U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Massachusetts > Boston
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
 
Old 05-30-2009, 06:41 PM
 
Location: Hudson County NJ
630 posts, read 1,093,396 times
Reputation: 587

Advertisements

My next door neighbor is moving to the boston area in September, This is what they want in a suburban boston town;
-Interesting and educated people
-a strong sense of community
-a short commute to work- access via a commuter train into Boston back bay or downtown boston station (They both use to work in NYC and took the NJ transit train to work everyday)
-A progressive area with a liberal/hip crowd.
-A pretty neighborhood with large trees & established homes.
-High rated schools (They have two young kids)
- Here in NJ they make an annual income of around $180,000 together; im sure they can afford mostly anywhere but the property taxes here are a HUGE burden on their expenses.
If you were to guess, What is the average cost of property taxes per month or year in the boston area?

They also tell me that they don't want to live in Boston proper because they believe all public urban schools are bad and they would rather not send their kids to private schools in the future. Any thoughts on that?
Any info would be great so I can help them find a place in the boston area asap before september comes around.
Quick reply to this message

 
Old 05-30-2009, 06:54 PM
 
284 posts, read 1,022,157 times
Reputation: 91
Don't know about property taxes but they might like Brookline, Newton, Arlington, or Belmont. I'm sure others will have more to add!
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-30-2009, 08:15 PM
 
967 posts, read 4,278,323 times
Reputation: 262
Taxes vary by town and of course the home value. For example, the tax rate in Brookline (which I think would be an excellent option and meet all their criteria) is 10.69 so if they bought a home for $600K for example, their annual property taxes would be $6414. I agree with RemiJP that Brookline or Newton (9.96 tax rate) or Belmont (11.89 tax rate) would offer much of what they're looking for.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-31-2009, 08:30 AM
 
Location: Cambridge, MA
4,730 posts, read 10,933,946 times
Reputation: 6450
Ditto on all the above reco's. Melrose, Swampscott, Milton, Lexington, and Marblehead could be added. Another consideration (not brought up by the TO) might be ethnic/religious affiliations. For example, the primary outward migration pattern of Italian-American families has been to the north, while for the Irish it's been to the south and southeast. "Boston Brahmins" and other WASP's are more concentrated to the west. Notable exceptions can be found in all areas, but that's historically been the "rule." Segregation by race has persisted longer in this part of the country; only in the past ten or even five years has there been any real Hispanic or AA presence in other than a few close-in satellite cities and towns. Brookline, Arlington, Milton, and Newton are the specific towns named thus far which have made tangible progress in attaining a diverse population. Include people of Asian (Korean, Indian, Chinese, etc) origin and those four communities as well as Lexington can be said to have a "mixed" composition.
Religiously speaking, Catholicism is the predominant denomination (say that five times fast after "having a few," lol.) True to their geographic distribution, WASP's have more faith communities in the western and northwestern suburbs though churches can be found all over the region. Less than a dozen communities can be said to have a significant Jewish presence; Brookline, Marblehead, Newton, and Swampscott are among them and some folks would include Arlington as well. Being the cradle of Unitarianism and Universalism, most towns in eastern New England and Greater Boston have a UU church or are close by a place which does. The "megachurches" which spoon-feed Christian Right Lite to a rockin' beat have set up shop in the area but nowhere near the extent that can be found in the Midwest and Sun Belt.
Belmont "hip" and "progressive" - LMAO!!! That's the town which was the original home of the John Birch Society. Restaurants could never stay in business there until only very recently, when the "blue laws" were relaxed enough to at least allow the enjoyment of a cold beer or glass of wine with a meal. The choices for dining out within its boundaries were pretty much a toss-up between Friendly's and Brigham's until then. I like lots of things about the town - its surviving independent moviehouse, the Wheelworks bicycle shop, Mass. Audubon's "Habitat" nature sanctuary, its very own Filene's in the center of town, etc. Its streets are quiet and safe, the houses spacious and well-kept, the schools outstanding, the commute into Cambridge and Boston a breeze via either bus or commuter rail. But hip and progressive? Uh-uh! In all fairness, Brookline and Newton - increasingly, Arlington, as well - meet those criteria better than the other towns named. After all, each are suburbs. Suburbs aren't supposed to be "where it's at."
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-02-2009, 05:17 PM
 
Location: Newton, Mass.
2,954 posts, read 10,795,800 times
Reputation: 1483
Quote:
Originally Posted by goyguy View Post
Another consideration (not brought up by the TO) might be ethnic/religious affiliations. For example, the primary outward migration pattern of Italian-American families has been to the north, while for the Irish it's been to the south and southeast. "Boston Brahmins" and other WASP's are more concentrated to the west. Notable exceptions can be found in all areas, but that's historically been the "rule."
Generally true but a bit misleading. While more Irish families moved south than north, there are so many Irish in the area that many, if not most, towns north of Boston have as many Irish residents as Italian. It's true that the South Shore towns are more overwhelmingly Irish while the northern towns are more evenly mixed. Not that it matters!

Quote:
Originally Posted by goyguy View Post
Belmont "hip" and "progressive" - LMAO!!! That's the town which was the original home of the John Birch Society. Restaurants could never stay in business there until only very recently, when the "blue laws" were relaxed enough to at least allow the enjoyment of a cold beer or glass of wine with a meal. The choices for dining out within its boundaries were pretty much a toss-up between Friendly's and Brigham's until then. I like lots of things about the town - its surviving independent moviehouse, the Wheelworks bicycle shop, Mass. Audubon's "Habitat" nature sanctuary, its very own Filene's in the center of town, etc. Its streets are quiet and safe, the houses spacious and well-kept, the schools outstanding, the commute into Cambridge and Boston a breeze via either bus or commuter rail. But hip and progressive? Uh-uh! In all fairness, Brookline and Newton - increasingly, Arlington, as well - meet those criteria better than the other towns named. After all, each are suburbs. Suburbs aren't supposed to be "where it's at."
As a part-time Belmont resident I'm going to object! The town is not particularly hip (though as an Arlington native it's odd for me to think of Arlington as hip either), and you don't need to have too much hipness right in the town when you're 5 minutes from Cambridge, Arlington and Watertown, and 15-20 from Boston. We LIVE in Belmont (she moved in first due to working west of the city and not being able to afford Cambridge, it was a fait accompli by the time we met) but we shop in Watertown and go out in Cambridge, Somerville or Boston more than we do in Belmont. Harvard Square is closer to us than the other side of Belmont.

My main issue, though, is that it's not anywhere near as anti-progressive as you make it seem. The John Birch Society was not founded in Belmont, though it's primary founder did live in Belmont. In any event, that was 50 years ago and reflected the views of one resident. Democratic registration outpaces Republican registration in Belmont by more than 2 to 1, and in the last several elections Belmont has been solidly Democratic.

In 2008 Barack Obama won 9,354 votes (69%) versus 3,968 (29%) for McCain. That's on a par with the results in Arlington and Watertown, and more Democratic-leaning than the results in Waltham (more blue collar and less white) and Winchester (equally or more affluent and WASP). John Kerry, in the 2008 Senate race, took 9,201 votes in Belmont against 3,740 for the GOP. In the 2004 presidential race Kerry took 66% against 32% for Bush. In 2006 Deval Patrick beat Healey 58% to 34% and Ted Kennedy won 71-29.

I also saw plenty of "No on 1" signs on manicured lawns and the income tax repeal failed 72% to 28% in a high-income town (the income tax repeal failed 54% to 36% in Belmont in 2002). Even Romney, who lived in the town, barely carried Belmont. I'd bet that he'd have lost the town in 2006 if he'd run for re-election, and certainly in 2008 as a GOP presidential nominee.

I barely live in Belmont (in 2 senses-I spend 2-3 days a week there and I can probably throw a baseball to Watertown and Cambridge from my front porch), but I wouldn't be there at all if it were John Birch-ville, USA. It's not Provo, and it's not even Boxford. There are more and more crunchy Prius types with lefty bumper stickers invading the rentals on the southern side and plenty of educated professionals who tend Democratic in the single-family houses.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-03-2009, 07:46 AM
 
Location: Westwood, MA
3,453 posts, read 4,352,469 times
Reputation: 4456
Quote:
Originally Posted by goyguy View Post
Belmont "hip" and "progressive" - LMAO!!! That's the town which was the original home of the John Birch Society. Restaurants could never stay in business there until only very recently, when the "blue laws" were relaxed enough to at least allow the enjoyment of a cold beer or glass of wine with a meal. The choices for dining out within its boundaries were pretty much a toss-up between Friendly's and Brigham's until then. I like lots of things about the town - its surviving independent moviehouse, the Wheelworks bicycle shop, Mass. Audubon's "Habitat" nature sanctuary, its very own Filene's in the center of town, etc. Its streets are quiet and safe, the houses spacious and well-kept, the schools outstanding, the commute into Cambridge and Boston a breeze via either bus or commuter rail. But hip and progressive? Uh-uh! In all fairness, Brookline and Newton - increasingly, Arlington, as well - meet those criteria better than the other towns named. After all, each are suburbs. Suburbs aren't supposed to be "where it's at."
As a former Belmont resident I have to agree. Belmont certainly isn't conservative by any but the most left-wing definitions, but it's neither "hip" nor "progressive". Even for renters it's a great place to live if you're looking for more room for less money and don't mind being away from all the urban things (or want to be somewhere quieter), but I knew of no one who choose to live in Belmont because of how hip and progressive it was. While there are stores and restaurants, if I wanted to do something I would always find myself on the bus to Cambridge or Boston.

That's not to say I wouldn't or don't recommend Belmont--I think it;s a great place to live for certain people, just not for someone look for exciting night live or lots of youth-oriented action. For the OP I think Belmont might be a great choice, it has:

-Interesting and educated people
-a strong sense of community
-a short commute to work- access via a commuter train into Boston back bay or downtown boston station (They both use to work in NYC and took the NJ transit train to work everyday)
-A pretty neighborhood with large trees & established homes.
-High rated schools (They have two young kids)

It may be too expensive, but it is certainly worth considering.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-03-2009, 07:54 AM
 
Location: Winnetka, IL & Rolling Hills, CA
1,273 posts, read 3,846,422 times
Reputation: 586
Holden125,

You cannot forget that Belmont has the largest LDS population of any community in Massachusetts, so that might add to its perceived "conservative" nature, but Belmont of course is very Democratic, with over 70% of voting residents supporting President Obama. Belmont isn't as liberal as Cambridge, Newton, or Brookline. However it isn't as conservative as Weston or Dover.

On a side note, I think that Romney would have carried Belmont in 2008 had he been the nominee and I think he would have carried Massachusetts, but Dukakis didn't carry Weston.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-03-2009, 10:30 AM
 
Location: Newton, Mass.
2,954 posts, read 10,795,800 times
Reputation: 1483
Jay, I think we're in agreement its not hip, and as I said I also do most of my dining, etc. in Cambridge or Boston. While I don't think people tend to move to Belmont specifically because it's progressive, I dispute the characterization that it's a place people should avoid if they happen to be progressive. Goyguy, who is a fabulous resource, suggested that it's a very right-wing town ("LMAO," John Birch Society) and that is simply not the case, as you say. That's the distinction I'm seeking to draw.


Quote:
Originally Posted by US-Traveller View Post
Holden125,

You cannot forget that Belmont has the largest LDS population of any community in Massachusetts, so that might add to its perceived "conservative" nature, but Belmont of course is very Democratic, with over 70% of voting residents supporting President Obama. Belmont isn't as liberal as Cambridge, Newton, or Brookline. However it isn't as conservative as Weston or Dover.
US-Traveller, I agree with you on everything here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by US-Traveller View Post
On a side note, I think that Romney would have carried Belmont in 2008 had he been the nominee and I think he would have carried Massachusetts, but Dukakis didn't carry Weston.
Here I don't agree. I see from your post you're a Romney fan, but he only took 52% in Belmont in 2002. I attribute much of his 2002 win to a moderate campaign in a Republican year against a Democratic opponent who offended suburban sensibilities with her demeanor during the debates. I do not think that Romney, after spending so much time outside the state bashing it to more conservative audiences elsewhere, would have been reelected in 2006 in a Democratic year, nor do I think he would have carried Belmont in 2006.

Last edited by CaseyB; 06-03-2009 at 10:54 AM.. Reason: most of the post is off topic
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-03-2009, 01:40 PM
 
2,312 posts, read 6,519,060 times
Reputation: 881
Property taxes are significantly lower in MA than they are in NJ. I don't want to throw any numbers around, but in my experience owning in both places, in high tax towns, my burden is 50% less here in MA. As a matter of fact, my disgustingly high property taxes in NJ contributed strongly to our decision to move up here almost nine years ago.

So your friends should be delighted with the tax rates here.

I second the above suggestions for Brookline, Newton, Belmont, Arlington if you want to be closer to the city. I'll also throw in Concord, a little further out, since it's so darn beautiful and almost-rural (totally country to a Jersey person) , yet has a strong progressive bent and a wonderful downtown. I think Lincoln is also a rural, yet progressive, community, but doesn't have downtown.

Wellesley is also a bustling rich suburb, like Westfield, but skews a little conservative in my veiwpoint....
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-03-2009, 03:26 PM
 
7,326 posts, read 8,984,586 times
Reputation: 8377
Default If the emphasis is upon schools..

...then Belmont should definately be considered; the other choices of Arlington, Newton and Brookline are also good, although the latter two can get very expensive, and Arlington certainly isn't cheap. I guess I should mention Cambridge; also expensive , however. If the interest in "hipness" is still there, one can certainly just visit Cambridge and Boston by riding the Red Line into Harvard Square or Park Street in downtown Boston.
Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


 
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Massachusetts > Boston
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top