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Old 03-17-2021, 07:30 PM
 
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We rent in Belmont. Love it, and would ideally buy here. Problem, for 800 - 950k, we could get a piece of crap fixer upper home, or an over priced condo where we roll the dice on who we live with. We look at Melrose and we see a suburb close to Boston with beautiful old homes in that same range. We know the difference in price must be attributable to schools. Can anyone shed any light on the differences and how they are likely to manifest? Just looking at the scores/rankings doesn’t tell us much.
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Old 03-17-2021, 08:01 PM
 
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I can’t speak to the schools firsthand, but the difference can be attributed to ease of access to the city as well.

An $800-900k condo in Belmont probably isn’t overpriced.
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Old 03-17-2021, 08:14 PM
 
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Look at the demographics. Belmont is 17.2% Asian. Melrose is around 1/3 that. Belmont is 3/4 college educated adults. Melrose is a very good 60%+ and you can safely assume that it's much higher for school age parents who need the high income to afford the location. No town with that kind of demographics is going to have bad schools. You can guess that the schools will be less pressure cooker.
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Old 03-17-2021, 09:01 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by porterhouse View Post
I can’t speak to the schools firsthand, but the difference can be attributed to ease of access to the city as well.

An $800-900k condo in Belmont probably isn’t overpriced.
They both are on the commuter rail, just a couple of stops away, right?

For 900k we could get a meh condo in Belmont, or a gorgeous house in Melrose. My experience with real estate is that everything is priced a certain way for a reason, and I am trying to get to the bottom of why.
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Old 03-17-2021, 11:44 PM
 
Location: Baltimore
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Beaumont is in a somewhat wealthier and more desirable part of the metro. Schools are better because there's more (East) Asians.
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Old 03-18-2021, 06:40 AM
 
Location: Massachusetts & Hilton Head, SC
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Schools have always been better in Belmont, long before there was any substantial influx of East Asians.
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Old 03-18-2021, 08:14 AM
 
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I live in Belmont with kids in the school system if you have specific questions. We are very happy here and feel that it is a perfect fit for our needs.

Seeing as you are already living here, I don't think I need to state the positives - but let me know if you have specific questions.

A similar question came up last year - "Why Belmont MA is expensive but highly sought after?" - there is a lot of good information in this thread

https://www.city-data.com/forum/mass...ut-highly.html


That being said, the real estate market in Belmont is absolutely insane right now. I had a quick look and there are only 12 SF houses on the market - 2 of those are under 1M and need a full renovation, 9 are between 1.5M and 6M.

I am not familiar with Melrose but I have friends who are are recent transplants there who love it, and are very happy with the schools. Hopefully there are other Melrose parents on here who can weigh in.

(In general I think there is a lot of unwarranted hand wringing in MA re. schools - we are very fortunate with the quality of schools and are splitting hairs in many cases)
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Old 03-18-2021, 08:30 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sawyer2 View Post
(In general I think there is a lot of unwarranted hand wringing in MA re. schools - we are very fortunate with the quality of schools and are splitting hairs in many cases)

It depends on your zip code. Massachusetts has plenty of disaster public school systems. They're not in towns/cities like Melrose with 61% college educated adults and 6-figure median household income.
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Old 03-18-2021, 08:36 AM
 
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We love Belmont. Would prefer not to leave. But the difference in real estate prices between what appear to be two similarly situated towns is enormous, and if the difference in schools is not much, it has to be something else. Real estate markets generally don’t lie.
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Old 03-18-2021, 08:43 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaseyB View Post
Schools have always been better in Belmont, long before there was any substantial influx of East Asians.
This is the case for pretty much any good school district in MA I believe.
Asians tend to move in good school district, rather than a school district is good because there are Asians living into. Though for sure many asians often put an extra emphasis on education.
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