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      Blog :: 09-2013

      Un paseo por el Sendero de la Libertad o el "Freedom Trail"

       

      Existen domingos en los cuales los planes interesantes escasean, pues está nada más que de paso en la ciudad o no encuentra la aventura perfecta para disfrutar con su familia. Así que pone un par de rebanadas de pan dentro del tostador y se aferra a la televisión esperando encontrar algún canal que le suscite algo de emoción. Al no emitir nada interesante, inconscientemente, se vuelve a quedar dormido en la sala de estar. Horas más tarde, cuando despierta, se da cuenta de que ha desperdiciado todo el día y piensa..."¿Y si me despertarse un día y tuviese la oportunidad de conocer una ciudad pasando por lo puntos históricos más famosos?" ¡Pues es posible! Deje el mando de la tele, prepare esos molletes con mantequilla y mermelada para coger la energía suficiente y diríjase a conocer: "El Sendero de la Libertad" o "The Freedom Trail."

      Esta espectacular actividad ofrece un tour por los dieciséis sitios más conmovedores de la ciudad de Boston. 2.5 millas de distancia y una línea roja pintada en el suelo lograrán que quedemos cautivados por el encanto de esta metrópoli. Museos, iglesias, centros de reunión y mucho más son algunos de los lugares que predominan dentro de esta visita guiada. Y además eso no es todo, podrán encontraste con Paul Revere, Charles Dickens, John Hancock y muchos otros personajes históricos de los siglos XVII y XVIII hablando de la revolución americana, ya que muchos de los guías se ciñen a un papel realmente sorprendente para dar vida a estos protagonistas que un día cambiaron el transcurso de la historia."El Sendero de la Libertad" o "The Freedom Trail" comienza en: 139 Tremont Street, Boston, Ma 02111. No se lo piense más y haga ya su reserva en:http://www.thefreedomtrail.org/book-tour/

      *Si busca el apartamento de sus sueños llame al (617) 505-1781 o escribanos a: info@bostonire.com y concrete una cita con nosotros. ¡Le facilitaremos el comienzo de una nueva aventura!

       

      Smart and Simple Rules For Splitting Rent

      If you're like most Bostonians, you're probably all laid out in that new apartment that found during summer. Your boxes are almost all unpacked, and you've settled in quite nicely at your new place. You've also probably drilled down the basic house rules of your apartment for everyone to break. And of course, like many of Bostonians, you've also most likely have "that talk" with your relatively new-found friend, otherwise known as your roommate.

      It should have been a prudent pre-cursor before moving in that you and your roommate/s have discussed how exactly you'll be splitting your bills. And as your living situation enters its first month, it's most likely best to bring up some of the things that you've found unequal or disproportionate with your rental terms with each other, of course totally separate from your landlord's contract. This is something between just you and your housemate/s.

      And, as you may already have perused our helpful guide to finding an apartment with roommates, peacefully co-existing with them, as well as a surviving walk-up apartments, we're here once again to give and guide you some advice on how to divide - not to conquer - your apartment equally, since we all know that not all rooms are created equal. 1. Size matters... sometimes.

      The easiest way to determine whose room should be the most expensive is who has the most space, right? Nope--only sometimes. If there's a small room with a balcony and gorgeous views, yet it's a few feet shorter than the big room with a shared bathroom, those things can equal out.
      Take the average Bostonian apartment. The rooms in them are all the same price, even though the typical largest room is around 15'x13' and the smallest is 12'x9'. Importantly, small converted bedrooms sometimes have a massive closet in them, and the convenience of a half bath right outside the room.
      Now throw in the amenities of a "flexible" space. (An apartment originally designed to be a one-bedroom split into two bedrooms).
      A temporary wall does not necessarily split the rent down the middle. You also need to factor in light and exposure to sound in addition to size. Getting the "true" bedroom to yourself definitely has its advantages in terms of sound (flex walls are notoriously non-soundproof) and often closet space, too.
      Sometimes, it boils down to the appliances and furnishings. Some bedrooms might not come with a closet, and only have those plastic container stackables. However, the room might have the biggest air conditioner and the most sunlight in the apartment, so it should still be considered as an upgrade.

      2. Consider amenities.

      As discussed above, an attached (or en suite) bathroom may reasonably be worth more to you than a few extra feet. If all the rooms are livable and not a shoebox, then chat with your roommates-to-be and decide if the rent can be split evenly.
      For instance, with a smaller room that has an attached bathroom and walk-in closet, maybe you can set the value of those at $50/a month. So, if the rent in total was $3,900 for a two-bedroom, instead of the small room being $1,250, the medium being $1,300, and the big one being $1,350, everyone can pay $1,333.
      Then again, if your roommates don't see the value in a bathroom, you can adjust to who is willing to pay the most. If someone's budget is a little higher because of a better job and they are willing to pay $1,350, why stop them? It's all about compromising. The claws only come out when someone gets air conditioning and another person only has a fan and a fire escape.

      3. If someone's the guarantor or paid a bigger security deposit, keep that in mind.

      In Boston, you usually put in one month's rent in advance, a security deposit, and sometimes the last month's rent as well. There are even situations wherein you'll need to prove that you're making or have 30x (annually) the rent to sign a lease, or have a co-signor. All of these count towards advances of payments that you may or may not have readily available - leading to someone putting in more than the others.
      If your roommate's parents step up to the guarantor plate or fork over 6 months security, it might be nice to let your roommate have the bigger room without shelling out an extra $100 too. Common courtesy, everyone--keep it in mind!
      Similarly, many landlords will put only two people on the lease, and you might wind up being the third wheel who didn't have to submit financial information and take responsibility for the lease. Effectively, if you're not on the lease, you can pick up and go whenever you want (though that's never a good idea), leaving your roommates on the hook. It wouldn't be out of line to show a little rent-splitting gratitude for your roommates' responsibilities.
      At the end of the day, know what you can afford, talk it out with your roomies-to-be, and be ready to adjust again once the lease renewal comes around next year.

      The Still Curious Case of Buy vs Rent

      While the housing market has shown signs of overheating in recent months, it is still considerably cheaper to buy a house than it is to rent one in Greater Boston. This comes despite the Standard and Poor's Case/Shiller Home Index Report stating that nationally, home prices have increased 12.1% from a year ago, and locally in the Greater Boston area, have increased by 6.2% from the same period in 2012. These figures represent an increase that has been eight years in the making, with price levels not being seen to tip to this level since 2004.

      And whether or not it's an investment property or a property you'll next call home,  real estate expert data aggregators such as Trulia and Zillow have found that on average, it's still about 35 percent cheaper to buy a house than it is to rent one. In fact, Massachusetts may surprise some since that significant own-to-rent discounts still exist, even in Boston's frothy housing market.

      According to top real estate professionals' research, the average discount in the Boston metro area (also known as Suffolk County) is 29 percent, meaning it will cost home buyers on average 29 percent less per month to own versus rent. In Middlesex county, this discount is 33 percent, while the differences in lower-cost Peabody and Worcester are 43 percent and 45% percent, respectively. In farther away Springfield, the discount is even greater, pegged at 49 percent.

      Suffolk Country represent the major metropolitan area of Massachusetts and its capital, Boston. Neighborhoods such as Back Bay, the South End, Beacon Hill, as well as Seaport District have different values in terms of discounts, as these are hotspots for properties that tend to have a wider array of prices. However, averaged out, the totality of Suffolk County has a discount rate of almost 30 percent, suggesting that though property prices are continually on the rise, there is still wiggle room for buyers to snap up properties before it (and if!) it plateaus to same level as renting.

      How To Survive In A Walk-Up Apartment

      In our previous post, we gave you tips on how to locate the best walkable neighborhood. This time, we thought we'd focus on something else that Bostonians know a little (or, actually, a lot) about: walk-up apartments.

      Boston, being one of America's most historical cities, has a lot of brownstones and row housing. They are the quintessential backbone of the true Bostonian neighborhood, dating back to the 1800's when the English built the city on brick and mortar. Most of these buildings are still standing, and are even considered to be the most luxurious of all types of properties in the city.

      As most know, a walk down the South End, Back Bay, and Beacon Hill gives you a sense of how colonial Boston was, and what kind of houses were available. Fast forward to today, these are iconic living spaces, and food and shopping destinations.  This scenery excites both visitors and future residents of the city, as there is a certain charm living in these tenements, regardless of their age since majority have been updated.

      One bothersome factor with living in these brownstones, as most brownstone-dwelling inhabitants would attest to,  is the fact that not all are equip with elevators. Some are - with old-fashion and vintage lifts, but majority are not. This means that if you're on the fourth floor and above, you have a long way to go before reaching your destination, whether to go up or to come down.

      That is why it is not surprising that the two oft complaints of residents living in walk-up apartments are: 1) forgetting items of importance in their unit, and 2) having items with them on their trek up.  But just like any apartment, there are pros and cons that will become part of daily life. The only way you can make sure that a living space is 100% perfect to your needs is if you have it custom-built to address each and every one of your needs.

      Given that, the key then, to surviving a high-floor walkup apartment is leaving the house as little as possible and carrying as little as you have to go up and down the stairs. Organization, along with the help of a few friends, is surely the way to live a life in a walk-up apartment. Here are the best tips we've thought of to make your high-brow, high-floor living as painless as possible:

      1. Post-Its are your protection

      Having to go up and down five or so flight of stairs is no fun. This is especially the case if you forget even only one item that's important and crucial to your day. Say, your mobile phone or umbrella. It's no fun at all having to go back for something that's not as replaceable or could be substituted (i.e. water bottle, etc.) The most common solution to this? Post Its. Though they're not aesthetically awesome displayed by your front door, they are your last line of defense for forgetting stuff or reminding you of things you need to do before you head down that sprawling staircase. They'll not only save you the physical stress, but also keep your mind alert by way of memorization.

      2. Free delivery is your BFF

      • Use UPS or FedEx to receive big packages because they will deliver and pick up packages from your doorstep (as opposed to USPS which does not).
      • Sign up for free or flat-rate delivery services such as Amazon.com's Amazon Prime, which provides free two-day delivery and access to streaming movies and shows and Kindle books. After a free 30-day trial, a yearly subscription is $79. They ship via UPS so it'll be to your doorstep.
      • Peapod by Stop and Shop also features free grocery delivery right to your doorstep for qualifying orders. This is most ideal not only because you are in a walk-up, but also during winter season when it is even more of a pain to get supplies. 
      • Food delivery sites such as Foodler and GrubHub enables you to order take-out delivered straight to your door from hundreds of local restaurants.
      • Furniture delivery can be daunting and costly. Many national companies don't understand Boston living and only deliver to curbside--a big no-no for the many Bostonians who reside in walkups. Be sure to scan for "white glove delivery" (discount sites like Overstock.com offers this for most of its heavier items) to have bulky items delivered to your door.

      3.  Become a great tipper

      Make sure you take into account that delivery folks are going above (literally!) and beyond in carrying wares up to your cut-rate palace in the sky and should be compensated for it, particularly if the deliverables are extremely heavy and cumbersome. Also be sure to tip your frequent deliverers like UPS during the holidays.

      4. Go high-tech

      Thankfully technology has advanced a lot over the last decade, so gone are the days of having to procure movies at the video store and carrying 24-packs of water home from the store.

      • Forgo heavy tomes and instead read via your mobile reading device; get online magazine subscriptions; and order reading material from the Boston Public Library.
      • Subscribe to Netflix to have movies sent to your door and stream them via your laptop and take advantage of On-Demand movie ordering via your cable company

      5. When in doubt, DIY

      • Avoid needless trips to the bodega downstairs by buying your own coffee/cappuccino/smoothie makers.
      • Instead of lugging cases of seltzer--who doesn't love seltzer?--buy a SodaStream and turn ordinary tap into carbonated goodness in an instant without leaving your apartment.
      • Forget bottled water and go the Brita water filter route.
      • If you don't have your own washer and dryer and can afford it, outsource your laundry. For about 85 cents-$1 per pound you can have it picked up and delivered, rather than walking up and downstairs with heavy loads of dirty clothes to the basement laundry room (if you have it) or even further to the local laundromat.

      6. Remember that it takes a village

      Ask friends and or visitors to your unit to collect your mail from downstairs. This isn't a typical request, so make sure you do it to the right person who you feel will comply comfortably with your request. And remember to give them a "parting gift" - whatever that may be - to anyone who consistently visits you on the top floor; they are a real friend, so giving them a "parting gift" upon their departure probably would probably be a good incentive if you want them to return.

      7. Get in a Boston (walkup) State of Mind

      Telling people you live in a sixth floor walkup apartment makes you seem more hardcore than any neck tattoo ever could, so embrace it.

      Man up psychologically on those days when you are sick, exhausted or drunk (If you are are real Bostonian there will be days you are all three simultaneously). Pump encouraging music on your iPod as you crawl, lurch, or curse your way up the stairs. Stop at each landing if you need to, send a text to a friend or simply eavesdrop on the sounds emanating from the nearest apartment and construct an entertaining story for yourself about what lurks behind each door.

      Realty Check: Market Trends Second Week Post Summer

      It seems that two weeks post the official end of the summer selling season, Boston's inventory of properties are coming back up - though availability is still quite tight. To give you a picture of how "well" the market is picking up properties, the city has improved its for sale property supply to 1.7 months from only 3.5 weeks a month ago, during the height of it all.

      Boston Downtown Neighborhoods Supply & Demand

      For those confused as to why we measure by the months for our supply, the housing market's inventory is measured by the number of available properties vis-a-vis the current consumer demand. In other words, there's enough properties out there at the moment until the end of November. This, compared to the same dates last month, is a significant improvement when there was barely a month's worth of properties to sate the market's demands.

      As the graph on the right shows, there was very little available properties during the middle of the month of August. This is considered to be the very height of the summer selling season, so that's one reason why this is the case. However, another reason is that the demand these past three years were just extraordinarily higher than the previous years after the housing crisis that befell the country, and only rightly so. In fact, since 2010, there's been a steady decrease in supply and higher demand throughout the entire Greater Boston Area, and more so for Downtown neighborhoods.

      In terms of median prices, values are still rising in the central downtown neighborhoods of the South End, Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Midtown, Charlestown, Fenway, Leather District, North End, Seaport, South Boston, Waterfront, and West End.

      Thru 9/16/2012 Thru 9/16/2013 Change
      $574,350 $613,375 +6.79%

       

      Price per square foot of sold condos and single family homes in the same core neighborhoods also picked up some positive values:

      Thru 9/16/2012 Thru 9/16/2013 Change
      $582/sf $644/sf +10.65%  

       

      And, to no surprise, inventory (both for condos and single family properties) has decreased year-on-year for these core downtown neighborhoods:

       9/16/2012 9/16/2013 Change
      512 483 -5.66%

       

      Like mentioned above, this is simply not because of the lack of available properties on the market per se, it is because of the demand hitting record highs these past two years. The absorption of properties have been tremendously fast, and turnover of new developments just can't catch up. Perhaps absorption is also due to the fact that we're just coming out of a buyer's market, and well into a seller's bazaar.

      The number of properties sold in the core downtown neighborhoods of Boston is down, but not by much. This is primarily because the lack of inventory is slowly taking a toll on sales. However, if there were sufficient supply, there would definitely be more sales.

      Thru 9/16/2012 Thru 9/16/2013 Change
      2,653 2,748 +3.58%

       

      Interestingly and ironically, sales of luxury properties - both condos and single family $1M and above - have increased significantly in the core downtown neighborhoods:

      Thru 9/16/2012 Thru 9/16/2013 Change
      410 468 +14.15%

       

      So, whether you're a buyer, a seller, or a developer, there is definitely good news all around. It's safe to say that the Boston property market has come roaring back to its feet, and is poised to be even hotter for the next couple of months, despite the colder weather.

      All information provided by Multiple Listings Service (MLS). 

      El comienzo de la ciudad

      En el año 1630 con la llegada de los colonos puritanos emergería Boston, una de las ciudades más antiguas e históricas del continente norte americano. Aunque Boston es una ciudad pequeña se encuentra entre los lugares mas poblados de Nueva Inglaterra. Es por ello, que este municipio se considera el centro cultural y económico de la región.

      Este pequeño rincón situado al noreste de América alberga un fascinante contraste arquitectónico. Un claro ejemplo de modernidad y antigüedad se encuentra en la  plaza de Copley.

      En dicha plaza, podemos encontrar al edificio Hancock, construido en  1976, haciendo sombra a la iglesia barroca de la trinidad, construida en 1872. Si le gusta caminar, las calles de la capital de Massachusetts ofrece multitud de hitos históricos y sitios sorprendentes para conocer. La primera escuela pública, la primera biblioteca o la primera escuela latina son algunos de los monumentos que se escoden bajo el techo Bostoniano.Si busca una experiencia única e inolvidable...¡No lo piense más! Boston es lo que estaba buscando, una ciudad de innovación, cultura y sensaciones.

      Si busca el apartamento de sus sueños llame al (617) 505-1781 o escribanos a info@bostonire.com y concrete una cita con nosotros. ¡Le facilitamos el comienzo de una nueva aventura!

      Next Big Thing For Boston's Sprawling Skyline

      If you've been following our posts these past couple of summer months, you've certainly gotten the point: properties are not exactly easy to come by in Boston. Like all markets, there are different factors that come into play: inventory, market demand, investor intake, and finally affordability.

      In fact, if you were to compare this with any other consumer product out there in the market, you'll see that properties are much like any other tech product: there's a down cycle, an up cycle, and a refresh period. Currently (and perhaps ironically), Boston is right smack in the middle of these three. Though it is true that the realty market has just resurfaced from a five-year hiatus due to the recession, it is also true that it surged through so much this summer that it hit multiple historically highs. This is also exactly the reason why Boston's property market is in a down cycle -- more properties have been snapped up than the past couple of years, leading to the inventory (almost) drying up. But, not to worry, everything will be good again - as a matter of fact, we're actually in the cusp of a real estate refresh. So - what exactly will make it "good" again? What's the next big thing for Boston's sprawling skyline?

      As we've pointed out in our past entry, there are numerous properties coming to Boston's posh neighborhoods of Back Bay, Beacon Hill, and the South End. But, it doesn't stop there. Plenty of other prime and hot neighborhoods will also have their day in the sun. This is especially because of the overwhelming response to City Mayor Thomas Menino's call for 30,000 additional housing units by the year 2020 - a plan designed to further boost the housing recovery, as well as the economy.

      But what really will be the gem of it all? Amongst the hundreds of planned projects on the pipeline, there are a couple that stand out as Boston's "next big thing", perhaps surpassing Back Bay's iconic John Hancock tower. We've lined up a couple of projects that we think will without a doubt transform and transcend the city's sprawling skyline (oh let's not forget to mention that these projects aren't anywhere in the vicinity of Back Bay, Beacon Hill, or the South End!).

      DOWNTOWN CROSSING

      The Millennium Tower, as planned, will stand 606 feet above the ground and will have 55 floors of residential, commercial, and retail space. Once (and still is) an eyesore to Bostonians, the open hole is now being readied for the construction phase of the massive tower. In fact, the old Filene's basement building is nearly done being torn apart for reconditioning, as it will be used to anchor the commercial arm of the tower building. Millennium Tower is proposed to have about 500 units consisting of both condos and rentals. It will have 518 garage parking spaces, as well as a planned massive retail chain operator on the ground floor.

      FENWAY CENTER

      Perhaps the most transformative project to come in a long time in Boston is the redevelopment of a huge chunk of the Fenway neighborhood. Consisting of multiple delicately designed buildings, Fenway Center will be the shining beacon of Bostonian buildings west of the city. The transit-oriented community is poised to have 500 residences, office space, and a Newbury street-like shopping experience on the street level. And with over 30,000 sq. ft of green open spaces, there's still sure to be a lot of walkable area that'll make the three-building development stand out amongst the rest in a mostly concrete-centric area.

      TD GARDEN PLANS

      From far west, we come to the north. Proposed plans of a revamped TD Garden area in the North End of the city is exciting everyone - with the developers reaching a new conclusion for the site: three new towers instead of two! Originally designed to have two daunting skyscrapper-like buildings, the developers - Delaware North and Boston Properties - have amended their proposals to the city to include a 320-feet tall building with 306 hotel rooms, a 420-foot office office mid-rise, and a towering 600-foot tall godzilla of a building that will have 497 residential units in total. This translates to an addition of more than 170,000 square feet against the original plan. In total, it'll be a 40,000 sq ft expansion of TD Garden, 560,000 sq ft residential, 200,000 square feet hotel space, 202,000 square feet flexible office space, 235,000 square feet retail and restaurant space, and 25,000 square feet of "atrium walking area".

      Once completed, there is no doubt that this development will add some much-needed pizzaz in the area, and transform the city's northern-most edge's skyline.

      BACK BAY (AGAIN)

      As if this neighborhood doesn't have enough, Boston's Back Bay is yet again set to transform its own skyline of towering skyscrappers. As a matter of fact, this one will completely be the Bostonian building landmark of all-time. Set to rise near the Christian Science Plaza in the Prudential / Symphony quadrangle, the 691-foot tower is poised to become the jewel of the city. The 58-story spire of a building will have 255 apartments, 170 condos, and about 250 hotel rooms, all within its 950,000 square feet of space. Its designer is said to be the same architect of the John Hancock Tower in the 1970s. Though 99 feet shorter than the Hancock, the proposed design of the tower is set to complement the buildings around it, with greenery and open spaces being the highlight of the development. Construction is set to begin middle of next year.

      Pagina ejemplar

      It's that time of year when families consider moving to get their children into a good school district. Folks over at realtor.com recently conducted a back-to-school survey to see how much weight schools have in the home-buying decision. The results show that school-district boundaries do impact the buying decision for more than 60 percent of home buyers.

      Additionally, it was found that home buyers are willing to pay more and give up certain features for a home located in their district of choice. These buyers are especially willing to give up access to shopping and nearby parks and trails, among other amenities, to reside within the school-district boundaries of their choice. And as we all know, Boston is a big college town, where both individuals as well as families relocate to in order to attend some of the nation's best educational institutions. For locals, moving to areas such as Brookline is a great option, since the school system is regarded as one of the best in the country.

      To give you a more in depth look into how home buyers weigh in school systems into their next home purchase, those surveyed said that school-district boundaries will have an impact on their buying decision. In particular, almost 24% said they would pay up to 5% above their budget to move to a neighborhood that has an excellent and "well known" institution. However, majority, or 40% said that schools are accessible enough in Boston that there is no need to elevate their current budget. That's how much schools and universities there are in the city that one can easily reach it either by car or by public transport.

      For home buyers who said that school-district boundaries will have an impact on their decision, the majority rated the boundaries as an "important" consideration.In fact, 90% said school-district boundaries are "important" or "secondary" to their search. And with young millennials who are likely to start a family of their own, schools are a necessity if only to prepare for family life with children in the coming years ahead.

      In general, a new house can mean more space, great neighborhoods and good schools. We've outlined five tips to find your dream home near the right school either for you or for your family and kids:

      1. Know your family's needs. Is your family growing? Is square footage the most important factor, or a large backyard? Make a list of exactly what you need in your family's new home. Though Boston is notorious for being congested, there are neighborhoods and suburbs that make great for a large home, complete with huge yard. Know these areas before you even start your search and narrow them down according to your need.
      2. Search for homes by the best schools by consulting with us. We've placed hundreds of students - both foreign and local, to be at walking distance from their schools. We pride ourselves with knowing the ins and outs of Boston, and even discovering neighborhoods for you that are outside of your shortlist but still serve their purpose.
      3. Review school information. Boston is a college town. There are a total of 53 higher education institutions in the city, including 7 junior colleges, 14 colleges, 8 research universities, and 24 specially-focused institutions. This list does not count the public schools systems in the city, 3 of which are amongst the best in the country. Do your research on the school, and we'll handle the rest.
      4. Look for parks and play areas. Of course with hard school work comes hard play. Take a look at neighborhoods that offer both school and sanctuary. Also look for other things that matter to you, like how far away it is from a baseball field, etc. Draw your own search boundary, if a specific area really matters to you - we're sure to find you your own piece of property in that locale.
      5. Make a list of questions. When you're ready to tour the homes we've recommended, be prepared with the questions that will help you make the best investment. Ask about things that matter specifically to you and your family but also what matters for the home's future value. We will be able to guide you to find the right home, in the right location, near the right school.

      Still stuck on your home search? Contact us now to schedule a free consultation! Call us at (617) 505-1781 or email us at info@bostonire.com

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      What's To Come? Fall Property Preview

      With the weather changing its course, and the chill in the air is noticeable, it's only a matter of time before Bostonians see the change in the leaves. That's right, just like that, summer has passed, and fall is finally settling in. And as the seasons change, so too does the market shift, as most properties have flown off the shelves during the rush of the summer selling season, leading to the dwindling number of properties available out there.

      In fact, an analysis of the Back Bay, Beacon Hill, and South End neighborhoods show that the inventory is extremely low. According to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) - the main tool for brokers and agents to list and monitor the exchange of properties - there are only 162 units available in these neighborhoods as of September 4. And to give you a better appreciation of the inventory situation, here's a look at the past three years, and how much this years' is, compared to previous peak months:

      2011: 391 units 2012: 196 units 2013: 162 units

      The reality is, the drop in inventory is so exaggerated that it totals to 141 percent!

      And so, now that we've already established that the inventory levels of residential real estate in Boston are down, we'd like to give you a preview of the properties that are to come in the following months, not only adding to the city's sprawling skyline, but also replenishing the property sectors' coffers. These properties are poised to become the primary source of new listings in the city, and though some are nearing its full capacity, there are still tons of properties turning over that you can look forward to when it's time to make that big step, not to mention the probability that some buildings meant to be leased out could possibly turn a corner and decide to sell instead!

      Just to give you an insight, there are approximately 3,200 new leased apartments expecting to be delivered to market in the Boston metro area in 2013. This is more than doubled from 1,500 new supplies in 2012. Add to that an additional 8,000 units expected to be delivered in the next two to three years, and you see why and where our speculations come from.

      Here are a few of the larger developments both hitting the market today and in the near future:

      Millennium Place 580 Washington St. 265 units Currently for sale. Approximately 75 percent capacity.

      Millennium Tower 426 Washington St. 500 units Ground breaking Sept. 17

      Millenium Tower Rendering Boston International Real Estate BostonIRE BIRE

      Proposed Rendering for Millenium Tower

      The Kensington 659 Washington St. 381 units Currently being leased.

      FALL 2013

      L West Square 320 D St. 260 units

      SPRING 2014

      45 Stuart Street 45 Stuart St. 404 units

      Pier 4 Boston Pier 4  ?369 units

      SPRING 2015

      Ink Block 1 Herald St. 475 units

      *Keep in mind that this is a partial list of the "bigger" developments scheduled to come up in the city's Downtown neighborhoods. There are at least an additional 5,000 units for sale and lease citywide that are scheduled to be turned over in the next one to three years.

      So, don't despair - even though the inventory is in a dip right now, it'll surely recover. The bottom line is that the city's real estate market continues to be robust, showing strong signs of growth supported by the steady improvement in the overall economic employment environment, a steady rise in new construction, a decrease in the overall vacancy rate, a busy buying and selling turnover, and last but not least, a supremely strong rental market.

      Summing Up Housing's Summer Season

      Despite what the weatherman may say, summer season has official come to a close - for the housing market, that is. Move in day has come and pass, with thousands of students, professionals, locals, and internationals turning the key to their newly- owned or rented properties last September 1st. And though there are still those who are still searching and seeking, few are left on the sidelines of the great property hunt of 2013.

      Looking back, this summer has been the comeback that the market has been waiting for: there was an equal opportunity for both buyers and sellers who have been waiting patiently for the return of the real estate rumble. Property values as well as mortgages rates steadily increased, but not so much as to make buying unaffordable, and the market has responded with resounding success for sellers wishing to dispose of their hoarded realty assets. And although there were fears of the inventory choking mid-way into the summer season (both locally and nationwide), the market performed beautifully in Boston with only a little leftover, signifying the real estate's robust return in the form of turnover of deeds and titles.

      As was and still is the perennial dilemma for renters, it was a bit of a squeeze to look for "affordable" apartments - as more and more individuals descend into the city, relocating for school and work; adding on to the massive number of already-renters in Boston and its Greater neighborhoods. And just like clockwork and the turn of seasons, rental rates in the Greater Boston Area almost escalated this year, putting further pressure into the rental and relocation market.

      Here's a look at the highlights of this summer season's property market:

      HOME SALES

      Boston saw its best single-family sales in July, right when the summer months were peaking. In particular, there were 5,750 homes that sold during this period. That's up 20% compared to last year, and 28% the year before that. July was also the fourth consecutive month of year-over-year-over-year sale increases.  Earlier in the season, real estate professionals were worried that there was a bubble blowing up for Greater Boston properties, especially because median prices were going up at extraordinary rates that could have been a cause for worry as demand could easily fade. For instance, the median single-family home in July was up by 12% compared to the previous year, clocking in at $355,000. However, sales and therefore demand has been stronger than expected, signifying that the real estate rebound is directly addressing the recovering market.

      NEW LISTINGS' SALES SOAR

      Speaking of recovery, it seems like the perfect time to buy your dream home is now - or so majority of Bostonians thought (and acted on!) this past summer. Numbers show from July 2012 to July 2013, new listings in Massachusetts' 54 cities and towns rose 13.9 percent for detached homes and 11.3 percent for condominiums, while closed sales increased 16.1 percent and 18.6 percent, respectively.

      Conversely, the inventory of homes for sale plummeted to 2,615 -- a 34.4 percent drop -- and the time homes spent on the market until sold also plunged -- by 41.8 percent -- to just 47 days. In Boston, new listings were up by 21.6 percent and closed sales rose by 17.2 percent. The inventory of homes for sale plunged by 39 percent to 904, and the time homes spent on the market until sold also dropped, by 47.3 percent, to a mere 34 days. This just means that new listings were enough to keep the market afloat and satisfy the public's demand.

      ROUNDING UP RENTALS

      While most of the student population of Boston has their place locked down and furnished, there are still some stragglers trying to find last-minute September move-ins. And if you're one of them, better read up, since we're giving you the low-down on what the summer season's onslaught of rentals has done to the market, making you better informed with where you stand in terms of neighborhoods you should focus your search on.

      Similar to housing sales, there was a lot of concern for the rental market going in to the summer months - when the peak of almost all rental deals happen. The inventory was choking for its own good, with majority of owner-homed units being held down until the last minute, waiting for current tenants' indication of whether the space would be vacant or not. Couple this with the limited number of newly-turned over developments (most projects from last year are still on-going construction and or finishing), renters were forced to wait until the end of July and August to find a suitable space.

      Known to many, Boston has a higher average rental rate compared to the rest of the nation, as most apartment leases are fueled by the fast and high turnover of transient students coming and going. So, while professionals also have a substantial share of the pie, students are left to look at neighborhoods with lower average rents. To fuel your imagination of how rentals can skyrocket, here's a quick snapshot:

      The most expensive rentals are located in Downtown Boston, consisting of the Back Bay, Beacon Hill, and Financial District, where the median rent is $3,750, and where a one-bedroom 12-month lease would cost you a cool $3,090. Also in the same neighborhoods, a 2-bedroom is not that far away, with an average price of $4,200. This figure is also the highest amongst all 39 neighborhoods found in the Greater Boston area. If your address point to any of these neighborhoods, chances are you're either lucky or living large! One thing is for sure, though: you're living in a posh property.

      In terms of size and price, Chinatown commands the lead, with an impressive $4.27 per sq ft of living space. Average sizes of apartments in this neighborhood though is 600, so that and the fact that you're centrally located is probably the reason why it's priced so steep. Not surprisingly, the home of the Bay state's costliest studio units are in high-end East Cambridge, where a 300-400 sq ft rental would most likely cost you $2,350.

      Overall, Boston's median rental rate is $2,350 - accounting for all sizes and neighborhoods. Cambridge, on the other hand, is more costly at $2,580 - considering the limited number of units available in the area as compared to Boston.

      And if you're still searching and hunting for the "Holy Grail" of finds, you would be wisely advised that the absolute lowest median recorded for a rental property is in the neighborhood of  South Dorchester. The lowest studio rate was $1,150 in Roxbury, and as expected, student-central Allston and across-the-bay East Boston were lowest in the 1-bedroom ($1,550), and 2-bedroom ($1,660) categories, respectively.

      Make sure to stay tuned over the next couple of days, as we dissect how the real estate market performed and played out this past summer season.