Tuesday, September 3, 2013

All Quiet on the Rental Front

The week before Labor Day, the vast majority of Boston apartments have been rented and there's a lull in condo listings, too.

In the many real estate offices along Newbury Street, even the dogs were bored:

Now the fall market for condos and houses is beginning and we hope we'll finally get lucky. Inventory around Boston is at historically low levels but there are plenty of desperate buyers. The better properties go under agreement within a couple of days of being listed — often with waived mortgage and home-inspection contingencies, offers much higher than asking prices, and all-cash deals.

It's a lot to compete against, and we've been house-hunting for three and half years. We're more than ready to move. Wish us luck! And if you know of anyone planning to sell an old-fashioned, two-bedroom condo with a fireplace, original detail, and maybe a little bit of private gardening space, please let me know!


  1. Since I live my life vicariously through your blog I offer the following: keep your nifty place (at least it looks nifty from what may be seen surrounding your cats in photos) and buy a place on MDI or in Bar Harbor. We didn't make it up there this summer but last year there were LOTS of interesting places for sale. Have you ever looked?

  2. Thank you! We love our pretty apartment but we really have to move. A very good relocation package was part of my husband's university contract a few years ago, and it would be foolish not to use it. Plus we are tired of the noise in our building... and we'd like a little garden where we can grow tomatoes and sit around. We also need more room for our thousands of books. My husband is building a reference library and more books appear weekly...

  3. Congratulations on your husband;'s university contract! And your apartment does look great in the photos you post.
    Your property search mirrors our own (and I don't like driving either so a walking neighborhood is important). One Beacon Hill condo, Revere St, i bedroom, 862 sq ft, was listed this Aug. at 600K, and sold for.650K, in under a week. Ouch.
    Like you I follow Redfin, and I expected it to sell at quickly at slightly over asking price - but not 50K over! Predicting what a property will actually sell for has become our favorite parlor game. Virtual shopping in an unconscionable market.
    I really enjoy your writing.
    All best wishes,

    1. Hi EM, many thanks for your kind words about my blog and good luck with your search! We place bets on whether a condo or house will be under agreement by the time we land on the doorstep. We are going to start a new game: to see how many places are bought by Chinese investors. (Lots, and usually all-cash sales!) That apt on Revere Street must have had a bidding war, but there's another unit in the building that is quite fancy and sold at a much higher price per square foot, which can drive up prices for other units. I saw that Appleton St. listing when it only had 2 photos of the outside. My husband doesn't want a basement apartment (even though we want a garden) because he worries about his books vs. flooding, broken water mains (happens esp. in the South End) and global warming raising the water table in a decade or two (I'm sorry to say he's quite serious about that).

  4. PS
    Not to outstay my welcome but have you seen this one? (opportunities to plaster!)


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