Best Places to Live
Real estate, like life, has its phases.
[sidebar]Once upon a time, all you needed to call a place home was a nearby T stop and a bug-free shower. A few years later, utopia was a pad with extra guest/office/Guitar Hero space. Which later became a nursery. And then you craved a backyard for restless kids, and a stellar school system.
Or maybe you’ve already been through all of that. In which case, paradise for you right now is a downsized one-bedroom with a skyline view and a dedicated parking spot. “Best places” — a concept defined in these pages each year — is all about your stage in life, and your lifestyle.
“Approach real estate with your life’s priorities and opportunities in mind, and you’ll make a good buy,” says Jeff Simon, president of SalesApproach Real Estate. Yes, the housing market has had a bruising few years. But Massachusetts remains a solid buy. Since 2002 the median home price has risen $20,000, or 7 percent. And of the 150-plus towns we track, 61 percent saw the median rise in 2010. So whatever your taste or age, now is a good time to buy. Whether you’re looking to purchase a first home, a family-friendlier compound, or a retirement retreat, we’ve discovered ideal spots spanning city, shoreline, and suburbia.