How much should an “affordable” condo cost?

Well, first off – everyone thinks they should be able to live in downtown Boston, like in the South End and Back Bay.

But, that just isn’t possible – if you can’t increase supply, and demand is constant, then, of course, things are going to get out of whack.  And, you can’t increase supply in the South End and Back Bay, because the area is protected by local historical societies, etc.

So, you’ll have to look to other neighborhoods.

South Boston.  Dorchester.  East Boston.  Or, even out of the city.

I was in New York City over the weekend, and visited a friend in Brooklyn.

It took about an hour to get to his condo, by public transportation.

Yet, Brooklyn is part of New York City, and plenty of people live in the outer areas and still consider themselves to be living in the city.

The same should be true here.

What is an “affordable” home?  I’d say $350,000 – $400,000.  To get that, you’ll have to live in Allston, Brighton, Malden, Melrose, Quincy, or something like that.  (Actually, I just did a search of under-$400,000 condos, over 700 square feet, in the downtown areas of Boston, and there are 140 units on the market.  There almost 600 total, in the city of Boston, in that price range.)

Here is a property at 700 Harrison, in the South End.  Brand new construction, ready next year, 750 square feet, one bedroom, one bathroom.  Price: $369,000, condo fee $258.

Perfect for a couple just starting out.

If you want to live in downtown Boston, and you want a two-bedroom condo, you’re going to have to pay $500,000 to $750,000.

You’re going to have to have a household income from $110,000 to $150,000.

That means you’re going to have to be in a good-paying job.

Complete article: Seeking “affordable luxury” – by Kimberly Blanton, The Boston Globe

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