Stow Independent... Online
Sept. 28, 2011
Stow Offers Real Estate of All Kinds
By Nancy Arsenault
The fall season showcases all that Stow
has to offer and that’s why, for many realtors, autumn is a great time
for real estate sales in Stow. While seasonal visitors are often
attracted to the town’s apple orchards, rural character, and golf
courses, the unique properties are also a big draw.
Last week, the Board of Assessors released their annual assessments,
and according to their estimations, Stow properties have held their
value far better than other communities in the state. With a new school
on the horizon, a consistently balanced municipal budget and a variety
of housing choices, living in the town of Stow is an option being
explored by many homebuyers.
Presently, 63 single family homes are on the market in Stow,
averaging a price tag of $482,847. The lowest price is $204,900 for a
1300sq ft ranch on Old Bolton Road, while the high end of the market is
offering an elegant home of over 5,000 sq. ft for $1.1 million with
options to purchase 100+ adjacent acres.
The commercial market has two listings for sale, a historical
property on Gleasondale Road and the former Beef ‘N Ale restaurant,
along with several opportunities for leasable space.
Buildable land is at a premium, with only three large options on the
market, two of which have been listed for over two years. The newest
listing is a former farm parcel in Gleasondale for $429,900. Two homes
have been sold at auction while a bank foreclosure is now available on
According to local realtors, Stow’s inventory now includes all price
points, with everything from new construction to historical properties,
to fixer uppers. Here are some highlights:
Spring Hill House $1.1 million
Looking for privacy and luxury? An estate high atop a hill is
available, surrounded by 100 acres . The house sale can be negotiated to
include a 5 or 10 acre parcel, with purchase of additional land an
option as well. “There are multiple ways to configure the land,” said
Realtor Nancy Valentino of 495 Realty in Hudson, of the land that was
explored for residential development several years ago.
The home is surrounded by meticulously landscaped grounds with a
gunite swimming pool, brick patio and screened porch. Two fireplaces, a
state of the art kitchen, spa room and stained glass windows are just
some of the interior features of this modern day mansion, built in 1995.
“You can see the Prudential and John Hancock Towers from the driveway,”
said Valentino, adding that the views from the top floors of the home
are even more expansive. “This is definitely at Stow’s highest point,”
The owner currently hosts overnight guests in a portion of the home
that she maintains as the Spring Hill House Bed & Breakfast.
Foreclosures Bring Opportunity
While the economy may have fewer buyers looking in the $1 million price
range, the downturn has made it possible for homes normally priced much
higher, to be available at more affordable prices. Wheeler Road has an
example of such an opportunity with a foreclosure property, now owned
by a bank. Custom built in 1999, this 4 bedroom, 2 ½ bath house is
considered very aggressively priced at $409,900.
Realtor Pam Cooper of Zain Realty and Management Inc. of
Westborough said, “The property has been continually maintained, even
though the bank is essentially an absentee owner.” While there is no
one to speak about the history of the property when an institution is
the seller, Cooper said that in most other cases, a foreclosure sale is
like any other traditional sale. “There can certainly be conditions
placed on the P&S based on financing and home inspection. A
potential buyer could get their deposit back if those conditions aren’t
met,” she said.
Cooper said that in the past, foreclosure sales were very rare in
this area. Today, she is seeing 10-15% of the market made up of
foreclosure listings, including high end homes as well as lesser priced
models. “Banks are not in the business of owning properties. In these
types of sales, they are just trying to recover their investment,” she
Ready to Set up Shop
The light green clapboard home-style building at 23 Gleasondale Road is one
just a few commercial spaces currently for sale in Stow. Situated
across from Warren Insurance Company, it was the former headquarters of
Quilting Arts Magazine and has 3600 sq. ft of space on two levels.
This 1800s era structure has retained many of its original
architectural elements, including wide pine plank floors and exposed
beams in the oldest wing of the building. Reported to have been a sled
making shop at one time, there is even original iron rigging and
remnants of machinery still attached to the walls. An antique wooden
sled rests against one of the interior walls, similar to what was
Realtor Fred Scopa of Bostonia Realty said that the space is ideal
for offices or soft retail. Current DEP regulations would restrict some
restaurant options according to Stow Building Inspector Craig Martin,
but would not prohibit the serving of food. A retail store or offices
for law, accounting or design would be ideal, said Scopa. The $549,000
price tag brings a property that has been carefully maintained by owner
and Stow resident John Bolton, including new and updated HVAC and other
Give Me Land, Lots of Land
At the bend in the road where
Gleasondale meets Marlborough, just behind the church, hides fourteen
acres of buildable land, according to Realtor Bob Young of A Better Way
Realty in Acton. An estate sale, this listing includes a house
described as a tear down, and land that is mostly flat, and much of it
cleared, with about 200 ft of frontage on Marlborough Rd, priced at
$429,900. There is also frontage on Railroad Ave.
Set far enough back from the road, the sound of passing traffic is
nearly unnoticeable. Bordered by woodlands, the property is just a short
walk from the shore of the Assabet River, with a portion of the land
falling within the town’s recreation/conservation zone.
If you’re looking to spend more and get more, a second estate is
selling 45 acres of farmland on Walcott Street, nearly adjacent to the
Spring Hill House property, for $1.7 million. Described as having
rolling hills and wide open meadows, the seller feels this site presents
multiple opportunities for development, including “a subdivision of
prestigious homes with lots having plenty of acreage, a cluster-zoned
community aimed at the mid-priced range buyer, a community of townhomes
or condominiums or a specially permitted or 40B project.”
Real estate reporting statistics for Stow show a marked difference
from that of surrounding towns. The number of sales in Stow as of August
31 2011, are up significantly at a 29% increase over last August, and
year to date, there is a 30% increase in Stow , even as market time
has increased to an average of 198 days.
In contrast, Bolton has seen a significant drop in sales and as of
August was only at 67% of its prior year to date mark with average time
on the market at 234 days. Sales are also down in Maynard, Hudson and
most of the surrounding towns. Realtors attribute the larger inventory
of mid-range priced , good quality homes in Stow to attracting those
customers who are ready to buy in these frugal times.