Head and shoulders photo of Randal Engelmann and Erik Gould of Focus Real Estate

Why Fall is the Perfect Time to Sell Your House

Sponsored by FOCUS Real Estate

The spring real estate season gets a lot of love from buyers and sellers alike, but let's not forget about its highly attractive counterpart. Just as some prefer fall foliage to springtime blossoms, some homebuyers will willingly forsake springtime madness in favor of finding their perfect home later in the year. For current homeowners looking to sell their houses, attracting these buyers means adjusting their selling strategy to suit the particulars of both the season and the circumstances of this category of buyer. Here are five reasons to embrace the fall as a great time to sell your home. The selling season is short.

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4 Mortgage Myths Dispelled for Today’s Homebuyers

Sponsored by FOCUS Real Estate

Today’s homebuyers are awash in information that can sway what is probably the biggest purchase of their lives. Especially to those new to the home search, it can be difficult to wade through sometimes-conflicting advice on home mortgages, particularly when guidelines that were generally accepted in the past may no longer apply in today’s home-buying environment. Here are four mortgage myths today’s homebuyers might encounter during their home search. You need 20 percent down to secure a loan
Following the recent mortgage crisis in the late 2000s, many housing lenders began to require at least a 20 percent down payment from buyers in order to reduce their own loan risk. Twenty percent down is still a good practice, but in expensive markets like Greater Boston, it can be extremely difficult to amass a down payment in the tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars -- especially for first-time homebuyers who do not have the ability to leverage the proceeds of a previous house sale.

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Photo of a typo-ridden shirt on sale at Target by @ClaireInBoston, used with permission

Target Tosses ‘Jamaca Plain’ T-shirts

Mega-retailer Target is withdrawing Boston T-shirts because the items feature misspellings such as "Jamaca Plain" and "Southy." A shopper at the chain's new Central Square store spotted the errors on Monday. Seen at the new central sq target...@maureencaught pic.twitter.com/noUCpat7im— Claire (@ClaireInBos) March 13, 2017

That's Central Square, Cambridge of course - not the mythical "Central" neighborhood that looks to us like Downtown. A representative of Minneapolis-based Target apologized for the error and said the shirts will be taken out of retail circulation, the Globe reported. According to a search of the Target web site on Wednesday, the offending clothes had already been removed.

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New Cigarette ‘Buttlers’ Help Centre Street Look Its Best

In November, Jamaica Plain News reported that smart receptacles for cigarette butts would soon be coming to Centre Street. These Sidewalk Buttlers are now up. Each box bears the name of a local business that helped sponsor the project. The boxes are inconspicuous, so you might not have noticed them yet. "I think that they’re really helpful because I do smoke and there are not always trash cans nearby," said Ari Barrett, who works at Caffé Nero.

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File photo: Commuters will soon see signs like this again, pictured on Sept. 6, 2016, as the T shutters one track at Forest Hills from March 25 through June.

Starting March 25, Forest Hills Station Back Down to One Track

Forest Hills Station will be taken back down to one track starting March 25 as part of the Casey Arborway project. The plan is the same as from when the T shut down one track from September through December. This time, instead of installing a jet fan needed for the new station entrance north of New Washington Street, the closure will make it easier to do electric work and build "underground elements" required by the massive project, MassDOT said in an advisory issued Wednesday. During the last stretch of one-track operation, the T said its plan for rush hour would not cause added delays. The September-December closure allowed the following work on the Casey Arborway project to be done:

Jet fans installed to ventilate the station.

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Possible route of Orange Line extension along Commuter Rail line

Orange Line Extension to Rozzie Square Envisioned

A giant report on how to overhaul the city's transportation system includes an item of keen interest for JP residents: An extension of the Orange Line from Forest Hills to Roslindale Square. City Hall published the report Tuesday. The full 224 pages are required reading for transit advocates. But many neighborhood residents might focus on page 157. It describes how Orange Line riders could get a one-seat ride all the way to Rozzie Square by using track next to the commuter rail bed.

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CJ Reese, who like a large majority of the staff lives in or very near JP, tends bar.

City Floats 15 JP-Only Alcohol Licenses

Jamaica Plain businesses would get five new booze licenses a year for three years under a proposal floated Monday. Mayor Marty Walsh and City Councilor At-Large Ayanna Pressley announced the plan, which would add a total of 105 licenses to JP, Hyde Park, Roxbury, East Boston, Dorchester, Mattapan and Mission Hill. In a holdover from the days when the state did not trust Boston to distribute its own booze licenses, a restauranteur faces six-digit costs and Byzantine rules to serve vodka, stout or chardonnay. All licenses are tightly regulated and involve approvals at both the state and city levels. Pressley, taking up liquor licenses as an economic development issue, shepherded a similar program through in 2014.

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Action shot of Tiger jamming

Meet the Roller Derby Women of Jamaica Plain

If you overhear a group of women calling each other names like Hex and Tiger, you might have fallen in with the roller derby chicks. Boston has an active derby scene. Four home teams play against each other from February through October and the travel team is ranked 26th internationally. Four of the skaters — Iris “America” Ayala, Caitlin “Hexoskeleton” Boag, Chloé “Tiger Eye” Mason and Michele “Della Kinetic” Savery — live here in JP. Not Your Mother’s Roller Derby
This is a time of revival for the sport.

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Felix D. Arroyo

Suspended Register of Probate Félix D. Arroyo Has Deep JP Ties

Suffolk Register of Probate Félix D. Arroyo, whose roots go deep in JP, has been placed on paid leave while his office is under investigation. Arroyo's lawyer told the Globe that entrenched court employees sabotaged his efforts to hire a more diverse staff. The suspension has provoked ire from Arroyo's supporters, including Máximo Torres, a columnist for the JP-based El Mundo Newspaper. Torres said Arroyo has not been accused of wrongdoing and was suspended without due process. Arroyo for years lived in JP.

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Rendering of proposal for 25 Amory St.

Neighborhood Group to Consider 44-Unit Affordable Rental Complex

Development is always big news in JP. And the Zoning Committee of the JP Neighborhood Council sees virtually every proposal of consequence. The neighborhood group meets Wednesday to consider two projects. The largest is a proposal from the JP Neighborhood Development Corp. to build 44 units of affordable rental housing at 25 Amory St.

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