Photo: Stairmaster, 1.0
A weekly recap of residential properties sold in the past seven-plus days in the “Town of Homes”:
• 29 Longmeadow Rd., Large ranch (1958). Sold: $1,075,000. Listed at $1,099,000. Living area: 3,000 sq.-ft. 7 rooms, 3 bedrooms, 3 baths. On the market: 80 days.
• 53 Gilbert Rd., Condo (second floor) in a two-family (1925). Sold: $438,500. Listed at $418,000. Living area: 1,221 sq.-ft. 6 rooms, 2 bedrooms, 1 baths. On the market: 59 days.
Let’s praise affordability in Belmont. OK, you’ll need to climb a flight of steps to get to the second-floor condo and that could be problematic if you’re carrying two toddlers and a week’s worth of groceries up a flight of stairs. But this Gilbert Road condo is housing that’s economically feasible for a young, two-wage earning couple seeking their first home.
Let’s look at the numbers: Five percent down on a 30-year mortgage at four percent along with taxes and PMI is let’s say $1,600 a month. That’s doable for a young family of three – if they get some help with daycare, etc.
And look what you get (along with a daily aerobic session): a west-facing large living room, working fireplace, a sunroom off the living room and two good sized bedrooms. A nearly century-old built-in cabinet in the dining room. The kitchen is functional with “black and white speckled laminate countertops” with a pantry off the kitchen. The renovated bathroom is from Home Depot, and there is an enclosed back porch which would be called a “three-season alcove” if it was on the Hill. Ok, you have to share the yard as well as the washer and dryer hookup, and you get one car parking. But unless Ted Cruz is downstairs, this is what you have to deal with when you have a limited budget in the “Town of Homes.” And all said it’s not that bad. Now if Belmont could find someone to build 100 more of this sort of housing, we’d be in business of providing quality housing to a wider range of incomes.
(Of course, if you get that dream job in Tampa, this is what $440,000 gets you in a good community with an excellent school system – well, great by Florida standards.)
The million dollar ranch on Belmont Hill is another home – I’ve counted four this year alone – in which the owner has spent four/five decades in and is now departing. And while this house is a nice size and all, you’d expect more from a seven figure house. An example is the kitchen. I think the Gilbert Road kitchen is warmer and more inviting. It’s all location, location, location.