U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Massachusetts
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 1.5 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.
Jump to a detailed profile or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Business Search - 14 Million verified businesses
Search for:  near: 
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 12-12-2007, 01:11 PM
 
Location: Allen, TX
6 posts, read 9,260 times
Reputation: 10
Question Relocating from Dallas

All

My wife and I have read many of the forums about the areas and places to live, but wanted a more current discussion. Let me start off by giving some background, what we look for in a community and dollars.

My work is relocating me to Boston to work in the Back Bay area (John Hancock Tower). My wife and I would like an active community (town activities, sports, festivals, etc.). The commute is very important to me. I currently have to drive an hour in heavy stop-and-go traffic from a north suburb to downtown Dallas. It sucks the life out of me daily each way. The distance is only 26 miles. My wife is stay at home needs the solid community so she (and we) can make friends and become active in the community. We are active in our church as well, a methodist church. We have three children (6 girl, 3 boy and 1 boy). Schools are very important. I am very willing to use the commuter rail and would almost prefer it, but don't want a long drive to the station from my house (i.e Sudbury to Framingham station). I would also prefer the commuter rail that goes through Back Bay, but I am not adversed to go to the North station and use the subway as long as the commuter ride is not too long. Overall, I would like to keep my commute to less than 45 minutes.

We have driven through Southboro, Ashland, Natick, Needham, Wellesley, Arlington, Belmont and Winchester. Our favorites are Winchester, Wellesley Natick and Ashland.

Our budget is from $500 to $690k and need a 4 bedroom with at least 2 bath and age of house does not matter as long as it is solid. We plan to buy something in late January to March of 2008. We are looking for opinions on the towns I have mentioned above as well as other suitable suggestions based what we are looking for. We are very open to almost anything as long as it meets the requirements above. I appreciate any and all help in advance!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 12-12-2007, 01:57 PM
 
Location: West of Boston
2,572 posts, read 4,307,125 times
Reputation: 1239
It sounds like your top priority is the commute. Is there a reason you didn't use DART while in Dallas? It runs very frequently during rush hour -- every few minutes just like our subway (the T). The commuter rail is another story -- its schedule is very erratic and seems to run at random times since they're frequently late. Waiting for the train in the cold weather might be just as bad as dealing w/the traffic in your heated car during the winters!

Anyway, 1 hour for a 26 mile commute is probably similar to the traffic here. It takes around an hour to get from Framingham into the financial district during rush hour.

What drew you to the towns you mentioned? They are very different from each other! You should be able to find a house in any of those towns in your price range, although you might only have a handful of houses that fit your criteria in Wellesley. Which suburb are you coming from in Dallas? I can guarantee you the schools here are much better academically -- the Collin County HS's are only concerned w/large enrollments for building the best sports teams!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-12-2007, 02:25 PM
 
Location: New England & The Maritimes
2,117 posts, read 2,392,657 times
Reputation: 1114
I'm from Winchester and I think it would be perfect for you. Very easy commute from the center or Wedgemere (10 min to North Station) and these stations are about a 5 min drive from anywhere in town and a doable walk from much of the town. The one issue is your price range and desire for a 4 bed-room. It'll be really tough to get 4 bedrooms for under 700k, but not impossible. It is even more unlikely in Wellseley. If you only needed 3 bedrooms it would probably be easier but it is still definitely worth a look. Natick and Ashland are a little more affordable and still nice towns from what I gather, though I don't know if I have ever actually been to Ashland. Arlington and Belmont are great towns too and if you could get to Alewife the commute would be easier, more flexible, and cheaper. I don't know if you'd have anymore luck finding a 4bedrm there for under 700k though. I just took a peak at houses in Winchester and it seems 600-700 is common so I would definitely check it out.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-12-2007, 03:40 PM
 
Location: Allen, TX
6 posts, read 9,260 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parsec View Post
It sounds like your top priority is the commute. Is there a reason you didn't use DART while in Dallas? It runs very frequently during rush hour -- every few minutes just like our subway (the T). The commuter rail is another story -- its schedule is very erratic and seems to run at random times since they're frequently late. Waiting for the train in the cold weather might be just as bad as dealing w/the traffic in your heated car during the winters!

Anyway, 1 hour for a 26 mile commute is probably similar to the traffic here. It takes around an hour to get from Framingham into the financial district during rush hour.

What drew you to the towns you mentioned? They are very different from each other! You should be able to find a house in any of those towns in your price range, although you might only have a handful of houses that fit your criteria in Wellesley. Which suburb are you coming from in Dallas? I can guarantee you the schools here are much better academically -- the Collin County HS's are only concerned w/large enrollments for building the best sports teams!
The DART from my house is about a 20-minute drive and therefore, is worthless to me. Parking is also an issue. I have to park so far away from the station as they did not build the DART station with enough room for parking. The DART rail was a great idea, but it is nowhere near extensive and they under estimated the amount of people that would use it.

I live in Allen, TX in a great little subdivision called Twin Creeks. Schools only focus on the State TACS test. Their curriculum centers on that test and most students are not broadened enough coming out of Texas schools.

If the trains are not dependable, that is an issue all in itself. That would be terribly frustrating. I would have to consider that and talk to people I work with that currently live in the Hopkinton area. Find out their thoughts on the rail, if they in fact use it.

What drove me to those areas was their proximity to the rail and I heard the west burbs are good for commuting. I hear the Mass Pike moves all the way into the Back Bay area..... Driving south on I-75 moves occasionally. I go from 30 MPH to crawl constantly, but some times hit 60 MPH for a few seconds.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-13-2007, 06:23 AM
 
Location: West of Boston
2,572 posts, read 4,307,125 times
Reputation: 1239
The Pike moves from I495 to exit 12 at 60+ mph, but then it starts slowing down a little after exit 13, then it starts picking up a little in between exit 13 and 12, then slows down again when you hit exit 12, and then from there to I-95/128 it's usually stop and go, coming to a halt a 1/2 mile before the tollbooth. After the Weston tolls (at 128/I-95) it's still a little slow through Newton, but after Newton it moves right along into Boston. Of course the traffic patterns depend heavily on when you leave, i.e. if you leave at 6am from Hopkinton then you can go 75mph the whole way.

But in general, the Pike is the best commuting road into Boston because it's a limited-access highway. If you try taking I-93 from the North, it'll move well from I-495 to Woburn, but from Woburn into Boston it's a constant crawl. The exits are about 5 miles apart on the Pike whereas I-93 has exits every mile.

I've heard of Twin Creeks -- it's a nice subdivision! One of my college friends lived there. As for the DART, I think the last rail stop is right off I-75 in Plano, right? You'll be passing it on your way into downtown Dallas, but driving is usually faster unless there's a huge accident; same w/in Boston. Unless you live 1 minute from the station, driving is faster, but causes more headaches.

Anyway, what's more important to you? A big house or a top-notch school system w/the snob factor? Your budget is pretty good and will definitely get you into any town. It could buy you more than you're expecting in a town like Ashland or Natick, but will also get you a smaller home on a postage-sized lot in Wellesley or Winchester. Ashland and Natick both have solid schools, but they're completely different. Natick is very commercialized w/quiet residential streets tucked away behind the main roads. Ashland on the other hand is a very sleepy town overall. Ashland's commuter rail stop has a ton of parking that probably never runs out, and Natick has 2 commuter rail stops w/limited parking (you have to get there very early). Wellesley and Winchester have top-notch schools on the other hand, and you'll have to deal w/the snob factor here. Wellesley probably has the nicest walkable downtown area out of any suburb in the area too. The commute from there would be a breeze -- you could even take local roads if you wanted to avoid tolls. Winchester I'm not too familiar with -- someone else will have to chime in.

For me personally, good location (for the shortest commute), good schools, and convenience to shopping and Boston for the museums are my top 3 priorities. If I had a higher budget, I'd choose Wellesley =) But I don't, so I'm looking at Natick now.

Last edited by Parsec; 12-13-2007 at 06:44 AM.. Reason: adding info
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-13-2007, 06:32 PM
 
Location: Allen, TX
6 posts, read 9,260 times
Reputation: 10
Thanks for all the feedback.... How is Lynnfield and Melrose?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-13-2007, 09:04 PM
 
Location: Metrowest, MA
1,815 posts, read 7,598,389 times
Reputation: 842
Those towns are North of Boston. I thought you only want towns with commuter rail to Backbay stop. Lynnfield is ok... but Melrose may not be what you're looking for.

Median Income

Wellesley $134,769
Needham $107,570
Lynnfield $91,869
Arlington $78,741
Melrose $78,144
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-14-2007, 11:18 AM
 
Location: West of Boston
2,572 posts, read 4,307,125 times
Reputation: 1239
Yeah, the rail lines that stop at Back Bay are the Attleboro, Franklin, Needham, and Worcester lines. That covers towns out to I-495 heading west and southwest of Boston (between I-90 and I-95). Check www.mbta.com and see which towns have a station on those commuter lines.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-14-2007, 02:16 PM
 
62 posts, read 195,224 times
Reputation: 25
good idea getting yourself on T or a commuter line. commuting into boston is a complete nightmare.

what about in town --Brookline i love that place. also, canton is very nice and it is on the commuter line. winchester is a very nice community, i highly recommend. you can go to realtor.com to get a sense for what houses are doing in each of these towns. good luck
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-14-2007, 02:50 PM
 
Location: Allen, TX
6 posts, read 9,260 times
Reputation: 10
I realize Lynnfield and Melrose are north and do not go to the Back Bay station, but driving from that distance may be an option if it is not too bad (less than 45 mins). I have proceed real estate all over and it is slim pickens as of today, but hopefully more houses will pop up on the market after Xmas. I am intimate with MBTA website by now...ha! Thanks for the hints I will look into Brookline (maybe too pricey) and Canton. I will stay away form Melrose, too many below average comments.
Reply With Quote 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.


Reply
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 2000-2011 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $84,000 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
Similar Threads

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2014, 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 - Top