As we shed a brutal 2020 and welcome in a bright new year, hopes are high for a 2021 of productivity, economic stability, and expansion across Boston.
From my perspective and experience as CEO of NEDC, I wanted to provide an overview of some of the hottest neighborhoods in Boston and the architectural design and remodelling trends that have come on strong throughout 2020. This information may be of assistance to families looking to purchase a home and remodel it to create their dream space — as well as those seeking to evaluate if they should invest in their existing home.
The Boston real estate market overall was strengthened in 2020 with an increasing demand for single family homes outside of the city. The buyer enthusiasm for downtown condos has waned, with many professionals adapting to the work from home model and prioritizing space and family comfort outside of the city.
By observation and experience, these are some of the hottest Boston neighborhoods under consideration by those looking to purchase a family home in the suburbs.
Cambridge is a beautiful Boston suburb located directly north of downtown Boston, easily accessible with a quick journey across the Charles River. With a population a bit north of 100,000, Cambridge is the fifth largest town in Massachusetts. Cambridge has a charm, intellectual ethos and beauty all of its own and is home to Harvard University, MIT, Lesley University, and Hult International Business School, and many of the brilliant minds involved in these prestigious institutions call Cambridge home. Harvard, Porter, and Kendall Squares are located within Cambridge and offer unique central points of culture, retail, and fine dining. Logan International Airport is 5.5 miles away (about 12 minutes, depending on traffic).
Here’s a snapshot of the current Cambridge real estate market:
Currently there are roughly 107 properties for sale in Cambridge, and the average home sale price is $953,000 USD which is up 4.7 percent since last year. Cambridge is a very competitive market with homes lasting on the market for an average of 21 days prior to pending status and sale. Cambridge homes sell for 1% over the listing price for an average of $771 per square foot.
Many of the projects we complete are in Cambridge — we are currently in the middle of a complete gut, custom redesign, and high-end remodel of a beautiful 3 bed, 3 bath family home in Cambridge. We took this down to studs and are in the midst of a full remodel to a custom NEDC design. This family made a strong investment to create their ideal home in Cambridge and it was a wise move as the home will be aesthetic, comfortable, and spacious with a solid increase in financial asset value.
Sustainability, eco-consciousness, and respect for the environment are values widely embraced in Cambridge. This is an example of one of our beautiful Architectural Design & Remodel projects in Cambridge which utilizes a beautiful reclaimed wood design:
Brookline is a beautiful town of approximately 60,000 residents which was originally settled in 1638. Brookline lies to the west and slightly south of downtown Boston — many know Brookline as the birthplace of US President John F. Kennedy. Many notable figures in government and culture have lived in Brookline and it is a dignified, cultured, and timelessly beautiful part of Boston.
As a snapshot of the current real estate scene, there are roughly 97 properties for sale in Brookline — the average sale price for a home is $1.27 million USD which is up 43.3 percent over last year. Brookline is a fairly competitive market with homes lasting on the market for an average of 30 days prior to pending sale for an average of $687 per square foot.
Classic elegance, beauty, and dignity are clearly evident in home designs in Brookline. This is an example of a beautiful kitchen, bath, and partial home design and remodel project NEDC did in Brookline:
With a population of approximately 33,000 people, Lexington is located 10.4 miles northwest of Boston as the crow flies. The venue of the ‘shot heard around the world’ and birthplace of the Revolutionary War — Lexington has deep cultural roots in the founding of the United States. It’s not a large town geographically, but is a coveted place to live — steeped in history and with an array of beautiful, genteel family homes in Victorian, Colonial Revival, and Craftsman styles that have a distinct Lexington look.
There are currently 35 properties for sale in Lexington. The average home sale price is $1.33 million USD which is up 16.5 percent since last year. Lexington is an extremely competitive market with homes lasting on the market for an average of 20 days prior to pending and sale for 1.8% over the listing price — homes sell for an average of $392 per square foot.
This a beautiful first-floor custom design & remodel NEDC completed in Lexington:
With a population of nearly 30,000 the iconic town of Wellesley is located 16 miles west and slightly south of Boston. Home to Wellesley College and prestigious Babson University, Wellesley is known nationally for the quality of its school systems and the impact its alumni have gone on to have in the world. Wellesley is an upscale, coveted area to live in and a beautiful venue in which to raise a family with a strong community and beautiful rural landscape — the fall season is simply stunning.
There are currently approximately 26 homes for sale in Wellesley. The average sale price is 1.44 million USD which is up 9.1 percent since last year. Wellesley is a competitive market with homes lasting on the market for an average of 25 days before going pending — homes sell for an average of $507 per square foot in Wellesley.
Family homes in Wellesley can be majestic, landed Colonial structures that are quintessentially New England in style. This is a beautiful project we did in Wellesley on the former home of Red Sox outfielder Carl Crawford that was featured in Boston Common Modern Luxury:
Seven miles west of downtown Boston you will find beautiful, suburban Newton. Newton is a collection of 13 distinct villages without an exact city center and with a population of over 85,000 is the 11th largest City in Massachusetts.
Newton is a hot market — there are currently roughly 111 properties for sale in Newton. The average sale price is 1.11 million usd which is up 20 percent since last year. Newton is a competitive market with homes lasting on the market for an average of 27 days before going pending. Homes sell for an average of $489 per square foot in Newton.
This is a beautiful custom kitchen design & remodel project NEDC completed in Newton:
2020 was a game changer in both real estate and home design in Boston. Families want space, room to work from home, facilities to exercise in, and often desire land for children to roam about on, enabling outside play. Some home buyers seek in-law facilities for the option of multi-generational living or the land to design and build such. It is without question that this past year has strongly redefined home design priorities and values.
Architectural & Home Remodeling Trends in Boston’s Top Suburbs
These five inimitable suburbs of Boston have one commonality when it comes to architectural home design and remodeling — homeowners seeking maximum creativity, sustainable beauty in design, and efficiency of process using Architectural Design-Build as the manner in which their beautiful homes are designed and built.
Here are the two contrasting approaches:
Design-Bid-Build is the process which has been introduced over the past 150 years or so whereby you hire an architect to draft plans and design your project — to then have it bid out to contractors seeking to perform the project. This approach has many liabilities for the client due in no small part to the fragmented spheres of responsibilities which exist. There is no single person or entity fully accountable to the client for the entire project’s success. Thus you can have impractical and expensive design work, impractical planning, numerous change orders, shoddy craftsmanship and projects which are off timeline and over budget. In the end the client can be left damaged. You may have experienced this in the past.
Architectural Design-Build has become popular for homeowners interested in saving time and money, reducing stress and eliminating a fragmented sense of project responsibility in the people executing it. Architectural Design-Build is a model which stresses single-source accountability with the creative design, planning, and remodel executed start to finish by one firm.
Architectural Design-Build is turned to by professionals, families, and individuals as the cutting edge of efficiency, aesthetics, practicality and accountability when it comes to designing and remodeling a home. This approach packages architectural design and interior design services with highly-skilled and artisan-level building and remodeling services. This natural synthesis makes for a simple, efficient and accountable creative process followed by a streamlined and responsible execution process — reducing cost, time of execution, and client stress throughout. In the Design-Build modality, the client is dealing solely with one fully accountable firm.
New England Design and Construction specializes in Architectural Design-Build with an emphasis on creative sustainable design.
So there you have it.
Happy New Year and don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions!