Up for discussion: Is Grafton a good buy?

This came in as a comment, but I’m moving it to a separate post on its own because I think it’s worthy of some thought. There are a few edits in here to remove some personal details.

My wife and I recently moved to MA from N. CA. We have purchased a LeClaire in a neighborhood in which I think you reside.

One I am curious if you think Grafton will still be a draw for future home buyers due to the cost of gas and the distance from Boston.

Additionally can you comment on the loss of values of the homes if any in Grafton.

We purchased in February of 2007 during the decline but not the bottom.

You maybe wondering how we found Grafton, MA coming from N. CA. We were told by many real estate agents that Grafton is one of the premier towns in MA and continues to grow by leaps and bounds year after year. Is this still the case? We were also told that Grafton will be what Westboro is today. Is this true and what does that really mean.

Curious your thoughts and wanted to see if you wanted to post a story soliciting comments regarding my questions.

I have some thoughts, but anyone else want to weigh in first?

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7 thoughts on “Up for discussion: Is Grafton a good buy?

  1. There’s no question that Grafton is one of the fastest-growing towns in the state… recent stats seem to prove this:
    http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2008/07/24/growing_concerns/

    So funny… we were also told that Grafton is an up-and-coming town, “the next Westborough or Hopkinton.” In my mind, when people say that they mean two things: (1) money, and (2) schools. In order for Grafton to be more like those towns, average family income needs to rise (in other words, more wealthy/professional people need to move in) and our schools need to become just as highly regarded. The Westborough school system has been strong for quite some time, and in the last 20 years Hopkinton’s schools have risen under the influence of EMC executives demanding higher standards for their kids.

    I also think people have been moving to Grafton in recent years because of the newer, more affordable housing stock. Five years ago, when we were house-hunting, it became clear that our price range, inside Rt. 128, would buy us nothing. That same amount between 128 and 495 would buy something on a busy street or that needed work. But that same amount here in Grafton would buy us a fairly new 4-bedroom home on a half-acre. My husband’s daily commute into Boston is long (and my part-time commute to Waltham ain’t no picnic either) — and there are definitely days when he finally arrives home after fighting monster traffic out of the city and says “OK, I’m ready for that condo in Brookline now!”

    All things considered, though, Grafton has kind of grown on us over the years. Sometimes I wish the town were more vibrant and had more restaurants. I’m impatient with The Grafton News and would like to see more racial/ethnic/religious diversity. But it does have its charm, and things are changing in a good way, I think. If money were no object? Of course, we’d be in Weston (see money and schools, above)! But it is, and we’re not, and for the foreseeable future, Grafton is home.

  2. Awesome topic.

    If you view your home purchase as an investment, I think its a terrific great buy. If you ask a person who moved here in the last 5 years, I’ll bet 90% plus say they kept moving west until value met expectations. I don’t think that trend could be wrong…if so many people are doing it (follow the herd baby!). And as far as the commute…I think increased commuter use & the trend of telecommuting will off-set the rise in gas prices. Finally, the schools already have a great people-infrastructure (teachers and staff), and the physical infrastructure theoretically will be resolved in the next couple years.

    But I think if you put the investment value of your home in the back of your mind, and just look around you’ll find Grafton is a pretty good place to live….and quite frankly, no matter where you go people are going to have complaints about their town…even in Weston!!!

  3. Thanks for the comments, would love to hear more!
    We didn’t move to Grafton — or to Northborough, our old town — without doing a lot of research. (We have a marriage that includes both an engineer and a community journalist, so we may have over researched. Anyone else look at zoning and conservation maps and chat with the planning office in addition to touring schools, checking out the builder’s background and comparing various data against other towns?) We weren’t looking for investment property; we just wanted a nice place to raise our kids where the schools wouldn’t turn their brains into mush.
    Grafton looked like a good buy: decent schools, easy access to the Pike, a commuter rail station, close to both work and my family, planning that included open space, lots of sports fields for our baseball-obsessed boy.
    For the most part, we’ve been very happy with our move here — the kids are thriving in the schools, people are very friendly.
    We have just one major issue, because we were spoiled: we need a decent Chinese food place close by!

  4. I think one disadvantage is the lack of corporate/business tax revenue to offset municipal spending. I’m not well educated in this…but I do wonder how large a part this has played in the growth of Hopkinton & Westboro (given that both are have plenty).

  5. I also should have said in my earlier comment: Yes! We think buying in Grafton was a good investment. Even though real estate values have deflated in the last year or so, that trend seems to be happening across the board… so homeowners in most towns are all floating down with it, not just in Grafton.

    There are so many different factors that go into buying a home; owning your house as an appreciating asset is just one part of it. As you point out, having a nice place to raise your kids is key — and Grafton certainly is a great town in which to do that!

  6. Thank you all for your comments. I am the original poster. Your comments have helped me understand that we made the correct choice in Grafton. We were really thinking Newton or any of the surrounding towns to Newton but for the money we would of been in a major fixer upper ranch on a busy street.

    Once again thanks for taking the time to make your comments.

  7. Does anyone else have any comments on this topic. If you refer to Friday’s Grafton Newspaper there are lots of topics about the health of real estate in Grafton.

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