Alexandra Biega

BK Team X Barry's Bootcamp


A Barry's Vice President of Operations, Dustin Martin, shares insights on the popular workout, Barry's Bootcamp and what makes it special!

It's no secret that our team LOVES Barry’s Bootcamp workouts! It's safe to say we’re actually obsessed. That being said, it should be no surprise that we finally sat down with Dustin Martin, one of our favorite Barry’s instructors to learn more about Barry’s, what he loves about it and some awesome new offerings they are starting this month. Check it out!

  1. What is your name and what is your role at Barry’s?

Dustin Martin, currently a Vice President of Operations for Barry’s.

  1. How long have you been with Barrys?

I’ve been with Barry’s for about 9 years now. My role for the first ~7 years was as an owner of the Boston franchise.

  1. What can someone expect from a typical Barry's class?

Each Barry’s class is simply a combination of running and lifting, but done in an elevated fashion on Woodway treadmills and in a room full of red lights and 50 best friends.  Instructors thoughtfully program every class, curate special playlists, and motivate throughout each workout. 

  1. What do you love about Barrys?

I love that the Barry’s workout is scalable.  Every class is filled with clients of varying skill levels and at different points in their fitness journey.  And I love that each class is scalable for the individual athlete.  Barry’s provides a baseline level of intensity and motivation such that you always know you will walk out sweaty and smiling, but clients can choose whether to really push their limits at any given moment.  

  1. What is your favorite class/muscle group day to teach? Is that also your favorite class to take personally?

I love teaching on Tuesday’s and Friday’s and consequently love taking those days as well. Legs and Full Body!  I program each workout as if I were taking class. 

  1. What is your go-to after workout smoothie?

I usually make up my own.  Currently its Cold brew, Almond Milk, Spinach, chocolate protein, and banana.   The Phat Dustin is still ordered often in Boston, too! 

  1. What is your favorite song to play in class?

If I’ve taught 5,000 classes in my career at Barry’s, you know I’ve played Snoop What’s My Name about 4,999.  

  1. What keeps you motivated?

Customers. It’s been an incredible journey through the years and you truly can not beat the connections you make in the Red Room.  So many clients have become great friends. 

  1. Tell us about the new Barrys X platform?

When the pandemic hit in March 2020 we were forced to pivot from our traditional mode of business, as many other companies were.  Barry’s X is our way of bringing the magic of the Red Room into each and every home across the world.  We offer a daily selection of Live classes as well as a library of on demand workouts.  The workouts are tailored to fit your daily needs with varying formats (Run X Lift, Lift) and in different durations.

  1. How has Barry's adjusted during covid?

To be honest, we are still adjusting, as we operate in so many different cities and regions throughout the world, whereby we are consistently reacting to different Government mandates.  We have done our best to stick to our company's Mission, which is to transform lives worldwide.  More than anything, we remain optimistic about the future, as we saw quick rebounds in attendance in the Summer of 2021, and again now, as COVID mandates are regressing across the globe.  We have some exciting things planned for the next few months to kick off what should be a great year ahead! 

  1. What days and times can people come to your class?

I currently teach Tuesday’s in Chestnut Hill at 940 and 11am, and Friday’s in Downtown Boston at 1115am and 1230pm.  

Been thinking about trying Barry's for the first time?

DO IT! They just launched TWO new first timer specials; $99 2 Week Everyday Membership AND a 3 pack for $50 (30 day expiry). March 8 they are dropping something else - their first ever referral campaign! Get out and take a class - we know you won’t regret it!

 

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    BK TEAM x OH, I DESIGN STUDIO

    The BK Team recently sat down with interior designer and owner of Oh, I Design Studio (OID Studio) in the South End, Jessica Klein, to learn more about her business and some design elements she loves! Check it out below and be sure to reach out to them for all of your interior design needs. 

    How long have you been in design?

    For as long as I can remember ;) But I've been professionally working within the design industry for about 11 years.

    What do you love about design?

    I really love seeing a space come together and the impact it has on my clients and their lives. The Schematic Design process and the initial brainstorming is really exciting, almost as exciting as install day.

    Your aesthetic?

    I typically describe my personal aesthetic as minimal, warm, and layered.

    Some trends you are loving?

    Currently loving the sage greens I'm seeing as well as reeded millwork details.

     

    Visit her website below for more information about her firm and some fantastic blog content!

    Website: ohidesignstudio.com

    Social: @ohidesignblog

    Location: on Harrison Ave in the South End

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      BK Team X Food by Phoebe

      We are excited to have had private chef and recipe extraordinaire, Phoebe Maglathlin, put together some delicious winter recipes to share with our clients and friends! Our team has hired Phoebe for a number of virtual cooking classes and they are a blast! Highly recommend. Phoebe also offers weekly meal prep, private event catering and recipe development. Below you will find recipes for a Winter Grain Bowl with Maple Balsamic Dressing, Roasted Tomato Basil Soup and a scrumptious Pomegranate Margarita! Follow @foodbyphoebe_ or visit www.foodbyphoebe.co for more deliciousness!!

       

       

      Warm Grain Bowl

      Serves: 6-8

       

       

       

       

      1 delicata squash, halved vertically, seeds removed, sliced into ¼ inch half moons

      1 tablespoon olive oil

      Salt and black pepper

      5 cups shredded kale

      ½ cup Not Just Salad Dressing, OR Maple Balsamic (recipe below)

      2 cups cooked farro, quinoa, or brown rice (cooked per back of bag)

      ½ cup pomegranate seeds (or dried cranberries/cherries)

      ½ cup goat cheese, crumbled

      ¾ cup smokehouse almonds, coarsely chopped (or regular roasted salted almonds)

       

      1. Preheat oven to 450 with a rack in the middle position and line a baking sheet with foil. Place the sliced squash on the prepared tray and drizzle with the oil, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Using your hands, toss the squash on the tray to ensure each piece is seasoned and coated with oil. Place in the oven for 15 minutes until tender and golden brown.

      2. Meanwhile, add the kale, ¼ cup Not Just Salad Dressing or Maple Balsamic Dressing, and ½ teaspoon salt to a large bowl, massaging the salt and dressing into the kale with your hands. Stir in the cooked farro or grain of choice. Top the kale grain mixture  with a line of pomegranate seeds, a line of goat cheese, a line of almonds, and a line of roasted squash (once tender). Drizzle with desired amount of remaining dressing and serve.

       

      Maple Balsamic Dressing

      ¼ cup balsamic vinegar

      ¼ cup apple cider vinegar

      cup extra virgin olive oil

      3 tablespoons maple syrup

      1 teaspoon salt

      ¼ teaspoon pepper

      1. Add to a medium bowl and whisk until combined and slightly emulsified.

       

       

      Roasted Tomato Basil Soup (Dairy Free)

      Serves: 6-8

       

       

       

      This soup uses no cream at all and packs a punch of flavor with the amount of fresh basil. I love to finish the soup with some crumbled feta and even some cooked orzo if you have some in the pantry!

      8 plum tomatoes, halved vertically

      4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

      salt and ground black pepper

      1 onion, chopped

      ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, plus more to garnish

      2 cloves garlic, smashed

      1 28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes

      1.25 oz container fresh basil leaves (or 1 cup)

      2 cups chicken or veg stock ( I love using better than boullion paste)

      Feta or parm, to garnish (optional)

      Banza rice, to serve (optional - it's almost orzo-like)!

       

      1. Preheat the oven to 425 with the rack in the middle position. Place the tomatoes on an aluminum lined sheet tray, toss with 2 tablespoons evoo, 1 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Place in the oven until they begin to soften, caramelize, and release some of their juices, about 25-30 minutes.

      2. Meanwhile, in a large soup pot or dutch oven, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion, red pepper flakes,  garlic, and a pinch of salt and cook until fragrant and softened, about 7 minutes. 

      3. Add the canned tomatoes, crushing each tomato in your hand (careful to hold each tomato in the pot so that it splatters into the pot and not your shirt), and the stock and bring to a simmer over high heat. Reduce heat to medium low to maintain a steady simmer until the roasted tomatoes are finished cooking. Add the roasted tomatoes (juices and all), and basil, and simmer for another 10 minutes. 

      4. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until silky smooth or transfer to a blender and blend on high, placing a rag on the lid as you hold it down for extra precaution. To serve, place about 1/2 cup banza rice in each bowl, fill to the top with soup, and garnish with extra basil, feta, red pepper flakes, and a drizzle of evoo.

       

       

       

       

       

      Pomegranate Margarita

      Makes 1 Cocktail

       

       

       

      2 oz tequila

      1 oz  fresh lime juice

      2 oz pomegranate juice (such as pom brand)

      1 oz cointreau or triple sec

      Salt for rim (optional)

      Pomegranate seeds, to serve (optional)

      1. Rub the rim of your glass with a lime wedge and then dip into a small plate of salt. Fill the cup with ice and set aside.

      2. Add the tequila, lime, pom juice, and cointreau to a cocktail shaker (or water bottle) and fill halfway with ice. Shake, covered, until cold, about 20 seconds. 

      3. Pour into the prepared glass and garnish with pom seeds

       

       

       

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        New Year, Same Team!

        There is power in numbers, especially when it comes to navigating the competitive Boston real estate market. Alex Biega and Rob Kilgore joined forces in 2017 and founded the Biega + Kilgore Team. With their hyper focused market, discipline and creative marketing initiatives, they have grown their team to being the #1 Compass Team in Boston in 2021 with over $230M closed & under agreement. Having sold over $600,000,000 in property, their team is made up of 8 full time agents as well as both a marketing and transaction coordinator. Each team member brings his/her own unique expertise allowing the team to broadly and efficiently represent buyers, sellers, landlords and tenants throughout Boston’s most coveted neighborhoods. The goal is to provide the highest level of boutique service to every client. Over the past year, you may have met some of the team members on social media, at one of our client events or simply during a sale or lease transaction. Follow us on instagram to stay up to date on new listings, off-market opportunities and neighborhood happenings: @biegakilgoreteam.

         

        We thought it would be beneficial to re-introduce everyone as we head into the new year. Please say hello when you see us around the neighborhood!

         

        Alex Biega - Alex grew up in Dedham and lives in Back Bay with her husband, Danny and puggle, Cody. She played soccer at Harvard and embarked on her real estate career 8 years ago. Alex’s extensive real estate experience and client focused mindset allow her clients to receive exceptional service and knowledge to navigate the competitive Boston market. With Alex’s love for marketing, she offers her clients creative marketing tactics to maximize their property's exposure and to stay up to date on off market properties in real time. Outside of showings, Alex can be found at Barry’s, The ‘Quin or on the esplanade with Cody. Follow Alex on instagram: @alexandrabiega

         

        Rob Kilgore - Rob lived in the South End for many years and now lives in Wellesley with his wife, Missy and 3 children, Ella, Owen and Oliver. After being a real estate agent for 19 years, Rob has gained an in-depth knowledge of the Back Bay, Beacon Hill and South End buildings and neighborhoods that you can’t just find online. Outside of the office, Rob can be found at the University Club of Boston, coaching his children in various sports or playing squash. Follow Rob on instagram: @robertdkilgore

         

        Maddy Petrini - Maddy grew up in Dover and now lives in the South End with her toy poodle, Rue. Maddy joined the team in 2018 and provides exceptional service to her clients. Maddy’s knowledge of the city and the development process allow her to advise her clients in numerous ways. Outside of showings, Maddy can be found at The 'Quin or out and about the South End with Rue. Follow Maddy on instagam: @maddypetrini

         

        Katherine Bell - A Wellesley native, Katherine lives in Hingham with her husband, Matt. Katherine joined the team in 2018 after working for a tech startup and residential real estate firm. Katherine offers the highest level of professional service to her clients and takes pride in helping clients find their dream home. Outside of the office, Katherine enjoys walking the esplanade, traveling and spending time at Island Creek Oyster in Duxbury. Follow Katherine on instagram: @katherinesallybell

         

        Casey Martin - Casey grew up in Syracuse, New York and lives in South Boston. He joined the team in 2021. Casey previously worked as collegiate coach, General Manager at Barry’s and continues to coach 3d Lacrosse. Casey brings his coaching enthusiasm and work hard mentality to every transaction. Outside of the office, Casey can be found golfing, coaching youth lacrosse or baking (especially cheesecake). Follow Casey on instagram: @caseycmartinre

         

        Diana Biega - Diana grew up in the South Shore and now lives in Hanover with her husband, Alex and 3 sons, Carter, Brayden and Parker. She joined the team in 2021 after a pause in her communications career to start a family. Outside of the office, Diana enjoys spending time with her family especially at the hockey rink, cheering on her husband who plays for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

         

         

        Caroline Healey - Caroline grew up on the North Shore and lives in South Boston. She officially joined the team after interning with the team over the summer. Caroline listens to her clients to understand their needs and tailors her efforts to offer a boutique level of service. Outside of the office, Caroline enjoys spending time at her family home on Nantucket, boating and exploring Boston restaurants with friends. Follow Caroline on instagram: @carolinheals

         

        Emily Carey - Emily grew up in Wellesley and lives in South Boston. As the team’s transaction coordinator, Emily provides exceptional support to her team throughout the various stages of the home selling, buying and rental process. Outside of the office, Emily enjoys running, trying new restaurants and spending time on the Islands. Follow Emily on instagram: @eacarey

         

        Dougie Conigliaro - Dougie grew up in Dedham and attended Belmont Hill for high school. Currently a freshman at Trinity college where he plays squash, he has interned for the team for the past 3 summers. He is an expert in leasing in the Boston area and completed his first $1M sale this past summer at the age of 18. Outside of the office, Dougie enjoys playing ping pong, boating and traveling. Follow Dougie on instagram: @dougiecrealestate

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          Berkeley Perk

          The Berkeley Perk is a long time Biega + Kilgore Team favorite. From a delicious hot coffee on the go in the morning to a California Dreamin’ wrap (team favorite) for lunch in between showings, the Berkeley Perk has always been a go-to. 

           

          Located right on Berkeley Street, a prime location in the South End, it’s easily accessible and their menu has something for everyone. We spoke with the owner, Jordan Tse, to learn more about this special cafe. 

           

          Q: How long has the Berkeley Perk been in business? 

          A: We have been in business 8/98 to current. Going on 23 years.

           

          Q: What is your favorite thing about being in the South End?

          A: My favorite thing about the South end is the great city life! The diversity, food, accessibility and culture. 

           

          Q: What is your favorite thing on the menu? 

          A: I like to see what the chef has on special for the day or week and that is usually my favorite 

           

          Head over to the Berkeley Perk this month and mention the Biega + Kilgore Team and have a free coffee, hot chocolate or tea on us! We hope you love it as much as we do. 

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            Why people are choosing to stay in Boston despite COVID 19

             

            There is no doubt that Covid-19 has impacted everyone in one way or another. There are a lot of uncertainties and questions in many of our lives. One thing that is for sure is that we all need a place to live and to call home. 

            While no one knows what the immediate future holds, there has been movement, and lots of it, during this pandemic. There is one question that we have been asked many times over the last few months and we wanted to share some anecdotal thoughts and data from our experience transacting real estate since the beginning of Covid-19. 

             

            The question: Is everyone moving to the Suburbs? 

             

            The headlines both nationally and locally certainly lead us to believe that there is a mass exodus out of cities, that they are desolate and that everyone of all ages is moving to the suburbs. For starters, all cities are not the same and it is crucial to look at real estate at a micro level vs. national level. 

            There are certainly a number of individuals and families that have chosen to make the move from the city to the suburbs over the last few months. However, from what we have found, the majority of those people were already planning on moving to the suburbs within the next 3-5 years and Covid-19 simply accelerated their move. 

            While preferences and search criteria have shifted slightly and people are placing higher value on turnkey properties, outdoor space and an office/bonus space, there are many individuals, families and couples of all ages who have decided to stay in the city. Below we will outline the motivating factors driving our clients’ decision to stay.

             

            Ubiquitous Green Space in Boston

            From the Public Garden to the Charles River Esplanade to Lawn on D and M Street Beach, there is a plethora of public outdoor spaces for Boston's residents to enjoy year round. For families with kids who are deciding between the suburbs and the city, a big driver is the thought of having a backyard in the suburbs. In New England, we can only use our backyards/ outdoor spaces comfortably for the summer months as well as the book end weeks of Spring and Fall. Many of our recent buyers have certainly placed a higher preference on having some sort of outdoor space and the young families who have chosen to stay take full advantage of the outdoor space throughout the city to entertain children, read a book, have a picnic and more! 

             

            Second Homes/ Vacation Homes

            The secondary/vacation home markets have skyrocketed throughout the pandemic. The work from home orders and quarantine mandates inspired people to escape to more isolated locations such as the popular summer destinations in Cape Cod, Nantucket Island, Martha’s Vineyard, Maine and Vermont to name a few. We have noticed a shift in mindset of some of our city residents who are keeping their Boston homes as home base and planning to spend extended periods of time at an existing or new vacation home. Boston offers easy access to all of the highways that lead to some of the most popular vacation cities and towns on the East Coast. 

            Instead of deciding to sell their city home and purchase in the suburbs, many are seeing their vacation home purchase as a getaway home while keeping or purchasing a city home. Some other key drivers to move to the burbs include the desire for more space for your money, backyard and perhaps a pool. Some are opting to experience the best of both worlds by having a vacation home with the pool and more space while still keeping a city pad. We have also seen a trend of people purchasing larger vacation homes and choosing to downsize in the city. 

             

            Movement to Boston from Bigger Cities

            Over the last few months there has been a significant increase in buyers moving into Boston from other bigger cities. We have received a large number of buyer inquiries recently from people making the move from NYC to Boston specifically. Many of these people are from the Boston area originally and with the work from home trends in place for the foreseeable future, Boston is now an option for them!

             

            Lifestyle

            While we service all kinds of clients, a large sector happens to be young professionals/single millennials. Very few of our clients from this sector have made the move to the suburbs. Largely, these individuals are still enjoying all that the city has to offer. Yes, restaurants and bars have been closed and capacity is thinner overall but the restrictions in place will not be forever.

             

            Variety of Homes

            In Boston, there are many high rise buildings with full service management and innumerable amenities, however, there is also an extensive variety of smaller brownstone buildings ranging from 1-4 residences. Of course some of these have elevators and/or garages too. For the immediate future and perhaps longer, those who are hesitant to purchase in a high rise building with hundreds of residents, have pivoted their search to a brownstone where they have only a few neighbors and at times, a private entrance. 

            Let's look at some data...

            Below is some interesting data that we have analyzed from Small Haul, a reputable moving company that services Boston and its surrounding towns and suburbs as well as interstate moves. This data may be surprising to some! Based on ALL move requests submitted from March - November in 2020 (covid) vs. 2019 (pre-covid), the EXACT same percentage of move requests have been submitted with a destination IN BOSTON vs OUTSIDE OF BOSTON. 

             

            MARCH 2020-NOVEMBER 2020 

            TOTAL MOVE REQUESTS: 2,832

            Moves originating at an address in BOSTON- 1,363 or 48%

            Moves originating at an address NOT IN BOSTON- 1,469 or 53%

            Destination at an address within BOSTON- 1,208- 43%

            Destination at an address NOT IN BOSTON- 1,624- 57%

             

            MARCH 2019- NOVEMBER 2019

            TOTAL MOVE REQUESTS: 2,146

            Moves originating at an address in BOSTON- 1,000 or 47%

            Moves originating at an address NOT IN BOSTON- 1,146 or 53%

            Destination at an address within BOSTON- 922 or 43%

            Destination at an address NOT IN BOSTON- 1,224 or 57%

             

            **this data is based on a moving company that services Boston and its surrounding towns and cities as well as interstate moves.

             

             

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              Local Spotlight: Jonquils Cafe

              Jonquils is a stylish, modern Cafe & Bakery that just opened on Newbury Street in Boston’s Back Bay. A “jonquils” is a fragrant flower which can be found in various countries and cultures. These different cultures are incorporated into the cafes menu. The only location is Newbury Street in Boston, but this cafe would fit right in on the streets of France! They have a variety of coffees, teas, fresh juices, baked goods and healthy lunch options which can be enjoyed outside on their large patio with outdoor seating.

              Their unique desserts are created by condensing and shaping the ingredients of the dessert into a 3D printed mold. In addition, their staff are very friendly, helpful, and welcoming. If you are looking to try something new and refreshing, we highly recommend visiting Joquils! 

              Our favorites:

              Single Origin Espresso 

              ethiopia misty valley: blueberry cheesecake, lemonade, apricot, chocolate, hibiscus

              Pentagon 

              milk chocolate mousse, rich chocolate sponge, almond crunch and dark chocolate cremeux

              https://jonquilscafe.com/

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                Boston Design Spotlight: Susan Shulman Interiors

                Our November Boston Design spotlight goes to Susan Shulman of Susan Shulman Interiors. Susan has been helping clients across Boston for over 25+ years. Her work has been featured in The Boston Design Guide, New England Home Magazine, Design Boston, the Boston Globe, The Boston Herald and many other publications. As an oil painter, Susan has the ability to mix unexpected color combinations for her interior design work directly from her experience in the artist’s studio. Today, we are lucky to have Susan answering the top 3 design questions we hear from our clients who have just rented or bought in the city:

                Many of our clients come to us to find the perfect rental. What is the best way for renters to make a space their own without having to change the footprint of the home?

                The best way for a renter to make a space their own is to add meaningful art, fresh flowers and something from their past. This could be a special vase, a book they’ve loved or a special gift from a friend or family member. Playing music in the background also creates a context that brings comfort and familiarity.

                Beyond white paint and lamps, what are your suggestions to lighten up a dark space?

                To lighten up a dark space, I’d hang a mirror or two in key places. Try hanging one opposite a window, preferably with a view or opposite a light fixture so the light bounces off as a reflection.  Light colored furnishings such as carpet and fabrics will also seemingly reflect light. Dark colors do the opposite by absorbing light. This will make a dark room appear even darker. Lighting corners is also effective rather than using just task lighting.

                Many of the properties we have sold in the last year are open concept homes. How do you help your clients created defined livings spaces (ie kitchen, living, and dining areas) in an open concept home?

                This last question is one that I am currently working on to separate an open space floor plan for a house on the Atlantic.  In order to define three spaces I am using a different carpet in each space. The living room will have a rectangular carpet that sits under the sofa, chairs and coffee table.  Helping to define the center of the room is a wall height fireplace and bookshelf arrangement. This further sets it off from the other two areas. Here we are positioning four of the same chairs in a circular arrangement with a round table in the center. A coordinated rug will anchor this seating arrangement. The third space is the dining room, which will have a different complimentary carpet to define this area. All of the furnishings are open to its neighboring groups making this ideal for large gatherings of family and friends. 

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                  Local Builders and General Contractors

                  Clients often ask us for the names of reputable, high-end builders/ general contractors. While we are not able to offer specific recommendations, the following is a sampling of firms who we know regularly perform renovations in the Back Bay, Beacon Hill and South End.

                   

                  Kennedy Design Build

                  http://www.kennedybuild.com/

                  Kennedy Design Build is a premier general contracting company specializing in custom residences in and around Boston with a concentration in Boston’s South End. We strive to deliver a product that not only reflects our commitment to unparalleled craftsmanship but leaves a lasting impression on those who experience it. Unequaled quality and customer satisfaction will continue to define Kennedy Design Build as a leader in Custom Residential Construction.

                   

                  M.F. Reynolds

                  https://www.mfreynolds.com/

                  M. F. Reynolds, Inc. specializes in providing professional construction services to residential and institutional clients in Boston and the surrounding areas.  Since 1890, this century old company is committed to the timely execution of high quality building and remodeling projects, regardless of their complexity or size. For every project, from kitchen remodeling, historic preservation, family room additions to new home construction, M. F. Reynolds holds to its sterling reputation of skilled craftsmanship, responsiveness, transparency, subcontractor loyalty, and ultimately client satisfaction.

                   

                  Payne Bouchier

                  https://www.paynebouchier.com/

                  Payne | Bouchier grew out of a passion for New England’s historic buildings and a commitment to high standards. We have been building, restoring and renovating fine homes throughout New England since 1981. After Hampshire College, Steve Payne had mastered the minutiae of millwork and cabinetry, and acquired an encyclopedic knowledge of the history and methodologies of woodworking. Tom Payne brought a strong sense of aesthetic and a keen eye for details, developed from his studies at Boston University’s Program in Artisanry. Oliver Bouchier was born in England where he cultivated his affinity for fine design and the traditions of British craftsmanship. Steve and Tom Payne and Oliver Bouchier pooled their collective talents to build Payne | Bouchier into the strong and diverse company that it is today. Working in the art of historic renovation, yet well versed in the forms, systems and materials of new construction, we can maneuver effortlessly between traditional and modern builds. If the design imperative is a historically authentic restoration or sleek modernity, we will bring our rigorous project management and skilled craftsmanship to bear. Whether it is making a window sash with historically accurate muntin profiles or doing a custom lay-up of exotic veneer, the outcome is beautiful and the process is enjoyable.

                   

                  Woodmeister

                  https://www.woodmeister.com/

                  When you choose Woodmeister, you get much. More than a seasoned construction professional.  Woodmeister is your personal advocate whose passion for excellence delivers an exceptional experience driven by unparalleled customer service.  Quite simply, we love what we do and it shows in the craftsmanship, meticulous attention to every detail and our commitment to delivering customer delight.

                   

                  Sea-Dar

                  http://seadar.com/

                  Sea-Dar is committed to developing trusting relationships with our clients that last long after the project has been completed. For 25 years, Sea-Dar Construction has been building a wide range of construction projects: from luxury urban residences and fine suburban custom homes, to large, technically complex institutional and commercial structures, each is managed with the same commitment to quality and customer service.  Whether it is new construction, conversion, renovation, or restoration, we consistently exceed the expectations of our clients.

                   

                  C.H. Newton Builders

                  http://www.chnewton.com/

                  Much like each home we build, C.H. Newton Builders began with a vision. In the summer of 1958, C.H. Newton bought thirty acres of land around a pond in Falmouth, Massachusetts with the intent of building an enclave of high quality custom homes. Over fifty years and four generations later, his vision continues with our family-owned, custom home building company with locations across New England. Our “C.H. Newton extended family” comprises over 40 full-time, highly respected industry professionals as well as our private network of clients from over five decades of business. Expertise, customization and first class quality are all at the core of every specialized project we complete. To us, a house is more than a home—it’s an heirloom.

                   

                  Sleeping Dog Properties

                  https://www.sleepingdogproperties.com/

                  Sleeping Dog Properties, Inc. has delivered custom residential construction services to discerning clientele in Boston and surrounding areas for over 20 years. Whether we’re completely rebuilding, remodeling or renovating, we can create a home to your exact specifications. Our team has the knowledge, skill, and care to bring your vision to life.

                   

                  International Builders

                  https://www.intbuilders.com/

                  A high-end boutique firm, International Builders, Inc. consists exclusively of hardworking, creative, and thoughtful professionals who share an unyielding determination to help you achieve your goals. As masters of commercial and residential projects, we bring our passion for flawless execution to every single project, large and small.

                   

                  The Holland Companies

                  http://www.thehollandcompanies.com/

                  With more than 100 years of combined experience in the design, engineering and construction industries, Holland Development and M. Holland & Sons Construction have managed hundreds residential and commercial projects. It offers a unique combination of services to buyers by providing historical designs, sound re-engineering and quality construction n highly sought-after and difficult building environments like the Back Bay, South End and Beacon Hill. Holland Development was founded in response to the market need for high-quality residential construction in affluent urban Boston areas. It is a direct offshoot of M. Holland & Sons Construction, Inc., a 40-year old family-owned-and-managed  general construction company and its resident design and engineering professionals. Its mission is to provide high-quality, historically designed residential housing.

                   

                  Catamount

                  http://catamountbuilders.com/

                  Catamount Builders has been crafting homes since 2004. With a diverse and specialized team, we can build your custom home from foundation to finish or simply finish the exterior remodel you haven’t had time to do. Our keen eye and personal touch will give you a different construction experience. We are not just construction workers — we are builders, we are crafters. Your project will be approached and met with exceptional care and unmatched quality. At Catamount, you and your home are our number one priority.

                   

                  DiPierro Construction

                  http://www.dipierroinc.com/our-team/

                  With over 30 years of experience, DiPierro Construction services all aspects of residential and light commercial construction and development in Boston proper and surrounding areas.  We strive to offer our clients a wide range of services making it easier to manager all aspect of the job no matter its scope or size.

                   

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                    Why People Buy Garden Level Homes

                    Back Bay, Beacon Hill and the South End are three of Boston’s most iconic neighborhoods and have become increasingly desirable places for residents to call home. The juxtaposition of the quiet residential streets with the bustling activity on the nearby downtown streets makes these neighborhoods unique, charming and inviting.

                    Historic brownstone homes are ubiquitous throughout these neighborhoods in the form of condominiums, single family, and multi-family dwellings.  Most of these brownstones were built back in the early 1900’s, originally constructed as single family or multi-family homes. The concept of the Condominium was conceived in the 1960s and has been growing in popularity ever since.

                    During the conversion of a single or multi family brownstone into condominiums, multiple units are designed and developed, one on top of the other, creating some combination of lower level, middle and upper level units. The lower level unit is commonly referred to as the garden level unit. The middle level(s) is often referred to as the parlor level and the upper most level unit is most commonly referred to as the penthouse.  While condos can be designed spanning any number of floors, we often see floor-through units, which are all on one floor; duplexes, which span two floors; and triplexes which consist of three levels. While every individual has his/her own idea of what makes a home “perfect”, there are pros and cons of living on each different level of a brownstone condo building. 

                    Below, we will explore some of the advantages of living in a garden level unit and offer our thoughts on how lower level units overcome the stigma of being “darker” and less desirable.

                    What motivates a buyer to purchase a garden-level home?

                    • Easy access from the street
                    • Fewer flights of stairs
                    • Often there is a separate, private entrance from the other units in the building 
                    • Outdoor space tends to be slightly larger offering the opportunity for a garden/entertaining
                    • Direct access to parking if a deeded spot is available behind the building
                    • Units tend to be warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer creating energy efficiency
                    • Pricing tends to be slightly lower than comparable units on mid or upper levels because of the “stigma” that all garden level units are dark and less desirable

                    Understanding the pros and cons of every unit will help you make an informed decision when exploring your options. If you’re considering a purchase, let us guide and help you find the perfect fit for you. 

                    Click here to view some of our favorite garden level homes in Back Bay, Beacon Hill and South End.

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