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Old 07-12-2021, 09:46 AM
 
67 posts, read 29,674 times
Reputation: 37

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My spouse and I have returned to New England after 15 years in Los Angeles (sorry) to be nearer to family. Both primarily remote professional jobs, but spouse needs to get to the airport 6 or so times a year and I may want/need to commute into downtown bimonthly or so. We have 3 kids 6 and under, and have been living the way too small apartment / big city life and are ready for more space and a suburban vibe. Good to decent public schools are important. Yard space, 3k+ sq ft for kids, 2 home offices, and in-law visitors are all important. Don’t want to do a lot of updating, we just want to move in.

We’re hoping for the <1 to 1.3M range, and last summer, we were thinking of targeting areas like Bedford, Lincoln, Sudbury, Acton or (my preference) quieter areas of Burlington or Natick (still lots of access to amenities). But there is pretty much no inventory at our price point and requirements.

So now we’re in a position to expand our radius and look at areas we know even less about. Many people have suggested Hopkinton to us, and we visited and were surprised at how tiny a town it is. Nearly all amenities require a drive into the next town, neighborhoods are very small and seem like just one or two streets, and we’re also trying to figure out the racial dynamics of the town given recent news.

We are an Asian / Caucasian couple, our kids are mixed, and we were really very spoiled with the diversity in Los Angeles. We blended in very well because there was a mix of people both like us and unlike us. Finding a town where our kids would somewhat fit in or at least not be a novelty is important, as would be having other families at similar stages.

It may turn out the Hopkinton is a good fit, but I don’t want to narrow our focus so soon and miss out on other areas we should be considering. Also part of me wonders if we’re going so far out, why even bother trying to be Boston proximal. I’m not clear on how practical the location truly is - though we’d love the option of weekend trips into the city when we feel like it and a tad of commute flexibility when needed.


Does anyone have other ideas or options to recommend?

Last edited by stuckbetween; 07-12-2021 at 09:58 AM..
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Old 07-12-2021, 10:09 AM
 
15,414 posts, read 11,394,615 times
Reputation: 8158
Quote:
Originally Posted by stuckbetween View Post
My spouse and I have returned to New England after 15 years in Los Angeles (sorry) to be nearer to family. Both primarily remote professional jobs, but spouse needs to get to the airport 6 or so times a year and I may want/need to commute into downtown bimonthly or so. We have 3 kids 6 and under, and have been living the way too small apartment / big city life and are ready for more space and a suburban vibe. Good to decent public schools are important. Yard space, 3k+ sq ft for kids, 2 home offices, and in-law visitors are all important. Don’t want to do a lot of updating, we just want to move in.

We’re hoping for the <1 to 1.3M range, and last summer, we were thinking of targeting areas like Bedford, Lincoln, Sudbury, Acton or (my preference) quieter areas of Burlington or Natick (still lots of access to amenities). But there is pretty much no inventory at our price point and requirements.

So now we’re in a position to expand our radius and look at areas we know even less about. Many people have suggested Hopkinton to us, and we visited and were surprised at how tiny a town it is. Nearly all amenities require a drive into the next town, neighborhoods are very small and seem like just one or two streets, and we’re also trying to figure out the racial dynamics of the town given recent news.

We are an Asian / Caucasian couple, our kids are mixed, and we were really very spoiled with the diversity in Los Angeles. We blended in very well because there was a mix of people both like us and unlike us. Finding a town where our kids would somewhat fit in or at least not be a novelty is important, as would be having other families at similar stages.

It may turn out the Hopkinton is a good fit, but I don’t want to narrow our focus so soon and miss out on other areas we should be considering. Also part of me wonders if we’re going so far out, why even bother trying to be Boston proximal. I’m not clear on how practical the location truly is - though we’d love the option of weekend trips into the city when we feel like it and a tad of commute flexibility when needed.


Does anyone have other ideas or options to recommend?

As a mixed Asian/Caucasian family, you should be fine in that area (Hopkinton, Southborough, Westborough, etc.). Hopkinton was home to EMC (now a branch of Dell), so it long had that aspect of diversity. Schools are very good, plenty safe. Overpriced as you have identified, but if you want to live in Eastern Mass. that's just reality. Westborough and Northborough have better access to amenities than Hopkinton. An alternative to check out is the Foxborough/Mansfield area along I-95 south of Boston. Nice area as well, although not QUITE as expensive. Fewer Asians, although I doubt very much you will "stand out" a whole lot these days. It will be a non issue for your kids.
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Old 07-12-2021, 10:09 AM
 
7 posts, read 4,479 times
Reputation: 25
The Town of Harvard has almost zero shopping amenities but there a surprising number of California natives and transplants in town. I'm not sure of percentages but there are a good number of Asian/Caucasian families as well. Your budget would go far. Not a great town for 5 day a week commute to Boston but no problem for infrequent commutes/flights.
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Old 07-12-2021, 12:57 PM
 
Location: Boston
1,315 posts, read 427,640 times
Reputation: 1163
Quote:
Originally Posted by stuckbetween View Post
My spouse and I have returned to New England after 15 years in Los Angeles (sorry) to be nearer to family. Both primarily remote professional jobs, but spouse needs to get to the airport 6 or so times a year and I may want/need to commute into downtown bimonthly or so. We have 3 kids 6 and under, and have been living the way too small apartment / big city life and are ready for more space and a suburban vibe. Good to decent public schools are important. Yard space, 3k+ sq ft for kids, 2 home offices, and in-law visitors are all important. Don’t want to do a lot of updating, we just want to move in.

We’re hoping for the <1 to 1.3M range, and last summer, we were thinking of targeting areas like Bedford, Lincoln, Sudbury, Acton or (my preference) quieter areas of Burlington or Natick (still lots of access to amenities). But there is pretty much no inventory at our price point and requirements.

So now we’re in a position to expand our radius and look at areas we know even less about. Many people have suggested Hopkinton to us, and we visited and were surprised at how tiny a town it is. Nearly all amenities require a drive into the next town, neighborhoods are very small and seem like just one or two streets, and we’re also trying to figure out the racial dynamics of the town given recent news.

We are an Asian / Caucasian couple, our kids are mixed, and we were really very spoiled with the diversity in Los Angeles. We blended in very well because there was a mix of people both like us and unlike us. Finding a town where our kids would somewhat fit in or at least not be a novelty is important, as would be having other families at similar stages.

It may turn out the Hopkinton is a good fit, but I don’t want to narrow our focus so soon and miss out on other areas we should be considering. Also part of me wonders if we’re going so far out, why even bother trying to be Boston proximal. I’m not clear on how practical the location truly is - though we’d love the option of weekend trips into the city when we feel like it and a tad of commute flexibility when needed.


Does anyone have other ideas or options to recommend?
How urgent is your relocation? If you have time to wait it out, I'd just go after the inventory in the towns you've mentioned since you know them better and know what you're getting into with them. I would be surprised if you can't get at least 3k sqft in Acton for under $1.3 million.
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Old 07-12-2021, 03:53 PM
 
6,924 posts, read 3,994,047 times
Reputation: 7631
Burlington is going to be tough to get into a "move in" house at that price range. If you're willing to buy something and renovate/tear down, there are options.

I'd keep an eye on this house:

https://www.realtor.com/realestatean...3_M45015-63475

The flipper bought it in late 2019 and the work took forever. AFAIK, it wasn't expanded in size. Rather the basement and attic were finished to add 3 bedrooms and 3 baths. IMHO, at $1.49 million it's gonna sit. Will it come down to the top of your price point?

Or buy this:

https://www.realtor.com/realestatean...3_M39741-61733

and put $300K into it with an addition out the back and fully modernizing it.
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Old 07-12-2021, 04:09 PM
 
3,905 posts, read 1,270,987 times
Reputation: 2622
Do you have to move now? If not I'd wait a bit. Eventually more will come on the market and we won't have these crazy prices. It will still be expensive but this is nuts.
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Old 07-12-2021, 05:12 PM
 
67 posts, read 29,674 times
Reputation: 37
Wellll….we have a non-winterized spot to stay in for now. If it gets too cold we can rent if we don’t buy something. I would prefer to buy to avoid another weird school year, another temporary childcare situation, and let the kids get a bit settled, but we’d survive if we couldn’t or decided not to yet. I feel doubtful that prices will decrease, but inventory may increase, but when?? We keep kicking this can down the road and our prospects are going in the wrong direction.
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Old 07-12-2021, 05:18 PM
 
67 posts, read 29,674 times
Reputation: 37
Also realized that since the office is near South Station, that’s extra points to anything on a commuter rail that goes right to south station. Also make Acton kind of annoying.
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Old 07-12-2021, 05:30 PM
 
3,905 posts, read 1,270,987 times
Reputation: 2622
I fee pretty confident that more inventory will go on the market over the next year. Real estate is hard to predict though as we know.
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Old 07-12-2021, 05:54 PM
 
678 posts, read 665,492 times
Reputation: 796
Sounds like you haven't explored the south shore, but if you're commuting to South Station, it might be worth a look. You could get a 3K+ SF updated house for < $1.3M in the town where I live (Norwell). I worked in the Financial District for several years and the commute via commuter rail (to south station) was almost exactly 1 hour door to door. We are also a mixed Asian family (husband is Asian, so kids are mixed) and it's a complete non-issue in our town and surrounding towns. Hanover could also be in your list--the budget might go a little further. You'd probably be able to find 3K SF in Hingham for your budget as well, which is a slightly better commute.
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