Sold in Belmont: And ‘Poof’ The House Was Off The Market

Photo: A unique home just off School Street. 

A weekly recap of residential properties sold in the past seven-plus days in the “Town of Homes”:

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10 Anis Rd., Colonial with front extension (1940). Sold: $860,002. Listed at $760,000. Living area: 1,865 sq.-ft. 7 rooms, 3 bedrooms, 1.5 baths. On the market: 52 days.

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10 Pine St., Philadelphia-style condo (1915). Sold: $512,000. Listed at $465,000. Living area: 1,762 sq.-ft. 7 rooms, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths. On the market: 59 days.

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15 Francis St., Condominium (1927). Sold: $406,150. Listed at $375,000. Living area: 991 sq.-ft. 4 rooms, 2 bedrooms, 1 baths. On the market: 68 days.

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104 Stony Brook Rd., Classic Ranch (1960). Sold: $930,000. Listed at $929,000. Living area: 1,720 sq.-ft. 6 rooms, 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths. On the market: 54 days.

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99 Louise Rd., English Colonial (1929). Sold: $1,150,000. Listed at $1,150,000. Living area: 2,676 sq ft. 10 rooms, 5 bedrooms, 3.5 baths. On the market: 81 days.

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 115 Channing Rd., Expanded Cape (1942). Sold: $655,000. Listed at $699,000. Living area: 1,527 sq.-ft. 5 rooms, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths. On the market: 103 days.

Remember the memorable final line in the outstanding film “The Usual Suspects”? 

“And like that, poof. He’s gone.”

You could change a few words, and you have a metaphor for the Belmont real estate market.

“And like that, poof. The house for sale was gone.”

In the past week, six of the seven homes and condos that sold were bought just weeks after being listed on the market. And in half the sales, the final price was greater than the original list price. 

The reason is simple enough to deduce for anyone who stayed awake for at least half of their Econ 101  Macroeconomics class: The residential housing market is being dictated by the lack of supply with an eager number of buyers. 

According to research done by Real Estate Attorney Richard Vetstein, who runs the informative Massachusetts Real Estate Law Blog, inventory for residential homes in Boston’s suburbs frankly stinks. Speaking to brokers and salesperson, Vetstein discovered there isn’t much out there to sell in the spring which has bled over to the summer. And if you have a “quality” property (not beat-up, has some detail, not overpriced), expect a torrid of people attending your open house. 

And with buyers dreaming of living in a community of great schools, bad roads and a pretty quick commute (unless you work in Marblehead), these homes were snatched up, pronto. The average time on the market was just over two months, and most of that time was likely taken up trying to determine which of the multiple offers to accept. 

But there is one caveat to that supply/demand function for real estate in Belmont: don’t be greedy. There have been numerous examples – many involving high-end homes reported in the Belmontonian – of sellers who had to put their tails between their legs and recalculate (i.e., cut) the listing price. Buyers are willing to pay a premium but not a ransom for a house. Winchester is just one town over, and it has better roads, a new high school, and the same housing stock.

And in the past week, sellers and their brokers kept that initial list price reasonably close to the value of the homes calculated by the town’s assessors.

Property       Assessed value     List price 

10 Anis Rd.            $759,000          $760,000

10 Pine St.             $506,000          $465,000

104 Stony Brook  $865,000          $929,000

99 Louise Rd.      $1,038,000        $1,150,000

115 Channing Rd.  $612,000          $699,000 (reduced to $679,000 after a month)

And just a word on 99 Louise Rd., if you discount some of the interior updates (what’s worse than natural-color granite countertops? Granite countertops dyed shamrock green) the house has some beautiful details – in-the-wall custom bookshelves, ventilation windows, built-in cabinets – and original wooden floors that gives you an idea what so many homes in Belmont looked like that were built before the Market Crash of 1929 when less expensive material began being used. 

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