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Old 04-19-2012, 06:49 AM
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Originally Posted by ogre View Post
This is absolute total speculation on my part, because I really don't know what the housing markets are doing all over Boston, so please keep in mind that I'm really taking a stab based on general knowledge of the areas. For a few years now Jamaica Plain has had an influx of young professionals. Outside of the family-oriented neighborhoods, it would seem that other parts of JP that are not yet populated with young professionals could be ripe with the possibility that this crowd will expand into those areas and drive up property values. The trick is in being able to predict which neighborhoods are the ones where this might happen, so JP would seem like a real gamble in this regard.
It's actually not as many as you'd think. It's kind of like Bushwick and Bed-Stuy in Brooklyn. Sure there's a lot of hipsters moving into Williamsburg and some parts of Bushwick, but it's by no means gentrified yet and there's no indiciation that the young people who are moving there now are still going to be there in 10 years, that's why nobody is buying those cheap brownstones in the area and there's very few new developments popping up in Bushwick. Granted there are a couple and they might end up doing well, but it's going very, very slowly.

JP is pretty much right in the beginning years of that same process that happened there like 5 or 6 years ago and it's still pretty much slow going, so people are still hesitant to invest. I wouldn't recommend it, at least not yet. I'd give it a couple of more years and see if the hip factor sticks to the neighborhood and if it keeps gentrifying. I think JP probably will, but not enough to bet a mortgage on it

Even still though, regardless of how nice it gets, it's still going to have the projects right by the T and all around the main shopping areas which could make it even more dangerous than it is now once all the yuppies start coming in as easy prey. Just look at what happened in the South End...
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Old 04-19-2012, 10:22 PM
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RC1981, you bring up an interesting point about investing in gentrifying areas. It's a gamble because you have a narrow window between the time enough gentrifiers have moved in to make it clear that the process is really happening in the neighborhood in question and the time when real estate values shoot upward as a result. Buy property too soon and you risk taking a loss if the first urban pioneers in an area don't turn out to be signaling a trend; wait very long after the trend is clear, and you lose your chance to buy while the property is still relatively cheap and get a big return.

Put it together and it does seem as if JP would be a gamble for anyone not very much in the know who wanted to buy property there as a moneymaking move. Again, from my point of view as someone with general knowledge of the areas discussed in this thread but not well versed in the workings of real estate investments, it appears that the neighborhoods in Brookline and Cambridge discussed here have held steady for years in terms of their feel and function. They seem unlikely to undergo tremendous changes in makeup in the foreseeable future. Being that these are all reasonably prosperous to downright affluent neighborhoods, it would seem that you're not likely to take a loss by purchasing housing there, unless the real estate market in general really tanks, but you're not likely to make a killing there either. Again based strictly on knowledge of these neighborhoods and their stability rather than knowing the ins and outs of the real estate industry itself, the Brookline and Cambridge neighborhoods seem likely to be good for real estate investments that are steady, conservative, and reasonably safe, not places to get rich overnight.
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Old 04-19-2012, 11:05 PM
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We've done well on real estate by following artists into a neighborhood. Not a quick flip, but paid $50K for something worth $300K. But, in the case of my daughter's living, I'm happy to go for conservative.

Plus, if you think we won't have adults in Congress/the Executive branch who can make the obvious compromise of reducing the budget by 80% cost cuts and 20% revenue increases, then Bernanke will have to be the only adult supervision in town (as he has been thus far). If so, he will have to push us toward inflation as a way of devaluing the US debt. He's been making the right moves thus far (though he talks about fighting deflation while doing it). If so, real estate is likely a good investment, even the slow and steady kind. Low fixed rate mortgage -- we appear to be able to get 3.375% now -- and growing revenue seems like a good formula for inflationary times.
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Old 06-09-2012, 09:58 PM
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Well, we're looking at one place in Coolidge Corner, but getting to where my daughter needs to go doesn't seem easy via public transit, which seems strange, and one place in what I think is called West Fenway (Peterborough, Queensberry, Park). I'd say the former is safer but the latter is a more student-oriented.
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Old 07-27-2012, 08:47 AM
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Made an offer, which has been accepted, in Coolidge Corner. Waiting for mortgage to be approved and purchase to close.
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Old 07-27-2012, 08:59 AM
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I knew a lot of girls who went to Northeastern that lived in the Fenway neighborhood.
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