Margaret Szerlip

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.)

 

Home Buyer Demand Will Be Strong for Years to Come


Newton, MA. Compass, Sotheby’s Newton’s Top Brokers, Real Estate, Greater Boston

Home Buyer Demand Will Be Strong for Years to Come

Home Buyer Demand Will Be Strong for Years to Come | MyKCM

There has been a lot written about millennials and their preference to live in city centers above their favorite pizza place. Some have even gone so far as to say that millennials are a “Renter-Generation”.

And while this might be true for some millennials, more and more research has surfaced that shows for the vast majority, owning a home is a major part of their American Dream!

New research shows that 66% of millennials who currently rent are determined to buy a home! Seventy-three percent of those surveyed by

Pulsenomics plan to buy a home in the next five years, with 40% planning to do so within the next two years!

Home Buyer Demand Will Be Strong for Years to Come | MyKCM

“Millennials want to own a home as much as prior generations,” Ali Wolf, Director of Economic Research at Meyers Research says. “We saw millennial shoppers scooping up homes in 2018—and 2019 will be no different.”

Bottom Line

Are you one of the millions of renters who are ready and willing to buy a home? Let’s get together to determine your ability to buy now!

Is Newton Heading Towards A Buyer’s Market?


Newton, MA. Top Broker, Newton, MA. real estate, Compass, Sotheby’s

Buyer and seller sign

Is Newton Heading to A Buyer’s Market?

The real estate market in Newton is starting to feel a bit different.  New things are coming to market and homes are going under agreement but it all seems — different.’

We’ve listed 3 properties in the past month and happily had over asking offers, some substantially over asking.  4 of our buyers purchased properties this month. One purchased 100k under asking, one 6o under asking and one at asking.  All of these wold be considered hot properties and yet none had multiple offers.  I’ve decided to dig into the numbers and see what I can decipher.

This is the market as of today:

ON Market                                      Average Price                            Days on Market

130 single families                          $2,091,980                                          101

59 Condos                                           $948,146                                         64

 

UNDER AGREEMENT

61 single families                            $1,449,334                                            32

19 condos                                          $726,809                                             27

 

SOLD

38 single families                                $1,249,858                                    29

16 condos                                             $650,000                                       34

 

These numbers tell a story.  The average list price at $2,091, 980 is 40% higher than the average sold price of $1,249,858. It took an average of 29 days to sell vs. the 100 days for the current unsold inventory.  This is a supply and demand business and when new inventory outpaces under agreements a declining market is usually forecasted.  I do not expect to see a significant drop in prices but there will be pushback on price which we are already seeing.  Mortgage rates are up about a 1/2 point and another rate increase is expected before year-end. These increases affect the below 1.2 million dollar buyer the most.

My advice is to seek a Realtor who understands the market trends and acts before everyone else.  You do not want to chase the market down.

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Margaret Szerlip 617.921.6860

 

 

 

 

Newton Home Prices Have Appreciated 8.4% vs. a Gain of 6.9% Nationally.


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

Newton Home Prices Have Appreciated 8.4% in 2018.

Home Prices Have Appreciated 6.9% in 2018 | MyKCM

Between 1987 and 1999, which is often referred to as the ‘Pre-Bubble Period,’ home prices grew at an average of 3.6% according to the Home Price Expectation Survey.

Every month, the economists at CoreLogic release the results of their Home Price Insights Report, which includes the actual year-over-year change in prices across the country and their predictions for the following year.

The chart below shows the forecasted year-over-year prices for 2018 (predictions made in 2017). According to their predictions, the average appreciation over the course of 2018 should be 4.8%, which is still greater than the ‘normal’ appreciation of 3.6%.

Home Prices Have Appreciated 6.9% in 2018 | MyKCM

If we layer in the actual price appreciation that has occurred this year, we can see that over the course of 2018, home prices have appreciated by an average of 6.9% and have outpaced projections all year!

Home Prices Have Appreciated 6.9% in 2018 | MyKCM

What does this mean?

The tale of today’s real estate market is one of low inventory, high demand, and rising prices. The forces at work can be simply explained with the theory of supply and demand. That being said, if a large supply of inventory were to come to the market, prices may start to appreciate closer to the forecasted rate which would STILL be greater than the historic norm!

Bottom Line

If you are a homeowner whose house no longer meets your needs, now may be a great time to list your home and capitalize on the equity you have gained over the last year to make a significant down payment on your next home!

Boston’s 10 most expensive one-bedroom condos start at $1.35M


Newton, MA. real estate, Newton’s Top Brokers, Sotheby’s Compass

Boston’s 10 most expensive one-bedroom condos start at $1.35M

Half are in just two buildings: 50 Liberty and the W Boston

50 Liberty under construction in December 2016. 
Dan Logan/Shutterstock

Half of Boston’s 10 most expensive one-bedroom condos as of late July are in just two buildings: The newish 50 Liberty in the Seaport District and the older W Boston at 110 Stuart Street in the Theatre District.

In general, these 10 priciest one-bedrooms range from $1.35 million to $2.5 million, according to real estate research site NeighborhoodX. The units range in size from 878 square feet to 1,398 square feet.

“Given that the square footage for these properties is relatively modest, the asking prices are driven by relatively high prices per square foot,” NeighborhoodX research director Constantine Valhouli said over email. “These range from $1,246 a foot (1 Charles Street South, #3 in Back Bay) to $1,853 a foot (50 Liberty Drive, #6D in the Seaport).”

Home Prices: The Difference 5 Years Makes


Home Prices: The Difference 5 Years Makes

Home Prices: The Difference 5 Years Makes

The economists at CoreLogic recently released a special report entitled, Evaluating the Housing Market Since the Great Recession. The goal of the report was to look at economic recovery since the Great Recession of December 2007 through June 2009.

One of the key indicators used in the report to determine the health of the housing market was home price appreciation. CoreLogic focused on appreciation from December 2012 to December 2017 to show how prices over the last five years have fared.

Frank Nothaft, Chief Economist at CoreLogic, commented on the importance of breaking out the data by state,

“Homeowners in the United States experienced a run-up in prices from the early 2000s to 2006, and then saw the trend reverse with steady declines through 2011. After finally reaching bottom in 2011, home prices began a slow rise back to where we are now.

Greater demand and lower supply – as well as booming job markets – have given some of the hardest-hit housing markets a boost in home prices. Yet, many are still not back to pre-crash levels.”

The map below was created to show the 5-year appreciation from December 2012 – December 2017 by state.

Home Prices: The Difference 5 Years Makes | Keeping Current Matters

Nationally, the cumulative appreciation over the five-year period was 37.4%, with a high of 66% in Nevada, and a modest increase of 5% in Connecticut.

Where were prices expected to go?

Every quarter, Pulsenomics surveys a nationwide panel of over 100 economists, real estate experts, and investment and market strategists and asks them to project how residential home prices will appreciate over the next five years for their Home Price Expectation Survey (HPES).

According to the December 2012 survey results, national homes prices were projected to increase cumulatively by 23.1% by December 2017. The bulls of the group predicted home prices to rise by 33.6%, while the more cautious bears predicted an appreciation of 11.2%.

Where are prices headed in the next 5 years?

Data from the most recent HPES shows that home prices are expected to increase by 18.2% over the next 5 years. The bulls of the group predict home prices to rise by 27.4%, while the more cautious bears predict an appreciation of 8.3%.

Bottom Line

Every day, thousands of homeowners regain positive equity in their homes. Some homeowners are now experiencing values even higher than before the Great Recession. If you’re wondering if you have enough equity to sell your house and move on to your dream home, contact a local real estate professional who can help!

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!