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Old 06-04-2012, 05:28 PM
 
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We are a family moving to Boston. Have recently sold our house, so have just about enough for a mortgage deposit on a small family home, but don't really know the various areas. Friends have suggested we look in Newton, though are unsure we will like it.

In normal circumstances, we would rent for a year and try out the area before looking to buy. But rental choices are poor and seem relatively costly compared to possible mortgage repayments. (The latter seem close to 2/3 of the former, if we put down 20%).

Agents are telling us to buy (duh!) on the pretext that we can easily sell if we dont like it, and that the costs involved in buying and selling come out less than what we would 'waste' on a years rent. We are struggling to make such calculations and work out the various costs.

Is that just agent-speak or is it sensible advice? Advice anyone?
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Old 06-04-2012, 05:38 PM
 
Location: Up North
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If you can afford to I would buy. Newton has amazing public schools and has a reputation for being snooty among us Brookline folk who have a reputation for being snooty amongst Boston folk.

I believe there is a very low chance of property values in Newton dipping.
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Old 06-04-2012, 08:48 PM
 
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I have found the following calculator very helpful, especially if you have two specific properties to compare:

Is It Better to Buy or Rent? - Interactive Graphic - NYTimes.com
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Old 06-04-2012, 09:34 PM
 
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dinandtai, I think if you feel like you're stretching to pay a downpayment you might want to see about a short-term rental to a) save up a bit more so you have an emergency fund in case something goes wrong in the house and b) so you can tell if you really like the area. It can be tough to find short-term rentals but I have seen these at places like the Avalon Communities in Newton and a few other places. That way you wouldn't have to commit to a rental long term but you'd have a little more time and not feel pressed to rush into a home choice. Just my two cents!
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Old 06-05-2012, 12:08 AM
 
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Wow. Thanks kmann, pea and pear. This is the first time I have ever posted at a site like this and am in awe of people's generosity in taking time to respond so helpfully.

One further query on long vs. short term rental. How common is it to insert rental clauses to allow one to break lease early (say, if we find something to buy) ? Alternatively, How easy is it to break a lease without such a clause?.
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Old 06-05-2012, 08:03 AM
 
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Newton is an awesome area. For a short, I lived in Newtonville, right behind Newton North. Great area to live. My vote is to buy as rents are wicked high and that rent money can already be going to your equity. Try living in a motel/hotel for a few days in different areas. That will give you a taste of the area.
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Old 06-05-2012, 08:27 AM
 
Location: Beautiful Rhode Island
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quote:"Alternatively, How easy is it to break a lease without such a clause?"


You can break a lease anytime. You're just responsible to pay the remainder of the rent due to the end of the lease. And if you don't you can be sued in court.
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Old 06-05-2012, 03:47 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollytree View Post
quote:"Alternatively, How easy is it to break a lease without such a clause?"


You can break a lease anytime. You're just responsible to pay the remainder of the rent due to the end of the lease. And if you don't you can be sued in court.
Fair enough. I was just wondering whether there were provisions in MA law that give tennants the right to terminate with some reasonable notice, even without such a clause in the rental agreement.
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Old 06-05-2012, 07:23 PM
 
Location: Needham, MA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dinandtai View Post
Fair enough. I was just wondering whether there were provisions in MA law that give tennants the right to terminate with some reasonable notice, even without such a clause in the rental agreement.
I'm not aware of such a law. You might want to look into something that is month-to-month. In this type of situation, typically you give 60 days written notice that you're moving out and that's it. My friend recently looked into a short term lease at Avalon in Newton and I believe they were asking $4,000 per month. I think that was for a 2 bedroom unit.

Short term rentals are really difficult to find around here. I would suggest coming to the area for a week or so and do some exploring and house hunting as well. If you're working with a real estate agent who has your best interests at heart and knows the area well you'll end up in the right place. I would also suggest writing a clear, well thought out post in the Massachusetts forum (not the Boston sub-forum) describing the type of comunity you're looking for, what kind of commute you'd like, and if you're willing to describe your budget that helps quite a bit as well. You'll get some good advice from the people here which will help you target the community that's the best fit for you.
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Old 06-06-2012, 04:33 PM
 
Location: Up North
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I think Waltham has a lot of short term rentals for business travelers but they tend to be pretty pricey.

Surprisingly a lot of businesses operate in Waltham. When I worked there I noticed mostly financial services and tech businesses.

Waltham is Newton adjacent, I've heard the schools aren't great though.
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