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Old 09-10-2011, 12:00 PM
 
Location: Waltham, MA
13 posts, read 32,178 times
Reputation: 12

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My family just visited downtown Winchester today for the farmers market. The town center is absolutely the adorable. My wife works downtown, and I work in Bedford. Unfortunately, Winchester is a little too expensive for us to get the type of house we want. What other towns have great centers, but are more affordable? We are willing to extend our commutes. We are looking at Acton, however there is no town center.

Thanks,

Mike
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Old 09-10-2011, 01:11 PM
 
925 posts, read 2,555,258 times
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It depends on what you consider affordable. Holliston, for example, has a lovely town center that's growing & the homes are definitely more affordable than in Winchester. There's a general store, library, cafe with music at night, a handful of antique shops, about half a dozen new boutiques, a children's park, a ballfield, tennis courts & a nearby artists loft.
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Old 09-11-2011, 06:20 AM
 
199 posts, read 891,241 times
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I don't know what your price range is or where your wife works downtown, but Melrose is considerably more affordable to Winchester and has a pleasant downtown. It has three MBTA commuter rail stations and is close to the orange Oak Grove T subway line, which would be convenient for your wife's commute. Schools are good; you would also be zoned for the Mystic Charter school.

Wakefield, Reading, and Stoneham are also more affordable towns than Winchester. Of these, I think Reading has the best school system, but I could be wrong. Reading and Wakefield are on the same MBTA commuter rail line as Melrose.

To the south, Arlington may be an option, but this would depend on where your wife works as Arlington only has the MBTA buses to the Alewife T red line station. Brackett elementary school usually scores very high on MCAS tests for the state but the town has a well regarded school system.

Burlington has a good school system and is more reasonable for housing. It's convenient for shopping, which is an understatement to say the least.

Lexington, Concord, and Bedford, I'm guessing, are out of your price range, but perhaps you might consider a condo or small house that needs updating there. If so, these are highly desirable communities to live in, but they are very expensive and you may feel you'd be better off at one of the other towns mentioned above.
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Old 09-12-2011, 02:27 AM
 
5,606 posts, read 5,634,488 times
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Arlington.....right next to Winchester.
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Old 09-12-2011, 05:21 AM
 
304 posts, read 715,808 times
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I agree Melrose has a wonderful downtown.
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Old 09-13-2011, 09:34 AM
 
Location: Quincy, MA
385 posts, read 1,367,966 times
Reputation: 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by digijules View Post
My family just visited downtown Winchester today for the farmers market. The town center is absolutely the adorable. My wife works downtown, and I work in Bedford. Unfortunately, Winchester is a little too expensive for us to get the type of house we want. What other towns have great centers, but are more affordable? We are willing to extend our commutes. We are looking at Acton, however there is no town center.

Thanks,

Mike
Maynard is near Acton, is affordable and has an active downtown, but it may not have as quaint a feel as you are looking for.
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Old 09-13-2011, 06:18 PM
 
Location: North of Boston
3,427 posts, read 6,355,924 times
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Reading, Wakefield, Melrose
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Old 09-13-2011, 06:31 PM
 
4,423 posts, read 6,745,457 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gf2020 View Post
Reading, Wakefield, Melrose
I just don't see it.
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Old 09-14-2011, 12:32 PM
 
Location: Newton, Mass.
2,954 posts, read 11,645,867 times
Reputation: 1497
Quote:
Originally Posted by ipoetry View Post
I just don't see it.
Not sure why not.

Melrose:

MainStreetMelrose | Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dmhergert/286075131/ - broken link)
Downtown Melrose | Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/jenstewart/3123041497/ - broken link)
Main Street - Melrose, Massachusetts | Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dr_television/4236713483/ - broken link)

Wakefield:

Wakefield, Massachusetts - 2/18/09 | Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dr_television/3312663953/ - broken link)
Main Street - Wakefield, Massachusetts | Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/beebe_library/2079354016/ - broken link)

Reading:

Around Reading Ma 08 | Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/28455027@N02/2994978280/ - broken link)
Around Reading Ma 08 | Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/28455027@N02/2994177447/ - broken link)
Reading, MA | Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/kphilly40/87039528/ - broken link)
Around Reading Ma 08 | Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/28455027@N02/2994983324/ - broken link)
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Old 09-14-2011, 12:54 PM
 
4,423 posts, read 6,745,457 times
Reputation: 10896
I lived in Melrose for 6 years and Wakefield for 5 years. I'm well familiar with the downtowns. They're just ordinary bedroom community downtowns though Lake Quannapowitt is great. I think I've walked around it maybe 1,000 times. But thanks for the educational pics.
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