The 8 best coffee shops in Boston

According to a new study, Bostonian love their coffee shops. What are the best coffee shops in Boston?

Bostonians start drinking coffee really young: 15 percent of 2-year-olds have as much as 4 ounces each day! Although it might not be very healthy, it gives us an excuse to share our list of the best coffee shops in Boston!

Dwelltime

Dwelltime is a coffee bar & bake shop located in Cambridge. While Dwelltime is mainly an island-style coffee shop, they also serve sandwiches and salads. They also have a large brunch menu on the week-ends. Caution: Dwelltime does not permit the use of laptops at the tables during the weekends.

The Thinking Cup

Thinking Cup opened its doors in December 2010 and  is ideally located just steps from the Boston Common. It prides itself on serving exclusively “Stumptown Coffee”, known for being one of the world’s finest coffee beans. If you are not in the mood for coffee you will also find a rich variety of teas and pastries. Without a doubt The Thinking cup is one of the best coffee shops in Boston.

. best coffee shops in Boston the thinking cup

1369 Coffee House

best coffee shops in Boston 1369 coffee house

1369 Coffee House is one of the most renowned and award winning coffee shop in the Boston area. With two locations in Inman and Central Square, the 1369 Coffee House prides itself on its comfortable and inviting atmosphere. Tea-drinkers are also welcome here as this coffee shop sells more than 25 exotic loose leaf teas and a house-made chai (black tea, spices, and honey).

Wired Puppy

This European-style espresso café carries only organic, direct trade specialty coffees and teas, all very certified and all very kosher. The top-dog-fan-favorite is the Sweet Puppy Love blend, a slightly smoky medium/dark combo of Vienna, Italian, and French roasts. They also offer free WiFi and computer use, which is perfect for the students who don’t feel like carrying their laptops around Boston.

best coffee shops in Boston wired puppy

Diesel Café

best coffee shops in Boston diesel café

Started by two buddies (Tucker and Jennifer) in May of 1999 and located in Davis Square, Diesel Café was granted the 2011 Green Business of the Year Award by the Somerville Chamber of Commerce. Diesel café’s atmosphere is always hip and inviting as it is a gathering spot for many students.

Flour Bakery + Cafe

best coffee shops in Boston flour bakery

With two locations in Boston and one in Cambridge, Flour is the perfect destination for college students with a sweet tooth. Everything at Flour is homemade and delicious.

Render Coffee

Render Coffee is a cozy daytime gathering spot where artisanal coffee shares the menu with quiche, bagels & sandwiches.The place is known for having many amazing international grinds such as Baroida (Papua New Guinea), El Gavilán (Ecuador), or La Golondrina (Colombia).

Bloc 11

This coffee place is committed to maintaining the art and craft of artisanal coffee prepa­ra­tion. Their latte is especially amazing.The ambiance is very relaxing and hip and the staff is always great.


Tips to Deal With Bad Neighbors

Here are the best ways to deal with bad neighbors while being a good one.

Most neighbor disputes end up in court because of poor communication.

1. Get to know each other

You don’t need to be best friends with your neighbors. However it is necessary that you communicate on a regular basis with them to develop a mutual trust and understanding. Saying hi or asking them how they are doing could even be enough as issues are more likely to escalate among strangers than even casual acquaintances.

Tips to Deal With Bad Neighbors

2. Communicate before problem arise.

Once again communication is key. Your discomfort might be obvious to you, but if you haven’t told them, chances are your “bad neighbors” don’t even know they’re being a bother. A non-aggressive direct and honest phone call or conversation is the best way to avoid any problems.

3. Document the problem and write and report

If a problem does come up, document it. Write down times, dates, take pictures… It will come in handy if you need to explain the situation to your bad neighbor or the authorities. It also shows that you are organised and you will surely be taken very seriously.

5. See if anyone else will side with you

If you have other neighbors you might want to check with them if they are also experiencing issues with your “bad neighbors”. If they are, they are very likely to help you.If you’re part of a condo or homeowner’s association, be sure to discuss the problem  with them and see if they can resolve it more easily than you can.

6. Look for advice  online

Sites like Neighbors From Hell have message boards full of common issues and good advice,where people discuss their problems with bad neighbors. It is free to view and is full of common issues and good advice, but registering will cost $50 if you want to ask about a unique problem. If you just want to vent about your bad neighbors, try  AnnoyingNeighbors.com.

Tips to Deal With Bad Neighbors

7. Talk to a lawyer.

Tips to Deal With Bad Neighbors

If you’ve tried everything, you can consult a lawyer to have them write a letter threatening legal action. But be careful! it usually cost a few hundred dollars, but it may also throw gas on the fire. Make it a last resort.

8. Call the cops.

If you’ve tried to communicate with no success, involving the police is unfortunately the next step.  Explain the situation honestly and don’t forget to show your notes, pictures and reports. However you need to realize that they probably can’t do much unless the law is being broken.

9. Take it to small claims court.

This is much cheaper than a bigger lawsuit  because you can represent yourself. But you must be prepared. You need to be able to lay out the problem and provide evidence.

To put in in a nutshell, dealing with a bad neighbor or being a good one is all about communication.


Best apartment dogs

Living in an apartment doesn’t mean you are not allowed to own a dog! Take a look at our list of the best apartment dogs:

10. English Bulldog

best apartment dogs

 

 

 

 

 

 

English Bulldogs don’t like to move around much and most of them would rather sleep on the couch than go for a walk. Their medium size and their natural laziness make them one of the best apartment dogs!

9. Shih Tzu

best apartment dogs

Although Shih Tzus need a daily walk, they don’t mind living in an apartment. These dogs are fairly active indoors and will do okay without a yard.

8.Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Very friendly, low maintenance and easy going the Cavalier is an ideal apartment dog. Because this breed is very calm and small it won’t take up much space.

best apartment dogs

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. Great Dane

best apartment dogs

Yes. Despite their size,Great Danes can be great apartment dogs  as they are calm, friendly and quiet. They are not as high energy as other breeds, but despite their couch potato ways, daily exercise is important. 30 min of intense walk a day should be enough for this gentle giant.

6. Pugs

best apartment dogs

This breed has a lot going for it. It comes in a handy compact size (Pugs are 10 to 14 inches high and weigh 14 to 18 pounds) and it’s cool with just hanging out with you on couch. However Pugs need some daily exercise.

5. Chihuahua

If a breed can fit into your purse, it can fit into your apartment! Tipping the scales at 2 to 6 pounds, the Chihuahua won’t take up much room and is considered by many as one of the best apartment dogs. However be careful to train your Chihuahua as most of them bark a lot. They are intelligent and  fast learners so it shouldn’t be too problematic.

best apartment dogs

4.Pomeranian

Pomeranians are small enough to live in apartments or condos. However they are notoriously difficult to train and always full of energy! Even if they are good apartment dogs, they need their daily mind and body workout!

best apartment dogs

3.Chinese Crested

The Chinese Crested may not be the best looking dog but this little fella makes up for it by being a loving companion and a wonderful apartment-sized pup. Don’t want to do anything today? No problem! The Chinese Crested will lie in bed with you for hours.

best apartment dogs

2.Boston Terrier

This little gentleman makes any apartment or condo look good. But you’ll have to keep an eye out on him – sometimes, he can be too smart for his own good and that can lead to trouble. This breed tends to keep its barks to itself, so you won’t have to worry about neighbors complaining about the noise. And his energy level is pretty moderate, so a daily walk will suffice.

best apartment dogs

1. Yorkshire

best apartment dogs

Cute, cuddly and super compact  Yorkshire are  perfect apartment dogs. Really adaptable and friendly the Yorkie will be happy to curl up on your lap all day as long as it receives enough affection.

Finding an pet-friendly apartment is difficult but not impossible! Be sure to take a look at our tips to find pet-friendly apartments!


The Top 10 Ways to Spend St. Patrick’s Day in Boston

 Saint Patrick’s Day, March 17th, is an annually celebrated event that marks the death date of the patron saint of Ireland, St. Patrick. This holiday has been observed since the early seventeenth century and is certainly celebrated right here in Boston. Many Irish immigrated to the Eastern ports of America and Boston became home to a large Irish community. In Boston, St. Patrick’s Day brings out the Irish in all of us and the holiday is widely celebrated with lots of drinking, eating and partying!

We have compiled a list of the Top 10 Ways to Spend St. Patrick’s Day in Boston this year. Because the holiday falls on weekday, we will be celebrating throughout the weekend leading right up until the 17th!

 

1. SoutSt. Patrick's Dayh Boston parade

Did you know that South Boston St. Patrick’s Parade is the second largest parade in the country? Every year it is viewed by at least 600 000 persons and brings up to one million people to South Boston.

 

Even though this year the route will be shortened because of the snow, it is still Boston’s traditional and historical way of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day!

On March 15 at 1pm, the parade will start at Broadway Station on West Broadway. It will head down East Broadway and end at Farragut Road.

You can find some information about the parade on its official Website.

 

2. Eat in an Irish Restaurantirish

Feeling like eating some traditional Irish specialties like Corned beef and cabbage, shepherd’s pie or fish and chips? The Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau has put together a listing of restaurants serving Irish specialties exclusively for the holiday!

You might want to make a reservation to avoid a long waiting time though…

 

3. Explore the Irish Cultural Centre

For four days ,March 13-15 and 17, the Irish Cultural Centre of New England will be having a St. Patrick’s Day Celebration featuring Irish music, dance and food.

Even though there is an admission fee it is definitely worth it and a great way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

Find more information on their official Website.

 

harpe4. A little bit of Ireland

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with the Reagle Players as they present A Little Bit of Ireland , a heartfelt homage to Ireland on March 14-15 at the Reagle Music Theatre in Waltham. With a cast of more than 100 artists and a live orchestra, this production is one of the largest Irish shows in New England.

 

They also have group rates so go with a crowd!

 

Find more information and book your ticket on their official Website.

 

5 . Official St Patrick’s Day PubCrawl Boston

Everybody knows, that, St. Patrick’s day is the ideal holiday to go a bar to celebrate. Boston is home to countless amazing Irish bars serving traditional beers and food. But what if you didn’t have to pick one bar out of the amazing boston Pub scene? By participating to the world largest Pub Crawl you could benefit from many drink and food specials from some of Boston best pubs!

Over 10 venues are participating to this year’s PubCrawl, including Hard Rock Cafe, Clarke’s, Howl at the Moon, Mija Cantina, Wild Rover, The Vault, Sissy K’s, The Times Irish, Durgin Park, Koy, and more!

Find more information and buy your ticket on their official Website.

 

6. The Irish Heritage Trail

Every March the Boston Irish Tourism Association provides guided walks of the Irish Heritage Trail. Discover over 200 years of Irish history in Boston from Commodore John Barry to President John F. Kennedy. Make the most of St. Patrick’s Day and walk in the footsteps of the Irish-American artists and heroes of Boston from the 1700’s to today!

 

patpat

 7. St. Patrick’s Day Celtic Sojourn

The popular holiday concert series returns for its 10th annual St. Patrick’s Day Celtic Sojourn. For the past nine years, A St. Patrick’s Day Celtic Sojourn concerts have introduced a wide range of new and familiar musicians like Brian O’Donovan, Mick McCauley or Keith Murphy to audiences eager to celebrate the holiday in true Irish style.

Find more information here.

 

boston celtics8. Cheer on the Boston Celtic’s!

 

Wear your green and show your support for Boston’s sport teams on Friday night, March 13, as the Boston Celtics take on the Orlando Magic at the TD Garden or on Monday, March 16, when Boston’s team plays the Philadelphia 76ers.

Find tickets here.

 

 

 

 

9. Visit the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum

John F. Kennedy, 35th president, may well be the most famous Irish American. This holiday may be the perfect time to visit the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum. . On Saturday, March 14, the JFK Library will host a performance by the Irish Balladeers celebrating traditional stories and dances with authentic Irish instruments!

This free performance is for families with children 5 and up and attendees must pre-register by completing this online form.

 

10. Rock and roll

The Massachusetts based Celtic-Punk punk group, the Dropkick Murphys, well known internationally and featured in Martin Scorsese’s “The Departed” will be in the House of Blues on Lansdowne Street in Boston for a series of shows on March 12, 13, 14 and 15.

Who said punk was dead?


Tips to find a pet friendly apartment

Do you want to find a pet friendly apartment ? It is difficult but not impossible!

Looking for an apartment is an exhausting task by itself. Add a pet to the mix and things get quickly even more complicated. Don’t worry and take a look at our tips to find a pet friendly apartment:

 

1-Plan ahead and allow extra time for your search

Before the start of your apartment search it is crucial that you prepare yourself. Finding a pet friendly rental is difficult but definitely not impossible. However you should be aware that it might take a considerable amount of time for you to find a pet friendly apartment. You should start looking at least six weeks before you plan to move.

We recommend that before applying to places you gather:

– your pet’s obedience training and vaccination records. Provide written proof that your pet is spayed or neutered and is, therefore, healthier, calmer, and less likely to be a nuisance.

– a reference for your pet from your previous landlord or veterinarian vouching for your pet’s good behaviour. According to KC Theisen, director of pet care issues at the Humane Society of the United States: “A reference from a previous landlord can be huge in changing the mind of the landlord,”

Tips to find a pet-friendly apartmentThen you should try to connect to some networks. Good examples are  the Humane Society of the United States website as well as your local shelter’s or veterinarian’s Facebook page and Website. Most of these places will have pet-friendly rental listings available or could give you some precious advices and answer your questions. You could also take a look at PeopleWithPets.com which specializes in helping you find a pet friendly apartment.

Also If you know any real estate agents, rental agents, or resident managers who share your love of animals, contact them and ask them for leads. Many of us at Cambridge Realty Group are pet owners ourselves and can help you and your loved pets find a pet friendly apartment.

 

2-Focus on single family rentals

Large apartment complex are more likely to have restrictive policy concerning pets. It might also be quite difficult -even impossible- to try to negotiate with them. Instead focus on individually-owned properties. They are more likely to be flexible and accept pets on a case-by-case basis.

When you find a pet friendly apartment that works for you and your pets, ACT QUICKLY before it is gone.

Tips to find a pet-friendly apartment

3- Sell yourself and your pet

Put yourself in the shoes of a landlord for a moment. They might have had bad experiences with pet owners in the past.

That’s why it is crucial that you sell yourself as a responsible pet owner who is committed to providing responsible pet care and being a responsible neighbour.

Let prospective landlords and managers know that you understand that living with a companion animal is a privilege, not a right. Make it clear that you intend to keep your pet under control at all time.

We also advice you set up a meeting between the land lord and your pet.Be sure your pet is freshly groomed and well-behaved. It could be great to invite the landlord to visit you and your pet in your current home or to provide pictures of you and your pet in your old property.

Tips to find a pet-friendly apartment

4- Negotiate

If the landlord is still hesitating, don’t hesitate to mention that  that you are willing to pay an extra security deposit to cover any damages your pet might do to the property.

If you have any concerns or questions contact us. We have helped a lot of pet owners find a pet friendly apartment in the past!

 


Tips to make your apartment look bigger

Before thinking about listing your place for rent or sale it is important to know a few tips to make your apartment look bigger.

1. Paint your walls to make your apartment look bigger. Use light colours and clever contrasts.

Before listing your place you should consider getting a fresh coat of paint on your walls. Painting a room has a big return on investment and can be done in no more than a week-end. It will instantly brighten your place.

Tips to make your apartment look bigger

Painting rooms also helps maximize space and makes your property appear larger. Light colors tend to make your apartment look bigger, while dark colors may have the opposite effect. Light and brightly colored walls are more reflective making a space feel open and airy, which helps optimize the effect created by natural light.

For example, select soft tones of blues and greens

2. Lighting is a key element in opening up a space.

It is well known, buyers prefer bright apartments!

To make your place bright and cheerful, first you will need to make the most out of the natural light. For this, keep drapes and shades wide open to bring more light in.

Then try to optimize your own lamps by putting them in dark corners and replacing the low wattage light bulbs with brighter ones. This simple trick will surely make you apartment look bigger!

Tips to make your apartment look bigger

3. Use mirrors.

This is an old trick a lot of realtors know. Mirrors can make your apartment look bigger.

Tips to make your apartment look bigger

They can be one your best tools and you can never have too many! Try to use a focal point and angle your mirrors towards it. It will give the illusion of depth and make your apartment look bigger. Also you can place your mirror by your windows and lamps to reflect the existing light!

4. Keep your apartment tidy and organized. Use clever furniture arrangement.

Before you list your apartment for rent or sale it is crucial that you clean it like you have never cleaned before. Also, keep your apartment tidy and organized. Keep the furniture to a minimum and keep the floor as natural as possible to reinforce a sense of spaciousness.

Tips to make your apartment look bigger

It could be a good idea to invest in some clever multi-function furniture like beds with drawers for storage or tables that can be tucked away when not needed.


Condo shortage in Boston

It might come as a surprise… Lately, experts have noticed a real Condo shortage in Boston.

Especially when it comes to luxury properties, there is a real Condo shortage in Boston.

Condo shortage in Boston

What might cause the Condo Shortage in Boston?

Even if many projects have been completed the last few years. Most of them remain only rentals… And that’s not all: the two major new condo towers the Millennium Tower and the Four Seasons -now under construction- won’t be open until 2017 or 2018. In addition already half of the towers’ units have  been pre-sold, leaving just a couple hundred condos still potentially available…

Even though new condo towers are also likely in the works, they are still in the early planning stages.

Condo shortage in Boston

The future skyline with the millennium tower

Some experts argue that the source of this shortage is directly linked to the almost impossibility to build condos and properties in downtown Boston for a reasonable price. Investors and developers would rather focus on the city’s suburbs than struggle to purchase overpriced parcels downtown.

What are the consequences of the Condo Shortage in Boston?

As the number of condos on the market downtown is almost minuscule, we can be sure to witness soaring prices and fierce competition for the few listings on the market in the following months.

The situation was already very similar last year and it is just getting worst… Indeed when we take a look at last year’s graph below it seems unrealistic to expect for the prices to go down while the shortage is just getting more and more blatant.

Condo shortage in Boston

 


Real Estate Related movies

Regardless of the genre, there are plenty of real estate related movies out there.

Are interested in the real estate industry (or just curious)? For you, we selected 5 of our favorite real estate related movies.

 

1. Glengarry Glen Ross (1992), Drama starring Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon and Alec Baldwin

Our favorite here at Cambridge Realty Group! When an office full of New York City real estate salesmen is given the news that all but the top two will be fired at the end of the week, the atmosphere begins to heat up... The Drama is well known for Alec Baldwin’s “motivating” speech. If you work in sales you should be familiar with his character’s famous line: “Always be closing“. Alec Baldwin was nominated for an Oscar for that movie and that’s the only scene he’s in…

Real Estate Related movies

 

2. I Love You Man (2009), starring Paul Rudd, Rashida Jones and Jason Segel

In this comedy, a Realtor who’s trying to move his way up in his firm is attempting to find a friend who’ll become his Best Man in his upcoming wedding. One of the better recent ‘buddy comedies’!

 

3. American Beauty (1999), starring Kevin Spacey and Annette Bening

An ambitious but failed real-estate broker and her husband, who’s going through a mid-life crisis, live their seemingly dull lives in middle class suburbia. What follows in this cult drama is at once cynical, hysterical, and, eventually, tragically uplifting.

 

4. Poltergeist (1982), Horror, starring JoBeth Williams and Craig T. Nelson

Steven, a successful Realtor, and his wife Diane live in a quiet, brand new Californian suburb. But their carefree lives change on the night when a spirit leaps from their television.Initially friendly and playful, the spirits turn unexpectedly menacing…One of the 1980s’ most distinctive and important horror movies. A real classic!

 

5. Open House (1987), Horror/ Drama, starring Adrienne Barbeau and Joseph Bottoms

In this horror movie, a radio psychologist receives strange phone calls from a serial killer who has been murdering various female real estate agents in Beverly Hills. His girlfriend, who is also a real estate agent, may be the killer’s next victim…A very good twisted tale. Entertaining from start to finish.

 

Any other good real estate related movies you would like to add to our list?


Commute time impacts rent in Boston

The commute time impacts rent in Boston. The shorter the commute the higher the rent will be. Proximity to the T is key.

Because of the recent snowstorms you might have found your morning commute quite long and frustrating. Well, you are not alone.

 The commute time impacts rent in Boston

But would you be willing to pay more for rent to spend less time commuting?

According to a new study from Hotpads, Boston tenants are willing to pay more in rent to shorten their commute times. More precisely they would be willing to pay $61,75 more to commute 6,9 minutes less.

The main transportation option for Bostonians are often the T lines running through the city and suburbs. Another study led by Hotpads showed a strong correlation between the monthly rent asked and the proximity to a T-Station, as you can see on the graph below.

Monthly rent vs. Proximity to T Station

Good news if you are a landlord and own a place by the T! On the other hand, if you are looking for an apartment, it could save you a decent amount of money to add as little as 0.01 miles to your commute. Indeed, according to Hotpads, living 0.01 miles farther from the T would save you about $43 per month.

Once again time is money! What do you think is more important?


Top neighborhoods for students in Boston

Where are the Top neighborhoods for students in Boston? Where do the students live?

 

It’s well known, a large proportion of the people looking for rentals in Boston are students. For them and for the non-students willing to join the party (or avoid it) we found the following ranking of the top neighborhoods for students in Boston. It includes both undergrads and graduate students as well as renters and those living in dorms.

According to the following list, it seems that no matter where you live in Boston you will always be surrounded by a least a couple hundred students.

Top neighborhoods for students in Boston

They are everywhere…

No. 1, Allston-Brighton:  7,561 students

No. 2, Fenway/Kenmore: 5,334 students

No. 3, Jamaica Plain/Mission Hill: 4000 students

No. 4, Dorchester:  2,765 students

No. 5, South End:   2,067 students

No. 6, Back Bay/Beacon Hill: 1,849 students

No. 7, Central/Downtown Boston: 1,614 students

No. 8, Roxbury: 1,208 students

No. 9, South Boston: 748 students

No. 10, Roslindale: 741 students

No. 11, East Boston:  669 students

No. 12, Hyde Park: 558 students

No. 13, Mattapan: 519 students

No. 14, West Roxbury: 475 students

No. 15: Charlestown: 234 students