As a Spencer Realtor and resident of Spencer, Massachusetts for the past 17 years, I am going to share with you 9 of my favorite reasons why I really love living in Spencer, Mass. Why? Because I really think this town is overlooked as an excellent, affordable place to live!
I originally grew up east of here in Upton, Mass but moved here when I bought my first home in 2000 because I wanted to live in a waterfront home. As a first time homebuyer, I found that Spencer, Massachusetts had waterfront homes I could actually afford and it was only an hour from my family!
1) Spencer, Massachusetts has Lower Home Prices And Lower Taxes
Spencer, Massachusetts has lower priced homes than some of the surrounding communities, making it easier on your budget! Find Spencer homes for sale on the market right now here. This makes Spencer a great town to buy for first time home buyers! The current 2017 tax rate in Spencer, Massachusetts is 13.98 per $1,000 of your assessed homes value. Assessed value is usually lower than the market value, anywhere from $20,000- $50,000 lower depending on the property. So if your house is assessed at say $225,000, you would be looking at yearly taxes of $3,145 which breaks down to a monthly cost of $262 per month.
Now compare that to nearby Sturbridge, where you will find significantly higher priced homes than what you would find in Spencer. Plus the 2017 Tax rate in nearby Sturbridge, Massachusetts is $19.40 per $1,000. So for the same assessed value home it will cost you $4,365 per year, which makes a difference in your mortgage of $101 more per month! There is a lot you can do with an extra $101 per month! If you are interested in checking out the tax rates for all towns in Massachusetts, click here.
2) Unique and Convenient Stores Nearby
I loved the rural small town feel of growing up in Upton. What I distinctly remember NOT liking though is how far we would have to drive just to get groceries! Refreezing melted ice cream never tasted quite as good, let me tell you! The town had very few stores and conveniences at the time. Granted, that has improved somewhat, although there still is no grocery store in Upton.
Well, that problem was solved when I bought my first home in Spencer, Massachusetts! Not only could I afford to live in a lakefront home for my very first home (despite having very little money saved), but I also LOVED how many nearby stores, restaurants, Dr. offices, and even nail salons there were right in town! I felt like I hit the jackpot after living in Upton, LOL!! I was in heaven! I could enjoy all the nature that Spencer offers while also appreciating the convenience of shopping and businesses nearby.
There is now even a Super Walmart just over the Spencer line in Leicester to add to the selection of grocery stores and conveniences to choose from! We have Price Chopper, Big Y, and Walmart. CVS Is a convenient common go to for me, right next to Price Chopper.
If you haven’t experienced Klem’s Department Store, in East Brookfield, right over the Spencer, Massachusetts line, well then do yourself favor and check it out! Klem’s is a unique department store that allows you to bring your dog shopping with you and characteristic of this area by selling tractors, horse and dog supplies as well as paint, stain, auto parts, plants, birds, fish and clothes! Seriously check it out and you will be rewarded with a free bag of popcorn for your troubles! :))
Then there is Whitco, right in the center of town across from Price Chopper and CVS, another wonderfully creative small town store that I enjoy buying all my appliances at! They have all appliances, toys, bikes, tvs, air conditioners, and the list goes on! They even help you put large items in your car for you! Great small town customer service.
3) Spencer Has a Nice Selection of Nearby Restaurants
Dont feel like cooking? Spencer has lots of really good nearby restaurants! The top ten rated restaurants are HERE.
My kids and husband and I love the Black and White Restaurant, located on Rt 31 in Spencer, Massachusetts. It’s right around the corner from us, delicious food, great selection from pizza to seafood to burgers, newly updated interior, and in the summer I really enjoy eating at the outdoor tables. We also particularly like Mexicali Grill and our favorite breakfast and brunch spot is Charlie’s Diner. Five loaves is incredible as well. So nice to be able to stay close if we aren’t in the mood to cook!
4) Nature Lovers Dream!
If you love the great outdoors, Spencer is fabulous! Lots of trails, parks and recreational resources!
I love the scenery at the Depot Rail Trail, just off South Spencer Road. Great place to park, walk dogs, hike, and just enjoy the woods and a few frog loving ponds along the way.
The Midstate Trail running through Spencer, Massachusetts is HUGE! What a great place to enjoy nature walking your dog, riding horses, or cross country skiing while being connected to 92 miles of scenic walking paths across Central Mass. To get there, you can park near one of the trail heads at 92 McCormick Rd. Lots of snowmobiles enjoy those trails in winter, including the local Spencer Snowbird club.
The Sibley and Warner Farms, located between Greenville street and RT 9 is a 350 acre conservation area for the public to enjoy the fields, forests, trails and much more!
Spencer has several parks, with the most notable for small children being Powder Mill Park , located on the corner of Meadow Street and Smithville Rd. My children have outgrown it at this point, but they enjoyed many quick jaunts to visit the swings, pirate ship, and fenced in areas to run around out there for years!
5) Spencer, Massachusetts is a Horse Lover’s Paradise!
Do you love horses? Plenty of places to keep them and ride them in Spencer! Camp Marshall Equestrian Center at the 4H club on McCormick Rd offers year round riding lessons, boarding, shows and more!
Beautiful Nearby Gold Nugget Farm, on Gold Nugget Farm Road also offers boarding and lessons.
6) Get Wet and Have Some Water Fun!
Spencer, Massachusetts has many bodies of water and lots of opportunities to enjoy the water and possibly live waterfront, as I do. There is Sugden Reservoir, Thompson Pond, Stiles Reservoir, Cranberry Meadow, Lake Whittemore, and Browning Pond. We enjoyed many happy times over 12 years on Sugden Reservoir, waterskiing and tubing with our kids, canoeing, fishing, and enjoying watching all the wildlife. We now love living on Thompson Pond in Spencer, home of Camp Marshall, great fishing, boating and swimming. If waterfront living is something you would love, your chances of finding it more affordable are much greater here!
7) Schools are Slowly Improving
The town of Spencer, Massachusetts has had a lot of bad publicity regarding their school administration. Lots of controversy. I believe things have been improving over time as new people have been voted in. I can honestly say that I am satisfied with the education my children are receiving who are currently in 5th and 7th grade. I have found the teachers wonderful to work with, supportive of learning, and my children do amazingly well, because of that.
8) Great Community of People
There are so many wonderful people in this small community of Spencer, Massachusetts! I am proud to be a member of this community and would most definitely recommend it to anyone considering buying a home here! The advantages are many.
9) Manageable Commute
Spencer, Massachusetts is close to Worcester, Auburn, and Sturbridge where you can pick up 290, Mass Pike, 395, and RT 84. A little extra drive is worth it when you consider the benefits and how much more house you can get for your money here!
From Lynda Hafner:
If you are looking to buy or sell a home in Spencer, Massachusetts, I would love the opportunity to help you! I can be reached at 508-942-7923, LyndaHafner@ gmail.com or www.lyndahafnerhomes.com