I figure that my first post should help my readers understand where I’m coming from – literally. Last winter marked two years of skimming the real estate ads on a couple of sites, and watching prices fall, and fall, and fall…until we could afford something utterly fantastic. We ended up in Ryal Side, a south Beverly neighborhood, after 2 months of house hunting. At one showing, I climbed a driveway in my Columbia Ice Dragon boots, and then pulled our agent and my girlfriend up the slick ice while holding onto a fencepost. It was worth it; it was hard, but we got an amazing deal – the seller was motivated, the market was stagnant, and we held most of the cards.
There are two groups of people in particular who should give Beverly and Salem a good, hard look.
The first are the folks who are clinging to their ridiculously expensive apartments in places like Arlington and Cambridge. The commuter rail puts you in North Station in 30 minutes from the Beverly Depot, and more trains run on that line than on any other in greater Boston. If you aren’t in a position to pay half a million dollars or more for a condo, and you want great restaurants, diverse neighborhoods, things to do, and space of your own, you need to see Salem and Beverly. The tax break will pay for your commute, and lower-end real estate in Cambridge, Arlington, and even Somerville and Jamaica Plain often…well…
The second group is people relocating to Mass. It’s beautiful on the North Shore, and convenient, and AFFORDABLE. You can be ½ hour from downtown Boston, and 10 minutes from the beach, with excellent Indian, Japanese, and Mexican food within walking distance. Urban Mass. can murder your budget quick, or drive you inland – and if you see my little slice of heaven, you won’t settle for that! One place we looked at was snatched up by a family from out of state who bought it sight unseen – I think the guy had a friend from high school check it out for him. Sounds nice, but I doubt there were any other 3 bedroom houses for $240k that were as cute as that one – not in a neighborhood that’s popping like historic Salem. I’ll let you know what’s going on down there later this week…now I’m curious.