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Financial Goals

The Benefits and Costs of Being a Massachusetts Homeowner

5 min read
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picture of author, Hometap TeamBy Hometap Team on November 10, 2020

With its world-class healthcare and education, close proximity to the ocean and mountains, and rich history, there are certainly plenty of reasons to love living in Massachusetts. The only downside? Residing in the Bay State can often come with a pretty hefty price tag. In fact, according to research by The Ascent, it sits at number three in terms of average home cost, trailing only Hawaii and California as one of the most expensive in the entire country. 

And home values are only continuing to trend upwards. A recent report by the Massachusetts Association of Realtors found that the median single-family home price in the state increased $45,000 in just one year, from $395,000 to $440,000 in April 2020. Similarly, single-family homes specifically saw an even bigger increase from August 2019 to August 2020, with the median value jumping 14.3% to $480,000.

Urban Exodus

Those who are itching to be in the center of the action will have to be prepared to shell out even more money; home prices in the bustling Boston area alone have risen 73% in the past decade, with the median price currently hovering just above $653,000. In Boston proper, the median price for a single-family home shot up 59% since 2019 to $2.8 million in 2020. “Anything right outside of Boston is going like wildfire, but especially the single-family homes,” Massachusetts Realtor Anthony Lamacchia told HousingWire. “I’ve never seen bidding wars with consistency in the fall like I have this fall. It’s crazy.”

What’s more, the historic character and charm that makes so many of these beautiful, old New England homes so appealing is exactly what can add unexpected maintenance and upkeep costs on top of monthly mortgage payments. Just ask Boston-area homeowners: more than 70% have reported that their housing expenses are rising faster than their income, and 64% also admitted that these bills have hindered their ability to reach other important financial goals. 

As a result, many homeowners have been eyeing more affordable areas elsewhere in the state, like Northampton, Worcester, and Salem, as well as those farther afield in New England, including Portland, Maine, Providence, Rhode Island, Exeter, New Hampshire, and Brattleboro, Vermont. But this isn’t the only choice. Before you accept defeat and decide to relocate, it might pay off (literally) to explore your options. 

A Better Way Forward

The current landscape can certainly be a challenge for homebuyers, especially first-timers trying to break into the market. “I was hoping it would be like those HGTV episodes where you see like three houses and you get to pick the one you like the best, but that did not happen,” recent buyer Jennifer Brogan told WBUR. “It had to be almost your full-time job.” However, if you already own a home in Massachusetts, this means that you have a huge opportunity to maximize your home’s value by tapping into your equity today; especially since nearly half of homeowners in the area say that most of their net worth is tied up in their home. According to our 2019 study, the average Boston-area homeowner has lived in their home seven years. Given the skyrocketing home prices in the region, it’s very likely that their homes have increased in value since it was purchased, so it could be the perfect time to make the most of its appreciation.

With a home equity investor like Hometap, Massachusetts homeowners can get cash right away in exchange for a share in the future value of their homes. Then, they can use the money for whatever—whether it’s paying down debt, funding renovations, covering children’s tuition, or making a down payment on a second property—all without having to wait until selling their home. And unlike other more traditional options, there aren’t any nagging monthly payments or loans involved, so homeowners can pay for what’s most important and rest easy knowing that they don’t have to worry about taking on additional debt.

The more you know about your home equity, the better decisions you can make about what to do with it. Do you know how much equity you have in your home? The Home Equity Dashboard makes it easy to find out.

You should know

We do our best to make sure that the information in this post is as accurate as possible as of the date it is published, but things change quickly sometimes. Hometap does not endorse or monitor any linked websites. Individual situations differ, so consult your own finance, tax or legal professional to determine what makes sense for you.

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Hometap is made up of a collaborative team of underwriters, investment managers, financial analysts, and—most importantly—homeowners—in the home financing field that understand the challenges that come with owning a home.

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