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What's wrong with just three bedrooms?

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis November 18, 2013 09:18 AM

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Yes, it's expensive to buy a four bedroom home, the gold standard of today's market.

A four bedroom, two bath home costs on average $510,736 here in the Bay State, according to a recent Coldwell Banker survey.

But while four bedrooms are undoubtedly popular with buyers who have growing families, what's wrong with three bedrooms and maybe just one bathroom?

After all, that was the middle class standard during the golden years of the 1950s and into the 1960s, an era that mass produced modest capes and ranches, that, at 1,100 to 1,200 square feet, feel cramped to many buyers today.

Homes that were, and remain today, relatively affordable, even though they have fallen out of fashion and, in the tonier suburbs, are getting flattened to make way for McMansions.

My recent blog post on the increasingly astronomical cost of the four bed, two bath home, drew a strong reaction on the comment board from some who question why anyone really needs four bedrooms, kids or not.

Writes Jim-in-Littleton:

Since when is a 4-bedroom house considered to be a "classic"? They are a fairly new "requirement" for a home. Not very long ago a 3-bedroom house was the gold standard.

And as Caramel pointed out, three bedroom homes offer a more affordable entry point in this market, even within 495.

One town that doesn't get mentioned much is Maynard where one can buy a 3 bedroom in good condition in a range of about $280,000-$330,000. They have a new high school which gets a 7 out of 10 rating on the Great Schools web site. Maynard has a great small town, family oriented feel to it, is not a terrible commute to Boston and is near horse farms and within easy driving to Nashoba for skiing as well as being surrounded by other towns that offer some great shopping.

Have buyers simply become too jaded? How many square feet - and how many bathrooms - do you need to be happy?

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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