What I do and don't love about it is the feeling of snobbery I get living in Hull when I meet people from Cohasset and Hingham which border and have more expensive properties.
Growing old in Hull is great. I can say this because I worked at the Cohasset Senior Center and I can tell you those people spend a good deal of their money on taxes and upkeep of their properties while those in Hull have smaller houses and less maintenance and taxes and have a great time. There are a lot of seniors in Hull because of the smaller houses and condos. The senior center is better than any other town because of the number of people who use it and the services it offers. They also have lots of great trips and a high participation rate. Older people in Hull seem to have overcome the snobbery and have more fun. But isn't that what you'd expect of people who chose to retire at the beach.
I thought of selling when prices were very high, but I weighed the pros and cons and decided it was worth keeping. I couldn't think of a place I'd rather live. I often go into Boston for high tech events at MIT and sometimes at restaurants and bars in Hull, I meet famous people who are just sitting beside me. The intellectual conversation and open-mindedness is appealing.
One more thing, because we have great wind, we have windmills that power our electrical plant so the bill is very reasonable.
I'm not a realtor
There are a lot of houses per square mile, so there are more people to support taxes. Because of the beach, Hull can attract tourist money in the summer but regular business have a hard time maintaining themselves if they have to pay for store or office space.
Because of Hull's remoteness, it has more small business than surrounding areas. This could be good because small businesses keep money in the area. School districts don't seem as important as they used to be since people seem to be having fewer kids.
The reputation of of the town will never be as good as surrounding towns because of the smaller house, more remote, beach. It is the beach club to Hingham and Cohasset's Yacht Club.
It's a highly mixed demography which means you could be rich or poor living in Hull. You don't have to keep up with the Joneses but then again you might find yourself with neighbors who park haphazardly in front of your house. I see Hull surviving with DIYs and the attraction of the beach.
Paragon Park closed in 1985. That amusement park was open since 1905 and gave Hull the Honky Tonk image your parents remember from their youth. During the last 28 years, Hull has made many changes. To answer your question, Hull is unquestionably trending up.
I have lived here for 13 years, raising two sons who are now 12 and 15 years old. Hull is a great town to live and raise a family. As a Realtor who has focused on the Hull market for over 11 years, I would say that only about 5% of the residents are strictly summer residents. Therefore the other 95% are year round residents who care deeply about the town.
Many people who visit Hull only get as far as the main public beach, the restaurants in that same area and then head out of town after a day of sun and fun. But there is so much more to this beautiful peninsula than what you can see in that small glimpse of Hull.
Hoping to offer some insight to your question based upon my experience as the broker marketing The Oceania Residences on Nantasket Beach, a newer luxury condominium community. We very recently sold a couple of units at a price point that is significantly above the average cost/sf in Hull. I say this becaus it's always hard to draw conclusions from strict market data alone when determining value as is the case with determining desirability and the notion of trending up--these are all very subjective. For the buyers I've met and especially those who have bought (who, btw, are very discerning, astute, and did their research), living in Hull is very desirable--they feel like they are afforded superior comforts and the joys of being on the water at a great deal.
Being a broker primarily based in Boston and concentrating my efforts on attracting buyers from not just the South Shore, but from all over Massachusetts, I am oftentimes posed with the very question you ask, as many are not so familiar with the location. Hull is a hidden-gem seaside community that many don't know about because it is not a pass-thru community, but rather a destination one. Or, perhaps they, like your parents, have a formed opinion from an era past, but have not reconsidered since.
The Oceania is comprised of buyers from a variety of towns throughout MA and even other states, typically from areas that would be considered affluent, comprised of higher priced homes with high income earning residents. They fall in love with Hull for the gorgeous views, the many restaurants that rival fine dining in the city, boating, recreation...and most importantly the VALUE they perceive in comparison to communities from which they have come or seen. In Boston for instance, a waterfront 2400sf condo (with finishes that pale in comparison) would be over $2M--compared to our mid $700K. Given the town's ferry access to the city, I am able to easily pursuade people who originate their search in Boston when downsizing from the burbs, to visit Hull. They are usually pleasantly surprised!
As far as winter months go, I think any seaside community has a special charm about it as the transient wave of summer dwellers and visitors dissipates and the locals are brought back together, gathered in local shops and restaurants for lively chatter. The skies and waters grey and only a few bodies are seen walking the shore, perhaps throwing a stick for a dog. From what I've experienced and have been told, Hull is a friendly community with a close-knit fiber of permanent residents. As with any waterfront and especially oceanfront location in New England, winter months can be very frigid. Living on the water myself, the cold temperatures are offset by sunsets in the fall, which appear more dramatic, or watching the changing colors and patterns of the water and sky throughout the year, even in snow. And for me, the sound of the ocean is especially pronouced and cathartic in winter.
Hopefully my post will help you feel a sense of familiarity with the buyers I describe and perhaps help you formulate some thoughts on what is most desirable for you. Perhaps knowing that people are coming from other towns and purchasing higher end homes in Hull may give you a little more confidence in the location as well. I've attached a link to The Oceania's virtual tour and website, mainly because I have some nice pictures of the community at various seasons you may enjoy.
Let me know if I may help in any way.
This will give you some good, non-subjective data. There is also a good school rating website you can take a look at it needed.
If I can be of any help, please let me know. Thanks,
I grew up in the neighboring town of Cohasset which has better rated schools and a higher median income, home pricing, a nice library, nice track, pool, etc. I can tell you that many of the families that live near me now (I've been here almost 17 years) are from Cohasset. If you are looking for a home on the coast, generally you can get more for your money in Hull. Downside, the commute out of town if you must drive and the lack of our affiliation with the Old Colony Library Network. The schools are all on waterfront property and have recently been done over but the academics is not up to that of the surrounding towns.
I get the feeling that the town is somewhat backwards in their lack of care of younger generations. We have a railroad bed that spans the entire town---great place to pave and make into a walking/biking trail...In addition, to having a place where the kids could safely walk/run/bike, all ages would enjoy. Instead the railroad bed sits empty except for the abbuters who have utilized the land for free. Most of our taxes go to maintaining the police and fire departments. The departments are great but the extra tax revenue is needed to support the extra people that Nantasket Beach attracts every year. We allow people from all over to come in and enjoy our town--we get little back except for higher taxes to pay for the resources needed.
If you can take the commuter boat into boston for work and don't worry much about the schools, Hull is a great place to live! Ps...I'm not an agent.
Great question. You want my honest opinion about Hull. I love Hull. It's that simple. As a child I traveled around a lot with my parents going to different schools around the nation, but each summer we made it back to Hull. As an adult, I have lived on Huntington Beach, in San Fransisco, on a house boat in Key West, on the French Riviera, in a luxury stone villa on the southwest tip of Greece's Peloponnese, but I came back to Hull to make a home for our son. We have a 6 year old boy and living in Hull compared to all the other exotic, wonderful, beautiful, tropical, cultural, amazing places we have lived, well...Hull still tops them. Why? I love the schools here. We love the beaches, there are quite a few little ones tucked away here and there, the variety of the people, the small town comraderie, the weather...you have cooler summers and milder winters due to being on a 7 mile long penninsula. It's quiet. It's safe to us...imagine if you're a robber, there is one way out and one way in...doesn't seem like an easy place to get away with doing illegal things. The children here are known by their names. Teachers care about the children and do everything they can to stop anyone from falling through the cracks. The fire fighters and police will wave as you pass. It's friendly. I love the style of the big beach homes, the water views from almost every angle. I just love Hull. Gee, if I had more time I'd write a book about it. The history is rich with stories from the Indian and Pilgrim days. It's just really fasinating. Oh yes, and the art world here. Artists with enormous talent are popping up all over Hull. Ok, I'll stop.
By the way, if you are still looking to buy here, I'd love to show you around and I promise not to talk your ear off. Please don't ever hesitate to give me a ring...781-635-5414.
Success Real Estate - Agent
NE FLoor Plans - Photographer/ Stager
I have been working a lot with buyers and sellers in Hull of late and it definitely has it's pros and cons. If you love the water there are some breathtaking properties out there. With the commuter rail and commuter boat it is definitely easier to access the city than back in days past. It's sort of a one way in one way out town so the height of the summer can bring in a lot of congestion. Please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can discuss some other aspects about the town as well as gather a better understanding of what it is you are looking for. Thanks!