The most important questions to ask before buying a Boston downtown condo for sale

So you think you have found the Boston Seaport District condo you want. It’s been a long search, and you feel about ready to give in and move in. Before you take the plunge though, you should take a moment; this is a big commitment and there are a lot of things that could stand between you and the happiness you seek in your future Boston downtown condo. There is also a good chance you can get a better price.

Why not put your broker to work and ask some key questions? They will help you determine whether or not the Boston condo for sale that you’re about to buy is actually a good deal. These are tough questions that could save you in your purchase

Why are the owners selling?

The broker doesn’t have to tell you (they’re getting divorced, they’re moving, etc.), but when you uncover the reason they’re selling, it tips their cards and is the best indicator of how anxious the seller might be. This in turn lets you know how willing they might be to negotiate on the sale of the Boston Seaport condo for sale.

How long has the house been on the market? Can you give me its pricing history?

A Boston condo for sale that’s been on the market for two months with three price reductions gives a whole different message than a house that’s been on for two months with no price reductions. The owner of the first house is far more negotiable.

Can you provide me with comparable sales to support the sales price?

Bank appraisers use brokers to find similar Boston condo sales in the neighborhood. If the broker can provide comparable,you won’t be disappointed when it comes time to get your financing. 

What’s the price per square foot in the neighborhood?

This brings the Downtown Boston condo price down to a common denominator. Every Boston condominium is assessed and square footage is listed in the tax assessor’s office, along with the land area and whatever improvements have been made.

Is this the most expensive house on the block?

You don’t want to be buying the most expensive Boston condos for sale on the block. The middle-priced Boston high rise condos always sell at the best prices.

Are the owners behind on their real estate taxes?

If the Boston condo owners are behind in their real estate taxes, it’s often the earliest sign of a potential foreclosure. You might wait or negotiate hard. This public information can be found at the county clerk’s office and is often posted online.

When the Boston condo market last dropped, how did this Boston high rise condo building do?

Some Boston downtown condo neighborhoods weather a storm much better than others. This question will give you a historic perspective.

What are the monthly utility bills for the Boston condo?

This is good to know before you sign a contract. An old, inefficient heating system could add thousands of dollars to your yearly expenditure. You may think you can afford the mortgage, but can you afford the bills?

Author Profile

John Ford
John Ford

Over the course of 20 years in the Boston downtown real estate market, John represented and sold numerous, condominiums, investment and development properties in Greater Boston and in the surrounding suburbs

In addition to representing Boston condo buyers and sellers, John is currently one of the most recognized Boston condo blog writers regarding Boston condominiums and residential real estate markets. John's insights and observations about the Boston condo market have been seen in a wide variety of the most established local & national media outlets including; Banker and Tradesman, Boston Magazine The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald and NewsWeek and Fortune magazine, among others.


For over 24 years, John Ford, of Ford Realty Inc., has been actively involved in the real estate industry. He started his career in commercial real estate with a national firm Spaulding & Slye and quickly realized that he had a passion for residential properties. In 1999, John entered the residential real estate market, and in 2000 John Started his own firm Ford Realty Inc. As a broker, his clients have come to love his fun, vivacious, and friendly attitude. He prides himself on bringing honesty and integrity to the entire home buying and selling process. In addition to helping buyers and sellers, he also works with rental clients. Whether you’re looking to purchase a new Boston condo or rent an apartment, you’ll quickly learn why John has a 97% closing rate.


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John Ford and his staff can be reached at 617-595-3712 or 617-720-5454. Please feel free to stop by John's Boston Beacon Hill office located at 137 Charles Street.

John Ford
Ford Realty Inc
137 Charles Street
Boston, Ma 02114



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