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Mid-Cambridge: You Can See It There, in Harvard's Shadow

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As its very name implies, Mid-Cambridge is pretty much smackdab in the middle of Cambridge: bounded roughly by Mass. Ave. to the south; Kirkland and Beacon streets to the north; Prospect Street to the east; and, to the west, Harvard University. That last border pretty much defines much of the neighborhood vibe-wise, if not literally real estate- and streetscape-wise. That is, many Harvard denizens make up Mid-Cambridge's approximately 13,000 residents. And these residents have a profound effect on the enclave's real estate prices and options.

Those options basically range from large-for-Cambridge rental apartments to large-by-any-standard single-family homes. Mid-Cambridge does not boast the same sizable mansions further west of Harvard (think Brattle Street), but it does have some big homes just to the east of the university. As for those apartments, they, like the houses, are of older stock; converted buildings from the 19th and early 20th centuries are not uncommon. If you want a more modern condo or house, this is probably not your neighborhood. and not necessarily just because of the age of the stock: homes sell quickly in Mid-Cambridge (when they're available) and inventory is consequently very low.

Price range: The median sale price of available homes in Mid-Cambridge is $630,000, according to Zillow (though take that stat with a grain of salt: read on). For Cambridge as a whole, it's $619,000. The median rent in the neighborhood as of early March is $2,200, a relative steal compared with the citywide median of $2,500. You're basically looking at 1-BRs for around $2K with 2-BRs (and larger) starting well above that. As for single-families, some might range well over $1,000,000. Condos are going to start in the low $400Ks. (If you ever see any cheaper than that, let us know.)
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Neighborhood highlights: Yes, there's Harvard. But there is so much more to Mid-Cambridge: the gorgeous flagship branch of the Cambridge Public Library (pictured above); historic and picaresque picturesque homes (admittedly, largely due to the famous names Harvard has been bringing to the area for three centuries-plus); Central, Harvard and Inman squares at three of the neighborhood's edges; and Cambridge City Hall. The neighborhood has a WalkScore of 93 and is biking-friendly as well. You're never far from the Harvard or Central Red Line stops.
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Sample listings:


· 333 Harvard Street, #11: There is literally one condo or single-family currently for sale in all of Mid-Cambridge (we told you inventory was low). It's a 1-BR, 1-BA spread over 662 square feet and it wants $419,000.
· Highland Avenue: There's a rental on this throughway going for $2,200 a month. It's a 2-BR, 1-BA; and includes heat and hot water.
· Harvard Square Manse Now Cambridge's Priciest Listing [Curbed Boston]
· Our Neighborhood Guides archive [Curbed Boston]