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Go west young homebuyer, part II: Western Massachusetts

My wife went to Smith and I was born in Greenfield. And we'd both move out to Western Massachusetts with...

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My wife went to Smith and I was born in GreenfieldAnd we'd both move out to Western Massachusetts with our kids in a heartbeat if we could. Of course, there is just one little problem with that plan - moneyGreater Boston is where the jobs are, not Greenfield or even Northampton or Amherst, unless you are an academic. The jobless rate in Middlesex County, home of the western suburbs, is in the 5 percent range - almost half what it is in parts of Western Massachusetts. Still, if you can find a way to swing it, you can find some killer home prices and probably a better pace and lifestyle than status obsessed, traffic clogged Greater Boston. You can easily get a home under $300,000 - and in many cases under $200,000. OK, maybe living in a post industrial city is not your thing, though it's hard to beat Springfield's median price, which fell roughly 10 percent last year to $108,000, according to The Warren Group, the real estate publisher and data firm. But West Springfield isn't so bad - you can snag a home for $179,900Ditto for Greenfield, where the median price is $160,000For that matter, Chicopee's median price is $145,000. At the other end, some of the more trendy towns in Western Massachusetts will cost more to get into. Yet they make even middling Boston area towns like Natick, median price of $387,000, and Franklin, which weighs in at $362,000, look outrageously expensive. The median home price in Northampton, which has a great, funky downtown, is $250,000, while in Amherst it is $311,000In Williamstown, the median home price is $300,000 So where would you rather live? Northampton or Franklin? Amherst or Natick? There's no debate as far as I'm concerned. #blogEntry em.disclaimer { color: #272727; display: block; font: italic 13px/150% Georgia,Times,Times New Roman,serif; margin: 0 0 35px; text-align: center; } This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe. The author is solely responsible for the content. Comments () E-mail story Print story E-mail this article To: Invalid E-mail address Add a personal message:(80 character limit) Your E-mail: Invalid E-mail address Sending your article Previous Story Why is Sam and MABA so down on short sales? Front Page Next Story Don?t love something that can?t love you back window._taboola = window._taboola || []; window._taboola.push({mode:"autosized-1r",container:"taboola-autosized-1r",target_type:"mix"}); window._taboola.push({mode:"text-links-2-columns",container:"taboola-text-links-2-columns",target_type:"mix"}); About boston real estate now Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues. -->

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