Photo: A “tiny house” on Westlund.
A weekly recap of residential properties sold in the past seven-plus days in the “Town of Homes”:
• 9 Westlund Rd., Ranch (1950). Sold: $615,000. Listed at $629,000. Living area: 864 sq.-ft. 4 rooms, 2 bedrooms, 1 baths. On the market: 91 days.
• 73 Dartmouth St. Multifamily (1900). Sold: $730,000. Listed at $725,000. Living area: 2,016 sq.-ft. 10 rooms, 4 bedrooms, 2 baths. On the market: 71 days.
• 69-71 Carleton Rd., Multifamily (1927). Sold: $899,000. Listed at $915,000. Living area: 2,640 sq.-ft. 12 rooms, 4 bedrooms, 3 baths. On the market: 107 days.
• 137 Claflin St. Center-entry Colonial (1934). Sold: $805,000. Listed at $778,000. Living area: 1,686 sq.-ft. 7 rooms, 3 bedrooms, 1.5 baths. On the market: 57 days.
• 93-95 Bartlett Ave. Multifamily (1928). Sold: $708,000. Listed at $719,000. Living area: 2,200 sq.-ft. 11 rooms, 5 bedrooms, 2 baths. On the market: 127 days
• 204-206 Waverley St. #3, Condominium (1906). Sold: $399,900. Listed at $399,900. Living area: 1,044 sq.-ft. 5 rooms, 2 bedrooms, 1 baths. On the market: 79 days.
• 52 Summit Rd. #7, Townhouse condominium (2005). Sold: $1,300,000. Listed at $1,450,000. Living area: 3,240 sq.-ft. 7 rooms, 1 bedrooms, 3.5 baths. On the market: 113 days.
• 22 Wellesley Rd. Brick Manor House with turret (1929). Sold: $3,092,500. Listed at $3,200,000. Living area: 4,905 sq.-ft. 11 rooms, 5 bedrooms, r.5 baths. On the market: 57 days.
• 20 South Cottage Rd. #102, A unit within a renovated Georgian Colonial brick building (2015/1893). Sold: $1,495,000. Listed at $1,495,000. Living area: 2,825 sq.-ft. 7 rooms, 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths. On the market: 481 days.
• 20 South Cottage Rd. #101, A unit within a renovated Georgian Colonial brick building (2015/1893). Sold: $1,450,000. Listed at $1,450,000. Living area: 2,680 sq.-ft. 7 rooms, 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths. On the market: 525 days.
It was once known as Upham Memorial Hall, the building at McLean Hospital that served for 80 years as the upscale home for a select number of wealthy residents who were stark, raving mad. And a half century ago, Upham was the involuntary home of the great blues and pop performer Ray Charles, who beat a heroin possession charge by agreeing to a judge’s order to spend some time in the care of the hospital for “observation and tests.”
As for this week, the building enters its second life as the upscale home for a select number of wealthy residents who are willing to pay stark, raving mad prices to live next to other rich folks. (It’s so exclusive, developer Northland Development won’t distribute photos of the interior. “If you have to ask …”) Maybe it’s just me, but when I spend $1.5 million, I want something more private than a 2,600 sq.-ft. “apartment” that shares a floor with other “tenants.” How annoying it must be being interrupted while watching “Keeping up with the Kardashians” by some burdensome neighbor knocking on the door asking if they can borrow some Grey Poupon for their Poulet aigu de Tarragon. Oh, dear!
Top billing in terms of “wow” factor goes to the brick manor house on Wellesley Road, which was the long-time home of the Palandjian family, bought in 1969 by the father Petros and now owned by a trust for the kids. Although the exterior and elegant European/English landscape is more impressive than the relatively standard interior (What? No cathedral ceiling? Hrumph!)
Here’s a bit of trivia: Peter Palandjian is the last Belmont resident to play on the ATP Tour, ranking 280th in singles in 1989, reaching the quarterfinals in Johannesburg and Telford.
As for the house hidden on a back road on the Hill, its value has taken off. Appraised by the town at $651,000 just 20 years ago, it was assessed at $1.9 million in 2015. That’s a nice little $1 million bubble “profit” for the family homestead. Well, it does have a sauna in the basement, and the master bath has a fireplace, just like those in medieval castles.
My favorite house is the itsy-bitsy ranch on Westlund, a stone throw away from the Winn Brook. At less than 900 square feet, it’s smaller than most condominiums on the market. It almost qualifies for a “Tiny House,” which run from 100 to 400 square feet. While the exterior needs work, the interior is rather nice. The wood floors and walls are in great shape, the kitchen is a good size, and you get a living room/dining room that supplies all you need.
The only issue facing this great starter house is who bought it. Hopefully, it is a growing family who can gain some equity from the purchase. But the marketing pitch had an ominous final sentence: “Ideal for first-time buyers who can move right in and expand the house later or developers.”
With the town’s Planning Board still months away from formulating new bylaws on bulk and height limits for new construction, this little gem could be lost to an oversized faux Colonial with no style or soul.