Survival Tips for the Traveling Sports Fan

This article was thoughtfully written and contributed by Luke Murray from Council of Neighbors.

If you really love your team, there’s a good chance that you’ve at least considered making a trip to a different city to support them at their away games. Leaving the comfort of your own home, your own local bar, or your own stadium or arena (all filled with like-minded fans) can make even the most ardent sports fan a bit apprehensive. If you’re heading to Fort Point or elsewhere in the Boston area to follow your team, here are a few essential tips for finding a little piece of home.

The internet is your best friend

Before the internet, it was tough or often even impossible to track down a bar or restaurant friendly to your team when you were in a different city. Tracking down like-minded fans to enjoy the game with? Even harder. Today, the internet – especially through social media – connects anyone and everyone and makes it fairly easy to find your colors amidst a sea of opposing fans.

For example, TeamBarFinder is a crowdsourced site where you can search for a friendly bar wherever you are, for a variety of sports teams from the NFL, NBA, NCAA, and more. There are also plenty of fan-centric apps that allow people in the same vicinity to connect with each other and watch the big game together.

It may even be worthwhile to place a personal ad on a site like Craigslist, simply saying I’m a fan of X team and will be in X city for the game, does anyone know where I can find some like-minded fans?

Last, but certainly not least, don’t forget the massive power of social media like Facebook and Twitter. It’s easy to put out an open call for sports fans wherever you are, and any social media post has the ability to reach hundreds of people who can help.

Know the area you’re traveling to (do your research)

Showing up in the Boston area without any knowledge of its sports culture or fandom is a recipe for disaster. Get to know about the Red Sox, for example, if you’re going to be watching your team at Fenway or at a local sports bar. Areas like Fort Point are wonderful to visit on a sports-related vacation because of the wonderful sports bars that cater to a fervent fan base. If you do intend to make it to Fenway here are some great tips and tricks for having a great time while you’re there.

Be respectful

No matter where you find yourself (even among friends), you’re likely to also be surrounded by fans of your opposing team. It’s important to remember that, as an away fan, you may not be entitled to the exact same amount of in-your-face fandom as the fans of the home team.

“By all means, wear your team colors, but do it with restraint. A hat or scarf is great. A jersey is fine. A full team warmup suit accompanied with team pom-poms and face paint? That’s a little too much. Save that for when you are going to a home game,” notes “The same holds for your behavior. Don’t get belligerently drunk and scream. That type of behavior is permissible (some might say ideal) when you are rooting for the home team, but as an away team fan, you should be more demure.”

Don’t be afraid to travel to support your team. Boston will be happy to have you! If you brush up on our sports culture, remember to be respectful, and use the internet to find people and places friendly to your fandom, you can have a great time, even away from home. We think you’re going to love it here.

Garage Parking Space for Sale at Boston Ritz Carlton

Perhaps one of the most unique property ownership opportunities in Boston has emerged once again with the listing for sale of a Ritz Carlton self-park secure garage parking space for $110,000.

What’s so unique about a garage parking space available for sale in the middle of downtown Boston?

Well, a lot.

Boston garage parking space B3 16 in the Ritz Carlton garage carries no real estate taxes, no HOA fees, and no expenses of any sort, in perpetuity.

Not your standard piece of land in the middle of Boston, by any stretch of the imagination!

Boston Ritz Carlton Parking Garage Entrance

The Ritz garage offers owners the ability to self-park, something nearby condominium developments like Tremont on the Common or Grandview do not allow, which creates parking spaces that trade for less than $50,000, but carry exuberant monthly expenses (as an investor, it’s really hard to make the numbers work).

The Ritz Carlton garage has no residency requirements, so while it makes sense for a building resident to marry another parking space to their condo, investors, and even commuters can get in on the action at the Ritz.

Ritz parking space B3 16 is a reserved parking spot located near the garage elevator on level B3, and is a single non-tandem space.

The secure Ritz Carlton garage is located east of the intersection of Boylston and Tremont Streets, available to enter by vehicle on the north side of Boylston Street, while also accessible by foot via elevator off Avery Street. An Orange line T stop is adjacent to the garage.

For more information regarding this Ritz Carlton parking space for sale, listing your parking space for sale, or buying a downtown Boston garage parking space, contact us today.

2 Avery Street Ritz Parking Garage

What $2.7 Million Buys in South End Boston

Look down at your feet.

See that one square foot that your feet are resting on, what if it cost $1,242.52 for your feet to be there.

That’s what the new owner of unit 401 at the Wilkes Passage condominiums in Boston’s South End enjoys. 3 bedrooms and 2.5 baths for $2,700,000, each one of the 2,173 square feet running $1,242.52 a piece.

1313 Washington Street Unit 401 Boston, MA 02118, which most recently sold on August 6, 2014 after being on the market for just 22 days, also has the distinction of being the most expansive condo to sell in the South End during the summer of 2014.

South End Boston Million Dollar Condos

Property Description: Spectacular loft at Wilkes Passage, a full-service elevator building, has three exposures with sweeping views of Peter’s Park, the city skyline & neighborhood rooftops.The open living/dining area steps out to a dramatic 900 sq.ft. private landscaped terrace.With views on three sides, the living room has a Spark gas fireplace & custom window seat w/ storage. The sleek chef’s kitchen w/ caesarstone countertops, dual ovens & dishwashers blends nicely into the living space with a long wall of custom cabinetry.Two large bedrooms have en-suite baths, walk-in closets & charming views.The den/library with custom floor-to-ceiling bookshelves and barn door opening leads to a great home office. Wonderful large wall of built-in storage closets & drawers in entry hall. 24 hr concierge, garage parking for two cars, irrigation system. Recently featured in Design New England. Google “A Novel Move Design New England”. This dramatic space must be seen in person.

Wilkes Passage, a contemporary South End condo development constructed in 2002 boasts a number of high end amenities from an onsite concierge to multi-level underground garage parking.

While Realtor Laura Spence served as the listing agent for this moat recent sale of unit 401 at Wilkes Passage, Realtor Lucas Garofalo represented the buyer and took home a 2.5% buyer’s agent commission according to MLS data, or $67,500.

The $1,340 monthly HOA fee for unit 401 includes heat, hot water, gas, water, sewer, master insurance, and elevator. The monthly condo fee includes a $140 garage parking fee (the sale of unit 401 was accompanied by two garage parking spaces in the Wilkes Passage parking garage).

Over the past six months, there have been five other condos that sold at Wilkes Passage. The average days on market for these units was 43 days – so unit 401 sold nearly twice as fast as the building’s average, somewhat surprising given that unit 401 was nearly two times the price of the next most expensive sale in the building. The average price per square foot of sold units at Wilkes Passage was $830, so the new owner of unit 401 paid a hefty premium above the market trend at Wilkes Passage – more than likely, to capture the triple exposure condo and the 900 square foot private roof deck, both of which are hard to come by in the South End, however, was it worth a 50% premium? The new owner apparently thought so.

South End Boston Roof Deck

South End Boston Luxury Bathroom

What Landlords Need to Know about the Boston Housing 2020 Initiative

In September of 2013, former Boston Mayor Thomas Menino announced a plan that would greatly increase the amount of available housing within the city. Using a proposed $16 billion in public and private investment, the goal is to add 30,000 new housing units to the city by the end of the 2010s. A large portion, 25,000, of these homes will be priced at market rates, that is, whatever a buyer is willing to pay. The rest of the homes will be classified as affordable housing for middle- and lower-income buyers.

The Boston real estate market has exploded in recent years, with home prices growing at nearly double the rate that incomes are growing. The City of Boston hopes that increasing the supply of homes, in addition to setting aside some property for lower-income families, will make living in the city more affordable, especially for students and young professionals just starting out.

Boston is in a unique position. As one of the premier “college towns” in America, it has a large amount of young, eager talent ready to enter the workforce. However, many of these young graduates are choosing to live in more affordable areas as they get their careers started. This new housing initiative aims to increase the availability of more affordable housing in the city, in order to attract and retain young professionals.

Boston Housing 2020 Initiative

Photo Attribution: ‘Boston à l’heure bleue’ by Emmanuel Huybrechts available at under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0. Full terms at

Boston Landlords Impacted by Boston Housing 2020 Initiative

But what does the initiative mean for landlords? As of now, the initiative is focused only on increasing the amount of housing units available to buy. There is currently nothing in the plan regarding rental property or lease rates. However, increased supply and lower prices may make buying a more attractive option for some tenants, so rents may have to be lowered to remain competitive.

On key part of the initiative is an effort to streamline the permitting and development process. So if you are a developer in addition to a landlord who is looking to build units to lease, you could see some savings in your building costs. Be sure to check with local authorities to see if the subsidies apply for your specific project.

The initiative is focused mainly on providing affordable housing to residents of Boston. It is unknown at this point what kind of restrictions will be placed on investment properties, but if you plan on buying a property that will not be your primary residence, it is advisable that you have an attorney look over any paperwork that comes your way.

As America becomes more urban and people choose to remain closer to their jobs and nightlife, home prices in the areas will creep upward. Initiatives like the one in Boston aim to anticipate that growth and ensure that there are options for the future residents. Hopefully, more American cities will adopt this model and plan for America’s growth well into the 21st century.

This article was written for the Boston Real Estate Observer by Stephen K Hachey. Stephen is a real estate attorney specializing in loan modifications, short sales, foreclosure and much more. He is also the owner of his own practice, the Law Offices of Stephen K. Hachey. This article is for general informational purposes only and does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Please contact a licensed attorney in your state of residence. For more information on Attorney Hachey’s services, visit his website at

How to Reduce Home Seller Liability

Please welcome guest author Ed Englander – Ed Englander is a partner in Englander, Leggett & Chicoine, P.C., a Boston law firm with particular expertise in land use and real estate issues.

In today’s competitive real estate market, buyers are writing heart-warming letters to sellers about why they would be the best owners for the treasured family homestead. Sellers with a handful of competitive offers are often making decisions based on their interactions with the prospective buyers. Emotions are trumping the fact that selling a home is a sophisticated legal transaction and should be treated as such.

Much as they may like to get to know the buyers of their treasured family homestead, sellers should keep their distance. Friendly banter between buyer and seller could result in legal headaches down the road for the sellers.

Sample Legal Case

I recently defended the seller in this case:

In 2006, the Fowlers (a fictitious name) put their home of 35 years on the market. The history of the Fowlers’ connection to this land dated back to the 1930s, when Mr. Fowler’s father purchased a farm. Mr. Fowler had been raised on the farm, portions of which had been used for various activities over the years including a pig farm and a town dump from 1955 to 1978. In the late 1960s, Mr. Fowler’s father carved out a roadside house lot from the farm and deeded it to his son. Mr. Fowler built a home for his family on the lot.

While this home was on the market, the Fowlers felt it was important to be present for every showing to keep their dogs under control. During one of the showings, a prospective buyer chatted with Mr. Fowler while he was minding his dogs in the breezeway. The potential buyer asked, “What was all that land?” Mr. Fowler answered by pointing out the old farm house where he had grown up and told the buyer that the property used to be his father’s pig farm. Mr. Fowler never mentioned that part of the property had been used as the town dump from 1955 to 1978.

The potential buyer subsequently purchased the property in August 2006. The Fowlers moved on to Florida. The buyers sued the sellers in 2008, in Massachusetts, for claims of fraud, intentional infliction of emotional distress and civil conspiracy — all because Mr. Fowler shot the breeze in the breezeway and he failed to disclose the adjacent farm had been used as a town dump in the course of the conversation.

The sellers had no choice but defend the lawsuit which, after five years of discovery and motions, went to a jury trial in the Norfolk Superior Court. After five days of trial and two days of deliberation, the jury returned a verdict for the Fowlers because the buyers did not reasonably rely on the conversation in the breezeway.

Simple Steps to Reduce Seller Liability

Loose lips really can sink ships in real estate transactions. The best way to minimize seller liability is to keep the buyer/seller relationship as formal and separate as possible. I recommend that:

  1. Buyers and sellers never meet in person;
  2. Buyers should be informed by the seller’s real estate broker if the buyer has a question they deem important. The question should be asked in writing and the seller should answer in writing; and
  3. Attorneys for sellers should add a clause to the purchase and sale agreements that states “any questions the buyer(s) have deemed important have been asked in writing and the seller(s) have answered those questions in writing, and attached are copies of the questions and answers.” If the buyer(s) have asked no questions then the purchase and sale agreement should state “The buyer(s) have asked no questions.”

South End Boston Entry Only MLS Listings

2013 continues to see a rejuvenation of the real estate market, and Boston’s South End has seen condos sell for record prices and move off the market and under agreement quickly. One of the South End’s most recent condos to go under agreement is a duplex listed for sale by owner using an entry only MLS listing.

The owner of 85 Dartmouth Street #1 Boston, MA 02116 listed their South End duplex for $970,000 ($669 per square foot) using a flat fee Boston entry only MLS listing from Entry Only New England. Why are condo owners in Boston trying to list and sell their own home using the MLS instead of paying a listing broker who charges a full commission?

“Our all digital platform allows Massachusetts property owners to quickly and easily list their property for sale or rent in the official Massachusetts MLS system, which is syndicated to thousands of websites and buyers, for a one-time flat fee. We allow a FSBO to eliminate the listing broker commission when selling their own home, which can translate into literally thousands of dollars in savings on real estate agent commissions,” says Dean Charles, spokesperson for Entry Only New England.

85 Dartmouth Street #1 went under agreement in just nine (9) days, and if the FSBO seller gets their list price, they’ll save nearly $24,000 in real estate agent commission.

Boston Entry Only MLS Listing - 85 Dartmouth Street #1 in the South End of Boston

Boston Entry Only MLS

Entry only MLS listings across Massachusetts are at record levels.  2013 stands to be a banner year for the popularity of flat fee MLS listings, and the Massachusetts real estate market, as well as that of Boston, seem poised for additional growth in FSBOs selling their own homes without a Realtor.

The number of Boston entry only MLS listings is on the rise.  While it does not look like the number of sold listings in 2013 will outweigh records seen in 2010, the Boston market specifically is poised to see year on year growth in flat fee MLS listings being sold across all property types, including single family homes, condominiums, multi family, and residential rentals.

Upcoming Boston Negotiation Workshop with Moshe Cohen

Negotiation in real estate remains one of the fundamental tactics leveraged by the most successful Realtors and real estate professionals as well as savvy sellers and buyers.  To be taught the art of negotiation can elevate a Realtor’s ability to close a deal, and “win” for their client.  Why not get taught by one of the very best.

Moshe Cohen, one of the foremost authorities on negotiation and an expert instructor, will host his next Public Negotiation Workshop in the Boston Area on Tuesday, November 12, 2013 in Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA. The topics covered include the following:

  • Competitive negotiations strategies and traditional bargaining tactics
  • Negotiating styles and their implications
  • Collaborative negotiations frameworks and strategies
  • Preparing for your negotiations
  • Communicating effectively as you negotiate

The workshop is dynamic, experiential (no powerpoint), informative, and fun. To see what others have said about Moshe and his workshops, check out a sampling of negotiation workshop recommendations on Moshe’s website.

The upcoming workshop runs from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm and includes a light breakfast and lunch. The fee for the day is $425 per person ($395 if you register by 10/31/2013). Group discounts are also available for groups of three or more people. The workshop will take place at 20 University Rd, 7th Floor, Cambridge, MA 02138, next to the Charles Hotel in Cambridge, MA, accessible by public transportation and with nearby parking.

To register, please email Moshe at or call (617) 577-0101.

Lexington MA MLS Broker Open House

Currently scheduled for Wednesday, August 14, 2013 from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM is a Broker Open Tour of 12 Holton Rd, Lexington, MA 02421.  Food and refreshments will be provided, and Brokers, Agents, Contractors, and Buyers are welcome to attend the two hour event to show off the three bedroom two bath Lexington home.

The public remarks on the renovated home include:

Move right in to this updated home in sought-after Lexington school district! Family-friendly neighborhood. Cathedral-ceiling living room with new high-efficiency wood stove. Sliding doors open to private, refinished deck overlooking Japanese maples and conservation land. Large master with bath. Extensive recent updates include new roof, furnace, kitchen cabinets and appliances, refinished hardwoods floors, high-end light fixtures and designer paint inside and out.

Lexington MA MLS Listings

There are currently 78 single family homes listed for sale in Lexington, MA. Over the past six months in Lexington, there have been 226 single family homes that have sold, the average days on market has been approximately 50, along with an average sales price of $975,501 (average price per square foot: $349).

Lexington MA MLS Listing - Living Room

Lexington MA MLS Listing - Breakfast Nook

Lexington MA MLS Listing - Renovated Bathroom

Lexington MA MLS Listing - Outdoor Space

How to FSBO Boston Massachusetts

With the potential to save thousands of dollars in real estate commissions, Boston and Massachusetts property owners are beginning to investigate how to sell by owner. With a for sale by owner (FSBO) approach to selling, Massachusetts homeowners are listing their own homes in the MLS without a Realtor and are eliminating at least half of Boston real estate agent commission fees – more and more sellers are learning how to FSBO Boston Massachusetts!

Selling Your Massachusetts FSBO Tips

Home sellers interested in selling a Massachusetts home without a Realtor must follow a checklist, including:

  • For Sale by Owner preparation
  • List, market, and promote your home like a pro
  • Access and understand Massachusetts real estate paperwork
  • Close your Massachusetts FSBO transaction

Massachusetts Flat Fee MLS for FSBOs

The internet enabled multiple listing service (MLS) is the cornerstone of any Massachusetts FSBO. When selling a home without a Realtor, property exposure is key, and the best way to drive FSBO exposure is via a listing in the MLS. A reputable and technologically advanced Massachusetts flat fee MLS listing service can list a FSBO in the MLS for a one-time flat fee.

Here’s an example of the costs involved in listing a home with a flat fee MLS listing service like Entry Only New England versus selling with a traditional real estate listing broker.

This real life example demonstrates a $395,000 home listed for sale with versus listing that same home with a traditional real estate brokerage.

Assume that for the entry only listing, you have decided to compensate a Buyer’s Agent (i.e. a licensed real estate agent representing the buyer of your home) 2.5%, and assume that for the traditional real estate brokerage listing you are being charged a 5% commission that the listing brokerage will split in half between themselves and the brokerage representing the buyer.

FSBO Massachusetts Flat Fee MLS Entry Only Listing Example

How to Sell Boston by Owner

In the example above with a $395,000 home, a Massachusetts FSBO would gain an additional $9,580 by selling their home without a Realtor using an entry only listing with versus listing for sale with a traditional real estate brokerage.

Is Now the Time to Pursue a Career in Real Estate?

With unemployment still a concern for more than 12 million people throughout the country, many are considering focusing on a whole new career path. Given the fact that the housing market is starting to rebound, many are considering pursuing a career in real estate.

Whether you are interested in flipping houses, buying rental property or becoming a real estate agent, a career in real estate is quite tempting. After all, housing prices are still relatively low, most landlords are turning away potential renters and housing sales are starting to increase. Still, is now the right time to get involved in real estate?

If you have the money available, most experts will agree that now is a good time to get involved in real estate investment, whether you plan to flip or to rent. Still, it is essential to remember that there are always risks involved with purchasing real estate. Therefore, it is essential to find a trusted agent to help guide you through the process.

Whether or not now is the time to become a real estate agent is a question that is up for debate. While it is true that the housing market is on a rebound in most areas, selling real estate is still harder now than it was just a few short years ago. Prior to the housing crash, homes practically sold themselves in many markets. Today, far more effort needs to be put into getting a home sold. This means the successful real estate agent must have strong business and communication skills.

“If you hope to work as a real estate agent, you need to have a good understanding of the human psyche. In this way, you will be better capable of addressing the needs of both the buyer and the seller as you negotiate a deal. You also need to have a solid understanding of the many different financing options that are available as well as the options for purchasing foreclosures and short sales.”, says Realtor Kevin Koitz.

In short, the real estate field is relatively easy to get into. By taking a short course and passing the necessary exams, you will be able to obtain the necessary licensing to enter the field. Whether or not it is a field that is well-suited to your abilities, however, is a question that only you can answer.