We are looking into buying our first home this year. What areas in MA are bound to gain value over time?

Asked by Deb, 01757 Thu Nov 15, 2007

(i.e. what areas we should avoid?? we are new to the state). we are looking into Clinton, Bolton, Boxborough, Marlborough and franklin areas...because these are the ones we sort of know!

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Web reference:


Robert Byrne, , 02118
Wed Apr 2, 2008

Historicaly real estate goes up in value, the longer you hold it the more it is worth. Home values double just about every ten years. So look for towns that meet your needs if you have children you may want to focus on schools, parks, and youth services, Here are some reference resources to learn more about the local real estate markets.

First for median price trends check out http://www.Boston.com/realestate/specials/06_07_sales_single… This was published on March 19th 2008. It is interesting to note both the number of sales and the median price. Even though we are in a "slow down" or "correction" there were some market that had median price gains. To paraphrase the great speaker of the house, Tip O'Neill; "all real estate is local".

The other good resource is the Massachusetts Department of Education web site profiles page http://profiles.doe.mass.edu/. There you can search every district in the state. Find out the class size, spending per student, budget information, etc.

Choosing a city, town or neighborhood has so many factors to consider. These two links can be helpful in what might be the most important criteria;home values and quality education.
1 vote
Territory.c…, Agent, MA,
Mon Mar 31, 2008
Oh, I forgot to mention ... consider checking out absorption rates. This will help you compare each towns supply and demand:

Clinton: 12 months of SF inventory on the market
Bolton: 10 months of SF inventory on the market
Boxborough: 11 months of SF inventory on the market
Franklin: 6 months of SF inventory on the market
Marlborough: 10 months of SF inventory

Based on this quick analysis, out of the neighborhoods you have chosen above Franklin seems to be the hottest market with the most demand.

I can walk you through this analysis just let me know.
1 vote
Territory.c…, Agent, MA,
Mon Mar 31, 2008
Remember, real estate is hyper local. When making these kinds of decisions national market trends are irrelevant. In this market you need to look at long term fundamental values and appreciation (see below). This isn't the kind of market where you invest in a property to double in value over two years.

Things to consider: Affluence of community (indicator of loan to value ratios, likelihood of foreclosures, median income); Local economic factors (i.e, where is the local employment coming from and how are they fairing? opportunities or dwindling? every town is different); Proximity to a city (everyone knows that commute to places of high employment is a huge bonus); and lastly Schools (http://www.greatschools.net/). When you start to identify actual properties, get information as focused as the street (your agent can help you with this as well).

Good luck! (Don't forget to hire an exclusive buyer agent: an expert on your side of the transaction)
Web Reference:  http://www.territoryre.com
0 votes
Jeanne & Jul…, Agent, Hyannis, MA
Fri Mar 28, 2008
Cape Cod will always be a wise investment especially now with 90% of Barnstable properties under $300K in the foreclosure/shortsale scenario. Check out my website for a free MLS search with addresses
http://www.JeanSOLDMyHouse.com or comment on my blog below
0 votes
Territory.c…, Agent, MA,
Sat Mar 15, 2008
start searching here: http://www.territoryre.com ... once you have identified places you like in the areas you are considering have your BUYERS agent (don't choose an agent who represents both sides of the transaction) determine if the direct area has retained its value through the crash. The reality is, and what home buyers tend to forget, is real estate is hyper-local. Don't get stuck on national trends or even state trends ... You need to pick neighborhoods you want to live in based on criteria that matters to you (schools, crime rates, etc) and then choose good properties in stable neighborhoods. Real estate should not be seen as such short term investments, think long term, think about the property as something you want to live in not just invest. Choose good properties that are properly priced.

Good luck!
Web Reference:  http://www.territoryre.com
0 votes
Irena, , Newton, MA
Thu Mar 13, 2008
Homes in Boxborough, Bolton and Clinton have pretty stable prices. Homes have been holding value so far, and personally I do not think that much fluctuation is to come. Consider Stow, Acton and Westford too since they are all in the similar price range and have no traffic hassles, ticket, parking issues, just good ol’ burbs. Great schools too.
0 votes
Deb Nicholls, Agent, Concord, MA
Wed Mar 12, 2008
As others have said, find a place you like. But as far as value, the 2 things that seem to have the most impact are schools and general proximity to Boston (inside 128, inside 495, etc.) Job growth in other areas or a new exit off the Mass Pike would make a difference, but those are hard to predict long term. It will be interesting to see if the new proposed casinos are approved, and if so, whether they will depress or inflate values of housing nearby.
0 votes
Erica Burns, , Greenfield, MA
Tue Mar 11, 2008
The great thing about Mass, we have all sorts of different regions with different pros and cons to work with. Each and every area has things which are great and things that may not be. and one aspect you have to seriously consider is house pricing, and what you can afford. in the Eastern part of the state the cost of living is considerably higher than in Western Ma, and things like salaries and home prices reflect that. are you looking for urban or rural, to start? then look at communities that match narrow down the number of communities using different criteria and when you get down to a few do more research into that perfect city or town for you.

Good luck
0 votes
Greg A. Dibr…, , 01027
Fri Nov 23, 2007
Very good answers...
But I am partial to Western Mass, where it is quieter and less driving hassles!!!

Also, easy to get to VT, NY, Berkshires, Cape, Beaches, Ski Resorts, etc...

0 votes
Peggy Gabour, Agent, Brewster, MA
Fri Nov 23, 2007
Hi Deb,
Greg is absolutely correct - go with the area that appeals most to you and certainly other buyers will follow,
for the exact same reasons. I'd love to sell you Cape Cod but it is a great distance to go if you are working near the areas you listed. No sense spinning your wheels. Good luck with your search.

Peggy Gabour
0 votes
Jeanne & Jul…, Agent, Hyannis, MA
Mon Nov 19, 2007
Cape Cod will always be a great investment, especially now with the baby boomers looking for a second home. Plus their are more options to commute now. check out my website for a free search of homes.
0 votes
Greg Kiely, Agent, Newton, MA
Thu Nov 15, 2007

The "get-off-the-hook easy" answer to your question is (and I pull out my propaganda book): "There has never been a five consecutive year period in MA in which homes have decreased in value in Massachusetts."

I strongly encourage you to make the decision solely and completely on which community will add the most value to your personal quality of life. Those factors which will improve your life should not change too much over time and they will be similar to the factors that the person who eventually buys your house from you will also be looking for. The community with the most mass-appeal, whether it be schools, access to Boston, separation from Boston, or something else. If you make the choice that provides the most value to your life, you can relax and know that the next person to live there will see the same benefits and be willing to pay for them.
0 votes
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