Either-Or: A Majestic MetroWest Estate vs. a Cambridge One-Bedroom

It’s amazing what a few miles will do to the market. This month, we compare a mansion on several acres in the ’burbs with a tiny condo near Harvard Square.

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage (Cambridge); Ginny Martins & Associates, Keller Williams Realty (Southborough)

2 Chestnut Hill Road, SouthboroughSale Price: $640,00021 Chauncy Street, #8, Cambridge
7,186 square feet
Asking Price
Days on Market
777 square feet

Some things are worth saving. That was the philosophy, at least, that brought buyers to this 1830 Federal-style estate in Southborough. Boasting 7,000 square feet of living space, 10 fireplaces, a clay tennis court, and an antique garden house overlooking miles of conservation land, the property offered plenty of charm. But with outdated electrical and plumbing—not to mention the need for asbestos and lead-paint removal—it also required a hefty investment. After spending months on the market, it sold for $255,000 below the asking price, allowing the new owners to make the necessary updates.

Of course, there are always house hunters willing to pay a premium for antique charm—so long as elbow grease isn’t required. That may explain why this cozy one-bedroom, nestled inside a circa-1900 building in Harvard Yard, sold so quickly, and for $15,000 above the asking price. The amenities that likely sealed the deal? A living-room fireplace, a bright, airy dining room, and two bedroom closets, all complemented by an updated kitchen and bath.