Melony Swasey of Good Boston Living Reflects on Boston's Real Estate Market

Monday, April 22, 2013 10:12 AM | Wonder Women of Boston (Administrator)

Boston's real estate market is in full resurgence, and women are a key part of it. You can be too...

Nationally, over the past decade, single women alone have been the fastest growing segment of homebuyers, making up as much as 22% of the homebuying population. That's no joke. 

Whether we're in our mid-twenties or of retiring age, women face any number of questions: Do I buy with my significant other or independently? How long do I need to save up? Can I buy a multi-family or other income-generating property? Who do I think I am to be buying property in the first place?

While I'm an advocate of owning property independently as women (indeed, we get to have more than a "room of one's own"), there are many paths to homeownership, including with relatives and friends. The key goal is to have a solid asset that grows with youespecially in a vibrant real estate market such as Greater Boston's. In order to accomplish that, you'll want informed, savvy advising.

What many don't know is that it's never been so affordable, and accessible, to buy property. With interest rates still at an all-time historical low and a simultaneous precipitous rise in rents, for many, it's actually cheaper to buy than to continue to rent.
Here are a few typical misconceptions about buying real estate:
  • I need a 20% downpayment. In fact, reputable and popular loan programs such as MassHousing's allow you to purchase with as little as 3% down.
  • Property taxes make it too expensive. In fact, on a Boston homeowner’s primary residence, the City of Boston exempts a portion of the annual property taxes, issuing an effective discount, currently about $1,700.
  • It's cheaper if I don't use a realtor. In fact, you don’t pay your buyers agent; she gets paid from the proceeds of the sale via the seller’s agent. And her role is to get you the best price and terms based on your priorities. If the seller has that working for them, you certainly should to.
A strong realtor, and the team she assembles, will equip you with the informed edge you need to succeed in a competitive, sought-after market that's worth being a part of.

Want to learn more, in an engaging and interactive environment? Join me for the May 9 workshop, Boston Women Owning Real Estate, hosted by Wonder Women of Boston. We'll cover the following:
  • benefits of buying versus renting in Boston's current market
  • what it takes to buy property these days (it's more in reach than you think)
  • how to find out with certainty what you can afford
  • pointers for first-time buyers
  • how to use your realtor
  • for investors: a brainstorm worksheet


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