Best Boston Suburbs for First-Time Homebuyers

by c21commonweath_ldowling 25. April 2016 12:39

The high demand for housing in central Boston has made it challenging for first-time home buyers to find what they’re looking for while staying in their budget. In popular central neighborhoods like Jamaica Plains and Charlestown, the median home price is over $740,000, and homes in neighborhoods like Cambridge and Beacon Hill regularly sell for several million.

Fortunately, there are close-in suburbs that offer more affordable starter homes with easy access to Boston and its urban amenities. Below are our picks for some of the most affordable and desirable Boston-area suburbs for first-time home buyers. (All median home prices are based on 2014 estimates compiled by Boston Magazine). 


Median home price: $321,000

For home buyers who are looking for lots of green space within easy commuting distance of Boston, Saugus may be an appealing option. This small suburb is close to the nature preserves Breakheart Reservation and Lynn Woods and is just 9 miles northeast of Boston. It has plenty of single-family houses, townhomes, and condos in an affordable price range.


Median home price: $363,000

Located about 20 miles northeast of Boston and close to the Massachusetts coast, Danvers is a good bet for anyone who is looking for a spacious home at a reasonable price per square foot. Danvers and the nearby town of Salem are both known for having a strong sense of community and lots of local events, including Danvers’ weekly farmers’ market.


Median home price: $374,950

For home buyers who dream of living in a renovated early 20th century house, Woburn offers a substantial number of older, well-maintained properties. In addition to beautiful historical homes, Woburn also offers convenience for city commuters: the town is just 9 miles north of Boston and lies just south of the intersection of I-93 and I-95.


Median home price: $420,000

The close-in suburb of Medford (located just 5 miles northwest of Boston) is an appealing choice for young professionals and families. As in Woburn, older homes are relatively common, but there are also plenty of newer townhouses and condos.


Median home price: $427,750

Wakefield is located about 14 miles north of Boston and is directly on the Haverhill/Reading Line. Although small (it’s home to only about 25,000 people), it has a vibrant community, and local events are regularly hosted on the town common. Home buyers will find lots of classic Colonial and Cape-style homes, as well as some more modern condos.


Median home price: $475,000

Like Wakefield, Melrose is on the Haverhill Line, about 10 miles north of Boston. Although it’s certainly possible to spend $600,000 or more on a single family home in this increasingly popular suburb, there are also many more affordable starter homes and townhouses. Residents of Melrose enjoy easy access to hiking and biking trails at the Middlesex Fells Reservation, and the town is considered one of the safest areas for families with young children.

If you’re a first-time home buyer who is interested in living relatively close to Boston, take the time to tour some of the surrounding suburbs. A CENTURY 21 agent can help you find a home you’ll love at an affordable price.