Best Places to Live 2013: The Boom Is Back!

Throughout Boston, the upside-down real estate market is but a distant, unpleasant memory. Bidding wars are once again erupting, houses are selling for above asking price, and some homeowners are even discovering that (gasp!) their property is worth more than what they paid for it. The market, in other words, is sizzling again—and with inventory scarce and interest rates at historic lows, it’s a safe bet that things are only going to get hotter. But even in a seller’s game, savvy buyers can score. Here, our market cheat sheet and picks for where to buy, whether you’re starting out, moving up, or going huge.

How does your town stack up against the rest?

Real Estate Chart: Single-Family Home Prices in Greater Boston
Real Estate Chart: Condo Prices in Greater Boston

boston's best places to live

Market Snapshot

It’s a battle out there. Don’t believe it? Here’s a look at the forces behind Boston’s suddenly red-hot real estate market.

boston's best places to live

Starting Out

The threat of yet another rent hike (or new roommate search on Craigslist) scared you straight months ago, and you’ve managed to sock away enough cash for a modest down payment. Congratulations! You’re ready to join the hunt. Sky-high prices may shut you out of the posh suburbs and gold-standard neighborhoods, but here are some great sleeper locations for first-time home buyers.

Moving Up

The second kid is on the way and your closets already look like an episode of Hoarders. (Is it possible your place is actually shrinking?) You need more space, for sure, but schools are a top priority. And you wouldn’t mind shortening your commute….

Going Huge

You’re the broker’s white whale—the all-cash buyer intent on a prestige address. Lucky you! But with great resources comes great responsibility…like figuring which swanky town to call home.

boston's best places to live

Getting in the Game

Follow these easy tips to upgrade to your dream house—or make a bundle offloading an old pad.

boston's best places to live

By the Numbers

$277,000: The average annual income in Weston. 99.1: Percent of students who graduate from Masconoment Regional High School. These and more statistics about Boston real estate.