Either-Or: Boothbay vs. Back Bay
Welcome to Either-Or, where we compare two listings with the same price—one in Boston and one outside. Build your own conclusions.
To remind you that price tags in Boston are a special breed, we’ve been presenting two homes listed at the same price from time to time. This round, it’s a battle of homes by the bay, where the decision comes down to a preference in variations of New England’s charm.
The first is a Georgian-style home in Boothbay, Maine circa 1769. The more than 10-acre property has a guest cottage, a barn, and a shed. The second is a bright and airy condo on Commonwealth Avenue in Boston’s Back Bay. It just underwent a full renovation. Both share a price tag of $1,750,000.
29 Murray Hill Road, Boothbay, Maine
Size: 3,498 square feet
118 Commonwealth Avenue #4, Back Bay
Size: 1,010 square feet
The historical home in Maine exudes time-honored charm thanks to a rustic living room—complete with exposed beams and a fireplace—and a breezy, mural-covered stairway. In addition to the almost 3,500-square-foot house and several outbuildings, the property boasts a pond, rock walls, perennials, a lavender walkway, a vegetable garden, and blueberry bushes.
But in Back Bay, a sunny condo more than three times smaller offers green space in the form of the Commonwealth Mall. Although the place only totals 1,010 square feet, a master suite makes enough room for a walk-in closet. The entire home, which dates back to 1880, has been outfitted with new crown molding and white oak hardwood floors, not to mention two gas fireplaces.
The most striking difference between the two properties is—you guessed it—in the price breakdown. The house in Vacationland asks $500 per square foot, a relative bargain compared to Boston’s condo, which is more than three times more expensive at a whopping $1,733 per square foot. The right decision comes down a choice between 18th century vs. 19th century buildings, acres of private land vs. acres of public space, and landfilled bays in the city vs. watery bays up north.