Friday, April 18, 2008

There's Nothing Plain About Jamaica Plain


Not much of a photo I know. It's the only one I could pull from the realty web site. This is a picture of the porch on the first house I owned in Boston. The house was older, built in 1910, and needed quite a bit of work. I never really liked this house. The main reason for purchasing it was the fact that it was in a very gay neighborhood. At the time I moved in, there were 4 gay households on the street out of about 10 houses total. The surrounding streets had there share of gay folks as well. Our neighborhood had it's own contingent in the Boston Gay Pride Parade. We called ourselves BAGAL - Bourne Area Gays and Lesbians. BAGAL held monthly potlucks and threw parties for holidays and special events. We had a map of the neighborhood created with every gay or lesbian household colored in pink. There was a lot of pink.

I bought this house in 1995 for 125,000. I just found out it sold in at the end of November 2007 for $427,500. Pretty amazing for a one bath, three bedroom (sort of - one bedroom had no closet) house. Of course I made a profit as well when I sold eight years ago. But it just never ceases to amaze me what people will pay for houses in this and certain other parts of the country.

To all you folks still in Boston - having lived and owned houses in both the eastern and western parts of this state, I can honestly say the western part is way more beautiful, more fun, and more economical. But maybe I shouldn't tell you that.

9 comments:

OC said...

Because I've always lived in the west, and have never been further than Colorado, please tell me how far it is between Eastern MA and Western MA? I'm used to things being 500 miles from the next thing, and I know that is not the case there.

For the record, even here in the boonies, real estate is going up at an alarming rate.

CJ said...

Good question OC. From downtown Boston to where I live in western Mass is 77 miles. People in Massachusetts generally think in terms of the 1)Cape and the Islands 2)Boston 3)Worcester (Central Mass) 4)Western Mass 5)The Bershires. People who have lived all their lives in Boston seem to think anything west of Worcester is cow country but I don't really think that is true.

There are farms around where I live and it is more rural than Boston but it's not totally out in the woods or anything.

OC said...

Wow...77 miles...that is nothing when you talk in Western terms. It is 120 miles from here to Missoula where the closet "mall" is. Things are just so spread out, but on the other hand, there is hardly any traffic and the speed limit is 75 mph, except through the mountain passes.

People in CA drive that far each way to work a lot of times, so I guess it can be done.

Velvet Ginger (Rubye Jean) said...

I really like that porch...love the sunlight (i would have it full of plants), I also like the whole "living around farms", I like gardening and I miss trees! I have tried to make a little oasis in the desert here.
Do you get to the ocean much?

Blondie said...

Your house in JP was very trendy, as I recall. One of the only houses on the street with a driveway and a garage. I remember how everyone parked in the street and "marked their spot" with a chair or a cone, or some silly thing. The street was always very crowded.

You also had a small side yard the size of a postage stamp (ok I exaggerate) which was also very uncommon for JP or even Boston for that matter.

JP itself is kind of a cool place to live - kind of like Northampton - with a lot of shops and restaurants to spend the day walking around browsing (or shopping).

However, what you get in a house and land for $400k in the Boston area vs $400k in WMass is a huge difference!

I love the energy in Boston but I love WMass so much more for the green grass and the clear sky at night. You can't even see the stars at night in Boston because of all of the smog.

I could go on and on...

CJ said...

OC - 120 miles to the mall?! I think the nearest mall to me is about 5 miles. Now I feel spoiled.

That porch had great sunlight Rubye Jean. Not much of a view however. I used to get to the ocean more when I lived in Boston. There was a ferry there could get you to Cape Cod in 90 minutes. I only get to the beach now about once or twice a year when I head out to Provincetown on the end of the Cape. It's about a 3 hour drive from here.

Yes, Blondie I agree that JP was kind of a cool place to live. But it was way too urban for me. I would pick Northampton any day over JP.

CHEWY said...

And.. it's a secret how much profit you made on the house. (elbow nudge)

CJ said...

Ok Chewy - no secrets here (especially now that I have revealed my bra size). I sold the house for 2.2X more than I paid for it. But I had to split it with my ex.

Rita said...

I always love calling around on houses that are for sale when I am in Boston or reading the real estate section in the Globe. It is amazing to me that a little bit of nothing of a house....smaller than mine here.....can go for double the price I paid for my house.