Common Questions about Cambridge & Somerville and the Answers!

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Q: What is the residential tax rate for Cambridge?

A:  For fiscal year 2021, the residential tax rate in Cambridge, MA is $5.85 per $1,000 of assessed value. 

The 2021 residential tax rate in Cambridge reflects an increase from 2020 of 10 cents or 2%.

For fiscal year 2021, the residential exemption is $432,666.
The full residential exemption reduces a homeowner's taxes by $2,531.10 in 2021.
The residential exemption is for owners who reside in their Cambridge property and file a Massachusetts income tax return using that address. You are eligible for a residential exemption if you owned and occupied your property as your primary residence as of January 1, 2020. More than two-thirds of the residential property in Cambridge is owner-occupied.

Q: What is the residential tax rate for Somerville?

A: For 2021, the residential tax rate in Somerville, MA is $10.19 per $1,000 of assessed value.
This is an increase of 10 cents (1%) from 2020. (The 2020 tax rate was $10.09 per $1,000 of assessed value.)

The Fiscal Year is July 1 to June 30.

Taxes collected quarterly in August, November, February, and May.

The residential exemption tax valuation reduction in 2021 is $339,040.
For fiscal year 2021 the full residential exemption reduces a Somerville homeowner's taxes by $3,455.
The residential exemption is for owners who reside in their Somerville property.

CLICK HERE to enter the Somerville online assessor's database and look up any residential property.

Q: What does the real estate week look like in Cambridge and Somerville?

A: The short answer is that there is regular rhythm to the real estate week, centered around the weekend and open houses.

One can make a case for the real estate week in the Cambridge and Somerville market starting on Wednesday. Each Wednesday, a number of local real estate offices go out on a tour to preview in person the new listings coming on the market with their respective office. Also, quite a few new listings are newly listed for sale in MLS on Wednesday.

Thursday is another popular choice for a new listing to be posted for sale in MLS. Also, many new listings have broker open houses on Thursdays. These broker open houses give agents from every office a chance to see new listings. In the last several years, broker open houses are frequently also open to the public as well.  

If a new listing has not been posted in MLS on Wednesday or Thursday, there is a good chance it will be listed on Friday. Agents and Sellers are seeking to be listed for sale before the weekend. Every once in awhile, there will be a Friday evening "commuter" open house for the public.

When I started working as a Realtor in Cambridge and Somerville in 1999, a Saturday open house was a very rare event. These days, Saturday open houses are quite common. For sure, not as many open houses on Saturday as on Sunday. Still, there are quite a few in Cambridge and Somerville, especially in the spring.

Sunday is the big day for open houses. Many properties are open, and a lot of people are out looking. The good news in Cambridge and Somerville is that parking by permit only restrictions are not in effect on Sundays.

Some properties will have a call for offers on Monday at 5 pm. Otherwise, Mondays are one of the quieter days of the real estate week.

Quite a few properties will have a call for offers at some point on Tuesday. Also, Tuesday is the other day of the week that broker open houses are happening, giving agents a chance to see listed properties.

Of course, to describe what the real estate week looks like is to not say every real estate week looks like this. For sure, holidays do have an impact on the real estate week. Generally speaking, real estate activity is much quieter on holidays.

Q: How can I  search online for properties in Cambridge and Somerville?

A:The short answer is on my websites! You can search the active listings on this website.

You can complete more advanced searches (including searching properties pending, recently sold and open houses) on our other website,

Q: How do I find a Cambridge or Somerville property in the online assessor's database?

AYou can bookmark these web pages:

For Cambridge, Massachusetts online assessor's database  - CLICK HERE

For Somerville, Massachusetts online assessor's database - CLICK HERE

When you open the respective link above, type in the specific property address you are looking for.

For Cambridge, you need to type in the address as it is known to the city to find the property.

For Somerville, when you begin typing in the address, the database prompts you with what it believes is the right choice.

If you cannot find the address you are searching for, it means the property is known by another address. Ask your Realtor for assistance if you are having difficulty finding the property you are seeking in the online assessor's database.

The online assessor's databases report the assessed value. The assessed value is updated each year.
Please note that there is no strict correlation between assessed value and market value.

The online assessor's databases report the square footage for the property.
Please note that the the reported square footage is not always accurate.

The online assessor's databases report the sale date and sale price.
Please note that the reported sale date and sale price is not always accurate.
Sometimes you will see sale price is reported as $1.

The Cambridge and Somerville online assessor's databases are useful tools. Use them but do not depend on them for understanding market value. Contact an experienced local Realtor for insights into market value for properties in Cambridge and Somerville.

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