Buying a house in Massachusetts can put you in some of the most beautiful parts of New England. Whether you’re looking for Atlantic views in towns like Plymouth or Duxbury, you’re longing for the greenness of the Berkshires or you want big-city Boston hustle, Massachusetts offers plenty of awe-inspiring places to plant roots. The Bay State is booming: Data from Redfin shows that nearly 70 percent of properties sold for more than their list price in July of 2022.
While that number might make you wonder whether you should buy a house now or wait, don’t let it scare you into thinking you can’t afford anything here. Trying to buy a home in Massachusetts can feel overwhelming, but there are ways to get assistance with your down payment, and plenty of cities where prices aren’t quite as high. Read on for a complete guide on what you need to know and how much you should be prepared to spend to become a Massachusetts homeowner.
How to buy a house in Massachusetts
Decide where to live
If you’re not tied to a particular part of the state, consider the total cost of living — transportation, utilities, food and other essentials — in different areas. And if you are set on a specific region, remember that real estate is a hyper-localized industry. For example, median prices in Danvers are just above $600,000, while prices in Salem, only 5 miles away, are closer to $520,000.
However, it’s not just about the price tag. You’ll want to give careful consideration to other factors, such as the schools in the area if you have kids (or are planning to). You’ll also want to think about traffic congestion, commute times and public transportation options if you’ll be heading to an office.
Tips for buying a house in Massachusetts
Before you start comparing mortgage rates in Massachusetts, you need to have an idea of how much money you are going to need to borrow to become a homeowner. Depending on the size of the loan and the location of the home, you may need to look at jumbo mortgage options. The conforming loan limits in Massachusetts are different from county to county. For example, in Berkshire County, anything above $647,200 qualifies as a jumbo loan in 2022. In Suffolk and Norfolk, the limit jumps to $770,500. And in high-priced Nantucket, you can borrow up to $970,800 without crossing into jumbo territory.
Things to know about buying a house in Massachusetts
- Property taxes: It’s important to estimate your annual property taxes in addition to your mortgage payments. In Massachusetts, the average property tax bill …….