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She held her nose and bought!

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis January 31, 2013 06:29 AM

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Think before you scoff. Unless you are loaded, you too may just end up holding your nose and buying. Here in Greater Boston, even a modest house in need of repair can break the bank.

OK, maybe holding your nose is a bit of a stretch - though it was certainly an accurate description when my wife Karen and I bought our Natick fixer-upper a decade ago for $280,000. With its leaky toilet, worn carpet, and nicotine-darkened drapes and wallpaper, the house literally stank, though we also realized that it was a problem that could be solved with the application of some muscle power.

Having just spent $400,000 for a four-bedroom home in Melrose, Nasochkas (see comment board) nicely sums up the mixed feelings many middle-income buyers have as they stretch to gain a tenuous foothold in the Boston area's perpetually-inflated housing market.

The house is OK, but it took two professional incomes to afford it, Nasochkas notes. And she wonders how the working class couple who sold the house after living in it for two decades would be able to afford to buy in the this market.

We just bought our first home in Melrose. Its ok. I do not not absolutely love it but I like it enough. Its sad what 400K gets you in this state, but hey we got 4 bed, 2 bath, good space, decent condition though not super renovated, big though neglected yard. We will probably stay there for a long time.

The sad thing is we are two professionals with graduate degrees and we bought the house from two working class people who bought it 20 years ago. I do not know how working class people can afford this state whatsoever anymore. I am glad they got to sell, but what is the next generation to do? This state is ridiculous.

Certainly Boston-area buyers are often forced to look the other way, past defects that in many other, less hyper-inflated housing markets would probably sink or at least significant hurt a home's sales prospects.

And the crazy prices are also driving a fair amount of gentrification in the suburbs, much of it taking place below the radar screen.

Did you have to hold your nose when you bought your house? Are you ready to look past some defects, or are you determined to hold out for something better?

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About boston real estate now
Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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