Living Large: Downsizing for Good

One Concord neighborhood could spare you from paying another electric bill for the rest of your life.

Photo by Chris Spinney.

A few years ago, I got a helluva civic lesson from Northeastern professor Barry Bluestone. His decades of research has shown that we’re losing many of our brightest grads to cheaper cities on the rise — which means we have to work harder to make this area more affordable. One solution? Take advantage of our public transportation system by increasing building density around commuter rail stations. Enter Dan Gainsboro of NOW Communities. The architect turned developer just completed the Concord Riverwalk, a project I think would get Bluestone’s seal of approval. This Concord neighborhood boasts 13 smart, green, and cute-as-a-button homes within walking distance of the West Concord train station. One of the few abodes still available, 1631 Main Street, Unit 2, squeezes three bedrooms into 1,680 square feet, and is primed to go net-zero energy (translation: You’ll never have to pay another electric bill in your life). The technical and mechanical thought that went into this little house is worth a lot more than the asking price, and it all comes in a neat, walk- and bike-friendly package.

Address: 1631 Main St., unit 2, Concord; Listing price: $679,000; Listing agent: Brigitte Senkler, Coldwell Banker, 978-505-2652.; Stats: Three bedrooms, two full baths, one half bath, one-car garage.