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Old 03-04-2017, 02:26 PM
 
23 posts, read 32,055 times
Reputation: 12

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I found City-Data forum to be invaluable when we relocated to the Bay Area some years ago and I'm hoping those in the know can offer some advice on where to target our housing search in the greater Boston area.

I'd welcome any and all suggestions regarding areas around Boston (or even Boston neighborhoods) that meet the following:

- We're ideally looking to spend under $800k (preferably around 600 to 700) for a 3 BR (2 bath) home in a location with rail access to Cambridge.

- Safe area with reasonable amenities and average plus schools (we homeschool at the moment and would be looking to do so in MA or switch to a parochial school).

- Neighborly, small to medium size town (or similar neighborhood-feel) area. I do like green space so at least small yards would be welcome (or more), and a good park system (ideally).

- House doesn't have to be huge (1200 sq ft +) or fancy, but we don't want a fixer-upper.

- Area with reasonable air quality important. Also, if there are satellite offices of Children's Hospital that would be ideal.

Again, thanks in advance for any leads, insights, and suggestions.
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Old 03-04-2017, 02:46 PM
 
Location: Woburn, MA / W. Hartford, CT
2,064 posts, read 2,315,129 times
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If schools aren't a primary concern, look into Woburn (where we just bought and moved into). There are some nice neighborhoods near the Lexington & Winchester town lines which would fit your budget. You would have bus access to the Alewife station in Cambridge. We've been especially happy with how close it is to the shopping areas of Burlington, and the dining areas of Somerville.
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Old 03-04-2017, 02:58 PM
 
23 posts, read 32,055 times
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htfdcolt - thanks so much for the lead. It sounds like it might be a very good fit. MUCH appreciated!
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Old 03-04-2017, 03:30 PM
 
Location: Norwood, MA
19 posts, read 7,533 times
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You can get into a very nice home between 600-700K very close to Cambridge in Arlington, Belmont, Watertown, Waltham, Somerville and Medford are all safe with small villages with great outdoor cafe's and downtown movie theaters. Many offer nice parks, bike, jogging paths, city pools and many more amenities. There are satellite offices of Boston children in or very close also. I know of one in Waltham. Out of all the towns you can get the best bang for you buck in Waltham, lower tax rates because there's much industry and owner occupancy exemptions with Restaurants row on Moody St.
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Old 03-04-2017, 03:38 PM
 
Location: Woburn, MA / W. Hartford, CT
2,064 posts, read 2,315,129 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BostNative View Post
You can get into a very nice home between 600-700K very close to Cambridge in Arlington, Belmont, Watertown, Waltham, Somerville and Medford are all safe with small villages with great outdoor cafe's and downtown movie theaters. Many offer nice parks, bike, jogging paths, city pools and many more amenities. There are satellite offices of Boston children in or very close also. I know of one in Waltham. Out of all the towns you can get the best bang for you buck in Waltham, lower tax rates because there's much industry and owner occupancy exemptions with Restaurants row on Moody St.
I think that budget range is impossible in Arlington, Belmont, and Somerville for the OP's requirements. I do encourage the OP to look at Waltham also, as we did. It would have been our first preference actually but houses were routinely going over asking price with multiple bids. The OP may be used to that dynamic from the Bay area, but buyer beware. Waltham amenities are fantastic, no doubt, including MGH West.
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Old 03-04-2017, 07:44 PM
 
23 posts, read 32,055 times
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Thank you BostNative and htfdcolt. Waltham sounds intriguing - will check it out tonight!
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Old 03-05-2017, 06:23 PM
 
1 posts, read 719 times
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Hi, The commute to Boston can be tricky. Is the train feasible? Both Waltham and Lexington have Children's Satellite Locations but Waltham will be more affordable. There is also a great Catholic school [url=http://www.ourladysacademy.org/]Welcome to Our Lady's Academy![/url]
All of the communities sell VERY quickly.... there are only 3 on the market in your price right now... none I would recommend.





Welcome to Massachusetts."The #1 Sate in the Country

Last edited by CaseyB; 03-05-2017 at 06:53 PM.. Reason: no soliciting
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Old 03-06-2017, 07:30 AM
 
624 posts, read 444,700 times
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We loved living in Waltham. The schools are bad so we moved but we would have loved to stay. There is a tremendous trove of greenspace and access to proximate greenspace in/from Waltham that you just don't get in Cambridge/Somerville/Medford all while being ten minutes from Cambridge and while living in an actual city that has everything you need actually IN it. Want to ride along the river on the bikepath? Want to explore 252 hilly acres of trails? want to have a farmshare/CSA? walk to the library? do some big box shopping? eat at one of a 100 nonchain restaurants? commute to Boston in 12 minutes? see a movie at an independent cinema? get food delivered from more places than you can count? have a yard? have a GARAGE!? own a tree? shop at an independent bookstore? explore some historic grounds (Lyman, Stonehurst, Gore Estate)? enjoy a FREE spraypark or public pool with your kids in the summer? Join a Y(don't join the Y for the pool, no bueno)? take a welding class? see some art at one of the largest open studios events in greater boston? rent a canoe?

Once we moved out of Cambridge/Somerville/Malden/Medford we really felt that we had found a hidden gem in Waltham. It had all of the amenities we needed but it was suburban enough to have greenspace. Living in the Highlands put us 5 minutes from everything with prospect hill park in our backyard. Venturing ten minutes west gave us Drumlin Farm (also has CSA), the DeCordova art museum (our weekend picnic spot), Codman Farm (has eggs, meat shares), Cat Rock park.

Clearly I could go on and on.
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Old 03-06-2017, 11:08 AM
 
Location: Camberville
11,395 posts, read 15,999,324 times
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I recommend Waltham. Easy rail access to Porter Square (the red line) on the commuter rail with stops downtown and near Brandeis, several regular and express buses to downtown and Cambridge, branches of MGH West and Children's, and lots to do between two universities, several parks, and a bustling downtown.

The schools aren't top tier for the area by any means, but they're perfectly adequate. Many coworkers send their kids to Waltham schools and are happy with them. Schools tend to track with income level, so Waltham schools are more of a mixed bag than Lexington, Newton, or other wealthier communities.
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Old 03-06-2017, 04:03 PM
 
23 posts, read 32,055 times
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Waltham sounds like it's going to be a very good option for us. Thanks so much for the great leads for things to actually do there - and the school lowdown. Pool, garage, yard, shopping, things to do - love it. The farms and CSA are VERY attractive for us (something I'll miss from the Bay Area as CSAs deliver to the home here and I'm spoiled by bottled milk and cream). Thanks so much jfoster-kw, SalamanderSmile, and charolastra00. You've been incredibly helpful.
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