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An airy living room with furniture and floor-to-ceiling windows at one end. Listed by: Joe Schutt of Unit Realty

Around Boston’s South End, 10 solid options for starter homes right now

These aren’t the biggest spreads, but they come with modern finishes, and many include touches such as central air, storage, and outdoor space

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It can be darn near impossible to define a starter home in the Boston area. That’s largely because real estate is so expensive here versus much of the rest of the U.S. Still, it is possible to break down what a starter home might be neighborhood by neighborhood, using sales data and by eliminating certain types of housing right off the bat.

In Boston’s coveted and busy South End, it’s no good for first-time buyers to hunt for townhouses or single-families. Both are extremely expensive, even by modern Boston standards, and detached single-families are rare besides. So condos it is.

And what do condos generally go for in the South End? In the fourth quarter of 2019, the median condo sales price in the neighborhood was $975,000.

So! A starter home in the South End might be considered a condo retailing for well below the neighborhood median. That probably also means smaller condos, but ones with nice finishes and amenities such as storage and outdoor space—like these 10 options.

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1. 100 Shawmut Avenue, #413

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100 Shawmut Ave
Boston, MA 02118

This 461-square-foot studio is part of a 13-story development that’s supposed to open in 2020—one of so many new buildings throughout the South End. The condo’s retailing for $599,900, with an HOA of $412.82. The building is due to include amenities such as a fitness center and concierge services.

Rendering of a sleek kitchen in a new condo. Listed by: Janice Dumont of Advisors Living

2. 191 West Canton Street, #2

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191 W Canton St
Boston, MA 02116

The 55-inch TV comes with this 701-square-foot duplex, which also has two bedrooms and one and a half bathrooms. The condo is asking $769,000, with a HOA of $150.

A narrow living room with a single chair facing a flat-screen TV mounted above a fireplace, and the living room’s leading to a kitchen. Listed by: Martyn Scott of Gibson Sotheby’s

3. 408 Columbus Avenue, #1

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408 Columbus Ave
Boston, MA 02116

This 694-square-foot duplex is asking $699,000, and includes one bedroom and one bathroom. There is also bike storage for the building, and the unit has central air. The HOA is $172.

An open living room-kitchen area just beyond a front door in a condo. Listed by: Paul Whaley of Coldwell Banker

4. 69 East Berkeley Street, #5

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69 E Berkeley St
Boston, MA 02118

This 617-square-foot condo is asking $549,000. It comes with one bedroom and one bathroom. The HOA is $332.52.

A living room with three windows and a couch and a coffee table facing a TV stand. Listed by: Rachel Leung of Thread Real Estate

5. 139 East Berkeley Street, #201

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139 E Berkeley St
Boston, MA 02118

This 840-square-foot one-bedroom, one-bathroom is pushing the starter home category limits for the South End. That is, it’s asking a cool $789,000—just below the neighborhood’s latest median sales price. A washer-dryer and central air come with the spread, and there is parking available for rent. The HOA is $419.

An airy living room with furniture and floor-to-ceiling windows at one end. Listed by: Joe Schutt of Unit Realty

6. 608 Tremont Street, #2

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608 Tremont St
Boston, MA 02118

The Aries Commercial listing for this 650-square-foot two-bedroom, one-bathroom is frank and true: “It is rare to see a unit like this hit the market.” The unit is asking $749,999. The HOA is $234.42.

A small kitchen with a counter separating it from the living room of a condo. Listed by: Thomas White of Aries Commercial Real Estate

7. 600 Massachusetts Avenue, #7

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600 Massachusetts Ave
Boston, MA 02118

This 1,050-square-foot condo comes with two bedrooms and one bathroom. There’s storage as well. The asking is $699,000, and the HOA is $136.50.

An airy living room with a couch and a coffee table facing a TV. Listed by: Jamie Curtis of Compass

8. 46 East Springfield Street, #2

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46 E Springfield St
Boston, MA 02118

A private deck comes with this 522-square-foot one-bedroom, one-bathroom. The bath has been renovated too. The asking is $529,000, and the HOA is $175.

Empty rooms next to each other with a fireplace in each. Listed by: Elisa Daley of Engel & Volkers

9. 58 East Springfield Street, #2

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58 E Springfield St
Boston, MA 02118

The Keller Williams’ listing for this 571-square-foot two-bedroom, one-bathroom gets right to the point: “Chance to snag one of the few condominiums under $600,000 in the vibrant South End!” The condo is retailing for $590,000, and includes the option to buy two deeded parking spots. It’s got central air and a back deck. The HOA fee is $400.

An open kitchen with an island with stools. Listed by: Toryarlee Aanwon of Keller Williams

10. 55 East Springfield Street, #PH

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55 E Springfield St
Boston, MA 02118

A gut-renovation produced this 765-square-foot two-bedroom, two-bathroom with central air and in-unit washer-dryer. It’s asking $679,000, with a $250 HOA.

An airy living room with two windows in a bay window. Listed by: Kevin Caulfield of Compass

1. 100 Shawmut Avenue, #413

100 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118
Rendering of a sleek kitchen in a new condo. Listed by: Janice Dumont of Advisors Living

This 461-square-foot studio is part of a 13-story development that’s supposed to open in 2020—one of so many new buildings throughout the South End. The condo’s retailing for $599,900, with an HOA of $412.82. The building is due to include amenities such as a fitness center and concierge services.

100 Shawmut Ave
Boston, MA 02118

2. 191 West Canton Street, #2

191 W Canton St, Boston, MA 02116
A narrow living room with a single chair facing a flat-screen TV mounted above a fireplace, and the living room’s leading to a kitchen. Listed by: Martyn Scott of Gibson Sotheby’s

The 55-inch TV comes with this 701-square-foot duplex, which also has two bedrooms and one and a half bathrooms. The condo is asking $769,000, with a HOA of $150.

191 W Canton St
Boston, MA 02116

3. 408 Columbus Avenue, #1

408 Columbus Ave, Boston, MA 02116
An open living room-kitchen area just beyond a front door in a condo. Listed by: Paul Whaley of Coldwell Banker

This 694-square-foot duplex is asking $699,000, and includes one bedroom and one bathroom. There is also bike storage for the building, and the unit has central air. The HOA is $172.

408 Columbus Ave
Boston, MA 02116

4. 69 East Berkeley Street, #5

69 E Berkeley St, Boston, MA 02118
A living room with three windows and a couch and a coffee table facing a TV stand. Listed by: Rachel Leung of Thread Real Estate

This 617-square-foot condo is asking $549,000. It comes with one bedroom and one bathroom. The HOA is $332.52.

69 E Berkeley St
Boston, MA 02118

5. 139 East Berkeley Street, #201

139 E Berkeley St, Boston, MA 02118
An airy living room with furniture and floor-to-ceiling windows at one end. Listed by: Joe Schutt of Unit Realty

This 840-square-foot one-bedroom, one-bathroom is pushing the starter home category limits for the South End. That is, it’s asking a cool $789,000—just below the neighborhood’s latest median sales price. A washer-dryer and central air come with the spread, and there is parking available for rent. The HOA is $419.

139 E Berkeley St
Boston, MA 02118

6. 608 Tremont Street, #2

608 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02118
A small kitchen with a counter separating it from the living room of a condo. Listed by: Thomas White of Aries Commercial Real Estate

The Aries Commercial listing for this 650-square-foot two-bedroom, one-bathroom is frank and true: “It is rare to see a unit like this hit the market.” The unit is asking $749,999. The HOA is $234.42.

608 Tremont St
Boston, MA 02118

7. 600 Massachusetts Avenue, #7

600 Massachusetts Ave, Boston, MA 02118
An airy living room with a couch and a coffee table facing a TV. Listed by: Jamie Curtis of Compass

This 1,050-square-foot condo comes with two bedrooms and one bathroom. There’s storage as well. The asking is $699,000, and the HOA is $136.50.

600 Massachusetts Ave
Boston, MA 02118

8. 46 East Springfield Street, #2

46 E Springfield St, Boston, MA 02118
Empty rooms next to each other with a fireplace in each. Listed by: Elisa Daley of Engel & Volkers

A private deck comes with this 522-square-foot one-bedroom, one-bathroom. The bath has been renovated too. The asking is $529,000, and the HOA is $175.

46 E Springfield St
Boston, MA 02118

9. 58 East Springfield Street, #2

58 E Springfield St, Boston, MA 02118
An open kitchen with an island with stools. Listed by: Toryarlee Aanwon of Keller Williams

The Keller Williams’ listing for this 571-square-foot two-bedroom, one-bathroom gets right to the point: “Chance to snag one of the few condominiums under $600,000 in the vibrant South End!” The condo is retailing for $590,000, and includes the option to buy two deeded parking spots. It’s got central air and a back deck. The HOA fee is $400.

58 E Springfield St
Boston, MA 02118

10. 55 East Springfield Street, #PH

55 E Springfield St, Boston, MA 02118
An airy living room with two windows in a bay window. Listed by: Kevin Caulfield of Compass

A gut-renovation produced this 765-square-foot two-bedroom, two-bathroom with central air and in-unit washer-dryer. It’s asking $679,000, with a $250 HOA.

55 E Springfield St
Boston, MA 02118