I lived in Framingham for a few years when I was really young, and even after moving I still spent quite a bit of time in the town. I picture its location, and I can only picture that it has enormous potential.
You have easy access to the Pike from multiple parts and subsequently commutability to both the I-495 and 128 technology belts, a commuter rail station to Boston, a growing public university, vibrant shopping at route 9, a bunch of relatively new reputable breweries, etc. It is also very close to wealthy suburbs like Wellesley, Natick, Sudbury and Wayland. Albeit to a lesser extent, it reminds me of Waltham: for a long time a rough and dirty city positioned perfectly and surrounded by Boston Brahmin towns.
Yet...property values are still low, rents are low, and it still has a reputation for being a rough now-city to live in. I'm someone interested in multi-families, so the northern half of SFHs north of route 9 doesn't interest me nearly as much as the center. I can't seem to find longitudinal crime data or property data, but what are your thoughts on it? Is this a city with untapped potential as people get priced out of inside 128, or is it too far from Boston and too suburban to move much from its current status?
I think if you look at Framingham over the past 6 mos. you'll notice quick days to offer, plenty of homes selling over asking & overall briskness in the market. Natick has become cost prohibitive over the past 5 years. Anecdotally, this has been very surprising to some people who previously associated Natick with the mall & not much else. I am anticipating the migration patterns to continue west. I don't think it's too far for Boston, as you menitoned, there's still a commuter rail stop in Framingham, but also Ashland, Southborough, etc. Plenty of people choose these communities for still having decent access to the pike & the amenity of the commuter rail while being less expensive, particularly for entry level housing.
There's plenty of untapped potential but I would check in with the FPD for local crime data for specific areas like Framingham Center, where they still have a lot of loitering, visibly under the influence people on the street, blight, etc. Multi-family inventory is low because rents are actually rather high, if you figure that $900/mo (the lowest rent posted in MLS over the past 6 mos.) is what was required to lease a 271 SF condo.
I believe there are 9 elementary schools in Framingham. Some locations are far better then others. Take a look at great schools.org to see which schools perform better than others.
For Crime, look at neighborhood scout and city-data
It looks like right now there are 2 multi's on the market
@Ryan Hebert Alexandra's post is right on. I've lived in Natick for 18 years. Prices here have skyrocketed since then but certainly over the last 5 years. Framingham is surrounded by great towns and by no means too far from Boston. Just over 1 hour commute by car most days and the train is very reliable. Metrowest in general is also very desirable. Framingham jobs and population growth support the increasing rents. I was also speaking to the Framingham fire inspector and building inspector last week and they shared lots of info on new developments going in downtown.
I own 6 units in Framingham. Recently sold some in Framingham and already regret it. Many investors here feel like Framingham is going to pop one day and prices will soar. I like the cash flow and will take the appreciation as icing on the cake one day.
Thanks everyone! Availability seems light at the moment, but I'll keep my eye on the MLS and keep Framingham on my radar.
Join the Largest Real Estate Investing Community
Basic membership is free, forever.