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Old 07-29-2013, 01:19 PM
3,166 posts, read 4,820,882 times
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My husband is applying to residency this fall and is interested in a competitive program at Brigham & Women's. We are currently in DFW and know little about the NE. Most of the programs up there don't interest us, but I'm a history buff, craving a real fall and some cooler weather and Boston intrigues me. I don't see us settling long term, but think it would be a neat place to spend 4-5 years.

My biggest concern is how Boston would work for our family. We currently own a 3 bed house in a good school district and really like having space. We have a 2 year old and another currently on the way. I wouldn't be surprised if we had 1-2 more children while he was in residency. I know we would have to downsize and squeeze our budget--I just want to know how much.

I have a friend who did this same residency with 4 kids 10 years ago. She recommended finding a place to live off the commuter rail.

So my questions are:

  • Where would you recommend living? Obviously buying is out of the question. I cant imagine our budget for a rental being more than $1500/month. How much/what will that get us?
  • What is the school situation? I will be mainly concerned with preschool and an elementary for 1st & 2nd grade. School is important to us, but as long as it is a safe atmosphere, I'm sure we can make it work and supplement at home as needed. My friend recommended sort of a "lottery" situation--how does this work?
  • What else am I missing that might be a factor we want to consider?

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Old 07-29-2013, 01:49 PM
Location: Central Mass
1,662 posts, read 2,230,270 times
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For that budget, and good schools, my first suggestion would be Shrewsbury. You can find a 3 bedroom apartment for $1400 and it's a great school district. Or a 2 bedroom for $1200 +/-

BUT, if he's going to be commuting during regular hours, that's 3 hours a day on the train. During off hours, taking the Pike to the riverside station then the green line is cheaper and faster (depending on your car's economy)
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Old 07-29-2013, 01:54 PM
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That would probably be too far for a resident. What if the budget was upped to $1800/month? Someone recommended off the red line?

I'm willing to compromise on the schools since my kids will be so young. As long as they aren't outright dangerous...
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Old 07-29-2013, 04:19 PM
Location: Quincy, Mass. (near Boston)
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Are you okay with either an apartment building, or must it be an apt. within a house, or even an entire house itself? Ideally the latter, but are the first two options thinkable?
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Old 07-29-2013, 05:10 PM
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Yes, that would be doable. A yard is nice, but not a big deal for us--I've heard you guys have plenty of parks around. We don't have any pets and don't plan to get one. Being on the ground floor would be really really nice, but we could probably deal with the 2nd floor. (baby carriers and strollers to think about)

If he could commute with public transit and we could ditch one car, that would be a bonus. He will have call, but we could deal on those days.
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Old 07-29-2013, 05:41 PM
Location: Massachusetts
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I would start looking in Dedham, Norwood and West Roxbury. These are the closest affordable safest places by your criteria. You may need to be more flexible about using buses as Longwood is a little complicated to use public transportation to get to. Dedham has the Endicott estate and some interesting Boston related architecture and history. Newton and Brookline would be the ideal commute, but likely not much in your price range for the size you need. Jamaica Plain is close, but a little less safe than these other areas. Best of luck.
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Old 07-29-2013, 08:30 PM
Location: Boston, MA
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A lot of medical professionals who work in the Longwood Medical Area (where Brigham and Women's is located) live in Jamaica Plain. It is really close and convenient and might just have the price range you want. Only a small part of it is dangerous. The part around Jamaica Pond is safe and very nice. Roslindale and West Roxbury are further away but still worth looking into as well as Brighton. All are fairly accessible by public transportation but in most cases do have room enough for a car or two.
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Old 07-29-2013, 09:59 PM
Location: Dallas
4,625 posts, read 8,537,573 times
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1500 is not realistic. That's a studio apt price. An alternative to living way far out is to lose one or both cars an live within walking distance. Harvard offers free shuttles all over the place. BWH is serves by the Green D and E lines. The number 39 bus also goes directly to Longwood.

My son just said he would rate the Hurley School in the South End as better than any of the three he's attended in Plano or Richardson. He was in a Spanish English immersion program through third grade and his Spanish is solid to this day. The strength of the Hurley School is the parent network (which we helped found). Everybody knows everybody. Find out about that school.

I think the Brigham provides some assistance with housing to residents. Check into that.
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Old 07-30-2013, 09:38 PM
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How much would we have to worry about whether or not an apartment is deleaded?
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Old 07-31-2013, 10:10 AM
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I am a resident in the Boston area.

I just wrote a long response, but realized that it's totally irrelevant. I'll message you with all that stuff, instead.

Your question is irrelevant right now. You have more important things to think about. Your husband hasn't applied yet! You don't even know if he'll get an interview! Not to be a downer or anything, but you're getting ahead of yourself - this isn't the time to consider geographic factors and rank cities against each other. Once he's done interviewing (and he should interview anywhere/everywhere that's unlikely to directly cause you depression/illness), then you should ask this question about those cities.

First step: apply.
Second step: interview.
Third step: ask this question again if it will help him/you put together a rank list.
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