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Old 04-16-2012, 06:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackshaw View Post
Would Mission Hill be safe for a young woman who might be coming in at night (if she were doing a clinical shift at a hospital)? It had a reputation as not being safe, but that may well have changed.
It's not the best area but I don't think you'll have a whole lot of trouble. That entire area between Mission Hill and JP is pretty scuzzy, a lot of public housing and burned out vacant lots and things like that, and the places that are halfway decent are family residences and there usually aren't a lot of rentals around that place. South Huntington Av, Heath St., Columbus Av...all problem areas between the housing projects and the shady not-very-well-lit sidestreets, but if you're just living there and walking around minding your own business you'll probably be alright.

Aside from the slums, it's mostly a "student ghetto", meaning that students move in and don't take care of their properties because they're leaving in a year anyway and the neighborhood, although fairly safe, is pretty dirty, loud, and smells like booze and urine.

Move to Brookline. It'll cost a little more, but your quality of life will be so much better that it'll be more than worth it.
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Old 04-16-2012, 06:53 PM
 
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Coolidge Corner would be a great area to live if you work in the Longwood Medical Area. It's a short walk and there is a great amount and variety of things in the Coolidge Corner area.
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Old 04-16-2012, 10:33 PM
 
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Default Orange line safety

Below is a link to the MBTA Police website. On that page there is a link to "Part 1 Crimes by Station." Check that out and you'll see that the orange line still has some issues, though some stations on other lines do as well.

http://www.mbta.com/transitpolice/crimestats/

The issue of safety is tricky, since people have varied notions of how safe they need a place to be. What one person sees as scary is something another person may see as a normal part of city living, which can be handled if one takes reasonable precautions. In your case, it's likely that as a parent you would prefer an especially safe area. Since your daughter is the one who will be living here, ultimately it's a matter of making an honest assessment of how well she's able to handle herself in an urban setting, especially in grittier neighborhoods.
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Old 04-17-2012, 09:11 AM
 
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ogre, thanks. Very helpful link.

On safety, you are right, it is a matter of risk aversion and perception of risk. She's a worldly kid, has traveled a lot, but lived almost her whole life in safe, leafy exurbia. She's a good-looking kid and isn't fully aware of all the male attention she gets, even though she knows that she can always find guys to drive her places or move things, etc. I'm personally comfortable with Central Square's level of crime. I think if she had to take the Orange line, get out at Ruggles Station and Walk to the Medical Area, the walk (and not just the station) seem like considerably higher risk than taking the Green lines and getting out at Fenway or MFA (part of the time she'll be closer to the Fenway) or Longwood.

TAM88, interesting, it looks like a 20 minute walk to Children's Hospital from Coolidge Corner. I wouldn't have guessed it was that short.
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Old 04-17-2012, 01:51 PM
 
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A good bet would be for her to rent an apt in Brookline, especially in Coolidge Corner, which is loaded with medical professionals, restaurants and only a 15-20 minute walk through a very safe community. Even if she had to take a cab, it would be a very inexpensive 5-minute ride....
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Old 04-17-2012, 10:11 PM
 
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If you're concerned that your daughter may be somewhat naive when it comes to negotiating city living, and awareness of potentially risky situations, the neighborhoods people have suggested in Brookline and Cambridge should probably move to the head of the pack. Coolidge Corner might be an especially good location for the combination of not being too old fogeyish, and accessibility to the Longwood area. The Cambridge neighborhoods are also worth a look for relative safety, having some activity that would appeal to a young person, and providing at least decent access to Longwood by public transit.

With the point being made that she'll need access to public transit, it sounds as if she won't have a car. If in fact she will have a car, you need to take into account the fact that Brookline does not allow overnight parking on the street, so living in Coolidge Corner or other neighborhoods in Brookline would require renting a parking space or finding a place to live with on-site parking. If she won't have a car, Coolidge Corner may be first choice if you can find places where the price is right.
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Old 04-18-2012, 07:52 AM
 
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Good point on the car, ogre. She doesn't have one but may have to have one in her last year. And, if she were to stay in the place beyond graduation, well, she'd likely want to have a car at some point.

I don't thing she's especially naive. She is living downtown in a dorm now, so she has to watch what she's doing already. But, she's a good looking girl and definitely gets male attention and I don't think she's completely aware of it. We were in Athens last year and she was wearing a short skirt when we went for a walk. When my wife pointed out that pretty much all the men going by were looking at her (she's model-tall with long legs so with a short skirt, there is a LOT of leg), she got embarrassed and insisted we go back to the hotel so she could change. We were traveling back from Mexico earlier this year and in the immigration line. A college-age kid age pushes ahead in the line until he gets to her and says, "I saw you on the airplane and said to myself that if I ever saw you again, I had to meet you and ... ." I later asked her if that was the strangest pickup line she'd ever gotten and she just rolled her eyes as if to say, "that was nothing." But, I'm not sure if she quite gets the creep factor that comes along with some of the male attention. That can happen anywhere (even in DFW) but I think a safer neighborhood is probably better.

We're going to look in Brookline Village and toward Coolidge Corner likely this weekend. She liked JP (and parking on the street is definitely easy where we looked). So, we'll continue to look there. And, I'll see what's available in Central Square.

Any sense of whether any area is a better investment?
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Old 04-18-2012, 10:04 PM
 
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Better investment? Are you thinking of buying a house or condo for her?

On the safety issue, yeah, it's sounding as if the obviously safer neighborhoods would be better. Someone who's not always really aware of what's going on in the surroundings is at a disadvantage in a grittier city neighborhood. The kind of attention to be concerned about on urban streets is different from guys paying close attention to a good-looking girl, but if there's any question about whether she's always aware of it when people are focusing on her in the wrong way, better safe than sorry.
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Old 04-19-2012, 12:14 AM
 
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Yes, ogre. I'm thinking that instead of 4 years of rent, I'd buy a 3 br condo and have her rent out a couple of rooms. Rents seem high relative to purchase prices and interest rates are very low. When she finishes school (4 years to a BS/MSN), we can decide whether to sell it or keep it as a real estate investment and rent it.
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Old 04-19-2012, 12:37 AM
 
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Default Housing as an investment

This is absolute total speculation on my part, because I really don't know what the housing markets are doing all over Boston, so please keep in mind that I'm really taking a stab based on general knowledge of the areas. For a few years now Jamaica Plain has had an influx of young professionals. Outside of the family-oriented neighborhoods, it would seem that other parts of JP that are not yet populated with young professionals could be ripe with the possibility that this crowd will expand into those areas and drive up property values. The trick is in being able to predict which neighborhoods are the ones where this might happen, so JP would seem like a real gamble in this regard.

The neighborhoods we've talked about in Brookline and Cambridge all seem stable in terms of their general character, so, unless you get a tip on something big about to happen in one of those areas, you might not make a killing on some sudden spike in real estate values, but all those areas would seem likely--again, based on general analysis from someone who knows nothing about those markets--to at least hold their value and maybe gradually increase. Brookline is a very upscale town, so it's likely going to cost something to get in there in the first place, but it seems like a safe investment as Brookline is likely to keep its luster as one of the most affluent suburbs of Boston into the foreseeable future.
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