Are you thinking about buying a Boston condo for sale but don’t know how to get started? This video is the ultimate guide for first-time buyers, no matter whether you’re looking for your dream home or a starter Boston condo or just want to be prepared.
This video covers everything from finding the right real estate agent and budgeting your finances, to getting pre-approved and understanding mortgages. It’s got all of the top tips and tricks that will make buying your first home an easy process!
Scroll below the video for additional information on Boston condos for sale for first time home buyers
Here are a few reasons why buying a Bostom condo may be something you’ll want to consider.
Supply challenges are a reality across the board in today’s housing market. Broadening your home search to include condos could increase your overall pool of options. Just keep in mind, condos generally differ from single-family homes in average space and floorplans.
In a recent article, Bankrate covers some of these differences:
“Condos are generally more affordable because they come with less space — you likely won’t have your own backyard, for example, and the interior tends to be smaller than the square footage of a single-family home.”
But if the size of a condominium meets your needs, they could match your budget as well. Data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows the difference in the median price for both housing types. For single-family homes, the median price is $363,800. And for condominiums, the median price is lower at $305,400.
So, if budget is top of mind for you, a condominium could be a great fit within your target price range.
Not to mention, buying a condo is a great way to break into the market and start building equity that can help power a future move up. The condo you purchase today may not be your forever home, but it can be a great stairstep that can help you buy your dream home later on.
In addition, owning and living in a condo is also a lifestyle choice. While it’s true they may be smaller than single-family homes, the amenities condos provide could be a draw for many buyers. Less space in your home might mean minimal upkeep, lower maintenance, and more time for you to spend doing the things you enjoy.
To understand if condo life is for you, Bankrate recommends asking yourself a few simple questions:
“Hate to mow the lawn and trim the hedges? What about pressure washing your driveway? Are your finances such that having to lay out $5,000 or more for a new roof will be a burden? . . . Condos tend to work best for those comfortable with most of the aspects of apartment living, minus the built-in maintenance.”
Ultimately, talking with an expert real estate advisor is the best first step to determining if condo living might work for you.
Condominiums are a great option for many buyers, especially those looking to buy their first home. If you’re willing to consider condos in your search, you could find something that’s in line with your target numbers and your needs. To learn more, let’s connect so you have an expert in the condo-buying process on your side.
Buying a Boston condo. There are many financial and non-financial benefits of homeownership, and the greatest financial one is wealth creation. Homeownership has always been the first rung on the ladder that leads to forming household wealth. As Freddie Mac explains:
“Homeownership has cemented its role as part of the American Dream, providing families with a place that is their own and an avenue for building wealth over time. This ‘wealth’ is built, in large part, through the creation of equity…Building equity through your monthly principal payments and appreciation is a critical part of homeownership that can help you create financial stability.”
Odeta Kushi, Deputy Chief Economist at First American, also notes:
“The wealth-building power of homeownership shows that home is not only where your heart is, but also where your wealth is…For the majority of households that transition into homeownership, the most recent data reinforces that housing is one of the biggest positive drivers of wealth creation.”
Last week, CoreLogic released their latest Homeowner Equity Insights Report, which reveals the surge in wealth created over the last twelve months through increased home equity. The report makes five key points:
- Roughly 38% of all homes are mortgage-free
- The average equity gain of mortgaged homes in the last year was $26,300
- The current average equity of mortgaged homes is greater than $200,000
- There was a 16.9% increase in total homeowner equity
- Total homeowner equity reached over $1.5 trillion
Here’s a map that shows the equity gains by state: Increasing equity is giving homeowners the power to better manage the challenges of the pandemic, especially for those spending more time at home. In the report, Frank Nothaft, Chief Economist for CoreLogic, explains:
“This equity growth has enabled many families to finance home remodeling, such as adding an office or study, further contributing to last year’s record level in home improvement spending.”
The financial advantage homeowners have has not gone unnoticed. In the same report, Frank Martell, President and CEO of CoreLogic, states:
“This growing bank of personal wealth that homeownership affords was noticed by many but in particular for first-time buyers who want a piece of the cake.”
Last year, the Rosen Consulting Group released a report outlining the benefits of homeownership. In that report, they explained what an increase in net worth – which they call the “wealth effect” – means to the economy:
“In economic literature, the wealth effect is a term used to describe the fact that individuals have a tendency to increase their spending habits when their actual or perceived wealth increases. For homeowners, the latent savings achieved by building equity in their home and the growth in home values over time both contribute to increased net worth. Through the wealth effect, this in turn translates to households having a greater ability and willingness to spend money across a wide range of other types of goods and services that spur business activity and provide a positive multiplier effect that creates jobs and income throughout the economy.”
If you are thinking about buying a Boston condo in the near future, you are probably getting a lot of advice from family, friends and Boston real estate brokers. But remember, family and friends may have your best interests at heart, they may not be fully aware of your needs and what is currently happening in the Boston condo market. Let’s look at whether or not now is actually a good time for you to buy a Boston condominium.
There are three questions you should ask before entering the Boston real estate market:
This truly is the most important question to answer. Forget the finances for a minute. Why did you even begin to consider purchasing a home? For most, the reason has nothing to do with finances. A study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University reveals that the four major reasons people buy a home have nothing to do with money:
• A good place to raise children and for them to get a good education.
• A place where you and your family feel safe.
• More space for you and your family.
• Control of the space.
What non-financial benefits will you and your family derive from owning a Boston condo? The answer to that question should be the biggest reason you decide to purchase a Boston property or not.
When looking at future housing values, Home Price Expectation Survey provides a fair assessment. Every quarter, Pulsenomics surveys a nationwide panel of over one hundred economists, real estate experts, and investment & market strategists about where prices are headed over the next five years. They then average the projections of all 100+ experts into a single number.
Here is what the experts projected in the latest survey:
• Home values will appreciate by 4% in 2015.
• The cumulative appreciation will be 23.5% by 2019.
• Even the experts making up the most bearish quartile of the survey still are projecting a cumulative appreciation of over 15.1% by 2019.
A Boston condo buyer must be concerned about more than just prices. The ‘long term cost’ of a condominium can be dramatically impacted by an increase in mortgage rates. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), the National Association of Realtors, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac have all projected that mortgage interest rates will increase by approximately one full percentage over the next twelve months.
Homeownership builds wealth through equity, and this creates a positive impact for homeowners and their communities. Let’s connect today if you’re ready to invest in a home of your own.
Only you and your family can know for certain the right time to purchase a Boston condo. Answering these questions will help you make that decision.
If you’d like more information on the Boston condo market, please feel free to contact me at 617-720-5454 or you can email me @ firstname.lastname@example.org.
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SEARCH FOR CONDOS FOR SALE AND RENTALS
- Back Bay
- Beacon Hill
- Charlestown Navy Yard
- Dorchester Heights
- Jamaica Plain
- Leather District
- Seaport District
- South Boston
- South End
For more information please contact one of our on-call agents at 617-595-3712.
Updated: Boston Real Estate Blog 2022