So Sig-O and I have been doing a lot of discussion about our future. We’ve always discussed a house and kids but now we are really getting in depth.
For example, WHERE we want to end up. Realistically, we can’t get a house here in Southeastern Mass. The prices and taxes are just ridiculous so for what we can afford and be comfortable with, we wouldn’t get much of anything. As much as we love our family and the few friends we have locally, long term we are looking at Central/Western Mass. Something within 2 hours from our current residence, which places us pretty much anywhere in Worcester County, or just slightly over into the next three counties further westward (Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin).
Over my Winter break I did some price checking on-line (both apartments and houses since we would move somewhere into an apartment and make sure we really like the area before investing in a house).
It’s a lot to think about. Up until recently, I’ve always been pretty satisfied in this area. Got my undergraduate locally, working on my Master’s currently. Figured I would stay here, settle down, get a house and raise some kids. Again, REALISTICALLY, not gonna happen, for mostly financial reasons but…
Another factor is that I never went away to college, I commuted back and forth to a local college nearby – I traveled a decent amount but was always happy to come back to my neck of the woods. Lately I’ve been craving our own piece of turf. A fresh, new place that we can explore on our own. Staying in Massachusetts is still the preference but we need to stretch ourselves and I think moving a couple hours away will do wonders for Sig-O and I’s relationship, which is healthy and thriving, but I think it will make us even better together. I think it’ll make us tighter with our respective families, not always being right down the street.
Just for reference, map of Massachusetts. The area we are really focusing on is the Blackstone River Valley region as well as the majority of the Quabbin region (Worcester County), even considering the easterly portion of the Connecticut River Valley (Franklin, Hampden and Hampshire counties) region.
Places that are standouts at this point (money wise, small town feel, job availability for us both, proximity to main roads, what grocery store is nearby YES that is important to me, don’t laugh!) are:
I have signed up with realtor.com in order to peruse local listings…also used Craigslist to feel out apartment prices in each prospective town since I find that apartment prices/standards seem to be linked to housing prices/standards.
What do I mean by standards? Well, pretty much not bottomless pits, gross/dirty etc. We’re definitely getting a fixer upper and I am ok with that because I look forward to making our own little nest and adding unique details. I have no problem painting, sanding, cleaning, yardwork etc and Sig-O is a born tinkerer and has a background in carpentry. Provided it’s got all the basics of septic, plumbing, electrical etc – and we are expected to work purely on cosmetic type stuff – we are good to go. Our money will definitely go further and we will get more bang for our buck in the aforementioned towns.
I’ve found some really promising listings. This isn’t going to happen tomorrow but we’ve decided this is our goal and we are going to start actively working towards it!
PS- Sig-O is away today and most of tomorrow for his bachelor party … the apartment feels pretty weird and empty without him, but I am looking forward to doing some baking and organizing projects!!! Oh and binging on sushi later …