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Old 03-23-2017, 08:35 AM
2 posts, read 1,451 times
Reputation: 15


Greetings all. I am a long time user of City-Data, but this is my first post. I am looking for some insights on moving to the Boston area and hope some of you experts can help me out.

About Me:

I am a husband and father of two boys (6 and 9). I am 30 years old and I work in the public transportation industry. I am considering a consulting position in Boston. My family has lived in the Dayton and Cincinnati area for our whole lives, but have made frequent trips/vacations to New England and we are relatively familiar with the east coast. We love the history and environment there. Our family is very much an urban family, but the kids come first and as a result the need for good schools and parks tend to keep us in areas outside of the urban core. For anyone familiar with Cincinnati we currently live in Hyde Park and find it a great mix of close to downtown while still providing the all-important good schools and space for the kids and dog.

Key Considerations

-Boston is way more expensive than anywhere in Ohio, specifically housing. We are looking to rent a first and hope to keep it around $3K per month. Two bedroom is fine, must accept a small dog, and in unit laundry is optimum.

-Schools are very important to us and while I would love to be in the city of Boston my searches show that schools are not ranked very high. Perhaps I am missing details?

-We would need some after school care, but have not found much about that.

-Access to the MBTA is a must, preferably on the subway line. My work office would be in the Financial District. The wife would be looking for opportunities in biology, probably the zoo or some plant research. She is currently finishing her degree here in Cincinnati.

-Our research has lead us to strongly consider Brookline, MA, however we are not by any means committed to that.


-Are we on the right track looking at Brookline? Are there other more affordable areas with similar amenities?

-In any community what types of after school care exist? Here in Cincinnati the Community Recreation Centers have a city wide program that works great. I am guessing Mass. communities may have similar programs.

-Are most apartments listed online (craigslist.com, apartments.com, zillow.com) or is field research the way to go?

Thank in advance for any guidance you can provide.
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Old 03-23-2017, 08:49 AM
Location: Boston, MA
7,854 posts, read 6,808,966 times
Reputation: 6573
I'm from Cleveland, so not Cincinnati, but know where you're coming from.

Dogs are kinda hard to do, but one small dog is better. Brookline definitely has the good schools going for it and for all practical purposes essentially is Boston proper. You'd be on the Green Line (C or D). The green line is notorious in these parts for being, well, not a good time. But the worst of the greens is the B for sure. C and D aren't that bad (compared to an overall kinda mediocre transit system). Direct to get to the Financial District though, so that's good. If you're ok with an apartment that isn't all that updated (or at all updated) you can find something in your price range. I'd consider the Washington Square area.

You might also consider the part of Newton nearest Brighton/Watertown. It tends to be on the cheaper side while still being in a nice and safe area. The 57 bus could take you to Kenmore, where you then would transfer to Green, so it's not as direct as just hopping on the C. But it's not really that bad. Newton schools are famously good.

I've only used craigslist here, but I am single with no children. I think it seems like mostly people like me are using CL.
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Old 03-23-2017, 02:24 PM
Location: East Coast
2,770 posts, read 1,572,824 times
Reputation: 3993
I agree with bjimmy. Yes, you are on the right track looking at Brookline, and I'd consider Newton, as well. As you recognize the biggest issue is that Boston is SO very much more expensive than is Cincinnati. I think you could find something in your budget in those towns, it just won't be the biggest or most updated. But it should be decent enough.

I'm sure Brookline has after-school programs. I'm in Newton and they do have after-school care at the various schools, but I think it is in high demand, so I don't know if they can take you right away. It sounds like usually you can get in if you're starting before the new school year. Then there are private programs and people who provide care after school. And some people do things like a nanny share. (Lots of people do au pairs, although that wouldn't work in a 2 BR apartment.) Child care in general is pretty expensive here, so investigate how much the after school programs are, too.
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Old 03-23-2017, 03:57 PM
Location: Boston
90 posts, read 76,946 times
Reputation: 167
If you want an urbanish neighborhood and good public education, the choices are slim. Brookline is a great choice if you can afford it. We all wish we could live in Brookline. It wouldn't hurt to look at Cambridge as well, though. It has many more housing choices in the rental market, everything from single family homes to new high rises, and also scores extremely high on urban amenities. The education part of the equation is possibly questionable, but Cambridge does spend upwards of $30 k per kid, as high as anywhere you'll see. Of course that school system is much more diverse than Brookline's, one reason its test scores are lower.
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Old 03-23-2017, 03:58 PM
624 posts, read 444,365 times
Reputation: 1146
We actually moved back to Mariemont after 20 years in Boston so I am familiar with your situation. PM me. The closest to a Hyde Park lifestyle in greater Boston is Wellesley. Brookline is very urban comparatively.
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Old 03-23-2017, 04:11 PM
Location: Boston, MA
7,854 posts, read 6,808,966 times
Reputation: 6573
Wellesley is nice, but decidedly not urban and not near good public transit.
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Old 03-23-2017, 04:20 PM
Location: Massachusetts
7,068 posts, read 10,810,797 times
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Not "urban" but there are 3 train stations in Wellesley.
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Old 03-23-2017, 04:32 PM
149 posts, read 137,570 times
Reputation: 323
I think people here are right to suggest Brookline and Newton. If you're priced out, renting in the suburbs further out can be comparatively affordable, even along commuter lines.

If you're committed to city life one option might be Fort Hill, Roxbury. It has one of the two decent testing elementary schools in the city (Nathan Hale elementary is a Great Schools 8) and is situated close to Boston's three test in high schools, Boston Latin, Latin Acadeny, and Obryant School of Math and Science. You would have to carefully evaluate the Boston transfer policy. I know school placement in Boston can be an insurmountable maze.
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Old 03-23-2017, 05:10 PM
599 posts, read 383,844 times
Reputation: 735
Consider Newton. A more affordable area is the north side around the Mass Pike. There is the commuter rail and also the highly underrated Express Bus routes to get you to south station very quickly.
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Old 03-23-2017, 05:13 PM
4,099 posts, read 1,715,405 times
Reputation: 11579
Brookline? What is your salary here going to be?

And no to Boston Public schools...

Child care here is very expensive.

Need more info to give more suggestions...
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