On the Block

For sale: homes ideal for backyard entertaining

These properties--in Hopedale, North Reading, and South Natick--make socializing a breeze.




LOT SIZE > 0.43 acres


BEDROOMS > 6 BATHS > 3 full, 1 half

LAST SOLD FOR > $180,000 in 1998

Lynn Jennings Hargrave, Hallmark Sotheby’s International Realty, 508-686-6544,

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PROS Great landscaping, built-in grill, sink, fire pit, waterfall, canopied pergola — if not for the weather, you might never go indoors. But once there, you’d find reasons to stay. This updated 1875 Victorian retains original details like the woodwork, yet offers new features that look original (like a mirror over the parlor mantel). The master suite has a huge closet and en suite bath. The former attic now has two bedrooms and a full bath. CONS The “front” door is on the side of the house, and a new entry facing the street opens to a home office.




LOT SIZE > 1.22 acres


BEDROOMS > 4 BATHS > 3 full, 1 half

LAST SOLD FOR > $765,000 in 2006

Bill Hoey, Renaissance Realtors, 781-710-3132,

PROS The lower of two levels of outdoor entertaining space features stone walls, a built-in gas grill, a fireplace, and a stone island with concrete counter. It’s accessible from the nicely finished basement, which has a bar. One story up, a deck off the kitchen overlooks the area, with access to an above-ground pool that, at this level, appears in-ground. Interior highlights: a great family room with a stone fireplace and wood ceiling; a master suite with a sitting area; and a workout room and bedroom on the finished third floor. CONS Too bad there’s not a staircase from the upper deck to the outdoor kitchen below.




LOT SIZE > 1.8 acres

BEDROOMS > 5 BATHS > 4 full, 1 half

LAST SOLD FOR > $157,500 in 1982

Ken Barber, William Raveis Real Estate, 508-740-8812,

PROS Fresh herbs from the garden, a built-in grill, and a hot tub in a glass enclosure off the back of the home are ingredients for a good party in this private, pretty yard. Inside, the kitchen, eating area, and family room (with a fireplace) are open to one another in an unusual and inviting configuration. There’s a three-season sunroom off this area. A master suite is at one end of the second floor, and a guest suite, with bath, is at the other. The finished basement has a sauna. CONS The baths need updating.

— Vanessa Parks
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