A weekly recap of residential properties sold in the past seven days in the “Town of Homes.”
• 119 Farnham St. Cape (1938) Sold: $750,000. Listed at $699,000. Living area: 1,200 sq.-ft. 7 rooms, 2 bedrooms, 1.5 baths. On the market: 52 days.
• 33 Trowbridge St. Brick spilt level (1957) Sold: $600,000. Listed at $685,000. Living area: 1,435 sq.-ft. 6 rooms, 2 bedrooms, 2 baths. On the market: 148 days.
• 115 Farnham St. Sideways Garrison Colonial (1932) Sold: $728,000. Listed at $799,000. Living area: 1,740 sq.-ft. 7 rooms, 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths. On the market: 52 days.
Three homes close enough to the commuter rail line for their new owners to hear the trains traveling to and from Boston were sold this week at prices well below Belmont’s median price of $845,000. What may come to a surprise to many, it was the smallest of the trio – a classic Cape on Farnham Street, a five-minute stroll to Belmont Center – that brought in the most for its seller, a cool three-quarters of the million dollars for 1,200 sq.-ft. of livable space. Compare that to the house one door down the street with an extra bedroom, half-bath and 500 sq.-ft. sinking to $728,000.
Sure, there are plenty of reasons for the difference in price: needed repairs, renovations, lot size, the terrible decision to place the side of the Colonial facing the street and more. Or it could have been the entry of the a second home into the market at a price that appeared to be a bargain. Let’s see how it worked out.
The larger house at 115 Farnham went on the market in November, 2014 at $799,000, more than $110,000 greater than its assessed value by the town. Likely the coming holidays and winter’s arrival deadened the market and so it sat at that price into the New Year.
Come Jan. 6, 119 Farnham hits the market at $699,000. While it too is well above its assessed value of $571,000, it’s the bargain on the street compared to the house one door down. The pressure of added supply and a lower cost alternative forced the hand of those selling 115 Farnham, who cut the price by $50,000 that day.
Here’s where supply and demand took charge: greater eyes viewing the more “affordable house” at 115 Farnham brought in more competition and bids at the expense of the larger house a few feet away.
When the sales were completed, the smaller house sold for $180,000 more than its assessed value while the larger home brought in a little more than $50,000 above its value. The winner in this case are the new owners at 115 Farnham, getting a bargain while over at 119, the new owners will love their new house just as much at $625 per square foot.