On the Market: A Great ‘White House’, A Bit of History, An Updated Condo

A sample of Belmont homes “on the market” ranging from the affordable, the average and the quite expensive.

52 Alexander Ave. “The White House,” Modern colonial, new construction (2014). 3,500 sq.-ft. of livable space: 9 rooms, 5 bedrooms, 4 full baths. One-car garage. A quarter-acre lot. What’s special: What isn’t special about “The White House”? It has its own website! The building, designed by architect Robert Linn – you can see one of his designs on Grove Street in Cambridge known as “Red House” – is so clean in its lines (emphasized by the dominate white color scheme), the placement of the windows and wonderful use of open space – the second floor encompasses the attic in a more traditional home – it’s the classic New England Colonial infused with the sensibilities of contemporary European residential architecture. I even like the bathroom; it’s designed as a room rather than a space filled with fixtures. And it’s not on “the Hill” but a block from the commercial “Belmont Center.” It’s immediately a great house in Belmont. Now let’s see if the initial asking price can hold up. Price: $2 million. 

The first sentence of the sale’s pitch: “A rare opportunity to own new construction in Belmont and have it all: a flexible, true open floor plan encompassing a large kitchen with show-stopping quartzite island, Thermador stainless appliances, wine storage, convection oven, breakfast bar and walk-in pantry, family room with wall to wall windows, dining room with French doors leading to a covered patio and garden, and an entertainer’s dream living room.”

692 Pleasant St. An antique single-family in the Italianate style (1851). 3,188 sq.-ft. of livable space: 12 rooms, 6 bedrooms, 4 full and a half baths. Two-car garage. A little more than a third-of-an-acre lot. What’s special: History! This residency is from Belmont’s earliest days, a home for the son of the founder of Little Brown Publishing. The interior appears to have been kept in great condition with substantial renovations to keep it so nicely preserved. There are original wooden floors, the undulating curves of the main rooms and a great staircase. You also have to accept some really cramped spaces including the kitchen and some of the bedrooms. All in all, a wonderful space for those who love history or not. Price: $895,000.

The first sentence of the sale’s pitch: “Welcome to the Brown House built circa 1851 for the son of James Brown, founder of Little Brown Publishing Company. This lovely Italianate home boasts a beautifully detailed hooded doorway, bay window and slate roof and is surrounded by well thought out gardens and terraces.”

226 Trapelo Rd. #1. Renovated ground floor condominium (1922). 1,334 sq.-ft. of livable space: 6 rooms, 2 bedrooms, 1 full bath. Two-car garage. A little more than a third-of-an-acre lot. What’s special: This single-floor condo near Harding was renovated last year so it looks to be in great shape. It comes with nice period features – molding, trim, a built-in cabinet, brick fireplace and hardwood floors – with some surprisingly spacey room. The kitchen has those evil granite tops – this is not the 1980s! – and you’re facing a major thoroughfare. This is a bargain for a young couple. Price: $439,000. 

The first sentence of the sale’s pitch: “Picture perfect’ first floor condominium with lots of curb appeal in desirable Belmont. This immaculate home has 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, and is full of natural light.”

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