November 2008

There are 6 blog entries for November 2008.

Boston DevelopmentsThe Herald published a short article on the status of several Boston real estate developments. Some I've reported about here and others are projects that have yet to break ground.

Three condo developments that are selling well border the South End and Back Bay. The Clarendon, Columbus Lofts and The Bryant. The Clarendon is the tall concrete structure that's now a part of the Boston skyline, and as noted in the Herald, is having a topping off ceremony this week. This photo is from several months ago, but it should allow you to identify which building I am referring to.

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Coldwell Banker to CloseDoes anyone care? I actually just drove by the office on the Waterfront. It's a block down from Joe's American Bar & Grill. Maybe they are facing too much competition on the Waterfront from Otis & Ahearn which is a couple doors down? This economy does not help as it is much more difficult to close deals.

The Boston waterfront and Somerville offices of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage are set to close by the end of the month, Banker & Tradesman has learned. The Boston office’s 24 agents will move to other local offices, including the Back Bay, while Somerville’s 15 agents will move to the company’s Cambridge and Arlington locations. Three administrative positions will be terminated, two in Somerville and one in Boston, according to Roni Boyles,

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Trump Files SuitAs reported here a few weeks ago, there is turmoil between Trump and his lenders who financed the International Hotel & Tower in Chicago.

He is now suing his lenders to extend a $640 million loan. Whatever happens, it looks like there will be a significant shortfall even when all the condo units have sold, which probably won't happen until 2010. Sales have been well below original estimates and the projected revenue leaves Trump $100 million short of what he will owe lenders.

Maybe the Government can step in and bail him out? Or maybe the banks will renegotiate his loan terms? In semi-related news, don't you just love lenders who renegotiate terms for borrowers who miss payments but not for good customers. Something should be agreed to across the

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Real Estate/Hockey NewsIn an interesting move, the St. Louis Blues have announced plans to pay ticket holders mortgage or rent for up to 4 months or $4,000. Well, not exactly. For each Saturday night home game starting November 29th, the Blues will choose a seat number randomly and that ticket holder will win the prize.

Either the housing market is really bad in St. Louis or ticket sales are struggling. I have to hand it to them for making the effort. I can pretty much guarantee the Boston Bruins will not be attempting this promotion.

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Conforming Loan LimitsDespite the slide in housing prices in most parts of the country, the conforming home loan limit will remain at $417,000 next year for most of the country, the government said Friday.
Loan limits for two-, three-, and four-unit properties will also remain at 2008 levels. For two-unit properties the limit is $533,850, for three-unit properties it's $645,300, and for four-unit properties it's $801,950.

What does this mean for you? Well, if you are buying a condo for $500,000 and you were putting down 20%($100,000), this would be a conforming loan at $400,000. If your purchase price was $600,000 and you put down 20%($120,000), this would be a jumbo loan $480,000 and your rate would a 1/2 point to 1 point higher. The difference between a 6% rate and 6.5% on

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Tower Proposed for Downtown CrossingIf you're looking at this photo, I believe the proposed tower would be built on the left side across from the old Filene's building which is currently being developed. In my opionion, any development in Downtown Crossing is a positive thing.

Midwood Management Corp. filed plans yesterday with the Boston Redevelopment Authority to demolish four stores at Washington and Bromfield streets and replace them with a 28-story tower. If approved, the development will include six floors of retail totaling 49,200 square feet and 276 residential units on the upper levels. Construction is expected to start in 2010.

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