Home Buying in Waltham>Question Details

Dave, Home Buyer in Framingham, MA

Question on buying a SF/Townhouse in Waltham/Watertown

Asked by Dave, Framingham, MA Thu Aug 7, 2008

I am curently looking for a townhouse/SF (new construction) in waltham/watertown area ($400-$500K). I saw the listing for the townhouses on 20 MYRTLE STREET Watertown and 8 SCHOOL STREET Waltham. Just by looking into the pictures I liked the one at school street. I want to know about the location/area and the resale value in and around school street. Also, is it priced right? Also how much property tax will I have to pay after the rebate for a property around 500K?

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I see your question was asked back in August. I just signed up with Trulia yesterday. Do you still have questions about Waltham real estate. Thanks.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 29, 2008
I looked at 8 School St. It is a very nice home on the inside but I think that a combination of a poor house design, fudging with square footage, and a high price are keeping them from selling. It may be 2000sq ft but much of that is consumed by stairs and a mud room in the basement. Note that there is no basement to finish. It has a garage but only enough space for 1 car. The master bathroom is very small with only enough space for 1 sink. It isn't on Main St and there's a good amount of space to Lexington St but it is a one way road and there may be school traffic. They have no yard. The biggest problem with these is their price - they are asking $500k for a town house in Waltham. For that price, you can get nice single family homes in Waltham or even comparable town houses in Newton. The first ones sold for about $460k and they upped the price to $490 k- $500k after those sold because they think the market will support it. I would value them somewhere around $430k - $450k based on comparables and I have personally seen most of the townhouses sold over the past year in Waltham. Given that these are more expensive than many of the single family homes in Waltham in the area and the regular construction of new townhouses constantly appearing in Waltham, I would expect these to at best keep up with their purchase price.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 7, 2008
School street property is nice and new. You basically have everything you need but the location isn't that great. It is a very busy area. You are off Lexington St (very busy) and Main street which is even busier. Myrtle st is in the south side of Waltham with a lot of new renovations going on all over the place. For investment purposes I would go with Myrtle on location alone. It isnt as nice but something that area for a little more money you might find what your looking for. Buying a home something you need to look through all of your options and only settle for something you truely love. I am from Waltham born and raised and I am giving you this information from a first hand experience.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 5, 2008
For schools I tell my clients moving to Mass to check out School Digger .com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 7, 2008
Here are links to the properties you are interested in (there are google maps with actual live street views):

In regards to Myrtle Street, these are brand new townhomes that seem nicely upgraded and staged. Unfortunately because they are so new there is no sale history for other units (no direct comparables). When I did a quick search of townhouses with the same square footage I found 10 that have sold in the last year but none over $390,000. I took a fast peak at what these looked like on the interiors and according to the pic's none were as upgraded and new as Myrtle so that is likely where the extra $29,000+ is coming into play. I think the property is nicely priced as you get the garage parking, new amenities and an extra deeded spot. Generally speaking, Watertown has a pretty healthy townhouse market due to its proximity to the city. In terms of future value, I wish i had a crystal ball for you, but Watertown tends to have a pretty healthy market, again due to its proximity to cambridge (harvard and MIT) and Boston (schools, economy) and those things aren't going anywhere.

8 School St is also new construction and seems nicely done (amenities), close to the T. This property has been on the market for 288 days and has not had a price drop. The price per square foot is vastly different (better) in comparison to the Watertown property - twice the space. It is a little further out (from the city) than watertown and therefore the townhouse market might be slightly slower than the watertown as it is more suburban (families). I think Waltham is an interesting investment ... There have been a lot of local renovations and influx of corporate offices (tech) which is good for the local economy. I checked sold data: townhouses, last year, similar square footage and there were 11 sales, including a couple on school street. The highest price in this square footage range was $515,000. the other townhouses in the complex with similar square footage sold at $218 a square foot and one of them sat on the market for 300+ days. Who knows why 8 school hasn't sold perhaps it is as simple as a cool down in the market and the days on market being higher for this area - things simply take longer to sell.

I hope this helps!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 7, 2008
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