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Wanted: $500,000 condo in downtown Boston

So, the Boston Business Journal ran a story in their weekly print edition about how difficult it is to find a home in a new condo development in downtown Boston for under $500,000.

Set out on a condo-shopping trip in Boston with $500,000 to spend and it takes only minutes to discover that a half-million dollars does not go far, especially for new construction.

In some of the most competitive Boston neighborhoods, $500,000 may not even buy a brand-new studio.

Real estate brokers can point easily to half-million dollar resale units but have to scour listings to find anything available in new construction projects. Facing high costs for land and buildings, developers are in no position to offer bargains.

This is true. Pretty much, anything for sale these days is going to run you more than half a million dollars.

The article offers up a couple of “deals”. The Modern, in the South End, has at least one unit available for under $500k; the property suffers only because it’s on the “other side” of Massachusetts Avenue, which to some people might as well be located in France.

I had to laugh when I read this part:

So what is out there for the $500,000 shopper seeking new construction? The FP3 project in the Fort Point neighborhood is a place to start. FP3, scheduled for completion in 2008, has Unit 317 listing for $482,000.

The 744-square-foot unit features one bedroom, 1 1/2 baths, high loft ceilings, hardwood floors, a shared roof deck and plans for three restaurants operated by celebrity chef Barbara Lynch.

Sounds wonderful. Of course, it’s the ONLY unit in the building for under $500,000 – the rest start in the mid-to-upper $600,000 range.

Not that it’s uncommon for a developer to pull that sort of trick.

Anyway, that’s about the story. If you want brand-new construction, you’ll be paying for it.

But, do you really want to buy your next home in a brand new development?

Wait, let’s ask the people who put down 5-10% on their units at NorthPoint.

Thanks to Steve W for sending me the article.

Half a million won’t get you far in Boston condo hunt – By Mary Moore, The Boston Business Journal

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