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Saturday, February 9, 2008

First time home buyer article I submitted for possible publication in Boston

Buying a home in or around Boston, at the moment it is a very enticing option given Boston's high rental rates especially in Southie, the South End and Beacon Hill areas of Boston. I grew up in Southie and know first hand that Boston has seen its share of ups and downs in the housing market and eventually had to buy a home outside of Boston a couple years ago due to the rising costs of the housing market.

When you start your search for a new home the first thing you should look into if Boston still offers the course for first time home buyers so you can learn some of the ins and outs of Bostons housing market. While doing that you will need to assess how much more you can spend on housing, this would be due to stuff like the water and sewer along with general maintenance of the property while going through the pre-approval process that would allow you to know how much you can borrow and would let the Realtor know that you are serious about looking at the homes that he or she has to offer.

At some point you will have to decide if the desire to stay within Boston is justified given the costs associated with the mortgage, taxes, water and sewer, along with having to have remember that you have to have a resident sticker to park in certain neighborhoods overnight. Part of the decision to buy inside the city or not should be the amount of time required for travel for work along with the availability of affordable parking inside the area of Boston. Parking downtown is notoriously expensive especially between the aquarium and Haymarket while over by the World trade it can be half the price but with the building up of fan pier it will eventually be just as expensive.

Since the sub-prime loan fiasco in 2007 the most important thing anyone can do in Boston is to not let the lender fill in your financial information and to insist on going over the paperwork in fine detail and ask what are the conditions of the loan if they seem complicated on paper with the explanations explained in terms that you can understand. Understanding the mortgage paperwork is the most important step in buying the home of your dreams since you really can't buy it with out the financing.
Where there are loads of older homes and older triple decker's in Boston, a home inspector that understands what to look for in older homes and triple decker's is a must especially if you are going to buy any property along the beach between Castle Island in Southie and Tinean Beach in Dorchester.

If your don't mind a little travel time you may want to look into moving either to the south of Boston since Quincy, Braintree and Weymouth will be somewhat cheaper than Boston. If you prefer moving north you could always look to Revere, parts of Cambridge, and Somerville which are cheaper but seem to be coming into their own with housing costs. when deciding how much traveling you are willing to accept you may want to decide if the T would be a reasonable alternative to actually driving given the soaring gas prices.

If you are willing to travel to the city then the T would permit you to get through the city without being stuck in city's congested streets especially if you are trying to get to work downtown. You would be on somewhat of a schedule due the scheduling of the trains and buses but you would not have to waste time or gas which can be costly, and depending on the length and method of the commute along with the type of work you do it could allow you to work en route, but thats if you decide buying in the Boston area is better than buying inside of the city.


Boston Condo Guy said...

Good post. Well written and accurate!

Sean said...

thank you, I wrote it for a website called Helium which some papers and magazines sometimes go to for submittion and it just happened BostonNow was looking for that type of article through Helium so I posted it. I don't know if it will be published or not in the paper though

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