If you needed any more convincing that Greater Boston is one of the most expensive housing markets in the country, just take a look at open house listings.
I did a search on Realtor.com for all open houses this Sunday within 20 miles of Boston and came up a grand total of 1,331.
I then knocked the price range down to $500,000 and roughly halved that number. OK, pricey, but still manageable.
But when go below that rough median point, the pickings get slimmer fast. Less than a quarter of all open houses feature listings under $300,000, or 264 out of 1,331.
Knock that price down to $250,000, and that pool shrinks again, to 141. That's still a pretty high number given the median U.S. home price stood at just under $200,000 at the end of 2013.
So what's available for under $250,000?
Condos and townhouses make up the bulk of the listings, like this 1,848 square foot townhouse in Marlborough listed at just under $250,000. For the single or newly hitched crowd, I thought this $169,000, two bed, one-and-a-half bath condo in a neat old house in downtown Salem was intriguing, but then again I have a thing for older homes.
If you want a traditional single family, you are going to be looking mostly at ranches and tiny capes. Geographically, it's a toss up between close-in, old industrial cities and towns like Everett and Lynn and mill towns a bit farther out like Brockton and Lowell.
This $239,000 raised ranch in Brocton looks spiffy, though it's billed as "fully furnished." Not sure what that means if I don't want the last owner's stuff.
If you are ready for a longer commute, there are smaller ranches available out in Milford, Rockland, Abington and other farther flung burbs. Here's a 938-square-foot, two bedroom cape in Marshfield listed at just under $180,000.
For size, you can't beat this 2,097-square-foot ranch in Milford listed at $248,000. It looks a bit like two homes fused into one - it has an interesting, horseshoe like layout.
Happy house hunting!
The author is solely responsible for the content.