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Old 01-09-2011, 07:05 PM
 
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My family will be relocating to the Worcester area this year and we need help deciding between three towns (Westboro, Southboro, and Northboro).

We have two young children and all three towns seem to have good schools, but Westboro outperforms the others based on MCAS & SAT scores (not that I like standardized testing -- just hard to compare schools).

Westborough has lots of retail stores, a lake for swimming, it seems to be safe, great schools and lots of sidewalks.

Southborough seems to be the most attractive. Cute town center. Nothing much there and you have to go to Westborough to do your shopping. Also, not that many sidewalks. The other problem with Southborough is that the kids change schools after every couple of grades --- my kids are two grades apart and wouldn't be in the same school until Middle School.

Northborough --- I don't know much about this town. It is not as "cute" as Southboro, but it does not have any retail (supermarkets, book stores, coffee shops, etc). The downtown is Route 20...not that interesting. It does seem to have a really nice library.

Can anyone help distinguish between these towns? Can anyone provide more insight into Northborough? Advantages/disadvantages between these communities?

Thanks!
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Old 01-10-2011, 05:47 AM
 
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Hi,

My family and I faced the same question 3 years ago. We ended up choosing Northborough and have absoulutely no regrets.

The schools were about all equal, with Westborough scoring slightly higher. I have several friends who live in Westborough and they all love the town. Northborough has 4 elementary schools (K-5), one middle school (6-8) and a regional high school that is shared with Southborough (it recently went through a $5m rehab). I have 3 boys and they have been in the elementary, middle and high schools. My middle son is at Lincoln Street. We like it but it seems like Zeh scores best on the MCAS in our town. Proctor has been overwhelmed with kids from the new Avalon Bay aparment complex, but I don't know if that's negatively impacted the grades there. There have been some budget cuts that impacted class sizes at each of the elementary schools. There is one grade at each school that has 2 teachers instead of 3 so the class size is pretty big (ie. for my son in 1st grade there were 14 students, 2nd grade 22 students, 3rd grade 15 students).

The recreation department in town is GREAT! There are tons of sports and activities for kids of all ages. Applefest is a great day in the center of town. There is also local apple picking in Northborough. The hiking trail system is nice too. Northborough residents also have access to Lake Chauncy in Westborough for swimming. If you have boys that are interested, the scouting programs in town are very good.

If you're looking to buy a house, Northborough will give you the most for your money. For what it's worth, Southborough thinks that they are better than those around them (if you take a drive down Sears Rd you might see why!).

There is a large shopping complex, Northborough Crossing, scheduled to open next fall on the south side of town at route 9 and 20. It will include a Wegmans, BJ's, Kohls and many other stores/restaurants. I'm sure the traffic will be bad, I'm hoping most people will access it through route 9 but I think Crawford and Davis streets could see an increase in people coming from the north.

Honestly, I don't think you can go wrong with any of these 3 towns.

Good luck in your search.
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Old 01-10-2011, 07:21 AM
 
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I don't think you can really go wrong with any of these three towns. I grew up in Westboro & have many clients who've been happy there as well as North/Southboro. My only complaint about Westboro is that it's very congested downtown during rush hour and the addition of the shopping plaza behind downtown hasn't helped. The only downside re: Southboro that I found when we lived there was that there's highway noise in a lot of neighborhoods because the town is intersected by so many main routes. Re: Northboro the only negative from my opinion is that I think it would have been nice if they had a more centralized town center that was walkable instead of a series of strip malls along Rt 20.

Otherwise, they're all lovely towns. The schools are ranked well. There's tons of sports & other activities for kids as well as a moms group to get to know people. Good highway access in all three towns & train access in Southboro & Westboro.
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Old 01-10-2011, 03:08 PM
 
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I agree - you can't go wrong with all three towns. I am a little partial to Westborough, because it just has so many amentities but retains a small town feel. Schools and sports are very strong. I live in Grafton but almost everything I do is in Westborough. There is some congestion during rush hour, but there are a lot of back roads to avoid the traffic around the rotary if it becomes a problem.

I would like to add that Northborough does have a very popular coffee shop (la la java), some sandwich shops, a phenomenal sushi restaurant (yama zukora) a very good high end restaurant that is always busy(Romaines) a great Tai restaurant too. A new childrens boutique opened and all of us from the area are very excited about Northborough Crossing opening in 2011 - Wegmans!
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Old 01-11-2011, 06:08 PM
 
Location: Charlton, MA
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I lived in Northborough briefly & I love the town. It's very close to the Solomon Pond Mall. I think the downtown/main street is quite cute along where Town Hall is with the older homes and business in that area. White Cliffs is beautiful. I ate there once and it's a little bit to fancy for my tastes tho. I am not sure if it's open to the public or only for private parties tho. The park just off Main Street is nice for small children. My kids really enjoyed it this summer especially the spray pad. Northborough House of Pizza has delicious chicken fingers. I wouldn't hesitate to live there.

I worked in Southborough & have frequented some of the business there. Sears Rd. is a must see! Very impressive homes there even if you can't afford them. Southborough is quite pricey!

Definitely can't go wrong with any of those three towns. I haven't done anything but shop occasionally in Westborough so I can't really offer any info about it.
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Old 01-11-2011, 08:10 PM
 
Location: North of Boston
3,496 posts, read 6,640,110 times
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I grew up in Westboro but can't recommend it now.

I would look at Grafton and Shrewsbury.
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Old 01-13-2011, 12:09 PM
 
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Thank you for all of the information.

GF2020 --- can you tell me why you can't recommend Westborough?

Northboro Elementary Schools -- Are any of these better than the others? Major differences?
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Old 01-13-2011, 12:45 PM
 
160 posts, read 538,385 times
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I would love to hear why too. I have so many close friends who live in Westborough, that are thrilled with the town. A lot of money has been invested in the schools and they keep moving up in the rankings out-performing towns like Sudbury and Needham. Our plan had always been to move to Westborough (from Grafton), but it doesn't shave enough time off my husband's commute to Boston and after so many years we are just burned out. So - we will move closer to Boston and compromise on the house.

I will really miss living in this area. The people are very friendly and there is a lot to do with young kids.
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Old 01-13-2011, 07:27 PM
 
Location: North of Boston
3,496 posts, read 6,640,110 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Falcons1 View Post

GF2020 --- can you tell me why you can't recommend Westborough?

The property taxes are insanely high and the traffic on Route 30 thru the center of town and all of Route 9 can be unbearable at times.

Westborough has a good school system, no doubt, but there are other communities that do just as good a job, or better, with a much lower tax burden.
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Old 01-21-2011, 06:14 PM
 
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To be honest-neither of the three. I am in Westboro a lot and the strangest people seem to live there-can't really pinpoint it-Northboro and Southboro share the same high school-if your kids are from Northboro, they will be considered "The Poor Kids". If they are coming from Southboro, you better be able to keep up financially because these kids are driving brand-new BMW's at 16. Remember Beverly Hills 90210? It's like that without the palm trees. That being said, I would probably give my right arm to live in Southboro-it's a beautiful town with nice people and great proximity to Framingham/Natick/Mass Pike. Unless you are able to purchase a home for 2 million, I would have to recommend Shrewsbury or Hopkinton. Both Excellent towns, and more financially attainable. Oh-and in Northboro, there seem to be three types of people, out-of towners, townie farmer-types, and a zillion retirement communities. Nothing really for kids.
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