Sold in Belmont: After Being Put On the Bench, A Colonial Sells With a Big Bow

Photo: On, off and then on big time with a Bow.

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94 Prospect St., Dutch Colonial (1923). Sold: $935,000.

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14 Bow Rd., Colonial (1928). Sold: $1,479,000.

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10-12 Ash St., Two-family Residence (1954). Sold: $680,000.

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

94 Prospect St., Dutch Colonial  (1923). Sold: $935,000. Listed at $995,000. Living area: 2,292 sq.-ft. 8 rooms, 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths. On the market: 80 days.

14 Bow Rd., Colonial (1928). Sold: $1,479,000. Listed at $1,499,000. Living area: 3,181 sq.-ft. 10 rooms, 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths. On the market: 70 days.

• 10-12 Ash St., Two-family Residence (1954). Sold: $680,000. Listed at $649,000. Living area: 1,932 sq.-ft. 10 rooms, 4 bedrooms, 2 baths. On the market: 41 days.

On a section of Bow Street awash in brick homes, the 88-year-old Colonial with the off-center entry stands out for several reasons. One is the exquisite interior renovations the last owner spent $30,000 in permitted changes. The other is a mind-numbing price someone with a nice-sized wallet who purchased the quintessential Belmont structure: just a hair under $1.5 million dollars. Wow. This for a place in which the basement is unfurnished, there’s no rec room (OK, there is an attic family room) and it’s oil heated. 

Not to say this place is a dump: the kitchen/mud room coming off porch is nice – but we will need to mark down the kitchen due to its use of granite counters – and the details in the living room (no great room in this 1920s abode) are charmers: the dual open shelf/cabinets on either side of the fireplace are attractive (but what is this annoying insistence of placing a television monitor above the fireplace? Stop it!) and the beautiful detail molding of the era in the other rooms. And the bathroom renovations are surprisingly right on, classic modern in white with a tile floor that is understated. While coming in at 3,000 square feet, the house does feel comfortable.

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But worth $100 more a square foot than the average home in Belmont ($465 vs. $363) even if it is within a short walk to the two elementary schools, a bit of a hike to the Chenery and a hop from the High School? Hot markets do lead to top dollars in sales. 

What the house has is an interesting sales history. It was sold in June 2005 for $904,000. 

It came back on the market on Oct. 8, 2013, listed at $1,100,098. But three days later, all traces of being on the market is gone. 

Four months later, the house is sold that former asking price, $1,100,050 in January 2014 without the benefit of being sold through the Multiple Listing Service in a private sale. The new owner puts $30,000 into remodeling the bathrooms and paint and spruce up the place. 

Two years later, in February 2016, it’s listed for $1,499,000 and sells only 70 days later for $1,479,000. 

Goes to show you what a little paint and time in a hot market can reap.

Sold In Belmont: Townhouse Condo Gets Love From Buyer

Photo: A townhouse condo that took off like a single-family.

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80 Maple St., Townhouse condominium (1993). Sold: $715,000.

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133 White St., Condominium (1928). Sold: $513,000. Listed at $515,000.

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

80 Maple St., Townhouse condominium (1993). Sold: $715,000. Listed at $639,000. Living area: 2,008 sq.-ft. 6 rooms, 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths. On the market: 66 days.

133 White St., Condominium (1928). Sold: $513,000. Listed at $515,000. Living area: 1,431 sq.-ft. 7 rooms, 2 bedrooms, 1 baths. On the market: 87 days.

Two former two families now individuals condominiums sold last week with differing outcomes. The newly-converted condo that once was a multiple family on White Street was able to hit its list price of just more than $500,000.

While over on Maple Street, the more traditional townhouse hit the right note for one buyer resulting in a $75,000 premium over the $639,000 list price. The final sales price is a whopping $150,000 more than the town’s appraised value of $561,000 and $220,000 more than when was last sold in 2009.

The nearly quarter-century old townhouse does provide three bedrooms and approximately 2,000 square feet, although the interior appears to have all the hallmarks of a townhouse; open floor plan, narrow room on the ground floor – note how tiny the living room is (is it more a living “space” with the small divider separating the entry way/front door), an updated but smallish kitchen area, and not so spectacular room details.

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But with the medium price of single-family homes reaching the high six figures, buyers are willing to put down extra for a condo that resembles a traditional residential structure even if it does share a common wall with its neighbor. Take a look at the newly-constructed townhouse that sold last month on Trapelo. Despite being located across the street from the Fire Department headquarters, next to the VFW, a funeral parlor, a popular park and fronting a busy state highway, it sold for a million dollars. 

Sold in Belmont: Big is So Passé, Small Is The Way to Go

Photo: Small and livable on the Elm.

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17 Little Pond Rd., Colonial (1947). Sold: $750,000.

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54 Elm St., Brick Colonial condo (1928). Sold: $549,000.

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

17 Little Pond Rd., Colonial (1947). Sold: $750,000. Listed at $779,000. Living area: 1,542 sq.-ft. 7 rooms, 3 bedrooms, 1.5 baths. On the market: 123 days.

54 Elm St., Brick Colonial condo (1928). Sold: $549,000. Listed at $549,000. Living area: 1,162 sq.-ft. 6 rooms, 2 bedrooms, 1.5 baths. On the market: 62 days.

Today, many home buyers wouldn’t deem it worth their time to view a house that is smaller than 2,000 square feet. And as for new construction, 3,000 square feet appears the new minimum. Anything smaller is too “cozy” (translation: SMALL) for most modern families, the thinking goes. 

But do you need a “great room” – remember when they were called living rooms? – with a kitchen the size of would equip a good-sized restaurant (so you can microwave dinner) in a floor plan in which you need roller skates to navigate the manse? Is it necessary to have five bedrooms when you only have two kids and relatives come by once a year and stay at the Meridian? A full size “play” space with the jacuzzi that no one uses? You’re a success of what you do, not what you own.

For a growing number of people, minimizing their footprint and their lives has become an important aspect of their lives. And there is a segment of the housing market to match these new demands. There is the extreme “tiny” home (300 square feet) phenomenon going on in the South and West – there aren’t any of these in Belmont … yet! – and the growing popularity of home designs and plans for homes with under 1,000 square feet, again outside of New England. 

A pair of properties that sold this week in Belmont show why you would be wrong to think that big is better. The classic center-entry Colonial – just a bit over 1,500 square feet – on Little Pond shows what a little living care can go a long way to bring warmth and a modern feel to a fairly standard post-war design. The kitchen was upgraded with design smarts behind it, with new appliances and warm cherry color cabinets and Cambria countertop (Yes! anything but granite!). Space is not wasted here; you do most of your eating at the kitchen table adjacent where you cook (what a concept), and the bikes are parked beside the side door. The living room is a hop and step way and there is a dining room that is fine for most events; the stairway leads to three bedrooms and the full bathroom which was updated. Again, not a master suite in the boudoir but a bedroom that serves its function. Not a half acre out back for the coyotes to roam but a place for a grill and games. 

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The condo on Elm is fascinating as it was a single family segmented into condos. I know something of this as my grandfather and his employer, a banker, “bought” – they foreclosed on an elderly man and threw him into the street in 1930 – a beautiful 1874 Colonial Revival with Victorian elements on Aldersey Street in Somerville. They literally split the house down the middle including dividing the grand staircase (!) and master bathroom.

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The Tucker half of the house on Aldersey Street in Somerville.

But here, a magnificent brick and frame Colonial was converted into condominiums in 2010 with the space separated horizontally (thankfully!) with the first-floor space having 38 percent ownership and the second and third floor with 62 percent (with 1,900 square feet).

As a side note; what a great way to foster affordability to Belmont by taking those big homes and turning it into condos or apartments. Solidly built, they can be converted with a little care allowing buyers who can’t afford a seven-figure mortgage into Belmont.

Sure it’s 1,100 square feet, but the buyer is getting a condo with a sense of largeness, big rooms and lots of windows, which, if smartly used, you can create a loft feel which is pretty cool. The kitchen is spare but again, just a few upgrades and you can have a combo kitchen/dining area. Plus, no stairs and a big porch where you can spend summers getting a bit tipsy on wine coolers. 

3,500 square feet? So passé! Go small.

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Sold in Belmont: Math Says Hurd Road Colonial Goes for Seven Figures

Photo: A million no matter how you count it. 

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54 Hurd Rd., Colonial (1926). Sold: $1,000,000.

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35 Radcliffe Rd., Ranch (1975). Sold: $701,000.

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329 Mill St., Ranch (1955). Sold: $714,000.

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

• 35 Radcliffe Rd., Ranch (1975). Sold: $701,000. Listed at $679,000. Living area: 1,557 sq.-ft. 7 rooms, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths. On the market: 67 days. 

• 329 Mill St., Ranch (1955). Sold: $714,000. Listed at $747,900. Living area: 2,092 sq.-ft. 7 rooms, 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths. On the market: 131 days.

• 54 Hurd Rd., Colonial (1926). Sold: $1,000,000. Listed at $995,000. Living area: 2,644 sq.-ft. 10 rooms, 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths. On the market: 70 days. 

The quintessential Belmont Colonial; on a side street (Hurd Road, with its tumbling elevation change) on a “squat” lot (6,400 sq.-ft.) with lots of room for kids and just general living. So how much is the oh-to-typical Belmont house is going for? 

The sellers did know how to crunch the numbers: one a prominent math professor – he has a well-known theorem in number theory named after him! – while his spouse is a mathematician, computer expert and biologist. Don’t have to worry about how much to tip or split a check when you’re out with this Belmontian couple. When the wife was named this summer to a big-time position in San Diego, the house purchased exactly 30 years ago for $259,000 was placed into a market in which family homes are at a premium. 

What a boom for the homeowners: The typical 30-year mortgage is paid off, the sale is pure profit, and they got great use from a wonderful house. Win, win, win.

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And what a nice well-cared for house with an up-to-date kitchen. It’s also in that zone of homes that are within “walkable” distance for elementary, middle and high schools, so you don’t have to drive the kids every morning (“I don’t care if it’s a snow day, you’re still walking to school.”)

And for the past three years, the assessed value has shot up $130,000. 

  • 2014: $776,000
  • 2015: $832,000
  • 2016: $906,000

And the sum of it all: a cool million for the homeowners.

But still, a million for a 90-year-old house in a neighborhood that isn’t the first place people will look for a seven-figure house is a bit much to swallow. But this is Belmont, 2016. I will not be surprised if the Board of Assessors come to the Selectmen in December with its property tax rate recommendation with the data showing the median home in Belmont tops $1,000,000. 

Let’s do the time warp again

The house on Radcliffe is likely one of the last ranch-style homes built in town, in 1975 when they were seen as out-dated (townhouses where the “cool” structures being built.)

I just want to show the photos of the interior – which is all original as the couple who built the house sold it – which is like opening an interior designers book from the mid-1960s. Wow, The vibrant pink bathroom, patterned wallpaper, the iron railings. And the kitchen: words can’t express this look into this time tunnel: much like Howard Carter’s experience opening King Tut’s tomb. 

But you can’t be that critical of the owners choice: it’s of its time when it was furnished, an age that’s best remembered in photos.

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Sold in Belmont: Million Dollar Townhouse on Trapelo (Yes, Trapelo) in Middle of the Action

Photo: I paid a million dollars for a house on Trapelo Road and all I got was a stinking common wall!

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316 Trapelo Rd., New construction condo townhouse (2015). Sold: $1,040,000.

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9 Summit Rd., Condo (2007). Sold: $1,230,000.

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

316 Trapelo Rd., New construction condo townhouse (2015). Sold: $1,040,000. Listed at $1,100,000. Living area: 2,900 sq.-ft. 9 rooms, 3 bedrooms, 3 full, 2 half baths. On the market: 85 days. 

9 Summit Rd., Condo (2007). Sold: $1,230,000. Listed at $1,289,000. Living area: 2,715 sq.-ft. 7 rooms, 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths. On the market: 230 days.

How in demand is Belmont real estate? While not on the level of Boston’s Seaport District or East Cambridge, it’s hot enough to where you can sell a new townhouse condo on Trapelo Road, one of its busiest and bustling streets, for a cool million. 

And what do you get for seven figures, besides sharing a common wall – a million dollars can’t get you your own single family house … on Trapelo Road? – with the people who will purchase the adjacent townhouse? You’ll be good friends with the Belmont Fire Department as you’re a stone’s throw from the headquarters and directly across the street from the newest bank branch in town; TD Bank. On your right-hand side is the VFW (for now) and on the left a nice two-family appraised at $565,000. You’ll also be a minute’s walk away from Memorial Chapel and the always open LC Variety, the convenience store favored by people who hold up retail operations. With the traffic, fire engine sirens, traffic going into the bank and other events, hopefully the new owners are an adrenalin junkie.

One advantage will be soon-to-be-renovated tennis courts, and the likelihood PQ Playground (just out of your backyard) will undergo a sprucing up in the next few years. (As someone who lived next to open space – the Chenery playing fields – I can say there is far more upside than down living next to one.)

The original property was a quarter-acre vacant lot which was sold in October 2013 for $545,000 to Oteri Construction Inc. in Watertown, a good all-purpose contractor which will do jobs both big (like the Trapelo site) and small (repair a door lock) which is becoming a rare business in this age of specialisation.

The company then put aside $675,000 to construct a pair of townhouses – they probably couldn’t comfortably squeeze in two singles with setbacks and space between structures – on a good sized lot. Construction began last year this time. 

One place Oteri didn’t put much money into was the exterior, a design which is dank and uninspiring (Really? Grey for the shady side facing the street?) But what Oteri is known for is some outstanding interior work like his award-winning kitchen design and construction. The example here is from another project. The kitchen fireplace is a wonderful touch – referring back to the true nature of fireplaces in the history of homes. And what a smart way to incorporate skylights, grouped together in a single room. 

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(But I have to make down the plan due to the knee-jerk need for granite counters. It screams “Hello, 1982!” There are so many wonderful alternatives to ugly, cold granite; from Soapstone for around the stove top, to composites of stone aggregate and polymers, to my favorite, zinc, which is beautiful as it changes color over time.)

Back to the money: with purchasing the land, the material and construction costs (got to pay these guys with the hammers), think $1.3 million. You’ve just made all but $300,000 back and expect $900,000 for the second townhouse and you’re looking at $600,000 profit. And you get the sirens for free!

Sold in Belmont: Waverley Affordability in a Pair of Condos

Photo: Cozy and affordable on Maple in Waverley.

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202 Beech St., Second-floor condo (1928). Sold: $396,000.

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47 Maple St., Condo (1910). Sold $311,000.

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

202 Beech St., Second-floor condo (1928). Sold: $396,000. Listed at $429,000. Living area: 1,646 sq.-ft. 8 rooms, 4 bedrooms, 2 baths. On the market: 151 days.

47 Maple St., Condo (1910). Sold $311,000. Listed at $329,900. Living area: 1,027 sq.-ft. 4 rooms, 1 bedroom, 1 bath. On the market: 145 days.

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If you don’t mind cozy – less than 1,100 square feet so keep your elbows up – then the condo on Maple should have been considered. With only a single bedroom, a bath and two other rooms, it would be inexpensive for Belmont – about a third of the median price of Belmont homes that is nearing $900,000 across town – but you do get something for your money: century-old molding, restored hard wood floors, nice size living room and some unique cubby corners. I wonder who bought this rather nice condo? A young couple thinking of staying for a few years while starting a family?  An investor who can rent this for $2,000 a month? 

Sold In Belmont: Nothing This Week So Let’s Look at a Mansion for Sale (Already a Bargain!)

Photo: Talk about a full shot! 

Now, THIS is a mansion. With just more than 7,500 sq.-ft. of high-end interior construction (it’s a little more than 30 years old), the house at 224 Marsh St. – No, this is not Mitt and Ann Romney’s old house; that’s up the road at 171 Marsh – is a spectacular example of spending your hard-earned money the correct way. 

There’s nothing garish or brassy with the interior, just a solid – maybe even staid – but impeccable design. Forget the “open floor” trend or the need for a “great room” because architects are too indifferent (i.e., lazy) to differentiate the purpose for particular spaces within a house.

That’s not a problem here as walls and doors separate each room (what a concept!). There is a defined family room, off the foyer for casual encounters which leads to a more formal living room (25 x 24 feet) – with a bar – that is separate from the kitchen and breakfast area. The dining room is off the foyer and the kitchen as is by tradition. Every space in its place, functioning separate or/and in concert with the adjacent rooms. The molding in the rooms are elegantly understated – the fireplace mantelpiece is simple and gorgeous – as are other details, but what is this obsession with granite counter tops!

Upstairs are big bedrooms with the majority of the house’s five full and three half baths. There’s a neat feature in one bedroom; a spiral staircase to an attic office space. There’s a built out basement with a little sauna. If there are downsides to this house it’s that the building is heated entirely by electricity –Belmont Light must love this place – and a very tiny backyard (it does back up to conservation land, so the band of coyote/wolf mix breeds is your neighbors).

Being sold by the long time owner (I wonder if the creator of Reddit is related to them?), a real estate developer who spent nearly a decade trying to redevelop his commercial buildings on the East Boston waterfront into luxury residences. The current asking price: $2,879,000, and that’s a bargain if you know that it first went on the market in July 2014 with a $3,449,000 list price. By waiting, you’re more than a half a million dollars ahead of the game! 

My question to readers is how much lower will the list price go before it’s sold? My under/over is $2,629,000; it needs to lose another quarter million before its finds the right buyer. Belmont isn’t the Seaport, you know. 

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Sold in Belmont: Hall of Famer Accounts for Biggest Sale for a Year

Photo: Drone shot! 107 Marsh St. from 100 feet. 

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

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64 Summit Rd. #1, Condo townhouse (2005). Sold: $1,425,000.

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107 Marsh St., Mansion (2015). Sold: $3,250,000.

64 Summit Rd. #1, Condo townhouse (2005). Sold: $1,425,000. Listed at $1,495,000. Living area: 3,453 sq.-ft. 10 rooms, 4 bedrooms, 5 baths. On the market: 156 days.

107 Marsh St., Mansion (2015). Sold: $3,250,000. Listed at $3,650,000. Living area: 7,500 sq.-ft. 10 rooms, 5 bedrooms, 6 baths. On the market: 125 days.

As the average house sold in Belmont in the first month of 2016 has reached $999,999 (!), this past week saw the priciest homes in their category; a townhouse in the Woodlands across the road from Lone Tree Hill Conservation land that came in at a tad under one-and-a-half million dollars (it was sold new in 2005 for $1.3 so it was a wash for the original owners who have decamped to Florida) and that new Marsh Street mansion. 

Where once stood a single-story, 2,500 sq.-ft. ranch now stands a gargantuan Colonial-inspired mansion on 2/3 acre of land. I can only guess the seller includes roller skates to the buyers so they can get around the place! Let’s say the “Tiny House” trend has not come to Belmont Hill. And you know its prominence in the home sales hierarchy as the promotional package includes a photo from a drone. 

And I’ll let the broker describe the manse on Marsh:

This brand new grand estate is a stunning departure from the ordinary! Follow the winding streets and mature trees of Belmont Hill to a circular drive that paves the way to this authentic colonial. A gracious fireplace living room and formal dining room enhanced by spectacular millwork. The library/office has built in book shelves. The real joy of owning this home is the dramatic great room [Great Room?] and kitchen that open and extend onto a deck. Entertain in style in the great room with massive stone fireplace, bookcases and windows overlooking a scenic setting. Step out and off the deck to a patio with built[-]in outdoor grill. The 2nd [second] floor has a sun drenched family room with soaring ceilings. The master suite provides a soothing oasis of special conveniences including gas fireplace & [and] two walk-in closets. The master bath has double vanities and acoustic tub. The architecture detail found in older homes is epitomized in this upscale new home design in a stately neighborhood. CHALLENGES COMPARISON!

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In brief, it’s big and faces south. It’s so “stunning” it no longer has a living room but a “dramatic great room,” – right out of the pages of Hilary Mantel’s “Wolf Hall”! (Well, maybe not THAT grand but it does have offsetting entry columns.) The master suite’s bathroom required a five-fixture connection, likely for the separate milk and wine faucets. All said, it’s actually aesthetically pleasing as it pushes out to the back although it does have dormers that looked thrown onto the roofline. 

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The Great Hall with heating grate.

And while royalty or Thomas Cromwell (probably) weren’t the buyers, it took one princely sum to be its owner: three and a quarter million dollars. That closing cost makes it the most expensive house sold in the “Town of Homes” for some time, slightly more than the house on Wellesley Road that sold for $3,092,500 in December or the Polaris House on Somerset that could only muster $2.3 million. 

And there is an interesting back story to 107 Marsh. In 2002, the property was sold for $851,500 to a professor at a local business school who would soon be inducted into the Northeast Region of the American Accounting Association Hall of Fame. (The AAA – which is celebrating its centennial –  is here to “promote worldwide excellence in accounting education, research and practice.”) If you do internal auditing, you’ve read this gentleman’s books. 

According to records, the professors trust sold the property in June 2014 for $1.3 million to Keystone Luxury Estates LLC in Watertown. Soon after, the old ranch was blown up and the firm put down $685,000 to a well-known contractor to build the new grand house on the Marsh.

Looking a bit into Keystone, the only known asset of the company was the property and land at 107 Marsh. And who happens to be the manager and agent of the LLC that registered with the state two weeks before the sale? The professor who sold the house. So he sold the house to himself, used the proceeds – at incredibly low interest rate – to pay the contractor/architect and then dispose it for a cool million dollar profit.

And THAT’S why he’s in the Accounting Hall of Fame. 

Sold in Belmont: What Would $785K Get You in Oregon? Nicer, Bigger, Better

Photo: Belmont (left) and Lake Oswego. No contest.

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

• 48 Middlecot St., Brick and shingle ranch (1953). Sold: $785,000. Listed at $749,000. Living area: 1,423 sq.-ft. 6 rooms, 3 bedrooms, 1.5 baths. On the market: 52 days.

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The one residential sale last week in Belmont is a fairly standard post-war ranch-style single family. The house on Middlecot Street in the heart of Winn Brook, that sold about $100,000 over its assessed value, has a treadbare feel to it – just look at the wear patches on the kitchen flooring and door frame. In addition, there’s a thrown together vibe through out the interior, from the hidious  1970s paneling in the basement to the mismatching bathroom detail. 

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So, is the best $785,000 can get you? Or better yet, what can you get in communities that resemble our “Town of Homes”? It didn’t take long to find one; a 45 hour, 3,088 mile road trip due west.

Lake Oswego, Oregan is an upscale suburb of Portland (Portlandia!) known for its residential character. It has an outstanding school district that attracts aging hipsters who decide they would rather invest in a pricy home then stay in their artsy Portland loft and spend a fortune on private school fees. Its impressive downtown (it’s a harbor!) and shops supports a population of 36,000 with a per capita income of $53,000, compared to Belmont’s $57,000.

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So here it is: for $758,000 this remodeled Craftsman Bungalow could have been yours. It’s so pretty, a late example from 1930 that was lovingly restored and renovated. The fireplace’s decreative surround, wood floors and the traditional four-over-one windows are all nice touches. Along with a landscaped yard, you get 1,000 additional  square feet, two full bathrooms and nice-sized bedrooms. 

Just for comparison, the Craftsman basement is thought out in color scheme and arrangement while the Belmont cellar is just creepy.

Why can’t we have nice things? 

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Sold in Belmont: Colonial Takes a Tumble, Ranch By The Rails A Steal

Photo: Watch out below! Horace Road house listing falls.

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4 Goden St., Multifamily (1915). Sold: $886,000.

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219 Channing Rd., Brick-front Ranch (1959). Sold: $640,000

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42 Horace Rd., Colonial (1917). Sold: $815,000.

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

4 Goden St., Multifamily (1915). Sold: $886,000. Listed at $895,000. Living area: 2,715 sq.-ft. 12 rooms, 5 bedrooms, 2 baths. On the market: 114 days.

219 Channing Rd., Brick-front Ranch (1959). Sold: $640,000. Listed at $675,000. Living area: 1,432 sq.-ft. 6 rooms, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths. On the market: 94 days.

42 Horace Rd., Colonial (1917). Sold: $815,000. Listed at $945,000. Living area: 1,938 sq.-ft. 9 rooms, 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths. On the market: 148 days.

The Colonial on Horace Road would appear to be priced at nearly $950,000 to squeeze ever penny out of the 99-year-old house. And why not, with “average” homes in the Winn Brook neighborhood and close to the High School on the south side of Concord Avenue selling for just north of $1 million, here was an attempt by the buyer to reap the benefits of a hot market. With an ample number of bedrooms, close to the Wellington, Chenery and High School, and with some lovely interior features – wooden floors, a corner china cabinet and double French doors – this structure looked like a sure deal for the seller.

But for this modest home near to Common Street, the market for “average” was cooling. Rather than riding the fall sales period ever higher, this house took a tumble, falling nearly $150,000 in value from the opening list price to final sale:

  • Aug. 21, 2015: $945,000 (Original list)
  • Oct. 7: $899,000
  • Nov. 5: $875,000
  • Jan. 8, 2016: $815,000

Not so the brick ranch on Channing, which some lucky person got for a song. OK, it borders the commuter rail tracks but what the buyer is getting is a well-maintained, cosy house with a landscaped backyard. And just think what it will be once the new community path is constructed adjacent to the property line (wink, wink).

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