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    On the Block

    For sale: Homes near downtown areas

    These properties in Braintree, Melrose, and Norwood offer easy access to shopping and other amenities.

    $349,900

    98 SCHOOL STREET / BRAINTREE

    SQUARE FOOTAGE > 1,702

    LOT SIZE > 0.16 acre

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    BEDROOMS > 3 BATHS > 1 full, 1 half

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    LAST SOLD FOR > $360,000 in 2005

    Daniel Lauria, Lauria Real Estate, 781-843-2782, lauriarealestate.com

    PROS Braintree Square, with a deli, restaurants, and other shops, is less than a half mile from this little house. One of its best features is the family room added to the back. With sliders to the deck and lots of big windows, the room overlooks the kid- and dog-friendly landscaped and fenced yard. The living room at the front has a fireplace surrounded by a convincing faux-brick wall. The kitchen has stainless-steel appliances. CONS New owners will want to update the kitchen floor and cabinets. The full bath is on the first floor.

    $374,900

    129 VINTON STREET / MELROSE

    SQUARE FOOTAGE > 1,511

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    LOT SIZE > 0.18 acre

    BEDROOMS > 3 BATHS > 1 full, 1 half

    LAST SOLD FOR > $380,000 in 2009

    Juliet Leydon, RE/Max Heritage, 781-979-0100, agentexpertise.com

    PROS The stitcher, the baker, the quesadilla maker, and everything else that Melrose’s vibrant downtown offers is a walk away, as is the commuter rail. Located on a pretty street, the home is good-looking, with accent colors on its stately columns. The long, narrow living room has exceptional woodwork, a gas fireplace, and built-in bookcases. A huge half bath, as well as pantry and laundry, are located off the kitchen, which has newer appliances. The master bedroom has a walk-in closet. CONS The commuter rail runs along the edge of the yard, which needs tending to return to its loveliness.

    $549,900

    9 BEECH STREET / NORWOOD

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    SQUARE FOOTAGE > 3,200

    LOT SIZE > 0.17 acre

    BEDROOMS > 4 BATHS > 2 full, 1 half

    LAST SOLD FOR > $454,100 in 2005

    Sherry Lombard, New Homes Marketing, 508-864-4344, 9beechstreet.com

    PROS Downtown shops and restaurants are around the corner, while schools, the library, town swimming pool, and commuter rail are nearby, too. The big kitchen in this renovated 1880 home has stainless appliances and cherry cabinets. The second floor has three bedrooms, laundry, and a full bath; the light-filled landing on this level would make a great office or reading nook. On the third floor, on its own zone for air conditioning, is a master suite with a huge walk-in closet. CONS The exterior needs painting.

    — Vanessa Parks