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Old 02-01-2010, 08:22 AM
22 posts, read 84,497 times
Reputation: 16


We're considering a move to the Boston region since I can make an internal job transfer and my husband has good employment options in the region.

We want to buy a small single family home and prefer to live in a town that has good schools for our children (I know you've heard all this before!).

People have suggested Medford to us since I will be working close to North Station and would like to take public transportation (preferably the commuter rail). Can you suggest other nice towns on the commuter rail lines that are north or west of the city since I'll be coming in to North Station? (Obviously we don't know where my husband will be working yet so that can't be a factor).

I would prefer a town with no more than a 20-25 minute rail trip to North Station, which I figure would work out to be a 40 minute commute, when I factor in getting to the station, etc.

I've poked around some real estate listings for different towns I've heard nice things about. Belmont seems way out of our range, as does Winchester. We'd like a modest home but can't go much higher than $400K. What options does that leave us with? Any???? Arlington also sounds nice, but it's not convenient to North Station, is it?

Thank you for your advice.
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Old 02-01-2010, 09:22 AM
Location: Quincy, Mass. (near Boston)
2,681 posts, read 4,657,363 times
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Arlington has some blue-collar looking neighborhoods near Mass. Ave. and the Cambridge line, which may get you something under $400k. Not sure. But these streets are near some good restaurants, deli, branch library, and a bus to Harvard Square's red line subway. No, it's not commuter rail, but may work if you like Arlington.

Actually, Porter Square in nearby Cambridge/Somerville has a commuter rail stop to North Station, but unsure if it's a regular stop for all trains. I'm sure the #77 bus from Arlington would drop you at Porter's commuter rail. West Medford also has commuter rail. Arlington has Spy Pond and the Minuteman Biking trail to northern suburbs, plus good restaurants. It's next to Belmont (some average working-class pockets) and Lexington, so location is good. Capitol Theatre and Regent Theatre show films, and maybe plays also at the Regent.

It has the Pleasant St. Historic District heading into Belmont. Arlington Heights, near Lexington, is nice.

Woburn is next to Winchester along the commuter rail, and more affordable. Not sure about achools, but I like their small "downtown" and the facade of their library.

I like Melrose. It has 2 or 3 stops heading to North Station. Main St. is pleasant. You'll find a mix of older apts., condos as well as some Victorians, near the Middlesex Fells Reservation for play. Square One Mall is near in Saugus.
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Old 02-01-2010, 02:42 PM
Location: Massatucky
1,186 posts, read 2,285,772 times
Reputation: 1915
Follow the Newburyport or Rockport lines N from Boston (North Station) and consider Gloucester, Essex (short drive to 3 possible train stops) Ipswich, Manche$ter, Salem...Newburyport...really nice too... good luck
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Old 02-01-2010, 04:05 PM
Location: North of Boston
3,541 posts, read 6,805,875 times
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Melrose, Wakefield, Swampscott & Salem will be a bit more than 40 minutes door to door but you should be able to find some decent values for under $400K.
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Old 02-01-2010, 09:30 PM
5,817 posts, read 15,244,478 times
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Bostonguy and GF2020 suggested the towns I had in mind. Most of the towns Cwaggy listed are nice enough, but you would really have to compromise on your preferred commuting time. Also, that dollar sign Cwaggy put in place of the "s" in Manchester very likely was not put there by accident. You might have to do some looking to find something in your price range in that town, though it's a nice town if you can find a place that works for you. Again, though, the commute would be longer than you're saying you prefer. If you can compromise significantly on your commuting time, and if an exurban or semi-rural feel would work for you, I might also suggest that you look into Acton or Littleton.

I second Bostonguy on suggesting that you not dismiss Arlington just yet if that town seems like a good fit except for the lack of commuter rail. In additon to fairly reasonable proximity to the commuter rail station in Cambridge, Arlington also is close to the Alewife station on the red line, which has a stop near Mass. General hospital which would put you near many of the same streets you can walk to from North Station.

I'm not sure whether the housing costs in Belmont would work, but if you can find property there at the right price, that's another town to consider. The Waverly commuter rail stop is in Belmont.
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