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Thread summary:

Relocating to Boston: rent townhouse, realtor, broker, market , housing.

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Old 01-15-2009, 07:54 PM
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FSP, the issue of convenience to the train may be affected by what you mean when you say you seek an urban experience. Right in the central part of Boston you'd be riding the subway rather than commuter rail. Of course in most sections right in the central city you will not find anything with a yard. The rents are high as well, and you might have to think in terms of an apartment rather than a townhouse.

Cambridge may be a good possibility for remaining pretty urban but also having neighborhoods with single-family houses that have small yards. In the more urban parts of Cambridge, the public transit would be the subway, but there are outlying sections of that city where you would have to rely on the bus.

Brookline and Newton are affluent older suburbs. Newton has local shopping and dining in small business districts scattered throughout the city, though not much nightlife in the form of dance clubs and the like. Public transit in Newton is tricky. Depending on what part of town you live in, you might have to rely on the bus. Other neighborhoods are close to, and often within walking distance of, light rail or commuter rail. What is especially tricky is that the commuter rail has gaps of a number of hours in the evening with no stops at any of the Newton stations on the inbound route. Makes no sense to me considering that Newton has a population of over 80k, not exactly a little out-of-the-way place you might expect the train to bypass outside of peak hours, but that's how it is.

Brookline does have an area on the north side of town which is adjacent to the outer fringe of central Boston and has a similar urban character, and light rail service straignt into Boston. The rest of Brookline is similar to Newton, but without the commercial districts scattered all through town, and without commuter rail.

In Newton and Brookline you may find duplexes. Often these will be side-by-side rather than having apartments on different floors. Jamaica Plain, on the other hand, is part of the city of Boston, is a little closer in than Newton at least, and more urban in most neighborhoods than Newton or Brookline. In JP you'll find examples of a notable local form of architecture known as a three-decker. These look like large old three-story houses. Traditionally, every floor is a separate apartment. JP might be worth a look, because it's somewhat on the urban side, though it's not like being in the central city, which means you may find a small yard. On the downside, that yard is likely to be shared.

Last edited by ogre; 01-15-2009 at 08:06 PM..
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Old 01-16-2009, 12:11 PM
Location: Southern NH
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Originally Posted by holden125 View Post
This is my understanding too. I say "Boston proper" only for the central area with a Boston mailing address and "the City of Boston" to denote all of Meninodom in its splendor.
Agreed. I own a house in one of those other areas that were annexed but I still pay my real estate taxes to "The City of Boston"...
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