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Old 03-18-2012, 07:01 PM
8 posts, read 11,567 times
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I have an interview with a prospective employer located near North Station. If all goes well I will be up next month to visit some towns.

That being said, I've grown up for the most part in Stafford Va and I enjoy being close to the city (within 45 min) with many of all the desired amenities, nice grocery stores, gym, etc.

Is there anyone that has relocated from the DC area to Boston with some pointers as to towns that are great for kids and are generally friendly to transplants? Looking for something that goes into North Station, willing to deal with a 45 min commute, house prices from 450-525k, great schools and amenities. Was thinking Beverly? Any thoughts or other suggestions?
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Old 03-18-2012, 07:05 PM
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I dont know how many VA people you will find living on the N Shore and on this board. But who knows...Good luck.
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Old 03-18-2012, 07:49 PM
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If you want to approximate Stafford, you need something more rural than Beverly. If you want to keep the commute around 45 minutes, you want to look at the smaller towns in between 128 and I-495 served by commuter rail to North Station.

Starting in the west on the Fitchburg line, you would be hard pressed to find something around 500k in Lincoln or Concord. Acton and Littleton are doable. You could find something past I-495 in Ayer and Shirley, but that would put you over your allotted commute time.

On the Lowell line, Wilmington and Billerica might be options, but I think you could do better west or east (though Wilmington is worth a look).

On the Haverhill line, you have several good options. Andover proper might be too urban, but I would look at the stops preceding it on the Boston side starting with Reading. The Andover area could give you the amenities you are looking for while not living right in the town center.

On the Newburyport/Rockport line, Beverly is worth a look, but I would also look at the stops immediately past Beverly for less density and good family friendly towns.
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Old 03-18-2012, 08:29 PM
Location: North of Boston
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The advice from Cato is pretty good, the only down side would be that all of those commutes are going to be over 45 minutes door to door.

I don't know anything about towns in Northern Virginia but I suspect that you would find Greater Boston to be more compact. Sadly, that budget of up to $525K isn't going to go too far in the towns along Route 128 that would make for a more reasonable commuting time. I would probably look at Reading, Wakefield and Melrose (all 3 towns are on the same train line in to North Station) and see if anything feels right.
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Old 03-18-2012, 08:54 PM
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Cato and Gf2020, this is great info. I actually was born and lived on the south shore (marshfield) when I was a kid, but a lot has changed over the last 20 years. I don't mind a quasi urban town such as Andover and Beverly, but I wasn't sure if these towns were family friendly and werent too townie. Just looking forward to getting away from DC/NOVA and back to Boston.
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Old 03-18-2012, 09:16 PM
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I think Reading would be less townie than Melrose, but Melrose doesn't seem overwhelming townie to me either (though some might beg to differ - we have friends who live in Acton but grew up in Melrose and want nothing to do with the latter). We have friends in Reading and they love it. One of them has a so-so commute to Brookline, but the other one heads to North Station and finds it quite reasonable. It would be more like Vienna than Stafford, but Reading does offer a decent commute (~30 minutes by rail).
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Old 03-20-2012, 07:35 PM
Location: Beverly, Mass
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We moved from Melrose to Beverly, and we love it. It is a great location, very family friendly. There are more parks than Melrose (25 playgrounds), a nice downtown, beaches, close to Cape Ann and Salem and you get more for your money here. Centerville and the Cove are very nice, and Beverly Farms is more rural. There are lots of trails and conservation land.

Transportation-wise it's on 128, there are five train stations, and it's a 30 minute ride to Boston without traffic.
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Old 03-20-2012, 07:45 PM
Location: Massachusetts
243 posts, read 449,972 times
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My husband worked in Tysons Corner VA and is now working in Back Bay. He has an apartment in Reading right now and that's our first choice of a town to buy a house in. I love the feel, the down town, the ease of driving into Boston, the ease of getting the commuter rail etc. If you have kids and your budget is $525 then I think that gf202 is right in saying look at Reading, Wakefield and maybe even Andover if you don't mind over an hr on a train.
My dental hygienist is from Quincy and told me that while the rush hour going into Boston, while driving, is bad, it's not as bad as going into DC...so that's a bit of a positive!! Best of luck to you!
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Old 03-21-2012, 05:15 AM
130 posts, read 219,527 times
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You could also try Hamilton /Wenham which is nearby Beverly. If you consider Beverly then Centerville is a wonderful community. You will love North Shore! Good luck and let us know of your decision.
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Old 03-23-2012, 06:35 AM
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Are you looking for more citylike (Alexandria) or rural? Citylike, if you are looking for towns that are very walkable, have lots of train stations, near the city, I would go for Melrose or Wakefield. If you are looking for more rural, I think that Hamilton Wenhem are nice but may be too much $$. Beverly has some nice sections, and not so nice sections - it encompasses a pretty big area. Manchester by the Sea and Marblehead are also wonderful towns but may be outside of your price range (if I could live anywhere in Massachusetts, regardless of price, I'd pick Manchester by the Sea in a heartbeat). Rockport is also a wonderful town, but it is very far north on Cape Ann.
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