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Decoded: the 'Starter' as For-Sale and Rental

It's Rookie Roosts Week 2012, and today we open The Brokerbabble Glossary, from which we will take words or phrases that seem to show up in an unreasonable number of listings (and, um, blogs) and decipher their true meanings. If you have any ideas for us, send them to the super-secret tipline. Today's word: Starter.

"Starter" is exactly what it implies: the beginning of homeownership. And, assuming you're not a regular in the owner's box at Fenway, a "starter home" is generally less expensive than your average Hub abode. But! This does not necessarily mean it has to be smaller or dingy or some sort of charity-case must-sell situation (see yesterday's five examples of Hub homes under $300K, two of them 2-BRs!). The above Hyde Park single-family goes ahead and calls itself a "starter home" in the listing; for $234K, you get 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom and a whole lot of hardwood over 1,196 square feet. Not too shabby at all. A final note when it comes to rentals hawked as starter homes: We've never actually seen a rental as "starter home," but probably best to avoid if you ever do; it can't be a good thing that that extra oomph is needed to seal a lease in a rental market as tight as ours. Usually, "apartment for rent" works wonders.

· Listing: 5 Mountfair Terrace [Zillow]
· Hub Starter Apartments: 5 Neighborhoods, 5 Pads Under $300K [Curbed Boston]
· Rookie Roosts Week 2012 [Curbed Boston]

5 Montfair Terrace

5 Montfair Terrace, Boston, MA