Home Buying in Boston>Question Details

kevinfrancis1, Home Buyer in Cambridge, MA

Potential relocation - suggestions needed

Asked by kevinfrancis1, Cambridge, MA Wed Jan 29, 2014

My family is considering a move to the Boston area, but we know nothing about the area. I would be working in Cambridge, hoping to find a 3 bedroom single family home (no condos, no townhouses) in a quiet suburb with a reasonable commute and good schools for under $400K. Is this a reasonable request for the area? If so, any suggestions would be appreciated.

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Burlington might be a good bet. $400,000 won't get you very far in Boston area but you can get something decent. Burlington, Chelmsford and surrounding areas would work and your commute, depending on traffic, would be around 30 minutes. Check the boston.com website...they have a perfect neighborhood/town calculator...good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 11, 2014
For Cambridge currently there is nothing under 700k for sale. Your best best for your budget (Single family) is to look a few towns over.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 29, 2014
Hello Kevin, as you can see there is not a shortage of replies or advice when considering a move to Boston. Often times, newcomers to Boston find it easier to rent for a year in a neighborhood where they consider buying a home. The reason is that it allows you the chance to experience the community without heavily investing by buying a home. Also, there are so many other challenges to consider and buying a home is not the least of them. If, however, you really want to buy then there are more questions to be answered before any meaningful advice can be given. I recommend you visit the following link (http://www.movers.com/moving-guides/moving-guide-to-boston-ma.html) with tips and guides about moving to Boston followed by a visit to a reputable realtor website to begin your home search.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 29, 2014
Hi Kevin,
it will be difficult to find a single family in this area for under $400,000 in the Cambridge area! I think Waltham and Watertown would be your best bet to find a single closet to your price range.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 29, 2014
Since you will be moving to the Boston area for the first time, there will certainly be a lot on your plate.
It is recommended to have someone assist you to make things as easy as possible.
A knowledgeable agent is something that will save you a lot of time and money in the long run.

You will also be using their service for free, since the seller will be paying the fees for the transaction; so you have nothing to lose by contacting a reputable company/person.

There are also things to consider when thinking about your commute.
Will you be primarily driving? If so, parking can be expensive unless subsidized by your work.
Would the train system (both commuter and MBTA) be something to consider?
How long of a commute is reasonable?
Will you be considering school systems for children?

If you decide that you would like to start looking more closely, below is a MLS link to peruse:

Thaddeus Kuznicki
Gibson Sotheby's International Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 29, 2014
Hi Kevin, You're wise to begin researching before making such a big decision. I specialize in working with relocation clients, so I understand your needs/concerns. As Stephen Bourassa advised, you need to find a good realtor that makes you feel comfortable. I'll add the realtor needs to be patient, responsive and proactive. In this market, you need to be informed by your realtor of all property matches the second they hit the market or you risk losing it. A nice community with good school ratings is Melrose. It has easy highway access and offers the convenience of public transportation. Although the median selling price is over $400k, there are 2 nice 3BD single homes currently on the market for under $400k. The same holds true for Beverly, MA (although you are now going further North). Beverly is accessible to the highway, commuter rail and has good school ratings. There are a few 3BD homes currently on the market for under $400k.
If I can be of assistance, please feel free to contact me. Best wishes to you and your family on this important decision. Rhonda Pieroni, Weichert Realtors Synergy (617)-762-3573.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 29, 2014
yes, this is very reasonable. call me 978-5007659
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 29, 2014
You will be able to fine a 3 bedroom in several communities in the Greater Boston area, although not in downtown Boston or the close in towns of Brookline or Cambridge. Several of the towns west of Boston and north of Boston may be likely areas to consider and have excellent commuting options if you need to work in downtown Boston.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 29, 2014

Considering you are moving here from out of state, it is incredibly important to start this process with a team. I recommend you sift through the responses below and have phone conferences with a few realtors, lenders and real estate attorneys so that you can select the professionals you feel comfortable with. You can always start with a realtor or real estate attorney you trust and ask them for recommendations for lenders they work with and trust. These professionals can be your eyes and ears throughout the process while you are away and can help you adjust to your new life in Massachusetts once you arrive. Many clients from out of state are surprised that an attorney is involved in the purchase process rather than a title company. That is because Massachusetts requires that an attorney conduct and substantially participate in the closing. Before you start looking, you should absolutely get pre-qualified so you know what price range to stick with. I encourage you to reach out to me with any questions you may have about Massachusetts or the buying process.

Best Regards,

Elizabeth P. Barletta, Esq.
p: (617) 304-3404
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 29, 2014
When you want to buy a home the best place to start is to hire an Exclusive Buyer Agent. EBAs only work with homebuyers and there is never a conflict of interest that will jeopardize your negotiating position. Visit http://www.naeba.org for a referral to an Exclusive Buyer's Agent in your area.

I've written a best selling book called Buying a Home: Don't Let Them Make a Monkey Out of You. It'll teach you how to buy a home without getting ripped off. Follow the link below.

Best of luck!

Alysse Musgrave
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 29, 2014
As the Boston area is quite large, do you have a job location in particular in the Boston area? That would help to suggest the suburban area best to fit your budget. 400K for a single family residence could be found in several areas, although not too close to downtown Boston.

Carol Martling, Keller Williams Realty Boston-Metro carol.martling@kw.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 29, 2014
What an exciting opportunity for you and your family. We'll be happy to welcome you to New England!

Like all my fellow agents have indicated below, it's important to find an agent that's going to develop good rapport with you and blend that with their area knowledge. There's a more in-depth conversation needed to assess and prioritize your family's needs and how far (and in what direction) your budget can take you. You do have reasonable expectations, and there are a lot of highways in the area, making it easy to commute into and out of the Cambridge area. A lifelong resident, I recently moved out of Boston to the suburbs North of Boston myself, and as a suggestion I am partial to everything my new community of Middleton (and the towns around it) offers! We're about 25 minutes north of the city, but it's an easily commutable location, so not too bad if I miss the city and the school system is top notch. Feel free to click on my photo (or link below) and contact buyer's agents like myself who have lived and worked in the area for a no cost/obligation discussion about options that will work for your family. I'll take the stress out of moving and help you find and enjoy your new home, should you decide to make the move! Best of luck and hope to speak with you soon.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 29, 2014
Kevin - Just wanted to check in on whether you were able to find someone to assist with your search. Please reach out directly if you still need assistance!
Flag Fri Aug 8, 2014
Anything is possible. You will most probably need to be a little bit detached from the city to be able to find a single family in your price range, but most probably along the commuter rail where there are great neighborhoods, school systems, vibrant night life of sorts.

I would recommend finding a good realtor that you feel comfortable with. Who will take the time to go over areas. In all honesty, there are many who just go through the motions, and then there are some that go the extra mile, as they say.

As James Furlong stated, North and West of Cambridge would be your best bets. You don;t want to go to the other side of Boston(South and East) as the commute would be a pain.

There are parts of Malden where you would be able to find what you're looking for, be close to the T and/or commuter rail for easy access to Cambridge, have a little patch of land to call your own and a sense of community.

If you're in need of an agent to help you in your search, feel free to contact me. I've sold and assisted in buying homes throughout the Greater Boston area including Malden, Waltham, Watertown, Cambridge, Revere, Newton, Needham, Boston, etc.

Best wishes on your search.

Stephen Bourassa
EVP City Central Realty, LLC
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 29, 2014
Hi Kevin,
I'm an agent in downtown Boston and also cover some suburbs outside the city. If you would like to contact on my cell: 781 258 7996 or meet at my office for a consult so we can discuss the entire home buying process and discuss all the great communities that surround our great city.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 29, 2014
The most likely, best-suited (from a commute point of view) locations will be North and West of Cambridge. The further out we go the more we will be able to buy in our price range. Many of these suburbs have good school systems and we can fine-tune the schooling needs when we better understand your family age profile. Yes, certainly, there are towns that are renowned for their school systems but we're not going to get in there with our budget. Feel free to connect with us and we can work out the details. We have had great success working with new arrivals to the area and enjoy the experience immensely.

The FurChin Team at RE/MAX Unlimited is YOUR real estate solution in Greater Boston.

Feel free to use our website to assist in your search - http://www.FurChin.net
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 29, 2014
Milton, MA is a good community for you to consider. Is there any flexibility in your budget? Please call my cell @ 617-596-6478. My name is Joanne.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 29, 2014
Please take a moment and do a search on our site, link below, for what is available in Arlington, Cambridge, and Watertown.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 29, 2014
The top broker in Cambridge is Lisa Drapkin at Coldwell Banker. He number is 617-245-5790. She has been a broker Cambridge for over 20 years. Good Luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 29, 2014

I would be more than happy to assist you, I work in the metro west area just outside of Boston. Please feel free to give me a call at 508-237-7507 or email at Emery.Popoloski@kw.com.

Thank you,

Emery Popoloski
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 29, 2014
Also please feel free to check out my Market Insider: http://www.movebostonnorthwest.com/mimarket/ Just enter the zip code of a community you're thinking about, and it will provide factual data, such as the average cost of a house, school info from greatschools.org and allow you to compare communities.
Flag Wed Jan 29, 2014
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