Lowell vs Haverhill - Which Do You Like?

18 Replies

I drove through Haverhill last night looking at some multis and of course, they happened to be in some of the roughest neighborhoods of Haverhill.

Lowell, has its good and bad as well.  

What does the BP Mass group think of Lowell vs Haverhill?

I went to college in Lowell and it has changed for the better over the past 5-10 years. A lot of it has to do with Umass Lowell and the improvements to the college. However, there is one or two landlords in Lowell that own most of the properties around the campuses. It leaves you with some of the less desireable areas but a good potential upswing. 

In regards to Haverhill, it also has a Umass Lowell campus and has been putting a lot of money into the downtown area. It may take longer to see a change in Haverhill as there has been in Lowell. 

I have looked in both areas as potential investment opportunities but have not pulled the trigger. 

Maybe not the answer you were looking for but it's my thoughts on the two cities. 

Best of luck,


I currently own a 3-fam in Haverhill.  It is in the Bradford neighborhood which is perceived to be a higher tier of Haverhill.  I like it a lot and I plan to continue to invest in Haverhill.  Much like Chris mentioned, Haverhill is investing heavily in their downtown area and has been growing steadily.  

That being said, there are parts of Haverhill that I definitely wouldn't go near (the lower ave's being an example).  I've decided at this point that Bradford is where I'm most comfortable for now, but I can see myself branching out into other parts of Haverhill in the future.

I'm happy provide more specifics if you're looking for them.

I agree with Dan, Bradford is a nice neighborhood with still reasonable price , better than lowell. I have properties at both places and I see Bradford house appreciate a lot in the past two years. 

I have a property at Lowell. From experience I can say its  one of the best place for rental in the north side of Boston. Rents quickly, lots of interested tenants, property values are on the rise.

Haverhill have yet to catchup, IMO it will take about 5-10 years more to get there. Its in a great location with all the bells and whistles in place to shine.

I am also quite interested in Lowell, but its reputation for crime certainly has me a bit concerned. It would seem the southern parts of Lowell and around the university are safe, but what about the other parts? How do they compare in crime to Lawrence, Lynn, Chelsea, Roxbury, etc.?

@Ryan Hebert Lawrence is a 100% no for me.  I think Lowell seems more developed and ready for investment than Lawrence.  I think you just need to drive through and talk to police/firemen and see what neighborhoods are A,B,C or Ds

Lowell is a bit further along in development but the not so great areas are still rough / trouble.

Lawrence is more trouble but I hear higher rents.

Haverhill is developing but may take another 5 years.  More lower income tenants. (hence the developing)

We manage and own property in Lowell, Haverhill, and Lawrence. I wouldn't count any of them out from an investment standpoint. They all have some area's that are sketchy, you just need to know where to go. 

@Ryan M. , you have the right idea. You really need to drive through the neighborhoods to get a feel for them. (during the daytime and at night)

We owned a multi in a nice area in Haverhill. In general I prefer Haverhill over Lowell but honestly it depends on the neighborhood, and what your goals are.  I agree Lawrence can be tough if you don't know the area. I guess this question is tough to answer without having specific addresses in each city to compare, and a clear idea of short and long term goals. B/C/D properties??? 

What hurts Haverhill is that is geographically isolated, equidistant between 93 and 95 will likely forever limit its growth. Lawrence ironically has the best geographic location, but the worst element with potential for a huge upside in 10 or so years if they can drive out the gang element. Lowell seems more developed so less potential for upside

I have been looking in Lowell and Haverhill, as well, for my first investment property. But, we plan on living in it as well. We are hoping to find a duplex where we rent out the other unit and live in ours. I like that Lowell and Haverhill have programs that help with down payment assistance, too!

I have a lot of experience in Lowell and a bit of experience in the Lawrence/Haverhill area. Lowell = Born and Raised. Living in the next town over now. Lawrence/Haverhill = went to school and work in the area for many years. Have family and friends in both.

In general, I think Lowell has a lot more going for it (perhaps I'm biased). But you have to take it street by street in some places. Same as in Haverhill. Mind you this is written from a citizen's point of view. I have not invested in either yet so I can't attest to that. Someday I will!

What is your investing strategy? Class A,B,C? Section 8? Students? 

PM me any locations and I can give you an idea. Maybe we can partner up on something.

Becky & Chris

Ok, full disclosure (in case my name/header ain’t enough for some of you! :-) ) I live in Lowell.

That said, the real answer is... BOTH!

For the sake of our own personal residence, my wife and I chose Lowell 14 years ago based largely upon, among other things, the interstates— Lowell lies right at the crossroads, whereas Haverhill is on 495, but it’s a hike to either 95 or 93. We both work in Real Estate; my sites are all over NewEngland, and my wife works in Boston, but could find positions in Waltham, Marlborough orWorcester at the drop of a hat.

Lowell also has the National Park, the Festivals, the University and the colleges...and if you’re into geography, not one but TWO rivers, The Mighty Merrimack and the Concord.

On the other hand, my best friend chose Haverhill. It’s a little closer to the coast, it’s still a gritty shire, and the downtown is phenomenal. Haverhill is a little more-well established, a little more stable. (e.g. , in another thread, I noted that I grew up hearing “Don’t go to Lowell!” I never heard, “Don’t go to Haverhill!”)

Retail is approximately equal, Haverhill likely has a slight edge in primary and secondary education, proximity to NH is fundamentally equal, and the age, vintage, and quality of the overall housing stock, I would declare to be neck-and-neck.

Nothing wrong with either one. If you want stability, I’d pick Haverhill— it’s a bit smaller in population, (by about 40%!) but holds its values. Lowell is a cultural powerhouse and a true city of over 100,000. If you prefer the arts, or prefer to invest in the ebb and flow of a full-sized City, then Lowell is the one for you.

What’s not to love about either??

I’m on mobile, can’t find the edit button. Clearly, I am aware that US RT 3 is technically NOT an Interstate, but it is a full sized, full speed highway. Please pardon my colloquialism.

I honestly think Lawrence could be the true up and comer if they could ever get a handle on their unpredictable politics/ dysfunctional local government. It's right in rt. 93