Boston’s real estate market is considered the most expensive. According to a study, the home values in Boston have gone up to 3.2% from last year. And, the prices are forecasted to go up due to the big gap in demand and supply. All this makes it quite challenging to find the best deal.
The following tips will help simplify your Boston MA home search.
Determine Your Affordability
When looking for a house, make sure you have a number in your mind. As of May 2021, the median price of a home in Boston was $825,000. There was an increase of 14% in the median price of single-family homes from the last year.
When you are determining your affordability, don’t only look at the monthly mortgage payment. This is the biggest mistake most people make. You need to consider the purchase-related costs and several recurring expenses, including down payment, closing costs, loan processing fees, homeowners’ insurance, private mortgage insurance, property tax, maintenance, and repair.
It’s even better to start with a pre-approved loan as it can give you an idea of what the bank can give you and how much you will have to arrange as a down payment.
Choose Your Neighborhood
Another factor you should consider is the locality. You would undoubtedly want to be close to the basic amenities like schools, hospitals, universities, restaurants, etc. But when you know what you can afford, it’s easier to decide the neighborhood you can stay in.
Urban areas in Boston are costlier than suburbs and other areas. If you can’t afford to live in the city’s heart, you can consider areas like Seaport, Beacon Hill, South End, Back Bay, and South Boston, as they are cheaper.
Hire A Real Estate Agent
Buying a home is a significant investment you’ll make in your life. So, it makes sense to hire a professional who can guide you to take the right steps and get you a deal that’s best for you. Try to find a professional buyer’s agent with local expertise to help you get a good deal.
The agent will play a critical role in your entire home search process, helping you understand the market and pricing. They will help you refine your search within your budget and requirement, advise on the property, help you with the negotiation and understand the complexities of the deal.
Consider The Travel Distance
You must consider the length of your commute if you are working or studying in the city. A 2019 study by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation reveals that rush hour in Boston spans from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. This means that 17 to 66 percent of the roads are blocked and congested during the day.
The traffic issue is a significant one, and you should consider this when looking for a home. A home closer to work or school would be best to avoid the traffic and save your time and energy.
But it would help if you also remembered that homes closer to the city are priced premium. Homes within 5 miles of radius from Boston city are costlier than those 15 miles away. When looking for a home, you should consider the time of the transportation and your budget. If you can’t afford it, be ready to travel.
Keep The Checklist In Your Mind
While looking for a house, many people get overwhelmed by the options they get. You may also like every home that you see. To avoid this, you should list the things you need in your house and then shortlist the house based on those criteria.
But remember to focus on things you cannot change when making your list of requirements. Things like size, location, nearby amenities cannot be changed. So, keep your focus on these things rather than the appearance of the house and its furnishings.
Once you have the list in your head, it will be much easier for you to shortlist your house when searching online or even describing your requirements to your real estate agent.
Even if you have hired a property agent, you should do your research. Stay as much updated as you can about the real estate market during your Boston MA home search. Keep an eye on the listings on the websites, newspapers, magazines and sign up for property alerts. This will help you keep track of the prices and how the costs are changing, specifically in the area you are interested in. This will give an idea about the changing market trends. If there is any slump in the market, you can benefit from that.