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Old 07-04-2008, 01:32 PM
 
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We are a gay couple of 25 years. We are looking to relocate to either California or Massachusetts to take advantage of marriage. We are looking for an affordable and safe area that has a decent gay population and gay friendly. I am in the hospitality business, so would need an area with many hospitality management jobs. We would need a condo or single family home under $200,000. We have our house in Vermont on the market now. Not having much luck selling yet, but looking to do this soon. We may wait to see what happens in California in November , but within a year.
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Old 07-04-2008, 10:41 PM
 
Location: Dallas
4,621 posts, read 9,761,261 times
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There are no condos anywhere near Boston for less than 200K. The South End or Jamaica Plain is what you are looking for, but there is nothing less than $350K.
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Old 07-05-2008, 05:36 AM
 
Location: Cambridge, MA
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By way of illustration, the place I bought in Cambridge for $120k in 1992 is now assessed at more than twice that amount. Finding anything to live in that's not in a war-zone neighborhood and priced at under $300k is largely an illusion in the urban core (Boston, Cambridge, Somerville, Brookline.) You may luck out if you're OK with dwelling in the "student slum" of Allston-Brighton, one of Boston's noisiest and most rundown communities and also the one with THE highest crime rate in the city. There are a lot of cool "destination spots" there, including the Sports Depot sports bar and the Harpers Ferry rock/blues club. Cheap n' tasty "ethnic" restaurants and funky stores abound. But the streets are filthy, the buildings are mostly shabby, and the vibe after 10 PM is tense. Section 8 apartments and collegians galore doth not a nice neighborhood make. Yet some of the big brick apartment buildings have gone condo and found buyers, and particularly during school breaks the area around Cleveland Circle (on the far west side of Brighton) is quiet and pleasant.

A "hidden gem" in Beantown is the Savin Hill section of Dorchester, increasingly so in the part bisected by Dorchester Ave and always the case in the "over the bridge" (east of I-93) portion. Most of the hardcore-prejudiced populace has made tracks elsewhere in the wake of an influx of West Indians and Vietnamese to the community. Local treasures such as the Patty's Pantry grocery store and deli coexist comfortably with "pho" restaurants and the Banshee pub. The boulder-strewn and un-"landscaped" Savin Hill Park is one of the best vantage points anywhere for watching boats in the harbor in a peaceful atmosphere (by day only, to be sure.)

Jeffries Point in East Boston is rapidly gentrifying thanks to its being adjacent to the harbor and the new Piers Park, not to mention being minutes away from downtown.

But saying you "may luck out" in finding a domicile priced so low is being overly optimistic, even in those relatively affordable sectors.

The trick in real estate is to "get in on the ground floor" when an area is first starting to "turn around" or become "hot." Those days in Jamaica Plain, the South End, Cambridge, and Somerville are long gone. They're disappearing fast in Malden, but that city may offer some possibilities in that low of a price range still. Ditto for Medford, not especially renowned for "tolerance" but now the home base for a longtime male couple from my block who relocated several years ago and report "loving" their larger living quarters with its large yard and "great" neighbors.

Therein lies a cautionary tale. Every city and town has its reputation for being relatively "liberal" or "progressive," or "intolerant" or "bassackwards." But every rule has its exceptions. You could move into a notoriously left-wing municipality like Newton or Cambridge only to find out that the people two doors down are eager to harass at every opportunity. By the same token, a warm welcome and full inclusion in community life could await in Weymouth or North Reading. Another male couple of my acquaintance rolled the dice on purchasing a then-new house in the latter town during the late '80s, and got a pair of sevens. You never know until you try.


Oh, and by the way, if you think the cost of living is insane around Boston you haven't checked out how it is in the Bay Area and just about anywhere in SoCal within an hour of the ocean. Beantown is "wicked cheap" by comparison.

Last edited by CaseyB; 07-05-2008 at 07:51 AM.. Reason: unnecessary bashing, off topic
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Old 07-05-2008, 07:58 AM
 
6 posts, read 31,430 times
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We have taken a couple of road trips to Boston. There are several triple deckers for sale under $200000 in Dorchester. I know there are good to extremely bad areas in Dorchester, all point to the Savin Hill area as the better. Can anyone help me with exactly what could work within those areas? Chelsea is also affordable. Would that be a good investment for an up and coming area goyguy referred to? What about Lynn? It is a short commute from the city by train. It also has several condos under $200000.
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Old 07-05-2008, 02:27 PM
 
680 posts, read 2,309,338 times
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I live in the SF Bay Area and am moving to the Boston area. The whole CA coast is pretty gay-friendly but you won't find a house or anything decent in that price range. A job in the hospitality industry won't be a problem anywhere on the coast. Perhaps you could find something in Wine Country. Otherwise, I'd say SF is the most gay-friendly city in the country and you could just be lifelong renters - almost every building has mandatory rent control so it might be a better deal for you anyway.
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Old 07-05-2008, 09:23 PM
 
17 posts, read 93,565 times
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Hi BGSRJN. I've been looking to buy in the Boston area, and have seen a few places in Dorchester. You do get more buying power around there as compared to just about everywhere else in Boston. The main attraction is more space, though many of the buildings are very old. Beware anything that seems too good to be true, though -- that usually means major renovations are needed.

Chelsea sure looks attractive at those home prices, but it reminds me of a joke I heard years ago. This woman, looking to spice things up in her marriage, tells hubby to "Kiss me where it smells funny." So he took her to Chelsea.
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Old 07-05-2008, 10:21 PM
 
Location: Florida
8,589 posts, read 14,718,454 times
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You can see from the locations you are receiving they are all inner city Boston locations, and yes gay friendly. If that is what you are after, they have pretty much nailed locations for you. However one has to be comfortable with these type areas, they are not for everyone gay or st8. I think it is very sad that gay people ,and some of it is understandable feel they have to live in these inner city areas to be comfortable. I could name other areas in Mass you could reside as a gay person and pretty much feel at home. The problem would be, I quite honestly don't know where in Mass you could find locations in your price range. Both CA and MA are extremely expensive places to live, I know I am from Mass and no longer live there because of costs. I think if you wanted anything in your budget it would have to be in communities in the far western areas of Mass. Even there it would be difficult to find housing that didn't need some type of work at that price level. I know this is not what you want to hear, but Mass has always been very expensive for anything related to Housing, heating, utilities and auto insurance. Best of Luck to you.
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Old 07-06-2008, 03:25 PM
 
Location: Tolland County- Northeastern CT
4,461 posts, read 7,226,833 times
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Also consider Providence RI- just down I 95 less then an hour. Frankly I like the gay scene more in Providence- lots of bars, there is an 'Eagle' plus great restaurants- a wonderful downtown, and real estate prices 100k less then Boston on average.

Last edited by skytrekker; 07-06-2008 at 05:06 PM..
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Old 07-06-2008, 04:11 PM
 
Location: Quincy, MA
385 posts, read 1,382,458 times
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Quote:
By way of illustration, the place I bought in Cambridge for $120k in 1992 is now assessed at more than twice that amount. Finding anything to live in that's not in a war-zone neighborhood and priced at under $300k is largely an illusion in the urban core (Boston, Cambridge, Somerville, Brookline.) You may luck out if you're OK with dwelling in the "student slum" of Allston-Brighton, one of Boston's noisiest and most rundown communities and also the one with THE highest crime rate in the city.
Allston-Brighton certainly does not have the highest crime rate in the city. In fact, it's one of the lowest. With 75,000 people, there are about two murders a year. Now, it's certainly not for everyone--parts are rundown and dirty-looking, and there are tons of students around, but it is a relatively safe neighborhood.
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Old 07-07-2008, 04:17 PM
 
Location: Boston
230 posts, read 1,096,569 times
Reputation: 116
the places that are gay friendly in CA will most certainly empty your wallet. They tend to be closer to the coast (Long Beach, SF area, etc) and that's where prime real estate is. Buying anything is CA for less than $200,000 is difficult in and of itself. Finding it in a gay friendly area might prove to be impossible. I would say MA would be a better match. I was up in Salem this weekend and saw a few gay and lesbian couples. Not that anyone would say anything outright, but it seemed that they could be open and that people weren't being overtly judgemental. So, maybe the outlying areas outside of the city are to be considered. On another note, congratulations on 25 years together. That is a wonderful accomplishment. I hope that your happiness continues and that you get to partake in the legal aspect that you deserve after being together for so long. Cheers!
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