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Someone Asked If It Was Possible in Boston to Buy Under the Asking Price and the Abyss Chuckled

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Over-asks, bidding wars still the norm, apparently

A commenter on Reddit recently posited these questions to the unseen commentariat: "Who here is house-hunting right now? Is it even possible to bid under asking in Boston anymore?" The responses have so far varied from "not really" to "you must be kidding." (Said commenter alerted us to the thread on Monday.)

Some of the more choice responses will seem all too familiar to those who have waded into the Thunderdome that is one of America's priciest housing markets:

  • "If it's in good shape, and in line with the market, it's going within a week, often at least a bit over list. I walked into an open house 45 minutes from Boston today that already had two offers in. If the open house is packed, offering below list is a waste of time."
  • "I literally just went through this process... it's a real PITA. We lost multiple houses because people outbid us by $10K-$15K and we were already $15K over asking price - it's ridiculous. We ended up getting a house in Braintree for $20K over asking. There were 10 offers total on the house including one for $25K over and another one for $30K over. They said they went with our offer because of the letter we wrote. "
  • "My wife and I bought a place in Cambridge a little over a year ago and I don't wish that stress upon anyone. We went to an open house on a Sunday and decided to put forward an offer on Tuesday. We were a finalist along with one other bidder, and we were asked to submit our 'best and final.' We ended up bidding $30K above asking, based upon looking at comparable sales and the average price per sq ft. We 'won' and didn't have to do any of the wacky things folks do, like waive contingencies or do all cash. We had 20% down, and good credit, so it worked out. It was not cheap..."

Some of the responses, we should note, offered hope, though usually in the form of settling for locales farther away from originally desired spots. Like this one: "We were fed up of looking at overpriced units in Boston so 2 years we bought a loft in downtown Salem and wish we'd done it sooner. It's starting to pop, its a 25-min train ride to North Station and the area is a lot of fun."

What're you experiencing?