This Dorchester condo, that looks so good, is one of many Massachusetts flips.

This Dorchester condo, that looks so good, is one of many Massachusetts flips.

For my featured column in Curbed this week, I interviewed several of the most active and successful flippers in the area, the people who can find deals, buy low, renovate in a jiffy, and sell high fast. What does it take succeed as an active flipper? What are the types of homes flippers won’t buy? How many deals do you have to do a year to be among the most active? Find out this and more: check out my featured column!

If you’re worried about sharing your home with the supernatural, you might want to check out The site is the brainchild of a homebuyer who had purchased a home where unbeknownst to him someone had died. He thought the death in the home should have been part of a disclosure in the transaction, but later found out that in most states such a disclosure wasn’t required. Whether a death in your dream home creeps you out or not, the financial ramifications of such an event can be scary. DiedInHouse references an AOL article which says that “stigmatized” homes can trade at resale for a 10-25% discount. For a nominal fee, DiedInHouse reviews more than 118 million records, mostly from 1990 to present, to see if someone had died in a home. The site doesn’t claim to be deadly accurate, but upon request did send me six reports of homes in Massachusetts in which their database had found deaths. 

Related: Neighborhood Ratings Site Sparks Controversy


 And the five nominees for best real estate scene in a movie or a television show are….

#5 – Step Brothers – Will Ferrell + Anything = Hilarity, so when Will Ferrell and his step brother John C. Reilly scheme to sabotage the marketing of their parents home, it’s hilarious.

 (To see the other four, click “Continue reading”)

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In my featured column in Curbed on February 5th, I wrote about what many of Boston’s most successful landlords and most active developers said at Bisnow’s Annual Boston Multifamily Summit.

I don’t think I spent enough time on Harold Brown, the owner of The Hamilton Company, who has 60 years in the business, 5,200 apartments and two million square feet of commercial space. He is the most outspoken member of the panels and never fails to entertain. That’s why he’s worth the price of admission. 

The Boston investor who's comments and insights are worth the price of admission.

The Boston investor whose comments and insights are worth the price of admission.

Here’s a couple of more quotes from him:

1) “I used to be called a mega-landlord or tycoon. Now they refer to me as an octogenarian.”

2) “Also micro units, I think that is the biggest joke that I have ever heard in my life….Who is going to go in to a  studio where the toilet is in the shower stall for $3000 a month when they can rent a studio from us for $16-1700…. So I think people that got micro units better start thinking about combining them for bigger units. That’s my forecast.”

Continue reading »

Boston Magazine's January issue features my  article on Boston's most notorious landlord, "the man who made a fortune renting out the student ghetto."

Boston Magazine’s January issue features my article on Boston’s most notorious landlord, “the man who made a fortune renting out the student ghetto.”

Don’t miss my article in this month’s Boston Magazine, “Lord of the Sties.” The article profiles Boston’s most notorious landlord, “the man who made a fortune renting out the student ghetto.”

Is Anwar Faisal “the subject of undue focus” as his attorney asserted at the September 12th hearing I attended, or is it a public service to write about what is happening in the many buildings he owns in and about Boston, as one caller told me after the article published. Decide for yourself: Get Boston Magazine today or click the link.  

Elder statesman of the Greater Boston market continue to flex their real estate muscles.

Elder statesman of the Greater Boston market continue to flex their real estate muscles.

My December column in Banker and Tradesman focused on several older Boston real estate investors (Ed Zuker, Don Chiofaro, Franklin Simon and David Zussman) who are apparently drinking from the Fountain of Youth. The last paragraph of the column was reserved for  Harold Brown, 89, who can still identify, finance and close on a real estate investment opportunity in the time it takes a Millennial to find the remote control. Email me for a copy of the column. 

The real estate news menu typically only has two things on it: A story about an interesting home that has recently come for sale or a report from the Association of Realtors as to current market conditions. If you want a little variety in your real estate news diet–especially if you are curious, passionate, or absorbed by the market or your own real estate goals—consider trying the following dishes. 


Get CONTEXT, before you buy or sell.

This FREE, snack-sized, ebook is an excellent reference for Greater Boston condominium buyers and sellers. Not only do the neighborhood profiles found in CONTEXT make it easy to see how a specific condominium compares to other condominiums typically sold in a neighborhood, CONTEXT also clearly shows how nine of the most important and most valuable Greater Boston condominium neighborhoods compare on 17 different metrics. Get CONTEXT, before you buy or sell


Is Now a Good Time To Buy Or Sell? Find out here.

Is Now a Good Time To Buy Or Sell? Find out here.

Inside the Condominium Market is a FREE dinner time presentation with a tapas-style approach covering a wide variety of the best and most frequently asked real estate questions, such as, Is Now a Good Time to Buy Or Sell,  how has the market changed, and what’s the best way to get what I want in real estate. Presenters of this real estate information feast include an agent, an attorney, and a loan officer. To go to the registration page, click.


Have you considered buying a Greater Boston condominium or multifamily and renting it out?

Five Benefits is a great starting point for folks who have distinct real estate tastes, namely that they are thinking about buying a Greater Boston condo or multifamily and renting it out. This educational presentation will show how a simple real estate investment has many benefits and numerous returns on investment. Some may equate the knowledge gained to a wine tasting symposium, in that attendees of Five Benefits will leave with a sophisticated understanding of real estate investment process and benefits. Space is limited. To go to registration page

What’s the surcharge you are paying for real estate safety?

My featured column in Curbed focused on the decisions people make to be safe in real estate.

They choose amenities such as safer neighborhoods, upper floors, doorman buildings and long term fixed-rate mortgages.

What are the costs associated with safety?

Check out my column and find out!


In real estate, there are costs associated with hitting the panic button. What are the costs?


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Check out my post in the South End Patch.

It compares today’s sparse condo inventory to the inventory of recent year’s past.

You might be surprised of how many days of inventory the South End’s condo market has compared to a typical seller’s market.

Unfortunately, March's South End condo inventory, did not come in like a lion.

Unfortunately, March’s South End condo inventory, did not come in like a lion.

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The Town of Brookline recently assessed the house of Red Sox majority partner, John Henry, at $19,485,200. The new valuation represents an increase of more than $6 million over the house’s valuation by assessors a year earlier and more than $10 million from two years ago. The increases in valuation resulted because the Cottage Street home was previously under construction.  A recent call to the Brookline Assessor’s office, however, confirmed the home is now assessed as 100% complete.

The house is brand-new, ground-up construction, containing the largest amount of living space of any Brookline home, and of course it features many luxury finishes. Yet my analysis of public records show it as only the second most valuable home in Brookline Whose home came in first? The Yankees…just kidding. The highest valued house according to Brookline assessors was Reebok founder Paul Fireman’s $21 million-assessed abode. As Henry’s house is now complete, it is unlikely that even a change in management would cause it to finish first in assessed value.

Below are couple of details about the home:

Bedrooms: 6

Bathrooms: 9 full, 6 half

Exterior: Stone

Fuel Type: Gas

Living Area: 22,758 square feet.

Lot Size: 2.61 Acres

Garage Size;  1,534 square feet.

Real Estate Taxes for 2013: $227,003
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