Can Millennials Afford Homes?

Millennials are in quite a different position than their parents and grandparents were when it comes to the prospect of buying a home. A recent report showed that in 1975, it took 9 years for someone earning the median salary to save up for a 20% down payment on a home (assuming they saved 5% of their income per year) and now it takes 14 years. This change is even more extreme in well-known cities across the US - 43 years in Los Angeles, 40 years in San Francisco, 36 years in New York, and 30 years in Boston. There are many reasons why this is the case such as a scarcity of housing and restrictive zoning laws. To read more, check out this article that summarizes Unisom’s report about the increasing gap between income and real estate prices.

Read More
The Problem with Boston's Zoning Approval Process

If you ask any developer in Boston what they think of the zoning approval process, I would guess that one of their first comments would be about how “political” it can be. A recent report by researcher Amy Dain looked at the zoning laws of 100 communities around Boston and found that “over a two-year period from 2015 to 2017, only 14% of multifamily units in the greater Boston communities Dain studied were permitted "by right".” That means the other 86% of projects were subject to the discretion of zoning boards - zoning boards that are often influenced by local politics. For a quick overview of the report’s findings, check out this article. For the full report, click here.

Read More
A Guide to Pre-Fab Building

There is a lot to consider when building a home and one of the first questions you might ask is whether to build directly on-site or pre-fab. Of course there are pros and cons to both options and if you are not in the home building business yourself, it might seem like an even more daunting decision. While a bit lengthy, this article does a great job of going through the decision making process and what to do if you ultimately want to buy a pre-fab home.

Read More
Does Rent Control Work?

The thought of rent control often evokes strong emotional reactions regardless of whether you support or oppose it. Anyone who has ever rented a home can relate to the feeling of disappointment (or even frustration and anger) when you receive notification of an impending rent increase. Rent control is often discussed in politics as a social issue. But when you take a step back and look at the bigger picture, there are many economic consequences when rent control is implemented and/or ceased, many of which end up hurting the very people that rent control was intended to help. This Freakonomics episode discusses exactly why rent control does not work and we highly recommend you take a listen.

Read More
A Good Month for Home Building

After a few down months at the start of 2019, the construction of housing finally saw an uptick in April. Housing starts rose 5.7% across the country and “building in the Northeast increased at the fastest pace in nearly two years.” Take a read through this article for more commentary on these statistics.

Read More
Where Are First-Time Homeowners Buying in Boston?

Many are saying that there already is and will continue to be a wave of first-time homeowners looking to plant some roots in Boston. The economy is diverse and let’s face it, who wouldn’t want to live in the city of champions? But a bustling economy comes with a competitive real estate market and homes are often selling above the asking price. Check out this article to see what neighborhoods in and around Boston first-time homeowners are looking to buy.

Read More
Tension in Eastie - Can It Be Resolved?

Every developer in Boston knows what a hot market Eastie has become in the past five or so years. Every developer in Boston also knows that this development has been met with a lot of pushback from Eastie locals. But is that pushback merited? This article in Boston Magazine provides some great insight into the dynamics between locals, developers, and millennials and explains why a little understanding and appreciation of Eastie’s past might go a long way in bringing everyone together.

Read More
2019 Home Design Trends

With 2019 already well underway, we are taking a moment to get acquainted with some of the design trends we are seeing this year. From paint colors to kitchen design to tile options, there are a lot of decisions to be made when designing a home. Here are what the experts we like to follow are saying about 2019 design trends…

Scout & Nimble: Interior Design Trends of 2019

Emily Henderson: Kitchen Trends for 2019

Decor Aid: 20 Home Design Trends for 2019

Elle Decor: Top Color Trends of 2019

Read More
Solutions to Boston's Housing Shortage

As many people living in and around Boston are aware, there just doesn’t seem to be enough housing to accommodate all the professionals, students, families, and longtime locals that live here. While it’s easy for all of us to get frustrated with increasing costs of housing and the seemingly shortage of it, we should all take a second to read what local officials, zoning boards, developers, activists, and private institutions are already doing to address this issue. This article summarizes a few solutions already underway.

Read More
The Low-Down on Pre-Fab Homes

With escalating costs associated with building on-site, we have decided to work with a modular home builder for our project in Chelsea, MA. But before making this decision, we spent a lot of time researching the pros and cons of shifting from on-site construction to this pre-fab option.

The US is far behind other countries in adopting this way of building, partly due to the stigma associated with “pre-fab” homes. However, the time and cost savings far outweigh this drawback. Take a look at this article to get the low-down on the various types of pre-fab homes and the benefits of each.

Read More
Cap Rates on the Rise

For all of my fellow real estate investors out there, you have probably noticed the same frustrating trend that I have with properties being marketed over the last few years. Every day, properties have been offered to the market with incredibly low cap rates and no potential for upside except unpredictable, hypothetical appreciation. For the majority of these properties it is impossible to make the numbers work for anyone other than large institutional investors or UHNWI looking to park money. In March of this year, CBRE and other real estate advisory firms were predicting that in 2018 we would begin to see a rise in Cap Rates.

Read More
Airbnb for Investors – Is it Better Than the Traditional Rental Model?

Airbnb is a remarkable success story, what started in 2007 with a few guys renting out air mattresses and serving breakfast to guests in their San Francisco apartment, has now grown into a $31 Billion tech company. Thanks to Airbnb, home sharing has become a widely accepted platform with many of its users opting to stay in an “Airbnb” over hotels when traveling. People enjoy the ability to have more space, a place to cook and maybe do laundry as well as gain a more local experience of being immersed in a neighborhood.

Read More
Top 5 Podcasts all Real Estate Investors Should Listen To

One of the most important aspects that all real estate investors and entrepreneurs should focus on is consistent improvement. One of the most surefire ways to guarantee consistent improvement is to be constantly learning new things.  Believe it or not, some of the most accessible and in-depth knowledge on real estate investing can be consumed via podcasts. While you may find it difficult to find time to read, the beauty of podcasts is that they are versatile. You can easily turn on a podcast during your morning commute, while you’re on the treadmill at the gym or when you’re simply relaxing on the couch. Next time you have some free time to kill, consider listening to one of the podcasts below:

Read More
5 Tips for Performing Due Diligence on a Small Scale Investment Property

Regardless of how you got started, congratulations on taking the giant leap into becoming a real estate investor! However, its critical not to get too excited yet as you are about to embark on the most important part of buying an investment property; performing the due diligence.  Due diligence can be easily summed up as “doing your homework” on the property. During this process, you’ll want to investigate and inspect all the vital information that pertains to the property.

Read More
How To Evaluate a Market for Real Estate Investing

We’ve all heard that cliché saying in real estate, “location, location, location”. Despite it being over-used and often times written in all capitals on corny listing sheets, location is truly one of the most important components to real estate. Just as you would evaluate the numbers of an investment property, you must also evaluate the economics and demographics within the subject market itself. This blog article will outline some of the most important characteristics of choosing a market, and consider what makes a market desirable or undesirable for investors.

Read More
Real Estate or the Stock Market? - 3 Things to Consider

In our recent blog article, we considered the differences between Active Vs. Passive real estate investing and how the strategies offered different options for investors. However, another question to ask; is investing in real estate better than investing in more traditional investments such as stocks, bonds, or mutual funds?

Read More