Frank Celeste is Charlestown’s leading real estate broker bar none. He’s been at it here for more than 20 years and he knows the territory, Charlestown housing and the entire field the way a heart surgeon understands cardio-vascular medicine.
Interviewed inside his office in One Thompson Square, Celeste said that 2012 is going to be a banner year.
“People are feeling good about their jobs and their finances. The year so far has been phenomenal,” he said.
Celeste was the first broker in Charlestown to crack the $1 million price level for a single family home. He did this 20 years ago.
Last month, he brokered the sale of a fine home on Adams Street near the Training Field for $2.2 million – a record for a single family home in Charlestown.
“It was the highest price ever for a single family home in this neighborhood,” Celeste said. “You can’t duplicate scale, sunlight and location. The interior finishes were amazing. The Adams Street property has them all 100% on all counts,” he added.
He said there are fewer bargains and or rare finds in town anymore.
Overall, the value for property in Charlestown has been rising, even during the recession and in its aftermath. Also, the neighborhood is changing.
Celeste said more and more older homeowners with children are looking to grow into a better home. He said the Warren-Presscott School is so highly regarded by parents with younger children that there is now a waiting list and that parental involvement is over the top.
A decade ago, this wasn’t happening,” Celeste said. “Parents with younger children would stay for a few years and leave for the suburbs. Not so anymore,” he added.
“Parents with children living here are now upgrading for the long term.”
Celeste, who works for Gibson/Sothesby’s International Realty, said that rents have tended to go so high that ownership in Charlestown is preferable to renting at this point.
“The low interest rates are making a big difference. I’m having a fabulous year as a result. I’ve already accomplished 65% of what I did in all of last year and this is during the first four months. And in addition, this office now owns the Charlestown #1 marketshare title as of this month – and everyone working here is very proud of that.”
He said the $2.2 million sale on Adams sets a new bar.
“That sale was a benchmark for everything to follow.”