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Old 01-26-2011, 10:03 AM
17 posts, read 45,558 times
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My husband's company is talking to him about transferring to Framingham. I'm not sure exactly where but I'm assuming close to the TJ Maxx headquarters.

We have two small children (one elementary level, and one is a year away from preschool) and are looking for excellent public schools but our housing budget would probably only be around 5 - 600K. I've seen recommendations for Hopkinton which I'm very interested in and I believe Southborough and Sherborn would be a stretch financially but because of the schools am interested.

I am worrying about the commute for my husband. He's able to legally drive but has an eye condition where those winding roads that are so popular in New England could be a challenge within perhaps 5 years (his condition is degenerative) so I am wondering which town I should eliminate due to those really windy roads or are we out of luck. Also, could you give me an idea about the commute to Framingham. I know the towns are only a few miles away, but was unsure in rush hour if that meant a 30 minute drive, etc?

Any input would be greatly appreciated. This site is a wonderful resource. Thank you.
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Old 01-26-2011, 01:01 PM
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You could stay on mostly highways from Hopkinton to Framingham (Rt 495 to the Mass Pike), or Westboro to Framingham (mostly Rt 9 or Rt 30). It would likely be a little slower commute on the main roads but could be done in less than 30 minutes. (Sudbury also has very well rated schools & is close by but is also comparable in price to Sherborn & Southboro and has the windy road issue).

If you have other questions about surrounding towns please feel free to private message me. I live in Sherborn & have lived in Westboro, Southboro, Hopkinton & Holliston over the years.
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Old 01-26-2011, 01:15 PM
Location: Stamford, CT
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Your options really are very open when working in framingham(especially TJX since its rights off the highway), pretty much anywhere on 90, 95, or 495. The question is how far away from boston do you want to be? would you rather live in metro west, or closer to the south shore?

I work in that area and live in Newton and can commute either via rt9, rt30, or the pike, and have co workers coming from pretty much all over... I dont own yet, but hope to continue working here mainly because it really keeps my options open for when I want to buy. Dont feel limited in this transfer, just figure out what area you'd want to live in and then start bringing down the selection a bit more.

Also, if your husband's eye condition is a real worry, if they can allow him to work 8-4 instead, traffic is almost a non issue, and will really open up options even more...
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Old 01-27-2011, 12:49 AM
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If Hopkinton seems like a town you would consider, then you'd also most likely find Holliston worth a look. Both are nice towns with well regarded schools, which somehow have lower housing costs than much of Metro West, despite these towns' advantages. My best guess is that housing prices are relatively low in Hopkinton and Holliston because they are not especially well located for a commute to Boston. Commuting to Framingham is much easier. There is some local traffic during rush hours, but nothing really brutal. In either Hopkinton or Holliston you might want to be picky about finding a location near a main road, because driving around on the local roads in either town could bring the winding road issue into the picture. Both towns would be good picks, though, if the driving issue can be worked out.

Immediately east of Framingham is Natick. Natick is a nice clean middle-class to upper-middle-class suburban town. Natick does not have quite the powerhouse, ultra-top-tier school system of some towns in the western suburbs, but the schools there are generally regarded as solid. Natick could be a good choice with regards to the winding road issue, as the streets everywhere in Natick except on the south side of town are laid out in a more traditionally suburban pattern, so that even curved streets tend to have more wide, smooth curves, rather than the narrow, random twists of the roads in some of the more leafy, low-density suburbs.

Another area you might at least want to look at would be the Cochituate section of Wayland, on the south side of town. The properties in Cochituate are generally more modest than those in other sections of Wayland, so you may find something below Wayland's median housing price which could be within your range. If you could find such a property, Cochituate could be a really good option for you, because Wayland's schools are highly regarded, and Cochituate is very close to TJX/T.J. Maxx, with roads that for the most part do not have that narrow winding character.

If worse comes to worst with the driving issue, it may be useful that the Metro West area has a local bus transit system. The system is a bit limited because it runs mostly during the daytime on weekdays, with little or no service on weekends or later than very early evening (7 PMish), but this feature may be a big help for living in that area if driving ever gets to be a problem. Here is the link to the Metro West transit website, where you can find info on the system, including routes and timetables, which could help in identifying convenient locations to consider living: MetroWest Regional Transit Authority.
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Old 01-27-2011, 09:16 AM
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Thank you all for your advice. You've been very helpful and I appreciate the time you took in answering my questions.
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Old 01-27-2011, 11:32 AM
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You also shouldn't be too limited given your 5-600k budget. That will get you a decent amount of house in most of the surrounding nicer towns.
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Old 01-28-2011, 07:15 AM
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I agree with most of what Ogre said.

I hadn't thought of the western part of Wayland but it looks like there are options in your price range. Natick would be the most logical choice.

Another town to consider would be Ashland - limit your search to neighborhoods closer to Rt. 9.

With Hopkinton you get almost everything you are looking for but there are plenty of winding roads and if you aren't close to Rt. 85 your husband's commute is going to be longer than you think. You'd again- have to limit your search to certain areas. Living on the south-side of town (south of 135) you'd be looking at a commute of 30-35 minutes to Framingham near TJX. I travel on RT. 9 almost daily in/out of Hop/Ashland and the metrowest area and that is a fact!

Holliston- great town but you'll have t rule it out. 100% winding roads and about 10-15 minutes just to get to the main roads. I'd rule it out.

I hope that is helpful- the schools for the most part out here are excellent. If the commute and driving is the main concern then you should focus on these choices in order:

1) Natick/Wayland
2) Ashland
3) Hopkinton

Best of luck!
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Old 01-28-2011, 08:23 AM
17 posts, read 45,558 times
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Thank you all. My husband doesn't think I need to do this research yet as we're just in the "talk" phase, but I like to know what we're getting into! We'd be moving from the South and am used to getting a lot of square footage so I'm attracted to Hopkinton as it looks like I could get a little more house for the money and not sacrifice schools. Also bear with me as we deal with no traffic so I'm trying to understand what we'll be getting. NY-er: My husband usually goes to work around 7 - 7:15 in the morning. Would that help with the traffic aspect? Coming home what are the peak times for traffic? Here he usually comes home right at 6 but I'm guessing that would still be pretty peak times.
I would really like to find a "community" to move into with soccer/ dance for kids, good schools, neighborhoods, etc. as that's what we're used to. I liked that Hopkinton even has a dance studio in town and little preschools, parks, etc. Does Ashland have that community feel? I've seen a lot of iffy comments and while the commute looks nice, I've sort of discounted it as an option.
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Old 01-28-2011, 02:30 PM
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Kell - I drove from Ashland to Framingham (actually right next door to TJX) this morning and got there in 20 minutes. There was minimal traffic on Rt 9. Some days the traffic is heavier.

Living in Hopkinton you have to add at least 10 minutes to that so my estimates are pretty spot-on! 30-35 minutes from most parts of Hop. (each way)

Rt 9 can be tricky especially with all of the shopping in Natick but it moves along pretty well for the most part. Around 4:30-6pm traffic will be congested but moving along. Going from Framingham back to Hopkington could take longer during the evenings- maybe even 45 minutes. It's just the way it is.
The morning commute shouldn't be all that bad.

I think all of the towns out this way pretty much offer what you are looking for. Ashland might be the little red-headed step-child to some other towns in the area, but don't discount it too far. It still ranks up there! And put it head to head with many other states/schools and it comes out on top.

You'll get a little more bang for your buck here in Ashland. Hopkinton definitely has more of a community feel but I wouldn't necessarily say it is leaps and bounds beyond what Ashland offers. Hopkinton tends to have more of an 'exclusive' tone in town. Within your price range you are just at the tip of the iceberg. Your budget in Ashland or Natick might stretch a little further.

With that said- the entire region has so many parks, activities, and benefits for children- not exclusive to any particular town. I feel like this area provides everything we need and could ask for and it isn't really from the town directly, but more of the area of MetroWest.

When things thaw out up here you'll see more properties come online and will get more of a true sense of what is available. As far as where you feel at home or most comfortable, you should make a trip up and poke around!

Last edited by NY'er lost in MA; 01-28-2011 at 02:32 PM.. Reason: spelling
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