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Old 07-21-2010, 06:46 PM
 
4 posts, read 18,329 times
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I'm a young single white male living in Hyde Park, Chicago looking to move back to my beloved hometown of Boston. It seems there's a lot of nice but ridiculously cheap places in the Wellington Hill area of Mattapan.

Now, I know all about Mattapan's reputation as a total war zone, but I used to work by Wellington Hill and never had any trouble.

So I'm looking for educated opinions... good idea/bad idea?
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Old 07-22-2010, 09:24 AM
 
Location: Dorchester
2,602 posts, read 4,570,700 times
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How long ago did you work near there? Chances are it is probably the same as you remember it unless you lived there in the 60's or early 70's.

Personally I would pay more money to live somewhere else. Look in the Lower Mills/Ashmont/Neponset area. The Baker Chocolate Factory has tons of condos.
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Old 07-22-2010, 10:38 AM
 
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There may be some fairly tame neighborhoods in Mattapan, but for the most part I avoid it as much as possible. It's not a terrible terrible place, but the prices are the lowest in Boston for a reason.
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Old 07-22-2010, 06:23 PM
 
Location: Cambridge, MA
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I think the "Murder-pan" rep is grossly overstated, but Wellington Hill has only partially rebounded from the White (read Jewish) flight of four decades ago. The main streets in particular still look raggedy and are plagued by gangs. And a pale face would definitely stand out around there, especially a resident one. Not long ago, the co-pastors of an area church deliberately decided to have the Black minister settle in a Caucasian-majority area while the White one did the opposite. Less than two years later (with no publicity), the AA clergyman still was in the same place but his counterpart was no longer on Ormond St. Make of that what you will.
The more "nice" parts of Mattapan are along Cummins Highway, particularly on the north side along Colorado Itasca etc St's where the crime rate is actually among THE lowest in the city. Also still good is the eastern fringe bordering Dorchester's Lower Mills and Codman Hill communities, and some streets off River St east of Mattapan Square.
But if you want to live in a dynamic and "integrated" area (such as Chicago's Hyde Park is made out to be), you could do better. Look Cambridge-ward, or perhaps in Melville-Park or Savin Hill within Dorchester. Roslindale and Jamaica Plain are also good bets.
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Old 07-23-2010, 12:59 PM
 
Location: Jamaica Plain, MA
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You'll get about a million opinions on this one, but here's my two cents. When it comes to real estate investment in Boston - stick to the properties that are within .3mi of public transportation, namely the subway or commuter rail. Most folks aren't psyched about the bus, save for a few routes. A Realtor can customize a search for you using the Multiple Listing Service to do a radius search from each and every train station! Enter in your price range and BAM!
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Old 07-24-2010, 12:08 PM
 
4 posts, read 18,329 times
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Huh wow I wasn't expecting so many thoughtful replies. Thanks guys!

I guess the two things I'm really worried about are awkward relations with neighbors and being unable to safely get home late at night. I'm cool with riding the bus and being in a raggedy looking area.
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Old 07-26-2010, 06:44 PM
 
Location: Cambridge, MA
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Either of those two factors should dissuade you from considering Wellington Hill any further.
The bus routes serving the area run frequently during "service hours" ('til 1 AM, if that) but are also a dicey proposition to use. Not much happens on board, but "bad actors" have been known to often follow likely marks from their stop.
Since the community is at or near 100% AA, you'd definitely get funny looks although most would be curious rather than hostile. I run into this whenever I'm at a gathering where I'm THE "grain of salt" or one of only a few. The hostile people I can forgive, and the curious ones are placated when my street cred's been established (usually by my host.) But you'd be in new territory without anybody to smooth your path. I sought an "integrated" living environment when looking for my first apartment on my own, and found one which worked out great, but that neighborhood was extremely diverse. Ditto for where I own today.
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Old 07-27-2010, 05:09 AM
 
1,139 posts, read 2,370,918 times
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FWIW, if you look here: Map of 2010 murders in Boston - Boston.com, you'll see there was a murder in January on Goodale Road. Likewise, there was another murder in 2009 on Wilcock Street (very close by). I'm not going to impute anything from it, because I certainly don't know the circumstances of either, but information is always a good thing. I'd take a ride through the neighborhood, both by day and night, to get a feel for what it's really like, if I were you.
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