People often suggest that Turtleboy Sports craps on places like Worcester, Fitchburg, Colrain, Southbridge, Webster, Ware, and Spencer too much. Not enough smiles and sunshine. But that’s only because we want the world to be a better place. And a big problem with dumpy towns and cities is that people don’t wanna send their kids to school there, and the property value plummets.
We spent months writing about the Spencer-East Brookfield School District because a lot of really good people in Spencer in particular were watching as the values of their homes plummeted. Who wants to buy a house in a town where the high school has no extracurricular activities, the ceiling is falling, and the adults are more concerned with killing the teacher’s union than helping kids enjoy their youth? No one. And just to show you the effect that schools and grime have on property value we decided to compare and contrast home prices in different towns so you can see just how dramatic of an effect it has.
Alright, let’s imagine you have two or three kids. The oldest is about to start school and you want to settle down in a place where they can call home. Ideally you’re looking for a house with 2,000-2,500 square feet, 4 bedrooms, and 2 baths. You don’t wanna spend more than $400,00. Let’s see what you can get in Spencer:
Sweet digs!! You can be living large in the low 3 hundos.
Four bedrooms, two baths, 2,500 square feet. Less than $250,000. That’s how low you have to set the price in order to get someone to buy your house in the bridge. That’s what living in Southbridge does to your property value.
That’s a big freaking house. So why is it so cheap? Oh yea, because it’s in Webster.
So in Worcester if you’re looking for a 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 2,500 square foot place, you can expect to pay less than $300,000. If you’re willing to spend up to $400,000, the sky is the limit. You can pretty much get anything you want. Great for speculators. Not so great for homeowners. This is why teachers getting punched in the face at North High is a bad thing.
The fact that you can get that much house for that cheap in Central Massachusetts is mind boggling. Of course it all makes sense when you factor in that you have to live in Fitchburg.
Now let’s check out some towns that have more stellar reputations and hardly ever seem to be the subject of Turtleboy blogs:
Yea sorry, if you want your 2,500 square foot house in Shrewsbury, it ain’t happening. Not unless you rob a few banks. Don’t get me wrong, you can still live in Shrewsbury and send your kids to palace that is Shrewsbury High School, but you’re just gonna have to settle a little bit:
Not that there’s anything wrong with those homes. They’re just about half the size of what you could get in Fitchburg or Worcester.
Remember, 4 bedrooms, 3 baths, and 2,500 square feet is what you wanted. In Westboro you’re about $200,000 over budget. Even a house that has 1,000 less square feet and one less bedroom is out of your price range.
Grafton is a great town, and it’s high school is state of the art. Too bad your kids won’t be going to it. Luckily for the people who live there though, they can sell their homes and make a tremendous profit because they settled down in a town that doesn’t have Mambo Drinks in it.
These two towns are in the Wachusett Regional School District – a state of the art facility that is good at basically everything they do. Good luck finding a house in your price range, because they go pretty fast when they do come on the market.
Nashoba Regional High School, which serves Lancaster, Bolton, and Stow (don’t even think about looking for a home in Stow) is also good at everything, and they’re friendly and safe towns. If you own a 2,500 square foot, 4 bedroom house then you can expect to get between $500-$600K for it. Because people actually want to live in your towns because the schools are good, the roads are plowed, and the street are safe.
This is one town over from Fitchburg. ONE TOWN!!
Algonquin Regional High School is also good at pretty much everything. This in turn drives up the value of homes there tremendously.
You get the picture. When crime is low and schools are good, property value goes up. And when property value goes up it means the tax base goes up, and then they get new high schools and better roads. So when people like Kevin Hayes come into power on your local School Committee, they’re not just making life miserable for your kids. They’re also ruining you financially. This is why we fight at Turtleboy Sports.
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