Boston Market and Slate Roofs

9 Replies | Boston, Massachusetts

Hi Boston investors! I have a few questions about investing in the Boston market. First, I am looking at Hyde Park as a potential spot for a househack, but am still concerned about the area. I have seen a few houses there but don't know enough about the market. Looking for some advice if anyone has been an owner occupier there in the last few years.  

Secondly, I visited a house with a slate roof that had deferred maintenance and needed work. Was wondering if anyone has experience with slate roofs that have not been maintained and what the costs run to get it back into good form. 

Thank you! 

Hi Andrew, I recently helped a buddy of mine and his friend get into their first house hack in Hyde park a few months ago. They utilized an FHA loan and bought a newly renovated duplex. So far its worked out great for them! Each side was a 3 bed 1.5 bath. They rented out the other side and their spare bedroom so that they're each paying out of pocket roughly $400 a month. They'll cashflow nicely after they move out and onto the next property, especially if they're able to refinance. With regards to the area, its a mixed bag. Some may disagree but I certainly think its in the path of progress as there are a lot of houses being renovated in the area. My advise would be, if you were to house hack there, to ensure you properly screen your tenants (This goes for anywhere you buy). There's enough quality tenants looking to live in the area that you shouldn't have an issue renting out your additional units/rooms.

Wish I could help with the slate roof but I haven't dealt with one yet so I'll defer to someone else to answer that for you.

Hope this helps!

Hi Andrew -- just took a quick look at Hyde Park and it looks like the numbers may pencil, keep us posted as you progress! Curious to hear why you are targeting Hyde Park specifically? (I don't ask that question with any agenda -- just genuinely curious)

Hi @Andrew Reis Slate roofs are a very common thing on older multi-families still. If they're in good shape, with proper maintenance, they can last forever. The issue we run into when they're in bad shape is that there just aren't many people that know how to work on slate roofs and even less than want to. They can be very tricky and it's easy for them to cause damage to other shingles while trying to do repairs. If the roof is in rough shape you'll likely need to have it stripped down and have a new roof put on. The bad news is that this is pretty expensive since removing the slate is very laborious. The good news is that this is very easy to get quoted. Just have a roofer go check it out and they can get you something very accurate without disturbing the tenants.  

One word of caution. With FHA there is a underwriting restriction where the roof must have a minimum of 5 years of life left on it to pass the appraisal. You may want to consider doing a 203k loan and have the price to replace the roof wrapped into the loan.

Best of luck,


@Zac Ballin Nothing too concerning at all. Its the one market we have seen a few houses that I am least familiar with. Just being closer to some not so good areas, I just want to get some feedback of people like yourself who have lived there

@Tom Wagner Thanks! As for Hyde Park, it has a Boston zip code which is attractive. It's prices are more reasonable than other areas we are looking at, and with its proximity to other parts of Boston I find it an attractive neighborhood.

@Andrew Reis we enjoyed our time in Hyde Park.  Like most of the city, there are tougher areas somewhat nearby but we always felt comfortable.  We saw some good appreciation, and I'd have zero concerns moving back.  We're just up the road in Rozzie now anyway. Feel free to reach out for more specifics anytime.