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Old 05-04-2012, 11:37 AM
 
40 posts, read 119,148 times
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Everything here is completely expensive and its finally start to bother me. I understand that I am paying a premium because I can walk to work, shops(not grocery) etc...But for 3500 a month I can take no more....Our lease is up in January and we are looking for a new place to call home. We had plans on sending our daughter to Shady Hills or BB&N, but that is not an option with our current rent....Looking for a rental that is close to the T, safe and not in the middle of no where...Ive heard about Melrose, Stoneham, Wakefield, Newton and Weston as possible options and if the public schools there are good we might even consider sending her the public route instead of the schools listed above....

We are in our 30's so we would like a city that has somethings to do like parks, walking trails, shops etc....We have lived in the suburbs before and really did not like it, but then again that was in Indiana so it was nothing but bars and farmland....Any help would be appreciated

Almost forgot but we are looking at 3b/2bath with max rent at 2500
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Old 05-04-2012, 01:11 PM
 
41 posts, read 96,823 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3piecechickendinner View Post
Everything here is completely expensive and its finally start to bother me. I understand that I am paying a premium because I can walk to work, shops(not grocery) etc...But for 3500 a month I can take no more....Looking for a rental that is close to the T, safe and not in the middle of no where...

Almost forgot but we are looking at 3b/2bath with max rent at 2500
Hi there - with the disclaimer that I don't know exactly what your situation is, I will say that 3500/month seems like a lot. Do you have to live in Kendall Square? There are other, family-friendly neighborhoods in Cambridge, still very walkable to the Red Line and other essentials/amenities, where I think you could get a 3bed/2bath rental within your budget - areas like North Cambridge, Fresh Pond area, Inman Square...if you're going to go the private school route you could also look at Somerville near Porter Square.

Otherwise, East Arlington might do the trick - walkable to Alewife but cheaper rentals and lots of families. The elementary schools at least are supposed to be good.
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Old 05-04-2012, 01:57 PM
 
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You may be able to find rentals in Newtonville area, walking distance to the commuter rail. The rail from Newtonville goes into South Station - can get Red Line from there.
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Old 05-04-2012, 02:03 PM
 
Location: Massachusetts & Hilton Head, SC
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I think I'd look into Newton.
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Old 05-04-2012, 08:25 PM
 
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Thanks everyone! No i dont have to live in Kendall square...Its just that, we just moved here and I wanted to be close to my job and had no experience with Public Transportation. We realize now that you can take the T to just about everywhere so we want to get of out Dodge!
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Old 05-05-2012, 12:24 AM
 
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Thumbs up for possibilities suggested by the responses so far. As NbyNE suggests, if you like Cambridge, you might look around other neighborhoods there. I also second the suggestion of Arlington, being that Arlington is right next to Cambridge and in areas near Mass. Ave. still provides the opportunity to walk to local shopping, though keep in mind that most of Arlington won't be as much like being in the city as Cambridge.

Casey's and Breezy's suggestion of Newton is worth serious consideration if you can find something in your price range. That last part is the "if" with regard to Newton, because that town does have high housing costs, but if you can find something for the right price, Newton could be a good option because its public schools are regarded as excellent, it has public transit connections to Boston, and the town has a number of commercial districts that provide the opportunity to walk to shopping, for residents of those neighborhoods. Aside from housing costs, two points to keep in mind about Newton are:

1) the town is largely residential--there are those commercial districts scattered around town, but don't expect a city atmosphere if that's important;

2) the commuter rail makes no stops in Newton inbound toward Boston for most of the afternoon and evening, so whether living in a neighborhood with a commuter rail station would work depends on your work schedule, versus living in a neighborhood with a stop on the green line, which runs all day and evening.

Out of the towns you've said you're already considering, Melrose might be a good option except for transportation. I'm not absolutely sure about the schools there and how they are regarded, but the atmosphere may work for you. Melrose is kind of a mix of some urban and some suburban, so there are areas where you'd still have that opportunity to walk to shopping. The main problem with Melrose would be transportation. You'd be looking at a couple of transfers to get to Cambridge if you took the train into Boston from Melrose.

Out of all the towns you said you'd been considering, I would think that unless public school ranking is your absolute top priority, to the point that you'd sacrifice other features to have that, Weston should be at the bottom of the list. That is, at least if I'm reading correctly that you enjoy the walk-to-shopping setting in Cambridge and would prefer to keep that if possible. Weston is one of those leafy suburbs. Large lots in much of the town, patches of woods all over, very spread out, exactly the opposite of a town where you walk to shopping unless you happen to find a place near the very small town center, which has just the most basic shopping options. And if you did happen to find a place near the center, you would be farther from the nearest commuter rail station than most people would likely consider a reasonable walk. Weston is pretty much the antithesis of a place with the features of Kendall Sq. which you described as advantages.

Weston is also one of the most expensive towns, if not THE most expensive, in the Boston metro area in terms of housing costs, so you might be unlikely to find much for rent in your price range anyway. If you did find something, and if I'm getting anything like the right picture in thinking you prefer the walk-to-shopping kind of area, the only thing in Weston that might appeal to you would be the highly rated schools.
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Old 05-05-2012, 03:41 AM
 
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Third? for Newton. The schools are great, the downtowns are walkable and active, it is a family oriented town, and there are parks all over. I would also argue that despite the expensive housing for purchase, rentals are pretty reasonable. Newton schools are some of the best in the state, and the HS for the northern section of the town was just rebuilt. Unless you have a really good reason, you go public in Newton.

Newton spans a lot of area and has a lot of sections. T accessibility varies among them.

The northern sections like Auburndale, West Newton, and Newtonville, have commuter rail stops. Commuter rail is a 20-25 minute ride to South Station from Newtonville, but service pretty much only runs during rush hour. There is also bus service that should fill those gaps. Northern section also has a bike/walk path along the Charles river that goes west through Waltham and East all the way through Boston. West Newton has a nice downtown. It is small but densely packed. Newtonville has an ok downtown, Auburndale not at all.

Southern sections are on the Green Line. Newton Highlands, Newton Center. Slower but more frequent service (figure 45 minutes - 1 hour to MIT). Center has a good downtown, Highlands has a decent downtown, both have access to parks like Cold Spring and Hemlock Gorge.
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Old 05-07-2012, 10:50 PM
 
Location: Up North
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Newton or Brookline
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Old 05-08-2012, 01:37 PM
 
40 posts, read 119,148 times
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Thanks for quality information!! Very much appreciated
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Old 06-04-2012, 09:27 AM
 
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I'm going to second the earlier suggestion of East Arlington, based on personal experience. I currently live there and think it is an ideal place to rent. The houses aren't all modern (especially our apartment), but because it isn't a super popular area, rents have remained low (our 2-bed is $1350). It is a 7-minute walk (on the Minuteman Trail, which is plowed in wintertime) to Alewife station, a zip down Lake St to get on Route 2, and you can easily drive, bike, or walk to Cambridge, Somerville, etc. My husband commutes to Kendall Square and it takes him 35 minutes door to door, which I think is a small sacrifice for a reasonable cost of living every month. Hardy Elementary School is a 5-10 minute walk, as well, if your kids are that age. I'll warn you that this area is not what anyone would call "hip," but I personally like coming home to a quiet street at the end of the day, knowing I can still get to my fav spots in Cambridge & Boston pretty quickly.
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