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Betting on the lowest-priced listing

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis March 18, 2013 07:17 AM

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Should you buy the least expensive house in town? By that, I mean the house that is very last in price, offering a significant discount from even the other lower-priced homes in town.

I just took a look for the Globe West at the least expensive listings in three key western suburbs, as well as the buyers looking at them.

If you are looking at buying into Newton, Wellesley or Watertown at half a million and under, here's a taste on what's on offer. OK, there is a time lag here - all were the least expensive when I looked at them in early March. But it should be enough to get the idea.

If you are looking to buy low in a town with relatively high home prices, one big question you need to ask yourself if whether you will feel deprived if your bargain home has the kind of square footage you might associate with an apartment or small condo. In the homes I looked at, we are talking just below a thousand square feet.

  • At 925 square feet, this bungalow near West Newton Square, listed at $439,000, is admittedly small. But the two bedroom, one bath home was well taken care of by its owner, who bought it in 1978 and has updated it over the years. It's also near bus and commuter rail lines and is currently under agreement. Median price in Newton: $710,000.
  • This ranch in Watertown has just about the same square footage as that West Newton bungalow - 952 square feet. It has two bedrooms, one and a half baths and is listed at $350,000, while the median price in town is $400,000.
  • This two-bed, one bath colonial in Wellesley looks like a gamble, at least if you are not a building contractor. After all, the home, built in 1872 and within feet of the street, is not listed as a "contractor's dream" for nothing. At $239,900, it is the lowest priced listing in Wellesley, where the median is $935,000.

Are you looking at the lowest priced listings? What's out there and are there still bargains to be had?

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About boston real estate now
Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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