Bostonians are on the move, whether that be from Massachusetts to another state, or just from one home to another in a neighboring community. Recent trends show that the “urban shuffle” that started during the beginning of the pandemic has continued here in Boston, even as it’s become harder to buy a home.
Boston is one of the most expensive cities in the country to be both a homeowner and a renter. It’s not a surprise then that many residents are opting to move out to nearby cities like Portland, Maine, or even further away to Southern states. In a recent Boston.com poll, many readers nearing retirement age said they’ve made up their minds to move out of a city once they leave the workforce.
Despite the desire to move, it can be hard to actually make it happen. It can be difficult enough to find a place you love, but it’s also a financial strain to close the deal. The average long-term U.S. mortgage rate is back under 7%, but still more than double where it was at this time last year.
First-year homeownership expenses like down payments and closing costs are also on the rise nationwide, according to SmartAsset. Here in Boston, the average first-year cost for a homebuyer in the city is $201,833. These factors have stalled the moving process for a number of Boston.com readers. Stephanie from Arlington said she and her partner have paid off all their student and car loans and have a decent income, but still can’t afford to move.
“We hoped to buy a house or condo in Greater Boston once we had kids. But with the high cost of rent, we can never seem to save up enough for a down payment, and even if we had the requisite 20%, the monthly payments would have been out of our price range entirely,” she told Boston.com. “The goalposts keep moving. With [the] finances that we have right now, we could have afforded to buy a home on the market as it was maybe five or six years ago. It’s a crushing combination of unjustifiably high rent and a housing market that is nothing short of unbelievable.”
We want to know: Have you tried to move and hit roadblocks or have you been successful in finding a new home? Were your attempts to move stalled by any complications or high costs in the housing market? How have recent attempts compared to the previous moves you’ve made?
Tell us about your recent experiences buying, selling, or renting your home by filling out the survey below or e-mailing us at [email protected] and we may feature your response in a future article.