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Old 09-28-2020, 05:58 PM
 
Location: Camberville
13,424 posts, read 18,246,480 times
Reputation: 22932

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So, I've decided to pull the trigger. I'd like to not have to renew my lease come June and meet my stretch goal of being a homeowner on my 10 year cancerversary.


But I'm working with what feels like a tiny budget - 280K but could stretch it up to 310 with limited or no condo fees. The bank has approved 430 which, lol, no, but my only debt will be the mortgage. I'll be going into it with a 50K downpayment + 9 months living expenses. My partner and I have not comingled finances and we are buying completely on my savings and what I could afford to pay for the mortgage. He will contribute to monthly expenses and the mortgage, but I'm not factoring in his contribution when factoring in affordability. Not until there's a ring on my finger and his law school debt cleared away, anyway.



I'm looking for a 2 bed, 1.5 bath with laundry in unit, and space for an office - either as a nook in a hallway/stair landing or den/loft/space that could be finished off in a basement. I commute into Waltham in normal times but am used to an hour commute from Marlborough, and can work off-hours to make the commute work. I'm also a woman in my early 30s who lives alone part of the time, so it needs to be somewhere safe.



Given low inventory right now, I'm not sure where to look beyond Lowell. My dream is to get into one of the lofts in Lowell. There are a few on the market now in my budget with everything I want (besides gas stove, but I can upgrade to induction eventually), but my ducks aren't all in a row to buy before Jan/Feb and I hope I won't be kicking myself in a few months! I'm also looking in Hudson and Marlborough, but the lack of a commuter rail for ease of future employment is a huge detractor.


Is there anywhere else I should be looking? Would you consider Worcester given a Waltham commute? My preference leans toward walkable/urban versus suburban, though I obviously have a car. I've lived in Massachusetts my whole adult life and loved living in Waltham and Medford, but both are solidly out of my budget. I don't love living in Marlborough, but think the tradeoff for getting on the property ladder would be worth it knowing it would only, hopefully, be a 5 year plan.



Would love to hear thoughts or from anyone working in the same budget range!
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Old 09-28-2020, 06:52 PM
 
3,348 posts, read 1,876,642 times
Reputation: 2764
Obviously, something with immediate proximity to Waltham would be great..

This seems like a unicorn, but: https://www.realtor.com/realestatean...-80342?view=qv

Otherwise, based on your preferences, I'd consider roughing the commute and looking in Malden. Still seem to be a few places with 2 beds for $300k. Otherwise, Framingham or Lowell would be the best options.
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Old 09-28-2020, 06:57 PM
 
13,440 posts, read 10,213,136 times
Reputation: 7464
Maybe Maynard???
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Old 09-28-2020, 08:15 PM
 
129 posts, read 48,818 times
Reputation: 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by charolastra00 View Post
So, I've decided to pull the trigger. I'd like to not have to renew my lease come June and meet my stretch goal of being a homeowner on my 10 year cancerversary.


But I'm working with what feels like a tiny budget - 280K but could stretch it up to 310 with limited or no condo fees. The bank has approved 430 which, lol, no, but my only debt will be the mortgage. I'll be going into it with a 50K downpayment + 9 months living expenses. My partner and I have not comingled finances and we are buying completely on my savings and what I could afford to pay for the mortgage. He will contribute to monthly expenses and the mortgage, but I'm not factoring in his contribution when factoring in affordability. Not until there's a ring on my finger and his law school debt cleared away, anyway.



I'm looking for a 2 bed, 1.5 bath with laundry in unit, and space for an office - either as a nook in a hallway/stair landing or den/loft/space that could be finished off in a basement. I commute into Waltham in normal times but am used to an hour commute from Marlborough, and can work off-hours to make the commute work. I'm also a woman in my early 30s who lives alone part of the time, so it needs to be somewhere safe.



Given low inventory right now, I'm not sure where to look beyond Lowell. My dream is to get into one of the lofts in Lowell. There are a few on the market now in my budget with everything I want (besides gas stove, but I can upgrade to induction eventually), but my ducks aren't all in a row to buy before Jan/Feb and I hope I won't be kicking myself in a few months! I'm also looking in Hudson and Marlborough, but the lack of a commuter rail for ease of future employment is a huge detractor.


Is there anywhere else I should be looking? Would you consider Worcester given a Waltham commute? My preference leans toward walkable/urban versus suburban, though I obviously have a car. I've lived in Massachusetts my whole adult life and loved living in Waltham and Medford, but both are solidly out of my budget. I don't love living in Marlborough, but think the tradeoff for getting on the property ladder would be worth it knowing it would only, hopefully, be a 5 year plan.



Would love to hear thoughts or from anyone working in the same budget range!
Worcester to Waltham will a a terrible commute during typical times. Where in Waltham? If you are right on 128, it wouldn't be quite as bad. If you can work from home or only come into work 1-2 days or don't mind an long off-hours commute, it might be worth it.
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Old 09-29-2020, 06:33 AM
 
Location: La-La Land
359 posts, read 396,884 times
Reputation: 476
OK Lynn gets a lot of flack from some folks around this page, BUT Lynn is absolutely a place to look. It is not ghetto anymore, that's old news from the 90's. esp along the seacoast, S'scott borders. The city has commuter rail stops, and is minutes to the blue line subway at wonderland. It's convenient to 1a and rt1, yet also close to the smaller, more quaint Northshore villages. You can probably find close to what you're looking for in the early 300's range. My GF & her hub just sold her starter home there, a 2 story, 2 bed house w/ den, yard, garage, etc.

Moving along... MetroWest. A *lot* of folks are getting out of, are looking to get out of, or have gotten out of the more expensive areas along the coast. I have yet to meet a "real life" Xer or boomer who isn't betting all their money on Worcester and the surrounding areas for future growth/ investment/ gentrification, etc, etc...

Personally I really dislike Metro West, I feel as if it is "the boonies". There's nothing to do, people suck, the food sucks, the whole thing sucks. Yet, the landscape is very pretty with thick forests and lakes with swimming beaches. The towns are OK supposedly for home buyers on a lower budget, and folks with kids. The little tiny villages around Worcester are being rapidly developed with commercial sites. Yet it is still very "boonies-like" and drab.

Also the Worcester commuter rail line seems to be unreliable, and does not have stops in some of the little towns, making a car pretty necessary. Marlborough is very convenient to multiple highways, but is a little ghetto.
Best of luck!
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Old 09-29-2020, 06:58 AM
 
Location: Watertown
9 posts, read 5,420 times
Reputation: 31
I think you've got a solid understanding of the situation. I don't think you're overlooking anything. The lofts in Lowell are awesome (personal opinion) and property values in that area are rising. If you want the commuter rail I think it's your best bet. You have a good grasp of the finances. You could take on more debt but that's totally your decision. It sounds like you know what you want. I'm rooting for ya - just do it - Happy Cancerversary
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Old 09-29-2020, 07:03 AM
 
Location: Newburyport, MA
4,176 posts, read 1,924,336 times
Reputation: 5286
If your job in Waltham is close to the train station, you could consider using the Commuter Rail's Fitchburg line...and picking a town further out... maybe you can walk, take a cab or an Uber, or even bring a folding bike on the train for the Waltham end?
https://www.mbta.com/schedules/CR-Fitchburg/timetable
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Old 09-29-2020, 07:19 AM
 
856 posts, read 560,043 times
Reputation: 893
Curious, live in partner law would give your partner half the house in case of breakup?
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Old 09-29-2020, 07:32 AM
 
Location: La-La Land
359 posts, read 396,884 times
Reputation: 476
Quote:
Originally Posted by bugelrex View Post
Curious, live in partner law would give your partner half the house in case of breakup?

No, it wouldn't. Details depend on their situation, which is none of our business. Massachusetts is an "equitable distribution" state for family law, unlike the "community property" states, where communal property is split 50/50 by default. Communal property being whatever was mutually shared from the date of marriage to the day of separation. Even in a community property state, if their assets are largely separate, OP is fine if the marriage is not longer than 10 years. In Mass's equitable distribution state, if OP's partner was a stay-at-home person, then things could get complex. Best sort out the deets before purchase. The OP probably has that figured out.
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Old 09-29-2020, 09:28 AM
 
706 posts, read 548,102 times
Reputation: 705
https://www.realtor.com/realestatean...-13340?view=qv

Good luck with your search.

Condo fee is kind of high, but this is way under your budget.

Last edited by Louisville Slugger; 09-29-2020 at 09:36 AM..
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