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Old 03-01-2017, 01:21 PM
 
39 posts, read 61,066 times
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Hi all -

We are a family that moves a bit for job relocation and we've been told that Framingham might be next. Now, we aren't complete strangers to the Boston Metro region so, while we're ok with working in Framingham, we are not that excited about moving there. Cue looking at some smaller towns in the region with which we are unfamiliar (the Cape Ann area is more of our forte'). That brings me to Milford. The housing/taxes costs look manageable there. It appears to be its own "smallish" town, something we're looking for...but then- BAM- the schools. What is going on there? We will have one entering 9th at the time of the move, so that's the child that we're most worried about. Are these test scores and numbers just superficial data or is there something about Milford that we should avoid?

We're also looking at Millis, Holliston, Hopedale, and Grafton...looking at smaller high schools in smaller communities that aren't super competitive. Housing could go up to $650. Would appreciate your expert opinions!!
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Old 03-01-2017, 01:45 PM
 
2,376 posts, read 1,560,958 times
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Milford is a lower middle class community. If you don't like Framingham, you won't like Milford either.

If you can afford a $650k house, you can do better than Milford.
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Old 03-01-2017, 01:54 PM
 
39 posts, read 61,066 times
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I appreciate your response. Of course, like everyone, just because we CAN afford 650k, doesn't mean that we're aiming for it. Our biggest COL increase with this move is going to come in the form of property tax (our current area is 1.2%/1000 -- it's so simple and affordable), so keeping the house value down helps us to combat that. I do understand what you're saying about not liking Framingham = not liking Milford...we were just hoping to get to a smaller town with a smaller school system that won't kick our ass with property taxes. Turns out it's much tougher to do that than we thought it would be.
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Old 03-01-2017, 02:05 PM
 
125 posts, read 68,403 times
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I have heard that there are some heroin problems in Milford.

I think Grafton would be a great choice. It's remoteness from Boston lowers prices, but it's a lot more convenient to Framingham than Boston.

Holliston is also a very nice town.
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Old 03-01-2017, 02:06 PM
 
Location: Massachusetts
6,097 posts, read 9,434,392 times
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Milford is loaded with illegal immigrants. Mostly Brazilian, some from Ecuador.
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Old 03-01-2017, 02:21 PM
 
39 posts, read 61,066 times
Reputation: 17
Well, that explains it. I guess I could sit here and wonder why that particular town ended up with all the illegal immigrants, but I only have to look around our current area. All of these sanctuary cities popping up. Although, I'm a little surprised due to what I perceive to be a lack of public transit from Milford to the jobs. Around here, lack of public transit can usually keep illegal immigrants out of a particular community.

OK, then...on to more exploration and research!
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Old 03-01-2017, 04:22 PM
 
150 posts, read 85,596 times
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I agree with the poster who said if you don't like Framingham you won't like Milford. Lots of illegals, business, and poor schools so taxes are lower. As you are finding out the smaller towns with higher taxes have better schools, isn't it like that everywhere? I suggest Bolton and Stow as well for your budget (amazing towns).
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Old 03-02-2017, 05:51 AM
 
39 posts, read 61,066 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peabody99 View Post
I agree with the poster who said if you don't like Framingham you won't like Milford. Lots of illegals, business, and poor schools so taxes are lower. As you are finding out the smaller towns with higher taxes have better schools, isn't it like that everywhere? I suggest Bolton and Stow as well for your budget (amazing towns).
Honestly, we don't like Framingham because it's suburban sprawl. We didn't realize the demographics are what they are until I started digging into the schools. As for Milford, again, I didn't realize that a small town would fall victim to the same demographic issues that plague more suburban centers (like Framingham). That's why I came here -- to find out the truth and, well, it's safe to say I received it.

As for taxes, Massachusetts will be the first state we live in where schools are funded by individual towns vs. counties. In a county run school district, property taxes can be lower and schools can vary between great and bad and everywhere in between. Granted, if you have a kid who needs extra assistance or needs, cutting through a large county bureaucracy can be tough but at least the resources are there. I can't imagine how a small town can sustain schools and all of those resources (some of which are currently required by the fed govt, although that is obviously changing now), so high property taxes aren't necessarily a surprise. We are simply looking for the best value -- moderate tax rate with good (not necessarily top 50/ not super-competitive "Ivy makers") schools. The higher the tax rate, the less we can pay for the house, of course. We are just lucky that are kids do not need the resources available only in larger districts. I appreciate your recommendation of Bolton and Stow -- will look that direction. Are those towns still considered "MetroWest" or are they too far West to be mired in that nonsense?
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Old 03-02-2017, 05:59 AM
 
2,376 posts, read 1,560,958 times
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You are too focused on tax rate. Many towns with obscenely high tax rates play with the assessed values to make the actual tax a little bit lower. Similarly some towns with low tax rates make the assessed values artificially high.

Now yes, towns with high tax rates tend to have higher property taxes overall, but the difference may not be as substantial as you think. You should really figure out roughly what you're willing to pay in property tax before ruling out a town based on tax rate.
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Old 03-02-2017, 06:09 AM
 
39 posts, read 61,066 times
Reputation: 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dm84 View Post
You are too focused on tax rate. Many towns with obscenely high tax rates play with the assessed values to make the actual tax a little bit lower. Similarly some towns with low tax rates make the assessed values artificially high.

Now yes, towns with high tax rates tend to have higher property taxes overall, but the difference may not be as substantial as you think. You should really figure out roughly what you're willing to pay in property tax before ruling out a town based on tax rate.
You might be right. It's just hard to look at listings, see the insane tax that the current owner is paying, and know that the town will likely jack up the assessment to (likely) market value after you purchase the place. My current home is worth $500k, it's assessed at $440k and we only pay approx. $4800/year in property taxes. Seeing similar homes with similar values with $9-10k (or more in some towns) in just property tax alone is a shock to the system. So, yes, I guess I am focused on tax rate because that appears to be the only way to assess the long-term affordability of a particular home in a particular town --knowing of course, that taxes only go up.
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