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Old 10-07-2009, 08:27 PM
 
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My fiance and I are considering buying a multi family to rent out and have been looking at Melville Park in Dorchester; what does anyone think about the neighborhood? Does it have good investment potential, or might it be on the decline a bit?
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Old 10-07-2009, 11:24 PM
 
Location: Cambridge, MA
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That's a very tough call to make. You'd probably not want to invest in any building with more than four units. In Dorchester that doesn't present much of an obstacle, since it's one of the original places where "three-deckas" were built and they're still there by the hundreds. Melville Park (named for the streets which mark its northern and southern boundaries, not a "green space") has kept its charm and appeal by virtue of containing lots of beautiful Victorian houses. You won't find many three-deckas or larger brick buildings within its confines. Those that exist are mainly along the streets at the fringe, such as Dorchester ("Dot") Ave.
Although the tumult over racial turf boundaries is largely a thing of the past, Dorchester remains in a state of perpetual change over much of its territory. Most of the established families (the majority but not entirety of them Irish-American) who decided to bail out during the busing troubles and afterwards have done so. A few of these households, or the next generation of them, are now returning. Today the real transition is due to gentrification brought on initially by gay men fleeing the high rents and limited spaces of the South End. Melville Park is retaining much of its appeal due to this, and Savin Hill (particularly the "OTB" - over the [I-93] bridge - area) has taken a decidedly upscale turn. But what makes a Dot investment less than a sure thing is that gentrification waves around there have been known to ebb. The Meetinghouse Hill neighborhood north of Fields Corner was a guppie/yuppie hot spot during the '80s and into the '90s with its varied housing stock and the phenomenal ocean views across Ronan Park. 15-30 years down the line, it's a pit of crime and violence with nary a sign of the urban pioneers who'd fallen over each other to buy there for a while. Melville Park itself is noticeably fraying around its northern edge, with blocks which were once "models of diversity" now home to few White residents and much gang activity. So far the only streets which have fallen into significant decline are Larchmont and Tonawanda - so far. But the Bowdoin/Geneva vicinity, infamous for its stubborn resistance to "clean-up" efforts, is just beyond them to provide an incubator for trouble. It's anybody's guess what that spells for Melville Park in another decade or so.
For long-term investment purposes, in Dorchester I'd be more inclined to look toward Savin Hill or Lower Mills or Cedar Grove or Neponset or the "Polish Triangle" or Adams Village or Codman Hill (not Codman Square.) The area surrounding Ashmont Station could "go either way," especially to the west of Dot Ave. Elsewhere (there are 17 recognized communities within this, the largest of Boston's sections in land area) there's too much instability for me to feel comfortable with.
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Old 10-07-2009, 11:38 PM
 
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But Tonawanda is beyond Park and so technically not in Melville Park. Or am I splitting hairs? One thing about Melville Park is it's somewhat integrated among black and white. Not many whites east of Washington Street and not many blacks west of Dorchester Ave but something of a mix in between, at least from Park St south. Also, it's pretty good south of Melville Ave too--Centre St and Mather are nice.
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Old 05-20-2010, 09:48 PM
 
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My wife and I are considering seriously selling one on Westmoreland St. We used to live there- it has been rented for the past 4 years. It is a much better area than melville if you ask me. It has a gorgeous architect renovated two level owners unit w gas fire place cherry kitchen (4) bed. the first floor is 3 bed- wanna see it? planning to put on market next week.
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Old 05-22-2010, 05:11 AM
 
Location: Cambridge, MA
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Since the OP put up all of one message, over seven months ago, I think I have the answer to that.
But welcome to the forum regardless. The more Dorchesterites the merrier!
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Old 06-01-2010, 02:02 PM
 
1,085 posts, read 2,101,703 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goyguy View Post
That's a very tough call to make. You'd probably not want to invest in any building with more than four units. In Dorchester that doesn't present much of an obstacle, since it's one of the original places where "three-deckas" were built and they're still there by the hundreds. Melville Park (named for the streets which mark its northern and southern boundaries, not a "green space") has kept its charm and appeal by virtue of containing lots of beautiful Victorian houses. You won't find many three-deckas or larger brick buildings within its confines. Those that exist are mainly along the streets at the fringe, such as Dorchester ("Dot") Ave.
Although the tumult over racial turf boundaries is largely a thing of the past, Dorchester remains in a state of perpetual change over much of its territory. Most of the established families (the majority but not entirety of them Irish-American) who decided to bail out during the busing troubles and afterwards have done so. A few of these households, or the next generation of them, are now returning. Today the real transition is due to gentrification brought on initially by gay men fleeing the high rents and limited spaces of the South End. Melville Park is retaining much of its appeal due to this, and Savin Hill (particularly the "OTB" - over the [I-93] bridge - area) has taken a decidedly upscale turn. But what makes a Dot investment less than a sure thing is that gentrification waves around there have been known to ebb. The Meetinghouse Hill neighborhood north of Fields Corner was a guppie/yuppie hot spot during the '80s and into the '90s with its varied housing stock and the phenomenal ocean views across Ronan Park. 15-30 years down the line, it's a pit of crime and violence with nary a sign of the urban pioneers who'd fallen over each other to buy there for a while. Melville Park itself is noticeably fraying around its northern edge, with blocks which were once "models of diversity" now home to few White residents and much gang activity. So far the only streets which have fallen into significant decline are Larchmont and Tonawanda - so far. But the Bowdoin/Geneva vicinity, infamous for its stubborn resistance to "clean-up" efforts, is just beyond them to provide an incubator for trouble. It's anybody's guess what that spells for Melville Park in another decade or so.
For long-term investment purposes, in Dorchester I'd be more inclined to look toward Savin Hill or Lower Mills or Cedar Grove or Neponset or the "Polish Triangle" or Adams Village or Codman Hill (not Codman Square.) The area surrounding Ashmont Station could "go either way," especially to the west of Dot Ave. Elsewhere (there are 17 recognized communities within this, the largest of Boston's sections in land area) there's too much instability for me to feel comfortable with.
Much thanks for the thoughtful response. It's obvious that - unlike so many posters in the Boston forum - you know what you're talking about. And, I actually believe I learned something from your post. You've really put your finger on it. There's something very patchy about Dorchester. It just doesn't seem to "hang together" and it's hard for someone like me (who has only visited restaurants or house parties in places like Jones Hill) to really get a coherent sense of the place. Just the other night, BTW, I was at Ashmont Grill, and I know exactly what you mean about Ashmont "going either way". The feeling is palpable.

So, kudos, for such a well constructed response!
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Old 01-10-2014, 08:35 AM
 
12 posts, read 15,321 times
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Smile thank you

Quote:
Originally Posted by goyguy View Post
That's a very tough call to make. You'd probably not want to invest in any building with more than four units. In Dorchester that doesn't present much of an obstacle, since it's one of the original places where "three-deckas" were built and they're still there by the hundreds. Melville Park (named for the streets which mark its northern and southern boundaries, not a "green space") has kept its charm and appeal by virtue of containing lots of beautiful Victorian houses. You won't find many three-deckas or larger brick buildings within its confines. Those that exist are mainly along the streets at the fringe, such as Dorchester ("Dot") Ave.
Although the tumult over racial turf boundaries is largely a thing of the past, Dorchester remains in a state of perpetual change over much of its territory. Most of the established families (the majority but not entirety of them Irish-American) who decided to bail out during the busing troubles and afterwards have done so. A few of these households, or the next generation of them, are now returning. Today the real transition is due to gentrification brought on initially by gay men fleeing the high rents and limited spaces of the South End. Melville Park is retaining much of its appeal due to this, and Savin Hill (particularly the "OTB" - over the [I-93] bridge - area) has taken a decidedly upscale turn. But what makes a Dot investment less than a sure thing is that gentrification waves around there have been known to ebb. The Meetinghouse Hill neighborhood north of Fields Corner was a guppie/yuppie hot spot during the '80s and into the '90s with its varied housing stock and the phenomenal ocean views across Ronan Park. 15-30 years down the line, it's a pit of crime and violence with nary a sign of the urban pioneers who'd fallen over each other to buy there for a while. Melville Park itself is noticeably fraying around its northern edge, with blocks which were once "models of diversity" now home to few White residents and much gang activity. So far the only streets which have fallen into significant decline are Larchmont and Tonawanda - so far. But the Bowdoin/Geneva vicinity, infamous for its stubborn resistance to "clean-up" efforts, is just beyond them to provide an incubator for trouble. It's anybody's guess what that spells for Melville Park in another decade or so.
For long-term investment purposes, in Dorchester I'd be more inclined to look toward Savin Hill or Lower Mills or Cedar Grove or Neponset or the "Polish Triangle" or Adams Village or Codman Hill (not Codman Square.) The area surrounding Ashmont Station could "go either way," especially to the west of Dot Ave. Elsewhere (there are 17 recognized communities within this, the largest of Boston's sections in land area) there's too much instability for me to feel comfortable with.
well stated.....
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Old 03-10-2014, 08:32 AM
 
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Ha! This post was in 2009. Since then in 2013 Trulia voted Dorchester has #5 on the list of HOT places to buy. I bought in 1992 for $98,500. A single family on the fringe. It's worth $600,000. now. It has been 22 years and I can't imagine living anywhere else. Certainly not in 2700 s/ft. with a yard and a garage.

In reality there is not another place in the city where you can live in a big house for say $399,000.
As for investments, the new commuter rail and the existing T can't be beat, and we have trees.
Since we are talking about city life, the school are a non issue because every hood has the same options.
That's what the suburbs are for.

I think Crime is everywhere. Dot does not have the monopoly. The problems are with the neighborhoods that are primarily dense, poor, and full of rentals. If it doesn't look pulled together, it probably isn't. That being said, you can drive anywhere, and walk anywhere and not be bothered. Most of us live in our cars anyway.

It's really about Architecture. Buy something and fix it up, it will never be worth less. As the world becomes one color, where we live will be less important, it already is. It's about being in the right spot. Dot is the spot if you are living in 2013!
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Old 03-10-2014, 08:43 AM
 
4,572 posts, read 3,579,689 times
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Amen to that! I love your positive attitude, and though I do not live in Dorchester, I know that there are some very fine neighborhoods there. Good for you to have taken the plunge so early on, and now you can enjoy your reward. I love Savin Hill, Ashmont and the areas around Lower Mills and Cedar Grove.
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Old 03-11-2014, 03:22 PM
 
513 posts, read 402,455 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pennyone View Post
Amen to that! I love your positive attitude, and though I do not live in Dorchester, I know that there are some very fine neighborhoods there. Good for you to have taken the plunge so early on, and now you can enjoy your reward. I love Savin Hill, Ashmont and the areas around Lower Mills and Cedar Grove.
Amen to that, though there's still plenty of areas in Dot one should avoid.
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