Buying A House In Massachusetts: Facts & Tips
Emma Tomsich6-Minute Read
October 08, 2020
From world-famous seafood to top-notch universities and bustling city life with exceptional sports, history and things to do, Massachusetts has a lot to offer current and potential residents.
So if you’re thinking of moving to the Bay State, it’s time you consider your options and begin your research. Here’s everything you need to know about buying a house in Massachusetts, including real estate tips, listings and market trend reports.
Why Buy A House In Massachusetts?
Massachusetts real estate can be a great investment. As the most populous state in the New England region, there are plenty rental opportunities available right now. Not to mention, Massachusetts’ strong job market and high appreciation and cash flow are sure to bring in a strong return on investment (ROI). Although Massachusetts is currently thriving as a seller’s market, these real estate trends depend on the overall housing market.
If you’re looking to invest in the Massachusetts market, it’s important you know what cities have the best value.
At the top of our list is Boston. Boston is the largest city in Massachusetts with a population of about 4.3 billion. It’s one of the fastest-growing cities in the Bay State, offering many opportunities for employment in the city’s colleges, universities, hospitals and other booming businesses. Boston is also known for its tourism, which brings in a strong cash flow and plenty of visitors. The median list price of homes in Boston is $739,837, which has increased 5.9% since last year.
Worcester is the second most populous city in Massachusetts. It’s located 40 miles west of Boston, and is named “The Heart of the Commonwealth” because of its location in central Massachusetts. Worcester is known for its culture which includes science, nature, history and art museums. The city’s many booming industries include manufacturing, trade, biotechnology, insurance and health care. The median list price of homes in Worcester is $284,895, which has increased 11.6% since last year.
Named “the City of Presidents,” Quincy is known for being the birthplace of John Adams and his son John Quincy Adams, as well as John Hancock, president of the Continental Congress and first signer of the Declaration of Independence. This historical city is part of Metropolitan Boston and is one of its immediate southern suburbs. With a population of just under 100,000 residents, Quincy is the eighth-largest city in Massachusetts. It’s famous for its granite industry, railways and shipbuilding, and is also the birthplace of Dunkin Donuts. The median list price of homes in Quincy is $529,741, which has increased 7.8% since last year.
If you’re interested in moving to a city with a promising job market and a rapidly growing real restate scene, look no further than Newton. With a population of about 89,000, Newton is the perfect Bay State city to build or buy a house for rentals. Popular industries here include educational services, health care, and scientific and technical services. These industries, as well as Newton’s steady economic growth, are attracting many new residents and steadily increasing the housing demand. The median list price of homes in Newton is $1,100,410, which has increased 5.2% since last year.
If you’re looking for an affordable city to move to or invest in, Brockton is the perfect place for you. Located south of Boston on the eastern side of the state, Brockton has a population of almost 96,000, making it the seventh largest city in the state. Named the “City of Champions,” Brockton is the native city of boxers Rocky Marciano and Marvin Hagler. Its popular industries include health care, retail trade, and accommodation and food services. Brockton has one of the fastest-growing economies in Massachusetts, and its real estate market is on the rise, too. The median list price for homes in Brockton is $340,303, an increase of 9.7% since last year.
Things To Know About Buying A House In Massachusetts
If you’re thinking about buying a house in Massachusetts, it’s important to know that Massachusetts’ laws make it easy to buy property in the state. Here are some important rules and regulations you should be aware of.
Dual Agency Is Permitted
Massachusetts is one of very few states where dual agency is permitted. Dual agency means that buyers and sellers can be represented by the same agent.
Signing A Contract Is A 2-Step Process
In Massachusetts, before you sign a final contract you first need to write up an offer on a standard form before signing the purchase and sale (P&S) agreement.
Your Offer Is Binding
When buying real estate in Massachusetts, your initial offer is a legal and binding contract. Therefore, in order to protect yourself, it’s important that you make your offer a contingent offer.
Seller Disclosure Forms Are Not Required
While in most states closing disclosure forms are required, in Massachusetts disclosure is only needed for lead paint.
Attorneys Are Required At Closing
In most states it’s not required that a lawyer be present at closing, but in Massachusetts it is. It’s imperative that a lawyer be present at closing to help draft and negotiate the P&S, perform the title search, prepare documents and assist with other steps of the closing process.
Winter Is Often The Cheapest Time To Buy
Because most people sell their homes in the spring months, sellers who put their houses on the market in the winter are more likely to be doing so out of necessity. As a result, winter is often the best time for buyers to catch a deal.
Requirements For Buying A House In Massachusetts
Requirements to buy a house in Massachusetts are standard. Let’s take a closer look these requirements and give a brief explanation of each.
- Good credit – Good credit means that a borrower’s credit score is relatively high, and they are safe credit risk. When analyzing a borrower’s credit history, a good credit score can be considered anything higher than 670. Credit scores ranging from 670 – 739 are also good, while credit scores ranging from 740 – 799 are very good. Borrowers with a credit score of 800 or higher are exceptionally good.
- Low debt-to-income ratio – Having a low debt-to-income ratio means that a borrower has a good balance between their debt and their income, making sure that a percentage of their income goes to pay off their debt each month.
- Financial documentation – In order to buy a house, it’s important that a borrower can prove that they have enough money to pay their mortgage. If a borrower has all of their financial documents in order, the mortgage lending and home purchasing processes will go much faster. Some examples of financial documentation that a borrower might be required to provide are pay stubs, tax returns, bank statements and W-2s.
- Appraisal – All lenders require an appraisal be conducted during the mortgage lending process in order to determine the market value of a property. This confirms that they amount of money they requested from a borrower is sufficient.
- Down payment – In order to move forward smoothly with the purchasing process, it’s essential for you as a buyer to have a sufficient down payment. A good down payment will prove to banks and lenders that you’re capable of affording your future home and won’t default on any payments. Most lenders require that borrowers make a minimum down payment of 3.5% of the purchase price.
The Bottom Line On Buying A House In Massachusetts
If you’re planning to buy a house in Massachusetts now or in the near future, the best way to ensure a smooth home buying process is to work with a SM .
Get the right home loan for you.
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