This is the third part in a series of stories on finding affordable residential housing in Milton, centering on adults younger than 35. – Ed.)
With a tight seller’s market and very few houses priced below $550,000, it is almost unheard of for a typical first-time homebuyer to be able to secure a single family home in the 02186 zip code.
The housing squeeze has impacted the town’s demographics as many millennials who grew up in Milton or work here are finding that owning here is next to impossible.
Milton is seeing a steady drop in the number of residents between the ages of 25 to 34, who are often armed with a good education but not enough money and forced to go elsewhere.
According to Massachusetts Housing Partnership’s Data Town calculations, those living in Milton between the ages of 25 and 34 dropped from about 10.6 percent of the population in 2010 to between 6 and 9.4 percent in 2017.
Former assistant town planner Lauren Masiar is in her late 20s, and from her post with the town, she has a closeup view of the housing development.
Masiar is among those who are unable to buy in Milton.
“Most people my age are renting,” she said.
After covering car payments and college loans, the idea of saving the $80,000 needed for a down payment of 20 percent on a $400,000 house is “overwhelming,” according to Masiar.
“I can’t think of a single one of my friends with $80,000 in their bank accounts,” she said.
Masiar said she recently gave up an apartment in a large apartment complex in Cohasset to save money for her upcoming wedding and moved into a relative’s accessory dwelling unit in Scituate.
Masiar, who recently left to become Town Planner in Cohasset, said that she makes too much to qualify for any type of affordable income assistance and does not make enough to afford a starter home in Milton.
Making it easier to convert a portion of a property into an accessory dwelling unit or in-law apartment is something that has been discussed at the town level.
“This is not just a Milton issue, it's a regional issue,” said Masiar, who grew up in a suburban area outside of New York City.