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BPDA Approves 45 Unit Building for Jamaica Plain

Cervone Deegan & Associates, your real estate experts, is excited to share that the BPDA has approved an $18 million project at 3353 Washington Street. The five-story building will be a mixed use project spread out over 45,286 square feet. Predominantly residential, there will be 45 rental units along with 2,000 square feet of ground floor retail space that will be added to the collection of Jamaica Plain real estate.

Eight of the 45 units will be reserved as affordable units. Six of the eight units will be available for residents earning 50% of the annual median income with the other two for those earning 70% of the annual median income.

The development is deemed a transit-oriented project as it is located close to the Green Street MBTA station. Despite this classification, there will still be 24 designated parking spaces allotted for building residents along with a plethora of bike storage space.

In April of 2016 the project was first introduced to the neighborhood with many sharing negative sentiments about the scope of the project. It was noted that nearby residents were not satisfied with some aspects and had felt that the developer was merely doing the bare minimum to address community benefits and affordable housing needs. At the meeting estimates for market-rate rents were provided by the developer. These rates were reported at $1,800 to $2,500 per month for one bedrooms, $2,200 to $2,875 per month for two bedrooms and $3,500 to $4,000 per month for a three bedroom unit.


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Five Great Jamaica Plain Restaurants

Cervone Deegan & Associates is your Jamaica Plain resource. Along with providing you with complete real estate services, we also love to highlight some of the best neighborhood services. According to Zagat’s reviews, here are some of the best restaurants in Jamaica Plain.

Ten Tables – Located at 597 Centre Street in Jamaica Plain, Ten Tables is always a hot spot. The intimate restaurant offers creative American cuisine using locally sourced ingredients. Carefully prepared entrees in a tiny kitchen, Ten Tables takes marries an exceptional wine list to a menu of reasonably priced food. The end result is an ideal date place.

The Haven – Located at 2 Perkins Street in Jamaica Plain, The Haven has something for all including fabulous burgers and brunch. This Scottish establishment has a publike atmosphere with an honest menu and a wonderful staff. Great live music adds to the vibe that fulfills a niche in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood.

Tres Gatos – Located at 470 Centre Street in Jamaica Plain you will find Tres Gatos. This Spanish tapas style eatery makes small bites feel big. The cozy atmosphere welcomes you with super-friendly staff from the dining room to the outdoor patio.

Il Panino Cafe and Grill – If you are on-the-go then Il Panino Cafe and Grill is your spot. Located at 286 Centre Street, this casual cafe offers sandwiches and dishes that are a nod to the North End’s Tattoria Il Panino. Counter service and numerous grab-and-go are there for your enjoyment.

El Oriental De Cuba – Located at 416 Centre Street, El Oriental De Cuba offers Cuban and Caribbean dishes that are delicately cooked. The quick and attentive staff makes you feel right at home in the very comfortable atmosphere. A no reservation policy can at times create a line as patrons await the experience.

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Going Green Adds Value to Your Home

Cervone Deegan & Associates is pleased to share that a recent study conducted by national appraisal experts has stated that adding “green” features to your home can in fact result in a buyer paying a premium for your home. Updating your home with select energy efficient systems, new windows and other green improvements can show a return by a healthy sale price.

The study compared “high performance” energy and resource conserving homes against similar homes in the area that did not have any green improvements over a two year period. Through the study they calculated the additional increments that buyers were willing to pay for the green features and found they ranged between $10,000 and $53,000 or an average of 3.46%. In some cases premiums were as high as 6 or 7% when homes featured solar panels that cut electricity costs.

According to the study, green features being added into new construction is a growing trend. Homes that are Energy Star rated or LEED certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) are on the rise. LEED certification requires an evaluation that the dwelling meets high energy efficiency and resource conservation standards set by the United States Green Building Council. Energy Star homes must meet energy-savings standards set forth by the EPA.

It has been noted that once buyers learn about certifications and the cost savings with energy efficiency, they can be swayed into paying a premium for the benefit. Tanya Topolewski, a green developer who rehabbed two homes selected in the study shares “The vast majority of people who come to see our houses are just interested in real estate,” she said in an interview. But once they see the advantages of buying a home with extraordinary energy efficiency, fresh air 24/7 and a positive environmental impact, “it’s kind of a no-brainer.”

To make a home truly high performance in energy savings and converting older construction can be more involved. This typically is not a do it yourself type of project.

One of the primary challenges at this point is to educate buyers on the programs and advantages. Some MLS networks feature search ability by green features but attachments should be allowed for this as not all are familiar with what each certification means.

The takeaway for sellers is to be sure they are notifying Cervone Deegan & Associates of all green features so that we can prominently promoting them in the marketing of their home otherwise they are leaving money on the table. The reality is that paying a modest premium for a green home can probably save you substantially over a period of years in energy costs and a healthier place to live.

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Making Your Condo Building Eco-Friendly

As your “green” Realtors, Cervone Deegan & Associates is always interested in lessening our carbon footprint and being as environmentally friendly as possible. From reducing, reusing and recycling at home to purchasing a fuel efficient or hybrid vehicle to get you from point A to point B, there are many ways to strive to be green. However, what do you do if you are living in an older building with a more antiquated infrastructure? The good news is there are ways to bring your building out of the red and into the green.

Many condo associations today are implementing eco-friendly features when they are first being built. We have seen this locally in South Boston’s Macallen building with its Gold LEED Certification as well as at The Clarendon with a Silver LEED Certification. Meanwhile, some older buildings are considering going green as they retrofit their older structures. The trend is being seen in various parts of the country. Take for example Van Ness East, a Northwest Washington condo building that was built in 1964. They began by adding a roof garden and have since added solar paneling to assist with water heating and permeable pavers to help with minimizing runoff and promote natural drainage.

“This community has had a commitment to sustainability and reducing our carbon footprint for a long time,” said Patricia Russo, president of the Van Ness East Condo Association board. “We continue to look for more ways to make an impact. I am going to age in place here, and I want to live in a sustainable building,” Russo added.

Harry Richter, president of High Rise Consulting and manager of 4600 Connecticut Avenue NW, claims he “has reduced greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 8.8 passenger cars driven for a full year or 99,446-mile drive by an average car or 4,669 gallons of gasoline consumer or 44,277 pounds of coal burned or 96 barrels of oil consumed.”

Richter stated that he first began the initiative of energy savings of the 60 year old building back in 2010. The improvements made included installing solar panels on the roof, replacing laundry machines with energy star rated models as well as using energy saving bulbs. At first he shared that residents had concerns with aesthetics and costs for such improvements, yet that had gone away.

As select cities require buildings to share an annual report with the Department of Environment that includes their energy consumption, creating a strategy with efficient and environmentally friendly systems is win/win.

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When is the Right Time to Sell?

Cervone Deegan & Associates, your local real estate experts, know that people today do not typically live in the same home forever. Instead, the home you currently live in is most often a stepping stone as you closer to purchasing the home that you ultimately want to own. Many people today are maintaining their homes regularly while they keep an eye on the market to assess when the right time has come for them to sell and trade up. Here are some ideas to help you analyze when is the right time to move.

You have outgrown your home. Some homes are purchased for a specific reason during a particular time in your life. Sometimes one may move as they have a growing family and need a single family with more space in Jamaica Plain while others may wish to downsize to a condo in the Back Bay as the children have now gone off to college. Maybe a new job has provided you with a pay increase or it is now located too far where you want to shorten your daily commute. These are examples of clear signs that a move may make sense.

It is a seller’s market. A shift in the real estate market is one thing that always happens from time to time. Sometimes it is a buyers market and other times it is a seller’s. If it is a seller’s market and you can potentially capitalize on a large gain, it may be the right time to list your home and plan for a move.

Mortgage is paid. Once your mortgage is paid off after many years, every dollar that you get for it will be profit. Some will stay and enjoy living debt free while others may choose to sell their larger home and downsize into something less expensive and potentially pocket the profits.

High current interest rate. If you currently have a high interest rate and a refinance will not put you in a better position then it may be a time to sell. Current rates are at historic lows and the real estate market is strong. Even if you consider renting for a short time to rid yourself of the high rate it could be a wise alternative.