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Better have a fallback town

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis April 7, 2014 10:05 AM

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Hung up on buying into a particularly hip or hot neighborhood or suburb?

Better get over it.  Stubborn, status-seeking buyers are likely to wind up disappointed this spring.

Competition is fierce, with lots of buyers and, once again, not enough sellers ready to part with their homes. The result is rock bottom inventory - a basic market stat that combines the number of unsold properties with the level of demand.

If you're smart, line up a fallback town - or two or three, for that matter.

Along those lines, here are some helpful hints culled from a couple recent chats I had with brokers and a pair of decent market overview stories that appeared this weekend in the Globe.

This piece, in the new Address section, delves in making the right bid; a second story, in Business, looks closely at how the shortage of homes for sale and how it is affecting buyers.

Inner suburbs: Buyers priced out of Cambridge and Somerville could check out Watertown, though that play is getting old now too, with prices rising fast. That could make Waltham the next hot spot in the inner burbs, Tom Acitelli, the editor of the Curbed Boston website, tells the Globe.

And that's just for starters - check out this quote from that same piece - it is packed with potential fallback ideas.

"If you're thinking Brookline, try thinking Jamaica Plain; or if you want the South End, consider South Boston. If you're in Jamaica Plain and you're still not getting what you want, try Roslindale," Gibson Sotheby's David Bates, who is also the voice behind the Bates Real Estate blog.

On the South Shore: Quincy is suddenly red hot, with an average of 7 offers per home sold, Redfin reports. That's made Weymouth a more affordable alternative for some buyers. Meanwhile, buyers priced out of Hingham are now looking to Hanover and Norwell.

In the western suburbs: South Natick, a bucolic and historic section of Natick, makes for a more affordable alternative to Wellesley. Natick is also hot now as well now, making Framingham the next stop down the line.

In the southern burbs: Norfolk has long been a fallback town for Medfield.

Merrimack Valley: Bradford, a college-town like section of Haverhill on the other side from the city center on the Merrimack River, wound up being the fallback town for a couple that had been looking in Andover, according to this Globe piece. Sadly, Bradford College is long gone, but the neighborhood's charm persists.

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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