Either-Or: An Architectural Marvel vs. a Time-Honored Townhouse

It’s amazing what a few miles will do to the market. This month, we compare a glass house up north with a stately single-family in Charlestown.

Photos courtesy Elyssa Cohen Photography (Arrowsic); Boston Virtual Imaging

Sale Price: $1,300,000Charlestown
2,832 square feet
Asking Price
Days on Market
2,100 square feet

Ah, solitude. It’s tough to come by in the city, but at this jaw-dropping Maine property, peace and quiet abound. Set on 5 waterfront acres, the sleek, glass-walled home was designed to respond to the environment around it. That’s evident in its sinuous deck, which connects the main house to the guest cottage to the water, and in its open-concept living spaces overlooking the landscape. As it turns out, ultra-modern design in an ultra-remote location isn’t for everyone: All of this beauty came in at $200,000 under asking price.

Travel south for 145 miles to find a recently sold home with little connection to nature, but considerably more convenience. Situated on 0.03 acres in Charlestown, this townhouse featuring double parlors with pumpkin-pine floors commanded $25,000 over asking, and with 732 fewer square feet than the Maine home to boot. As for outdoor space, glass doors off the kitchen lead to an enclosed stone patio with a garden. But who needs an architecturally sculpted deck when you can glimpse the Bunker Hill Monument from the guest room?