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What $600,000 Gets You

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis May 23, 2014 10:08 AM

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It's one of those unfortunate facts of life, but the more you can spend on a house, the more options you will have.

This is especially true for Greater Boston, where you can break the bank paying for a modest house in need of work.

Trulia calculates that a Boston-area family earning the median income of $67,450 can afford anything up to $332,000.

So to shop for a $600,000 house, you are going to have to be pulling down at least six figures, with household income in the $115,000-to-$120,000 range, and that's probably even pushing it.

If you want space, $600,000 will get you a lot of it, though you will have to go beyond the inner suburbs and head towards I-495 and towns like Norfolk and Wrentham or out onto the North or South shores.

Here's what I found checking out the listings on

Built in 1986, this rambling colonial at 50 Berkshire Street in Norfolk comes with a pretty substantial 3,435 square feet. It's listed at $599,900.

50 Berkshire, Norfolk.jpg

A few miles farther south in Wrentham, for the same price, you can get a newer house, built in 2003, with a more modern design, though a bit smaller, just over 3,000 square feet.

The commute into Boston from Norfolk, at least on the train, is 45 minutes - add another 10 minutes if you are living in Wrentham.

In Weymouth, a bit closer in though down traffic clogged Route 3, $600,000 will get you this 3,454 square foot colonial. Built in 2004, it comes with a really big garage. Not my cup of tea, but maybe it's yours.

If a longer commute is not your thing and you want to buy in the inner suburbs, you will have to trade down on space, even at $600,000.

OK, this house in Newton is cute, but it has less than 1,500 square feet.

Newton $600,000 house.jpg

Ditto if you want water views, where you will also trade space for location.

You can relax over at Quincy's Marina Bay in this 2 bedroom condo or in this house in Marshfield along the beach, but the condo is 1,634 square feet and the house is only slightly larger, at 1,784. Both, again, are listed for $600,000.

Happy Memorial Day weekend and happy house hunting!

This blog is not written or edited by 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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