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Old 07-02-2009, 11:41 AM
 
10 posts, read 163,246 times
Reputation: 23

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Hi, I'm relocating to Boston this summer from cali. I'm going to buy a house/condo this year to take advantage of the cheap housing market. One of the most important factor is short commute to my workplace (South Lexington, close to Waltham) but Lexington is way too expensive for me to get a condo/house. Budget is around 350K. Been looking into Waltham, Woburn, Wakefield, Medford area for an affordable and safe residence. If possible I would like to get a place within rt 128 circle so I could have a fast commute to rest of Boston area in case I get a new job in the future.

What is your recommendation? Could I get a decent condo/house with 3Br/2+Bath with this budget? I'm 27 married with no kids so school disctrict etc isn't that important to me. Thanks for your help!
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Old 07-02-2009, 02:22 PM
 
18,726 posts, read 33,390,141 times
Reputation: 37303
Absolutely, a nice condo/townhouse. But be aware that a lot of associations are having financial trouble because some owners are foreclosing or missing payments. Do look closely at any financial records or statements and percentage of renters/owners (some condos have begun renting to Section 8).
A smaller, older house, maybe. Wakefield is wonderful. I think you are wise to consider something relatively centrally located so you can get to future jobs. Given that, I'd consider Arlington, too, especially for a nice higher-end condo. Next to Lexington, very low crime, easy easy access to Boston/Cambridge by car or train, and an easy hop onto the highway if you end up working out of town.
Best wishes. I'm sure you'll be able to find something very nice.
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Old 07-02-2009, 06:00 PM
 
967 posts, read 4,786,120 times
Reputation: 263
Waltham has some great new or renovated condos in 2-4 family properties, some of which have zero or low condo fees. You could find something walking distance to Moody St and all the great restaurants, movies, etc.
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Old 07-05-2009, 09:31 AM
 
Location: Central MA
65 posts, read 234,033 times
Reputation: 27
Although the renovated condo idea seems feasible, I'd recommend avoiding that option.

We're seeing big problems with these out in the Central Mass area; if you buy 1 floor in a 3 unit and the other 2 units are foreclosed on - where does that leave you? These conversions weren't thought through when they were set up and we are finding huge issues with maintenance and who is responsible if someone doesn't keep up, can't pay for repairs, or even worse abandons the property or is foreclosed on.

That being said, right now I think it is much safer financially to buy a single family rather than any condo. As suggested above, there are a lot of association in trouble financially - even in the larger complexes - due to foreclosures and short sales. You should be able to find a decent single family in your price in any of the towns you mentioned. There will not be an oversupply but sometimes that makes it even easier as it limits your options and doesn't overwhelm with choices.
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Old 07-05-2009, 12:51 PM
 
1,270 posts, read 5,416,256 times
Reputation: 581
Thumbs up Wakefield

I would suggest Wakefield

I think you would like it there, and it has access into Boston via the commuter rail (or bus to oak grove orange line )

its close to 128-93 and has a lot of ameneities.

there's a great park Breakheart Reservation with trails and a Lake that people walk around (Lake quanapowitt) where you will meet many of your neighbors

Wakefield has a great Independence day parade, with fire-works--and a small quaint downtown

there's a nice park with a gazebo by the Lake

If you dont have a car you can use the ZIPCAR Service---when you need a car
Car Sharing, an alternative to car rental and car ownership – Zipcar
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Old 07-05-2009, 01:27 PM
 
1,270 posts, read 5,416,256 times
Reputation: 581
Thumbs up Wakefield links-photos

Here's some Wakefield Info to help get you started

you might want to get a copy of the local paper online or if you visit
from a store and check for apartment - house listings
I'm sure you could ask a local real estate agent as well
they usually have offices in the town centers

Here's some links for you

WAKEFIELD TOWN
Town of Wakefield

The Official Site of Town of Wakefield, Massachusetts


Wakefield Home Page


PHOTO GREENWOOD SQUARE- WAKEFIELD
Greenwood Square - Wakefield, MA on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/beebe_library/2477551392/ - broken link)


Wakefield MASS - 1960s photo
hasn't changed too much
Wakefield, MA - 1960s on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/beebe_library/2078565209/ - broken link)

A little but not too too much

Wakefield Fourth of July Parade
2008 July Fourth Parade - Wakefield, MA on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dr_television/2684423186/ - broken link)

Americal Civic Center wakefield mA
Americal Civic Center - Wakefield, MA on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dr_television/407471348/ - broken link)

Baptist Church steeple photo
wakefield MA
Baptist steeple on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dr_television/402587441/in/photostream/ - broken link)

Unitarian Chrch
Unitarian-Universalist Church - Wakefield, MA on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dr_television/401383796/in/set-72157594449204044/ - broken link)

Lake Quannapowitt
Good advice on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dr_television/349856811/in/set-72157594449204044/ - broken link)

Train depot Wakefield MA
Train Depot Wakefield Massachusetts on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dr_television/339152620/in/set-72157594449204044/ - broken link)

View across Lake Quanapowitt toward town
Wakefield, Massachusetts on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dr_television/341971747/in/set-72157594449204044/ - broken link)

Downtown Wakefield Center 2009
Nonnos Pizza :-)
Wakefield Center - East Side -2007 on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dr_television/1737260458/in/set-72157594449204044/ - broken link)

Sunset over lake Q
Blinding Quannapowitt sun on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dr_television/1796712546/in/set-72157594449204044/ - broken link)

Yale Avenue Fall
Wakefield Center
Yale Avenue on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dr_television/1796712540/in/set-72157594449204044/ - broken link)

Cigar store indian on the street
wakefield center
Cigar store Indian on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dr_television/1737260466/in/set-72157594449204044/ - broken link)

Main Street Wakefield Center-NIght
Main Street at Night on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dr_television/2304022210/in/set-72157594449204044/ - broken link)

Hiker monument
Wakefield MA
Hiker Monument on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dr_television/2441452551/in/set-72157594449204044/ - broken link)

Wakefield MA
Wakefield Park on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dr_television/2460999284/in/set-72157594449204044/ - broken link)

Town hall Wakefield MA
William J. Lee Memorial Town Hall on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dr_television/2465992523/in/set-72157594449204044/ - broken link)

Town Hall on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dr_television/2465992531/in/set-72157594449204044/ - broken link)

Town Hall on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dr_television/2465992549/in/set-72157594449204044/ - broken link)

Wakefield Common - near the lake quannapowitt
and downtown
Wakefield Common on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dr_television/2466844626/in/set-72157594449204044/ - broken link)

Wakefield Common on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dr_television/2466844630/in/set-72157594449204044/ - broken link)

Soldiers and Sailors monument
Wakefield
Soldiers & Sailors Monument on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dr_television/2466844648/in/set-72157594449204044/ - broken link)

Soldiers & Sailors Monument on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dr_television/2466844652/in/set-72157594449204044/ - broken link)

Congregational Church
Congregational Church on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dr_television/2475491675/in/set-72157594449204044/ - broken link)

Rex Trailer - Wakefield 4th of July Parade
Rex Trailer on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dr_television/2638422074/in/set-72157594449204044/ - broken link)

Crystal Lake Island
Crystal Lake Wakefield
Crystal Lake Island on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dr_television/3013202472/in/set-72157594449204044/ - broken link)

Wakefield Breakheart Reservation
Fox Ridge Trail at Breakheart on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/thequiltedpet/3197846716/ - broken link)

Breakheart Canopy on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/thequiltedpet/3196988839/in/photostream/ - broken link)

Breakheart Reservation on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/cordts/2511550159/ - broken link)

IMG_20080302_0017 on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/intothewild/2357030908/ - broken link)

IMG_20080302_0015 on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/intothewild/2357029832/ - broken link)

LINKS:

Welcome to the Wakefield Police Department

Beebe Library (Wakefield MA)

Wakefield, Massachusetts, a Short History (http://www.wakefieldma.org/wakefield_history.html - broken link)



Linden Tree Coffeehouse Unitarian Universalist Church 326 Main St Wakefield MA 01880 MBTA accessible!

Wakefield MA Real Estate

Real Estate, Homes for Sale & Real Estate Values - Zillow

wakefieldfire.org - web home of the Wakefield Fire Department

Home
Fred's Franks - Wakefield, Ma (exit 40 off Rte. 128 at the head of Lake Quannapowitt) - CHOW (http://www.chow.com/places/52816 - broken link)

Wakefield Florists - Flowers Wakefield MA - Petunia's Floral

Westside Neighbors Online Massachusetts : Wakefield Massachusetts Neighborhood Information & Events

Caffe Italia- Wakefield, MA and Marblehead, MA

Wakefield, MA, Restaurants | Urbanspoon

Brothers Deli & Restaurant - Wakefield, MA

The Farmland - Wakefield, MA (http://www.thefarmland.com/index.html - broken link)

Nonnos pIzza
Welcome to Nonno's

Cravings Ice Cream
Cravings - An Authentic Soda Fountain Serving Ice Cream, Fountain Drinks, Coffee, and Candy

LAKE Q
Wakefield, MA -- Lake Quannapowitt

Lake Quannapowitt - Wakefield, MA

http://www.folq.org/

Lake Quannapowitt on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dr_television/339219956/ - broken link)

MBTA > Schedules & Maps > Commuter Rail > Wakefield

Wakefield Center Neighborhood Association

Welcome! | Quannapowitt Yacht Club

Department of Conservation and Recreation

http://www.mass.gov/dcr/parks/metrob...aps/brkhrt.gif

Home

Boston Restaurant - Fine dining in Wakefield, Melrose, Malden, Stoneham, Saugus all love Porto-Bello's Restaurant. It is a boston restaurant and fine dining just North of Boston (Massachusetts). Porto Bello restaurant and italian Restaurants and func

Wakefield, MA Restaurants --* MassMenus.com *** Dining in Mass, Massachusetts ***

Best restaurants Wakefield, MA

ZALEKS ROAST BEEF AND PIZZA
Zaleks, Wakefield, MA | Boston's Hidden Restaurants

Brothers' Deli Restaruant
Brothers Deli Restaurant - Wakefield, MA

Enjoy Wakefield!
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Old 07-05-2009, 02:49 PM
 
Location: Marshfield, MA
11 posts, read 42,603 times
Reputation: 10
With the RE market the way it is, it's a perfect time to buy something! However, like people have said above, I do recommend looking at houses over condos. The appreciation value and the ability for resale with houses seems to be much better.

Since school district is not a primary concern of yours, I'd recommend staying away from Waltham, Lexington, Winchester, and going more with Woburn, Wakefield, Arlington, or Belmont. Also, if you haven't considered them, Braintree and Quincy are great options- you'd have a longer commute up 128; it could take up to 40 minutes in rush hour. But, you'll be close to the red line which can take you downtown really quickly, should you get a new job.

Right now, in those areas, there are about 30 homes that match your criteria. There's some beautiful, new construction townhomes, also, popping up all over, that you may want to take advantage of. Like with condos, the investment isn't as great, but townhomes seem to be a better option than condos!

Also, if you're a first time homebuyer- never been a better time. Sellers have been forced to basically give away their homes AND you can take advantage of the $8000 tax credit!

Last edited by MassRE09; 07-05-2009 at 04:15 PM..
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Old 07-05-2009, 10:49 PM
 
1,270 posts, read 5,416,256 times
Reputation: 581
Default Winchester

Hey - Winchester has more to offer than just great schools
it is a great town with a lot of community organizations, things to do in the community , easy access to Boston - and a beautiful downtown with small boutiques and such. Its a great place to live though the real estate is on the high end
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Old 07-06-2009, 09:08 AM
 
4 posts, read 11,886 times
Reputation: 13
Have you considered Burlington? Right on 128 with a short commute to Lexington/Waltham areas along with easy access to both rts. 93 and 3. You would probably be able to find a home in your budget and the taxes are the lowest of any other community in the area.
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Old 07-06-2009, 11:42 AM
 
10 posts, read 163,246 times
Reputation: 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by DreamworksSKG View Post
Here's some Wakefield Info to help get you started

you might want to get a copy of the local paper online or if you visit
from a store and check for apartment - house listings
I'm sure you could ask a local real estate agent as well
they usually have offices in the town centers

Here's some links for you

WAKEFIELD TOWN
Town of Wakefield

The Official Site of Town of Wakefield, Massachusetts


Wakefield Home Page


PHOTO GREENWOOD SQUARE- WAKEFIELD
Greenwood Square - Wakefield, MA on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/beebe_library/2477551392/ - broken link)


Wakefield MASS - 1960s photo
hasn't changed too much
Wakefield, MA - 1960s on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/beebe_library/2078565209/ - broken link)

A little but not too too much

Wakefield Fourth of July Parade
2008 July Fourth Parade - Wakefield, MA on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dr_television/2684423186/ - broken link)

Americal Civic Center wakefield mA
Americal Civic Center - Wakefield, MA on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dr_television/407471348/ - broken link)

Baptist Church steeple photo
wakefield MA
Baptist steeple on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dr_television/402587441/in/photostream/ - broken link)

Unitarian Chrch
Unitarian-Universalist Church - Wakefield, MA on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dr_television/401383796/in/set-72157594449204044/ - broken link)

Lake Quannapowitt
Good advice on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dr_television/349856811/in/set-72157594449204044/ - broken link)

Train depot Wakefield MA
Train Depot Wakefield Massachusetts on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dr_television/339152620/in/set-72157594449204044/ - broken link)

View across Lake Quanapowitt toward town
Wakefield, Massachusetts on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dr_television/341971747/in/set-72157594449204044/ - broken link)

Downtown Wakefield Center 2009
Nonnos Pizza :-)
Wakefield Center - East Side -2007 on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dr_television/1737260458/in/set-72157594449204044/ - broken link)

Sunset over lake Q
Blinding Quannapowitt sun on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dr_television/1796712546/in/set-72157594449204044/ - broken link)

Yale Avenue Fall
Wakefield Center
Yale Avenue on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dr_television/1796712540/in/set-72157594449204044/ - broken link)

Cigar store indian on the street
wakefield center
Cigar store Indian on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dr_television/1737260466/in/set-72157594449204044/ - broken link)

Main Street Wakefield Center-NIght
Main Street at Night on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dr_television/2304022210/in/set-72157594449204044/ - broken link)

Hiker monument
Wakefield MA
Hiker Monument on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dr_television/2441452551/in/set-72157594449204044/ - broken link)

Wakefield MA
Wakefield Park on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dr_television/2460999284/in/set-72157594449204044/ - broken link)

Town hall Wakefield MA
William J. Lee Memorial Town Hall on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dr_television/2465992523/in/set-72157594449204044/ - broken link)

Town Hall on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dr_television/2465992531/in/set-72157594449204044/ - broken link)

Town Hall on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dr_television/2465992549/in/set-72157594449204044/ - broken link)

Wakefield Common - near the lake quannapowitt
and downtown
Wakefield Common on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dr_television/2466844626/in/set-72157594449204044/ - broken link)

Wakefield Common on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dr_television/2466844630/in/set-72157594449204044/ - broken link)

Soldiers and Sailors monument
Wakefield
Soldiers & Sailors Monument on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dr_television/2466844648/in/set-72157594449204044/ - broken link)

Soldiers & Sailors Monument on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dr_television/2466844652/in/set-72157594449204044/ - broken link)

Congregational Church
Congregational Church on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dr_television/2475491675/in/set-72157594449204044/ - broken link)

Rex Trailer - Wakefield 4th of July Parade
Rex Trailer on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dr_television/2638422074/in/set-72157594449204044/ - broken link)

Crystal Lake Island
Crystal Lake Wakefield
Crystal Lake Island on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dr_television/3013202472/in/set-72157594449204044/ - broken link)

Wakefield Breakheart Reservation
Fox Ridge Trail at Breakheart on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/thequiltedpet/3197846716/ - broken link)

Breakheart Canopy on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/thequiltedpet/3196988839/in/photostream/ - broken link)

Breakheart Reservation on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/cordts/2511550159/ - broken link)

IMG_20080302_0017 on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/intothewild/2357030908/ - broken link)

IMG_20080302_0015 on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/intothewild/2357029832/ - broken link)

LINKS:

Welcome to the Wakefield Police Department

Beebe Library (Wakefield MA)

Wakefield, Massachusetts, a Short History (http://www.wakefieldma.org/wakefield_history.html - broken link)



Linden Tree Coffeehouse Unitarian Universalist Church 326 Main St Wakefield MA 01880 MBTA accessible!

Wakefield MA Real Estate

Real Estate, Homes for Sale & Real Estate Values - Zillow

wakefieldfire.org - web home of the Wakefield Fire Department

Home
Fred's Franks - Wakefield, Ma (exit 40 off Rte. 128 at the head of Lake Quannapowitt) - CHOW (http://www.chow.com/places/52816 - broken link)

Wakefield Florists - Flowers Wakefield MA - Petunia's Floral

Westside Neighbors Online Massachusetts : Wakefield Massachusetts Neighborhood Information & Events

Caffe Italia- Wakefield, MA and Marblehead, MA

Wakefield, MA, Restaurants | Urbanspoon

Brothers Deli & Restaurant - Wakefield, MA

The Farmland - Wakefield, MA (http://www.thefarmland.com/index.html - broken link)

Nonnos pIzza
Welcome to Nonno's

Cravings Ice Cream
Cravings - An Authentic Soda Fountain Serving Ice Cream, Fountain Drinks, Coffee, and Candy

LAKE Q
Wakefield, MA -- Lake Quannapowitt

Lake Quannapowitt - Wakefield, MA

http://www.folq.org/

Lake Quannapowitt on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dr_television/339219956/ - broken link)

MBTA > Schedules & Maps > Commuter Rail > Wakefield

Wakefield Center Neighborhood Association

Welcome! | Quannapowitt Yacht Club

Department of Conservation and Recreation

http://www.mass.gov/dcr/parks/metrob...aps/brkhrt.gif

Home

Boston Restaurant - Fine dining in Wakefield, Melrose, Malden, Stoneham, Saugus all love Porto-Bello's Restaurant. It is a boston restaurant and fine dining just North of Boston (Massachusetts). Porto Bello restaurant and italian Restaurants and func

Wakefield, MA Restaurants --* MassMenus.com *** Dining in Mass, Massachusetts ***

Best restaurants Wakefield, MA

ZALEKS ROAST BEEF AND PIZZA
Zaleks, Wakefield, MA | Boston's Hidden Restaurants

Brothers' Deli Restaruant
Brothers Deli Restaurant - Wakefield, MA

Enjoy Wakefield!

Thanks a lot! Yah i looked into Wakefield and I really like this area. It's my top options right now. CityData also indicated 112 for its crime score (US average is 320, lower the better), better than Woburn and Waltham, and a lot better than Burlington
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