Heritage on the Garden

One of my favorite buildings in the neighborhood is Heritage on the Garden.  It’s so prominent, and classic looking.  I’m always changing my mind about what I want in my next home.  Should I scoop something bigger up in the Back Bay?  Buy a house in Cambridge?  Keep my apartment (it’s actually a condo but I hate the word condo) and buy a house in New Hampshire?  All of the above?  Although, I know I wouldn't mind moving into this place at all.  It’s off the market.  I don’t even think it was on the market for a week!  It was listed for $1,250,000 by Tracy Campion.  It’s a two-story one bed, one and a half bath with outdoor space on both levels.  Enough of my words, here it is!

You walk into a little hallway with the staircase and a hidden half bath that leads to the living room.  See outdoor space?  Kitchen to the right.

It's not great, but it's nice enough.  Dishwasher is a huge plus.

I'd ditch the mural.

Nice big staircase for a Back Bay 1 bed.

In-unit laundry.

Did someone say built-ins?

More storage AND outdoor space off the bedroom.

Master bathroom isn't bad. 

So you see why I like this place so much?

Boston's Hidden Gem: Eastie

Jesse Greenstein

If East Boston was good enough for the Kennedy’s back in the 1900s, then it is definitely good enough for you and me! 

I live in a neighborhood that does not get a lot of attention from the average Bostonian, and for that I am grateful. Traffic is minimal, real estate is affordable, goods and services are less expensive, and the people are hardworking and humble.  If you’re from Boston and have only been to East Boston to utilize the airport, then come back and let me be your guide, and let me show you around. To most people who live in the greater Boston area, East Boston is just where the airport is, or where Santarpio’s is…. If you feel that way, then you are in for a pleasant surprise! 

 There is a hell of a lot more than just an airport out here…

 We have libraries, schools, marinas, breweries, post offices, police and fire departments, parks, banks, smoke shops, bars, gyms, pool halls, bowling alleys, playgrounds, soccer fields, basketball courts, and greenways. We have some of the best authentic and interesting restaurants in town. We have mom and pop shops, yacht clubs, waterfront views, medical and legal offices, small businesses, big businesses, and families. The Eastie community is very strong – whether you come from Back Bay or El Salvador, you can make this quaint part of Boston your new home with ease.  There are busses, trains, and boats to take you all around town, and beyond, if you don’t want to walk or drive to other parts of the city.

 I love it here -- we love it here -- and as soon as I have enough money saved up, I am going to invest it in this neighborhood’s real estate market. Currently I am renting in Maverick Square/ Jeffries Point – a 4 minute walk to the Maverick Blue Line T Station.  However, I am a value investor – I always have been – and I am a real estate agent and entrepreneur. Every day I think to myself how important it is to invest early before it is too late. This time next year, or even by the time the summer rolls around, it might be too late to invest in East Boston – at least in the Jeffries Point and Maverick Square regions. The fact that people are already talking about Eastie makes me think the rush has already begun, but Rome was not built in a day, and neither was East Boston.  Get in early and get in often! 

The two attributes that shine through every time I am in East Boston are LOCATION and VALUE. Other neighborhoods are contenders regarding value, like Allston, Brighton and JP, but those neighborhoods certainly do not share the LOCATION factor that East Boston has, and that is evident when you go make the trip from Eastie to Downtown in less than 10 minutes. 

In the residential real estate market we talk a lot about Back Bay, Downtown/Midtown, The North and South Ends, Seaport, Waterfront, and occasionally the Fenway. We do not discuss East Boston, and I plan on being the man to change that – even though I like my quiet, pleasant, fulfilling neighborhood the way it is, I know that this is the new land of opportunity – the new frontier – and I want to share that with you, your friends, and your family. 

The average price of Single Family, Condo, and Multi-Family in East Boston (11/28/2016):

  • Single Family Home: $459,267.00  3 on the market ranging from $338,000 - $649,900
    • Avg Price/Square Foot: $309
  • Condominium: $463,934.00  32 on the market ranging from $299,900 - $850,000
    • Avg Price/Square Foot: $475
  • Multi-Family Home: $1,172,213.00  8 on the market ranging from $549,900 - $3,300,000
    • Avg Price/Square Foot: $310

The Average price of a 1, 2, and 3 Bedroom Rental in East Boston (11/28/2016):

1 Bedroom: $1,839  10 active listings, ranging from $1,500 - $2,300

2 Bedroom: $2,281  16 active listings, ranging from $1,500 - $3,800

3 Bedroom: $2,325  7 active listings, ranging from $1,950 - $3,025

BELOW you will find a list of great things to do in EAST BOSTON

Restaurants:

  • Top 5
  1. Rino’s Place
  2. Mehak Halal
  3. Italian Express
  4. Cactus Mexican Grill
  5. Saigon Hut
  • Italian
    • Rino’s Place
    • Meridian Food Market
    • Italian Express
    • Santarpio’s
    • D’Parma
  • Middle Eastern
    • Mehak Halal
  • American
    • Roy’s Cold Cuts
    • Kelley Square Pub
    • Maverick Marketplace 
  • Latin
    • Cactus Mexican Grill
    • Angela’s Café
    • La Hacienda
    • Rincon Limeno
  • Asian
    • Saigon Hut
    • Little Asia
    • Hong Kong Harbor
  • Other
    • KO Pies (Australian – like chicken pot pies, but more exciting etc.)
    • Donna’s Restaurant (Breakfast + Lunch, Orient Heights)

Nightlife/Bars/Entertainment

  • Eddie C’s
  • Kelley Square Pub
  • Maverick Marketplace
  • Ecco Lounge Boston
  • Jeveli’s
  • Central Park Lanes BOWLING CENTER
  • El Diamante – billiards/pool hall
  • Trivia, Karaoke, Sports – Maverick Marketplace
  • Tufts Tobacco Smoke Shop and Lounge (very rare these days, Orient Heights)
  • Parks, Soccer Fields, Walks, Boats
  • Brewery Tour at Downeast Cider 
  • Pockets Billiard Club (Orient Heights)
  • East Boston Yacht Club + Jeffries Point Yacht Club 
  • Food, Food, Food
  • Beaches

TRANSPORTATION 

Water Taxis

The T

  • Maverick Station
  • Airport Station
  • Wood Island Station
  • Orient Heights Station
  • Suffolk Downs Station

The Bus

  • 110, 111, 112, 114, 116, 117, 120, 712, 713

 

Jesse Greenstein

jgreenstein@otisahearn.com

@nightstandmanagement

ZeroEnergy Design's Net Positive Farmhouse

 

 

I believe in God, only I spell it Nature.
— Frank Lloyd Wright

So yesterday, just like any other day, I found myself perusing the World Wide Web.  I like to just search things, browse, read, listen, shop.  Well yesterday I was searching for sustainable buildings made by Boston based architects.  I don’t know if you know this, but Boston is a hub for Architects.  They’re everywhere!  In fact, I was almost one of them.  I moved to Boston in 2008 to start my college education at Boston Architectural College.  Didn’t work out.

In my browsing, I came across ZeroEnergy Design’s Net Positive Energy Lincoln Farmhouse.  Not only does this house look great, it is great.  Great for everyone inside and out.  To me, it has this Scandinavian minimalist thing going on.  Remember, I’m coming from an antique and cluttered American perspective.  Rugs on rugs on rugs, but not here.

Ok, there are a couple rugs.  But they're not layered!

Ok, there are a couple rugs.  But they're not layered!

Let’s get down to brass tacks.  Let me pin up why this place is so cool (or not!).  The first thing that caught my attention, is that the house is totally electric.  I read that and was like, “wait what that’s so dirty and chaotic.”  But I got over it quickly.  Throw a couple Tachyon Disks over the fuse box and you should be good to go!  

Being 100% electric isn’t really an issue, because this house uses 70% less energy than a new home built to standard code.  Have you yet deduced why this house is called the “Net Positive Energy” farmhouse?  Because it produces 42% more electricity than it consumes!  I’m wondering if feeding back into the grid, how long this house will take to pay for itself.

One of the reasons this house is so efficient, is that it’s sealed.  You could probably submerge this thing.  Now that I think about it, this place could be the next Noah’s Ark.  Sealed and self sufficient.  I’m not going to get into the details of testing how air tight a building is, but it’s called the Blower Door method and is measured in ACH50, Air Changed per Hour at 50 Pascals.  The 2012 International Conservation Code set 3 ACH50 as the a good target.  This house is one of the tightest in the country at .27 ACH50.  In the case of losing power in the winter, and therefore heat, the house is so well insulated that it will take several days for the house to dip to 60 degrees.  There is one part of this house that’s outside the insulated envelope.  The root cellar!  Yeah, you heard me.  This place has a root cellar!

HVAC is not my area of expertise.  But this place has an “air source heat pump and energy recovery ventilator” and a “heat pump hot water heater.”  The kitchen appliances are conventional electric and Energy Star rated.  A monitoring system is in place, so the me owners can monitor their energy consumption.  The roof is covered with solar panels producing 13.8kW of power.  This house is even equipped to charge an electric car!

Since this is a farmhouse, it’s obligated to at least have a garden.  Well this place collects rain water for later use on landscaping and vegetable gardens!  On the whole, this house uses 60% less water than the federal standard.  I just hope this house isn’t connected to municipal water.  

I’m a huge fan of this house.  There was a lot of thought and attention put into it, as well as great craftsmanship with an eye for sustainability.  I think this is a great example of what we can do.  Let’s give credit where credit is due!

Architecture and Mechanical Design: ZeroEnergy Design

Construction:  Thoughtforms

Landscape Design: Soren Deniord Design Studio

Lighting Design: Lucia Lighting Design

Luxury as Time

Most of us have no sympathy with the rich idler who spends his life in pleasure without ever doing any work. But even he fulfills a function in the life of the social organism. He sets an example of luxury that awakens in the multitude a consciousness of new needs and gives industry the incentive to fulfill them.
— Ludwig von Miss
Rolex Air King, looks good for having logged over 2500 days of wear!

Rolex Air King, looks good for having logged over 2500 days of wear!

 

   Time is the only real luxury. When I buy an item or an experience, I'm essentially paying for time. Whether it be time spent learning or perfecting a craft, or the time it took to manufacture the item or the time to grow or make the components. Green bell peppers are cheaper than red, because they aren't ripe and there's a faster turnover. I don't eat green bell peppers, they aren't ripe!  I could make an amazing hand crafted watch. But I would have to learn how to mine, mold metal, and take several lessons in horology. I don't want to do that, but I still want a quality watch. So I outsource.  I trade my time to someone else for, in most cases, money.  Then I trade the money I received to someone else for their time. That can be applied to nearly every purchase I make. As I grow and learn, I invest time in my life and perfect better the things I put my attention to, making my time more valuable. And as I grow I have less time, also increasing its value. Baby cashmere has a greater value because it can only be collected once in a goat's lifetime, and is only a limited supply. With no time, there is no luxury.  I think there's an unlimited amount of money (according to the Federal Reserve there is), so it's in my favor to look to others who have put in the time to understand the things I have yet to understand.  

    Unless you're Eckhart Tolle, which would mean, according to the transitive property, that luxury is an illusion.  I have to agree with him, luxury is just as illusory as time.  Being present in the moment is the ultimate luxury, supersedes time, and can't be bought.  Luxury is not about having stuff, it's about having time.  When you're totally in the moment, there is no time.  When I'm doing something I love, and am totally in the flow, I can accomplish so much in so little time, or totally get lost in the day and feel like it passed in the blink of an eye.  But if you're having fun it doesn't matter, there's no better way to spend time than doing things you enjoy.

   Back to materialism for a second, because I want to connect my watch to luxury and to time.  It was a gift for my 18th birthday.  And you know what they say about gifts, turning down a gift is denying yourself love.  I've worn it every day since I got it, except that one time the pin fell out of the band.  That means it's spent 2,529 days on my wrist.  I swim with it, I shower with it, I change my oil with it, rock climb.  And it's still going strong!  I have only spent one day without it.  To me, that's a form of luxury.  It's able to withstand the test of time, and 20w50.  It also serves as a representation of my parents, the gift givers.  I look at it, and am reminded about all that they've done for me.

    Every once in a while I'm questioned why I would want metal strapped around my wrist.  Believe it or not, it's not because I want to know what time it is.  If I wanted to know the time, I would not look at a Rolex (that picture was actually taken at 6:12).  I think generally those that ask, think that it harnesses energy on my wrist that I might not want.  One woman said how she can't wear her watch because it makes her feel terrible.  I'm thinking, why do you have such a negative association with your watch?  I have more say than my watch, and I say it only harnesses the things I want!  While it may look like a piece of 904L stainless steel strapped to my wrist, it's much more than that.  It's filled with gold nuts (maybe even sprouted?), and gemstones like rubies, sapphires and diamonds.  They are not there to make the watch expensive, they're there because they serve a purpose.  They are more durable than metal, and significantly reduce friction, increasing the lifespan.  So sitting on my wrist is hundreds of years of watch development, using traditional and modern technologies, made with the best ingredients.   I know people that carry crystals in their pocket.  I carry them on my wrist.

 

 

Thank you for reading!