We went through a similar decision making process several years ago. We were currently living in a metro west suburb about 40 miles outside Boston. Needing a larger house, we grappled with purchasing in our current area and getting a large new house with all the bells and whistles or purchasing in Wellesley where our budget would only allow us a modest Cape style home. It was tough, but we made the decision to move to Wellesley and I can't tell you how happy we are.....from so many perspectives.
Great school system----the proximity to Boston (15 miles vs 40-50)--the diversity of the neighborhoods--Centennial Park---Longfellow Pond--- great downtown area -- and so much more
Our two children both did well in the public school system, both graduating from Boston College. I love our neighborhood.....we live in the "Standish Estates" area near Longfellow Pond and it was so much fun to watch our kids walk to their friends house--while they thought they were "independent and on their own" , little did they know that I was watching from my window, on the phone with the other mom, as she was watching them approach her house. (small example of the benefits of a smaller lot). I also love the diversity of our area. Different style homes, large ones, small ones and as a result, various income levels of the inhabitants.
Our neighborhood is continually changing, tear downs and new construction, additions to existing homes. As I look out my window, there are 3 new homes that were built in the last 3 years and roughly 6 that did major renovations and additions......and I am only including those that I can see from my window!!! This continual change will be the same for the Boulder Brook area. While the lot you are looking at, may now be surrounded by smaller, older homes it is likely this will change. Wellesley has always been a very desirable town and because of all it has to offer and its' close proximity to Boston, will continue to be so.
I think if you made the decision to move here you wouldn't have one regret!!
PS....One more thing.... Every time I make the trip to Logan Airport (weekly) I celebrate our decision!!!
Wellesley is a wonderful community as are most of the Metro West communities. Buying and building your dream home can be a wonderful experience. As Kathy mentioned there have been many sales in that neighborhood that should support a $1.5M home. I did the same thing to my home in 2007 - bought - completely renovated and now absolutely love my home.
Best of luck and good luck on finding the right neighborhood that you will like. I live and work selling Real Estate in Wellesley and have 2 kids in grade school. I love it here.
All the best,
BTW, you said the comps are 'so low?' I don't know where you are looking, because there are tons of comps. This is a wonderful area if you want kid-friendly and great public schools. My daughters went to Bates and they credit foundation for great college careers, including Providence College and Harvard :)
I am based out of Newton and cover all of the towns mentioned, including Wellesley, and can give you a qualified analysis if I know the exact location. Have you already bought the land?
I am an agent and also work on my own investment properties and renovations and in general it is much faster, easier, and you will build more equity if you find a home that's not in great shape to renovate or add to so you still get exactly what you want. It of course depends on the size and features of the home but $1.5 million is in the range of full market value for that area, so if and when you sell, you won't get much return on your effort and investment. I would recommend doing a lot of looking in Wellesley to see if there is something that could meet your needs at a better price and without the work of a tear down. If you do decide to take on the project, make sure to determine the real value of the property and arm yourself with professionals who are experienced in the process. I am happy to help if you'd like - please find my information below.