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How to Update Your Home For Fall

Fall

Fall is upon us and there's no better way to prepare your home for the colder season than by incorporating some small touches and experimenting with new textures. 

Real Simple has explored some small ways that you can incorporate new details into your home for the fall and we've picked out the best for you here!

Switch out pillows and blankets

Thicker blankets will make your home (and you!) warmer for the fall and going into the winter, you can also incorporate different textures and darker colors, faux fur or chunky knits. New throw pillows are also a cheap and easy way to incorporate a new color scheme into a room. 

Update your mantel

Whether you have a fireplace or another focal point in your living room, this is the perfect opportunity to re-style it with new art pieces, objects and candles that are more reminiscent of the fall. You'll be spending more time indoors so this is a great opportunity to keep this space fresh. 

Purchase some fall foliage

Summer isn't the only season for bringing plants into your home. Green garland, autumn leaves and other flowers such as dahlias and chrysanthemums are all in season. By putting these in pretty vases with darker tones you can bring everything you love about the changing season into your home. 

Add new prints

Plaid, stripes, tartan are all great new patterns you could use to replace the bright colors and florals from the summer. The warmer patterns are a good way to incorporate some excitement if your current decor is pretty neutral or solid, whether in the form of a rug, blanket, pillow or picture. 

Bring in more light

With the days getting shorter and the nights getting longer you can further transform a room by bringing in more light. String lights create a season feeling or switch out your current bulbs for more muted tones. You can also incorporate a variety of lighting options to decide when you want a room to be lit up or dark and cozy. 

Get new bedding

Save on heating and upgrade your bedding with more layers, cozier fabrics and darker tones. Tailored quilts, heavier duvets and additional throw blankets are an easy way to make your bed more inviting when it's cold outside. 

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Apartment Sizes Are Shrinking and Here's Why

Studio Apartment

Ever wonder why apartment sizes seem to have shrunk in recent years? New data from Axiometrics and RCLCO explain the reasons contributing to this decrease. 

Apartment size has mostly decreased in studios and one bedroom units across the country and Boston is no exception. At the same time, the number of these units on the market have continued to increase. 

The data shows that the average unit size across the country has shrunk by 70 SF, around 7% in apartment units that were built in the last six years. This is compared to those built in the previous nine years. 

One of the reasonings behind this decrease is a shift in what residents want from their home. They determined that residents are more focused on a good location and the ability to live, work and play in the neighborhood that they are in, rather than focusing on the square footage of their apartment. 

Boston was included in the high-cost markets that shaved off the most square feet in their new developments at 9%. Across all markets, the total units that are under 600 SF have doubled from 2010 to 2016 and now make up 15% of the units on market today. 

The other reasons behind the decrease in size don't just have to do with resident desires. Concrete and other development costs are at an all-time high, so developers are seeking ways to reduce their construction costs as much as possible. 

Landlords are also feeling the pressures of the market and are attempting to maximize income by building more units while at the same time not increasing space. 

What's more important in your home search: size or location? Let us know!

Contact us for more expert advice on the housing market and finding your new home today. 

Bike Rooms: the Newest Amenity in Luxury Rental Buildings

Boston bike

With Boston being named one of the next big cycling cities in the country and cities all over the world becoming more bike-friendly, it is no wonder that for rental buildings, bike rooms are becoming a top priority

It may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about luxury amenities, but bike rooms are increasing in demand and popularity and developers are following the trend. 

Bike rooms used to be an afterthought, generally tucked away in the basement, but not anymore. 

These rooms are now equipped with easy access in and out, secure access, tight security, lockers for equipment, included supplies and spaces for repairs and tune-ups. 

Other developers are taking on the bike trend with their fitness facilities, providing state of the art equipment, facilities with great views and access to real or virtual spin classes. 

New developments are increasingly making their locations bike friendly, with easy access to bike paths and bike sharing programs for their residents. 

With expanded capacity for storage and bike facilities, developers are encouraging this movement further and they are not just promoting physical activity, but protecting the environment as well. 

Contact us for more information about finding your new rental in Boston!

Smart Home Technology to Transform Your Home Today

Smart home technology

Our smartphone and technology-filled lives are finally translating into the home, as smart home features begin to grow in popularity.

According to a report by Houzz, nearly half of people that are renovating their homes are adding new technology in the process. Around 45% are putting in at least one new system or device that they are able to control from their phone or computer. 

Those who are currently completing upgrades or renovations are most likely to add the technologies because they have already set aside a budget for investing on improving their home. 

While these technologies come with the benefits of convenience and adding value, it doesn't mean people are spending huge amounts of money on them. Most people in the report spent around $1,500 or less in total on the technologies, while only 5% spent $5,000 or more.

The other half of residents who aren't spending money on the technologies either aren't interested, think they're too expensive or are worried about security issues with smart devices. 

The top smart tech purchases include, safety and security systems such as fire and gas systems or high-tech cameras. Other popular products include smart entertainment systems like smart TV's, speakers and streaming devices. 

Climate control falls third on the popularity list, giving people the ability to fine-tune their heating or cooling methods to overall save on their energy bills. 

Many new developments now come with smart home features built into the unit. What smart home technology would you want to find in your new home? 

Contact us today for more information about new developments and finding your new home today!

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Boston Rent Prices Experience a Decrease

Boston rent prices

Booming construction in Boston is no newsflash, with a tremendous amount of new developments under construction or proposed throughout the last year. 

However, what may come as a surprise is the effect that these new developments are having on existing rent prices. Since a majority of these new developments are focused on homeownership and high-end luxury development condos, existing rent prices are dropping. 

From August to September, Boston saw a 7% fall in rent prices to $2,420, according to Boston Magazine

Part of this is attributed to the huge amount of multifamily construction. New rental units included in this are bringing more units to the market and lowering the current high demand. 

However, the nationwide average for one bedroom rent has still increased, suggesting that this decrease in Boston prices may be short lived. 

Contact us to discuss rent prices in your neighborhood and finding your new home today!

The Cost of Your Pet Friendly Apartment

Pet friendly apartment

Finding an apartment is hard enough, finding an apartment that will allow you to bring your furry friend can be even harder. Luckily it is still possible! 

We've got a huge selection of pet friendly apartments throughout most Boston neighborhoods and if you don't see the right one for you, you can register and be notified when more become available.

Found the perfect apartment, but questioning whether you can afford a pet to go with it? Apartment Therapy put together a good breakdown of the hidden costs you'll need to budget for when buying a pet. We've included the top 10 here.

Adoption

There is always a fee when it comes to adopting, this varies based on where they come from and the type of pet. 

Fees

Some buildings and landlords will charge extra fees to keep your pet. Make sure to check this when renting your new home.

Necessities

These can include leashes, collars, ID tags, crates, beds, litter boxes. Any small purchases that will add up in the long run. 

Food 

Pets have dietary needs just like humans and it is important to factor in these costs and add them to your weekly spend on food. 

Toys

Daily stimulation is important and can be costly, especially if your pets tend to destroy their toys. 

Clean-up 

In a rental this is especially important so that you don't face any major damage fees when moving out. You'll need things to remove stains, odors and just to clean up everyday messes. 

Training 

Mostly just related to dogs, but training your pet to behave is especially important to make sure they don't destroy your new home, but this can be another costly expense. 

Medication 

This can be one of the more costly expenses and are important to keep in mind, whether for basic check ups or unexpected illnesses. 

Grooming

Another easy way to keep your home cleaner is to keep your pet properly groomed, but it can be costly.

Walking

If you're not working from home and you're living in a smaller space in the city, it will be important to pay a dog walker or some type of daycare to come and take your pet out during the day. 

Getting a pet is almost as big of an investment as having a child, so it is important to consider these factors and more before making the commitment! Read all of the tips on Apartment Therapy

Luxury Developers Look to Framingham

Framingham

Framingham is the latest town that is being sought after by upscale apartment developers

One of the latest developments to be approved is called the Modera Framingham, a six-story 270-unit luxury apartment complex featuring a pool, private balconies and a fitness center. 

The owner of Shopper's World is also interested in joining the ranks of upscale apartments with a push for 130 new apartments located on a parking lot near the mall. 

These and other potential new developments would see the first big push for downtown development in the area. 

Local and state officials have contributed millions into improving streetscapes and traffic fixes to try and boost the area. 

New zoning changes allow new apartment buildings to be constructed downtown, while also increasing the height and density of what can be built. 

The new developments would be transit oriented and focus on providing an urban experience with close access to amenities and commuting to Boston. 

Contact us for more information about new developments. 

The Winter Garden is Coming to City Hall Plaza

Winter Garden at City Hall

Plans for a Winter Garden at City Hall Plaza have been unveiled in hopes to make use of the underused civic space in the center of downtown. 

Although the original proposal was more extravagant than the final plans, there is now a three-year contract that will bring different phases of seasonal amenities to the plaza. 

The first phase will see a beer garden, ice-skating path, and up to 50 holiday vending stalls along Cambridge Street, beginning construction at the end of October. 

The area will officially open to the public on the Friday after Thanksgiving and will remain open until the end of February, but some vendors will close after New Years Eve. 

Operated by Boston Garden Development Corp, plans for the space include incorporating special events and programs on the plaza as well. 

Two of the features of the original proposal however, are no longer included in the plans due to logistical and structural issues. These included an iconic observation wheel and a full-service restaurant. 

Although these are not included in the plans for the next year, they still remain possibilities for the future of the site. 

This is just the first step for the site, which city officials hope will become a successful hub in the city that will continue to evolve. 

The ice skating rink will be open to youth hockey games and corporate events as well as the public. The vendor shops will be a mix of local and national companies selling everything from food to jewelry. 

Check back for more on the development of this new and exciting community space!

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Boston is Among the Next Big Cities for Cycling

Boston Cylcing

Cycling is the latest craze to hit the country and has become more than just a fitness trend, but a way of commuting and touring cities worldwide. 

There was a 46% increase in the number of people cycling to work between 2005 and 2013, according to the League of American Bicyclists and this number has only increased since. 

This trend is changing cities that originally hadn't catered to cyclists and Boston is at the top of the list of the next top biking cities in the country. 

The analysis for these findings by Realtor.com came from calculating the growth in bicycle commuting up to 2014, recent planned construction on protected bike lanes and cities with growing bike share programs.

Boston came in just behind Oakland with 2.4% of bike commuters in 2014, almost doubling from 4 years earlier. 

What put us on the top of the list, despite winding streets and notorious traffic was the addition of protected bike lanes improving navigation for local cyclists. 

So far three long protected bike lanes have been completed and a master plan is in place for 200 miles of protected bike paths by 2018. 

Hubway now has more than 1,600 bikes available and there are a number of bike clubs throughout the city. 

The scenic 16-mile loop esplanade around the Charles River is a major plus as well. 

Looking for a home where you can commute on your bike? Contact us today for expert advice. 

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Boston's Top Furniture Stores

Furniture stores

Once you've found your new home in Boston it is essential to outfit it with the best furniture to fit your space and price point. 

Curbed put together the top Boston furniture stores to suit every taste and budget. Ranging from discount hot-spots to high-end boutiques, there's a huge selection in the city. 

1- Hudson Boston, 12 Union Park Street

This is a cool blend of tradition style and a hip California vibe. Pieces range from vintage items to more contemporary furniture. 

2- Circle Furniture, 31 St James Ave

These pieces are usually small. mobile and very contemporary, perfect for fitting through narrow hallways and staircases. 

3- Crate & Barrel, 777 Boylston Street

This popular chain is on the pricier end, but offers everything you need to outfit any room in your apartment as well as everything you need to make a very functional kitchen. 

4- Boston Bed Company, 1113 Commonwealth Ave

This one stop shop for everything sleep-related provides a great selection of beds, futons and mattresses. Definitely a great place to hunt for a deal. 

5- Garage Sale, 53 Waltham Street

This consignment store has an ever-changing range of inventory, perfect for when you don't know exactly what you want or if you're searching for something unique. 

6- Montage, 75 Arlington Street

This high-end store has been around for a while and focuses on very modern, luxury pieces. 

7- Lekker Home, 1313 Washington Street

With a Dutch founder this store has a specific European vibe specializing in a range of modern designs and showcasing new brands. 

8- Good, 133 Charles Street

As well as furniture you can find a whole range of other items at Good. The unique and decorative pieces are a perfect addition for adding a special touch to your home. 

9- West Elm, 160 Brookline Ave

The classic chain has a huge range of more affordable options and accessories. Many of the items are geared toward smaller spaces and high quality pieces. 

10- BD's Discount, 282 Border Street

This discount shop is large and is a great place for supplies and necessary household items. 

11- Room & Board, 375 Newbury Street

This store offers a huge variety of options, across five levels you're bound to find everything you need to outfit your home. 

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Thoughts & Market Insights from the Experts

How to Update Your Home For Fall - 09.29.2016

  Fall is upon us and there's no better way to prepare your home for the colder season than by incorporating some small touches and experimenting with new [...]
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Exciting Condo Development Proposed for East Boston - 09.27.2016

Plans for a new East Boston development hoping to revitalize an underutilized section of Border Street have been proposed by City Realty [...]
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