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Old 05-17-2009, 04:06 PM
 
45 posts, read 252,382 times
Reputation: 27

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I'll be starting a position in the Tufts engineering school this fall and I have two options for housing right now. Tufts owns a bunch of faculty housing to the west of campus. I also have a college buddy whose parents own a Victorian house with a downstairs unit for rent. It is just to the west of Malden Center, 5 minutes walk.

I'm married with a 3 year old daughter. We'll probably only stay for a year until we get to know the area and then maybe buy - Arlington seems to be a good choice for that. Where would you live? The Tufts housing looks like a better area but the units look pretty depressing - drab campus housing. The Victorian is incredible with original detailing but Malden Center doesn't get good reviews and sounds a bit rough. It IS much closer to the T as Davis looks to be a 30 minute walk. To top it off, the place in Malden is a good bit cheaper. I would have to drive but there is off-street parking and easy parking at Tufts.

What would you do? We're not afraid of urban areas and keeping our wits about us, but we don't want to get mugged either.

Thanks!
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Old 05-18-2009, 09:51 AM
 
2,652 posts, read 7,644,386 times
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Malden center is far from rough. I used to live in Malden, and took the Malden Center T everyday. There isn't anything rough about it.
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Old 05-18-2009, 11:11 AM
 
Location: Boston
24 posts, read 92,421 times
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Malden couldn't be "less rough". You won't get mugged in either location, both are pretty soft really. I would just live in the tufts housing. The whole area around tufts is safe, convienent, and filled with good people. Its a nice neighborhood to live in.
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Old 05-18-2009, 11:12 AM
 
Location: a bar
2,545 posts, read 4,860,241 times
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I agree w/Luke. I worked in Malden center for 7 years. It's plenty safe. Day or night.
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Old 05-18-2009, 09:09 PM
 
Location: Cambridge, MA
4,730 posts, read 10,944,114 times
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With your planning to stay only a year, the choice I'd make in your shoes would be Malden. Public transpo to Tufts isn't majorly convenient, but far from impossible. The 89 bus out of Sullivan Station (two stops south of Malden Center) runs frequently and goes right to Powderhouse Square at the southeast end of campus before continuing out Broadway.
I've had friends and/or co-workers who happen to live in Malden for many years. Not once have I ever felt so much as a hint of trouble when visiting there. It's a city virtually unmatched by any other in New England for its multicultural population. A lot of people (though few would admit it) equate "minorities" and boisterous teenagers with crime, so since Malden lacks for neither that makes it a pit of danger in their eyes. But I call forth my "street smarts" to about the same degree that I do when visiting Lexington or Rockport.
You might even want to take your next, home-owning, step there. The "better" neighborhoods are situated west of Malden Center - around the former hospital - and near Oak Grove Station. Much of the rest of town tends to look shabby, but the communities are solid.
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Old 05-19-2009, 11:25 AM
 
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Thanks for the tips, especially the nice detailed response by goyguy! So it sounds like the online reviews (e.g. Yelp) of Malden are a bit too apocalyptic, especially those that mention crackheads and needles arount the T stop and neighborhood parks. I'll be looking around in the next couple weeks and will definitely keep Malden in the running.
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Old 05-19-2009, 03:17 PM
 
406 posts, read 1,320,269 times
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Cowcat, I have to say I disagree with the responses here. I live in Medford and have a close friend who lives just over the border in Malden, so I'm pretty familiar with both areas. The descriptions you've read of Malden parks are sadly somewhat accurate, in my experience. My Malden friend actually had a play center installed in her tiny backyard just because of how icky the playgrounds are. No, you probably won't get mugged there. But you'll find needles, broken glass, and shiftless teenagers hanging out. Not necessarily a place where you'll feel comfortable hanging out with a small child.

The playgrounds in Medford near Tufts are much better. I've been to most of them for meet-ups through various mom's groups (we do summer "playground tours"), and the ones in that area tend to be much better cared for. The medford area you describe has a better "feel" in general for walking around with your child, IMO.

You are unlikely to be mugged in Malden, it's true (although, truthfully, another friend of mine was mugged getting off the Malden Center train late one night a few years back). I've parked at that T station instead of Wellington several times without incident. But I don't think you'll be happy walking around there with your 3-year-old, either. It all depends on what you want for the year. It's easy to say "hey, this is cheaper, it'll be fine for a year!" but how you feel about your community really impacts your life, especially when you have a small child. Lovely details in your apt. aren't going to make up for it if you feel stuck inside the majority of the time, you know?

Either way, welcome to the neighborhood! I have a 2.5-year-old myself, so let me know if you have any other questions about the area.
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Old 05-19-2009, 04:43 PM
 
Location: Rt 128
42 posts, read 140,911 times
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I would choose Medford near Tufts. A junior faculty needs to work as many hours as possible, it is good to be close. Your 3 yo can attend the wonderful Tufts Eliot Pearson Children's School. In additon, although the Victorian house may look nice, it is probably not de-leaded.
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Old 05-19-2009, 09:31 PM
 
Location: Cambridge, MA
4,730 posts, read 10,944,114 times
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Default Get the lead out!

Quote:
Originally Posted by FellsMom View Post
In additon, although the Victorian house may look nice, it is probably not de-leaded.
Very good point! If the place has been deleaded, the owner will have been issued a certificate to that effect. Many landlords don't do this due to the cost involved.
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Old 05-20-2009, 01:25 AM
 
45 posts, read 252,382 times
Reputation: 27
Thanks for the tips, folks. I'll have to ask about deleading.

In terms of public transit, my friend suggested the 101 bus which would take me from Malden to just east of campus without a transfer. Is the 101 and buses in general pretty reliable? This would actually give us more options as we only have one car and my wife stays at home. Otherwise, if I drive, I would want her to be as close as possible to a T stop, which would mean the Malden house or something else near the T. The best scenario would be something close to Tufts and Davis, but decent, affordable places in Somerville seem far and few between. I know the faculty apartments are not that close to Davis and right next to the Medford border if in Somerville. For those who live in Medford, how much is the 1-2 mile walk to Davis a deterrent from using it on a regular basis?

I'll make sure to walk around the neighborhoods with an eye on the parks when I'm there later this month.

Last edited by cowcat; 05-20-2009 at 01:34 AM..
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