“Good all season tires for places like MA is fine. 35” of annual snow-fall is so little that snow tires would be a waste and possibly worse because 90% of the time you’re driving on dry pavement."
The problem with that statement is that there is absolutely no standard–either industry-wide or from any governmental agency–as to what constitutes an “all-season” tire.
As a result, some of them are okay in snow–although nowhere near as good on snow or ice as a true winter tire. And, some so-called “all-season” tires are downright treacherous on winter road surfaces. The Bridgestone Potenza RE-92 tires that I suffered with are one example of a so-called “all-season” tire that is essentially useless on snow. However, there are undoubtedly others, and unless the OP checks before buying, he could well wind up with one of the “all-season” tires that are useless on winter road surfaces.
So, if the OP wants to compromise with so-called “all-season” tires, he would be well-advised to do a lot of due diligence on websites such as tirerack.com and 1010tires.com. By looking at ratings and reviews, it should be possible to see which all-season tires actually have acceptable winter traction and which don’t.
When I was still in my working days, I used a set of Michelin X-Ice winter tires, despite living in NJ, and despite having a vehicle with an excellent AWD system. The additional safety advantage was well worth it to me.
However, now that I am retired, and I can opt to stay off the roads until they are plowed and salted, I use the same set of Michelin Defender tires all year. They have decent winter traction, although their traction is still a far cry from what I had with my Michelin X-Ice winter tires.