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paletexan

How can regular folks afford the NW suburbs?

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I have been considering a move to the Boston Metro area in proximity to my suburban office and the city; the areas of Winchester or Lexington seem attractive geographically. However, it's near impossible to find a decent newer single family home under 750k. It appears as if the area is more expensive than comparable metro neighborhoods in California!

I would love to get some local opinions on how to afford housing in the area; and if there are nearby, more affordable alternatives.

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I lived in MA for a year and a 1/2 in 2002/2003 and the only part of the state where cost of living is even somewhat comparable to the urban cores of NC is the western 1/2, although there are pockets of extremes even out there. I wasn't in the market for buying a home when I was there, just renting, but I think even 2 bedrooms in Worcester, which many folks consider to be the western edge of the Boston metro averaged like $1000+ a month 7/8 years ago....and Worcester isn't that pretty in my opinion. I ended up in the Athol/Orange area, about 75 miles west of Boston in a small struggling former mill town where 2 bedrooms were like $600-$700/mo. It seems to me like in MA you pay for location, even if the property itself is ancient and in need of total renovation. The Springfield area isn't bad pricewise but that's way out there north of Hartford. Good luck with your search!

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Here are pics of the two major shopping areas of the Athol/Orange area of MA where I lived circa 2002/2003:

Hannaford Shopping Center:

Orange1.jpg

Orange Wal-Mart:

Orange2.jpg

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