Friday, March 15, 2013

The Boston rental market continues to grow

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With the news that more and more companies are setting up offices into Boston and Cambridge, it's a sure bet that what will follow is more and more people looking to live in the city.  The construction industry has already noticed, for evidence you only have to look at the South Boston waterfront area.  There are several residential buildings under construction or in the planning phase.  Some of the units being built are so-called micro-units.   These tiny (600sqf) apartments are supposedly the way of the future for singles wanting to afford to live in the city.  It remains to be seen if they will catch on, I read that the first batch of units were renting for $2,000+ per month, no great bargain.  I don't think the traditional rental units are under any great threat.

According to a recent Boston Globe article written by Casey Ross the downtown population has grown by 20% since 2010.  The population continues to grow, that's good news for investors considering the residential real estate market in Boston.  Rents remain high and in most locations are growing.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

City Versus Suburban Living

 City Versus Suburban Living

Did you know that there are more people living in cities than ever before, by 2020 85% of the US population will live in a city?  Not so many years ago the American dream was the house on an acre of land in the suburbs with a 2 car garage and a sit on lawn mower.  Of course for many this is still their dream, but for others the dream is city living. 

What are pros and cons of suburban living:

Space: There will always be more space outside the city. Less buildings and traffic, more space for backyards versus apartments and crowded sidewalks.  For children, they get a backyard versus public parks.

Quietness: With this increase of space you get less noise fromcar horns, sirens and airplanes.

The cons are the long hours spent in a car, commuting to and from your job, driving your kids to their friend’s house and activities. The need to own multiple cars.  As you get older and can no longer drive you become isolated.

A recent New York Times article found that living in the suburbs can be more expensive than living in the city. With owning and insuring a car, property taxes, living in the suburbs can actually outdo the expenses of living in the city in the long run. Owning and maintaining a home in the suburbs is more expensive than owning or renting an apartment in the city.

City Living Pros: living in the city is good for the environment; smaller carbon footprints, because you use public transport, don’t own a car, and have less living space.  You spend less time commuting, which means more personal time. There are health benefits to city living also; you walk more. To work, to your public transport, to museums, parks, theaters etc.  Your children will most likely go to school in the city, making it easier to deal with sick days and school meetings.

The Cons:   The biggest would be the initial cost.  Real estate, take Boston, The average cost of a 2 bedroom condo is currently $685,000, Sales of condos are up 26% since 2011.  The average rent for a 2 bedroom is $2,400; in 2009 the average was $1,985.  To make matters worse, there’s a shortage of rental units. The vacancy rate is 3%. The experts say this is all due to the downturn in the economy; the reluctance of people to take on a mortgage commitment with the shaky job market, and the tightened mortgage rules. This leaves more people in the rental market. There is also a shrinking supply as a result of condoising the neighborhoods that were traditionally multifamily.  Another con is that most cities public school systems, Boston included are not as good as suburban school systems.

An interesting fact, The Boston Globe reports that Mayor Menino recently approved micro apartments in Boston.  A micro apartment is as small as 300 square feet unit, with just enough room for a pull out coach, a small bathroom and a galley kitchen.  Over 300 of these units are currently being built in the Seaport district.  Rent is expected to be in the region of $1,500 per month.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

My goal is to provide clients with individual attention and to treat their property as i treat my own.  In other words, finding and keeping the right tenants, maintaining the interior and exterior of the property and making sure they realise top income from their investment.

Finding the most qualified tenants is very important, you do that by advertising locally and online, you make sure that all necessary background checks are completed.  It's important to know who you are renting to.  Are they trustworthy, honest, can they afford the rent on an ongoing basis, do they have a stable income and a solid credit history?

Once you've found the right tenants, you then need a professional airtight lease agreement in place.  We work closely with our real estate attorney partners in the preparation of all leases.  We review and renew each lease annually to ensure you are getting the most from your investment.

We handle the majority of maintenance services in house.  We also work closely with licensed and insured contractors for larger projects.