100k available equity - options

8 Replies


I have approx 100k available in equity in my primary home, if I was to get a heloc or other equity loan.  I would love to start investing in real estate through a second/investment property ,  but living in high cost MA, I’m looking for ideas the best place to start.  Should I try to buy a low cost turn key house on roofstock for example in a far away state I can’t really oversee that closely? Or try something local, in which case i probably need a creative strategy or a partner to be able to afford it.

Just curious if others have ideas or suggested options to explore when you live in higher costs states such as Massachusetts and don’t have a ton of capital available to start.

@Matthew Dow   I'll give you the same advice I've given so many others.  You can invest in MA, but look to the south.

Prices in Norfolk, Bristol and Plymouth counties are quite a bit lower than you'll find in Boston, Cambridge, Somerville, etc.  For example, you can buy three 3-plexes in Plymouth County for the price of one in most of Boston.

Just for a random example, the least expensive SFR in Cambridge right now is $739,000. It's a 3/3 with 1,084 sq ft sitting on a 1,002 sq ft lot. That's cramped living!

The least expensive 3 bed home in Plymouth is $463,400.  It's a new home in a new higher end development.  3 beds, 2 full and 1 half bath, 1,699 sq ft, 2 car garage on a 12,834 sq ft lot.

When it comes to MFRs, Cambridge has one 3-plex on the market right now, priced at $2M.

The least expensive duplex in Plymouth is $459K, where the least expensive in Cambridge is $1.4M.

All of the South Shore has access to MBTA Commuter Rail, so you can still commute to Boston.

On top of all that, Plymouth and Bristol counties tend to feature a quieter pace of life.  There's a lot less traffic and congestion than in town.

Thanks Charlie for the reply!  I actually live in plymouth county, so am familiar with the area, and definitely agree that it's more interesting than the city and agree it has a great quality of life.   I am still not sure yet how I would afford anything (on my own) that is over 150k,  I would not get approved for a loan more than that with conventional financing.  So need to look at some different more creative options. 

Why not try west of 495? I'm invested in Clinton MA and looking into Fitchburg MA. The prices are more in your range out there. For the price range you'd need to finance it yourself your going to have to make a trade off. Going a little more west for a B or C neighborhood could be an option.

It really depends what you’re comfortable with. For me, I won’t invest in anything I can’t drive to or check in on. For others, investing down south makes plenty of sense. I agree with @Mike Aschettino , look outside the 495 belt at that price point. North central mass would have some options for you.

@Matthew Dow   I always recommend that if your local market doesn't fit your criteria then you should find a market that does. If you have a clearly defined, well thought out criteria, don't bend your criteria to fit your market. You're just setting yourself up for failure right from the start.

$100K in equity may not afford you much borrowing power, depending on the value of your primary residence, because you typically can only borrow the equity over 80%.  If your home would appraise at $500K or more, it is unlikely you would be qualify for anything.  If it would appraise for $400K, you would likely be able to get a $20K line.  If it would appraise for $300K, you would likely get approved for a $39K line. You should start your process by meeting with a lender to figure out exactly how much you will be able to borrow and then go from there.