done before, most notably in New York, where bankruptcy and restructuring are all part of the process of becoming successful.

    Bottom Line: The question of The W’s success is still up in the air.

    Rising Foreclosure Rate Is A Bad Omen For Real Estate

    Yes, the housing market is on the upswing compared to past months/years performance

    However, the foreclosure rate is rising steadily, as first quarter foreclosures have risen 25% in 2010 from 2009

    “Foreclosure auction announcements – which are generally published a month before the event – surged 140 percent in the first quarter to 8,062 statewide.”

    The rise in foreclosures is being blamed on the bank’s tight credit standards, the unemployment rate, and various other economic factors.

    Bottom Line: Although the housing market is showing signs of life, people are still losing their homes at a troubling rate, and foreclosures and vacancies are also hindering our struggling economy's recovery.

    Unemployment Figures

    The national unemployment rate was at 9.3% in 2009

    The national unemployment rate rose to 9.7% as of March 2010, and was expected to stay there.

    According to data released Friday by the Labor Department, the national unemployment rate has risen from 9.7% in March to 9.9% in April, representing 15.3 million jobless Americans.

    However, in the same news release, The Labor Department announced that US employers added 290,000 jobs in April, an unexpectedly large number compared to their estimate of 190,000.

    Some question our abilities to keep up such a strong economic pace, as the Labor Department has estimated that we need to create 125,000 net jobs each month just to keep up with population growth.

    Experts believe that the increase in unemployment is not a sign that things are becoming worse, rather, they think that it is a sign of improvement as more people are leaving the workforce in pursuit of better employment opportunities.

    Most experts seem to be unconcerned with the slight uptick in unemployment, and are encouraged by the huge number of newly created jobs and the jump in payrolls.

    Massachusetts’ unemployment rate is currently at 9.3% as of March 2010.

    New statewide unemployment figures for April will be released on the 21st of May.

    Bottom Line: Our economy and job market is doing better, but the European financial crisis may hinder our improvement.

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