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Old 08-05-2010, 11:28 AM
 
133 posts, read 590,113 times
Reputation: 72

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Hello everyone-

Just like others on this thread, I need some help. My husband and I would like information on Boston's surrounding towns.

We would be relocating from Columbus Ohio, and since the cost of living in Boston is very high, we are researching communities outside of the city. We are in our early 30's and looking for a friendly community with good schools and plenty of ammenities (community rec centers, bike trails and parks, shopping, good food, etc). We are ok with being 30 minutes or so outside of Boston. If we want to spend a day in the city we can just hop in the car We have friends who are from Danvers and they speak highly of the community but we know nothing about it other than what we can find on Wikipedia.

Our housing budget (as of now) is between $250k and $300k. We are planning a visit to the area soon and just want to have an idea of where to look. What are some communities that might be a good fit for us?

Thank you!!
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Old 08-05-2010, 11:45 AM
 
Location: Newton, Mass.
2,954 posts, read 12,314,321 times
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Do you have any idea where you'd be working? That will make a huge difference in where you should live. You could not commute from the North Shore to the South Shore easily, for example.

Driving 30 mins to Boston is one thing on the weekend and another thing entirely in the weekday rush hours. If you just come into town on a Sunday to enjoy Boston, it's easy enough. If you're thinking of driving in every day for a commute, the traffic is awful and the parking runs a couple of hundred a month. Boston's very different in that respect from other cities like Columbus. Many people who work in Boston proper take mass transit to work as a result.

There are plenty of towns with good schools in the Boston area, but as you've said it's expensive. With your budget you'll probably have to look farther from Boston than a 30-minute commute. Again, you have to know where you're working first. If you want to be near your friends, Danvers is a nice town with a lot of shopping and not far from the coast. There's plenty to do within a short distance of Danvers. I don't know what, if any, housing options are available around there in your range. For the most part, though, unless you left very early, it would be hard to commute from Danvers to Boston in 30 mins.
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Old 08-05-2010, 12:19 PM
 
133 posts, read 590,113 times
Reputation: 72
Thanks for the info...I guess it would help if I mentioned that my husband is an exec with Kohl's, and he's moved around from store to store. To be honest, he could be on the north side one year and on the south the other....it all depends on the district. As for driving into downtown, we would not be doing that for any other reason than entertainment.
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Old 08-05-2010, 12:32 PM
 
Location: a bar
2,729 posts, read 6,125,025 times
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If your husband will be moving from one store location to another, year after year, the Danvers area would be a bad idea IMO. If he ever got transferred to Hopkinton, for example, he could be looking at a 2hr commute each way. I'd suggest the metro west, which would be a little more centrally located. Maybe Framingham or Southborough.
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Old 08-05-2010, 12:33 PM
 
Location: Newton, Mass.
2,954 posts, read 12,314,321 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buckeyegal78 View Post
Thanks for the info...I guess it would help if I mentioned that my husband is an exec with Kohl's, and he's moved around from store to store. To be honest, he could be on the north side one year and on the south the other....it all depends on the district. As for driving into downtown, we would not be doing that for any other reason than entertainment.
That is tough. There are Kohl's stores all over the area, but unless you move when he's transferred it would be a bad commute from north of Boston to south of Boston during rush hours. Due to traffic, even suburb-to-suburb commuting that doesn't involve going from north to south, or vice versa, can be long. Not having to go into Boston every day does open up a lot of more outlying areas that are more affordable than towns inside the 128 belt.
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Old 08-05-2010, 08:05 PM
 
5,816 posts, read 15,932,785 times
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One more voice here pointing out the reality that there is no one part of the metro area that is within half an hour of all other sections of the metro area. I'll also go along with the opinion that living north or south of Boston would make for an especially awful commute to suburbs on the opposite side of the city. That leaves the western suburbs as the area in the best position for a short a commute as possible to as many parts of the metro area as possible, though from the western 'burbs you're still not within half an hour of the entire metro area. Usually I'm not a big fan of Framingham, in part because it's kind of blah, being a mall-oriented generic large suburban town. In this case, I think Cliff has made a good suggestion with Framingham. Though F'ham is a pretty good distance out from Boston, it's still one of the closer towns with housing costs that are modest by the standards of the Boston area.

Other towns to consider might be Hopkinton, and, farther out Grafton, Hudson, or Westborough. More toward the southwest, and a good way out from Boston, Franklin might offer some possibilities. To the northwest, Littleton is a nice town with relatively (for this area) modest housing costs. Most of the towns I've just listed are low-density towns, where many of the properties have fairly large yards, and there are trees and fields around town. I don't know Franklin really well, but I believe that it does have a bit more of a downtown, and more activity in general, than most of the towns I've suggested in this paragraph.
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Old 08-06-2010, 08:43 AM
 
8,276 posts, read 11,940,247 times
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Framingham also has a stop on the commuter rail, which could make some things easier; if your store location is unknown, I would just look in the western suburbs, or perhaps just rent for the 1st year to get your bearings..
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Old 08-07-2010, 11:13 AM
 
Location: North of Boston
3,690 posts, read 7,444,748 times
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With a housing budget of only $250-300K you are most likely limited to towns outside of the 495 belt or a smaller condo for the towns inside. You can't buy a decent house in Danvers for under $300K.

Where is the the first store your husband will be working at? At least that is a place to start.
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Old 08-08-2010, 06:29 AM
 
639 posts, read 3,530,227 times
Reputation: 539
Talking Try Franklin, MA

As was suggested some where in this thread, definitely check out the town of Franklin, MA. I would say it's a good town along I-495 for getting to other areas of Massachusetts it seems, OH, NOT for the daily grind of commuting to Rhode Island and/or New Hampshire BUT areas strictly in and around Massachusetts, like the Worcester, Framingham area, the southeastern area, the south shore and even for the north shore, as I-495 is very convenient for the most part commuting thru this region. It's not too far from Hopkinton & the Worcester area which would be ideal as that's where a lot of the Kohl's are (it seems that way any way), so Franklin would be a good town to live in for getting to these other areas of Massachusetts. Especially if there's a lot of commuting involved I would think.

It's a town that's not too far from the Wrentham Outlets for your families shopping pleasures IF they want to shop at places other than Kohl's that is, (lol!!) it's only 1.9 miles to get to this awesome outlet you know, the "Premium Outlets" they seem to be through out the whole country these days. So remember this tip, this one is a really great one to shop at. A lot of visitors from Europe LOVE this one it seems, so it must be quite good:

Wrentham Village Premium Outlets

Also here's the Town of Franklin's actual site that you could check out:

Town of Franklin

Wikipedia has interesting stuff about the town as well, here it is:

Franklin, Massachusetts - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

AND they even have a beach:
Town of Franklin - Beaver Pond
Here's the City-Data's info on Franklin, MA:
https://www.city-data.com/city/Frankl...achusetts.html

I found a really good write up from a few years ago about the town on City-Data that will explain the town to a "T" for you:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hasthetravelbug View Post
Franklin native here.
Moved away 10 years, been back 7 now.

It's changed alot since I was a kid, but still has the "homey town feel with a bigger than country feel"
We are truly a hidden gem!
We are over the boarder to RI/Close to CT and a commuter train ride to Boston in 40 minutes, as Boston is roughly 22.9 miles away. It's also only 14.6 miles from Framingham, not a bad commute at all to get to that area of the state.

**Real Estate is from Low-to Moderate to Middle all the way up to upper Million Dollar homes, it's whatever your budget is.
(Did you hear that one? It's whatever your budget is, so that's a good thing!)Franklin ALSO has an excellent school system, NO GANGS and the teachers come from RI/CT to teach so you know they are paid WELL and there are a lot of dedicated ones in Franklin, I graduated a while back and a lot of them stayed at the HS so you know it's a great place for your kids.
Almost every major part of town has a middle school, (we only had one) way back there was one and we were always on double sessions!
We have an excellent dance/drama and singing school, on the main street who has won great acclaim and has been recognized and even travels overseas as well to perform.
It's run by an ex Franklin, MA Junior Miss who was always talented and parlayed those gifts and education for the betterment of Franklin's youth, Ms. Raylynn Mercer. A longtime Family in Franklin.
Having 2 kids that have gone through Middle school here, and High School as well, I can tell you that it's a great place to raise a family.
People that have been here since the 50's have extended families and alot of the family businesses in Franklin go back a few (2-4 generations), so it's quite a safe & stable town.
There's also a small private college that has changed from an Academy in the 1800's to a Full Fledged 4 year College. All my family has worked there in some capacity or another as well as extended family. Liberal Arts, to Dance to Political Science, it also houses an extended degree Program with Suffolk University (of Boston fame) for MBA, to which my husband is participating in currently. I took courses there as well and the English Dept is affliiated with Harvard University. Over recent years there has been a rapid growth for ESL students from around the Globe.
The only thing I don't like about the town, is the growth- and the over building of a few over zealous and greedy builders. They also need to re-structure the government in town. The selectman are still running it! We need a MAYOR in Franklin, someone who has no political connections from the town, that needs to be outsourced for sure. We have basically 3 men who have run the community, like other small 'country' towns, one good handshake behind closed doors washes another one. I am not happy with the over ride, didn't vote for it, and it's shameful to keep putting more taxes on people who have lived here all their lives, and basically that's why we had to move and go away for 10 years, and when we moved back the real estate was the same, but my hubby is from a neighboring state and we felt that everything else outweighed the negative.
There's alot in Franklin to offer you, every place has pro's and cons.
They even have a Charter School as well. My daughter actually decided to stay away and go to the Middle school.
There are a few neighborhoods that are like Wisteria Lane and or Payton Place, (being a local, you find those out real quick when we came back in town), any of the neighborhoods, no matter where you move to in New England, go through and check AND check again! Living in an area is your home and you want to be happy!
So in Franklin, we live in an older developed area now, we didn't want an area that transplants were moving in out of every other few months, that's just us because I like stability and sameness like actually my parents still live in the same house they had for nearly 60 years, and familiarity, family, closeness, and calmness is what you are going to find here in Franklin.
So take a good hard look. It's come along way in MY 43 years, mostly for the good!
We have the very first library. Bob's Shopping plaza is in Memory of Horace Mann the Father of Education. We (do have) the oldest one room school house in the USA, although some are in disbelief of that one, and it's still operating!!! You are only about an hours drive from Cape Cod and the boats that'll take you to the Islands
Most of the real estate agents in Franklin are Franklin natives as well, (most of the very successful ones that is), I know most of them, so I am biased!
There's alot of folklore and tradition in this small town and it's got alot to offer a couple or a family.
Good luck.

Last edited by CityGirl52; 08-08-2010 at 07:31 AM..
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Old 04-02-2011, 07:03 AM
 
Location: Massachusetts
244 posts, read 573,701 times
Reputation: 72
Smile Possible relocation from MD to MA

Quote:
Originally Posted by CityGirl52 View Post
As was suggested some where in this thread, definitely check out the town of Franklin, MA. I would say it's a good town along I-495 for getting to other areas of Massachusetts it seems, OH, NOT for the daily grind of commuting to Rhode Island and/or New Hampshire BUT areas strictly in and around Massachusetts, like the Worcester, Framingham area, the southeastern area, the south shore and even for the north shore, as I-495 is very convenient for the most part commuting thru this region. It's not too far from Hopkinton & the Worcester area which would be ideal as that's where a lot of the Kohl's are (it seems that way any way), so Franklin would be a good town to live in for getting to these other areas of Massachusetts. Especially if there's a lot of commuting involved I would think.

It's a town that's not too far from the Wrentham Outlets for your families shopping pleasures IF they want to shop at places other than Kohl's that is, (lol!!) it's only 1.9 miles to get to this awesome outlet you know, the "Premium Outlets" they seem to be through out the whole country these days. So remember this tip, this one is a really great one to shop at. A lot of visitors from Europe LOVE this one it seems, so it must be quite good:

Wrentham Village Premium Outlets

Also here's the Town of Franklin's actual site that you could check out:

Town of Franklin

Wikipedia has interesting stuff about the town as well, here it is:

Franklin, Massachusetts - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

AND they even have a beach:
Town of Franklin - Beaver Pond
Here's the City-Data's info on Franklin, MA:
https://www.city-data.com/city/Frankl...achusetts.html

I found a really good write up from a few years ago about the town on City-Data that will explain the town to a "T" for you:

I found this post to be EXTREMELY helpful and such a positive one! Everything I have been reading about MA states facts such as rude, aloof, bad drivers etc which was making me feel unsure about moving there and being happy. Living in MD, near DC, I can deal with the driving but was scared if we'd actually move to MA, how would my children, my husband and I fit into this state? Franklin sounds like a perfect fit! Being a teacher, Horace Mann has a nice draw :-) Being someone who was very interested in Helen Keller/Annie Sullivan as a child is a plus, too. The positive reviews I have read about Franklin have led me to check out housing prices on the various realtor websites, and they seem doable. Not $800K like Walpole. My husband would commute into Boston, and he is used to a commute varying from 1-1.5 hours as that is how long his is now...from a DC suburb into a busy section of VA.
Any other info on Franklin? Any areas to stay away from? Currently, my kids are 14, 11, 9. Thanks!
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