Newbie from Cambridge, MA with unique/interesting start:)?

4 Replies

Hi Everyone!  

My name is Donielle and I am new to the BP community.  I've been hanging around the forums the past couple of weeks and this is such a great community. 

My husband and I are new to real estate and are looking to purchase our first home.  Long-term (10-15 years), we would like real estate investing to be a significant part of our income. 

Our situation is a bit unique in that my husband is a professor so we get a great housing program from the university he works at.  Effectively, a primary lender looks at it like down payment since about half of it is a forgivable (over 10 years) loan and the other have is a low-interest 2nd mortgage from the university.   But, we don't have a lot of additional cash outside this for or purchase so we can't do a reno yet and are finding it hard to compete in a market where people regularly bid $50-$150K over asking. 

We would love our first place to be a 2-family in Cambridge, but we've got some limitations (mostly self-imposed) that are forcing us to also consider condos / townhomes.  

  • Cambridge is a crazy expensive market ($500-$700/ sqft).  We are not interested in living in other towns.  Our oldest has started school and we currently live on campus and would like my husband's commute to stay short for quality of life (we have 3 kids and no family around).  Further, we really value diversity and Cambridge is one of the most diverse suburbs around. 
  • The two-families I have seen thus far fall into 3 categories: 1) Total gut job (to the tune of $400K+), 2) Currently livable (house hack) and 3) renovated and out of our budget.  
  • #2 is what we are targeting but the inventory is extremely low. 

We have a great buyers agent and a lot of time flexibility so we are not rushed in trying to buy a place. 

I am looking forward to learning and contributing to this community. 



@Donielle Buie Welcome to BP! Cambridge is a great area to live in but of course it is very difficult to find a deal there. House Hacking will be your best bet and you can look into programs such as FHA that will require only 3.5% down.

Good luck with everything!

Thanks @Steve DellaPelle ! Yeah, our first place may just be a residence that we will rent out down the road (if we can't find a 2 family). Then, we might look for an investment that is a househack or BRRRR. And, investments don't have to be in cambridge, just primary for us.

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