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Buying in JP or Davis Square

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Potential Boston Buyer

PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 2:19 am GMT    Post subject: Buying in JP or Davis Square Reply with quote


My husband and I are looking for a condo in the Jamaica Plain or Davis Square Somerville areas. We are looking in the 500-700k range for a 3 bed, 2 bath place. Over the past few months, every house that we are interested has multiple offers within hours of the open house, and the house goes under agreement in 2 days or less. We went to an open house yesterday, expressed strong interest in putting in an offer, set up a second showing of the house today, and after we saw the house for a second time today, the realtor informed us that they had already accepted an offer this morning (before we saw the house for the second time) and she encouraged us to put in a back-up offer?! We had less than 24 hours to present an offer, and she would not wait the extra 2 hours it would have taken us to turn in a formal offer to her today.

Why does it seem like people are buying up houses likely hungry sharks, just like they did before the bubble? Why are houses going for more than the asking price? Is it really a good time to buy right now? I'm worried that we're getting sucked into the mindset that offering a higher price is the only way to get the houses. Isn't that how we got into this mess in the first place?

What are your perspectives about the markets in JP and Somerville right now?
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Former Owner

PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 1:11 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

Realize that your fellow Americans are idiots. The logic is the Mortgage interest is at a lifetime low - this is the best time to buy a home........perhaps low interest rates is one of the worst times to buy a home.

Practically everyone qualifies for a Mortgage and this leads to lots of competition. Imagine what can happen when Interest rates begin to rise and folks are force to buy with a higher downpayment. The higher downpayment will reduce the competition for properties and may result in lower prices.

Ultimately, buying is an intensely personal decision and you need to determine what will make your family happy and prosperous.

Frankly, the Real Estate feeding frenzy reminds me of 2003-2006 and I'm terrified when I think what this will lead to.

Folks with the most home equity today are often people that bought a home in the early 1980s when Mortgage rates were 14-17%.

I begged several friends not to buy in the last feeding frenzy, but they were unable to see the coming collapse.........
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john p

Joined: 10 Mar 2006
Posts: 1820

PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 5:48 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why on earth would you want to live in Jamaica Plain or Somerville, in a condo, for that type of money ($500-700k)?????

Would you have to pay a condo fee on top of that?

For that money, you could get a really nice house in a really nice town with a really nice school system, low crime rate, etc. etc.

You could get your own private dock overlooking a lake for your mansion in Plymouth for that kind of money.

Seriously, that is great that you make enough to buy that amount of house, but that doesn't mean you should waste it on a condo. If you want codo living, get something cheap, invest your wealth and retire young, and then get the mansion with the private dock.

I connect city codo living with younger couples, and the expensive condos for younger people who make more money than normal but are still young enough to like city life. I have seen a lot of people get stuck in condos once they get older an dwant to get a house in a town with a good school system. Ten years ago, people bought condos to get an investment and use the capital appreciation as a down payment for their house.

That's just a lot of money for a condo in those towns... just my two cents...
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Joined: 15 Feb 2007
Posts: 559

PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 7:35 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm hearing the same thing. RE agent told me that a SFH in Cambridge that she was selling received 15 offers. If you win that auction you are, by definition, overpaying.

john p apparently does not have the allergy to long commutes that I do, and commuting from the South Shore to downtown (or Somerville where my wife works) seems quite frankly, awful, so you need to factor that in.

That being said, take a look at Watertown or Belmont. You can be very close to Boston and pay substantially less than the Davis Square prices. I know a number of people who don't want to pay the Cambridge prices who have moved there. $700k in Watertown will get you a nice home. Even Belmont, along the Cambridge border, is quite a bit less expensive than Davis.

I'm in Cambridge, but our condo is small and closer in price to half of what you're looking at.

Also, what types of associations are these? Two/three family? Keep in mind that one crazy owner (i.e., one who does not want to pay for repairs or is late on their fees), will make your life a living hell in a small association, where you don't have a management company to deal with collection. Do you really want to be in position to have to personally hire an attorney attach liens to your upstairs neighbor's unit? This is much easier to stomach with a management company involved and a larger association where one crazy owner does not have outsize influence.

Just my two cents.
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