Newton

Sampling Newton’s Restaurants


Newton, MA.  Compass, Sotheby’s Newton’s Top Realtors

Discover the best restaurants in Newton for pizza, ramen, brunch, and more

Moldovan food? Newton has it.

A side of meatballs at Fiorella's in Newton
A side of meatballs at Fiorella’s in Newton. –Justin Saglio

A leisurely trip from Boston on the Green Line, Newton may not at first seem like a suburb to visit for Moldovan food. But it is — along with classic Neapolitan pizza, Chilean cuisine, and steaming bowls of ramen. The next time you find yourself in Newton Centre, Newton Highlands, and other Newton villages, head to one of these fantastic restaurants, which make up the area’s globally diverse cuisine.

Buttonwood
A May 2018 kitchen fire caused this Newton Highlands neighborhood eatery to close for 10 months, but it has triumphantly returned with its entire staff (led by the team behind Sycamore and Little Big Diner) and many of its beloved menu items, including the BW cheeseburger, pork schnitzel, and a slew of Mediterranean-inspired grilled dishes. The cocktails are nothing to scoff at, either: Try the Crimson King, made with rye, ginger-maple syrup, lemon, and angostura bitters. (51 Lincoln St.)

Comedor
An order of crispy chicken drumsticks at Comedor. —Justin Saglio for The Boston Globe

Comedor
At Comedor, a colorful and inviting bar and restaurant in Newton Centre, Chilean soul food takes center stage in the form of chili-glazed pork ribs, papas fritas, and Spanish octopus with roasted root vegetables. It’s a popular spot for brunch, too, with homemade doughnuts and a nap-inducing s’mores French toast with chocolate ganache. (105 Union St.)

Dunn Gaherin’s
It’s not easy to find an Irish pub in the Boston area that serves both great beer andfantastic food, but Dunn Gaherin’s — fun to say, even better to visit — is one of the exceptions. Inside the quirky space, customers tuck into plates of steak tips and gravy-drenched meatloaf (stop by on Fridays and Saturdays for the shepherd’s pie special). Imported and local brews flow from the taps, including the necessary Guinness. (344 Elliot St.)

Fiorella's
Gnocchi at Fiorella’s. —Justin Saglio

Fiorella’s
At Fiorella’s in Newtonville, you’ll find the types of Italian food that can cause sudden cravings at unsuspecting moments: chicken parmigiana, shrimp scampi, four-layered lasagna. A hefty salad section is ideal for the lunch crowd (and includes everything from chopped Italian salad to a roasted beets and arugula bowl), and desserts are ideal for, well, anytime — especially if your order involves the peanut butter ice cream pie. (187 North St.)

The Landing Pizza & Kitchen
This Newton newcomer has only been open for a few months, but pizza fans are already raving about the pies here. Owner Massimo Ottani is certified in making traditional Neapolitan pizza, and his training shows: Thin-crust dough is topped with fresh ingredients that range from sweet sopressata and anchovies to potato. Oven-baked focacce sandwiches and calzones are also on the menu, but you’d be remiss if you skipped out on Ottani’s exceptional pizza. (223 Adams St.)

Little Big Diner
The spicy miso ramen at Little Big Diner. —Suzanne Kreiter

Little Big Diner
For a soul-warming bowl of ramen, Little Big Diner is the go-to spot in Newton. The tiny lunch and dinner hangout serves brown rice bowls, poke, and shared appetizers, but it’s the ramen that draws in locals, from traditional miso or shoyu ramen to the spicy tan tan ramen, a take on tantan mien with both chashu pork and chili ground pork. (1247 Centre St.)

Lumiere
The takeout family meal of roast whole chicken, salad, grilled broccoli, potatoes, other vegetables, and cookies at Lumiere. —Suzanne Kreiter/Globe Staff

Lumiere
As one of Newton’s more upscale restaurants, Lumiere excels at on-point service and expertly executed French fare. Chef Jordan Bailey focuses on approachable classics like an herb-roasted half chicken, steak frites, and smoked fish pate, but if you really want to put your faith in Bailey, go for the chef’s whim tasting menu: five blind courses with the option to pair with wine. The kitchen also offers a family meal, a takeout dinner meant to feed two adults and two children. (1293 Washington St.)

Max & Leo’s
Emotions run rampant when discussing the quality of pizza in the Boston area, but Max & Leo’s delivers on both great pies and a family-friendly atmosphere. The sibling-owned pizzeria, which also has locations in Sudbury and the Fenway, allows you to build your own pie or choose from one of the custom pizzas — the Steve’s Old Fashioned is an exercise in refined simplicity, made with fresh mozzarella, slices of tomato, fresh basil, and garlic-infused extra virgin olive oil. (325 Washington St.)

Moldova
A pie with savory filling at Moldova. —Suzanne Kreiter/Globe staff

Moldova
Moldovan cuisine takes inspiration from its surrounding neighbors — Romania, Ukraine, Turkey, Bulgaria — and you’ll find a little bit of all of these influences at Moldova, a colorful cafe on Watertown Street. Serving brunch, lunch, and dinner, the menu includes dishes like Platou Moldovenesc, a mix of scrambled eggs, your choice of meat, hash browns and polenta; as well as sarmale, which are hand-rolled cabbage and grape leaves stuffed with rice, chicken, and herbs. (344 Watertown St.)

Sycamore
Seasonal fare dictates the menu at Sycamore, a neighborhood bistro where crispy Rhode Island squid and mushroom lasagna are listed alongside a Colorado lamb board for two. Bring a friend (or a date) and settle in to the brick-walled space, where a small, cozy bar serves beer, wine, and craft cocktails. (755 Beacon St.)

 

Should I Stay or Should I Go?


Newton,MA. Realtors, Sotheby’s, Compass, Top Agents in Newton

Will Your Current House Fit Your Needs in Retirement?

Will Your Current House Fit Your Needs in Retirement? | MyKCM

As more and more baby boomers enter retirement age, the question of whether or not to sell their homes and move will become a hot topic. In today’s housing market climate, with low available inventory in the starter and trade-up home categories, it makes sense to evaluate your home’s ability to adapt to your needs in retirement.

According to the National Association of Exclusive Buyers Agents(NAEBA), there are 7 factors that you should consider when choosing your retirement home.1

1. Affordability

“It may be easy enough to afford your home today but think long-term about your monthly costs. Account for property taxes, insurance, HOA fees, utilities – all the things that will be due whether or not you have a mortgage on the property.”

Would moving to a complex with homeowner association (HOA) fees actually be cheaper than having to hire all the contractors you would need to maintain your home, lawn, etc.? Would your taxes go down significantly if you relocated? What is your monthly income going to be like in retirement?

2. Equity

“If you have equity in your current home, you may be able to apply it to the purchase of your next home. Maintaining a healthy amount of home equity gives you a source of emergency funds to tap, via a home equity loan or reverse mortgage.”

The equity you have in your current home may be enough to purchase your retirement home with little to no mortgage. Homeowners in the US gained an average of over $16,300 in equity last year.

3. Maintenance

“As we age, our tolerance for cleaning gutters, raking leaves and shoveling snow can go right out the window. A condominium with low-maintenance needs can be a literal lifesaver, if your health or physical abilities decline.”

As we mentioned earlier, would a condo with an HOA fee be worth the added peace of mind in knowing that you do not have to do the maintenance work yourself?

4. Security

“Elderly homeowners can be targets for scams or break-ins. Living in a home with security features, such as a manned gate house, resident-only access and a security system can bring peace of mind.”

As scary as that thought may be, any additional security and an extra set of eyes looking out for you always adds to peace of mind.

5. Pets

“Renting won’t do if the dog can’t come too! The companionship of pets can provide emotional and physical benefits.”

Evaluate all of your options when it comes to bringing your ‘furever’ friend with you to a new home. Will there be necessary additional deposits if you are renting or moving in to a condo? Is the backyard fenced in? How far are you from your favorite veterinarian?

6. Mobility

“No one wants to picture themselves in a wheelchair or a walker, but the home layout must be able to accommodate limited mobility.”

Sixty is the new 40, right? People are living longer and are more active in retirement, but that doesn’t mean that down the road you won’t need your home to be more accessible. Having to install handrails and make sure that your hallways and doorways are wide enough may be a good reason to look for a home that was built to accommodate these needs.

7. Convenience

“Is the new home close to the golf course, or to shopping and dining? Do you have amenities within easy walking distance? This can add to home value!”

How close are you to your children and grandchildren? Would relocating to a new area make visits with family easier or more frequent? Beyond being close to your favorite stores and restaurants, there are a lot of factors to consider.

Bottom Line

When it comes to your forever home, evaluating your current house for its ability to adapt with you as you age can be the first step to guaranteeing your comfort in retirement. If after considering all these factors you find yourself curious about your options, let’s get together to evaluate your ability to sell your house in today’s market and get you into your dream retirement home!

Should Boomers Buy or Rent after Selling?


Top Broker in Newton,MA. Compass, Sotheby’s

Should Boomers Buy or Rent after Selling?

Should Boomers Buy or Rent after Selling? | MyKCM

Most of my seller clients have nowhere to move.  It’s hard for older people to wrap their mind around spending 6,000 a month in rent!

In a recent CNBC article, it was reported that many baby boomers are selling their current homes and moving into rentals, rather than purchasing another home.

“Between 2009 and 2015, the number of renters aged 55 or above rose 28 percent, while those aged 34 or younger only increased 3 percent…

Meanwhile, more than 5 million baby boomers across the nation are expected to rent their next home by 2020, according to a 2016 analysis from Freddie Mac.”

This makes sense in the short term for many reasons. If you are moving to a different part of town or a new region of the country, you may decide to rent until you pick the perfect home in an area you love. However, is renting a good long-term strategy?

A mortgage payment remains fixed. Rents, however…

The Census Bureau recently released their 2017 third quarter median rent numbers. Here is a graph showing rent increases from 1988 until today:

As you can see, rents have steadily increased and are showing no signs of slowing down. If you are faced with making the decision of whether you should rent or buy your next home, you should take this into consideration.

Bottom Line

One way to protect yourself from rising rents is to lock in your housing expense by buying a home instead of renting. Let’s get together so we can help you decide what the best step is for you and your family!

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The information contained, and the opinions expressed, in this article are not intended to be construed as investment advice. Keeping Current Matters, Inc. does not guarantee or warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information or opinions contained herein. Nothing herein should be construed as investment advice. You should always conduct your own research and due diligence and obtain professional advice before making any investment decision. Keeping Current Matters, Inc. will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on the information or opinions contained herein.

NEWTON AT A GLANCE


It’s been quite a year in Newton real estate wise.  So far this year 932 single family and condominiums sold!  On average it took 33 days to receive an offer that was 98% of the asking price.  The average sale price was $1,054,079, lowest list sale price was $232,000 and the highest sale price was $4,650,000. The sweet spot in the market is properties priced between 1 and 1.5 million dollars.  259 properties sold in that price range!  The least active price point was homes priced under 400K and homes priced over 4 million.  No surprise there since that is the top and bottom of market.

The market continues to be quite fluid.  We have low levels of inventory across all price ranges, with the exception of the over 3 million dollar mark.  There are only 128 single family homes on the market and 68 condos.  If you are thinking about selling and your house and it is in tip top shape, don’t wait until the spring.  Sell now while buyers are frantically trying to find a home.

Lowest Price: $232,000 Median Price: $914,250
Highest Price: $4,650,000 Average Price: $1,054,079
Total Market Volume: $987,671,758

 

Merry Christmas


Newton, MA.  December 24, 2014

 

Best Wishes for a very Merry Christmas.  May your presence mean more than your presents in you loved one’s lives.

xoxo Margaret

Bi Monthly Real Estate Recap for Newton, MA.


Bi Monthly Real Estate Recap for Newton, MA.cropped-cimg1501.jpg

posted by Margaret Szerlip 11.00AM EST/Newton, MA.

The real estate market continues to be busy this fall.  Inventory remains very low with a total of only 156 homes currently for sale.  115 of the 156 homes are priced over 1 million dollars and 61 or roughly 40% of the homes for sale in Newton are over 2 million dollars!  Kind of crazy.  A closer look reveals that the 1 million to 1.5 price range is most active with 9 homes going under agreement in the last 2 weeks. And another 9 priced between 1.5M and 2.5M.  The 600K price range seems to be lagging and I can assure you that is because houses are priced too high.  There is no lack of buyers in that price point.  The craziness of last spring’s bidding wars has abated somewhat. SOme of that is due to buyer fatigue of being out bid and some of that is greed on the part of sellers trying to suck every last cent out of a buyer.  I am also seeing more deals fall apart due to inspection issues.  When a buyer ends up paying more than they ever dreamed of paying for a house and an inspection turns up some nasty surprise you can be certain of a total walk away or a renegotiation from the buyer.  Sellers don’t be unreasonably greedy it could quite possibly come back to haunt you.

 


On-Market Snapshot
Report Run: 11/3/2014 10:48:54 AM
Property Type(s): SF
Snapshot Date: 11/03/2014
Towns: Newton
 11/03/2014  11/3/2014
Price Range Number of
Listings
Avg. Days
on Market
vs. today Number of
Listings
Avg. Days
on Market
Under $50,000
$50,000 – $99,999
$100,000 – $149,999
$150,000 – $199,999
$200,000 – $249,999
$250,000 – $299,999
$300,000 – $349,999
$350,000 – $399,999
$400,000 – $449,999
$450,000 – $499,999 1 24 1 24
$500,000 – $599,999 3 16 3 16
$600,000 – $699,999 14 45 14 48
$700,000 – $799,999 9 35 9 35
$800,000 – $899,999 6 43 6 43
$900,000 – $999,999 8 44 8 44
$1,000,000 – $1,499,999 30 72 30 73
$1,500,000 – $1,999,999 24 125 24 126
$2,000,000 – $2,499,999 24 134 24 135
$2,500,000 – $2,999,999 19 120 19 120
$3,000,000 – $3,999,999 12 171 12 171
$4,000,000 – $4,999,999 3 76 3 76
$5,000,000 – $9,999,999 3 194 3 194
Over $10,000,000
Total Properties 156 Avg. 97 156 Avg. 98
Lowest Price: $474,900
Median Price: $1,649,000
Highest Price: $6,950,000
Average Price: $1,903,710
Total Market Volume: $296,978,784
Lowest Price: $474,900
Median Price: $1,649,000
Highest Price: $6,950,000
Average Price: $1,903,710
Total Market Volume: $296,978,784

 

PENDING

Pending Statistics
Report Run: 11/3/2014 10:50:44 AM
Property Type(s): SF
Start Date: 10/20/2014
End Date: 11/03/2014
Towns: Newton
Went Pending Current Status
Price Range # of
Listings
# UAG # CTG # Sold # Other
Under $50,000
$50,000 – $99,999
$100,000 – $149,999
$150,000 – $199,999
$200,000 – $249,999
$250,000 – $299,999
$300,000 – $349,999 1 1
$350,000 – $399,999
$400,000 – $449,999
$450,000 – $499,999
$500,000 – $599,999 3 2 1
$600,000 – $699,999 3 1 2
$700,000 – $799,999 3 2 1
$800,000 – $899,999 5 3 2
$900,000 – $999,999
$1,000,000 – $1,499,999 9 5 4
$1,500,000 – $1,999,999 4 2 2
$2,000,000 – $2,499,999 5 2 3
$2,500,000 – $2,999,999 1 1
$3,000,000 – $3,999,999
$4,000,000 – $4,999,999 1 1
$5,000,000 – $9,999,999
Over $10,000,000
Total Properties 35 18 17 0 0
Lowest Price: $339,900 Median Price: $1,197,499.50
Highest Price: $4,250,000 Average Price: $1,444,159
Total Market Volume: $50,545,586

 

SOLD

Total Sold Market Statistics
Report Run: 11/3/2014 10:52:33 AM
Property Type(s): SF
Status: SLD
Start Date: 10/20/2014
End Date: 11/03/2014
Towns: Newton
Price Range # of
Listings
Avg. Days
on Market
Avg. Days
to Offer
Average
Sale Price
Average
List Price
SP:LP
Ratio
Average
Orig Price
SP:OP
Ratio
$0 – $49,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$50,000 – $99,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$100,000 – $149,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$150,000 – $199,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$200,000 – $249,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$250,000 – $299,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$300,000 – $349,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$350,000 – $399,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$400,000 – $449,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$450,000 – $499,999 1 51 9 $495,000 $510,000 97 $510,000 97
$500,000 – $599,999 1 5 5 $570,000 $539,000 106 $539,000 106
$600,000 – $699,999 3 69 60 $659,000 $679,600 97 $721,600 92
$700,000 – $799,999 1 74 3 $720,000 $719,000 100 $719,000 100
$800,000 – $899,999 3 31 31 $858,000 $866,300 100 $891,633 97
$900,000 – $999,999 2 53 6 $916,000 $879,500 104 $874,000 105
$1,000,000 – $1,499,999 7 27 9 $1,203,551 $1,176,857 103 $1,176,857 103
$1,500,000 – $1,999,999 1 50 50 $1,870,000 $1,995,000 94 $1,995,000 94
$2,000,000 – $2,499,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$2,500,000 – $2,999,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$3,000,000 – $3,999,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$4,000,000 – $4,999,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$5,000,000 – $9,999,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$10,000,000 – $99,999,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
Total Properties 19 Avg. 41 Avg. 22 $971,729 $968,300 101 $978,353 100
Lowest Price: $495,000 Median Price: $900,000
Highest Price: $1,870,000 Average Price: $971,729
Total Market Volume: $18,462,855

Buying a Home with as Little as 3-5% Down Payment


Buying a Home with as Little as 3-5% Down Payment

Posted: 30 Oct 2014 2:30PM EST Newton, MA.

Buying a Home for as Little as 3-5% Down | Keeping Current Matters

We have recently reported on the misconception that many buyers have regarding the down payment necessary to purchase a home. Multiple studies reveal that 40-50% of Americans believe you need between 15-20% of a down payment to be eligible to purchase a home. This misconception came about as the government just last year debated new guidelines for residential mortgages because of the housing collapse in 2007. Some were arguing that there should be a minimum of 20% or even 30% down payment on all mortgage loans. However, those standards were never implemented. To counter this misunderstanding, Christina Boyle, Freddie Mac’s VP and Head of Single-Family Sales & Relationship Management, in a recent Executive Perspectives explained that a person “can get a conforming, conventional mortgage with a down payment of as little as 5 percent”.

3% Down Payments Available Soon?

Just last week, Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt announced that mortgages requiring only a three percent down payment may soon be available:

“To increase access for creditworthy but lower-wealth borrowers, FHFA is also working with the Enterprises to develop sensible and responsible guidelines for mortgages with loan-to-value ratios between 95 and 97 percent. Through these revised guidelines, we believe that the Enterprises will be able to responsibly serve a targeted segment of creditworthy borrowers with lower-down payment mortgages by taking into account “compensating factors.”

Bottom Line

If you are saving for either your first home or that perfect move-up dream house, make sure you know all your options. You may be pleasantly surprised. Line-Break