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Old 03-26-2014, 06:50 PM
 
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My wife and I will be moving to Boston in July, and know nothing about the city other than what we can glean from the internet. We have identified houses & condos we like in Natick, Wakefield, Mansfield, Foxborough, Hopkinton, Wrentham, Ashland, Marblehead, and Swampscott. On paper, they all have at least ok schools and a 'descent' commute via public transportation to the Back Bay area where I will be working. We are trying to narrow the list of potential properties down in preparation for our househunting trip next week. Any advice on how the communities compare to eachother would be greatly appreciated.

As a point of reference, we have a price range of up to $460 thousand. I would like to keep door-to-door commute to under 1:15 each way (My office is about a 5-min walk from the Ruggles rail stop). We also have a 6-mo old son, so school quality is somewhat important to us.

Thanks in advance for you comments!
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Old 03-26-2014, 09:26 PM
 
Location: Needham, MA
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Your real estate agent is going to put a lot of miles on their car showing you all of those towns!

Seriously though, sharing your budget is very useful information but if you could tell us what kind of town you're looking for that would be valuable information as well. Is shopping/restaurants important? What kind of population density are you comfortable with (i.e. urban, suburban, rural)? Are you outdoors-y people who like to hike, bike, canoe, etc?
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Old 03-27-2014, 08:16 AM
 
Location: Baja Virginia
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The North Shore is not going to be a great commute to Back Bay. You'd come into North Station and have to change to the subway to get to the Back Bay. I would scratch Wakefield, Marblehead and Swampscott off your list and look for a town where you can take the commuter rail directly into Back Bay station.
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Old 03-27-2014, 11:43 AM
 
Location: Winchester
226 posts, read 244,619 times
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googlemaps : cross out towns that are too long of a commute
schooldigger : check out the school rankings in different towns
redfin : get a sense of whether houses in your budget are OK for you
this website : check out the safety statistics of the various towns
epa gov : check out which towns have superfund sites

Once you've narrowed your list of towns via the above, then you can start considering issues which are more subjective, like vibrancy of towns, etc.
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Old 03-27-2014, 11:45 AM
 
Location: Winchester
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Also, you might want to move this discussion to the MA thread
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Old 03-27-2014, 11:54 AM
 
Location: Massachusetts
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You'd want to look at towns on the Framingham, Franklin and Providence commuter rail lines for a commute to Back Bay. Forget anything north of the city.

http://www.mbta.com/schedules_and_maps/rail/
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Old 03-27-2014, 01:41 PM
 
Location: Westwood, MA
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While commuter rail from to Back Bay is a great option, somewhere like Wakefield or Melrose could work too if you drove to Oak Grove station and took the orange line.
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Old 03-27-2014, 02:48 PM
 
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Thanks much for all your replies. This is some very good feedback that we'll keep in mind when narrowing the list down this weekend.

MikePRU - My wife and I do like to dine out about once a week; preferable not at chain restaurants. I would say shopping is of secondary imporance (We would be happy as long as there is a gas station, grocery store and WalMart/Target nearby). Urban/suburban or rural would be fine with us - We've lived in all. I was big into hiking when I was a teen, but my wife never got into it so it's an open question whether we will get into any outdoor activites once we move to MA.
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Old 03-27-2014, 02:57 PM
 
Location: Massachusetts
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaseyB View Post
You'd want to look at towns on the Framingham, Franklin and Providence commuter rail lines for a commute to Back Bay. Forget anything north of the city.

MBTA.com > Commuter Rail Maps and Schedules

And I would even narrow this to the Franklin and Providence lines as Worcester (Framingham) does not go directly through Ruggles.
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Old 03-27-2014, 05:20 PM
 
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great suggestions. i will just add, that Ruggles is not only commuter rail, but also a T stop on Orange line (so is back bay)
mbta.com would have maps for commuter rail, t (subway), bus lines with travel time estimates.
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