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Listed: For $399,000, a burned Melrose home being sold ‘as is’

Buying News Melrose
25-Berkeley-St-Melrose
Fire tore through this home on Berkeley Street in Melrose on Aug. 24. The home is now on the market. Matt Karolian/Globe staff

In just another sign that real estate in Greater Boston is still very much a seller’s market, a charred home in Melrose is being sold “as is” for $399,000.

The scorched three-bedroom, 1.5-bath home at 20 Berkeley St. is in need of a “complete renovation or potential tear down and rebuild,” the listing by Coldwell Banker Realty reads. Photos show boarded-up windows and significant damage to the home’s façade, though the back and side of the property appear to be undamaged by the fire. 

The 0.1-acre lot offers “great potential to build a new and adorable home in desirable Melrose, a town where property values continue to rise,” the listing says. 

The home caught fire in August. The homeowners had already evacuated when the Melrose Fire Department arrived to fight the blaze, but firefighters did have to rip out walls in order to stop the flames. Firefighters were treated for heat injuries, the Globe reported.

The listing caused a stir on Twitter after the popular account Only in Boston posted a photo of the Zillow listing.

Those on Twitter voiced dismay, though a lack of surprise, at the home’s cost and condition. 

“Being a Melrose resident, this is very on par for Melrose real estate insanity,” twitter user Bryan Hall wrote

“Will sell for $67K over ask,” commented another user, Matt Sullivan. 

This isn’t the first time a burned-down home in the Boston area has hit the market at such a price. On Aug. 13, a charred 1,242-square-foot Jamaica Plain home sold for $580,000, far above the original $499,900 listing price. 

“A fixed-up property in that area will yield over a million for sure, and that’s where the pricing comes from. It’s definitely very, very, very rare,” the home’s listing agent, Nathan Rock, told Boston.com in June

Though the price on the Melrose listing seems high for a property in need of complete renovation, it falls well below the median home price in Melrose— $793,490, according to Zillow. It also falls below the median home price in Massachusetts — $535,000 according to The Warren Group, a real estate analytics firm. 

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