would it be wise to buy a 1 bedroom condo downtown boston for 200.000 or a single family home for the same price on the 128 belt, for a single person.

Asked by bird, Massachusetts Wed Jun 16, 2010

with live in girlfriend

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Jeff Persons’ answer
Jeff Persons, , Boston, MA
Thu Jul 15, 2010
Unfortunately you are not going to be able to find a 1 bedroom downtown for 200K. Maybe in Dorchester or Mattapan but not in the fun neighborhoods like Back Bay, Beacon Hill or the South End. Maybe in Fenway you could find a 1 bed in the low 300Ks or a studio for maybe 250K. Real fun neighborhood for young people and very close to everything. Is it wiser to buy a condo in the burbs for 200K? It depends where you have to go every day. If you need to be close to downtown I'd try to get in to the Fenway or Jamaica Plain.
Hope this helps, Jeff Persons, RE/MAX Destiny Accredited Buyers Agent - http://wesellboston.net/
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Keith Manson-…, , Milwaukee, WI
Sat Jun 19, 2010
It all depends on the location, the condo complex, the condo complex reserves, the rental policy within the complex and the ability to obtain funds for the purchase and resale. When reselling a condo unless there are significant differences in upgrades or location, price is the only real way to differentuate one unit from another when selling.

A home in a good location can be easier to market in may opinion if your concerned about resale. But of course there are issues with homes, such as: foundations, roofs, plumbing , landscaping and up grades to the home.

It is best to get a buyers agent to walk you through the postives and negatives of both options.

Good Luck

Keith Manson

First WeberGroup

Certified Distressed Property Expert

Metro Milwaukee

0 votes
Jeffrey Cart…, Agent, Beverly, MA
Wed Jun 16, 2010
Good Afternoon Bird,

Have you lived in Boston before? I started my real estate career in Boston. I sold many downtown condos. It's a fun place to be if you are a young professional. You can ditch the car (if possible) and pick up a good pair of walking shoes. Downtown Boston is pretty stable in terms of values. There will always be demand for the downtown Boston market. I'm not sure that is the case for the 'burbs. Some towns do better than others.

In the end, it depends on your lifestyle. Quality of life means more to me than anything!
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Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Wed Jun 16, 2010
It would be wise to live someplace that you enjoy.

People who make their living decisions based on financial speculation take on another job, in addition to the one they have that pays for the mortgage - the job of living somewhere that is less than ideal, for the sake of a few dollars.

We never quite know how the future is going to play out, but there are things we can control, and one of them is the place where we wake up every morning.

All the best,
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Heidi Zizza, Agent, Framingham, MA
Wed Jun 16, 2010
Bird, definitely a subjective question. If it were me I would prefer a single family with no condo fee, no rules and a yard for BBqs etc.. I also would want my own laundry. That's just my opinion but that may not be best for your life or your style of living. You should look at both and see how you feel.
Web Reference:  http://mdmrealtyinc.com
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Dane Hahn, Agent, Englewood, CO
Wed Jun 16, 2010
Hi Bird,

Your question reminds me of HGTV and the kinds of decisions that their couples are always having to make. Let's assume you have found two residences, one a 1 bedroom condo in downtown Boston, and one a single family home just out of town on Rt 128.

Your question asks for the wisdom in choosing one over the other. And I answer, what's right for me is not necessarly right for you.

Here are some things to evaluate which might direct your thinking.

First of all, a condo is an apartment that you own. Meaning that you will recieve a deed for the property and with it will come certain bylaws, rules and regulations. Read them before you buy. You will learn what you will own, and what you can and can't do. You will also learn what the monthly fees are and what the taxes are.

I have lived in a one bedroom condo in downtown Boston. It's pretty cool. Nice to walk to restaurants and get a coffee and a paper just downstairs. My opinion is having a car in Boston is an expensive luxury, but not one I was willing to give up. Parking was very expensive--even monthly in the Common Garage. So unless your condo has parking, remember parking will be extra, and doublely so if your girlfriend has a car too. And car insurance will sky-rocket.

Also I noted that garbage in Boston is collected about 4 AM almost every day by huge trucks that lift dumpsters way up in the air and everything spills out into the truck--CRASH. From my windows I could see into a few dozen other Condos and apartments, and looking down I could see the dumpsters--let me assure you there was not much privacy and it was noisey on Beacon Hill.

In a house you will not have the condo fees, and you will have the rights to make changes and modifications if you so desire. Parking should not be as much of an issue and you might actually have a garage. This would mean that so-called boy-toys like a boat on a trailer or a motorcycle could find it's way into your posession for weekends and down time.

So you will have more privacy, fewer neighbors and probably a lawn and garden and you will be responsible for all that, so the savings on the monthly Condo fees could be used up if you pay someone to mow the lawn and shovel the snow. If you are handy, you can do it yourself. And you will have the excitement of a daily commute. Plan on leaving early in the AM and getting home whenever.

Once I moved out of the city, I missed the freedom of no-commute and the option of Boston after-hours. Sure, you can drive in and you'll have the car for the ride home, so you can stay late, but your decision needs to take this into account.

Getting back to your question, which is wizer: the condo or the house? It depends...

Hope this helps,

Dane Hahn
Real Estate Professional
0 votes
Miroslava, , Boston, MA
Wed Jun 16, 2010
Real estate is all about location. Where would the single family house exactly be? The condos in downtown Boston have held its value unlike some Boston suburbs were the prices significantly dropped. if you give me the town name I would be happy to email you market reports for both areas.

Miro Fitkova
Fitkova Realty Group
p 617-232-3220
cell. 617-921-9952
fax. 617-608-1632

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