Once You're There... Boston
Where to stay while looking
Back Bay's graceful streets and central location attracts the most international client investment, according to Larry Rideout, CEO and owner, Gibson Sotheby's International Realty, so many people want to stay in and around there. "Many families tend to stay at the Lenox Hotel and the Mandarin Oriental, Boston," said Rideout. "The Mandarin Oriental, in particular, is great as it includes a complementary driver service throughout one's stay, which makes it very convenient for those needing to get around the city to appointments."
Nearby in the Theater District, the Revere hotel recently opened with 355 rooms and suites and a guests-only pool deck on the roof.
The majority of buyers from abroad are looking for properties in Boston as a second home or vacation home. "Back Bay's architecture and its casual, trendy lifestyle that comes from strolling down Newbury Street means it is often described as European in feel," said Rideout. "The tendency is to search for a home within Boston's city limits, as opposed to looking in the suburban towns. Not needing a new driver's license and the added expense of owning a car is key." Full-service buildings and condos are the desired properties here.
Beautiful and historic Beacon Hill is also very attractive to buyers, as are the brick row houses in South End for young professionals. The areas of Charlestown and Brookline are popular with families looking for topnotch schools and a city address.
Back Bay has superior shopping in a walking-friendly location. "De Luca's Market, a gourmet Italian market on Newbury Street is very popular," said Rideout. "Clients have reported how it is very welcoming, with the staff often knowing the names of the shoppers." Shaw's Supermarkets are found in various locations and they will deliver groceries for a small fee.
There are also a number of farmers' markets around the city throughout the week, from Somerville and Cambridge to Copley Plaza. They are managed by the Federation of Massachusetts Farmers Markets, which is responsible for helping small farmers get their goods to local communities. Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market is possibly Boston's most famous shopping experience, but do not let its popularity with tourists keep you from a fun afternoon's stroll through it.
Massachusetts has both first-rate public and private schools. "For those who have set their roots in a suburban neighborhood, the most affluent towns are also those with the best funding to support school districts such as Dover-Sherborn, Concord-Carlisle, Lincoln-Sudbury, Lexington, Weston, Wayland, and Wellesley," said Rideout.
International clients often have children who attend boarding and day schools within an hour or two drive from Boston. These include Groton School, Deerfield Academy, Cushing Academy, Brooks School, The Governor's Academy and St. Mark's School. "Here foreign students get acclimated to the culture and academic structure in the United States and prepare for university," said Rideout. "Parents purchase property in the city so they are able to visit their kids, who often choose to then attend university in Boston."
Boston is a cosmopolitan city that can sometimes seem very insular. Only long familiarity or a very good GPS will let you navigate the one-way street systems with ease. "You can't get there from here" is often part of directions to lost drivers, not a zen koan.
Often it can seem like the entire city has gone sports mad, especially when the Boston Red Sox are playing the New York Yankees in baseball. "The intense atmosphere that surrounds the city on game day is infectious," said Rideout, "and when attending a Red Sox,Celtics, Bruins or Patriots game, it is obvious why Boston sports fans are famous for being some of the most passionate worldwide."
It is very easy to have utilities installed, especially in full-service buildings that have a concierge. The staff can best point owners in the right direction when it comes to having anything installed or when making any home improvements.
"Many service companies provide packages that allow homeowners to install a variety of services, all at reasonable cost," said Rideout. "Appointments can often be made for the same day, or at the most a day or two later."
Boston winters are not for the faint of heart, but springtime brings magical events, from blooming lilac bushes to cloudless blue skies. For the comprehensive weather updates, visit Accuweather.