The real estate listing that appeared online last week seemed to hold promise: The house was located in the sought-after neighborhood of Newton Highlands. It touted an open floor plan and updated finishes. The catch? It’s just 251 square feet.
In the wild Greater Boston real estate market, the Newton listing is the latest in a line of seemingly irrational prices for a place to live. The Newton house is just one room, with a sleeping loft so close to the ceiling one can only rise to the knee.
“One of a Kind! Adorable Tiny Studio Home in Newton Highlands,” broker Hans Brings wrote in the online sales pitch for the home that sits on a 2,452-square-foot lot and includes 120 feet of frontage on Boylston Street, better known as Route 9. “Ideal for Casual Stays, Guest Home, Meditation, Exercise Room, Storage, or Whatever You Desire.”
Mull that one over for a second: $449,000 for a storage room? Put another way: That’s $1,792 for each of the 251 square feet, according to the posting on Realtor.com.
Here’s one more statistic: There is more room for the three off-street parking spaces on the lot than for the house itself.
Located on a corner lot at the intersection of Boylston Street and Chestnut Street, the house has a primary living space that a (very) compact version of a very popular design approach these days — an open floor plan that measures just 12 feet by 9 feet, according to Brings.
The broker described the amount of space in the sleeping loft this way: “If you can imagine being in a camper. You know how they have those beds above the kitchen in the camper — it would be similar to that,” Brings said. “Maybe its twice as high as that but you need to kneel up there if you sleep up there.”
Brings said the asking price reflects what market research shows is the entry-level cost of a single-family home in Newton ($500,000) and the price for a condo in Newton ($400,000).
“So we averaged them out as a kind of single family condo alternative,’' he said.
The Newton home is another example of the trend in Greater Boston where stunningly high prices are being placed on lots, existing buildings — and even damaged single-family homes.
In Melrose, a boarded-up and charred house on Berkley Street went on the market “as is” for $399,000 — and had an offer with contingencies accepted within six days after the listing went live on Realtor.com.
Brings said both the Melrose and Newton listings reflect something he heard from a client years ago. “He said — and I’ll never forget this, it was probably 25 years ago — he said ‘Hans, he says, you know, people must buy land. God makes no more.’ ”
The interior of the Newton Highlands home, which was built in 1970, has undergone some significant upgrades recently. The kitchenette was updated this year with a stainless steel stove and a granite countertop. There’s a new HVAC system. The shower-only full bath is updated, and that is the only space with a door to close it off.
The house has a full-height, unfinished basement that runs the length of the foundation and is accessible through bulkhead doors in rear of the home.
The house is currently assessed at $267,700, according to Newton records.
First offers are due Tuesday, Brings said.