ZIP code 01524: Leicester, a bedroom community with lower than average taxes, offers homes from $159K to $600K – Worcester Telegram

LEICESTER — With homes for sale in ZIP Code 01524 ranging from $159,900 to just under $600,000, options are wide for those seeking a quiet, country setting yet easy access to city amenities.
This 24.7-square-mile town was named after Leicester, England when incorporated by a vote of the Massachusetts General Court in 1713.
According to, the 16 homes presently for sale in Leicester range from a 560-square-foot two-bedroom listed at $159,900 to a 3,531-square-foot four-bedroom listed at $599,750.
The median price of the 86 homes sold here in 2021 to date is $304,500, which is up 12.8% over 2020, according to The Warren Group’s Massachusetts Sales Report.
The lifestyle of this quaint town is what attracts home buyers, Town Administrator David A. Genereux said Monday.
“Leicester prides itself on being a bedroom community. You get a very rural lifestyle with taxes much lower than the local average, and you can purchase real estate at a much better price,” he said, adding, “It’s very much of a rural lifestyle even though we are fully connected to the larger municipalities in the area.”
Leicester is bordered by Spencer to the west and Worcester to its northeast. It holds a population of approximately 11,000, of which 2,200 are senior citizens and 1,900 are school age.
The town has one elementary school, a middle school and a high school.
At $599,750, the most expensive home is at 91 Chapel St. in the Cherry Valley area of town.   
This stately 3,531-square-foot Victorian, built in 1850, sits on 2.25 aces. It holds four beds, 1.5 baths and features high ceilings, original wide-plank pine floors, Victorian light fixtures, crown moldings and four fireplaces, one of which is found in the country kitchen.
“The current owner has kept the home to the period and in perfect condition, and the land and the gardens are absolutely gorgeous,” said listing agent Sue-Anne Bock of Re/Max Vision.
The first-floor family room, dining room, living room and home office are warm and inviting. While the house was built in 1850, the kitchen and baths have undergone modernization.
The four grand bedrooms on the second floor have walk-in closets and fresh paint that melds with the home’s Victorian decor.
The grounds are a bucolic tapestry of perennial gardens, apple and pear trees, and a hillside blueberry orchard.
“Leicester is a nice small town and it’s a good point to get to anywhere. It’s close to 290, close to the airport, and close to shopping,” Bock said.
At today’s market prices, $350,000 will buy a 3,012-square-foot home on two acres of property.
Presently, the only house for sale at this price point is at 101 Henshaw St. The five-bed, 1.5 bath Colonial, built in 1720, is reportedly the oldest home standing in town.
The home features open beamed ceilings, wide plank wood flooring and fireplaces in the family, living and dining rooms.  
One of the five bedrooms is on the first floor with the master and three other bedrooms on the second floor. The basement is partially finished, and the lot is treelined and private.
Bock said real estate inventory is still low but the escalation in prices is changing.
“There is definitely not enough inventory. The higher price range is slower to turnover because a lot of people are looking for the lower price range,” she said. “We are still seeing multiple offers and people continue to be outbid but it’s starting to level off a bit.”
Leicester is part of the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor and it borders the Mass Audubon Burncoat Pond Wildlife Sanctuary in Spencer.
Its quintessential New England Town Common underwent some renovation this past summer that added, in part, new benches and bike paths.
Town amenities include a library, senior center and parks.
While the majority of residents in this bedroom town commute to work in other cities or towns, Leicester holds more than 300 businesses including several restaurants, several working farms, three golf courses, two Frisbee golf courses, a nursing and rehabilitation facility, and a Walmart.
From Leicester you can get to Worcester airport in minutes and to any of the other four major New England airports in Boston, Providence, Hartford and Manchester in about an hour.
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