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A Million to Spend but Nothing to Show

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis July 28, 2014 12:34 PM

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So how crazy competitive is the downtown Boston real state market?

Well meet "Bill." A contractor who can spend up to a million on a condo, Bill can't seem to land anything he's ready to call home.

After selling his house in Winchester, Bill is renting a place in Charlestown to live in while he pokes around the Boston market in hopes of landing his waterfront dream pad.

But after a tough spring, Bill has decided to take take a break from intensive condo hunting this summer while he collects his thoughts and plans his next move.

Deep-pocketed foreign buyers and cash buyers were all over the market, making it hard to compete at times this spring, he notes.

While Bill says he's prepared to put 30 percent or even 40 percent down, other bidders were coming in offering 50 percent or more, and that gave them an edge. 

Cash is king when it comes to wooing sellers.

"Sellers are very conscious of that," he points out.

And condos that hit the market in the various luxury high-rises downtown seemed always to draw a crowd of Euro buyers.

"The spring market was delayed and then it turned into a feeding frenzy," he recalls.

What Bill has discovered so far is that the South End is "untouchable" and Charlestown is "extremely hot," with the Back Back fortunately a little less insane.

"The South End is rocketing, with multiple bids and multiple properties going for over asking," he says.

All that said, Bill is determined to find something on the waterfront, despite the competition and dearth of listings out there.

But he's not ready to settle for anything - he wants at least a thousand square feet or it's a no go.

I was going to say beggars can't be choosers, but if you have a million to spend, that somehow doesn't fit. Yes, inventory is tight in downtown Boston and the balance of power certainly doesn't favor buyers, yet if you are ready and able to spend a million on a condo, that's certainly something. Or it it?

After all, maybe a million just isn't what it used to be anymore when you are talking about downtown Boston?

What's your take?

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

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

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