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Author: ems79 Two stars, 250 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 127262  
Subject: Re: Downpayment Sources Date: 5/10/2013 4:14 PM
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re: the Waltham-Reading commute

At rush hours it will run about 60 minutes on the highest side. Keep in mind that at 60MPH you are doing a mile a minute, so it's never going to be under 20 minutes, but I'd guess that 30-45 minutes is the average time at rush hours. It can certainly FEEL longer, but actually isn't unless there is something very wrong on the road. I've been doing this commute for 3 years and I don't think it has ever exceeded 90 minutes one way.


re: the market in Reading

A few thoughts:
- Expand your search to include 1.5BA, I know it's not ideal, but many places around here are older so having 2BA usually means it's newer or extensively renovated. It's a long shot, but there may also be people out there 1.75BA (stand up shower only in the 2nd bathroom) and who just don't put down 2BA, or the house is on the books as a 1.5BA

- Reading is full of 1920-1960 vintage Cape style houses. My house in particular is a 4BR/1BA Cape. I don't have any dormers, so adding a 12' domer to the center of the house for a good sized 2nd bathroom would be possible and likely in the ~$50K range without new foundations, etc. So if you don't NEED the second bathroom now, you could consider houses with the potential to add them later. It's more leg work and vetting, and it also means putting up with a month or two of construction at some point, but it might be worth it.

For reference, my house is 1550sq-ft. I gutted my kitchen and bath when I moved in, took down walls to open the kitchen/dining area, blown insulation in the walls, all new electric and plumbing in the house, refinished HWs, all new windows and exterior doors, new paint, new large deck off the back, lots of other systems updates... with all that work I think my house is worth about $350K today if it were for sale. I see plenty of similar, but less updated, places listed in the $350-390K range--these people are dreaming and the houses either languish for a season and are delisted, or they sell for $330-340K. So finding something like mine, where you can add a bathroom before move in (while staying inside your mortgage comfort zone) may also be a good option.
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