5 years ago, my boyfriend (now husband) and I purchased our first home in Hudson, MA. We moved here because it was convenient for us to commute for work. I will admit, our purchase was a very emotional one as we had seen over 50 houses, made offers on 4 houses and been denied. This house, while it did not have all the amenities we wanted, was our last hope, otherwise, it was back to the drawing board for us and we were going to take a break from house hunting.
Surprisingly enough, our offer was accepted. We were thrilled and by late May – we were first time home owners. One month later after painting, small renovations, landscaping and having our floors refinished, we left townhouse rental life and moved in.
We were so happy to have our first house, but in the back of our minds – we figured in a few years we would move. After all, Hudson at the time didn’t have much to offer us crazy former city-living millennials. We anticipated being bored and figured we would find a bigger place in a “hipper” place in a few years.
But then, a few months later – something happened. Downtown started to grow. Rail Trail Flatbread Company opened up and was a HUGE hit. Not just from locals but people were traveling to Hudson, yes HUDSON to come here.
Our first experience at Rail Trail Flatbread was when they first opened. We then started going every week because we loved it so much! I will never forget watching patrons scrambling over snow banks on Main St. just to get some of heir delicious food during a snowstorm when they first opened.
Since then, our downtown area went from looking depressed and having a high vacancy rate for storefronts, to a booming downtown. We have parking problems now (I wouldn’t call it a problem at all since I don’t mind walking), we have clothing boutiques, curated antique stores, more restaurants, cafes, a brewery and even a speakeasy! But it’s not stopping there, Hudson is continuing its growth to improve it’s infrastructure.
Additionally, there’s a huge sense of community here, a running club, arts organizations, a community garden and coming soon, a farmers market. We have a beautiful rail trail bike path and plenty of nice parks, all while maintaining that New England charm.
Of course, you know what’s happened to Hudson. Housing is at a huge demand now. People want to live here, which in turn has increased the value of the home we bought only 5 years ago.
So, with that in mind, my husband and I have been struggling with taking advantage of the market in general and specifically in Hudson or to just stay since we have already paid 5 years into our mortgage and to be honest we love our town and our neighborhood.
The problem is that we are car people (well, more so my husband than me) and we bought a house with a single lane driveway and no garage. So, do you invest $30k into a garage and commit or sell the house to buy a house that’s overpriced outside of Hudson that has a 2 car garage but with the chance of a nice profit??
So it goes, our struggle. Additionally, interest rates are now creeping up again. We purchased at a time where they were almost rock bottom, so that right there is a sacrifice we would be making.
I consulted a few friends on this matter, one who is a real estate agent and one who is a residential lender with 20+ years of experience. It was a resounding – STAY! But with a caveat, know that your values could fall because that’s just the market. They both told me some people are taking too much advantage of the market and trying to make a quick buck, but it’s not always favorable.
So for now, the decision is to stay and pay down the mortgage. Perhaps we will even put on that garage one day. This decision isn’t an easy one and it certainly won’t be one that’s made over a flatbread. Stay tuned as I share updates on our addition!