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Deals still possible as prices rise

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis January 27, 2014 05:49 AM

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I was going to headline this "Happy in Maynard" but I think there is a larger point here.

"Joe" and his wife are happily settling into a Maynard cape they snagged for less than $300,000. The median price in town hit $319,000 at the end of November, a 16.3 percent increase over 2012, The Warren Group reports.

In the end it came down to a choice between Maynard and Norwood ($355,000). Natick, where the median price now tops $445,000, proved to be too expensive.

The sellers were in the middle of a divorce, a life circumstance that while sad, also meant they were highly motivated to move things along, even if it meant making some significant concessions.

Do here's Joe:

Hi Scott,

The house hunting went well. We were hoping to find something in Natick, but realistically, it came down to Norwood and Maynard. We visited both towns at least twice before going to open houses. We were living in Roslindale, so Norwood was closer and we saw a bit more of Norwood than Maynard. Originally, I'm from Roslindale and my wife is from Watertown. Now we're in farm country and we are just fine with that.

We liked that both Maynard and Norwood (and Natick) had downtown areas. Other towns that we looked at, such as Millis, didn't have that community center. We also thought about work commute, supermarkets, and ice cream parlors/stands. As far as the work commute goes, I had to adjust my work hours to 7:30-4:00 so I'd stay out of rush hour traffic.

The house we bought is on route 117 in Maynard, so it's a busy street. But we have a good size backyard that's fully fenced in. I think we lucked-out on our neighbors, they're nice...and quiet. We're about a 15-20 minute walk to Maynard center.

The kitchen and bath need remodeling along with other DIY projects in most rooms of the house, but every house that we looked at needed work. And with low inventory, we weren't in a position to be picky when we found something half-decent.

Here's the best part (actually two parts):

1. We bought the house for roughly 9% below asking price. The couple that owned the house were in the middle of a divorce and they just wanted the deal done. I think we were handed the keys about 6 weeks after the open house. From what I've read; that's pretty quick. What helped us get the deal done is that we had all our ducks in a row; our paperwork, our money, and our people.

2. Our mortgage! I think I'm as equally happy about our mortgage as I am with being a first time homeowner. We put down a 12% payment with a 30 year fixed rate mortgage at 3.875%. This rate is a PMI buyout rate, something I had never heard about before and I still don't hear about. Why is that?

The rates haven't been lower since the day we locked in our rate in early May. I think the following week, rates went up and they haven't looked back.

That's my home buying story in a nutshell.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
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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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