No luck in Boston? Try Newton

Whether you are shopping for your first home or simply want to downgrade to a smaller property after your children have left the nest, you can find real estate in Boston worth investing in. However, with the average monthly rent jumping more than 7 percent to $1,881 in 2012, you might want to look for neighborhoods that offer a diverse array of for-sale properties.

However, even finding an apartment can be difficult in the Hub. According to The Boston Globe, the vacancy rate dropped from 3.8 percent in 2011, which was already low, to 3.1 percent in 2012. In the neighborhoods of Back Bay and the South End, barely 1 percent of units are vacant, and bidding wars erupt as soon as a listing is on the market.

Therefore, as a homebuyer, you might want to adjust your shopping habits to consider communities just outside downtown Boston. For example, CNN Money recently ranked the top 100 places to live in the United States, and Newton came in at number four.

Newton is technically a city of its own, and the area is divided into 13 villages, all of which are built around elementary schools. This leads many residents and locals to embrace Newton's education-centered reputation, which drives more buyers into the area each year.

Additionally, Newton is just outside Greater Boston, which gives residents easy access to public transportation, prestigious universities and diverse entertainment options. According to the news source, housing prices are high, but families say the perks, such as local swimming areas, shopping centers and restaurants, make the high costs well worth it.

If you look for homes in the village of Newton Center, you will find that the average real estate asking price is $1,048,261, according to ZipDataMaps. However, the average real estate sale price is lower at $877,873, the source reports. This discrepancy in sales rate and asking price may be temporary, as the national housing market looks to be on the verge of a slow but steady recovery. If you have found it difficult to locate a favorable for-sale property in downtown Boston, you might want to spread your wings and expand your search for houses in the surrounding areas like Newton. Consider moving into the Newton area if you enjoy the benefits of Boston, but don't want to enter an already competitive housing market.