Moving Up in Brookline Ain’t Easy

There’s a frustrating conundrum Brookline residents face: once they claw their way into an “average” two-bedroom condo, they’re stuck.

Why?

Because the “average” two-bed condo in Brookline costs about $475K while the “average” three-bedroom single-family costs $1.1 million — more than double the price. Not an easy transition for second-time buyers.

Brookline realtor Greg Kiely wrote about this problem recently, remarking that only 10 to 20 percent of his upwardly-mobile Brookline clients stay in Brookline. Presumably, they moved up to communities like Newton, where they could get a single-family home for significantly less. Or maybe they made peace with life in a two-bedroom condo; it’s not the worse thing in the world.

I conducted my own search of three-bedroom single-family homes in the transitional $475K to $800K range and the results were not encouraging.

A handful of Brookline houses popped up, mostly bordering Brighton, Jamaica Plain and West Roxbury (isn’t Brainerd Road actually in Brighton?). Past sales show about 10 houses sold in this category in the last three months, many of them in the Westbrook Village area.

By contrast, more than two-dozen single-family homes in this price range are currently on the market in Newton. And since Newton has good schools and better rail and T connections than Westbrook Village, it isn’t surprising that second-time buyers trade up to Newton.

And what if you’re a second-time buyer who wants to buy for less than a million dollars, yet stay in Brookline? Here are three options:

145 Grove
Brookline 02467
BEDS:3/BATHS:2
Sq.Ft: 1980
$699,000

716 Newton Street
Brookline 02467
BEDS: 3/BATHS: 2.5
Sq. Ft: 2621
$699,900

122 Grove Street
Brookline 02467
BEDS: 3/BATHS:3
Sq. Ft.: 2501
$799K

Yearning for a Greek Omelet

Sweet Digs Boston Home