All In a Day’s Work: Solving Real-Life, Real Estate Problems for Our Clients

Priced Out of their Target Towns….and Then the Pandemic

Problem: They are a 30-something couple. He works in Cambridge, she works in Burlington, so they were looking for a new home in a town where the commute would be doable for both. But they seemed to be priced out of the towns that made the most sense geographically. Their wish list was 2-3 bedrooms, 1.5 baths and a yard for their dog — for under $500,000. And in the midst of our search, the pandemic descended, adding an extra layer of complexity.

Solution: We began our search in communities that were affordable, but every home I highlighted was nixed because the commute was deemed too long for one of them. And then I found it: a 1960s split level in Burlington — now their target town — on a lovely street. It was dated— wall-to-wall carpeting, wood paneling in the family room, original kitchen — , but its bones were good and its systems fairly new. With a little updating, it would be perfect for my clients. It was the height of the pandemic, and I knew a lot of people would be nervous about viewing it. Masked and socially distanced, I took my clients to see it. It was listed at $499,900. With some shrewd negotiating, I got the price down to $485,000.

My clients are thrilled with their new home and I know they got a tremendous deal, because I’ve seen similar homes in the same neighborhood, now selling for about $50,000 more than they paid. We figured out how to safely continue the house search early in the pandemic when potential buyers were wary, and that made all the difference.


All in a Day’s Work: Solving Real-Life, Real Estate Problems for our Clients is a regular feature brought to you by Marie Presti of the Presti Realty Group. Our agents specialize in luxury homes, rehabilitations, multi-families and condominiums in urban, suburban and exurban areas throughout the Greater Boston area. Marie Presti is a Certified Negotiation Expert. For more information, visit