Real Estate: Living Large

Rachel Slade's Off-Kilter Take on Hub Dwellings

House in Brookline

Photo by Bob O’Connor


Back when Brookline was a summer destination for the well-to-do, magnates built enormous homes like this 7,657-square-foot Colonial Revival stunner, decking them out with wraparound porches, cupolas, stables, and big rooms. These days it’s increasingly hard to find such a manse that hasn’t been “renovated” by Philistines — those who in the name of progress rip out every 19th-century detail. Lucky for this Fisher Avenue estate, there’s a happier ending. The owners bought the property in 2008, and spent a fortune rehabbing the ceiling medallions, moldings, and paneling. They even discovered amazing hardware in the walls, including a patented trackless pocket-door hanger, circa 1890. Rather than seal it back up, they built a glass viewing panel into the wall — another very good reason to check out the master bedroom’s huge walk-in closet. Fun fact: The garage alongside the house was one of the first “auto stables” to be erected in town (1902) and features a chauffeur’s unit above and a full basement below. It’s the perfect place to park your Locomobile Runabout or Stanley Steamer.

On the Market

Address: 219 Fisher Ave., Brookline
Listing Price: $3,995,000
Listing Agent: Tracy Campion, Campion and Company, 617-236-0711,
Stats: Six bedrooms, five full baths, one half bath



Rent your apartment, rent your car, rent your…art? For $10 per month, Boston-based TurningArt will send you a 16-inch-by-20-inch pre-framed reproduction of an original work sold on its website. Hate it? Mail it back and choose something else, à la Netflix. And all the while, the membership fee earns you credits to (someday) buy a piece you can’t live without.



Someone at the Massachusetts Association of Buyer Agents tells me that to land their dream home (and lock in low interest rates), first-time home buyers have begun skipping standard operating procedures — like the mortgage contingency, home inspection, and appraisal. Can you say dodo?