Boston’s Seaport District Should Be on Everyone’s Radar

Ashley Perkins of Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty tells all.

Boston has plenty of charm, but the Seaport District neighborhood—and that’s just “Seaport” to the locals, thank you very much—is in a class all its own.

ESTATENVY’s source for this juicy tidbit of real estate information is none other than Ashley Perkins, a luxury real estate consultant with Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty, where she’s been for the past six years.

“We like to say ‘Local Touch, Global Reach,’” Perkins said of Gibson. “We have so many affiliates, 700 around the world, and we’re really great at connecting with them.”

She noted that Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty is especially helpful to clients wishing to relocate.

“If I have clients moving anywhere in the world, I know I can send them to a Sotheby’s and they’ll be well taken care of and vice versa,” she said. “We’ll get referrals from all over the world. There’s really that great network that serves our clients really well in terms of getting the same quality of service.”

Boston, in general, has a lot going for it. Perkins, a New Hampshire native who attended college in Massachusetts, then moved to Boston and never left, would certainly know.

“I think why people move to Boston and what keeps them here is it’s easy to plant roots if you’re not from here within the city. A lot of people can envision being here long-term because it’s less expensive than New York City,” she said. “It’s smaller, so I think it’s not as overwhelming if people actually feel like they can afford it. So, definitely in terms of affordability, I have a lot of clients that do move from New York City to here mainly because they want to start a family and have roots and Boston is attractive for those kinds of reasons. And for me, personally, I’ve just loved it because moving here and not knowing a lot of people, just getting involved in a few charities and organizations, it’s so easy to meet people. I think a lot of people in the city are very ambitious and like a healthy lifestyle and love our Boston sports. There’s a lot of camaraderie and it feels really just like home. It felt like that pretty instantly for me.”

Perkins noted that people looking to move to Boston might be intimidated about the cost of living, but the sticker shock may not actually be so bad.

“You can actually get a really great deal in a good neighborhood depending on the time of year you’re looking,” she said.

Perkins said that Boston’s off-season for real estate starts right after Thanksgiving and runs through late January, and things start to pick up again in mid-February.

“In March, we’re kind of in the full swing of the spring market, and I think the spring market is absolutely the busiest season for Boston real estate,” she said.

While Boston has several great neighborhoods, Perkins pointed to Seaport as being the hottest.

“It’s just transformed so much in the last five years—more than any other neighborhood right within Boston,” she said. “It used to really just be three popular restaurants and parking lots and a couple office buildings, and since then it’s just completely transformed.”

She noted that “Boston has been growing in very large numbers for the past six or seven years” and many companies are moving there. She added that Seaport’s proximity to major hubs such as South Station and the Financial District, plus the beauty of being right by the water, have added to the neighborhood’s appeal.

Perkins noted that at first there were a lot of developers building office buildings in Seaport, wanting to make it into an office area, and they were followed by residential builders who wanted to make the area more of a neighborhood.

Now the retail spaces are pouring in, and just within the past two years they’ve added high-end gyms, movie theaters and bowling alleys, plus the “fun, hip restaurants now are really starting to open,” Perkins said. “That’s where everyone wants to go out and stuff because there are so many fun restaurants and rooftop bars and things like that there.”

Seaport also has plenty of transportation options.

“It’s very easy access to get on the highway,” Perkins said. “To get to the airport, too, it’s really quick. You can just hop on the Silver Line, or in the warmer months take a water taxi just right across the harbor. I would say a big advantage is commuting is very easy for a lot of people. You can walk to work if you live in Financial District and it’s easy to get to mass transportation. I think an advantage too is just being by the water. A lot of people love that kind of feel, especially in the warmer months.”

Charlestown is another Boston neighborhood on Perkins’ radar.

“I’m seeing a lot of people liking Charlestown because it’s a little bit less expensive than Beacon Hill or Back Bay, but it has that kind of historic ‘Boston charm’ feeling to it, especially the Gas Light District within Charlestown,” she said.

So between Seaport and Charlestown, not to mention the entire city in general, Boston is definitely the place to be. Perkins certainly plans to stick around.

“It’s a wonderful city and I love it,” she said.