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Old 12-12-2010, 07:06 PM
3 posts, read 3,196 times
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My husband just accepted a job in Marlborough. We will be coming from Chicago and have a two year old and an 8 month old. We are looking to be in a safe area/neighborhood that is walkable to restaurants, parks etc. We'd like to have other young families around. We will need at least a three bedroom, but a four bedroom home would be nice for family coming to visit. Budget: we need to stay under $4000/month, but ideally would stay under $3500. We are looking to rent for at least the first year we are there, so we don't need to worry about school systems just yet. I've read nice things on this forum about Brookline and Newton, but don't know if it's out of our price range. We'd really like a walkable area with more of an urban feel. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thank you in advance for any help!!!
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Old 12-12-2010, 09:58 PM
Location: Boston
7,336 posts, read 15,305,855 times
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Do you plan on owning a car (or two?) and is your husband planning on commuting to work via public transit or a car? Also, do you prefer to be in a big urban area, or would a smaller community with a walkable center do the trick? The reason I ask is because Marlborough itself is somewhat urban. It has a walkable Main Street type center (check it out in google street view). It's not exactly a megalopolis, but it is walkable and and may offer what you want closer to your husband's work (it could use some more variety with regards to shops and restaurants, but it's not bad). It would make your husband's commute easy.

Outside of Marlborough, there are a number of options. Boston works because your husband will be reverse commuting in the opposite direction of rush hour traffic. Brookline and Newton both have a number of neighborhoods that fit what you're looking for, but you may find that your budget doesn't offer you as much as you want (there will be options in that range) for the money. Other parts of Brookline and Newton are decidedly suburban, so I wouldn't make a decision without seeing the place (or at least getting second opinions) beforehand.

I think you could get more bang for your buck in a neighborhood like Jamaica Plain which has a great urban "village" type area (Centre Street) and some more affordable residential options. While the section of JP closest to Roxbury is a little more rough around the edges (I wouldn't call it dangerous and I live in JP); the rest of the neighborhood is quite safe and largely gentrified. There are a lot of young families in JP as well as a good number of college students. I really like the variety of businesses and the walkable neighborhood center combined with quiet residential streets. I like Roslindale as well as it has a nice neighborhood center and some attractive residential streets. Both of these neighborhoods would be better if your husband commutes by car as they require a number of transfers to get to the commuter rail toward Marlborough; Roslindale in particular.

You could get the most bang for your buck in Worcester. I would recommend posting questions about Worcester in the general MA forum (not the Boston one), as there are some members who are far more knowledgeable on the city in there. Worcester has a few trouble spots but it is a city of nearly 200,000 and has some great urban neighborhoods. It's close to Marlborough (25-30 minute drive by car) and rents are a LOT lower than Boston. You may find you can get something a lot nicer in Worcester for your money and be just as happy as you would be in Boston.
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