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Old 07-31-2017, 05:55 PM
 
Location: East Coast
2,524 posts, read 1,377,056 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robr2 View Post
Look at places like the centers of Winchester, Belmont, Lexington, Concord, et al. Those are walkable only if you live within a comfortable distance. The vast majority of the population of those towns will drive to the center and then walk as most of the residential areas are not truly walkable.

Places like Beacon Hill, South End, most of Somerville and Cambridge are truly walkable.
This is why I found the walkscore site helpful. We looked at houses in Arlington and in Needham (among others). While overall, Arlington is thought of as a more walkable town than Needham, all of the homes we looked at in Arlington had relatively low walkscores, and many of the homes in Needham (but not all) had very high walkscores.

It certainly depends on where, exactly, you live in most towns. When we looked at Lexington, I thought it would be terrific if we had a home that was under a 10 minute walk to Lexington Center. But if if it were any further than that, the walkability for most of the homes was very low. So some homes in Lexington have decent walkability, but a lot do not. The walkscore of the town overall isn't super helpful. The walkscore of a specific house, though, is a good indicator of walkability that is what you would care about if this is important to you.
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Old 08-01-2017, 07:04 AM
 
Location: Needham, MA
6,254 posts, read 8,694,939 times
Reputation: 5214
Quote:
Originally Posted by missionhill View Post
MikePRU is never way off base or even a little off base .
I need you to talk to Mrs. MikePRU. She tells me I'm way off base. According to her I'm so off base most of the time I'm on Lansdowne Street.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bugelrex View Post
The OP should post a few houses in Seattle in that budget which they would like to find equivalent too. Seattle houses are generally newer construction so hopefully they are not expecting a 5BR brand-new construction 3,000 sqft 'single family' home in a walkable area.

Its more likely going to be a 100 year old house with a mid-quality renovation, 4 BR and 3,000 sqft which includes the basement or attic with a 8,000 - 12,00 sqft lot
That might help but I'd wager the style of homes in Seattle might be quite a bit different than what you would find here. Certainly some more specific size parameters for the house would help us to determine what towns would best fit their wants and their budget but it seems they've abandoned the discussion (at least for now).

Quote:
Originally Posted by mwj119 View Post
If you're looking for walk ability in a true suburb, I would head to Winchester. The schools, train, and downtown are all a stones throw away. The neighborhoods fluctuate, but they're all really nice. For 1.25M, you should be able to find a decent 4BR within walking distance. However, being a true suburb, you won't be walking to much in the way of restaraunts/bars. It's going to be very family-centric.
I can't honestly say that Winchester is any more walkable than any of the other suburbs people have been talking about in this discussion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chicagoliz View Post
This is why I found the walkscore site helpful. We looked at houses in Arlington and in Needham (among others). While overall, Arlington is thought of as a more walkable town than Needham, all of the homes we looked at in Arlington had relatively low walkscores, and many of the homes in Needham (but not all) had very high walkscores.

It certainly depends on where, exactly, you live in most towns. When we looked at Lexington, I thought it would be terrific if we had a home that was under a 10 minute walk to Lexington Center. But if if it were any further than that, the walkability for most of the homes was very low. So some homes in Lexington have decent walkability, but a lot do not. The walkscore of the town overall isn't super helpful. The walkscore of a specific house, though, is a good indicator of walkability that is what you would care about if this is important to you.
Liz brings up a great point . . . most of our suburbs have areas that are walkable but making a blanket statement that a certain town is walkable in general is usually not accurate. Generally, all the shops/restaurants (and often the commuting options) are all located in the same town center area. So, you'd need to be within a limited distance from there to be in a walkable location. Of course, more urban locations like Brookline, Somerville, & Cambridge would be different in that shops/restaurants and commuting options are more ubiquitous throughout the town/city. Newton is kind of the in between in that it has 13 villages and several have their own village centers. So, Newton has higher odds of being walkable than say Belmont.

Needham has two village centers and the four commuter rail stations are pretty spread around the town. So, I think the amount of walkable locations here surprises a lot of people much like it did Liz.
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Old 08-29-2017, 06:44 PM
 
25 posts, read 14,089 times
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I kept meaning to come back and clarify but life just got in the way!!

We are still considering this move and here is a bit more info. I would like a neighborhood, a yard, 1/4 acre max. I don't want a condo. My kids are 15, 13 and almost 12, all boys, so we need space, probably a finished basement. I am thinking 2000sqft. I don't need a fenced yard / super quiet street because my boys are older now. I don't want to take on a huge construction job but am willing to take on cosmetic work. I love new construction (easy in!) but not a requirement. My kids need a little diversity. They tend to go their own way clothes / music wise so little towns where everyone has to look the same to fit in won't work. Brookline looks lovely but I think is too expensive. I think Wellesley seems like it is very ostentatious which I hate but I love the downtown so if I am judging it too harshly I'd love to know.

Thanks!!
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Old 08-29-2017, 06:57 PM
 
25 posts, read 14,089 times
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And thank you all for the replies! Mike, you are right, I didn't give you enough info to go on! We moved to Magnolia just a year ago and while I love it, I don't see us here forever and I miss New England! We lived in Metrowest for 20 years after moving to the US from Ireland. We have lived in Framingham, Bellingham, Millis, Cork Ireland, Franklin and back to Millis again. Millis was great when my kids were little but now that they are older I want something more urban. Both of us would be working in Cambridge and I would prefer public transport.
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Old 08-29-2017, 07:36 PM
 
3,268 posts, read 2,080,693 times
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What about milton? Closest suburb just south of boston.
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Old 08-29-2017, 08:22 PM
 
Location: Chibostoncaliseattle
1,239 posts, read 513,004 times
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All said and done, Winchester is my top recommendation, and i'd still argue it has the most walkable/functional downtown (with the exception of Newton's villages). The train, schools, restaurants, shops, and town common are all on top of eachother. We absolutely love the neighborhoods built off of downtown, specifically south/southwest towards Arlington/Lexington. Winchester is also going to provide a very easy commute to Cambridge via 93 or the commuter. One item worth noting is that you are going to find pretentiousness in all of the upscale towns mentioned, and it's no different in Winchester. That said, i'd argue that Wellesley is second to none in the category and that everyone I've met from Winchester is delightful.

If diversity and schooling are the number one criteria, it's tough to ignore Lexington. It has the largest student population of any town listed with the exception of Newton (but Newton is split into two districts) and has a massive Asian population. I believe the numbers were approaching 30%. In my unpolished opinion, size of school often lends to options and opportunity for kids to get involved, and I think it may be a bit easier to for kids who tend to fall 'outside the bell curve' to find their niche. There's always a counterargument to be had as some kids/teens get lost and feel like another number in a large school. Pros and cons!

If urban is truly what you want, Newton is going to be your best bet. More affordable than Brookline with similar redeeming qualities. To me, Newton's charm is very village specific, so I would certainly do your homework. Some neighborhoods have my jaw on the floor, while others look very average to me. Either way, both Newton North and Newton South are excellent schools, and Newton is fairly self-containing.

Just out of curiosity- Why not Cambridge itself? At 1.25M you should be able to find 2000 sq/ft, and the city itself would most definitely be my choice vs. Newton or Brookline. In fact, it's one of my favorite cities in the entire US. Cambridge R&L is a fabulous school, and i'd garuntee that there are quite a few students who didn't grow up in Massachusetts as a result of Harvard and MIT. There isn't a dead spot in all of Cambridge that would put you outside of walking distance to city amenities with the exception of maybe parts of West Cambridge.
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Old 08-29-2017, 08:41 PM
 
Location: In the hot spot!
3,189 posts, read 4,200,100 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aislingdeas View Post
And thank you all for the replies! Mike, you are right, I didn't give you enough info to go on! We moved to Magnolia just a year ago and while I love it, I don't see us here forever and I miss New England! We lived in Metrowest for 20 years after moving to the US from Ireland. We have lived in Framingham, Bellingham, Millis, Cork Ireland, Franklin and back to Millis again. Millis was great when my kids were little but now that they are older I want something more urban. Both of us would be working in Cambridge and I would prefer public transport.
I was going to ask what drew you to the Northeast, but saw that you had previously lived there. Coming from the PNW (which isoften compared to the Northeast) I would love to hear your comparisons between the two places. I was born and raised in Mass and think you're making a good decision to move back. We were there in June for a visit and it was good to be home. Good luck.
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Old 08-29-2017, 08:51 PM
 
465 posts, read 423,779 times
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Newton or Lexington
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Old 08-29-2017, 09:27 PM
 
3,268 posts, read 2,080,693 times
Reputation: 2682
Cohasset.
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Old 09-04-2017, 03:35 AM
 
39 posts, read 15,532 times
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So my biggest sticking point is the "cambridge and or the seaport" commute. Commuting to Cambridge from anywhere, even the Arlington, Belmont, Winchester area, is pretty miserable because it's just SO congested in that area. But for a reasonable commute to Cambridge I would go with Belmont out of the three.

If you are talking a seaport commute, i would switch gears to the south shore - Hingham would be ideal with access to the ferry. The town center is very walkable. While it's not know for it's diversity, I think that is changing a bit and I think there are a lot of diverse opportunities for kids that connect them with a wider range of peers than just the town of Hingham. Scituate would also work for the Seaport, though the commute would be longer. A cambridge commute from this area is pretty miserable, though people do it. But ai am not sure it's any worse than seaport commute from Arlington.

If the idea of the ferry to boston appeals then I would also consider the Salem area - maybe Marblehead or Wenham. In general I think you will get much more for your 1.25 on either the north or south shore (like the true shore with ferry access) than you will in the Belmont area.

OP, the advatage of the coastal towns over the metrowest area is that it opens up more coastal activities (beaches, sailing, fishing, kayaking, surfing) for your boys (and you and your spouse!) and makes weekends the type of thing where you already are where you want to be vs having to drive 45-60 minutes to access the beaches. My husband and I found the Winchester, Arlington, Lexington, Belmont area to be very landlocked and limiting in terms of ammenities. Our very active children were out growing the parks that worked for the preschool years and needed open water! Most people we know who live in that area drive out to Walden Pond for a swim (assumes ponds are your thing) or drive up to Glouscester on the weekends (or even have a second home somewhere else on the coast for the summer.) Kids can sail on Mystic Lakes, Spy Pond, and the Charles (crew is also an option here), so it's not impossible, but coastal life is just very different. I would just think about your life style and your children's particular interests.

And...i just saw you updated that you now both will work in Cambridge. So maybe the coasts are out. But if your jobs are not locked down yet, maybe my post will be helpful!

Last edited by Beachykeen917; 09-04-2017 at 03:43 AM..
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