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Old 08-22-2010, 05:53 PM
3 posts, read 7,479 times
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My husband and I are looking to relocate to MA in the next 1-2 years. We have two small children - schools are very important, access to Boston, lots of sports and activities for kids, parks, libraries, good restaurants, walkable downtown would be nice, middle to upper class, and a New England town with a small town feel. We love parts of the South Shore (Hanover, Kingston) but also like North Attleborough, Mansfield, Wrentham. What are the feel of these different areas?
Ideally we would like to buy a 4 bedroom house 2,000-3,000 sq ft. home in the $400-500,000 range.
Thank you!
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Old 08-23-2010, 08:13 AM
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Add Hopkinton, Ashland, Holliston to your list!
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Old 08-23-2010, 12:54 PM
Location: North of Boston
3,686 posts, read 7,423,982 times
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Where will you be working? The towns you have mentioned are all nice, but could make for a troublesome commute depending on where your jobs are located.
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Old 08-23-2010, 02:48 PM
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thank you will look into these towns. We are originally from NY, now living down south, but miss being up North.
My husband is just starting his job search so we are not sure yet how that will effect our decision on what town we choose.
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Old 08-23-2010, 02:50 PM
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I grew up in NA ('86) and still have some family there. My parents lived in Mansfield after I graduated from college for about 7 years until they retired and moved to FL (where else?). My neighbors used to teach at KP Regional in Wrentham. So I'm familiar with the three towns.

NA is (and always was) bigger than Mansfield or Wrentham. It used to be a jewelry manufacturing town, about 10-20 years ago. Balfour and Josten's used to have factories there (high school and champion NFL/NBA/NHL/etc. ring makers). I think many of the townies who worked at the factories have moved though since the town is increasingly becoming expensive and bedroom community to Boston as well as Providence. It used to be a somewhat conservative town for MA - meaning Republican - but this may have changed since I was growing up.

NA has good schools. I attended many of the elementary schools before they were built so I am familiar with them. The town is (or was) quite big on sports (or was when I was growing up). I think it still is, but you may want to verify. It was huge on football.

Mansfield is and was a smaller town to NA. It used to be a small town with a chocolate factory near the train center. There's been a lot of higher end housing within the last 10-20 years like NA. More and more people commute to Boston on the train too.

Schools in Mansfield are good. The town was (maybe still is) not as sports mad as NA. In fact, there was some talk in the Boston Globe about the town cutting sports and extracurriculars due to the budget. The town might require parents to pay fees for sports and extracurriculars, but I'm not sure. If so, this is happening to many towns throughout the state. You may be able to retrieve the articles by googling. I know the town built some soccer complex near the Tweeter Center/Great Woods when my parents were living there.

Wrentham is and was the smallest town of the three. Wrentham has probably seen the greatest percentage of high end housing being built within the last 10-20 years - the town had more farms and land than Mansfield or NA. Senator (Republican) Scott Brown lives here. Wrentham has the outlet shops.

Wrentham high school students attend King Philip Regional High School with Plainville and Norfolk residents. KP is located in Wrentham though. Wrentham and Norfolk are more affluent towns than Plainville.

All three towns are safe, family-friendly. All three have walkable towns. All three have middle and upper-class residents now and have changed quite dramatically within the last 10-20 years; Wrentham probably has more upper-class now though. NA is the bigger one of the three, with possibly more amenities. NA has some Pats players who live there now too.

What else would you like to know?
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Old 08-23-2010, 03:06 PM
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Love all the insider info - thanks! Wrentham is sounding like it may fit our criteria more than the others. I will have to look into the high school. What's the scoop on King Philip Regional high school? What's it known for/reputation?
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Old 08-23-2010, 03:42 PM
Location: Massachusetts & Hilton Head, SC
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KP is known for it's outstanding music program. As wivenhoe mentioned, Wrentham is the smallest more rural of the 3 for population. It's "quaint", for lack of a better word.

Mansfield has the commuter rail that your husband could take to the Back Bay or South Station, so that might be more convenient than Wrentham or North Attleborough. The soccer/sports fields are adjacent to or maybe part of the Cabot Industrial park.
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Old 08-25-2010, 03:50 PM
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I have lived in this area for about 25 years. I grew up in Norfolk. Wonderful small country town. Great schools, taxes are high. It's gotten more developed over the last few years but doesn't even have a grocery store in town. They just got a Walgreens about a year ago. Only 1 traffic light. Barely any crime and a great place to live out your quiet country dream. Access to commuter rail right in the center of town.

If you want a little more convenience for shopping, I recommend Franklin - where I currently live. Again, good small town feel but access to plenty of shopping! 2 train stations in town offer about 50 minute commute into Boston.

Good luck!
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Old 09-12-2010, 12:50 AM
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Hanover would be better than Wrentham. Plenty of shopping but still offers the suburban country feel as well.
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