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Old 10-30-2009, 03:12 PM
1 posts, read 2,384 times
Reputation: 10


My family and I are moving to the Boston area this winter, and beginning to look online at homes. We've never been anywhere in the NE, so any help will be great for us.

My wife and I have 2 kids, one 4, one 2, so schools will be very important soon. We want to buy a single family home, and don't want to spend more than 300K, though I would stretch a bit more for the right place. My wife stays home with the kids, and I will work in Downtown Boston. I will have a company car I have to drive every day, so public transportation is out for me. I can make my own schedule, so I won't be "required" to be in rush hour traffic each and every day, though I don't want to come home at 10pm every day either.

We were originally looking really hard at the southern NH area, but have been somewhat scared off by horror stories of the commute on 93. I've been told be several Boston residents that living out west and coming in on the Mass Turnpike would be much better, even if its the same mileage wise. We're now starting to look out in Metro West but it seems overwhelming with all the choices.

Besides schools and cost, the other usual stuff is important: safe area, kids activities, etc. I could care less about nightlife, fancy restaurants, or other adult stuff at this point. We'd love a place on a large lot or even an acre or two, room for the kids to play. If there's places bordering on rural, even better.

Again, any help would be great, I feel like I'm looking for a needle in a haystack right now.
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Old 10-30-2009, 11:30 PM
5,816 posts, read 15,921,046 times
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Default Consider Hopkinton, and keep NH as a possibility.

Here are a couple of thoughts to start with: Keep considering New Hampshire, and look closely at Hopkinton if you are interested in living west of Boston.

It would help people narrow the possibilities if you could give some idea how long a commute you can deal with. I'm guessing that you're okay with a fairly long commute if you've thought about New Hampshire. It would be good if you were able to deal with a commute on the long side, because the options for houses in the price range you're talking about will be limited close to Boston, especially in towns with good schools. You will also need to get out away from the city a pretty fair distance in order to find the more rural kind of character you're seeking.

You might want to keep NH on the radar screen. Housing costs tend to be lower there than housing in MA most places that are not well away from Boston. Overall costs also tend to be a bit lower in NH due to the difference between the two states where taxes are concerned.

Another piece of info from you that could help pin down some possibilities would be some specifics about the approx. range of hours you might consider working with your flexible hours. With this info, people familiar with the 93 commute could clue you in about whether you could avoid the hours of worst traffic within your preferred schedule range.

West of Boston, generally the housing costs are high. There are some local exceptions, but the western suburbs overall are probably the most affluent, and most expensive, section of the metro area.

However, one town I think you should definitely check out is Hopkinton. 300k is close enough to the median property value there (according to the average listed on the City Data page for Hopkinton) that you may very well have some options there. All the more so since you say you're ready to go a bit higher for the right place. Hopkinton is a nice small town, with a low population density and some rural sections.

In fact, Hopkinton is so nice that the relatively low (by Boston standards) property costs there are a bit surprising. The only reason I can think for the town to be less pricey than most western suburbs is that it's not in the best commuting location. Hopkinton has no commuter rail line, and it is in a spot where the most direct routes to Boston usually involve some driving on local roads before hitting the main highways. However, with your flexible hours, meaning you may be able to avoid the worst local traffic, and the fact that public transit is moot in your case, these drawbacks may not be a major negative for you, and Hopkinton seems to fit your criteria very well. It's going to be difficult to find anything closer to Boston which fits your criteria. Other options may become apparent as people here discuss possibilities, but I'm thinking you want to continue considering NH, and look closely at Hopkinton as a possibility a bit closer to town.

By the way, where are you moving from in the Midwest? I went to college in central Ohio and continued living there for several years afterward. I liked the area. I found the people to be friendly in a low-key, unassuming way, and the landscape to be pleasant and attractive even if not spectacular. There are some nice spots around Boston too, so welcome to this area.
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Old 10-31-2009, 09:16 AM
Location: Peoples Republic of MA
37 posts, read 98,066 times
Reputation: 35
Keeping looking at NH.

The commute down 93 is no worse or better than the Mass pike ( the pike is a toll road also) especially if you can set your own hours, you can miss the rush hour. NH is cheaper to live and has a nice feel to it. If your coming from the midwest it would probably be an easier transition also. Some good towns to look at are Temple, Sharon and Mason. Nice, safe quiet towns with decent schools.

The area west of Boston is very expensive and a budget of $300,000 would be tight even in this market. At that price you would never get an acre or two. In NH you could get the land and the rural feel your looking for. west of Boston is real nice ,but busy, crowded and expensive. Good Luck !
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Old 11-01-2009, 09:42 AM
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If you go to Youtube and type in Hopkinton MA you should be able to see some nice scenes of the town, including the town common where the Boston Marathon kicks off.
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Old 11-01-2009, 04:35 PM
Location: Quiet Corner Connecticut
1,335 posts, read 3,306,064 times
Reputation: 454
New Hampshire is a nice place. I was contemplating moving to Nashua over the summer.

But anyway, if you're looking to the west - consider perhaps Shrewsbury or Northboro. Both are a little further out and a bit outside 495, but you can get nice towns for under 300k.
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Old 11-01-2009, 04:53 PM
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I agree that Northboro & Shrewsbury are good options as well. The Northgate neighborhood in Northboro is one of my favorites.
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Old 11-01-2009, 10:31 PM
18,735 posts, read 33,406,561 times
Reputation: 37318
There are nice towns NW of Boston, that is, west on Rt. 2. Littleton, Westford, Chelmsford, even Acton. I say "even" because Acton can be expensive but there are always older, smaller homes available- and the schools are superbly rated, as are community activities. It also falls within your commute range.
Due west of Boston has the very pricy towns- Wellesley, Weston, Wayland, Natick, etc. More like west on Rt. 9 (do NOT want to drive in on business hours) or west on the Pike (I-90).
Oh, and if you're coming in on Rt.2 east, you can park at Alewife (huge parking garage) and take the red line downtown. I think it's $5/day to park all day, and the redline goes to MGH/Charles St., Park St., Washington St. and South Station. Convienient to financial district, the Common, State House, and most places of employment downtown.
Best wishes.
Best wishes on your move.
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