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Old 12-30-2008, 09:43 AM
Location: Kansas City, MO
7 posts, read 19,097 times
Reputation: 10


I will be relocating with my boyfriend early next year and he will be working in Woburn, and I plan on starting school at the BAC in Back Bay. We will only have one car (most likely for weekend use as we're big fans of using public transportation.)
Somerville seems like a great place to have our dogs (dog parks), and have a nightlife, but Medford seems like the easier place to commute to Woburn.
What are your thoughts on these locations and commuting to Woburn/Back Bay? Which would be better for a single girl to walk two dogs at night when she gets home if her boyfriend were to be gone? Which place would be easier to park a car at during the week (of course if we got a place with parking this wouldn't be an issue)?
What are all of these apartment fees people talk about? We don't have those in Kansas City.
Thanks, your help is greatly appreciated. People say Bostonians are , but I have seen nothing but generosity and helpfulness on these threads.

Last edited by CaseyB; 12-30-2008 at 10:25 AM.. Reason: language
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Old 01-01-2009, 06:25 PM
406 posts, read 1,345,674 times
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Hmm, it could go either way. Since Medford and Somerville border each other, you could very well live in Medford but still be walking distance to Davis Square in Somerville. S'ville is much easier to navigate without a car (unless you live in the part of Medford that borders S'ville), so that would probably be better for your commute to school.
As far as the Woburn commute, it depends. Parts of Medford are right off the highway, but parts are further away. The same is true of Somerville. Either way, you're probably looking at driving to work in Woburn, unless there's a bus that happens to run to where your boyfriend works.

Walking the dogs will probably be fine in either place, provided you choose a nice neighborhood. There are parts of Somerville I might feel slightly uncomfortable in alone at night, but most I'd have no problem with.

I live in Medford and love that I can be anywhere (downtown, Cambridge, Burlington, etc.) in about 10 minutes by car. I have a dog that I walk alone and take to dog parks. But I would opt for Somerville over Medford if I wanted to be able to go car-free, and choose a neighborhood within walking distance to Davis Square for easy T access.

Good luck!
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Old 01-03-2009, 09:04 AM
Location: Cambridge, MA
4,748 posts, read 11,335,087 times
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OTOH my vote is for Medford, but for specific areas: Medford Hillside or West Medford. The much-talked-about extension of the MBTA Green Line may actually be going beyond the planning stages (after 30-some-odd years), and though the termination point is still being debated it's likely to be in the vicinity of Tufts on the Medford side. Once that light-rail system is built the property values nearby will soar and so will the quality of businesses. It happened big time in Davis Square when the Red Line added a stop there in the '80s. West Medford already has its own commuter-rail station, the first stop out of North Station en route to Lowell. And it's much easier to get to 93 north from there than from Somerville despite the two cities' being neighbors, you'd be surprised.

West Somerville is still somewhat in a state of flux - final stages of transition from principally blue-collar to mainly yuppie/student - but Medford has stayed much the same. The areas mentioned are solidly middle-class, with West Medford more demographically mixed and also with more interesting houses. It's quieter than around Davis (off the main streets) and to me just feels safer by virtue of having a stable population instead of being a community of strangers stopping in for a few years on their way elsewhere.

There's far more competition for rental housing here than I suspect is the case in KC. Driving in the city is a horrible thing to have to endure (I refuse to - haven't had a car in 11 years) and, on top of that, Boston and its surrounding areas are full of lively and desirable neighborhoods. With all of our educational institutions and major employers comes a huge market of folks looking for a place to live near school/work. So along with that comes selectiveness on the part of landlords, an aspect of which - right or wrong - is screening based on income with a legal twist. (If you can't afford to pay 2-4 months' rent up front, you don't earn enough.) Doing a housing search by way of craigslist or the Boston Phoenix, or by scouting flyers on utility poles or in laundromats etc, is a good way around having to pay extra before signing a lease. You can also go the flyer route yourselves - it's a good way of catching the eye of somebody who just might have the other half of their duplex vacant but hasn't gotten around to putting the word out.
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