“SUMMER SERIES” KICKOFF: BROOKLINE—“GET REAL!” with Mildred Wong

THUMBS UP: The biggest pro to living in Brookline is that the neighborhood has loads of charm. Small apartment buildings and spaced houses give a pleasant suburban feel, with tree-lined streets, walking distance to stores and restaurants, and excellent connections to downtown.

THUMBS DOWN: Brookline is expensive. You need the money to live well. There is also no overnight parking, so there is the added cost for renting a parking space. You can get more space and higher quality units for the same price in surrounding neighborhoods.

Brookline is considered by many to be the ideal blend of urban and suburban living. This popular 6.8 square mile area is located just west of Boston, in close proximity to major universities and hospitals. Brookline is an attractive suburb with a unique mix of busy streets and scenic landscapes. Additionally, there are many parks and playgrounds throughout, and is easily accessible by several branches of the MBTA green line.

This largely residential neighborhood is home to families, professionals, students, and the elderly. Its commercial district includes boutiques, restaurants, spas, and farmer’s markets. These lifestyle amenities, as well as the celebrated public school system and easy access to public transportation, have always upheld a high demand for real estate.

WHERE THE ACTION IS: Coolidge Corner – This is the most happening locale, with cool shops, ethnic restaurants, and an independent bookstore and theater. On C Line, Coolidge Corner stop. Brookline Village – A somewhat quieter, historic area with many eateries, and walking distance to the Longwood Medical area. On D Line, Brookline Village stop. Washington Square – It has a calm vibe, but also has the kind of urban density that characterizes much of Brookline, with local stores and popular taverns. On C Line, Washington Square stop.

HOUSING TYPES: Brookline features a mixture of city atmosphere and country feel, from apartment complexes, to brownstones, single family homes, and large Victorian estates. The condos developed in Brookline’s post-War, brick apartment buildings attract young professionals, and its spacious homes attract the wealthy. 53% of rentals are in brick apartment complexes; 25% in brownstones; and 17% in single family homes, with the majority being 1-bedroom and 2-bedrooms.

WHAT YOU GET: The median 2-bedroom home sale price in May was $475,000 versus the median 2-bedroom rental price of $2,200. Consider an example: a 2-bedroom condo for $450,000, with a 20% down payment of $90,000. At a 4.5% interest rate, the monthly payment will be $2,311.57. It is slightly more expensive to buy, but remember, you will be able to deduct ALL of the real estate taxes and mortgage interest you paid when you file your tax returns.

CALL TO READERS: Tune in for the next neighborhood in our “Summer Series.” Call or email with questions. Mildred Wong is a Licensed Real Estate Agent at City Central Realty, LLC. She can be reached at 617-236-2020 or mildred@citycentralre.com. Follow her on Twitter: @GetRealwMildred.

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