Should you purchase and remodel a home in Cambridge, Mass?
There is a distinct beauty to Cambridge, Massachusetts. Just across the river from Boston, the brick exteriors give the city the homey feel of England or Europe.
The Charles River separates Cambridge from Boston, and as a resident you can feel the natural energy the river provides. Memorial Drive runs alongside the Charles and one can often see the collegiate or recreational rowers making their way out on the water. It is an aesthetic blend of urban meets natural. I have vivid childhood memories of driving along the Charles River in the early morning on my way to school.
Fall seasons are truly incredible. A massive explosion of color that arrives in October accompanied by a chill in the air, a hint of woodsmoke, and a mounting collective excitement for the coming holidays.
A city built on education
Cambridge has an educational air to it — you can feel it in the vibe. Bookstores, nice sweaters, good coffee, and a sense that its residents have a worldy appreciation for knowledge, innovation, and a general excitement for what’s going on in the world.
Cambridge is home to Harvard University, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Lesley University, and Hult Business School. Both Harvard and MIT are ranked in the top 10 internationally and when the school year begins, the city comes ALIVE. You can feel the vibrant infusion of anticipation as tens of thousands of students arrive from all over the world. This in itself makes Cambridge intensely international in an extremely unique way.
The squares and neighborhoods of Cambridge
Cambridge comprises 5 squares and 13 neighborhoods, all of which are quite distinct and offer an array of cultural realities.
Cambridge is a town of over 110,000, but it feels smaller which lends it a sense of familiarity. You feel as if you could get to know many of the residents over the course of living there through dining at the many delicious restaurants, shopping in the shops and boutiques, or buying organic groceries at the multiple farmers markets or co-ops.
Named for Cambridge University in England, the city is steeped in history around every corner. Cambridge proper is bordered by Somerville, Belmont, Watertown, Arlington, as well as the Charles River and Boston.
It is a city of distinct and charming squares, including:
- • Porter Square
- • Kendall Square
- • Central Square
- • Inman Square
- • Harvard Square
Kendall Square has been called the most innovative square mile on the planet due to the concentration of successful startups founded in the area. Kendall square is located at the eastern end of the MIT campus and is a short drive over the Longfellow Bridge from the city of Boston.
The Kendall Square initiative
To further propel this expansion, the Kendall Square Initiative was approved on April 8, 2013 and is now under construction. This is a 1.2 billion dollar project located at One Broadway in Cambridge and is massive in scope. It includes over 880,000 square feet of office space, 115,000 square feet of retail space, and over 700 housing units for students.
In addition to the creation of valuable space for work and housing, this project is a planned cultural injection — adding significant space for shopping, dining, walking, and entertainment. The hope is to take Kendall Square to the next level. It will be a beautiful place to work, live, or simply visit on a Sunday morning for shopping, an amazing cup of coffee and brunch, or to enjoy the beautiful atmosphere a stone’s throw from the Charles River.
The project is 6 buildings in total and will include the creation of multiple open outdoor spaces.
Architecture in Cambridge:
Various styles of architecture are on display throughout Cambridge, including:
- • Georgian (1725-1780)
- • Federal (1780 – 1820)
- • Greek Revival (1825 – 1860)
- • Gothic Revival (1840 – 1880)
- • Italianate (1840 – 1880)
- • Second Empire/Mansard
- • Stick (1860 – 1890)
- • Queen Anne (1880 – 1915)
- • Shingle (1880 – 1900)
- • Colonial Revival (1885 – 1915)
- • Craftsman (1900 – 1930)
- • International (1920 – Present)
These styles may mean something to you (or they may mean nothing), but either way know they are artistic, integrate well, and give Cambridge a sense of timeless quality reminiscent of the founding of this country.
Art & Cultural Hotspots
There are simply too many art and cultural hotspots to name individually. Highlights include the Harvard Film Archive, the Harvard Museum of Natural History, and the MIT museum. The campus of Harvard University itself is a cultural experience and a beautiful tour.
Each square in Cambridge is a unique cultural hub, affording Cambridge residents a quality of life with an almost European feel. Each square is accessible on foot and there are innumerable high-quality shops, cafes, stores, restaurants, and services. The Tatte Bakery in Harvard Square is exceptional for both coffee and brunch, and there are dozens of quality cafes and eateries throughout Cambridge.
Cambridge is home to a number of beautiful parks. This is a town that likes to get outside and enjoy the beauty of New England. The parks provide safe, aesthetic space to enjoy either alone or with friends and family. The largest is Danehy Park, which is 50 or so acres and includes walking paths, a dog park, and multiple sports fields and parking for residents. There are also numerous other smaller parks throughout Cambridge that are clean, accessible, and beneficial to local residents.
There is also Fresh Pond Reservoir, a beautiful water reservoir surrounded by a 2.25 mile pathway. The pathway has recently been brought up-to-date and is well maintained. One can walk here as a family, run, train, or simply enjoy the natural environment. You are allowed to walk your dog here off-leash and many people and families do. Adjacent to Fresh Pond is the Fresh Pond Golf Course, a nine-hole course which is lovely and quite popular.
Transportation in Cambridge
Cambridge spans six square miles and is home to five MBTA Red Line stations — each about a mile apart. There is additionally another train station a short distance away in Davis Square, Somerville. Nearly every part of Cambridge is within a relatively short walking distance to a T stop. Trains run about 4 minutes apart in rush hour and are spaced at nearly 10-minute intervals during off-peak hours. You can easily access Boston proper from Cambridge using the Red Line.
But really, you can walk pretty much anywhere in Cambridge. It’s a beautiful town and it is uplifting and rejuvenating to walk in this city. Cambridge is quite eco-conscious with its transport mentality — it has bicycle lanes and you will see many professionals commuting to work on foot, bicycle, or public transport.
Cambridge residents are 10 minutes or so (without traffic) from Logan International Airport. Logan is a major international airport from which you can access every major domestic or international carrier.
When looking to purchase a home in Cambridge, I would recommend reaching out to one of the following:
Charles Cherney. He’s been operating in the area for over twenty years and is highly regarded and trusted in the Boston real estate industry with strong word of mouth, excellent reviews, and a focus on Cambridge and Somerville. A genuine Cambridge resident himself and graduate of Harvard, he is sincere, real, and produces quality and helpful video content on Youtube.
Mobile: (617) 733 8937
Charles created a very informative piece on YouTube about the pros and cons of living in Cambridge. I recommend watching it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wLrgYbCJHk
Michael Carucci. Michael is the executive VP of Gibson Sotheby’s and has been in the Boston real estate game since 1983. He has a knowledge of the luxury real estate scene in Boston that is unparalleled and cares greatly for his clients. His production level and professionalism are exceptional.
Mobile: (617) 901 7600
Design-Bid-Build is a process that’s been used over the past 150 years. It entails hiring an architect to draft plans and design your project, before having it bid out to contractors seeking to construct the project.
This approach has many liabilities for the client, due in no small part to the fragmented spheres of responsibilities. There is no single person or entity fully accountable to the client for the entire project’s success. 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.
Design-Build is different. It is clearly the way to go if you want to save time and money, reduce stress, and eliminate a fragmented sense of project responsibility in the people working for you.
Design-Build is turned to by professionals, families, and individuals as the cutting edge of efficiency, aesthetics, practicality, and accountability when designing and remodeling a home. This approach packages architectural and interior design services with skilled building and remodeling abilities. This natural synthesis makes for a simple, efficient, and accountable creative process and a streamlined and responsible execution process. This reduces cost, time of execution, and client stress through dealing with one fully accountable firm.
We do Design-Build at New England Design & Construction. Here are several examples of beautiful Design-Build remodels we have done in Cambridge, Massachusetts:
Cambridge is a wonderful place to live and work, as well as to raise a family. One would be hard-pressed to find a more beautiful, dynamic, and culturally-rich environment to live. We are happy to help you create your home here.