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Saturday, February 23, 2008

should you rent or buy in Boston

In Boston there is everything from the rooming house to the condo and home owner, with enough interest each type of property to make each a hot commodity in today’s market. Each has it positives and negatives for which must be dealt with in their own time.

Deciding what is best for oneself or ones family is based on a number of factors which include the amount of space required, the costs involved, desired location, and how involved in the maintaining of the property.

In certain parts of Boston especially in parts that are in the process of gentrification (or as I would like to say it “Yuppification” since it is the Yuppies that are the ones fueling the gentrification in Boston) both the rental market and the housing market are neck and neck in the way of the overall costs regardless of how many different costs there are.

If you are in need of a three bedroom unit where you would prefer to live has everything to do with whether you should rent or buy since the location of the rental unit could be the same as or above what you would pay for a mortgage. If money is at the heart of whether you rent or buy it would be wise to sit down and sort out your finances to see in what parts of the city you would be capable of doing either based on your individual needs and what you can afford to pay for a rent or mortgage.

When deciding to rent or to buy you will also need to determine how much money you need to allocate for your savings if you are trying to save money so that way you can determine what to do especially since owning means that you may end up having to use the money that you are trying to save on the property to maintain it if you choose to buy making a rental unit more attractive as long as the location you choose to live in has what you feel to be a reasonable rent.

If saving is not a top priority, if you qualify for a mortgage you may be better served if you buy a home or a condo especially if the upfront costs with signing a mortgage are somewhat close to what you would pay upon signing a lease agreement, which is in most cases first, last and security deposit for an apartment if you don’t go through a management company or realty company for an apartment.

Depending on the type of and how much of a commute you are willing to accept you both options may appeal to you. I know people on both sides on the issue of commuting when it comes to deciding whether to rent or buy, and for the most part the reasoning behind commuting one way versus another way is pretty much the same. When it comes to people who choose to drive everyone I know regardless of renting or owning say they don’t want to be on someone else’s schedule for commuting, when it comes to public transportation they say it is to save money depending on the length of their commute.

Commuting in general most people have to do it for work, it is just a matter of how far you are willing to accept or may be forced to accept given your individual needs, how much you are looking to save, how much you can afford and how much work you want to do in regards to dealing with the maintenance of the property. However the only real difference with maintaining the property is that if you are renting, general wear and tear causing breakage of something for property related, the owner of the property has to fix it but if you intentionally break something it is like a store you break it you bought it.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

thoughts on the preamble

We the People in order to form a more perfect union, a noble concept in the preamble of the United States Constitution has given faith to many people though out history who thought that they could make life for their families better by making life better for all in our great nation.

Through the years we have seen many times where those words rang out resonating with a patriotic song that has gotten us through times like the world wars and the great depression. We have also see many times where those words were trampled on like they were worthless in their meaning, like how the soldiers were treated when they came home after the Vietnam War ended.

In the short history of The United States we have seen our share of leaders who have done great things for either good or bad but we as a nation of the people and by the people, are at a crossroad for which we the people have to step up and ask that our government do things that are stated in the preamble of the constitution like:

  • establish Justice
  • insure domestic Tranquility
  • provide for the common defense
  • promote the general Welfare
  • and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves
  • and our Posterity

How can we have justice if we turn a blind eye to the tyranny of certain individuals who would work against the text and the spirit of the Constitution by enacting laws that work outside the constitution or hide what they are doing?

How are we insuring domestic tranquility when people are at each others throats over issues that need to be addressed on the national level but are being pushed aside in favor of other things?

How can we provide for the common defense when most of our defense is off playing peace maker in other countries, leaving us vulnerable to forces both within or from outside that would attack us?

How are we promoting general welfare when budgets for agencies geared for general welfare are constantly being slashed in favor of larger budgets for special interests?

How can we secure the blessings of liberty when there are some who would take those blessings away?

Our posterity is our legacy and if we do not take stock in what we pass on and how we will be remembered by future generations then we would have failed in what our forefathers had established in an attempt to make life better for all who live here.

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.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

congratulations to the New York Giants and the New England Patriots

Congratulations are in order for the New York Giants Football team for winning the Superbowl on Sunday February 2nd. They showed that they wanted the title more than the New England Patriots did even though the Patriots would have had a perfect end to their season if they had won.

either way the Patriots had a perfect regular season going 16-0 with it being the first time any American football team has done. The Patriots faced the Giants twice in total this season including the Superbowl both walked away with one win and one loss but the Giants won the game that meant the most.

Congratulations to the New York Giants for winning the SuperBowl and to the New England Patriots for being the first team go 16-0 and the first team to go undefeated in the regular season in more than 30 years for which at that point in time there was only 13 games in the regular season.

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