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December 2012 Archives

Court Throws Out Housing Discrimination Claim Against Stonehill College

A student at Stonehill College in Massachusetts filed a lawsuit alleging that her roommate was having too much sex.

Interestingly, a close look at the lawsuit shows that it's actually rooted in housing law and claims of housing discrimination. But a large part of the case was tossed out by a federal judge, who didn't find that many of her claims had merit.

As reported in the Enterprise News, Lindsay Blankmeyer sued the college, claiming that her roommate had too much sex with her boyfriend. This, she claimed, went on while she was only a few feet away in the room, watching the entire ordeal.

Buying or Selling? Protect Yourself From Shady Realtors

More good news on the housing front: If you're in the market (or testing the market) to buy a home, now might be a great time.

According to Bloomberg News, sales of previously owned homes has climbed to three-year high. In fact, this very housing boom is predicted to help the overall economy by increasing consumer confidence in industries other than housing.

That's fabulous news for house hunters, but even better news for those who are trying to sell their homes.

Boston Globe Editor Martin Baron Selling His High-End Condo

The soon-to-be former editor of The Boston Globe, Martin Baron, is making news before his departure, as he recently put up his spectacular penthouse for sale.

The penthouse sits on Upton Street in Boston's South End, reports The Boston Business Journal. The penthouse condominium boasts seven rooms and is listed at $1.4 million.

The 1,831 square-foot condo is now in "pending sale" mode, only five days after it reportedly hit the market. The condo's sale price includes a parking spot, for which Baron paid $50,000 for when he originally bought the condo.

Cambridge Residents Contesting Plans for Sullivan Courthouse

A former courthouse in Cambridge is at the center of a controversy. Redevelopment plans for the now-closed Edward J. Sullivan Courthouse are being hotly contested by community groups as the state selected Leggat McCall Properties for the building's planned conversion, reports The Boston Business Journal.

The courthouse is state-owned property. As state property, contractors must bid to perform construction or redevelopment work on the property.

The Division of Capital Asset Management has been in charge of this process. Out of three reported finalists, the Division chose Leggat McCall.

Property Related Taxes on the Rise in Massachusetts

Property taxes are on the rise in Massachusetts. Various municipalities around Massachusetts have started raising residential property tax. Take Needham, for one. Property taxes on single family homes will increase by around $340, reports The Boston Globe.

Wellesley isn't spared, either, with property taxes going up by approximately $247 on the median single family home. But that's not the only area of concern for homeowners.

With all the talk about the fiscal cliff, many are asking about the state of the mortgage deduction. That's a tax break available to homeowners whereby they can deduct their interest payments on their mortgage.

Massachusetts Foreclosures Down, Petitions Up

Massachusetts foreclosures are at a six year low, reports The Boston Globe.

According to The Globe, October's numbers were 52 percent lower than October 2011. Only 371 Massachusetts homes foreclosed in October.

That's great news for many. To starter, it signals the positive economic recovery in and around the Boston area. A large part of the economic downfall centered around the housing bubble and the subsequent housing market crash. Less foreclosures are certainly indicative on many levels of growth in the housing market.

How to Take Advantage of the Recovering Real Estate Market

There's been a lot of talk of economic recovery and more specifically the recovery of the housing market. But what does this all mean and where is the Boston housing market headed?

Interestingly, the recovery mirrors the recovery from the real estate depression of the late 1980's and early 1990's, writes The Boston Globe.

So now what does that mean?

Boston Seaport Revitalizes as Divco Buys 4 Buildings

Boston’s commercial real estate industry is going through a new boom. The Seaport District is certainly benefiting from this boom, as The Wall Street Journal reports that the revitalization of the Seaport District is starting to take shape.

According to the WSJ, Divco Real Estate Services LLC recently purchased four buildings in the Seaport District, for a total of $107 million. That’s a huge investment and no doubt will contribute to the gentrification of the area. The buildings include a former wool warehouse from the 1800s, a remnant of Boston’s textile days.

What’s especially promising is that the price tag on the recent purchase by Divco is 17% more than what the last buyer paid for the same building at the peak of the housing bubble.