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Old 04-13-2008, 09:55 AM
 
Location: Connecticut
11 posts, read 41,295 times
Reputation: 14
Question Sudbury, Acton, Wayland - other options? - HELP!

Hi!

I have been reading the threads on the western suburbs for a week or so, and doing searches on these towns, and have gotten some great information.

My husband is looking at taking a new job in the Waltham area, and we are trying to figure out if it makes sense for us to relocate. We currently live in Connecticut, in Fairfield County. The real estate market in our town has been down for the past couple of months, and it's not a great time to sell. That being said, this is pretty close to his dream job, so i can't see not taking it, even if we take a financial hit. Still, this is going to limit our buying power if we move.

On to my question: Which towns in the western suburbs (commuting distance to Waltham) are VERY family oriented. I am looking for something with a lot of options for little kids. I have a 2 year old, am a stay-at-home mom, and love taking her out to do things. I'm looking for recreational activities (walking, parks, pools, playgrounds, recreation centers, walkable downtown, accessible shopping), great schools, accessible preschools, as well as something with homes we can afford. Which towns have newcomers or moms clubs? Any idea where I can find some of this information? What about crime? What are the generally held stereotypes or preconceived notions of these towns even from those who don't live there? How do they compare to Concord (which is one of the few towns I've actually visited, but don't think we can afford what I want there).

Are there good/bad areas of these towns that are generally acknowledged? is there a difference in the quality of the gradeschools?

We could probably manage a house in the 600K-700k range. I don't want to be on a main street, and would really like 4 bedrooms (as we're hoping to have another child soon). We're ok if the house needs some work, as my husband is fairly handy.

Basically, I want the town I live in now, transfered to Massachusetts. Cost of living is comparable, as I have atrocious property taxes right now, and don't expect that to change in MA. I got very lucky when we picked this town 4 years ago, and I'm worried that I won't be that lucky a second time.

We haven't made a final decision on the move yet, and if we don't think we can maintain our standard of living/town style, it may make a difference in the decision.

I know this was a lot of information, by any help anyone can give us would be very much appreciated.

warmest regards,

R
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Old 04-13-2008, 10:12 AM
 
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In that price range, and for safety, good schools, etc., and if you don't want or need a large yard, I would look at: Belmont, Arlington, Lexington, Bedford, and Winchester--all of which are very close to Waltham. If you want something a little more rural, and your husband doesn't mind a 30-45 minute commute, Acton, Littleton and Stow (next to Concord) are all lovely communities, with Acton being the most upscale. You couldn't go wrong with any of these towns.
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Old 04-13-2008, 10:22 AM
 
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P.S. Here are a few links for you (in no particular order):

Winchester, Massachusetts Home Page

Welcome to Arlington, MA

Town of Bedford Official Website

Town of Belmont, MA - Welcome to Belmont, Mass

Town of Lexington

Belmont, Lexington, and Winchester have more central town centers, and are the most upscale of the five. Bedford and Arlington, however, are both super-nice towns, just more of an income mix--especially Arlington. Bedford is a bit more rural and spread out, while Arlington Center is more a concentration of shops, restaurants and government offices right on Mass. Ave.
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Old 04-13-2008, 10:57 AM
 
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Here's one of the Open Houses in Littleton today:

http://re.boston.com/sales/View_Ulisting.asp?lid=397-70726627 (broken link)
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Old 04-13-2008, 12:56 PM
 
Location: Connecticut
11 posts, read 41,295 times
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Thanks MovingForward!

Bedford looks interesting, and I appreciate all the links. Littleton looks really nice, but may be just a touch too far. I think, most important for us, besides schools, is the character of the town.

We currently have an acre of property, and i like having a fairly good size yard. We are actually more attracted to the rural than the urban. We did rent in Cambridge for a couple of years, and while we enjoyed it, it was pre-children. Now that we have a little one, and since I'm a stay-at-home mom, I really like the more suburban feel a ways out.
Thanks for all the info!
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Old 04-13-2008, 01:13 PM
 
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Yeah, Littleton is just a touch farther out, for sure. I really love it, though (recently made a little tour of it). It's a super nice town, and you get a lot more for your money than in Bedford. Bedford is very nice--although I've been told the traffic to Rt. 2 to get to Waltham is horrendous. Stow is a nice town, too--right before Littleton.
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Old 04-13-2008, 01:21 PM
 
Location: Metrowest, MA
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Some suggestions... in general... the further out you are the more house for your money. As my friend says... the creation of suburb is a way for men to jail their wives. There are plenty of stay at home moms (desperate housewives) in all the towns below.

Sudbury, Lincoln, Concord, Carlisle, and Bedford north of Rt90

A little further out.. Acton, Boxborough, Harvard, Westford, littleton.

South of Rt90... Dover, Sherborn, Medfield, Westwood.
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Old 04-13-2008, 02:59 PM
 
967 posts, read 3,248,561 times
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Massachusetts Town Information- MA Community data - Boston.com and positiverelocation.com are two places you can get more info about many of these towns. One highlights demographics (crime rates, etc) and the other gives you more a feel of these towns.

I would think Sudbury is a terrific option because of all the family activities, tons of things to do, great pool, excellent schools + super easy commute to Waltham, and lots of stay at home moms, although it doesn't really have a walkabout downtown. Concord & Lexington have lots of the same great features but do have walkabout downtowns and feel a little more bustling to me in a good way. Sherborn is also a wonderful little town with large home lots, excellent schools, lots of trails & a nice pond, and lots of family activities but again, not much of a downtown plus it's a bit further away (maybe 30 min drive in traffic). I think you could find something in a nice neighborhood in Sherborn or Sudbury in your price range, especially if you're willing to do a bit of handywork. I know they both have active newcomer's clubs.
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Old 04-14-2008, 06:17 AM
 
Location: Connecticut
11 posts, read 41,295 times
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Thanks so much everyone.

Your comments are really helping to settle my mind about moving. It's really hard to leave our town here, and not know what we'll find when we move. But it sounds like there are some definite options.

I do really think I like Sudbury, but I'm sure we'll check out all of the other towns too.

Is shopping really hard from Acton? or the towns a little further out? There was actually a thread on this, and someone said they had to go a couple of towns over to find a reasonably priced grocery store.

Again, I really appreciate everyone's help.

R
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Old 04-14-2008, 04:26 PM
 
Location: Connecticut
11 posts, read 41,295 times
Reputation: 14
Another question..

What about Southborough or Sherborn?

Any thoughts are helpful!
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