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House or condo?

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis May 17, 2013 06:18 AM

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I guess I am just a boring, single-family home type of guy.

But I am shaking my head over a pair of $3 million-plus sales in Cambridge, one a condo in Harvard Square, the other an historic home just off Brattle Street.

The sales are detailed here in a press release sent out by Hammond Real Estate.

Both sold in the same price range, but the condo is less than half the size of the house. I guess I just don't get it. Why spend $3 million for a 2,600 square foot condo when you can get an entire Cambridge mansion for $3.5 million?

Of course, that is one humongous condo - the size of a substantial suburban home. And you won't have the headache of yard work and maintenance, though you will certainly pay dearly for it in the condo fee.

Yet, let's face it, the Harvard Square condo is hip, while the old home off Brattle Street, as graceful as it may be, is not.

Now my experience in this is somewhat limited. It mainly consists of gazing in wonder at the stately old homes on Brattle Street as I made my way over to Charlie's Kitchen to grab lunch or dinner with an old newspaper buddy of mine.

"Now if I had the money, that's what I would buy!" At least that is what I would say to myself, and my day dreams haven't changed all that much over the years.

OK, here's the writeup on the Harvard Square condo, located at 130 Mount Auburn Street.

Mount Auburn Street is comprised of 2,600 square feet of living space in a building with a twenty-four hour doorman, large common reception area, courtyard, patio, and gardens. The unit features two-to-three large bedrooms and two-and-a-half baths, vaulted ceilings, large windows, hardwood floors, two private rooftop garden terraces, a sunroom, two garage spaces, and private storage.

Now here's what Hammond has to say about the Arthur Astor Carey House. Yes, the name is stuffy, but the house sounds great.

The Arthur Astor Carey House, located at 28 Fayerweather Street, is prominently set on an expansive one-half acre corner lot off of Brattle Street. It is one of the earliest examples of Colonial Revival architecture in America, having been designed in 1882, and it is an important work by architects Sturgis & Brigham. This Cambridge landmark measures 6,755 square feet and features eight bedrooms, four-and-a-half bathrooms, a grand central hall with spectacular staircase, fireplace, and exquisite woodwork. 28 Fayerweather Street sold for $3,500,000.

What's your pick? Home or condo?



This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
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Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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