Author Topic: Bummed about house prices - the Massachusetts Edition  (Read 10243 times)

chemgeek

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Bummed about house prices - the Massachusetts Edition
« on: March 31, 2015, 03:40:31 PM »
When we first started talking about houses, my husband and I decided we weren't going to put less than 20% down and we did not want to overspend on a house. We like projects and would be happy to get an outdated, horrible looking old house to fix up as we go and make our own. Based on what other people we knew spent, we figured 300-350k would get us something we liked in the not too far burbs. So, we set off to save around 60-70k. We're at about 40k now, and looking at what's available on Zillow recently has just totally bummed me out. I was pretty happy that we hit the 40k mark but now it just does not seem like 300k is going to buy a worthwhile-to-us house. For those local, I work in Framingham/Natick, husband in the city though he's not tied to the job, so unless I get lucky and can find a  position somewhere else, we have those as anchor points for considering a commute. Throw in family in Andover/Malden/Saugus/Salem/Somerville, and moving west to cheaper housing is really not appealing. We're looking for a 3+ bedroom house, 1 bath, basement space, and off street parking (with a garage or the option to build one). No square footage requirement. We're not eliminating any place because of school ratings.

Do you just suck it up and pay more than you want? Do you wait forever for something you like well enough to pop up in your price range? Do you buy where it's affordable and deal with a heinous commute? I can't understand how there are so many people that CAN afford what houses and condos are going for in some parts of the area. Everyone that asks when we're going to buy doesn't understand why we want to put 20% down. We'll make about $140,000 combined next year, so we can "afford" a higher mortgage, but it just doesn't make any sense to do that.

To those that made it this far, thanks for letting me vent! :) It's beyond frustrating to watch people we know buy homes left and right when it's something we want so badly but are forcing ourselves to wait for peace of mind.


mskyle

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Re: Bummed about house prices - the Massachusetts Edition
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2015, 04:27:38 PM »
I sympathize! Housing prices are indeed out of control, and I think the western suburbs are the most ridiculous of all, especially for what you get.
And if there's a decent chance you'll be working somewhere that's *not* Framingham/Natick in the next 5-10 years, it would suck to be saddled with expensive real estate you don't really want. Where have you been looking? I get the sense that Waltham might not be too crazy, and would be relatively convenient for both you and your husband. But still you're probably looking at more like $400K rather than $350K. I have friends who've bought in Malden recently for those kinds of prices but that's a bad commute to Framingham.

I'm pretty much resigned to renting until I move out of the area, which is probably 5-10 years off.

chemgeek

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Re: Bummed about house prices - the Massachusetts Edition
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2015, 05:21:02 PM »
 We like the northern part of the state more, along the north shore. Danvers/Peabody on up. There's definitely still pockets where houses aren't astronomical, and if we could pick anywhere without regard to commute, that's where we'd live. But, given that for the foreseeable future my work base is Natick, we are looking north of the Pike and along either Rt 2 or not too far up 95.  Waltham or Watertown would be great, but no way are we getting in there for that little money. Places that have inventory in that price range ( Billerica, Chelmsford, Tewksbury) are starting to stretch how much commuting I can tolerate. I do about 45 mins each way now and I would really like to shorten that if possible. I fear that Malden will soon be overpriced too. My sister just bought there and it took them awhile to find a house that they didn't lose a bidding war for. Everything was going for stupid amounts over asking price.

mozar

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Re: Bummed about house prices - the Massachusetts Edition
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2015, 05:53:20 PM »
I live near
« Last Edit: May 10, 2018, 12:53:31 PM by mozar »

cynthia1848

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Re: Bummed about house prices - the Massachusetts Edition
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2015, 06:35:32 PM »
I would just set your search criteria and stick to it.  THere may be more coming on the market in the next couple of months.

I have a friend who bought near Concord (further out) for cheap, 325K, but the location is not ideal.

dragoncar

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Re: Bummed about house prices - the Massachusetts Edition
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2015, 11:00:53 PM »
How do the rent vs. buy numbers look?  I know for me, I paid more than I wanted to, but it came out so far ahead of renting my old apartment that I still felt good about it.

chemgeek

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Re: Bummed about house prices - the Massachusetts Edition
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2015, 06:26:58 AM »
How do the rent vs. buy numbers look?  I know for me, I paid more than I wanted to, but it came out so far ahead of renting my old apartment that I still felt good about it.

That's part of the problem. We're really spoiled right now! We are renting a 2-bedroom from my parents ( who own a 4-family) in the middle of Somerville for the highly discounted rate of $600/mo. If we could keep this rent forever, it would never make sense to buy. Once we move though, my parents are planning on most likely selling the house as part of their retirement plans, so squatting here forever isn't an option. At this rate, we probably will stay in this apartment through a first baby, but after that we will either be looking to buy or need a bigger apartment.

Another Reader

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Re: Bummed about house prices - the Massachusetts Edition
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2015, 07:20:12 AM »
Would buying the 4-family from your parents work?  I don't know the area, but it might be a good way to get into the market, especially if you can get the other three units to pay most or all of the mortgage.  With some time, you may build enough equity that you can extract it and buy a single family.

aspiring

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Re: Bummed about house prices - the Massachusetts Edition
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2015, 07:22:10 AM »
Your parents have given you a huge gift. $600 for a 2 bedroom in Somerville is unheard of. Most start at $2k per month. Take the $1400 you're saving and bank it.  Your future housing costs will be over $2k so you should get into the habit of spending that amount.

With income at $140k, no kids (read: no childcare expenses) and rent of $600/month you should be swimming in cash and able to save another $40 k for 2016 spring housing market (when this crazy overpriced bubble may have eased anyway).

The prices are daunting but you can do it. Good luck!


mskyle

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Re: Bummed about house prices - the Massachusetts Edition
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2015, 07:49:13 AM »
Wow, that is indeed an amazing rent - I'm super-jealous, living in Somerville in a 1-bed and paying more than twice as much and I think we're getting a great deal, too.

I'm seconding the idea of at least talking to your parents about buying the house. Are all the units 2-bed or is there a larger unit you could move into? Or are the units such that you could expand into two of them? I don't know what neighborhood it's in, either, and that makes a difference, and with prices as insane as they are in Somerville right now it might be unfair to your parents to not let them sell it at the current crazy prices. But maybe worth talking to them about it.

I'm a North Shore native and I definitely prefer those suburbs, but you're right, commuting to Natick from Danvers would be madness. (I know! I did it for a month! One of several reasons that contract job did not work out.)

Basically I think you need to sit tight... if you're going to stay in your current apartment until your second kid is born and you don't have a first kid yet, you have a lot of time to think about this. And with $600 a month in rent and your income level you have the ability to save a ton of money. You have at least two years before you "need" to move (need is in quotes on purpose). Even if you only saved the difference between your rent and market rent (let's say $1000, conservatively) you would have an additional $24K in the bank before you needed to move. I bet you can save a lot more.

chemgeek

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Re: Bummed about house prices - the Massachusetts Edition
« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2015, 10:14:24 AM »
@ mskye: I admire you for doing Danvers to Natick for even just a month! My sister-in-law did North Andvoer to Natick every day for almost 2 years before they started a family and she left work. I have NO idea how she dealt with that.  I commute on the Pike and don't mind that, but 128 drives me batty.

My parents house is assessed at $800,000. Thanks to gentrification, property taxes are fairly high (10k last year). If we bought it, we'd have to evict the current tenants or seriously go up on their rents to get a reasonable mortgage. Growing up, my parents used the top two floors as one unit, so it would be perfectly possible to raise a family in it. But, watching my dad deal with tenants , I'm not sure that's for us. Landlording, especially if you share the building, seems like a big PITA. It's been interesting and disheartening to have grown up in Somerville and seen how much has changed, especially the last 5 years or so. Many people think it's great, but the longtime residents have different views on the whole situation.

We are definitely saving money quickly. I was in grad school through May last year, and we decided to pay off my undergrad student loans right away so we paused house saving. We paid those off in February though so now we're really cooking on the down payment, tucking away at least $3,000 a month, most months more. If we're patient and actually wait till after a first baby ( which at the earliest would be July 2016) we'll definitely have a large down payment. Being patient is just hard! I'm also worried that even if we up the budget to $400,000, we're still going to lose out to people overbidding or throwing down all cash offers.


Vertical Mode

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Re: Bummed about house prices - the Massachusetts Edition
« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2015, 11:11:16 AM »
Agreed. House prices are quite high anywhere near Boston. I grew up here, and have seen the meteoric rise firsthand. Since my parents and I talk finance pretty openly, I happen to know that their house in the near suburbs has more than tripled in value since 1993. I always need to recalibrate when I see people around the forum talking about reasonable house prices. I'm also interested in this topic, so I'm posting to offer my .02 and to see what input others may have.

Holy smokes. $600/mo. for a 2-bed in Somerville?! That is a good deal.

A friend of mine works in Waltham and just bought in Framingham on a 1/2 acre for $259k, said he had generally found more affordable real estate out that way. He also has been doing some work on his place as he's living in it - I get the sense that there are more such opportunities in that area (since you indicated you'd be comfortable doing that). He also mentioned that he had some luck in Waltham, although the sale fell through because someone involved in the sale was pretty incompetent.

So, looking for relative ease of access to the Pike/128 and to Boston...I think you're on the right track with Waltham/Malden from what you've said. Medford might also be an option, I think there may still be some pockets that haven't caught up to what they're worth. If schools aren't at the top of your priorities right now, you may also want to look in Watertown, it isn't too difficult to get into the city from there and it's pretty convenient to the Pike. HOW does your husband commute to the city? If he were open to the idea, an added dimension to your analysis might include commuter rail access which could allow you to be very close to Framingham/Natick and avoid having to drive into the city from that distance.

Being patient and knowing what you're looking for will serve you well in finding an good situation. Sounds like you've gotten a great start. Good luck!

dragoncar

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Re: Bummed about house prices - the Massachusetts Edition
« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2015, 02:12:15 PM »
How do the rent vs. buy numbers look?  I know for me, I paid more than I wanted to, but it came out so far ahead of renting my old apartment that I still felt good about it.

That's part of the problem. We're really spoiled right now! We are renting a 2-bedroom from my parents ( who own a 4-family) in the middle of Somerville for the highly discounted rate of $600/mo. If we could keep this rent forever, it would never make sense to buy. Once we move though, my parents are planning on most likely selling the house as part of their retirement plans, so squatting here forever isn't an option. At this rate, we probably will stay in this apartment through a first baby, but after that we will either be looking to buy or need a bigger apartment.

OK, but how does buy vs. rent look when you compare paying market rent for a property similar to that you wish to buy?

aneel

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Re: Bummed about house prices - the Massachusetts Edition
« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2015, 02:37:21 PM »
Did you just start looking at zillow?  Many owners don't list in the awful weather, so check again in a month or 2 and you will probably see more listings, which are bound to include some more in your price range.  We opted for the further commute, lower cost option down south of Braintree.  And we've learned the commute was not worth it.

Noodle

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Re: Bummed about house prices - the Massachusetts Edition
« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2015, 05:22:16 PM »
I just found this very interesting article about the relative rise in income versus home prices around the country, and Boston is in the top ten markets where prices are growing much faster than incomes http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/03/27/the-cities-where-salaries-are-keeping-up-with-housing-prices-and-where-theyre-not/. And Boston properties have always been on the expensive side in a national context.

Wile E. Coyote

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Re: Bummed about house prices - the Massachusetts Edition
« Reply #15 on: April 01, 2015, 06:20:56 PM »
You should be able to find something in that price range in Framingham or Ashland, particularly if you are looking for a place that needs a bit of work.  But I agree with those saying stay where you are, and even after they sell, seriously consider renting.  Jobs change, plans change, having the flexibility of renting until you need to start sending your kid to school is worth considering.

chemgeek

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Re: Bummed about house prices - the Massachusetts Edition
« Reply #16 on: April 02, 2015, 05:36:28 PM »
Did you just start looking at zillow?  Many owners don't list in the awful weather, so check again in a month or 2 and you will probably see more listings, which are bound to include some more in your price range.  We opted for the further commute, lower cost option down south of Braintree.  And we've learned the commute was not worth it.

Does that mean you think a longer commute isn't worth the savings or the other way around?

How do the rent vs. buy numbers look?  I know for me, I paid more than I wanted to, but it came out so far ahead of renting my old apartment that I still felt good about it.

That's part of the problem. We're really spoiled right now! We are renting a 2-bedroom from my parents ( who own a 4-family) in the middle of Somerville for the highly discounted rate of $600/mo. If we could keep this rent forever, it would never make sense to buy. Once we move though, my parents are planning on most likely selling the house as part of their retirement plans, so squatting here forever isn't an option. At this rate, we probably will stay in this apartment through a first baby, but after that we will either be looking to buy or need a bigger apartment.

OK, but how does buy vs. rent look when you compare paying market rent for a property similar to that you wish to buy?

I hadn't really looked at rents in nearly 4 years since we've been renting from family... To get a 3-bedroom in the various towns would run us as little as $1700 in some places (where a $300,000 house is possible), closer in like Waltham $2,500-3,000 (houses >$400,000). With our insistence on 20% down, I think in either scenario the mortgage payment would be less than the rent, which is good to keep in mind.

It seems like in certain towns the asking prices (at least on Zillow) are a lot higher than what the towns have evaluated the houses at for tax purposes, in some cases there's nearly a $100,000 difference. Is this a warning sign or just how hot markets work?

RapmasterD

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Re: Bummed about house prices - the Massachusetts Edition
« Reply #17 on: April 02, 2015, 06:18:51 PM »

daymare

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Re: Bummed about house prices - the Massachusetts Edition
« Reply #18 on: April 02, 2015, 07:25:28 PM »
Aw, man.  I really sympathize because I grew up in the Boston area (in Concord), and my end game is definitely Boston  - I hope to move back in 3-4 years.  I am really not looking forward to the prices I'll have to deal with if I eventually buy.

Wile E. Coyote

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Re: Bummed about house prices - the Massachusetts Edition
« Reply #19 on: April 02, 2015, 07:56:49 PM »
It seems like in certain towns the asking prices (at least on Zillow) are a lot higher than what the towns have evaluated the houses at for tax purposes, in some cases there's nearly a $100,000 difference. Is this a warning sign or just how hot markets work?

Just look at houses that recently sold and then look at the price history on those houses.  You'll be able to see what people were asking and what they ultimately sold for.  The sales data is likley a few months old, but it's more reliable than what people are asking.

RetireAbroadAt35

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Re: Bummed about house prices - the Massachusetts Edition
« Reply #20 on: April 03, 2015, 02:38:10 PM »
With our insistence on 20% down, I think in either scenario the mortgage payment would be less than the rent, which is good to keep in mind.

There's much more to it than that.  Taxes, insurance, home maintenance and the returns you don't get from investing that 20%.  You should consider a true rent vs buy calculation so you know what buying is really costing you.

Dr. Doom

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Re: Bummed about house prices - the Massachusetts Edition
« Reply #21 on: April 03, 2015, 02:48:58 PM »
The nytimes has a decent full-featured rent versus buy calculator:
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/upshot/buy-rent-calculator.html

It includes variables like opportunity cost of down payment being invested instead of locked up in your house.

Anecdotal: I just sold my house in MA for 25% more than I paid for it in 2008.  Very few peoples' salaries have gone up by that percentage over the same period.

chemgeek

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Re: Bummed about house prices - the Massachusetts Edition
« Reply #22 on: April 05, 2015, 09:27:10 AM »
The nytimes has a decent full-featured rent versus buy calculator:
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/upshot/buy-rent-calculator.html

It includes variables like opportunity cost of down payment being invested instead of locked up in your house.

Anecdotal: I just sold my house in MA for 25% more than I paid for it in 2008.  Very few peoples' salaries have gone up by that percentage over the same period.

That rent vs. buy thing is pretty neat, thanks!

With our insistence on 20% down, I think in either scenario the mortgage payment would be less than the rent, which is good to keep in mind.

There's much more to it than that.  Taxes, insurance, home maintenance and the returns you don't get from investing that 20%.  You should consider a true rent vs buy calculation so you know what buying is really costing you.

I know there's a lot of extra costs with buying, but we want to buy for all the irrational reasons people buy houses, even if it technically costs us more. We just want to avoid overbuying on a house to minimize the difference, if there is one.

chops

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Re: Bummed about house prices - the Massachusetts Edition
« Reply #23 on: April 05, 2015, 10:10:28 AM »
I lived in the Boston area for 5 years.  Couldn't deal with the crazy high renting OR buying prices both there and greater NE - so moved to the Mustachian Midwest!  Big 4 bedroom, 2000 sq ft houses are easily found >200k (fellow midwest mustachian taekvideo scored a 4 bedroom house down the street, literally, for $60k, but that was a superduper deal :), education is a priority and mustachian values are high, traffic is low, there are still lots of great companies out here to work at, etc. 

I realize this sort of change is outside of most people's comfort zones, and it was for me as well.  It was certainly not easy, especially since all my family/friends were VERY settled there in NE but so far, 4 months in, it has been a great move.  My fiance and I are dealing with hundreds of thousands of dollars of school loans with very high interest rates (up to 8.8%!) - so moving to a far lower COL region where we both found work opportunities is a huge step forward in terms of our financial and personal goals

Just wanted to bring a different perspective to the table which has worked for me so far!

Best of luck,

 - Chops

grsing

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Re: Bummed about house prices - the Massachusetts Edition
« Reply #24 on: April 05, 2015, 01:00:55 PM »
We bought last spring in Malden for pretty much what you're looking for, except that it's pretty much done in terms of remodeling (we've got some small changes we'd like to make, such as adding ceiling fans so we don't need AC, but it's very perfectly livable now). That was more than I'd like to pay ($430k), but less than the top of our budget. Given the parameters we were looking for (reasonable public transit commute for one of us, given that parking on Newbury St just isn't going to happen, single family home with some form of outdoor space, and a neighborhood we felt comfortable in, if not "nice"), we were pretty much resigned to spending about that much. We didn't have the luxury of waiting (lease was ending with the landlady from hell), so we jumped on this and were extremely lucky to win a 13 person bidding war first time out. Yes, we could have rented elsewhere, but this place ticked all the boxes and avoided double moving expenses, another agent fee for a rental, etc., and it's worked out quite well.

Best of luck, it is crazy here, and seeing other people talk about their nice $100k houses online doesn't make it feel any better.

waltworks

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Re: Bummed about house prices - the Massachusetts Edition
« Reply #25 on: April 05, 2015, 01:10:45 PM »
1: If you are grossing $140k, currently have no kids and live in a $600/mo apartment - you should have enough to buy a house with CASH in short order, let alone a measly 20% down. Assuming you have had your current jobs for a few years - WTF, you just managed to save up $40k?!? You could quite plausibly be saving that every 6 months without any horrible deprivation!

1.5: You need to post a case study, because you are somehow diverting the lava from your money volcano to wasteful overspending. Or we don't have the whole story here.

2: You should keep renting and saving money like mad, and then you should move somewhere else where houses don't cost a fortune. Or just keep renting and stay where you are. If prices seem crazy high it's probably because they are. You don't have to play that game. Kids grow up just fine in rentals. If you want to paint something a new color go help your friends paint *their* damn house. It gets old in about 15 minutes.

-W


chemgeek

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Re: Bummed about house prices - the Massachusetts Edition
« Reply #26 on: April 06, 2015, 10:03:43 AM »
1: If you are grossing $140k, currently have no kids and live in a $600/mo apartment - you should have enough to buy a house with CASH in short order, let alone a measly 20% down. Assuming you have had your current jobs for a few years - WTF, you just managed to save up $40k?!? You could quite plausibly be saving that every 6 months without any horrible deprivation!

1.5: You need to post a case study, because you are somehow diverting the lava from your money volcano to wasteful overspending. Or we don't have the whole story here.

2: You should keep renting and saving money like mad, and then you should move somewhere else where houses don't cost a fortune. Or just keep renting and stay where you are. If prices seem crazy high it's probably because they are. You don't have to play that game. Kids grow up just fine in rentals. If you want to paint something a new color go help your friends paint *their* damn house. It gets old in about 15 minutes.

-W



I went straight from undergrad to a PhD program that I finished last May. I've only been working since June. From last June to this coming June, between the house account/401k/student loan repayment we'll have "saved" 50% of what our gross earnings were. We could obviously tighten our belts even further, but I'm comfortable with our savings rate at the moment.

I lived in the Boston area for 5 years.  Couldn't deal with the crazy high renting OR buying prices both there and greater NE - so moved to the Mustachian Midwest!  Big 4 bedroom, 2000 sq ft houses are easily found >200k (fellow midwest mustachian taekvideo scored a 4 bedroom house down the street, literally, for $60k, but that was a superduper deal :), education is a priority and mustachian values are high, traffic is low, there are still lots of great companies out here to work at, etc. 

I realize this sort of change is outside of most people's comfort zones, and it was for me as well.  It was certainly not easy, especially since all my family/friends were VERY settled there in NE but so far, 4 months in, it has been a great move.  My fiance and I are dealing with hundreds of thousands of dollars of school loans with very high interest rates (up to 8.8%!) - so moving to a far lower COL region where we both found work opportunities is a huge step forward in terms of our financial and personal goals

Just wanted to bring a different perspective to the table which has worked for me so far!

Best of luck,

 - Chops


 I definitely understand why people do it, but moving isn't for us. We both lived out of the area for college, but now that we're seriously thinking about kids we're staying put.  The helping hands of nearby family and the ability to visit with cousins and grandparents at the drop of the hat is not something I can put a defined price tag on.

anastrophe

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Re: Bummed about house prices - the Massachusetts Edition
« Reply #27 on: April 06, 2015, 10:22:28 AM »
I know there's a lot of extra costs with buying, but we want to buy for all the irrational reasons people buy houses, even if it technically costs us more.

So that's the essence of your question, right there. Either it makes financial sense or it doesn't, and in the metro Boston area unless you are fabulously wealthy it is probably never going to make financial sense to buy a house as long as values behave like this. (I believe they may crash, but who knows when and how much.)

If it doesn't make financial sense, and you want to do it anyways for emotional reasons, it doesn't make sense to ask for permission for that decision from a bunch of people on a finance forum. That's your decision--how much do the emotional factors outweigh the financial ones? Nobody can answer that for you.

waltworks

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Re: Bummed about house prices - the Massachusetts Edition
« Reply #28 on: April 06, 2015, 10:29:53 AM »
Yeah, the answer is: buying a house is a horrible financial decision for you, at least right now. That doesn't mean it's not a good decision overall, of course, but nobody can tell you whether or not you'll be happier in the aggregate with more house/less money, or vise versa.

-W

Another Reader

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Re: Bummed about house prices - the Massachusetts Edition
« Reply #29 on: April 06, 2015, 10:40:55 AM »
Given prices and your current finances, buying the 4-family from your parents still makes a lot of sense.  With three units rented, you should qualify on the net rental income plus your income.  Over time, rents will go up, and you can use the equity and income to buy a single family later when you are more financially secure.  Your parents could discount the price by the commission they would pay to sell it on the open market, giving you some up front equity.  This location is commutable to both your jobs and schools are not an issue today.  Is it the house of your dreams?  No, but you can't really afford that right now.

RelaxedGal

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Re: Bummed about house prices - the Massachusetts Edition
« Reply #30 on: April 06, 2015, 12:28:48 PM »
No advice, just commiseration.  We bought our house in 2004, knowing full well it was a bubble.  My husband worked in Marlborough, MA while I was in Beverly, MA.  No public transit options, Lexington was equidistant but insanely expensive.  We looked for a while at Waltham but anything in our price range ($300,000-$350,000) was too much work for us.  We looked for a while in Billerica and settled in Chelmsford.  We didn't get everything on our list: we got 3 bedrooms and 1 bathroom, but no garage, no fireplace, unfinished basement.  Zillow Zestimate is still $70K below our purchase price.

Great savings rate, you'll get there soon.  In the meantime look at fixer-uppers.

golden1

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Re: Bummed about house prices - the Massachusetts Edition
« Reply #31 on: April 06, 2015, 12:35:26 PM »
Yeah, this area is crazy!  We bought in our town in 1999 for $230K and I thought that price was outrageous back then, but I wanted to be close to family and in a decent school district.  The flip side is that now our house is valued at about $410-450K.  It isn't anything fancy by any stretch, but the plan is to pay it off, then sell it once the kids are out of the house and buy something out further west that is cheaper. 

In your case, unless you are getting a lot of heat from your parents to move, I'd hang tight for a few more years and keep cramming money away.  Right now, the market is not a great place for buyers IMO.   

gimp

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Re: Bummed about house prices - the Massachusetts Edition
« Reply #32 on: April 06, 2015, 12:42:54 PM »
Yeah, this area is crazy!  We bought in our town in 1999 for $230K and I thought that price was outrageous back then, but I wanted to be close to family and in a decent school district.  The flip side is that now our house is valued at about $410-450K.  It isn't anything fancy by any stretch, but the plan is to pay it off, then sell it once the kids are out of the house and buy something out further west that is cheaper. 

In your case, unless you are getting a lot of heat from your parents to move, I'd hang tight for a few more years and keep cramming money away.  Right now, the market is not a great place for buyers IMO.   

So it's been 16 years and your house price has doubled? That's around 4.5% growth a year - outpacing inflation, but not by terribly much. Just want to keep that in perspective :)

chemgeek

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Re: Bummed about house prices - the Massachusetts Edition
« Reply #33 on: April 06, 2015, 01:30:24 PM »
Yeah, this area is crazy!  We bought in our town in 1999 for $230K and I thought that price was outrageous back then, but I wanted to be close to family and in a decent school district.  The flip side is that now our house is valued at about $410-450K.  It isn't anything fancy by any stretch, but the plan is to pay it off, then sell it once the kids are out of the house and buy something out further west that is cheaper. 

In your case, unless you are getting a lot of heat from your parents to move, I'd hang tight for a few more years and keep cramming money away.  Right now, the market is not a great place for buyers IMO.   

My mom keeps telling us there's no rush and to be patient. I think my parents would be perfectly happy to have another grandchild living in the building :)