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Old 08-05-2011, 01:21 AM
 
3 posts, read 4,265 times
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We are a family with two elementary school kids who are searching for a good school system, but can only pay about 650 for a home. Initial research led us toward brookline- it reads like what we want (great schools, diversity, community base for the kids, etc). However, we want a single family house.....another tidbit- dad will be at MIT. Any suggestions on neighborhoods I could research would be appreciated. thanks!
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Old 08-05-2011, 07:27 AM
 
Location: Billerica, MA
3,394 posts, read 4,069,297 times
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Well, do you want a city-like atmosphere? Or would a quieter, more rural area work? I ask this because there are options on outer commuter lines for you to consider, but you will lose the urban-esque environment of Brookline.

To get a good school system and a home for under $650K, you should try looking to surrounding suburbs. Key is - you probably want to look at something on a commuter rail line (I assume he doesn't want to deal with parking in Cambridge?). You could find places with commuter rail lines that go into South Station, where he can pick up the Red Line and ride it for a couple of stops to Kendall.

I would try looking into Needham (good school, nice 'downtown' area, nice neighborhoods), which is at the terminus of the Needham Commuter line. It's about a 45 minute train ride to South Station and then probably another ~10 minutes to get to Kendall. So, 1 hour commute each way on trains.

Canton would be another locale to try for good schools, houses in your budget, and along a commuter rail line (huge station at the 128 locale actually - you can get Amtrak there too to head to NYC/DC, for example. Canton Junction is smaller and only for the Commuter Rail). From the 128 Junction stop, it's about a 20 minute train ride on the Commuter rail to South Station, with again another 15 minutes to MIT. Canton, though, is more 'rural' (I use that loosely... it's not farmland but it's not your iconic American suburb either) than Needham, so if you like quieter, less happening areas, that is a choice. Yet, you would be almost equidistant from downtown Boston and also Providence, which is another nice (albeit smaller) alternative to Boston.

I might suggest Newton as well (west of Brookline), though property and taxes are pricy there. Also, the commute from there to MIT isn't ideal. The green line is really inefficient for you to get to MIT.

If school and housing price are the top priority and you are willing to live in an 'exburb', then you could consider Littleton and Acton, which are on the Fitchburg commuter line and make a stop at Porter Square, which is on the Red Line and only 3 stops from Kendall.

Hope that helps!
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Old 08-05-2011, 09:14 AM
 
3 posts, read 4,265 times
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Thanks so much wxjay! I truly appreciate your time.
We were hoping for more of the city-like atmosphere. We lived in the 'burbs of DC with little success (never seemed to make it into the city) and the commute was horrible. Of course, DC is a car only commute from the burbs- public transportation will be a different experience.
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Old 08-05-2011, 09:26 AM
 
44 posts, read 110,412 times
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Have you looked at Milton? Like Brookline and Newton, Wellesley, etc, it's close enough to keep you engaged in city life, though it's not as much of a streetcar suburb. But it's closer to the Red Line, which helps with getting to MIT, and fits the bill otherwise. Also look at Arlington.
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Old 08-05-2011, 12:52 PM
 
Location: Billerica, MA
3,394 posts, read 4,069,297 times
Reputation: 1127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charliekeet View Post
Have you looked at Milton? Like Brookline and Newton, Wellesley, etc, it's close enough to keep you engaged in city life, though it's not as much of a streetcar suburb. But it's closer to the Red Line, which helps with getting to MIT, and fits the bill otherwise. Also look at Arlington.
Yes, I forgot about Milton. Arlington is also a possibility, but schools there are getting a little less 'competitive', from what I read. Milton, though, is solid in the school department.
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Old 08-05-2011, 01:12 PM
 
Location: Newton, MA
324 posts, read 559,859 times
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I'd look in Newton.

If you look in West Newton or Auburndale sections of Newton, you're actually on the commuter rail rather than the green line.

If you look near Newton Center or Newton Highlands, you're on the D branch of the Green line which is better than the other two branches (the B and the C) because it has a dedicated track and doesn't run along the street.

The advantage of the commuter rail is that it's faster. The disadvantage is the frequency of trains. If you miss your train, you have to wait probably close to an hour for the next (depending on time of day). The green line is much more frequent.

The downside to both these options is that you have to switch to the red line to get to MIT.

I think Arlington is also worth a look. Winchester, too. Winchester is more of a true suburb while Arlington and Newton both have semi-urbanish parts.
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