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Old 08-02-2006, 02:33 PM
2 posts, read 13,189 times
Reputation: 10


Greetings from Atlanta, GA. I'm thinking about purchasing / investing a small property with low maintenance (i.e. condo, small house) that I can live in during the summer / fall during my retirement. That would make me a reverse snow-bird! Having traveled (and lived) in several other parts in the US, I think that the western parts of Massachusetts or northeastern parts of New York near the Hudson Valley would be quite attractive. Being not too familiar with the region, I'd appreciate some thoughts or guidance. Thanks
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Old 08-04-2006, 12:48 PM
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Reputation: 64
Yes it is beautiful there and resonably priced also, talk to" I'minformed "on the North Carolina. He's moving back to upstate NY.
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Old 08-04-2006, 01:53 PM
1,330 posts, read 4,926,293 times
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I would tell you to look in Western MA first. I am from NY (hudson Valley) and I lived in Western MA for 3+ years (2001-2004)

Towns I like are Hadley, Amherst ($$$$ though - but a condo might be cheap) Northern Ludlow area, Pittsfield is nice - but there is less to do, Otis has a lake you can jetski at, but no condos...vacation homes are there though, Sturbridge is nice, Ware/Belchertown area is good, and anything north of Northampton along I91 is a draw. Southwick is also very nice, but again it is more expensive all around.

IMO it is best to stay away from are Holyoke, West Springfield, Chicopee, Most of South Hadley, Springfield, East Springfield, Eastern Agawam area, and Southern areas of Ludow/ Western Wilbraham. Otherwise I think you would be quite pleased with your surroundings.

Western MA is cheaper both tax wise and property wise.

Hunter mountain area is BOOOORING!!! Not what it used to be that is for sure! No good resturants, the area has changed over the 20 years I have know it. All there is is the NYS Thruway and its ugly traffic, Ausable Chasam, and gritty, ugly Albany/Troy area.

Western MA offers much more entertainment and charm IMO. People are a shade nicer over there and the overall cost of living makes it much more attractive. Look at my other posts and you will find a lot more info. Or if you have specific questions, ask away! As I said before, I am quite familiar with both areas.
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Old 08-08-2006, 02:28 AM
Location: Metrowest, MA
1,810 posts, read 10,179,011 times
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By the way, I find interesting that if you ask people living in Eastern MA. Western MA only goes to Worcester. Towns like Springfield, Holyoke, ... do not exist. :-)
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Old 09-04-2006, 09:22 PM
2 posts, read 13,485 times
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Default Amherst area is culturally rich but can be expensive

Hello Southern Gentleman, are you looking for a liberal or conservative community? Rural or small city/large town? Western MA has a variety. I live near Amherst, which is a large town with a liberal, intellectual bent. We've got five colleges, great bookstores, a variety of ethnic restaurants, excellent public schools, and a relatively diverse population. Northampton is nearby, with more restaurants and shopping. I love it here, except that as I get older I don't tolerate the winters as well. We have plenty of below-zero days!

My only real complaint about the area is the high cost of housing. I don't actually live IN Amherst -- couldn't afford it. I live in a neighboring town, in a very small house (this despite earning over 50k at one of the colleges). Apparently, the real estate market has been driven way up by New Yorkers buying vacation homes. Despite the liberal nature of this area, you will find a fair amount of resentment toward those who outbid locals and drive up real estate costs (and property taxes) but live here part-time and thus do not participate in the community. So, beware of incurring that resentment. But, if you are buying a modest property and will go to town meetings, you will probably find yourself welcome. This area is not xenophobic.

If you are looking for a more conservative community, you can find that too. The political flavors shift from town to town. Some of the rural towns are more conservative (though perhaps not compared to the southern US).

On the other hand, if you're looking for that rare combination of rural-but-liberal, you can't beat Leverett. But, it is expensive. And you can't get a high-speed internet connection.

As for Springfield and Holyoke, these areas are stuggling -- that's true. But the big old houses you'll find in those cities are beautiful and cheap, and the wilderness is still nearby.

I hope this was helpful -- good luck!

Last edited by forestdweller; 09-04-2006 at 09:33 PM.. Reason: typo
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Old 09-07-2006, 02:09 PM
Location: Journey's End
10,203 posts, read 26,218,141 times
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I too am thinking about returning to Western Massachusetts from the SW. I was shocked to see the increase in rental prices and haven't even ventured into the cost of buying.

Liberal on one side of the valley; more conversative on the other, the area still screams "come home" to me.

What are the chances of a good, moderate rental on the Amherst/Shutesbury side of the Valley?
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Old 09-07-2006, 02:19 PM
1,330 posts, read 4,926,293 times
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"cheap" is in the eye of the beholder!

For me, Western MA is cheap. For you it probably seems "expensive"

Last I checked, the rentals in Amherst seemed reasonable, as did the condoes.

I think you get a bit of apartment for your buck there.

Do a search on rent.net and rent.com

Check out Sunderland, Amherst, Hadley and Belchertown. They are lagging behind the Southwick/Agawam area as far as cost of living. They have some nice newer constructed apts in the area too.
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Old 10-02-2006, 11:11 AM
Location: a warmer place
1,748 posts, read 5,285,498 times
Reputation: 768
Default Ther Berkshires in Western Ma

Check out Lenox, Williamstown and South Eastern Pittsfield. These towns are stunningly beautiful and surrounded by mountains. You'll have access to hiking, lakes, downhill, crosscountry skiing, mountain views and some of the best theater in the Northeast.

Other towns that are just as pretty but pricier are Stockbridge, Great Barrington and West Stockbridge. Good luck!
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Old 08-16-2007, 05:37 PM
Location: Brookline, Massachusetts
8 posts, read 46,291 times
Reputation: 16
Property values in Adams and North Adams are still low and the
area is gorgeous and it is up and coming. Check out the Mass MOCA.
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Old 09-05-2007, 10:08 AM
280 posts, read 1,168,986 times
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Default I'm from Hudson Valley, NY (Dutchess County)

I lived on the Hudson River my whole life, the Hudson Valley is so beautiful, I absolutley love being from there! I'ts getting a little up in prices now because everyone from the city moved to Westchester County, then Westchester County people moved into Putnam & Dutchess County since 9/11 happened. Your probably looking more towards Dutchess & Columbia County. There is a paper I used to work for - it covers Dutchess, Columbia, Putnam & Westchester Counties & parts of CT. This wont let me put in website so I have to separate the words www nypennysaver com. Hope this helps

Last edited by sue64; 09-05-2007 at 10:15 AM.. Reason: couldnt put in website
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