Most real estate surveys of the best towns to buy a home in take a winners/losers approach based on where prices are rising or falling.
NerdWallet looked at things a bit differently and came up with some surprising results.
The San Francisco-based financial advice website, using an array of federal and market stats, went on the hunt for vibrant, growing towns across Massachusetts that are ideal for homeowners.
Topping the list was Wilmington, a town of 22,350 of 17 miles north of Boston that hardly ever pops up on anyone's list. The median home price in Wilmington, home to the Boston Bruins training rink, is $378,900.
The town boasts a home ownership rate of nearly 90 percent, tops in Massachusetts. Moreover, median housing costs in Wilmington are $2,228 a month, a relatively affordable 27 percent of median monthly income ($8,252).
Here's NerdWallet's writeup on Wilmington:
Wilmington continues to see a steady increase in home sales with the state's highest home ownership rate at 89.8 percent and monthly costs that only take up 27 percent of median household income. Boasting of a short commute to Boston and a full range of municipal services, this city is a great place to lay down roots. The community is also drawing new businesses and offers classes and sports for kids and adults through the city recreations department. The town is also home to the Ristuccia Memorial Arena, the training center for the Boston Bruins hockey team.
The rest of the top five, in order, are: Franklin, home ownership rate of just under 80 percent and housing costs just under 30 percent of median income; Reading, home ownership rate of 82 percent and housing costs just over 30 percent; Burlington, home ownership rate of over 71 percent and one of the lowest residential taxes in the area; and Hudson, which boasts a relatively affordable median home price of just over $290,000.
Rounding out spots 6 through 20 are: Wakefield, Randolph, Lexington, Methuen. Longmeadow, Winchester, Braintree, Saugus, Abington, Danvers, Dedham, Milton, Somerset, Wellesley and Milford.
What towns are on your bargain list?
The author is solely responsible for the content.