Real estate in Boston is an attractive investment option

The dilemma of whether to buy real estate in Boston or rent it goes through the minds of current and prospective Hub residents. After all, investing in property is a commitment, and people want to make sure they're making the right decisions for their futures. Fortunately, Boston is one of the most thriving metros in the United States, in terms of both housing and employment.

Currently, the unemployment rate in Greater Boston is 6.8 percent, well under the national rate of 8.3 percent. Housing is another driving force in the stability of Boston, as CNN Money notes home prices in the Hub are 80 percent above the national median, and rents average nearly $2,000 a month in the area. Those metrics are high for both renting and buying, so it comes down to a matter of personal preference when relocating to Boston.

Of course, buyers want more convincing information than low unemployment rates and high home values before moving to a city. Fortunately, MSN Real Estate recently ran a report that outlined what prospective homebuyers would need if they wanted to move to Boston. The report says the average income a resident needs to afford life in the Hub is $53,211, and the average home price in the city is $362,100. With this information, buyers can make sound choices when looking at property in Boston and the data can help people decide if they have the proper finances to relocate to such a city.

"The market has improved this year from the standpoint of activity level," Boston real estate professional Bill Gassett said to MSN Real Estate. "Home values have not gone up much but have remained stable. There are certain price pockets with low inventory that have done really well."

Nevertheless, Boston is an attractive place to live for many Americans, and there are some great deals in the greater-metro area. CNN Money reports that areas like Lowell and Lawrence, old mill towns outside of the city, are the best buying bargains. Homebuyers might be attracted to Boston for work opportunities, cultural relevance or education systems, as the Hub excels in those departments. But when it comes to making the choice between homeownership or becoming a tenant, the decision often depends on financial backings, and that is in the hands of the buyer.