What $3 million gets you in the suburbs

Buying Luxury Brookline Concord Wellesley
This 2-acre estate is the site of a restored turn-of-the-century English manor complete with stables, lush gardens with a freshwater pond and waterfall, and a pool. Robert Paul Properties​ ​

Second in a two-part series on luxury homes. Read last week’s installment: What $3 million gets you in Boston.

The mantra “location, location, location’’ hasn’t changed. How else does one explain buyers’ inclination to shell out $3 million-plus for a home in downtown Boston when they could get nearly double the square footage in Newton?

In 2017, according to the real estate site Redfin, the average $3 million-plus property in Boston had three bedrooms, 3.5 baths, and 2,971 square feet compared with the average property in Newton at the same price point, which had six bedrooms, 6.25 baths, and 6,468 square feet.

But those who opt to reside outside the city limits are not seeking the typical suburban existence. Andrea Jackson, an agent with Barrett Sotheby’s International Realty in Lexington, said today’s high-end suburban buyers want the ease of urban-style living.

“Single-family houses with sleeker designs, nearby schools, and within walking distance to the town’s downtown have become a very compelling combination,’’ Jackson said.

The desire to age in place is also growing, with multigenerational living becoming more common. Sarina Steinmetz, an agent with William Raveis Real Estate in Newtonville, said a first-floor master suite (or even a third-floor suite) has become a must-have. Looking at recent sales in MetroWest, Steinmetz pointed out that the homes that went under contract within 30 days included one of these features.

Poppy Troupe, an agent at Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Norwell, said homes with a dedicated office have become increasingly desirable as more people telecommute.

And new homes are selling better than resales, many agents agree. It’s probably because they incorporate the kinds of features today’s buyers are seeking, Jackson said.

Steinmetz concurred. “Builders are becoming sensitive to the way people live rather than building helter-skelter,’’ she said. “They’re asking what works and what people want.’’


180 Border St.


Year built 1900

Square footage 6,795

Bedrooms 5

Baths 5 full, 1 half

Lot size 2.03 acres

Taxes $26,524 (2017)

Last sold for $1,937,500 in 2010

Three million dollars is a rare price point in Scituate, and as such buys quite a spread. This 2-acre estate is the site of a restored turn-of-the-century English manor complete with stables, lush gardens with a freshwater pond and waterfall, and a pool. The property has a fence around its perimeter, making it ideal for pets and children. Within walking distance of Cohasset Harbor, it is not isolated.

Historic details lend a homey, not-too-polished feel. The eat-in-kitchen, which has a fireplace and has been updated with a farm sink, stone countertops, a high-end range, and a butler’s pantry with a wine fridge, is made for modern-day living without trying too hard.

The parlor and dining room boast bay windows and fireplaces (seven in all). There’s also a family room and a three-season sunroom with sliders to the deck. The finished lower level includes TV and exercise rooms, an auxiliary kitchen, and a mudroom with a dumbwaiter.

A mahogany deck runs along the home’s rear, which may be even prettier than the front façade. Stairs lead down to a pool surrounded by a bluestone patio and lush plantings. In addition to stables, the barn accommodates parking for four cars or a boat.

Julia Kenney, Robert Paul Properties, 140 Newbury St., Boston, 917-992-0267,


6 North Hill Drive


Year built 1988

Square footage 11,769

Bedrooms 5

Baths 3 full, 2 half

Lot size 1.38 acres

Taxes $22,820 (2017)

Last sold for $700,000 in 2000

This expansive 10-room home is made for entertaining.

Glass doors open into a 30-foot-long statement-making marble foyer with a circular opening to the second floor. An oversize living room runs along one side, and a large dining room with a fireplace, wainscot, and a silk wall covering that’s set up with a table for 12 flanks the other.

At the other end of the house, there’s a 30-by-30-foot room with a cathedral ceiling, floor-to-ceiling Palladian window, and French doors that lead out to the patio and heated saltwater pool. The space, used for very large gatherings, incorporates a commercial catering kitchen, wet bar, and half bath. And to help keep the festivities festive, the home also has a wood-lined wine cellar.

Car enthusiasts will adore the roughly 30-by-60-foot heated garage with storage and work area. (This is in addition to the two-car garage meant for everyday use.)

The open kitchen and adjoining seating area connect the more formal front portion of the home to the entertaining areas in back. The contemporary design features sleek walnut cabinetry topped with white Aran granite and a pair of glass mosaic murals.

The second floor includes an enormous master suite with a deck, additional bedrooms with skylights, and two full baths.

Louise Touchette, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, 1085 Summer St., Lynnfield, 617-605-0555,


242 Woodland Road


Year built 1939

Square footage 6,511

Bedrooms 4

Baths 4 full, 1 half

Lot size 0.47 acres

Taxes $26,724 (2017)

Last sold for $2,600,000 in 2014

Located on a coveted street behind Beaver Country Day School, this spacious Colonial-meets-Tudor-style brick house with a slate roof is designer-perfect thanks to a full renovation in 2007.

A contemporary kitchen is outfitted with sleek European-style cabinetry with white and wood-veneer finishes, stone countertops, high-end appliances, and floor-to-ceiling frosted-glass cabinets. An adjoining eating area has built-in cabinetry and French doors that lead to the landscaped yard and bluestone patio.

Five-inch-wide Brazilian walnut plank flooring sets off white walls and well-proportioned rooms. The focal point of the living room is the original concrete fireplace mantel with a Celtic pattern. French doors on one end open onto another bluestone patio, which is also accessible from the dining room.

From the foyer, a gently curved stairway with rounded stairs leads to four second-floor bedrooms. The master suite bath has a walk-in shower, built-in tub, and a pair of floating vanities with top-mount sinks.

Although its setting is a leafy street, the property is less than a mile from supermarkets, high-end dining and shopping, a movie theater, and the Chestnut Hill T stop, achieving both quiet and convenience.

Michael Carucci, Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty, 277 Dartmouth St., Boston, 617-901-7600,


525 Lexington Road


Year built Circa 1900

Square footage 6,252

Bedrooms 5

Baths 5 full, 1 half

Lot size 5.82 acres

Taxes $39,342 (2018)

Last sold for $1,500,000 in 1994

Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Louisa May Alcott lived (and are buried) on Authors Ridge near this 19th-century reproduction of the Longfellow House, the former Cambridge home of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Painter Charles Hovey Pepper built the house, which sits on nearly 6 acres of lawn and woodlands Henry David Thoreau once wandered. The property abuts conservation land, and is a pleasant 1-mile walk to downtown Concord.

The Georgian-style home, which was expanded in the 1990s with a wing on either side, features a gracious front-to-back living room that adjoins a cherry-paneled library with fireplace and fanlights that run atop built-in bookshelves. On the other side of the foyer is the dining room, a square space with decorative wood flooring, a fireplace, and a built-in china cabinet. The all-white kitchen is at the back of the house. It flows into the family room, which has a fireplace, built-in cabinetry, and a breakfast nook tucked into a bay window.

Upstairs, there are five bedrooms, plus a rec room accessed by a second stairway. The large master (again with a fireplace) has an en-suite bath renovated in 2009, an office, and a dressing room.

Brigitte Senkler, The Senkler Team, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, 23 Monument St., Concord, 978-505-2652,


2 Trinity Court


Year built 2017

Square footage 6,750

Bedrooms 5

Baths 5 full, 2 half

Lot size 0.46 acres

Taxes To be determined

Last sold for First time on market

This architect-designed new home in Cliff Estates, all clean, crisp lines inside and out, touts all of the bells and whistles for today’s style of family living.

The home sits on nearly half an acre with a fenced yard surrounded by tall trees on a cul-de-sac, and is within walking distance of the elementary school via sidewalks and a town-maintained path. A lower level mudroom is outfitted with six lockers and corresponding shoe cubbies. An elevator from the garage offers direct access to all three levels, making it easier to juggle groceries and kids or assist those with mobility issues.

The sun-drenched living spaces have pale white oak floors and white walls. The well-thought-out floor plan features a large kitchen with a quartz-topped island that seats five, a butler’s pantry, and a breakfast nook surrounded by windows. This flows into a family room with sliders to the patio.

The living room has a gas fireplace.

A first-floor bonus room with full bath functions flawlessly as a home office or as a guest or master suite, making working from home, multigenerational living, or aging in place efficient options.

Four upstairs bedrooms include a spa-like master bath with sculpted freestanding soaking tub.

Andrea Jackson, Barrett Sotheby’s International Realty, 1688 Massachusetts Ave., Lexington, 617-571-1888,

Marni Elyse Katz blogs about design at Send comments to Subscribe to our newsletter at