Celebrating Farmers’ Markets

Gemma Billings 150x150 Celebrating Farmers MarketsFarmers’ markets make it easy to buy fresh nutritious locally grown produce. Locavores and lovers of local historic markets will be thrilled by Boston Public Market, the latest and largest addition to Boston’s thriving farm to table scene. With over 35 vendors offering farm-fresh produce and an assortment of specialty foods, it is the only locally sourced market of its kind in the United States. Everything was grown or originates in New England. The market is located on the Rose Kennedy Greenway, above the Haymarket MBTA station in Boston’s emerging Market District. Closer to home, several neighborhood markets bring locally grown products from the farm to your table.

The West Roxbury Farmers’ Market is a collaboration between Temple HBT, Theodore Parker Church, and West Roxbury Main Streets. Each Sunday through October 25th you’ll find fresh produce, meat, fish, cheese, baked goods, and crafts. Located in the Bank of America parking lot, 1857 Centre St, West Roxbury.

Roslindale Farmers’ Market has been a source of local produce for over 30 years. Every Saturday from 9:00 to 1:30 pm you’ll find more than 30 farms and specialty food vendors in beautifully refurbished Adam’s Park in Roslindale Village. Free parking is available during the market at the lower MBTA lot and the Taft Hill parking lots.

Jamaica Plain Farmers Market is located in the heart of the JP business district on Centre Street. The market was created in 1984 by a few members of the JP community, and is now spearheaded by Stillman’s Farm, in Lunenberg, MA. On Tuesday from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm and Saturday from 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm you’ll find vendors located in the Bank of America parking lot, 667 Centre Street.

Egleston Farmers’ Market is a volunteer, community lead initiative committed to making local, healthy food accessible to the Jamaica Plain and Roxbury community. The market is open on Saturday from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm and is located in the JPNDC lot on Germania Street at the Amory Brewery Complex

We could go on and on about the farm to table options in and around Jamaica Plain. We’re lucky to have access to delicious nutritious food made by people who about quality and sustainability. Where will you be shopping for locally grown products this summer?

And don’t hesitate to contact us if you have real estate questions about today’s current market.  -Ellen and Janis

 

Photo Credit: Gemma Billings

 

Summer Concerts at Jamaica Pond

Daniel Brian Gonzales 150x150 Summer Concerts at Jamaica PondIt wouldn’t be summer without a wonderful concert series on the Emerald Necklace. When Fredrick Law Olmstead, America’s first landscape architect, drafted plans for the 1100 acre network of parks and waterways, he envisioned a system that connected urban areas to vibrant green spaces. This summer, enjoy his groundbreaking landscape design while listening the the sweet sounds of summer. Bring a picnic and enjoy top-notch entertainment featuring brass, strings, opera and the sounds of a 50+ piece orchestra. Concerts are held overlooking Jamaica Pond at historic Pinebank.

Sunday July 12, 2015: Boston Landmarks Orchestra Ensemble

Sunday July 19, 2015: Metropolitan Wind Symphony

Sunday July 26, 2015: Boston Opera Collaborative

We’re thrilled that the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, Friends of Jamaica Pond, and Boston Parks and Recreation organized another great summer series. Concerts begin promptly at 6:00 pm and conclude before sunset. Save the dates and pack a picnic.

We hope to see you on the banks of Jamaica Pond this summer!

Photo Credit: Daniel Bryan Gonzales / Flickr

Celebrate Jamaica Plain’s Latin Quarter

hyde square logo Celebrate Jamaica Plains Latin Quarter After an unbearably long winter, we’re thrilled to be able to ride our bikes, see old friends at barbecues and enjoy all that summer in Jamaica Plain has to offer. If you’re looking for something to do Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday evenings, the Hyde Square Task Force and the Jamaica Plain Arts and Civic Center offer free, fun events with something for everyone. The summer-long celebration, Viva el Latin Quarter, runs from June 24 to August 7 and includes music, exercise class and movies. Events are held on the plaza or the lawn of the Blessed Sacrament Church at 361 Centre Street (next door to ReMax Destiny) in Jamaica Plain. Enjoy free Zumba classes, live music by local artists and a selection of great movies including Jurrasic Park, Ghostbusters and Selena. The Hyde Square Task Force provides opportunities in arts, education and leadership development to young adults ages 6 and older. For more information about their programs, and a calendar of summer events, visit www.HydeSquare.org.

Celebrating Pride Month

5847803719 91af176932 q 150x150 Celebrating Pride MonthWhen we began selling real estate in 1988 in Boston’s now trendy South End, the LGBT community had few of the protections we have today.  With a Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality pending, The National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals, (NAGLREP) commissioned the first-ever LGBT home buyer and seller survey. While the majority of respondents believe that home ownership is a good investment nearly 75% are concerned about housing discrimination.

With an estimated buying power of $840 billion, the LGBT community is a key part of the nation’s real estate landscape. As our colleague Jeff Berger of NAGLREP noted, LGBT homeowners are a “powerful market segment that is increasingly achieving social milestones that are historical triggers to home purchases, such as partnerships, marriage and having children.”  Nearly nine out of ten LGBT homeowners think that real estate is a wise investment.

While the community has a strong interest in home ownership, more than eight out of ten respondents feel that a Supreme Court ruling for marriage equality will make them feel more fiscally protected and confident.  Consumer confidence is a key driver of the real estate industry, however nearly three quarters of respondents had a strong concern about some aspect of housing discrimination either in buying a home or renting.  They were concerned about discrimination by home sellers, landlords, mortgage lenders, neighbors and real estate agents.

As we noted on another post, the LGBT community faces a unique set of challenges when buying or selling a home. A seasoned real estate professional can streamline the buying process and advocate for you each step of the way. More than 85% of LGBT’s  think it is important that their agent be LGBT-friendly, compared with just  13% who think it is important that their realtor be LGBT identified.  Organizations like NAGLREP  address the concern about discrimination by providing a public online database to help consumers identify LGBT-friendly real estate professionals.  NAGLREP members include REALTORS, real estate agents, mortgage brokers, appraisers, home inspectors, educators and industry advocates.  We are proud to support the organization’s groundbreaking work to raise awareness of LGBT home ownership issues.

Pride month is a fabulous time for the community to come together to celebrate LGBT equality. It is also important to recognize that much more needs to be done to ensure that our community is free from discrimination in all aspects of our lives. Enjoy Pride month, celebrate with friends and family, waive your rainbow flag and be WICKED PROUD every day!

 

Photo credit: Guillaume Paumler

Is It Better to Rent or Buy?

JP by Soe Lin 150x150 Is It Better to Rent or Buy? As Realtors, helping first time buyers transition from renting to owning is one of the most satisfying aspects of our work. While we are strong advocates for ownership, the choice to purchase a home is one of the biggest decisions that adults make. During the economic downturn, many potential first time buyers preferred the flexibility of renting over home ownership. Savvy renters chose to wait until market conditions were more favorable. In Boston, a strong local economy, low interest rates and increased consumer confidence have encouraged first time buyers to enter the market. An analysis by the New York Times found that “buying continues to look like a good deal in much of the country”.

The decision to buy or rent depends on each person’s goals and financial situation. First-time buyers often have difficulty assessing their current situation because the costs associated with buying are more complicated than renting. Without expert advice or guidance, it can be difficult to determine which deal is better. This easy-to-use online calculator enables prospective buyers and renters to analyze their finances and market conditions.

For first time buyers, a seasoned Realtor and mortgage broker can provide expert guidance and support. We work with some of the best lenders in the industry and would be happy to refer you to a professional who can help you navigate the mortgage process. Whether you’re entering the market for the first time, or are an experienced home owner, we would be happy to speak with you about the market and your goals.

Photo credit: Soe Lin / Flickr

Which Home Renovation Projects are Wise Investments?

Mark Moz Front Door Flickr Which Home Renovation Projects are Wise Investments? If you’re thinking about starting a home improvement project this year, you’re not alone. Harvard University’s Center for Housing Studies found that home renovation spending rose by $6 billion from 2011 to 2013. While home improvement projects are more popular than ever, not all renovation are wise investments.

Although many home owners focus on major kitchen and bath upgrades, simple changes can significantly enhance your home’s appeal to potential buyers. As Realtors, we are often asked to recommend home renovations that have a solid return on investment.  Here are 3 often overlooked upgrades that could add value your home.

Replace Your Front Door: According to the Remodeling 2015 Cost vs. Value Report, replacing your front door with a new steel door has the greatest return on investment of any project studied. The research found that a steel replacement door recouped 119% of investment at the time of sale. When selling your home, first impressions matter. A new front door enhances your home’s curb appeal making it more attractive to buyers.

Upgrade Lighting: Many home owners consider lighting upgrades when undertaking a larger project, like renovating a bath or kitchen, but home renovations need not be expensive or require a contractor. Add recessed lighting to living areas to brighten up the space and make it look more appealing. Dimmer switches are simple to install and can quickly change the mood of a room.

Add a small wooden deck. Renovations to the outside of your home are considered a good value. If you’re feeling ambitious, build a small deck to create a natural transition from living space to the yard. In addition to enhancing your home’s value, a deck provides unlimited opportunities for entertaining and socializing.

As home renovation guru Bob Vila noted, several popular home improvements offer little or no return on investment. The value of renovations will vary by geographic location, neighborhood standards and market conditions. Before undertaking any project, consider how long you plan to stay in your home, and the value that the renovation will provide during the time you live there. If you’re not planning to move soon, focus on projects that you enjoy. If you have kept pace with home maintenance and updates, less may be more. A fresh coat of paint and new kitchen hardware may make your home more appealing to potential buyers.

Before marketing a home, we assess each property’s strengths and identify opportunities for upgrades or enhancements. We would be happy to meet with you to review your goals, neighborhood standards and market conditions. If you have questions about upgrades or current inventory, don’t hesitate to contact us for a consultation.

Photo credit: Mark Moz / Flickr

 

New Listings & Open Houses

Whether you’re actively looking for a new home, or just curious about market conditions, see these wonderful properties in Roslindale, Jamaica Plain and Newton at the Open House on Sunday March 8th. If you have questions, or would like to schedule a private showing, don’t hesitate to contact us. 

Extformls 150x150 New Listings & Open Houses213-215 Florence St U2, Roslindale

3 bedroom / 2 bath condo

Offered at $369,000

Open House: Sunday March 8th 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm

 

 

ExtforMLS 150x150 New Listings & Open Houses69-71 Waban Park U1, Newton

2 bedroom / 1 bath condo

Offered at $399,000

Open House: Sunday March 8th 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm

 

 

EXT PC and HighlightInsided Rt Rt Bottom 150x150 New Listings & Open Houses27 Dane St, Jamaica Plain

6 bedroom / 3 bath 2-family home

Offered at $935,000

Open House: Sunday March 8th 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm

New Listings & Open Houses

See these wonderful homes at the Open House this weekend – Sunday March 1st!

Extformls 150x150 New Listings & Open Houses56 Montvale St #2, Roslindale

Open House: Sunday March 1st 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm

2 bedroom / 2 bath condo

Offered at $369,900

 

 

Extformls1 150x150 New Listings & Open Houses70 Montebello Road #3, Jamaica Plain

Open House: Sunday March 1st 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm

2 bedroom / 1 bath condo

Offered a $328,000

 

 

Extformls2 150x150 New Listings & Open Houses101-103 Green St U1 Jamaica Plain

Open House: Sunday March 1st 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm

2 bedroom / 2 bath condo

Offered at $599,900

 

 

79southbourne EXT for PC MLS 150x150 New Listings & Open Houses

79 Southbourne Road, Jamaica Plain

Open House: Sunday March 1st 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm

2 bedroom / 1.5 bath single family home

Offered at $425,000

 

 

We look forward to seeing you this weekend. If you have questions about these homes, or are interested in learning more about current market conditions, we would be happy to speak with you.

Warmly,

Ellen and Janis

 

 

We have a cure for winter blues

Keshet Cabaret We have a cure for winter blues

After weeks of shoveling and hibernating, we all need a little break from winter.  Please join us for an evening of laughter, community and cocktails as we celebrate the groundbreaking work of Keshet, one of Jamaica Plain’s leading non-profit organizations. Keshet Cabaret is a night of amazing entertainment to raise funds for Keshet’s work for LGBTQ equality and inclusion in Jewish life.  Don’t miss these amazing performers:

Julie Goldman:  As a headlining stand-up performer, Julie Goldman has three TV comedy specials under her belt. You can find Goldman on Bravo’s new show, The People’s Couch.

Jessica Halem: Comedian and activist, Halem was trained at the famed Second City in Chicago.

Sirlesque:  Boston’s premier male burlesque (or “boylesque”) troupe.

Save the date: Saturday, February 28, 2015

Club Café

209 Columbus Ave, Boston

$36 per person (includes 1 drink)

Doors open at 6:30 pm and the show starts at 7:30 pm

Purchase your tickets here!

We’ve got a cure for the winter blues – Keshet Cabaret!

Warmly,

Ellen and Janis

Keshet Logo We have a cure for winter blues

Lower Down Payments Are Back

Andrew Magill 150x150 Lower Down Payments Are BackIf saving enough for a 10-20% deposit has been a barrier to owning a home, new lending terms may make it easier for you to close on the house of your dreams. The trend toward lower down payments increased when key players, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, lowered the minimum down payment they will accept to 3%. As the Wall Street Journal reported, “some lenders also are waiving mortgage-related fees, and more are allowing down payments to be made by other parties, such as the borrower’s family”. Changes to the minimum down payment will make home-ownership available to a larger group of buyers. When shopping for a mortgage, carefully evaluate interest rates and terms. A seasoned mortgage professional can guide you through the lending process. We work with some of the best in the industry. Contact us for details.

Photo Credit: Andrew Magill / Flickr

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