Choosing the Perfect Home in the Boston Area
Deciding to settle down is a major decision, and choosing the right town or city can be difficult if you don’t do your research. New England hosts some of the most distinct and diverse communities in the country; towns differ greatly from one another, especially in the Boston area. I spoke with Donna Pisciotta, a lawyer of 28 years and partner at Dalton & Finegold, LLP, about the idiosyncrasies in New England real estate. She agreed: New England—especially the Massachusetts North Shore—is very unique.
Finding a Town with Your Needs
The Boston area, known for its beautiful autumns, historic buildings, and plentiful outdoor opportunities, is a wonderful place to settle down. Choosing the right town and home, however, can be a bit of a struggle. “People have different needs,” Pisciotta explains, “They may want to raise a family, so schools are important. They may be empty nesters with no children, so low taxes in towns with more industry are important.” This means that, in addition to cultural differences between towns, prospective buyers should know their needs before setting out on a search. Towns like Ipswich and Newburyport are perfect for young families, while cities like Lawrence and Haverhill—places with low taxes and lots of industry—might be better for young people and those without children.
The most unique factor in buying a home on Massachusetts’s North Shore is the abundance of commuters. Though there are numerous small, local business owners, many suburban adults commute into the city for work—as anyone driving on Route 1 at 7:30AM can tell you. According to Pisciotta, the MBTA can be an important factor in choosing a home. “There are people who commute to Boston, and living near the commuter line is important.” Though the commuter rail has recently fallen on hard times (the price of a monthly pass has increased numerous times over the past few years), this is an important factor when it comes to buying a home on the North Shore.
The process of buying a home is much easier when clients know what they need. Pisciotta encourages potential buyers to understand their needs before contacting a real estate agency. Here’s another piece of sage advice she offered, “Consult a seasoned real estate attorney before signing any contract. For mortgages, go with a trusted loan officer; someone who has your financial interests at heart.”
The Importance of Storage in Your North Shore Home
Pisciotta posits that, though storage can be an important factor in purchasing a home, most houses she sees on the North Shore are large enough to handle storage needs. At-home storage usually isn’t an issue for smaller families, especially in the far suburbs like Hamilton and Topsfield. However, as you get closer to the city, homes and apartments get smaller. Those living with children in the rural suburbs may want additional storage space to keep kids’ baby accessories for future generations, and those living in Roxbury or Dorchester might be in need of seasonal storage to keep their homes clutter-free.
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