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Old 03-04-2011, 09:43 PM
 
Location: High Desert (hate it)
2 posts, read 4,132 times
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well, it looks like we are moving to the boston area...my husband got a job offer in natick for the dod army base over there...i'm looking for a good place to live close around natick or boston....we are looking for a house or an apartment to rent up to 1300 ( i know it;s not that much) in a nice neighborhood, with stores in walking distance and i would love love love to have my public transportation back (right now here in the high desert there is none!!!) and i'm soo used to it ! i would like to have good pre- schools around. any suggestions i really need help cause i dont wanna fly out from california to boston with no information! thank you !!!
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Old 03-04-2011, 10:32 PM
 
5,763 posts, read 13,326,187 times
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It sounds as if schools will be an issue within a year or two, and I'm guessing that with a child you'll want more of a family kind of neighborhood than a single young professionals kind of area. If I'm guessing incorrectly, let me know. Going by my educated guess, though, the first town that comes to mind is Newton. Newton has the population of a small city (85k or so), but is largely affluent older inner suburban in character. Newton also has commercial centers scattered all over town, rather than one large downtown area, so there are many neighborhoods where you would be close to small local kinds of stores. The area around Newton Centre may be your best option if you also want to be near public transit. West Newton also has public transit and a fairly good-sized commercial district, but transit from West Newton is a commuter rail line that has long gaps in service in the direction inbound toward Boston, while Newton Centre is served by a light rail line that runs much more frequently.

With the housing budget you have, you need to think more of renting an apartment rather than a house. You'll give yourself the most options in Newton if you don't limit yourself to apartment buildings, but also consider such options as large older houses that have been split into apartments.

Another inner suburban kind of town is Brookline. Brookline is the next town in toward Boston from Newton, which means you're closer to Boston but your husband would have a longer commute. Brookline is also even more upscale than Newton, so your options for rental properties in your price range will be fewer. Further complicating the picture is the fact that Brookline does not allow parking on the street at night, so you'd need to limit your options to properties with on-site parking, or shell out extra money for a rented parking space. If, by chance, you were able to find a workable property in Brookline, the best areas for finding both local shopping and public transit would be Coolidge Corner and Brookline Village.

If you'd be okay with an area that's more 20th-century suburban in feel, Lexington might be worth a look, though I'm a bit unsure whether Lexington would be your best option. Lex. does have a substantial downtown by the standards of a suburban town, but I don't know whether there are a lot of rental properties there. Public transit to Boston would involve taking a bus to Cambridge, where you can make a subway connection to Boston.

Depending on how long a commute your husband would be up for, you might look at Arlington. In areas close to Mass. Ave. you'd find some decent local shopping, with more rental properties than you'll likely find in Lexington, and you can catch the same bus that serves Lexington. Bit longer commute to Natick, though, than the commute from other places I've suggested.

Maybe, maybe, Natick itself, in the area near Natick Center would work. There is an attractive but small downtown area, with some basic mom-and-pop stores, and I'm not sure whether that would be as much local shopping as you'd like to have in your neighborhood, but there is at least that, as well as a commuter rail station, and a lot of mall shopping in another section of Natick, though you'd most likely want to drive there. (There is a local transit service that runs through Natick in the daytime, but the routes can be circuitous, and service is not too frequent, like maybe only once an hour or so.)
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Old 03-06-2011, 01:23 PM
 
Location: High Desert (hate it)
2 posts, read 4,132 times
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wow thanks for the answer i will look into these areas!
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Old 03-06-2011, 09:05 PM
 
5,763 posts, read 13,326,187 times
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You're welcome. Check back if you have questions about particular locations once you narrow your list. Best of luck with your search.
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Old 03-07-2011, 03:54 PM
 
Location: Newton, Mass.
2,954 posts, read 10,795,800 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ogre View Post
The area around Newton Centre may be your best option if you also want to be near public transit. West Newton also has public transit and a fairly good-sized commercial district, but transit from West Newton is a commuter rail line that has long gaps in service in the direction inbound toward Boston, while Newton Centre is served by a light rail line that runs much more frequently.
The Newton neighborhoods with access to mass transit and a fair number of rentals (some parts of town are full of mansions and don't really have any) are Newton Corner, Newtonville, Newton Centre, West Newton, Newton Highlands and Auburndale. All of these have commercial districts though Newton Center and West Newton's are the largest. The bad news is that, of these neighborhoods, Newton Centre may be the priciest.

If you can't find anything in Newton Centre you like, you might check Newtonville, West Newton, Auburndale or Newton Highlands. All are an easy drive to Natick Labs (~20 mins).

We live in Newtonville, which (along with West Newton and Auburndale) has commuter rail service that runs along the Mass. Pike. The good news is that the commuter rail gets you to Boston much quicker (20 mins to downtown Boston instead of 40). The bad news, as Ogre's pointed out, is that it runs much less frequently than the Green Line's D branch (the subway/light rail that crosses Newton somewhat to the south, stopping at Chestnut Hill, Newton Centre, Newton Highlands, Eliot, Waban, Woodland and Riverside). In fact, train service on the commuter rail is pretty rare after the morning rush and the last train from Newton in to Boston is, I believe, about 2:40 pm.

We take the commuter rail if it's running when we need it, and drive over to the Green Line at other times. Riverside and Woodland stations have parking facilities (but it's like $7/day). Other stations have metered parking available. My personal preference is to drive to the area on Beacon Street near the Chestnut Hill reservoir (just east of Boston College near the Newton/Brookline/Boston border) and park for free on the street there. I then walk along the park to either Cleveland Circle (end of the Green Line's C branch) or Reservoir (a stop on the D branch -- the same one that continues into Newton).

Quote:
Originally Posted by ogre View Post
Maybe, maybe, Natick itself, in the area near Natick Center would work. There is an attractive but small downtown area, with some basic mom-and-pop stores, and I'm not sure whether that would be as much local shopping as you'd like to have in your neighborhood, but there is at least that, as well as a commuter rail station, and a lot of mall shopping in another section of Natick, though you'd most likely want to drive there. (There is a local transit service that runs through Natick in the daytime, but the routes can be circuitous, and service is not too frequent, like maybe only once an hour or so.)
Natick is nice and probably more affordable, though there may not be as many rentals. The center is smaller than Newton. Commuter rail is on the same line as Newton, farther out, but it stops much more often in Natick. For whatever reason (probably because they know the Green Line's available), the commuter trains tend to skip the Newton stations outside of rush hours. It is like a 35-40 minute ride from Natick to Boston, though.
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Old 03-15-2011, 02:53 PM
 
Location: Quincy, MA
385 posts, read 1,257,653 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by holden125 View Post
We live in Newtonville, which (along with West Newton and Auburndale) has commuter rail service that runs along the Mass. Pike. The good news is that the commuter rail gets you to Boston much quicker (20 mins to downtown Boston instead of 40). The bad news, as Ogre's pointed out, is that it runs much less frequently than the Green Line's D branch (the subway/light rail that crosses Newton somewhat to the south, stopping at Chestnut Hill, Newton Centre, Newton Highlands, Eliot, Waban, Woodland and Riverside). In fact, train service on the commuter rail is pretty rare after the morning rush and the last train from Newton in to Boston is, I believe, about 2:40 pm.
Yeah, I just checked on the MBTA's website and you're right about the time. But there are also a number of buses (553, 554 and 556) that stop in those parts of Newton and then continue to downtown Boston. It looks like one or another of those buses would come by every half hour or so, until around 7:00. That's another option to get into the city.
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Old 03-15-2011, 11:31 PM
 
Location: Princeton, NJ
245 posts, read 547,066 times
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I've been away from Boston for some time now but I was born and raised there - went to college at BU, lived in the city for 10 years before moving away in '04.

I have to say I'm shocked you can find anything for 1300 per month! Rents were much higher than that when I was last living there in '04. I realize it's been awhile, have rents actually DEcreased?!

I would say you're better off in the Natick/Framingham area for the amount you have available to pay in rent. Newton and all the closer to Boston areas that the other poster mentioned would be much more expensive (albeit nicer).

My aunt lives in Framingham and it's a nice town....depending on the exact spot. There's a commuter rail taking you into the city. There's everything you could possibly need in Natick/Framingham -- mall after mall after store after store -- but once you get off Rte 9 and the highways it's actually a pretty area.
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Old 03-16-2011, 05:08 AM
 
596 posts, read 1,379,616 times
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You'll have absolutely no problem finding what you want and more in Natick, probably very close to your hubby's new job.
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Old 03-16-2011, 08:07 AM
 
1,302 posts, read 1,529,678 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderer71 View Post
I've been away from Boston for some time now but I was born and raised there - went to college at BU, lived in the city for 10 years before moving away in '04.

I have to say I'm shocked you can find anything for 1300 per month! Rents were much higher than that when I was last living there in '04. I realize it's been awhile, have rents actually DEcreased?!

I would say you're better off in the Natick/Framingham area for the amount you have available to pay in rent. Newton and all the closer to Boston areas that the other poster mentioned would be much more expensive (albeit nicer).

My aunt lives in Framingham and it's a nice town....depending on the exact spot. There's a commuter rail taking you into the city. There's everything you could possibly need in Natick/Framingham -- mall after mall after store after store -- but once you get off Rte 9 and the highways it's actually a pretty area.
No. I would be stunned if she found something 1300 or under in any of those areas that wasn't an oversized closet.

Ogre is always an encyclopedia of Boston, but I am shocked at the thought Newton could be that low?
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Old 03-16-2011, 09:04 AM
 
13 posts, read 28,571 times
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@wanderer71
It's hard, but not that rare. I'm assuming you mean 1300 for a one bdr apartment, right? Because studios and shared apartments are obviously cheaper. My bf lives in Chelsea, in a neighborhood convenient to shopping, groceries, etc., and 10 mins from downtown, 15 mins from Cambridge, etc., and it's a comfortable one bdr, tons of space (4 rooms total, with a balcony to boot), for 975$ a month
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