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Old 06-08-2018, 03:33 PM
 
3,348 posts, read 1,876,642 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NS-GR View Post
By the way, if you want to help OP to choose the best town to commute to Back bay (with best schools etc), you have to propose Sharon... not the MetroWest. You cannot beat the direct commuter rail connection there.... 26 minutes only in the train.
Sharon? On a $2M budget, moving from Hinsdale? That would never be my recommendation on that budget, especially knowing what we know.
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Old 06-08-2018, 04:39 PM
 
Location: East Coast
3,932 posts, read 2,528,840 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NS-GR View Post
By the way, if you want to help OP to choose the best town to commute to Back bay (with best schools etc), you have to propose Sharon... not the MetroWest. You cannot beat the direct commuter rail connection there.... 26 minutes only in the train.

No disrespect to Sharon. But, except maybe for the mayor of Sharon, I can't imagine anyone who could afford Newton (or Wellesley or Needham) would pick Sharon.

OP has a $2 million budget.
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Old 06-08-2018, 04:52 PM
 
Location: East Coast
3,932 posts, read 2,528,840 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NS-GR View Post
The point is that most of these towns look similar. Wellesley or Newton, Dover, Medfield etc...
North part of Brookline and Arlington look the same to me...
South part of Brookline and Wellesley look the same to me
What is so special about choosing one place over the other? Nothing...that's why in these areas, people generally end up going to a town where they find the best house they like.
I am not saying this is a bad thing to do. I am not saying that these areas are inferior. I just do not understand the whole fuss about which town is better, when they all look the same.
I am glad that the only thing that you find in MetroWest is convenience. Convenience being a minimum of 30 minutes door to door each way (driving), most likely 45min... which makes the marginal extra time of commute from South shore about 30 minutes.
By the way, if you want to help OP to choose the best town to commute to Back bay (with best schools etc), you have to propose Sharon... not the MetroWest. You cannot beat the direct commuter rail connection there.... 26 minutes only in the train.
I don't think you understand how people choose which town they want to live in. I'm not sure how you decided to live in whatever town you live in, but it must have been by some different route than many of the rest of us. Perhaps you were born in the town you live in, and never saw any reason to leave. And that's fine -- great, in fact, if you're happy there. But most people don't end up in that situation.

You might (*might*) be able to argue that parts of Wellesley, Newton, Dover, and Medfield resemble each other. But they vary in numerous respects. The political make up of the towns is quite different. The commute to Boston is quite different. The types and varieties of restaurants in the town are different. The amount of walkability varies.

I have friends who have lived in Medfield for many years. They wanted to live in Needham or Newton, but they couldn't afford it. So they had a choice of basically Sharon or Medfield. They had kids. They can't wait to get the f out of Medfield. They wish they had bought even a crappy house in Needham and stuck it out, eventually renovating. But they were stuck in Medfield because they had kids who were in the schools, eventually added on to the house, and moving is a hassle. But as soon as their youngest graduates high school, they plan to move someplace like Brookline. Neither of them would take jobs in the city of Boston because it was too far to commute. Maybe I should tell them they are wrong, because it turns out that Medfield is indistinguishable from Newton.
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Old 06-09-2018, 07:50 AM
 
Location: Needham, MA
7,189 posts, read 10,978,981 times
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Reading through this thread was incredible. I saw a lot of love for various different cities/towns in the state. While that's awesome, I think some of these suggestions may not have really taken into account the OP's situation and certainly a little bit of additional information about where they want to live is always helpful.

Personally, I think the suggestions we've heard over and over and over in this thread are good ones: Newton, Brookline, Wellesley, and Needham.

OP has expressed some concerns about the urban feel of Brookline and I can understand that. The more convenient areas of Brookline with single family homes will probably be disappointing to the OP even with a $2M budget. If they think 1/3 acre is small, the lots in Brookline will seem microscopic in comparison as they'll often be half that size. The house will not be particularly remarkable or spacious or modern (in floorplan) either quite likely. Conversely, some of the less convenient areas of Brookline like Chestnut Hill would have more impressive homes and larger lots. However, living there almost negates the benefit of living in Brookline as they're not as walkable and not as convenient to public transportation or the highway.

Newton sounds like a good fit. Depending on what village you live in, the City of Newton can be more/less walkable and more/less convenient to public transportation and highways. The southern part of Newton tends to feel a bit more spacious and more like a modern suburb. The northern part tends to be denser and the more suburban parts of northern Newton have a really cool old New England suburb feel with lots of older, large homes. You can get something new or newer in Newton with a $2M budget. I just don't know that it would be in the most walkable location at least on the south side of town which personally I tend to prefer for its overall lower density.

Wellesley is a typical suburb. You can get new construction for $2M. Finding something walkable to public transportation can sometimes be a challenge as there are a limited number of stations in town. Wellesley does have pretty easy highway access though. The reason why someone earlier suggested you spend some time in the town is that it has a bit of a "keeping up with the Jones's" reputation and there's an incredible amount of wealthy people in the town who are happy to display their wealth. I often say to people if you don't like going to the gym in full hair and make up wearing your Prada jump suite then maybe Wellesley isn't for you. This being said, not everyone is like that in Wellesley and I know some really lovely folks that live there.

Needham is a pretty typical suburb as well. You could easily with a $2M budget find a new or newer home walking distance to the center of town and also walking distance to one of the four commuter rail stations in town. Needham also has great highway access as long as you don't live on the side of town close to Dover. That area has acre zoning so I don't think it would hold any special appeal for you.

Like everyone else, I'll throw out my personal opinion. I would live in Needham. I lived in Newton for 10 years and didn't particularly like it. Unless you live close to one of the village centers there's nothing really to walk to. Plus, it can be hard to find parking near one of the T stations if you're using it for commuting purposes and generally I just found Newton to be too big for my taste. I love Brookine and when my kids are gone I could see myself living there. However, I wouldn't be happy with the house I could afford there even if I had a $2M budget like you. Wellesley kind of turns me off because of the conspicuous display of wealth some of the citizens seem to enjoy. Needham on the other hand is just the right size for me. I like bumping into people I know which almost never happened when I lived in Newton. I like that I can easily walk into town and many of my friends easily walk to a commuter rail station to get to work. I like the house I can afford in this town and I would REALLY like the one I could get with your budget. I love the small town feel here with the parades and fireworks and all the family oriented events. People in this town are very civic minded and there are many groups of citizens who volunteer their time to make this a great place to live. The people of the town are very friendly and welcoming and we're about to open a brand new public pool with huge water slides and a splash pad for the little ones.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mwj119 View Post
Chicagoliz is correct, this is way off topic.. And I'm partially to blame. I just wanted to share my opposing opinion that you started for North Shore vs. South Shore. The one thing that I do like more about the South Shore is the bar pizza, though even then, I prefer the Italian pies you find north of the city.
Off topic but I never understood the allure of bar pizza. I've been to Town Spa and wasn't impressed. My friends who grew up in Sharon/Stoughton/etc all swear by it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chicagoliz View Post
I have friends who have lived in Medfield for many years. They wanted to live in Needham or Newton, but they couldn't afford it. So they had a choice of basically Sharon or Medfield. They had kids. They can't wait to get the f out of Medfield. They wish they had bought even a crappy house in Needham and stuck it out, eventually renovating. But they were stuck in Medfield because they had kids who were in the schools, eventually added on to the house, and moving is a hassle. But as soon as their youngest graduates high school, they plan to move someplace like Brookline. Neither of them would take jobs in the city of Boston because it was too far to commute. Maybe I should tell them they are wrong, because it turns out that Medfield is indistinguishable from Newton.
Some people certainly end up where they are because they have no other choice. I have friends who live in Medfield and absolutely love it. However, like any town it's not for everyone.
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Old 06-09-2018, 08:05 AM
 
502 posts, read 486,125 times
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Thanks Mike- a voice of reason. I would personally pick Needham as well. Despite the price of real estate in Needham, the people are pretty down to earth and there are tons of activities for kids (and adults for that matter). Newton is great as well, but it is much larger and it was always difficult for me to get a sense for the various villages and large newer homes in nicer areas will probably be greater than OP's budget.

I have my thoughts on North vs. South Shore, and I found the side topic interesting. I won't add my thoughts here and further derail the conversation. Maybe NS-GR or mwj119 can start a separate thread, North Shore vs. South Shore Throwdown.
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Old 06-09-2018, 09:19 AM
 
Location: Columbia SC
11,730 posts, read 9,964,341 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chicagoliz View Post

No disrespect to Sharon. But, except maybe for the mayor of Sharon, I can't imagine anyone who could afford Newton (or Wellesley or Needham) would pick Sharon.

OP has a $2 million budget.
I agree.
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Old 06-09-2018, 10:59 AM
 
95 posts, read 113,163 times
Reputation: 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by porterhouse View Post
This, both towns are heaven in terms of walkability, raising children and having places for the dogs to play.

If you are looking for something more traditionally suburban I would consider Needham, or Hingham if you want to be by the water.

It is worth noting that many of the towns mentioned in this thread do not have direct train access or a particularly easy commute to the Back Bay (Belmont, Winchester, Lynnfield, Andover, Lexington, Arlington).

I routinely drive from Arlington Heights to Beacon Hill in about 35 minutes, leaving my house at around 7:15am during the week. Back Bay would be a comparable (maybe even easier) commute.
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Old 06-09-2018, 11:16 AM
 
Location: New England
2,190 posts, read 1,643,165 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimbo21 View Post
I routinely drive from Arlington Heights to Beacon Hill in about 35 minutes, leaving my house at around 7:15am during the week. Back Bay would be a comparable (maybe even easier) commute.
Ehh, Arlington would be more difficult because you'd have to deal with the Alewife area. Belmont on the other hand could provide a pretty easy commute by car for the OP. By public transport it's more difficult though.
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Old 06-09-2018, 01:22 PM
 
Location: Needham, MA
7,189 posts, read 10,978,981 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimbo21 View Post
I routinely drive from Arlington Heights to Beacon Hill in about 35 minutes, leaving my house at around 7:15am during the week. Back Bay would be a comparable (maybe even easier) commute.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tysmith95 View Post
Ehh, Arlington would be more difficult because you'd have to deal with the Alewife area. Belmont on the other hand could provide a pretty easy commute by car for the OP. By public transport it's more difficult though.
If the OP is concerned that Brookline might be too urban, they'll probably feel the same way about other suggested locations like Cambridge, Arlington, and Somerville.
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Old 06-09-2018, 01:49 PM
 
Location: New England
2,190 posts, read 1,643,165 times
Reputation: 1950
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikePRU View Post
If the OP is concerned that Brookline might be too urban, they'll probably feel the same way about other suggested locations like Cambridge, Arlington, and Somerville.
I feel like Belmont would be the perfect compromise. It's walk able, but still has very suburban areas.
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