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Old 01-19-2011, 04:03 PM
 
1 posts, read 1,294 times
Reputation: 10

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I may be jumping the gun a bit, but I'm a planner and a worrier who feels better with answers. I haven't even made it to the interview stage yet, but I applied for a job in the Longwood Medical Area. I've wanted to move to the Boston Area for quite sometime as it's a hotbed for my industry, but that's just it--the Boston Area (and not so much the urban/downtown parts of Boston). I'm somewhat odd and while I love the idea of being near cities, I've come to the conclusion after visiting friends/family who live in urban environments that while I would enjoy/could handle working in a more urban environment, when it comes time to go home, I want to be out and away from it some, even if it involves a more lengthy commute.

Based on what I'd have to live on, etc., it seems like Needham might be a good living option for me. I could afford the rent there. The cost of living is comparable to my California town. Also, I plan on keeping my car. It seems like parking spaces are a bit more common than closer to/in the city, and from talks with my insurance company (who, thankfully, can now insure MA residents), my car insurance wouldn't increase that much over what I'm currently paying for a town in California (about 150 more per year). (I'm aware that a lot of people find the area manageable without a car, and I've had some people suggest doing without, but I really want to have access to my own vehicle on weekends/at night. It's nearly paid for (with a cheap payment to boot), has an insanely low number of miles, and when I finished up in a year or 2 with this position and moved on, I'd never get it replaced with something equal. This is an expense, in my situation, I'm ready to make some trade offs for and find justifiable/acceptable).

I've got one group suggesting places that are more urban (which I probably wouldn't go for even if I had all the money in the world to spend), how I need to be on the T rather than the commuter line, etc. A longer daily commute time is also not that big of deal to me, particularly when I'm not driving. I spent my formative years in a rural area. I had to ride the bus for an hour to and from my high school. You have to drive 15 minutes just to get somwhere that sells gas, bread, or milk. When people bemoan a commute longer than 30 minutes, I just kind of shrug. It's what I'm used to.

From the MBTA schedule, it looks like the train trip from Needham to Ruggles Station is somewhere around 30 minutes (maybe a few more). A few of the places I've checked out for reference points (obviously, I wouldn't know exactly where I'd be living until I actually had the job and made some decisions/checked out some places in person) were within a 10 minute walk to the train stop. (Again, not a walk I'd mind.) From Ruggles station, I would be able to take the MASCO shuttle the rest of the way in for free. In a lot of ways, this seems easier in terms of getting there than a mish-mash of lines/connections I'd have to take if I were trying to live further out, but still on the actual T. Also, I know the commuter rail passes are more expensive, but I'd be getting 50-60% off the price as a benefit.

Any thoughts on the feasibility of this plan from someone who's lived there/done it? On another note, I've also thought about Norwood. Newton seems to come up frequently, but I think it might be a bit more expensive.

Thanks for your help!
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Old 01-19-2011, 07:13 PM
 
83 posts, read 291,551 times
Reputation: 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by KitKat79 View Post
I may be jumping the gun a bit, but I'm a planner and a worrier who feels better with answers. I haven't even made it to the interview stage yet, but I applied for a job in the Longwood Medical Area. I've wanted to move to the Boston Area for quite sometime as it's a hotbed for my industry, but that's just it--the Boston Area (and not so much the urban/downtown parts of Boston). I'm somewhat odd and while I love the idea of being near cities, I've come to the conclusion after visiting friends/family who live in urban environments that while I would enjoy/could handle working in a more urban environment, when it comes time to go home, I want to be out and away from it some, even if it involves a more lengthy commute.

Based on what I'd have to live on, etc., it seems like Needham might be a good living option for me. I could afford the rent there. The cost of living is comparable to my California town. Also, I plan on keeping my car. It seems like parking spaces are a bit more common than closer to/in the city, and from talks with my insurance company (who, thankfully, can now insure MA residents), my car insurance wouldn't increase that much over what I'm currently paying for a town in California (about 150 more per year). (I'm aware that a lot of people find the area manageable without a car, and I've had some people suggest doing without, but I really want to have access to my own vehicle on weekends/at night. It's nearly paid for (with a cheap payment to boot), has an insanely low number of miles, and when I finished up in a year or 2 with this position and moved on, I'd never get it replaced with something equal. This is an expense, in my situation, I'm ready to make some trade offs for and find justifiable/acceptable).

I've got one group suggesting places that are more urban (which I probably wouldn't go for even if I had all the money in the world to spend), how I need to be on the T rather than the commuter line, etc. A longer daily commute time is also not that big of deal to me, particularly when I'm not driving. I spent my formative years in a rural area. I had to ride the bus for an hour to and from my high school. You have to drive 15 minutes just to get somwhere that sells gas, bread, or milk. When people bemoan a commute longer than 30 minutes, I just kind of shrug. It's what I'm used to.

From the MBTA schedule, it looks like the train trip from Needham to Ruggles Station is somewhere around 30 minutes (maybe a few more). A few of the places I've checked out for reference points (obviously, I wouldn't know exactly where I'd be living until I actually had the job and made some decisions/checked out some places in person) were within a 10 minute walk to the train stop. (Again, not a walk I'd mind.) From Ruggles station, I would be able to take the MASCO shuttle the rest of the way in for free. In a lot of ways, this seems easier in terms of getting there than a mish-mash of lines/connections I'd have to take if I were trying to live further out, but still on the actual T. Also, I know the commuter rail passes are more expensive, but I'd be getting 50-60% off the price as a benefit.

Any thoughts on the feasibility of this plan from someone who's lived there/done it? On another note, I've also thought about Norwood. Newton seems to come up frequently, but I think it might be a bit more expensive.

Thanks for your help!
Needham sounds like a good fit for what you want. It's nicer than Norwood yet in the same price range. Newton is nice also, but the few sections that are in any way convenient to the LMA by public transit (Riverside subway branch) are probably too close to the city for your liking and very expensive for the most part.

The reason people are harsh on commuting here is because we have very bad drivers (always) and very bad winters (often). I would rather have an hour commute in most of the rest of the US than a half an hour one here. So planning on using the commuter rail is an excellent idea on your part.
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Old 01-19-2011, 08:00 PM
 
83 posts, read 291,551 times
Reputation: 77
Quote:
I'm aware that a lot of people find the area manageable without a car, and I've had some people suggest doing without, but I really want to have access to my own vehicle on weekends/at night.
As a lifelong resident I can honestly say one of the best things about living in the Boston area is its easy proximity by car to all sorts of great urban and nature destinations.

When I was younger I was "car free" in the city itself, and even that was a drag. Suggesting that you do without a car in a suburban area like Needham or Norwood is crazy talk, pure and simple.
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