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Old 02-02-2014, 07:27 AM
76 posts, read 86,589 times
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We're looking to buy this season. Our first choice (due to schools and commutes) is Winchester. While I don't see strong advantages to Belmont over Winchester (e.g. it doesn't appear to be cheaper), I decided we'd look there also simply because these markets ain't all that large to begin with, so I want to be able to look at more inventory.

(1) I work on Lowell. How bad would my commute from Belmont be? People on this board said the commute from Newton wouldn't be great. The map makes Belmont look better, but I don't know how much better.

(2) Does anything stand out in the comparison between Belmont and Winchester?

(3) My wife works in Government Center. Would she be able to take rail to get there without having to freak out about parking? E.g. is there a reasonable bus that would take her to the commuter rail or perhaps Alewife?
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Old 02-02-2014, 07:58 AM
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From Belmont, you can take the Fitchburg Line (commuter rail) to North Station and then have a short walk to Government Center. You could also drive a few miles to Alewife (or take a bus there) and take the Red Line in.
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Old 02-02-2014, 01:44 PM
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...OK, we just went to two open houses in Belmont. (Right now we're renting in Winchester.)

My one vague impression is that Belmont seemed denser. Even though the houses we looked at were plenty big, they seemed closer to neighboring homes than the ones in Winchester.
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Old 02-02-2014, 03:39 PM
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Look at Lexington,Concord,Andover, Reading and places more to the North. Your wife commute from Belmont would be 45-90 minutes in general; (trolley is slow during rush hour and so can be Red Line as well), but your commute would be well over that. I do not think it is good move unless you do not mind traveling 1.5h back and 1.5h forth every day. It might be OK if you do some crazy hours to avoid traffic, but RT3 is always crowded. Also Belmont has huge budget issues, on a side note, and will need to substantially raise its taxes to survive, due to very low commercial tax base and bad money management. Although location can be very convenient, schools are getting overcrowded as well. Renting is fine there, half of town are well-to-do renters, but take a long look if you are to pluck some major dough there. Better look at Winchester if you like it enough to rent there, IMHO.
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Old 02-02-2014, 04:27 PM
Location: Massachusetts
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Alewife is not all that far from Belmont. It would be about 30 minutes on red line + driving maybe 20 min from Belmont. Leaving Alewife station at the same time as everyone else is not fun, but not too bad if you leave the station and go right towards Concord Avenue rather than the Route 2 crunch. Route 2 in is not bad. Commuter rail with Porter red transfer would be something like 45 minutes.

Belmont would be a more centralized location in case either of your jobs change.

Belmont Center is having some problems revitalizing their downtown due to vacancies. I thought I did read that Belmont Waverly Square is due for some revitalization funding. The square has become a bit rundown in the last ten years, could use cosmetics.
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Old 02-03-2014, 05:31 PM
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Thanks, guys.
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