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Is Greater Boston worth the price?

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis July 18, 2013 11:04 AM

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It's a lament we heard a lot during the bubble years. And as home prices move relentlessly upward during this summer of sizzling weather, we are starting to hear it again as well.

If you are young, relatively unattached, and making a decent living, you can buy do amazing things in other, far less expensive markets, such as fixing up an old Victorian or buying a super spacious suburban home, that could put you out several hundred thousand to a million here in the Boston area.

Think Pittsburgh, Charlotte or Dallas.

Here's a taste of what Bynxers had to say the other day on the comment board of this blog - it lays out nicely the pros and cons of living in one of country's more coveted metro markets.

Its simply a fact of life. The Bostons, DCs, SFs, NYCs, LAs, etc. of the country are going to make you settle for less for the "privilege" of living there. High "quality of life", culture, jobs, etc.- whatever the reason.

Read on - you might be surprised at the ending.

Here's Bynxers:

I have friends, former classmates, formers colleagues, etc. all throughout much of the South and parts of the "Rust Belt".

One of my closest friends in Austin (suburbs) lives right near Lake Travis and has an absolutely gorgeous home with a pool and outdoor kitchen to pine over. Then its a quick drive into the city for amazing food and some of the best music you'll ever hear (if you enjoy country).

Another friend moved to NC, thought it was totally over rated and had a horrible experience with a home owners assoc. and then went on to Nashville (suburbs) and is living the suburban "white picket fence dream" with his family.

Another is in Pittsburgh, where she has completely remodeled an old Victorian in what is the Boston equivalent of (closest I can think of) JP.

They have all done these things at the same cost or less of what it would cost for me and my family to get into a small cape or a raised ranch (most or all needing work)in most suburban Boston North Shore, MetroWest or South Shore towns.

Its simply a fact of life. The Bostons, DCs, SFs, NYCs, LAs, etc. of the country are going to make you settle for less for the "privilege" of living there. High "quality of life", culture, jobs, etc.- whatever the reason.

But if you are educated, have good skills, and are willing to NOT be attached or settle on living in or around such "amazing" places like SF, Boston, DC, etc. There are places in states like Texas, PA, the Carolinas, etc. where you can live like a king/ queen. Its all about the tradeoffs.

Here's some of the reasons I don't mind staying here:
-the history
-never being more than 20 minutes from a beach (if you pick your geography well)
-Being able to take quick trips to: Maine, the White Mountains, Vermont, Quebec/ Montreal, the Cape, Maritime Canada (PEI, etc.), Newport, the Berkshires, or playing tourist at home and taking the train into Boston.
-winter and snow (I love it and I hit the slopes regularly)
-cheap seafood ($5/lb lobster or $2/lb clams are unheard of in most places!)
Its all about tradeoffs. In many other places- people may have a hard time coming up with a list like that. Or they may not... it all depends on what floats your boat.

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com 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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