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Old 04-08-2007, 10:34 PM
 
5 posts, read 70,425 times
Reputation: 16

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Hi!

I was offered a job in Boston and will move my family (wife+3-year-old+1-year-old) there this August. I have studied this forum for a long time and have come to a conclusion that we will rent an apartment in one of the following areas: Needham, Belmont, Arlington, Newton, Weston because of their family-friendliness and good public schools. I understand that these areas are expensive, but we have to think about the kids.

My gross income is 90K and my wife plans to stay home taking care of the kids (she will start working in one year). Could you please help me with the following questions?

- which of those areas has the best public elementary school system?
- How much should I spend on renting? (we are ok with either 1-bedroom or 2-bedroom) I would guess: between 1000USD-1300USD.
- Could you itemize the costs that our family of 4 would spend to live monthly in Boston? what should we be aware of? I have a car.
- How much is the commute cost to the downtown? I need to use the T or the rail. If I buy a monthly pass for a family of 4, how much would it cost? (say, from Needham to downtown). How significant is the difference in convenience between taking the T and taking the rail?
- Do you think that my family can survive in those areas with that salary?

We are excited about moving to Boston, at the same time very nervous about the cost of living. I would appreciate your help. Thanks.
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Old 04-09-2007, 08:58 AM
 
Location: Boston, MA USA
245 posts, read 646,695 times
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4 of you in a 1-bedroom..? Those are really high-end affluent towns you mentioned.. Your kids are not school-age yet, and don't believe all the school hype anyways. They are not nearly as bad in most places as some would have you believe, the state has high standards in general. It all starts at home - Check out 4 of you in a 1-bedroom..? Not fun - check out http://www.southofboston.com/ there are many good places to live..
Why would you need a T-pass for 4? You are the only one commuting. A subway/bus pass is $59 a month - I would suggest Quincy/Braintree area, take the red line. Living expenses other than real estate will be pretty much the same as anywhere else.

Last edited by DaveV; 04-09-2007 at 09:08 AM..
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Old 04-09-2007, 09:26 AM
 
80 posts, read 370,790 times
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Of the cities mentioned, Arlington could provide a great balance of your needs. Parts of East Arlington (mainly Hardy elementary school district area, a very good school) are walking distance to the Alewife T station (last stop on the Red line), and there is a small movie theater, some restaurtants, stores and bank in the neighboorhood. It is possible to find two bedroom apartments in that area for $1300-$1700, and most of the units include a parking space. You can also find similar priced, maybe less, units further up Massachusetts Avenue into Arlington Center or Arlington Heights, that would be a bus ride (frequent service) to either Alewife T station or Harvard Square T station (or your spouse could also drop you off near Alewife). In certain locations, it is possible to walk to grocery stores, banks, the library (in Arlington Center) and many other services. Brackett Elementary is another exceptional elementary school in Arlington, but the other schools are good too.

One word of caution when looking for apartments, ask about cost for utilities. Winter heating bills can vary greatly depending upon insulation, windows, and age of heating system.

Belmont and Newton are more affluent (very, very high test scores in the schools), rents are likely higher. Transportation from Belmont would be on the commuter rail or bus to Harvard Square. From Newton, there is both the commuter rail and express bus service to downtown. I don't know anything about Needham or Weston. Check out http://www.mbta.com for service information, http://www.greatschools.net for school information.

If you want to be on the subway line, you may also consider Quincy, decent schools and there are two or three stops on the red line.
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Old 04-09-2007, 09:48 AM
 
Location: Boston, MA USA
245 posts, read 646,695 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whinton View Post
Of the cities mentioned, Arlington could provide a great balance of your needs. Parts of East Arlington (mainly Hardy elementary school district area, a very good school) are walking distance to the Alewife T station (last stop on the Red line), and there is a small movie theater, some restaurtants, stores and bank in the neighboorhood. It is possible to find two bedroom apartments in that area for $1300-$1700, and most of the units include a parking space. You can also find similar priced, maybe less, units further up Massachusetts Avenue into Arlington Center or Arlington Heights, that would be a bus ride (frequent service) to either Alewife T station or Harvard Square T station (or your spouse could also drop you off near Alewife). In certain locations, it is possible to walk to grocery stores, banks, the library (in Arlington Center) and many other services. Brackett Elementary is another exceptional elementary school in Arlington, but the other schools are good too.

One word of caution when looking for apartments, ask about cost for utilities. Winter heating bills can vary greatly depending upon insulation, windows, and age of heating system.

Belmont and Newton are more affluent (very, very high test scores in the schools), rents are likely higher. Transportation from Belmont would be on the commuter rail or bus to Harvard Square. From Newton, there is both the commuter rail and express bus service to downtown. I don't know anything about Needham or Weston. Check out http://www.mbta.com for service information, http://www.greatschools.net for school information.

If you want to be on the subway line, you may also consider Quincy, decent schools and there are two or three stops on the red line.
Actually Quincy has 4 stops on the Red Line and then Braintree immediately after. I actually live in Braintree so I am a lil biased Check http://www.patriotledger.com/
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Old 04-09-2007, 05:51 PM
 
5 posts, read 70,425 times
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Thank you for your informative response. About renting an apartment, is that true that we should hire a realtor?
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Old 04-10-2007, 07:37 PM
 
6 posts, read 18,508 times
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If you can try not to hire a realator they tend to charge a months rent as a fee. So you would be responsible for 1st last security and fee $$$$$$
Consider Winthrop As well We pay 2200 for a 4 bedromm steps from the beach and with a hot tub. Also the commute is very easy.

Take a look on craigslist.org for the apartments or when you get here look for a metro news paper at any Subway (T) station
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Old 04-13-2007, 02:46 PM
 
Location: Sverige och USA
702 posts, read 2,016,756 times
Reputation: 387
I wouldn't limit your search in those high end towns. The school system in
Mass. is better than most other states. Also, you should check out the real estate section in boston.com to give you an idea of what you can get in different towns. As well as some info on each town. Cost of living varies from community to community in terms of taxes.

Rental Costs
http://re.boston.com/rentals/searchindex.asp

Town comparison
http://www.boston.com/realestate/community/

If you chose Arlington or Belmont, you'll more than likely drive to Alewife T stop. Trains are $1.75 each way with the Charlie Card, which you can refill to whatever amount you want. Some employers subsidize this card, you might want to check with yours. Weston is way expensive and it's a little bit further out. Needham I think is closest to the green line which is much slower than the red, but if you office is in back bay might be a better option. Good luck.
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Old 04-13-2007, 03:16 PM
 
Location: Massachusetts
4,218 posts, read 6,177,801 times
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If you have a 3 year old and a 1 year old I wouldn't worry about the schools just yet. You can always move in a couple of years if you need to. By that time, you will have 2 incomes and a better feel for the area.

Where is your office going to be located? It can make a difference what train or T line you want to be on.
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Old 04-13-2007, 05:33 PM
 
3,728 posts, read 10,877,063 times
Reputation: 2069
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveV View Post
4 of you in a 1-bedroom..? Those are really high-end affluent towns you mentioned.. Your kids are not school-age yet, and don't believe all the school hype anyways. They are not nearly as bad in most places as some would have you believe, the state has high standards in general. It all starts at home - Check out 4 of you in a 1-bedroom..? Not fun - check out http://www.southofboston.com/ there are many good places to live..
Why would you need a T-pass for 4? You are the only one commuting. A subway/bus pass is $59 a month - I would suggest Quincy/Braintree area, take the red line. Living expenses other than real estate will be pretty much the same as anywhere else.
move to norwood, or j.p. frankly if you make this money, live in Plymouth, and take the bus. rent a home. yup, i live on 20,000 minus taxes.
not in boston, florida. and own the home minus 11000? however i did live in boston. i wish you luck, however, you do not need to live in a wealthy place and rent? one room and 4 ?
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Old 04-15-2007, 05:26 PM
 
5 posts, read 70,425 times
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Thanks very much. A friend of mine also suggested Quincy/Braintree as an affordable option besides those high-end areas. My work is in South of Boston downtown close to the red-T.

How safe is Quincy? Is north Quincy or south Quincy the better?
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