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Old 06-19-2012, 05:18 PM
6 posts, read 13,371 times
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I have to move again, sigh.

This time we are relocating cities entirely, to the Boston area. The job is in Waltham.

We are looking for suggestions on neighborhoods to live in - coming from DC, we prefer a walkable neighborhood with subway access. We are well into our 30s so something quieter with decent access to shops and restaurants is preferable over proximity to bars. Ideally, the commute would be 30 minutes or less by car.

Our budget is $1500-$1800 for a 1 bed/1 bath (let's say no more than 500-700 sq feet needed) with some sort of parking arrangement and one cat. We managed this well enough in Washington, DC (proper) which at last glance was comparably expensive, but then again, who knows?

Any help appreciated!
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Old 06-21-2012, 07:31 PM
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Newton sounds like a good option for you. It is a big town that borders Waltham and Boston, has light rail access to the city, and is a nice mix of peaceful with stuff to do in the walkable downtowns. Check out Newton Highlands, Newton Centre. The light rail takes 40ish minutes to get into/through Boston from there. Waltham proper isn't a bad place to live either, but no subway access (only rail). Watertown around the Watertown Square area would also give you good proximity to Waltham, a plethora of shopping and restaurant options, and it is walkable. However, no subway/train access via Watertown.

You could possibly do a 30 minute commuter from Porter Square in Cambridge to Waltham, but that sort of depends on where in Waltham the job is; Waltham can take 15-20 minutes to drive end to end in and of itself. Porter would be more urban but has much faster access to downtown Boston and the squares of Cambridge via the Red Line.

Side note, I find Boston and DC to be very similar as cities, but I prefer Boston overall. Where did you live / what areas did you like in DC?
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Old 06-21-2012, 07:50 PM
Location: New Hampshire
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Porter Square in Cambridge was the first place that came to mind for me. You should be able to do a 30 minute commute to most areas of Waltham.

Newton Center might be a possibility - bear in mind that the walk score for the Porter Square station is 92/100 while Newton Center scores an 85 and Newton Highlands 69, according to walkscore.com.
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Old 06-21-2012, 08:40 PM
Location: Brookline, MA
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Both Newton Center and Porter Sq. are good ideas. Newton Center has quite a bit going on in terms of shops and restaurants. It may work very well for the OP's situation. Newton Center probably has more going on than Porter Square itself. The difference is that Porter is only a 10-20 min walk (or one T stop in either direction) to Davis Square and Harvard Square which have a ton going on and a relatively short train ride into Boston. You probably wouldn't want to live in Davis and Harvard Sq. because it may be too young for you (lots of students and young 20-somethings). Porter has a greater mix in ages.

Newton Center has the green line right there which will take you into Boston, but it's a little further out and other parts of Newton are very residential whereas Porter Sq. is a city area.
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Old 06-23-2012, 03:53 AM
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I've lived all over DC - Navy Yard, Capitol Hill, Dupont - as well as north Arlington. I liked them all, but Dupont and Arlington best.

Thanks for the excellent suggestions. Some follow-up questions:

Porter Square seems good, but is it possible to find something reasonable with parking for $1800. It's hard to tell the student housing from something more geared towards professionals.

Newton also is a reasonable option, but is there any apartment housing there? I only see listings for 2 br or larger places, which are both too big and too expensive for us.

If we do end up in central Waltham, is there reasonable bus service to Cambridge and Boston?

The commute would be to just east of Cambridge reservoir.
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Old 06-23-2012, 05:06 AM
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I think it would be tough to find a nicer apartment with parking for $1800 in Porter. I'm no expert on the area though, so I'll let someone else chime in.

I would use the individual villages of Newton as your search term on Craiglist to get better focused results. For instance, search Newton Centre and the results will be for that village, whereas typing in Newton will give you results from every bordering town.

There are lots of 1BR and even 2BR in your price range in Newton. It will be trickier to find one that takes a pet and is close to the T. You could expand the search a bit to Chestnut Hill, although it is less walkable.

If you are willing to rely on bus service, you'd have a lot more options if you looked in Newton Corner and Watertown Square (same general area). There is a lot of bus service from those hubs to Boston and Cambridge. Waltham has decent bus service to Cambridge from the city center, but you'd have to transfer in Watertown Square for access to Boston.

Also, you might want to consider Arlington along Mass Ave. You'd be stuck with some bus service, but a few stops on the bus or a walk down Mass Ave puts you in Porter Square for subway service. Mass Ave is a hotbed of restaurants, and the subway service puts you in the thick of the city a lot faster than the Green Line.
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Old 06-23-2012, 11:00 AM
6 posts, read 13,371 times
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It doesn't have to be very close to a T stop. Even 1 to 1.25 miles away would be good, or a short bus ride.

We do have a preference for proper multistory apartments if possible over townhouses or split houses. Does that open anything up?
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Old 06-24-2012, 04:53 PM
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I'm no expert on Arlington but in terms of proximity to a T stop I think it is your best bet. That transit line is also the closest to what you'd find in DC. You might want to try posting a new thread asking about Arlington specifically on the state forum; that might dig up some more useful information.

Newtonville seems like an option, except its more like 4-5 miles to the T. Watertown is also 4 miles.
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